occult

Notes from the Apothecary

March, 2019

Notes from the Apothecary: Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is the name for six types of hazel-like flowering tree or shrub. Four are native to North America, with hamamelis virginiana being the most commonly used. The hazel part of the name refers primarily to the leaves, which are very similar to those of the Hazel. The ‘witch’ part isn’t as magical as we might hope, sadly. It comes from the Old English word wice which means bendy or pliant, and presumably refers to the twigs.

The Kitchen Garden

Witch hazel is grown either as a decorative plant or for its medicinal qualities. It has strange, curling yellow to orange flowers which brighten up the winter and early spring. You might notice that flowers will appear while fruits are still present on the tree from the previous season, something that can also occur with fruit trees such as apple.

The medicinal witch hazel is generally made from the bark or leaves of the tree. If you have a small shrub in your garden, it’s better to use the leaves if appropriate. Stripping the bark off a garden shrub is likely to kill it. Witch hazel can grow into a fifteen-foot high tree though at which point asking permission for a little of the bark is probably okay.

The Apothecary

Witch hazel has a position of pride as one of the only complementary herbal remedies that also has some FDA approval, although retailers and manufacturers have to be careful about the claims they make about its effectiveness. Witch hazel contains flavonoids, tannins and a volatile oil with astringent actions: it pulls flesh back together (somewhat) to stop bleeding. This is why it’s so good for cuts and grazes.

Witch hazel is probably one of the first natural remedies I remember being given, with the possible exception of placing a dock leaf over a nettle sting. My parents would soak a cotton wool ball in witch hazel water and place it over bruises, scraped knees; whatever the injury of the day was. Later in life, my friend recommended it for ‘down there’ after my first child arrived, to help with the healing of the wounds. Some in a maternity pad seemed to help, and was certainly soothing, if nothing else. Obviously, always check with a doctor before self-administering any medication.

Native Americans have had a multitude of uses for witch hazel. The Potawatomi steamed the twigs during a sweat lodge to ease muscle aches. The Osage used the bark for sores on the skin. The Iroquoi made a tea which they used to ease the symptoms of dysentery, which makes sense when you think about the high amount of tannin in the plant.

It’s also been used as a treatment for piles, with some treatments involving injecting the herbal tincture into the affected area. Don’t try this at home!

The Witch’s Kitchen

There’s some delightful folklore associated with witch hazel. It’s worth being cautious that any folklore you find isn’t actually referring to standard Hazel though. This is of particular note with European folklore, as hazel is associated with wisdom and magic, but it’s not witch hazel, as witch hazel is native to North America and didn’t arrive in Europe until probably the 18th century.

Witch hazel twigs have been used for divination, again, like the common hazel. They are used for finding water or treasure, and as such, have a place in any magical ritual or spell to do with finding things.

Witch hazel is also used as a catalyst for magic, to increase occult powers or a connection to the other-worldly. It’s also associated with protection from evil and negativity, and for mending hurts as well inside spirit and soul as well as the bumps and scrapes it heal outside the body.

Home and Hearth

Witch hazel is a folk remedy for snake bites, and a modern remedy for insect bites. As such, it can be said to ‘take the sting out of things.’ Take this literal meaning and make it metaphysical, and use the plant to take the sting out of something that is bothering you or causing you heartache.

If you are lucky enough to have access to the flowers, place some on your altar or in your sacred space. If you can’t get flowers, use some store-bought witch hazel. Dap some on your palms (patch test if you have never used it on your skin before, allergic reactions aren’t fun!) and adopt a meditative pose with palms reaching towards the sky. Visualise the witch hazel soaking into your skin, coursing through your veins, gripping the source of your agony and carrying it to your lungs.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, if you are able. Then breath out the hurt, breathe it all out. Imagine the witch hazel in your system like a friendly cleaner, taking all the toxic self-doubt, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depositing those feelings in your lungs aaah, a physical mist you can simply breathe out. You can use a candle or artificial light to help focus your mind, or you can simply close your eyes and let the power of your imagination connect you to the healing power of the witch hazel.

