REINCARNATION

REINCARNATION

Reincarnation is an ancient belief. It is part of many religions (Hinduism and Buddhism, for example) and was even one of the original Christian tenets, until condemned by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553. It is believed that the human spirit, or soul, is a fragment of the divine and eventually it will return to its divine source. But, for its own evolution, it is
necessary that the soul experience all things in life.

It seems the most sensible, most logical, explanation of much that is found in life. Why should one person be born into a rich family and another into poverty? Why should one be born crippled, another fit and strong?…if not because we must all eventually experience all things. Reincarnation seems the most logical explanation of child prodigies. A musical genius, composing concertos at the age of five (as did Mozart), is obviously carrying-over knowledge from one lifetime into the next. This does not usually happen, but it can. In the same way, homosexuality might well be explained through reincarnation: a person male in one lifetime and then female in the next (or vice versa) might have carried over feelings and preferences from one life to the next.

For someone who does not believe in reincarnation, it is difficult to understand the death of a child. What was the point of the child living at all, if only for a few short years? For the reincarnationist it is obvious that the child had learned all that had been set to be learned
in that particular lifetime and so was moving on. A very good simile for this is the grades of a school. You enter school in a low grade and learn the basics. When you have mastered these you graduate, take a short vacation, then come back into a higher grade to learn and
experience more things. So it is in life. In each life you have a certain amount to learn and to experience. When you have done that, you graduate (i.e. you die). To come back into a higher grade you are reborn in a new body. Occasionally remembrance of previous lives, or parts of them, is experienced but more generally you do not remember (it is possible, of course, through such procedures as hypno-regression, to go back to previous lives and bring them once more to the surface). Perhaps one of the most common of occult experiences is that
of deja-vu—the feeling that something has happened before—so often attributed to reincarnation (though by no means is reincarnation the only possible explanation of all cases of deja-vu); the feeling being a brief flash of memory of something that happened in a previous life.

In what form do we return to the earth? Some believe (the Hindus, for example) that it is not necessarily in human form each time. Certain Hindu sects teach that the soul may be reborn as a plant or an animal. However, such beliefs are not generally held in Western civilization. Some say there is a progression from the lowest life-forms to the highest— putting humans at the top. But then who is to say the order? Is a dog higher than a cat, or a cat higher than a dog? Is a centipede higher or lower than an earwig? Does this mean, when every soul has finally passed up the scale and graduated, that in the afterlife there will be no plant, animal or insect life? It seems unlikely. In Witchcraft the belief is that all things have souls. In Saxon Witchcraft, for example, it is believed that a dog will go through many incarnations, but always as a dog; a cat always as a cat; a human always as a human. There is reason for all things to be here … what we term the “balance of Nature”. It seems we certainly have a choice, within our species, of being either male or female, in order to experience and appreciate the different aspects.

One argument often put forward by non-rein-carnationists is “If what you say is true, how
do you explain the fact that the world population is continuously growing?” Of course it is! So is the population of souls/spirits. There are not simply x number of souls who all started their development together. New souls are being introduced all the times. So we have so-called “new souls”—those on their first incarnations—and “old souls”—those who have been through a large number of lives. It is possible that eventually, when the gods decide enough souls
have been introduced, there will be a stabilizing of the population followed later by a decline, as old souls in their final incarnations make their graduations. There is yet another thought that might be considered here … where do these souls originally come from and where do they go after that final graduation? One possibility, of course, is that we not only experience lives here on Earth, but also on other planets and in other reality systems. Who knows? …
perhaps we go through the cycle here having already been through it a dozen times or more on other worlds. There is obviously much food for thought, very little (if any) proof of preferences and great scope for new tenets.

 

Source

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

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THE GOD AND GODDESS OF WITCHCRAFT

THE GOD AND GODDESS OF WITCHCRAFT

A general complaint about Christianity by Witches is that there is the worship of the male deity to the exclusion of the female. In fact this is one of the main reasons for people (women especially) leaving Christianity and returning to the Old Religion. And yet it’s a strange paradox that many—if not the majority—of Witchcraft traditions are guilty of this same crime of
Christianity, if in reverse … they laud the Goddess to the near, or even total, exclusion of the God!

