Life As The Witch – Morning Tune-In Activities

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

Morning Tune-In Activities

The morning is when the magickal momentum of our day is set into motion. So it’s an especially powerful time for shaping the flavor or our day and the harmonics of your mood (i.e., the way we preceive and process our day). There are several tune-in exercises. Try them out, and once you find what works for you, do your best to make them as habitual as brushing your teeth.

First Thing

As soon as you open your eyes and get ready to get out of bed, remind yourself that the day belongs to you. Also remind yourself that everything you do in this day wil be a decision and a choice–that there is nothing that you do that you did not choose to do. (Even if it’s something you don’t want to do, recognize that you are still choosing to do it so that you can and occurrences you’d like to experience during the upcoming day as well as the feelings that go along with them (very important step).

During Breakfast of Coffee

Write down your intentions for the day in the present tense, as if they are already true. These feelings or actual occurrences. For example, you might write things like, “I love myself,” “My cats are safe and happy,” “I receive the such and such job offer or something better,” “I’m wonderfully comfortable in my own skin,” “The trip to the vet goes as smoothly as possible,” “I am having a great hair day,” “I am wealthy and receive generous sums of money from expected and unexpected sources,” “I am awake to the magick of life,” and/or “I embody the God/dess.” You might write an entire page worth, and then write “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Blessed be. And so it is.” And then sign and date.

Before You Leave The House

I know you’re busy, but this doesn’t need to take longer than five minutes. Sit comfortably, relax, and call on your divine helper(s) of choice to clear, fine-tune, and shield your energy field. Visualize/imagine/feel this happening. Then consciously connect with the core of the Earth and the cosmic light of the Universe. You might do this by sending roots of light down into the Earth and branches of light up into the sky. Draw golden Earth light up from the Earth and into your body/energy field, then draw sparkly rainbow light down from the Cosmos and into your body/energy field. Think or say something like “I am one with the Earth and Sky. I am one wih te God/dess, and I am in the divine flow. All information is available to me. All power is available to me. I am always in the perfect place at the perfect time doing the perfect thing. I always know just what to do. Magickal authority is mine.”

Excerpt from:

“Magical Authority:
The Only Ingredient You Need”
by Tess Whitehurst
Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac
Advertisements

The Witches Magickal Spell for Jan. 21st – Dancing Broom Spell

Witchy Comments
Dancing Broom Spell

 

Items You Will Need:

Blue or White Candle

Citrus Scented Incense

Up Tempo Music

Broom

The Spell:

If you are feeling down or could use a little pick me up this spell should work for you. Light some citrusy smelling incense along with a blue or white candle. Put something on the radio that makes you want to dance. Something happy and upbeat. In a counterclockwise direction (this is done to remove any negativity that is lingering in the room) start sweeping from room to room in your house or apartment. After you have finished, reverse this and start sweeping in a clockwise direction to instill harmony into your household. Go from room to room again until you get back to where you started from. If you feel the need arise, start singing and dancing as you sweep, feel the music and mood just carry you away. Get into the ritual and enjoy yourself.

Trail Magic: Creating an incense trail

Trail Magic: Creating an incense trail

Author: Incense Dragon

Everyone knows what incense is, don’t they? It’s the little sticks and cones you get at the grocery store that smell like Apple or Musk, right? Well, it hasn’t always been that way.

Incense is one of the oldest tools of magic and ritual but its lore, history and modern hobbyists are virtually unknown to much of the Pagan community. The incense “trail” represents an ancient incense burning technique that is highly applicable to modern magic practices and ritual. I should also mention it’s a great deal of fun.

An incense trail is simply a line of incense powder that is burned. A trail can be as simple as a line of powdered sandalwood on a rock. While this is not the preferred method, you can make it work with practice. This is likely the first form of incense trail, but ancient practice eventually elevated the incense trail to a critical role in society.

Before the availability of high quality, spring-powered clocks there were many different methods employed to keep track of time – especially at night. Among the many devices created were clocks powered by dripping or running water. Although some were fairly accurate, they were no good in freezing conditions or on a swaying ship. There were also candles used to mark the time, but environmental conditions could greatly affect their accuracy. The incense “clock” was another attempt to mark time.

