Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

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The Lotus



The Lotus represents the spiritual self in its purest form. It reminds us that for most achieving a well developed spirituality is a journey which can be long and arduous. The spirit of the Lotus is not of our secular world, and the presence of The Lotus suggests that what is needed can be found by exploring your relationship with the Universe not as a physical entity pursuing material gain, but as a divine soul in need of celestial sustenance.

As a daily card, The Lotus is indicative of a period in which your energies should be focused on your spiritual self. This doesn’t mean you should forsake your possessions or place in our secular world. It simply implies you might be well served by reaffirming or further developing your spiritual self at this time.

Your Weekend Influences for April 13 – 15

Your Weekend Influences

Tarot Influence

12

The Hanged Man Reversed

The reversed Hanged Man represents a preoccupation with the worldly and wasted energy. This is the card of false prophecy and time wasted.

 

 

Astrological Influence

27

Aries

The Ram is energetic, courageous, optimistic and obstinate. The Ram is not a quitter! He will get his way!

 

 

Element Influence

23

Air

Air denotes freedom and the ability to transcent the mundane. You may be, or may soon experience a spiritual or secular liberation.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

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Death



First and foremost Death does not specifically pertain to our physical death. The Death card marks ends and beginnings. Although most illustrations of the Death card tend to be morbid, the forces behind the Death card are actually quite exciting. Yes Death does mark the end of something. But ends are often brought about by completion and not loss. Most endings are actually good, and make room for us to begin new adventures.

Your Daily Tarot Card for April 14th is Father of Water

Tarot Card of the Day

Father of Water


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Traditionally, representing the energy of a King, this card usually portrays a watery background, with a man seated on a throne, holding the Cup of Mystery in his hand. Occasionally, his cup is fulminating like the mouth of a volcano, emanating light, but never boiling over.

The man in this card doesn’t need to speak to communicate strength, passion and commitment. Sometimes he is robed like a priest or shaman. Intense and intuitive, he is a force to be reckoned with.

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If You Were Born Today, April 14

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOLI...FROM NANI

If You Were Born Today, April 14

 

You are spunky and vivacious, with a personal presence that is powerful indeed. Although you are assertive, you are also very gracious and poised. There is a restlessness to your nature that keeps you on the move. There is also a distinct spiritual side. Your love nature is playful, and you are capable of making big sacrifices for those you love. Famous people born today: Pete Rose, Loretta Lynn, Anthony Michael Hall, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Carlyle.

Your Birthday Year Forecast:

The New Moon in your Solar Return chart suggests that you will instinctively begin a new phase of your life this year. A decisively new direction has come about in your life. This can be an emotionally stimulating time in which you feel the urge to initiate and project, even if you are not quite clear about what you are projecting. Much of the energy in your life can have a magical quality to it as things are just automatically going in a certain direction. It is important to be intuitive at this time and allow the natural course to show you the way to the next step. Surprises (mostly very pleasant) pepper your year. New beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel some level of excitement as the year unfolds.

This can be a year in which you experience important turning points, or you could begin new projects or goals that have a long-term impact on your life.

You are likely to idealize and expand a relationship this year. Benefits come from paying attention to your dreams and intuitions as well as a more creative approach. In fact, your creative impulses are potent. This can be a particularly good time for such pursuits as dancing, swimming, photography, arts, and entertainment. If you are an artist, this could be an especially inspired, imaginative, and productive year. Finding outlets for tension can be a strong focus and very rewarding. You are likely to idealize and expand a relationship through sensitive interactions and a more giving approach. Benefits come from paying attention to your dreams and intuitions, as well as through creative approaches to your life and relationships. Even so, you may be reevaluating certain relationships in terms of whether or not they are contributing to your personal growth this year if a friendship seems to be stifling you or clashing with important goals.

The year ahead can be an ambitious time and a supportive period for reaching your goals. You might solve a long-standing problem, or capitalize upon a resource that was previously hidden.

You might experience some difficulties and delays in communications in the period ahead. It’s a strong year for recognizing flaws and errors. As long as you don’t forget the “big picture”, you could find you are motivated to channel your mental energy into tasks that require structured and organized thought, tackling projects that you may have found too mundane or downright boring in other years. It’s a strong year for polishing your skills and formal learning.

Jupiter forms a trine to your Sun from March 2019 forward, and you have a stronger than usual desire to improve, grow, and learn. This is a fortunate aspect that helps boost optimism and confidence, and you are able to attract fortunate circumstances into your life as a result. Problems are easier to resolve. Matters related to universities, higher education, religion, publishing, legal affairs, and/or foreign interests can be especially strong. It’s an excellent time to further your education. You are likely to enjoy a larger perspective on matters that keeps you from getting lost in details or overly frustrated by everyday stresses during the course of the month.

There can be a sense that you’re beginning a new chapter of your life in the year ahead. The period ahead is one for both satisfying work and play. While there can be some ups and downs, it’s a time for getting your life into order in key ways, but at the same time, your creativity and personal appeal blossom. This can be a wonderful year for meeting new people or more thoroughly enjoying your current friendships. Cooperation with others comes easily.

2018 is a Number Two year for you. Ruled by the Moon. This is a year of potential companionship. It is a quiet, gentle, and mostly harmonious year that is generally not as active than other years. Instead, you are more responsive to the needs of others. If you are patient and open yourself up in a gentle manner, you will attract what–and who–you want into your life now. This is an excellent year in which to build and develop for the future. Advice – be patient, be receptive, enjoy the peace, collect, develop, build, and attract.

2019 will be a Number Three year for you. Ruled by Jupiter. This is a year of sociability. It is a friendly time when you find it natural and easy to enjoy life and other people. The focus is on personal freedom, reaching out to others, making new friends, and exploration. You are more enthusiastic and ready for adventure than you are in other years. It’s likely to be a rather lighthearted year when opportunities for “play” time are greater than usual. It’s also a favorable year for expressing your creativity. Advice – reach out and connect but avoid scattering your energies.

 

Source:

Cafe Astrology

 

Mercury Is Going Direct!

Mercury Is Going Direct!

Kiss retrograde goodbye! Planet Mercury is turning direct!


 

If you’ve spent the last three weeks or so feeling mentally scrambled, misunderstood or just plain indecisive, relief is near. That’s because Mercury, the planet that rules the mind, is turning direct on April 15, 2018, after having gone through another one of its retrograde phases.

When Mercury is not operating smoothly there can be plenty of mishaps related to anything ruled by Mercury — whether its transportation, commerce or communication. Now that Mercury has stationed direct, it will need a few days to regulate its orbit and then you’ll be good to go. Any delay, frustration or confusion surrounding Mercury-ruled matters will soon find resolution.

So, what does it mean when Mercury goes direct?

A planet changing motion is a potent phenomenon. Remember, Mercury has been out of its usual forward orbit for three weeks, so turning direct again will not be as easy as declaring “On your mark, get set, go!” and watching Mercury zoom out. Ahhh, if only it were that simple.

What really happens when a planet moves from retrograde to direct motion is more akin to waking up from a deep slumber. Mercury will need time to drink some cosmic coffee and fully regain consciousness.

Full speed ahead

It won’t be until Mercury reaches the degree where it originally turned retrograde and then passes it that you’ll know Mercury truly has its full strength back. That tends to take a couple of weeks. But don’t stress — this time frame is nothing at all like the Mercury Retrograde cycle.

In fact, now you’ll be ready to apply whatever it is you’ve learned during the retrograde period into your current reality. It only takes a few days of Mercury being back on track for you to notice the difference. From here on out the planet will get stronger every day!

What’s interesting is that while Mercury will need time to regulate its orbit, the very day of its stationing direct can be a potent time. It’s like Merc will be jolted awake for a short time (remember Mom screaming at you to wake up or you’ll be late for school?). During this day or even the next, it’s likely you’ll experience incredible clarity about whatever issues you’ve been grappling with during Mercury Retrograde.

Be patient, though … it will take just a little more time before you’re ready to execute your newfound lucidity with success.

In the meantime, now that Mercury is direct, over the next few days you are free to sign contracts, schedule vital meetings, have a significant conversation and make important decisions or purchases. Remain confident as you push ahead with anything that requires cerebral muscle.

Mercury finally has its mojo back!

 

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

 

 

The Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Hades, Lord of the Underworld

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 Hades

Lord of the Underworld

The Greeks called him the Unseen One, the Wealthy One, Pluoton, and Dis. But few considered the god Hades lightly enough to call him by his name. While he is not the god of death (that’s the implacable Thanatos), Hades welcomed any new subjects to his kingdom, the Underworld, which also takes his name. The ancient Greeks thought it best not to invite his attention.

 

The Birth of Hades
Hades was the son of the titan Cronos and brother to the Olympian gods Zeus and Poseidon.

 

Cronos, fearful of a son who would overthrow him as he vanquished his own father Ouranos, swallowed each of his children as they were born. Like his brother Poseidon, he grew up in the bowels of Cronos, until the day when Zeus tricked the titan into vomiting up his siblings. Emerging victorious after the ensuing battle, Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades drew lots to divide up the world they had gained. Hades drew the dark, melancholy Underworld, and ruled there surrounded by the shades of the dead, various monsters, and the glittering wealth of the earth.

 

Life in the Underworld
For the Greek god Hades, the inevitability of death ensures a vast kingdom. Eager for souls to cross the river Styx and join fief, Hades is also the god of proper burial. (This would include souls left with money to pay the boatman Charon for the crossing to Hades.) As such, Hades complained about Apollo’s son, the healer Asclepius, because he restored people to life, thereby reducing Hades’ dominions, and he inflicted the city of Thebes with plague probably because they weren’t burying the slain correctly.

 

Myths of Hades
The fearsome god of the dead figures in few tales (it was best not to talk about him too much). But Hesiod relates the most famous story of the Greek god, which is about how he stole his queen Persephone.

 

The daughter of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, Persephone caught the eye of the Wealthy One on one of his infrequent trips to the surface world.

 

He abducted her in his chariot, driving her far below the earth and keeping her in secret. As her mother mourned, the world of humans withered: Fields grew barren, trees toppled and shriveled. When Demeter found out that the kidnapping was Zeus’ idea, she complained loudly to her brother, who urged Hades to free the maiden. But before she rejoined the world of light, Persephone partook of a few pomegranate seeds.

