Lady A’s Spell of the Day for 4/3: Candle of Serenity

Candle of Serenity
Use for easing of problems Preferably performed just before the New Moon: the waning moon will help the problems dissipate.

Use when everything seems to be going wrong, your self-esteem is low, and everything and everyone around feel imbued with negativity.

Have a plate or ashtray nearby, and 7 pieces of paper (not to big).

Light a green candle and meditate on the problems afflicting you.

If needed, write these down on pieces of paper.

Light each piece of paper, one by one, and set them on the plate to burn, repeating the following over and over:

“Let my spirit be free as the wind
that can be harnessed but never tamed
Let the fears and dark thoughts that burden me
dissipate as light smoke in the breeze
Let all evil directed at me
turn to ash before my inner flame”

Continue repeating these words and focus on the burning paper, visualizing the negativity turn to smoke and ashes.

You should feel yourself growing lighter.

Let the fire go out by itself, and meditate a moment to purge any negative feelings that have remained in you.

Dispose of the ashes in running water and/or setting them to the wind. Make sure no ash is left on the plate.

Keep the candle and light it and meditate every time you feel negativity taking over you again.

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Magickal Goody for 4/2 – INSECT REPELLENT

INSECT REPELLENT

2 oz. vegetable oil or vodka
1/4 tsp each citronella and eucalyptus essential oils
1/8 tsp each pennyroyal, cedar and rose geranium essential oil,

Combine ingredients and apply mixture directly to all exposed skin. Keep oil
away from eyes and mouth – take care not to rub your eyes right after applying
the repellent with you fingers

7 Ways to Make Your Living Space Smell Nice

7 Ways to Make Your Living Space Smell Nice

posted by Megan, selected from Intent.com
 

Rather than spraying chemical-laden air fresheners, choose one of these seven natural ways to make your living space smell a little nicer.

1. Invest in houseplants. Have your favorite plants and herbs growing in your kitchen, living room and bathroom in small pots. The presence of green plants will help reduce indoor air pollution and keep clean air circulating in your space.

2. Save your citrus fruit skins. Save the peels of oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus- fruits. You can place them in boiling water to have a fresh scent in the kitchen, or run them in your garbage disposal with boiling water. Lastly, put some citrus skins in your vacuum bag the next time you vacuum your carpet.

3. Dilute essential oil with water in a spray bottle. You can spray your furniture and carpet to make the whole room smell a specific scent. To diversify, you can have different scents for different areas of your home. For example: lavender for the living room, sandalwood for your bedroom and peppermint for the bathroom.

4. Place bowls of white vinegar in corners of the room. The vinegar will neutralize and absorb any offending odors.

5. Place fabric softener in your shoes and closet. It will take away any stale clothing smells. For another closet air freshener, place a cedar block at the bottom of your closet. Use sandpaper for a new layer once a year.

6. Light soy candles instead of regular candles. Soy candles are longer-lasting, better for the environment and have a more robust smell. (They are also safer than carcinogen-emitting candles.)

7. Bake bread or cook your own meals. Few things are as welcoming as the smell of freshly baked bread or the herbs of a home-cooked dinner.

Deity of the Day for 4/3 is Bacchus

Deity of the Day

Bacchus

BACCHUS: The Roman God of Wine and Orgies. Oh, you know about him already do you?

This drunken rake used to be called LIBER, but changed his name to avoid arrest for indecent behaviour.

Known as DIONYSUS among the Greek free-drinkers, he was constantly surrounded by nubile orgasmic ladies who called themselves Bacchae — although the Greeks called them MAENADS and the newspapers called them something else entirely.

Can You Recognize a Pagan or a Wiccan When You See One?

Can You Recognize a Pagan or a Wiccan When You See One?

Author: jajlo b

I have only been studying and practicing Wicca (and I say practicing since I’m not perfect) for the last 10 years. I’m very much eclectic, and have had to do much of it on my own. I just haven’t found a teacher that I feel is right. And in all honesty, I’m not looking for one just now. I enjoy my freedom to digest what I read in many forms and what comes to me through my dreams, and mediations.

But I often wonder… can you really tell who is Pagan or Wiccan and who is not, by some outward sign?

I mean I know a lot of people who wear t-shirts with faeries and fey on them. I have seen people with bumper stickers saying, “Give me that old time religion” and a Pentacle right next to the phrase. I have even seen t-shirts in Kansas near where the Wizard of Oz museum is with “Good Witch” on the front. (I actually have that one because I have a strange sense of humor.)

