Daily Archives: January 10, 2012

Earth Witch Lore – Crossroads

Earth Witch Lore – Crossroads

 

Crossroads are considered sacred in almost all magical traditions. A crossroads is a universally accepted place to hold rituals, leave offerings, or dispose of items you wish to be rid of. While this is not a natural creation but one that is homemade, it still falls in the realm of earth.

 

It is believed tat Hecate rules over the three-way crossroads. She can see the past, present and future, It is said that if you should approach a three-way crossroads at night, you would hear her black dogs howling. Her altars have been erected at such places for centuries.

 

The four-way crossroad are considered to be powerful because all four directions meet at one point. Dirt, rocks and sticks gathered from such a crossroads are said to have powerful spiritual connections, albeit tricky ones to master. In Greek myths, Oedipus met his fate at the crossroads. From the Yoruban people we have Legha (a god known for his clever tricks) ruling the crossroads.

 

Ancient people were afraid of what it meant when one direction met another direction. All manner of folklore is available concerning the crossroads. Fairies are said to hand about there, along with ghouls and goblins. Even the Christian Satan is said to roam the crossroads.

Earth Witches know that a crossroad is actually a place of sacred transformations, manmade or not. Frequently they see them as a metaphor for transformational points in our lives. In such a capacity the crossroads relate to time.

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Earth Spirits: Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves and Leprechauns

Earth Spirits: Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves and Leprechauns

 

It is recommended approaching earth spirits with caution. They are of the elemental race and inhabit a completely different realm, so it is hard to impossible for a human to understand how their minds truly work.

 

Gnome statues in the garden add a touch of whimsy to the décor, but the legend behind their popularity is quite intriguing. It was said that a single ray of sunshine would turn a dwarf to stone. Somehow, this myth crossed with information about gnomes, and the trendy garden gnomes statues came to be. Since gnomes are consider helpful to one’s garden, placing gnome statues there is tradition in a well-tended garden.

 

Gnomes are actually a dwarfish race of earth spirits. They are the guardians of the hidden treasure of the Earth. Some legends maintain that they can be playful and mischievous and love to pull pranks on unsuspecting humans.

 

Elves were originally considered to be of a small stature as well. They were thought to be fairly playful and helpful. The legends of elves run the gamut from Santa’s toy-making helpers to the more romantic portrayal popularized by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Dwarves are said to be the possessors of two types of magical stones: one that will make the owner invisible and one that will grant the owner great strength. Dwarves were well-known in Norse myths for their wisdom. On a least one occasion the gods themselves went to the dwarves for aid, due to their cleverness.

 

Leprechauns are known to be tricksters, because greedy humans are always trying to get their legendary pots of gold. Leprechauns are Irish in origin and are thought to be cobblers.

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Earth Witch Lore – Mountains and Mounds

Earth Witch Lore – Mountains and Mounds

 

Legendary mountains and mounds fall within the domain of the Earth Witch. While mountains are natural formations, mounds are human-made. Both are considered sacred space. The prevailing argument as to the purpose of the mounds is that they are sacred burial grounds.

The Navajos have an old legend that describes the creation of the six sacred mountains. The First Man and First Woman formed the mountains from a bag of dirt that they carried with them from the third world (spirit realm). They sent Turquoise Boy to one mountain. Abalone Shell Boy to another, Jet Boy to another, and White Bead Boy to another. The mountains were not satisfied with that arrangement and would rumble loudly with displeasure. Only two of the six mountains were happy. First Man and First Woman sent the beautiful Mixed Stones Boy and Girl to those mountains. They then sent the rest of the holy ones, including Grasshopper Girl and Yellow Corn Girl, into the mountains.

First Man and First Woman then fastened the mountains to the land with lightning bolts, stone knives and sunbeams. They decorated them with shells, eggs, mists and rain. They then blessed the mountains with chants and prayers. They believe that keeping the land beautiful pleases the ancestors, and pleasing the ancestors, make for a happy tribe.

