Daily Archives: January 28, 2011

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There may be many reasons why man wants to conquer the world, but there is something youthful and soul-stirring to be able to do it for somebody. Living within oneself is barren and shallow, lacking in warmth and without understanding. But where we can be outgoing and giving, the importance of others becomes doubly strong.

It is impossible to even be selfish without the help of others. Who would we take from, blame troubles on, resent, and criticize? But more important, who would care when we’re ill, who would be happy when we’re blessed, and who would love us when we least deserve it?

The world may be deluged with problems and solutions, laws to live by, formulas, fear, faith, and the everlasting struggle to survive in the face of others, but it is just as necessary to share laughter in happiness, to know God in a sunset, and to feel joy in a sunrise, all more beautiful because of others.

Victor Hugo wrote that the greatest happiness in life is in knowing that others love us, for ourselves, or rather, they love us in spite of ourselves.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

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13 Ways to Celebrate Imbolc

13 Ways to Celebrate Imbolc

by Heather Evenstar Osterman

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Regardless of what religion we grew up with, most of us have favorite memories of things we did every year for specific holidays. These traditions were what made our celebrations special. So what do you do when the holidays you celebrate now aren’t the same ones you grew up with? How do you share the joys of Imbolc with your family?

Imbolc (or Candlemas/Brigid/whatever you choose to call this celebration) falls on February 2nd and is a time to honor the quickening of the earth and the first manifestations of spring emerging from winter. This Sabbat is sacred to the goddess Brigid in particular, and is a wonderful time to acknowledge your own creativity, expand your knowledge, and practice the healing arts. Here are my suggestions to get you started developing your own family traditions!

  1. Help your kids go through all their clothes, toys, and books to find the unwanted and outgrown items. Donate everything to a charity that will give the items to children who need them.
  2. Collect canned goods from family and friends to give to a food bank. Yule isn’t the only time people are in need.
  3. Go for a walk! Search for signs of spring. Take off your shoes and socks and squish your toes in the mud.
  4. Open all the doors and windows and turn on every light in the house for a few minutes. Let the kids sweep all the old energies out the doors.
  5. Lead the family on a parade around the outside of your home, banging on pots and pans or playing musical instruments to awaken the spirits of the land.
  6. Make corn dollies and a cradle for them to sleep in.
  7. Create a sun wheel out of stalks of grain and hang it on your front door.
  8. Meditate as a family. Have everyone explore what it would feel like to be a seed deep in the earth, feeling the first stirrings of life. Lie on the floor and put out tendrils. Stretch and bloom.
  9. Have your children hold some herb seeds in their hands. Talk to the seeds. Bless them with growth and happiness. Fill them with love. Plant an in-door herb garden.
  10. Decorate candles with stickers, metallic markers, paint and anything else you can think of! Light your candles and give thanks to Brigid for her inspiration.
  11. Help your kids make a special feast! Spicy foods and dairy dishes are traditional. Try Mexican or Indian cuisine. Top it off with poppy seed cake. Drink milk or spiced cider.
  12. Set a fabulous dinner table with your candles, evergreen boughs spring flowers, dragons, sun symbols, or whatever says Imbolc to you. Use the good china.
  13. Let your children make their beds in a special way to represent Brigid’s bed. Go camp style with sleeping bags or build a makeshift canopy! Have sweet dreams…

Heather Osterman is the Family Services Coordinator for the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. For more information on pagan oriented activities and events for children and families please contact her at ATCchild@AOL.com or ATC at (360) 793-1945 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (360) 793-1945      end_of_the_skype_highlighting between 9 AM and 9 PM.

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Light a Candle, Cast a Spell

Light a Candle, Cast a Spell

by Melanie Fire Salamander

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In Northern European societies, Imbolc or Candlemas traditionally fell at a time when, with the end of winter in sight, families used the animal fat saved over the cold season to make candles. I don’t butcher stock, and I’m not planning to render meat fat to make candles, but I like connecting with the past through candle-making. And though the days are longer now than at solstice, they’re still short enough that a few candles help.

To further your magickal purposes, you can make a spell candle for Imbolc — a candle into which you imbue a particular magickal purpose. Once you’ve made and charged your spell candle, you burn it over time to further your intention. I find spell candles particularly good for goals that require a period of continued energy to manifest, for example a new job, and for things I desire recurrently, for example peace and harmony for myself and the people around me.

Also, Imbolc is traditionally a time of initiations, of divination and of all things sacred to the goddess Bride, including smithcraft, poetry and healing. To align with the season, consider making spell candles dedicated to these ends.

You can make two kinds of candle, dipped and molded. For spell candles, I’d recommend molded candles, so you can include herbs and other ingredients that wouldn’t mix evenly with dipping wax.

Things you need

  • Cylindrical glass container or containers 
  • Paraffin-based candle wax
  • Double boiler or other large pot in which to melt the wax
  • Wick
  • Scissors to cut the wick 
  • Popsicle sticks (tongue depressors), one per candle
  • Metal tab to anchor the bottom of each wick (a heavy paper clip will do)
  • Crayons, old candles or candle coloring for color, if desired 
  • Small objects appropriate to your spell
  • Herbs appropriate to your spell
  • Scent appropriate to your spell

For your molding container, the best thing is the used glass from a seven-day candle. You can find seven-day candles all over, including at Larry’s Market. The Edge of the Circle Books has them, or check your local pagan store.

You can also use glass tumblers, jelly jars and the like. The larger the container, the bigger the possible candle and the longer it will burn. Seven-day candle containers have the advantage of having a good candle shape, so that the flame easily melts the wax at the sides of the glass. To accomplish your purpose, ideally you’ll burn the entire candle, leaving no stub, which is easiest to do in a container shaped like a seven-day candle’s. Make sure also that the glass of your container is fairly thick.

If you do use a seven-day candle, you’ll need to clean out any remaining wax. To do so, heat the glass in a pot of water to melt the wax. Be sure to heat the glass with the water, rather than introducing cold glass into boiling water, which might break the glass. You’ll need a bottle brush, detergent and some concentration, but it is possible to clean these containers.

Candle wax can be found at candle-supply stores and craft stores. It comes in blocks of two pounds each; the smallest amount you can buy is more than enough for several candles. For wick, again you’ll need a candle-supply or craft store. Lead-based wick, which has a thin thread of metal covered with cotton, is easiest to work with, but you can also use pure cotton wick. The popsicle stick, a craft store or drugstore item, is used to anchor the wick at the top of the candle.