But in all honesty, how do you tell a Pagan or a Wiccan from everyone else you meet in your daily life and travels.

The reason that I ask is because of two separate occurrences that happened to my husband and me.

Okay picture if you will, walking into a truck stop about 11 p.m. one night and the cashier is busy with a line full of costumers. And she is wearing one of those fancy sterling silver pentacles. Not a pewter one, but one that you know is sterling silver and she has a small Pentacle ring on that I notice as her fingers are flying across the cash register keys.

Anyway my husband and me finally make our choices and approach the cashier. “Hi, that is a pretty necklace.”

“Thank you, I’m a High Priestess, and my daughter had me order this from such and such” is the response she gave.

Ok, not exactly the response that I was looking for or expected. I only commented on her necklace. I had to do double-check my appearance; yep my pewter Pentacle was safe inside my uniform shirt. And I don’t have any tats or rings or earrings that have Pentacles on them. So why did she just come across with that answer.

Just then I realize she is still talking about the necklace. She goes on to tell me that she was thinking about doing a consecration ritual when it comes in the mail. But she decided not open it till the night of the full moon. So she could do the whole ritual properly (I still haven’t said anything else at this point) .

She goes on to explain she got her ritual bath and set up her altar and went to her room to get the necklace (This was an outdoor ritual she adds almost in a whisper as there is another customer at the register) . But as she goes to take it out of the tissue paper that is wrapped up she gets a shot of what she can only describe as static electricity.

Just then she says she realized that the maker of the necklace had consecrated it when they created the piece. Her daughter quickly tells her to just put it on, and wear as the artist that created it had to be stronger and more skilled than her and her ritual would only ruin the piece.

I tell her that is amazing and thank you for sharing with me and I walk away with my husband, who looks at me and says, “She’s a High Priestess. You didn’t even tell her you were Wiccan. So how did she know?”

I just look at him and shrug, “Beats me”

About a month later sitting in Montana at another truck stop we are eating. I see the younger couple come in (They look to be in their mid to late 20’s; my husband and I are in our 40’s) with their two children. I’m facing the door so I can see the t-shirt the young woman is wearing” 51 percent Angel/ 49 percent Pagan {don’t push it}.

I laughed. “ I like your shirt” I say while giggling about the thought of it.

“Thanks. I’m a High Priestess, ” she says back to me. And walks past.

I look at my husband; he looks at me, and says, “ What is it about declaring High Priestess status suddenly?”

I shake my head and double-check my appearance. My pentacle is in my shirt, not visible to anyone. So what is the deal with people saying this when I just comment on something they are wearing?

Suddenly the young lady comes back over to my table and she ask me point blank.” Do you know what Paganism is?”

“Yes, I do.” I tell her then I tell her I’m a solitary Wiccan.

“Oh really!” she says with a smile and some excitement in her voice (someone that she could talk for a few minutes) “ I was a solitary but then all my friends started coming to me and asking me to help them figure out what books they should read, so I ask them if they wanted to just start a coven with me.

They all said yes, and I told them we could do this but I would have to be the High Priestess since they came to me for advice in the first place.”

“Did they all agree to that?” I ask.

“Yes they did, ” she informs me. “My husband drives truck and he is heading to take me home so that I can do a new moon ritual and an initiation this weekend. I have to run to restroom. I’ll be right back”

She walked off, and my husband looks at me and asks, “Is that the way it is done in a coven” (I’m Wiccan; my husband is Catholic)

“No, ” I tell him, “ it is not done that way”

The young lady comes back and asks me to hold out my left hand palm down. I did and she places her right hand under palm side up. She looks at me and proceeds to tell me” Your energy isn’t very strong. I think you need to study more”

“ I have a head and chest cold that is eating up a lot of my energy right now trying to heal.”

“Well I can tell when people aren’t that strong of a Witch. I was doing a tarot reading on a chat line and for a woman in Ireland and she left in the middle of her reading to talk to her High Priestess”, she says

“Why did she go talk to her High Priestess? “ I asked

“Well when she came back she told me that her High Priestess told her that if I was able to pick up on the things that I was that I was one of the strongest High Priestess she had ever heard of.”

“And the woman told me that her High Priestess was now afraid of me”

I just smile and say, ” That is wild that another High Priestess in another country would be so afraid of you.”

She smiles and says” But I know that I’m that powerful and can do that, so that makes me one of the strong elders in this life”

She says she has to go; her husband is motioning for her to come on and help with the kids.

