Lady of the Crossroads

Lady of the Crossroads
by
Heathwitch

One on three
which way to go
a second stood
still
faces outcast
Darkness about clasped
with snake and lion and
hound
thin veins under leather
untouched by time
outstretched a
touch
with eyes of heaven.
One on three
take a step
make a
choice
I will be with you
silent when needed
A fury when you
fear
Face the Moon
I will be here.
.
At Samhain, our thoughts turn
toward the memory of our ancestors, the mysteries of death and rebirth, the
practice of divination. We decorate our altars with blacks and oranges,
photographs of those who have passed on, and we commune with the Lords and
Ladies of the Underworld  such as the Greek Goddess Hecate.

Hecate is
the Thracian Goddess of the moon, absorbed as a Titan by the Greeks and
worshipped at crossroads, for She has the ability to see past, present and
future pathways. Though most commonly perceived as a Crone Goddess, Hecate can
also appear as a Maiden, terrible and beautiful to behold.

She is the
dark Goddess, the Lady of the Wild Hunt and keeper of occult knowledge and
wisdom. Known as the “Goddess of Witches” and the “Patroness of Priestesses”,
Hecate stands at the gateway between life and death, such is Her role as Queen
of the Underworld and the Lady of Spirits. She is also the changer, the one who
destroys in order to cause rebirth and regeneration.

Hecate’s roles are
not solely tied to the “darker” aspects of life however. She is also the midwife
who blesses new life in the world, the teacher who guides seekers and the
witness who aides with decision-making and determining truth, the giver of
courage and strength. She is intuition and psychic ability, the Lady of dreams
and nightmares who helps us see the deeper, shadow-side of our psyches. She is
the Wise Woman who sees all and knows all, and who will willingly share Her
knowledge and wisdom with you, if you but ask.

Hecate’s colours are deep
reds, purples and black, and She rules over all wild animals  in particular
dragons, dogs, frogs, horses, reptiles, toads and snakes. Her trees are willow
and yew, most commonly seen in graveyards, and She can be found in the tarot
cards the Hermit, the Moon and the High Priestess.

You can invite Hecate
into your life by mixing an oil for Her (add 10 drops cypress oil, 6 drops
patchouli oil and 4 drops sandalwood oil to 20ml of base oil) and including it
in a ritual or meditation dedicated to Hecate. Alternatively you could make an
incense blend to honour this Goddess  try the following recipe:

½ part
crushed garlic
½ part mandrake root
½ part mugwort
2 parts willow
bark
1 part lavender
4 parts myrrh
A few drops of cypress oil
A few
drops of myrrh oil

You can also work with Hecate in ritual; She can be
invoked to aid in inner exploration, dream-work, divination, healing, spells of
all kinds, banishings and the release of negativity, communicating with the
dead, and meditations and journeys to your inner self.

At Samhain,
Hecate can be called upon to focus your intuition when practicing divination on
this night when the veils between the world are thin. She can be invoked for
help in spell workings and the making of charms, or to help in soul-searching
meditations.

Most often, though, Hecate is invoked at Samhain to aid in
honouring and contacting our Beloved Dead, those who have passed from this
physical life before us:

Decorate the altar with blacks and oranges. Use
flowers of the same colours, and fruits of the season (pumpkins, root
vegetables). Light orange and black candles if possible and use a mixture of
cedarwood and sweetgrass incense — cedarwood for purification, sweetgrass for
your ancestors.

Assemble on your altar pictures of your ancestors and
mementos you may have received from them.

Cast circle in your usual way.
Invoke Hecate:

“Hecate, Goddess of the Realm of Spirits,
She who
stands at the crossroads,
Seer of past, present and future,
Guardian of
all Witches and Lady of the Dark,
I ask you to come forth into my
circle
And stand with me this night
Hail and welcome!”

Feel Hecate
come into your circle. Sit with your altar and slowly focus on each of your
ancestors. Speak aloud of their life and their impact on you. Ask Hecate to
acknowledge your reverence of those who have gone before, and ask that your
ancestors know of your love and thoughts.

Take your time and do not be
afraid of the emotions which may come to you; embrace them and welcome them into
your circle. As you speak of your ancestors you may feel them draw near from the
Summerlands; do not be afraid — instead, feel touched by their presence and
thank them for all they mean to you.

Thank Hecate and your ancestors for
their presence and say goodbye. Blow out the candles and take up
circle.

Have a Blessed Samhain!