I Never Knew…

Due to its astringent properties, witch hazel can be used as a skin toner, closing up pores and making the face seem smoother.

Images credits: Hamamelis Virginiana, public domain, and Hamamelis Virginiana flowers by H. Zell, copyright 2009 and shared under this license.

***

About the Author:

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

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

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Welcome

January, 2019

Happy New Year!!!

In This Issue, We’d Like to Help You Plan Out Your New Year With Helpful Features. Check Out Our Review of Coloring Book of Shadows Planner for A Magickal 2019 by Ami Cesari.

Wreathing the Wheel Teaches Tarot Journaling for the New Year.

We Review Two New Beautiful Calendars.

And Why Not Start the Year Off Right With a New Column – Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns. To Help on Planning Your BOS!

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FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+ Community, Instagram, & YouTube

It takes as much energy to wish as to plan. -Eleanor Roosevelt

The Bad Witch’s Guide

January, 2019

The Bad Witch’s Guide to The Older People”

Or You get Better or You Get Bitter”

There are some people who never seem to get old. Their bodies might age, but something in their eyes and heart has remained or even grown. Then there are people who seem to crave death. Sometimes it is depression. Often untreated, under supported and dealing with the loss of a great deal. I have been the supporter of an older relative dealing exactly with this. Without support and indeed medication these folks become something dark and unpleasant. As The Veil grows thin for a person you start to see what might be beyond for them, a light or a darkness. This is not about religion or faith but an almost physical psychic presence around people near the end. Those near their light glow. There is a peace and beauty.

Then there are the other ones. A presence like black sticky smoke. A smell of something rotten or burnt like old tires or something sickly sweet. It seems to pour from them. I can not tell if it’s their mood, their energy, their internal mean-spiritedness or the manifestation of something else.

Older people are just that, people. They are neither saints or devils, but dealing with someone whom is dark and difficult because they are family is hard work. It is often hard physically, emotional and spiritually.

So how do you live with or be around this polluting force? Toxic parents, and relatives become no less pleasant as they age and some just use their frailties (real or imagined) as weapons to brutalise their children and spouses and grandchildren.

As a child of a toxic parent and one who watched someone become one in their last years of life there is a complex soup of horrible feelings. Guilt, duty, blame, shame, fear and pain.

As a witch I have to change my perspective.

I must squint at the situation sideways and think magickally.

Firstly the mundane. Is this person mentally ill? Are they depressed, grieving or suffering in some other way? Is mental health support possible? Many older folks have still have a lot of shame and misconceptions about mental health. Many have some really ugly or difficult coping strategies. From alcohol and cigarettes, to shutting themselves away, generationally we are in a much better place to understand mental illness today. Some might be struggling with side effects of medications, not knowing that their could be newer better medications or combinations out there. Some might not have been to the doctors at all. Avoiding what they think will be a frightening truth.

Reach out. Find charities and professionals that listen not only to what they say but your input too. It isn’t easy. We had a lot of doctors simply refuse to believe Pop’s had depression. That many of his other issues would have been solved if they treated that first. In the end it was as much that as his vices that killed him.

Of course you can not help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. This is perhaps a hard truth of our own we must face. The other option is also mundane and really tough. Sometimes you have to walk away. For your self, your health, sanity and well being. This might be a break, this also might be an end to the relationship. It is not our job to watch someone destroy themselves.

If neither of these two are applicable (life is complicated and messy) protect and cleanse yourself and space as often as you can. You might want to physically clean it as well as smudge. Adding salt and essences to your wash water can help. Protective wards, charms and crystals help a lot too.

