November, 2009

In This Issue…

November, 2009

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November Moon Report

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Engineers in Your Ear (E.Y.E.)

payam1

Interview with Payam Nabarz Author of Stellar Magic

Monthly Horoscope

November Monthly horoscope 2009 for Libra and Scorpio (24 August – 22 October)

scorpio


Scorpio’s in the month of November your powers of self expression will continue to be strong. You are exceptionally self confidant. Your WILL be strong. Your health will remain good and it is certain that as always you show your virtues of courage and honor.

sagittarius2


Sagittarians hate selfish and mean actions, you live to help others, but you do not like those who resent persistently ask for favors. Be mindful of violent outbursts.

Monthly Prayer

Turn my thoughts, heart and mind
To the calm, loving and earthly kind
Thoughts that used to bind me tight
Release them out into the night
Stress and worry take hold no more
Let only happiness be in store

author: I’m Skylla, a solitary wiccan from Western Maryland.  I am happily married with one teenage daughter and work full-time in the health industry.  I am a vegetarian, animal activist and feminist.  I graduated with degrees in History and Political Science and am always seeking new experiences and knowledge.  I love reading, researching, debating, computers, writing, crafts & music…and the list goes on and on!!

)0( Nov ’09 Moon Report )0(

November, 2009

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“The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.” -Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman

Full Moon NOV  2 11:14 am*

Full moons occur from fourteen to seventeen-and-a-half days after the new moon. Full moons are prime time for rituals for prophecy, protection, divination. Any workings that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healing for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, full moons aide work for love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money, divination, and dreams. It is said that full moon magic is like a white candle — all purpose.
Full moon magic can be conjured during the 3 days prior to the rise of the full moon, the night of the full moon and during the 3 days after.

Last Quarter NOV  9  7:56 am*

Between the full moon and the dark moon is the period of waning moon. The waning moon is best used for banishing and rejecting those things that influence us in a negative way. Negative emotions, diseases, ailments, and bad habits can all be let go and special spells for clearing can be performed at this time. Saging your home is a great idea during this time.

From three-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half days after the full moon.The waning moon is used for banishing magic, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity.

New Moon NOV 16 11:14 am*

The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also a good time for love and romance, health or job hunting, anything that is for personal growth, healing and blessing of new projects or ventures. The new moon is also a good time to cleanse and consecrate new tools and objects you wish to use during rituals, ceremonies or an up coming festival or something you just obtained. Some people call the new moon the dark moon and the terms are often interchangeably used.

New moon workings can be done from the day of the new moon to three-and-a-half days after.

First Quarter NOV 24  1:39 pm*

The first quarter, called the waxing moon is best used for attraction and constructive magic, love spells, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck, and healing energy.

Between the new and full moon from seven to fourteen days is a period of the waxing moon.

November’s Full Moon

The full moon in November is called many different names throughout the world including: Snow Moon, Dark Moon, Fog Moon, Beaver Moon, Mourning Moon, Blotmonath Moon(sacrifice) Herbistamanoth Moon (harvest) Mad Moon, Moon of Storms, Moon When Deer Shed Antlers.

)0( November Celebrations )0(

There are several moon celebrations throughout November,  among these:

Nov 3 The last day of Isia in Egypt- the rebirth of Osiris.

Nov 6 The birthday of Timat in Babylon

Nov 8 The Fuigo Matsuri, goddess of the Kitchen Range, in Japan, a Shinto festival honoring Inari/Hettsui

Nov 10 Kali Puji in India (in October on some calendars)

Kali

“My child, you need not know much in order to please Me.
Only Love Me dearly.
Speak to me, as you would talk to your mother,
if she had taken you in her arms.”

Nov 9-10 Night of Nicnecin in Scotland

Nov 11 Feast of Einheriar (fallen warriors) Norse (check out Boudicca Andarta‘s Hero article for lots of information on this:  http://paganpages.org/content/tag/heroes/)

Nov 15 The Shichigosan (seven-five-three day) for safety of children of these ages in Japan, in India Children’s day, in Rome, the Feronia.

Nov 16 night of Hecate in Greece (begining at sunset,) This is the night of Hecate’s supper and animals were sacrificed in honor of Her. Festival of Bast in Egypt

Festival of Bast

Herodotus describes the ‘Festival of Bast’ (Bubastis) and, it’s no wonder it was such a popular festival…”When the people are on their way to Bubastis, they go by river, a great number in every boat, men and women together. Some of the women make a noise with rattles, others play flutes all the way, while the rest of the women, and the men, sing and clap their hands. As they travel by river to Bubastis, whenever they come near any other town they bring their boat near the bank; then some of the women do as I have said, while some shout mockery of the women of the town; others dance, and others stand up and lift their skirts. They do this whenever they come alongside any riverside town. But when they have reached Bubastis, they make a festival with great sacrifices, and more wine is drunk at this feast than in the whole year besides. It is customary for men and women (but not children) to assemble there to the number of seven hundred thousand, as the people of the place say.” – Herodotus, Histories Book II Chap 60

Nov 24 Feast of Burning Lamps in Egypt for Isis and Osiris

Nov 27 Day of Parvati-Devi, Triple Goddesses Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Kali

Nov 29-30 Day of Hecate of the Crossroads in Greece, the Dark Moon. Skadi among the Norse, Day of Mawu, African creatress of the universe from chaos.

