Posts Tagged With: Book of Shadows

Let’s Talk WItch – Book of Shadows, Book of Mirrors and Magical Journals

Book of Shadows, Book of Mirrors and Magical Journals

 

Traditionally, a Book of Shadows was a record of your tradition’s lore. It was written in your own hand, copied directly from the Book of your coven elders. It will contain the structures of rituals, the law and lore of that tradition and must be copied exactly as it is in the original.

 

These days, it is more commonly used to document everything magical or witchy. All of your research, spells and rituals are recorded and sometimes include dreams and divinations . It has become a term used to describe a Magical Journal rather than what has previously been known as a Book of Shadows.

 

Many traditional Wiccans object to the modern usage of Book of Shadows and will explain that what you really mean here is a Book of Mirrors or a Magical Journal.

 

Whatever you call it and however you choose to do it isn’t important. The salient point is that you keep a record of your magical work. In your magical journal you should write spell plans, immediate impressions upon completion and any results you see from the spells. That way if you need to go back and see what worked or didn’t, you have it all there. Writing it while it’s fresh is important. Seemingly unimportant details will be missed if it’s left for a day or a week and minor things will change in your memory . Those little things can have more importance than you realise and could leave you struggling to understand why it worked differently next time.

 

It can be difficult to remember just how much frankincense you used in an incense if you don’t write it down as you’re doing it— was it one part or one and a half? Did I go to get it and realise that I’d run out and used Copal instead? Were there still a couple of small chunks and I did a mix of both frankincense and copal? There is nothing more frustrating than making the most fabulous incense ever (and I’m sure we all do this at least once) and then not having any idea just what went into it and being completely unable to recreate it.

 

Dates are crucial. If you’ve set a time frame on your spell how can you be sure when that time is up? I did a money spell that saw us get $ 10,000 from a radio competition. A year to the day later, I received $ 10,000 as part of a settlement payout and a year to the day after that, I received the last $ 26,000 of that settlement. While I’d only really been hoping for the first $ 10,000 at the time, I found it interesting that I received all the other money on the same date for the next two years. I probably wouldn’t have made the connection at all if I hadn’t been looking through my book.

 

In addition to a magical journal a dream journal is also an important . You can keep a record of your dreams in your magical journal or have it as a separate book if you wish.

 

There are several different types of dreams and it can be useful to try to recognise them. The first is when your brain is sorting and filing your waking experiences. You may find yourself reliving aspects of your day, even in a somewhat fantastical sense. There are dreams that seem to be normal everyday events or situations but with one aspect rather exaggerated . These are telling you that there is something in those events or situations that you aren’t paying enough attention to. Other dreams are prophetic. Sometimes useful and sometimes not. These are not always clear. Odd crazy dreams where the strangest parts of your brain just come out and play will not make sense no matter how hard you try. I’ve also had dreams of past lives. These dreams I had categorised as odd and crazy until I saw something from my dream clearly on a documentary.

 

Don’t worry if you can’t remember all of your dream. The points that are the most important will stick with you. Write them down. Even if it’s a few keywords and no cohesive story.

 

I personally think that Dream Dictionaries are a complete waste of time. Your unconscious mind creates the symbols that appear in dreams and they will differ from person to person.

 

 

The Common Sense Spell Book

Debbie Dawson

 

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch's Tools | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk Witch – How to Write Your Own Spells

How to Write Your Own Spells

 

There are many books in the market with ready-made spells, the most important being the Gardnerian Book of Shadows . However, you may feel spells would work better if you customized them to your own specific need. Many Wiccans believe that even if they borrow spell templates from others, they work better when customized. This usually means that you either change the wording or rework the rhyme scheme. You may even end up writing a spell from scratch.

 

Having a clear intention is very important before you start any exercise relating to Witchcraft. Be focused on what the Wiccan spell is going to achieve. Also remember that your spells should not go against the Rede, because if they do, you are inviting three times the evil upon your own person.

 

Feel free to experiment by writing a spell in a notebook or your own Book of Shadows. Think of it as writing a poem. Pay special attention to every word you write; weigh each word before you place it in your spell since, you are relying on its power to get you what you want. Remember, a Wiccan spell is not a random chant. You are looking for a direct result, so you have to choose your words very carefully.

