Water Magick

Water Magick

The properties of water are both constant and variable at the same time. Water exists on the Earth in three forms: solid (ice), liquid, and gas (evaporated). Water magick is very versatile; it incorporates techniques that bring about changes both within and without. For water magick to occur within, one must consume the water or call upon that aspect of the self. For it to occur without, one must bathe in it, swim in it, cleanse with it, etc.

Not all liquid magick belongs in the realm of water. For instance, brews that incorporate vinegar or alcohol as the primary ingredient fall in the domain of fire.

The magickal properties of particular types of water can be used for the following purposes:

Creeks and streams:  Purification, harmony, cleansing

Dew:  General health, eyesight, beauty. Dew is said to be especially powerful if gathered at dawn on Beltane.

Fog and mists:  Creativity, balance, partnerships

Ice:  Transformations, balance, creativity

Pond or lake water:  Peace, contentment, relaxation, self-reflection.

Rain water:  Energy, protection, cleansing. The first rain that falls in the month of May is considered sacred to the Water Witch

River water:  Cleansing, moving forward, protection

Seawater:  Health, magickal power, manifestation of goals. An old Welsh belief states that a spoonful of sea-water a day will ensure a long and healthy life.

Snow:  Transformations, balance

Spring water:  Growth, holy water, cleansing, protection, prosperity

Swamp and  waste water:  Banishing, binding

Waterfalls:  Power, energy, success

Well water:  Healing, wishes, intuition

The Water Witch also has an attachment to the ares surrounding the water, which can be used for the following magickal purposes:

Beaches:  Rituals, spells, fascinations, meditations

Harbors:  To promote abundance and prosperity; to serve as an aid in banishing things

Riverbanks:  To increase personal power

In Santeria practices, water from particular environments is offered as food to specific Orishas, as follows:

Ogun and Babalu-Aye:  Pond water

Oya:  Rain water

Oshun:  River water

Yemaya:  Seawater

In addition, Santeria incorporates the use of a special cleansing water called omiero. Omiero is comprised of sacred herbs, belonging to the Orisha being petitioned, and water. It is steeped upon coals to bring out the magickal properties. The making of omiero is complicated and has a full ceremony attached to it. The resulting product is used for initiation purposes.


Earth Goddesses – FLORA

Earth Goddesses – FLORA

Flora (“flourishing one”) in the Roman and Greek goddess of flowers, youth, fertility, and springtime. She is also identified with the Greek Goddess Chloris. It was said in the Greek myths that when Chloris (originally a nymph) was captured by Zephyrus, he gifted her with the realm of flowers in return for marrying him. So Chloris became known as the Roman Flora.

Flora was thought to give the charm to youth and the sweetness to honey and to protect the petals and give the fragrance to blossoms. She was particularly important in Roman society. Her cults are among the oldest found in Rome, and she was one of the few deities that had her own priests, who were known as the Flamen Floralis. Her bounty was the precursor of modern medicine, as Flora was not only responsible for flowers but was originally responsible for all crops. All gardens fell under her protection, and iron was strictly prohibited within them to allow the plant devas and nature spirits to prosper peacefully. Fairy folk are known for their aversion to iron.

Flora had a special garden of her own, which featured all of the mythological creatures that turned into flowers upon their deaths. Among the blossoms were Narcissus; Ajax, who became a larkspur; Clytie, who became a sunflower; Hyacinth, who had been Apollo’s lover; and Adonis, who became the anemone.

Greek myths also relate a tale where Flora was responsible for the rose. While on an early morning walk through the woods, she stumbled upon the dead body of a beautiful young girl. Saddened to see such a lovely creature dead, she decided to restore her life by transforming her into the most delicate and beautiful of all flowers. In order to accomplish this, she called upon her husband, Zephyrus, god of the western wind, to blow away all of the clouds from the sky. She then called upon Apollo to send his warm rays of sunlight down as blessings. She called upon Aphrodite to add beauty and grace and Dionysus for nectar and fragrance. Everyone agreed that this was the most beautiful of all the flowers.

Flora went to work gathering dewdrops to restore life to the flower and crowned her queen of all flowers. She then called upon Aurora and Iris in spread the word about this new flower. Iris borrowed just a touch of the flower’s color to spread among her rainbows, and Aurora painted the morning sky with the rose-tinted hue.

