Gemstone of the Day
FOLK NAME: Volcano Spit
POWERS: Healing, Grounding, Divination
MAGICAL/RITUAL LORE: Hematite is a strange stone. It is heavy, solid, and silvery black. Its name alone is something of a mystery. To ancients, hematite was what we now know as bloodstone, so virtually all magical information relating to “hematite” in old books refers to bloodstone. This hematite, though, when worked on a lapidary wheel, “bleeds” and produces stains that look much like blood.
Hematite is a fine, showy stone. In Italy and elsewhere, it is fashined into necklaces which are sold as “volcano spit.” Magical information relating to this stone is scarce.
Hematite possesses the curious property of “healing” itself. Make a small scratch on the surface of the stone, then rub your finger over it. The scratch may disappear.
MAGICAL USES: Hematite is said to be powerful in drawing illness from the body. As with all stones, it is held in the hands while visualizing, then placed on the skin directly over the afflicted area. A necklace of smallstones can also be worn for healing.
Hematite is worn for grounding and stabilizing purposes, and to focus the attention on the physcial plane.
A scrying: In a darkened room, light a red candle. Settle before it and hold a large piece of hematite so that the candle’s flame is reflected on it. Gaze at the reflection and visualize a question. The answer will come to you.
Herb of the Day
Folk Names: Bugloss, Burrage, Herb of Gladness, Star Flower, Borak, Lisan selvi, Lesan-El-Tour
Powers: Courage, Psychic Powers
Magickal Uses: Carry the fresh blossoms to strengthen your courage, or place one in your buttonhole for protection when walking outdoors.
A tea of borage induced psychic powers.
|Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today
Solitude is represented by a single person standing at the end of a boardwalk staring out at a vast, empty panorama. They are truly alone, but may not feel loneliness. They are at a place in their life where the need to withdraw from the our secular world is strong, because their focus should be on their inner self, their morality, and their dreams. The view before them is empty, but it is a canvas on which they may paint their future–a future restricted only by the size of their imagination and courage. For them Solitude is a choice. They chose to take the walkway that distances them from the rest of us. It is also a choice that can be undone. Just as they chose to take a path that leads them away from us, they may choose to turn around and come back at anytime.
As a daily card, Solitude suggest a period in which you need to distance yourself from those around you and explore your inner-self, what is driving your day to day life and decide if you are really on the life path that is best for you. This is a time to revitalize your spirit, and draw your dreams for the future.
Goddess of the Day
The Morrigu / Morrigan / Morgaine / Morganna
Celtic Goddess of Water and Magic. Supreme War Goddess, Shape-shifter. Reigned over the battlefields, helping with her magic but did not join in the battles. She is the Crone aspect of the Goddess. Great Mother; Moon Goddess; Queen of the fairies. In her dark aspect, her symbol is then the raven or crow. She is the Goddess of war, fate, death; she went fully armed & carried two spears. Goddess of rivers, lakes & fresh water. Patroness of priestesses & witches. Revenge, night, magic, prophecy. A Triple Goddess made of three largely autonomous Goddesses. Their names vary, but they are usually called Macha, Badb and Nemain. Morgan was said to be married to Merlin, and it was from him she learned her magic. She was also doubled with The Lady of the Lake.
My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!
Author: Devon, The Maid Of Epona
I’ve been a practicing solitary witch for a little more than ten years. I have just recently decided to wear my pentacle openly.
Does that mean I’m out of the broom closet? Heavens no! I like to describe myself as having one foot in and the other out of the proverbial broom closet. I believe this to be the smart way to be, living where I live. Hey! Pennsylvania isn’t California!
I’m not a militant pagan although I do have a serious warrior’s streak. But being a warrior also means picking and choosing your fights. I work in the small animal business in one job and in the horse business in the other.
When working in the horse business, keeping your mouth shut about what faith you are, especially if it is an alternative faith that is greatly misunderstood by others, is the wiser way to go.
If I were to be open to everyone about my faith, it would have a detrimental effect on my career. People in the horse business would immediately assume that I was one of those “tree hugging, wackos” and I suddenly wouldn’t get hired or be able to buy or sell horses because gossip runs rampant in stables and sometimes is taken to be truer than the Bible! I also deal with many of the Amish community and I hide my pentacle out of deference to their beliefs.
So I pick and choose when and where to display my symbol of faith openly. I have also made an agreement with myself that, when I wear my pentacle openly, and someone questions my faith, then I must answer truthfully and intelligently.
