Magickal Goody of the Day
How To Make a Witch’s Ladder
A witch’s ladder is one of those nifty things we sometimes hear about but rarely see. Its purpose is similar to that of a rosary – it’s basically a tool for meditation and ritual, in which different colors are used as symbols for one’s intent. It’s also used as a counting tool, because in some spell workings there is a need to repeat the working a particular number of times. You can use the ladder to keep track of your count, running the feathers or beads along as you do so.
Traditionally, the witch’s ladder is made with red, white and black yarn, and then nine different colored feathers woven in.
Time Required: Varied
- Realistically speaking, it makes more sense to use yarn colors that have a significance to you and your working. Also, finding nine differently colored feathers can be tricky if you’re looking for them out in the wild — you can’t just go plucking feathers from local endangered species — and that means a trip to the craft store and some oddly tinted feathers. I’d recommend using either found feathers of any color, or something else entirely — beads, magical uses of buttons, bits of wood, shells, or other items you have around your home.
- To make your basic witch’s ladder, you’ll need:
- Yarn or cord in three different colors
- Nine items that are similar in property but in different colors (nine beads, nine shells, nine buttons, etc)
Cut the yarn so that you have three different pieces in a workable length – usually a yard or so is good. Although you can use the traditional red, white and black, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you must. Tie the ends of the three pieces of yarn together in a knot.
- Begin braiding the yarn together, tying the feathers or beads into the yarn, and securing each in place with a sturdy knot. Some people like to chant or count as they braid and add the feathers. If you wish, you can say something like this variation on the traditional chant:
By knot of one, the spell’s begun.
By knot of two, the magic comes true.
By knot of three, so it shall be.
By knot of four, this power is stored.
By knot of five, my will shall drive.
By knot of six, the spell I fix.
By knot of seven, the future I leaven.
By knot of eight, my will be fate.
By knot of nine, what is done is mine.
- As the feathers are tied into knots, focus your intent and goal. As you tie the final and ninth knot, all your energy should be directed into the cords, the knots and the feathers. The energy is literally stored within the knots of the witch’s ladder. When you’ve completed the string and added all nine feathers or beads, you can either knot the end and hang the ladder up, or you can tie the two ends together forming a circle.
If you’d like your ladder to be more like a rosary string, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of Pagan Prayer Beads by John Michael Greer and Clare Vaughn.
What You Need:
- Yarn or cord in three different colors
- 9 Feathers or other items to braid into your ladder
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Gemstone of the Day
(Color: greenish-grey, colorless and yellow)
From the Greek word “to scatter,” referring to the mineral’s easy disintegration in the blowpipe flame.
Hardness: 6,5 – 7
Specific Gravity: 3.3 – 3.5
Fracture: Brittle – Conchoidal
Luster: Vitreous – Pearly
Healing: Diaspor is used with AIDS patients as well as assisting in the treatment of Parkinson disease.
Workings: Diaspor is an excellent facilitator for recalling of dreams. Try sleeping with it under your pillow. Also good for use in meditation when you are seeking answers to questions. Used in astral projection. Useful when used in communication spells of all kinds.
Chakra Applications: Diaspor opens and energizes the heart chakra. Also energizes the Crown chakra, thus enhancing comprehension of ones surroundings.
Foot Notes: A component of bauxite (aluminum ore). Diaspor is found as a thin, flattened crystal formation. Diaspor is found worldwide.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Herb of the Day
(Eucalyptus globulus) Leaves, oil
Medicinal Uses: Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic, and is used to treat pyorrhea (gum disease), and is used on burns to prevent infections. The oil breathed in will help clear the sinuses, as will the steam from boiling the leaves. The leaves and their preparations have been successfully used as a tonic and gently stimulating stomachic, in atonic dyspepsia, and in catarrh of the stomach and typhoid fever; also advised in mucous catarrhal affections generally; in pseudo-membranous laryngitis, in asthma, with profuse secretion, and in chronic bronchitis, with or without emphysema, and in whooping-cough; it has likewise proved efficient in chronic catarrh of the bladder, where the urine is high-colored, contains an abnormal amount of mucus, or, perhaps, some purulent matter, and micturation is attended with much pain.
When mixed with water or vegetable oils, it makes a good insect repellant. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea. Externally applied, the oil gives relief in some forms of neuralgic and rheumatic pains. The oil is often combined with Thymus.
Magickal uses: Healing energies come from the leaves. A branch or wreath over the bed of a sick person will help spread the healing energies. The oil is added to healing baths, and for purifications. Stuff healing poppets and carry for good health. Ringing three green candles with the leaves and pods may relieve colds. Then burn the candles all the way to the socket while visualizing the inflicted person. For sore throats, wear a necklace made of the green pods, strung on green thread. Place pods beneath your pillow to protect against colds. Carry the leaves for protection.
