Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Daily Tarot Blog Launched

Just a quick post to let you all know I've started a separate blog for my daily tarot posts. This will help me keep them all together, include photos of the cards so you can learn along with me perhaps, and let you comment as well. Please feel free to add your interpretations and notes - I'd love to see another view!

The new blog is Daily Tarot.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An amulet is just a hunk of metal...unless you empower it

Owning a spiritual/witchcraft shop means I get a lot of questions - some of them very interesting ones (like the customer in my last post that asked about disposing of a sacred object). Well, actually, most of them are very interesting.

One of the most common questions I get is "What amulet will do x for me?".

From the response to my answer, I can always tell how experienced in The Craft the questioner is. My answer? "Any amulet is just a hunk of depends on what it means to you and what you empower it to do".

It's true that a certain design, pattern or materials of a piece can aid in a particular function - but really the humblest hunk of stone from the street can work just as well as the most expensive amulet or talisman (not that I don't want you to buy one of course!)...if you put the time, energy and programming into it.

Any mention of what a particular piece is useful for on my or any other site is really just a guide - what it means to you is the first important thing. The second is what energy you put into in to empower it's function (I'll get into that in a later post).

When you are considering something to empower (or enchant if you want to use a more magical sounding term), consider what you want it to do..and look at the design to see what it says to you. Just as dreams are best interpreted by the dreamer as they draw on your unique symbolism, so do the symbols on a piece of jewelry or other object. A tree is generally thought to embody growth, renewing opportunity, and abundance - but it could also be seen as longevity, Earth, and a lot more. So think about what the design means to you. You might need to meditate on it a bit to know, but patterns speak to our subconscious far better than words. Just seeing a design that to you symbolizes courage can give you a lot of courage when you need it - even if you don't empower it!

Of course, jewelry is the most common thing to empower as a talisman (something that draws something to you) or amulet (something that deflects something away from you or protects you), but anything can become your personal magical tool. This is especially useful for situations where you want to keep your Craft work secret - such as at school or work or from family members that don't agree with your beliefs.

Have a co-worker that is always causing issues for you? Try a pretty crystal on your desk empowered to deflect that person's negative energy. Plants are other great absorbers of negativity. Need some help with a project or test? How about setting aside a special pen or other mundane tool empowering it for creativity or memory and only using it when you are in need of it's help (a "thinking cap" would be another great object for this). The ring you wear every day - even your wedding ring - can be empowered for anything you need on a daily basis. Seeing or touching that object will bring your goal to mind helping you keep it energized and working its magic for you.

Some ideas? Tuck a Tarot card or other symbolic art into your text book as a book mark or a rune stone in your pocket. Design a sigil (more about that another time) and draw it on your notebook or scrap paper when you need to release it's power. Put a pretty statue on your desk - just as decoration, of course ;-). Tie a cord or ribbon of a meaningful color around your wrist as a bracelet to remind you of whatever it is you need that day. Even wearing clothing of that color will give you a boost!

Sure a piece with those fancy symbols or made of a specific metal or set with that certain stone can help give your magic an extra boost, but don't rule out the simple things that you use every day as your own personal amulets or talismans. Give the humblest of objects power, and you have an object of great magic. Only you have to know.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Disposing of Sacred Objects

One of my best customers on Egyptian Marketplace asked me something the other day that got me thinking - which of course means I had to write about it :-) He had accidentally broken one of the statues in his temple - a statue of Osiris he had knocked over and unfortunately the head broke off. He called me to get a replacement for it, but then asked what to do with the broken one. He didn't feel comfortable just throwing away something that had been used for some time in his temple, so what should he do.

This is a very good question. A piece you have used for a while in your spiritual practice picks up your energies as well as the energies of the Gods or any spells you have used it with. So if that piece is no longer needed or becomes damaged, should you just throw it away?

After some discussion with my customer, he decided the best thing to do was to bury it (appropriate too since this particular case was Osiris, Lord of the Underworld). Wrap it in clean linen or other natural fibers and bury it with reverence.

At the very least I think you should cleanse the piece of any residual energies - something you should also do if you give away or sell a piece you have used. You can do this by several methods such as burying it using the Earth to ground it. You could also hold it under running water (a natural source such as a stream would be best, but a faucet would do too) visualizing the water washing away all energies.

You could also get a little more formal and do a cleansing ritual - many spell books have rituals on cleansing and consecrating a piece before you use it on your altar. You could do the same ritual stopping after the cleansing part.

The other question is of course, if it is a broken piece, can you repair it and continue to use it? This is another tricky issue - many people feel that anything dedicated to the Gods should be perfect and once broken, it loses any power or significance it had. You could certainly repair it and use it after as just an art object instead of in ritual, but can you use a repaired piece in ritual - especially if it was an expensive piece, one you cannot replace, or you just don't have the budget to replace?

After having had my cats knock over more than one of my statues, I thought a lot about it and personally came to the conclusion that I would still use them. My personal path is Egyptian based and I feel that even the fragments of ancient Egyptian artifacts and temples have power - the chips and cracks and wearing they have experienced do not destroy their power, so why should a bit of super glue destroy the power of my pieces?

In the end, you must decide what feels right to you. Meditation, intuition, prayer and asking your spiritual guides is always a great way to determine the best path in any situation - this one included.