|Back to Back Issues Page|
[Witch Way] Volume #5 Issue #12 -- May Flowers
May 13, 2013
|Hi, Merry Meet!
I’m told that last month’s issue looked very wrong, if you use Outlook for your email. Instead of a small picture of the book I was talking about next to the print of my article, all you saw was a giant red banner. The image I used was the full sized picture of the cover, but I put in html tags to make it appear much smaller. Unfortunately, it seems that Outlook doesn’t read those tags properly.
If you had problems with last month’s issue of Witch Way, you can see the archived version on the website. In fact, you can read every issue ever produced, simply by going to the archives on the CyberWitchcraft site. There we have all the back issues, so that you can catch up on what you may have missed.
Also, while the $0.99 book offer is finished, you can still pick up Witchcraft 101 for just $2.99 through Amazon. The response to the book has been amazing. It seems a lot of people are looking for exactly the information it contains. I also want to remind you that if you’ve already got your copy, don’t forget to write a review for it on Amazon!
As an apology for what happened last month, I have decided to reprint an excerpt from Witchcraft 101 in this month’s column. This is not the full text of the chapter on Sabbats and Esbats, just a small part. Even so, it doubles the normal size of my column. Read it and let me know what you think. If you like it and find that it has information valuable to you, consider purchasing the entire book at the link above. While it is sold only as a Kindle book, you do not need a Kindle to read it. Amazon has a free kindle player for just about every device, which you can download through the link above.
Witchcraft 101 – Sabbats & Esbats
SabbatsSabbats are rituals of celebration. Magick is usually not done at a Sabbat. The Sabbats are solar holidays, and therefore it is the God who is typically celebrated. Witches celebrate the change of the seasons with what we call the Wheel of the Year. Just as you cast circle with no beginning and no end, the year, while we mark December 31st as the end, and January 1st as the beginning, really doesn’t end. It simply cycles.
The fact is, the middle of Winter wasn’t the New Year until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII changed it. Until that time, the New Year was in the Spring, where April 1st is now. Roman legions marched to war at the New Year because the passes through the Alps had melted of snow. January was still the first month, being named for the Roman God Janus, God of Doorways and new beginnings. October was the 8th month, November the 9th, and December was the 10th month, which makes a lot more sense than where they are now, but when you’re Pope, you can do things like completely rearrange the calendar to suit your own agenda.
The people of the villages didn’t pay much attention to the month. They were more interested in the season. Was it time to plant? Was it time to harvest? Those were important to the country folk. So when the calendar changed, and January was now April, the village folk who wished city folk a happy New Year on April 1st, were called April Fools. That is how the custom was started.
Why Do We Celebrate The Sabbats?Sabbats are important markers around the Wheel of the Year. Spaced fairly equally around the year, they mark points such as Midsummer, Midwinter, the Equinoxes, as well as when to plant, and when to harvest. These are all important times for an agricultural society, and while we are no longer agriculturally based, the cultures our spirituality is based on, were.
This is an important concept that a lot of Wiccans just don’t get. They memorize the dates and names of the Sabbats, they research what is traditional for the Sabbat celebrations, but they never seem to ask why these dates and these celebrations. Modern society is so far removed from the way our ancestors, even three generations ago, lived. How many people do you know who have milked a cow? Collected eggs from the henhouse? How about growing their own food?
I have talked to “Wiccans” who are absolutely convinced that food is manufactured in the grocery store. After all, you go to the store, you get food, it must be made there, right? Modern society has absolutely no clue what it is like to worry about surviving through the Winter. Will the grain store last? Will we starve? These are questions that our ancestors asked each and every year. Modern city dwellers are upset because their fresh vegetables go up in price during the Winter, our ancestors worried about survival.
Our ancestors only had fresh vegetables right after they harvested them. They had no refrigeration, so the veggies spoiled within days of being picked. The same was true of every other food source. Meat could be salted or jerked to preserve it, but it never tasted better than right after butchering. So our ancestors celebrated when it was time to plant, when the harvest brought them an abundance of food, when the Winter was half over, when fresh fruit started to bud.
