Back to Basics – Meditation Trance in Magickal Preparation.

Sitting here in here in Turkey, miles away from the bustle of London on a sandy beach (what a lucky witch I am?), radiant sun turns into twilight, stars appear and I am reminded of the ancient greeks that for over 3000 years used to worship pagan divinities here.

I guess what I wanted to share today, was my thoughts about simple basic elemental magicks, returning to basics sometimes and mainly the importance of quiet meditation in preparation for magickal practice, of clearing the mind and ‘switching off’.

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Being a Wiccan these days you can be captivated by so much paraphernalia and rituals can become overly complicated, that the basic and most fundamental magickal practices can be forgotten or overlooked. Well at least I am guilty of this.  Don’t get me wrong, I have heaps of crystals, crystal balls, offering plates, carvings, statues, etc.  But being surrounded by natural beauty hear I feel like I need less. The earth is offering so much.  And now I release that it’s not just my altar that is getting a bit cluttered, it’s my head too.

Switching off and quieting the mind can be done anywhere mind you, lying on a bed at home, in a garden or city park.  A few stolen moments where you tell yourself to stop thinking, stop making lists of things to do, stop worrying about bills, relationships, work commitments, obligations, the dog,…. Just stop!  Breathe in and out and listen. Rule number 1, do not think!

Thoughts pop into the mind, images, faces, mundane objects.  Feelings stir.  I decide to just let go of all them.  Smiling at them, I see myself for a few moments  waving them goodbye, watching them drift away momentarily on a river surrounded by darkness.  Then slowly, with perseverance I am surrounded by blackness (the towel over my face helps!).  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Heartbeat sounds, crickets, the sea is lapping, somewhere along the beach a cild cries for a few moments. Then, concentrating, even these sounds seem to zone out or at least fade a little.

I’ve stopped thinking now, just for a few moments at first.  Maybe just for a few seconds even.  For a brief while I’d stopping thinking and fell into zone of sorts.  I want to connect with with the earth, with magicks, with spirit guides.  But how can I if I’m not connected to my spirit first?

I drift back into conscious me.  The meditation has reminded me a valuable magical lesson, that this is the me that has been socialised, educated in Britain to drink tea at 3:30 and always to say sorry, even if someone had trod on my toe.  Beyond this, in this meditative state for those fleeting moments I was beyond this, I touched an essence. This is something that was never taught, never can be socialised, something much, much older,.. a life force, an essence. My life force which perhaps doesn’t even belong to the person I think of as ‘me’. And now in this trance, I still feel like me without thinking. Therefore, if I am not a collection of thoughts, who and what is this essence that feels so familiar?  Can I learn from it?

This essence, this life force or spirit that resides within,  feels primal somehow and reminds me of eternal cycles of life, or re-cycling of life in death and re-birth. But then I’m thinking again. Quieten down, let go. Blackness again.

I see same fluid colour often; violet / purple and misty.  The colour of amethyst. I’ve noticed that by clutching my amethyst wand when I work like this seems to make the colour visions more vivid, and from here if I wanted I feel I could travel, through dreamscapes, times, planets and planes. Without thinking, I am sometimes taken. For this I’d want to be prepped further, creating a psychic protection and calling on the elemental guardians for embarking on psychic trace work, but I touching on this now in this basic trance. I’m listening, zoning in, zoning out.

I zone back to Earth again. I feel centred, grounded and most importantly prepared for magickal work now more than ever, having disconnected the mundane worry and communed with the goddess cycles.  Psychic preparations.

Here I think you make a connection, the Guardians of the Elemental Watchtowers are wary of humankind who are so used to wanting, asking and taking. Connection with these cycles shows then your psychically prepared to received their wisdom when calling on them.
I walk along the shore now.

My feet touch the sand grounding my soul with grains of natural salt, they whisper of eternal understandings – Earth.

The seas breeze whistles around my toes and through my hair, gentle and warm embodying grace and levity at the blessing of living this life – Air.

Born in the furnace of the sun, radiant in the sky I am reminded of transformation inward to out and warmest friendships – Fire.

My feet lap against the gentle tide, they speak to my soul that I may travel far and wide and let go of that which would otherwise anchor me – Water.

 

 

 

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Pagan Inspirations, Christian Roots: William Blake’s depiction of The Triple Goddess

Mythology, spiritual vision and mysticism fuelled the depictions of the late William Blake, English poet, artist and print maker.  Firstly I love this painting.  I came across it before and as a worshipper of Hecate, wanted to better understand the depiction and the painter who envisioned this mystical and solemn rendering of The Patron Goddess of witches, Hecate.

