Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Air Meditation

Sit in a comfortable position where you can feel the movement of air—either outside or near an open window. Light an incense of your choice, and focus on the swirling smoke. Watch it curl into the air as you and consider the element of air. Play music if it helps you meditate, and breathe deeply. Think of the air we breathe. Think of wind and its power. Air is the element of the intellect and of communication, so consider all aspects of the mind as well. Imagine the air currents moving all around you. Do this for the length of time that it takes your incense to burn.

By: Ember
Source: http://www.llewellyn.com/free/spell.php?spellid=2280

Basic Day Correspondences

Monday

Aspect: Female

Planet: Moon

Colors: white, silver, creams, light grays

Energies: women’s mysteries, protection, emotions, dreams, clairvoyance, home, family, medicine, female fertility, messages, theft, voyages, subconscious, healing, sisterhood, small animals and children, the feminine side of men, motherhood

Tree: Willow

Tuesday

Aspect: Male

Planet: Mars

Colors: reds, some oranges

Energies: courage, revenge, power over enemies, higher education, endurance, violence, fast action, surgery, breaking away of negative spells, matrimony, war, prison, hunting, politics and physical competitions, leadership, lust, any blood healing

Tree: Holly

Wednesday

Aspect: Male

Planet: Mercury

Colors: yellows, grays, violets, opalescent colors

Energies: mental clarity, communications, writing, strategy, divination, young people, knowledge, business negotiations, teaching, additions, reason, debt, fear, loss, self-improvements and healings, perceptions, groups, travel

Tree: Hazel

Thursday

Aspect: Male

Planet: Jupiter

Colors: royal purple, royal blue

Energies: luck, growth, expansion, generosity, male fertility, older men, masculine side of female, legal matters, health, honor, wealth, clothing, desires, men’s professions, spiritual attainment

Tree: Oak

Friday

Aspect: Female

Planet: Venus

Colors: pink, aqua, greens, pastels

Energies: love and pleasure, peace, romance, marriage, attraction, friendships, gentleness, ease, music, partnerships, art, sexual matters, affairs of the heart, physical beauty, scents and perfumes, social activities, women’s problems, protection, affairs

Tree: Apple

Saturday

Aspect: Female

Planet: Saturn

Colors: black, dark purples, dark grays, indigo

Energies: obstacles to overcome, a block, spirit communication, meditation, life, freedom, self-discipline, protection, limitations to give or break, locating lost items and people, the elderly, endings, deaths, the destroying of diseases and pests, constricting and those constricting you, psychic defense

Tree: Alder

Sunday

Aspect: Male

Planet: Sun

Colors: oranges, yellows, golds, white

Energies: health, leadership, healing, prosperity, self-knowledge, happiness, ego, hope, joy, strength, individuality, authority figures, fatherhood, husbands, protection, power, spirituality, promotions, fortune

Tree: Birch

Basic Color Correspondences

Black: meditation rituals, hex work, uncrossing rituals and spells to banish evil spirits and negative forces, rest, hidden matters, stops gossiping and meddling, and for any work invoking the Crone. Also for divination and protection.

Blue: magick that involves honor, loyalty, peace, tranquility, truth, wisdom, protection during sleep, astral projection and spells to induce prophetic dreams. Good for water magick as well.

Brown: spells to locate lost objects, improve powers of concentration and telepathy, and for protection of familiars and household pets. This is also used for grounding, stability, friendship, and earth magick.

Gold: spells that attract the power of cosmic influences, and rituals to honor solar deities. Also for attraction and prosperity.

Green: spells involving fertility, success, good luck, prosperity, money, rejuvenation and ambition, and rituals to counteract greed and jealousy, also for abundance, faith, and maturity. Can also be used for earth magick.

Grey: spells to neutralize negative influences. Glamouries.

Orange: spells to stimulate energy and motivation, kinship, kindness, warmth, work, career, gain, and opportunity.

Pink: love spells and rituals involving friendship or femininity.

Purple: spirituality, psychic manifestations, healing, and spells involving power, success, independence, and household protection.

Red: fertility rites, aphrodisiacs, passionate love, and spells involving sexual passion, health, physical strength, revenge, anger, willpower, courage, and magnetism. Also for fire magick.

Silver: spells and rituals to remove negativity, encourage stability, and attract the influence of the Goddess. Also for psychism, money, and moon magick.

White: consecration rituals, meditation, divinization, exorcism, and spells that involve healing, clairvoyance, truth, peace, spiritual strength, and lunar energy. You may also use white to substitute any color.

Yellow: spells involving confidence, attraction, intellect, healing, persuasion, communication, and air magick.

I am very aware that there are many more colors out there, but this is just a very small list of colors that I've compiled that are commonly used.

Moon Magick Correspondences


Waxing Moon - the time from the New Moon through the first quarter to the Full Moon is the proper time to perform healing rituals, positive magick, and spells that increase love, good luck, and growth of any kind, sexual desire, and wealth.

