JUMPING THE BROOM ~ Modern weddings with an OLD twist
MOTHERS DAY DANCING WITH DRAGONS ~ forging
Gifts for the Pagan Mom
a lifelong friendship
FINDING NATURE IN THE CITY ~ Explore nature in your backyard
Harmony Hearth Brooms And
For more information and pricing please contact Anne at HarmonyHearthBrooms@yahoo.com
Gensha Publishing Maxine Byers Lazy Witch Ingrid Jeffries CraftyWitch Patti Wigington Lady Ti-Eagle Alena Orrison Gertrude Moon
Crafty Witch Maxine Byers Janie Bass http://elementalmagick.wetpaint.com/
MOTHER’S DAY HISTORY
GIFTS FOR THE PAGAN MOM
SUBSTITUTES FOR ESENCIAL OILS
DANCING WITH DRAGONS
TOOLS OF THE WITCH
THE ELEMENTAL DRAGONS
SPRING FLOWER MAGICK
THE WICKER MAN
THE MAGICK OF WATER
FINDING NATURE IN THE CITY
JUMPING THE BROOM, A BRIEF HISTORY ~
THE WICCAN ALTER
THE FLOWER MOON
SPRING FULL MOON RITUAL 4
FROM THE EDITOR
CALENDER OF EVENTS
PLANT OF THE MONTH ~ LOTUS
THE WHITE TIGER & THE WHITE BUFFALO ~
TAURUS MOON SIGN
MAY MOON CALENDAR
GEMINI MOON SIGN
GEM OF THE MONTH ~ AQUAMARINI
GOD/DESS OF THE MONTH
CRAFTY WITCH’S BOOK REVIEW
BELTANE RITUAL FOR KIDS
CRAFTS FOR KIDS PIPECLEANER FARIE FRIENDS
MAKE A MINI OR ALTER MAYPOLE
Questions? Comments? Ideas? If you have something to say, we want to hear it! Letters to the editor can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
I never really bought into the “fake it til you make it” mentality when it came to happiness. Forcing a smile when I was grumpy felt like stroking the cat the wrong way and my reaction often paralleled the wrath of my dog Burt on a bad day. I didn’t like the idea of what felt like suppression of my true emotion in order to achieve an alternate frame of mind, though I do understand there is a science behind the concept. In fact, an increasing amount of evidence from research over the past few decades does show facial expressions can result in experiencing the correlating mood (whether positive or negative). But plastering a grin on my moody mug made me feel like I was walking in a world of Stepford wives, as though everyone around me was faking their happiness, too. From there, the dominoes would tumble and plain grumpiness would take a turn for depression. Unfortunately, good intentions can go bad and what works for some may not be the ticket for others. I’ve gotten used to the fact that I tend to fall in that “others” category, but at least I’m not alone. Recently I read a tip in Whole Living magazine that confirmed my inner turmoil over this point. Under their action plan (tips for healthy change each day) June 29th simply states, “Stop Faking It.” They go on to say, “A recent study at Michigan State University found that faking smiles throughout the day can lead to bad moods and withdrawal… If you don’t feel like smiling, don’t.”
Does your fake smile lead to a real smile? Maybe forced smiling will bring a superficial sort of happiness or even a sincere happiness for some, but that doesn’t mean it will erase underlying negative emotions. I have come to treat my emotions like symptoms. If you break your leg, you can’t pretend it’s ok until it is. You would be in immense pain and the bones would likely heal incorrectly, leaving you with a lasting chronic condition. Similarly, instead of pulling up the bed sheets against my inner turmoil, I try to discover the underlying cause and work to understand and heal that instead. Let yourself feel the emotions you are encountering. Explore them. When I take the time to recognize an emotion (often through discussion or journaling) rather than trying to suppress or avoid it, I am able to process that emotion and possibly even realize its hidden source. This leads to a more natural transition in letting go, which means I am one step closer to healing and feeling sincere happiness. Have you ever tried to “fake it til you make it” to happiness? Has it worked for you? Do you have other alternatives to boosting your mood when you find yourself in a funk? Write to me and let me know what works for you. Until next time… Bright Blessings Maxine Byers
Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870
Dragon Magick is the calling upon of Dragons to aid you and become co-magicians with you. Dragon Magick can be practiced on its own or along with other Magickal Traditions. Dragon Magick is not for everyone. Those who practice Dragon Magick must be self-disciplined seekers who realize the potential dangers but dares to communicate with and befriend this vast astral power of the ages. Dragon magick is a serious topic and is not to be meddled with, hence the fact that there are many dangers in this kind of magick due to the immense power it has. It is for the Magician who is serious about working with dragons on a magickal, spiritual, and friend-wise basis. When a Magician dances with Dragons, as the practice of Dragon Magick is called, he/she discovers an intensity of power never before tapped. When tapped into this intensity it is exhilarating and a Spiritual high. When you are befriended by Dragons as co-magicians they can empower your rituals no matter what tradition you practice far beyond what you have normally encountered. Their grasp of ancient knowledge is deep and profound. Their ability to see through layers of time both present and past as well as the future is astounding and quite accurate if they choose to reveal what they see to you. As protectors during rituals or everyday life there are no equals. If you are chosen by Dragons under their tutelage you will have the opportunity of constantly learning and evolving your knowledge and magickal ability. If you take the time to forge a friendship with Dragons they can become the best companions you would ever want. Although this companionship can seem harsh and demanding it is always in your best interests. A lifelong dance with Dragons is never boring for it is a constant exploration of various types of energies and the uses in which these energies can be applied. Dancing with Dragons can be a joyful, daily experience and one that is eagerly sought after by all participants for the mutual sharing of energies during ritual as well as in life helps out both species in their evolution and spiritual growth. The more that Magicians seek out the companionship of Dragons, work with them, and earn their trust the more Dragons will be encouraged to once again have a closer, positive relationship with humans in general just like they did in olden times.
