colors

Children’s Book Review – Water at the Top of the World by J. Siegal & Illustrated by Shannon Belock

June, 2019

Children’s Book Review
Water at the Top of the World
by J. Siegal & Illustrated by Shannon Belock

So, who wants to read a children’s book? It will be an easy read. This was the call out on the boards where the posting for the book reviews for our website. It’s called Water at the Top of the World: A Story of Legends and Learning. Written by J.Siegal, and illustrated by Shannon Belock.

Wait. Problem here I don’t have kids. This might be an issue; however, I am an auntie who has experience around small kids… Not much of a problem there. What kind of criteria does one use for a children’s book on a pagan website anyway? Ponders. Looked at the construction of the book, the level of illustration, and the story itself in the repeat readability by the adult. Example of is the parent going to want to throw it across the room after reading it the 100th time. That seems fair and balanced without giving too much of the story away.

First point to note about this physical construction of this book. It’s not a good one if your child is still at the learning how to handle book stages of development. Its not going to handle much rough handling, as its made from a lighter paper then most kids books.. If it gets wet all bets are off if salvageable. The papers going to soak through. It does have a lot of beautiful white space, and the illustrations match the story. It is however not a picture book. The illustrations are bright brilliant colors that go along with the story, they are just simple. Which would make one think reading this review, don’t buy it at all.

Wait one second, it’s a rather unexpected jewel, and if the parent is wanting to teach how mythology and science works together in an inclusive peaceful way, get this book. It is one of those stories that even adults will pause and consider the implications. Personally, I went through it a few times coming away with this is what is called a teaching story. For those who might not be exactly sure of what is meant by that a teaching story is a narrative that has been deliberately created as a vehicle for the transmission of wisdom.

To take a page from the book in question, Sometimes the sharing of stories makes some people so angry or fearful or confused that they do things to ignore even their own holy book. Sometimes, the sharing of stories makes people so happy or peaceful or energetic that they search through all the stories for the best way to live.

If the child listening to this is a curious soul, there will be a lot of conversations in the making from these very words, having to go to school and deal with people that aren’t quite like them. How to make a choice in how we respond to these stories. Why do people respond the way they do? Even as an adult there’s still a lot of questions then answers.

Pagan parents are often not afraid of combining science into the myths. As the ones setting the example to the next generation, perhaps thinking more of how we as people set the example of learning is a good path to go down.

Water at the Top of the World: A Story of Legends and Learning on Amazon

Finding Your Own Way

February, 2019

Chapter 9

Candle Meditation

Candle meditation and candle ‘magic’ have a wide application in modern paganism.

There are many variations on this method. One can use different colour candles to focus on different aspects of our life and our intention. There are many ‘tables of correspondences’ which link various coloured candles to different intentions. The most effective colour correspondences are to be found in any book on colour psychology.

For example, focusing on the colour red will raise our blood pressure, and perhaps, help to build our determination for a particular task.

Red is the colour of action and passion. Try wearing red if you feel a little fatigued or in need of a boost of energy. It works!

Again, we are building rapport with our subconscious minds through the effect of symbols.

White is the colour of purity, meditating on a white candles helps us to gain clarity, and to focus on higher ideals. Mix it with red and you get pink.

Pink is considered by many to be the colour of love. For those who wish to practise candle ‘magic’, I would simply say that I have never known a love spell that worked unless the person intended already had fond feelings, – except perhaps to focus the feelings and confidence of the person meditating on the candle!

Dark Blue is the colour of peace and calm, of night and rest. It is soothing to the mind and brings restfulness and sleep.

Yellowis the colour of the intellect, of enquiry and expansiveness. The researcher and the explorer are very much under the influence of vibrational yellow.

Violet is considered the colour of the spiritual minded the imaginative and the ethereal.

Turquoise (blue-green) is the colour of healing, acquisition and maintaining personal boundaries.

Magic is happening all the time. It is the flow of energy between our total selves and the universe.

Colour is the simplest way to effect beneficial changes by manipulating our moods and desires.

Meditating on the various colours has a marked effect on our moods. Surrounding ourselves with bright vibrant colours helps us become more cheerful and energetic. Cool, soft colours, such as blues and green help us become calmer. Many hospitals have changed their décor based on the discoveries of colour psychology. I believe that the tables of correspondences are most likely based on an intuitive understanding of these principles. As we tune into our own inner worlds, – this wisdom and knowledge become available to us in dreams, visions and sudden inspirations.

In the Kabbala, the candle is a symbol of the four worlds,- Aziluth (fire), Beriah (air), Yesirah (liquid, water), and Assiyah (the physical, the earth) The wick is considered to be the fifth element, Ether,- or the path that links all the worlds from the base of Assiyah to the crown of Aziluth.

For this exercise, use a white candle in a secure candle holder.

Sit at a comfortable distance from the candle.

As you begin the breathing exercise, take time to think about the candle as a gateway to the higher worlds.

Think about the wax, melting into a liquid and flowing up the wick.

The fire which melts the candle turns the liquid into a gas and ignites it, creating more flame.

Like the cycle of spiritual energy which flows into the matrix of the universe and flows back upwards to its source.

See the candle as a point of focus for divine energy.

