Monday, January 31, 2011

Comparing the Wiccan Threefold Law to the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path



"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him". - Buddha 

The Wiccan threefold law states that ‘Whatever you send out, you get back times three’ which looks awfully similar to the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path.  I have been Wiccan on and off for twelve years and my most recent stint of nearly two years now without a break has made me realise how my thoughts make the world, so my thoughts are also involved in the Threefold Law and are thus destructive to myself also.

I have always felt that Wiccans can take a lot from Buddhism, so I have put our perspective next to that of the Buddhist Eightfold Path in order to put our school of thought next to theirs to show you how similar and important they are.

1. Right View. The right way to think about life is to see the world through the eyes of the Buddha--with wisdom and compassion.
From the Wiccan perspective: We ought to be ambassadors for our faith as walking representations of our deity, showing the most virtuous qualities of those particular Godddesses and/or God.  Can you imagine your patron Goddess or God walking around swearing, gossiping or thinking destructive thoughts against a brother or sister?

2. Right Thought. We are what we think. Clear and kind thoughts build good, strong characters.
You are what you eat and you certainly are what you think!  By becoming consumed by negative ‘mind chatter’ we allow ourselves to be open to the criticisms of others, to take everything literally rather than having the outer perspective that we ought to.  This way of thinking is beautifully brought to life in The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle.  As a strong character you will be a wonderful example for others and will be able to live each day at a time rather than feeling regret and nostalgia for your past and putting all of your hopes into your future.  Give out kind thoughts to others and yourself – love yourself.

3. Right Speech. By speaking kind and helpful words, we are respected and trusted by everyone.
In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.  By becoming a glowing example of love, compassion, patience and understanding we are teaching others that it is possible to retain this state.  Make your statements helpful, rather than ‘holier than thou’ without judgment or prejudice.  This will create Perfect Love and Perfect Trust around you, insist on being this way without ill thought.

4. Right Conduct. No matter what we say, others know us from the way we behave. Before we criticize others, we should first see what we do ourselves.
People judge us by our actions, not by our words.  We can sound as holier than thou and spiritual as we like when we speak, but if we turn around and do something nasty or feel as though we are ‘above’ anyone else, how can we not expect the Threefold Law to come into effect?  Challenge those thoughts that come into your mind when you’re thinking vain, jealous, competitive, egoic, self destructive thoughts – stand back from them and consider where they have come from.  Still let them come through, but over time, you will first be able to lessen the affect of those thoughts on your body and mind and eventually be able to remove them from your world by being in control of them.

5. Right Livelihood. This means choosing a job that does not hurt others. The Buddha said, "Do not earn your living by harming others. Do not seek happiness by making others unhappy."
So many Wiccans, unless they are working in the field of New Age retail stores or therapies are helping people, their planet & wider communities.  Let’s also make this path important in our lives whether we are still working in an office job yet helping others in another way.

6. Right Effort. A worthwhile life means doing our best at all times and having good will toward others. This also means not wasting effort on things that harm ourselves and others.
I have personally given up drinking partly for this reason: if I am not taking care of my body, how can I expect to progress well spiritually?  Be honest and gentle in your path.

7. Right Mindfulness. This means being aware of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
We really ought to think of our Threefold law as fulfilling these three things on a constant basis before wondering about where the repercussions come from.

8. Right Concentration. Focus on one thought or object at a time. By doing this, we can be quiet and attain true peace of mind.
As mentioned, this way of thinking or ‘mindfulness’ is beautifully explained in The Power of Now.  It means that we are staying in the Now with our mind, free of the mind chatter that brings us down.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Incredible exhibition you must see

COPRO NASON GALLERY PRESENTS
'CONJOINED IN 3D'
This amazing exhibition is not to be missed - online or otherwise.  I found it thanks to my friend Jon Beinart's contribution to the show, which you can see here.  View the whole exhibition here.  The preview of the exhibition is in progress at the moment, so not all of the works are there as yet.
Baba Yaga
by T.S Kuebler
Silicone & Mixed media 
5'2"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Herbal remedies face licence rule in Europe


