We see that the celebration of a holiday at this time of the year is almost universal in human experience and occurs in every culture. Whether Christmas, Yule, Solstice, or by any other name, the resonance of late December's lengthening daylight is embedded deep in the collective consciousness of humanity, as evidenced by such celebrations on every continent.
In case you need further proof that we are all part of one world and one entity, we submit the evidence in quantum physics: in the subatomic realm there is only energy, it is one energy and it is everywhere simultaneously. Paired electrons change their spin as if they are connected, regardless of the distance between them, and the concept of "matter" vanishes, because matter does not exist except as a collection of energy.
How then can we celebrate the unity we know we share with the whole world?
Cooperation: celebrate the connected-ness of us all by working together for the common good in the spirit of cooperation and friendship. Look at your fellow man and recognize they are you, you are them, and we are all part of the supreme deity.
Ecology: When we disrespect the planet, we disrespect our own existence. We know now that our planet operates as one organism, with her components so interdependent as to threaten our entire existence when we pollute her and destroy her vegitation. Earth deserves our utmost respect and our best stewardship.
Meditation: The world and our everyday lives are a materialistic distraction from our true existence. Celebrate our unity by means of meditation or prayer, to help us better appreciate how trivial the material world is, and to help us aspire to an awareness of our one common soul.
Self-love: How do we treat the body that we have been given, this body that is part of all creation? Do we take care of it, feed it properly, and do all we can to keep it healthy? Although we do transcend our physical selves, I firmly believe that good care of the body we have been blessed with is an important way we contribute to the collective well-being of mankind.
I wish all readers of the Lunar Gazette a wonderful holiday of peace, togetherness, and joy. I can't resist embedding "One" by U2, even with its images of suffering.
I dance this night upon a stage called earth. Pondering the next step that I should take In the many silent songs called life. I must create my own dance With the whispers of the winds And the moon, as she cast her shadows On my soul and silhouettes. I can sing without words. I can jump from star to star. In the vastness of this dance without a song. My spirit can truly sour, As the silence brings forth sound. Suddenly, music is all around. I dance upon this stage Until the performance is complete. Unto this life I must accept defeat. But, by listening to silence And understanding life, Death will only bring me to my feet. I dance this night upon a stage called earth. To a song that has no sound. I can hear the melody. I can see the audience of life around me. So I shall dance until my soul is found. My silhouettes shall spring to life With the rising of the sun. And they shall dance unto a different tune. We are merely dancers in the performance of our lives. Cast by the creator of all things. And judged by the values that we bring- To the dance.
A Magickal Circle becomes a witch’s sacred space – an area where energy raised will be confined and where outside energy will not enter. To cast a successful Magickal Circle one must first be in the correct frame of mind so take time to meditate before beginning any energy work including casting a Circle.
It is strongly suggested that the witch cleanse herself with a ritual bath using herbs and/or salt then dress in ritual clothing (or work skyclad if that is the preference).
Each Tradition may follow different steps - as well as another witch. Steps may be arranged in a different order and some may be skipped and others added. Being a Solitary Eclectic I pull from many different Traditions and sources.
These are the steps that I use when casting my Magick Circle.
~ Sweep area of negative energies using a besom and moving deosil beginning in the East. Visualize the besom stirring up and moving out stale energy from the area.
~ Light the incense and altar candles.
~ Ring bell 3 times to clear any lingering unwanted energies.
~ Consecrate the circle with each element. Starting in the East move deosil along the circumference of the circle first with the incense saying, “I walk the circle once around, to cleanse and consecrate this ground.” Walk the circle with the candle repeating the verse. Again with the water sprinkling it along the circle and lastly with the sand sprinkling it.
~ Set the Quarter Point candles.
~ Say, “Let it be know that the circle is about to be Cast. All who enter may do so in perfect love and perfect trust.”
~ Take the incense and place it at the East Quarter Point, light the candle, call the Element and ring the bell 5 times to invoke the Quarter energies.
~ Take the red candle and place it at the South Quarter Point, light the candle, call the Element and ring the bell 5 times to invoke the Quarter energies.
~ Take the bowl of water and place it at the West Quarter Point, light the candle, call the Element and ring the bell 5 times to invoke the Quarter energies.
~ Take the bowl of sand and place it at the South Quarter Point, light the candle, call the Element and ring the bell 5 times to invoke the Quarter energies.