There are a couple of things that can help absorb some of the toxic seep but they are not permanent measures. One is sacrificial house plants. Sounds macabre I know. House plants tend to die in the presence of such people, yet these little heroes can and do take much of this and convert it as best as they can. They don’t have to be fancy, and if you get a few you can rotate them around (increasing their lives for a short time). Ferns are good. One near where they sit, one in their room, one in the loo or near where they spend a lot of time and absorb a lot of yuck. Some quartz pebbles might even make them live longer.

The other is a salt and barely mojo. You can make up a big batch and keep it in a jar and change out and throw away the used one. How often depends on the person.

Once a month or once a week depending on how bad it is. This can go under a mattress, or sofa cushion or even into a pillow.

You Will Need:

Salt, the best kind you can afford.

Barley (pearl barley is fine)

Calendula oil

Parsley (dried)

Per one cup of salt you will need a tablespoon of barley and calendula oil with a teaspoon of parsley. This is the base mixture and you can add other things, like moss or wheat straw (again to absorb the energy).

Say:

Spirit of Salt I call to thee

Draw what is harmful away from me.

Barley keep the Dark away

Bind it here until I wash it away.

No darkness shall harm

With this charm:

Tenebris et non nocebit (And the Darkness Will Not Harm)

Tenebris et non nocebit

Tenebris et non nocebit!

Place in fabric mojo bag as discreetly or not as you like. Under the sofa cushion, or mattress is useful and make sure to empty them regularly. Dispose of the used mixture down an outside drain with plenty of water. Don’t put it in a river, but you could put it in the sea.

This mixture can be used for a circle ward around your home, too.

While none of this deals with the cause of the problem sometimes all we can do is muddle through and keep ourselves safe. In an ideal would this sort of thing wouldn’t need to happen but the world is often not ideal and we need to use our magick to keep us as safe as we can. Toxic relationships are difficult and draining and it can take a long time to heal from them. If a little magick can help you feel strong enough to say “no” when you need to then it has done you a great service.

Welcome

December, 2018

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Cover art: You can find Christmas Winter Faerie by Janna Prosvirina on the etsy shop JannaFairy where it and many others are available as Coloring Pages.

About the artist:

Janna Prosvirina lives in Upper Austria (Europe), in a beautiful area full of turquoise blue lakes, evergreen forests and high mountains. She has been working as a full-time professional artist for the past eight years. Her watercolor paintings have been sold to art collectors and fans all over the world and appeared on a number of products. Since September 2018 Janna has started creating coloring books and pages for adults. Apart from being a traditional artist, Janna is a devoted herbalist, naturopathy enthusiast and a faerie/fantasy model. More of her works can be found at: www.jannafairyart.com and on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/jannafairyart

Janna Prosvirina’s Coloring Pages Freebie!!

As a Winter Solstice Gift, Janna Prosvirina is giving our readers a holiday present of a free coloring page from her downloadable Coloring Book titled Winter Magic. We hope you enjoy coloring in your Winter Magic Witch, to purchase the full Coloring Book Click Here. For your Free Coloring Page Click Here.

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Welcome to the Yule Issue of PaganPagesOrg.  And a Happy Winter Solstice to You All!! We have an Issue Full of Reviews for You this Month on the Best Items for Yule!!

 

The 2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary by Stacey DeMarco is Not Only a Work of Beauty & , But Our Reviewer Thinks “It’s A Great Notebook for Any Pagan…Keep One in Tune with the Seasons, and it Especially Shines for Those New to the Pagan Path.” Come and Read What Else He Has to Say.

 

You Know When You are at a Craft Fair and You Just Find That Oh SOOO Right Booth, Product, Seller? Well it Happened to Me!!! I Met Anna Maria and Her Shop, Hokum Wares.

 

From the History of Altars, & Traveling Altars, to Ideas You have Never Thought of ‘The Witch’s Altar’ Has so Fully Covered the Topic of Altars It is Sure to Give you New Ideas on Creating the Perfect Sacred Spaces in Your Home.

 

Learn About The Queen of the Moon Oracle.  This Beautiful Deck Whose…”Card 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.”


