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SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

December, 2018

Yule Ritual

 

Merry meet.

Below is a Yule ritual written for a group, which can easily be modified to be done as a solitary. Read through, making note of what to gather and how to set it up.

The altar can be a candle on the floor, or raised up in the center on a small table.

Traditional colors for altar cloths are gold, silver, red, green and white.

SET UP:

Set up your altar with seasonal botanicals, directional candles.

Designate a place for guests to put coats and, if desired, shoes

Arrange so that before people enter the ritual space they can place their cares and woes in a burden basket or other receptacle (a lidded casserole dish or cookie jar, a purse that snaps shut, a box) and then step forward and be cleansed with smoke. (A cauldron can be placed where guests can waft the smoke themselves, or a person can be designated to smudge others after being smudged themselves)

Find a seat and listen to soft music

High Priestess:

We gather tonight in perfect love and perfect trust to celebrate the winter solstice. On this longest night of the year, let us accept Yule’s gifts of quiet and dark. For a long moment, everything pauses. There is a stillness that settles over the land. A stillness for which there are no words. Darkness rules. Tonight we will sit in this darkness that precedes the light’s rebirth.

Take a moment to get here, to feel the surroundings and the welcome with which this place greets you.

I’m going to ring chimes three times. As we all align ourselves with its vibrations, we will meld as a group.

Ring three times, letting each ring fade to silence before doing the next. High Priestess says:

Be here now.

As we cast our circle, see it as an equator, then see the ring flip up and over to become a sphere, pushing the energy to the exterior of this building.

With thumbs facing left, begin by using your left hand to take the right hand of the person to your left and say:

Hand to hand, I cast this circle

Each person does the same. When the circle is complete, the High Priestess says:

See our arms making a circle. With each breath, strengthen the circle. Now, imagine it to be like an equator, and spin the circle up, over and down so that it creates a sphere. Now push that sphere out to encompass this room. Keep breathing, and enlarge the sphere so that it fills this whole unit and extend outside the walls, and into the basement below. Now, see the outer skin of this sphere become soft and foggy, smoky, like a mist rising from a lake in the early morning. When we leave, we will walk though that foggy edge as we reenter the mundane world.

Take another three breaths … and know we are between the worlds. May all we do tonight be for the highest good and greatest joy of all.

Sing “There Is No Time” by Kellianna” three times.

There is no time but now, there is no place but here,
In the sacred we do stand, in a circle hand in hand.

High Priestess:

Let us summon the spirits of the four quarters. We’ll start facing north because winter begins with the quarter of the wheel associated with earth.

Person calling North:

Mother Earth, barren trees now decorate the land that has sustained us. In this restful moment, let us find safety and stability. Hail and welcome.

Place greens such as mistletoe, holly and pine boughs on the altar, on the north side of the candle.

Person calling East:

Brother Air, I listen for the cold winds from your winter wings, but tonight all is still. In this quiet darkness, help us find inspiration. Hail and welcome.

Light incense, or place a feather, bells or other representation of East on the altar.

Person calling South:

Father Sun, source of fire, here in the night, awaiting your
return, we ask that the memory of your warmth temper our spirit. Hail and welcome.

Place pieces of lava or other symbol of fire such as chili peppers or coffee beans on the south side of the altar.

Person calling West:

Sister Water, your snow and ice have covered our world.
Beneath this blanket, let our emotions find healing and renewal. Hail and welcome.

Place a container of water from melted snow, a Yule rain or other source, or a representation of water on the west side of the altar.

Person calling center:

We stand in the center, spirit in body and know we are divine. Spirit is a bridge between the physical and the metaphysical, between body and soul. Guide us as we walk in both worlds. Hail and welcome.

Place a symbol of spirit, perhaps a crystal or a butterfly in the center.

Person calling the crones:

Queen of Winter Cailleach Bheur (kall yeck burr), Dark Mother Demeter (da meet her), Keeper of the Cauldron Cerridwen, Kali, Mother Holle (hell her), Nicneven (nick na vin), The Morrigan (more’ a gain) – we welcome you crones and ask you to help us transition as you transform to the maiden giving birth to the sun. Hail and welcome.

Place a symbol of crone – a bone, a cauldron, a crescent moon, owl, wolf, crow or raven. – in the center.

Person calling the sun:

Father Sun, Winter King, the Sage, Apollo, Ra, Horus, Ravi, Shamash – we welcome you to our circle. You are reborn tonight, bringing light, bringing life. You demonstrate the endless cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. Hail and welcome.

Place a symbol of the sun god – gold, a representation of the sun, a baby Oak King – in the center.

High Priestess, in her customary way, invites people to put their names in the circle. If desired, she allows people to put other names in the circle for blessings and energy.

There is a magic in all the seasons. Winter’s magic is the most concise, most dense. It is diamond magic, cold and brilliant, focused and precise.

Each season also has its own wisdom, but winter’s wisdom includes them all. Everything is clear. What is invisible in growing times becomes plain in the starkness of winter. From winter, you can remember spring, summer and fall by the patterns they’ve left behind.

There is not yet a call to begin again. Beginnings will come soon enough. This is the fallow time. This is the time of rest. The waiting brings both strength and vulnerability.

When winter comes, we withdraw into the deepest spaces of our inner selves. As the world sleeps, its energy, like yours, turns within. Your inner sight expands. There is much to see beyond appearances. It is bone time. Nothing is hidden. With your winter eyes, let yourself see everything.