Sources:
———-
Ann,
Martha, and Dorothy Myers Imel. Goddesses in World Mythology: A Biographical
Dictionary. Oxford University Press: New York (1995).
Ardinger, Barbara.
Goddess Meditations. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1998).
Conway, D. J. The Ancient
and Shining Ones. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1993).
Franklin, Anna. Magical
Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000).
Marashinsky, Amy Sophia.
The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness through the Goddess and Ritual. Element:
Boston (1997).
Sjöö, Monica & Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother:
Rediscovering The Religion of the Earth. HarperCollins: San Francisco (1991).

Zell, Morning Glory. “Manifesting Hecate”, SageWoman # 60 (Winter 2003).
Blessed Bee: California (2003).
.
About The Author: Heathwitch is a
Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work,
healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives in Cheshire, England.

Excerpt taken from:

Seasons of the Moon E-zine

Where Gods Dwell – Creating Altars and Shrines

Where Gods Dwell

Creating Altars and Shrines

by Amanda Silvers

An altar is, customarily, an area set aside for meditation or worship, or for working magick. A shrine is ordinarily an altar, specifically dedicated to a particular energy or deity. What is the purpose of an altar or shrine, besides creating a special place for your ritual or worship to take place? There are many answers, and I offer this as a guide for beginners and more experienced people as well.

When you transform a physical area or location to focus on a divine spirit, it is then possible for that spirit to manifest in the material world. Whether it is a god or goddess, an elemental or one of the fey, it has a space and energy to create from. The idea is to cause this to be a special and sacred place of honor and adoration of the deity or spirit, so put plenty of desire and effort into your creation.

To build an altar or shrine, begin on the correct day and hour for your chosen purpose. You may determine the day and hour by looking it up in a table of correspondences, in one of Scott Cunningham’s books or in The Spiral Dance. Start fashioning a place by contemplating how much space you have to devote, where you might like it, how accessible the area is to you and how secluded it is. Importantly, if you do not wish people to ask a bazillion questions, situate your shrines where they will be private. When you think about the purpose of the altar or shrine, the deity will help guide you where best to build it; just follow your feeling or instinct.

Next, clean the space, both physically and energetically. Do a clearing or banishing with water, incense or whatever you usually use, and at the same time clean the area well. Wipe it down and take away anything that was there before. (If you wish to replace an item on the altar, cleanse and bless it first.) Once you have accomplished this, purify and bless each item for the altar and place it in its correct position. Each piece is like an ingredient in a dish; it adds to the final product. There is a distinctive energy that is produced by an altar once it is blessed, and you will come to enjoy sharing the energy there.

If what you want to create is a shrine, say a prayer of dedication to the specific deity, and with your intention and desire affect the space to be sacred to that deity. Also, as you bring in each item you may anoint and dedicate them one by one, for more power, or you may wait until the whole shrine is set up and dedicate it at the end, as a whole. Chant, sing, play appropriate background music, burn incense, do whatever helps you be in the energy of the deity you wish to venerate. Put as much energy into anointing, placing and praying over the items as you can to make the shrine very powerful indeed.

Once you have accomplished this, it’s time to invoke the deity and ask that deity to lend his or her presence and power to your shrine. Be respectful, be sincere, be reverent, but do not forget that the gods do have a sense of humor. So do not be totally surprised if something unusual happens. When you are finished, spend some time communing with your chosen deity, and hearken to the small (or not so small) voice that will speak to you.

You might try creating small altars or shrines around your house and yard. Even the workplace can become an area of worship if you are discreet and use your symbology wisely.

I have a main altar that contains my ritual working tools, a couple statues of the god and goddess I traditionally work with, offerings and some other magickal items that are special to me. I create other shrines depending on what energies I am currently working with. I have had in the past and know several people who have a shrine blessed to each god or goddess they work with. A shrine can be a nice focus for bringing in more of the energy of a specific deity.

It’s a valuable idea to keep a journal of your communications with the gods, so that over time you can look back and see how you have grown and changed in your approach. Be conscientious; keep your altars and shrines clean and well-organized (unless they’re to Eris!). Spend time engaged at your shrines every day, and you will come to have a very close relationship with the gods. Raise energy for them, and offer gifts…. remember the gods and they will remember you!

