Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sabbat Reflections: Samhain and Halloween

Here are some photos that the Lunar Gazette received from Halloween and Samhain celebrations. Thank you to those who contributed!

Antonia's Altar Decorations:


Altar Buddies and decorations from Teela:




Halloween with Puck:


Altar Decorations with Kallista:


Fyona's Magickal Hat:


Anitra's Altar Decorations

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Small Psychic Quiz

In celebration of Samhain, I thought it would be fun to post a small quiz. This one examines what kind of magickal and mystical psychic ability you are most tuned in to.
If you answer 'yes' to the question, record the number of the question. Be sure not to overanalyze. Go with your first instinctive answer. If you initially think the answer is yes, then stick with that.

1. Are you aware of other people’s feelings?
2. Do you ever sense you are part of the universe?
3. Do you often know what other people will say before they say it?
4. While walking outdoors, do you sense that something is watching you?
5. While out in the open country, have you felt that something didn’t want you there?
6. Have you been out in a wild space and felt the place protected you?
7. Do you get butterflies in your stomach when someone is near you?
8. Do you get butterflies in your stomach in a certain location?
9. Do you sense the feeling of the atmosphere in a new place?
10. Do you know the world could be a place of peace and love even though there are wars and famine?
11. Have you ever walked into a place and felt a shiver or a sense of a presence?
12. Do you hear people’s thoughts?
13. Are there people that you don’t like physically near you?
14. Ever encounter a spirit of any kind?
15. Have you woken up and felt a weight on you when nothing physical is near?
16. Do you get a sense of wonder and love just from being alive?
17. Do you have vivid dreams that you feel may happened?
18. Do you look into the eyes of someone who is hurting you and see their pain?
19. At night do you close your eyes and see eyes, faces or human-like creatures?
20. Have you ever felt your body has been on a journey without your moving?

If numbers 1, 3, 7, 8, 12 apply to you, you are an EMPATH.
An Empath has the ability to feel for someone else, read a person’s aura, and sense true emotional needs. If you are an Empath you must learn psychic shielding since you are prone to absorbing other people’s problems.

If numbers 2, 10, 16, 18 apply to you, you are a CHANNELER. A Channeler can access information and emotions from a higher source. A Channeler has the ability to tap into universal energies. This person is spiritually insightful and is often considered an “old soul.”

If numbers 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20 apply to you, you are a MEDIUM. A Medium can channel earthly and angelic spirits and look into other dimensions. This person is aware of unseen presences. These are the type of people who can conduct séances. This is a rare ability.

If numbers 4, 5, 6, 9, 13 apply to you, you are a SHAMAN. A Shaman has a keen awareness of nature. This person can tap into the spirit of the trees and animals. The Shaman is instinctive and has a sharp intuition. The Shaman should consider working with natural healing abilities.

Please post your results in a comment!



This post originally came from Kiki's Cauldron. Kiki found this quiz in notes from one of her older grimoires, and believes it originated and was crafted while working at Enchantments in Manchester, CT.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Andraste, Warrior Goddess of Celtic Britain


Andraste also known as Andrasta, was a warrior Goddess of ancient Britain. It is said that she was the patron deity of the Iceni tribe, which was lead by Queen Boudicca. She was seen as a Goddess of victory, ravens and battles, and is very similar to the Irish warrior Goddess, Morrighan. Her name was thought to mean "The invincible one" or "She who has not fallen". She was called upon at the eve of battle, for her warrior strength and guidance. She was worshiped in woodland groves throughout Britain, and there is said to be a sacred grove dedicated to her somewhere in the Epping Forest. Her symbol was a hare, and in old Britain people were against hunting hares, for fear that killing one might afflict the hunter with cowardice.

Andraste was invoked by Queen Boudicca while fighting against the Roman invasion of Britain. According to Dio Cassius, these were her words:

"I thank thee, Andraste, and call upon thee as woman speaking to woman... those over whom I rule are Britons, men that know not how to till the soil or ply a trade, but are thoroughly versed in the art of war and hold all things in common, even children and wives, so that the latter possess the same valour as the men. As the queen, then, of such men and of such women, I supplicate and pray thee for victory, preservation of life, and liberty against men insolent, unjust, insatiable, impious."

Queen Boudicca and her army fought the Romans so well, that the Emperor Nero almost decided to withdraw Roman forces from Britain. It is said that Queen Boudicca released a hare to the Romans as an act of appeasement. In The White Goddess by Robert Graves, he speculates that Queen Boudicca may have released the hare in hopes that the Romans would kill it and loose their courage.

Many of the warrior queens people believed that she was a priestess of Andraste or the Goddess incarnate. Her strength and courage as a warrior queen is inspiring , honorable and very impressive, as she almost beat the Romans! To honor Andraste, call on her when you need the strength of the warrior Goddess in your life. When your a fighting a battle of your own. On your altar to Andraste, have a red candle with red or black stones such as garnet or black tourmaline, representation of a hare, and incense made with dragon's blood.

Enjoy working with this fierce warrior Goddess! For more info on Andraste, check out TheWhiteGoddess.co.uk

Blessings )O(



Photo courtesy of AishasBookofShadows

To find this post at the original blog, check out LoveoftheGoddess

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Samhain Celebrations on Etsy

Here’s this year’s picks for some fantastic items at Etsy to spice up your Samhain celebrations.


Witches Altar Spirit Board An enchating spirit board with candle holders and a scrying mirror.

Laced Draped Spectre Whipped Soap Described as a “hauntingly feminine blend” of vanilla, carnation and green pepper fragrances.


Hand Forged Cauldron Styled Censer A stunning hand-forged censer that makes incense burning an absolute joy. And, according to the master crafter, “is sure to become an heirloom item, worthy of your bloodline.”

Black Cauldron Herbal Incense A mysterious and dark scent with cinnamon, resins, patchouli, and other Samhain-inspired herbs. Perfect for the Hand Forged Censer.


Day of the Dead Owl Locket A gorgeous locket inspired by Day of the Dead sugar skulls.

Tarot Reader Sling Pouch Baba Studio of Prague highlights their incredible, gothic-inspired art on this bag.


Witch’s Tea Delight A wonderful tea that sounds like the perfect addition to the Samhain feast. It contains cardamon, hawthorn leaf and berry, elderberry, fennel, vervain and apple. It comes with a vial of spirulina if you wish to add a dash for a green color.

All Hallows Eve Ritual Oil for SamhainThe wonderful Moon Lit Herbals have a fantastic oil blend for Samhain.

Samhain Otherworld Tarot Reading Our very own Kiki is offering the best reading of the season! She’ll be drawing the cards on Samhain eve and Samhain, for a stunning divination experience.

Black Mirror Necklace A fine necklace with a black amulet pendant that doubles as a scrying tool.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Autumn Equinox and Mabon

It’s hard to believe, but summer has already passed as we are now approaching the Autumnal Equinox. The weather begins to get cool and crisp in the evening, leaves turn to reds and golds, and the sun sets earlier in the evening. Our bodies naturally react to these changes, as we begin to collect of summer’s harvest and enjoy the last few weeks of comfortable outdoor weather. On the Autumnal Equinox, the day and night are equal in length, and until Yule the nights will continue to grow longer. For Pagans and witches, Mabon is a Sabbat of giving thanks, preparing to move indoors, and turning inwards.

