Wednesday, December 29, 2010

30 Days of Paganism [Day 9: Beliefs - Dance]

Dance is a relatively new feat for me as a Pagan.  Up until late December this year I took bellydance classes learning how to dance in the traditional Egyptian style - wonderful for my particular pantheon.  It was a wonderful way of helping to balance my chakras.  I found that good old fashioned cardio was great for reducing my stress levels and helping to promote my general wellbeing, but bellydance was moving me around every chakra beautifully, especially from the root, sexual, solar plexus to the heart chakra.  Towards the end I was particularly connecting with the chakras in my hands and (bare) feet as a solid posture made sure that my chakras were aligned and strong.

Several girls from my former coven and a few who had left that coven have taken up dancing together as sisters, where we will soon start experimenting with choreography together as an all Pagan troupe.  It's certainly a very interesting exploration as there are varying forms of bellydance.  I hadn't danced since I was eight and nine years old when I took on contemporary dance, and initially I was finding it hard.  Thankfully one of the girls recorded our teacher dancing so that I could memorise our routine and I've found it much easier since!  There is still so much to learn - and more painting to do alongside it, otherwise I would do more than just one teacher's lessons.

I'm very much in love with Sadie's style below and with Rachel Brice (view previous vid here) - hopefully I will combine these styles in some fashion to use my strength like Brice and cute choreography like Sadie.

Witchy Outfit of the Week XVII continued - the dress to match the hat

Evangeline feather dress by Whistles

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Witchy Outfit of the Week XVII

Anyone know of the designer?
Cup of tea with that hat?

Going home - 13 days on the island

Tasmania, the grand Van Diemen's Land where a certain pride of place and beauty resides.  Every year I come here for Christmas and New Year celebrations, soaking up the clearer air and softer water which compared to Old Melbourne Town is so much more pure and soothing.  Every time I come here there is a recharge of energy, as some Wiccans might describe a different 'frequency' to Launceston as there is to Melbourne.  There is a great temptation to move back here, but then we've just signed a new lease for a beautiful flat we're about to have a house clearing for.  The majesty of Tasmania is shining at the moment in her full glory with the recent rains with growth of all kinds everywhere: so many ferns, Tasmanian violets and plants of every variety - Australian and European amongst colonial homes. 

You walk into stores with Tasmanian produce like natural soaps, huon pine products that make the room smell divine, cheeses, honey and candles from the local lavendar farms.  Every time I come here I seem to have interesting and prophetic dreams and wonderful magickal energies around nature itself which surrounds you as people grace their backyards with pride, established trees lining the streets.

In a township of only 80,000, the place is small enough to regularly bump into others and most places only take ten minutes to drive to.  Being a cheap and eurocentric place to live though, you see a lot of conservative types and very bad taste when it comes to fashion, so it's not all amazing here.  Whilst it's wonderful to be a part of a small and friendly creative community, the numbers aren't great and the pagan community is very small.  It's a marvellous place for pagans to live, but more so if you're a solitary practitioner who keeps to themselves.

The love of design, particularly in local architecture is apparent wherever you go, with very little built since 1950.  As one of the first cities to be established in Australia, coming across something like the house below is not unusual:

This house is currently for sale here

I doubt very much that I will ever move back here, but its magick cannot be denied.  I hope to take more pictures or at least show you some pictures at some point of this wonderful part of the world.

Blessed Be,
)O( E

Monday, December 20, 2010

30 Days of Paganism [Day 8: Beliefs - Holidays]

When they issued the list and added 'Holidays' I assume that they mean the Sabbats.  Every Sabbat, or Wiccan holy day is a part of our Wheel of the Year, and depending on which hemisphere you live in, it will come at different times.  We're about to come up to Litha in the southern hemisphere and Yule in the northern hemisphere.

There are Sabbats - the main celebrations below - and Esbats which are usually full moons and new moons, though some covens only focus on the full moon.  The Sabbat provides a time of reflection, to gather your strength and see how you can strengthen your character from each celebration to the next as the seasons change.

For more information on the Sabbats, go to Spheres of Light for your 2011 southern hemisphere exact dates and times.

Southern Hemisphere Wheel of the Year

Northern Hemisphere Wheel of the Year

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bird of the Week I

An Australian beauty - the crested pigeon.  This punk pigeon even wears eyeliner 0_0

Photo by Charlie Moores
for 10,000 birds

This Tuesday - get ready. It's a full moon, lunar eclipse and Litha (southern hemisphere)/Yule (northern hemisphere)

Never has such a big time been coming up in the astrological calendar that I can remember.  This is the big one!  Some people are even saying that this is bigger and more influential than the 12/12/12 date that so many people rave about - which I'm not into myself.

