Sunday, January 31, 2010

Imbolc information - Waning Gibbous Leo moon v/c-enters Virgo

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

17th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
11th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon sets: 8:09AM EST
Moon rises: 7:48PM EST
Moon in Leo v/c 1:26AM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Earth Sign
of Virgo at 8:23AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The message of the wind.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:30AM EST
Sunset: 5:35PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What does the
seasonal cycle of renewal offer you?
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter
January 31st., 2010

       The waning Moon entered the Mutable Earth sign of Virgo this morning - the key phrase for this sign if "I analyze" and the important issues are practicality, organization, cleaning up your diet or your house (Spring cleaning for Imbolc), and attending to loose ends. It is a time for taking responsibility and cleaning up the messes we've been leaving around. There can be a tendency to excessively critical both of oneself and others so think before speaking.  It's an inward time and you might find yourself reflecting on personal relationships.

Imbolc or Oimelc, the return of the light

 Significance: Imbolc means 'in the belly of the mother' and Oimelc, the feast of 'ewes' milk', the rising of the light and the stirring of new hope. The first festival of spring often when the land is still frozen, it is a reminder that new life stirs within the earth.

Duration: A cross-quarter day. The festival lasts from sunset on 31st of January till sunset on February 2nd.

Mythological energies: This is a maiden goddess festival, but the god is present as her young suitor and in some traditions the first mating takes place, though conception does not occur until the spring equinox.  The dark brother still holds sway but the young god of light is growing in power as he is nursed by the goddess in her Mother aspect.

Focus: New ideas: for the promise that winter, whether actual winter or misfortune or stagnation, will end; for planning the future and for putting out the first shots of new love and the growth or regrowth of trust; and for any projects that start in a small way.

Symbols: Milk, honey, seeds, early budding flowers and greenery, also straw to weave crosses in honor St. Bridget/Brighid the triple goddess.

Tree: Willow - with her willow wands, the goddess melts away the snows of winter. And the Rowan - that still provides food in form of old berries still clinging to the branches

Incenses, flowers and herbs: Angelica, basil, benzoin, celandine, crocus, heather, myrrh, snowdrops, violets.

Candle colors: Blue, green, pale pink, pastels, white

Crystals: Dark gemstones such as the garnet and bloodstone, but alse amethysts and rose quartz and gentle moon stones for the stirring of fertility and awakenin feelings.

Element: Fire/earth

Direction: North-east

Deity forms: The maiden goddess Brighid, the Virgin Mary; any maiden goddess or goddesses of the returning light.

Agricultural significance: This was the all-important time when sheep and cattle had their young and so fresh milk and dairy products were available to the community; for the young and very old this could mean the difference between life and death. It also marked the very early stirrings of life with the first flowers and when the land might be soft enough to plough.

Mythological and magickal significance: Though it is the time of the maiden, the other aspects of the goddess also overshadow her., the newly delivered mother of the sun king whosemilk is mirrored in the milk of the ewes who gave this festival nits name of Oimelc. Also present is the crone of winter whom the god/tribal chief embraced and thus transformed into the maiden goddess of spring.
   The Celtic festival was dedicated to the maiden goddess Brighid who became Christianized as the fifth-century Irish St. Bridget or St. Bride (from which we get the modern term for a woman about to be married).
   On Bride's Eve, until Victorian times in Celtic lands, on the 31st of January or the night after, a bride's bed would be made. This was created from a sheaf of corn, sometimes with corn preserved from the last cut down at the first harvest at Lughnassadh/Lammas (the end of July) and would be decorated with ribbons in honor of the earth goddess/St. Bride. It would also be adorned with any early spring flowers.
   The bed was made in front of the fire of the tribal hall or later of the main farmhouse in the area, and at dusk the inhabitants would shout:
"Bride (Bridget), come in,
your bed is ready."

   The symbolic bride maiden would leave her cows and a cauldron at the door, bringing peace, fertility and plenty.
    The women of the household poured milk and honey over the bride bed. The men folk were summoned and, having paid a coin, a flower posy, or a kiss, would enter the circle of fireight and ask for help with their craft or agriculture and make a wish on the bride bed.
    In Rome, on 15th of February, the love and fertility festival Lupercalia was dedicated to Lupa, the goddess she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, the twins who founded Rome. Love and sex rites by young unmarried girls and men were performed in the grotto of the she-wolf to bring fertility to animals, land and people. This festival gave rise to the modern Valentine's day customs.
    At dusk on the 31st of January in the pagan calendar and midnight non February 1st, at the Christianized Candlemas, torches, candles and sacred bonfires were lit to attract the sun. There was also a procession clockwise around the frozen fields with blazing torches led, it was said in pre-Christian times. by the maiden goddess herself or a huge corn maiden pulled on a cart made from the last sheaf cut from the previous harvest. This was believed to contain the spirit of the corn mother Brighid who brought back life to the land on this night.
     This was a festival of healing of the land as well as people and animals. Eight candles were place in a circle in water and lit so that the light rose from the water of the goddess, the unity of fire and water. This was a festival of milk, also milk being as sacred to the Celts as communion wine is to Christians, for it is the milk of the mother.

Imbolc spells and rituals:

* On the 31st of January after dark, make a tiny straw bed (you can use a small pack of animal's straw from the pet store). Place in it a small doll wrapped in white to represent Brighid and next to it set a small jug of milk in which you have stirred three drops of honey, making a wish for abundance for you or someone else.

* Surround the bed and jug with the first greenery of buds or spring. Place round it symbols of the bessing you would like in your life, whether tiny charms related to your craft (a pen, small piece of wood, or a computer jump drive) or connected with your home. Add a coin asking that your home and those you love will not be short of money. Leave until the 2nd of February at sunset near the family hearth or a source of warmth and each evening add another coin.

* On eithr the 31st. of January after dark or early the next morning, walk around your external boundaries with a small, lighted smudge or one of the Oimelc incense sticks. Waken the energies with a simple chant spoken three times, one after the other, such as:
"Light return, Maiden, melt the snows and metl the hearts
of all who cannot love or accept blessings.
Bless me and bring the new beginning I desire/need."

* Finish by setting the incense in a deep pot to burn away and pour a little fresh milk on to the earth in the center of the open area, repeating the chant once more.

* If you live in an apartment, you can smudge indoors and tip the milk into another jug to be used for drinks or cereal.
[Excerpts from Cassandra Eason's "Complete Book of Natural Matick"]

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Full Moon today - Ice Moon;Cold Moon; Wolf's Moon

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

16th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Luna Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
10th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: Full - 1:17AM EST
Moon sets: 7:36AM EST
Moon rises: 6:31PM EST
Moon in the Fixed Fire Sign of Leo
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The cordial of praise
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:31AM EST
Sunset: 5:34PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What are the landmarks of
your spiritual home?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 30th, 2010

 Full Moon - The keywords for the Full Moon are: fulfillment, illumination, arealization, experience. It is the time in a cycle that you are given a clear view so that you can make adjustments to put you back on track to understanding the goals you set at the new phase.   Go to a public place.  Do something with a friend.  LISTEN. Receive awareness. Understand others. 
OR as it is said at

    Do something, don't let another Full Moon slip by while you decide what to do.

Don't have a ritual?...try this...
Light a single white candle.
Raise your hands to the sky and if you can see the Moon, embrace it. If you cannot see the Moon, visualize it.

Say out loud...