Full Moon – the period of the Full Moon increases the powers of extrasensory perception, and is the proper time to perform lunar Goddess invocations, fertility rituals, transformations, spirit conjurations, and spells that increase psychic abilities and prophetic dreams. According to ancient European folklore, the power of the Full Moon can also magically transform man into beast and vice versa.

Waning Moon - the time from the Full Moon through the last quarter to the New Moon is the proper time to perform destructive magick and spells that remove curses, hexes, jinxes, end bad relationships, reverse love spells and aphrodisiacs break bad habits and unhealthy addictions, undo negative influences, and decrease fever and pain.

New Moon – the period of the New Moon, when the moon is dark or black, is the time for rest and attainment of desires. It is the best time to prepare for the new wishes and to form your requests very seriously. Take a break and give yourself a rest.

Moon in Aires – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve authority, leadership, willpower, warfare, and spiritual conversions of rebirth. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the face, head, or brain. Candle colors: red, crimson, scarlet, burgundy. Metal: iron. Elemental: salamander

Moon in Taurus – is the ideal time to practice all forms of love magick, and to cast spells that involve real estate, material acquisitions and money. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the throat, neck, or ears. Candle colors: all shades of green, turquoise, and pink. Metal: copper. Elemental: gnome

Moon in Gemini – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve communication, change of residence, writing, public relations, activities, and travel. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the shoulders, arms, hands, or lungs. Candle colors: mauve. Metal: mercury. Elemental: sylph

Moon in Cancer – is the ideal time to perform rituals honoring lunar deities, and to cast spells that involve the home and all aspects of domestic life. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the chest or stomach. Candle colors: silver, grey, white. Metal: silver. Elemental: undine

Moon in Leo – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve authority, power over others, courage, fertility, and childbirth. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for the ailments of the upper back, spine, or heart. Candle colors: gold, yellow, orange. Metal: gold. Elemental: salamander

Moon in Virgo – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve employment, intellectual matters, health, and dietary concerns. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the intestines or nervous system. Candle colors: navy blue, rust orange. Metal: mercury. Elemental: gnome

Moon in Libra – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve artistic work, justice, court cases, partnerships and unions, mental stimulation, and karmic, spiritual, or emotional balance. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the lower back or kidneys. Candle colors: royal blue. Metal: copper. Elemental: sylph

Moon in Scorpio – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve sexual matters, power, psychic growth, secrets, and fundamental transformations. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the reproductive organs. Candle colors: red, black. Metal: iron. Elemental: undine

Moon in Sagittarius – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve horses, travel, publications, legal matters, sports activities, and truth. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the liver, thighs, or hips. Candle colors: purple, dark blue. Metal: tin. Elemental: salamander

Moon in Capricorn – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve organization, ambition, recognition, career, and political matters. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the knees, bones, teeth, or skin. Candle colors: black, dark brown. Metal: lead. Elemental: gnome.

Moon in Aquarius – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve science, freedom, creative expression, problem-solving, extrasensory abilities, friendship, and the breaking of bad habits or unhealthy addictions. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the calves, ankles, or blood. Candle colors: light blue. Metal: uranium. Elemental: sylph

Moon in Pisces – is the ideal time to cast spells that involve dream work, clairvoyance, telepathy, music, and the creative arts. It is also the proper lunar phase in which to perform healing rituals for ailments of the feet or lymph glands. Candle colors: aquamarine, lavender. Metal: tin. Elemental: undine

All spells and rituals that involve the element of earth (such as Gaia-healing) should be performed when the moon is positioned in one of the three astrological earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.

Those that involve the element of fire should be performed when the moon is positioned in one of the three astrological fire signs: Aires, Leo, and Sagittarius.

Those that involve the element of air should be performed when the moon is positioned in one of the three astrological air signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.

Those that involve the element of water should be performed when the moon is positioned in one of the three astrological water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Earth and Sky Meditation

There must be a balance of earth and sky energy in each of us. Both are essential to our lives. Attuning to earth keeps us grounded and secure. Connecting to sky reminds us to dream and wish. Go outside on a bright, sunny day. Choose a firm spot to stand on. Make sure you can see the sky. Stand with your legs spread apart in a V shape. Make sure your footing is secure. Raise your arms outstretched in a V toward the sky. The V shape is symbolic of opening up to receive energy. When ready, say:

I am balanced between earth and sky. I walk with my feet on the ground. (Look at your feet planted on the earth.)
I walk with my head in the clouds.
(Look above at the joyful clouds.)
I am balanced between earth and sky. So mote it be!

The Tools

Athame (pronounced AH-tha-meh) - This is the magickal ritual knife used to direct personal power. The handle is usually of a dark color to absorb energies and temporarily store it. It is not used for physical cutting but instead used to direct energy. It is a masculine tool and is represented by the Fire element.

Bolline- This is simply a working knife that is used for physical cuttings such as herbs or flowers, or to mark candles, or anything else that is to be used magickally. The handle is usually white to separate itself from the athame.

