daily

Learning Lenormand

November, 2018

A Portrait of the Morning

My sun is in Taurus and I most definitely a creature of habit. My morning routine is a good example of this. I generally wake around 4 a.m. I stay in bed for a half-hour or so, cuddling with a kitty – usually Radar, who sleeps with his head on my pillow – and praying. Then I get up, put on my flannels and go into the kitchen, where I start the coffee. I feed the cats. I have my oatmeal and coffee while reading and replying to emails and then it’s in the shower. I’m in and out of the shower by 6 a.m., generally. After I’m all clean and dressed, I make my bed and straighten up my room. While I do this, I listen to classical music on the radio. I like peace and quiet in the mornings.

This is when I meditate. My son James is still sleeping and the cats are fed and back to sleep so it’s a nice serene environment.

I used to do Tarot readings after meditation. When I got my Lenormand cards, I started doing both – but with James living here, I usually don’t have time to sit and read cards for over an hour anymore. Honestly, I barely have enough time to do anything I want to do anymore but that’s a whole ’nother issue!

I don’t have to read the Tarot everyday to learn it – my life is immersed in the Tarot whether I am reading the cards or not. My poetry and my artwork are both mostly about the Tarot and uses Tarot themes. I am not so arrogant to suggest that I don’t need to learn anymore about the Tarot – there’s always more to learn! I’m just saying that my Tarot journal is now essentially a Lenormand journal.

I decided to stop doing daily readings of any cards except the Lenormand because – like learning a new language – I just wasn’t getting it. That’s the honest truth. If you are only using the cards once in a while – or if you are only using them after you have already done a reading with your favorite Tarot deck – how are you supposed to actually learn anything? I had to get in a schedule where I was sitting and only using the Lenormand. I also had to use the same format everyday – like I had with the Tarot thirty years ago, when I was using the Celtic Cross predominantly. So – after working with several different Lenormand spreads I found in Caitlín Matthew’s The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards – I decided upon Spread 6 “The Portrait”, which you can find on page 132, if you own this fundamental book – and I highly recommend the purchasing of this text! – I cannot stress that enough!

The Portrait Spread is a 9-card spread that is the basis for many of the spreads that follow in subsequent chapters. Therefore, it’s perfect for a daily spread – it’s a quick and easy look on what is going on in your life. Nine is such a great number on so many levels – as the saying goes, “Three times three, so mote it be”. Matthew writes that, “Nine is a powerful number in that it replicates itself in all its multiples.” (Matthews, 131). There’s ten cards in a Celtic Cross but when you consider that the first two cards are “crossed” over the same position, it can be argued that there are actually only nine positions in the spread, which gives it a different dynamic.

The Portrait Spread is laid out with three cards along the top, three in the middle, and three along the bottom.

(Matthews, 132)

Card 5 – the middle card – is the focus of the reading. I can’t tell you how many times that card is absolutely dead on. Sometimes I can’t get heads or tails out of the cards around it – especially when I try to blend meanings of cards – but usually that one card tells me everything I need to know.

Cards 1+4+7 = the past.

Cards 2+5+8 = the present.

Cards 3+6+9 = the future.

Card 1 tells me what “provoked or instigated the issue” (Matthews, 133). On a daily basis, there might not be an ongoing “issue” but then again, there might be stuff going on that you are not yet aware! The corners 1+9+3+7 shows what that basic issue is. The diamond cards of 2+4+6+8 (who do we appreciate, sorry couldn’t help it) show the inner aspects of the issue.

After this, read the rows 1+2+3, 4+5+6, 7+8+9 as well as 1+8+3 and 7+2+9 to get all the aspects of the portrait. If this seems like a lot – well, it is! But like learning any new language, doing your daily homework is the key and that’s the only way to learn. And I’ll be honest with you – quite often, I lay out the cards and start writing my analysis in my journal and have to stop because life intrudes. So now I have started setting aside time after lunch to finish up any unfinished Lenormand “homework”. Since it is my habit to take a nap after lunch, it’s nice to drift off to sleep with Lenormand images and concepts floating through my head.

