So What’s the Deal With Divination?

So What’s the Deal With Divination?

Author: Brunhilde

That everything occurring in our physical world must first have manifested in the astral plane is the traditional theory behind the art or act of ‘divination’. It is in this astral plane that the patterns of our lives and the events affecting our physical world first take shape. So, if you want to know the future on our physical plane, you can look into the astral plane and see what development is occurring there now. It is knowledge from this astral plane that you are accessing when you perform divination.

How Old Is It?

It is believed that some form of divination existed during the Stone Age. This period spans the time when the races of mankind made the transition from nomadic life to life in stationary farming communities. This transition made the individual villages and tribes more reliant on assistance from the local nature spirits. These communities were no longer able to migrate to other areas if their local food supplies ran out. By establishing farming communities, they tied their continued existence to the local food supply. Therefore, people were well motivated to contact the local nature spirits and establish a rapport with them. One clear way to communicate with the spirits was through the practice of divination. We know that the people of the ancient world relied on divination to make many of their important decisions. Each culture had its own methods for seeking advice from the spirit world. Every leader, from the heads of state to tribal councils to family elders, would utilize some form of divination on a regular basis. It was considered wise and prudent to do so.

How Do You See Into the Astral Plane?

Well, you can’t use the eyes in your face. Instead, you will be looking for signs in the astral plane by using your inner eye. You will be using your psychic sense, your spiritual essence, to open a pathway into the astral plane. You can do this by training your mind. For best results in any type of divination, you should practice placing your mind into a meditative state. It is in that altered state of awareness that you can perceive the subtle energies you are seeking.

What Is a Positive Aspect of Performing Divination?

In addition to helping you to make better decisions, another dividend of practicing divination is that it helps you to develop your psychic abilities—even if you think you don’t have any. All forms of divination require the practitioner to use their psychic sense. We all possess this sense, although it is usually not as strongly developed as our other five physical senses. After all, we have used our other five since birth! Your sixth sense may be understandably weak. But by practicing divination, you can develop and strengthen it. So if you want to be more psychic, learn a skill like divination.

Are There Negative Aspects to Performing Divination?

Of course. You can develop an unhealthy need for constant divination. You can become too dependent upon the process for help. You will feel that you are unable to make even a simple decision without consulting the spirits. You certainly don’t want to become insecure in your own decision-making process. Remember that divination can only suggest a certain course of action to you. In the end, it is you who must make the final decision. So use divination wisely.

Can We Really See Into the Future?

No, divination doesn’t do that. It can only show you a probable result, if nothing changes. Of what value is it then? Well, divination allows us to access more information regarding the question we are posing; information that is not readily apparent to us. Taking all of this additional information into account, we can now make a better decision in the here and now.

You Talkin’ To Me?!

When you perform a divination, you are usually posing a question. Some psychic practitioners, especially those who perform divinations professionally, use the aid of a spiritual third party to facilitate their divination. They may call upon this psychic helper to aid them in accessing the astral plane or assist them in interpreting the answer they receive. This third party can be the practitioner’s own personal spirit guide, a guardian angel, or a teacher spirit. You, too, can choose to perform divinations this way. If you choose to use a facilitator, then you can specifically ask them to help you see the answer to your question. And you can ask them to assist you in interpreting the answer you receive.

Talking To Yourself

To what or to whom are you asking your question? You should decide that issue before you practice divination, because your choice of facilitator may have some bearing on the type of answer you receive.

Perhaps you feel you are not accessing the astral plane when you perform divination. Some people believe that they are simply speaking to their own subconscious mind. They believe that they are communicating with their internal psyche and allowing their personal intuition to take control over their practical, pragmatic conscious mind. You may feel more comfortable with this explanation of divination.

When you think about it, all of our senses are constantly recording information that cannot be brought to the immediate attention of our conscious mind. There is simply too much information for our conscious mind to handle at any given moment. As the saying goes, T.M.I! So, our senses wisely store this glut of information in our subconscious mind. Think of your subconscious mind as a vast repository for all the information gathered by your senses. When you perform divination, you are allowing your subconscious mind to access all of that information. You can then use that data to make a better informed decision. That decision will appear as the answer to your divination.

It’s All in the Past

This idea of communicating with your subconscious mind is valid on more than one level. Many people believe in the idea of past lives and reincarnation. Some folks who believe in reincarnation propose that all the knowledge of our past lives is stored in our subconscious mind. Which makes for a huge personal database! If you believe in this idea, then for you divination is a way to access past-life information.

For example, perhaps you are seeking to answer a question concerning a problem you are having in this life. Maybe you had the same problem in a past life. Or many past lives. Wouldn’t it be great to draw upon all that previous experience dealing with the same problem? Your divination question could be worded to partake of that previous experience in your past lifetimes. For you, divination may be the simple act of viewing your personal storehouse of knowledge. You are scanning your database to help you to make a wise decision in this life.

It’s Already IN There

Some folks believe that all the knowledge you need to succeed in this lifetime is already stored in your brain. When you were on the Other Side, you decided what tasks you would accomplish in this current lifetime. You formulated your goals and decided how best to achieve them. You gathered and stored the information you would need to meet those goals. You arrived here, in this physical plane; with your life-plan and your necessary data already stored in your subconscious. You just need a way to access it and divination is one way to accomplish that task.

Info In Your Aura

There is some evidence that your thoughts and memories are not stored in your mind, conscious or otherwise. You may store information in your light body or aura body, that part of you that transits to the afterlife when your physical body dies. As noted by Debbora Wiles of Psychic Schoolhouse, there are numerous accounts of patients who have been declared clinically dead, but were resuscitated and survived. These patients later described a scenario in which they lifted up out of their physical bodies and hovered in the air above the scene of their death. They heard and saw everything that took place while they were dead. Then their physical body was revived and they floated down back into it. After being revived, they were able to recall in vivid detail all of the activity taking place around them while they were dead.

They have memories and thoughts of the event, even though their brain at the time was no longer functioning, no longer receiving data. These accounts would seem to indicate that our thoughts and memories are not stored in our brains. They are stored in our light body. When we die, our light body detaches from our physical body. Our light body takes our thoughts and memories with it into the afterlife. If we are revived and must transition back into our physical body, our light body reattaches, bringing our thoughts and memories back in with it. So it may be that we are all accessing information stored in our light bodies when we perform divination. That explanation is just one of many ideas on this topic.

What Are Good Times to Perform Divination?

Personally, I like to follow lunar cycles. Through experience, I have found that my divinations performed on the dark of the moon, when the moon and the sun occupy the same zodiac sign, are always more profound for me. The dark of the moon is the lunar phase associated with the Crone, and I have always been drawn to the Crone aspect of the goddess. But you should try performing your divinations in all the lunar phases and see which one works better for you. Start with the lunar phase that appeals to you the most.

Perhaps you are more influenced by solar energy. You may feel that sunlight energizes you psychically. Then changes in sunlight may affect your divination. You may choose to perform divination during certain times of the day, or in the first half of the year (northern hemisphere) when the sunlight is growing stronger every day.

You may be more influenced by seasonal energies. Perhaps there is a certain season of the year that holds more attraction for you than the others. During that season, you may feel more emotionally energized and attuned to psychic energies. For you then, that season may be the time when your divinations are most accurate.

Why Should I Care?

Another element that influences the success of your divination is the importance of your question. How vital is your need for an answer? The more crucial the question, the more heightened are your emotions and the more psychic energy you will pour into the divination process. That surplus of psychic energy will strongly empower your ability to receive the answer you seek.