 

Make a rhyme scheme so that your spell can be easily memorized in case coven members are going to help you cast it. It should have a flow so it becomes easy to chant. If you are completely out of inspiration or cannot find it in traditional Wiccan spell books, read a book of poems. Shakespeare made up a nice, though pointless, spell for Macbeth’s witches: “Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble!”

 

The rhythmic vibrations that a chanted flowing spell will produce can help increase the energy in a Wiccan ritual circle. The more energy produced while casting a spell, the more powerful it will be. Try to be as detail-oriented as you can be while writing a spell. The more specifically you ask the universal powers for something, the less likely you are to get something you do not want. Do not be worried that the spell will become too long there are no marks deducted for reading from a paper.

 

If you can, invoke the four elements within your spell. Air is usually associated with new beginnings, Earth with healing, Water with cleansing or release and Fire with transformation. The Spirit usually involves a wellness overhaul.

 

Visualization and meditation are helpful practices during the spell writing as well as the casting process. They can help you focus, as well as validate the purpose of your Wiccan spell. Moreover, the involvement of both emotions and logic is prescribed during the spell writing process , in order to bring about the best results.

 

Timing is another factor to consider before casting a spell. There is no restriction on the time for casting a spell. Yet, there are some times during seasonal, lunar and solar cycles that are considered best for such practices. Moreover, it is advised that you cast a spell for an increase in something, such as money, when the moon is waxing and a spell for decrease, like in sickness, when it is waning. Finally, look for signs that your spell is working. If the spell does not start to take effect in a single moon cycle (around 28 days) you might have to rewrite and cast it again.

 

 

Wicca Made Easy: Simple Spells for Love, Money, Luck, Success, Weight Loss & More!

Sarah M. Lancaster

 

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Spellcrafting | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Paganism 101: Basics of Pagan Spirituality

Paganism 101: Basics of Pagan Spirituality

Author: Cu Mhorrigan

Introduction:

Paganism has received a lot of attention in recent years with the increased use of the internet, television shows like Charmed, Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, Angel and movies like The Craft, Harry Potter, as well as cartoons like Sabrina the Teen-Aged Witch.

Nowadays, it has become fashionable to announce oneself to be a Pagan, or Neo-Pagan, Wiccan or Witch – especially for teenagers, wishing to attract attention, adults trying to follow the latest fad in spirituality, or just as an excuse to justify weird or aberrant behavior.

However, calling yourself a Pagan is one thing; actually following the spiritual path is something else. It is my hope with this ‘class’ that I might explain in practical terms what it actually means to be a Pagan in our modern age and to assist those who wish to implement the following of this spiritual path.

Definition of the word “Pagan”:

The Word Pagan is derived from the Latin word ‘paganus’, which is loosely translated to mean “of the country”. It should be noted however that the usage of ‘paganus’ within the Roman Empire (Where they spoke Latin. Duh!) was always meant to be a slur meaning “hillbilly, redneck, hick, trailer trash, or white trash”. Much in the same way we would talk about guests on the Jerry Springer Show.

Later, when the Christian faith took over the Roman Empire under Charlemagne, it was used to describe those outside of the Christian faith and those in need of conversion. Not an improvement, because paganus was still pretty much of an insult.

Turning a negative into a positive:

It wasn’t until recently that the term ‘Pagan’ gained a more positive use with the resurgence of Pagan beliefs within the European and American Cultures. Those who sought spirituality closer to that of their “ancestors” adopted it. Eventually, it came to mean ‘those who follow the Old religions’ or ‘those who follow a spiritual path outside of the big three Abrahamic religions’. (What are the big Three Abrahamic religions?)

What DO Pagans Believe?:

An it harm none Do as thou wilt.

Speaking in general terms, Paganism is an earth-centered spirituality, which believes in the sacredness of all things, equality of all persons regardless of gender, sexual, and spiritual and social practices. The practices within Paganism are extremely diverse and open-ended allowing individuals to incorporate whatever rituals and belief systems they feel comfortable with.

Since there is so much diversity within our spiritual path, we stress personal liberty, and responsibility for one’s own actions. That as long as a person does not cause physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual harm to others or himself, he/she is free to pursue one’s physical, mental and spiritual development as he/she sees fit.

