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)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Cakes and Ale--Set 1

Blessings and Libation:

Bless cakes:

I conjure You, O meal of grain
Who sprouted in both Sun and Rain
Whose Ancient seed fulfills us all
And gains new life where e'er it falls
I bless You in this Circle round
That Your abundance may abound
And feed our world continuously
As I will, so mote it be.

Bless wine:

I conjure You, O fruit of vine
Who grew with Wind and Rain and Time
From nothing but the light of Sun
And light of Moon when day was done
I bless You in this Circle round
That Your abundance may abound
And feed our world continuously
As I will, so mote it be.

Libation to the Lord and Lady

By Moon and Sun and Sky above
I offer these in perfect love
By Fire, and Earth, and Rain, and Gust
I offer these in perfect trust
Please take these gifts I offer You
In perfect thanks for all You do
For all the gifts You've given me
O Lord and Lady, blessed be!

Invoking the Lord and Lady--Set 1

The Lady--

O Goddess of both Moon and Star
Who rules all planets near and far
Who rules the Earth and all within
Who sets the time our lives begin
Who brings us happiness and mirth
Who gives us value and self worth
With every loving touch She gives
Unto this plane on which we live
Please descend now from above
And touch this Circle with Your love
And join us in this sacred rite
O Goddess, bring your love and light

The Lord--

O Lord of Places Wild and Free
Who sows the seed that we might be
Who fertilizes all on Earth
And brings us pleasure, joy and mirth
Who is the Sun that shines above
Who warms us with His light and love
Who brings good health, prosperity
And changes all as it should be
Please descend now from above
And touch this Circle with Your love
And join us in this sacred rite
O Lord, please lend Your love and light.

Calling the Quarters--Set 1


Come to us now, O Winds of the East!
Whirl and twirl 'til the magic has ceased.
Blow through our hearts, and the energy raise.
Blow away clouds and blow away haze.
The Circle is Open---Your power please lend.
Your presence is welcomed, we bid you come in!


Come to us now, O Southerly Fires!
Warm light, pure strength, add flame to desires.
Cleanse and purify all thoughts mundane.
Protect well this circle with Your pure light and flame.
The Circle is Open---Your power please lend
Your presence is welcomed, we bid you come in!


Come to us now, O Waters of the Western port!
Tides rise and fall, and all harm abort.
Wash away troubles, and rinse away pain.
Wash over our spirits with Your oceans and rain.
The Circle is Open---Your power please lend
Your presence is welcomed, we bid you come in!


Come Earthly power to us from the North!
Lend your strength and stability---give Your support.
As your soil is fertile, this Circle shall be.
Nourish all works, as you nourish the tree.
The Circle is Open---Your power please lend
Your presence is welcomed, we bid you come in!

Elemental Rulers

Earth---Peace, Grounding, Centering, Fertility, Money, Business Success, Stability, Gardening

Stones and Crystals associated with Earth

Green Agate, Green Calcite, Cat's Eye, Chrysoprase, Coal, Emerald, Brown and Green Jasper, Jet, Malachite, Olivine, Peridot, Salt, Black and Green Tourmaline, Turquoise.
Air---Communication, Travel, Intellect

Stones and Crystals associated with Air

Adventurine, Mottled Jasper, Mica, Pumice
Fire---Protection, Defensive Magick, Physical Strength, Magical Energy, Courage, Will Power, Purification

Stones and Crystals associated with Fire

Banded-Black-Brown-Red Agate, Amber, Apache Tear, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Citrine, Quartz Crystal, Diamond, Garnet, Hematite, Red Jasper, Lava, Obsidian, Onyx, Ruby, Sardonyx, Sunstone, Tiger's Eye, Topaz, Red and Watermelon Tourmaline, Zircon
Water---Love, Healing, Compassion, Reconciliation, Friendship, Purification, De-stressing, Peace, Dreams, Sleep, Psychic Ability

Stones and Crystals associated with Water

Blue Lace Agate, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Azurite, Blue and Pink Calcite, Chrysocolla, Coral, Quartz Crystal, Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Mother-of-Pearl, Pearl, Sapphire, Selenite, Sodalite, Sugilite, Blue-Green-Pink Tourmaline
Spirit--- the Higher self, Empowerment, Astral travel, Communication with mysteries

Stones and Crystals associated with Spirit

Clear Quartz Crystal, Super Seven crystal, Herkimer Diamond, Diamonds, any pure white or clear stone.