Properties:Antiseptic, deodorant, expectorant, stimulant, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, febrifuge.
Contains volatile oil, the major component of which is l,8-cineole (=eucalyptol), 70-85%; with terpineole, a-pinene, p-cymene and small amounts of sesquiterpenes such as ledol, aromadendrene and viridoflorol; aldehydes, ketones and alcohols. Polyphenolic acids; caffeic, ferulic, gallic, protocatechuic and others. And flavonoids including eucalyptin, hyperoside and rutin.
Growth: Eucalyptus reigns among the tallest trees in the world, capable of reaching heights of over 250 feet tall. It thrives only in areas where the average temperature remains above 60 degrees, and is adaptable to several soil conditions. The trunk is covered with peeling papery bark. The leaves on the young plant, up to 5 years old, are opposite, sessile, soft, oblong, pointed, and a hoary blue color. The mature leaves are alternate, petioled, leathery, and shaped like a scimitar. The flowers are solitary, axillary, and white, with no petals and a woody calyx. The fruit is a hard, four-celled, many-seeded capsule enclosed in the calyx cup.
Boil mature leaves In water and condense the vapor to recover the oil.
An infusion may be made with 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let infuse for 10-15 minutes. The dose of tincture is 1 ml. three times a day.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Deity of the Day
Areas of Influence: Pomona was one of the Numina, the Roman guardian spirits who watched over people, homes and special places. She protected fruiting trees and gardens.
She is an agricultural Goddess , responsible for the care and cultivation of fruit trees and orchards. Her name is actually derived from the Latin word pomun, meaning fruit. Her dedication to her work left her little time for love. She turned down the offers of marriage from Silvanus and Picus but was eventually tricked into marriage by Vertumnus. This deity was served by high priests known as Flamen Pomonalis in a sacred grove known as the Pomonal.
Origins and Genealogy: I can find no references to her parents, siblings and children.
Strengths: A nurturer, dedicated to her job. As a fertility Goddess she represented abundance.
Weaknesses: So busy looking after her trees that she has little time for herself.
Symbolism: A popular figure in art she is shown as a beautiful Goddess carrying a knife to prune with and a platter of fruit or a cornucopia.
Sacred Animal/Bird/Plant: Apples.
Festival: A feast was held annually on the November 1st when apples, nuts and grapes were consumed to celebrate the harvest.
Unlike many of the Roman Goddesses she has no specific Greek equivalent.
The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.
In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her. It is not necessary to be a biological Mother to have this stereotype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.
As Goddess of the harvest she represents the Mother Archetype as she nurtures the fruits, trees and the plants in the garden.
How to Work With This Archetype
You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective. Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it’s needed.
The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.
Microsoft vs GM
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon.”
In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:
If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn, would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought “Car95” or “CarNT.” But then you would have to buy more seats.
6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five per cent of the roads.
7. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single “general car default” warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
9. The airbag system would say “Are you sure?” before going off.
10. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grab hold of the radio antenna.
11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car’s performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
12. Every time GM introduced a new model car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
13. You’d press the “start” button to shut off the engine.
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.
2015 May 14
Explanation: Now at Ceres, Dawn’s camera recorded this closer view of the dwarf planet’s northern hemisphere and one of its mysterious bright spots on May 4. A sunlit portrait of a small, dark world about 950 kilometers in diameter, the image is part of a planned sequence taken from the solar-powered spacecraft’s 15-day long RC3 mapping orbit at a distance of 13,600 kilometers (8,400 miles). The animated sequence shows Ceres’ rotation, its north pole at the top of the frame. Imaged by Hubble in 2004 and then by Dawn as it approached Ceres in 2015, the bright spot itself is revealed to be made up of smaller spots of reflective material that could be exposed ice glinting in the sunlight. On Saturday, Dawn’s ion propulsion system was turned on to spiral the spacecraft into a closer 4,350-kilometer orbit by June 6. Of course another unexplored dwarf planet, Pluto, is expecting the arrival of a visitor from Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft, by mid-July.
Sun in Taurus
Now until May 21, 2015
Signs are Seasons
Taurus occupies the middle of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere. The signs in the middle of seasons are called fixed signs (Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are the others). They tend to resist change. Their purpose is not to stop movement, but to ensure a consistency of values.
Earthy Taurus is about appreciating the natural forces of this planet, its people and plants. It is, in some ways, the sign of the Garden of Eden; it is about enjoying the pleasures of this world. The essence of Taurus, then, is not doing, but simply being. Just stop a moment to feel your body, to smell the air, to sense the light on your face. Physical sensation in its most positive forms are the essence of Taurus.
Comfort or Indulgence
This appreciation for physical pleasure is a reminder that we are each worthy, even without expending effort. At its best, this is the essence of self-acceptance. “I am worthy because I exist,” may well be the Taurus motto. The strength of this perspective is that it reduces our anxiety to do, to become someone or make something happen in order to be worthy.