Which brings me to my next point: Pagans, in general, do not proselytize! That means you aren’t going to get a call from us at three o’clock in the morning asking us if you are going to ritual or not. There is no High Priestess going around smacking people over the head if they haven’t worked on their Book of Shadows or if they bought the wrong candle for a personal ritual. Aint gonna happen.

Why? We are assuming that if you are here, you want to be here. We’ll give you information, let you know your options, and the rest is up to you. We aren’t going to stand on a street corner and scream at folks for not worshipping Athena nor at women/men who chose not to go around sky clad (That’s ‘nekkid’ for those of us who are really new to this).

The Law of Return (or sowing and reaping):

There are no true “sins” within our spiritual practices. There are only things that cause harm (or, as I like to call them, “Stupid Ideas”) and things that are helpful (Or as I like to call them, “Good Ideas”).

When you do good things, good things tend to happen to you (Eventually). When you do bad things, bad things tend to happen to you (Eventually). Of course, since we do not live in a static environment, and people tend to interact with one another, sometimes things get a little ‘fa-kakhed’. However, the Universe always balances Itself out in the end.

This concept is called, karma and it’s a relatively complicated matter, which I have here boiled down to its lowest common denominator. Of course, there are differing views of Karma, one of which is the Three-Fold Law What you do comes back three-fold, or three times, back at you. (If you are not sure as to whether an act will have some kind of repercussion, ask yourself, how much would I really like this done to me?)

(The self-defense caveat: Like all “Laws”, there are loopholes. If someone else is out to cause you harm in some way it would be a really STUPID (Bad Karma) idea not to protect yourself, or your family, or your friends. However, make sure you have as many facts as possible (like the guy is holding a knife and threatens to cut you up) before beating the oneness of all things back into these individuals.

Pantheons, Divinities, Spirits, Energies:

Okay this is where it gets a little tricky, but stay with me. The most common (and extremely annoying) question we as Pagans get is, “Don’t you folks worship Satan?” (Everyone roll his or her eyes here.)

The answer to that is a resounding, “NO!” For the most part, you need to keep in mind that Paganism is a separate religion from Christianity. Hence Satan (Whom I call, the Christian God of Evil and Nastiness) is not a part of our pantheon. Sorry…

For the most part (depending on the tradition you follow) the Pagan concept of Divinity falls under one of the following expressions:

Duo-Theism: (Duo=Two or Dual, Theos=Divinities):

The Worship of a Co-Equal God and Goddess, each having unlimited power, compassion, wisdom, energy or what-have-you, but maintaining different roles and functions.

The God is aggressive, powerful, sexual adventurous, skillful. He handles the Male side of fertility.

The Goddess is nurturing, passionate, creative, sensual and artistic. She oversees the power of creating life through birth and the Female side of fertility.

This belief is widely held by the Wiccans and Wicca-like factions of Paganism.

Poly Theism: (Poly=Many, Theos=Divinities) The belief in multiple Gods and Goddesses.

Many folks see these Gods as extensions of the God and Goddess (i.e. Monism) with each one taking on different aspects at the time of their encounter with the worshipper. Others (like myself) believe that They are actually separate entities with Their own personalities, quirks and motives.

Not every god or goddess is a real people person nor does every god and goddess have a laid back attitude. If you are going to get involved with a particular deity, you had better make sure you do a LOT of research as to what they like, don’t like, and if a particular god or goddess is right for you. Otherwise your life will get extremely interesting in a bad way.

The third school of though in polytheism is the idea of the gods and goddesses being archetypes within a person’s own psyche. This is sort of like a piece of our own subconscious wrapped up in a costume and a mask in order to teach our conscious minds lessons they need.

Of course, there is more than those three Schools of thought, but I’m just giving the basics here.

Pantheism:

Simply put, this is the idea that the Divine is in everything; hence all things are a part of the energy we call god. Since all things are a part of god, all things are sacred and are expressions of the divine in some way, shape or form. When I worship a tree, I am worshipping the Divine; when I give food to a hungry stray, I am feeding the Divine; when I am hurting someone, I am hurting the Divine.