See the energy flowing out and creating a circle of light which expands to surround you.

Allow your eyes to close and visualise your self-being drawn to travel through the flame back to its divine source.

Allow them to open slowly and focus on the candle again.

See the light open into a protective sphere all around you.

As they grow tired, allow your eyes to close, and repeat the exercise.

Imagine yourself drawn through the flame into the higher worlds.

Take note of any feelings, sensations, memories, images and write them down later.

When you are ready, return through the flame and open your eyes.

Thank any helpers or guides that you may have and absorb the circle, creating a fine mesh of golden light around you.

After practising the meditations for a while, you will begin to have full, detailed journeys.

Always remember that you can open your eyes at any time if they are making you uncomfortable.

Try to always have a drink and a small snack after journeying.

Candle Magic – Colour Magic

I have avoided the rather thorny subject of magic up to now, – mainly because there has been more waffle and downright lies written about it, than about almost any other subject.

Do I believe in magic? A better question would be, “Do I even know what it is?”

After 45 years of study, I do have some theories. However, this book is too short to cover more than a few basic questions. One neither needs to believe nor disbelieve, in the existence of other worlds for the exercises in this book to work well for them.

Let us start with my favourite quotation from Aleister Crowley, “Magick is the ability to make changes, in conformity with will”.

I would say that Magic is the ability to make to make changes in consciousness at will.”

How we see the world around us has a huge control over our feelings, actions, and inevitably, our future and our happiness.

We hallucinate all the time. We imagine attitudes and feelings in others that are in fact projections from our own unconscious self-images. Because we are unaware of the true source of our feelings, we live our lives in a random unbalanced way.

Sigmund Freud believed that the subconscious mind was a garbage bin for all the things we cannot face in our lives, and he was partially right.

Carl Jung opened up the possibility that beyond the personal images contained in the unconscious mind, there is a vast fund of helpful imagery to be discovered, which will help us make more sense of our lives and feelings. Our ancestors intuitively tapped into this reservoir and used it to help make useful decisions and live in a balanced harmonious way. Many believe that this gave them a deeper connection with nature and helped in finding food and timing planting and harvesting, but that is for the reader to decide for themselves.

I believe that by gaining rapport with our unconscious minds we can free ourselves from many unexamined beliefs that hold us back from happiness and success.

In a nutshell, meditation gives us a way to reach beyond our habitual way of thinking. We discover symbols during meditation which help us, on reflection, to gain rapport with our own inner worlds.

By reflecting on these symbols, we can begin to slowly unravel the threads of our unconscious impulses and beliefs. These beliefs have remained unexamined because of the non-literate form in which they exist. Our most important and far-reaching opinions about the world around us were formed before we had developed language. This mirrors our development as a species and gives us a link to our distant ancestors who lived in natural harmony with the world around them.

Language brought many advantages for our ancestors, – as it does for the individual. But it comes with the cost of division and disassociation. As we developed language, we learned to assign new meaning to the world around us, while, at the same time, our culture imposed its own particular set of standards upon us.

Magic and ritual attempt to communicate with this non-verbal part of consciousness and to understand the meaning of the communications which we receive in dreams visions and intuition. and art attempt to express the contents of these inspirations, as do dance, poetry and mime.

Magic offers us symbols to spur our unconscious minds to cooperate in our efforts to succeed in life. Unfortunately, with magic, we are usually asked to adopt someone else’s symbols and try to force them upon ourselves in a one size fits all approach. I would recommend that anyone who wishes to make immediate positive changes in their lives to use colour meditation/magic as a starting point. Refer to the basic colour associations above to begin. Wear the colours in your clothing, – or decorate a room in the colours that apply to the change you wish to obtain. Coloured cloths are an easy way to begin.

The effects are pretty much immediately evident. They will help to build confidence in the work that you are doing.

In my own Celtic culture, magic and mysticism were considered to be very much the province of the bard.

In the magical revival of the late 1800’s, it was again the poets and the artists who were the chief motivating forces. In the pages that follow, Bill and I will offer the reader a selection of emotive and mystical art and poetry based on various themes. We have found that the chosen works resonated with many people and helped them to get in touch with their own inner worlds and symbols. As blocked and hidden energies are released, you may well experience tears or laughter. This is nothing to worry about as it merely shows that your meditation has been effective.

Barefoot Angel

You are my light in this dark time,

My one true friend,

My hope of better things to come.

Your laughter is the sparkling bell,

That lifts my failing spirits with its chime,

Making heaven where there once was hell.

You are the sun that makes my shadow tall,

the rock on which I stand

without you, there is no one at all.

You are my life, my day, my night,

each hour, each minute aches for you,

You are the star that makes my evening bright.

You are the shining jewel in the flower.

the full bright moon that lights my darkest hour,

My Princess in her shining tower.

I never thought that I’d know joy again,

until I saw the love in your blue eyes,

and found myself reborn.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

Book Review – Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death by Tracey Rollin

February, 2019

Book Review
Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death
by Tracey Rollin

I have always had a great attraction for the image of Death. When I was eleven, I received a Dover coloring book of Medieval prints and a box of watercolor paints. Many of the pictures I painted and used in collages but the picture of “Death and the Maiden”, I put on my wall after I painted it and it has been on one of my walls of whatever house I have lived in ever since. Let this sink in – I was eleven in 1971 and I am now fifty-eight years old.

