Tarot Cards and Moon Phases

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Tarot Cards and Moon Phases

The Tarot syncs up with the phases of the Moon

The days following a New Moon phase are auspicious. The actual day of the New Moon, the balsamic or dark Moon period, marks the beginning point when the heavens shift from dark to light. On the following days magic is in the air and the inner life is awakened.

Imagine the first crack of an egg. It takes work and diligence to crack that egg open and expand toward new dimensions, but the effort is always worth it in the end.

This metaphor illustrates the potential available to each of us the day after a New Moon approaches. The following quote expresses the essence of the New Moon’s potential.

“A New Moon teaches gradualness and deliberation and how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe.” –Rumi

The New Moon: The Fool

“Behold, a sacred voice is calling you. All over the sky a sacred voice is calling you.” –Black Elk

Do something different for a change. Dare to be lighthearted. Change what you wear. Surprise yourself with a new attitude. Shine the light of magic and wonder in all that you do and see. Watch the birds take flight from tree to tree. Free yourself from old routines that tie you down and exhaust your immune system. Allow the vibrations of the New Moon to awaken your inner life with fresh perspectives and promptings.

Suggested flower essence: Shooting Star … discover yourself again and embody the genius of your soul!

Crescent Moon: The High Priestess

When each day is sacred, when each hour is sacred, when each instant is sacred, Earth and you, space and you, bearing and sacred through time, you’ll reach the fields of light. –Guillevic

The crescent Moon has been associated with Isis, the Egyptian Goddess known as She Who Makes Right Use of the Heart, or the Mother of Heaven. Isis’s headdress is often depicted with the horns of a cow on her head, and the solar disc between them. These horns are a symbol of the crescent Moon and are representations of immanent fertility and prosperity.

An intuitive spark of heart and mind have been lit. You now bear the torch. Be still while you listen and visualize. Take note of the seeds that have been planted within your garden of life and do everything you can to bring nutrients to the foundation of your life. Moisten and deepen your attunement to inner truth. The crescent Moon offers a force of light pushing forward within you.

Suggested flower essence: Cat’s Ear … attune to the magic of your intuition and act accordingly.

First Quarter: The Magician

“You must become the change you want to see in the world.” –Gandhi

The Magician is one who has become seasoned and attuned to the conscious aspects of life ready to manifest. The Magician leads the whimsical wandering of The Fool into a clearer stream of consciousness that can actualize miracle upon miracle. You must now understand the world of matter and turn that which has been unseen into visible creations. Be productive, active, goal-oriented and joyous in every endeavor. Nothing can remain stagnant at this stage of the Moon’s phase. The theme of creative movement is evident in the flow of life.

Suggested flower essence: Iris … the creative paintbrush of the soul. Paint your dreams into manifested joy and deliberation.

Gibbous Moon: The Wheel of Fortune

“How shall I begin my song in the blue night that is setting? In the great night my heart will go out. Toward me the light comes, rattling. In the great night sky my heart will go out.” –Medicine Woman Chant

The gibbous Moon phase can be called the womb of potential. Life is a constant process of transformation and movement involving integration, disintegration, generation and degeneration. Having recently experienced a rebirth cycle, you are now ready to embrace all that is expanding and growing in your life. Confront your opportunities and challenges in order that a permeable reality may evolve. Learn new things, stretch your imagination, seek new experiences and take in an interesting movie or documentary and study. Fill your life with interests and activities.

Suggested flower essence: Mountain Pride … the great warrior of the heart moves forward, actualizing dreams and goals. Perseverance is the key.

Full Moon: The Sun and Moon

“Each night Lady Moon gathers unto herself all the discarded memories and forgotten dreams of mankind. These she stores in her silver cup till dawn. Then, at first light, all these forgotten dreams and neglected memories are returned to Earth as Moon-sap, or dew. Mingled with lacrimae lunae, ‘the tears of the Moon,’ this dew nourishes and refreshes all life on Earth. Through compassionate care of the Goddess, nothing of value is lost to man.” –from the Legend of the Moon by Sallie Nichols

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” –John Wesley

The force of the Sun and Moon are illumined and the pure potential of both lights are fully active. The chalice cup is full, life is brimming over with expectation, and the cornucopia horn of plenty has been placed at the center table of life. Wisdom shines outward. Share your gifts, talents, joys and manifested creations through teaching, writing, dancing and community sharing. This is the peak of light and you are filled with its radiant glow.

Suggested flower essence: Lotus … flower of water and air bringing the unconscious forces into conscious knowing and insight.

Disseminating Moon: The Star

“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” –Mary Oliver

This is the time to pour forward all that you have accumulated by networking, sharing news, offering service and find the joy to be the light of the world. You know the mystery of life and you live according to the secret wisdom found in the Full Moon phase. Share in the mystery and walk in the beauty of your true self. This is a time to reach for the stars as they become more visible with the decreasing light of the Full Moon. You may ask yourself, “How may I serve the world?”

Suggested flower essence: The Rose … deeply rooted in the Earth, the rose blossoms into the beauty of love. The rose opens the heart chakra so that we may do our very best work on Earth.

