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Book Review – Pagan Portals: Animal Magic – Working with Animal Spirit Guides by Rachel Patterson

April, 2019

Book Review
Pagan Portals: Animal Magic
Working with Animal Spirit Guides
by Rachel Patterson

Rachel Patterson is a witch, wife, mother, and author. She is high
priestess of the Kitchen Witch Coven and an elder at the Kitchen Witch
School of Natural Witchcraft. She combines hedge witchery, religious
witchcraft, kitchen witchery, and folk magick into her own version of the
Craft.

Her main animal guide is the boar. Other animals have chosen to be her
guides as well; magpie, pigeon, seagull, frog, and others that pop up on
occasion. Each has it’s own reason and brings it’s own strengths and
wisdom.

She encourages us to trust our intuition in all aspects of life, including
our magick, that there is no ‘right’ way of doing things. She flat out
states that what works for her might not work for you or me.

There seems to be interchangeability between the many words used; totem,
power animal, medicine, and ally to just name a few. Their use depends on
the tradition, pathway or personal preference. Personally, I use either
spirit or guide.

Our ancestors had a deeper stronger connection to nature in all it’s forms.
They understood the animal world in ways that we are just starting to
relearn. That understanding included being able to learn from the other
creatures around them. With that understanding came understanding on a
spiritual level besides the physical.

Each creature has things that they can teach us, qualities that we can
adapt and adopt ourselves. Many of our sayings are animal related; busy as
a bee, quiet as a mouse, loose as a goose, what’s good for the goose is
good for the gander. Animal guides can teach us wisdom, guide us away from
danger, and act as power sources for our magickal endeavors.

We often have dreams or visions of animals. For instance, I used to dream
about lions protecting the wheelchair ramps of a school that I used to go
to. They were there to help me until I was ready to face whatever it was
that I was afraid of, deeply, at that time. So lions represent strength,
courage, and loyalty to me.

This book has lots of great information. The author describes her own
version of a medicine wheel meditation that is designed to help you meet
some of your various animal guides. There’s information about the
elemental, various astrological, deity, etc. connections. This book is
great for learning about spirit guides, animals and otherwise. It gave me
lots of good information and confirmed many things that I had already
learned previously on my own. I do highly recommend this book for those
interested in spirit animal guides and how to contact and work with them.

Pagan Portals – Animal Magic: Working With Spirit Animal Guides on Amazon

Book Review – The Witch’s Book of Mysteries by Devin Hunter

March, 2019

Book Review
The Witch’s Book of Mysteries
by Devin Hunter

The
forward of The Witch’s Book of Mysteries, written by Jason Miller,
jumps right into what the reader can expect from The Witch’s Book
of Mysteries by Devin Hunter.


“What is a Witch? It’s a tricky label. For some people witchcraft
is a religion. If you worship the old Gods and fol
low
a religion like Wicca, then for those people your are a Witch. Other
People focus on the craft part of witchcraft and consider use of folk
magic as the defining
characteristics
of a Witch. If you know the magical properties of herbs, the words of
spells and the use of oils and candles and stones, then you are a
Witch.”….

And,
as Jason aptly states, the definition of what a Witch has all of the
overlays of modern society and traditional practices rolled into one.

This
is the third book by Devin in a systematic approach to introducing
the experienced student to the practices of witchcraft and honing
their skills into becoming a Witch. The first of the books, The
Witch’s Book of Power, explored all that comprises the journey of
developing your power and knowing when and how to tap into it for a
sustainable and effective practice.

The
Second book, The Witch’s Book of Spirits furthered developed the
power of the burgeoning Witch in accessing the world of spirits,
mediumship and all that is of what Devin calls the Familiar Craft.
And, as promised in this third book, The Witch’s Book of Mysteries
coalesces all that has preceded and the reader begins the practice of
working with those of the Sacred Fires, the Grigori, and the
expansion of the practitioners powers to becoming one with all of the
worlds.

This
is not a book for the beginner and demands of the reader a
working-not theoretical-knowledge of witchcraft and all that goes
into claiming the title of Witch. The book is divided into two parts
and each builds upon the other in knowledge and practical
application. Many of the concepts presented are not your traditional
craft practices. Instead, they are a refining and adaption of
concepts that include some techniques and teachings that would have
been designated as disciplines for other paths.

Much like Christopher Orapello and Tara Maguire’s book Besom, Stang & Sword (read the review of this book in our February Issue), these are concepts of the Modern Witch drawing on the best of the old and propelling the seeker into a new form of witchcraft that makes use more cosmic principals.