Then there is the Fourth Category:

I-have-no-Friggin-Clue-ism:

For the beginner, this is the best spiritual idea I can suggest. The idea is essentially, “I have no friggin’ clue if there is a Divinity or not, therefore unless I am shown otherwise, I will not say that the Gods are this way or that. I will respect the Power behind the name, but I will not pledge myself to him/her/it unless I have an absolutely good reason to.”

This is actually one of the safest belief systems to take as a new student of the Pagan path because you are open enough to receive enlightenment, but at the same time, you do not run the risk of making a total, complete ass out of yourself. The Gods will instruct you as They see fit.

Now of course, Pagans will usually incorporate not only one, but perhaps two or three of the ideas listed above. This usually comes from personal experience and cannot be learned any other way.
Keep in mind that it’s okay to shift from one idea to another or even to incorporate two or more of these ideas…it’s all good. Just find out what works best for you.

So How the Hades do I Become a Pagan? (Or stupid questions that are commonly asked)

Well, for the most part, it’s a matter of doing a lot of reading and a lot of self-exploration. It took me at least two years of studying online and reading books and attending classes to even consider myself a Pagan. A lot of the traditions under the banner of Paganism will have different views on training and initiation (think of it as baptism), and how one becomes a member of that tradition.

The best way is to start out attending Pagan gatherings, visiting bookstores and such, and talk to other Pagans. Eventually, you will either find a religious path that works for you or you will throw your arms up in dismay and run screaming back to your religion of birth. And there is nothing wrong with that. NOT AT ALL! We realize that the Pagan spiritual path is not for everyone, and we will not be offended. Just make sure you don’t tell people we sacrificed your cat and you’ll be cool with us.

Do I Need to Buy Special Clothes and Dress in Black?

The answer is: Only if you really want to. Yes, there are special robes some folks wear, but unless your coven says otherwise, you can pretty much wear what you want.

Just some basic suggestions: Wear something comfortable and wear something you won’t mind getting dirty. Most of our rituals take place outdoors and, while you may look really good in an Armani suit and Gucci shoes, there is a good chance your clothes will get messed up and your shoes scuffed.

Loose, light clothes in summer and spring is always a good idea, and warmer clothes in the fall are really smart. Most winter rituals will be held indoors, depending on the weather. If it makes you comfortable to wear black Witch clothes and pointed hats and cloaks… Knock yourself out…You’ll be getting lots of stares and odd looks (mostly from us), but all-in-all, if it makes you comfortable, then that is all that matters.

Do I Need to Buy Special Jewelry?

Again, only if you want to and if you enjoy it. Jewelry is a personal matter to the people who wear it. And it’s usually best to find a piece that says, “HEY! I LIKE YOU. WEAR ME AROUND YOUR NECK!” Otherwise, No special jewelry is required to be a Pagan.

Do I Need to Kill Something (like a kitten) and Drink its Blood?

No, you don’t have to kill an animal to be a Pagan. For the most part, we are animal friendly and don’t believe in killing a critter in order to work our rituals. Yes, there are some Pagan groups that practice animal sacrifice and it is left alone…but fear not, the only thing usually killed has already been slaughtered and put on the feasting table in a sacred bucket marked, KFC.

Do I Need to Become a Vegetarian?

Nope, being a vegetarian is a matter of personal preference and what you feel in your heart. While many of us are vegetarians, a lot of us aren’t. It may be a good idea to eat a little healthier, but no one is going to come down on you for eating meat or using meat-based products. However, you might want to do your own research and come up with your own choices.

So, What DO I Need to Do?

Excellent question. One, as I suggested before, do a lot of research, a lot of reading and, when in doubt, do more research. A lot of Pagans keep what is called a “Book of shadows”, which is just a fancy name for a Journal. Write down everything you learn in that book and when you get a chance, read it. If you see a cool article on the net, feel free to print it (for your personal use only, please).

To create a book of shadows, I would suggest buying a loose-leaf binder and fill it half-way with paper. It’s also a good idea to invest in a three hole punch. That way, you can put articles that you printed from the net and use them for later reference. Do not worry about using blood and special things to “make it official”. It is your study guide — your book — and so, make sure you personalize it to suit your needs.