There are some schools of thought that say that Dragon Magick must be kept strictly as High or Ceremonial Magick, but that is not the case. Dragon magick can and does work within any magickal system. It can be practiced as its own Tradition or in conjunction with another magickal tradition. Dragons can help to empower your rituals no matter what tradition you practice. You will find these graceful beings in almost every magical system throughout the world, where they are usually deified or vilified. Each system looks at dragons in a different way and helps us to learn about different facets of their personalities. There are some who see them only as elemental energies without independent existence; while others seem them as symbols of that energy and having no true existence at all. My belief is that Dragons are astral beings, having form and existence but they do not have the ability to manifest on the physical plane that we live in. Their bodies are made of energy, but the will and personalities that we connect with are very real and independent of us. Dragons do not only exist when we call upon them. They do not wait, suspended in time, until we remember to invoke them. Just as we do not live only in ritual, the dragons that we work with will have other things to do and their own lives to lead. What may be convenient for you may not be for them. As astral beings time may flow differently for them, but they are in no way bound to our wills nor must they obey our commands. In fact, that is a sure way to drive them off and possibly suffer backlash from such an action. Some call any magickal practice with Dragons is to â€œDance with Dragonsâ€?, but they can be more than just a dance partner. As teachers of ancient knowledge their grasp of it is deep and profound. Their ability to help in divination is astonishing and quite accurate. As protectors during rituals and everyday life there are no equals. And if a Dragon chooses to take you under their wings you will have the opportunity of learning knowledge and evolving your magickal ability, which few have done. A lifelong practice with Dragons can form a bonding companionship with them and they can become the best companions you could ever have. If it is practiced daily it can be a joyful addition to your life not to mention the benefit that both species gain in their evolution and spiritual growth. The more that you seek them out, work with them, and earn their trust the more Dragons will be encouraged to once again have a closer, positive relationship with humans in general like they did in old times.
Alextrasza- Dragon Goddess of Life She is a deep red, with jade eyes, and is of enormous proportions. She creates new life, blesses, and saves lives. She is the dragon mother. Ysera- Dragon Goddess of Sleep and Dreams She is a yellow/green color, quite large as well. She is also known as 'She of the Dreaming'. She usually has her eyes closed, but when they are open, they are every color of eyes you have ever known and more. She is very wise and controls dreams, sends them, and keeps nightmares at bay. She is a powerful magician, with immense mind power. Malygos- Dragon God of Magick He is a beautiful dark blue, with silver eyes. He creates magick in all worlds, aids in magickal workings, anything to do w/magick, you can be sure he is a part of. He tends to keep to himself, and prefers icy climates. Don’t be intimidated, if your intentions are good, you have nothing to fear. Nozdormus- Dragon God of Time He is a gorgeous golden color, with eyes the color of the sun itself, so try not to blind yourself looking into them! He tends to hiss more than the others and rolls his s's more known as 'Lord of do. Time'. Healso the most dragons He is controls time itself, the future, the past and the present. He is obsessed with collecting the past and wears an hourglass necklace around his giant neck. He doesn’t like being bothered at all, so make sure you have a good reason for doing so. Deathwing- Dragon God of Death By far the most terrifying of the dragons, he is the blackest of blacks, with cold, yellow eyes. If you are ever in his presence, you will immediately know, for you will feel the most fear you have ever felt in your life. He is terrifying, awful, cold and calculating. He has quite a long, evil past, but since then has stopped being a thorn in dragon kind's side. I wouldn’t recommend having anything to do with him, unless it’s an emergency and all other resources have failed. He takes the lives that are meant to be over with, and takes them to the other world, where they can be reborn through Alextrasza.
Khellondros-Dragon God of Storms, Rain, He is a sapphire blue, with grey eyes. The son of He creates storms, hurricanes, Alextrasza. tornadoes, etc. He breathes lightning breathe. He dwells on our world usually in the spring, summer and fall times. He smells like thunder. He is very laid back and has a good sense of humor.
Beryl- Dragon Goddess of Earth and All things Green, She is a deep emerald green, with yellow eyes. She is Khellondros's older sister. She makes things grow, plants, the earth, grass, etc. She leaves our world during the winter months. She can be cruel when crossed, but tends to be a bit mysterious. Frostwing- Dragon Goddess of Winter She is a diamond white, with clear, ice like eyes. She is also Deathwing's daughter. She makes the snow, the ice, everything that has to do with winter. She is not one to be crossed. She is cruel, savage, and doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. Do not contact her directly unless necessary.
~ by Lazy Witch
One of the most beautiful flowers and plants of the water world, the Lotus has been used in different forms of magick for thousands of years. Originally found in warmer climates such at Egypt, China and Japan, it has spread across the world and is known as a flower of love and passion. There are even a few species that can be found in our Northwest ponds and small quite lakes. The Lotus is best known for love magick. Anyone who breathes the scent of the Lotus will receive its protection. It also helps in psychic opening and spiritual growth. Sacred to Egyptian gods, Indian gods, Hermes, Oshun, and Osiris. Lotus oil has a high spiritual vibration and is suitable for blessings, anointingâ€™s, meditation and as a dedication oil to your god(s). One who wears Lotus oil is sure of good fortune and much happiness. Going hand in hand with the Lotus is the Lotus Root which can be carried to keep thoughts pleasant and clear. Lotus Root can be uses as a "Fortune Chit" by slicing it on the round. Write "Yes" on one side, flip it over and write "No" on the other. When you need help in making a decision that can be answered with a Yes/No answer, flip your Lotus Root and get your help!! Place the root of a lotus under the tongue, and say the words "SIGN, ARGGIS" toward a locked door and it will miraculously open.
Lotus seeds and pods are used as antidotes to love spells, and any part of the lotus carried or worn ensures blessings by the Gods of good luck.
