MAGICK SACHET FOR THE EXPECTANT WITCH
To be used in the bath or as a dream pillow to soothe away the discomforts of pregnancy.
1/2 tablespoon lemon balm
1 teaspoon lemon verbena
3 tablespoons lavender
2 tablespoons rose petals
7 drops of pure jasmine oil
Mix together all of the ingredients in your cauldron or a wooden bowl. Cut a three-inch square piece of light blue cloth (a natural fiber always works best). Place some of the herbal mixture in the center and tie up the loose ends with some matching yarn. While doing this, visualize the discomforts being soothed away.
When you’re ready, either toss it into a warm bath or hide it in the batting of your favorite pillow (or, if you want it to stay your favorite pillow for very long, put it in your pillowcase)and you’ve got a special dream pillow. Pleasant dreams!
POWERFUL FERTILITY SPELL
2 pine cones
3 wheat heads
Green marker and paper
Rub the oil on the candle and anoint yourself around the womb area with a drop of oil. Light the candle and incense and place the pine cones and wheat into a cauldron or container. Visualize your magickal goal and use the marker to draw yourself on the right hand side of the paper as you are now – draw yourself as you want to be on the left side (flat belly – pregnant belly will do just fine) visualize your goal while drawing – when you feel you’ve visualized enough tear the paper in half and fold the left side with your goal drawn on it into a small square and place it in your pocket then light the other paper in the candle flame and place it in the cauldron to burn.
Chant or pray for your goal to be realized as you watch the paper burn. Bury the contents of the cauldron in your yard – preferable a garden – leave an offering of a small crumb of cake on a crystal plate for any good spirits or fairies who might happen by. Stay positive so you don’t attract the attention of any jealous or bad fairies!
Keep the paper with your goal drawn on it with you at all times until your wish is granted then you can place it in a safe place for luck.
EGG WISH SPELL FOR FERTILITY
“On an egg whose shell is brown or pink,
Sign these signs in grass-green ink.
[a simple sun, a male symbol, an encircled equilateral cross, a female sign,
then an upside-down 5-pointed star]
Bury it deep in an earth-filled pot,
Let this stand where the sun is hot;
Sow on its surface seeds of grass,
Water them well while nine weeks pass
Gather the crop, bind it with thread
Let it hang always above your bed
A Midsummer’s Celebration
by Mike Nichols
The young maid stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the Plant of pow’r; —
“Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic St. John’s wort tonight,
The wonderful herb, whose leaf will decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.”
In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four “quarter days” of the year, and modern Witches call them the four “Lesser Sabbats”, or the four “Low Holidays”. The summer solstice is one of them.
Technically, a solstice is an astronomical point and, due to the calendar creep of the leap-year cycle, the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, and we experience the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Astrologers know this as the date on which the sun enters the sign of Cancer.
However, since most European peasants were not accomplished at reading an ephemeris or did not live close enough to Salisbury Plain to trot over to Stonehenge and sight down its main avenue, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, June 24. The slight forward displacement of the traditional date is the result of multitudinous calendrical changes down through the ages. It is analogous to the winter solstice celebration, which is astronomically on or about December 21, but is celebrated on the traditional date of December 25, Yule, later adopted by the Christians.
Again, it must be remembered that the Celts reckoned their days from sundown to sundown, so the June 24 festivities actually begin on the previous sundown (our June 23). This was the date of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Which brings up another point: our modern calendars are quite misguided in suggesting that ‘summer begins’ on the solstice. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on May Day and ends on Lammas (August 1), with the summer solstice, midway between the two, marking midsummer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that summer begins on the day when the sun’s power begins to wane and the days grow shorter.
Although our Pagan ancestors probably preferred June 24 (and indeed most European folk festivals today use this date), the sensibility of modern Witches seems to prefer the actual solstice point, beginning the celebration on its eve, or the sunset immediately preceding the solstice point. Again, it gives modern Pagans a range of dates to choose from with, hopefully, a weekend embedded in it.
Just as the Pagan Midwinter celebration of Yule was adopted by Christians as “Christmas” (December 25), so too the Pagan Midsummer celebration was adopted by them as the Feast of John the Baptist (June 24). Occurring 180 degrees apart on the wheel of the year, the Midwinter celebration commemorates the birth of Jesus, while the Midsummer celebration commemorates the birth of John, the prophet who was born six months before Jesus in order to announce his arrival.
