Just a Reminder……

Just a little reminder, I know you really don’t want to hear but anyway……..tomorrow is April 15th, you know what that means, “TAX DAY!”

And if you are feeling like this poor guy, take a break! You deserve it! Read today’s postings, then go, forget all your cares in the world, visit the Rec Room. But don’t get to carried away, remember to go back and do your taxes! See you tomorrow, my luvs!

 

The Witches Rec Room

 

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 14th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Have you considered the effect your presence may have on people around you? Do they need you? The answer is yes. We are somewhat selfish with our presence at times. We want to withdraw and think our own thoughts and read quietly rather than entertaining someone or just listening to them. But we never really know how much they need us, not to perform good deeds for their good, but only to be company to share a happening of the day.

Perhaps within their minds we can quiet some restlessness, assure them that they are needed or give them a feeling of tranquility. To many, life is no simple matter, and to hear them out may be the remedy.

It has been said by a very wise man that if you never make a mistake you’re not doing anything.

It is a relief to know that every day, without fail, we come in contact with people who put such confidence in us that we strive ever harder to never fail. Such people build human beings – and there is no job more worthy, or more creative.

Building character and confidence in fellow human beings is a delicate task….for no two people respond in the same way. Challenges may be the way to boost up some individuals, while others may need encouragement and praise to guide them on the way. But, oh, how human we all are, having the need for accomplishment….for attention….for approval.

And how great the responsibility for leaders who must have the wisdom to inspire….the integrity to trust….the heart to understand. The race is hard for leader and follower; for each must understand the other – and there must be compassion for the slow, courage for the weak, and appreciation for the loyal. To follow one must be secure; to lead one must be very wise.

It should be the practice of all of us that when we hear something complimentary about someone to tell them. It is so true that man does not live by bread alone, and to be recognized in having something that rated approval is a very great reward.

Nothing so builds character in children than to let them know someone believes they have a fine potential. That feeling that “someone believes in me” can be the very thing that will anchor their faith deep in hope for humanity.

To be able to see the good acts of others renders service to ourselves. Swiss theologian John Casper Lavater once said, “He is incapable of a truly good actions who finds not a pleasure in contemplating the good actions of others.”

Appreciation for the achievement of others is akin to sunshine – we simply can’t help it shine on other people without feeling the glow ourselves.”

________________________________________

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site:
http://www.whitebison.org

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 14

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 14

“The base of all things is love, respect.”

–Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo

The greatest weapon of any Spiritual Warrior is love. Love will change minds; love will forgive; love will let go; love will cause good luck; love will heal; love will cry; love will get rid of resentments; love will overcome fear. Love loves love. Any human who is loving will be guaranteed respect. Respect loves love. We need to love and respect ourselves.

Grandmother, Grandfather, today, lead me on the path of love.

April 14 – Daily Feast

April 14 – Daily Feast

Great strength exists in the smallest things. The spider’s web is so exquisitely formed, a fragile gossamer remnant. But it is stronger in proportion to size and weight than the finest steel. The hummingbird’s wings send out impulses strong enough to resemble the throb of a tiny high speed engine – but early on, it was thought that because of the way its wings were constructed it could never fly. Love can be a mere glance, di ka nv to di, a brief word, a silent touch. But it reaches past time and space and mere existence. Prayer, short, deep – a word from the depth of heart and spirit can work miracles and change a whole world.

~ There is something that whispers to me….to listen to offers of peace. ~

LITTLE TURTLE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The Daily Motivator for April 14th – This is going to be

This is going to be

This is going to be a beautiful day. The way you can know that is because you will make it so.

This is going to be a productive day. You can live its moments with your awareness focused on bringing new value to life.

This is going to be a unique, memorable day. You have the opportunity right now to make the memories great ones.

This is going to be a joyful day. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whomever you’re with, you can add your own joy to the mix.

This is going to be a meaningful day. For you can use its many moments and possibilities in the service of what truly matters.

The way this day turns out depends on what you choose to do with it. And what you can choose, right now, is to make it the best one yet.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM for April 14th – Where the Soul Is

Where the Soul Is
Finding the Place You Belong

by Madisyn Taylor

There will likely be times in your life when your soul evolves more quickly than your circumstances.

There will likely be times in your life when your soul evolves more quickly than your circumstances. Your subconscious mind may be ready to move forward long before you recognize that you are destined to embrace a new way of life. Your soul intuitively understands that changing habitats can be a vital part of the growth process and that there may be one part of you that is eager to move to another home, another state, or another plane of existence. But the ties that bind you to your current mode of being can make moving into this next stage of your life more challenging than it has to be. If you find it difficult to move on, consider that just as people in your life may come and go, your role in others’ lives may also be temporary. And many of the conditions that at first seemed favorable served you for a short time. When you are ready to match your situation to your soul, you will find that you feel a new sense of harmony and increasingly connected to the ebb and flow of the universe.

Moving on can be defined in numerous ways. Your forward momentum may take you from your current locale to a place you instinctively know will be more nurturing, comfortable, and spiritually enriching. Once you arrive, your misgivings will vanish, and you will know that you have found a sanctuary. Similarly, subtle changes in your values, goals, or emotional needs can motivate you to distance yourself from one group of people in order to reassociate yourself with individuals that are better able to support you. For example, this could mean moving away from your birth family in order to find your energetic or spiritual family. The route you need to travel may not always be clear; you may feel inspired to change yet be unsure as to why or how. Clarity may come in the form of a question if you are willing to seriously ask yourself where your soul is trying to take you.

In a way, moving from one point to another when you feel strongly driven to do so is a way of bringing your spiritual and earthly energies together. It is a two-step process that involves not only letting go but also reconnecting. You will know you have found your destination, physical or otherwise, when you feel in your heart that you have been reborn into a life that is just the right shape, size, and composition.

 

Source:
The Daily OM

And One for the Road, Full Moon Fruition Spell

I over did it on the spells this morning. So I figured why let a good spell go to waste, save it for later. So here’s one for the road! Enjoy!

 

Full Moon Fruition Spell

A Full Moon is the perfect time to bring things to fruition. If you have something in your life that is hanging in the balance, this is the spell for you.

