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January, 2019

Welcome

January, 2019

Happy New Year!!!

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

Wreathing the Wheel Teaches Tarot Journaling for the New Year.

We Review Two New Beautiful Calendars.

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

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

Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

January, 2019

A
Look Inside a Monthly Working Book of Shadows

Many
newcomers to the Pagan Path, as well as new Witches, often mistakenly
believe that a Book of Shadows is an ancient concept that goes back
eons. There is the very real possibility that herbalists and wise
women in ancient times utilized recipe books, journals, or otherwise
kept written records containing their secrets or logging their
workings. However, the Book of Shadows is actually a neopagan concept
that has its beginnings with Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca,
sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Gardner is the founder of
the Wiccan religion along with several other famous pioneering
Wiccans who seemingly thrust the neo-pagan movement forward and
opened the broom closet for many witches as well. The age of the
conception of Books of Shadows should not cause anyone to question
keeping a Book of Shadows. As with any other reference material, a
Book of Shadows can be an invaluable tool in any practice, whether it
is your craft or your spiritual walk. My working Book of Shadows is a
vital part of my Pagan path and my practice as a Witch.

As a practicing Witch and a practicing eclectic Pagan with a Matron who guides both paths, I rely heavily on my working Book of Shadows and I carry it with me every day. For the most part, my working Book of Shadows contains all of the information that I need at my disposal such as Sabbats, Esbats, the New Moon, color correspondences, Tarot, Oracle, and Rune draws, as well as trackers for stones, herbs, spells, and Goddesses. I also incorporate my mundane schedule and life in this working Book of Shadows to keep me on track. As any one else in these modern times, I try to keep my spending in check, live a simple life, and incorporate my definition of “enough” into my walk. In true frugal fashion, I decided that in 2019 I would take a completely different tact than in any other year and I created my 2019 working Book of Shadows from MAMBI® Classic Happy Planner® extension packs. For clarity and convenience, I have added all of the resources and links for materials and supplies that I have used at the end of this article.

Throughout
this series, you will notice some “upcycling” of materials as I
find cards that I have received, artwork here and there that I notice
in magazines, and even the creativity of friends, who make beautiful
shaker cards that are great for lifting the energy when I am feeling
like energy is being dissipated. A little blingy shake and the smile
returns to my face. Also, when you network and discover that friends
have hidden talents, such as making quality covers with special
meaning that directs your focus to the work at hand, that energy of
love, friendship, and community lends itself to a healthy Book of
Shadows.

Again, as a frugal person, and someone who believes that the Pagan Community could benefit from helping each other, I created a Facebook group called “The Pagan Plannertarium.” I created this home for Pagan Planners who are interested in planning and who could benefit from free stickers and layouts for their own Books of Shadows. All of the stickers that are in my working Book of Shadows can be found in the Pagan Plannertarium along with an ever-growing catalogue of stickers, layouts, and inserts. They are all free for your personal use, if you would like to plan along with me each month, join the Facebook group by answering the questions for entry, and plan along with me. I will continue this series for the year 2019, showing you the evolution of my working Book of Shadows.

Since
there are no Sabbats in January, and it is the very beginning of my
“Seed Work” which will commence in February for planting on
Imbolc, I have chosen a winter theme for the monthly layout, and I
have also made complimentary weekly spreads for the entire month of
January. In keeping with the winter energies surrounding me, I chose
to focus on the correspondences for the month of January which
include fox, birch trees, and the colors bright white and blue.
January is a time for self-reflection and spell work involving inner
workings rather than casting for others, winter is a time to go
inward and to work on those things that require change for growth.
February’s seed must be planted in order to yield a bountiful
Harvest as the wheel turns and we experience each Sabbat in its turn.

The January month-at-a-glance spread is where I keep all of my appointments which are upcoming, the Esbat, the New Moon, and I keep a place for notes. In the two blank spaces before the 1st day of January and the last 2 blank spaces after the 31st, I use these spaces for my own personal “Power” words – these are words that I use for the month to keep me focused on my seed work. They relate directly to the seed that I will plant, so I choose the words that I need to focus on to narrow my focus. Times and circumstances change every month and this is a working Book of Shadows so these blank spaces are often in a state of metamorphosis and they change from month to month. January is the month when planning my seed comes to completion and the seed is readied for planting on Imbolc.

