November 2012 Issue #4
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Spirit of Giving
Thanksgiving A Pagan Holiday ???
Unwanted Spirits 7 Pomegranate
Charge / Crone
Buy, Sell, Trade 10 EM Outreach
Dark Night, cont. 12 Amazing Autumn 13 Amazing cont.
Gathering Notes 16 Events
We often think of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, begun by the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1621. At that time, so the story runs, the survivors of the Mayflower passengers celebrated their first harvest in the New World with a feast to which Governor Bradford invited the Indian Chief Massasoit and ninety of his braves. That was the first Thanksgiving Day in the New World. But actually a thanksgiving for the annual harvest is one of the oldest holidays known to mankind, though celebrated on different dates. In Chaldea, in ancient Egypt and in Greece, the harvest festival was celebrated with great rejoicing. The Hindus and the Chinese observe the gathered harvest with a holiday. The Romans celebrated their Thanksgiving early in October. The holiday was dedicated to the goddess of harvest, Ceres, and the holiday was called Cerelia.
In England the 'Harvest Home' has been observed continuously for centuries. The custom was to select a harvest queen for this holiday. She was decorated with the grain of their fields and the fruit of their trees. On Thanksgiving Day she was paraded through the streets in a carriage drawn by white horses. This was a remnant of the Roman ceremonies in honor of Ceres...the Pilgrims brought the "Harvest in" to Massachusetts.' (Little, Brown & Company, Boston, 1953. Pps. 159- 160)." [The harvest queen represented the Queen of Heaven, mentioned in the Bible as idolatrous and Semiramis.] Marian Schibsly and Hanny Cohrsen in their book, Foreign Festival Customs and Dishes, states: "Long before the Christian era, harvest gods were worshiped with curious and varied rites. Customs now in use at harvest festivals have their counterparts in pagan countries;
Thanksgiving ?? Cont.â€Ś.. in many cases their origin and their significance is shrouded in mists of antiquity. The American Thanksgiving Day is usually ascribed to the Massachusetts colony of pilgrims, who, in gratitude for their first harvest on American soil, devoted the day of December 13, 1621 to praise and rejoicing. [Actually ran 3 days] The idea underlying such a celebration did, however, not originate with them. Thanksgiving day -- by that or some other name -- was known to virtually all the people who have come to America since 1492 and is known to those now coming...it becomes apparent that a day of
thanksgiving is a custom in almost all the countries of Europe. It usually has to do with the harvests -- with the planting of crops or their gathering -- and therefore is observed in rural districts rather than in cities. (American Council For Nationalities Service, N.Y. 1974. P.46). Based on information that I have been able to find, it appears that the premise for the Thanksgiving holiday was not new, but practiced long before the Christian era by various pagan religions. Each person must decide for themselves how they will view it. ~ By Joseph Gaer
Veterans Day 2012 With Veteran's Day coming up on November 12th, 2012 all Americans should give thanks to our military veterans. Both fallen and surviving military veterans have fought for our freedoms as American citizens; they have fought side by side and often come from very different beliefs spiritually. This is why it is important to recognize the many pagan patriots that have given their lives in the American military, just like their fellow soldiers that are Christian Jewish, Muslim and all other religions. Most Americans do not think about the many pagans that have fought in the modern military and armed forces. This is mostly because the pagan fight for rights has been a slow but quiet struggle. Being patriotic and pagan in America is not a contradiction in terms; it is a reality for many loyal Americans and their families. The sad fact is that it was not until very recently that pagan rights and rituals were fully recognized by the American military. This was changed by the dedication and persistence of many military families around the country a few years ago. It was a number of military families that fought for the Wiccan Pentacle to be included on the list of approved symbols on gravestones for military burial. At first there was much opposition to this, but when pagan leaders, 2
Citizens and clergy came forward with their opinions, the military began to listen. Pagans held a rally for religious rights in front of the White House on July 4th in 2001, which gathered people in what was called the Veteran Pentacle Quest. These were the words used to invoke the spirit of the Founding Fathers at the first pagan ritual performed publicly outside of the White House by pagan elder Diana L. Paxson. "We will honor those who established our fundamental freedoms, especially Washington and Jefferson, and those who built on their ideas, such as Lincoln and FDR, offering our energies to preserve the liberties they fought for and the land they loved. We offer our will to carry on the work of our Founding Fathers and Mothers, to help America become what they hoped it would be." Important members of the American pagan community spoke that day in support of the Pentacle and Wiccan veterans. Rev. Skip Ellison said, "It is important to remember that freedom of religion means freedom for all religions to worship as they choose." Ellison is an Archdruid of AR nDraoicht Fein, the public face of the American Druids and a large pagan community in the U.S.
"According to the oral tradition of Witches, we were once the priests and priestesses of a peasant Pagan religion. Members of this secret sect met at night beneath the full moon, for these were the "misfits" and "outcasts" who did not fit into mainstream society. Little has changed over the centuries and the Witchcraft community still embraces individuals frequently rejected in mainstream society. These include gays, lesbians, transgendered individuals, and other people with the courage to live their lives authentically in accord with who they are inside their hearts, minds, and spirits." Raven Grimassi
Veterans Day 2012 Members of the military religious community came out to support the Pentacle cause. Their support was important to show that the rights of pagans are the rights that all people deserve equally, but that pagan veterans are especially maligned without religious freedom. As retired Assistant Army Chaplain Rev. Michael Akins stated simply, "Certainly those who protect the freedoms of all of us deserve freedom of religion for themselves." It was not until April 23, 2007 that the Wiccan Pentacle was officially adopted and recognized by the U.S. military for use on the gravestones of fallen military pagan soldiers. A little late, but still a victory for the pagan community. This was not the first symbol that pagans in the military have fought for. A modern day group called Asatru which uses the hammer of Thor as their religious symbol, has also
Cont…. fought for their rights for their gravestone symbols to be used in military burials and on headstones. Thor's Hammer is a symbol that has been worn by many military soldiers in combat over several decades. November 12th is Veteran's Day in America, Remembrance Day in Canada, and Armistice Day in Belgium and France respectively. When remembering our veterans both fallen and living this year, remember all veterans as soldiers. Also remember that all of us are created equal, therefore we are free to believe and practice what we believe equally. Blessed be the sons and daughters of America. Blessings upon both those living and dead. Happy Veteran's Day.