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The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy – William Blake (1794)

The painting dates from 1795 and was previously called Hecate, sometimes it is referred to as The Triple Hecate. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Enitharmon?  Well me neither, so I did some research.

To understand Blake’s vision, you must know that like any creative fictional author, Blake liked to invent characters, but also his own take on mythology.   Enitharmon was a central mystic creation, a character in a story if you like.  Enitharmon takes on the guise in Blake’s mythology as Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft.  To Blake, Enitharmon represented sexual dominance – very racy for the mid 1800’s, and he felt that by being free from sexual constraints would further creativity.

Much has been written about this painting and the convert meanings hidden within the interpretation.  I am no learned art critic, but from what I’ve read,

“She is triple, according to mythology: a girl and a boy hide their heads behind her back. Her left hand lies on a book of magic; her left foot is extended. She is attended by a thistle-eating ass, the mournful owl of false wisdom, the head of a crocodile (blood-thirsty hypocrisy), and a cat-headed bat.” – S. Foster Damon, A Blake Dictionary.

Hecate is said to set the trap of false religion here.  But what does that mean?  Not a false religion which is paganism? No, what Blake wanted to depict was a divinity in feminine will and sexuality that was denied by the establishment of christianity. She is the triple goddess of the underworld.  In some writings the animals all represent things.

Either way,. interesting reading.  But beyond facts and research, for me, this painting is full of wonder.  It inspires my pagan wonder and it’s a beautiful depiction of ‘the goddess’ as crone.  So ultimate, although the artist’s intensions are interesting, what’s really important is what it mean’s to me, and to me I see beauty in it.

The painting is housed at The Tate  in London.  As a Londoner I might go and see it for real some time.  Maybe I should by a little framed print of it?  I quite like this one at art.co.uk or maybe I’ll just find my own frame.

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My trip to worship Goddess Artemis at the ancient city of Ephesus

Merry meet friends,

So just 3 weeks to go to my holiday in Turkey.  It is (I hope) going to be absolute heaven.  Nothing much to do, just swim in crystal blue waters, sip iced cocktails, read my books, eat nice things, rest and finally for 2 weeks switch off the noggin and commune with earth, air, fire and water.

But then, this week I thought about looking up trip advisor for places of interest to visit as one does and was delighted to find a day trip to this beautiful Grecian pagan city called Ephesus.

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Ancient city of Ephesus

The whole town of Ephesus (once Greek, now Turkish) was dedicated to the goddess Artemis, so naturally, as a crystal clutching pagan I was delighted and thought to plan a trip here and include a spiritual pilgrimage  as part of my getaway.  The Temple of Artemis was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, also known by her Roman counterpart name, Diana, hence The Temple of Diana.

I’m quiet excited.  This place look beautifully eerie and and I imagine that with its history it will converge upon a centre of mystical energy.  Obviously these are stock images and I’ll be updating my blog with ones I have taken and further discovery on the ancient city. I’m going to make an offering to Artemis there and also bring my crystals along and just charge them in this spiritually charged setting.

 

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The site itself is ancient and dates back to the bronze age.

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Statue of Artemis, once worshipped as an Anatolian goddess ‘Cybele’

Above you see the statue of Artemis with a strong Anatolian influence.  She looks Persian or Babylonia to me which is interesting and I suppose relates to how ancient the city was and the cultural changes that happened there.  Cult-like worship for the goddess Cybele already prevailed in the city before the Greeks renamed her “Artimus” or Artemis.  Also it looks like she has many boobs, but apparently not,..

“One of Artemis’ characteristics is that she protects fertility. This may be symbolized by the spherical objects that cover the lower part of her chest, but the common assumption that they are female breasts is incorrect. They probably represent the testicles of a bull, although they may also be gourds, which were known in Asia as fertility symbols for centuries. Artemis’ robe is always decorated with lions, leopards, goats, griffins, and bulls, which represent Artemis’ title of Lady of the Animals.” –

Livius.com

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A more modern / typical statue of the goddess Artemis

Qualities of the Goddess Artemis

  • Goddess of the hunt
  • Protectress of the young, baby or wild animals
  • Moon goddess
  • Goddess of nature
  • Environmental protection
  • Women’s communities
  • She is practical, adventurous, athletic, preferring solitude
  • Symbolises regenerative earth power over all living things
  • Protectress goddesses
  • Patroness of childbirth and midwifery
  • Vigin-like and protects fertility and often androgynous

 

Anyway,. history lesson over.  I enjoyed writing this, as much for me to research and learn if nothing else.  I hope some of you will find it interesting.  It just goes to show, there are some A-MAZING pagan site dotted all over the place, especially Europe.  I will post actual pics of the place and my offering and let you know about the place when I visit.