Color Magick

Colors. We perceive them as bright or dark, deep or light, sort-of this and sort-of that, but regardless of whether it's a royal blue or an earth brown, color affects us. It has been proven that colors have an affect on our brains and they do produce different emotional results. What do you think of when you see red? Passion? Maybe anger? Regardless, the response is dramatic. Colors as used in magick are similar in that they should evoke a response from you, but keep in mind, your response to, say purple, may be different than mine, and this is perfectly okay. If you see pink as healthy or health, so be it. The colors must have meaning to the person using them.

The magick of colors can be used in many different ways, just let your creativity show you the way. The use of colors in magick is only limited to what you want to use the colors for. Candle magick, mojo bags, pottets, robes and altar and tool decorations all benefit from the use of colors. How will you use them?

Here is a list of colors with some of their more common attributes:

Banishing, Crone magick, Mourning, Loss, Meditation, Abstinence, Feminine Divine.

Peace, Healing, Tranquility, Truth, Sleep, Prophetic Dreams, Friendship, Physical Protection, Hope

Animal Magick, Home, Locate Lost Objects

Solar Deities, God (Masculine Divine)


Beauty, Employment, Fertility, Healing, Success, Good Luck, Prosperity, Money, Rejuvenation, Masculine Divine

Creativity, Attraction, Stimulate energy, Legal Matters, Success, New Home

Love, Honor, Friendship, Fidelity, Femininity

Psychic Ability, Wisdom, Spirituality, Success, Independence, Spiritual Growth, Power, Healing, Feminine Divine

Lust, Strength, Courage, Power, Health, Energy, Vitality, Love, Magnetism, Willpower

Remove Negativity, Encourage Stability, Psychic Protection, Goddess (Feminine Divine)

Meditation, Healing Truth, Peace, Spiritual Strength, Lunar Magic, Purity, Protection, Happiness, Masculine Divine

Charm, Confidence, Attraction, Wisdom, Visions, Psychic Powers, Mental Powers, New Home

The Witches' Sabbats

The Wheel of the Year consists of eight Sabbats. All the Sabbats are solar in nature, marking the passing of the year with natural milestones. Some break the Sabbats down into major and minor, the major Sabbats being Samhain (pronounced SOW-in) Imbolc, (or Candlemas), Beltane, (May Day) and Lughnasadh (pronounced LOO-na-sad, aka Lammas). The minor Sabbats are Yule (Winter Solstice), Ostara (Spring Equinox), Litha (or Midsummer, on the Summer Solstice) and Mabon (Autumn Equinox). It is through these Sabbats that witches throughout the world mark the passing of the year with celebration, and reverence for the deities and events that each represents. These holidays are as used by Witches in the northern hemisphere.

Self Dedication Rite

O, Mother Goddess, O, Father God,
Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered;
In this place of power, I open myself to Your Essence.

In this place and in this time, I am changed;
From henceforth I walk the Wiccan path.

I dedicate myself to You, Mother Goddess, and Father God.

I breathe Your energies into my body, co-mingling, blending,
mixing them with mine, that I may see the divine in nature,
nature in the divine, and divinity within myself and all else.

O, Great Goddess,
O, Great God,

Make me one with your essence.
Make me one with your essence.
Make me one with your essence.

The Ritual Bath

To be performed before any serious ritual:

O, Goddess Mother, gentle and mild
Look down and bless me, for
I am your child

(anoint eyelids)

Please bless my eyes that I might see
Your ways and Your path
and how things should be

(anoint lips)

Please bless my lips so that they may
carry Your words to all people
with a voice light and merry

(anoint chest)

Bless my breast too, let it be formed
in strength and conviction, and courage
without bounds or length.

(anoint loins)

My loins, bless as well, for they carry
the force of all life and creation
that flows from Your source.

(anoint knees)

So that I may kneel at Your altar
please bless my knees, keep them from
all pain and stress

(anoint feet)

And please bless my feet as Your steps
they now trace, keep them on the
right path at a straight, even pace.

The Elements

"Attuning and working with these energies in magic not only lends you the power to affect dramatic changes in your life, it also allows you to sense your own place in the larger scheme of Nature"
Scott Cunningham, Earth Power

The Elements play an enormous role in the natural magick that most Wiccans use. Earth, Air, Fire, Water. They are more than physical elements, more than what we see and feel, they are symbolic of both physical, spiritual, and emotional attibutes. Take the time to contemplate them. What does the Earth mean to you? What about Water? Fire? Air? Consider these elements in their physical form first, then see what spiritual and emotional aspects you attribute to them. All the elements have certain characteristics, but maybe they will have a deeper meaning to you once you've explored your insights and feelings concerning them.


