Monday, 29 July 2013

Week Ahead Reading

I've been trying to be more involved with my Tarot Witch blog so I've been attempting to do Card-A-Day readings (not very often though - bad me!) alternating between tarot and oracle. I've also just started a 'Week Ahead' reading to give my week more scope. I thought I'd start posting the 'Week Ahead' readings on this blog as well. I will likely use a different deck each week, I'm working on being connected with each and every one of my decks.

Mon 29th July 



Card 1: The Desert Prince

Survival/False Promises

"When you stumble upon the Desert Prince, you receive a gift. The plant life that exists in the desert environment is well defended, tough and succulent even though it gets little or no water. In spite of external conditions, extraordinary life can form and thrive.

Be tough, have courage and dare to dream no matter what the circumstances. It may seem to be a hard time, but not only will you survive – you will thrive. In spite of conditions, you will succeed. Dry spells are also tests of faith and courage. Expect nothing less than what is your most precious dreams and watch miracles manifest."


Card 2: The Phoenix

Resurrection/Surrender to Change

"The Phoenix appears as your Ally to celebrate your journey and to ensure your ultimate success. This is true even if it appears that you’ve just passed through a metaphorical experience of death or are currently enduring a perception of failure in your life.

Death and rebirth are related when you enter the realm of the Phoenix. Seen in this light, nothing truly dies, but rather changes from one ending directly into new beginnings. The Phoenix is constantly reinventing itself and rises up whole and new and even more powerful with every death it experiences. This could signal the end of a relationship – or of a dynamic within one – or an end of a job, a project or even a life. 

Perhaps no failure is involved, but it’s time for a complete overhaul of your circumstances. You may be tired of what you’re doing, or you even may know intuitively that it’s time to move on and try something new. Whatever the case, a death of the old and a celebration of new life are called for! Whatever you do now will indeed be a successful endeavour, for a rebirth is imminent." 


Card 3: The Cosmos

Creativity/Vastness

"The Cosmos appears always as an Ally and never as a Challenger. Creativity in all forms is represented by the Cosmos. This is a sign to place your attention on creative projects…they will be successful. Remember that all of life is creative, and you’re always co-creating with the Divine. 

The Cosmos also represents the principle of infinity and the vastness of the energetic exchange of consciousness influencing all living things. This teaches us that every intention we set is, in fact, contagious, with the power to influence others. We’re entangled at our deepest energetic place, so we can’t help but have an effect on others – from an individual level to a global one.

This is a sign to remind you to open up to the well of creativity deep within you and be mindful of your thoughts and actions; both are influencing your outer world. Most important; keep taking action toward your goals, as the Cosmos responds perfectly to manifest your highest Destiny. Expect to be inspired and to meaningfully touch others with all that you create."

The reading is definitely in order; it makes a lot of sense to me because it is telling me things I have been considering for awhile now. The last paragraph of the Phoenix meaning is what applies most right now, I’m not looking at failure per se but more that I do need to overhaul quite a lot in my life right now. I’m looking to make changes and these are changes that are long term and for the benefit of my life financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I do feel as though I am facing a test of faith, faith in what I believe and faith in myself and who I want to be. It’s never easy to begin living your dream, it can be terrifying and the doubts and fear do creep in, leaving you standing within the familiar, afraid to take that final step into the unknown. I do need the courage to let go of what is not working anymore and take that step. I will either succeed or I won’t but at least I will have tried and done for myself. All things indicate I will be successful however so that has given me confidence to move forward. I just need to really believe in myself and what I do, to fully embrace the path I want to walk and know that it is what I am meant to be doing. I must consider that success is my only option and not let anything else come into my thoughts.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sort of Rant!

I was reading this story this morning online and while the story itself didn't bother me, the comments made in the comment section did. I firmly believe that people have the right to believe what they wish and I respect their right to believe what they wish whether I agree with it or not but it becomes an issue for me when people begin to believe that their religious views should make policy and influence the way a country makes decisions about its laws.

Christians (some) don't believe in gay marriage, older generations feel much the same way and that is perfectly okay, but I don't think it should impact on whether some one gets rights that should naturally be afforded to them. Christians (again not all) say God hates homosexuals. That is one viewpoint, it should never ever be considered or factored in when making policy. A religious view should not have the right to decide some one's rights for them. If it did, we'd all be in very deep hot water - or up that creek without a paddle. 