My husband and I get up and walk up to pay for our food, and my husband ask me, ” How do people just know that you are Pagan or a Wiccan?”

“I don’t know, ” I tell him.

To this day, I often wonder. Can you really tell a Pagan or Wiccan from some other outward sign?

Or were these two women just trying to startle me because I made a comment about their religious items?

If The Kindred Wrote Us a Letter

If The Kindred Wrote Us a Letter

Author: Lesley Gary

If the Kindred wrote us a letter, what do you think that it might say? Do you think it would be all good? Or do you think it maybe all bad and that we need improvement? I found myself blogging what one might consider as such a letter. I had spent much time in meditation and had witnessed many things that were bringing my spirit down. I was looking to the Kindred for comfort and guidance. And here is what came over through the meditations.

Dear Children of the Earth,

The Kindred have come together and decided it was time for a letter from the three of us. We have witnessed many things over the years and want to draw your attention to the things we feel need work. It is nothing bad, but we want you to be future kindred with us and therefore we need to ask you to correct some things. Each of us will take a part in this letter to you. And please take each part into consideration.

Nature Spirits here and though we know you were not the ones who started the ball running for the trash on Earth, we need your help to clean it up. There is more pollution these days then ever could have been imagined and our natural garbage disposals are getting clogged up. Just the other day a goat could not digest some of the new products out there. And because some cleaning aides had to move to the marshes, the food chain is all out of whack. Oh, and our polar bear brother wants to know where you will help him move to when the ice caps are gone. If the Children of the Earth cannot get things turned around, we will have to do more drastic measures. Also, you use to listen to us, spend time with us. We miss you as our friend. Take a walk in the forest or on the plains, swim in our lakes, rivers, or oceans. Come see your old friend and get out of the concrete walls you call work and home.

Ancestors here! What are y’all teaching them kids? No ones words are matching actions. No one respects the elders. No one respects any one. In our days, there would be punishment. But now, you seem to fear telling some one no. You fear coming down on those younger. Kids are your future. What kind of role model are you being? Where are your morals and virtues?

Did you forget the ways of old? Did you forget what we have taught you? Also, speaking of that, why have you closed your ears to the lessons we so earnestly try to give you? Spend time with us. Go to our resting place and clean it up! There are some that are falling apart and no one seems to care. How can you expect us to rest in peace if our area is destroyed or being destroyed? Speak to us. Tell us your concerns. Remember also the oaths you took. Make good to your word and be a person of honor!

Shining ones, the Deities. There are so many different things that we wish to say. Why have we become a burden to go to? Why do you mourn worship in any faith? All we ask is that you remember us. You gift to us, we will gift to you. You be our friend, our worshipper, and diligent and we will be behind you all the way. Teach the others that actions are more important than words. Teach them the ways of us. Be true to heart. Come and spend time with us, dance with us, sing with us, play with us! And for goodness sake, remember that we are bigger then any religion out there. Stop this my God is better then your God battle.

All we Kindred have concerns. Do you remember your oaths? Your promises? Not just to us but others? Why do you not keep them? Why must you speak one thing and do another? When will your heart and soul speak as one with the mind and body? Things are not looking good and you are the only one that can change it. All of you have potential to be Kindred when your time is up. Act like it!

Be true of word and action. Don’t be ill will of any one. Speak truth and let your actions back it. Don’t try to hurt others or bring them down. Reach out to those that are trying but still need that helping hand. Remember that what company you keep will also reflect on you. Remember what you do will also affect that company. And lastly, remember to live your faith and path, not just teach or preach it to others. Words are nothing; actions are everything. Do not use your positions in life to get ahead or have power, we will take it back.

Remember we love you! Many of you are doing well in one form or another. We applaud your works. We see the clean ups that have already begun, but a few cannot fix what the majority broke. We applaud how you find ways to give back to the community. You are good people with good hearts. You just need reminders at times.

So we leave you with a challenge: Prove that you want to be a better person. Prove you can help where needed. Prove you can hold true to the virtues. Prove you can help heal a broken world of people and spirits. And this place will become beautiful again; you will know the gratitude of giving back and the blessings of our gratitude for you.

Always,
The Kindred

Now I leave it in your hands. Chew on it. Think about it and form your own opinions. This is what my Kindred brought to me when I sat down and wrote it. Now, sit down and write what you feel yours would bring to you in a letter. Are you up to my Kindred’s challenges or up to finding out what challenges your Kindred have for you?

