Monday, October 1, 2012

Chiromancy (Palm Reading)

Palmistry, or Chiromancy (pronounced "KYE-roe-man-see" and named after Leich de Hamong/Louis Hamon, the famous nineteenth century palmist who also went under the name of "Cheiro") is an ancient way of divining. It was common during medieval times and is known to have existed when Greece and Rome were at their height.  Your palm changes throughout your life. Although your hand gives an outline of your life, it is only a tentative outline. As with all divination, just because it is set in your hand, does not mean that it is set in stone. You can change your palm by changing your life.

Interpreting the Palm

Generally, the dominant hand -- the hand used for writing -- is the hand used during a palm reading. It marks a person's fortune as it exists on this plane. The passive hand represents events relating to the person's Great Work, or their fate. Before making any strong pronouncement about a person's life, check that the event is marked in both palms. If it exists only in the dominant hand, steps can be taken to prevent the occurrence. If it appears only in the passive hand, steps have already been taken to avert the issue. If a person is ambidextrous, use the right hand as dominant, and the left as passive.


The Major Lines

The lines are looked to as the major source of information in the palm. thick, deep, well-colored, unbroken lines represent positive qualities. Thin, broken, "chained" lines with weak circulation denote poor qualities. Networks of many lines in a hand -- like a spiderweb -- shows a person cautious about life, who is usually guarded. Strong, clear lines, with only major lines dominating the palm are the mark of a straightforward, boisterous person, comfortable with themself.

The Lifeline
The lifeline wraps itself around the base of the thumb, beginning near the headline, and ending near the wrist. The point where the lifeline separates from the headline shows the point of "breaking away" from the subject's birth family. If this section of the line is chained, the birth family was a source of strife. If the lifeline is completely separate from the heartline, it is a sign that the subject was not close to their family.

The lifeline is measured from the thumb-forefinger crease to the wrist. Early events are shown earlier in the line. Late life events will be closer to the wrist.

The strength and length of the lifeline show the health and longevity of the subject. a long lifeline reaching down to the wrist is the sign of a long life. A weak line shows poor health and constitution. A break in the lifeline should be examined in both palms, as this may be a sign of grave illness or sudden death. Lines reaching off of the middle of the lifeline either up or down may represent children, male and female, respectively.

The Headline and Heartline
The headline and heartline should always be examined together, as one may be more dominant in the palm than another. If the headline is dominant, it denotes a sensible, logical person, who may be a bit cold emotionally, and prone to obsession. If the heartline is dominant, it shows a sensitive, caring person, prone to emotional outbursts and heartache. If the two lines are in balance, the person has a healthy balance of their mental and emotional capacities.

The headline is measured from the thumb-forefinger crease to the mount of the moon. A strongly psychic person may have a headline reaching well onto the mount of the moon, often overlaid by X's and triangles on the mount.

The heartline is measured from the crease under the pinky finger to it's end near the finger-mounts. The heartline sometimes branches near the end of the line (this appears as a Y shape in the palm). This may be an early warning of mental illness in later life, or it may be a clue to the emotional nature of the subject. Examine which finger the "branch" reaches toward. The planetary nature of this finger shows the emotional issues that most occupy the subject.

The Line of Fate
The line of fate is measured from the wrist to the fingers, and runs almost vertically, bisects the palm. The finger of Jupiter, which it reaches towards, influences the line of fate. It is used to measure the subject's finances and divine luck. Observe the mount of mars when examining the line of fate. If the line of fate firmly connects the headline and heartline, making a clear "M" along with the lifeline in the middle of the palm, it is the sign of financial success. The more strong and clear the "M", the better the financial situation. A line connecting the lifeline with the line of fate near the wrist denotes an inheritance of some nature.

The Line of Fortune
The line of fortune begins near the line of fate at the wrist, and reaches toward the ring finger. If the line of fortune connects with the line of fate, it shows that financial success will come from hard work. The line of fortune is sometimes known as the career line, as smaller lines branching off of it show changes in the career.

The Line of Health
The line of health begins near the line of fortune, and reaches toward the pinky finger. A strong line of health shows great health and vigor, and also a natural charmer and great communicator. A weak, broken line of health often shows a sickly nature.

The Lesser Lines

Rings
Rings appear to encircle the mount of each finger, just below the creases where the finger naturally bends.  A ring of the Sun indicates great strength of Will, with the drive and ability to influence others.  A ring of Saturn indicates sorrow and a tendency to desire what is beyond current means.  If the ring of Saturn cuts into the line of fate, this is doubly so, and the individual will send their life feeling as if the world owes them something.  A ring of Jupiter indicates a deeply spiritual person.  If this ring is present along with positive markings on the Mount of the Moon, this indicates an individual with great potential for occult study.

Children
Dramatically strong, yet short offshoots from the lifeline indicate children.  Lines of this nature pointing up towards the fingers indicate sons, and lines pointing down toward the wrist indicate daughters.  Birth order may be determined by moving down the lifeline towards the wrist.  These birthlines can also indicate the completion of a large life goal, or spiritual birthing, if the individual is childless.

Wristlets
Lines encircling the wrist indicate the longevity of the individual.  Each wristlet counts as roughly twenty years of life, and each partial wristlet counts as ten.

The Lovelines
Running parallel to the lifeline on the mount of Venus are the lovelines. Each loveline shows a great romance in the subject's life. Often only one loveline will run nearly the entire course of the lifeline. This is the sign of one true love in life. The subject will meet the lover shown in relation to the loveline's appearance along the lifeline.

Marriage and Partnerships
Different from the loveliness are the lines of partnership, which occur in the percussion along the side of the mount of Mercury.  The lines of partnership indicate both great loves and great friendships, and often point ot marriage.

The Girdle of Venus
Stretching across the mounts of Saturn and Jupiter, the girdle of Venus is an indicator of a highly sensitive and intellectual nature; however, such sensitiveness renders the bearer moody, touchy, and easily offended. It is often seen in the hands of high-strung, suspicious, and anxious people.  If coupled with a fleshy mount of Venus, the girdle shows a highly sexual nature.

Shapes on the Palm



Grids
A grid occurs at a point of the palm where the energies that area dissipate. If a grid covers the entire palm, the power of its bearer is constantly drained by vexations and imagined slights. If a grid appears on a mount, it saps or thwarts the qualities of the mount.

Crosses
Crosses denote troubles, disappointment, danger, and when found on lines, the harm to the bearer may be aggravated. Occasionally it can refer to a dramatic change in one's life due to a crisis or hardship. A cross is only favorable when it is located between the head and heart lines, when it is referred to as the "Croix Mystique", and indicates a propensity towards mysticism, occultism, and superstition.