REFERENCES The Extremely Large Herbal Grimoire, on Search Engine Squibd Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
The Lotus-Flower All the heights of the high shores gleam Red and gold at the sunset hour: There comes the spell of a magic dream, And the Harbor seems a lotus-flower; A blue flower tinted at dawn with gold, A broad flower blazing with light at noon, A flower forever with charms to hold His heart, who sees it by sun or moon. Its beauty burns like a ceaseless fire, And tower looks over the top of tower; For all mute things it would seem, aspire To catch a glimpse of the lotus-flower. Men meet its beauty with furrowed face, And straight the furrows are smoothed away; They buy and sell in the market-place, And languor leadens their blood all day. At night they look on the flower, and lo! The City passes with all its cares: They dream no more in its azure glow, Of gold and silver and stocks and shares. The Lotus dreams 'neath the dreaming skies, Its beauty touching with spell divine The grey old town, till the old town lies Like one half-drunk with a magic wine.
Star-loved, it breathes at the midnight hour A sense of peace from its velvet mouth. Though flowers be fair -- is there any flower Like this blue flower of the radiant South? Sun-loved and lit by the moon it yields A challenge-glory or glow serene, And men bethink them of jewelled shields, A turquoise lighting a ground of green. Fond lovers pacing beside it see Not death and darkness, but life and light, And dream no dream of the witchery The Lotus sheds on the silent night. Pale watchers weary of watching stars That fall, and fall, and forever fall, Tear-worn and troubled with many scars, They seek the Lotus and end life's thrall. The spirit spelled by the Lotus swoons, Its beauty summons the artist mood; And thus, perchance, in a thousand moons Its spell shall work in our waiting blood. Then souls shall shine with an old-time grace, And sense be wrapped in a golden trance, And art be crowned in the market-place With Love and Beauty and fair Romance.
By Roderic Quinn
The Wicker Man
Finding Nature in the City ~ by Kelly Brenner
Perhaps you live in the city, or you’re visiting for a conference, family or vacation. We’re all nature fiends here and we need our nature fix. Even those who are not self-declared nature fiends need their nature fix, they just aren’t aware of it. Worry not; it’s not as hard as you might think to find nature in the city. How to find it First of all, you have to change the way you think. Sure, bears and deer and mountain birds are great, but you’re not likely to find them in the city center. Although, sometimes you can be in for a treat when a Snowy Owl takes out a gull in the middle of a busy neighborhood, or if you’re lucky enough to live in a city like Seattle where Orca whales are regularly spotted. For the most part however, you’ll have to assume you won’t see these kinds of wildlife. Instead there are two ways to alter your typical thinking. The first step is to think very small. Think like an ant! Insects are most often overlooked, but they can be abundant in the city. Crawling around on your hands and knees along 5th avenue might get you some strange looks, but you won’t be the only one to have done it. Butterflies, beautiful bees and flies, beetles, dragonflies and so much more can be found in even the most urban of places. You will be surprised at what you find. So bring your hand lens, field guide to insects and macro lens and watch where you step. The second step is to open your mind to the common species. Crows are everywhere it’s true, but you may gain some incredible insight and learn a lot if you stop and watch and study them. If you have a doubt about the incredible draw of common species, read the fantastic (and one of my very favorites) book Crow Planet. There is so much to learn about species that we pass over without a second glance when we’re out
in ‘nature’ looking for more interesting species. Even now, scientists are learning new things about common species. Who knows, perhaps you’ll observe something nobody has ever noticed before. Where to find it When you think about finding nature in the city, the first thing that jumps into your mind is most likely parks. While that is the most obvious answer, there are many other places to find nature in the city. Here is an example of a few. Small Parks: While the bigger parks get all the news and attention, even the tiny neighborhood parks can hold a great deal of excitement. For example in my neighborhood, is a small wetland park which I’d never even heard of until I moved here. The bigger parks in the city are well known to have owls, but I found one in my park which I saw on a daily basis for over a month. Just because they don’t get the press doesn’t mean they can’t harbor interesting wildlife. Traffic Circles: Visit these locations with caution as you don’t want to get run over while looking for nature. Many cities have volunteer homeowners maintain their local traffic circles. Some of them can be spectacular and I’ve found some here in Seattle which are simply buzzing with bees, flies and butterflies. In Vancouver, B.C. there is a program run by the city which allows people to adopt a traffic circle or street curb.
Community Gardens: If you’re lucky to be in a city with community gardens (Seattle has over 44 acres) you’re bound to find some good wildlife.
Cemeteries: One area of green space which is never paved over is cemeteries and many older ones have beautiful, mature trees which provide habitat for many
Among the gardens I’ve visited, one is known as a butterfly hotspot, another keeps tracks of all their bird species. With the flowers growing and such a diversity of plants, you’ll find a wide variety of insects and birds.
many species. They are also a quiet, peaceful place in a city where you can get away from people and noise.
Vacant Lots: Whether it’s a lot with weeds so tall you can’t see the other side, or an old parking lot with plants starting to poke through the cracks in the pavement, these are a refuge for all manner of wildlife and plants.
Green Roofs: Many cities such as Portland, Chicago and Seattle have added a tremendous amount of green roofs in recent years. While many are private, there are many more which have observation decks or are accessible to the public. Many of these roofs are finding a surprising amount of wildlife on them. Green walls are starting to catch up in popularity and can also be places for birds to nest and other wildlife to shelter.
Bridges: This may seems like a strange one for the list, but bridges are well known to many as excellent places to find wildlife. Many Peregrine falcons can be found nesting on bridges and bats roosting in Austin create a huge tourist draw as they leave each night to go out in search of insects.
Golf Courses: Fancy hitting the links while you get your nature fix? Many golf courses attract an abundance of wildlife. When you slice your ball off into the pond, you can check out the frogs and dragonflies while you make your drop. Just be sure not to get too absorbed in the wildlife you forget to watch out for other bad golfer’s balls flying at your head. I never said watching city wildlife was safe!
There are many more places to find nature in the city and more and more urban designers are starting to include habitat in their plans. If you’d like to find out more about incorporating habitat into urban landscapes, visit my blog, The Metropolitan Field Guide.
Kelly Brenner writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat. She earned a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon. Kelly has studied and watched wildlife from a very young age in the great Pacific Northwest and from that has nurtured her passion for creating, discovering and encouraging habitat development in the urban environment. In addition to the blog, The Metropolitan Field Guide can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. For fun, she enjoys traveling and taking photographs which can be found online at Kelly Brenner Photography.
