An Atheist on a Date

September 16, 2017

Charm for prophetic dreams

September 8, 2017

Use any of the following: citrine, amethyst, clear quartz. Use beads, tumbled stones, or crystals. Take a length of silver wire or silver-coloured ribbon. If using beads, string them onto the ribbon or wire. If using a stone or crystal, wrap it in the wire until secure or tie it in the ribbon. Charge the charm in moonlight, preferably during the waxing or full moon. To receive prophetic dreams, take the charm in your receptive hand and recite:

Moonlit charm of psychic stone
Let my future soon be known
Fill my head till light of day
Send prophetic dreams my way

Meditate with the charm still in your receptive hand, focusing on your intentions. Visualize the charm emitting moonlight, glowing with psychic energy. Place it under your pillow and go to sleep knowing that your dreams will be clear, vivid, and prophetic.

talent for witchcraft

September 3, 2017

You weren’t born with a talent for witchcraft: it didn’t come easily; you worked hard at it because you wanted it. You forced the world to give it to you, no matter the price, and the price is and always will be high… People say you don’t find witchcraft; witchcraft finds you. But you’ve found it, even if at the time you didn’t know what it was you were finding, and you grabbed it by its scrawny neck and made it work for you.

Terry Pratchett
I Shall Wear Midnight

Music and Witchcraft

September 3, 2017

Many witches use music to aid in their craft; music can help boost your energy, put an edge to your spell, get you in the right mood, help connect you to your deity/energies/elements/etc, and just create a good atmosphere!

Remember, you don’t have to use just whimsical spiritual music with lots of flute and wind noises. Any music can be used for magic, from pop to rock to classical to jazz. Use music that you connect with and works well with what you’re doing! When doing a spell for strength, and the song Boss Ass Bitch makes you laugh and feel ridiculous, don’t use it. But if it makes you feel empowered and confident, perfect! You don’t have to be a pop culture pagan to use songs like that, just use whatever feels right.

There are an infinite number of ways you can use music.

• while reading tarot, to put you in ‘the zone’
• while dancing, to heighten your energies and unify your body
• while performing curses, to sharpen and manifest your rage
• to make your will more specific when doing luck spells
• to cover up the sound of your verbal spells or chanting (if you’re not out as a witch)
• to feel more connected to your deity
• while meditating to drown out the world

Music is an invaluable resource, and for those people who feel music to a big part of their life, it can be a perfect asset for their witchcraft!

Dionysian theories of self

September 2, 2017

Dionysus does not
explain or regret
anything. He is
pleased
if he can cause you to perform,
despite your plan,
despite your politics,
despite your neuroses,
despite even your Dionysian theories of self,
something quite previous,
the desire
before the desire,
the lick of beginning to know you don’t know

Anne Carson
From intro. to Euripides “Bakkhai”

The Witches’ Round

August 30, 2017

Nowadays used to raise the Cone of Power, this old dance may be used alone or in full coven. It is better if the Drawing Down of the Moon has gone before, for then the Gods shall fuse with the energies raised in the ecstacy of the dance and thereby accomplish your will.

All join hands to form a ring about the High Priestess. Heads turned left and eyes tightly shut, will a flowing river of power about the circle, moving from one through the next, from man to woman and woman to man, about the circle without beginning or end, gathering strength as it goes.

When the circle is set thus, in motionless intensity, the High Priestess begins to clap to the rhythm of the heart-beat. And upon this signal all open their eyes and step widdershins; slowly at first but with a quickening step as the High Priestess quickens the beat of her clap, until three rounds are complete. And this must be accomplished smoothly and without awkwardness.

Now change direction and dance deosil to the Witches’ Rune or some other tune; slowly at first, but faster and ever faster until, the Power being at its peak, the High Priestess shall release it crying: “Down !”, whereupon all shall fall to the ground to sit in a circle facing in. Thus also was the Cone of Power raised of yore.

Janet and Stewart Farrar
The Witches Bible

Snakes hold a place of importance in folklore and mythology from around the world. A snake’s ability to shed its skin has made it a symbol of immortality in stories such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. This also may be the reason that snakes appear as deities or representations of rebirth or the return to youth in stories from many cultures.

Snakes as Symbols

Images of intertwined snakes symbolized healing and fertility in ancient Babylon. One of the oldest mystical symbols in the world is the Ouroboros, literally “tail-devourer,” which dates to ancient Egypt. The Ouroboros is the symbol of perfection, the endless cycle of being. It usually is pictured as a serpent with its tail in its mouth, forming a perfect circle. The Greek god of medicine, Asclepios, is depicted holding a caduceus, which is a staff with two intertwined serpents coiled around it. According to the myth, he discovered medicine by watching a snake use herbs to heal or, in some versions, to resurrect another snake. Since the sixteenth century, the caduceus has been a symbol for various medical organizations.

Snakes as Symbols of Divinity

Snakes appear as deities in many ancient cultures. The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered, or plumed, serpent, whose Mayan counterpart to Quetzalcoatl is Kulkulcan, is a powerful god of civilization, credited with providing corn, the arts, and science to humankind. Ancient Egyptians worshipped Renenutet, a cobra goddess associated with fertility and the protection of children and the pharaoh. The Egyptians also idolized Nehebkau, a snake deity that guarded the entrance to the underworld, protected the pharaoh after death, and travelled with the sun god, Re, during his nightly journey through the underworld. In Australian aboriginal culture, Wollunqua is the Rainbow Snake, a giant snake connected with the rainbow as well as with Creation itself. Eingana is an aboriginal snake goddess and mother goddess who made the land, the water, and all living things. In Hindu mythology, nagas are a race of demigod serpent-people that are half human and half snake. Some African cultures look upon rock pythons as sacred and consider the killing of one to be a serious crime.