In a bed of pure ash, a line can be pressed into the surface. That depression would then be carefully filled with a powdered incense mixture. When used for timekeeping, a special incense blend was used since its burning times were well known. Special markers were then inserted along this trail of incense. The markers could be used to signal a changing of guards, mealtimes or working hours, but their primary use was to mark times to pray.

Eventually incense clocks were developed that used incense sticks to give even more consistent timing. Incense alarm clocks were eventually created. These sometimes used bells hung from the incense stick with thread. When the stick burned to the thread it would break and the bell would clang to the floor.

This is an extremely condensed look at a fascinating topic. If you have more interest in the ancient use of incense clocks read Silvio Bedini’s book The Trail of Time. It is a rare look at this amazing lost art form.

The good news about all of this is you can start using incense trails yourself. You will need ash, incense powder (powdered sandalwood works great), a heat resistant dish or large incense censer and a match or lighter. It’s best to put your censer where it will be used before you begin to minimize movement.

What should you draw? Just think of the magical possibilities. Symbols are an important part of magic. You can draw symbols for deities, astrological signs, runes or geometric shapes. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Think of the energy of the slowly burning shape as you raise power in your circle. Use trails to time rituals or to cleanse a space. Trails can elevate your incense from being a part of the magical background to a central part of any ritual.

You might have everything you need in your house except for the required amount of ash. You can harvest ash from some other activity if you wish. Never use ash from your charcoal grill or ashes containing synthetic “fire logs.” Ash from incense censers, campfires and fireplaces can be used but I don’t recommend them. If you use such recycled ash, be certain to sift it through a fine screen and then bake the ash in a warm oven for 20-30 minutes to remove as much scent as possible.

A better solution is to purchase ash specifically for incense use. Ash is an important part of Asian incense traditions (such as the Japanese Kodo ceremony). As a result, many shops that sell Asian incense sell pure ash as well. That’s the best possible source if you plan to make incense trails. The pure white ash is scentless and ready for use.

Simply fill your dish or censer with ash and lightly tamp the censer (you can tap the censer lightly a few times on a sturdy table, but pressing down on the ash with something solid works even better). This is to level the ash and make it a bit firmer. You can then make shallow impressions on the surface of the ash. For this, you can use simple stamps (complex designs don’t work very well) from your local craft store, cookie cutters (insert the cutter about 1/8 of an inch deep and move it very slightly from side to side) or simply draw in the ash with a skewer or toothpick. The edge of a paper card will work as well.

No matter what tool you choose, keep the impressions no more than 1/8 inch deep and try to move the excess ash to the sides of your impressions. Especially when using a toothpick or skewer, the ash might try to build up in front of your tool making it more difficult to draw. Push the ash side to side instead. Just try and create a smooth impression – you might need to trace the shape several times to clear the entire trail.

You are not limited in what you can draw. The important thing to keep in mind is that every one of the lines you draw needs to be connected to another line. You might think of it as a line of dominoes you want to topple. If they don’t touch, the chain will stop. It’s the same with incense. Unlike dominoes, burning incense travels in multiple directions. If you draw a circle of incense, when you light it the incense will burn both directions around the circle. Every junction of lines will be lighted at the same time. I have a pentagram stamp that I made that would originally burn in eight different places at once.

While you can use those burning characteristics to your advantage, in general you want only one point on the line of incense to burn. Otherwise plumes of smoke result. The simplest way to control this it to put “blocks” in place. Use your drawing tool to break the lines of incense with a barrier of ash. You can also place small pieces of metal (in a pinch, a penny will work) in the trail of incense. Once the burning incense reaches the metal, it will go out.

Once you have made an impression in the ash and established any ash blocks you might need, fill the impression with incense powder. This is the trickiest part, although it’s not as tough as it seems at first glance. I’ve experimented with a lot of techniques but have found one to be the easiest. I was actually inspired to it while watching Tibetan monks making a sand painting. They use long metal tubes, tapered at one end, which they fill with colored sand and then gently rub to release the sand from the narrow end. It gives them great control over where every grain of sand goes. I tried this with tubes and met with some success, but when I transitioned to paper cards I found the method I prefer.