Day of Hecate of the Crossroads

“Hecate, goddess of the crossroads, hear my cry,
Protect and guard me under your midnight sky.
Hecate Phosphoros ‘she who brings the light,’
Hecate Trevia bless me with your wisdom tonight.” – Written by Ellen Dugan

References:

*John Mosley from the Griffith Observatory and is set to Pacific standard time.

http://www.paganspath.com/magik/moon.htm

http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/exeter/870/moonholidays.html

http://www.new-age.co.uk/moon-dates.htm

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names

Moon Magick by D.J. Conway

The Book of the Moon by Tom Folley

http://www.hecatescauldron.org/The%20Goddess%20Hecate.htm

http://www.crystalinks.com/baste.html

http://hinduism.about.com/od/hindugoddesses/a/makali.htm

Gems of the Goddess

November, 2009

Yemaya – The Great Mother

Yemaya is the Goddess of the Ocean and is also known as the Great Mother and the Mother of All Creation.  She is also the Protector of Children and women, especially pregnant women.    She is the Mother of the Fish and the Goddess of Surrender.  Yemaya is an Orisha, which is one of the Gods of the Yoruba religion, which was brought to America from Africa.  One of the theories is that she traveled from Egypt to Africa and her name changed from Isis to Yemaya.  Yemaya is associated with the river of Ogun, because this river is known to cure infertility.
Yemaya has many other names. Known as the Star of The Sea in Brazil, In Macumba, she is known as Ocean Goddess of the Crescent Moon. In Haiti, she is Agwe. New Orleans women worship her as La Balianne. And, in Cuba she has three names, depending on which part of her personality you wish to speak with: Yemaya Ataramagwa, The Wealthy Queen Of The Sea, this is her stern persona. Yemaya Achabba, violent, and, the overpowering, Yemaya Olokun who is said to only be seen in dreams.

Yemaya is associated with many aspects of the sea – ocean, the moon, stars, conch shells, and the female mysteries.  One of Yemaya’s stories is that her first gift to the mortals was a conch shell so their voices could be heard.  This is attributed to the idea of holding a conch shell to a person’s ear to hear the ocean, which is Yemaya’s voice.

Another story of Yemaya is that she was raped by her son, Orungan.   In order to escape further trauma, she falls and from her burst fourteen Yoruban Gods and Goddesses.   One of the other stories is that after she is raped by her son, she decides to end her life on a mountain peak.  As she dies, she not only gives birth to the fourteen Yoruban Gods and Goddesses but from her uterine waters the oceans of the world were created.   From her bones, the first mortals were created.    This lends to the idea that from tragedy comes great creation and birth to something new.

Yemaya is someone you can work with in the matters of home, fertility, family and love.  She is a mother and represents any issues with children, trying to bear children and mother and/or women issues.  She is also concerned with the Healing of Mother Earth so she can be invoked when doing rituals for healing mother earth.

Let’s Spell it Out

November, 2009

Guardian Statue Household Protector Spell

The Roman festival of Compitalia honored the Lares for their help. The Lares are household hearth deities said to reside with each family as a type of protection. The story began with two children born from a liaison between the god Mercury and a mute Naiad named Laura, whose tongue had been cut out by the god Jupiter. The Lares became widely revered by Romans as house guardians and were depicted as monkeys covered in dog skins with a barking dog at their feet.

Another Roman deity associated with the hearth and fire is the goddess Vesta. She too, became a popular household guardian, depicted as a woman of great beauty holding a lighted torch and a votive bowl. Her mortal attendants were the Vestal Virgins, who were selected for office of guardians of the sacred flame from the age of six for a minimum of 30 years, during which they were expected to maintain a vow of chastity on penalty of live burial. The Vestals dressed in white gowns trimmed in purple and were highly respected members of roman society, enjoying many privileges. During the Vestalia festivals, donkeys were decked with wreaths. Vesta worship was abolished by Emperor Theodosius in 380 AD.

SUPPLIES: Guardian statue (or symbol) to become your household protector, incense, candle, water, salt, wand

First, clean the statue from any dust or dirt. Light the incense; pass the statue through the smoke three times (or if the statue is too large to lift, pass the smoke three times around the statue) and say:

“By the power of Air and incense,

My Lare guardian statue is blessed.”

Light the candle and pass the statue three times through the flame and say:

“By the power of Fire and flame,

My Lare guardian protects me from maim.”

Sprinkle the statue with three drops of water and say:

“By the power of Water and Sea,

Of danger my Lare will warn me.”

Finally, sprinkle your statue with three grains of salt and say:

“By the power of salt and Earth,

My Lare guardian now is birthed!”

Pick up your wand and circle above the top of the statue three times and say:

“By the power of Spirit and light,

Negative entities my Lare will fight.”

Now ask for the blessings from the goddess Vesta. Hold you statue up and say:

“Vesta of the Hearth and Fire

Your blessings now I acquire

Of my Lare Guardian

Let not negativity in.

Beautiful Vesta with Your torch,

Negativity can’t make it past my porch.

Lares and Vesta, please protect me,

As my will, so mote it be!”

Place the guardian statue in a place perfect to keep you property or house protected.

Sexual Magick ***ADULT CONTENT***

November, 2009

***ADULT CONTENT***

Bodily Fluids and Sexual Magick

Well, we have discussed Taboo and Chastity as techniques in one’s Sexual Magick arsenal. Today, we are going to discuss techniques involving Bodily Fluids.

