Daily Archives: April 13, 2012

Wand and Staff Dedication

Wand and Staff Dedication

Raise your wand or staff to the sky to collect the energy from the Sun or the Moon depending on the time of day you are conducting your magickal work. The Moon’s energy can be collected any time at night while the Moon is visible. Midnight is a particularly potent time to collect the Moon’s energy. The power of the Moon can also be captured during certain phases of the Moon depending on the type of magick you wish to perform. New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Last Quarters are all powerful times during which to collect the Moon’s energy. Moon magick also corresponds to goddess energy, creativity, psychic powers, fertility and the element of water.

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Making Wands and Staffs

Making Wands and Staffs

Making your own wands and staffs, or any magickal tool for that matter, will give you a greater understanding of that tool while attuning yourself to your own natural powers and abilities. Naturally fallen branches and tree limbs should be used when creating your own magick wands and staffs whenever possible. Take a walk in the woods, especially after a storm, to look for fallen tree branches. The tree spirits, sometimes referred to as devas, may become resentful if you cut down a living branch. If you must cut down a branch from a living tree, first make sure the tree is on your own property or that you have the permission of the land owner. Then, visit the tree and meditate on how you are going to shape the limb into a wand or staff for use in your magick work. Then ask permission of the tree spirits and thank them for their gift.

A variety of decorations can be incorporated into your wands to imbue them with extra magickal energy. Copper wire is often wrapped around a wand, as this metal is an excellent conductor of energy. A variety of decorative items can be added to the copper wire before it is wrapped around the wand, such as beads, buttons, feathers and small gemstone beads. In addition silver wire can be used to represent goddess energy, while gold wire can be used to represent god energy.

A special stone or crystal can be added to one or both ends of the wand if desired. Embellishing the top of the wand with a crystal is thought to represent male and god energy. Embellishing the bottom of the wand by carving a hold or cutting a slit in it is thought to represent female and goddess energy.

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The Witch’s Staff

The Witch’s Staff

The distinction between wands and staffs often has to do with size: a staff is thicker and substitutes as a walking stick. In theory, a staff should be long and solid enough to lean on. Historically associated with ancient Egyptian and Semitic magick, staffs are associated with the Biblical Moses and his Egyptian opponents.

The modern staff is most associated with Obeah, the African-derived traditions native to the British West Indies. The Obeah Stick, also called an Obi Stick, is a carved wooden staff, usually featuring a serpent motif. The simpler ones are carved so that a snake-like groove encircles the staff. The more elaborate Staff of Moses usually features a snake carved from bottom to top. Staffs maybe hollowed out and filled with herbs.

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Wiccan Tool List Master

Wiccan Tool List Master

Equipment:

  • a pentacle
  • 6 candles; 1 for each direction, 2 for altar
  • chalice of wine (hard apple cider on Samhain)
  • wand
  • scrounge of silken cords
  • small bowl of water
  • small bowl of salt
  • 3 cords, one red, one white, one blue, 9′ long each
  • white-handled knife
  • individual athames
  • incense burner and incense
  • small hand bell
  • dish of cakes
  • sword
  • chalk
  • altar cloth of any color
  • cauldron
  • tape recorder and tapes of appropriate music
  • veil for Great Rite of a Goddess color: Blue, green, silver or white

For New or Dark Moon Esbat:

  • extra incense
  • an apple and a pomegranate
  • cauldron with a fire in it and/or a bonfire
  • crystal ball or other scrying tools
  • white tabard with hood for Priestess

For Winter Solstice (Yule):

  • cauldron with candle or oak bonfire
  • wreaths, 1 of holly and 1 of mistletoe
  • crowns, 1 of oak and 1 of holly
  • blindfold
  • sistrum
  • animal skull filled with salt

For Spring Equinox:

  • cords as described in preparations
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • a bonfire ready to ignite or a taper
  • flowers in the cauldron

For Beltane Sabbat:

  • bonfire

For Initiations:

  • anointing oil
  • tub to bathe the candidate in
  • towels
  • salts, herbs and oils to add to the bath
  • a blindfold
  • a shirt or other clothing that can be cut
  • a length of string to measure the person
  • two lengths of cord to bind the hands and feet
  • bonfire for warmth if needed

For Blessings:

  • anointing oil
  • wine
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Tools of Witchcraft

Tools of Witchcraft

Some tools like the boline, cauldron or mortar and pestle serve entirely functional uses, but in addition to practicality, witches’ tools are also magickal tools–tools that are perceived as radiating their own magick power. Different tools radiate different energies. Individual tools express specific spells and rituals, for instance candles radiate the power of fire.

Among the ways of determine what type of power a tool radiates is to consider what kind of materials are used in it creation. Thus a wooden magick wand places the power of trees into the hands of it wielder. Sometimes this is obvious, sometimes the radiant energy is more subtle. The concept of gazing into a crystal ball derived from gazing into the moon. A crystal ball essentially brings the moon inside and enable you to access lunar magick anytime not just during the Full Moon. The moon is identified with water and women. These associations have passed on to the crystal ball, which is perceived as radiating feminine, watery energy.

