Let’s Talk Witch – Candle Magic

ᑕᙓᒪ♈ᓰᑕ ᙅᖇᗝᙡ

Candle Magic


Candle magic is the oldest magic there is. Early wise people concentrated on flames from cave fires to foretell the future or solve a problem. Staring at the flame was the perfect way to go into an alpha state and connect with the spirit world to see past, present and future details of someone’s life or the unfolding events of the village or community.

It is the simplest magic there is because candles are easy to find, and the ritual doesn’t take much work. The beauty of candle magic is that you can manifest just about anything you want to by concentrating on the flame and clearing your mind.

To begin, it is important that you do NOT eat before a ritual or have sex before a ritual. Be clear of body and mind, and spirit because it make the spell more powerful. It also helps that you begin your ritual with a positive mind. You must know and believe the outcome of the spell will be positive and beneficial to all.

Make sure your space is quiet, and clear of clutter. You may want to play soft music or take a cleansing bath with lavender or other aromas of your choosing to relax before you start your spell.

It is important to choose the color of the candle that corresponds with what you desire to manifest.

White = purity, peace, spirituality

Red = sexual vitality, courage, energy, health

Pink = romantic love, affection, friendships

Yellow = creative imagination, memory, communication

Green = abundance, harmony, good luck, fertility

Blue = wisdom, psychic insights, psychic protection, healing

Purple = success in financial affairs, idealism and spiritual power.

Gold = positive

Silver = clairvoyance, astral energies and channeling, also the faculty of far memory and remembering past lives.

Once you have chosen the candle you want to use for your spell, give it your personal vibration. Handle the candle with both hands, study the wax in it, look at it carefully and try to connect with your candle and give it your intention or thought. This gives the wax your life force. Use essential oil (not necessary but helpful) on the candle. Always rub the candle with the oil from the top to the bottom when anointing.

While oiling your candle think about what you wish to accomplish with this magic. Visualize the spell successful and see your desires manifest before you light the candle.

Then light the candle and focus on the flame for at least 5-15 minutes, clearing your mind of all thought and visualize what you want to manifest.



Ancient Magick for the Modern Witch

Gypsy Raven

Let’s Talk Witch – Even Witches Need To Know How to Meditate

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Let’s Talk Witch – How To Meditate

To begin, sit in a darkened room (not pitch dark, but dim lights). Sit still, sit quiet, for 10 minutes. No music, no talking, no tapping your fingers, no jiggling your foot, no moving your head or cracking your neck or looking around. It’s harder than you think. If you don’t make it through the first time, try again the next day (don’t rush it or you’ll just get really mad at yourself – this isn’t a speed competition!) and keep trying until you can sit still and quiet for 10 minutes. You can think about anything you want, the point is to be physically still, and not have any external stimuli (no TV, no music, no whatever). This teaches you to have a quiet body. This also teaches you about time, because it’s hard to know how long 10 minutes is. Your eyes can be opened or closed, it doesn’t matter (and blinking isn’t counted as moving, so you can blink all you want).

Once you are able to sit still for 10 minutes, then try sitting for 10 minutes and think only about white things. If you start to think about something that isn’t white, stop yourself, and start thinking about white things again. Here’s a list of words to help you get started:

Snow, polar bears, cotton, vanilla pudding, paper, light bulbs, chicken, arctic hare, white wolf, beluga whale, dove, cream, soap, flower, milk, flour, rice, refrigerator, tooth, swan, snowy owl, sand, stones, clouds

Once you have done it, do it twice more, on different days. Ten minutes thinking about things that are white. It will teach you how to concentrate and how to have a quiet mind. If you think about white things and you start to move, try again. If you are still, but you think about what that jerk on the bus said to you today, try again. Each time you try, take at least a one day break in between your tries. You will learn concentration and discipline, both very important for meditation. Don’t rush it, this isn’t a contest!

When you are comfortable with spending 10 quiet, still, minutes thinking about things that are white, try 10 minutes thinking about things that are natural, like animals, grass, trees, sky, and so on. Anything in the natural world, made naturally and not altered by human hands. Remember to keep still, and keep quiet. Don’t say the things out loud, just think them in your head.

If your mind wanders, just pull it back. So if you are thinking about animals, and you think about your cat, and your cat’s fur, and your cat’s meow, and the neighbourhood dog that chases your cat, that is fine. If you then think about the neighbourhood dog that barks, and your stupid neighbour who lets the dog bark at night and it wakes you up and then you get a bad sleep and you have an important meeting tomorrow and… now you have let your mind wander. Immediately think of another natural thing, and refocus yourself.

Then, practice and practice and practice until thinking about natural things is really really easy, and being still is really really easy. Think about different things each time – maybe think about animals one time, and then flowers the next time.

I recommend thinking about natural things because it is a great way to connect to the Goddess. So that when you want to meditate on the goddess Diana, for example, you can concentrate on things that are important to Her: trees, a cool stream, a deer, a dog and so on, without getting off track.

Give it a try, it will take some time to get good, but it will be worth every minute you spend trying. It will let you connect better with the Goddess, and that will increase the power of your spells and magick.

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What we truly and earnestly aspire to be, that in some sense, we are. The mere
aspiration, by changing the frame of mind, for the moment realizes itself
– Anna Jameson

Magick has always been part of Witchcraft. From the dawn of humanity it has been
a tool used to help alter the forces which shape our lives. Today’s Pagans have
reclaimed this viewpoint; we are not merely helpless masses of flesh, void of
any personal power, groveling at the mercy of the fates.
The precise content of our spells has changed over the centuries, but not
the methods, and certainly not human need. It is interesting to note that the
magickal desires found in weathered grimoires are the same desires we have
today, principally: love, security, health, and fertility.

