January, 2011

Welcome!

January, 2011

new-year

Welcome to the January Issue of PaganPages Magazine!

We have a great issue for you!  In this issue:

Interview with Author Judika Illes, “Weiser Fieldguide to Witches”

Weiser-feild-guide

EYE-11

FREE ALBUM FROM MUSIC GROUP ENGINEERS IN YOUR EAR

tumbled-aventurine1


STONES STONES AND MORE STONES



MIDTERM FOR PRINCIPLES OF PAGANISM COURSE


Looking for Columnists to Fill the Following Positions:

herbal

recipes

crafting

kitchen witch

incense and oils



Always Looking For

If you have any personal stories you care to share, or an idea for a column of your own, write us at [email protected]

Search for Pagan Prayers, Blessings, and Mantras

We are looking for your prayers, blessings and mantras to share on our cover page.  If you would like to share yours, email them to [email protected]

AN APOLOGY

Last, but not least, we would like to take this time to apologize to all of our readers who have signed up for classes that have fallen apart or not come through.  We had put our trust in people who were deceitful  and in turn we have let you down.  It was not our plan to do so and we deeply apologize.   We hope you can forgive us and continue to read and learn with us.

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Meditation Moment

January, 2011

Establishing a Meditation Practice

Meditation is something a lot of people want to try. Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment New Year’s resolution or something you’ve been meaning to work on for a while, meditation can be a valuable practice for your mental, emotional, and spiritual stability and growth. Here are some tips on starting to meditate regularly, with the goal of making it a habit.

Do it every day. A regular meditation practice has to be just that: regular. It usually takes about three weeks to establish a new habit. Try making it your goal to keep practicing for a month: when you achieve that, you’ll have a solid basis you can build on. After meditation is an established habit, you can expand it or vary it, but at first, just work on doing something regularly. Keep that in mind as you go through the rest of these tips. Shoot for an achievable goal. Remember, just establishing the habit over the course of the month is genuine progress.

First of all, decide what you want your meditation to be. Maybe it’s a time for you to practice grounding and centering, or to contemplate a specific subject. Maybe it’s “me time” when you can’t be interrupted over your morning tea, or time for you to focus on gratitude. Maybe it’s a specific type of practice such metta meditation or zazen. Maybe it’s a time for deep breathing and clearing the mind. If you’re just getting started, concentrate on the essentials: presence and focus. The first step to meditation is not doing something else at the same time. For that, you need to set aside time and space.

Pick a time to meditate that you can have every day. For me, meditation has to happen early in the day; if I don’t get to it right before or after breakfast, it gets swept aside, and by the time I’m getting ready for bed, I can’t focus in the same way any more. Other people use meditation right before bed as a way to wind down. Maybe you’ll find the perfect time in a short walk just before lunch. It’s often easiest to incorporate a new habit into an existing one: if you always, always, always get your coffee right after you get up, then taking time for five deep breaths and a quick prayer before you drink your coffee might be the best cue to help you make meditation a regular practice. Whatever works for you, make that time specific and regular. If you need to, let others know that this time is set aside.

Pick a place. In front of the coffee machine? At your desk? Your favorite chair? In bed? Again, what’s important when starting out is consistency. Your meditation spot doesn’t have to be a retreat, as long as you can accomplish what you want there. In fact, if your meditation spot is too far away from your usual haunts, you might not bother to go there and use it. As long as you can accomplish your goal – grounding and centering, breathing, quiet time – the space is okay for it. It matters more that you’re present and practicing than whether your spine is perfectly aligned or your eyes are open or shut.

As far as space and time go, it’s easy to set an impossible goal. If a beginner promises herself twenty minutes of uninterrupted quiet time in her perfectly-appointed meditation spot with her snazzy new cushion and carefully-chosen candle, then the first time she misses that appointment, or has to cut it short after just ten minutes, she might feel like she’s let herself down. Then when she skips a day, the place and time start to become reminders of those failures instead of her goals, and eventually she hates the very sight of her meditation cushion.