Why Is A Wicca Altar Important? Any altar is a symbolic manifestation of your innermost self. It is an expression of your heart's longing and your soul's potential. It is also a focal point for your devotion . . . A spiritual practice arena for devotion to the Divine. Temples Within And Without We each have a Temple in our inner hearts. And any spiritual process is about entering and worshiping there. But it's not easy to access something so abstract. So, like your symbols and tools and Gods and Goddesses, you create something that comes through the gate of your senses. Something you can see and smell and touch. Even hear and taste, if possible. The more senses you engage, and the more you balance your sense perceptions, the more you can access the spiritual levels that you seek. In this context, altars are not some esoteric mystery, but the most natural expression of what has value to you. Natural Altars So, in the broadest terms, an altar is any collection of items that are personally meaningful. Almost everyone has one . . . That collection of photographs on the bedside table. The mementoes that gather on the mantle place. These are altars to your loves and your life. When you want to make an altar dedicated to your spiritual life, you simply focus a little more. You put only items that uplift your spirit and remind you of your ideals. That's all any spiritual altar is - Wiccan or
otherwise . . . A symbol to help you remember . . • Who you really are, • Where you really come from, and • Where you are choosing to go! Your Altar Nourishes Your Soul Once you make your first conscious altar, and discover how beautiful and nourishing it can be, you may find yourself wanting to make altars everywhere. Go for it! How could you possibly go wrong, bringing the blessings of the Divine wherever you are. Your office, your car, your bedroom, . . . all are perfect places for an altar. . . . Because every altar becomes a home for what you enshrine there. When you create an altar to the Divine, She lives there. (So behave accordingly!) You’re Inner Temple You'll probably want to keep at least one altar private. Put it in a personal part of your house, or somewhere you can discretely close a door and keep it from sight. This can be your innermost Temple's altar . . . the Heart of your witchy heart. This is where you can put your most personal and meaningful items. The Power Of Keeping Silent This privacy isn't about hiding. It's the Fourth Power of the Witch: holding silence. When something is very sacred, it's not easy to talk about it. The words don't exist, for one thing. Even more, the respect for Soul and Spirit isn't common in our culture. So to expose your innermost Temple to idle curiosity, disdain, or ill intent is to open your Heart to violation and disperse the Power gathered by your altar.
Your Private Relationship With The Goddess You will want to give your Wicca altar the respect it deserves. Especially once you've experienced the Power that your altar can move, in your life. Only those to whom you could safely entrust your most tender feelings should see this . . . if anyone. Even then, think about it carefully. There is no reason why you should share this altar at all. Your spiritual life is between you and the Divine. Your Wicca altar is the outward manifestation of this relationship. It can be kept completely confidential. Sometimes the most sacred things need to be kept silent about. Your relationship with the Divine is the deepest of relationships. Just as you are unlikely to let people watch while you and your beloved are making love (or so I assume ), keep your most personal altar truly sacred. All your other altars can be as open as you (and they) like. It's Simple A Wicca altar doesn't have to be complicated or costly. You don't really need anything other than what you have on hand, or can easily find for free. You don't even need a specially designed altar table. Many people set up altars in convenient places, like an end table, a dresser, a mantle, even on top of the TV! For a private altar, a hutch with closing doors, or a bedside table can work well. And don't forget your outdoor spaces - perfect for Wicca altars!
Wicca Altar cont…. • Old stumps, • Hollows or nooks in trees, • On top of stones, • Beside creeks, • Small caves . . . Anyplace you aren't likely to step or sit on it, you can set up a little altar. Tending Your Wicca Altar Tending an altar is a wonderful spiritual practice that anyone can do. It's very forgiving, as spiritual practices go. Which makes it perfect for those of us who are not yet particularly disciplined? The Magick in a Wicca Altar The benefits of tending your altar are not all in the spiritual realm. Your daily life will reflect what's happening on your altar. In other words, when you make changes on your altar, you will alter your life. If you feel stuck at work, for instance, alter things in the spiritual realm. Clean your altar thoroughly. Put on a. fresh altar cloth in a bright color. Decorate it with some
new Wiccan stuff. And then watch your life transform. This magickal benefit creates motivation to keep your altar devotion up. The Care and Feeding of Your Altar has more on these topics. Summary Some people will try to tell you that you absolutely must have this or that on your Wicca altar. If so, smile politely, say thank you, and walk away. It's your altar. And it's your spiritual Path. There are no rules for what kind of Wiccan stuff you put there, except the Silver Rule - do what works for you. Be creative. When making a Wicca altar, let your heart speak. Let your inner magickal child express the wonder and delight in the world that you once had. This is your pure divine self-expressing itself. And that's what spiritual practice is all about. With Bright Blessings,
SOME SUBSTITUTIONS FOR ESSENTIAL OILS Some of you may have a very large collection of Essential Oils in your Magic Cupboard while others, like myself, have very few, using these oils primarily for anointing candles or just a dot on my forehead before doing ritual or ceremony. I do my best to keep my stock limited so they are fresh and full of energy. In an effort to help our readers to know what can be substituted for some of the more frequently used oils, here's a short list you might wish to keep handy. Essential Oil Substitute Bergamot = Grapefruit Chamomile = Lavender Clary Sage = Equal Parts of Sage and Nutmeg Grapefruit = Lemon Jasmine = Ylang Ylang Lemongrass = Lemon Mandarin = Orange Patchouli = Vetiver
~ by Lazy Witch
Rose = Rose Geranium Sandalwood = Equal Parts of Benzoin and Cedarwood Spearmint = Peppermint Tea Tree = Equal parts of Lavender and White Camphor These substitutions will only slightly affect the fragrance of a blend, and will often drastically reduce the cost. You can use this table as a guideline for experimenting with other aromatic recipes, sometimes you can even get away with double substitutions (i.e., using Lemon for Grapefruit for Bergamont) without significantly affecting the fragrance.
Source: From the New Jersey Pagans Notes on Facebook, Thursday, 21 March 2013, crediting The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood.
