Thursday, May 18, 2017

Litha, The Summer Equinox - Wiccan Rituals and Lore

The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year when the sun seems to stand still (literally "solstice" in Latin means "sun stands still). It marks the mid-point of summer and has been celebrated in nearly every agricultural community in some way since the coming of man. Stonehenge was oriented to highlight the rising sun on the Summer Solstice. 

The Romans celebrated it as a holiday dedicated to Juno for which the month of June was named. As the wife of Jupiter (Zeus), she was the patroness of marriage which is why June is always a popular month for weddings. It is also sacred to Vesta, goddess of the hearth, and Romans would make offerings of salted meat to her for 8 days in hopes she would bless their homes.

For Pagans, the Summer Solstice is seen as a battle of dark and light. The Oak King has ruled the year from the Winter Solstice, but the Holly King, born at the Spring Solstice, challenges him and ultimately defeats him ruling from summer to winter.

The heat of the sun, so necessary for the continued growth of crops, is also dangerous able to burn and kill as quickly as it nurtures. It is only with cooling, nurturing waters that the crops can thrive.  This is why the Summer solstice is also a day of balance between fire and water. Many ancient rituals involved prayers for water to avoid drought which would kill the much needed crops before Autumn's harvest. European traditions included settling large wheels on fire letting them roll downhill into a body of water thus symbolically bringing water to cool the fires.

This is the time of the year of brightness and warmth. Get outside and celebrate with a BBQ, at the beach, or in a pool - even running thru the sprinklers is a great, modern way to celebrate fire and water. It is said a witch's power is at it's peak with the inner fires burning bright allowing all spellwork to be enhanced.  If you worship any of the sun Gods - Ra, Alaunus, Belenos, Horus, Apollo, Zeus, etc - set their statues outside where they can be charged by the sun and make offerings to them.

from All Wicca

Danu - the Celtic Mother Goddess

Danu of the flowing waters, Queen of the fertile land - the Great Mother Goddess of the Irish Celts. Known as Don by the Welsh Celts, she is the Creator Goddess of the Tuatha de Danann, the first of the Celtic tribes to invade Ireland. She gave birth to all life in the land of the Celts and is also known as Danann, Ana and Anann.

While few stories of her survive, she is the most ancient of all the Celtic deities. She is associated with water - the seas, wells, springs, and the Danube River. She is said to give her children the magic of transformation, inspiration and wisdom.

Also known as an Earth Goddess, she gives abundance embodying the wisdom of living in balance with nature and the Earth. She is also connected with Brigid, Goddess of Healing, Poetry and Smithcraft.

Being the Goddess of Life, her counterpart is the Morrigan, the Celtic Goddess of Death. Her colors are the blue of the waters, green of the Earth, and silver/white of inspiration and Divine wisdom.  She is associated with mares, snakes, seagulls, and fish. Her sacred trees are the rowan tree, the apple tree, and the hawthorne.

Danu calls us to recognize the abundance of life lighting the fires of inspiration connecting us to the Divine spark. She helps us find our creativity and the power to transform to new beginnings.

from All Wicca

Amethyst - The Magical Stone of Divinity and Royalty

Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones for spiritual jewelry, not just because of its mystical deep purple color, but because of its powers to stimulate, sooth and heal the emotions and physical body. Today it is considered a semi-precious stone and is not particularly rare, but at one time it was worth as much if not more than a diamond.

Amethyst is a form of quartz name from the Greek word "ametusthos" meaning "not intoxicated" based on an ancient legend that says it could prevent drunkenness. The wine god Bacchus, angry over an insult, vowed to have his tigers devour the first mortal he met. That mortal, however, turned out to be a beautiful maiden named Amethyst who was a priestess of Diana. When the tigers sprang to attack, the goddess heard the maiden's pleas and protected her by transmuting her into a beautiful clear crystal.  Bacchus, taken by the dazzling beauty of the maiden and crystal, poured the juice of his sacred grapes over the stone as an offering for forgiveness turning it a lovely purple shade.

Ancient Greeks and Romans would add Amethyst to their goblets either studding the vessel with them or placing one inside the bowl believing the wine would lose its power to intoxicate them. Catholic bishops wore Amethyst in a ring to protect them from mystical intoxication - kissing the ring was said to protect others.

