March, 2010

Merry Meet and Welcome!

March, 2010

In this months Issue:

Two Book Reviews

Circle-Coven-and-Cove1

Circle, Coven, & Grove

Simple-Wicca1

Simple Wicca

BANSHEE-SPIRIT1

Faeries, Elves, & Other Kin teaches us about Banshees

A New Column on Auras and a new column on Oils begin this month!

Monthly Horoscope

pisces3

(Feb 19- Mar 20)

Pisces the year 2010 will bring with it life changes, some of which will prove to be for the good, however, be mindful of those that are not. Unexpected difficulties will dot your horizon. But keep your stress under control, making yourself nervous will only add to your problems.

Feuds in your workplace will continue throughout this year, and your pocket book will feel it. Nevertheless, midway through this year you will recuperate somewhat, making your financial situation a bit more tolerable.

Monthly Prayer

Oh fair maiden may I talk with you
I know you know my names and I know yours too
Changing through the seasons, change thats never done
Light and Dark around the Wheel, the Moon and the Sun
Light and Dark around the Wheel, our dance has just begun
Oh fair Maiden can I sit by your side
Will you share what you know, will you trust and confide
And hear these words from my heart for they are true
My world has changed now that I’ve met you
Everything changed, when I saw you
And it was here within these wood where I first laid eyes
Here beneath these trees when I first realized
There was more to my life, these dreams I knew
I hear voices in the Wind, do you hear them too
I hear voices in the Wind, do they call to you
John Conlin

John is a contributing writer to Pagan Pages, currently sharing his thoughts in the “Rites and Ritual” section. He resides in Oregon, living outside town, within the forest near the base of Mt Hood. He hopes that his words reflect the magick and wisdom Nature offers.

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A Witch’s View

March, 2010

Winter is nearly over, and this year it seems to have been a very long season.  I think I got too happy at Samhain as it wasn’t cold and I wandered about with the kids in a witch costume and not much else.  My logical mind figured if it was mild at the end of October then surely winter couldn’t be too severe.  Well, that’s what you get for thinking and trying to out guess Mother Earth.

Luckily we faired quite well here in the South of England with only 1 heavy snowfall but it’s been so cold.  Freezing cold (and I’m not a big fan of being cold).  Now I can see signs of life returning and it’s giving me hope that the chilly weather is finally waning.  In the garden there are tentative buds on a tree and a few snowdrops have sprung up in the flower beds.

I think sometimes it can be difficult to flow with the seasons and although I complain about the cold (ok, I admit, I also complain about the heat) I do really enjoy witnessing Earth go through her cycles.  As I’ve got older and have fallen more in love with my Pagan path I see the need for the seasons and how they correlate to my own life.

When the weather is fine I love to be outside: exploring the countryside, visiting old castles and the odd cemetery or two.  So when I can’t be outside so much it forces me to redirect my energies so I have been planning and sowing seeds for the new season.  This ‘hibernation’ period is the natural flow but as life speeds up to warp speed 9 it can mean feeling frustrated and out of sorts with the world if you don’t adjust.  Things are slower in winter – it’s just the way it is!

I’m looking forward to welcoming Spring this month. I have plans and projects ready to go and I’ve already begun bringing new things into my life.  I recently bought a drum (my first instrument purchase ever) and I’ve added a few CDs to my collection which are musically different from anything I’ve ever owned before.

The Earth is waking up.  So am I.  Bring on the Spring, I’m ready.

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Beltaine Correspondences

March, 2010

Also known as: May Day, Bealtaine, Beltane, Bhealtainn, Bealtinne, Festival of Tana (Strega), Giamonios, Rudemass, and Walburga (Teutonic), Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain),Fairy Day ,Sacred Thorn Day, Rood Day, Roodmas (the Christian term for Rood Day, Old Beltane, Beltain, Baltane, Walpurgis Night, Floriala (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1), Walpurgisnacht (Germanic-feast of St. Walpurga), Thrimilce (Anglo-saxon), Bloumaand (Old Dutch)

Date: May 1

Animals: Swallow, dove, swan, Cats, lynx, leopard

Deities: Flower Goddesses, Divine Couples, Deities of the Hunt, Aphrodite,

artemis, Bast, Diana, Faunus, Flora, Maia, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, and all Gods and Goddesses who preside over fertility.Tools: broom, May Pole, cauldron

Stones/Gems: emerald, malachite, amber, orange carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz

Colors: green, soft pink, blue, yellow, red, brown

Herbs and Flowers: almond tree/shrub, ash, broom, cinquefoil, clover, Dittany of Crete, elder, foxglove, frankincense, honeysuckle, rowan, sorrel, hawthorn, ivy, lily of the valley, marigold, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, thyme, woodruff may be burned; angelica, bluebells, daisy, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, primrose, and rose may be decorations, st. john’s wort, yarrow, basically all flowers.