I actually think that this is very fair.  The only herbal products that will remain are scientifically proven to be safe, and even then, I managed to buy St John's Wort tablets several years ago without a prescription only to find out much later that it interferes with the contraceptive pill.  No such note was to be found on the bottle itself.  For years we used ginseng to help our memory, but recent scientific findings reveal that it does nothing at all for the memory - so how did it get on the counter in the first place?  At the end of all of this 'the label still will not be able to tell customers if they can be shown to work' which at least is eradicating harmful quantities which are not measured properly.
“Hundreds of traditional and imported remedies on the shelves of health food shops and herbalists are set to be banned under new licensing rules.  The EU directive aims to protect users from any damaging side-effects that can arise from taking unsuitable medicines.  Only high quality, long-established and scientifically safe herbal medicines will be sold over the counter.  Some traders who sell products imported from outside the EU say their business will be hit.  Herbal medicines – with names such as Cascara Bark and Horny Goat Weed – have become popular.  But from the first of May an EU directive will be enforced, under which all such products must be licensed, following fears that some products could cause harm."
Read more at BBC News

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Desired Home IX


































via Cosmic Dust

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Latest beinArt interview with Matt R Martin now online


I talk to Melbourne artist Matt R Martin about the beginnings of his painting career with already so much promise as an artist.

Above: Unspoken - Oil on canvas.

View this interview here

Previous beinArt interviews:

When I'm rich, Octopi shall grace my home

Bronze Octopus table by Isaac Krauss

Wallpaper available from Anthrolpoligie.com


via NotCot

Apothecary of the Week VI

Friday, January 14, 2011

Airlines take the reigns to make their own biofuel

Relatively un-witchy I know.  Seeing as my 30 Days of Paganism left me bereft of things to write about in regards to environmentalism I thought that I needed to add more to the blog for more discussion and hopefully more household tips in the long term for everyone to contribute less waste and carbon emissions.  So here's a better start!


This is a really exciting article.  Rather than waiting for competing fuel companies to create the biofuel, our airway companies are seeking to make their own fuel rather than waiting for the oil companies to buy out special models of aircraft or the competing fuel companies.  It could also see a great deal of food scraps, green waste (clippings & grass cuttings) and packaging so that the majority of waste created in the home can go towards biofuel.


As fossil fuel dries up and will eventually no longer be available, it excites me that these companies are taking it into their own hands to start making biofuel rather than waiting for anyone else to do it.  It is, however, going to cost a fortune to only fuel 2% of British Airways' aircrafts:


'Solena formed a joint venture with British Airways in February to build a £200 million ($305 million) plant in London by 2014 to turn up to 500,000 tonnes of waste a year into 73 million litres of jet fuel. This would be enough to fuel about 2 per cent of BA's aircraft based at London's Heathrow Airport.'


My mind is drifting off into an idealistic world where we can scoop up the waste currently floating in the ocean and thrown into areas of the earth to reuse purely for fuel.  'Clean Up Australia Day's could be run on a weekly or monthly basis in order to collect enough waste to contribute towards the production of biofuel...  All of which costs money in one way or another.  Too idyllic for words!  What if the airlines paid people to collect rubbish - my head is about to explode.


Read the article here.

Desired Home IX

All of that serious talk and news articles is going to seriously make me dive for some more aesthetics and drink some Russian Caravan tea, the tea to offer to Baba Yaga.  I'll have to astrally transport myself to this place seeing as I don't have a job and can't exactly go on a yoga retreat for a weekend anywhere anytime soon.  Ahh for Saturday, the time to reflect on the week and banish the past, put it behind you & learn your lessons.  Time to meditate on being reborn into the womb of the Great Mother and to dye over my greys (yup, I'm 26 and the greys say HELLO!).  I think it's high time for my well overdue yearly tarot reading whilst I'm in this place in my mind...

via Cradle to the Grave from

Big News: Changes to the Zodiac (Part I) - don't change your astrological tattoos

This news over the past 24 hours has been shaking the world, but it needn't do.  The reason why I'm calling this Part I is because I want to see what my Astrologer Jonathan Cainer has to say about this before I go any further.   The fact that he hasn't posted anything on his main page as yet is very interesting.  Certainly what I have found proves it to be false.