Aphrodite named the flower the rose in honor of her son Eros, the Greek god of love. Hence, roses are associated with love. Flora presented Eros with the rose as his own in the hope that it would maintain the romantic associations. Eros shared it with Harpocrates, the god of silence, as a bribe to keep secret the indiscretions of his mother, and the rose became associated with silence and secrets as well as love.

According to Roman legend, Flora also had a hand in the creation of Mars, the god of war. Juno, the wife of Jupiter, was jealous that Jupiter had given life to Minerva on his own, so she enlisted the aid of Flora to help her create a son of her own. Flora reluctantly agreed after Juno swore by the river Styx to never tell Jupiter that Flora had taken part. Flora touched Juno with a magickal flower, and Mars began to grown in Juno’s womb. Mars was born and went on to sire Romulus and Remus, who became the founders of Rome.

There was an ancient and somewhat infamous, Roman festival held in Flora’s honor, called the Floralia. It was celebrated annually from the end of April through the beginning of May. The dates suggest that the original purpose of the festival was to beseech Flora to refrain from allowing mildew to fall upon the crops. It is further believed that the Floralia was the inspiration for the Maypole and Mayday celebrations known today as Beltane. The floralia featured chariot races, theater shows, games and lavish banquets. Altars and temples were decorated with every type of flower known to humankind. The participants wore wreaths of flowers in their hair and left offerings of milk and honey.

The Floralia was also a festival known for its unrestrained pleasures. During the celebrations, marriage vows were temporarily forgotten and the celebrants allowed themselves a wide range of a sexual partners. Prostitutes claimed Flora as their matron deity and celebrated her festival vigorously.

Later, as Beltane traditions evolved, Flora became known as a companion of the fairies. This eventually evolved into legends of Flora as a fairy herself. However, it is believed that was borne of some confusion between the Goddess Flora and the fairy Florelia, who is mentioned in tomes of old as a treasure of the Earth akin to Queen Mah.

The role of the flower, and therefore that of Flora, is as important today as it was in ancient times. Almost all holidays and customs include an appropriate flower. We often send flowers to cheer those who are sick, to say farewell to those who have passed, and to celebrate mile-marker events such as birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. We make use of the scents in perfumes and potpourris and bathing products. We make candles, jellies, wines, and salads from the petals. Flora’s bounty covers everything from poisonous to healing flowers. Chamomile, jasmine, and linden flowers are commonly added to herbal teas. The purple foxglove is the base of the medicine digitalis, which is used in the treatment of heart conditions.

Flowers also have magickal qualities, many of which are steeped in superstition. For instance, the daisy is often used as a divination tool in love matters by plucking the petals off while reciting, “He/she loves me, he/she loves me not.” The dandelion is often used as a tool to bring one’s wishes to fruition by flowing the seeds to the wind. As the wind carries the seeds, it carries one’s wishes to the Goddess as well.

In the Victorian era, flowers were given their own language. A certain type of flower had a specific meaning, which was further sub-divided into categories determined by the color of the flower. For instance, to send a red rose meant “I love you,” whereas to send a yellow rose meant friendship or jealousy. The number of flowers sent also had a specific meaning. It was said to be bad luck to send an even number of flowers.

When the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed in Florida, he looked around at all the many flowers and thought he had found the land containing the Fountain of Youth. He then name the state Florida in honor of Flora.

While we may not choose to celebrate Flora the same way the Romans did, we can honor her on her special days with simple things that remind us of her presence. We can drink flower teas, add flower petals to our baths, prepare meals with edible flowers, decorate our homes and altars with garland and wreaths, wear floral colors, or perform a ritual, or even simply take a walk through flower-strewn fields.

Beyond the Smudge Stick

Beyond the Smudge Stick

Author: Amy

Do you find the smoke of smudge sticks to be, well, wimpy? Is what you need a truly cleansing smudge? Then try some Hibachi Herbal Magic. Tossing loose herbs on hot charcoal is style of smudge favored by the Mesoamerican indigenous for a few thousand years, like this recent experience of mine in the Mayan Yucatan:

A red glow danced across Paloma’s dark skin as she leaned toward the modest bonfire, using a small stone rake to draw steaming embers to the edge. She deftly a large terra cotta chalice with one hand to scoop up hot charcoal and tossed on copal granules from a bowl with the other, quickly rising up and walking toward me in a cloud of thick white smoke. With a few swift motions up my body, she enveloped me in swirling copal fumes.