Each
week there is a side dashboard that is sectioned off for my Goddess
of the week, Crystals, Notes, and two (2) weekly trackers. My goal
is to draw a Goddess card from a deck that I utilize each week, write
the Goddess’ name on the dashboard, and key words throughout the
week that may arise as I ask for Her protection and energies to guide
my week. The Crystal section is for the pouch that I carry on my
person each day, some days call for different energies and I may
change the contents of the pouch that I use during the week and, if I
do so, I like to have a place to log any changes that may occur in my
carrying pouch. The Notes section on the side dashboard is to make
note of any significant changes that I make, events that I need to
make a special note of, or any other information that may change from
time to time during that week. Finally, the two trackers that I have
are for reminders to check in daily on any spell work that I may be
undertaking. Other uses for the trackers include making Crystal
Water, Moon Water or other recipes for ritual use. You can use
mundane trackers even in a magical practice and, on occasion, when I
have no other use for them, that is how I utilize these trackers.
The best part of this whole process is that stickers can be lifted,
marks can be erased, and things are meant to change and grow as we
change and grow. It is my hope that by sharing my Book of Shadows
with you, before the pen, you will be able to glean some creativity,
some energy, or ideas for your own Books of Shadows and join me in
sharing for the greater good.

You may have noticed that the end of December, 2018, is contained in the first weekly spread. I included it because the energies are prime for spell casting, writing new beginnings, contemplating seed work, and writing down ideas for spells or, if I feel the energy in a specific way, I will use this night for spell writing. At the end of the week, there is a New Moon and I always use the energy from the New Moon to begin cleansing my house for the cycle of the waxing moon, to bring the energies into my home and life that I would like to manifest throughout my practice. I start by taking a ritual bath, meditate, and smudge my home from the center to the front and out the door and beginning from the center again and to the back and out the door. For the other days in this week, I will enter those things that I do to prepare for the upcoming New Moon, such as journaling, blending herbs for incense, smudging, writing spells, and working on the February installment of this series

Each weekly layout has a coordinating Tarot card insert. I utilize this insert to pull a Tarot Card each week and reflect on this card throughout the week. The first side of the insert reflects my first impressions and my expectations. The second side of the insert is a retrospective examination of the drawn card and how that has influenced me during the week. This insert is an invaluable tool for me. Not only do I receive guidance from the Tarot cards, but I come to a deeper, more committed understanding of the meaning of each draw and how that may relate in future readings not only for myself but for others

Each
weekly theme for the month of January embodies not only the
correspondences appropriate for this month, but some of them also
contain themes of strong Divine Feminine figures such as Athena and
Hekate. I decided that this month would also contain the energies of
the Divine Masculine and The Horned God made a special appearance
this month as well. As I called to the Divine Spirits of the East,
requesting the energies of communication, divination, and creativity,
these layouts pretty much made themselves.

Looking
forward to providing monthly installments of my Book of Shadows as
the wheel turns.

RESOURCES:

MAMBI®
CHP Extension Packs:

https://www.meandmybigideas.com

CHP
Custom Cover & Foiled Pentacle Stickers by Claire McNamee:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BubsLovesBubba

Custom
Shaker Cards by Suzy Mesa:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/gichiscraftcorner

January
Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan
Plannertarium:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/217392179039705/

January
Cover Page – Shoot for the Stars – Recollections®
“Constellations” paper pad & Miscellaneous Washi tapes:

Available
at Michael’s and other craft retailers

***

About
the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

Tarot Talk

January, 2019

The Nine of Wands

(The
Four of Wands card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti
http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

This
month we will go back to the 9’s of the Minor Arcana and talk about
the Nine of Wands. This is a Minor Arcana card so we know right away
that the message offered by this card will most likely be more
immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more
day-to-day issues. The easiest way to get a decent understanding of
a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court
Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. We can also find useful
information within the image on the card.

The
traditional image of the Nine of Wands is a figure dressed in a red
tunic standing in front of a wall of 8 Wands, sometimes with green
leaves sprouting from the Wands. The figure looks tired and is
wearing what appears to be a bandage on his head; he leans wearily on
the ninth Wand. Wands symbolize support, stability, and singleness of
purpose, particularly the Wand on which the figure leans. Behind the
wall of Wands are green craggy mountains in the distance, or
sometimes rounded hills, symbolizing past challenges already dealt
with; the sky is blue with white fluffy fair-weather clouds that
symbolize an idea coming from out of the blue. Occasionally, the
figure is on one knee, leaning on his wand with his head bowed; one
card even shows the figure from the back, as if the observer is
standing behind that wall of Wands, looking in the same direction as
the figure.

