Magickal Goody of the Day
Yule Spell Ornament
As Yule approaches, the opportunities for spellwork are seemingly endless. If you have a holiday tree this year, why not use ornaments as a way of directing your magical energies? Make a spell ornament to bring prosperity, love, health, or creativity into your life.
You’ll need the following:
- Clear plastic fillable ornament
- Filler material associated with your purpose: herbs, small stones, colored paper or glitter, etc.
- Colored ribbon
Fill the plastic halves of the ornament with items that are associated with your purpose. Try a couple of the following, or come up with your own combinations:
- For a money spell, add shredded bits of play money, Bay leaf, basil, chamomile, clover, cinquefoil, tonka bean, Buckeye, pennyroyal; stones such as turquoise and amethyst; bits of green, silver or gold glitter.
- For love magic, use Allspice, apple blossom, bleeding heart, catnip, lavender, periwinkle, peppermint, tulip, violet, daffodil; crystals such as rose quartz or emerald, coral; small heart-shaped cutouts, bits of pink or red glitter.
- For workings related to creativity and inspiration, add feathers, sage, tobacco leaf, hazelwood or birch, symbols of artistry such as paintbrush tips, crayons, or colored thread. Add diamonds, quartz crystals, also consider colors like yellow and gold.
- If you’re doing healing magic, use Apple blossom, lavender, barley, comfrey, eucalyptus, fennel, chamomile, allspice, olive, rosemary, rue, sandalwood, wintergreen, peppermint.
As you’re filling your ornament, focus on your intent. Think about what your purpose is in creating such a working. For some people, it helps to chant a small incantation while they work – if you’re one of those folks, you might want to try something like this:
Magic shall come as I order today,
bringing prosperity blessings my way.
Magic to hang on a green Yule tree;
as I will, so it shall be.
Once you’ve filled your ornament, place the two halves together. Tie a colored ribbon around the center to keep the halves from separating (you may need to add a dab of craft glue for stability) and then hang your ornament in a place where you can see it during the Yule season.
Gift-giving tip: Make a whole box of these with different purposes, and share them with your friends at the holidays!
Incense of the Day
3 parts frankincense
2 parts Dragon’s Blood
1 part red sandalwood
1 pinch saffron
a few drops musk oil
Smolder for summoning the powers and beings of Fire. Also use for success, strength, protection, health, passion and other similar goals. Genuine Saffron is expensive, so only a pinch. You can use Orange peel instead.
Crystal of the Day
Website: The Whispering Woods
Herb of the Day
Deity of the Day
In Norse mythology, Loki is known as a trickster. He is described in the Prose Edda as a “contriver of fraud.” It’s important to remember that “trickster” does not mean someone who plays fun jokes and pranks – Loki’s trickery is all about mischief and mayhem.
Origins and History
Although he doesn’t appear often in the Eddas, Loki is generally described as a member of the family of Odin.
There is little archaeological reference to Loki (pronounced LOW-key), but in the small village of Kirkby Stephen, England, there is a tenth-century stone with a carving on it.
It is believed that the bound, horned figure carved upon the stone is in fact Loki, who was likely brought to England by Saxon settlers in the area. Also, near Snaptun, Denmark, there is a stone from around the same time as the Kirkby Stephen stone; the carving on this one is identified as Loki as well, due to scarring on the lips. In a story in which he tries to get the better of the dwarf Brokkr, Loki is disfigured and earns the nickname Scar-lip.
Although some Norse deities are often associated with symbols – such as Odin and his ravens, or Thor and his mighty hammer – Loki does not appear to have a particular item assigned to him by the Norse eddas or sagas.
While there has been some speculation that he may be associated with particular runes, there is no scholarly or academic evidence to support this. Furthermore, this is an illogical argument in the context of Norse culture – keep in mind that stories and legends were passed down orally, from one generation to the next, and not written down. Runes were used for divination, but not for written storytelling.
As to his physical appearance, Loki was a shapeshifter and could appear any way he liked. In the Gylfaginning, which is one of the Prose eddas, he is described as being “pleasing and handsome,” but there are no details as to what those words describe. Early carvings portray him with horns on his head, but those may be a representation of one of the shapes he adopts, rather than his regular form.