In England, the Autumn Equinox was known as the feast Harvest Home, in Ireland is it known as Michaelmas. In West Scotland, Cornwall and Ireland, people visited burial mounds. It is believed that Mabon was a time when wands were harvested by druids. Elsewhere in the world, grapes were harvested and wine was drunk in celebration of the holiday. Regardless of location, the Autumn Equinox is a day for harvest and preparation for colder months ahead as well as a time to give thanks for all that has been collected.

The name Mabon was given to this holiday by Aidan Kelly around 1971, and since then many Pagans and witches have embraced it. Mabon is a Welsh God of Harvest, whose tale is featured in the Medieval Welsh book the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion manuscripts date to the 14th century; however, “The Tale of Culhwch and Olwen” where Mabon’s story is told, could possibly date to the 11th century. Mabon’s mother, Modron, is an early Mother Goddess and Mabon is known as her divine son. In “The Tale of Culhwch and Olwen,” Mabon is abducted from his mother when he is three days old. It is Culhwch and his first cousin King Arthur who rescue Mabon from this imprisonment. Mabon then helps the two heroes hunt the magical boar Twrch Trwyth, thus confirming his role as hunter.

On Mabon, many Pagans like to gather for a Thanksgiving-like feast. For some, rituals of abundance and gratitude are performed, while others use magick to bring in more success and growth. Keeping the theme of harvest in mind, ask yourself: what has blossomed and grown over the last year? Have you had successful projects completed? What goals have you completed? Pause for some time to thank the Gods and Goddesses for all the growth and prosperity in your life.



Works Cited
Green, Miranda. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. London: Thames & Hudson,
1992.
McCoy, Edain. Sabbats- A Witches Approach to Living the Old Ways. Woodbury, MN:
Llewellyn, 2004.
The Mabinogion, trans. Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones. London: Everyman Library,
1993.
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon. “Summer’s End.” Llewellyn’s Sabbats Almanac: Samhain
2009 to Mabon 2010. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn, 2009.

Please visit Kiki's Cauldron for more information on Mabon correspondences. How do you plan to spend Mabon. Thanks for reading, and many blessings!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Discovering your Animal Totem


For many of us witches, discovering and working with our animal totems is a very important part of our magical lives. We all have them, but some of us might not know what they are yet. As followers of the Goddess we need to be connected to nature to truly feel her special power. Connecting with animals is a great way to do that! There are many different ways of finding out what your animal totem is. I found mine in a dream years ago, when I simply asked the Goddess before I fell asleep to "show me my animal totem". The dream I proceeded to have will forever be etched in my mind, and so will the beauty of the black leopard.

While reading my 2011 Magical Almanac, I came across a great ritual for finding your animal totem, and I thought I would share it here!

On your altar have the elements represented, as well as the colors of nature such as green and brown, and a white candle to represent your higher self. On your candle, carve either your name or astrological sign, and dress it with sandalwood oil. Make sure you cleanse yourself and your space with a smudge stick, and make your sacred circle. Now that you are ready to start, you may call on the elements, any deities you like to work with, and your higher self. Recite your statement of purpose:

On this night, I seek a meeting or communion with my true Animal totem. I enter this circle with pure heart, mind, body, and soul. I ask for your assistance and guidance. Please bestow your wisdom and guidance upon me, so that I can be true to myself and to others and pay homage to the earth and all it's creatures. Hail to the elements who keep the balance. Hail to my higher self who watches over me! Hail to (name of deity you chose) who assists me in my communication with my totem! So mote it be!

Now it's time for the meditation:

Focus on imagery regarding a pathway through nature of whatever kind suits you or feels right. Notice any creatures that come forward. Concentrate on just being, dont think too much or ask too many questions. Don't disregard any creature just because you'd prefer a different one. Take note of what happens, what creature (or creatures) you see, colors, shapes, textures and sensations. What memories are being evoked? Whatever creature reveals itself to you, commune with it. Observe it, what it's doing, if it's saying anything to you, or gesturing in a particular manner. Now thank the animal for it's presence and ask that they guide you in your life and dreams. Now thank any deities, the elements and your higher self and close your circle. Write down your experience and all details.

Once you find out what your animal totem is, you can call upon it or them when doing magical workings, or just to guide you through life. Sometimes a particular animal will show up at a certain time in your life, because it's trying to tell you something, or teach you a lesson.

I hope you enjoy working with your animal totems! There are many great books on this subject if you would like to research it further. I happen to like Ted Andrews Animal Speak

Blessings )O(


Find this post on the original blog at LoveoftheGoddess


Photo courtesy of Sodahead.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spell to Brigid for Inspiration

This is a great spell to try when you have a project that you need a little inspiration for.



You will need:
*Sunflower Seeds
*Almonds
*Small Flower Pot
*Yellow Paint & Paint Brush
*Yellow Candle (votive or tea light preferable)
*Crystals for adornment- consider citrine, orange or honey calcite, tiger’s eye, or crystal quartz (optional)

To amplify the spell try to:
*complete it on a Wednesday
*or, try to complete it during the first hour after sunrise on a Wednesday.

Begin by thinking about the goal at hand. Do you wish to study for an exam? Do you need to write an essay, or research an entire book? Decide what the goal is, and take a moment to imagine yourself completing the project.

This is a fun project that involves a little painting! On the flower pot, paint symbols associated with study, inspiration and communication. Try using the Ansuz-rune, the symbol for Mercury, or perhaps writing meaningful words, such as “concentration,” “creativity,” “inspiration,” “motivation,” and so on.

Mix the almonds and sunflower seeds together. While doing this, imagine yourself completing the study project you have at hand. Imagine yourself studying, reading, writing, and getting wonderful grades. Imagine the almonds and sunflower seeds glowing yellow, then place them into the pot.

Put the candle into the pot, making sure that it is securely standing in the seeds and almonds. Adorn with crystals around the pot (if you would like).

Light the candle and say,
“Dearest Brighid, Goddess of Inspiration,
Help me find creativity and motivation.
Allow me to be aware and energized,
to be full of knowledge and be wise.
I am a student of yours, kind goddess:
Let this creative spell be blessed!
As I mote to, so will it be!”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pagan Poetry

Called

Among the colorful wildflowers
and green clover
the morning dew glistens,
white as quartz
while shining in the eyes
of Horus
Ra and Thoth
watching and protecting
those called to worship.


© CricketSong, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hekate, Dark Goddess of the Crossroads


Hekate is the Greek Goddess of the crossroads, the torch bearer and the holder of the key. She is the Goddess of the darkness, who guides Persephone on her way to the underworld every year. She is a Goddess of magic and sorcery and a consort to witches. Daughter to Perses and Asteria, Hekate is often seen as a crone, and with three faces to represent the three fold Goddess. She is also said to have assisted with childbirth, and her symbols are the serpent, dogs, the key, and the torch.

Often a misunderstood Goddess, because of her great power, she has been demonized as an evil sorceress. Many cultures have deemed wise and powerful women as evil, because they are afraid of their power. Dont be afraid to work with this Goddess. She has been very helpful in my life, and she is at this point, my main Goddess. She may be firm, but that doesn't make her evil. She is full of wisdom and knowledge, and she is an ancient Goddess. There is some speculation, that she was actually an Anatolian Goddess, that was later adopted by the Greeks. Which would make her much older by a few thousand years.

Her ancient days of worship for the Greeks were August 13 and November 30. Although the Romans observed the 29th of every month as her sacred day. You can call on her when you are at a crossroads in your own life, and are not sure which path to take. She will light her great torch, and light your way.

For a quick little ritual and honoring of Hekate, a good time to pray to her is on the waning or dark moon. Have on your altar, a black candle dressed with lavender oil, make an incense with her sacred herbs, resins and oils. And recite the hymn to Hekate by Orpheus.