Veteran’s Day, Yule, and the Spirit of Giving We still have more than a month to go, but before you know it Yule will be upon us again. While we sit at home sipping hot cocoa around the fire, shoveling the snow or snuggling into a down comforter, remember on this Veteran’s Day that many of our troops will be stationed in much hotter and much more dangerous places during the Yuletide. Instead of a quiet, dark time for reflection, they are faced with challenges many of us couldn’t imagine. There are plenty of civilian and religious organizations that support American troops by sending them care packages and cards, or donating food for their struggling families, throughout the year. I’m going to highlight one such group that specifically cares for Pagan troops by sending them Yule care packages – Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin. Each year for the
past three, Circle Sanctuary’s Operation Circle Care has been sending care packages to Pagan and Wiccan troops containing easy to ship items such as CDs, incense and altar cloths. Here is more info from Circle Sanctuary outlining their needs: “We need donations of gift items that are small and easy to mail. Pagan music CDs are in big demand. We receive frequent requests for incense as well. Pentacles are always welcome. Witches’ Calendars would be great. Altar cloths for the Sabbats and Moons are easy to mail and appreciated. One of the MOST important things Pagans can do to support Operation Circle Care is to sponsor the postage needed to send care packages. Postage is the largest expense. One care package (APO/FPO large flat rate box by US mail) costs $11.95 to ship. We need the
community to sponsor soldiers by paying the mailing expense to send a care package. Anyone who would like to donate money for postage can do so on-line or by telephone.” The web site for the Circle Sanctuary is; http://www.circlesanctuary.org /ministries/military/operationci rclecare.html or call (608) 9242216 Finally, some additional information from Circle Sanctuary, if you’d like to make sure that a care package is sent to a specific person: You can request care packages by writing to program coordinator, Paula Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org Family members can also request packages for a loved one deployed in a war zone or at Fort Hood as well but they must include an accurate APO address. Elysia 3
Goddess of the Month ~ DEMETER Perhaps no other goddess depicts the true persona of Motherhood as well as Demeter. She is best known as the Goddess who went to great lengths to have her beloved Persephone returned to her even though she was forced to sharing her with Persephone's husband Hades. Demeter, the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, granddaughter of Gaia (Earth), and sister-consort of Zeus, had the most beautiful daughter, Persephone. One day, as goddesses tend to do, Persephone was wandering through a most lovely garden belonging to, of all gods, Hades of the Underworld. Of course Hades fell madly in love with the beautiful young Persephone and secretly carried her off to the Neither Regions never to return to the lush green world above ground again. Demeter, being the loving, caring mother she was, searched the world over again and again but to no avail! The mother was in such great distress she neglected the growth of grain which was in her charge, causing a great famine around the world. Eventually, Zeus was forced to order Hades to release Persephone to end the famine, after all, if all the humans died, who would be left to worship the Gods on Olympus!! But Hades fed Persephone three plump, juicy pomegranate seeds and because she had tasted food in the Underworld, Persephone was (and still is) 4
forced to spend the winter months underground with Hades as his wife to return to the upper world in Spring, bringing great joy to Demeter who then allows the Earth to become fruitful. There are many other stories of Demeter: SAGA OF THE GODS Demeter and her siblings were swallowed at birth by their father Kronos. Zeus later ordered Metis to feed the Titan King a drink which made him expel all five children. LOVE STORIES 1) Demeter fell in love with the mortal Liaison of Samothrake and lay with him in a plowed field. Zeus discovered the affair and struck Liaison dead with a thunderbolt. 2) During her search for Persephone, Poseidon desired to lie with Demeter. She transformed herself into a mare to escape him, but the god assumed the form of a stallion and raped her. FAVOR & BLESSING 1) Demeter gave her dragon-drawn chariot to Triptolemos of Eleusis and sent him out into the world to teach mankind the practice of agriculture. 2) While searching for Persephone, disguised as an old woman, Demeter was welcomed by the family of King Celesus of Eleusis where she was given great hospitality and became the nurse of the king's baby son Demophon. During her attempt to make him immortal, Demeter was interrupted and forced to
reveal her true identity, But promised Demophon heroic honors after death and then ordered a temple to be built for her. This was where she withdrew from the world until Zeus forced Hades to release Persephone. WRATH & PUNISHMENT 1) When Askalaphos revealed to Hades that Persephone had tasted the seeds of the pomegranate and forced her to spend part of the year in the Underworld, Demeter, in her anger, transformed the tattle-tale into a screech owl. 2) Upon cutting down Demeter's sacred grove to build himself a feasting hall, the Thessalian Erysikhthon was punished by inflecting him with an unquenchable hunger. In art, Demeter often resembles Hera but she is usually more matronly, fullfigured and shows a milder expression. Also Demeter is usually depicted in a family grouping with either Persephone and Hades or a group of Olympian deities. Blessed Demeter is the Goddess of Agriculture (particularly wheat, barley, and vegetables), Milling, Bread, Horticulture, Pig Farming, Motherhood, Wet nurses, and the Afterlife. She also presides over the sanctity of marriage, the sacred law and the cycle of life and death. Her symbols include wheat-ears (heads), a winged serpent; Cornucopia (Horn of Plenty often seen as a symbol of Thanksgiving in the U.S.), a Lotus staff, a radiate crown,
and a winged dragondrawn chariot. Demeter's sacred plants and flowers include wheat, barley, mint, and the poppy. Her sacred animals and birds include the serpent, the pig, spotted lizard/Gecko (I know, there are just too many jokes I could make here but won't), turtle doves, the crane and the screech owl. Demeter, as with all Greek Gods and Goddesses, maintains a large following in Greece where all ancient deities are still highly revered. In Greece school children are taught the importance of all the major gods and goddesses and their attributes as something to live up to, strive for and achieve to the best of their abilities. How wonderful to have a society that has such a secure connection with their ancient past. ~ LazyWitch
References: Wikipedia: Demeter: http://www.wickipedia/ The Greek Goddess Demeter - Religion Facts: http://www.religionfacts.c om/ Demeter: Summary of the Olympian Goddess: http://www.theoi.com/