 

Having eaten the food of the dead, she was compelled to return to the Underworld. The deal made with Hades allowed Persephone to spend one-third (later myths say one-half) of the year with her mother, and the rest in the company of her shades. Thus, to the ancient Greeks, was the cycle of seasons and the yearly birth and death of crops.

 

Hades Fact Sheet
Occupation: God, Lord of the Dead

 

Family of Hades: Hades was a son of the Titans Cronos and Rhea. His brothers are Zeus and Poseidon. Hestia, Hera, and Demeter are Hades’ sisters.

 

Children of Hades: These include the Erinyes (the Furies), Zagreus (Dionysus), and Makaria (goddess of a blessed death)

 

Other Names: Haides, Aides, Aidoneus, Zeus Katachthonios (Zeus under the earth). The Romans also knew him as Orcus.

 

Attributes: Hades is depicted as a dark-bearded man with a crown, scepter, and key.

 

Cerberus, a three-headed dog, is often in his company. He owns a helmet of invisibility and a chariot.

 

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Hades
God of the Underworld

The origin of Hades’ name is uncertain, but has generally been seen as meaning “The Unseen One” since antiquity. An extensive section of Plato’s dialogue Cratylus is devoted to the etymology of the god’s name, in which Socrates is arguing for a folk etymology not from “unseen” but from “his knowledge (eidenai) of all noble things”. Modern linguists have proposed the Proto-Greek form *Awides (“unseen”). The earliest attested form is Aḯdēs (Ἀΐδης), which lacks the proposed digamma. West argues instead for an original meaning of “the one who presides over meeting up” from the universality of death.

 

In Homeric and Ionic Greek, he was known as Áïdēs. Other poetic variations of the name include Aïdōneús (Ἀϊδωνεύς) and the inflected forms Áïdos (Ἄϊδος, gen.), Áïdi (Ἄϊδι, dat.), and Áïda (Ἄϊδα, acc.), whose reconstructed nominative case *Áïs (*Ἄϊς) is, however, not attested.The name as it came to be known in classical times was Háidēs (Ἅιδης). Later the iota became silent, then a subscript marking (Άͅδης), and finally omitted entirely (Άδης).

 

Hades, Hierapolis
Perhaps from fear of pronouncing his name, around the 5th century BC, the Greeks started referring to Hades as Pluto (Πλούτων, Ploútōn), with a root meaning “wealthy”, considering that from the abode below (i.e., the soil) come riches (e.g., fertile crops, metals and so on).Plouton became the Roman god who both rules the underworld and distributed riches from below. This deity was a mixture of the Greek god Hades and the Eleusinian icon Ploutos, and from this he also received a priestess, which was not previously practiced in Greece. More elaborate names of the same genre were Ploutodótēs (Πλουτοδότης) or Ploutodotḗr (Πλουτοδοτήρ) meaning “giver of wealth”.

 

Epithets of Hades include Agesander (Ἀγήσανδρος) and Agesilaos (Ἀγεσίλαος),[12] both from ágō (ἄγω, “lead”, “carry” or “fetch”) and anḗr (ἀνήρ, “man”) or laos (λαός, “men” or “people”), describing Hades as the god who carries away all. Nicander uses the form Hegesilaus (Ἡγεσίλαος). He was also referred to as Zeus Katachthonios (Ζευς καταχθονιος), meaning “the Zeus of the Underworld”, by those avoiding his actual name, as he had complete control over the Underworld.

 

Greek god of the underworld

Greek underworld
In Greek mythology, Hades, the god of the underworld, was a son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He had three sisters, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera, as well as two brothers, Zeus, the youngest of the three, and Poseidon. Upon reaching adulthood, Zeus managed to force his father to disgorge his siblings. After their release, the six younger gods, along with allies they managed to gather, challenged the elder gods for power in the Titanomachy, a divine war. The war lasted for ten years and ended with the victory of the younger gods. Following their victory, according to a single famous passage in the Iliad (xv.187–93), Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lots for realms to rule. Zeus received the sky, Poseidon received the seas, and Hades received the underworld, the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth. Some myths suggest that Hades was dissatisfied with his turnout, but had no choice and moved to his new realm.

 

Hades obtained his wife and queen, Persephone, through abduction at the behest of Zeus. This myth is the most important one Hades takes part in; it also connected the Eleusinian Mysteries with the Olympian pantheon, particularly as represented in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, which is the oldest story of the abduction, most likely dating back to the beginning of the 6th Century BC. Helios told the grieving Demeter that Hades was not unworthy as a consort for Persephone:

 

Aidoneus, the Ruler of Many, is no unfitting husband among the deathless gods for your child, being your own brother and born of the same stock: also, for honor, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells.

— Homeric Hymn to Demeter

Despite modern connotations of death as evil, Hades was actually more altruistically inclined in mythology. Hades was often portrayed as passive rather than evil; his role was often maintaining relative balance. That said, he was also depicted as cold and stern, and he held all of his subjects equally accountable to his laws. Any other individual aspects of his personality are not given, as Greeks refrained from giving him much thought to avoid attracting his attention.
Hades ruled the dead, assisted by others over whom he had complete authority. The House of Hades was described as full of “guests,” though he rarely left the Underworld. He cared little about what happened in the Upperworld, as his primary attention was ensuring none of his subjects ever left.
He strictly forbade his subjects to leave his domain and would become quite enraged when anyone tried to leave, or if someone tried to steal the souls from his realm. His wrath was equally terrible for anyone who tried to cheat death or otherwise crossed him, as Sisyphus and Pirithous found out to their sorrow. While usually indifferent to his subjects, Hades was very focused on the punishment of these two people; particularly Pirithous, as he entered the underworld in an attempt to steal Persephone for himself, and consequently was forced onto the “Chair of Forgetfulness”. Another myth is about the Roman god Asclepius who was originally a demigod, fathered by Apollo and birthed by Coronis, a Thessalian princess. During his lifetime, he became a famous and talented physician, who eventually was able to bring the dead back to life. Feeling cheated, Plouton persuaded Zeus to kill him with a thunderbolt. After his death, he was brought to Olympus where he became a god.Hades was only depicted outside of the Underworld once in myth, and even that is believed to have been an instance where he had just left the gates of the Underworld, which was when Heracles shot him with an arrow as Hades was attempting to defend the city of Plyus.After he was shot, however, he traveled to Olympus to heal. Besides Heracles, the only other living people who ventured to the Underworld were also heroes: Odysseus, Aeneas (accompanied by the Sibyl), Orpheus, who Hades showed uncharacteristic mercy towards at Persephone’s persuasion, who was moved by Orpheus’ music, Theseus with Pirithous, and, in a late romance, Psyche. None of them were pleased with what they witnessed in the realm of the dead. In particular, the Greek war hero Achilles, whom Odysseus conjured with a blood libation, said:

 

O shining Odysseus, never try to console me for dying.
I would rather follow the plow as thrall to another
man, one with no land allotted to him and not much to live on,
than be a king over all the perished dead.

— Achilles’ soul to Odysseus. Homer, Odyssey 11.488-491 (Lattimore translation)

 

Cult
Hades, as the god of the dead, was a fearsome figure to those still living; in no hurry to meet him, they were reluctant to swear oaths in his name, and averted their faces when sacrificing to him. Since to many, simply to say the word “Hades” was frightening, euphemisms were pressed into use. Since precious minerals come from under the earth (i.e., the “underworld” ruled by Hades), he was considered to have control of these as well, and was referred to as Πλούτων (Plouton, related to the word for “wealth”), Latinized as Pluto. Sophocles explained the notion of referring to Hades as “the rich one” with these words: “the gloomy Hades enriches himself with our sighs and our tears.” In addition, he was called Clymenus (“notorious”), Polydegmon (“who receives many”), and perhaps Eubuleus (“good counsel” or “well-intentioned”), all of them euphemisms for a name that was unsafe to pronounce, which evolved into epithets.

 

He spent most of the time in his dark realm. Formidable in battle, he proved his ferocity in the famous Titanomachy, the battle of the Olympians versus the Titans, which established the rule of Zeus.

 

Feared and loathed, Hades embodied the inexorable finality of death: “Why do we loathe Hades more than any god, if not because he is so adamantine and unyielding?” The rhetorical question is Agamemnon’s. He was not, however, an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel, and unpitying, he was still just. Hades ruled the Underworld and was therefore most often associated with death and feared by men, but he was not Death itself — the actual embodiment of Death was Thanatos, although Euripides’ play “Alkestis” states fairly clearly that Thanatos and Hades were one and the same deity, and gives an interesting description of him as dark-cloaked and winged; moreover, Hades was also referred to as “Hesperos Theos” (“God of Death and Darkness”)

 

When the Greeks propitiated Hades, they banged their hands on the ground to be sure he would hear them.[33] Black animals, such as sheep, were sacrificed to him, and the very vehemence of the rejection of human sacrifice expressed in myth suggests an unspoken memory of some distant past.[citation needed] The blood from all chthonic sacrifices including those to propitiate Hades dripped into a pit or cleft in the ground. The person who offered the sacrifice had to avert his face.

 

One ancient source says that he possessed the Cap of invisibility. His chariot, drawn by four black horses, made for a fearsome and impressive sight. His other ordinary attributes were the narcissus and cypress plants, the Key of Hades and Cerberus, the three-headed dog.In certain portraits, snakes also appeared to be attributed to Hades as he was occasionally portrayed to be either holding them or accompanied by them. This is believed to hold significance as in certain classical sources Hades ravished Kore in the guise of a snake, who went on to give birth to Zagreus-Dionysus. While bearing the name ‘Zeus’, Zeus Olympios, the great king of the gods, noticeably differs from the Zeus Meilichios, a decidedly Chthonian character, often portrayed as a snake, and as seen beforehand, they cannot be different manifestations of the same god, in fact whenever ‘another Zeus’ is mentioned, this always refers to Hades. Zeus Meilichios and Zeus Eubouleus are often referred to being alternate names for Hades.

