Another interesting video from youtube.
Author: Morgana Shades
The first thing I have to say is that I am not a traditional ‘pagan’ as the term is used today. I celebrate the Sabbaths and Esbats along with the moon cycles, yet I cast no spells. I respect nature and do not wish to interfere with it, or the gods. I believe in the gods more than most things and my faith in them has helped me through hard times. I have cried into the bosom of the Shining One and been comforted more times than I can count.
Yet, in my journey, I have often wondered as to whether I am a true “neo-pagan” because I do not attempt magick. So many people ask me if I cast spells once they find out my beliefs, and are immensely disappointed when I say no. I own books of spells, such as Scott Cunningham’s Book of Shadows, yet I do not use them. I have not even put a protection spell on my house and family… I suppose I believe the love we have is strong enough to protect us.
Recently I realized that I do have my own form of magic: cooking. I am by no means a wonderful chef, however I am known to wake up in the morning and make scones or pancakes for breakfast. It is nothing much, but it is healing. I put on music- usually Irish pub songs or show tunes- and bake to my heart’s desire. While I bake, I feel the energy sparking around me and going into whatever I make. If I am sad or upset, I feel better as whatever I make progresses (especially if I can knead it etc.) . If I am in a good mood, the room nearly sizzles with good energy. No matter what my mood is whoever, the energy and magick that comes from the simple task of binding ingredients together into something nourishing is always good. I mean no ill will and my creations have never harmed anyone.
When we think about magick today, we tend to associate it with great works… the occult if you will. Even household protection spells have to be done with exact precision: walking around the circle umpteen times during the moon’s waning period. Although there is meaning to the time of the day and moon cycle, and I do not deny this for I base many of my grounding and remembering rituals around the moon’s cycles, simple acts can have great power in them: A kind word can make somebody’s day; the smell of baking bread can sooth the aching heart; a cup of chamomile tea can help the aching head; the sound of someone you love laughing and singing or a hike in the woods can make the soul rise and fly. We do not need to follow the phases of the moon to do these things or perform rites at certain times… the magick is within us and all around us.
Many though tend to forget it, as the lure of the occult draws them into what is almost an organized religion with specific rituals for specific times. Yet, as followers of the Earth, we should not be limited; we should use the resources around us to their full potential. We can still have our rituals to celebrate the moon and the changing seasons, but we need to remember that our ancestors would have performed simple everyday tasks with what they had at hand, which may not have included a cauldron or athame. They remembered the greatest magick of all- life and the forces that drive it- and used that, rather than a silly spell book.
To me, that is the greatest magick of all: those simple everyday tasks that we transform with our energy and good feelings. It is not using athames, crystals, and cauldrons to perform great feats, but rather living and cherishing life and taking those little moments which the gods give us all the time and using the magick within us to transform them into something special: when you’re checking out your groceries and smile at the tired cashier; when you hug the ones you love; when you control your temper; when you make a home cooked meal; when you recycle rather than throw away that slip of paper; when you walk down the road to the shop to pick up milk rather than take your car; when you stop and smell a rose; when you smile at a stranger; when you sit beside that person in the cafeteria who is alone and looks upset. That is the true magick: the true spirit of the pagan- to take the everyday and make it something wonderful. Yes, we all need our rituals- it’s part of being human- but we need to remember the everyday magick around us.
Of all the everyday magick, love is the strongest. To me, I don’t need to place protection spells around my house to protect my family because love does that already. I feel the energy around my home, protecting us. The only jewelry I wear, I consider charms because they were gifts given to me by those who love me and I feel that I can do anything knowing the love is there. The charms are just there to remind me of it. This magick won’t solve everything and won’t keep the inevitable from happening, but it is strong enough to keep us going every day. And, to be honest, my dog coming up and curling up to me when I’m sad does me more good than any spell ever would.
In the end, we only need the gifts given to us by the gods to make the world a better place. We just need to remember that, and not get caught up in our rituals. By remembering who we are and using the energy all around us, we can tap into deeper forms of energy that take us beyond this world (through mediation etc.) But we need to get back to our roots first and use the magick around us.
First Steps into Paganism for Teens and Adults
Well, it was rough for me, too. I grew up Catholic, but I didn’t “feel” right with staying Catholic or sharing its beliefs. We all reach that point in our life when we want to answer these questions: “Who am I?” “What am I doing here?” “What is my purpose in life”, and so on. For most of us, it is in the ‘critical period’, if you will, of psychological and physical development – stage 5 of (famous psychologist) Erik Erikkson’s 8 stages of life, or ‘the teenage years
. This is the period in our lives when we either “make it” or “break it”, and hopefully, most of us will make it.
Many teens experiment in the Occult, to see if it is ‘to their liking’ which is perfectly acceptable, as well as necessary, as long as they don’t misuse the Power. Some eventually figure out the hard way of Karma, or do stupid things with Ouija boards (intentionally summoning evil forces) , and it comes back to bite them. Believe me, there was TOO much of that in my high school.
A few teens do some honest searching for knowledge and answers to the above questions and this article is mainly pointed at them, but also to adults searching for an Earth religion. I felt the same way as they might now. I admit, I was hesitant. It is really hard to give up something that you were raised with. It is hard to let go of that hurt, and I fully understand. I was apprehensive, taking steps to achieve what I wanted. I did not decide to practice ‘full-blown’ Witchcraft then and there – you can’t at first.