Let’s
look at the number 9. I see the number 9 as representing the
fullness or completeness of effect or manifestation. We are talking
about completeNESS here, not compleTION or the winding up of a cycle.
The number 9 represents our perceptions as we reach the limit of our
understanding of or experience of a situation, just before we wind up
the process and take another step up the ladder in order to begin the
whole process again. In our spoken language, we say that we are
going to “go the whole nine yards” when we intend to experience
something to the fullest, and that is what the number 9 can tell us
in the Tarot.

So
just by looking at the number of our card, we already know that the
Nine of Wands is going to present an intense experience. This will
not necessarily indicate that we are done with the experience, but
rather that we are at the “peak of the wave” just before the wave
tips over and disseminates its energy onto the shore. Now, we narrow
down our interpretation by looking at the suit of the card: the suit
of Wands.

For
this discussion we will accept that the suit of Wands corresponds to
the element of Fire. This is not always the case, depending on the
deck being used; some see Wands as being connected to Air. Besides
the element of Fire, the suit of Wands corresponds with the playing
card suit of Clubs, and the cardinal direction of South. In its
natural state, the element of Fire is hot and dry. It tends to bring
spontaneous change or impulsive and energetic effects. Fire is
passionate and it transforms everything it touches, everything in our
world. Fire can sanitize or cleanse, and it can destroy everything
in its path; Fire can warm us and keep us safe, or it can kill us.

All
of the cards of the suit of Wands (including the Nine of Wands) teach
us about Fiery attributes like creativity, ambition, growth, passion
and actions, and how their presence or absence can affect our lives.
The suit of Wands represents our ability to experience joy and
passion (including sexual passion), and the Wands cards can represent
our creativity, our ability to be artistic or to be drawn to
beautiful things. Fire often represents Spirit or the Divine Will,
and Wands cards also can present the possibility of some interaction
with Spirit or the Divine, or actions or passions manifesting in line
with Divine Will.

The
element of Fire can be seen as kinetic, or even electric. It has the
power to create greatness (when we are inspired to be better than we
think we can be), or destruction (when we believe we are greater than
we actually are). Fire fuels innovation; action and energy are
enhanced by this element, but so are destruction and oppression.

The
astrological correspondence for the Nine of Wands is the Moon in the
astrological sign of Sagittarius.

The
Moon is our planet’s only satellite, and it is large enough for its
gravity to affect our Earth. The Moon actually stabilizes the
Earth’s orbit around the Sun, and it produces the regular ebb and
flow of the tides. The lunar day syncs up with its orbit around Earth
so that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth.
Astrologically the Moon is associated with a person’s emotional
make-up, unconscious habits, rhythms, memories, moods, and a person’s
ability to react and adapt to his or her environment. It is also
associated with Yin energy, the receptive feminine life principal,
maternal instincts or the urge to nurture, the home, the need for
security, and the past, especially early experiences and childhood.

Sagittarius,
the 9th sign of the zodiac, is often seen as the wanderer, but
remember, not all those who wander are lost. Sagittarius is the
truth-seeker, the enthusiastic consumer of information who loves
knowledge achieved by traveling the world and talking to everyone.
The life quest of a Sagittarian is to understand the meaning of life,
using both spiritual and philosophical disciplines to digest what
they learn. This is a mutable Fire sign, and thus while exploration
and adventure are a necessary part of life, procrastination is also a
danger. Sagittarius corresponds with Jupiter, and is expansive in
all things, is an effective healer, and can be a bridge between
humans and animals.

When
the Moon is in Sagittarius, we have an ability to tap into instincts
connected to emotions, dreams and rhythms. This combination of
energies is active, independent and optimistic, and not afraid to
create a unique path. Being in one place can feel confining, but the
solution is to expand and learn and to teach others what we learn.
These energies are optimistic, always expecting things to go well.
And if they don’t pan out, the mutable Sag/Moon combination is very
adaptable, and will go with the flow without hesitation in order to
find a new solution.