This is a time of reflection, insight, visions and wisdom. In the velvet dark are the secrets we keep from ourselves … one of those secrets is who we really are. Find that you hidden in the darkness.

It may appear we are resting, but in winter we are creating a new universe within ourselves, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, secretly feeding that which needs to thrive. With calm deliberateness, we know what to save and bring into the next season.

When we blow out these candles, feel yourself in this deep, dark space, the place from which all is born. Feel the warmth and safety of this womb on this cold night. This place of darkness is the source of life. Feel that energy waiting, still, quiet, for life to begin. That is the energy of the dark. This is the time of before.

That energy is within you. Sit with it. Be the dark from which all things will come. Be the dark that holds the coiled sleeping snake, the crocus bulb frozen in the ground. All life has moved to the center, hidden in the darkness. In this space, feel the energy of all that is yet to be.

Winter is not all about death, it’s also about reflection and insight, and reconnecting to the source deep within the dark. One day in the not too distant future, the dance will begin again. Let that knowledge be a comfort to you, but do not call for it. For now is not its time.

We need the dark to balance the light. Honor its presence.
Offer gratitude for the power it gives us to dream our deep sleep awake.

I will signal when there are 5 minutes left in the meditation

Extinguish candle

Start timer

Give 5-minute notice with rattle, bell or drum

High Priestess:

Welcome back. Take a moment to get here.

We’re going to pass the talking stick so that all who wish may share their thoughts or experiences in sacred space.

High Priestess:

Grounding eliminates the excess energy you may have accumulated during a ritual or other working. Take time now to breath three slow, deep breaths as you imagine the energy you do not need draining out of your body, out of your fingers and your feet. Offer it to the earth below.

Food also helps us ground.

Present cakes and ale, speaking only to say

May you never hunger / Nor you

May you never thirst / Nor you

 

High Priestess:

We are drawing to the end. As we prepare to release the elements, I will light this candle from the spirit candle. We will pass out candles and a drip guard. You’ll take them both home with you.

I thank each of you for bringing the gift of yourself to this circle, for adding your energy to the magic of tonight. Let us bring a piece of this quiet calm with us as we return to our mundane lives that we may walk in peace.

After we light the candles, we’ll sing “Silent Night, Solstice Night” twice. Then, I ask that you to gather your things, attend to your needs and leave … all in silence … as we return to the mundane world.

Releasing the Crones

Crones we thank you for showing us how to die and be reborn. Stay if you will, go if you must. Hail and farewell.

Releasing the Sun

Father Sun, on this deepest dark night, we welcome back your light. Blessed Be.

Releasing Water

Sister Water, thank you for your presence, love and healing. Blessed Be.

Releasing Fire

Father Sun, source of fire, thank you for your warmth and passion. Blessed Be.

Releasing Air

Brother Air, thank you for your presence and your inspiration.
Blessed Be.

Releasing Earth

Mother Earth, thank you for your presence as we leave grounded and renewed. Blessed Be.

High Priestess: Begin by lighting the candle of the person to your left, saying:

May you embrace the return of the light.

Sing “Silent Night, Solstice Night”

And merry part. And merry meet again.

NOTE: This ritual draws heavily on the poem “The Winter Woman” from “Seasons of the Witch: poetry & Songs to the Goddess” by Patricia Monaghan and Arctic Siren Singers

***

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.

Review of The Queen of the Moon Oracle Deck Created by Stacey Demarco

December, 2018

Review of The Queen of the Moon Oracle Deck

Created by Stacey Demarco

 

 

The Queen of the Moon Oracle is an Oracle deck created by Stacey Demarco, an author and animal activist known as The Modern Witch and the creator of Natureluster, a group which educates people about and connects people to the powers of nature. The Oracle comes in a nice sturdy 4” x 5½” cardboard box with color images on the front and a bit of information about the Oracle on the back. Inside the box are the 44 6” x 9” cards of the deck and the companion guidebook. This hauntingly beautiful Oracle and guidebook were published by Rockpool Publishing, PO Box 252, Summer Hill NSW 2130.

The companion guidebook is the same size as the cards (so everything fits neatly into the beautiful box) and contains 108 pages printed on white paper with an easy-to-read black font, bound in a sturdy glossy softcover with a beautiful card image of the Queen of the Moon on the front cover and a continuation of the starry skies behind the Queen on the back. The companion book begins with a preface written by Demarco, an introduction that offers brief information about the Moon and its phases and a description of some of the correspondences we associate with lunar energy. Next are instructions for using the Oracle including spreads and a simple dedication, and a description of the setup of the deck itself.

There are three categories of cards in the Queen of the Moon Oracle: 28 cards representing a full cycle from the Dark Moon and back to it; 12 cards, called Seasonal Lunar cards, based on the Lakota terms passed down through Native American generations; and 4 other lunar-related cards including 2 astronomical cards. The cards begin with Dark Moon (card 1) and New Moon (card 2), then move on through 6 Waxing Crescent cards, a First Quarter card, 6 Waxing Gibbous cards, a Full Moon card, 6 Waning Gibbous cards, a Last Quarter card, and 6 Waning Crescent cards. The Seasonal Lunar cards follow, offering descriptions of the energies of the Wolf Moon, the Snow Moon, the Flower Moon, and the Harvest Moon to name a few, followed by the Queen of the Moon, the Lunar God, the Blue Moon and the Super Moon. Each card section offers a color image of the card, a keyword, a description of the keyword meaning, an affirmation, a discussion of the individual card meaning and/or the theme of the Moon phase that encourages and supports a useful interpretation, and a suggested companion crystal or metal.

