Today’ I Ching Hexagram for January 21 is

24: Returning

Monday, Jan 21st, 2013

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There is a turning point that recharges you and eventually brings success. This hexagram is associated with a turning back of long nights towards more light, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the seasonal change when our hours of daily light begin to increase again. This is the beginning of a turnaround; a time of letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. Ironically, it all starts with rest.

Don’t move too fast. The new momentum is just beginning; the turn-around demands that your energy be recharged by adequate rest, so that your life force will not be spent prematurely. This principle of hibernation, of allowing energy to renew itself and be strengthened by rest applies to many situations — recuperation after an illness, the slow return of trust after period of estrangement, the careful development of new relationships after a splitting apart of old ones.

 

Your Tarot Card for January 13th is The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

Sunday, Jan 13th, 2013

Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience.

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.

Visiting the Well of Release (A Meditation to Process Pain)

Visiting the Well of Release

A Meditation to Process Pain

by Melanie Fire Salamander

Okay, it’s that time of year again. I don’t know about you, but the  first part of the year, New Year’s through Valentine’s, way too often finds  me breaking up with someone. I hate it! You’d think I’d have figured out  how to avoid it by now. But the pain of leaving, or worse of being left,  never seems to get easier. All I seem to be able to hope for is a few more  tools for dealing with it.

Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid this pitfall, pain is all  around us. Life, as the Buddha said, is suffering. This is a bad time of  year for family pain, our having just gone through the holidays. The earth  lies fallow, exposing her wounds: building sites like open sores, old mines  and dumps, places whose ruin makes you weep. And it’s a dark time of  year, when during long nights and short dreary  days all the specific, personal drek we’ve avoided  in summer and fall can rise and engulf us.

Don’t let that happen! You can process pain. Not shove it, to find it  later, having grown runners to other, older pains, but truly process it — be in  it, feel it deeply, then let it go. It’s not a hasty process. Expect to do this  work over and over again. But each time you do, I promise you, you can and  will let go a little pain. It’s hard work, because to release the pain, I find,  you have to feel it again and know its roots, its causes, which usually go  back to sufferings of early life or even before. But if you’re willing to do  the work, you can heal.

Following is a meditation to help that process happen. In honor of  the season and of the goddess Brigid, I’ve built into the meditation an image  of a sacred, healing well, an image of this goddess, whose holy day Imbolc  or Candlemas is. To use this meditation, either record it on tape and play  it back or ask someone to read it to you. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Before starting, find a comfortable place where you won’t be  disturbed; take the phone off the hook and if necessary shut out your pets. If  you’re prone to falling asleep, try sitting up as you meditate, preferably on a  chair or against a surface that helps keep your back straight; alternatively,  you can sit cross-legged or in lotus position. If you have  problems relaxing, stretch out on a bed, couch or the floor.

The Meditation

Close your eyes, and begin to relax. Take a few deep breaths: in,  out; in, out. Feel your body, wriggle your fingers and toes, your nose, your  hips and arms; roll your head. Feel where your body ends and what’s around  you begins. Feel the air around you, the surface underneath you. Be here  now, present in your body, in the present moment. Feel yourself begin to relax.

Continue to breathe deeply, and begin to release the cares of your  day and week with your breath. 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 recall yourself to the physical world by moving your  fingers and toes. You will feel utterly safe and protected throughout.

Relax more fully still, and breathe deeply. Feel in the center of your  body, behind and below your belly button, a spark of life, your life, your  eternal fire. Feel that flame pulse with life. Let that flaming center send a  spark of energy downward, a liquid trail like molten fire, down through your  groin into your base and down into the earth. Feel this energy flow  downward, through the foundation of the building, down into the deep, wet,  cold earth, the soil, through hidden underground streams, cool water  slick on rocks, and below that into the solid rock of the earth’s mantle. Feel  the personal flame from your body push down through rock into the deep  core of the earth, the earth’s molten center, where all is fire as it is fire  inside you. Feel your own personal fire connect with the energy of the  earth, deep and red, the red glowing heart of the earth.