Each
of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck also has a home on the Tree of Life
of the Qabalah; all of the Nines correspond to the sephira (or
sphere) of Yesod. Yesod is the first sphere out of (and the last
sphere into) the sephira that represents the physical world, Malkuth.
Yesod is about things such as emotions and feelings, which are
directly connected to our physical existence, but not actually
physical themselves. Yesod is also the home of our life force, our
personality, and the Self. It is only above Yesod that the Tree
begins to branch out. This reminds us that emotions and feelings and
an awareness of our life force and our personality are natural
processes, and that exploring them and understanding them is an
important part of our own evolutionary process.

The
Llewellyn Welsh Tarot Nine of Wands shows the traditional figure
leaning on a Wand standing before a wall of Wands; all of the Wands
have leaves growing from their tops. This figure has a bandage on
his head and one of his arms is in a sling, and he is gazing off to
the side. Behind him are two rounded mountains. The keywords for
this card are order, control, planning, experience, guarding one’s
assets, anticipating hostility. Here we have a disciplined warrior
who has experienced growth and achieved wisdom through successfully
traversing a perilous passage.

The
Nine of Wands of the Thoth Tarot is named “Strength,” and its
keywords are strength (sometimes scientifically applied), power,
health, recovery from a sickness. Here we have a steady force that
cannot be shaken, and even if injury is present, recovery is not in
doubt. While Crowley saw both the Moon and Sagittarius as weak, he
still named this card Strength. However, the strength of the Nine of
Wands lies in its ability to change. “Defense, to be effective,
must be mobile.”

The
image on the Wild Unknown Tarot Nine of Wands shows a view from the
bottom of a stairway made from nine Wands. The stairway reaches far
upward, and it appears that if we can find the strength and stamina
to climb to the top, we just might be able to touch the beautiful
golden crescent in the sky. This is an optimistic metaphor for the
Nine of Wands, showing us that if we can keep focused on our own
inner Fire and fine-tune our ability to direct the resulting energy
for a sufficient amount of time and in the correct manner, we will
make it to the top. Mental discipline and focus, and the right
amount of exertion, will do the trick.

The
Shadowscapes Tarot Nine of Wands shows a warrior seated on a mighty
mythical steed, holding his Wand and gazing into the distance with
clear eyes and an alert mind. This guardian is trained and ready but
is untried in real life, and yet he sits tall and proud and at
attention, whether the sun shines or the darkness gathers. This card
is about vigilance, about keeping some strength in reserve, and about
being prepared for any eventuality. We are also told to remember
that sometimes our most powerful abilities do not show themselves
until we are actually put to the test.

The
Legacy of the Divine Tarot Nine of Wands shows a figure kneeling on
one knee on rocky ground with head bowed, grasping a Wand with a
crystal tip. Behind the kneeling figure are eight other Wands with
crystal tips that glow in the rays of a setting sun. A large waxing
moon shines in the golden sky. This card tells of great strength and
endurance that have achieved much but have also taken a great toll.
It tells us that we have one more challenge to overcome, and we will
need to dig deep in order to struggle and overcome. Here we are told
that if something does not kill us, it will make us stronger.

The
Naked Tarot describes the Nine of Wands as a castle surrounded by a
moat, grueling circumstances, the final push with almost-dead
batteries, going the distance, running a marathon, and sticking it
out. This card is personified by Rocky Balboa, Murphy’s Law, the
Great Wall of China, and the final moments of a close football game.

The
Nine of Wands tells of the practical application of wisdom that has
been attained through resilience and focus. This card tells us that
for the moment, we are in a safe place. We may be battered and
exhausted, but now is the time to remain vigilant and focused so we
can hold our position firmly for just a bit longer, and we will win
the day.

The
danger here is that we will surrender to the attitudes, habits or
situations that have tempted or derailed us in the past. Unexpected
challenges or close calls can make us want to give up, but we need to
remember that everything happens for a reason, and we will gain
something of value no matter what, if we just fond the strength to
hold firm.

There
is an overall theme here. The Nine of Wands is not about victory or
defeat, but rather it is about putting up a good fight. It is about
accepting that sometimes the very thing we are fighting for can’t
be seen with the physical eyes because it is an ideal, not an item.
Perhaps in the end, the victory we win will be against the stumbling
blocks of pessimism and procrastination.