Incense: frankincense, lilac, rose.

Symbols and Decorations: maypole, strings of beads or flowers, ribbons, spring flowers, fires, fertility, growing things, ploughs, cauldrons of flowers, butterchurn, baskets, eggs

Food: dairy, bread, cereals, oatmeal cakes, cherries, strawberries, wine, green salads.

Activities and Rituals: fertilize, nurture and boost existing goals, games, activities of pleasure, leaping bonfires, making garlands, May Pole dance, planting seeds, walking one’s property, feasting

Wiccan mythology: sexual union and/or marriage of the Goddess and God

It’s association with fire also makes Beltaine a holiday of purification.

Wiccan weddings are frequently held on or around Beltaine.

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Hally’s Hints

March, 2010

Are We Limiting Ourselves?

There is no doubt that following a Pagan path rarely has been from birth, speaking strictly in my experience. Most of those that I have had the honour to know have initially been of a different faith as a child and through the universal guidance found their way to Paganism.

I had wondered whether once we find the path we are on does it remain stagnant or do we allow ourselves to continue to evolve irrelevant of where our journey takes us?

There are so many dimensions and aspects to being a Pagan that I wonder whether any of us are becoming too comfortable in status quo and not allowing our natural evolution to take us to a deeper level of where we are.

Consider this: there are so many things we do in life purely because it has been done before or more often than not, it is comfortable. We remain in the same job, same relationship, same everything because it is easier than questioning whether this provides us with the happiness and growth we need to be who we are in essence.

The same goes for our spiritual journey. Do we allow our habits of our day to day dictate how we live our spiritual life? Do we use the same spells and methods because we know they work or do we venture out once in a while?

With this being said, I am in no way suggesting this is relevant to any or all. It is more of a question whether I am the only one that ponders on the evolution of our spiritual self; of where we have come from, the experiences that we have had the humbled pleasure of adding to our lives and the impact this has made to the person we have become.

The funny thing about transformation, particularly that in respect to spiritual growth; when it happens it can be in leaps and bounds and so much so that it is easy to forget who we were a month, a year or ten years ago.

I am someone that always likes to mix it up. Whether that is because I am mildly eccentric, too creative or have trouble relaxing I wanted to pose something fun for you to try this month.

Add something new to what you do.

Be it a different style of meditation, express a different aspect of how you see Paganism, experience it a different way to what you usually do simply because you can. Remember, this can be a once off or you may even find that it allows you to broaden your perspective allowing you to grow in areas complementing your spiritual self and your beautiful Pagan path.

Comfort can provide a false sense of security limiting you and disempowering you from connecting completely to what is true to you and the person that you are and have become.

Are you limiting yourself or are you allowing your natural evolution to flow through from the tips of your toes all the way to your higher self?

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Protection Meditation

March, 2010

Psychic protection is a hot button topic in a lot of circles.  Do we merely reflect what is being thrown at us or do we defend ourselves.  There is a lot of confusion as to whether the protective magick should be passive or active.

This meditation works on both levels.  It makes you acutely aware of what is going on around you and you work actively maintain it.  It also effectively neutralizes the negative energy that may have been directed toward.  The protective meditation that follows is meant to be repeated on a regular basis.  I recommend you revisit it monthly.

Visualize a spider web of stunning silver filled with protective energy surrounding yourself or the area that you want to protect.  The web, though having small openings, will not allow negative or harmful energy to pass through.  You will key the web to only allow positive and non-malicious energy to pass through unabated.  To do this you will want to reach out to the web, touch it and infuse it with your intent.  See the energy spiraling into the center of the web, reinforcing all the anchor and radial lines.

Imagine all negativity or harmful intentions becoming ensnared in the web.  Once they are in the web they become inextricably caught by the magick you have woven.  Once something is trapped in the web you will want to think of it becoming wrapped in a cocoon of spider silk.  The silk will contain it until the energy naturally dissipates or you neutralize it.

To neutralize the energy see the negativity, ill-will, or attack dissolving within the cocoon.  See the energy traveling from the cocoon down the strands of the web to an anchor line.  See the energy safely being grounded out and returned to the earth.