What Magick Is and How It Works

Our detractors try to tell us, and anyone else who will listen, that magick is
inherently evil; that it utilizes “unnatural” or evil forces in order to work.
They believe that mere humans cannot naturally possess any power of their own;
therefore it must be obtained from some supernatural source and, they
illogically rationalize, any force that would aid human desire must therefore be
wicked and ask a perverse allegiance in return. This source was personified as
(need I say it?) their Satan, or anti-God.
It is this inherent power, one with which we are all born, that is the
force behind successful magick. Often we may combine this personal energy with
that of nature (by using herbs, stones, etc., as our catalyst and focal point),
or with that of the elemental world (by aligning our inherent power with that of
faeries, elementals, or of the elements themselves), or by working in tandem
with the creative power of Gods and Goddesses. But no matter how many of these
combinations we try, we, the practicing magickians, are the ultimate source of
magickal power.
Belief in magick as part of religious practice was an accepted part of
everyday ancient Pagan life, and flourished for many, many centuries before
Satan became an accepted theological construct of Christianity nearly two
thousand years ago. For the old Witches, magick was not viewed as an operation
of supernatural forces since, logically, nothing supernatural could exist.
Whether one believed the universe was created by a sentient deity, or wished to
believe that it exploded into existence of its own accord, the fact remained
that certain natural laws operated from which no deviation could occur. Cats
don’t sprout antlers overnight, autumn does not suddenly appear to follow
winter, and a maple tree doesn’t become an elm at will. Everything has its place
in the time/space continuum – including magick.
Magick has long been understood by its practitioners to be no more than
the manipulation of natural forces not yet understood by either science or
psychology. To create a spell we teach ourselves to sense and “see” these
energies, and invest them with our own energies in order to bend them to our
will. On the physical plane we can see this same concept used in the martial art
known as Judo. Through Judo one is taught to take advantage of the natural
energy and momentum of one’s opponent, making it possible for a ninety-pound
woman to toss a two hundred-pound man over her head. The natural energy that
makes this feat possible is there, waiting to be harnessed and directed to
release itself to the desired outcome.
Look around you. Right now. Put down this book and note all the items in
the place you are in at this moment. Note all those modern miracles of
technology you take for granted that would have gotten you hanged for being in
league with the Devil only two hundred years ago: your car, your television,
your CD player, radios, electric lights, even a simple ballpoint pen. All of
these things would have been seen as manifestations of magick by virtually
everyone, and as a sign of the presence of evil by more than just a few. But for
those who understand – or pretend to understand – the factual scientific
principles on which these items work, they are not “magickal” at all. They are
simply things which operate through natural scientific principles.
It is highly likely that the magick of today will be the science of
tomorrow, that eventually we will discover what it is about the energy of the
trained magickal mind that can manifest wishes and desires. As scientists and
psychologists continue to study the evolving human mind, they may unlock the
secrets of creation from a single directed thought. This conceptual hinge upon
which all magick is hung may be seen as being overly simplified, but it is the
basis of all spellwork. Everything that exists – everything – had to first begin
as a single thought, and somehow those thoughts had to be directed, both on the
mental and on the physical planes, in order to manifest as reality. (Even Judeo-
Christian mysticism teaches that we are merely thought-forms in the mind of
God and, when he ceases to think about us, we will perish.)

Five basic ingredients are needed for any successful spell.

1. The desire or need for something
2. An emotional investment in the outcome of the spell
3. The knowledge to work the spell
4. The belief that it exists on the mental/astral planes
5. The ability to keep silent

Without desire and need there can be no spark of the imagination that
fires the emotions to drive the spells. Without magickal knowledge a Witch has
no idea of what to do to make the magick. Without belief that focused thoughts
create a reality that can be brought into the physical world, there is no magick
at all.

Keeping silent about magickal work is another very old belief. It may have
stemmed partly from fear of discovery by the Witch hunters. On another level
there is an old adage that energy divided is energy lost. In other words, the
more you speak to others of your work, the more energy you lose, energy which
could otherwise be channeled into your desired outcome. You may also find
yourself talking to someone who does not believe in the power of magick, or has
some vested interest in your failure, perhaps jealousy or a need to “prove” the
unworkability of magick. Such people can do great damage to your magick by their counter-energy. Never mind that they do not believe in what you are doing. We all have the power to project energy, and their mental output can work against you.

Those who do not understand the principles of magic fear the mysterious
source of the manifestation more than the manifestation itself. If we look again
to the natural laws of the universe for answers, we find there is really no
mystery. All of us were taught the basic law of physics in junior high science
which states:


Unlike television Witches, such as the ever-popular Samantha Stephens, we
cannot wiggle our noses and create something from nothing. In order to manifest a house on a vacant lot we do not – and cannot – create matter. Rather, we set up energy patterns that draw the energy to us and shape it into the form we want to see. This would involve consorting with a good contractor rather than with demons. The language that has evolved around magick over the centuries also tells us that it is not an instantaneous event, but a process of building piece-by-piece. Various mythologies tell of Goddesses of magick who are spinners and
weavers, creating their reality step-by-step as a seamstress embroiders a
tapestry. With her patience and persistence a rich picture is born, and it is no
accident that we have adopted the words spinning, weaving, casting, working,
crafting, and creating to describe our spellwork. There is no rule anywhere in Paganism to tell us how much or how little magick we must weave, or even that we have to make magick at all. If you are not sure about its working principles, or feel that you are not ready for magick in your life, then don’t do it. If you continue to follow a Pagan path the time will eventually come when you win find yourself casting a spell as easily as you call upon your deities.Once you decide to create a spell to meet a need, begin constructing it by following these twenty-four steps:

1. Clearly understand and define your magickal goal. Write it down or state it
out loud to help form it solidly in your mind. By doing this you begin to invest
the spell and the desired outcome with your emotions and energy. If you have
more than one need, you may wish to spread them out. You can work more than one spell at a “session,” but doing so will dissipate and scatter your energies,
leaving less for each spell. If you feel you must do multiple spells, limit them
to three and try to relate them in some way, so that the energy you raise
remains as focused as possible.

2. Be sure of the ethics of your hoped-for outcome. Approach the spell from
all angles to satisfy yourself that you are not violating anyone else’s free
will or being manipulative. Many Witches like to do a divination first, to be
doubly sure that their spell will not have any unforeseen ramifications. If the
results of the divination are negative, try rethinking your intent to see if you
can circumvent the problem. Then do another divination and see what comes up.

3. If you wish to use a specific element as a focus for your magick, decide
which one is most appropriate and collect items to represent that energy.

4. Plan how you will visualize your goal and believe in what you see. The powers
of the mind are only just now beginning to be explored by science. We have all
heard stories of terminal patients who have healed themselves, and of faith
healers who use belief to manifest miracle cures. Visualization uses that power
to form mental pictures that are invested with personal energy and emotion. It
is the soul that breathes life into all magick, and the soul that is the most
important element in its outcome. The moment you start visualizing the
resolution of a magickal need is the moment you begin to create the changes in
your deep mind necessary for the magick to manifest.

5. If you are working with advanced natural magick you will need to prepare a
long-range plan in accordance with the above guidelines. This will entail
checking moon phases, laying in enough supplies for the duration of the spell,
and planning how the energy can be sustained through each day.

6. Gather candles, stones, or whatever else you intend to use as a catalyst for
your focus or to direct the energy you will raise. Empower those items with your
personal energy by projecting into them the energy of your goal. Keep in mind
that these tools, including your cherished ritual tools, have no power in and of
themselves. The power is not in the tools, but inside the Witch trained to use
them. Without you, they are useless. They merely provide a way to focus your
energy and a means for directing it towards its goal.

7. Decide upon your “words of power,” the words or chants you will use to help
focus and raise energy. You may write them out, or simply remember key phrases you wish to use as you improvise. Some Witches like to create simple poems so they will be easier to remember.

8. If you wish to use a special deity or mythic figure in your magick, decide on
which one or ones, and on how you will evoke, invoke, and/or honor them. You may wish to write out special prayers or blessings and memorize them.

9. Decide when you want to do the spell. This can be any time you personally
need the magick, at the time when your coven regularly meets, or you may wish to take into consideration moon phases and/or other astrological influences. If
your life is as busy as most people’s today, you may have to choose the only
night when you will be free and alone. The timing is much less important than
the energy you bring to the spell.

