You finally know you are a witch when…….

Witchy Comments
You finally know you are a witch when:

1. Your BOS has spots on the pages from spilled brews.

 

2. When cleaning house you have to specify. “Where is the broom? No, not THE broom, where is the one to clean the floor with?”

 

3. Candle wax has dripped on your keyboard.

 

4. Neighbourhood cats commune in your front yard.

 

5. There are more jars of strange smelling plants in your cupboards than there are cereal boxes.

 

6. Friends know they can always give you candles and incense as a gift.

 

7. When watching old re-runs of Bewitched, you find you side with Samantha’ s mother Endora.

 

8. You’ve actually tried to twitch your nose to add emphasis to your spellwork.

 

9. When travelling, stranger and stranger strangers tell you their problems.

 

10. You swear in the plural.

 

11. You find yourself making corn dollies in the checkout line at the grocery store.

 

12. Whenever someone sneezes you say “Goddess Bless.”

 

13. You ask for Halloween off, because it’s a religious holiday.

 

14. You start answering the phone with “Merry Meet”.

 

 
~Magickal Graphics~

The Survival of Ancient Ways in Today’s World

The Survival of Ancient Ways in Today’s World

Author: wolf witch

Witchcraft, Wicca, and Pagan belief systems in general are more popular now than since the advent of Christianity in the West. As society gradually moves away from the group and toward individuality with respect to spiritual development, people seek alternatives to “organized” religion in order to more thoroughly immerse themselves in that sense of inner spirituality that, in the East, comes from meditation and a closely controlled lifestyle and in the West has its roots in the ancient Western Mystery Tradition in part or in whole surrounding the teaching founded upon Hermetic philosophy.

Wicca is, depending on which “expert’ you read, either very ancient or extremely new and linked to Neo-Paganism. Still, its practices demand individual dedication and action, and, even in its most basic form, stirs the inner workings further toward the sort of self-realization equated with spiritual enlightenment. Whether this enlightenment is as thorough as that of the Buddhists or is that a devoted Christian attains through constant prayer is unimportant. What is truly a key factor here is that Wicca, in whatever form, requires the individual to ultimately take responsibility for his own spiritual development, as must the Buddhist or the Christian or any other person of faith.

The claim for the Craft being a part of the spiritual movement of modern times collapses in the face of archeological and anthropological evidence to the contrary. The Internet and the ready availability of books from a wide range of authors resulted in an incredible number of “traditions” birthing literally overnight, each of which possesses their adherents and, in the case of many founding members, zealots, a rather surprising response from a religion that is by no means evangelical. The point of this text is not to criticize new or old traditions. Each finds its place in spiritual development. Those with more parochial views may learn something here but will find no further argument with any modern path.

If no other law holds true in the Craft, “Each to his own” certainly applies.

In order to understand Western occult philosophy, one must grasp the words of the Emerald Tablet, the essence of which is the statement, “As above, so below, ” and its reverse. There is no dictum of control implied here, so the phrase does not lose, as suggested by some authors, its validity in reverse. It merely explains that the nature of things is best discovered in any one thing within the set; that is, if something exists in this universe, then its structure and function resulting from that physical existence resembles in kind all other things in this universe.

The axiom applies equally to Man and Spirit. The whole reason for its existence is to tell man that the universe he sees and the Universe his spirit knows is hardly imaginary but very, very real. The stone is the Almighty’s message to Man that what he cannot see has no reality whosoever in relation to the greater Universe of gods, angels, demons, and the like. Man is part of that magnificent continuum.

Thus is the Creator known to Man.

There are as many paths to spiritual awakening as there are people on the planet. Some folks are so convinced their method is right that they insist on bringing it to others which in some cases is a truly positive gesture. However, when that new system comes into place through the annihilation of what went before, then the result proves destructive and dangerous.

In the time of Charlemagne, Paganism died in Europe at the hands of Christians bent on destroying every other belief system but their own. St. Patrick did not drive the snakes out of Ireland (there were none to begin with) , but he did burn every piece of literature concerning the religious history of the Celts, a close equivalent to the burning of the great library at Alexandria by the Romans who simply knew no better. Patrick knew exactly what he was doing, and the Church made a practice of eliminating all but their own warped view of religion as a source of power and authority.

The Craft has few written records that cover events from the Dark Ages. All such literature became personal as each witch kept a Book of Shadows though few would have called it that. The books held recipes and formulae for everything from herbal remedies to dynamic rituals, most of which these days are drawn from a single surviving grimier, the Key of Solomon. From this text, Gardner drew the rituals in his book.

Fortunately, the worst persecution could not eliminate folkways, and many made their way to the present, especially those regarding healing. This knowledge forged an excellent foundation for modern witches to expand their knowledge of the human psyche in order to better help those in need.

All of the present day’s rites and rituals owe much to Hermes and his simple statement. Understanding the universe makes clear the path delineated by the Craft, so the study of how the universe works is definitely worth the effort. In the end, the universe unfolds itself to each in its own way.

Here is one of the great gifts of the Goddess, as claimed in Celtic tradition: the Stone, a foundation upon which all else stands.

The occult deals with those entities and forces that, in general, lie outside the bounds of what most would define as normal existence. Where the world around us takes its description from physics, the occultist studies metaphysics. Where the scientist relies on proof as determined by experimental data, the occultist speculates using intuition as an equally valid point that influences understanding the true reality of any situation. While science plods on toward a complete understanding of the universe in detail, the occultist works more as a generalist using Hermes’ statement as a guide: “As above, so below”.