 

The philosopher Heraclitus, unifying opposites, declared that Hades and Dionysus, the very essence of indestructible life (zoë), are the same god. Among other evidence Kerényi notes that the grieving goddess Demeter refused to drink wine, which is the gift of Dionysus, after Persephone’s abduction, because of this association, and suggests that Hades may in fact have been a “cover name” for the underworld Dionysus. He suggests that this dual identity may have been familiar to those who came into contact with the Mysteries. One of the epithets of Dionysus was “Chthonios”, meaning “the subterranean”. The role of unifying Hades, Zeus and Dionysus as a single tripartite god was used to represent the birth, death and resurrection of a deity and to unify the ‘shining’ realm of Zeus and the dark underworld realm of Hades

 

Artistic representations
Hades was depicted so infrequently in artwork, as well as mythology, because the Greeks were so afraid of him. His artistic representations, which are generally found in Archaic pottery, are not even concretely thought of as the deity; however at this point in time it is heavily believed that the figures illustrated are indeed Hades. He was later presented in the classical arts in the depictions of the Rape of Persephone. Within these illustrations, Hades was often young, yet he was also shown as varying ages in other works.Due to this lack of depictions, there weren’t very strict guidelines when representing the deity.On pottery, he has a dark beard and is presented as a stately figure on an “ebony throne.” His attributes in art include a scepter, cornucopia, rooster, and a key, which both represented his control over the underworld and acted as a reminder that the gates of the Underworld were always locked so that souls could not leave. Even if the doors were open, Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the Underworld, ensured that while all souls were allowed to enter into The Underworld freely, none could ever escape. The dog is often portrayed next to the god as a means of easy identification, since no other deity relates to it so directly. Sometimes, artists painted Hades as looking away from the other gods, as he was disliked by them as well as humans.

 

As Plouton, he was regarded in a more positive light. He holds a cornucopia, representing the gifts he bestows upon people as well as fertility, which he becomes connected to.

 

Persephone

Persephone and Hades: tondo of an Attic red-figured kylix, ca. 440–430 BC
The consort of Hades was Persephone, represented by the Greeks as the beautiful daughter of Demeter.

 

Persephone did not submit to Hades willingly, but was abducted by him while picking flowers in the fields of Nysa. In protest of his act, Demeter cast a curse on the land and there was a great famine; though, one by one, the gods came to request she lift it, lest mankind perish, she asserted that the earth would remain barren until she saw her daughter again. Finally, Zeus intervened; via Hermes, he requested that Hades return Persephone. Hades complied,

 

But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter.— Homeric Hymn to Demeter

 

Demeter questioned Persephone on her return to light and air:

…but if you have tasted food, you must go back again beneath the secret places of the earth, there to dwell a third part of the seasons every year: yet for the two parts you shall be with me and the other deathless gods.

— Homeric Hymn to Demeter

 

This bound her to Hades and the Underworld, much to the dismay of Demeter. It is not clear whether Persephone was accomplice to the ploy. Zeus proposed a compromise, to which all parties agreed: of the year, Persephone would spend one third with her husband.

 

It is during this time that winter casts on the earth “an aspect of sadness and mourning.”

 

Theseus and Pirithous
Theseus and Pirithous pledged to kidnap and marry daughters of Zeus. Theseus chose Helen and together they kidnapped her and decided to hold onto her until she was old enough to marry. Pirithous chose Persephone. They left Helen with Theseus’ mother, Aethra, and traveled to the Underworld. Hades knew of their plan to capture his wife, so he pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast; as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there. Theseus was eventually rescued by Heracles but Pirithous remain

ed trapped as punishment for daring to seek the wife of a god for his own.

 

Heracles
Hades abducting Persephone, fresco in the small Macedonian royal tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece, c. 340 BC
Heracles’ final labour was to capture Cerberus. First, Heracles went to Eleusis to be initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries. He did this to absolve himself of guilt for killing the centaurs and to learn how to enter and exit the underworld alive. He found the entrance to the underworld at Taenarum. Athena and Hermes helped him through and back from Hades. Heracles asked Hades for permission to take Cerberus. Hades agreed as long as Heracles didn’t harm Cerberus. When Heracles dragged the dog out of Hades, he passed through the cavern Acherusia.

 

Minthe
The nymph Minthe, associated with the river Cocytus, loved by Hades, was turned into the mint plant, by a jealous Persephone.

 

Realm of Hades
In older Greek myths, the realm of Hades is the misty and gloomy abode of the dead (also called Erebus) where all mortals go when they die. Very few mortals could leave Hades once they entered. The exceptions, Heracles and Theseus, are heroic. Even Odysseus in his Nekyia (Odyssey, xi) calls up the spirits of the departed, rather than descend to them. Later Greek philosophy introduced the idea that all mortals are judged after death and are either rewarded or cursed.

 

There were several sections of the realm of Hades, including Elysium, the Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus. Greek mythographers were not perfectly consistent about the geography of the afterlife. A contrasting myth of the afterlife concerns the Garden of the Hesperides, often identified with the Isles of the Blessed, where the blessed heroes may dwell.

 

In Roman mythology, the entrance to the Underworld located at Avernus, a crater near Cumae, was the route Aeneas used to descend to the realm of the dead. By synecdoche, “Avernus” could be substituted for the underworld as a whole. The di inferi were a collective of underworld divinities.

 

For Hellenes, the deceased entered the underworld by crossing the Styx, ferried across by Charon kair’-on), who charged an obolus, a small coin for passage placed in the mouth of the deceased by pious relatives. Paupers and the friendless gathered for a hundred years on the near shore according to Book VI of Vergil’s Aeneid. Greeks offered propitiatory libations to prevent the deceased from returning to the upper world to “haunt” those who had not given them a proper burial. The far side of the river was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog defeated by Heracles (Roman Hercules). Passing beyond Cerberus, the shades of the departed entered the land of the dead to be judged.

 

The five rivers of the realm of Hades, and their symbolic meanings, are Acheron (the river of sorrow, or woe), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Lethe (oblivion), and Styx (hate), the river upon which even the gods swore and in which Achilles was dipped to render him invincible. The Styx forms the boundary between the upper and lower worlds. See also Eridanos.

 

The first region of Hades comprises the Fields of Asphodel, described in Odyssey xi, where the shades of heroes wander despondently among lesser spirits, who twitter around them like bats. Only libations of blood offered to them in the world of the living can reawaken in them for a time the sensations of humanity.

 

Beyond lay Erebus, which could be taken for a euphonym of Hades, whose own name was dread. There were two pools, that of Lethe, where the common souls flocked to erase all memory, and the pool of Mnemosyne (“memory”), where the initiates of the Mysteries drank instead. In the forecourt of the palace of Hades and Persephone sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There at the trivium sacred to Hecate, where three roads meet, souls are judged, returned to the Fields of Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent by the road to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium (Islands of the Blessed) with the “blameless” heroes.

 

In the Sibylline oracles, a curious hodgepodge of Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian elements, Hades again appears as the abode of the dead, and by way of folk etymology, it even derives Hades from the name Adam (the first man), saying it is because he was the first to enter there. Owing to its appearance in the New Testament of the Bible, Hades also has a distinct meaning in Christianity.

 

Sources:
N.S. Gill Published On ThoughtCo

Ancient sources for Hades include Apollodorus, Cicero, Hesiod, Homer, Hyginus, Ovid, Pausanias, Statius, and Strabo.
Wikipedia

Various Types of Witchcraft: Druidism

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Druidism

 

Druidism refers to the system of religion and philosophy (and rites and ceremonies) taught by the Druids, the priestly and learned class in the ancient Celtic societies of Western Europe, Britain and Ireland. Modern attempts at reconstructing, reinventing or reimagining the practices of the ancient Druids are called Neo-Druidism or Druidry.

 

The earliest written mention of Druids dates from a lost work of the Greek doxographer Sotion of Alexandria in the early 2nd Century BC, and the fullest account comes down to us from Gaius Julius Caesar. The Druids were suppressed by the Roman government and disappeared from the written record by the 2nd Century AD, although they continued to feature prominently in later Irish myth and literature. Our historical knowledge of Druids is very limited, and there is little contemporary evidence for even their existence.

 

The Celtic communities that Druids served were polytheistic, also showing signs of animism in their reverence for various aspects of the natural world, such as the land, sea and sky, and their veneration of other aspects of nature, such as sacred trees and groves (the oak and hazel were particularly revered), tops of hills, streams, lakes and plants such as the mistletoe.

 

The Druids, who were almost exclusively male, combined the duties of priest, judge, scholar and teacher in these communities. They enjoyed exemption from military service as well as from payment of taxes. It was not a hereditary caste, and Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart, which could take up to twenty years, although nothing is known to have survived of the Druids’ oral literature, even in translation.

 

Fire was regarded by the Druids as a symbol of various divinities and was associated with cleansing. They believed in a form of metempsychosis, or reincarnation of the soul after death. They were versed in various methods of divination and were reported to be able to predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals. Alleged ritual killing and human sacrifice were aspects of druidic culture that shocked classical writers. They could punish members of Celtic society by a form of excommunication, and this exclusion from society was one of the most dreaded punishments.

 

There was a revival of interest in the Druids in England and Wales from the 18th Century, much of it historically inaccurate, and Druids began to figure widely in popular culture with the advent of Romanticism. John Toland, who founded the Ancient Druid Order in 1717, shaped many of the ideas about Druids current during much of the 19th Century. The Order was organized by Henry Hurle along the lines of Freemasonry, and it continued until it split into two groups in 1964. The writer and artist William Blake was credited as having been its “Chosen Chief” from 1799 to 1827, although there is no corroboration of this.

 

John Aubrey, in the 17th Century, was the first modern writer to connect Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments with the Druids, and this theory was spread more widely by William Stukeley in the 18th Century, despite the apparent contradiction of linking the Druidic religion (which dates from the Iron Age) with the much older monument. The Ancient Order of Druids were the first to practise rituals at Stonehenge in 1905, and Stonehenge has since become a popular place of pilgrimage for Neo-Druids and others following Pagan or Neopagan beliefs.

