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June, 2016

She who is all – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2016

IX CHEL

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(Photo Credit: fullmoonhealingarts.com)

Ix Chel is the Mayan Snake Goddess of the Water. She is the Goddess of the moon, childbirth and weaving. She is also a Fertility Goddess, who brings the rain to feed the crops and who insured fertility by overturning her sacred urn. She is the weaver of the circle of life.

She is the Goddess of the Moon and healing, overseeing the medicinal plants and herbs, healing and the phases of the moon.

Her name Ix Chel is broken down to Ix = Goddess of the feminine and Chel = Rainbow or Light. Some of her many names are:

Lady of the Rainbow or Lady Rainbow

Lady of the Sacred Light

Midwife of Creation.

Keeper of Souls

Ix Chel has been described as beautiful, with long flowing hair. All who saw her, wanted her, but she had eyes on for Kinich Ahau, the Sun. As she followed him as he glided across the sky, she was unaware that she was causes havoc, as her inattention caused water in the form of floods to destroy the fields and crops.

Finally, she took the Sun as a lover, but her grandfather, for whatever reason, became jealous and threw lightning and killed her. She lay dead for 183 days as dragonflies sang about her until she returned to life. She also returned to the Sun, whereupon it was his turn to be jealous and accuse her of cheating with his brother, the Morning Star. When the Sun threw her from the sky, she sought and received sanctuary from the Vulture God. The Sun, being unhappy with this arrangement, came and begged her to come back. She did, only to be faced once again with the Sun’s jealously. Ix Chel, tired of this childish behavior, left and wandered the night, doing as she wanted. Whenever the Sun would come near, she would make herself invisible so as not be seen.

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(Photo of card from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and Hrana Janto)

 

Ix Chel is depicted in all three aspects of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother & Crone.

As Maiden, she is the beautiful, young lover of the Sun.

As Mother, she is the Fertility Goddess caring for all women who are pregnant and in labor and is seen as sitting in a crescent moon, holding a rabbit.

As Crone, she is seen as sitting with a serpent upon her head, wearing a skirt and crossbones, holding an urn in her hands, with represents the gift of water. The snake on her head is relative to her association with healing and intuition.

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(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Statue of Ix Chel in Cozumel

Cozumel and the Isla Mujeres, (Island of Women) are devoted to her worship.

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(Photo Credit: IxChelmassage.com)

Goddess Blessings!!

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

goddessgift.com

holisticnp.com

Finding Avalon

June, 2016

Tangle-wood

tanglewood

 

Photo by Vivienne Moss

 

As I walk along the moss covered earth, I find myself lost in thought. The worries of my mundane life slowly fall from my shoulders as I soak in the rich scent and the sweet sound of Nature. At times I feel like an imposter among the untouched trees of the forest. But not today. Today I feel connected to the wooded land I find myself in. Tendrils of Willow reach out to tap me on my shoulder, reminding me to wake up to the wondrous world that I am blessed to be a part of. This is that magical moment I have been searching for. This deep peace that calms my mind and soul is the very essence of the Goddess—of Avalon—of Faery.

It is the natural world that brings me pleasure and inspiration. The warmth of the Sun is intoxicating as its bright rays caress my body as I lie comfortably on the body of Mother Earth. The sound of rushing water is soothing, lulling me into a meditative state. I close my eyes, giving myself over to the splendor of the moment. I hear rustling in the underbrush, I know not whether it is animal or Fae but I do not feel frightened. I understand that I am a guest here and must honor the ways of Nature. I silently rise from my moss covered resting place, nodding to my still hidden companion in a voiceless farewell.

As I continue on my journey through Tangle-wood (for this is what I call this wooded land I visit), the canopy of trees shades me from the noon-day sun. The air is starting to feel sticky now, thick with the humidity that makes it hard to breathe. I make my way out of Tangle-wood, regretting that I cannot spend more time in this sacred land. My home life calls to me, it is time for the more mundane tasks of the everyday world. I remember to bring a little of this magic back with me, enchanting my home with the deep beauty of Avalon and Faery.

The Goddess has blessed me once again. Morgana of Avalon whispers the sweet secrets of Faery, filling my home and life with blissful charm. The deep peace of Tangle-wood has followed me home, reminding me that Avalon can be found within and without. It is with the blessings of Avalon that I continue this journey, searching for the enchanted lands that are hidden from us, hoping to reveal Her secrets to all.

Notes from the Apothecary

June, 2016

Notes from the Apothecary: The Elder Tree

 

apothercary1

 

We’ve always had elder trees in the garden, for as long as I can remember. As you get to my parents’ house there is one hanging over the privet hedge into the street. The branches home to birds ranging from tiny tits to massive woodpigeons; the roots threatening to burst through the tarmacadam of the pavement. As you walk through the gate there are four more elder trees guarding the side of the house, and every year there is an enormous harvest of both flowers and berries, and still plenty left for the every-hungry birds.