Witchcraft is a religion of nature, as any Witch will tell you. Everywhere in nature there is male and female, and both are necessary (I have yet to meet anyone who does not have both a mother and a father). It follows, then, that both the God and the Goddess are important and
should be equally revered. There should be balance. But balance is as woefully missing in most traditions of the Craft as it is in Christianity.

We are all—every single one of us—made up of both masculine and feminine attributes. The toughest, most macho man has feminine aspects just as the most traditionally-feminine woman has male aspects. So it is with the deities. The God has feminine aspects as well as masculine, and the Goddess has masculine as well as feminine.

What names you use for your deities is a matter of personal preference. In Saxon Witchcraft the name Woden is given to the God; in Gardnerian the Latin term Cernunnos is used; in Scottish, Devla. Each tradition has its own name. But names are only labels; they are only a
means of identifying. You should identify, then, using a name with which you can feel completely comfortable. For, after all, religion is a most personal thing, at the core, and—to be of real purpose—should therefore be related to on the most personal level possible. Even if you join an established tradition this is still valid—find a tradition that seems right for you (as I spoke about in Lesson One) but… don’t be afraid to modify where necessary to make it totally right for you. If the name used to identify the God, in the tradition you have chosen, happens to be Cernunnos (for example) and you have difficulty relating to that name, then choose another for your own use. In other words, respect the name Cernunnos in group worship and all matters pertaining to the coven but, in your own mind—and in personal rites—don’t hesitate to substitute Pan or Mananna or Lief or whatever. A name, as I have said, is a label. The God himself knows you are “talking” to him; he’s not going to be confused! (This all
applies equally to the Goddess of course).

It may well be for the above reason that the name Cernunnos is found in so many branches of the Craft. As I’ve mentioned, it is simply the Latin word for “the Homed One”. To add your own personal identification, then, in no way conflicts.

Traditionally the “dark half” of the year is associated with the God. But this does not (or should not) mean that he is “dead”, or incommunicado, in the “light half” of the year (and vice versa with the Goddess). During the light half he is fully active in his feminine aspect; just as the
Goddess is active in the dark half in her masculine aspect. So, both deities are active throughout the year, even though deference may be given to one over the other at certain times.

There is a common theme of death and resurrection found in myths throughout the world. The symbolism is frequently furthered in a descent to the underworld with a later return. We find it with Ishtar’s descent and search for Tannaz; with Sif’s loss of her golden tresses; with Idunn’s loss of her golden apples; with Jesus’ death and resurrection; with Siva’s death and resurrection, and many more. Basically all represent the coming of fall and winter followed by the return of spring and summer; the lead figure represnting the spirit of vegetation. From Witchcraft here are “The Myth Of the Goddess” as found in (a) Gardnerian Wicca and (b)
Saxon Wicca.

“Now G* had never loved, but she would solve all the Mysteries, even the Mystery of Death; and so she journeyed to the Nether Lands. The Guardians of the Portals challenged her, ‘Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught may ye bring with ye into this our land.’

So she laid down her garments and her jewels and was bound, as are all who enter the Realms of Death the Mighty One. Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and kissed her feet,
saying, “Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways. Abide with me, let me place my cold hand on thy heart.’ She replied, ‘I love thee not. Why dost thou cause all things that I love and take delight in to fade and die?’

‘Lady/ replied Death, ‘it is Age and Fate, against which I am helpless. Age causes all things to wither; but when men die at the end of time I give them rest and peace, and strength so that
they may return. But thou, thou art lovely. Return not; abide with me.’

But she answered, 1 love thee not’.

Then said Death, ‘An’ thou receive not my hand on thy heart, thou must receive Death’s scourge’.

It is Fate; better so’, she said and she knelt; and Death scourged her and she cried, ‘I feel the pangs of love’.

And Death said, ‘Blessed be’ and gave her the Fivefold Kiss, saying, ‘Thus only may ye attain to joy and knowledge’.

And he taught her all the mysteries. And they loved and were one, and he taught her all the Magicks.

