Celebrating Legends, Folklore, & Spirituality 365 Days A Year for Jan. 18th – Festival of Perth

Wiccan
January 18th

Festival of Perth

In Australia this day was dedicated to the Aborigine Mother Goddess Nungeena. According to her legend, evil spirits destroyed the earth with insects. Nugeena then created the most beautiful birds of all: lyre birds. These magnificent creatures in turn made other birds, who assisted with the work of clearing away the insects and restoring the world to its original beauty.

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Traversing The Super Galactic Center: July’s Cancerian Full Moon

Traversing The Super Galactic Center: July’s Cancerian Full Moon

a message from Lynda Hill
To read more of Lynda’s insight, please visit her website, Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbols

The Joys Of Venus, Jupiter And Uranus

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. Ambrose Redmoon

Dangers bring fears, and fears more dangers bring. Richard Baxter

Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear. Upanishad

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. Frank Herbert

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D. Roosevelt

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. Henry Thoreau

Do not speak of a rhinoceros if there is no tree nearby. African Proverb

The Capricorn full Moon happens on July 1 in the United States and July 2 in Australia. (For those who don’t realise, the full Moon happens at the exact same moment all across the world, however, Australia is almost a day ahead of the US – I mention this as some people think we, in Australia, have the new and full Moons after the US – not so! It happens everywhere at the same moment in time – it’s just that time measurements have Australia, and New Zealand, ahead of the UK and the US).

It seems that there’s so much going on right now – like the energies have been ramped right up. We have the vote for marriage equality in the US, with some people threatening to set fire to themselves, or, as we saw in Australia, a conservative Christian couple threatening to divorce if the rights to gay marriage were enacted. It’s been like a circus. It is always like a circus, but it feels like it’s been ramped up. We have the situation in Greece, that will be interesting to watch. I wonder if they will leave the Eurozone and what that will mean in the long run. Of course, we have many, many other things happening. The TPP being introduced, for example. So many laws being introduced, most of which will have a detrimental effect on the people. Chiron on the ‘Ten Commandments’ degree is very telling, I feel 🙂

There are brilliant things going on now, though. Absolutely wonderful. We have the Venus/Jupiter conjunction trining Uranus AND we have the Moon’s north node traversing the Super Galactic Center (SGC), which adds to the magic and mystery of this amazing time. More on this below…

The full Moon is on Capricorn 10: AN ALBATROSS FEEDING FROM THE HAND OF A SAILOR – the following is from my book The Sabian Oracle: 360 Degrees Of Wisdom

‘An Albatross Feeding From the Hand of a Sailor’ is an image that implies the necessity of being able to overcome the perceived separation between humans and other living beings. Feelings of separation are usually the case when we don’t really understand or trust each other in some way. The ‘Albatross’ has to overcome the fear it experiences from being in such close contact with a human and the ‘Sailor’ has to fight his superstitions that surround the ‘Albatross’. In “The Ancient Mariner”, a sailor is condemned to eternally sail the world, after killing an albatross that had helped rescue his ship.

This degree shows the overcoming of fears, superstitions or limiting thoughts. One of the ways of overcoming fears is through gentleness and a readiness to let down your guard and interact with people or animals without feeling afraid or vulnerable. Putting up a wall between you and other living things can cause alienation or the loss of the rewards that can come from truly relating. Even seemingly natural ‘enemies’ can realize the possibility of interaction and letting go of fear may be necessary. You may feel that you can deal with someone with whom you have usually kept your distance – possibly even help each other.

Keywords: Feeding one’s higher nature with good nourishment. Banishing worries, so that one can fly ever higher. Overcoming superstitions or beliefs. Travelers who put themselves at risk in foreign lands or cultures. Talking to anybody anywhere. Sharing one’s bounty. Sailors, boats. Birds. Empathy and sympathy for others. Restoring trust and hope.

The Caution: Manipulating events or people with false nourishment. Having alternative motives for wanting to draw others close. Being afraid of strangers or strange situations. The loss of independence. Fear of intimacy.

Moon symbolizes: Emotions, moods, mother, family, clan, domestic issues, relationship to home and country. Feelings, sentiments, nourishment, emotional nurturing, monkey chatter mind, lunar and menstrual cycles, clarity of emotions or lunacy. Female energy – yours and others.

Further, on The Albatross. We are being asked to let go of those things – memories, ideas that didn’t work out, relationships that have gone south or sour, opportunities missed, difficult attitudes towards oneself or others, etc, we have to let them go. These things can hang around our neck like the albatross, dead and rotting, and we can be condemned to sailing the seven seas for the rest of our lives, not finding base, not touching down, not coming to a more authentic and rewarding sense of self.

What is hanging around your neck? Is it a memory, a thought? A busted relationship? An attitude towards life, perhaps? Sometimes, letting go is as simple as that; we just decide to move on, to drop the story. Pluto was on this degree for a very long time at the end of 2012 and, at times, on this degree throughout 2013. We have had a good chance to take a long look at what holds us back and keeps us stuck in some story that we may need to outgrow. Of course, there are many people who will read this and notice that this is an issue in the lives of some people around them.

The Sun is on Cancer 10: A LARGE DIAMOND IN THE FIRST STAGES OF THE CUTTING PROCESS

‘A Large Diamond in the First Stages of the Cutting Process’ implies a person or situation that has the potential for perfection, talent, beauty and considerable wealth. Whatever one is wanting to shape, build or become, the process of cutting, grinding and shaping a ‘Diamond’ takes skill, care and time. As one continues to polish and grind away, a more refined and beautiful object emerges. The facets of the gem become more and more beautiful as the “old bits of rock” are chipped off.

This Symbol implies the beginning stages of things that are becoming something wonderful, useful and worthwhile. Things are always growing and perfecting and it seems that some things are just beginning to take shape and the potential is enormous, but there needs to be care and accuracy taken or all the work to date could be lost or spoilt. This situation has probably taken a long time to develop and comes from a deep organic essence. Keep cutting away the unnecessary and the flawed and you’ll emerge with a wonderful gem as this Symbol implies riches and talent and beauty.

Keywords: Coming to terms with inner worth. Emerging perfection. Beauty that is still a bit “rough around the edges”. Naivety. Beauty that is within, even if it has flaws. Potential. Chopping and grinding away to get to the essential. Being almost, but not completely, perfect. Reserving judgment. Self-development courses. Knowing where to start or finish. Craftsmanship. Finding the best in everything.

The Caution: Leaving an important job unfinished. Seeing the flaws not the inherent beauty. Being afraid to take the first stab at something. Being overwhelmed by importance and value. Being overprotective or insecure. Not seeing the whole picture. Things unformed and incomplete. A “diamond in the rough”, someone lacking social polish.

The Sun symbolizes: One’s core center, spirit, heart, issues to do with father, men, self, ego, your male side. How you radiate your sense of being. What others see, how you are recognized or remembered, sense of identity and connection with male energy – yours and others.

Mercury is on Gemini 20: A CAFETERIA WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF CHOICES

This Symbol shows the wide range of nourishment, opportunity and the ability to have things in our modern world. There are so many choices but each has its price, so be careful what you choose. Each will nourish you, but some things are far more nourishing and sustaining than others. However, there is so much on display and available that if you don’t like your first choice you can get something else – that is if you can afford it. Take what you need, enjoy it and realize the abundance that’s happening in your life. Make sure that what you get is good quality as many things may not be.

Keywords: Overwhelming alternatives in modern society. Satiation. Everything provided for. Self- service. Issues of indulgence and one’s needs satisfied. Salivating over what’s on display. The incredible number of “choices” in a technological society. Too many choices (food, lovers, jobs, opportunities) – so little time. Instant gratification. Takeaway food. Buffet-style meals. Obesity. Chef’s surprises. The need to be discerning. Mechanized systems that don’t require much thought.

The Caution: Taking everything you can simply because it is available, regardless of needs. The inability to make life’s decisions. Things so near, yet so far. The inability to satisfy no matter how much one has. Feeling that one has to eat because it’s there. Indulgence beyond reason. Indigestion. Waste. Obsession with food. Using up people one by one.

Mercury symbolizes: Mind, thought, communication, memory, expression, intelligence. News, exchanges, chatting, conversations, short journeys, connections with others, telephones, emails, siblings, neighbors, the reasoning mind. Day-to-day activities. Cars, keys, small animals.

Venus is on Leo 23: A BAREBACK RIDER IN A CIRCUS DISPLAYS HER DANGEROUS SKILL

This Symbol shows situations of showing one’s talent, training, skills and bravery to others. The ‘Bareback Rider’ has trained and practiced for the performance and is up and ready to show what they can do. A sense of balance combined with timing is vitally important otherwise you could be thrown mid-way through your performance. Although you may believe passionately in what you are doing, you may put yourself at risk to present your abilities, skills and emotions boldly and skillfully. Done correctly, this will not doubt impress others most of the time, but be wary of running into the ring unrehearsed. Being well trained and fit and ready helps.

Of course, this Symbol can imply feeling like life is a circus and the performances can seem somewhat unhinged – particularly when looking at the media or politics. People sometimes see an opening and rush into to fill it, especially in the media, and, if they haven’t got what it takes, they can look foolish and draw the wrong kind of attention.

Keywords: Defying gravity. Controlling one’s animal instincts. Courage and mastery over one’s energies. Shows of strength. Situations where one might get “bucked”. Rushing in where angels fear to tread. Being shown in the media. The allure of drama and danger. Life as a circus or carnival. Amazing displays of skill. Superheroes. Comic book characters. Impressing people with well-rehearsed skills.

The Caution: “Showing off”, losing control and falling. Demanding attention. Looking for applause. Fooling with nature’s energies. Arousing or controlling animal passions. Acting wildly and not thinking about the consequences.

Venus symbolizes: Relatedness, cooperation, what attracts you. The experience of sweetness, beauty or delight. Social interactions, love, friends, how you reach out to people. Feminine persona, relationship with mother and females. Money, possessions, sense of values.

Mars is on Cancer 6: IN SPRING GAME BIRDS ARE FEATHERING THEIR NESTS

The ‘Game Birds’ in this Symbol can picture the desire for security, sometimes in the midst of rather unstable situations. ‘Birds Feather Their Nests’ in readiness for a new life and new beginnings. This Symbol speaks of building or decorating a ‘Nest’ somewhere that is safe and comfortable. It is a beautiful Symbol that can speak of falling into the right living space and feeling like you’ve made it home. Beautifying the home, even with some new color, or, moving the furniture around, hanging drapes, etc, these kinds of things are inherent in this Symbol.