When I was quite small, a dead branch could be hollowed out, as the pithy substance in the twigs is soft and pliable, and so a dead elder branch makes a pretty good pea-shooter. The leaves were always quite noxious when rubbed, so I used to add them to my ‘cauldron’ (a plastic bowl at 5 years old) and pretend I was making a powerful potion. Some things never really change!

My love for this tree has never waned, and even though I have moved away from my parents now, they always save me some flowers and berries, and these are turned into wine, tonics and more.

The flowers are just now starting to transform from tiny green bids to delicate white lace, so I figured now was the best time to tell you all about this magical tree.

The Kitchen Garden

The elder is delightfully edible, both the berries and the flowers, although the berries have an extremely high tannin content so if your stomach can be upset by this (as my very dry red wine or very strong tea) then they are best avoided or at least diluted.

The flowers can be made into fritters, and there is a very lovely recipe for these including tips on when to pick the flowers here in The Guardian.

Elderflowers can also be made into cordial, and are often used to flavour other soft drinks, and also alcoholic ones, such as cider. They can be made into a wine in their own right, and even into something akin to champagne. I achieved this quite by accident last year, due to some secondary fermentation that occurred in the bottle. The end result was that I obtained 5 bottles of rather delicious elderflower champagne, instead of the dry elderflower wine I had originally bottled!

The berries are the darkest red-purple a berry can get, black until you pop them and stain your fingers. They can be made into a kind of loose jam (they don’t set well due to a low pectin content) called a rob, which is closer to a syrup really. I love this recipe on herbal med blog, because of the tip about rinsing the pan out with brandy… then drinking the brandy!

I have a recipe for a tonic which was given to me by a very experienced witch and herbalist, which is for a kind of winter tonic which includes, as well as masses of elderberries, many herbs which reduce coughing, fever and other cold and flu symptoms. I won’t publish it here as it wasn’t given to me to share, however if you can make the elderberry syrup, you can add many other ingredients to boost its potency.

The Apothecary

The tonic I mentioned is so particularly good for the winter months because elderberries have a very potent anti-viral quality. They are particularly effective against chest infections.

Mrs Grieves, in her Modern Herbal, believes all the parts of the tree with the possible exception of the roots to be beneficial in some way.

She tells us that the bark is an excellent emetic and purgative. This tells me that actually, it is probably very poisonous, and the body reacts to that by getting rid of it, and anything else in the stomach, as quickly as possible! She also tells us it is useful in epilepsy and asthma.

The leaves, she insists, must be collected in June and July, in fine weather after the dew has dried the sun. These are then made into an ointment which is useful for bruises, sprains, chilblains and as an emollient. She lists a recipe which includes ground ivy, wormwood and plantain. I would make this type of ointment using only plantain, as the other plants listed are all quite poisonous indeed, and not worth meddling with. Plantain ointment by itself is harmless (as long as you are not allergic) and quite effective.

The flowers are cited as effective in a lotion for the eyes and skin, and the berried should be made into a rob (see above) and used against coughs and colds.

Modern science agrees that the berries are indeed effective against flu-like symptoms, not only reducing the severity of the symptoms but also the length of time the patient must endure them for. Research has also been done into the effects of the elderberry on heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome and hay-fever, but there is insufficient evidence to support a proven, positive benefit.

Other Uses

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Branches of the elder tree are used to make certain musical instruments, such as the Slovakian fujara or koncovka. These instruments are known as ‘shepherd’s flutes’.

The Witch’s Kitchen

Cunningham tells us that the Elder is associated with water, but I have never really understood this. One of the Saxon names from which we get the word elder was Ellhorn, derived from the Saxon word for fire, because the hollow stems could be used for blowing air into the heart of a fire and thus breathing life into the flames. Although the tree is found near water at times, is also found in wasteland, and in gardens miles away from any water source other than hosepipes and rain. All trees represent all the elements at some stage, because of their cyclical nature and the way they change with the seasons (even evergreens have their changes), but to me Elder is more earth and fire than water.

Like the hawthorn, elder is often a hedgerow tree and so the wood, if taken with great care and respect, can be used in liminal rites and magic. It is a good wand for marking out the boundaries of sacred spaces or circles. Never take a branch without permission and never take green, growing wood. The elder is known as a goddess tree and contains divinity and an aspect of the goddess within its roots, branches and leaves. To wound an elder tree is extraordinary bad luck. Around here, in Yorkshire, even though older beliefs have mostly died out, elder trees are one of the few trees that won’t be uprooted to make way for a new path or road. Many times I have seen tarmac laid around the roots of an elder, rather than simply removing the tree, so that the pavement winds around the tree. I can’t help but think that this is a throwback to an older superstition about the ill luck that befalls those who harm the tree.

There are many British folk tales about elder trees who were really witches, who would punish those who harmed them. The tree is innately magical, and a very ancient symbol of magic and witchcraft.