For there are three great events in the life of Man: Love, Death and Resurrection in a new body; and Magick controls them all.

For to fulfill love you must return again at the same time and place as the loved one, and you must remember and love them again. But to be reborn you must die, and be ready for a new
body; and to die you must be born; and without love you may not be born. And these be all the Magicks.”

–The Meaning of Witchcraft
Gerald B. Gardner, Aquarian Press, London 1959

“All day had Freya, most lovely of the goddesses, played and romped in the fields. Then did she lay down to rest. And while she slept deft Loki, the Prankster, the Mischief-Maker of the
Gods, did espy the glimmering oiBrosingamene, formed of Galdra, her constant companion. Silent as night did Loki move to the Goddess’ side and, with fingers formed over the ages in
lightness, did remove the silver circlet from about her snow-white neck.

Straightway did Freya arouse, on sensing its loss. Though he moved with the speed of the winds yet Loki she glimpsed as he passed swiftly from sight into the Barrow that leads to
Dreun.

Then was Freya in despair. Darkness descended all about her to hide her tears. Great was her anguish. All light, all life, all creatures joined in her doom. To all corners were sent the
Searchers, in quest of Loki; yet knew they, they would find him not. For who is there may descend into Dreun and return again from thence? Excepting the Gods themselves and, alack, mischievous Loki.

So it was that, still weak from grief, Freya herself elected to descend in search otBrosinga-mene. At the portals of the Barrow was she challenged yet recognized and passed. The
multitude of souls within cried joyfully to see her yet could she not tarry as she sought her stolen light. The infamous Loki left no trail to follow, yet was he everywhere past seen. Those to whom she spake held to Freya (that) Loki carried no jewel as he went by. Where, then, was it hid? In despair she searched an age. Hearhden, the mighty smith of the Gods, did arise from his rest to sense the bewailment of the souls to Freya’s sorrow. Striding from his smithy, to find the cause of the sorrow, did he espy the Silver Circlet where Loki Mischief-Maker had laid it:
upon the rock before his door.

Then was all clear. As Hearhden took hold of Brosingamene, (then did) Loki appear before him, his face wild with rage. Yet would Loki not attack Hearhden, this Mighty Smith whose strength was known even beyond Dreun.

By wiles and tricks did he strive to get his hands upon the silver circlet. He shape-shifted; he darted here and there; he was visible then invisible. Yet could he not sway the smith.

Tiring of the fight, Hearhden raised his mighty club. Then sped Loki away. Great was the joy of Freya when Hearhden placed Brosingamene once more about her snow-white neck.

Great were the cries of joy from Dreun and above.

Great were the thanks that Freya, and all Men, gave to the Gods for the return of Brosingamene.”

–The Tree: The Complete Book of
Saxon Witchcraft
Raymond Buckland, Samuel Weiser, NY 1974

Source:

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

THE POWER WITHIN

THE POWER WITHIN

There are many people who seem, very obviously, to have some sort of “psychic power” (for want of a better term). They are the sort who know that the telephone is going to ring before it actually does, and who is on the other end of the line before they pick up the receiver. People like Uri Geller are able to demonstrate this power in more dramatic ways, by bending keys and teaspoons without physical contact. Others have “visions” or seem to be able to make things happen. Often these people have a peculiar affinity with animals.

You may not be like this. You may.well feel somewhat envious of such people. Yet you shouldn’t feel that way, for the power that these people have—and it is a very real power—is inherent in all of us. To be sure, that power comes out quite naturally in some, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be brought out in others. The aura (which will be dealt with extensively in a later lesson) is a visible manifestation of this power. Those able to see the aura—and you will become one of these—can see it around everyone; again demonstrating that the power is within everyone. Witches have always had the power and used it. Most of them seem to have it naturally, but not all by any means. For that reason the Witches have their own ways of drawing it out; ways that are especially effective.

In the magazine Everyday Science and Mechanics, for September 1932, appeared the following report:

Human Tissues Produce Deadly Radiations

“Rays emitted from human blood, fingertips, noses and eyes, kill yeast and other micro-organisms, according to Professor Otto Rahn, working at Cornell University. Yeast, such as used in making bread, was killed in five minutes merely by the radiation from the fingertips of one person. When a quartz plate, Vz inch thick, was interposed it took fifteen minutes for the yeast to die. In tests of fingers it was found that the right hand was stronger than the left, even in left-handed persons.”