Air is the element of the mind. It is intellect, inspiration, imagination. It is ideas, knowledge dreams and wishes. Air is the element of new life and new possibilities and is essential to spells and rituals of travel, instruction, finding lost items, some types of divination, and freedom. Air aids us in visualiztion, a vital technique in magick. Air is a masculine element and governs the magick of the four winds.


Fire is the element of change and passion. It is creativity, motivation, will power, drive and sensuality. It is sexuality, both physical and spiritual. Fire is essential to spells and rituals of healing, purification, sex, breaking bad habits or destroying illness and disease. fire is the element of authority and leadership. fire is a masculine element and governs all candle magick.


Water is the element of emotion and subconscious. It is love, purification, intuition, mysteries of the self, compassion and family. it is psychic ability. Water is essential in spells and rituals of friendship, marriage, happiness, fertility, healing, pleasure, and psychic abilities. Water is a feminine element and governs spells involving mirrors.


Earth is the element of stability and of the body. It is wisdom, strength, growth, and prosperity. It is essential in spells and rituals of prosperity, business, fertility, and stability. Earth is a feminine element and governs stone and knot magick.

10 Things About Being Wiccan

1. No conversion or recruitment is necessary.

Wiccans have no insecure compulsion to convert everyone to their way of thinking. People come to Wicca when and if they are ready/interested. Furthermore, you are not required to accept or do anything that you're not comfortable with.

2. No artificial code of morality.

Out of all of the creatures of this Earth, only humans are forced to live under unnatural moral codes. Wiccans believe simply: "An It Harm None, Do As Ye Will."

3. Progressive Reincarnation.

Wiccans believe we are here to learn and to progress, not suffer eternal damnation if we 'slip-up' in someone else's eyes.

4. No Discrimination.

There is no such thing as being the 'right' race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national, or ethnic origin to be Wiccan; ALL ARE WELCOME!

5. No middle man (or woman)

Once you know all of the basics, you can be your own "minister" or "priest", you need never bow before (or rely upon) some religious dictator for spiritual guidance, you go straight to the source.

6. Be yourself.

By sharing a common interest with others in Wicca, you do not lose your identity as an individual. You are unique and can and should stay that way without becoming a blob in a homogeneous mass.

7. No repression.

Wiccans are not forbidden from reading, learning, eating, drinking, or saying anything. You can actually even disagree with someone without being "excommunicated".

8. Contribution

NO!! Not money, but knowledge. The craft has always, and will always be an experimental religion. If it works, we use it. Then share it so that all in the Craft may benefit.

9. No rigid Dogma

Wiccans DO NOT believe that their path is 'The One and Only Path'. The only 'true' path is the one that works best for you. All paths are valid as long as they HARM NONE.

10. Self-empowerment.

Wicca allows you to truly feel your own power, if you will, and a true sense of self. You are 'allowed' to be the best person that you wish to be with all of the love and support that you can possibly hope for. Wicca allows you to take your hopes, dreams, and most heart's desires and manifest them in this reality. All is possible. All is real.

The Spiritual Laws of Witchcraft

Witches know that no truths are absolute. There is no one absolute truth for anything. There is no one way to interpret reality, behave, think, or live. Therefore there is no single way to practice magick, pray, celebrate the seasons or spirituality. The idea that there is only one truth to any question leads to fanaticism, compulsion, and persecution.

Witches understand that the Universe is in perfect harmony and balance. Therefore, everything has an equal and opposite, not necessarily equated to a negative. For example: male and female, light and darkness, up and down, positive and negative, left and right.

Witches realize that for every action there is a reaction. Most of us view this as the Law of Karma. Therefore, if you create evil, you will receive evil in return, create good and receive good in return. Harmony begets harmony, evil begets evil, and balance begets balance.

Witches know and realize that we are all one. We are connected. Everything that you do to another, influences yourself either directly or indirectly.

A Witch should never close his or her mind to knowledge of any kind. It is through the continuous process of learning that we raise our personal vibration and our attunement to Deity.

A Witch acknowledges the Magickal Circle as Holy Ground. Therefore, a Witch shall purify him/herself before entering or casting a Circle. All notions of hatred, arguments, or prejudices of any kind have no place within the Circle.

Witches use the energies around themselves to effect change within their lives and the lives of others. These energies are manifest as the 5 Elements---Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. The Witch becomes a conduit for the Divine and Earthly energies used during Magick and Ritual.

Witches use common sense and wisdom and do not share the Mysteries with common fools. The Mysteries are not to be wasted in this, or any other manner.