At the same time, feel a spark of energy flare upward from  the center of your body, up through your torso, through your neck,  through your head, through the top of your head into the air. Let this  energy flow upward through the air of the room, through the ceiling, through  the roof of the building into the cold air. Let the energy fountain up, up,  up, through the cold damp air, past clouds of rain and ice, up into the clear  sky above all clouds. Feel your personal fire energy connect with the fires  of the sky, the energy of sun and stars and moon, fiery, swirling sky energy.

Feel your deep energetic connections to both earth and sky,  tap into those connections and deeply feel them. Let sky energy begin to  flow downward into you, and at the same time let earth energy flow upward  into you. Feel the two energies combine in your center, swirling together  gently and cleanly, into one combined healing energy. Let this energy  flow outward from your center, filling your torso, filling your lungs and  throat, filling your head, filling your groin and pelvis, your legs and arms,  touching and washing away remaining tension, cleansing and healing. Let all  negative energy you can let go of flow with this wave out through your  grounding. Let negative energy, tension and pain and anger and everything you want  to let go of flow sweetly and cleanly down your grounding, into the  earth, which can reuse the energy for other things.

Now let a wave of sky energy come through you again, combine  with earth energy, and fill you, cleansing you, and wash away another layer  of negativity down your grounding. Release everything you need  to release. Keep any information you require, but release pain, tension,  fear and error with the cleansing, healing energy down your grounding.

And again, let another wave of sky energy come into you, combine  with the energy of earth, fill you and cleanse you, washing trouble and  pain away down your grounding into the earth. Feel your deep connection  to earth, and let trouble and pain wash into the earth. Keep any  information you require, but let all the pain you can go into the earth.

Feel yourself cleansed and sparkling, full of earth and sky  energy, and deeply connected to both earth and sky. Ground out any energy  you

don’t need into the earth.

Now imagine yourself at a stone boundary marker, standing beside  a gravel road. It is dusk, wintertime, and you are in farm country. The  landscape is wintry, with a light dusting of snow, the tree branches bare of leaves,  but you don’t feel the cold. Smoke rises from chimneys of houses here  and there, some far away on bare hills of cropped brown. The air smells  cold and of woodsmoke.

You turn and walk a while down this road. To either  side are fields full of stubble, tan. As you pass, crows rise  cawing. Far across a field, you see a lone scarecrow standing.

The road slopes gently down a hill, and you come into a small  wood. Tree limbs rise gnarled and black around you, shadowing the road.  A rabbit raises its head, brown against white shadowed snow, looks at you  a moment and bounds away.

You come out of the wood into a flat landscape, cropped fields to  either side behind board fences. You walk awhile, the scenery barely  changing, all in colors of brown and grey. The smell of the air changes, and  you realize you must be coming to a body of fresh water. Walking forward,  you crest a shallow hill and see before you stands of rushes around a large lake.

You continue forward on the road. The gravel stops, and you keep  going on an earthen path. Tall rushes stand at either side, the air brushing  through them, whispering. You push down the path through the rushes and  find yourself at a dock where a small rowboat is tied up, oars lying in  its bottom.

From here, at the lake’s edge, you have a clear view across. A band  of gold haze lies along the horizon, between long bands of  grey-purple cloud. The water is steel-grey, and in the center of the lake lies a  small island, crowned by a grove of birch trees. The island attracts you  strongly, and you decide to row out to it.

Knowing this is the custom of the place, you get into the boat, untie  it, and fitting the oars to the oarlocks begin to row. The island is not  far away, but it takes longer to get there than you think it will. The boat  moves slowly and dreamily through the twilit water. The twilight stays constant;  the sky does not get darker. This seems strange, but you feel perfectly  safe and protected, and you accept that twilight stays in this place.