Although there is a good feeling about the future and a new life coming, perhaps there is a feeling that you will not have somewhere to nest or that you could actually be somewhat expendable. Be careful not to become either too complacent or to react in fright at any sudden surprises. You could jeopardize your situation as others may judge whether you are qualified to stay where you are, or, are able to maintain your situation. This is a beautiful Symbol, but with Mars on it, it won’t be domestic bliss for everyone.

Having said that, it can also show people finding a safe, beautiful, comfortable place to live and thrive.

Keywords: Homes, houses, flats, living arrangements. Instinctive dedication. Laying the groundwork for those to come. Creating a base to feel safe. Nurturing. Endangered habitat. Raising money. Making yourself or someone else comfortable. Interior decoration. Preparation. Home building. Landlords and tenants. Noisy or nosy neighbors. Renting vs. owning. Watching for danger. The nesting instinct. Renovations. Babies’ rooms. Working to pay the mortgage or rent.

The Caution: Being unnecessarily afraid to venture out on “one’s own”. Taking over other people’s territory. Feeling unwanted. Danger. Fussing over small details. Over-preparation. Not knowing how long one can hold out in a situation. Being vulnerable to change. Being at the mercy of others. Endless housework.

Mars symbolizes: Drive, determination or agenda, how you get to your goals. How you express and handle anger, ambition, assertion of self and ability to step forward. The male principle, sexuality, the ability to step up to the plate when one needs to. Fight or flight.

The Karmic Condition (the degree before) of Mars is Cancer 5: AT A RAILROAD CROSSING, A CAR RACES WITH A TRAIN. I feel to mention this Symbol as many of us may have witnessed upsetting things, or, felt a little like we’ve been hit by a train. Over the last several days, Mars has gone over some rather difficult Sabian Symbols and I feel that, on many levels, things will lighten up from now on – at least to some extent.

This Symbol implies the desire, or the ability, to compete with or take on society as if life were a race or something to be conquered. The ‘Car’ is a vehicle for the individual and the ‘Train’ a vehicle for the masses. There is often a need for caution; the individual will not always survive a collision with the more powerful collective. It may not work to be insisting bravely that your individual needs should be considered. The collective has too much momentum. If someone pits themselves and their energies continually against society, sooner or later they are likely to lose. Not looking to the consequences of one’s actions. Running against the grain of others. Cars, trains. Individual rights. Rebelling. Split second timing. Taking one’s chances.

Jupiter is on Leo 22: A CARRIER PIGEON FULFILLING ITS MISSION

This Symbol implies a clear sense of purpose and direction, even a sense of divine guidance. The ‘Carrier Pigeon’ may have to go through hardships and obstacles in order to deliver the message it is carrying or to complete the mission. This can be about bridging communications between people or conveying something that someone needs to hear or know. Pigeons were trained to deliver very important messages and some won honors and medals. Be sure that the end is in sight and there is a prize to be won in bringing a message to those who need it. Whatever this Symbol is speaking about, someone has a “Mission” that needs to be fulfilled.

What is your ‘Mission’. Are you ready for it?

Venus is conjunct Jupiter, which is wonderful as it can bring all kinds of good news, good outcomes, good vibes, new relationships, new love, a new sense of being, flashes of good luck, etc, etc. Venus is soon to go retrograde (more on that in another newsletter), and Venus and Jupiter will be playing around together for some time. The conjunction is a wonderful omen of good things coming. This is a sign of not only good luck, but kindness and goodwill to others. Many good things may be brewing for you 🙂

Keywords: Bringer of good tidings and news. Creating lines of communication. Completing tasks. Feeling like one is on a mission. Finding out what’s truly going on. Having a sense of destiny. Receiving orders from a higher authority. Being magnetically aligned. Pigeons, doves. Not being put off the track no matter what. Mail. Flying home.

The Caution: Gossip. Messages that are not useful to anyone or are outworn and old. Needing recognition and applause for doing simple things. Useless information. Putting a lot of effort into something that is not worth it. “Stool pigeons”. Working until one drops from exhaustion. Being so one-pointed that you forget other parts of your life.

Jupiter symbolizes: The big picture, expansion, exploration, aspirations, religious and philosophical ideals, issues to do with traveling, foreign lands, people and traditions, culture, education, generosity, luck, abundance, support, optimism. Insight through knowledge and wisdom.

Saturn is on Scorpio 30: CHILDREN IN HALLOWEEN COSTUMES INDULGING IN VARIOUS PRANKS

‘Children in Halloween Costumes’ are seen ‘Indulging In Various Pranks’. They are most likely having a wonderful time, playing around in the streets, going door to door and watching the reactions of the people they encounter. Sometimes they wear lots of makeup and masks in their endeavor to win people over or to convince them that they deserve their treats. If they don’t receive a treat, or reward, sometimes they get very mischievous and play ‘Pranks’ on people. This Symbol can show the ‘Prankster’ in all of us, in some measure. ‘Halloween’ is said to be a time when the veil between the living and the dead becomes an illusion, nebulous or very thin.

This Symbol implies that society needs to have an outlet for disruptive energies, and to have periodic displays of fun, even indulging in somewhat disruptive pranks. You may feel that the trickster in you needs to be let out every now and then, or you may be the focus of tricks by others. Whichever, it should be acknowledged that there needs to be an occasional outlet for immature or fun loving energies, as long as there’s no harm done. This Symbol can refer to somebody who does not take anything too seriously. The time of Halloween is the time when the veil between the living and the dead becomes very thin.

This can also point to things getting a little out of hand. How can your organise your life better so you are not at the ‘mercy’ of the trickster?

Keywords: The madman inside all of us. Astro-drama. The lifting of the veil between the living and the dead. Unintegrated energies playing tricks on the unwary. Tricksters. Creative surprises. Halloween. Trick or treat. Practical jokes played on the unwary. Roaming the streets. Dressing up. Ghouls and ghosts.

The Caution: Being unable to connect with real and immediate emotions. Contempt for the establishment. ‘Mucking around’ and not getting to the core of things. Evading one’s responsibilities through being silly or madcap. Not respecting other people’s boundaries.

Saturn symbolizes: Authority, rules, discipline and obligation The heavy stuff. What we fear, loss, karma, aging, the establishment, orthodoxy, tradition, status, the concept of time, walls, boundaries, limits, older people, restrictions, patience, conquering difficulties.

Uranus is on Aries 21: A BOXER IS ENTERING THE RING. Uranus is trining the Venus/Jupiter conjunction. This speaks of all kinds of good things coming about and we may be feeling very optimistic and like celebrating. Obstructions that you may have been feeling are likely to melt away – this is a fabulous line-up of planets.

‘A Boxer’ shows someone with the ability to stand up, fight or take on a challenge. This person is seen ‘Entering the Ring’—a place where they need to stand up for something, tackle an issue or a person; to prove themselves strong in some measure. Fighting can take many forms, it can be done obviously or subversively. One can throw punches on every level of consciousness: physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

This Symbol shows that there may be a temptation to take on issues, even to fight, but it needs to be with dignity and regulation. You may feel a need, or the urge, to step up to the plate and take something or someone on. There are rules to follow and often others will be end up being the judge of the final outcome. Make sure you possess the skills and training to defend what you believe. Remember that sometimes you need to back off if you’re not winning a contest. Question: are you more on the attack or on the defense?

Keywords: Physical or psychological self – assertion and determination. Attack or defense? Fighting for emotional, psychological or physical space. Being seen as a person of strength. Throwing punches. Fighting on any level. Being prepared to take a swing at someone or something. Stepping up to the plate. Throwing down the gauntlet. Going after the title. Big vs. small egos.

The Caution: Using force or power to dominate people or those who challenge. Acting in a combative manner. Not displaying sportsmanship. Wanting to knock people out. Looking for combat. Throwing punches at anything. Belting, smacking, invading. Being punch-drunk.

Uranus symbolizes: The unexpected, things that are individual or ‘different’. Charged, energetic dynamics, electricity, light, lightning bolts, sudden changes, those who live on the fringe of society. Sudden turns and twists of fate. Rebellion, surprises, liberation, freedom.

Neptune is on Pisces 10: AN AVIATOR IN THE CLOUDS

This shows being able to stay on course, not allowing distractions or difficult or confusing issues to deter you from your destination. Perhaps you need to rise above and transcend the more nitty-gritty realities of earthly existence and its difficulties, just be aware that you may not be seeing the complete picture very clearly sometimes. If you take special notice, you may be able to see through illusions, seeing past the surface appearances to things that others miss. You may be able to rely on your spiritual, creative or intellectual skills to take you above and beyond those things that others have to deal with. However, you may also be evading the real truth.

Keywords: Elevated views. Always seeing the best in people and things. Peace and tranquility. The longing for transcendence. Not seeing limitations. Being in a refined “head space”. Mastery. Flight, planes, pilots. Avoidance of time constraints. Pollyanna attitudes. Free flights of fantasy and escapism. The need for accurate navigation. Being in charge of the controls. Seeking higher truths. Maps. Compasses. Global satellite positioning. Clouds. Mist and fog. Hang-gliding. Don’t “over-control” like a novice pilot. Stay loose enough from the flow that you can observe it, modify, and improve it. Donald Rumsfeld

The Caution: Sailing through difficulties or missing what’s really going on. Escapist use of alcohol and drugs, etc. Lack of grounded energy or reality. Being unearthed. Escaping responsibilities. Isolating oneself. Completely missing the point. Feeling high and mighty and above everyone else, particularly with intellectual skills. Wrong turns. Missing the signs. Feeling like you’re living in a fog. Disconnecting from others, leading to isolation. Losing the plot. Taking huge risks. One’s head being separate from the body. No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. William Blake Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price. Amelia Earhart

Neptune symbolizes: Mystical, “out there,” spirituality and con artists. Dreams, mysteries, mystics and religious issues. Intuition, clairvoyance, seeing into the invisible. Addictive, chaotic, charming, deceptive, illusory, co dependent, sensory awareness.