I tell them that my pentacle stands for the four elements and the element of spirit. I tell them that it is a symbol of wholeness and balance, not of negativity and hatred. And its meaning cannot be twisted by reversing its direction, at least not in my eyes!
The first day I wore my pentacle, I walked about with a heightened sense of awareness, waiting for everybody to judge me. I guess I was expecting the whole world to gasp, point their fingers and declare me a witch in that tone of voice that meant nothing good. The actual reaction of people was much more subdued and confused.
Instead, the only question I had to deal with was, “I didn’t know you’re Jewish!”
Do you know how hard it is not to roll your eyes at someone and exclaim, “What? Can’t you count”?
I took a real risk this past Christmas. My husband had given me two gifts I picked out from our favorite knife catalog; an unusual knife and a pentacle decorated with red gems that I thought was pretty. So what it wasn’t silver!
Well pictures in catalogs can be deceiving!
I thought the pentacle to be modestly sized and the knife to be around the size of a Bowie knife. Well the truth was things were reversed.
The knife was the size of a pocketknife. The pentacle was big. REALLY BIG!
Try a pentacle with some serious attitude and lots of bling to the red gems on it. There was no mistaking it when I chose to wear out. It just reeled you in. Ooooh boy!
Then I decided to wear it out and obvious to a family function. Hey! It was a Christmas gift from my hubby that I still really liked in spite of the size. I wanted to show off my sparkly!
Now, not all of my family knows my religious denomination but most are aware. My parents are a blessing from the Goddess! They approve as long as I don’t go around trying to convert everybody. My brother and sister know and are open minded enough to not make a big deal about such things. My cousins even know and are cool with it.
My uncle? Well, lets just say his religious views scare me! He attends an ultra conservative church that has several ministers, several auditorium sized rooms for worship and boasts an attendance of several thousand people.
I was told to never tell my uncle what religion I was.
He was coming to the party as well.
I probably should NOT have worn the pentacle. But I did.
I also chose to disguise it with my new fashion statement, which was to wear cowboy clothes. You see, in the western horse show world, they have this design that is called a Texas star. It’s like a sheriff’s badge. Hmmm. Guess what? That’s a pentacle!
So I immediately went out and got my western show attire decorated in “Texas Stars”. I’ve got them on my hat and even my horse’s saddle and bridle sport little “pentacles”. No, I won’t wear ten million pentacles on myself but I’ll completely festoon my poor, long suffering horse with them!
Anyway, I showed up at the party with my hunka, big, new pentacle and my “Texas Star” hat. And my uncle showed up later. He looked directly at my new pentacle and then me and my newly dyed, black hair.
And then he asked if I’d had any of the steamed shrimp he brought.
I felt like I had had the rug pulled out from under me. I tried not to laugh my relief.
The pentacle was a big hit though.
Two people asked about it and my religious persuasion. I found out that they also were open-minded and we had a lovely evening chatting about esoteric things. Those conversations would have probably never happened if I hadn’t been daring enough to chance wearing it out.
But the real point of the matter is this: A pentacle, or a cross, or a Jewish star, or whatever symbol you choose to wear is nothing but a piece of jewelry unless the belief is behind it to make it more.
Those Wiccans that chose not to wear a pentacle or any other symbol of faith, does that make them any less of a Wiccan? No.
Sometimes I wear my pentacle and sometimes I wear my favorite jade horse pendant. They are both symbols of faith in my opinion and are as important to me as the cross is to someone else.
But I am not a Wiccan because I choose to wear a pentacle. I am Wiccan because that is what language my heart sings.
And no one can change what you feel in your heart. You can only choose whether or not to speak it.
Do you wear your pentacle on your skin or in your heart?
The State of Paganism: A Perspective From an Old Witch
As Paganism slowly but surely emerges out of the grip of suppression brought on by what is now commonly referred to as organized religions. We may want to be aware of several pitfalls and realities as we once again step into the light of day.
First of all, the top three organized religions are themselves fairly new in the grand scheme of history. Prior to their appearance on the world stage, basically everyone in the world followed some type of pagan belief, which was for the most part an individual spiritual belief and not an organized religion per se. Such beliefs were influenced by ones personal environment and the immediate world around them. There was an interpersonal awareness that helped to shape one’s values and thus their corresponding beliefs. In today’s artificial world we no longer have such a mainstay or influence to guide us.
The current “accepted” beliefs being touted by the main three organized religions and the suppression of former popular beliefs did not occur as a natural effect of events in human history.