10. At the appropriate time, gather what you will be using and go to the place
where you will perform the spell. This can be at your altar, indoors or
outdoors, at your coven meeting site, or anywhere else that feels appropriate,
comfortable, and private.

11. Cast your circle and, if you like, call the quarters, or do as you would
when opening any other ritual. If you are using advanced magickal techniques you win definitely need to employ these visualizations to be effective.

12. Your magick is now beginning in earnest. Invite whatever elementals,
faeries, spirits, or deities you wish to have present as you work. They should
always be welcome, but they are not necessary for spellwork.

13. Clear your mind and begin visualizing your goal. This is probably the most
important step in the spell-casting process and you should invest the mental
image with as much energy as you can muster. Recall your need and make your
emotional connection with it as deep as you can, on as many levels as possible.

14. Raise energy within yourself and pour it into the magickal object(s) in
whatever way feels right to you. This can be done as a mental projection,
through dance or song, or intense visualization.

15. Do whatever physical actions your spell requires. Some need no special
actions, but many require some basic movement, even if it is only lighting a
candle. Use your words of power, light your candles, bury your herbs, mentally
charge your stones, and/or raise your cone of power.

16. Take advantage of natural phenomena that can help you raise energy. A storm, for instance, is an excellent source of energy that any Witch can draw upon to help feed a spell. Allow yourself to become part of the storm and feel yourself psychically drawing on its vast stores of energy as you seek to raise your own energies or cone of power.

17. When you feel you have put as much energy into the spell as you possibly
can, send the energy out to do your will. You can visualize this as a cone of
power being sent out, or use any other mental image you like. Body language
helps, too. Relax, throw up your arms, raise a tool, kneel, send out a cone of
power, or do whatever else makes you feel the energy go forth. Be sure to direct
it out from you visually as well.

18. You should finish your spell with words such as the traditional “So Mote It
Be.’ Mote is an obsolete word for “must’ The phrase is synonymous with “Amen,”
“So It Is,” and “It is Done” It is a statement of completion and an affirmation
that you know your magick is successful. All magick is worked from the point of
view that the desired goal is already manifest – it will not come to be, but IT
IS. Always phrase your magickal desires in the present tense; for example, “I
have love in my life now,” or, “My bins are now paid in full.’ Talking of magick
happening in the future will keep it forever in the future, always just out of

19. Meditate briefly on your goal. Again, visualize it as already manifest.
Smile, breathe a sigh of relief, and know the magick is already at work for you.

20. Thank and dismiss all faeries, spirits, and deities who have come to witness
or aid in your magick.

21. Ground your excess energy into the earth and open your circle. Excess
energy, raised during your spell work but not fully sent away from you when you
sent it to do its job, lingers on and around you, The best way to ground this
excess is to place your hands palms down on the earth, into a bowl of soil, or
on the floor of your home. Physically and psychically feel the excess energy
draining out of you. Know that it is being absorbed and dispersed into mother

22. If you have ritualized your spell, dismiss your quarters or do whatever
other endings your rituals traditionally require. If you are working your magick
with a coven this is standard practice.

23. Record your spell in your Magickal Diary or Book of Shadows with the date,
time, weather conditions, and any astrological data you wish to include. This
will be useful later when you have done enough spells to look for patterns. For
example, you may see that your most efficacious spells were done on Sundays or
when it was cloudy or snowing, or when you had faeries present, worked with a
particular deity, burned green candles, or when the moon was full. Everyone has
different affinities. These patterns will help you pick the best times for your
spell work.

24. Back up your desire on the physical plane. This is a must. For example, if
you have done a spell for healing don’t avoid seeing your doctor. You will need
all the help at your disposal to overcome your illness, and magick and medical
science make great partners.

Until you achieve your magickal goal you should spend some time each day
focusing on it by dearly visualizing it as a fait accompli. These added boosts
of daily energy can often mean the difference between success and failure.

**This is an excerpt from Lady of the Night – A Handbook of Moon Magick &
Rituals by Edain McCoy, 1995. If you like this information, please buy a copy of
this book. It will make a great addition to your book collection. ISBN 1-56718-

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Daily OM for January 9th – Curative Attentiveness

Curative Attentiveness

Being Aware of Your Thoughts

by Madisyn Taylor

We seldom accept negative comments from others, however, we so often accept our own inner negative chatter.

Few people enjoy the company of individuals whose attitudes are persistently negative. Yet many of us tolerate the critical chatter that can originate within our own minds. Since we are so used to the stream of self-limiting, critical consciousness that winds its way through our thoughts, we are often unaware of the impact these musings have on our lives. It is only when we become aware of the power of such thoughts that we can divest ourselves of them and fill the emptiness they leave with loving, peaceful affirmations. Many people, upon paying careful attention to their thinking patterns, are surprised at the negativity they find there. But when we take notice of involuntary thoughts in a nonjudgmental way, we initiate a healing process that will eventually allow us to replace intimidating and upsetting self-talk with positive, empowering thoughts.

While the occasional downbeat or judgmental thought may have little impact on your contentment, the ongoing negativity that passes unnoticed can have a dampening effect on your mood and your outlook. When you are aware of the tone of your thoughts, however, you can challenge them. Try to be conscious of your feelings, opinions, and judgments for a single day. From sunup to sundown, scrutinize the messages you are feeding into your subconscious mind. Consider your thoughts from the perspective of a detached observer and try not to judge yourself based on the notions that come unbidden into your mind. Simply watch the flow of your consciousness and make a note of the number of times you find yourself focusing on gloomy notions or indulging in self-directed criticism.

As you become increasingly aware of your patterns of thought, whether positive and negative, you will gradually learn to control the character of your stream of consciousness. Endeavor always to remember that the images and ideas that pass through your mind are transient and not a true representation of who you are. In training yourself to be cognizant of your thoughts, you gain the ability to actively modulate your mood. The awareness you cultivate within yourself will eventually enable you to create a foundation of positivity from which you can build a more authentic existence.

The Daily OM

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Your Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, December 5th

We are more attracted to ideas and philosophies than to the practical applications of language now. This is mental Mercury’s first full day in adventurous Sagittarius on a visit that lasts until December 24, activating our tendency to think expansively. Our inclination toward learning increases, but we must be careful that we don’t become too self-righteous in our beliefs. Meanwhile, the controlling Capricorn Moon helps us focus on what’s real.

Aries Horoscope

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Even if your feet are planted firmly on the ground today, your mind is beginning to drift out toward the distant edges of the universe. You have relentlessly paid attention to your thoughts in order to get to the source of your current feelings. Now it’s time to simplify your thinking and free yourself from previous emotional burdens. Fortunately, making the shift might actually be easier than it sounds once you truly let go.

Taurus Horoscope

(Apr 20 – May 20)

Your obstinate behavior could overpower your good intentions now that the evocative Moon is in traditional Capricorn. Practicing mental flexibility is a smart strategy today, but it may be easier said than done. Nevertheless, keep reminding yourself that a stagnant mind can dam up the waters of creativity. Thankfully, an open mind allows your fertile imagination to flow with lush motivational ideas.