Real self-acceptance is, of course, very healthy. It allows a person to enjoy herself and appreciate her gifts. But, there is also a kind of false self-acceptance that can be associated with Taurus. This is self-indulgent and lazy. It’s not about confidence, it’s really about fear. The challenge is to transform worth into action. Potential alone will not change the world or improve your life. Yes, meditative moments, walks on the beach and massages do remind us of the sweetness of life and can be delicious. But, growth and change also require action.
When self-acceptance is rooted in real appreciation, rather than resignation or denial, it is inherently dynamic. The in-breath is always followed by an out-breath. The healthy expression of Taurus then becomes highly productive.
The Money Sign?
Taurus, and its key planet Venus, are often associated with money. This, however, can be misleading. Sure, Taurus likes stuff, particularly high quality expensive stuff. It can be possessive, too. But one of the secrets of money is that it is about exchange, that it has no real value by itself.
While Taurus often knows a good thing when he sees it, the idea of exchange is not always easy for this sign to grasp. It needs to learn to give if it’s going to get. The risks of sharing can complicate the bull’s simple life, but Taurus needs to know about this to be materially successful.
The Non-Material Taurus
Although Taurus is essentially about the physical world, there is another path that some born in this sign have taken. In the pursuit of peace, awareness and the essence of comfort, many bulls are attracted to spirituality.
Foremost among these was the Buddha. Prince Gautama was a Taurus born into a world of luxury and leisure. But his desire for real value and meaning led him down a very different path. The truth, he found, was not in the world bound by flesh and ego, but in the spirit.
Perhaps the reason is that, at its highest levels, Taurus is about enduring values. The flesh will not endure, but spirit is eternal. This is a reminder for all of us, Taurus or not, to remember the non-material reality that lies behind all that we can physically touch and feel.
The movies have been good to Taurus. Among this sign’s stars are Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Shirley MacLaine, Uma Thurman and Harvey Keitel. We tend to think of Taurus as strong or muscular, but there are even slim Taurus stars like Audrie Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Taurus, associated with the throat, is a sign for singers like Barbra Streisand, Cher, Janet Jackson, Enya, Enrique Iglesias, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Billy Joel. Comic bulls include Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin and Jay Leno. Directing ones are George Lucas and Orson Welles, while Tony Gwynn, Dennis Rodman, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and Andre Agassi are sporty bulls.
This sign even includes the fathers of communism (Karl Marx) and psychotherapy (Sigmund Freud), as well as modern political figures Tony Blair and Madeleine Albright.
Your Daily Influences
May 14, 2015
This is the card of change and renewal, the emergence of new ideas and opportunities.
This may be a time of confusion for you. That which you have built may be in jeopardy of crumbling. Do not allow yourself to give in to your weaknesses.
The Crescent and Hand
Guests and visitors will come calling. Their visit brings sadness and pain. This aspect will reflect these emotions for weeks after the visit
Your Daily Influences represent events and challenges the current day will present for you. They may represent opportunities you should be ready to seize. Or they may forewarn you of problems you may be able to avoid or lessen. Generally it is best to use them as tips to help you manage your day and nothing more.
Your Charm for Today
You will find you have within you the ability to resolve all conflicts and disagreements with regard to this aspect. You will find an eloquence you did not realize before.
The staff of Mercury was given to him by Apollo in exchange for the lyre. The rod was endowed with the remarkable power of deciding all quarrels and bestowing wonderful eloquence upon its possessor. Mercury proved this when he saw two serpents fighting. Placing the rod between them and using his eloquence he reconciled the serpents, who then embraced each other, and becoming attatched to the rod formed the caduceus. The pine cone is credited with health giving power, and the wings symbolize speed and the flight of thoughts between friends. This ancient talisman was supposed to be a charm fo prospetity, rendering its possessor healthy, wealthy and wise.
The Four Courses
The Four Courses reading presents possible paths for the querent to take to reach a more complete state of being. While all paths may offer a degree of fulfillment, usually one will be more fruitful than the others. The trick of course, is to pick the one that will bring most beneficial results.
Your Current State
The Pearl tile denotes the attainment of wealth and a life of luxury. The task will be to balance your spiritual self with your physical self.
The North Wind tile indicates there will be difficult moments ahead. These can be canceled out if the South Wind Tile is in your reading as well.
The Lute tile indicates a need for relaxation—a break from the stress of your everyday life. For people nearing the end of their career it may suggest that the time for them to retire has come.
The Land tile suggests either a stable setting in which you are already thriving, or one that will exist in the near future. With stability your success and vision will grow.
The South Wind tile is considered to be a very good sign in a reading. It almost ensures a satisfactory end to any problem.