"Mother Goddess, I stand before you, your daughter (or son).
I am a Follower of the Old Ways, a worker of Magick, a Seeker on an old Path in a new world.
I call on you every month when the Moon is full as my ancestors have done through all of time past and will do until the end of time.
I celebrate your presence in my life. This is a promise that I have made to you and that I keep to the best of my ability."

Start with this
or say any damn
thing you want to
sing, dance,
sit in a chair,
do something,
SAY something.

    I did this early this morning (around 5:00AM) and I got such a wonderful feeling reciting the above
words.... listing my arms in an upward circle towards the hazy moon floating sky.  So I encourage you
to try it tonight.   Sobeit

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gibbous Moon enters the Fixed Fire Sign of Leo

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

15th Day of the Second Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
9th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 6:58AM EST
Moon rises: 5:11PM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Fire
Sign of Leo at 9:10AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The treasures of winter.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:32AM EST
Sunset: 5:33PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which fear is keeping
you in prison?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 29th, 2010

    Freya's Day - Venus Day, Day of Sharing and Relationships - there is Major magickal energies today for Romance... The Moon will be in the Fixed Fire Sign of Leo - so passion will certainly be strong today. 

The Seasonal Wheel of the Year

     The four solar festivals, the quarter days that divide the wheel, fall on the solstices  and the equinoxes. These provide astronomical marker points of the high and lows and stable points of cosmic and earth energies, in spirte of their variation by a day or two caused by the tilt of the earth. They must have been significant becdause builders of passages, graves and stone circles from the 4th millennia BCE aligned entrances and marker stones with the rising and setting of the sun on these days.

   But in terms of magick and ritual, the cross-quarter days, the midway between each of these solar festivals, the found annual great fire festivals, form the major rites in the Wiccan and Neo-pagan calendar. In Japan the traditional lunar calendar uses the cross-quarter days as markers for the seasons so that, for example, the first day of spring, called Risshun, fell on the cross-quarter day of the year 3rd or  4th of February. Once this festival marked the beginning of the new year.

   In modern Druidry, witchcraft, Neo-paganism and personal forms of spirituality, these eight change points, occurring every six weeks, have become the focal point for magickal celebrations, both personally for tapping into the prevailing energies and symbolically, as in earlier times, to assist the wheel to turn. Wherever you live in the world you may find it helpful to work with the magickal eightfold wheel of the year (moved around six months for southern hemisphere). However, you can just easily adapt the wheel to your own climate, using the weather conditions and plants to mark out your own journey through the year.

The Deities of the Wheel

   Some people get very confused by the mythological circle of the wheel of the year - and with good reason because there are two separate factors/myth cycles in an operation that sometimes overlap. The light/darkness cycle is represented by an ongoing battle for supremacy between two brothers, a light and a dark twin, called in the Celtic tradition Lugh or Llew (the Welsh form) and Gornwy. They are not strictly twins since they were born six months apart, though they are often called this since each is the alter ego of the other.

   In an even older tree myth saga they are the oak king (the light brother) who ruled from midwinter to midsummer and the holly king whose reign was from midsummer to midwinter. In Christianity these two were mirrored in Christ who was born at midwinter and John the Baptist, his cousin, who was born around the midsummer solstice and whose name was adopted for the Christian midsummer (St. John's Day on 24th of June). 

  Neither of these times was bad, for the dark quiet times, when the land lies fallow and people are also supposed to rest more, are as essential as the bright, active times.

    There is also the god]/goddess progression through the year, with each taking predominance at different festivals or coming together as a scred dance. This cycle mirrors the agricultural year and also the older hunter traditions when the god of winter died at the start of the hunting season, still around the autumn equinox in many lands. Occasionally the two cycles overlap, for example at Lughnassadh at the beginning of August when Lugh or Llew as sun king and barley king is cut down in the last sheaf of grain at the first harvest.

   In the annual celebrations of Europe and Scandinavia, women from the village or town, or, in earlier times, the priestesses, would represent the goddess in her different forms. For it was believed that she was present in spirit and might be seen leading the processions, by those with clairvoyant sight, children or virgins.

  The goddess also appears in different aspects as the maiden, the mother and the wise old grandmother of winter, linking us with the moon goddess, and often the four cross-quarter days are attributed to lunar influences, as for example Lughnassadh at Silbury Hill taking place when the harvest full moon shone on the water.

Moving Through the Year

    It is not always possible to celebrate a seasonal festival on its day(s) because of work or travel commitments. Whenever you are though, do try to take a few minutes to acknowledge the change points in your own life, however, hectic it may be. You can celebrate at the weekend or on the next free day afterwards and by this time the energies will be settled. For the powers of the new season start to build up in the days before it and remain strong for at least a week afterward.

   The cross days are traditionally three days from sunset to sunset when the Celtic and other ancient days began. You can allow the same three-day period for the solar festivals,  though the eve and the day itself are the most potent. Purists who try to keep to a strict six-week pattern use the day upon which the sun enters the 15 degrees of Scorpio (end of October/beginning of November; 15 degrees of Aquarius for Imbolc (end of January/beginning February); 15 degrees of Taurus for Beltaine (end of April/beginning of May); and 15 degrees of Leo for Lughnassadh (end of July/beginning of August).

   In yet another tradition, the festivals are celebrated at the first full moon of the four star sign periods. Or you can adapt them to Christianized festivals, such as Christmas instead of midwinter solstice and Easter instead of Ostara and bring fresh energies to the commercial festivals. You can of course move your Christmas and Easter to older daes (Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox) and especially if you have to divide family celebrations with a partner who does not live you or you want your own nature-based celebrations after maybe a tense family get-together on the recognized days.
[Excerpts from Cassandra Easons' "Complete Book of Natural Magick"]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moon in Cancer goes void of course - Full Moon approaching

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

14th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
8th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets:6:13AM EST
Moon rises: 5:11PM EST
Moon in Cancer v/c 11:48PM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The unconquerable nature of the soul.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:33AM EST
Sunset: 5:32PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What threshold of
attainment waits for you to cross over?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 28th, 2010

     Today is Thor's Day (Thursday) and there are Major magickal energies for working spells/rites for secruity.  Since the moon will be in the Cardinal Water Sign of Cancer most of the day then this is a good for working with issues regarding security....  Thor's Day is Jupiter Day - the Day of Spiritual Insight and Expansion.

Seasonal Magick

   Seasonal celebrations are as old as time itself, prompted not by calendars but by the changes in light, warmth, rainfall, and the natural growth cycle. They also occurred by the appearance of the herds with their young and for a particularly bright star such as Sirius, whose annual rising heralded the Nile flood
and the Season of Akhet or Inundation.

   Once moon times were calculated, as marks on bone, wood, or stone, people could anticipate the coming of the rainy season or when the reindeer herds might be returning. Once the seasons could be predicted, the celebrations were used to ask the deities for good hunting or fertile crop growth. In this way people became part of thye turning of the year and by their ritual recognition of the change points could help in turning the wheel of the seasons.

   Indeed, among the Inuit of the North American continent the Inuit deity Tekkeitserktok, god of the earth, is offered sacrifices in the autumn, the main time for reindeer or caribou hunting.   Once the hunter
gather way of life had been replaced in more temperate regions by the farmers of the Neolithic period, the ritual year became inextricably linked with the annual sowing and reaping cycle. The father of the hunt, who was lord of winter, and the mistress of the animals, who was lady of the summer, were succeeded by grain goddesses and gods. The gods were regarded also as the spirit within the grain and sacrificed their lives annually for the fertility of the soil with the harvesting of the crops.