Although modern Witches often refer to the holiday by the rather generic name of “Midsummer’s Eve”, it is more probable that our Pagan ancestors of a few hundred years ago actually used the Christian name for the holiday, “St. John’s Eve”. This is evident from the wealth of folklore that surrounds the summer solstice (i.e., that it is a night especially sacred to the faerie folk), but which is inevitably ascribed to “St. John’s Eve”, with no mention of the sun’s position. It could also be argued that a coven’s claim to antiquity might be judged by what name it gives the holidays. (Incidentally, the name ‘Litha’ for the holiday is a modern usage, possibly based on a Saxon word that means the opposite of Yule. Still, there is little historical justification for its use in this context.) But weren’t our Pagan ancestors offended by the use of the name of a Christian saint for a pre-Christian holiday?
Well, to begin with, their theological sensibilities may not have been as finely honed as our own. But secondly and more mportantly, St. John himself was often seen as a rather Pagan figure. He was, after all, called “the Oak King”. His connection to the wilderness (from whence “the voice cried out”) was often emphasized by the rustic nature of his shrines. Many statues show him as a horned figure (as is also the case with Moses). Christian iconographers mumble embarrassed explanations about “horns of light”, while modern Pagans giggle and happily refer to such statues as “Pan the Baptist”. And to clench matters, many depictions of John actually show him with the lower torso of a satyr, cloven hooves and all! Obviously, this kind of John the Baptist is more properly a Jack in the Green! Also obvious is that behind the medieval conception of St. John lies a distant, shadowy Pagan Deity, perhaps the archetypal Wild Man of the wood, whose face stares down at us through the foliate masks that adorn so much church architecture. Thus, medieval Pagans may have had fewer problems adapting than we might suppose.
In England, it was the ancient custom on St. John’s Eve to light large bonfires after sundown, which served the double purpose of providing light to the revelers and warding off evil spirits. This was known as “setting the watch”. People often jumped through the fires for good luck. In addition to these fires, the streets were lined with lanterns, and people carried cressets (pivoted lanterns atop poles) as they wandered from one bonfire to another. These wandering, garland-bedecked bands were called a “marching watch”. Often they were attended by morris dancers, and traditional players dressed as a unicorn, a dragon, and six hobbyhorse riders. Just as May Day was a time to renew the boundary of one’s own property, so Midsummer’s Eve was a time to ward the boundary of the city.
Customs surrounding St. John’s Eve are many and varied. At the very least, most young folk plan to stay up throughout the whole of this shortest night. Certain courageous souls might spend the night keeping watch in the center of a circle of standing stones. To do so would certainly result in either death, madness, or (hopefully) the power of inspiration to become a great poet or bard. (This is, by the way, identical to certain incidents in the first branch of The Mabinogion.) This was also the night when the serpents of the island would roll themselves into a hissing, writhing ball in order to engender the “glain”, also called the “serpent’s egg”, “snake stone”, or “Druid’s egg”. Anyone in possession of this hard glass bubble would wield incredible magical powers. Even Merlyn himself (accompanied by his black dog) went in search of it, according to one ancient Welsh story.
Snakes were not the only creatures active on Midsummer’s Eve. According to British faery lore, this night was second only to Halloween for its importance to the Wee Folk, who especially enjoyed a ridling on such a fine summer’s night. In order to see them, you had only to gather fern seed at the stroke of midnight and rub it onto your eyelids. But be sure to carry a little bit of rue in your pocket, or you might well be “pixie-led”. Or, failing the rue, you might simply turn your jacket inside out, which should keep you from harm’s way. But if even this fails, you must seek out one of the “ley lines”, the old straight tracks, and stay upon it to your destination. This will keep you safe from any malevolent power, as will crossing a stream of “living” (running) water.
Other customs included decking the house (especially over the front door) with birch, fennel, St. John’s wort, orpin, and white lilies. Five plants were thought to have special magical properties on this night: rue, roses, St. John’s wort, vervain, and trefoil. Indeed, Midsummer’s Eve in Spain is called the “Night of the Verbena (Vervain)”. St. John’s wort was especially honored by young maidens who picked it in the hopes of divining a future lover.
