Monday, 31 January 2011

The Wand

The Wand

Primarily, the wand is used to direct your will and intent when in the circle.

Think of it as a magickal conductor that amplifies your will and directs it where you need it to go.

Witches use their wands to cast a circle, empower other objects and to repel negative energy. Some witches use the wand for this, others choose to use the athame in the same way, some use a staff instead, it is down to personal choice.

The wand is used to work with the element of air, which is associated with the mental body and the intellect, hence its use as a focus for ones intent.

Although in a lot traditions the wand represents the elements of Air, in others it represents the element of Fire.

A good way to test a potential wand is to hold it in your power (writing) hand and direct its tip toward the palm of your non-writing hand, about three or four inches away from the palm. Visualise white light coming down your right arm, going through the wand and into your left hand. You will feel a sensation of some type in your left hand, be it a slight warming, a feel of pressure or a magnetic feel. With practice, this becomes an easy thing to do. If the wand is especially good for you, the sensation will be unmistakable.

Generally, the wand measures from the elbow to the wrist. It can be made from various materials, the most common of which is wood. The type of wood depends on what magickal correspondences the tree type has. There are many wands out there that are made from copper, crystal or glass, as well.

Wands range from very simple to ornate, depending on the tastes of the particular witch. Some are decorated with various symbols and sigils carved or painted onto them. Some witches choose to wrap their wands in leather, embed them with precious stones, or even decorate them with feathers or ribbons.

Personally I prefer to use fallen branches to make a wand, but if you want to cut a branch or twig from a tree or plant, please either out loud or in your head state your intent that you wish a section of wood to create a wand and ask permission from the tree first. Once you have cut the live wood thank the tree, and leave some form of exchange.

Aside from a broom, the wand is probably the most recognized magickal tools used by witches. The type of wand you use, what it is made out of and how it looks is completely up to you. The only person that your wand needs to please is you.

Some tree correspondences:

OAK - Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity,
sacrifice, guardian, liberator.
BIRCH - Controlled by the Lunar influences. Birth, healing, Lunar
workings, and protection.
HAZEL - Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.
ALDER - Controlling the four winds, working with
elementals, resurrection.
IVY / VINE ) - (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth.
(IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.
YEW - Destructive workings concerning death. Sometimes this carries a warning not to be used for magickal tools, but for me Yew represents life, death and rebirth and transformation.
ROWAN - Divination, healing, astral work, protection.
ASH - Seapower, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection
from drowning.
PINE - Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation
WILLOW - Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, fertility
ELDER - Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.
HAWTHORN - Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, cleansing.
HOLLY - Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty
WHITE POPULAR - Hope, rebirth, divination
ALMOND - Fruitfulness, virginity
APPLE - Fertility
COCONUT - Protection from negative psychic forces.
FIG - Balance
MISTLETOE - Love, fertility, sexual potency.
PALM - Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life
PEACH - Abundance, fruitfulness, happiness

At the end of the day if you are making or buying a wand it is whatever one feels right for you, regardless of the meanings found here, on the internet or in books!
Tansy
x

All wand pictures are from Kitchen Witch website

Friday, 28 January 2011

The Pentagram - it's history...

The pentagram is a five pointed star, encased by an outer circle. Its apex points upwards.

The pentagram was first used around 3500BC at Ur of the Chaldees in Ancient Mesopotamia. Pieces of broken pottery were found, some of them with the earliest findings of the written language on. In later Mesopotamian art the pentagram was used as a symbol of imperial power in royal inscriptions. It symbolised the imperial power extending out to the four corners of the world. The Hebrews also used the pentagram as a symbol of truth and for the five books of the Pentateuch (the first give books of the Hebrew scriptures).

The geometry of the pentagram and its metaphysical associations were explored by Pythagoreans who saw it as a symbol of perfection. It was called the Pentalpha, composed of five geometrical ‘A’s. Pythagoras travelled all over the ancient world, so he may be the explanation of the presence of the pentagram in Tantrik art. Early Hindu and Buddist writings that seem to share Pythagoras’ view of the star.

The Gnostics saw the pentagram as a Blazing Star, symbolising the crescent moon which related to magick and mysteries of the night time sky and the dark.

Celtic Druids believed the pentagram to be a symbol of the Godhead. Celtic pagans saw the number five as sacred in many things. Examples of this are Ireland having had five great roads, five provinces and five paths of law, the fae counted by fives and mythological figures wore five fold cloaks.

It was also a symbol of the underground womb and bears a symbolic relationship to the pyramid forms to the Egyptians.

Even early Christians used the pentagram, it symbolised the five wounds of Christ and up until medieval times it was used as a Christian symbol on occasion. It implied truth, religious mysticism and the work of the creator. It was only after the Inquisition that the ‘evil’ associations were assigned to the pentagram. Over time the Christians dropped the use of the circle and just used the five pointed star, I would assume in response to the neo pagan use of the pentagram with the circle.

In Medieval times the pentagram with one point upwards symbolised summer and with two points upwards signified winter. In the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the pentagram was his signature glyph and was used on his shield. We are told that this symbolised the five knightly virtues – generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety.

The Knights Templar formed during the Crusades used the symbol of the pentagon in their architecture and designs.

During the Inquisition the pentagram was seen as a Goat’s head or the Devil. In the purge on witches, horned gods such as Pan became equated with the Christian’s idea of the Devil and the pentagram, for the first time in history was equated with evil and labelled the Witch’s Foot.

During the Renaissance period Hermeticism (the proto science of alchemy) developed along with occult philosophy and symbolism. Graphical and geometric symbols became very important. Western occult teachings began to emphasize the philiosophies of Man being the small part of the larger universal spirit – “as above, so below”. The pentagram returned as the Star of the Microcosm, symbolising man within the macrocosm. In 1582 Tycho Brahe’s Calendarium Naturale Magicum Perpetuum shows a pentagram with a body imposed and the Hebrew YHSVH associated with the elements. And we are all familiar with Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the geometric relationships of man to the universe. Later the pentagram came to be symbolic of the relationship of the head to the four limbs and hence of the pure concentrated essence of anything, such as the spirit, to the four traditional elements.

Masonry uses the pentagram to show man as the smaller aspect of the universe. The pentagram then being incorporated into American symbols. The five pointed stars on the flag and the eye/pyramid on money.

In the 19th Century metaphysical societies sprang up all around the world. Many of them based on the ancient Holy Kabbalah. Eliphas Levi was instrumental in opening of the Victorian lodges such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He is accredited with renaming the tarot card coins as pentacles. It is during this time we also see the first modern association of the pentagram with evil – Eliphaz Levi Zahed illustrated the upright pentagram beside an inverted pentagram with the goat’s head of Baphomet. This has led to the concept of the different orientations being good and evil.

In the 1940’s Gerald Gardner adopted the pentagram with two points upward as the sigil of a second degree initiation. The one point upward pentagram together with the upright triangle symbolising third degree initiation. A point downward triangle being the symbol of first degree inititates. The pentagram was also inscribed on the altar with its points symbolising the three aspects of the goddess plus the two aspects of the God in a special form of Gardnerian pentacle.

