Sunday, 29 January 2012

Air Altar

An altar is a great way to pay tribute to the elements. You could have a single altar with items only devoted to the Elements, or if you have the space, you could have altars devoted to each of the elements in your home. I put together some Elemental Altars to give you an idea of what could be achieved, I didn’t buy anything new or special, I worked with what I had within my own ritual supplies. Once you know what to look for, it becomes surprisingly easy to put together.

AIR ALTAR


To represent Air I have chosen Incense, Crystal Ball and Tarot cards for the intuitive/divination aspect of Air, Lavender, an Air Herb, Feathers and candles in yellow, white and purple, colours associated with the element of Air and the gemstones Amethyst, Sodalite and Aventurine.

The Element of Air


The element of air is associated with mental processes and the mind. It is creative and is that which causes magickal intentions to become manifest. It is also associated with higher consciousness and wisdom, divination, and purification.  

Direction - East
Astrological Signs - Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Rules - Mind, mental and psychic work, intuition, knowledge, abstrat thought, wind, breath, clouds, inspiration, hearing, herbal knowledge, plant growth, purification, freedom, revealing truth, finding lost things, instruction, telepathy, memory, learning the secrets of the dead, zen meditation, new beginnings, illuminations
Types of Magick - Divination, concentration, prophecy, visualization, wind magick, karma
Colors - White, yellow, light blue, lavender, gray
Season - Spring
Magickal Tools - Athame, sword, censer, incense
Time - Dawn
Energy - Projective
Gemstones - Aventurine, topaz, mica, flourite, crystals, amethyst, yellow or blue stones

Metals - Tin, copper
Plants - Acacia, anise, aspen, benzoin, clover, dill, frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, pine, primrose, vervain, violet, yarrow
Animals - Birds, insects, spiders
Goddesses - Aradia, Arianrhod, Athena, Nuit, Urania
Gods -Mercury, Hermes, Shu, Thoth
Goddess Aspect : Maiden
Elemental: Sylphs

This information was taken many years ago from Branwen's cauldron I believe. I think the site is still going in the form of a forum: www.branwenscauldron.org

First Step Forward

So I made my first step forward in contacting others who practice under the Paganism umbrella in my area. I placed a notice in Merlins of Port Pirie. The lovely owner Leisl was kind enough to let me. I am hoping to get some responses, I feel I am at a time in my life now where I will feel comfortable enough to branch out and meet people. Believe it or not but around those I do not know I am actually fairly quiet.

I want to be able to work with others, it doesn't have to be a formal coven, a group that works together on occasion - maybe even a circle would be fine. Eclectic is best because I'm a huge fan of mixing it up and having different paths and ideas come together to create something unique and different. I also tend to lean more toward eclectic as I think that if there are many who practice under the Pagan umbrella in my area, not all will practice the same thing. To be very selective and say 'only this or this is allowed' would kill a group and nothing would be learned, shared or gained.

I really hope this comes together and happens because I think it would be a wonderful experience and it would certainly be worth trying!

What is a Witch?

The Witch is legend; she is the vessel and the oracle of the long-faded wisdom of the Pagan world, transmitted in many strange ways; she is the human image of the primordial mysticism of the ancient Indo-Europeans, and perhaps even the pre-Indo Europeans. She is the human who can become a ghost and then human again. She knows the secrets of the dead. She changes her shape at will. She knows the properties of the growing things of the ground. She is grandmother to all our faery tales and folk-ballads. She is our culture soul’s sorcerous form. She is good and she is evil, and she is beyond good and evil. She is always with us.”

I came across this while replying to a thread in a forum I am a part of. I found an interesting analogy of what the witch is. I’m not so sure I abide the ‘good/evil’ comparisons and prefer to look at it more of a ‘light/dark’ comparison because as we all know, with light there is dark. It is balance. It is part of a post - you can read it here.

The word ‘witch’ is a tricky one. Some claim it, others run from it screaming not wanting to have the negative connotations that go with the word attached to them. Me? I like the word witch, it is what I am and I choose no other word to define my path.

I do happen to like the descriptions that are here and here though.