If you do use a seven-day candle container, and the tin tab at the bottom hasn’t disappeared, save it. Such a tab anchors the wick to the bottom of the glass, making sure the wick lasts the length of the candle. If you haven’t saved the tab, you can use a heavy paperclip or buy the real thing at a candle-supply or craft store.

The remaining ingredients depend on the intention of your spell and should have associations appropriate to that intention. None of these ingredients is required — you can make a spell candle by simply making and charging it, or by charging an ordinary candle. However, as with any charm, the more energy you put into in its creation and enchantment, the stronger the spell. I give some ideas for ingredients following; for a full list of associations, check your favorite table of magickal correspondences, or see The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk; Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham; or Aleister Crowley’s 777.

The easiest way to color candles is to melt crayons or old candles with your wax. To get a strong color, use more colored wax. Don’t mix colors, or you’ll end up with a muddy brown. You can also purchase candle coloring at a candle-supply or craft store. For color symbolism, check tables of correspondences; as always, your personal associations and preferences are the strongest and most resonant. Some common associations follow:

  • Red: Lust, passion, health, animal vitality, courage, strength
  • Pink: Love, affection, friendship, kindness
  • Orange: Sexual energy, earth energy, adaptability, stimulation
  • Brown: Earth energy, animals
  • Yellow: Intellect, mental energy, concentration
  • Green: Finances, money, prosperity, fertility, growth
  • Blue: Calm, healing, patience, peace, clairvoyance
  • Purple: Spirituality, the fey, meditation, divination
  • Black: Waning moon, release, banishing, absorbing and destroying negativity, healing
  • White: Waxing or full moon, pro-tection, purification, peace, awareness; good for most workings

Probably the most common small object to add to a spell candle is a written expression of intention. Candle makers often add semiprecious stones; you can add a stone appropriate to your intention, for example sacred to a deity who rules that area of life, or personally connected to you, say a birthstone. Depending on your spell, other small objects might suit. If you’re doing a spell to invoke the peace of the ocean on a still day, you could include sand or seashells. A candle to draw love might include small cut-out hearts, one to draw money pieces of dollar bill. Note that any added objects should ideally be flammable, or if not flammable small enough not to prevent your candle from burning.

You can use herbs suitable for incense to further your spell. Use herbs you can safely burn indoors. Herbs may make a candle smoke and can combine with the wick to create a large flame, so use them sparingly. Also, herbs tend to clump at the top and bottom of the candle, often producing a stub at the end that’s hard to burn. However, herbs are easy burnable ingredients to add in line with your intention, and if you choose the right herbs they’ll smell good. For lists of herbs, try any incense-making book, such as Scott Cunningham’s The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews or Wylundt’s Book of Incense. To make sure your herbs smell sweet, burn a pinch first.

Both the preceding books also discuss scents, which you can incorporate also. For a strongly scented candle, you’ll need to add perfume. It’s best to use candle scent, found at candle-supply and craft shops, or synthetic perfume oil. Essential oils are volatile and break down in the wax, leaving your candle with no scent at all.

The candle making process As with any spell, start by considering what you want and what symbols represent your goal. Likewise, as always, don’t try to compel someone who hasn’t consented. Remember that what you do returns to you threefold.

Start by collecting your ingredients and planning your candle-making for a day and hour appropriate to your intention. Imbolc this year falls just after the full moon, so for spells of increase you might want to wait till the moon turns. Or phrase your spell to release something negative. If you need money, banish poverty. If you want love, banish loneliness.

Give yourself a few hours to make your candle or candles, during a period when you’re unlikely to have your concentration broken. Just melting the wax alone, depending on the volume melted, can take from 15 minutes to an hour. You’ll be using the kitchen, so make sure you’ll have it to yourself or that any visitors will be attuned to your purpose.

First, melt the wax in the top of your double boiler. If you want all your candles to have the same color, add the crayons or old candles now. You can use a single pot if you’re willing to watch the wax closely — you don’t want it to burst into flames. Break the wax into small chunks beforehand, so it will melt faster. Heat the wax over medium heat, but don’t let it boil. If you want candles of different colors, you’ll need to melt the crayons or old candles separately, then add clear wax to about the right volume in the pot and mix before filling your containers. Add candle coloring according to package directions.

While the wax is melting, pad your working space well with newspaper, because you will almost certainly spill some wax. Make sure all your ingredients and tools are handy. If you have herbs in unmanageable sizes, for example whole rosemary stalks, break them down so the pieces are a size to burn without becoming small bonfires.

Once the wax is fully melted, turn the heat low and let the wax cool till the wax on the sides of the pot starts to set, at approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooling the wax a little helps prevent the creation of large air bubbles in your finished candle.

Now you’re ready to start forming candles. I usually cast a working circle at this point, calling my patron deities to witness, but without a lot of tools or formal setup. You can work as elaborately or simply as you like. However, I would recommend making the candle with focused intention, as well as charging it later.

Take a moment, then, to focus your concept of your goal. You might create a running mantra to repeat through the rest of your candle-making, or consider an image or group of images to help you concentrate. Be sure to state your intention simply and firmly. If it seems appropriate, write your intention down.

First, if you want multiple candles with the same scent, or you’re only making one candle, scent the wax now.

Next, cut a wick for each candle. The wick needs to be as long as your candle container, plus several inches. Thread the end of the wick through the metal tab or paperclip, or other object appropriate to your spell — for a money spell, you might anchor the wick with a folded bill. Then, drop the weighted wick-end to the bottom of the glass container. Making sure the weighted end sits flush on the bottom and the wick stays as straight as possible, wrap the other wickend around a popsicle stick and set the popsicle stick across the mouth of the glass. Make sure the wick-tail is in the center of the candle-to-be. The more centered your wick, the more evenly your candle will burn.

If you’re using unleaded wicking, pour a little wax around the tab at the end, then let it harden firmly. Then gently stretch the wick taut, and rewrap the top around the popsicle stick.

Next, add the nonwax ingredients to your candle. Drop your folded written intention, if any, and any other objects into the bottom of the candle glass. As each falls, imagine it adding strength to your spell. You can add herbs now as well, or you can add them to the top after pouring, if you want them to float down through the wax and be distributed through the candle.

When your objects and initial herbs are in, pour the wax. Pour evenly and slowly, and try to make sure your wick stays in the candle’s center. If you want to add herbs after pouring, do so directly afterward. If you want to scent a candle singly, now’s the time.