Gemini Horoscope

(May 21 – Jun 20)

You are taking a more philosophical approach to relationships now that your key planet Mercury is visiting your 7th House of Partners. But you won’t likely be satisfied with emotionally detached discussions unless they have a direct impact on your life. You want to see real progress, so move your conversations out of the theoretical realm and into the present moment. Choosing your words carefully improves the chances of deepening a connection between you and someone special.

Cancer Horoscope

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Colleagues at work may be a source of tension now as they pressure you to modify your plans and take a different course of action than you initially intended. You probably can rationalize your strategy to yourself, but it’s more challenging to convince others that they should cooperate with you. It might be better to bite the bullet and do what is expected today, even if only to buy some temporary peace and quiet. Return to your original ideas later when there’s less resistance all around.

Leo Horoscope

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

You’re on the edge of something amazing and you can feel it right to the bottom of your feet — even if you don’t yet know what it is. You may be a bit frightened at the magnitude of the changes ahead, but holding on to your past never seems to make you happy for long. Keep wiggling your toes in anticipation of what’s next because your agility will suddenly become very handy when it’s time to make your move. But don’t rush the start; you will know when to act if you trust your instincts.

Virgo Horoscope

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You’re turning into quite the philosopher these days, which may be somewhat out of character for you. Normally, you like to focus on the most practical applications of your analytical thinking, but now you don’t have to be so concerned with the mechanics of the real world. This strategy isn’t an excuse for sloppy thinking. Stay sharp and let your thoughts roam free without taking any action yet.

Libra Horoscope

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Your emotions are intensifying and it’s crucial to stick with the inner process, even if it makes you feel vulnerable with those closest to you. Sometimes you take the easy way out of an emotional dilemma, for you often see both sides of an issue. However, your basic values could be at stake now, so don’t be afraid to speak with integrity. You can learn something special about yourself if you stand up for what’s important.

Scorpio Horoscope

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Even if you experienced an emotional crisis with a friend or lover recently, it’s time to move past the drama today and consider what’s next. You still might be attached to your unresolved feelings, but these just may have to heal on their own. There’s really no reason to involve others in this process. Instead, visualize a path toward a happier and healthier future. What you create in your imagination now can become reality later on.

Sagittarius Horoscope

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You may be experiencing a refreshing wave of joyful energy. Your mind carries you to great heights now as you explore new areas of interest when cerebral Mercury is visiting your sign until December 24. Although it could feel like a breath of fresh air, be careful that your enthusiasm doesn’t distract you from the real work in front of you. Adventures can be fun, but don’t use them to escape your commitments.

Capricorn Horoscope

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Your heart is softening, yet it’s still challenging to risk telling others how you feel today. Paradoxically, your caution can actually make life more difficult because someone may notice that you’re keeping something secret. Even with the best of intentions, hidden agendas have more impact than you realize. If you have something to say, get it out into the open where it won’t do as much harm. Speak your mind and then focus on reclaiming the joy of the present moment.

Aquarius Horoscope

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Your social life is on the upswing now because you are more drawn to the energy of group dynamics with interactive Mercury visiting your 11th House of Friends. Be bold and pencil in activities for the rest of the month even if you don’t have any concrete plans yet. There’s no need to wait until the holidays are here to put things on your calendar. But don’t just talk about it; get busy and start making the magic happen.

Pisces Horoscope

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

A shift in your workplace is underway and you may have to collaborate with your coworkers more than ever before. You might even have to step up to the plate to assume a managerial role. In any case, the hierarchy of your office or community is becoming more apparent. Find your place within the social structures and play out your part the best you can. Keep in mind that a positive attitude will take you even further on your path to success.

November 20 – Daily Feast

November 20 – Daily Feast

Always take into account what your mind has in it. What of the world have you taken in and stored in all the little crevices and avenues of your mind and thinking? Guard your mind, for out of it comes what you think is possible for you. If you have stored defeat and rejection, those are the only things you have to draw on. Our voices record everything we say within our minds and hearts. Blessing or swear words, sarcasm or snappy cynicism, all are there, and all have a part in ruling life. This is the hardest part to sweep out and control, but it can be done – and it is better than storing trash.

~ Neither anger nor fury shall be found lodging in their minds. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

For The Beginner – Witchcraft 101 – Lesson Four

Lesson 4

Beginning Shadows

Meditation Meditation is important in ritual work. Listen when a spell calls for any sort of meditation. It is used to calm the body, cleanse the soul and remove any unwanted energies from the body before ritual is performed. It can cleanse the mind. Try different meditation positions. Many people can meditate while sitting, but I have trouble and must lie down on my back. Others cannot lie down at all to meditate. Try meditation to different types of music or to cassettes of nature sounds. You can incorporate chanting and drumming into your meditations as well as they produce a mind-numbing effect.

A Meditation I have read many books and  articles on different types of meditations and I have found one meditation in  particular very useful. Begin by lying or sitting in a comfortable position. You  may wish to play some type of soothing music or nature sounds such as ocean  waves, water running or a rainstorm. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes.  Let your entire body relax beginning with your toes. Feel your toes slack. Let  it move up your legs. Feel your legs relax, then your thighs, then your stomach.  Let your arms relax, your neck and then your face and head. Slowly, you will  find yourself surrounded by light. This light will spread until you seem to  float in a void of white light. Reach out before you and grab some of the light.  Tear it open and step through the hole. You find yourself in the middle of a  wood. The white hole remains open behind you. You are standing on a little path.  Look around you. Is it night? Day? Are there birds singing? Paying attention to  detail during meditation will help you get better in your astral travel. Follow  the path. After a while you will see an old moss-covered bridge. Step onto the  bridge. A small burbling stream flows beneath it. As you look over into the  stream, you will notice that your pockets feel weighted with stones. These  stones are your worldly troubles, worries and problems. You cannot take them  with you where you are going. Pull the stones from your pocket and drop them  into the stream. Watch the water bubble over them. If you feel any more stones  in your pocket, keep emptying it until it is empty. Continue across the bridge  to the path on the other side. Soon, the wood will open up into a large  clearing. There are mountains in the distance and before you is a small hill  with a single tree. Grassy hills with wildflowers stretch off into the distance.  This is the astral plane. Once you get proficient in visiting this area, you can  go anywhere you wish. You might meet people here, or animals. Talk to them and  listen to what they have to say. Get to know your surroundings. Explore a little  but don’t get lost. Confusion on the astral may cause you to leave part of  yourself behind when you leave. After you have finished your business on the  astral, be sure to leave the way you came. Go back across the bridge and enter  back through the hole. Seal it up behind you. Let the light die around you and  feel yourself return to your body. Open your eyes.

There are some troubles that you can run into on the  astral. Remember that there are dangers there the same as anywhere else. If you  meet a being that makes you feel in any way uncomfortable, just surround  yourself in a bubble of light. They will soon leave.

Visualization Visualization is very important in spell work. In order for your spells to work well, you must be able to conjure up images of people and objects in very great detail. This will help to make your magic stronger. There are a variety of techniques used to practice visualization. My favorite is the candle method.