Here’s today’s portrait:

I usually shuffle the cards as part of my morning meditation. I don’t focus on a question or anything at all. I just let the cards slide through my fingers and back through between my hands as I drift through consciousness. I’ve found that I get better readings when I don’t have a specific question then when I try to get the cards to “tell me something” – I just let them talk to me.

32 Moon 8 Hearts is Card 5 – the middle card – the focus of the reading. After months of being artistically blocked, I am once again working at my poetry and my artwork and other writing projects – I am getting up before dawn to work. I am also baking bread and thinking of other creative things to cook. My life seems to be bursting with creativity and I am working harder than ever. And I am loving my work!

30 Lily + 11 Whip + 28 Man is my past – I always read this as resent past, within the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours. At first glance, I really can’t make any sense of these cards together but I will take a guess – I’m always guessing! – and say that these three cards refer to the maturing man in the house – my son, James – and how he is increasingly in charge of things.

20 Garden + 32 Moon + 23 Mice is my future – I read this as “what’s happening today” – and this tell me that having to go out into the world (running errands) will cut into my ability to work today, since getting around Buffalo on public transportation takes up so much time.

16 Stars + 5 Tree + 4 House is my future – which I take to mean as the near future, tomorrow or the next day – I will be focusing on my health and well-being and doing things at home.

That seems really straight-forward and to the point, doesn’t it? When I first started reading Lenormand cards, I was obsessed with getting the perfect reading, the correct reading of the cards and the most precise reading but now I realize that I could read these cards today and get a certain reading and then read these same cards tomorrow and see something different. There is no true correct reading. There’s only the reading that resonates for you.

After I read all aspects of the Portrait Spread and make notations in my Lenormand Journal, I put the cards and the journal away for the day. Later in the evening, I get the journal out and see how closely the cards predicted the day and remind myself of tomorrow’s prediction.

When you have been doing a spread like this for say – two or three weeks – a month, tops – look through your readings and see what cards have been showing up most often. This past month, I have been seeing 32 Moon 8 Hearts, 26 Book 10 Diamonds, 5 Tree 7 Hearts, 6 Clouds King Clubs, and 33 Key 8 Diamonds more than any of the other cards. Given that my focus has been on creativity and writing and just how to get going on my novel again, I think these cards really show my struggles with those issues.

I really like this spread. It takes a bit of time to do but the more I do it, the easier it gets to read the cards. For me, I think the trick is to read the cards quickly
“First thought, best thought,” as Allen Ginsburg famously said – put the concepts together into a coherent thought and go with that. The more I ponder the “meaning” of the cards, the less meaning they actually have. I get lost in layers of implication and nuance and end up confused and frustrated. So I have found that the first thought that pops into my head when I am looking at a group of cards is generally the one that I should listen to.

And like I said before, there is no true correct reading. I haven’t been keeping a Lenormand journal long enough to see this in action, but I can tell you that when I look through Tarot journals from ten, twenty, thirty years ago, I can see where I made rookie mistakes but also where I was spot on – even as a beginner! Your journals are a great learning resource, even years after the reading. And it’s fun to relive whatever drama was going on at the time! And be grateful for the happy serenity I enjoy right now.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

References

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny , 2014.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards on Amazon

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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.

30-Days of Samhain Offered by Robin Fennelly

October, 2018

30-Days of Samhain Offered by Robin Fennelly

A Witch’s Sacred Journey

The final harvest calls, the Ancestors await and the veils between the worlds have thinned offering the gifts of healing, transformation and deeper communion with the cycles of nature.