The images on the cards and in the guidebook are created by Kinga Britschgi, a Hungarian-born artist, digital artist, published author, and language teacher who lives in the US with her family. The cards themselves are 3½” x 5”; each card is printed on sturdy cardstock in vibrant glossy color on both the front and the back. The face of each card contains a number at the top, the name of the moon phase, and the keyword also found in the guidebook, along with the sumptuous images. The card art is gorgeous, with jewel-toned colors and images filled with powerful symbolism that instantly attracts me into each card and draws me to learn more about its energies. The art on the back of the cards shows the phases of the moon in a circle on a beautiful blue background. Because of the combination of the glossy finish that allows the cards to slide easily and the sturdy cardstock, even though they are a tiny bit wide for my hands these cards absolutely invite interaction. Shuffling the deck was easy and once the deck was spread before me, the images resonated deeply and powerfully.

The Queen of the Moon Oracle is a useful tool for tapping into the energies of the moon and the lunar cycle and determining how to integrate them into our lives and our goals. Shuffling the cards and drawing a card or a few cards each day, or throwing one of the spreads suggested in the guidebook, would create a spread that offers emotional, spiritual, and energetic messages that would be useful to any seeker. But there is another purpose for this beautiful Oracle: learning about the cycles of the moon and how they affect us. The deck contains a full lunar cycle of 28 days with suggested energies available on each day. Going through the first 28 cards of the Oracle in order and meditating daily on the corresponding card would bring a hugely useful understanding of our planet’s satellite, and would offer suggested focuses for the day, week, and lunar month going forward.

If you are drawn to the Moon, its meanings, its changing appearance in the sky, and the symbolism and effects on our lives that have been passed down through the generations from our ancestors, you will enjoy the Queen of the Moon Oracle.

Queen of the Moon Oracle: Guidance through Lunar and Seasonal Energies (Rockpool Oracle Cards) on Amazon

***

About the Author:

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

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

A Woman’s Place…..

September, 2018

Seemingly random, a Facebook group called “Fierce Heart” came to my attention. Knowing nothing about it, but loving the name, I went to take a peek. As a Women’s Empowerment Coach and Red Tent Priestess, I promptly joined, very much in tune with their goals.

Paraphrasing the description found at the group, Fierce Heart is all about this: A collective group of women across US using drumming/chanting/singing/noise, expressing their anger/dismay/outrage/disgust, taking power, demanding change. A way to express anger and grief.

Galvanize women and provide a way for them to channel that power and remember that they are a force of nature, something that we always, always forget.

“Bring your outrage

Bring your tenacity

Bring you despair

Bring your Fierce Heart

Bring your fists

Brings your drums

Bring your voice

Bring your Fierce Heart”

******************

I recently had the pleasure of corresponding with Rebecca Singer, one of the founders and admins of the page itself.

SM: Before we talk about Fierce Heart, please tell me a bit about yourself.

RS: I’m a shaman. My teachers were a part Irish, part Lakota woman for 13 years, then Costa Rican Shaman, and finally living with The Reindeer People in Mongolia. I’ve also had careers as an actress, teacher, and singer. I’m 68 years old, have lived in several countries, am proud mother of amazing son, and happily married for 10 years!We live near Woodstock NY with our Costa Rican dogs, cat, and rabbit. (Note from SM: Rebecca’s website is: www.shamanicenergy.com

SM: How did you come up with the idea for Fierce Heart?

RS: For several months I have been asking for guidance in coming up with a ” right action”,during meditations, for these times we are living in. I went to a recent demonstration and came home feeling very dissatisfied, like something else, something new was needed.

For about 2 years now I have felt the urgent need for women in this country to stand up, speak up, but in the some new authentic way.

When I came back from that demonstration , I had a vision of thousands of women in the streets across this country, expressing their outrage. Making sounds that would be dissonant, disturbing to hear, and that would penetrate buildings, patriarchal systems. Women are not allowed to express outrage, which is a form of love.

SM: It’s apparent that here in the US, and abroad, that women are standing up in droves – running for office, calling out sexual harassment/assault via #MeToo, and so on. Do you consider Fierce Heart to be a part of this wider women’s movement?

RS: Yes and no. Yes, in that it is on the continuum of women finding their power and voice.

No….in that it is a new form. Women have been taught for centuries to tone it down, not get Too Emotional, hysterical, too anything. Yet women feel very deeply, and there is a way in which women truly are a force of nature and most women have lost touch with their wild self. So Fierce Heart is out of the Patriarchal box. It us an invitation for women to find the roots of their true voices, through the expression of outrage at this world we live in today. It is not attached to any one political movement. It is about Waking up Women as a force.

SM: I know you have collaborators – is this something you came up with together, or was it your brainchild and you approached them about joining you?

RS: This was my idea, though I would say it was an idea that came through me. I asked Erin Kaiser what she thought about it, and Vct Pohl, and Deb Rodney….what did they think. These are women I trust, so Erin made the Facebook page, Vct Pohl came on as an administrator and came up with the name.and Deb started doing some writing about it. My other good friends came on board.