This particular combination of a full moon and lunar eclipse on the solstice has not happened since 1703!

Have a look here to see when the eclipse will pass by you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Desired Home VIII

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

A community taught not to be superstitious

This is very interesting.  I take my 'healing' with a grain of salt.  I don't go to a healing session for a sinus infection - I go to the doctor!  What healing I do get done is for psychological benefit, and it's rare that I part with money to receive it, spending $10-$25 at a time for such thing.  If I choose to pay money for someone else to heal me it's more for the learning experience & to see whether something like Reiki really has a different effect to Pranic healing or the Egyptian Emotional Clearing Technique.  It's all relative.

It's hard to see people paying money for this sort of thing when they live in a third world country and I'm glad that there are people actively educating these communities in such a way.

Enjoy, it's quite funny in parts!

Desired Homes VII

Witchy Outfit of the Week XVI

Who said that sequins weren't for the circle?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

30 Days of Paganism [Day 7: Beliefs - The Power of Prayer]

Prayer would have to be one of the purest forms of magick as it asks directly of the 'listener.'  So far we've looked at spellcraft and wishcraft, and prayers come into their own category.  I have found that regular prayer connects and grounds me to the world and what I am grateful for.  It helps me to look at all aspects of my life during the week and also shortly before I go to bed, wishing well on those who have taught me an important lesson during my waking hours.

The following are prayers for each day of the week, which helps to build both your knowledge and rhythym.  I'm not sure where these have come from, so apologies for no references.  I wrote them down when I was about 16/17.  Don't feel that you need to have every tea, crystal and candle - it's rarely possible to have all of them available to you at once!

Sunday is for: Success, ambition, fortune, money, career, sport, healing, hope, friends and outdoor fun!
Incense: Frankincense
Colour candle: Yellow
Stone: Tiger's Eye
Tea: Chamomile
Flower: Marigolds
Meditate on: The divine light and the true nature of nobility and power.
During the day, make magickal charms for friends and plant seeds.  Pursue pleasures and fun in the wilderness.

Invocation: Hail to you who are called Ra, who sails across the sky in your golden boat and thus brings us the day.  Also called Horus: Child of Light, Baal of the Solar Wheel, Apollo and Helios - blessings be unto you.  I dedicate this day to the faerie realms, the forest wild and all wilderness areas and wild things.  O Lord and Lady, bless me with vitality, optimism, health and happiness.

Monday is for: Psychic powers, merchandise, dreams, clairvoyance, home, childbirth, feminine qualities and theft
Incense: Jasmine
Colour candle: White
Stone: Moonstone
Tea: Mugwort - for clairvoyance.  Put some amongst your tarot deck.
Flower: White rose or daisy
Meditate on: The Fairie realms and the Holy Maiden of the Wilderness.  Contemplate the ramifications of fecundity of body, mind, spirit, your private life and the untold powers of your imagination.
Gather herbs and talismanic stones; practise astral travel, divinations, love spells, fertility spells and construct psychic shields.  Also a great night for a visualisation.

Invocation: Hail to you, Diana of the Hunt, Selene of the Moon and Hecate: Patroness of our Wiccan Way.  You who are the all-goddess Isis, blessings be unto you!  I dedicate this day to the watery realms of the oceans, lakes, lagoons, pools, streams, springs and rivers as well as to dew, rain, mist and snow.  O Lord and Lady, bless me with fertility and desire, make me receptive and empathetic to my environment.

Tuesday is for: war, men, sexual energy, courage and matrimony
Incense: Dragons Blood resin - anoint yourself with pine oil
Colour candle: Red
Stone: Garnet and ruby stones
Tea: Sarsparilla (very hard to find!)
Flower: Carnations and geraniums
Meditate on: Obstacles you need to overcome to strengthen your character.  Seek to udnerstand your motivations.  During the day, perform psychic surgery and legal aid rituals.

Invocation: Hail to you Ares and Mar, implacable Lord of war and vitality - also called Hu and Tiw - blessings be unto you.  I dedicate this day to the fields and plateaus and all grazing animals.  O Lord and lady, bless me with fruitfullness, endurance and courage.  Help me to drive home my aims.

Wednesday is for: Communication, education, travel, mental agility, writing, acting, debt, fear and loss
Incense: Sandalwood
Colour candle: Orange
Stone: Citrine/Opal
Tea: Lavendar
Flower: Lavendar
Meditate on: aspirations and goals, open your mind to inner planes.  During the day think about your plans.  After this, indulge yourself by consecrating magickal tools and perform tarot divinations.