Gratitude Ritual For many Wiccans and Pagans, autumn is a time of thanks giving. If you live in the United States, most of your friends and family will be giving thanks in November. If you'd like to tie in to that a little, but with a Pagan flair, you might want to consider doing a short gratitude ritual as a way of expressing your own thankfulness. Before you begin, decorate your altar with symbols of the season. You may want to choose items that represent abundance, such as: Baskets of fruit, such as apples or grapes Cornucopias Colors associated with abundance, such as gold and green Symbols of things you're thankful for, such as your health or your career Photos of your family and friends who mean a lot to you You'll also want to have a candle on your altar. Gold or green is preferable, but you can use another color if it signifies abundance to you. If your tradition calls for you to cast a circle, go ahead and do so. As you begin, take a moment to reflect on the abundance in your life. When we say abundance, it doesn't necessarily mean material or financial gain -- you may be abundant if you have friends who love you, a satisfying family life, or a rewarding career. Think about the things you have for which you are most grateful. These are the things you will be focusing on in this rite. As you're thinking about these things, light the candle on your altar table or workspace. If you have a particular deity in your tradition who is associated with thankfulness, you may wish to call out to this god/dess and invite them into your circle. If not, that's okay too -- you can express your gratitude to the universe itself. Beginning at one corner of the table, begin saying the things you are thankful for, and why. It might go something like this:
I am thankful for my health, because it allows me to feel well. I am thankful for my children, for keeping me young. I am thankful for my career, because each day I get paid to do what I love. I am thankful for my job, because I am able to feed my family. I am thankful for my garden, because it provides me fresh herbs. I am thankful for my coven sisters, because they make me feel spiritually completeâ€Ś and so forth, until you have expressed your thankfulness for everything in your life. If you're doing this ritual with a group, each person should light a candle of their own, and call out their own things that they are thankful for. Take a few more minutes to meditate on the candle flame, and to focus on the notion of abundance. While you're thinking about things you are grateful for, you might also wish to consider the people in your life that are grateful towards you, for the things you have done. Recognize that gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving, and that counting one's blessings is an important thing to do, because it reminds us of how truly fortunate we are. Note: It's important to realize that one of the things about being thankful is that we should let people who have made us happy know they've done so. If there's someone specific you wish to thank for their words or actions, you should take the time to tell them so directly, instead of (or in addition to) merely doing a ritual that they'll never know about. Send a note, make a phone call, or tell them in person how much you appreciate what they've done for you.
Each year's Circle tells your story You grow from the bud until green Peaking at Midsummer's glory Your crescendo so splendid a scene! Autumn falls back into gentle ways Falling before Winter's rest Abundance sown in these days The rewards of each Harvest Fest Autumn Circle -o- by Link
By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
Gem of the month ~ Red jasper Jasper gives one the courage to speak out and have personal independence. It also protects from fears in the night. Red jasper is thought to help balance the energy in the body. All jaspers help balance the emotional energy in the body.
A truly unpretentious stone, the Red Jasper, when unpolished, looks much like something a child would bring home from a playground or from digging in the garden, and well they Red Jasper found worldwide but primarily in large deposits in Brazil, Uruguay, U.S.A. and Egypt. Red Jasper is a form of Quartz related to the Chalcedony group. It sits at #7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Used for a thousand years as a strong protection gemstone, Red Jasper is known to protect against hazards of the night because it sends negativity back to the place of origin. As it instills confidence and courage, Red Jasper is very lucky for actors. Jasper is one of the oldest known gemstones, often found used as a worry stone in the Middle East. It is mentioned in the Bible several times. Jasper is a strong securing gemstone. It is a stability gemstone. It produces powerful protection against things that are not good for you and it eases emotional energy in the body. In rituals and spell work this stone should be used for healing, cleansing, weight loss and youthfulness. Jasper comes in many colors. All colors of Jasper will help balance the vibrations of the body. Jasper can be slow to show a
change to the person, but is such a basic "good" stone that one should always have it on hand. Red Jasper's healing properties are focused on the blood and related organs, such as the heart, liver and detoxification and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Jasper works best when touched so place it on the part of the body that is troubled. It is associated with the Root (1st) Chakra and assists in healing by maintaining positive movement with all types of disorders and diseases. It both energizes and activates for good stimulation of the circulation system and the energy flow. It helps the immune system and can help with detoxification and has an anti-inflammatory effect great for arthritis. In gemstone therapy it is used to stimulate sexual energy and fertility, though usually a mix of different jasper colors is used (such as blue jasper, yellow jasper and green jasper) not just red stones. Magically, it is connected with the Emperor Card in Tarot; associated with the Element of Fire; its direction is South and Zodiac sign is Taurus, though the ancients found it connected to Scorpio and Sagittarius; Planetary connection in the ancient world was Mercury, Saturn and Venus; ancient birthstone for February though today it shares March with the
Bloodstone; often thought of as the Warrior's stone as it was describe as being in the Breast Plate of Aaron, brother of Moses. Use on your Altar when doing anything dealing with protection, healing, cleansing, weight loss and appearing younger. In ancient times it was believed that Jasper stones would protect from evil and bites from poisonous animals such as spiders and snakes. In ancient Egypt, it was used for making amulets and was especially suited to women giving them grace and beauty and curing their diseases. Various Native American tribes used jasper as a rubbing stone and some called it "the rain bringer", often worn by Shaman to provide protection and send any negativity directed at them directly back to the original sender. ~ LazyWitch References: Red Jasper Meaning and Red Jasper Healing Properties: Emily Gems: http://www.crystal-cure.com/ Red Jasper Healing Crystals, Properties and Meanings of this Power Stone: http://www.alizons-psychicsecrets.com/
Getting rid of unwanted spirits Every once in a while, people who work with spirit communications may find themselves dealing with something that isn’t quite what they expected. Perhaps an entity has come along that isn’t the one you thought you were talking to, or worse yet, maybe something negative has decided to pay a visit. Much like an uninvited houseguest, sometimes you’ve just got to send them away. Obviously, your first line of offense is a good defense. Before you get started doing any sort of spirit work, be sure to cleanse the area you’ll be practicing in. This can be done by way of smudging, prayer, or casting a circle. Creating a sacred space, in which the boundaries are clearly defined, is a good way of keeping out anything you don’t want to stop in and hang around. Despite our best efforts, however, sometimes things can sneak in. It may be a spirit who has attached itself to a guest at your séance, or just a curious entity that wants to know what you’re up to. Perhaps it’s something that needs to deliver a message, and then just doesn’t feel like leaving afterwards. If this is the case, there are a couple of ways you can get rid of unwanted spirits. The first way – and one most people don’t even consider – is very simple: tell it to leave. Be firm and blunt, and say something along the lines of, “This is not the place for you, and it’s time for you to leave.” You may wish to offer a blessing or well-wishes if it makes you feel