Correspondences: Spring Flower Magic As spring arrives, our gardens begin to bud and eventually bloom. For hundreds of years, the plants that we grow have been used in magic. Flowers in particular are often connected with a variety of magical uses. Now that spring is here, keep an eye out for some of these flowers around you, and consider the different magical applications they might have. • Crocus: This flower is one of the first you'll see in the spring, and it's often associated with newly blooming love. The crocus is also known to enhance visions and bring about intuitive dreams. • Daffodil: The bright petals of the daffodil are typically found in shades of white, yellow or even pale orange. This flower is associated with love and fertility -place fresh ones in your home to bring about abundance. Wear this flower close to your heart to draw love and luck. • Dandelion: The leaf of the dandelion is used for healing, purification, and ritual cleansing. To bring positive change about, plant dandelions in the northwest corner of your property. The bright yellow flowers can be used in divination, or placed in a sachet to draw good energy your way. • Echinacea: Also called purple coneflower, this garden mainstay adds a little bit of magical "oomph" to charms and sachets. Use it for prosperity related workings. Burn the dried flowers in incense, and use on your altar during ritual as an offering to deities. • Goldenseal: This sunny yellow flower is often found growing in the wild, alongside roads and in fields. Use it in money spells, or for business dealings. Work it into charms connected to matters of financial gain or legal issues. • Hibiscus: This lusty flower incites passion -- use it to attract love or lust, or for prophetic dreams about your lover. Burn in incense, or carry in a sachet to bring love your way. • Hyacinth: This flower was named for Hyakinthos, a Greek divine hero who was beloved by Apollo, so it's sometimes considered the patron herb of homosexual men. Hyacinth is also known to promote peaceful sleep, and guards against nightmares. Carry in an amulet to help heal a broken heart or to ease grief when a loved one dies.
• Lily: The Easter lily or Tiger lily is associated with all kinds of Spring connections -- fertility, rebirth, renewal and abundance. • Narcissus: Named for another Greek figure, the Narcissus helps promote polarity and harmony. Its calming vibrations bring about tranquility and inner peace. • Tulip: The tulip appears in many different colors and varieties, but is typically connected to prosperity. You can use the different colored variations in color magic -- use a dark strain such as Queen of the Night for full moon rituals, or bright red flowers for love magic. • Violet: In Roman myth, the first violet sprung from the spilled blood of the god Attis, who killed himself for Cybele, the mother goddess. However, today the violet is associated with tranquility and peace. The leaf offers protection from evil, and can be sewn into a pillow or sachet for a new baby. Carry the petals with you to bring about luck and enhance nighttime magic. Important: Remember that some plants can be toxic to pets. Before you plant or pick any of these, be sure to check to make sure it won't be harmful to your furry companions. A great resource to check is on the ASPCA website at Toxic & NonToxic Plants. By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, is all about reward . Unlike the Aries love of the game, Taurus loves the rewards of the game. Think physical pleasures and material goods, for those born under this sign revel in delicious excess. They are also a tactile lot, enjoying a tender, even sensual, touch. Taurus adores comfort and likes being surrounded by pleasing, soothing things. Along these lines, they also favor a good meal and a fine wine. The good life in all its guises, whether it's the arts or art of their own making (yes, these folks are artistic as well), is heaven on Earth to the Taurus-born. It's the Bull that serves as the Taurus's mascot, and along with that comes the expectation that these folks are bull-headed and stubborn. Yes, they are. Hey, this sign has a Fixed Quality attached to it after all, so expect that things will occasionally grind to a halt. That said, Taurus does not start out with the intention of getting stuck. They simply want to get things done, and it's that steady, dogged persistence that winds up being viewed as stubbornness. Bulls are actually among the most practical and reliable members of the zodiac, and they are happy to plod along, as it were, in pursuit of their goals. The good news for Bulls is that once they get to the finish line, they'll swaddle themselves in material goods. A self-indulgent beast? Perhaps, but if you toiled as laboriously as these folks do, you'd need some goodies, too. Taurus is ruled by Venus, a lovely goddess who didn't deny herself many things. In ancient Roman mythology, Venus was the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Pleasure, and Taurus has pretty much taken up where she left off. Bulls are fond of all things pretty, whether it's in their home, at a museum or on the stage. Life as one sweet pas de deux is how the Taurus-born like it. To onlookers, this may look like so much materialism and blessed excess, but Bulls really aren't interested in living without beauty in their lives. Beauty to the Bull also comes in the way of a happy home life, one that includes a partner and a stable relationship. Taurus values harmony in their personal lives, so they'll work hard on keeping their mate happy. The Bull's penchant for sensual pleasures, of course, can only help things along! Bulls can also be the sappiest of sentimentalists. Will all this overweening attention to their mate turn a Bull into a possessive mess? Probably not, although these folks do have to manage their tendency to latch on a bit tight. At the end of the day, however, Taurusâ€™s are true romantics and loyal to the core. The Element associated with Taurus is Earth. No pie-in-the-sky for these practical folks, since they'd much rather be on terra firma.
Bulls tend toward conservatism, and this is often seen in their day-to-day behavior. No far-out schemes (that's Air) or shrieking ultimatums (more like Fire) here. Taurus much prefers to take each day slowly and steadily and work toward their ultimate goal. Along these lines, those born under this sign are happy to stick with their projects until they have reached a successful conclusion. They are also extremely patient and dependable along the way. Does that sound earthy enough? The only kink in this well-oiled chain is the heckler in the gallery that tries to upbraid the Bull. These folks may not have a hair-trigger temper, but it's short enough. Bulls in a hissy fit can get pretty argumentative, but eventually they'll calm down and come back to center, since these folks would much rather be Zen. The Earth in this sign does tend to act as a balancing mechanism so that things never get truly out of hand. For every one person who considers the Bull a pain, there are two who will say 'No way!' and happily take the Taurus' gentle charms any day. Seeing as how Bulls are generally strong and well-built, it's no surprise that these folks enjoy testing their strength on the field of play. Expect to find a Bull engaged in a spirited game of hoops or mountain climbing. Hiking is also a favorite pastime, since it keeps Taurus close to their beloved earth. Indoor adventures are also favored by Bulls, which is why the opera or ballet is right up a Taurus's alley. When it comes to love, the Taurus-born are devoted, romantic and somewhat possessive. Their sensual nature has a way of erasing any mistakes! Since Taurus rules the neck and throat, Bulls would be wise to keep a silky scarf at hand, ideally in a warm (and soothing) earth tone. The great strength of Taurus is in their stability, loyalty and dogged determination. Bulls want to get the job done, and they will. What better way to get the riches they so fervently crave?