Other mystical properties attributed to Amethyst include control of evil thoughts, increasing intelligence especially in business, and protection for travelers. It was also said to protect soldiers on the battlefield and grant victory over their enemies. It could guard its wearer against black magic and protect against disease. amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones for mystical and spiritual jewelry

Purple, the color of royalty and mystics, connects us to the Divine helping to open the inner eye for dreaming and divination. In Egypt, it was known as Hemag and is mentioned in the Book of the Dead as the stone which should be carved into heart-shaped amulets for burial. It is said to provide a sense of mental peace and calm. It ranges in hue from light violet to a deep, rich purple.

The most common uses of Amethyst today is to help open the inner eye, enhance meditation and divination. It helps bring focus, creativity and passion.  In healing, it is a powerful tool against headaches or other issues of the mind. I like to lay on my back with an amethyst on my forehead to relieve a headache and keep a pear shaped piece of raw Amethyst especially for this purpose.

Amethyst is one of the best crystals for meditation allowing a raise in vibration of the Third Eye encouraging the mind to surrender to that which is greater than itself to gain understanding and wisdom.  Hold an Amethyst crystal or cluster in the palm of the left hand pulling its energy thru your body infusing your aura with its power.

from All Wicca

Celebrating the Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox is when day and night are equal, a time of balance and celebrating the beginning of Spring.  It is also known as Ostara and is considered one of the 4 Sabbats of the Wiccan Year.

Celebrated in Mid-March every year, Ostara is a time to plant the new seeds for the coming year - both physically in the garden and metaphorically. It is a great time for reviewing your goals and setting new ones.

(more coming soon!)

from All Wicca

Witches against President Donald Trump - I am not participating

You may have heard in the news that tonight, February 28, at midnight (EST) during the waning crescent moon, witches worldwide are to unite in performing a ritual against President Donald Trump. These are to be followed with rituals every waning crescent on March 26, April 24 and May 23, and so on. The goal is to bind Trump from doing harm against the nation and ultimately to get him out of office.

The spell is in essence a binding ritual (you might remember in the movie The Craft when Sarah tried to bind Nancy from doing harm. The principle here is the same). Key ingredients in the ritual are an Unflattering photo of Trump and the Tower tarot card.  The full ritual is available here.

I have been a practicing witch for 20 years, and while I understand the frustration over Trump and his policies, I won't be participating in this or other such binding rituals.  I feel that this is giving Trump more power - the more you think about a situation, the more energy you give it. Even if it is designed to work against Trump, the fact that hundreds, perhaps even thousands of witches worldwide will be focusing on Trump, gives him more power. The same problem during the election I feel - there was so much focus on him (for good or bad), it gave him more energy and attention which according to the Law of Attraction, might have actually helped him win the election.

I feel the best thing we can do is to ignore Trump. Instead of focusing on him, let us focus instead on how we can help those most affected by his policies and aiding his opponents. Passing legislature requires votes in Congress and the House of Representatives, so give those members of the Legislature your support and attention. Make sure they know how you feel and what you want to support. Do a spell to give them insight and the power they need to keep Trump in check and to bring all to work together for the betterment of our country.

Positive energy is always more powerful than negative energy. Let's work towards a more positive outcome.

from All Wicca

It's a New Year - Let Go of the Old to let in the New

Welcome to a brand new year - the first day of 2017 and a great time to let go of the things that you no longer need (physical or emotional) to make room for what you really want.

Before you can embrace your new year and intentions, you need to let go of anything that has troubled you or held you back in the past. Not just the past year, but your life until now. Some things are very hard to let go of - especially things that affected us emotionally. Death of a loved one (I lost my father in August) can be the hardest, though the ending of a relationship, loss of a job, move and many other changes can be hard to face.

As a nation, there is a lot of uncertainty right now with President-Elect Trump about to take office. But just as we must give him a chance, we must give ourselves a chance. Let go of what doesn't serve you - of fear, hatred, sadness, mourning - all the things that hold us back. It isn't always easy but holding onto them will only drag you down and keep you from being the best version of yourself.

Every spiritual practice has rituals for letting go of the things that trouble us thru prayer, confession or ritual. One of the simplest is to write down everything you want to let go of - bad habits, bad feelings, fear - and then burn the paper (or tear it up and release it to the wind). Just the act of writing it down can help which is why keeping a journal is great. I've been keeping journals since I was 8 and glancing back thru them now and then can let me appreciate how much I have grown. Taking a walk in nature can let you let go and recharge at the same time.

