Saturday, October 31, 2009

Samhain's Eve

I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

14th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 5:20AM EDST
Moon rises: 4:50PMM EDST
Moon in the Cardinal Fire Sign of Aries
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The silent accord of true love.
Sun in Scorpio
Sunrise: 7:48AM EDST
Sunset: 6:18PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What needs liberating in your life?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 31st, 2009

   Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest;
neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
on polished marbled stone
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn
You did not know that I'd exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years a go
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you.

(Author unknown)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gibbous Moon leaves Pisces and enter Aries' firey sign

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

13th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 4:25AM EDST
Moon rises: 4:25PM EDST
Moon in Pisces v/c 10:40AM EDST
Moon enters the Cardinal Fire Sign
of Aries at 1:56PM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The song of the earth
Sun in Scorpion
Sunrise: 7:47AM EDST
Sunset: 6:20PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which ideas
and structures have you outgrown?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 30th, 2009

  So here it is the last day before Samhain Eve - Halloween - and just in case you haven't completed you preparations for tomorrow night's Samhain Sabbat ritual - here are some suggestions and ideas to Samhain magick into your life....

  • Carve a pumpkin and empower it to repel negativity
  • Build or erect a shrine to your ancestors.
  • Add divination to your Samhain ritual
  • Fill a small plastic pumpkin with gold-wrapped candy and enpower for prosperity
  • Research your family history and make a litany out of the names for your ritual.
  • Make a family photo album or poster to place in your room. Bless during ritual for family harmony
  • Set a place at the dinner table for the recently deceased. If the lost one is a pet, placen their favorite food on a plate and put where their bowls used to be.
  • Place small jack-o'-laterns at the four quarters
  • Place crossed brooms at the four quarters
  • Build an outdoor altar out of hay bales
  • Visit the cemetery and place flowers on the graves of deceased loved ones.
  • Remember that Samhain is a fire festival that signals personal closures and occurs in Scorpio, a Fixed Water sign, a time regeneration and cleaning out of emotional debris - this sign has the ability to rebuild and to toss out what is not working or needed.  There is much you can accomplishy during this time period.
  • Also remember that Samhain was the Celtic New Year - you might consider making 'new year's resolutions.' 
Here are some examples of Samhain altars

This one is honoring ancestors.

And this one on a mantle includes honoring the Day of the Dead.

This altar seems to be honoring the fruits of the Samhain season..

And this altar honors the Goddess and the God of Samhain.

And this altar is really nice in the way it includes many symbols '
of Samhain. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gibbous Moon

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

12th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: Gibbous - 10:21PM EDST
Moon sets: 3:23AM EDST
Moon rises: 4:02PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Water Sign of Pisces
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The tides of moon and sea
Sun in Scorpio
Sunrise: 7:46AM EDST
Sunset: 6:21PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which unacknowledged needs
are eating holes in you?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 29th, 2009

Gibbous phase

Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments, it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN.
Gibbous Moon is the "brimming cup" phase. It rises close to sunset, its face radiant, nearing culmination. This marks a time of rising hopes, increasing confidence. Enthusiasm, excitement, creative imagination are heightened, as the anticipation of reward rouses determination to succeed. Focus turns toward finding meaning and purpose in life, seeking constructive answers to problems, throwing light on questions posed about ourselves and our world.

This is Thor's Day (Thursday)  - the Day of Vision, Spiritual Insight and Expansion.  Originally Thursday cames from the Latin Dies Iovis, which meant "Jove's Day".  Jove or Jupiter as this god was sometimes called, was the supreme god and patron of ancient Romans. Jove/Jupiter is associated with wealth, leadership, thunder and lightning.  A lord of heaven, Jove/Jupiter was also a god of light, and his sacred color is white. In the Greek mythologies, this deity was known as Zeus.
   Later this day was eventually turned into the Old English Thursdaeg or Thunresdaeg, which translates to 'thunder day' or, more simply, "Thor's Day".  This day of the week is named after Thor, the popular Norse god of thunder. Thor was the son of Odin. He carried a war hammer called Mjollnir, and it was this that made the thunder and lightning. All of these Thunder gods - Jupiter/Jove, Zeus and Thor - were wielder of the thunderbolt.
   Thursday has the panetary association of Jupiter, and the day of the week is associated with prosperity, abundance, leadership, and good health. Prosperity and abundance are the typical magickal concerns on a Thursday. However, the way people define prosperity can vary greatly between individuals.
[excerpts from Ellen Dugan's "Book of Witchery"]

From Christopher Penczak's "The Witch's Coin":
"Energetically, abundance is very different from prosperity. Abundance simply means a lot of something. Spells, magick, and affirmations that ask for abundance, and don't specify what kind, often get mixed results, because you simply get a lot of something. You can have an abundance of misfortune, ill health,, or of stress. Abundance doesn't mean money. Abundant money doesn't bring happiness, health, or a sense of purpose, though it makes some things easier. When you don't have money, it's easy to think it's thye solution to all your problems, but without a greater framework for its use, money can bring as many problems as it solves.
  Prosperity is more than abundance, and less. Prosperity is different from money. To be prosperous means you are healthily growing. To prosper means you are thriving. You are flourishing. This means your entire life, not just your bank account. The image of prosperity we have as pagan goes back to the flourishing land, filled with green and gold grains, providing crops, feeding the herd and the people. Things are growing. The world is turning. All are blessed by the goddess as the tides of life come in and provide sustenance.
   When you are simply abundant, even with money, you can become stagnant. There is no flow. There is  no growth. There are no tides to life. The many people who say they want millions of dollars don't really know what they would do with it after the obvious, such as pay off debt, buy a house, buy nice things, travel, and take care of some friends and family. They have no vision to sustain their abundance nor a high purpose for having it. They don't know how to flow with the cycles of creation, and that is why they say they want millions, but they are usually struggling financially and personally with a lack of direction, success, and fulfillment.
   Those who are truly successful, abundant millionaires often they have some passion, drive, or desire, a purpose, that helped them become millionaires. Although most are not considered magicians by the occult community and would not consider themselves magicians or witches, they use many of the same principles. ....
   The secret of true prosperity is finding our security through our connection with the divine, with the spiritual world. To the witch, the physical world - the Earth, the Land and plants - is the manifestation of the spiritual world in the physical dimension. Witches believe that the land and all living things, of all nature, is divine and sacred. The intangible light of the Sun and stars becomes the green of the land, a tangible form of energy. All our prosperity is based on this principle - even our modern stock market with green cash and gold reserves. Like cycle of day and night and the tides of the seasons, prosperity is a flow of powers. The divine controls the flow of all things, including water, weather, and even wealth. There are harvests and famines, but those who are wise enough to listen, to feel, and to trust will know what to do to take advantage of the boons and ride out the lean times. Wealth is divine, just like the tides and the harvest, and the cycle of birth and death. To the witch, everything is divine. When we start treating wealth as something divine, something originating with the gods and goddesses, when we learn to flow with it and trust in the relationship we have with the divine, then we are open to this magickal secret.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Woden's Day - moon moves into Pisces

