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[Witch Way] Volume #1 Issue #11 -- Beltane 2009
April 13, 2009
|Hi, Happy Beltane!
It’s Beltane, my favorite holiday! Well, I have to admit that Beltane is my birthday, so that’s a major reason for it being my favorite holiday. The weather is beginning to warm, and here in Colorado at least, signs of Spring are finally starting to show.
CyberWitchcraft is a year old now, as of Beltane. It’s been an exciting, nerve-wracking, and scary ride. We have gone from an average of one unique visitor a day (me) to around 100 unique visitors a day. That means that on average, we get around 100 people visiting the site for the first time, every day. That is exciting!
Last month we had 4860 total visits to the website, and of those 2230 were Unique visitors. So toughly half of all visitors are coming to the site for the first time. People viewed a total of 9731 pages last month.
We got visitors from the following countries last month (in no particular order):
We have gone from about 10 pages of content, to over 100 pages in the last year. We started with three sections on the website, and now we have 17. CyberWitchcraft has gone from no source of income, to donations, to our first audio product, to cups, mugs, and t-shirts, as a means of supporting the site.
This newsletter started with three subscribers a year ago, this month, it goes out to over 250. Since I’ve had only a handful of people unsubscribe, I have to believe that you find it worthwhile reading.
We now have voice chat, so that Witches from around the world can talk to each other, and actually hear the other person’s voice. Even if there’s no one in the chat, I’ve set up a music bot, so that you have something besides dead silence to listen to.
There are different rooms that can be used for different conversations. You have private chat, as well as renting your own private room if you like.
We are planning classes and rituals to be run in chat. I have ideas for live interviews with well known Witches in chat. This way you can ask questions, and get immediate answers.
I’m currently running Ask A Witch, every other Sunday, and am open to others doing similar scheduled conversations if they like.
This first year of CyberWitchcraft has been very exciting, and the growth phenomenal. The second year I plan to take the site to new heights and markets, showing people that Witchcraft isn’t just for a few select people anymore. I hope you are willing to come along for the ride.
A Monthly Column For Astrological Insight
Last month’s column dealt primarily with a retrograde planet, and more retrogrades will be discussed in this month’s column, so a look at retrogrades in general seems appropriate.
As discussed in last month’s column, a planet goes retrograde when it appears to move backwards in its orbit and backwards through the zodiac. A planet is “direct” or “goes direct” when it appears to be moving forward in its orbit, and is said to “station” when it appears to be standing still (when it is about to switch from direct to retrograde, or vice versa).
Planets don’t really move backwards or stop in their orbits, of course; it merely looks that way from Earth. All planets except the sun and moon go retrograde.
In many astrological circles (no pun intended), retrogrades have a bad reputation; it is usually said that when a planet is retrograde undertaking any activity in that planet’s sphere of influence is more difficult.
This is often true, and is part of the reason why knowing when a planet is going retrograde is useful information. However, it is only part of the story.
The reason things are more difficult during a retrograde is that rather than the planet actively bringing in new experiences—- which is what planetary influences normally do when direct—- it is instead bringing up experiences people have already had for re-examination.
For example, Venus—- the planet that goes retrograde the least often—- is just getting finished with one of its retrogrades (it goes direct in the evening on April 18th).
Since Venus rules relationships, this could indicate that rather than finding new romantic partners and starting new ventures during March and April, most people’s attentions are instead re-directed to former partners and other “unfinished business”.
Part of what we might experience in re-visiting these relationships is why they didn’t work to begin with.
It’s possible that Venus’ soft light and silken touch blinded us initially to the shortcomings of the person she was bringing into our lives, and we eventually discovered—- and are now re-discovering, as Venus’ light falls on these relationships from a different angle—- why these shortcomings made the relationship unsustainable.
It is also possible, however, that what ended the relationship was our own selfishness; Venus direct makes it very easy to stay within one’s “comfort zone,” and if the previous relationship challenged that, it may have been easy to say good-bye before the relationship was really over.
Either way, Venus is still asking the two questions she always asks of us: ‘What do you value?’ and ‘What makes you feel good?’. It’s just that when retrograde she’s asking us by way of old relationships (romantic and otherwise), rather than new ones.
As mentioned earlier, of the planets that retrograde Venus does so the least often, and so when she does, her influence can be the most confusing.
The bottom line is that retrogrades are difficult, and they are that way because things that often seem to “take care of themselves” do not for awhile.