Last year I decided to explore the mysteries of Samhain using a daily format of postings and suggestions to deepen your awareness of this sacred time of the year. I am sharing this again for this year’s celebrations and will be adding some other material as we move through the 30-Days of Samhain. Let the journey begin…

The countdown ends with Astrological Samhain, so Day One begins on October 9th and Day Thirty ends on November 7th. Enjoy…

Day One begins here… Welcome and Introduction

For Quick Links visit: 30-Days of Samhain-Index

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2)

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1)

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Retha’s Crystal Reflections

July, 2018

The Power of Quartz

Ah quartz…my very favorite crystal type. I get excited about every single piece of quartz I own. Hopefully after reading this you will get excited about your quartz too, despite how small or humble your piece, it is a powerful tool! The variations are endless, each piece is unique in its exact formation, it’s colors and it’s inclusions. I wear & work with quartz every single day. I hope you will too after learning more about this treasure!

Quartz is silicon dioxide. It is a mineral that is composed of silicon & oxygen atoms. It has a hardness of 7 on the MOHS hardness scale. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in the earths continental crust, behind feldspar. Quartz belongs to the trigonal crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a 6 sided prism terminating with 6 sided pyramids at each end. In quartz crystals silicon and oxygen atoms are joined in a tetrahedron (4 sided triangular pyramid). Linked in spirals, they can be left or right handed. This structure accounts for quartz piezoelectricity. Pressure on a quartz crystal causes positive and negative charges across it (piezoelectricity). It was discovered that alternating electrical charges cause a piezoelectric crystal to vibrate, the basis for quartz use as oscillators to control radio waves or keep time. 

Quartz crystals have many commercial uses in fact. Quartz is used in watches and clocks and in a wristwatch vibrates more than 30,000 times per second! They are also used in computers, microwaves, TV, radios, medicine, credit cards, and industrial tools. In electronics they can change a mechanical force, such as a blow from a hammer, into electrical energy. 

Quartz crystals are valued for their beauty. They are often used in jewelry. Clear quartz is often called rock crystal.  The Quartz family includes many many varieties. By color, some are Amethyst (purple), Citrine (yellow), smoky (brown/black), rose (pink) and tangerine quartz (orange).

Beyond these, there are varieties named for their growth patterns or their mineral inclusions/occlusions. An inclusion is a deposit of another mineral within a quartz crystal. It radiates the energy of the mineral, focused and amplified by the quartz surrounding it. Some named for their growth patterns include sceptor quartz, faden quartz, nirvana quartz, elestial quartz, skeletal quartz, and cathedral quartz. 

Some examples of ones named for their inclusions are lithium quartz, rutilated quartz, golden healer quartz, hematoid quartz, mosaic quartz, harlequin quartz, shamans dreamstone, and phantom quartz. Phew….just to name some!! Then there are also many types that are named for their location of origin, such as Tibetan quartz, Vera Cruz amethyst, Congo citrine, Lemurians and herkimer diamonds! 

 

Properties of Clear Quartz

These are the properties of clear quartz. Keep in mind even within clear quartz the properties vary depending on the formations and inclusions mentioned above. Since quartz is a magnifier, it will magnify the properties of whatever the other mineral is, whether its within the quartz or growing with the quartz on the matrix. Clear quartz is the most powerful energy amplifier the earth due to its helical spiral crystalline form. It can absorb, store, release, and regulate energy. It raises energy to the absolute best state possible and is an amazing healing crystal because it goes back to your pre disease state. It acts as a soul and body cleanser as it cleanses the organs and the soul and connects the physical 3-D with the mind and soul. It can be used for any condition and is a master healer. 

Clear quartz stores info like a natural computer program. You can program quartz to take on the properties of any other crystal, and it acts as that crystal until you deconsecrate it for that purpose. Quartz is the ultimate crystal to keep in your arsenal. While I definitely enjoy having crystals at hand in all varieties, and I appreciate working with every minerals unique energy, if I could only have access to one crystal, it would 100%  be a nice piece of clear quartz. Hands down. 

Quartz can also be used to enhance psychic abilities and can attune you to your spiritual purpose. It also aids concentration, and unlocks memories. It helps to harmonize all the chakras in the body too.