It was and continues to be a planned and concerted action, which began in one instance with the advent of the apologists and has continued on through the ages by acts of repression, fear and some very clever propaganda. These deliberate actions have been supplemented by the tactics of politicians who are overtly biased in favor of the institutions of organized religion.
After all, power begets power.
As such we should be aware that the basic tenet of these man made religious organizations is to hold onto such power at all costs. We as a community would like to think that we are accepting of all religious beliefs and spiritual paths, as we should be.
But we should not be so naïve as to think that just because we are so accepting that organized religions will welcome us back with open arms from the isolation of an exile that they themselves imposed upon those of pagan beliefs.
In all reality they (organized religions) would very much like to see paganism fade away as just another passing fad. An example of this is the gathering in Rome in the summer of 2007 of the Roman Catholic Church of which the primary topic was “how to draw folks away from Devil worship (allegedly paganism) and back into the grasp of the one true church”.
Granted there are some individuals within organized religion who are realistic and enlightened enough to accept the fact that not everyone is going to believe as they do. And thus are willing to work with members of alternate beliefs such as paganism.
However the harsh reality is that these folks generally belong to one of the very aggressive religious organizations whose leaders do not endorse such openness. And as such we are being accepted only in isolated situations and only at the very grass roots of these religious institutions.
Acceptance of the fact that the oldest religious/spiritual beliefs in the world were not obliterated and are making a re-emergence is going to take some considerable time, effort and patience.
We will re-emerge into the light of day one enlightened heart and soul at a time. To believe otherwise is in my personal opinion, both foolish and self-defeating.
Another pitfall we should be wary of is manipulation by the organized religions. They have by virtue of their position in the world today, proven to be very adept at such tactics.
And quite obviously (to some of us anyway) they are employing these tried and proven techniques to the very community that they would like to once again vanquish back into the throes of exile.
What is this manipulation you may ask?
Over the recent years, a crumb will fall off of the table of organized religion and a pagan will be ‘allowed” to sit at the same table as these folks. Each time it has been a Wiccan who is chosen to take such a seat and in each case the chosen Wiccan will proclaim themselves as representative of the whole pagan community. And then folks in the pagan community will swoon like young schoolgirls and say, “oh what a great thing this is for the community”.
In my personal opinion, such proclamations fall right into the hands of those of the organized religions who are sponsoring such meetings.
I have serious reservations about such an approach and reaction for several down to earth reasons.
First of all, realistically we as a community are dealing with folks who are well schooled in such manipulation. It is quite apparent that if you can’t outright obliterate what you object to then you find a way to control it.
For example Brighid the Goddess did not become a Christian saint by happenstance. It was an act of sage manipulation by an organized religion. Hence we have the old adage of, “keeping your friends close but your enemies even closer”.
And so with all due respect to those of the Wicca, I personally have to wonder why organized religion seems to only choose members of Wicca, which is by all accounts barely a generation old and thus but a babe in the world of paganism as the ones who are proffered a seat with these folks.
Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying here, I think that it is great that a pagan of any path gets the crumb that is offered, to a certain extent.
But then this brings me to my next concern.
One of the primary tenets of paganism is diversity. And if we are to avoid the pitfalls of hypocrisy then perhaps those Wicca who are chosen to be seated with organized religions should state responsibly, that in fact they represent but a small portion of the pagan community.
Again, with all due respect to those of the path of Wicca, not only would this be a realistic statement but it would also leave the door open to those of other pagan beliefs. And as such would be a confirmation of the pagan community’s stated belief in the tenet of diversity.
Paganism is after all an acronym or umbrella for many “diverse” beliefs. And no one path can honestly state that they alone represent the many different beliefs that align themselves under the banner of paganism.
In all reality, and yet once again with all due respect, as an Irish witch who also engages the path of shamanism, Wicca does not remotely represent my personal path. Nor does it accurately reflect the beliefs of those who are Asatru, Voudon, Santerian, Odinist, Yoruba, Shamanic, witch and so forth.
If we as a community are going to endorse diversity as one of our founding tenets then we need to surpass the temptations of ego and thus avoid the snare that is being put into place by those religious organizations that have shown such skill in manipulation.
Those who are tapped should show some responsibility and use their opportunities to ensure that organized religion is aware that we are in fact a diverse community and do not fit into one spiritual/religious shoe fits all.
By the same token, we as a community need to overcome our petty ego driven differences and be willing to proffer folks from various pagan beliefs as representatives of our community. Granted this will take a measure of maturity that has for the most part been lacking in our community.