In my twenties, I followed the Grateful Dead. One of the highest points of that era was being backstage at the Barton Hall concert at Cornell University on May 16, 1981, just days before my twenty-first birthday – I met the entire band, including of course, Jerry Garcia, who had eyes that twinkled like Santa Claus. I bought this t-shirt at this concert and I wore it until it was at a rag but I still have it because – because of all the memories attached to it.

I went to Mexico in the mid-1990’s and while I saw mostly images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I do remember seeing the garishly painted skulls of what I now know were images of Santa Muerte in the markets that surrounded the resort town in which we were staying. I thought they were interesting but I was more attracted to the images of the Lady of Guadalupe. I loved the mosaics of Her that were built into the walls of the town. I took pictures of that and one of them I cut down into a small devotional picture. Later, I attached it to a magnet so I could put it on my fridge, where it is today.

And of course I know about El Dias De Los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. When I was young girl, I used to read Trixie Belden mysteries – they were competition to the better-known and more popular Nancy Drew mystery books. Originally written by Julie Campbell, the sixth book in the series, Mystery in Arizona – which was the last mystery Campbell wrote for the series – deals with the mystery of the Mexican workers leaving without a trace to eat “the dead” and “skeletons” and “skulls”. The one problem with this story is that it takes place over the Yule holiday and not during Samhain, which is when El Dias Los Muertos actually happens. But that was my first introduction to the term “the Day of the Dead” and the customs that surround it, even though there were many mistakes in the entire story.

I also am a suicide survivor. I have tried at least six times. The last time was April 6, 2004 and I celebrate that date every year now. I joke that “Death doesn’t want me” but of course the fact is, if it’s not your time, it’s not your time. And I know better than to try to die, even though I often long for Death in a most basic way. I know I just have to wait for my time.

I realize now that I was looking for Santa Muerte. I realize that my longing for Death is not an actual wish to die but is a longing for Our Lady of the Holy Death.

When I heard about Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death by Tracey Rollin, published in 2017 by Weiser , I jumped on the chance to read it. Because I had so many other books to read first, it sat untouched for nearly six months before I had the time to give it the attention it deserved. But once I cracked it open, I couldn’t set it down.

Of course I Googled Tracey Rollins. Her website is here: http://traceyrollin.com/ She looks to be about twenty or maybe thirty years younger than me – at any rate, she looks young enough to be my daughter. I mention this because on her website and in Santa Muerte, she talks about her Catholic childhood, and I too, was raised as a Catholic. But being older than Rollins, my Catholic childhood would have been a bit different – I remember the Latin Mass and when the “New” Mass was introduced – and we have a different background, since she was raised in New Mexico by a German immigrant mother and I was raised in Western New York in a predominantly German-Polish community; my personal ethnic background is German-Scots-Irish-French. But as I read, I could identify on so many levels that I felt that I was conversing with someone who had been down many of the same roads I had been. A soul sister, as they say on the streets.

I think one of the things I liked best about this book is that it is so well-grounded in history. Rollins talks extensively about all the roots of Santa Muerte – the Aztec roots, the European Pagan roots, the Catholic Sainthood roots, as well as the African Orisha roots. Like her better-known counterpart, The Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Muerte is definitely a New World goddess! There is so much to love about Santa Muerte. She doesn’t care who you are or where you are from. In fact, if you are poor, addicted, homeless, abused, on the run, living on the streets or in the shadows, working in bars, or in policework or EMT work, or doing construction work or any other kind of dangerous work, Santa Muerte is your guardian saint. How many times have you been in a terrible place and that scary face turned into the most caring person you ever met? That homeless person who shared her coffee with you or helped you find your way home? That’s Santa Muerte. She’s in the subways and the streets and the shelters. She’s the nurse who seems so tough but is the softest touch on the floor. She’s the old woman you never notice until you need her. She’s the face of the ultimate mother – Death.

There are seven aspects to Santa Muerte – seven colors for seven aspects. White is purity. Blue is daily living and relationships. Green is ethics, justice and law. Gold is wealth. Red is sex and passion. Purple is magic. Black is negation and dissolution. But Rollins points out that:

“Even within the seven colors of Santa Muerte, there is some variation and substitution. One common variation is to replace the gold aspect of Santa Muerte with a yellow or amber aspect that is primarily dedicated to healing. Some practitioners use pink version of Santa Muerte instead of the red aspect for spells involving love and affection instead of lust. There exists a brown version of Sante Muerte, chosen specifically for invention in earthly matters and for the manifestation of the practitioner’s desires. Some claim she is the mistress of all practical business matters, splitting this away from the blue aspect and this isolation its knowledge and empathy-enhancing qualities.” (Rollins, 82).