Use a 3” X 5” paper card. Fold the card in half in line with the long edge. This gives you a 1 ½ X 5 card. Open the card partially and you have a large cavity you can fill with incense powder. Fill the card about 1/3 full with powder (as I said before, you can just use powdered sandalwood and get great results). Push some of the powder away from one end of the card, so that only a thin line is left at the edge of the card. You can then use that end of the card to fill your impression in the ash.

Put the end of the card just above the impression with the folded edge of the card down. That will make the card a large V-shape with the incense powder held in the center. I like to hold the card in my right hand with the two folded up edges touching the palm of my hand. I then extend the “drawing” end of the card slightly past the palm of my hand. With the end of the card just above the ash and the card at about a 25 degree angle, I tap the end of the card with my left hand. Each tap causes a small bit of incense powder to fall precisely where I want it to go. By gently tapping the card and moving it over every part of the impression in the ash, I can fill the impression to the exact depth I desire.

Once the impression is filled, you can tap or press its surface lightly to get perfect contact, but that’s an optional step. With practice you can fill the impression very well without the need to press it together. The trail looks better without pressing, since that process “blurs” the shape you draw in the ash.

After you’ve drawn an impression and filled it with powder, the incense trail is ready for use. Once the impression is filled, you should move your censer as little as possible. Each time you move it, you could displace the trail and make it harder to see or break the line. If the trail won’t be used immediately, consider covering the censer to keeping wind or drafts from disturbing it.

To light the trail, you can simply apply flame directly to the lighting point you’ve chosen. It’s usually best to light the trail at one end, but you can get a great effect from starting in the middle of the trail. You will need to hold the flame in place for at least 30 seconds to get it burning well. You might notice that where ash and flame meet, the ash becomes discolored. The same will happen as the incense trail burns past the ash. Once the flame is removed, the incense will continue to burn along the path you’ve set for it.

A more elegant way to light the trail is to use stick or cone incense. You can use the stick or cone as a fuse. Set the incense cone directly atop the lighting point on the trail. If using a stick, break off a small section and insert it into the starting point of the trail. If you use so-called “masala” incense sticks (the kind with a wooden rod in the center of the stick), make certain you break off a piece that is completely covered in incense material. The top two inches of stick is best. If you’re using a “joss stick” of incense, any two-inch section will be fine.

Put the cone or stick in place at the starting point (the trailhead, if you will) and light it as you normally would. As the stick or cone burns down to the incense trail, the trail will light. You can also light an incense stick and place it atop the powder parallel to the trail. Some traditions call for lighting an incense stick and then inserting the burning end into the powder.

Incorporating incense trails into your rituals, both large and small, is not only rewarding magically, it’s also a lot of fun. Like any skill, it requires practice to get the exact effect you desire but even first-time trail makers will find it easy and enjoyable. Bring an ancient form magic to your next circle and you won’t be disappointed.

Footnotes:
Bedini, Silvio A. – The Trails of Time: Time measurement with incense in East Asia – Cambridge University Press, 1994

Neal, Carl F. – Incense: Crafting and Use of Magickal Scents – Llewellyn Worldwide, 2003

Flowing with Life’s Current (A Meditation on Water)

Flowing with Life’s Current

A Meditation on Water

by Melanie Fire Salamander

Water appears in pagan rituals as  one of the four magickal elements,  associated in some traditions with the  West, the autumnal equinox and sunset. Its colors are blues and greens; it  corresponds to the magickal power  to dare and to the Tarot suit of cups.  At Imbolc, this series began with a  meditation on fire; water comes next  as we travel deosil around the circle.

From water, traditionally associated with emotion, you get the emotional flow so required in ritual. To me,  water also connects with the liquid  state of matter, as air corresponds  to the gaseous state, earth to the  solid state, and fire to the process of  changing state. I think, however, it’s  important not only to learn traditional  or other elemental associations but  also to discover and understand our  own elemental associations, to have  our own personal relationship with  each element. To know water better,  we can meditate upon it.

To use the following meditation  on water, either record it on tape and  play it back or have someone read it  to you. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Before starting, find a comfortable  place where you won’t be disturbed;  take the phone off the hook and if  necessary shut the door on your pets.  If you’re prone to falling asleep during  meditation, perform this meditation  sitting up; if you have problems relaxing, stretch out on a bed, couch or  the floor.