Professor Rahn continued his experiments and published results in Invisible Radiations Of Organisms (Berlin, 1936). Speaking at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he explained how the “rays” seemed to come out most strongly from the fingertips, the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, the armpits, the sex organs and—in women only—the breasts. Dr. Harold S. Burr, of Yale University, spoke of similar experiments and conclusions when addressing the Third International Cancer Congress.

Witches have always believed in this power coming from the body and have developed ways to increase it, collect it and use it to do what we term magick. Professors Rahn and Burr showed the destructive use of this power, but it can be used equally effectively constructively.

Here is a simple experiment you can try with a friend. Have the friend strip to the waist and sit with his back to you. Now, extend your hand, with the palm down and fingers together, straight out to point at his (or her) back. Keep the tips of the fingers an inch or so away from the surface of the skin. Now slowly move your hand up and down along the line of his spine. Try to keep your arm straight and concentrate your thoughts on sending all your energies out along your arm and into your hand and fingers. You will probably get quite a reaction from your friend as your power makes contact. He might feel a strong tingling sensation, heat, or even what seems like a cool breeze … but he will feel something.

Experiment. Try with the left hand; with the fingers together; at different distances from his back. See if he knows where your hand is. Does he feel it moving up when it is moving up; down when moving down? You will find that the intensity of the power varies dependant upon your physical health and also upon the time of the day and the day of the month. Keep records and note when it is the best time for you to “generate”.

 

Source:

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT

The Craft is a religion of love and joy. It is not full of the gloom of Christianity, with its ideas of “original sin”, with salvation and happiness possible only in the afterlife. The music of Witchcraft is joyful and lively, again contrasting with the dirge-like hymns of Christianity.
Why is this? Why are Wiccans more content; more warm and happy? Much of it has to do with their empathy with nature. Early people lived hand-in-hand with nature through necessity. They were a part of nature, not separate from it. An animal was a brother or a sister, as was a tree. Wo/Man tended the fields and in return received food for the table. Sure, s/he killed animals for food. But then many animals kill other animals in order to eat. In other words,
Woman and Man were a part of the natural order ofthings, not separate from it. Not “above” it.

Modern Wo/Man has lost much, if not all, of that closeness. Civilization has cut them off. But not so the Witch! Even today, in this mechanized, super-sophisticated world that this branch of nature (Woman and Man) has created, the Wicca retain their ties with Mother Nature. In books such as Brett Bolton’s The Secret Power of Plants we are told of the “incredible”, “extraordinary” healthy reaction of plants to kindness; of how they feel and react to both good and evil; how they express love, fear, hate (something that might be borne in mind  by vegetarians when they become over-critical of meat-eaters, perhaps?). This is no new discovery. Witches have always known it. They have always spoken kindly to plants. It is not unusual to see a Witch, walking through the woods, stop and hug a tree. It is not peculiar to see a Witch throw off her shoes and walk barefoot across a ploughed field. This is all part of keeping in touch with nature; of not losing our heritage.

If ever you feel completely drained, if ever you are angry or tense, go out and sit against a tree. Choose a good, solid tree (oak or pine are good) and sit down on the ground with your back straight, pressed up against the trunk. Close your eyes and relax. You will feel a gradual change come over you. Your tension, your anger, your tiredness will disappear. It will seem to drain out of you. Then, in its place, you will feel a growing warmth; a feeling of love and comfort. It
comes from the tree. Accept it and be glad. Sit there until you feel completely whole again. Then, before leaving, stand with your arms about the tree and thank it.

Take time to stop and appreciate all that is about you. Smell the earth, the trees, the leaves. Absorb their energies and send them yours. One of the contributing factors to our isolation from the rest of nature is the insulation of our shoes. Whenever you can, go barefoot. Make contact with the earth. Feel it; absorb it. Show your respect and love for nature and live with
nature.