Stars
A star is a symbol of great and sudden brilliance in a person's life. This brilliance is often arbitrary and unexpected, and is always an event that the individual can exercise little control over. A line that ends in a star signifies the greatest accomplishments possible; however, the star often carries with it an unpleasant price. A star on the mounts will naturally denote great proficiency with the mount's corresponding traits, yet these traits may consume some of the other bearer's qualities.  A star in the palm indicates a need for Temperance in ones’ life.  These negative influences can be seen as being “star-crossed”.

Islands
The Island is always a negative sign. Unlike the star or the cross, the island is a gradual and prolonged, and often subtle period of strife in an individual's life. Because of the gradual nature of this malady, the bearer may not have even noticed that they are in a darker period of their life.  These misfortunes will last to the extent that the island is long.

Squares
The square is almost always a beneficent symbol. A square surrounding an ill-marked area signifies repair and eventual containment of the negative influences.  The one instance in which the square denotes negative influences is when it is found on the lifeline, where it indicates incarceration.

Circles
The circle is a very rare marking in chiromancy. It is an evil mark unless it is on a mount, in which case it usually augments the powers and promise of a mount. If it touches any line, it brings inescapable misfortune related to the line it touches.

Triangles
The triangle is nearly always a positive sign. It denotes success corresponding to the location of the mark. If found alongside a line, it will naturally take on significance dependent upon the line, marking a point at which accomplishment is achieved. The triangle will never reach the great heights of success that its cousin, the star, but it possesses balance and will not carry with it the backlash that so often accompanies the star.

Chains
The chain, like the island, is a negative sign.  Chains bind up the energy of the lines they occur on, and can be seen as islands linked together, presenting new obstacles arising from past negative influences.

Tridents
The trident is always a positive marking. If it arises from a line, it will increase the qualities of that line and draw additional power from the mounts or lines that the branches on either side point towards. If it is found on a mount, the trident increases the properties of that mount in conjunction with its neighboring mounts. The trident is such a powerful symbol that it eclipses the star in beneficence, as it has none of the ‘star-crossed’ energy related to that marking.

Tarot Layouts

There are many different ways to use the tarot cards.  They can be taken as a whole telling the story of the Fool's Journey and they can be interpreted only a few at a time in order to divine an answer to a question or divine the future.  Below are several layouts for reading the tarot cards.
 

Three Card Spread

The three card draw is Tarot “quick and dirty’.  It is especially useful for confirming a longer reading. It has much in common with modern rune divination layouts.  Some readers prefer a laying out the middle card first and then the cards on the left and right, but the cards are still read right to left as past, present, and future.

The Celtic Cross

The Celtic cross is probably the oldest and most popular pattern for reading the tarot. It has survived so long because the layout of the cards is simple, but powerful. A strong thought-form has built up around this spread due to its use by so many people over the years.

You can think of the Celtic cross as divided into two sections: the Circle/Cross on the left, and the Staff on the right. The Circle/Cross section is made up of two crosses - a central one (card one and two) nested within a larger cross (six cards). The smaller cross represents the heart of the matter - what is most central to you at the time of the reading. It is the hub around which the wheel of your life is turning.
The larger cross consists of two lines that overlay the mini-cross. The horizontal line shows time moving from your past on the left into your future on the right. The vertical line is your consciousness moving from your unconscious on the bottom to your conscious mind on the top. Together these six cards give you a snapshot of your inner and outer environment at the time of a reading.
The cards of the Staff section comment on your life and lie outside of the immediate situation. Here, your Inner Guide helps you understand what is shown in the Circle/Cross section. You receive guidance about yourself and others, your life lessons and your future direction.

Interpretation

Look at the six cards of the Circle/Cross section. They show what is going on in your life at the moment of the reading.
Examine the cards in pairs in the following order:
Look at Cards 1 and 2 to find out the central dynamic.
Look at Cards 3 and 5 to find out what is going on within you at different levels.
Look at Cards 4 and 6 to see how people and events are flowing through your life.
From these six cards, create a description of your immediate situation.
Consider the Staff section of the spread in this order:
Look at Cards 7 and 8 to find out how more about the relationship between you and your environment.
Look at Card 10 - the projected outcome. How do you feel about it? What does it say to you?
Review the cards to discover the factors leading to the outcome. See if one card stands out as key. Also:
Compare the projected outcome (Card 10) to a possible alternative outcome (Card 5).
Consider how the near future (Card 6) contributes to the projected outcome (Card 10).
See if Card 9 tells you something you need to know. Do you have a hope or fear that is relevant?

Diana’s Bow Spread

The Diana’s Bow spread is also known as the Seven Card Ellipse Spread, Diana’s Crescent, and the Seven Stars Spread. This layout is good for when you are asking about a project. The basic question that will be answered is "What is to be done?"  It offers advice, guidance and warning, which is seen as the divine guidance of the Goddess Diana.  This spread is especially poplar among the Romani or Gypsies.  The dramatic fanning and slow turning of the cards is characteristic of this layout, and is also associated with Romani fortune telling.

Shuffle the cards and fan them out in front you, face down. Draw seven cards from the fan. Do not turn them face up. Shuffle these seven cards and lay them out as shown in the diagram below. Turn them over, one by one, interpreting each card as you go.  This spread is unique in that the cards are not to be considered as a whole until card four is turned.  Then cards one through four may be examined together.  Only at the end of the reading may all of the cards be considered together.

Interpretation
1. Turn over the first card:  This represents the past, or that which is ending.
2. Turn over the second card:  This represents the present.
3. Turn over the third card:  This represents the future, or that which is beginning.
4. Turn over the fourth card:  This represents the path to take and what to do.  It is the counsel of Diana.  Review cards one through four.  How do they influence each other?  How does the advice of card four apply to cards one through three?
5. Turn over the fifth card:  This represents helpful or harmful outside influences.
6. Turn over the sixth card:  This represents hopes and fears.
7. Turn over the sixth card:  This represents the final outcome. Review the cards together as a whole.  How do they influence each other?  How does the advice of card four apply to cards five through seven?

Priorities Spread
Sometimes prioritizing our lives can be the most daunting task of all.  This simple layout is designed to guide you towards what is most important and helps to point out what can wait.  This is very useful for seeing where your energies are going.
 
Position 1: Important and Urgent
Position 2: Important but not Urgent   
Position 3: Urgent but not Important
Position 4: Not Important and Not Urgent


The 15 Card Spread

The 15 Card Spread layout, also know as The English Spread, is associated with Crowley's Book of Thoth tarot deck. It originated among the Golden Dawn. This spread is extremely helpful when at an impasse, or caught between several choices in one's life as it offers advice in the form of options.  It is my personal favorite spread for giving readings.

The fifteen cards are placed clockwise into four triads around a center triad.  Each of these triads presents an aspect of the situation.  Usually, the center card of each triad presents the general influences of the situation.  The card to its left shows the mental and emotional influences of the situation, while the card on the right presents the physical and material aspects of the situation. 