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Druidism

One of the most striking characteristics of Druidism is the degree to which it is free of dogma and any fixed set of beliefs or practices. In this way it manages to offer a spiritual path, and a way of being in the world that avoids many of the problems of intolerance and sectarianism that the established religions have encountered.

 

There is no ‘sacred text’ or the equivalent of a bible in Druidism and there is no universally agreed set of beliefs amongst Druids. Despite this, there are a number of ideas and beliefs that most Druids hold in common, and that help to define the nature of Druidism today:

 

Theology
Since Druidry is a spiritual path – a religion to some, a way of life to others – Druids share a belief in the fundamentally spiritual nature of life. Some will favour a particular way of understanding the source of this spiritual nature, and may feel themselves to be animists, pantheists, polytheists, monotheists or duotheists. Others will avoid choosing any one conception of Deity, believing that by its very nature this is unknowable by the mind.
Monotheistic druids believe there is one Deity: either a Goddess or God, or a Being who is better named Spirit or Great Spirit, to remove misleading associations to gender. But other druids are duotheists, believing that Deity exists as a pair of forces or beings, which they often characterise as the God and Goddess.

 

Polytheistic Druids believe that many gods and goddesses exist, while animists and pantheists believe that Deity does not exist as one or more personal gods, but is instead present in all things, and is everything.

 

Whether they have chosen to adopt a particular viewpoint or not, the greatest characteristic of most modern-day Druids lies in their tolerance of diversity: a Druid gathering can bring together people who have widely varying views about deity, or none, and they will happily participate in ceremonies together, celebrate the seasons, and enjoy each others’ company – realising that none of us has the monopoly on truth, and that diversity is both healthy and natural.

 

Nature forms such an important focus of their reverence, that whatever beliefs they hold about Deity, all Druids sense Nature as divine or sacred. Every part of nature is sensed as part of the great web of life, with no one creature or aspect of it having supremacy over any other. Unlike religions that are anthropocentric, believing humanity occupies a central role in the scheme of life, this conception is systemic and holistic, and sees humankind as just one part of the wider family of life.

 

The Otherworld
Although Druids love Nature, and draw inspiration and spiritual nourishment from it, they also believe that the world we see is not the only one that exists. A cornerstone of Druid belief is in the existence of the Otherworld – a realm or realms which exist beyond the reach of the physical senses, but which are nevertheless real.
This Otherworld is seen as the place we travel to when we die. But we can also visit it during our lifetime in dreams, in meditation, under hypnosis, or in ‘journeying’, when in a shamanic trance.

 

Different Druids will have different views on the nature of this Otherworld, but it is a universally held belief for three reasons. Firstly, all religions or spiritualities hold the view that another reality exists beyond the physical world, rather than agreeing with Materialism, that holds that only matter exists and is real. Secondly, Celtic mythology, which inspires so much of Druidism, is replete with descriptions of this Otherworld. Thirdly, the existence of the Otherworld is implicit in ‘the greatest belief’ of the ancient Druids, since classical writers stated that the Druids believed in a process that has been described as reincarnation or metempsychosis (in which a soul lives in a succession of forms, including both human and animal). In between each life in human or animal form the soul rests in the Otherworld.

 

Death and Rebirth
While a Christian Druid may believe that the soul is only born once on Earth, most Druids adopt the belief of their ancient forebears that the soul undergoes a process of successive reincarnations – either always in human form, or in a variety of forms that might include trees and even rocks as well as animals.
Many Druids share the view reported by Philostratus of Tyana in the second century that the Celts believed that to be born in this world, we have to die in the Otherworld, and conversely, that when we die here, we are born into the Otherworld. For this reason, Druid funerals try to focus on the idea that the soul is experiencing a time of birth, even though we are experiencing that as their death to us.

 

The Three Goals of the Druid
A clue as to the purpose behind the process of successive rebirths can be found if we look at the goals of the Druid. Druids seek above all the cultivation of wisdom, creativity and love. A number of lives on earth, rather than just one, gives us the opportunity to fully develop these qualities within us.
Wisdom

The goal of wisdom is shown to us in two old teaching stories – one the story of Fionn MacCumhaill (Finn MacCool) from Ireland, the other the story of Taliesin from Wales. In both stories wisdom is sought by an older person – in Ireland in the form of the Salmon of Wisdom, in Wales in the form of three drops of inspiration. In both stories a young helper ends up tasting the wisdom so jealously sought by the adults. These tales, rather than simply teaching the virtues of innocence and helpfulness, contain instructions for achieving wisdom, encoded within their symbolism and the sequence of events they describe, and for this reason are used in the teaching of Druidry.

 

Creativity

The goal of creativity is also central to Druidism because the Bards have long been seen as participants in Druidry. Many believe that in the old days they transmitted the wisdom of the Druids in song and story, and that with their prodigious memories they knew the genealogies of the tribes and the stories associated with the local landscape. Celtic cultures display a love of art, music and beauty that often evokes an awareness of the Otherworld, and their old Bardic tales depict a world of sensual beauty in which craftspeople and artists are highly honoured. Today, many people are drawn to Druidry because they sense it is a spirituality that can help them develop their creativity. Rather than stressing the idea that this physical life is temporary, and that we should focus on the after-life, Druidism conveys the idea that we are meant to fully participate in life on earth, and that we are meant to express and share our creativity as much as we can.

 

Love

Druidry can be seen as fostering the third goal of love in many different ways to encourage us to broaden our understanding and experience of it, so that we can love widely and deeply.

 

Druidry’s reverence for Nature encourages us to love the land, the Earth, the stars and the wild. It also encourages a love of peace: Druids were traditionally peace-makers, and still are. Often Druid ceremonies begin with offering peace to each cardinal direction, there is a Druid’s Peace Prayer, and Druids plant Peace Groves. The Druid path also encourages the love of beauty because it cultivates the Bard, the Artist Within, and fosters creativity.

 

The love of Justice is developed in modern Druidry by being mentioned in ‘The Druid’s Prayer’, and many believe that the ancient Druids were judges and law-makers, who were more interested in restorative than punitive justice. Druidry also encourages the love of story and myth, and many people today are drawn to it because they recognize the power of storytelling, and sense its potential to heal and enlighten as well as entertain.

 

In addition to all these types of love that Druidism fosters, it also recognizes the forming power of the past, and in doing this encourages a love of history and a reverence for the ancestors. The love of trees is fundamental in Druidism too, and as well as studying treelore, Druids today plant trees and sacred groves, and support reforestation programmes. Druids love stones too and build stone circles, collect stones and work with crystals. They love the truth, and seek this in their quest for wisdom and understanding. They love animals, seeing them as sacred, and they study animal lore. They love the body and sexuality believing both to be sacred.

 

Druidism also encourages a love of each other by fostering the magic of relationship and community, and above all a love of life, by encouraging celebration and a full commitment to life – it is not a spirituality which tries to help us escape from a full engagement with the world.

 

Some Druid groups today present their teachings in three grades or streams: those of the Bard, Ovate and Druid. The three goals sought by the Druid of love, wisdom and creative expression can be related to the work of these three streams. Bardic teachings help to develop our creativity, Ovate teachings help to develop our love for the natural world and the community of all life, and Druid teachings help us in our quest for wisdom.

 

Living in the World
The real test of the value of a spiritual path lies in the degree to which it can help us live our lives in the world. It needs to be able to provide us with inspiration, counsel and encouragement as we negotiate the sometimes difficult and even tragic events that can occur during a lifetime.
The primary philosophical posture of Druidism is one of love and respect towards all of life – towards fellow human beings and animals, and all of Nature. A word often used by Druids to describe this approach is reverence, which expands the concept of respect to include an awareness of the sacred. By being reverent towards human beings, for example, Druids treat the body, relationships and sexuality with respect and as sacred. Reverence should not be confused with piousness or a lack of vigorous engagement – true reverence is strong and sensual as well as gentle and kind.

 

This attitude of reverence and respect extends to all creatures, and so many Druids will either be vegetarian or will eat meat, but support compassionate farming and be opposed to factory farming methods. Again, the belief that we should love all creatures is likely to be tempered with a robust realism that will not exclude the possibility that we might want to kill certain creatures, such as mosquitoes.

 

For many Druids today the primary position of love and respect towards all creatures extends to include a belief in the idea of causing no harm to any sentient being. This idea is known in eastern traditions as the doctrine of ‘Ahimsa’, or Non-Violence, and was first described in around 800 BCE in the Hindu scriptures, the Upanishads. Jains, Hindus and Buddhists all teach this doctrine, which became popular in the west following the non-violent protests of Mahatma Gandhi. The Parehaka Maori protest movement in New Zealand and the campaigns of Martin Luther King in the USA also helped to spread the idea of Ahimsa around the world.

 

Many Druids today adopt a similar stance of abstaining from harming others, and of focussing on the idea of Peace, drawing their inspiration from the Classical accounts of the Druids, which portrayed them as mediators who abstained from war, and who urged peace on opposing armies. Julius Caesar wrote: ‘For they [the Druids] generally settle all their disputes, both public and private… The Druids usually abstain from war, nor do they pay taxes together with the others; they have exemption from warfare.’ And Diodorus Siculus wrote: ‘Often when the combatants are ranged face to face, and swords are drawn and spears are bristling, these men come between the armies and stay the battle, just as wild beasts are sometimes held spellbound. Thus even among the most savage barbarians anger yields to wisdom, and Mars is shamed before the Muses.’

 

In addition Druids today can follow the example of one the most important figures in the modern Druid movement, Ross Nichols, who in common with many of the world’s greatest thinkers and spiritual teachers, upheld the doctrines of non-violence and pacifism. Many of Nichols’ contemporaries, who shared similar interests in Celtic mythology, were also pacifists, including T.H.White, the author of the Arthurian The once & Future King. Nichols often used to finish essays he wrote with the simple sign-off: ‘Peace to all beings.’

