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Book Review – The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals & Spells from the Natural World by Judy Ann Nock

September, 2018

Book Review

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals & Spells from the Natural World”

by Judy Ann Nock

Published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

Copyright June 2018

Pages: 240

This book is not intended to be another Wicca 101 book; rather think of it more along the lines of Witchcraft 3.0,” Wiccan High Priestess Judy Ann Nock wrote in her introduction.

Each of Its eleven chapters delves into a realm of nature magick including seed, air, sun and fire, the moon, Gaia, time and the cosmos.

The Realm of Water covers Wells of Emotion, Rivers and Oceans. Its 15 pages offer an introduction to water, a meditation, instructions for a ritual bath, a blessing spell and a spell for prosperity, along with directions for making herbal tinctures and an aromatherapy spray. All involve water in some way.

In Magic Takes Root: The Woodland Realm, Nock writes about nature being a powerful healer and the importance of staying connected to it, saying, “A simple ritual of walking in the woods, meditating outside of a building, or taking part in the currently popular trend of ‘forest bathing’ can calm the mind and bring about a state of peace.”

She offers a centering meditation done sitting at the base of a tree, and a ritual for creating a personal tree oracle – not to tell fortunes, but as a tool to “communicate with the elements of natural magic.” The ritual, the lore and the charm all work with the sacredness of trees, with reminders of our connectedness to the seasons and rhythms of the Mother, and our responsibility to be stewards of the earth.

Readers will be inspired to draw on the powers found in nature when doing magick, thanks to the variety of meditations, rituals, spells and charms. There’s a recipe for consecrated crescent cakes to have for the ritual of calling down the moon, a solar charm for strength, and instructions for preparing a candle for magick.

Some tables are scattered throughout the book with such information as healing herbs, planetary correspondences and spirit animals.

As promised, this book can help deepen a connection to natural magick and offer inspiration beyond the basics. While it wouldn’t be in my top 10 list of favorite magic books, it would make a useful addition the collection of an intermediate practitioner.

Nock is the founder of a goddess spirituality group and the author of “A Witch’s Grimoire.” She lives in New York City.

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals, and Spells from the Natural World

 

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

Tarot Talk

August, 2018

The Nine of Swords

(The Nine of Swords card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

We haven’t talked about the Minor Arcana Nines for quite some time. This month, we will examine the Nine of Swords. Comparing cards and their individual meanings is valuable throughout the study of the Tarot, but this process is particularly useful when looking at the Swords cards. If you remember, I stated in past columns that in my opinion the Five of Swords and Seven of Swords are sometimes not easy to tell apart. Understanding these two cards and their differences helps us in part to understand the Nine of Swords and all of its potential effects within a reading. You know by now my method for dealing with this issue: break the cards down to their most basic ingredients. Let’s get started.

The traditional image of the Nine of Swords shows a person sitting up in bed, appearing to have been woken from sleep, with hands over face, ears, or across the chest; sometimes the person appears to be in agony. Above and behind the person are nine Swords, sometimes arranged like a wall or blind, sometimes all pointing toward the person or away from the person, sometimes crossing each other. I saw one card image that showed the points alternating, one to the right, then to the left, then to the right, and so on, cancelling each other out. No matter where those Swords are arranged, they at least appear threatening to the person in the image. The traditional images on the Five and Seven of Swords show Swords being held in the hand, or grounded (point in the ground); while there is still a bit of an appearance of threat, the figure in each of those images has at least partial control over the Swords, unlike the images from our Nine of Swords.

The suit of Swords corresponds with the element of Air, the Spades of playing cards, the direction of East and the color of yellow; Swords cards usually tell of some focused intent to bring forth a manifestation, or a struggle and then an outcome. Swords cards are about purposeful and deliberate actions and the thoughts, intentions or beliefs behind them. Swords cards and the effects they describe are sourced from within us; they teach us that we create our own reality from our expectations. The Swords cards give hints as to our mental state, the beliefs we have, and actions we take in response to effects around us. A Sword has two edges, a perfect metaphor for this suit, which can represent attacking or defending, logic or aggression. The Swords cards also represent an opportunity to feel more empowered; self-empowerment happens when we successfully deal with challenges, but self-empowerment can be dangerous if it is not balanced with a bit of humility.

