The Five Stages of Spellcasting: Stage One

The Five Stages of Spellcasting: Stage One

 

Stage 1: Formally defining the purpose of the spell.

Take your symbol that should be made of natural material, natural fabric, crystal, beeswax, dough, clay, flowers, herbs, twigs or metals.

Set the symbol in a dish or flat plate in the center of the altar (you can use a pentacle dish is you wish).

Raising the symbol dish in the center of the altar as you face north, name the purpose of the spell and the time scale, for example, “by the time the leaves are on the trees,” “by the next full moon or “within seven days.”

At the same time, define the person for whom you are casting the spell – this could be yourself.

If you wish, you can now, while you are speaking, pass the symbol on its dish slowly in turn over all four elemental substances, beginning in the north or east.

You may now speaking slowly and confidently, ask for any god or goddess or maybe an angelic power that could be helpful.

Put the symbol back in the center. Touch the symbol with your wand or with a crystal point or the outstretching tip of your index finger to make the connection between the symbol and the energies to be raised. Say:

Be filled with powers and blessings that _________(name) may be/ have/ do__________.

In a ritual you would announce the purpose of the gathering and draw everyone together in a initial chant or action during this first stage.

Special Kitty of the Day for February 5th

Moonlight, the Cat of the Day
Name: Moonlight
Age: Deceased, Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Cat
Home: Tustin, California, USA
Inominate Moonlight the Stray, who came to accept me as his friend. About three years ago I noticed that the cat food I was leaving out in the evening for my cat Smokey to snack on was disappearing. Then soon after I caught a glimpse of a ragged black and white cat scurrying away into the darkness at just the slightest movement of the wind. Just a spooky little guy. So I began to leave more food out and in no time I had a nightly visitor. Every evening when the sun set this scrawny cat would appear, and so he became known as Moonlight.

Moonlight made great strides in accepting me as his friend. From the malnourished thief of a cat who would steal Smokey’s food under the cover of darkness to that of an occasional lap cat whose purr sounded like thunder. Smokey tolerated him with an occasional nose boop. No longer a wisp of a feline but a big hunk of a tom and as soon as the sun had set I would hear Moonlight make his way upon the tops of the fences with a loud meow announcing his arrival. He would then dine upon two cans of food and a plate of crunchies before stepping inside for an hour long nap on the couch and an occasional brushing. Afterward he would return to the back porch and enjoy the evening for a few hours safe inside my yard. Sometime later he would venture off to make his nightly rounds but would always return the next night as sure as the moon would rise. For three years this feral cat and I understood each other and respected our places in the world. He lived his life and I lived mine, but for a few hours every evening we enjoyed each other’s company.

Then one evening he did not keep his dinner date. Nor did he the next night. Worried I would walk the neighborhood looking for any signs but never saw one. A week passed and nothing. On the ninth day I woke to find Moonlight sitting at the back door and since the sun was up I knew something was terribly wrong. I sat my injured friend in my lap for an hour and listened to his broken purr as he tried to get comfortable, but the look in his eyes told me a story that words could not.

Sadly, Moonlights injuries were too severe and he did not survive. Thank you my friend, you will be missed. I’m honored you accepted me as one of your own.

Dog-gone Doggie of the Day for February 5th

Rosie, the Dog of the Day
Name: Rosie
Age: Three and a half years old
Gender: Female Breed: Newfoundland
Home: Italy
Rosie’s full name is Rosabelle degli Angeli Neri Kennel in Italy. She was born with a miniature front paw which was later reabsorbed into the wrist. When she was born her breeder, Emmy Bruno, was very sad because she thought that no one would have liked a three pawed, four legged dog, but when we went to see her sister Nana (Rosalinde degli Angeli Neri), we fell in love with Rosie and decided to take her too.

Rosie is beautiful, and if it had not been for her handicap, her breeder would have kept her for breeding. Emmy was (and is) very fond of Rosie, and spoiled and pampered her a lot while I was waiting to take her home. Rosie still thinks she is a lapdog, and now and then she half jumps on my knees, keeping her hind legs on the ground, wrapping her only paw around me, and laying her big head on my breast, looking at me as if saying “I love you, Mom”. We thought that she would never be able to lead a normal life at the beginning. She had problems getting up, and when she wanted to lay down, she circled and circled around like a cat on a cushion , and then literally dropped down face first, with her butt in the air and her tail wagging. She still does it even now, minus the floor hitting with her face.

Her sister was a pest with her when they were pups. She bullied her and pulled her around by the tail. But little Rosie (we still call her Rosina, little Rose, even if she weights 56 kilos), learned to get up very quickly, and to wrestle with Nana and to jump on her and push her down.