Third Quarter Moon: Judgment

“From joy I came, for joy I live, and in Thy sacred joy, I shall melt again.” –Yogananda

Look deeply now to assess all that you have become responsible for. We have countless opportunities to weigh our pros and cons in life. Seek to negate all polarities and opposition within and roll them back into the deep soil of the past. Now is the time for a renewed self-reflection and once again you are prompted to spend some quality time alone, read a good book, get a haircut, clean out closets, move things around. It will beneficial to fast for a day or eat lightly so that your body may purge and cleanse. You are preparing for another turn of the Moon … and darkness in the sky brings bright wisdom within.

Suggested flower essence: Sagebrush … cutting through all illusion and confusion, sagebrush cleanses the aura and the field of light around the heart chakra.

Balsamic Moon: The Hermit

“Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity and beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” –Thomas Merton

When the dark Moon resides within the heavens, a sweet quiet is pervasive. Meditate, contemplate, pray, chant and rest. There are many ways to experience the descent into the unconscious successfully, and the more attentive you become of this inner need, the greater balance and immune health an individual will attain. Strengthen your connection to the invisible worlds, seek the cave and find the light within.

Suggested flower essence: Queen of the Night … desert cactus flower that blooms in the night offering the inner light of the unconscious.

The Moon phases are the magical wheel that we dance upon each month. In your own birth chart you have your own progressed Moon phases that coincide with the eight phases that I have written about in this post. Each progressed Moon phase lasts approximately 2 1/2 years. You might like to find out which house your progressed Moon is passing through and what sign it is in. It’s great to understand the mapping of your own inner sky.

 

@Tarot.com is a DailyInsightGroup Site

 

Tarot Cards and Moon Phases

Tarot Cards and Moon Phases

The Tarot archetypes sync up with the eight phases of the Moon

Isha LernerIsha Lerner on the topics of tarot, moon, insight, blogs, astrology

The days following a New Moon phase are auspicious. The actual day of the New Moon, the balsamic or dark Moon period, marks the beginning point when the heavens shift from dark to light. On the following days magic is in the air and the inner life is awakened.

This is a perfect time to tap into your inner wisdom with a Celtic Cross Tarot reading and prepare for a new beginning in your life. Imagine the first crack of an egg. It takes work and diligence to crack that egg open and expand toward new dimensions, but the effort is always worth it in the end.

This metaphor illustrates the potential available to each of us the day after a New Moon approaches. The following quote expresses the essence of the New Moon’s potential.

“A New Moon teaches gradualness and deliberation and how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe.” –Rumi

The New Moon: The Fool

“Behold, a sacred voice is calling you. All over the sky a sacred voice is calling you.” –Black Elk

Do something different for a change. Dare to be lighthearted. Change what you wear. Surprise yourself with a new attitude. Shine the light of magic and wonder in all that you do and see. Watch the birds take flight from tree to tree. Free yourself from old routines that tie you down and exhaust your immune system. Allow the vibrations of the New Moon to awaken your inner life with fresh perspectives and promptings.

Suggested flower essence: Shooting Star … discover yourself again and embody the genius of your soul!

Crescent Moon: The High Priestess

When each day is sacred, when each hour is sacred, when each instant is sacred, Earth and you, space and you, bearing and sacred through time, you’ll reach the fields of light. –Guillevic

The crescent Moon has been associated with Isis, the Egyptian Goddess known as She Who Makes Right Use of the Heart, or the Mother of Heaven. Isis’s headdress is often depicted with the horns of a cow on her head, and the solar disc between them. These horns are a symbol of the crescent Moon and are representations of immanent fertility and prosperity.

An intuitive spark of heart and mind have been lit. You now bear the torch. Be still while you listen and visualize. Take note of the seeds that have been planted within your garden of life and do everything you can to bring nutrients to the foundation of your life. Moisten and deepen your attunement to inner truth. The crescent Moon offers a force of light pushing forward within you.

Suggested flower essence: Cat’s Ear … attune to the magic of your intuition and act accordingly.

First Quarter: The Magician

“You must become the change you want to see in the world.” –Gandhi

The Magician is one who has become seasoned and attuned to the conscious aspects of life ready to manifest. The Magician leads the whimsical wandering of The Fool into a clearer stream of consciousness that can actualize miracle upon miracle. You must now understand the world of matter and turn that which has been unseen into visible creations. Be productive, active, goal-oriented and joyous in every endeavor. Nothing can remain stagnant at this stage of the Moon’s phase. The theme of creative movement is evident in the flow of life.

Suggested flower essence: Iris … the creative paintbrush of the soul. Paint your dreams into manifested joy and deliberation.

Gibbous Moon: The Wheel of Fortune

“How shall I begin my song in the blue night that is setting? In the great night my heart will go out. Toward me the light comes, rattling. In the great night sky my heart will go out.” –Medicine Woman Chant

The gibbous Moon phase can be called the womb of potential. Life is a constant process of transformation and movement involving integration, disintegration, generation and degeneration. Having recently experienced a rebirth cycle, you are now ready to embrace all that is expanding and growing in your life. Confront your opportunities and challenges in order that a permeable reality may evolve. Love new things, stretch your imagination, seek new experiences and take in an interesting movie or documentary and study. Fill your life with interests and activities.

Suggested flower essence: Mountain Pride … the great warrior of the heart moves forward, actualizing dreams and goals. Perseverance is the key.