The element of Air corresponds with truth, clarity, and our capacity to analyze or apply logic. Air also represents the intelligence that clears away the fog of ignorance so we can clearly see and understand, and it supports communications and sounds of all kinds. Air allows both expression (out from within us) and hearing (in from outside of us) to happen. This information applies to all the Swords cards in the Minor Arcana, including our Nine of Swords.

Astrology is a tool that can offer subtle differences for us to consider. The Nine of Swords brings us to consider Mars (action, spontaneity, aggression, drive) when it is in the astrological sign of Gemini (“I think,” curious, talkative, social, dual).

Gemini is about communication of all kinds, and about collecting information and stimulating the mind. Geminis are a mix of yin and yang, and they can easily see both sides of an issue. They are very practical; they are adaptable and flexible but they can also tend toward being wishy-washy, and they are not always good at following through to the end of a project. Gemini is all about the intellect, the mind, and the thinking process. They think clearly and make use of logic, and they can be real good at seeing the big picture. Gemini rules the nervous system, and calmness is a quality they need to cultivate. They love to play, love to share their fun and their ideas with others, and they love adventures that stimulate the mind.

Mars is known as the “Red Planet,” and is about energy, passion, drive and determination, all fiery personality traits. Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition and impulsiveness. Mars governs sports, competitions and physical activities in general. Mars is commanding, confident, and powerful, asking us to stand up and be noticed without fear. Ambition and competition are also associated with this planet; Mars encourages us to face challenges and to be our best with honor. Mars rules our sexuality and sexual energy, and governs weapons, accidents and surgery. It’s important to note that Mars’s energy can be constructive or destructive; the key is to use the energy of Mars in a proper manner.

When Mars is located in the sign of Gemini, the drive and passion of Mars can get a bit scattered due to the influence of mutable Gemini and its duality. When there is a long To-Do list of things to be done, this combination can be effective and enthusiastic, but with not enough to keep busy, the energies of Mars in Gemini create lethargy, restlessness, and boredom. Words, the power of words and the effects of words, are a focus, tool, and sometimes a weapon. This combination creates enthusiastic communication, and perhaps angry and hurtful statements. These energies are good at multi-tasking, dealing with change, and manifesting new and exciting ideas into reality, but you may need to depend on others to help bring projects to completion.

The Tree of Life offers further insight. All of the Nines of the Tarot Minor Arcana correspond to the sephira (or sphere) of Yesod (which is known as “Foundation”). Yesod is the first sphere out of (and the last sphere into) the sephira that represents the physical world, Malkuth. Yesod is about things such as emotions and feelings, which are directly connected to our physical existence but are not actually physical themselves. Yesod is the home of our life force, our personality, and the Self; it is also the home of the Dark Night of the Soul and all of its doubts and challenges. It is only above Yesod that the Tree begins to branch out. This reminds us that emotions and feelings and an awareness of our life force and our personality are natural effects and experiences, and that exploring them and understanding them is an important part of our own evolutionary process.

When dealing with the Minor Arcana, perhaps the most important ingredient besides the suit of the card is the number of the card. In the Tarot, the number 9 tells of completeNESS (not compleTION or the winding up of a cycle). The number 9 represents our perceptions as we reach the limit of our understanding of or experience of a situation, just before we wind up the process and take another step up the ladder, in order to begin the whole process again. In our spoken language, we say that we are going to “go the whole nine yards” when we intend to experience something to the fullest, and that is what the number 9 can tell us in the Tarot. This will not necessarily indicate to us that we are done with the experience, but rather that we are at the “peak of the wave” just before the wave tips over and disseminates its energy onto the shore.

All of the Tarot Nine cards offer this concept of completeness of manifestation or full and material impact of all the previous cards. We have the necessary focus and discipline over the long term that is needed for success (Pentacles), we have the satisfaction that comes when we obtain what we think we want (Cups), and we have the knowledge that our learning and our ability to survive life’s challenges will be enough to bring us across the finish line (Wands). In the Nine of Swords, we have the illusion that all is lost and it is all our fault.