Crystal healing is an ancient practice. It is thought that as light reflects off crystals the electromagnetic field of the body (the aura) then absorbs that energy. Then areas of dis-ease can be pinpointed and then healed. If you have a nice clear piece of quartz, you can use it as a scanner, running it down over the body while looking through the quartz to see areas that need healing. 

Wearing clear quartz daily is an excellent way to raise your overall vibration, as well as to amplify the other crystal jewelry you are wearing. You can also program your quartz jewelry to support specific intentions or energy streams. Doing this at the new moon is a great practice to incorporate into your routine. Having a lot of clear quartz in your home is an effective way to raise vibrations in your space. Spheres, generators and clusters are great choices. Not to mention they make beautiful additions to any decor. One place I would not recommend putting clear quartz is in the bedroom. Clear quartz can be disruptive to your sleep. Amethyst on the other hand is a great option within the quartz family to place in your sleep space.

It fascinates me that while quartz is widely available on every continent, there are some types that only grow in one place on the entire earth! Such as herkimer diamonds. Isn’t that incredible? I am lucky enough to be going to the Herkimer Diamond Gem Show this month as well as going mining in herkimer, NY while I’m there. Its been on my bucket list for awhile and I’m so excited! I will be writing an article all about my experiences in Herkimer. It will be in September’s column. I hope you will come back and check it out! In the meantime, I hope you learned something new about how truly magical clear quartz is and I hope this inspires you to get your quartz out and work with it! 

Crystal of the Month: Lemurians

First, a little background information. Lemuria was an ancient advanced society that pre-dates even Atlantis. It was also known as “Mu”. Lemuria was lost and sank to the bottom of the sea in a natural disaster long long ago. The Lemurians were wise energy workers. Lemuria was a civilization celebrating oneness, unconditional love, cosmic connection, humanity as a whole and healing. It was a matriarchal culture. Toward the end of the lemurian civilization, the physical beings were aware that a great change was coming. They set about to find a way to store their precious, vast knowledge on earth for later discovery. Its believed during the last 300 years or so, they were preparing for a cataclysm. Record storage was downloaded into seed crystals. They were then placed into the earth for later discovery. In these crystals, there are bar code like lines that are said to help you to download these important messages that were laser imprinted by this advanced race of beings. The key is in being able to touch these situations. 

Lemurian crystals are clear quartz points that are easily identified by the horizontal line patterns, or striations, that are present on some of the point faces. They resemble bar codes and are sometimes referred to as the “stairway to heaven”. These striations can be seen but more importantly FELT. If its a lemurian seed crystal, it will have the striations on alternating faces, or on 3 of the 6 faces. If its a lemurian, it can vary which faces the striations appear. Striations usually end in a triangular face, forming the apex of the crystal. Some are frosted or matte in appearance, while others are very clear. There are also lemurian root crystals, which grow beneath the seed crystals and are the rarest of the lemurian types available to us. They are covered in sacred markings such as shamans portals and are exceptionally clear. 

Lemurians can come in clear, smoky, pink, tangerine, and golden in color. They come in all sizes but should be in a wand shape tapering from a thicker base to a thinner point.

The first mention of Lemurian crystals was in the early 90’s and they were coined in a newsletter by Katrina Raphaell. She claimed that true Lemurians only came from one location, the Diamantina mine in Minas Gervias, Brazil. Others now believe that they can come from multiple places in the world. Hawaii for example is said to have a very strong Lemuria connection. I invite you to research this topic further and decide for yourself which school of thought resonates with you. 

Its believed that these crystals will find the right “keeper”, and when that keeper connects with it and starts working with it, the messages of ancient higher wisdom are then downloaded into our subconscious. The information can then be accessed by us when we are ready for their wisdom. I like to ask my new lemurian crystal prior to working with her for the first time, to please bless me with their guidance for my highest good and the highest good of mama Gaia. 

Lemurians are excellent tools for many purposes. They are perfect for energy workers, crystal healers, lightworkers and Reiki practitioners. Lemurians are believed to carry care or healing instructions for mother earth, and so of course are master healers for humans as well. They can’t be beat for personal healing tools. 