And merry we part!

Psychic Jean Dixon’s Crystal Ball Tribute

America’s Most Acclaimed Psychic

Jeane L. Dixon (January 5, 1904 – January 25, 1997) was an American self proclaimed psychic who made many noteworthy predictions using her fantastic crystal ball (featured below) in her newspaper astrology column and some best selling books.  I came across a replica of her crystal ball and wanted to know more about it and if indeed I could get my hands on one, as it’s such a beautiful object. Well, I discovered a few interesting facts on the subject and wanted to show off my new prized piece.

Spookily Eerie Predictions

Of her predictions, Rosemary McKittrick of liveauction.com wrote;

“Dixon predicted in a 1956 interview in “Parade Magazine” that a democratic president elected in 1960, would die in office. She described him as a tall young man with blue eyes and brown hair.

She later said in an interview that she also told reporters that day the president would be assassinated. When the article appeared in print, the assassination part was left out.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president By 1963 Dixon said she began to have premonitions about the President’s safety and made several attempts to warn him.

On the morning of November 22 Dixon told friends, ‘This is the day it will happen.” That afternoon Kennedy was shot and killed as he rode in an open-car motorcade in Dallas, Texas.”

Just one of her spooky, eerily accurate predications!

Crystal Ball – The Original

Jean was often pictured with her crystal ball in hand and used this to scry and make her predictions.  Her crystal ball was 4 inches in diameter and was rumoured to glow and auctioned for no less than $11,950 complete with a beautiful gilt art nouveau style stand.

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Jean Dixon pictured with her crystal ball
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The original ball, auctioned for $11,950

How delighted I was therefore to find that in 1989 Franklin Mint had made a Jean Dixon Tribute Crystal Ball which I managed to find on eBay and in selected antique shops and shops selling curios and alike.

The Franklin Mint Replica Tribute 

Ok, so I am not that the replica ball is actual crystal, it might be a glass ball (I am yet to discover this and will let you know in due course), but the really treat I think it the beautiful gilt stand with so much detail, a beautiful collectors piece and in fact, although genuine earthly crystal is best for scrying, in fact any highly reflective surface can be used under the right circumstances.  I got mine Franklin Mint 1989 vintage collectors item for £55 which I don’t think is too bad.  What do you think?

 

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How to Recite The Charge of the Goddess

This is my daily prayer.  I love this version of Doreen Valiante’s ‘Charge of the Goddess’ which has been slightly adapted and revised, read in this video by Phyllis Curott, Wiccan priestess and founder of The Tradition of Ara. It is the most beautiful passage by two inspirational Wiccan influence of mine. I must have watched her read this passage 20 times or more.

Please click the link for the video, or I have transcribed this (revised) version of the charge for your book of shadows here:

The Charge of the Goddess

 

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Phyllis Curott, Wiccan priestess and founder of The Tradition of Ara. 

Now listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called among men and women Artemis; Astarte; Athena; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.
At her altars, the youth of old, these are her words;

Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who is Queen of all Witches.  There shall you assemble, you who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not yet won its deepest secrets: to you will I teach things that are yet unknown.

And you shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that you are really free, you shall be naked in your rites; and you shall dance, and sing, and feast and make music and love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and mine also is joy upon the earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings.

Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it; let nothing stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret door which opens upon the door of immortality; mine is the Cup of the Wine of Life, the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail.

I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the hearts of men and women. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand anything in sacrifice, for behold I am the Mother of All Living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.

These are the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven; whose body encircles the Universe; I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the hearts of humanity. I call unto your soul ‘Arise and come unto me’. For I am the Soul of Nature, who gives life to the universe; from me all things proceed, and unto me must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and humans, let thine inner most divine self be unfolded in the rapture of the infinite.

Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you, who think to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail you not, unless thou know the mystery: that if that which thou seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For I have been with you from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Welsh Goddess Rhiannon by Alexander Glushchenko

I wanted to share with you the beautiful wooden carving of Celtic and Norse deities by Russian artist and craftsman Alexander Glushchenko which I just loved.  Each carving is carved by hand, hand painted and oils are used to finish the sculpture. They cost around £45 (sterling) and can be ordered from him via Facebook, made to order or have your diety designed and produced by him bespoke. His Facebook like in here should you wish to contact him to see me.

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The Welsh (celtic) goddess Rhiannon with white horse, goddess of forgiveness, rebirth, artistic inspiration, patron saint of Fairies.

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Crystal Calling: How to choose ones that work for you

So I’ve been wanting to do a post about combining tools of divination (in particular tarot cards) and more particularly gem stones and crystals in more advanced magickal practice.  But before I do, I wanted to chat a bit about what to look for when choosing crystals to work with and how to listen for those stones that call to you.