To truly appreciate why we celebrate the parts of the seasons we do, you have to think like our ancestors did. You have to think about what starvation in the middle of Winter might be like, or eating the same gruel morning noon and night, for months at a time was like. Once you discover this mindset, you truly are grateful for the food you can enjoy in your modern life.
Quarter SabbatsThere are eight Sabbats roughly equally spaced around the year. These are further divided in to four Quarter Sabbats, and four Cross-quarter Sabbats. Which four are which depends on who you talk to. If you do a search of the Internet, you will find roughly equal numbers of sites each saying the opposite thing. It really depends on when you celebrate the New Year. If like most people, it’s near Yule (Dec. 21st) then the solstices and equinoxes are the Quarter Sabbats, and the other four are Cross-quarter. If instead, you celebrate the New Year at Samhain (Oct. 31st) it becomes the first of the Quarter Sabbats, and the solstices and equinoxes are Cross-quarter. So who celebrates the New Year at Samhain? The Celts for one, because of how they looked at the world, days started at sundown, the year started at the beginning of Winter. So which Sabbats are Quarter Sabbats, and which are Cross-quarter Sabbats will depend on what Tradition you decide to follow.
EsbatsAny ritual that is not done on one of the eight Sabbats is an Esbat. These are the times when magick is done. This is also a time to honor the Goddess, just as the Sabbats were to honor the God. The moon goes through 13 full cycles in a year, from New Moon, to Full Moon, back to Dark Moon. Have you ever looked up in the night sky and noticed from the first crescent to the first quarter moon, how it looks like the full belly of a pregnant woman? Our ancestors did. As She waxes toward Full, it is as if she is slowly turning to face us.
It has been said that our ancient ancestors didn’t understand how a woman became pregnant. Because of the similarity between the waxing moon and the belly of a pregnant woman, they thought the Moon must be responsible. With all the other detailed observations our ancestors made, I find it hard to believe they would have missed that one. We will never know what they did, or didn’t understand, but I do know that our ancient ancestors weren’t nearly as primitive as we’d like to believe.
Full Moons“Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches.”
-- Doreen Valiente, Charge Of The Goddess
The Full Moon ritual is the Witchcraft equivalent of Christian Sunday Services. Contrary to what many would like to believe, going to Full Moon rituals does not make you a Witch, anymore than going to Sunday Services makes you a Christian. The moon represents the Goddess, and the Full Moon ritual honors Her at the peak of Her power during the month.
Most Witches believe that magick is influenced by the celestial bodies in the sky. The moon, being the closest of those bodies, therefore is a major influence on the magick we do. The Full Moon is a time for positive magick, and for drawing things that you want, to you. Most spells that you find on the Internet, are for casting on the Full Moon.
It is the time for Drawing Down the Moon. This is a ritual performed by the most experienced Priestesses, usually the High Priestess of the Coven. It takes preparation and confidence, because in this ritual, the Priestess allows the Goddess to use her body as a Divine vessel, completely supplanting the personality of the Priestess. All that remains is the Goddess. Those who wish, may go before Her, and ask questions they would like answers to.
This particular ritual has sometimes gotten a bad rap. Technically it is a form of possession, but it is by permission, the Priestess invites the Goddess to use her. The Priestess can also regain control at any time she chooses. This is why the ritual is so tricky to pull off. Until you’ve done the ritual, you have a tendency to pull back, a spiritual flinch if you will, as Deity starts to take control. When this happens Deity moves on and nothing happens.
Unfortunately there have been those times, and those Priestesses who when they lose Deity, decide to wing it. You can tell when someone is faking and when the Goddess is really there. If the Goddess is present, the energy in the room just pegs off the chart. You get a buzz just walking in. While the Priestess is aware of everything that happens, memory of what happened and what was said, leaves soon after the Goddess has gone.