According to this article below, 'The astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society found that because of the moon's gravitational pull on Earth, the alignment of the stars was pushed by about a month.'  That would mean that the following signs have now changed to the list below.

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16. 
Aquarius:
 Feb. 16-March 11. 
Pisces:
 March 11-April 18. 
Aries:
 April 18-May 13. 
Taurus:
 May 13-June 21. 
Gemini:
 June 21-July 20. 
Cancer:
 July 20-Aug. 10. 
Leo:
 Aug. 10-Sept. 16.Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30. 
Libra:
 Oct. 30-Nov. 23.Scorpio: Nov. 23-29. 
Ophiuchus:
 Nov. 29-Dec. 17.  (Yep, this one is new — read all about the Ophiuchus way of life here)Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.



This confused me at first because I thought 'If before this change I was born at a certain time and that at that time I was a Taurean, surely it means that only people born from now onwards within these time slots can be regarded as these star signs?'  But some people believe that the signs were out of alignment the whole time.

If this is all true, are the astrologers sweating?  Apparently they are receiving a lot of phone calls from people freaking out, particularly when it comes to their compatible signs for their love life. If this is true, this would mean that my sun, rising and moon signs would be completely different.  I would go from being a Taurean whose favourite colour is green & is in love with luscious smells, food and aesthetics to a fiery Arian!  Does that not feel right for a reason?

CNN says that we have nothing to worry about:

'"This story is born periodically as if someone has discovered some truth. It's not news," said Jeff Jawer, an astrologer with Tarot.com, told CNN's This Just In news blog.

Astrology experts say the shift in zodiac signs does not apply to most Westerners, who follow the tropical zodiac, which is fixed to the seasons. In contrast, the Star Tribune article referred to the sidereal zodiac, which is fixed to constellations and is followed more in the East.'



Having read around, it seems that the astronomer who made this news was making a casual remark about a thirteenth star sign, which all astronomers are aware of and has been left out deliberately because only twelve signs will follow with the seasons.  Some might argue 'Perhaps it follows the 13 moons of the year' but I say: let the astrologers do their work - they would know better than what we would!  Certainly don't go changing your astrological tattoo for a viral uproar.  It certainly hasn't featured in the main newspapers as yet, and it probably won't because it's false.


Sources:
Read the article supporting the new astrology here




Read the full CNN article here
Christian Science article which says 'It's not new news at all' here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Basil





For luck, prosperity, solid relationships & clarity


Origins for witchcraft: Voodoo with their Goddess Ezili Freda Dahomey and India's Lakshmi.
Growth: Annual - best grown in warm weather, keep inside during the winter.
How it is used today: Brings wealth to those who carry it in their pockets. Also used for spells to make sure that your mate is remaining true - but remember: do not work anything against someone's will.  I personally would not do this, but some recommend that you sprinkle basil powder over your lover as they sleep to make sure that they remain faithful.  The put the oil in a burner for clarity, particularly where the mind is floating when you need to concentrate.
Properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, emmengogue, febrifuge, nervine, tonic

Image from the Growing Basil Blog

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recording of the Lunar Eclipse from December 23, 2010


Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Extrasensory perception paper published in respected journal





An academic paper arguing that people may be able to see into the future is to be published by a respected journal, prompting anger among some American scientists.


