Saturday, December 8, 2007

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

The world is frozen at Winter solstice and, in nature, little is happening on the surface. Deep in the Earth, however, the roots are putting out shoots ready for the push toward life when the weather warms in spring. This is the season of rebirth, and many religions celebrate the birth of a Sun King. In Christianity, it is the child Jesus, the "Light of the World".

The Fruition of Dreams

The ideas, dreams and visions you begin to connect with at Samhain can now be born. They will grow in power and strength -- in parallel with the waxing of the Sun's strength and nurturing warmth as it begins its journey toward the Summer Solstice.

In Wiccan lore, the power of the winter Holly King is at its maximum now, but the summer Oak King has been born. He will gain in ascendancy from this point on, showing that the Wheel of the Year always turns.

Yuletide in the Modern World

In Christian countries, Winter Solstice, or Yuletide, is replaced by Christmas. The stillness of this time of year is felt, but rarely acknowledged. Most people have exhausted their energies in the preparations for Christmas Day celebrations, when they instinctively know it's time to stop--and eat!

The Feast of Fools

The ancient Yule rituals still predominate today. The Lord of Misrule, who originated in the wild Roman Saturnalia festivals (that ended on the Winter Solstice), presided over a time of chaos, which is still echoed in some of today's Christmas office parties. normal behavior is replaced by people acting like fools. Yule has also always been a time of feasting and plenty, hopefully setting the pattern of abundance for the year to come.

Yuletide Celebrations

Celebrate the Yuletide traditions of old, such as kissing under the mistletoe and making Yule logs, as the Wheel of the Year turns around the Winter Solstice

Ancient Pagan Roots

Many of the customs you may observe at Christmas are rooted in Pagan ritual. Evergreens, for example, have always been brought indoors at Yuletide to symbolize everlasting life. This ritual survives in the traditional Christmas tree. Other aspects of the festivities, such as kissing under the mistletoe, also hark back to ancient beliefs.

Fertility Rites

Holly and mistletoe were used in fertility rites to ensure the coming of spring. Red holly berries represent the life-blood of the female, while white mistletoe berries represent drops of male semen. The Yule's holly wreath also referred to the Wheel of the Year, as Yule means "wheel".

Making a Yule Log

The Yule log was traditionally cut from oak, because of its connections with the Oak King of summer. It burns slowly and with great heat, redolent of the Sun. Make your own Yule log by following these steps:

1. Get a piece of wood, preferably oak, approximately 4 inches thick and 10 inches long.

2. Drill three holes in the top of the log. then wrap tin foil around the bottom of three red candles and wedge these in the holes in the log.

3. Decorate the log with holly, ivy and mistletoe, and light the three candles to welcome the rebirth of the Sun King.

Welcome the Sun

Many of the customs surrounding the Winter Solstice involve honoring the return of the Sun and celebrating the birth of the Sun King -- or Oak King, in Celtic circles. As a change of pace from the usual rush of social activity, Christmas parties, and festivities surrounding this time of year, you many wish to find a moment of solitude to welcome back the Sun.

A meditative Ritual

Se the atmosphere for your private Winter Solstice ritual by darkening a room in your home and kneeling at a small table where you have placed a red candle. Reflect on all the things that you hope for the New Year, and visualize the Sun rising up out of darkness to a position high above the Earth. Light the candle and say, " I welcome back the life-giving light of the Sun."

Tribal Gathering

An ancient need stirs within the human soul at this time of year for contact with the tribe. On the eve of the Winter Solstice, gather with friends and family, and watch the Sun set for the last time under the rulership of the Holly King. Then invite everyone home and light the Yule log.


Sit everyone around the fire and let people tell their hopes and dreams for the following year. You can also have fun making a hot punch with plenty of spices and apples, then drink together from a communal cup -- traditionally called the wassail bowl.

You gathering may wish to spread their good cheer and visit your neighbors with gifts of food, to share the festivities of Yuletide in this very traditional way.

The Real Story of Christmas-- click here

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cleansing Ritual for a Sick Friend

When a friend becomes ill, help speed his or her recovery by performing a cleansing ritual.

Performing a cleansing spell will help to cleanse your sick friends of their illness, and of any problems that might interfere with their recovery, such as feelings of vulnerability and depression.

Allowing time to recover

Before beginning, be mindful of your intentions; a person may need to go through a period of illness before he can be well again. Say "for the highest good" or " by divine will" before performing healing spells to show that you are honoring the process of the illness, as well as wishing for your friend's recovery.

Circle of Salt

Whenever you set up a spell, it is important to form some kind of circle around your activities. This defines the space, allowing you to focus your attention and helping to contain the energies you are channeling. This is called "binding" your spell the best way to bind a cleansing ritual is with a circle of salt, into which you can visualize the illness dissolving.

Performing your Ritual

You will need:

1 pale blue pillar candle
A memento of your sick friend- such as a photo or a piece of their jewelry
Natural sea salt.

You may perform this ritual up to three times a day.

1. No Disturbances---Find a quiet place to perform your ritual.

2. Healing Flowers---Place the flowers in a vase and set them down beside the candle.

3. Remember the Sick---Place the memento of your friend that you have chosen beside the candle.

4. Bind your Spell---Sprinkle a loose circle of natural sea salt around the group of items you have set up in order to define your magical area.

5. Candle Magic---Light your candle, and watch it slowly burn.

6. Thinking of You---Sit quietly for 15 minutes and imagine your friend's pain or sickness dissolving into the salt.

7. Ground the Spell---Blow our your candle, sweep up the salt, and dispose of it into some earth (away from plants, as salt can damage them.)

Your Cleansing Ritual Ingredients

Every item used in your cleansing spell has a specific purpose, although you may choose to make slight variations depending on the particular situation.

A Personal Item

The personal item you use will focus your thoughts on your friend, and clear any other concerns from your mind. By placing it at the center of the spell, you are showing that your friend's well being is your primary concern.

If you don't have a recent photo of your friend, use an item of her jewelry instead. Something you gave as a present will help strengthen the bond between you.

Wish for the outcome that is best for your friend-- not just for you. People need time to recover slowly more than you need your social life back!

Flowers for Life

Flowers are filled with the Sun's golden energy, making them an ideal ingredient in healing spells and a perfect gift for a sick friend even when you aren't casting a spell. Good flowers to use include:

Marigolds----represent and remind us of the life giving Sun, promote rest, recovery and renewal.

Red Geraniums---generally associated with strong and courageous Mars, the God of War, aid a speedy recovery.

Cyclamen---offers protection from setbacks during sleep and convalescence.

White Roses---promotes peace of mind and tranquility. White is the color of purity, washing away our worries and ills.

Potted Plants---those who watch the living, breathing plant grow will gain strength as they recover and their health blossoms.

Candles for Change

Candles represent fire, which gives out the heat and light necessary for life. Candles also symbolize transformation--our problems dissolve along with the wax.

* Use a pale blue candle to bring serenity, happiness, and protection.

* Use a wide or pillar candle so that it can be lit and re-lit throughout your friend's illness. A slow-burning candle is best, as recovery takes time.

* If your friend is undergoing surgery, use a violet candle, as this represents success and victory over the challenge.

* Use a black candle if your friend has been emotionally hurt, or is depressed.

Focus on the candle's flame as you imagine your good wishes flying toward your friend, carried by the smoke.

Crystals for Focus

Crystals send out subtle vibrations that affect the atmosphere. If you use an item of your friend's jewelry in your spell, the crystal set into it can help the spell to work.

* Amethyst clears headaches, stress and anxiety

* Citrine eases emotional states such as depression

* Turquoise is a master healing stone that strengthens and protects during illness

* Quartz harmonizes environments

As well as using crystals in spells, you can give your sick friend a small crystal touchstone to put under his or her pillow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Ivy Moon: September 30- October 27

The Ivy Moon coincides with the end of the harvest season when successes and losses must be accounted for. In ancient times, intoxicating ale was brewed from ivy and was used to induce visions of the battlefield.

The plant teaches us that restrictions are necessary to help us hone our skills. During this month, remember that your enemies are your teachers and that opposition is a blessing in disguise. Focus on magic that strengthens your resolve.

Prepare for the future

Spells that boost your sense of responsibility will make you ready for what lies ahead. Be prepared to take the long-term view and accept and celebrate your life as it is right now. Trust that the Ivy Moon will prepare you to receive an answer to your prayers at exactly the right time.

The Ritual of the "Ivy Girl"

Ivy grows in a spiral formation reminding us that each cycle of the seasons brings us closer to the center, to the spirit. The last harvest sheaf to be cut in the village was once bound with ivy and called the "Ivy Girl". This was given to the farmer whose harvest was last, as a reminder of his responsibility to the spirits of the land.


Ivy is ruled by the planet Saturn and is often linked with horned gods such as Pan and Dionysus, and as such is a plant of protection, sexuality, property and faith. Ivy was also believed to protect from alcoholic intoxication. For this reason, intertwined vines of grape and ivy, representing balance, were depicted in ancient images of Dionysus.


House Protection Spell

Utilize the magic of ivy to protect your home from negative influences. You will need:

A black candle
Lots of ivy stems

--Light the candle and say," I call upon the spirits of this place, come in peace."

--Make a circle of ivy stems on the floor and step into the center.

--Turn to the north and recite, "Spirits of the Earth protect me."