My personal belief is that the bible is an amalgamation of myths and beliefs brought together into one text to provide a basis for a belief system. Originally, as far as I understand it, the bible was written 300 - 400 years after Christ died by Emperor Constantine and a council of Bishops, with some of the gospels left out that didn't serve the purpose of the aforementioned individuals. It leaves what is the word of Jesus open to interpretation. When the bible was written, it was to stamp out heathenism and paganism and bring people round to the Christian way of thinking as Constantine was Christian. It annoys me when the Bible is used as writ, as firm evidence of something. Especially when it is used to infringe upon another's rights.

I am the child of a gay parent. My parents were divorced before I was born (or it might have been just after), and since then, although my mother (who is straight) has been in a long term relationship, she never married again. My father had a civil ceremony with his partner a couple of years ago, and I don't see why it couldn't be marriage. People are getting hung up over the word, apparently 'marriage' is a straight ideal and should stay belonging to the 'heteros' and not be co-opted by the gay community. The thing is I have the right to get married, it is afforded to me by my country, and as a woman, I have every right to marry a man. Thing is, I never intend to get married, it's not something I want, something I have considered nor is it something I dreamed about since I was a little girl. If some one who has that right (like me) has no wish to avail themselves of that right, why can it not go to some one who desperately wants it? Why can't I say to a gay couple "hey I'm not getting married - ever - you can have my right, I don't intend to use it". 

The thing is, it's 2013, gay marriage and the right to do so shouldn't even be a question in law, but it concerns me when religious beliefs seem to be the louder voice. Our government talked about something called a 'conscience vote', so if it sits right with your conscience I guess you vote yes. Again, what a ridiculous way to go about something, it shouldn't be a 'conscience vote' for a basic human right. What the hell kind of nonsense is that? New Zealand already has, or is about to, make gay marriage legal across the board, the UK far as I understand will be doing the same thing, I read they're hopeful that gay couples will be able to get married in early 2014. I look to the world today and see things that disturb me. I recently read that Ohio are defunding a whole lot of things like rape crisis centres, abortion clinics, not to mention putting into law what they consider to be 'pregnant' - hint you don't have to be pregnant to be considered pregnant. It's ridiculous and it's also incredibly frightening - although to be fair, our government seems to have given up on wanting to control a woman's body. I think they know if they tried to bring in any laws like that, the country would riot and they would not be in office any longer.

My roots are deep in this country, I had four ancestors on the First Fleet, my blood runs deep within this land and I love being an Australian. But I fear that religous beliefs and illogical thinking will begin to erode the things that make this country great. I want our nation to a beacon for other countries, to show what can happen when natural rights are afforded (I feel like I should say within reason here - excepting murderers, rapists etc) to those who should already have them. Why not have a balanced, happy society? It might seem to be a naive utopian ideal, but something so simple as allowing gay marriage into law as a right for the gay community would go a long way toward it.

And to those who don't like gay marriage, in the words of the wise Whoopi Goldberg - "If you don't like gay marriage then don't marry one."

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Herbal Altar #1 Mandrake Root

First herb (for the herbal altar) out the gate is the Mandrake Root, I took it as a definite sign when the mandrakes I planted last year began to come back up again (2 up so far, excited!). I’ve always felt a strong connection to the Mandragora, I couldn’t even tell you why to be honest, it’s always fascinated me, completely enveloped me within its mystery. It is a plant that knows the eons of time and the spirit of all things. It has legends abound, some interesting, some a little bit strange but nonetheless, this herb has not had its lore survive eons for nothing!

The Mandrake is my favourite bane; its lore is not for the faint hearted and certainly is not the plant for everyone. Mandrake is a native of Southern Europe, Israel and Jordan, it was used by our ancient ancestors as both an anodynic and soporific as well as an anaesthetic. It was said to incite delirium and madness and is one of the herbs of flying ointment fame. 



The Mandrake is said to resemble a human form, on account of their habit of growing shoots that appear to be arms and legs. Mandrake, as an amulet, was said to protect against misfortune and possession, placed on the mantle in the home it was said to protect and bring in prosperity and good health. One of the most famous legends is that mandrakes would grow under gallows were men were hanged and their semen would drip to the ground. Because of this it was said a mandrake would scream when uprooted, thus the legend of using a black dog to pull it was born. Has one ever tried it? I do not know. 