Items You Will Need:

Parchment seal
Dragons or Doves Blood ink
Brown Candle
Sprinkling Herbs or Spell Powder
Fireproof vessel

The Spell:

On the Full Moon, gather your ingredients and depending on your needs will dictate what Seal, herbs and Blood ink you need to use. Eample, If you have a house closing that is just not going through, use a Parchment seal for Earthly matters, herbs could be (powdered) Bay leaves or Earth Spell Powder and ink, Doves blood. Carve into your candle three symbols for the Moon, light candle. Write in “Blood Ink” on parchment seal your name and date of birth along with any other appropriate symbols. Sprinkle a SMALL amount of herbs or Spell Powders on your parchment seal, focus on seeing your need fulfilled, light tip of seal in candle flame and place in vessel, and as it burns recite this incantation:

“On this right and ready hour,
I call upon the mystic powers. ,
Secret parchment, ancient fires,
bring to me my hearts desire.,
Let the wheels in motion roll,,
All I seek will now unfold.”

Let candle burn out or snuff before leaving.

Author: Fumiva

Mundane Magick

Mundane Magick

Author: Soull the University Witch 

There are days in which I find myself feeling as if I have forgotten that I am, indeed, a Witch.

When I walk past the living room, I spare a glance with brown eyes at the small altar my partner Lore and I have crafted together using beautiful objects I have collected over the year of us being together. Our first chalice of red and clear glass, the miniature cast iron cauldron, and the brass lantern I had acquired years ago when I was thirteen. I still had it in my possession, even after over ten years. These objects, as well as many others, sat atop a wooden shelf, alone.

They gathered dust far quicker than the speed in which the days passed.

The daily grind can get to a person. The day passes, and you head to bed. Your head touches the pillows, and underneath the warmth of your secure blankets, you fall asleep. The sun rises. The day comes, and you awaken, pull on your clothes, and head out the door. You work. You eat. You come home. After commencing daily tasks, and wind down, you’re heading back to bed again. You may pass many, many days, allowing them to lapse in the same way over and over again, until you realize…

…Where have they gone?

On that shelf, the dust is still there.

It’s easy to forgot, amidst the glamour of the media and our own personal fantasies… that being a Witch does not necessarily mean living up that name at every opportunity. All of that is a front. Not all of us can remember to toss a prayer or thanks to the God and Goddess when something pleasant comes our way, or thank the patrons when a spell we may have managed to squeeze in a couple of weeks ago finally comes to fruition. That’s all right. The God and Goddess can forgive us for our thoughtlessness once in awhile. There are Sabbats that we may find ourselves forgetting about, or end up not having the time to celebrate it at all, not with all the other “mundane” holidays we may have to prepare for (cramming Thanksgiving in between Samhain and Yule, for example) . Often times, a full moon passes us, and there is no spell casting, nor celebration.

It just passes us by.

…Or does it?

It is during these days in which I sit, my laptop computer warm against my legs as I lean against my floral print couch and stare into my cup of tea that I think… what does it really mean to be a Witch? Or rather… am I really doing all that is needed to call myself a Witch?

Even now, I ask these questions of myself that I thought I had answered years ago.

Doesn’t everybody?

It all boils down to something that magick-users alike perhaps forget. We may hear it often, but there is very little within ourselves that helps to drive it home. No, you do not need to cast spells everyday in order to be called a Witch. No, you’re not required to be in a coven to be a Witch. No, there is no need to throw yourself out into the backyard every full moon and dance under it skyclad in order to call yourself a Witch. That’s just crazy talk.

“But what about the days outlined above?”, you may ask. “The days that pass again and again, and I forget, and forget, and when I look upon my altar, or at my spell books or Book of Shadows, and its not lined with words I have written of my rituals… but with dust?”

I’ve learned, while being a Witch… the days that you are not practicing magick are what truly define you.

Read about the day I had today:

Today, my alarm went off at 9:50am. I had stayed up late the night before, meticulously adjusting the Twitter feed for my blog. I hit the snooze button three times, and cuddled into Lore. I finally rose at 10:05am. I needed to get ready for work. I shuffled out of bed, and checked my email, looking over my bank account. My paycheck had rolled in sometime the previous day. I turned on Loreena McKennitt on iTunes, and slowly got dressed for work in the usual black suit uniform. I skipped on breakfast, and soon, I had to run out the door. I ran back into the bedroom to grab my promise ring—the one I had chosen specifically for the month of November, an orange topaz—and I kissed Lore three times on the cheek. “I love you”, then out the door. I whistled and looked up at the clouds, and I attempted to foresee the rest of the day in them. Cloudy, but calm… a slight breeze. I felt that my air element was at my side. It couldn’t be a bad day, right? When I arrived at work, I was late. I ran into Santa Claus as I sped through Nordstrom to make it to the management office of the large shopping center. He smiled and wished me a “Merry Christmas”; I smiled back and replied, “Have a happy Yule.” I ran up the two escalators to make it to the top floor. I tore through the mall to the other end. I pulled out my keys, smiled to the lone Eye of Horus keychain I kept on it, and escaped into the office. I clocked in, and ran back downstairs, and the workday began. During the day, three children had become lost in the shopping center. I sat with one girl and asked her how her Halloween went. I told her about the tradition of wearing masks to scare away the bad spirits. Her mother came, and I thanked the God and Goddess she hadn’t been left behind. I looked up the Harry Potter Blu-Ray box set I was planning on buying a friend for Yule. I thought about what kind of wand I would have if I were in Harry Potter. I was nudged out of my elaborate daydream of running my own metaphysical shop when my shift ended, and it was time to go home. I bought a tin of Godiva hot chocolate for the home, and matching socks for Lore and I, just because I wanted to buy a small gift. As I waited for the bus to come pick me up, I found a heads up penny. I chimed the usual “good luck” phrase as I tucked it into my pocket. When I arrived home after a pleasant day, I entered the keypad code to our apartment—an intricate star-and-number pattern.

It was a day like all days. No spell work. No magick. I passed the altar… and it was still dusty.

But when I looked back over my day… I knew for certain, I was a Witch through and through. How?