better about things, and say, “It is time for you to move on, and we wish you the best in your new place.” Frequently, this will do the trick and your problems will be solved. Sometimes, though, you may encounter an entity that’s a bit more stubborn. It may be really interested in hanging out with you, and in this case, you may need to take slightly more aggressive steps. In situations like this, you may want to create a cleansing ritual to rid the place (or person) of the attached spirit. By incorporating smudging and other purification practices, along with being assertive towards the entity (“I order you now to leave this place!”), you should be able to eliminate the spirit attachment. Every once in a great while, people run into a spirit that’s not just stubborn, but downright hostile. In this case, you’ll need to bring out the big guns. Cleansing, smudging, and banishing are all called for. This may even be something you’d like to get assistance with – a small group of psychically gifted individuals can work wonders when it comes to getting rid of the nasty’s. Again, the key here is to be assertive and reclaim your space from whatever entity has attached itself. This means you’ll have to take charge of the situation. Don’t be afraid to shout out, “You are NOT welcome here!” to whatever’s hanging around. Once you’ve gotten rid of whatever it is that has been lurking, make sure you do a final cleansing of the space to help prevent further recurrences from unwanted visitors
"We can never obtain peace in the world if we neglect the inner world and don't make peace with ourselves. World peace must develop out of inner peace.
Without inner peace it is impossible to achieve world peace, external peace. Weapons themselves do not act.
They have not come out of the blue. Man has made them. But even given those weapons, those terrible weapons, they cannot act by themselves. As long as they are left alone in storage they cannot do any harm. A human being must use them. Someone must push the button. Satan, the evil powers, cannot push that button. Human beings must do it." The Dalai Lama 7
Plant of the month ~ Pomegranate For centuries, pomegranates have been regarded as a treasure among fruits. In ancient times, the Babylonians would chew the seeds before battle, believing it would make them invincible. And the ancient Egyptians were buried with pomegranates
Almost as ancient as time itself, the Pomegranate comes to us from many millennia ago. This red juiced beauty was cultivated throughout Persia, (Eastern European) Georgia, Armenia and the Mediterrean. It was one of the first fruits brought to the New World by the Spanish because of its medicinal properties where it flourished in South and Central America and throughout the southern U.S. Evidence of the Pomegranate has been found in Egyptian tombs, early bronze age Jericho and along China's Silk Road. Also known as the "Apple of Carthage", it will grow into a tree, sprouting from suckers from a single root and crown. Oh wouldn't it be wonderful to have such a beauty in your garden! The Pomegranate is best known as the Fruit of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, Goddess of Growth and Abundance. While Persephone wandered through the lovely gardens of Hades, she was unable to resist eating the Pomegranate's seeds. Because of her indiscretion, Persephone was forced to become the bride of Hades and became the Goddess of the Underworld. The Greeks considered the Pomegranate to be the symbol of feminine fertility. It was associated with women's mysteries but also believed to have originated from the blood of Dionysus, who was slain by the Goddess Juno. Other gods and goddesses having of the
Connection with this fruit are Adonis, Aphrodite, Astarte, Hera, Kishimo-jin, Saturn and Sekhmet. It has a history that is shared by both early Hebrews and Pagans. It was sacred to Solomon as the fruit "Holy of Holies". Gypsies believe in eating ONLY 3 seeds on Samhain in remembrance of Persephone's journey; eating more than 3 is the month believed to bring hardship into the coming year. In the Middle East where the fruit symbolizes wealth and fertility, it is customary to eat as many seeds as possible in order to bring prosperity into life. Given as a gift, a Pomegranate bestows abundance and wishes for the fertility of the creative spark. It symbolizes blood and the Journey to the Underworld. Frequently eaten at rituals, Pomegranates induces participants to contemplate some of the deeper, more profound mysteries it signifies. Pomegranates should be used on Altars any time abundance or creativity is requested or required. It's the perfect decoration during late Autumn and Yule celebration because of its color and bringing abundance to a household. It is a perfect substitute for blood in spells and rituals, just squeeze your own, try not to use the bottles juice. Fresh Pomegranate juice tastes like nothing else!! It can be mixed with wines, strengthening its potency. Use Pomegranates and juice when working spells for prosperity, protection,
fertility, conception and wisdom. One Pomegranate provides most of the body's daily Potassium needs and contains Vitamin C and Iron. It has been and is still used in the treatment of leprosy, several viral infections, cancer and liver damage. It's bark and root are used in the treatment of tapeworm problems. In Mexico, a decoction of the flowers is gargled to relieve oral and throat inflammation. For those of you who still like a cocktail, Grenadine is light Pomegranate syrup for drinks, soft drinks and confections. All parts to the tree have been utilized as sources of tannin for curing leather. The rind and flowers yield dyes for textiles. Uncompromising in its environmental requirements, Pomegranatesâ€™ fertility magick is about protecting the diversity we sow. It won't fruit if conditions aren't right, although very few would call Pomegranate tender or delicate. The Pomegranate reminds us to be aware of our environment, to choose where and when we sow our seeds wisely and to be uncompromising in the conditions we require for our own growth. ~ LazyWitch References: Extremely Large Herbal Grimioir: http://www.scribd.com/ Pomegranate: Myth and Magic: http://www.thepracticalherbalist.co m/ Magia D'La Luna: http://www.magialuna.net/ Gypsy Magic: Magickal Uses of Pomegranate: http://gypsymagicspells.blogspot.c om/
Charge of the crone Many think the reign of the Crone ends at Samhain but our Dark Elder continues her presence well into the December night clear up to December 21st, Yule, when we begin our call for the return of the God of the Sun. At this time the Crone goes to rest, and allows the Maiden to begin her gentle journey toward Spring. For now, as the Crone weaves her web of spells, and as the days become shorter, we pull in closer to our homes and families for celebrations, a time of loving. We begin to have the time to call on Her for her knowledge and assistance in learning what we need to know for the coming Season and Year. Many Wiccans and Witches tend to forget the Crone at this time of year. She is thought of as the ugly hag in Shakespeare but look around and you'll see, She is everywhere, vital, alive and active. Here is Her Call to Arise!