Today’s trend, thanks to the rapid spread of information and its verification relying very much on popularity rather than true alacrity, creates almost as many Craft belief systems as there are individuals capable of committing those beliefs onto a web page. More than a few seek a sense of authority within the old religion earned only in their own right. Many forget the trials that shaped Wicca over the years and the powerful forces and strong enemies that sought to wipe the Craft from the planet, burning, killing, and torturing every follower and many more who were rumored to be followers of the ancient ways.

There is a common feeling among these folk and a host of other witches that the burning times are over; that the public broadcast of one’s own faith can safely travel the Internet airways without fear of any repercussion.

One careful perusal of the news will prove this merry affection dangerously incorrect. With the smallest change in today’s status quo, the burning time could come back in force. Fundamentalism favors intolerance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with stating one’s beliefs in any public forum, but the defense of those beliefs to the blood must be the heart of that statement.

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Grow Your Own Lunar Calendar

Author: Bran th’ Blessed

The earliest lunar calendars were small sticks into which some Neolithic hunter carved notches to count the days between full moons. This hi-tech device required no battery replacement and was accurate within plus or minus three days of the actual lunar cycle from new moon to new moon. Depending on the hunter, of course.

By such means, it eventually became clear that the full moon occurred every 29 or 30 days. Rather than leave the one finger uncounted on the third go-round, the length of the lunar cycle was set at 30 days (three hands of days) . This length worked well with the estimated duration of the *Celestial Calendar* year, which was 360 days. You may think that the year-counting stick was not as accurate as the month counting stick, but there is always with us humans the expectation of symmetry, and even today it doesn’t set well with us that our year should not end at the end of the twelfth month—as our 12-month Gregorian calendars so clearly attest.

It is because our years were set to 360 days—in order to match precisely with twelve 30-day months—that the circle is ascribed with 360 degrees. The zodiacal path is set to 360 degrees for the 360 days the Sun takes to encompass that circuit, one degree per day.

The Moon, too, encircles the zodiacal path, but it takes only 30 days to do so. In those 30 days the Sun moves 30 degrees, so the Moon must move 360 + 30 = 390 degrees to catch up to the Sun again. While the Sun moves one degree each day, the Moon moves 13 degrees each day. At the end of 30 days, they are united again, but at the beginning of a different zodiacal sign: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer; Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio; Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces…the signs (constellations) of the zodiac. (I have excluded the zodiacal signs, Doris and Butch, as these have grown into disuse over the ages. Pity.)

The Celestial Calendar provides further symmetries with 24 fifteen-day *Esbats* in each year, corresponding with the risings and settings of the zodiacal signs. There are three esbats (45 days) in each of the eight *Sabbats* of the year: The Solstices (Yule and Litha) , Equinoxes (Ostara and Harvest) , and four Cross-Quarter Sabbats (Winterwatch, or Imbolc; Beltane, Lughnasa, and Samhain) , and there are two sabbats (90 days) in each of the four seasons of the year.

This Celestial Calendar, however, is poorly matched by the realities of our astronomy. The Earth takes 365¼ days (not 360 days) to move from Winter Solstice to Winter Solstice. The Moon takes 29½ days (not 30) to move from full moon to full moon, and twelve months is actually only about 354 days. Alas, for a more perfect world, eh?

My *Pagan Seasonal Calendar* corrects the Celestial Calendar’s error in the measure of the year by adding five intercalary days to every year, four midseason, cross-quarter sabbat days and one end-of-the-year day. Winterwatch is added between the third and fourth Esbats (my calendar begins and ends at Yule/Midwinter) . Beltane is added between the ninth and tenth Esbats. Lughnasa is added between the fifteenth and sixteenth Esbats. And Samhain is added between the 21st and 22nd Esbats. Year’s End is added at calendar’s end. At the end of every fourth year (called a Span) , a sixth intercalary day called Span’s End is added, equivalent to our “leap year’s day”. The Span’s End day is not added to the 32nd and final Span of a Gaian Era (which is 128 years) . These few adjustments make my Pagan Seasonal Calendar, incorporating the Celestial Calendar, more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar we use with respect to the length of the year. But of course, it does nothing to resolve the problem with the month.

Real lunar months cannot be conveniently aligned with real seasonal years. Various cultures have tried to devise methods for utilizing a lunar calendar, but the two cycles don’t dance the same dance. The Julian Calendar of the Romans and the Gregorian Calendar of the Catholic Church both follow the lead of the Celestial Calendar in making months as long as desired, 28 or 29 days, 30 or 31 days. Lunar calendar systems make each year twelve of thirteen moons in duration, but the systems are either complex or set by visual observations. For my calendar system, I decided to look for a lunar calendar system that is accurate and works well on its own, and then fret the details of coordination later. This isn’t rocket science after all. The lunar period data available today is accurate to ten decimal places and more, and a handy pocket calculator (batteries included) is all I needed for the simple division problems. So here we go.

The period from one full moon to the next is very close to 29½ days. Two moons are twice that, or 59 days. This 59 day lunar cycle is called a *Doublet*. The *Morning Moon* of any doublet begins at midnight opening the 1st day of the doublet and ends at midday of the 30th day of the doublet; the *Evening Moon* begins at midday of the 30th day and ends at midnight closing the 59th and final day of the doublet. Morning moons begin and end in the morning, between midnight and midday; evening moons begin and end in the evening, between midday and midnight. Both moons go halfsies on the 30th day of the doublet.