But I personally believe that if we are true to ourselves and our community that we can indeed find the inner strength to exhibit such maturity as a community to express ourselves in such a manner.
The final concern that I would like to express in this treatise is this.
Why do we buy into the perception that organized religion has of us?
Realistically, it is “their” perception and should not be the view that we as pagans hold of ourselves.
Why do we as a community get all flustered and swoon whenever organized religion allows us a seat?
They are in all reality the newcomers to the world stage of religious/spiritual beliefs.
Paganism is in fact the oldest such beliefs in existence, period!
When one of us is invited to their table it should be with the approach that they (organized religions) should be honored to have a member of such an ancient belief seated at their table.
We need to stop playing into their blatant manipulation and express ourselves with aplomb and dignity and not as eager children grateful for a brief moment of attention.
I personally believe that this is why they (organized religions) only invite the Wicca (who are the babes of pagan society) into their midst. In this manner they can point and say “but they have only been around since 1952” and so the manipulation continues and unadulterated attempts at control continues.
In closing I would like to make it clear that I am not casting about disparaging thoughts against those of the Wicca or any other members of organized religions and/or other pagan paths.
My words are simply a reflection of the realities that we as pagans did not create but which we have to live with. How cognizant we are and how we approach such issues as a community in regards to organized religions will determine whether we remain in the daylight or whether we once again resume our existence in the darkness of religious/spiritual exile.
If you don’t want to think of these issues in regards to yourself then maybe you should consider the religious/spiritual freedoms (true freedoms) of your children and your children’s children.
For in all reality, such manipulation and control did not occur over one generation nor is it likely to ebb within just one generation. Freedom of religious/spiritual beliefs is an ongoing struggle against those who would have it otherwise.
I think the last 2000 years or so has made that quite clear…
Probably the most common phrase that we use in the Craft is “Blessed Be.” This phrase is possibly the major common denominator in all of the different Craft traditions.
It is something that is a unifying principle within Witchcraft and although it is the most often articulated saying we have, it seems to me to be the least understood one I know of.
When we say “Blessed Be, ” all too often it is simply new jargon, or a substitute for “Hi, ” “How are you?” or “Good Bye.” Yet, these two words comprise one of the most powerful and sophisticated sentences in the English language.
“Blessed Be” is an ultimate Zen phrase, “Blessed be that which is”; “All that is, is blessed”. We are recognizing a truth that all is inherently blessed. We are reminded that in the present moment, everything is perfect. There is nothing that needs to be changed, and nothing that needs to be improved.
In this moment, everything is sacred. Being at one with the sacred now is a blessed state indeed, and saying “blessed be” from that point of view is a potent statement of recognition of the perfection of this moment. There is no future to obsess about, and no past to regret.
There is only this moment; it goes on forever, and all is truly blessed.
Another important facet of this gem of a saying is that it is a constant reminder of our function in the Craft: We are here to bless.
Once we develop a significant relationship with Spirit, in whatever way it presents itself to us, we eventually come to recognize that what the world needs from us is our blessing. The only significant contribution we have to offer the world is blessing.
In any situation, with any person or group of people, we are here to say (and mean) “Blessed Be, ” either silently or aloud.
When we take an honest look at any problem in the world, it becomes apparent that the problem stems from a lack of blessing, and the only cure is to bless.
I know for myself, I can honestly say that anytime I have been less than loving or compassionate in my life, it was in response to a great deal of pain I was experiencing at the time.
What I didn’t need in order to turn my life around was more judgment, anger and criticism. What I needed was love and blessing.
I needed someone to say “Blessed Be” and mean it.
We are children of divinity–children of the Mother and Father, of Spirit, of God, or whatever you choose to call it. As divine children, we are here as expressions of our parents. We are here as lights in a dark world. Our function is to recognize the light and divinity in everyone else.
“Blessed Be” can also be another way of saying “The divine love in me recognizes the divine love in you”. We are here as healers of this world. Whether we take this job seriously or not will determine what direction our world takes.
We have the power to transform the world in every moment just by seeing any situation from the point of view that we are divine beings here to bring blessing.
It isn’t a question of whether or not we have the power to bless, it is a question of whether we choose to use it or not.
If we say “Blessed Be” consistently and mean it, this planet can heal very quickly.
One thing that I have learned in my life is that there is enough pain in this world. We all know what pain is. We have been to hell already; we don’t need to indulge in pain any longer in order to know we want something else.