Full Moon: The Sun and Moon

“Each night Lady Moon gathers unto herself all the discarded memories and forgotten dreams of mankind. These she stores in her silver cup till dawn. Then, at first light, all these forgotten dreams and neglected memories are returned to Earth as Moon-sap, or dew. Mingled with lacrimae lunae, ‘the tears of the Moon,’ this dew nourishes and refreshes all life on Earth. Through compassionate care of the Goddess, nothing of value is lost to man.” –from the Legend of the Moon by Sallie Nichols

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” –John Wesley

The force of the Sun and Moon are illumined and the pure potential of both lights are fully active. The chalice cup is full, life is brimming over with expectation, and the cornucopia horn of plenty has been placed at the center table of life. Wisdom shines outward. Share your gifts, talents, joys and manifested creations through teaching, writing, dancing and community sharing. This is the peak of light and you are filled with its radiant glow.

Suggested flower essence: Lotus … flower of water and air bringing the unconscious forces into conscious knowing and insight.

Disseminating Moon: The Star

“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” –Mary Oliver

This is the time to pour forward all that you have accumulated by networking, sharing news, offering service and find the joy to be the light of the world. You know the mystery of life and you live according to the secret wisdom found in the Full Moon phase. Share in the mystery and walk in the beauty of your true self. This is a time to reach for the stars as they become more visible with the decreasing light of the Full Moon. You may ask yourself, “How may I serve the world?”

Suggested flower essence: The Rose … deeply rooted in the Earth, the rose blossoms into the beauty of love. The rose opens the heart chakra so that we may do our very best work on Earth.

Third Quarter Moon: Judgment

“From joy I came, for joy I live, and in Thy sacred joy, I shall melt again.” –Yogananda

Look deeply now to assess all that you have become responsible for. We have countless opportunities to weigh our pros and cons in life. Seek to negate all polarities and opposition within and roll them back into the deep soil of the past. Now is the time for a renewed self-reflection and once again you are prompted to spend some quality time alone, read a good book, get a haircut, clean out closets, move things around. It will beneficial to fast for a day or eat lightly so that your body may purge and cleanse. You are preparing for another turn of the Moon … and darkness in the sky brings bright wisdom within.

Suggested flower essence: Sagebrush … cutting through all illusion and confusion, sagebrush cleanses the aura and the field of light around the heart chakra.

Balsamic Moon: The Hermit

“Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity and beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” –Thomas Merton

When the dark Moon resides within the heavens, a sweet quiet is pervasive. Meditate, contemplate, pray, chant and rest. There are many ways to experience the descent into the unconscious successfully, and the more attentive you become of this inner need, the greater balance and immune health an individual will attain. Strengthen your connection to the invisible worlds, seek the cave and find the light within.

Suggested flower essence: Queen of the Night … desert cactus flower that blooms in the night offering the inner light of the unconscious.

The Moon phases are the magical wheel that we dance upon each month. In your own birth chart you have your own progressed Moon phases that coincide with the eight phases that I have written about in this post. Each progressed Moon phase lasts approximately 2 1/2 years. You might like to find out which house your progressed Moon is passing through and what sign it is in. It’s great to understand the mapping of your own inner sky.

Moon Symbols

MOON SYMBOLS

Moon Symbols: Certain Symbols have been associated with the Moon and Moon deities for thousands of years. Many symbols recur in diverse cultures with no contact with each other. Ancient spiritual leaders knew how to communicate with the collective unconscious, which is the storehouse of all knowledge, and hear the deities’ voices which speak there.

Using these symbols in meditation, ritual, or spell-working may intensify your connections with the archetypal powers of the Moon. Examine the entries carefully and decide what is appropriate for the situation, be it simple meditation of a full-blown ritual. For instance, I have no trouble identifying with Cats, but have never been able to decide on how to use Bats.

Ambrosia: The feminine mysteries of the menstrual cycle; the re-creative power of menstrual blood. Called soma among the Hindus, red claret of the faeries, and wise blood.

Bat: A creature of frequent association with the Moon and darkness. In China, bats were symbols of good fortune and happiness; in Europe, a companion creature of the Goddess Hel. Christians made the bat evil and demonic in order to disengage people from the Goddess.

Blood: The words “blessing” and “blood” are related. Red has always been considered the color of life. It is also the color of the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, indicative of Her fruitfulness through menstruation and birth. Smudging and staining the hands and feet with henna was practiced by followers of Hecate, Anath, and many Hindu Goddesses. Altars and people were consecrated by sprinkling with blood in these ancient times. Today, objects and people are sprinkled with salted water.

Boat: The Moon was called the Boat of Light by the Babylonians. Egyptians depicted the Crescent Moon with the horns turned upward either as part of the lunar deities headdress or carved sky-boats, such as the ones pictured in the temple of Isis.

Bull: Originally the lunar symbol of the Great Mother with the horns representing the Crescent Moon, the bull later came to represent the Sun Gods. However, it was often still connected with a Moon Goddess such as Cybele or Attis.

Cat: Mau: The Egyptian word for Cat. To the Egyptians especially, the cat was a Moon creature, and sacred to such Goddesses as Isis, Bast, Artemis, Diana, and Freyja. When Diana became known as Queen of Witches in the Middle Ages, the cat was associated with Witchcraft and Goddess worship.