You need to take time to slow down and study, study, study. I cannot stress that importance enough. Go to a nearby Barnes-and-Noble, buy some intro-books to the Craft, and begin your search. Look up different branches of Paganism online, and see what appeals to you. For some people, this study takes years before they become comfortable, which is understandable if you were raised to beLIEve that anything related to the Occult is (somehow) “evil” and “dark”.
I started my study into Paganism in middle school (it was really a Catholic school, but I kept my mouth shut for fear of oppression) – it wasn’t until only recently that I initiated myself into my own Path, Celtic Shamanism. The Craft speaks to everyone in a different way; you may choose to be Eclectic, a British Traditional practitioner, Celtic, etc. The possibilities are endless because, as a solitary practitioner, YOU choose what Path YOU want to take, and YOU can take what appeals to you of other branches and combine it. I know of a coven in the southern US (near the Appalachians) that combined the Native American spirituality with Celtic – you could do the same.
Realize though, that you can also join a coven, but you have to follow their tradition to be a part of the coven, and if you already Dedicated yourself to the Craft as a solitary practitioner, they may make you undergo their own Year-and-a-Day.
It is customary to learn the Craft under a seasoned Elder, but it is not necessary. If you want to be solitary (I, for instance, am solitary) and have no way to contact an Elder of the Craft you’re seeking, let your intuition be your guide, and always remember that you are not alone – the God and Goddess watch over you, as do your spirit guides. Once you know what you want to do, the next step comes – commitment. You must commit yourself to learning under a Year-and-a-Day of spiritual practice. I highly recommend Timothy Roderick’s Wicca – A Year And A Day in the Craft of the Wise, which will walk you through each day of practice until your Initiation (I call it ‘Dedication’ because you initiate yourself to practice the Craft for the 366 days and then dedicate yourself to the Craft afterwards) .
You can “modify” your own Year-and-a-Day of spiritual practice, because the Craft opens to people in different ways. Sometimes we cannot purchase necessary items in these 366 days of study, and we adapt to the situation. No Elder will teach in the same way, just as books teach in different ways, just as we must LEARN in different ways.
When you finally Dedicate yourself to the Craft (or fully initiate yourself) , you have committed your life to the Craft. If you feel, during the 366 days of study, that this just isn’t for you, talk to people who are Witches, Shamans, Wiccans, or other practicing Pagans about it. Realize that the Craft is not for everyone – this is partially why you must undergo 366 days of spiritual practice, so you know more about the ‘hands-on’ of the Occult.
If you ‘jump-in’ and do not attempt the 366 days, you will crash-and-burn because you will not know at all what you are doing. Now, if you feel that the Craft isn’t right for you during the 366 days, and you have talked it over with a practitioner of the Craft, you can step away and be done – no hard feelings.
The God and Goddess offer love and knowledge – not grudges or punishment. Wicca, Witchcraft, Shamanism, and all the other branches of Paganism are a great way to start, though.
Blessed are Thy Feet which bring Thee on Thy Path ) O ( ) O ) O (
Here is a list of books that I feel are extremely helpful to beginners interested in the Craft:
‘Wicca – A Year And a Day in the Craft of the Wise’ by Timothy Roderick
‘Celtic Magic’ by DJ Conway
‘Magical Herbalism’ by Scott Cunningham
These next few books focus on in-depth practicing of the Craft (during 366 days) :
‘By Oak, Ash, and Thorn’ by DJ Conway
‘Druid Power’ by Amber Wolfe
‘Crystal Healing’ by Luc Bourgault
‘How to Heal with Color’; ‘How to Develop and Use Psychic Touch’; ‘How to See and Read the Aura’; ‘Enchantment of the Faerie Realm’; ‘How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides’, ALL by Ted Andrews (You may also wish to check out his other books.) .
The Dark Night of the Soul
“The Dark Night of the Soul” is the name given to that experience of spiritual desolation that all students of the Occult pass through at one time or another. It is sometimes characterized by feelings that your occult studies or practices are not taken you anywhere, that the initial success that one is sometimes granted after a few months of occult working, has suddenly dried up. There comes a desire to give up on everything, to abandon exercises and meditation, as nothing seems to be working. St.John of the Cross. a christian mystic, said of this experience, that it; “…puts the sensory spiritual appetites to sleep, deadens them, and deprives them of the ability to find pleasure in anything. It binds the imagination, and impedes it from doing any good discursive work. It makes the memory cease, the intellect become dark and unable to understand anything, and hence it causes the will to become arid and constrained, and all the faculties empty and useless. And over this hangs a dense and burdensome cloud, which afflicts the soul, and keeps it withdrawn from the good.”
Though the beginner may view the onset of such an experience with alarm (I know I did), the “Dark Night” is not something bad or destructive. In one sense it may be seen as a trial, a test by which the Gods examine our resolve to continue with occult work, and if you are not completely whole-hearted about your magical studies, it is during this period (at its beginning) that you will give up. The Dark Night of the Soul should be welcomed, once recognized for what it is (I have always received an innate “warning” just before the onset of such a period), as a person might welcome an operation that will secure health and well-being. St.John of the Cross embraced the soul`s Dark Night as a Divine Appointment, calling it a period of “sheer grace” and adding;
“O guiding Night,
O Night more lovely than Dawn,
O Night that has united the lover with his beloved
Transforming the Lover in her Beloved.”