In order to keep the web functional, some maintenance will be required.  Over time you may notice that a part of the web has been damaged.  Recharge the web occasionally by retuning it to yourself and your energy.  Gently reach out with your minds eye and touch the web.  Pluck each anchor point. (These are the points of the web that secure it and where the radial lines attach.)

See a shining drop of silver on each anchor point as you concentrate on the strength and protection you need. See it moving toward the center of the web.  This will repair any tears or dim places in your web.  See each drop moving closer to the center until they all converge in the center or the web.

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March Correspondences

March, 2010

The Storm Moon

Spring sowing

The name March came from the God Mars, for this month was sacred to him.
Mars is much like the other God’s – Ares’s (Greek), Tiu or Tiwaz (Central Europe), Teutates (celts), and Tyr (Norse).

Astrological Signs: Pisces, February 19 – March 20, Aries, March 21 – April 20

Birthstones: Aquamarine

Nature Spirits: Mer-people, Air and Water beings who are
connected with spring rains and storms.

Animals: Cougar, hedgehog, boar

Birds: Sea crow, sea eagle

Trees: Alder, dogwood

Flowers: Jonquil, daffodil, violet

Herbs: Broom, High John Root, yellow dock, wood betony, Irish moss

Scents: Honeysuckel, apple blossom

Colors: Pale green, red-violet

Stones: Aquamarine, bloodstone

God/dess: Black Isis, the Morrigan, Hectate, Cybele, Astarte, Athene
Minerva, artemis, Luna.

Powers: Energy breaks into open, growing, prospering, exploring.
New beginnings, balance of light and dark, breaking illusions. Seeing the truth in your life no matter how it may hurt.
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Callie’s Cavern

March, 2010

Clear Quartz

Clear-Quartz-3


Clear Quartz works like a battery.  It absorbs, stores, releases, and regulates energy.

This amplifying power can increase the power of other stones, but Clear Quartz can also take their place, when programmed.  It is very versatile and once charged can have the qualities of any stone.  Energy can be raised; scientists have show that holding Quartz in your hand doubles your bio-magnetic field.

Shamans have been using Clear Quartz for thousands of years.  Ancient people believed Clear Quartz to be solidified water or ice.  In Britain they were sometimes called “Star Stones” to protect from illness.  Modern Wiccans wear Quartz during full moon rituals.  Clear Quartz has been used for many purposes they were included in medicine bags, used to make runes, and have even used to try to create rain.  This stone is a symbol of the spirit and intellect of human beings.

An excellent healing stone, Quartz can be attuned to the specific energy requirements of the person needing healing.  By channeling energy, it directs healing at the point of sickness.  Draw symbols or pictures with a Quartz point to send energy through the crystal and into the image or object.  Setting up the crystals in a spiral can act as a focal point that is symbolic of spiritual evolution and reincarnation.  It is a deep soul cleanser and can also purify your environment.  This stone can be used to line a magic circle.  Points face inward for ritual, meditation, or general magic.  Points face outward for defensive or protective magic.  Use 13 or 21 crystals for the best results.

Clear Quartz strengthens the link between Earth and the heavens even amply magic itself.  This quality can help guide you towards your purpose, connect you with a universal knowledge and help find your inner light.  It can wash away negative energies, but it also harmonizes and aligns these energies.  Creating a crystal garden can be protective for the home.  By keeping a piece with your divination tools, psychic ability is strengthened.  Hold a piece over your 3rd eye Chakra to gain inspiration and insight.  Clear Quartz can also protect you from stress.  Carry a piece with you to protect from daily stress or keep a piece next to your computer to help prevent computer problems.

