It seems like here recently, every time you turn on the News, Kentucky is in it one way or another. Made me wonder if y’all are starting to think Kentucky is a terrible state, hmm…
I probably shouldn’t even bring this up but each of us have our own opinions and I am curious about yours. You have heard about the court clerk that would not issue same sex marriage license in Ky. As she know she refused to issue them because of her religious beliefs. Yesterday, as you probably know, the judge ordered her to be jailed. I know what my opinion on this matter is, I was wondering what yours was…….
Magickal Goody of the Day
Making your own altar tools helps to imbue them with your personal power. Try these methods to make your own altar pentacle.
A pentacle is one of the many common tools one might find on a Witch’s altar. It is named for the pentagram, the five-pointed star, which is a common inscription found on pentacles. It is a flat, usually disc-shaped object that you lay upon the altar to represent the sacred element of earth, or used in ritual to place items for consecration and empowering. They can also be hung on the wall as a symbol of protection. Pentacles are among the altar tools that are easiest to make for oneself.
In order to make a pentacle, you will want to obtain a flat object. Ideally, it should be at least 6″ in width so that it is large enough to hold things on your altar during ritual. There are a number of materials that will suffice when you are making a pentagram.
The benefit of using wood is that it is hard to break, yet easy to decorate. Go to a craft store and obtain a flat piece of wood right from the shelf. Round is the most common shape used, however there is no reason you cannot use a square, rectangle, or any other shape you are comfortable with. A slice of a tree trunk can also make a nice pentacle. These are most easily found around Christmas time at stands that sell trees. A slice from the bottom of the trunk is freshly cut for the customer when they purchase a tree, then usually left behind and discarded. Ask the salesperson if you can have one. You’ll probably be able to walk away with several for free.
Plaster is also an easy medium to work with. Mix the plaster as directed on the package and pour it into a mold. Clean, empty plastic food containers, such as those that contain whipped creams or margarine, make great molds. They are nice and round, make unmolding easy, and can be disposed of when done. Make sure when you finish pouring the plaster into the mold you pick it up and tap the container several times on the counter. This will even out the top and remove the majority of the air bubbles. Allow the plaster to dry, release it from the mold, and leave it in the air to fully set. If the top is uneven or contains small holes from air bubbles, simply sand it down with sand paper.
Another option is clay. Be sure to get a type of clay that can be dried and hardened without becoming brittle or crumbly. Simply roll out the clay on a cookie sheet with a rolling pin until it is approximately ½” to 3/4″ thick. It is very important to get the thickness correct and even. If it is too thick, it may not dry properly. If it is not thick enough or uneven, it may be very fragile and prone to chipping. When you have rolled it to the appropriate thickness and it is smooth, use a cake pan or a bowl as a makeshift cookie cutter. Remove the excess clay around the disk, but leave the disk where it is so that you don’t warp it or make fingerprints on it. You can press shapes into the clay or set small stones or shells in it before the drying process, or you can decorate it when it is dry as you would plaster or wood.
Plaster and clay can make lovely pentacles, but the downfall is that they will be a great deal more fragile than wood. However, if you don’t worry that someone living with you will touch or move your tools around, and if you don’t expect to travel around with your pentacle, you should not be discouraged from using these materials.
A final option is to find a nice, flat stone or crystal to utilize as a pentacle. I’ve seen a nice pentacle made out of a slab of tiger eye, and one made from a slice of amethyst geode. The vibrations that come from crystals and stones are wonderfully powerful. They can’t be carved, but symbols can be painted upon them if you wish (though many people prefer to leave them natural).
Once you have your pentacle disk, you will want to decide what you are going to put on it. Though a pentagram is common and a powerful symbol, it is not necessary to use that particular symbol. You can choose any rune or symbol you feel is appropriate. Celtic knots, Germanic runes, or any personal inscriptions you wish to add will serve you well. The important thing is that your choice should be a symbol of power and hold meaning for you whenever you look at it.
Draw the symbol or design you wish to use on paper, or obtain a photocopy of it if getting it out of a book. A good way to transfer the design to the pentacle is to use carbon paper. Simply place the carbon paper over your disk, carbon-side down, place the picture of your design over it and trace it with a pencil. When you remove the paper, you will have a nice outline of your symbol that you can either paint, carve, or burn on with a wood burning tool.
You may also wish to affix small stones, crystals or sea shells around the edges of the pentacle for a finished look. A hot glue gun is the best way to do this.