Freeing yourself from that cycle of self-enforced guilt is the biggest step you can make towards a regular meditation practice. You will miss days sometimes. Accept that now, at the start, and realize that it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Progress is not linear. Count the successes – every day you do something towards your meditation practice is a positive step – and stay focused on increasing those.

Set a reasonable goal. Decide what you want your initial practice to be, then pick a time and a place where you can do that. Try to do it every day. If at the end of the month you’re still trying, and you’ve managed to be there in your time and space more days than not, congratulate yourself. You’ve made tremendous progress.

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Imbolc Correspondences

January, 2011

February 1, 2

Other Names: Imbolg (im-molc)(em-bowl’g) (Celtic), Candlemas (Christian), Brigantia (Caledonii), Oimelc, Festival of Light, Brigid’s (Brid, Bride) Day, La Fheill, An Fheille Bride, Candelaria (Mexico), Chinese New Year, Disting-tid (Feb 14th, Teutonic), DisaBlot, Anagantios, Lupercalia/Lupercus (Strega), Groundhog Day, Valentines Day.

Animals & Mythical Beings: Firebird, dragon, groundhog, deer, burrowing animals, ewes, robin, sheep, lamb, other creatures waking from hibernation.

Gemstones: Amethyst, garnet, onyx, turquoise.
Incense/Oil: Jasmine, rosemary, frankincense, cinnamon, neroli, musk, olive, sweet pea, basil, myrrh, and wisteria, apricot, carnation.
Colors/Candles: Brown, pink, red, orange, white, lavender, pale yellow, silver.
Tools,Symbols, & Decorations: White flowers, marigolds, plum blossoms, daffodils, Brigid wheel, Brigid’s cross, candles, grain/seed for blessing, red candle in a cauldron full of earth, doll, Bride’s Bed; the Bride, broom, milk, birchwood, snowflakes, snow in a crystal container,evergreens, homemade besom of dried broom, orange candle annointed in oil (see above)can be used to sybolize the renewing energy of the Sun’s rebirth.
Goddesses: Virgin Goddess, Venus, Diana, Februa, Maiden, Child Goddess, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Vesta, Gaia, Brigid, Selene(Greek), Branwen(Manx-Welsh).
Gods: Young Sun Gods, Pan, Cupid/Eros(Greco-Roman), Dumuzi(Sumerian).
Essence: Conception, initiation, insight, inspiration, creativity, mirth, renewal, dedication, breath of life, life-path, wise counsel, plan, prepare.
Meaning: First stirring of Mother Earth, lambing, growth of the Sun God, the middle of winter.
Purpose: Honoring the Virgin Goddess, festival of the Maiden/Light.
Rituals & Magicks: Cleansing; purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid, feast of milk & bread.
Customs: Lighting candles, seeking omens of Spring, storytelling, cleaning house, bonfires, indoor planting, stone collecting, candle kept burning dusk till dawn; hearth re-lighting.
Foods: Dairy, spicy foods, raisins, pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seeds, poppyseed bread/cake, honey cake, pancakes, waffles, herbal tea.
Herbs: Angelica, basil, bay, benzoin, celandine, clover, heather, myrrh, all yellow flowers, willow.
Element: Earth
Gender: Female
Threshold: Midnight

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Principles of Paganism, Midterm

January, 2011

Principles of Paganism

Mid-Term Examination

The mid-term examination of the Principles of Paganism course covers the first six monthly lessons.  One or two questions per lesson will be askedm ten questions in all.  You must give satisfactory answers to six out of the ten questions, and in addition you must include a one-page, minimum three-paragraphs statement giving your feedback on the course thus far.  The feedback can be positive or negative, but it must be backed up with examples.  In other words, I want constructive criticism.  Include in the feedback page some suggestion(s) regarding what you like to see presented in the second half of the course.  I will try to fulfill your requests.

The mid-term is required for receiving the certificate at the end of the couse, as is the final exam.  The final exam will not be comprehensive; it will cover Lessons VII through XII.  The mid-term should be emailed to me as an attachment no later than February 1st, 2011.  It will not be accepted after that date.  My email address is; [email protected].