What is a Witch? It’s a tricky question because as the saying goes ‘Ask 10 different witches and you will get 10 different answers’ (ok so not the original saying but the general gist is the same). There is no one answer but I think the most simplified answer is simply She is of the Earth, she is one with the Earth. Because as witches we try to be of the earth, we command the elements, we will change through magic and we honour who we are and never compromise who we are to satisfy another.

But then that is just my opinion.

What is a Witch? A Witch is whoever she wants to be.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Good Luck Spell


Charmed - Familiars

The Grimoire

You may have noticed a category on the right called ‘Grimoire’ and you may be having flashes of Charmed and the book the Source used…….

Let me assure you, not the same thing.

A traditional witch calls her book a Grimoire, it is almost the same thing as a Book of Shadows however the term BoS was coined by Gerald Gardener and so since Trads are not Wiccan, we tend to not use the Wiccan terminology for our books.

But me being me, I tend to at times use it interchangeably because well, I feel like it. I teach a class on BoS at Firefly so the term comes to mind more often than Grimoire.

So now that that is cleared up, in this section of my blog I will post bits and pieces for a Grimoire (or BoS), pages, ideas etc for you to use and peruse at your leisure.

Enjoy.

BoS/Grimoire Pages

More Flowers





More colourful fun from the Garden!!

#2 The Immortal Witch


"The Immortal Witch brings the promise of Spring; a new beginning, and a flourishing of hopes and wishes. Seeds of revival and new growth germinate in the darkness of solitude and absence.

You cannot fail to win your heart’s desire. Positive invisible forces are making sure that you reach your destiny by your own natural talent and effort. All that you search for is within your grasp. A happy time, filled with new opportunities, is about to present itself to you.”

Again, I know I said I wasn’t going to use the card meanings but this one is incredibly positive and addresses some things that have been on my mind. I think I may change it a little and post the card meanings and see how well they adapt to the week of working with the card. See what is revealed and if it relates……

I’m going to like working with the Immortal Witch, after the deep thinking of the previous card, I think she’s going to be upbeat and fun.

#1 Final Reflections

My week with the Venomous Witch has been interesting. I’ve learned some things, experienced some things and let go of other things. It’s been a ‘things’ week.

I’ve learned that having a stranglehold on things that no longer serve must be let go and with it the baggage that has kept an emotional hold on you. I’ve learned that there is much needed change in my life and a new direction to be taken.

Now when I consider “Find the Spirit. Find the Soul. Find the Past. All will be revealed.” I realize that this meant find Me. The Cailleach shared some wisdoms with me that made this statement make more sense.

There is a part of me that has always walked this path in some form or another whether it be in this life or another and so I must truly look within to truly understand this. I think this is a reflection that will take time, will be something I work on for quite a while.

The Venomous Witch for me didn’t turn out to be what I thought it was, I considered at the start that she may be telling me I am a venomous individual but it was never that. Venom is a poison, a toxin that invades the body, it can also morph and change the inner workings of a person and I think that was the message.

Change.

#1 Ritual of Transformation

The Ritual of Transformation within Yourself was quite a powerful experience, I wasn’t expecting actual interaction from the Goddess Cailleach but it happened and it was moving and wonderful. When she spoke with me it was as though I was talking to a dear friend or teacher, she was gentle, kind but not afraid to share her honest opinion which was really honest. It was kind of a kick in the pants and when a Goddess as ancient and old as the Cailleach gives you a kick you pay attention.

I had questions about where I was going in my path, about me in general and my lack of manifestation in my magical life. Her words give me hope that I will be able to grow as I wish. I am choosing not to share the entirety of her words but I will share this:

“To truly be a witch you must feel the power, you must walk the path and take the journey, you must learn but you must also listen. You must grow but not be in a hurry to do so.”

“As you walk forward from here do so as a witch. Live as a witch, be as a witch and soon you will be the witch you want to be. You have the power inside of you but only time, dedication and work will help you connect with it.”

I feel that this is perhaps the real truth in any witch’s path, of any witch’s journey. Her words struck a chord and I will do my best to truly work toward my goals, to embrace her advice and apply it to my life – daily.