Charge of the Crone I am the Queen of Magick and the dark of the Moon, hidden in the deepest night. I am the mystery of the Other worlds and the fear that coils about your heart in the times of your trials. I am the soul of nature that gives form to the Universe; it is I who awaits you at the end of the spiral dance.
Most ancient among gods and mortals, let my worship be within the heart that has truly tasted life, for behold all acts of magick and art are my pleasure and my greatest ritual is love itself. Therefore let there be beauty in your strength, compassion in your wrath, power in your humility, and discipline balanced through mirth and reverence. You who seek to remove my veil and behold my true face, know that all your questing and effort are for nothing, and all your lust and desires shall avail you not at all. For unless you know my mystery, look wherever you will, it will elude you, for it is within you and nowhere else. For behold, I have ever been with you, from the very beginning, the comforting had that nurtured you in the dawn of life, and the loving embrace that awaits you at the end of each life, for I am that which is attained at the end of the dance, and I am the womb of new beginnings, as yet unimagined and unknown. by Jim Garrison
References: Charge of the Crone: http://onespiritx.tripod.com/ Charge of the Crone: http://witchesofthenorthwest.groups.ps/
Close my eyes and it begins The world unfolds with hope within Captured by the hidden rhapsody Of which I wish I could always be Ensnared in the feeling of hope No longer needing to just cope A circle cast amongst the star From which my heart is never far Calling upon the five elements' grace Feeling as though I'm finally in place Air, I call, come to me The wind lifts me up and sets me free Water, I plea, come to me Comforting sounds of the ocean and sea Earth, I shout, come to me I taste the sweet gifts from tree and berry Fire, I summon, come to me Heat surges through and gives me energy Spirit, I say, come to me Suddenly- I know who is this 'me'
Hear the words of the Grandmother of Time: She who has been known as Hecate, Erishkagel, Cerridwen, Kali-Ma, Anna, Perenna, Spider Woman, and many other names - some feared, and some loved, but none ever ignored. She it is who brings wisdom and the awareness of eternity.
~ Author Unknown
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Wiccans and Witches sometimes feel isolated, wanting to become part of a community but can't because of personal or family circumstances. Elemental Magick offers an Outreach Program to help those individuals ages 18 and over who are unable to join in regular Gatherings or are just getting started and still a little shy about the whole business. If you'd like to find out more about this FREE service, please contact LazyWitch at 208-964-4396 or email@example.com. We will keep your information private."
Craft Idea: Mojo Bag In magic or pagan religions, the term Mojo Bag is described as an object believed to have magical powers, especially the power to keep away evil spirits. The bag itself is not powerful but what is placed inside and the belief in it is what gives the mojo bag its power. More definitively, a mojo bag is a personal talisman usually worn around the neck near the heart. Different items are placed inside depending on the bag’s purpose. With a little ingenuity, any spell can be converted to a mojo bag. The most common items found in a mojo bag might include: gemstones, bones, hair, feathers, dried herbs, crystals, and any charms or trinkets sacred to the practitioner There is a belief among some cultures/religions that mojo bags need to be “fed” to maintain their power. Feeding a mojo bag might include sprinkling some sea salt or herbs inside the bag daily. Some practitioners “charge” their bags by removing all the items and charging them, or to take
out the contents completely and refresh the bag with new items. Others still might hold the bag in their hands to recharge it. To make a mojo bag of your own, you first need the bag. In metaphysical stores often bags can be. purchased, but in a pinch a practitioner can shop at the craft department in their local department store and find muslin, mesh or cloth bags. Cheesecloth, flannel and leather are also popular materials to use. Practitioners can certainly make their own mojo bags. Generally, all mojo bags are of a drawstring type. The pattern or color of the mojo bag depends on the practitioner. A neutral color such as white, black, or brown can be used. However, to further enhance the power of the bag, a practitioner might want to consider a color fitting the intent. Some colors and intents might be: red for passion, green for money, blue for calming, orange for energy, black to rid of negativity, brown for grounding, white for purity or protection, purple for spirituality or yellow for
hope. There is no limit to the intent that mojo bags can be created for, it all depends on the items included with it. A home blessing spell might include a key inside or attached to the outside of the bag, a bag for protection might include a crystal, a bag for money or success might include a money symbol or a few coins, whereas a bag of personal power would include personal items such as fingernails or hair. To make a bag, you need to think about your intent and what items will support that intent. Gather the items and place them on an altar before you. Pick up each item and while holding it in your power hand (the hand you use the most) visualize what its purpose is in the bag. Then add it to the bag. Do this with each item. When completed, close it up. Now your bag can be worn around the neck, looped into a belt loop, carried in a pocket, hung by the bed or in the home and even tucked secretly into a purse. ~ SnowRaven’s Designs
The Dark Night of the Soul â€œThe Dark Night of the Soul" is the name given to that experience of spiritual desolation that many of us pass through at one time or another. It is sometimes characterized by feelings that we have lost our way on our spiritual path, that the God/dess has deserted us, that the initial fulfillment that we were granted when we first began our quest, has suddenly dried up. You begin to question your path. There comes a desire to give up on everything, to abandon exercises and meditation, as nothing seems to be working. St. John of the Cross. A Christian mystic, said of this experience, that it; "puts the sensory spiritual appetites to sleep, deadens them, and deprives them of the ability to find pleasure in anything. It binds the imagination, and impedes it from doing any good discursive work. It makes the memory cease, the intellect become dark and