I can honestly look at my life and say that what I really need is not more misery. I see that what many of us are doing is indulge in misery out of habit, or addiction. It takes a great deal of determination to understand that our addictions are not serving us any longer and then decide that we are going to relinquish our investment in them.
Unfortunately, like any addiction, we often wait until we hit rock bottom before we realize that we have a problem. In Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step to sobriety is for the alcoholic to recognize that they are powerless over alcohol, and that there is a higher power who can restore them to sanity.
This is what blessing is all about. Whatever our wound, the healing comes about from blessing.
If we have a strained relationship with another person, our greatest work to bring us happiness in that relationship is the honest blessing of that person.
If we have a problem with our job, the healing comes about from blessing the job, and all the people in it on every level.
The act of blessing that I describe is not an abdication of power; it is a reclaiming of power.
Some might worry that we need to protect and need to defend ourselves, and that if we are blessing all the time, it will just leave us vulnerable to attack. This worry comes from the erroneous point of view that Spirit is ineffectual. We would do well to remember that the power of love is fierce.
Spirit is intelligent. It knows what to do. When we bless the world, we are in a position of ultimate power. Just as when our physical immune system is healthy, it takes care of all the viral and bacterial activity without us needing to know what is happening.
The Craft of blessing results in building a spiritual immune system that is so strong that nothing can touch us. It is not necessary for us to carry out punishment (curses) on others in order to be safe and protected. In fact, cursing is a domain in which we leave ourselves the most open and vulnerable to attack.
Cursing is very subtle stuff. Curses aren’t necessarily consciously cast. Anytime we desire the pain and destruction of another person for any reason, we are withholding our blessing, and are by default cursing.
Resentments and grudges do come up however, and I am not suggesting that we are supposed to just suppress our feelings and pretend like we are not feeling rage when we are feeling it.
What I am suggesting however is that when we are feeling anything other than love for people that we recognize it and bring it to Spirit to heal.
This is the ultimate magic: transformation.
When we are feeling anger toward another person, we can say “Goddess, I am really pissed of at so-and-so, and want to crush their big fat head right now. Please heal this situation. Please bring me back in harmony with your compassion. Show me what I need to do in this situation, let me know what to say in order that this situation be healed.”
We aren’t denying our rage, but we are embracing our ability to move beyond it. A curse is when the rage and desire to destroy are kept within us to fester.
Curses are psychic malignancies.
Blessing is a silent art. Just because we bless someone doesn’t mean we have to have lunch with him or her.
Blessing is not about forcing our personal wills on any situation. It is simply recognizing the people and situation before us as divine, and seeing the love at the heart of whatever is going on regardless of the drama that is being played out.
We simply access the Spirit within us and ask for its will to be done in our presence. We withdraw our preconceived notions of what is supposed to happen, or what we think we want to have happen, and allow ourselves to invoke the presence of pure love.
When we are facing a problem, and we think we have tried everything, it is very important that we ask ourselves whether or not we have given our blessing. Often this is something that we have overlooked.
I can’t count the number of times I have been in the throes of misery and the one thing I have NOT tried is asking Spirit directly to take the problem and heal it for me. Once we renounce our addiction in the pain, we are transformed.
We have shifted our plane of experience from one of cursing, to one of blessing.
There is no more simple, or more powerful magical charm in the universe than “Blessed Be.”
Magick That Can Kill Your Dreams
Author: Kindred Of The Phoenix
I’m not talking about black magick here, curses or hexes or anything that can “come back on you”. Nor am I talking about vengeance or greed or working with dark spirits or demons or the dead.
I’m talking about the simple, “harmless, ” good old white magick, meant to make your finances better or your body healthier or love life deeper and more fulfilling and is the kind of Magick that so many of us do, in love and trust and good intentions.
If you can take some stress off your spouse by getting that raise you know you deserve, or give yourself in love to someone else, supporting them, encouraging them, cherishing them, but the dating site isn’t working out, why not do a spell?
The reason is that it might do you more harm than good in the long run.
I’m also not talking about the (mostly humorous, fortunately) “mis-spelled” spells that give you a dog when you ask for a true companion, or houseplants when you ask for more green in your business, or two stalkers when you ask to be magnetic to potential lovers.
Most intro to witchcraft books have a section on the dangers of poorly written spells, so I see no need to re-hash that here, though I do suggest you read- and re-read these- those .key passages to magical success from time to time.
So how can a good-intentioned, well-written, practically flawless spell go wrong?