 

Faery Witchcraft, by Storm FaeryWolf, Provides the Reader With an Inside Look at the Workings and Traditions that Evolved From Victor and Cora Anderson’s Feri Tradition and are Known as Faery Witchcraft.

 

 

…And of Course We Have Not Forgotten Your Yule !

(Primitive Witch Hat Tree Topper, “Winter”, by Loren Morris of PrimWitchery on Etsy.)

 

And so much more! Get to reading!!!

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Thank you so much Everyone!!!

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Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ Community, Instagram, & YouTube.

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The things you take for granted someone else is praying for.

 

3 Pagans and a Cat Monthly Feature

December, 2018

 

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

 

***

Each Month… we will share the previous month’s episodes with you from their site to help keep you up-to-date with their impressive podcast. While there, don’t forget to listen to this month’s as well, we wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!

 

November 2018 Podcasts

Episode 24: Embracing Dissonance: Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss the damage they’re still trying to cast off from Christianity, some basic criteria for exploring your pagan options, and how to do the research that brings it all together.

 

 

This Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

Episode 5: Building Your Book – Overview: Car, Gwyn, and Ode launch the Building Your Book series by talking about some historical grimoires, discussing their own magical books, and covering the general principles and contents of a Book of Shadows.

 

Where Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

 

Remember …

You can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation. Every bit helps to keep them going.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Book Review – Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession by Mya Spalter

December, 2018

Book Review

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession

by Mya Spalter

 

 

Inspired by a New York Occult shop of the same name, Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the shop, its wares and the accompanying advice and conversation that might be had when looking to craft a beautiful and meaningful altar space, or create sacred space.

The author, Mya Spalter, uses a very warm approach, telling how she came to work at Enchantments store and then taking you on a journey through the highlights of her learning and experiences in working in a busy occult venue. Even the way in which the book has been arranged feels like a coffee break exchange of information of “what works, and what doesn’t?”, “how’d you do that?” and “can you teach me about that?”, that you would expect from most witchy stores and those who work there.

Part One is aptly entitled Witchy Implements and includes chapters dedicated to altars, correspondences, such as colors, plants, herbs and some of the disciplines that would be included in witchy practice such as astrology, the wheel of the year and more.

Part Two reinforces the necessity for Magical Intention(s) and begins the work of spell crafting, protection and divination, and concludes with a more in-depth approach to astrological uses and the cosmic connection found within what has traditionally been deemed an earth/nature-based practice.

The book is nicely illustrated with interspersed black and white drawings that are whimsical and informative. And, using a style near and dear to my heart, each chapter concludes with “Suggested Reading” and a list of well-respected titles relevant to that chapter’s offerings. I could go on in pointing out sections here and there, but, quite honestly, this is a book to be experienced first hand.

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession is the next best thing to having a good friend who will walk you through the magic, point out the highlights anh solid and usable information, this is the one for you!

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession on Amazon

***

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 on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

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.

Notes from the Apothecary

December, 2018

Notes from the Apothecary: Christmas Cactus

 Oh no, not the C-Word! That’s right, my fellow Pagans, I said it. Christmas. Love it or loathe it, come December the 25th, possible birthday of Dionysus and Mithras (but unlikely to be the birthday of Jesus) the nation, nay, the world goes Christmas mad and we shake our heads. Don’t they know it’s just another solstice celebration? Or at the very most, an adoption of the festivities of Roman Saturnalia? Well, it might surprise you to know that I love Christmas. Yeah, it’s a touch annoying when people deny the Pagan roots, but I’m a sucker for seeing other people happy. And Christmas makes people happy! It also gives its name to some amazing things: Christmas Island, Christmas Jones and of course, the beautiful and exotic Christmas Cactus.

The botanical name is Schlumbergera, chosen by botanist Charles Lemaire (1801-1871) in honour of Frédéric Schlumberger (1823-1893) who was a renowned collector of cacti and succulents.