One
of the best examples of what this new craft encompasses is the
definition and explanation of the a familiar concept, the Witch’s
Sabbat. As Devin points out, this term has come to be associate with
the eight festivals of the Witch’s Wheel of the Year. These being
tied to celebrations of specific times of the year, deities and
experiences largely pulled together and used as such associations by
those of
scholarly works and not necessarily of the craft themselves. Just
this idea makes so much sense if you consider that those we
considered to be practicing witch’s hundreds of years ago would not
necessarily have set aside valuable time and resources to celebrate
in the ways we do today. Even the Deities that may have been
associated with such rites would have been culturally based.

We
learn in this book that the Sabbat is an experience that occurs in
deep trance or while sleeping and requires the Witch have command
over his/her magical form that has the power and ability to move in
its pure form of power onto the plane of the Sabbat. This requires
the development of lucid dreaming, psychic awareness. and as Devin
states regarding the goal…”isn’t
necessarily to leave the body and travel to a different dimension,
but rather to travel through the inner realms of the mind and the
paths of the psyche to get to a different dimension”….
I
found this a telling perspective that emphasizes the reality that
being a Witch is really hard work that demands knowing yourself and a
very mature attitude towards stepping into your power.

Part
Two of “Mysteries” focuses on taking the Witch beyond their scope
of power and realms of working and issues the call to reaching beyond
what is believed of the limitation of form and reach out to those
Spirits and guardians responsible for creation-particularly
ours-itself. These entities move well beyond the archetypal and
anthropomorphic energies of specific Deities, pantheons and the
traditional Gods/Goddesses. The Witch must thoroughly know who they
are in all of their power and rise to stand as co-creators with those
lesser known (and worked with) beings who are of support.

The
bibliography and recommended reading at the end of the book
exemplifies the care and thought that went into this book and, more
importantly supports Devin’s encouragement to learn as much as you
can about as much as you can to truly be informed in your own
practice.

The
Witch’s Book of Mysteries is a valuable resource to the advanced
practitioner regardless of the form your witchcraft may take. In
fact, whether you consider yourself a witch or not, the information
and way in which it has been compiled is well worth reading. This is
the craft that will move into the next generation of and with that
statement, you will hopefully see the durability and strength of a
power that is organically a creative and universal energy.

To
hear more from Devin about his practices, Tradition and more:

The
Modern Witch Podcast

modernwitch.podbean.com

The Witch’s Book of Mysteries on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Robin
Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She
is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The
Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s
Written in the Stars

Astrology

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry
of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The
Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening
the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A
Year With Gaia on Amazon

The
Eternal Cord

Temple
of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous
Devotions

The
Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A
Collection of Esoteric Writings

The
Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning
the Parts of SELF

The
Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings
on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping
with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights
of Devotion

A
Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings
for the Year

Her
books are available on Amazon
 or
on this website
 and
her Blogs
 can
be found at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.

Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times Review & Interview with Gabiann Marin

March, 2019

March 2019 for Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

March
2019 for Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

Bright
Blessings!

I
cannot tell you how excited I am that it is almost the Spring
Equinox! To prepare, I assembled a precut garden box today, and have
been diligently bagging up the dead leaves from last fall I spread
over the garden beds I already have. I never buy mulch that way! Once
the thaw starts, I dig out the leaves, and just throw them away.

While
I joyously begin celebrating Spring at Imbolc, the fact I can see the
green fingers of garden bulbs pushing up out of the earth reminds me
the growing season is set to begin very soon. I am buying seeds left
and right, and soon, we will start stockpiling the pea gravel and
soil for the new garden bed!

The
undesirable parts of things like cleanup, spending money on supplies,
and lifting and carrying heavy things must be performed to benefit
from the beauty of the victory garden we covet. I, for one, hate the
sight of worms, and have ever since I was a child. I, however know
that without those blind wrigglers, my garden will not grow, and if I
don’t see them, I know something is very wrong.

Like
the garden, our lives are made up of all sorts of things. Things we
like, and things we dislike. More than that, we also like and dislike
things about specifically our own selves.

Turn
on the television, and you can almost always find a makeover show, or
some type of advertisement for a service or product that will
completely transform you, supposedly getting rid of some aspect of
yourself you loathe. Our culture supports that self-loathing, as they
use it as excuse to earn money from us.

Now,
I am not saying we ought to forego improving ourselves. What I am
saying is that all of us have something we CANNOT change about
ourselves that we imagine to be some monstrosity. Some hate the shape
of their feet, the sound of their voice, the fact their hair is
naturally curly or straight. Some hate having an adams apple, and
some think their neck is too long or short. Some want to get rid of
freckles, or bleach their skin which they imagine is too dark. Almost
all of us have demonized some aspect of ourselves we simply cannot
help.

