spritual

Book Review – The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magical Ingredients and Spells by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

September, 2017

The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magical Ingredients and Spells”

 

 

by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

Published by Sterling Ethos

Published: 2017

Pages: 305

 

Rituals, History, aromatherapy, crystals, candle magic, spiritual alchemy, potions, tinctures, herbs and recipes are just some of the topics covered in this hardcover book that’s approximately six inches by six and a half inches. It’s an inch thick and just feels good to hold.

 

As a “Wiccapedia,” it covers all the topics you need to know, and then offers lists for additional reading and reference materials.

 

The section on herbal folklore includes information about botanicals for health and healing, and passes along an old but potent charm. The chapter on aromatherapy explains how to use essential oils both for health and in magick, offering dozens of recipes. In presenting crystals, their properties are explained, along with instructions for using them to make waters for balancing chakras, and for relief from everything from asthma to stress.

 

Practical magick covers spells for mind, body and spirit. There’s a housecleaning incense spell, a healing poppet spell, money spells, and spells for protection and for love. Twenty-three pages focus on candle magic while forty-seven pages are dedicated to teas, tinctures and tonics for health and magick. A chapter offers ways to cook up some magick – literally – with recipes for soup, bread, Yule shortbread cookies, Imbolc cake and more.

 

The book introduces readers to a variety of tools and topics, helping them make their own magick, and it makes a reliable reference source as well.

 

Shane Robbins is a psychic and a paranormal researcher whose grandparents immigrated from Russia and Hungary with bottles of botanicals and the knowledge of herbal healing. Her grandmother’s tea cured the polio she contracted from one of Salk’s first vaccines. That changed her life, and set her on a course to teach holistic medicine and healing. Robbins put her research and extensive knowledge into this book.

 

Charity Bedell has been practicing witchcraft for seventeen years – a journey that began when she was given a copy of Silver Ravenwolf’s “Teen Witch” on her thirteenth birthday. Her witchcraft now is wild and free, incorporating shamanic techniques, prayer, meditation, trance work and offerings to connect to the spirits of the land. Bedell is committed to the Temple of Witchcraft traditions. A lifetime of herbalism and alternative healing practices also stretch back to her youth.

 

Each woman has written other books before this. Coming together, their aim was to inspire and empower readers, giving them a vast collection of information. The new as well as the seasoned witch will find knowledge of value. My copy has the corners of several pages turned down.

 

 

 

 

***

 

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.

 

 

Hally’s Hints

March, 2012

Enable Ego to Assist in Ascension

The passing judgment of others seems to be on the rise; but is it? There have been some significant shifts of late that are forcing the energetic vibration to choose. Like the metaphysical baseball bat to the head, it is forcing a decision to be made and a direction to be chosen. Some have chosen a lower vibration, or in other words to remain with status quo whilst others have opened themselves to the higher vibration.

This has been discussed over the last couple of articles and I wanted to look at this more specifically so you, yourself can identify who is doing what in your environment. Notice the impact this is having on you and the choices you can make to assist your own ascension, or what I call evolution.

In the past week the shift forced ego to come out and participate more obviously than in previous shifts. The week commenced with an air of negativity, heaviness and some choosing to go into the defensive, better termed ego. Whilst the negativity seemed directed, it was actually reflected of each individual.

As the week continued the heaviness remained however, the shift was so intense that each session, each conversation was taken to such an in-depth level allowing for greater growth, greater healing than previously. A beautiful process and yet, slightly draining due to the surrounding energies sitting within the state of ego.

At the end of the week, the rain came. This helped to appease some of this intensity; though it was not enough to remove the lingering energies.

Did you choose to go to ego or did you remain aligned to yourself? Did you feel negative, agitated, frustrated or more sensitive than usual?

Not all shifts are noticeable however, with the alignment of the Age, the ending of a long ascension period the energies are feeling compounded, pushed and eager to get to their destination.

Coming into ego does not need to be negative or relate to being overly critical of others, as it seems to be occurring with many. Ego in its true form is a lot simpler than this. It was never intended to rule or be the leader within. It was always meant to complement the other aspects within Self.