When you feel you are ready, and you have found a religious tradition you feel comfy with, take that Book of Shadows and attend any class you can afford. A lot of places have very reasonable rates for their classes. The Learning Annex is one source, but so is your local Pagan bookstore. Just make sure you talk to the person running the store to make sure he knows what he/she is talking about. If you are not entirely comfortable in studying there, consider looking for another teacher. Remember, this is about YOUR spiritual growth and enrichment and you need to be in an environment conducive to YOUR learning.

Holidays, and Rituals:

There are eight major Holy Days during the Pagan year that a lot of us agree upon. There are also rituals that are held on the New Moon and the Full moon depending on how often your coven (A group of Pagans you worship with) meets.

The Eight Major Holidays are listed in the order they fall on:
Imbolc (February)
Spring Equinox (March 21)
Beltaine (May 1)
Summer Solstice (Litha) (June 21)
Lughnassadh or Lamas (August)
Autumn Equinox (Mabon) (September 21)
Samhain or Halloween (October 31 to Nov 1)
Winter Solstice (Yule) (December 21)

Each Holy Day represents a certain mythological event in our religion, which will be discussed by the High Priest (ess) in advance.

It’s usually a good idea to find out what you would need to bring so that you can best participate in the ritual.

Now most likely you are going to have a hard time pronouncing the names of the days when you first start out, so don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions; it’s the only way you are going to learn.

Tools For Rituals:

Energy: This is the most important, and since I am assuming people know Jack about Paganism, I’m going to make this explanation brief: When we perform rituals and cast spells, we are attempting to gather energy. This energy comes from the universe and ourselves. Depending on what we are trying to do, we use certain rituals, and tools. Think of it this way: It’s like gathering up a whole bunch of snow together. We eventually gather enough to make a snowball and then we pack it in and send it off to impact your friend. It’s basically the same thing. When we perform these rites, they help our minds to focus on gathering this energy and tell it what we want done. Energy is the most important part of any ritual, and without it, we are just looking stupid.

Cauldron: This is basically a black, three-legged pot to be used for burning incense and for other things. They range from tiny to huge and can be used to burn incense, burn paper, and make potions. Now cauldrons tend to be rather expensive, so if you are a bit “Price Sensitive” like me, find yourself one of those old fashioned iron pots that Mom uses to make rice. Make sure you clean it before and after use. If you have one of these in your own home and have had it for a long time, you are pretty much used to it and it is used to you. So, you really don’t have to “charge” it with energy.

Athemae: Essentially, this is a knife or a really small sword. This is used to direct energy raised up during rituals. THESE ARE NOT USED TO CUT PEOPLE (of any species). It can be used for cutting vegetables. Most traditions prefer a double sided blade, small enough to conceal. (You would be amazed how many cops will stop you for carrying a broad sword.) If you’re unable to get an athamae, it’s totally cool to make yourself a wand or use your index finger to direct energy.

Wands/Rods: Okay, these are wooden or crystal sticks also used to direct energy as well as to draw it to yourself. Wands tend to be no longer than your arm, while rods can be longer. Best way to get a rod is to go out on little walks in the park and look for a stick. Once you find a stick you like and that screams out for you to take it, take it home, and sand it and decorate it until you are totally comfortable with it. Viola! You have a wand or rod. If you have as much mechanical aptitude as a slug, ask around your local occult bookstores. Keep in mind they are going to be slightly expensive and you will have to charge it once you get it home.

Candles: Candles are used in rituals to help get your mind into the practice of Magic (No, I am not spelling magic with a K or a J…I’m keeping this as simple as possible. If you want to use the funky spellings in your own notebooks, knock yourself out. You’re not being graded here). Candles are lit in order to help get the mind into a state where it’s easier to put the patterns in for the energy to flow. I would strongly suggest getting candles of all colors and sizes and as many as you can afford. (Usually one of each color.) You can pick them up anywhere.

Incense: Like candles, incense helps the mind get energy together to cast spells. It’s a good idea to make your own incense or to purchase them from a botanica, or occult bookstore. Incense sticks may be colored, but it’s usually a good idea to purchase them based on their smells. Pungent or spicy incense is normally used to send stuff away. (Mainly because they are offensive.) Sweet incense is used to bring stuff to you. Earthy smells help to facilitate healing and to strengthen you.