But
we are not monstrosities in any way. We simply misunderstand these
parts of ourselves, and radical self-acceptance is the only solution.
What better time for that than the Spring Equinox, which is often
used to get rid of the old and bring in the new? Instead of throwing
out some part of ourselves, why not change our way of thinking
instead?

This
Month’s Review

To
fit with this theme. I lucked into an interview with Gabiann Marin,
author of the awesome book, Monsters and Creatures. I
found the book to be well written, well researched, and an easy read.
Of course, she could not include ALL monsters and creatures from all
of time in the book, but she packed in quite a lot into the neat 196
pages.

From
the Basilisk to Zombies, Marin draws readers into the fascinating
world of creatures, and provides more than just lore. She includes
historical anecdotes, and education about real phenomenon.

I highly recommend the book, and it can be had through this link.

Not
only was I fortunate enough to review this good book, but I got to
interview the amazing Gabiann Marin!

Read
on!

The
Interview

Saoirse
– First, let me say, I was impressed with your book Monsters and
Creatures. I never know what to expect from a reference book on
creatures- and I was thrilled because I found your book very well
researched.

You
packed so very much good information into it. How long did it take
you to gather all of that in formation, and what was the process for
research you used? What background in research do you have, and what
is your philosophy about educating your readers as an author? 

Gabiann
Thank you.  The research part
was quite interesting.  I have grown up with many of the
creatures in the book in so far as I have loved and read mythology
and fantasy and history since I was a small child.  In fact the
very first book I bought for myself (at the age of seven)  was
The natural history of the vampire by Anthony Masters and I still
have that book. So I guess it took a lifetime to gather all the
information. 

The
greater challenge was how to get all the information I wanted to talk
about into such a small book.  I didn’t want it to just be a
dictionary of fantastic beasts.  I’m a writer and the power of
all these creatures are in their stories and I wanted to be able to
share that… Give a context of these creatures in history and
psychology and society.  

I
have been a professional writer for a long time as well as an
academic, so I read widely and have a pretty varied interest and
abundant curiosity in just about everything – so I
find researching information pretty easy. 

The
process for this book was really to decide what monsters and
creatures I wanted to include.  The publisher was pretty adamant
the popular ones were included… Which I agreed with… But
I was also intent on introducing readers to more unusual and lesser
known creatures and tell their stories too. 

Saoirse
– What made you decide to write about this topic, specifically? This
appears more like a long-term interest in these beings turned into a
good book to share what you have learned with others. Am I right? 

Gabiann
– Yes.  I love animals and the natural world and am fascinated
in how we, as humans, connect to and understand nature. 
I have always believed the stories of monsters and creatures are some
of the most potent and informative ways that we express our love and
fear of the world around us. 

Saoirse
– As I am Pagan, I know a lot of people who embrace belief in human
connection with supernatural beings. One friend said these
“creatures” may be nothing more than manifestation of
spirit people perceive so well, they mistake them for flesh! While we
know about logical explanations like- manatees can be mistaken for
mermaids, etc- what is your take on the theory my friend presented? 

Gabiann
– I have a rather unique perspective on people’s belief systems and
how they engage with the mystical, the natural and the
supernatural… And that is that however someone perceives these
creatures – as real or imagined, as pyschological manifestations
or as historical creatures… They are probably right. 

We
manifest our understanding of the world and ourselves through the
stories we tell and that shapes how we treat each other and the world
around us.  Spirit reaches us through story, symbol and
myth.  

If
your friend perceives spirit as a unicorn or a dragon.. Then
that is how spirit presents itself to her.  She is using these
stories exactly how they were meant to be used – for her to step
beyond the human condition and understand the world beyond herself. 

Saoirse
– I want to know all about you! Tell me about your writing in
general, and beyond that, YOU in general? What made you decide to
write? What else are you good at? What projects are you working on,
and what else is in the workings? 

Gabiann
– That’s a big topic… Where
do I start? 

I
suppose I have always been a writer, I wrote my first short story at
the age of eight and won my first literary prize when I was
fourteen.  I became a professional writer when I started
University.  I was originally going to be a vet but ended up at
the last minute studying writing instead. My mum was surprisingly OK
with this!  

I
started my professional writing life writing film and theatre reviews
and then actual plays.  I worked as a corporate copywriter for a
few years but realised it was a bit soul destroying so shifted over
and became a writer for charities and causes I believed in… Like
Amnesty International, The Wilderness Society and Greenpeace.  