I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

11th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 2:23AM EDST
Moon rises: 3:39PM EDST
Moon in Aquarius v/c 3:21AM EDST
Moon enteres the Mutable Water Sign of Pisces at 3:44AM EDST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The glory of the sunset.
Sun in Scorpio
Sunrise: 7:44AM EDST
Sunset: 6:22PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Are you in touch with your emotions?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 28th, 2009

   The solar question is a good one to contemplate on today - it is Woden's day - the day of Communication and Connection and the moon has moved in the watery zodiac sign of Pisces.
During Moon in Pisces emotional life is more introverted. Intuition is at its height and psychic energy is powerful.  Remember that the Sun is in Scorpio when there is a time of doing psychic work because of the extremes of intensity and hightened sentivity.  While you may be able to get more in touch with your deepest self, there can also be a time of vagueness, unclarity and uncertainty.  Many women have a good cry during Moon in Pisces, washing away troubles and we do this because it's the most watery sign of all.  We may need to make a retreat within  to do internal processing and contemplation. The outer world 'busyness' becomes fuzzy and vague. Issues are clouded and cold, hard facts slide through your fingers like slippery fish. Things are not what they seem, so don't be confused by this transit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grounding and Centering

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

10th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 1:23AM EDST
Moon rises: 3:16PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The message of the blood
Sun in Scorpio
Sunrise: 7:43AM EDST
Sunset: 6:24PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which old habits
do you need to change?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 27th, 2009

  Grounding and Centering:

  Magickal breath is incorporated in the two Craft-related techniques called grounding and centering, which help to put you in the right frame of mind before (or after) a magickal working. Grounding means to feel secure, to root yourself to planet Earth, to bring nature into yourself, and yourself into nature. Centering means to find the ultimate, peaceful calm at the center of where you are standing, out to the center of the planet, into the center of the universe. It is the still point - the absolute moment of calm when you feel like you are the one with the universe.

  The practice of grounding and centering comes in handy for a variety of circumstances, including relaxation, p-reparation for magick or ritual and removing stress and negativity from the body. Some Wiccan teachers require that the student ground and center before and after any magickal or ritual practice, where others require grounding and centering only after the work. While you are still in a student practice time of your magickal life, it is probably best to be doing it before and after any magickal application you are learning.

  There are several techniques for grounding and centering, including meditations that can encompass the four elements, the planetary energies, and archetypes (gods and goddesses).  The act of grounding and centering itself can take only a few moments or blossom into a full meditation. These practices become easier each time you use them, and will enhance and strengthen your psychic and magickal abilities. There is an added benefit to learing grounding and centering - anytime anyone treats you unfairly, or you lose your cool, or you feel that you are disconnected and lost, floating in this big universe all by yourself, practice the technique.
   Use grounding and centering techniques:

  •  Before and after meditation.
  • Before and after any spellcasting procedure.
  • Before and after ritual.
  • When you are angry, upset or sick.
  • Each morning as part of your daily devotions. Some Witches perform grounding and centering at the four sacrd hours - dawn, noon, dush, and midnight.

  Grounding and centering can be done while standing or sitting, and doesn't take very nlong to do. The more you practice, the faster you will be able to ground and prepare for magick by centering yourself - sort of like a diver preparing to make the jump of his or her career into the magickal waters below. It is easier to learn grounding and centering by going outside the first few times.

To Ground:  Take three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Close your eyes. Imagine that you are a tree and that your feet (your roots) grow deep into Mother Earth. Feel the stable, secure energy of the planet.

To Center: IMagine that your energy is merging with that of the universe. Allow the sounds and smells of the world around you to pass through you, like you are floating in a magickal pool. Let your concentration center on your solar plexus area. Imagine there is a beautiful sun burning there (some prefer to visualize a ball of light). Slowly, allow yourself to become one with the universe. This is the still point. Now you are ready for magick and ritual.

[Excerpts from Silver Ravenwolf's "The Ultimate Book of Shadows For the New Generation Solitary Witch"]

Monday, October 26, 2009

Moon Day (Monday)

"I'm one with the Goddess '
and open to Her Wisdom."

9th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 12:22AM EDST
Moon rises: 2:51PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The vista through the window.
Sun in Scorpio
Sunrise: 7:42AM EDST
Sunset: 6:25PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day:  "What
do you appreciate most about your skills?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter
of the Year
October 26th, 2009

Moon Day - a day of Remembering and Feeling

Phases of the Moon and Their Psychic Associations:

   The different phases of the moon do have an effect on your psychic talents. While the Sun is in the Scorpio sign we might be noticing that we are getting more 'psychic' happenings... so let's see what the Sun's partner, the Moon, is going to be doing to aid these feelings.  Here is the information, along with tips for working with your divinatory tools, such as runes or the tarot.  Consider how this lunar phase/psychic information will affect even more so when cast on a Monday.  It will all depend on what phase the moon is in when you cast, which means you have lots to learn and plenty experiement with. There are many layers to witchery and magick. The best way to up your game and to increase your skills is to practice, experiement and see how the magick works for you.

First Quarter:  (New Moon to the Waxing Half Moon)  Now is the time when your psychic power is starting to build; you may feel more 'tuned in' and more compassionate and sensitive to other people's emotions. Your dreams and their divinatory meanings become clearer. You may notice that your animal allies, or totem animals, show up more in your life, so pay attention to their messages. Work your divinatory tools now to get a clear picture of what is beginning to unfold in your life at the present time.

Second Quarter: (Waxing half moon to the Full Moon) During this lunar phase, your emotions and senses get turned up to 'high'. (Think of it as riding a psychic wave of sorts: it builds as the full moon gets closer, peaks, and then you start to ride downward.)  Precognitive dreaming is more likely to happen during this particular lunar phase. At the full moon phase itself, you will probably notice everything in a more detailed and magickal way, so work with it when it hits. Intuition and clairvoyance abilities will peak as the moon waxes to full. Employ your favorite divinatory tools now to see the past, present and future.

Third Quarter: (day after the full moon until the waning half moon)  As the moon wanes, the focus begins to turn within. Pay attention to your inner voice - your instinct and gut hunches. This is not the time to ignore that inner monologue. You may find that you are 'hearing between the lines,' meaning you are hearing or sensing what is unspolen, so think before you speak. Ride the back of this wave of lunar energy and realize that the energies around you can be used to your benefit. Tune in to your own spirit and meditate. Work with divinatory tools now to see what is hidden from you.