Divination tools: Things like Tarot Cards, Runes and what not. These are mainly used to help you to make decisions or to gain some kind of insight as to what is going on around you. Keep in mind, these items themselves are not magical in and of themselves, but are based on your own intuition interpreting what you are seeing.

Books, books and more books: Like I said earlier, it is suggested you read religiously. It’s best to keep a library of things you have read or are about to read. Don’t just pick books only by one author, but of different ones. Some people may know a lot about what they are talking about; others are complete and utter horse feces. However, the only way you are going to find out is if you look for yourself and keep your Book of Shadows nearby while you read. If something sounds like nonsense, or if you aren’t sure about whether or not what is true within a book, do some research. It sounds like a lot of work, but this is your spirituality we are talking about here.

It is a good idea to question everything and find out if there is an agreement between the authors you have read. Another thing to keep in mind is that some folks are completely full of fluff and bluster while others deliberately water stuff down to keep from divulging too much about their path. And some are completely straightforward about the things they are writing about.

One of the best ways to learn about an author is find out when they are going to be doing a book signing near you. Get to meet them (Most book signings are free and most will give a short lecture about their book just to whet your appetite for it.) Some of the most intense learning experiences I gained were in attending some of these lectures; it’s also a great way to actually see the person who is writing.

Use your intuition…and don’t be shy about picking their brains. That is what they are there for. In fact, I would suggest doing the same thing at the store where you get your tools and books. It helps you learn a lot faster; especially when you ask Stupid questions. Yes you will get looks. Yes, you will even get the occasional shake of the head, But if you don’t ask, you wont know. It’s worth it.

Suggested Things to do:

Check out different groups that meet in your area. You can do this by attending open (public) circles or classes. Use them as a way to meet other Pagans and eventually find a group that you feel comfortable studying with. If you are Solitary Pagan, it helps to “meet and greet” other Pagans.

Look around for Pagan shops, botanicas and other places where you can get supplies. Most botanicas are devoted to Santeria or Voudu, but you can get some really good equipment at cheap prices.

Check out the local library, as well as the bookstore for things you can read about your particular pantheon.

Ask a lot of questions. Even stupid ones. It’s one of the chief tenets of Paganism to question everything you come across. If you get an answer that sounds like horsesh*t, then verify, verify, verify.

Things Not To Do:

Don’t panic; this seems like a lot of information, but it really isn’t. This is just the primer for your own research.

Don’t sweat if you cannot find a teacher right away, Nine times out of ten, they usually show up when you are ready to learn more about a particular aspect of your tradition.

Don’t start off calling yourself a High Something of a particular tradition. Most systems within Paganism have their own methods of teaching and credentials for clergy and what not. No faking!

Don’t be afraid of getting criticized; it’s going to happen. Learn to grow a thick skin, and if someone points something out to you, listen and check out your own motives and conscience. If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, then don’t.

Don’t take everything at face value…Learn how to question what you hear and not be a total jerk about it.

Don’t try and convert people, It rarely works just put out information let people know where you stand and end it there.

Recommended Websites:

http://www.witchvox.com “The Witches’ Voice” — It’s a great place to start since they have information about everything.

http://pantheon.org — A great place to learn about the Gods of your chosen pantheon. It doesn’t have all the information, but enough for you to get your feet wet and do some research.

Yahoo.com — They have a plethora of Pagan groups and places where you can talk to people of different walks of life. It’s also a great way to meet Pagans in your area.

Google and other search engines — Another great website with links to thousands of Pagan websites.

Recommended Books:

The Truth about Witchcraft Today: Scott Cunningham
Urban Primitive: Tannin Silverstein and Raven Kaldera
The Book of Shamanic Healing: Kristin Madden
The Celestine Prophecy: James Redfield (Yes, it’s a novel but it helps to get an idea about energy-work and how energy can be gathered and stolen.)
The Wiccan Warrior: Kerr Cucuhain
Witchcraft Theory and Practice: Ly de Angeles
When I see the Wild God: Ly de Angeles
Drawing Down the Moon: Margot Adler (of NPR)
The Spiral Dance: Starhawk
Buckland’s Complete Witches Handbook: Raymond Buckland

_________________________________

Footnotes:
Listed in the article..