The next part is the really hard part — set the candle out of the way, and leave it alone! It will take up to an hour to harden. You can continue to meditate on your purpose, set up an altar to formally charge your candle, or take down your circle for the time being. You might want to check your candle in this interim period, as the top’s center may form a depression, which you can top off with melted wax. To this end, keep some wax melted.

When your candle’s solid, cut off the extra wick at the top, leaving about a half-inch.

Next, energize the finished candle with your intention. Cut your circle and call any deities or spirit helpers you like, if you haven’t yet, and restate your purpose. Then raise energy in your chosen manner. When the energy’s at its height, send it into your candle, then ground any excess into the earth, keeping what you need for yourself.

Finally, burn your candle. One of the great things about burning a candle in a glass container is that you can keep it going night and day in relative safety. Make sure, however, that the candle is in a place where no human or pet can knock it over, and where no combustible thing can fall across it. Also, at the end of the candle’s life, you might want to burn it while you can watch; it’s during the last inch or so that the glass will break, if it’s going to. Either way, just in case, burn the candle on a nonflammable surface, say an earthenware plate or a tile floor.

If you don’t want to burn your candle every day, burn it on days appropriate to your spell. For example, burn a love candle on Fridays, a day sacred to Aphrodite, Freya and other love goddesses. Again, tables of correspondences can help you figure appropriate days, or you can determine them astrologically. Or you can burn your candle when you feel particular need.

Ingredients for different intentions

If you can’t find or don’t like any of the following ingredients, by all means cut them, substitute or better yet create your own recipe from scratch! The stronger the associations for you and the more personal your candle’s creation, the more effective your candle will be.

  • For divination and psychic work: Purple coloring; a small image of an eye, for far-seeing; lemongrass, sandalwood, cloves, yarrow and a pinch of nutmeg; frankincense scent
  • For protection: No coloring; basil, vervain, rosemary, St. John’s wort and a pinch of black pepper; vetiver or patchouli scent
  • For healing: Pale blue coloring, bay, sandalwood, cedar, carnation, lemon balm; eucalyptus scent
  • For peace and harmony: Pale blue or lavender coloring; lavender, meadowsweet and hops; lilac or any light floral scent
  • For inspiration in the arts: Yellow coloring; a small image of a lightbulb; a piece of amber; bay, cinnamon, lavender, orange peel; scent of bergamot, or any citrus scent
  • To attract love: Pink coloring; small silk or candy hearts; rose petals; jasmine scent
  • To attract sex: Red coloring; sexual images; rose petals, ginger, damiana, ginseng, a vanilla bean; musk scent
  • To attract money: Green coloring; a folded bill or shiny dime; dill, lavender, sage, cedar, wood aloe; oak moss, vetiver or patchouli scent, or some combination of these
  • To get a job: Green coloring; a topaz or turquoise; pictures of tools you use in your work; bay, lavender, cedar, red clover, nutmeg; orange scent, or any citrus scent

As you make and burn your candle, attune to the season as well as your intention. Now is the time to ask Bride for inspiration and to light a new flame, beckoning the longer days to come.

Background for this story came from Sylvana SilverWitch, publisher of Widdershins, from whom I learned everything I know about making spell candles.

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Visiting the Well of Release

Visiting the Well of Release

A Meditation to Process Pain

by Melanie Fire Salamander

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Okay, it’s that time of year again. I don’t know about you, but the first part of the year, New Year’s through Valentine’s, way too often finds me breaking up with someone. I hate it! You’d think I’d have figured out how to avoid it by now. But the pain of leaving, or worse of being left, never seems to get easier. All I seem to be able to hope for is a few more tools for dealing with it.

Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid this pitfall, pain is all around us. Life, as the Buddha said, is suffering. This is a bad time of year for family pain, our having just gone through the holidays. The earth lies fallow, exposing her wounds: building sites like open sores, old mines and dumps, places whose ruin makes you weep. And it’s a dark time of year, when during long nights and short dreary days all the specific, personal drek we’ve avoided in summer and fall can rise and engulf us.

Don’t let that happen! You can process pain. Not shove it, to find it later, having grown runners to other, older pains, but truly process it — be in it, feel it deeply, then let it go. It’s not a hasty process. Expect to do this work over and over again. But each time you do, I promise you, you can and will let go a little pain. It’s hard work, because to release the pain, I find, you have to feel it again and know its roots, its causes, which usually go back to sufferings of early life or even before. But if you’re willing to do the work, you can heal.

Following is a meditation to help that process happen. In honor of the season and of the goddess Brigid, I’ve built into the meditation an image of a sacred, healing well, an image of this goddess, whose holy day Imbolc or Candlemas is. To use this meditation, either record it on tape and play it back or ask someone to read it to you. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Before starting, find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed; take the phone off the hook and if necessary shut out your pets. If you’re prone to falling asleep, try sitting up as you meditate, preferably on a chair or against a surface that helps keep your back straight; alternatively, you can sit cross-legged or in lotus position. If you have problems relaxing, stretch out on a bed, couch or the floor.

The Meditation

Close your eyes, and begin to relax. Take a few deep breaths: in, out; in, out. Feel your body, wriggle your fingers and toes, your nose, your hips and arms; roll your head. Feel where your body ends and what’s around you begins. Feel the air around you, the surface underneath you. Be here now, present in your body, in the present moment. Feel yourself begin to relax.

Continue to breathe deeply, and begin to release the cares of your day and week with your breath. Be completely here in the present moment.

Throughout this meditation, you will have a complete, deep experience, and you will remember everything you sense and learn. If you need to return, you can always recall yourself to the physical world by moving your fingers and toes. You will feel utterly safe and protected throughout.

Relax more fully still, and breathe deeply. Feel in the center of your body, behind and below your belly button, a spark of life, your life, your eternal fire. Feel that flame pulse with life. Let that flaming center send a spark of energy downward, a liquid trail like molten fire, down through your groin into your base and down into the earth. Feel this energy flow downward, through the foundation of the building, down into the deep, wet, cold earth, the soil, through hidden underground streams, cool water slick on rocks, and below that into the solid rock of the earth’s mantle. Feel the personal flame from your body push down through rock into the deep core of the earth, the earth’s molten center, where all is fire as it is fire inside you. Feel your own personal fire connect with the energy of the earth, deep and red, the red glowing heart of the earth.

At the same time, feel a spark of energy flare upward from the center of your body, up through your torso, through your neck, through your head, through the top of your head into the air. Let this energy flow upward through the air of the room, through the ceiling, through the roof of the building into the cold air. Let the energy fountain up, up, up, through the cold damp air, past clouds of rain and ice, up into the clear sky above all clouds. Feel your personal fire energy connect with the fires of the sky, the energy of sun and stars and moon, fiery, swirling sky energy.