Fourth Quarter: (waning half moon until the new moon)  At this point of the moon phase, some folks may find that their psychic talents to on holiday, or you may notice that they come howling in with an all-out assult on your senses. The reason for this is that during this last waning phase, all psychic work turns within. This often forces a person to contemplation, and it nudges them into turning their psychic abilities and all that focus within. Then they gain the opportunity for self-discovery. Work with your divinatory tools now to gain an appreciation for what events and people have led you to this point of your life. By looking to the past, we can acquire a good overview on what has brought us to the point we are standing at now. Then we may gain understanding, wisdom, and insight.
[From Ellen Dugan's "Book of Witchery]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

First Quarter Moon phase

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

8th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: First Quarter - 8:42PM EDST
Moon rises: 2:22PM EDST
Moon sets: 11:54PM EDST
Moon in Capricorn v/c 2:14PM EDST
Moon enters the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius at 3:07PM EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The courage to change
Sun in Scorpio
Sunrsie: 7:41AM EDST
Sunset: 6:26PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What excites your soul?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year.
October 25th, 2009

The First Quarter Moon -

   The first quarter phase is a time of balance, dynamic balance in fact, but it is fleeting. Once the dark half of the moon begins to fill out with light, the moment will have passed and energies of the waxing moon return. At the first quarter there is a pause in upward surge of lunar energies. During the waxing crescent phase there a feeling purpose and movtivation prevails and it seems easier to get things done. People are usually more cheerful and relaxed in a way, but enthusiastic for enjoyment, activity, partying. Then in the middle of all this everything seems to stop but yet it is a very quiet and brief sensation.  But this brief pause can be one of the most enchanted stages in the moon's cycle, and it can be used in a positive way to help magickal goals along or to breathe some accord into relationships, both with oneself and with others.
   The First Quarter is also a very good time to infuse extra power into the magickal project begun at the new Moon. If extra effort can ben directed toward this purpose, then a satisfactory result is even more likely. The other factor that may reveal itself is that of the workability of some of our goals. If something is unlikely to succed, then that may become apparent now, if we take the time to listen and observe. A quiet turning in of focus, maybe while infusing power into a spell in progress, may nudge us into altering something.... there may simply be a gut feeling that the emphasis needs to shift slightly for a project to be really effective. It's perfectly okay to work ritual on this part of the moon's cycle, but often it's better to use the special power it brings to review work already in progress, or to gain insights into the way your spells unfolding. If you are lighting a spell candle daily, pause in the process of igniting the wick and tune in to how the spell if forming. Does the energy feel right? Do any new factors occur to you that might improve the end result. 
     Another beneficial use for the first quarter is to quietly go within in contemplation or meditation and see what needs to be done when the full moon arrives, what magick might be appropriate then, or which areas of your life could benefit from focus and attention.
[Excerpts from Elen Hawke's "Praise to the Moon"]

Witch Terms:

Witch's Broom

A Witch's broom is a disease or deformity in a woody plant, typically a tree, where the natural structure of the plant is changed. A dense mass of shoots grows from a single point, with the resulting structure resembling a broom or a bird's nest.

One example of this would be cytokinin, a phytohormone, interfering with an auxin-regulated bud. Usually auxin would keep the secondary, tertiary, and so on apexes from growing too much, but cytokinin releases them from this control, causing these apexes to grow into witch's brooms.

Witch's broom growths last for many years and can be caused by many different types of organisms, such as fungi, insects, mistletoe, dwarf mistletoes, mites, nematodes, phytoplasmas and viruses. Human activity is sometimes behind the introduction of these organisms; for example when a person prunes a tree improperly, leaving the tree susceptible to disease.

Witch's brooms occasionally result in desirable changes. Some cultivars of trees, such as Picea orientalis 'Tom Thumb Gold', were discovered as witch's brooms. If twigs of witches' brooms are grafted onto normal rootstocks, freak trees result, showing that the attacking organism has changed the inherited growth pattern of the twigs.

And there is this other type of witches' brooms:

Witches' garage

Witches' Butter: 

 Tremella mesenterica (common names include yellow brain fungus, golden jelly fungus and Witch's butter) is a jelly fungus that is commonly found on rotting wood, especially gorse, as a parasite of wood decay fungi such as Stereum, Aleurodiscus and Peniophora.[1] This fungus occurs widely in locations including North America, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.[2] The species is not considered edible. This fungus is also known in Scotland as a Shot Star, the substance of a shooting star.[3]

Its close relative, snow fungus, T. fuciformis, is commonly used in Chinese cuisine, and Witch's butter is also used as a substitute for snow fungus.
Witches' Hair:

Cuscuta indecora Choisy

Family : Cuscutaceae

Longevity : Annual

Origin : Native

Season : Warm

Dodder is a parasitic vine that can be found in the Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains areas. It lives on several different hosts, such as woody or herbaceous plants. This leafless, rootless parasite has orangish-yellow stems that twine around it's host plant. Small disks help it to attach itself to the host so that it can get nutrients for survival, sometimes killing small herbaceous hosts. It flowers in April and May with small, white fleshy flowers less than 1/8 inch long.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Sun enters Scorpio

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

6th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 1:00PM EDST
Moon sets: 10:22PM EDST
Moon in Sagittarius v/c 2:38AM EDST
Moon enters the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn at 2:39AM EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The creative power of hope.
Sun entered the Fixed Water Sign of Scorpio nat 2:43AM EDST
Sunrise: 7:39AM EDST
Sunset: 6:29PM EDST
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 23rd, 2009

   Sun in Scorpio:   Scorpio is one the Water signs, reflecting the emotions of the world of intangible ], sensitivity, psychism perception and mysticism. It is also one of the Fixed signs, bringing stability, stubborness, resilience and persistence.

   Those born under Scorpio are generally self-repressive, emotional, intuitive, steadfast, and intense. The typical Scorpio can be quite secretive, keeping personal affairs and feelings hidden from those around them. Outwardly they may appear fearless with a strong desire to succeed. They can purposeful and dynamic. They are perceptive about others and their personal magnestism makes them good at persistent probing to get to the basis of things. Their perceptiveness allows them to understand and comfort others in times of difficulty, and they are unlikely to violate a confidence. On the negative side their intense feelings can make them highly caustic and scornful when angered or crossed in any way. They can be highly jealous, destructive, stubborn, suspicious and even vindictive.

  Those born under this Sun sign should utilize their ability to reason while being aware of their negative qualities. They should be aware that relationships only flourish if both parties can share their thoughts and feelings. Those of other sign will also find this is a good time to work on psychic abilities as the energies of the period, including the influences of the Hunter's Moon and Samhain, will enhance these. 