~ Return to the altar. Pick up athame or wand in your power hand (prominent hand) and point it upward. Beginning in the East walk the circle moving deosil. As you walk visualize a beam of white or blue energy emitting from the point of the athame or wand and creating a giant bubble that encloses the entire area including beneath the ground or floor. Walk the circle three times saying, “I cast this circle on this night, I cast this circle for this rite. ”
~ Return to the altar. Pause visualizing the bubble of energy. Say, “We are between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one. So mote it be.”
~ Stomp foot to seal the circle.
(Bibliography) Moura, Ann. Green Witchcraft. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 2003.
RavenWolf, Silver. The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation Solitary Witch. Woodbury, Minnesota: Llewelyn Publications, 2006.
"I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization." ~Luther Standing Bear, Lakota
The energies of the Plant People come to us through Mother Earth, and in this way, they infuse us with their energies, when we work with them. The same is true of any creature being, of course. When we realize that the creature-beings are equal to us, and use them with respect, they will teach us about themselves, and how to use them properly. Connecting to Mother Earth means connecting to all of the creature beings, and to their energies. We can use this energy in our lives to help us to heal and to grow.
Each creature being has it's own lessons to teach us, and it's own gifts it can bring to our lives. Working with Plant People, we learn of their many uses, and how they can help us to heal ourselves, or others. Each of them is different, just as each of us are different. Each part of the plant is used for different purposes. We have the leaves, the stems, the flowers, the seeds, and the roots. Grandmother Moon's phase assists us in gathering the part of the plant that currently holds its medicine. During the waxing or growing phase of the moon, we gather the leaves and flowers, and during the waning phase of the moon, we gather the roots, as all the energy of the plant is pulled inward, or downward, into the roots, as the moon wanes.
Just talking about when to gather from the Plant People is not all of the story, however. We must also be aware of how to gather properly from them, if we wish them to work with us, to the best advantage. Native people have been known to pass by seven plants, before gathering from one. This preserves the plants for the next seven generations. We also know that when it becomes tough to pull leaves from a particular plant, it means that we've taken enough from that plant already, and it is time to move on. If a plant won't allow you to harvest from it at all, don't take it personally. It could be that the plant is not fully developed, or that it is sick in some way, and it is trying to prevent you from gathering an inferior product. Wait, or find another plant to gather from.
It is also a custom to ask the plant if one might gather from it. This can be done by offering tobacco to the plant, before asking. Even if the answer is no, you have shown respect for the plant by offering the tobacco, and by asking, instead of just taking. If the answer is yes, you will feel it. Then you may take what you need. Also, the intent behind the offering of the tobacco, shows the Plant People of your willingness to work with them. This will encourage them to assist you. Make sure you tell the plant the reason you need to harvest from it, what it will be used for. If the plant is harvested, and it is not used, this is considered to be disrespectful of the gifts that Mother Earth provides for us all. So make sure anything harvested, is used.
The current waning phase of the moon, is the last waning phase before Winter Solstice, or the end of the Dark Half of the Year. Grandmother Moon waxes and wanes, and so, too, does Grandfather Sun. We are quickly approaching His waxing phase, which begins at Winter Solstice. Currently, He is waning. This is the best time of the year to gather Root Medicine. All of the energy of the Plant People is right now in their roots. If you work with roots, in any form, I encourage you to get out there and harvest what you can, for your use in the coming year. Of course you can harvest roots during any waning moon phase, but this is the best time of the year to be gathering them.
Just as the Plant People will teach you how to work with them, so will the Roots. Roots live in the Inner Earth, and, as such, soak up much of Mother Earth's energy. Mother Earth provides a firm foundation for us, grounding us, and so too, do roots. Just eating a bowl of Root Vegetable soup, can help one to heal. This is a very good remedy to use if you are working with your own roots, healing your roots. And this is the perfect time of year to be doing that, as well. Chop or dice any and all root vegetables you can find into a pot of water and boil until tender. You can eat it just like that, or you can puree it. Adding herbs to it only increases it's healing potential. How about some Basil for protection or prosperity? Garlic, another Root, is good for purifying the blood, and cleansing the sinuses, as is onion, another root veggie. Leeks are good for protection and blood purification, carrots for their anti-oxidants and fertility, beets for your immune system, turnips are good for protection, endings, and banishing negativity from one's life, and potatoes for healing. Add some Thyme for courage, Bay Leaf for health and healing, Oregano is loaded with anti-oxidants, and Sage will help you to purify yourself, both inside and out. Other Roots include daikon, parsnips, rutabaga, radishes, horseradish, jicama, and yams. You could always try some Ginger tea, that's another Root, one that is excellent for digestion or stomach problems.
