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    Supportive Practices of the Craft

          In addition to the practices of witchcraft usually discussed, such as divination and herb lore, there are practices which support a witch’s overall efforts. The following seven sections describe practices I have found useful for tuning up my Craft practice and keeping it properly focused. 1: Cycles Witches follow cycles in everything they do, out of respect for their overall balance of health. They don’t work all year, and then try to relax through a brief vacation; witches take little mini-vacations all the time. They sometimes appear to be laid back and lazy, but they respond well in a crisis, and they somehow get their tasks done.…

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    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Narcissi     Most of us will be familiar with narcissi in the form of the daffodil; spring’s signpost. Those yellow heads, nodding towards the returning sun, have provided seasonal inspiration for centuries. Wordsworth, in 1802, was moved to write: Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. Which perfectly describes (as does the rest of the poem) the way in which daffodils are able to blanket an otherwise green or brown area, almost as if they are…

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    Good God!

    Meet the Gods: Mars (Image by Samantha Sullivan) Merry meet. In Roman mythology, Mars is the god of war; he was the most prominent of the Roman’s military gods and the most important god in the pantheon after Jupiter, the supreme god. Most of his festivals – featuring with chariot races and animal sacrifices – were held in March, the month named for him. His priests would honor him by dancing – clad in full armor – at the site of his altar in the Field of Mars, a floodplain of the Tiber River, that was also home to the temple of Apollo. More festivals were held to honor Mars…

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    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

    Yemaya   (Photo Credit: the divinemoon.com)     Yey Oma Eja – *Mother Whose Children are the Fish”, or as She is more commonly known, Yemaya, *Mama Watta*, Mother of Waters, Queen of the Sea, Mother of the Fishes, Ocean Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Lady of the Rain, Daughter of the Sea, Constantly Changing Woman, Creator Mother, Patroness of Witches, Sirena. Yemaya. She is known by all of these names and more. (Photo: Pinterest) She was originally a River Goddess of the Ogun River in Yoruba. She was a powerful guardian and nature spirit, a Goddess of the African diaspora. When the people of Africa were stolen and brought…

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    Seeing the Signs

    To See or Not to See: What is Your Preference?     I was going to write more about Runes for this month’s column, having worked diligently with my new set all month long and even found a way to use my pendulum with them. But yesterday I read an article in The Guardian that made me think about divination in general and I want to discuss that today. The Guardian is one of my favorite sources of news nowadays – like The Huffington Post, it posts articles that were originally posted on another site. The article I read, “Want to Know the Future? Most People Don’t, Study Suggests,” by…

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    Tarot Talk

    The Tower   (The Tower Tarot Card from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**   This month, we will return to the Major Arcana, and talk about The Tower. Now, I know that many are afraid of this card, but don’t panic. You will find that The Tower is not quite as bad as it seems. . . I promise! Since it’s been a while since we talked about a Major Arcana card, let’s begin by defining and describing some terms. There are 22 Major Arcana cards in a Tarot deck, with numbers from 0 to 21; the Majors usually deal with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, archetypes that are…

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    Spiralled Edges

    Spiralled Edges – Real Pagans     Occasionally, I see a resurgence of the perpetual “What is a ‘Real Pagan?’” argument. Usually connected to something that has been reported in the news, or a round of gossip or bitchcrafting. Nothing new under the sun, these same arguments made the rounds years ago without the aid of social media. Invariably, any argument or discussion that being with “Real Pagans or True Pagans…..” finished with a list that manages to include everything the person does and excludes everything the person doesn’t. And for every single “Real Pagans don’t do X” I have seen I can point out a Pagan somewhere who does…

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    Yoga, Meditation, & Wisdom

    The Eight Limbs of Yoga The eight limbs of Yoga are based upon the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is the foundation of modern yoga. (Photo Credit: anandayogadunedin.com) The are as follows: 1. YAMA – Universal Morality 2. NIYAMA – Personal Observances 3. ASANAS – Body Postures 4. PRANAYAMA – Breathwork/Control of Prana 5. PRATYAHARA – Control of the Senses 6. DHARANA – Concentration & Inner Awareness 7. Dhyana – Devotion/Meditation on the Divine 8. SAMADHI – Union with the Divine As the author of the Yoga Sutras, and much about Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of medicine), Patanjali’s life is a mystery. His name, broken down means – Patan…

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    WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

    Witch Balls Merry meet. A blog by Silver RavenWolf for making witch balls for conjuring inspired me to try something similar as a project at a recent pagan gathering. The balls are made from herbs, essential oils and wax. They are meant to be thrown into a ceremonial fire, placed on an altar or in other spaces, added to mojo bags, or crumbled and scattered around an area. They are not to be eaten. The herbs and oils chosen will determine if the balls are for protection, cleansing, love, healing, abundance, banishing or some other intention. Although I made mine with wax, they can also be made using mud, clay,…

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    The Kitchen Witch

    The Kitchen Witch: Spaghetti and Meat Balls The big holiday in March is Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17 and while some pagans refuse to celebrate it, I almost always cook up a pile of corned beef and cabbage, with carrots and potatoes and onions, and maybe turnips and parsnips as well. Or perhaps a big bowl of Irish stew, made with either lamb or beef, and some Irish Soda Bread for dipping. I may revere the Goddess in all Her forms but I do love to cook and any excuse works for me. A lesser-known holiday is Saint Joseph’s Day on March 19. Again, not a Pagan holiday but still…