The Earth Witch agrees with this philosophy. She makes regular use of eco-magic and often gets involved with environmental issues. She understand the true beauty and blessing of the Earth and does not take them for granted. She considers keeping the land clean a sacred responsibility.

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Earth Witch Lore – Bridges

Earth Witch Lore – Bridges

 

Rivers belong to the Water witch, but bridges, and the superstitions that surround them, belong to the Earth Witch. As one who finds solutions and builds foundations, who else could conceive of a way to cross running water while remaining earthbound?

 

There are a few mythical bridges that relate to other elements, such as Bifrost (the rainbow bridge leading from Midgard, the realm of the mortals, to Asgard, the realm of the gods, in Norse mythology), but more often bridges belong to the realm of earth.

 

A bridge is a gateway, because it rests between two bodies of land mass. While crossing it, you are neither in one space nor the other. The bridge transcends the two objects it connects in this manner; hence, it is a very magical and powerful place. It has been said that time does not work the same way on bridges as it does elsewhere. Some say that time moves more slowly when on a bridge, while others say that time ceases to exist all together and does not begin again until one has crossed completely over. Because of the time factor, a bridge has the ability to bring one back to a childlike state.

 

In many myths, a bridge is the path one must take after death to reach the other side. Some of the mythical bridges were treacherous, in order to keep out the living. Native American lore speaks of a shaking bridge one must cross to reach the other side. Often these mythical bridges are said to not tolerate the weight of a sinner and will cast the sinner off the bridge into the water below.

 

There is a tale in modern folklore that relates that you will hear a heartbeat if you stand quietly on a bridge. I have heard about a million variations of this urban legend with one common theme: that of the heartbeat belonging to a deceased person. While it is possible to hear a heart beat-type noise on certain bridges through out the United States, this is normally due to a nearby gas pipes or some other human invention. Yet the tale lives on because of the spooky reputation of bridges.

Because of the association with death, bridges are often said to be haunted. Celtic tradition warns that you should hold your tongue while crossing or passing beneath a bridge. The Isle of Man is home to the famed Fairy Bridge. Local legend says that if you cross the bridge without wishing the little people that live there a good day, you will not have a safe or happy visit. There is also a universal belief that two people who part on a bridge will never meet again.

 

Earth Witches know the lore to be true to this point–there is magic aplenty contained in the bridge. Spell work performed on a bridge tends to take effect immediately. Any type of magic that involves time manipulation will gain a boost by being performed on a bridge.

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Earth Witch Lore – Trolls

Earth Witch Lore – Trolls

 

Trolls, or trows as they are sometimes called, are often thought to live under bridges. They are said to be ugly little creatures, but there are some old myths that claim that trows could pass for human. Some of the myths infer that trows are nocturnal and can only move about at night, while others say they are invisible and therefore simply unseen. Folklore from the Shetland Islands in Scotland lays claim to one distinguishing character trait carried by trolls; they walk backwards. Trolls has a distinct hatred for locked doors and are known to sneak into people’s homes at night if the occupants have locked the door before retiring.

While the tales of the trolls feature in folklore contain both gruesome and nonsensical elements there is little doubt that the troll relates to and falls under the rule of earth. Trolls were known to have magical powers. It was said that they could fly and enchant the wind and were masters of mixing healing potions, ointments and elixirs.

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Earth Witch Lore – Caves

Earth Witch Lore – Caves

 

Most caves have local folklore surrounding them, with one common theme; they are inhabited by spirits or dragons and are forbidding places, desolate and dank. So many legends tell of ghosts haunting caves. These legends were perpetuated by pirates and the like to scare people away from their hiding places and thereby keep their loot hidden. They also stem from ancient days when bears and lions might be found in the caves.