I had been tired because I had been working on my blog about being a witch. I hit my alarm three times—I always did. Three is a powerful number, and.. third time is the charm. I turned on Loreena McKennitt to listen to the song “All Souls Night”. My promise ring was the birthstone for November, because I had read that a stone’s magick was strongest when worn during the month it had been assigned to… and I always wanted Lore and I’s love to be at its strongest. While walking to the bus stop for work, I attempted to have a hand at nephomancy: the art of divining clouds. I thought about my element when a wind fluttered by. When I met Santa in the make-up section as I breezed through, I hadn’t wished him a “Merry Christmas”, but a “Happy Yule” without a passing thought. My keychain is adorned with the Eye of Horus, so they would always be in sight (though I still lose them, ha ha) . I taught a little girl about Gaelic culture. I thanked my patrons when she was returned safely to her mother. Harry Potter; does more need to be said? I dreamed about future aspirations of being surrounded by magick in a new age shop, thinking of what I would sell, what I would wear, and how I would run it. I still believe heads up pennies are magickal and are capable of bringing good fortune. My home’s keycode was thought out using shapes and numerology.

This is how I know.

When you are a Witch… even when living the life of a mundane…

Magick is everywhere.

Our True ‘Magical Tools’

Our True ‘Magical Tools’

Author: Solonius 

Our ‘magical items’ are only mundane objects without inherent power! After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I must toss that match into the gasoline can. I feel that there is an undue amount of romanticism attached to what are only supposed to be the tools of the witch’s trade. We are supposed to be wise enough to know that it is our minds, through our focused thoughts, that perform our spells and ceremonies, not our tools.

Wren composed a very thorough and thoughtful essay on the types and uses of Magical Tools, posted here in Witchvox back on 16 July 2000. I highly recommend reading it for the knowledge that you can gain. I’m re-posting what I personally feel is the most insightful part of that essay:

— THE WITCH:
You are the most magickal tool of all. It is your intentions and energies that determine the results of any magickal work. Many Witches never use any other tool but their own personal energies! And some of the most powerful workings can be done without ever leaving your armchair. It is the focus, concentration, intentions and desires that reside within YOU that are the real ‘tools’ of the Witch! —

Here is what happens: We read a book that says we need these various tools to perform a spell, rite, or ceremony. So we head out to the local magic shop to find said tools, and we all know they absolutely must be cool looking! We decide that this implement would make a great magical tool. We ‘cleanse’ the object of any negative energies (Please explain that? Energy is energy; it only has potential directed by the user, right?) We name our tools. We keep them special by not using them for any other purpose. We hold them as sacred objects due to the use we place upon them. We have special clothes that we put on when we wish to do our ceremonies or cast our spells.

The question I ask is: WHY? Is it only to get us “in the mood?” Is it pretentious vanity?

It is the tip of the sword that makes the groove as we begin to cast our magical circle. What is our mind doing? Our mind is visualizing the cutting of the veil. Our mind is that which creates a magical space. It is our mind that makes that space a place where all things are possible. We know what a circle looks like, yet we use this romanticized object to perform a simple task a finger could do. Are we thinking that the tool is imparting some magical power instead of our minds? Do the Realms above the Physical Plane require the use of our physical objects to breach a veil… or is it our focused minds that do the breaching?

Our tools take on the aspect of talismans by investing energy into the belief that they contain power. A talisman has no power other than the power of suggestion. It is our minds that place the belief in the power of a talisman, not the other way around. Is it a certain pair of shoes, tied a certain way, that allow us to toss a basketball into a hoop time and time again? Or is it the amount of attention we pay to what we are doing that hones our skills? The shoes might help us with our traction, but it is our minds that grasp the laws of physics. It is our minds that understand that we should apply this much force to move the mass of the basketball the distance to the basket. Why do we invest our energy into such a belief that it is all because of our shoes?

I feel the answers are simply these: Laziness and self-doubt. If we can get a tool that has power invested in it, we personally won’t have to work as hard. Those tools are on isle 5: Black and Decker or DeWalt. By placing more focus on the tool, and not on how to focus our thoughts, we seed doubt in our own mental ability to accomplish the task without our really cool looking magical item. It is our thoughts and desired intent that require our concentrated efforts. It is our minds that require the effort of learning, and developing our focus to such an extent that we have confidence in our own abilities. That confidence leads to more success.

We can’t be very confident in our own abilities if we are still riding around with training wheels after years of practice. Are our minds so weak that we need these really cool looking tools, consecrated on the first full moon of spring by a 4th generation Grand Poobah of the 1st Circle of the Wolf’s Shrine, using real dragon’s tears? (My apologies if you think I’m talking about you.) Will we think that such a tool will assist us in gathering energy? For that to happen we have to invest energy into the belief that it will. A magical tool does not gather, storehouse or bestow energy; WE are the conduits!

It is our imaginations that gather the energy and it is our intended desires that direct that energy to our desired outcome. We perform that ceremony, spell or rite for a purpose. We gather energy through our mind to enact that purpose. The actuality of spell-craft is this; we must gather energy, and then direct that energy. By assigning esoteric importance to mere tools, we yield energy that we are gathering for the spell in order to maintain a belief that the tool has infused power for our use. Better that gathered energy be used to enact our purpose! When we gather energy for a spell, and we cast out that energy to enable our desire, what is left to inhabit the magical tool? Are we confusing ourselves into thinking we are focusing physical energy (bound to this plane type of energy) or spiritual / mental energy? Although it might be convenient to think of these two types of energy as similar, they are, in fact, NOT. (If you think that I am mistaken, pick up your magical wand and, through you, focus its magical energy that a paperclip might float up in the air. If you accomplish this feat, you truly are a POWER in the Universe.)

Let me back up a little. Are tools necessary? YES! The focus we achieve from them is their true purpose. That, and that only, is their true use. Did we need a special pencil to help us add 2+2 a long time ago? Did the pencil give us the self-confidence that we would come to the answer? We eventually learned that we didn’t need any other tool than our own mind to perform the equation. It doesn’t make sense to think that a pencil will provide the answer for us; it was only used to keep us on track and help us progress. Are tools useful? YES! The more complex the spell, rite or ceremony, the more we can use tools to help us stay on track and stay in focus. And in that respect, almost any tool will do, (first and foremost being our minds) as long as we are focused on what we want to accomplish.