Christianity has not treated the elder kindly, probably due to the magical and mystical associations it carries. Some say that the crucifix Jesus died on was made of elder wood, although I find the logistics of this hard to fathom. The elder is a tiny tree, and crucifixes were massive. It was also said that Judas hung himself from an elder tree, and due to this many Christians believe the tree carries a curse. Again, the logic of this evades me, as surely this means the tree stands for a kind of justice?

A modern witch may use the flowers on early to midsummer altars, to represent air, east, transformation, craft, skill and the planetary association of Venus. The berries come in late summer and may last to early autumn, so can be used as a symbol of earth, the north, blood, knowledge, wisdom, protection, exorcism and feminine mysteries. Elder can be used as protection against malevolent magic, or to bless a sacred space.

Home and Hearth

A Scottish tradition tells that if you stand under an elder tree at Samhain, you may see the faerie cavalcade ride by. I have never done this, but it would be tempting to perform a Samhain rite beneath or near some elder trees, to see if indeed, one could see a little more sharply those that pass from beyond the veil at this time.

For a baby naming ceremony, have the parents bring the baby beneath an elder tree and kiss the trunk, and the baby will be blessed.

A sigil made of elder twigs will protect your home if hung above the door. Choose your own sigil, something important to you, and remember only to take dead twigs or twigs that have already fallen from the tree.

In Scandinavia the wood was used in healing magic, in particular the magic to reduce pain.

A small piece of wood in a pouch can be carried for luck and protection, or for prosperity.

The berries can be crushed and used to stain things red or purple, and also can be used as a magical ink.

Elder is particularly associated with Beltane, again enhancing its association with fire. Normally at this time the flowers have only just started to arrive, so if you are lucky enough to find any, include them in your Beltane rites or altar.

I will be plucking the flowers around midsummer, and will be decorating my own sacred space with them, as well as making wine which will be gifts for my loved ones.

I Never Knew…

A copse of elder trees may indicate a nearby rabbit warren or badger sett, as the animals often unwittingly spread the seeds around where they live by eating the berries.

Mabh Savage is the author of Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft available here.

Image credits: Finfajfilo (Koncovka flute) by Michal Matúšov and Sambucus Nigra by Isidre Blanc both via Wikimedia Commons.

MagickalArts

June, 2016

Creating Effective Quarter Calls

magickalarts

 

If you look in any book on magickal practice or on the internet and you will quite easily find all manner of prose for calling or inviting the energies of the cardinal quarters into your sacred space. The positive in this is that it gives a variety of personalization and adaptation to you to use as points of comparison for your own versions suited specifically to your working. This very benefit is also the biggest detriment. Simply reciting a call to the energies because you thought it was powerful, well written or sounded very mysterious and “witchy” is reckless. Moreover, words – more so, when spoken in ritual have Great and lasting power. So, before you invite anything into your ritual space take the time to get to KNOW concretely, accurately and precisely what those alluring words mean; WHAT types of energies and beings are being asked to attend and assist and WHY. Then, once you have familiarized yourself with what is being used, decide if those calls are correct for what you wish to accomplish.

So, with those words of caution out of the way, where do you start. If you are a novice to the work, begin with what you already know something about, namely, the basics dynamics and qualities of the four elements as they are found in nature. We know the generalities of each:

East = Air = Mind
South = Fire = Will, Desire and Action
West = Water = Emotions, Intuition and Flow
North = Earth = Our physical bodies, Foundations and Fertility

In magickal practice the elements are one of the key components in ritual; serving as the quarter gateways and at times the underlying principle of focus for the intent of the ritual. Quarter calls invoke or call into ritual space the energies of each of the four foundational elements. Each of the quarters is opened and closed by inscribing a pentagram.

As you see in the picture each of the points of the pentagram is associated with a particular element. Typically, when you begin the ritual and call in the energies of the element, you will inscribe a pentagram that begins at the point of Spirit (see invoking below) and ends at Earth. This signifies a drawing into the manifest realm the energies and attributes if the Divine and Higher worlds. When ending the ritual and thanking and releasing the energies of the elements back to their realms the pentagram is drawn from the point of Earth (see banishing below) and returning back to the realm of the Divine.

In Creation of the Invoking Pentagram:

SPIRIT drawn to EARTH infused with love WATER enriched by knowledge AIR readied for the will and action FIRE as it rises towards Spirit

In Creation of the Banishing Pentagram:

EARTH moves back to SPIRIT purified by FIRE open to the inspiration/knowledge of AIR transformed by the love and intuition of WATER causing manifestation on EARTH

What are we calling into our circle?

When we invite the elements to be present in our ritual space we are calling to the Pure essence of that particular energy’s qualities to blend and integrate into a whole. Just as the elements are within our physical bodies and the physical world surrounding us, so too are the refined essences and beings of those realms within the space of the magickal circle and the planes to which it has risen.