Censer- This is simply an incense burner. It can be any shape - from the swinging thuribles of the Catholic Church to a simple seashell. You can make one with a bowl or cup half filled with salt or sand. The salt absorbs the heat and prevents the bowl from cracking. Incense sticks can be pushed into the salt or cones can be placed on its surface. In ceremonial magick, spirits are sometimes commanded to appear in the smoke. The Gods can usually be seen in the smoke. The censer is a masculine tool and is represented by the Air element.

Cauldron- This is a symbol of the Goddess. It also symbolizes Water, reincarnation, immortality, and inspiration. Though it is normally used as a focal point for rituals, such as burning a fire within or holding flowers, it may be used for cooking and potion making.

Cup- Also known as the chalice, the cup is simply a cauldron with a handle. The cup symbolizes the Goddess and the element of Water. Though you can use it to hold water for ritual, it can be used to hold the ritual drink if any.

Pentacle- This is usually a flat piece of brass, gold, silver, wood, etc. inscribed with a pentagram, the interlaced five-point star. It represents Earth and is a tool used to place charms, amulets, or other objects to be blessed or consecrated. It is an old symbol of protection and is sometimes used to evoke the Gods.

Wand- This is an instrument of invocation and is represented by Air. It is used to call upon the Gods and sometimes used to direct energy, draw a circle on the ground, or stir brew in a cauldron. Any straight stick will do as long as you are comfortable with it.

Besom- This is a magick broom used to sweep the area before ritual. The sweeping is more than physical - the besom doesn't even have to touch the ground. It is used to sweep out any astral build up and/or negative energy and purifies the area. Because of its cleansing properties it is a feminine tool and is represented by the element of Water.

Bell- This is a feminine symbol used to call up the Goddess during ritual. It is also rung to ward off evil spells and spirits or to evoke good energies.



For consecration of your ritual tools (making the tools sacred for magickal use), use this website as an idea for what to do: http://fullmoon-magic.com/consecration.html

Food for thought: Why do you think it is important to consecrate your tools before use?

The Altar

Depending on the altar's size, shape, and what you're going to use it for decides on how you should set it up. If it is a permanent altar, you should always have a symbol of the Goddess and God at the center when it is not being used. If your altar has an alternate use - such as a coffee table, you should always put everything away in a safe and sacred place for you. Nothing that is not being used for ritual, or that you do not find sacred, should ever be placed on the altar.

If working with a circular surface, it is better to set up your altar according to the four corners and their corresponding elements. Each tool, as well as the images or symbols to be used for the God and Goddess should be placed accordingly.
(click to enlarge)

If your altar is rectangular or square, the easiest method is by placing the Goddess to the left, the God to the right, and aligning the tools in a way where the symbolism matches.
(click to enlarge)

You may use an altar cloth if you so desire. However, always remember that the altar is what YOU make it. These are just examples and you can make small changes that best suit you.

As an example, I took a picture of my altar using the rectangular altar diagram.
(click to enlarge)

Symbols

Helpful Resource: http://www.freewebs.com/wiccanforesttemple/symbols.htm

These are a few symbols that Wiccans use, whether for their BOS, or for personal use in rituals and spells.


(click on image for larger view)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Maintaining Focus

This exercise will help you develop your focus and concentration.

First, choose an everyday object for your meditation. This can be a pencil, a glass, or anything else lying around your house. Once you have your object, find a comfortable position, keeping the object visible. Close your eyes, spending a few moments becoming aware of your breathing. After a bit, open your eyes and focus on the object. Observe your mind’s attempts to distract your attention. Whenever you notice your attention drifting, gently return your focus to the object. Continue doing this exercise for two or three minutes.

With practice, you will be able to increase the length of this meditation as your mental discipline improves. When you have completed this exercise, journal about the things you became distracted by. You do not have to tell what distracted you, but please keep track. You will notice patterns that you need to address.

This exercise is from 1001 Meditations - How to discover peace of mind by Mike George. This exercise is worth 25 points.

Invoking Elements and Elementals

There are several different ways of invoking the elements from the four cardinal points. This is a very simple, basic one that I use.

Hail to the East, the Sylphs, the Air
Positive forces I call you in
Hail to the South, the Salamanders, the Fire
Positive forces I call you in
Hail to the West, the Undines, the Water
Positive forces I call you in
Hail to the North, the Gnomes, the Earth
Positive forces I call you in

Release
To the North, the Gnomes, the Earth
Fare thee well, I send you home
To the West, the Undines, the Water
Fare thee well, I send you home
To the South, the Salamanders, the Fire
Fare thee well, I send you home
To the East, the Sylphs, the Air
Fare thee well, I send you home

In Prefect Love and Perfect Trust
Hail and Farewell


Helpful Tips for Invoking the Elements (and doing other Magickal Work)

  • Say the quarter call, invocation, or circle casting slowly
  • When working with quarters, remember you are dealing with a portal or passageway to other worlds of some kind.
  • Visualize what is to be coming through or guarding any quarter while casting your circle, invoking deity, or aspecting deity.
  • Feel, with your sixth sense (or other senses), what is happening around you
  • If you are participating in a group and you have been given the job of a quarter, you are responsible for that quarter from the time you open it to the time you close it.
  • If you are working alone, you’ve got your hands full.
  • All energies/quarters must be closed/dismissed precisely in the manner they were called:
    • Summoned: dismissed and thank
    • Stirred: farewell in peace and safety and thank
    • Called: hail and farewell and thank
  • All workings with both Divine energies and those of other planes should be done in perfect love and perfect trust.
  • All workings should have a goal.
  • Our purest intentions are those in which we succeed the best,
  • A working Witch does not mind summoning, stirring, or calling power, but is not driven by the guest of power for itself.
  • A working Witch carries no delusions, either of self, intentions, or others.
  • A working Witch does not seek to control unlimited minions, either human or astral.