Rollins tells you how to choose a color for properly resolving your problems but she also advises getting a Santa Muerte statue that displays all her seven colors, at least for your first statue, especially when you are setting up an altar to Her. Chapter Six is dedicated to the art of creating a proper Santa Muerte altar. Anyone who has set up any kind of altar will be familiar with many of the aspects of altar-building; however, there are a few details to remember when you are working with Santa Muerte. First of all, she likes Florida Water. I always thought Florida Water was a brand of cologne that you bought in Florida – my grandmother always brought back a bottle when she went to Florida every winter – but it’s the name of a scent formula that was first produced in 1808 and has always remained popular (Rollins, 99). For some reason, the spirits of the death love the scent of Florida Water. Rollins includes a recipe for making your own Florida Water on page 100. Most of the ingredients can be found in any major supermarket or pharmacy.

Of course you need candles – it is possible, nowadays, to find Santa Muerte novena candles in the Goya aisle of your supermarket with the other novena candles – I thought they were just happy skull candles for El Dias De Los Muertos, but now I know better. The next time I go to the large Tops supermarket on the West Side of Buffalo, I am going to get myself one. But if you can’t find a candle with the image of Santa Muerte on it, you should be able to find one with the seven colors. I’ve seen those for several years now and I just didn’t know what they meant. I’m going to get one of those, too – and do a seven-day novena, meditating each day on each aspect of Santa Muerte.

Other items commonly found on a Santa Muerte altar are apples, aloe, butterflies, a black mirror, a bowl of dirt, a bowl of salt, a bowl of water, and a censor for burning incense. Santa Muerte likes the scent of rosemary incense, myrrh and sweet grass. And naturally she wants candy – sugar skulls if you can get them

You will want a statue of Santa Muerte but if you can’t get one, a picture of her will do (Rollins, 104).

The next two chapters are about two rituals that are commonly associated with Catholics: praying the rosary and a novena. Within the Catholic Church, these are specific kinds of prayers that produce powerful results if done with the proper devotion and dedication; however, these kinds of devotional prayers are not exclusive to Catholics, as Rollins points out:

Meditation beads are actually a common spiritual accessory. They have been used for thousands of years by people following a variety of spiritual beliefs worldwide. For instance, many Buddhists, Hindus, and
Sikhs employ a long 108-bead strand of prayer beads referred to as mala beads. They are often used to count repetitions of short prayers called mantras, or the names of gods or saints…Muslims also use medi-
tation beads, called misba?ah. These beads are used to recite the ninety- nine names of Allah. Catholics use chaplets and are famous for their use of the rosary, but the use of meditation beads has spread to some
Protestants denominations as well. (Rollins, 137).

Like most Catholics, I can’t remember actually learning to pray the Rosary. It seems like I have always known how to do it, although when I was very little, I used to pray the “Our Father” to start it off instead of “The Apostle’s Creed”. By the time I made my First Communion at the age of seven, I was praying it properly like a good little Catholic girl. My mother instructed me to pray the Rosary whenever I was angry or upset with one of my brothers or sisters and that seemed to be most of the time. She also told me to pray the Rosary when I was unable to sleep, since I have been an insomniac since a young child. I was usually able to fall asleep within chanting a few decades of “Hail Marys” but some nights, I prayed through the entire circlet and stared into the darkness.

When I decided that I had enough of patriarchal religions and really threw myself into learning everything I could about Goddess religions, Wicca and Paganism, one of the things I really missed was praying the Rosary. I rewrote the prayers to reflect my new views. “The Apostle’s Creed” became a recitation of the names of my favorite goddesses. The “Our Father” became “Our Mother”. “Hail Mary” remained pretty much the same, although I changed “the Lord” to “the Lady” and left out the name of Jesus after “blessed be the fruit of thy womb”. The “Glory Be” uses the Maiden, Mother and the Crone, instead of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. It took a while to get used to saying these prayers like this but now I’m so used them like this that I can’t say them any other way.

Rollins has alternate prayers for the Santa Muerte Rosary as well. All the prayers have been changed – not one is in any way, form or shape like its original. They are all dedicated to Santa Muerte. Here is an example of one, meant to take the place of the “Hail Mary”:

I call upon Santa Muerte, the Holy Queen of Death,
Who commands all influence and authority.
Please grant me your power and your protection,
Blessing me and keeping me now and always.
Amen. (so mote it be, etc.) (Rollins, 149).

Rollins recommends using rosaries that are dedicated to Santa Muerte. I found them easily when I Googled “Santa Muerte Rosary”. There’s a lot of them on Etsy. The most popular colors are red, white, and black, or rosaries with all seven colors. They run anywhere from $10 to $40.

The next part of the book concerns novenas. Novenas are a set of prayers that are said over a certain amount of days – nine days, twenty-one days, forty days, even fifty-four days. Rollins writes, “The purpose may be something as simple as praying for the souls of the dead or something more specific such as asking a particular saint for help.” She continues, “Performing a novena is actually an ancient, pre-Christian habit…Although the term originally (and correctly) refers to prayers over nine days, it has also become more generalized to mean a series of prayers said every day for an extended period.” (Rollins, 151).

