Posts Tagged With: Earth

The Witches Almanac for Friday, July 12th



The Witches Almanac for Friday, July 12th


Lobster Carnival (Nova Scotian)


Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon is the ideal time for magick to draw things toward you.

Moon Phase: First Quarter

Moon Sign:  Virgo

Virgo: Favors accomplishment of details and commands from higher up. Focuses on health, hygiene and daily schedules.

Incense:  Alder

Color: Rose


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The Healing Benefits of Walking Barefoot

The Healing Benefits of Walking Barefoot

Have you ever wondered why it felt so wonderful to fall asleep on the sand,  or lie on the earth looking up  at the clouds? Do you notice how different  you feel when you sleep on the ground under the stars?

According to a new book called Earthing by Martin Zucker,  you were experiencing the flow of the earth’s electric  energy connecting to your physical body, which has been scientifically proven to  promote healing and create a deep sense of well-being within us. Grounding is  simple and it is free. You simply connect your bare feet directly to the earth  and enjoy the organic healing benefits.

This is something I have intuitively known and written about for many years  in my Feng Shui practice.  I have  also created earth-based seminars and retreats around this very subject,  but it was thrilling to see it is now being validated by science.

In Earthing, Zucker talks about how our modern lifestyle has  separated humans from connecting to the subtle but ever- present energy that is  on the earth’s surface. He calls this connection “grounding,” and claims that  the health benefits derived from it may be equally as important as the Vitamin D  we obtain from the sun. Many studies have been done  that confirm the  healing benefits of direct connection to the earth that can be found listed in  his article The Townsend Letter.

Throughout history, cultures around the world have honored our connection to  the earth. In traditional Chinese Medicine it is called Qi or chi and in the Ayurvedic tradition it is called Prauna.  Native American tribal leader Ota Kte writes about how the old people of his  Lakota Sioux tribe came to love the soil. They felt her mothering power and were  soothed, strengthened, cleansed and healed by sitting or walking barefoot on her  surface.

According to Zucker research has shown significant improvements in  inflammation-related disorders, chronic pain, sleep disorders, low energy, high  stress, muscle tension, headache relief, hormonal and menstrual symptoms,  protection from EMF’s and many more health-related issues all by direct  daily contact with the earth.

Your Personal Earthing Meditation

Take advantage of the warm summer months to experience the healing benefits  of “grounding” or “earthing” for yourself.

  • Start by standing, sitting or lying on grass, sand, gravel or unpainted  concrete. All of these surfaces  will transmit the earth energies. (Wood,  asphalt, rubber, plastic, glass, synthetic materials and metal block these  energies from being transmitted to us.)
  • Pay attention to how you feel before you start. You may want to journal  where you are physically, emotionally and mentally and gauge your healing  progress over time.
  • Close your eyes and focus on releasing any pain or stress you may be feeling  into the earth. If you are lying on the ground, open your eyes, soften your gaze  and allow your imagination to play with the passing cloud formations.
  • Spend at least a half hour on your chosen plot of ground and just allow  yourself to be present with what is, stilling the mind.
  • After 30 minutes or longer, come back to the present. Pay attention to how  your body feels in contrast to where you started. Journaling may help you to  focus on each of these three areas and compare the difference.

I encourage you to set aside time each day to walk  barefoot on the  earth and enjoy the healing benefits that are freely offered to us through our  generous and beautiful planet!


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Mercury Retrograde Reflections

Mercury Retrograde Reflections

Use this time of insight to review and renew

Jeff Jawer  Jeff Jawer on the topics of mercury retrograde, astrology

Speedy Mercury turned retrograde on June 26, 2013, and it will continue its reversal in sensitive Cancer until July 20. The backward period of the messenger planet occurs three times a year for about three weeks at a time, and it is the best known of all the retrograde cycles.

Remember, all the other true planets make the same retrograde shifts, but these go largely unnoticed by the general public. But somehow the idea of Mercury Retrograde has leaked into the collective consciousness so much that I heard it mentioned by the fictional police chief on last week’s episode of “Dexter.”