Interpretation

Examine the triads of cards in the following order:
Look at Cards 1, 2 and 3 to find out the central dynamic. This will give you an idea of what is going on in the person’s life, and what the reading is specifically about.
Look at Cards 4, 8, and 12 to find out what direction the future is pointing to.
Look at Cards 15, 11, and 7 to discern an alternate choice for the future. 
Look at Cards 14, 10, and 6 to see how people and events are flowing through your life. Consider Cards 5, 9, and 13, the projected outcome. How do you feel about it?
Review the cards to discover the factors leading to the outcome.
Look at Cards 1, 2 and 3 review the theme of the reading.
Compare cards 1, 2, and 3 with cards 4, 8, and 12. What about your current situation put you on this course of action?
Compare cards 4, 8, and 12 with cards 15, 11, and 7.  Which is more favorable?  How can you change your course of action if needed?  If your current course of action is favorable, how can you ensure that the less favorable future does not occur?
Look at Cards 14, 10, and 6. How can these factors assist you in making the best possible decisions for your future?
Consider Cards 5, 9, and 13. How do they work with the immediate future you are heading toward?  How do they interact with the alternate future?  What do they tell you about the resources offered to you in cards 14, 10, and 6?
Consider other groups of cards formed in the layout, and how they relate to each other. For example:
What are the internalized (emotional and mental) influences of cards 3, 4, 5, 15, and 14?
What are the core influences of cards 1, 8, 9, 10, and 11?  Together do they help give a more clear vision of what the specific subject of the reading is?
What are the externalized (physical and material) influences of cards 2, 6, 7, 12 and 13?
How do other card triads positively and negatively influence each other?  Do any of these influences make a “good” card negative or lessen the blow of a “bad” card?  Do the suits of these cards strengthen or weaken each other?
Cards 15, 10, and 7; Cards 11, 14, and 6; Cards 4, 9, and 12; Cards 5, 8, and 13

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Divination

A Thoth deck back
I love my tarot cards.  They are more than magical tools for me, since I became unemployed they have become a part of my livelihood.  I read with the Thoth deck.  I've been reading with it as my primary deck since I was 17.  I started reading professionally at age 18.  I also read palms and do pendulum divination.  Recently, only in the last year or so, I've begun using a spirit board with Laurelei both professionally and for personal life advice. I scry in flame and smoke, mirror and crystal.  I've never had much luck with scrying in water.

As I have been depending more on divination for survival I have branched out into new forms of divination, mostly new oracle decks.  Nothing replaces my trusty Thoth, but I am supplementing reading with a few pulls from the Druid Animal Oracle, the Goddess Oracle, or (my newest tool) Archetype Cards.

My scrying mirror
Another system I use on a regular basis is a little javascript that I coded for use on the Women's Goddess Retreat website!  This random quote generator has given me useful advice on several occasions.

I've been working on a new system of divination that I am eager to try soon.  It involves casting lots marked with certain symbols of witchcraft.  I know that "Witch's Runes" are not a unique idea, but I believe that my personal take on them will prove to be useful for my own readings and as a possible item to sell at Blade and Broom.  I look forward to sharing this system with you soon!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

That Really Long Pagan Tumblr Meme

Please describe briefly your Path:
Traditional Witchcraft by way of Robert Cochrane & Nigel Jackson, only with American folkloric influences, like Hoodoo & Conjure.  I got here with detours into Gard Wicca, Hellenic Recon, Shamanism, Discordianism, Thelema, and other things.

Please describe briefly how you practice it:
Observance of the seasons, weekly group/coven study, maintenance of shrines for deities and ancestors, lots of other things but I'm supposed to keep it brief. ;)

When did you first commit to your current Path?
Several years ago when I met my magical working partner and co-founder of this tradition, Laurelei.

How is your practice different now than it was then?
I have made my peace with being a Witch first and foremost, and enjoying studying other branches of occultism for fun.

Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
Yes.  We have a wonderful curveen now that I cherish.

Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
The core of the trad is the same, but my own personal ethic has been further explored and developed.

What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?

I'm a witch of the blood.  The Red Thread ties me to Qayin.  It informs everything I do now.

What are your main influences for your Path?
As stated above, Cochrane, Jackson, Hoodoo, Conjure, Thelema, & Gard Wicca.  I also find much of a useful nature in folklore, witch trial materials (especially woodcuts), and UPG through my familiar spirit.

Which do you do more: practice or research?
Practice.  Which is new for me.  I've been heavy on the research for as long as I can remember.  The Witch of Forest Grove has recently written about "Forgetting How to Read."  I think that I am in a similar place right now.

Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
Without research the praxis is just empty gesture, but without praxis one cannot be a witch.  Therefore I have come to believe that ultimately the practice of Craft is more important than the research.  That being said there is no substitute for hard honest study of the path.

What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
1.) All is permitted. 
2.) What I have I hold. 
3.) There is no magic without sacrifice.
4.) Strive for Perfect Love and Perfect Trust within the circle.
5.) Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law.
[more info here]

What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
Hermitage > Study > Experimentation > Practice > Teaching > Leadership > Questioning > Hermitage.  Bipolar cycles also inform much of how and what I practice.

What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
Mental illness

How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
Still doing what I do now, but wiser and more familiar with this path.

How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
The biggest day-to-day ways Craft manifests in my life are through our coven and through our botanica.

Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
Yes.  It has informed my entire worldview.

Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
Yes.  I serve the owl-and-serpent Goddess Athene-Lilith as Priestess.  I also teach others, co-lead a coven, have founded a tradition of Craft, and organize and lead rites of passage.

A witch? How so?
I believe that I've established this already. ;)

A shaman? How so?

In my personal view Witchcraft is the shamanism of ancient Europe, so that is a resounding YES.

Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
Praxis, praxis, praxis!  So you can't spell Lughnasadh without looking it up?  Who cares?  Do you actually celebrate it?

One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
"Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret." ~ The Four Agreements

A defining moment on your Path was:
Finding Laurelei. :)

Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?
Yes.

Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
When I was in high school I actually wore a big black witch's hat around.  With black lipstick.  And a black leather motorcycle jacket.  And a pentacle.  And I read *shudder* Gerina Dunwitch.  This was before The Craft came out and this became a "trendy" thing to do. *blush*

What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
Folks assume I'm Wiccan.

Have you ever been frightened?
Yes.  Big wolf spiders... tornadoes... zombie movies...  Oh, wait, you meant because of something related to my practice?  Yes.  Invoking the White Goddess.  Yikes.

Can you perform ritual without a script?
Of course.

Have you ever performed spontaneous magic/spellcraft?
Yes.

What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
The outer limits of what a familiar spirit can do, manifesting my fetch physically and reliably, flying out on command.

What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
Teaching and learning.