The degree of error in a 59-day doublet is such that one day must be added after sixteen such doublets (32 moons) . This period of 32 moons is called a *Cynthiad*. The sixteenth and final doublet of each cynthiad has 60 days instead of 59 days. That makes each cynthiad 945 days, or precisely 135 weeks. The degree of error in a cynthiad is much smaller and in the opposite direction, requiring us to eventually remove one day after 47 cynthiads. This period of 47 cynthiads is called a *Lunar Age*, and it’s about 121 years and pocket change. The last doublet of the last cynthiad in each lunar age does not have a day 60. This last modification keeps the calendar within one day of accuracy for about 66 lunar ages—which is eight millennia and pocket change.

Every cynthiad in this age begins on Sunday; it’s the 7th Age of Balder (or some other Sun God/dess of your choice?) in this *Lunar Epoch*. Because of the dropped day at the end of each age, the cynthiads of succeeding Ages begin one day earlier than those before them. Thus the next Age will be the 7th Age of Saturn, in which all the cynthiads will begin on Saturdays…then Fridays (Freya) , Thursdays (Thor) , Wednesdays (Woden) , and so on. (The Age of Woden, with its Wednesday cynthiads, will begin the 8th cycle of ages.)

As I write this, the upcoming new moon of October 26th, 2011, will be: the 1st day of the Elder Moon, the 16th Morning Moon of the 41st Cynthiad in the 7th Age of Balder, and the 1311th moon in that 46th full Age of the Lunar Epoch. This is the first day of the 16th doublet in the 41st cynthiad of this age.

I associate the 32 moons of a cynthiad with various totem creatures, although I’m not settled on any but the 28th moon (Crow Moon) at this time (and that of course only because it is the moon of my birth, so I name it for my own totem animal, the Crow) . Here are the sixteen doublets of a cynthiad and the names of their morning and evening moons. You should change these totems where you feel it appropriate, but I hope you’ll leave the 28th (Crow Moon) as it is.

Doublet – Morning Moon and Evening Moon
01 – Oak and Owl
02 – Redwood and Bear
03 – Ash and Fox
04 – Walnut and Deer
05 – Hawthorn and Rabbit
06 – Willow and Dove
07 – Pine and Coyote
08 – Cedar and Snake
09 – Holly and Otter
10 – Maple and Mouse
11 – Cottonwood and Buffalo
12 – Hickory and Hawk
13 – Cypress and Spider
14 – Sycamore and Crow
15 – Birch and Badger
16 – Elder and Wolf

There are only six and a fraction doublets in any given year. The doublets of this year (2011) have begun or will begin on the following dates.

(0) – November 6, 2010
(1) – January 4, 2011
(2) – March 4, 2011
(3) – May 2, 2011
(4) – June 30, 2011
(5) – August 28, 2011
(6) – October 26, 2011
(7) – December 24, 2011

(To find later dates, simply count down eight weeks and over three days on your calendar from the last known beginning doublet date.)

On the smaller scale of time, each moon (month) is viewed differently in this lunar calendar system. Three days make a *Lunar House* (or *Temple*) . Three houses belong to the *Maiden Goddess*, three more to the *Mother Goddess*, and three to the *Crone Goddess*. These nine houses mark the visible days of each moon. The other days of each moon belong to the dark moon House of Kore/Persephone. The days of each doublet are as follows:

Day 01 – (Morning Moon Begins) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

Day 02-04 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 05-07 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 08-10 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 11-13 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 14-16 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 17-19 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 20-22 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 23-25 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 26-28 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 29-30 – (Morning Moon Ends) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore
Day 30-31 – (Evening Moon Begins) at Midday 30 – Dark Moon – House of Kore

Day 32-34 – Early Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Selene/Luna (Maiden)
Day 35-37 – Late Waxing Crescent Moon – House of Artemis/Diana (Maiden)
Day 38-40 – Early Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Hanwi (Maiden)

Day 41-43 – Late Waxing Ovate Moon – House of Ngame (Mother)
Day 44-46 – Full Moon – House of Ishtar/Isis (Mother)
Day 47-49 – Early Waning Ovate Moon – House of Nana (Mother)

Day 50-52 – Late Waning Ovate Moon – House of Mawu (Crone)
Day 53-55 – Early Waning Crescent Moon – House of Cereddwyn (Crone)
Day 56-58 – Late Waning Crescent Moon – House of Hecate (Crone)

Day 59 – (Evening Moon Ends) – Dark Moon – House of Kore/Persephone

I hope this lunar calendar will be useful to those who hate to wait for the Farmer’s Almanac to come out each year in order to know the new and full moon dates, which is what I used to do back in the age of dinosaurs when there were no computers. I have found this doublet system quite reliable for well over a decade. Sometimes the moon dates may be off about a day due to astronomical variations or when an intercalary day is coming due or has just been added. But I have noted very little such inaccuracy actually. I hope I have provided enough information for you to take it from here should you so choose. – Bran th’ Blessed


Footnotes:
None

The Nine Virtues

The Nine Virtues

Author: Kalynn Osburn

In some way or another throughout the ages, there have been sets of attributes that have been deemed by both society and individuals to define the quality of a person’s character. From the Ten Commandments to Sanatana Dharma, from the Noble Eightfold Path to the Wiccan Rede, each comprises cultural appreciation of upright action and thought. Many of these hold the same tenants as one another, with values such as honesty, kindness, generosity and honor at the top of the lists. It is in this line that I have comprised what I feel to be the Nine Virtues, a series of considerations to which I think one should aspire in their life time.

