This time I thought we would mix things up a bit – bit— instead of the usual spell candle setup, I decided it would be more interesting to work with the aroma lamps that are often used in aromatherapy. These small ceramic dishes are inexpensive and easily found in candle shops or arts and crafts stores. I picked one up for about five dollars. I have a friend who is an aromatherapist, and she uses these little lamps often. She asked me why I never wrote spells that included these handy little lamps, and the more I thought about it, the better I liked the idea.
After all, as she pointed out, the four elements are all represented neatly. The lamp itself is typically made of ceramic material (representing earth). The small tealight that is placed inside represents fire when it is lit. There is water that sits in the dish above, and the fragrant essential oils that you drop into the water are for the element of air.
As the water heats up from the candle below, the scent is released into the room, and scent is one of our most powerful senses. It evokes strong memories and affects the magickal mood. Certain scents can affect your psychic centers and your awareness on a subtle level. They do this as the magickally charged aroma filters into the body, and this, in turn, creates a change in your conscious and psychic mind.
An aroma lamp
Plain, unscented tealight candles (most tealight candles burn for approximately four hours)
Essential oils (use the suggested seasonal scent or choose your own)
A lighter or matches
A safe, flat surface to set up on
Other items as desired to personalize the spell
A Note for Personalizing
You may wish to personalize these seasonal spells; that is completely up to you. But if the idea gets your Witch’s imagination running, here are just a few quick ideas you can try: scatter metallic star confetti on the work surface and around the lamp. Add a snip or two of fresh pine, or arrange seashells, stones, flower petals or even colorful autumn leaves on the work surface. (Be sure to keep flammable items well away from the tealight and the lamp, of course. That ceramic dish does heat up!) If you live in the tropics, Deep South, or desert Southwest, obviously you might wish to incorporate natural items and plants that are local to you during the various seasons. So improvise and adapt. Don’t be bashful about putting your own spin on these seasonal spells!
Witchery tip: don’t go crazy on the oil. You can always add more. The first time I tried it, I added several drops of essential oil to the water, and it was very strong. My entire house was scented in only twenty-five minutes from one little aroma lamp. I was surprised at how powerful the scent was when it heated through. So I blew out the candle, let the ceramic dish cool off, and dumped out the water and oil. My second attempt was much better, as I just added two drops of essential oil to the water.
To begin, set the aroma lamp in a safe place away from small children or curious pets. Slip the tealight candle into the bottom section and then add two tablespoons of water to the dish. Choose the essential oil that coordinates with the season and the goal, and add a drop or two to the water.
As the oil hits the water, begin the spell by saying,
Now this natural oil so fair
Adds psychic power to the air.
Recap the vial of the essential oil and set aside. Light the tealight candle. While you put the essential oil away, allow the water to heat up and the scent to start diffusing within the room. It takes about three to five minutes. Once you can smell the aroma and know that it is indeed releasing its fragrance into your environment, then repeat the spell verse. Afterwards you can meditate for a while, or relax and take notes in your journal. Jot down what your intuition tells you and what your feelings were. Lastly note how your intuitive spells manifested.
Ellen Dugan, Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
Psychic Energies of the Seasons
Here are the themes I have always found to work well with the four seasons. Experiment with these for yourself, and see what you can discover. In the winter months, we traditionally want to stay indoors and snuggle up, and our intuition leads us into looking within and personal introspection. In the springtime, we feel the need to shake ourselves off and to do something creative. We are motivated and full of new, fresh energy, hope, and ideas for the year. During the summer months, the tempo slows a bit, and we are influenced by the heat of the day and those sultry evenings. In the autumn months, the inner focus shifts to a personal harvest— what we have learned all year and how we will put this all to practice.
Discovering these intuitive energies and psychic cycles for yourself is an excellent way to expand your magickal abilities. It also gives you an opportunity to design and live your own personal magickal tradition. If you want to understand the nature of magick, you have to be attuned to her seasons, for the most intuitive Witches know that in order to work harmoniously with the earth’s energies, they need to be in step with the planetary rhythms and seasons of the earth. What follows are a few ideas to help you develop that intuitive connection.
—Ellen Dugan, Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
Sensing the Energies of the Seasons
Have you ever tuned in to your intuition and noticed what different psychic energies are available to you during each of the four quarters of the year? Or are you too busy cursing at the weather and finding the whole thing a general inconvenience to your daily schedule? Yes, it is certainly easier to rhapsodize over a gorgeous spring day or a lovely autumn evening. But the seasons and their cycles each bring their own magick.
For example, this past winter was a gloomy one. It was on the dry side, and we didn’t get very much snow. We did, however, get more than our fair share of days when it was overcast, windy, and cold. Occasionally we would get a tease of spring, where milder temperatures prevailed. But the sporadic mild winter weather did make me appreciate the break in the temperatures. One late winter afternoon, I took advantage of the break and managed to sneak in some winter gardening. As the temperatures had hovered in the forties for a few days with a bit of rain, the ground was soft, and I was even able to get that last renegade bag of pink tulip bulbs planted.