Ritual tools are …
Lots of fun, especially when you find just the right ones, but, ultimately unnecessary.  That being said, you can have my bog-oak-handled silver owl pommeled garnet encrusted athame when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

The one thing you can’t do without is:
My tarot cards.  They have become my livelihood.

Seeking personal power is …
To be expected.  I mean, really, who on this path isn't looking to grow?

Politics and your Path are …
Entwined.  All aspects of my life are affected by my Craft.

One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
It's not Wicca, it's Witchcraft.

Do you teach?
Yes.

What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
To honor the Gods as Priest/esses, to provide rites of passage, and to teach as they see fit.

When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
Like I am open to hear all things.  It looks like the vapor of heat over a flame.  I feel like I could fly.

What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Gods, ancestors, genus loci, familiar spirits, and my fetch.

What is your relationship with the Land?
The land and its cycles are a part of my worship.

The most important aspect of ritual is:
Communion.

The main purpose of ritual is:
Communion.

What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever form of augury you use)?
There are many purposes for divination.  The most important in my practice is to be informed of the sacrifice an act of magic will require prior to enacting that magic.

What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
The White Goddess.  It is very important to my personal practice, and yet... cocaine is a hel of a drug.

What book do you recommend the most to others?
Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson.

What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
The Crooked Path podcast is a favorite.  As for blogs, I adore The Witch of Forest Grove and  American Folkloric Witchcraft (which is only partially my own)

If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be?
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it. -- from the Kalama Sutta

Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort:

We Have Come to Be Danced


We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
But the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama shaman shaking ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into the luminous skin of love dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath and beat dance

The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I? Yes you may take ten giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.

We have come to be danced
Where the kingdoms collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced!
We have come.

~ by Jewel Mathieson
from her book This Dance: A Poultice
jewelmathieson.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chakra Correspondances

The Root Chakra
Mudlahara
Color: Red
Rules: Life force, energy, vigor, overall health and well-being
Gland: Adrenals
Mantra: I am a strong and stable person.
Chant: E (long e as in "be")
Note: C - do
Word: ROOT
Sense: Sight
Scents: Patchouli, cedarwood, cinnamon, myrrh
Gemstones: Garnet, ruby, agate, onyx, hematite, red jasper, black tourmaline, smokey quartz, bloodstone, red coral, tiger eye
Sound: LAM

The Sacral Chakra
Svadhisthana
Color: Orange
Rules: Sexuality, animal instinct, competition, contentment
Gland: Ovaries
Mantra: I am a sensual and successful person.
Chant: Eh (short e as in "bet")
Note: D - re
Word: FLOW
Sense: Smell
Scents: Jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, neroli
Gemstones: Amber, carnelean, moonstone, fire agate, orange spinel, fire opal
Sound: VAM 

The Solar Plexus
Manipura
Color: Yellow
Rules: Digestion, hunger, perception of self, confidence, cleansing
Gland: Pancreas
Mantra: I am a beautiful and fulfilled person.
Chant: Ah (short a as in "ball")
Note: E - me
Word: POWER
Sense: Taste
Scents: Lavender, juniper, bergamot, rosemary
Gemstones: Citrine, yellow topaz, peridot
Sound: RAM

The Heart Chakra
Anahata
Color: Green
Rules: Love, emotion, friendship, humanity, affection, feeling, empathy
Gland: Thymus
Mantra: I am a loved and loving person.
Chant: A (long a as in "hay")
Note: F - fa
Word: LOVE
Sense: Touch
Scents: Sandalwood, rose, cedarwood, amber
Gemstones: Rose quartz, emerald, aventurine, jade, malachite, rhodonite
Sound: YAM     

Throat Chakra
Vishuddah
Color: Light to true blue
Rules: Communication, vocalizing, opinions, ideas, inspiration, creativity
Gland: Thyroid
Mantra: I am a creative person with valuable ideas.
Chant: O (long o as in "no")
Note: G - sol
Word: VOICE
Sense: Sound
Scents: Lavender, patchouli, mint
Gemstones: Lapis, aquamarine, sodalite, turquoise, sapphire, blue lace agate
Sound: HAM      

The Third Eye Chakra
Anja
Color: Dark blue to indigo
Rules: Intuition, divination, astral travel, dreams, psychic power
Gland: Pineal
Mantra: I am open to listening to my inner wisdom.
Chant: OM (as in "home")
Note: A - la
Word: SEE
Sense: Intuition
Scents: Violet, lavender, rosemary
Gemstones: Amethyst, fluorite, azurite, labradorite
Sound: SHAM

The Crown Chakra
Sahasrara
Color: Violet to bright white
Rules: Communion with the Divine, enlightenment, intelligence, wisdom
Gland: Pituitary
Mantra: I am at one with the Divine.
Chant: U (long u as in "you")
Note: B - ti
Word: SOURCE
Sense: Spirit
Scents: Jasmine, Frankincense
Gemstones: Diamond, quartz crystal, moldavite, selenite
Sound: OM

Prayer to Shakti

Oh, Shakti!
Mother of the multiverse
Cosmic intelligence that permeates all things
Void without limit
Point without place
Moment without time
Circumference of all things
Pure Being, Consciousness, Bliss
Divine Dynamic Life force
One Goddess -- Eternal
Who dances in our spirits
and illuminates all things
Be here with us now.
Awaken as the Kundalini serpent within our bodies
Connecting us forever and again with your eternal radiance

Written for the Women's Goddess Retreat 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Preparing for the Women's Goddess Retreat 2012

This weekend is the fourth annual Women's Goddess Retreat.  WGR is a not-for-profit fundraiser benefiting Our Haven Nature Sanctuary, LLC founded and facilitated by Laurelei and me.  I've blogged about it before here.

The Women's Goddess Retreat was created for all women who want to pause and honor the Goddess in their lives and in themselves. This retreat is open to anyone who lives their daily life as a woman. Both women-born-women and transgender women are welcome at this retreat.

We are aware that the inclusion of transgender women at this retreat is controversial to some people involved in the Goddess movement.  We believe that excluding transgender women from womanspace is elitist, phobic, and counterproductive to the kind of work that we want to achieve at this event.  It is my personal opinion that any woman brave enough to ask hard questions concerning gender-identity and deciding to embrace womanhood has done more soul-searching about what it means to be a woman in this society than many cis-gendered women.

This retreat is open to young women at the discretion of their mothers. We recommend young women be at the age of menarche and are deemed by their mother to be mature enough to handle themes of women's sexuality, trauma, healing, and aging.

At its core our retreat intends to:
provide a safe, nurturing place for women to develop themselves individually, and as a group, through new skills, and the sharing of information,
and
to learn about, invoke, and honor Goddesses and Goddess spirituality from around the world.
The Women's Goddess Retreat was designed to honor different Goddesses from various world cultures. Throughout the course of the retreat each of the selected Goddesses for this year will be invoked by all participants for two hours each. During that time we will share stories of that Goddess, perform group activities in honor of Her, and look to Her stories and our inner wisdom for Her lessons in our own lives. At the end of each two hour session we will release that Goddess's energy, and have time for quiet reflection.