The Meditation

Relax. Deeply relax, and take a few  deep breaths. In, out; in, out. Feel your  body, wiggle your fingers, your toes,  your nose, your hips and arms; roll your  head. Feel where your body ends and  what’s around you begins: the air  around you, the surface underneath  you. Be here now, present in your body,  in the present moment. Begin to release the cares of your day and week,  and be completely here in the present  moment.

Throughout this meditation, you  will have a complete, deep experience,  and you will remember everything you  sense and learn. If you need to return,  you can always do so. You can recall  yourself to the physical world by moving your fingers and toes. You will be  utterly safe and protected throughout.

Continue to relax and to breathe  deeply, and in your center, a little below and behind your navel, feel a drop  of water. It starts as a tiny drop and  grows to a puddle, perfectly warm and  contained, filling the center of your  body comfortably.

This pool of water flows outward,  into your body, pouring down into your  pelvis, your genitals, your legs and  feet; flowing upward filling your torso,  your chest and shoulders, your neck,  your head. It fills your body, easing  tension as it does, relaxing and calming you. The elemental water fills you  completely.

Now the water overflows downward from your body, safely and comfortably. It soaks through the floor and  the concrete under the building, downward through the moist, cold earth.  The flow from your center joins an  underground stream in the stony rock  below the soil and plunges into bedrock deep beneath the earth.

Let the elemental water pour down  in a cascade from your center and  make a connection to the Earth, to the  heart of Earth. Feel the water flow out  as a waterfall and connect to the flowing, liquid heart of the Mother. (Pause  briefly.)

Let the waterfall wash away old  anger, guilt, fear, sadness into the  Earth, safely giving this energy to the  Earth. Feel the water wash away all the  negative energy into the Earth. (Pause  briefly.)

Now feel the elemental water burst  up again from the earth with joy, rushing effortlessly up through the rock,  past the downward flow that still continues. The liquid energy from the  Mother fills you completely, healing and  cleansing you. (Pause briefly.)

Then the liquid earth energy  bubbles out the top of your head,  upward like a fountain through the air  of the room, through the ceiling,  through the roof into the outside air.  It kisses the tree branches and bursts  into the sky, scattering drops and mist.

In the sky, feel this liquid force  connect to and absorb the energies  of the Sky-Father, the starlight and the  cool energy of the sun and moon.  Connect to the cool, clear energy of  the sky. (Pause briefly.)

The liquid energy condenses as  rain and tumbles down onto your forehead, your shoulders, all over your  body. Feel the raindrops soaking  through your skin and into you, bringing with them the sky energy. Feel the  cool, clear sky energy fill you, cleansing and healing. (Pause briefly.)

Feel the life water passing through  you, downward and upward, drawing  upward warm earth energy, carrying  downward cool liquid sky-energy. Bring  the liquid energies of earth and sky  together in your center and mingle  them gently and thoroughly, mix them  completely and smoothly. Let the combined energy spread into the whole of  your body, healing you, dissolving and  washing away any remaining trouble or  pain into the earth. (Pause for some  time.)

Now imagine yourself standing in  a meadow, under the night sky. The  stars are out, and a few clouds, lit by  a crescent moon. It’s summertime, and  the meadow smells sweet, like newly  cut grass. Feel the cool night breeze  on your body and face. Against your  ankles you feel dew on the grass, and  in the distance you hear the sound of  waves.

Look around a bit; see where you  are. Know that throughout this meditation, you will remember everything  important to you.

You see before you a gravel path,  stones pale and a little phosphorescent in the moonlight. You begin to  walk down the path, slowly; it slopes  gently down a hill. Before you and to  either side stand tall grasses that  rustle in the wind, and a few gnarled  trees. You hear more strongly the  sound of waves, and smell the salt of  the ocean in the breeze.

The path goes under a row of trees  whose limbs have tangled together  above you, twisting to grasp each  other, casting darkness onto the path.  The air is close here and a little  warmer. Despite the deeper darkness,  you feel utterly safe and calm. Through  the tangled branches you see one star  in the silver-lit sky above you, twinkling.