This post came from a recent trip I made from London to Manchester and popped in a fine specialist store call Crystal Henge where I wanted to choose some new stones to work with and add them to my collection.

You may have visited a similar crystal specialist store yourself or a psychic fair, or browsed through the selection of gemstones and crystals in your local occult store and found that once inside, you are confronted with rather an overwhelming feeling of choice.

With so many beautiful colours and shapes you can easily feel dazed and dazzled by choice and having picked up and probed and fingered 50 or more gemstones, still feel no closer to knowing which ones you’d like to bag up and take home to work with.  If so you’re not alone!

Crystal Henge store in Afflicts of Manchester have a stunning selection of tumble stones, crystal wands, jewellery, pendulums, oils and other Wiccan supplies.

So here are some of my tips on how to choose stones with will work for you, and identify which stones call out to you:

  1. Start by clearing you mind of chatter and busyness from the day if possible.  Close your eyes if that helps and take a few deep calming breaths, standing in from of the stones.
  2. Forget what other people have told you you ought to try, or what worked for them.  One friend I know would always swear by her tigers eye and would wear it on a pendant, while another would swear by the benefits of her amethyst wand – but this about your personal connection and the benefits of these types of stone may differ from witch to witch!
  3. Take your time.  No rushing.
  4. Then open your eyes and note any crystals that simply seem attractive.  Collect in one hand a small selection of stones that you’re draw towards.
  5. What do you want the crystal to do for you?  Like all natural materials used by witches in spell work, the positive energies released by crystals are enhanced if the witch articulates their pursue and in effect, tells them what they need them to do.  Is this crystal for meditation, for development of psychic intuition, for enchantment or spells, for protection, grounding energy etc.
  6. Work with your intuition.  Books on crystals will tell us various truths about the nature of each crystal, for example that amethyst is good for meditation, or the labradorite is promoting psychic intuition, divination and dream work.  But if you are drawn to a totally different crystal but would like to use if for a similar purpose, follow these intuitions through and don’t hold back.
  7. Let your eyes take a few moments to glances over the stones before touching anything. Pick up the crystal and if necessary leave it in the store and come back to it.  Does it vibrate, feel overly warm or cool, how does it make you feel? – we’re obviously looking for good vibes here and the feeling of being enraptured by one special stone is worth more that lots of purchases.
  8. Lastly remember that the bond and synergy between witch and crystal grows with usage and time.  Crystals in the store have been poked and fingered by all sorts of customers.  Later I will post about I’d also like to do a post on how to cleanse crystals after buying, charge them for use and make the most of them in magical practice.
Incense, jewellery and other goodies.

 

Shattukie mineral tumble stones – do any call to you?

On Finding a Familiar

“A familiar (or familiar spirit or familiar animal) is an animal-shaped spirit or minor demon believed to serve a witch or magician as domestic servant, spy and companion, in addition to helping to bewitch enemies or to divine information”.

So sayeth they at http://www.witchcraftandwitches.com!

What witch am I without such a friend or equal?  For years I’ve longed for a magickal familiar.  Trouble is,. Space, time, city living!

Perhaps a new spell is in order?  Perhaps it’s time to put out a calling. A familiar often chooses the witch, that’s for sure. I wonder,. A cat, dog, frog perhaps?

Recently I’ve contented myself with feeding a lone squirrel at the bottom of the garden and a group of approximately 10 city pigeons each morning. It forms part of a ritual I suppose, part of my day. Many ‘common’ animals are often overlooked but are just as lovely.

I love animal magick.  Animals in visions, animal omens and let’s not forget ‘totem animals’.  Mine is small black and white cat. I’ve seen her in dreams many times.  And animal messengers too.  I remember my friend Antonella telling me about the Raven that pecked repeatedly at the living room window for those hours before her grandmother died inside the house. That was a spooky one.

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Me on a typical morning.

But about my spell,.. I think a little planning is in order

And like all good spells (that work), you must begin with a clearly defined intent.  I think it’s time to encode change.  A larger home, the space and facility to have a furry friend.  That’s it!  I’ve decided it’s time. Now down to spell work and planning.

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I found these green agate cats the other day which I may use for a the spell.  Agate is often use for protective magick, but let’s see.

I’ll post details of the spell later, or at least tell you how it went. There is a full moon on Wednesday 25th Nov, so that might be just the right time. I’ll need to do some visitation and prep work but let’s see.

I’ll leave you with an illustration from one of my favorite illustrators, a book fittingly titled ‘Catwitch’ by Una Woodruff.

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‘Catwitch’ by Una Woodruff.