These Goddesses will each be invoked, honored, and discussed during our retreat, along with the lessons that they have to share for our lives.
  • Ariadne ~ Facilitated by: Laurelei Black
  • Baba Yaga ~ Facilitated by: Firehorse
  • Bast ~ Facilitated by: Rev. Bonnie Campaniello
  • Cybele ~ Facilitated by: Sharon Rose King
  • Inanna ~ Facilitated by: Daun Door-Key
  • Kali ~ Facilitated by: Natalie Black (Me)
  • Pele ~ Facilitated by: Linda Spahr
  • Shekinah ~ Facilitated by: Hetty MacDowell
  • The Great Goddess ~ Facilitated by: Natalie & Laurelei Black
If you are interested in attending this year please visit the Women's Goddess Retreat website.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gratitude, part one

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
~ Meister Eckhart

If I am going to crawl out of this funk I'm going to need to be proactive.  I must stop focusing on my anger and the things that I dislike in my life and start appreciating the things that I am grateful for.

Thank you to my friends and family for supporting and loving me when I am hard to love.

Thank you to the multiverse for recognizing that I need a break that I would not take for myself.

Thank you to my guides and Gods for being so close.

Thank you Fortuna and Abundance for bringing me everything I need when I need it.

Thank you anger for unfolding within me and teaching me how to heal myself and others.

Thank you self for staying alive and for learning how to be.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Four Agreements


1. Be Impeccable with your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

The Invitation

The Invitation 
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

----------------------------------------------
© 1995 by Oriah House, From "Dreams Of Desire"
Published by Mountain Dreaming, 300 Coxwell Avenue, Box 22546, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4L 2A0
http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

Carol Christ: Goddess Ethics

Nurture life
Walk in love and beauty
Trust the knowledge that comes through the body
Speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering
Take only what you need
Think about the consequences of your actions for seven generations
Approach the taking of life with great restraint
Practice great generosity
Repair the web

~ Carol P. Christ, "I specifically discussed the structural nature of injustice and offered Nine Touchstones of Goddess ethics as an alternative to the Ten Commandments of Biblical religion."


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sisters Chant


We are sisters on a journey, singing now as one
Shining through the darkest night.
The healing has begun, begun,
The healing has begun.

We are sisters on a journey, shining now as one.
Remembering the ancient one,
The women and the wisdom, wisdom.
The women and the wisdom.

We are sisters on a journey, watching life unfold
Sharing warmth of heart and hands.
The knowledge of the old, the old
The knowledge of the old.

We are sisters on a journey, standing at the door.
Remembering what passed long ago.
Let's turn the key once more, once more.
Let's turn the key once more.

~ Susun S Weed

Ramprasad: The Total Madness of Her Love


The Total Madness of Her Love

Mother dwells at the center of my being,
forever delightfully at play.
Whatever conditions of consciousness may arise,
I hear through them the music of her life-giving names,

Om Tara, Om Kali.

Closing my eyes, I perceive the radiant Black Mother
as indivisible, naked awareness,
dancing fiercely or gently on my heart lotus.
She wears a garland of snow-white skulls,
bright emblem of freedom from birth and death.
Gazing upon her resplendent nakedness,
all concepts and conventions vanish.

Those who judge by mundane standards call me mad.
Timid and limited persons can think what they wish.
My only longing is to express
the total madness of her love.

This poet child of the Wisdom Goddess
cries out with abandon:
"The Queen of the Universe
resides within the flower of my secret heart.
Mother! Mother! Mother!
I seek refuge at your beautiful feet,
delicate and fragrant as the dark blue lotus.
As my body dissolves into earth
and my mind into space,
may I dissolve into you."

~ Ramprasad Sen, Translated By Lex Hixon, Mother of the Universe

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Starfire


It's the middle of the night and I'm feeling wrathy.

Angry.  Betrayed. Rejected.

Depressed.

My Design Toscano replica of The Burney Relief looms large over my workspace.

She attempts to remind me of who and what I am.

Let's begin with a rebirth of this blog.

More is coming soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Feast of the Beast 2012

I have returned from the seventh annual Babalon Rising festival, although not entirely to consensus reality.  The real magic of the festival can be measured, imho, by the "everyone knows everyone else" kind of small-town experimental feel of the event.

Those that were at the festival know that I could never possibly cover everything that happened.  Even if I wanted to try, there was simply too much happening at the same time.  Therefore, I have decided this year to give a behind-the-scene look at the workings of the Feast of the Beast ritual, which I wrote and directed this year.

Here is the script...

Feast of the Beast
2012 Ritual

The Magician and stands facing the crowd. The HGA is hidden next to her under a black cloth. The Tree of Life BABALONS are off field in hiding.

Magician - Thee I invoke, the Bornless one!
Thee, that didst create the Earth and the Heavens:
Thee, that didst create the Night and the day!
Thee, that didst create the darkness and the Light!

HGA – (casts off cloth and stands facing the Magician. He holds the cup of BABALON.) I answer you, oh self of myself!

Magician – Assist me then to call forth the seven faces of BABALON!
Even now thy hour strikes upon the clock of my FATHER.
For He prepared a banquet and a Bridal Bed. BABALON was that Bride, appointed from the beginning, as it was written IO PAN!
Now is the hour of birth at hand.
Thy tears, thy sweat, thy blood, thy semen, thy love, thy faith shall provide.
I shall drain thee like the cup that is of BABALON. (The Magician and the HGA embrace and begin to chant:)

BABALON!
BABALON!
(They become louder and break apart chanting in a frenzy)
BABALON!
BABALON!

The BABALONS of the Tree of Life enter and are arranged in the pattern of the Sepheroth of the Tree on the field facing the Magician. The Magician and the HGA continue to chant as the BABALONS move into position. If the crowd is chanting along, the HGA now loudly calls for silence. The HGA takes the Magician by the hand and they walk to BABALON in Malkuth.

BABALON in Malkuth – I am the gate of Malkuth, the first face of BABALON. I offer forth this crown to you. (Malkuth removes her crown and places it into the cup. The Magician and the HGA walk over to Yesod.)

BABALON in Yesod – I am the gate of Yesod, the second face of BABALON. I offer forth these earrings to you. (Yesod removes her earrings and places them into the cup. The Magician and the HGA walk over to Hod.)

BABALON in Hod – I am the gate of Hod, the third face of BABALON. I offer forth this necklace to you. (Hod removes her necklace and places it into the cup. The Magician and the HGA walk over to Netzach.)