Feel your deep energetic connections to both earth and sky, tap into those connections and deeply feel them. Let sky energy begin to flow downward into you, and at the same time let earth energy flow upward into you. Feel the two energies combine in your center, swirling together gently and cleanly, into one combined healing energy. Let this energy flow outward from your center, filling your torso, filling your lungs and throat, filling your head, filling your groin and pelvis, your legs and arms, touching and washing away remaining tension, cleansing and healing. Let all negative energy you can let go of flow with this wave out through your grounding. Let negative energy, tension and pain and anger and everything you want to let go of flow sweetly and cleanly down your grounding, into the earth, which can reuse the energy for other things.

Now let a wave of sky energy come through you again, combine with earth energy, and fill you, cleansing you, and wash away another layer of negativity down your grounding. Release everything you need to release. Keep any information you require, but release pain, tension, fear and error with the cleansing, healing energy down your grounding.

And again, let another wave of sky energy come into you, combine with the energy of earth, fill you and cleanse you, washing trouble and pain away down your grounding into the earth. Feel your deep connection to earth, and let trouble and pain wash into the earth. Keep any information you require, but let all the pain you can go into the earth.

Feel yourself cleansed and sparkling, full of earth and sky energy, and deeply connected to both earth and sky. Ground out any energy you

don’t need into the earth.

Now imagine yourself at a stone boundary marker, standing beside a gravel road. It is dusk, wintertime, and you are in farm country. The landscape is wintry, with a light dusting of snow, the tree branches bare of leaves, but you don’t feel the cold. Smoke rises from chimneys of houses here and there, some far away on bare hills of cropped brown. The air smells cold and of woodsmoke.

You turn and walk a while down this road. To either side are fields full of stubble, tan. As you pass, crows rise cawing. Far across a field, you see a lone scarecrow standing.

The road slopes gently down a hill, and you come into a small wood. Tree limbs rise gnarled and black around you, shadowing the road. A rabbit raises its head, brown against white shadowed snow, looks at you a moment and bounds away.

You come out of the wood into a flat landscape, cropped fields to either side behind board fences. You walk awhile, the scenery barely changing, all in colors of brown and grey. The smell of the air changes, and you realize you must be coming to a body of fresh water. Walking forward, you crest a shallow hill and see before you stands of rushes around a large lake.

You continue forward on the road. The gravel stops, and you keep going on an earthen path. Tall rushes stand at either side, the air brushing through them, whispering. You push down the path through the rushes and find yourself at a dock where a small rowboat is tied up, oars lying in its bottom.

From here, at the lake’s edge, you have a clear view across. A band of gold haze lies along the horizon, between long bands of grey-purple cloud. The water is steel-grey, and in the center of the lake lies a small island, crowned by a grove of birch trees. The island attracts you strongly, and you decide to row out to it.

Knowing this is the custom of the place, you get into the boat, untie it, and fitting the oars to the oarlocks begin to row. The island is not far away, but it takes longer to get there than you think it will. The boat moves slowly and dreamily through the twilit water. The twilight stays constant; the sky does not get darker. This seems strange, but you feel perfectly safe and protected, and you accept that twilight stays in this place.

You come to the island shore, step out onto gravel and pull the boat up so it won’t float away, setting the oars in its bottom. The grey water, tinged lavender in the light, laps the gravel shore. You walk toward the grove of birch, and again though the trees don’t seem far away, it takes you longer to get to them than you thought it would. Things move slowly in this place. All around you lies dusk-purple light. Know that you will remember everything you need to from this place.

You edge between two birch trees and come to the center of the island. Here sits a stone well. Over the well hangs a weeping willow. The long arms of the willow move gently in the air, rustling.

You see among the willow branches, sitting on the edge of the well, a woman clad in sage-green. Her hair is long, falling almost to the ground, and a very fair blonde, or colorless, or grey — it’s hard to tell in the light. She greets you and tells you that this is the Well of Release, and she is its keeper.

You greet her with reverence. You know she is no ordinary person but a goddess. (Pause briefly.)

She asks you what you would release, and you tell her. (Pause briefly.)

She asks you to sit on the edge of the well, sit comfortably. When you are seated, she asks you go deeply into the problem you would release, saying she will protect you as you do.

You agree to her suggestion and begin to go into the problem in your mind. See the problem in your mind. See pictures of scenes around this issue, the people involved, the places. Take some time and bring the problem you want to release fully into your consciousness and emotions. (Pause for some time.)

Feel the emotions around the problem. Name these emotions. Be in them. Avoid resisting them, but let them be present and flow through you. Feel them fully. (Pause for some time.)

The keeper of the well watches you, understanding fully and protecting you as you do this work. When you have fully gone into, recognized and felt the emotions around this problem, she nods deeply and says she will give you something to hold this issue, a symbol or object to contain this pain. She holds out her hands, and between them is this symbol or object. (Pause briefly.)

You take it into your own hands. This symbol is a container and is meant for your use, to protect you. You feel perfectly safe and protected.

She instructs you now to put the problem you want to release into the symbol, to let flow into the symbol everything you need to let go. You do so gently and fully, letting your emotions and memories and thoughts flow into the symbol, keeping only that information you need and letting go all pain into the symbol. (Pause for some time.)

Once you have put what you need to into the symbol, the keeper of the well cranks the well-handle and draws up the bucket. She instructs you to put your symbol into the bucket, and you do. It goes easily, no matter how big or amorphous it is, as if that’s where it belongs. It disappears into the bucket.

Then the well-keeper lets the bucket back down into the well. The Well of Release, she tells you, lets into an underground stream, a stream that is able to change and break up pain and trouble and old blockages and let energy go where it belongs. You look down into the well, and you see the bucket hit the water, the dark water with just a ripple of light, see the bucket go into the water, disappear into the water. As it does, you feel released of your pain, you feel it gone. (Pause briefly.)

Now the keeper of the well brings out a crystal decanter full of water, and she motions you to stand in a silver-edged basin whose drain feeds into the source of the well. “This is the cleansing Water of Release,” she tells you. You see the water in the decanter sparkle with its own inner light. She pours the water over your head; it cascades down over you, and you feel not wet but as if cleansing, healing energy were going through you, washing away the last vestiges of pain and trouble, releasing the last blocks and letting them pour downward into the underground stream and into the earth. (Pause for some time.)