--To the east say, "Spirits of air protect me."

--To the south say, "Spirits of fire protect me."

--To the west say, "Spirits of water protect me."

--Place the stems that formed your circle at the boundaries of your property.

Women's Ivy Charms

Ivy is a feminine plant and it is particularly lucky for women. Use the following ivy charms all year around to utilize ivy's powerful magical properties.

*Brides who carry or wear ivy will have a long, committed and prosperous marriage. Sew an ivy leaf into a small pocket of white linen, and give this to a bride to slip into the hem of her wedding dress for luck.

*To guard against accidents while driving, carefully secure an ivy leaf on your car's dashboard.

*Grow ivy vines around the front door of your house to prevent negativity from entering your home.

Facing Challenges

Performing this ritual during the Ivy Moon will help you to learn from difficult circumstances and move on. To perform this ritual you will need:

A piece of paper
A pen
A white candle
A fireproof dish

*Write a list of the troubles that you are experiencing.

*Next to each one write what you have gained from it, for example "It made me stronger."

*Light the candle saying, "This flame represents my faith in the universe. I give thanks for the lessons I have learned."

*Burn the paper and feel yourself grow stronger.

Ivy Spell Bags

Use the magic of ivy to strengthen your willpower.

--Ivy leaves, ginger and echinacea (pronounced eck-can-ay-sha) placed in a yellow spell bag will guard against addictive behavior.

--Ivy leaves, chicory, sea salt and sage in a navy blue bag will guard against overspending.

--A charm of ivy leaves, hawthorn leaves, and red chili seeds placed in a white spell bag will help to keep you faithful to your lover.

--Placing ivy leaves lily petals and lilac flowers in a blue spell bag will prevent you from returning to a destructive relationship.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wishing Spells

from SCIPA

Wishing magic utilizes the natural sources in the world around you. You can call upon the four elements of earth, air, fire and water; using wishing crystals, flowers, herbs and spices; or find a wishing tree for your spell. Use images of the things you desire to focus the intent of your spell. Your timing is another important factor to consider.

Wish upon a new Moon

For drawing something to you, such as a work opportunity, wish when the Moon is growing, from new to full. The new Moon begins when you can see a silver crescent in the sky.

Wish upon a waning Moon

To release something, such as an illness or a bad relationship, work with the waning Moon phase. This begins on the third day after the full Moon.

A simple wishing spell:

Turning your dreams into reality takes only a little time and effort where magic is concerned. Start practicing your wishing magic with this simple wishing spell to be cast in alignment with the full Moon.

1. Magic Ribbon
Purchase one yard of thin, silver ribbon from a craft or fabric store.

2. Wishing Tree
Choose a tree under whose branches you will wish. You should make your wish during the phase of the full Moon to draw the object of your dreams to you.

3. Give Thanks
When you have made your wish, tie the ribbon loosely but securely around a branch of your wishing tree. Stay for a while to commune and give thanks to your tree.

Elemental Wishing

Each one of the four elements has its particular associations with types of wishes:

Working with Earth

Earth symbolizes growth and fertility. It represents stability as it "grounds" the qualities you possess. Focus on the earth when your wishes include:

Financial security
Practical areas of life
Fertility and fertile opportunities
Work and career
Home and garden

Outdoor Wishes-- When working with the earth element, write your wish on a piece of natural paper and "plant" it outside. Bury your wish beneath a plant or a tree that draws your attention. (Do not dig it up once you have buried it.)

Indoor Wishes-- Light a green candle every evening at the start of a full Moon phase and keep relighting it until the Moon is full. Repeat your wish three times each time you relight your candle.

Working with Air

Air represents intellectual pursuits and our minds. It also symbolizes our spirit flying high, striving toward new goals and experiences. Focus on the air when your wishes involve:

Success in exams
Job interviews
Mental stability
Stress relief
Medicine and health

Outdoor wishes-- When working with air, visualize a gentle breeze blowing through your wish- perhaps by hanging a ribbon from a window or from a branch of a tree.

Indoor wishes-- If you can't work outside, light a yellow candle on a windowsill every evening for seven nights, starting on the first night of the new Moon. Repeat you wishing spell three times every time you relight your candle.

Working with Water

Water represents our emotions and the flow of our lives and relationships. Draw on the water element when wishing for:

Healing illness
Emotional issues
Relationship harmony
Dreams and trust

Outdoor wishes-- When working with the water element, you could visit a lake, river or stream. Hold a crystal (aquamarine and mother-of-pearl have particular associations with water) and visualize your wish as a spark contained within it. Then cast your crystal into the waters.

Indoor wishes-- Starting with the waning of the Moon, light a pale blue candle every evening for seven nights. Repeat your wish three times when you relight your candle.

Working with Fire

Fire represents change and transformation and also the spark of life within us - consider such terms as "fire in your heart" and "fiery temperament". Call upon fire in wishes for:

Removal of conflict
Dynamic energy
Psychic protection
Passion and desire

Outdoor wishes-- When working with the fire element, you could hang up a garden lantern containing a red or orange candle as you recite your wish. Or simply watch the sunrise and make a wish.

Indoor wishes-- When working fire magic indoors, always begin when the moon is full. Light a read candle every evening for seven nights, repeating your wish three times every time you relight your candle.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Why would I choose Wicca after Mormonism?

I am a practicing Wiccan, and have been since Mabon 2003, just shy of a year after leaving the Morg*. I actually started out looking up Wicca on the Internet because I was gunning for an ex-husband who claimed he had "connections" with covens and black magic practitioners and was thinly veiling threats of vengeance upon me for leaving him. I wanted to gain information on Wicca so I could protect myself from it. What an amazing journey it has been! I quickly discovered that what he had described to me was no where near what Wicca really is, and also, for every hate site there is against Wicca, there are 100 positive sites where Wicca is taught as a religion, and where "fluffy-bunnies" are discouraged (that means if you're looking for ways to gain control over others, entice someone to fall in love with you, or change your ex into a toad, Wicca is not for you). Practicing and learning Wicca is one of the hardest, most satisfying challenges of my life, and is something I will never fully learn throughout my entire lifetime. Wicca is a process of learning, and one can never learn to much!!! What a contrast from Mormonism, where they are constantly trying to limit everyone's knowledge to 'approved manuals' and 'scripted study guides' LOL!!!

I decided to consider myself Wiccan after voraciously reading on every website I could find, collecting books on every variation of Wicca (and there are hundreds of varieties of Wicca, even Christian-based), and lots of solitary time to sort out what I have been taught to believe from what resonates from inside of me. I use Wicca as a tool to bring out my own inner spirituality, I use Wicca as a format for developing my own spiritual consciousness, and I call myself a Wiccan, because it separates me from the expected 'norm' for a middle-aged white woman in Southern Iowa. I wear pentacle necklaces and medallions, I have t-shirts with pictures of Goddesses and pentacles on them, I attend meetings of like-minded Pagan folks who aren't necessarily Wiccan, but practice alternative types of spiritual progressive thought. (and no, drugs are not used to obtain this).

I'm often disappointed when I come across people who still think that Wicca is about blood sacrifices, killing kittens or goats (or worse, newborn babies) and wild orgies with strangers while tied up on a post. (that last one was from a TBM**) I am also a little saddened by people who believe that Wicca is a cult, and that I am under the control and direction of a coven led by a High Priest who can order me to kill someone at any moment and I must obey or suffer my own life to be taken (also from a TBM). All of these things are completely FALSE.

I have never taken a life, caused blood to be spilled, witnessed any harm on any living creature (or the mutilation of a dead one), or participated in any wild orgies (although if they are going on somewhere it sure would be nice to be invited at least...)

It pains me to hear these misconceptions about Wicca, especially coming from TBM's, because when I was a Mormon, I was told many times by those who had no experience whatsoever what Mormons really believe, what really goes on inside the temple, what kind of heinous acts were done to little children on the altars of the church, etc. It really pissed me off to be a Mormon and have others tell me what it is that I REALLY believe, even thought I say I don't believe them. Now, as a Wiccan, I am getting the very same attitude from TBM's (and others) that they get from those who wouldn't have any damn idea what the hell they are talking about. And it really infuriates me whenever some so-called former Wiccan/Satan worshipper goes gallivanting about "exposing" the atrocities of Wicca and claiming that these sort of things really do happen. Just like any other religion, Wicca has it's share of crazies, and it's not fair to judge the whole system based on a few weirdos, just like it's not fair to judge the entire LDS church based solely on what the Fundy Polygamists do. Although it's true that the LDS church used to do these things, there is ample evidence that they would still be willing practitioners of it if they hadn't promised to cease in order to obtain statehood. But, I digress....

Wicca is more about bringing out your individual spirituality, and connecting to the divine within yourself. Everyone on this earth has the ability to make change, and Wicca is a process of bringing out those energies to promote good, healthy changes without bringing harm to others. I call myself a Wiccan, because I practice the religion. Someone who calls themselves a witch may only be practicing and developing skills in spellwork and bringing about changes using ritual. They may not necessarily be Wiccan. And Wiccans don't necessarily call themselves witches unless they practice spellwork to effect change. Some just practice the religion, the meditation, the inner spirituality rituals and be done with that. It can be confusing at times, so all I can advise is read, read and then read some more. Becoming Wiccan does not happen in the blink of an eye. And, unlike being Mormon, if you decide to move on to something else, you don't have to apologize to anyone, or write a resignation letter, or sweat out what your family will think. You just move on to whatever suits your personal spiritual needs and desires.