Pluto is on Capricorn 15: IN A HOSPITAL, THE CHILDREN’S WARD IS FILLED WITH TOYS

This Symbol shows the need to heal, calm, soothe and repair the lives of those who need help, comfort and shelter. In times of healing there can be simple pleasures to raise the spirits, whether it’s of “Children” or people of any age. The “Toys” in the “Hospital” can be healing tools of any kind – it does not matter what type or modality; if they bring relief and joy to someone’s life, they fill a need. There is also a need for caring shows of affectionate concern. Simple things done in times of healing can bring great relief to all. Sometimes it’s a smile, a special treat or soothing words of encouragement these are more healing than one can imagine.

With Pluto here, issues such as Health Care being enacted come up. There can also be a sense of control and manipulation around issues of health. We have been seeing this with concerns about disease, and some of these got a little out of hand with the measles ‘scare’.

Keywords: Bringing simple gifts to the sick or disadvantaged. Looking after one’s responsibilities. Nurturing people of younger years or those who’ve had less growth. Workshops held to improve one’s health; be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Drugs, crutches, cots, doctors, nurses. Waiting for and needing individual attention. Waiting rooms. Magazines. Toys. Gadgets. Puzzles. Games.

The Caution: Making a large generous show when one doesn’t really care. Being dogmatic. Feeling in charge of healing and not listening to what others have to say. Using gadgets instead of simple human caring. Fear of things such as needles, etc. Being greedy and wanting all the toys.

Pluto symbolizes: Unconscious motivations, depth psychology, history. Sex, procreation at a deep level, intensity, profound emotions, taking hold of one’s power. Being king or queen of one’s underworld. Strength, survival mode instincts. Big money. Big power. The Plutocracy.

Chiron is on Pisces 22: A PROPHET BRINGING DOWN THE NEW LAW FROM THE MOUNTAIN

‘A Prophet Bringing Down the New Law From The Mountain’ pictures revelations concerning spirit and truth being delivered through the agency of a single individual, the ‘Prophet’. This message, this ‘New Law’ can be “brought down” orally or in written form in order to be given to the people. ‘Laws’ relate to the culture of the time and will vary as technology and society changes, but the ‘Prophet’ is able to manifest ‘Laws’ that will apply not just for his time, but also for times to come.

This shows being able to live life by a set of “New Laws”, or, to make a new set of laws that better suits your life and place in the scheme of things. This pictures revelations of spirit and truth. It is important to manifest these truths and laws and to integrate them into your everyday life. Codifying the ways of humankind can help us understand the limitations of our earthly existence. Although our basic principles may stay the same, the specifics will vary in order to accommodate the changing perceptions. You may find new laws to live by, or, you could be the one to bring these ‘rules’ to others.

Keywords: Revelations and channeling of new information. Truths being revealed. Thoughts, ideas, guidelines. The Ten Commandments. Laying down the law. New resolutions. New pathways of living. Social justice messages. The Koran. The Torah. The Bible. Finding records. People of the book. The Ark of the Covenant. Newly codified laws. Amendments. The Testaments. Avatars and guides. Moses. Mt. Sinai. Legislation. Laws enacted. Legislation.

The Caution: Being told what to do. Believing that one has all the answers OR believing that someone else has all the answers. Disregarding the religious ways of the past. Rules set in stone. The statement “this is what’s going to happen”. Rigid application of dogmatic moral codes.

Chiron symbolizes: Our wounds and it is known as The Wounded Healer, it also shows The Stories That We Tell Ourselves, it is where we have to focus on healing, it can show things that are out of shape or misplaced or in need of repair.

The Moon’s North Node is on Libra 6: A MAN WATCHES HIS IDEALS TAKING A CONCRETE FORM BEFORE HIS INNER VISION

‘A Man Watches His Ideals Taking a Concrete Form Before His Inner Vision’. This person has had the knowledge or insight to know what he wants, or what he wishes to accomplish, and it is now materializing in front of him—it is ‘Taking a Concrete Form Before His Inner Vision’. As the ‘Vision’ unfolds, so do the things that he’s wanted. He will see, realize and understand that dreaming of and working on future possibilities often does indeed, in time, bring them into current realities.

The node is traversing over the Super Galactic Center over the next six months. This is wonderful as it gives us the ability to strike out for those things we truly want. I have written more about this. Click here to read my article about this fabulous transit. It only happens for a few months every nine years, so it’s another opportunity to really connect in with the Law Of Attraction.

Keywords: Vivid confrontations with one’s objectives. Creative visualizations. Imagining things. Meditations and affirmations. Ideas crystallized. Putting things out into the universe. Making things happen. Seeing things take shape and form. Clairvoyance. Film making. Writing and getting published. The power of manifestation. Solidification. Builders. Sculptures. Dreams.

The Caution: Being dissatisfied with what was thought to be the true ideal. Feeling that things are “written in stone” and can’t be changed. Calcified situations or emotions. Neurosis. Focusing on the negative thereby bringing the negative.

The Moon’s North Node symbolizes: This is known as quite a ‘karmic point’ (although all planets and points in a chart can be’karmic’). One’s destiny in this life. The things you are meant to integrate, move towards, become. Destined relationships and relationship issues can show up here.

The Moon’s South Node is on Aries 6: A SQUARE BRIGHTLY LIGHTED ON ONE SIDE

‘A Square Brightly Lighted on One Side’ is a Symbol of containment, walls and boundaries. A four-sided structure can lead to feeling contained, boxed in, trapped or claustrophobic in a place or situation. However, the ‘Square’ of this Symbol is not completely walled in; it is being lit up ‘On One Side’, which shows there are solutions and a way out. It indicates creative solutions are at hand, if one will turn their attention to that possibility.

Keywords: Illuminated solutions that provide ways out of tight situations. Having to put up walls to protect or defend versus taking down the barriers. Putting all your eggs in one basket. Feeling fully contained. Walls and fences. Boxes. Understanding the borders of one’s activities. Looking for stabilization. Lighting up dark corners. Sunshine. Stepping outside the square or feeling there is no square. Moving out. Windows and doors. Rubik’s Cube.

The Caution: Surrendering, feeling trapped. Seeing only one side. Bouncing around, feeling like there’s no way out. Internal struggles that prevent seeing solutions. Not acknowledging or expressing true feelings. Desperately wanting to escape tight situations. Fear of ambush. Fear of attack from behind. Claustrophobia. Padded cells. Painting oneself into a corner.

The Moon’s South Node symbolizes: Past karmic patterns to be overcome, can be habits that are good, but can describe things, relationships, issues that you need to let go of, or, hold you back from manifesting your true destiny. Relationships that feel karmic and difficult, memories from the past.

A Little About October Birth Symbols

  • October Babies

    “There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Zodiac: Libra until October 22 and Scorpio from October 23

    Gemstone: Tourmaline, Opal
    Tourmaline is available in many colors — and many stones are bi-color or tri-color, containing multiple hues. It is often referred to as “the gemstone of the rainbow,” and signifies love and friendship. Opal means “precious jewel.” Like the tourmaline, it’s often multi-hued, and it signifies faithfulness and confidence.

    Flowers: Marigold and Cosmo
    The marigold brings a message of undying love. The other October bloom is the cosmo, which symbolizes peace and serenity.

    Tree: Rowan, Maple, Walnut

    FROM: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/photo-gallery/birth-signs-symbols#11

    October’s birth flower is the pumpkin bloom. Just kidding—it’s actually the marigold. Marigolds are often given as a sign of warm or fierce, undying love, or as a way of saying that you’re content with being with the recipient. The other October flower is cosmo, a symbol of order, peace, and serenity.

    FROM: http://www.almanac.com/content/birth-month-flowers-and-their-meanings#

    October Birthstone – Opal

    The Opal is the birthstone of October. The name, “Opal”, means “to see a change in color” and might make one drift off to daydreaming and envision a rainbow following a summer rain. Ancient monarchs treasured the opal mainly for its protective powers. Thus, they were set in into their crowns and worn in necklaces. The opal dates back to prehistoric times and according to Arabic legend, fell from heaven in a flash of lightening.

    The Latin word, “opalus”, means precious jewel, and that it is. It contains up to thirty percent water and must be protected from harsh chemicals and heat. If not, they can cause the opal to dry out and may lead to a loss in its luster and cracking. It can also be broken very easily and must be guarded from any knocks or blows. The opal is made up of a non-crystallized silica, that can be found near the earth’s surface, typically in areas where geothermal springs once existed. Opal is mainly found in Australia, where ninety-five percent of the world’s black and white opals are mined. They are also found in Hungary, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Canada.

    For centuries, before time was even recorded, the discovery of precious gems within the Earth’s crust inspired many. With each discovery, humans believed that there was a cosmic connection and energy emitted from these gemstones. As time went on, they became symbolic of certain times within the year. The calendar we are all familiar with today, the Gregorian Calendar or Western Calendar has a stone symbolic for each month of the year. For those offering these gemstones as gifts to their loved ones, they have been believed to possess magical or healing powers, or sometimes seen as a gift offering protection. Each of these precious stones are unique not only in their compositions, but their energies and strengthening powers.

    The gift of an Opal symbolizes confidence and faithfulness and can be used to ward off nightmares. They have even been ground and ingested for healing properties to treat issues relating to the eyes. It has also been gifted to those going into battle for protection and utilized to ease child birth. It symbolizes hope, loyalty, happiness, innocence and purity. It should be stated that the most common of all opals, recognized by its pearly iridescent hues of aqua and baby blues and pinks, should be given as a gift to only those born in October, otherwise they can be a token of bad luck. However, lucky for other lovers of the October birthstone opal, the opal ranges in many colors and shades from all over the world. Another form of opal known as fire opal is transparent of orange and red colors with flicks of yellow, but the most valuable are that of the black or gem opals, which showcase one or more colors against a background of black.

    Other Symbols of October:

    October Flower:

    The Candula. It is usually associated with grief, sorrow and despair.

    October Birth Trees:

    The Rowan, Maple and Walnut. The Rowan tree will guard against enchantment, and was also used in the art of metal divining. The berries of the Rowan tree feeds birds during long winters and have a pentagram shape. This shape is an ancient symbol of protection. Due to the berries shape, it is no surprise that it has also been referred to as the “Witch Tree”.

