Today’s I Ching Hexgram for Jan. 24th is 50:The Cauldron

50: The Cauldron

Thursday, Jan 24th, 2013

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The cooking pot symbolizes nourishment and rejuvenation. Sooner or later, good comes to those who do good; joy comes to those who bring humor to others; opportunity comes to those who persist in their dreaming. Rejuvenation is a returning to innate desires — and a re-charging of batteries through the fulfillment of these wishes. This reading suggests nourishment and transformation for people of goodwill. Great good fortune and success are indicated for nourishing relationships.

Healthy, regular sustenance is important, as symbolized by the cooking pot, which provides nourishment to all. When a cycle of humanity reaches its peak, each person’s sustenance comes in the form of his or her deepest needs and highest aspirations.

Rejuvenation means that men and women of talent and insight are being properly nourished and valued. When a society or group is functioning properly, these people are supported, and encouraged to contribute to their best abilities. A fresh approach to old habits is indicated in a period of rejuvenation. Look for ways of putting new life in old forms. Only when great vitality is present can breakthroughs be achieved.

The Witches Spell for January 24th – Full Moon Scrying Ritual

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Full Moon Scrying Ritual

The upcoming summer months are the perfect time for Full Moon Scrying and I’d like to pass on an old, time honored scrying ritual originally written by D.J. Conway that I have used many times during the long summer nights:

Items Needed:  1 bright, shiny silver coin  1 small, black cauldron or scrying bowl filled with water

Perform this ritual outside where the rays of the Moon can fall directly onto the water in the cauldron. If you cannot go outside, stay in a darkened room near a window that the Moon shines through. Place the coin in the water and take the cauldron in both hands. Gaze up at the Moon and say:

“Lovely Lady of the night,  Mysteries old and futures bright,  Give me a glimpse of that to be  And as I will so mote it be.”

Look down at the coin shimmering in the cauldrons water. With your eyes half closed, adjust your vision as if you were looking into and through the coin. Don’t try to analuze anything you might see or that might come into your mind. Just accept it. Some people, rathar than seeing actual pictures within the cauldron, will have mental impressions, feelings or pictures. When you have finished, bow to the Moon and say thank you. Pour the water out on the ground. You’re done!

Book of Shadows Blessing Spell

Book of Shadows Blessing Spell

Preparation:

At the time of the Full Moon, take your Book of Shadows (one that  hasn’t been written in yet) and some incense (pennyroyal, anise or rue) outside.

Ritual:

Under the light of the Full Moon, draw a pentagram on the first page and under this  write the following information: date, time, place, your magical name (and sigil if you have one),  the moon’s phase and any other info you feel is important. Hold the book up to the Moon and say:

Here as the Full Moon shines upon me, Bless this Book I’ve made tonight. I humbly ask this of thee, Underneath your most sacred light.

 

Moon Protection for Amulets, Talismans or Any Personal Items

Moon Protection for Amulets, Talismans or Any Personal Items

Place a jewel, that you regularly carry on you, in a cup of spring water a day before the full moon. The following day, on the evening of full moon, stir the water three times with your finger in a clockwise motion. Take the cup in your hands and in a clockwise, stirring motion, move the cup in a clockwise, circular, stirring motion three times. Then, repeat these words aloud:

Oh Light of the Moon,
Wrap me
Protect Me
Keep me from harm.

Raise the cup towards the sky and drink the water. Remove the jewel from the cup. You must carry it on your person to the next full moon in order to ensure your protection. Repeat this ritual every month to benefit from its influence

Life As The Witch – Morning Tune-In Activities

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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

What Makes Runes Powerful?

What Makes Runes Powerful?