This is also one of the most dangerous arenas for Sexual Magick. WARNING: The most dangerous Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are contracted via Body Fluids. Before engaging in this type of activity, one should be assured that there is no chance of contracting an STD (Laboratory Testing, Monogamy, etc.).

The Reproductive Cycle of Humankind can (and should) be viewed as a Microcosm of the Creative Act of the Universe. An initial dichotomy manifests as two opposites, which through union creates something totally distinct from either source. This union temporarily “destroys” the individuality of both in the “fusing together” of the opposites. This gives a rather unique meaning to the term, the “Big Bang Theory”.

Now, when Humans mate there are fluids that are secreted prior to the consummation of the Sexual Act. These fluids provide lubrication and a very nice pool for our little tadpoles to swim in. Both genders contribute, and in the intermixing of these Body Fluids a medium is Formed, which can lead to a penetration of the ovum by the sperm. In other words, the union of male and female is capable of creating “Life”. How much more Magickal can it get? Well, if this process involving sexual fluids can create life… which is in a sense… a display of ultimate power… then these fluids must truly have unique Magickal properties.

Paschal Beverly Randolph was a Rosicrucian, Sex Magician, Spiritualist, and advocate of equal rights in the 19th Century. He developed an organization called the “Brotherhood of Eulis” where Initiates received formal training in various techniques of Sexual Magick. It was not of a restrictive nature. No chastity in this group! In fact the teaching of the Brotherhood was firmly based in the necessity to bring the female to orgasm (a very untypical view for the 19th Century, and sadly enough in the 21st). The body positions and postures were based on certain Western Esoteric teachings. The most difficult part is the “Concentration” required during the fulfillment of the Sexual Act.

During the mutual Orgasm, both parties were to hold the object of their desire firmly in their mind. The intense Creative energies released during simultaneous Orgasm can effectively dissolve the barriers between Worlds and “Create” a Thoughtform of much potency. This energized Thoughtform is the “Magickal Child” of this Union. This Child is the product of the Sacrifice and Death of the “Old King” (the now flaccid Penis) in his “giving” to the Queen. However, this Potency and Power of the Creative Energies of both parties have now been used to “Animate” (give “Life” to) the Thoughtform created during the Sexual Act. This was also a Theory advocated for the betterment of Society, since Children conceived within such a program were deemed to be most worthy and blessed vessels for Great Souls to manifest themselves in.

The difficult part is maintaining this level of concentration during Orgasm… which is where utilizing a Chant or Mantra comes in very handy. If one trains themselves at chanting or the use of mantras, one can reach a point where the Chant takes on a life of its own. The Chant becomes background music to everything else, and seems to mysteriously play constantly through one’s mind. The Chant no longer requires verbal recitation, it plays on and on, like a line from a TV commercial that is stuck in your head (an insidious use of Black Magick by marketing firms). When this level of Chanting is achieved, one only has to initiate the Chant, and it will be playing in the background, without having to over concentrate and wreck the sensual mood by making everything too mechanical.

Now, this focused energy has created a new form within the combined body fluids (post Orgasm) that are now resting within the Grail. This is now a “Consecrated” substance. It can be used Eucharistically, it can be used to Anoint, or Consecrate tools, papers, spells, talismans, amulets, sacred grounds… the list goes on.

Suffice it to say, this is a very Powerful Substance and it is called by some: the “Elixir of Life”. The further uses of this substance will not be discussed today but will be left to the Creative Genius of the Sexual Magicians experimenting with these techniques.

I finish with a quote from Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Eulis:

“CONCLUSION: THE LYMPHICATION OF LOVE. — I have already herein called attention to the various secretions — normal — of the human pelvic viscera, and named them lochia, exuviæ, semen, Duverneyan lymph, prostatic and Cowperian fluids. I now call attention to another, different from all and far more important than either, and which is the only one common to both sexes alike. I refer to that colorless, viscid, glairy lymph, or exudation which is only present under the most fierce and intense amative passion in either man or woman. This lymph has been noticed by M.D.’s, and regarded as a. vaginal or prostatic secretion, but it is neither. They sought for its point of issuance, but found it not, because, prior to its escape, per vagina and male urethra, it is not a liquid at all; but, the liquid is the resultant of the union of three imponderables, just as common water is the result of the union of two gases and an electric current. Just so is this lymph the union of magnetism, electricity, and nerve-aura, — each rushing from the vital ganglia and fusing in the localities named. When it is present in wedlock’s sacred rite then Power reigns and Love strikes deep root in the soul of the child that then may be begotten. If it is absent, the world is sure to receive a selfish, mean, small, contemptible thing in human shape, — a terror, or stalking crime and pestilence, — a partial man or woman, of little use to him or herself, and none at all to others, the world, or God.”

Blessed Be!

Natural Crafts

November, 2009

Festival time is around once again, and with it comes all the excitement and wonder of browsing the shops, playing games, and finally getting that turkey leg. I can’t help you with getting the turkey, but I can help you save money by offering advice to get those old-fashioned goodies cheap- or even help you on how to make them yourself.

The first piece of advice is to shop wholesale, or find deals on sites like ebay.com or etsy.com. Ebay has pretty much anything you could ever need, and if you see something, you have the option to haggle or bid as low as you think the product is worth. On sites like etsy, you can find supplies to make your own products, such as hand-mulled soap, homemade candles, hair accessories, jewelry, or whatever else you would want to make. And like ebay, you have the option to haggle or buy wholesale through certain shops.