By practicing on focusing our minds, eventually we see that everything else we involve in the process is distracting, energy-wasting fluff. I highly doubt that the Spiritual Realm requires our theatrical production, with or without the props or an audience’s participation, to receive the energy and intent of our focused desire. We have fooled ourselves into believing it does because of our own desire for some romantic pageantry. But remember this: A tool is only what it is (this includes the spell) … it is a means to an end.

My intended purpose here is to urge you to think about these things! I am not requesting that you accept my opinion as your own.

Be Well,
Solonius

 

___________________________________

Footnotes:
Wren’s article from 16 July 2000.

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops

Author: The Redneck Pagan 

Picture this: a quite, beautiful full moon night in September. The air is warm and the leaves are changing and you can hear them rattle against each other as you step outside into the night. You have your list in hand, your supplies have been gathered and you have learned the ritual inside and out. You go to a spot in the yard, and set up your altar and prepare yourself. You cast your circle; you follow the script to perfection, not omitting a single word. You then close your circle, leave your libation and pick up your tools. As you walk back to the bright lights of the house you frown because you have a nagging little thought in the back of your head… “Did the dang thing work?”

Sound familiar yet? It probably does, but do not feel bad if this reads like a ritual you have done because it has happened to me as well! In all honesty, I would wager that this has happened to everybody at least once in their witchy careers, and probably more than once! And if someone says that it has never happened to him or her, then I call BS because we are all human. Being human means we are going to make mistakes, have off days. Sometimes our rituals and/or spells will flop and we will feel… nothing.

So, why do our rituals flop? Well, there can be a lot of reasons; I have yet to go through them all myself. Let’s start with the scenario I gave, the full moon solo ritual. There are a lot of reasons that ritual or spell could have failed. A major one is the mental state. Did your day at work suck and all you can think about is the crappy day? Do you have a huge project to do that is looming over you? Did you just have a fight with a loved one? Did you just loose someone you love? Are bills piling up and have you worried out of your skull? Are the kids being brats today? Do you have a high stakes meeting the next day at work? In my humble experience, fatigue and mental stress are the biggest ways to tank your ritual.

In a ritual or a spell, it is our intention that determines the outcome, and if you are worrying about something else, then you are not focusing your intent. Instead you are gnawing at the problem like a dog with a bone. I can personally think of a handful of rituals and spells I did that failed because I was too distracted to perform them! This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you; it just means you need to either sort the problem out in your head before a ritual or find a way to set it aside before the ritual. If I have a problem that is going to last a while, I take a piece of paper, write it down and put it somewhere outside of my ritual space. I tell myself that I am putting this down and will pick it up after the ritual. I then find I can shift my focus to the ritual.

The next thing you want to look at is your medical health. Did you have a headache before the ritual? Were you really hungry? Did you get enough sleep this week? Are you getting over a cold or flu? Did you eat something that made you feel off? Are you taking any prescription medication? Did you take an over the counter medication? Are you feeling healthy and well or run down and blah? Working a ritual does take up our energy, and if you are sick then your body is pulling that energy to heal itself and might not be able to spare any for a ritual. I once tried to do a Samhain ritual right after having the flu; it was a terrible idea. I spent the whole ritual feeling too hot, too cold, my head was pounding and I felt queasy. Halfway through the ritual I apologized to the gods and shut the circle down. I lit a candle, said a prayer to the dead, left an offering outside and went to bed.

Any kind of medication is going to play havoc with your system and can even play with your mind. When I take cough syrup I often will feel dizzy and sleepy, and cold tabs make me feel rather stoned. I am not functioning at 100% on those medications and will avoid rituals when I am taking them (and as I take them when I am sick I know from experience working when sick is not always wise) . Prescription medications are a touchy subject, and one I do not have enough expertise to fully address. I would advise that if it is a short-term medication, such as an antibiotic, wait until you are finished the medication. You are taking it to get well again and you want to conserve your energies for that purpose. Long-term medications are a different story, you might be on them for weeks, months or even years and I am not a medical expert. I would advise that you seek out an elder or a very long time practitioner for their expertise and assistance. They would be able to help you learn your own boundaries with how your body and mind interact with the medications and ritual workings. I would also advise you use good judgment. If a ritual is making you feel terrible and out of whack while you are on medications, stop the ritual and ground yourself immediately.

Okay, so your mental health and intentions were set, but the ritual still flopped. Is it possible you missed something? Maybe you forgot a part in the ritual, or didn’t have your correspondences fine-tuned, maybe you mixed up something. It could be that the time of the day was wrong for the intention of the ritual, or perhaps you selected a Deity that didn’t quite match up with what you were doing. There are a lot of ways that we can make a mistake in our ritual planning and execution. Maybe it was a ritual you read in a book that looked cool, but didn’t mean much to you so you weren’t able to get the right frame of mind. There are lots of things that can throw a ritual off or throw a monkey wrench into a spell.

So what do we do? Well, step one is going to have to be not to panic! The first time I felt nothing in one of my rituals I freaked out and tried to redo it three or four times. Guess what, that didn’t work. I felt less and less power each time and more and more fear and panic. Finally, I got bright and wrote down what happened and walked away from it. A few weeks later I was able to look back and figure out what went wrong. In that case, I was getting over a bad flu and my body was not really ready for the ritual.

First, calm down the panicked recital of “Oh my Goddess, it didn’t work. I’m going to lose my broom! I’m not a witch because it didn’t work”. Take a moment, sit down and write out everything you can. Write what you ate that day, what the weather is like, moon phase, what did you do over the last day or two, what your health is like and for women where in your cycle you are. Then walk away from it for a few days. No, really. Walk away from it for a few days; forget it ever happened.

A few days distance gives you a clearer perspective and can let you see if there were any mistakes made, if your health was off or if your mind wasn’t in the right place. It also gives you some time to watch your life unfold and perhaps see your ritual or spell working. Maybe you cast a spell for abundance and a few days later you got a raise at work, or a friend gave you an old table she didn’t need, or you got an unexpected cheque in the mail. These are results that take some time and you won’t see them right after the ritual/spell.