Female and male energies, yin and yang, are considered the most powerful radiant energies on Earth. Unifying these male and female forces provides the spark for creation, and what is a magick spell after all but an act of creation? Instead of a new baby, ideally new possibilities, solutions, hopes, and outcomes are born from each magick spell.

A high percentage of magickal tools radiate male or female powers. Many tools represent the unification of these forces. Earth’s most ancient religions venerated the sacred nature of the human genitalia, representing male and female generative power.

Sacred spiritual emblems evolved into tools of witchcraft. Many magickal tools now hide in the kitchen disguised as ordinary kitchen utensils including sieves, pots and cauldrons, cups and chalices, mortar and pestles, knives, dinner bells and most famously, the broom. To some extent this parallels the hidden history of women: once worshipped or at least respected as goddesses, priestesses, and community leaders, for centuries (and in some circles) women were perceived as the weaker, less intelligent, meek gender, fit for little other than preparing meals. Women’s old tools of power lurked in the kitchen with them. In recent years, however, witches and their tools have emerged from their broom closets to reveal their long suppressed powers.

In fact many tools serve dual uses: few ancient people had the variety or quantity of possessions that many take for granted today. The average kitchen witch of not that long ago made magick with whatever was at hand. She didn’t have a catalog of wares to choose from. Rare, precious items were treasured but, by definition, these were accessible to only a very few.

One cauldron served a family purposes: from creating nutritious soup of concocting healing brews to crafting magick potions. The mortar and pestle ground up herbs materials for whatever purpose was currently needed: healing, magick or cooking. In a holistic world, purposes may not have been considered distinct in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where medicinals are sometimes given via food. Edible, medicinal ingredients are prescribed and may contain magickal protective elements as well.

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Feeling the Earth

Feeling the Earth

by Erika Ginnis

The energy of the earth is an amazing and powerful thing. I use it in my daily meditations as well as in any sort of healing or reading work that I do. When you open yourself up to this support and power, you will find a potent and very real ally in your personal and magical work. It may also change the way you think about and relate to the planet.

There are many different ways to interact with this energy. I will be drawing from what I teach in my private practice and classes. It is a very simple way of working and will give you an opportunity to recognize and experience this energy consciously. In this way you can have access to your connection to the planet when you are at work on the 10th floor of your office building, as well as when you are walking along a beach at sunset.

The reality is – that we are interconnected and a part of this planet regardless of where we are or what we are doing. It is our larger body. It is my belief that the more awareness we have of this, the more our actions will reflect that awareness.

This way of working teaches that there are certain main pathways that the earth energy flows through in the body. Consciously moving this energy through these pathways (called channels) can be very powerful. The following meditation will give you an opportunity to experience and connect with earth energy as a healing and primal force.

Earth Energy Meditation

First close your eyes, and take three slow, deep breaths.

Create a grounding cord for yourself by allowing a flow of energy to cascade down from the area near the base of your spine (your first chakra), to the center of the earth, the heart of the mother. Allow your grounding to be securely attached at both your first chakra and at the center of the earth.

Then take a moment and feel your connection, notice how it brings you into yourself and gives you access to your personal power and awareness.

Be sure to keep breathing and release energy down your grounding by simply relaxing and letting go. Let go of any tension or discomfort.

Allow your attention to settle comfortably behind your eyes and back a bit. This is an area that is called the center of your head and is related to seeing and non-judgment. It is one way to center your energy in your body.

Continue to breath and permit your energy to adjust. Continue to let go of tension or discomfort down your grounding.

While keeping you attention focused in the center of your head, be aware of your feet. Say hello to them. Allow the energy of the planet (earth energy) to begin to gently flow into the arches of your feet. Experience it as it flows up through your feet, and then moves slowly into your calves and thighs. Feel this current of energy: it may be warm or cool, or it may be simply an awareness. Let the energy flow into your hips and through that area near the base of your spine called the first chakra, and then cascade back down your grounding. This stream of energy will strengthen your grounding and cleanse it as it flows.

Notice how the energy moves like a circuit. Up through the feet, moving though your leg channels flowing into the first chakra and then down your grounding.

This is Earth energy, the force of the planet. It is the energy that our bodies are made from. It is a very powerful and validating energy for our bodies to experience. It can be very healing when we consciously move it through the legs channels in a gentle and cleansing manner.

Now take a moment and simply allow your experience to unfold. Breath.

Next, bring to your mind images of the earth. Be aware of the great oceans and the stretches of sand, the mountains and trees. See the green grasses, and smell the rich soil. Tune yourself to the natural cycles, the dance of creation and destruction that Mother Earth demonstrates each year with the seasons.

The new shoot pushing its way up through the rich brown field, the full flower and heady power of the plants in their full growth, the ripe fruit and grain of the harvest, the empty field resting after the grain is cut…death awaiting rebirth.

Allow all the colors of the rainbow to come to you and remember all of the flowers you have seen. Notice how they look with dew on their petals. Bring to mind the deserts and intense colors, the sky that goes on forever. Or the sheer cliffs of canyons, the strata of the earth pushed up into mountains, the gentle depth of the forest floor.