The Bull April 21 to May 21
Gemini May 21 - June 21 Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac, and those born under this sign will be quick to tell you all about it. That's because they love to talk! It's not just idle chatter with these folks, either. The driving force behind a Gemini's conversation is their mind. The Gemini-born are intellectually inclined, forever probing people and places in search of information. The more information a Gemini collects, the better. Sharing that information later on with those they love is also a lot of fun, for Gemini’s are supremely interested in developing their relationships. Dalliances with these folks are always enjoyable, since Gemini’s are bright, quick-witted and the proverbial life of the party. Even though their intellectual minds can rationalize forever and a day, Gemini’s also have a surplus of imagination waiting to be tapped. Can a Gemini be boring? Never! Since Gemini’s are a mix of the yin and the yang, they are represented perfectly by the Twins. The Gemini-born can easily see both sides of an issue, a wonderfully practical quality. Less practical is the fact that you're not sure which Twin will show up half the time. Gemini’s may not know who's showing up either, which can prompt others to consider them fickle and restless. They can be wishy-washy, too, changing their mood on a simple whim. It's this characteristic which readily suggests the Mutable Quality assigned to this sign. Mutable folks are flexible and go with the flow. Further, the Twins are adaptable and dexterous and can tackle many things at once. It's a good thing, too, when you consider their myriad interests. The downside of such a curious mind, however, can be a lack of follow-through. How much can any one person do, anyway? Ruled by Mercury, Gemini’s exhibit a delicious brand of mercurial energy. They are quick-thinking, quick-witted and fast on their feet, much like the messenger god of Roman mythology that rules their sign. Gemini’s are both curious and clever, which is why they are such a hit at cocktail parties. Although they talk a great game, they also love to listen and learn. With any kind of luck, the Twins will find themselves in interesting company, because if they don't, they are likely to get bored and start fidgeting. Any social setting is a good one for a Gemini, however, since these folks are charming, congenial and love to share themselves with their friends. While their effusiveness may be misconstrued as scheming by some, Gemini’s generally have their hearts in the right place. It's that ample energy which can also paint them as scatterbrained and unfocused, but behind all that zipping around, the Twins are busily filing all that good data away.
The element associated with Gemini is Air. Air signs are the thinking person's signs, and the Twins don't disappoint. Those born under this sign prize intellect and consider it the key to all things. At work, they are the clearest of thinkers, looking at a project from all (well, at least two) sides and putting forth some logical and well-thought-out ideas. This quality makes Gemini’s an asset to any team, and while these folks are not inclined to take the lead, they are a most valuable component. It's also the Gemini's literary bent that allows them to offer a useful perspective on most any situation. The Twins also enjoy bringing their objective reasoning and big-picture ability into their personal relationships. While some may perceive all this logical thought as cold and unemotional, it's simply how these folks tick. They want to connect, they just do it their own way. Luckily for Gemini’s (and their pals), their lightness of spirit and youthful exuberance help them to appear forever young. In keeping with that skip in their step, Gemini’s enjoy short road trips -- and their agile minds and nimble hands ensure that they could change a tire (if needed) in no time flat. Is all of this Twin-energy more than any one person can handle? Ah, maybe that's why they are two. When it comes to sports, Gemini’s would seem a natural for doubles tennis -- and they are. They love the camaraderie of games and play, which is why they excel at team events. Whether it's volleyball or a game of charades, Gemini’s are always ready to play. A book club would certainly stimulate their literary minds. In the game of love, Gemini’s are playful, flirtatious and endless fun. Physically speaking, Gemini rules the nervous system, which is why Twins should practice yoga or deep breathing techniques. Layering themselves in soft yellows and blues will also calm their mood. The great strength of the Gemini-born is in their ability to communicate effectively and to think clearly. Adventures of the mind are what the Twins are all about. They also love to share themselves with their friends, and they make for charming companions.
Gemini traits, both good and bad:
Gemini Positive Traits Very versatile and can adapt to anything Talkative and quick-witted Smart and polite Energetic
Gemini Negative Traits Prone to nervousness and tense inconsistent &Superficial Inquisitive & Cunning
The GOD/DESSES of WATER By Lazy Witch In preparing for this month's column, I came across more Water Gods and Goddesses than I could shake a stick at. Since most of us practice a combination of Magick from around the world, I've decided to give you three or four or so from different paths. I hope you will find one or two that will suit you in your workings.
Tlaloc - God of thunder, rain and earthquakes. Chalchiuhtlicue - Goddess of water, lakes, rivers, seas, streams, horizontal waters, storms, and baptism.
Pepun Kamui - God of the sea
Yam - God of rivers and the sea
Boann (Irish) - Goddess of the River Boyne Lir (Irish) - God of the sea
Gong Gong - Water God
responsible for the great floods, together with Xiang Yao Mazu - Water Goddess and protector of sailors
Sobek - God of the Nile River Nephthys - Goddess of the rivers
Daucian - God of seafaring Dakuwaqa - the Shark God who directs the seafarer to his destination
Ahti - God of the depths and fish Vellamo - The wife of Ahti and Goddess of the sea, lakes and storms
Greek (there are many, many gods and goddesses the Greeks used for the waters. These are just a very few!) Amphitrite - Sea Goddess and consort of Poseidon Poseidon - King of the sea and lord of the sea gods; also god of rivers, storms, flood and drought, earthquakes and horses. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.