In no way do I mean to say that this is the definitive list of ethical behavior! Nor do I want anyone to believe that I have an infallible moral compass! Far from it, in fact. These are simply the traits which I think are lacking in this era and should be given due consideration. While they include several from what is considered both warrior and maidenly virtues, I have done all I can to remove the gender considerations herein and I advise seeing them more as human virtues rather than belonging to one gender or the other.

The goal here is to strive towards these traits and to do your best to keep them in mind as you act throughout the day. I have listed them in order or personal importance (1 being the most significant to me) but these are not really quantifiable as more or less significant.

HONOR

Honor is among the most difficult to define of the virtues, and yet to me it is one of the most important. Many define this concept as a definition of a man’s duty or loyalty to one’s betters or higher ups within a military code of conduct. For women the term was historically used in reference to their virginity or the price a mate would have to pay in order to wed them. Honor can mean loyalty to duty, but it can also mean to act in a way that conveys dignity and rightness. Refusing to be goaded into a fight or not allowing your character to be falsified. Taking the protecting and care of your family upon yourself and working for their good at all times. Not allowing your friends to hurt when you have the means to prevent it. It comes down to looking at the situation and doing everything in your power to work through it with rightness of thought and deed. Honor also ties in strongly with other constructs such as: Integrity of the self, Accountability for your actions, and Respect for yourself and others

COURAGE

Courage is often misinterpreted as a lack of cowardice or fear. In reality, Courage is being afraid, terrified even, but pushing forward anyway. There are two types of courage: physical courage, which could be defending someone from attack or pushing yourself to the limit, and moral courage, which would be keeping to your moral or ethical code despite potential ridicule and ostracized. It can be difficult to remain courageous without becoming reckless or displaying an excess of bravado. In my experience the truly courageous are quiet, steadfast people who one would never suspect of being capable of such bravery. The one who rushes into a burning building to save a child and then disappears before the news crew can get a shot of them. The truest form of courage is in those whose names will never be known, but who take it upon themselves to act in defense of others.

MERCY

Mercy is often portrayed as the powerful showing pity to the weak. This is often emphasized by the Christian concept of a merciful God, one who wields incomparable power and yet exercises with caution or consideration for those under their influence. But to put this on a more relatable level, one could compare mercy with humanitarian efforts such as giving your time so that other’s might live life with greater ease, even if only for a moment. Through acts of kindness and charity, such as donating your clothing to homeless shelters, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or being a counselor for a youth group, one hopes to achieve a human connection as well as a greater understanding of compassion. To quote the Bard: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

HONESTY

Honesty is not always as simply as just telling the truth. In this case, the virtue has more to do with being of straightforward character. It can be difficult to weight honesty with brutal, unfeeling truth, but it is important to remember that honesty does not give one the right to be callous. You should always consider how your answer would affect the other person’s state of mind. At times a gentler hand may be called for, but sometimes we must be direct in our approach. A good thing to keep in mind is to never do anything you know you are going to have to lie about later. With this thought, Honesty is more about acting truthfully and without deceit intended than it really is about telling your friend you like her dress when it looks awful.

CUNNING-

One could find it very amusing that I chose to put the virtue of Cunning right after that of Honesty, seeing as how the two so often seem to be at odds. But in this case it is to establish a balance between the two that I include cunning among the virtues. Cunning is not about lying, but about displaying keen insight or a knowledge of something that might baffle others. You could also term this as being clever or witty about a particular subject (such as witchcraft) . It is, above all else, using your intellect to solve problems and find new solutions to old issues. Brehons might be the best example of such folk, as they had to navigate their way around the law without denying the rights of everyone involved.

ENDURANCE

Endurance is the unique ability to keep going long after others have quit. There are two kinds of endurance: physical endurance, such as a woman in labor or a man running a triathlon, and mental endurance, such as that shown during studying final exam or sensory deprivation. One could also consider life to be an endurance trial, as we face hardships and difficulties one has to show the endurance and fortitude to overcome them. Life is hard, but not without it’s joy, and sometimes weathering the hard times creates more joy in the easy times. Being tenacious and sticking to your set goals without fail shows great endurance.

SPIRIT

Spirit is the belief and understanding of an innermost self, a soul or essence, which comprises you as an incorporeal being. It is a connectedness to a larger self and an understanding that there is a pattern and weaving to existence that you are a part of. This could also be termed Piety, though I would not include religious devotion as the explanation. Rather you strive to see the big picture of life, not only in terms of you and yours but also in terms of the universe as a whole. Someone who has the virtue of Spirit is confident, but without the danger of hubris and arrogance that so often comes with the idea of a higher spiritual understanding. As Albert Einstein said “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

INTROSPECTION

Introspection is being aware of your own needs, desires, flaws, virtues and state of mind. It is a conscious effort on the part of a person to fully consider their actions and thoughts and to consider the ramifications both to themselves and to others. It is the consideration of one’s own mind, or meta-cognition (thinking about thinking) . One could consider this like having a psychologist inside your own mind. You try to break down your own though process, questions yourself and answer honestly. It is not the same as doubting yourself or seeing your own advise as invalid, it is simply exploring your own motives and knowing where they come from.

TRANQUILITY

Tranquility is maintaining a state of calmness and levelheaded thinking. It is in allowing yourself to move beyond the hectic frustrations and troubles of the moment and not letting them interfere with your thought process or course of action. One could also add into this the feeling of contentment with your life as it is right now, without giving thought to the future or past. You become at ease with the reality of the world and life in general and accept your current state of being. Inherent in this is the ability to move past what may be happening at the moment and focus on what must come next.