You come to the island shore, step out onto gravel and pull the boat  up so it won’t float away, setting the oars in its bottom. The grey water,  tinged lavender in the light, laps the gravel shore. You walk toward the grove  of birch, and again though the trees don’t seem far away, it takes you longer  to get to them than you thought it would. Things move slowly in this place.  All around you lies dusk-purple light. Know that you will  remember everything you need to from this place.

You edge between two birch trees and come to the center of the  island. Here sits a stone well. Over the well hangs a weeping willow. The long  arms of the willow move gently in the air, rustling.

You see among the willow branches, sitting on the edge of  the well, a woman clad in sage-green. Her hair is  long, falling almost to the ground, and a very fair blonde,  or colorless, or grey — it’s hard to tell in the light.  She greets you and tells you that this is the Well  of Release, and she is its keeper.

You greet her with reverence. You know she is no ordinary person but  a goddess. (Pause briefly.)

She asks you what you would release, and you tell her.  (Pause briefly.)

She asks you to sit on the edge of the well, sit comfortably. When  you are seated, she asks you go deeply into the problem you would  release, saying she will protect you as you do.

You agree to her suggestion and begin to go into the problem in  your mind. See the problem in your mind. See pictures of scenes around  this issue, the people involved, the places. Take some time and bring the  problem you want to release fully into your consciousness and emotions.  (Pause for some time.)

Feel the emotions around the problem. Name these emotions. Be  in them. Avoid resisting them, but let them be present and flow through  you. Feel them fully. (Pause for some  time.)

The keeper of the well watches you, understanding fully  and protecting you as you do this work. When you have fully gone  into, recognized and felt the emotions around this problem, she nods  deeply and says she will give you something to hold this issue, a symbol or  object to contain this pain. She holds out her hands, and between them is  this symbol or object. (Pause briefly.)

You take it into your own hands. This symbol is a container and is  meant for your use, to protect you. You feel perfectly safe and protected.

She instructs you now to put the problem you want to release into  the symbol, to let flow into the symbol everything you need to let go. You  do so gently and fully, letting your emotions and memories and  thoughts flow into the symbol, keeping only that information you need and  letting go all pain into the symbol. (Pause for some  time.)

Once you have put what you need to into the symbol, the keeper of  the well cranks the well-handle and draws up the bucket. She instructs you  to put your symbol into the bucket, and you do. It goes easily, no matter  how big or amorphous it is, as if that’s  where it belongs. It disappears into the bucket.

Then the well-keeper lets the bucket back down into the well.  The Well of Release, she tells you, lets into an underground stream, a stream  that is able to change and break up pain and trouble and old blockages  and let energy go where it belongs. You look down into the well, and you  see the bucket hit the water, the dark water with just a ripple of light, see  the bucket go into the water, disappear into the water. As it does, you  feel released of your pain, you feel it gone. (Pause  briefly.)

Now the keeper of the well brings out a crystal decanter full of  water, and she motions you to stand in a silver-edged basin whose drain  feeds into the source of the well. “This is the cleansing Water of Release,”  she  tells you. You see the water in the decanter sparkle with its own  inner light. She pours the water over your head; it cascades down over you,  and you feel not wet but as if cleansing, healing energy were going  through you, washing away the last vestiges of pain and trouble, releasing the  last blocks and letting them pour downward into the  underground stream and into the earth. (Pause  for some time.)

The well-keeper smiles at you and says, “Now you are cleansed  and healed, and in token I give you a gift.” In her two hands she holds out  this gift, and you take it. You examine it, and she tells you what you need  to know to understand it. (Pause briefly.)

Know that you will keep the memory of this gift as you need  to, and all else that you need to retain.

Now you say your good-byes to  the keeper of the well and thank her. (Pause briefly.)

Leaving her, you pass out between the birch trees, and on the gravel  shore find the boat. You draw it toward the water and get in, push off with  your oar and slowly row back to the lake shore.