Incense recipe (taken from the book : Hekate, Keys to the Crossroads by Sorita D'Este)
1 tbsp copal resin
1 tbsp crushed lavender
5 drops cypress oil
1 drop patchouli oil
pinch of saffron

Recite:

I call Einodian Hekate, lovely dame,
Of earthly, watery, and celestial frame,

Sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed,
Pleased with dark ghosts that wander thro' the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail!

The world's key-bearer never doomed to fail;

On the rough rock to wander thee delights,

Leader and nurse be present to our rites;

Propitious grant our just desires success,
Accept our homage, and the incense bless.

Enjoy your experience with this dark Goddess!


Blessings )O(



Photo courtesy of Jessica Galbreth Art

To see this post on the original blog check out: Love of the Goddess blog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Old Rose and Lavender Potpourri


For hundreds of years, people have invented ways of preserving the fresh fragrance of flowers and herbs to sweeten the indoor air. Here is a simple, classic potpourri recipe you can try, but don't be afraid to experiment with your own formulas.

Potpourri Recipe

* 1/2 cup rose petals* 1/2 cup lavender blossoms* 1/2 cup sweet woodruff* 1/2 cup pot marjoram leaves and blossoms* 1/4 cup mint* 2 teaspoons orange peel* 2 teaspoons whole cloves* 1/2 teaspoon crushed cinnamon stick* 2 drops each of lavender and rose oils* 1/2 teaspoon powdered orrisroot

Combine the first eight ingredients. Sprinkle the oils and the orrisroot over the dry ingredients and mix well. Place in a covered jar, and stir gently every few days for a month, until the scents have blended and mellowed. Remove the jar's cover to freshen a room, but be sure to replace the cover between times of use. All potpourris need time to recoup their scents. The above recipe will also work well in sachets.

By Lady Abigail
You can stay up-to-date with Lady Abigail's writing at Ravensgrove Coven on facebook.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"The Sacrifice of the Heart" by Sunil P. Narayan

Sacrifice of The Heart

A capsule of love is sitting in my heart
It grows like the thick hairs on your mountainous chest
I sit in a meditative state, chanting your name till Sūrya arises
Calmness and warmth, the two things he taught me

Saraṇyū runs away from him every night, frightened and secretive
Sunlight rushes into the world as the Aśvinau storm through the sky in their chariots
I close my eyes to prevent any pain from occurring
But open to see nothing while your breath trickles down my neck

Your scent of trees with pine needles containing clear sap
The birds singing a song of romantic mating
No! Don’t feed me your sap, my lord!
Rub it onto my lips as if they were your sweat

We slither into the corridor under a grassy hill
All the way into another world of playful fairies
Little moss-covered wooden homes surround a clear clairvoyant lake
Lamps adorn the water, unmoving but showing me the whole earth

I do not know what you want me to do tonight
But I caught myself obeying your every command, a hornet in your catacomb
Ensnare my seducing eyes to make me see just your body which
crushes me into glass pieces
Your voice screams like a wolf when mating

When you are done I am gone: an existence leaving behind encapsulated love
Your soul is not in your body so devour it!
I am the reason for you to continue living in a demon-filled world
Sūrya gave me love to give to you!

Your tears become little drops of pearls for which the fairies hurriedly gather
The door for this world is sealed shut as you dwell in a cage of timeless ecstasy





Sunil's work has been a long, enriching journey that absorbed the world's eccentricities to create a masterpiece of color, surrealism and human emotion. The past two years witnessed a climatic moment in which his writing churned out emotionally-inducing poems. It is his intent to help people access feelings they rarely get to experience. Sunil is from Oregon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book Review: "A Wild Light" by Marjorie M. Liu


"Obsidian shadows of the flesh…tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams. By day, they are my armor. By night, they unwind from my body to take on forms of their own—demons of the flesh, turned into flesh." ~Marjorie M. Liu

From this quote on the book jacket, I knew this was going to be a mind expanding book to read. The idea of tattoo's coming to life is a concept I have not come across in a book before, nor had I even contemplated this concept, yet, here it is, opening my mind up to a myriad of possibilities.

This book is a demon whose claws grip you, not letting up until it has you in it's thrall. The suspense and the action draw you into it's web, while it's words haunt you, begging entrance to your mind.

This dark fantasy is reminiscent of Clive Barker's Weaveworld, in it's grasp of other worlds. It depicts a world of magic that exists within our own world, unveiling demons and lightbringers, zombies and avatars, and other fantastic and supernatural creatures from behind the Veil.

The story begins with Maxine killing a zombie, a yearly ritual on her birthday, which is also the anniversary of her mother's death. Then it's off to the birthday party, with pies made by her grandfather. Next thing she knows, she awakens in a pool of blood, next to the dead body of her grandfather, remembering nothing, not even her Lightbringer soul mate.

From there, we are taken into her world, that world of magic that no one in this world remembers anymore. The Veil has been ripped, demons hover, waiting to descend upon us, seeking vengeance and death, and it's up to Maxine and her Lightbringer boyfriend Grant, and her personal demons, to save us all. Can she hold back the forces of evil, the demons from beyond the Veil, or will our world be destroyed by demons, whom she surrealistically imagines could soon be marching down the streets of Seattle?

This book goes from surreal to fantasy to action and adventure to romance, moving quickly, sinking it's claws into our minds, and leaving it's demon tracks there. We are made to remember how magical this world can be, with her fantastic creatures, and mesmerizing words. This is our world and then some, as we step sideways into another world, that lies waiting for us in this book.

This is the third Hunter Kiss novel in the series. If the first two are anything like this, I must find them, I must read them, inhale them, bring their world into alignment with my own, for I cannot live without these words opening up my mind, even further. Any fan of the supernatural will love this book, as will any fantasy fan. I believe that every fan will find something within these pages that will resonate deep within them, and keep them up late, thinking about magic and mystery, demons and dreams.






~*~*~

Marjorie M. Liu's Website

"A Wild Light" on Amazon

The first two Hunter Kiss novels on Amazon:
Book 1: The Iron Hunt

Book 2: Darkness Calls
~*~*~

May the books of our lives, always open our minds just a tad bit more...
Walk in Beauty,
Michelle

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: Kelley Armstrong's "Waking the Witch" - on Sale NOW!


Kelley Armstrong, acclaimed writer of the Otherworld Series, has released her latest book in this series called, "Waking the Witch". An intricately-woven mystery mixed with some supernatural tricks, makes this latest book a wickedly witchy tale of enchantment.


Savannah Levine, assistant Private Investigator, finds a chance to solve a case on her own, while her adoptive parents, who are also the owners of the PI firm, are off on a romantic vacation. Riding her motorcycle through rural Washington, she arrives in a small town, rich with economic woe, to investigate the murders of three teenage girls. Remains of witchcraft rituals are found, giving our first hint of a true supernatural element to this case. From throwing energy bolts, to casting blur spells, our heroine fights both mortal and Supernatural, and receives assistance from half-demons and other Supernaturals, in this intricately woven tale. Being the daughter of a dark witch and a sorcerer, she comes by many of her talents naturally. When all is said and done, it's her human side that we remember most.

This author has taken the time, within this tale, to dispel many myths about witchcraft, and the supernatural. The story is told from the perspective of a 21 year old witch and PI, but you can feel the experienced woman and storyteller behind the book, with every page. Having never read any of Kelley Armstrong's books before, I was left wanting more. I'll be on the lookout for her next one!