Dark Goddesses, Not So Dark: Understanding Hecate

Dark Goddesses, Not So Dark: Understanding Hecate

Author: Hecates Moon0013

There are many Goddesses who are considered “Dark Gods/Goddesses and who tend to be misunderstood or seen as “evil.” A few examples are Hecate, the Morrigan, Anubis, Poseidon and quite a few more, I’d wager as well. In my case, the “Dark Goddess” is my Patroness, Hecate. She has indeed a long history, and has been known in Her many different aspects, such as the three-faced crone, Goddess of Magic, Queen of the Night, Goddess of the Crossroads, and more. One culture supposedly offered dogs as a sacrifice to her out of honor and respect. (Although I personally don’t find that necessary to ever do myself!) In others, they offered feasts and left offerings at the crossroads.

The goddess Hecate is indeed widely known as a Dark Goddess and is associated with the darkness… But what exactly makes many people consider darkness as ‘evil’? Honestly, I see Her more as a mother figure. She looks after those who work with her.

Is She associated with the dark? Answer: Yes! However, She is not the darkness, but rather the light that guides people through the darkness. She watches over us all, and, in fact, helps nurture us. She is also not afraid to act. She, Hecate, Protects those that follow her like any other Goddess. Furthermore if you ask for her help, she will help and then ask simply “What’s next?” She finds ways to help Her adherents to grow both inside and out.

At this point, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions. First of all She, Hecate, is often portrayed as a Goddess Who is not fond of males, but favors female. This however is not true. As I know from personal experience, She will work with both.

Also it is thought that She is against love and marriage. However there is documentation that is not the case. She actually is all right with marriage, though She is strict on how it happens. She will not condone any form of sexual contact unless it is mutually acceptable between the two partners. She considers marriage and dating as normal things; marriage and childbirth, she considers “sacred things.”

One of the symbols that represent Her, in my opinion, is the Torch. Hecate, as I have said before, leads us through the hard times… through our anguish, through our grief, and She is there to comfort us, to warm us, and to guide us with Her light. Hecate herself is ‘The Torch’. She is the light within the eternal Darkness. One thing for sure, Hecate has seen me through many dark times, and has also helped me to learn more about myself… by helping me through those rough times she has shown me that, though sometimes life in itself can be scary, if we acknowledge it and learn to embrace ourselves for what might come, and learn to look through it, we will find ourselves at last in peace. We are able to walk through the fires, so to speak, of life and still be standing tall as we overcome the negative situations that we face.

When my first struggle with faith happened, Hecate was there. When I grieved over the loss of good friends and family, Hecate was there… When I felt lost, alone, and questioned Wicca, and religion itself, She was there. Hecate, at all of my crossroads, has brought people to help me in my time of need, and I have been brought in turn to help others in their times of need. If anything, Hecate has taught me that everyone is afraid, but we have to move on. Hecate also has taught me time and time again, that when you act with compassion, things in general are better for everyone.

I once struggled with Wicca. I had gotten myself to the point where I felt abandoned, and that I would never be able to feel energy or work with the Craft again. It was so bad, I questioned my sanity, wondering, is this even real?” Am I not supposed to be a part of this religion? Have the Gods and Goddesses abandoned me in my time of need? Why else could this possibly be happening? I prayed to Hecate to please watch over me and to help me overcome.

I eventually came across a group of people who helped me with my problem. I was looking for a group to work with and learn from in hopes I could find some clarity. I ended up finding a group, and though things did not work out for me with the group, I made some amazing friends. The people in it taught me a lot about myself, and other things as well. To this day, my ability to feel energy is not the same as it used to be, nor is my level of energy, but it is better. Not only that, but I have gained more confidence in myself.

I owe Hecate a lot. As odd as it might sound to some of you, I feel, to an extent, that I owe Hecate my life. She also taught me a valuable lesson: just because people are helpful does not mean that mistakes are not made. I learned to expect both good and bad from people and that we are all capable of both. No matter how good we are, or how bad we are, we are still capable of both. Because of this insight, I tend to look for the good in a negative situation. For there is always something, good and/or positive that can come out of any situation. The real trick is to find it in things and in people.

Now, most people are wondering, “Aren’t Dark Goddesses vengeful?” I feel the best answer for this is: What God or Goddess can’t be vengeful? In truth, they all can be. Hecate is literally a Mother Goddess. She is the ‘Okay. Done. What’s next?’ sort of Goddess. She is only vengeful to those who would harm Her charges, or rather those that She works with if someone would Harm them.

Hecate is able to give us so much knowledge, and teach us so much, that condemning Her without even getting to truly know Her I feel is a sad thing indeed. Furthermore, she teaches us that if we learn to accept the bad things in life, we become better… for Hecate carries the key to unlock that which we keep hidden. and once we discover ourselves, and accept things as they really are, we feel relieved. She helps us not only to see, but helps us to understand things in the ‘rawness of it all’.

I write this near the time of Samhain. For me, this holiday represents Hecate very well as she is also associated with the dead. One of my favorite characteristics of Hecate is that She teaches us to respect those who have come before us. As a Goddess of the crossroads, She makes the holiday even more meaningful. Samhain is the time when we are supposed to remember those who have helped pave our way. As the Goddess of the crossroads, Hecate compels us to reflect not only over what we have done or should have done, but also to remember that while we have gone through so much, it could have been worse. We are more blessed than we realize.

Hecate is more than just a simple Goddess. Hecate is my Mother, who protects me and nurtures me as I go through life. Hecate is my Patroness whom I am grateful to. I know that She is always there willing to help me, if ever I ask. Hecate is so misunderstood that, honestly, it saddens me a bit. If anything working with Hecate has truly been a blessing. I don’t think I would have been able to do, let alone get through, a lot of the things I have if not for her help, and for that I will always be eternally grateful.