    Famous People Born in October:

    Zac Effron- October 18, 1987

    Kate Winslet- October 5, 1975

    Suzanne Sommers- October 16, 1946

    Susan Surandon- October 4, 1946

    Jeff Goldblum- October 22, 1952

    Charlton Heston- October 4, 1923

    Usher- October 14, 1978

    Peter Tosh- October 19, 1944

    – See more at: http://birthstonesbymonths.net/october-birthstone-opal/#sthash.V5WcHD17.dpuf

Being An Upside Down Witch – for those Living in the Southern Hemisphere

Goddess Pages
British spiritual magazine

Living in Australia – or anywhere in the southern hemisphere for that matter – can be a little confusing for a witch. All the books about magic print elemental correspondences that are back to front (the fire of the sun is certainly not in the south down here!), and list dates for the sabbats that bear no relation to the actual cycle of our seasons. I’ve met a surprising number of people from the US and UK who didn’t realise that our seasons are six months behind (or ahead, depending on how you look at it) the northern ones. Our Midsummer falls around December 20-23, when the north is blanketed in snow, while our winter solstice falls around June 20-23, the height of summer up there.
Perhaps long ago we may have followed the oft-printed dates and celebrated these rituals along with our northern friends, linking up psychically in December to celebrate Yule and welcome the birth of the sun god, even as here he was about to start fading as summer reached its peak, or doing autumn rituals of harvest and release while our land was quickening with the new growth of spring.
But I don’t know of a single southern witch who follows the northern model. At coven rituals, open celebrations and alone at home, groups and solitary practitioners follow our own seasonal cycle, because paganism and goddess worship are intimately attuned to the heartbeat of the planet and the seasons, and these festivals are prescribed by the movement of the earth in relation to the sun, not a fixed date on a modern calendar. The land, as the embodiment of the goddess, speaks to all of us, and the goddess path is about learning to hear this language of nature, to sense the movement and emotional shifts as the earth moves through its cycles, and feel the rhythm of its turning. And so a spring fertility festival will be marked in spring, when the planet is alive with new life and energy, regardless of what is happening on that day in the other hemisphere.
There has been mention in these pages that it is wrong to import “northern” festivals to the southern lands. But celebrating the beauty and bounty of nature and the dance of the seasons is not anyone’s exclusive right. Maybe people in the Celtic lands can feel historically possessive of the names themselves (Lughnasadh, Beltane), but they have no ownership of the winter solstice or the first day of spring, and this is what these festivals are.
The Wheel of the Year reflects the constant universal cycle of life, death and rebirth. Mythologically it is tied to the story of the god and goddess as she shifts from young lover to mother to crone, and he is born, grows in power, sacrifices himself then is reborn, but literally it refers to the changing seasons – the fertility and vibrant life force of summer, the balance and harvest of autumn, the introspection and endings (death) of winter, and the rebirth of spring. Being in the southern hemisphere doesn’t necessarily change this seasonal pattern, it merely shifts the dates. There are parts of Australia such as the Red Centre – and parts of the northern hemisphere too – where the seasons don’t play out in a standard, balanced rhythm through summer, autumn, winter and spring. Some places experience just two main seasons, wet and dry, yet even there the people living in harmony with the land are able to feel the earth as it surges with new life, grows, becomes ready for harvest then withdraws its energy within the earth again, and celebrate their own personal Wheel that reflects their reality.
But in much of the coastal region of the country, where around eighty per cent of the population is based, the seasons do follow a regular pattern, and many witches celebrate the traditional Wheel of the Year, moved forward six months to reflect their personal experience. Of course it can seem a little strange and out of whack sometimes, because the Christians hijacked so many of the magical sabbats and they have become such a part of western life. So how and when do we celebrate the turning points of the witches’ year Down Under, and how do we deal with the inconsistencies of modern festivities?

The Summer Solstice
As the western world gears up for Christmas and northern witches mark Yule, in the southern hemisphere we are celebrating the summer solstice. In 2008 this fell on December 21, and in 2009 it will fall on December 22. This is Midsummer Day, when the sun reaches its southernmost latitude before it turns and heads back towards the north. In some ways it would be easier to celebrate Yule during this festive season, as our northern hemisphere counterparts do, when everyone is feasting, exchanging gifts and acknowledging the birth of the son of God – or the sun god. But Down Under this is the longest, not shortest, day of the year. The sun is strong (some would say merciless), and the energy is fast and active. It’s a time of abundance, achievement and culmination. Despite the snow-covered decorations, men sweating in Santa suits and hot roast dinners – a legacy of our ancestors – on this day we absorb the solar energy, feast on luscious summer fruits, give thanks for the goals we’ve reached and revel in the strength and heat of the long day of sunshine and the power of the sun god.
Sometimes I go to the beach at dawn and watch the sun rise over the ocean, or climb the hill in the park near my house at sunset, farewelling it as it begins its journey back to northern parts, and its energy starts to wane from this day forward as it begins its descent into the dark half of the year. Sometimes I do a formal ritual with a group, or have a feast of celebration with my magical friends, wrapping pots of sunshiney flowers and summer herbs in gold and red velvet as gifts, and breathe in the scent of orange blossoms, lavender and rosemary. I celebrate Christmas with my family too, but I see no conflict here, as the modern version has little to do with the real Yule in intent or meaning, and I’m quite happy to honour the power of the summer solstice and then a few days later enjoy the spirit of giving of the festive season.

Lughnasadh
In the first week of February we celebrate Lughnasadh, the cross-quarter day that marks the end of summer and the first day of autumn, although where I live it will still be hot and fiery for some time to come. In the north it’s Imbolc, linked to fertility, love and Valentine’s Day, but down here it’s the opposite. The earth is still throbbing with life and energy, but it’s mature, fully ripened and almost over-abundant. This is the first harvest festival, and fruit picking becomes a popular form of employment for many travellers, with farms all over the country taking on seasonal workers. The grape harvest begins, to make the wine that is now internationally renowned, and an abundance of other delicious fruits and vegetables, as well as golden wheat and other cereal crops, are also picked at this time.
As well as a time of feasting and of thanksgiving for the life-giving properties of our crops, and recognition of the cycle of sowing and reaping, Lughnasadh is also about the symbolic things we grow and create in our life. It’s a day of harvesting the fruits of our labours and acknowledging our successes and what we’ve achieved in the past year. A month after New Year’s resolutions are made, it seems a good time to take stock. On this day I perform a ritual to celebrate and acknowledge the goals I’ve reached, making a list of all the things I’ve gained – the gifts I’ve been given, the new talents I’ve developed, the friends I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had, the healings I’ve received, the opportunities I’ve pursued – and giving thanks for it all. We may no longer be so connected to the creation and production of our food, as in days gone by, or believe that our prayers or sacrifices influence the success of the crops, but being grateful for what we have and giving thanks is still a beautiful way to live. I also try to pass on some of my good fortune so the energy of abundance continues and is strengthened, by giving time or money to a charity of some kind.

Autumn Equinox
Late March is another strange time for Down Under witches, because the stores are filled with chocolate bunnies and eggs in preparation for Easter, the Christian holiday based on the spring festival of Ostara, which northern hemisphere witches are marking now. While most of the world – both pagan and non-magical – celebrates rebirth, resurrection and new life with the fertility goddess Ostara’s symbols of eggs and hares, in Australia it’s the middle of autumn, a time of crisp, chilly mornings, pale blue skies and a world aflame with colour as the trees turn a hundred shades of red-orange-yellow-brown. Daylight savings ends, and from the autumn equinox onwards, which this year falls on March 20, the days start getting shorter and the weather cooler, but this day of equal light and dark is the moment of balance in nature and within – a time of harmony, joy and gentle calm. While I certainly eat my share of chocolate eggs at this time, acknowledging on some level the energy of Ostara, I also prepare a harvest feast of richly coloured fruits and root vegetables, golden grains and heavy warm breads, and start drying my herbs. I feel immense joy as I skip through the crackling autumn leaves and chart the turning of the seasons by the patterns of leaves on the trees. I give thanks for my metaphorical harvest, honouring my achievements, experiences and wisdom in a way that feels right to me, be it with a big celebration or a personal ritual of gratitude. It’s a time of balance – my world is poised between summer and winter, and day and night are in harmony, which is reflected in the earth’s energy and within me.

Samhain
In the first week of May we celebrate the cross-quarter day that marks the end of autumn and the beginning of the coldness and dark of winter. In the north it’s all hot, fertile love energy, with abundant blossoms, the hatching of birds, bees pollinating flowers and lovers leaping the Beltane fires. But in the southern hemisphere at this time it’s the opposite. It’s the start of winter, a season of introspection and darkness both metaphorically and literally. Traditionally this was the time to store food for the cold barren months ahead; symbolically it’s about rest and renewal, of preparing for what’s ahead and withdrawing a little to conserve your energy. While the grass becomes green and lush at this time with the onset of rain, many of the trees are stripped bare, and bitterly cold winds add to the starkness of the season. This is the time we start readying ourselves for the rebirth we’ll experience at Yule, a time of inner reflection and contemplation, of studying the Mysteries (of our tradition or our life), and scrying for answers and illumination. It’s also the night when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and we honour our ancestors and commune with the dead. Of course southern witches do find it hard to explain to people that we are celebrating “Halloween” at this time, but if you pay attention to the earth, to nature, to the seasons, it’s very clear that this is our Samhain.

The Winter Solstice
In late June we celebrate the winter solstice; this year it will fall on the 21st. This is our midwinter – the longest night and shortest day of the year, when the sun is as far north as it will get, making it midsummer in the northern hemisphere. Snow falls in some parts of Australia, and in others it’s cold and rainy. Even in the Red Centre, where winter is their dry season, nature is introspective at this time – the seeds are all closed up, waiting for the heat and rainfall of summer to explode into life. Winter, and this midpoint in particular, is a time to rest and reflect, to acknowledge sadness and loss – of dreams, of friendships, of parts of your self – and conserve your energy and life force.
Yet it’s a day of hope too, for the solstice is the turning point in this time of darkness, introspection and dreaming. Considered the dark night of the soul that gives birth to the creative spark, it marks the period when the dark half of the year relinquishes its hold to the light half. From this day forward the days slowly start to lengthen, the sun becomes stronger and the energy within and without increases and builds. On Midwinter’s Night Eve I light a candle to symbolise the sun and its activating energy, and list my dreams for the coming year. Sometimes I stay up all night to await the return of the light, other years I get up for the sunrise and toast the dawn and give thanks for this energetic reawakening. As the sun is reborn I open myself up to the promise of new growth and achievement, the energy of renewal and the rebirth of my own self and creativity.
I’m more inclined to refer to this festival as Winter Solstice rather than Yule, because the latter has connotations of Christmas, which is still six months away for us, yet many southern witches retain the traditional name, particularly in colder areas where open fires and Yule logs are more typical. Interestingly, there is now increasing recognition in Australia that Christmas is based on a winter tradition that involves magic, and many mainstream events are planned to coincide with our winter solstice. The Pagan Awareness Network holds Hollyfrost, an annual Midwinter retreat and ritual, and in the Blue Mountains the Winter Magic Festival is held on the day of the solstice and is open to everyone, regardless of beliefs. And the more touristy than magical Yulefest and Christmas in July are also celebrated around this time, in recognition that here Yule should not take place in December, in the heat of the Australian summer, but in the cool of winter.