Begin in a quiet, dark room. Light a candle and sit comfortably with the candle in front of you. Do not stare  directly into the flame, but choose a place near the base of the flame that is  not painful to look at. The blue area near the bottom is good for this. Stare at the frame and let the image imprint itself into your mind. When you feel that you have stared at the candle long enough, close your eyes and imagine the image of the candle burning there. See the flame flickering and note the color of the candle and the way the wax is dripping or how it melts into a clear liquid at the base of the wick. Envision the candle until you cannot envision it anymore and do it a second time. Do this as many times as you like (at least twice) for one week.

After the first week, try and envision the candle without it in front of you. You can do this in meditation or any time that you have free time in a quiet place. Once you can envision the candle, try envisioning other objects. Try, for example, an apple. Without having one in front of you, imagine an apple in your mind. Hold the apple in your hand. feel the weight of it and smell it. What kind of apple is it? What color is it? What does it feel like? Once you get the hang of fruit, try the same with people. You may want to begin with a photograph. Then work with people you see around you. If you are sitting on the bus, look at someone across from you. Close your eyes and see how long you can envision them before you loose the image. Try becoming different things. Try envisioning being an animal, say a bird. Feel yourself flying and landing. Try being a fish and swimming or a horse and running. Try being an ant. What does the world look like from where you are? After a short time, you will get quite proficient at this.

Dreaming Dreams are very important. Witches learn to pay attention to dreams. Sometimes they are prophetic and can tell the future or they allow one to astrally travel to another time or dimension. At other times, dreams are just the mind’s way of sorting out the day’s events or dealing with a problem that you have been thinking over. Whatever the reason, dream recording should become an important practice.

I keep a dream journal by my bed. I have practiced remembering my dreams since I was a child and so I have not trouble recording them later or remembering the dreams years after I dream them. Many of my childhood memories were dreams.

Once when I was about five years old, I dreamt that I was a grown woman, probably in my twenties. I was lying in a hospital bed when suddenly, I began to float out of my body. I sort of hung on the ceiling looking down at myself. The room was grayish white and there was a television in the corner. There was a door, but no windows. Some doctors were looking over my body and talking, but I could not understand what they were saying. I floated up through the ceiling and then woke up. I can’t help but think now that I must have been experiencing something from a past life or that I was having a prophecy of my own death. I could not have known at five years old that people who have come back from death described death as being the same way.

My dream journal is just a blank journal with lines. Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I open my eyes and blurt out whatever I can that I dreamt about. This helps me remember. Then as soon as I get my contacts in, I take up the book and record my dreams.

Once your dreams are recorded, you can try interpreting them. I do not use dictionaries as definitions for certain symbols can be different for different people. For example, if a woman who is terrified of rats dreams that she is covered in rats, she might interpret that as being an nightmare in which she was being warned not to take on something that will be too difficult for her so that she is in over her head. I, on the other hand, have had and love rats. To me they are symbols of curiosity, cleanliness, and play. If I had the same dream, I would interpret that I was going to have great fortune.

Try practicing determining the meanings of your dreams. Notice what happens that day and see if it has anything to do with what you thought the dream was about. You can get quite good at this. Dreams can be your mind’s way of telling you what you need to do.

Heal Thyself You can heal yourself simply by paying attention to your chakra centers. When  you are looking at your chakras in meditation, you may notice that some appear  dull or might have black spots on them or areas where no light shines through.  Sometimes dark or mottled spots may appear. This is a manifestation of a problem  with your health dealing with whichever chakra has been affected. Silver  Ravenwolf describes one way of healing yourself and bringing your chakras back  into balance by using what is known as a “vacuum ball.” Visualize a ball before  you that is devoid of light, much like what you might imagine a black hole to  be.  Visualize this vacuum ball sucking in things around it from the  spiritual plane such as light and dust. Open the chakra that has been affected.  For example, if you have a sore throat, open the throat chakra. Visualize the  vacuum ball sucking all of the spots off of the chakra until it is clean. Close  the chakra and allow the vacuum ball to sink into the ground. If you are very  ill or your symptoms are more apparent, it may take many cleanings to get your  chakras back in tune with each other.

The Temple Or the Altar Space. Most witches prefer to work out of doors, but sometimes this cannot be accomplished. Wherever you work, the rules are generally the same.

The room or space should be large enough to house the sacred circle: the circle of power in which a witch works. The circle is usually six or nine feet in diameter, but if neither of these sizes can be accomplished, then you can improvise. The altar sits in the center of the circle facing east – the direction of birth and beginnings. A candle or colored lamp or bonfire sits at each of the four Airts or directions. Blue for west, yellow for east, red for south and green for north. These will represent the four powers of the elements that are called on to protect the circle. One should always enter the circle from the east, the place of new beginnings. The altar is also set up to face east. Depending on your path, the altar may face a different direction. Wiccans, however, have the altar facing the sunrise.

Your sacred space should be a space in which you feel comfortable. A clearing in the woods or a clearing in your living room are both fine places to work as long as you are alone or it is quiet. If a coven is working, the entire coven stays within the circle. Usually, each member has their own job to do within the circle to keep it in good working order. Do not allow children in the room or pets other than cats that are free-roaming as they may cross the boundaries of your circle and inhibit your working. Cats do not seem to have an effect on the power of a circle and can easily cross between the worlds. You will learn about circles in a later chapter.

Cleanse your ritual space by sweeping. Sweep out the bad energies. Chant something like:

Sweep, sweep, sweep this place By powers of Air, I cleanse this space.

Carry a lit candle around the area, making sure to thrust it into all corners and closets. Do the same with salt water and burning incense. You may want to wash the area with holy water as well. Draw a pentacle over the area with your finger for protection.



Daily OM for October 15th – Surrender Box

Surrender Box

A Place for Worries and Fears

by Madisyn Taylor


A surrender box is a tool to let go of our burdens so the universe can take care of them for us.

There are times when our minds become too full. Our to-do lists, worries, plans, and dreams may be so crowded together in our heads that we don’t have room to think. We may believe that we are somehow taking care of our desires and concerns by keeping them at the forefront of our minds. In maintaining our mental hold on every detail, however, we may actually delay the realization of our dreams and the resolution of our worries because we won’t let them go. At times such as these, we may want to use a surrender box.

A surrender box allows us to let go of our worries and desires so the universe can take care of them for us. We write down what we want or need to happen and then place the note into a box. By writing and placing our thoughts in the box, we are taking action and letting the universe know we need help and are willing to surrender our feelings. We give ourselves permission to not concern ourselves with that problem any longer and trust that the universe is taking care of it. You may even want to decorate your box and place it in a special place. Your surrender box is a sacred container for your worries. Not only do you free up space in your mind by letting go of our worries and desires and dropping them into your surrender box, but you are giving your burden over to a higher power. Once we drop our worries and desires into the surrender box, we free our minds so we can be fully present in each moment.