Knowing that, as the sun sets, She is all around me at night is a comfort in so many ways. At night time, She is all around me, protecting me, and watching over me…and I know that when I am at the next crossroad, at some future turning point in my life, She will be there waiting for me, always more than willing to help me through the next hurdle. And so, I will continue to worship and work with Her, for She is not ‘the darkness that is evil’, but is, in fact, a guiding Light and a help for those who feel lost. And if you call to Her, Hecate will be there to help guide you through the rough times as well.

May Hecate bless you, and watch over you always!
Blessed Be!



Footnotes:
Understanding the Warrior Goddess by the author: Stephanie Woodfield

Earth Science Pic for Monday, November 14th

Rainbow and Eiffel Tower

November 14, 2011

French-rainbow

Photographer: Bertrand Kulik
Summary Author: Bertrand Kulik; Jim Foster
This eye-catching rainbow arching over the Eiffel Tower was snapped from my home in Paris, France on the afternoon of October 25, 2011. The width of a rainbow is approximately two degrees; for comparison, the Sun’s diameter is about 0.5 degrees across. Note that each of the primary bow’s color bands is about 0.5 degrees in width. Rainbow colors seem impure (colors overlap) because while rays of sunlight entering a prism emerge parallel to each other, the way they entered, rays emerging from a raindrop diverge.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 14th

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2011 November 14
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Waterfall, Moonbow, and Aurora from Iceland
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephane Vetter (Nuits sacrees

 

Explanation: The longer you look at this image, the more you see. Perhaps your eye is first drawn to the picturesque waterfall called Skogarfoss visible on the image right. Just as prevalent, however, in this Icelandic visual extravaganza, is the colorful arc of light on the left. This chromatic bow is not a rainbow, since the water drops did not originate in rainfall nor are they reflecting light from the Sun. Rather, the drops have drifted off from the waterfall and are now illuminated by the nearly full Moon. High above are the faint green streaks of aurora. The scene, captured one night last month, also shows a beautiful starscape far in the background, including the Big Dipper, part of the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major).

Feng Shui Tip of the Day for November 14th

On ‘Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day’ I want to share an ancient Russian ritual that will help to lighten up the vibrations of your aura while also allowing you to shake off energetic impurities! First, lie on your back and lift your arms and legs so that they are both at a 45-degree angle to your body. Simultaneously shake all your extremities, almost as if you were trying to shake water from them. Shake like crazy. Continue laying on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs loosely on the ground. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale forcefully clench your fists. In fact, clench so tightly that your hands vibrate from the tension. Hold this until you are done exhaling. Do this nine times in succession and then do the shaking exercise again. The emotional charge will have dissipated, as will any other residual physical tension hiding within your body. The result? Why you’ll loosen and lighten up, of course!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Your Daily Number for November 14th: 9

Any recent trouble in a relationship may be defused today, thanks in part to your use of tact and wisdom. You’re a person of depth and clarity today, and you may even have some strong humanitarian urges. It’s a day of shifting priorities and enjoying your status as a student of life. Don’t commit to long term plans just yet.

Fast Facts

About the Number 9

Theme: Encompassing a love for all, Compassion, Patience, Selfless
Astro Association: Virgo
Tarot Association: Hermit

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for November 14th is 55: Great Abundance

55: Great Abundance

Hexagram 55

General Meaning: A time of abundance comes into full flower when the powers of leadership and teamwork are at their peak. The situation is like that of the sun at midday — a high noon of clarity, insight and progress. Such peak periods can be brief. Whether this refers to a national cycle, a business boom or a period of abundance, it is important to bale your hay while the sun is shining.

During a period of abundance, it benefits one to show benevolence, to share the fruit of one’s good fortune. Think of good deeds now as a hedge against times of scarcity in the future. This reading bodes well for expansion in love, the raising of children and the nurturing of a healthy family or any close-knit group.

Today’s Runes for Monday, November 14th is Raido

Today’s Runes

Spirit Runes are most commonly used for questions about mysticism, spirituality, and religion. Raido means to ride. In this rune, the image is not so much the riding of a horse as in riding in a cart or as cargo. As such Raido may suggest a journey, but is much more indicative of communication. Alternate interpretations based on the use of Raido as a cognate in other words give it the meaning of council, judgment, and moral correctness. Therefore, this rune is the rune of wise advice and good leadership.

Today’s Tarot Card for November 14th is The Moon

The Moon

This Tarot Deck: Royal Thai

General Meaning: What has traditionally been known as the Moon card refers to a deep state of sensitivity and imaginative impressionability, developed within a womb of deep relaxation. Here we dream and go into trance, have visions and receive insights, wash in and out with the psychic tides, and experience deep mystical and/or terrifying realities beyond our ordinary senses. The full moon and/or eclipse cycle charted by the Magi (as in some of the earliest Moon card images) exemplify this as a mechanism that Nature uses to expand consciousness.

The variants of the courtly lovers (representing skillful use of the sex force) or the man sleeping it off under the tree (use of drugs to alter consciousness) are also traditional avenues for tapping this primal force. Human interest in higher states propels us to the frontiers of consciousness, where we cannot always control what happens. The Moon card represents the ultimate test of a soul’s integrity, where the membrane between self and the Unknown is removed, and the drop of individuality reenters the Ocean of Being. What transpires next is between a soul and its Maker.