The male equivalent is when the High Priest invites the God into him in the same fashion, and is called Drawing Down the Sun. When you have both the High Priest and High Priestess draw both the God and the Goddess at the same time, and everything works, you end up with an extremely powerful ritual that no one forgets. The most impressive thing I have ever been part of, was the multiple Drawing Down that took place for several years at a local Pagan Festival. I was one of about 20 Priests and Priestesses who Drew the Gods over the course of around four hours, all at the same time. We did this because several hundred people at the festival wished to talk face to face with the Gods. An event like this is extremely rare.
To read more, get your copy of Witchcraft 101 now, and don’t forget to write a review once you’ve read it.
The Witching Hour
by Marcus Leader
The Magickal Art of Spell Casting Through Time
In this month’s article, I am going to introduce you to a very advanced and obscure form of magick that I call Time Casting. Essentially the practice of time casting involves the casting of a well-focused and thoroughly powered intention or spell through the illusions of time to cause a change in our past or future time line. This basically means that you would be casting a spell to cause changes in the past to affect or change the future. Now think about that for a moment before reading further. Sounds rather farfetched does it not? I assure you it is possible and it is something that any magickal practitioner can learn to do if they are willing to commit the necessary time and discipline.
The concept itself is scientifically sound and was first introduced to me through my 8 year trail in Toltec shamanism. Although if you pick up a book on Toltec shamanism, you will not read about this obscure technique because it is part of the Toltec core knowledge and has never been released to the general public. During my apprenticeship this technique was demonstrated to me first hand in a very dramatic manner proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Time Casting works! After learning the basics from my shamanic teacher, I started to refine it and perfect the technique using cutting edge science and frequency harmonics to produce a workable and repeatable magickal technique. The real trick was breaking through the illusionary barriers of time itself. I was able to do this as a result of my work as a private researcher with the Professional division of the Monroe Institute which is the world’s leading research center in human consciousness.
While this is somewhat of a complex and advanced topic, I am going to attempt to explain the basics in this article and in future articles I can get into more advanced and practical methods of using this magickal technique.
Through the eyes of a Toltec shaman, time is and is not. Shamans refer to the physical world as the Tonal which contains everything known and knowable. In the Tonal events occur on a linear path and the relationship between events is measured by a set frequency known as time. Most of humanity perceives time as a straight line, a set of tracks that carry the physical world on a journey to infinity. But to the Toltec shaman, time is an every expanding sphere growing at the set frequency of time. On the surface of this chronosphere is all the components and events of the Tonal or physical universe.
Outside this chronosphere of expanding time is a place of timelessness known to the Toltec Shaman as the Nagual. It is a place and condition that cannot be described with words, it can only be known through direct experience. When an experienced shaman crosses into the nagual they find a place of chaos filled with an unknowable primal force that is the source for all things in the Tonal.
From the viewpoint of the Nagual the shaman can look back at the Tonal as it rides the surface of the Sphere of time and see that time is not at all linear. Time from that perspective is omni-directional which means that time flows in all directions at once which includes our limiting perceptions of past, present , and future. The implications of this model of time indicate that everything is connected in the Tonal or physical universe through the chronosphere of time and every single event has a non-linear path leading to every object as well as every event. In simpler terms, everything is connected on an energetic level and to every single point in our perception of time, be it past, present or future, there is a path that can be traveled by physical matter or energy.
Traveling on the surface of the chronosphere is not only a real possibility, it is something that our conscious minds do, under the right conditions, on a daily basis. This model also offers an explanation for precognition and prophetic visions and dreams. Psychics can look into the future by altering their consciousness and projecting it out to a point beyond the Tonal and beyond the ever-expanding chronosphere to reveal a view of a “possible” future event based on the given position of the person or object on the surface of the chronosphere at the time of the vision or reading. In other words, if you want to know if you will come into money in the given future you would need to project your mind out to the point in the future, beyond the present time of the chromosphere’s surface and follow the path from past events to the present and out into the future. In reality you would be looking at the MOST probable future for that individual based upon past activity and current positioning. If you perceived a vision of money on that path then it is likely to occur, however paths can be altered and futures changed by unseen events. This is why many great psychics often are wrong. They were only stating the most probable future.