One of my favorite rituals I have used several times (and I wish I could remember where I read it!) is to create a ball of energy between your hands and visualize all the things you want to release flowing into it making it grow darker and heavier as you grow lighter. When it is filled, let it drop down into the Earth, the Mother taking it away from you and purifying the energy.

If there is a person you need to let go of, visualize a golden cord between the 2 of you (or physically use a cord tied around 2 candles - one representing each of you). Think of all the reasons why you need to let go of that person pulling the energy you had given them back to yourself along the cord and letting their energy flow back to them. When it is all gone, cut the cord with real scissors if using a real cord or visualized ones and wish them well.

Once you have let go of the past, it is time to embrace the future and set your intentions.

Notice I said intentions, not resolutions. So many people set resolutions they break almost immediately, so I don't bother with them. I prefer to set my intentions - to let the universe and the Gods know what I plan to work on this coming year. Intentions are living energy to me and they can grow and change instead of being broken letting me adapt my intentions during the year so they better serve me.

This is a great time to get creative and make something that represents your intentions putting it somewhere you will see or touch it every day. Creating an amulet or talisman, a sigil, or carrying a gratitude rock for that intention can all help focus your mind and remind you of your intention.  Write it out and put it where you will see it often - on the ceiling above your bed, your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car. Create a daily popup reminder on your computer or phone. Keep it close in your mind and heart and bring it to life!

Enjoy your new year free of the baggage of the old and let us all have a fabulous life!

from All Wicca

The Magic of the Pentacle - What is a Pentacle?

Connecting to Those We have Lost

I was doing something simple today - making breakfast. I decided to make a childhood favorite - blueberry muffins. While mixing the batter, I realized I was doing more than making muffins - I was connecting to my ancestors.

My mother used to make blueberry muffins on a quiet Sunday morning - they were a favorite of my father's too. I realized I was using a copy of the same cookbook my mother-in-law introduced me to connecting me again to her. I thought of her as a second mother loved and was loved by her tremendously. She used to say she would adopt me if her son & I ever broke up because I was her daughter (she passed in 1991 long before we did break up). I was using my mother's green glass mixing bowl she made the muffins and other wonderful baked goods in many, many times - I lost her in 2003. And I would soon enjoy the fluffy muffins my father and I often shared before he would head out to play a round of golf - I lost him last month.

Samhain is a time we who follow a Pagan/Wiccan path say the veil between worlds is thinnest (Halloween to others) and lets us commune with those who have crossed to the other side.  It is only a month away and perhaps this time of year is what made me so reflective. I realize that connecting to those we love doesn't have to be a formal ritual at a certain time of year - it can be a simple act of making muffins. I think this is where the love of family traditions comes from. Those little traditions reminds us of and connects us to those who are no longer on our plane. 

How do you connect to friends and family who are no longer with us? I'd love to hear in the comments here or on our Facebook page. However you connect, do it often - and especially with those that are still with us.

from All Wicca

Creating Your Altar - Make it Personal

A lot of people just starting out on the Wiccan path (or other spiritual path that uses altars or shrines) get this book or that one and start obsessing over following the directions in it exactly - finding the perfect items for rituals and their altar. But what they often fail to realize is that the most powerful altar is one the means the most to you - altars are very personal objects so don't worry if you can't or don't want to follow directions in some book. Do what feels right to you. 

What is an Altar?

An altar is really just a working space set with objects that reflect you, the purpose of the altar, or the ritual or season you are celebrating at it. There are many types of altars - an ancestral altar, meditation altar, or moon phase altar are all great supplements to your main, working, ritual altar. Perhaps you will want to create your ritual altar fresh every time you need it (practical if you don't want everyone in your house to know what you are practicing) instead of being set up permanently. Decide what the main focus of your altar will be (and don't be afraid to change it as your practice evolves). 

Before you go hunting for all those items you want to buy for your altar, relax! First decide the best location for your altar. It should be one that is relatively "safe" - meaning a place that isn't in the main traffic zone of your home where it might be bumped or disturbed (or become a place to dump mail or keys) or where your children or pets will think its the perfect spot to play. If you have a spare bedroom or unused space you can use, awesome but even a small closet or a corner of a room can work well. Need to keep it away from children or pets? A wall shelf can work wonderfully! And remember, you can have more than one altar depending on your path and what you want to use them for.