However, in paying extra attention to that planet’s area of influence in our lives for the duration of the retrograde, we find out more about how things really work, rather than how we expect them to be.
To use Venus retrograde as an example, we may find that something we took much comfort in is absent for the duration of the retrograde; this could be a person, a thing, or just a perception or feeling.
While difficult, this absence forces us to look at whether or not our dependence on this person or thing to maintain our “comfort zone” is a healthy state of affairs.
If it is, we know to work all the harder in the future to keep it and not take it for granted. If not, we know that it’s time to look for other alternatives.
Either way, if we have the humility to make use of this knowledge to change our behavior and expectations accordingly, greater happiness throughout our lives is guaranteed.
All retrogrades provide us an opportunity to reassess our lives; the only question is whether or not we take advantage of them.
There are four major astrological events happening that will be covered here. These are: A Mars-Uranus conjunction, Pluto going retrograde, Mercury going retrograde, and a Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction.
When two or more planets are conjunct, they appear to be right next to or on top of each other in the sky; astrologically, it indicates that the planets involved directly amplify each other’s influence.
First, I’ll cover the Mars-Uranus conjunction.
On April 13th at about 7PM in Denver (9PM Eastern, 1AM 4/14 GMT), Mars will be in orb (within one degree in earth’s sky) to conjunct Uranus, and will continue to conjunct Uranus until April 16th at about 1PM. 24 degrees Pisces is the point of conjunction (each sign of the zodiac has thirty degrees, numbered 0 through 29).
Mars’ take-no-prisoners energy, combined with Uranus’ capacity for waking people up, may show us during this two and a half day period that we have been living in a Piscean dream world regarding how we are of service, or our jobs, or our health.
There may be a strong urge to cling to our comfortable preconceptions. However if we are willing to let go of these preconceptions, and ask others for the hard truth about what impression we are making and what people really need from us, we will be given the insight we need to strengthen all of our relationships, along with our day to day work and health.
Next on the list is Pluto’s retrograde. Pluto went retrograde on the 5th of April about 11:40 AM at 3 degrees Capricorn and will continue that way until September 12th, when it will be at 0 degrees Capricorn.
Pluto is known as the planet of death and transformation, but less widely known is Pluto’s influence on finance and economics. In Roman mythology, Pluto was the god not only of the underworld but also of money, and his continuing influence in that realm is visible today.
The planet Pluto moves so slowly that its influence can’t be counted on to help one day trade, but it is remarkably good at showing the general trend of world markets.
For example, Pluto’s retrograde period last year closely tracked the collapse of commodities prices, stock indices and investment banks; shortly after it went direct, the Federal Reserve and Congress (along with other governments and central banks) stepped in with their bailout plans, and the value of the dollar and US Treasury bonds rose significantly.
The markets don’t always collapse during a Pluto retrograde. What does happen is that something fundamental to people’s lifestyles shifts, often involving where their money goes long-term; last year the baby-boom generation in America began to retire, and Pluto’s retrograde showed us that getting something for nothing is a nice idea (like retiring through stock investments, an employer-backed pension, or the taxes paid by one’s children), but no matter how convincingly it was promised it’s not really workable in the uncertain world we live in.
During the current Pluto retrograde, many of us may find that our day to day job doesn’t mesh with our vocation, and we may be stymied initially in our efforts to match the two.
Pluto going retrograde and the chart for the G20 summit on April 2nd do not bode well for the success of global government intervention in world markets; it’s very possible that all the government money being diverted to bank balance sheets and government jobs programs will disappear down a black hole, rather than help maintain our collective lifestyle, although the full extent of this failure may not become apparent until as late as September.
Pluto is the planet of transformation, and it’s in Capricorn, the sign of responsibility and authority; in its retrograde, Pluto may allow the authorities we have come to put our trust in—- corporations, governments, international institutions, all their attendant “experts” and the schools that accredit them—- to fail in the responsibilities we’ve given them, so that we may relearn that only individual responsibility leads to individual success.
Whatever else happens during this retrograde, Pluto is giving each of us the means and the motive to transform ourselves from passive spectators and consumers into active participants and producers.
The door that Pluto is opening is the realization that many of us are unfulfilled, not because we don’t have enough things, or the wrong things, but because we have been passively consuming instead of creatively participating.
Thirdly, we have Mercury going retrograde from May 7th at 11:01 PM until May 31st at 7:22 PM, moving from 1 degrees Gemini back to 22 degrees Taurus.