 

The Web of Life and the Illusion of Separateness
Woven into much of Druid thinking and all of its practice is the idea or belief that we are all connected in a universe that is essentially benign – that we do not exist as isolated beings who must fight to survive in a cruel world. Instead we are seen as part of a great web or fabric of life that includes every living creature and all of Creation. This is essentially a pantheistic view of life, which sees all of Nature as sacred and as interconnected.
Druids often experience this belief in their bodies and hearts rather than simply in their minds. They find themselves feeling increasingly at home in the world – and when they walk out on to the land and look up at the moon or stars, or smell the coming rain on the wind they feel in the fabric of their beings that they are a part of the family of life, that they are ‘home’, and that they are not alone.

 

The consequences of this feeling and belief are profound. Apart from this trusting posture towards life bringing benefits in psychological and physical health, there are benefits to society too. Abuse and exploitation comes from the illusion of separateness. once you believe that you are part of the family of life, and that all things are connected, the values of love, and reverence for life naturally follow, as does the practice of peacefulness, of harmlessness or ‘Ahimsa’.

 

The Law of the Harvest
Related to the idea that we are all connected in one great web of life is the belief held by most Druids that whatever we do in the world creates an effect which will ultimately also affect us. A similar idea is found in many different traditions and cultures: folk wisdom in Britain says that ‘what goes around comes around’ and in ancient Egypt, the idea attributed to the Apostle Paul when he said ‘As ye sow, so shall ye reap,’ was spoken by the god Thoth several thousand years earlier in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, when he said ‘Truth is the harvest scythe. What is sown – love or anger or bitterness – that shall be your bread. The corn is no better than its seed, then let what you plant be good.’ In Hinduism and Buddhism the idea is expressed as the doctrine of cause and effect (karma).
The two beliefs – that all is connected and that we will harvest the consequences of our actions – come naturally to Druids because they represent ideas that evolve out of an observation of the natural world. Just as the feeling of our being part of the great web of life can come to us as we gaze in awe at the beauty of nature, so the awareness that we will reap the consequences of our actions also comes to us as we observe the processes of sowing and harvesting.

 

Reference
The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids

 

“22 COMMANDMENTS” FOR THE NEW AGE”

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“22 COMMANDMENTS” FOR THE NEW AGE”

 

1. You shall learn of Honesty and attempt to heal your fear of it, to use this in daily living.

 

2. You shall learn to Love Unconditionally–beginning with yourself.

 

3. You shall help all people in your worlds come to physical healing.

 

4. You shall dwell on things of high and pure energy in others and self to change Earth.

 

5. You will learn and practice Pure Service — unconditional and with love energy.

 

6. You will release Judgment into the Void–You will see, identify and choose for yourself Only.

 

7. You will Recognize One God –the God that corresponds to your vision.

 

8. You will destroy no one in any way — through gossip — through killing their gifts — discouraging self love by injuring the physical body by foreign substance — incorrect foods – incorrect labor.

 

9. You will use your mind in the way the Source prepared — by faithfulness of prayer – by study and spiritual growth.

 

10. You will learn self-discipline so that you respond to the Earth with wisdom.

 

11. You will take full responsibility for your own life — blaming no other.

 

12. You will seek to learn about your God — seeing the Connection clearly.

 

13. You will be known for your Gentleness, your Loyalty, your Kindness, according to your beliefs.

 

14. You will grow in Peace by change of attitude and understanding of others.

 

15. You will learn to respond and act from the Highest Center of Inner God — the Love Response.

 

16. You will learn to Love All Mankind by seeing the Highest in all people without exception.

 

17. You will promote the healing of Mind, Body, and Spirit by teaching and living the belief in Man’s Divinity.

 

18. You will show faithfulness in your study of yourself and your persona (masks) in order to Free All Parts of Self.

 

19. You will Live your life as ordained by your faithfulness to the Truth, as you under- stand the Truth.

 

20. You will Speak in Love, Honesty and Wisdom.

 

21. You will Think in Love, Honesty and Wisdom.

 

22. You will live in Moderation (Balance) in All Areas of your life.The foregoing was delivered on July 20, 1989, through the trance-mediumship of Carla Neff Gordan by the Spirit Guide “Mary.” Mary stated that these ideas will also be releas-ed through other mediums in six different areas of the world. In preface to these “Com-mandments” Mary said the following:

“You are a loving, connected community of like-minded souls assisting through
our inner connection. You are becoming a profound source of awakening for your
world. These rules are to open your hearts, to teach you self-love, to calm your
emotion to help you to live in reality that you have wished. To grow, first you
must become a source of service. There must be a difference in earth because you
have walked here. Now is the time of shifting your energy into a higher place
through unconditional love. A part of your purpose is to heal the earth through
holy, or wholeness, relationships. You will begin now.”

—Ann Waldrum

The Witches “Witchy” Journal for Saturday, April 14

Celtic

The Witches “Witchy” Journal for Saturday, April 14

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It is an accurate statement that the followers of Witchcraft do not usually proselytize, which means you aren’t going to find us standing on your local street corner thumping our Books of Shadows. Nor do you have to worry about jumping out of the shower to answer our serene and smiling faces at the door with your clothes stuck to various uncomfortable places on your wet body. But just because we (hopefully) aren’t the forcible type doesn’t mean we don’t exist.

—-SILVER RAVENWOLF, To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft

 

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Saturday: Even the God needs to relax

Here we come to the only day of the English week which brings a Roman god to our heavenly party. The word Saturday is derived from Saturn, the god of harvest and agriculture. Buying all the food in supermarkets, we can hardly imagine how important this guy was for our distant ancestors.

 

In Latin, the word for Saturday is Sambata Dies, meaning the Day of Sabbath (sábado in Spanish, sabato in Italian, samedi in French). Sabbath is a Hebrew word for the Day of Rest. It was the last day of the all-in-one-week creation run. A day when the God finally had some relax, lying in the Garden of Eden and curiously waiting for what happens next.

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Today Is Saturday, April 14

Saturday is dedicated to the shadowy Anglo-Saxon God Saetere or Seater, July 15equivalent to the God Saturn. It is a day also associated with the Norns, the Norse equivalent of Three Fates, and the trickster God Loki. It is connected generally with apprehension, austerity, caution, and excessive self-limitation.

Deity: Saetere

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Planet: Saturn

Tree: Alder

Herb: Daffodil

Stone: Amethyst

Animal: Eagle

Element: Earth

Color: Dark Blue

Number: 4

Rune: Dag(D)

 

The Celtic Tree Month of Fearn(Alder)(March 18 – April 14)

Runic Half Month of Man(human being) (April 14 – April 28)

Goddess of the Month of Columbina (March 20 – April 17)

Source
The Pagan Book of Days
Nigel Pennick

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The Pagan Book of Days for Saturday, April 14

Cerealia/Runic half-month of Man commencesSommarsblot/St. Tiburtius/Celtic tree month of Fearn ends
The Norse festival of Sommarsblot is clebrated to welcome the summer. The runic half-month of Man is a time when the archetypal reality of the human condition should be meditated upon.

 

Source
The Pagan Book of Days
Nigel Pennick

 

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A Look At The Alder Tree As It Ends It Cycle WIth us

 

Alder moon is an in-between Atime, partway between the yin energies of winter and the yang energies of summer. As such, people can feel uncertain and doubtful of themselves. The Bach Flower Remedies most suited for these feelings are Gentian and Larch.
Gentian is the remedy for those who have a negative attitude and outlook, and suffer from depression. This state is seen in the eternal pessimist who takes a perverse satisfaction in how badly things are going for him, and in the persistent doubter, who isn’t able to not worry about something. Gentian types are easily discouraged when things go wrong or when faced with difficulties. Any kind of setback, whether from illness or dily life, causes them to become despondent1. The Gentian types refuse to believe that their own lack of faith and understanding prevents them from overcoming life’s difficulties. They don’t understand that their own negative attitude attracts problems.

 
Gentian is very useful when depression is brought on by a known circumstance; i.e., the death of a partner, the continuing inability to find a job, etc. It is also good for a student who has become discouraged over hard tests and difficult schoolwork.

 
Gentian is also related to faith, not necessarily in the religious sense, but faith in the meaning of life, a certain principle, or a philosophy. The Gentian person is someone who would like to believe but cannot. “Spiritually, the Gentian state may be seen as a blockage in the mental plane. Intellectual powers are strong, but on the wrong tack. A healthy skepticism becomes a compulsive need to question everything.”

 
Gentian helps to build faith; not blind faith, but that of a positive skeptic. The person will be able to see difficulties without despairing over them. The person in the positive state of Gentian knows that there is no failure when one is doing his best, whatever the end result, and is able to see the light in the darkness.

 
Gentian (Gentianella amarella) is prepared by the sun method. It flowers from August to October in dry hilly pastures. Gather the flowers just below the calyx from as many plants as possible.

 
Larch is for people who have very little self-confidence, who feel inferior to others. They don’t simply doubt their abilities, but are absolutely convinced they can’t do as well as others. Sure that they can’t do certain things, they don’t even attempt them. Whereas many people have trouble recognizing their own limits, with Larch it is exactly the opposite. From the beginning, the Larch types take for granted specific limits. This keeps them from growing and developing, and leads to a feeling of discouragement and melancholy.
The Larch person may have a very logical-sounding reason why they cannot do something; “I haven’t got any strong points, like other people,” or “I’d really like to, but I know even now that I can’t manage.”

 

They may praise and admire others for their accomplishments, yet feel no envy or jealousy at all5. These feelings of genuine inferiority usually begin in early childhood or infancy, the child having been exposed to the parent’s negative attitudes. The certainty of failure becomes an inbuilt automatic response, reinforced by each new failure.

 
People in need of Larch are often rather delicate psychologically, and do not always have the decisiveness and strength to overcome their own negative programming. However, Larch people are usually not only just as capable, but often more capable than others.
Larch helps to dissolve the self-limiting, fixed personality concepts. One is able to take a more relaxed view of things, and to consider alternatives. The positive side of Larch is the person who is willing to truly live; to take risks and never be discouraged by the results. The positive Larch person knows that if he failed, it was not because he didn’t try his best.

 
Larch (Larix decidua), blooms in April and May, on hills and near woods. Pick about 6″ of the twig from the tree with the young green leaf-tufts and the male and female flowers, and prepare by the boiling method.