I laugh about people assuming I'm in a cult because I say I'm Wiccan, when the real truth is I left a cult (Mormonism) and found Wicca all on my own, and practice it alone with no coven, no authorities to revere and no 'dues' to pay each week. I'm more free now to be myself than I ever was being LDS, and I wouldn't give up this freedom to change my point of view whenever I like, rather than being constantly chastised for exploring new ideas and "thinking too much".

* Morg---A combination of the words Mormon and Borg
**TBM---True Believing Mormon

Thursday, August 9, 2007

How to Charge Crystals

When you start working with crystals, you also need to think about their care. As you use your crystals regularly, you'll build up a personal link with them, attuning them to your body's unique energies. You can also charge them up from other sources of magical energy, such as the Moon. As you use the gems, the energies they've built up will be dispersed. You'll need to recharge them from time to time to keep them working at optimum levels.

Drawing energy to you

Regular charging will ensure your crystal acts most effectively as a magnet to positive and healing energies. Recharging your stones regularly keeps them working effectively and also keeps the energies they affect focused on you.

Once your crystals have been charged to your specific energy signature, it's best not to let anyone else touch them, as they will work most efficiently for you alone.

When to charge crystals

You should charge your crystals during the waxing Moon, between the new and full moons when natural energies are growing with the increasing moonlight.
Prior to charging your crystal, carry it in your pocket to strengthen the link between the stone and your body's own magical energies.

Follow the simple steps below to charge your crystals with the magic of the Moon:

You will need

* A joss stick (the smoke represents the element air)
* A red candle (which represents fire)
* A small bowl of water (a shell makes an excellent container)
* A small bowl of soil (try to use an earthenware or wooden container)
* A bottle of an appropriate essential oil, such as frankincense or sandalwood

Place the bottle of oil in the middle of the items representing the elements with the bowl of earth above (north), the joss stick to the right (east), the candle below (south), and the bowl of water to the left (west) of the oil. This arrangement of the elements has magical associations of its own and will strengthen the spell.

1. Begin your ritual
Light your joss stick and candle. The joss stick's smoke represents the element of air; the candle's flame represents fire. (Light the candle first, then light the joss stick from the flame)

2. Charge with Air
Pass your crystal through the joss smoke, saying, " I charge you with the powers of the winds of air." Then simply blow the smoke all over the crystal.

3.Charge with Fire
Next, pass your crystal over the candle flame, saying, " I charge you with the power of the flames of fire." Visualize fire energy rising into your crystal.

4. Charge with Water
Sprinkle water over your crystal, saying, "I charge you with the power of the waves of water." Visualize the energies of rain and ocean spray in the drops of water.

5. Charge with Earth
Put your crystal in the bowl of earth, saying, " I charge you with the power of earth, from whence you came." Imagine the crystal absorbing the earth's energy.

6. Anoint your crystal
Now, anoint your crystal with oil, saying, "I charge you with the power of the spirit of life, harmony and truth." Visualize energy passing through you into the crystal.

7. Storing your crystal
Your crystal is now charged. To prevent it from becoming contaminated with unwanted energy, keep it in a silk bag until you need to use it again.

Your crystal will need to be cleansed regularly and should be recharged after every cleansing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Magic of Amethyst

Amethyst, the birthstone of Aquarius, is an extremely versatile crystal for use around the home, in jewelry or in crystal or in healing and meditation. It stimulates all the energy centers of your body, your mind and your spirit. You can channel amethyst's power by carrying a small crystal in your pocket. Holding your crystal while you meditate enhances your mental clarity and improves your intuition and open-mindedness.

The Spiritualist's Stone

Amethyst's magical qualities have been valued for centuries. It is mentioned in the Bible, and is today mounted in the Fisherman's Ring worn by the Pope. Spiritualists believe that the stone enables you to bring the divine into more mundane parts of your life, helping your soul to feel grounded and comfortable in your physical body.

Ancient Powers of Amethyst

Amethyst has been used since biblical times. It is mentioned in Exodus as one of the 12 sacred stones worn on the High Priest Aaron's breastplate.

*Protective powers

Ambassadors in Ancient Egypt carried amethyst scarabs (small carvings of beetles) with them when traveling abroad. They believed the scarabs could see through illusions and protect them from treachery. Ancient Persians believed that amethyst had the power to keep away hail and locusts.

*Seeing the future

In crystal fortune-telling, amethyst foretells a change or transition, or suggests that such a change is the answer to a problem.

Using Your Amethyst

Amethyst is the perfect all-purpose crystal. You can use it during meditation, to protect your home or even carry it with you during a night on the town.

*Prevent Drunkeness*

Amethyst comes from the Greek 'amethystos,' meaning "not drunken". In Greek myth, Amethyst was a pure young girl who refused to get drunk, thus incurring the wrath of Dionysus, the god of joviality. To protect here from his wrath, the goddess Diana turned her into quartz. Dionysus later regretted his actions and knocked over his wine goblet in despair, staining the quartz purple.

The Ancient Greeks believed that amethyst therefore offered protection from the effects of overindulgence in alcohol--allowing you to drink without becoming intoxicated--and also from falling victim to addiction. They often drank fro amethyst goblets, or dropped an amethyst into their wine glass for protection.

Carry your amethyst in your pocket during a night on the town to protect you from drinking too much! You'll need to carry it with you for two weeks beforehand, however, to attune it to your personal energies.

Heighten your Psychic Awareness and Intuition

Like all purple stones, amethyst is linked to your body's energy centers at the pituitary and pineal glands, located in the center of your forehead (known as the sixth, or "Third-Eye" Chakra). This is the area that controls your higher intuition and spiritual awareness.

Placing an amethyst on your brow stimulates your pineal gland. Some traditions hold that this gland is the place where the soul enters and leaves the body. Stimulating it enables you to see through such lies and illusions as nightmares, groundless depression and the false happiness of addiction.

Your Third-Eye Chakra regulates the energy flow throughout your body, stimulating it helps to rebalance extremes, setting your moods and enhancing your general well-being. Hold your amethyst over your Third-Eye Chakra, or massage the area lightly with your stone, to heighten your spiritual receptivity and open your mind to new ideas and experiences.

Amethyst promotes spiritual development and aids divine connections and mental clarity. It encourages bravery and wisdom, and helps to initiate astral travel. Hold your amethyst loosely during meditation to improve divine connections.

Wear amethyst in a pendant on a short chain to benefit from its stimulating effects all day long.

Enhance Healing

Amethyst is good for easing problems in the head area, such as migraines and depression. Ametrine, a natural mix of amethyst and the gold stone citrine, will help with stomach problems.

Amethyst is a good all-purpose healing stone, especially useful when you aren't sure of the cause of the problem. You can enhance your crystal's healing properties by rubbing it with lavender oil, which also stimulates the Third-Eye Chakra.

On your bedside table or under your pillow, amethyst's soothing qualities will ease your worries and help you sleep.

Gently rub your forehead with an amethyst to banish tension headaches. Start with small circular movements in the center of the temple and gradually work your way outward.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Blessing Moon

This is a time for Magic.

In the calendar system, this moon may often be known as the the Blessing Moon in reference to the blessings of the sacred marriages of earth and sky, or dark and light, or the King and Queen of summer.

In many other belief systems there are already time-honored traditions for the establishment of a calendar.

In the Celtic Tree Calendar the name of this moon is Duir (Oak) which runs from June 10th to July 7th.

The Runic Calendar of Nordic traditions, (which is governed by half months rather than full months), divides this moon of the year by Odal (Home or Heritage) from May 29th through June 13th, and Dag (Daylight) from June 14th through June 28th.

The Goddess Calendar names this moon of the year after Hera and runs from May 16th through June 12th.

The American Backwoods Calendar refers to this moon of the year as the Hot Moon or the Strawberry Moon and is determined by whichever full moon falls in June.

However this moon is known to you, as the Hot Moon, the Strawberry Moon, or the Honey Moon, it will surely be known in some ways that call to mind the first honey dripping from wild hives, or the sweet ripeness of fruit orchards because this moon is the moon of ripening fullness.

In many cultures and in many beliefs, this is seen as the time in the Wheel of the Year when the goddess in her mature aspect of Earth Mother, is wed to the god in his mature aspect of Summer King. Together they will reign over this peaceful season of growth and abundance.

This is a time of maturing development when the greatest power of summer will be revealed on the Summer Solstice as the longest day of the year signifies light overcoming darkness.

It is said that on the eve of the Summer Solstice, when the shortest night of the year yields to the longest day, the veil between the fairy world and this world is stretched thinnest and so springs the belief that all wishes are granted on midsummer.

So, with all that information to guide you, it may be that you see this moon as the doorway of the year which opens to the power of light and the beneficial growth and expansion associated with the longest days of the year.

If you select a personal name for this moon, allow it to be one that calls to mind the rich fullness of fruit ripening on the vines and the heady sweetness of a season in which all desires may come to fruition and all wishes may be granted.

The Blessing Chant

May the powers of The One,
the source of all creation;
all-pervasive, omnipotent, eternal;
may the Goddess, the Lady of the Moon;
and the God,Horned Hunter of the Sun;
may the powers of the Spirits of the Stones,
rulers of the elemental realms;
may the powers of the stars above and the Earth below,
bless this place, and this time, and all who are with you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ribbon Magic

The age-old tradition of playing with colored ribbons and tying them in knots is rooted in folk magic.