At the lake’s edge, you tie the boat to the dock, replace the oars in  the boat bottom and, turning, walk back through the rustling reeds along  the path. You pass through the reeds to the long flat land, the road with  brown fields on either side, and into the dark wood. You notice that it has begun  to get dark. But it is a reassuring darkness, a warm and  protective darkness, a blanket drawn over the land that lets it sleep.

You pass under the black, gnarled branches and out of the dark  wood, and you walk up the slope of the hill, looking at the cropped fields on  either side. You greet the scarecrow and the crows that rise from the fields to  caw at you. You continue along the gravel  road, the landscape getting darker around you, and you find yourself  back at the boundary marker from which you started.

You settle down beside this marker. All around you darkness  falls, comfortable, comforting and calm. Know that you will  remember everything you need to from this meditation. You will keep  everything you need to keep.

You begin once more to feel your body. You are coming up from  trance, feeling warm and relaxed yet energetic. Feel your body; wiggle  your fingers and toes. Feel the surface below you and the air above.  Retain in your mind everything you want to remember from this meditation.

Feel yourself present in your body, present in the here and  now. Notice your breath; feel yourself draw breath deep into your lungs and let  it go. You feel present and calm yet full of warm energy.

Breathe deeply once more, and open your eyes.

The Law of Return

The Law of Return

by Amanda Silvers

The threefold law of return: We hear much about this, but do we really comprehend the meaning? What you put out comes back times three (or more), means unequivocally that, good or bad, you reap what your actions have sown.

How do we define “putting something out”? A thought, a deed, a word are all actions that contain energy. Think about this: If you disburse money willingly, with the focus that you are contributing to the prosperity of the community, the prosperous energy returns to you. Not always in the exact way that you want; sometimes in the most unexpected ways!

If you choose to live in lack, feel like there is never an adequate amount of anything and attempt to hoard and hold onto everything, the flow stops. It’s akin to putting a dam on the energy flow. If you are broke, give a little away, whether it’s time or energy or money. Doing so will create a vacuum effect, which will then help to get the flow started back toward you instead of away from you.

Money is only paper with numbers on it, it is used to represent energy. You expend your energy for some of it and then give it away for something someone else put energy into. Just like everything else, it goes around in a never-ending cycle; there is an ebb and flow to it. Sometimes you have more, sometimes less, but there is always a coming and going of cash; that’s why it’s called cash flow!

This philosophy also works in other areas of life, love for instance. Do you suppose that you have only a limited amount of love? Is it to be rationed out as you go through life? Will you run out? I think not. The more affection you give, the more you generate, the more you experience, the more you give! Just like that. The cycle turns the wheel.

Try this in another area. Have you ever been frightened of having something happen and then had it happen just as you hoped it would not? Or have you ever said “I will never ______ (fill in the blank)” and found yourself doing just that shortly thereafter? Magickal components are a part of everyday life. You have an intent, put emotion (energy) into it, take action and bring it into being. You begin to create with nothing more than a word or thought. It works remarkably well for those things that you say never about, because you feel intensely about them and put a lot of energy into them. What do you think would have more power: “I wish I could win the lottery!” or “I will never have enough money!”?

Your subconscious mind does not recognize the word  “not”; it’s a non-word. When you say “I do not want to do that,” it is a direct command to your brain; you are basically saying that you really do want to do whatever it is. If someone says to you, “I do not want to hurt you,” be careful!

If you sit around all the time, agonizing about your bills, your job, your health, your love life… what kind of energy are you putting out? How might that energy be contributing in a magickal sense to your circumstances? Would you do a spell to get a job you hate, or to get into a bad relationship? Of course not! So why sit around and put energy into negative crap when you could be furthering your positive wishes? The universe is a bountiful place; the Goddess is generous with her gifts. There is plenty for all. Does this ring true for you? If not, you might ask yourself, “Why not?” What beliefs that you hold to be true are sabotaging you?