"Waking the Witch" on Amazon

Kelley Armstrong on Amazon

Kelley Armstrong - Website

"Waking the Witch" Web page

Kelley Armstrong Author Q&A by Chapters Indigo Books & Music Inc. on Facebook
~*~*~

I've also been asked to do a book review for another book that is being released today. It is called "A Wild Light" by Marjorie M. Liu. Look for this review to appear here, in the next few days!

~*~*~

May all the words you read, help you to become your highest self!
Walk in Beauty,
Michelle
Sacred Spirituality
Art is Life

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Ancient Symbol of the Spiral


The spiral is an ancient symbol that has been used since the beginning of time in many different cultures around the world. Different variations of the spiral, have been found in the British Isles, Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and even in the America's. The meaning of this ancient symbol has been up for debate, and while each definition is a little different, the core meaning of this symbol remains the same. Basically representing the spiral of life, the cycles of nature, the cycles of life, and so on.

The triple spiral pictured here, was found carved on the stones of Newgrange, a neolithic passage tomb in Ireland. This particular spiral is said to represent the threefold Goddess and the cycles of life. Another similar triple spiral called the triskele, was used in Europe as well as in the America's by the Hopi Indians. This spiral represents the cycles of life within the three fold, or the three spheres of the material world, such as land, sky and sea.

While in Ireland, I got the pleasure of seeing these beautiful triple spirals carved on the walls of Newgrange. At the entrance to this massive passage tomb, lie three huge smoothed rocks, each of these have triple spirals carved all over them. Some of these carvings are starting to fade sadly. Inside the tomb, they are carved randomly throughout, there are not as many inside as there are on the rocks out front. I also saw some spirals carved in a few other ancient places throughout Ireland.

What I find most interesting about this sacred symbol, is that many different cultures around the world used it. How did all of these ancient cultures use an very similar symbol with almost the same meaning? Could it be possible that the Hopi Indians in North American came into contact with the neolitic Europeans? I would tend to think not, but anything is ultimately possible. I guess we will leave that up to the archaeologists and anthropologists among us to figure out.

For more information about the ancient symbol of the spiral, check out : Zenzibar.com

Blessings )O(



Photo courtesy of: Wikimedia

Find this original post on Love of the Goddess Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Strange Dreams

I used to be really good about keeping a dream journal. These days, "not so much" but I had occasion to look over my journal recently and relive some very strange nocturnal excursions. Some brought a smile, and some a raised eyebrow.

It's been said that dreaming is the body's way of preparing for the consciousness of the waking day; that the purpose of dreaming is thus physiological and not psychological as has been the traditional line of thought.

In the spirit of sharing, here are some of the dreams I am most intrigued about, for one reason or another.

I had to go to St. Louis for some reason, probably work. Was looking at a map that had weird roads in a body of water, like a causeway that had many pull-off areas. At one of these pull-off parking lots, I took a huge Dremel power tool with a metal-cutting wheel and started cutting one of the cars in half lengthwise, to create a parking space for myself evidently. I was chastised by some unknown authorities for doing this. Many cars had side panels sliced off, always lengthwise. Cars were driving around without passenger side doors and fenders...very strange.


This is part of an ongoing office building dream. The ongoing part is, I work in a unique building with elevators that go left-and-right and fore-and-aft, as well as up-and-down. The cars get routed the best way. One day I use a building entrance I don't usually use and ride to the top floor with some executive types I don't recognize. Then the elevator zig-zags to my floor. However in today's dream, I'm visiting multiple floors. One of the lobbies has a scale which I want to use, one of the old-style scales with the big dial at eye-level that take a quarter. In this room I recognize a tablet (pad) with my writing on it that I must have left there at a previous visit. It's resting on a foot stool or something low to the floor. I'm amazed at how long it must have been there because I don't remember leaving it there.

I'm at home, near the back window when I see a HUGE object in the sky, blotting out the sun. I recognize it as the Goodyear blimp but it's flying way too low. I grab my son and we get in the car to follow the blimp. We end up in another part of our housing plan, and people are standing around saying the blimp has landed or crashed. My kid's tired and snoozes in the car so I don't wake him up. Walking around the plan's streets (everyone else is too), I finally climb the bleachers of a football stadium where at the top row, you can see a little better. I only see the tail end of the cab of the blimp (the upper part has deflated evidently). Through people talking or news reports, I learn that the New York Rangers were passengers on the blimp. We don't know of their status but the cab does not look too banged up. One thing though, the cab seems to have settled over a swimming pool, but doesn't sink (it's too big and hangs over the side).


This one starts with a woman dying...I can't determine who. Then I realize, I died too. I get to know about being able to see the world but not being part of it. The dead start to line up in a row, but I stay behind the woman, holding her from behind to show affection. Of course the living cannot see us.


Last one. I'm on the subway, and the driver is being a real dick...pulling away from the station with the doors still open, de-coupling the cars in motion, driving too fast and derailing. Somehow I realize the driver is a very young woman. Then, she is parking my airplane (!) in a parking lot and scrapes the left wing on a car. Finally I am inside my office, doing some paperwork, when she comes over to me and asks me if I would make her a sandwich. I firmly but politely tell her no, and relate all the awful things she's done.

I'm open to interpretation. Have fun, but be kind :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pagan Poetry


















Artwork - Jennifer Galasso


Litha

The laughter of children invigorates me.
Such precious gems in the crown of the Queen Mother!
I feel her grand spirit sparkle.

From her lips whispers and sighs
Escape like the warm breeze
It is Litha.

Fluttering and floating through the meadow,
What do you believe of the fae?
I wear translucent wings, I dance.

Oak King and Holly King present.
Brothers though they duel,
For the right of dominion.
The Oak King claims victory.

Sun King and Queen of Summer,
Belly swollen with seed of life
The Son born on Yule.

O Spirit, such celebration!
Fertile Earth blossoming with life
“Blessed be,” I chant.

© CricketSong, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rhea, Great Mother of the Gods


There is a famous myth associated with Rhea, although you don't really ever hear much about her, you always hear of her husband, Cronos, and one of her sons, Zeus. This famous myth is about the birth of her children. Her husband Cronos, heard a prophecy that he would be taken over by one of his children. In hearing this, he decided to swallow each one them as soon as Rhea gave birth. Finally, when Rhea had enough of this, she decided to give birth to her youngest son, Zeus, in secret on the island of Crete. When she returned to meet Cronos, she handed him a rock dressed up like an infant, and he swallowed it.

Rhea was the daughter of Uranus and Gaia, and mother to Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Aides, Poseidon, and Zeus, some of the most popular Gods and Goddesses in myth. She is known to have been worshiped in different variations around the Mediterranean, and was associated with the Goddesses Hecate and Cybele. Rhea was originally a Cretan Goddess, and since Zeus was born there, they were both seen as sacred.

She was seen as an earth Goddess, a mother Goddess, and the mother to all the Gods. She kept all things in balance and kept the flow of life in her hands. In ancient art, she was portrayed on a throne with two lions at her side. Much like the Anatolian Goddess, Cybele.

To honor the Goddess Rhea, honor your mother earth, and help keep the balance in your own life flow naturally.