The Hermetic Tarot Nine of Swords is a nightmare; every part of this image is distorted or decayed. Eight of the Swords in the image are rusted, distorted, bent or broken each in its own way, and the flower has become 12-tentacled monster. The ninth Sword rises up from the bottom of the card, wickedly curving and coming to a sharp and deadly point. Called the Lord of Despair and Cruelty, the name of this card describes perfectly its meaning. It tells of loss, misery, and suffering, burdens and oppression, and lying, slander and dishonesty. There is an obedience laced through this card, as if we can’t help but continue the despair and cruelty that is manifesting.

The Shadowscapes Tarot Nine of Swords shows a young winged man, a black crow on his shoulder, looking anxiously upward into a swirling vortex of storms above him while clutching a sheathed sword to his breast. He is filled with unnecessary anguish. He is a being of Air and should feel free to take to the skies and escape. He is carrying a Sword that could light the way to freedom, yet he lacks the courage or the skill to wield it. This card tells of inner turmoil, guilt, and vulnerability, and of our soul being laid bare to our own demons.

The Thoth Tarot has a name for the Nine of Swords: Cruelty. This card represents the “agony of the mind,” and the poison created by this agony can kill the day. Here is the hangover and all of its discomfort: dizziness, nausea, and an ugly taste in the mouth, all created by our own actions. Within this degeneration of the suit of Swords, we need to remember that we do have the ability to control what our mind focuses on. This control might be difficult to achieve under the circumstances, but we must not succumb to despair.

The Llewellyn Welsh Tarot Nine of Swords shows a traditional image, and tells of nightmares, suspicion and insecurity. Here we have the weight of depression upon us as we are eaten up by worry and delays, longing and misery. This card tells of distress, injustice, loneliness, and the haunting of past hurts, all of which indicate a debilitating and unhealthy situation of our own creation.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot Nine of Swords shows a woman in bed but not asleep. Her head is resting on her pillow, but her eyes are turned upward toward the nine Swords hanging overhead and the phantom ghostly hands she imagines are reaching for her. The image shows us what happens when stress and worry push our imagination into overdrive. This card represents the loss, suffering, doubt, and pain that we inflict upon ourselves as we second-guess our choices during the dark wee hours of the night.

The Nine of Swords represents brooding and worrying, usually self-caused, and usually unproductive. Often the worrying attached to this card is connected to insecurity or suspicion, or it is connected to things that are over and done with, and thus unchangeable no matter what we discover during our late-night ponderings. We may seem to need seclusion in order to be safe and survive until dawn, but in the end we are allowing ourselves to become a slave to our own anxiety. Until we realize that our preoccupation is becoming dangerously unhealthy, we will not find the peace and clarity we need in order to thrive.

To me, the Nine of Swords shows us what happens when we allow the element of Air and its use of only logic and information to exist without such concepts as feelings, intentions and emotions (Cups/Water), safety, security and comfort (Pentacles/Earth), and courage, personal power, and the influence of Spirit (Wands/Fire). The complete manifestation of the effects of the suit of Swords can create a sense of paranoia, helplessness, guilt, and despair. Perhaps bringing in influences of outside recommendations or counseling will balance things out in the end.

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk.  You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/ .

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding

The Road to Runes

June, 2018

The Road to Runes: Ansuz, Woden’s Rune

For this stage in my journey with runes, I decided to do a little divination for myself. I’m wanting to begin working from home within the next year, hopefully within a few months. I’m at home with the six-month-old baby at the moment, but will have to return to the ‘day job’ by October, and everything in me rails against it. I want to be at home with my family, and I already write all the time anyway, so why not make a career out of it? Having already made steps in this direction, I was interested to know what the runes would make of this decision.