Elemental Kings, Elementals, Archangels and other beings will be discussed more in future lessons; but in brief it is not advisable to call into the space the elementals or their Kings in beginning magick practice. Just as you would not invite someone you barely know to an intimate evening of activities, you should not call into your working magickal space any energies with which you are not familiar, have not researched thoroughly and have had practice in working with. To do so with intent towards magickal outcome could have negative implications if the energy being called is not aligned with what you had in mind.

Sample Quarter Calls for a Healing Ritual

The Quarter Calls given below as example were written for a Healing ritual. Therefore, the calls to the energies of the Western Gate are longer, more inclusive of what is desired and central in theme. The calls to the other quarters are reflective in support of the watery element of Healing. Had this been a ritual of Fire, determination and Will the emphasis would have been on the Southern Gate.

Opening the Gates

EAST

Eastern Gate – hold fast and firm
We call forth Water of Air
Intuitive Self -bourne of ancient wisdom
The Gate of the East is Open
We bid you Hail and Welcome

SOUTH

Southern Gate – hold fast and firm
We call forth Water of Fire
The burning away, so that healing may begin
The Gate of the South is Open
We bid you Hail and Welcome

WEST

Gates of True Sight and Compassion
Silver crescent of the Moon reflected in our Being
We bid you open and call forth your renewing healing energies
that all may become whole.


Within your waters we seek the power of healing release sustained by love
And empowered by the clear sight of the seer.
Send forth your gift of focus of intent
That we may rise on the planes guided by the higher self
Pure of heart bourne of the mother’s healing womb.
The gate of the west is open
Hail and welcome

NORTH
Northern Gate- hold fast and firm
We call forth Water of Earth
The birthing waters that manifest strength and renewal
The Gate of the North is Open
We bid you Hail and Welcome

CLOSING THE GATES

Energies of Air
Circle of infinite knowledge
We thank you for revealing the Wisdom of the Higher Mind.
The Gate of the East is Closed
Hail and Farewell

Energies of Fire
Path of Will, Change and rebirth-
We thank you for your transformative healing
The Gate of the South is Closed
Hail and Farewell

Energies of Water
Shimmer of star-light and depth of intuition and healing,
We thank you for your restorative flow, healing embrace
And revealing of the mystery that is our Higher Self.
The Gate of the West is Closed
Hail and Farewell

Energies of Earth
Foundation of All
We thank you for rebirth made manifest and
New pathways opened for change, health and growth.
The Gate of the North is Closed
Hail and Farewell

magickalarts1

 

Next Month: Calling the Divine

Short Story: Kiara, Episode 10

June, 2016

Kiara

 

 

 

Kiara Episode: 10

Perhaps because their two hearts were now linked by love, as Kiara slipped into fever, so did Jeremiah. Although miles apart, even in their fevered dreams they sought each other out. For days they both wandered lost, through the nightmare world of fever that some call the land of the dead.

Jeremiah was to remember later, that he had seen her. There was an image in his head of her reaching out to him. He could see her pale hands almost touching him before she was swept away like leaves in the wind. He heard her call out that she would find him. He awoke to see his mother sitting by his bed. “Sarah, Sarah! Go fetch the doctor quickly!”, she said.

The doctor looked serious but spoke kindly. After a whispered conversation with his mother, the doctor came back and gave him a sad smile, then rubbed his head and left without a word.

At first his mother told him nothing, only that he must stay in bed and rest. It was only when he was stronger that she told him that he had caught a disease called polio She said he was very lucky as only one leg had been affected and he would still be able to walk. She explained that he would have to go to a special clinic and have a metal splint fitted to his leg. When he asked if it would cure it, she hugged him and said that he must be brave. She told him that while he was in a fever, his father had gone to war, and that he was the man of the house now and must be strong. She explained that she needed him back on his feet and helping her to run the bakery until the war was over and his father came home. He realised that he would never be a soldier after all, but he did not cry. Even with one leg he could still be the best baker in town.

******

Much had happened while Kiara slept. After cleaning her wound and applying the poultice, Matron left her to Maria’s care. She sent for the cook and told her to help Maria in every way she could. “Martha! I understand that you have many duties in the kitchen, but I wish you to make a fresh poultice every two hours and help Maria to change the bandages”, she said to the cook when she arrived. Martha almost gave matron her most withering look, then seeing how tired and strained she looked, simply said “Yes Ma’am”. When Matron returned an hour later with the bag of coins, Martha was glad that she had held her tongue. Matron then went to every servant and gave each of them a bag of coins. She asked that they would stay with her for as long as she needed them, but that they were free to leave at the end of the month, – if that was what they wished. She told them very little except that the home might close suddenly and she wished to pay them in advance so that they were well compensated for all their hard work. On finding several years’ wages in their hands, they all agreed to stay for as long as she needed them. She decided that perhaps the same approach might be best with James as she wished to treat him no less generously than the servants. He had become the one person in whom she totally relied, and she did not wish to lose him. Still he deserved no less an option than the others, although she would feel very much safer with him by her side.