Imbolc
In the first week of August, we in the southern hemisphere honour the cross-quarter day that marks the end of winter and the first day of spring. The earth starts to shake off the severity of the cold period and emerge back into the light. Some of our stunning wildflowers, like the delicate golden wattle, explode into glorious bloom, and it’s a time of hope, renewal and fresh starts after winter’s sluggishness. The sun starts to strengthen and the days grow longer, symbolising the return and renewal of the life force of the land and its people. Energetically it’s a time of awakening and new energy, and is the day we sow the seeds of what we want to achieve in the coming year. It’s also a time of purification and cleansing after the long dark of winter, when I feel motivated to physically clean my house and energetically clear my space, sweeping out old energy and thoughts so the new can thrive. Imbolc represents new beginnings, initiations and inspiration, and the budding plants, swooping baby birds and buzzing bees always fill me with vitality, passion and the impetus to start (or rededicate myself to) new projects.

The Spring Equinox
In the southern hemisphere, the spring or vernal equinox falls in late September – this year it’s on the 23rd. It’s a beautiful time of year, with bright blue skies and pale sunshine without the merciless heat of summer… perfect temperate weather. It’s one of only two times of the year when the length of day and night is equal, and on a personal level it’s a time of balance and harmony too, of union between the physical and spiritual as the balance of universal energies is reflected within. It’s also a time of growth and fertility, when crops are sown, the buds on the trees open, birds build nests and lay eggs and new life is celebrated. Energetically it’s also a very fertile time, as the seeds we sowed of our goals begin to sprout and gain momentum. Traditionally the spring equinox is tied up with rabbits, eggs and fertility goddesses, so it does feel a bit strange to be celebrating “Easter” at this time, but the beautifully blossoming and budding earth and the wild energy and vitality make it obvious that it’s the time for it. It’s a celebration of new life, hope, passion, growth and energy, the time of year that I meditate on my metaphorical fertility and my ability to manifest dreams into reality. In many ancient cultures, including the Romans whose calendar ours is based on, the spring equinox was the first day of the year, and the sense of new hope and optimism inherent in this day remains. It hasn’t always fallen around March/September 21 – our dating is a modern invention – and there are still countries where this is the first day of the year. The Ancient Roman year began on the spring equinox, the day they called Martius 1, which is March 21 in Gregorian terms. In the modern Iranian calendar, used in Iran and Afghanistan, each new year begins on the spring equinox as precisely determined by astronomical observations from Tehran and Kabul (making it the perfect solar calendar, because each calendar year corresponds exactly to the solar year, with no leap days necessary). The Baha’i calendar also begins on the spring equinox.
I got married on September 22 – our spring equinox – a few years ago, so we celebrate our anniversary on Ostara each year. Yet we ran away and wed in the northern hemisphere, which means where we were that day was actually the autumn equinox. Thus each year as we celebrate our anniversary at home, in the springtime, we also acknowledge the energy of autumn. I add a few autumn colours to my spring bouquet, and consider not only what seeds we want to plant for the next year of our relationship, but what we have harvested over the previous one. As Mabon and Ostara are the two days of the year when all is balanced, within and without, they are both good days to renew commitments or pledge a new one, be it a vow of love, magic, career or anything else. I feel like I incorporated the best of both worlds by making my wedding day span both festivals.

Beltane
In the southern hemisphere, the first week of November brings the cross-quarter day that marks the end of spring and the start of the heat and energy of summer, and the festival of love. It’s a time of lovers and spells to attract love, and celebrating the fertility of life, not just physically, but also of our dreams and ambitions. Symbolically this day marks the igniting of the fires of creativity and passion, of the fertility of our desires being made manifest, as the universe bursts with a raw energy and power that we can tap in to simply by breathing it in.
In the northern hemisphere Beltane falls around May Day, and while it has no relevance to us in terms of timing, I have been part of a coven ritual that involved a maypole dance, to represent the union of god and goddess at this point in the Wheel of the Seasonal Year. I’ve also leapt over the Beltane fires, although that was before I met my husband, when I jumped over it with friends as part of a personal ritual of purification and preparation, leaping out of my past, burning away the relationship issues that had kept my heart closed, and towards a future where love was possible (I met my partner two months later).
While I’ve been known to dress up as a vampire or a fairy and go to a Halloween party on October 31, privately or with coven members or witchie friends I’m celebrating the new blossoms and the vitality and fertility of Beltane at this time.

So, while it’s perhaps a little easier for northern hemisphere goddess worshippers to celebrate the cycle of the seasons, given that so many of them are actually woven into “normal” life, when you tune in to the earth and the rhythms of nature it is easy to know when it’s the right time to celebrate any of the old festivals. Because whether you live in the north, where they began, or the south, adding your own personal meaning to the traditional forms of celebration, the sabbats are still relevant to our lives. Even today, when we no longer live in harmony with the earth’s rhythms or agricultural cycles, modern pagans celebrate the Wheel of the Year as an honouring of nature and an acknowledgement of the continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth, both literally and symbolically. Becoming aware of the seasonal shifts and the patterns of nature wherever you live, and celebrating these ancient but still relevant festivals, is a simple way to tap in to the magic of the universe and harness it for your own growth. We may no longer grow our own grain or purify the fields with fire, but these celebrations still have power, particularly in the symbolic form – planting the seeds of our dreams in the metaphorical spring, watching them grow and manifest in the world before we give thanks for our literal harvest, then allowing the things that no longer serve us to die off or be released in our own personal winter, then starting all over again with new dreams as we celebrate our own rebirth.
I’ve spent a few sabbats in the northern hemisphere, leaping the Beltane fires in Glastonbury’s Chalice Well Gardens, sitting inside the Great Pyramid on the morning of the summer solstice, watching the sun set over the Hill of Tara at Lughnasadh, and the energy of each season is intense, real and tangible no matter which hemisphere I am in. Whenever I celebrate these magical turning points of our planet I feel so strongly a part of the earth, at one with nature and the universe. And so, regardless of which half of the world I’m in, I always acknowledge the opposite festival as well, in some small way. Perhaps this isn’t as important for those in the north, but for me it seems right to acknowledge the turning seasons all over the world, the beautiful, gracefully balanced dance of light and dark, heat and cold, day and night, that makes up this world that we are all a part of.
We are all connected to the earth, no matter where we live, and we need to learn how to (and accept that we can) follow the seasons of nature in our own unique way, based on the rising and setting of the sun in our own home town, the cycles of the moon as it crosses our part of the sky, and the very personal language of nature that is so different – and yet so similar –according to our own unique landscape.


Serene Conneeley is a healer, writer and witch who lives in Sydney, Australia. She is a reconnective healing practitioner and has studied magical and medicinal herbalism, reiki and many other healing modalities, as well as politics and journalism. Her first book, Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life, has just been published. Visit Goddess Pages magazine here.

Journey To Witchcraft

Journey To Witchcraft

Author:   The Wild Sorceress  

Hello from an Australian Eclectic Witch. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a procrastinator. I’ve been thinking about writing an essay for some time but as all procrastinators will tell you, it’s always the thinking, never the doing.

I have always been interested in witchcraft. I think the awareness and the interest started when I was 13, (inspired from seeing The Craft. Yes, I know what you’re thinking and you’re probably right. But we all find our path in different ways).

I went to see the movie with three friends and at the end of the movie, like all teenage girls who are not considered ‘popular’ we thought “Wow this is for us”. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble the teenage way. And like all teenagers, my three friends lost interest fairly soon after.

The interest always stuck with me in various ways over the next few years but being in high school one has enough stress and doesn’t always find the time to delve into the spiritual.

So as the story goes, years later I was cleaning out my room and came across a book my parents had bought for me when I was 13 called The Nice Girl’s Book of Naughty Spells. (Yes you read correctly, my parents bought it for me).

I also came across articles I had ripped out of magazines and a booklet I had sent off for from the Church Of Wicca in Perth, WA. It grabbed me, and then it lost me. I began working and again, it took a back seat. I think at that stage in my life, it wasn’t time for me to walk the path. (Procrastination again).

I was about 22 when the interest became more of a spiritual need, a path I felt I needed to walk. I bought books to read. My first 2 were Witch A Personal Journey and A Magickal Year by Fiona Horne, followed soon by Book Of Shadows by Phyllis Currot and then finally Wicca by Scott Cunningham. It really hit me: this is what I wanted, and I felt it was right for me.

Luckily I didn’t have any religious conflicts. For all intents and purposes my mother was a single mother and she felt, not being religious herself, that she did not want to baptize her children (I have an older brother). She felt that we should feel free to pick our own path when we were old enough to understand what religion was. Suffice to say, Christianity was not for me.

I’ve always been an independent free thinker and the rules and rigmarole of organized religion was not for me.

The way I got here was interesting. As a general rule when I was younger, nature and its elements were actually very boring to me. I knew there were trees and flowers and things of that nature but it didn’t really impact me in any fashion. I used to hate helping my mother garden. Also, every time I tried to grow something it would die. The natural world, seemingly, was not my friend.

As I began to study witchcraft the natural held more interest and I felt better and more alive when I would go outside. We have this massive Oak tree in our yard and it is magnificent and really old. Now when I stand with it and look at it or touch the leaves, I feel an affinity I never thought I would. I feel a spiritual recognition, a connection with its beauty and its sense of history. I grow herbs under it and they flourish nourished by its shade. Being a fire sign, Oak is also one of my Celtic trees.

I feel my personal power growing. I have always had a strong sense of intuition and occasionally have psychic flashes that more often than not just leave me with a head spinning sense of déjà vu.

I am now able to grow herbs. I’m currently growing about 8 different kinds from seed and they are going really strong now. To me, this is a sign that the Goddess is helping me walk this path.