We don't always think about the Roots of the Plant Kingdom, or realize how much we use them. This is an excellent time of year to do so. During these last days of the waning half of the year, it is important that we cleanse ourselves, to make way for new energies that are just around the corner. Roots can help us to do this, in many ways. Once you begin working with them, they will teach you what you need to know in order to work with them properly, if you treat them with respect.
Happy Hunting and Gathering... May your Roots be as healthy as those you gather!
It is believed that children are much more in touch with their psychic abilities. It is fascinating to hear stories of children who can recall past life experiences, talk to invisible friends, and even see spirits. These can be enriching and exciting experiences for children, but sometimes a run-in with spirits can be very scary.
So, how can you comfort your child and ease his or her worries about spirits without discrediting their psychic abilities?
The first thing to do is let your child know that the spirits can not hurt them. You can also let your child know that he or she can communicate with the spirit by speaking to them. Your child can simply ask the spirit to leave. Let your child know that he or she can be polite, yet firm, in his or her request to have the spirit leave. One suggestion would be to say, “We thank you for visiting, but this isn’t your home. I need to get some sleep, and when you are here, I am too scared to sleep. Please leave now.” Stay with your child while he or she does this, and also add to the request in your own words, stating that you are the mother or father, and ask for the spirit to leave as well.
Before your child goes to bed, tell your him or her to imagine being surrounded by a bright circle of white light. Let your child know that the white light is warm and loving, and will help him or her relax and sleep well. This white light is a nice "psychic boundary," and a good way for empathetic people to guard themselves from feeling like they've gaining too much psychic information.
A couple other things you may want to try are smudging and sea salt. Smudging the house with a white sage smudge stick will help to purify and protect the home. While smudging, ask the spirits to leave because they are scaring your child. A highly powerful psychic boundary can also be created out of sea salt. Sea salt has protective qualities that may help to create a protected area where negativity cannot penetrate. Scatter sea salt around the edges of your child’s room to keep the spirits out.
Another thing your child might have fun putting together is a little amulet bag. Find a small bag you can have your child put crystals with protective properties. Chalcedony, hematite, and turquoise may be good ones for this project, as they are protective and help with peaceful sleep. However, your child will have fun picking out items that feel like good luck charms, and being a natural empath, he or she will be drawn to the stones that will offer the best protection and happiness!
Questions for you: have you felt the presence of spirits in your house? Have you seen anything? Share a story!
Please feel free to leave a comment or a question below. Thank you for reading, and brightest blessings!
It's my pleasure and privilege to contribute to the Lunar Gazette for the first time.
As you probably know, this blog is hosted on Google's blogger.com service, and it's probably the biggest blog provider out there.
Back in 2007, the folks administering Blogger added a neat feature. Since people are constantly uploading photos to their blog posts, someone thought it would be a good idea to show, in real time, the photos that everyone is uploading at any given moment. So play.blogger.com was put up in 2007 for just that purpose.
If you believe, as I do, that all humans share a common consciousness, then I thought it might be possible to detect patterns in the various pictures being uploaded to blogs at any given time--subconscious patterns that transcend the latest "trending topic" on Twitter (e.g. pictures of Tiger Woods this week...nothing like that).
This exercise has provided me with some interesting patterns over the time that Blogger Play has been up.
Some of the patterns in photos I've detected at any given time were: two circular objects, facial obscuration (by mask, veil, injury or otherwise), death, the color pink, the blues/depression, and so forth.
In all these cases I was convinced that the patterns detected were well beyond coincidence and could only be explained by our universal, connected common consciousness that influenced what photos people were uploading.
Far-fetched? I encourage you to try play.blogger.com when you have sufficient time to analyze at least thirty or so photos, and make your own decision.
The Lunar Gazette is an online blog/zine with thoughtful articles, creative writing, artwork and magickal crafting. It is a place of open-mindedness and thoughtfulness. We are geared towards Pagan communities, with an emphasis on Wicca and witchcraft. We are curious about spirituality, the supernatural, magick, and how to improve our lives through creativity, thought, and spirituality.