Power Animals for Your Sun Sign

Power Animals for Your Sun Sign

  • posted by Annie B. Bond

Inspired by Earth Magic, by Claire Nahmad (Inner Traditions, 1994).

Every sun sign is associated with several power animals that can help, guide, and teach us throughout our lives. Yours may surprise you! Find out which horoscope animals are your special allies here:

You may want to honor your sun sign’s animals by bringing small pictures or figurines of them into your life, and thinking about their special and helpful qualities.

Aries, March 21-April 19: Ram, tiger, leopard, stallion, vulture, magpie, robin.

Taurus, April 20-May 21: Bull, cow, dove, sparrow, swan.

Gemini, May 22-June 20: Dog, squirrel, serpent, parrot, linnet, eagle, finch.

Cancer, June 21-July 22: Crab, otter, seal, stag, heifer, unicorn, seagull, owl, white peacock.

Leo, July 23- Aug 22: Lion, wolf, griffin, peacock, rooster, eagle.

Virgo, Aug 23-Sept 22: Rooster, squirrel, magpie, parrot.

Libra, Sept 23-Oct 22: Hart, hare, dove, swan, sparrow.

Scorpio, Oct 23-Nov 21: Scorpion, wolf, panther, dog, wild boar, eagle, vulture, dragon, griffin, phoenix.

Sagittarius, Nov 22-Dec 21: Mare, lion, unicorn, eagle, peacock, bird of paradise.

Capricorn, Dec 22-Jan 19: Dog, elephant, goat, bear, owl, falcon.

Aquarius, Jan 20-Feb 18: Dog, otter, cuckoo, albatross, phoenix.

Pisces, Feb 19-March 20: Sheep, ox, seal, swan, stork, sandpiper.

 

Your Daily Horoscopes for Monday, November 14th

The Moon is at home again as she enters her comfortable sign of emotional Cancer at 2:18 am EST. However, our heightened sensitivity doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to manage our feelings as the Moon squares irrepressible Uranus. We may not be able to avoid a confrontation as the Moon opposes ruthless Pluto. Nevertheless, Venus creates magical aspects to Saturn and Neptune, bringing inspiration that is grounded by our need for security.

 

Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Although you might be strongly attached to someone special, it’s still difficult for you to express your desires today unless you feel emotionally safe. You may be overly concerned that your needs are not supported by the current situation, leading you to keep quiet about them. Unfortunately, remaining silent isn’t a viable strategy since it will be apparent that you’re holding something back. Ultimately, it isn’t what you choose to share that’s problematic now; it’s how you deliver the message that counts.

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

You’re attracted to something or someone who pushes against your boundaries today, but you’re hesitant to act on your feelings. You might think that you shouldn’t step outside your comfort zone and therefore deny what you actually like. Don’t try to rationalize your feelings; you aren’t required to justify your tastes to anyone. It’s time for you to live your own life without worrying about the expectations of others.

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

You don’t necessarily like the thought of slowing down, but acting responsibly to get what you want could keep you in one place for a while. You won’t be satisfied if you just run off to the next event, so stop and face the music now. Fortunately, your fears are more challenging than what will actually happen. Sink into the messy realm of feelings today; navigating watery emotional spaces isn’t your natural preference, but it’s essential to your spiritual well-being.

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

A difference of opinion that has bothered you for a while reaches a critical stage today, leaving you nowhere to go with your feelings. Your emotional sensitivity contributes to the turmoil, but losing your temper might seem like the only way to clear the air of unexpressed emotions. A smarter strategy is to express your frustrations before they reach the boiling point. Sharing what’s in your heart can help to bring down your walls and amplify the love that’s already in your life.

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Your grand gestures today may reveal more than you want, especially if you’re feeling a bit vulnerable. Unfortunately, your magnanimity won’t likely express your true emotions now. You still might need to go through the motions of sharing your feelings. Remember, once you have worked through your stress, you should be able to reclaim your power by simply being yourself.

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You’re not interested in burdening any of your friends, but it might be smarter to let them know what you’ve been dealing with, rather than keeping everything to yourself. Don’t go looking for sympathy; just accept responsibility for your place in life and keep working to manifest your dreams. Instead of being negative or fearful, just take the time to catch up with everyone and then move on.

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You could run into your share of difficult emotions as you think about the tough issues that are still ahead of you. Luckily, you may have already started to take responsibility for your future. But don’t fall into the trap of believing that you have to fix everything at once. Although you still have time, it will be easier to deal with the complications ahead if you don’t ignore the inevitable for too long.

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Although your goals may be coming into focus, it still seems as if the road to your future is being blocked by the past. Old fears may resurface today when you realize that nothing will change until you shift your own attitude. This might not be a reassuring thought, especially if you focus on the obstacles instead of your dreams. Have faith; the significant progress you’ve already made will continue to grow more evident in the days ahead.

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

A wave of uncertainty flows into your life today, intensifying your emotions and reminding you to stop running around long enough to process your feelings. But you might worry that others will question your effectiveness. Fortunately, you haven’t lost your edge; you’re just moving through a phase of inner growth that doesn’t mix well with your outgoing style. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, breaking away for meditation and contemplation can be exactly what’s needed to get back in the groove.

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Today’s schedule doesn’t necessarily allow time for an emotional melodrama, so you’ll probably try to keep your feelings all to yourself. Unfortunately, your strategy could fall apart if someone involves you in the same kind of drama that you’re attempting to avoid. Although you’re ready to run, keep your heart and mind open to what you’re being shown now rather than exhausting yourself resisting an important lesson.