Second, sniff out and pounce on sales- this can be garage sales, thrift stores, or even throw-aways that aren’t wanted. You can find things to build up on, like an awesome shirt that you can use to rip up or add to. By building your supplies or, say, a custom outfit for faire, you are saving money in the long run. Also, by building from the bottom up, you have all the options of customization without paying for something you don’t need- you can simply find someone who can customize it for less if you can’t do it yourself.

Last but not least, do NOT discard any remnants of old materials or scraps, such as melted candle wax, old buttons, ragged shirts, floral bits, etc. Put them aside- there might be a day and time for those remains. You can use the castaways to make something quick and easy that might alter the way something looks or feels. Also, you can use them to barter or trade with people- either for a cash return or for a service or product that they might offer. Remember, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

By doing just these little steps, you save time, money, and effort. In the long run, you might be able to go get that turkey leg- or even two- and not have to worry about spending the money in shops when you can make things yourself, or find them cheaper.

I save money as often as I can, and find new recipes or skills to dabble with. One powder that I make on hot days at faire is great on skin and helps with the heat. I do not remember how I heard about it, or when- but I call it “Faire Days Heat Helper:”

Faire Days Heat Helper

Mix together equal parts of ground cinnamon, powdered         cardamon, and cornstarch. Rub onto skin and leave on as a perfumed powder.

Also, I have an enormous stash of buttons and other oddities. I make quick and easy buttons that go great with dancer outfits or tribal getups. Collect a few buttons- about 7 per ear ring. You also need wire, hemp cord, fishing line- or another type of thread or cord- and ear ring posts.  Depending on the desired look,some jewelry links might prove to be useful. Attach the cord to the ear ring posts, and then attach the buttons to the cord or wire (wire works best) through the button holes. Loop the wire around, which secures these to the cord. Add more buttons to make any desired effect you might want to try. At the end, add a knot or two and then trim the excess. Photos follow, in order, illustrating good materials to work with, and the steps in order to create these ear rings:

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Stay tuned next time to read about how to make your own hair wreath or crown and bath soak that will make you look- and feel- like a million bucks, as well as give a lesson on chakra importance and how it applies to making you look and feel beautiful.

Dispensing the Sacraments

November, 2009

I’ve been happily involved in Paganism for over 30 years and witnessed a lot of rituals in my time.  It was in 1982 that I began studying the subject of ritual making and my book on that subject, The Spell of Making, was published in 1995.  I continue to learn more every day and have had a wonderful time integrating that material into my workshops on ritual construction.  The book is focused on how to build rituals that are powerful and effective but there isn’t a great deal in it about the presentation of those rituals.  That will be what this article will discuss.  So there isn’t any confusion, let me explain why the title of this article is “Dispensing the Sacraments” but I begin by saying the article is about presenting rituals.Wicca (and modern Paganism in general) is classified as a ‘mystery religion.’ That means that we don’t have a book of scripture that delineates the spiritual truth for us.  We don’t require that you adhere to a firm belief system dictated by an ordained priesthood charged with interpreting holy writ.  Instead, we expect and allow each person to find their own spiritual truths and to interpret and apply them as part of their journey through life.  Our faith group believes that each person, no matter their abilities or way of life, will have their own unique experiences and therefore their own distinctive spiritual truths.  This we call ‘the mysteries,’ for they are only known to the one who experiences them.  We can’t teach others our mysteries; we can only provide opportunities for them to experience their own.  Such opportunities, presented in sacred space, are known as sacraments.  To ‘dispense the sacraments’ is to provide an opportunity to directly experience an ineffable connection to the gods. Every sacrament is for that purpose.  Any act or experience that purposely provides an opportunity to make or increase our connection to the Divine is a sacrament.  It is the role of the priesthood to present the sacraments.

Many (but not all) sacraments are produced (or ‘dispensed’) under ritual conditions.  Rituals present them in symbolic form that speaks directly to the unconscious.  And because the unconscious mind is what integrates all the information that comes to us and provides us with a model for understanding our world, this is an excellent place for the sacraments to take hold and work their magic.

There is no guarantee that a sacrament will actually result in greater spiritual understanding for any particular person.  Everyone will respond to them in different ways.  What might be a wondrous and moving experience for one might be no big deal for the person next to them.  And what may have a profound effect on us at one time could leave us feeling nothing at another.  It’s impossible to predict exactly how a sacrament will impact a person; we are all different from one another and even from the person we were yesterday.  To be a good ritual presenter means you must understand that the sacrament is the ritual’s goal and hone your abilities with this in mind.  In doing this work, you will be exposed to the energies of these presentations many more times than those who only attend them once.  So every time you rehearse or present the rituals that are the vehicles for these sacraments, you will have the opportunity to increase your own spiritual truth.  And every time you see the rite work its magic on another, you will have a better perspective on your own mysteries.

There are (at least) three good reasons for becoming a ritual presenter:  The personal spiritual insights that one gains by participating as a sacrament dispenser are enormous.  No words can describe the wonder of being party to this kind of work.  Everyone who actively presents the opportunity for others to become closer to and in greater harmony with the Divine will find themselves growing in spirit as well.  All of the energy you put into the rites you present for others will return to you as incredible beauty that fills your spirit.

