Let’s Talk Witch – Ever Wonder Where The Grimoire Came From & Why We Keep One?

Magic of Dragons

Ever Wonder Where The Grimoire Came From &  Why We Keep One?

The religious practices upon which Wicca is partially based were primarily an oral tradition passed down to neophytes by more experienced practitioners. It’s said that small groups of practitioners met in secret and would possess little knowledge of the whereabouts or practices of other groups. This was done for protection, so that if one group was discovered there would be no way for the members to reveal or disclose the whereabouts of other practitioners. Unfortunately, this fragmented approach has left us severely wanting in the area of verifiable information. It is very difficult to piece together the rites and rituals of an oral tradition when the practitioners are scattered and disjointed and few written records exist. Consider this excerpt from the Preface to the Book of Shadows as recorded by Doreen Valiente, who adapted selected works of Gerald Gardner, considered by many to be the father of modern Wicca:

Keep a book in your own
hand of write. Let
brothers and sisters copy
what they will; but never
let the book out of your
hands and never keep the
writings of another, for if
found in their hand of
write they may well be
taken and tortured. Each
shall guard his own
writing and destroy it
whenever danger
threatens. Learn as much
as you may by heart, and
when danger is past,
rewrite your book if it be
safe. For this reason, if
any die, destroy their book
if they have not been able
to for an’ it be found ‘tis
clear proof against them,
and “ye may not be a
witch alone,” so all their
friends be in danger of
torture. So destroy
everything not necessary.
If your book be found on
you ‘tis clear proof against
you alone and you may be
tortured. Keep all thoughts
of the cult from
your mind an’ say you had
bad dreams, a devil
caused you to write this
without your knowledge.
Think to yourself “I know
nothing. I remember
nothing. I have forgotten
all.” Drive this into your mind …

While this preface has never been proven to be authentic, it is certainly a fascinating representation of the threat of capture that many witches experienced.

When so much information is missing, it becomes our responsibility to rewrite the rituals and legends as they relate to our modern experience. We may never go back, only forward.

 

Judy Ann Olsen, A Witch’s Grimoire, Create Your Own Book of Shadows

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Casting A Circle

Casting A Circle

 

All spells and rituals, however formal or informal, are based on a magical circle. This may be large enough for an entire group of practitioners to stand in, or it may be small enough to fit on your personal altar. I have known practitioners who have only a small area create a circle on a table-top and sit facing North, physically outside it but spiritually within, manipulating the symbols within it. I have also known modern witches who will create an instant circle on paper or even on a computer screen.

 

If you have the space, you can keep a magick circle marked out with stones in a corner of your garden or painted on the floor of a room covered with a large rug. Attics are especially good since you are nearer the sky. If you are able to keep a special area for your circle, scatter dried lavender or potpourri on it before each use, and sweep it in circles widdershins to remove any negativity.

 

Whatever the form or size of your circle, mark the four main compass directions within it. In the marker positions, you can use stones, lines on the floor, four crystals hanging on cords on the four walls or candles in the appropriate elemental colours.

 

Once you know your directions, you can mark out your circle, beginning in the North (although some practitioners begin in the East), and working deosil. Draw your circle in one sweeping movement. You may wish to chant as you go.

 

If you are working in a group, or if this is a circle for a more formal ritual, you may wish to add god/goddess-power forms as an interspersed chant, with the voices of the group ebbing and rising in waves. You may wish to welcome the Archangels, or Guardians of the Four Watchtowers at the four compass points as you cast your circle. (The Archangels represent the celestial beings that feature in the cosmologies of the three main religions of the Western world -Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Alternatively, you may wish to call upon powerful goddess forms:

 

Isis, Ishtar, Cerridwen, Innana, Shakti, Yoruba, Danu, Kali and Aine, protect, empower and inspirethis magical endeavor.

 

You can embellish the casting ceremony as much as you like, perhaps drawing pentagrams in the air at the four main compass points, and combining this with lighting the four elemental candles.

 

Some practitioners like to cast a circle and then welcome other members of the group to enter, sealing the circle with a diagonal up-and-down slashing movement of their power hand (the one they write with), or a wand or an athame. (An athame is a double-edged knife used in formal rituals. It represents Air and is placed in the East of the circle.

 

As well as drawing circles, it may be used to conduct magical energies into a symbol.) But I think it is more powerful if one person actually walks around the outside of a circle of people, enclosing them in light. In this way, the circle is created in human dimensions and is as large or small as is required by the actual formation. The circle made to fit the group is far better magically than the group made to fit the circle, for the group is the circle.