But what about past events on the surface of the tonal? Are the relationships with objects and events set in stone on the chronosphere once they occur? Given that all things are connected in both space and time and that each object and event have an infinite number of possible paths then it would seem likely that an observer from outside the chronosphere could re-enter the chronosphere at any point in time and space and with the exertion of enough personal power and intent they should be able to alter or reroute an event path regardless of when or where it occurred. YES, we are indeed talking about time travel with the possibility of altering the past present or future.
The hardest concept for me to get my mind around regarding this model of time, was the proverbial catch 22 syndrome that has haunted theoretical physicists. If a particular event causes you to take action to alter that event and therefore history, does it cancel out the action that you took to alter the event which now never happened that caused you to take action in the first place? The answer is impossible to find if you subscribe to the current theory of space and time. However, if you take the shamanic perspective and jump outside the playing field so to speak and into the neutral territory of the Nagual, then the possibilities become very realistic.
So what does all this mean to us? Well, with this model, this perspective on realty, many things become clearer especially for those who seek knowledge of future events. It gives a whole new twist to the ancient art of scrying and illuminates many pathways for psychics questing for visions. There is one other doorway that this principle opens to those who dare to enter, the possibility of what I call Time Casting.
Time casting is a technique I developed for sending your own personal energy driven by your intent to a specific event in time be it in the past or the future that will apply an influence with the intention of altering past or future events.
Now think about that for a minute, we are talking about changing the past to alter the future to achieve an alternate and hopefully better outcome. However, before you get too excited at what this implies , I should tell you that this takes a lot of practice and the success rate is directly related to the complexity of event you are trying to influence. For example, you will find it much easier to influence your own choice on a certain investment you made in the past as opposed to preventing someone’s death. In the first case all you have to do is to reach your own mind in the past and plant the suggestion with the force of your intent. When preventing a major event such as a death you are dealing with forces and variables that raise the complexity level out of everyone’s reach except for possibly a very adept shaman or magickal practitioner. The ramifications of making major changes must also be considered. It may have been meant for that person to die at that time and changing it would only mean it would happen later in a different set of circumstances. There also seems to be a check system within the nagual possibly governed by a higher self that prevents any such activity if there are any negative intentions or severe ramifications that would harm others. Not everything is known about this process and experimentation should be kept on a personal basis involving only yourself past, present , or future.
In next month’s article I will reveal the secret that makes spell casting work, a special meditation using harmonic frequencies of sound that will take you beyond the illusions of linearity of time. From that perspective time no longer is a barrier and you will be able to cast your intentions through time and make effective change.
By Gwynalda Shadowalker
The Law Of (Natural) Attraction
Lodestone—a rare form of black or brown magnetite (iron ore)—has the unique quality of polarity, or natural magnetism, which can attract iron. The ancient Greeks believed that a shepherd discovered lodestone when he noticed that the iron nails in his boots and his staff’s iron tip clung to the rock as he walked. The Greeks named it “Herculean stone,” after the legendary hero and in honor of the mineral’s unusual properties.
Ancient people first mined lodestone in Asia Minor, in the region called Magnesia. Deposits of magnetite can be found in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ural mountains of Russia, and in the U.S. (New York, Utah, Wyoming—with the most plentiful mines located in Magnet Cove, Arkansas).
According to a legend told by the fourth-century Latin poet Claudius Claudianus, the early Romans had a sacred temple that held a statue of the Goddess Venus made from lodestone. During wedding ceremonies, the Venus statue attracted a similar statue of Mars, made from iron. Donald Tyson speculates that, if the two figures were suspended from wires and swung a bit, this might have been possible.
Pliny the Elder cites an ancient tale about the Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II, who commissioned the architect Timochares to build a temple roof out of lodestone, so that an iron statue of Ptolemy’s sister-wife, Arsinoe, would float in the air. However, the project was never completed either due to the death of the king or the impossibility of the endeavor.