When I was a very new witch, I would perform a ritual and then sit back and wonder if it did work or not! I was a solitary for years and had nobody to ask if it worked or not. I eventually came across a book that a friend lent me (and I wish I could remember who wrote it so I could credit the author!) and in the book the author spoke about rituals and spells. The author explained that there is no Hollywood effects, no lightening in the sky, no booming voices, or sudden windstorms. The author explained that it would be far subtler. You might feel calmer, more relaxed after ritual. Other people might feel pumped up, full of energy and happy. Others might get chills and tingles across the body while another person might feel a sense of accomplishment at the end.

So, your ritual might not have flopped at all, but you just haven’t learned how your body and mind reacts to the ritual. After I read that, I jotted it down on a sticky note and left it on the front of the notebook I was using as a book of shadows. The next full moon, I went along and performed my ritual. I recorded everything as I have recommended above, and included how I was feeling. I did this for a few months for rituals and spells alike. I discovered that after a successful ritual, I often feel really relaxed, peaceful and a bit tingly inside. After a spell however, I feel pumped up, like I could run to the nearest town (25kms away) and a sense of accomplishment. After I learned this about myself, I was able to gauge when a spell or ritual worked or failed.

So when your ritual or spell goes flop, do not panic, but rather treat it as a great chance to learn something new and to grow. You might discover that you need a certain type of ritual to set the mood or that you are just no good at working a spell when your workload is stressing you out. You might discover that certain Deities don’t work out well with you or that a certain format makes your work tank every time. Either way, it will only lead you to self-discovery and a better understanding of the path you are walking on!

Yours Humbly

The Redneck Pagan

Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Spell?

Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Spell?

Author: Lady Nikata 

Once upon a time in the land of far, far away there was a young witch who was interested in performing a spell for her family. The witch looked up lore and tales about several spells that would suit her purpose. She performed them at the witching hour under the old clock tower and in the dale under a misty vale, but she could just not conquer the big bad spell.

Now how many magickal practitioners do you know, or it could be yourself, have tried to perform a spell for anything, money, love, health, beauty, and it did not turn out as you had planned. What could possibly be going array with your work? I hope this informative essay will clear some of those questions up for you.

In essence, a spell is a prayer or a focusing of energy on a particular idea. You need to think this idea through from start to finish. Books and websites will inform you that you need to be careful what you wish for because it has to come from some place. While this sentiment is true, the universe has an abundance of energy that can be formed into anything someone desires; however, there are consequences for conjuring these desires. Thus, you need to think the spell through and be specific on what you ask for.

Let us say you are performing a spell for money. If you only say you need money, then the universe will provide you with money it could be a penny, one hundred dollars, or you could be one of the lucky people to win the power ball jackpot. All of these things are money, but if you needed a specific amount or you wanted your income to grow at a certain rate then you need to ask for that detail. This brings us to the details in the planning of your spell craft.

There are thousands upon thousands of spells out in the world that use candles, runes, oils, incense, stones, dead languages, and more. Much like the antidotal witch above she toiled and studied these spells, but she did not think for herself. Everyone who practices magick is different, so their magicks attune differently with certain items. Personally, I use a bit of everything in my spells and rituals. I do primarily use candles and energy work as the two primary items/ideas in my spell craft.

I am not saying you cannot get or use spells that you find on the Internet or in a book. I find these very inspirational, but not particularly personal. I draw my ideas for a spell from these areas. Here is an example of my spell crafting process:

1. Decide what type of spell to use for the desire.
2. When to perform this spell (moon or sun phase, the day, planetary hour.) ?
3.What items will I need for the spell (candles, incense, poppets, boxes, salt, etc) ? What properties do these items possess and will they strengthen or weaken the spell?
4.Visualize what this spell will achieve in my life or someone else’s life.

Step 1 is, basically, why do you want to perform this spell? Is it for you or someone else? If it is for someone else, what are you receiving in return for the spell? Your energy and time should not be free as there is a cost on you for doing the spell. The person asking you to work your magick should make a sacrifice as well, such as money, time, or trade.

Step 2, when to perform this spell? The times of the year, phases of the moon and sun, day of the week, and planetary hours are all a factor in the timing of a spell. For example, you want to perform a love spell or growing love. I would choose to perform it during the waxing moon to full moon on a Friday or Monday, during the hour of Venus. If you are growing love, you should perform it during the time the moon is growing full (waxing) or during the full moon.

The moon rules over the element of water, which is the gateway to emotions. Friday is the best choice of day for a love spell with Monday coming is a close second. Friday is named after the Norse Goddess of love Freya and Monday is named after the moon. Perform this work during the planetary hour of Venus, the Greek Goddess of Love, during either the day or night. I prefer the night because I am more connected with the moon and nighttime energies. Keep in mind you can do the spell whenever you want; this is just the best time to focus your energy on that subject. I do not know a witch who will not perform an emergency spell when needed; it just will not be as strong as it could be given the correct timing.

Step 3, what items will I need for a spell? Some spells require no items, just your energy and focus. Other spells can feel like you are in potions class with Professor Snape by adding a drop of dragon’s blood to tincture then allowing it to dry on a parchment for three days. In truth, objects are a way to get you to focus your energy on your idea. These objects typically have a particular color, herb, oil, etc that fit the theme of the spell. All of these things help you work your energy into the spell.

If you are making a poppet or doll you are placing your focus on creating that object for a specific purpose. Just like when people say the secret ingredient in baking is love. Imagine that little old granny whipping up a batch of cookies for her grandkids. She is probably visualizing how much she loves her family and that they are going to love the special treat she is cooking for them. That energy goes into the spoon and down into the dough that will later be chewy delectable desserts. The same principal goes with your spell work. When you make the incense, oil, or inscribe a candle you need to visualize what this object will help you accomplish with the spell.

This brings us to the final step in my spell crafting process. Step 4, visualize what this spell is going to achieve. The spell is only as good as the energy and focus or sacrifice that is put into it. This is why in step 2 you choose the times that will give your energy a boost. Also your confidence level is a huge part of the spell as well. If you believe your spell will work, it will work. A large portion of this is the visualization. Let’s say you are doing a spell for weight loss. You will need to see yourself getting thinner, exercising, eating healthy, and doing what you need to do to make yourself obtain this goal. Imagine your life as the new you. All this will help focus your attention on the spell. Also, do not get discouraged if the spell does not work right away.