Elementals

Elementals are nature spirits that are called upon to aid in magick.

Gnomes
- Earth, North. Givers of material gain and stability. The rulers of the forest. Seen as "little people", like brownies or pygmies, or green light. Protectors of outdoor circles and groves.

Sylphs
- Air, East. Givers of wishes, knowledge, and dreams. The rulers of weather. Envisioned as "faeries" or angels, or white light. Protectors of magickal applications. Delicate beings with beautiful wings.

Salamanders
- Fire, South. Givers of passion and creativity. The rulers of fields and fire or blue flame. Envisioned as dragons or lizards or red-orange lights. Protectors of hearth, home, and business.

Undines
- Water, West. Givers of love and friendship. Envisioned as mer-people, sirens, or pink or pale blue lights. Rulers of all water. Protectors of the gates of death and karma.

When using elementals, the pentacle employs control over them. The pentagram (usually with one point up) is an interlocking five pointed star. Each point of the pentagram stands for an element. Earth is located at the lower left hand corner; Fire is the lower right hand corner, Water, the upper right hand corner, and Air on the Upper left hand corner, with the uppermost point representing the Divine. The circle signifies the melding of all the elements through the work of humankind and indicates the universal mystery of oneness.

An upside-down pentacle represents chaos and is rarely used.

Elements

An important factor when working your desires is the use of the four major elements. These are the basic components that make up life itself. Each one has their own individual energies, vibrations, and direction.

Magick is in the mind and these elements are used to make the will, the desire, and a concrete manifestation in the world. When properly understood and aligned with all the other tools, they will aid in providing a tremendous force to your desires.

Fire: represents passion, enthusiasm, desire and courage, force, lust, fertility and virility, initiative and rejuvenation. It represents both light and heat. The light of intelligence and the fire of courage to follow it. A low fire person is usually cold, slow to act, without enthusiasm for life or themselves. A high fire person is bold, dramatic and passionate in all areas in their self; however, this person must be careful as fire can destroy everything in its path. Fire magick can bring on the new, courage and passion, and destroy the old.

Feeling: dry heat

Season: Summer

Direction: South / Energy

Symbol: athame/sword, candle and burner

Colors: reds, oranges, golds

Moon phase: 2nd quarter

Time of day: High noon

A type of fire magick is Bonfire Magick, which usually involves burning something such as an herb or flower, or a piece of paper of petition of which you have written your desire. It is used for banishing, ridding, or destroying negative influences in your life.

Another is Candle Magick, a simple, easy, and useful method in bringing about your desires. A color for the candle is chosen and can also include the correct scent in relation to your desire and lit sometimes for up to seven days. This form of fire magick is usually for any type of desire.

Another is Sun Magick. Using the sun in our wishes is a beautiful way in which to enhance new beginnings in love, health, work and home, awaken subtle powers and aid in attraction desires. It is also a good way to attune to the God.

Air: represents mental activity, thoughts, reason and intellect, memory, knowledge, persuasion, birth and friendship, freedom, clarification and expression. A low air person seems without any direction and unable to define nor visualize any future and cannot reason out the alternatives and objectives. A high air person is at ease in complex situations and can sit and think things through, and can carry through with decisions.

Feeling: moist heat

Season: Spring

Direction: East / Mental

Symbol: wand or the smoke of incense

Colors: white, light blues and yellows

Moon phase: 1st quarter

Time of day: dawn

Different types of air magick include visualizations. An important tool in any magick work, it makes the events happen. For this type, it is important that all the other factors such as color, time, moon phase, et cetera, are all in balance, and to have all the other tools working, such as incense and candle burning, or even the right tea or wine to drink in the background. This is because you need to "fix" or ground" the images or ideas you are using in your visualizations.

As our thoughts are extremely powerful, as are our words. Words can put together in such a way as to form spells, or used in channeling your power. Words give rise to our desires and released upon the winds for attainment. Created and repeated with intensity and concentration is a powerful magick in itself. You do not have to be an accomplished linguist to accomplish this; just a simple sentence will do. It creates an atmosphere of concentrated awareness and strength. It can be used in moments of stress or fear, and will create the magick itself. It does not have to be said aloud; say them to yourself if need or want be.

Another air magick is mirror magick. It can help in overcoming inner problems and also help with difficult personal decisions. It uses both the word and visualization forms in its use and can also aid in being able to visualize a future event. This is sometimes used as a scrying tool in which you are able to "see" possible future events and outcomes.