That first evening after the fire, a very subdued and well-scrubbed James came to her quarters at seven o’ clock. As he knocked at the door he wondered if he still stank of death and ashes.

Matron seemed nervous and vulnerable as she led him to the sofa and bid him to sit down.

There were two brandies on the coffee table and a large bag. She handed him a brandy and sat beside him. He felt uncomfortable to have her so close. He was afraid that he would forget who he was and reach out to touch her face, that beautiful, ageless face that was now lined with worry and stress. He looked pointedly at the coffee table. Mistaking his intentions, she said, “That bag is yours, James. Pick it up!”. “I do not want it madam”, he said, still staring at the table. “There is a lot of gold in that bag, James. You are now a very rich man. “I do not want it Madam”, he repeated. He felt crushed. She was paying him off after all his years of service. Did she not trust him to stay silent? “I paid off all the servants when you were in the woods. They will stay until I decide what to do. It was only fair to make the same offer to you. To be honest, I am praying that you will stay as I have need of a strong friend at this moment”. She touched his hand and he turned to her with tears in his eyes. His look told her everything. She squeezed his hand, – almost breathless in her relief. “Well you best start calling me Alice then, for we are about to embark on a very dangerous adventure.

Over dinner she explained the dangerous situation they were in. She told him about Kiara, and the doctors real identity. also she explained her doubts of the goblin staying dead, and his incredible speed and strength. They considered the possibility that the strange machines they had seen in his part of the house might be the key to making sure that he did not return. Alice was determined to stay and fight it out if they could. She had spent forty years in the manor and to her it was her home. James showed her the pistol he had always carried in a shoulder holster and swore to protect her.

That night, she took Annabelle into her room with her. James gave the gardener a shotgun and left him to protect the infirmary, while he spent the night dozing on a chair outside her room with a shotgun, loaded and broken, open on his knee.

*****

Droc awoke from his healing much sooner than any other goblin could have, – especially after the treacherous attack by that ungrateful hag. She had killed him instantly, totally destroying his bio-energy body in a single crushing blow to his head. Fortunately, the Cradle had immediately begun to repair the trauma to his own body caused by the reverberations through the morphic resonance field. It was the discovery of the Morphic Resonance Field that had allowed him to fight his way up to become Arch Deacon. It was a sharp blade across the throat of his predecessor in middle of the rest period that made him king. The Cradle tuned itself to him through the morphic resonance field and allowed him to return automatically from the body which it had constructed on the other side of the Etheric Barrier.

He tore himself impatiently, from the web of energy which held him down, leaving his face only partially healed. Strips of flesh hung down from where the left side of his face was not yet reconstructed. Even by goblin standards he was never handsome, but with his jagged teeth bared and his face twisted in anger and the torn flesh on his cheeks, – he was a terrifying sight. “Cursed women! Damned faeries! They will pay for this!”

From the next cell in the warren, the clerics rushed in, “Sire! Sire! You are not yet healed!”. He eyed them evilly, – looking for a victim. They all looked down at the rough stone floor in terror. “I built this machine! he screamed. “I drained the faery magic to power it!- his voice was almost a screech. “I am your king and your Archdeacon and I opened a doorway from this barren planet in which we were imprisoned! “And I will break that hag into small pieces with my bare hands.”

He calmed a little, “I ended 1000 years of futility and frustration, and before this stinking hell hole in which we are trapped has passed one more year, – we will feast on faery flesh. We will tear down their ancient trees and kill their guardians and when we have destroyed the web around this planet, – the universes will be ours to take”.

He calmed himself. He turned to his Deacon, – “Tarag!, how soon before the cradle is ready again?,- I must return!. I have found a princess of the faeries. With her energy transferred to my machines on earth, we can move battalions through the web, and crush the faeries before they can even assemble”.

Tarag looked at him in panic. “How long?”, Droc asked again. There was an edge in his voice. “Seven sunsets, sire”,- he was shaking as he spoke. Before he could blink, Droc had grabbed him by the throat and had broken him like a twig.

Droc looked around at the quaking clerics. His eyes settled on Hrirc. Hrirc looked much less scared than the rest of the treacherous back-stabbers. “Hrirc, come here!”. Hrirc calmly walked over to his King. “You are my new Deacon,- How long will it take you to prepare a new body?”. “Four sunsets sire, – to ensure that your new body is far superior to the one prepared by the traitor Tarag!” Droc looked at him, pondering. “A clever one, – this one”, he thought, “After our victory I will kill him myself”. Out loud, he said, “Very well, Deacon Hrirc, you have four sunsets”. Droc strode out of the room and up to his own quarters at the very top of the mountain. It looked like a giant termite colony carved out of solid rock. He went to the opening that was carved into the wall of his cell and gazed out over the rocky valley below. It was devoid of all life and a black sluggish river ran down from the hill. It was covered in oil slicks which glittered like pools of gold, and glowed in rainbow colours from the evening sun.