Although I won’t bother to explain why here, your magical abilities will also grow.  Many people don’t give enough credit to the fact that all internal growth makes for greater magical ability.  But it’s an indisputable fact that the more ability you gain in being a good ritualist will also manifest in your magic.

True leadership is through service.  When you become part of a group that serves others in your community, you give a boost to your own social standing.  There’s nothing wrong with enjoying that benefit; we all crave positive interaction with others and this is definitely a good way to accomplish it.  Becoming a ritual presenter is a wonderful way to serve your community.  It will also serve you with more rewards than you can imagine.

Presentation of a ritual is much more than learning the words and what prop to wave about while saying them.  The bottom line about being a good ritualist is that you must be a good actor.  That doesn’t mean you must pretend anything; it means you must feel what you act.  If I were to single out the most important thing I’ve learned from my spiritual studies, it would be summed up in one sentence:

How it feels is what it means.

Try this exercise:  Take a page out of a magazine, an advertisement that features a large face shot where the model is looking out at you through the camera.  Pin it up on the wall next to a mirror.  Stand looking at the picture and say (out loud), “I love you.”  Look at your face in the mirror.  Now turn back to the picture and think of what you mean and feel when you say those words to somebody you really do love deeply.  Form in your mind an image of that person’s face as they look at you when you say the words and how they respond.  Wait for just the right moment to say the words, just as you would wait for the right moment with the person you truly love.  When your heart bursts with love, say “I love you” again to that picture on the wall.  Immediately turn and look at yourself in the mirror once more.  Do you see the difference?

That is acting.

Acting isn’t easy; it takes a tremendous amount of personal discipline.  And it takes a great deal of emotional strength.  Stop and think about a movie and how the actors made you believe in their characters, how they made you feel their emotions and the situations they were in.  You knew it was just a movie, just a story, but you got caught up in that story because of the actors and their ability to convince you they were actually living the story.

There is a cliché joke where an actor is told he is to do something quite common or simple (like pick up a coffee cup) and he turns to the director and asks, “What is my motivation?”  While this certainly might seem like overkill, it also could be an important question.  After all, if you pick up a cup to throw it in anger at someone, you would do it differently than if you just wanted to go get some coffee.  A good ritualist must provide an experience for all of the people in attendance that is real and believable.  That is not possible without the ritualist putting themselves in a real state of feeling.

The use of imagination by ritual actors is key to their ability in presenting the sacrament within the ritual.  Each ritualist must draw from within themselves the feelings that are necessary to make what they do and say have real meaning.  When that happens, each ritualist will convey that reality of meaning in every inflection of voice, each tiny change of expression, and every movement of their body.  Just as in our experiment with the picture next to the mirror: your whole demeanor was changed when you could say, “I love you,” to it and feel it.  Anyone watching at that moment would have been able to believe the picture was of somebody you loved deeply.

One of the criticisms I’ve received about my book goes something like this:  “All that structure and planning in making a ritual kills the spontaneity that makes our rites such magical events.”  I fully understand where that is coming from.  And, although I still strongly believe a ritual should be well thought out and scripted, I also know that it is not the scripted words and directions that gives it life; it is the feelings of the people who present it.

If we are to provide real meaning in ritual form, we must produce emotional connections through our presentations.  So, here we are back in acting class: learning how to emote.  Now, “What’s my (e)motivation?” becomes less of a joke and more like an important consideration.  The emotional impact of a ritual is generated by the ritualists, not the script.  That is why spontaneity on circle can produce such wonderful results.  I’m all for spontaneity; I just think that it should have structure behind it.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

When presenting a ritual, making every movement, every word, and every expression into a reality for those attending is the real work.  It requires a great deal of self-discipline on the part of each ritualist as well as ‘the right chemistry’ between all the people presenting the rite. Taking classes on acting and improvisational theater is a very good idea for anyone intending to do this kind of work.  When practicing a ritual, the person in charge should keep a critical eye on the feelings that are generated by the ritual presenters.  More than any other aspect, this will determine the ultimate success of the ritual for those who attend.  There is a vast difference between pretending and acting a part.

Think back to when you were a child and you and your friends played at being somebody other than yourselves.  Most likely you were grownups: parents or workers, soldiers or bank robbers.  In your imagination, you were these characters and not little children.  Dolls, toy figures, even pets became real companions that assisted you in your imaginings.  Your friends played along with the fantasy and everyone got caught up in what was – for that moment – real to you all.  When a friend pointed a finger-gun at you and said, “Bang, bang,” you didn’t have to think about your response; you either fell over or you dodged the bullet and hid behind the bush/rock/car/ asteroid/force-field/ hapless hostage and fired back!  You might have children of your own now and can see this same kind of play-acting done by them.  Isn’t it magical how a child can produce all the necessary reality they need for moments like this?

It most certainly is; that’s real magic!

All it took was imagination and a willingness to suspend disbelief (another way of saying that you temporarily believed).  ‘Play’ is the word we use for this time when our reality is no longer constrained by what our five senses report to us.  It is also the word used for live theater… such as ritual.  When we ‘play,’ we willfully project and receive a reality that surpasses what normally is perceived by us and the people around us.  In other words, to play is to do magic!

Remember what a sacrament is: a means by which a person may make and/or intensify their personal connection to the Divine… however and whatever they might envision that to be.  There is no way to force this connection but there are many ways to increase the chances for people to experience it.  Becoming better at acting is one of them; pretending is never enough.  Taking on the job of the priesthood demands nothing less of us.