The well-keeper smiles at you and says, “Now you are cleansed and healed, and in token I give you a gift.” In her two hands she holds out this gift, and you take it. You examine it, and she tells you what you need to know to understand it. (Pause briefly.)

Know that you will keep the memory of this gift as you need to, and all else that you need to retain.

Now you say your good-byes to the keeper of the well and thank her. (Pause briefly.)

Leaving her, you pass out between the birch trees, and on the gravel shore find the boat. You draw it toward the water and get in, push off with your oar and slowly row back to the lake shore.

At the lake’s edge, you tie the boat to the dock, replace the oars in the boat bottom and, turning, walk back through the rustling reeds along the path. You pass through the reeds to the long flat land, the road with brown fields on either side, and into the dark wood. You notice that it has begun to get dark. But it is a reassuring darkness, a warm and protective darkness, a blanket drawn over the land that lets it sleep.

You pass under the black, gnarled branches and out of the dark wood, and you walk up the slope of the hill, looking at the cropped fields on either side. You greet the scarecrow and the crows that rise from the fields to caw at you. You continue along the gravel road, the landscape getting darker around you, and you find yourself back at the boundary marker from which you started.

You settle down beside this marker. All around you darkness falls, comfortable, comforting and calm. Know that you will remember everything you need to from this meditation. You will keep everything you need to keep.

You begin once more to feel your body. You are coming up from trance, feeling warm and relaxed yet energetic. Feel your body; wiggle your fingers and toes. Feel the surface below you and the air above. Retain in your mind everything you want to remember from this meditation.

Feel yourself present in your body, present in the here and now. Notice your breath; feel yourself draw breath deep into your lungs and let it go. You feel present and calm yet full of warm energy.

Breathe deeply once more, and open your eyes.

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Lighting Fires at Imbolc

Lighting Fires at Imbolc

by Sylvana SilverWitch

article

If you have been living in the Northwest for long, you must be used to frigid aluminum-gray skies glistening with cold soggy drizzle. Barren tree branches scratch the side of the house as if the chill will come in, past the walls, past your skin into your very bones — and it shouldn’t scare you anymore. Clouds obscure the pale, faint sun till you can’t remember the feeling of it fiery hot on your shoulders. Darkness falls for so many months on end that every so often you must turn every light in the house on just to have some brightness in your world. Wild windstorms knock out the power for hours and days at a time, so you have to use candles for light and heat with the fireplace.

It is the time of year that, for me, best reminds me of how things were, way back when. It is the time of year that I can best appreciate the contrast between cold darkness and warm light. I am ready for change! I am ready for the return of the light to my world!

Seattle winters are dreary, and by the time we get to Imbolc, we are all more than ready for a little lightheartedness and to leave the darkness behind, at least for a few hours. We are ready for purification from the heaviness of the long winter months, and we are ready to celebrate, if not the warming of the land, at least the hope that the heat will soon return and we will yet again bask in the sunshine.

There are many traditional ways to celebrate Imbolc or Bride. These include decorating natural springs and sacred wells, leaving wishes tied on the branches of trees and making corn dollies in honor of the Celtic goddess Brigid (another name for Bride). Making Celtic crosses or Bride’s crosses from wheat straw and braided cornhusks and making and charging (or blessing) candles are other traditional tasks for this time of year. The holiday is also known as Candlemas, this name taken when the Christian church adapted the pagan holiday and made it a candle blessing and the feast of Saint Brigid.

In this culture, most of us were raised to go outside on this day and look for our shadow. If we saw it, there would be six more weeks of winter, as this is a weather marker day — also known as Groundhog’s Day. One of my sisters had the audacity to be born on Imbolc, and she’s seemingly been running from her shadow every since!

You can find more about Imbolc traditions in a multitude of published books. Following, I will tell you about some of my favorite ways to celebrate, purify and get in touch with the energy of fire, water and the earth and that of the Goddess at this time of year.

Creating Beeswax Candles

One of the things we almost always do in our coven is make candles. We save the glass containers from seven-day candles and at Imbolc wash and reuse them to make our own magickal candles. On this day, I also like to create rolled beeswax candles with herbs, oils and stones and infuse them with a specific purpose, for my own personal use all year long.

Making candles is easier than you might think. We ran an article on making your own seven-day candles last year. This year, I’ll talk a bit about the beeswax type, since you can make one, a few or a bunch with little muss and fuss.

First, you’ll want to visit some place that sells candle-making supplies, I personally like Pourette, located in Ballard, that bastion of pagan life. Pourette has been in business for a long time, and the employees there can tell you most anything you want to know about how to make candles and what you will need for a particular kind of effect. Not the magickal effects, unfortunately, but then that’s your department, right?

First, decide what magickal intentions you want to make the candles for — you can have more than one, just concentrate on one at a time. Choose colors accordingly and get a few sheets of the colors of beeswax that you want to work with. For example, if you want to work for money and prosperity, you might choose green. For healing, you might want blue. Psychic work and divination would be white or purple; for love and sex, you might choose red or pink. Look up color correspondences in the back of some of your books; Scott Cunningham has some good correspondence tables for herbs, flowers, stones and oils as well as colors and astrological influences. Don’t forget that your own associations are also important. If gold means money to you, then use that. You’ll want some kind of cotton wicking as well.

You can also include in your candles runes, little bits of paper or parchment with the purpose written on them rolled up in the candle, symbolic charms or figures representing what you want and bits of paper money (corners work well) or stones. The more thought and effort you put into creating your candles, the better results you will have.

Gather all of your ingredients together, planning to make one type of candle at a time. You’ll want a clean, soft surface to work on so as not to crush the beeswax pattern; for this, you can put down an old towel or T-shirt as padding. Also, you should decide at this point how large a candle you want to end up with. I usually cut the sheet of wax into two pieces, so I have two sheets about 4 inches high each. Otherwise, you end up with a fairly tall candle. With herbs, oils and magick inside, they tend to burn very hot. An 8-inch candle can burn up rather quickly.

When you begin, you will want the room to be reasonably warm, so that the wax stays pliable and does not crack when you roll it. I commonly put down the beeswax, then cut a piece of wick the desired length, about an inch or so longer than the wax is tall. Then I get out a bit of everything I want to put into the candle. I use eyedroppers for essential oils and rub a small quantity of oil on what will be the inside of the candle after the wax is rolled around the wick (the part of the wax that’s facing up).