How Do I Begin?

Examine some of the divination methods currently available. There are many. Tarot, scrying, runes, pendulums, they all require you to use your psychic ability. Explore all the methods you can find. Over time, one method will intrigue you more than the others. Begin your journey with that one. You may add other methods down the line.

Divination is a skill. And like all skills, it must be practiced in order to achieve familiarity and success. Some people have a special innate talent for it, a knack, as it were and they will achieve success at divination sooner than others. But most people will improve their abilities with practice. So don’t give up too soon and cheat yourself out of this wonderful experience.

How Long Does It Take?

It is an unfortunate hallmark of modern society that we are all conditioned to receive instant gratification. We become impatient with standing in lines or waiting our turn. Our ancient ancestors were more conditioned to waiting for results. They knew that some things were worth waiting for, especially esoteric knowledge. They learned vast amounts of information, committing that knowledge to memory over long years of study. In our modern technologically based society, we have forgotten our recent past. We expect to acquire a skill immediately. Sorry, but that is not the case with divination. So try to curb your impatience and give divination, and yourself, a chance to succeed.

My first attempts at divination involved scrying. However, I did not experience success the first time I tried it. But I kept practicing and after a few months I began to receive and interpret messages on a regular basis. And those messages became more and more accurate as I improved my ability to understand and interpret them.

If you can’t decide which method of divination to try, investigate several forms. Over a period of time, you will be attracted to one process and prefer it to all the others. Learn and practice that one process; really work at it. The results will be worth it!

Blessed Be.

Atwater, P.M.H. The Magical Language of Runes. Bear and Company Publishing, 1990.

McCoy, Edain. Magick and Rituals of the Moon. Llewellyn Publications, 2001.

Thorsson, Edred. Runecaster’s Handbook: the Well of Wyrd. Weiser Books, 1999.

The Process of Invocation

The Process of Invocation

Author: Michael ‘Blackthorn’ Furie
Much has been said and written about the fact that witches ‘go directly to the source’ and through invocation, personally commune with our Deities. Unfortunately, very little has been written about the nature or structure of the process (and believe me, it is a process) of invocation, of either the techniques of the process or the actual feeling of such an experience.

Now I know that as witches, many of us pride ourselves on our ability to keep a magical secret and while I do see merit in this, I think that it does a great disservice to many people who are truly seeking to deepen their spiritual connection and walk with the Gods. That is why I have decided to decode this secret, so to speak. I’m not including the personal invocatory rites of my tradition as I do intent to keep them secret. I do however fully intend to give out all the tools necessary for anyone that wishes to create their own rites, to do so successfully.

First, let’s begin at the beginning by defining our understanding of what the Gods are. In my tradition, the Gods are seen as distinct individuals (as opposed to facets or aspects of the whole) and with the exception of the Great Mother Goddess They are, although very powerful, not omnipotent. This is why we must invoke Them if we wish to communicate. We set our intention, call to Them, create a link and stretch our consciousness.

If They wish to commune with us, They will respond and follow our link. There are some that feel that the Gods need our worship and that it sustains Them. Whether you share this view or not, it is true that They need us to send our energy during invocation to help Them manifest. The reason for this is that our doing so creates a current of energy that acts as a beacon, leading back to us. The exception of course would be the Great Goddess, since everything in creation is a part of Her already and She is truly omnipotent. I will say however, that building an energy current to connect to Her will speed the process along and make a stronger connection.

Before attempting any invocation, it is vital to have a preexisting desire to connect to a specific Deity. If you don’t have a chosen Deity yet then, research, research, research! When you have found a Deity that ‘speaks’ to you, study the myths and legends about them and what herbs, stones, animals, colors, and symbols are sacred to Them.

When you have a solid understanding of Their nature and worship, it is a good idea to set up an altar using the colors, herbs, etc. that appeal to Them. As a minimum, have an offering bowl on the altar and a candle of the chosen color. Begin a daily devotional at this altar by lighting the candle and placing a bit of food or drink in the bowl (to be buried later) and then praying or writing verse to your Deity.

This is a minor form of invocation and helps build your connection to the Deity even before you undertake the full invocatory process. During these devotionals, it is a good idea to ask the Deity to send you signs throughout your everyday life if They wish to communicate with you. Keep a journal for at least one full cycle of the moon.

If, after this cycle you feel that the Deity wishes you to commune then, the next step of the conscious building of faith may be taken. This is a very important step in the invocatory process. The subconscious mind is a link to the hidden sphere of our psyche that connects directly to the Gods.

In order to open ourselves to this sphere, we must program the subconscious by a deliberate act of will. What this amounts to, practically speaking is the creation and use of what are known as ‘words of power’ to help our minds open to greater awareness. To create words of power, you first need to have a basic knowledge of your chosen Deity.

As an example, let’s say that your chosen Deity is a Sun Goddess. To create the words of power to connect to Her you will need to be in a sunny location that you would consider a place suited to Her taste. Then, you will need to immerse yourself in total awareness of Her power. In this case, I would recommend sunbathing (safely, with sunscreen of course!) while meditating on Her qualities.

When you feel a connection to Her, state your chosen word, words, or phrase out loud and also state that whenever you say these words, the memory of this experience will fill your mind once more. The words chosen can be anything but, should relate in some way to the chosen Deity. An example would be, ‘The power of Name of Deity fills me now.’ You may repeat this exercise as often as you wish, but let’s now move to the final step; putting our process together.


To begin the invocation process, as stated earlier, we must first set our intention; we wish to communicate directly with Chosen Deity. Next, we must clear the mind through meditation and reach a receptive relaxed mental state (this is now recognized as the alpha brain wave level) . We must also release our preconceived notions about how invocation should occur or what the process will be like; just surrender to the process of communion. When we are in a receptive mental state, we must visualize the Deity in whatever concept you have of Them and also, visualize a beam of energy extending from either your ‘third eye’ or heart (depending on personal preference) out to Them in their realm.

Now, call on the Deity and repeat the words of power that you have created while rocking gently back and forth, adding a ‘tugging’ feeling to the beam of energy in order to create a pathway for alignment. After the connection is felt, you may communicate in whatever way you wish. For me, the first time invocation was achieved the Goddess opened my third eye and I began to rapidly develop certain abilities, psi empathy being the primary one. I can only speak for myself and your results may vary.

This process must be repeated, usually several times in order for it to work. Repetition trains the mind and Spirit and creates a strong link to the chosen Deity. Of course, there is a chance for whatever reason, that the Deity will not wish to commune. Always remember that these are conscious, three dimensional beings with a will of their own; they are Gods after all. Never forget this. Never patronize or diminish them or you will feel their wrath.

I hope that this information will help any and all that wish to deepen their connection to the Gods.

Blessed be.

Power of the Witch by Laurie Cabot
Earth Magic by Marion Weinstein
The Black Book by Blackthorn Furie

Charm School: Miss Manners for the Pointy Hat Crowd

Charm School: Miss Manners for the Pointy Hat Crowd

Author: Albiana

Did you know that there are delicate matters of etiquette and protocol you are expected to know and abide by when attending a ritual, even an open, public one? Are you aware of what is expected of you as a guest to someone’s covenstead and circle, so you don’t make an embarrassing faux pas or accidentally insult your hosts? Some of these tips below are common sense and a few are requisites for the more traditional type circle arrangements, but it doesn’t hurt to err on the side of decorum even if attending a non-specific ritual gathering.