Novenas to Santa Muerte are said over the course of seven days, instead of nine days, focusing on each of her colored aspects each day as a gift of Death. For instance, perhaps on day one you focus your prayers on Niña Blanca, Sweet Sister Death, your prayers will help with purification, illumination, initiation, cleansing and protection (Rollins, 172). Rollins lists favorite offerings of Niña Blanca, which are incidentally all white: white candle, flowers, and candies. And then there are three whole pages of prayers for Niña Blanca. Rollins repeats this for every aspect of Santa Muerte – Niña Violeta, the Royal Queen, Niña Azul, the Gracious One, Niña Dorada, Lucky Lady Death, Niña Roja, Queen of Passion, Niña Verde, the Just Judge, and Niña Negra, the Mother of Tears.

I would think that finishing a novena to Santa Muerte – reciting all these prayers and meditating fully on the aspects of all these Queen Mothers – would bring an enlightenment to the practitioner that is quite powerful. Although I have never been a devotee of Santa Muerte, I plan to start a devotion to Her. Her promises are persuasive. There’s no “fluffy bunny” bullshit with Santa Muerte. If you want it, you can get it with Her – no matter what it is. The motive doesn’t matter. Rollins writes. “Santa Muerte is notable because she is not concerned with the underlying motivations driving the requests of the devotees.” (Rollins, 3). While we should always be concerned with our own motives, it is refreshing to discuss a deity who doesn’t care about human motivation whatsoever and does whatever She wants to do because that’s what She does. And when you think about it, when does Death care about human motivation or about anything that humans do anyway? Death laughs at humans.

In closing, I have to say that I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s wonderfully researched, beautifully written, and without a doubt, a book I will be referencing and reading again and again in the months and years to come. I am so glad that Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death by Tracey Rollins was sent to me and I had the chance to read it and write about it. I hope everyone reading this goes right out and finds it in their local library, bookstore, or orders it online.

Brightest Blessings!

Santa Muerte: The History, Rituals, and Magic of Our Lady of the Holy Death on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

LED Crystal Grid Review & Interview with Jessica Miller from Cracked Crystal Co.

October, 2018

LED Crystal Grid Review & Interview with Jessica Miller from Cracked Crystal Co.

Jessica Miller from the Cracked Crystal Co. was so sweet as to send me one of her LED light up grids to try out. It measures 11in X 9.5 in X 1 in. It came with 2 different design plates (made of glass). You can interchange them in the wooden holder. It’s so neat to have 2 options! You place the glass grid you are working with into the wooden slots to hold it in place. Then you attach the plugs that come with it and connect to an electric source. It’s easy to put together. Then you set up your grid. When you are ready to add color to your gridding experience, it comes with a remote to control which colors you want to use.

Only thing I would recommend is including instructions for the remote (sometimes I need the extra help lol). After I turned it on it was a gorgeous blue. I wasn’t expecting it to be so bright! It’s visually stunning! Then I changed the colors many times and each color looked cooler than the last! So much fun and really brings a new layer to the gridding process! I love being able to change colors to suit my intentions. I took pictures of the different colors but unfortunately the pics do not do this grid justice.

It doesn’t translate onto the picture. But trust me it is a feast for the eyes! I really am enjoying this grid and look forward to trying different color combinations with different stones. A whole new world of possibilities! This LED light up grid is $85 and comes with 2 glass grids.You can choose which 2 patterns you want.  In the etsy shop there are also wood and lucite grid options as well. I highly recommend this light up grid. It truly is magical!

I had the opportunity to ask Jessica some questions about gridding and here are her responses.

Q: How did you get started using and making grids?

Jessica: I’ve loved crystals for a long time and grown a lot in my spiritual journey throughout the years. Grids helped me better understand my crystals and energy work so of course I wanted to help spread that knowledge. 

Q: What are the different styles and materials you make your grids?

Jessica: Currently we offer grids in wood, lucite and glass. We feature several sacred geometry grids and a few homemade patterns.

Q: What is your personal favorite grid you offer and why?

Jessica: I am personally partial to our cut out flower of life grid. It’s delicate and gorgeous to look at. I also so appreciate how different our illuminating grid is. There is something powerful about that color under your crystals!

Q: What do you use gridding for?

Jessica: Stress relief mostly. I find setting up the grids very relaxing. Taking the time to listen to your stones and see how they work together is so rewarding. 

Q: What are some of your favorite crystals to grid with?

Jessica: Ok so my absolute favorite combo is amethyst and celestite. Such sweet and loving energy. Like a hug from the universe. 

Q: Why is gridding an effective tool to add to one’s daily practice?

Jessica: It’s a time to set aside for yourself and your crystals. Like meditation its important to take that time daily (or as often as you can).

Q: How long have you worked with grids?

Jessica: I began working with grids in 2017, so not very long! Honestly, I used to think they were foolish. What would I get out of gridding that I didn’t get from my stones on their own? Boy am I glad I tried it!

Q: What’s one thing you want to share that I haven’t asked?

Jessica: This practice is there for self-love and improvement. Remember, you are wonderful and your journey is beautiful. May you be well, happy and peaceful.

Q: For my readers to follow/contact you, what are all of your social media links?

Jessica:

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrackedCrystalCo

FB: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1669939697773948ref=content_filter

Instagram:  @CrackedcrystalCo

Pinterest: https://pin.it/in6qpprtysi5vh 

Thank you so much to Jessica for both sending me such a gorgeous grid and for taking the time to answer my questions!