When entering the Dark Night one is overcome by a sense of spiritual dryness and depression. The notion, in some quarters, that all such experiences should be avoided, for a peaceful existence, shows up the superficiality of so much of contemporary living. The Dark Night is a way of bringing the Soul to stillness, so that deep psychic transformation may take place. All distractions must be set aside, and it is no good attempting to fight or channel the bursts of raw energy that from time to time may course through your being. This inner compulsion to set everything aside results in the outer depression, when nothing seems to excite. The only thing to do is obey your inner voice and become still, waiting for the inner transformation, (which the “Dark Night” heralds), to take place. You may not be aware for a very long time of the results of that inner change, but when the desire to work comes again and the depression lifts, the Dark Night has (for a moment) passed. No one can help during this time, and in many cases there is hardly anyone to turn for advice. One must disregard the well-meaning advice of family and friends to “snap out of it” this is no ordinary depression, but a deep spiritual experience which only those who have passed through themselves (in other words to a magical retreat) but for many, as the routines of everyday life prohibits this, all you can do is cultivate an inner solitude, a stillness and silence of heart, and wait, (like a chrysalis waits for the inner changes that will result in a butterfly) for the Transformation to work itself out. There are many such “Dark Nights” that the occult seeker must pass through during the mysterious process of mitigation. They are all trials but experience teaches one to cope more efficiently. With fractalic greetings and laughter * Fra.: Apfelmann *
What is your Witch Potential?
Reincarnation is a basic tenet of Witchcraft. Those of us fortunate enough to belong to the Craft believe that successive lives are enjoyed under the same zodiac sign. But unlike other ideologies Witchcraft imposes no demands for increasing excellence – only that each life be lived to its fullest capabilities.
Most of us, despite centuries of indoctrination by the mechanized society, still have ties to the earth…some innate Witchcraft potential that can be developed.
Read the following questions and see how you react to them:
1. Have you always been intrigued by the occult?
2. Do you prefer night to day?
3. Does a storm stir in you an inexplicable sense of excitement?
4. Are you a sensualist?
5. Have you always felt different from most of those around you, set apart?
6. Do you instinctively respond to animals?
7. Are you comfortable alone?
8. Are you relatively indifferent to material possessions?
9. Have you had fleeting glimpses of former lives?
Should you find you can answer most of these questions in the affirmativeyour with potential is probably high and should be encouraged.
There is no church to join, no tribute to pay and no hierarchy to employ.
You, and you alone, must concentrate on the development of your own other-consciousness. Go to nature and observe. Attune your inner-mechanism to the quiet pace of the seasons and the procession of the constellations across the sky. Go alone, or with that person closest to you. Watch the moon rise, walk in the forests. Feel the earth, drink the water, breathe the air…then light the sacred candles and begin the life you were meant to live.
(* The Witches’ Almanac Spring 1995 – Spring 1996 pg. 94)
In the 1980’s it was fashionable to be interested in the New Age. This is now a dreadful faux pas within the alternative scene, and in order to be accepted in the 1990’s metaphysical social set, one must have an interest in Witchcraft or Paganism. Of course, you don’t have to actually belong to a coven in order to be thought of as a Witch, you can bluff your way into being accepted as a fully fledged Witch simply by knowing a few terms and dressing accordingly. This brings us to…
Rule # 1: Image is Everything. After all, what’s the good of being a Witch if nobody knows you are one? You must therefore wear black at all times. If possible, stay out of the sun until you become really pale, as this makes the effect even better. For women (and adventurous males) dark eyeliner and black nail polish can enhance this look. Also wear crystals and cheap occult paraphernalia at all times, and make sure that these are as gaudy and bizarre as possible, as this can only help your image. Wearing a pentacle around your neck is an absolutely necessary accessory – the bigger the better! Capes and cloaks are optional around town – it depends on how much of a visual impact you want to make, but either of these are also crucial apparel at any ritual or gathering that you may attend.
Rule # 2: Name Dropping is Good. Every serious student of The Craft (and I’m talking here about the term for Witchcraft, not macrame) knows the name Gerald Gardner. This man revitalised Witchcraft in the mid 1900’s with his book about the true history of The Old Religion (some have called this book pure fiction, but only those picky few who like books to be based on facts). Real Witches however, never let historical accuracy get in the way of their spiritual path, so in conversations with other witches, quote his name as often as possible (in tones of awe) and you will always be rewarded with smiles of acceptance.
Rule # 3: Past Life Name Dropping is Even Better. Tell everyone about the past life memories that have been surfacing since you began studying the Black Arts. It is especially useful to remember a past lifetime as a Witch who was killed during the Inquisition, or at least recall a lifetime as a famous occultist. My past lives have included Aleister Crowley, Cagliostro, Mandrake the Magician, and most of the cast of “Bewitched”.
Rule # 4: Behave Strangely. Never forget why it was that you wanted to become a Witch – yes, so that you have an excuse for strange behaviour. Previously labelled eccentric behaviour patterns can now be accepted by others if they have a reason to explain it, even if that reason for howling at full moons while naked is simply, “He/she is a Witch, that’s normal for them evidently.” So, don’t let your friends down, behave strangely, you can get away with it now.
Rule # 5: Watch Occult Movies. Make sure that you watch the movie “Warlock” lots of times to perfect those soft landings after over-indulging with the flying ointments (read as mead and weed).
Rule # 6: Ready Yourself for Sex, Money and Power. Wasn’t this the other reason you were drawn to Witchcraft? In the past, adepts of the occult were known to possess charismatic, lusty and powerful personas – when people find out that you are a Witch, they may automatically assume (and therefore empower you) with these same qualities. This may sound pretty good, but unfortunately in today’s world, another group of people have become even more established within the realms of kinky sex sessions and unlimited power – yes, the politicians! Beware of this elitist group of power-brokers… they don’t want any competition to their manipulative monopoly over the gullible public – hence the laws against Witchcraft and divination that have remained unchanged for centuries. So, if calling yourself a High Priest doesn’t lead you to unlimited sex, money and power – or if it does, but you then find yourself as the target of political and legal harassment – you may have to put aside your cloak and broomstick and pick up a pin-stripe suit and a back-bench in Parliament. If you can’t beat them, try bribery, then if that doesn’t work… join them!