unable to understand anything, and hence it causes the will to become arid and constrained, and all the faculties empty and useless. And over this hangs a dense and burdensome cloud, which afflicts the soul, and keeps it withdrawn from the good." Though it is easy to view the onset of such an experience with alarm (I know I did), the "Dark Night" is not something bad or destructive. In one sense it may be seen as a trial, a test by which the Gods examine our resolve to continue on our path, and if you are not completely wholehearted about your magical studies, it is during this period (at its beginning) that you will give up. The Dark Night of the Soul should be welcomed, once recognized for what it is (I have always received an innate "warning" just before the onset of such a period), as a person might welcome an operation that will secure health and well-being. St. John of the Cross embraced the
soul's Dark Night as a Divine Appointment, calling it a period of "sheer grace" and adding; "O guiding Night, O Night more lovely than Dawn, O Night that has united the lover with his beloved Transforming the Lover in her Beloved." When entering the Dark Night you are overcome by a sense of spiritual dryness and depression. The notion that all such experiences should be avoided, that you should be perfectly happy ALL the time, shows how superficial we have become. The Dark Night is a way of bringing the Soul to stillness, so that deep psychic transformation may take place. All distractions must be set aside, and it is no good attempting to fight or channel the bursts of raw energy and emotion that from time to time may course through your being. This inner compulsion to just give up 11
The Dark Night of the Soul results in the outer depression, when nothing seems to matter. The only thing to do is obey your inner voice and become still, waiting for the inner transformation, (which the "Dark Night" heralds), to take place. You may not be aware for a very long time of the results of that inner change, but when the desire to work comes again and the depression lifts, the Dark Night has (for a moment) passed. No one can help during this time, and in many
cases there is rarely anyone to turn to for advice. You have to disregard the well-meaning advice of family and friends to "snap out of it" this is no ordinary depression, but a deep spiritual experience which only those who have passed through themselves can understand. For most of us the routines of everyday life does not allow us the luxury of ‘running away’ for a spiritual retreat let alone just some time to ourselves,
all you can do is cultivate an inner solitude, a stillness and silence of heart, and wait, (like a chrysalis waits for the inner changes that will result in a butterfly) for the Transformation to work itself out. There are many such "Dark Nights" that the spiritual seeker must pass through during the mysterious process of ‘becoming’. They are all trials, but experience teaches us to cope. To forgive ourselves. To just say … It’s Okay.
Once in the dark of night,
O guiding dark of night!
Inflamed with love and wanting, I arose
O dark of night more darling than the dawn!
(O coming of delight!)
O night that can unite
And went, as no one knows,
A lover and loved one,
When all my house lay long in deep repose
A lover and loved one moved in unison.
All in the dark went right,
And on my flowering breast
Down secret steps, disguised in other clothes,
Which I had kept for him and him alone
(O coming of delight!)
He slept as I caressed
In dark when no one knows,
And loved him for my own,
When all my house lay long in deep repose.
Breathing an air from redolent cedars blown.
And in the luck of night
And from the castle wall
In secret places where no other spied
The wind came down to winnow through his hair
I went without my sight
Bidding his fingers fall,
Without a light to guide
Searing my throat with air
Except the heart that lit me from inside.
And all my senses were suspended there.
It guided me and shone
I stayed there to forget.
Surer than noonday sunlight over me,
There on my lover, face to face, I lay.
And lead me to the one
All ended, and I let
Whom only I could see
My cares all fall away
Deep in a place where only we could be.
Forgotten in the lilies on that day.
~ St. John of the Cross. 12
Amazing Autumn There is a lull for Pagans between Samhain and Yule, yet most of us will still be busy with other family obligations, such as Thanksgiving. This time of year is a time for inner reflection and work. Plants are going to sleep for the winter, animals are beginning to hibernate and there is a feeling of rest over the Earth. Nature slows down during late autumn, and as followers of nature-based paths, we should take note of this and plan the weeks of November accordingly. For children, this is a time of some excitement as there are still school holidays and events. As parents, we need to help our children relax and rejuvenate, preparing them for the quiet depths of winter. Children need us to help them balance their social obligations and spiritual needs. Teach your little ones how to meditate, and encourage them to take a few minutes every day to calm their mind. Start off with simple guided visualizations. Have them see themselves as a tree, firmly rooted in the earth and stretching to the sky. Then have the tree's leaves turn colors and start to fall. Tell them to imagine they are settling down for winter where their innermost self will relax. The tree is preparing for winter by keeping the nutrients inside instead of pushing them out into leaves and flowers. Your child should think of one way they can keep something inside of themselves to nurture until spring. Very small children might only be able to see the tree and the colored leaves while older children will begin to grasp the concept of focusing inwards. Daily practice will increase their awareness and deepen their understanding.