If you send in your exam early and wish to revise your answers, you may do so, provided you submit the complete exam each time.  I must receive the final revision by the end date of February 1st, 2011.  If you do not care for such things as certificates, you need not take the exam; but if I receive less than five mid-terms by the expiration date, I may decide not to continue the course.

Please enter your name as you wish it to appear on your end-of-course certificate:

____________________________________

The exam begins on the following page.  If not enough room has been provided for your answers, you are welcome to copy paste the exam into a word document and provide spacing more convenient to you.

Lesson 1: Cosmos and Chaos (1 question)

Name at least two features of creation as seen by pagan religions that differ from the views of modern non-pagan religions such as Judasim, Christianity and Islam.

Lesson 2: Will and Fate (2 questions)

How do pagan ideas of fate make room for a limited play of free will?  What does it mean to say that someone’s fate is sealed?

Lesson 3: Reading Between the Lines and Our Two Souls (2 questions)

Describe paradigm creep, and how it falsifies descriptions of indigenous beliefs.

Name at least two ways in which the life-soul (suld, siela, p’o) differs from the dream-soul (ami, vele, hun).

Lesson 4: Daimones (1 question)

Describe how changing concepts of the gods, from dynamic earthly forces to ethically pure heavenly beings, brought about the demonization of demigods or daimones.

Lesson 5: Why the Hebrews Ceased to Be Pagans (2 questions)

Why, according to Sir Leonard, were there no grave furniture in the ancestral tombs buried under the brick courtyard at the back of the family shrine in private houses in Ur?  Why did Abraham and his family abandon the worship of temple deities when they traveled to the Mediterranean coast?

Lesson 6: Greek Domestic Religion (2 questions)

Why was a Greek house called a hearth?  Why was Hestia considered of central importance in the Greek home?

Please describe, in at least three paragraphs, your experience of this course thus far and how, if at all, you have benefited from it.  Constructive criticism will be appreciated.  Finally, please include one or two suggestions for the direction you would like to see the course take in the second half, lessons 7 through 12.

Thanks for your attention.

Ian Elliott

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Journey of a Witch

January, 2011

Beginnings

“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

January is named after Janus, the god of doors, gates, time, beginnings and endings.
With his two heads he can see the past and the future.

He is also the god of economic enterprises, yet looking back at the past year and forward
to the new, little seems to have changed.

Beginnings can be wrought with the anxieties of the past.
Indeed the first day of January for many of us will not bring about the financial
peace of mind that we need.

If you are like my family, you’ve had to cut back on many things.
For Yule I made a tree instead of buying one.
We eat at home instead of out. We buy only things we really need and so on.

Janus is also the god of obstacles and with the economic atmosphere an obstacle
itself; it can be hard to breathe.

It saddens me to hear of people ending their lives. For people to see
suicide as a way out of a financial crisis is devastating for all.

When did life have a price tag?

Oh yeah, it does. From birth to death we pay.
Our debt seems endless even in death.

Societies all over the world, ancient and current have their status symbols.
Things that say “Hey I’m important look at me!”

But these are just things.
They are not us.

Or are they?

“This is not my beautiful house.”

We’ve created things that have become bigger than us.
In the West, money is the most sought after status symbol.
Expensive cars, homes, clothing, jewelry, and other material things
elevate the individual to a “higher” place in society. Emotional reactions to
people who have money can be very negative and self destructive.

In reality we are all the same.
Pagan, Buddhist, Jew, Christian- we all suffer.
And some of that suffering is by our own hands. By recognizing that we are more important
than the things we have (or don’t have) we’ve already overcome one obstacle.

The secret gate shrouded in mist yesterday may be in front of us today
beckoning us to enter.

Responsibility to happiness is our own. Money can absolutely be a factor in happiness.
When you can barely afford food and medicine or have to choose between the two, happiness
can be of little importance.

Yet, happiness is important.

Money, a caste system and other forms of separation; divides our humanity into pieces.

As our population continues to grow, we place great burdens upon Mother Earth’s resources.
We must decide what is truly important and meaningful in our lives.