How to Create an Altar 

Once you find a place and decide the purpose of your altar, start with a simple altar cloth - measure the flat surface you are planning to use and take a trip to the fabric store. You can often find remnants of very beautiful fabrics for just a dollar or two. Get some fabric paints, beads, feathers - whatever you like and decorate it if you want. Get several fabrics of different colors if you want to set up a seasonal altar. Let your intuition guide you and have some fun with it - your altar doesn't have to be serious!

your altar for practicing wicca should contain 1 item for each element - earth, air, fire and waterNow that you have a cloth, most altars have one item for each of the elements of the Craft - Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Spirit and is usually referred to as an Elemental or Basic Altar.

Look around for things you already have that mean something special to you - they will already have great energy. Traditionally a chalice or cup is used for water, but perhaps your grandmother's candy bowl is perfect or that beautiful sea shell you found on your trip last summer could represent water. Small fountains are also perfect adding the beautiful sound of water to your rituals. Candles are wonderful, but not always practical depending on where you set up your altar or if you have cats that can knock them over (one of my cats set herself on fire by brushing against my candle at the wrong time - I freaked more than she did and she only singed a few hairs thankfully). Perhaps a night light or electric Christmas candle would be a better fit for fire for you or the more traditional witches dagger known as an Athame - or even a photo or painting of flames. Air is usually represented by incense or a wand, but a feather found on a spring walk would do as well, especially if you cannot have the smoke incense create. A pretty potted plant or found rock or pine cone works as well for Earth as the traditional pentacle. Spirit could be represented by a candle, a pentacle (how about one made from twigs from the nearby park!), or any image of a God or Goddess that you like. Don't feel like you have to stay traditional or use tools that may not feel comfortable to you. The more personal the items you use, the more personal the energy of your altar.

the altar in my office has changed many times over the years but always reflects meAltars also often contain a sacred statue representing your patron diety or statues of both your favorite God and Goddess. Don't stress out though if you haven't decided on the form of God/dess you prefer yet - just go with a more generic symbol of spirit such as a pentacle or one black stone for God Energy, one white stone for Goddess Energy. Add flowers or other seasonal touches as offerings if you'd like.

The altar in my office (right) has changed many times over the years, but is always a point of peace and calm to me. Turning on the fountain and lighting the candle every morning centers me and lets me focus better. It is filled with things I love.

Beyond the basics, add special objects depending on the purpose of your altar.

Ancestral altars are great to make and pretty easy - photos or mementos of members of your family in pretty frames with a candle or offering dish is all you need. I have a lovely wooden box on mine (which sits on a table that once belonged to a great Aunt) that I use as a memory box. On the birthday or another special date of the person that has crossed over, I sit down and write out one of my favorite memories of them or find a photo or make something that reminds me of them adding it to the box. On Samhain, I read thru those I've written in the past year remembering each person in turn. 

Moon altars can have any shiny, round object to represent the moon such as a silver tray. For years I have used a silver blown glass Christmas ornament with the hook and cap removed sitting in a tapered crystal vase - I cover it with a black cloth completely during the dark of the moon, partially for other phases and let it shine uncovered during full moons. It currently sits on the window sill of my temple room absorbing the energies of the moon.

Meditation altars can have anything that helps you focus - a statue, incense, candle or mirror are some ideas. A metronome that musicians use to keep the beat, a fountain, or small mp3 player could all be used to help you get into the meditative state. These altars can also do double duty for divination being the place you spread your runes or tarot cards for a reading or the place you journal after meditation and rituals. 

Creating an Altar for Spells and Rituals

If setting an altar for a specific ritual or spell, again take a look around and figure out what represents the purpose of the ritual best to you - it will automatically be more powerful and just the process of considering objects and designing your altar can be magical. If you are not going to let the altar set up permanently, find a pretty box to store everything in when not in use. Craft stores have inexpensive plain wood boxes of all sizes you can get and paint or decorate as you'd like. Perhaps you'll want to get several and store seasonal altars in their own boxes for when you need them. This would also make them portable if you want to practice while on a trip or in a local park instead of at home.