Hunter's Moon - The Full Moon closest to Samhain is the one where the Moon nearest to the Earth and hence appears at its largest and brightest in the sky.  Looking at the calendar I will consider the Full Moon on Nov. 2nd this year to be a Hunter's Moon since it is closest to Samhain rather than the Full Moon that was on Oct. 4th. 
   Indeed, on a clear night its light is bright enough to read by. This is called the Hunter's Moon in honor of the God in aspect of Hunter and Guardian of the Gates of Death, and as leader of the Wild Hunt.
   The Wild Hunt commences at Samhain and continues throughout the winter months, in which the God as Hunter leads the host of souls of dead warriors. The Hunt peaks at Yule when he unwary can be caught up and swept away. Some Witches perform a Ritual which echoes this. They set a course through the woodland. Individuals set off one at a time with the intent of completing the course accurately, without stopping, pausing, or looking behind. An experienced Witch will summon the Spirit of the Hunt to pursue them and try to lead them astray. Those who complete the test are said to be blessed by the Lord of the Hunt. The Wild Hunt used to be run on the night of the Hunter's Moon, rather than at Samhain, as is more common these days. This allows the run to take place separately from the festivities of the Sabbat.
   Even if you don't choose to run a 'Wild Hunt', try to get outside on the night of the Hunter's Moon, raise your arms to the Moon and gaze deep into her face to feel closer to the Goddess and the God and to recharge your physical and psychic batteries.

The haunting sound of wild geese flying overhead at night gave rise to legends of Odin's Wild hunt and ghost riders in the sky. The legends vary from place to place, but the theme is always that of lost souls doomed to hunt eternally across the night sky.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

5th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 12:21PM EDST
Moon sets: 9:25PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Fire Sign of Sagittarius
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The lessons of illness
Sun in Libra
Sunrise: 7:38AM EDST
Sunset: 6:30PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Are you
appropriating someone else's resources
or time?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter
of the Year
October 22nd, 2009

    Apples in Love Divination:

  The Apple has long been used as a divination tool, especially in matters of love. Young women who wish toknow who they will marry should peel an Apple in one strip with a knife and cast the peel over their left shoulder at midnight. The shape the peel forms will give the initial of their future husband. It was also said that to eat an Apple, again at midnight, while watching in a mirror will result in seeing your future partner's reflection behind you. In some place this was only thought to work on Samhain eve. To see how someone feels about you, warm an Apple in your hands then give it to them. If they eat it then they love you.
   Apple pips are also used in love divination. Place two pips on a shovel in the fire, and if both fly off in the same direction you and the person you are thinking of are destined to be together. To see which of two loves is likely to bring you happiness, name a pip for each and place them on your forehead. The one which stays in place longer will be the one who will bring you happiness. To see which directioni your future love will come from squeeze an apple pip between the forefinger and thumb of your left hand (or right if you are left-handed) until it flies off, and this will tell you where they will come from. To see if your loved one is true place a pip in the fire; if it bursts then they are held to be bursting with love for you.
[From Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"']

Smudge Sticks:

  Smudge sticks are usually short, fat bundles of herbs, tightly tied, which can be lit to produce a form of incense.  They may be a single herb, a combination, or include other ingredients such as resin. Smudge sticks are primarily used in personal workings to cleanse, purify or bring about an altered state of consciousness. It is thought they originated in the Native American tradition, where they were used to invoke spirits and enable journeys to the spirit world.
   The most common ingredients in smudge sticks are Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender; indeed any woody herb which will burn slowlyt and steadily. There may be resins such as Copal or Frankincense, or a few drops of essential oils such as Jasmine or Sandalwood. To make your own, gather the herb with stems about 6 to 8 inches long. Spread them out in a warm, dry place until they are thoroughly dried, as moist herbs will give off far too much smoke. Bind the stems tightly together in a bundle with threads, around their lower third to half. Your bundle needs to be dense, otherwise it will burn too quickly. You may life to experiement with different herbs and tying tecnhniques before you find one(s) which work(s) for you. When you are ready to use your smudge stick, light the top then blow out the flames, so that it smolders and smokes. Waft the smoke around your body from head to toes to cleanse and then from toes to head to work your spell. Some people like to enhance the movement of the smoke with a feather.
[From Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Crescent Moon phase today

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

4th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: Crescent - 6:40PM EDST
Moon rises: 11:26AM EDST
Moon sets: 8:32PM EDST
Moon in the Mutable Fire Sign
of Sagittarius
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: A tree of
your choice
Sun in Libra
(tomorrow the Sun enters the Fixed Water of Scorpio)
Sunrise: 7:37AM EDST
Sunset: 6:32PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Do you oversonsume the world's resources?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 21st

Crescent Moon:   The waxing Crescent moon rises midmorning and sets after sunset... She is the first visible sliver of Moon seen in the western sky in the later afternoon and early evening.

Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal.

So this is Wodin's Day (Wednesday), a day of Communication and Connection..... it is also called Mercury Day.  We have waxing moon energies going for us and a mutable Fire sign for this growing
moon... Wednesday can be known for their tricky and changeable energies.  A plant/tree that has the same planetary associations of Mercury is the Aspen. Also the Aspen is associated with communication and the element of Air.  Aspen leaves were often used in spells designed to protect you from thieves.
   The aspen tree always appears to be in perpetual motion. The slightest breeze causes the leaves to tremble and shiver.  A folk name for aspen was the 'whispering tree,' due to the sounds that the rustling leaves seem to make while they dance in the breeze.  In the old days, it was believed that the winds carried messages straight to the gods.  The aspen then became associated with movement and communication.  According to folklore, aspen trees aid in communication with the faeries. They may also help you find your way into the realm of Faery itself.

Aspen Leaf Communication Spell
If you have been trying to get in touch with someone - an old friend perhaps or a relative  that you need to clear the air with.... then here is a clever magick spell to help bring about communication...

For this herbal spell, you will need to gather three aspen leaves for movement and the positive reception of your message. This spell relies on the element of Air (the Sun is still in the Cardinal Air sign ) and all the qualities associated with this element, such as motion, contact, change, and intelligence - also qualities for Wodin's Day.  The aspen is intimately connected with the element of Air also.  So, unite these two enchanting energies and try a little natural magick to send your message quickly on its way. Remember that this spell is designed to give the recipient a friendly nudge, sort of a psychic 'Hey, I really need you to give me a call' type of energy. 
    Gather the leaves and hold them in your hands; at the third line of the spell chant (that is below), scatter the leaves to the breeze. Of, if you would prefer, simply try working with the aspen by sitting on the ground beneath its branches. Then repeat the spell three times while a nice breeze ruffles the leaves overhead.