You come out from under the dark trees and see you are at the top of a beach, in the solid sand amid a scattering of beach grass. You go forward, down the beach, breathing deeply in the salt air. Ahead of you the night sky lies calm above a quiet ocean. The crescent moon scatters a path of light along the peaceful flat water, which moves gently. Waves, lips of water, cast gently upon the beach, each leaving a rim of foam shining in the moonlight. You walk forward down the shifting sand to the very edge of the wet sand. It is high tide.

You squat and put your hands in  the ocean water. It feels cool and  soothing. It laps onto your feet, a little  cold, but you don’t mind.

You stand and see down the  beach there’s a pool formed where a  stream runs into the ocean, just a few  feet above the waves’ edge. You walk  to the pool, sit on its bank. You hear  the rushing of the stream down the  rocks to the pool; you hear the lapping surf, the steady breathing of the  sea. The water in the pool is perfectly  clean and transparent, but deeper than  you expected, deep and wide enough  to swim in freely. The cool, clear water moves gently, a current within it  flowing to the sea.

As you look at the pool, raindrops  begin to patter on its surface. Feel the  light drops tap your skin, cool. Sense  what it is to be rain. (Pause briefly.)

You study the water in the pool,  lowering your thought into the cool,  clean water. Dip your hands in the water, feel its coolness gentle on your  hands and arms. Lift water to your lips  and taste it; perceive it with all your  senses. (Pause briefly.)

As you study the water, you notice it has associations for you. Let  these come up freely. (Pause for some  time.) You will remember all parts of  your experience you want to remember.

What emotions do you have for  water? (Pause briefly.)

Do images or symbols or words  float up through the water? (Pause for  some time.)

You continue to study the water,  seeing it, sensing its feel, its taste, its  sounds. You sense now that the water is asking you to come still closer.  In utter confidence and safety, you  lower yourself completely into the  water, over your head. You find you  are warm and breathing easily and  safely underwater. You stand on the  bottom of the pool at its deepest  point, calm and invigorated. You become one with the water. Be the water; see how that feels. (Pause briefly.)

Feel each particle of the water.  (Pause briefly.) Feel the whole water.  (Pause for some time.)

You ask the water what it is, what  its nature is, and the water replies.  (Pause briefly.)

The water may have something else  to communicate to you, about yourself or work or life. (Pause briefly.) It  may have something to communicate  about the world at large. (Pause for  some time.)

Now you look out from the deep  pool, out through its mouth to the  great ocean beyond. You swim effortlessly into the unknown ocean, deep  with life. Greet the ocean; descend into  it. (Pause for some time.)

Now return again out of the water. You’re able to walk easily out onto  the beach, and you find your clothes  perfectly dry. Separate into yourself  sensing the water, keeping everything  you need from the experience, remembering everything. You feel cleansed  and invigorated.

Now say good-bye to the pool, the  ocean and the rain. Thank them for  their presence and the insight they  have conveyed and for allowing you  to become water. (Pause briefly.)

Now turn and take the path back  across the beach to the trees. You  walk under the dark trees, the  branches tangled above you, feel the  warmth of the enclosed space. You  walk back out again, up the gravel path  through the grasses, smelling the salt  of the ocean, feeling the night breeze  gentle on your skin. You return to the  meadow where you started, under the  moonlit sky.

You begin once more to feel your  body. You are coming up from trance,  remembering everything that has happened to you, retaining everything that  was important that you learned from  the water, feeling warm and relaxed  yet energetic. Feel your body; wiggle  your fingers and toes. Be present here  and now. Feel the air above and the  surface below you. You will remember  everything you want to remember.  Breathe deeply, and open your eyes.

Shower Your Cares Away

Shower Your Cares Away

by Sylvana SilverWitch

Much more than earth, fire or air,  the healing aspects of water are easy  for me to identify with, maybe partly  because I am a double water sign —  Pisces sun with Cancer rising. I seem  to think about water most of the time.  It seems I am either washing myself,  my hands or face, or drinking or sitting in it. I am very much attuned to  the properties of water, and I find that  if I stray very far away from a large  body of water, I am unhappy and I just  don’t feel right.

Even if you don’t have signs in  water, as a human being you’re naturally attuned to water, because the  great majority of your body is made  of it. In a way, water is the easiest element for us to connect with, because  we can easily submerge ourselves in  it, unlike in fire or earth. When we do  immerse ourselves in water, we’re usually conscious of doing so, unlike our  experience of immersing in air.