Circle: The circle was symbolic of the Moon long before being seized by the Sun Gods. In Scotland, the Orkney Islands are still called Temples of the Moon. The ancient Greek divinatory tool known as Hecate’s Circle was a gold sphere with a sapphire in its center, and was hung on a thong of oxhide.

Color: Primary Moon deity colors are white, red, or black, depending on Moon phase. The Hindu Goddess Kali and many European Triple Goddesses specifically used these colors to designate their various aspects: white – maiden; red – mother; black – crone.

Cow: Feminine symbol of both Moon and the Earth. Egyptian Moon Goddesses connected with the cow were Isis, Hathor, Neith, amongst others.

Crescent: The New Moon; marking the change from the Dark Moon, it is the very first sliver of Moon. Old European designs portray the lunar cycle by a right crescent, a circle, and a left crescent. At times, the circle was replaced with a large snake coil. Semicircles also symbolized the crescent, as did bull horns. U-shaped marks not only represented crescents, but were also combined with dots to symbolize owls – Moon birds. The croissant, or any crescent-shaped
cake is sacred to Moon deities.

Crow: This bird was frequently associated with the Dark Moon Goddesses such as the Morrigan, due to its black color.

Crystal: This stone most often represents the Full Moon and its divinatory powers.

Dew, Rain: Many cultures associate these forms of condensation with the Moon. The early dew after a Full Moon is said to heal and improve beauty if rubbed into the skin. Certain phases and signs of the Moon are purported to be conducive to rain.

Dogs: Canines have long been associated with Moon deities, especially Crescent New Moon Goddesses. Managarmr (Moondog) was the mightiest of all dog-wolf supernatural beings according to a Norse story.

Dragon: Dragons are primarily associated with solar eclipses, but are also associated with the Moon and lunar eclipses. The idea of dragons and eclipses was held in China, Northern Asia, Finland, Lithuania, North Africa, and Persia. Legend dictates that dragons often fly about in the moonlight.

Eye: Often associated with the Moon, especially in ancient Egypt. Many little Eye Goddesses have been found in Mediterranean and European sites.

Fan: Among the ancient Asiatic and Oriental cultures, the fan represented the phases of the Moon.

Fish: Some cultures symbolized the Moon with a fish instead of a snake. Some Moon Goddesses were depicted with fish-tails, akin to mermaids.

Frog: Many times a lunar symbol; sometimes called a toad. Hekat the frog Goddess was connected with birth in ancient Egypt.

Grotto, Garden: It was common to worship a Moon Goddess or God in a grotto or garden. These sacred spaces usually contained a Moon tree such as an olive, a sacred stone, or a spring, or all of these.

Groves: Groves of trees were often sacred to the Moon Mother, especially if they held springs, pools, or lakes. Ceremonies of drawing water and pouring it were part of her rituals. If a grove contained a grotto where water came directly out of a rock, it was especially sacred.

Hare or Rabbit: Many cultures around the world, including Tibet, China, Africa, Ceylon, and some Native Americans, said that a hare lived on the Moon along with the ruling Moon deity. Especially associated with lunar Goddesses.

Horns: Bull or cows horns have always been connected with the Moon and Moon deities. Cattle and bison horns have been recovered that have thirteen notches carved into them; the Great Goddess of Laussel is such an example. These notches represent the thirteen Moon months of a seasonal year. The Greek Hera was also called Keroessa (“Horned One”) in her aspect of Io, the Moon Cow.

Horseshoe: A crescent Moon symbol and also a yonic emblem.

Hounds, Dogs: Packs of hounds, such as Alani of Diana, represent the dangerous energies of the Moon.

Labrys, Double Axe: A Goddess and Moon symbol, said to have been one of the weapons preferred by the Amazons. A thunderbolt was said to have been given in this shape to the Amazons by Hera. In Crete and at Delphi, both originally Goddess centers, the labyrs was a ceremonial scepter.

Lamp: The Moon is called by many the lamp of the night. Their close connection with the Moon’s light is demonstrated by the additional titles attached to Goddess names such as Juno Lucina , and Diana Lucifera.

Mirror, round: The Moon is called the heavenly mirror in Central Asia and many other parts of the world. The mirror is a Goddess symbol sometimes called a soul-carrier or soul-catcher. Some cultures believed that the souls of the dead went to the Moon to await reincarnation.

Moonstone: A feldspar gemstone with a white, cloudy form. It is said to contain the image of the Moon. The Hindus said it was formed from the congealing of the Moon’s rays. Pope Leo X (1475-1521 CE) was said to own a moonstone that waxed and waned in brilliance with the Moon. The stone is said to cure nervousness and bring luck to the owner.

Old Man, Old Woman: The markings on the Moon surface are often called the Old Man or Old Woman in the Moon. Some cultures such as the Asians, Mayans, or Aztecs, called these markings the hare, frog, or toad.

Owl: A night hunter possessing large eyes, the owl has long been associated with the Moon. The Egyptians considered the owl a symbol of death, night, and cold. To the Greeks, however, it was an emblem of wisdom and the Goddess Athena. Its staring eyes connected it with the Eye Goddesses, Lilith, Minerva, Blodeuwedd, Anath, and Mari, among others. The owl has long been associated with the Moon, wisdom, sacred lunary mysteries, and initiations.

Ox: In Greece and Rome, this animal was seen as a lunar animal.