Well, to be precise, the spell itself is not the problem. The problem lies in the use of magick itself.
Witches and other occult practitioners often use magick to solve problems, reach goals, or fulfill needs or desires that mundane action will not produce, is not producing now, or isn’t producing in the time schedule desired.
It’s not always a greedy or selfish thing- sometimes magick is simply another tool for survival in the rat race (if you have it, use it!) Or, sometimes it seems more ethical to use a spell to find a better paying job than compete for the only open position in your company with a single mom of three kids who needs it just as much as you do.
If you’re willing to put in just as much work on this mundane end, and just want a little magickal push in the right direction, there hardly seems anything wrong with it.
And there isn’t. Except that it can be deadly to your dreams.
Puzzled? Before I explain all this, consider the following:
Employee A to Boss: I hate this crap job. I can never get ahead. I’m putting in 50 hours a week here- working as hard as I can- and still it’s never enough to pay the bills and get ahead. I’ve been here five years- I have seniority. Why are you holding me back? I’m a good person, aren’t I? With a family to feed, kids that need me at home more to go to their soccer games and be a good parent and role model. Can’t you see I need to move up the ladder here? I’ve never hurt anyone here, always been a good employee, I deserve it. Isn’t it time I moved up?
Employee B to Boss: Good morning sir! About that possible promotion… I know I’ve only been here two years, but in that time I’ve finished my degree and worked hard to apply my education to my work here. I’ve motivated the team with individual attention; I’ve resolved several major tech problems and created a marketing plan that should put us ahead of our competition in six months. I’ve learned the products and customer service techniques, and feel that I have a solid grasp on my current position and all those below it- thus I can lead anyone in those positions if I’m in a position to do so. I think with my forward approach and enthusiasm for the work I am ready for a new position on our team.
Who do you really think will get the promotion?
Not that Employee A doesn’t need or deserve to move up, especially with all the time and effort he/she has put in, and the family to care for. Note that Employee B might have the same financial and family pressures- we don’t know. But business is business, and whoever hands out that promotion probably doesn’t want to know- family aside, the position goes to the one ready for it.
My point in bringing this up is that I truly believe that life isn’t fair but it is right, that some Higher Power is indeed looking out for us, and that all prayers are heard and all are answered- but not in the way we expect.
I believe that if you’re not getting something in life, not moving on to what you think you ought to be by now or because it’s only fair and you deserve it and need it, that there is a very good reason for it.
You’re not ready to move ahead yet.
Just as the boss might tell Employee A that he/she needs to learn enthusiasm for the work, needs to care about their coworkers and customers and learn to love what position they’ve been given and tend it well, nurture and grow it, so to speak, The Powers That Be might be saying this to you by holding you back in life.
Learn to love the small things in life while you’re broke, from sunshine to singing on the porch with your kids. Learn to nurture optimism, faith, and strength of spirit while you’re ill; teach others not to be afraid of either life or death while you’re on the line.
Whatever it is exactly that you’re supposed to learn is something you’ll have to discover, but most often I think it centers near trusting the Powers, loving what you’ve been blessed with instead of yearning for/ striving/working for more, and allowing yourself to be happy with who you are and what you have, despite what others say you should have in life.
When you use magick to give you a boost, you jump ahead and upset the balance. I can’t prove it, but I think this is why so many religions, mainstream and aboriginal, warn against witchcraft and magick except by the highest, most trained priest or shaman.
The Powers are Powers of love and benevolence, they want us to be happy, and thus we have magick to put in our hands the power to jump out of THEIR plan for us and take control of our own lives.
It’s like they are saying, well, if you really think you’re ready, do that spell, you’ll get what you want. Maybe you do know better. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
And so we do that spell, jump ahead… and lose again and again that footing. Our dreams keep crumbling and we collapse in tears and ask why.
Maybe we weren’t ready yet and lost our new, advanced place in the world on our own. Or, just as likely, I believe that Divinity has a bit of a “list” of ordeals and accomplishments that each of us is to go through in our lifetime.
The order in which we accomplish/experience these things is, for the most part, unimportant, but the lessons we draw from them are. Therefore if it has been chosen for you to undergo some financial difficulty to teach you humility, or introduce you to a soul mate (who is working in a food pantry), your spell may bring in some cash but you’re due to fall back into poverty again. Not as a punishment, not because you don’t deserve better, but because The Powers that Be have something waiting for you- something good.
Without that spell, but instead with some time and some trust, you are right where you need to be. (Comforting, isn’t it?) There is something for you, right now, right here, whether you can see it or not.