Another use is to use it during meditation. You can put the striations against your third eye, or by running your index finger on your left hand against the lines. They are considered to be a communication tool between us and the cosmos. These crystals are attracted to the people who will aid the planet in these times. 

Yet another use is in dreamwork. For greater access and recall to our dream state. Investigating your dreams aids in discovering your souls journey. 

You can use Lemurians to form a protective circle by holding the crystal in your right hand and encircling the person, room or location. 

Whichever way you choose to work with your lemurian know that the more you work with it the more powerful it will become. I could talk about Lemurians all day, but I hope this overview sparked your interest and you get a lemurian crystal to try!

Thanks for spending time with me this month and I wish you all many crystal blessings!!

XO Retha

Resources

The crystal bible-a definitive guide to crystals by Judy hall

Eyewitness crystal and gem by Dr. R F Symes and Dr. R R Harding

Sage Goddess blog “how to work with lemurian quartz crystals”

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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

Book Review – Celebrating Wiccan Spirituality: Spells, Sacred Rites, and Folklore for Each Day of the Year by Lady Sabrina

December, 2017

Celebrating Wiccan Spirituality: Spells, Sacred Rites, and Folklore for Each Day of the Year”

by Lady Sabrina

 

 

Published by New Page

Published: 2003

Pages: 319

Available at Amazon and elsewhere in paperback and Kindle editions.

If you’re looking to make your craft a daily part of 2018, this is a book for you. Take a magickal journey through the year with holidays, folklore, festivals and customs from a wide variety of cultures. Some are internal pagan practices while others are secular in nature.

Beginning with January 1, Lady Sabrina covers each day with everything from simple reminders to more elaborate spells and rituals as the wheel of the year turns. It takes advantage of the changing astrological configurations and energies.

After a brief introduction to January, with its magickal theme and correspondences, January 1 starts off with New Year’s Day – the deities associated with it, and instructions for making an amulet to attract happiness and prosperity in the coming year.

January 2 talks about the day set aside in ancient Egypt to honor the goddess Isis, the Queen of Sorcery, the Mother of the Moon and Life of the Nile. The magickal activity presents an Isis Protection Spell.

January 3 explains three things the day is dedicated to: Paris’ patroness St. Genevieve, the dear dance and weather forecasting.

January 4 presents the Sacrifice to the 7 Stars, the day ancient Greeks honored Callisto, the moon Goddess who loved was by Zeus and bore him a son. Wishing to hide her, Zeus changed her into a bear, later shot by emis who placed her among the stars. Instructions for making a willow wand, and a prayer to use it when needing flexibility and accommodation are given that day.

January 5 is the Eve of the Feast of Epiphany. In Italy, the 11th day after Christmas is dedicated to the fairy Goddess Befana. In much the same way children now put out stockings on Christmas Eve in the hopes Santa Claus would fill them with gifts, children of long ago would put out stockings in the hopes Befana would fill them with presents while adults would write their wishes on pieces of paper and toss them in the hearth where they catch fire and float up the chimney, granting the petitioner’s wish. The day’s activity is a hearth blessing – incorporating a broom, a length of cord and a white three-wick candle.

For January 6, Lady Sabrina presents King and Queen Buttermilk Clove Cake as a magickal activity to celebrate the Epiphany of Kore from the Greek tradition.

January 7, Saint Distaff’s Day, is an example of an inauspicious day. It was not a saint’s day at all, but a jokingly marked the day women returned to their distaffs of unspun wool.

Days bring spells, prayers, rituals, crafts, details about deities, meditations and other activities as a way to celebrate the day. You can begin any day of any year and reuse the book every year, making for a daily practice.

In the appendixes are suggestions for Sabbat celebrations and six pages dedicated to correspondences, making the book a general reference as well.