Christian morality still kept the pentagram as a negative symbol in modern society so it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the pentagram was used and worn again in public.

The Church of Satan was an organisation that started out as a practice of following the Set, an Egyptian deity. For it’s emblem they used the inverted pentagram after the Baphomet image of Levi. The reaction of the Christian church was to condemn Satanism as evil and of course this lumped all pagan societies together as Devil worship. The stigma of Witchcraft and its use of the pentagram has continued through to today.

Despite the use and the different meaning of the inverted pentagram as a symbol of Gardnerian initiation, modern witchcraft traditions tend to use the upright pentagram.

Taoism also uses the pentacle, each point signifying wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

The pentacle is the simplest form of star shape that can be drawn unicursally, with a single line, hence it has been called the endless knot. In the old folk song – Green Grow the Ruses O, the line ‘five is the symbol at your door’ refers to the use of the pentagram above doors and windows as protection against evil and demons.

The pentagram is a symbol of Wiccan and some neopagan spiritual beliefs. The pentagram symbolises the five elements of earth, air, water, fire and spirit, with the top point representing spirit triumphing over matter. It is used in jewellery, on clothing and altars. It is also used in some blessings and healings. The circle around the star represents protection, eternity and infinity. The circle touching all five points indicates that spirit, earth, air, water and fire are all connected.

Tansy
x



Images:
redbubble

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

One Witch's Thought for the Future



I believe that for some years, a significant amount of time in a human time-scale, but a blink of an eye cosmically, humankind has finally, perhaps, begun to grow up. We've gone through our first faltering steps as a species, our innocent childhood or prehistory. We've explored our environment, we've poked and prodded, we've built things up and knocked them down again. We've depended on our deities for everything. We've then sulked and rebelled to an extent that would make any teenager proud, stamping our independence, insisting that we don't need any help thank you.


Perhaps now we are finally reaching early adulthood. Where we can admit that sometimes parents are ok, and it's nice to have them to fall back on when we need to. When we need comforting, or our mistakes fixing, or just some advice.

With welcoming the female deity energies back, reuniting them once and for all, without demoting those of the god, perhaps we have matured. We know now, that the god and the goddess have different roles, different approaches, but that we need to see and hear both for. Perhaps we will be less harmful to each other, to our environment.

When there is an imbalance and conflict at the top, there will be strife and hurts below. Parents who fight and argue will damage their children's perspectives, just as it is damaging for one parent to be absent, having either abandoned their children, or having been denied access. For the past couple of millenia, we have been denied access to one of our spiritual parents, and we have grown up imbalanced, without the benefit of their energies.

With the Goddess' return, as we seek out the one that has been denied us, we reclaim and rediscover another viewpoint. We are beginning to hear both sides of the story, and we can make up our own minds now. By growing up, we can be more magnaminous, we can see, admit and accept fault without blame. We can move past the past, and instead concentrate on the future. A future unblemished by past arguments, past hurts and misunderstandings.

The future is so very hopeful. As the future of any young adult should be. It is full of promise, the idea that we are capable of anything and everything. The old rules no longer apply, especially if there is no acceptable explanation of why we should follow outmoded practices. We no longer simply follow blindly, but we walk side by side, in the knowledge that we do these things because it is our choice.

We do things that make us happy, because doing things for the greater good makes us happy. Spiritual fulfilment becomes a valid goal. Our moral codes come from within, not because someone has told us what is right and wrong. We know now why it is right and wrong. We are taking personal responsibility.

Now, we go out to make our parents proud, both of them. And with that we will make a world that makes us proud also.

Love and Hugs

Blaidd

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Aengus MacOg & Caer

MacOg means literally ‘son of the young’. Aegnus was the handsome witty harpist of the Tuatha De Danann, the son of Dagda and Boann, usually called the God of young love. His sisters were Brigit & Aine, his brothers Aed & Cermait. He is sometimes just called Mac Og, or his name is spelt Oengus mac Og. He was a patron God of poets and musicians, though he does not seem to have been a bard in his own right.


Eternally youthful, he rules at Newgrange, also called Brúgh na Bóinne for its situation on the Boyne River (named for his mother, or the other way around). He is a god of the otherworld, foster-father of Diarmud and accidental instigator of Etain's problems when he fell in love with Caer, a woman in the form of a swan.

He had a harp that made irresistible music and his kisses turned into birds that carried messages of love. His brugh, underground faery palace was on the banks of the Boyne River.

In one of the most well known myths involving him, Aengus helped the fugitive lovers, Diarmuid and Grainne escape Fionn MacCumhal’s vengeful wrath. He pleaded their case to Fionn and secured their freedom from his pursuit. He also abducted the unhappy Edain, the wife of Midhir, from her imprisonment in fairyland.

Sometimes he has been called a God of death or, more accurately, of fatal love, and his is often discussed in terms which credit him with powers similar to those of both Mabon and Apollo. He is most strongly equated with the Greek love God Eros.

Aengus was concieved when the Dagda fell in love with Eithne, also called Boann, the goddess of the Boyne and wife of Elcmar of the Brug. The Dagda sent Elcmar on an errand to Bres, and in the meantime used his magic to make one day last nine months. At the end of this time, Aengus was born. The Dagda then brought Aengus to Midir to be raised as a foster son for nine years. As a child, he is insulted by a Fir Bolg boy he's playing with for not having any parents; Aengus inquires to Midir how this is, and learns that he is the Dagda's son. Aengus demands a home, and the Dagda helps him trick Elcmar out of the Brug, who is then given Cleitech instead.

Aengus dreams of a young girl for a year, but is unable to find out who she is and falls into a wasting sickness. His mother Boann goes in search and doesn't find her; the Dagda has Bodb go and find the girl, who is found at Loch Bel Dracon, chained to fifty other girls, all of which change shape into birds. The Dagda asks for Ailill and Medb's help, but is told to meet with Ethal, the local sidhe king and father of the girl, who is called Cáer Ibormeith. Eventually, Aengus is able to meet with the girl on Samhain; she only agrees to be with him if she's allowed to return to the lake. They turn into birds and sing the people to sleep, and Caer remained with Aengus after this.

In magick – call on Aengus for music magick, aid in romantic love, protection of lovers, dream work, creative inspiration.