Water: the symbol of emotions. Water imbibes all life forms and in us we flow with the tide of our feelings. It involves intuition, insight, conception and pregnancy, fertility, the womb, health, beauty, and divination. A low water person outwardly would appear as a cold and calculating individual, one who is indifferent and unresponsive. On the other hand, a high water person may seem as though at the slightest touch the well is opened and can be over-emotional and over-dramatic in all areas of life. A good balance of water here is needed to keep the flow running smoothly.

Feeling: moist cold

Season: Autumn

Direction: West / Emotion

Symbol: cup/chalice, broom, or cauldron

Colors: blue, light grays, sea greens, and white

Moon phase: Full

Time of day: dusk

Some water magick can involve the beach and its sand, shells, animals, and seawater. This is especially good for love spells and also when you need to "get a grip" or clarify your own emotions. The use of shells in the practice is widely used. These can hold appropriate herbs or be used as a symbol of water magick.

One old tradition is using that of well water. A lot of gems and stones are exposed to this for a period of time and used at night during a full moon or waxing phase for water magick. Be careful, though, to know your stones as some do not react well in water for long periods of time. This type of water magick can give you insights to how others think of you, what others are doing and how well they are, and to find the truth within yourself.

Water spells can involve the use of scrying bowls. This is a bowl of clear or colored water in which you are able to "see" the future and future events or outcomes or get a clear direction on decisions. This is widely used in certain meditations and visualizations.

Earth: Finally we come to the element of Earth, the source and provider of all needs. It represents sensations, decay, patience, balance, stability, strength, health, warmth and comfort, animals and animal instincts, farming and physical labor.

Feeling: Dry cold

Season: Winter

Direction: North / Balance

Symbol: pentacle, grains, or a stone

Colors: browns, black, purples, and dark greens

Moon phase: 4th quarter

Time of day: Midnight

A high earth person seems a practical sort and quiet "down to earth; a hard worker, stable and good provider. However, they can be a little too stubborn sometimes. A low earth person can seem confused, insecure and alone, unable to feel wanted and their work may be affected.

Earth magick can involve the use of herbs and plants. Using the correct herb to help attain your desire along with the other tools can be very effective. Burying things and making some offerings to the earth such as planting trees is also a form of earth magick. Using your gems or crystals and burying them in the earth under the appropriate tree while making your wish is also effective.

Another type which is considered earth magick is any type of routine. Anything you do on a regular basis can be used as a magickal vehicle. While performing something you do at the same time everyday (like brush your teeth or shower), prepare yourself and use this period for clarity on a subject, figure the best course of action in a situation, or to find just where you are in the course of your life.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Journey Meditation

This journey meditation requires you to visualize yourself in a peaceful place. This can be a place you have been, want to go, or a place you make up. The purpose of this exercise is to "escape" from your daily life and all your stress for a short period.

To get started, find a comfortable position. If you plan to picture yourself on a beach (or something similar), you may wish to sit against a comfortable surface or lie down. Once you are comfortable, take a few deep breaths. Concentrate on your breathing. Each breath is becoming deeper and deeper. Your body is becoming light and you feel carefree.

Now picture your peaceful place. Visualize every detail you can. Is it bright and colorful or muted and tranquil? What do you see? Try to use your other senses and pay attention to everything you experience.

If your mind starts to drift, just concentrate on surroundings (your peaceful place) and promise to deal with everything after you have finished meditating. After about five to fifteen minutes, take a few cleansing breathes and let go of the visualization. When you feel focused on your physical surroundings, take a few minutes to journal anything you felt and experienced. Describe your visualization in as many details as possible.

Sacred Space and Circle Casting

The Universe is sacred space. In essence, all life and all places are sacred

Sacred space is an area, whether tangible or intangible, where people meet in perfect love and perfect trust. Such a space would be the environment of an open circle or a study group where there is balance and harmony.

Sacred space is where you live, where the Witch is sacred.

To create sacred space, you need a quite and comfortable place to work in. First, grab your besom (ritual broom) and use it to clean out any dust and astral build-up in the area. If you do not have a ritual broom, that is okay. Just make sure that the area you are working in is clean and tidy. If you wish to disperse any negative energy, you can do so by ringing a bell, chimes, or banging pots and pans together. Yelling can also help.

To cast a circle you simply envision it around you. The circle is a sphere constructed of personal power in which rituals are usually enacted. The term refers to the circle that marks the sphere's penetration of the ground, for it extends both above and below it. It is created through visualization and magick. You first lay out markers at the four cardinal points in your work area; N, S, E and W. These can be symbols, candles, or stones. Next, beginning at the East and working your way clockwise, you direct energy in an elliptical motion to surround yourself and the area. You can use a wand or athame to direct the energy by holding it out above or in front of you, or by simply drawing it in the ground if you are casting the circle outside.