"Aspen leaves first are green and then in autumn turn to gold,
I call the element of Air, for I am brave and bold.
As these aspen leaves catch the breeze, my spell to you will soar,
With the speed of Mercury and the help of the winds four.

Close the spell with this line:

For the good of all, with harm to none,
By leaf and breeze, this spell is now done!"

  Once you have made contact, the communication between the two of you is up to the spellcaster, but this spell should at least help you to get things moving in a positive direction.
[From: Dugan's "Book of Witchery"]

"Knowledge comes,
but wisdom lilngers."
___ Alfred Tennyson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tiu's Day - waxing New Moon

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

3rd Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing New
Moon rises: 10:23AM EDST
Moon sets: 7:44PM EDST
Moon in Scorpio v/c 2:57PM EDST
Moon enters the Mutable Fire Sign
of Sagittarius at 4:49PM EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The blessing of water.
Sun in Libra
Sunrise: 7:35AM EDST
Sunset: 6:33PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What
motivates your lifestyle?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter
of the Year
Octob er 20th, 2009

   Tiu's Day (Tuesday) is a Day of Activity and Physicality, Passion and Desire and later today the moon is passing from (void-of-course, v/c)  the Fixed Water sign it currently in and moving into the
Mutable Fire sign of Sagittarius - things could really heat up later today along with the increasing lunar engery from the waxing moon.  There could be a hot time tonight....

  My Seasons of the Witch datebook says there will be Major magickal energies for rites and spells for Independence after the moon moves into Sagittarius -  the correspondences to rev up a spell or rite on this will be: the element Earth; the colors Red for Change and/or Green for Money; the tarot card Queen of Swords; and the rune Berkano.   Also it is noted that there are minor magickal energies for job hunting.

   I am taking note that the waxing new moon will be setting after sunset, enough so that if the skies are clear enough I should be able to see the very thin sliver in the western skies.  I hope so - I don't often get to see this beautiful sight.   

  Yesterday I posted some on candles - FYI - Candle colors for today include all shades of red, from oranges to scarlet to deep burgundy.  When you have Tiu's Day during the waning moon time of the lunar cycle, try working with black candles to absorbe negativity and to break bad luck. 
   If you want to add a little magickal candle aromatherapy, then go for the spicy or coffee-scented candles. The aroma of coffee is an energy booster. It sharpens your other senses, and if you overdo it on the aromatherapyt and you can't smell anything anymore, then taking a whiff of coffee beans can actually refresh your sense of smell!  And here is an other tip: look for carrot-cake-scented candles. Carrots and spices are both associated with Mars, and the spicy scent of the candle corresponds with Tuesday and all of its passionate, daring qualities.   {These tips and suggestions come from Ellen Dugan's "Book of Witchery"]

  Whenever I talk about what magickal energies are happening for the day I usually also list 'correspondences' as suggestions to use in the spell or rite being done... Correspondences are simply links from one thing to another, for example, the color of a candle is often chosen to relate to the subject such I mentioned yesterday - lavendar for healing or green for fertility, and so. While correspondences can be useful in much the same way as links to the person, their use is not essential. If you find them helpful, all is well and good, but you do not have to spend hours memorizing tables of them in orer to be able to work spells.    But to explore this a little bit more......

   All things on the earth plane consists of energy. This energy pulsates (fast or slow)n in a unique geometric pattern.  A correspondence is the relationship between two patterns, either by size, chape, color, element, or historical lore.  There are angelic, animal, herbal, gem, astrological, color, symbol and deity patterns/correspondences in modern magick, to name a few. Patterns that are much like each other work well together and, when linked, build a network of energy that you can use in your spellcasting or ritual work. The patterns correspond to each other. This network of like energy is usually referred to as patterns working sympathy.  I think I will be talking more here of correspondences here because I have come to find that this is am important aspect of casting spells and doing ritual to transform and shift energies.  The information I posted here this morning comes Kate West's "The Real Witches' Craft" and Silver Ravenwolf's "The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation Solitary Witch"....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Moon Day - Second Day of the new Lunar Cycle

I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

2nd Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: waxing New
Moon rises: 9:16AM EDST
Moon sets: 7:03PM EDST
Moon in the Fixed Water Sign of Scorpio
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: An absent friend
Sun in Libra
Sunrise: 7:34AM EDST
Sunset: 6:35PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What areas
of your life need hard or steady work right
Lughnasad (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 19th, 2009

Moon Day today , Monday, the Day of Remembering and Feeling.  There are minor magickal energies
for feminine, maternal, and domestic issues - the correspondences are: The Moon, the color Black, the Tarot Card The Empress; and the rune Laguz.

Candle Magick:   Candle spells are probably the most common form of magick for the solitay Witch, at least in part because they are easy to obtain and straightforward to use. They are also unikely to cause comment from non-Witchy friends and family, being used by a lot of people for decorative purposes. They can be inscribed with sigils and/or anointed with oil to enhance their properties and can be used in conjunction with other things such as crystals. Candles can be selected by color to enhance their purpose, although you can always a white one for any kind of spell. It is thought by some that whole colored candles will be more effective than those which merely have a layer of color wax outside of a white core. Most Witches keep a small stock of candles for magickal use. Candles also have the advantage of being quick to put into use.

Examples of some types of candle spells include:

* Healing - Choose a candle either in a color representative of the person, perhaps their favorite color, or of lavendar, the color of healing. Anoint the candle with either a blend of oils specifically chosen for the person, or again with lavendar oil. Note that anointing should start from the middle of the candle, moving out towards the ends. Don't use too much or the oil itself may catch fire. While anointing, visualize the person you are working for becoming stronger and their healing progressing quickly. Once the candle is anointed, hold it upright between both hands and breathe on it from bottom to top and back again, visualizing your breath, and therefore your intent, filling the candle. When this is done, set it in a safe holder and light it. Let it burn all the way down. If this is not possible, then relight it every day at around the same time, so that it is burnt away in three days.

* Clear thought - Select a yellow candle and inscribe it with the sigil of Air, for thought. About one third of the way down from the wick, tie a yellow thread with three knots, and cut the ends of the thread very close to the knot, so that they do not trail. Light the candle and visualize your mind clearing and becoming focused. Place the candle in its holder onto a wide, fire-proof dish, a saucer works well, so that should the threads fall away from the candle, it willo not set fire to anything. Once the thread has been burnt, you may extinguish the candle and put it aside in case you want to re-work the spell at another time.

* Reconciliation - Take a pink candle and insert two pins into it, opposite each other, roughly halfway down. Light the candle and while it burns visualize both parties meeting and resolving their differences. When the candle burns down to the pins they will drop out, so put them to one side until the candle has completely burnt away. Once this has bhappened with give one pin to each person, or place it somewhere they will be certain to pass over it regularly. This form of spell can provide the opportunity to make amends after a quarrel or disagreement, but it cannot guarantee reconciliation, especially if one or both parties is not really willing to make it up.