If you stop trying to magickally vault ahead and run away, and look around, you just might find it and move ahead naturally.
And therefore, each time we upset the system through magick, we essentially waste time.
We put ourselves in a “better place, ” for a time, but get stuck returning to the same muck time and again and wonder why. We seem to reach a dream but soon lose it.
Rather than being mired in that cycle, I suggest you look around, take stock of what you do have, and learn to enjoy and make the best of it. If indeed we are all where we are for a reason, all you have to do is discover that reason and honor its wisdom, and a new path will be revealed to you.
Therefore when I say magick will kill your dreams, I mean that magick will give them to you only to have you lose them again, and waste precious time in your life in that cycle of gain and loss, when you could simply do what you must with what you have now and move into that dream, in its own time, for good.
Therefore may I suggest prayer, especially prayer in circle, to help you move ahead? You are not alone. Divinity loves you and wants you to succeed, and will listen and answer when properly asked.
Many forms of magick essentially have you working on your own, either telling the God and/or Goddess what to do for you, or leaving them out entirely. You need not be alone in your trials like that…
Ask why you are where you are, what’s holding you back, and what needs to be done to move on to something you’d like better. And especially, ask that it all be for the greater good.
This approach has worked so much better for me than magick!
In closing, I’d like to share with you a bit of comfort that’s hung on my wall since I was a child. It’s called the Desiderata, and it was discovered in Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore, dated 1962. These are only a few lines from it…
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be….
Great Work/ Great Rite: Common Symbolism in Alchemy and Witchcraft
Author: Dawn Phoenix
Few would argue that modern Witchcraft has its roots in many varied historical occult philosophies. One such system, commonly overlooked, is philosophical alchemy. Much of what remains from the original practitioners of this arcane art and science has been left to us encoded in allegorical pictures and laboratory notebooks.
Many noteworthy ideas survived alchemy’s hey-day and have made their way little changed into the modern era.
There is a tendency to think of alchemy itself as an early form of chemistry, and with good reason: it did beget the chemical sciences. Because one of the fundamental tenets (from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus) was “That which is above is like unto that which is below, ” practitioners studied the material world for glimpses into the world beyond.
This is not to say that all engaged in alchemical studies were of the occult bent. However, the great gulf we have built between philosophical and scientific understanding is a relatively novel one. (See, for instance, the works of Aristotle.)
In a nutshell, the goal of the alchemist was the search for a substance called the “Philosopher’s Stone, ” which had two important properties.
First, it would convert lead, the basest metal and a relatively valueless substance, into pure gold.
Second, with it one could produce the Elixir of Life, which cured all illness and rendered the one who possessed it immortal.
This was their Magnum Opus, or Great Work.
They recognized seven metals, each one associated with one of the seven (ancient) planets. Gold was associated with the Sun, and Lead with Saturn. Here we cross into the field of astrology for interpretation. Saturn is the planet of limitations and boundaries. This ranges from the restriction necessary for social order down to our personal detrimental proclivities.
In the medicine of the day, it was seen to rule over the melancholic humour. Melancholic individuals are often introverted ponderers and perfectionists with a propensity for becoming morose and depressed. It was thought that those too overbalanced in this humour would become caught up in their fears and despondencies.
The Sun was seen as the giver of life, the vitalizing force of all creation, as it provides the heat and light we require for our survival. Note that the Sun was also called “Sol” and “Soul” or the animating principle. Most importantly, then, it represents the self.
For this reason, when someone asks for your astrological sign, they are asking about the location of the Sun at your birth. The Sun is associated with the choleric humour, and an individual blessed with it will tend toward leadership, charisma, and personal empowerment.
The alchemist’s Magnum Opus was to seek out the means by which one could transmute one’s restrictions through the necessary stages towards the end of a refined and purified self. Some sources point to a process including conjunction, or the combining of two or more parts: putrification, or a “death” of some sort; purification, or the extraction of superfluous elements; and sublimation, which is sometimes seen as another stage of purification and sometimes as the reanimation of the formerly “dead” being. (For an example, see the Rosarium Philosophorum for the picture-poem “Sol and Luna.”)
Now a side step into the world of modern Witchcraft…
For many, the craft lends itself towards workings of self-refinement, and it is likely that this is so as a result of its connections to Hermetic Philosophy. If we are to recognize Divinity within ourselves, those things, which are less worthy of us or not true to our individual essences, will make themselves apparent. Whatever reason we may have had for initially stepping into the craft, we find ourselves journeying towards a greater commitment to our true selves.