 

The Kitchen Garden

 Christmas Cacti are generally kept as houseplants as they are native to Brazil and used to this type of climate. In the wild they grow attached to rocks and trees, but they are happy in some well-drained, good quality compost with a bit of grit or sand.

The cacti are normally grown from cuttings and their spikes are barely there, making them resemble a succulent more than a traditional cactus. The leaves are flattish pads and they form chains which eventually erupt into bright and beautiful flowers. They are normally quite happy sharing a large pot with other succulents and cacti as long as it doesn’t become too crowded.

Don’t let them have too much direct sunlight. It can damage the leaves. But too little light, and they may never flower. Many schlumbergera flower in winter, making them a wonderful addition to natural holiday decorations, whatever you celebrate.

 

The Witch’s Kitchen

Cacti in general are associated with fire and the south. They are also associated with the zodiac sign of Aries, but Christmas cactus is specifically associated with Sagittarius. Unsurprisingly this plant is associated with the month of December and the festival of Yule or the Winter Solstice. Christmas cacti make a great altar decoration for any festive period, and ones with pink or red flowers are particularly appropriate for the south of your sacred space.

The association with the zodiac sign of Aries can be expanded to include the god Aries, and Mars, Aries’ Roman Equivalent. This lends the Christmas cactus the power of strength, courage but also of conflict and success in battles.

Sagittarius is another fire sign, but one particularly associated with November and December, the signs time in the zodiac ending around the winter solstice. Sagittarius is the archer, and associated with prophecy and divination. The Christmas cactus, therefore, could be a great tool in meditative divination or prophetic spellwork.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, so the Christmas Cacti could also be a great addition to expansion magic, and lawfully aligned magic.

 

Home and Hearth

Collect the flowers of your Christmas Cacti before they begin to fade. Let them dry; laying them on some paper in an airing cupboard or a sunny windowsill away from damp is good for this. Place the dried and hopefully colourful flowers in a small, clear jar. Either hang the jar on a thong or chain, or keep it in a pocket when you are going into situations where you need a little more courage. This could be confrontations with friends or family that you are nervous about, or perhaps raising a grievance in the workplace. The energy of Mars will walk with you, and the balance of a very hardy plant.

 

I Never Knew…

For those who enjoy growing succulents and cacti, the adorable name for baby succulents is pups!

All images from Wikipedia.

***

About the Author:

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

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

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Review of The Sibyls Oraculum: Oracle of the Black Doves of Africa

September, 2018

 

The Sibyls Oraculum: Oracle of the Black Doves of Africa is an Oracle deck created by cultural anthropologist Tayannah Lee McQuillar, with artwork by multimedia artist Katelan V. Foisy, and published by Destiny , Rochester, Vermont. The Oracle comes in a nice sturdy cardboard container with glossy color images on the front and a bit of information about the Oracle on the back. Inside the box are the 44-card deck and the companion book.

The cards themselves are 3” x 5”; each card is printed in glossy color on both the front and the back. The images on the Oracle cards, appearing to be ancient mosaics, in glossy color are taken from beautiful full-color paintings created by Katelan V. Foisy, is filled with the powerful symbolism found within Libyan mosaics created in the first century BCE. The art on the back of the cards, also in color and glossy, is of a black dove, the namesake of the Oracle, and is color-coded in order to create four subsets for divination interpretation purposes.

The companion book is 6” x 9” and contains 147 pages printed on white paper with an easy-to-read black font, bound in glossy softcover with an image of the Oracle’s black dove on the front cover and four sample card images on the back cover. The companion book begins with a brief history of the African Sibyls, the forgotten source of the sibylline traditions that are the theme of this Oracle, and a brief tutorial on how to use the symbols in the Oracle, as well as a few ethical considerations to keep in mind.