Rule # 7: Atmosphere is Essential. Your home must reflect your Witchy nature. Incense must burn continuously. It’s important that visitors see clouds of incense smoke billowing from a spluttering censer in the corner of your dim, dank and dusty home, so dismantle the smoke detectors and start collecting strange little bottles of exotic looking ingredients (use your imagination and label them with names like powdered bat’s eyes, or dried dragon’s gonads). And if you don’t like housework, you can explain that the layer of dust that covers your floors and furniture helps to neutralise the highly charged psychic energy that results from your magical spells, thereby protecting your home and possessions from electromagnetic disintegration.
Rule # 8: Be Patronising to Christians. In social discussions don’t forget to make plenty of derogatory remarks about fundamentalist Christians, but remember to save your most biting comments for other Witches that you don’t get along with.
Rule # 9: Brag About Your Psychic Powers. Any self-respecting Witch will tell you that after their initiation to Witchcraft, their psychic powers awakened and their tarot cards (which they always carry with them) are now much easier to read (they now get something right once in a while). They will also tell you that they can now sense energy fields (in other words, they don’t bump into things as often as they used to). Follow this example and brag about the rapid development of your psychic abilities since your initiation. If asked about your initiation ceremony, simply state that you were sworn to secrecy about it, then quickly change the subject by mentioning your newly awakened ability to detect Ley-lines, but try to remember that a Ley-line is not a queue for the after-ritual orgy!
Now you know how to pass yourself off as a real Witch, so place that broomstick in a conspicuous corner (one that is not clouded by too much incense smoke); pull on those black clothes; give everyone that you meet a sinister look – and your social status will improve overnight. If you do all of this successfully, you may even find yourself with enough adoring acolytes so that you can start your own coven! Good luck and Blessed Be!
The ancient Celtic tree alphabet was used by the followers of the Old Religion to construct a language of the trees that could be used in conjunction with the occult symbolism of each of the trees. When translated from the ancient tongue we find the following trees referenced often: Elm, Birch, Hazel, Oak, Aspen, Alder, Ivy, Yew, Rowan, Ash, Pine, Willow, Elder, and Spindle. These trees, along with others, will be covered. From early times, there have been the sacred groves and the sacred tree.
Individual trees of particular species have been revered, the kind varying with the divine force represented. Oak and Cedar are obvious examples of father emblems as Willow and Hazel are mother emblems. The androgynous Pine and the world bearing Ash also have their place in our folklore. The symbolism of the woods are very important in the construction of any magical tool. A complete description of the various woods and their uses is impossible in a limited space but we will cover as much as possible.
OAK ) The oak tree is the tree of Zeus, Jupiter, Hercules, The Dagda (The Chief of the Elder Irish gods), Thor and all other Thunder Gods. The royalty of the Oak needs no enlarging upon. The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and like the Ash, is said to count the lightings’ flash. The Oak is a male wood which is ideal for the construction of any tool that needs the male influence such as Athames, certain wands and staffs. The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity, sacrifice, guardian, liberator.
BIRCH ) With the exception of the mysterious elder, the Birch is the earliest of the forest trees. The Birch is used extensively in cleansing rituals. Throughout Europe, Birch twigs are used to expel evil spirits. Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Controlled by the Lunar influences. Birth, healing, Lunar workings, and protection.
HAZEL ) The Hazel is a tree of wisdom. In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft. We have retained the practice of divining for water and buried treasure.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.
ALDER ) The Alder is the tree of fire. In the battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line. It is described as the very “battle witch” of all woods, the tree that is hottest in the fight. from the alder, you can make three different dyes, red from its bark, green from its flowers, and brown from its twigs; this symbolizes the elements of fire, water and earth. The Alder wood is the wood of the witches. Whistles may be made of this wood to summon and control the four winds. It is also the ideal wood for making the magical pipes and flutes. To prepare the wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while projecting your wishes into it. The Alder is a token of resurrection.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Controlling the four winds, banishing and controlling elementals, resurrection. Making magical dyes.
IVY / VINE ) The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus. Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dicated to resurrection. Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally. The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine.
OCCULT ASPECTS: (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth.
(IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.
YEW ) The Yew is known as the death tree in all European countries. Sacred to Hecate in Greece and Italy. Yew wood makes excellent bows, as the Romans learned from the Greeks. This strengthened the belief that Yew was connected with death. Its use in England is recalled in Macbeth where Hecate’s cauldron contained:”… Slips of Yew, slivered in the moon eclipse.”The Silver Fir of birth and the Yew of death are sisters. They stand next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Destructive workings concerning death. Not recommended for magical tools “…for I am the tomb to every hope.
ROWAN ) The Rowan is seen as the tree of life. It is also known as Mountain Ash, Quickbeam, The Witch or Witch Wand. In the British Isles, Rowa is used as a protection against lightning and magical charms of all sorts. In ancient Ireland, the Druids of opposing forces would kindle a fire of rowan and say an incantation over it to summon spirits to take part in the battle. The Rowan is alsoused for many healing purposes. The “Quickbeam” is the tree of quickening. Another use was in metal divining. In Ireland, a Rowan stake was hammered through a corpse to immobilize the spirit.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Divination, healing, astral work, protection.