Pomegranate: Due to its blood-red juice and its many chambers and seeds, the pomegranate is symbolic of blood, the Dark Moon deities, and the land of the Dea.

Pillar, Cone: The earliest representation of the Moon; sometimes this stone was a meteorite. Often it was grouped with a circular stone which represented the Full Moon. Some pyramids fall into this category.

Raven: A black bird associated with the Dark Moon Goddesses such as the Morrigan and Rhiannon.

Scythe, Sickle: A symbol of the Crescent Moon. Used by the Amazons and women who worshipped Moon Goddesses, particularly Crone deities. Even the Druids used a Moon-shaped sickle for their sacred ceremonies.

Semicircle: The semicircle represents the Crescent Moon in symbology.

Shell: A symbol of the Great Mother and related to the Moon.

Silver: This metal has long been regarded as the Moon’s metal. Silver was used for divinatory cups.

Snake: As a Goddess symbol, the snake is the same as the spiral when it is coiled. Each turn of the coil marks a day in the lunar calendar. Zigzag lines represent snakes. Serpents were associated with the Dark Moon because they were considered related to the Underworld. Some Dark Moon Goddesses were depicted with snakes as hair. There are pictures showing Cybele offering a cup to a snake. In the mythology of Mexico are tales of the woman serpent (Moon) who is devoured by the Sun, a description of an eclipse or the phases of the Moon.

Soma: A sacred liquid connected with the Moon. In India it was called soma; the Persians knew it as haoma, and the Celts as red claret. See Blood. The Chinese Goddess Ch’ang-O drank this sacred liquid, then fled to live on the Moon.

Sow: The white sow has been associated with Moon deities from the Celtic lands to the Mediterranean. It was connected with Astarte, Cerridwen, Demeter, Freyja, and the Buddhist Marici.

Spiral: The spiral, whichever way it turned, represented an aspect of the Great Goddess, and also the Moon. The upward and downward spiraling, or in and out, can be compared with the waxing and waning of the Moon. The Greek Crane Dance, probably originally performed in Crete by the bull-dancers, was danced around a horned altar which was part of the labyrinth. Spirals appear on some ancient Goddess statues, primarily replacing what would be eyes.

Toad: Some cultures saw a toad, instead of a hare, in the Moon. In some parts of Asia, Africa, and North America, the toad is a symbol of the Moon and fertility.

Tree: Frequently a tree, called a Moon tree, was an emblem of the Moon. Many Assyrian pictures portray this. Sometimes, it is more like a maypole with ribbons hanging from it rather than an actual tree. Often the Moon tree was guarded by animals.

Triple Symbols: Many groups of triple symbols represent the three phases of the Moon. Hecate Triformis is an example of the Triple Moon Goddess, as is the Celtic Morrigu. The tripod, triangle, and trident are all connected directly with the three phases of the Moon Goddesses, or with Gods who are consorts of these Goddesses.

Wishing Well: There is an Icelandic charm of this name which has four Crescent Moons as dippers about its edge. The Moon has long been associated with water and the granting of wishes or prayers. Several Goddesses, such as the Greek Demeter and the Celtic Brigit, had sacred Moon wells where rituals, large and small, were held for the granting of desires.

Wheel: Though the wheel has most often been a Sun symbol, there were occasions when it represented the Moon. Arianrhod’s Silver Wheel or Oar Wheel is really the Moon.

Willow: A Moon tree sacred to such Dark Moon Goddesses as Hecate, Circe, and Persephone. The willow (helice) gave its name to the Helicon, abode of the nine muses, the orgiastic abode of the Moon Goddess.

Wings: Long before the Persians adopted the winged disk as a symbol of their Sun God, the Moon Goddess was shown with wings. Sometimes the Moon itself, whether Crescent or Full, was pictured with wings. Certain birds, such as doves and pigeons, were associated with the Moon.

Wolf: Many Gods and Goddesses who had connections with the Moon, also had the wolf as their symbol. The wolf howls as the Moon, as do dogs; they hunt and frolic by moonlight. The Moon priestesses of many cultures were adept at astral traveling and shape shifting, both talents usually practiced at night. They also practiced rituals, dancing and singing, outdoors under the Moon. A Roman festival, the Lupercalia, was in honor of the wolf Goddess Lupa or Feronia. The
Norse believed that the giant wolf Hati dogs the courses of the Moon, and in the final days will eat this celestial body.

Yin and Yang: This Chinese symbol represents the joined powers of the male and female, positive and negative; in other words, a cyclical alternation of duality. At one point in ancient Chinese history, this design symbolized the phases of the Moon, the light and dark cycles. Much of the ancient world spoke of the Two Ladies or Two Mistresses of the Moon.

For The Beginner – Witchcraft 101 – Lesson 2

Lesson 2

Principles of Belief For Wiccans

Remember that these are for the Wiccan  faith and may or may not be practiced by members of any other pagan religions.

“The council of American Witches finds it necessary to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience and needs. We are not bound by traditions from other times and other cultures, and owe no allegiance to any person or power greater than the Divinity manifest through our own being. As American Witches, we welcome and respect all life-affirming teachings and traditions, and seek to learn from all and to share our learning with our Council. It is in this spirit of welcome and cooperation that we adopt these few principals of Wiccan belief. In seeking to be inclusive, we do not wish to open ourselves to the destruction of our group by those on self-serving power trips, or to philosophies and practices contradictory to ours, we do not want to deny participation with us to any who are sincerely interested in our knowledge and beliefs, regardless of race, color, sex, age, national or cultural origins, or sexual preference.