To release the circle you do so backward--starting at the N and working your way counterclockwise; envisioning the energy being sucked back into the tool. You can use the simple phrase of "The circle is open but unbroken" or any chant to help with this


Here are some qualities that should be expected in the Witch before they enter the magickal circle:

  • Reliability
  • Responsibility
  • Cheerfulness
  • Honesty
  • Trustworthiness
  • Loyalty
  • Humanitarianism
  • Consideration
  • Respect for authority
  • Can keep a secret
  • Resourcefulness
  • Devotion to divinity


Now we know that no one is perfect and therefore could have many of these qualities missing. However, we should keep in mind to do the best we can and be the best we can be.

There are several methods used to cast and close a circle. This is just the method that I use.

Whenever you need to leave a circle, whether its to use the bathroom or to take an important phone call from a loved one overseas, use your athame, wand, or hand if none are available and "cut" a doorway. To cut a doorway you simply do so as if drawing it in the air. You may also visualize a door in the circle opening, walk through it, and visualize it closing behind you. What ever method works best for you is fine.



Food for thought: What is the main purpose of a protective circle and a magick circle and why should you do your work in sacred space?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Visualization Excercises

Shielding
Shielding is very important for magickal works AND in your everyday life. You should shield yourself from any negative energy first thing in the morning and reinforce this when you go into stressful situations. You will notice that when you are around certain places and people, you will feel as if you lost all of your energy suddenly. Shielding will help prevent this.

One that I use is envisioning myself closing curtains around my body.

Start off by sitting in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and envision curtains opened and flowing around you, a lot like they have in hospital rooms between beds. If this is a bit hard to imagine, try and picture it as sitting in a curtained canopy bed. You slowly take the curtains and drag them around the curtain rod so that they are closed snugly around you, blocking out any negative energy. Think of the curtains as a mesh mosquito net. The negative energy being the mosquitos. Take as long as you need to fully close your "curtains".

If you start feeling sluggish during the day, close your eyes and re-close the curtains if you need to.

There are many different shielding techniques. Choose what works best for you. I recommend trying each of them and others that you may find. A good article that I have found: http://www.psipog.net/art-common-shields.html

Protective Light
This technique uses a ball of white light for protection.

First, find a comfortable position. Close your eyes and visualize a ball of white light above your head. Feel the love and protection radiating from this light. Mentally stretch this ball of light to encompass your entire body. As you surround yourself with this protective, loving light, feel the energy from the body of light filling your body.

Continue stretching the ball of light until your entire body is surrounded. Concentrate on the feeling of the energy within yourself and the energy of the light. Stretch the ball of light so you have a bubble of light around yourself (about 3-6 feet).

If you start feeling low or drained throughout the day, close your eyes and reinforce if you need to.

Meditation Excercise

Start by finding a comfortable position. Keep your back straight (not rigid).

Pay attention to your breathing for a minute, keeping it steady and even. Now, notice any tension in your body. You are going to release all of this tension, starting with your head. Feel the tension moving down and out of your head. Once your head feels light, move to your neck. Make sure you push the tension down, so parts that have already been addressed stay light.

Concentrate on removing all tension from your neck and shoulders. Your muscles will feel soft. Work on your arms next, pushing the tension out of your fingertips. You can do both arms at the same time, or one at a time.

Now, work on your chest and stomach. All the tension is draining towards your legs. Your head, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, and stomach are very light and soft. Keep working your way down your body until the only remaining tension is in your feet. Now, you are going to picture the tension moving out of the soles of your feet into the ground/floor. If you are laying down, the tension is being released through your heels into the ground/bed/floor.

Enjoy the light feelings your body is experiencing. Pay attention to how your breathing is changing and how you feel. After a few minutes, slowly start to get up.

Meditation and Visualization

Meditation is an important and useful tool to use when working with magick. It helps keeps us focused and relaxed and can help us and inspire us. To find out more on the history and the benefits of meditation go to: http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Spring05/Luft/index.htm

According to Webster.com, Visualization is the formation of mental visual images. Visualization is something we all use. Every time we daydream or mentally “picture” something, we are using visualization. Whenever we are seeing something that is not directly in front of us, we are visualizing it. Even though we all visualize, some people have trouble focusing their thoughts on certain visualization.

Visualization can be a very useful tool, in our day-to-day lives and in our magickal workings. We can use these mental images to direct energy in spells, healing, and in many more ways. You can use visualization before an important meeting, before a job interview, before meeting with a real estate agent, or anything else you feel is important. The more detailed and focused you are during your visualization sessions, the stronger, more effective your results will be. Before important or stressful occasions, I recommend you use visualization several times to increase your desired effect.



Food for thought: What benefits do you hope to receive from practicing meditation and visualization on a regular basis?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ethics and Morals

Helpful Resource: www.waningmoon.com/ethics/index.shtml

Food for thought: What is the purpose of the Rede and all these resources? How can you apply it to every day life? How do you interpret the Law of Return (rule of three)? Do you believe it affects the three planes of existence (mental, physical, spiritual)? What do you believe happens to use when we die? Do you believe in Heaven and Hell, why or why not? Are our actions held accountable? Do you believe it is necessary to ask permission to do spells to another? (Consider binding and healing spells)

Principles of Belief

These Principles of Belief were set down in 1974 by The Council of American Witches. Witches of all traditions had gathered to come to decisions on these principles, which most Witches and Wiccans follow.