“Try” is another one of my pet peeves. When a person says they will try to do something, it is just an excuse for not doing it, as in “I tried! I just couldn’t.” Think about what you say. Instead of saying “I will try,” see how much power there is in actually committing. Say “I will do it!” Also, how much power is there in saying no to those things you really don’t intend to do. Wow, what an enormous amount of energy you free up by just saying no in the first place! Then you don’t have to worry till the last minute whether you should actually do it, then have to make an excuse for not doing it – not to mention maybe having to do something you’d really rather not. You will find people will respect you more and value your energy more when you can be believed and counted upon to do what you say, as well as for your being in control of your boundaries.

Finally, be careful what you wish upon someone else, because just as positive thoughts come back to you, so do the negative ones aimed at others. Don’t wish on someone else something you would not like to have happen to you and yours. Be careful of those things said thoughtlessly or in jest. How might you feel if the nasty thought you thought when you were angry at your friend or mate were to happen?

Make your statements in the positive. Strive to be conscious of your every thought and word and the energy around them. Focus on the here and now and what’s happening. If you can accomplish this, the law of return will work in your favor and only good things will come to you.

Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it!

Living Life As The Witch – Nasty, Little Creatures In The Shadows

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Living Life As The Witch

Those Little Nasty Creatures In The Shadows

If you have followed The Craft for any length of time, you’ve seen all the wonderful and beautiful things that has happened since you started joining this Path. Along with all the wonders you will see, keep in mind that there is also dark, nasty, little Shadow creatures out there.

These little creatures exist, in the invisible world that parallels our own, living creatures. Unlike creatures from our world, they lack physical form, and feed on energy instead of matter. They are as varied as the animal life on our world. Their power ranges from the equivalent of insects and rodents to the equivalent of magickally trained humans, and beyond to the Great Old Ones.

These creatures feed on energy. Most are content to graze on the random energy fields that leak from humans and other creatures in our world. Others, however, are a little most sinister. These, the ones you have to worry about, they are referred to as the Shadows.

Shadows comes in three basic varieties. First are the little ones that feed off the energy in negative emotions. If you are emitting strong negativity, they will be drawn to you like flies to rotten meat. If you aren’t magickally protect, they will happily latch onto your energy field (aura). They are usually not much more troublesome than leeches or mosquitoes; however, a thousand leeches could weaken a person severely.

Next is the more dangerous variety, more like rats or vultures than mosquitoes. These are attracted both by negative emotions and the energy of magickal workings. They are stronger, and can push past weak or flawed defenses to get to you. And they are much harder to peel loose once they have their teeth into you.

Last are those of the intelligent variety. Their favorite meal is human life energy, the heart-fire that burns in each of us. They are relatively rare even in their own realm, but they exist. The terms “Imp,” “Evil Spirit” and “Demon” are fairly accurate. They are very strong. The more intelligent ones are capable of working their own magick to breach your defenses. The most intelligent variety, being as lazy as humans, prefers to talk you into dropping your defenses and linking your energy field to theirs. They also are capable (if someone is helpful enough to open a doorway for them) of entering our world. Once here, if they can get past all your defenses unless you are very strong at warding. They can enter your body and will feast at will even asserting a degree of control over you. Yes, this is exactly like the old stories of Demon possession.

Don’t laugh you can be a Vampire, your best friend, the average Joe on the street:

They exist in this world of evil creatures. They are highly intelligent, capable of working magick, and extremely devious. They are capable of not only psychic magickal attacks, but physical ones as well. As a species, they tend to be amoral, murderous animals. Humans who are capable of feeding off the energies of another human is a “Psychic Vampire.” They do this to gain more magickal power, to control others, or to replace the energies they are losing by dealing with the Shadows. Some humans can even do this while traveling astrally. So that Evil Spirit that tried to get into your last circle may not have been from the other site, it could have been your next door neighbor. For real, lol!

Today’s Tarot Card for January 3rd is The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

Thursday, Jan 3rd, 2013

Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience.

Life As The Witch – Kitchen Alchemy

Kitchen Alchemy

 

Kitchen alchemy is really a very simple form of magickal work: it doesn’t require circle casting or the invocation of elements, and you don’t even need to use a spell for most basic everyday dishes. (You may want to use one of the truly important occasions, like having your boss to dinner or the first meal you cook for a new lover, but that’s up to you.)