Principles of the Wiccan Belief

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

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

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

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity--as masculine and feminine--and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

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

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

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

8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch---but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

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

10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way," and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

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

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

13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

The Pentacle

Of all the symbols and tolls used in Wicca and witchcraft, this is probably the most misunderstood. The pentacle is usually a flat piece of metal or wood inscribed with a pentagram, a five pointed star.
The pentacle came from ceremonial magic and has been used in ritual and magick for thousands of years. It is used to represent feminine energy and to consecrate objects such as amulets and charms. The pentacle is also a traditional symbol of protection and is one of the official symbols of a Wicca.

The pentacle is the tool of the North and is associated with Earth.

The pentacle is feminine in nature and represents the Goddess.

The pentacle, as used by Wiccans, has the single point of the star pointing up, which is not to be confused with the Satanic version, which is inverted (two points up).

The Chalice

The Chalice is actually used more today than its direct descendant, the Cauldron. The Chalice has the same attributes and is used in many of the same ways as the Cauldron, (minus the cooking parts). This is, again, an example of witches using what they had and what would not get them burned at the stake. During those dark years, everyone had drinking vessels, but not everyone had cauldrons. Witches just used their chalices for more than just quenching thirst.

The chalice is feminine in nature and represents the Goddess, fertility and femininity. It is a tool of the West and associated with Water. It is used during ritual as the vessel to hold the wine for the 'cakes and ale' libation for the God and the Goddess.

The Broom

The broom is a tool of magick and ritual that is still used by Witches today. The traditional Witch's broom is made of ash, birch, and willow because of the attributes of those woods, but it can be made of just about any wood available.

Although not employed for flying purposes, the broom does have many uses. It is used for protection. It is also and most commonly used for physically and magickally cleaning an area that will be used for sacred space. The broom does not have to touch the ground to sweep away the psychic clutter that often collects in wel used spaces. Brooms are also often used in handfasting rituals (broom leap).

The broom is associated with Water, and is sacred to both the God and Goddess.

Blessing your Book of Shadows

In the realm of magick this book shall reside.
No one but the chosen shall see what’s inside.
If breath be to Air as passion to Fire,
Let harm come to none, this is my desire.
If life be to Earth as Water to emotions,
This book be filled with magical potions.
May the Gods protect it, keep it from harm,
And upon it bestow power, magick and charm.
No one without wisdom shall peer at its pages,
Or the knowledge inside handed down through the ages.
This book be it mine, it harbors no fears.
The knowledge obtained through blood, sweat, and tears.
My magick’s my passion, the spirits my guide.
The love for the Goddess I hold deep inside.
The book may she bless it with spiritual light.
And let only her children read of its rite.
For those of the Wicca truly can see,
That this is my will, so mote it be.

The Stone

The Stone is used in much the same way as the pentacle and relates to it in many ways. It is a tool of the North and represents the Earth. For those of the Faery Tradition, the Stone has a very rich history. Again, the Stone is another tool that is often thought to be a trade off for many witches. Where a pentacle can be an inflammatory symbol, much misunderstood, just about everyone has rocks lying around in some form or another. Only you need know what meaning it really has.

The Cauldron

The cauldron is an ancient tool of magick and ritual. It is normally a three-legged vessel, ideally made of iron and has the opening smaller that the body of the cauldron. They come in a variety of sizes from little ones that can be held in one hand to behemoth cauldrons that take three strapping young men to move.
The cauldron is used for many different purposes. It is used for magickal brewing and cooking, and is used for scrying. It is used many different ways during ritual, especially the rituals of the Sabbats.
The cauldron is the tool of the West and is associated with Water.
The cauldron is feminine in nature and represents the Goddess, fertility and femininity.

The Censer

The censer is an incense burner. It can be an ornate brass burner that hangs from chains or something as simple as a small ceramic bowl.
The censer is used to burn the incense that are often offered to the Deities, as well as being used to invoke the spirits of the Air, the Sylphs and Faery.
The censer is a tool of the element of Air.

The Wand

The wand is one of the most renown of the tools and one of the most versatile. Traditionally, the wand is made from the wood of many different kinds of trees including willow, elder, oak, hazel, and fruit trees. The length of the wand varies from tradition to tradition, but it is safe to say that the wand should be fairly straight, comfortable in your hand and is not so long as to be unwieldy. When searching for wood for your wand, even wood from a building supply store will work. If you take your wood from a living tree, remember to ask the tree first, then thank it for its sacrifice. Wands can also be made of crystals and metal. Make the wand your own by carving or painting symbols on it, adorning it with ribbons, whatever makes the wand special to you.
For thousands of years the wand has been used in both magick and rituals. The wand is used mostly to invoke the God and Goddess, direct energy, and to charge other objects. It is used to draw symbols on the ground and even to stir the cauldron.
The wand is the tool of the South and is associated with Fire. In some traditions it is the tool of Air.
The wand is phallic in nature, is a masculine tool and is sacred to the Gods.