Following is a quick cleansing  meditation that makes use of this natural connection to water and that is  designed to be used in the shower.

If you are one of those people who  can’t seem to find the time to meditate, or if you ever need a psychic  cleanup in a hurry, this meditation  might be perfect for you. It takes only  a very few minutes once you get the  process memorized. It really works  and can be very helpful, and it is easy  to do every day as a part of your normal routine, since most of us shower  or bathe every day (or at least I hope  we do). I do it every day, all the time —  no matter where I am.

This meditation involves cleansing and running energy through your  body while in the process of cleansing your body by taking a shower. I  make use of the actual physicality of  washing in the shower and the motion  of the water as a focus for the cleansing and healing meditation.

The first few times, try it when you  are not too rushed, so you have time  to get a feel for how it works for you.

First, get into the shower and do  what ever you need to do that may  take some attention to detail, such as  washing your hair or shaving. Then do  your usual grounding and centering.  Next, visualize yourself standing in the  middle of a wonderful, warm, healing  waterfall, golden sun radiant on you,  mist glistening up brilliant rainbows  and water gently cascading down  around and over you. Visualize the  water delicately caressing every part  of your body with cleansing, nurturing  energy.

Smell the warmth of the water as  it runs in rivulets over your body. Imagine you are in a tropical paradise, a  magickal place that you have come for  healing your body and spirit. Hear the  sounds of the water rushing over you.

Contemplate your day and week  and anything seemingly important that  has happened during them. Feel  throughout your body and notice if  there are any places that your energy  feels “stuck” or heavy. Think about  your physical body and how it has been  feeling. Search with your awareness  your whole body: your bones, muscles,  nerves, skin and organs. Notice any  place that seems to need attention.  Use your perception to observe anything that seems out of place or wrong  to you.

I also like to take this time to look  and feel for energy “cords” connecting me to other people. Cords are  energetic connections to people and  energies that I am not responsible for  and don’t need to carry around. They  look like literal cords, or sometimes  more like cables, between us and  those we come into contact with, especially loved ones, friends, co-workers and yes, even enemies!

When you get a sense of what energies you might want to disperse, then  work on dispersing them by beginning  to propel the energy around and  through you. Dissipate it by gathering  it and sending it washing down your  body with the water into the drain.  Imagine or picture it being cleansed  from you — your energy body then  transparent, shining pure and clear.

Think about being cleansed of all  of the anger, resentment and negativity that has been thrown at you or that  you have picked up from other people  or situations and that you have carried around. These energies can cause  disease and stress. Anger, resentment  and negativity all may harm you if you  don’t dissipate and neutralize them  from time to time.

Understand that by cleaning your  body and using your sponge and soap  and at the same time imagining “cleaning” your body and energy, that you  “scrub” yourself clean, both body and  aura. Then ground out the energy with  the water.

After you have finished cleansing,  see the water flowing completely  through you — healing and nurturing  all the parts of yourself, body, soul,  mind, heart and spirit.

I have found that if I miss my  “shower meditation,” I do not feel  grounded and I have trouble concentrating and focusing on the matters  at hand. I sometimes have physical  symptoms and just don’t feel good if  I miss my water meditation. Try it, see  how it works for you and adapt it if  you need to.

Feng Shui Tip for January 12th – ‘National Pharmacist’s Day’

‘National Pharmacist’s Day’ pays tribute to those who fill our lives with prescriptions for happiness and health but who remind us that another apothecary offers us the same opportunity. Mother Nature also offers indispensable advice, especially where one all encompassing anti-viral, anti-fungal and all-natural antibiotic is concerned. Pure lavender essential oil is considered the gold standard of holistic remedies. Every household should have a bit of lavender on hand to treat small cuts or scrapes, bites, burns and other topical wounds. Of course and as always, check with a physician or pharmacist for a proper medical diagnosis but know that your other ‘Mother’ says that you can treat infections, headaches and all manner of skin irritations with this amazing herb. Alleviate anxiety and improve sleep quality with lavender oil while also giving new meaning to ‘sweet dreams.’

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com