Seasonal Patterns

    How the year  and its rituals are divided is influenced by the nature of the land and weather patterns. Some lands do not have the four seasons that form natural marker points. For example, ancient Egypt there were only three seasons: Akhet, Peret and Shemu.

   Akhet was the time of the flood and water from July to October/November. At the festival of Hapy, the Nile water god, the people asked that the flood might be not too deep, yet still fertilize the land. Peret was the time of growth, sun and water mixed, honored by Ra the sun god and also vegetation gods such as Osiris and Geb. This lasted from October/November to March. Last came the time of harvest, the dry season when Ra the sun god predominated and also Min the fertility god and Isis in her role as grain mother. This lasted from March/April to July and was called Shemu.

   In contrast, one of the most important rituals in the Aboriginal ceremonial year was the annual coming of the rains, a sacred sex ceremony in honor of Kunapipi, the earth mother and Jarapiri, the male form of the rainbow snake in Northern Australia. It was held just before the monsoons were due to begin and so not only heralded but it was believed brought about the welcome end of the dry season.

   In northern areas of Scandinavia, America, and Canada, it may still be snowing and icy on May Day. The Swedish people, for example, still have the equivalent of the maypole dancing and flower goddess
celebrations round their midsummer tree on the midsummer solstice around the 21st of June. This became Christianized as midsummer on the 24th of June.

   In the Old Norse world where hunting remained an important way of life - and still does, even in cities - there were only two seasons, sumar (summer) and vetr (winter).  The Norse winter began on the 14th of October and summer began on the 13th of April until Christianisation in the 11th century.

   The Celts also had two seasons whose beginnings were marked by the greatest of the fire festivals, Samhain, the beginning of the Celtic new year, around the 31st of October, and was the time when animals were slaughtered for the winter food and breeding animals were put into barns. It as the time of the ancestors when they too returned to the warmth of the family hearth, as the dimensions parted on the new year. Their release into the fields with their young on Beltane, the beginning of the Celtic summer, around our May Day, was also the major fertility festival for people, cattle and grain, and another marker point faeries roamed everywhere.
[Excerpts from Cassandra Easons's "Complete Book of Natural Magick"]

Shifting Conscousness - continued from yesterday's blog post

This is a continuation of a list of ways that can shift your consciousness...  some are inhibitory - a slowing down the body and the others are exhibtory - raising energy and the body's awareness through stimulation.

Intoxication - (depends on substance) - Intoxication is the use of various natural materials to induce an altered state, including wine, hallucinogenics, herbal mixtures, and incense. The difficulty with intoxication is moderation. Just enough can open a doorway, but too much can make you lose control. Although we have a history of using these substances recreationally, spiritual traditions use them with great care and reverence, providing specific training and knowledge to function under these influences. With the possible exception of incense, Penzcak humbly suggests saving this path for a time when you have more guidance and training.

Sound - (depends on the music) - Singing, chanting, instruments, drumming and other percussion can lead you into an altered state as you get swept up with the tone and beat. Some will be more relaxing, such as gentle music. Others will be more exciting, like tribal drums.

Body Movement - (exhibitory) - Movement induces an altered view of reality, and can include exercise, dance, asana (yogic body posture), shaking, shivering, spinning, hand movements, and mudras. Many tribal societies and covens use large circular dances as part of ritual. Yoga and martial arts also induce trance states through body forms. The movements do not necessarily have to be graceful to be effective. The Teutonic shamans, basically using the cold to shiver and shake, entering a magickal state through such movements. In the past, some have used binding to slow the flow of blood and enter an induced altered state. Penczak does not personally recommend binding, though he has experienced wonderful meditation in a ritual that lightly tied strips of fabric around energy centers in the body. No blood was constricted, but the light pressure did help induce a deep meditation.

Sex - (exhibitory) - The most exciting path go gnosis, quite literally, is using sexual energy. Masturbation and intercourse are great ways to raise a lot of energy and enter an altered consciousness. Before sexuality came under the taboos of the dominant religions, sex was a much more integral part of magick,  and all acts of love were considered worship to the Goddess. The major drawback to this technique is if you are entering an alterede state to perform an act of magick, it is very easy to get lost in your own or your partner's pleasure. Ritual sex between a consenting couple in the context of Wiccan ceremonies is called the Great Rite, re-creating the divine union between the Goddess and the God, but it is more often enacted symbolically, through the use of ritual tools like the blade and chalice, rather than physically.

Pain - (exhibitory) - This method includes scourging (light ritual whipping), piercing, branding, and tattooing. Such practices are a part of initiation rituals and rites of passage all over the world. Pain is Penczak's least favorite of altering consciousness, although it definitely alters your consciousness from the normal waking state. Scourging is a practice in both ancient and modern witchcraft , though most shy away from it. A scourge is a whip made of many cords, akin to the cat-o'-nine tails. Modern witches do not seek to break the skin, but to draw blood to that area to induce a trance state. Though this might seem distasteful, flagellation has been used in mystical traditions for centuries. Another aspect of pain is the practice of ritual piercing, tattooing, and branding. These acts mark rites of passage and possibly even initiation. Many involved in these contemporary industries are a part of, or influenced by, pagan and tribal cultures and see the spiritual connotations of these acts.

   The Eightfold Path offers many roads to deeper awareness, and some may be more suitable for you than others. The "Inner Temple of Witchcraft" focuses on applying the more inhibitory techniques, because in Penczak's experiences he has found them easiest to teach and reproduce. You need very little way in the way of tools or setting. Once you master the basics safely, you can explore the other techniques. 

New Assignments

* Exercises 2 through 6 - Complete and record your experiences in your Book of Shadows. Continue with exercise 6: Earth Walking as often as you like.

Continuing  Assignments

* Daily Journal - write three pages a day.


 * Be conscious and aware of your psychic mind, as manifested as your own inner voice and sense of intuition. Be open to it. Invite it into your life. Expect it. Realize that you are psychic. Psychic means 'listening to the voice of your soul.'  We all can do that. Ask your intuitive, psychic voice for advice, from important life questions to silly inconsequential ones, such as 'Who is on the phone?' when it rings. I listen to it. Follow it. Record your experiences. The more you do this and feel vindicated that your psychic voice was right, the stronger it will get.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Gibbous Moon moves into Cancer

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

13th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
7th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle
of Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 5:19AM EST
Moon rises: 2:36PM EST
Moon in Gemini v/c 1:32AM EST
Moon enters the Cardinal Water
Sign of Cancer 9:01AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Your kinship
with the stars.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:34AM EST
Sunset: 5:31PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What new idea is seeding
itself within you this Winter?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 27th, 2010

    Today - Woden's Day - brings Major magickal energies for working Magick and minor magickal energies for divination in the AM.  The Cancer Moon transit is a Cardinal Water Sign bringing us
desires about a home, emotional security, entertaining friends, cooking, security issues, nostalgia and the desire to nurture. The keyphrase for Cancer is 'I feel'.  Women are emotionally and psychically sensitive at this time, and due to these strong emotions it is a 'crybaby' moon.
   Moon in Cancer brings heightened sensitivity, the desire to nurture and the need to cvreate a home. Because of the home-orientation, coming from a deep-seated need for security, there is a greater interest in food and its preparation. This can easily lead to self-indulgence, so health-conscious women should be aware of the tendency to food binge. Cancer is the home of the moon, sensitive planet of emotions, so feelings are easily hurt. especially personal criticism. 