I
also wrote for Australian television for a few years but it was a
hard road back then with very little Australian content being made.
So in 2000 I began writing children’s books.  In 2003 I
wrote a book for young readers about a child in Australian
Immigration detention called A True Person, which won a few
international awards but most importantly was the first book in
Australia to tackle that issue.

I
still write social justice material in fiction form but moved into
editing and writing non fiction after leaving an academic job in
2016.

Currently
I am dividing my time between teaching writing and film at
University, while editing and writing non-fiction, original and
adapted film scripts and completing a fantasy fiction book about
Medusa.

Saoirse
– Tell me about your personal spiritual path, and if it influenced
your work on this topic.

Gabiann
– I am Wicca and have been since I was quite young, however I am
more a pagan in the classic sense, in that I believe there is a
natural force which guides the world and creates and determines
life. I believe we need to understand and respect this
force… Which currently as a global entity we are not doing.

All
of my work has, in some way, reflected my belief that people are part
of – not in conflict with – the natural world.  And the natural
world is actually supernatural, in that it contains spirit as well as
material things.  This is hardly controversial, as literally
everyone in the known history of humankind has believed a
version of this – yet for some reason mankind have been
intent on focusing on the differences in this belief and killing each
other over how we individually choose to understand and express that
spiritual essence .  To me spirit is nature herself…
Everything in it is amazing.  It contains things which we are
only just beginning to understand. 

I
don’t follow any organized religion because I believe that most of
them limit us into hatred and division with both ourselves and the
other beings we share this planet with.  But I have a huge
respect for most religious people who are just trying to find ways to
connect with the bigger sense of power around them.  I believe
that when we are in contact with the natural world… Go beyond
the realms of mankind’s selfishness, greed and violence, we
can connect to that
spirit. But
honestly I do not think we as humans are the most important things on
this planet.  Not the single or indeed the main focus of any
spiritual force which may exist.  The trees and the rocks and
the mountains have watched us rise and they will watch us fall. 
Creatures we can barely imagine have roamed this earth thousands of
years before we were even conceived of.. And other creatures
will no doubt walk across our fossilized bones.  And that is a
good thing.  Nature is immortal. So the smallness and pettiness
of humanity and our need to find meaning and place has always
underpinned my work.  As well as a commitment to kindness,
justice and understanding … Towards each other and all
beings. 

Saoirse
– Have you had any personal encounters with creatures or spirits you
would like to share?

Gabiann
– I think there is magic in the world, and spirit… particularly
animal spirits, can help you find your way to that magic.

When
I was in my twenties I had a very hard time. As I believe most
young women in their twenties do in a world that is constantly
telling us that as females we are simply not good enough, pretty
enough, smart
enough. Then one night I had this amazing dream of two tigers who
embraced me when I thought they were going to rip me apart. 

I
woke up realizing that I was worthy and strong and loved.  I
still believe today they were manifestations of spirit telling me to
stop worrying about all the silliness around me and understand that
my purpose… the purpose for all of us,  was simply to
be a good person. Once I realized that, life became much clearer
for me and I was able to follow a path that wasn’t so concerned about
whether I fitted in with the very narrow ideology of being a
compliant, acceptable, quiet woman. Which I certainly am
not!  And rather tell stories and be part of the world in a way
that expanded, not limited my and other creatures existence.

I
am still very spiritual and have engaged with spirit in many ways
since then.  But I remember that dream so clearly even now. 
It’s why I became a pagan and a feminist. 

Monsters
and Creatures, as well as its companion book – Gods and
Goddesses, was written as an introduction into the history of
humankind’s need to use story and myth to understand the world. 
They are small books but I hope they pack a punch and give people a
bit of an insight into what unites us – which is story… and what
defines us – which is how we understand the world around us.  

They
are both written to be fun, informative and easy to read and I
really hope people engage with them.  Our continuing fascination
with supernatural creatures is one of the many things that unite us
as people.  And sharing these stories is the best way to create
connections between us across time and cultures.  

I
am happy to engage with readers but have a limited social media
profile as I find the online world to be somewhat mean-spirited and
focused on conflict.  I have a facebook authors page and an
Amazon Author’s page through which I am happy to engage with those
wanting more information about me. 

If
you are interested in getting a copy of any of my books they are
widely available through Amazon as well as most good book stores.  

Saoirse
– What is your FAVORITE Monster/Creature you included in your book,
and why? Any encounters, dreams, or visions of/with it/them?

Gabiann
– This is a bit like asking me to choose a favourite child! 