When ego is aligned properly, providing pure intent and delivering its true purpose, it is not about judgment of Self or others, it allows for this beautiful joining of the unconscious and conscious to becoming noticed within. Instead of having the attitude of “looking good” for others or “being better” than someone else, ego actually becomes “I feel good being me” or “I look good being me.”

A big difference to being disconnected from Self, isn’t it?

There are no limitations to ascension or the extent of increasing the energetic vibration. This is solely determined by the openness and awareness of the individual. Equally is the opposite of remaining in a static vibration which causes a decrease, thus becoming a lowering in the vibration.

Ego is an aspect of Self that is integral in this specific journey and the more that it works with each individual the more that can be gained as evolution towards the overall purpose is fulfilled.

As the shifts occur and the push increases towards the inevitable choose how your ego is to work with you.

The more aligned the more aware; the more aware the greater the ascension; the greater the ascension the greater the purpose to the journey.

For more information on Spiritualism, Ego and its Purpose: http://www.creativebalance.com.au/7-common-mistakes-in-spiritualism/

Role of a Mentor

October, 2009

Spiritual art

“In the beginning God created man, then man returned the favor,” states a witty quip. To me, that conjures up images of all types of art of a spiritual nature. Humanity has been making depictions of gods and goddesses as well as magickal beings for untold thousands of years. Few religions, notably Judaism and Islam, forbid such art. Sometimes the practice has been denounced as idolatry, but it has been found in an amazing variety of cultures, belief systems, locations and time periods.

Perhaps the oldest such depiction is the Venus of Willendorf, carved about 25,000 years ago and discovered in 1908 in Austria. This statuette is only about 4 1/2 inches high, depicting a curvy nude woman with her arms resting on her breasts, an elaborate hairstyle, but no face. While it is popular among Pagans to claim that she is a fertility or mother goddess, we can’t be certain what she represents. She could have been an important lady in the local tribe, a fertility charm or simply a depiction of feminine beauty, possibly exaggerated by psychological effects of the then occurring ice age.  (1) (2)

A common thread running thru such art is that it reflects the society in which it was created. Images, whether drawn, painted, or sculpted reflect the appearance and behavior of the society in which they were produced. There is an African American church in my town of Anderson, IN which has two paintings facing each other in the narthex. One is The Last Supper and the other depicts Jesus body being taken down from the cross. Every person in both of these beautiful paintings is African, even Jesus. Who is to say that these are any less valid as spiritual art even though we know historically that the people there were olive skinned Jews? The members of this church see people in the paintings who look like them. However, I saw a painting of the Nativity somewhere online in which the village of Bethlehem appears to be in renaissance Italy, so the effect can also look illogical to those outside the society.

In a similar vein, Buddas produced in the Orient generally have East Asian features while those produced in India are quite different. Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as The Budda, was born on the outskirts of ancient India, but the great majority of Buddhists live in China and neighboring countries. From what we know of The Budda’s appearance, few statues of him could be historically accurate but again that does not make them any less valid as spiritual art. Even among those which depict East Asian racial features, there are variations, with some being jolly and having big bellies, some serene and muscular, and others intent and lean. I know The Budda never claimed to be a deity, but the multitude of art depicting him provides excellent examples of spiritual art imitating the maker.  (3)

Christianity has produced a huge amount of spiritual art as well as some markedly differing viewpoints. There are a multitude of images of Jesus Christ, which are remarkably similar considering that there is no firsthand description of his appearance. Some say that artists were inspired by the image on the Shroud of Turin, but considering that scientific dating places the age over a thousand years too late to be the burial cloth of Christ, it appears that it too is spiritual art. Another popular theme is the Madonna and Child, which some say was inspired by images of Isis suckling Horus in Egypt. (4) The Catholic Church made great use of imagery in statues, paintings, stained glass and other items for use in churches, schools, abbeys and homes. The Reformation changed the use of these images among the new Protestant churches. While they tended to be plainer than their Catholic counterparts, there were differences of opinion regarding images. Some, like Martin Luther, saw them as an aid to teaching and devotion as long as the church did not spend too much money on them (5), while others like Huldrych Zwingli, one of the of the founders of the Reformed churches, feared idolatry and frowned upon their use. Even today, Lutheran churches will have depictions of Jesus, angels and saints in the sanctuary while Presbyterian churches can have them anywhere in the building except the sanctuary. The Orthodox churches developed their own style of spiritual imagery known as iconography. There are monasteries which produce icons for sale with this being not only a spiritual and artistic endeavor for the monks but a source of income.