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Gazing at the Moon

March, 2010

Discovering the Self
As a follow up to last month’s piece, I wanted to talk more about taking chances and risks and living life to the fullest.
I tried.
Our family went away recently for a skiing vacation, up in gorgeous Maine, and I signed up for a 3 hour Learn-to-Ski lesson.  I already had a helmet, and I’d rented boots and skis and poles.  I was all set.  I kept the giant ball of fear locked away in a closet in the back of my mind, and I went into the lesson with every intention of skiing out of it at the end of those three hours.
Things started off really great – the instructor was fabulous – really knew how to put the five of us at ease before bringing us out onto the snow.  We all introduced ourselves, learned why each of us had come that day, and learned a bit about the instructor’s history as well.  After that, and a little lesson on stepping into our bindings and getting back out again, we were off.
On the snow, we began with basic things, like balance, and positioning your body and knees where they needed to be…snowplowing…turning…stopping.  The weather was perfect – sunny and relatively warm.  The gently sloping hill where we had our lesson was wide and welcoming.
As the lesson went on, though, a few things happened.  First, my legs – from just above the knees down to my toes – hurt.  My right ankle started to feel like it was occasionally dislocating or something.  My knees were on fire.  Where the tops of the boots encircled my calves hurt.  I couldn’t even just stand still – that hurt, too.  I was getting distracted by all of that.  I fell several times (which is normal, but still – not fun.) and the only way I could get up was to pop my boots out of the bindings.  I felt old.
There were, however, wonderful, all-too-brief times when I felt that wonderful sensation of flying across the snow.  The kid in me shrieked in delight at these moments.  And then the present day ME in me realized that neither of us could stop well, so together we tried to turn the skiis and angle them against the snow…and then just went ahead and fell down because we knew THAT would work.  But together we – kid me and ME me – got back up and tried again.
As we neared the end of those three hours, my store of enthusiasm had been drained considerably.  My knees and ankle were really bothering me, and I felt like I had crashed, and was just waiting for the burning to begin.  The instructor suggested I loosen the boots and take a break – he told me his boots bothered him most of the time as well.  If I’d known that at the beginning, maybe I wouldn’t have been so hyper-aware of my own sore legs.  Who knows.  I also knew that I wasn’t as fit going into the lesson as I could have/should have been.
While I hung out on the deck of a nearby building, rubbing my knees and flexing my ankle every now and then, I did a lot of thinking, a lot of contemplating, a lot of soul-searching.  And I realized that I didn’t really necessarily want to ski.  I wanted to give it a shot, because I wanted to maybe ski with my family…and because I wanted my kids to see that you’re never too old or too anything to try something new.  But had I ever had a burning desire to ski?  Um…no.  Not really.  And I decided that I didn’t HAVE to ski if I didn’t want to.  I’d wanted to ski for my family.  So we could, all four of us, ski together.  But had I wanted to ski for me?  No.  Would any of them – husband, son, daughter – be heartbroken if I didn’t ski?  No.  And with that, I was lighter of heart than I’d been all day.  I spent the next day in the lodge, my laptop plugged into the wall nearby, typing my little fingers off.  And I was perfectly happy.
It is now the end of our vacation week, and last night, while I was making dinner, my husband and I were talking, rehashing the trip, and we got to a point where he was…I don’t know, trying to sort out my portion of the vacation.  He couldn’t fathom how I could possibly be happy to sit and type like that.  For hours.  With just a break for lunch.  “If I had to do that, I’d go crazy,” he told me.  Of course he would.  But, I tried to explain, HE is not ME.  I am not HIM.  Just because something would drive him nuts doesn’t mean it would have the same effect on me.  And vice versa.  We are two different people.
We’ve been together nearly 13 years, married for nearly 10.  This might have been the first time it really sunk in with him that we are, despite some shared similarities, two very different people.  And – that’s just fine.
It was sort of funny, this revelation.  I have my things that I love to do, and they are different from some of the things he loves to do.  Maybe he had a really hard time processing that because there are plenty of things that we both enjoy.  Cooking, for example.  And maybe I’m partly to blame, because in my “keep everyone happy” mentality, I have happily (usually) jumped in to do the things he loves to do.  Even if it wouldn’t have been my first choice.  Because it was more important, at times, for us to be doing something together than it was for me to do MY own thing.  And my own things tend to be rather solitary things anyway.  Reading.  Writing.  Sewing.  But those are also things I can always do later.  I can tuck them into the cracks and crevices of our days, and most of the time, that’s enough.
I told him I’m not even necessarily done with learning to ski.  Next year, maybe I’ll have another go at it.  Maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll spend my portion of the winter vacation sitting in a lodge with my laptop and a cup of coffee.  Or with a brand new book to read.  Or meandering around outside, taking pictures of the skiers and the snow and the beauty of winter.

That sounds like a perfect vacation – to me.

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Artist Erin Martinez

March, 2010

Painting is a passion. It is what keeps my blood flowing. I’m  full of many visions that coil around my heart. having opened my emotions in a deeper light these paintings are portraits of my inner creature. being a self taught artist for some time now, I realize that it is truly the core of creativity that binds the colors and figures used in my work and feel very proud to make my art come to life.

To Escape is to Dream

to-escape-is-to-dream.