Once you have decorated your pentacle, especially if you have painted it, a clear acrylic spray will seal in the design and protect its surface from scratching and peeling. These sprays can be found at most stores that sell arts and crafts. Follow the directions on the can, making sure you cover the area with newspapers and use the spray in a well-ventilated place. Set it aside until dry.
Your pentacle will then be ready for cleansing and consecration, already empowered by the work and care that you put into it.
Your Source for Knowledge
Gemstone of the Day
Specific gravity: 3.68 – 3.75
Chemistry: Beryllium Aluminum Oxide, BeAl2 O4
Cleavage: good in one direction, imperfect in another
Fracture: conchoidal, brittle
Luster: vitreous to greasy
Healings: Alexandrite is used to align and center the three states of our being (mental, emotional and etheric bodies) thus creating a more harmonious state of being. It is also used to re-enforce ones self-esteem. It has been used to address ailments of the nervous system as well as complaints of the testicles, pancreas and spleen. it is thought to be excellent for tissue regeneration.
Workings: Orientals use Alexandrite to bring Good Fortune. Alexandrite can be used to enhance love spells.
Alexandrite is associated with the astrologicals sign of both Scorpio and Virgo. It vibrates to the number 5.
Chakra Applications: Alexandrite is applied to the Heart, Third-Eye, and Base chakras. This is done to enhance astral travel and to generate past life regression.
Foot Notes: Alexandrite is named for the former czar of Russia, Alexander II, and was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, allegedly on the day of his birth. Chromium gives alexandrite its color and while, in most minerals, a trace element like chromium would provide only one color to the mineral, in alexandrite it gives it two. Alexandrite occurs in granite pegmatite’s and mica schist’s. Alexandrite is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and New Mexico USA.
Alexandrite is the birthstone for the month of June. Alexandrite is also the anniversary gemstone for the 45th and 55th year of marriage.
Website: The Whispering Woods
Herb of the Day
Medicinal Uses: The infusion of the Mint herb has been used for diarrhea and as an emmenagogue (it brings down the menses). It is great for colds and influenza, especially when mixed with elder flower (this remedy will induce sweating). Stomach flu is helped by a mint, elderflower, and yarrow combination in a standard infusion of
two teaspoons per cup steeped for twenty minutes and taken in quarter-cup doses.
Mint is helpful in stomach complaints, but a strong infusion will become a emetic. Mint tea eases colic and depression. The menthol in peppermint soothes the lining of the digestive tract an stimulates the production of bile, which is an essential digestive fluid. It relieves earaches when the fresh juice of a few drops of the essential oil are placed in the ear.
Mint tea with honey soothes a sore throat. A classic cold remedy that will unblock the sinuses is two drops of mint essential oil, two drop eucalyptus essential oil and the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. The mix is first inhaled and then drunk when warm. Nervous headaches can be relieved if you lie in a dark room with fresh peppermint leaves on the forehead.
A few drops of the oil in water, applied with a cloth, help burning and itching, heat prostration, and sunburn. Apply it directly to an itchy skin condition or sunburn. For heat prostration place the cool fomentation on the forehead and wrists. Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils.
For insomnia try the following:
1 oz. Peppermint herb, cut fine, 1/2 oz. Rue herb, 1/2 oz. Wood Betony. Well mix and place a large tablespoonful in a tea cup, fill with boiling water, stir and cover for twenty minutes, strain and sweeten, and drink the warm infusion on going to bed. Peppermint is an excellent breath freshener. When using peppermint tea as a breath freshener, increase the effectiveness by adding a pinch of anise, caraway or cinnamon.
Wild Mint (Mentha sativa) is considered to have emetic, stimulant, and astringent qualities, and is used in diarrhea and as an emmenagogue. The infusion of 1 oz. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglass full, doses.
Rub pennyroyal on the skin as an insect repellent.
No more than two drops of the essential oils should be taken at any time, and no more that two cups a day of the above mixture. Larger doses can be toxic to the kidneys.
Never eat pennyroyal, as it is toxic.
Magickal Uses: Mint is used in the home as a protective herb. It belongs to the sphere of Venus and has long been used in healing potions and mixtures. Mint worn at the wrist assures that you will not be ill. Mint is used in money and prosperity spells. Bergamot mint is sometimes rubbed on money to cause it to return to its owner.