When looking at spiritual art, notice the information related to the viewer.  We can learn about the deity or being  by noticing racial features, costuming, animal familiars, props or background scenes.  As I explained earlier, humans portray the gods as similar to themselves, so ethnicity is the first clue to understanding the image.  Costuming is not only a reflection of the culture, but also the time period and the role of the subject.  A god(dess) of war will of course be dressed far differently than one of agriculture or magick.  Those who have animals associated with them are often depicted with those familiars such as Athena with Her owl or the Morrighan with Her raven.  What would a depiction of Neptune/Poseidon be without His trident, Cerridwen without Her cauldron or Themis without Her scales?  While we take it for granted that Pan is in the forest, Freya is in Her chariot and Hectate is at the crossroads; these all relate important aspects of the legends.  The next time you see a depiction of a deity or magickal being, study the art for clues and see how much it can teach you before doing your normal research.

art can bring people together to discuss it, share their art, help aspiring artists to improve and share stories on how art relates to their spiritual beliefs.  I had the opportunity several years ago to participate in an online group sponsored by fantasy artist Jessica Galbreth.  Since I had raised the question as to the spiritual aspects of fantasy art, she asked me to be the moderator of the spirituality lounge section of the forum.  We had discussions in this section in which Pagans, Christians, Christian witches and those who identified as “spiritual not religious” offered their various viewpoints in an atmosphere of mutual respect.  The two most memorable discussions were in regards to religious affiliation and art and the identity of a woman in the Sistene Chapel paintings.  Jessica Galbreth said that at one time she issued her angel virtues prints under a different name as she was tired of accusations that she was being inconsistent by painting angels as well as goddesses and fairies.  There were Christian artists who thought it was funny when people at art shows assumed they were Pagan because they painted or drew fantasy themes.  If you look carefully at a panel in the Sistene Chapel where God is reaching out to touch Adam, you can see a woman who is clearly not an angel to the right of God on the same cloud. (6)  After reading a theory in a book by A J Drew claiming that she is the Goddess, I shared this on the forum and stared a discussion.  There were those who supported the theory but wondered why the woman appeared passive, those who felt that she was Eve waiting to be created and those who were baffled.  After the discussion, I came to the conclusion that she was Eve because of a lack of evidence that Michaelangelo believed in the Goddess, and the woman in the creation of Eve panel looks like she could be the same model. (7)

Many people feel inspiration from spiritual art they have in their homes. I have seen depictions of the Last Supper, Jesus, Virgin Mary and similar themes in Christian homes as well as gods, goddesses, witches and magickal beings in Pagan homes and occasionally spiritual art as tattoos.  Most altars I have seen also have a representation of the Lady and Lord as well as specific deities and sometimes fairies or dragons.  art is an expression of spirituality in its display as well as its creation and a way for us to learn about the gods and magickal beings.

(1) “Venus of Willendorf Still Hot at Ripe Old Age of 25,000”
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ia_B_oHLvu53AZybMFKi49md3tiw

(2) “Venus of Willendorf: Exaggerated Beauty”

http://www.pbs.org/howartmadetheworld/episodes/human/venus/

(3)  “The Life of Buddha in Legend and art”

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/gautambuddha.htm

(4) “Ancient Egypt: The Mythology, Isis” http://www.egyptianmyths.net/isis.htm

(5) “Martin Luther and the Visual Culture of the Reformation”

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/church_history/35718/1

(6) Vatican Museums: Creation of Adam

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/x-Schede/CSNs/CSNs_V_StCentr_06_big.html

(7) A Visit to the Sistene Chapel: Creation of Eve

http://www.wga.hu/tours/sistina/index3.html