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

WOTC Extra – Blessing of the Book of Shadows

Crow Comments & Graphics

BLESSING OF THE BOOK OF SHADOWS SPELL

 

Hearken as the witch’s word calls to all, a gulf to ford. Bridge the vast realities.
An it harm none, do as ye please.
Elements, protect and guard this book, from wandering eyes and prying looks.
Fill it with thine ancient powers, in this right and ready hour.
Powers of the North, the East below, help me to live, to learn, to grow.
Lend your strength and stability, to practice the Craft and with love be free.
Powers of East, the wind, the Sky, watch over these pages with thine eye.
Your wisdom and knowledge, for these I do ask,
that this book be worthy of the Craft and its task.
Powers of South, Fire, and hearth, help these
Shadows to prove their worth. Infuse them with all your healing and passion,
so only good comes from the work that is fashioned.
Powers of West, the Water and sea, change and growth are granted by thee.
Bless these pages with all that you know, that righteous readers may learn and grow.
And to the unschooled eye that see,
confusing words and sophistry, lead them from these sacred pages,
and bless their passage through the ages.
For free will of all, and harm none, as I have willed it, it is now done.
So mote it be!

Categories: Articles, Blessings, Daily Posts, The Witch's Tools | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Book of Magick or Book of Shadows

Crow Comments & Graphics

Book of Magick or Book of Shadows

Whether it’s called a Book of Magic or a Book of Shadows, it’s important for every witch to create a book of records. These are your personal notes, a diary of your spiritual or magical journey. A book to record your interpretations, aspirations, affirmations, notes, charms, and spells. All right, all right, let’s make this simple: It is a book kept and used by a witch to record research, thoughts, experiences , and spiritual information, such as spells, charms, incantations, potions, and so on. I have bits of plants and herbs pressed into mine and drawing of plants on the page that the spell was written on . As with all religious texts, debates loom about how the books came into use. Some say they were prevalent during the Middle Ages written only in runic alphabets to hide their magical meanings . It is widely thought that in the Middle Ages, many were illiterate , and the books did not come into practice until the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries. Even then, runic alphabets and codes were used to protect the owner from persecution and death if found by witch hunters.

Farmhouse Witchcraft
By Penny Parker
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch's Tools | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Ardanes: The Old Laws of Wicca

The Ardanes: The Old Laws of Wicca

By , About.com

 

In the 1950s, when Gerald Gardner was writing what eventually become the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, one of the items he included was a list of guidelines called the Ardanes. The word “ardane” is a variant on “ordain”, or law. Gardner claimed that the Ardanes were ancient knowledge that had been passed down to him by way of the New Forest coven of witches. However, it’s entirely possible that Gardner wrote them himself; there was some disagreement in scholarly circles about the language contained within the Ardanes, in that some of the phrasing was archaic while some was more modern. This led a number of people – including Gardner’s High Priestess, Doreen Valiente – to question the authenticity of the Ardanes.

Valiente had suggested a set of rules for the coven, which included restrictions on public interviews and speaking with the press. Gardner introduced these Ardanes – or Old Laws – to his coven, in response to the complaints by Valiente.

One of the largest problems with the Ardanes is that there is no concrete evidence of their existence prior to Gardner’s revealing them in 1957. Valiente, and several other coven members, questioned whether or not he had written them himself – after all, much of what is included in the Ardanes appears in Gardner’s book, Witchcraft Today, as well as some of his other writings. One of Valiente’s strongest arguments against the Ardanes – in addition to the fairly sexist language and misogyny – was that these writings never appeared in any previous coven documents. In other words, they appeared when Gardner needed them most, and not before.

The dispute over the origins of the Ardanes eventually led Valiente and several other members of the group to part ways with Gardner. The Ardanes remain a part of the standard Gardnerian Book of Shadows. However, they are not followed by every Wiccan group, and are rarely used by non-Wiccan Pagan traditions.