I can already hear the groans from my readers; Mercury’s retrograde is the most notorious.
Although Mercury isn’t the planet that goes retrograde the most, it does so in increments of a few weeks at a time spread throughout the year, and when it retrogrades it makes communications and travel of almost any kind more difficult.
As discussed earlier in this article, retrogrades are often considered difficult because “the rules of the game” can seem to change right out from under you.
However, forewarned is forearmed; it still takes some effort to adapt to changing circumstances, but knowing about it ahead of time makes things easier, and we all learn more about how to communicate and reason well during these periods than the easier times the rest of the year.
During this Mercury retrograde, don’t make any long-term plans or commitments; you may want to because of money troubles, but it is too easy during this time to be misinformed or to tell yourself what you want to hear, especially from the 19th through the 22nd.
Do, however, listen to others carefully when they tell you about you; you may learn some surprising things about yourself that are both useful and pleasant from the 20th through the 23rd.
As during any Mercury retrograde, when travelling or communicating during this time, don’t take anything for granted.
If you tell someone something important have them write it down and repeat it back to you; if someone tells you something important, write it down and repeat it back to them.
Schedule yourself extra time for appointments, both for arriving and for the appointment itself.
The final item on the list, a Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction, will be quite the show. Chiron has been conjunct Neptune since April 4th; Jupiter will conjunct Chiron on May 9th, and Jupiter will conjunct both Chiron and Neptune on May 13th at 10PM.
This three way conjunction will persist until July 23rd at about 10:55 PM.
Although a Chiron-Neptune conjunction will exist both before and after, and a Jupiter-Chiron conjunction will persist for awhile after, I believe these will be opening acts and following acts, so to speak, to the three-starred main performance.
This is a very unusual conjunction for four reasons:
Regarding the planets involved, Jupiter and Neptune have well-known influences, so I will first discuss the lesser-known Chiron.
Chiron is a planetoid (an object bigger than an asteroid but smaller than a planet) that orbits the Sun between Saturn and Uranus.
Its meaning in modern astrology is the wounded healer; in other words, it represents a problem or condition in a chart that must be overcome not only for the person the chart is for to become healthy, but for the larger purpose of helping address that same issue in the wider world as well.
Jupiter often represents expansion, good fortune and sometimes overindulgence; Neptune usually represents the intuition or psychic abilities, illusions and ideals.
Put the three together in late Aquarius in a retrograde conjunction like the one that’s coming up, and I see a serious case of nostalgia for “the good old days” followed swiftly by the realization that those days are gone for good.
There are new opportunities waiting in the wings for those determined to move forward and make a brighter day for themselves; it’s just that tomorrow isn’t going to look the same as yesterday. Or even how tomorrow was expected to look yesterday, and we will all have to learn to accept that.
The only real danger is people becoming trapped in nostalgia; if that happens, the appearance of the good ol’ days will be maintained for awhile, but at an incredibly high cost for ourselves and our children.
The saving grace here is Jupiter; it’s possible that Jupiter will expand on the sense of hurt brought by Chiron and the desire to escape brought by Neptune, but more likely it will expand on Chiron’s healing gifts and Neptune’s intuitive abilities to open people’s third eye on a massive scale.
This will bring in the opportunities for people to make a positive change just when they are ready to make use of them.
That’s it for this month. Good luck, and enjoy yourself.
NOTE: This is not a typical “horoscope” reading, breaking astrological influences down by Sign for a given period of time. The information in this column should apply to most people, most of the time. If you have any questions, or want specific personalized information on how what’s going on in the heavens affects you, contact Jim Trader.
Time of The SeasonLast month I had you start an exercise that would help you accept that you are worth whatever it is you want. Hopefully, you have been following it daily.
It went like this:
If you ask for something that you don’t really believe you are worthy of getting, you will never get it, and you are only wasting your time. You are only “going through the motions”, and you already know what that will get you.
I’m going to assume that you have been working the exercise for the last month, and that as you continued it, you started to believe more and more in your self-worth. Now that you have reached the point where it doesn’t seem wrong to ask for something that you want, it’s time to do just that.
Planting The Seed
Whatever it is that you are wanting to bring to yourself over the next few months, you need to have enough detail about it to make it real in your mind. The more real it is, the easier it will be to manifest in your life.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Think about something that you saved long and hard to buy. During the time that you were saving your money, you thought about the item, and what you would do with it. You thought about what your life would be like with the item in it. The item became real to you long before you actually bought it.