Blessings )O(




Check out Theoi.com for more information on Rhea



Picture courtesy of Paleothea.com


Check out this original post at loveofthegoddess.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Samothrace, Sacred Island of the Great Mother


I found the story behind this ancient island to be truly fascinating. Samothrace is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. The myth behind it involves the Amazon Queen Myrine.
It is said that the queen of the Amazons wanted to settle in some of the islands in the Aegean. On her quest to conquer these islands, she and her crew got caught in a violent storm. In the chaos, she prayed for safety to the Mother of the Gods. She was then carried to one of these uninhabited islands, and decided to make this place sacred to the Goddess, and set up great altars and shrines. She then named the island Samothrace, which in Greek means "Sacred Island".

This island was known for its mystery religious cult. Here they performed secret ceremonies and initiations. The pantheon of Gods they worshiped were primarily chthonic deities, with focus on one central figure, The Great Mother. People from all over came to this island to partake in sacred ceremonies and rituals. Some of the Goddesses they were said to have worshiped here, were variations of Cybele, Hecate and Demeter.

The Amazons were known to be warrior women who worshiped female deities. They defended their territory quite successfully, like they're neighboring male dominated societies. On the island of Samothrace, they worshiped their Great Mother at sacred rocks, here they made great sacrifices to her. Archaeologists have found inscriptions on some of these rocks in characters of an unknown language. It is said that this was the sacred language of the Samothracian Mysteries. Some say that the Amazons were just a myth, some believe otherwise. There has been some evidence found, of a possible female warrior society. Whether the interpretation of these findings is correct remains to be seen. I don't think it would be so outrageous to think that there could have been an all female warrior society.

For more information on the island of Samothrace and its sacred temple complex check out Wikipedia

For more information regarding the story of the Amazons on the island of Samothrace, check out this great article: Amazon Research Network Article

Also if you are interested in learning more about the Amazons check out the Amazon Research Network Website


Blessings )O(



Photo courtesy of Old Vagabond

Check out Love of the Goddess Blog

Monday, April 19, 2010

Musical Tarot, revisited

A few months ago, I wondered aloud in the Book of Thoth blog about which popular songs (mainly from what's known as the "Classic Rock" era, but others too) would correspond to the individual Tarot cards. It was more of an associative exercise, you know..."this card makes me think of this", etc.

Anyway, I first considered the trump cards (Major Arcana) in one post, then the court cards in another, then the rest of the deck. I thought I'd recycle the material here in one consolidated post, for your perusal. As I have the most experience with the Thoth Tarot, that's how I thought of the attributions, and that's also how I have them listed.


0. Fool - "The Fool on the Hill", the Beatles
I. Magus (Magician) - "The Wizard", Black Sabbath
II. Priestess - "Witchy Woman", the Eagles
III. Empress - "God Save the Queen", the Sex Pistols
IV. Emperor - "Tyrant", Judas Priest
V. Hierophant - "Waitin' for the Man", Lou Reed
VI. Lovers - "Jack and Diane", John Cougar Mellencamp
VII. Chariot - "Highway Star", Deep Purple
VII. Adjustment (Justice) - "Hard Rain", Bob Dylan
IX. Hermit - "Nowhere Man", the Beatles
X. Fortune - "Proud Mary", Creedence Clearwater Revival
XI. Lust (Strength) - "Burning for You", Blue Oyster Cult
XII. Hanged Man - "Trapped", Bruce Springsteen
XIII. Death - "Bohemian Rhapsody", Queen
XIV. Art (Temperance) - "Chemistry", Rush
XV. Devil - "Sympathy for the Devil", Rolling Stones
XVI. Tower - "Rock the Casbah", the Clash
XVII. Star - "Imagine", John Lennon
XVIII. Moon - "Man on the Moon", REM
XIX. Sun - "Hot Fun in the Summertime", Sly and the Family Stone
XX. Aeon (Judgement) - "War Pigs", Black Sabbath
XXI. Universe (World) - "Across the Universe", the Beatles


Suit of WANDS

Ace - "Eclipse", Pink Floyd
2 - Dominion - "My Prerogative", Bobby Brown
3 - Virtue - "Lucky Man", Emerson Lake and Palmer
4 - Completion - "In my Time of Dying", Led Zeppelin
5 - Strife - "Seven Nation Army", White Stripes
6 - Victory - "We are the Champions", Queen
7 - Valor - "New Year's Day", U2
8 - Swiftness - "Spirit of the Radio", Rush
9 - Strength - "Right Here, Right Now", Fatboy Slim
10 - Oppression - "Under My Thumb", the Rolling Stones
Princess - "Desire", U2
Prince - "Sleep Now in the Fire", Rage Against the Machine
Queen - "Crush with Eyeliner", REM
Knight - "Fire", the Jimi Hendrix Experience


Suit of SWORDS

Ace - "Breathe", Pink Floyd
2 - Peace - "Peace Train", Cat Stevens
3 - Sorrow - "Mother", John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band
4 - Truce - "Can We Still be Friends?", Todd Rundgren
5 - Defeat - "Whipping Post", the Allman Brothers Band
6 - Science - "Come Sail Away", Styx
7 - Futility - "Holiday", Green Day
8 - Interference - "Satisfaction", the Rolling Stones
9 - Cruelty - "Ohio", Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
10 - Ruin - "Cities on Flame", Blue Oyster Cult
Princess - "Dolly Dagger", Jimi Hendrix
Prince - "The Rooster", Alice in Chains
Queen - "Long Cool Woman", the Hollies
Knight - "Street Fightin' Man", the Rolling Stones


Suit of DISKS

Ace - "Money", Pink Floyd
2 - Change - "Champagne Supernova", Oasis
3 - Works - "Back on the Chain Gang", the Pretenders
4 - Power - "Stand!", Sly and the Family Stone
5 - Worry - "When the Levee Breaks", Led Zeppelin
6 - Success - "Tubthumping", Chumbawamba
7 - Failure - "Go Your Own Way", Fleetwood Mac
8 - Prudence - "All Around my Hat", Steeleye Span
9 - Gain - "More More More", the Andrea True Connection
10 - Wealth - "Baby You're a Rich Man", the Beatles
Princess - "Polythene Pam", the Beatles
Prince - "Take the Money and Run", Steve Miller Band
Queen - "Strange Kind of Woman", Deep Purple
Knight - "Taxman", the Beatles


Suit of CUPS

Ace - "Us and Them", Pink Floyd
2 - Love - "No Ordinary Love", Sade
3 - Abundance - "Material Girl", Madonna
4 - Luxury - "Life's been Good", Joe Walsh
5 - Disappointment - "Who'll Stop the Rain?" - Credence Clearwater Revival
6 - Pleasure - "Can't Get Enough", Bad Company
7 - Debauch - "Snowblind", Black Sabbath
8 - Indolence - "Comfortably Numb", Pink Floyd
9 - Happiness - "Wonderful World", Louis Armstrong
10 - Satiety - "Piggies", the Beatles
Princess - "Going Down to Liverpool", Katrina and the Waves
Prince - "Space Oddity", David Bowie
Queen - "Spill the Wine", Eric Burdon
Knight - "Fool in the Rain", Led Zeppelin

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tools Helpful to Connecting With Deity


Being a practicing pagan means that I apply my beliefs in my life with intent. I don’t only sit around discussing with other pagans the grand ideas of our shared spiritual path but instead I do what I say and say what I do. I live my spirituality each and every day whether it is through casual conversations with deity or a more formal esbat ritual. A simple illustration of this idea is that of the Kitchen Witch who considers herself a practicing pagan. She prepares the meals for the family herself, as apposed to handing each of them a cereal bar for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch and Chinese Take-Out for dinner. This, in my belief, makes her a practicing Kitchen Witch. This is what I strive to attain for myself and my family as it feels right and true for me.