The one thing that originally boggled my mind was the amount of ‘things’ needed in witchcraft. There are athames and wands, chalices, censers, candles, herbs etc and I thought that my new path — although giving me great spiritual fulfillment — was going to drain my finances. But I have found that these items have come to me when I have needed them, not before. I think that instead of rushing out and buying everything all at once that if you wait, the Goddess will deliver. If not, I have 2 great recommendations for you.

EBay is a great place to get different ritual items. I got my first lot of herbs, most of my books, runes and two lovely wooden pentagram boxes from EBay.

Another is an Australian website called Uncle Festers. They have a club called the Cauldron Club and each month for 13 months they send you a package, slowly building up all your ritual supplies. Since being with them I haven’t really bought anything. I wait; it comes. I love it; it’s like my birthday every month.

My mother and stepfather have always been incredibly supportive of my choice (as has my brother and friends). I never had to worry about their disapproval. It breaks my heart when I read articles on here about new witches who fear rejection and anger from their parents if they share with them the news of walking the path of the Goddess. It’s sad that people are not flexible minded enough to realize that what may be good for them religion-wise is not always good for someone else.

My advice is to stay strong and be true to who you are because ultimately in this world, the only person who you have to please is yourself.

Wow, do I go on. So this is the story of a 24-year-old Eclectic Witch from Australia who wanted to write an article for Witchvox.

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HOW TO ASTRAL TRAVEL

HOW TO ASTRAL TRAVEL

This article is being written in response to the overwhelming interest in
“Astral Travel”.  It is my hope that I can dispel many of the myths of Astral
Travel, and provide some common-sense approaches to the subject for the student.

WHAT IS ASTRAL TRAVEL EXACTLY?

The very first myth I wish to dispel is the nonsense concept of “Out of Body”.
When speaking of Astral Travel, the term works well enough as a metaphor;  but
many people today seem to have forgotten that it is only a metaphor.  How many
hours of wasted time have students invested in half-baked techniques of “getting
out of the body”?  I, personally, spent years laying on my back vainly trying to
figure out exactly how to leave my physical body.  Likewise, most of the people
who I run across report the same results.

Astral Travel is, quite simply, a method of visiting other planes.  However,
it is the nature of these planes that are gravely misunderstood.  Let us use, as
an example, the Wizard who spends much time Astral Traveling into the various
Planetary Spheres- also known as the Seven Heavens.  In all of the mythological
writings which describe these Heavens, they are specifically described as Higher
Realms.  However, when we read the writings of these Wizards, the journey is
described as an inner one.  In Shamanic Cultures as well, the Astral Journeys
known as “Vision Quests” were known to be the inner realms of the Shaman’s
psyche.  In Australia, the Astral Elm is plainly called the “Dream-Time”.

And so the Astral Realms are, in fact, the inner realms of the Self.  Thus it
is that getting “out of body” is a worthless goal- not to mention impossible.
Of course, others will present evidence that they do have interaction with other
Beings- sometimes right here on Earth- while Traveling.  These experiences are
often valid, and their nature will be covered below.

The basic thing to keep in mind is that you have been Astral Traveling all of
your life.  Being that the Astral Realms are within us, then the obvious
realization is that gaining them is simply the gaining of a certain level of
consciousness.  Have you ever been so extremely bored that you “zoned out”?  You
entered into a fantasy of some sort, and lost track of everything going on
around you.  You were perfectly awake, yet you were “a million miles away”.
This was Astral Travel.  Dreaming is another form of this, and Lucid Dreaming is
certainly a form as well.  It’s that simple;  there are no hidden meanings to
this.  Dreams and Daydreams are Astral Travel.  The only “trick” is in learning
how to do it at will.

GIVING THE ASTRAL BODY A WORKOUT

The first and foremost thing we must do is give the Astral Body (or Body of
Light) a workout.  After spending your whole life in a wheel-chair, one can not
hope to be a runner without some effort toward physical therapy.  Thus it is
that I will stress the need for three practices to be done daily for a while
before you can hope to achieve any real success.

One is a Purification and Balancing Ritual.  This will serve to blast out of
your aura (the Astral Body) all of the garbage that might otherwise hinder
progress.  I suggest the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram very strongly
for this purpose.

Two is a Charging of the Chackras.  This will bring large amounts of Energy into
the aura, and get all of it’s component parts up and running.  For this purpose
I suggest the Middle Pillar- which should be done immediately after the
Purification above.

And Three is the Circulation of the Body of Light.  This consists of two or
three different exercises, all designed to immediately follow the chakra
charging.  One is to visualize Energy rising from the ground, through the body,
and bursting forth from the crown of the head like a fountain to rain back down
to the ground.  This should cycle repeatedly with the breath- Energy rises with
intake of breath, and falls back to the ground with each exhalation.  The next
is to visualize Energy running up one side of the aura and down the other- first
up one side and down the other, and then up the front and down the back.  You
can also make it change distances-  first a full arm’s length from the body, and
then later make it go up and down along the spine.  This should also cycle with
the breath.

Do this everyday at the same time.  After you have learned the exercises so that
you can do them smoothly, allow them to continue for a couple of weeks before
continuing with the following.  Once you begin the methods below, do not
discontinue them at all.  It would do no harm to do them everyday for the rest
of your life, but at least do them until you have mastered Astral Travel.

METHODS OF TRAVEL

Before you continue reading this, I want you to try an experiment.  Get into a
comfortable sitting position, or perhaps lay on your back.  Clear your mind, and
begin to fantacise about something.  It doesn’t matter what- just chose a
setting and allow a little movie to play out within your mind (you don’t even
have to be involved in the movie).  Do this now, and then read on afterward…

Now, at this time I will ask you a few questions.  Number one:  Were you able to
accomplish the exercise at all?  Were you able to bring any pictures into your
mind, and have them be solid enough to have any impact?  Number two:  Did your mind wander?  Was it hard- or even impossible- to keep your mind focused on the fantasy?  Did you keep losing your train of thought?  Did you perhaps fall
asleep?

And, Number Three:  How real was the fantasy?  Were you aware of what was
around you in the room you sat or laid in?  Did you have to move the characters
of your fantasy around consciously like puppets?  Did you have to write the
story as it progressed?  Or, were you able to completely lose yourself into the
fantasy?  Did it seem to take on a life of it’s own and just take you along for
the ride?

If you were able to completely lose yourself into the fantasy, then you are very
lucky indeed.  Most likely, however, you experienced some of the above
problems- if not more.  The skill of Astral Travel is the skill to avoid these
problems;  and, as you can see, not one of them has anything at all to do with
getting “out of body”.  Following, then, is a method you can use to gain an
Astral Experience.

MAKING THE ASTRAL BODY

The first thing you have to do is to make your Astral Shell.  Of course, it’s
already there, but it’s your ability to picture it that lacks.  Thus, we will
work on some techniques for this.   Of course, you will surely experience all of
the same problems as you did during the above exercise.  However, if you do this
often you will get better at it.  There are no easy answers, only practice,
practice, and more practice.  It is best to do this everyday at a specific time;
begin at perhaps five minutes, then ten, then fifteen, twenty, and so on.

Get into a nice quite place where you can be sure you won’t be disturbed.  Get
comfortable in either a sitting or lying down position.  Now, take a deep
breath, and as you do so imagine a great amount of Energy being drawn into you.  You can visualize this coming from everywhere, or from the Earth, or from Above- it doesn’t matter.  Just make sure that you see and feel this Energy building higher and higher as you take in the breath.  Don’t worry about whether it is real or imagined, just imagine it and know that it is working.  Once you get
used to the feeling, you’ll know it’s not just imaginary.

Now, once the Energy is built, let all the air out.  As you exhale, hold your
hands out as if grasping a ball, and imagine all of the Energy being forced
between them in a spherical shape, and glowing a Golden color.  Once you get
used to doing this, you will notice a very specific effect.  Holding this ball
of Energy tends to feel much like trying to hold two magnets together with the
same poles facing each other.  You’ll feel a kind of non-physical “push” against
your hands.

Once you’ve accomplished this, visualize the Ball moving away from your hands
to a short distance in front of you.  Immediately see the sphere take on the
shape of a body- specifically yours.  Once more, I stress, don’t worry about if
this is real or imagined.  It is real.  What the beginner must realize is that
what he imagines IS real.  The methods I’m describing are simply ways to make
the imagination seem more real.

At this point, you have a version of yourself standing before you.  Of course,
it could (and should) be an idealized version of yourself.  I usually picture
myself in full Ceremonial garb.  Spend time picturing this.  Allow it to move
around some.  You can even get up and move, visualizing it matching your
movements (this is similar to an important technique that I will describe
later).  You can even go ahead and picture yourself doing something in an
imaginary world- but I would reserve this for a while at first.

The point behind all of this is to help you to visualize yourself.  You should
become so familiar with this picture that you can easily call it to mind.  At
first, however, you will probably have difficulty.  You will only see parts, and
often forget details.  Each time you do this, simply correct it and go on with
the exercise.  As you practice, it will get better.  Give this about a month or
so- or until you are good enough at it to satisfy yourself.  Remember, the only
one you can lie to or cheat on this is yourself.

Lastly, as you do this, and the vision gets more stable, you can dispense with
the golden sphere.  Just gather the Energy and send it out to form the Shell.
Just remember that this should only be done once the Shell is fully formed, and
you can easily picture it in all detail.  Making the golden sphere will help you
focus your mind to the goal.  Once you’ve accomplished a good mental mock-up of yourself, then proceed with the following:

THE ASTRAL TEMPLE

This method is one which kills two birds with one stone.  Many, possibly most,
Magickal Traditions put a certain amount of stress on the Astral Temple, Middle
Temple, or Place of Comfort.  All of these are names for the same thing- a kind
of personal space upon the Astral Plane which only you can access.  Once you
master Astral Travel, it is a place where you can go to perform Ceremonies at
any time, anywhere, and with little notice.  Best of all, it will always live up
to the image of your own dream Temple or other Sacred Magickal Space.

The practical work on this is extremely simple.  Get into your usual place, at
your usual time, and start to fantacise:  Get a good picture of your ideal
working space.  See yourself walking around in it.  Examine all the implements
upon the Altar and the Temple furniture.  Have fun with it- it’s that simple.
Of course, you’re just adding the aspect of a background to your previous
visualizations.  You want to be able to call the image of your Temple to mind as
easily as the image of your Astral Shell.  You’ll want to give this a month or
so as well.