All
of them are my favourite in different ways. I love the more unusual
ones like the Japanese Yokai because they are just so quirky and,
although they can be a bit nasty, they are essentially just really
cool, interesting little creatures who don’t bother anyone and just
hang about doing their own thing. 

Researching
the book I found the bird-like creatures the most fascinating as
they were probably the ones I knew the least about. Again they are
usually positive, kind creatures who help rather than harm us. 

But
I guess if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be Medusa. She
resonates about the power of women and her story is one of injustice.
She was never a monster, just someone who was trying to live her
life. She only harmed those who attacked her and she was a victim of
one of the most heinous and cowardly acts in all of mythology. It is
impossible, I think, to see the story of Medusa as anything but a
parable about male violence against women and the hatred of the
established patriarchy of strong independent females. For that reason
she probably resonates the strongest. 

I
am actually writing a fiction book about her – its a crime caper
comedy believe it or not!  

For more information on Gabiann Marin Visit:

Gabiann’s Linkedin Profile
Her Author Page on Facebook you can follow.
Her Amazon Author Page.

The
Sabbat

The
Sabbat this month is Spring Equinox, known by many Pagans as Ostara.
Many take Bede and the Grimm’s word for it that Ostara was a
Germanic goddess who had a hare as companion and eggs were auspicious
to her.

Unfortunately,
no evidence that this was a goddess exists in imagery or writings
prior to Bede.

But
since writings can be lost, and many passed traditions on orally,
there is a chance this is true. It may also be true that Xtianity
absorbed the Pagan rites to Ostara in their Easter practices.

One thing that is NOT true is the ridiculous meme claiming Ishtar was the goddess Ostara because the name is similar to Easter. Ishtar was never venerated in the British Isles, and ancient British pagans had no knowledge of her whatsoever. Xtians converting British Pagans did not adapt Middle Eastern Pagan practice either.

If
Ostara was a goddess, she was, as Grimm, and Bede say, Germanic.

Both
Ostara and Easter are celebrated with the new life of the Earth, and
new spiritual life for worshippers in mind.

But
while Xtians think of it as their god rising from the grave, and
Pagans think of it in earth based terms, another way to look at it is
rebirth of way of thinking.

New
Life

Earlier
in the article, I spoke of the things we loathe about ourselves that
are things we cannot control.

Examples
I shared were of physical things we might not like, but have no
ability to change. Other examples include things such as the presence
of depression that is being treated as well as possible, but is a
lifelong condition, memory problems after stroke, inability to digest
a favorite food anymore, inability due to medical reasons to have
kids, or even being divorced when you did not choose to be.

My
challenge this time is to think of that thing which you cannot
change- and forgive yourself for it.

Believe
me, I do not say this lightly, as I have things I am upset with
myself for. I say things like “I am sorry for the way I am” and
“I wish you did not have to deal with the fact I have X problem.”

This
is perhaps the least productive thing we do as human beings. In
essence, we punish ourselves for something we have no control over.

We
make ourselves out to be guilty, when in fact, if we could change
whatever it is we hate about ourselves, we absolutely would.

So,
the self-loathing stops. Now.

It’s
going to take a conscious effort to undo your counter productive way
of thinking about yourself, and replacing that with forgiveness, and
amping up the self-love, and it’s one a one time, “fling a spell
and forget it” thing. It will take a different amount of time for
each person, and you may have to tweak the working to suit yourself.

I
want you to know that you are a perfect reflection of the creator,
and what WE think of as flaws are sometimes just things our culture
spits at. We have to train our minds to resist this cultural
poisoning, which is basically abuse, and VERY toxic. We have to
sometimes be the goddess or the father god for ourselves, and know
better than the crap we are told.

This
working entails giving a gift to yourself. You are worth it! This is
done in parts. How far apart you space the parts is up to you.

The
Working

To
start, get a plain white candle and a small receptacle to burn paper
in.

Get
paper, and writing materials.

Part
1
– You are going to sit down and write a letter to yourself.

You
are going to make it as long as you like. Go into great detail about
the thing you loathe about yourself and go ahead and cry out how much
you wish you could change things. It is okay to type and print out
the letter if you’d prefer not to hand write it. Include in the
letter why you understand you can’t change this. Say all you want
to about it and how you feel about it. Just get it all out. You don’t
even have to have one sitting be the whole letter. It can be as long
or as short of a letter as you want. It can even be just a paragraph
or less long.

Part
2
– Then you are going to write your goal for changing thinking.
You are going to have to really think about what thinking you need to
discard, but also what thinking you need to replace it with. Then,
you need to decide what action after the change of thinking you are
going to take. Be as detailed or as vague as asking your goddess or
god for guidance.