SM: How many would you say have joined the Fierce Heart Facebook group thus far?

RS: We have 800 members. How many of them are actually practicing, I don’t know. I do know that 2 of them are going to be taking this to Bulgaria and there is a women’s group in the UK and members in about 8 states in the USA. at least.

What I believe is that women have to understand that making these sounds in circles with other women is freeing, not traumatizing. Outrage about the planet is bigger than personal anger, and although the sounds make bring up personal memories, if women get together and express their outrage on behalf of animals, the earth, the air, the water……it is healing.

SM: It is my hope that this article would expand that many-fold. What is the ultimate goal of Fierce Heart?

RS: In my mind, the ultimate goal is for women to quit getting stuck in divisive issues and come together to express their outrage, which is a form of fierce love. It’s not personal angst, its way beyond that.

It’s howling for the dying polar bears, for the plastic filled oceans, for immigrants being separated from their families. Choose your interest.

I see circles of Fierce Heat Women with banners that say Fierce Heat participating in demonstrations in circles Using Sound to shift the energy. Not getting stuck in language. Sound is powerful. Sound is a game changer. I want women to find their authentic Voices, not have to sound like men to be heard. First sounds, then words. People are very results oriented, goal oriented, but change is not linear. One thing makes another possible.

Energy builds in leaps and spurts. I hope Fierce Heart becomes a movement that endures, that allows women to take to the street, form circles, and make this sound that has been missing on this planet for so many generations. Because the goal is empowerment of women outside a patriarchal structure.

SM: Do you see this going beyond the November elections?

RS: I hope this goes beyond elections, but this is not up to me. We have a goal of getting as many women as possible outside Oct 21st to make sounds.

If the timing is right, this will have its own life. Women will realize this is empowering and energizing. It’s all about if women are willing and ready to wake up. I personally feel that humanity is in big need of women waking up. Big need. Women need to know they ARE a force of nature. They are powerful.

********************************

Fierce Heart is definitely a place for women to be. We need to find our hearts, our voice, our power. With these, together we can change the world.

I encourage all of you to check out the the Facebook Fierce Heart group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/221315182029680/ and see if it is good place for you, too! There are sample videos of what a Fierce Heart practice can look and sound like, as well as a downloadable poster for those who might wish to start a local group.

I, for one, am planning on starting a local Fierce Heart group here in southern Massachusetts; if you live around that area or in nearby RI and are interested, please email me at MysticalShores@gmail.com

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis

Retha’s Crystal Reflections

August, 2018

Synergy 12 Crystals, Explained

The synergy 12 crystals are a group of 12 extremely powerful stones that are believed to work together to aid you in inner awakening, lightbody activation, and to enhance spiritual evolution and ascension. They were first described by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian in “The Book of Stones, Who They are and What they Teach” in 2005.

Many are easy to find and inexpensive, while a few are much rarer and more costly (such as phenacite, brookite, satyaloka quartz and herderite). Azeztulite is trademarked and is quite expensive. You can find the entire synergy 12 available to purchase together, or you can start acquiring them one by one. For not much money you can get half of the synergy 12 to work with. I want to give you a brief description of each of the synergy 12 stones. If you have the opportunity to start building a synergy 12 collection I highly recommend it. Read about each to see which you feel drawn to explore. All are next level tools on their own, but all together are the ultimate meditation aids. 

Petalite

Ah, I love petalite. Petalite is lithium sodium aluminum silicate. Its hardness is 6-6.5. It has a monoclinic crystal structure. It can be white, colorless, gray, pinkish or yellow. Colorless can be faceted into stunning jewelry. It’s found in Brazil, Australia, Sweden, Namibia and Afghanistan. This is a stone of peace and tranquility, which provides a deep connection to the spirit realm. It’s a visioning stone. It enhances all psychic gifts. It also helps you to attune to your path of highest destiny, or dharma. Wonderful manifestation stone. With its unique grounding aspect it allows you to stay tethered to earth while exploring inner dimensions and higher realms. Petalite is associated with the wind element and the astrology sign Pisces. 

Moldavite

This is one you may have heard a lot of buzz about and rightly so. Moldavite is a glassy mixture of silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide and other metal oxides. Its hardness is 5.5-6. It has an amorphous crystal system. Most are a deep forest green, but some are a pale green and some even a brownish green. It is a member of the tektite group. 14.8 million yrs ago a large meteorite crashed into what is now the bohemian plateau of the Czech republic. The moldavite fields have become depleted, so the stones are increasingly rare and more expensive. There is some debate as to exactly how the moldavite formed, but one thing is clear, it indeed fell from the sky. We can tell by the aerodynamic shapes of certain pieces. It has been a spiritual talisman going all the way back to the neolithic peoples of eastern Europe. Today it is a most prized tool in the metaphysical community. Its effects vary from mild to very intense for some. The main use of this stone is to accelerate the path of ones evolution. It’s an amazing aid in meditation, dreamwork and to discern messages from the higher realms. It also offers spiritual protection. It is associated with the storm element and the astrological sign Taurus.