Next is a substantial section describing the structure of the Oracle itself and the system McQuillar created for using the cards. There is a description of the four color-coded divination segments: Core Issue cards (black, representing the spiritual issues connected to the issue), Projection cards (copper, representing mental rationalizations and justifications regarding the issue), Blue Action cards (representing the internal state of mind affecting the issue), and Red Action cards (representing the external response affecting the issue). There is a description of the process suggested for using the Oracle (including examples of how to correctly phrase a question for the Oracle), as well as reading examples, journaling recommendations, and a detailed section on how to make use of the messages received in a reading.

The section on card meanings is information-filled 85 pages long and is divided into Core Issue, Projection, Blue Action and Red Action cards, with most of the card entries consisting of two pages. For each card entry there is a card image, the name of the card in Latin and English, an inscription, a description of the key symbols in the image of the card, religio-mythological associations describing the Deities corresponding to the images and meanings of each card, a detailed commentary, and a divinatory meaning, with the Core Issue cards also having questions for the seeker to consider. At the end of the book are brief bios of the author and artist, a suggested reading list, and a list of books focusing on related interests.

While the cards are both beautiful and powerfully effective, I feel that some of the images could be a bit clearer. I occasionally found myself holding a card under a bright light in order to attempt to see the image more clearly. Also the color differences, black, copper, blue and red, on the back of the cards do not immediately stand out, and I still have difficulty telling the red and copper cards apart.

Even those issues have not discouraged me from working daily with this beautiful Oracle. The companion book is a valuable and well-written resource filled with fascinating information about the African Sybils, the sibylline traditions, and the symbols used in the Oracle, as well as the individual cards and their messages. I have been using these cards to supplement my daily Tarot card throw, and I find that without fail they integrate seamlessly with my Tarot cards. A beginner would be able to use this Oracle with ease, and an experienced reader could use these cards to add depth and texture to a Tarot reading, or as a stand-alone divination tool. The card stock is somewhat flimsy, but not enough to discourage me from using the cards regularly.

In the Sibyls Oraculum, McQuillar has created a valuable tool for addressing the spiritual lessons underlying the experiences of living that pays homage to the long lineage of Sibyls and Oracles of the past, the present, and into the future.

The Sibyls Oraculum: Oracle of the Black Doves of Africa

***

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

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast Monthly Feature

August, 2018

 

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

Each month we will share an episode with you from their back catalog of impressive podcasts & keep you up to date with their up coming month’s featured highlights. We don’t want you to miss a thing!

 

 

This Month’s Podcast from their Backlog

Episode 2: Neo-Paganism and Sexual Abuse

Car, Gwynn, and Ode discuss recent accusations of sexual abuse by ADF founder Isaac Bonewits, as well as dealing with sexual misconduct in the pagan community generally. This episode contains upsetting, potentially triggering content, and listener discretion is advised.

 

August’s Upcoming Podcast Topic Calendar

For August’s list of happenings Click Here.

 

Where Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

 

Remember …

You can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation. Every bit helps to keep them going.

Book Review – Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions by Anastasia Greywolf

August, 2018

Book Review

Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions”

by Anastasia Greywolf

Published by Wellfleet Press

Copyright May 29, 2018

Pages: 256

This book is marketed to “help readers navigate through their amorous adventures,” such as people hoping to “catch that person you’ve been secretly in love with for the past five months” and to help when “an unrequited crush is not getting your subtle hints.”

In her introduction, Anastasia Greywolf, a practicing witch and herbalist and a founding member of the Coven of the Moonbeam Ravine, states, “Whether you want to find ‘the one’ or simply make your pets love each other, get rid of a bad date or set yourself free from a bad energy of a relationship from the past, you’ll find the magic to make it happen in these pages (check the back for a full index of spells). From more than a dozen contributors, they draw from a variety of traditions and spiritualities.”

Some of the magic is traditional while most is modern.