Wart Charming

    Warts are somehow inextricably linked to Witches. The carticature Witch invariably has a wart on her nose, and it is used to be said that if someone was truly a Witch they would have the power to cure warts.  Warts can be counted away. The suffer should count their warts and give their name and the number to the healer, who would tell them to 'uncount' their warts. The warts should then vanish within two weeks. Kate West says she has 'brought' warts by giving a person a coin for them which they then rub on and retain until the warts go. However, it is said that if someone who is not a true Witch tries then they will gain the warts!  Alternatively, cross each wart nine times with a new pin and cast it away (outdoors please) over your left shoulder.
    Many plants are said to aid the healing of warts: cut a notch for each wart into a piece of Elder, then rub the stick on the warts and burn it on an open fire. Another version says the stick should be placed in the road so that another finds it and takes the warts! An apple cut in half should be rubbed on the wart, sewn together and buried. As the apple rots so the wart will go. This rubbing and burying also applies to meat, pieces of bread pinched from inside a freshly baked loaf, and straw. The juice of a freshly-picked Dandelion is said to speed their removal, as is that of the Spurge, Celandine and Elderberry.
"Ask not what the Craft can do for you
but what have you done for the Craft."
[From: "The Real Witches' Year"]

Shifting Consciousness - continued from "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft"
by Christopher Penczak

   Voluntarily changing from one state of mind to another is not as difficult as it seems, but it does take practice and training. The techniques take one of two paths. They can be inhibitory, slowing down the body and gently entering an altered state, or exhibitory, raising energy and the body's awareness through stimulation to bring on an altered state. Neither is better than the other; they take different paths to the same place. As you practice, one approach or specific technique might suit your personality or tradition more, but it is good to be well versed in multiple techniques.
    Gerald Gardner taught eight ways to raise power and enter a gnosis state for magick. The use of Eastern practices probably influenced his tradition of witchcraft since he worked in the East for many years as a civil servant. Modern witches use a modified version of the Eightfold Path.

Meditation - (inhibitory) -- The main inhibitory technique is meditation. Meditation is clearing your mind and entering a relaxed state. Eastern forms of meditation focus on completely clearing the mind and being one with the moment. Often a chant (mantra), hand gesture (mudra), or posture (asana) is used in various combinations to help the practitioner stay focused. Sometimes a visual force or a special symbol called a yantra or mandala, is used. Western forms of meditation tend to be more task oriented and linked with the powers of creative visualization, but practitioners often use a variation of the Eastern technique, such as prayers and affirmations for mantras.

Breath Control - (usually inhibitory) -- Regulate breathing is called pranayama in the East. It relaxes and lowers body systems by focusing on the movement of the breath. The breath is related to the element of air, and air is linked with the mind. By calming the breath, you can calm the mind. Some types of breath can excite the body and build up energy, while others cool and relax. Breath work is usually used in conjuntion with meditation. Some practioners count their breaths to keep clarity and focus.

Isolation - (inhibitory) -- Aborignal traditions have a rite of passage where one spends time in isolation on a mountain top, cave, or forest to induce a mystical experience, such as the Native American vision quest. Several religious orders impose isolation and silence on members to facilitate contemplation. Fasting is often incorporated into the process, directly altering the brain chemistry through lack of food. Use this method with caution and guidance.

To be continued tomorrow

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gibbous Moon in Gemini

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

12th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
6th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: Gibbous - 7:43PM EST
Moon sets: 4:17AM EST
Moon rises: 1:29PM EST
Moon in the Mutable Air Sign
of Gemini
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The ancestral
memories of your body.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:34AM EST
Sunset: 5:29PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What would
give your loved ones most pleasure?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 26th, 2010

     The Gibbous phase of the moon is reached this evening - we are approaching the Full Moon for this lunar cycle.  The keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, p0repare, trust. It is the time in a lunar 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.

Making Offerings

   It is well understood that we should make offerings to the Goddess and the Land, however there are good and not-so-good ways of doing this.  Most of us feel unhappy, if not actually angry, when we see litter in our parks, roads, and countryside. But I also feel a great deal of sadness when I visit an ancient monument, or even a woodland area, and find evidence of previous vistors. This is not just confined to empty cans, packets and discarded cigarette ends, it also includes empty tealight candle holders, wax, ribbons, and other non-biodegradable items. Ours is a nature-based belief system and it is up to every one of us to ensure that not only our daily lives but also our magickal ones are in harmony with the Land.
   So what can we offer? Small gifts of things which will benefit the animals, birds, and other life such as seeds, grains, and fruit are prefectly acceptable. Drinks poured onto the ground are also acceptable in small quantities. For example, a little alcohol can represent an offering of value. Other unobtrusive but natural gifts can include plaits of grasses or even a few hairs tied together. In such cases it is the amount of effort which is put in which counts, not the size of the offering. If it can be easily seen from a couple paces away then it is almost certainly too much. Remember that if every vistor to a popular site did as you do, would there be a mountain of offerings left to spoil the place for others.
"Leave nothing but footprints,
take nothing but memories."
The Countryside Code
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]

Monday, January 25, 2010

Moon enters the Mutable Air Sign of Gemini

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

11th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
5th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: waxing Half
Moon sets: 3:11AM EST
Moon rises: 12:33PM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Air
SIgn of Gemini - 6:11AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The unfolding vision of your life.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:35AM EST
Sunset: 5:28PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "To whom
do you need to show your sensitivity?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 25th, 2010

   Moon Day (Monday) the Day of Remembering and Feeling - with the moon in an Mutable Air sign there are Major magickal energies for Travel and Intuition.  When the moon is in Gemini it is a time for communication and other means of expression, freedom, adaptability, short journeys, reading or writing, desire for variety and having more than one thing going on at once. You might feeling talkative
and might want to work with your hands during the moon's transit in Gemini. 
   All communication (talking, writing or reading, and intellectual matters) are easier during a Gemini Moon. Women are more adaptable and changeable, so take all statements and promises with a grain of salt, especially if the person has proven fickle in the past.

Interpreting Dreams

   There are many books on dream interpretation but by far and away the best interpretations will be those you make for yourself. Kate West says that an illustration of this is in this experience she had:
"many years ago a young girl came to me in tears as she had dreamed that her teeth fell out. Looking in a dream interpretation book she found that this meant the death of someone close. It did not take much Witchcraft for me to ask if she had recently missed a dental appointment, and she had!"  Quite often our most powerful dreams have the most prosaic of meanings. 
    To interpret your own dreams try the following: If you feel your dream was significant on waking, write down as much of the dream as you can remember. It need not be in a continuous flow, notes will do. Review your list and make a note beside any aspects which you can easily interpret, e.g. a dream of your dog getting fat might occur if you had decided it was too cold to give it a proper walk. Now using colored paints or crayons illustrate as much of the rest as possible. This can be in an abstract rather than picture form. That evening just before retiring, burn your dream notes. Add to your picture if you feel like it. Place the picture and a sprig of Rosemary under your pillow, and your dreams this night should clarify your previous one.
"There are some things we
were never meant to know."