In the same way, live with other people. There are many whom you meet, in the course of your life, who could benefit from their encounter with you. Always be ready to help another in any way you can. Don’t ignore anyone, or look the other way when you know they need help. If you can give assistance, give it gladly. At the same time do not seek to take charge of another’s life. We all have to live our own lives. But if you are able to give help, to advise, to point the way, then do so. It will then be up to the other to decide how to proceed from there.

The main tenet of Witchcraft, the Wiccan Rede, is:

“An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

Do what you will… but don’t do anything that will harm another. It’s as simple as that.

In April, 1974, the Council of American Witches adopted a set of Principles of Wiccan Belief. I, personally, subscribe to those principles and list them here. Read them carefully.

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called “supernatural”, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity—as masculine and feminine—and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc.—and we see in the inter-action of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

7. We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it—a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft—the Wiccan Way.

8. Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch—but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the only way” and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

12. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as “Satan” or “the Devil”, as defined by the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

 

Source:

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

Introduction to Ogham – 4th. Aicme

Introduction to Ogham – 4th. Aicme

 

Ailm (AHL-m)              Silver Fir (Abies spp.)

Ailm (AHL-m) elm * In Ireland Ailm refers to the elm (Ulmus procera) which grows all
over Ireland.

The Silver Fir is known as the Birth Tree. It was the original Christmas tree from central Europe. The needles are burned at childbirth to bless and protect the mother and baby.

Burn Silver Fir for Happiness; Harmony; Peace; Inspiration; and Wisdom.

To a witch, the cones, warn of wet weather and foretells when a dry season approaches. Its
cones respond to the environment by opening with the sun and closing with rain.

It offers a clear perception of the present and the future, its wood is used for shape-shifting
and magic involving change.

 

 

Onn (UHN) Furze, or Gorse (Ulex europaeus)

Onn (UHN), furze – Furze, or gorse, is a thorny shrub growing to six feet tall. It grows in heaths, moors, pastures, and open woodlands. It produces bright yellow flowers around the time of the spring equinox, which were very popular in pagan fertility rituals throughout Europe and the British Isles for many centuries. It is not often cultivated in North America, but is a serious weed in central California and some other areas.

Furze is a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae, or Leguminosae)

Furze/Gorse is associated with the Spring Equinox. Furze is a symbol of fertility and has the magickal uses of protection and money. Furze is a good herb to use as a protection against evil. In Wales hedges of the prickly Gorse are used to protect the home against dark fairies, which cannot penetrate the hedge.

Furze indicates a time of life changing events through the acquisition of knowledge.

 

Úr (OO-r)                                    Heather (Calluna vulgaris)

Ura (OO-rah), heather – Heather is a shrub growing to six feet. It is a major component of
the vegetation type called “heath”, the source of the term “heathen”. It is evergreen, and
produces bell-shaped pinkish flowers in the late summer.

There are a number of other plants called “heath” or “heather” in the genera Erica, Phyllodoce, and Cassiope, relatives of Calluna, and are similar in appearance. Calluna is cultivated in North America with several Erica species from other parts of the world.

Heather is a member of the Heath family (Ericaceae).

A tea made from the leaves of the Heather was used as an aphrodisiac. Heather is sometimes carried as protection against rape and violent crime.

Heather is one of the Fairy flowers, and is said to light the flame of fae passions, and may
open the portals between the fae world and the human realm.

Make an offering of Heather on “Beltane” eve to attract faeries to your garden. It is the Midsummer Tree of the Summer Solstice. When it’s burned with fern, heather will attract rain.

 

Eadha (EH-yah)                              Poplar (Populus tremula)

Eadha (EH-yuh), poplar – The aspen grows to 65 feet along rivers. It sprouts from the base
and may form clumps or thickets. The black poplar (Populus nigra L.) reaches 100 feet in
sandy and gravely soil along rivers. The white poplar (Populus Alba L.) is of similar size
and habitat, but is more common in southern Europe. Both species are cultivated in North
America (the “Lombardy poplar” is a form of black poplar). The North American aspen
(P. tremuloides) is very similar to the European aspen. Poplars are members of the Willow
family (Salicaceae).