Part
3
– Have your initial letter, and then your other papers which
list your goals and planned changes, have your receptacle to burn in
, and light the candle. You can do this at your altar if you want to,
but you can even do this outdoors, or over the kitchen sink, or stove
if you prefer. Do this at the place where you are most comfortable
burning papers.

Read
your letter aloud to yourself. Let it all sink in, and as you are
reading, feel how crucial it is you let this self-loathing go. Then
read the second papers, and truly tell yourself that you are going to
lay aside the old way of thinking, and start the new way of thinking.

When
you have read it all, take one more sheet of paper, and write out a
very short summary of everything on the papers.

Burn
the papers, keeping the summary.

As
the papers burn say, “Out with the old, in with the new, I am the
goddess/god, and I am whole and perfect. So Mote It Be.”

Once
the papers have burned, release the ashes to the wind, and let your
candle burn all the way down. Clean your area up, and place your
summary somewhere you can look at it to remind yourself of all the
things you wrote. Because, remember, this is a long-term change, not
something you are going to release and forget. We have to make
conscious efforts to transform, most especially our way of thinking.
There is no “putting it out there to the Universe to manifest”.
We are going to do this ourselves, for a permanent change.

Part
4- Gift yourself something representing the change you are making. If
you hate your feet, get regular pedicures or start wearing shoes you
really love but thought you could not wear on “those” feet. If
you are upset you did not reach a goal, and the opportunity is gone,
celebrate a goal you DID make. If you are upset you have a chronic
condition that is never going to go away, pamper yourself somehow and
reassure yourself you are not to blame.

Blessed
Spring, and New Beginnings!

Blessed Be!

Monsters and Creatures: Discover Beasts from Lore and Legends (The Supernatural Series) on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Saoirse is
a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11,
but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was
called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not
explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing
Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age
studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse,
pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I
serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor
as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and
Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I
received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my
Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently
focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and
Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein
University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s
Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be
reached through my Facebook page Tarot
with Saoirse
. You can, also, join me on my Youtube
Channel
.

Finding Your Own Way

February, 2019

Chapter 9

Candle Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sit at a comfortable distance
from the candle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine yourself drawn through
the flame into the higher worlds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candle Magic – Colour Magic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barefoot
Angel

You
are my light in this dark time,

My
one true friend,

My hope of better things to come.

Your
laughter is the sparkling bell,

That
lifts my failing spirits with its chime,

Making heaven where there once was hell.

You
are the sun that makes my shadow tall,

the
rock on which I stand

without you, there is no one at all.

You
are my life, my day, my night,

each
hour, each minute aches for you,

You are the star that makes my evening bright.

You
are the shining jewel in the flower.

the
full bright moon that lights my darkest hour,

My
Princess in her shining tower.

I
never thought that I’d know joy again,

until
I saw the love in your blue eyes,

and found myself reborn.

***

About
the Author:

Patrick
W Kavanagh,
Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

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

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

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

Tarot Talk

February, 2019

The
King of Wands

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

We
haven’t looked at the Court Cards of the Tarot for a while. This
month we will return to the Tarot “royals” and get to know the
King of Wands. First, we should review some foundational
information.

The
78 cards of a Tarot deck consist of 22 Major Arcana cards (dealing
with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, and
archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at
some point in our lives) and 56 Minor Arcana cards (customarily
grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four
elements and dealing with day-to-day issues).

The
Court Cards are a part of the Minor Arcana, acting as a
representation of the family unit and individually representing
particular personality traits of people, places and events in our
lives. These cards can also tell us about our own personality, and
how it is perceived by others. Thinking
of Tarot cards as people, with each card having an individual
personality, is particularly appropriate for the Court Cards, as they
are the most human of all the cards in a Tarot deck. Even the
illustrations for the Court Cards show humans in the majority of
Tarot decks.

Instead
of numbers, Court Cards have rank. The lowest ranking Court Card is
the Page, the messenger or intern or apprentice who is still learning
of life and living, but who is also good at dealing with the
unexpected. Next comes the Knight, the representation of strong,
focused and even excessive manifestations of his suit.

Both
the Queen and the King represent mature adults. The Queen manifests
her suit in a feminine or yin or inner way, and the King manifests
his suit in a masculine or yang or outer way. This manifestation
does not necessarily correspond to gender; a man can be represented
by a Tarot Queen if he has a strong inner focus, and a woman can be
represented by a Tarot King if she projects a strong sense of
authority. Since we are talking about the King of Wands today, we
already know that our King will manifest his suit in an outer yet
mature manner. Our King is concerned
with results; he exhibits outer, public expertise in his field, and
he is an authority figure. In many ways, the Kings of the Tarot
Court can be seen as four facets of The Emperor of the Major Arcana.