[From: "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rainy Sun Day -

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

10th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Hera
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
4th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: waxing first quarter
Moon sets: 2:02AM EST
Moon rises: 11:48AM EST
Moon in Taurus v/c 10:02PM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The blessings of age.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:36AM EST
Sunset: 5:27PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which of your family do
you most appreciate?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 24th, 2010

    There is nothing sunny about this Sun Day outside my window - see picture above. But it is Sun Day, the Day of Intent, Creation and Renewal - that day in every week that gives us a chance to try again and get it right this time... There are Major magickal energies today for spells/rites concerning New Business, Investment, Planning, and Planting before the moon goes void of course later tonight. So maybe this can be a good day to curl up with files and plan out our income tax strategies...  Certainly a good day to practice the Penzcak work on meditation and visualization.

Levels of Consciousness

  While practicing all the previous exercises posted over the past week of so, you may have noticed that you felt a  little different. Your perceptions were different because you were using other senses, other parts of your consciousness. Shifting consciousness is the key to magick. If magick is aligning our three minds, our conscious and psychic minds with the divine, you need an easy method to quickly align these three separate energies. The more self-aware you become, the more the three minds come into alignment., but for now we need techniques to help that process.

   By voluntarily changing your state of consciousness, you do not lose consciousness or identity. You can still hold your intent, but such a change brings a great awareness of your own energy, abilities and power. The ancient Greeks called this state of greater awareness gnosis. Gnosis literally means 'knowledge,' and referred to the mystical, divine knowledge available to those who enter this state. Personal revelations and psychic experiences occur during gnosis.

  Everyone's brain functions through waves of activity. These patterns of waves, measured in cycles per second, or hertz, each contain very specific characteristics. Individuals may express different abilities at each of these levels, but anyone can physically enter these levels. We do it all the time. The trick is to do so voluntarily.

  Normally the brain functions at beta level, our normally waking consciousness. It is the time when we are generally awake and alert, doing our jobs and interacting with people. This electrical rhythm's frequency is normally thirteen to sixteen cycles per second.

   The level that most people in the magickal world refer to when talking about meditation, magick, and spells is the alpha. Alpha state is right below beta. Alpha is described as being relaxed yet aware - this could be when you are not all that aware. When you daydream or otherwise 'zone out' of conscious beta level, you have entered alpha, which is measured eight to thirteen cycles per second. If you learn to purposely enter this state, you can stay aware. The advantage of alpha is greater contact with your psychic mind. Accelerated learning and increased memory occur at this level. Intuition and psychic abilities are accessed. Think of alpha as a meditative state. You can meditate at this level and go deeper into your inner experience, or you can enter a higher alpha state, or what could be called ritual consciousness, remaining calm, relaxed, and aware, yet still being able to walk around, light candles, speak and so forth. People often worry about getting into alpha because at times if does not feel that much different from beta, particularly when you get used to it. Students of magick will often worry if they can reach alpha at all, but everyone passes through it as they go to sleep each night.

  Theta brain waves take you into a deeper meditative state. You could call it a trance state. At this level, you can pay more attention to the inner reality and make a stronger connection to the divine. You also may enter it during sleep. Theta is measured at four to nine hertz.

   The lowest level of brain functioning is the delta wave. Delta is the state of deep sleep, deep trance, and coma. The brain functions on four or less cycles per second. Those who acquire more advanced and conditioned nervous systems through training, like yogis and other mystics, can bring the body to this level while keeping the mind conscious.

  There are several states above the normal beta level that prove interesting. First is high beta, clocking in at sixteen to thirty hertz. This is an extreme state of alertness, what is called 'battlefield conditions.'
When you are in a more aware mode of perception due to life-and-death situation, fear, and adrenaline, you are in high beta. Above high beta the brain waves spike into K complex, measured at thirty to thirty-five hertz. This is the experience of divine inspireation, where things become clear for one brief moment. K complex is also called 'the eureka experience.' Superhigh beta is above them all, falling in the range of thirty-five to 150 hertz. Expansive and somewhat un controllable spiritual experience occur here, raising consciousness. Extreme out-of-body experiences, kundalini rising, and crown-chakra activation occur at this level.

  Notice how both lowering and raising the brain waves can lead to mystical experiences. In this practice we will be focusing on techniques to lower your brain wave level and heighten your awareness, but spirituality can be found in many different places. As you have a spiritual experience, your brain waves could jump up, but you remain peaceful. It is also important to remember that these brain-wave measurements are averages. Different parts of the brain can be associated with different brain waves, so you are not necessarily in any one state with 100 per cent of your brain. The brain is a mysterious organ that we still know little about, but it appears that these brain waves hold a key, like a gatekeeper, to our mystical experiences.
[From: "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" by Christopher Penczak]

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First Quarter phase

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

9th Day of the Second Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
3rd Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle of Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: First Quarter - 5:53AM EST
Moon sets: 12:55AM EST
Moon rises: 11:12AM EST
Moon in the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The work of your hands.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:37AM EST
Sunset: 5:26PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is the source
of your deepest refreshment?"
Samhan (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 23rd, 2010

     As the lunar crescent waxes the sense of newness and purity are left behind and the slender curve of Artemis's bow broadens night by night. There is a feeling of purpose and motivation that prevails and it seems much easier to get things done. The first quarter is a time balance but it is a fleeting moment as the moon reaches the First Quarter phase.  As the dark half of the moon continues to fill out, the brief moment of pausing and reflecting will pass and the energies will quicken again, picking up tension and
momentum as it approaches the Full Moon. Keywords for the First Quarter phase are: action, expression, growth, breaking away. It is a time in a lunar cycle to take initial action necessary to achieve your goal by expessing your needs and desire. FEEL & MOVE. Make phone calls and write
letters. Dance. Act now.

 Sowing Seeds
"Seeds of morrow I do weave
Casting thrown on future's eve
Seeds will grow, plans manifest
Leaves of Magick, Powers Blest."
___ From Seasons of the Witch 2010
   The weather may be bleak and the land is still resting but you can start to bring new life by sowing seeds indoors. Even if you don't have much of a garden of your own it can be very rewqarding to grow a few things inside.
   If you have plenty of space you may find it worthwhile to invest in commercially-made seed trays and covers, but if space is at a bit of a premium then a few plant pots on saucers with plastic bags over them will provide a good germinating environment. It is worth investing in a good-quality seed compost as this reduces the chances of weeds and diseases. Ensure that the pot will drain well by adding a good amount of gravel to the pot, top up with soil and sow the seeds about 2/3 up the pot. Cover with a little moist soil and place the whole pot under a plastic bag to keep warmth and moisture in. Label carefully and place in a moderately warm, well-lit place, out of direct sunlight, and make sure it does not dry out.
   Broadly speaking you should sow annuals at this time of the year. While the ultimate choice will be personal, some interesting seeds to sow are Calendula, Campanula, Clary Sage, Delphinium, Nasturtium, Poppy, Marigold, Sunflowers, Sweet Pea. Of course the easiest way to choose the plants to sow is a browse around your garden center. You can also sow fruit seeds (pips) such as apple and orange or even some of the more exotic fruits, although you may have to maintain these as indoor plants for a much longer time.
"Plant seeds of friendship if you want love to grow."

[From "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

Earth Walking - Exercise 6 from "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" by Christopher Penczak

   This exercise expands your experience beyond the realm of personal energy and into the feelings of Earth energy. Our ancestors slept on the Earth and exchanged energy with it every day. Most people barely touch the Earth now, with the ubiquity of shoes and floors. Earth walking, both along with the other exercises in this book, helps us come back into balance with the energy field of the Earth, walking is a simple meditative walk outside. Start in some natural setting, on grass, in a field or park, on the beach or in the woods, rather than on concrete or asphalt. If you feel comfortable enought to do this barefoot, so much the better, but with practice, you will feel this experience through your shoes.