During every Mercury Retrograde, we’re reminded by astrologers to double-check details and to avoid signing contracts, going on trips or making serious decisions during this cycle. Yes, there may be more factual errors, communication mix-ups and technology breakdowns when Mercury is retrograde, but it isn’t very practical to retreat from the business of everyday life during the 10 weeks a year when it’s in effect.

The apparent backward motion of any planet has meaning and offers a shift of perspective that can be extremely valuable. Mercury Retrograde is often used an excuse for errors and oversights, which undercuts understanding and reduces our capacity to be effective when it occurs.

Retrograde is an optical illusion

It’s helpful to remember that planets don’t literally turn tail and orbit the Sun in the opposite direction during their retrograde periods. The phenomenon of their reversal is a visual effect caused by the motion of the Earth. We live on a moving platform that makes it seem that planets change direction, when, in fact, they don’t. This doesn’t negate the retrograde effect, but it reminds us that it’s about Earth-bound perceptions. As such, how we perceive, interpret and use these cycles is up to us.

It’s helpful to remember that retrograde planets are revisiting parts of the zodiac they recently transited. We can think of these cycles, then, as second chances to address issues that went unresolved during the first transit. This is a time of reflection as we turn inward and reconsider recent events from a more subjective perspective. It’s an internal and emotional point of view that’s meant to deepen our understanding of the matter at hand.

Instead of responding based on what the world wants from us, this is an opportunity to tune in on a gut level. When the transiting planet turns direct (forward) it will pass over the retrograde point for a third (and usually) final time. This is when we put together all the factors we’ve discovered and take action or make a decision.

The retrograde cycle may be interpreted as a problematic period by some astrologers, and it’s not without its complications, but it can also help us to resolve key questions in our lives. Who wouldn’t want a second chance to review a significant matter and be able to make adjustments before completing a commitment?

We will be better informed when this Mercury goes direct on July 20, as long as we don’t get sidetracked by petty issues. Listening to our inner voices provides another layer of understanding that may require more time, but it will provide us with insight that can lead to better results.

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Daily Cosmic Calendar for July 11th

Last night’s parallel between Mercury and Venus sets the stage for this morning’s subtle, 30-degree creative tie between these two planets (4:09AM PDT). As a reminder, a parallel occurs when two celestial bodies are the same number of degrees north or south of the Celestial Equator whereas most of the aspects listed in a calendar like this are calculated within the zodiacal circle — otherwise known as the Ecliptic or the apparent Sun’s path around the Earth (seen from our vantage point 93 million miles away from our star in the universe). Nevertheless, a parallel or its opposite — called a contra-parallel — can signify very powerful alliances and interactions between planetary bodies.  Be on your best behavior in affairs of the heart and in communications with friends and associates as Venus makes its annual polarity to Juno (7:30AM PDT). Say no to envy and jealousy. Check out the latest buzz in the fashion and style realms. A short void lunar cycle of 2+ hours clocks in at 12:56PM PDT during a Moon-Mars 60-degree rapport that can temporarily offer a burst of physical and emotional vitality.  Once the Moon enters earthy and meticulous Virgo (3:13PM PDT), think more about repairing clothing and equipment, weeding the garden, and tidying up your office, studio or garage. Clean-up campaigns are the rage and focusing on health issues makes sense.  Problem-solving and strategy sessions benefit greatly from an intuition-enhancing, 72-degree link from Pallas to Uranus (5:20PM PDT). Hard work and self-confidence can lead to rewards around the time when the Moon makes a supportive, 60-degree tie with Jupiter (10:22PM PDT).  Watch out for a tidal wave of confusion and uncertainty as the Sun forms a frictional, 135-degree contact with often hazy Neptune (10:55PM PDT).

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Current Moon Phase for July 11th

New Moon

(waxing/22% illumination)

The New Moon is a time best suited for new beginnings! For the first 48 hours following the exact time of the New Moon each month, a window of opportunity opens for making wishes that, if noted, come true in the days and months ahead. There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in the atmosphere, making it a great time to go forward and begin projects that you feel instinctively attracted to initiating. Follow your impulses and let yourself make new starts in areas that are important to you.

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The Witches Almanac for Thursday, July 11th

Gothic Comments

The Witches Almanac for Thursday, July 11th

Thursday (Jupiter): Expansion, money, prosperity and generosity.