I pulled out a single rune for this particular piece of divination. This rune (pictured) was Ansuz, which literally means ‘God’. It’s normally associated with either Odin or Woden, the runes having come from Norse and Germanic origins. Esoterically, this rune is complex but tends to mean ‘inspiration’, which as a writer, is definitely one of my favourite words. Ansuz is also linked to communication and answers, something I was definitely hoping to get, so how does this rune translate into an answer to my query?

Ansuz is the rune of air, specifically breath. It is the breath of the universe, and the first breath that takes the spirit into the body, and the last breath that allows the spirit to escape. It is intrinsically linked to words and the power of words, particularly names. Words develop from and into concepts and creativity, and are often the focus of communication. As a writer wanting to make a career from my words, this rune tells me to listen to my inner voice, to embrace my creativity and use the talents I have to make this step.

Ansuz is also a rune of order. It indicates that even when the path is unclear, or times are difficult, that the universe has a plan and that ultimately, order will prevail. Ansuz encourages us to find patterns within chaos, and to trust that all will be as it is supposed to be. To me, this encourages me to take a leap of faith. Even if I have doubts, if I trust in the divine energies of the universe (and work hard!), I will find myself in a place that is good for me and my family.

Ansuz also reminds us to listen. Breath comes from the universe, from Odin, from ourselves but also from others. We must acknowledge that their breath, words and ideas are as potent and important as ours. We should take care with our words and not use them for manipulation or menace.

I’m a bit taken aback that for a question about writing and a big change in my life, I’m given a rune that focuses intensely on words, inspiration and creativity. I’m also reminded of the power of my own voice, and that words can do great harm, as well as great good. At the very least, this has inspired me to take the step I was tempted to take anyway, and see where the path takes me. The best interpretation is that this is definitely the right choice for me, and that if I trust the universe and my own inner voice, I will end up on the path that is truly best for me.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

 

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

Finding Your Spot

October, 2017

Indoors or out of doors, the witch must find her spot. This is the place where she feels grounded and centered, and for her it is therefore the center, either of her dwelling or of the world. If you have an easy chair set up somewhere in your living room, this may be your spot, provided it is not placed against a wall. Mark your spot with a piece of tape or something similar if you must, though it is enough to note how you feel there and let that be your marker. Now, standing on your spot, use your magnetic compass 1 to face the four directions. Gaze into each direction rather than looking. This means to let your eyes face north, east, south, west in turn but do not track on any object in those directions; instead, see everything there is to see equally in each quarter.

The associations with the four cardinal directions, in many witchcraft traditions, are as follows:

North – Earth, the power to be still, silent, steadfast.

East – Air, the power to know, understand, express your knowledge.

South – Fire, the power to will, enthusiasm, sacrifice.

West – Water, the power to dare, seek new life, the unknown, initiation.

Each morning, stand on your spot and mentally salute each of the directions in turn, beginning in either the north or east, and finishing with the direction you started with. Ask for help during the day to embody the powers of north, east, south and west. You can pray “Help me to know, help me to will, help me to dare, help me to be still” as you face each direction, ending with “Help me to know” again as you face east; or you can begin “Help me to be still,” and so forth, ending with that same prayer, as you finish by facing north.

Take your magnetic compass with you and use it to face in the appropriate direction and ask for help from the elementals of a particular quarter when you feel the need.

As with all rites, observe a period of silence right afterward, open yourself to your feelings. The direction in which you began and ended this first rite is your new primal direction.

1 What? You don’t have one? Get one.

 

*Graphic from Pinterest.

5 Easy Tips to Help You Relax

October, 2017

With all of the technology available to us today, you’d think life would be easier. Certainly, we don’t have to do many of our daily chores by hand if we choose, but still, stress remains one of the biggest threats to health (source).

So what can be done to manage stress?

The first important thing is to recognize that we might not even realize we are being affected by stress. So it’s important to work some practices into our daily routine that help us deal with the stress that we may not even be aware of.

The biggest problem with this for most people is finding the time. So here are five easy ways to help manage stress levels as part of daily life.

#1 – Meditate

In its most simple form, meditation is setting aside some time to spend in quiet contemplation. Scientific research indicates that meditation can have a significantly positive effect on stress.