by: Donald Tyson
Runes are the manifest symbols through which rune magic is worked. They can be employed for all of the magical purposes that other magical systems serve, but  they possess unique aspects that make them superior for certain uses.
Because they were forged over the centuries in the same creative fire that shaped the pagan gods of the Teutonic peoples, runes are indispensable in magical  dealings that involve the northern hierarchy. They are a key that unlocks the powers of these gods, and they are a book that unfolds the secrets of their  personalities. Before the rediscovery of runes, the Aesir, lords of Asgard – who number among their ranks Odin, Thor, Tiw, Heimdall, Baldar, Loki, Frija and  Hel – were difficult to integrate into modern ceremonial magic. An elemental wildness distinguishes them from the more civilized gods of Greece and Rome and  the abstract, almost technical natures of the angels and spirits of Hebrew occultism. It would be absurd to invoke the Aesir with Hebrew numerology or Greek  words. Yet before the rebirth of runes, the magus had little option.
Because runes form the magical language of the northern gods and express the forces upon which those gods are framed, manipulating the runes gives direct  control over the actions- not just of the deities but also of the spirits and lesser entities of Norse mythology, which all arose out of the same primeval  crucible of mythic archetypes. They are more than just arbitrary symbols chosen to represent occult forces by the Germanic shamans; each rune contains in its  structure the same essence that is in the god, spirit, or magical potential to which it corresponds. It is the magical name of that god or natural power.     Anyone seeking to contact and communicate with the northern hierarchy – whether for purposes of worship, divination, or active magic – must use the runes. It  is possible to invoke the Aesir without runes, but this is akin to driving a nail with a rock when a hammer is sitting within easy reach. It makes no sense.  More and more, those with Teutonic roots are seeking to know the gods of their ancestors. Runes are indispensable in building this bridge to the past.
Perhaps because they rested forgotten for so many centuries, the runes remain undiluted by modem skepticism and rationalization. Of all the symbolic tools of  magic, they are the most powerful for causing material change in the world. Rune magic makes things happen – often violently, sometimes unpredictably. Most  potent physically, rune magic is also most dangerous to the unwary. The elemental powers contained and defined by the runes are not conscious in the human  sense, but they possess a type of animation and awareness not unlike the self-awareness of animals, plants, or embodied spirits – a watchful, quick,  sometimes malicious awareness that might almost be called mad in its unexpectedness. But madness is a human concept, and the runes are true to themselves and  terribly sane.
All types of occult work that seek material change – or transformations on the human level of emotions and urges that are linked to the body – can be  fulfilled with rune magic. Rune magic also embraces the spiritual level of the human soul, and great works of the spirit are possible using the runes. The  point that should be grasped here is that runes are weighted more toward the physical, tangible end of the scale than any other ancient magical system. It  may be that in their beginnings all magical systems were mainly concerned with material change, but it is only the runes that have descended through time in  their pristine, primitive state.
Another unique aspect of the runes has to do with their structure. Because they are simple letters that can be carried in the head and inscribed on any  surface as easily as the alphabet, they are the most compact and accessible of magical systems. Bulky temple instruments are not needed in rune magic. They  can be written anywhere on virtually anything in moments when an emergency arises. No one can ever take the runes away or destroy them; they live in the  mind.
In their portability runes resemble the Hebrew letters, which are combined into magical names and words of power based upon the numerical values of the  letters in the system of Jewish occultism known as the Kabbalah. At one time each letter of the Hebrew alphabet also had its elemental meaning, independent  of its numerical value. But in modern times, the natural powers embodied in the Hebrew letters have largely been forgotten, displaced by the number values.
As is true of the Hebrew letters, the runes can be combined both occultly in numerical and symbolic groupings and phonetically to form words and sentences.  The same runes can both embody a magical desire in their combination of elemental potentials and explicitly define that desire in words. These methods  complement and support each other, and are frequently encountered together on rune artifacts made for magical purposes. For example, the sixth-century  Lindholm amulet of Sweden bears the intelligible inscription of its magician maker: “I am an Herulian, I am called the Cunning One.” But it also  bears a string of runes that cannot be translated, because they convey only an occult, not a literal, meaning.

RITUAL DEDICATING YOUR RUNES

RITUAL DEDICATING YOUR RUNES

Start with a set of 24 blank Runes of your choice from any material you are comfortable with and begin to inscribe or dedicate them.  If your set is already inscribed, then you will begin the dedication ritual.  Remember you can do this in a 24 hour period or over a 24 day period.  Always begin with the First Aett and first Rune Feoh.  Then continue with the Second Aett and then the Third Aett till you have completed either one Rune per hour or one Rune per day. The corresponding hour to begin a 24 hour dedication would be to start at 12 noon and finish 12 noon the next day.  For a 24 day dedication start on a New Moon or Full Moon (After viewing Moon Calender, make sure you use “Back” to return to this page!) as the first day and continue for 24 days.  During either vigil, write down your very own thoughts and feelings about each Rune as you also study many different books and versions written by other people.

Make sure you have the proper tools handy to inscribe your Runes properly.  You might burn, etch, engrave, gouge, paint, hammer, draw, or cut the runes onto the appropriate material of your choice.

Whether you dedicate store bought runes or the ones you made yourself, follow this ritual or write your own to dedicate each Rune according to your very own spiritual path.

1.  Center and ground yourself.

2.  Thank your Higher power(s) Odin/Woden, Freja, Thor, Norns, or favorite Norse God/dess and the Nine Worlds as you light your incense, candles or smudge sticks.  The Norse traditions always starts with the North, so face North!  Put your shield or cone of protection up.

3.  Dedicate your Rune with it’s appropriate name. Repeat the name inside your head as you inscribe your Rune.  Imprint yourself with it’s name, e.g. “This Rune is Feoh.”  Keep repeating the name until you are finished inscribing.