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Your optimism could collide with reality today, but you might not be ready to face a lingering issue head-on. The Moon’s visit to your 6th House of Employment challenges you to stay objective at work because you have definite opinions about nearly everything. Resistance from friends or co-workers is tiring, but also serves to clarify your thinking now. Thankfully, the truth can help dissipate your fear and bring a newfound freedom from the past.

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Even if you’re worried about the wisdom of a recent choice, you’re also optimistic that things are improving. Fortunately, you can be very patient now, even if your emotions are all over the place. It’s hard to tell if you’re overreacting or if the residual negativity you’re feeling is actually real. Be smart and wait a few days before changing your game plan. In the meantime, concentrate on the best possible outcome instead of stressing about the past.

Your Weekly Love Horoscopes for November 14th

Working and learning mix well with playing this weekend while the Moon visits competent Virgo. Winging it won’t invite intimacy, but taking on a project with someone is a way to get closer while getting things done. Sunday is a day of rest or, at least, escape. The Sun’s spacey square with dreamy Neptune is ideal for pushing reality out of the way and letting fantasies rule.

 

 
Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Engaging in physical exercise can be a great way to connect with others this weekend. The Virgo Moon is traveling through your 6th House of Self-Improvement, which rewards you for purposeful efforts and planning ahead. However, there is a risk of being too critical or encountering people who focus on your flaws. Don’t waste time quibbling over minor details. Happily, Sunday is a time of forgiveness when mistakes can be erased with loving acts of kindness.

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

The Moon is dancing in your 5th House of Romance on Friday and Saturday, which should add some extra spice to your personal life. Yet the lunar presence in precise Virgo works best when you have specific activities scheduled in advance. Nevertheless, it’s important to be flexible enough to alter your plans if necessary. Aiming for perfection is admirable, but it’s not helpful to be too self-critical. A little improvement goes a long way to bring you some positive attention.

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

Entertaining at your place makes perfect sense this weekend. The Virgo Moon’s presence in your domestic 4th house on Friday and Saturday enables you to feel more comfortable and cozy at home. There’s no need to get overly elaborate since a simple, well-planned experience is more likely to succeed than going overboard. The Moon shifts into lovely Libra and your 5th House of Romance on Sunday evening, offering up the possibility of having a delicious time with a delightful companion.

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

Serious discussions are on the agenda this weekend. The analytical Virgo Moon spends Friday and Saturday working in your 3rd House of Communication. Nitpicking over little things and worrying about minor matters isn’t constructive, but addressing real concerns in specific terms is advised. Putting your feelings into words isn’t always easy, but clarifying issues that are important to you is worth the effort.

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Managing all of your resources wisely, including your time, money and energy, is essential this weekend. The careful Virgo Moon’s presence in your 2nd House of Self-Worth signals a definite need to be realistic and modest in your approach. Even if you’re feeling confident, it’s smart to avoid overloading yourself with too many activities. Doing less with greater attention to detail is more satisfying now and others can’t help but appreciate and admire your work.

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

The Moon in your sign this weekend casts you in the bright spotlight. It’s great to get all the attention as long as you’re not too hard on yourself in the process. Physical activities like dancing can be great fun on Friday night since you should have extra energy at your disposal. Letting your feelings rise to the surface might seem a little awkward, but it’s healthier to be honest than to hide your emotions now. Relationships rooted in reality have more chances for success as long as you speak from your heart.

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

The Moon is hiding out in your secretive 12th house this weekend, which makes these better times for enjoying quiet, private events than being lost in the midst of a loud crowd. Intimate conversations or time alone can help you untangle some knots that inhibit your relationships. Connecting with others is easy once you are back to your usual charming and friendly self on Sunday night when the Moon moves into your sociable sign. Shining your light will attract the ones you love.

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Friends and co-workers supplement your social life this weekend because going out with a group of people or connecting with someone through an organization can be surprisingly rewarding. Keep in mind that an attraction to a pal or colleague might complicate matters. Still, being with someone who shares your ideals and values can get a relationship off to a good start. The Moon slips into Libra and your 12th House of Privacy on Sunday night, which is perfect for enjoying some rest and relaxation.

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You may have too many obligations on your plate to be able to fulfill your social aspirations this weekend. The Moon is in your 10th House of Responsibility on Friday and Saturday, which occupies your time with a multitude of tasks. Still, taking care of business in a competent manner may impress others and makes you more desirable to someone special. Sunday night is a whole different ballgame once the Moon shifts into sociable Libra and your gregarious 11th house, enabling you to work the crowd with your charm and humor.

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Breaking free from your usual activities is a wonderful way to liven up the weekend. The Virgo Moon is traveling through your adventurous 9th House on Friday and Saturday, encouraging you to explore unfamiliar territory. Participating in cultural events, especially from faraway places, can be extremely rewarding. Just don’t compare everything you see and do to your traditional tastes. Stepping outside of your comfort zone opens your mind to new forms of pleasure and delight.

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Dealing with relationship complications may not be your idea of fun, but it could be just what the doctor ordered for this weekend. The rational Virgo Moon is in your 8th House of Intimacy, challenging you to address values and desires that are different from your own. Yet if you embrace this emotional process, you can enhance a current alliance or increase your chances of creating a new one. Just remember that being kind while being real is key.

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

The Virgo Moon is hanging out in your 7th House of Partners on Friday and Saturday, which puts relationships front and center in your life. The challenge is to deal with matters in a more realistic way instead of letting your emotions get the best of you. Talking about what works and what doesn’t work is not the most romantic activity. Yet your willingness to examine issues in a mature manner builds the foundation for a successful union.