Working With Nature’s Gifts

Establishing Sacred Space

Establishing Sacred Space

by Skye Alexander

The distinction between ordinary space and sacred space is an important one when it comes to magickal workings. Just as Christians go to a church to commune with God, Wiccans and witches practice magick in special areas designated for that purpose. The hallowed space may be a natural place, such as the oak groves where the early Druids performed rituals. Or it can be a structure built by human hands. Witches often erect altars in their homes; the place where the altar stands is considered sacred.

Many ancient ceremonial sites, such as Stonehenge, embody sacred space. Often Europe’s cathedrals were constructed at places the early pagans considered sacred. In part, this was done to ease the transition as Christianity supplanted the Old Religion. But sacred sites, as anyone who’s been to the Chalice Well in Glastonbury or Machu Piccu can attest, resonate with extraordinary energies that inspire reverence.

“Sacred space is a place where we honor the divine …. The purpose of sacred space is to awaken an awareness of our intimate connection to the spiritual world and to the universe as a whole.”

— Carolyn E. Cobelo, The Power of Sacred Space

Within a sacred space, it’s easy to sense the presence of a higher power and to connect with it. You step outside your ordinary world and move into a realm where wondrous possibilities exist. Many people experience physical and psychological changes, such as those that occur during meditation. At some sacred sites, such as Lourdes, miraculous healings are believed to occur.

Some sacred places are permanent — indeed, many have existed for millennia. Others are designed to be temporary, perhaps lasting only for the duration of a ritual or spell.

A Place for Magick

You’ll probably want to designate a special place for working magick. Depending on your locale and personal preference, you can choose a spot outdoors or indoors — or both. It may be a private spot for your use only, or a public area that you feel drawn to.

Perhaps you’ve already chosen a place. If not, you might decide to dowse certain prospective sites to determine which is best for your purposes. You can dowse with special rods or with a pendulum. Many sensitive individuals simply tune in to the energies of places, without using a dowsing device. If a place feels right to you and the input you receive from your own guides, deities, or angels supports your choice, you can proceed to sanctify it for magick rituals.

Labyrinth-wright Marty Cain always dowses an area to locate the best spot for a labyrinth. She also asks for divine guidance and requests permission from the earth and earth spirits before she builds a labyrinth in a site she has chosen for this sacred circle.

Feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, can also help you find the ideal place. Although there are many different schools of feng shui, each with somewhat different principles and perspectives, the most popular version in the United States utilizes a tool called a bagua. This simple device allows you to assess your home, a single room, your yard, or any other space. The bagua contains nine sectors that correspond to the various parts of your life. One sector relates to wisdom and spirituality. Aligning a bagua to your home or yard lets you instantly see which portion will best support your spiritual and magickal pursuits.

Some people like to site their sacred spaces along compass lines. This helps to ground you and align your own energies with those of the earth. It also makes it easy to call the four directions, which is part of many rituals (see “Calling the Four Quarters/Directions” later in this chapter).

Clearing Unwanted Vibrations

Whether you choose to establish a sacred space inside or out, you’ll want to clear it of unwanted energies before you begin doing magick there. According to feng shui, all objects contain energy and affect the overall environment. If possible, remove items — furniture, artwork, equipment, etc. — that you find distracting or that aren’t harmonious with your intentions. Everything that remains in your sacred space should pertain to your spiritual and magickal path.

Don’t use chemical insecticides or other poisons in your sacred space. Whatever you put into sacred space — physical, emotional, and mental — is amplified. Outside, use natural insect repellants, and salt or mulch to inhibit weed growth. Inside, use only “green” cleaning materials.

Perform a cleansing ritual to get rid of ambient vibrations. The most popular way to do this is called “smudging.” Light some dried sage and allow the aromatic smoke to waft through the area, purifying it. (You can purchase sage wands for this purpose at stores that sell New Age or Native American products.) Burning incense will work, too.