My daughter is pressured by her 6th grade peers to get the latest cell phone gadget.
Materialism and consumerism all but consumes us.

It is so easy to get lost in the consumerism that is our society.
Media in every form with glitzy beautiful people and beautiful things knocking
on our conscious telling us clearly we’ll get more dates with this hair color,
this beer, this dress, these shoes…oh in these shoes? I doubt you’d survive!
No le gusta caminar. No puede montar a caballo.
Honey, let’s stay right here.

Make something.

Among his other duties Janus represents the city and the countryside.
In the old days our pagan folk made their own things.
Now many of us city dwellers (and country dwellers alike) buy things.
If we can’t afford them then we may feel inferior.

Everything has its place and buying is not a negative but there must be a balance.
People are not things and things do not represent a human being.

By opening this gate with love and compassion we can help make someone who is struggling
feel important; feel that they are loved. And we all want to be important and feel loved.
Yet, it’s not our cell phone, or our car or our clothes that make us human.
It is our ability to love and to give.

Be the beginning in January by giving.
During these hard times there is always something to give.
Gently used clothes you no longer wear, a homemade dish to a sick neighbor or if
you have some time, volunteer at your local animal shelter or other local charity.

The act of giving may not line your wallet but it
will enrich your spirit more than any cell phone can do.

And there is no app for that.

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Diana

January, 2011

Take me to the highest mountains
To all things wild and free
In the sacred wood
Ready your bow
Steady your gaze

In the winds
of the Wild Hunt
Hunter becomes the hunted
Haunting and haunted
As the winter gale

Tears the leaves
Moss Maidens
Frightened in the trees
Look after me in 1-2-3
To the Light and

To the darkness
You’ll find me
In the woodlands
And in the groves
I sing to Diana

Let the light unfold

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Hally’s Hints

January, 2011

INCREASING YOUR ENERGETIC AWARENESS

As I sit in a local café, I allow the music playing from my iPod to flow through my being whilst considering what January’s article should be about. A myriad of ideas run through my mind and I finally decide on one.

During the past month I was privy to an event that even though it was unexpected, was in fact extremely natural and brought to light the clarity of natural evolution through awareness.

Whilst clearly my path is of an energetic and spiritual nature I had not actually conducted an official reading prior to this month. It was something that just happened of its own natural accord. I would receive some information, ask permission to pass this on and inform the person of what had come through. Sometimes it was a flash of information and at other times the conversation was more in-depth, depending on what the universe deemed was necessary.

Because this gift is part of who I am and is incorporated in all that I do, ironically the thought of isolating the readings to something specific had not occurred to me. The catalyst was when in one of my moments of receiving some information the person asked whether I had a flyer she could pass on. That one I did not see coming and yet, it was not surprising. It was more the sensation of a light bulb moment where complete clarity was found and I felt a part of myself being reconnected; coming home if you will.

Since this realisation came to light I feel more connected to myself and my purpose allowing this to enter into my consciousness from the unconscious mind. Put more simply, an increased level of energetic awareness.

This got me to wonder that on our spiritual journey there is a constant evolution within us, often to a degree that we are consciously unaware, let alone to the extent. We notice occasional shifts and often overlook the significance to ourselves.

I have spoken about our gifts in previous articles and given the energetics shifts that are occurring during this time of year, consider taking advantage of where you are in your journey and taking this to the next level.

I am not suggesting doing what I did, as this is what was right for me; rather what is right for you, which only you will know. This may be case of acknowledging your level of awareness or perhaps reconnecting to your energetic support, be it your familiars, spirit guides or angels.

Reflect upon the year, the events and who you are today compared to twelve months ago. What has happened and what have you allowed within yourself that has increased your vibrational level and your connection to your higher-self? Consider where you would like to take that over the next twelve months or how you can really embrace the amazing sensation that comes from inner growth.

We are all energetic beings inspired through the connection with the universe. Increased awareness allows us to fulfil our individual purpose which contributes to the greater good. Whatever the purpose of your journey is, allow the light within your energetic being to guide you to the answers. Sometimes the most natural choices can be the most fulfilling.