Should the ritual you plan to attend not advise you of these things by word of mouth or as a part of the written or online open invitation, it is in your best interests to contact the hosts in advance to make inquiries BEFORE the event. Chances are they will be busy on the day of and may not have time to answer you properly or fully, so be contentious and ask them well ahead of time.

Ask permission before bringing outsiders with you. The reason for this is two-fold: unless otherwise stated in the invitation, it may extend only to you because of your relationship with the hosts. Outsiders, even spouses or family members may need to be cleared with the hosts or the other participants first. The second reason is that the hosts may be using the RSVP’s to their invite for a head count so they have enough supplies for the ritual or enough food for the feast.

Don’t come empty handed. This is, foremost, a hospitable ‘thank you’ to your hosts for all their planning and gracious use of space. A dish for the potluck feast, a bottle of wine or mead, flowers for the altar…. all are wonderful gestures. Additionally, some invitations cite that the host group may be collecting canned goods, clothing or other items to give to charity. Or that they may accept, or even require, a monetary contribution to cover the expenses of materials used or the space rental if in a large forum. Sometimes these monetary contributions are on a sliding scale, but don’t be so gauche as to expect to not pay anything at all if the hosts have alerted you about this up front. Springing a “pass the hat” on you without prior warning, however, is tacky on their part.

Have robe, will travel. Most invitations will state whether or not street clothing is acceptable. And it is pretty darn unlikely that a semi-public or public event will be skyclad. For the most part, it is customary to have your own ritual robe to wear while in circle. Some hosts may have a spare for guests to use in a pinch, but don’t assume they will have one set aside for you…. or that it will fit! If you don’t own a robe, usually Ren wear or all-black attire is a good choice for a substitute. Do not wear anything with monstrous logos — save your Dickies shirt or your favorite sports team jersey for your own time!!

Bring your own personal working tools. Just like the robe, you should have your own personal working tools with you and not expect them to be provided. It goes without saying that you cannot expect to borrow any old athame! Should you find yourself without yours, just use your finger. Be aware that in some traditions, female witches are also “required” to wear a necklace of some sort. If you don’t have one, ask the hosts to borrow something.

A simple, yet powerful word: Hygiene. It may sound ridiculous to have to put this on the list, but I can attest to having been in some public circles where this should have been on the loudspeaker. Brushing one’s teeth and bathing are mandatory. Some covensteads may offer facilities to freshen up if you’ve traveled some distance to attend, but don’t rely the hosts giving you a place to take a full-on shower if you’re coming to circle straight from your workout or whatever. Please arrive clean and groomed. Also be very sparing with your cologne/perfume; better to skip it entirely. I’ve been to rites where the person next to me was so overwhelming as to distract or clash with the incense. Please know that eau de parfum is not a substitute for soap and deodorant!!

Let your hair down. Again, according to myth, folklore and what is mandatory to some traditions, your hair should not be plaited or bound during ritual. Some say it is the work of the faery; some say it knots up the personal magic; some say it tangles the energy of the circle. Whatever the reason, it is nice to be completely unfettered during the rite…just be careful if you’ve got waist-length locks and are dancing near the quarter candles!!

Be on time…. or if you’re unavoidably running late, do the courteous thing and CALL. I cannot stress enough how completely obnoxious it is for people to use that lame-ass excuse of “Pagan Standard Time.” It is unaccountably rude to your hosts and the other attendees who have managed to arrive on time to have to alter their schedules to wait around for you. It may be that the ritual itself has a time-sensitive component, which cannot be halted because you got caught in traffic, couldn’t find your keys or whatever. If you’re running late or have a flat tire, please be mindful that the universe does not revolve solely around you and call your hosts. Allow them the option of continuing to wait for you, to start the rite and cut you into circle late or else ask that you skip the rite this time.

Make your own babysitting arrangements. Do not assume that it is ok for you to bring your kids or pets to the hosts’ home and that they will find something to keep them occupied while the adults are in circle. Either find a babysitter or call to ask the hosts if it is all right to bring your children. If you are allowed to bring them, you are responsible for their behavior and responsible for keeping them busy/occupied during the circle. Don’t expect that your hosts will have entertainment set aside for them or allow constant interruptions of the rite to cut you in and out of circle to attend to your children’s needs.

No talking or giggling during circle. You would think it obvious that folks who attend the ritual would want to pay attention and participate fully, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, there are always a few who think it is playtime and who find that if the attention isn’t on them, that it is appropriate to make comments under their breath, make sound effects, start giggling or goofing around or otherwise draw attention to themselves. If you cannot control your borderline ADHD behaviors, perhaps you should rethink your participation in a group setting. For all intents and purposes, you are like a visiting dignitary in someone else’s kingdom.

Treat the hosts with respect and you will be treated likewise. Do not critique the ritual while it is in progress; besides, most folks don’t want to hear “in my group, we do it this way” sorts of feedback. Even if you have something nice to say, please save it for private disclosure after the rite.

No drugs or alcohol prior to the rite. This too goes along with being responsible for your behavior… Hello! Rede anyone? Intoxicants and hallucinogenics alter your cognition and perceptions. Those around you in circle who come to expect a certain level of perfect love and perfect trust from their fellow attendees cannot be confident that you will behave accordingly if you are drunk, disorderly or spaced out. If the objective of most rituals is to get everyone on the same mental/emotional/spiritual plane, it is immensely difficult to do if a participant is whacked out on something. This may also include the ingestion of some over-the-counter cold or allergy medicines too. So if the warning label says “do not drive or operate heavy machinery, ” chances are it is probably not good for you to take prior to ritual.

If you’re sick, do not share in the communal cup or do not attend the ritual. Please don’t spread your illness to others, especially in light of this latest round of cold and flu season! If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re recovering from being sick, please be considerate and not partake of the communal cup. Asks the hosts to give you your libation in a separate vessel or else just “kiss the cup (at the base) ” when it is passed ‘round the circle to you but do not imbibe.

Find your own transport. Kindly make your own arrangements to get to and from the ritual site. It is not the responsibility of the hosts to retrieve you from the airport or the train station. If you don’t have your own vehicle, call a cab or share a ride with other attendees, etc.

Disclose any allergies. This may seem a bit silly, but it is practical. Outdoor rituals have the episode of bee or wasp stings. Some indoor rituals are hosted in homes that have pets and if you’re allergic to fur, feather or other pet dander you could be in for a sneezy night! Same goes for food allergies. Best to know up front if you should skip partaking in the ritual cakes if they might contain tree nuts or other ingredients which would make you need a trip to the ER. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

When proper, do not disclose real names of participants. Out of respect for privacy, there are some events where the participants may wish to be known by a pseudonym or “circle name” only. Do not “out” anyone by their real-world name if you happen to know it unless you have permission to address them as such.

Always move deosil in circle, unless expressly directed to do so by HP/HPS. A good way to remember this is always walk with your right side facing the center of the circle. Perhaps it is a superstition, but for some traditions, this idea is further extended in that you are not to do any ritual movements or gestures using your left hand (even if you are left handed) . You may want to either ask the hosts or just observe what is customary for that group and follow along.

Try to stand in alternating ‘Male-Female-Male-Female’ while in circle. Again, this may be a strict rule for some groups and an ideal situation but not mandatory for others. When in doubt, it seems best for energetic purposes to position participants in this manner. Take a cue from the host group as to whether or not they observe this custom.