Sometimes things need to settle and line up to make the spell happen. Doing another spell right away will void out both spells and show that you do not trust yourself. In my opinion, if you work a spell and nothing happens within 6 months then you can try again. If nothing happens after that, the universe is trying to tell you something or you might not have done the work outside of the magickal realm to bring the idea to fruition.

Just take another peek at the statement above. Sometimes no matter how much we desire something, the Gods and/or the Universe do not want us to have this particular fixation for whatever reason. There is nothing saying that you will not obtain the object of your desire, just not at this time. On that other hand, you may need to do some post or prep work for your spell to take root. If you would like to obtain a particular job, you cannot just sit around and hope it comes to you. You need to fill out applications, write resumes, take certain tests, and set up interviews. In other words, the Universe will not do everything for you; you need to do your part as well.

The one major thing that you need in spell craft is confidence. If you do not believe in your power as an individual or as a witch, you cannot even hope to perform the simplest of spells. If you have never done spell work before, start out with small things such as raising energy, then work up to more complex spells. With self-confidence, the right energy, items, and knowledge, there is no reason you cannot be successful with spells. So who’s afraid of the big, bad spell?

Not you, not me.
So mote it be.

LUNA, THE SUMMERLAND

LUNA, THE SUMMERLAND

It was an ancient belief that the Moon was the dwelling place of those souls who had passed from the physical life. Old myths speak of the God, as the Sun, crossing the sky each day and gathering the souls of all who had died during the night. He would then carry them off to the West, and down into the Underworld. Here they were presented to the Goddess (remember, the moon sets in the west too) who then carried them off to the Afterlife World. Aradia called this Realm, Luna. Today, many Wiccans refer to this concept as the Summerland.

Luna is a “place” in which the soul is renewed and revitalized. It can then become prepared for its next incarnation, or in some cases, for its next “move” up into the Higher Dimensions (when it no longer requires the need for the physical dimension experiences). The Moon is connected to the cycles of Fertility, the Tides, and to menstruation. It is not difficult to see why the ancients then linked the Moon to the cycles of Death and rebirth.

Old legends spoke of the Moon receiving souls from the physical life, and that the light of the moon swelled with the collective light of their spirit bodies. As the souls returned back into the World, the light of the Moon began to wane.

The old teachings say that in Luna, there is communion with those who have gone before us, and that “plans” are made to be reborn among those who we knew before. In a way this also addresses the issue of “Karmic” links and connections.

The “portal” to the Realm beyond Life, stands at the Western Quarter. This association was established due to the fact that the Sun and the Moon “disappear” in the West, just as we too, in our time, disappear. The association of a body of Light and the Soul, also seem to have originated with this concept, and the non-physical (yet physical) properties of the Sun and the Moon, as “understood” by the Ancient Peoples.

The beliefs of a People, have a powerful impact upon the Astral material, of the Astral Dimension. Within the Astral Plane, thoughts ARE things. So, it is here that the Summerland, or Luna, exists.

Moon Symbols

MOON SYMBOLS

Moon Symbols: Certain Symbols have been associated with the Moon and Moon deities for thousands of years. Many symbols recur in diverse cultures with no contact with each other. Ancient spiritual leaders knew how to communicate with the collective unconscious, which is the storehouse of all knowledge, and hear the deities’ voices which speak there.

Using these symbols in meditation, ritual, or spell-working may intensify your connections with the archetypal powers of the Moon. Examine the entries carefully and decide what is appropriate for the situation, be it simple meditation of a full-blown ritual. For instance, I have no trouble identifying with Cats, but have never been able to decide on how to use Bats.

Ambrosia: The feminine mysteries of the menstrual cycle; the re-creative power of menstrual blood. Called soma among the Hindus, red claret of the faeries, and wise blood.

Bat: A creature of frequent association with the Moon and darkness. In China, bats were symbols of good fortune and happiness; in Europe, a companion creature of the Goddess Hel. Christians made the bat evil and demonic in order to disengage people from the Goddess.

Blood: The words “blessing” and “blood” are related. Red has always been considered the color of life. It is also the color of the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, indicative of Her fruitfulness through menstruation and birth. Smudging and staining the hands and feet with henna was practiced by followers of Hecate, Anath, and many Hindu Goddesses. Altars and people were consecrated by sprinkling with blood in these ancient times. Today, objects and people are sprinkled with salted water.

Boat: The Moon was called the Boat of Light by the Babylonians. Egyptians depicted the Crescent Moon with the horns turned upward either as part of the lunar deities headdress or carved sky-boats, such as the ones pictured in the temple of Isis.

Bull: Originally the lunar symbol of the Great Mother with the horns representing the Crescent Moon, the bull later came to represent the Sun Gods. However, it was often still connected with a Moon Goddess such as Cybele or Attis.

Cat: Mau: The Egyptian word for Cat. To the Egyptians especially, the cat was a Moon creature, and sacred to such Goddesses as Isis, Bast, Artemis, Diana, and Freyja. When Diana became known as Queen of Witches in the Middle Ages, the cat was associated with Witchcraft and Goddess worship.

Circle: The circle was symbolic of the Moon long before being seized by the Sun Gods. In Scotland, the Orkney Islands are still called Temples of the Moon. The ancient Greek divinatory tool known as Hecate’s Circle was a gold sphere with a sapphire in its center, and was hung on a thong of oxhide.

Color: Primary Moon deity colors are white, red, or black, depending on Moon phase. The Hindu Goddess Kali and many European Triple Goddesses specifically used these colors to designate their various aspects: white – maiden; red – mother; black – crone.

Cow: Feminine symbol of both Moon and the Earth. Egyptian Moon Goddesses connected with the cow were Isis, Hathor, Neith, amongst others.

Crescent: The New Moon; marking the change from the Dark Moon, it is the very first sliver of Moon. Old European designs portray the lunar cycle by a right crescent, a circle, and a left crescent. At times, the circle was replaced with a large snake coil. Semicircles also symbolized the crescent, as did bull horns. U-shaped marks not only represented crescents, but were also combined with dots to symbolize owls – Moon birds. The croissant, or any crescent-shaped
cake is sacred to Moon deities.

Crow: This bird was frequently associated with the Dark Moon Goddesses such as the Morrigan, due to its black color.

Crystal: This stone most often represents the Full Moon and its divinatory powers.