You have to do the same for anything you want to manifest through magick. This is why all those on-line hucksters who will sell you spells for only $39.99 are frauds. It’s not the words that you speak, or the ritual elements that you do, that cause the manifestation, it’s the mindset.
No one can sell you the mindset.
Sure, I could put together a course on how to be successful at Witchcraft. In fact, I plan to do just that, but no matter how well I might explain it, you still have to do the work.
This is the thing that those who are desperately seeking magickal help don’t understand. They would rather pay someone to do the work for them, so that all they have to do is recite some words, rather than do the actual work required.
That is why they are doomed to fail. They are expecting someone who has no stake in the outcome, to do all the work. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen the quality of work that happens when the person doing that work has nothing invested in it.
The more you invest in the work, the more you will get out of it. It’s the Three-fold Law, just in a practical application.
What you put out will return to you. Even better, you get to determine when it returns to you. You do this by stipulating when the spell should be completed by.
It’s now Beltane, the last of the three fertility holidays. We’re going to use this in our magick.
Traditionally, Beltane is about fertility of the people, getting pregnant, having babies, and announcing handfastings. Before modern medicines, it was important to have as many children as possible because many of them wouldn’t survive childhood.
Fertility comes in many forms. There is the traditional physical/sexual fertility, the creative force of life, but there is also mental fertility.
The fertility of creative ideas or building something new can also be tapped at this time. It is this creative force that we use to manifest into our lives what we desire.
In the past month, you should have been giving thought to what it is you want to bring into your life. By now, you should have a clear, detailed image of this thing in your mind.
It can be whatever you desire, as long as you feel that you are worth it, and that you can make a way for it to come into your life.
Any time you manifest something new into your life, it is a process. Many times people explain it as a birthing process. You give birth to the idea, and then you nurture and protect that idea as it grows within you. Nothing happens suddenly, or overnight, it takes time and effort.
You will manifest this thing you want in your life by giving birth to it. Yes, even men can give birth in this fashion. It’s as close as we will ever get to the miracle of creation.
You have probably heard people who are in the process of creating some project, call it their baby. Someone starting a new business may say, “I’ve been working on my baby all month. It’s taken all my time, but I love it!”
This thing that you want to manifest, whatever it may be, is your baby. Draw up the creative energy within yourself, and make it happen. Put the energy toward creating whatever it is you want, then work toward making it happen.
The first step in creating this manifestation of your desire, is to form your intent. You should have done this already, and have a detailed image of what you want, and how it will affect your life. Now we gather the energy needed to create the thing, and focus it at manifesting the dream.
To do this, we need to raise energy. Raising energy is something we do all the time without thinking about it. When you exercise, you get hot. It doesn’t take a lot of exercise to feel the heat, far less than you’d expect. The heat is a byproduct of the energy you are raising while you exercise.
Now this is just one example of how we raise energy.
I know that when I play guitar, I raise massive amounts of energy. In only a few minutes, I can heat up an entire room in the winter. If I’m wearing a sweater, or something heavy when I start playing, I have to take it off because I’m just too hot, and I’m just moving my fingers and arms, There’s really no exercise involved, yet the heat from the energy is incredible.
The best way to raise energy for a spell is to do something that is related to what you want to manifest. If you are wanting to start a new business, you might do some physical preparation for that business.
If you are wanting to manifest a house, you might walk around a neighborhood looking at houses.
The key is to do something physical that is related to what you are trying to manifest, always keeping that goal in mind while you do the physical activity.
For example, say you want to bring a house to you. You might go to an open house, and inspect the place top to bottom.
Go looking in the hard to reach places. Look at it as if you intended to buy this house. Work up a sweat. Keep your goal in mind while you inspect.
You could also do repair, or cleaning to your current house.
Spring cleaning is a great way to raise an abundance of energy that you can work with, and in the case of manifesting a house, it is most definitely related.
Whatever it is that you are looking to manifest into your life, find some activity that is related to that goal, and do it.
Go over the details of what you want to manifest in your head while you are doing the activity. Always keep the goal in mind! As you feel the energy building, hold onto it. Don’t get rid of it yet. Hold on to that energy and keep building more.
You will eventually reach a point where you feel you can no longer hold onto the energy you have been building. Once you get to that point, you are done raising energy, and you are done with whatever activity you were doing to build the energy. The more energy you build, the more energy you have to work with, so build as much as you feel you possibly can.