The cycle the alchemist journeys through in the process of transmutation can be compared in many ways to the seasonal cycle of the Earth represented by the Great Lady and Her consort as a story of birth, consummation, and death plays itself out, world without end.
The Lord is born at Yule with the returning light of the Sun. Sometime in the spring (traditions vary) He joins with the Lady (who is always and ever the Triple Goddess) in the Great Rite. She is the receptive principle and He the projective. In accepting His power, She gives it form in the child who now grows in Her womb.
Following the natural progression of things, when it is harvest time He is cut down and makes the journey into the underworld (symbolically, the subconscious self) and becomes the Lord of that land. (In some traditions, the Lady also descends, albeit without being touched by death, as She carries in Her womb the principle of life itself.) At Yule, the Lord is born again of the Lady.
Is it the same Lord? Most would contend yes, and this is the pattern of reincarnation.
In fact, this same pattern is repeated in many different systems. In Ceremonial Magic, it is the IAO formula. Isis, representing all life, gives way to Apophis the Destroyer; Osiris is resurrection.
In Western Kabbalism, points on the middle pillar of the Tree of Life can be seen to represent the same. The great abyss, located between Tif’eret (the heart) and Keter (the crown), is home to Da’at, which, it is often said, may only be traversed through death.
Even in Christianity, the exalted state of Heaven, where one is purified of all sin, is generally unreachable until after death of the body has occurred. Some denominations even place that transcendence at a point of bodily resurrection at the end of time, when Heaven will come down to Earth. The Christ did not become exalted until after His death and resurrection.
Still, religion is comprised of both belief and practice, and practice is where systems diverge. Where the alchemist engaged in meditative lab work, the Christian in supplication, et cetera, what is the Witch’s practice for achievement of the Great Work?
This is a difficult question to answer, as different traditions render different ideas. Some simply don’t address the issue at large, on the grounds that every individual will require a dissimilar tact, and recommend spell workings fitted to distinct issues of personal growth the practitioner comes upon. Yet other traditions have specific methodologies for pushing through specific stages.
I would like to contend that there is one ritual, nearly universal to practitioners of the craft, which at its core is designed for exactly this purpose, though rarely is it acknowledged as such. Referring to the story of the wheel, and to the steps in alchemical transmutation, a common thread does emerge. That is, the conjunction.
In both the Great Work and the Great Rite, two things are joined, resulting in the production of a third. That third is both the Child of Promise and the purified self.
For it to be birthed, a process of death and reincarnation must be undergone. That is, for the newly purified self to come forth, that which has completed its tenure must pass away. The Child is then born of the womb, or the Philosopher’s Stone of the cauldron.
This Child is the Sun King, gold from dross, and the ego stripped of its limitations. It is also the promise of everlasting life, for the wheel of rebirth will ever renew.
In order to live forever, one must embrace death. Rebirth in this fashion is the Elixir of Life.
Practically speaking, this means that the formula of the Great Rite (whether actual or symbolic) may be drawn on for rituals of personal transformation, and need not be reserved as solely a celebratory rite.
Feng Shui Tip of the Day
Friday, May 20, 2011
To get people to stop and take notice of surroundings, like at the top of a stair, hang a long, vertical picture on the wall.
of the Day
Friday, May 20, 2011
The Sun, ruler of the human ego, harmonizes with the planet Uranus. This is the planet that rules sudden inspiration. This energy delivers high confidence for you to approach a long-sought lover. Can your logic guide your lust in pursuit of true love?
Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Everyone:
Friday, May 20th, 2011
Proceed cautiously, but resolutely, with whatever you are doing. The time and situation are calling for consistency and patience. Waiting is an essential skill; patience is a powerful force. Good timing is an ally of those with inner strength — the kind of strength that allows you to be uncompromisingly honest with yourself, while sticking to the path you have charted. If you persevere with a positive attitude, time weakens even the hardest obstacles. To rush anything, or impatiently force results, stimulates resistance and causes setbacks. At best, you achieve surface changes — the kind that can just as quickly be reversed. Steadfast waiting — while holding to your integrity leads to slow but permanent improvements. In the end, you accomplish something great. Practice patience.
Your Daily Number: 9
Love and Romance rule the day, and you’re at your creative best. You may suffer a minor disappointment due to the disloyalty of a friend or family member, but worry not. This too shall pass. Good news may arrive for you in the evening hours.
About the Number 9