We therefore ask only that those who seek to identify with us accept these few basic principles:

1)  We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal quarters and cross-quarters.

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

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

4)  We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity – as masculine and feminine – and that this same creative Power lives in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and  feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of Life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magical practice and religious worship.

5)  We recognize both outer worlds and inner, our psychological worlds – sometimes known as the Spiritual world, the Collective Unconscious, the Inner Planes, etc. – and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

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

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

8)  Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch – but neither does hereditary itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks o control the forces within him/herself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others, and in harmony with nature.

9)  We acknowledge that it is the affirmation and fulfillment of life, in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and to our personal role within it.

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

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

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

13) We work within Nature for that which is contributory to our health and well-being.”

A Brief History of Witchcraft

Paganism has been around and alive since the beginning of time. Documentation of magic and witchcraft exists even in the oldest texts. Numerous cave drawings all over the world depict symbols of the gods and goddesses worshipped throughout history. Paganism is the oldest form of religion.

Wicca is a Nature oriented religion, that puts emphasis on honoring both The God and The Goddess, and living in harmony with all things in the Universe. It can be practiced in a group, called a Coven, or it can be practiced as a Solitary Witch. We do not worship satan!
The devil is an anti-Pagan propaganda device invented by the Christian church. He (or, more appropriately, “it”) had never existed in written literature prior to the New Testament. The Craft is a pre– Christian religion which has been around much longer than the church or its concept of satan, who was never worshipped as a deity of the Old Religion. The devil is strictly a part of the Christian belief system, not the Nature-loving earth religion of Wicca. However, we do acknowledge the light and the dark sides of things, including religions.
There are also some very special Wiccan Holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. These holidays represent the honoring of The God and The Goddess, and the cycle of Nature.
Witches have an inseparable partnership to Mother Earth and celebrate Her turns of the wheel as Sabbats and Esbats. The Wheel of the Year marks the Sun’s journey across the sky, the solstices, equinoxes and the Earth’s changing seasons. Each spoke of the wheel marks an important moment of progression and change in the Earth. Witches will celebrate the holiday starting the day before until the day after the Sabbat date.
The Wiccan religious calendar contains 13 Full Moon celebrations and 8 Sabbats or days of power. The Sabbats are solar rituals, marking the points of the Sun’s yearly cycle, and are but half of the Wiccan ritual year. The Esbats are the Wiccan Full Moon celebrations. There are 12-13 Full Moons yearly, or one every 28 1/4 days. The Moon is a symbol of the Goddess as well as a source of energy. Thus, after the religious aspects of the Esbats, Wiccans often practice magick, tapping into the larger amounts of energy which are thought to exist at these times. Most rites are held at night. The eight Sabbats represent seasonal birth, death, and rebirth.
Witchcraft is recognized in the United States and in at least some parts of Canada as a legitimate religion. In I985, Dettmer v. Landon, the District Court of Virginia pursuant to rule 52 (a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, ruled that Witchcraft falls within a recognizable religious category and therefore is protected by the Constitution. I’m sure it is also recognized in other countries as well. Also, check out The U.S. Armed Forces Chaplain’s Handbook section on Wicca.

Types of Witches by Silver Ravenwolf

Alexandrian Tradition: Founded in England during the 1960s, Alex Sanders referred to himself as the “King” of his Witches. The rituals are said to be modified Gardenarian.

British Traditional Witch: A mix of Celtic and Gardenarian beliefs. Most famous organization at this time is the International Red Garters. British Traditionals move mostly from within the Farrar studies (the famous Witch husband and wife from England). They too are fairly structured in their beliefs, and train through the degree process. Their covens are also co-ed.

Celtic Wicca: The use of a Celtic/Druidic pantheon mixed with a little ritual Gardnerian, and heavily stressing the elements, nature and the Ancient Ones. They had a vast knowledge of and respect for the healing and magical qualities of plants and stones, flowers, trees, elemental spirits, the little people, gnomes and fairies.

Caledonii Tradition: Formally known as the Hecatine Tradition, this denomination  of the Craft is Scottish in origin, and still preserves the unique festivals of the Scots.

Ceremonial Witchcraft: Followers of this tradition use a great deal of ceremonial magic in their practices. Detailed rituals with a flavor of Egyptian magic are sometimes a favorite, or they may use the Quabbalistic magic.

Dianic Tradition: First pinpointed by Margaret Murray in 1921 in “The WitchCult in Western Europe,” this term appears to include a mixture of various traditions. However, their prime focus in recent years is on the Goddess, and has been pegged as the “feminist” movement of the Craft.

Eclectic Witch: Look in any personals column in a Craft-oriented newsletter or journal and you will see this catch-all phrase. Basically, it indicates that the individual does not follow any particular Tradition, denomination, sect, or magical practice. They learn and study from many magical systems and apply to themselves what appears to work best.

Gardnerian Tradition: Organized by Gerald Gardner in England in the 1950s. Just why is this fellow so darned important? Gerald was one of the few people so determined that the Old Religion should not die that he took the risk of publicizing it through the media. Under all the hype, I truly believe he understood that the young needed the Craft as much as the Craft needed a new generation to survive.