If you prefer, you can play a bell, gong, or drum to break up old energy patterns and chase away unwanted influences. Some people sprinkle salt in the corners of a room or mist the area with saltwater. Witches often use brooms to sweep sacred space clean. In conjunction with any of these clearing rituals, consider chanting an affirmation such as “This space is now cleansed of all harmful, disruptive, and unbalanced energies.”

It’s a good idea to clear your sacred space regularly, especially after other people have entered it.

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Tuning in to Earth Energies

Tuning in to Earth Energies

by Skye Alexander

Sacred sites (both famous and not) seem to radiate with remarkable energy that all sorts of people — not just witches, shamans, and dowsers — say they can sense. Places such as Lourdes, France, even seem to inspire miraculous healings. Exactly how these locales came by such energy is unknown. Some people think it results from the ley lines that wind around the planet and create an energy grid. Other people believe that an energy vortex or even a localized spirit — an earth god or goddess in residence — may generate a distinct resonance. Still others suggest that the thoughts and feelings of the people who have occupied a space contribute to its energy.

Ley (pronounced lay) lines are invisible lines of force said to form a network throughout the earth in geometric patterns called the tetragrammation. When two ley lines intersect, a power point is formed. When these lines become disrupted or injured, the associated land may suffer.

Naturally occurring sacred sites are the perfect spots for working magick, if permissible by local law. Not everyone wants wilderness witches tromping across private property to conduct a ritual or enact a spell. You must respect both the land and its owners. Visiting sacred places and sensing the heightened vibrations emanating from these spots will help you understand how to create your own sacred space for worship, rituals, and spellworking.

Indicators of a Vortex, Ley Line, or Power Center

Sacred spots exist in every country and region, perhaps in your own backyard. All you have to do to locate them is attune your awareness to pick up the earth’s vibrations. As you seek out places that house special energy, pay attention to these key indicators that tell you you’re standing on holy ground:

  • Body heat increases (without the sun coming out or other environmental causes).
  • Dowsing rods or pendulums react positively, as if finding a hit.
  • The place appears repeatedly in your dreams, usually with something magickal or spiritual taking place there.
  • An emotional sense of peace and tranquility settles over you like a warm blanket.
  • You get a feeling that you’re not alone (as if the animals, birds, trees, or other living things are trying to communicate with you through motion, sounds, or symbols).
  • Hairs on your arms rise, as if you’ve been exposed to a current of energy, or you feel a sudden chill.
  • There are unusually lush displays of plants uncharacteristic of the region; for example, a streak of bright green grass was once called a faery trail, and these usually follow ley lines.
  • Your totems and power animals appear there regularly.
  • You experience a sense of timelessness, as if there is only now.

You can also dowse an area to assess its energy. A pendulum will pick up speed and spin enthusiastically in the presence of a ley line or power center. Dowsing rods tip down toward the ground when they connect with this vibrant earth energy. As mentioned in Chapter 17, you can even dowse a map to find a sacred site near your home.

Liminal Zones

Liminal zones are in-between spaces, where two distinctly different types of terrain or elemental forces meet. The edge of a forest, the entrance to a cave, and the mouth of a volcano are examples of liminal zones. Places where natural changes occur continually, so that the energy there is always ebbing and flowing, might also be considered liminal zones. At the ocean, the area between the low tide and high tide marks constitutes a powerful liminal zone.

The shadowy periods at dawn and dusk are liminal zones, too. Although many witches prefer to do magick at night, the moments between light and darkness afford opportunities for unifying the masculine energies of daytime with the feminine powers of the night.

Witches and shamans move between the temporal and spirit worlds when they do magick. Earthly spots where topography defines the border between different “realms” in the physical world can serve as portals or facilitate different states of awareness. If you know of such a place, consider it sacred and work magick there.

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Today Begins The Celtic Tree Month of Rowan

Celtic Tree Months

By , About.com

Rowan Moon: January 21 – February 17

The Rowan Moon is associated with Brighid, the Celtic goddess of hearth and home. Honored on February 1, at Imbolc, Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearthfires. This is a good time of year to perform initiations (or, if you’re not part of a group, do a self-dedication). Known by the Celts as Luis (pronounced loush), the Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success. A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norsemen  were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.