After the guided meditation, allow your child to draw or write what they saw and felt. Encourage them to ask questions and discuss their feelings with you. Children need quiet space every day, no matter the season, especially in this modern, hectic world. Try to find time in their schedule where they are able to be alone and can reflect on their day. It doesn't need to be a very long time; it should only be five to thirty minutes a day, depending on the age of your child. If you have younger children, you might find they fall asleep during this time, and that is perfectly okay. That is what their spirit and body needs and without that quiet space, they probably would have not been able to go to sleep. Autumn is also the time to work on projects or talents that you want to try. At the beginning of fall, sit down with your child and list a few things that they want to work on. Have them choose one to start with and help them with the steps needed to accomplish it. Again, daily practice will come into play; give your child time to actually work on their project each day. If they finish it before spring, assist them with starting on another one. The goal is to better oneself during the quiet of winter and manifest the change in spring. Some examples of projects you can help your child with are painting, crocheting, reading a book or even learning to read, writing a story, learning a new dance, learn to play an instrument, learning a new language or sewing. Children love to learn and as long as you present it in a fun and relaxing way, you will find they will pick up and be 13
Amazing Autumn proficient at just about anything they try. There are also a lot of fun activities you can do with your children in autumn, and not all of them involve quiet time. Activities can be as elaborate or as simple as you want; invite friends to come along or make it a family outing. Plan several activities for both inside and out, that way you have the day covered no matter what the weather. Take a nature walk, even if it's just walking through the park. Observe the birds and small animals around you, have your child describe what they are doing and why. This is a prime time to teach children about habitats, hibernation, and migration. Take a walk in the rain, but don't forget the rain boots! Enjoy splashing in the puddles, sailing boats in the gutters, and dancing in the rain. When you get done, cuddle up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate. To make it easier to get warm and dry, have dry clothes laid out and hot water in the kettle before you leave. Gather pretty leaves that the trees have already let go and make leaf rubbings. You can also make fall placemats by gluing those red and orange leaves to a piece of construction paper, letting it dry, then laminating it. Use clear shelf liner, commonly called contact paper, as you can cut it to size. Make apple stamps, as apples are in season and usually inexpensive and plentiful in the fall. Cut an apple in half horizontally to show the star inside. Dip it in paint and press onto paper. You can also laminate these to use as placemats, or make smaller ones and use as greeting cards. Potatoes can be used as stamps as well. Simply cut in half, use a pencil to draw the shape you want, and carve around the shape about Âź inch deep so the shape protrudes. Make bird feeders out of gathered pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Tie a string onto the pinecone to be used for hanging it, spread peanut butter on the pinecone, roll it in birdseed and hang. Alternatively, take empty, clean milk cartons, cut out a hole large enough for a bird. Make a smaller hole and put a sturdy stick or dowel through it, gluing it for stability, for a perch. Poke two holes in the top on opposite sides and thread a string through for hanging on the tree. Then fill the bottom with birdseed and hang in the tree or off your porch. You can make a similar feeder for the squirrels if you want, making the hole a larger and placing the feeder in a location that the squirrels can reach. If you live out in the woods or in a location frequented by deer, you can leave them corn and apples, or purchase deer feed from the store. If you plan on replenishing their food, do so on a regular basis, such as every Monday, and in the same location each time. You and your child can pick a spot far enough away so you don't scare them and sit quiet and still to watch the deer. 14
Fly a kite. Autumn winds are perfect for kite flying. If you have time and patience, you can make your own, or there are kites available at the store for anywhere from $5 to $30. For step-by-step directions and drawings, check out http://www.my-best-kite.com/how-to-make-akite.html. Take your kite to a park or field that doesn't have any overhead obstructions like trees or power lines, and watch it soar. By spending time in nature, you are giving your children the opportunity to sense even the subtle changes in the earth and open up the door to discussions on how we can live in harmony with nature. Give them the space they need to relax and reflect, help them meditate and learn how to recognize what changes are needed in their own lives. Offer them ways to express and manifest those changes. Make autumn a time of rest and inner growth, and carry the habits of daily meditation and reflection over into the rest of the year. ~ Alena Orrison
DEAR GERTRUDE They are easy to come by from the grocery store. Salt cleanses negative energies. Use regular table salt (not the iodized kind) or Sea Salt. Either will do but since you are doing your entire home, regular salt will be less expensive. This same blend should be sprinkled on all window sills and door thresholds, in closets, under beds and furniture. You can powder this mix in a blender/food processor/grinder and make it fine. Put it into a labeled salt or spice shaker and use it any time you feel the energy changing to the dark side. You might also like to try using Obsidian. It's also known as Dear Scared Silly in Sandpoint, volcanic glass, black in color. If you have Apache Tears stones It can be tricky to be certain IF you home is really EVIL, just or jewelry, these can also be used. Obsidian absorbs negative haunted or just a creaky house. I do believe you are energies. Make mobiles from Apache Tears (two or three feeling/experience something but first we need to determine stones each) and hang them in the rooms that seem to be most what it is. You didn't mention in your letter anything that has affected by this energy. Be sure to HANG THEM HIGH to happened to make you believe your home is EVIL so I will begin by asking you what has happened to make you think your keep them out of the reach of the children. I use Obsidian in my home and my energy work. It is wonderful and very strong, home is full of EVIL energy? Homes have sounds that occur during heating and cooling from even small pieces of it. I believe there is a shop on Sandpoint's main street that carries stones and such or you can contact area outdoor temperatures as well as indoor temps. The older the rock shops who should have them. I know of a place in the home, the more they pop and snap and creak! If you have Spokane area that has lots of it so contact me if you can't locate recently moved into your home, children sometimes take a while to settle in. If, however, you have experienced sightings, any. You may notice that for a few days all is well. Think positively object movements, unexplainable cold or hot spots, obvious