Go to the bathroom beforehand. Just like when you leave for a long car ride, please take care of your private business before things get underway. It is disruptive to the circle’s energy to have to cut people in and out of the sacred space for potty breaks. Pregnant women do get special dispensation for this though. *grin*

Shut off your cell phone, Bluetooth, iPod or other electronic device. It is all about not disrupting the flow of energy folks. Not only should you NOT have such electronic device with you in circle, but please turn them on mute or completely off during the rite. Nothing shatters group concentration like hearing your annoying ringtone or the rhythmic buzz of your cell in the background of a meditation or during a pinnacle point of the ritual.

Be aware of any “home court” rules. Different covens or groups have their own local preferences. For example, if they put their altar in the East and you’re used to working with yours in the North or the Center, you have to abide by their local customs while on their turf. Do not expect to impose the version of ritual style you may be used to working in someone else’s ritual space. If you fear something may be so distracting or abhorrent to you that you do not wish to participate, ask to be cut out of the circle and quietly, peaceably leave the ritual. Do not wage a formal protest in the middle of the circle.

Lastly, say ‘Thank You!’ A little courtesy is worth a lot these days. Showing appreciation for the amount of time and effort your hosts have put into the event is gratifying…and may garner you more invites in the future!

Pagan Values: Faith and Magic

Pagan Values: Faith and Magic

Author: Morgan St. Knight

What is faith? That question creates a conundrum for Pagans. We identify ourselves as Pagans because our views differentiate us from other religious groups–specifically, our views about Deity/Deities. It’s how we relate to those Deities that brings up the question of faith.

We’re in a unique position, we Pagans. Those of us who follow traditions such as Wicca and similar systems believe in magic; we believe that we can alter our world in certain ways using ritual, creative visualization and projection, and the proper focus of will and intent. But where do we draw the line between trying to accomplish things with magic, and giving our trust to the Gods to help us find our way, even if the outcome isn’t what we’re expecting? Can we trust–can we really believe –that the outcome, whatever it is, will be the correct one if we turn things over to the Gods? More importantly, do we have the courage to step over the dividing line from the realms of magic into the realm of faith, or do we repeatedly fall back to the option that lets us try to manipulate outcomes to suit our will?

One of the reasons Wicca appeals to so many people is that it theoretically allows us an extra measure of control over our lives through magic. This aspect of the Craft seems, at times, to truly fulfill the definition of a glamour: an illusion that befuddles the mind, hiding the truth, sometimes to the gazer’s downfall.

It’s no blame to anyone who falls under that particular spell. The mantra “Change your life through Magic” is practically shouted from every corner of every New Age or occult bookstore I’ve been to over the past decade. If I didn’t have 30 years in the Craft to ground me, I might leave those bookstores either with armloads of books I couldn’t afford, or the nagging sensation that yes, I should change my life; surely with so many books offering so many solutions, I must have problems I never even knew about, problems I must change through (dramatic pause) … The Magic Power of Witchcraft.

Once upon a time there were stores that didn’t leave me feeling this way. Longer ago than I care to remember, there were little nooks in small arcades, and independent bookstores on out-of-the-way street corners, where I could find a treasure trove of magical tomes. Of course they also sold books of spells for accomplishing great and marvelous things (with prices that guaranteed the publisher, at least, would see great and marvelous profits) , but not every book in the place was about that. One of my most treasured books from those days is Syblil Leek’s The Complete Art of Witchcraft. It is not full of spells, but thoughtful chapters on what some Witches believe, and a chapter of prayers… yes, actual prayers, asking the Goddess for help, but not conjuring or demanding or binding or bargaining for any specific outcome.

Those who have read that book may not be particularly keen on Leek’s brand of Witchcraft, but at least give her credit for putting out a book that was intended to educate, inform, and guide both the general public and aspiring Witches with a good foundation in basic truths, rather than a quick do-it-yourself guide. True, Sybil wrote her share of books with spells as well, but still, they had a good bit of substance. They had background information on methods and ingredients for one, not just a quick “here’s a list of stuff, here’s a choreography routine, go make magic” approach.

I don’t want to come off as downing the magical aspects of Wicca and championing faith alone. Far from it. I have charms for safe travel in my car, amulets to ward my house, and I perform many spells to help others, from healing spells to protection rites to spells for success. Sometimes I perform the same spells for myself. I cast general spells for love for others, aimed at bringing the right person into their lives without binding a specific person. (I hesitate to do that particular magic for myself. I’m always afraid that if I conjure for “my true and perfect love” I’ll open the door and find a giant wheel of Brie waiting for me. Truth hurts.)

I do, however, try to maintain perspective. My first faith must be to the Goddess and the Gods. Belief in magic (and I do draw a distinction between “faith” and “belief”) must come second in my life. I’ve had more than enough experience to believe magic works. That’s not the issue. I can cast and conjure all I want, but if the results are against the laws of the universe and the will of the Lady, I won’t get anywhere.

Whether I’m working for myself or others, I always include the stipulation that any spell I work be correct and for the good of all; this does leave open the possibility that the spell won’t work, or won’t produce the planned results, because doing so would hurt me or someone else. However, if the alternative is to demand to get my way, period, then I could be in for some very unpleasant results. Better to let higher powers weigh in and make the judgement call. That’s one area where faith comes in.

As I’ve indicated, having faith in the Goddess doesn’t mean I just sit back and pray. From my perspective, magic is a tool we are given, and we have the right to use it. Sometimes, we even have an obligation to use it. There is no more fault in using magic than there is in using a more mundane tool such as a dishwasher. Granted, I generally don’t cast a circle and wear flowing black robes to do the dishes (unless the casserole dish is crusted with burnt tomato sauce–all bets are off then) , but there are notable similarities. The key to using both magic and dishwashers is to have reasonable expectations, and to be responsible about it. Just because you can use magic or a dishwasher, doesn’t mean you always should.

For example, I live alone. That means I usually have one bowl, a glass, and perhaps a plate from breakfast, a container or two for the lunch I bring to work, and another plate and glass from dinner, along with the attendant cutlery and a pan or two every day. Not counting the pans, the items would fill less than a quarter of the dishwasher. Can I run it every day with so few items? Sure. Should I run it every day? Just so there’s no question about my eco-responsibility, I don’t. Much of the time I find it’s less wasteful to just do those few daily dishes by hand. I end up using the dishwasher once a week, at most.

Similarly, I can go for a heavy-handed approach and use magic every time a tough situation arises, or I can use it as an aid while taking a more mundane approach.

Suppose I have to deal with an incompetent boob at work, whose messes I have to continually clean up. No problem! Let’s just pull out the poppets and dagydes (how’s that for old-school?) Maybe a little War Water and Hotfoot Powder to push them on their way–after all, I practice root work as well as Wicca. Might as well flex those muscles once in awhile.

If the twit at work is really getting my goat (such layers of meaning in that phrase for a Witch!) maybe I can try a little sortilege to boot. Sure, it’s time-consuming to engrave that lead disk with a lengthy incantation in Demotic Greek, bind the poppet to it with knotted thread, then find a grave to bury it in, but the results could be well worth it.

Or maybe I could just talk to my boss, bring my concerns to her, and if that doesn’t work I can take things up with Human Resources. In my company, dealing with HR is a lot like dealing with the Sidhe. Good luck cornering them, but if you do, you often get what you need. Like doing the dishes by hand, the simple approach can work wonders, and in this case it’s preferable to the risk of being caught sprinkling arcane substances around that obnoxious co-worker’s desk. Ever hear of harassment and creating a hostile workplace? You can bet your employer’s attorneys have heard of it, and they don’t find it amusing.