Revolution Day (Mongolian)

Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon is the ideal time for magick to draw things toward you.

Moon Phase: First Quarter

Moon Sign: Leo

Leo: Draws emphasis to the self, central ideas or institutions, away from connections with others and other emotional needs. People tend to be melodramatic.

Moon enters Virgo 6:12 pm

Virgo: Favors accomplishment of details and commands from higher up. Focuses on health, hygiene, and daily schedules.

Incense: Myrrh

Color: Crimson

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 10

Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 10

“Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new, sweet earth, and the great silence alone.”

–Charles Alexander Eastman, OHIYESA SANTEE SIOUX

Each morning a new sun for a new day arises. Each morning the sweet perfume from the Mother Earth spreads across the land. This combination of sun, earth, smell and quiet is a magic door for me to enter to kneel before the Grandfathers. The sacred time to commune with the Great Spirit.

Oh Great Spirit, I humbly stand before You along with the new sun, the Mother Earth and the smells of the morning. I ask You to direct my thinking today. Let me live in the silence. Teach me Your wisdom, Teach me to love my brothers and sisters. Let me respect the things You have made.

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The Craft: Reflections of an Obscured Path

The Craft: Reflections of an Obscured Path

Author:   Eilan  

The gossamer trail of mist-like light illuminates the cove as the elegant crescent rises to its throne in the heavens. Waves of cool, foamy water sweep over the shore, complacently destroying innocent patterns ingrained in the fine sand. Silence reigns in the depth of the night as if a loose drape has smothered all movement and sound. Then, a soft and gradual note begins, accompanied by the steadied pound of taut leather. Crimson flames dance and court the frantic veil of shadow, chased to distant horizons – cast out by the sudden burst of light and color.

“Darksome night and shining moon, East, then South, then West, then North; Hearken to the Witches Rune, Hear we come to call ye forth…” The sweet cascade of voices fills the hollow cove as a warm breeze sails eagerly by. The sinuous chorus dances vividly against the opaque darkness, painting a mural of gentle faith and eternal youth. Faster and faster their ancient words spill from their moist lips, wisps of euphoria melting into the resonating air. Their feet frolic against a whirlwind of floating dust and scarlet embers, unraveling the secret labyrinth buried deep within their hearts. Nostalgia courses along their heaving bloodlines, for they are weaving a web whose humble strands were birthed in the dawn of humanity. Witches have gathered and Magic is afoot.

Since time immemorial humanity has been awed in the presence of the spiritual. For the early nomadic tribes of the arduous Earth, hunting and gathering was a life pursuit. Over time the various tribes developed structure and cohesion from their observations of nature’s cycles, the behavior and movement of their prey and the distinct patterns woven into the very fabric of their physical being. Women became aware of their periodic bleeding which coincided with the moon’s changing face. The mystery of birth and the anticipation of new life grounded women in their evolving passages, accepting the burden of caring for children and thus partaking in the less strenuous labor of gathering seeds, vegetables, herbs and plants. Men, whose role in procreation became that of the virile warrior and Lord of the Dance, brandished their weapons of stone and flint, while stalking the fleeting herds of deer and bison. Theirs was the role of hunting and so the gradual growth in favor of flesh moved the tribes to follow the herds in hopes of fulfilling an un-sated craving. And yet each tribe grew accustomed to their unique environment, borders and the collective experience of those who had gone before them, their revered ancestors.

The mysteries of birth, death and the return of life flourished unchallenged, and various deities, spirits and beings expressed the raw emotive language carved into their history. Behind the myriad of names, faces and myths, an underlying evocation to the Mother Goddess of abundance, fertility and Earth and the Living and Dying God of strength, prevalence and potency moved the ocean of their unconscious. And as in all things, there were those who by oracle, synchronicity, intuition or prophecy came to life as the vessels of the spirits and who the tribes adorned with the marks of ochre and the skins of the hunted, for these were the sacred Priesthood, the advisors and the Shamans of the people. A charge to wisdom and the grace of the Gods ignited the flame of the consecrated and the sacred became the Witches.