To become immersed in smoke is a baptism, a complete submission to another world. The animated smoke feels alive with strong aromas that can transport the mind and liberate the spirit. If you have herbs, a fire container and charcoal, you can do this, too.

More Than Sage

In making a smudge stick you’re limited to herbs still on their stems. But with loose herbs on hot charcoal, the possibilities are boundless, with not only leafy herbs but resins such frankincense, sandalwood and other woods, plus seeds, flowers, berries and a plethora of essential oils.

Ooomph up a sage smudge with super purifiers like blue vervain. Add in protective herbs so that the vigorous cleansing doesn’t leave you vulnerable. Tailor the smudge for your event, using a rich, sweet myrrh and mugwort-based blend for the emotional openness of Moon ceremonies. Salute the Sun with a mix emphasizing rosemary and bay laurel for a sharp aroma that will quicken the mind.

A smudge can be fashioned for any sabbat, with Beltane and Summer Solstice bonfires having strong herbal traditions. A male-honoring smudge might be musky with highly spiced overtones. One for women could reflect their complexity, with sweet and warm aromas brightened with elements of green herbs and grounded with earthiness.

Here’s an example of a woman-honoring smudge:

Feminine Focus

Aroma: resinous – sweetly musky with spicy overtones
Ceremonial Use: purifications; Venus, Moon and women’s ceremonies
Significant Days: New and Full Moons; goddess and divine feminine days

Preparation Notes: Crush the cardamon pods, myrrh, sandalwood and valerian root, if necessary, and grind into a rough powder. Add thyme and blue vervain and blend.

cardamon (or cardamom) pods1/2 cup 1 part
myrrh resin 1 cup 2 parts
sandalwood 1/2 cup 1 part
thyme 1/4 cup 1/2 part
valerian root 1/2 cup 1 part
vervain, blue 1/2 cup 1 part

The warm aroma and purifying qualities of the lunar myrrh and sandalwood are paired with purification punch of blue vervain and thyme. Valerian provides relaxed grounding, while cardamon adds spice and pays tribute to Venus, the goddess of love. (See note about balancing with solar blends in Lunar Purification, below.)

More Than Smudge

You can push smudges a step further with adult-only blends that I call immersents. The smudges are done naked or lightly clothed. Active ingredients in the smoke are absorbed through bare skin and inhaled into the lungs. They should only be done with lung-buffering herbs like coltsfoot and great mullein to counter the stress of inhaling smoke.

Immersents are ideal for situations when you want to create a mind-altering effect in participants in a mild and gradual way so the gathering doesn’t go all wacko. Hibachi Herbal Magic is not for parties, but can be used to take your mind to new places.

Psychotropic herbs can be used to foster passion and induce trances, deepen divination and cause prophetic dreams. Some facilitate deep meditation. None should be used if driving within three hours of partaking.

Even if mind altering is not what you seek, you can guide your gatherings with non-ceremonial inhalants for sharpening the mind when folks have gotten too loose or chilling out when overly revved up.

It’s Better Together

One of the cool things about Hibachi Herbal Magic is the way it puts the herbs and their power at center stage. When being blessed with a smudge stick, I’m always aware of the person who’s doing the smudging. But with loose herbs on a hibachi of hot charcoal, it’s just the smoke and the smudgee.

Everyone’s been through the interminable wait while the circle is smudged with a stick. But with Hibachi Herbal Magic, to smudge a group of people they just have them stand downwind, or use large hand fans to direct the smoke. Using the Mesoamerican chalice technique you can still smudge people individually, while doing it quicker and with a more potent smoke.

Hibachi Herbal Magic can also sub for a Beltane or Summer Solstice bonfire in places where open fires are not allowed. A leap through the smoke of special seasonal herbs can be a perfect conclusion to a ceremony. It’s very tactile and memorable!