However, to boost my chances of successfully dealing with the situation, I can easily add a little magic to the mix. Before approaching my boss or HR, I can perform a ritual to ensure there are no blocked communications when I relay my concerns. I can light some blue candles for peace, a yellow candle for Mercury/Air to ensure clear communications, and burn an herb or two of Mercury as incense. I find cinquefoil or cinnamon work well. I can carry an aquamarine when I meet with the person in power, to ensure smooth communication as well as to generate an aura of pleasantness for the meeting. Certainly that will be a welcome aid, since I’m likely to present the case that my co-worker would be far more utilitarian as a harvest scarecrow (how about a little fire?) . In this case, the magical solution is meant to augment, not replace, the mundane solution, just as using dish detergent and a good brush are meant to make it easier to clean dishes by hand.

That scenario is a bit cut-and-dried. It’s a pretty good case of being part of the problem if you refuse to be part of the solution. But things aren’t always so black and white. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out if and when you should start relying more heavily on magic, or if you really do need to let go and let Goddess. It’s a tough one, isn’t it? If you start to give up on magic as a solution to a particular situation, you’re admitting defeat in a way. You’re admitting that your efforts aren’t succeeding… which is tantamount to saying that you aren’t succeeding. All those little goodies in those drawers under your altar–those crystals, herbs, candles, special wands–really do sing a siren song when you’re faced with a knotty situation. If you don’t learn when to let go, you could end up running for the Book of Shadows every time you hit a speed-bump in life. This is not a good thing.

Back to dishwashers, maybe you’ve heard that you can use yours to cook dinner. Yep. Just wrap the food up well in foil and run it through. There are recipes on the internet for cooking everything from salmon to lasagna in your dishwasher. Some even say you can wash your already-dirty dishes along with your meal if it’s wrapped tightly enough. Yum.

Would you want to eat something cooked in a dishwasher with yesterday’s dishes, seasoned with a nice helping of Cascade, just because it was easier than turning on the oven and cleaning up another pan? And really, do you want to spend all of your time at your altar demanding that things go your way, instead of accepting that maybe, just maybe, if you let things go, they’ll work out? That if you just stop waving the wand for a minute and let the universe unfold as it wants to, maybe real magic will happen?

The dishwasher and the wand are waiting. Go ahead and use them for non-reasonable purposes if you’re of a mind, but I predict that either way you’ll have a bad taste in your mouth at some point.

That said, there are times when you not only can, but should use every means at your disposal for a certain end. These are desperate times, times when you or someone you know is in a terrible situation, maybe even imminent danger. Who can forget that scene in the book Mists of Avalon where Igraine dares to perform a magic she doesn’t know well, to send her spirit to Uther to warn him of Gorlois’ pending attack? She pays a heavy price for it, but in the end succeeds.

Romanticism aside, there are sadly far too many situations where innocents are endangered by domestic violence. Spouses and children are killed or injured by domestic violence every day. The numbers are staggering.

If you or someone you know is in this situation, it is perfectly acceptable to pull out all the stops and work magic, so long as you take every practical action as well to get the person at risk out of harm’s way. That mean’s packing, leaving, and seeking shelter as soon as possible. It means being willing to go to the police, swear out complaints, show up in court, and to tell the truth about what happened. It may mean moving to another city or even another state. You must be willing to do it. This is one time where faith alone will not be enough; the Goddess will help you if you make the sincere effort to help yourself and defend your self-worth. But you cannot expect her to ride in like the Morrigan, waving a fiery sword to defend you and whisk you to safety. You must do the real work yourself.

Far be it from me to say you shouldn’t use magic as well, and call upon Hecate and Kali to come to the aid of you or the one at risk, to do whatever is needed to keep the attacker from causing further harm. This could easily be a case where the thin line between a magical working and an act of prayer vanishes entirely. Make your case to She Who Devours, as strongly as you can. If there isn’t time for a formal ritual, if you have only a short time to act while the tormentor is at the store or passed out from their latest binge, then make your plea while you gather what you need and GO! Remember, will and intent are key components of magic, and a prayer born of primal need certainly focuses both will and intent.

In my view there must be no equivocation in these circumstances. While I typically ask that my spells be for the good of all and harm none, I might eschew that in this instance. If domestic abuse is involved, you cannot water down the invocation to Hecate by saying “But please don’t hurt him”. I would counsel against specifically demanding that harm come to the attacker, even though it might well be deserved, but under no circumstances would I want to set limitations on the Powers I invoked to deal with the criminal in question.

For those of us fortunate enough to be in good domestic circumstances, perhaps an act of faith is warranted. When you get up in the morning, do you ever pray to a Deity just to pray? Do you give thanks for all of your blessings, including the blessing of another day in this beautiful world?

I make it a daily morning ritual to give thanks as I’m preparing my morning meal, and again when I step outside to meet the day. As I mentioned above, I do root work, which is based in the traditions of the African Diaspora. Here is a simple prayer I’ll share with you, based on the practice of mojuba, or praise-song, from some African countries. I say this prayer the moment I walk outside my house, rain or shine, for the first time of the day:

“Owner of this day, thank you for the beauty of this day; Owner of this world, thank you for the beauty of this world; Giver of Life, thank you for the gift of Life and the beauty of Life. May all my senses always be open to the gifts You have given us, and may I always have gratitude in my heart for Your blessings.”

If you don’t already do it, I’d like to invite you to join me each morning in spending a little time just giving thanks, and taking time with whatever Deity or Deities you honor. Add that quiet time to the evening hours as well, if you can. You don’t have to talk much, just open your heart. The Gods aren’t always much for talking either, although if you learn to listen you’ll find They’re always communicating in other ways.

The next time you run into a tough (but not dangerous, as outlined above) situation, try bringing it to one of these sessions, and making a conscious act of focusing on it, defining it, then letting it go. Don’t let that stop you from taking mundane action to solve the problem, if that’s an option. But rather than whipping out the athame and casting a circle, try instead to cast your problem to Universe and see what happens.

I predict that if you do this several times, you’ll find solutions come up even though you aren’t specifically performing a ritual to make it happen. They will–yes, as if by magic–appear to you in unexpected ways. Do this, and soon you’ll find that you can ease your case-load of spell-casting. You probably won’t get rid of it entirely; I know I certainly don’t intend to give up the old summon-stir-and-conjure routine. But I’ve found my spell-casting and healing efforts are much more focused and successful when I let some situations resolve themselves. I have more energy to do work that’s really important for myself and others.

Most wonderfully of all, I’ve gotten to the point where I feel the Universe is my friend, and I don’t have to work magic day in and day out just to get by. I can save my energy for the times it’s really needed. Give it an honest try, and I’m sure you’ll find stress easing out of your life, and good energy pouring in.

I have faith in it.

What Do You Do When The You-Know-What Hits The Fan?

What Do You Do When The You-Know-What Hits The Fan?

Author: Dove

Well…I wish I knew the answer to that one. I’m an expert in needing to know the answer because lately, I really have been asking the question.

About a year ago I found out that my best friend had developed breast cancer. Not the kind where we take a little tumor out and you go home and all is well. No the kind where we give you chemo from hell and then cut you breast off and then burn up your skin with radiation leaving you with an opening in your chest which has not healed yet! This was the major train wreck of cancer with spots on the skull and spine now! The “let’s do some more testing and see” kind of cancer. The BIG one. The kind that only the very best in medical treatment and the hand of the Goddess can save you from.