Danburite

I adore danburite. It’s one of my very favorite crystals. It is a calcium borosilicate crystal. It has a hardness of 7-7.5. It was discovered in Danbury, Connecticut. The crystals are usually 4 sided and their terminations are generally chisel shaped. They are orthorhombic and prismatic with linear striations. Most are colorless or white, but some are pale pink or light yellow. They have been found in Russia, Madagascar, Bolivia, Burma, Japan and most abundantly in Mexico. Fewer good specimens are being found and they are becoming increasingly rare. Danburite is an aid to lift awareness to higher spiritual vibrations. It has a special connection to the angelic realm. This stone expresses powerful unconditional love. It helps you to release worry and stress. It soothes and helps you get a good night’s sleep. It is associated with the wind element and the astrological sign aquarius. 

Phenacite (or phenakite)

Phenacite is a beryllium silicate. It has a hardness of 7.5-8. It has a hexagonal (trigonal) crystal system and often crystallizes in short prisms. It is very rare, especially in transparent well formed crystals. It varies greatly depending on the location its found. It’s found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Norway, Russia, Tanzania, Switzerland and the USA. This is the ultimate 3rd eye chakra stone. It’s so strong that even those that aren’t sensitive to crystal energies can feel it when placed on the 3rd eye. It has one of the highest frequencies in the mineral kingdom. It can be used to awaken the latent special capacities of the brain, which can bring about spontaneous telepathy, prophetic visions or remote viewing. It’s associated with the storm element and astrological sign Leo.

Brookite

Brookite is a titanium oxide crystal. Its hardness is 5.5-6. It has an orthorhombic crystal system. Its color is usually dark gray or black, but can also be yellow-brown or reddish-brown. It’s found in England, the French alps, and Arkansas, USA. It’s a crystal that’s inspirational and energizing. It can assist in overcoming old patterns and move to greater inner development. It’s a powerstone for expansion of awareness beyond the physical body. It can align all the upper chakras with the rest of ones energy body. It expands consciousness into higher dimensions of light. It is associated with the storm element and the astrological sign Capricorn. 

Natrolite

Natrolite is a sodium aluminum silicate mineral. Its hardness is 5-5.5. It has an orthorhombic crystal system. They can be colorless, white, yellowish or gray. They have been found in the Czech republic, New Jersey, USA, India and Russia. It’s one of the most powerful stones to stimulate the 3rd eye and crown chakras. Natrolites energy moves beyond the physical body and activates ones conscious link with the 8th-14th chakras (above the head). This stone can help you to develop communication with your angelic helpers. It can bring light to any part of the body where there are slow-moving or blocked energies. This stone brings optimism and hope. It’s associated with the storm element and the astrological sign Libra.

Herderite

Herderite is a calcium beryllium phosphate. It has a hardness of 5-5.5. It has a monoclinic crystal system. It can be colorless, pale yellow, green, brownish-gray or even lavender. They are very rare. Most come from Brazil, but have also been found in Africa and Afghanistan. Herderite aids in communication with spirit guides and light beings, and with interdimensional travel. It helps us to experience ourselves as an energy field that exists way beyond our physical body. We realize there is a sphere of awareness way larger than our physical self. It enhances our senses as we meditate. This stone can be quite intense, so extra time to ground after working with it is wise. Herderite is associated with the storm element and astrological sign Gemini. 

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a calcium aluminium silicate mineral. It is a member of the zoisite family. It has an orthorhombic crystal system. It has a hardness of 6.5-7. Color ranges from blue to blue-violet, though some can be golden to brownish yellow. It was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, Africa. Tiffany & Co., the NY jewelers, introduced it as Tanzanite and it became the accepted name, though technically it is blue zoisite. Tanzanite can integrate the energies of the heart and the mind through the linkage and attunement of the heart and 3rd eye chakras. It also makes it hard to deny what one knows in the heart, and helps you to speak your truth. It helps with verbal and written expression. It provides a strong anchoring in the heart. It enhances our intuitive vision. And it opens us up to deep intimacy with others. It is associated with the wind element and the astrological sign cancer. 

Tibetan Tektite

Tektites are glassy masses created from meteoric impacts. They have a hardness of 5.5-6. They have an amorphous crystal structure. They are rich in silica, with their silicon dioxide content between 68% and 82%. Tibetan tektite specifically refers to the family of brown-black or black tektites found in Tibet and southern China. The metaphysical information following is for Tibetan tektite, not tektite from other locales. Tibetan tektite is a synergy 12 stone, whereas the other tektites are not. Tibetan tektites are used for lucid dreaming and it’s advised to sleep with two, one by the head and one by the feet. You can also use seven pieces to stimulate and activate the light body by placing one on each chakra point. It will open the chakra column/spinal energy channel. Tibetan tektite is associated with the storm element and the astrological sign Scorpio.

Scolecite

I am a huge fan of scolecite. Scolecite is a hydrous calcium aluminum silicate, a zeolite mineral. It has a hardness of 5-5.5. It has a monoclinic crystal structure. It has thin, vertically striated prismatic crystals and also grows out in radiating fibrous masses. It can be colorless, white or yellowish. It has been found in Teigarhorn, Iceland and Poona, India. It is the stone of true inner peace and tranquility. It’s ideal for use in healing, meditation, restful sleep, lucid dreaming and journeying. It enhances the heart chakra energies and helps you to spontaneously express love more freely. It also protects your auric field and cleanses it with its healing radiance and charges it with its pure white light. It’s associated with the wind and water elements and the astrological sign Virgo. 