Ribbons are a basic ingredient of most spells, and ribbon magic is one of the simplest ways to literally weave magic. Ribbons are easy to obtain, and it is worth buying a variety of different colored ones for use. An old custom that still persists into modern times is the Maypole---men, women and children hold colored ribbons and dance between each other, weaving them together in a fertility rite to ensure good harvests.

Healing Waters

Tying colored ribbons to trees near ancient springs or lakes honors the healing spirits of the waters and so represents a wish that these healing spirits will cure an ailment.

Weaving Magic with Your Ribbons

Tying knots

A knot secures something, be it a shoe or a boat. In magic, knots fix your spell and focus your intent. To secure your wishes, repeat your intent every time you tie a knot.

Binding (protection)

Just as ribbons bind your hair, protecting it from the wind or dirt, they also bind negative influences and prevent them from affecting you.


If you have allowed a time frame for the spell to work in, be sure not to untie any knots in the ribbon before this time.

Wearing Ribbons

For a period of time prior to casting your spell, wear your ribbon in your hair or on a belt loop. This charges it with your own energy, increasing the power being put into the spell.


When you've performed your ribbon spell, be sure to keep the ribbon somewhere safe. Wrapping it in a piece of natural silk is ideal.

Basic Ribbon Spells

Attraction Spells

Spells to attract a partner are frequently done with ribbons. Use two ribbons to bind yourselves together.

1. Male/Female

Take two ribbons, one red (male) and one white or pink (female).

2. Weaving Together

Weave the two ribbons together while visualizing the desired partner coming into your life and their path entwining with yours.

3. Added Magic

Use complementary candles and essential oils to anoint the ribbons, such as rose oil for a woman and frankincense for a man.

Weave your ribbons together to symbolize your life and your lover's becoming entwined. Rub romantic oils into your plaited ribbon to strengthen the magic associations with love.

Ribbon Colors

Use the magic of color to find the most appropriate ribbon for strengthening your spell.

White-- purity, healing, blessing, wisdom, innocence.

Red-- energy, passion, vitality, willpower, success.

Orange-- creativity, prosperity, emotional strength.

Yellow-- mental power, wealth, communication, travel.

Green-- growth, fertility, harmony.

Light blue-- healing, serenity, peace, security.

Dark blue-- success in long-term plans, clarity

Purple-- spiritual development, luck, psychic abilities.

Pink-- gentle love, romance, friendship, tranquility.

Brown-- grounding, stability, endurance.

Black-- binding, depression, absorbing negativity.

Number of Knots

(1) The number of unity. For focus, single-mindedness, acceptance.

(2) The number of duality. Balance in partnerships and relationships.

(3) Number of Saturn. For solidity, timing, acceptance.

(4) Number of Jupiter. For dealing with authority, general health.

(5) Number of Mars. For energy, passion, courage, willpower.

(6) Number of the Sun. For success, wealth, charisma.

(7) Number of Venus. For love, fertility, emotional growth.

(8) Number of Mercury. For mental clarity, healing, communication.

(9) Number of the Moon. For the emotions, tides, glamour.

(10) Number of the Earth. For endurance, perseverance and grounding.

Remember to repeat your intent every time you tie a knot to secure your wishes, and be sure not to untie any knots in the ribbon before enough time had passed for your spell to work properly. A couple of minutes is usually not sufficient, some spells and magical workings require days or weeks to complete. It is sometimes best to start on the night of a new moon and allow the knots to remain until the full moon in order to get the best affect for your spellwork.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Casting Simple Candle Spells

The light and warmth of a candles' flame is one of our most powerful connections to fire--the element of creativity, life and health.

Remember the first time you made a wish as you blew out the candles on a birthday cake? As a child you believed your wish would come true and had an innocent faith that something magical would happen. You probably didn't realize it, but as you visualized the end result (made a wish), concentrated upon it (blew out the candles), and hoped your wish would be granted, you were casting your very first candle spell.

Getting Started

Candle magic is very simple---but highly effective. From the tea lights that warm your essential oil burner, to the romantic candles on your dinner table, you probably have everything you need in your house already. All that needs to be added is the knowledge of how to choose the appropriated candle for your purpose and how to use it to weave magic.

Choosing the Appropriate Color

As candles give out light, their power lies partially in the visual realm of the color spectrum . As colors have strong magical associations, choosing these the appropriate one for your candle can help to strengthen the power of your wish.

Red-- passion, energy, vitality, success

Orange-- stimulation, courage, creativity, prosperity

Yellow-- change, mental strength, travel

Green-- fertility, harmony in relationships, money

Light Blue-- healing, spiritual harmony, peace

Dark Blue-- removal of obstacles, long-term issues

Purple-- good luck fortune, legal matters

Pink-- friendship, love loyalty, romance.

Black-- absorption of negativity, depression, and other dark states

Casting Your First Simple Candle Spell

1. Choose your candle

Choose the candle most suited to your wish. Before you start, make sure you will not be disturbed.

2. Set your intent

Decide on the exact wording of your wish. This is known as your "intent" and focuses your mind on exactly what you are asking for.

3. Get it straight

You can write your intent down, speak it aloud, or just think it silently.

4. Meditate

Light your candle and sit quietly beside it, contemplating your wish.

5. Focus on your wish

As your candle burns down, visualize the energy of your will being released by the candle flame.

6. Release your intent

If you wrote your wish down, at this stage you should hold the piece of paper it's written on in the candle flame, until it has completely burned away.

7. Bind your spell

To "bind" your spell, you may wish to recite a suitable incantation: "I call on Earth to heed my spell. Air to speed its passage well. Bright as fire shall this spell glow. Deep as tide of water flow. By my will, this spell is done." Say this out loud or recite it silently.

8. Finish the rite

Some traditions discourage blowing out candles, as it can scatter the power of the spell. If you can do so safely, it is best to allow the candle to burn itself out. If you cannot, extinguish the flame using a snuffer or cup placed directly over the flame of the candle until it goes out. Keep your wish secret, and make sure to keep a journal of your magickal workings so you can track your spell's success!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Magic of Crystals

Virtually every culture and religion throughout history has used stones symbolically or decoratively. Their beauty and scarcity as well as the feelings they inspire makes them very valuable.

Many crystals also have practical uses that we can incorporate into our daily lives. They can gather and direct magical energy that exists all around and within us. Like ancient mystics, we can learn to use them for protection, luck and healing.

Each crystal has its own magical abilities and attributes, but all work in the following way:

Vibrational Balance

The magic of crystals is in their color, which is determined by the rate at which their atoms vibrate. These vibrations can be matched to the energy given off by your body's aura and your energy centers.

Channel Energy

Just as light can be focused and refracted through crystals so too are all kinds of psychic energy, from healing energies to divine communications.

Using Crystals in Spells

When using crystals in spells, combine them with magical objects that have complementary color associations.

  • You can use crystals to channel the magical energies your spell manipulates.
  • Rub or "anoint your crystals with complementary essential oils to boost their healing and protective abilities.
  • Crystals can help you to chart the future, including the ancient art of gazing into a crystal ball.
  • Crystals have been used as lucky charms for tens of thousands of years. They are even mentioned in the Bible.

Healing with Crystals

Crystals can be used in a variety of ways to aid healing:

  • Crystals influence the energy vibrations of your aura, balancing energy flow to, from, and through you body.
  • You can make gem remedies by soaking a crystal in a glass of clear water. This imbues the water with the healing properties of the stone, which are taken into your body when you drink it.

Clear Quartz Crystals

Quartz acts as an amplifier of energy, and is good for healing and communication. Quartz's clarity and purity give it magical similarities to water and glass. It can be used to "wash away" negative energies from your body and environment. In crystal ball gazing, it acts as a window onto other worlds, a portal through which, for instance, the cause of an illness can be revealed.
  • You can use it to aid psychic traveling and dream journeys.
  • Wearing quartz in your jewelry can make you more perceptive to your friends' moods.
  • Quartz can also deflect energy away from you. Your crystal can purify your environment by dispelling negative energies from the air.
  • Placing quartz on your computer will help to keep it running smoothly. It protects the machine against the negative energy you give out when you're in a bad mood.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Celebrating the Blue Moon

On May 31, 2007 at 20:04 CST the moon will enter it’s full stage for the second time in a month. This is called a Blue Moon and occurs roughly once every 2½ years. ( In Europe and England, this will occur June 1, giving them a Blue Moon on June 30th)

Full Moon Ritual

This is a VERY powerful ritual. I have had great results from this. If done correctly, the presence of the Lady can be strongly felt!

You will need:
Two white candles
A bell
Wine or lunar liquid
Your chalice (or cup)
Spell material if you are doing something afterwards

Cast your circle.

Stand before the altar facing North and say:

This is the time of the full moon, a time of great power for positive manifestation, a time of increasing and gaining.
The tide of Moon-power is strong.
I am of the Goddess.
I stand before You at Your altar, in love and adoration.
Be with me Goddess.
Let me feel your presence here tonight."

Go to the east with the bell.
Ring it once and say:

"Hail Selene. Help me feel the Lady's power and presence within my mind."