You can never know when you approach a Deity if they will respond or how they will respond, sometimes (like my experience with the Morrigan) they will contact you and hammer their opinion into your mind until you pay attention. I was nervous because the Cailleach is an ancient Goddess, perhaps even older than some of the Old Ones but she has a warmth, an earthiness that is very comforting. I don’t think I will hesitate to work with her again although for the most part in my practices I do avoid Deity, it’s not been something I’ve really wanted but I have learned……

You can do your best to steer clear of Deities but they will not always steer clear of you.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

#1 So Far....

During meditation with the Witch card she told me this:

“Find the Spirit. Find the Soul. Find the Past. All will be revealed.”

Cryptic and not making much sense…I imagine it is something I will come across down the line as it pertains to this aspect of myself because for right now it is not clear.

I also shut down my eBay store. It was painful to let go of a dream that never quite manifested how I wanted it to. I suppose the Venomous Witch has taught me something because I was able to let it go without bitterness, without anger and I think that is an important step because for so long I felt angry and envious of other sellers who have done better than me.

Perhaps it was never meant to be and so it never was.

I am nearly at the end of my week with the Venomous Witch, tomorrow I will devote to working with the card, performing a ritual and trying to decipher any other information or words of wisdom (and confusion) that she may have for me.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

#1 Beginning the Process

So what have I learned so far since drawing this card? There has been a lot in the past I have felt venomous about, for instance I started an eBay store in the metaphysical area and for some time I had marginal success until others who, it appeared, had a bigger bank roll to start buying more products than I had. They fast became Powersellers while I struggled to sell small amounts each month. Now my store barely sells so I am considering shutting it down. I did feel quite venomous toward them because they had the success I wanted and it’s not as if I didn’t try to work hard to sell more – they just had more luck than I…. and this leads me to my next consideration of venomous.

The Universe has decreed that any good luck that exists in the world has to bypass me in spectacular fashion – I’ve never even glimpsed any of it, it’s a myth, a dream, an idea and that is all. I do have the worse luck and I often wonder why. I’m a good person, I’m kind, caring, friendly, and not particularly selfish and I am never deliberately mean to anyone. All round I know I’m a fairly decent human being so why the cold shoulder from Lady Luck? Why do the Leprechauns ignore me? Why does the good luck always go to everyone else, and half the time people who don’t deserve it? Yes I am aware it sounds as though I am whining but in all fairness I don’t think I’ve ever had a really lucky moment in my life……I can think of two: my cat and my first dog and that is about it but I would really love some luck in life, love, finances and just generally. I don’t think it’s too much to ask…….

So this is where I am at with this card right now. There are some other thoughts that could go hear but for fear of offending, those I will keep to myself. I think I need to let go of the things mentioned, find a new path, get a new career and embrace new ideas. I pulled Kali for a reason, I know she is telling me to burn it down and build again, but I am considerably paralysed in that area because fear does not let me start over, to find the small thread that will begin weaving my new path, my new destiny, my new life and this is something I think this card is helping me realize.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Change is inevitable, nothing remains the same.

Hmm, my new mantra perhaps?

Monday, 16 January 2012

#1 The Venomous Witch


The Venomous Witch is as poisonous as an adder’s fang. She fills her human believer with an insatiable wish for vengeance. Many serpents and scorpions exude venom to protect themselves, but they can also paralyze their prey. For peace of mind, you may need to look into your heart to see if you harbour vengeful thoughts that threaten to poison your hopes and dreams.”

Although I’ve made the choice not to use the book meanings as a guide because it is not relevant to what I am trying to achieve, I will admit it surprised and  confused me picking this card because generally I am a very pleasant person and have been told that I don’t have a mean bone in my body. I have been angry and hurting lately but this has been due to loss and heartbreak but I wouldn’t say it has led me to be vengeful because the circumstances were outside of my control. I needed clarification on why this card had come up so I intended to use my pendulum again to select cards from the Oracle of Shadows and Light to give me clarification, however when I was shuffling two cards literally threw themselves at me so I knew these cards tied into my answer.


#13 I Am Kali

Kali is a symbol of death and rebirth. Within this deck she symbolizes the energy of fire, the dancing of the mother Goddess, the one who will teach you how to go through changes you have been resisting and felt was too much and will purify and change everything. She will assist you in releasing all that is no longer needed and taking powerful action to change your life.