Poplar is commonly referred to as the talking, whispering and quivering tree. In Irish Gaelic, it is known as “Crann Critheac”, the quivering tree. It is a keeper of language, but it can keep no secrets.

Poplar was used by the ancients to make shields; it is believed to have the power to protect
from death and injury.

 

Iodhadh (EE-yoh)             Yew (Taxus baccata)

Idho (EE-yoh), iodho (EE-woh), yew – The yew is a slow-growing conifer, living as long as
1000 years and reaching 65 feet, they are known for their strength and resistance to the
cold. It is much less common in recent times because of overharvesting (it’s hard, springy
wood was the source of English longbows). The evergreen needles are very broad, and the
seeds are produced in red, berry-like cones. Yew is in the Yew family (Taxaceae).

The Yew is regarded as a natural emblem of everlasting life.

In Irish mythology, the yew is one of the five sacred trees brought from the Otherworld at
the division of the land into five parts. Known as the Tree of Ross, it was said to be the
“offspring of the tree that is in Paradise”, and it brought lasting plenty to Ireland. In the
Brehon Laws, it is named as one of the Seven Chieftain Trees, with heavy penalties for
felling one.

Staves of yew were kept in pagan graveyards in Ireland where they were used for measuring corpses and graves (taking ones measure).

In the bardic schools, poets used staves of yew to help them memorize long incantations. It
is said that the poet “Cesarn” cut (the words) in Ogham into 4 rods of yew. Each was 24′
long and had 8 sides.

In “The Wooing of Etaine”, the beautiful heroine was abducted from her husband, Eochaid, who searched for her for a year and a day to no avail. Finally, he sought the help of his druid, Dallan, who made four rods of yew and inscribed them with Ogham. Through this means he discovered that Etaine was in the sidh of Bri Leith, with the faery king, Midir.

Yew is one of the nine sacred trees for kindling Beltane fires.

Introduction to Ogham – Third Aicme

Introduction to Ogham – Third Aicme

 

Muin (MUHN)                    vine (Rubus fruticosa)

Muin (MUHN, like “foot”), blackberry* In Ireland Muin refers to the Bramble or Blackberry shrub, which grows wild along every hedgerow in Ireland it has a prickly spreading vine system and fruits in September a rich fruity wine can be made from the fruits.

The Vine is considered one of the Chieftain trees of the Ogham. Its attributes involve Inner
development. Vine is considered a tree of reincarnation and eternal life due to the spiraling
pattern of its growth. The Blackberry vine is often used in healing and money spells.

 

Gort (GORT)                Ivy (Hedera helix)

Gort (GORT), ivy – Ivy is also a vine, growing to 100 feet long in beech woods and around
human habitations, where it is widely planted as a ground cover. Ivy produces greenish
flowers before Samhain on short, vertical shrubby branches.

The leaves of these flowering branches lack the characteristic lobes of the leaves of the rest
of the plant. Like holly, ivy is evergreen, its dark green leaves striking in the bare forests of
midwinter. Ivy is widely cultivated in North America.

It is a member of the Ginseng family (Araliaceae).

The Greek God of Wine, “Bacchus”, wore a crown of ivy.

Ivy is the plant badge of the Gordons who originated in the lowlands of Scotland. The Greeks and Druid priests gave newlyweds wreaths of ivy to confer a blessing of strength and eternal love. Bards were presented Ivy crowns for their festivals (Eistedfods).

Ivy invokes protection when planted on or near a house. Ivy is equated with fidelity and is
woven into marriage wreaths. It is also used in charms to bind luck, love, and fidelity to your person.

 

nGéatal (NYEH-dl)           Reed (Phragmites australis)

Ngetal (NYEH-tl), reed – The term “reed” is used with great imprecision in North America,
but it is clear that the reed of the Ogham is the common reed (Phragmites australis). This is a giant grass, with stems as high as 12 feet. It grows in marshy areas, where it often forms dense stands.

The vertical stems live only a single year, dying in the autumn and being replaced with new
green shoots in the spring. The dead stems rattle and whisper in late autumn winds.