BABALON in Netzach – I am the gate of Netzach, the fourth face of BABALON. I offer forth these ornaments of the breast to you. (Netzach removes her breast ornaments and places them into the cup. The Magician and the HGA walk over to Tiphereth.)

BABALON in Tiphereth – I am the gate of Tiphereth, the fifth face of BABALON. I offer forth this girdle of birthstones to you. (Tiphereth removes her girdle and places it into the cup. The Magician and the HGA walk over to Gevurah.)

BABALON in Gevurah – I am the gate of Gevurah, the sixth face of BABALON. I offer forth these claps of the hands and feet to you. (Gevurah removes her claps and places them into the cup. The Magician and the HGA walk over to Chesed.)

Magician – Where is the seventh gate? Where is BABALON before the Abyss?

HGA – You are gate of Chesed, but first you must sacrifice to BABALON. (He bows before her and offers up the chalice.)

Magician - I am the gate of Chesed, the seventh face of BABALON. I offer forth this loincloth to you. (The Magician removes her loincloth and places it into the cup. The HGA rises and they embrace and kiss. She takes the cup and Magician proclaims:) I AM BABALON! (Everyone cheers) Soon we will enter the Abyss & our HGA will abandon us. (Gestures to her HGA. An assistant brings the Star of Babalon to the Magician and the HGA, together they light the Star.) Yet, there is no need to fear the Unknown ahead for soon we will be in the City of Pyramids and I WILL RISE! (More cheering. The Magician/BABALON takes the flaming Star around the fire for all to see. The BABALONS of the Tree of Life follow her parading in a circle with her. As the Magican/BABALON does this she proclaims:) Before we may enter the City of Pyramids we must abandon all things. Send your banishments into the effigy, that they may be consumed by fire! (As she finishes her circle, she thrusts the flaming Star into the wood pile, igniting the fire. More cheering.) Now go forth, and take your fill and Will of Love!
Not bad, if I do say so myself.   Now, what I had not expected was that the seven Babalons of the ritual, along with myself, would bond on such a fundamental level this year during rehearsal.  As vessels of Babalon at this ritual we have shared a special energy and sacred charge.  We have formed a kind of sisterhood.  One of the Babalons joked through tears that she was grateful for this, the sorority that had finally accepted her.  I think we all felt that way -- like we had found our sisters.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

...for BABALON!

I'll be leaving for this year's Babalon Rising festival in just two scant days.  This is the seventh year of the festival.  As a founder, I feel odd that seven years has went by so quickly.  This is the second year that I will not be playing a role in the Feast of the Beast ritual, which was my decision.  This year we have asked all of the representatives of Babalon from previous years to participate, and even though I was Babalon in year one, I just wasn't feeling it this year.  Babalon is a Goddess of sacrifice, and I've given a lot in her service.  I even wrote this year's Feast of the Beast ritual, with some input from friends and fellow devotees of the Mother of Abominations.

Serving Babalon in the capacity of a festival founder and coordinator has been a great honor and a constant learning experience for me.  She really does demand every last drop of what we have to give, and what we give is transformed and returned to us from her Grail in ways we could not imagine.

I thought this might be a good chance to direct my followers to some of my older posts, all of them my own poetic meditations on Babalon.

Red Babalon (Babs as the Great Whore)
Blue Babalon (Babs as the Eternal Virgin)
Black Babalon (Babs as the Bride of Chaos -- my favorite of the bunch)

If you are planning on going to the festival this year, stop by the Black Market vending booth and say hello.  I'll be there offering Tarot readings, wares from Blade and Broom Botanica, and friendly advice for those who aren't sure what to make of a Thelemic/Voodoo/Chaos Magic/Sex Magic festival.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Deity Questionnaire

Do you have a close relationship with the Deity(ies) of your choice?
Yes I do. Lilith began speaking with me when I was still a noob, and many more since then have made their voices heard... loudly!

How do you communicate with them?
Sometimes through the talking board, sometimes through dreams, but mostly through the voices in my head. Crazy? Quite.

Do they Answer/Grant your request?
I don't often come to the Gods with requests. I work with my incorporeal familiar for that. The Gods come to me asking for tasks to be done... poetry to be written, rituals to be performed, UPG to be disseminated as they see fit. I serve the Gods, they do not serve me.

Who is your patron God?
I have a deep and abiding fondness for Dionysus and Fallen Star Forge God (Tubal Cain, Lucifer, Malek Taus, Azazel, Hephaestus, Vulcan, Lugh/Lleu)

Who is your patron Goddess?The many-named Owl & Serpent Goddess of the Vinca peoples, depicted on the Burney Relief, also known as Algol, Athena Glaukopis/Medusa, Lilith, and Ereshkegal. Also Sophia, Babalon, the Black Goddess of the 1734 Tradition (Kolyo), and the White Goddess of Robert Graves's work (Goda).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Personal Ethics

I've been thinking a lot about personal ethics lately.  I don't hold to any romantic NeoPagan notions of "An It Harm None..." but I do have certain standards I hold myself to.  They are as follows.

All is permitted. 
What I have I hold. 
There is no magic without sacrifice.
Strive for Perfect Love and Perfect Trust within the circle.
Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law.

My friend Orius of The Mad Angry Pagan blog shared a quote with me concerning ethics that I find sums up my personal ethics fairly well:
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." ~Robert A. Heinlein
Not how it works.

I do not believe in the threefold law of return. I do not believe in the law of one-for-one return. I do not believe in tit-for-tat, and I do not believe in karma. There is no cosmic abacus keeping track for us. There is only action and reaction: magic and sacrifice. Sometimes we pay dearly for a small act of love and grace. Sometimes there is no payment needed for large acts of hatred and cruelty.  Who can say why Fate spins the patterns she does?

What I do is not for fear of Hell or Karma or threefold return. What I do is my Will. I  can choose to do right or wrong by my own standard of what is ethical.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

PBP - E is for Egregore

Egregores are spirit forms created by a magician with a specific purpose.  They are typically not self-sustaining, and require offerings of thanks, or some other energy exchange in order to function. I have been witness to the creation of several egregores, from Mabel the Parking Goddess, to Lobo: Wolf Lord of Riches.

To create your own egregore you will need to identify your need, and then create a magical set of symbols to activate and charge the entity.  Let's use my friend "Lobo" as an example...

First we identify our need.  The objective here is fast cash, so we need something swift and clever that has ample resources.  We decide to use the form of a wolf holding a large bag of money.  Lobo, we decide is this wolf's name, and because he is so wealthy, he is dressed in a tuxedo.  Come to think of it, he looks just like that old Warner Brothers cartoon wolf in his dapper tux, top hat, and cane.  We howl to call forth Lobo.  Aaaaooooohhhh!!!!  Now Lobo needs something to charge him.  It could be as mundane as brushing our teeth, or as wild and energy-soaked as having sex, but Lobo is special, and should only be called under special circumstances.  Therefore, we decide to use the song "Happy Birthday to You" as an offering to Lobo.  Anytime we sing "Happy Birthday to You" Lobo gets charged up -- and can bring us presents!