 

For ages, the members of ancient tribes lived their entire lives in caves. In Sweetwater, Tennessee, there is a cavern known as “the Lost Sea,” which features an underground lake with its own variety of plant life (which only grows underground). It is said to be the home of the white jaguar. This cavern is a world within the world. The hauntingly beautiful columns of stalagmite drip healing waters upon those who stand beneath it. Not surprisingly, this cave is also thought to be haunted. It was sacred to the Cherokee tribes.

The Earth Witch knows and understands that caves actually relate to the process of birth. Spirit haunts a cave as a “pregnancy,” or a continuation of life. Therefore, a cave is sacred ground. All that it holds within relates to life and death, as it all stems from the cave. The cave is the birth canal of Mother Earth.

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The Dark Side of the Earth Witch

The Dark Side of the Earth Witch

 

All beings have their strengths and weaknesses. In the case of an Earth Witch, there is one main magical problem: she has a hart time defending herself against things that are “unearthly.” Spiritual entities or adverse astral conditions are rare occurrences, but since they force the Earth Witch out of her natural realm, they can cause quite a bit of stress and wreak havoc. Because these entities have an easier tim attacking the Earth Witch, they tend to do so more often than they do the other Elemental Witches. Because of this problem, the Earth Witch is usually very practiced in warding and protection. This is also a prime argument for maintaining balance in one’s magical practice. Each element has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Where one element may have a hole, another may fill it with energy.

 

However, the enterprising Earth Witch has (and has had for centuries) the perfect tool to remedy this problem: the bridge. Crossing running water serves to release her from any hounding spirits. In order for an Earth Witch to fight unearthly forces effectively, she must call upon her sister elements. It is in this capacity that her role of being the foundation of life is of the greatest importance. Her ability to draw from her sister elements and seek their aid becomes more pronounced each time shed does it. Practice makes perfect for an Earth Witch.

 

It is important to note than an Earth Witch can have a hard time understanding her sister elements. In truth, all practitioners of specialty paths have to find their own unique ways of relating to those who follow a different elemental path. The Earth Witch is both battered and pampered by the other elements. For example, a hurricane force wind may change the surface of the Earth, but it cannot change the core of it. The Earth Witch is the same. She can adapt to the wind on the surface, but it does not change who she is or her role in the world.

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Home of the Earth Witch

Home of the Earth Witch

  

The home of an Earth Witch is lived-in, comfortable, happy, and usually well organized–she runs a tight ship. At the same time, the Earth Witch is the first to let housework slide a bit. Her view is that as long as everything is in its place, a little dust is okay. She recognizes that many times there are more important things to do than mindless scrubbing. It is not unusual for an Earth Witch to incorporate magical correspondences into her décor. She usually has an abundance of house plants and tends to have a green thumb when it comes to the care of these plants.

The kitchen is by far the most popular room in the Earth Witch’s house. She considers it to be the heart of her home—and her home is her heart. The aromas drifting from the kitchen tend to make folks gravitate into the room. The Earth Witch appreciates good cooking. She is renowned for her ability to whip up a meal from scratch while visiting with others. Unfortunately, due to this love, she also may have issues with weight and carry a few extra pounds.

While taste is important to the Earth Witch, texture is even more important. The Earth Witch is sensual and loves touching and being touched. She may have a affinity to velvet, silk and more exotic fabrics, but you will most often find her dressed in comfortable cotton. She has a strong affinity to stones and crystals and often wears them as jewelry.

The Earth Witch understands the forces at work behind crystal energy. She know that crystals contain electrical charges and can be used as batteries, both personally and in electronic devices. She is usually well versed in magnetic magic as well.

The Earth’s Witch Book of Shadows is often painstakingly kept. Thorough and detailed, it can contain entire family histories with its pages. It is usually scrupulously organized and filled with any fact that could possibly be needed. The Earth Witch treasures family heirlooms and creates her personal Book of Shadows in such a way that it will stand the test of time. To her, it is not only a book of magic, it is a manual of life, and it is meant to be passed down through the family.

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