Surrendering our worries and concerns and placing them in the hands of the universe doesn’t mean that we’ve given up or have been defeated. Instead, we are releasing the realization of our desires and the resolution of our worries and no longer concerning ourselves with their outcomes. It’s always fun to go back and pull the slips of paper out of the box once your requests have been granted. And it’s amazing how quickly problems go away and dreams come true when we finally let go and allow a higher power to help us.

Daily OM

Meditation Techniques


In order to let ourselves relax, it is useful to start from a place of peace, a
center, a point of stability, so the first step, will be to take ourselves to
that place.
Relax and sit back.. Close your eyes, and let your mind start to drift..
Breathe slowly, and deeply, breath from your diaphragm, from your center.. And
as you breathe, sit straight, but remain comfortable.. As you straighten, so
does your spine, and like a pole, it connects you between the ground below and
the airy sky above.. Feel the energy tingle at both ends of the pole that is
your spine, and let the energy flow from the earth, up your spine, and out the
top of your head, dispersing back into the glorious star-filled universe above..
As this energy flows, let it carry with it all the negative emotions, pain,
frustrations, bothers, and tensions that you have built up.. Let it carry those
tensions up through you, and out of you, and let new energy, and a peaceful
state of relaxation fade in slowly..
Now, let yourself relax, and if you want, let yourself sink backwards until you
are lying flat on the ground.. Let your mind drift, and let any thoughts that
surface just surface and float away, like bubbles on a calm day. You can and
will remember them later if you want, but for now, just let them go, and let
yourself float. Breathe deeper, and slow your breathing down with every
breath.. And with every breath, relax your body and your mind even further, and
the more relaxed you get, let your breath slow even more.. (repeat this a few
times, then pause)
Now as you relax, feel yourself enveloped in a cool, comforting red mist.. It’s
neither hot nor cold, and you can just barely feel it against your skin.. Let
it swirl around you, and relax. Feel yourself lying on a cloud, solid enough to
support you, but very very cushioned, very very comfortable. Every part of your
body is supported by this cloud, your feet.. your legs.. your arms.. your back..
your neck.. your head.. all cushioned, all supported, all very very
comfortable.. Now the cloud slowly starts to sink through the red mist, carrying
you along with it.. very, very slowly, and very very comfortably you are carried
deeper and deeper into relaxation.. The mist around you slowly begins to change
from the deep lustrous red, to the beautiful orange of a fall sunset.. slowly,
slowly.. The orange lightens, and the mist changes color to a soothing lemon
yellow.. and as the color lightens, so does your body, you float on the cloud
that carries you barely touching it.. and slowly, the yellow darkens to the
verdant hue of a summer lawn, a green so beautiful, you can almost hear the wind
blowing through grass stalks.. and slowly, the green deepens to the blue of a
summer sky, beautiful and brilliant, an azure heaven surrounding you, and you
still float downward on the cloud.. resting lightly, relaxed and comfortable..
Now the blue darkens and deepens to the midnight purple blue of the moonless
night, dark and peaceful, quiet.. and you feel the cloud you have been riding
touch down gently..
And the mist fades away, and you are lying on your back, on a patch of grass.
The wind blows lightly over you, a very full moon pours down light onto the
field, and you can hear ever so faintly, the crickets and other night insects
chirping in the distance..
Wherever you are now, there will be something that draws you towards it..it
might be a path, it might be a place, it might be another person in the field
with you.. There can be anything here that you desire, because this is your
sacred space, your heart of dreams.. In this place, anything can change, but it
can only change as you let it.. Since you have built this place, you have
furnished it, you have populated it.. It is a place for you to go to explore
yourself, and your connections to the world around you.. Go now, and explore
this area for a time, taking note of what interests you, speaking to whomever
you encounter and wish to.. (LONG pause)
Very slowly, you come to realize that it is time for you to bid farewell for now
to this place. Say farewell to whatever creatures you have conversed with.. bid
farewell for now to any things that you wanted to look at, but have not yet had
time to examine.. They shall be here if you ever choose to return.. Know that
you can return here if you wish to, just by willing it, and bid this place
farewell.. Let yourself lie down again in any small clearing in the place..
Feel the mist, comfortable and relaxing, close in over you again, dark as the
midnight moonless sky, and feel the comfortable cloud form again under your
feet.. your legs.. your arms.. your back.. your neck.. your head.. feel it
support you, and begin to rise, very very slowly, very very comfortably..
breathe deeply, and relax, and rise upwards, and let the dark sky of midnight
fade to the azure blue of noon.. slowly, slowly, rising.. the blue deepens to
the verdant green of a summer lawn, and the cloud keeps rising slowly.. slowly
the green lightens and is replaced by the soothing lemon yellow.. and slowly,
slowly, you keep rising.. and the yellow deepens to the beautiful orange of the
summer sunset, and you rise again slowly, slowly, until the orange fades, and is
replaced by the deep soothing red..
Let your mind still float, and your body remain relaxed, but very very slowly
start to ease back into the feeling of the floor under your back, the sense of
people around you in the room..(long pause to let everyone recenter)
okay. (said, makes sure everyone breaks the trance if they are still in one).

Daily Horoscopes for Sunday, September 8

Equilibrium is elusive today as sudden blasts of information from beyond our outer limits zap us. Unfortunately, even the fair-minded Libra Moon fails to give us perspective as a parade of complex alignments distracts us from our positive approach. Tense aspects from communicator Mercury require us to process internal conflicts between head and heart. The Moon’s shift into pointed Scorpio at 9:44 pm EDT forces us to make up our minds.

Aries Horoscope

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Breaking free from the restraints that hold you back is complicated if you keep running into more obstacles. It could feel like a losing battle, because each problem you solve today quickly turns into two more. The harder you push to tie up the loose ends, the more things seem to tangle up. Fortunately, it’s not nearly as hopeless as it might appear at first. Back off a bit and don’t try so hard; some of the resistance may be of your own creation.

Taurus Horoscope

(Apr 20 – May 20)

There is a strong emphasis on your work today, but an unaddressed emotional issue might prevent you from accomplishing your goals. You are bumping up against an awkward energy that isn’t easy to engage because it’s not aimed directly at you. Nevertheless, don’t participate in petty disagreements, because they won’t improve your current situation. Fly under the radar now and do what you must, without attracting too much attention to yourself. Your low-key approach won’t go unappreciated by those who matter.

Gemini Horoscope

(May 21 – Jun 20)

Your life may be noisy today as tensions become obvious and there seems to be no way around an unpleasant situation. But, of course there is a viable path, especially because circumstances continue to change throughout the day. You still might be sorting out your feelings by the evening, but the problem itself could very well be in the past. Your discomfort will pass if you let your emotions run their course without interference from your analytical mind.

Leo Horoscope

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

You may be on a slow-motion collision course today with a lover, partner or friend. Although you might attempt to avoid a confrontation, it’s healthier to face the music and just get it over with. There could be very real disagreements over fundamental issues, and the more you talk about them, the more complicated they become. Nevertheless, stick with it. It’s always darkest right before the dawn; a breakthrough can happen when you least expect it.