Snakes as Symbols of Evil

In the Old Testament, a serpent tempted Eve to taste the forbidden fruit. In Greek mythology, one of the god Apollo’s earliest deeds was the slaying of the deadly serpent Python. The goddess Hera, who hated the infant Hercules, sent two serpents to destroy him in his cradle, but Hercules triumphed, strangling them. Later, Hercules slew the Hydra, a terrible serpent with nine heads.

Josepha Sherman (editor)
Storytelling: An encyclopaedia of mythology and folklore

.

Aine [pronounced On-ya] was the ancient sovereignty Goddess of the province of Munster in South West Ireland. Although She was a very powerful, important tutelary Goddess, still very much honoured and respected by the local people up until the 20th century, very little is known about Her. It is through the fragments of history, folklore, legends and the very people of Limerick, that Aine lives and survives today. She has never been Christianised, and traditions (recorded up until the 1970s) relating to Her that were practised remained truly pagan.

Aine is associated with Cnoc Aine, (Knockainey, Co. Limerick). A hill, with three ring barrows upon its summit, now lost to the memories of the older generation and where sheep quietly graze, was once the most powerful, Royal ceremonial centre of Munster. Here Kings undertook the Bas Fis, (coronation ceremony) and within Irish myth, performed a sacred marriage with the tutelary Goddess, to secure the Kingdom. The Oenach festival continued here up until the 20th century.

Legends and traditions grew about the hill to celebrate Aine as the people’s Goddess. At Samhain Aine is said to emerge from the sidhe of Aine, a cairn located to the east of the barrows, with Her red bull. The local people lit bonfires on all nearby sacred hilltops in her honour.

Another important and time-honoured festival was St John’s Eve, (23rd June) which celebrated Midsummer. The men of the locality would process around the summit of Cnoc Aine with lighted cliars (torches) then run down through their cattle and fields to bestow good luck upon them for the forthcoming year. The people understood that Aine and Her sidhe would then undertake a similar procession around the summit and barrows on this very night.

There have been accounts whereby the magical and mundane worlds united and it is said that Aine Herself appeared to local people. On one St John’s Eve night Aine appeared to a group of girls who lingered upon the hill to watch the festivities.

She thanked them for the honour that they had shown Her, but asked them to leave as Her otherworld friends wished to have the hill to themselves. It is said that Aine pulled back Her cloak to reveal a portal into the otherworld, whereby the Sidhe had already started to gather upon the hill.

Another account speaks of a year when the procession decided not to light their cliars, to show respect for a local man who had recently died. They found that although their procession was in total darkness, the supernatural gathering burned their torches even brighter, as if to compensate for the humans. Aine was seen leading the procession! These stories were retold by local people and many 19th century families living around the hill claimed direct descent to Aine, so much was She honoured and loved. They spoke of Her in near human terms as ‘the best hearted woman that ever lived’, yet She reminded them on occasions of Her supernatural nature.

Lana Jarvis
Aine: Goddess of Midsummer, Goddess of the people

Walpurgisnacht

August 26, 2017

26th August

Medusa lost her head, but she was only trying to defend herself. These things are a simple matter of perspective –

Both Pandora the first woman in Greek myth and Eve the first woman in Christian myth disobeyed divine prohibition with dire consequences for humanity. Are they male myths revealing the true nature of women? Or anti-feminist fables? Again Perspective is all important –

Tertullian denounced women thus:

“Do you not know that each of you is an Eve? God’s sentence on your gender lives even in our times, and so it is necessary that the guilt must also continue. You are the one who opened the devil’s door; you unseated the forbidden tree; you first betrayed the divine law; you are the one who enticed him whom the devil was too weak to attack. How easily you destroyed man, the image of God! Because of the death which you brought upon us, even the Son of God had to die.” (On the Apparel of Women, 1, 1.) –

The misogyny of the Christian Church fathers grew and multiplied throughout the middle ages –

But then “a witch-angel polarity emerged in attitudes toward women. The sexually active were often associated with the underworld devil, while those with unruptured hymens were adored on a par with heavenly angels. Virgins had virtue because, as the roots of these words indicate, they had male (Latin, vir) restraint. “Ava” was Gabriel’s greeting to Mary, according to Jerome, because the Nazareth virgin reversed the bad name of “Eva,” the sexual siren of Eden. The exalted “Queen of Heaven” of the cult of Mary set in bolder relief ” witches” who, by means of satanic voluptuousness, enchained men for consignment to hell.”

The gateway to hell was unknown until Tertullian located it between the legs of a woman. However, if we turn to Chaucer, his wife of Bath has this to say:

“If women had but written stories;
As have these clerks within their oratories,
They would have written of men more wickedness
Than all the race of Adam could redress.”

All about perspective again.

#

Dinner party for eight tonight. Veggie lasagne followed by strawberries and cream, and a vat of wine.