 

Notes:
Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr), Published on The Hazel Nut (Which is no longer in publication).
1 Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies. 1971. Keats Publishing,
Inc., New Canaan, CT, pg. 92.
2 Scheffer, Methchild. Bach Flower Therapy: Theory and Practice. 1981. Munchen, West Germany, pg. 87.
3 Weeks, Nora, and Bullen, Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies: Illustrations and Preparation. 1964. C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., London, England, pg. 46.
4 Scheffer, pg. 116.
5 Chancellor, pg. 126.
6 Ibid, pg. 127.
7 Weeks and Bullen, pg. 70.

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A Look At the New Celtic Tree Cycle that Starts April 15th, The Willow

WILLOW

 

Willow moon brings with it feelings of resentment and jealousy, and also confusion and indecision. The main Bach Flower Remedy for this moon is, appropriately, Willow. The remedies for the uncertainty we feel are Scleranthus, Wild Oat, and Cerato (which is useful for the Alder moon, also).

 
Wild Oat is for people who are undecided about what they should do. This usually refers to a life’s vocation, but this Remedy can also help the vague unfocused feeling of Willow moon. The Wild Oat person is very talented and ambitious, but is undecided about his true work. A person needing Wild Oat may be at a crossroads in life, unable to decide which path to follow.

 

 

Scleranthus is another remedy for the undecided, but unlike the Wild Oat type, the Scleranthus person cannot decide between two distinct things. They are unable to make up their minds, and are swayed between two choices. This back-and-forth indecision can lead to nervousness and an inner imbalance, just when we need to be steadying ourselves for the summer months.

 
Cerato types are usually very wise and intuitive, and hold definite opinions of their own, yet they doubt their own ability. They tend to follow the advice of others, against their own good judgement, and thus do foolish things. When they learn how poor the advice was, they may say “I knew better. I knew that I should have done so-and-so.”1 When they are ill, they will try one remedy after another, always following the latest recommendation. They may also try one diet after another, always looking for the best one.

 
Because they ask so many questions, they are very talkative people, and tend to sap the energy of others. Every once in a while the Cerato person will ask advice but then follow their own judgement, but this is very rare. Cerato differs from the Larch person of the previous moon, Alder, in that unlike Larch, he has sufficient confidence in himself to stick by his decision once it is made. They greatly admire those who know their own minds and can make a decision quickly.

 
Upon taking Cerato, the inner voice will grow stronger again, and one can pay attention to one’s intuition and have more trust in oneself. “You will find, to your pleasure, that suddenly all necessary knowledge is at your fingertips just at the right moment, so that your are able to make rapid decision, diagnoses, interpretations and correlations. A great desire then often arises to share such knowledge with others.” The positive side of Cerato is intuitive, quiet assurance. One is sure of his ability to decide between right and wrong, and he trusts his own judgements.

 
Cerato (Ceratostigma willmottiana), is a small flowering plant from the Himalayas, which is cultivated in gardens. The pale blue flowers are gathered in August and September, and prepared by the sun method. Pick single blooms just below the calyx from 2 or more plants.

 
Willow is the primary remedy for this moon, being the remedy for resentment and bitterness. The Willow person blames everyone and everything but himself, and his thoughts are negative and destructive. He can’t understand why some people can be so cheerful and carefree, but begrudges their happiness and feels tempted to ruin their day somehow. He may feel depressed, and tend to sulk about their problems.

 
This state may be temporary, occurring whenever we have a bad day, or it may become a chronic state. When this happens, it can have a very destructive effect on the person and his whole environment. He will affect others by his attitude of being a wet blanket and a spoilsport. The Willow person considers himself a victim of life, complaining that he doesn’t deserve this unfairness. The Willow type never considers his own behavior when he makes such accusations. He doesn’t feel it is his fault at all. “Willow is a state in which disappointments and resentments are powerfully projected onto the outside world.”

 
The Willow people believe that their prayers are unanswered and their efforts unrewarded, but they take without giving. They will accept or even demand all kinds of help as their ‘right’ and so have no gratitude towards others; thereby alienating people who would like to help them. When they are ill, nothing can please or satisfy them, and they don’t want to admit any improvement in their condition. They may say something like, “I may look better, but I most certainly don’t feel better,”5 as if to stop any positive feelings from arising in himself.

 
“A person in the Willow state is a ‘victim,’ and that provides the perfect excuse for not accepting responsibility for his own destiny.” The Willow person judges success in life not by inner experience but mostly by material criteria, and is usually not happy at what he sees or has. In addition to feeling resentful and disappointed by their troubles, the Willow person attempts to block any improvements by their inner self, putting up passive resistance and negative ‘stone-walling.’

 
“It is easy to fall into a negative Willow state in the course of spiritual development, at a point when one has become aware of much that is negative but the personality is not yet strong enough to integrate this. Annoyance at oneself is then… projected onto the outside world, powerful prejudices develop, and there is a definite lack of cooperation.

 
The key to overcoming a negative Willow state is to first learn to recognize and accept one’s own bitterness and negativity. The attitudes towards oneself must first be changed before anything can change outwardly. Secondly, one must realize that every grumbling thought adds another brick to the wall, so that the personal ‘sun’ is ever more blotted out. “Everything we experience on the outside is the outcome of our own thoughts being projected outward, and every human being lives in a world he has at some stage or other thought up and created for himself. Anyone feeling himself to be a victim will inevitably sooner or later end up a victim.”

 
The positive Willow state is seen in the person who realizes they control their own destiny. They have great optimism, faith, and calmness.
Willow (Salix vitellina) flowers in May, and is prepared by the boiling method. Pick the catkins of either sex with about 6″ of the twig and young leaves.

 
Notes:
Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr), The Hazel Nut Magazine (No longer in publication)
1 Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies. 1971. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, Cr, pg. 56.
2 Scheffer, Methchild. Bach Flower Therapy – Theory and Practice. 1981.
Munchen, West Germany, pg. 56.
3 Weeks, Nora, and Bullen, Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies – Illustrations and Preparation. 1964. C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., London, England, pg. 44.
4 Scheffer, pg. 197.
5 Chancellor, pg. 229.
6 Scheffer, pg. 199.
7 Ibid, pg. 200.
8 Ibid, pg. 199.
9 Weeks and Bullen, pg 80.

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WHAT IS THE CELTIC TREE CALENDAR?

The Celtic tree calendar is based on a lunar year as opposed to a solar one, and begins after the Winter Solstice, There are roughly 13 lunar months, which begin and end with the new moon; each month is represented by a tree. In order, these are: Birch, Rowan, Ash, Alder, Willow, Hawthorn, Oak, Holly, Hazel, Vine, Ivy, Reed, and Elder.

 
In the Druidic alphabet, each tree also represents a letter. The first letter of the Gaelic names of the trees is a consonant. In order again, they are: Beth, Luis, Nion, Fearn, Saille, Huath, Duir, Tinne, Coll, Muir, Gort, Ngetal, and Ruis, to give us B, L, N, F, S, H, D, T, C, M, G, N, and R.

 
There are also five vowels, as in any proper alphabet: Ailim, Ohn, Ur, Eadha, and Ioho (A, 0, U, E, and 1). These five vowels are represented by the ‘solar’ trees, which are, respectively, Silver Fir, Gorse, Heather, Aspen, and Yew. The five solar trees are like ‘umbrella’ trees; they cover a larger portion of the year than the lunar trees do; usually about 2-3 months each.

 
This alphabet, when written, is put down in marks called ‘ogham.’ This is an ancient system of writing, and there are almost as many ogham alphabets as there are rune systems.

 
This entire system; the lunar months, the solar seasons, the trees in both their English and Gaelic names, and the ogham, is the Celtic Tree Calendar. There seem to be two major Celtic Tree systems; the one that we, the Faerie Faith, use, is called the Beth-Luis-Nion system. Its calendar begins on the Winter Solstice, the months run from new moon to new moon, and the trees are Birch, Rowan, Ash, etc., as listed above. The other system is called the Beth-Luis-Fern. Its calendar begins at Samhain, November 1, the months go from full moon to full moon, and the order of its trees is slightly different: Birch, Rowan, Alder, Willow, Ash, Hawthorn, Oak, etc. There is no one correct system; people just use the one that they feel the most comfortable with. We use the Beth-Luis-Nion because that’s what works for us.

 
Okay, that was the easy part; now let’s go into the calendar in a little more depth. Each of the 13 lunations has its own mythology and folklore, but most importantly, each has its own special ‘energies’ that affect our moods and physical beings. When we understand the energies that are acting upon us, we can deal with them better, and actually learn from them. For instance, ever notice how crabby people get around the ‘Dog Days’ of summer, July and August? True, you could put it down to the intense heat, but sometimes June is incredibly hot, and people just don’t act quite the same then as they do in the latter months of summer. In the Beth-Luis-Nion system, Holly falls around July and August, and brings with it intense energies of hatred, jealousy, suspicion, and general bitchiness. The remedy for this is the holly tree itself; a branch of holly hung in the house can help us feel calmer, more accepting, even loving. We’ve tried it-it works.
Another system that lends credence to our belief is the Bach Flower Remedies: the Holly remedy, made from the holly tree, is the remedy for hatred, jealousy, suspicion, and envy. Coincidence? Maybe. But when something keeps occurring over a period of time, it stops becoming mere coincidence, and becomes almost … magical. That’s the point we’re at now.

 
To fully understand the tree calendar, and make it relevant to your life, you should consider yourself a student of the calendar. Study it, research it, learn about it. Most of all, make it an active part of your life. Look into the mysteries and myths attached to each tree. Read Robert Graves’ The White Goddess and Celtic myths and fairy tales. Look at the rituals in Pattalee’s Year of Moons, Season of Trees, and write and perform a lunar ritual for yourself based on her rituals and what you’ve learned from Robert Graves. Make contact with a tree; meet it, talk to it, and especially, listen to it.

 
Each lunation, each tree, when taken separately, can teach us about ourselves, and help us get more in tune with nature’s cycles. Taken as a whole, a study of the tree system can help us integrate our personalities, broaden our intellectual horizons, and open ourselves spiritually to the cosmos, going beyond the physical world. That is, after all, the point of being on the path in the first place, isn’t it?