**
We Feature the art of 
Ciro
Marchetti 
as
part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks
at 
http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Raushanna is
a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot
Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred
Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic
Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher
specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a
Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna
bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by
the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to
be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing
about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or
spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body.
She has published a book, “The
Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding
,” and is
currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree
of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card
throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com,
which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son
and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can
often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the
Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Going Shamanic Radio

January, 2019

Going
Shamanic
” is
hosted by Jennifer
Engracio
 on 
P.A.G.E. Media
Project’s blogtalk
radio each month. The show focuses on
how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of
relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or
weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving
ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth
into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This
Month’s Topic:
Sacred
Sexuality, Part
2
with
Saida Désilets, PhD

This
show is the second part of an interview we did with Saida on human
sexuality. In this conversation, your host and Shamanic
Coach, 
Jennifer
Engracio
 talks
with Saida Désilets about why sexuality is vital to overall health
and well being.  We talk about the developmental stages of
sexuality and ways to step more fully into our erotic innocence.

Saida Désilets, PhD, is
a thought-leader on the growing edge of researching how women can use
their minds, bodies, and spirits to create richer lives through their
sensual selves. She is the founder of 
the
Succulence Revolution
,
a self-actualizing system that creates more pleasure, sexual
aliveness, and deep self-love. She is a co-contributor to the
best-selling books of 
Dr.
Christiane Northrup and Dr. Rachel Abrams
 and
has led transformational workshops and seminars for women around the
globe for the past 13 years. She is the author of the 
Emergence
of the Sensual Woman: Awakening Our Erotic Innocence
,
and serves as a guide to women who believe in transformation as a
lifelong path of learning, discovery, and walk to freedom.
 www.TheSucculenceRevolution.com

You
will truly love this conversation – filled with insights and profound
wisdom about who we are as beings of pleasure.

Going
Shamanic
is hosted by Jennifer Engrácio,
about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life.

***

About
the Author:

Jennifer
Engrácio
has been a student of
shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked
with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is
a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner;
in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from
Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life
partner.

Engrácio
participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The
Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s
Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For
more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

The Road to Runes

January, 2019

The Road to Runes: Isa, Waiting for the Thaw

Isa
means ‘ice’ and is associated with stillness, stagnation and
immobility. It is the third rune in the second aett of the Elder
Futhark, also known as Hagal’s aett.

Today
I was pondering a frustrating work problem and decided to see what
the runes had to say. My situation was that I wanted to make a
change, but there was the possibility of a certain opportunity if I
stayed where I was for the time being. It’s that age-old question
immortalised by The Clash: should I stay, or should I go?

Stillness

I
drew the rune Isa, which literally means ‘Ice’. Isa is associated
with stillness and stasis. Ice seems to render flowing and fluid
water suddenly still and motionless. It stops things in their tracks,
yet it is beautiful and alluring. This makes it all the more
dangerous, as while we pause, transfixed by cold beauty, we are not
moving forward and completing our journey. Of course, sometimes a
moment of stillness can be refreshing and rejuvenating. But when we
stay still for too long, we become stiff, useless, and even forget
why we were moving forward in the first place.

This
rune indicates that I am stuck. The work situation that I was worried
about shows no signs of resolving itself anytime soon, and I am left
with the same dilemma; to forcefully break out of the situation or
allow things to take their course, no matter how slow and frustrating
this may be.

Gestation

Although
the frustration of being stuck is my primary reaction to Isa, Isa can
mean so much more than this. Just as the earth rests in winter before
new growth in spring, so do we sometimes need to let ourselves rest
and be still before our lives get back on track. Isa can indicate a
period of gestation; a time to let things grow and progress
naturally. It could actually be the worst time to change or force
change, as now is the time for rest and letting things take their
course.

Isa
represents Niflheim, the cold and misty world of the dead. It is a
place we fear to be; frozen and unmoving, with no chance of life.
This is like real-world stagnation. We yearn to be ever moving
forward, achieving and progressing. Isa makes us realise that
sometimes, events which are outside our control can prevent us from
moving forward, and that we have to accept that and not let that
stagnation prevent us from being the best we can be. Continue to live
our lives, as well as we can, and trust that when the ice thaws, the
water will flow again. Our river will move inexorably towards the
sea.

The
rune seems to tell me I just need to wait, for now. However, I should
keep working at my problem, checking in, being cautious and aware of
new information and changes. I should not let my ego take over but
remain calm and avoid giving in to frustration. If I follow my own
process and stay true to myself, eventually the ice will thaw, the
problem will become clearer and the solution may even become visible.

As
an afterthought, I drew another rune, which was Dagaz, the rune of
breakthroughs. This gave me more hope, and I’ll discuss this
further in next month’s article. Don’t forget, you can tweet me
@Mabherick if you want me to focus on a particular rune for this
column. Until next time!