#16 Angel de los Muertos

This angel shows that you must not delay activating your life’s purpose, life is a constant process of creation and you are now at a point where you can end a pattern. Energy is changing and she helps you understand that you can begin to rebirth yourself into a new life without having to pass from this one.

I made the decision early on when I first decided to use the deck in this way that I would use the cards as a meditative and indicative tool, so the book meaning wouldn’t have much to do with it but I think in this case it may insofar as mentioning the serpent and the scorpion.

I looked at the meanings for each of them (and they are quite frankly two of my non favourite forms of life)

As a symbol the snake can be the messenger of the Rainbow Serpent, psychic energy, protection from persecution, primitive or elemental energy, transmutation, intuitive power, the silver cord that connects one to their astral body, the snake can also represent Goddess power, the mysteries of life and wisdom.

As a symbol the scorpion represents death and rebirth, transmutation of poison, the reflection of dark and negative energy back to its sender, strength, inspiration, passion, chaos and attacking from the rear. It can also represent self protection and defense.

With all of this information, not including what I could dig up on the symbolism of Kali, there is a lot to think about, a lot to work through and I don’t think any of it is going to be easy. Bringing about transformation can be tricky and draining, it’s not all pink sparkles and light. There is much I need to begin to change about myself and my life to bring about the future I want.

I actually recently found a ritual for ‘To Conjure Transformation within Yourselfand it calls on the goddess Cailleach to help with that process. Because I never like to follow correspondences per se, I think I will attempt the ritual this week as part of my getting in touch with my inner Venomous witch but give it my own touch.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Besom Project Part 1

Used for clearing and moving energy, besom brooms are a vital part of folk magic, traditional witchcraft, and pagan culture today. Widely used in wedding rites, for the casting and cleansing of magical circles, and as a protective ward hung on the walls at your hearth or near the doorway to your home. Like a magical wand or staff, though associated more with the feminine magic of wise women, midwives, and witches throughout history.”



My new craft project is to make a proper besom; I’ve always had a small altar one but never a large sized besom. The besom is from Go-Lo, a Halloween purchase (I asked my mum to pick me up one but because they were cheap enough she thought ‘Why not 5?’) so I decided since they are quite nice looking I will make this my first.

The handle is probably not going to stay the same. We are fortunate enough to have a whopping great big Oak tree in our yard and some time ago it was pruned so I will be using one of the pruned branches as the staff part of the besom.

I’m going to be decorating it with herb branches and ribbons. I have the three plants in mind – Catnip, Rosemary and Wormwood – and as luck would have it; all three are in desperate need of a good prune so getting nice lengths will not be a problem. I will just have to pick the best spot to hang them and dry them. I have selected these three herbs for their correspondences:

Catnip: Attracts good spirits, love luck
Rosemary: Protection, purification
Wormwood: Protection, transformation


I am also going to decorate the besom with ribbons, most likely colours for each of the elements tied together with black and white for a nice contrast. I don’t want it overdone; I’m a fairly simple girl at heart. It will then take pride of place near my altar.

Green Witchcraft 1

By Ann Moura


“Learn the basics of Witchcraft from a third-generation Witch raised in a family tradition. Positive, practical, and easy to use, Green Witchcraft brings together the best of both modern Wicca and the author’s family heritage of herb craft and folk magic.

Green Witchcraft explores the fundamentals of the Wiccan religion, providing magical training for the independent thinker. Step-by-step instructions on a wide variety of magical techniques as well as basic rules of conduct make this the ideal book to get you started. Green rituals for self-initiation, rites of passage, seasonal celebrations and activities provide an excellent foundation for your own magical tradition.

Discover the fine art of spellcasting, the magical uses of herbs, divination with the tarot and more. Explore the Sabbats, Esbats, and other rituals attuned to the cycles of nature and the universal powers. Find out for yourself what this organic approach to Witchcraft is all about.”

This is one of the first books I read that gave me an inkling about the benefits of practicing witchcraft without wiccan undertones, this book is strong in it’s Wicca flavour , that being said, it did offer an alternative path than I had previously been learning. It led me to adopt a green path along the way.