Dew, Rain: Many cultures associate these forms of condensation with the Moon. The early dew after a Full Moon is said to heal and improve beauty if rubbed into the skin. Certain phases and signs of the Moon are purported to be conducive to rain.

Dogs: Canines have long been associated with Moon deities, especially Crescent New Moon Goddesses. Managarmr (Moondog) was the mightiest of all dog-wolf supernatural beings according to a Norse story.

Dragon: Dragons are primarily associated with solar eclipses, but are also associated with the Moon and lunar eclipses. The idea of dragons and eclipses was held in China, Northern Asia, Finland, Lithuania, North Africa, and Persia. Legend dictates that dragons often fly about in the moonlight.

Eye: Often associated with the Moon, especially in ancient Egypt. Many little Eye Goddesses have been found in Mediterranean and European sites.

Fan: Among the ancient Asiatic and Oriental cultures, the fan represented the phases of the Moon.

Fish: Some cultures symbolized the Moon with a fish instead of a snake. Some Moon Goddesses were depicted with fish-tails, akin to mermaids.

Frog: Many times a lunar symbol; sometimes called a toad. Hekat the frog Goddess was connected with birth in ancient Egypt.

Grotto, Garden: It was common to worship a Moon Goddess or God in a grotto or garden. These sacred spaces usually contained a Moon tree such as an olive, a sacred stone, or a spring, or all of these.

Groves: Groves of trees were often sacred to the Moon Mother, especially if they held springs, pools, or lakes. Ceremonies of drawing water and pouring it were part of her rituals. If a grove contained a grotto where water came directly out of a rock, it was especially sacred.

Hare or Rabbit: Many cultures around the world, including Tibet, China, Africa, Ceylon, and some Native Americans, said that a hare lived on the Moon along with the ruling Moon deity. Especially associated with lunar Goddesses.

Horns: Bull or cows horns have always been connected with the Moon and Moon deities. Cattle and bison horns have been recovered that have thirteen notches carved into them; the Great Goddess of Laussel is such an example. These notches represent the thirteen Moon months of a seasonal year. The Greek Hera was also called Keroessa (“Horned One”) in her aspect of Io, the Moon Cow.

Horseshoe: A crescent Moon symbol and also a yonic emblem.

Hounds, Dogs: Packs of hounds, such as Alani of Diana, represent the dangerous energies of the Moon.

Labrys, Double Axe: A Goddess and Moon symbol, said to have been one of the weapons preferred by the Amazons. A thunderbolt was said to have been given in this shape to the Amazons by Hera. In Crete and at Delphi, both originally Goddess centers, the labyrs was a ceremonial scepter.

Lamp: The Moon is called by many the lamp of the night. Their close connection with the Moon’s light is demonstrated by the additional titles attached to Goddess names such as Juno Lucina , and Diana Lucifera.

Mirror, round: The Moon is called the heavenly mirror in Central Asia and many other parts of the world. The mirror is a Goddess symbol sometimes called a soul-carrier or soul-catcher. Some cultures believed that the souls of the dead went to the Moon to await reincarnation.

Moonstone: A feldspar gemstone with a white, cloudy form. It is said to contain the image of the Moon. The Hindus said it was formed from the congealing of the Moon’s rays. Pope Leo X (1475-1521 CE) was said to own a moonstone that waxed and waned in brilliance with the Moon. The stone is said to cure nervousness and bring luck to the owner.

Old Man, Old Woman: The markings on the Moon surface are often called the Old Man or Old Woman in the Moon. Some cultures such as the Asians, Mayans, or Aztecs, called these markings the hare, frog, or toad.

Owl: A night hunter possessing large eyes, the owl has long been associated with the Moon. The Egyptians considered the owl a symbol of death, night, and cold. To the Greeks, however, it was an emblem of wisdom and the Goddess Athena. Its staring eyes connected it with the Eye Goddesses, Lilith, Minerva, Blodeuwedd, Anath, and Mari, among others. The owl has long been associated with the Moon, wisdom, sacred lunary mysteries, and initiations.

Ox: In Greece and Rome, this animal was seen as a lunar animal.

Pomegranate: Due to its blood-red juice and its many chambers and seeds, the pomegranate is symbolic of blood, the Dark Moon deities, and the land of the Dea.

Pillar, Cone: The earliest representation of the Moon; sometimes this stone was a meteorite. Often it was grouped with a circular stone which represented the Full Moon. Some pyramids fall into this category.

Raven: A black bird associated with the Dark Moon Goddesses such as the Morrigan and Rhiannon.

Scythe, Sickle: A symbol of the Crescent Moon. Used by the Amazons and women who worshipped Moon Goddesses, particularly Crone deities. Even the Druids used a Moon-shaped sickle for their sacred ceremonies.

Semicircle: The semicircle represents the Crescent Moon in symbology.

Shell: A symbol of the Great Mother and related to the Moon.

Silver: This metal has long been regarded as the Moon’s metal. Silver was used for divinatory cups.

Snake: As a Goddess symbol, the snake is the same as the spiral when it is coiled. Each turn of the coil marks a day in the lunar calendar. Zigzag lines represent snakes. Serpents were associated with the Dark Moon because they were considered related to the Underworld. Some Dark Moon Goddesses were depicted with snakes as hair. There are pictures showing Cybele offering a cup to a snake. In the mythology of Mexico are tales of the woman serpent (Moon) who is devoured by the Sun, a description of an eclipse or the phases of the Moon.

Soma: A sacred liquid connected with the Moon. In India it was called soma; the Persians knew it as haoma, and the Celts as red claret. See Blood. The Chinese Goddess Ch’ang-O drank this sacred liquid, then fled to live on the Moon.

Sow: The white sow has been associated with Moon deities from the Celtic lands to the Mediterranean. It was connected with Astarte, Cerridwen, Demeter, Freyja, and the Buddhist Marici.

Spiral: The spiral, whichever way it turned, represented an aspect of the Great Goddess, and also the Moon. The upward and downward spiraling, or in and out, can be compared with the waxing and waning of the Moon. The Greek Crane Dance, probably originally performed in Crete by the bull-dancers, was danced around a horned altar which was part of the labyrinth. Spirals appear on some ancient Goddess statues, primarily replacing what would be eyes.