And the glow-worm came
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John,
And soon has the young maid her love-knot tied.
There are also many mythical associations with the summer solstice, not the least of which concerns the seasonal life of the God of the sun. Inasmuch as I believe that I have recently discovered certain associations and correspondences not hitherto realized, I have elected to treat this subject in some depth in my ‘Death of Llew’ essay. Suffice it to say here, that I disagree with the generally accepted idea that the Sun God meets his death at the summer solstice. I believe there is good reason to see the Sun God at his zenith—his peak of power—on this day, and that his death at the hands of his rival would not occur for another quarter of a year. Material drawn from the Welsh mythos seems to support this thesis. In Irish mythology, midsummer is the occasion of the first battle between the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha De Danaan.
Altogether, Midsummer is a favorite holiday for many Witches in that it is so hospitable to outdoor celebrations. The warm summer night seems to invite it. And if the celebrants are not, in fact, skyclad, then you may be fairly certain that the long ritual robes of winter have yielded place to short, tunic-style apparel. As with the longer gowns, tradition dictates that one should wear nothing underneath—the next best thing to skyclad, to be sure. (Incidentally, now you know the real answer to the old Scottish joke, “What is worn beneath the kilt?”)
The two chief icons of the holiday are the spear (symbol of the Sun God in his glory) and the summer cauldron (symbol of the Goddess in her bounty). The precise meaning of these two symbols, which I believe I have recently discovered, will be explored in the essay on the death of Llew. But it is interesting to note here that modern Witches often use these same symbols in their Midsummer rituals. And one occasionally hears the alternative consecration formula, “As the spear is to the male, so the cauldron is to the female.” With these mythic associations, it is no wonder that Midsummer is such a joyous and magical occasion!
Document Copyright © 1983 – 2009 by Mike Nichols.
Text editing courtesy of Acorn Guild Press.
Magickal Goody of the Day
Make a Stone Circle Sundial
Placing the Stones
Stonehenge is one of the world’s best known stone circles, and many researchers have noted that the structure functions as a giant astronomical calendar and sundial. Most people can’t build a Stonehenge replica in their back yard, but what you can do is create a sundial of your own using stones you’ve found. If you have children, this is a great science project to do, but even if you don’t have kids, it’s fascinating to create your own sundial.
You’ll need the following items:
- A pole or straight stick
- Several large stones
- A clock or watch to calibrate your sundial
Making Your Sundial
Find a place in your yard that gets sun for most of the day. Although it’s ideal to do this in the grass of even a patch of dirt, if all you have is a sidewalk or driveway, then that’s fine too. Mount the pole by sticking it into the dirt. If you’re making your sundial on a hard surface like concrete, then use a block of clay or a bucket of soil to secure the pole.
Keep an eye on your clock. At each hour, take note of where the pole’s shadow falls, and mark the spot with a stone.
If you start this project in the morning, you’ll be able to mark most of the daytime spots – if you start later in the day, you may have to come back the next morning to figure out where your morning hours are.
To tell the time with your sundial, look for the pole’s shadow. Where it falls between the stones will give you the time.
Gemstone of the Day
(Color: lead to silver gray sometimes with a bluish tint)
Galena comes from the Greek word “galene”, lead ore
Specific Gravity: approximately 7.5+
Chemistry: PbS, Lead Sulfide
Cleavage: perfect in four direction forming cubes
Fracture: uneven and rarely seen because of the perfect cleavage
Streak: lead gray
Luster: metallic to dull
Healing: Galena is called a Stone of Harmony. Excellent for use in grounding. Galena reduces inflammation and increases circulation of the body. Used to increase the assimilation of selenium and zinc.
Do not use as an elixir.
Workings: Astrological sign is Capricorn. Vibrates to the master number 22 Use during meditation.
Chakra Applications: used to align the chakras
Foot Notes: Galena is the most important ore and the principal source of lead. It is found throughout the world. In the United States it is found inMissouri, Idaho, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Utah as well as in Australia, Canada, England, France, and Mexico. Galena specimens tarnish when exposed to air becoming dull in luster. Galena from certain regions is rich in silver.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Herb of the Day
Medicinal Uses: An ancient Egyptian remedy in the Ebers papyrus (c. 1500 BC) recommends dill as one of the ingredients in a pain-killing mixture. The Romans knew dill as “anethum” which latter became “anise”.