***

About
the Author:

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

She
is the author of 
A
Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

and Pagan
Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways
.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

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

Book Review – The Witchcraft Handbook by Midia Star

January, 2019

Book
Review

The
Witchcraft Handbook:

Unleash
Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want

By
Midia Star

This
is a beginner’s book, someone who has some experience may use the
spells in this book just as a jumping off point to create some new
spells. At the very beginning of the book, the first thing the
author writes is “Witchcraft is the practical side of the Wiccan
religion.” I have to say that I disagree with that statement
because not all witches are Wiccan.

I
had a hard time on telling what demographic the writer was going
after with this book. There are spells for home, sex, work, and love.
While at the back of the book there is a section on Dreamboards. In
this section, the writer states that the Dreamboard should be for
your dreams and not those of your friends or parents.

While
the author’s writing is well done, I do have to wonder about the
information this book contains. As far as information on herbs,
crystals, oils, and Moon phases the author is spot on. But there are
other little small things that I feel are misinformation.

Page
79 of the book the author writes in the Did You Know? box:
“Christians once used the pentagram as a religious symbol. Each
point represented the five wounds of Christ. To pagans and to
witches it represents Morrigan, the war goddess who fights for peace
in good fortune for others. If you see the pentagram drawn with the
top point of the star pointing to the bottom of the circle, this
represents dark and sinister magic, so always draw your pentagram
with the top point of the star pointing upwards.” The part about
the Christian’s is correct. I honestly don’t know about the
Morrigan part. But the inverted Pentacle I do know something about.
This is misinformation because on specific paths the pentacle with
the star pointing down is a sign of protection or even a sign of
attaining another degree within that path.

On
page 97 the author writes when talking about A Garden Space: that in
the William Shakespeare’s witches’ famous incantation’ eye of
newt and toe of frog’ actually refers to mustard seeds and a type
of buttercup plant. I had never heard that myself, I would like to
know what research the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

On
page 123 Midia Star writes in the Did You Know? box: “The Druids
where the first to believe and the power of the four-leaf clover.”
Now whether this is true or not I don’t know, again I would like to
know other resources the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

The
book contains no bibliography, or other sources were the author may
have gotten their information. The author does state that they have
tried the spells and they have worked for them. Again, as I said at
the beginning, the information on herbs, oils, candles, and the Moon
phase are all spot on. But, I do take exception to the things I have
listed, due to the lack of the bibliography.

The Witchcraft Handbook: Unleash Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Dawn
Borries
 loves
reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org.
Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past
25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are
interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings
by Dawn
on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

January, 2019

Magic for Material

Merry
meet.

When
my body weight was fluctuating, I found myself buying most all my
ritual wear at thrift stores and consignment shops. One way I used to
make some of the velvet pieces more special to me was to emboss them
with magickal symbols.

While
many different types of velvet work, those with the most nap give the
most striking results. Some velour fabrics
work as well.

Rubber
stamps are very easy to use. Cork and the large, thin erasers are two
other materials you can use. You might experiment with others.

Place the front side of the fabric face down on the shape you wish to imprint on the material. Mist a couple of times with water and, using an iron set to the silk setting, press directly down on top of the shape. Hold it fairly still for about fifteen to twenty seconds. (If possible, use a test strip first.)

Wait
a couple of moments and pull back the fabric to see the impression.
Areas will still be damp, so let the fabric sit until it dries.

Goddesses,
symbols, sigils and words offer abundant options, and embossing them
with intention will add magic to
your ritual garb, tarot bags and altar cloths.

Merry
part. And merry meet again.

***

About
the Author:

Lynn
Woike
 was
50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before
she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She
draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her
Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae,
Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling
from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses
Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making
her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the
work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with
her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can
follow her boards on Pinterest,
and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Individuals Within the Unified Matrix of Life

January, 2019

art by Katherine Bell McClure

I’ve
been considering the phrase ‘all my relations’ for some time now.
It’s hugely important. It’s our saving grace in the end. It
points to the truth that we are all related, that we are all
connected, that we all belong to each other. The most important word
is ‘all.’ Not just those who look like me, sing like me, dance
like me, speak like me, pray like me or behave like me. ALL my
relations. That means every person, just as it means every rock,
mineral, blade of grass, and creature. We live because everything
else does. If we were to choose collectively to live that teaching,
the energy of our change of consciousness would heal each of us–and
heal the planet.”