ASH ) The Ash is sacred to Poseidon and Woden. The Ash is considered to be the father of trees. The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water. Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness. The spirally carved druidical wand was made of Ash for this purpose.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Seapower, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection from drowning.
PINE ) External symbol of life and immortality. It is one of the few trees that are androgynous. It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame. It is regarded as a very soothing tree to be near.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation
WILLOW ) The Willow was sacred to Hecate, Circe, Hera, and Persephone, all death aspects of the Triple Moon Goddess, and was often used by the Witches in Greece. The moon owns it. Female symbol. It is the tree that loves water most and is sacred to the Moon Goddess who is the giver of dew and moisture, generally. The Willow is the tree of enchantment. Can be made into a tool to make wishes come true.
OCCULT PURPOSES: Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, fertility
ELDER ) A waterside tree, the Elder has white flowers that bloom to their peak in midsummer (as is also true for the Rowan) thus making the Elder another aspect of the White Goddess. The Elder is also said to be the crucifixion tree. The inner bark and the flowers have long been famous for their therapeutic qualities.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.
HAWTHORN ) The Whitethorn or Hawthorn or May Witch takes its name from the May. It is a generally unlucky tree and its name, translated from the Irish Brehon Laws, had the meaning “harm”. The Goddess, under the name Cardea, cast spells with the Hawthorn. In many cultures, the month of the Hawthorn (May) is a month of bad luck for marriages. The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol. The monks of Glastonbury perpetuated it and sanctified it with an approving tale that the staff of Joseph and the Crown of thorns were made of Hawthorn.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, cleansing.
HOLLY ) Holly means “holy”. The identification of the pacific Christ with the Holly is poetically inept a it is the Oak king, not the Holly king that is crucified on a T shaped cross. The Holly has many uses form making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty
WHITE POPULAR ) The tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, is the shifting leaved White Popular, or Aspen, The shield makers tree. Heracles bound his head in triumph with popular after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one). The Black popular was a funeral tree sacred to the Mother Earth. Plato makes a reference to the use of Black popular and Silver Fir as an aid in divination. The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Popular for loss of hope. In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Hope, rebirth, divinations.This concludes trees referenced to be in use in Europe. However, I thought there may be interest in a few local trees.
ALMOND ) Almond has a very sweet natural being. Aids in self protection.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Fruitfulness, virginity
APPLE ) It is an old English custom to drink to the health of the Apple tree with a good glass of cider all in hopes of encouraging the tree to produce a good crop next year.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Fertility
COCONUT ) The Coconut is feminine and very fertile. The shell represents the womb, and the milk, fertility.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Protection from negative psychic forces.
FIG ) The Fig is androgynous. The fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves suggest the masculine force.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Balance
MISTLETOE ) The mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and to the Norse. It was considered to be the great healer and has both male and female qualities. It was so well regarded by the Norse (because it was sacred to Freya) that they refused to fight in the vicinity of Mistletoe. The custom of hanging Mistletoe in the house to promote peace comes from this. Generally regarded today as a symbol of love and purity.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Love, fertility, sexual potency.
PALM ) Is regarded as particularly powerful because of its incredible durability and because it is self renewing, never changing its leaves. Aids in rejuvenation.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life
PEACH ) The Peach is an emblem of marriage.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Abundance, fruitfulness, happinessThis concludes this short treatise on the various woods, their types and uses. This information was passed to me through various sources, and no claim is made as to its accuracy.
The Beauty of Color Magick (Rediscovering a Lost Art)
Author: Pagan Education Network
Color Magick is one of those simple types of magick that have enough avenues to keep Witches and pagans busy for a lifetime. This type of magick was one of the first things I was introduced to in the Craft and it opened doors for me like no other type of magick could. Why? To start with it is easy to understand, easy to work with, and it is something we have been practicing since we were children.
Can you remember back to the first time you realized the power color held? You were probably between four and six years old when an adult asked you, “What’s your favorite color?” As a child you were more than willing to tell them all about your favorite color, the toys you had that were that color, your favorite crayon colors, or even a stuffed animal that was the just the color you liked. When we are children, child color painted our worlds. Children marvel at all the colors in the world without even realizing it. Color was already stirring within your feelings that would last a lifetime.
As you grew up, your repertoire of colors grew but you still had that one special color that seemed to mean more than the others. By the teenage years there were colored pens, paper and school supplies in our favorite colors. Our rooms were painted to match our attitudes, favorite colors and most importantly we began to have an overwhelming sense of identity-attached color. Most of us even remember the beloved jewelry that told us which mood we were in based on the color the jewelry turned. Ah yes mood jewelry, what great fun. There were mood rings, bracelets and other wonderful jewelry pieces. They were all made of this wonderful material that reacted to the heat of our bodies. Its magick was so simple, so accepted that it became a fashion phenomenon that was accepted by everyone. Color continued to play a big role in our lives whether we acknowledged it or not.
Enter adulthood. At some point most of us rented apartments or bought homes. The first order of business in our new residence was to make it our own. How did we do this? You got it. Color! As human beings, we are surrounded by and we surround ourselves with what feels good to us. We use it to decorate everything in our lives from walls to comforters, clothing choices to accessories. We create with color when it comes to ourselves and our homes in every way.
The fun of decorating our home spaces begins with being able to choose from the thousands of colors of the rainbow. You can pick anything, what your walls look like, what your furniture look s like and what accents would be perfect for your room. All of these things are intrinsically tied to color and how those colors make you feel. You may have chosen a mossy green and brown for your living room, a cool blue that reminded you of sunny days in summer for your bedroom and a red or orange for the spice of your life, in your kitchen.