Once a candle has been prepared or used for a magickal intent, it should not be used for any other purpose. If you prepare it for one spell but then use it for another you could get very mixed magick! You should also not use it for decorative lighting, unless you really want to reinforce the magick of the time. If you make your own candles, you can use left-over spell candles as long as you remember to do a banishing pentagram (using the clock face simile, this is 7,12,5,9,3,7) over the molten wax.

No discussion of candle magick can go without mentioning safe use, as candles account for a significant and increasing number of house fire. Candles should always be placed in a steady holder or a safve surface, away from fabrics and strong air currents. Ideally, the stand should also be placed onto something fire-proof which will not be damaged by molten wax. If you are working with candles, place them in such a way that you will not have to reach over them for any reason. They should never be left unattended, and definitely never left burning while you sleep.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Moon in Libra very briefly...

"I'm one with the Goddess
and opened to Her Wisdom."

1st Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy
Moon Phase: New - 1:33AM EDT
Moon rises: 8:06AM EDST
Moon sets: 6:28PM EDST
Moon in Libra v/c 1:33AM EDST
Moon enters the Fixed Water Sign
of Scorpio at 10:23AM EDST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon 
Lunar Meditation: The freedom of a decisive
action you must take.
Sun in Libra
Sunrise: 7:33AM EDST
Sunset: 6:36PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: ""What joy do you miss most;
where is joy within you?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 18th, 2009

New Moon - Hecate withdraws, making way for the Maiden moon who will seize our thoughts and push us into outward activity once more. There is a spicy, piquant edge to our energy now. The tiredness and the drained feeling of the old moon has been replaced by an alertness that has yet to find structure and direction. Creative fire strives toward a goal that is not yet found expression. It is as if the moon's closeness to the sun results in a quenching of her light but also the honing of her impulse to bring creative ideas into form. We are faced with possibilities from which we have yet to choose.

The beginning of a new cycle - Keywords for the New phase are: beginning, birth, emergence, projection, clarity. It is the time in a cycle that you are stimulated to take a new action. During this phase the new cycle is being seeded by your vision, inner and outer. Engage in physical activity. Spend time alone. VISUALIZE your goals for the 29.6 day cycle ahead.

This New Moon comes on a Sun Day - the Day of Intent, Creation and Renewal....  how fortuitous.
On   this was posted yesterday on the Dark Moon telling us what this new moon can bring to us.

"Astrologer Lynn Hayes writes, “The New Moon in Libra takes place at 1:33 am Eastern time on October 18, beginning the new lunar cycle seeking the balance and beauty that Libra desires. At its best, Libra would like the world to be filled with beauty and happy people loving each other with perfect balance and harmony. And this New Moon forms a trine to the Chiron/Neptune conjunction, so there is the potential for a cascade of beautiful and soulful healing energy (Chiron/Neptune) that clears the way for the new beginning of the New Moon.


“However,” she continues, “the New Moon (the conjunction of the Sun and Moon) forms a square to the lunar nodes, suggesting that we will be tested. How much are you giving up to have peace in your life, and where is better balance needed?

“We also see Mars forming a square to Ceres in the lunar chart, pitting the self-oriented aggression of Mars against the urge for nurture and comfort. There is tremendous potential here for healing the past and healing relationships with others, but it is clear that attention must be paid to the Self here as well. Then the power of the New Moon can operate fully and unencumbered to empower and protect.”

In addition, another astrologer, Theodore White, tells us: “By the time of the positive October 18th New Moon in Libra, the favorable energies will allow most people to begin to make significant gradual progress deep into the fall season after the delays and frustrations of September and early October.

“The transits for mid-to-late October offer those who have had to deal with the previous frustrations of September and the first 17 days of October the opportunity to catch-up on lost time. It is a good time to shop, looking for bargains, new job opportunities, and to make the most out of the second half of October. Relationships will seem easier to take part in as Venus transits deeper into tropical Libra.”

This is good news! May all of your new beginnings be most richly balanced, beautiful and blessed."
Also take note that the leaves the zodiac sign of Libra at the same time it turns into it's new phase and begins waxing.  While New Moons are to happen in the same zodiac sign that the current sun sign is, these split second happenings can be a bit confusing...    This New Moon also begins the lunar cycle of Gort/Ivy for me as I continue to follow my Lunar Tree cycles. 

The moon is perhaps humankind's oldest form of marking time. According to some scholars, the Celts used a Lunar Calendar that consisted of 13 months, each 28 days in length. Each month of the Celtic Lunar calendar bears the name of a tree, which also stands for one of the consonants in the Celtic 'tree alphabet'. There are basically two different versions of this Lunar calendar: the Beth-Luis-Nion (which begins on the Winter Solstice) and the Beth-Luis-Fearn (which begins on Samhain). I work with the Beth-Luis-Nion simply because it seems to work the best for my style of Witchcraft. But due to some influences in my studies in the past I take and twist this Graves' lunar cycle tracking one step further and make the New Moon of lunar phase marking my new tree cycle. 

Ivy Month:  The Celts considered the Ivy a 'tree' of power, able to overcome even the mighty Oak, because it can bind, constrict and strangle.  It is also a tree of warning: dreams, visions of it, or even large amounts in your area indicate that may be taking a wrong path or contemplating a wrong direction in life, and it is time review your life and motivations, and perhaps seek a new direction. It is a plant of persistence, not just for the ancient Celts. A quaint 19th-century story tells of an Ivy in Oxford which penetrated the wall of a wine cellar, removed the cork from a bottle of port and drank the contents. The bottle was later found congrested with the roots of the plant!
   Ivy leaves made up the wreath of the Roman God Bacchus and were often hung outside inns to advertise their trade. It was thought that wearing a circloe of Ivy around the head would prevent intoxicaton. Drinking from a bowl of Ivy wood was said to be a cure for drunkenness. A wreath of Ivy was given to newly-weds as a symbol of fidelity. A young gir would carry an Ivy leaf in order to meet her future husband. Should a man gather 10 Ivy leaves at Halloween, discard one and sleep with the other 9 under his pilloow he will dream of his future love. To dream of spirits, place an Ivy leaf on each corner of your pillow. Ivy is magickally linked with Holly and it used to be forbidden to bring Ivy into a church because of its Pagan associations.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Some Magick Appropriate for the New Moon

With each of these spells, you can ask for the blessings of a chosen deity according to which one fits your current needs, or you cxan simply ask for help of the Goddess and/or God.