Besides walking around in the Astral Temple, you may wish to perform a simple
Ritual.  The Cabalistic “Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram” is a rather
nice one, as well as the other Rituals I mentioned above such as the Middle
Pillar and Circulation of the Body of Light.  In fact, you will want to
eventually perform these daily Rituals strictly on the Astral.  This serves as a
kind of gauge for progress- to see how far you can get through the ritual before
losing the train of thought.  In time, you will be able to perform the entire
Ritual.  It will seem less forced, and, most importantly, you will lose track of
your physical body.  However, keep in mind that you should NEVER attempt to cast a spell while learning.  What harm could be caused if you get half-way through a spell and then lose your train of thought?

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is OK to see yourself from the outside
at first- as you did in the first exercise.  Just daydream as you normally
would.  As you become accustomed to it, you can begin to try the Astral Body on
for size and daydream from the view-point of the main character- you.  After a
while, this will happen naturally anyway.  Above all else, BE PATIENT.  Give
this time- it could take months to make progress.  You would short yourself if
you gave up even before a year (though, don’t allow that to frighten you, as you
should have results much sooner than that).

A SIGN TO LOOK FOR

As you practice this, I’m sure you’ll be looking for some kind of sign of
progress.  Of course, the main sign is that you forget about the physical body;
that you get lost within the fantasy completely.  However, there is also another
side-effect you will notice in time.

Events on the Astral are not limited the same way as they are here on the
physical.  There is no inertia to overcome, no muscles to flex, no atmosphere to
push through, no gravity pulling down, even words do not have to formed on the
lips and vibrated through the air.  Thus, you may spend what seems like an hour
or more upon the Astral, only to wake and discover that it’s only been fifteen
minutes to half an hour.  This “time displacement” is only achieved by becoming
properly lost in the fantasy, and forgetful of the body.  Thus, it serves as a
great sign-post for progress.

BODY MOVEMENTS

There is one final aspect of the above work that I wish to now stress.  As you
move within the Temple, and you finally begin to view the fantasy from your own
viewpoint, you will want to pay special attention to how your own body feels.
Not your physical body, but the Astral Body.  Feel your legs as they move, and
your feet as they move across the carpet, tile, grass, or whatever.  Run your
hands along the surfaces of the Temple furniture and implements.  Feel the
temperature of the air around you.  Hear any sounds that may be present.  This
is an important aspect of gaining full Astral Travel;  this is the “trying on of
the Astral Body” I mentioned above.

There is also an exercise that you can use to aid this process.  Just as above,
the main problem with gaining Astral Travel is the difficulty of “tricking”
yourself into feeling like you are there for real.  Therefore, we can aid our
Astral Senses by first getting better acquainted with our physical ones.

To begin with, simply sit or lay in your comfortable, quiet place as usual. Hold
your hand in front of your face and look at it.  Don’t just glance at it, but
really look at it as if you’ve never even seen a hand before.  Take in every
detail you possibly can.  Most importantly, move the hand.  First flex each
finger.  Then move the entire hand in various motions.  All the while, pay very
close attention to exactly how the hand looks during that motion, as well as how
it feels.

Now, while keeping the hand in front of your face, close your eyes and create a
mental picture of the hand as if it were “overlaid” over the real one.  As you
move your real hand, picture the imaginary hand making the same motions. Since your real hand is acting as a guide (even though you can’t see it), this
shouldn’t be too difficult.  While you do this, tell yourself that the physical
sensations you are feeling from the motion are coming from the imaginary hand-
that is, forget about the real hand as best as you can.  Finally, once you get
that down, cease moving the real hand altogether and allow the imaginary hand to continue it’s motions.  You may be surprised to notice that the physical
sensations- which you have tricked your mind into thinking are coming from the
imaginary hand- do not cease.  Of course, they will waver some at first because
you will be able to feel your real hand stop.  However, the skill here is to
ignore that sensation and to remain focused on the imaginary (Astral) hand.

Once you have this down, then continue with both hands.  From there proceed to
your arms.  And do not stop this process until you have targeted every body-part
possible in this way.  Do this with walking, sitting, crouching, etc., etc.,
etc. A good friend of mine once made the wonderful suggestion of doing this
(once you are working on full-body movements like walking) in a pitch-black
room.  If this is not possible, then simply closing or blindfolding your eyes
will do.

Once again, this is not a process of hours, days, or even weeks.  Give it a
couple of months at the least.  The point here is to become intimately familiar
with your body-movements, and it will take as long to do this with each movement as it takes to become familiar with anything.

THE OTHER SENSES

Once you can  A) control your mind to have a decent daydream, and  B) trick
yourself into thinking you are physically there, then you can proceed onto the
other senses of the body.  This exercise will be a breeze once the above is
mastered.

Around your comfortable area, place five different objects that relate to the
four senses of smell, touch, taste, and hearing.  For instance, place a glass of
vinegar about five feet to your left;  a bowl of ice five feet in front of you
to your left;  a lolli-pop five feet in front of you to your right;  and a bell
five feet to your right.

Now, sit in your place, relax, and clear your mind.  Slowly stand, walk to the
vinegar, and take a good whiff.  Then continue to the next station and push your
hands into the ice.  Go from there to the lolli-pop and taste it.  From there
continue to the bell and ring it, and finally return to your starting place and
sit or lie down.  Just as above, REALLY experience these things as if you’ve
never been exposed to them before.  Normally we take these things for granted,
and that is why I’ve suggested such extreme sensations as vinegar, lolli-pops,
and ice.  Also, don’t forget to concentrate on your body-movements while you
stand up and walk from one station to the other.

Do this a few times until you feel you are familiar enough with the procedure.
Then, upon returning to the starting position, simply imagine yourself arising
and repeating the process anew (you might want to actually project the Astral
Shell as described above first).  Once again, you want to trick yourself into
thinking you’re really doing these things, and to forget about the physical
body.  If you lose train of thought at all, simply imagine yourself returning to
the starting point, and then physically get up and start over again.  Also, you
may also wish to picture the Astral part of the exercise as being within the
Astral Temple.

This process shouldn’t take as long as the first procedures.  At this point, you
should be getting pretty good at it, and things will fall into line rather
quickly.  But, still, give this a couple (or more) weeks to really set strongly
within you.  As it gets easier, you may wish to alternate the sensations. Change
the vinegar for a sweet smell, the lolli-pop for a salty taste, the ice for
something warm, soft, or rough, and the bell for other sounds.  Once you
dispense with the physical objects altogether, spend time on the Astral
alternating them.  Pick up the glass and will it to be vinegar, and then
immediately will it to be another liquid, and then another. And so for the other
stations.

By the time you complete this, you should be pretty set as far as the Astral
Body goes.  You have charged it, fitted it for size, and gotten used to walking
around in it.  At the same time, you have fully constructed your Astral Temple
for later use.  All in all, you are Astral Traveling, and it only remains to
make some use of it.

SENSORY DEPRIVATION

Before I continue, I want to briefly discuss the concept of gaining Astral
Projection by way of sensory deprivation.  This is a kind of short-cut to the
practice, but as you will see it is certainly not the desirable method.

In the Ancient World, an Initiate into a Mystery Tradition (or sometimes even
manhood in general) was forced into Astral Projection for the purpose of coming
into contact with Spirit Guides, Gods, Elevated Masters, and other such
concepts.

Especially in the instance of “coming into manhood”, the Priests did not have
the months necessary to train one for Astral Travel.  And, quite frankly, these
Ancient Cultures did not have the sophisticated techniques we do today to make
the process any easier.

The Ancient Egyptians would tie the Initiate to a stone slab in a dark,
soundless room for three days.  Of course, the Initiate was not bond fast- but
if he got up, he would not be able to re-tie the knots himself and his failure
of the ordeal would be known.  In the Celtic lands, the Shaman would wrap
himself in a hot, scratchy wool blanket for a few days.  Other Cultures would
mutilate the body and, literally, half-kill the Initiate.  The purpose of all
the above is the same:  to deprive the mind of all of it’s input (the sensory
deprivation), and also to make the person as uncomfortable as possible without
actually killing him.

The result was that the mind HAD to wander elsewhere- else it would surely go
insane.  Simply, the lack of sensory input, food, and water, as well as the
pain, would make the person hallucinate.  The Priests would have previously
spent time training the Initiate in their systems- filling his head with all the
appropriate Symbolism- so that the hallucinations were more than likely to
follow along those lines.  If they did, then the Initiation was a success.  If
the Initiate failed to meet the correct Astral Beings, then he was deemed
unworthy of the Path, and sent elsewhere.

What might surprise you is that you have, most likely, already undergone this
very Initiation!  Remember above when I asked if you had ever been so bored that
you “zoned out”?  When I speak of this, I tend to think back to my school days.
Long hours sitting in a drab classroom, listening either to absolutely nothing,
or to the incessant droning of a teacher.  Not being allowed to move, fidget,
speak, or focus your attention on anything of any interest.  Add to this the
horribly uncomfortable seats they made you squeeze yourself into, and (if you
happen to be old enough to remember the older ways, or Catholic) even the pain
of the stick as the teacher patrolled the class looking for reasons to abuse
you.

And what was the result of this?  You zoned out, went a million miles away, and
basically went jaunting around the Astral Plane.  You didn’t know it then, but
now you do, and I hope it brings things into perspective.  You’ve already been
Initiated into the Art of Astral Travel.  Of course, we experience some problems
because (unlike the Ancients), these were the very times that we were told to
“come back to earth” or to “stop pretending!”.  Now we simply have to learn how
to Pretend again, and to make practical use of it.

SO, DOES THIS MEAN IT’S ALL IN MY HEAD AFTER ALL?

The answer is no.  Astral Travel is not a state of getting out of body, but it
is a the gaining of a state of consciousness that is not restricted by the body.
As Shamans and Wizards alike know, the deeper into our Selves we go, the closer
to the “Collective Consciousness” we get.  Ninety-nine percent of what we
experience on the Astral is totally subjective.  However, there is that small
percentage of the experience that is objective.  People can interact with each
other, and with other Entities upon the Astral.

One of the things that seems to draw most people to Astral Travel is the concept
that we can do things such as visit friends or other Earthly locations. However,
what is not understood is that this is not Astral Travel, but Etheric Travel.
To understand this concept, I will simply have to explain how the various Planes
are constructed.