about this. Should you feel the energies begin again, do the footsteps where there shouldn't be any, you may have a mopping and vacuuming and renew the window sill sprinkling problem. and contact me through the Elemental Magick's Outreach at Here are some things that usually prove helpful in chasing 208-964-4396 and Janie will put me in touch with you Spirits out of the house: immediately! First, you can try talking to the Energy. Order it to leave your I know this situation is very upsetting for you and your family. home immediately because of the effects it's having on your Hauntings are not pleasant things and should never be allowed children and family. Be nice but firm This Spirit may not be evil at all, just wants your attention. Tell it that it must not stay to continue as Spirit Energies, good or bad, sap your energy and cause problems between family members. because it isn't working well with your family and it must go. Stay firm. It needs to go now because this is your home. Open I hope this has helped you and please contact our Outreach number for more assistance. the door and send it on its way. Most of the time, this will do Blessings to you and your family the trick. Think about your words positively and command respect. Gertrude Moon, Crone Should this not stop the haunting, try the following: If you have mop able floors in your home, MOP your floors with a solution of SALT, ROSEMARY, CINNAMON, and NUTMEG (or at this time of year you can purchase PUMPKIN PIE SPICE which will be just as the same spices and same effective and probably cheaper) mixed in very hot water to blend these items. Use a new mop if possible. Open the doors to allow Spirits to go out of the home and MOP THOSE FLOORS!!! On carpeting, use the same combination, well ground mixed with a box of BAKING SODA, leave it dry and sprinkle on all rugs and carpets. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes with doors open and vacuum. Dump the contents of vacuum outdoors immediately away from the house. These herbs and spices are protective and purifying by nature. Dear Gertrude, I think my house is haunted. I have a family and would really like to get rid of the EVIL energy/feelings in our home. My children seem to be especially affected by the strange energy in my home. Is there a way that someone like me, who has no experience, can clean out my house? Thanks, Scared Silly in Sandpoint
UPCOMING EVENTS NOVEMBER Nov 1st and 2nd - Day of the Dead - Central and South American Catholic Celebration of those who have past. Day 1 is usually used to celebrate Adults who have past, Day 2 is normally given over for Children who have past. Nov 12th - Dark of the Moon Nov 13th - New Moon and Solar Eclipse Nov 14th - Wednesday - Daytime Gathering in Rathdrum, Id. 11:30 am until 3 pm(ish). Bring a covered dish to share and something to drink. We'll be studying and writing simple Spells. Bring your favorite book(s)) that contain correspondences for your spell work! Contact Janie for directions! (208-964-4396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) Nov 16th - Night of Hecate Nov 22nd - Thanksgiving Nov 28th - Wednesday - Evening Gatherings in Spirit Lake, Id. 5:30 pm until 8 pm(ish). Bring a covered dish to share and something to drink. We'll be discussing Grimoires/Books of Shadow. Contact Janie for directions! Nov 28th - Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse DECEMBER Dec 8th - Saturday - TENTITIVE - Earth & Yule Art and Craft Fair. Details pending. If you are interested in selling your Pagan/Wiccan/Witch Crafts or doing readings, body work or some other activity, please contact Janie.
Dec 12th - Wednesday - Daytime Gathering in Rathdrum, Id. 11:30 am until 3 pm(ish). Bring a covered dish to share and something to drink. We'll be continuing our Spell Study AND working on details for our Yule Ritual and Celebration. Contact Janie for directions. (208-964-4396 or email email@example.com) Dec 9th - Hanukkah begins Dec 12th - Dark of the Moon Dec 13th - New Moon Dec 16th - Hanukkah ends Dec 19th - Wednesday - (Yes, this Gathering is a week early!!!) EVENING YULE RITUAL AND CELEBRATION!! Gift exchange!! Those wishing to participate should bring an unwrapped Wiccan/Witchy type gift, hand-crafted if possible. Cost shouldn't exceed about $15 (I know that handmade gifts usually cost much more and that's okay if it's okay with you). Bring your FAVORITE HOLIDAY DISH. You may wear your Robes if you desire! Contact Janie for directions. Dec 24th - Christmas Eve Dec 25th - Christmas Dec 26th - NO GATHERING, Kwanza Dec 29th - Full Moon Dec 31st - New Year's Eve
GATHERING NOTES Hi Everyone!!!! Well, we held our last outdoor Gathering at Post Falls Q'emlin Park in early October!! It was a totally beautiful day, warm and sunny and the colors of autumn were all about us. We had the park pretty much to ourselves. Only a few college students, park workers and lovers wandered through to look at the river!! Unfortunately, the park guys had already locked the restrooms which were quite disheartening!!! We discussed our future a bit and settled our plans for our Witches' Day Out Luncheon. The Luncheon was a total BLAST!!! The staff at "Tomato Street" in CdA was wonderful though there was something about a really expensive cocktail and its details I'm still uncertain of!!! We were seated at a long table in the middle of the restaurant and enjoyed ourselves completely!!! The food was delicious and the staff really got into the swing!!! Loved IT!! Hope everyone who attended enjoyed it as much as I did!!! We held our first Evening Gathering in a long, long time on the 24th! Thank you, Crystal, for sharing your wonderful home with us! And a HUGE Thank You, Crystal for preforming as High Priestess for the Samhain Ceremony!! It was wonderful and I loved it!! The rain kept us in but we still had a great ceremony. Food was FANTASTIC!!!!! And it was fun having children around. Their energy was wonderful and enlightening! We had a guest and a returning member. I'm hoping they will continue because their energy 16
is really great! We discussed the possibilities of having an Earth & Yule Arts and Crafts Fair in CdA on Dec 8th. As of this writing, I don't have any details but if you are interested in having a sales table, doing readings, doing body work or any other activity, PLEASE contact me and I'll pass you on to the coordinator for this wonderful day!!! All arts, crafts, etc., should relate to Wicca, Witchcraft or Paganism. We are trying to help build our Pagan Community again!!! We'd love any help you'd like to give!!! Right now we have two Gathering per month (please check the Calendar of Events which will give you the time and general location of the Gatherings). At the Turn of the New Year (January 2013) we are trying to add an additional Gathering in the CdA area again. I'm not sure if this will be a daytime or evening Gathering yet but as soon as all the details have been ironed out, I'll let you know. A NOTE: The phone number that was put on the directions to Crystal's home was wrong. Please contact me if you would like the correct one!! Also, anyone needing directions to the Rathdrum Gathering home should contact me and I'll send them to you!!! You will need to do this immediately!!! Wish we could see more of you at Gatherings but we do understand about families, jobs and other commitments. We would love to see you at any of our functions. If you are new, please make yourself known. Much love to everyone and Many Blessings! ~ LazyWitch