At the time that we found out about the cancer I was working at a good job bringing in a nice paycheck. I was a trained professional working in a field that after many years of study I was finely comfortable in. I felt that I was an important part of the corporate structure and was really doing really good work for my employer. I had the world by the tail. I was the “go to person” in my department and knew all the answers. Man, was I dumb.

I wanted to do all I could for my best friend and spend as much time with her as I could but I couldn’t see how I could be of much help with my busy work schedule. I was the big important working woman with clients who needed me.

I asked the Goddess to help me with this problem. Well…the Goddess answered me in a way that rattled me to my core. My boss named one of our own to the job of “Office Manager” a title of far reaching power, earning much respect. One of the first things my new office god did was fire me.

Well…I was devastated!!!! I have been in the work force for over thirty years and have never missed a paycheck! I lived to be over fifty years old and now I’m fired!!! I cried and I have to admit that I thought about doing bad magic on my dear old work mate. Really bad!!! I didn’t. I know that some of you think I’m a wimp and I probably am but I just couldn’t waste any more energy on that job or the people I was working with. Then what was the Goddess thinking? I am the major “bread winner” for this family. How were we going to live on just my husband’s payday?

Then, my husband who was working at a job that we knew was shaky at best got fired the very next week! He has a medical condition which makes a lot of jobs something he just can’t do. We were lucky when he found the job he had and that he was able to stay there for over seven years. He was able to keep his medical insurance so that the two recent medical disasters he has been through didn’t send us into bankruptcy. That was a total blessing but man we were in a fix!

Thanks to the economy being down the tubes we went on unemployment and that with my cashed out 401K has gotten us through so far. Don’t get me wrong I am looking for a job and would love to go to work today! I started looking for employment the very day I was fired but haven’t had any luck. I know that you hear that the unemployed are just setting at home eating bon-bons but I want to work and am doing everything I can to get a job. I’m even starting back to college this fall in order to upgrade my skills for a better chance of employment.

Well… back to my best friend. Because of my sudden lack of employment guess who was able to go with her for her chemo treatments….stay with her during surgery…..go over to her house to pack her open chest wound twice a day. Me! Talk about the Goddess taking care of a situation! I guess you could even look to “the book” and reference the tale of the corner stone being the one the others threw away. I was so happy to be there for her!!! I know that I am not a trained health care professional but I was there and am still there when she needs me. I hope that the fact that she could and did call me at anytime and I’d be right there helped her get through this horror.

Well…. like I said I could really use the answer to the question. I am still not employed and still looking for a job but I have gotten over the “corporate ego” thing and hopefully will never have that sickness again. The time I spent with my buddy packing a gaping chest hole has caused me to think that I could do that for others, so, I have applied for nursing school at the local community college. I know that I am older that dirt but I still have some good years left in me and I’m not the kind of gal to call it quits just because I reach retirement age.

My best friend is getting better and our hope is that we have her with us for a very long time. She still has an open chest wound that the doctor just put a wound-vac on. That and daily visits to a hyperbolic chamber will hopefully clear up that part of her problem. The doctors will still be looking after her for a long time and I will too. The Goddess was no doubt listening in on my thoughts when this whole thing started and fixed it so that I could help my friend and like I said, teach me a lesson that I needed too.

And about the sh*t…Well…The best thing I can think of to do is dig a hole and plant roses. When the roses bloom I will give some to my husband who I love and cherish even through he is not in the best of health and not working, my best friend to brighten up her day and I will keep some for me. After all of this I deserve them.

P.S. I’ll dig more holes so that I’ll be ready for the next time the you- know-what hits the fan.


The Mysteries and Esoteric Witchcraft

The Mysteries and Esoteric Witchcraft

Author: Rhys Chisnall
“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. He to whom the emotion is a stranger: whom no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religion.” – Albert Einstein

One of the hardest aspects of the esoteric initiatory Witchcraft to write about, or even communicate, is its strong mystery aspect. Yet, in my opinion, it is one of the most important things that distinguish it from New Age and Popular Wicca/Witchcraft. By its very nature the mystical aspects of Witchcraft are a thoroughly subjective experience and as such any cursory and brief exploration such as this article or any other in print are going to be subjective and inadequate.

“Second hand mysticism has generally an unsatisfactory experience, since if these notions are not the driving force of our life, are not the pulse beat of our heart or are not personally integrated into our whole, then they are empty gestures. Then they are devoid of meaning similar to reading a literary criticism rather than reading the poem itself. The mystical experience is immediate not vicarious or deputed” (Armstrong 1999)

The mysteries need to be experienced, and they cannot be explained in everyday language, hence the need for the metaphors of myth and the communication of the experiences through the metaphors of symbols and ritual. The religious commentator, theologian and mystic Karen Armstrong said that.

“There is a linguistic connection between the three words, myth, mysticism and mystery. All derive from the Greek verb musterion: to close the eyes or the mouth”. (Armstrong 1999)

There are many roads to the mysteries and the mystical experience. As Prof Joseph Campbell (the late expert in comparative mythology) quotes from the Rig Veda, “Truth is one, but the sages speak of it by many names.” He also tells the story of an interfaith conference set up between Shinto and Catholicism. He was struck at how the priests of Catholicism and Shinto found it difficult to find a commonality or a common religious language to communicate with each other, but the monks and nuns of each religion could. This was because the priests were concerned with holding up their metaphors, their myths, symbols and rituals as ends in themselves, whereas the monks and nuns had moved beyond the metaphors to the experience of the sacred and the divine itself. They were not stuck with believing that the metaphors were the reality and the end goal. They had gone past the virgin birth, the resurrection, and even God, to find a community in the mysteries and mystical experience that were shared by their Shinto counterparts. As Campbell said, “Religion is misinterpreted myth”

The Armenian-Greek esoteric philosopher and practitioner G. I. Gurdjieff suggested that there were four paths to the mysteries. The first three, the way of the fakir, the way of the yogi (nothing to do with picnic baskets) and the way of the monk are mostly eastern ways to experience the mysteries and represent the three disciplines of the mind, the body and contemplation. These three paths are typical of the Eastern Mystery tradition in that they all involve a withdrawal from society and the world.

The fourth way is ‘the way of the hearth’. It is the way of the Western Mystery Tradition of which esoteric initiatory Witchcraft along with Hermeticism, Qabbalah, mystical Christianity and Sufism are parts. It is the way of being fully integrated with the world, identifying with the universe and with life and not attempting to escape from it (with the notable exception of Gnosticism) . It is seeing no separation between humanity, nature and the divine.

To my mind esoteric initiatory Witchcraft liturgy and ritual are full of mystical language, myth and metaphor. For example within Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft there are phrases such as, “there is no part of us that is not of the god.” And of course the classic mysteries phrase of the Charge of the Goddess, “If that which thou seeketh, thou findest not within thee, you will never find it without thee.” These and other parts of Witchcraft ritual (not to mention many of the techniques used in ritual to help induce these kinds of states of mind) , strongly suggest the mysteries and mystical experience. The myths of esoteric initiatory Witchcraft point to the internal experience of the mysteries within the individual Witch, relating them to the cosmos, designed to take us beyond mere religion to the direct experience of numinous, divinity and the sacred. The systems, techniques and processes of esoteric Craft, to my mind, seem designed to take us beyond ourselves, and the sum of the parts of the tradition itself, into personal transformation and a new awareness.