THE PLANES AND SUBTLE BODIES

There are five principal Planes (supposedly accessed by various spiritual
“bodies”) that concern the student of Astral Projection.  For those of you who
have read other books on Astral Travel, you will be familiar with the following
list of “Subtle Bodies”.  From the highest to the lowest they are:

-Causal Body
-Higher Mental Body
-Lower Mental Body
-Astral Body
-Etheric Body
-Physical Body

You will notice that the Astral Body is the second step from the physical. The
fact of the matter is that all Astral Travel occurs here.  Some theorize that it
is possible to travel on the Higher Planes, but I do not know if this is the
case at all.  The higher Planes shown above are more concepts than anything
else.

If, when we Travel, we are upon the Astral Plane, then when are we on the
Etheric Plane?  The answer is simple-  the Etheric Plain is the realm of the
Conscious Mind.  Modern science has long pondered exactly what the Mind is.  The brain we know- but the physical matter which we call a brain does not account for the concept of the sentient and conscious Mind.  The Mind is not something physical, but it is certainly something that interacts with the physical.  Thus, the Mind must be one single step above the physical- which is the Etheric Realm.

The normal Etheric state is to be perfectly awake and conscious of the world and
the body.  When we Astral Travel, we are elevating our awareness another step
higher into the Astral Realm.  And thus is the difficulty with Etheric Travel.
In order to project to a physical location, we must force our awareness back to
the level of normal waking consciousness, but somehow keep ourselves from BEING awake and conscious of our bodies and immediate surroundings.

This is certainly possible, but it is extremely difficult.  Most texts on Astral
Travel will speak of this “Out of Body Experience” occurring to people who are
sick or dying- where their Mind is not functioning properly to begin with. In
fact, I have personally Etherally Projected once in my life- while I was
extremely sick.  It was fun for what it was worth, but that wasn’t much.  It is
not only a rare and difficult thing to achieve, but it is basically unnatural,
and an overall useless practice.  If it were indeed of any real use, I assure
you the Spy industry would be a vastly different field today.

ENTERING THE HEAVENLY REALMS

Now that you have both the practice, and the concepts behind the practice down,
it’s time to leave the Astral Temple and start visiting some of these Outer
Realms the Grimoires tell us so much about.  Though I will not go into any major
detail at this time, I will at least cover the concept.

Many sources tell us about “Gates of Entrance” which we can pass through and
meet all kind of strange and wonderful Beings.  They give us the image of the
Gate, and the formula for entering, but only the Initiate may know exactly what
the “Entrance” itself is.

Let us say that you wish to visit the Astral Realm of the Forces of Aries.  You
would construct an image of the Aries Symbol, in the proper colors of Aries, and
place it upon your altar.  You would then go about a Ceremony of Invocation for
the Forces of Aries, complete with a Calling of the Entities who you wish to
speak to within the Gate.  Once all the power has been raised, you would sit
before the altar, get a good picture of the Aries Image in your mind, and then
Astral Travel through it.  Some teachers have you actually enter the Astral
Temple first, and then to see a Gate, Door, or Curtain at the edge of the Temple
with the Image upon it.  Then, already in your Astral Body, you simply walk
through the Gate and into the land beyond it.

From that point onward, everything you experience will relate to Aries.  You
will meet with the Beings you have Called, and They will guide you through the
land and teach you what you are ready to learn about it.  If you call no Guide,
or if They simply to not show, then you can walk around and see the land for
yourself.  Though, you will more than likely see things that you will wish to
have clarified at a later date.

This practice is for the intermediate to Adept student ONLY.  One must know all
about the Sign of Aries so that one can verify the vision.  For instance, if the
Adept enters the Aries gate and sees a vast sea with mermaids lounging on rocks,
then he knows that a mistake has been made (for Aries is a Fiery Sign, not a
Watery one).  The beginner would not recognize this, and thus would be receiving incorrect information.  Of course, there is little to no chance of the Adept entering a Gate with such contradictory results.  And, in fact, the same goes for the beginner.  Instead, the differences will be subtle enough to fool the
Wizard if he is not on his game.  There are many skills that must be learned so
as not to be deceived within the Gates.  I am specifically leaving these skills
out, as well as the above mentioned Ceremonies, so as to discourage any foolish
experimentation.

The Major point to visiting these Realms is Initiation.  As we visit each Plane,
we will be Initiated into the Forces contained there.  We can become Initiated
into the ways of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, the Zodiacal Forces, and the Planets.
We can Astral Travel into ANY symbol to learn more about it- be it occult or
mundane.  One could Travel into that man-shape on men’s rooms if one so desired.

SCRYING

As a final note, I wish to mention Scrying.  This is exactly the same as Astral
Travel, with the exception of not losing consciousness of the body.  You do not
participate in the vision, but simply watch it as an observer.  As above, any
symbol can be used for this.  For general divinitory purposes, many things can
be used such as a crystal ball, candle flame, etc.  Of course, there’s nothing
wrong with just closing your eyes and going for it as well.

Other than that, I will not go into the subject of scrying.  I do hope that the
above has greatly helped you in your search for Astral Travel.  And I hope that
it has cut through most of the bull surrounding the subject.  Good luck on your
journeys!

_______________________________

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for February 5th is Altruism

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Altruism

Altruism denotes the noble act of giving to those in need without the expectation of a return. The act of giving has been seen as one of humankind’s greatest attributes throughout history. It is honored in nearly every culture. To give is a gift to both those who receive and those who give. Giving is usually associated with addressing the material needs of others, but the gift given can take many forms such as wisdom or protection or simply a shoulder to cry on.

As a daily card, Altruism suggests there are those around you in need of things you can give them. It is a time for you to address the needs of another, or others without regard of profit or acknowledgement of your contribution.

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Let’s Take A Look At the Many Winter Customs Around The World

Winter Customs Around the World

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Winter Around the World:

Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season.

Australia:

Althought Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. Many of them come from a blend of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and celebration in December is often a mix of many different elements. Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, December is part of the warm season. Residents still hhave Christmas trees, Father Christmas, Christmas Carols and gifts which are a familiar Christmas and gifts, as well as being visited by Father Christmas. Because it coincides with school holidays, it’s not uncommon for Australians to celebrate the season on vacation away from home.

China:

In China, only about two percent of the population observes Christmas as a religious holiday, although it is gaining in popularity as a commercial event. However, the main winter festival in China is New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. Recently, it’s become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. A key aspect of the Chinese New Year is , and painings and portraits are brought out and honored in the family’s home.

Denmark:

In Denmark, Christmas Eve dinner is a big cause for celebration. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. Children leave out glasses of milk for the Juulnisse, which are elves that live in peoples’ homes, and for Julemanden, the Danish version of Santa Claus.

Finland:

The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. The night before, on Christmas Eve, is really the time of the big feast — and leftovers are consumed the next day. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. One fun custom is that of Glogg parties, which involve the drinking of Glogg, a mulled wine made from Madeira, and the eating of lots of baked treats.

Greece:

Christmas was typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. Hearth fires burn for several days between December 25 and January 6, and a sprig of basil is wrapped around a wooden cross to protect the home from the Killantzaroi, which are negative spirits that only appear during the twelve days after Christmas. Gifts are exchanged on January 1, which is St. Basil’s day.

India:

India’s Hindu population typically observes this time of year by placing clay oil lamps on the roof in honor of the return of the sun. The country’s Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. Gifts are exchanged with family and friends, and baksheesh, or , is given to the poor and needy.

Italy:

In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. It is said that the three Magi stopped on their way to Bethlehem and asked her for shelter for a night. She rejected them, but later realized she’d been quite rude. However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. Now she travels the world, searching, and delivering gifts to all the children.

Romania:

In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. Each time, the wife begs him to spare the tree, saying, “Oh no, I am sure this tree will be as heavy with fruit next spring as my fingers are with dough today.” The man relents, the wife bakes the turta, and the trees are spared for another year.

Scotland:

In Scotland, the big holiday is that of . On Hogmanay, which is observed on December 31, festivities typically spill over into the first couple of days of January. There’s a tradition known as “first-footing”, in which the first person to cross a home’s threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year — as long as the guest is dark-haired and male. The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman.

Calendar of the Sun for December 11th

Calendar of the Sun

11 Yulmonath

Day of the Snow Queen

Color: White
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of snowy white place many snowflakes, silver branches, a cup of clear alcohol in which has been placed a piece of dry ice to give off mist, and a knife of glass.
Offerings: Spend time in the cold, enduring her kiss.
Daily Meal: Frozen dishes.

Invocation to the Snow Queen

Hail to the Snow Queen, Lady Winter!
Hail to the cloak of white across the fields,
The treacherous ice on the road
That threatens us as we ride,
Creator of beauty on every window,
Sharp icicle that falls with lethal force,
Crystal of fairness that reflects the Sun tenfold,
Bitter winds of death that freeze the body
And free the soul to ride the circling blizzard,
We hail you, Heart of Ice, in this your season!
For you are the cutting edge of survival,
The one who tests us, and our skill.
When we fail to learn the lesson
Of the King of Frost, your consort,
We are left to your tender mercies
And gathered to your deathly white bosom.
Have mercy on us, Lady of the Snow!
Teach us that we must band together for warmth,
And teach us with a lesson less than fatal.

(One comes forth with the chalice of steaming alcohol, and another with the glass knife. The knife is dipped into the iced drink, and touched to the palms of each who will hold theirs out. Then the alcohol is poured out as a libation.)

Song: Snow Queen

[Pagan Book of Hours]

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for December 3rd

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Before we can share with others, we must have something to share. And all of us do have something to give. Not material things, but we can share our peace and our love and our loyalty.

Before we can share with others, there must be others with whom to share. For if we are selfish and self-centered enough, we will never have to worry about sharing anything. We will be alone.

Before we can expect others to share with us, we must be capable of accepting. We must be worthy of others who desire to share with us; we must deserve their love.

Before the two of us can ever find anything in this world of mutual interest, we must have enough concern and enough love to feel a need within to produce something good enough to offer; not only to others, but to ourselves. If we have abused our own nature with thoughts of bitterness, harboring painful experiences, self-condemnation for little progress regardless of circumstances, then we have nothing to offer.

The French philosopher Achilles Poincelot once said, “Some people think that all the world should share their misfortunes, though they do not share in the sufferings of anyone else.”

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
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Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org