 
Reference

Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr), The Hazel Nut Magazine (No longer in publication)

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The Wicca Book of Days for April 14th – The Rune of Man

 

The runic half-month of Mannaz (or Man) begins today, and it last day will fall on April 28. As its name indicates, this rune means “man,” and it may be interpreted on the one hand as signifying a male person, and, on the other, as referring to mankind, or humankind. Different interpreters put a different gloss on the meaning of this rune, with some saying that it points to the self, and others, that it highlights how the individual relates to the wider human community. And yet another view is that Mannaz denotes defense, especially of the human race collectively.

 

Heartening Hyssop

If you are feeling vulnerable to attack, fortify yourself with a herb that grows under mighty Mar’s protection, namely hyssop. Inhaling the essential oil will strengthen your immune system and will life your spirits if you are feeling down.

Source
The Wicca Book of Days
Observances, Traditions, and Lore for Every Day of the Year
Selene Eilidh Ash

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The Goddess Book of Days for April 14th

In India, the Maryamma Festival begins, dedicated to Maryamma or Mariamne, Goddess of the Sea. She is Mary, Mari, Stella Maris, Isis, Tara, Tiamat, Aida Wedo, Yemaya, Kwan Yin, Kwannon, Nu Kwa, Mer, Maerin, Marah, Aphrodite, and Atargatis. The fourteenth day

 
Reference

 
The Goddess Book of Days
Diane Stein

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Goddesses Associated with Saturday

 
Saturday For Saturn: Ops, Rhea, Tellus Mater, Gaia, Eartha, Ge, Tonantzin, Ashera, Anath, the Shekinah, the Matronit, Mary, Gula, Herodias, Oddudua, Demeter

 
Refernce
The Goddess Book of Days
Diane Stein

 

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Ritual Influences for Saturday, April 14

Planet: Saturn

 

Perfumes: Hyacinth, Pansy

 

Incense: Peperwort, Assodilious, Black Poppy Seeds, Henbane, Lodestone, Myrrh

 

Wood: Oak

 

Color: Black

 

Influences: Duties, Respondibilities, Finding Families, Works of Magic, Buildings, Meditation, Life, Doctrines.

 

Reference
A Book of Pagan Rituals
Herman Slater

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Saturday–The Day of Saturn

In the Roman calendar, Saturday was called Dies Saturni in honour of the god Saturn, whom we have already mentioned. He was the father of Jupiter, who finally overthrew him. He then made his way to the earth, and reigned over a kingdom in Italy called Latium. A great festival was held in his honour in December, as we have seen.

 

The Old-English name Saater-daeg, from which the word Saturday comes, seems to be a translation of the Latin name, and so suggests no god of the Angles and Saxons to us, as do the days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We find, however, that the day was sacred to Loki, the God of Fire, and there are some who think that

 

“Saeter-daeg” means “the day of Saetere”, another name for Loki. The stories told of Loki show him to have been a mixture of good and evil. While willing to help the gods in their difficulties, he also played dangerous tricks on them, and more than once led them into harm. As time went on, he seems to have become the spirit of evil only, and the gods at last banished him from Asgard, and condemned him to a terrible punishment. He was chained to the side of a cave, and a snake was fastened over his head in such a way that the poison from its fangs dropped on his face. His wife, however, remained faithful to him; she made her way to the cave where Loki was imprisoned, and stayed by his side, holding up a cup to catch the poison which fell from the snake, and only leaving him in order to empty the cup when it was full. The poison which fell on Loki’s face while she was absent caused him to twist and writhe with pain till he shook the earth, and thus produced earthquakes.

 

This punishment of Loki reminds us of the story of Prometheus, but it will be remembered that the latter suffered because he had been a friend to man, and not like Loki a source of evil. As Prometheus was rescued at last by Hercules, so Loki was destined to escape on the great day of Ragnarok, and to appear in his true colours on the side of the giants, soon afterwards meeting his death at the hands of Heimdall. The Northmen, unlike the Greeks and Romans, regarded their gods as mortal, and believed that their rule would one day come to an end. They pictured a final struggle between the gods, the forces of good, and the forces of evil represented by Loki, the frost-giants, and all the terrible monsters which they had created. Odin, in his great wisdom, knew what the future would eventually bring, and spared no effort to prolong his rule and prepare for the fateful day. For this reason he welcomed the great heroes to Valhalla, and kept the tree of life, Yggdrasil, nourished with the water of the sacred spring; for this reason the giants tried to steal Thor’s hammer, the weapon they most dreaded. Many things pointed to the approach of Ragnarok. First the earth suffered from six successive winters more severe and prolonged than had ever been known before. Snow fell without ceasing, freezing winds blew from the north, and the whole earth was covered with ice. In their struggle to live under these terrible conditions, men lost their faith in the gods, and gave themselves up to evil and wrong-doing. Sin and crime were found everywhere, and as the evil-doers passed into the Underworld, they became food for the wolves which were continually pursuing the sun and moon, and endeavouring to swallow them. As their food became more plentiful, the wolves increased in strength and speed, until at last the day came when Sol and Mani found the wolves rapidly gaining on them. In spite of all their efforts, the wolves continued to overtake them, and at length seized them in their enormous jaws, and plunged the earth into darkness. The foundations of the earth shook, the stars fell from the sky, and the mountains came crashing down. As if this were a signal, Loki and the fierce wolf Fenrir put forth new strength and burst their chains, for their day of revenge had come. The dragon which lay at the foot of Yggdrasil gnawed through the root of the sacred tree. The Midgard serpent, Iormungandr, lashed and writhed till the sea rose in mighty waves, and at last breaking its bonds, the terrible monster crawled to the land. Heimdall, the keeper of the bridge, realizing that the twilight of the gods was at hand, blew a blast on his horn that was heard in every corner of the world. The gods hastily donned their armour, and marshalled the army of heroes. Now indeed Odin regretted the loss of his eye, Tin that he had sacrificed his right hand, and Frey that he had lent his sword to his servant, who was away in the lands of the North.

 

Meanwhile the followers of the goddess Hel were led by Loki to the plain of Vigrid, the scene of the great battle. Here they were joined by Hel herself, Garm, the fierce dog who guarded the entrance to the Underworld, and Fenrir, the monster wolf. From the misty land of the North came the army of the frost-giants, while out of the South, with a burst of light, there dashed on to the plain Surtr, the giant of the Flaming Sword.

 

Terrible indeed were the forces arrayed against the gods, but they, like the Northmen themselves, knew no fear on the day of battle, and assembled their armies on the plain of Vigrid, prepared to resist the powers of evil to the last.

 

With shouts and cries, amid fire and smoke, the armies meet. Odin and the wolf Fenrir come together with a crash, which echoes through the whole world, but not even the mighty Odin can withstand this terrible enemy. Fenrir, now fiercer and stronger than ever before, opens his vast jaws till they stretch from heaven to earth, and overwhelms the leader of gods and men. But Odin’s death is quickly avenged. His son Vidar, wearing the iron shoe, which had been kept for this day, now falls upon Fenrir, and, as had been foretold, places his iron-shod foot on the monster’s lower jaw, and then seizing the upper jaw, with a mighty wrench tears Fenrir asunder.

 

Meanwhile Tiu grapples with Garm, and after a fierce struggle slays him, only to fall dead beside him. Frey attacks the fire-giant Surtr, but soon falls before his flaming onslaught. Heimdall and Loki once again meet in deadly conflict, and this time Heimdall overcomes the God of Evil, but, like Tiu, falls mortally wounded by his enemy. Thor, with his hammer Miolnir, advances against the huge Midgard serpent. The struggle is long and terrible; with a mighty blow of his hammer Thor at last kills the monster, and then, as he staggers back, is overwhelmed by the flood of poison which it outpours. The heroes of Valhalla are all overthrown by the giants and followers of Hel, and there is no longer anyone of Odin’s vast host to withstand the powers of evil.

 

Surtr then flings his fire over the world, Asgard is consumed in roaring flames, and the earth, scorched and blackened, sinks into a boiling sea. Ragnorak has come, and the old gods have passed away.

 

But in the minds of the Northmen evil could have no lasting victory. The very flames which had destroyed the home of the gods and had overwhelmed the earth had purged the world of evil. A new earth rose from the sea, lit by a new sun, the daughter of Sol, and life, drawn forth by its warm rays, once more spread over the earth. Trees clothed themselves anew with leaves, and the fields became fair with flowers. From the depth of the forest, where Mimir’s spring had bubbled forth, came Lifthrasir (Desire of Life) and his wife Lif (Life), who in course of time became the rulers of a new race. To the field of Ida, where the gods had been wont to hold their games, came the survivors of the gods: two sons of Odin, Vidar, the slayer of Fenrir, and his brother Vali, who had killed Hodur to avenge the death of Balder; two sons of Thor, Magni (Strength) and Modi (Courage), who had rescued Miolnir from the battle-field and now wielded it in place of their father; and finally, Balder and Hodur, who had been set free from Hel, and who now lived together as brothers, forgetful of the past.

 

It seems strange to us that the Northmen should have pictured the destruction of their gods, and it is possible that the writers of the wonderful poems from which we obtain these stories knew something of Christianity, and had begun to turn from their heathen beliefs. We find, however, that many heathen peoples had similar beliefs. The idea of eternity was impossible to them; they felt that there must be an end to everything. Accordingly they imagined their gods, after a long period of peace and good rule, being overthrown by the powers of evil and destruction, and being replaced by a new heaven and earth, which in turn would also be destroyed and renewed. Among no other people do we find so complete a description of this world catastrophe as in our ancestors’ story of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods.