A shapeshifter who could appear as any animal, or as a person of either sex, Loki was constantly meddling in the affairs of others, mostly for his own amusement. Disguised as a woman, Loki fools Frigga into telling him about the weakness of her son Baldur.
Just for fun, Loki tricks Baldur’s blind twin, Hod, into killing him with a spear made of mistletoe. At one point, Loki spent eight years disguised as a milkmaid, and got stuck milking cows because his disguise was so convincing.
Loki is typically described as the husband of the goddess Sigyn, but he seems to have procreated with just about anyone and anything that struck his fancy. Because he could take male or female form, at one point Loki turned himself into a mare and mated with a mighty stallion, so he actually was the mother of Odin’s magical eight-legged horse Sleipnir.
Loki is known for bringing about chaos and discord, but by challenging the gods, he also brings about change. Without Loki’s influence, the gods may become complacent, so Loki does actually serve a worthwhile purpose, much as Coyote does in the Native American tales, or Anansi the spider in West African lore.
Worship & Celebration
Despite his divine or demi-god status, there’s little evidence to show that Loki had a following of worshipers of his own; in other words, his job was mostly to make trouble for other gods, men, and the rest of the world.
For an excellent dissertation looking at Loki in his many forms, read Shawn Christopher Krause-Loner’s paper Scar-lip, Sky-walker, and Mischief-Monger: The Norse God Loki as Trickster.
Honoring Loki Today
Loki has seen a resurgence in interest lately, due in no small part to his portrayal by actor Tom Hiddleston (see photo above) in the Avengers films, but just because he’s becoming popular doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to call upon him. If you’ve spent any time reading Norse mythology, you know that Loki is a bit of an outcast, slightly manic, will do sneaky things for his own amusement, and doesn’t seem to have much respect for boundaries. If you invite Loki into your life, there’s a possibility you won’t be getting rid of him until he’s good and ready to leave.
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 December 7
Comet Catalina Emerges
Image Credit & Copyright: Fritz Helmut Hemmerich
Explanation: Comet Catalina is ready for its close-up. The giant snowball from the outer Solar System, known formally as C/2013 US10 (Catalina), rounded the Sun last month and is now headed for its closest approach to Earth in January. With the glow of the Moon now also out of the way, morning observers in Earth’s northern hemisphere are getting their best ever view of the new comet. And Comet Catalina is not disappointing. Although not as bright as early predictions, the comet is sporting both dust (lower left) and ion (upper right) tails, making it an impressive object for binoculars and long-exposure cameras. The featured image was taken last week from the Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. Sky enthusiasts around the world will surely be tracking the comet over the next few months to see how it evolves.
Orion the Hunter and the Milky Way
Tonight – or any December evening – find the famous constellations Orion the Hunter, and see the Milky Way. Orion is bright and can be seen from inside smaller cities. For the Milky Way, you’ll need a dark sky!
Throughout December, the constellation Orion is up by mid-evening; by that, we mean by midway between sunset and midnight. Like all the starry sky, Orion rises earlier each evening, and, by late December, Orion is seen at nightfall or early evening. That’s true for the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, by the way.
Orion is a summer constellation for the Southern Hemisphere.
For us in the Northern Hemisphere, because this constellation is up on our long December and January nights, we tend to associate Orion with the winter season.
As seen from this hemisphere, after Orion rises, the three stars of Orion’s Belt jut pretty much straight up from the horizon. Look on either side of the Belt stars for two very bright stars. One is the reddish star Betelgeuse. The other is bright, blue-white Rigel.
Because so many people are familiar with Orion, this constellation is a great jumping off spot for finding the pathway of stars known as the Milky Way, assuming you have a dark sky. Given a dark sky, you can see this archway of stars running near Betelgeuse on the sky’s dome, as shown on the chart at the top of this post.
When we look at this band of luminescence, we’re viewing the galactic disk edgewise – the combined glow of billions of stars. You may know that – in the month of August – the Milky Way appears broad and bright during the evening hours. At that time of year, in the evening, all of us on Earth are gazing toward the center of the galaxy.
Now Earth has traveled in its orbit around the sun, and our evening sky is pointing out in a different direction. If you see the Milky Way near the constellation Orion this month, you might think it’s very faint in contrast to the August Milky Way. That’s because now we’re looking toward the galaxy’s outer edge, and there are fewer stars between us and intergalactic space.
Article written by:
The Wisdom of Buddha