 

4.  Once the Rune is inscribed or ready to dedicate, hold it up, look at it, and say it’s name our loud three times.  Then while still holding that Rune say it’s meaning out loud three times.  Then say the Rune’s name plus the meaning three times.  Write this down in your journal along with the date and time.  Then write down whatever comes to your mind and the research you have done on this Rune.

5.  Meditate the meaning of the Rune as you write.  Clear your head of undesirable junk and see the impressions of the Rune come to mind in either symbolic archetypical or spiritual images.  Hold them in your head, remember them and write them down.

6.  Thank your higher powers Odin/Woden, Freja, Thor, Norns, other favorite Norse God/ess and protector; thank and bless the Nine Worlds, for their protection and insight; snuff out the candles, incense and/or smudge sticks.

7.  Keep this journal containing your impressions from this sacred dedication.  Remember the story of how Odin received these Runes.  Remember that the Norn Sisters of Wyrd were there when Odin received the Runes.

I absolutely cannot condone a fast while doing a dedication of the Runes although some people like to experience what Woden/Odin did as a Shaman.  I have done both the 24 hour and 24 day rituals and I recommend the 24 day dedication ritual for most people.  You will have more time to memorize the runes and get acquainted with them.  Staying awake for 24 hours is difficult and must be planned when it won’t interfere with one’s work or academic schedule.  The plus side to staying awake for 24 hours is that you will probably experience a Shaman experience as the result of sleep deprivation.

 

Courtesy of the World of Wyrd

RUNE CLOTHS

RUNE CLOTHS

Many people like to have a special cloth that is used solely for rune readings and runecasts. This is called, simply enough, a rune cloth. It is usually made of a piece of white or single colored material. It may be square, round or whatever appeals to you. In size, it need only be large enough for a runecast or spread. ( A traditional size is 18″ X 18″.) It is possible to have a rune cloth replace your pouch. You could bundle your runes in your rune cloth and tie a string around the bundle.

Some people find it helpful to have a “map” figured out on their rune cloth. This “map” allows them to determine what the placement of the runes in a runecast mean. For example, you may wish to have a circle on your cloth. You could consider any rune inside the circle as being something that is near you, and the runes that fall outside the circle could be considered further away from you ( in terms of time, distance etc.). You could consult a book on tea leaf reading, a “map” of the tea cup can be incorporated into your runecasts or painted onto your cloth. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. If you decide to make a rune cloth, I suggest it be as simple and uncluttered as possible. If you choose to include a “map”, bear in mind, the runes should be the main focus of the reading. Rune cloths that are patterned or too busy may detract from your readings by pulling your attention away from the cast.

Solitary Misconceptions

Solitary Misconceptions

by Sylvana SilverWitch

I used to be a solitary many, many years ago now. After I moved to  Seattle — away from my first priestess and  coven — I looked for a new coven, thinking it would be easy to find one. In the  early 70’s, there was not much pagan activity in Seattle. As I became familiar with  the area and got settled, I ran into a number of people who claimed to be  practicing the Craft but were not into anything  like what I had been taught.

One guy I met ended up getting arrested a few years later for  luring young girls into a “coven,” only to  ply them with drugs and take advantage of them. I was very happy that I wasn’t  taken in by his charm and promises of third degree initiation into his  made-up tradition.

I read the submissions for this issue with interest because I always  wonder why one would choose to be a solitary, foregoing the rich tapestry of  learning and practicing with a group. I feel truly blessed to be a part of my coven,  Sylvan Grove, and I wouldn’t trade the last 16 years with the evolving group  for anything. As I read, I noticed a theme of misconceptions about working in  a group and/or being part of a coven. Misconceptions, that is, from my  point of view. Having been in a couple covens for a number of years each as well  as having been a solitary for over 10 years, I feel well-equipped to address  some of these issues.

Seemingly common misconceptions I have come across, and my  perceptions about them are:

1. That you can just find and join a coven.

Finding covens is not easy. It’s not like we advertise in the phone book  and you can simply call us up and come on over. In most cases, you cannot just  join the coven the next day, week or month. It takes training, discipline  and elementary knowledge to begin working with an existing group. Not to  mention social skills, responsibility and basic compatibility with the tradition and  the people.

2. That working alone is somehow better than working in a group.

There is a limit to how much you can learn and grow on your  own. Whether it’s getting a new perspective or opinion or having support in  times of need, We all need other people.

I have found value in working alone, but I can do that and still be part of  a coven. We get together on the new and full moons and the Sabbats,  and sometimes socially. But we don’t all live together. We have separate lives.