Meditation doesn’t have to take long – even five or ten minutes is enough, it’s portable, and doesn’t have to be complicated, although it is a skill that takes practice to develop. A good way to start is just to sit in a comfortable posture, with your hands resting gently in your lap.

Close your eyes slightly or fully, and focus your attention on the pattern of your breathing. Try not to think about anything other than your breath. Some people use the technique of recognizing any thoughts that might come into their mind, and gently pushing them aside, or allowing them to float out of the mind while returning their focus to their breathing.

Alternatively, you could try a guided meditation, many of which are accessible online, like these (source).

2# – Get outside

Being outdoors in the open air, and spending time in natural places helps you to recharge and appreciate the simple things in life. It is possible to do this virtually anywhere, and beaches, woods, forests and even city parks or the tiniest copse of trees are all fabulous places to be.

Clinical studies have long proven that spending time outdoors, especially in the sunshine, and walking are both highly beneficial to health, reducing stress, anxiety and depression (source).

Walking barefoot – making sure that it’s safe to do so first – helps to connect with nature and become attuned to natural cycles. Observe the beauty and harmony, and the natural forces at work.

In daily life, make detours that take a more scenic route on your way to work, use your lunch break to get out into nature, and make family walks part of your regular routine.

#3 – Eat Chocolate

This is the yummiest stress buster ever! Studies have shown that daily consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate (and to a lesser degree milk chocolate) can significantly reduce stress levels.

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (above 75%) has also been shown to decrease blood pressure, risk of heart disease and diabetes. This serves to illustrate the fact that treats in moderation really can be good for you (source).

#4 – Do Some Gardening

Once you’ve made short work of your daily chocolate quota, it’s time to head into the back yard. Not only can you work off a few calories, it’s also good for reducing stress.

Numerous studies have shown that caring for plants, weeding and tidying the yard can have numerous significant benefits to health, including reducing stress, anxiety, depression and increasing life satisfaction and self-esteem.

So whether it’s your window box, someone else’s yard, or even a corner of a park or woodland you regularly visit, a daily dose of gardening – even just for a few minutes – is definitely on the stress buster list (source).

#5 – Laughter is the Best Medicine

You know those moments when something just tickles you, and you start to giggle? Moments later, you find the giggle gradually escalating into a fit of laughter that you just can’t control…doesn’t it feel great?

There’s a reason for that. Laughter is thought to release endorphins – chemicals that make us feel good, and has been shown in research to help to decrease stress, anxiety and depression, and give increased quality of life.

So make it a habit. Find a memory that makes you laugh, or a joke, or spend time watching what the children are up to when they think you’re not looking – anything that gives you that feel good factor. And when the laughter comes, don’t hold back…just let it out! (source).

***

About the Author:

Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.

The Elements

August, 2017

WATER

I welcome you,

opening myself to the

cool, calming bliss

of your serenity,

rejoicing in your waves

flowing over me,

feeling your strength

tasting the salt of life,

knowing the power you hold.

FIRE

Crackling flames dance before my eyes,

taking me to far-off places filled

with magic and wonder.

I look into your depths and return,

my spirit warmed by your heat.

EARTH

Barefoot, I feel your comfort

under my feet

Laughing, I feel the soft

grass as I walk

Rejoicing, digging deep

to plant my roots

Growing stronger

as you nourish me.

AIR

Life is Breath

Breath is Life

Flowing upon the warmness of a summer breeze

Exhilarated at the crispness of an autumn day

Shivering against the cold winter wind

Reborn in the sunshine of a spring whisper

Connecting with Nature

April, 2014

Air – The Breath of Life

 

It’s all around us, we can’t live without it and we often take it for granted.  Air can represent the power of the mind and communication. While meditating, imagine it taking away the negative and bringing you positive, healing energy from the earth.

 

Human activities are changing the air we breathe and not for the better. Many of the things we do produces air pollution. The main contributor for air contaminants is the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels such as vehicle emissions, industrial emissions, coal and gas-fired power plants and wood burning for heating or waste disposal. The majority of air pollution comes from large industry and industrial combustion systems. Vehicle emissions also play a larger part in air pollution, especially in large urban areas. The generation of electricity from fossil fuels produces carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and mercury. Wood burning produces particulate matter into the air and can release toxic substances if it has been treated with chemicals.