Toad: Some cultures saw a toad, instead of a hare, in the Moon. In some parts of Asia, Africa, and North America, the toad is a symbol of the Moon and fertility.

Tree: Frequently a tree, called a Moon tree, was an emblem of the Moon. Many Assyrian pictures portray this. Sometimes, it is more like a maypole with ribbons hanging from it rather than an actual tree. Often the Moon tree was guarded by animals.

Triple Symbols: Many groups of triple symbols represent the three phases of the Moon. Hecate Triformis is an example of the Triple Moon Goddess, as is the Celtic Morrigu. The tripod, triangle, and trident are all connected directly with the three phases of the Moon Goddesses, or with Gods who are consorts of these Goddesses.

Wishing Well: There is an Icelandic charm of this name which has four Crescent Moons as dippers about its edge. The Moon has long been associated with water and the granting of wishes or prayers. Several Goddesses, such as the Greek Demeter and the Celtic Brigit, had sacred Moon wells where rituals, large and small, were held for the granting of desires.

Wheel: Though the wheel has most often been a Sun symbol, there were occasions when it represented the Moon. Arianrhod’s Silver Wheel or Oar Wheel is really the Moon.

Willow: A Moon tree sacred to such Dark Moon Goddesses as Hecate, Circe, and Persephone. The willow (helice) gave its name to the Helicon, abode of the nine muses, the orgiastic abode of the Moon Goddess.

Wings: Long before the Persians adopted the winged disk as a symbol of their Sun God, the Moon Goddess was shown with wings. Sometimes the Moon itself, whether Crescent or Full, was pictured with wings. Certain birds, such as doves and pigeons, were associated with the Moon.

Wolf: Many Gods and Goddesses who had connections with the Moon, also had the wolf as their symbol. The wolf howls as the Moon, as do dogs; they hunt and frolic by moonlight. The Moon priestesses of many cultures were adept at astral traveling and shape shifting, both talents usually practiced at night. They also practiced rituals, dancing and singing, outdoors under the Moon. A Roman festival, the Lupercalia, was in honor of the wolf Goddess Lupa or Feronia. The
Norse believed that the giant wolf Hati dogs the courses of the Moon, and in the final days will eat this celestial body.

Yin and Yang: This Chinese symbol represents the joined powers of the male and female, positive and negative; in other words, a cyclical alternation of duality. At one point in ancient Chinese history, this design symbolized the phases of the Moon, the light and dark cycles. Much of the ancient world spoke of the Two Ladies or Two Mistresses of the Moon.

Understanding How The Moon Phases Come About

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE MOON PHASES COME ABOUT

Without the sun the moon would always be dark and inward. With her varied reflections of the sun comes balance. Balance between the quiet introspective times and the outward active times.

It is interesting to think about the fact that it does not matter where the moon is in the sky but rather where she is in relationship to the sun. Because of this people all around the world will be experiencing the same moon phase at the same time. Although half of the moon is always lit up by the sun, from our perspective here on earth the moon is ever changing.

When the sun and moon rise and set together we cannot see the moon’s face. She is traveling between us and the sun so nothing is reflected toward the earth. We think of this as the dark moon. As she waxes (increases) to a half moon she is coming up about 6 hours after the sun so only half of her reflection can be seen from our earth. But at full moon time she is traveling opposite the sun
and we see her full reflection. Then as she wanes (gets smaller) we see less and less of her reflection until we see none at all at the time of the dark or new moon.

Each day the moon rises about an hour later as it will travel its complete cycle in about 29 1/2 days. Knowing this can help us know were to look for her each day. For example one day after the full moon look for her to come up about an hour after the sun goes down.

This information on the individual phases is a repeat from what is written with each moon phase, but I thought it would be helpful to see it all together.

NEW MOON (DARK)

We consider it to be the new moon up to 3 1/2 days after the official new moon. She rises around dawn, sets around sunset.

Because she is between the sun and the earth nothing or very little is reflected and for a few days the moon is lost in the brilliance of the sun.

As the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth the pull on us is the strongest. Because the sun, moon and earth are all in a straight line this creates a time when the high tide is higher and the low tide is lower than usual.

WAXING CRESCENT MOON

The waxing crescent moon occurs 3 1/2 to 7 days after the new moon. She rises in the mid morning and sets in the evening.

The moons light is quickening. As the moon has dropped back until she is about 1/8 th of the way behind the sun and we see her lumination as a crescent shape.

FIRST QUARTER MOON (WAXING)

You will see the first quarter moon from 7 to 10 1/2 days after the new moon. She will rise around noon and set around midnight.

As the moon is at a right angle to the sun the difference between high and low tide is minimized. Because light and dark are in balance the moon will appear to be a half moon but the area of light will continue to grow each day.

WAXING GIBBOUS MOON

The waxing gibbous moon occurs between 10 1/2 and 14 days after the new moon. She rises sometime in the mid afternoon and sets in the early dark hours of the morning.

As the moon has fallen back around 3/8 of the way behind the sun one side of the moon is seen fully, the light on the other side bulges out but does not yet fill all of the moon’s face.

FULL MOON

About 15 days after the after the new moon the full moon first appears. At this point the moon is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun so she rises around sunset and sets around dawn.

The sun shines fully on her face and tides are at their extremes again. Some may sense the pull of the sun from one direction and the moon from the opposite and their energy and will feel a bit scattered.

WANING GIBBOUS MOON (DISSEMINATING)

The waning gibbous or disseminating moon appears 3 1/2 days to 7 days after the full moon. The moon will rise during the evening and set sometime mid morning.

Again we see the bulge on one side of the moon but it is now decreasing each day. Darkness is slowly moving in. Waning is underway.

LAST QUARTER MOON (WANING)

The waning last quarter moon appears between 7 and 10 1/2 days after the full moon. She rises near midnight and sets near noon.

Because of the return to a right angle between the sun and moon the variation between tides is at its low again. There is once again a balance between light and dark but the dark will soon overcome the light.

WANING CRESCENT MOON (BALSAMIC)

The Waning crescent or balsamic moon occurs between 10 1/2 days after the full moon up until the new moon. The moon rises in the dark hours of the morning and sets in the afternoon.

Again we see the moon as a beautiful crescent but it is rapidly diminishing into darkness. Preparing for another 27 1/2 day lunar cycle.