 

The Day of Ragnarok

The generations pass, the ages grow,
And bring us nearer to the final day
When from the south shall march the fiery band,
And cross the bridge of heaven, with Lok for guide,
And Fenrir at his heel with broken chain;
While from the east the giant Rymer steers
His ship, and the great serpent makes to land;
And all are marshall’d in one flaming square
Against the Gods, upon the plains of Heaven.
* * * * * * *
Far to the south, beyond the blue, there spreads
Another Heaven, the boundless–no one yet
Hath reach’d it; there hereafter shall arise
The second Asgard, with another name.
Thither, when o’er this present earth and Heavens
The tempest of the latter days hath swept,
And they from sight have disappear’d, and sunk,
Shall a small remnant of the Gods repair;
There re-assembling we shall see emerge
From the bright Ocean at our feet an earth
More fresh, more verdant than the last, with fruits
Self-springing, and a seed of man preserved,
Who then shall live in peace, as now in war.
But we in Heaven shall find again with joy
The ruin’d palaces of Odin, seats
Familiar, halls where we have supp’d of old;
Re-enter them with wonder, never fill
Our eyes with gazing, and rebuild with tears.
And we shall tread once more the well-knovm plain
Of Ida, and among the grass shall find
The golden dice wherewith we played of yore;
And that will bring to mind the former life
And pastime of the Gods, the wise discourse
Of Odin, the delights of other days.
MATTHEW ARNOLD–Balder Dead.

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The Witches Guide to Saturdays

 

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

 

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

 

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.
Source

Book of Witchery, Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

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Saturday’s Witchery

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

 

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

 

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.

 

Source
Book of Witchery
Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

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The Witches Almanac for Saturday, April 14th

Black Day (South Korean)

Waning Moon
Moon phase: Fourth Quarter
Moon Sign: Aries
Incense: Rue
Color: Brown

 

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Correspondences for Saturday, April 14

Magickal Intentions: Spirit Communications, Meditation, Psychic Attack or Defense, Locating Lost Things and Missing Persons, Building, Life, Doctrine, Protection, Knowledge, Authority, Limitations, Boundaries, Time and Death

Incense: Black Poppy Seed and Myrrh

Planet: Saturn

Sign: Capricorn and Aquarius

Angel: Cassel

Colors: Black, Grey and Indigo

Herbs/Plants: Myrrh, Moss, Hemlock, Wolfsbane, Coltsfoot, Nightshade and Fir
Stones: Jet, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Black Onyx, Snowflake Obsidian, Lava, Pumice

Oil: (Saturn) Cypress, Mimosa, Myrrh, Patchouli

Saturn lends its energies to the last day of the week. Because Saturn is the planet of karma, this day is an excellent time for spellwork involving reincarnation, karmic lessons, the Mysteries, wisdom, and long-term projects.

It is also a good time to being efforts that deal with the elderly, death, or the eradication of pests and disease.

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The Energy of Saturn

 

SATURN: THE PLANET OF KARMA

Saturn doesn’t make things easy. That’s the role of the taskmaster of the zodiac. Saturn commands us to get to work and to work hard. Discipline and responsibility are important to this planet, yet if we’re eager to conquer the world, that’s okay, too.

 

Much like Father Time, Saturn implores us to look at the clock (its glyph, after all, is the sickle of Chronos, the God of Time). Is there time for everything we want to do, or are there limits? Those limitations are important to Saturn, and we must learn to manage them. Restrictions are the province of this planet, as is any form of discipline or delay.

 

In keeping with the passage of time, Saturn governs old age along with the lessons it teaches us. Learning life’s lessons is key to this planet, in keeping with its role as teacher. The majesty of older age also brings with it a certain sense of tradition, conventionality (our learned patterns of behavior) and wisdom, and Saturn is mindful of these characteristics. This planet applauds our perseverance and the fact that we’ve withstood the test of time (yes, time comes up once again). This senior status further brings with it a measure of authority, and Saturn lords over that as well.

 

Structure, order and the way in which we conduct our affairs are all ruled by this ringed planet. Contraction and the reining in of assets are also important here. Lastly, Saturn, again in its role as teacher, concerns itself with karma and the lessons which past experiences might bring.

 

It takes Saturn 28-30 years to complete its orbit of the zodiac. It is masculine energy and rules both Capricorn and Aquarius, and the Tenth and Eleventh Houses.
Reference
Astrology.com

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How to Do Rituals

 

SIMPLE RITUAL CONDITIONS
Overtired, stressed, inability to maintain sustained concentration, vacation,
limited privacy (i.e. time or location), new to Wicca, prefer simple formats. If
none of these circumstances apply AND you are looking for more symbolism and
ceremony, choose a complete ritual, otherwise use the simple rituals.

 

CIRCLE CASTING
In simple rituals, you might want to walk a sunwise (clockwise) circle 3 times
at the beginning of a ritual for good luck. In complex rituals, circle casting
is primarily used to mark the beginning and end of a ritual.

THE MAGIC SITE
Anywhere, but outside is best. Remember oneness with nature is the focus of the
Witch.

CENTERING
Terminology can get a bit confusing when talking about grounding and centering.
Centering is what you do before you begin a ritual or spell and grounding is
what you do after a ritual or spell.

* Face east with feet shoulder width apart.

 

* Place both hands at the top of the staff and hold it in front of you.

 

* Lower staff to the ground in front of and between your feet (this should form a triangle).

 

* Close your eyes and put your forehead on your hands.

 

* Breathe deeply and feel the earth energy rising up your legs, throughout your
body. Feel it driving out all negativity such as fatigue, pain, sadness, anger,
etc.

 

* You should feel comfortable and as if your feet are planted on the earth.

 

* Continue as long as you are comfortable.

 

* Relax.

 

* You will now feel fully connected with the cosmos and centered.

 

Note: Always center before performing rituals or spells.

POWER RAISING

The primary way to raise power is by dancing but power is also raised by tensing
the muscles, chanting and simple visualization.

Do you remember watching westerns as a child? Remember how the Indians used to
dance? That is the type of dancing I am speaking of. You begin by grabbing your
staff and slowly alternating foot taps, steps, heel drops and hops. You can use
these steps or not use them, however you want. Just remember to begin slowly and
find a rhythm. As you dance, increase the speed. Keep increasing speed until you
feel the power has reached its peak. While you are raising power, focus on the
goal, see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, know it.

When you are focused and the power has reached it’s peak, suddenly fall to your
knees, thrust your staff out and shout. I use the word “Go” but you can use any
short word that makes sense to you. Also, instead of power, you may want to try
cupping your hand beneath your mouth and blowing. Both shouting and blowing work
wonderfully but blowing is especially nice when you need to be quiet.

GROUNDING
Once you have released the power, it is time to ground the energy that remains.
To do this, lay on the ground and breathe deeply. You will feel incredibly
alive. Take that energy and direct it through your body and into the earth until
you are at an energy level that feels comfortable.

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The Witches Magick for Saturday, April 14 – Stone of Luck Spell

You can use the Stone of Luck spell for anything, love, money, health, wealth, spirit awareness, etc. The key to this empowerment is concentration and belief. When you have completed this spell, carry the stone around with you. Eventually you will start to get what you want.
What you need:
1 Small stone of your choice (any kind)
1 candle (correct color for what you want)
Appropriate herbs
Appropriate incense
Salt
Water
A cloth
Oil (either olive, jasmine, or mint)
Some bowls (glass or crystal)

 

First you need to meditate on what you want, be it money, love, better health….whatever you want. After you feel you have meditated long enough, you may start the spell. Light the candle and incense. (Be sure you have all of the things you need with you.)

 
Hold the rock in your power hand. Concentrate on what you want. Run the rock through the flame 3 times. Then put it into the water. Cup your hands over the bowl. Then take the rock out of the water and sprinkle the herbs on it.

 
After you have done that, put the rock into a dry bowl. Visualize yourself getting what you want. Then anoint the rock with the oil and put the rock back into the dry bowl. Sprinkle some salt onto the rock. Concentrate more.

 
Then wrap the rock in the cloth and leave it for at least 24 hours. Let the candle and incense burn all the way out. Dispose of the water.

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Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days A Year

14 April

First Cuckoo Day

In Sussex, England, April 14 is officially known as First Cuckoo Day and heralds the arrival of Spring. It is believed that those who hear the first cuckoo cry will be blessed with good luck and good fortune for the rest of the year. Over the years, there has been a good deal of light-hearted rivalry surrounding the question of where and when the first cuckoo will be heard. Many omens are drawn from the first call heard: lucky if to your right, unlucky if to your left or behind you or if you have not yet eaten. If you have money in your pocket at the time you will have plenty all year (especially if you turn to the right and jingle it), but if not, you will stay poor. If you are in bed, this foreshadows an illness; if you are standing on grass, you will have good fortune.

 

One popular custom among 19th-century workmen was to stop work upon hearing the first cuckoo, claim the day as a holiday, and go off to drink ale or beer outdoors to welcome the bird.

 

The cuckoo’s habit of laying its eggs in the nests of other birds explains why its cry was regarded, in medieval times, as mocking the cuckold husbands-they would have to bring up another man’s child. In some areas, the cuckoo was associated with stupidity and in northern dialects `gowk’ means both cuckoo and fool.

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Home & Hearth Magick for Saturday, April 14th

 

On Saturday work for protection, boundaries, and house rules

 

Planetary Influence: Saturn

 

Household Symbols: A gate, a fence, a sprig of ivy from a houseplant

 

Colors: Black or deep purple

 

Kitchen spices: Traditionally there are not many herbs associated with Saturn that are not poisonous. However, for banishing and the removal of negative situations, try a clove of garlic or dried minced onion.

 

Source:
Cottage Witchery
Natural Magick for Hearth and Home
Ellen Dugan

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Correspondences Every Witch Should Know – Protection Correspondences

 

Color:
White for protection.
Silver to reflect negativity.
Black for destroying negativity.

 

Herbs and trees:
Acorn
Angelica
Ash twigs
Balm of Gilead
Basil
Bay Laurel
Cactus needles
Dill
Fennel
Fern
Flax
Horehound
Hyssop
Lemon peel
Mugwort
Mullien
Periwinkle
Pine needles
Rosemary
Rowan
St. John’s Wort
Tarragon
Vervain

 

Miscellaneous Items:
Broken glass
Iron nails
Needles
Pepper (repellent)
Porcupine quills
Rusty nails
Salt
Thorns

 

Stones:
Amber
Amethyst
Apache Tears
Black Moss Agate
Black Onyx
Garnet
Jade
Lapis Lazuli
Leopard Skin Agate
Malachite
Sunstone
Tiger Eye

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I am sorry it is taking so long but WordPress is not cooperating with me this morning.