 

SONY DSC

 

You can protect yourself from air pollution and help the earth by:

  • Limiting your activity outdoors when the air quality is low. Most places have air quality advisories;

  • Reduce the amount of wood you burn and don’t burn garbage or treated wood;

  • Take the bus, carpool, ride your bike or walk instead of driving where you can;

  • Switch your gas powered tools for electric ones as they can emit a lot of pollution in just one hour.

  • Conserve energy by turning off appliances and lights when you’re not using them;

  • Recycle as much as you can to reduce product emissions, and

  • Buy energy efficient appliances.

Air is one of the elements and sacred. We rely on it for our survival. The next time the wind blows visualize it bringing to you what you desire.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”
~Rachel Naomi Remen

 

References

  1. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/air-quality/the-air-we-breathe/

  2. http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/peg/reduce.html

  3. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/1998/healthFULL_eng.pdf

MoonOwl Observations

August, 2012

As many people know, there are 5 main elements; earth, air, fire, water and spirit. In some cultures metal as well. This month I am going to focus on the element Air.

Air is the element of the east and it is strongly connected to the soul and life. The two colors most commonly associate with it are yellow and white. Air’s hour is dawn and it’s associated season is spring. The planet for air is Mercury as well.

As each element does, it has positive and negative characteristics. Air’s positive ones are that it is kid and joyful, intelligent and diligent and also communicative and intuitive. The negative characteristics for Air are that it can spread gossip, be boastful and untruthful, and it can also be selfish, fickle and inattentive.

It’s tattva ( primordial energy) is Vayu, a blue cycle, and it’s state, naturally is gas. The circle suits Air well and it symbolizes the panoramic view of the sky when you look up at it.

Air has the power of movement and refreshment.  It’s projective energy can be used in ritual actions of such things as tossing objects into the air, burning incense and hanging objects from trees.

some symbols used for Air are the sky, wind, clouds, incense, feathers, breath and smoke. The three most commonly associated animals are the raven, eagle and spider. Clearly, the body parts closely linked to Air are the lungs, chest and throat,  since you can feel the connection to air as you breath.
This masculine element stands on the upper left point of the pentagram and the magickal tool is the dagger. It’s wind is Euros and it’s elemental symbol is

 

 

 

 

 

 
Since Air is linked to expression, communication and movement, sailors believe that if the wind is not blowing and you need it for your sails so you can get home, you put a knife in the mainmast to call it to your ship.  Another sailor superstition is that if a sailor whistles upon the ship, they will bring an ill wind.
For those of us on land however, hanging wind homes to bless your home with happiness has been around for many years.
Air is associated with Sylphs and Devas and if your astrological sign is Gemini, Libra or Aquarius, you’re most likely to feel the strongest connection with Air out of all the elements.
this intelligent, free element can carry away your troubles and has the ability to send positive energy and thoughts to those far away from you. It can help you recover lost items and is helpful in making decisions for you.
There is actually an easy, basic way to have air help you make a tough decision. All you have to do is write down your various options for your dilemma on papers, fold each on up twice and place them all in the center of a free-standing rock, table or any flat, raised surface. Make sure it is a day with a light breeze and call to the  wind and ask it to help you. The gentle wind should slowly blow off the various papers. The last one on the surface if the choice Air recommends, should you choose to follow it. Afterwards, make sure you thank Air for its help.
And, since I love all my various gods and goddesses, here are some that are connected to Air:
Amun
Hera
Ishtar
Nike
Jupiter
Odin
Zeus
Njord
Set
Nut
Thor
Quetzalcatl
Taranis
Aidoneus
Arianrhod
Athena
Enlil
Enki
Hermes

Pagan Parenting

September, 2009

Experiencing the Elements at the Playground

I am pleased to be a new member of the PaganPages family.  Welcome to Pagan Parenting Every Day.  Each month we will be exploring topics that relate to every day parenting with a pagan spin.  As a new parent looking for articles that relay parenting topics through a pagan perspective I find a lack.  I hope to address this gap and bring ideas to the table for discussion, learning and pondering.