The Indigo Child

November, 2009

Well since last we were together there has been several replies, so without further ado let us jump right into it and start answering questions.

Question #1

Blades Kiss wrote:  Do indigo’s seem to suffer from chronic pain illnesses?? I have talked with many many other people who are indigo who have fibro, rsd etc…

Michele: In answer to your question it has been my experience that Indigo’s do suffer from a lot of pain but the origins of this pain comes from a more soulful area of the psyche many times linked to the caring of others burdens whether in this life or past lives.

Blades Kiss wrote: Any suggestions on how else I could help my children or even myself to embrace our gifts better?

Michele: Parenting an Indigo child is one of the most fulfilling things a parent can ever have the opportunity of doing with his or her child. However if you are having problems understanding what is going on then I would suggest that you check out Metagifted.org it is an online group of individuals who deal with Indigo children every day.

Question #2

Krystyna Chandra wrote: I have believed for a couple of years now that I am an indigo adult but have found it difficult to find other indigos or to find counsel on how to deal with my frustrations and utilize my gifts. I have been / am a practicing witch for almost half of my life and even within my spiritual community I have trouble finding guidance. I think I’ve been doing ok since I figured out what my issue was, the first time I read a list of indigo traits I bust into tears because I “Just Knew”. Are there any outlets – books, websites, anything? That you can recommend to aid me on my journey?

Michele: Again like I have said many times before the first thing any indigo adult must do is find someone who knows what they are going through to talk to and the best way to do that is to find a support group such as Metagifted.org.

Question #3

Crone Witch/Joyce wrote: I’m not sure if this falls with being an Indigo… but most of the Witches I know or have known, have been plagued with back/hip/leg pains…to the point (in my case), where it feels as if my hip has been dislocated or broken.. Just hurts to even move. Just makes me wonder what WE deal with, that manifests in our backs, legs and hips… is it from “carrying” others, and if so, how do we go about “putting them down” and letting them carry themselves? Any ideas? And some of my happiest, “lose myself” time is alone in the gardens… I go out to water something that should take just a few minutes, and when I come back into the house, I see that a few HOURS have passed. For this and the pain, and some other reasons I’ll not take space up to go into, here and now, I believe I’m Indigo, at least in some senses… as is my grandson….as was MY grandmother… and the “skipped” generation thing, as to be “inherited” doesn’t apply here, I was adopted at birth. Can Indigo be a product of environment, as well as heredity?

Michele: In answer to your question regarding pain you hit the mail on the head I am of the belief that the pain we Indigo’s carry is from as you said is from the carrying of others. In order to alleviate this pain one needs to focus on the white light of healing with means you have already spoke of (your Garden), when you are in your garden you are putting yourself in tune with nature and are no longer focusing on the pain. Now as for whether or not being Indigo is hereditary or a product of nature (environment) I believe that being blessed with being an Indigo is something we are born with and the reason it looks as if your gift may have came from your environment has nothing to do with your environment per say but more because you were pre-destined to be with your adopted family because of a past life experience in which you where related to your adopted family most likely your adopted grandmother was your mother in a past life.

In closing I hope these answers have and will be of help to each of you and eagerly await answering more reader’s questions next month.

Bountiful Blessings

WiseWoman Traditions

November, 2009

Menopause Naturally

Wise Woman Ways: Pre-menopausal Years

The actual age at which menopausal Change begins varies considerably from woman to woman; the norm is 45, with a normal range of 35 to 55. During these pre-menopausal years, menstrual periods may become noticeably different (closer together, farther apart, scantier, more profuse). Night sweats or hot flashes come, if at all, only occasionally and are usually blamed on too many blankets or a rich meal.

  • Nourish and tonify your entire hormonal system. Menopausal changes occur not only in the ovaries, but also in the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, pineal, and pituitary glands. herbal allies are remarkably safe and effective glandular nourishers.
  • Increase the number and amount of calcium-rich foods you consume. No single effort will repay you more richly. High levels of calcium in the diet protect you from osteoporosis, heart disease, and emotional swings. Green leafy vegetables (herbs and weeds) are exceptional sources of calcium.
  • Maintain regular menses. Non-ovulatory menstrual cycles, common during the pre-menopausal years, lack a progesterone surge. Lack of progesterone contributes enormously to loss of bone mass, and vaginal atrophy. herbal allies can support progesterone production.
  • Find some regular physical activity to fall in love with. Even gentle exercise, done regularly, helps maintain peak bone mass, strengthens the cardiovascular system, and insures deep sleep.
  • Gain up to a pound a year for ten years. Thin women have more hot flashes and an altogether more difficult menopause than heavier women. Fat cells produce estrone, a kind of estrogen. (If you won’t let yourself gain ten pounds, at least stop trying to lose weight. Dieting decreases bone mass and weakens the heart.)
  • Plan your Crone’s Time Away. The initial step of your initiation is isolation. As menopausal Change picks up speed at the end of the pre-menopausal years, many women find themselves desperate to be alone. Planning now can help make it a reality when you need it. Like an extended visit to the moonlodge (a sacred space where menstruating women can be away from daily life), Crone’s Time Away is time when the menopausal woman is freed from all social responsibility and encouraged to tend solely to herself. An extended vacation, sabbatical or Crone’s Year Away is ideal, but you can stay home and still take Crone’s Time Away.