The ancient Chinese independently discovered the magnetic power of lodestone. They used it for divination and when constructing buildings. The Chinese also realized that elongated pieces of lodestone would point North-South when allowed to rotate freely—either in water or suspended from a string. By 1200 C.E., the Chinese and the Europeans were using such lodestone compasses to navigate their ships rather than steering only by the stars.
Scientists have discovered that many creatures, such as magnetotactic bacteria, pigeons, honey bees, salmon, tuna, dolphins, and turtles, can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and use it to guide them in their movements. Strangely enough, magnetite particles have also been found in the tissues of some of these critters.
Its power of magnetism, and the ability to magnetize steel and iron, make the lodestone a prime example of the magickal Principle of Contagion. By virtue of sympathetic magick, lodestone “infects” compatible iron with the ability of attraction. Since ancient times, people have realized that lodestone attracts iron, and that iron so attracted and “charged” can attract other pieces of iron.
In the early 19th century, the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted, discovered a link between electricity and magnetism—an electric current flowing through a wire made magnetic needle compasses rotate. However, magnetism is only rudimentary understood, even by today’s sophisticated scientists. After all, one of the most brilliant minds of all times—that of Albert Einstein—failed to fully incorporate electro-magnetism into a viable “Universal Field” theory.
Magickally, lodestone is used to attract that which is desired by the practitioner, whether it be luck, wealth, friendship, healing, or sex. Gamblers frequently carry it. Many prosperity spells cite lodestone as a primary ingredient. Cunningham recommends carrying the stone to attract friends when someone’s in new, unfamiliar surroundings. An ancient remedy for impotency requires men to rub magnetite on their penises to ensure satisfactory sexual performance. Another such method entails wearing a belt buckle containing lodestone. This allegedly has the effect off further strengthening the wearer’s will. Also, prostitutes of yore carried lodestone to attract clients. In general, magnetite can be used in just about any sort of talisman formula to attract a desired outcome toward you.
Several practitioners advise frequently recharging lodestones used in magickal operations. One method is to place the stone in white wine once a week on Fridays. Another is to bathe the stone in water reflecting the full Moon once a month. They also say that lodestones need to be “fed” with iron filings. Migene Gonzalez-Whippler claims that lodestones should be carried in pairs—one male and one female—and that after sufficient “feedings” the female will produce small “son” lodestones. Personally, I reckon that I didn’t feed my magnetite quite enough—for they haven’t reproduced any offspring as yet.
Blessed Be—Gwynalda )O(
Sources: The Complete Book of Amulets & Talismans by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler; Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham; Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals by Melody; Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim (Translated by James Freake; Edited and Annotated by Donald Tyson); World Book Encyclopedia by Brian B. Schwartz, Richard B. Frankel & Kenneth J. De Nault.
Trending Toward The Positive
By Evylyn Rose
Walking Our Talk
This month I’d like to talk about an important aspect of the role of a Witch. Witches must walk their talk at all times, in public as well as in their private lives. Although this is typically geared predominately toward those who have been on the path for several years or who are in a leadership role, such as a High Priest or High Priestess of a coven, this applies equally to us all. After all, in our independent lives, we are our own Priests and Priestesses and truly walk distinctly separate paths as unique individuals.
Witches are known as many things. Among them, we are walkers between the worlds, counselors, teachers, healers, and so forth. We are individually all of these and more. All of our roles require that we maintain the strictest integrity at all times. As Diane Sylvan points out in The Circle Within, integrity is not the same as brutal honesty or even complete, transparent honesty. Instead, it is about ensuring that every word we say is true and that we do what we say we are going to do. If you have ever questioned how to walk your talk, dedicating yourself to a life and path of integrity is the way.
Not surprising, the path of integrity, as the whole of the path of the Witch, is a difficult one to follow. Many of us were raised to believe that telling white lies to spare feelings or to replace tact with “being nice” as perfectly acceptable and normal. However, sparing feelings and “being nice” at the expense of telling someone something they need to hear can do more damage in the long run, if not sooner. Worse, this lack of integrity we are taught to display to others becomes so ingrained into who we are that we even go so far as to apply it to ourselves unknowingly.