It was muddy and chilly outside, and the gardens did not look especially pretty while I dug around. But the scent of the fresh-turned earth and the fragrance of last year’s fallen leaves were bracing. That day, I simply ignored the mud and felt my spirits lift. As I pulled back fallen leaves to dig the holes for my tulip bulbs, I discovered the earliest of the bright green shoots of my daffodils just breaking the ground. As I carefully dug around my other sleeping perennials, I made sure to cover back up those tender spears as I planted my tulip bulbs.
My husband walked outside to find me gently reminding the daffodils that we still had a ways to go before spring and to not be fooled by a midwinter thaw. When he asked what I was doing, I pulled back the leaves to show him the hints of spring green. His reaction was the same as mine had been— a big smile.
The halfway point between winter and spring, Imbolc, was only days away, and here was a physical reminder for both of us that the Wheel of the Year was indeed turning. And the two of us stayed there for a while, hunkered down next to the winter-dormant perennial beds, making sure the fallen autumn leaves were patted snugly back down to protect those shoots.
It was an excellent reminder for me that while that particular time of the year may not be especially pretty in the garden, there is still magick happening and plenty of natural energies to sense. Just remembering what it felt like to get in a bit of unexpected winter gardening cheered me right up. Plus knowing that the daffodils were waiting— not too patiently— to pop up and to welcome back the spring in another six weeks didn’t hurt either.
The trees and plants were still dormant, but change was coming. You could feel it in the air and sense it when you placed your hands on that water-logged garden soil. There had been a sleepy sort of vibe to nature at that time. But I was reminded on that midwinter afternoon that underneath those fallen leaves and brown grass, nature was just beginning to stir— and that was a creative type of energy that I could certainly put to good use in my magick.
—Ellen Dugan, Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick
Celtic Tree Months
By Patti Wigington, About.com
Rowan Moon: January 21 – February 17
The Rowan Moon is associated with Brighid, the Celtic goddess of hearth and home. Honored on February 1, at Imbolc, Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearthfires. This is a good time of year to perform initiations (or, if you’re not part of a group, do a self-dedication). Known by the Celts as Luis (pronounced loush), the Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success. A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.
Dieties of Marriage
by Divine Spirits
Deities Of Marriage These deities can be invoked in rituals concerning the family and the home. Frigg Frigg was the Viking Mother Goddess whose jewelled spinning wheel formed Orion’s belt; as patroness of marriage, women, mothers and families, she can be invoked for all rituals concerned with families and domestic happiness. She invited devoted husbands and wives to her hall after death so that they might never be parted again and so is goddess of fidelity. As Ostara, goddess of spring, she was known among the Anglo-Saxons and is remembered in the festival of Easter as a fertility goddess and bringer of new beginnings. In her role as Valfreya, the Lady of the Battlefield, Frigg recalls the Northern tradition of warrior goddesses and offers courage to women. Hera Hera, the wife-sister of Zeus, is a the supreme Greek goddess of protection, marriage and childbirth whose sacred bird is the peacock. She is a powerful deity of fidelity and is called upon by women seeking revenge upon unfaithful partners. Hestia Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, all family matters and peace within the home. She is a benign, gentle goddess and so can be invoked for matters involving children and pets. Juno Juno, the wife-sister of Jupiter, is the Roman queen of the gods, the protectress of women, marriage and childbirth and also wise counsellor. Together with Jupiter and Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, she made up the triumvirate of deities who made decisions about humankind and especially Roman affairs. Her month, June, is most fortunate for marriage and, like Hera, her Greek equivalent, her sacred creature is the peacock. She is invoked in sex magick as well as for all matters concerning marriage, children, fidelity and wise counsel. Parvati Parvati is the benign and gentle Hindu Mother Goddess, consort of the god Shiva and the goddess daughter of the Himalayas. Her name means ‘mountain’ and she is associated with all mountains. She and Shiva are often pictured as a family in the Himalayas with their sons Ganesh, god of wisdom andlearning, and six-headed Skanda, the warrior god. She is invoked for all family matters and those concerning children and by women in distress. Vesta Vesta is the Roman goddess of domesticity and of the sacred hearth at which dead and living were welcomed. The Vestal Virgins of Rome kept alight the sacred flame in Vesta’s temple and this was rekindled at the New Year, as were household flames. Vesta can be invoked in rituals centred around the element Fire.
What is Venus retrograde?
From time to time, due to the relative motion of the Earth and Venus around the Sun, as we look to the sky, Venus appears to make a stop and go backwards. This is the so called retrograde movement, it happens every 18 months or so, and it lasts for about 40 days, which represents 7% of the time. Of all planets, Venus is the one that has the shorter retrograde movement.