Lobo is a bit silly, yes, but is illustrative of how simple egregore creation can be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

PBP - D is for Dryghten

Disclaimer: I am not breaking any oath-bound secrets by sharing this.  The Dryghten Prayer was published in its entirety in the book Witch Blood! The Diary of a Witch High Priestess by Patricia Crowther. It's also available on the web if you know where to look.

Dryghten Prayer (Traditional Gardnerian)

In the name of Dryghtyn, the Ancient Providence,
Who was from the beginning and is for eternity,
Male and Female, the Original Source of all things;
all-knowing, all-pervading, all-powerful;
changeless, eternal.

In the name of the Lady of the Moon,
and the Lord of Death and Resurrection.

In the name of the Mighty Ones of the Four Quarters,
the Kings of the Elements.

Blessed be this place, and this time,
and they who are now with us.

Dryghten (pronounced dricht-ton, from Old English, see below) is a concept in Gardnerian Wicca that there is a self-aware energy pervading all things and places. It is omnipotent, omnipresent, and, most importantly, difficult (though not impossible) to access.  It is comparable to other Pagan concepts such as Akasha, Spirit, the Web of Life, and the Star Goddess (as it is understood in some traditions).

The Dryghten is "Male and Female; changeless, eternal" because it is perceived as the source from which all other Deities manifest.  It is, in its most essential form, Panentheism.  Qabalah, which posits that there is a divine source (Ain Soph) from which all of the Sephiroth manifest echoes this view.

I mentioned that Dryghten is difficult to access from our current reality.  This is, again, paralleled in Qabalah as Malkuth longing for union with Kether.  Sometimes mystics will have experiences for Oneness or the Godhead, Universal Unity, the Monad, etc.  Gardnerians see this as an experience of Dryghten.  Because Dryghten is so difficult to access, it makes sense to honor it and work with it though lesser spheres of manifestation, such as other Gods and Goddesses.  Thus, the Panentheist becomes the Polytheist.

Old English comparison of words using "dryht" or "dryhten"

I included this list to show that "dryhten", as understood in Old English, means to be both holy and royal or of noble blood.   

dryht  1. 2 f (-e/-a) 1 a multitude, an army, company, body of retainers, nation, a people; pl men; [dréogan]; 2. ge~ f (-e/-a) fortune, fate
dryhtbealo see dryhtenbealu
dryhtbearn  n (-es/-) princely youth, a child of the people, a noble child
dryhtcwén  f (-e/-e) a noble queen
dryhtdóm  m (-es/-as) noble judgment
dryhtealdor  m (-es/-as) the lord of a feast; [paranymphus], bridesman (2)
dryhtealdormann  m (-es/-menn) the lord of a feast; [paranymphus], bridesman (1)
dryhten  m (dryhtnes/dryhtnas) a ruler, king, lord, prince; the supreme ruler, the Lord, God, Christ; chiefly used for God and Christ
dryhtenbéag  m (-es/-as) payment (to a lord) for killing a freeman, a lord-ring or money paid for slaying a freeman
dryhtenbealu2  n (-es/-) profound misery, extreme evil, great misfortune
dryhtendóm  m (-es/-as) sovereignty, lordship, majesty
dryhtenhold  adj loyal
dryhtenlic  adj belonging to the Lord, Lordly; divine, of the Lord; adv ~líce according to the Lord, by the Lord
dryhtenweard  m (-es/-as) lord, a guardian lord, king
dryhtfolc2  n (-es/-) people, troop, a nation, multitude
dryhtgesíþ  m (-es/-as) retainer, warrior; an associate, attendant
dryhtgestréon  n (-es/-) princely treasure, a nation’s or people’s treasure
dryhtguma  m (-n/-n) 2 a popular man, man of the people, warrior, retainer, follower, man; bridesman; in pl men, people
dryhtin- see dryhten-
dryhtléoþ  n (-es/-) national song, hymn, a lordly song
dryhtlic  adj lordly, noble; of the Lord; ~ gebed the Lord’s Prayer; adv ~líce in a lordly manner, divinely
dryhtmann  m (-es/-menn) bridesman; a warrior, retainer
dryhtmáðm  m (-es/-as) princely treasure, a noble or lordly treasure
dryhtné  m (-es/-as) warrior’s corpse, a dead body of a host
dryhtscipe2  m (-es/-as) lordship, rulership, domination, dignity; virtue, valor, heroic deeds
dryhtsele2  m (-es/-as) a princely hall, a princely dwelling
dryhtsibb2  f (-e/-a) peace between two nations, lordly kinship, high alliance
dryhtwémend  m (-es/-) bridesman (1)
dryhtwémere  m (-es/-as) bridesman (2)
dryhtweorþ  adj divine
dryhtweorða  m (-n/-n) a divine, theologian
dryhtweras2  m pl men, chieftains
dryhtwuniende  adj living among the people, dwelling among people
dryhtwurþ  adj divine
dryhtwurða  m (-n/-n) theologian

Thus, in Old English, Dryghten has less to do with "the Original Source of all things; all-knowing, all-pervading, all-powerful; changeless, eternal" and more to do with that actual "Ancient Providence" divine kingship!

P.S. Okay, so I'm a few days ahead of myself.  I have today off of work and I wanted to get this out while it was still fresh. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

PBP - C is for Crane Bag

Alligator skin & blue kyanite bag.
The Witch's Crane Bag is a small bag made of leather, skin, hide, cotton, linen, wool or other cloth, or any substance capable of holding a collection of things inside it. The Crane Bag can be of any size and composition, and it may be of any color or combination of colors. It may be held or connected to you in any manner. Crane Bags are often worn on the belt, around the neck, or over the shoulder. It is analogous to the Native American medicine bag.

The Crane Bag of Celtic myth was owned by Manannan mac Lir (who is connected with cranes). It was fabricated from the skin of Aoife after she was transformed into a crane. This bag contained treasures which were only visible at high tide. These treasures include: Manannan's house, shirt, and knife; Goibniu's belt and smith's hook; the King of Alba's shears; the King of Lochlann's helmet; the belt of fish-skin; and the bones of Asal's pig.  Many modern Druids carry Crane Bags as part of their regalia.