Invocation: Hail to you who are Hermes: winged messenger, Pan the goat-footed god of the forest, Thoth the scribe and Odin the all-seeing - blessing be unto you.  I dedicate this day to the lord of the morning star, and to the process of assimilation of the raw elements as it is manifested on Earth in marshes, swamps and jungles.  May the elements be balanced.  O Lord and Lady, bless my intellect.  Help me to be adaptable, flexible, articulate and well-balanced.  Teach me the great mysteries of the Universe and enable me to speak of my acquired knowledge to others.

Thursday is for: Expansion, wealth, political power, law, business, insurance matters, honor, clothing and desire.
Incense: Cedarwood
Colour candle: Light blue
Stone: Amethyst/Jade
Tea: Peppermint
Flower: Lilacs
Meditate on: Your career and job-related ambitions as well as the importance of friendship in your life in balance with your vocation.  During the day, light fires to improve health and aid promotions in career.  Study the ecosystems in your area.

Invocation: Hail to you, all father Zeus, Amon: Lord of the sky, Kronos, ruler of the elder gods and Thor - blessings be unto you.  I walk among you in dagcliffs and weather formations.  O Lord and Lady, strengthen my sense of self-reliance.  Make me patient and steady and grant me the will to endure until I attain my goals

Friday is for: love, beauty, the arts, music, the environment, friendshop and strangers
Incense: Rose
Colour candle: Green
Stone: Rose quartz
Tea: Lemon
Flower: Rose petals
Meditate on: Partnerships, harmony and the true meaning and responsibility of love.
During the day indulge in lovemaking and dancing.  Make love talismans.  Perform spells to heal the kidneys.  Consecrate rose quartz stones. **Do not conduct love spells - you have been warned.  Only conduct self love spells and talismans to develop a more loving self.

Invocation: Hail to you Aphrodite: Queen of Nature, Freya, Astarte and Morwyn: goddesses of fertility, and Venus: supreme goddess of love, blessings be unto you.  I dedicate this day to the flowers and fruits of the land.  O Lord and Lady, bring me pleasure and passion.  O Empress of the evening star, make me merciful and sympathetic towards others and help me to express my creativity.

Saturday is for: karma, prosperity, inheritance, agriculture, life building, doctrine and protection
Incense: Myrrh
Colour candle: Black
Stone: Sodalite
Tea: Solomon's Seal tea
Flower: Dried flowers and gladioli
Meditate on: Reincarnation and the womb of the Great Mother Gaia.  Seek to attain self control and knowledge.  During the day, practice deep meditation, psychometry and perfume rituals to do with the material plane.

Invocation: Hail to you Gaia, Great Mother of us all.  Rhea, Binah, Ge: Queen of the Universe - blessings be unto you.  I dedicate this day to the stars, to the tundra, the moors and alpine peaks on this Earth.  O Lord and Lady, help me to find inner peace and a sense of totality.

by Silver Ravenwolf
In the stillness of the night,
While the world around me sleeps,
May the angels smile upon me,
and the Lady bring me peace.
Blessings upon ---.
I know that you will care for them,
And bring them what they need.
Install in me great harmony,
In thought and word and deed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

30 Days of Paganism [Day 6: Beliefs - Magick and Spellcraft]

Be careful what you wish for.  As you have been previously warned of in the article Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair - a warning not to hex nor conjure love spells, you must be careful of what you wish and cast on in this life I'm even incredibly careful about the wishes I make in my head, for even in the most simple psychological sense, you can turn those wishes into your reality by subconsciously working towards them whether they're for your greater good or not.  What you want could affect the lives of others, and that is why, when I cast spells, that I make sure that my workings not only benefit myself but others.  That is literally taking the threefold law into my own hands, and I would encourage any other magickal worker to do so.  For example, if I were to cast a spell to heal myself or a self love spell to add more self love, worth and respect to my life - that would be affecting others by making myself an example for a healthy, balanced and gracious attitude.  A happy person forgets that they can make such a difference to someone else's day by projecting their good feeling onto others, possibly complimenting others more as a give and take relationship starts, even on the most basic level. 

Magick is powerful, potent and not to be toyed with.  Your magick is a contribution to the world, not just a vain raising of energies for your own good.  You cannot work against someone's will or harm anyone.
My magick, now in my 2nd degree, is a mixture of both intuitive and devised magick.  The difference?  Intuituve magick is when you have a great deal of energy within you for magick and you plain and simply - with some knowledge of the moon cycle already in the back of your mind - cast circle and just go for it.  That is when you often progress as a practitioner.  Devised magick is carefully written down in your book of shadows, where you have more time to write down a blessing, what tools you will use, what star sign the moon is in etc. in order to send off your spell into the ether in a poetic and calculated manner.