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Dieties of Marriage

Dieties of Marriage

by Divine Spirits

Deities Of Marriage These deities can be invoked in rituals concerning the family and the home. Frigg Frigg was the Viking Mother  Goddess whose jewelled spinning wheel formed Orion’s belt; as patroness of marriage, women, mothers and families, she can be invoked for all rituals  concerned with families and domestic happiness. She invited devoted husbands and wives to her hall after death so that they might never be parted again and  so is goddess of fidelity. As Ostara, goddess of spring, she was known among the Anglo-Saxons and is remembered in the festival of Easter as a fertility  goddess and bringer of new beginnings. In her role as Valfreya, the Lady of the Battlefield, Frigg recalls the Northern tradition of warrior goddesses and  offers courage to women. Hera Hera, the wife-sister of Zeus, is a the supreme Greek goddess of protection, marriage and childbirth whose sacred bird is the  peacock. She is a powerful deity of fidelity and is called upon by women seeking revenge upon unfaithful partners. Hestia Hestia is the Greek goddess of the  hearth and home, all family matters and peace within the home. She is a benign, gentle goddess and so can be invoked for matters involving children and pets.  Juno Juno, the wife-sister of Jupiter, is the Roman queen of the gods, the protectress of women, marriage and childbirth and also wise counsellor. Together  with Jupiter and Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, she made up the triumvirate of deities who made decisions about humankind and especially Roman affairs. Her  month, June, is most fortunate for marriage and, like Hera, her Greek equivalent, her sacred creature is the peacock. She is invoked in sex magick as well as  for all matters concerning marriage, children, fidelity and wise counsel. Parvati Parvati is the benign and gentle Hindu Mother Goddess, consort of the god  Shiva and the goddess daughter of the Himalayas. Her name means ‘mountain’ and she is associated with all mountains. She and Shiva are often pictured  as a family in the Himalayas with their sons Ganesh, god of wisdom andlearning, and six-headed Skanda, the warrior god. She is invoked for all family matters  and those concerning children and by women in distress. Vesta Vesta is the Roman goddess of domesticity and of the sacred hearth at which dead and living  were welcomed. The Vestal Virgins of Rome kept alight the sacred flame in Vesta’s temple and this was rekindled at the New Year, as were household  flames. Vesta can be invoked in rituals centred around the element Fire.

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Venus retrograde, What is it?

Venus retrograde

What is Venus retrograde?

From time to time, due to the relative motion of the Earth and Venus around the Sun, as we look to the sky, Venus appears to make a stop and go backwards. This is the so called retrograde movement, it happens every 18 months or so, and it lasts for about 40 days, which represents 7% of the time. Of all planets, Venus is the one that has the shorter retrograde movement.

What would be the astrological influence of Venus’ retrograde movement?

By definition, Venus is the planet of love and marriage, of relationships and diplomacy, of art and beauty, of fashion and luxury, of money and pleasures.

Going backwards, the venusian influence is diminished, disturbed or internalized, so that the above mentioned areas are afflicted in a way or another.

During this time, feelings are not easily expressed, everyone seems to need more affection and love; also, those with relational issues will have to face the reality. The general advise is to focus on older relationships, to try to make them work, or to understand our true feelings. It will be harder to understand what others feel, though.

We may meet old friends or someone we loved or cared for a long time ago, which might reactivate old feelings, possibly forgotten.

The artistic sensibility is lower than normal or perverted, so that we might buy clothes or artwork that we’ll reject after Venus goes back to direct motion. Therefore it is advised not to buy jewelery or other similar expensive stuff, as we might regret it later. However, Venus retrograde is a good time to buy antiques, artwork of historical value or just second-hand art objects, if you can evaluate them correctly.

What is definitely to avoid during this time?

Weddings, opening of a fashion store, beauty salon, art gallery, launching of a women magazine, buying expensive items of venusian nature, radical changes of the personal look, house redecorations, big parties or other important social events, investments and so on.

What should we do, then?