She is a very brave and sensitive dog. She still spends most of her day laying on the floor, but if she wants to run and romp with Nana, she is as quick as her sister. The day she learnt to climb stairs was a great day in our house! She never gives up, and having been rather spoiled because of her handicap, at times she is very stubborn. She likes to go to the seaside to my Mom’s even if she does not like water very much. I think it is because she feels unbalanced and knows swimming is not for her.

This summer we almost lost her to an infection, and she was emergency spayed, but her kidneys were damaged. I slept three nights on the floor with her after the operation because she was too restless and was supposed to be resting.

Notwithstanding all this, she is as loving and sweet as she has always been. She is very funny when she sleeps on her back, her stump tucked to her breast. She is very protective of the house and of me, and her deep, husky bark is very intimidating. If anyone arrives she does not know, she hops in front of me and puts herself between me and any possible danger. I love her determination never to be left behind or excluded from anything, her love for life, her courage.

She is a philosopher dog. You can see her thinking while she is looking at you. She loves fish and little treats, and when she was a pup she was a formidable wood chewer, but she never destroyed anything in the house. I love her, and hope that notwithstanding her kidney problems, she will be with me for a long long time still, because losing her will mean the world would have lost a very exceptional being, and I a part of my heart.

Green Tip – 20 Reuses for Plastic Drink Bottles

20 Reuses for Plastic Drink Bottles

  • Chaya, selected from Networx

Plastic grocery bags and plastic water bottles – those disposable environmental nightmares – have become iconic in the current green revolution. Which is why plastic grocery bags are banned in many states, with many more on the way. Alas, single-use soda and water bottles are still ubiquitous. And even those of us who refuse to buy them, somehow seem to find ourselves in possession of the little landfill disasters.

So you’ve found yourself with a stash of bottles, maybe from your Couch-To-5k run, or your company-provided lunch, or that one time you got caught on a long drive in the middle of nowhere. Beverage trash still happens to mindful people! But that’s okay. There’s plenty of ways to get creative and up-cycle them for new and useful purposes. Here are a few fantastic ideas to get you started:

1. You can construct surprisingly elegant hanging lights, like this incredible plastic bottle chandelier.

2. You can also make awesome standing lights, like this glamorous floor lamp or this awesome desk lamp.

3. Be a DIY exterminator! Make a bug trap to thwart those summer fruit flies that invade your kitchen.

4. Make an automatic-plant watering system, and never let another plant die due to forgetfulness.

5. While you’re at it, you can fashion a simple, small watering can to keep on hand.

6. Freeze your bottles full of water and use them as cold packs in your cooler, or in your cloth shopping bag to keep your cold items cool on the way home from the grocer.

7. Put them to work in your kitchen. Make a citrus juicer! Or a quick funnel!

8. Cut off the tops and use the bottoms as your seed starter pots for your spring garden’s indoor transplants.

9. Or, cut off the bottoms and use the tops to blow giant bubbles!

10. And don’t forget those caps too! You can use them to make mini stamps.

11. Fill them with tap water and drop them in your toilet tank instead of a brick. You’ll save gallons of water each day!

12. Make a DIY lava lamp! So fun!

13. Make a super cute piggy bank.

14. This is NOT just another boring old “plastic vase”. This idea from Dollar Store Crafts for a DIY flower vase is a most elegant-looking use of a plastic drink bottle!

15. This is a pretty boring, but very functional, plastic bag dispenser. You could totally paint or decoupage it to spruce it up.

16. Make custom fashion, like these fun water bottle bracelets.

17. Make a coin purse. Amazing.

18. These “flower garland” hangings look so modern and so chic.

19. Save them for the holidays and make strings of stars (WOW) or icicle ornaments.

20. And finally, for the pros, you can set up a hydroponic window garden (double WOW).

Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to Your Home

Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to Your Home

  • Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina- Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.

Bringing nature into our homes is a key component of the teachings of Feng Shui. The goal is to have all of the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood balanced in every room of of our living space. By studying the Feng Shui Five Elements theory we can gain valuable insights as to why our lives are out of balance by looking at the elemental imbalances in our homes.

I have worked with many clients to improve their young children’s sleeping habits along with teens who were suddenly out of control. The culprit is often found in the elemental imbalances in their bedrooms. By bringing these into balance the child or teen comes back into balance as well. Clients think I have worked magic but I am merely applying these ancient, tried and true principles (also used in Chinese medicine) to physical environments.

The five elements can also be used in a powerful way to heal health issues, and to assist in personal growth. If we find we are staying ‘too small’ in our lives, our environment will often reflect too little of the wood element. We would want to both wear and bring into our living space objects and colors that reflect this element as shown in the chart below.

Please see the list on the next page of what the elements mean and what we experience when we have too much or too little of them in our lives and take advantage of my free offer to send you information about working with the elements at the end of this article.