  1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the moon and the seasonal quarters and cross quarters.
  2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility towards our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance, offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
  3. We acknowledge a depth of power, far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called "supernatural" but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.
  4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity-as masculine and feminine-and that this same creative Power lives in all people and functions, through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of Life and as one of the sources of energies, used in Magickal practice and religious worship.
  5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, the Inner Planes, etc. and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions, the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.
  6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of them selves, in leadership.
  7. We see religion, magick, and wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it-a-world view and philosophy of life, which we identify as Witchcraft or the Wiccan Way.
  8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch-but neither does heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within him/herself, if that makes life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others and in Harmony with Nature.
  9. We acknowledge that is the affirmation and fulfillment of life, in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and to our personal role, within it.
  10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy-of-life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the one true right and only way" and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practices and belief.
  11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present, and our future.
  12. We do not accept the concept of "absolute evil," nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil" as defined by Christian Tradition. We do not seek power through suffering of others, nor do we accept the concept that personal benefits can only be derived by denial to another.
  13. We work within Nature, for that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

Goals of a Witch

The 13 Goals of a Witch were written by Scott Cunningham and are usually learned and achieved when on a constant learning path within Wicca.

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your craft
  3. Learn
  4. Apply knowledge with wisdom
  5. Achieve balance
  6. Keep your words in good order
  7. Keep your thoughts in good order
  8. Celebrate life
  9. Attune with the cycles of the earth
  10. Breathe and eat correctly
  11. Exercise the body
  12. Meditate
  13. Honor the Goddess and God

Witches' Pyramid

  • To Know
  • To Dare
  • To Will
  • To be Silent

To know means that we constantly search for truth and are strong in our beliefs. To dare means that we are not afraid of the unknown and that we dare to be different and to learn as much as we can. To will means that we concentrate on being the best we can be. To Be Silent means that we know pure thought has great power. If we tell others about our magic, especially those who don’t believe as we do and want to cause problems, it can suck at our strength.

Wiccan Rede & Witches' Creed

The Rede in its best known form as the "eight words" couplet was first publicly recorded in a speech by Doreen Valiente in 1964. In 1974 a complete twenty-six line poem entitled "The Wiccan Rede" was published in the neo-Pagan magazine Earth Religion News. Each line contained a rhymed couplet laid out as a single line, the last line being the familiar "short rede" couplet beginning "Eight words...".

This poem was shortly followed by another, slightly different, version, entitled the "Rede Of The Wiccae," which was published in Green Egg magazine by Lady Gwen Thompson. She ascribed it to her grandmother Adriana Porter, and claimed that the earlier published text was distorted from "its original form." The poem has since been very widely circulated and has appeared in other versions and layouts, with additional or variant passages. It is commonly known as the "Long Rede".

The Witches' Creed

by Doreen Valiente

Hear now the word of the Witches, the secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny’s pathway, that now we bring forth in the light.

Mysterious Water and Fire, The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,
by hidden Quintessence we know them, and we will keep silent and dare.

The birth and rebirth of all Nature, the passing of Winter and Spring,
We share with the life Universal, rejoice in the Magical Ring

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat, returns, and the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas dancing, on May Eve and old Halloween

When daytime and nighttime are equal, when sun is at greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned, again Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are, thirteen is the Covens array,
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry, for each golden year and a day.

The power has passed down the ages, each time between woman and man
each century unto the other, ere times and the ages began.

When drawn is the Magickal circle, by sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies, in the land of shades of that hour.

Our world has no right to know it and the world beyond will tell naught,
the oldest of Gods are invoked there; the great work of Magic is wrought.

For two are the mystical pillars, that stand at the gate of the shrine,
and two are the powers of Nature, the forms and the forces divine.

And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment, By Magick of old be it done.

Eight words the Witches Rede fulfill:
If it Harms none, Do what Thou Will!



The Rede of the Wiccae

By Lady Gwen Thompson

Bide within the Law you must,

In perfect Love and perfect Trust.

Live you must and let to live,

Fairly take and fairly give.

For tread the Circle thrice about

To keep unwelcome spirits out.

To bind the spell well every time,

Let the spell be said in rhyme.

Light of eye and soft of touch,

Speak you little, listen much.

Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,

Let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing moon,

Chanting out the joyful tune.

Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,

And the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady's moon is new,

Kiss the hand to Her times two.

When the moon rides at Her peak

Then your heart's desire seek.

Heed the North winds mighty gale,

Lock the door and trim the sail.

When the Wind blows from the East,

Expect the new and set the feast.

When the wind comes from the South,

Love will kiss you on the mouth.

When the wind whispers from the West,

All hearts will find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the Cauldron go,

Burn them fast and burn them slow.

Birch in the fire goes

To represent what the Lady knows.

Oak in the forest towers with might,

In the fire it brings the God's insight.