For anyone, apart from a troll or goblin, it would be a depressing sight. But in his mind’s eye, Droc could see it filled with thousands of faery slaves, all chained and broken. He sighed with impatient expectation, “Four days and he would return to collect his princess and his revenge. He remembered the chattering child called Annabelle. The hag seemed fond of her. Her would kill her first, then the hag. Then he would suck the magic from the princess with his latest toy, and bring her empty husk back to be his puppet queen. His pleasant musings had given him an appetite. He walked over to a blow tube coming from the wall and removed the cover from the end of it. “Bring me a changeling!”, he bellowed down the pipe. He smiled to himself in anticipation, showing a row of razor sharp teeth.

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

June, 2016

Two Book Reviews

Merry meet.

Small books are fun to grab and travel easily. This month, well take a look at two that are about spells.

Little Cauldron of Good Luck Spells by Midia Star, first published in Great Britain in 2004, is a collection of more than 40 spells and charms to bring about good fortune.

cauldron

Dedicated to all those who are down on their luck right now,this 128-page book offers a magical helping hand. There are good luck spells for an audition, travel and selling your home. Others cover business, finances, love and health. Nearly all take up two pages, assuring that nothing is too complicated. Tools and ingredients are common and simple.

Readers are also given a section on banishing bad luck, and advice on how to retract a spell that was cast and then regretted.

The book starts off with a brief introduction including rules of the Craft and some basic information that serve as a base for working magic. Star rightfully notes, You can craft spells using no tools whatsoever, except for the tool within you the power of your mind,and,The best spells are the ones that come from inside you.

Not every spell will resonate with every reader, and while you can follow the recipes which the author states do work you are also free to piece together parts of more than one to tailor something for yourself.

The Little Book of Hexes for Women by Sophia was printed in 1997. The professional psychic, spiritual teacher and author offers hexes for nasty landlords, phone or door-to-door solicitors, drivers who steal your parking spot, people who leave you waiting and individuals who always tell the ending of books and movies. If you feel youve been wronged, chances are Sophia has a curse you can use for revenge.

hexes

While the introduction states this book is just for fun, a laugh, a harmless way to blow off steam,it also calls itself an instant karma-adjustment-how-to book.

Hexes, bindings and cursing are not for everyone, and some paths forbid it. Like other forms of magic, hexes are serious and should be done after careful thought and with a clear intention. For instance, the hex for people who are always on the phone (yak yak yak )reads, These people can tie up a phone line for hours, talking about nothing! It is remarkable, but it can go beyond irritating. When enough is enough, pull the plug with this little number!The spell to correct that calls for dipping a black feather in patchouli oil, drawing a W in the air and repeating a chant, leaving the feather under the phone or a under a photo of the person – “at night when the moon is half-waning.

If it is important to you to put a techno snob in his or her place, to seek revenge for a bad haircut or to change the behavior of couples who use cutesy-wootsieterms of endearment, then this book will offer hexes so you can have the last laugh.

Both books are available on amazon.com.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

Finding the Pagan Way

June, 2016

Finding

 

Elves, Pixies, Leprechauns and Faeries
How many readers truly believe in their existence?
Be honest with yourself. Have you ever seen one? Felt one around you? – Heard one? – Spoken to them and had you query or request answered?.
I have. I do not believe in the Faeries. – I am forced to accept their existence because of their interaction and influence on my life in this past 8 years.
I have been to many “Pagan” rituals and events. Some, – such as my Hand-Fasting ceremony, were so powerful that even family and friends were aware of the spiritual energies which were present.
My wife, Tina is a powerful medium and healer, who follows a shamanistic path.
I have witnessed many demonstrations which proved the existence of spirit and the continuation of life beyond that which we call death. Since childhood, I have been privileged to see the power of the Tarot in action and I no longer have the slightest doubt of the accuracy of my readings, – even when, sometimes, it takes many months for a client to receive verification of the advice/information given through me.

I am not in the least bit gullible. As a member of the “Society for Psychic and Spiritual Studies” I spent a lot of time in trying to ‘debunk’ mediums. I did not even accept Tina’s obvious talents very quickly or easily. However, when a spirit guide knocks the Tarot cards from your hands, or forces you to give a message in a supermarket, then you have to begin to accept the existence of the Supernatural in your life.
These past eight years have been an incredible journey for me, and Paganism has allowed me to meet and greet with many spiritual people who share my joy in the unknown,- despite some quite stark differences in our beliefs and outlooks.

It has been a journey that teased and puzzled me. It has challenged every presumption I ever had and forced me to change in many ways. It started with a simple prayer about 9 years ago.
The interesting thing about this was that I prayed to the Goddess, which I believe led to the writing of my poetry under her guidance. Then I was re-introduced to the Fae(ries) and my life spun into over-drive.
The Fae shattered many of the limiting factors in my life. I had much sorrow and grief holding me back. They came back into my life and awareness when I went to a drumming workshop which was being held by a local druid at Cabourne Parva in Caistor, Lincolnshire. On the same day, I was re-introduced to shamanism, mediumship and the faeries. The workshop was simply about drumming, but during that day, I met one of Tina’s guides, Lucy and I watched in fascination as she skipped about and played in the barn where we were working. I did not know who she was. Indeed, it was almost a year before I had confirmation of her name from a medium/reader at the Pagan pride festival. This was later confirmed by quite a few other mediums.