Wise Woman Ways: Menopausal Climax Years


The menopausal climax years include the year or two before and a year or more after your very last menstruation. The average age of a woman in the midst of her Change is 51. But women come to their menopausal climax in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, as well. Some achieve menopause by surgical means, some by way of chemotherapy or radiation, and some just naturally arrive early. (Menopausal climax before the age of 40 is considered “premature.”)

During this 2-5 year climax period, the bones refuse to take in calcium and bone scans will show growing osteoporosis; flashes, flushes, and night sweats may be frequent; palpitations, emotional sensitivity, and sleeplessness are common. Depending on the individual woman and her circumstances, other physical and emotional changes may come with the Change, or she may experience next to nothing.

  • Take time for solitude. Although many women feel enormous satisfaction in tending and nourishing others, as our reproductive years come to a close, it is appropriate to turn away from care-taking. Hot flashes, sleeplessness, moodiness, and the like are easier to recognize as allies of wholeness when you are free to follow your own needs without concern for others. Take one day to be totally by yourself, or a Crone’s Year Away, or anything in between.
  • Experiment with eggs, meat, and butter in your diet. Some women find these foods, especially if from organic sources, decrease menopausal symptoms. Some practitioners insist they increase menopausal distress, especially when from commercial sources.
  • Relax and enjoy your hot flashes. Ride them like waves, feel them in your spine, ski the edges of your flushes, honor the volcanic heat of your core. Like labor pains, hot flashes are the outward sign of metamorphosis. Like labor pains, they are worse when resisted. herbal allies help those with unrelenting flashes relax and enjoy, too.
  • Spend time with a journal. Buy a blank book and write in it, draw in it, paste articles in it. Visions and dreams are particularly vivid and intense in the menopausal climax years; keep your journal handy so you can record them. Your emotional energies are readily available during the menopausal climax years; draw them in your book. Memories abound during these years; cherish them in your journal. Write your autobiography.
  • Plan your Crone’s Crowning. As months pass and the moon waxes and wanes without drawing forth your menses, you pass through the second stage of initiation, death. Your identity as Mother dies. Let yourself break all the rules. Be someone totally different than you thought you could be.

Wise Woman Ways: Post-Menopausal Climax Years

The post-menopausal years symbolically begin on the 14th new moon after your final menstruation. (And continue, of course, for the rest of your life.) Hot flashes, aching joints, heart disease, incontinence, vaginal atrophy, and broken hips may diminish the quality and quantity of these years. Use of Wise Woman ways in the post-menopausal years can halt and reverse osteoporosis (the bones accept calcium once again), keep estrogen- and progesterone-sensitive tissues in the vagina and bladder from weakening and drying out, and maintain a healthy, vigorous heart and circulatory system.

  • Eat vegetables, fruits, and grains instead of meat. Eating meat and meat fat weakens your bones as well as your heart, promotes cancer, and may contribute to post-menopausal hot flashes.
  • Move, dance, walk, stretch, go, inquire, keep active. The essence of vitality is change. Now that you’ve been through the Change, don’t stop, keep changing. Break the rules and the taboos. Become an expert on pelvic floor exercises. Take up belly dancing. Pump iron. Wear purple.
  • Write a legal will. And revise it every ten years. Face your own death. Plan for your own death. This completes the second stage of your initiation.
  • Nourish yourself with every bite. Aging increases our needs for many nutrients while reducing our digestive ability. Make every bite count toward optimum vitality and step up digestive efficiency by using dandelion root tincture before meals. Discover new ways to serve yourself calcium-rich foods at every meal. Use herbal vinegars regularly. Gradually replace bone-depleting white flour products (bread, pasta, pretzels) with fiber-rich whole grains and whole grain products. Drink vitamin- and mineral-rich herbal infusions instead of mineral-depleting coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Try yogurt and fresh fruit instead of ice cream for stronger bones and fewer vaginal infections.
  • Plan your Crone’s Ceremony of Commitment to Her Community. Any time after your second Saturn return (age 57-61), you are ready for the third stage of your menopausal initiation: rebirth. You are She-Who-Holds-the-Wise-Blood-Inside. You are newly crowned, newly born, baby Crone. After isolation, after death, you rejoin the community. In your isolation, you revisioned yourself. By giving death to yourself as Mother, you claimed all of yourself. It is time to share that vision, to name yourself publicly, Crone, woman of wholeness.

“I am the Crone. I feel my way along paths following the energy and warmth that others have placed here. Trusting the dark, I am guided not by light, but by the flowing movements I sense. I am like the water that follows, without sight or foreknowledge, the ancient river’s channel.”

My Native American teachers tell me that we are in the midst of earth changes that will culminate around the year 2013. They say the earth changes will bring heat, and floods, and upheaval on an enormous scale. I am struck by the fact that 50 million women will have achieved menopause by 2013. Since we, as women, are one with the earth, is our massive, collective Change Her Change as well? Can we moderate her hot flashes? Give her ease from flooding? Soothe her emotional uproar? Emerge transformed together after our changes? How will we do it? With drugs, against the problems? With nature, blessed by all we are given? Will it matter to the Earth, Gaia, what choices I make in my menopause? What stories I tell myself? What I tell other women?

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material in this article is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

Hearthbeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

November, 2009

Well this month I will be giving you some interesting and helpful uses for some stuff you have at home. Common ingredients you have in your cabinets and pantries…  Things like salt, baking soda, lemon juice.