Like all magick, kitchen alchemy is primarily a matter of intent, focus, and will. You start by choosing your intention–increasing prosperity, for instance, or creating an atmosphere of love and peace in your home. Then, as you are cooking, you add the magickal ingredients you have chosen to use while focusing on your intention and directing your will into the dish. As with other magickal workings, the more intent, focus, and will you bring to your food preparation, the more effective your kitchen alchemy will be.

Almost everything in your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets has some magickal association. Here are a few of the most common and easiest to integrate into everyday meals. These associations are based primarily on “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen”– if you only get one resource. I highly recommend this one. But different sources gives various other associations; always follow your own internal wisdom when it come to witchcraft.

Apple:  love, health, peace

Basil:  love, protection, prosperity

Beans:  prosperity, sexuality

Black pepper:  protection, purification

Cayenne pepper:  energy, creativity

Chocolate:  love, prosperity

Cinnamon:  love, psychic awareness, prosperity

Coffee:  conscious mind, physical energy

Dill:  conscious mind, prosperity, weight loss, love

Garlic:  protection, health

Ginger:  love, prosperity

Lemon:  love, happiness, purification

Milk:  love, spirituality

Olives:  health, peace, sexuality, spirituality

Parsley:  prosperity, protection, sexuality

Peppermint:  healing, purification, sexuality

Pomegranate:  creativity, fertility, prosperity

Potato:  protection

Rosemary:  conscious mind, healing, love, protection

Sage: health, protection

Salt:  grounding, protection

Spinach:  prosperity

Sugar/honey/maple syrup:  love, prosperity

Thyme:  love, psychic ability, purification

Tomato: health, love, prosperity, protection

Vanilla: love, sexuality

Reference:

Simple Kitchen Alchemy
By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s 2012 The Magical Companion

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The Air Witch & Auras

The Air Witch & Auras

 

An aura is the colored area around the body. It is the atmosphere or spiritual essence of the self. It has been asserted that we each have a primary aura color. We cannot change our primary aura color, no matter what we do. However, there is an overlay of color on the aura that we can control and manipulate for magickal used. This kind of magick should be used only on the self, never on others.

 

In order to manipulate your aura overlay, you have to be able to manipulate your emotions. In the same way that the mind “colors” emotion, the body reacts to the colors in the aura field. In other words, in order to change your aura overlay to a clear, bright red (to warn others away), you would need to direct the emotion you see as red into your projected aura. This is accomplished with concentration and visualization. If you can visualize something as simple as a bubble, you can change your aura overlay.

Here are the most commonly accepted aura color interpretations:

Red: Passion, sexual energy, anger

Orange: Stability, clear thinking

Yellow: Logic, intelligence, energy, nervousness

Green: Nature lover, healer, jealousy

Blue: Peace, at rest, depressed

Purple: Spiritual

Pink: In love

Black: Negative person

White: Connected to the Divine, wise, a teacher of spirituality.

 

In effect, manipulating the aura is akin to throwing a glamour. The difference is in the level of concentration. A glamour only has to be strong enough to fool an onlooker, while an aura manipulation has to fool you. If you are about to go into a job interview and are nervous, your aura overlay will be yellow. You might want to change it to an orange color, which indicates a clear thinking, stable person. So, you visualize the energy inside of you as a clear bright orange, then release it from the center of the self, allowing it to stream out of your pores into your aura field. Do not ground until after the interview. Have faith that your aura overlay is now orange, and it will be.

 

It is a smart move to make regular aura cleansings a part of your magickal routine. This techniques are simple. While in meditation or an a separate task, simply visualize flooding your aura with a brilliant white light. You may want to smudge the aura field. Simply burn white sage or another cleansing herb in a dish, and direct the smoke all about your body with a feather of fan. Both techniques are safe and effective.