Without even realizing it we have been influenced by color throughout our lifetime. We have been surrounded our entire lives by color. We find it in nature, art, homes, hotels, clothing…you get the idea. We cannot escape it nor should we want to. Just imagine how terribly blah the world would be without it. Now to where all this realization lead us, magick of course!
I am willing to bet when you first began to research the metaphysical and the occult you realized, and maybe not for the first time that color possessed power. During your metaphysical studies you began to realize that many things in magick and the mundane were tied to color. Not only were they tied to color but that color had resonance and meaning within its magickal purpose. Suddenly there was a whole new door that opened to you. There were explanations for the reasons that certain colors made you feel a certain way. It made sense why you enjoyed some colors or disliked others. These reasons had to do with light energy and more specifically the frequency and vibrations that colors put off.
As your studies took you deeper you began to have the knowledge to put to all of these sensations and inspirations to work for you. This new power came from understanding why you felt the way you did when in the presence of certain colors and why certain colors held power for you. The name of this art is color magick and it has a world of uses.
Color magick can be extremely useful when doing healing work and be a helpful tool in making magick happen. Every color has a certain resonance or frequency within the light spectrum. These colors are as individually unique as the Witches on the planet are. The key to color magick is finding what, when, how and where it works best for you.
So how does one go about exploring and using color magick effectively? One of the first concepts many pagans are introduced to in regard to color magick is the chakra system and the meditations that go with them. This teaches a couple of main themes to new students of the Craft. Self-healing techniques, balancing moods and basic color associations are just of few of the concepts. These are normally built upon later in occult training. Those trained in the occult arts also learn to heal and control their own body rhythms by introducing various colors to the chakra system.
The underlying science of what they are learning is to use the Vibrational frequency of color to affect change within themselves or their environment. Soon occult practitioners realize that they can do more than just imagine color in their chakras; they can influence each chakra and balance them by using the opposing colors that corresponded to them. A fun tool for learning this concept is your traditional color wheel bought at a local art store. Suddenly your standard color wheel will take on a whole new meaning.
By purchasing (or printing off the computer) a color wheel and writing on it which chakras the colors correspond to and what the color’s frequency does a student can have a visual aid to work with. This visual aid can help to teach them how to properly correspond and contrast to affect changes in their own system. This can be extremely useful in training oneself to associate color frequency with moods and correspondences.
Color magick doesn’t just end there; it can be used in everything from candle magick, to poppets, to the writing in your Book of Shadows. As Witches, the more advanced we become, the more creative we become with colors and their uses. We no longer arbitrarily pick up a piece of clothing, paper, or even ritual items without feeling the color resonating within our personal sphere. We are now fully awake and aware of how color is affecting our person on both a mundane and magickal level. Color has taken on a whole new meaning, coming to life before our Witchy little eyes.
If you have tried or considered all of these things but you feel like you are in a slump regarding color and its uses in magick, then let’s revisit it and swirl up some fun! Let’s consider working more closely with the elements. In magick we use the elements for nearly every magickal action we do. We call them to aid us in our circle, we ask them to empower our magickal activities and we use them to gain further insight into our own path-working. But sometimes we hit a virtual bump in the road. We experience an imbalance or a loss of connection to one or more elements.
So let’s look at how we can whip up a little bit of color to fix that too. When I feel a loss in connection to an element, or on occasion more than one, I set on a mission to correct it. Why? Well for me it allows me to come back into balance with the universe around me.
All you need to do is find the colors that resonate best for you with each element and then practice meditations or magick associated with those colors. You can meditate on the color, introduce that color into your clothing for a day or a week, write a spell in the elemental color ink on the same or similar color paper, burn candles that are intentionally imbued with that elements energy and even set your altar space or sacred space up with lots of things that are in the color and correspondence to the element you are working with. This is also a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the elemental powers and the mysteries contained within their realms. Yet again the color wheel becomes a wonderful tool for learning and growing.
Color theory even finds its way into spells and Craft work. You can muster up an extra amount of kick to charge your spells with by using the power of color. This makes them both more powerful and effective. Further if you are asking a particular element to aid you then it is a great way to honor their spirit. When we consider again the resonance of color then we have to look at the way it works.
To keep things simple red is slower and violet is faster and you can fill in the blanks in the rainbow in between. So the quicker you want your magick to work the higher the frequency of color you might want to use.
As previously discussed color also has a great mental affect on us. We naturally associate certain colors with certain ways of being, material things or even mundane activities. Though various colors mean different things to different cultures, I will focus on Western philosophy, as that is where I reside. Money is a good example of a mundane color association that can work effectively for magick.
When a Witch performs a money spell, they normally use a green candle and display green monies around it. Here they are using the subconscious power that green has upon our psyche and that colors influence on our waking state to make our spell more powerful and effective.
By now you should be noticing that nearly everything we do involves color and our associations to it on some level as part of their design. This leads me to yet another area of color and magick, mood. The mood of a ritual can dramatically change how we perceive the ritual we are involved in. Think back to a fun house or even a Halloween attraction. The colored lights of these area’s can make it spooky, eerie, scary or even downright frightening. Try it out for yourself. Consider using this type of color magick during your next ritual and see how it works for you. Simply using colored bulbs found at any store can dramatically change the mood or ritual setting.
Replacing some of the key lights in the room that you are using will allow for the room to take on a whole different feel and look. This look goes more than skin deep, remember you are not just changing the glow by changing the light bulb; we have also changed the resonating frequency of the room.