 

If you want to visualize a circle, use a clear, pointed quartz crystal, or wand, or the forefinger of your power hand, and draw an outline, in the air at chest level or on the ground. The circle extends wherever you draw it from the ground upwards to above your head like a wall of gold. Again, begin in the North, and continue in an unbroken, circular movement.

 

Remember, the circle is created with your own power, amplified if you wish by the sacred Guardians or powers you may invoke. For this reason, creating a light body and thus drawing energy from the ground, before casting the circle, is a powerful preliminary. Some practitioners, having drawn the light, extend then-hands upwards so that light from the cosmos can also enter. Do this before joining hands if you are creating the circle as a group.

 

In a conventional coven, the High Priestess casts and uncast the circle, but you may prefer to allow the person leading the ritual to cast the magical boundaries.

Daily Feng Shui News for March 2 – ‘Fame’

Many of us will be tuned into the 86th Annual Academy Awards tonight, an event that showcases the achievements of the film industry’s best and brightest. If you would like to be thought of as a star within your own industry, then Feng Shui says that you should light up your ‘Fame’ area. This arena is located at the back center or back middle of your living space. One way to fire up the ‘Fame’ energies is to place nine small red candles in that space and light them whenever you want to heat up your recognition factor. When this works for you and you receive an award, the first thing I want to hear you say is, ‘I’d like to thank Ellen –.’

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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D21aily Feng Shui News for Feb. 21 – ‘International Mother Language Day’

Today’s ‘International Mother Language Day,’ doesn’t use any one alphabet. In fact, a kiss on a scraped knee or a hug for setting the table can all be considered the language of the mother. But what if a serious rift develops between mother and child and a cosmic healing is required to open the door to dialogue? Feng Shui says that when there are issues between a mother and child, the mom should find a photo of the two of them in happier days. That picture then gets put into a wooden frame and positioned in the ‘Romance and Relationship’ area along with two pink candles. Every day for nine consecutive days, the mother should light the candles for a few minutes and during that time visualize only harmony and happiness between mother and child. Placing this framed image in the same ‘Relationship’ area of the child’s room will also help. After the nine days, mom can keep the photo in place but enacting the visual is no longer necessary. Soon enough, the Universe will step in to mediate and mother and child will again have the chance to play, laugh and grow together!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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A Healing Spell for Physical, Mental or Spiritual Health

A Healing Spell for Physical, Mental or Spiritual Health

Items You Will Need:

Blue candle

A piece of paper (written on it what needs to be healed from the Goddess)

Healing herbs such as calendula, lemon balm, lavender, or mint.

The spell can be done for healing of any kind: physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. It can also be done for a pet.

Light the candle and place the piece of paper you are working to cure for yourself in front of the candle. Visualize you being surrounded with blue healing light. If you are casting the spell outside, you can toss the herbs into a bonfire for extra effect.

“God and Goddess
Grant me healing
Of body, mind, heart and spirit
Send your healing energy
To mend what is broken
Center what has become unbalanced
And soothe what is painful.
So Mote It Be.
 

You can do this spell anytime you have a need too.

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Daily Feng Shui News for Feb. 10 – ‘Ellen Whitehurst’s Birthday!’

It’s my birthday and I’m going to celebrate by using this Feng Shui birthday cure. I will get a red helium-filled balloon and with a new black marker bought especially for this occasion, I will write one really treasured wish on the outside of the balloon. Then I will tie it with nine inches of red ribbon and let it loose in my backyard. I will watch the balloon as it heads to the horizon, and just before it disappears I will visualize it turning into a golden orb that will now ‘feed’ the celestial dragon in the sky. That same dragon will fulfill my wish sometime before this same day next year. Happy birthday to me!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Daily Feng Shui News for Feb. 8th – ‘Laugh and Grow Rich Day’

Download an image of a golden infinity symbol and place it in your ‘Wealth’ area (far back left-hand corner of your living space.) Feng Shui says that this symbol will attract infinite abundance to and for you. Do this on today’s ‘Laugh and Grow Rich Day’ and you just might find yourself laughing all the way to the bank.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Daily Feng Shui News for Feb. 4th – ‘World Cancer Day’