The Telegraph - 6th of January, 2011
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology plans to print "Feeling The Future", by Professor Daryl Bem later this year, which presents what he claims is strong evidence for extrasensory perception (ESP).
Prof Bem, of Cornell University, New York, said the results of nine experiments he had carried out on students over the past decade suggested humans could accurately predict random events.
His peer-reviewed work was described as "pure craziness" and "an embarrassment for the entire field" by scientists who allege it has serious flaws and that ESP is a myth.
In one test, 100 students were presented with a computer screen showing two curtains. They were told an image, which could be erotic, lay behind one curtain and they should guess which.
Prof Bem found students predicted correctly 53 per cent of the time when the picture was erotic, while regular images only elicited a 50 per cent success rate, in line with average chance.
Read the rest at The Telegraph

Romanian Witches to cast anti-government spell


Nobody likes a curse or a hex - particularly when what they're doing is bad for the image of Witches, Wiccans and any Pagan.  Without wanting to be too critical - and it's hard not to be - it's interesting to see a very raw, localised practice here.  I can't support the use of excrement and in particular dead dogs.  Please, if this is the first time you've read about Witchcraft in the press - it does not represent the majority of practitioners.
The Guardian - 6th of January, 2011
Double, double toil and trouble: witches in Romania are planning to cast a spell on the country's rulers because of laws that will force them to pay tax for the first time.
Cat excrement and dead dogs, rather than eye of newt and toe of frog, will go into their cauldron – but they are hoping to put a Macbeth-style hex on the country's president, Traian Basescu, and his government after the imposition of a tax regime aimed at tackling the recession.
Witches will gather on Romania's southern plains and the banks of the Danube to protest against the laws and cast spells on the politicians who implemented them.
A dozen witches will hurl the poisonous mandrake plant into the river "so evil will befall them", a witch named Alisia said.
The threatened curse is not being taken lightly in a country with a long tradition of superstition. Basescu and his aides have been known to wear purple on certain days in an attempt to ward off evil.
The new law is part of the government's drive to collect more revenue and crack down on tax evasion. It will force the likes of witches, astrologers and fortune tellers to register their professions and become liable for 16% tax in line with other self-employed Romanians.
The Queen witch Bratara Buzea said she would lead a chorus in casting a spell using a concoction of cat excrement and a dead dog. "They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it," she said.

The Element Encyclopedia of 1000 Spells by Judika Illes


For: Intermediate learners

Why intermediate and not beginner?: The book does not have the standard disclaimer like so many others with the usual chapter of ‘No, we don’t worship the devil’ and only a very brief warning on not to hex thanks to the Threefold Law and the vow to Harm None.  This book makes a very small attempt on page 11 to make any such warnings and actually includes hexes within it as well as the use of ‘Devil Oil’ which I’m assuming is an old recipe.  There’s even a spell to get someone in your workplace to quit their job, which clearly goes against the Threefold Law.  As you know, I warn anyone and everyone NOT to do a love spell and this book is full of them!  Read my entry against hexes and love spells here.

This book would be very confusing for a beginner, and I would suggest that those in their second degree ought to read this, so that they have their experience behind them to discern between kind and (honestly) immoral spells.  It is suitable for those in their second degree wanting to expand their knowledge once you have the bones of writing a ritual, you can then refer to this book within the subject area you’re looking to resolve/cure/banish etc. 

Why is it worth getting?: This certainly is an interesting book.  With 1000 spells, the book isn’t large, but heavy!  It is a mish-mash of short, basic spells intertwined with more complex ones, all of which are easy to do.  Illes introduces us to all kinds of old-fashioned sounding spells, and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether she has just made some up or whether some of these are really tried and true from ancient Europe.  Despite my concerns about the hexes etc above, she does have some gorgeous short spells such as ‘Broken Heart Bath,’ ‘Easy Speedy (baby) Delivery,’ and even spells to reverse spells that you’ve cast and hex breaking – which I’ve never seen anywhere before.

Her introduction is marvellous as it takes you through a general history of Witchcraft, what magic is and the various cultural interpretations from past to present to give you an all-round concept of what magick means around the world & how it is put into context from the perspective of the Wiccan and the outsider.