We use many of these things every day in our cooking and in our rituals… some are even used in medicinal, like baking soda as an anti-acid… There are large lists for each… but I will narrow them down to tried and trues… things I myself have used them for and am willing to pass along to you.

SALT

Not just for ritual any more… here are 10 uses you may not have thought of…

1. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.
2. If a pie bubbles over in your oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won’t smell and will bake into a dry, light crust which will wipe off easily when the oven has cooled
3. A pinch of salt improves the flavor of cocoa
4. A dash of salt improves the taste of coffee.
5. Use salt for killing weeds in your lawn.
6. Clean brass, copper and pewter with paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour
7. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.
8. Use it to kill slugs and snails in your garden( a tin of beer will work as well)
9. Instead of anti-dandruff shampoo, massage your scalp with a tablespoon of salt before using normal shampoo!
10. Occasionally throw a handful of salt on the flames in your fireplace; it will help loosen soot from the chimney and salt makes a bright yellow flame!
BAKING SODA

Not just for waffles and cakes…. Here are 10 uses that you may not have thought of….

1. Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs.
2. Soda absorbs kitty litter odors. Cover the bottom of the kitty box with 1 part soda; then add a layer of 3 parts kitty litter on top.
3. Sprinkle baking soda on your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth and dentures with it.
4. Take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn… ( better than Tums.. and works on gas(burps) as well)
5. Bee sting and bug bites and bad sunburn: use a combination of baking soda and water. Mix into a thick paste… Place on burn… wait till it dries out… scrape off add more water and reuse…
6. Clean vegetables and fruit with baking soda. Sprinkle in water, soak and raise the produce.
7. Wash out thermos bottles and cooling containers with soda and water to get rid of stale smells.
8. Sprinkle soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.
9. Clean your bathroom with dry soda on a moist sponge – sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc
10. Sprinkle soda in sneakers, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.


VINEGAR

Not just for salad dressings… here are 10 uses that you may not have thought of…

1. Place a cup of white distilled vinegar in the dishwasher upright on the top rack and run a full cycle to freshen and to remove hard water buildup on the heating element. Use at least 2 times a week.
2. Put 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave safe dish. Bring to a rolling boil in microwave. Wipe clean.
3. To keep bunnies and such from eating your plants, put cotton balls soaked in white distilled vinegar in a 35mm film container. Poke a hole in the top and place in the garden.
4. Remove the hazy film that builds up inside windows by spraying them with white distilled vinegar.
5. Cats hate the smell of vinegar. Spray white distilled vinegar on the item that you want to keep your cat away from.
6. Add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for every 3 to 4 egg whites used.
7. To make buttermilk… Add two tablespoons of vinegar to a cup of skim or 1 percent milk; let mixture stand five minutes.
8. Use white distilled vinegar in marinades or when slow cooking any tough, inexpensive cuts of meat.
9. To avoid swimmers ear use a solution of half white distilled vinegar and half rubbing alcohol. Drip into ear, alcohol evaporates the water and the vinegar kills the bacteria.
10. Add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkali’s in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew

USED COFFEE GROUNDS

Wow… the things you can use… 5 uses for coffee grinds you may not have thought of…

1. Fertilize plants. Old coffee grounds are nutrient-rich for plants that thrive in an acidic soil. You can also add used coffee grounds to the pots of indoor plants. Work used coffee grounds into your garden soil before seed planting. After your plants start to emerge, work in coffee grounds near the plants. Used coffee grounds are said to repel snails and slugs as well as adding nutrients to the soil
2. Dye fabric, paper or Easter eggs. Simply add used coffee grounds to warm water and let sit a bit to create a dye. Can also be used to create henna-like tattoos.
3. Grow mushrooms on old coffee grounds
4. Keep cats from using your garden as a kitty box by spreading used coffee grounds and orange peels throughout flower beds.
5. Skin Exfoliant.. Rubbing your skin with coffee ground extract seems silly but it is actually a good idea. The extract removes dead skin cells, which results in better-looking skin. It can save you hundreds of dollars since this simple product. May also color your skin (perma-tan??)


LEMON JUICE

Last but definitely not least lemons… here are 5 uses you may not have thought of…

1. Mix with vinegar and or baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section, then use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces and stains. Mix 1 cup of olive oil with 1.2 cup of lemon juice and use for furniture polish on hardwood
2. Add a few drops of lemon juice to improve the taste of fruits, this also cuts down on the browning effect they have over time.
3. Squeeze lemons onto vegetables while steaming, to keep the colors bright
4. Use lemon juice to lighten your hair in the summer. Place juice on hair and sit in the sun for a bit.
5. Cough Syrup: mix 1 part lemon juice with 2 parts honey (Do not give to children under 1 year and test for food allergies) Sore Throat: drink tea with lemon and honey relaxes and soothes the throat, while relieving a cough. The lemons also help us recover from the flue. If you don’t like tea, use hot water, lemon juice and honey

So that is what I have to share with you this month… Look for cookie recipes next month for Yule. Again I ask for you assistance… Please go to thehearthkeeper@gmail.com and leave your ideas for future articles… I love to do the research and look thru my family recipes, rituals, and hints and tips… but you need to tall me what you want…

Until next month
Blessed Hearth and Home

The Hearthkeeper

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