It is my humble honor on ‘World Cancer Day’ to share Feng Shui Grandmaster Lin Yun’s teachings on how to augment and reinforce all appropriate medical treatment from the perspective of this tradition. If you or someone you know is fighting this insidious disease, it may behoove you to investigate this adjustment. Professor Lin Yun recommended that the patient meditate daily on the Feng Shui ‘Six True Colors,’ transmitting their auspicious color sequence to the cells afflicted by cancer. The exact sequence of the ‘Six True Colors’ is white, red, yellow, green, blue, and black. This is considered to conjure increased spiritual and healing powers.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Daily Feng Shui News for Jan. 31 – ‘Inspire Your Heart With Art Day’

Today’s ‘Inspire Your Heart With Art Day’ offers the perfect excuse to share information about Feng Shui and art. This modality says that having abstract art in your immediate environment can be distracting at best and depressing at worst. Rather, this tradition says to hang art that symbolizes unlimited possibilities, like fields of flowers, horizons, sunsets, things soaring in the air (birds, balloons, rocket ships), or whatever else that makes you feel like anything is possible.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Feng Shui to Beat the Winter Blues

Feng Shui to Beat the Winter Blues

Create warm and uplifiting energy even during the darkest time of year

Simone Sanders   Simone Sanders on the topics of winter, insight, feng shui

 

Winter’s cold temperatures and long evenings bring the blues to many Sun worshippers. Fortunately, Feng Shui can mitigate the more chilling effects of the season.

Even better, Feng Shui can also accentuate the many positive aspects of winter. Remember, winter symbolizes a time of turning inward. Instead of catering to everybody else’s desires, it gives you the chance to attend to your personal needs.

Shed a little light on the subject

Installing full-spectrum bulbs throughout your home can counterbalance the effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder. These bulbs provide natural light similar to the sun, helping you to feel more energetic, focused and alert during the winter months. Varying your light sources can also lift your spirits. Have a mixture of overhead fixtures, task lighting, floor lamps and up lights throughout your home and office.

Create a cozy corner

Winter is the season of self-nurturing. With that in mind, what better way to honor the season than to position a comfortable reading chair in a corner? Add a snuggly blanket, a footstool, a small table and a reading lamp. The mere sight of your cozy corner will remind you to slow down, relax and enjoy some precious quiet time.

Fire things up

Cooking can generate much needed warmth during the winter months. Having a simmering pot of soup or stew on the back burner of your stove will fill your home with mouth-watering aromas, and fill your stomach with healthy nourishment.

Keep a journal

Writing is a perfect wintertime activity, because it invites you to go inward and explore your emotional landscape. Jotting down your thoughts, worries and dreams in a journal each day will provide a welcome outlet for your feelings.

Reach for the sky

Tall plants, chairs with straight backs, and narrow bookcases lend uplifting energy to any space. Patterns with vertical stripes have a similar effect. Integrate these furnishings and design elements into any room where you are prone to succumb to depression.

Don’t forget to warm up

Warm colors can combat the hazy shade of winter. Add touches of garnet, pumpkin, goldenrod and spring green wherever you need a lift. Keep grays, blues, blacks and purples to a minimum.

Make a comfort drawer

The natural abundance of autumn is over, so now you have to provide creature comforts for yourself. Fill a drawer in your night table or desk (or both!) with little luxuries. A box of after-dinner mints, a vial of lavender essential oil, bags of your favorite tea, a tube of scented hand lotion, a juicy pocket paperback, a packet of ginger biscuits … whatever brings you comfort, put it in the drawer. Keep it well-stocked through the winter months.

Clutter bust

There’s a good chance you’ll be spending lots more time indoors now that it’s winter. Giving yourself more room to roam will help you beat the winter blues. Create spacious pathways throughout your home, take stacks of reading material off the floor, clear the countertops, and stow the kids’ toys in cupboards when they’re not being used.

Keep it moving

Things that have lots of movement — a pendulum clock, a ceiling fan, a mobile or a crackling fire — can stir up the stagnant energy associated with winter. If you have certain rooms that don’t get a lot of activity, aim an oscillating fan at a plant so that its leaves rustle occasionally. Alternately, you can suspend a piece of lightweight fabric over a heating duct so it flutters gently, generating uplifting energy.

Love the night life

Since night falls early in winter, you might as well embrace the darkness. Eat dinner by candlelight. Enjoy a movie marathon. Play board games in front of the fire with the kids. Go to bed early with your lover, but not necessarily to sleep.

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