In North America it is widespread in cooler climates. Common reed is in the Grass family
(Poaceae, or Gramineae).

 

Reed indicates direct action, and finding direction and meanings for the purpose of your
journey. The Reed is symbolic of music, bagpipes and flutes.

A broken reed is the symbol of all that is untrustworthy, for it shows something that is
rigid and inflexible. Reed is associated with the salmon of wisdom and most waterfowl.
Cut Reeds were used as pens and symbolized wisdom and scholarship.

 

Straif (STRAHF)                Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

Straif (STRAHF), blackthorn – The blackthorn is a relative of cherries and plums, and is the source of the sloe fruit. The fruit has been used for centuries to make a potent alcohol that was drunk during Pagan rituals in Eastern Europe, and in British Isles.

It is a thorny shrub growing to 12 feet, often forming thickets on south-facing slopes. The
blue-black fruits are edible, but bitter until after the first frost. Blackthorns are seldom
cultivated in North America. They are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae).

Blackthorn is depicted in many fairy tales throughout Europe as a tree of ill omen. A long hard winter is referred to as a Blackthorn Winter.

It is a sacred tree to the Dark, or Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, and represents the Waning and Dark Moons. Blackthorn is known as “the increaser and keeper of dark secrets”.

The tree is linked with warfare, wounding and death, associated with the Scottish Cailleach
– the Crone of Death, and the Irish Morrigan. In Scotland, winter begins when the Cailleach (also the Goddess of winter) strikes the ground with Her Blackthorn staff.

A black rod is a Blackthorn wand with fixed thorns on the end, used to cause harm to others. In British folklore, a witch will use a Blackthorn stang in rituals of cursing. The sharp thorns were reputedly used by English witches to pierce poppets in their curses, called the “pins of slumber”.

In South Devon folklore in England, witches and heretics were burned on Blackthorn pyres. The Devil was said, in medieval times, to prick his follower’s fingers with the thorn of a Blackthorn tree.

The Irish cudgel is called a “bata”, or more popularly, a shillelagh. The shillelagh is usually made from Blackthorn.

In England Witches would carve the Norse rune “Thorn” on a Blackthorn stave for protection.

Blackthorn often topped the Maypole entwined with Hawthorn, and is called “Mother of the Woods”.

 

Ruis (RWEESH)                       Elder (Sambucus nigra)

Ruis (RWEESH), elder: The common elder is a shrub growing to 30 feet in damp clearings,
along the edge of woods, and especially near habitations. Elders are grown for their blackish berries, which are used for preserves and wine. The leaf scars have the shape of a crescent moon. Elder branches have broad spongy pith in their centers, much like the marrow of long bones, and an elder branch stripped of its bark is very bone-like. Common elders are seldom seen in cultivation. Elders are in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).

Elder is sacred to the Celtic White Lady and the Summer Solstice. The Elder is a tree of Venus and is associated with the element of Air.

Early European legends tell of a dryad called Hylde-moer, The Elder Tree Mother, who lives in the Elder tree and watches over it. Should the tree be chopped down and furniture made of the wood, Hylde-moer would follow her property and haunt the owners.

Elder as a Vampire protection is older folklore than the lore about garlic.

It is said in Irish folklore that it is Elder which is used by witches for their magic “hobby
horses” and besoms.

The Elder is also seen in a negative light by the Christian religion, since Judas allegedly hanged himself from an Elder tree and the cross used to crucify Jesus was supposed to be made of Elder.

According to the Rede; Elder is the Lady’s Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be!

Planet Tracker for Dec. 27: Jupiter in Sagittarius, Now Until Dec. 2, 2019

Jupiter in Sagittarius: Outgoing, Lucky, and Limitless

Now Until December 2, 2019

Tarot.com Staff

Jupiter comes home when he enters the adventurous and lucky sign of Sagittarius! Because Jupiter rules Sagittarius, this planet and sign combination works very well together, which makes it easier for us to access its fortunate energy. These are optimistic times when our opportunities are abundant and our possibilities are limitless.