Next, I sprinkle a small amount of each flower or herb I am using onto the wax, so they are evenly distributed from top to bottom. I generally try to keep things simple and only use one or two kinds of herbs in any given candle. Then I include the other things: stones, symbols, paper, and so on that have meaning for me. Next, I slowly and carefully roll the candle tightly around the wick. It helps to fold the wax over the wick a little bit prior to adding the ingredients. Being careful to keep the wax level so I don’t disturb the ingredients’ distribution, I keep rolling until the whole candle is rolled around itself. During this process, I think about the desired results of my magickal candle, as if they have already manifest. I keep the purpose in mind during the whole process and put as much positive energy into it as possible.

When you finish rolling, you’ll want to gently heat the edge of the wax (a hairdryer works well for this) so that you can press the wax into itself and seal the candle, being careful not to crush it in the practice. This process gets easier the more you do it. Don’t be discouraged if your first efforts are a tad messy. You’ll get the hang of it!

When you have finished all of the candles you wish to create at this time, you’ll want to bless and charge them with energy. To do so, cast your circle and do a ritual imbuing them with your purpose. Then you can burn them in your spell work for the rest of the year. Make sure when you burn these candles that you attend them closely, keeping in mind that they should be on a nonflammable surface and being cautious that there is nothing in the vicinity that can catch on fire. When candles have flower petals, herbs, oils and paper inside them and are magickally charged, they tend to burn like an inferno. Your candle may be burning nicely and then all of a sudden flare up and be consumed in a matter of seconds. So guard them closely!

Making Bride’s Water

Another thing I like to do at Imbolc or Bride is to make Bride’s water, water holy to Brigid. We usually do this during a ritual where we invoke Brigid and raise energy for the many things that she represents to us. She is the patron goddess of wells, fire, the forge, music, storytelling, poetry, arts and crafts and much more. She is central to my artistic inspiration, and so I honor her at this time of year by purifying myself with her holy water and with fire (more on that later).

To makes Brigid’s water, we place a huge cauldron in the center of the altar, filled with alcohol and Epsom salts; when lit, it emits a beautiful blue flame. We have ready purified and blessed water in a large container, several pieces of charcoal, some long barbecue tongs and enough small containers with corks that we can each take some Brigid’s water home.

Once we cast the circle and invoke the goddess, we raise energy for Her by chanting, dancing or whatever we have determined. During the energy raising, the charcoal (self-lighting incense charcoal, not barbecue charcoal!) is lit from the fire in the cauldron, and it is allowed to burn for a few minutes until it is glowing red. At the apex of the energy raising, we chant, “Bride, Bride, Bride, purify me… Bride transform me!” Then when we all stop, the charcoal is thrust into the water with a great amount of sizzling, smoke and steam. We then file past the fire and water and are anointed and blessed with the Brigid’s water for purification and inspiration. Each covener takes some home to use much as one would any holy water, to bless and purify house, tools, self family, and so on.

Purifying with Fire

My very favorite form of purification is that of fire. It is odd to think that I — a Pisces with Cancer rising, very watery signs — would enjoy fire so much, but I do have a lot of Aries in my chart, as well as Moon in Leo. A veteran firewalker since 1984, I have a good and close personal relationship with the powerful fire elementals. They are a means to profound transformation, bringing change wherever they occur, whether we like it or not!

I have been working with fire for so long that it takes me by surprise when people are irrationally afraid of it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a healthy fear and respect for what fire can do if I am not careful! I have seen people badly burned, and when I lead my coven in firewalking rituals, I admonish them to be very, very afraid. But I add that if you allow fear to stop you in life, you’ll never do anything worthwhile. Don’t be careless with fire, though, or it will most definitely teach you the hard way!

With this in mind, I offer my version of purification by fire. You can do this as the first part of the former ritual or all on its own; it is very powerful all by itself! If you want to do a combination, do the water ritual second, as a blessing after purification by fire.

For the fire purification, you’ll need a cauldron full of 90 percent rubbing alcohol and Epsom salts, which you will light. You can also use 151-proof rum for the alcohol content. Use alcohol and salts about 50/50 by volume; the alcohol should just cover the salts.

Be sure to take safety precautions, such as having a number of wet towels and a fire extinguisher available within reach. Move all furniture out of the way and pull back the drapes, or just do the ritual outside, away from anything flammable if you can. Take off any loose clothing that could catch and tie up your hair if it’s long. It helps if the participants are skyclad, or at least topless, as it is easy to accidentally catch clothing and extremely difficult to put it out! Then get ready for an intense encounter with fire.

Depending on whether you want to in fact light people on fire (very temporarily, and safely) or just allow them to experience the energy of fire, you’ll need one or two torches — one torch if you’re not lighting people, two if you are. If you are not lighting people, you can pass the lit torch slowly over various parts of the body so that the fire just touches the skin. It is instinct to pull away, and it sometimes takes a few moments for people to allow the fire to interact with them. That’s okay. Take time and go slowly, and you will have better results.

If you do want to actually light people on fire, you’ll need a couple small torches. You can make these by wrapping cotton batting around a wooden rod that’s about 10 to 12 inches long and small enough around to be comfortable in your hand (see drawing below). Wrap the cotton around the rod five or six times, then follow that with a complete wrapping of plain gauze. Wrap the gauze around the cotton six to ten times until you have covered it all, and you have a good torch. Finish the torch by tying it with cotton thread wound around the handle at the top and bottom and around the middle several times, so the thread goes from the bottom up, around and ends up back at the bottom. The thread winding ensures the torch stays together.

To light people on fire, you’ll need 70 percent rubbing alcohol. Do not use a higher concentrate than this, or you’ll really burn people! Put the alcohol in a small spray bottle with a mist capability. Before working with a whole coven, it’s not a bad idea for you and a friend or two to try this out yourselves first, just to get familiar with how it works, timing, the feeling it has on different body parts and so on.

During the ritual, you’ll want to have a person or two who do nothing but “spot” people and be ready to put them out if necessary. You put the fire on skin out by using a petting action from the top down, smoothing out the fire. Don’t allow any body part to burn for more than about 5 to 10 seconds, or it may scorch the skin, and you’ll end up with a sunburnlike burn. Be sure and go over the safety procedures before anything is lit! If anything gets out of hand, use the wet towels on people, the fire extinguisher on objects.

When you are ready, the cauldron is lit and the chanting or music begins. Whoever does the lighting holds two torches, one to spray with alcohol and apply to people’s skin, one to remain lit.