Such is the story told by numerous NeoPagan authors today and despite the scrutiny with which various scholars and historians have regarded modern Witchcraft, there is a subtle and romantic truth behind the envisioned history of Witchcraft.

By conventional definition Witchcraft is the ability to harness seemingly “supernatural” forces and bend natural principles in order to achieve a goal, usually immoral and selfish. However this traditional interpretation has little to do with the truth as expressed by the practitioners of Witchcraft today. Witchcraft has been described as a skill, a philosophy, a way of life and a religion. However, in essence the most suitable definition of Witchcraft is as a way of life; that of attuning to the natural world and developing a relationship with the spiritual flow of life’s energy, and working with it to manifest desire. Nowadays Witchcraft is a spiritual pursuit that embodies various Pagan practices and customs that assist the individual in living a life of respect for Mother Earth, her creatures and the Self. However even that statement is dancing dangerously on the edge of unanimity, as Witchcraft is a decentralized and autonomous practice that, by its nature, evolves and changes in order to suit the diversity of personality.

The revival in interest of Witchcraft can be traced back to the early 1950s in England. In 1951 British parliament repealed the anti-Witchcraft legislation, which restricted the legal practice of mediumship and spiritualism, under pressure from Spiritualist organizations that desired to freely practice their craft. This auspicious event set off the beginnings of one of the most phenomenal movements in the Western world. In 1954 a British civil servant named Gerald Brosseau Gardner published Witchcraft Today – a non-fiction work describing Witchcraft as the ancient, Pagan religion of Western Europe, a theory that had previously been discussed by the Egyptologist, Margaret Murray. Murray’s hypothesis has long been discredited; however it must be made clear that Witchcraft is a spiritually valid system which has long been practiced by the people of this Earth under the guise of various local Shamanic and religious systems, or simply as a thread of the rich history of folk lore. Gardner claimed to have been initiated into a traditional Witches Coven in the New Forest in 1939 by a woman by the name of Dorothy Clutterbuck. Skeptics and scholars who frowned upon Gardner as a delusional charlatan questioned the existence of “Old Dorothy,” however research collated by the late Doreen Valiente (Witch and High Priestess of Gardner’s first Coven) has proven that Dorothy did indeed exist and that Gardner’s claims were not unfounded. What can be assessed is that Gardner created a working and accessible system which he called ‘Wica’ (now ‘Wicca’) by examining the commonalities in the religious experiences of the Neolithic peoples of Western Europe, Eastern ethics and spiritual disciplines (meditation), occult fraternities and organizations such as the New Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucians and the various medieval Gnostic groups. While he professed that Wica had direct links with an ancient past and probably sincerely believed this, the truth is that Wica comprises a multitude of cultural and spiritual systems that for lack of a better term have been equated with Witchcraft.

In truth Wicca, as it is spelt today, is a religious attitude that involves harnessing the Magical principles of Witchcraft to further attune the individual to both the sacred mysteries of Initiation and the keen diversity of the natural world. It is a religion of devotion, training, occult tenets and celebration of the Old Gods and their kingdom, the wilderness of Earth. For it is the understanding of Wiccans that Divinity resides in the present, in the physical manifestation of creation and that it pervades all things. Witchcraft in and of itself is not a religion, it is simply a way of life in which the Self is seen as the catalyst for change, growth and development. However, in this case the catalyst is consciously susceptible to the outcome and its effects.

Witchcraft, under the guise of ethics and spiritual values, has become the most popular form of the Craft today. The Western world has experienced this popularity of the “ancient” or rather naturalistic traditions as recorded by their statistical census reports, which in Australia alone have shown a 373.5% growth in people identifying as Witches from 1996 to 2001. This excludes Wiccans, Pagans and other nature-based spiritualities, which have all experienced similar influxes. As time goes on Witches, Wiccans and Pagans have become more willing to inform others about their practices and beliefs, and work actively to encourage accurate portrayals of Pagan culture in the media through pride festivals, charity associations, interfaith communities – the list goes on. Despite this, there is still discrimination against Witchcraft and its adherents and many Witches have been subject to horrendous mistreatment by fundamentalist Christian groups, local and federal governments and other ignorant individuals whose lack of sympathy and tolerance remains a thorn in the side of many Witches and Pagans today. But where did this all start? Why does society reject the truth in favor of sensationalist rumors and historical misconceptions? Where did this hatred of Witchcraft begin and who is responsible for spreading the myths of diabolism, devil-worship, infanticide and crazed orgiastic rites?