Green Witchcraft is well written, it is interesting and informative, and the author gives personal accounts of her family practice and traditions which is nice. Other reviewers have reamed her out for her apparent ‘anti Christian’ ranting but I don’t think its all that in your face, it’s there but I don’t really think about it as it is a small part of the book and not the whole of the book.

It’s a wonderful book to start you on the path of Green Witchcraft and it allows for leaving out the Wiccan flavour and purely working with the witchcraft part. If this is an area that interests you I would definitely recommend getting the book and having a read!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Koffie - In Loving Memory

KOFFIE
AUG 1997 to JAN 6 2012



This morning we said goodbye to our beautiful staffy Koffie. She was brave until the end and put up a fight but it was time to let her go, she was ready to meet her loved ones on the other side. She was an amazing and incredible dog who gave us 14 wonderful, happy years. She is greatly loved and will be greatly missed! We love you baby girl!!

Koffie was (and to my mind still is) the most amazing and clever dog we ever had. She was loving, affectionate, funny, had a stubborn streak a mile wide and was ever the lover of the Schmacko.

Her favourite past time was playing, whether that was her tug rope/ball, shredding copious amounts of paper and assorted paper products or belting up our rather large bull mastiff. She also liked to brawl with the cat on occasion, they had a rather acrimonious relationship at the best of times - it often depended on which day of the week it was.

Koffie also loved junk food - if she could smell chilli flavoured chips she was your best friend, the rubber to your glue, the ying to your yang. She also loved dip and lollies (always in moderation) and still maintained her svelt figure. She was a very active girl with plenty of energy in her tank.

For 14 years and 5 months she was the heart of our family, the leader of our menagerie and the Boss Lady. She gave us so much love and happiness that the loss has been heartbreaking and so devastating but I remember the good times, the happy memories and the love she gave to us all. There never was a better girl and there never will be.

"Although dear Koffie you have left our side
We remain to celebrate your life
Although we feel our hearts breaking
We are blessed with the happy memories gifted to us
Although we cry and feel our pain
We are comforted in the knowledge you are always with us
Although we wish for one more moment
We know we will always treasure the ones we had
Our love is endless and knows no bounds
From this life and beyond we wish you well with love and say goodbye

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Roses


Plant Name: Rose
Botanical Name: Rosa centifolia
Common Names: Unknown
Gender: Feminine
Element: Water
Planet: Venus
Deities: Adonis, Aphrodite, Aurora, Cupid, Hulda, Freya, Eros
Magickal Properties: Love, beauty, psychic powers, divination, healing, luck, protection



Used by man throughout history, Roses have seen numerous mentions in the texts of the ancients as well as more modern scholars. Horace and Pliny write of the fable that the deep crimson rose sprang from the blood of Adonis, a venerated god of the Greek Pantheon. Later, Romans used roses lavishly, strewing them upon floors and floating them in wine. Brides and Grooms were crowned with roses, as were the religious icons of Cupid, Venus and Bacchus. And from this, perhaps, was born the long standing association of these red buds with spells and rituals of love, happiness, and plenty, for which they are used often in many traditions to this day.

Among the Romans, and in other cultures, the buds and petals were also scattered at the feet of the victors, making it a powerful symbol for overcoming obstacles and achieving one's goals. Pink rose petals are also quite commonly used within rituals of happiness, emotional balance, and love spells.

Herbalists of the modern area sometimes use rose buds to treat headache and dizziness. Other applications have seen them used in the treatment of mouth sores, as well as a tonic that is said to be soothing for the heart and the nerves. Others still claim that using rose buds can be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps as well.

Good Witch Bad Witch


As part of my spiritual study and growth I am going to begin working with the Good Witch Bad Witch cards by Gillian Kemp. (I know, labels are in French but as I work with them I will scan my own cards with the English label).

There are 52 of these cards, 26 good witches and 26 bad witches. They are meant to be a divination deck of sorts but I will be working with them as a meditative and visualisation tool to help me connect with the energies of the card instead of using them as prescribed in the book.