Dill is used to treat colic, gas, and indigestion. Dill has always been considered a remedy for the stomach, relieving wind and calming the digestion. Dill’s essential oil relieves intestinal spasms and griping and helps to settle colic, hence it is often used in gripe water mixtures.
Chewing the seeds improves bad breath. Dill makes a useful addition to cough, cold and flu remedies, and is a mild diuretic.
Dill increases milk production, and when taken regularly by nursing mothers, helps to prevent colic in their babies. To stimulate the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 1 tsp each of anise, caraway, coriander and dill. Bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 4 tsp of dill seeds, let steep 30 minutes and strain. Drink 1 ½ cups a half hour before retiring to sleep well. Chewing dill seeds removes bad breath. Dill can also be made into a Tea, and sweetened with honey, or prepared as an infusion by steeping 2 teaspoons of seed in 1 cup of water for 10-15 minutes, then straining. Take 1- 2 cups per day.
Magickal uses: Dill is used in love and protection sachets. The dried seed heads hung in the home, over doorways, and above cradles provides protection. Add dill to your bath to make you irresistible to your lover. Place in the baby’s cradle for protection. Use in money spells.
Properties: Digestive, antibacterial, antispasmodic, diuretic. Contains volatile oil, consisting mainly of carvone with dihydrocarvone, limonene, a- and b-phellandrene, eugenol, anethole, myristicin, carveole, x-pinene. Flavonoids: kaempferol and its blucuronide, vicenin. Coumarins such as scopoletin, esculetin, bergapten, umbelliferone. Xanthone derivatives such as dillanoside. And triterpenes, phenolic acids, protein and fixed oil.
Growth: Dill grows in most regions of North America. It needs sun and a well-drained soil, and frequent waterings. It is a hardy annual, biennial in the deep southern regions, that reaches 2 – 3 feet tall. The leaves are bluish-green, bi-pinnate with fili-form leaflets; the base dilates into a sheath surrounding the stem. Flat, compound umbels of yellow flowers appear from July to September, producing eventually the oval, ribbed dill seeds. Dill matures quickly, and self-sows for the following year. Plant in six week intervals for a season-long supply of fresh dill.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Deity of the Day
Roman Goddess of Wisdom
Areas of Influence: Minerva was the Goddess of wisdom and crafts.
Only in Rome was she worshiped as the Goddess of war.
This Goddess represented the application of intellect to everyday tasks. As the Goddess of wisdom she was accredited with inventing spinning, weaving, numbers and music. Her attributes were so numerous that Ovid described her as the “Goddess of a thousand works.”
She is also the patron of Goddess of medicine.
Origins and Genealogy: The name of this Goddess is said to be of Etruscan origin.
Her parents were Jupiter and Métis. Elements of the myths surrounding her birth however have been poached from Greek Goddess Athena, as she too is born fully grown, from her father’s head.
She was considered third among the Gods and Goddesses and was part of the Capitolian triad alongside Juna and Jupiter.
Strengths: Wisdom, creativity and strength.
Weaknesses: Out of touch with emotions.
The Roman Goddess of wisdom is depicted in full battle dress with a coat of mail, a helmet and a spear.
Sacred Animal/Insect: Owl and the spider.
Sacred Plants: Her sacred plants were the olive, mulberry and alder trees.
Festivals: The main festival celebrating this Goddess took place March 19th – 23rd.
A smaller festival occurred later in the year on the 13th of June.
Greek Equivalent: Athena
The Teacher/ Inventor:
The Teacher and Inventor communicates knowledge, experience and wisdom.
In it’s shadow aspect, the Teacher may manipulate and mislead their students by indoctrinating them with negative beliefs and destructive behaviours.
This is Minerva’s primary Archetype as she teaches humans how to spin and weave. She is also accredited in Roman mythology for inventing numbers and medicine.
Archetype represents physical strength, and the ability to protect and fight for your rights and those of of others.