Items that you might want to place on your altar or shrine

For a working altar, you will want a number of magickal tools including, but not limited to:

  • Athamé (sacred to the God)
  • Bell (air)
  • Bowl of water (water)
  • Candles (fire)
  • Cauldron (earth)
  • Chalice (Goddess)
  • Incense burner and incense (air)
  • Oil lamp (fire)
  • Representations of the God and Goddess
  • Rocks or crystals (earth)
  • Salt (earth)
  • Shells (water)
  • Wand (air)

For a shrine, you will want:

  • Representations of the deity; these may be pictures, statues or other things that represent the god or goddess in question to you
  • Altar cloth
  • Anointing oil
  • Athamé
  • Bells
  • Candles
  • Crystals
  • Earth
  • Feathers
  • Flowers (alive or dead)
  • Fruit
  • Herbs or greens
  • Incense and burner (the fire of consumption)
  • Meat or animal parts
  • Metal
  • Money
  • Oil lamp (the fire of illumination)
  • Poetry
  • Salt or sand
  • Shells
  • Stones
  • Wand
  • Water
  • Wine
  • Other offerings as appropriate

The suggestions following, regarding shrines to specific deities, will aid you in starting shrines, but use your personal preferences and the colors and items associated with your particular deities.

For Aphrodite, I recommend a rose-colored altar cloth, rose quartz, a statue or picture of a beautiful woman or sexually explicit photos, some Aphrodite incense, red candles, shells, pink or red flowers, water and a condom or two. Her colors are rose, red, orange, white and pink.

For Pan, think green! Provide a green or brown altar cloth. Pinecones, greenery, wildflowers, phallic-shaped stones, statues or pictures of the god, goats or a beautiful man are good, as well as animal skins (especially goatskins), Pan incense, green or brown candles, earth, mushrooms and phalluses (dildos). His  colors are brown, tan, forest green, leaf green and teal blue.

For Hecate, remember she is the goddess of magick and witches as well as the goddess of death and transformation (destruction). For her, I have a black altar cloth, a crystal ball, Tarot cards, crystals, dead and living flowers, animal skulls and bones, Hecate oil and incense, black candles, an oil lamp and a threefold statue of Hecate. She likes her devotees to write poetry and songs to her, and she is somewhat jealous. Her color is black.

I Have A Question

I would like to ask you a question. I don’t know what your opinion of me is but I do not wish to offend anyone. I am very easy going till made mad. I am a nice person, honest.

I would like to know if the joke I just put on here offends you. Material like that I find funny. I know others might find it offensive. I don’t know how far I can go with you is my point. I don’t want to cross the line. I want to keep the material were you enjoy it. Do you mind just a little adult humor? Nothing nasty like the “f” word, I mean like ass and mild words like that.

The site we use for our jokes had a cute joke I started to use. Then I stopped because I didn’t know how you would feel about it. It showed how to make different butts with your computer keys. Then it had what the butts meant beside them. One of them was a kiss my a** butt and that is what it said out beside it. But I didn’t use it because I want to know how you feel about such material.

I would appreciate your comments about this topic. Do you like strictly clean jokes or do you mind a little mild adult humor every now and then?

Thank you,

Annie

Laugh-A-Day for 10/25: How Not To Get Invited Back To A Circle

How Not To Get Invited Back To A Circle


  1. Take the ritual sword from the altar and make sounds like Darth Vader — “Luke, I am your father!” — and start making light saber noises.
  2. Start skat-singing when chanting.
  3. Take the ritual athame from the altar and start cleaning your nails with it.
  4. When taking a sip of the ritual wine, act like a wine snob and comment on it.
  5. When doing the spiral dance, make it a Conga line.
  6. Call down the Goddess with “Get your ass down here, Big Momma!”
  7. Call down the God with “Our father, who art in heaven …”
  8. When chanting the names of the Goddess, randomly include Pokemon names.
  9. When being smudged, complain vehemently about second-hand smoke.
  10. In a drumming circle, laugh insanely and start drumming the beat to Wipe Out!
  11. Ask the people in the circle “When are we all gonna git nekked?”
  12. When in a skyclad circle, randomly point and laugh.
  13. When the ritual wine goblet is passed to you, chug it and ask for more.
  14. Invoke Satan.
  15. Take out a Bible and start evangelizing.
  16. Light-up a cigar.
  17. Bring a cute furry creature and offer it as a blood sacrifice.
  18. Talk a lot about casting spells for revenge against people who have offended you.
  19. At a handfasting say “Thank God! Maybe now i’ll get some grandchildren!”
  20. When in circle, answer your cell phone.
  21. Respond to “So Mote it Be!” with “Amen!”
  22. Invite people to “Come to the dark side.”
  23. Bring you kids and ask the group to invoke the baby sitting Goddess.