Love and crystal blessings, Xoxo Retha

***

About the Author:

Retha N. Lent has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s Crystals” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry & specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her customers and those interested in learning more about crystals & all things magical called “Retha’s Crystal Circle“. She is also an advisor in the Sage Goddess Affiliate Program. She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs, manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at rethalent@hotmail.com or on her business page on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her FB group:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1960619300929876

Her Sage Goddess affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16

 

Review of the App UniTarot

September, 2018

UniTarot

By ucdevs, Developer address is Moscow, Russia

100 thousand downloads on many platforms

4.7 stars 5,042 rates

Lifestyle

Similar

Contains ads and

In-app purchases cost $4.95

Version 2.9.3

App Release date is Jan. 7, 2014

I downloaded this app June 5, 2018. This is a cool Tarot app. It is free to download, but you can go VIP and get more from the app. I didn’t do that.

Just downloading the app as it is, you get a choice of 8 different Tarot decks. The cards are pictured in HD Quality. You can also hook your phone up to your computer with a USB cable and download your cards to the app. It has 16 different spreads to pick from, or you can develop your own.

I set up the app with a daily reminder for a card for the day. I would do that, with the reminder, then I would also do a weekly reading and a daily three card draw. Each time I would pick different cards for the reading.

Each card has information including Astrology, Numerology, Elements, Colors, Esoteric Title, Intelligence, Correspondence in the Hebrew Alphabet, Position in the Kabbalistic tree of life, and more. I enjoyed reading the card meanings by Rider-Waite, A.E Thierens, and P.D. Ouspensky. Some of these added to what I already knew of the Tarot.

There is even an option in VIP that allows you to compare cards with each other, and that is something I didn’t get. I was happy with what I had in the app.

The only drawbacks were in the saving or the emailing of the reading. When you saved the reading, it kept all the information for that reading. I tried doing the email reading, where you pulled the cards and then had them emailed to you, and not all the information came through. It sent a picture of the cards to download into Google, and it only included Color, element, astrology, dates, esoteric title, intelligence, Kabbalah, Tree of Life, numerology, keywords, Rider-Waite meanings and then it was a brief two sentence meaning with a few keywords. So, saving it to the phone was better for this app.

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Book Review & Contest- In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram

September, 2018

In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide

by Bernice Cockram

published in 2018 by Wellfleet Press

An imprint of the Quarto Group

**(Keep reading for a chance to win a Free copy of In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram this month in PaganPagesOrg.)**

Ms. Cockram has written a very informative book. There are 16 chapters spread out over 160 pages.

One of the first things that Ms. Cockram includes that I have not seen in a lot of other books that speak on Crystal energy is the Mohs scale. I like the fact that she added the Mohs scale because it allows you to see the hardness of specific crystals, and from there you can find out what the Mohs scale is for your crystals. Another graph Ms. Cockram includes in the first chapter is a Crystal colors and properties. You’ll find as you go through the book that this graph matches the crystals as she explains their energy.

From chapter 2 to chapter 12, there is a lot on Crystal healing, Crystal energy, Crystal grid work, and the chakras. In chapter 8, Ms. Cockram talks about the chakras systems in the crystals, I like all of the different crystal suggestion she gives for each chakra, and she even covers the minor chakras. I like the different crystal grids that she gives on pages 86, 87, 88, and 89. There are other grids that she talks about before that, but those are more well-recognized crystal grids.

In chapters 11 and 12, Ms. Cockram gives precise instructions on working on yourself with crystals and as well as others. One of the suggestions she offers that I think is neat and is excellent for larger groups, such as a yoga class. Have everyone write their name down on a piece of paper and take their place on the yoga mats. And then Ms. Cockram says to put all the names on the pile and surround the pile of names with crystals. I find this interesting because I often work in large groups doing healings, and this allows you to use crystals, without having to buy an exorbitant amount of crystals.

In chapter 13 Ms. Cockram starts covering divination with crystals. If you are beginning to study astrology or if you are looking for new ways to do divination this chapter holds some wonderful insights to help get you started. Not only does she give the astrology signs, but she also provides some crystals that would work well with the astrological signs, not just the birthstones.  Also, in chapter 13, Ms. Cockram covers using a magic square with crystals, from Feng Shui.

Ms. Cockram in later chapters covers meditating with crystals, working with intentions with crystals, correspondence of crystals, including numerology.

For only having 160 pages. Ms. Cockram packed a lot of information into this book. If you are starting on crystals, yourself, or you have a friend who’s just beginning their journey with crystals, this is a very informative book to own.

 

**Now… For your chance to win a Free copy of In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram this month through PaganPagesOrg, thanks to the Quarto Group, visit PaganPagesOrg Instagram hit follow, find the picture promoting the contest of In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram posted and leave a comment! That’s all!! A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday September 17, 2018. USA & Canada Only.

 

In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Moon Owl Observations

September, 2017

Handfasting

 

I recently got married, and while I was planning my wedding I decided to look into the tradition of Handfasting. I remember attending one a few years ago and thought it was beautiful. I had heard of them, but that was the first one I’d ever been to. I decided to look more into it to see if it was something my husband and I would want to incorporate into our day.