Virgo Horoscope

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You want to share your crazy plans now that trickster Mercury is playing a major role in the picture. However, the mental agitation is annoying, preventing you from enjoying an exchange that might normally be quite pleasant. Although you’re yearning to break free from your routine, the pressure of responsibility will likely restrain you for a while. You must follow through on your previous commitments. Don’t worry; you will get your chance for change soon enough.

Libra Horoscope

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

A fantastic idea may become problematic as you bog down in the execution, especially if it involves home or family issues. If you don’t think through the consequences of an off-the-cuff remark, you might need to deal with the aftermath sooner than you think. Although this is not ultimately a difficult day, you still probably have to work harder than usual just to keep things moving in a healthy direction. Remember, your positive attitude makes all the difference in the world.

Scorpio Horoscope

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You’re in your power now and you might even be surprised by the current intensity, but you are equipped to handle nearly any brewing storm. The next few days may seem like the kind of exam that you can’t study for; nevertheless, paying attention to the signs can tilt the scales in your favor. Don’t try to hold on to the status quo. Let the uncertainties lead you through the transformation ahead without dwelling on any irrational fears. Follow your intuition with confidence and everything will be alright.

Sagittarius Horoscope

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Sometimes you sound like you know everything because you often do understand more than others. However, it’s most helpful to admit what you don’t know before you find yourself in over your head. There may be many loose ends to tie up, so it could be useful to have assistance. Don’t pretend that you have it all together now unless you actually do. You have less to prove than you might think and more to gain if you’re willing to ask for help.

Capricorn Horoscope

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

It seems as if you already did all the steps possible to further your career; unfortunately, something still isn’t quite right. Perhaps you overlooked a tiny detail that grows bigger as the day progresses. Maybe someone throws a wrench into the gears of time and you’re not prepared for what happens next. You’re able to take it all in stride if you have done your homework. But, if you haven’t prepared wisely, your plan can fall apart and you will need to make it right before moving on.

Aquarius Horoscope

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You might be judged for what you say or what you write, even if your ideas are sound. Your concepts could even be brilliant now, but as you act on your thoughts, something may not work as imagined. Revise your thinking based upon your experience. If you assume you know it all, you don’t. However, you have what it takes if you are open to change — and others can’t help but notice your positive attitude.

Pisces Horoscope

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Someone at work may give you a hard time today, but having an external reason to practice self-discipline is exactly what you need at this time. However, the resistance you face could be troublesome if you are the methodical type; a disturbed routine might make you less efficient for a while. But once you adapt to your new pace, you will feel re-energized and more enthusiastic about your future.

Daily Horoscopoes for Saturday, August 31

We long for the security of emotional support from those we trust, but the watery Cancer Moon doesn’t give us much relief today. Rather than feeling safe, we may worry about the uncertainty we face in relationships. However, protecting our hearts only brings alienation now. Mental Mercury’s alignment with cautious Saturn impedes the flow of communication. Fortunately, the words we do say can facilitate a deep connection with someone special.

Aries Horoscope

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Thoughts may weigh heavily on your mind now. You have an intuitive sense about what is real and you’re motivated to talk your walk, even if you’re traveling on a rocky path. You might not know how to proceed, but your uncertainty isn’t a valid justification for inaction. Speak the truth that previously existed only within your imagination. Others are more likely to connect with you honestly and lovingly if you can push through your fears and express what’s in your heart.


Taurus Horoscope

(Apr 20 – May 20)

You are tempted to do too much today, but finishing everything you start is nearly impossible. You’re familiar with the rules of the road and you’re prepared to follow them, even if you want to step out of line and say what’s on your mind anyway. Ultimately, you might as well share what you’re thinking since others probably already know — and it’s better if they hear it directly from you. Nevertheless, don’t transfer blame to anyone else; deliver your messages with compassn and brevity so you can do whatever is next on your list.


Gemini Horoscope

(May 21 – Jun 20)

You are very contemplative today, but it may be challenging to keep your thoughts on the positive side of the spectrum. Your key planet Mercury aspects karmic Saturn, making you a force with which to be reckoned. Use your formidable communication skills to your advantage, but don’t try to be too clever. Keep your message sincere and be your authentic self.


Cancer Horoscope

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Perhaps you have slipped into a bit of an emotional funk recently and see no quick and easy way out of your dilemma. Thankfully, you don’t have to pretend that everything is peachy keen if it’s not. Rather than hiding what’s important from those who want to love you, take a risk and share what’s on your mind. The simple act of confiding in a friend could be enough to shift the energy and lighten your heart.


Leo Horoscope

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

A firestorm of self-awareness is burning through your gray matter, but the results may be uncharacteristically serious. It’s not that you have lost confidence; it’s just that your optimism comes and goes now. Your tendency is to suppress any negativity, but avoiding the truth just makes things worse. A more radical solution might be in order today. Sharing your feelings without censoring them allows others to get to know the real you.


Virgo Horoscope

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Your friends come through for you in unexpected ways today. However, making a big deal of their actions might be the wrong strategy because it draws unnecessary attention to issues best left out of the spotlight. Avoiding emotional extremes improves nearly any interaction now. Express your appreciation without going over the top. A simple gesture can be more heart touching than a parade down Main Street.


Libra Horoscope

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Make a decision and stick with it today, even if you doubt yourself later on. After all, you know what the truth is and you know what should be done about it. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, for you have the authority now to tell it exactly like it is. Granted, you may upset someone with your uncharacteristic obstinacy, but don’t let this be your primary concern. You need to voice your opinion and then deal with the consequences as they play out.


Scorpio Horoscope

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You know that you have the power to manifest the changes that are currently needed. Although somber Saturn is leaning on you, your self-criticism and self-judgment is not productive or necessary. Remember that you are only restrained by the limitations of your own thought processes — and this comes from within, not from external circumstances or anyone else. Have the courage to envision your wishes coming true and then strive to make it happen.


Sagittarius Horoscope

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You may be struggling against the lessons that Saturn is attempting to teach you, but the hardest work is probably already completed. The time to put your strategy into action is near and whatever you do today sets the stage for what follows. You might think that you have to demonstrate your progress toward a specific goal, but this isn’t part of the current curriculum. Hold true to what’s most important to you, but don’t be overbearing. Practice compassion while accepting the current restrictions being placed on your plans.


Capricorn Horoscope

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

You’re ready to tear down any walls that may be in your way today. However, you are tired of being the one who bears the ultimate responsibility for everything that happens, and you might even consider walking away from your goals. Thankfully, you can rest assured that common sense will come to your rescue now. Move with determination instead of aggression for the best results.

Aquarius Horoscope

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Try not to take others by surprise with your unusual behavior today, for acting rashly won’t bring you what you want. You might not get away with being too eccentric now, so you’re better off adapting to the current situation than attempting to change it. Nevertheless, don’t dim your light more than necessary or you will lose your edge of brilliance. Find that magical balance between being true to yourself and fulfilling other people’s expectations.