For example, we may try to overinflate our abilities so as to avoid feeling bad for our shortcomings. This could be our abilities in general, or something specific, such as drawing. Instead of improving our abilities, we stagnate because we have convinced ourselves we have nothing left to improve.
On the darker side, lacking integrity can lead to judging ourselves too harshly. If we are so accustomed to telling people only the good things or expressing something positive to be nice rather than honest, we inevitably have to face the harsh reality that others may be doing the same to us. This is seen a lot with body image issues. We look great just as we are even when we could maybe get more in shape, stop over (or under) eating, or adjusting our wardrobes to be more flattering. However, we can become conscious that the compliments we receive from others may just be “nice words” or a sparing of feelings. This can then lead to believing the polar opposite of the compliments and comments of others, even when the opposite is far from the truth.
Improving our individual integrity, then, is more than just being honest. It is not only respectful of and truly compassionate for others, but also for ourselves. Why let something silly like little lies and going out of our way to be nice to spare feelings get in the way of real progress? You do not have to be brutally honest with others to have integrity, but you do have to ensure all your words are spoken in the spirit of truth.
Another major component of walking our talk we need to keep tabs on is the “shoulds” we dish out for others. We all have distinct sets of values. Some of these are learned through our family, friends, society as a whole, or even individually through reflection and experience. Even when we share most of our values with others, we still differ as to which values we are more passionate about. When we get passionate, we have a tendency to see how the world could be improved and are quick to talk of how everyone should change or focus on this or that. While there is certainly nothing wrong in this, the problem that comes in here is that we are not always completely honest with ourselves as to how well we are changing or focusing on this or that.
As Gandhi so famously said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” We cannot expect others to follow our lead and take our words to heart when we tell them what should be if we are not providing the example to inspire them. If we believe others should be educated, we must be educated ourselves. If we believe others should be disciplined, we must be disciplined ourselves. If we believe others should be fair, we must be fair ourselves. If we believe others must be creative, calm, and open-minded, we must be creative, calm, and open-minded ourselves. The examples are endless.
Keep in mind here that many “shoulds” are impossible to master in one lifetime. Take the “educated should” for example. It is impossible in one lifetime for an individual to know all there is to know. Even in 100 lifetimes, it is still impossible to know all there is to know. Making the matter worse, within those 100 lives, many truths will change. Consider that the “truth” of the age of the earth has changed several times over the centuries; not by a matter of years, but billions of years. To be fully educated, then, must allow room for facts to change and adjustments to be made. That said, if we believe others should be educated while adjusting to changes in facts, we must react to the changes as we believe others must.
When we dish out “shoulds” we need to start with ourselves. As Witches, we should never expect others to be capable of more than we ourselves are capable of. However, we cannot know what we are capable of if we are too busy telling others what they should be doing to stop and check in with how we are doing. Are you being honest with yourself? Are your actions matching your words? Do your expressed values match how you live your life? Are you expecting more of others than you are of yourself? Or are you expecting more of yourself than you do of others? Do you get angry and frustrated at others for not living up to your values? Are you reacting the way you wish others would react?
It takes time and dedication to becoming fully conscious of all our words, thoughts, and behaviors and making adjustments as needed. Always strive for 100% integrity, yet remain open to forgiving yourself. Life throws obstacles in the way to make us stumble and that is okay. It’s whether or not and how you choose to get back up that makes the difference. When we are truly walking our talk, we set the positive example that others need to learn how to walk their talk. This aspect, being the change, is perhaps the most vital role the Witch plays in the world today. So take a look at your talk, practice personal integrity every waking moment, and go for a walk.
If you have an article you'd like to submit as a guest author for Witch Way, or for CyberWitchcraft, go to the Contact Page and click Submissions in the drop down box. Let me know what the article is about, and I will reply back to you so that you can attach it in an email.
Articles for Witch Way should be at least 500 words, and those for CyberWitchcraft should be around 2000 words.
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can go to the Contact Page on CyberWitchcraft, or simply reply to this email. This newsletter and the website are created for you, your thoughts and ideas are important to us.
Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,
|Back to Back Issues Page|