If you are feeling over expanded and overwhelmed, you are experiencing too much of the wood element. In this instance you would benefit by bringing into your living space objects and colors that represent the element that cuts wood, which is metal. An example of too much of the wood element might be found in an all-green bedroom with floral prints and wooden furniture. What you thought would be soothing actually feels overwhelming.

The metal element is represented by white and cream colors, pastels, circular shapes, rocks and stones and metal. By changing the floral bedspread to a pastel or cream color and accessorizing with whites and pastels, you will begin to bring the room back into elemental balance.

Below is a Five Elements Map that will show you how they work together to balance each other.

The elements when closest to their natural state will contain the most vibrant ‘chi’ or energy. However, there are colors, objects and shapes that represent these elements as well. Some are subtle and some more obvious. A tall cylindrical shape (reminding us of a tree) represents the wood element, along with medium blues and greens, anything made of wood, plants and trees and pictures of them.

Here is a short summary of what we experience when the elements are out of balance:

Wood is about growth as reflected in trees and plants. We want the right amount in our environment, not too much or too little. Too much wood = over-expansion and overwhelm. Too little=staying too small. Bring in objects, shapes textures and colors of the metal element to cut the wood, or those of the water element to increase it if there is too little. See the controlling and nurturing cycles of the chart.

Fire is about passion. Too much, however will result in aggression and overly impulsive behavior. Too little will reflect as lack of enthusiasm, motivation and warmth. Add water to douse the fire when there is too much and wood to increase the fire when there is too little.

Earth is about staying grounded and being present. Too much= overly discipline and conservative. Too little= spacey, ungrounded as well as infertility issues. Add fire to increase it when there is too little and wood to decrease it when there is too much.

Metal is about mental clarity and determination. Too much= rigidity and inability to compromise. Too little=lack of back bone and indecisiveness. Add earth to increase it and fire to melt it when there is too much. There is a reason those who live in all- white houses tend to also be rigid… bring in fire and warm it up!

Water is about connection to spirit and synchronicity in our lives. Too much= not enough structure and being ‘wishy-washy’. Too little =the need to dominate, lack of flow and connection to spirit. Add metal to increase it and earth to dam it up when there is too much.

Please note that you can also just take away items in a particular element to decrease the amount of it in a space, or add it when you need more, you do not necessarily have to use the elements that either control it or nurture it.

I encourage you to learn more about these powerful concepts and utilize this powerful knowledge if you or your loved ones are experiences any of the imbalances as described above. I have seen profound shifts in my own life and those of my clients when applying these tried and true, age-tested principles that come out of the ancient practice of Chinese medicine and Feng Shui.

Yin and Yang: The Key to a Balanced Home

Yin and Yang: The Key to a Balanced Home

  • Erica Sofrina

Have you ever been in a room that didn’t feel good to be in but you couldn’t figure out what was wrong? Chances are the Yin/Yang components were out of balance.

Yin and Yang is at the foundation of the Ancient Practice of Feng Shui. It has to do with the recognition that the universe is made up of opposite forces of energy, which cannot exist without each other. They are finely balanced and, like polar sides of a magnet, are innately attracted to each other.

The Yin/Yang symbol (picture at top) depicts two fish gliding together in perfect balance. Each carrying components of the other; the black fish with the white eye and the white fish with the black eye. The two swim together in perfect harmony creating a circle, the most ancient symbol depicting wholeness.

Feng Shui acknowledges that we are ancient creatures who naturally seek balance. If our living spaces are not balanced, our lives feel out of balance as well. By learning to work with the Yin and Yang components in our homes, we create supportive spaces that bring our lives back into harmony as well.

The concept of Yin refers to the feminine principle, which is passive, dark and yielding. Yang refers to the male principle, which is bright, active and extroverted.

In physical environments Yin objects would be reflected by circular shapes, darker more muted colors, lower darker rooms, upholstered furniture of soft chenille, velvet and corduroy fabrics, carpeting and area rugs, and smaller detailed prints. In building materials adobe, brick and stucco would be considered more Yin materials. In design history, the eras that incorporated Yin qualities would be the Victorian era, Louis IV and VI and the Baroque period.

In architecture the Bauhaus period in Germany from around 1919 – 1933 was the beginning of modernist design utilizing more Yang components. Slick glass and mirrors, metal and plastics, high, vast ceilings, bright angular spaces, bold stripes and geometric patterns, square, hard angular furniture without detail, flooring of hard woods, cement and tile, all reflect Yang design materials and features.

In balancing a home we want to first determine the use of the space and then incorporate the Yin and Yang qualities appropriate for it. Passive spaces should incorporate more Yin features and active spaces more Yang features. The key, however, is to make sure we always have some of both qualities and not an over abundance of either.