Pisces Horoscope

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Even if you feel like you’re carrying an emotional burden today, you have an opportunity to carefully process and release what’s been bothering you. There’s no reason to hold on to your fears. Doubting yourself is not productive and only prevents you from embracing the love that may be waiting on your doorstep. All you have to do is open the door and let it in.

Daily OM For January 15th – Allowing Spirit In

Allowing Spirit In

Clearing Your Mind

by Madisyn Taylor


The more we practice settling our minds, the easier it will become over time.


After a full day out in the world, stories, words, images, and songs from any number of sources continue to play in our heads hours after we encounter them. Even as we lie in bed, in the quiet dark, our minds continue noisily processing all the input from our day. This can leave us feeling unsettled and harassed. It also makes it difficult to take in any new information or inspiration. Like a cluttered house that needs to be cleared if it is to have room for movement and new life, our minds need clearing if they are to be open to new information, ideas, and inspiration.

Too often, the activities we choose to help us relax only add to the clutter. Watching television, seeing a movie, reading a book, or talking to a friend all involve taking in more information. In order to really clear our minds, we need a break from mental stimulation. Activities like yoga, dancing, or taking a long walk help to draw our attention to our bodies, slowing our mental activity enough that our minds begin to settle. Deep breathing is an even simpler way to draw attention away from our mental activities. Once we are mentally relaxed, we can begin the process of clearing our minds. Most of us instinctively know what allows our minds to relax and release any unnecessary clutter. It may be meditation or time spent staring at the stars. Whatever it is, these exercises feel like a cool, cleansing bath for the brain and leave our minds feeling clear and open.

Setting aside time to clear our minds once a day creates a ritual that becomes second nature over time. Our minds will begin to settle with less effort the more we practice. Ultimately, the practice of clearing our minds allows us to be increasingly more open so that we can perceive the world as the fresh offering it is, free of yesterday’s mental clutter.


The Daily OM

Meditation for the Astral Realm

 Meditation for the Astral Realm


The astral body is the realm of your mind and emotions. It’s your feeling body, and it extends slightly beyond your vital body. Everything you think and feel lives as energy in you and around you, out as far as the astral body. Perhaps that is why people can sometimes “sense” each other’s feelings. When you stand next to someone, you are closer to that person’s astral body than you are to his or her physical body.

The astral body contains two more sheaths of existence, the mind sheath, or layer of thoughts and emotions, and the intellect sheath, the layer of higher understanding through which you can begin to see the true nature of reality. Just as the vital sheath is considered a bridge between the physical and the astral bodies, the intellect sheath is considered a bridge between the astral (subtle) body and the causal (super-subtle) body. You can learn to control the mind and intellect sheaths through breath control (which helps to center the mind), the practice of sense withdrawal, and concentration exercises. You can also include these layers as the subject of concentration for your mediations.

The Mind Sheath: Feeling

Sit comfortably with your back straight. Turn your attention to your heart chakra, the life-force energy vortex behind your heart. Imagine this chakra beginning to turn gently and slowly, pulling with it all the emotions and feelings that sit inside your chest. Imagine then swirling gently and ordering themselves around the slowly spinning chakra. Now, imagine that the diameter of the swirling chakra is growing as it picks up more and more emotions. It expands to fill your entire chest, then becomes wider ands wider, like a hurricane on a weather map but gentler and smoother.

Now the spiraling wheel has extended beyond your chest, and its edges encompass your neck and head. Imagine the rays of the spiral catching up all the thoughts in your head and pulling them along, like debris in a mild, peaceful cyclone. There they go, riding on the waves of your emotions.

Imagine this spiraling wheel growing beyond the boundaries of your physical body, and then beyond the boundaries of your vital body, extending past breath and energy. Now imagine the spiral growing and enveloping your physical and vital bodies in a warm, rosy, pink aura of emotion and thought. Everything you feel and think is reflected in and protected by this rosy halo.

Feel the projection of your emotions and thoughts into the space around yu and marvel at their simple existence. Don’t judge them. Just see them. There they are, as much a part of you as your ankle or your shoulder blade. No more important, no less.

The Intellect Sheath: Understanding

Sit comfortably with your back straight. Breathe normally and notice your breath. Now, close your eyes and casually notice your physical body. Visualize where it starts and where it stops. Next, recall your vital body, how it extends beyond the physical body in a swirling dance of energy. Next, recall your mind sheath, a glowing pink encompassing your physical and vital bodies.

What is beyond the mind sheath? Visualize the edges of the mind sheath. What do you see? Nothing at first, but then you begin to see a pale yellow color extending beyond the mind sheath. What is it? You can’t quiet see it. You can’t quite get there.

Bring you attention back to your mind sheath. Visualize tiny bright green shapes floating around inside your mind sheath. Some are circles, come are triangles, some are squares and some are random polygons with no names. Sometimes the bounce against the edges of the mind sheath but they seem to be stuck inside it as if in a bubble.

These green shapes are your thoughts and feelings. They live in the mind sheath but can’t go beyond it. They are content to live there. But wait – one triangle doesn’t seem content. It keeps bouncing against the mind sheath, as if trying to break through the bubble. Follow this triangle. Is it a thought or an emotion? What is it about?

Suddenly, the triangle breaks through the boundary of the mind sheath, and the intellect sheath shows itself in sunny yellow. Ah-ha! You think. Now I understand! You’ve reached a new level, a new understanding of some aspect of reality you’ve been struggling with. The true nature of your problems, your self, and your world are suddenly clear. You’ve encountered the intellect sheath

~Taken from, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation” By Joan Budilovsky and Eve Adamson









Basic Breathing Meditation

Basic Breathing Meditation


Our minds are constantly active, always jumping from thought to thought,  emotion to emotion.  Getting in touch with the nonlocal intelligence, the  universal soul that lies within us and is part of us all, requires finding a way  past the fog of distracting thoughts that typically hide it from us.  We cannot  fight our way through a real fog.

If we are quiet, we encounter moments of pure silence, and through these gaps  we can glimpse the deeper level of the soul.  Each glimpse increases our  understanding, and eventually our consciousness becomes expanded.

Controlling the flood of thoughts is very difficult for most people.   Beginners can sometime become very frustrated, but frustration is just another  thought, another emotion that gets in the way.  The goal is to release all  thoughts, quietly, passively.

A common way to begin meditation is to gently focus on one thing so that it  becomes more difficult for stray thoughts to enter your mind.

To begin a breathing mediation, find a comfortable position.  Sit in a  comfortable chair, with your feet flat on the ground.  Place your hands in your  lap with the palms facing upward.  Close your eyes and begin witnessing your  breath.  Observe the inflow and outflow of your breath without attempting to  control it in any way.

You may find that your breathing spontaneously gets faster or slower, deeper  or shallower, and may even pause for a time.  Observe the changes without  resistance or anticipation.  Whenever your attention drifts away from your  breath to a sound in the environment, or a sensation in your body, or a thought  in your mind, gently return your awareness to your breathing.

Once a person becomes comfortable with simply sitting quietly and focusing on  breathing, I recommend adding a mantra, which creates a mental environment that  will allow you to expand your consciousness.


Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra  (Three Rivers Press).