The word Witch is said to have its roots in the Indo-European word “Weik” which refers to religion and Magic and therefore the ceremonies that interlink them. Therefore historically, at least in the BC era, Witchcraft and those who practiced it were simply participating in a form of religious tradition which may have been celebrated through simplistic and festive fertility rites and more complicated forms of Ritual performed by talented individuals, i.e. Shamans. It was not until the birth of Christianity and its consequent acceptance as the “one true faith,” that Witches, or rather non-Christians, were perceived as irreligious, ignorant and idolaters. However, it cannot be assumed that the early Christians, whose numbers were few, actively preached against the evils of Pagan worship. Indeed there are various stories and legends, which convey a sense of peace and harmony between the first Christian settlers in Britain and the Druids, the Celtic priesthood. The belief in the innate opposition of good and evil and their tangible embodiments of Holy Spirit (God) and Satan respectively, has shaped the mode of Western thought and colored the belief that Witches’ immoral customs and roles served the Evil One, and thus this opinion was carried by the cancerous spread of rumors and religious indoctrination throughout Europe.

Patriarchy, war, government and propagandist institutions became favorable in the ancient Sumerian and later Babylonian civilizations and the once sacred and revered position of the temple priestess degenerated into petty acquaintances with oracles and soothsayers and the submissive service of the “sacred” prostitute. These societies whose roots were closely related to the development of Judaism influenced the popular view that Witches and their kin (mediums, oracles and diviners) were dark and suspicious characters who remained on the periphery of the community and dwelled in shadows to avoid assured persecution. The Old Testament decrees that, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” The passage goes on to address these acts as “abominations to the Lord” and warns that should anyone participate in any of the above they will be driven out by God. Even Roman and Greek writers described Witches as foul, unclean, haggish, unmerciful and predominantly women and officiated the approval of various Magical acts in hopes that this would encourage only regulated and “refined” Magical practice, rather than suffer the onslaught of curses and enraged spirits believed to be consorted with by the “common folk.” This was merely the beginning of a dark stereotype, an archetype that infused the warped unconscious of a hysterical continent into what has been termed the Women’s Holocaust.

As Christianity became the dominant ecclesiastical power in Europe and Paganism declined into the remnants of a deteriorating folk history, Witchcraft, which was intrinsically embedded in Pagan custom, attracted the attention of the Catholic Church. Through a period of crusades, publications (Malleus Maleficarum – Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer [1487]) and papal declarations, Witchcraft fell to the tyranny of both the secular and religious powers, and a hysteria swept over Western Europe which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, of which a significant percentage were women. The numerous trials the Inquisition imposed resulted in a consistency of confessions that “revealed” the decadent and diabolic revelry that featured prominently in the Witch’s Sabbat. The proposed reason for the universality of answers which the Inquisitors and judges extracted from the convicted is said to owe to the wide use of published manuals on witch-hunting. Confession to these wild allegations was offered as divine redemption and if the individual did not accept responsibility for their actions immediately (if indeed any of them committed such acts) torture was instituted as a means to provoke the desired response.

Nowadays the world has inherited this legacy of brutality, discrimination and complete ignorance, and myths of Satanic worship, cannibalism, curses and naked journeys through the night sky are accepted as fact, superstitious nonsense, or rather left without evaluation. Witches and Pagans have worked through the decades to counteract these misconceptions and rectify society’s assumptions; in many cases this has allowed for fairer treatment and opened doors for a safer public awareness. Witches have never worshipped the Devil, never flown through the frigid air on pitchforks and broomsticks, never eaten children for the sake of an unholy pact and they have never been consumed by the whims of demons and evil. Nor are Witches the epitome of a kingdom of purity and white light, for Witches honor the sacred balance between light and dark, masculine and feminine, night and day. For Life is a journey amidst the colors of a dancing rainbow, and shadow is merely the reflection of an obstructed light, and you are that which stands between them both.

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