Our
King’s suit this month is Wands, corresponding with the element of
Fire. Besides the element of Fire, the playing card suit of Clubs,
and the cardinal direction of South. All of the cards of the suit 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.

In
the Tarot Court, the suit of the card has an elemental
correspondence, and the rank of the card has an elemental
correspondence. Pages correspond with Earth, Knights correspond with
either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), Queens correspond with
Water, and Kings correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the
deck). Since we are talking about a King today, we are also talking
about the element of Air, or the element of Fire, depending on the
deck. For our purposes today, we will see the King of Wands as Fire
of Fire.

In
its natural state, the element of Fire is hot and dry. It tends to
bring spontaneous change or impulsive, energetic effects. Fire
transforms 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.

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, but an imbalance or lack of
Fire can bring austerity.

Like
the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological
correspondences. Our King of Wands corresponds with the cusp or
joining point of the signs of Cancer and Leo.

Cancer
is responsive, emotional and generous, but also is moody, insecure or
sensitive, and is often affected by the environment and people
nearby. Those born under the sign of Cancer, the 4th sign of the
zodiac, tend to experience strong feelings and emotions, and they are
very protective of those feelings and emotions. Cancer people tend
to be very attuned to the past, and like to have mementos of the
times and people of their childhood. Cancer people place a high
importance on family, both family of the blood and family of the
heart, and nurture and protect those they love. Cancer people are
hard workers, and that paycheck is important not only for what it
will buy, but also for the security it provides.

Leo
is the 5th sign of the zodiac, located in the middle of Summer. The
symbol of Leo is the Lion, regal and strong, magnetic and forceful.
Leos are determined, ambitious, and highly motivated; add in their
charm and they are natural leaders who attract many friends. They
make good organizers and motivators, and the best use of a Leo is as
the leader of a large group. Leo is the most expressive sign in the
zodiac, and those born under this sign are showmen who are exuberant
and passionate, but they are also susceptible to flattery.

Cancer
and Leo are ruled by elements, planets, and traits that are not
similar. Cancer is a cardinal water sign ruled by the moon, and Leo
is a fixed fire sign ruled by the sun. Cancer is considered to be
quite sensitive and docile, but can survive and even manipulate. Leo
is considered to be powerful and dominant, but can move from roaring
to purring if treated in the right manner. Thus, this cusp can
manifest an interesting set of personality traits, such as the memory
of an elephant, a comfort with being the center of drama, being
driven by high ambitions and the need to achieve something bigger
than oneself. Love, devotion, family, and loyalty form an integral
aspect of both of these signs, and is a strong part of this cusp.

Because
they are Minor Arcana cards, Court Cards also correspond with a
sephira on the Tree of Life. The Kings correspond with the sephira
of Chokmah, along with all of the Twos of the Minor Arcana and the
element of Fire. The Kings sit at the top of the Pillar of Force in
the sephira of Chokmah, representing the
Sacred Masculine and the Catalyst of Life. Chokmah is seen as
dynamic thrust, the Ultimate Positive, the Great Stimulator and the
Great Fertilizer (one of the symbols of Chokmah is the penis), and
thus is connected to the Wheel of the Year. The energies of this
sephira represent dynamic male energy and are the origin of vital
force and polarity.

The
Llewellyn Welsh King of Wands shows a mature man sitting on a throne,
holding a Wand with green leaves sprouting and ribbons blowing. This
card is about status, honor, and personal achievement that not only
brings material success, but also contributions related to the arts,
the sciences or to quality of life. In this card there is the
passion of the Knight, however there is stability to balance out that
passion, allowing the achievement of a position of influence and of
satisfaction.

In the
Thoth Tarot, the Kings are known as Knights (the Knights are called
Princes in this deck), and Crowley sees the Knight (King) of Wands as
being the strongest of the Court Cards. In “Understanding Aleister
Crowley’s Thoth Tarot,” DuQuette describes the Knight (King) of
Wands as like “. . . riding a rocket, and that can be very risky.
If the rocket isn’t aimed properly, he or she misses the target.
If there is not enough fuel, he or she crashes. If there is too much
fuel, the person explodes. But if everything goes well, it is the
most spectacular of successes.” I could not describe the powerful
yet risky energies of this card in a better way.