Perceive and respect the power of this planet, this our larger body. The tornadoes, the floods, the earthquakes, the volcanoes, the wind and rain and snow.

Let go of the idea that you can take the earth for granted. Know her to be the powerful and sentient being that she is. Honor her and give her respect, know yourself to be made from her, she is the Mother. Gaia.

Contact your love for her, and pour it forth. Let it flow from you and nourish her, as she nourishes you with the bounty of her harvest. Begin to give back to the Mother.

Finally…say hello. In the silence of your own mind, in your heart of hearts, say hello to Gaia, to Mother Earth. And then listen…allow yourself to receive a hello back from her…take the time to ask and then hear. Ask her for simple things that you can personally do to aid her and be in harmony with her. Listen, she will tell you. Commune for as long as you wish, and then when you are done thank her. Thank her for all she gives to you, for her support, for her love, for her patience. Give yourself permission to be open to this wisdom in your daily life. Let her teach you and your life will change.

Lastly, breathe and release energy, bend forward and touch your hands to the ground, letting your neck relax and your head drop. Release any excess energy back into the earth. Sit back up, open your eyes and stretch. See the world in a new way.

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Pagan Terms – A Little Humor

Pagan Terms

by Sylvana SilverWitch

humor

Just a few definitions for you beginners:

  • 1st Degree: A person who gets to do all the work.
  • 2nd Degree: A person who gets to complain about the 1st degrees and the High Priestess.
  • 3rd Degree: A person who never shows up at rituals.
  • Athame: A ritual knife; the bigger the knife, the less power the bearer has.
  • Book of Shadows: A messy, handwritten book that contains copies of everyone else’s rituals.
  • Ceremonial Magician: Someone with bad hygiene habits, who reads Crowley, takes drugs and practices looking menacing.
  • Circle: Some assemblage of people standing or sitting in an uneven, or oval shape.
  • Coven: A bunch of people who fight like family and get together several times a month to party.
  • Crowley: A weird guy whom lots of people worship because he died a syphilitic drug addict. (Kinda like Curt Cobain and Elvis).
  • Full Moon: Any Saturday that occurs sometime close to the actual calendar full moon.
  • High Priest: Whoever the High Priestess is sleeping with this week.
  • High Priestess: A self-appointed leader; must be bossy, opinionated and have a large ego.
  • Initiation: Status that you receive after a big party held in your honor.
  • Magick: Any weird result after you do a spell or ritual for something; may or may not have anything to do with what you were working for.
  • Maiden: An ambitious 2nd degree (usually a womyn) who aspires to be High Priestess, so she can do things right!
  • New Moon: A chance for the High Priestess to get really drunk and sleep with (and initiate) a new High Priest.
  • Pagan: A person who wears tie dye and practices the party religion.
  • Pagan Standard Time: If a ritual is scheduled for 6pm, people show up around 9, and the ritual finally gets started at 10:30.
  • Pagan Daylight Time: If a ritual is scheduled for noon, everyone usually shows up before dark.
  • Ritual: A reason to assemble with others, kvetch and eventually have some sort of ceremony.
  • Ritual Wear: A flashy dress or outfit that makes the wearer look like an actor in a bad fantasy movie.
  • Sabbat: Any Saturday close to the actual day, excuse for a big party.
  • Wiccan: Conservative person who wears normal clothes, lots of jewelry, recycles everything and used to be a witch.
  • Witch: Someone who wears lots of black and jewelry, reads Gardner and practices the party religion.
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‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 13th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Henry David Thoreau, whose love for simplicity often took him into solitude, also wrote of the sensitive side of human nature. “The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling.”

How easy it is to destroy the only approach to our true selves. And how often communications are broken down by the brutal force of “getting the point” and speaking “frankly.”

The only time an agreement has been reached by the frankly routine is when two people already believe in the same thing. And it is a most infrequent occasion when two people can meet head-on and believe the other honest because that person is direct and wordy.

More often, there must be some thought given to the sensitivity of the other person. First, that person is a human being with human dignity; feelings and thoughts, strong likes and dislikes. And it is a considerate person who has the sensitive perception and insight into the heart of another, and because of that thoughtfulness can be more honest and direct and progress by it.

Nevertheless, if one has to be constantly on the outlook to keep from offending a friend, then that person is not really a friend. It isn’t difficult to be a friend to someone who is endearing to everyone. Indeed it is a pleasure to be counted among the person’s friends. But it is another thing altogether to be a friend to someone who finds little friendship anywhere.

Other people seldom see us as we are. In fact, who we truly are is lost somewhere among our daily contacts. We react differently to nearly every person we meet. Their personality and ours may blend beautifully or they may clash horribly. And we can rather tell where the fault lies when we balance out the blends and the clashes. Are we easy to be friends with, or are we merely acquaintances and nothing more?

If people have to dodge around so many issues in order to keep us sweet, we need to hear some truth about ourselves. If we can’t do it, it may have to come from a friend. Then, we must remember the words of Thomas A. Becket, “Better are the blows of a friend than the kisses of an enemy.”

*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*

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

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

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