What would be the astrological influence of Venus’ retrograde movement?
By definition, Venus is the planet of love and marriage, of relationships and diplomacy, of art and beauty, of fashion and luxury, of money and pleasures.
Going backwards, the venusian influence is diminished, disturbed or internalized, so that the above mentioned areas are afflicted in a way or another.
During this time, feelings are not easily expressed, everyone seems to need more affection and love; also, those with relational issues will have to face the reality. The general advise is to focus on older relationships, to try to make them work, or to understand our true feelings. It will be harder to understand what others feel, though.
We may meet old friends or someone we loved or cared for a long time ago, which might reactivate old feelings, possibly forgotten.
The artistic sensibility is lower than normal or perverted, so that we might buy clothes or artwork that we’ll reject after Venus goes back to direct motion. Therefore it is advised not to buy jewelery or other similar expensive stuff, as we might regret it later. However, Venus retrograde is a good time to buy antiques, artwork of historical value or just second-hand art objects, if you can evaluate them correctly.
What is definitely to avoid during this time?
Weddings, opening of a fashion store, beauty salon, art gallery, launching of a women magazine, buying expensive items of venusian nature, radical changes of the personal look, house redecorations, big parties or other important social events, investments and so on.
What should we do, then?
- clean-up the house and decide which old objects of sentimental value to keep and which to throw away or sell.
- renegociate a contract or a bank loan (but we shouldn’t apply for a new one)
- discuss and clarify things in the current relationship, as our understanding on own feelings is increased, which is not true about others’ feelings, requiring open and sincere communication
- ask genuinely for forgiveness for our mistakes
- contact friends or other persons we care about in order to continue the relationship
- develop our capability to love anyone unconditionally, by meditations, prayers and other spiritual activities
The Day of the Sun
sunnandaeg (Anglo-Saxon) sonntag (Germanic) dies solis (Latin) ravi-var (Hindu) etwar (Islamic) dimanche (French) nichi youbi (Japanese)
Traditionally seen as the first day of the week by the ancient Hebrews and as identified by the fourth commandment (Exodus, xx, 8-11). This day was in ancient times dedicated to the Sun and later as ‘The Lord’s Day’. Sunday is traditionally a time for rest, reflection and worship. It is believed to be a lucky day for babies born on this day according to tradition as the child was thought to be safe from witches and evil spirits. Some born on this day are believed to have psychic or devining abilities. Any cures that are administered on a Sunday were believed to be more likely to succeed. In some parts of the British Isles (UK) there is a belief that announces that any agreements that are made on a Sunday are not legal as it will offend God to make any transactions of a day of reflection and dedicated to worship. In the USA this is enforced by the saying ‘ Never make plans on a Sunday’. In rural areas of the British Isles those employed for a new job on a Sunday would soon leave their post:
‘Saturday servants never stay, Sunday servants run away.’
It was also thought to be unlucky to put clean sheets on the bed on a Sunday along with cutting your hair or nails. Regarding music, choir singers who sang a false note on this day were according to a traditional English (UK) belief expected to have a burnt Sunday dinner. You could expect a busy profitable week ahead, especially if you were in business, if you found a pair of gloves on this day, and quite naturally very unlucky to be the person who had lost them according to a rural English (UK) belief. A prehistoric cairn marks the spot of Druid worship where a Christian settlement was created Slieve Donhard, near Newcastle, England. Set up by Donhard (a convert of St. Patrick), pilgrimages regularly visit the place of worship, high on the hill, as it is said that St. Patrick himself appears as a result of Donhard’s faith each Sunday of the year. As he appears before everyone, it is said that St. Patrick also leads the people in the mass. (For more on St. Patrick see Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Mystical Months, March 17. For more on Donhard see Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Mystical Months, March 24). According to the English historian Richard Grafton certain dates of the month were unlucky as published in the ‘Manual’ in 1565. Days throughout the year were identified and of course could have related to any day of the week. The date was the most important point to consider. The work was reputed to have some credence with support given by astronomers of the day. (For more information see Mystical WWW Mystical Time : Mystical Months).
Saturday Is Ruled By Saturn
Candle colour: Purple or brown
Incenses: Patchouli or mimosa
Crystals: Jet or banded agate
Use Saturdays for spells to do with property, security and long-term financial matters, for closing doors on the past, for psychic protection and for locating lost objects (as well as animals and people).
Where possible, work in woodland near rocks and stones or on animal or bird reserves.
Friday Is Ruled by Venus
Candle colour: Green or pink
Incenses: Rose or geranium
Crystals: Jade or rose quartz
Use Fridays for spells for love, fidelity, healing, for anything to do with beauty, the arts and crafts and for all spells concerning the environment.
Where possible, work in any enclosed beautiful place outdoors, for example a botanical garden, a field, park or your own garden – even in a circle of plants indoors.