 

The first thing I wanted to find out was obviously the meaning behind it and the history. When the tradition was in its prime it was generally set for a year and a day. If the two people were still happy and wanting to be together after that, then the bond would stay in force. If, by that time the couple decided it wasn’t for them, they were free to walk away. It was also sometimes used to see if they would have a child in that time as well. It may seem kind of weird, but in a way it would save a lot of people from divorce. It was a binding of marriage before weddings became government or church functions, and the tradition involves the hands being bound together to signify the joining of their lives. It is the meaning behind “tying the knot”.

 

 

(This green Handfasting Cord is called Dragon Mother.  It can be purchased at Divinity Braid by ASV Weddings on Etsy.)

 

 

The two hold hands and a third person (preferably a priest or priestess) binds the hands together. Ribbon or small cord works best and the colours can be twisted together, or as most people prefer, the colours are separate and each one is woven individually through the hands. Most of the time around 3 or 6 colours are chosen. And I’m assuming most reading this know how much significance there is in colour, and on a day like your wedding, choosing the correct ones is something to think about. Below are the main colour choices of ribbon and what the meaning behind each one is:

 

Red: will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigor and passion

Orange: Encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty and kindness

Yellow: Attraction, charm, confidence, balance and harmony

Green: Fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health and love

Blue: Safe journey, longevity and strength

Purple: Healing, health, strength, power and progress

Black: Strength, empowerment, wisdom, vision, success and pure love

White: Spirituality, truth, peace, serenity and devotion

Gray: Balance, neutrality, return to the universe without repercussion

Pink: Love, unity, honor, truth, romance and happiness

Brown: Healing, skills and talent, nurturing, home and hearth, the earth

Silver: Creativity, inspiration, vision and protection

Gold: Unity, longevity, prosperity and strength

 

 

(This Handfasting Cord is called PRIDE . It can be purchased at NamasteFreund on etsy. For more information read below*)

 

The actual meaning behind the word Handfasting comes, of course, from old Celtic traditions and wording. “Hand- festa” means “to strike a bargain by joining hands” which also refers to things like a basic handshake. It was popular years and years ago in Scotland and Ireland, and for a while it was viewed as almost an engagement, and for the most part once Christianity became more wide-spread, weddings became taken a lot more seriously, and due to the lack of clergy, most couples would hold a handfasting before the clergy would come around so they could be joined in union without needing to wait for someone to come around.

 

In today’s times some people still use a handfasting as a type of trial-marriage, or it can be incorporated into a full ceremony. Most of the time it is held before the legal paperwork. Other traditions that work well with a handfasting are a wine blessing and a unity light blessing with candles. Some aspects that may be a little bit different than a typical wedding would be that usually you want people to stand or sit in a circle around the couple, and there should be a blessing of the scared space beforehand, and a circle may be cast. Typically a mention of various gods and/or goddesses and also the various elements. Another tradition that may be incorporated is jumping over a broom and even a maypole dance. Because of some of the traditions talked about may not be accepted by family members or friends who are invited. Some people may also be confused so if you are going to have a handfasting or any other ceremony you may want to put something in with the invitation or program. I definitely suggest looking into finding a High Priestess or High Priest so it is done correctly, but you can even do some research and get a close friend or loved one to do it, especially if you live in a small community.

 

All- in- all it’s a pretty customizable and meaningful tradition. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of. There are a lot of options and traditions to look into when planning to get married.

 

*Rachel Young is the owner of NamasteFreund. She began making handfasting cords by making one for her own pagan ceremony. Five years later she continues to make a wide range of wedding cords, infusing them with her best wishes that a marriage can bring, & has shipped products to every continent. Her product line expanded to include besoms, wands, bookmarks, & more. She is also a licensed Wedding Officiant specializing in handfastings, inter-faith, & same-sex marriages. You can find her on NamasteFreund, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter.

 

MagickalArts

April, 2016

We are entering a time of light and color as the weather becomes warmer and summer is close at hand. In honor of this burgeoning warmth, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the basics of candle magick, employing the use of color for magickal workings and the metaphors of flame and fire, Light and Season… Enjoy..

Candle Magick 101

candles

 

Candle Magick makes use of the properties and energies of a candle, color, etc. to direct the focus of energy towards a desired outcome. It is for this reason that candles are used in High Magick and Ritual workings. They become the physical representation of God or Goddess, the transformative power that lights all others or the symbol of the inner fires of Will. Within our coven we routinely pour coven candles for each member annually. The wax used comes from the remainders of the previous year’s candles and is melted down. All contribute an herb or oil to the mix and we pour energy and intent into the heated wax. A large candle is poured that will be used in ritual by all and then smaller individual candles are poured for each member to take home. This becomes a way to connect energetically with coven mates if the individual is unable to be physically present for working or meeting. This past year we were unable to schedule a time for this, but we still had plenty of candle left to carry us through and maintain the connection.

In doing spell work using a candle not only provides a point of focus, but also acts as a container for the energies gathered and worked upon. Allowing the candle to burn down completely releases the spell into the flow of universal law. Lighting the candle for several nights can build the effect and acts something like a slow simmer. Holding the heat and intensity, but carefully and slowly releasing the essence allowing all the flavors and nuances to mature. Candle magick is simple, easy and can be quite effective in its purpose. The beauty is that it can also be rather transparent to others, as many use candles as décor in their homes.