So what are mysticism and the mysteries? According to the psychologist Lawrence Le Shan, “Mysticism from a historical and psychological viewpoint, is the search for and experience of the relationship of the individual himself (herself) and the totality that makes up the universe.” (LeShan 1974)

Karen Armstrong agrees when she writes, “Mystics have long claimed that he [God] is a subjective experience, mysteriously experienced in the ‘Ground of Being’…………..they claim that he did not really exist and it is better to call him No-thing”. (Armstrong 1999)

As such the mysteries go way beyond the dogmas, metaphors and systems that have been inspired by them. The techniques and participating within the metaphors of myth, relating it to the self and personal transformation give the practitioner a direct and vivid experience of a unity with a ‘different order of reality’, or perhaps, an expanded order of reality of which they are a part- unified with. They experience eternity within a second, being and non-being, beauty and horror but with no contradiction, no duality, no difference between sacred and profane. In essence the experience is indescribable expect through the language of metaphor, which sadly is mistaken for reality and an end in itself. The effect of these experiences is an inner alchemy, personal transformation- life and indeed you are never the same again.

Campbell hints at this when he says, “But the ultimate mystical goal is to be united with one’s god. With that the duality is transcended and forms disappear. There is nobody there, no god, no you. Your mind, going past all concepts, has dissolved in identification with the ground of your being”. (Campbell 1988)

Now sadly for the bit that people don’t like. The path to the mysteries is not an easy one. Rather it is one that requires hard work, commitment and dedication; it is not for people looking for instant results or an escape from reality. The starting point on the road to the mysteries and esoteric Witchcraft has got to be that of a coping adult, as Joanne Pearson reports in her essay Assumed Affinities (the difference between Initiatory Wicca- specifically Gardnerian and Alexandrian- and New Age spiritualities) .

“In the questionnaire, mentioned at the start of this chapter, none of the hundred (Gardnerian/Alexandrian) Wiccans who responded indicated that they had become involved in Wicca because ‘their life was not working’, and supplementary fieldwork does not indicate that these Wiccans assume there lives or the lives of other Wiccans are, or were Dysfunctional.” (Pearson 1998)

The Witch Dr. Dave Bracey confirms the difficulties and hard work of pursuing the mysteries when he says, “The mysteries are not easy to apprehend. It requires long training, usually with a spiritual guide or facilitator, and a considerable investment of time. This is not something that has much appeal to many in our present day society, conditioned as it is with fast cars, fast food, fast solutions and instant gratification and speedy communication. The mysteries do not arrive ready made and pre-packaged. They cannot be experienced as quickly as the instant high of the new age. But neither does the (esoteric initiatory) Witch’s ‘awareness’ wane, as does the let-down that so often eventuates when the newness of the ‘reborn’ convert fades to be left with the forms and structures of religion which so often become ends in themselves.” (Bracey 2001)

Like much else in life things that are of value are often thing that require a lot of hard work. Saying that though, there are circumstances where mystical experience arises quite spontaneously in some people. This may be down to horrific or beautiful situations, which invoke tremendously strong emotions within individuals that lead them to having an experience of the mysteries.

I am sure that there are many, many people who are perfectly happy practising their religion of non-initiatory exoteric Wicca and Witchcraft and good luck to them, each to their own. I am sure that people get a great deal of spiritual fulfillment from them. So just to reiterate so there is no confusion, esoteric initiatory Witchcraft is not better than New Age and Popular Wicca. It is just different, with different aims, philosophies and purposes and practices. So if the mysteries are not for you, then please feel free to ignore this article, remember that this is only one way and there are many others.

I shall finish with another quote from Dr. Bracey as he talks about the relationship between the mysteries and Craft. “So the mysteries are not for all, but is the way of (esoteric initiatory) Witches. We who ride beyond the ordinary, rejecting the supernatural in favour of the supra-natural, and who are aware of the relationship of the part to the whole.” (Bracey 2001)

Campbell, J, (1988) , ‘The Power of Myth’, Doubleday
Campbell, J, (1959) , ‘The Mask of God (Primitive mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology and Creative Mythology) ’, Condor
Campbell, J, (1949) , ‘The Hero with a Thousand faces’, Princetown University Press
Campbell, J, (2001) , ‘Thou art that, transforming religious metaphors’, Joseph Cambell Foundation
Campbell, J, (2004) , ‘Pathways to Bliss, Mythology and Personal Transformation’, Joseph Campbell Foundation
Crowley, V, (1989) , ’ Wicca the old Religion in the New Age’, Aquarian Press
Armstrong, K, (1999) , ’ A History of God’, Vintage
Armstrong, K, (2005) , ‘A Short History of Myth’, Cannongate
Pearosn, J, Roberts, R, Samuel, G, (1998) , ‘Nature Religion Today’, Edinburgh University Press
Pearson, J, (2007) , ‘Wicca and the Christian Heritage (Ritual, Sex and magic) , Routledge
Fortune, D, (1935) , ‘The Mystical Qabalah’, Aquarian
Hutton, R, (2003) , ‘Witches, Druids, and King Arthur, Oxford University Press
Heselton, P, (1995) , ‘Secret Places of the Goddess’, Capal Ban
Underhill, E, (1993) , ‘Mysticism’, Oneworld
Lamond, F, (1997) , ‘Religion without Beliefs’, Janus
Lamond, F, (2004) , ‘Fifty Years of Wicca’, Green magic
LeShan, L, (1974) , ‘How to Meditate’, Turnstone
Bracey, D, (2001) , ‘A Personal View of God’, TNW

Your Daily Influences for August 18th

Your Daily Influences
August 18, 2011

Tarot Influence

Rune Influence

Charm Influence
The Star
This is the card of hope, perception and revelation. Great love is possible and good health will be enjoyed.
Laguz reversed foretells a period of stagnation, sensual numbness and lack of creativity.
The Tusk
There is a good vibration surrounding this aspect. It feels better than it has in quite some time. Maintain your faith in your diety of choice and this good vibration will remain. Waiver from your faith and this good vibration will dissapate.
Your Daily Influences represent events and challenges the current day will present for you. They may represent opportunities you should be ready to seize. Or they may forewarn you of problems you may be able to avoid or lessen. Generally it is best to use them as tips to help you manage your day and nothing more.

Today’s Runes for August 18th is Eoh

Today’s Runes

Jade Runes are most commonly used for questions about love, friendship, and relationships. Eoh refers to the Yew tree. The Yew does not go dormant and therefore represents endurance. Even the wood of the tree is strong, resilient, and pliable – the Yew bends, but does not break. The evergreen nature of the Yew is present even in the rune itself, as it cannot be changed even by reversal. This rune is historically symbolic of death, but, as in the Tarot and as suggested by the nature of the Yew tree itself, death is seen only as a transmutation of something eternal and unchanging – the spirit.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 18th is 40: Deliverance

40: Deliverance

Hexagram 40
General Meaning: After a thunderstorm, or any period of extreme tension, a period of new clarity and fresh opportunity follows. The storm has the effect of clearing the air and suddenly reducing atmospheric tension. Deliverance is at hand. In the wake of a storm on land, deliverance appears in the form of new color and life, which bursts forth in all the fields and flowers. In the wake of a storm at sea, deliverance takes the form of land itself.

In the field of human relations, the rain of forgiveness washes the human landscape clean after a period of conflict and enmity. Great clarity of purpose and renewed vigor can follow the healing of old wounds. But care must be taken not to re-open such wounds by moving too quickly. In the same way, it is important to return to normalcy before moving ahead with new plans after periods of stress.