  • Take a seed for each new goal, hold them one by one in cupped hands till you have thoroughly visualized each intention, then plant the seeds individually in a bowl of earth. 
  • Take a pure white candle, stroke it from base to center and up to tip to center with oil such as olive or almond. Be careful to avoid the wick or the candle will splatter when lit. As you dress it in this way, concentrate on a fresh new project that you wish to work on, then light the candle. Burn it every night at the same time till the moon is full. 
  • Invoke Artemis, then visualize yourself drawing back a bow and letting its arrow fly, carrying a wish with it to take root on the astral plane, to yield its harvest in due season. Really, really work hard at building up the image of your goal, and strongly picture the bow and arrow as well. It might help to see Artemis herself with bow pointing upward at arm's length, or see your own hands with the bow in them. Feel the strain and then the sense of release and hear the swish as the arrow arcs through the air. A visualization like this might seem naive and simplistic, but it can be extremely powerful - strong visualization is the basis of the most successful magick. 
  • Think of a goal, then tie three knots in a silver cord or ribbon, voicing your magickal intention with each know. Put it on your shrine or tie it in the branches of a tree in outside till just before the next new moon, then untie the knots and cleanse the cord through the elements so that it can be used again for future spells.  
Go outside when the new crescent moonn is visible and make a wish (but don't tell anyone else till it comes true!)

[From Elen Hawke's "Praise the Moon"]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dark Moon

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

30th Day of the 9th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Muin/Vine
Moon Phase: Dark/Old Moon
Moon rises 6:55AM EDST
Moon sets: 5:57PM EDST
Moon in the Cardinal Air Sign of Libra
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The legacy of wisdom you would bequeath to your descendants.
Sun in Libra
Sunrise; 7:32AM EDST
Sunset: 6:38PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which of your skills needs to honed at this time?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter of the Year
October 17th, 2009

"Spiritsd of sleep and darkness,
thank for these dark silences.

For you, the Great Darkness,
we wait here in the silence.

Watchers, look: see how empty
the sky is of all shining.

The night has shut her eyes, and
the moon has turned away from us.

Let us wait in the darkness
and make offerings to the night.
__ Song from Iroquois fire ritual

Dark Moon:  At last the moon's light is swallowed by blackness, and we are left with a fathomless and profound inner dark in which the potential for future growth is stored. LIke the debris of many season's leaves and loam, our hidden selves contain a rich and potent store of discarded or repressed experiences that can reveal valuable material that can be transformed to our own benefit. Meditation to determine blocks and areas of stagnation in life is useful now, and the end result can mean a release of dammed-up life force that can be utilized, thus bringing us more strength. It is also a time for spiritual work, scrying, and any mean ingful inner effort. This is not a wasted period, but a necessary one, a preparation for the approaching expansive cycle when sun and moon conjoin once more and begin a new phase. Much can be accomplished by working with the energies instead of falling into sluggish resistance, and doing so will dispel the weariness that people often experience now, and will bring satisfaction and a sense of contempletion.

Old Moon Meditation

   You should do this meditation at night, when the moon has vanished to its pre-new dark state.  Burn a sombre incense such as Hecate of myrrh. One can be made by adding several drops of patchouli oil to a small jar of myrrh resin and stirring thoroughly. Use one black candle on the altar. Cast your circle in the usual manner.

  Make yourself comfortable by sitting on a cushion, meditation stool, or chair within easy reach of the altar. Make sure you have matches or a lighter near you. Ask the Goddess in her Crone form to protect and guide you. Concentrate on the candle flame for a while, allowing yourself to relax, letting your breathing become deeper till you feel that both breath and vital energy are rooted into your lower stomach area. Feel the weight of your body, your legs, and the point of contact between your buttocks and the surface on which you are seated. Let everything go so that your back is straight and yet you seem to be settled into your thighs and posterior, and by extension into the floor and the earth beneath.

  When you are feeling relaxed and stable, snuff out the candle, close your eyes, and begin to turn your attention inward, withdrawing interest from your surroundings and focusing on your potential inner realm.  If this seems difficult at first, concentrate on your stomach area while taking a few very deep breaths and imagining that your whole body is comfortably swelling will it is like a huge room with you inside.

  Once you feel you have gone into yourself, gently explore what you find there. Tell yourself that you will only see whatever is safe and productive for you to view. Ask the Goddess to help you. Go in peace, and tread softly through your own inner process. Keep sitting there, keep exploring inwardly bit by bit until feelings, thoughts, or images begin to arise, and when they do, view them in a relaxed and slightly detached manner, allowing them to unfold without forcing the issue at all. Imagine, if you like, that you are in a large attic with many dusty lumps under sheets and in boxes. Some of these may attract you, may even light up so that you are persuaded to looki into them. Lift the covers on the ones you instinctively feel are relevant to you. Of if you prefer, visualize your inner space as a cave, hollow, or a chamber deep in the earth where leaves and soil go through the process of breakdown and regeneration and where treasures are buried. Whatever comes out of this meditation, whatever you perceive or experience, the idea is that you will be able to release or transform what you find so that you can clear space or liberate energy.

Many of the blocks that we experience in our lives are caused by pockets of dammed-up energy that can be confronted and let go of, leaving us unburdened and refreshed. This is not meant to be a traumatic process in which you can attempt to face past pain that would be better dealt with by means of professional help. Nor should you try to force yourself to let go of something that is still dear to you, no matter how much your rational mind tells you to. Be prepared for brief tears, laughter, or other powerful emotions during the resolution process. If nothing comes up at all, it doesn't matter, and you may need only to enjoy a tranquil interlude.

  When you feel it is time to end the meditation, slowly bring your attention back to the surface, and begin to raise your level of breathing to your chest, then your throat, quickening its rhythm as you do so.
Then clap your hands briskly but not too hard, relight the candle, stretch your limbs, and look around.
[From "Praise to the Moon" by Elen Hawke]

Friday, October 16, 2009

waning lunar cycle -

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

29th Day of the 9th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Muin/Vine
Moon Phase: Balsamic
Moon rises: 5:44AM EDST
Moon sets: 5:29PM EDST
Moon in Virgo v/c 6:18AM EDST
Moon enters the Cardinal Air Sign of
Libra at 6:29AM EDST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The dimension
of the universe.
Sun in Libra
Sunrise: 7:31AM EDST
Sunset: 6:39PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Do
you practice hospitality of spirit?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter
of the Year
October 16th, 2009

   Yes, there is snow on the grape vines this morning around here... sigh - no glorious autumn I guess for this year.

  According to the Season of the Witch datebook there are minor magickal energies in the air today to resolve quarrels with friends/lovers today.  So take advantage of the Balsamic moon's energy.