The energy in the room is now vibrating at a higher or lower frequency depending on what color you chose. This not only helps to change the energy in the room, it works on a subconscious level as well giving us the sense that we have just entered into a different space, way of being, or even time. Its effects can be as profound and far-reaching as the imagination will allow.
Finally colored bulbs are an inexpensive and quick way to help us change our mood or the mood of a room. We do this by going back to our earlier technique of changing the lighting. By changing the light bulb in a lamp you can help yourself to overcome or attract certain frequencies of energy into your life.
For example red can inspire creative energy or passion; it vibrates slower than other energies so it creeps into the psyche slowly. It can also give a room the air of mystery or even a deeply serious but powerful tone. Red is also usually seen as the life force, blood and the color of manifesting, bringing new ideas into reality.
By contrast violet light is at the other end of the spectrum, it is a fast, high frequency so it can be energizing or balancing depending on what you are feeling personally. It can attract a higher state of consciousness and make meditation easier. Pink is both healing and passionate, its energy is soft and calming. Pink has a gentler less forceful energy than red. Blue is great for calming a room, release, giving a cooling and refreshing feeling. Yellow by contrast is great for happiness, inspiration and wisdom. Green is great for grounding, serenity and comfort. These are the basics, though the color list goes on quite a bit further.
Today science and the medical field are catching up to what Witches have known for years. It is amazing when we consider that we are no longer the only ones who have discovered color’s many benefits and that there are others who use this knowledge to their benefit. It is true that it is becoming more and more common that predominant, well-respected hospitals across our country, as well as traditional medicinal fields are now getting in on what Witches have known and practiced for years.
A few years ago my mother, who was suffering from breast cancer, had to go in for surgery at a prominent hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. When her blood pressure would not come down before surgery a soft-spoken nurse smiled at her and said come with me. Within a few minutes they had her set up in a room specially designed for stress relief through color therapy. They instructed her to breathe slowly and deeply, to relax and focus on the colors as they came up.
I stood amazed. In the room was set up a little devise with a bulb and a wheel that changed like a projector from one colored cellophane to another every so many minutes. What was this doing in a hospital of all places? Suffice to say the Witch in me was tickled pink! After about 20 minutes they came back in to get her and checked her blood pressure. Like magic (pardon the pun) , her blood pressure had come down significantly and my mother even noticed a difference in how she felt. I commend this hospital for being one of the first to catch up to what those of the Old Craft have known for so long.
Looking at the holistic fields or what some refer to alternative health care, we again see the use of color as a predominant field of study. During healing the practitioner lays their hands upon a person’s auric field to help heal their physical or mental ailments. They visualize the colors needed and then they gently push that colored energy into their aura helping to repair and heal, thus resulting in affecting the physical and mental body. When acts of stone healing are performed with the use of stones, the stones used are not only appropriately colored but also ones that resonate with the correct frequency in order to help the individual involved.
We can also use these types of alternative medicine for healing ourselves. This is not a new theory as demonstrated by the hospital above. There are some great ways to help oneself to heal on many levels when working with color. One way is to visualize the color best suited to repair the area, then by focusing that energy on the specific area several times a day. By doing this we can encourage a scrape, surgical incision, or even a headache to heal or dissipate. This technique can even be used to help change your mood or mental state. Be prepared to be amazed at how quickly this simple activity works for you, speeding your way to healing completely.
As we have journeyed through the rainbow we have visited many, many ways in which we can use color in magick. As you can see the use of color is not only limitless but has far reaching affects in both the magickal and mundane world. Some of the concepts above may have been familiar to you and maybe some of them were a new take on an old idea but all of them are powerful tools for both Witch and holistic practitioner alike. By breathing new life into an old idea you can reintroduce some fun into your magickal and mundane life, alleviating the feeling that things have gotten a little stale.
Be creative and you might even find some new ways to incorporate the mystery and magick that all Witches love into your spiritual practice. You could even reintroduce some of the techniques above to your practice and watch your imagination run wild. I promise your magick will take on a whole new life and at the very least you will challenge yourself to revisit something that has long been a cherished, precious magickal skill.
By: Kimberly Sherman-Cook, Minister
Pagan Education Network
Principles of Color Magick, Online course Pagan Education Network
Color Correspondences, George Knowles, controvercail.com
Solitary Wicca, Scott Cunningham
How to See and Read the Aura, Ted Andrews
How to heal with Color, Ted Andrews
Making Magick, McCoy
Elemental Magick, Wolfe
A Code Of Ethics for Teachers of the Wicca
All initiations, previous experience and group affiliations to be made known to your students.
Before beginning training tell your student you don’t know everything about the subject, but are willing to refer them on to another person if you don’t have the personal expertise.
Tell your student of your personal beliefs, teaching what you know but also emphasising Paganism is about personal spirituality and that they must find their own truth.
Students should be of legal age (i.e. 18) or have parental permission. This does not exclude passing on basic information of religious beliefs to minors.
All theoretical information should be supported by ritual demonstration.
All lessons must be preprepared by reading up on the area to be teached about, decide how you’re going to present this information for the easiest understanding of the individual student and make notes to be given to the student.
There is to be a nominal fee for teaching to cover ritual supplies and fluctuates depending on the student. It is at the discretion of the teacher if they choose to loan books or give supplies from their personal collection.
All teachers must continue their own education also. It is impossible to know everything.
Do not proselytise. All students must seek out their teacher.
You do not take on more than 4 students at a time per mentor.