The
Naked Tarot describes the King of Wands as someone you either admire
or envy, someone whose charisma and confidence draw others like a
moth to a flame. The King of Wands is compelled to accomplish
something meaningful with his life, and thus he is appalled and
enraged by dishonesty and incompetence. This King thrives on
challenges and handles stress with ease, and can’t be bought or
lured from his chosen path. His beneficial traits are an interest in
self-growth and personal advancement, a fascination with the ideas,
inventions and achievements of others, the courage to try new things,
and the ability to use constructive criticism to bring progress. His
detrimental traits are a tendency to do too much, to offend others
(either accidentally or on purpose), and to be a control freak.

The
Legacy of the Divine King of Wands stands, glowing scepter in his
hands, before a fire that is contained and controlled. His passion
is idealistic, and his intellect strengthens his will. His gift is
leadership, and his self-confidence and charisma are tempered by his
need to nurture and protect his loved ones.

The
Kings of the Tarot Court tend to be proactive, and the King of Wands
is the most proactive of them all. He comes up with valuable ideas,
but he also initiates the manifestation of the ideas of others. He
is open to hearing challenges to his own ideas; indeed he often sees
those challenges as opportunities. The King of Wands expects to be
obeyed; he may ask for courage, boldness, and commitment, and expect
innovation and generosity and the taking of responsibility from
others, but he will ask the same things of himself.

Yes,
the King of Wands can tend toward arrogance and rudeness, egotism and
a tendency to be a despot, but he can also be a wise and loving
father, a visionary who inspires others to enthusiasm, and a mentor
with a powerful ability to motivate others to be the best they can
be. The King of Wands makes his own luck, and he tells us that we
can make our own luck, too!

**
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

Book Review – The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils and More by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

February, 2019

Book Review
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils and More
by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
Published by Adams Media
Copyright 2017
Pages: 235

If
you are starting down the path of a green witch, you will appreciate
this complete introduction to the natural magic of herbs, flowers,
essential oils, gems and more.

This
book is a slightly edited
version of her book, “The Way of the Green Witch: Rituals, Spells,
and Practices to Bring You Back to Nature,” published in 2006, also
by Adams Media.

The
information is easily understood and put into practice.

Arin
Murphy-Hiscock describes the path of a green witch as “intensely
personal,” driven by individual strengths and talents, and aligned
with the climate of the geographic location and the energy of that
environment. That makes each path individual, as green witches seek
harmony between nature and humans in an ongoing celebration of life.

“The
practice of the green witch doesn’t have a lot of bells and
whistles, fancy tool, or complicated rituals. Perhaps more than any
other path of witchcraft, the path of a green witch rests on your
philosophy of living and how you interact with the world around you,”
Murphy-Hiscock states.

“Like
kitchen witchcraft, green witchcraft emphasizes practicality and
everyday activity. There are no special words, no unique prayers, no
uniforms, no holy texts, no obligatory tools, and no specific
holidays … unless you create them for yourself. While the green
path is very much the art of daily practice, it isn’t set apart as
sacred. It recognizes the sacred in everyday life. The path of a
green witch is sacred – very much so – but not isolated from the
secular. The secular life itself is what is sacred to the green
witch.”

Green
witches descended from folk healers and practitioners of folk magic:
the village herbalists, midwives, healers and wise women. The book
explains the differences between other practices, noting a green
witch opens to nature’s energies and works with them subtly, rather
than other practices where energy is raised, directed and released.

The
book touches on ethics, personal energy centers, making a home a
sacred space, environmental energy, the power of the seasons and
astrological influences. There are pages covering the magic of trees,
the energy of flowers, powers of herbs, and using stones and
crystals. One chapter covers gardening and another is on healing.

Some
recipes are provided for incense, spell bags, teas and foods, and
suggestions for ritual are also included.

It
is well written and informative, and while it is not in-depth enough
for the advanced practitioner, new seekers will find it a valuable
foundation of knowledge.

Many
of those leaving comments on Amazon noted the book covers nature’s
magic in an inclusive manner, so those of any faith, culture or
tradition can embrace the practice and experience a deeper, more
magical connection with nature while moving through daily life.

The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More on Amazon

***

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.

Going Shamanic Radio

February, 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: Exploring Plant Medicine with Janis Young

Today Jen welcomes Silverowl (Janis Young) whose unique approach to healing encompasses work as a Shamanic Practitioner (crystals, drumming, pipe medicine), Holistic Nutritionist (diet, lifestyle), Reconnective Healing Practitioner (energy work), and Charter herbalist (remedies & potions) to assist in the ongoing quest for health.

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. Jen is also the founder of Spiral Dance Shamanics.

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

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!

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+ Community, Instagram, & YouTube

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.

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.

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