  Walk slowly and meditatively. Be aware of the Earth below your feet. Be aware of your personal energy, the auric field around you, touching the land, where your energy mingles. As you inhale, imagine that you are not only breathing in through your mouth, but breathing in through your feet. Penczak's yoga teacher tells him that a wise person breathes through the soles of his feet. Penczak feels that it would certainly apply to a wise witch, too. Imagine drawing the life force, Earth energy, through your feet as you walk. This energy grounds and centers you. It bolsters your metabolism and energy level,  creating health and joy in the moment. For now, don't worry about doing anything special while exhaling. Breathe normally. The excess energy will be released naturally through your daily acitivity.
We release energy all the time. Focus on the connection you make to the Earth.
    When on these walks, look for a quiet place that could serve as a meditation spot for later exercises.

   When you feel you are done with this experience, walk and breathe normally and resurme your day-to-day activities. If you feel too energized, too charged, get on your hands and knees, placing your palms on the ground. Imagine the excess energy flowing out of your palms and even pouring out of your head. You release only the excess energy to the Earth, grounding yourself. As you release this energy, you can place the intent that such energy be used for healing the planet. This is a basic method of grounding yourself if you are not releasing excess energy. There are other ways to ground yourself if you can't reach down, you can imagine the energy flowing out of your hands and feet into the ground. You can hug a tree. Imagine the tree taking the excess energy for its own healing, and grounding it through the roots. You can even imagine yourself as a tree, and let the energy drain through your own 'roots'.

   When you are comfortable with the Earth energy, you can include breathing through the crown of your head to connect with sky energy. Try the sky energy alone to get a feel for that particular vibration. Then try both Earth and sky energies together. Ground yourself as has been described as you bring yourself back to normal perception. Sky energy can make you more lightheaded, open, and aware than Earth energy, so be sure to take care. Simple walking meditations can be as powerful and enloightening as any other exercise in this book's studies. Do not underestimate them.

   The greatest lesson to learn about working with these energies is that all energies and powers are fundamentally neutral, meaning they are not good or evil. At times we can pick up on the energy of a place or person and feel it as 'bad' energy, but it is only energy being used for a less than good intention. Intention rules everything. Electricity is electricity; it can be used to power a light bulb, a life-support machine, or an electric chair. The energy itself does not judge its use, so people who use the energy must take responsibility. Personal, Earth, sky and divine energies can be used to heal or harm, depending on the intention behind the action.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Waxing Crescent enters Taurus - predicting weather

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

8th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
2nd Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon sets: 12:15AM EST
Moon rises: 10:42AM EST
Moon in Aries v/c 2:46PM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus at 11:39PM EST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The potency of dreams enacted.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:37AM EST
Sunset: 5:25PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What do you need to
learn in order to be more confident?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 22nd, 2010

    It's Freya's Day - with Major magickal energies for doing spells/rites for Arts and Crafts projects.
These energies will be present up until the moon goes void of course at 2:46PM this afternoon. 

    Weather Prediction

   Anyone who has listened to a weather forecast will know that modern science serves no more accurate than the techniques of our forebears, especially if you require something a bit more local than the regional forecast. 
    The saying, "Red sky at night, shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning." is self-explanatory. But there are many other traditions of weather prediction of which these are just a few: A Cock crowing at bedtime forecasts rain, while one crowing during the rain predicts good weather. A Robin sitting in a hedge means it will soon rain. Seaweed hung outside  the door will be limp when the weather is to be cold and wet, but if it curls up the weather will be dry.
     To whistle at sea would be to summon up the wind, and another one is to never whistle in the morning as this would bring rain that day. And another one still, is that whenever a person's nose becomes cold then rain will follow within the hour.  Cold feet (when sensibly wrapped) advise of a cold night, whereas unusually hot feet predict warmer days. If it rains on St Swithin's day (July 15th) the weather will be wet for 40 days and nights. A mild January will precede poor Spring weather, whereas a cool July brings a hot August. Cats and children become more boisterous than usual before strong winds, and when a cat sleeps with her face under her forepaws then the temperature is sure to drop.
[From: "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

    This interview article is quite interesting....

The Connection Between Weather and Witch Hunts

Wednesday April 23, 2008 from:

Here's an interesting one to ponder. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times (which is's parent company) takes a look at a California researcher who believes that harsher weather leads to more accusations of witchcraft in under-developed nations. Professor Edward Miguel of UC Berkeley says that in Tanzania, during years which the country has unusual rainfall, the number of elderly women accused of witchcraft tends to double. In other words, have a year with droughts or flooding, and your chances of being killed for being a witch increase dramatically.

As we face a global change in food supply thanks to climate shifts, Miguel says that it's likely that rural areas in third-world countries will see more and more women charged with witchcraft, and likely killed for it. University of Chicago economist Emily Oster studied European witchcraft trial records, and found that over the course of two centuries, years with harsher, colder weather saw an increase in the number of women charged with witchcraft. There's also a theory that the Salem witch trials were rooted in a loss of food supply compounded by an influx into Massachussetts of settlers who were escaping massacres in Maine (read Mary Norton's In the Devil's Snare for more on the socio-political aspects of the Salem hangings).

Recently, there has been a significant increase in publicized witchcraft accusations in places like Africa and India. What's really striking about this is that the majority of the women targeted in these "witch killing" attacks are not in fact witches, but simply women who angered someone else in their village. Once the mob mentality takes over, there's little they can do to defend themselves.

Storm Magick

"Rain, rain
Go away
Come again
Some other day."

   Humankind has attempted to control the weather for hundreds of years. As we have yet to gain any sort of control, storm magick proposes that we instead merge energies with the storm, and harness its natural power to bring about changes we desire.
    At any given moment, there are hundreds of storms covering the face of the Earth. Visualizing ourselves as part of the storm allows us to tap into its energy force. Certain colors can help attune the conscious mind to the storm. Gray, indigo, black and other 'rainy-colored' candles or clothing can help set the mood for merging energies. Avoid bright, sunny colors when using storm magick, as they tend to break up the cloud gatherings in the mind and impede forus.
    If the storm is local to you, you can make use of it in a more practical and immediate manner. For example, you can place special items outside so that they may soak up the furious energy. Likewise, you may wish to catch some of the storm water, as it is potent and electrically charged.
    Storm magick serves primary functions of cleansing and charging. storms include all four of the elements, depending on the type of storm and overall strength. In the Middle Ages, farmers believed that the crops would not yield fruit if there was not a thunderstorm at the beginning of the summer. When viewed in that manner, the thunderstorm was seen as nurturing.
    Magical jewelry that is cleansed and charged through the power of a storm can contain massive amounts of raw energy. Crystals and stones can also benefit in the same manner. If you happen to catch a thunderstorm on the night of a full moon, the power of whatever you charge will be incredible. It is recommended charging of all your tools if you are lucky enough to have this combination.
   There are some stones that you cannot charge under the power of a storm, as they are thought to work against storms. They are as follows:
  • Agate: Agate works against storms and lightning. 
  • Amethyst: This stone works against storms. 
  • Beryl: Beryl calls rain ut banishes storms. 
  •  Coral: Native Americans believe that coral halts foul weather.
  • Garnet:Garnet works against lightning.
  • Malachite: Malachite works against lightning.
  • Ruby: Ruby works against storms in general, and is also said to work against floods.
One particular good stone for storm magick is the black opal. Alternatively, you may choose to visualize yourself as merging with the storm. Quietly churning, you absorb the transforming energy from the electrically charged clouds. You feel the winds and water dance against you, and as your pores open to receive the cleansing energy, you get a sudden surge of power. You have just harnessed the raw power of a storm. Channel it into whatever magical goal you have set for yourself at this time.
     Other than cleansing, charging, and harnessing energy, what else can you do with Mother Nature's powerful dance? Storms are wonderful for banishing, honoring the divine, honoring yourself, regenerating the self, justice magick, and spells for success.
     Water that falls from a storm is great for bathing tools, consecrating objects, asperging an area or the self, or to use in any water-based magical formula, such as potions and elixirs. You may, of course, drink the water to consume the power of the storm. But if you live in a polluted area, it might be best to avoid drinking it and instead use it for anointing purposes.