Go to the South.
Ring the bell once and say:

"Hail Cerridwen.
Help me feel the Lady's power and presence within my spirit."

Go to the West.
Ring the bell once and say:

"Hail Athene. Help me feel the Lady's power and presence within my emotions."

Go back to the North. Ring the bell once and say:

"Hail Aphrodite. Help me feel the Lady's power and presence in my body."

You will probably have an amazing wave of feelings come over you. Let them sink into your body and soul. When you are ready, return the bell to the altar, turn to the North, and raise your arms high above your head.

"Hail Goddess! Moon Mother, Lady of Light, Mistress of Magick and Animals.
You are the white light of the Moon upon the Earth, the brilliant rays of sun upon life.
You are the beginning and ending, the One who creates and takes away.
Within You, I see myself and all women.
In this time, You come to me and fill me with your presence."

Communicate with Her now. Tell Her your problems, wishes and anything you wish to tell her.
When you are finished say:

"All honor and love to the wonderful Goddess, for She is the power behind all powers,
the Goddess behind all gods,
the Eternal Life behind death.
I see Her loving face within the moon and rejoice.
All Hail Queen of the heavens and the earth, the eternal on of Wisdom!"

Raise the chalice to toast her and say:

"To Diana and all the Goddesses!"

Now is the time for divination, meditation, and spell work of any kind.
(Special Note: a Blue Moon holds double the power of a normal full Moon. Make wishes and cast spells under a Blue Moon if you want long-term results, like at the start of a long period of study or the setting up of a new business.)

Close the circle when done.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What made me question Christianity?

From Midnight Moonchild

Mythology surrounding the ancient god Attis clearly predates those of Jesus Christ. Before and during the years the Christian Gospels were written (from the reign of Claudius, AD 41to 54) a celebration known as The Festival of Joy, celebrated the death and rebirth of Attis. In the mythos, Attis was born of a virgin named Nana. He grew up to become a sacrificial victim and savior slain to bring salvation to mankind. His body was eaten by his worshipers in the form of bread. He was crucified on a pine tree, "from which his holy blood poured down to redeem the earth." A Christian writer of the fourth century AD, recounted ongoing disputes between Pagans and Christians over the remarkable similarities of the death and resurrection of their two gods. The Pagans argued that their God was older and therefore original. The Christians admitted Christ came later, but claimed Attis was a work of the devil whose similarity to Christ, and the fact he predated Christ, were tricks of the devil intended to confuse and mislead men.

Similar arguements have been sparked concerning the Zoroastran god Mithras. When the Christian mythology was new, Mithras and Mithraism were already ancient. Worshipped for centuries as God's messenger of truth, Mithras enjoyed a lengthy reverence by the Persians (Zoroastrianism) as well as followers in India (as referenced in Vedic literature).

Historical texts indicate Pompey imported Mithraism into Rome around 70 BC, and statues of Mithras were present as late as 101 AD. According to the mythology, Mithras was born in a cave, on December 25th, of a virgin mother. He came from heaven to be born as a man and to redeem men from their sins. He was known as "Savior", "Son of God", "Redeemer", and "Lamb of God". As with Attis, writings of Christian apologists denounce the devil for having sent a God so similar to Jesus... yet preceding him.

In other mythology of India, Krishna was born while his foster-father Nanda was in the city to pay tax to the king. His nativity was said to have been heralded by a star.

Krishna died pierced by an arrow while hanging on a cross, descended into Hell from which He rose again on the third day, and ascended into Heaven. It is written that He will return on the last day to judge the quick and the dead.

In Christian mythology there is the story of Jesus. Born of a virgin in a stable (some texts have translated this to mean a cave), He traveled widely, doing good works. He was betrayed, sacrificed and buried, his body placed in a tomb.The record of the roman army's execution date of Yeshua Ben Nazareth (later known as Jesus Christ) has been lost, however the mythology avers that he arose on the third day and ascended into Heaven.

Among other things he has been called "Savior", "The Light of the World", "Only Begotten Son", "The Lamb of God", "The Prince of Peace", or "The Son of Righteousness".

Finally, we would like to give you Dionysus the god of wine and the son of Zeus and Semele, a mortal woman. Zeus promised Semele anything she asked of him. The pregnant Semele asked only to see him in his splendor as the god of gods, a sight no mortal could witness and live. She died and Zeus took their baby from her body and hid it within his own until the child was born. Dionysus was raised by nymphs, and when he grew up he travelled to faraway lands, performing feats that proved he was a god. What he longed for most was the mother he never knew, so he journeyed to the underworld to find her. Defying death he escaped with his mother and brought her to Mt. Olympus where she was allowed to dwell with the gods.

The worship of Dionysus was unique in that it did not occur in either temple or wild places, but, rather, in theatres. Followers would perform plays about him as acts of worship and it is thought that these were the forerunners of today's "Passion Plays". Dionysus descends into the underworld, overcomes death, and rises again. As the god of the vine he dies each year and is then resurrected in the following spring. For this reason his rites were held in spring, when the vines put forth new shoots.

As you can see the common thread in all the Deity names having to do with Springtime is resurrection. The return to life from apparent death

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Honey Moon

This is a time for Love.

In pagan lore the Summer Prince and the Maiden of the Moon meet, and find delight in each others company, hence, this is known as the Honey Moon. In fact, in many cultures and beliefs this is seen as the time in the Wheel of the Year when the goddess in her mature aspect of Queen of the May is coupled with the god in his mature aspect of Summer King. Together they will reign over this peaceful season of growth and abundance. This tradition of courtship under the sixth moon is so strong that even today you will find references to spring as the time when everyone's attention turns to matters of love.

In the Celtic Tree Calendar the name of this moon is Saille (Willow) which runs from April 5th to May 12th.

The Runic Calendar of Nordic traditions, (which is governed by half months rather than full months), divides this moon of the year by Ing (Expansive Energy) from May 14th through May 28th, and Odal (Home or Heritage) from May 29th through June 13th.

The Goddess Calendar names this moon of the year after Maia and runs from April 18th through May 15th.

The American Backwoods Calendar refers to this moon of the year as the Flower Moon and is determined by whichever full moon falls in May.

However this moon is known to you, as the Hot Moon, the Strawberry Moon, or the Honey Moon, it will surely be known in some ways that call to mind the first honey dripping from wild hives, or the sweet ripeness of fruit orchards because this moon is the moon of ripening fullness.

This moon heralds the customary time for revelry and traditional love sport as represented by the May Pole where the dancers around the pole weave closer to the center of the circle and in that way they are also drawn closer to one another

In this unashamed celebration of the physical pleasures of attaining womanhood and manhood the seed of new life, (planted symbolically or in actuality), is celebrated all through the night of May 1st, known as May Day or Beltane, and the world revels in the sheer joy of being alive.

So, with all that information to guide you, it may be that you see this moon as the doorway of the year which opens to the power of light and the beneficial growth and expansion associated with the longest days of the year.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Beltane (May Day) May 1, 2007

Once more, the Wheel turns and now brings Beltane. This is one of the most important holiday observances in many pagan beliefs and may be seen as an unashamed celebration of the pleasures of life with a focus designed to highlight the physical joys of womanhood and manhood. The goddess and god, now the May Queen and her beloved Sun Prince (the sun child now grown to manhood) are wed. The seed of new life that they planted together at the Vernal Equinox is celebrated all through the night and the world revels in the joy of being alive.

In keeping with this time, Beltane is a terrific opportunity to enrich any aspect of your life requiring fertilization or to celebrate those activities which encourage abundance. Of course, certain fertility celebrations are more satisfying when accompanied by a partner, but this need not limit your creativity or your enjoyment if it so happens that you are celebrating Beltane in a more solitary manner. However you choose to acknowledge this turn of the wheel, it's clear that this is a time to welcome the return of life's pleasures shared by all living things, and to share those pleasures most generously with one another.

(Mayday, Festival of Tana, Whitsun)

A sabbat of love, unity, and the creation of new life. The return of vitality, passion, and hope. The veil between this world and the fairy world is thin.

Wheel Legend: The Sun Prince and the Moon Maiden are wed.

Purpose: To celebrate the union of the Sun and Moon by celebrating the blessed unions in our lives.

Needful Things: Flower petals to cast the circle. Ribbons to weave around the maypole (Silver, Gold, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red). Champaign or Wine and Cakes for the simple feast. Candles to make a bonfire in the cauldron (White, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green). A crown of flowers for the May-Queen

Decorations: Early Summer blooms in rich scent and colors.

Cleanse: With the rich scent of summers full bloom.

Quarters and Aspects: Call Eastern Sprites, Southern Fairies, Western Nymphs, and Northern Brownies. Call the magical aspects of the Summer King and the Moon Mother.

Hearthkeeping matters: Keep the Maypole ribbons on the Broom until Mabon. If you have made offerings to the quarters, pour them out onto bare earth.

Here is an example of a ritual you may use in your own Beltane observance

Shield Envision the same bubble that protects "Glenda the Good" witch in The Wizard of Oz. Allow it to encircle and protect you.

"Protect this child and guard her aim
from any evil, harm, or bane."

Center When ready, step into your ritual space.

Cast Circle Envision a circle of blooming flowers and fairy lights. Use flower petals, if you have them, to outline your circle. Use the tip of your hand, wand, or athame as you cast from your projective hand beginning at the eastern quarter and moving deosil (clockwise).