-Richard
Wagamese

I
am first generation Canadian. My parents were both born and raised in
Portugal. Along with my extended family on both sides, they came to
Canada to escape the Revolution and mandatory military conscription
(for men at the time). Over the years, my parents have shared with me
how hard it was to arrive in a new country as young adults with
little English and a very different worldview, in some ways, than
that of the mainstream Canadian culture of the time. My parents
learned English, joined the workforce, and adopted some mainstream
Canadian ways that were meaningful to them. As I get older, I
appreciate more and more the things about Portuguese culture that
they valued and held tight to: the language, the spiritual and
cultural traditions, the importance of family and community living.

Even
though I was born in Canada, Portuguese is my first language. I
became more fluent in English when I went to public school in
kindergarten. However, I attended Portuguese school on Saturdays to
learn to read and write. I was aware from a very young age that I had
to learn how to walk between two very different worlds: the very
individualistic values of the mainstream Canadian society and the
community values of my heritage. This was–and still is, to an
extent–a delicate dance for me because I hold values in both camps:
I value my individual expression and free will, while also seeing the
importance of seeing myself as part of a complex matrix of life. I
don’t see these two orientations towards living as dichotomies any
longer. I actually see them feeding into one another quite naturally
when we don’t put them on a polarized scale where one is more
important than the other. As always, nature provides us with good
illustrations of how these two co-exist.

Animals are who they are: a tiger does not pretend to be a horse, for instance. Animals live from their true nature, the essence of who they are. They also know the importance of cooperation. Ecosystems are a great example of this. The Canada geese in our neighbourhood have a choice of many ponds to feed at and raise their young. This year, I noticed that they moved their feeding spot despite the fact that there was still a good food supply for them. It turns out that the geese are great conservationists; they left their territory to allow it to recover from their years of use. An elder also recently reminded me that geese take turns being the leader when they are flying so the birds who fly behind have an easier time traveling. Similarly, we know that when predators are reintroduced into environments from which they’ve been absent, they restore balance to the ecosystems. When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, the ungulate population decreased, therefore allowing the plants and trees to flourish again. Not only do animal species know how to conserve, but different animals provide the checks and balances needed for most species to flourish. Thankfully, life is tenacious!

We
are individuals with our own life paths but we are living in a
relational field of energy where what we do, say, and think impacts
everything else in connection with us and vice versa. We are
individuals within the unified matrix of life. The question is not:
Do we choose our individualistic notions above those of community?
Westerners often cling to individualistic doctrine out of fear of
losing their “rights.” And although we must be vigilant not to
give over our rights as sovereign beings, we simply couldn’t
survive alone; we depend on communities of all kinds to thrive. We
see the environmental, social, human, and psychological destruction
that happens when people live only from their individual needs,
wants, and desires– when they forget that they are not alone in the
universe. The important question in my mind is: How do we use our
Spirit-given gifts to add to the collective energy of the communities
we travel within (including the ecosystems we live in)? Being
committed to community living is like a marriage where there will be
rough patches but what is important is that we continue to face
towards each other to find ways that everyone’s needs are met to
some extent most of the time.

Sometimes this means that we must put aside some of our desires so someone else in need can receive more support. One community I am a part of operates in a consensus model. Coming to a general agreement that works for folks is harder the bigger the group gets, though not impossible. Similar to the geese, everyone leads at different times in this group and everyone’s voice has the possibility of being heard. I am more successful in my intimate relationships today in my forties because of my participation with this community model. I’ve learned to see where there is need in my community and give up some of my “wants” so that others might receive benefit. For example, folks have different personal financial budgets and while we have an agreement to meet each year for professional growth, we’ve had to be mindful that we don’t meet in a location each year that causes financial strife for our members. With some creative thinking and adjustment to the community agreements regarding attendance, we’ve come up with a solution that everyone can live with. Is it ideal in that everyone gets everything they want or need all the time? No. However, it does minimize the negative impact the previous system was having on the lives and well-being of some of our members.