Students can be taught on an individual basis or in a teaching circle.
Students should be told if the training would not lead to initiation.
You respect the confidentiality of your own students first and foremost but also respect the confidentiality of group members, other Pagans and clients for whom you perform the Occult arts.
The only time that confidentiality is broken is if you feel that the person is a danger either to themselves or to others in a physical or mental way.
A teacher must never have a sexual relationship with their student. It destroys the power balance and has led to much disrepute in the communities both inside and outside the Pagan paths. If relations occur between the teacher and student, a new teacher must be found for that student.
Teaching is to be given on a mentor basis, the teacher adapting for each student.
A student can be rejected and all psychic links can be broken if they use the magickal arts outside the restraints of the magickal law of “harm none”.
A list of the code of teaching ethics is given to the student to show your position on various issues. This is to be kept and training can be broken by either parties, but a reason should be given out of courtesy.
Note: Many teachers ask the students to draw up a corresponding Students code of ethics to show commitment.
A good teacher:
- Teaches spiritual as well as magickal aspects of Paganism
- Encourages healing magick
- Has a well-balanced life. If they can’t have a balanced life they can hardly teach a balanced method of magick.
- Is willing to teach differently for each student.
- Encourages practice as well as theoretical teachings
- Welcomes questions and is willing to admit when they don’t know
- Networks with other Pagans and groups, being able to refer you on when they are not proficient in the area of Paganism you are seeking to explore.
The Glamorous Occult
Author: Aegar Geihl
The Occult is a fascinating and stimulating area of study- for those who can handle it, and it opens up doors to new and enlightening experiences. This all is very interesting and is certain to attract a large amount of attention from teens, but do they know what they are getting into? With this article I hope to instill a bit of primer knowledge to many curious teens before they embark on a path they aren’t ready for.
I remember when I was first interested in the Occult. I Googled my brains out as I tried to find suitable information. For someone without an initial knowledge in the Occult that was very difficult. I ended up embarking on my first face-to-face encounter with Magick, only to find myself disappointed in the results of the event. It wasn’t until I matured both spiritually and physically that I realized what the cause of that night was. I was misinformed and completely unaware of the reality of these powers. This is my encouragement to provide an outline for those interested:
1. Take time to think about why you are interested in Wicca, Asatru, or whatever is tickling your fascination. Are you into it for the black cat, medieval garb, and fancy title? If so, then please rethink your decision as it might save your dignity (or your sanity) . If you are interested in the Occult for the lessons you may learn, whether good or bad then you may be on the right path.
2. It’s definitely not all fun and games, and anyone who tells you otherwise are most likely in it for the fancy title. You must remember that by contacting deities, spirits, etc. you are in the presence of something divine. They are not “cool” characters from a fantasy story. They are very real, and very in tune to you and your environment.
3. You will have to work very hard, especially if you are uneducated in the Occult. You will have to read everything you can on the path you are interested in, but if you have a true interest in it this will be your favorite thing to do.
4. It does not happen overnight. All of this will take time, and you will need to allow yourself time to breath. You have plenty of life left and all the time you need to learn what you want. If you make hasty decisions you will find yourself getting no results, or something much worse.
5. Always keep yourself protected. This is simple and should be one of the first things you learn about. Every time you open yourself up to the divine you are very vulnerable. Your aura will absorb negativity, as will your ritual space. You can keep your space clean of negativity by burning Rue (an herb) , and putting salt on the four corners of the room and your bed. These are two simple and effective ways to keep yourself safe.
1. Really get to know the individual in question. Are they knowledgeable in what they study? Do they show a deep care for their students? Do you feel comfortable around them?
2. Ask questions! If a teacher is legitimate they will have not dispute you asking simple questions such as “Who was your teacher?”. That one is a very good question to ask, and will show you their true colors almost immediately.
3. Don’t jump into this relationship, and yes it is a relationship. You and your teacher will be around each other a lot and should be very close.
It is important to remember that with all spirituality comes fraud. There are many people out there who deem themselves “High Priest Lizard Breath”, and claim they are the masters of all elements. Obviously this is exaggerated but don’t think it doesn’t happen. This is why I think it is so important to not be afraid to ask questions. It is you that will be getting to know this person and it is also up to you to question their authenticity. You wouldn’t give you social security number out to a total stranger would you?
The Internet is a great tool to meet people, learn about things, and even connect with groups, but you must remember that just like you these people are behind a computer screen. You do not know these people and to trust anyone without formal meeting/bonding can wind up very badly. This is why I find that commonsense is the number one rule. If you are always paying careful attention to your surroundings and others you will be less likely to run into some major problems along your path.
Rules for Approaching Gods:
In many traditions a pantheon of Gods is revered and is the center of the tradition’s practice. It is mandatory that you always approach them with respect. Remember being told to always say “Please” and “Thank you”? This does not apply solely in the physical plane and you should approach the gods in the same manner you would treat a very special guest to your home.
Be sure to remember that you are sincere and serious about everything you ask/say when in their presence. They are the divine, and are obviously not here to tell you how pretty your hair looks or how good you are at basketball. As long as you keep the commonsense rule with you at all times you will have little to no trouble with the Gods (or other entities) .
If you happen to live in a family that is not fond of your new found interests/ beliefs then you may find it necessary to keep your beliefs secret. This is perfectly okay, but be sure to remember that your beliefs may differ but you should respect them and their beliefs as you would your own. This will undoubtedly gain their trust in your responsibility and will help you avoid future problems.
I hope this article was helpful and I wish you the best of luck on your endeavors.