You can read a complete text of the Ardanes here: Sacred Texts – the Gardnerian Book of Shadows

 

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Nine Steps To Becoming A Witch

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments
Nine Steps To Becoming A Witch

 

STEP ONE – discovering your path

Read and study. Read everything you can get your hands on. You need to read anything that will tell you more about the beliefs of witchcraft, magazines, books and web pages. While studying there are other forms of the craft that help. (nature) For example you could go hiking or go camping. Sunbathe, moonbathe, watch animals etc. This step should take you at least 2 months.

STEP TWO – defining your path

In a notebook, folder or journal start writing down some reasons why the craft is for you. What does being a witch mean to you? What do you hope to achieve? How do you visualize the God and Goddess? What does the Divine mean to you? Be honest. This notebook will become your book of shadows.

STEP THREE – Exploring magic

Magic is simply raising and channeling energy that is found in yourself, nature and the divine. Before you begin working with magic you need to understand what it is. You also need to know the basic structure of a ritual, casting circles, calling quarters, invoking the God/dess, raising and directing energy, grounding and centering and closing the circle. Know the moon phases. Learn to feel how the moon effects your body. Keep records of all you have learned in your book of shadows. This step will probably take you about another couple of months.

STEP FOUR – learning to focus

Now you should start working on meditation and visualization exercises to increase your concentration. Learn to be calm. You can start out by meditating at least 3 times a week for about five minutes. You should do this for at least a month. Remember to keep a record in your book of shadows.

STEP FIVE – working with magic

Now you can begin some basic spell work. Start with a full moon ritual or a new moon ritual. Every witch should write her own spells.

STEP SIX – self dedication

After you have been studying for at least five or six months on meditating and working with magic it is time to perform a self dedication ritual. Design it however you want. A self dedication ritual means you are dedicating yourself to the craft.

STEP SEVEN – the year between dedication and initiation

You can initiate yourself when you feel you are ready. The year you spend between your self dedication and your initiation you should spend celebrating the Sabbats, meditation, practicing your spellwork and studying. Use this time to learn about different forms of divination, such as Tarot or Runes, and different forms of healing, such as herbalism. Make sure you are recording in your book of shadows.

STEP EIGHT – Networking

You should spend a solitary year study after self dedication before a witch considers joining a coven or a circle. This gives you a full year to celebrate the cycle of Sabbats.

STEP NINE – Initiation

An initiation should be something that’s meaningful to you. The ritual should be written only by you. A coven initiation is a means of bonding a group together. Initiation into the craft should always be a solitary ritual.

You still have to learn and practice. If you truly want to be a witch be prepared to spend the rest of your life studying and learning about this religion.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Witchcraft | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Ardanes: The Old Laws of Wicca

The Ardanes: The Old Laws of Wicca

By , About.com

 

In the 1950s, when Gerald Gardner was writing what eventually become the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, one of the items he included was a list of guidelines called the Ardanes. The word “ardane” is a variant on “ordain”, or law. Gardner claimed that the Ardanes were ancient knowledge that had been passed down to him by way of the New Forest coven of witches. However, it’s entirely possible that Gardner wrote them himself; there was some disagreement in scholarly circles about the language contained within the Ardanes, in that some of the phrasing was archaic while some was more modern. This led a number of people – including Gardner’s High Priestess, Doreen Valiente – to question the authenticity of the Ardanes.

Valiente had suggested a set of rules for the coven, which included restrictions on public interviews and speaking with the press. Gardner introduced these Ardanes – or Old Laws – to his coven, in response to the complaints by Valiente.

One of the largest problems with the Ardanes is that there is no concrete evidence of their existence prior to Gardner’s revealing them in 1957. Valiente, and several other coven members, questioned whether or not he had written them himself – after all, much of what is included in the Ardanes appears in Gardner’s book, Witchcraft Today, as well as some of his other writings. One of Valiente’s strongest arguments against the Ardanes – in addition to the fairly sexist language and misogyny – was that these writings never appeared in any previous coven documents. In other words, they appeared when Gardner needed them most, and not before.

The dispute over the origins of the Ardanes eventually led Valiente and several other members of the group to part ways with Gardner. The Ardanes remain a part of the standard Gardnerian Book of Shadows. However, they are not followed by every Wiccan group, and are rarely used by non-Wiccan Pagan traditions.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,451 other followers