Hereditary Witch: One who can trace the Craft through their family tree and who has been taught the Old Religion by a relative who was living at the same time. Channeling doesn’t count. How far one has to go back on the family tree to meet the conditions of the first part of this definition is debatable. Family Trades (another name for Hereditary Witches) occasionally adopt individuals into their dynasty. This decision is never a light one, and usually stems from the lack of offspring to carry on the line, or the high regard they hold for the person in question. The ceremony is intricate and important. After all, it is not every day you can pick your relatives! It is much like the marriage of an individual into a family.

Kitchen Witch: You will hear this term every once in awhile. Basically, this type is one who practices by hearth and home, dealing with the practical side of religion, magic, the earth and the elements. There are some who groan loudly at this type of terminology, viewing it as degrading or simply inappropriate. Just remember that the Old Religon started somewhere, and most likely the kitchen (or cookfire) was the hub of many charms, spells, healings, and celebrations. After all, where does everyone congregate during the holidays? Grandma’s kitchen has always produced magical memories for humanity; visions of Mother making that something special for a sick child still holds true today for many of us.

Pictish Witchcraft: Scottish Witchcraft that attunes itself to all aspects of nature: animal, vegetable, and mineral. It is a solitary form of the Craft and mainly magical in nature with little religion.

Pow-Wow: Indigenous to South Central Pennsylvania. This is a system, not a religion, based on 400-year-old Elite German magic. Pow-Wow has deteriorated to a great degree into simple faith healing. Although Pow-Wow finds its roots in German Witchcraft, few practicing Pow-Wows today in Pennsylvania follow the Craft or even know the nature of its true birth.

Satanic Witch: One cannot be a satanic Witch because Witches do not believe in satan.

Seax-Wicca: Founded by Raymond Buckland in 1973. Although of Saxon basis, it was authored by Raymond himself without breaking his original Gardnerian oath.

Solitary Witch: One who practices alone, regardless of Tradition, denomination, or sect. Solitaries come in various forms. Some were at one time initiated into a coven and eventually chose to extricate themselves from that environment and continue practicing a particular Tradition or sect by themselves. A solitary can also be an individual who has no desire to practice with or learn from a coven structure, but still may adhere to a specific Tradition or sect through the teachings of another.

Strega Witches: Follows a tradition seated in Italy that began around 1353 with a woman called Aradia. Of all the traditional Witches, this group appears to be the smallest in number in the United States; however, their teachings are beautiful and should not be missed.

Teutonic Witch: From ancient time the Teutons have been recognized as a group of people who speak the Germanic group of languages. Culturally, this included the English, Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish peoples. This is also known as the Nordic Tradition.

The Wiccan Witch: I personally like the word “Witch” very much. To me, it means mystery, healing, power, special, different, balance, and history. It means knowledge, secrets, he earth, and a bond with both the male and female sides of myself. The word “Wiccan” does not give me those feelings. It projects a different set of associations – weaving, church, New Earth, wicker furniture (don’t ask me why) and the movie The Wicker Man which although I despised, I fully understand). It also means “front,” a way to bring the public into accepting our belief system for what it actually is, not what their preconceived ideas of a word dictates to them. Neither definition is better than the other; you must choose for yourself.”

Some Pagan Terms adept: Through serious study and accomplishments one is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system.

Altar: This is a special, flat surface set aside for magickal workings and/or religious acknowledgements.

Amulet: Considered an object of protection that has been charged to deflect specific negative energies or thought forms.

Ankh: An Egyptian hieroglyphic that is widely used as a symbol for Life, Love and Reincarnation.

Aradia: This is the name of a Italian Goddess sworn to protect her people against the aggression of masculine faith and its persecutors during the reign of medieval terror. She taught around 1353. She was imprisoned more than once, escaped several times and eventually disappeared.

Arcana: This is the two halves of the Tarot deck. There is the Major Arcana, that consist of 22 trumps. They reflect the dominant occurrences in our lives. Then there is the Minor Arcana (also known as the lesser Arcana), they consist of 56 suit cards. They assist the Major Arcana by reflecting smaller occurrences in our lives.

Astral: Another dimension of reality.

Astral Travel/Projection: This is the process known as separating your physical body from your astral body to accomplish travel on the astral plane.

Athame: This is a ceremonial knife that has been cleansed and consecrated. It is NEVER used for blood-letting, and very rarely used for cutting anything on the material plane.

Bane: This means bad, evil or destructive.

Banish: To rid the presence of. To magickally end something or exorcise unwanted entities.

Bind: To magickally restrain someone or something.

Blood of the Moon: A woman’s menstrual cycle. If this occurs at the time of the full moon, she is far more power than any other time of the month.

Book of Shadows: This is a collection of information for a Witch’s reference.

Bolline: This is a white-handled knife used for magickal purposes such as cutting. Example: inscribing candles, or cutting a branch for a wand.

Cabala: Is the ancient Hebrew magickal system.

Call: Invoking Divine forces.

Chakras: In the human body there are seven major energy vortexes. These vortexes are: 1. The crown (white) 2. forehead (purple) 3. the throat (blue) 4. the chest (pink or green) 5. navel (yellow) 6. abdomen (orange) 7. groin (red). Note that there are colors associated to each chakras. To mention also there are smaller vortexes in the hands and feet.