Azeztulite

This is a very special variety of quartz. It has a hexagonal (trigonal) crystal system. As all quartz it has a hardness of 7. The original Azeztulite came from a single find in North Carolina, USA around 1970. Over 30 yrs later a second deposit was found in Vermont. Since, Azeztulites have been found in multiple locales. Each are different and carry their own properties. Here we are strictly talking about the azeztulites from north Carolina and Vermont. It’s referred to as white Azeztulite or original Azeztulite. This is a very powerful stone. It is said that when you open up to Azeztulite it feels like being in the presence of something holy. The liquid crystal body matrix probably resonates more strongly with Azeztulite than any other stone. It carries the current of the central sun. If you hold this stone over your 3rd eye chakra, its said that you will see light in the interior of the skull, its one of the hallmarks of Azeztulite, as is pleasurable sensations that are hard to compare to any others. Azeztulite is associated with the storm element and astrological sign Aries. 

Satyaloka Quartz (Satyaloka Azeztulite)

This is a variety of quartz, with a hardness of 7. It has a hexagonal (trigonal) crystal system. Satyaloka forms as small prismatic crystals, translucent or white, sometimes with inclusions of reddish-brown or gray. It comes from the Satya Loka mountains of southern India. It was originally gathered by monks of the Satya Loka Monastery, who sent it out into the world as a way of spreading the energy of spiritual enlightenment. South India is said to be the crown chakra of the world, so it makes perfect sense that satyaloka quartz opens the crown chakra with an immense flow of energy. It vibrates to the frequency of enlightenment. It might be called the most “hard core” of all the Azeztulites, maybe even of all stones. This stone is a stone of powerful spiritual dedication. It aids in traveling thru the realms of light to higher planes of reality. It’s associated with the storm element and astrological sign Sagittarius. 

I hope this overview of the synergy 12 will inspire you to try working with one if you haven’t yet, or to encourage you to add another to your collection if you’ve already worked with some. The ultimate is to have them all and then you can build a synergy 12 grid and use sacred geometry to amplify these intense crystals even more. Another amazing way to work with these stones is to wear them. You can choose the one you connect to the strongest or you can even find vial pendants that have chipstones of all 12 stones. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you will come back next month when I tell all about my trip to Herkimer, NY this past month for the gem show and to go mining for herkimer diamonds! 

Crystal blessings!

XOX0- Retha

 

The Book of Stones, Revised Edition: Who They Are and What They Teach

***

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

Mindful Meditations

August, 2018

Welcome to Mindful Meditations, a new column to help you connect to yourself.

Monthly the author will switch between two witches that are massage therapists that lead meditations and are in the same coven.

 

Fire Meditation

It’s Leo season and what better way to enjoy that excited, expansive energy than with a bit of fire scrying, either with your friends or alone. This fire meditation is crafted to work as a guided group meditation or an easy-to-follow solo journey. So light your fire, grab a journal and let’s drop in! If having a physical fire isn’t a possibility, you can use a candle or call the energy of fire into your mind’s eye and let your imagination create the flames for you.

 

 

 

-Cast a circle in whatever way fits your practice. Create intentional, sacred space so you feel comfortable opening to the messages you receive. I encourage you to call in the element of fire especially, an example would be “I call the element of fire into my/our circle tonight. I/we honor your passion and power, your transformation and transmuting, and your illumination and warmth. Guide me on this journey into your flames tonight. Hail and welcome!” Once in sacred space, set your intention for what you wish to receive from the fire. How am I holding myself back from my desires? What direction should I take? How can I manifest my dream? Or simply, what do I need to know right now? Feel free to do this silently or as a discussion with your group.

 

-Once you’re clear on your intention, find a comfortable seat where you can easily gaze into the fire. Feel where your body connects to the Earth and see roots sprouting down into the soil to anchor yourself to her. Notice your breath and feel yourself entering the present moment with each inhale and relaxing into the now with each exhale. Let everything but your breath and the fire melt away.

 

-Bring your intention into your mind. Begin to ask questions to yourself and the fire. Let possible answers drift through your awareness, staying mindful of not attaching to any one idea. Watch the fire, how does it respond to your thoughts? How do you feel as the fire shifts with a passing thought? Let it speak to you.

 

-As you get more comfortable asking and receiving, relax deeper into the fire and clear your wandering mind. Be open to receive any messages the fire has to give you. Notice images, colors, or changes in the flames. As messages come to you, feel free to write them down so you can release the idea and allow another into your awareness.

 

-Take a deep breath and let the inspirations float back to you and by the fire light, start sorting, shifting and integrating. Free write or daydream, pulling these messages into your awareness. Take a piece of paper and write the most important messages from the flames. Did you discover a block, a new direction, something that no longer serves, or an inspiring message? Write it down, being clear what you wish to change, bring in or release (remember words have power!), and bring it to your heart. Give gratitude to the flames for facilitating this insight. As you gift the paper to the fire, say “Thank you, thank you, thank you. As it is written, so mote it be.”

 

-Close your circle, sit back and enjoy the fire.

***

About the Author:

Becky Coates is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Tarot reader located in Manchester, CT. Visit beckycoatesmassage.com for more information. 

MagickalArts

December, 2015

To Join (or Not to Join) A Magickal Group

This is an article I wrote many years ago and I’ve decided to share it in this month’s column. As the community and spiritual paths of pagan practice become increasingly more available, so too are the opportunities to become intimately a part of that expanding community. What that participation looks like and how in depth are multi-faceted. It is particularly timely for me since I have been in process of Hiving and forming a new coven within our Tradition, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. And, so in this spirit I pose the question that should be explored before committing to any one path of spiritual community.