To light the ongoing torch, spray it generously with alcohol, being very careful not to drip or get any alcohol on anything else. Then, light the torch from the fire in the cauldron. Next, spray the second torch with two or three mists of alcohol. You’ll then use this torch to apply alcohol to the body part to light.

The safest body part to light is the hands. Have participants hold these out, palms up very flat and together. When you apply alcohol, make sure not get ritualists’ hands too wet or to let alcohol pool on their hands.

After you have applied alcohol, light it with the lit torch, saying something like: “Be transformed!” Let the flame burn for a moment or two and then have the ritualists clap or rub their hands together to put it out. Don’t let them shake their hands in the air while lit; that just makes the fire burn hotter.

The fire will go out of its own accord fairly quickly as the alcohol burns away, but it is more empowering for people to feel able to control it and put it out on their own. The first inclination will be for them to want to put it out right away, as soon as it’s lit. Let them try it a few times, and as they learn that it won’t hurt them, they will be more inclined to allow it to flicker for a few seconds. Suggest that they put their hands on a body part that they want purified by the fire energy, such as over their heart, but only after the fire on their hands is completely out!

We have done this ritual many times with only minor incidents. One year, when we were doing symbols on people’s backs, one man who had said he only wanted to light his hands changed his mind and wanted us to light a symbol on his back. He had longish hair that wasn’t tied up, and though we had him bend over, he stood up before the fire was out and his hair caught slightly and was singed a bit. It wasn’t a disaster, but it was scary enough that I want to reiterate the precautions. If you intend to light anything, including hands, be very careful and do a practice session out of ritual space first.

We use this very powerful energy to transform ourselves, our projects and our lives — coming out from darkness and lighting up our purposes. This ritual has a tendency to be very intense, so keep in mind that people can get carried away by the energy and forget the safety precautions! Make sure to be responsible with the fire and always err on the side of caution.

Afterward, breathe and ground well and share your experiences of the fire energy with one another. It’s amazing the different perceptions people will have.

Whether you choose to enjoy one or more of these suggestions or something else entirely, have a great Imbolc and a wonderful year!

Sylvana SilverWitch is the high priestess of Sylvan Grove, publisher of Widdershins, a firewalker, psychic reader, professional tattoo artist and exotic body piercer and an unapologetic wild woman! She is available for readings, counseling, weddings, classes, rituals and of course tattooing and piercing. You may contact her by e-mail at sylvanas@juno.com, or call the Widdershins line at (206) 366-2265 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (206) 366-2265      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and leave a message.

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Lady of the Flames

Lady of the Flames

by Bestia Mortale

fiction

We had scarcely bread enough, and very seldom ale in those days. But it was a good year the hunters came, and I can’t blame hard times for what followed.

It was the summer of my sixteenth nameday. On that nameday I set out, as was the custom for the men and many a woman of our village, to do a week of service to the Lady Thraxton. I walked alone down the lonely river path toward the tower where she kept.

In a poor county like our own, there are no great lords or ladies, only a few knights of bare tables and few servants. On the whole, we counted ourselves lucky that our Lady taxed us little, for we couldn’t have paid a great deal more. As for the week of service, that she asked only of those who were willing.

I walked slowly through the reeds, for I had heard fearful things about the old woman. My grandfather told how she brought down lightning on a band of cutthroats who had kidnapped his aunt, killing all of them. I’d never seen her, for she left her tower seldom, and generally only on the occasion of childbirth or death.

Though this service was at will, we felt it an obligation, especially for the men. My sweetheart, Sarah, a year my elder, said she’d not have a man who refused it. And so I went. Also because I was curious, for no one spoke much of it, except with a grin and a wink.

I approached the stone tower, on the side that lay in ruins, and the path seemed to stop. I saw no door, nor sign of habitation, but I heard not far off a person singing softly, and went toward the sound. Around the tower, I came on a girl of about my age tending flowers among the stones.

She was dressed in ruby-red rags like a tinker’s daughter, but when she turned, I saw her face was clean and… her cheeks, her lips, her eyes, her hair. I forgot why I had come.

“Good morning,” she said with a smile, evidently seeing my confusion. “What is your business here?”

“I am come to offer my nameday service to the Lady Thraxton,” I stuttered

“You are Tom, then. The Lady remembers, for she assisted at your birth sixteen years and eleven days ago today. Are you here then, of your own free will?”

“Yes, and at my sweetheart’s behest.” I had no idea why I said such a thing, for I would have admitted it to no one in the village.

She laughed merrily. “Your Sarah is practical, and will make a good wife, I think. Let us see, then, what sort of husband you might become.” With which she came boldly forward and gave me a kiss upon the lips.

Though the kiss was light and chaste, I felt myself catch fire. All in an instant, I found the blood pounding in my ears, my mouth dry, and my cock so stiff it ached in my britches. Nothing like had ever happened to me in my life. I wanted to tumble her then and there, though I’d met her but an instant before. I wanted to tear off her rags and like a beast run my fingers over every inch of her, smell her skin, do I know not what.

I tried to speak, but my tongue had lost the feel of words. I put out my hand to her, hoping perhaps she would guess my desire and that hers would answer, as in a dream. Even so, I knew one so beautiful could choose any man, no matter how she might be dressed, and had no call to dally with one such as I, who could offer neither looks nor money nor station.

“What?” she asked, still smiling, “You want another kiss?”

I thought then of my purpose in coming here, and of Sarah, and the sweet things we had said to each other, as young lovers will.

Though I could hardly breathe and could in no way lower my eyes from hers, I forced myself to speak. “Lass, you’re pretty. I wish I was your match. Still, I’m come to offer a week’s service, and it would be wrong to keep the Lady waiting.”

“I think you’ll not see the old lady while you’re here, Tom,” she said. “But your manners are good, and it is time to begin your service; for the green grass is growing warm in the sun, and a week is short for all you have to learn.” Saying which, she began to untie my shirt.

Indeed, a week was short, and I returned to the village with no regret, yet with sweet memories and a debt so great I could not dream of settling.

In the high summer of that year came the two foreigners to Ardsley, the market town some miles off, to inquire after the matter of witches in the countryside. With ale and threats, they gathered many suspicions and accusations, among which I suppose the Lady’s name figured.

When I heard of it, I paid little heed, thinking it of no consequence to our village. Sarah and I being newly wed, my thoughts at the time were elsewhere.

Then in the fall, a handful of the king’s soldiers came to our village, and one Sunday a witch hunter from the South preached in our small church about the great dangers of witchcraft in our midst. He told of enquiries and trials to come, and the need to burn those who could not be saved.