Lady Sabrina is an initiated Priestess of the Wiccan religion and the founder of Our Lady Enchantment, a Wiccan seminary. She published three books before this one, including “Reclaiming the Power- The How and Why of Ritual Magic,” and two more after it. Her most recent is “Witch’s Master Grimoire: Encyclopedia of Charms, Spells, Formulas and Magical Rites.”

For Amazon information, click images below.

 

**

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.

 

My Daily Practice of Witchcraft

October, 2015

Preface

The practice described below is personal; for just as anyone fluent in a language will speak it somewhat differently from everyone else, so anyone who has passed the initiation of the second degree does so by the emergence of a knack, or personal style in witchcraft. So what is described below is intended as a model only. This is how I practice the Craft on a daily basis; what is your way?

The second point here is that this is daily practice only. Esbat rituals, sabbats, following the Anglo-Saxon or Ogham calendars, and such, concern what one does at longer intervals.

Finally, as the author is a solitary (though involved with a coven at a distance), the practice described herein does not concern itself with problems of coven craft or the practice of collective skills. This is what I do myself, more or less, on a daily basis as a witch practicing alone.

Outdoors or Indoors?

If you have a place outside where you can practice witchcraft, that is ideal. Next best is to live in a round house like a yurt, or an Indian hogan or tepee. If you have to live in a square or rectangular dwelling, and have only casual access to the outside, saying a prayer to the Sun or Moon, for instance, as you sit or walk out of doors, then you must compensate for the square shape. For “there is no power in a square,” as an old Sioux chief once remarked sadly on the reservation.

Why is there no power in a square? Because typically we face one of the walls, not one of the corners, and this encourages us to divide the things we can see in front of us from the things to the side, and to give too much attention to the former, with only occasional attention to the latter. This does not occur when we are in a circular area. The world as we experience it is a circle, or a hemisphere, counting the dome overhead. In a circle we let our attention go out to the periphery of vision, taking in everything equally.

Pagans living in square dwellings used to invoke their ancestors and other spirits from out of a corner, because when we face a corner, we naturally spread our attention to peripheral things, things seen to the side.

So if we must live in a square or rectangular dwelling, then we should make a conscious effort to expand our visual attention to the periphery. This can readily be done by keeping our apparent headlessness in view. The fact is, we cannot see much of our heads, apart from a blur for the nose and perhaps long eyelashes in sunlight; but we generally ignore this. Some cultures picture shamans as having no heads. This refers to the way they see themselves, not each other. If you keep your headlessness in view, you will spread your attention to the side and this will partially compensate for living in a square dwelling.

Minimize Tracking

One ethnologist, speaking of the Amerindian’s typical sphere of silence, in which he contacted his gods, cautioned that without growing up in their cultural milieu, this state of mind could not be attained by a non-Amerindian. But fortunately for us, C. G. Jung acquired inside information about this matter when he visited Pueblo Indians in Taos and spoke with a chief named Ochwiay Biano, Mountain Lake. 1

“Their [white men’s] eyes” Mountain Lake said, “have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something; they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are mad.”

Jung asked him why he thought so. “They say that they think with their heads,” the chief replied.

“Why of course. What do you think with?” Jung asked him in surprise.

“We think here,” said the chief, patting his heart.

If we see our headlessness, the closest part of our body which comes into view is our chest region. This is where we have feelings, and as our feelings usually precede or accompany our thoughts, it is natural to suppose that we are thinking with that part of ourselves. The point of this is that the Amerindian thinks and perceives at the same time, whereas we tend to oscillate between the two. He only directs his eyes to specific objects when he has reason to do so. He does not track compulsively, as we have been raised to do. Thus he lives in a bubble, coterminous with the horizon when outside or with the boundary of his round dwelling when indoors, a bubble that is generally silent, in which he can contact his gods.

Last Night’s Dreams

The writer is retired and has lots of spare time, and recognizes this is hardly the case for most people in the Craft, who are younger and have to spend long hours at a job. Perhaps you wake up to an alarm, which all but erases dreams of the night before. Keeping a dream journal requires a period of quiet upon awakening, and awakening should be gradual. Few of us have the opportunity to keep such a journal.