This was the day I was given the gift of laughter. I heard the Fae speaking to me. Well, – it was only one word, but as clear as a bell. “Laughter” For about six weeks, everything that happened to me just led to tears of laughter. All my anger and grief at the passing of my late wife, finally began the slow process of healing and dissolving. I had lived in a bubble of contentment for many years, until the universe has torn it all away from me to prepare me for a new life, and the work which I needed to do. Finally, my prayer was being answered…

Babes in the Wood

We never realised that we were merely babes lost in the woods;
Playing hide and seek, – while silently the world moved on.
We wished and dreamed, that always, was a faithful world;
But while we dreamed our dreams, forever slipped away
And I woke up to find my world was gone.

I love another now, but that will never change my love for you.
She healed my heart and brought back from summer’s open door.
I learned to live somehow, and carried on; – as lovers sometimes do.
And now we live a life that I had never dreamed of, when we wandered in the woods,
And I can never change back to that person, whom I was before.

Springtime aches, – where once it brought a joyfulness to every step.
And yet there is gratitude within my heart for all of Spirits gifts.
I know that you are watching over me; – I know that you still care.
I looked into your eyes the other week, and saw the love still there.
Although they graced another’s face, my heart still knew that it was truly you.

I want to tell you all about the love whom I have found,
But, I guess you know already, as you often hang around.
She has the bluest, deepest eyes that I have ever seen.
She’s pretty as a picture, – with the kindest heart that there has ever been.
Without her love and strength, – I do not know how life could possibly have been.

I’ll say goodbye, – although I know that you are never very far away.
I listened carefully to every word you said last week, – I promise I will cherish every day.
I know that life is much too short to waste in misery and in despair,
And I will try to wake up every day and look at life for all the blessings there.
I will go and live my life and leave regret behind,
But please forgive me if, I sometimes shed a tear,
When life’s lost blessings slip into my mind.

Patrick W Kavanagh
13/03/2016
It was a hard journey, but, both the Fae, and my lovely Tina, have guided and protected me on every step of the way. I do not know how much longer my journey will last, But I am determined to keep on with my development and writing. We are here for a purpose. I believe that this purpose is to help and heal each other, as we evolve into the divine beings which we truly are. For me, – my relationship with the faeries has been a very important part of the journey so far, as has my Goddess and my Muse.


Angels of the Forest

Angels of the forest and the fields,

Tiny wings that glow and shimmer underneath the moon.

Stay a little while and share your wisdom and your joy.

I beg you, please don’t fly away so soon.

For I have dreamed of meeting you again, since I was just a boy.

I have spent a lifetime searching underneath the star filled skies.

Hoping that I’d live to see you once again.

Just the very sight of you brings tears to these old eyes.

Please don’t go away and leave me all alone.

Ever since I saw you as a child, this world has never felt like home.

Would that I could fly away with you.

Oh what gladness, just to see the land of Fae once more.

If you would only let me go with you and stay a little while

I would happily forsake all that I have, and travel with you, to that other shore.

Then, when they find me cold and still, my parting speech will simply be a smile.

Patrick W Kavanagh

10/04/2014

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

June, 2016

Coloring Books

Merry meet.

This months witchcraft is about the childhood craft that has rebounded with adults. Coloring is being touted as therapeutic because it reduces stress and anxiety, it sharpens focus and it brings about a state of mindfulness. Nielsen Bookscan estimates 12 million were sold in 2015 while only 1 million sold in 2014. It remains to be seen if its a trend or a short-lived fad.

Coloring books offer themed collections of artistic drawings, typically intricate black-and-white illustrations. It was only a matter of time before pagan themes emerged. The WitchesAlmanac Coloring Bookput out by the editors of The WitchesAlmanacwas sent in for review while The Witches: A Coloring Book,written and illustrated by Lisa Graves was a gift.

coloring1a

The WitchesAlmanacfeatures many woodcuts, tarot cards and folklore drawings. They are or various sizes, filling the page to one extent or another. While the symbols were pleasantly pagan and striking, I found most of the lines to be heavy and not lending themselves to coloring. Woodblocks, especially, seemed complete as is, leaving little room for creativity.

coloring1b

coloring1c

 

 

coloring1d

coloring1e

With the variety of art, styles and images, there are some might inspire you to pick up colored pencils or markers.

coloring2a

The Witchesbook has simpler drawings, all of the same style, with easily definable areas that long for some color. Each page also has a bit of information about the witch, making it a learning experience as well.

coloring3b

 

coloring2c

 

coloring2d

 