Spell altars should focus entirely on the purpose of the spell so take the time to consider correspondences of color, candles, oils, herbs and anything else you want to use. Set up the basic Elemental altar first to balance the energies of it and then add whatever you will need for your spell or items you want to charge or cleanse. 

Keeping A Secret Altar

Do you want to set up an altar where others don't appreciate or don't follow your beliefs? Keep it simple and secret. For years I kept a potted plant in a large dish on my desk at work to represent Earth and a small fountain to represent Water. Around the base of the plant I had stones for each of the other elements and tiny statues (fantasy gaming type) from a hobby store I painted by hand to represent the God and Goddess. No one but me knew what it truly meant, but I found it very centering and calming even during the most stressful days. I know someone that has created an altar charm bracelet with charms and stones on it that represent the elements and God/dess to her. She wears it every day and always has her altar with her! Prayer beads or malas can serve a similar function bringing your focus back to your spirituality whenever you need it. 

Books are wonderful, especially when just starting out, but don't get too bogged down in what they say you "should" do - treat them as guidelines and let your own intuition be your true guide. Don't be afraid to mix things up and change them from time to time either. Enjoy the process and your magic will be that much more special.

from All Wicca

How to Empower your Amulet or Talisman

A few posts ago, I talked about how an amulet or talisman was just a hunk of metal - unless you empower it. This time, I'll expand a little more on it and tell you how to empower it for your intent.

First of all, what is an intent? An intent is something that is intended; purpose; design; intention. Basically what you want that shiny new amulet (something that deflects something away from you or protects you) or talisman (something that draws something to you) to do for you be it lose weight, get more money, get a new house or car, pass a test, find the love of your life - or keep your dog from running away. Some faiths call this sort of intention "magic" or "a spell" - others think of it as an "affirmation" or "prayer". However you think of it, get clear on what you want this specific talisman to do for you. You want one talisman with one intention (and I don't suggest you load up on a lot at once - achieve your first goal and then set another. Working on too many things at once can scatter the energy you are trying to draw).

So the first thing you need to decide is what do you want to work for? What is the biggest challenge in your life right now?

Once you decide on your intent or goal, make sure it is clear and measurable. If you need more money for example (and who doesn't these days?!), set a time limit and amount. Such as "I will have $5,000 dollars more than usual by the end of the month" or "My income will increase 20% beyond what I need for all my bills and expenses within the next 60 days". Get specific, but don't hold yourself back either. I like to include " least..." when I set a goal like this: "I will have at least $5,000 dollars more than usual by the end of the month". That lets the universe attract more into my life than I thought I needed, yet still sets a goal.

I always write out my intent and includes a clause to prevent any unintended results. For my money example, I wouldn't want to achieve that $5,000 goal by having a loved one cross over or by harming another person. So at the end of whatever intent I set for myself, I always include a generic clause of "for the greater good and so it harms none". So to continue by example, the entire intent I may write down is...

"I will have at least $5,000 more than usual by the end of this month for the greater good and so it harms none".

I usually write down intents on bookmark size pieces of papyrus paper since I practice Egyptian Wicca, but you can have some fun with it and write it beautifully in calligraphy embellished with stones or gems on your favorite stationary (green is ideal for money of course)....or just on a piece of notebook paper. You could even make a copy of one of your bank deposit slips and make a $5,000 "deposit" to yourself writing your intent on it! Creativity builds energy so have fun with it. This little note can be put somewhere you will see it often to remind yourself of your goal as well.

Once you have your intention written down, gather any other items you want to use in your spell. I'm not going to go into correspondences of crystals or herbs or incense or colors here as it would be huge and there are many great books that give you such lists. Just take a look around and see what you have that can lend it's power and sympathetic vibration to the spell. To continue with my money example, I might choose a green pillar candle I can burn for several days, a malachite stone, cinnamon oil or powder.

Once you have everything you need (and don't forget things like matches, plates or bowls!), prepare yourself and your altar. You might want to take a ritual bath with salted water to clear your energy. I like to do a quick cleansing with a sprinkling of salted water across my altar to clear away any remnants of past spells or other energy. You may want to erect a special spell altar just for this particular working or use your main altar (spell altars are best for a long-term spell you want to work such as for someones health or prosperity). Put on a green altar cloth if you'd like. Shut off your phones, play soft music if you'd like - whatever you need to do to get into the mood.