Lovers

lovers

Color My Eyes

colormyeyes



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New to the Craft

March, 2010

Grounding and Centering: A Basic and Essential Concept

I bid welcome to all of you who have returned (or are just finding me) to read my second column posting on the topic of “Grounding and Centering.”  It is a gift to have the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and even a greater pleasure to have made the acquaintance of those who have sent me e-mails.  In this posting we are going to discuss a topic that I view as essential to spiritual development whether within the guise of the craft or not.  The practice of grounding and centering is employed by not only those of us who consider ourselves Pagans by origin, but by those who practice the ancient arts of Shamanism, Reiki, and many other Eastern religions.  In order to best address this topic we are going to first start out with the concept of centering and follow that with grounding.

The process of centering is actually quite simple and is a key component (in my opinion) of the grounding process; something that is necessary before any magickal workings or rituals.  Most people generally center themselves by visualizing a large light coming from within and seeing this light surround themselves.  Often, many people think of a “Happy” thought such as family, friends, or even an event in their lives that was important.  This will lead to a harmony with spirit, which exists within you.  The Chakras are also an additional component of this process and we will be discussing them in greater detail in the next month of this column as that in itself is a lengthy discussion!  However, I would recommend doing some research on the Chakras and their colors to help out with their locations in the visualization process.  If you do have questions on this and don’t wish to wait till I cover this in greater detail next month, please e-mail me ([email protected]) and I will be happy to explain this in greater detail prior to the column posting.  With no further adieu we shall move onto the concept of grounding and a simple exercise to make it all come together.

Within the scope of the Craft, grounding is considered an exercise that helps to firmly plant a witch into a more relaxed state of mind.  In going above and beyond this simple statement, the concept of grounding will also help in regaining energies, letting go of the fears and anxieties of the day, boosting confidence in oneself, and establishing a more balanced approach to ritual and meditation.  This is achieved by being completely aware of your body as well as being present in the moment both mentally and physically.  In general, the best way I can describe being aware of your body comes when the relaxation starts to hit you mentally.  For example, let’s say that you are sitting in your chair and breathing in and out, in and out.  If you take a moment, you will notice how you body sits in the chair and most importantly where your weight is being transferred to.  This begins the process of grounding; the process where you become aware of your body and begin to transfer your weight to the object that your weight is being placed upon.  Soon you will begin to relax and forget about sitting in the chair, moving into your own mind and deeply relaxing.  A feeling of peace will come over you and all the tensions of the day will begin to float away, like water into a stream.  It is at this moment that you will begin to feel much lighter and in complete control of your environment and what is going on.  Once this stage is reached, many of us lil’ witches like to visualize a bit and imagine things (negativity, thoughts, emotions, etc…) leaving our body, mind, and spirit.  Since this is the case and we are all here to learn, I have selected an exercise that is brief and simple to help with grounding.

It is most logical to assume that many people know this or perhaps do this particular exercise as it was taught to me many moons ago.  Please remember that this is not the “end all be all” of exercises as there are so many ways to accomplish the task of grounding!  Anyhow, to begin the process of grounding, find a comfortable position and start to relax through breathing.  I prefer to breathe in deeply for a few breaths, and follow that by holding to the count of three and releasing on the count of three.  The wondrous thing about this is that soon your mind will take over and you will not have to worry about it!   Once you begin to feel relaxed and at ease, imagine a white light above your head that begins to flow down into you.  Feel the tensions, anxieties, stresses, and negativity of the day begin to be collected by the white light and think about it flowing out of you.  As it flows from your body (generally your feet) imagine particles of black (negativity and the aforementioned) leaving your body and flowing back to mother earth.  Upon completion of this process be sure to stop the flow of white light into your body as this could lead to excessive energy buildup.  For a more advanced approach to this, consider a root coming from your base chakra and going into the earth, transferring energies as it goes through the layers or even imagine yourself sinking down through the layers of the earth.  This works quite well and when completed, please be sure to release any energies you may have retained.

There are many signs and symptoms of energy retention, so please be sure to drain all energies when completed so you don’t experience any of the following:

  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Feeling of being off balance
  • Disorientation
  • Feeling of hyperactivity (can manifest as restlessness, mind going crazy, and inability to stay still)

It is important to realize that even if these symptoms are not present, always be sure to ground regardless and release all energies until you are sure they are gone.

I realize that this is an entry level description of this process but going into great detail would take pages upon pages which I am sure you do not want to read!  This is not to say that I am lazy, but I do believe that a person should always seek answers on their own as well.  As mentioned above, if you do have questions about this or would like to seek friendship I am always open to such things.  I choose to utilize my Myspace for this purpose as it also allows those of you reading to see who I am.  I can be reached there at: http://myspace.com/twilightraptor

I look forward to any questions, messages, or friend requests that you may have!  Until next month where we will delve into the Chakras, Brightest Blessings to you all and thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to write as well as continue my own education.

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