Also, I have found nothing to be as wonderfully challenging, stimulating  and rewarding as working magick with a group of intelligent, inquisitive, bold  and progressive people. The coven I am now HPS of has some of the brightest  and most amazing people I have ever come across in the Craft. The energy  we generate when we do magick is palpable. We are a focused and powerful  entity and our magick works well because of that.

3. That groups follow some “Sacred Book of Shadows” that was  passed down from Old Gerald, and that they duplicate the rituals  absolutely religiously.

This is true in very few covens I have been exposed to. More often,  when a written tradition hands down a book of shadows, it is passed from the HP  or HPS to the initiate. Initiates then expand on or change what they do to  suit themselves. Very few covens, in my experience, go by the letter of the  book for every ritual. In fact, most of the people I have done ritual with are  artistic, creative witches and have written and performed some remarkable  rituals. Maybe that’s a comment on who I tend to gravitate to, but it can’t be only  that after all these years.

4. That groups don’t allow for individual personal creativity.

If my coven is any indication, this cannot be true. Andy recently wrote  a paper for the Sylvan Outer Grove class and in it he mentioned the Sylvan  Grove Random Moon Generatorä in which we look at what astrological sign the  sun and moon are in and what that means. With this information and  group consensus about what we want or need at the time, we decide what magick  to do. I know other covens invent rituals as they go — during several years  as the New and Full Moon coordinator for a Northwest pagan organization,  I watched it in action.

5. That they somehow won’t “fit in” to a group.

This is one of the most obvious fallacies I have heard expressed.  Anyone can fit in if they find the right group or coven. It does take some social  skills to work with others successfully, but a coven is a lot like a family.  Everyone does not get along all the time, everyone does not always agree. There  are conflicts from time to time, but we are committed to working things out.

It is important to find common ground in philosophies and styles  of working, but you don’t have to agree with everything or like all things  about someone to work magick successfully with them. If you find people you  like and are compatible with, and you like the tradition, a year should be  long enough to figure out whether you can commit to a long term  working relationship.

Also, people come and go as part of the natural order of things.  Everyone grows at their own rate. You don’t have to dedicate the rest of your life to  a coven. If it doesn’t work for you in the long term, you can always ask to  be released from your obligations.

6. That people are “solitaries” when they aren’t a formal part of a coven,  even  though they work with some group or even just one other person on a  regular basis.

Solitary implies alone. My personal definition of a solitary is a person  who does not work with, or belong to, a group. If you are working  magick regularly with a coven or group, whether or not you are formally dedicated  to the group, in my opinion you are not a solitary.

To find an appropriate coven or group, you must be persistent. Keep  your eyes and ears open. Go to whatever public rituals you can attend.  Take classes on different traditions if they are available in your area; if not,  read books on different traditions to find what you most resonate with. My coven only advertises  the Outer Grove class in one issue of the paper per year and there is a  deadline to get into the class.

When you do find a group you are interested in, ask if you may  attend something that might be appropriate. If you get invited to a ritual, ask what  you can bring or contribute. Make yourself useful, help out where and when  you can. Be on time. Be good listener. Keep an open mind. Remember, you are  asking to become a student — don’t come across as if you already know it all.  Be open to letting others get to know you and let your interest be known. If  in doubt, ask!

In the Sylvan tradition, you must ask many times before you are invited to  be part of the inner circle. This assures us that you are serious and  committed; that’s what we are looking for.

Good luck finding a coven, if you want to be a part of one. If you do  join one, you will find the group magickal experience to be profoundly  rewarding, fascinating and an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth  beyond compare. Blessed be.

Petition Spell To Banish Faults

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Petition Spell To Banish Faults

Use this spell to eliminate weaknesses from your life.

Timing:  Moon’s third quarter; Moon’s fourth quarter; Saturday, hour of Saturn; Sunset; Midnight: Autumn; Winter; of your personal power time.

Supplies Needed:

2 pieces vegetable parchment (one small, one large)
1 pen
Cauldron or heatproof dish
White candle
Matches

The Spell:

1.  Empower the supplies for success.

2.  On the larger piece of vegetable parchment, write down five faults that you would like to banish from your life. Choose one from this list and write it on the smaller piece of parchment.

3.  Light the candle.

4.  Fold the small paper up and touch the corner of the paper to the candle’s flame until it ignites. Drop the paper in the cauldron or heatproof dish.

5.  Watch the paper redden, whiten then blacken, and visualize your fault losing substance and vanishing from your life. With intent and awareness, cross that fault off the list on the larger piece of parchment.

6.  When the ashes of the paper have cooled, bury them outdoors off your property.

7.  Choose the next appropriate time to banish another fault from your list an proceed as above. Repeat weekly or over the next series of Moon cycles until your list is done. After the final repetition of the spell, burn the larger list as well.