Correspondences – bowls, sapphires, cinnamon, clay, red roses, copper, rose quartz

The Story of Angus Og and Caer Ibormeith by Meadowsweet Myrrh


Once there was a young man named Angus Og who was surpassingly handsome, and so he was light-hearted and carefree when it came to "wooing" all the girls. He had many titillating romantic affairs, since he was completely confident that he deserved the prettiest girls and that they were just lucky to be with him. One night, though, he has a dream in which he sees the most beautiful woman imaginable. He wakes up stunned, and suddenly all the local girls seem dull and dim-witted in comparison. The next night, he dreams of the beautiful maiden again, and she sings to him a song of such sweetness that it could lull whole kingdoms to sleep. He sees that her wild, feathery hair is silvery-white, and she wears tiny golden chains adorned with bells all about her, draped around her waist and wrists and throat. He awakes the next morning having fallen completely in love with this dream-maiden, and yet he is intimidated by her beauty and wary of the golden chains. For the first time in his life, he finds himself full of doubt. He falls very ill, and for a year and a day, he lays weak and feverish in bed, refusing to see anyone or seek any help, out of embarrassment for his lovesickness. Every night, he dreams of the beautiful maiden, and she sings to him until his fever subsides.

Finally, Angus Og's mother convinces him to speak to his father, the Dagda. The Dagda advises his son to go and seek this dream-maiden, to see if she is real and if he can win her affections. (The story doesn't say this, but I think the Dagda just wanted to get Angus Og out of bed and moving around--fresh air does wonders for a bruised ego. The Dagda probably figured that after a little while of tracking down beautiful girls who fit the dream-maiden's description, Angus Og would forget his dreams completely and be back to his old self again.) Angus Og decides to take his father's advice. For another year and a day, he goes off searching the far corners of the world (by which they probably mean, Ireland) to find his dream-maiden and to prove his love for her. When all seemed hopeless--and Angus Og's obsession had not abated in the least--his brother, Bodb the Red, finally finds a woman who fits the description. Bodb brings Angus Og to the side of a lake called The Dragon's Mouth (catchy name, eh?) to see the maiden. And there she is, just as beautiful and strange as Angus Og first dreamed, bathing on the shore of the lake among one hundred and fifty other girls who are her servants and handmaids. For it turns out, she is Caer Ibormeith, the daughter of a Faerry King.

As is always the custom in polite fairy tales, Angus Og goes to her father, the Faery King, to ask his permission to woo Caer. The King responds, in short, "Good luck, man! She is willful and wild, more powerful than I am. I cannot bid her to do or not do anything she has not already decided for herself. You're welcome to try your luck... But one thing," the King says, "Caer has this little quirk about her--don't ask me why... Every autumn, she transforms herself into a swan, along with her one hundred and fifty handmaids, and they all fly off somewhere for the winter. The only chance you'll have of wooing Caer is if you go to the shore of The Dragon's Mouth on the morning of her transformation, and call to her by name."

Angus Og, mystified but still overwhelmed with love, is willing to try anything. And so, when that autumn day finally arrives, he goes alone to the shore of the lake at dawn. This time, instead of the many girls bathing on the shore, he sees one hundred and fifty swans gliding serenely across the glassy surface. While still in the form of a maiden, Caer was by far the most beautiful and easily stood out in a crowd, not least because of the golden bells she wore--but now, as swans, all the girls look almost exactly alike. For a moment, Angus Og panics, sure that he'll never be able to tell which of the swans is Caer, that he'll never be able to call to her by name and so win her love. Trembling with uncertainty, he closes his eyes and tries to remember the dreams in which he first saw the lovely swan-maiden, listening for the song she sang to him as he slept. For a moment, he imagines that he hears that same song drifting across the lake, and in a burst of eager self-forgetfulness, he calls out, "Caer! Caer!" When he opens his eyes, he sees a swan gliding slowly towards him from among the others, and as it reaches the shore, its form melts away to reveal Caer in all her beauty, still wrapped in a cloak of white swan feathers.

Caer smiles at Angus Og and asks him why he took so long to answer her call, why almost three years had passed since she first sang to him in dream. He admits that he, who had always been so casual and indifferent about pretty girls, had been embarrassed by the sudden sincerity of his love, and that it took a long time to overcome his doubts and seek her earnestly in the place where she dwelt in waking life. For so long, he had been content to dream.

The story ends with Caer agreeing to be his wife and lover, but only if he will transform himself into a swan and fly away with her. He agrees whole-heartedly, and together they unfurl their long, white wings and take flight across the lake, singing a song so sweet and wild and beautiful that the whole kingdom fell into a peaceful sleep for three days and three nights (during which, I'd imagine, they had their own fun). After this feathery honeymoon, according to Celtic mythology, they both transform back into human form and live "happily ever after" as the handsome god of love, and the beautiful goddess of purity and dream


Sources:

Meadowsweet-myrhh
Maryjones.us
Celtic Myth & Magick

Monday, 24 January 2011

Celebrating ideas for Imbolc

So Imbolc is just around the corner, what do we do to celebrate?

Imbolc is the best time for initiating change and giving life to new ideas and projects. Whatever you set in motion now with blossom and grow as the Wheel of the Year turns.



Gather together with friends and ask everyone to bring a candle, some food and drink and to share poems, songs, artwork etc so that you can all share in each other's achievements.

Weave an Imbolc Ring - made from stems of flexible wood such as willow, winter jasmine, honeysuckle, forsythia, dogwood. Create a circle the size of a plate, using the thinner end of each stem as a needle, weaving it in and out until it holds firm. Continue weaving in different twigs until you build up the ring. As you work, focus on what you have learned over the Winter and what you wish to start as Spring begins. When finished place the ring in a shallow dish of water and it should leaf and flower giving energy to your new plans.

Plant seeds - as you do so focus on what seeds you have been nurturing and what you wish to plant in the fertile energy of the new season. Symbolically plant them in the earth as you do so.

Light a candle and focus on the power of goodwill, visualising actions that could spread goodwill and happiness throughout the world.

Make a Brighid's well, water has the power for fertility and healing.

Give your house a good sweeping with a besom - clear out all negative energy and old habits.

Make a Sun Wheel with candles.

Make a Bride dolly from stalks of grain to symbolise the Goddess Bride/Brighid.

Maka a bed for your Brighid dolly to lay in.

Make or decorate candles.

Make a Brighid's cross.

Place a lighted candle in each window of your house on Imbolc and allow them to burn down.

Go for a walk in your local area and see how many signs of Spring you can see.

Cleanse and re-consecrate all your magickal tools, including your besom.

On Imbolc Eve, leave buttered bread in a bowl indoors for the fairies who travel with the Lady of Greenwood.

Place three ears of corn on the door as symbol of the Triple Goddess and leave until Ostara.

Make up a bowl of Imbolc potpourri with whatever fragrances symbolise Imbolc to you.

Have fun!

What will you do to celebrate?

Tansy
x

Sources:
Celebrating the seasons by Ashleen O'Gaea
Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred

Friday, 21 January 2011

The modernisation of the Fae


I like science. I love finding out how things work, and more importantly, why things work. I am also a witch, and work magick, and to many people, science and magick are incompatible. I just think that magick IS science, just that we just don't know how it works yet.

There was a time when magick would be conjuring fire from a stick, or light from a tube...today these are just a lighter and a torch. One day, Newton's laws will be applied to the Law of Attraction, and the Threefold Law.