The choice to remain a solitary practitioner or join a magickal group, coven or lodge is a very personal matter. Both offer benefits and detriments. Even if you consider yourself to be a solitary practitioner, there will be celebrations and stages in your development that will generate a desire to share, commune and connect. Similarly, those who choose to join a group will have specific times in their path of journey where they may wish to celebrate and/or practice in private; leaving group work behind.
Solitary Practice

Many pagans choose to walk a Solitary path. In former years this could be a very lonely, albeit a fulfilling one. We are fortunate to be on the Path at this particular time as there are many festivals and open events that both solitary and group affiliated members can attend. Meet-up Groups that have a pagan flavor are in abundance throughout the United States and the opportunity to interact without the deeper commitment of joining any organization has never been more accessible.
For some, group work and the structure needed to have things run smoothly is too restricting and limiting. For others, jobs, lifestyles or family obligations prevent the individual from attending group functions (there is usually a minimum requirement of events throughout the year that a group member would be expected to attend, unless there are emergencies), and this creates stress for both the group and the member. If a ritual at 2:00am is all you can easily fit into your schedule, most groups will not be accommodating to that and the pressures of having to fulfill attendance obligations can often sour the group experience.
Those who work as solitary practitioners often develop a very creative outlook that is largely self-directed. This is primarily because everything they do ritually or devotionally is generally self-generated and created and therefore they become quite adept at improvising. Working alone also guarantees that everything will be done at your own pace, in your own way and ultimately makes you solely responsible for your own experience, success and failures. Many prefer this freedom to connect to their spirituality by creating their own traditions and ways of offering up devotion to those deity and spiritual beings they commune with.
Group Work

Depending on the Tradition you are interested in joining there will generally be a specific length of time and protocol specified to facilitate the orientation process. Within our coven and Tradition we require at minimum a six-month “getting to know you” period where the prospective dedicant (newly dedicated member) attends open events and interacts with the other members of the coven and Tradition. Other groups accept members immediately and are less structured in their process of fully integrating you into the group and/or specific Tradition and still others have a lengthy process of education and training and when and if you are felt to be an acceptable candidate you are then invited to join as a member of the group.
Working within a group provides opportunity for direct sharing, access to those who are more experienced than you and the feeling of an energetic community and bonds to those who are your spiritual family. You will also have greater opportunity to network and meet others if the group you select holds open or sister events in collaboration with others in the Tradition, Coven or Lodge. Ritual work becomes a group effort in which you are able to be simply the participant and are able to open yourself in a deeper way since you are not the sole person responsible for the workings at hand. It provides the ability to see how others structure their practice and exchange ideas and suggestions about different approaches and subtleties. Now, of course, these are all things a solitary practitioner can experience in an open ritual; but the depth and openness that is shared between those within a group often occurs at those times when you are setting up or preparing for ritual before guests arrive or sitting in a group- only social event.
Some considerations you should have as you decide on what group is the best fit:
The group you select to petition for membership should offer a stable and fair structure of spiritual progress with resources to further and enhance your personal growth. Working within the group should feel like a spiritual family and these should be people that you trust to see you at your best and your worst. The energetic connection that you weave with this group of people will strengthen and build as you continue to work together and it is a very intimate relationship that requires respect between all of membership.
You should never feel pressured to do anything that you do not consider to be safe or is coercive in nature. Unfortunately, not all groups are ethical in their actions and offer up empty promises of the gifting of great powers and knowledge of the mysteries in exchange for sexual, monetary or other favors. Some traditions do work skyclad (naked) and perform sex magick as part of their magickal rites, but do so with the consent of all concerned and are up front from the very beginning, ensuring that everyone is on board. Bottom line is- if it doesn’t feel right to you and is not in accord with your beliefs you will probably not make much spiritual headway.
The leadership of the group should be people who live by example those teachings that they have been entrusted to pass along. There should be a comfortable exchange between leadership and membership such that any discord, or misunderstandings can be discussed and resolved in an ethical, intelligent and mature manner. Respect is key here, on both sides.  Respect that leadership has the best interest of the group, Tradition and its members always in sight. And, respect that membership will be supportive and helpful in maintaining a positive working environment and good intent for those they work with.
There should be encouragement of all members within the group to excel and progress in their magickal studies at a pace that will provide challenge but also allow for life events to take priority as needed. And, although healthy and constructive criticism is a great motivator there should never be an ill-intended push or encouragement towards unhealthy competition for recognition, roles or initiations among members. There will be many times when you will feel challenged unjustly and perhaps even feel as though you are not progressing in the way or at the speed at which you feel you should. A good barometer is to step back from the situation for a moment and ask yourself if you are just annoyed at the inconvenience or is there something truly and viably wrong.
It has been my experience that frequently the people who are meant to become members of our group, find their way to us through a synchronistic moment. They happen to be in the right place at the right time, find our website and decide to come to an open event or become interested through a friend who is already a member. Don’t be afraid to be selective. Take the time that you need to make an informed decision and never allow yourself to be pressured into joining a group. If a group is that desperate for new members, there are most likely other areas in which they will exert or force their will on the existing members- the number one “no-no” in pagan philosophy and ethics.