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

Crystal Connections

June, 2016

Pocket Stones

Recently I visited a local crystal shop because I wanted some small crystals just for carrying in my pockets. I knew that I was going to purchase at least three pieces and that one would be a small piece of Black Tourmaline (also known as Schorl) for grounding and protection. I just wasn’t sure what the other two would be. As I walked around I found myself drawn to Dumortierite. This calming blue stone is known to raise spiritual awareness and can act as an amplifier for psychic abilities. For the third stone I chose a teal blue Fluorite for its abilities to ground, protect, clear chakras and it can also assist in organization and enhancing spiritual connections.

crystal1

 

Excited to have my pocket stones I headed to the cash register when I was pulled to a tray of Kunzites. These crystals are a lovely soft pink/lavender in color. They are known for their aid in emotional healing and ability to open your heart to Divine Love. I then got the feeling that I needed to be on the search for heart healing stones to help me after the loss of my dad. I have plenty of Rose Quartz so the crystals that I would be purchasing were going to be pieces that I didn’t already have. I started to make my way around the tables, holding my left hand over the multitude of trays containing various crystals and minerals to see if anything pulled at me. I was surprised when Tangerine Quartz was the next to get my attention because it’s not known as a heart healer. It’s commonly known for aiding in passion and sexuality as well as having the ability to assist in creativity. I guess, now that I think about it, dad was always big on me being creative, so maybe it wasn’t such a surprise after all. As I continued on my search for the final stone, a pink Agate found its way to me. Pink Agates aid in healing the heart of old pains and can give you a sense of calmness and security. I now have three stones to carry in each of my front pockets and I can say that I feel a sense of peace for the first time since my dad has left this earthly plane.

crystal2

 

I like to carry my stones loose in my pocket so they are easily accessible, but by carrying them like this there is a chance that they will chip with the friction. If this worries you feel free to put them in little pouches like organza bags, or some other tiny pouch. Most metaphysical shops sell them, but if your crafty why not make one? I like the thought of making one because it would be your energy surrounding your crystals. If you’re not crafty don’t worry, just buy a pre-made one and infuse your own energy into it.

I view pocket stones much like worry stones, for me just touching them brings calmness and makes me feel connected and grounded. Rolling then through my fingers takes me almost to a meditative state. You can purchase stones or crystals for their metaphysical properties or choose them for their beauty or even better yet, choose the ones that choose you!

Aromatic Life

June, 2016

A few tips to get us through the Sunny Summer!

 

For Summer Colds & Stuffy Noses
Try placing 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus on a cotton ball and tuck inside your pillowcase.
For children or the elderly use Eucalyptus Smithi as the other is too harsh.

 

A Summer Cooling Recipe

With the hot summer months ahead a great recipe to try is a Peppermint and Tea Tree foot lotion.
Cooling Peppermint and the antibacterial, antifungal properties of Tea Tree make this a great summer treat. Take 8oz. of any unscented lotion, add 20 drops Peppermint, 20 drops Tea Tree and 20 drops of Rosemary essential Oil. Blend in a measuring cup and pour into a bottle.
Use as needed to revive tired feet. This blend will be energizing so you may not want to
use it to close to bedtime.

 

Deodorant Body Splash:

Vinegar–4 oz
Vodka–3 teaspoons
Grapefruit–9 drops
Lavender–5 drops
Lemon–6 drops
Peppermint–3 drops
Rosemary–4 drops
Sage–6 drops

Add to 2 cups purified water. Blend the oils together, add them to the vodka, and shake well. Let settle for half an hour, then add the vinegar and shake well. Pour mixture into 2 cups purified water and shake well. Finally, pass the liquid through a paper coffee filter. The longer you leave the essential oils in the vodka and vinegar mix before adding to the water, the stronger the scent will be.

 

Romantic Glowing Shells

Create Bergamot-scented candles that will glow all evening. Collect then thoroughly rinse seashells and add tea lights, removing out tins. Melt paraffin wax and carefully fill the seashells. Add two
to three drops of Bergamot oil to the wax, while it is still soft and melted. The fragrance will rise with the heat of the flame. Other essential oils may be used.

 

For Summer Colds with Chest Congestion

Try a steam inhalation with essential oil of Green Myrtle.  A good expectorant for respiratory complaints.

 

 

Pamper Your Feet this Summer

Regular foot massage benefits the whole body.
Here are some ideas for blends to help refresh
those tired and sometimes swollen feet.

3 drops Lavender
2 drops Chamomile
10 ml or 1/3 oz carrier oil

or
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint
in 10 ml carrier oil

If you stand on your feet all day here is
a treatment to help with swelling and circulation.
1 drop Cypress
1 drop Lavender

add to a bowl of warm water to which about 12 smooth
round pebbles have been added.

Roll the soles of your feet slowly over the pebbles
for a few minutes, then dry your feet

 

 

Summer First Aid

Keep a blend of Lavender and Tea Tree on hand
for First Aid this summer. It’s more effective
than either of the oils used alone.

 

 

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