Witches may place any spiritual object in their Crane Bags according to their personal preferences. Such items may include:

  • Rocks and shells
  • Plants, leaves, twigs, seeds, roots or pieces of bark
  • Herbs, oils, infusions, concoctions, teas or healing brews
  • Feathers, fur, nails, bones, claws, teeth or other animal parts
  • Animal, plant or spirit totems of any kind
  • Lucky charms of any sort
  • Small gift from friends or coven mates
  • Any other items with a spiritual purpose
What you place in your Crane Bag is entirely up to you. It is your medicine bundle where you can keep any spiritual objects that hold a special meaning for you. You may keep anything sacred to you in your Crane Bag and you need not share the contents of your Crane Bag with any other person whatsoever.  Indeed, it is recommended that a Witch does not share all of the contents of her Crane Bag with anyone, but let it remain a mystery and a secret which will build numen.  The Crane Bag is worn whenever a Witch wants protection, strength, and additional magical power.

Like this post? You can read more like it at the American Folkloric Witchcraft blog

PBP - B is for Blackthorn

The Blackthorn is a tree of winter.  The fruits of the tree, known as sloes, ripen and sweeten only after the first frost.  Sloe gin is made from these fruits.  A cold spring is traditionally known as a blackthorn winter, as the blackthorn often bears its white blossoms while winter's chill still hangs in the air.

The blackthorn has vicious thorns that can cause painful infections, and forms dense thickets when left to spread on its own.  It has tough dark black bark, hence its name.

Blackthorn's Gaelic name "straif" has connections with the English word strife.  Its thorns as sometimes used in witchcraft as "pins" to pierce wax poppets.  Some legends attest that the witches mark was made upon the flesh of a witch with a blackthorn thorn.

A blackthorn shillelagh
Blackthorn's wood is used in the creation of the Irish cudgel or shillelagh, which is an old traditional tool of the male leader of a coven.  Blackthorn staves and wands are used in blasting/cursing magic.

Charm of the Thorn

As a storm of tangl'd Briars
I cast forth the spines of torment:
Byt weave of thorns I bar the Way!
Ye Strength of the Nail of the Cross,
All spirits foul be fix'd upon Thee.
Let Ghost and Flesh twain be punctur'd
And Darkness fall -- for thou Art bound!
~Viridarium Umbris: The Pleasure Garden of Shadow by Daniel A. Schulke

Like this post? You can read more like it at the American Folkloric Witchcraft blog.

PBP - A is for American Folkloric Witchcraft

Note: I'm a few weeks late jumping on the Pagan Blog Project bandwagon, but I think I can catch up pretty quickly. Hopefully this will keep me writing all year long! :)

A is for American Folkloric Witchcraft

American Folkloric Witchcraft is a tradition created by myself and my partner Laurelei Black.  Each of us has been practicing Witchcraft since the late 1990's. In that time we have developed some opinions about what we prefer and what we don't.  We are both avid proponents of non-Wiccan Craft in the style of Robert Cochrane. We count ourselves as devotees of Tubal Cain and of the White and Black Goddesses.

We have been shaping a path -- or it has been shaping us -- for several years. We have been inspired to share this work with others through the AFW Blog, well aware that any true mystery cannot be told, it must be experienced for oneself. We hope that our work can provide a guidepost to others who seek to practice the Old Ways in a new way.

Our ways are inspired primarily by the works of Robert Cochrane/Roy Bowers, and Robert Graves.  We have borrowed elements of other American groups that also work with Cochrane's materials, American Rootwork traditions, ancient European and Native American Shamanism, and a great body of many years experience working in occult traditions.

We call this path American Folkloric Witchcraft mindful of the fact that although we work in a heavily British tradition of Craft, we ourselves are practicing in America. We are attuned to the unique energies of the land we live and work in, and understand that ours is an American expression of what began as a European mystery.

We claim no lineage to any group or tradition, although we have both worked extensively in other groups and traditions. This path is our own, and is for those who bear the Mark of Qayin. It claims no authority other than the oaths and bonds we have taken to our Gods and our Ancestors.


Here are our requirements for admission:

Greening – green cord

  • For children of the family at the age of reason, and for potential new members to the coven.
  • Creates an informal bond between teacher and student.
  • Before Greening the student should :
    • formally request to join the coven
    • obtain a binder for handouts and personal research notes
    • obtain a flash drive
  • During Greening the student should:
    • learn to raise, form, move, and ground energy
    • create or obtain a stone bowl
    • begin their personal crane bag
    • choose a coven symbol
    • begin a personal home altar
    • attend at least 2 rituals (Sabbats or Esbats)
    • obtain a ritual robe (either white or black, depending on the time of year)
  • Greening lasts through a 6 – 12 month period, or until the age of puberty.

Adoption – red cord, bone ring
  • For children of the family at the age of puberty, and for formally joining members to the coven.
  • Creates a formal bond – the Red Thread – between the student and all members of the coven.
  • During Adoption the student should:
    • Memorize the year wheel
    • Obtain the three knives
    • Read:
    • Read two of the following:
      • Masks of Misrule, Call of the Horned Piper, & Pillars of Tubal Cain by Nigel Jackson
      • Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson
      • The Witches’ Bible by the Farrars
      • Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance by Evan John Jones
      • The Roebuck in the Thicket by Robert Cochrane and EJ Jones
      • Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed by Valiente and Jones
      • The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton
      • The Witching Way of Hollow Hill by Robin Artisson
    • Perform a link cutting
    • Write a statement of personal ethics
    • obtain an ancestor skull
    • create a staff
    • obtain a cauldron
    • make an incense
    • make and amulet and talisman
    • make a scrying mirror
    • design and make a Witches’ Glove
    • become proficient in three forms of divination
    • create a totemic fetch
    • acquire a familiar (plant, animal, or spirit)
    • perform contact and possession with a Deity
    • lead a ritual
    • complete red cord checklist
  • Adoption lasts a minimum of a year and a day, or until the age of majority.

Raising – red/white/black cord, witches mark
  • For children of the family at the age of majority, and for naming the student as a witch.
  • Marks the student as a fully-fledged witch.
  • During Raising the witch should:
    • obtain tools, weapons, and other paraphernalia related to the compass
    • read and study as suits their interest
We hope you will join us as we walk down the Crooked Path.  You can learn more about us at our blog here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Charm of the Spiral Castle

In a silver castle
far beyond the sea
grows a golden apple
on a silver tree.

On the Isle of Apples
through the pearly mist
stands a spiral tor-mound
on which the castle sits.

Waters flow upon the isle,
pools of life-in-death.
A sacred river circles it
the ancient stream of Lethe.

The castle spins between the worlds
to touch the vault of heaven.
Stars dance around its towers four
two Bears, one Crown, the Sisters Seven.

Upon the highest tower
with linen at her feet
spins the castle's Lady
in her uneasy seat.

Down below the castle
iron touches fire,
where Cain pounds at the anvil
all that we desire.

The Mighty Dead reside within --
Ancient, wise, and brave --
for those who walk the Crooked Path --
seek Rose Beyond the Grave.

Seek the turning castle
by right of Scarlet Thread.
It won't be found with mortal eyes
but ones hallowed by the dead.
~Natalie Black, Imbolc 2012

Cross-posted from my other blog.