I believe that each of us live differently – we travel a path forged uniquely by us for us and each path is good and each is right for the individual traveling it. It is because of this that each of us practice our particular flavor of paganism differently. I think it would be difficult to pin point exactly what is needed for each pagan to possess in order to connect to deity in a mutually satisfying manner however, I do believe that there are things that we all could benefit from.

While it is true that none of us need a vast array of items such as; numerous pieces of jewelry, an athame, wand, pentacle, chalice, cauldron, books or even an altar; it is my belief that we do need tools – at least in the beginning and I feel that even as an advance practitioner tools are helpful to keep us focused on the task at hand; be that a spell, meditation or ritual.

I believe that there are just two non-physical necessities: intent and will. Intent being the firmly fixed concentration on connecting to something and will being the desire to achieve this task. If there is the absence of either or both then there will be no connection with deity attained ever.

Some other tools that I feel are helpful for the practicing pagan:

Physical journal, Book of Shadows or online journal – With a journal you are able to track what it is you intend and how you plan to achieve it. You are able to record ingredients needed in spells, the steps in a planned ritual, dreams you remember and insights on experiences and situations as well as your ideas about your spirituality.

Music – Sound is a powerful tool whether it is experienced by your own voice, the voice of others, a musical instrument or your own hands or feet. Sound is energy that is composed of frequencies which can align us with divine energy. When you manipulate sound in a harmonious way you create music. What better way to align yourself with deity?

Language – To communicate with others as well as deity, requires some form of language be it sound, gestures, signs or marks. Once you give something a name or label you have empowered it. Language aids will in fulfilling intent. Personally, I am comfortable with words so this is the medium I choose to utilize. Words hold power.

Focal point – In order to remain focused on your intent it is helpful to have something to drawn your eyes to or gaze at when you are actively communicating with deity. This is especially true if you are challenged by the idea of visualization.
Your focal point can be anything that you feel reminds you of your chosen deity; a statue, a candle or an item of nature.

Sacred space – Created through intention and will sacred space is a place of peace and tranquility, a place between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time. It is an environment filled with energies that support and raise your inner and outer self to benefit your highest good, a place where all are one. This space can be a permanent area such as a cleansed and consecrated temple or an outside Circle that has been temporarily cleansed and consecrated for magickal workings. I am of the opinion that it is also a state of Being which can be accessed by donning a robe or other ritual garb allowing you to shift your consciousness to it. However it is you access your sacred space it is necessary in opening the channel of communication between deity and yourself.

Personal interaction with others – Though this is written for the Solitary Pagan the emphasis on personal interaction with others should not be overlooked. We all hold within ourselves the sacred being that is connected to the Divine; to ignore that would be to ignore a piece of ourselves. This interaction need not be lengthy but it should be done in person. The availability of information on the internet has aided Solitary Pagans in becoming just that – isolated and alone. Public rituals, classes, meetings, study Circles or social gatherings are all acceptable venues to achieve the purpose of connecting to other sacred beings.

These are the tools that I deem helpful to the Solitary Pagan but they are not the end all be all. Individuals may find there are other tools or items that they cannot do without when connecting to deity and, I would not argue otherwise. This does not mean that I do not find jewelry, athames, wands, pentacles, chalices, cauldrons, books or even altars without purpose. In fact, I have each of these items and they enhance and enrich my pagan practice however, if tomorrow they disappeared from existence, I would still possess the tools that I recognize as necessary for me to practice my own brand of paganism.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Selene, Goddess of the Moon



Selene was the Greek Goddess of the moon, or the moon personified into a divine being. She was daughter of Hyperion and Theia, and sister to Helios and Eos. She was often depicted as a woman on a horse or a horse drawn chariot. Her lunar crescent was depicted as a crown upon her head. There was a number of Goddesses associated with the moon, but Selene was the only one who was thought to be the moons divine incarnate.

In the Greek calendar, each month began with the new moon, and was divided into three ten day periods between the moons cycles. The first ten days were presided over by the waxing moon, the next ten the near full and full moon, and the last ten by the waning moon. Festivals and rituals were measured in the cycles of the moon.

Homeric Hymn to Selene:
"Long-winged Selene . . . at eventime in the mid-month : then her great orbit is full and then her beams shine brightest as she increases. So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men."

Hymn from Sappho to Selene:
"Selene (the Moon) was coming in to view in her fullness, and when the women took their position round the altar."

These among many other hymns describe Selene in her moon form, and how she affects people and activities throughout the month. Many ancient cultures lived their lives around the phases of the moon. As many Goddess worshipers and witches do today.

To celebrate Selene, call on her on the full moon. Feel her ancient bright light shining down on you, absorb its sacred feminine energies.

The following is a prayer to Selene, you can pray to her with white lit candles and sandalwood incense burning (the scent of the moon).

The gleaming stars all about the shining moon
Hide their bright faces, when full-orbed and splendid
In the sky she floats, flooding the shadowed earth
With clear silver light.

Now rose the moon, full and silver,
While round stood the maidens, as at a shrine.
Thus sometimes, the women, tender footed,
Dance in measure round the fair altar,
Crushing the fine bloom of the grass.

Come hither moon goddess, Selene, come,
And in golden goblets pour richest nectar
All mixed in most ethereal perfection,
Thus to delight us.


Blessings )O(



Image courtesy of : Josephine Wall

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Patterns of Vibration

How do we perceive something? We see, hear, smell, touch and taste our way through life, right? We depend on these physical senses to tell us about the material world around us. But these five only go so far.

It's no coincidence that abilities we would call "psychic" in nature are also called a sixth sense; that is, above and beyond the five familiar ones. We all experience intuition--which we've talked about before--but what is intuition, really? It's the ability to recognize patterns of vibration.

The material world around us is vibrating in patterns familiar to us. The atoms of the keyboard under my fingers vibrate in the pattern of plastic. The screen in front of me looks like a steady image, but it's actually a vibration of still frames being updated more quickly than my eyes can perceive. I think the keyboard is solid, but quantum physics tells us it is still atomic particles vibrating in a plastick-y pattern.

So it is that we can "flex" our psychic ability by focusing on the vibrational energy of ideas and thoughts, which are "things" just like my keyboard and screen are.



Look at the yin/yang symbol we all know and love. It is static, but when we look at it, we sense movement, we sense the vibration. Is the black moving into the white field or vice-versa? Does it change back and forth as we are looking at it? Congratulations, you have discovered the pattern of vibration of this symbol and have tuned in to it. The same concept extends to the rest of our universe.

Psychics describe holding an object belonging to another person as "tuning in" to that person. The metaphor of tuning, like a radio, is perfect. When you turn the radio knob you match the vibration (frequency) of the station to that of the receiver, and exclude all the other stations on different frequencies. You match the pattern of vibration.

Our minds are powerful pattern-matching and vibration-matching tools. Remember the old TV show "Name that Tune"? Hear three or four notes and you can immediately hear the entire song in your mind. This illustrates vividly how our minds are pre-programmed with this gift of recognition (which, by the way, computers are FAR inferior in.)

Meditation and practice can help us to better perceive energy patterns and vibrations. These patterns reside in the fourth dimension outside the familiar three. It's this dimension that is the realm of ideas, of thoughts, and creativity.

It also illustrates that despite all of human achievement there is still so much to learn about our universe and its creator.