     A thunderstorm is an ideal time for a devotional ritual or a simple prayer rite. It is also the perfect time to work for a transformation. Create a special altar with gray, indigo, and black candles, and use similar colors for the altar cloth. Place smoky-quartz chunks or geodes around the candles. If you have a nmirror or reflective surface, place that underneath the candles for a lightning type of effect. Burn a rain-scented incense. Sit quietly for a few moments, attuning yourself to the storm. Chant:
"The wind and water dance
The fire flashes flame
I am united with the storm
Upon the earthbound plane."

   Once you feel connected, talk to Goddess (and God if you feel like it). Tell them what you want to gain in life and what you hope to overcome. This is the perfect time to work for manifesting a change within yourself, so go deep into your thoughts and troubles. Spill it all. Think of it as therapy and let loose your inner storm.
   After a thunderstorm, the world is infused with a powerful magickal energy that is peaceful and refreshed. Draw this strength into yourself by collecting natural objects that the storm may have scattered. Leaves, acorns, and the like retain the boost of special storm energy and can add punch to your magickal spells. Likewise, if you grow your own herbs for spell work, you may want to consider a small harvest at this time.

Stormy Success

   Prepare your storm altar with gray, indigo, and black candles. Place a single gold candle in the center of the altar. Burn a rain-scented incense. Meditate and call up the vision of the storm in your mind. Merge your mind to it and absorb the energy. Channel the energy into the gold candle with the intent of success. Say:
"With the strength of the storm and the sun
Today I see my will be done
As lightning flickers, as the winds sing
I call to myself success in all things
So mote it be!"

[Excerpts from "Elemental Witch" by Tammy Sullivan]

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Celtic Tree Month Luis/Rowan begins

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

7th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Kore
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: waxing Crescent
Moon rises: 10:16AM EST
Moon sets: 11:51PM EST
Moon in the Cardinal Fire Sign
of Aries
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The courage to
fail and try again.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:38AM EST
Sunset: 5:23PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What do you most
appreciate about being human?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter
of the Year
January 21st, 2010

    The Sun in Aquarius - The Sun has by now entered the zodiacal sign of Auarius (Tuesday, the 19th at 11:28PM EST). Aquarius is one of the Air signs indicating thought, intellect and communication. It is also one of the Fixed signs bringing strong reactions to stimulus but also stability, reliability and a certain amount of stubborness.
    Those born under this Sun sign are generally intense, self-expressive, progressive, spontaneous, communicative and energetic. The typical Aquarian has strong feelings and embraces humanitarian causes. They will put a lot of energy into a cause but may allow their opinions to blind them to the truth. They are generally intelligent, intuitive and full of ideas. They work well with technology and things science based. While usually faithful their detached manner and independent nature can lead to misunderstandings. On the negative side they can also be eccentric, contrary, tactless and erratic.
    For  Aquarians this peiod is one where both their strengths and weaknesses will be heightened, so they need to be careful to focus on putting their positive aspects to the fore. For them this is not the best of times to be working too closely with new people. They also need to be aware of the need to nurture their relationships and not to appear too distant or self-sufficient. Non-Aquarians will find this a period for matters of the mind; thought, study, and learning new things, and also for communication. It is a good time for projects which involve helping others.
[From: "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

Celtic Tree Rowan Month

   In the Celtic tree calendar this is the first day of the Rowan month.  The Rowan, Mountain Ash or Witchwood is a tree of protection and vision and is sacred to the Crone aspect of the Goddess. Take with  you a small offering, such as a litttle wine or a small biscuit, and seek out a Rowan. You may need to take a guidebook with you nto help you identify it. When you find the tree, first make your offering to its spirit, saying, "Graceful Rowan, if it pleases you, let me find some of your wood, that I might protect my home and all who live within it. I give this offering freely as I give my love to the Land. Blessed Be."  Search carefully around the tree for fallen wood and take one piece for each of the doors which lead into your home. If you find a piece straight and long enough for a want, you may also take this. A wand's length is the distance from your elbow to the center of the palm of your strong hand. Thank the tree and take your wood home with you.
   If you have been lucky to find a wand, it usually needs at least 6 weeks of gentle drying before it is ready to be worked. Take your other pieces of fallen wood and tie a small length of red thread around each. Hang them over the doors which enter your home to protect against people bringing negative thoughts and feelings into the house.
" Grow like a tree, your roots in the earth,
yet reaching for the sky."

[From "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

Pushing and Pulling Energy - "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" by Christopher Penzcak

   Exercise 5

Like your ball of energy was an exercise in control, with this next experience, you will learn how your energy can affect and influence other people in very subtle ways. Again you will need a partner.

1. Stand facing each other, with only a few feet between you. The receptive partner should have his or her eyes closed. Make sure this person is standing up straight, but is not braced against any structure.

2. You then try to use your willpower, breath, and intent to 'push' your personal energy out and influence your partner. Use a gathering motion in the space around you to gather your personal energy as you inhale. Using pushing motions as you gently exhale, sending the energy toward your partner.

3. Take notice of your partner. If there is a third person in the room, this persom might notice the action more than either of the exercise partners. Usually the receptive partner looks like he/she is slightly swaying back, even if he or she did not consciously feel it.

4. Reverse the process by gathering energy between you both, and pull the energy forward with your intention. Inhale and sweep your arms toward your body as you bring the energy closer.  You may notice your partner pulling forward a bit. Repeat these steps several times until you feel comfortable with them. Then ask your partner, still with eyes closed, what he or she is feeling.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crescent Moon Phase - Sun enters Aquarius

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

5th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: Crescent - 6:08AM EST
Moon rises: 9:31AM EST
Moon sets: 9:49PM EST
Moon in the Mutable Water Sign
of Pisces
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: Thresholds of light
in your life.
Sun enters Aquarius 11:28PM EST
Sunrise: 7:39AM EST
Sunset: 5:21PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What
prejudices are you holding on to?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 19th, 2010

   The New Moon has waxed into the Crescent Moon phase early this morning - the keywords are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity.  It is the time in the lunar cycle that you gather the wisdom you learned in the New Moon phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN AND ABSORB.  Commit to your(s) you set for this lunar cycle during
the New Moon time.
    During this phase clarify your aspirations; set concrete goals; gather support for young projects; acquire information, allies, resources you'll need for work further down the road. Allow yourself to dream big and affirm your future success (think of what you want to achieve this cycle and/or what you'd like to create years from now).  Cultivate the optimistic innocence of a child who hasn't learned disappointment y6et.
   In this phase the Moon rises mid-morning and sets before midnight. Throughout the lunation cycle, the Moon rises and sets a little later each day; sometimes fifteen minutes, sometimes ninety minutes after the previous day's rise and set. A special quality of the waxing Crescent Moon is how, illuminated 'earth shine,' the entire orb of the Moon is dimly visible behind the crescent, making an early evening "Moon sit" especially compelling. This is a good time to think of the unknown - and all the good it holds in store for you.