But the technique also excels for individuals and small groups. It’s an awesome experience to do Hibachi Herbal Magic alone; it’s like a dance with the smoke. Either way, you can even straddle the hibachi and smudge the goods!

Fire Up!

The whole igniting-charcoal-in-the-hibachi thing can be intimidating for the barbeque-impaired. It all depends on the charcoal you use. Self-lighting charcoal briquettes are a breeze; one flick of a Bic will get them started.

Natural charcoal or regular briquettes are by far the more environmental option. Both use waste from lumber processing, with pre-charred wood scraps making natural charcoal and sawdust mixed with binder for briquettes. Or look for treeless briquettes made from coconut shells, which have a great aroma.

Use ethanol a plant-derived lighter gel, which is essentially liquefied Sterno, for the complete green approach. Using a charcoal chimney can will help the lighting process immensely.

Charcoal fires can a bit of an art, and a messy one at that, but worth it. The poised glowing fire of the hot embers provides a powerful focus point for any gathering. The clouds of smoke redolent with complex aromas can focus and entrance a crowd, quickly transporting them out of the ordinary in a very whole-bodied way.

The Lion King Explains the Wheel of the Year

The Lion King Explains the Wheel of the Year

Author: Sevati Pari

The Wiccan tradition celebrates eight festivals or Sabbats that follow the Wheel of the Year (their term for the Earth’s seasons) (Wikipedia) . Among these are Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha or Midsummer, Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain (Healing Happens) . Allow me to tell you a little about each Sabbat and the mythology behind it before moving on to concentrate on Yule and Litha for my pop culture reference.

For reference though the Wiccan Goddess is a triple goddess. She is Maiden, Mother, and Crone separate and simultaneously. The Maiden is when she’s a youth still young and virginal, the Mother is after she gives birth to the Sun God who becomes the Horned God at Beltane, and the Crone is the wise woman she becomes in her elder years when the cycles of her life are done.

There are two different myths that follow the wheel of the year. One being the Goddess/God duality where the Sun God is born to the Mother/Crone at Yule, The Mother becomes the Maiden at Imbolc as the God grows in power and courts the Goddess in her Maiden aspect during Ostara, He impregnates the Goddess Beltane during the height of his power becoming the Horned God, he begins to wane in power during Lammas, and passes away at Samhain becoming the Sacred King who dies so that the land might be reborn, to be born again to the Mother/Crone at Yule (Healing Happens, Sherri Maddon) .

Another myth is that of the Holly King and the Oak King. One rules winter the other rules summer. The Holly King fights and defeats the Oak King at Litha only to have the tables turned at Yule when the Oak King comes back to challenge and defeat the Holly King (About.com) .

Samhain begins our calendar as the beginning of the Pagan New Year. It falls on October thirty-first and corresponds with the Christian’s Halloween. It’s a celebration of the final harvest and a day to honor those that have passed before us. Samhain is not a mournful holiday in which we mourn their passing but more a celebration of their life. It is on this Sabbat that the Horned God passes on to the Summerland (Wiccan afterlife) .

The wheel continues on to Yule which falls anywhere from December twenty-first to December twenty-fifth depending on when the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year is) . It is a celebration that even in the dark there is light, of the hope that spring will come again and winter soon will be over.

It is on this night that the God is born to the Goddess in her Crone aspect. Imbolc is the next Sabbat on the wheel’s cycle. It’s celebrated on February second and is one of the first spring festivals. It’s also a time for purification as the Goddess moves from her Crone state to that of the Maiden.

Following Imbolc is Ostara, which lands on the Spring Equinox usually around March twenty-first. It corresponds with the Christian’s Easter. It’s a celebration of Spring. Then comes Beltane celebrated on May first.

Beltane is a celebration of the fertility of the land and would usually end up in more than one woman walking away from the Beltane fires carrying a baby in her belly. The Sun God mates with the Maiden and she walks away a Mother while he walks away as the Horned God. The days grow longer till we reach Midsummer, which falls on June twenty-first, or the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year) .

Midsummer is a celebration life in general. Next on the wheel is Lammas celebrated on August first. It’s one of the first harvest festivals. It is a time to celebrate the fruit of our yearly labors.