There are remnances of old-fashioned Witchcraft, including old cures such as the following:

Iron Dental Health Spell
The following is a German recommendation to soothe a toothache.  Heat a horseshoe or other piece of iron until extremely hot.  Pour oil into the heated iron.  The rising fumes will allegedly ease the pain.  If it is safe to do so (there is no need to exchange toothache for a painful scald), bend over the fumes, exposing the tender spot.

All-in-all it is a marvellous book to have which you will spend years rifling through and discovering things in.  Certainly, I wouldn’t have it as my one and only spell book.  If you’re a beginner, start with these books before going anywhere else.

Judika has also written:
Encyclopedia of Spirits
The Dream Dictionary from A to Z
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies
The Element Encyclopedia of Ghosts & Hauntings
The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures
The Element Encyclopedia of Birthdays

Image from Amazon.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Witchy Outfit XIX

Lavender - the all-round oil


For: protection, peace, love, sleep

Origins for witchcraft: Italian witchcraft - for protection, featured in a standard Meditteranean herb garden
Growth: perennial
Properties: analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-septic, anti-viral, cytophalic, decongestant, deoderant, emmenagogue, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, tonic
Cosmetic uses: Very similar to tea tree oil as it also fosters the regeneration of new skin cells and soothes inflamed and sun-damaged skin.  Can be used as an insect repellant, and as with all oils, make sure to have a base such as almond, jojoba or sunflower oil to carry the scent.  Used to clear a congested nose by adding it to hot water to steam.  Also great for when you've run out of tea tree oil for minor burns and blemishes - add to blemishes with a cotton bud directly to the spot.  Also good for minor headaches: add some oil to a little base and rub it around your temples.

Image source: How Stuff Works

Mary Wigman's Witch Dance


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some corrections made to my article on Baphomet

Just to make sure that I have all of this right, I had the following wrong!

Read the article here.

  • I had said within that article that the Knights Templar weren't religious people, but of course they were - darn inaccurate web sources!
  • I had also mentioned that Wiccans do not worship Baphomet - however, some do.  Baphomet was originally a peaceful symbol of peace and balance, and he is called upon by some Wiccans for this purpose as the hermaphroditic symbol of perfection.
Just really wanted to clear that up, particularly as it's the most read article on this blog!

)O( E.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Australian Wiccan Conference 2011

Keep an eye on their website below for more information as it comes in and sign up for e-mails.  Set in my glorious home state for the Spring Equinox!

All Wiccans, Pagans, Witches and pagan-type people are invited! Registrations will open 1st March 2011.  Hosted by a team of passionate local people who are active in our national community, it is set to be an awesome weekend of festivities celebrating the turning of the tides at the Spring Equinox.  Guest speakers, famous Pagan musicians and loads of workshops showcasing the fantastic wisdom, knowledge and experience of our locals, in a setting of Tasmania's gorgeous bushland, it is bound to be a weekend of magick and wonder.

Registrations open: 1 March 2011
When: Friday 16th, Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th September 2011

Where: East Coast, Tasmania
Cost: TBA
Contact Email: awc2011@gmail.com
Contact Phone: 0408 486 809
Web: http://www.2011awc.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Wiccan-Conference-2011/144223625619214

30 Days of Paganism [Day 10: Environmentalism]

I have to admit, this is an area of my lifestyle which has received little attention.  Partly because we have moved house so much that I still have to wait for our new bills to get started with '1 Million Women' - a project which is aiming to gather 1 million Australian women to reduce their carbon emissions by 1 tonne to lift 1 million tonnes worth of carbon footprint from the earth's atmosphere.

Then I can really get onto it!  Excuses, excuses, I know!  To make a sincere contribution I will be posting more on environmental issues rather than making one weak attempt in this one piece of writing.  I'm hoping to find arguments to balance out the issue of vegetarianism and environmentalism + whether it's truly practical as well as farming suitable products within your country.

More soon - promise!


Witchy Outfits XVIII

Finally, a balance between the genders.

More glorious masterpieces by Yinka Shonibare whose work featured in this previous post