Candles are portable and relatively easy to make, if you are so inclined. If you choose to make your own candles, additional items can be integrated. I have crushed a small crystal and added its energy to the wax. Herbs and oils are readily available and can enhance the general properties and even the timing of pouring the candle can bolster the intent. Aligning the pouring with New, Full or Waning moon energy customizes the effectiveness for the specific types of workings for which the candle will be used.

Store bought candles can be similarly customized. Remove the wrapping and apply oil to the candle, anointing it with the properties of whatever oil you choose. Frankincense serves as durable purifier. And, Myrrh will stimulate the Higher Self and offer connection to spiritual realms. You can press finely crushed crystals into the base of the candle by heating the bottom slightly to soften the wax and then pressing it down into the crystalline substance, much like coating fish with breadcrumbs. Leaving the candle out under the moonlight of any particular phase can attune it to those particular energies. And, placing the candle in a window or outside (depending on the heat temperature) under the sun’s watchful eye can enliven the candle for use in solar, energy or fire workings. Scribing sigils, runes or other sacred markings on the candle and envisioning these symbols moving into the center of the candle can be used to sustain long-term workings. Each time the candle is relit envision the energy of the symbol emanating, much like an aura from within the candle.

Additionally, using a specifically colored candle can enhance the effectiveness of the spell. Some basic colors are listed below. If you cannot find a specifically colored candle, a makeshift way is to use a small round mirror (found at most craft stores, and should be approx. 2-inches larger than the base diameter of the candle) and colored paper. Cut a circle just slightly larger than the candle base out of the colored paper that you have selected for the working. Place this on top of the mirror. Place a white candle on top of this. The reflective energies of the mirror will draw up the color from the paper into the candle’s field of energy. And, when the candle is lit the flame will enhance the glow reflecting back into the mirror and creating a beautiful energetic circuit of light and energy.

White – Transpersonal Chakra, Light, Spirit, the reflection of all colors.

Red – Root Chakra, Will, action, vitality, circulation.

Pink – Used for love of the heart, relationships.

Orange – Sacral Chakra, attraction, communication, energy.

Yellow – Solar Plexus Chakra, well-being, concentration, intuition, health, strength.

Green – Heart Chakra, health, healing, money, renewal, fertility.

Blue – Throat Chakra, communication, healing, memory, calming and centering.

Indigo – Brow Chakra, third eye psychic center, psychic awareness.

Purple – Crown center, royal color, Deity, spiritual workings.

Brown – Stability, the earth, growth, potential.

Grey – Represents intuition, the astral, shade.

Black – Contains and holds all colors, shields and filters.

These are just a few very simple and basic ideas to get you started in how to use candles for magick. Be creative. See the candle as not only an object of Fire’s expression, but also containing the properties of Water (fluid wax when heated), Air (the aroma and oxygen accessed in keeping the candle light) and Earth, in its solid form. The element of Spirit is added from your intent infused and connected to the malleable form of wax, color, scent and more. And, the magick is in the ability to create Light in a small pocket of space that was not so brightly illumined just prior.

Stones Corner

April, 2016

Stone Color Symbolism

Stones have many uses.  They  can be used for divination, meditation, healing and magic. You can keep your stones in a cloth bag large enough to fit your hand into. If you have an affinity for a certain stone or its color you can wear a ring or a necklace setting of that color or type of stone. You can also place stones in medicine bags to carry in your pocket or to place around your neck. If you know someone who does jewelry or lapidary work, you can have the specific stone of your choice mounted in a ring or necklace setting.

This is a brief list of what each color symbolizes:

White:

quartz

 

Spiritual guidance, being directed into the
right paths, calmness, becoming centered, seeing past
all illusion. Quartz, Agate.

Red:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Courage to face conflicts or test, energy, taking
action. Garnet, Red Jasper, Red Agate Dark Carnelian.

Pink:

rosequartz

 

Healing, true love, friendship. Rose quartz,
Agate.

Yellow:

citrine

 

Power of the mind, creativity of a mental
nature, sudden changes. Amber, Topaz, Citrine.

Orange:

`Carnelian

 

Change your luck, power, control of a
situation. Carnelian, Jacinth.

Blue:

labradorite

 

Harmony, understanding, journeys, or moves. Lapis
Lazuli, Labradorite.

Green:

Malachite

 

Marriage, relationships, balance, practical
creativity particularly with the hands, prosperity,
fertility, growth. Jade, Malachite, Amazonite.

Brown:

tigerseye

 

Earth elementals, success, amplifies all Earth
energy and psychic abilities, common sense. Tigerseye,
Smoky quartz.

Black:

jet

 

Binding of energy, defense by repelling negative
energies and people, reversing negative thoughtforms
into positive power, general defense, pessimism,
feeling bound. Jet, Onyx, Obsidian.

Purple:

amethyst

 

Breaking bad luck,

protection, psychic and
spiritual growth, success in long range plans.
Amethyst, Beryl, Quartz.

Indigo:

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Discovering past lives, karmic problems,
balancing out karma, stopping undesirable habits or
experiences. Turquoise, Amethyst, Beryl.