We witches have moved with the times. We have embraced our modern technology, you're embracing it right now by reading these words. We use our computers is so many magickal ways, to learn, communicate, to manifest (though you might call that shopping). We can even conduct rituals over the internet, powerful rituals, with a circle comprised of people spread all over the world.

Yet, the magickal world we tap into, that never changes, it remains the same to us as it was to our ancestors. Or does it?

Back in the second world war, the US Airforce coined a phrase to describe the mysterious mechanical and electrical malfunctions that their machinery suffered. They called them gremlins. We're all familiar with gremlins now - they infect our computers, our cars, our electical tools at home and work. For no apparent reason, our computer products will decide not to work properly. Especially for users of a nervous disposition. Computers are like dogs and horses - they KNOW when you're out of your depth. Except, perhaps it's not the computer, perhaps it IS a gremlin, and the fae have joined us in our modern world.

And why shouldn't they? They are experts at finding a niche to inhabit. What better shadowy new place for the fae to move into than our own technology - that we don't really understand how it works. We've all seen, the gremlins like to prey on newbies. Once we've gained in confidence, in knowing what should be happening, and how, and more importantly, what shouldn't be happening, the gremlins go away.

Then we get a special kind of gremlin...we get a Glitch. Glitches are particularly nasty, and usually require expert help in order to evict. Glitches are those things that we're all secretly a lot more afraid of than we should be, we try to ignore them, but the very act of pretending they can't happen, not anticipating their appearance, is generally what invites them in. I'm not going even touch the subject of computer bugs, the typo fae and the modern bogeyman of artificial intelligence.

Of course, we can protect ourselves and our property against the modern fae as much as we can against the old. I can't remember where I heard it, but it was a tip to use synthetic materials in magickal workings that were intended to protect electrical objects. Utilising in our spells man-made crystals or even, perhaps, plastic - the many different colours, lustres and shapes of the dice that gamers use with their role-play games. Elizabeth Barrette called this Synthetic Technomagick. As our technologies advance, then perhaps so too should our technomagick.

Love and hugs

Blaidd

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Imbolc

The festival of Imbolc is the first festival of spring, of dreams and the waking of the earth.


Imbolc translates as 'in the belly', so this should give you some idea of what this festival is about - the early stirrings of Spring in the womb of the Earth. The seeds are starting to stir in the ground, despite the cold.

This is the festival that celebrates the beginning of spring, the first signs of life now beginning to emerge. Also spelled Imbolg, pronounced im-olk, or Oimelc in Gaelic, it is often known as Brighid's Day.

Oimelc, means 'in milk' This refers to the beginning of lactation in cows and ewes, as this is the time of year that calves and lambs are born. It is a Fire festival but with the emphasis on Light, celebrating it's return as the days grow longer with the return of the Sun.

To the Romans, this time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox was known as Lupercalia.

The ancient Egyptians celebrated this time of year as the Feast of Nut, whose birthday falls on February 2 (Gregorian calendar). According to the Book of the Dead, Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra, who at sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of a scarab beetle.

When Ireland converted to Christianity, it was hard to convince people to get rid of their old gods, so the church allowed them to worship the goddess Brighid as a saint, thus the creation of St. Brighid's Day.

For Christians, February 2nd continues to be celebrated as Candelmas, the feast of purification of the Virgin. By Jewish law, it took forty days after a birth for a woman to be cleansed following the birth of a son. Forty days after Christmas, the birth of Jesus is February 2nd. Candles were blessed and there was much feasting to be had.

February is known as a month when love begins anew, in part to the widespread celebration of Valentine's Day. In some parts of Europe, there was a belief that February 14th was the day that birds and animals began their annual hunt for a mate. Valentine's Day is named for the Christian priest who defied Emperor Claudius II's edict banning young soldiers from marrying. In secret, Valentine "tied the knot" for many young couples. Eventually, he was captured and executed on Feb. 14, 269 C.E. Before his death, he smuggled a message to a girl he had befriended while imprisoned - the first Valentine's Day card.

According to the Carmina Gadelica, the Celts celebrated an early version of Groundhog Day on Imbolc too – only with a serpent.

The Irish goddess Brighid is the keeper of the sacred flame, the guardian of home and hearth. To honor her, purification and cleaning are a wonderful way to get ready for the coming of Spring. In addition to fire, she is a goddess connected to inspiration and creativity.

Imbolc is traditionally a time for purification, which has given rise to spring-cleaning! Brush those cobwebs away and start afresh.

As this is a time of rebirth and new beginnings it's also an appropriate time for thinking about what you'd like to accomplish, for making attainment goals, choosing a new skill to learn.

Bring the Light in to your home! Lighting candles in every window is traditional, as is leaving them to burn down.

Correspondences:

Colours - white, pale blue, pale green, yellow, orange, red, brown
Stones - quartz, tigers eye, amber, fire opal, rubellite, topaz, coral, amethyst, ruby
Herbs - chamomile, coltsfoot, coriander, dragons blood, sage, garlic, iris, lemon, rosehips, vervain, voilet
Deity - Aradia, Aenghus Og, Bast, Brighid, Ceres, Cerridwn, Eros, Faunus, Gaia, Hestia, Pan, Venus, Vestia
Symbols - sheep, besoms, white flowers, candles, Brighids crosses, ploughs.

Tansy
x

Chaos Magick

A couple of people have asked me about chaos magick, although I am aware of what the practice basically is, it is not something I know a huge deal about (although I have done some sigil work) so I have done some research to get the full details.

Chaos magick approaches magick through a totally utilitarian perspective, encouraging practitioners to find out what works and then use it. Techniques can be taken from other systems, or they can be pure fancy and invention.

One of the key factors of chaos magick is the use of belief as a tool. Chaotes build up the skills to change their beliefs at a moment’s notice, being a devout Catholic at one moment, to gain favours from Mary, and a Wiccan at the next moment, to bargain with Gaia. This skill, known as "paradigm shifting" in many circles, is necessary because Chaotes feel that belief is what makes magick work.

A good part of chaos magick deals with utilizing other systems to make a practical, personal magick system that works for the individual. There are, however, a few core practices that almost all Chaotes use, which included god-from and servitor work, gnosis, and sigilisation.

Chaotes do magick mainly through altered states of consciousness. Most ritual goals are accomplished by achieving a state called gnosis. The gnostic state is similar to the moment of orgasm, in many respects. It is a moment of single mindedness, a one pointed awareness, that usually comes and goes in a matter of seconds.

Inhibitory forms of gnosis include meditation, asphyxiation, yoga, and depressant drug use. Excitatory forms of gnosis include dancing, drumming, sex, and stimulant drug use. Any of these techniques can be used. It's all a matter of what works best for the practitioner. You know you've reached gnosis when you're no longer rationalizing about your experience.

A statement of intent is thought up, and gnosis is achieved. If there is any doubt, the working will fail. The chaote must fully believe their statement of intent will occur right up until the moment of gnosis.