Before we get to this month’s topic I’d like to say that the views presented here are based on one pagan parent’s perspective.  I am not trying to advocate a “pagan way” to parent, as I believe that as each child is different, so is each parent and each pagan in tern.  Rather, I am hoping to create a dialogue for parents and offer up some parenting styles, tips, methods, activities and issues.  The wide world of parenting is often daunting and a sense of support in our community can be a blessing to us all.  I also welcome questions, comments and suggestions for future topics.  You can contact me at stonegirl1177 AT yahoo DOT ca.  And now onto our topic for this month: Experiencing the Elements at the Playground.

As North American society has moved away from predominately dwelling on farmsteads and into urban lifestyles city parks have become a nature refuge.  As pagans many of us think that getting into nature, meaning out of the city and into a National park, camping, etc. is the only way to experience the elements.  But other than our 2 or 3 weeks a year of vacations, or our weekend day trips how can we bring the lessons and just plain fun of the elements into our children’s lives?  Some urban dwellers have backyards where they can explore the elements with their kids but if you don’t, or even if you do and you are looking for a change try taking a walk to your local playground.  The power and wonder of the elements are right there waiting for you and your family to appreciate them.

AIR

Swings and slides are perfect tools for really experiencing air.  Pumping your legs, you move faster and faster.  The air is all around you, blowing your hair and for kids who have a hard time understanding what they can’t see or feel in the moment this movement helps air, the invisible element become tangible.  Not to mention swinging is fun.  For toddlers and babies this aspect of motion is as far as you’ll need to take the activity.  Although you can repeat “Wind!” with glee in your voice to let them associate the sensations they are having with air.  For older children you can talk about the sensations they feel and mention some air correspondences like communication and the intellect.

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FIRE

Fire is not an element you openly see at parks.  It is not something you really want to encourage either.  But the big ball of fire in the sky can be your children’s plaything in its own way.  Shadow play is very entertaining.  Running and playing shadow tag, seeing the interesting shapes that you can make and for older kids you can talk about the length of your shadow and how that corresponds to the different time of day as the sun moves from east to west.  If it is a particularly warm day you can also teach even toddlers about the wonder of shade cast by trees or a nearby building.  You can move from the sun to the shade and experience the sensations of fire through the intense heat of the sun.

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WATER

Water parks with their spraying are of course great to experience on hot summer days and a very fun way to play with water.  If you are out after a rain puddles can hold a wonderland of enjoyment for kids of all ages.  If your playground has a drinking fountain that is a great way to start a dialogue about the precious nature of water.  Even if your local playground has no water available for play or drinking you can bring some in a thermos or water bottle.  As children play they inevitably get thirsty, as they break for a drink they can think about how the body is mostly water and why they need to replenish their supply after they exert themselves.  Perhaps they can carry their own water bottle and this can be a great lesson in understanding the precious nature of water as a resource.

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EARTH

Sand boxes, pebbles, grass, wood chips, there can be many surfaces at the playground that are earthy.  Sand boxes are endless in possibilities for play: mud pies, drawing in the sand with sticks, shoveling, sand castles, and just getting dirty are all great ways to interact with mother earth.  Rolling down grassy hillsides, climbing trees, the reassuring thud of the earth beneath on a see-saw, share earth’s rhythms with your child and you can also chant if the mood strikes.  If your neighborhood playground is on concrete there is usually some crack somewhere with plants pushing up through it.  What a powerful lesson to learn about, how even a substance as strong as concrete can be severed by the earth and strong plants will reclaim the space if left to their own devices.

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Regardless of time constraints and nature access you can have family adventures with the elements in urban settings.  All it takes is some imagination and a desire to be in the moment.  A healthy dose of spirit can make our neighborhood sacred regardless of how much vegetation is around us.  We are nature; nature is with us in each moment, just waiting for us to notice.