Kanaloa - God of the Ocean Namaka - Sea Goddess
Fontus - God of wells and springs
Neptune - King of the sea Salacia - Neptune's queen These are only a very few of the Gods, Goddesses and spirits of the sea and water. For a more expanded listing go to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis t_of_water_deities
Agwe - A loa who rules over the sea, fish and aquatic plants, and the patron loa of fishermen and sailors Clermeil - A loa who made rivers flood their banks
The Magick of Water
Water is flowing. It is emotional, it is psychic. Water is cleansing, cooling, and calming. Water is the element of the subconscious mind, of intuition, and of the astral plane. The elementals of Water are the Undines, and they control to a great degree the movement and flow of streams, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. Undines may be found in any place water exists, in a droplet of water, and in oceans. Water is Feminine, Its direction is West, Its symbol is the Chalice, Its color is Blue. Autumn is its season, and its time is Twilight. Water Magick may be used in calming a hurt, Easing the flow of a situation, Aiding in emotional distress. The elemental energy in water spells is used for magick involving love, friendship, mystery, psychic abilities, healing, dreams and sleep. You'll want to add some water elements for any magick that has to do with your emotions or the astral world beyond. So if you're looking to cast a water spell, here are some of the things you could use:
Peaceful Dreams Spell This spell can help promote a more restful sleep and pleasant dreams. An ideal magickal option if you're under stress and can't sleep. This is what you need: • 1 tsp coarse salt • 1/2 oz rosemary • 1 oz rose petals • 1 oz valerian • 3 pieces of moonstone • Glass bowl Before bed, fill the bowl with water then add the salt and herbs. Stir it around gently, and repeat the following: Bring me quiet Bring me peace Ease my dreams Nightmares cease Drop the 3 moonstones into the bowl, and place it near your bed. Go to sleep and let the bowl absorb any negative dreams.
Stones like moonstone, aquamarine, jade or malachite Altar tools like a chalice or cup Oils and herbs such as valerian, jasmine or gardenia Though drinking is a common part of water magick, ritual baths are another great way to bring in some water energy to your spells.
By Jaclyn Geller
There is an ongoing debate as to the exact origins of “Jumping the Broom”. Dating back to slave days, jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor that tradition. It also has roots in the Celtic culture and including but not limited to Welsh, Celtics, Druids, and Gypsies and some aboriginal or shamanistic cultures. During the early days of the American south, when slavery was still a legal institution, slaves were not legally allowed to marry one another. Instead, a ceremony was held where the couple would jump over a broom in front of witnesses, either together or separately. No one is really sure where the tradition originated. Danita Rountree Green, author of Broom Jumping: A Celebration of Love suggests the practice came from Ghana: where bridal brooms were waved above the heads of newlyweds and their parents, but she also says there's no hard proof of the custom existing there. Some believe this “Jumping the Broom” ritual was originated by the Asian culture: where the placing of sticks on the ground represents the couple's new home; having the duo leap over the bundle. The late scholar and folklorist Alan Dundes makes the argument that the tradition of jumping a broom originated among England's Rom, or gypsy, population. Dundes also points out that the broom is highly symbolic, saying, "the symbolic significance of the ritual to be the 'stepping over' as a metaphor for sexual intercourse. If a woman's jumping over a broomstick produces a child, one could reasonably assume that the broomstick has phallic properties*."
Once African-Americans were legally allowed to marry in the United States, the tradition of broom-jumping virtually disappeared -- after all, it was no longer needed. However, there has been a resurgence in popularity, due in no small part to the miniseries Roots. There are several historical book references, pictures, illustrations and historical artifacts proving of its existence. The earliest documented reference given to the phrase “Jumping the Broom” is in the 1774 Oxford English Dictionary, a quote from the Westminster Magazine: "He had no inclination for a Broomstickmarriage" and in the late 1700’s a song was published in The Times of 1789, mocking this tradition; a lyric referring to the rumored concealed marriage between the Prince Regent and Mrs. FitzHerbert; “Their way to consummation was by hopping o’er a broom, sir.”
Jumping the Broom: Besom Weddings By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
Crafty Witchâ€™s Book Review Witchcraft for the Hearth and Home Author Deanna Anderson recently released Magick for the Kitchen Witch, a guide for those of us who see the hearth as the center of the home. The tradition of kitchen witchery has its roots in early folk magic and folklore itself, and has lived on in the modern Neopagan movement. Anderson's book, the first in a proposed series, takes a look at how we can incorporate magical living into our homes, our hearths, and our daily lives with the kitchen witch philosophy. Each chapter looks at a different aspect of the kitchen witch methodology. In a section on Food Magick, Anderson tackles one my of my personal favorites -- the idea of incorporating magical energy into cooking. She suggests magical ingredients for pie fillings, sigils to be inscribed on crusts, herbal broths and teas, and more. Another chapter looks at simple healing magic, such as homemade lip balms and health charms. Unlike many authors who simply say, "Use these herbs to feel better!", Anderson is savvy enough to include a disclaimer that medical advice regarding illnesses should be sought out from a licensed practitioner. The always-adaptable witch bottle gets a chapter of its own, and Anderson offers some great ideas on how to fill one based upon your needs. She provides recipes for a variety of bottles -- one to protect the home, another for peace and quiet, still another to be given as a wedding gift. Chapter 11 covers Divination and Scrying, and it's one of the best sections of all. She looks at techniques found in folklore and traditional hill magic, such as the uses of acorns, stones, or even needles as divinatory tools. I'd have liked to see her go into more details about some of these, and hope that at some point she writes a book focusing solely on divination, because
each of the topics in this section could easily have an entire chapter of its own. In fact, if I had one complaint about this book, it would be that because Anderson tries to cover so much great material, a few of the chapters leave me wanting more. I wouldn't have minded seeing some of the ideas fleshed out in more detail. The chapter on witch ladders and knot magic seemed all too short, as did the one on the use of candles as a magical tool. I know Anderson has a creative flair, and I'd like to see more, so I'm hoping that she's indeed able to produce an entire series of useful books for folks interested in kitchen witchcraft. On the whole, I'd highly recommend Magick for the Kitchen Witch, not just to beginners but to more experienced practitioners as well. It's a good general overview of kitchen witchery and folk magic techniques, and hopefully we'll see a lot more in the future from Deanna Anderson.