Fresh mint laid on the altar will call spirits to be present and ready to assist you in magick, especially healing spells. Added to incenses it cleanses the house or ritual area. Mint is masculine, and ruled by the planet Mercury or Venus. It is associated with the Element of Air.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic and antiseptic. The chief constituent of Spearmint oil is Carvone. There are also present Phellandrine, Limonene and dihydrocarveol acetate. Esters of acetic, butyric and caproic or caprylic acids.
The chief constituent of Peppermint oil is Menthol, but it also contains menthyl acetate and isovalerate, together with menthone, cineol, inactive pineneand limonene.
Growth: The common types of mint are peppermint, pennyroyal, crinkle-leafed spearmint, spearmint, and applemint. Mint is a perennial herb that is propagated by root division or rooting cuttings in water. The plant is invasive and should be grown in pots or in lengths of plastic pipe buried in the ground. It enjoys a damp location, shaded from strong afternoon sun, and rich soil.
Website: Whispering Woods
Deity of the Day
Mother Goddess of Rome
Cybele, a mother goddess of Rome was at the center of a rather bloody Phrygian cult, and was sometimes known as Magna Mater, or “great goddess.” As part of their worship, priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Of particular note was the sacrifice of a bull performed as part of an initiation into Cybele’s cult. This ritual was known as the taurobolium, and during the rite a candidate for initiation stood in a pit under a floor with a wooden grate.
The bull was sacrificed above the grate, and the blood ran through holes in the wood, showering the initiate. This was a form of ritual purification and rebirth. For an idea of what this probably looked like, there’s an amazing scene in the HBO series Rome in which the character Atia makes a sacrifice to Cybele to protect her son Octavian, who later becomes the emperor Augustus.
Cybele’s lover was Attis, and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. Thanks to this resurrection story, Cybele came to be associated with the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. In some areas, there is still an annual three-day celebration of Attis’ rebirth and Cybele’s power around the time of the spring equinox, called the Hilaria.
Like Attis, it is said that Cybele’s followers would work themselves into orgiastic frenzies and then ritually castrate themselves.
After this, these priests donned women’s clothing, and assumed female identities. They became known as the Gallai. In some regions, female priestesses led Cybele’s dedicants in rituals involving ecstatic music, drumming and dancing. Under the leadership of Augustus Caesar, Cybele became extremely popular. Augustus erected a giant temple in her honor on the Palatine Hill, and the statue of Cybele that is in the temple bears the face of Augustus’ wife, Livia.
As the Roman Empire spread, deities of other cultures found themselves absorbed into Roman religion. In the case of Cybele, she later took on many aspects of the Egyptian goddess Isis.
Article found on & owned by About.com
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 September 4
Explanation: After sunset on September 1, an exceptionally intense, reddish airglow flooded this Chilean winter night skyscape. Above a sea of clouds and flanking the celestial Milky Way, the airglow seems to ripple and flow across the northern horizon in atmospheric waves. Originating at an altitude similar to aurorae, the luminous airglow is instead due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation. Commonly captured with a greenish tinge by sensitive digital cameras, this reddish airglow emission is from OH molecules and oxygen atoms at extremely low densities and has often been present in southern hemisphere nights during the last few years. On this night it was visible to the eye, but seen without color. Antares and the central Milky Way lie near the top, with bright star Arcturus at left. Straddling the Milky Way close to the horizon are Vega, Deneb, and Altair, known in northern nights as the stars of the Summer Triangle.
Moon in Gemini
Sep 3, 2015 to Sep 6, 2015
Feeling restless? The Moon says, “You’re a butterfly. A kite on a windy day. Soar, spin, let your thoughts roam. Start a couple new books. Visit friends. Enjoy the incredible lightness of being.” And just try to stop yourself from gossiping! That’s Hermes at work, the god behind this Gemini Moon: stirring up curiosity and light-hearted tricks, delighting in stories and finding the world of people endlessly fascinating. Hermes is the messenger, if you ask a question, be alert for the answer. Listen, and it will come. Given Gemini’s caprice, don’t be surprised if the weather suddenly shifts. Take advantage of the mutable atmosphere. Change your mind about something. See several sides of an issue you’ve been stuck on. If your shoulders are tense, consider dropping a few responsibilities. Then make a peace offering to your lungs and jittery nerves. Take slow, deep breaths while falling asleep. Imagine bad habits falling away.