(source: "Awakening your Psychic Powers" by Henry Reed, 1988, St. Martins)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spell Crafting



Crafting the perfect spell for your need can take some time and thought. A spell is more than just wanting something and wishing it so. The words you choose have meaning and you need to choose them wisely. The saying "Be careful what you wish for" holds true with crafting spells. I prefer to do all of my spellwork on a full moon because the energy at this time is strong, but everyone is different and you need to figure out which phase of the moon works best for you. Try doing a few spells on different phases of the moon and see how it turns out.

Before any magical workings, take some time a few days before to think and prepare for it. Really think about what it is that you want, and be specific. For example, if you are wishing for a new job, if you just do a spell to "get a new job" it might work, but everything else you want out of that job may not be what you were looking for. Sit down with a pen and paper, and write down everything you want out of that job, details are very important. Lets say your list goes something like this :

new good job
nice people
decent money
good benefits
not too far from home
stable work environment

Now that you have written down exactly what you want out of this new job, you can begin to craft the perfect spell. Some people dont feel its necessary to rhyme your spells, I do for a couple of different reasons. First, sometimes when words rhyme, they can be easier to remember. Second, when reciting your spell and the words rhyme, you get into a rhythm and it really flows nicely. You dont have to be a master poet to rhyme, just do the best you can. I am certainly not a poet, but all of my spells rhyme for the added benefit. Of course as with any magic, the most important thing is your intent, but everything else that goes along with it will just help your spell to stick. Also make sure that after every spell, you end it with some sort of closing that will lock the spell in. Like "So mote it be" or "And so it is", find your own, whatever feels comfortable to you.

Now that you have crafted your perfect spell, wait for the right time to do it. Make sure you do it on the phase of the moon that works best. If you wish to use crystals, incense or anything else to help your spell along it always helps. As always make sure and sage yourself and your area before doing any magic. Good luck on your spell crafting journey!

Blessings )O(

Check out our blog at Love of the Goddess


Photo courtesy of Wicca Spells

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Early Humans and The Divine

I have a YouTube channel and often post videos for a variety of reasons. I also subscribe to other channels that are owned by spiritually like minded individuals. There is a new user on YouTube (MoonlitOpal) whom I’ve recently discovered. I find that she has interesting topics pertaining to religion and spirituality. Recently she posted a video - Early Humans and The Divine. In it she asks the question, “Where did the idea of god or gods or spiritual stuff or a plane of existence beyond what we can physically see; where did that come from?” She goes on to question why these primitive humans, who had limited means of communication, saw lightning and not react with, “Whoa that’s scary!” Instead they some how came up with the abstract idea that there was an invisible power or being that controlled the environment around them.

I find this topic interesting as well. It made me think and meditate though I felt I already knew the answer. You see, I believe that we all are connected to each other and to Source or The Divine. Our physical bodies are just vessels that we inhabit on this plane of existence. This is not the only plane of existence. There is another. Many religions, many people believe as I do however, they may label the other plane differently: paradise, heaven, nirvana, Summerland, the other side, the other world, and so on. But the point is many of us already know that this isn’t it. This isn’t all there is that once we die or transition we continue on to a life everlasting.

But … I believe that before we were born here on this physical plane in this current life - we already existed. This isn’t our beginning. At least not our true beginning. We existed before and we will continue to exist. And again there are other religions and spiritual paths that also believe in a similar concept though you will find differences of opinion here as well. Honestly though, to continue with my answer to MoonlitOpal’s question, it doesn’t matter what those differences are – just that there is a similar belief that I hold with others of like mind.

Now, since I believe we existed before now and will continue to exist after now it means that I hold knowledge within me prior to what I attain while I am here on this plane. And since I believe that I existed in some form – a truer form than that which this physical body allows, I carry knowledge that is shared with all humanity from all points in time including the distant linear past.

Now, back to the original question. Those primitive humans were closer to Source than you and I are now. Their existence prior to being born here on earth was WITH The Divine so instinctively they knew that there was a higher plane of existence – an existence that could not be seen with their limited human eyes but with something else. Their Inner Self. Their Higher Self. Their Spirit which was still in vibrational alignment with Source. So when they witnessed lightening they created a Lightening God that they could relate to on a physical level. When they felt the wind they created a Wind God that embodied the aspect of The Divine in a way they could see and relate to. They felt the desire to manifest on earth that which they were missing – that which still existed on the spiritual plane. That is how spirituality and religion as we understand it now was born. And this is why I believe that all the individual paths that you find lead to the Source because it is where we all originated from and where we are all looking to return to.

Bright Blessings!

Her Video:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reprise to the Moon by Karin Rochelle

The beauty and grace
as you hang there
the light in your eyes
as you shine
the tribute I make now
to your glowing aura
you certainly brighten
my nights

you crest and wane
and turn the tides
you hang in place
suspended in space
to delight and enlighten
I live for such moments
to stand in your presence
once more.

By Karin Rochelle
Please visit her blog for more information at:
http://echoesofavampire.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Celtic Tree Month of Ash Begins Today



The ash tree was one of the sacred Druid trees. On the Celtic calendar, the month of Ash begins on Feb. 18 and goes through March 17. This is a great time to do magic that is associated with the inner self, ocean rituals, prophetic dreams and spiritual journeys.

The Ash tree represented growth, expansion, and higher perspective, to the Celts. Ash was often used for making both mundane and magical tools like wands, brooms or spears.In ancient Celtic Ireland, the Ash tree was so sacred, that people refused to cut them down even when wood was scarce. The ash also gives its name to the letter N in the ogham alphabet. Together with the oak and thorn trees, the ash is part of a magical trilogy of sacred trees to the Druids. It is also said that if you place Ash berries in a cradle, it protects the child from being taken away by mischevious Faeries.

To celebrate the Celtic tree month of Ash, do a ritual or meditation to the Ash full moon which falls on Feb 28.

Blessings )O(



Photo courtesy of Woodland Trust

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bright One: highlight on Brigid this Imbolc

Brigid, gold-red woman,
Brigid, flame and honeycomb,
Brigid, sun of womanhood,
Brigid, lead me home.

You are a branch in blossom.
You are a sheltering dome.
You are my bright precious freedom.
Brigid, lead me home.

-From The Goddess Path by Patrica Monaghan



The Celtic Goddess Brigid is honored on Imbolc. Brigid is the Celtic Goddess of fire. Her name means “bright one,” and she is one of the most worshiped goddesses in Celtic culture. Brigid appears as a triple goddess: she is goddess of inspiration and poetry; goddess of healing and fertility; goddess of smithcraft and metalwork. Her magickal upbringing gives her a brightness, divinity, and the powers of prophecy.

She is the daughter of Dagda, the tribal chief of the Tuatha de Danaan and “good-god” of magick and abundance, thus making her an immortal member of the magickal founding troop of Ireland. Brigid was born in a druid’s household, and raised on the milk of Otherworldly cows. She was invoked by women giving birth, and worshipped on Imbolc, as she is a symbol of abundance and fertility. In myth, she had the ability to fill a lake with milk from her cows, which she milked three times a day. She taught the magick of fire and the art of metalworking to smith crafters. For poets, bards, and singers, she whispered divine inspiration. Worshipped on Imbolc, Brigid gives us the promise of a new spring, and inspires us to prepare for abundance and success in the coming warm months.