I agree with Greywolf that “of all the mysterious forces in the universe, love may be the most powerful” and “love is hard to control.” I don’t agree that all the incantations, concoctions and charms offered to harness it are necessarily proper. Yes, love spells have been around “forever.” However, if something interferes with a person’s freewill, warning bells go off in my head.

For instance, there is a “Sisterhood Spell for Female Friends” contributed by Susan Adcox. Noting you “can never have too many sisters of the heart,” she offers a spell to make a relationship with a casual friend or acquaintance grow into something more. It involves burning a white candle and saying, “Bound by choice and not by blood, Be for me a sister good. Share the joy, halve the pain,
Our love will ever wax, not wane.”

While it seems harmless, my ethics would keep me from doing it because it’s trying to get someone to be a good sister. Rather, I would find another way to address the situation. If I was shy or too intimidated to approach the person, I would do some magic to bolster my self-confidence and courage. I would also recognize that this woman may not choose to be a close friend for any number of reasons that may very well have nothing to do with me. Not knowing the person well, there could be something about her behavior that would make not being close to her actually be for my highest good and greatest joy.

There is much to consider when doing a spell, and those involving others require the most thought and experience, which is why I caution people not to just pick up a book and follow some instructions without thinking through every detail and possibility.

A traditional spell Greywolf offers is “To Marry Whomever You Choose.” It reads, “To make the person you love want to marry you and ensure a union, the solution is simple. Obtain the heart of a chicken and swallow it whole.”

Other than being extremely squeamish about swallowing a chicken heart whole, I am also extremely squeamish about making a person love me. There are at least half a dozen ways I can see this go sideways.

The same goes for the spell “To Get a Marriage Proposal” contributed by Luna Eternal. Among other steps, it has the reader repeat three times,”With the love that is ours / I call upon this ancient power / Engagement is what I seek / Proposal is what you offer to me / By the power of three times three / As I will it, so mote it be!”

I see this as a form or manipulation. I also recognize my bias comes from how I practice and I acknowledge not everyone walks the same path the same way.

Spells can be found in the book that do not reach into someone else’s space. The “Pre-wedding Bath,” submitted by Jill Robi, is one of those. It calls for lighting pillar candles on each corner of the bathtub, adding certain essential oils to the water and floating rose petal upon it while envisioning “the best version of your special day, pulling positive energy into yourself, and projecting that into the universe.”

Robi’s “Wedding Sachet,” and Greywolf’s spells “To Cure Pre-Wedding Jitters” and “For Bandaging Past Wounds” are but three more examples.

I appreciated that along with steps to take “For Courage to Break Up With Your Lover,” contributor Aoife Witt wrote, “Important note: Most of us dread breaking up with a significant other. If the reason you are nervous about initiating a breakup is because your significant other may become violent, you may do this spell but please do not rely on it. Go to a safe place, and call the proper authorities.”

Among the more interesting spells I found in the book was this one to love yourself.

 

The Narcissa”

by Hollen Pockets

This is a spell to fall in love with yourself. Perform in times of need.

Take a rock and break your mirrors. You don’t need them right now.

Keep the rock and break your scales.
Take some scissors and snip your measuring tape. Keep the scissors and cut your hair, no mirrors needed. Speak the words: It doesn’t matter. It will grow.

Go for a long walk or get out of the house in whatever way you can. Use your body. Count the beats of your great heart.

Find a reflective pool. If needed, fill your favorite bathtub and look into that.

Speak the words: I have all I need.

Smile at your reflection, blurry and imperfect in the reflecting water. Smile and smile and smile.

 

For readers who want to craft their own spells, or modify one from “Love Magic,” the lists of colors, stones, herbs, essential oils and flowers found at the back of the book are helpful. There is also a section on love omens – from apples to wishbones – along with the meaning of various birds, a list of lucky days, and information about how each phase of the moon relates to love magic.

As with everything in life, it is wise to take what you need and leave the rest. I hope you will do so with this book as well as all others that show up on your path.

Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions

 

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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.

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