  • clean-up the house and decide which old objects of sentimental value to keep and which to throw away or sell.
  • renegociate a contract or a bank loan (but we shouldn’t apply for a new one)
  • discuss and clarify things in the current relationship, as our understanding on own feelings is increased, which is not true about others’ feelings, requiring open and sincere communication
  • ask genuinely for forgiveness for our mistakes
  • contact friends or other persons we care about in order to continue the relationship
  • develop our capability to love anyone unconditionally, by meditations, prayers and other spiritual activities
Categories: Magickal Boosters, The Sun, The Moon, etc., Working With Nature's Gifts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUNDAY, SUNDAY

Days Of The Week Comments 

Sunday, Sunday!

 The Day of the Sun

sunnandaeg (Anglo-Saxon)
sonntag (Germanic)
dies solis (Latin)
ravi-var (Hindu)
etwar (Islamic)
dimanche (French)
nichi youbi (Japanese)

Traditionally seen as the first day of the week by the ancient Hebrews and as identified by the fourth commandment (Exodus, xx, 8-11). This day was in ancient times dedicated to the Sun and later as ‘The Lord’s Day’. Sunday is traditionally a time for rest, reflection and worship. It is believed to be a lucky day for babies born on this day according to tradition as the child was thought to be safe from witches and evil spirits. Some born on this day are believed to have psychic or devining abilities. Any cures that are administered on a Sunday were believed to be more likely to succeed. In some parts of the British Isles (UK) there is a belief that announces that any agreements that are made on a Sunday are not legal as it will offend God to make any transactions of a day of reflection and dedicated to worship. In the USA this is enforced by the saying ‘ Never make plans on a Sunday’. In rural areas of the British Isles those employed for a new job on a Sunday would soon leave their post:

‘Saturday servants never stay, Sunday servants run away.’

It was also thought to be unlucky to put clean sheets on the bed on a Sunday along with cutting your hair or nails. Regarding music, choir singers who sang a false note on this day were according to a traditional English (UK) belief expected to have a burnt Sunday dinner. You could expect a busy profitable week ahead, especially if you were in business, if you found a pair of gloves on this day, and quite naturally very unlucky to be the person who had lost them according to a rural English (UK) belief. A prehistoric cairn marks the spot of Druid worship where a Christian settlement was created Slieve Donhard, near Newcastle, England. Set up by Donhard (a convert of St. Patrick), pilgrimages regularly visit the place of worship, high on the hill, as it is said that St. Patrick himself appears as a result of Donhard’s faith each Sunday of the year. As he appears before everyone, it is said that St. Patrick also leads the people in the mass. (For more on St. Patrick see Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Mystical Months, March 17. For more on Donhard see Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Mystical Months, March 24). According to the English historian Richard Grafton certain dates of the month were unlucky as published in the ‘Manual’ in 1565. Days throughout the year were identified and of course could have related to any day of the week. The date was the most important point to consider. The work was reputed to have some credence with support given by astronomers of the day. (For more information see Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Mystical Months).

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Working With The Days of the Week – Saturday

Saturday Is Ruled By Saturn

Archangel: Cassiel

Candle colour: Purple or brown

Incenses: Patchouli or mimosa

Crystals: Jet or banded agate

Use Saturdays for spells to do with property, security and long-term financial matters, for closing doors on the past, for psychic protection and for locating lost objects (as well as animals and people).

Where possible, work in woodland near rocks and stones or on animal or bird reserves.

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Working With The Days of the Week – Friday

Friday Is Ruled by Venus

Archangel: Anael

Candle colour: Green or pink

Incenses: Rose or geranium

Crystals: Jade or rose quartz

Use Fridays for spells for love, fidelity, healing, for anything to do with beauty, the arts and crafts and for all spells concerning the environment.

Where possible, work in any enclosed beautiful place outdoors, for example a botanical garden, a field, park or your own garden – even in a circle of plants indoors.

Categories: Articles, Magickal Boosters, The Sun, The Moon, etc., Wicca, Witchcraft, Working With Nature's Gifts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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