Daily Practice   -

A blog entry from:   posted Oct. 13th, 2009

  There is always talk on the pagan blogs and podcasts about daily practice. Do you or don't you, why or why not, how to if you want....

Do I have a daily practice? Well, yes and no.

I spend time each day offering time or myself to deity. I spend time each day acknowledging the presence and importance of the elements. I offer casual conversation and my beliefs are part of my life, 24/7.

However, do I perform ritual everyday, no matter how long or short, how complex or how simple?
The answer to this is no, in spite of my very best intentions, plans and the energies that pull at me.

I hear and read many people in similar circumstances who chide themselves for being too busy or a little lazy or not dedicated enough.

I have always felt that this was not the answer. Maybe those answers apply to some, some of the time. But there is more to it for some of us, for many of us.

T.Thorn Coyle wrote about this recently and her words helped me put into words the feelings that I have about this.


Fear of the unknown. Fear that those powers are really real. Fear that taking that last step, that moving from 99.9% dedication to the goddess to 100% commitment will set in motion unstoppable changes in our lives. So we dither on the edge of the precipice.
I think there is a special, individual, unique time that we are each invited to step off that ledge.
'when you have come to the edge of all light that you know
and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown
faith is knowing one of two things will happen:

there will be something solid to stand on
or you will be taught to fly'

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Woden's Day in a Balsamic Moon phase

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

27th Day of the 9th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hecate
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Muin/Vine
Moon Phase: Balsamic - 2:48PM EDST
Moon rises: 3:21AM EDST
Moon sets: 4:36PM EDST
Moon enters the Mutable Earth
Sign of Virgo at 3:45AM EDST
Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The companionship
of animals.
Sun in Libra
Sunrise: 7:29AM EDST
Sunset: 6:42PM EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "What
is transforming within you?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter
of the Year
October 14th, 2009

Balsamic Moon:  The ending of one cycle and the beginning of another.  Keywords for the Balsamic phase are: transition, release, transformation, renewal, purity.  It is the phase in a cycle when you must let go of everything that you been working on that does not deal with current cycle issues. During this phase you reflect on the passing cycle and prepare for the new. Trust in renewal. It is important to separate from others now so that you can clear the intellect of negativity. LET GO. Become still and meditate.

   This is Woden's Day - Wednesday - Mercury Day, the day of Communication and Connection... the magickal energies today are strong for honoring your ancestors.  Can you think of ways to do this? 

Here are some suggestions for honoring your ancestors this Samhain - you could start preparing these ideas today....  Communication day.

 We all have ancestors, some living, most of them have passed on. The Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA) does not have any specific traditions on revering ancestors, although most of the other modern Druid groups have incorporated this concept, which is common among Nature and folk-based religions. In a sense, many believe ancestors are the best intermediaries of the living with the deities. Who cares about you more than those who raised you and your parents and your parents' parents?

   Traditionally Samhain was about honoring returning (good) spirits who came back for these few nights, and of course, keeping out the bad ones who also might show up. We tend to focus on the bad ones now and dwell on the frightening aspect of death. However, how often do you talk to your children about welcoming back grandpa or Aunt Myrtle? The idea that good returns too, that is can be a very comforting concept for children. Rather than horror flicks, why not watch a movie of a sad, tragic death story and talk with kids about it. Fluke, the movie of a father reincarnated as a dog, trying to rejoin the family, is very touching.

Have a home altar: decorate it with family photos, as many as you can dig up, some safe candles or incense (watch the smoke detector). If you a family tree picture, you can place it there for this special time of the year. Add postcards, flags, and other symbols of the country (ies) your ancestors come from. If you are lucky enough to live near where your family members are buried make grave rubbings as well and add some of them to the altar. Visit the altar once a often during this time in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year..  Come by and talk to the spirits once in a while about hard things in your life and ask for advice and meditate there. You might assign someone in the family, perhaps even a child  to maintaining the shrine and dust it, replace candles, etc. for a new Samhain time activity.  In this case, a cluttered altar is perfectly acceptable -- after all, each of us is a blend of many different people and cultures.

Have a meal standing by to eat with the ritual. Include lots of dark bread, apples, fall vegetables, and a jug of cider or wine. Set your dinner table, with a place for each family member, and one extra plate for the ancestors. You may want to bake some Soul Cakes.
If your family has household guardians, include statues or masks of them on your altar. Finally, if a relative has died this year, place a candle for them on the altar. Light candles for other relatives, and as you do so, say the person's name aloud. It's a good idea to use tealights for this, particularly if you have a lot of relatives to honor. Once all the candles have been lit, the entire family should circle the altar. The oldest adult present leads the ritual. Say:

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before us.
Tonight we honor our ancestors.
Spirits of our ancestors, we call to you,
and we welcome you to join us for this night.
We know you watch over us always,
protecting us and guiding us,
and tonight we thank you.
We invite you to join us and share our meal.

The oldest family member then serves everyone else a helping of whatever dishes have been prepared, except for the wine or cider. A serving of each food goes on the ancestors' plate before the other family members recieve it. During the meal, share stories of ancestors who are no longer among the living -- this is the time to remember Grandpa's war stories he told you as a child, tell about when Aunt Millie used salt instead of sugar in the cake, or reminisce about summers spent at the family homestead in the mountains.

When everyone has finished eating, clear away all the dishes, except for the ancestors' plate. Pour the cider or wine in a cup, and pass it around the circle (it should end at the ancestor's place). As each person recieves the cup, they recite their genealogy, like so:

I am Susan, daughter of Joyce, the daughter of Malcolm, son of Jonathan...

and so forth. Feel free to add in place names if you like, but be sure to include at least one generation that is deceased. For younger family members, you may wish to have them only recite back to their grandparents, just because otherwise they can get confused.

Go back as many generations as you can, or (in the case of people who have done a lot of genealogy research) as many as you can remember. You may be able to trace your family back to William the Conqueror, but that doesn't mean you have it memorized. After each person recites their ancestry, they drink from the cider cup and pass it to the next person.

A quick note here -- many people are adopted. If you are one them, you are fortunate enough to be able to choose whether you wish to honor your adoptive family, your biological family, or a combination of the two. If you don't know the names of your birth parents or their ancestry, there's nothing wrong with saying, "Daughter of a family unknown." It's entirely up to you. The spirits of your ancestors know who you are, even if you don't know them yet.

After the cup has made its way around the table, place it in front of the ancestors' plate. This time, a younger person in the family takes over, saying:

This is the cup of remembrance.
We remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within us.

Take some time to meditate on the value of family, how fortunate we are to be able to know the connections of kin and clan, and the value of heritage. If your family has a tradition of music or folktales, share those as a way to wrap up the ritual. Otherwise, allow the candles to burn out on their own. Leave the plate and cup on the altar overnight.