to do

Finding Your Own Way

February, 2019

Chapter 9

Candle Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sit at a comfortable distance from the candle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine yourself drawn through the flame into the higher worlds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candle Magic – Colour Magic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barefoot Angel

You are my light in this dark time,

My one true friend,

My hope of better things to come.

Your laughter is the sparkling bell,

That lifts my failing spirits with its chime,

Making heaven where there once was hell.

You are the sun that makes my shadow tall,

the rock on which I stand

without you, there is no one at all.

You are my life, my day, my night,

each hour, each minute aches for you,

You are the star that makes my evening bright.

You are the shining jewel in the flower.

the full bright moon that lights my darkest hour,

My Princess in her shining tower.

I never thought that I’d know joy again,

until I saw the love in your blue eyes,

and found myself reborn.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

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

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

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

Wreathing the Wheel

December, 2018

As an eclectic witch, one of the most transformative practices that I’ve adopted is the practice of setting intention. At its root, intention is a really basic method of manifestation: make a plan, then execute the plan. But as I’ve explored the idea of intention over time, I’ve come to see a beautiful effect that results from the ongoing process of self-examination. It’s not just the external result of manifesting my dreams, but a reminder to check in with myself and make sure I’m on the right path. After all, if I can’t answer the question, “What’s my intention in doing this?” for any given action I am taking… then why am I even doing it?

It is in the spirit of setting intentions, and thoroughly understanding those intentions, that I started bullet journaling. While I keep a separate grimoire (and have kept other books of shadows), my bullet journal is the place where my magical life intersects with my daily life, and I put some of the spiritual concepts that I’m working with into practice. In this monthly column, I’ll be exploring various methods for working craft into bullet journaling to help track astrological transits, green ally work, Tarot journaling, celebrating the Wheel of the Year, working with associations, artistic exploration, and more.

 

Monthly Spread for December

 

 

I like to illuminate my monthly spreads with images of plants that are associated with the nearest major sabbat, and the season in general. I gravitate towards plants and natural objects that are native to my own area, as a way to bring the outside in. So for December, the plants that I chose to draw in my journal were pine, ivy, and holly. I like to use the information in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of as a jumping-off point to get started with these associations, but it’s good to remember that associations aren’t set in stone, and can easily be changed to accommodate your own hemisphere and biome.

The next thing that I do when building my monthly spread is add the phases of the moon and the full moon’s name. I also record each month’s Tarot card, which I drew in my whole-year reading at the beginning of the year, so that I can reflect on the role that this card plays in my life and how it fits in with other themes and experiences that I’ve encountered during the year. In keeping with the occult tradition of associating moon values with the left side of the body and sun values with the right side, I track the astrological transits of the sun and moon through the month, with the moon transits in the lower-left corner of each day, and the sun in the lower-right corner. This December, the winter solstice falls on the day before the full moon; at the same time, the sun enters Capricorn, and the moon enters Cancer. The darkest night of 2018 will be filled up with the light of the full moon.

I’m calling this column “Wreathing the Wheel” in an effort to remind myself that this project is about more than just to-do lists and chores. Instead, it’s an opportunity for me to acquaint myself intimately with the cycles of nature, immerse myself in intentional thinking, record and study associations, and deepen my divination practices. This is a bit like the process of making a wreath: you find a solid base, and then weave together plant allies, ribbons, and baubles until you’ve got something that looks alright. While I realize that not everyone is as artistically inclined as I am, I would encourage any journaler to embrace the creative side of bullet journaling, not to impress anyone, but as a way to celebrate the passing of time, allow awareness to manifest as creation, and decorate the days that we’re given.

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

June, 2018

Dragonfly

Merry meet.

 

 

With the magic of midsummer comes the magic of dragonflies. Their gossamer wings, narrow body and big eyes make them seem like they come from the Land of Fae I imagined in my youth as being all wee and cute.

I have many memories of lazing on the lake on an inner tube or raft and having one or more landing on me, as if finding an island on their long journey over the water. Some would stay for many minutes. Seeing them reminds me of those warm, long days.

To hold on to that essence of summer and the solstice – as the cold and the dark begin to slowly but steadily creep in – make a dragonfly or two or three.

 

 

Gather dry maple seeds and tiny twig pieces. Stand the stick up in a short container of sand or similar material. Put a dab of hot glue on the seed pod end (I compressed the pod first) and attach to the twig, holding for a few moments until the glue holds. You can then add color with paint or glitter. If I had had beads handy, I would have put two on for eyes.

 

 

If using tacky glue, place the seeds on your work surface with end touching, add a drop the glue and rest the twig on top unit the glue dries.

 

 

Merry part. And merry meet again.

***

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.