A good basic pattern is:

  1. Cleansing of negative energy
  2. Casting a circle around you and your altar
  3. Prayer to the God & Goddess while lighting your altar candles (if using your regular altar) and calling the Elements if you use them in your practice, lighting incense or any other rituals you follow.
  4. Cleanse the talisman by dipping it into salted water, passing it thru incense smoke, or whatever method you prefer. Visualize all energies it accumulated before coming to you drifting out into the universe or sinking into the ground leaving it pure.
  5. Dress your spell candle - you could engrave runes or symbols into it ($ for prosperity spells are always good), rub it with oil or sprinkle herbs on the top of it.
  6. Read your incantation while lighting your candle.
  7. Hold your talisman in both hands and repeat your incantation over and over visualizing its energy infusing the talisman shining like a star to attract what you need.
  8. Pray to Diety. I like to include why I need what I'm asking their help with, what I plan to do mundanely to help myself, and what I really need from them. Ask them to add their energy to the talisman to aid you in your quest.
  9. Meditation or quiet reflection on the problem. Often a great solution suddenly occurs to you during this time. 
  10. Put the talisman on if you will be wearing it or on your altar on top of the written incantation if you will leaving it on the altar.
  11. Thank Diety with an offering if you'd like, or just a simple thank you.
  12. Close the circle, ground and center.

I'll often put the incantation paper under the candle and let it burn for a bit sending my intent to the Gods (be safe of course - don't do this if you have children or pets that could knock the candle over and never leave a burning candle unattended). Of course adjust this for whatever spiritual practice you regularly follow. You might also want to write down what you did - I always journal after working a spell recording the time and date and working I did along with a repeat of my incantation. This is a great reference for you to be able to go back months later to work the same spell again (or make adjustments if it didn't work exactly as you had hoped). Be sure to include your mood, moon phase, and any sensations or feelings you experienced while performing the spell.

Once charged, your talisman is ready to do it's work. If it is intended for a long term goal, you should recharge it at least once a month (every full moon is a good time). If you will not be wearing it constantly, find or make a pretty pouch or box for it (another opportunity to infuse your intention into the storage vessel by decorating it too!). If you will be leaving it on your altar or another area, try to put it where others will not pick it up or bombard it with negative energy. Most witches like to avoid energy from technology as much as possible too keeping it away from their computer, phones and televisions.

Remember that the talisman cannot do all the work for you either - you still have to do the everyday mundane things to support your intention. If you charge a talisman for increased prosperity then quit your job the next day it's going to be a much harder battle! Focus on all the tasks you need to do to achieve your goal and let your talisman help make them smoother and faster for you - or attract the people or things you need to accomplish it.

Once your goal has been achieved, be sure to cleanse your talisman and store it until you need it again. Treat your amulets and talismans with respect and you will find them working their magic for you for many years.

from All Wicca

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. 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.

from All Wicca

Friday, May 12, 2017

Litha, The Summer Equinox - Wiccan Rituals and Lore

Coming soon

from All Wicca

Monday, May 8, 2017

Danu - the Celtic Mother Goddess

Danu of the flowing waters, Queen of the fertile land - the Great Mother Goddess of the Irish Celts. Known as Don by the Welsh Celts, she is the Creator Goddess of the Tuatha de Danann, the first of the Celtic tribes to invade Ireland. She gave birth to all life in the land of the Celts and is also known as Danann, Ana and Anann.

While few stories of her survive, she is the most ancient of all the Celtic deities. She is associated with water - the seas, wells, springs, and the Danube River. She is said to give her children the magic of transformation, inspiration and wisdom.

Also known as an Earth Goddess, she gives abundance embodying the wisdom of living in balance with nature and the Earth. She is also connected with Brigid, Goddess of Healing, Poetry and Smithcraft.

Being the Goddess of Life, her counterpart is the Morrigan, the Celtic Goddess of Death. Her colors are the blue of the waters, green of the Earth, and silver/white of inspiration and Divine wisdom.  She is associated with mares, snakes, seagulls, and fish. Her sacred trees are the rowan tree, the apple tree, and the hawthorne.

Danu calls us to recognize the abundance of life lighting the fires of inspiration connecting us to the Divine spark. She helps us find our creativity and the power to transform to new beginnings.

from All Wicca