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[Witch Way] Volume #3 Issue #4 -- Fall is coming!
September 13, 2010
|Hi, Happy Mabon!
This month, I find myself out of work again. Iíve known for quite a while now, that what I really want is to own my own business, and be successful at it. That is what started CyberWitchcraft in the first place.
Iíve talked with friends, about the fact that the website is a financial disaster, the Pagan Community isnít willing to financially support clergy, the way other religions do, but the one answer I keep getting from them is that the site is a success, because it is a resource that others can count on.
CyberWitchcraft may be hemorrhaging money, but it continues to grow in popularity daily. More people visit each month, than did the last month. Those looking for accurate information on Witchcraft have a place to find it.
I never expected the website to make any money, it was always a way to test ideas that I could use in other businesses. I chose a subject that I am passionate about, and started a website. It was a small step toward a long term goal. The fact that over 600 of you are getting this newsletter, and that thousands of people come to the website each month, is the proof that I can make a popular website.
Now itís time to put what Iíve learned to use in other web-based businesses.
I donít want anyone to panic, CyberWitchcraft isnít going anywhere. I just need to create some businesses that can support it. That got me to thinking about what it is Iíve been doing over the last three years or so. I started thinking about what the process is that Iím using to get from where I was, to where I want to be.
I quickly realized that it really is a form of magick. I literally cast a spell on myself, with the intent of creating my own business. This wasnít a conscious casting, and it wasnít done in a duly cast circle. But what is magick, except an idea with intent behind it?
Along the way, I have come across many opportunities that I wouldnít have otherwise. I have been offered the chance to do things Iíve always wanted to do, but never felt comfortable doing. That reminds me, I have to edit the chapter on Hathor, and get it back to my co-author, so she can send it back to the publisher.
I may not currently have any income, but I am still successful. Now itís time to turn that success to making a living.
This monthís Time of The Season is on Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox. This is the Second Harvest festival of the year. The days are noticeably shorter now, and the nights are getting colder.
Jim Trader has another fascinating article on what to be aware of in the skies, for the next month. While there isnít a lot going on, you may find what happens to be more than you want. I wish everyone a great Mabon, and that you reap the bounty of what youíve planted.
A Monthly Column For Astrological Insight
Before talking about the upcoming major transit in early October, I feel itís important to say one quick thing about the non-event that was the Cardinal T-square this past August: Iím sorry I was wrong about its effects, and for giving you, my readers bad information.
I, like many other astrologers, was expecting something big to happen here in the U.S. when the Cardinal T-Square reached its climax in mid- to late-August. I was disappointed when nothing did, in large part because I felt I had built my readers up for something that didnít come to pass.
While some astrologers predict that the t-squareís effects are building up for later (possibly the mid-term elections coming up this November), I think itís wiser to simply admit one is mistaken and move on, especially since there are other transits happening around election time that I think will have enough of an impact to be going on with.
I believe I understand why I made the mistake in prediction that I did regarding the t-squareó and am now a hopefully wiser person for itó so I wonít make that particular mistake again, but I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge my error and apologize to all of you for so clearly mis-analyzing the transit.
So, moving on...
The only major transit occurring in the mid-September to mid-October time-frame is Venus going retrograde. It will begin on October 8th when Venus is at 13 degrees Scorpio, and continue until November 17th by which point Venus will have moved out of Scorpio back to 27 degrees Libra.
Of the Planets that retrograde Venus does so the least often, and so the effect of its retrograde is often the most difficult to deal with for those who arenít anticipating it. Venus represents what we love in life and where we are comfortable, so when Venus goes retrograde the assumptions we make regarding our comforts often go right out the window.
In other words, many of us are yanked ďout of our comfort zoneĒ while the retrograde lasts, and forced to adapt to new conditions in a suddenly more hostile-seeming world. Since this retrograde is occurring in the Signs of Scorpio and Libra, itís quite likely that our partnerships and romantic and sexual relationships will be the most strongly affected.
We may experience ďreversalsĒ in those areas of our lives (losing partners, being unable to find new love interests as quickly or as easily as we normally do), or it could mean a finishing up of ďold businessĒ such as seeing old flames crop up again in our lives, whether or not the old feelings come up along with them. Issues of control or of whatís fair for ourselves and others may appear in many of our lives.
It may be important to remember while this is happening that it is not a permanent state of affairs. Many of us use our comforts as a prop to avoid dealing with emotional issues or external circumstances that cripple us. Venus going retrograde takes away that prop for a little while, and shows us where we have become lazy or developed unhealthy dependencies in our lives.
This time period of Venusí retrograde will be a good time to see where we have ďsat for too longĒ regarding our time, money and affection, and help us to stand on our own two feet and walk unassisted to those places we need to go.
Despite Venusí retrograde, the Sunís movement through Virgo and Libra during this time indicates that this is when we harvest in our lives. All of us have weeds in our metaphorical gardens. While we may see those weeds now more clearly than we do at other times this is a time to cash in on all of those things weíve been storing up for ourselves, both the edible and the indigestible.
Donít forget to enjoy those things that are working well for you this month, as well as planning how to better weed your garden when you re-plant it.
NOTE: This is not a typical ďhoroscopeĒ 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 whatís going on in the heavens affects you, contact Jim Trader.
Time Of The Season
Mabon is a relatively modern holiday with ancient roots. Non-Pagans celebrate basically the same holiday without even knowing it. Americans call it Thanksgiving. Mabon is the second Harvest Festival, and traditionally, the second harvest was celebrated by giving thanks.
It is at this time that you know how well your crops produced. At Lughnasadh, you may have a good idea of the coming harvest, but there is still time for things to change. Now that you are bringing the harvest in, you know for sure if your family will have enough to last the Winter.
This sort of celebration has been going on since the Hunters & Gatherers first settled down into an agrarian society. In ancient Greece, the fall festival of Oschophoria was held to celebrate the harvest of grapes, which in turn were made into wine.
In Bavaria, they hold Oktoberfest, which starts the last week of September. Many beer producing cities around America, as well as Germany still celebrate this festival with the consumption of beer, which is made from harvested grains.
Even the original celebration of the American Thanksgiving was on October 3rd. Thus, Mabon is a time of giving thanks to the deities who helped the grains grow through the summer. It really is a grain festival, because while various vegetables are grown and consumed, they can be picked earlier, as they ripen. Unlike grain, vegetables canít be stored for the Winter, they must be eaten before they spoil.
This is why most Mabon celebrations feature the Goddess of grain, such as Ceres, better known by Her Roman name, Demeter. Many times at Mabon ritual, you will see the story of Persephone, played out to explain the reason why the weather grows cold, and the earth becomes barren. Itís not because the trees no longer fruit, or that vegetables no longer grow, itís because of grain.
Have you ever wondered why that breakfast food you eat is called cereal? Itís because most of them are made from cereal grains, oats, wheat, even corn is more cereal than vegetable. For thousands of years, these cereal grains were the staple of life. To eat, you would take a handful of oats, toss them in a pot of water to soften them up, and mash them so they were more edible.
The problem was that the time it took for the grains to soften, often caused them to germinate. At some point, yeast got into some of these sprouting grains, and beer was invented. Today, these germinating grains are called malt, and are the main ingredient in most beer.
By the time the communal fire moved into the hearth, it was discovered that these grains would soften much faster if they were heated while they soaked. Still mashed after soaking, that handful of oats was known as gruel. It was warm, but pasty, with little taste, but it was high in nutrients.
When societies became rich enough to be able to extra cows that they could sell the milk, we added that into the mashed oats, and we call it oatmeal today. