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[Witch Way] Volume #7 Issue #1 -- The End of An Era
June 13, 2014
|Hi, Happy Litha!
If you looked at the Subject of this email, you will have noticed that it is Volume 7, issue #1. The first issue of our 7th year. Once a month, every month, for the past seven years, I have been writing, and sending this newsletter out to subscribers who are interested in Witchcraft in its many forms.
With the help of others, namely Marcus Leader, Evelyn Rose, Julie Andaverde, and Gwynalda Shadowalker, as well as many others who have submitted articles on a huge variety of subjects, I have been able to put out what I think has been a fairly high quality publication on the magickal arts.
Seven years, with 12 issues each year. That’s 84 issues of Witch Way. Believe me, when I first started this endeavor, I never expected it to go beyond a year or two. A lot of that was the fact that I was writing everything myself, and coming up with three or four articles on different subjects each month, was difficult. The first person to write a regular monthly column was Jim Trader, who for several years, wrote Chiron’s Lyre. It was a monthly astrological column, that became so much more than a monthly horoscope. Then Marcus sent me an article, and I asked him to continue writing for me.
None of us who have been writing about our spiritual Paths in this electronic journal over the last seven years, have been paid for any of it. We do it because it is our passion. Most of us were tasked, when we attained Priesthood, with spreading our knowledge to those who showed an interest, others did it as a way to promote a business they were running. In either case, it grew.
The first issue of Witch Way was sent to 9 subscribers, if I remember correctly, and one of them was myself. We mailed out last month’s issue to 2,215 subscribers. Not a bad increase.
This month’s Witching Hour folds very nicely into current events, as it talks about lifespan. Over the last 50 years I have come to realize that everything has a lifespan. There is a birth, growth and awkward maturing process, followed by what is hopefully a long lifespan, then eventually death.
Seven years may not be as long a lifespan for a magazine as say Life, or Time, which count their lifespan in decades, but for little newsletters, it’s a worthy achievement. Witch Way has lived a full life, and now it is time for that life to come to an end. Not because I have no more to write about, or because there isn’t an audience, but because there are better ways to get this knowledge out to those who have an interest. As Pagans, we tend to believe in reincarnation, and that is exactly what I expect to happen.
Witch Way was born, grew up, lived a very colorful life, and is now passing Beyond, so that it can be reborn again, just in a different form. I have some ideas that I want to work on, and it will be a lot easier if I don’t have to divide my attention between the new and matured projects. I’m going to take a break, for the Summer at least, while I work out the details of what I have in mind.
I can’t give any details yet, simply because I don’t know exactly what will be born, or exactly when. I do know that I have talked to some friends of mine around the country, and if I can pull off what I want, it will be as revolutionary as WPBN was nearly 20 years ago. Today we have technology we could only dream about when Dan’nelle Martin, aka Winterhawk, started that first Pagan internet radio station that I am honored to have been a part of.
I remember the two of us brainstorming how we could create the first Pagan cable TV network, to compete with all the Christian channels that were available even then. We never were able to figure a way to raise the money to set up a broadcast, but now, there are cheaper and easier ways to go about it, with the possibility of a global audience. If you are a subscriber to Witch Way, you’ll be the first to hear about it when it happens.
Ideas, ideas, ideas...
Death isn’t the end of life, it’s just a transition. This isn’t the end of Witch Way, it’s only the beginning of something better.
Plants, Petals, & Potions
History and Folklore:Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare, also called Bitter Buttons, English Cost, Hind Heal, Scented Fern, and Stinking Willie) is a pretty little plant that is extremely aromatic! Patches of Tansy can survive for decades in the same location. The very name Tansy is a corruption of the Greek word for immortality "Athanasia". In the Middle Ages dried Tansy was a "strewing herbe" scattered across floors to keep pests away. Housewives also hung it from rafters, packed it between bedding, and rubbed it on meats to discourage lice, flies, and other vermin. In more recent times it has been used to repel moths and fleas.
Magical Uses:This plant has long played a role in funeral rites, in particular, those that speak of death and rebirth. The leaves of this magick herb were tucked around the body before burial, and the herb's penetrating scent was thought to help guide the spirits of the dead on their journey. The name "tanacetum" apparently came from the Greek word for immortality, because the flowers take a long time to fade (and perhaps because of the plant's association with the dead). Indeed, when Zeus fell in love with the beautiful young man Ganymede, he was given tansy to make him immortal. The rebirth theme is carried through in this magick herbs use in celebrating Ostara, a festival of rebirth (and fertility). This magic herb also is helpful in protection spells, especially in terms of protecting against the authorities and for journeys. It is excellent for strewing or for cleansing the space of the magic circle. It is associated with Gemini. In the Victorian language of flowers, this herb represents a declaration of war upon the recipient, perhaps because of its traditional association with death.
Tansy is sacred to Mary, but consider this Venus herb when honoring dark goddesses, due to its connection to death. It has a long association with women's mysteries and with Goddess worship. This is an excellent herb to bring to rituals of death and dying. Its association with rebirth is strong. Tansy gathered from the previous year's harvest is well suited for the Ostara rites.
Medicinal uses:Tansy was once a widely grown herb with a number of traditional medicinal uses, but one that has lost favor over time with the modern herbal community. Older herbalists had previously recommended the use of tansy for many purposes including as an anthelmintic to kill parasites. Mrs. Grieve, for example, recommended brewing a strong dose of tansy to rid children of intestinal worms. Tansy was also used to alleviate the pain of migraine headaches, neuralgia, rheumatism and gout, and loss of appetite. This is an excellent example of how we need to filter our readings of the wisdom of our elder teachers with today's better understanding of plant chemistry. The danger with using tansy rests primarily with its thujone content, which is responsible for much of tansy's medicinal actions. Thujone is powerful but toxic in large doses. The amount of thujone contained can vary from plant to plant making safe dosing problematic.
Tansy also has many other uses. In England, it was incorporated into cakes during Lent, perhaps in memory of the Jewish use of bitter herbs at Passover, or perhaps as a nod to its use as a spring tonic. Together with lovage and yarrow, it was made into a cordial once popular in Britain. You can rub this herb on meats to give them a flavor like rosemary. The flowering tops make a mustard yellow dye on wool, and the young shoots make a green dye. Tansy has a nice herby smell that repels bugs both in dried form and in the garden - plant it at the four corners of your vegetable or henbane plot to help repel bugs like the Colorado potato beetle. It also repels flies, ants, and fleas, but its flowers will attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and green lacewings as well as bugs that are just nice to look at, like butterflies. It's a good herb for composting, because it concentrates minerals in its leaves, but consider that it can also draw up heavy metals from the soil, so if your soil is contaminated, you can use tansy as a removal system. Just remember not to compost the vegetation in that case. Instead, bag it and take it to the landfill.
Contraindications: The active constituents are toxic in large doses, and it’s difficult to judge the amount of thujone the most toxic of its elements without a chemical analysis. Its most common medicinal use was to ‘bring on a stalled period’, a euphemism for abortifacient. A strong tea made of tansy leaves and flowers can cause miscarriage, and there have been reports of deaths in women attempting to use the tea in this way.
**DO NOT INGEST TANSY!**
Tansy essential oil is poisonous and should not be used under any circumstances. In large doses, Tansy becomes a violent irritant, and induces venous congestion of the abdominal organs. Though the fields are bright with pretty flowers and herbs begging to be plucked, beware that not all of these pretty summer time blooms are friendly. Tansy can be deadly when used improperly but can be very beneficial in offerings and fertility rites. Tansy’s beautiful yellow flowers belie it’s poison...
Love, light, and blessings!
DISCLAIMER: It should be understood that Julie Andaverde is not a medical doctor, nor is Witch Way a medical journal. Some of the herbs and ingredients discussed in this column can be dangerous or even deadly if misused. Proportions and ratios discussed are based on personal observation and experience. Use of any herbs or ingredients is at your own discretion and risk. None of the information contained herein should be construed as medical advice. Always consult a trained medical professional.
The Witching Hour
This month I am going to introduce all my readers to the shamanic principles of energetic healing and the quest for the fabled fountain of youth which promised IMMORTALITY I am NOT referring to immortality in the spiritual sense, such as your immortal soul, I am referring to your physical , flesh and blood body living forever or at least a very long time.
DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER?
Without properly digesting this question, most people answer with automatic YES, who wouldn’t? However, after a few moments of contemplation their minds start cycling the possibilities of such a scenario. Questions, never before considered, then start to erode at the positive excitements of living forever.
What happens if I get in an accident and loose an important body part? Would I want to live forever in a condition like that?
What of those close to me that I would loose over and over? Could I bear the pain through the centuries, and in time would it bring with it a detachment of feelings to shield me from the emotional pain?
In matters of the heart, even if my forever love were an immortal, would it truly be a FOREVER love? In these days it is not uncommon for us to marry and divorce more than once in our short lifetimes. How many decades would a love last without going stale? Can we in all honesty even consider these relationships in terms of centuries?
What would you do after working at one profession or interest for 30 years, 50 years or longer? How long before you became bored with physical life? How many times would you re-invent yourself before depression set in?
After considering some of these questions most people begin to fear the choice of immortality.
However, if you ask the same people if they would like to extend their life perhaps doubling the average life expectancy, STOP and even reverse the aging process, never get sick, heal many times faster than normal, think, act, look and love like someone at their sexual prime, you will find a completely different response that only grows in excitement at the prospects of regaining and realizing youthful health for an extended lifetime. Imagine the implications of this…no illness, no diseases, no cancers. Healing from a broken bone in days as opposed to weeks. How much could you learn, how would so much accumulated wisdom affect your life and work? What would great minds such as Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein have accomplished if they were not been taken from us so soon? The possibilities are staggering.
But is immortality or the fountain of youth, a real possibility, or just a dream that has haunted humans for millennia?
First we need an understanding of what aging is and why it happens. Aging is the buildup of genetic error in cells causing them to no longer be able to divide, followed by the death of the cell. The reason this happens is because our cellular strands of DNA have hardened end caps which keeps the DNA from unraveling. When a cell divides and multiplies so do these strands of DNA, but we find the end caps to be getting shorter and shorter until the DNA just unravels and the cell dies. In humans this limit is called the Hayflick limit which is about 50 to 60 divisions before the death of a cell. As cells begin aging they become lethargic and less responsive so the cellular repair mechanism kicks in and makes the repairs needed for the cell to continue. However, even this repair mechanism begins to become sluggish and when the repairs cannot be made at least as fast as the damage, you have a faster decline in cellular health. In skin cells we see the effects of aging in the form of wrinkles which are caused by the decreased ability of vascular epithelial cells to divide. When the repair mechanism starts having trouble keeping up with the amount of damaged cells the dying cells build up and dry out, causing a loss in elasticity, causing folds in the skin to occur. The secret to staying young lies in the repair mechanism that helps to maintain cellular health. IF we can boost the efficiency of the repair mechanism then the fountain of youth becomes a reality.
If you follow the progress of medical research with one eye and the new research pushing the envelope of consciousness with the other, you would come to the conclusion that it is indeed a very real and upcoming possibility. Geneticists are rapidly closing in on the genetic coding that causes our bodies to age and may soon find ways to disable or block that action. At the same time, microbiologists are finding new cures for various viruses and bacterium that could lead to an end or suppression of the diseases that have plagued humans for countless eons. Add to this the ground breaking research that many doctors are now using in their practice which incorporates the minds control over the bodies autonomic mechanisms and one might agree and conclude that youthful longevity it is indeed a very real possibility on the horizon.
If we examine this question from a perspective that lies outside the mainstream of science and medicine, we find that through the eyes of a shaman, immortality and youthful longevity of the human body is not only a possibility, but a reality that has been practiced for countless centuries. Toltec shamanic healers and adepts have guarded this ancient knowledge from being lost for many centuries. Individuals from all faiths have called upon the powers of spirit throughout history, including the Christ, the Buddha, The Goddess, The Gitchi Manitou and others, for their healing powers and knowledge. Faith healers reach within and tap energies that science has yet to discover. Energies that somehow change the structure and vitality of our bodies on a cellular level by energizing the repair mechanism in cells.
Have you ever noticed how some people never seem to age or at least age very slowly? The reason for this is not necessarily genetics but rather a matter of personal energy and the way it flows through our bodies and back into the environment around us. These people who seem not to age like the rest of us have either consciously or subconsciously cleansed the meridians of life force energy pathways and thereby stopped or even turned back the biological clock. Of course good nutrition helps on a biochemical level as it has been proven that we are what we eat. But the real secret lies in energy and energy manipulation and flow. Yes my friends, the fountain of youth does not flow with water, it surges with energy!
Through my apprenticeship with my own mentor Dr. Carlos Castaneda, I have personally experienced this type of energy manipulation as well as encountering an individual who I believe was an immortal. Carlos is a master of personal energy manipulation and on many occasions demonstrated the principle by aging literally before my eyes and then reversing the process in a matter of seconds and this was not a illusion on the eye or mind, it was a manipulation of personal energy through his assemblage point which I have spoken of in previous articles. He would on occasion introduce me to different individuals calling them “colleagues” or sometimes just old acquaintances. Often I would not understand what the purpose was for these meetings and think nothing of it. However, on one trip he took me to an undisclosed location, we camped in the desert over night waiting for someone to join us. Around what I believe to be one in the morning someone approached our camp fire. Carlos seemed to know he was near long before the man appeared as he said, “Marcos, get ready we have company”. I stared off into the moonlit chaparral in all directions but could see no signs of movement. After 15 to 20 minutes an image of a man walking in the moonlight appeared and we both stood to greet him. Carlos introduced him as don Miguel, and we exchanged nods and shook hands.
As my hand touched his I felt a surge of energy flowing out of me as if a large portion of my life force had just left me and I swear I heard his voice in my ears thanking me for the exchange and yet his mouth was not moving. Then just as suddenly as don Miguel appeared, he bid us Farewell and turned walking off into moonlight. I watched him not saying a word until he disappeared in the distance then I ask Carlos, “what the hell was that all about”? He chuckled and avoiding my question said I needed to sit down before I fell down and I should eat and then sleep. I knew he was not going to answer me, at least not then so I complied with his suggestions.
The next afternoon when I finally awoke Carlos handed me a hot dog rolled up in a corn tortilla and said, “eat, we must leave this place before darkness returns.” I was very groggy and having difficulty waking up and getting motivated. The events of the previous night seemed clear but very surreal in my mind. To this day I have many unanswered questions of that night which continue to haunt me after all these years.
Carlos would never speak of it to me except to say it was part of my Nagual training and that I had been given a very special gift by don Miguel. I have yet to fully realize the nature of that gift at least on a conscious level. Years later Carlos spoke of a similar incident, in fact he even wrote about it in one of his many books. He talked of the time when he met a stranger that lived in the mountain with the assistance of don Juan, his mentor and shamanic teacher. He had an encounter with this stranger that closely resembled my own encounter. don Juan told him that this stranger was an immortal and that he was several centuries old, no one knew for sure how old. He went on explaining that this stranger was one of the ancient ones and that he stayed young and healthy throughout the centuries by recharging his energy reserves to keep his personal power in hi flux and he did this through a Nagual’s agreement. It seems that he had learned the ability to take life force from other humans thereby rejuvenating his own for a set number of months or years. The difficulty with this process is that the necessary quantity for this life force energy was greater than the average person could safely fulfill and if this type of life force vampire attempted to take the average persons energy it could flow too fast and end up putting the person at risk of serious illness or death as their own life force diminished. The only type of person that this ancient one could safely and reliably take energy from is what is known as a Nagual. I am not certain what the population ratio of Nagual to non- Nagual people are, but the main difference is in the configuration of the energy body that each of us has. In most people the energy body is bisected, dividing the energy fields into two compartments. In a Nagual type person the energy fields are trisected or more commonly quadrisected making four individual compartments which I am assuming acts as a governor keeping energy flows in check.
This compartmentalization of energy fields in a Nagual’s energy body seems to be somewhat of an advantage in energy manipulation and storage. This does not mean that a non-Nagual individual is inferior in any way, it just means that some things are easier for a Nagual to master and it takes more effort for a non-Nagual individual to obtain the same results. Carlos was a trisected Nagual having three individual centers of personal energy. His teacher don Juan, was a quadrisected Nagual. I am also a quadrisected Nagual having four energy centers.
Getting back to the immortal and the Naguals agreement, Carlos said that in exchange for the energy ( which can be built back up in a matter of days), the ancient immortal one bestowed unto me a gift that I would not fully realize for several years.. After Carlos shared this story with me I began to connect the dots to my own experience years before. When I voiced my thoughts to Carlos he only smiled, leaving me to fall back on my speculations. In my mind and heart I believe I met an immortal maybe 500 years old or older, and he didn’t look a day over 40! Sometime after this Carlos admitted that don Miguel was well over 800 but of course there is no way I can validate that.
I was more than curious about the nature of this bestowed gift that I had been given by don Miguel, but it would be several years before I got my first indications of this gift. I began to notice changes in my body and the way I felt energetically. I was in my mid 40s by this time, but I felt like I was in my 20’s, in fact, I felt better and stronger in my 40’s than I did my 20’s. This energetic “feeling” continues to grow and evolve as I approach my 61st birthday this year! Besides this youthful vitality I began to notice that I no longer got sick and if I did come down with something it was very short lived usually only getting a symptom or two for a few hours before it was gone. I also noticed a change in my biological repair system as I healed from injuries much faster than I should have. A cut on my hand that normally took 4 to 7 days to heal would be healed in a day or two and a cut that required stitches would close up and heal completely in just over 5 days. I also do not get infections from any type of injury.
Then I noticed something that shocked me, I seemed to be aging slower than I should be. Currently I am running about 10 to 15 years younger in appearance than my chronological age proclaims. If I were like my siblings and parents I should be entirely gray and yet I am not. The only thing I could attribute this to was my meeting years before with don Miguel in the Sonoran desert. I often wonder if these conditions are the result of freakish genetics or did don Miguel’s gift have something to do with my condition?
By this time Carlos had already left this world. Now I know what you are thinking…why would Carlos get ill and die if he had the ability to heal? The answer is he did not get ill and essentially did not die the way that we perceive death. His so called death was a cover up, and while he did in fact leave this world, it was on his own terms and he chose to “burn from within” taking with him all the energy of his physical body as he moved into the next dimension. This process is very personal and I will talk about it more in another article.
With Carlos being gone, it was up to me to find out what happened and was don Miguel responsible for my new energetic condition. Through much research and meditation using the altered states of awareness that had been taught to me over an 8 year period, I did in fact find the answers and found that it was don Miguel’s doing. What he did to me that night when he took my hand was to take 25 % of my personal life force and in exchange he blew up my personal energy field from the normal 3 foot in diameter to almost 6 feet. This can be likened to stretching out a balloon so that you can fill it with more air or in this case life force energy. Now I had the ability to store more life force than the average human and therefore have more available energy to fuel the cellular repair mechanism in my body. He also increased my personal energy vibration frequency which oddly enough slowed down my cellular metabolism while boosting my perceptions to higher energy frequencies. In short he gave me a gift that could effectively double my life expectancy while helping me attune to the world around me.
Since that time I have also learned that part of the Toltec core knowledge passed on to me from Carlos while in a “second attention” or altered state of awareness, contains instructions of how shaman like don Miguel were able to use this knowledge to achieve perfect health and virtually immortality. After this realization I began to wonder if this is something I can maintain and teach to others.
In my consciousness and enlightenment research with the Monroe Institute, I incorporated both my shamanic training and scientific training in finding ways to teach people how to manipulate these energies and use them to be more than they ever dreamed possible. It can be thought of as amalgamation of mind, body, and spirit, unifying the physical body with the higher spiritual body on an energetic level using the commonality of the mind as mediator, which happens to be a lot like magick! The most powerful tools used to accomplish this are faith, belief, intent, and brainwave synchronization and resonance with the surrounding environment. In my next article I will be releasing some of this research by introducing you to a series of very special exercises or movements that the ancient Toltec shaman developed to increase energy flow and vitality. These movements are in some ways similar to tai chi, but much more powerful and directed toward the energy body. They are known in my lineage as Magical Passes, some of which have been released years ago by Carlos, but some of the most powerful have been kept secret for certain reasons until it was time to release them. That time is upon us and I will be helping those that wish to learn these movements in the coming months and years. These magical passes will also help one align their energy bodies to the many changes taking place in our world at this very moment. For the witch, shaman, or magickal practitioner, it will help amplify and focus our magickal endeavors.
I don’t know about all of you out there, but I DO NOT want to live forever. I DO however want to make the most out of this physical incarnation and stop or reverse the aging process so that I can experience and learn from the physical world and make it an incredible adventure!
On a side note in reference to my last article about my Beltane show on the Shamans Brew Radio. There were technical difficulties at the radio station and the show was delayed, however it is available for download at iTunes under the Shamans Brew. It is the most recent and called show 193.
Until next time, I am wishing you a safe and exciting passage through all of life’s journeys.
Blessed Be, Marcus Leader
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.
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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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