The Triple Goddess  

    The Goddess is seen in 3 aspects: Maiden, Mother, and Crone; which relate to the phases of the Moon to aspects of womanhood and to what we do in daily life.

     The Maiden is the New Moon; fresh starts and new beginnings. She is youth, enthusiasm and the season of Spring. She is seen as a young woman dressed in white with flowers around her head. A woman was a Maiden, no matter how pregnant, until she gave birth to her first child. Hence the Moon's Maiden phase lasts up to the Full Moon. In daily life the Maiden sparks the start of all things.
   The Mother is the Full Moon; maturity, growth, and fertility.  She caring, nurturing  and healing. She is seen as a mature woman, dressed in red carrying a basket of fruits, flowers of the season and the harvest. The Full Moon is the time of the Mother Goddess, who cares for us allo and gives life to the land. It is a time for reaping rewards. Today we invoke the Mother when we seek healing, understanding and growth.

   As the term Crone is deemed somewhat derogatory these days She is often called the Wise One. Her time is marked by the Waning Moon, she is knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. She is seen as an older woman with grey hair, dressed in purple or black. The phase of the Crone lasts into the Dark of the Moon (the 3 days each month when no moon appears) and is a time for scrying, divination and for taking our rest after the labors of life.
"The Three in One, the One made Three."
Legend, Triple Aspect

[From: "The Real Witches' Year" by Kate West]

Exercise 4 - "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak

 Fereling the Aura

 1. As in exercise 2, sensitize your hands by rubbing them together, but instead of placing the palms facing together, put your arms out with palms facing out, as if you were gesturing stop.

2. Stand at one end of the room while your partner is at the other. Close your eyes and slowly walk toward your partner, having your partner guide you if you get off course. As you could feel the energy between your palms, you are looking for a similar feeling when you reach the edge of your partner's energy field.

3. Keep your eyes closed, but take note of the various levels of energy you feel. Move back and forth to explore the sensations.

4. Repeat the exercise, this time with your eyes open. Stop when you feel the first layer of resistence. Have your partner raise his or her arms straight outin front. Usually the perimeter of the aura is a hand's length beyond thye reach of a person's arms. Penczak says he has found that depending on an individual's boundaries and current emotions, it can be larger or smaller, but in general it is around an arm's length. Where did you feel it? Most feel it near this perimeter, though you can also feel other 'layers' closer to the body. Reverse noles and try the experiement again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Waxing New Moon enters Pisces

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

4th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Artemis
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Beth/Birch
Moon Phase: waxing New
Moon rises: 9:09AM EST
Moon sets: 8:50PM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Water
Sign of Pisces at 1:17AM EST
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Luna Meditation: The wonder of life.
Sun in Capricorn
Sunrise: 7:39AM EST
Sunset: 5:20PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What
obstructions need to be cleared from
your life?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 18th, 2010

      So the waxing New Moon enters the Mutable Water Sign of Pisces on this Moon Day - the Day of Remembering and Feeling - bringing its own emotional energies along into the mix. During a Pisces Moon transit our emotional life is more introverted and intuition is at its height and psychic energy is powerful. During this transit we can dig into our deepest selves but along with this can come feelings of vagueness and uncertainaty.  Many women have a good cry with Moon in Pisces, washing away troubles or maybe you may be the compassionate friend for a 'sister' who needs to share her troubles. We cry during Moon in Pisces because it's the most watery of all the signs. Pisces Moon brings a retreat into the self to do the internal processing and contemplation necessary at least once during a lunar cycle. The outer world's '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.
    Of course on a day like today the magickal energies for doing intuitive work is going to be quite high. And there is a minor bit of magickal energy for dealing with domestic issues. Today is the time to create philters and potions that work in harmony with your lunar magick. Since the moon is directly linked to phychic abilities, today is the day - no matter what phase the moon happens to be in - to create a psychic power philter (or potion if you prefer).  

Philter Recipe for Psychic Power

* One clear or blue glass bottle with a stopper or lid.
* A clean dropper
* 6 inches of silver ribbon
* A small moon-shaped charm ]
* A label and a pen  (to list the ingredients and to decorate and
    mark the bottle)
* 1/2 cup almond base oil (almond is associated with the Moon)
* 13 drops sandalwood oil (a lunar oil that is both spiritual and protective)
* 3 white rose petals
* 3 willow leaves or a pinch of dried willow bark
* A tiny moonstone chip

   Pour the base oil into the bottle until the bottle is three quarters of the way full. Then add the moonstone chip, the rose petals, willow and finally the essential sandalwood oil. Close up the bottle with the lid, place your fingers over the lid, and carefully shake up the mixture.
   Hold up the mixture to the moonlight and allow the moonbeams to illuminate the philter within. On the label, list the ingredients and the use for this potion. Decorate the label by drawing moons or whatever else you think would add to the moon magick. Attach the label to the glass bottle (wipe off the outside of the bottle first). Finish up by threading the moon charm onto the ribbon and then tying the silver ribbon around the neck of the bottle. As you finish tying on the bow, hold the bottle in your hands and repeat the following charm: (There is a place for you to insert which phase of the moon you happen to be currently in. This way you can customize the philter for specific psychic abilities.)

"This philter holds the powers of the moon
May it increase my psychic power soon
The stone adds lunar power and empathy
The herbs and oil increase the power times three
During this ________________ quarter's enchanting moon phase
I'll work easily with my powers through the day
This potion is enchanced by the moon's magick so bright
My psychic talents will now blossom and come to light."

  Store the philter bottle in a safe, dry place out of direct sunlight. Make sure that you keep all potion and philter bottles well out of the reach of children. 
[From: "Book of Witchery" by Ellen Dugan]

Ball of Energy - Exercise 3 for working with Energy

1. Start as you did with exercise 2 (see yesterday's blog entry), but when your hands are six inches apart, imagine that you are holding a ball of energy. At first this ball is like an empty bowl, a shell, but you are filling it with the energy between your hands.

2. As you breathe out, imagine that you blowing out energy, exhaling from your mouth, and also 'exhaling' from your palms. This energy helps fill the ball. Feel it fill up. Intend to make the ball thicker and more solid. At first  this will feel like you are playing pretend and making it up, but such play-acting is the way energy reponds to our thoughts. By acting as if the energy is changing, it does.

3. Once you have a 'solid' ball of energy floating between your hands, you can literally play with it. You can make it smaller and more dense. You can stretch it out like taffy. Discover how mutable energy can be, responding to your intent and commands.

4. When done, bring your hands together and imagine you are absorbing the energy. Then wipe off your hands to remove any excess.

  Later, as you learn to work more with energy, you can draw more energy from your environment, and not necessarily your own personal energy, to create energy balls. They can then be 'charged' with an intention, such as healing and given to other people, animals, plants, and places to make your own magick. You will not be limited to balls of energy, but any shape and size you can imagine. Penczak says he likes to weave energy 'webs' of protection around himself and his home.
   Now that you have a feel for the power of your own personal energy, it you have a partner in this work, or a willing friend or family members, you can discover how your energy interacts with others.
[From" "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" by Christopher Penczak]