This filled us with fear, for stories had come from other parts about how, once the hunt began, many tried to save themselves from torture and death by heaping their neighbors on the flames, so that whole villages burned in the end.

Already this looked to be starting among us, for the witch hunters spoke to the weakest and least reliable first, and we could imagine what foolish stories they told. And indeed, the soldiers rode forth to bring Goodwife Lakely to the question, on the grounds that she made love spells for maids to use in binding their sweethearts.

As Mary Lakely told me later, the witch hunters with their soldiers were at the very door of her mother’s house when a girl appeared in the yard. “You know the one,” said Mary, “the Lady’s maidservant.” Dressed in rags as always, she told the hunters she would deliver to them the greatest witch in all the countryside, if only they ceased thereafter to disturb the people of the village.

At first, the hunters paid no heed, but as they spoke with her they seemed to forget all else. She exacted from them a great oath in the end, and they forebore to hold or torture her, though it was surely in their minds. She skipped away, and they rode forth to the tower.

Three days after, on Sunday, they built a great pile of logs in the square before the church, and after evensong they brought the Lady in a cart, her hands bound behind her. She was covered in a black cloak with the hood pulled forward, so we could not see her face until they took her out and dragged her to the bonfire.

She was old, older and more wrinkled than the most ancient crone I’d ever seen. A torn white wrap scarcely covered her thin limbs, and all her mottled flesh was covered in blue bruises and red wounds that bore witness to fearsome torments. Yet her eyes scanned us as we watched, settling on each in turn, clear and knowing.

I dreaded their settling on me, but I could not find a way to turn away. What I saw in those old eyes I cannot say, but I know I cried out in protest like many in the crowd. The soldiers stood unmoved between us and the great unlit bonfire while the hunters bound her roughly to the stake.

Then the first of the hunters, a tall thin man with a crooked nose, spoke to us. This, he said, was the most horrible witch he had ever questioned. Even before the torments began, she confessed willingly to the most foul and unspeakable crimes he had heard in twenty years of burning witches, and after, even in the greatest agony his skills knew how to produce, she never showed the least repentance. And thus, he said, she must burn.

And, he said, she would only be the first from our village, for it was evident that a very great evil had long been among us, and to eradicate it would be the work of years. He started to expound on this further, when behind him the Lady spoke.

“No,” she said. Her voice was not loud, but neither did it sound old, and it was unnaturally clear, like a bird’s song. “No. I am the first and the last of this village you shall have, on your own oath.”

“A false oath given to a simple slut, for the greater glory of God,” shouted the other hunter, as if to silence her.

“A binding oath,” she continued, “and one that binds you now. Did you think to deal with so great a witch without danger? Did you think to torment me so cruelly without binding yourselves to my fate?”

There was a dead stillness in the square. All that moved was the flicker of fear across their faces and our own.

“Fire!” called the Lady. Instantly there was a gust of wind, and the entire bonfire was in flames, as if it had burnt already a half-hour with a barrel of oil poured on. The fire entirely surrounded her then, hiding her from our eyes and the flames reached into the sky, higher than the steeple of the church, roaring, leaping and curling.

The uniforms of the soldiers caught fire, and they ran from the square, shouting in pain. Yet we felt only warmth.

When the flames fell back a little, she was no longer bound to the blackened post behind her, and she was no longer old. Her hair was fire, and the raging flames made a living gown more beautiful than silk or muslin. She was young, and we knew her well. Even the oldest among us still remembered — it was her patience with me I called to mind then, and her merry laughter. What she taught me in my week of service was to seek the courage that love requires.

Standing in the flames, she smiled her merry smile at us, then, looking at the hunters, beckoned with her hand. Unwilling, they were drawn forward into the heat. Their faces and chests blackened and charred as they approached the inferno, and when the flames actually licked around them, they crumpled and vanished.

“Farewell,” she said to us. “I have passed a pleasant hour here. My thanks for your hospitality, and my blessings. I would take with me a friend, if he would come.”

At this, old Martin shuffled forward from among us. Almost deaf and blind, part daft and scarcely able to get out of a chair these days, nonetheless he somehow managed to croak, “I am ready, girl, at your service.” We laughed.

She laughed too, throwing her head back happily, as I remember her. “I thought you might be. Come, then, make haste.”

We watched in growing amazement and apprehension as the old fellow staggered toward her, pushing through the crowd and on toward the fire. “Watch out, Martin,” someone shouted. Yet he hobbled into the flames, which burst fiercely around him in a flash. Our groans of horror were replaced by gasps of amazement when the fire fell back to reveal a young man naked in the embrace of our Lady. Turning to us again, she waved a last time.

With a roar, the fire leapt into the night sky and was gone.

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Daily Goddess Devotion

Daily Goddess Devotion

Restructure the energies within your heart,
Leave out the fear from the very start.
With love and trust, perfect you’ll be,
Joyful of spirit, blessed and free.

Lady Abigail
Copyright © 01132010

‘May we live in peace without weeping. May our joy outline the lives we touch without ceasing. And may our love fill the world, angel wings tenderly beating.’
 
The Universal Heart Center
 
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Runecast for Friday January 28

A wonderful rune for a Friday, today it’s Tiwaz of Tyr’s Aett Tiwaz pronounced “tea-wawz” (T: Tyr the sky god)  Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters.

A Ram on a precipice. He concentrates all his energy to get over it. With courage and dedication, you can defeat obstacles. This rune calls on you to show your willpower and concentrate your energy in one direction. If you have difficulties, don’t be frightened. Act like a warrior in battle, believe in your good luck and fight. The more sincerely you believe in your power, the more power and strength you will have. If you are challenged, accept the challenge because it will be to your advantage. In career matters you can achieve almost everything when this rune appears, but only through effort and dedication. The Tiwaz rune also advises you to get help from a strong and brave man. In personal relations, it may indicate a strong man coming your way, but sometimes it means you must take a more forceful approach yourself to counter-balance a partner’s weakness.

Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One’s energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation. (Note: the reversed or merkstave definitions are included only for reference as they apply to a multi-rune cast and not to a single rune that’s drawn blind from the pouch)

As with all, take only what feels right to you and disregard the rest.

**a portion of today’s rune meaning/description was kindly provided by Ingrid Halvorsen at sunnyway.com and used here with her gracious permission**

In the Light…

Tom

SoulDiscoveryThruReiki
“Music is a release from the tyranny of conscious thought”
– Kevin Burke
Insanity is inherited, you get it from your kids…
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