I think these cards have a lot to teach me and about my inner witch. I feel as though by working with them, I will be able to bring those qualities to the forefront of myself. They will be a valuable teaching tool and I am looking forward to seeing how it impacts my path and my spiritual growth. Who knows, maybe the witches will impart their own gifts to me?

I think my strategy so far is to work with one card every week, I’m not sure if I will work with all 56 or just the ones that call to me. I have created a separate category for this process so that it will be easier to keep track of my progress (if you wish to) and to make it easier search wise.
It’s definitely going to be an interesting experiment and path of study, I am hoping that it can help me as I begin my year long commitment to study and growth.

If you wish to purchase these lovely little cards for yourself you can do so from my store.

New Year, New Resolutions

2012 is upon us and although I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions because I have this terrible habit of never doing any of them, or rather fulfilling any of them, I felt called to do so this year.

It may be the 2012 madness (of which I don’t necessarily subscribe to) but I feel as though this year is going to be great for me but I have a feeling that it will also be a year of work and growth and that can’t be ignored. I want to spend this year devoted to study. This is where my path lies this year I believe. I am currently going to be looking into areas of interest that will become my career; I am also going to be studying in areas of the spiritual. There is a need in me to learn, I always thirst for new knowledge, new ideas and new concepts that can help me grow. I also want to work more on my Craft, become stronger spiritually and actually begin being able to affect change through strength of will. I am a lazy witch; I tend not to give it the effort it deserves.

This year is about personal spiritual development and about finally gaining the courage to get out there and find my life’s purpose. I don’t have one yet, I know that through the study of the spiritual and the pursuit of knowledge I will find it. I have always felt called to work with herbs and as such this is the first of my career finding paths I will be exploring. I will be studying Herbalism right through to Practitioner level as well as Past Life Therapy and Nutrition. This will be done through the School of Natural Health Sciences. They have a fabulous range of courses in the area of Holistic Therapies.

My other areas will be on growing my spiritual knowledge. I will be trying my hardest to complete my Clergy track before my 28th birthday (which is only a few months off) at The Firefly Online Community, I will also be thinking about taking some classes at the Silvermoon Glade School of Wicca and Witchcraft and also at The Grey School of Wizardry. I know I know, it looks real Harry Potter-ish but some of the subjects are really interesting. It is all about time management because I also have my TAFE course to do. I’m going into the 3rd year of an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing.

If it’s not yet apparent, I do like to study, I like to learn –although the funny thing is when I went to school I hated it, couldn’t wait for it to end. I think this is because at school you’re told what to learn whereas outside of a school environment I can pursue any avenue of learning I wish. I’ve always been a keen book reader, so much so that my parents used to get frustrated at me because I’d be asked to do something and I would give the ‘One more chapter’ response. An hour later I would still be reading, however they understood because they fostered my love of reading – I’m actually kind of a nerd; I tend to store information that comes out at the strangest times.

I also want to form a learning group that will hopefully develop into a coven; I want to meet likeminded people in my area, not sure if there are any but who knows? They may read this blog or perhaps I will fall over them one day and we will realise that we’re meant to work together……I have hope!

So this year will be quite busy for me, and if it does end in December (I doubt it will) then at least I’ve packed in as much as is humanly possible.

Rundown of Resolutions:

Finish Clergy track before 28th birthday
Begin study for Herbalism course
Begin building on Spiritual study through different avenues
Reach out and meet new people (especially those of the Pagan bent)
Begin saving for the Dragon’s Eye Tour

Begin growing my own herbal medicine garden
Begin growing my own witchy herbal garden
Scout potential homes with adjoining business premises


So we shall see if I can commit to and complete at least some of my resolutions. It’s going to be an interesting year I feel.

Litha

Here is my fun but basic Litha altar. It was a bit of a rush for the Summer Solstice (shocking I know) but leading up to Christmas is always hectic!! I couldn't help adding a card from the Oracle of Shadows and Light to represent the divination aspect of this holiday - meet the Mildew Fairy - isn't she just adorable?

I had a nice dinner though, deviled eggs for a starter, salad and cold meats for main and cheesecake for dessert!

Happy New Year


From www.lapuliastudio.com - Creators of fabulous Grimoires and BoS.