The bottom line is that if the group is a viable and healthy one, they will want to take their time in getting to know more about the potential members who come knocking on their door, and if the fit is right there is no need to hurry matters.  Neither your nor their interest in having you join them will diminish or lessen. If it does, perhaps it was not the place for you after all. The commitment to a group should be entered with the thought that this will be a place of working and growing for several years. There is no short track to magickal mastery and those who frequently leave and join groups, as well as groups who have a fast moving revolving door usually do not stand the test of time and longevity.

A Timely Choice

Just as all of life’s experiences change and flow as you change and grow in years and time, the decision to remain solitary or join a group will follow its own meandering course as well. Many start as Solitary workers; come to a crossroads where the progress they require includes working with others in a committed way, and when the lessons are integrated go back to Solitary practice. This is the nature of all spiritual growth regardless of tradition.
The start of your journey is begun of your own accord and decisions about how and in which direction it moves are formulated by you and you alone. As you move along the path of your making there will come a point in the road where the need to offer the mysteries learned in a broader and more communal sense rises to the surface. The yearning to share and exchange this wisdom with like-minded people and the security of feeling that you are part of something larger than yourself is the gentle rise of the hill ahead that offers no glimpse of what lay on the other side. You reach the summit of this path and begin the process of gathering to yourself all of the outer influences, interactions, joys and sorrows you have experienced. You take in new sights from this higher vantage point. These spread out before you in panoramic view. And, as the choices blur and thin in detail in the vastness of what can be, you look around and see that you have returned to the space of standing alone and quiet in your inner sanctum; new choices ahead and new paths to walk. And, so the cycle begins anew.
It doesn’t really matter whether you choose to join a group or remain a solitary practitioner. The important thing is that you continue your practice. That you seek out the resources you are guided to when and where you are led. And, when the time is right, you gather with like- minded individuals as one in celebration of the Pagan Path.
Blessings on your journey!

Rayne’s Ritual Way

November, 2011

Ritual:  Solitary vs. Group

It is important to find balance in our lives, and in our practice. It doesn’t really matter what sect or tradition you come from there will be times when you will have to do a working alone, and times when you can work within a group. Both experiences are very different experiences that advise everyone to partake in. Coming from a small (VERY) small eastern Texas town I found it very difficult to find like-minded individuals that were actually serious about Witchcraft. Wicca and Witchcraft, both, have been very integral parts of my life, and I always found it extremely disheartening to meet a new Witch and listen to the complete asinine misconceptions I have fought for years to break free of projected into the universe.

So for a very large part of my life I worked as solitary Witch holding private workings, rituals, spells, Sabbat and Esbat rituals alone. Though lonely at times it offers a sense of freedom, you’re the only person there; I’ve learned that you truly get a larger understanding and reverence for your practice if you discover it alone. Unlike some of the Abrahamic religions as a Witch most of us don’t have a dogma telling us how to behave. Thusly, the beauty and sometimes agony of being a Witch presents itself. I suppose one of the biggest pros to me about working solitary is you are utterly free. It is only you, your spirit, and the Goddess and God.

Interestingly enough I prayed that the Goddess would send someone to me that would be serious about their faith, and their practice. That’s when I met my best friend Aaron. Now we were only two people mind you, but the determination and energy that two connected people set on a common goal can create is phenomenal! And that’s really when I first started experiencing work within a group. Though working within a group can present a lot of very interesting complications. For instance Aaron, and I were doing a Beltane a year ago, we had really just started the circle was cast, and we were in the middle of invoking the quarters. Being that I am more of a fire and air person I always invoke the East, and The south, Aaron takes the West and North. So there I was at the Southern point of the circle eyes closed, hands embracing the sky, and patiently waiting for Aaron to start his part of the invocation. And I wait… Finally after a minute or two of silence I turn around to find Aaron doing some other miscellaneous thing around the altar. Now I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem before, but I was a little perplexed. I asked him why he didn’t invoke the elements after I did, and he responded “I’m not really in a vocal mood today. So I invoked them in my mind.” This presented a type of problem for me. Because I am a very vocal person even when my rituals are solitary do I rarely not speak. And I didn’t want to disrespect my best friend by telling him to do it again out loud, and so I closed my eyes and said a few words, to remedy the emptiness I felt from the other two elements. So it comes to the invocation of Deity. Aaron usually does the Goddess, and I invoke the God, and we both invoke Spirit to watch over our circle. Again eyes closed, hands in the air, waiting for him to start, and he never does. I didn’t really know what to do. It was the first time in our Magical relationship together that I had a problem with something he did in our circle. So I close my eyes again do a small invocation to the Goddess and carry on to invoke the God. Moral of the story: I would say very consistently Pagans can be VERY different people, we all have our preferences on how we like things done, and most of us are open to change and exploration. And later after the ritual we talked and I explained why I had a problem with it, and from that moment on everything has been fine. I’m not at a University here in Texas, and an active member of the Pagan Student Fellowship. We have group meetings every Tuesday, host Sabbat, and Esbat rituals, and help each other out with different workings. It is absolutely AMAZING. The beautiful thing about groups are that everyone there sees Divinity in a different way, and from that difference comes changes to our own perception of Magic. I’ve learned things from my Pagan friends that I’ve never thought of, ways to do ritual that I had never pondered.

So I implore you if you ever get the chance attend a group ritual test it out see if you like it. But you don’t really know what you’re missing until you try it.