Yin rooms are the places you want the energy to calm down to support rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Yin rooms would be bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, possibly family rooms and bathrooms.

In these rooms we would want to bring in more Yin features such as comfy furniture, more muted colors and lighting, plush fabrics and more detailed patterns and accessories. Having a bright, light ultra-modern bedroom with high ceilings and slick fabrics would not serve the occupants and will often translate to sleep disorders.

Yang spaces are the more active spaces such as children’s playrooms, kitchens, gyms, home offices, laundry rooms, family rooms (depending upon the use), hallways and garages. These spaces should incorporate more Yang components with brighter lighting, whites and/or bolder colors, more angular shaped furniture and accessories with less detail.

In using modern Yang qualities make sure to choose furniture with more rounded edges. Sharp-edged furniture is considered weapon-like in Feng Shui. It may be subtle, but you will never fully relax in a space that has objects that can injure you. Our homes always need to be ‘people friendly’ no matter the style of decor you are drawn to.

We also want to bring in all of the Five Elements, which include plants and things that are either from the natural world or represent nature. Ultra modern homes devoid of nature will never allow us to feel truly ‘at home’ because of our deep innate connection to the natural world.

The key is to have a balance of both Yin and Yang qualities in every room, emphasizing more Yin or Yang features depending upon the use of the room. Yang features will make the space more active and Yin features generate a more restful atmosphere. Make sure your design choices and styles are serving the people who need to occupy the space, and not the other way around!

Once we have achieved an appropriate Yin/Yang balance in each room, we will be well on our way to creating a balanced and harmonious home that supports, uplifts and nurtures our lives!

Today’s Correspondences for Sunday, Feb. 5th

Days Of The Week Comments  

 Correspondences for Sunday

Magickal Intentions: Growth, Advancements, Enlightment, Rational Thought, Exorcism, Healing, Prosperity, Hope, Exorcism, Money 
Incense: Lemon, Frankincense 
Planet: Sun 
Sign: Leo
Angel: Michael 
Colors: Gold, Yellow, Orange and White 
Herbs/Plants: Marigold, Heliotrope, Sunflower, Buttercup, Cedar, Beech, Oak 
Stones: Carnelian, Citrine, Tiger’s Eye, Amber, Clear Quartz and Red Agate Oil: (Sun) Cedar, Frankincense, Neroli, Rosemary

The first day of the week is ruled by the Sun. It is an excellent time to work efforts involving business partnerships, work promotions, business ventures, and professional success. Spells where friendships, mental or physical health, or bringing joy back into life are an issue work well on this day, too.

Magickal Graphics

Daily Cosmic Calendar for February 5th

Can you withstand another 24-hour time-period when the cosmos hands you a cream-puff instead of a stick of dynamite? Anytime a day happens when the celestial seasonings come down to a pinch of salt, be thankful. First of all, even though you only need to be aware of a supportive, 60-degree rapport from the Moon in Cancer to Mars in Virgo (3:02PM PST) – which can be physically and emotionally invigorating – it is still wise to get a jump on what is going to occur two days from now on Tuesday February 7 when Saturn shifts from direct to retrograde just about 8 hours before the Full Moon. In addition, February 7 will bring forth several other planetary shenanigans that will keep you on your toes for the entire day. Plus – the 48 hours before any Full Moon constitute the time-period of preparation for the enlightening spiritual vibrations that are seeking to descend into the earthly realm when the solar and lunar orbs tug at each other from either side of our beleaguered planet. Spend part of today learning important lessons from the annals of history in order that you stop making the same mistakes you made years and decades ago. Cancer Moon reminds all of us to review and reflect about our past actions in order to become more illuminated and selfless human souls. Immerse yourself in a bestselling biography or tune into some of your favorite film classics.

Calendar of the Moon for February 5th

Calendar of the Moon
5 Luis

Sarasvati’s Day

Colors: Purple and Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of purple and blue place seven blue candles, incense of Indian scents, many peacock feathers, and instruments of the arts.
Offerings: Make something creative and artistic, or assist an artist in doing so.
Daily Meal: Indian food.

Sarasvati Invocation

Hail Sarasvati, Lady of the Arts!
Hail Sarasvati, faithful to her husband!
Every eye of your peacock tail,
O Lady of the starry heaven,
Sees a different part of beauty –
Beauty that sings, that dances,
Or writes, or puts the hands
To making music or the touch
Of things that draw the eye.
Yet of all these eyes not one
Takes in the whole tapestry
Of the full radiance of life
Save your two alone,
Who see all things not as they are
But as they might be
Come finally to fulfillment.

(All should now join in creating some work of art together, or in reading poetry, or in making instrumental music, or all of these things. )