Beltane Ritual for KIDS By Alena Orrison
You will need: • Fresh flowers, dandelions, daffodils, any spring flower that grows in your area (make sure that you have enough for each child to end up with a small bouquet, as they will be wrapping them in the ritual) • Ribbons of every color that ties in with spring 1. Arrange the flowers on the altar to look pretty. You can have the kiddos do this. Make sure that your ribbon is cut long enough to go around a few flowers though. 2. Have the boys in your group pick up half of the flowers and present them to the girls (if there aren’t enough boys and girls mixed in your gathering, just have everyone take half of their flowers and give them to the person next to them). As the flowers are given, have the boys (or everyone) say,
(if your group is all doing the same thing, just have everyone hold up their flowers and speak to the Goddess as opposed to speaking to each other) 3. Have the girls in the group take half of their ribbons and present them to the boys (again, if there aren’t enough, just pass half of the ribbon to the person next to them). As the ribbons are given, have the girls (or everyone) say,
(again, if your group is all doing the same thing, just have them hold up the ribbons and speak to the God)
4. Have each child hold their bouquets of flowers, and their ribbons and have them begin wrapping the stalks of flowers with the ribbon. As they begin to wrap, read this story:
After the story and everyone has wrapped their flowers with ribbon, place the bundles of flowers either on the altar or in areas the children can sense faeries and/or the Goddess. Then celebrate with small cakes or cookies and juice.
Crafts for KIDS By Alena Orrison
Pipecleaner Faeries Friends Here is a fun project to do with children of all ages. I made one before crafting with the kiddos to see how much help they would need. I found that hot glue worked much better than crafting or school glue, so obviously the children would need help with that. The rest wasnâ€™t too hard. I found the directions I followed in Family Fun Magazine. What you'll need: o Silklike artificial flowers o Scissors o Red and pink markers o Fine-tip black marker o Drilled 16 mm round wooden bead o Pipe cleaner for the body o Wire cutters o Embroidery floss (about 4 feet) o Hot Glue Gun o Pipe cleaner, feathers or butterfly wings for the wings
Creative Tips: To choose a flower skirt, hold the bloom upside down and envision it on a fairy before you buy it. Add a dried flower wand or a tiny crown for special midnight parties.
How to make it: Separate the flower from the stem. If it doesn't pull off, use scissors. Select as many layers of petals as you like for the fairy's skirt. Use the markers to draw a face on the wooden bead. Be sure the hole is at the top of the head. Fold the body pipe cleaner into thirds and use wire cutters to snip off a third. For the hair, wind the embroidery floss around your fingers to form a mini skein.
Bend the longer piece of pipe cleaner in half and tuck the floss in the fold. Thread both pipe cleaner ends through the bead head. Make sure the head is tight against the floss, then snip the floss loops. Use a glue stick to keep the hair in place on the sides and back of the head.
Thread the legs through the petal skirt. Slide the skirt up under the arms and twist the legs to keep it in place. Fold in the tips of the legs and arms to hide the sharp ends and to form hands and feet. Pipe cleaner wings: Wrap the wings pipe cleaner around the fairy's waist and twist it tightly in back. Shape the ends into wings, then trim any extra. Or feather or butterfly wings: Choose 2 small feathers (or cut a large feather in half across its spine), or butterfly wings (some fake flowers have these embellishments) and attach them with glue.
By Alena Orrison Here is another fun project for everyone. You can use the time creating the mini Maypoles to give some background information on Beltane and the customs. Since Beltane is a celebration of marriage between the Goddess and God, and often has heavy sexual undertones, use your best judgment when discussing this Sabbat with your children. Take into consideration their age, maturity level, and curiosity. This project also uses hot glue so children will need some help. It’s best to pre-prep the pots and poles if possible, especially if working with younger children who have shorter attention spans. I don’t have step-by-step photos for this project, so if you have any questions, just give me a shout at email@example.com What you’ll need: o o o o o o
2” terra cotta planter with base - one for each person 18” long wooden dowel, 5/8” diameter (able to fit through the hole in the bottom of the pot) - one for each person Paint, glitter, markers, etc. to decorate the Maypole Small fake flowers Ribbons various colors cut to 18-22” in length, depending on how long you want them, 7-10 for each person Hot glue gun
Decorate the base and pole as desired using paint, glitter, sequins, markers - anything goes! If you want flowers around the base, now is the time to add them. Hot glue the ribbons to the top of the pole, rotating them so they hang all around the pole. If desired, decorate the top of the pole with more flowers.
How to make it: Place hot glue along the rim of the pot, turn it upside down and put it on the base. Place the dowel in the hole and use hot glue around it to secure the dowel.
Decorate the base and pole as desired using paint, glitter, sequins, markers - anything goes! If you want flowers around the base, now is the time to add them.
Wiccan Rede Bide ye Wiccan laws ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust. Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give. Form the circle thrice about, to keep unwanted spirits out. To bind ye spell every time, let ye spell be spake in rhyme. Soft of eye, light of touch, speak ye little, listen much. Deosil go by the waxing moon, singing out ye Witches’ Rune. Widdershins go by the waning moon, chanting out ye Baneful Rune. When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss your hand to her times two. When the moon rides at her peak, then ye heart’s desire seek. Heed the North wind’s mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail. When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss thee on the mouth. When the wind blows from the West, departed souls may have no rest. When the wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast. Nine woods in ye cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow. Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be. When the wheel begins to turn, soon ye Beltaine fire’ll burn. When the wheel hath turned to Yule, light the log the Horned One rules. Heed ye flower, bush and tree, by the Lady blessed be. Where the rippling waters flow, cast a stone and truth ye’ll know. When ye have and hold a need, harken not to other's greed. With a fool no season spend, nor be counted as his friend. Merry meet and merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart. Mind ye threefold law ye should, three times bad and three times good. When misfortune is anow, wear the blue star upon thy brow. True in love ye must ever be, lest thy love be false to thee. In these eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, ‘An ye harm none, do what ye will.