"Simple hands weave simple threads
and so make stronger twine.
Now celebrate this union
and the blessings of those joined"

Call Quarters Facing east

"Windborn sprites of mystic air
be with me now, be with me now.
And bring your clarity to bear
be with me now, be with me now
Spirit of the air, Welcome."

light the yellow candle.

Call Quarters Facing south

"Firelit fairies magic spark
be with me now, be with me now
your purity to me impart
be with me now, be with me now
Spirit of the fire, Welcome."

light the red candle.

Call Quarters facing west

"Water nymphs of fountains blessed
be with me now, be with me now
your empathy bring to my quest
be with me now, be with me now
Spirit of the water, Welcome."

light the blue candle.

Call Quarters Facing north

"Brownies, elves and earthly wards
be with me now, be with me now
stabilities enchanted guards
be with me now, be with me now
Spirit of the earth, Welcome."

light the green candle.

Invoke the Sun raising projective hand in the symbol of the sun (first finger and Little finger extended, like horns, other fingers folded beneath thumb)

"Sun Prince grown now to Sun King
fullness, warmth, and pleasure bring.
Attend my rite and leave your mark
upon my spirit and my heart.
Between the worlds I welcome you"

light the gold candle

Invoke the Moon raising receptive hand in the symbol of the moon (hold your whole hand in a "c" shape like the crescent moon)

"Maiden, Mother, Shining Queen,
fertility and bounty bring.
Attend my rite and leave your mark
upon my spirit and my heart.
Between the worlds I welcome you"

light the silver candle

Invoke your Guardian tracing a pentagram in the center of the sand censor or in the air before you

"Spirit within me, Guide me as I celebrate this turn of the wheel and awaken me to the joys of this unity and its promise of fullness."

light the incense

Complete the circle with your purpose sit or stand as you please

"The circle is cast and we stand between the worlds
beyond the bounds of time where
life and death, future and past
laughter and tears, the first and the last
meet here as one. Blessed be.

I come now between the worlds to celebrate creation through unity and the return of vitality, passion, and hope with this turn of the wheel"

Take the silver and gold ribbons and weave them around your broom stick which will serve as your maypole.

"Silver and Gold
Moon and Sun
He and She
Combined as one."

Now weave Blue and Red around the broomstick/Maypole.

"Blue and Red. Water and Fire.
Strength and Courage and Will to survive
Peace and Patience, and Wisdom abide
combine to bring my hearts desire"

Now weave yellow and Green around the Broomstick/Maypole.

"Green and Yellow, Earth and Air.
Prosperity, Growth, Abundance to share
with Travel, and Movement, and Confidence there
unite and bring my hopes to bear"

Place all five candles in the cauldron and light them in the following order saying...


"Spark to ignite travel and movement"


"Spark to Ignite Strength and Courage."


"Spark to ignite Patience and Wisdom."


"Spark to ignite Growth and Prosperity."


"Spark to ignite that which is within."

Take your crown of flowers and place it in your hair, or on the altar.

"All that be,
unite in me."

While the cauldron burns, pass the "Maypole" over the cauldron to symbolize leaping the bonfire. Drum, sing, or dance to keep the energy raised until the cauldron begins to burn out and then release that energy with the last wisp of smoke from your bonfire.

"All that be
united in me
And no reverse
to bring a curse.
Harming none
this be done."

Ground (touch something from the earth with your projective hand, or just feel the excess energy drain from your body back through your feet to replenish the earth below you)

Simple Feast sweet treats and champaign or dessert coffee. Make liquid offerings to the elements.

Thank the Guardian Make the sign of the pentagram with smoke from the incense stick (if it is still burning) or trace it in the air before you with your wand, hand, or athame.

"Spirit within my spirit I thank you for your help and guidance.
Stay or go as you shall please.
Hail and farewell."

Thank the Moon raising receptive hand in the symbol of the moon (hold your whole hand in a "c" shape like the crescent moon)

"Maiden, Mother, and Beltane Bride,
my thanks for your presence at my side>
Stay or go as you shall please.
Hail and farewell."

quench the silver candle

Thank the Sun raising projective hand in the symbol of the sun (first finger and Little finger extended, like horns, other fingers folded beneath thumb)

"Sun Prince, Husband, and Father to be,
my thanks for your presence here with me.
Stay or go as you shall please.
Hail and farewell."

quench the gold candle

Thank the Quarters facing the appropriate directions as you thank and release them and quench each candle as you bid them farewell.

"Brownies of the earthen stone,
Nymphs of waterfalls and seas,
Fairies of the candleglow,
Sprites of air and summer breeze,
my thanks for your attending me.
stay or go as you shall please.
hail and farewell, and blessed be."

Release the Circle beginning at the Eastern quarter and moving widdershins (counterclockwise) draw the energy into your receptive hand, wand or athame. When you have finished re-calling the energy, compress it into a little ball in your receptive hand and absorb it into your body.

"The circle is open
yet still unbroken
merry met, and merry part, and merry meet again."

Ground (touch something from the earth with your projective hand, or just feel the excess energy drain from your body back through your feet to replenish the earth below you)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Use of Wiccan Symbol on Veterans’ Headstones Is Approved

To settle a lawsuit, the Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to add the Wiccan pentacle to a list of approved religious symbols that it will engrave on veterans’ headstones.

The settlement, which was reached on Friday, was announced on Monday by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which represented the plaintiffs in the case.

Though it has many forms, Wicca is a type of pre-Christian belief that reveres nature and its cycles. Its symbol is the pentacle, a five-pointed star, inside a circle.

Until now, the Veterans Affairs department had approved 38 symbols to indicate the faith of deceased service members on memorials. It normally takes a few months for a petition by a faith group to win the department’s approval, but the effort on behalf of the Wiccan symbol took about 10 years and a lawsuit, said Richard B. Katskee, assistant legal director for Americans United.

The group attributed the delay to religious discrimination. Many Americans do not consider Wicca a religion, or hold the mistaken belief that Wiccans are devil worshipers.

“The Wiccan families we represented were in no way asking for special treatment,” the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said at a news conference Monday. “They wanted precisely the same treatment that dozens of other religions already had received from the department, an acknowledgment that their spiritual beliefs were on par with those of everyone else.”

A Veterans Affairs spokesman, Matt Burns, confirmed that the “V.A. will be adding the pentacle to its list of approved emblems of belief that will be engraved on government-provided markers.”

“The government acted to settle in the interest of the families concerned,” Mr. Burns added, “and to spare taxpayers the expense of further litigation.”

There are 1,800 Wiccans in the armed forces, according to a Pentagon survey cited in the suit, and Wiccans have their faith mentioned in official handbooks for military chaplains and noted on their dog tags.

At least 11 families will be immediately affected by the V.A.’s decision, said the Rev. Selena Fox, senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church in Wisconsin.

In reviewing 30,000 pages of documents from Veterans Affairs, Americans United said, it found e-mail and memorandums referring to negative comments President Bush made about Wicca in an interview with “Good Morning America” in 1999, when he was governor of Texas. The interview had to do with a controversy at the time about Wiccan soldiers’ being allowed to worship at Fort Hood, Tex.

“I don’t think witchcraft is a religion,” Mr. Bush said at the time, according to a transcript. “I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made.”

Americans United did not assert that the White House influenced the Veterans Affairs Department. Under the settlement, Americans United had to return the documents and could not copy them, though it could make limited comments about their contents, Mr. Katskee said.

Americans United filed the lawsuit last November on behalf of several Wiccan military families. Among the plaintiffs was Roberta Stewart, whose husband, Sgt. Patrick Stewart, was killed in September 2005 in Afghanistan.

Ms. Stewart said she had tried various avenues to get the pentacle approved. Late last year, Gov. Kenny Guinn of Nevada, her home state, approved the placing of a marker with a pentacle in a Veterans Affairs cemetery in Fernley, east of Reno. But Ms. Stewart said she had continued to pursue the lawsuit because she wanted the federal government to approve the markers.

Other religious groups that have often opposed Americans United supported the effort to have the government approve the pentacle.

“I was just aghast that someone who would fight for their country and die for their country would not get the symbol he wanted on his gravestone,” said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, which litigates many First Amendment cases. “It’s just overt religious discrimination.”

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pagan origin of Easter

March 21 -- Ostara -- Spring or The Vernal Equinox
Also known as: Lady Day or Alban Eiler (Druidic)

As Spring reaches its midpoint, night and day stand in perfect balance, with light on the increase. The young Sun God now celebrates a hierogamy (sacred marriage) with the young Maiden Goddess, who conceives. In nine months, she will again become the Great Mother. It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals.

The next full moon (a time of increased births) is called the Ostara and is sacred to Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen, whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit.

The Christian religion adopted these emblems for Easter which is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The theme of the conception of the Goddess was adapted as the Feast of the Annunciation, occurring on the alternative fixed calendar date of March 25 Old Lady Day, the earlier date of the equinox. Lady Day may also refer to other goddesses (such as Venus and Aphrodite), many of whom have festivals celebrated at this time.

Traditional Foods:
Leafy green vegetables, Dairy foods, Nuts such as Pumpkin, Sunflower and Pine. Flower Dishes and Sprouts.

Herbs and Flowers:
Daffodil, Jonquils, Woodruff, Violet, Gorse, Olive, Peony, Iris, Narcissus and all spring flowers.

Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Floral of any type.

Sacred Gemstone:

Special Activities:
Planting seeds or starting a Magickal Herb Garden. Taking a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the Magick of nature and our Great Mother and her bounty.

Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Call to the Lord and Lady

Link to this post

Face East and say:
O lord and lady of the east,
O powers of air,
Come gard my circle and protect my rites,
O lord and lady of the east,
O powers of air.
(Light inscense/yellow candle)

Face South and say:
O lord and lady of the south,
O powers of fire,
Come guard my circle and protect my rites,
O lord and lady of the south,
O powers of fire.
(Light a red candle)

Face West and say:
O lord and lady of the west,
O powers of water,
Come guard my circle and protect my rites,
O lord and lady of the west,
O powers of water.
(Pour water into a bowl/light blue candle)

Face North and say:
O lord and lady of the north,
O powers of earth,
Come guard my circle and protect my rites,
O lord and lady of the north,
O powers of earth.
(Pour grains of sea salt into a bowl/light a green candle)

Stand in the middle and look up:
O god and goddess of many names,
Come guard my circle and protect my rites,
Come and observe my ritual and help my through it,
O god and goddess of many names.
(Light to white candles)

Friday, March 23, 2007

From Hecate's Cauldron


We recognize the Goddess - ancient and primeval; the first of deities; patroness of the Stone Age hunt and of the first sowers of seeds; She gave birth without the need of man; under whose guidance the herds were tamed, the healing herbs first discovered; in whose image the first works of art were created; for whom the standing stones were raised; who was the inspiration of song and poetry. She is the bridge, on which we can cross the chasms within ourselves, which were created by potentials. She is the ship, on which we sail the waters of the Deep Self, exploring the uncharted seas within. She is the door, through which we pass into the future.

She is the cauldron, in which we who have been wrenched apart, simmer until we again become whole. She is the vaginal passage, through which we are reborn.

In the Craft, we do not believe in the Goddess - we connect with Her; through the moon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, through trees, animals, through other human beings, through ourselves. She is here. She is within us all. She is the full circle: earth, air, fire and water and essence - body, mind, spirit, emotions, change.

The Goddess is first of all earth, the dark, nurturing mother who brings forth all life. She is the power of fertility and generations: the womb, and also the receptive tomb, the power of death. All proceeds from her; all returns to Her. As earth, She is also plant life; trees, the herbs and grains that sustain life. She is the body, and the body is sacred. Womb, breast, belly, mouth, vagina, penis, bone and blood - no part of the body is unclean, no aspect of the life processes is stained by any concept of sin. Birth, death, decay are equally sacred parts of the cycle. Whether we are eating, sleeping, making love, or eliminating body wastes, we are manifesting the Goddess.

The Earth Goddess is also air and sky, the celestial Queen of Heaven, the Star Goddess, ruler of things felt but not seen: of knowledge, mind, and intuition. She is the Muse, who awakens all creations of the human spirit's. She is the cosmic lover, the morning and evening star, Venus, who appears at the times of lovemaking. Beautiful and glittering. She can never be grasped or penetrated: the mind is drawn ever further in the drive to know the unknowable; to speak the inexpressible. She is the inspiration that comes with an indrawn breath.

The celestial Goddess is seen as the Moon, who is linked to women's monthly cycles of bleeding and fertility. Woman is the earthy moon: the moon is the celestial egg, drifting in the sky womb, whose menstrual blood is the fertilizing rain and the cool dew, who rules the tides of the oceans, the first womb on earth. So the moon is also Mistress of Waters: the waves of the sea, streams, springs, the rivers that are the arteries of Mother Earth; of lakes, deep wells, and hidden pools, and of feelings and emotions, which wash over us like waves.

The triad of the moon becomes the pentad, the fivefold star of birth, initiation, love, repose, and death. The Goddess is manifest in the entire life cycle. Birth and childhood, of course, are common to all cultures. But our society has not, until recently, conceptualized the stage of initiation, of personal exploration and self-discovery, as necessary for women as well for men.

Girls were expected to pass directly from childhood to marriage and motherhood - from control by their fathers to control by their husbands. An initiation demands courage and self-reliance, traits that girls were not encouraged to develop. Today, the stage of initiation may develop one's creativity.

The stage of love is also called consummation, and it is the stage of full creativity. Relationships deepen and take on a sense of commitment. A woman or man may choose to mother or father children, or to nurture a career, a project, or a cause. An artist or writer reaches his/her mature style.

Creation, whether they are children, poems, or organizations, take on a life of their own. As they become independent, and their demands diminish, the stage of repose is reached. With age comes a new initiation, this one reflective, less physical active but deepened by the insights of experience.

Old age, in Witchcraft, is seen very positively, as the time when activity has evolved into wisdom. It brings about the final initiation, which is death. Notice the five stages of a pentagram is also the Sabbats we celebrate through the year, but looking more at the pentagram as a life experience rather than yearly. However, the Sabbats, in a more deeper sense, is looked at as a life-like experience rather than yearly experience as well. These five stages are embodied in our lives, but they can also be seen within every new enterprise or creative project. Each book, each painting, each new job is born first as an idea. It undergoes an initiatory period of exploration, which is frightening at times, because we are forced to learn new things. As we grow comfortable with a new skill or concept, the project can be consummated. (This is a different way of looking at how the Great Rite would fit into situations like these instead of with two people.) It exists independently; as we rest from it, other people read the book, view the painting, eat the food, or apply the knowledge we have taught. Finally, it is over; it dies, and we go on to something new.

The pentacle, all five-loved leaves, and five-petaled flowers are sacred to the Goddess as pentad. The apple is especially her emblem, because, when it is sliced crosswise, the embedded seeds form a pentacle.

The nature of the Goddess is never single. Whenever She appears, She embodies both poles of duality - life in death, death in life. She has a thousand names, a thousand aspects. She is the milk cow, the weaving spider, the honeybee with its piercing sting. She is the bird of the spirit and the sow that eats its own young. She is the snake that sheds its skin and is renewed; the cat that seeks in the dark; the dog that sings to the moon - all are Her. She is the light and the darkness, the patroness of love and death, who makes manifest all possibilities, She brings forth comfort and pain.

The Goddess is both psychological and a manifest reality. She exists and we create Her. The symbols and attributes associated with the Goddess speak to Younger Self and through it, to the Deep self. They engage us emotionally. We know the Goddess is not the moon, but we still thrill to its light glinting through branches. We know the Goddess is not a woman, but we respond with love as if She were, and so connect emotionally with all the abstract qualities behind the symbol.

The Charge of the Goddess reflects the Craft's understanding of the Goddess. In the Charge, "Need of anything" refers to both spiritual and maternal needs. In Witchcraft, there is no separation. The Goddess is manifest in the food we eat, the people we love, the work we do, the homes in which we live. It is through the material world that we open ourselves to the Goddess. But Witchcraft also recognizes that when material needs are satisfied, deeper need and longings may remain. These can only be satisfied by connection with the nurturing, life-giving forces within, which we call Goddess.

The coven meets on the Full Moon or Dark Moon, in honor of the Goddess at the height of her glory. The tides of subtle power are considered to be strongest when the moon is full or dark . The Goddess is identified with the fructifying lunar energy that illumines the secret dark: the feminine, tidal pulsating power that waxes and wanes in harmony with woman's menstrual flow.

Rituals are joyful and pleasurable. Witches sing, feast, dance, laugh, joke and have fun in the course of rituals. The ecstasy of the "spirit" is not separate from "joy on earth". One leads to the other - and neither can truly be realized without the other. Earthly joys, unconnected with the deep, feeling power of the Goddess, become mechanical, meaningless - mere sensations that soon lose and the body become equally arid and rootless, draining vitality instead of nourishing it.

The law of the Goddess is love: passionate sexual love, the warm affection of friends, the fierce protective love of mother for child, the deep comradeship of the coven. There is nothing amorphous or superficial about love in Goddess religion; it is always specific, directed toward real individuals, not vague concepts of humanity. Love includes animals, plants, the earth itself - "all beings", not just human beings. It includes ourselves and all our fallible human qualities.

The love of the Goddess is unconditional. She does not ask for sacrifice - whether human or animal - nor does She want us to sacrifice our normal human needs and desires. Paganism is a religion of self-celebration, not self-abnegation. Sacrifice is inherent in life, in constant change that brings constant losses. Offerings: a poem, a painting, pinch of grain, may express our thankfulness for her gifts, but only when they are made freely, not from sense of obligation. Any act based on love and pleasure is a ritual of the Goddess. Her worship can take any form and occur anywhere; it requires no liturgy, no cathedrals no confessions. Its essence is the recognition, in the midst of pleasure, of its deepest source. Pleasure, then, is not superficial but becomes a profound expression of the life force, a connecting power linking us to others, not the mere sensation of satisfying our own isolated needs. Paganism recognizes that any virtue becomes a vice unless it is balanced by its own opposite. Beauty, when unsubstained by strength, is vapid, lifeless. Power is insufferable when untempered by compassion. Honor, unless balanced by humility, becomes arrogance; and mirth, when not deepened by reverence, becomes superficiality.