Nevertheless, your journal of Craftwork should begin each day with some reference to last night’s dream, or dreams. Just jot down a short descriptive phrase, capturing, if you can, an image (it will likely be the last image before waking) from last night’s dream. If you cannot recall anything of the sort, make a note of the feeling you woke up with, or anything else connected with the dream, such as a waking tune. Or make a quick sketch in your journal, trying to capture the flavor or impression of a dreaming scene.

For the witch, as for pagans in general, reality comes in two flavors: waking and dreaming. Waking is what we experience when the physical body is alert and active, and dreaming what we experience when it is dormant and resting. Dreams seem to be subjective because they are 99% subjective most of the time for most people. When we dream, we tacitly accept what is happening and never question its reality. It hardly ever occurs to us in a dream that our body is resting somewhere in a bed.

But there are times in our dreams when we realize we are dreaming. This realization admits of many degrees of lucidity, and it is generally lost almost immediately, either by lapsing into an ordinary dream or by waking up. We may decide to gain some leverage with dream characters in the current situation by telling them this is only a dream. Doing so quickly leads to a loss of lucidity, or lucidity itself becomes a theme of the dream and is re-woven into the patterns of the dream-plot.

In waking life we are forced to deal with physical reality, but we often see waking events through a filter of mental subjectivity. Psychologists describe this when they note that we go on dreaming while awake. This layer of subjective activity is usually not strong enough to separate us from the physical world, but it has great influence on how we feel and think and perceive the world around us, and also how we make decisions.

In order to go on astral journeys, 2 whether from dream or waking, it is necessary to liberate our consciousness and will from the influence of these subjective dreams and subjective wakings. Thus, in addition to the two states of dream and waking, we must recognize a subdivision into lucid and non-lucid dreaming, and lucid and non-lucid waking. Pagans throughout the world and history have believed we have more than one soul. Michael York, in Pagan Theology, 3 calls them the life-soul and the dream-soul, but it would be more accurate to call them the sleeping soul and the lucid soul. The lucid soul is silent and sees the world through the eyes of the sleeping soul, in either the waking or dreaming state. The sleeping soul talks to itself and only when it quiets down is it possible for the lucid soul to stir itself and look around. Then, whether awake or dreaming, it is free to go on astral journeys.

When we begin to be lucid in the dream state, we recall, to some degree, the fact that there is another state called waking, and this isn’t it. Similarly, when we begin to be lucid in the waking state, we recall, to some degree, the fact that there is another state called dreaming, and this isn’t it. In both instances, we no longer take our current experiences tacitly as reality, but contrast them with the other state, whether dreaming or waking.

This is the purpose in jotting down briefly what you can recall of last night’s dream or dreams. It serves to keep a place in memory throughout the waking state of what occurred in the previous dreaming state. It offers waking a small point of contrast that prevents us from taking waking tacitly as reality but instead as a mode of consciousness. Of course, most of what occurs in waking is reality; what the contrast helps us to do is to step back a little bit from the subjective activity screening our awareness while awake. As a result, we confront physical reality more sharply and nakedly. This is the beginning of lucid waking.

While beginning to dream lucidly, one will enter into a contest with the subjective dream, which will trick us again and again into forgetting we are dreaming. It does this by raising subjects and concerns which also preoccupy us while awake. Writing down an impression of last night’s dream therefore also serves a divinatory purpose, for it teaches us about the matters that capture our focus while dreaming or awake, immersing us more deeply in subjectivity.

Noting the Phase of the Moon

Following the different lunar phases properly belongs to Craft work of a different interval, that of the lunar month, and is excluded. But checking on the lunar phase and writing into the Craft journal is a daily task. A calendar recording the phases of the Moon is a necessary tool of witchcraft. Llewellyn publishes an attractive Witches’ Calendar. You can also check the phase for today online, but that is less magical. In any case, in your journal note the calendar date and lunar phase, and any other calendrical information you follow.