Love the journey and be one with the journey.

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Me,Myself and I, Words from a Solitary Practitioner

January, 2011

Planets-35231

After countless years of setting new speed records for breaking the traditional New Year’s resolutions, and the countless number of “stern talking to’s” given to my reflection in the mirror that followed, it occurred to me to try a less mundane approach.  After many years of being a solitary Wiccan that came far more naturally to me than not eating dessert!  So I decided to give the “daily resolution” a shot, using each days governing planet and their associations to widen my “good resolution” choices, and hopefully spare myself from the inevitable chat in the mirror.  I was excited, this could actually work!

Since I knew the planet/day associations well, and had used that knowledge for many years of spell work, it gave me a great place to start and an even better place from which to build.  So by the end of 2009 I was ready, or so I hoped!
Fast forward to January 2011 and the end of a year that I’m happy to report did not end in the horror I had
imagined.  Did I avoid any “multiple personality episodes” in the mirror?  Not entirely, however I was
quickly able to put it behind me because of waiting a whole year for my “do-over”, I only had to wait until tomorrow, and that my friends is worth dessert!  Brightest Blessings for the New Year!

Monday (Moon) Divination, female health

Tuesday (Mars) Courage, Confrontation, Strength

Wednesday (Mercury) Money, Travel, Success

Thursday (Jupiter) Jobs, Friendship, wealth of money, spirit, etc.

Friday (Venus) Love, Relationships

Saturday (Saturn) Knowledge, banishing limitations, legal matters

Sunday (Sun) Growth, healing, male health

There are countless reference materials on the planet, day, matters governed at those times, so this is an extremely small example of the possibilities.

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Madame Mora’s Herbal, Lesson 3

January, 2011

Madame Mora’s herbal

This class is designed to show the practical application of herbs to assist with everyday needs.  The lessons printed will not outline “magical” uses for the herbs, but, if questions on this topic rise, please feel free to ask.

Also, please remember, the information in this class is a look at herbal therapies that may show promise as adjunctive treatments to conventional medical approaches, and is not meant to give specific recommendations or advise for the treatment of a specific illness, nor is it intended to be a replacement for good medical diagnosis and treatment.

Lesson 3

Salve for skin iritations.

?  Aloe – Aloe barbadensis – is a known antibiotic, astringent, and antiviral.  You will use the gel.

It is used to treat acne, bruises, burns, corns, eczema, insect bites and stings, lesions, ring worm, poison oak and ivy, psoriasis, rashes, sunburns, minor wounds, and wrinkles.

?  German Chamomile – Matricaria chamomilla – is a known analgesic, antibiotic, and antifungal.   You will use the flowers.

Used to treat bruises, minor burns, corns, dandruff, eczema, hives, rashes, sore nipples, and minor wounds.

?  Lavender – Lavandula officialis – is a known antibiotic, and insect repellent.  You will use the flowers.

Used to treat acne, minor burns, eczema, insect bites and stings, psoriasis, minor wounds.

?  Rose – Rosa canina –  is a known anesthetic and astringent.  You will use the flower petals.

Used to treat bruises, insect bites and stings, psoriasis, and minor wounds.

Assignment 3:

Use these 4 ingredients to make a salve.  Combine equal parts rose, lavender, and german chamomile with enough aloe to make a paste like mixture.  Apply this to minor skin irritations, such as those listed above.

Email me your findings.


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Airmid’s Cauldron

January, 2011

Airmid’s Cauldron

Granny’s Hogmanay Pudding (Revised for the Modern Pagan)

Hogmannay-New-Years-Pudding

This pudding is a family tradition from the old Scottish celebration of Hogmanay (New Year’s Day).

Granny’s Hogmanay Pudding

1 cup water

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup sweet chocolate drink mix

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/4 cups chopped mixed dried fruit

1 1/4 cups currants

1 cup fresh cream butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

Directions

In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, dried fruit, currants and butter. Bring to a boil and let simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, flour, baking soda and eggs. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl.  Place bowl into the microwave, uncovered.

Cook on full power for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite custard or hard sauce.

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