While some Chaotes believe in 'gods' in a literal sense, most believe them to be huge egregores created by mass belief, or to be some extension of oneself. It should be noted that chaotes do not generally 'worship' any 'god'.

When god forms are used, the chaote will usually adopt a paradigm of belief, although not one of worship. Thus, god-forms are invoked and worked with in ways fairly similar to more traditional methods.

Every chaote has different gods they like to work with. Anything from Jehovah to Loki can be used. For the most part Chaotes are malleable when it comes to their theology, using whichever god-forms fit the occasion or their interests and personality. Some like Kali, some like Pan. Some like to make up gods or alter existing ones.

Chaos magick has no structured belief system, being a magickal technique, rather than a religion. Chaos magick has no dogma. Good and bad are decided by the practitioner or, in most cases, not decided at all. It is completely amoral. The individual answers to no higher power.

One of the main techniques in chaos magick is sigil magick. Sigil magick was developed by a fellow named Austin Osman Spare, an artist and occultist in the early part of this century.

There are 3 main types of sigils. Alphabetic sigils are made from writing a statement of intent, eliminating the repeated letters, and making a drawing from the remaining letters, making sure the drawing bears little resemblance to the intent.

Pictographic sigils are made from drawing a stick figure picture of your intent and then altering this picture for use as the basis of a sigil that no longer resembles the original pictogram.

Mantric sigils are created by writing a statement of intent and rearranging the letters to form a mantra, which is then chanted as part of the ritual. Like an anagram, only it doesn't make sense. Just pronounceable words., which are then chanted as a mantra. These sigils are planted by staring at them (or chanting them, in the case of the mantric) and achieving gnosis.

Servitors are magickal beings, created by a magician to perform a task. This task may be to defend a location, to help the magician find objects, or even to attack an enemy.

A servitor generally has a representative sigil, fetish, or similar material tie, which can be used to summon, store, and/or affect it. When a servitor is created the magician charges it and generally believes in it. This belief creates the being.

Types of servitors include Egregores (large servitors used for an indefinite period of time, often by a group of magicians), and Independent Thought-Forms (which generally are active for a set length of time and then are re-absorbed by their creator), although definitions of these terms vary and other terms are also used.


Note: Personally I do not and cannot condone the use of some of these practices (as some are illegal and some dangerous), the details are here merely for information purposes – Tansy.



The image used is one of Crowley painted by Spare.

Information originally derived from a lecture given by Zahrim on Friday July 11 1997 at Ancients. Additional material by CyberKaos. This version was edited by Tansy Firedragon.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Path of Fate?

Looking back, I can see each and every fork in the road that has lead me to this place in this time. I am sure there are many parallel universes where I chose a different fork, and may never have risen above the mundane chaos to the multi-dinemtional world I now inhabit.

From the university interview process almost the other end of the country, where I met two significant people who lived only 25 miles away from my home. I never got into that university, didn't get into any that year with my exam results! But they did, one of them into a polytechnic in Wales. I visited him there, and knew that was where I wanted to be. He dropped out of uni the next year, so he wasn't there when I was - but it was the chance meeting in Bradford that brought me to Wales.

If I hadn't been there, I would never have taken a work placement at a power station in south west Wales. I met a man there, discovered motorbikes, passed my driving test on non-congested roads, and the relationship ended badly.

If it hadn't, I wouldn't have met the man who had the books on Witchcraft. This one wasn't a good relationship either, but it took me to being in the right place at the right time. I lived in an unfurnished cottage in the middle of the countryside. To get to where I lived, you needed to go to the middle of nowhere and out the other side...

My cottage was a conversion. It was a couple of hundred years old, at least, and had served as the school to the chapel next door. The upstairs was a lovely big room with windowsill big enough to sit on. The bedrooms were downstairs, and had been the stables. The landlords lived right next door, but apart from that, the village was a mile away, we didn't even have street lighting.

It wasn't long after I had read Rae Beth's Hedgewitch, and realised that she was describing something I had been following all these years, that I first met with deity. Sitting up in my converted school room, on a clear, still, sunny summer day, I looked out of the window and saw the Green Man looking enigmatically out of a tree. It was a bit like one of those 3d pictures, where an image will suddenly emerge from a chaotic pattern of a background.

I don't know how long he was there, a matter of moments. Long enough to decide I didn't want to share the meeting with my then boyfriend, who quite frankly wasn't worthy of such a gift. Then, as gently as he had come, the Green Man retreated back into the foliage again. I could see the leaves that made up his face, but the spirit wasn't there any more.

There have been more forks in the road since then, that brought me to my husband, that brought me to meeting Tansy, that brought me to all the good friends I now have. I can plot each and every one, and I count my blessings that I followed the right path each and every time.

Love and hugs

Blaidd

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Elen of the Ways

I put a name to my path over a decade ago, but it was only in the past couple of years that I discovered a patron Goddess. I came across the name of Elen of the Ways thanks to an acquaintance, little more than a couple of sentences, but I was well and truly hooked into finding out more.

Few people have ever heard of the name of Elen, the name itself isn't really that old, and most of the information "known" about her is pretty much thanks to one person, Caroline Wise, who devoted a number of years into research on this elusive deity. The pantheons of Old Britain are vague as it is, the Celts preferring to keep their tales in oral form rather than written, but there are clues scattered across the continents as to who Elen was.

Elen probably began her reign back in paleolithic times. One of her titles is that of Horned Goddess, and thus Lady of the Beasts, a female equivalent of Herne or Cernunnos. But how can a Goddess be horned, when it's the male animals with the antlers? A little known fact is that it is the female reindeer that keeps her antlers during the winter, when the male loses his. Of course, this means that Rudolph is a girl...

Although they have been reintroduced to parts of Scotland, Britian last had reindeer roaming it's hills over 8,000 years ago, but they would have been an important resource for our ancestors - where they would have used just about every part of the animal in some way. Deer migrate, and our ancestors would have had to follow the migrations in order to hunt. Deer also follow the tracks of their deer ancestors, there are routes that are walked year after year, century after century, and a hunter knowing these tracks would have an advantage.

This is the origins of Elen, a reindeer goddess presiding over their migrations and their pathways, and this is where "the Ways" part of her name comes from. She has maintained that remit throughout the centuries, becoming interweaved into the Celtic legends and landscape to this very day.

Elen appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh myths, in the Dream of Mascen Wledig, based, it is thought, on the Roman Emporer Maximus and his Empress Helen. Macsen dreamed of a beautiful lady, and travelled far and wide to find her. He eventually did so, in Wales, where she was the daughter of a king. Elen Llwyddog, or Empress Helen, has been thought to be responsible for building the roads across Wales that connected the strongholds in order to protect the country. These roads remain today, and are known as Sarn Elen, even marked as such on the maps.