     

concept by Azriel LittleHawk, with edits and ammendments by Turok and contributors

 

Turok Cabana

Today’s Quiz for October 25th: What Your Music Taste Says About You

What Your Music Taste Says About You

Mel, selected from DivineCaroline

Which came first—the music or the melancholy? In the movie High Fidelity, the  narrator, Rob, thinks about the countless people out there listening to songs of  heartbreak and loneliness. “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable?  Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” he wonders. Given how  certain personality types seem drawn to particular kinds of music, it’s a fair  question to ask. For example, I’d probably look and feel out of place at an  Insane Clown Posse concert, but plop me down in the middle of a Death Cab for  Cutie crowd, and I’d blend right in. Our taste in music can influence everything  from the way we act to the way we dress—or is it that the music we choose to  listen to reflects our personalities?

Most well-rounded people enjoy a variety of music, their MP3 players a highly  individualized assortment of multiple genres. But they also have a particular  genre or two that speaks the most to them. And those genres, according to some  studies, speak the most about them, too.

Different Musical Tastes, Similar Personality Traits

Think about a time when someone insulted your favorite musician or band. Did it  feel like a personal attack? Professor Adrian North, of Scotland’s Heriot-Watt  University, believes that’s because we use music as an extension of our  personalities. We’re drawn to certain genres because we relate to them in some  way. Over the past few years, he’s conducted a worldwide study linking musical  taste to personality traits. In an online survey, North asked participants to  rate more than one hundred genres and then answer personality-based questions.  He’s used the thirty-six thousand–plus responses he’s received so far to form a  few hypotheses about fans.

North’s findings reveal some truth in stereotypes, such as that dance fans  are creative and classical fans are introverts, but they also challenge a few.  For instance, rock/heavy metal people are often thought to be rough around the  edges, but surveys suggest they’re actually gentler and calmer. There are also  quite a few similarities between genres that aren’t thought to mesh well, like  rock/heavy metal and reggae. The genre types may vary wildly, but that doesn’t  mean their fans can’t find some common ground, at least personality-wise.

Finding Truth in Fan Stereotypes Peter Rentfrow, an assistant professor  at the University of Cambridge, also thinks that personality has much to do with  music preferences. In a 2003 study called “The Do Re Mi’s of Everyday Life: The  Structure and Personality Correlates of Music Preferences,” he and Sam Gosling,  a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, came up with four categories  for music: Reflexive and Complex (blues/classical/folk/jazz), Energetic and  Rhythmic (hip hop/dance), Upbeat and Conventional (religious/country/pop), and  Intense and Rebellious (heavy metal/rock/alternative rock). They found that  those who fell into one group over another had a few common characteristics.

Energetic and Rhythmic: confident, liberal-minded,  gregarious, athletic, feels attractive

Upbeat and  Conventional: trusting, hardworking, feels attractive, helpful,  politically conservative

Reflexive and Complex:  open-minded, politically liberal, creative, intelligent, tolerant, enjoys  aesthetic experiences

Intense and Rebellious: athletic,  energetic, adventurous, intelligent, inquisitive

Rentfrow and Gosling have conducted a number of joint studies concerning  music and personality. In 2007, they tested whether stereotypes about music  genres and fans have any truth to them, the results of which were published in  the journal Psychology of Music. First, they asked seventy-four people a series  of personality-related questions and afterward told them to list their ten  favorite songs. (Volunteers also had a week to change their choices.)  Seventy-four CDs of the participants’ top-ten songs were made and distributed to  eight people, who were then asked to guess the nature of the volunteers based on  their song selections.

Interestingly, the eight observers accurately predicted congeniality,  forgiveness, openness to experience, creativity, and emotional balance. They did  better than respondents in previous studies in which people used pictures and  videos as personality indicators.

Songs That Stand the Test of Time

Since the participants  were college students, it’s possible that age makes a difference when it comes  to genres predicting personalities. As we age, music tends to define us less,  and our tastes vary more. And that probably has much to do with the fact that  our personalities change as get older, too. As we develop, our musical tastes  evolve along with us. But though we branch out into different musical genres, I  think we all have at least one that carries more significance for us than  others. It’s the kind of music that we relate the most to, be it through  heartfelt lyrics, aggressive tempo, or the soft twang of a single guitar.

Anything we willingly incorporate into our lives could be considered a  personality indicator, but most of us hold music a lot closer to our hearts than  we do clothes or interior decorations. So think twice before you question or  insult others’ taste in music. Chances are, they’ll take it personally—and based  on the aforementioned studies’ findings, they might be right.