You can call upon her to help give you inspiration for creative work as well as give you strength and energy. She is often called to help with healing, and called for comfort during times of grieving. At Imbolc, you can show reverence to her by placing her symbols on an altar. The following are suggested decorations for Brigid:

*White and candles surrounded by lavender.
*Metal-crafted objects, or smith crafting tools.
*A cauldron with burning incense (dragon’s blood resin and red sandalwood are excellent for Imbolc)
*A glass of milk.
*Pure water in a silver bowl.
*Blackberry, which was sacred to Brigid, and can be used to attract wealth and healing.
*Brigid's Cross
*Brigid Corn Dolly


In her honor, take a moment to shut off all the lights in your house. Turn off your cell phone, computer, and television. Illuminate your home with white candles, and sit in peace and quiet for a moment, thanking Brigid for light, inspiration, health, and abundance. Consider writing an invocation or poem in her honor, and enjoy the growing warmth and light of the year. Many blessings to you on Imbolc.




Bibliography

Green, Miranda. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. London: Thames and Hudson, 1992.
Hopman, Ellen Evert. A Druid’s Herbal For the Sacred Wheel of the Year. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1995.
Monaghan, Patricia. The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations, and Rituals. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 1999.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan from "Love of the Goddess"

The Celtic Tree Month of Rowan began on January 21st. Like all cultures around the world since the beginning of time, the Celts had a calendar of their year. It was a lunar calendar with 13 months with each month representing a sacred tree. Each tree for each month corresponds to a letter of the ancient Celtic alphabet.

The current cycle we are in starts today with the Rowan tree (also known as mountain ash). The Rowan tree was believed to be a magical tree which grew red berries that were said to be food for the Gods. It is associated with Brighid , a Celtic fire Goddess of hearth and home. Known by the Celts as Luis, the Rowan tree is associated with healing, personal power, divination and success. A spell carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norse culture was known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.

To celebrate the Rowan in its sacred month, pray to the Goddess Brighid on her sabbat Imbolc on Feb 1.

Blessings )O(

To read more postings like this, please visit: Love of the Goddess

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tree Magick


The World Tree

This symbol of "All The Worlds" connects the land of the living with the Above and Below worlds. We can see this as Heaven and Hell, Future and Past, or as the Higher Realms and the Lower realms of the Earth Elementals. Either way we look at it, we can use this concept in Magick.

We can work with the beings in the Upper or Higher realms, as well as with the beings or Earth Elementals like Gnomes, in the Lower realms. Perceiving it as Past and Future, it can be helpful in reminding us to always consider the lessons of the Past, and to consider the effect on the Future, of any Magickal act we undertake. It is also a reminder that we are not the only Realm, we are not alone.

To see the World Tree is to see it's branches reaching far up into the sky worlds. I see the reaching of these branches as an example of how we, too, can reach for the sky, while remaining grounded here on Earth. The roots of the World Tree, reach far down into Mother Earth, which is a reminder to sink our own roots deep into Mother Earth, and find that Fire at Her center, and pull healing energy up into our lives and our world.

Trees as Symbols

Trees are great symbols, in many areas, not just as a reminder of "All The Worlds". We can emulate them when we ground ourselves, sinking our own roots deep into the Earth. We can work with them, and the Elements they embody, Air and Earth, to work Magick. There are also many lessons we can learn from Trees.

One in particular that comes to mind for me is the lesson I learned from a Pecan tree. This Grandfather taught me that a tree can lose a limb, and still carry on as before. This loss does not affect it's ability to provide for those who call it home, such as the birds, squirrels, and other creatures. We could learn a lot from that! Pecans, or any nut for that matter, are symbols of Wisdom, so much contained in such a small space. The ancients believed that one could absorb some of that wisdom by ingesting the nut, or working with it magically. Nuts are a favorite offering on Winter Solstice and Yule, because they embody the wisdom we'd like to bring into our lives, during the going within period of the Winter months.

Trees work with the Wind Brothers, a part of the Air element. To work with the wind magically, can assist us in blowing away the things in our lives we no longer need, in releasing injuries and illnesses, and to ask for help in bringing much needed rain, among other things. Trees are the doorway to these magickal workings, and working with them can only increase our abilities.

Tree Types

Different trees have different meanings for us. The Oak is a majestic provider, steeped in history, from the Druids to the present. Strength is one of it's many assets. Growing on the Oak, we find Mistletoe, another Winter offering. Sacred to the Druids, Mistletoe is a parasite, meaning, it feeds completely on, and is totally dependent upon, the tree in which it grows, in this case, the Oak. Druids worshipped in Sacred Oak Groves. I can't dispute the power of this, I've tried it. An Oak Grove is a very sacred place!

Cottonwoods are a favorite tree of mine. Here in the desert, they are sacred, as seeing one let's you know that there is water available there. Cottonwood is the western form of Cypress, magically. Little people live in and around these sacred trees. Hopi carvers use Cottonwood root to make their sacred Katchina dolls, and Pueblo Peoples often use their wood for drum making. These majestic creatures live for a hundred years or more. I've learned quite a lot from Cottonwood. I've always respected the trees by asking for their help, and making offerings to them, when I asked anything of them. They work well with us, when treated in this manner.

Here's a site with more Cottonwood info:
Shamanista: Spirits of Trees and Other Plants

Many trees are considered sacred by different people. The Celtic Zodiac uses trees as their symbols. Here's a great site depicting each of these sacred tree signs:

The Celtic Zodiac

Trees are also used to make wands, as incense, to construct shelters, altars, furniture, to build fires, and provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe. So not only can they be used magically, they are a necessity of life on this planet.

Here is a site that protects the rainforest that I hope you will check out:

Click to give at the Rainforest site


And there are many other organizations out there that plant trees and protect forests. Give them a hand any way you can.

To work with a tree magically, begin by getting to know the tree. Spend time with it, talk to it, make offerings of tobacco or other sacred herbs to the tree. Ask for its permission to use parts of it to make your magickal tools or to gather it's wood or leaves for a magickal act. Tell it why you need parts of it. This will help the tree to understand your intentions. Give thanks to the trees. And always ask the Grandfather's permission before entering it's sacred space. When we begin by showing respect to the tree, it is more than willing to work with us.

Seasonal Trees

Trees change with the seasons. We see them bloom in the Spring, when our lives are starting to move forward again after the Winter months. In the Summer, they are full of leaves, full of energy, and home to many creatures. In the Autumn, their leaves change color, as if they are getting dressed up in all their glory, before going away in the Winter. But it is the state of the tree in the Winter that can teach us the most. Trees, like many animals, hibernate in the winter time. They pull their energies inward, keeping to themselves. In the winter months, we, too, have the ability to go inward, delving down deep within ourselves, to find that which we will pull out of ourselves come Spring Equinox, and release. Finding those parts of ourselves we no longer need, lessons and teachings that no longer work for us, or never did, digging out the pain of the past, healing it, so we can move forward in our lives, lighter and healthier, each time we go through the cycle.

Other trees stick around in the winter, like Cedar, another sacred tree. This tree, when burned like incense, can remove negative energy from a space, and will then bring in good vibrations. The berries of a Cedar will keep evil spirits away. Wearing or carrying parts of the Cedar on one's person, will keep negative energy away from you.

Pine is a favorite altar offering for Winter Solstice, or Yule. It's evergreen qualities represent eternal life and immortality. The White Pine is called the Peace Tree by Native Peoples. To sit under it is to find the peace one needs in one's life. And Pinecones, let's not forget their importance. They represent fertility, and the Spiral of Life.

It is said that we can learn everything we need from Nature. The energies of trees can teach us much, if we but pay attention to them. There is much I could tell you about my lessons from trees, but then, you wouldn't have the pleasure of learning those lessons for yourself :) Get outside, ground yourself, and sit and watch some trees, and see what they would like to teach you.

Walk in Beauty,
Michelle