Rowan is a tree of power

Causing life and magick to flower.

Willows at the waterside stand

Ready to help us to the Summerland.

Hawthorn is burned to purify

And to draw faerie to your eye.

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning

Adds its strength to the bright fire burning.

White are the flowers of Apple tree

That brings us fruits of fertility.

Grapes grow upon the vine

Giving us both joy and wine.

Fir does mark the evergreen

To represent immortality seen.

Elder is the Lady's tree

Burn it not or cursed you'll be.

Four times the Major Sabbats mark

In the light and in the dark.

As the old year starts to wane

The new begins, it's now Samhain.

When the time for Imbolc shows

Watch for flowers through the snows.

When the wheel begins to turn

Soon the Beltane fires will burn.

As the wheel turns to Lamas night

Power is brought to magick rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall

Use the Sun to mark them all.

When the wheel has turned to Yule

Light the log the Horned One rules.

In the spring, when night equals day

Time for Ostara to come our way.

When the Sun has reached its height

Time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Harvesting comes to one and all

When the Autumn Equinox does fall.

Heed the flower, bush, and tree

By the Lady blessed you'll be.

Where the rippling waters go

Cast a stone, the truth you'll know.

When you have and hold a need,

Harken not to others greed.

With a fool no season spend

Or be counted as his friend.

Merry Meet and Merry Part

Bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should

Three times bad and three times good.

When misfortune is enow

Wear the star upon your brow.

Be true in love this you must do

Unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill:

"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Definition and History of Wicca

Helpful Resources:

Read: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler (pgs 41-93)
www.wicca.timerift.net/wicca101/index.shtml#1
www.ladybridget.com/w/whatwic.html
www.ladybridget.com/w/wbelief.html



Food for thought: What does Wicca and being Wiccan mean to you?

What is Wicca?

Author: Rhaevyn Sunrise

Many people do a double-take when I tell them I'm Wiccan. They are often expecting a person who dresses in black clothes, has a feline familiar, lives in the big, cob-webby Victorian-style house at the end of the road, and who makes various bubbling potions out of eye of newt and toe of frog. Actually, the media has something to do with that kind of image. The media likes to portray Wiccans and Witches as either gothic, black-clad, vengeful Christian-haters or else as flakey, Val-speaking ("Like oohmmmm....or some junk"), nose-twitching, New Age Psychic Hotline operators. While the above may be based in some fact (from the shallow end of the pool of information out there), there is much more to Wicca than crystal-ball gazing and pentagrams.

Wicca is legally recognized by the United States of America as a full religion (since 1985) and is granted the same benefits as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, etc. Like any other religion, Wicca identifies the supernatural in the form of a deity and has set holidays with rituals for each.

Wicca is also a part of the broader Neo-Pagan movement. (Pagan, in this sense coming from the late Latin meaning "country dweller"...one who did not follow the main belief system found in the cities because city dwellers did not have to rely on the seasonal cycles to grow their own food.) Neo-Pagans attempt to follow the Old Ways...traditions held in Pre-Christian Europe, Egypt, and America. The Old Ways are nature-based, centering mostly on the old harvest and fertility cycles. Wiccans find this important because they feel these cycles of life, the Moon, the Sun, and The Earth bring pagan followers closer to nature. Many pagans also feel it is important to bring nature back into the forefront of life, fixing the drift from nature that came about with mono-theistic religions and science.

The words "Wicca" and "Witch" has the same root ("wicca"-masculine form and "wicce"-feminine form) meaning either "wise one" or "to bend." People who fit into the "wise one" category in history were often the healers, scholars, and early astronomers. The more likely meaning, however, is "to bend," meaning that Witches bend particular forces in order to have the desired results. In what is known to Craft circles as "The Burning Times" the meaning became distorted. Since the healers were the only ones who knew the medicines and herbs, they were accused of witchcraft while faith-healing of the Roman Catholic Church became the accepted cure. From there, the image of a witch became the green-skinned, wart-nosed hag to promote fear.

Today more and more Wiccans are "coming out of the broom closet" as more people urge the protection of religious freedom. Wiccans are very active in this part of the US Constitution, not only to protect their own rights to practice their beliefs, but also to protect the rights of all: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and all others. Wiccans do not believe their way is the "Only" way, but merely a path to reach the same goal.

The Wiccan way includes the understanding of nature and the divine. The divine being the One spirit, manifested in the Goddess and the God, and present in all things. Wiccans celebrate all cycles of life and learn through correspondence with the divine and nature, discussion with others of all beliefs systems, and through personal introspection. Wicca is not a quick fix! While Wiccans may do spells, these are based on healing, love, harmony, and protection. The main law of Wicca is "An' it harm none, do what ye will," meaning that one should live life, but mind to NEVER harm anything or anyone (including one's self). The rewards/consequences of one's actions are found in the Three-Fold Law in which "What energy is given out is returned threefold." In other words, if you do well, good energy returns, multiplied by three. If you do wrong, you will have the negative energy returned to you.


Source: www.thepagancampus.net