Each religion has it’s own views on things, but when it comes down to taking care of the Earth, it is a human problem. We all must take up responsibility of our own actions and be willing to improve them. Let us stop the blame game and stand up to take on our own credit of our own wrong doings. Let us then correct them.

Thank you kindly for your time and may the Kindred bless you.

We Must Hide No Longer

We Must Hide No Longer

Author: Ryan Smith

Welcome to America, the self-proclaimed land of the free and home of the brave. The country where, at least in theory, one can practice any faith one wishes and can fully exercise as the Founding Fathers put it the “freedom of conscience.”

The First Amendment, which starts with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, ” while plain on its face has had a lot of footnotes attached to it over the years by the Christian supermajority. Freedom of religion as long as your faith is Abrahamic in origin. Freedom from persecution as long as you kneel before the Cross. Freedom to worship openly and unhindered only if your faith is one that was thrust on your ancestors by foreign missionaries who claimed to have their best interests at heart.

As a member of what is America’s Invisible Minority, I am no stranger to what happens to Pagans when one is ‘outed’. While I have not been physically assaulted or fired because of my faith I do know what it is for people to go oddly silent when I offer a blessing. I know what it is to be mocked as “insane” and/or labeled a “devil-worshiper”. And of course, I have heard the ever-popular chastisement of, “You’re going to Hell.” I’m fairly sure that anyone whom is not Christian reading this knows what I’m talking about. I’m also fairly sure most people reading this, if they personally have not been the victims of it, at least know someone who lost their job shortly after being outed for “personality issues” or because “didn’t quite work out” or because “we no longer have need of your services.”

Then we have the worst examples: Brandi Blackbear, who was suspended from school for fifteen days in Oklahoma due to accusations of witchcraft (1) . In 1999 Tempest Smith of Michigan who, after school administrators washed their hands of the ongoing harassment by Christian students at her school, hung herself rather than deal with it any longer in 2001 (2) .

Palmdale, California, the state that is seen by many and prided as the most forward-thinking in the country, in 2002 had a local Christian group invade a Pagan store and harass, browbeat, intimidate, and threaten patrons who were honoring Ostara. The best part was when the Sheriff’s Department refused to investigate because, oh by the way, a volunteer department chaplain was at the attack and helped organize it (3) .

2004 in South Carolina saw local prosecutors state that a man accused of murder did so because he was Wiccan (4) . There is of course the infamous case of the Wiccan Nevada National Guardsman denied a pentacle on his headstone by the US government (5) .

In 2007 an Army Chaplain, in spite of his stellar record as a soldier and Chaplain, was not only denied his request to serve as a Wiccan Chaplain but also removed from the Chaplain’s Corps (6) . I’m sure there are plenty of other incidents like these that are as bad, possibly worse, that have not been mentioned here.

So what, you may be wondering, is the point of all this? The point is simple: we as a diverse group of Earth-based faith traditions are routinely disrespected and disregarded by American society as a whole.

Now I know a lot of Pagans are likely thinking to themselves, “Why should we care what a bunch of superficial ‘sheeple’ think? We’re free spirits who dance to the beat of our own drums and don’t care what other people say about us!” There is a very serious problem with that kind of thinking.

In the United States of America today there are about 300 million people (7) . Of that 300 million it is estimated only 1.3 million are Pagans of some kind or another (8) . As much as our independent spirit and willingness to question convention is probably our greatest strength it cannot be ignored that we are a tiny minority in an overwhelmingly Christian nation.

What would happen if, for example, the good people at Operation Rescue who had regularly targeted Dr. Tiller’s clinic in Kansas for protest (9) were very directly confronted in the national media and asked if their accusations of him being a mass-murderer (10) were responsible in some fashion for his cold-blooded assassination inside his own church? You would have wall-to-wall coverage of pundits, preachers, and politicians tearing their hair out and wailing about “persecution.”

Now what happens if, say, a Druid Grove is accused of human sacrifice? First off you probably wouldn’t see any media attention given to such a story unless someone decides to go and actually do something about “those dangerous cultists.” You would probably also see outrage and condemnation on the web on Pagan blogs. And just like many other instances of persecution after we as a whole vow “Never Again” and some group or foundation takes up the incident as their championed cause, it sinks back into the morass of apathy.

Why does this happen? Are we not devoted enough to our own dignity? The answer is rather more elementary than Pagans being undeserving or incapable of organizing or any of the other excuses bandied about.