The Athame

The athame (pronounced ah-that-may) is normally a dark or black handled, double-sided knife or dagger. The athame is normally dull, for it is not used to cut. The athame is used to direct energy and is often employed when casting circle. Symbols and words are sometimes engraved on the handle, but it is not necessary.
The athame is the tool of the East and is associated with the element of Air. In some traditions it is the tool of Fire.
The athame is phallic in nature and is therefore a masculine tool and linked to the God.

The Rede of the Wiccae

Bide the Wiccan laws ye must,
in perfect love and perfect trust.
Live and let live---
Fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about
To keep all evil spirits out.
To bind the spell every time,
Let the spell be spake in rhyme.
Soft of eye and light of touch—
Speak little, listen much.
Deosil go by the waxing Moon-
Sing and dance the Wiccan rune.
Widdershins go when the Moon doth wane,
And the warewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.
When the Lady’s Moon is new,
Kiss the hand to her times two.
When the Moon rides at her peak,
Then your heart’s desire seek.
Heed the North wind’s mighty gale-
Lock the door and drop the sail.
When the wind comes from the South,
Love will kiss thee on the mouth.
When the wind blows from the East,
Expect the new and set the feast.
When the West wind blows o’er thee,
Departed spirits restless be.
Nine woods in the cauldron go-
Burn them quick and burn them slow.
Elder be ye Lady’s tree—
Burn it not or cursed ye’ll be.
When the wheel begins to turn—
Let the Beltane fires burn.
When the wheel has turned a Yule,
Light the log and let Pan rule.
Heed ye flower, bush and tree—
By the Lady blessed be.
When the rippling waters go,
Cast a stone an truth ye’ll know.
When ye have need,
Harken not to other’s greed.
With the fool no season spend,
Or be counted as his friend.
Merry meet an merry part,
Bright the cheeks an warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law ye should—
Three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow,
Wear the blue star on thy brow.
True in love ever be,
Unless thy lover’s false to thee.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill—
An it harm none, do what ye will.

Thirteen Goals of a Witch

1. Know yourself
2. Know your craft
3. Learn
4. Apply knowledge with wisdom
5. Achieve balance
6. Keep your words in good order
7. Keep your thoughts in good order
8. Celebrate life
9. Attune with the cycles of the Earth
10. Breathe and eat correctly
11. Exercise the body
12. Meditate
13. Honor the Goddess and God

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What's in a Name?

Astarte is also known as Astarat and Astoreth. She is an incarnation of Ishtar and Inanna. This Semitic Goddess was worshipped by the Syrians, Canaanites (today called Palestinians), Phoenicians, Egyptians and other Semitic Tribes. King Solomon built a Temple to Her as Astoreth, near Jerusalem.

Astarte was worshipped as many things, to the Egyptians, She was honored as a Goddess of War and tenacity, to the Semites, She was a Goddess of Love and Fertility. Among the Greeks She was transposed into the Goddess of Love Aphrodite. In the Bible, She is referred to as "the abomination". Considering Her widespread devotion in Biblical times, the attempts to discredit the Goddess are not surprising.

The Bull and the Dove are especially sacred to Astarte and Astoreth. The Goddess is often pictured wearing horns. Astoreth is sometimes pictured wearing the head of a Bull. The Dove is associated with many Middle-Eastern Goddess rites. A Dove perches atop many Asheras, (tall moon poles) that marked the "High Places" were outdoor Goddess rituals were frequently held.

The bountiful qualities of the Great Goddess are reflected in all the principle Goddesses of the Meditteranean and Middle-East. Homage was paid to the Goddesses in the form of honey, beer, wine, incense, and animals. These offerings were an important part of honoring the Goddess and insuring future blessings for self and the community.

The Egg is a sacred symbol of Astarte, representing fecundity, new life and the powers of the Goddess. The Pomegranate, the "fruit bearing eggs" is an important part of Her sacred rites. Pomegranite is also central to the rites of Kore-Persephone, as well as other Goddesses.

The worship of Astarte spread far and wide, and in time, She was worshipped by the Phillistines, the Greeks, the Romans, the Sicilians, and in many parts of Europe and Africa. The Great Goddess Astarte was also worshipped as Freya by the Norse, Indrani by the Hindus, by the Celts as Danu, and by the Egyptians as Hathor.

Like Artemis & Diana, She often carries a bow and arrows, and is the center of many millenia of devotion.

[Information was gathered from:]