The days progressively decline till we reach Mabon, which actually just passed on September twenty-first. Mabon celebrates the Fall Equinox and is a day of Thanksgiving. It’s a day to be thankful for what you have and for those you have to share it with, much like the American holiday of Thanksgiving that falls in November.

As the day’s decline we swing back around to Samhain where the Horned God becomes the Sacred King and dies so that the land may be reborn (Healing Happens, Sherri Madden) .

I know I went a little off topic here telling about all the Sabbats but I wanted to give you some basic knowledge so you could understand the two I chose for my pop culture reference example, which was that of Walt Disney’s “The Lion King.”

The story was actually based off of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Disney’s movie Bambi but I doubt Walt even knew of the story of the Holly King and Oak King or the Wheel of the Year when he set about making this Disney Classic and created the “Circle of Life.” At the beginning of the movie you see Simba being presented to the kingdom as heir, much as the Goddess presents the Sun God at Yule.

Then later on Mufasa gives Simba a tour of the lands he will one day rule teaching about the “Circle of Life” and how everything is born and dies but even in death nurtures the land (i.e. the wildebeest eat the grass, the lions eat the wildebeest, and when a lion dies his body becomes nourishment for the grass which keeps the circle going) , a clear reference to the Wheel of the Year.

Scar (Simba’s uncle) leads him into the gorge for a “surprise” for Mufasa that turns out to be a stampede that Mufasa tries to save Simba from. He saves him only to be pushed off a cliff by Scar a clear example of the fight of the Holly King vs. the Oak King, Scar being the Holly King and the Winter of Pride Rock.

Simba runs away and grows up meeting Nala (a childhood friend) , they fall in love, and she convinces him to come back to save Pride Rock an example of Ostara and Beltane when the God courts and mates the Goddess. Simba returns and exiles Scar but Scar attacks him forcing Simba to push him off a cliff like Scar did to Mufasa.

Again this is a reference to the battle between the Holly King and the Oak King, this time with Simba being the Oak King and the Summer of Pride Rock. Scar survives the fall but finds himself surrounded by Hyenas who attack him (Wikipedia) .

I didn’t even think of this till I got further into my studies as a first-year initiate in Wicca and I started this class. I just happened to be watching the movie with my little sister and it all fell into place. It was one of those Ah Ha/Eureka moments where the light bulb goes off in your head. But now the movie makes perfect sense to me.

Then I started thinking about how Lion King has affected pop culture. Snippets of the movies have shown up in other movies, TV shows, and books. It’s shown on Home Improvement multiple times since Jonathan Taylor Thomas played Simba voice one clear example was: “I found another Lion King reference on Home Improvement [episode titled “Say Goodnight, Gracie”– 7th season, 15th episode].

In one scene, Tim and a little girl named Gracie are playing with some Lion King animals. Randy gets a chance to tell Gracie about “his” experiences impersonating a lion cub. Tim says, “Oh sorry, I’ve never been a lion cub before, ”

Then Randy replies, “Well, I have. And let me tell you. It’s a tough gig. Everybody expects you to be king.” (Lion King Sightings) .

There’s also a scene in Aladdin and the King of Thieves where Genie turns to Pumbaa and says “Hakuna Mattata” Then turns back and goes “Whoops, I just had an out of movie experience, ” (Lion King Sightings) .


Works Cited
About.com: Paganism/Wicca. 23 September 2008. About.com

Healing Happens. 23 September 2008. http://www.healinghappens.com/wheel.htm

Lion King Sightings. 4 August 2008. Brian Tiermann. 24 September 2008.

Madden, Sherri. Personal Interview. No specific date (classes)

Wikipedia. 25 August 2008. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 23 September 2008.

Wikipedia. 25 August 2008. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 23 September 2008.

Zelda the Witch (“As Told by Zelda’s Familiar, Hemlock the Cat”)

Zelda the Witch (“As Told by Zelda’s Familiar, Hemlock the Cat”)

Author: RainyLane

The sound of clinging glass could be heard from the tiny wooden home occupied by Zelda the witch. Zelda lifted a heavy leather bound book off the table and made her way towards the tiny mirror hanging from the wall. She examined the age that had accumulated on her face, as she had done everyday for the last few years.