Intent and Will
Once you have reached the point where you can no longer hold onto the energy you have been building, it’s time to release it toward your goal. If you just let it go, you’ve wasted it, and it does no good.
With the gathered energy inside you, imagine in your mind the goal you want to manifest. Go through the details of what it will be like to have your goal. As you do this, push the energy you’ve built, toward the manifestation of the goal.
It’s difficult to describe how to push energy. The best I can do is say that “pushing” is the most descriptive word I can think of, for what I do.
I feel the energy, and when I’ve got the goal in mind, I “push” the energy at making the goal manifest.
I already know by this time exactly what it is that I want, and that I deserve to have it. All I need to do is give it the energy to manifest. Push the energy that you’ve raised to the goal you have, and watch it infuse the goal.
The Physical Aspects
Now that you have finished the actual casting of your spell, you must work on ways to allow it to come to you. Be open to anything that might bring you closer to your goal.
If a new house, or increased income are what you are manifesting, be open to working overtime, or even taking a second job if it is offered.
While the goal may be something concrete, the means to manifesting it will come to you in more subtle ways. Always be aware of offers that will come your way.
Before you turn them down, look at them as potential ways the Universe may be using to help manifest your magick.
If you were wanting to manifest a house, and you turn down overtime at work, will that help you have the money to get the house?
Yes, overtime is a pain in the ass, and you probably won’t enjoy the extra time at work, but since it is effectively doubling your salary while you are doing it, why would you pass it up?
This is how the Universe determines how serious you really are about what you want. If you aren’t willing to do what it takes to get what you say you want, then you don’t really want it, do you?
Let the Universe help you manifest. Take any offer you are given. Do whatever it takes to get what you really want.
In June, we will be looking at the maintenance of the spell, and keeping yourself on track. Litha is when we begin to see fruits of our spell appear.
The Kitchen Witch
We’ve all been seated in a restaurant looking down at a mouth-watering plate of food only to have our sight drawn to that bright green, bushy sprig of parsley, and without even thinking, we push it to the far side of the plate or even remove it altogether.
Have you ever asked yourself if that sprig of parsley has a purpose for being there, other than to brighten up the plate?
Parsley, in fact has long held a place of prestige in herb gardens throughout history. It has been cultivated for over 2000 years.
There are 3 types of parsley, Italian (also called flat leaf parsley), curly parsley and Hamburg root parsley.
Both the flat and curly leaf parsleys are used in food and have a similar flavor. The Hamburg root parsley is not commonly used in kitchens in the U.S. but is used in eastern European cuisine, often in soups and stews.
Although it looks like a parsnip it has a very different flavor that is like celery but when boiled it has a rich and nutty flavor.
Flat and curly leaf parsley can be easily grown indoors or out and requires very little maintenance. While you can buy dried parsley in the spice isle, I recommend using it fresh for better flavor and it can usually be found in the produce section at your local market.
Not only is it an excellent palate cleanser but it helps with bad breath and is often paired with garlic dishes.
In Medieval times it was used in the kitchen and at the table to absorb odors.
Parsley has been used as far back as the time of Hippocrates to aid problems with digestion and help breakup gas in the stomach and bowel.
Pliny the Elder, the ancient Roman statesman, author, and naturalist who wrote Naturalis Historia, said that no sauce or salad should be without parsley. Parsley is rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C and iron.
The Greeks and Egyptians crowned winners of sporting events with wreaths of parsley, they also believed you could destroy an enemy just by speaking their name while plucking parsley. Greek Mythology says that a crown of parsley was placed atop Hercules’ head after killing the Nemean Lion.
The Greeks also considered it to be a sacred plant and it was said to have grown from the blood of the hero Archemorus, who was the forerunner of death. Dedicated to Persephone it was used in funeral rituals.
On the other hand the Hebrew’s have long been using parsley in their Passover celebrations as a symbol of rebirth.
Whether you’re hoping for a big kiss after your garlic bread or looking to destroy an enemy, don’t forget the parsley.
Cooking with parsley is easy, one of the simplest ways to use parsley is adding a pinch of it to enrich the flavor a soup, stock or sauce.
For a really exciting soup, I love adding it to my dumpling dough for flavor.
Take a teaspoon and drop the dough, scoop by scoop into your soup. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Another variation of this recipe is
Special thanks this month goes out to D.C.B for help with my research.
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Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,
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