This is what the phrase “all my relations” means to me. It entails that we think about ourselves not as contained individual planets floating around aimlessly in a lonely solar system, rather that we are in a continuous, collective dance with the other sentient beings in the universe. Though we stand in our own circles, we have a responsibility to life and to doing the least amount of harm possible. This is challenging as human beings because we all do harm to some extent in order to survive: we hunt, we forage, we take down trees to build homes, we use natural resources to fuel our cars and heat our homes. It comes down to basic Systems Theory: When one part of the system (including families and communities) changes, the whole system has to change by default. Ironically, the stronger we stand in our own inner medicine wheels as individuals, the better advocates we become for issues that imperil the health and well-being of our communities. When we know who we are and what we value, we are more likely to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. This is what creates true change in the world. I dedicate this article to all my relations. May we continue to evolve in co-creation with Spirit.

Wild
Geese by Mary Oliver

You
do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your
knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You
only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it
loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you
mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and
the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the
landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the
mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the
clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no
matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your
imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and
exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the
family of things.

***

About
the Author:

Jennifer
Engrácio
has been a student of
shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked
with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is
a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner;
in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from
Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life
partner.

Engrácio
participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The
Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s
Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming
of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For
more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Crystal Balls

January, 2019

Crystal
ball are used for divination (scrying) and spirit summoning. It is a
well respected technique of divination and is used through the use of
reflective surfaces and taking advantage of the bioplasmic energy
(psychic power) in inanimate objects like crystals as it comes from
the cosmos itself. If you can tune into that force the crystal ball
will be very beneficial.

They
should usually be made from clear quartz and can be large or small.
Smoky quartz is beneficial if you mainly want to use it for summoning
spirits. Manmade crystals are spiritually dead, so use those only
for decoration. Natural crystals are what you want. Some people
think it is better to be given one as a gift, but personally I think
you should choose your own. It is a very personal object so you want
to choose it carefully. You should be drawn to it and feel its
energy.

The
crystal ball is a tool of Pisces and the modern clear round ball is
effective because it evokes the image of the moon. Now, some people
can’t afford a real crystal ball, but there are
other options. Even using something like a glass bottle of water, ink
or water in a pan, etc. will give you some results, but the power of
a cleansed crystal ball will be much more substantial.

A
new crystal ball must be cleansed by exposing it to the light of the
full moon at least once (13 times is ideal) before use. A crystal
ball covered in negative energy and spiritual debris will cause
disturbances and may not be accurate. Also, when you are not using
it, you should keep in covered in a dark cloth. A great way to clean
the crystal ball is with a blend of spring water and vinegar, charged
waters, mugwort hydrosol or a water-based herbal infusion with dried
mugwort and/or anise-seed.

Crystal-gazing
is a great way to get into clairvoyance. You should stand the
crystal ball on a black base or black cloth so that when you look
into it there are no distractions. You don’t
want anything to draw your attention away. The lighting should be
behind you and it’s best to be in a semi-darkened room. Close your
eyes and try to empty your mind and be open to the energies and aura
around you. Then open your eyes and gaze into the center of the
crystal. When you see a shadow or shape, clear your mind and follow
them. You may immediately see someone or something or you may see it
fill with smoke. The smoke will probably fill up the whole ball and
then start to dissipate and leave a scene. This is called clouding.

If
you don’t get anything, don’t worry. Keep
looking for about ten minutes, but not much more. You don’t want to
force anything or strain yourself in anyway. Just give up and try the
next day. You will develop your own way of working with the crystal
ball. Some see images right away, but sometimes you may need to try
for a few days and weeks. Do not strain to get results, just relax
and let it happen. At first you won’t have much control over what
you see, but as you progress you will adjust and you will improve at
clearing your mind and you will start to see what or whom you
mentally ask for. If you are constantly getting negative or scary
images or feelings you may want to try cleansing it again, cast a
protective circle or simply try a different type of divination.
Crystal balls just aren’t for everyone. Keep in mind when
attempting to communicate with spirits, you should always cast a
circle first.

The Bad Witch’s Guide

January, 2019

The
Bad Witch’s Guide to The Older People”

Or
You get Better or You Get Bitter”

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

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

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

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

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

As
a witch I have to change my perspective.

I
must squint at the situation sideways and think magickally.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You
Will Need:

Salt,
the best kind you can afford.

Barley
(pearl barley is fine)

Calendula
oil

Parsley
(dried)

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

Say:

Spirit
of Salt I call to thee

Draw
what is harmful away from me.

Barley
keep the Dark away

Bind
it here until I wash it away.

No
darkness shall harm

With
this charm:

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

Tenebris
et non nocebit

Tenebris
et non nocebit!

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

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

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

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