Both Jupiter and Sagittarius encourage us to explore new horizons and grow our minds, hearts, and lives to create more opportunity and happiness for ourselves. When Jupiter is in Sagittarius, we are fired up with a fresh enthusiasm for learning, traveling, and enjoying the gifts of the world.

When Jupiter is in Sagittarius
Jupiter in Sagittarius is not a time to sit at home doing and thinking the same old things. Jupiter is the largest of all the planets and represents growth, big ideas, and grand experiences. There is no better time than Jupiter’s transit through Sagittarius to expand our horizons, both mentally and physically. We are no longer comforted by the safety of familiar places — we are itching for something else, and the more we try and the more we risk, the greater rewards we’ll find.

Sagittarius is represented by the Archer, who aims his arrow high and far. With Jupiter in Sagittarius, we are encouraged to connect with our own dreams and futures, and realize what we can do in the present moment that will help us reach our ultimate goals. There is a risk, however, of aiming so high that we establish goals that are, in fact, out of reach. DO dream big — even bigger than usual — but remember that if you want your dreams to come true, you can’t ignore the realistic steps you’ll need to take to attain them.

Still, during Jupiter’s transit through Sagittarius, the journey is more important than the ultimate destination. It’s a great feeling to accomplish what we set out to do, but it’s the experience that teaches us. Even if we never actually reach our goal, we will learn invaluable lessons along the way.

There’s an extra emphasis on expanding our minds through the exploration of not only new places, but new concepts — learning about different philosophies, religions, and cultures helps us better understand our own place in the world. We are searching for ultimate truths during Jupiter in Sagittarius, but we must be careful that this doesn’t backfire. We can become so addicted to being right that it can lead to prejudice and judgement. We’re being invited to understand other points of view, not to become so entrenched in our own religious and political viewpoints that all others become wrong or invalid. The more self-righteous we feel, the more we limit ourselves — which is the exact opposite of the growth and open-mindedness that Jupiter in Sagittarius is meant to bring to our lives.

Jupiter in Sagittarius isn’t about honing in on one thing, but about exploring and experiencing all the flavors of the world. Think bigger, reach further, and open wider, and Jupiter in Sagittarius will bless you with more than you could imagine.

Jupiter Retrograde in Sagittarius
When Jupiter is retrograde in Sagittarius, the opportunities Jupiter normally bestows on us slow down or may even become blocked. But this is certainly not meant to discourage us — in fact, it’s the opposite. When we have a clear and easy path to our goals, we tend to think less, risk less, and grow less — we simply take the steps needed and find success. During Jupiter’s retrograde, however, these roadblocks present us with opportunities to rethink our methods, to try something we’ve never tried before, and to grow in ways we wouldn’t otherwise.

It’s been said that “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.” This is Jupiter Retrograde in Sagittarius in a nutshell. This retrograde forces us to open our minds and move beyond the limits forced upon us, which will actually create MORE opportunities and successes for us in the end.

If you were born with Jupiter in Sagittarius
Lucky you! People born with Jupiter at home in Sagittarius are fortunate, free-thinking, and future-focused. You are always ready to learn something new, and probably have a wealth of interests to keep you busy. Whether it’s a different language, a new hobby, or a religion other than your own, you place a lot of value on learning and expanding both your mind and your perspective on the world around you.

The world is your oyster, and you intend to see as much of it as you can. Sagittarius is THE sign of travel, and Jupiter here is a personal invitation to expand your horizons as much as you possibly can in this lifetime. Adventure is constantly calling your name, and you probably become restless when you are stuck in one place for too long. There are lessons, experiences, and treasures in every nook and cranny of the world, and finding them is your goal and your greatest reward.

Because you are optimistic by nature, it’s easier for you to take risks than it is for others. The unknown is not scary, it’s exciting to you. You realize that you make your own luck, and that the more you put into your life, the more you’ll get out of it.

One thing you need to watch out for, however, is excess. Your Jupiter in Sagittarius makes you think you can never have too much of a good thing — until you spend yourself into debt or take a relationship so far so fast that you can’t find your way back to center. Your ability to dream and do things big is one of your greatest assets, but a little moderation every now and then will help you keep your life sane and your relationships with loved ones intact.

 

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