She has links to the origins of Christmas too - and not just through Rudolph. The shamanic peoples of Scandinavia, the territories of modern day reindeer, have discovered a secret. In these regions also grows the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushrooms - toxic to humans, but not to the reindeer. I would be interested to know how it was first discovered, but the urine of the reindeer contains the halluginogens of the fly agaric, but not the toxins. A shaman could drink this to embark on his journeying (where his astral body would leave and return his abode through the smoke hole in the roof). Elen is again linked as a guardian to the astral trackways - the leylines.

Another link to the trackways is her mantle as Star Goddess. Perhaps she's an early incarnation of Arianrhod. If you could lie upon the ground the whole of a clear night, you would see that the stars and constellations move across the sky. Due to the turning of the earth, the stars follow a circular path, centred on the North Star. Here, at the centre of the circum-polar stars, is Caer Arianrhod, the heavenly Otherworld castle and abode of the dead.

There are few images of Elen, she appears with vegetation adorning her glorious red hair, resplendent in a green dress. Her mantle as Horned Goddess of the Beasts stretches also to that of Green Lady of the vegetation. She is Goddess of both fauna and flora. She is strongest at dawn and dusk, that yellow tinge to the daylight at those times I find incredible evocotive of her. She is the perfect consort to the well-known Green Man.

But another side of the Green Lady, is the inference that she is the land itself, linking her to the old traditions of the sovereign becoming wedded to the land via the Goddess. Indeed, a king wasn't a valid ruler until he was willing to undergo this ceremony. Another link going back to the story of Macsen Wledig.

So, Elen of the Ways, Guardian of the pathways both astral and corporeal, Star Goddess, Horned Goddes and Green Lady of Sovereignty. But I have recently discovered another possibly link, which I shall leave for you to decide whether you agree. I have been looking into the Cailleach also, Tansy has written about her before,  but it struck me on how similar these two ancient deities were. Both are indelibly linked to the land, both Ladies of the Beasts, though one Light and one Dark, perfectly balanced. Perhaps it was not Brighid that should be equated with the Cailleach, but Elen...

Love and hugs

Blaidd

Cailleach & Bride blog entry
Cailleach blog entry
Caroline Wise's article

Monday, 17 January 2011

NEW podcast Meditations for you!


Podcast Meditations for you!


I have today recorded some meditations that I wrote last year to share with you.  They are only recorded onto my laptop, so no big production!  


Three meditations, all under 10 minutes each:


A Starry Knight Meditation
An Imbolc Meditation
 A Spiral Meditation


Tansy
x

Full Wolf Moon

Wednesday January 19th is a Full Wolf Moon.

About 15 days after the new moon the full moon first appears. At this point the moon is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun so she rises around sunset and sets around dawn.


The sun shines fully on her face and tides are at their extremes again. Some may sense the pull of the sun from one direction and the moon from the opposite and their energy and will feel a bit scattered.


As Full Moon approaches notice what isn’t working and shed it in order to focus your energies more effectively. Remind yourself to slow down a little and conserve your strength.


This is a good time to try out forms of divinations such as scrying or tarot. Reflect about your goals, feelings and maters that have to do with relationship and family.

Full Moon Magick - Prime time is midnight. Good for artistic endeavours, beauty, health, fitness, change and decisions. Children, competition, dreams, families, health and healing, knowledge, legal undertakings. Love and romance, money, motivation, protection, psychism and self-improvement. Light of the sun. It starts to enlighten inner wisdom. Provides clarity, alertness and optimism. Aligns the right use of will.


As the Full Moon just passes, the time arrives to put the finishing touches on what you have been doing and to get ready for the quieter time to come. Enjoy beauty and art, listen to music. If you have argued with someone but do not feel the issues are really vital, make up now.

The moon in January has many beautiful names, some of the most used are the Wolf Moon, Quiet Moon, Snow Moon, Cold Moon, Chaste Moon, Disting Moon and Moon of Little Winter.


January - the Wolf Moon, is an ideal starting point on the annual cycle because it is a quiet time; a time of sitting by the hearth, keeping warm and safe. The old Anglo Saxon name of Wolf Moon probably came about because at this time of year, when food was scarce and the snows lay heavy, the wolves were hungry enough to become bolder and more dangerous. They would prey on the perimeter of the settlements, desperate enough to take any living thing which strayed into their path.


Tansy
x

Friday, 14 January 2011

Arianrhod

Arianrhod
This deity is known from the Mabinogi of Math fab Mathonwy and the Welsh Triads and she is a sky and moon goddess, protectress of the dead awaiting re-incarnation.

Arianrhod’s name means ‘silver circle or wheel’. She is the goddess of reincarnation, the Wheel of the Year, the full moon, fertility and a figure of female power.

Her heavenly star or island is Caer Arianrhod in the Corona Borealis, believed to be the place where dead souls go to await reincarnation. There she resides with her female attendants presiding over the fates of the departed.

Sometimes she is depicted as a weaver, which links her to magick and weaving of spells.

She was the daughter of the Welsh Goddess Don and the God Beli. Her uncle, King Math, was compelled by a taboo to keep his feet in the lap of a virgin whenever he was not actively engaged in battle. After his first 'footholder', Goewin, was deflowered, Math asked Arianrhod to take her place. She had to step across a magic rod to prove her virginity, but when she did so, twin boys dropped from between her legs. Math named the first of the boys Dylan. The second of these was taken away by Arianrhod's brother Gwydion and raised in a magic forest.

Arianrhod incensed by what she had suffered, laid three curses on the boy, Lleu. He shall have no name except one she gives him. He shall bear no arms except ones she gives him. He shall have no wife of the race that is now on the earth. Through elaborate magic and trickery, Gwydion deceived Arianrhod into breaking the first two curses herself. To break the third, Math and Gwydion created Blodeuwedd, a woman made of flowers, to be Lleu's bride. Blodeuwedd (flower face), who appears to the embodiment of a fertility Goddess, betrayed her lover, Lleu, to his death, but his spirit hung on a tree was resurrected on the following day.

Humiliated by King Math, thwarted by her son, forsaken by her brother, Arianrhod retreated to her castle Caer Arianrhod. Here she later drowned when the sea reclaimed the land.

In Celtic Myth the Goddess has three major aspects: the maiden, the mother and the crone. These three represent the three stages in life of a woman. Blodeuwedd is the flower maiden, Arianrhod represents the mother and The Morrigu at last is the crone.

Arianrhod is said to be able to shapeshift into a large Owl, and through the great Owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. The Owl symbolizes death and renewal, wisdom, moon magick, and initiations. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, her wings of comfort and healing spread to give solace to those who seek her.

In magick – Arianrhod can be invoked to help females find their own feminine power. She can also assist with spirit contact, sex and fertility magick and past life knowledge. She can also be called upon to bless handfasting rites.

Correspondences – wheels, silver, wheat, full moon, blood, geode stones, moonstones.

Some good resources can be found at:
Arianrhod info at goddessalive.co.uk
Arianrhod info at merciangathering.com

Tansy
x


Sources:
Thewhitegoddess.co.uk
Celtic Myth & Magick by Edain McCoy

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

House Blessings

What do you do for a house blessing?