The Charge This is a story of the message from the Goddess to her children.

Channeling This is where you allow a disincarnate entity to “borrow” your body to speak to others in the forms of writing or verbal.

Charms: The can be amulets or talisman that have been charged to perform a specific task, an incantation being said over it.

Cleansing: To remove negative energy from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.

Consecration: To bless an object or place by charging/instilling it with positive energy.

Coven: Is a group of Witches, (13 or less), that work together for positive magickal goals, and perform religious ceremonies.

Covenstead: Is the place that Witches meet where they can feel safe and at home. This could be a building or a place.

Dedication: This is where the individual accepts the Craft as their path and promises to study and learn to reach the goal of adeptship in a given tradition.

Deosil: This is clockwise movement.

Divination: This is the act of using magickal tools/symbols to gather information on people, places, things and events in the past, present and future.

Dowsing: This is the use of a pendulum or stick to find the location of a person, place, thing or element. This is also very useful in answering yes and no questions.

Drawing Down the Moon: This is a ritual used during the Full Moon for witches to empower themselves and unite their inner selves with a particular deity.

Earth Magick: Magick that uses the powers and forces of the Mother Earth.

Elder: Is a group of people that oversee the operations of the church and its functions. These people are experienced and educated in Magickal adeptship and counseling.

Elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. They may also be associated in a magickal circle with direction, East is Air, South is Fire, West is Water and North is Earth. The center of a circle is Spirit or Akasha.

Enchantment: These are magickal objects that have been charmed and kept secret and hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura.

Evocation: This is to call something out from within.

Fascination: Also known as mind-binding, this is an act of mental effort to control anther person’s or animal’s mind.

Gaea/Gaia: This is a Greek Goddess, now meaning Earth Mother or Mother Earth.

Green Man: This is another name for the God.

Handfasting: This is the name of a Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony.

Initiation: This is the experience and/or awareness of a person, that their personal and earthly reality has been changed.

Macrocosm: The world around us.

Microcosm: The world within us.

Magick: Focusing your will and emotions to cause change in both the macrocosm and microcosm.

Magick Circle: This circle protects the Witch from outside forces while conducting ritual magick. The magick circle is considered the doorway between the worlds, and allows us to move between the two.

Magickal Systems: This is the set of guidelines relating to specific Gods and Goddesses or Traditions, Denominations, Sects and/or Pantheons.

Pantheon: This is a group of Gods and Goddesses in a specific religious structure.

Pentacle: This is an upright 5 pointed star that is encircled. Each point of the star has a meaning: 1. Earth 2. Air 3. Fire 4. Water 5. Spirit.

Priestess: Is a female that is devoted to the service of her chosen deity and humankind.

High Priestess: Is the female leader of a coven, she plays the role of the Goddess in certain ceremonies. This could also be a solitary Witch that has dedicated herself to a particular God or Goddess.

Priest: This a male that is devoted to the service of his chosen deity and humankind.

High Priest: Is the male leader of a coven, he plays the role of the God in certain ceremonies. This may also be a solitary male witch that has dedicated himself to a particular God or Goddess.

Reincarnation: To return to the physical body. The soul upon death, exits one body and begins to prepare to come back into life within another physical form.

Ritual: A physically/mentally focused ceremony to thank or honor your chosen pantheon, or to perform a magickal working.

Runes: Are used in divination and magickal workings. They are a set of letters from the old Teutonic alphabets, inscribed on wood, stone, clay, tiles. They are widely used in all forms of magick.

Scrying: Divination method using specific tools, such as a bowl of inked water, where the diviner “sees” normal or mental visuals or information without any visual.

Sigil: Is a magically oriented seal, sign or other device used in a magickal working.

Spell: This is a magickal rite, an extension of mental/emotional energy, either spoken aloud, written, said to oneself, it could be drawn and even expressed in the form of dance. There must be a need for the spell to be successful.

Talisman: Is a magickally charged object, to bring something to the bearer.

Vision Questing: Also known as pathworking, The use of astral projection, or dreamtime to accomplish a specific goal.

Webweaving: The sharing of information between magickal people by means of any form of communication to assist each other in their studies and life goals.

Wheel of the Year: This is the full cycle of the seasonal year,  beginning with Samhain in some traditions and Yule in others.

Widdershins: This means to move Counterclockwise.

Working: Known as magickal working. This is the process used magickally to reach a positive goal.

Magic vs. Science One very interesting aspect about magic and the craft is that it is more science than religion. Every aspect of witchcraft is almost purely scientific based on the manipulation of energy and the human mind. So often, I get questions from people asking me to prove it. These same people ask the same question of Christianity as I did so many years ago. Prove it. The wonderful thing about the craft is that there is nothing intangible; nothing that you cannot see. There are no all-knowing gods hidden in the sky that push the clouds around or make the rivers flow. Our gods are the clouds and the rivers. One of the most refreshing things about the craft is knowing that one can go outside at any time, on any day and lay down on their God/dess and feel it between their fingers or flow between their toes or breathe it into their lungs. Everything in witchcraft is real. There is no spooky-ooky magic. There is no great invisible creator. There is no Hell. There is only that which is real and the belief in things one can see and feel. Witchcraft is likely one of the most down-to-earth religious practice.

Witchcrafted