With only a small handful of real victories against our persecutors and attackers, any move to do something about it is already seen by many as doomed to fail. Too many Pagans give our independent nature and notorious difficulty in being organized in any meaningful fashion as cop-outs to really having an impact on society and improving our standing in it. It is, sadly, understandable why many would do so.

Who wants to exhaust their time, money, and energy fighting for a cause pre-determined in the minds of their colleagues as lost? Everyone wants to be the hero riding over the hill; no one wants to be the person who makes the glorious last stand for a greater moral victory. Far better, it would be argued, to think small.

Better to gain a seat on an Interfaith Council or use of a Unitarian Church than to run for public office. Better to make small, easy victories than to organize, mobilize, and take the fight to where it matters most: the public square. Better to cede the debate to people who do not understand us and in many cases are actively hostile to us.

To take such an approach is to sacrifice the future of our faith, of our community, and of the next generation of Pagans for the sake of questionable comfort and unsteady safety in the immediate present. As Ben Franklin once said, “He who would give up a little liberty for a little security will gain neither and lose both.”

We cannot continue to “wait and see” or “let our moment come” or “try not to upset people.” We upset a sizable fraction of the population simply by breathing; staying quiet and walking small will not change that. I see no reason why we, a community that wears our free spirits as a badge of honor and believe in the importance of personal responsibility, should be afraid of standing up for what we believe. Every other group striving for rights and dignity in American history has been told the same thing when they began their push.

If all the other groups had listened then we probably would still have slavery in the South, women as property of their husbands, and only those with land of their own having the right to vote. Discretion is said to be the better part of valor, but when discretion is forced by circumstance then it is no longer a guardrail against madness but a straightjacket for the soul.

So long as we allow inaction we will remain the Invisible Minority. So long as we act in reaction to fear Pagans will continue to be harassed, attacked, fired, and forgotten. The promise of the Declaration of Independence of, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” will remain unfulfilled for all of us. The effort will be long. It will be hard. Only a fool would promise that it would be easy. But America now is no longer the America where the Religious Right stood unchallenged in their agenda by the masses.

The time is now. We stand at a vital crossroads in history. With the power of the social conservatives, at least for now, broken and our numbers on the rise we must seize the moment and begin the long journey to respect and acceptance. In so doing we must remember, for all who join us in the cause, that we do not just do so for ourselves. We fight for each other, our fellow Kin regardless of Tradition.

Most importantly, we are fighting for the future. The future of our Traditions. The future of our community as a whole and the health, vitality, and success of our local communities in particular. Most vitally we are struggling for the next generation. We must take up the cause to demand respect and dignity and work long and hard now so that when the next generation comes of age they will not know the fear, uncertainty, loneliness, and hardship that many of us have been forced to live with.

We begin today so tomorrow we may openly stand on the mountaintops and in the public square with each other, our children, and our fellow Americans and have no fear anywhere in this nation, from Seattle to Atlanta, from San Francisco to San Antonio, from New York to New Orleans there will be no place where we must hide the truth of who we are for the sake of survival or propriety.

We must take up the cause of liberation. We can no longer let fear instilled by our attackers to keep us shoved into the shadows. We must stand up and get involved in our local communities. We need to actively participate in local, state, and federal politics whether or not it is directly Pagan related or not. To give us a voice in public offices, we need to cultivate, assist and support people to run for these offices including those within the existing two major parties.

We must aggressively dispel the lies perpetrated by our foes by coming out to the public where it is safe to do so as a Pagan, as a Druid, as a Witch, as a Heathen so they know we are not some mysterious dark cult but real people they know. We must do this for what are our natural rights as human beings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on our terms according to what we believe not what others say we must believe.

We have no time to wait, no time to allow our moment to come. Our time is here.

Every act we take, great or small, alone or in a group, which is one made for the good of our greater community is one worth doing. Every act no matter its impact is one more step on the road to victory.

We cannot wait for heroes to come riding down from on high to our rescue. We must answer the call and rise to the challenge that we all face.

       


Footnotes:
1. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1568/is_9_32/ai_70461580/
2. http://community-2.webtv.net/FullMoonCircle/TempestSmith/
3. Rich Breault, “Wiccagate: What do Witches Grove protesters have to hide?, ” Valley Press, 2002-APR-8.
4. http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2347141 and nav=0RaPRIlo
5. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2007/feb/08/news/chi-0702080027feb08
6. http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/032907WitchTrials.html
7. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/US.html
8. http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/affiliations-all-traditions.pdf
9. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/abortviolence/stories/tiller3.htm
10. http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/8967610531.html