Zelda was not always such a vain soul and in her youth enjoyed the attention and praise that often accompanies beauty. But as she began to age, and wrinkles began to plague her once youthful face the compliments from the villagers began to fade and Zelda decided, by Goddess, she was a witch and she would do something about it. For years she had managed to soften times blow by mixing concoctions of toad and bones, lavender and thyme, but these proved to be temporary fixes to an unsolvable problem.

Or was it?

Zelda could remember her mother’s words and a potion she once came across in her childhood. Having no use for the particular potion during her youth, she dismissed it from her memory and for years this spell eluded her thoughts.

As the years passed Zelda became so consumed with her vanity it slowly began turning into desperation and the memory of the potion crept its way into her thoughts once more. Then one night in dream, the spell found its way back into Zelda’s life.

Upon waking the next morning, Zelda scoured her extensive spell collection in an attempt to retrieve the potion. She sat the book back down on the table and began to flip through its aged pages. Flip, flip, flip…nothing. More flipping, more searching and just when Zelda began to think she never really saw the spell at all a loud “ah-ha” rang through the air.

Zelda’s finger halted the next page from landing and quietly she repeated the words before her “Le beau charme de Lune”. Zelda had found the potion! She began to scroll the list of ingredients: Rose hips and sage grounded up fine, with a pinch of moon dust, one can erase time.

To the moon a ladder must be made, from the moon some dust saved. The Beautiful Moon Spell.

Zelda’s first few attempts to retrieve the last elusive ingredient of “Le beau charme de Lune” were quite humorous. There was the broomstick attempt, but witches are people too and getting up that high on an enchanted piece of wood wasn’t flying.

After a few more failed attempts, Zelda was on the verge of giving up when the answer came to her, as it does to most witches, in another dream. Children, millions of children under a powerful spell forming a ladder all the way to the moon.

And so the beginning of the end… began.

The spell had been easy to cast over the children, for Zelda was a powerful well-trained witch. Within moments millions of children began to rise from their silent slumber and follow the enchanted sound of Zelda’s voice.

As Zelda sent the last child up the ladder she tilted her head back and took in the night sky. The moon was high harvest and the smell of burning chimneys could tell anyone dead or alive that Beltane was approaching.

“All these years, all this time”, she mumbled under her breath.

Zelda used to imagine what this moment would feel like. The moment where she knew things could now change. No more toads, no more bones, just eternal youth, in her body… forever.

With a sigh of relief and hike of her skirt was revealed a woman who was about to be herself again.

She couldn’t believe how easy it was to climb the children at first; they said nothing, their eyes blank. Now only remained a hollow emptiness where life used to be. Zelda half questioned herself whether or not this would work, but the closer she got to the moon, the more convinced she became that this time, it would work!

And then… “Oh my Goddess!” she screamed as she lost her footing. Zelda felt the a gust of cold Winter’s air brush by the back of her neck and before she knew it she was plummeting to the ground…and then all that could be heard was a massive shock of screams, children screams, piercing the once silent night sky.

The ladder began to give way as millions of children flew through the air, breaking the strong chain they had formed just moments before. Zelda’s concentration had been broken the moment she slipped and the enchantment over the children was no more.

Zelda’s arms flayed, desperately grasping for anything that might save her life, but all she got was cold night air. And with a soft thud, Zelda’s body finally touched the ground.

It was at that moment I ran over desperate to find sign of life in Zelda’s cold body. There were none. Because of the spell’s workings all the children landed safely and softly on the ground. Silently and without question the children found their way back home as I mourned the loss of my companion and friend.

800 years later the story of Zelda the witch is not easily found in books or prose for it is has now become a cautionary tale told in the silent whispers of wizards and witches around a fire in good company. Vanity to mortal and witch alike is no laughing matter and in some cases, like Zelda’s, could cost you your life.

I, Hemlock the cat and Zelda’s beloved familiar, still reflect fondly on the life and memory of Zelda and wish that she had never found “Le beau charme de Lune”. I guess the lesson to be learned here, dear friends, is to beware of vanity, for it can find its way into your hearth, life and sometimes, if you’re not careful, into your craft as well.

Just as is did in the story of Zelda the Witch.

*Dedicated to the spirit and memory of my mother, Wendy, who passed into her next incarnation in February of 2007.