Following the resolution of a difficult situation, your first priority, should be to return to normal conditions as quickly as possible. Breathe a sigh of relief, but don’t relax completely. It would be a mistake to re-awaken the sleeping dogs of the immediate past before the new situation has crystallized. Look ahead. Attend to any residual matters that need resolution, and do so as quickly as possible. Make a clean sweep of the past, move deliberately and the future will bring good fortune.

Your Daily Number for August 18th: 2

Sensitivity and a feeling of self-consciousness pervade the day. Stress levels may be high due to deadlines and commitments; if possible, take some time off to relax and focus on your personal life, as romance is highly favorable.

Fast Facts

About the Number 2

Theme: Adaptable, Tactful, Gentle, Cautious
Astro Association: Moon
Tarot Association: High Priestess

Today’s Tarot Card for August 18th is The Anchoret

The Anchoret

This Tarot Deck: Cagliostro

General Meaning: The challenge of what has traditionally been known as the Hermit card is to be able to recognize a teacher in a humble disguise. This font of mysterious knowledge will not make it easy for the student to acquire his wisdom, as it takes time and long contemplation to fathom what he knows. He often speaks wordlessly, or in ancient and barbaric tongues, communicating with the elements, animals and Nature herself.

While the hourglass was an identifying feature on the earliest Hermit cards, more modern ones have shifted the metaphor, showing more or less light released from his lantern. In either case, the Hermit card reminds us of the value of time away from the hubbub of civic life, to relax the ego in communion with Nature.

Your Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, August 18th

Today’s Moon in fiery Aries is now past yesterday’s stressful aspects and harmoniously trines chatty Mercury this afternoon, and the Sun and sweet Venus late tonight. We feel freer to express ourselves in a playful manner and we don’t need to be overly worried about the consequences of our behavior. Creative endeavors are enhanced by a supportive sextile from energetic Mars to optimistic Jupiter, encouraging us to try without concern of failure.


Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

The Moon’s current visit to your sign reflects your desire to express your feelings, even if they’re not fully supported by your current relationship situation. Fortunately, saying what’s on your mind won’t polarize an otherwise amicable partnership; sharing your emotions will only draw you closer. Remember, your message might not be as unexpected as you think. Ultimately, it’s your delivery style that will make the difference between rough waters and smooth sailing ahead.

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

You may think that you’re being practical today, but you can take a good idea way too far before you realize what happened. Even if you agree that caution makes more sense than just charging ahead, your reactions are irrepressible now that the Moon is in impulsive Aries. Your best strategy is to observe your responses to the current circumstances, but don’t share your feelings with others until you have time to process them on your own.

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

Your life is on an upswing now, and you’re probably seeing the positive effects of your rising self-confidence. You may be more inclined than usual to talk about your feelings with your friends and associates, without giving much thought to what you’re actually saying. Don’t reactivate yesterday’s drama; an easygoing approach that focuses on the present moment enables others to meet you on a new and more equal playing field.

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

You are a reluctant leader today, stepping into the spotlight because no one else can or will. Thankfully, you intuitively know what to say and when to say it, even if you don’t have a solid plan at first. However, your actions might stir resistance from someone who believes that you shouldn’t succeed at the expense of others. Be smart; instead of engaging in an adversarial relationship, change the rules so that everyone becomes a winner.

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

You may be so excited about one of your ideas that you put extra effort into convincing others to sign on to your agenda today. Although the truth may be obvious to you, it’s hard to understand why there are so many variations of it. If you believe that your approach is the only right way, everything you attempt will be challenged. Instead of wasting time fighting with shadows now, embrace all the different paths that can ultimately lead to your desired destination.

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

The intensity of your emotional interactions deepens now with the Moon in your 8th House of Intimacy pulling you into new territory. You may be eager to explore these worlds at first, but uncomfortable insecurities about your self-worth might arise once you sink into the richness of your feelings. Avoid the temptation to escape from your current vulnerability; instead, confront your issues and talk about what scares you the most.

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

The independent Aries Moon’s visit to your 7th House of Companions reflects your desire to stand separate from a relationship. You are usually quite willing to make your partner feel comfortable by putting your personal needs second. However, today it’s your turn to be first. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself, for you have more energy to give to others when you are truly satisfied, too.

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You are trying to create healthy new routines for yourself with the Moon now activating your 6th House of Habits, but it’s challenging to change established patterns. It’s as if the weight of the past is leaning heavily on the present moment, restricting the potential of the future. Take the focus off your personal life and concentrate on the bigger picture, instead. This simple shift of your frame of reference can lighten your spirit enough to free you from an old habit or outdated outlook.

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

A positive Mars-Jupiter alignment could have everything coming up roses today. The Moon’s current visit to fellow Fire sign Aries and your 5th House of Play indicates a rise in the quantity and quality of good times. You’re not likely to get too lost in your thoughts, yet you can enjoy dreaming about your future now. Remain open to change and don’t resist if someone shows you a different way to have fun.

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Your internal dilemma now is about living with your newfound need to be spontaneous, while also honoring your natural tendency to be cool and calculating. You are highly motivated to push the edges of the envelope today, yet your desire to do things right also serves to gain you recognition from your peers. Don’t be too quick to swing into action on this paradoxical day.

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

There’s a lot going on in your life now, and you might not want to partake in an event that you previously agreed to a while back. Unfortunately, there may not be a simple way to back out of your commitment now, even if your priorities have changed. Instead of trying to fit into someone else’s routine, politely decline and do what makes you feel good, instead. Fortunately, you should be able to get away with switching your plans without offending anyone else.

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Rather than walking away from a creative project or lazily doing nothing, make it your goal today to improve upon something that you have already started. The Moon’s visit into your 2nd House of Finances may reveal a bit of fiscal instability, but immediate action can prevent the situation from spinning out of control. Just remember that reviewing your options doesn’t mean that you also need to reinvent the wheel now to make progress.

the daily humorscopes for thursday, august 18

the daily humorscope

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Huge mutant gnats will pester you today. Or at least, that’s what it will seem like — sometimes managers bear a striking resemblance…
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Good day to sip tea. Remember to extend your pinkie!
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
You will believe a completely rediculous hoax about a computer virus today, and everyone will tease you mercilessly.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Dogs barking. Can’t fly without umbrella.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Beware! The Celestial Jade Emperor may banish you to the Big Grumpy Place if you don’t start paying more attention to the four Winds. Obviously, this is a metaphor, somehow involving Cleveland.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
An eldritch fiend will hover at the edge of your sight, tonight, as you look out your window. Not a particularly good day for a midnight stroll.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Dorothy Parker once said “if you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me”. Today that will be strangely relevant to your own situation.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Today is the 1,750,000-year anniversary of the invention of hand tools! (The original hand tool was the Oldovan Chopper, commonly made of chipped flint, and originally sold under the Sears Craftsman label.) Celebrate by getting out there and banging some rocks together!
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Your obsession with Lapsang Souchong tea takes a turn for the worse, today, as you begin secretly soaking your undergarments in it. Professional help is indicated.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
Hmm. Hard to read this one. The carrot stopped right between “catches horrible disfiguring disease” and “loses everything in major earthquake”. I guess you can pick whichever one you want, in this case.
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
You’ve been getting tired of the same old “look”, day after day. Maybe you should get a tattoo? I’ll bet people with tattoos never get tired of ’em!
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
You will mosey, this week. There’s nothing that wrong with moseying, after all, and it’s occasionally just what is needed. In fact, you’ll soon begin work on “Mosey Your Way To Fitness”, a best-selling self-help book on the topic.