Finding Your Spot

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 4 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.

Taking a Ritual Bath

If you are so fortunate, in these barbarous times of quick showers, to own a bathtub, preferably one large enough to bathe in rather than just serving as a catch-basin for the shower, take a ritual bath. This is a late night thing to do. You will need a candle, salt (sea salt is best), and a small dish for holding the salt.

Light the candle, saying “Honor to fire.” Turn off all other lights and begin filling the tub.

Taking the dish of salt in your receptive hand, pour some salt from the dish into your projective hand, hold it at your heart, then fling it into the water, saying “I purify by the Maiden.”

Pour more salt into the palm of your projective hand, hold it over your heart as before, then fling it into the water, saying “I consecrate by the Mother to” and name some desired quality you want more of, such as balance.

Repeat the above, saying “I charge by the Crone.”

Repeat the above, saying nothing. This cast is for the Dark Moon.

Bathe leisurely, getting thoroughly clean. When finished, stand and thank the water elementals, naming the desired quality again, for example:

“I thank the Undines for balance.”

Step out of the bath and towel dry. Then say: “Honor to the Maiden, honor to the Mother, honor to the Crone, honor to [saying nothing].”

Snuff out the candle, saying “Honor to Fire.” Meditate a few moments, that is, pay attention to your feelings without thinking.

Balancing the Four Powers

The overall aim of witchcraft is to develop the four elemental powers in balance. These are the power to know, the power to will, the power to dare, and the power to keep silence or keep still. They are regarded as the inner elemental powers of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, respectively. When they are sufficiently developed in a balanced way, a fifth elemental power emerges, the power to go, which means the power to go on astral journeys. The witch travels down the inner pillar to the various Underworlds, eventually reaching her root-soul in the Summerland.

The Sun-wheel can provide a simple guide to balancing our everyday activities. The witch, here as elsewhere (though not in all circumstances), begins in the North and proceeds sunwise through the East, South and West, finishing in the North once again. This is because the power of the North manifests in two ways, physically as well as mentally.

In order to truly keep still, the body must be well exercised on a regular basis. The witch exercises regularly and moderately. Her exercise may include yoga or ch’i kung or various other psycho-physical cultures. They should always include some aerobic exercise. After some rest, or perhaps later in the day, the witch learns. Learning should take place every day, and as witches are nothing if not practical, learning is given first to practical subjects which will secure or advance one’s mode of life in the world. Afterwards, the witch will learn something for the pleasure or spiritual elevation of the subject. It is important to do both, but to give priority to practical matters. Playing music, for instance, counts as learning, but unless one is a professional musician, it should follow bread-and-butter topics.

Next, the witch seeks to apply what has been learned somehow in his life. Practical learning should make a difference in how one lives, and even ideal or aesthetic learning can have a subtle influence on how one goes about the day. The power to will also enters into the learning process itself, especially where it is necessary to practice and review what has been learnt. We cannot count on enthusiasm alone to further our progress in some areas; we must practice persistence at times, a trait borrowed from the quarter of Earth.

The power to dare is the power to change how we do things, and to try out new things. This can range from holding our toothbrush with the other hand to finding a new route to work to making a new friend or investigating a new field of endeavor. The power to dare also enters into change of consciousness, which is part of circle ritual and special techniques practiced after attaining to the second degree of initiation. As water seeks the lowest point and flows without hesitation, so the witch cultivating the power of water looks for opportunities usually ignored because regarded as unimportant, and plunges into an adventure sometimes just for the hell of it.

Having rounded the Sun-wheel in this fashion, the witch returns to the North, and finding a good spot for it, sits and meditates. That is, she practices inner silence, not by blocking thoughts but by letting them arise and flow on without following them. This is the master power.

1 Jung, C. G., Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 248, Vintage , 1965.

2 The fifth point of the pentagram.

3 Michael York, Pagan Theology, New York University Press, 2003.

4 What? You don’t have one? Get one.