The shadow side of the Warrior reflects the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principles to prove your supremacy.
Although Roman mythology borrows heavily from it’s Greek counterparts, it is only in Rome that Minerva is worshipped as the Goddess of war, despite always being depicted in full battle dress. This is why I have ranked this Archetype as only of secondary importance for this Goddess.
How To Work With These Archetypes
This Archetype may suggest a love of passing on wisdom and learning to others.
This Goddess wise counsel can also be called upon to help you see a way through any present difficulties or to help you to master a new skill.
The shadow aspect of this stereo type is also a reminder that whenever we find ourselves in a teaching or mentoring role we must aim to be a positive role model, encouraging others to reach their full potential.
If you are drawn to work with this Goddess you may require her Warrior spirit to help you to stand up for your rights and set firm personnal boundries. This Goddess can be a great stereotype to work with if you want to take control in your life, and wish to no longer play the role of the victim.
You may also wish to call upon this Goddess to champion the cause of others.
Conversely this Goddess may appeal to you if you have a very strong sense of self and are proud of the victories you have achieved. The shadow side may be asking you to reflect honestly on the cost of these victories. Have they been at the expense of others or your principals?
We sing and dance and hold our rites,
We live and love together.
We go sky-clad or wear our outer robes
If it is chilling weather.
About the altar we do dance;
We praise The Gods
We love and ever do, we give
Our thanks to the sun.
And moon above, We are The Craft;
Love The Craft; We are Witches All.
Join us.. In Our Circle For We Are Witches All.
Walk into our Circle and feel the love Bound,
And Meet The Lord and Lady who guide us in our Rounds;
” An’ Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt.”
It is The Wiccan Rede.
We fear no foe for love we show,
In thought and also Deed.
Our words of thanks, our songs of praise,
We offer them in pray’r.
We sing their praise, we ask their help;
We know that they are there.
Mercury, the dualistic planet of communication, has two home signs: Gemini and Virgo. Its stay in one of them, Gemini, opens a door to clear seeing, objectivity and mental flexibility. Take in Mercury’s breath of fresh Gemini air, and let curiosity teach your mind how to be young again.
Gemini is an air sign associated with cool detachment and reason. Air signs (Libra and Aquarius are the others) love to watch and comment, but don’t like to get their hands dirty or their emotions overheated. With less interference from feelings, Mercury is able to do its job of collecting and passing along information quite well at this time.
Both Mercury and Gemini are into data, leaving philosophy, meaning and big picture concerns to others. This means that talk may come more easily for all of us now, even though real truth could be hard to find. This is a time when reality comes in more than one flavor. Facts, compelling as they might be, do not necessarily equal wisdom.
Diverse ideas are more common now, which could easily lead to distraction. Staying on track and prioritizing may require some extra attention.
Mercury in the sign of the Twins is common in the charts of songwriters such as Paul McCartney, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson and the Gemini formerly known as Prince. Gifted communicators among actors with this combination include Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep (the queen of accents), Rupert Everett, Dennis Hopper, Helen Hunt, Marilyn Monroe, Courtney Cox Arquette and Sandra Bernhard.
Athletic agility, particularly related to Mercury-ruled hands, is obvious for Joe Montana, Sugar Ray Leonard, Steffi Graf and Marvin Hagler. Basketballer Dennis Rodman is a Merc in Gemini whose mouth has frerquently gotten him into trouble.
Political talkers in this group include Newt Gingrich, Ross Perot, Henry Kissinger and Mario Cuomo not a shy one among them. And, for some strange reason, Mercury in Gemini includes more than its fair share of murderous bad boys: John Hinkley, Mark David Chapman and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Fortunately, the soul is not bound by the symbol. The mystery of life is that given the same equipment, individuals will use it quite differently. The Dalai Lama, born with Mercury in Gemini, is a luminous reminder of the clarity and compassion that can be held within one human mind and heart.
The Wisdom of Buddha
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Your Daily Influences
June 13, 2015
The Hanged Man Reversed
The card of false prophecy and time wasted. The reversed Hanged Man represents a preoccupation with the worldly and wasted energy.
Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.
The Tau Cross
A journey that you or someone close to you must make will have a positive influence on this aspect. This trip may be over a great distance.
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.