Wicca is seen as a 'Mystery Religion' in that you cannot know how it works just by picking up one book from a teacher - it has to be practiced, implemented and experienced.  It opens itself up to you over time as you regularly meditate, work low magick (spells to 'get what you want' or push towards a finite outcome) and high magick (which brings you closer to your deity and what they can teach you to become a more balanced practitioner).  Magick is often read about in books, and you can spend hours upon hours reading, but unless you actually get to it and practice, you will never get anywhere.  I had spent a great deal of time in my late teens worrying about the fact that I didn't have every single essential oil, candle, resin and tool available to me.  Essentially these tools are here to help you reach an induced state, but tools are actually very unnecessary.  It is great to have an altar, but it need not be expensive nor should you really need one at all.  After time, you can practice magick anywhere - it's just nice to have the formalities of the 'right' incense or candle to push you along.  Magick is in the heart and pumps through your veins.

I am very much an urban witch and feel that I need my time out amongst nature in order to balance myself.  What is the point of worshipping nature unless you get out there and get amongst it?!  I have bought myself a tent and other bits and pieces to camp, bushwalk and protect myself in the sun.  It is amongst nature that I can really feel at peace and work with nature's gentle energy.  It is hard to plan outings with friends to camp out, and it's still on the cards!
After some time, you realise that magick starts to spread into other aspects of your life.  I've now taken up bellydancing and have left the gym to take up exercise that works with dance, which celebrates life.  I've taken up a range of things to keep myself occupied - which clearly, I couldn't all fit into one week: zumba, kundalini yoga, yoga, pilates, power walking and tribal bellydance.  Being fit is really important to keep your energies balanced, and I find that the two forms of yoga fit in beautifully with my meditation which helps to balance my mind.

The above is not particularly expressive, so I also have my artwork as well as playing music on occasion to celebrate life.  My artwork takes two routes: automatic painting & drawing as well as depictions of the images I see during trance.

I keep my eye on religious debate, crossing from the opinions of atheists such as Derren Brown & Richard Dawkins, the issues with New Age faiths & fraudulent behaviour, faith healing for psychological use, hypnotism - you name it!  If a witch's aim is to constantly learn, then it's important for them to be open-minded & consider how science merges with our beliefs.  How much of what we do is based on intention & why is it that we are able to develop this sense of transcendence?  Those questions should not be left out of our faith in the 21st century.

Just as I'd left you with Scott Cunningham's 'regular practices' in Day 1, I'd like to give you the list that Edain McCoy provides in her book 'Advanced Witchcraft':

"An advanced witch:
  • Picks his battles with care
  • Knows when to keep silent
  • Knows when to speak up
  • Lives out of the broom closet, but doesn't fly her faith in the face of others
  • Appreciates group work and its power
  • Appreciates solitude and its power
  • Has the courage of his convictions
  • Is confident of her skills, but not arrogant
  • Is confident of his skills, but knnows there is always more to learn
  • Knows she is a capable teacher, and that she must always be a willing student
  • Lives by the rede of 'harm none'
  • Observes the sabbats, esbats, and any other festivals of his chosen tradition and uses them for spiritual growth as well as for fellowshop and to honor his deities
  • Serves her community
  • Sees the divinity in all life and respects all life for the divine spark that dewlls within, even when that being's thoughts and actions are not easily respectable
  • Builds bridges and not walls
  • Asks rather than demands
  • Questions more than he anwers
There is still a lot for me to master in that list!

Blessed Be,

Beautiful article on Automatic Drawing from 1916

Out of the flesh of our mothers come dreams and memories of the Gods. Of other kind than the normal inducement of interest and increasing skill, there exists a continual pressure upon the artist of which he is sometimes partially conscious but rarely entirely aware. he learns early or late in his career that power of literal reproduction (such as that of the photographic apparatus) is not more than slightly useful to him. He is compelled to find out from his artist predecessors the existence, in representation of real form, of supersessions of immediate accuracies; he discovers within himself a selective conscience and he is satisfied, normally, in large measure by the extensive field afforded by this broadened and simplified consciousness. Yet beyond this is a region and that a much greater one, for exploration. The objective understanding, as we see, has to be attacked by the artist and a subconscious method, for correction of conscious visual accuracy, must be used. No amount of visual skill and consciousness of error will produce a good drawing. A recent book on drawing by a well-known painter is a case in point; there the examples of masters of draughtsmanship may be compared with the painter-author's own, side by side, and the futility of mere skill and interest examined. Therefore to proceed further, it is neccesary to dispose of the "subject" in art also (that is to say the subject in the illustrative or complex sense). Thus to clear the mind of inessentials permits through a clear and transparent medium, without prepossessions of any kind, the most definite and simple forms and ideas to attain expression.