Mandrake was the root Medea used to create an ointment for Jason so he could steal the Golden Fleece, Hannibal spiked some wine with it and it enabled him to kill them all as they were stupefied. It is said to have incredible magical powers, one can connect to the mandrake root by (if you have a whole one) creating an alraun. I plan to do this once I have grown my own, I prefer this to purchasing one because from my garden, it has my energies and my care put into it.

I have been journeying lately, trying to connect with an energy I call ‘Mother Mandrake’, it is a work in progress so I will have more on this later!

So begins my journey into herbal altars and creating an in depth connection with not only the plant itself but its spirit, seed and material!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Harvesting Nettle


Stinging Nettle I harvested from our backyard - we have so much of it, I could probably harvest several kilos of it!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Herbal Altars

I’ve been considering how to best connect with the herbs and plantlife I want to work with, and I’ve come up with an idea for a herb altar, although strictly speaking it will encompass trees and flowers also.

My idea is to have an image of the herb (likely using my Druid Plant and Green Man Tree Oracle), some of the dried or fresh matter of the herb and seed, if I have seeds for the particular plant. This will allow me to work with an image of the herb as well as it physical form and beginner form, I feel this is important for understanding the herb overall.

I’ve begun to journey a little more, when the overwhelming tiredness doesn’t interfere (health issues), I’m getting better at it and I would like to be able to interact with the spirit of plants on this level as well. This is a new level to my practice and I suppose would be considered plant shamanism, I quite like that idea. Working toward something like this I hope will build my practice and not just spiritually but also in my practice as a herbalist (when using herbs not toxic or poisonous of course).

It’s something new to try and I already know what herb I will be using – the illusive and mysterious Mandrake Root, a herb that has always fascinated me.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Changes.....

Mercury is in retrograde and although it tends to freak people out, it’s given me an opportunity to re-evaluate some things. MiR is a time for reflection, re-organisation and intuitiveness, and I’ve been feeling all of these things lately, has anyone else? MiR is from 26 June to 20 July, so plenty of time to reflect, regroup and plan ahead. Mind you, my internet is being a right royal pain.

As you know, earlier in the year I was much excited about revamping my store with all new wildcrafted and organic herbs and various artisan products made from the different herbs. I was quite enthusiastic and spent a lot of time getting things organised and put together. I am still passionate about this and will throw myself into new things once the retrograde has passed, but during this time it has come to my attention that my business name no longer resonates with me. I don’t think that it represents me or my path. Cauldron of Nephthys I think no longer applies.

Originally I chose the name because it was in step with my initiation name back when I was initiated into the Firefly Tradition. Back then the name held great importance and I was also still mildly Wiccan; the store was filled with dropship items – cauldrons, cloths etc – and so therefore my very Wiccan store got a very Wiccan name (seriously, there are quite a lot of stores out there with ‘cauldron’ in the title). Joining the word ‘cauldron’ and part of my magical name seemed like a great idea and it was - at the time.

Now I am not remotely Wiccan nor do I wish to sell mass-produced witchy things, I want to move toward a very definite artisan product based business, I want it to reflect my path and my love of all things herbal and green. I’m not sure what I am going to call the new store, but I have a few ideas. It will represent my green and hedge path, my wandering winding road. I have to prepare myself to say goodbye to Cauldron of Nephthys and embrace this new yet old venture. There is never any surety in life but I feel deeply this is the correct way to go. My business – because it is personal to me and spiritual based – should reflect the path I follow and the beliefs I have. So watch this space, information on the new store will be along soon with a new name and a new look!

I will also be moving toward creating my tradition a little more precisely, it’s all ideas and vagueness at the moment. I’m not sure it will ever have set tenants or rules because the Green Path is more of a solitary path, each who walks the green road walks it differently. I’m not even sure that a surefire tradition could be created but it’s something to try.

I’ve also got a couple of projects – besides my forest – in mind, not sure how they’ll come together yet, they’re mostly loose thoughts not yet formed into anything remotely resembling a proper idea.

I’m also writing my first ever non fiction book on witchcraft. I’m actually doing it as part of my ‘Complete an Extended Project’ module at TAFE. This will give me the motivation to actually do it and get it done in a reasonable amount of time. I’m keeping mum on the theme but hopefully I will have more to share soon.

Well, life moves on and changes do come, so it shall be interesting to see how this move forward goes. I am hoping beyond all that everything goes smoothly. I’m also doing very well on my Advanced Herbalism so very proud about that.