Finally, we learn the Mystery - that unless we find the Goddess within ourselves, we will never find Her without. She is both internal and external; as solid as a rock, as changeable as our own internal image of Her. She is manifest within each of us - so where else should we look? The Goddess is the "end of desire", its goal and its completion. In Paganism, desire is itself seen as a manifestation of the Goddess. We do not seek to conquer or escape from our desires - we seek to fulfill them. Desire is the glue of the universe; it binds the electron to the nucleus, the planet to the sun - and so creates form, creates the world. To follow desire to its end is to unite with that which is desired, to become one with it (another view to the significance of the Great Rite), with the Goddess. We are already one with the Goddess - She has been with us from the beginning. So fulfillment becomes, not a matter of self-indulgence, but of self-awareness.

For women, the Goddess is the symbol of the inmost self, and the beneficent, nurturing, liberating power within woman. The cosmos is modeled on the female body, which is sacred. All phases of life are sacred; age is a blessing, not a curse. The Goddess does not limit women to the body; She awakens the mind and spirit and emotions. Through Her, we can know the power of our anger and aggression, as well as the power of our love. For man, She embodies all the qualities society teaches him not to recognize in himself. His first experience of Her may therefore seem somewhat stereotyped; She will be the cosmic lover, the gentle nurture, the eternally desired other, the Muse, all that he is not. As he becomes more whole and becomes aware of his own "female" qualities, She seems to change, to show him a new face, always holding up the mirror that shows what to him is still ungraspable. He may chase Her forever, and She will elude him, but through the attempt he will grow, until he too learns to find Her within.

To invoke the Goddess is to awaken the Goddess within, to become, for a time, that aspect we invoke. An invocation channels power through a visualized image of Divinity. For a man, the Goddess, as well as being the universal life force, is his own, hidden, female self.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ostara---Spring Equinox

Vernal Equinox

The Wheel turns again and with this turn comes the Vernal Equinox or Eostara. At this time the hours of daylight and night are balanced against each other. After this time, and until the Autumnal Equinox, daylight will have the ascendent influence. The goddess awakened from her deep winter slumbers and returned from the underworld, now wears the aspect of the Maiden of Spring and meets the young god, now the Youth of Spring, who was born into the world at Yule. Together, the coupling of masculine and feminine energies will plant the seeds of life and growth upon which all the continued survival of the world depends.

Whatever your path, you will welcome the balance of the light against the dark as an indication that longer days, required for greater growth and productivity are soon on the way. The theme of renewal has not been lost throughout all the changes this world has seen and this is a traditional time for people, pagan and non-pagan alike, to look toward those things they would like to renew in their own lives and to nurture the things they would like to see grow stronger.

Ostara, Spring Equinox

A sabbat of balance and beginnings. A traditional time to prepare for future planting and bless the seeds of physical, spiritual, and ritual gardens.

Wheel Legend: The Sun Prince meets the Young Maiden.

Purpose: To celebrate the meeting of the Sun Prince and the Young Maid through celebrations of all that is youthful, innocent and new. To bless the seeds of future new beginnings.

Needful Things: A painted eggshell. Garden seeds and written "seeds" of hope for the future. (penned in spring green ink on light yellow paper, or choose colors that rule the type of magic charged in each "seed" [Yellow=education, green=money etc...]). Fruit Juice or Herbal Tea and muffins for the simple feast. Spring flowers for decorating.

Decorations: Spring blooms in fresh, new, pastel colors.

Cleanse: With fresh herbal or light floral scents.

Quarters and Aspects: Call Spring Breezes, The Warming Sun, Morning Dew and Fresh Green Earth.

Hearthkeeping matters: Keep the painted eggshell no more than one month, then bury it. If you have made offerings to the quarters, pour them out onto bare earth. Keep the ritual "seeds" with the garden seeds and bury them also in the garden when you plant.

Here is an example of a ritual you may use in your own Eostara observance

Shield Envision a protective "egg" around you in spring colors of green, pink, blue, and yellow. Use your projective hand.

"Protect this child and guard her aim
from any evil, harm, or bane."

Center-- When ready, step into your ritual space.

Cast Circle-- Envision a circle of new budding flowers and fresh spring grass following the tip of your hand, wand, or athame as you cast from your projective hand beginning at the eastern quarter and moving deosil (clockwise).

"In balance now the day and night
are matched in darkness and in light
we bless the seeds of future plans
greet spring again in heart and hands"

Call Quarters Facing East
"Spirit of the spring breeze
stirring new growth
bring now your clarity,
fragrance and hope
Spirit of the air, Welcome."

(light the yellow candle)

Call Quarters -- Facing South
"Spirit of the warm sun
encouraging seedlings
bring now your purity
softly revealing
Spirit of the fire, Welcome."

(light the red candle)

Call Quarters -- Facing West
"Spirit of the soft rain,
gentle and new
bring now your empathy
fresh morning dew
Spirit of the water, Welcome."

(light the blue candle)

Call Quarters -- Facing North
"Spirit of the greening land,
fresh new earth
bring now stability,
richness, and worth.
Spirit of the earth, Welcome."

(light the green candle)

Invoke the Sun raising projective hand in the symbol of the sun (first finger and Little finger extended, like horns, other fingers folded beneath thumb)

"Child grown to Sun Prince
the wonderment of youth
between the worlds come now to me
and lend my rite your truth."

(light the gold candle)

Invoke the Moon raising receptive hand in the symbol of the moon (hold your whole hand in a "c" shape like the crescent moon)

"Maiden of the springtime
innocent delight
between the worlds come now to me
bring wisdom and bring light."

(light the silver candle)

Invoke your Guardian tracing a pentagram in the center of the sand censor or in the air before you with the incense stick

"Eternal spirit within me,
bless this rite with truth and light
and fill me with your charge as I plant
the seeds of my future."

(light the incense)

Complete the circle with your purpose sit or stand as you please

"The circle is cast and we stand between the worlds
beyond the bounds of time.
Birth and death, dark and light
joy and sorrow, day and night
meet here as one.
Blessed be."

"I come now between the worlds
to celebrate the fresh wonderment
and innocence of youth and
to bless the seeds of the future
which begins anew with
this turn of the wheel."

Lay the painted egg on the altar.

"This is a new beginning filled
with the hopes and dreams
and goodness and laughter of childhood."

Visualize a small creature, maybe a butterfly or a dragon, or Pegasus emerging from the egg spreading it's tiny wings to dry. Let it take it's first uncertain steps onto your cupped hands. Infuse it with all the love, laughter, hopes and dreams you had as a child. When ready blow this fledgling into first flight.

"Find a child like me.
Bring her these hopes,
dreams, love and laughter
and make your home
within her heart.
Harming none, this be done."

Lay your seeds for this years gardens on the altar.

"These are new beginnings
filled with life, health,
vigor, and abundance."

Visualize the garden as it grows, ripens, flourishes and reaches harvest.

"Bring to my gardens this life,
health, vigor, and abundance
that it may sustain my hearth and home.
Harming none, this be done."

Take the written "Seeds" for your spiritual garden and place them upon the altar.

"These are new beginnings filled
with success and satisfaction
and growth and knowledge."

Visualize achieving these goals. Do you have more tools? Are you able to wield with greater ease? Do you feel stronger connections? Picture yourself at the peak of your desired power.

"Bring my ritual garden this success,
satisfaction, growth and knowledge
that it may sustain my spirit.
Harming none this be done."

Meditate on the new beginnings that have come to successful fruition in the past. Thank the elemental powers for these past successes. Visualize a growing spring herb like willowbay or dandelion unfurling from the earth, blooming, blossoming, and seeding in a sudden gust of astral wind. Blow or fan these seeds onward yourself and release energy!

Ground (touch something from the earth with your projective hand, or just feel the excess energy drain from your body back through your feet to replenish the earth below you)

Simple Feast---
Herbal tea or Fruity Juice
and cookies or crackers.
Make liquid offerings to the elements.

Thank the Guardian-- Make the sign of the pentagram with smoke from the incense stick (if it is still burning) or trace it in the air before you with your hand, wand, or athame.

"Spirit within me, my thanks for
the blessing of your attendance
at my simple and solitary rite.
Stay or go as you shall please.
Hail and farewell."

Thank the Moon-- raising receptive hand in the symbol of the moon (hold your whole hand in a "c" shape like the crescent moon)

"Gentle Maiden, my thanks
for the blessing of your attendance.
Stay or go as you shall please.
Hail and farewell."

(quench the silver candle)

Thank the Sun -- raising projective hand in the symbol of the sun (first finger and Little finger extended, like horns, other fingers folded beneath thumb)

"Young Sun Prince,
My thanks for the blessing
of your attendance.
Stay or go as you shall please.
Hail and farewell"

(quench the gold candle)

Thank the Quarters -- facing the appropriate directions as you thank and release them and quench each candle as you bid them farewell.

"Earth Spirit of greening land,
Water Spirit of soft rain,
Fire Spirit of warming sun,
Air Spirit of gentle breeze.
My thanks for your attending me,
stay or go as you shall please,
hail and farewell, and blessed be."

Release the Circle -- beginning at the Eastern quarter and moving widdershins (counterclockwise) draw the energy into your receptive hand, wand, or athame. When you have finished re-calling the energy, compress it into a little ball in your receptive hand and absorb it into your body.

"The circle is open
yet still unbroken
merry met,
and merry part,
and merry meet again."

Ground (touch something from the earth with your projective hand, or just feel the excess energy drain from your body back through your feet to replenish the earth below you)