I would suggest you start with a house cleansing. Then a blessing that asks for peace, to make your home a safe haven, to keep those that live there happy and healthy. It also offers protection, you have to back this up yourself obviously with the usual locking of doors etc., but protection from negative spirits and energies as well as warding off thieves.

You can also do a house blessing on your office, place of work or your car. These blessings could also include prosperity and success.

I regularly smudge my home, I walk around each room with a bunch of sage that I am burning and I waft the cleansing smoke into each corner and around each room, asking for blessings. In front of each window I draw a pentacle with the smoke. You could also achieve the same result by sprinkling salt water around the house instead of the sage smudging.

I also have several witches bottles stashed in the corners of various rooms of the house – these I renew regularly. Each one is filled with items to soak up negative energies and promote happiness and love.

Blessing the heart of the home – using a small dish of salt, incense, a red candle and a bowl of water. Light the candle and the incense. Place the candle in the centre of your room. Beginning in the East and moving deosil (clockwise), work your way slowly around the room. First sprinkling a little salt in each corner, then going around with the incense, then sprinkling the water on the perimeter of the room, then sit in front of the candle and visualise blessings from all four elements – earth, air, fire and water. Earth being prosperity, air being knowledge, fire being courage and water being love. Then say this blessing:

Elements four I call, release now your power,
As I bless my home in this magickal hour
No negativity can enter, no spirits shall roam
As I consecrate and protect the heart of my home

As you finish the charm draw a circle in the air above the candle flame with your finger. Spiral it up faster and faster, higher and higher until you fling the energy off and out into the room. Close the spell by saying:

This home is now blessed by my will and desire
I close this spell by earth, air, water and fire

This one is my personal favourite and I perform this one regularly:

Hearth Goddess Charm – you need one red candle, nine small stones (I use small hag stones), a pinch of salt.

Arrange the stones around the candle, dust the stones with a pinch of salt to consecrate them. Light the candle, see it glowing with warmth, magick and hospitality. Repeat the following chant three times:

Goddesses of the home and the sacred hearth flame,
Brigid, Hestia and Vesta, I call your names
A candle for fire, a ring of stones becomes your hearth,
Bless us with warmth and security from this Witch’s art.

Close the spell with:

By the powers of earth and fire
This spell is sealed by my will and desire.

Allow the candle to burn for as long as you wish. I have a candle holder with the stones and a red candle permanently on my fireplace, I relight it when I feel the need to reconnect to the goddesses of hearth and home (shown in the picture above).

Both of these spells are taken from the book Cottage Witchery by Ellen Dugan, it is a wonderful book packed full of lovely hints and tips for making natural magick for your home.

Tansy

x

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Colours of Magick

Yesterday I created a bespoke ladder for a Kitchen Witch customer. All I had to go on was that it's intent was for Gratitude.

We already use a lot of colour correspondences in our crafts, each colour can evoke a particular emotional response or concept association at a subconscious level, yellow makes us happy and green evokes a fertile landscape.

I won't go into listing all the correspondences, as we already have a post about that. http://kitchenwitchuk.blogspot.com/2010/09/colour-magick.html

For Gratitude, however - there just wasn't one colour that presented itself to me - there were three.

It got me thinking, about how specific we can actually get with intent in using colour magick, simply by breaking down a more complex concept into more basic component parts. When thinking of Gratitude, I began thinking of the feelings it invoked in me, I was happy, I had those lovey dovey fluffy feelings, and my spirit was energised, and so the colours of Gratitude have become a gentle yellow, a pale pink and a brilliant white.

By combining colours in one magickal working, the possibilities are huge. If you want success in your job, then how about green for fertility, brown for business and orange for success? Healing a rift within a family? Then how about blue for healing, pink for relationships and black for banishing discord? What about Contentment, or Contemplation? What colours would combine to evoke these?

I combined my colours into a witches' ladder, into one object that evokes a certain association directly with the subconsious and therefore working it's magick directly with the universe and bypassing that pesky conscious mind that just likes to complicate things. It could just of easily been a string of beads, a grouping of candles, or even ribbons tied around one big candle.

One thing is for sure, that colour has a language all of it's own, and it's well worth becoming acquainted with it to inject that little bit more power into our spellwork.

Love and hugs

Blaidd

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Cooking up some magick

Herbs have magickal properties and we use them in spells, lotions and potions – but what about cooking some magick into your meals?

I do like to cook with the seasons, trying to use vegetables and fruits that are in season, and wherever possible sourced locally.

Apart from the obvious benefits of using in season and local produce – in that it is fresher and tastier, it also connects me with the seasons of mother earth and her changes. In this way it helps me to be aware of the seasons and to celebrate and honour mother earth.

I grow a lot of my own herbs, I only have a small garden so I grow most of the herbs in pots. During the growing season I constantly harvest the herbs to use and the excess I dry to use in the winter months.

I also love to cook and use herbs a lot in my recipes. To empower your cooking with the energy of herbs follow these steps:

Charge the herb before you add it to the pot with your intent.
As you stir, knead or baste the food visualise your intent.
And cook with love and passion!

Some everyday herbs and spices and their magickal correspondences:

Allspice – money, luck, healing
Almonds – money, prosperity, wisdom
Anise – protection, purification, youth
Apple – love, healing, immortality
Apricot – love
Avocado – love, lust, beauty
Balm, lemon – love, success, healing
Banana – fertility, potency, prosperity
Barley – love, healing, protection
Basil – love, wealth, protection
Bay - protection, psychic powers, healing, purification, strength
Beet – love
Blackberry – healing, money, protection
Blueberry – protection
Borage – courage, psychic powers
Brazil nut – love
Buckwheat – money, protection
Cabbage – luck
Capers – lust, love
Caraway – protection, lust, health, mental powers
Cardamon – lust, love
Carob – protection, health
Carrot – fertility, lust
Cashew – money
Celery – mental powers, lust, psychic powers
Chamomile – money, sleep, love, protection, calming, sleep
Cherry – love
Chestnut – love
Chicory – removing obstacles, invisibility
Chilli pepper – fidelity, hex breaking, love
Cinnamon – spirituality, success, healing, power, psychic powers, lust, protection, love
Clove – protection, love, money
Coconut – purification, protection, chastity
Coriander – love, health, healing
Corn/maize – protection, luck
Cucumber – chastity, healing, fertility
Dill – protection, money, lust, love
Endive – lust, love
Fennel – protection, healing, purification
Fenugreek – money
Fig – fertility, love
Galangal – protection, lust, health, money, psychic powers, hex breaking
Garlic – protection, healing, lust
Ginger – love, money, success, power
Grape – fertility, mental powers, money
Horseradish – purification, exorcism
Juniper – protection, love, exorcism, health
Lavender – love, protection, sleep, chastity, purification, happiness, peace
Leek – love, protection, exorcism
Lemon – longevity, purification, love, friendship
Lemongrass – lust, psychic powers
Lemon Verbena – purification, love
Lettuce – chastity, protection, love, sleep
Licorice – lust, love, fidelity
Lime – healing, love, protection
Mace – psychic powers, mental powers
Marjoram – protection, love, happiness, health, money
Mint – money, lust, healing, exorcism, protection
Mustard – fertility, protection, mental powers
Nettle – exorcism, protection, healing, lust
Nutmeg – luck, money, health, fidelity
Nuts – fertility, prosperity
Oats – money
Olive – healing, peace, fertility, protection, lust
Onions – protection, exorcism, healing, money, prophetic dreams, lust
Orange – love, luck, money
Palm dates – fertility
Papaya – love, protection
Parsley – lust, protection, purification
Pea – money, love
Peach- love, exorcism, longevity, fertility, wishes
Pear – lust, love
Pecan – money, employment
Pepper, black – protection, exorcism
Pineapple – luck, money, chastity
Pistachio – breaking love spells
Plantain – healing, strength, protection
Plum – love, protection
Pomegranate – luck, wishes, wealth, fertility
Potato – healing
Quince – protection, love, happiness
Radish – protection, lust
Raspberry – protection, love
Rhubarb – protection, fidelity
Rice – protection, rain, money, fertility
Rosemary – protection, love, lust, mental powers, exorcism, purification, healing, sleep, youth
Rye – love, fidelity
Saffron – love, healing, happiness, lust, strength, psychic powers
Sage – immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection, wishes
Sesame – money, lust
Shallot – purification
Strawberry – love, luck
Sugar – love, lust
Tea (black) – riches, courage, strength
Thyme – Health, healing, sleep, psychic powers, love, purification, courage
Tomato – prosperity, protection, love
Turmeric – purification
Turnip – protection, ending relationships
Vanilla – love, lust, mental powers
Walnut – health, mental powers, infertility, wishes
Wheat – fertility, money

I can recommend the following books for some witchy cooking:
Witch in the Kitchen by Cait Johnson
The Real Witches Kitchen by Kate West
Vegetarian Goddess by Karri Allrich

Have fun with your cooking!
Tansy
X



Source:
Cunninghams Magical Herbs

Mirror Magick

For thousands of years people have gazed into mirrors hoping to see a glimpse of the past, hidden secrets or the future.

Mirrors have and can be used as charms, amulets, spell components and as a meditative focus.

Magic Mirrors - The magic mirror is one of the oldest tools employed in both divination and spell casting. The classic magic mirror is a dark concave surface or reflective material. You can construct one for yourself by using the curved glass face of a clock and painting the convex side with glossy black paint. Some people keep one mirror for scrying and divination and one for spells.

Elemental Mirrors - to honour the four elements, make and use a seperate mirror for each element. For instance if you have a question about imagination, education, new ideas or transformation you would address that question to your Air mirror. This idea can be taken another step by making elemental mirrors to connect with slyphs, salamanders, gnomes or undines.

Healing Mirrors - use a polished shiny bowl, fill with water and charge it under the full moon, then drink the water. Maybe add herbs to the water too.

Small mirrors or pieces of mirror can be used in creating amulets, talismans or charms.

Mirrors can be used in all sorts of magick - confidence, banishing, charm, communication, determination, fear, glamoury, insight, luck, memories, money, truth and promises.

Mirrors are also good to use when shapeshifting.

Working with your mirror - keep the surface clean, charge, recharge and bless your mirror regularly, working on a full moon seems to work best for mirror magick, burn incense to heighten your psychic awareness whilst you work, work in the dark with candles and don't focus to hard on the mirrors surface, it is your mind's eye that should be doing the 'seeing'.

Mirror Deities - Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Hathor, Isis, Oshun, Venus, Vesta

Some Feng Shui tips on placement of mirrors in your home:

It is an advice to you to not to place mirror in front of the bed, as they bring third party influence in a marriage.
Placing mirrors in the living room can help to enhance it. For example, if you have a stunning landscape outside the window then, hang a mirror on the opposite wall, and the beauty of the landscape will double.
It is also advised not to place any mirror at your work place, as it magnifies the workload.
Don’t hang a mirror at the opposite of a door or a window since they merely reflect the chi back at itself and don’t allow the energy to enter and circulate around your home.
It is also advised that the placement of a mirror, should never distort or cut into your image as this symbolically distorts or cuts your chi and mirrors should always have frames around them to contain the good energy.
Don’t place two mirrors opposite each other as this indicates the restlessness and the energy gets stuck between the two mirrors and can’t move on.
Place a mirror near the centre of a room, building or altar to improve peace and good luck.
Hang a mirror over a doorway to bless those who enter and deter negativity.

There is a good article on Cassandra Easson's website about mirror magick http://www.cassandraeason.com/magick/mirror_magic.htm

Tansy
x

Sources:
Mirror Magick by Patricia Telesco
vastuinformation.com

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Moon in January

Tuesday 4th January will be a New Moon.

We consider it to be the new moon up to 3 1/2 days after the official new moon. She rises around dawn, sets around sunset.

Because she is between the sun and the earth nothing or very little is reflected and for a few days the moon is lost in the brilliance of the sun.

As the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth the pull on us is the strongest. Because the sun, moon and earth are all in a straight line this
creates a time when the high tide is higher and the low tide is lower than usual.

The moon in January has many beautiful names, some of the most used are the Wolf Moon, Quiet Moon, Snow Moon, Cold Moon, Chaste Moon, Disting Moon and Moon of Little Winter.

New Moon Magick - New moon workings can be done from the day of the new moon to three and a half days after. Magick should be performed between dawn and sunset. Good for beauty, health, self-improvement; farms and gardens; job hunting; love and romance, networking. Protection & creates a shield for the beginning of the cycle.

New Moon – this is a wonderful time to make new beginnings of all types. It is especially good for getting rid of bad habits. Habitual ways of thinking that are harmful and negative can also be abandoned at this time. It is also a good time to start something creative. New projects at work can also be launched.

The first day of the New Moon is really best devoted to the planning stages of ventures. It is good to feel just a little excited and filled with anticipation, although your energy may not be at its highest. A day or two into the cycle is the time to take the initiative, apply for that job, start house hunting or any similar endeavours.

January - the Wolf Moon, is an ideal starting point on the annual cycle because it is a quiet time; a time of sitting by the hearth, keeping warm and safe. The old Anglo Saxon name of Wolf Moon probably came about because at this time of year, when food was scarce and the snows lay heavy, the wolves were hungry enough to become bolder and more dangerous. They would prey on the perimeter of the settlements, desparate enough to take any living thing which strayed into their path.

The year is young and in magickal terms so are we, and the new year stretches out before us full of unknown possibilities. We accept there are hidden dangers but at the same time we know that if we take precautions to safeguard ourselves we stand a good chance of walking the path of the nautural witch without danger.

Blessings
Tansy
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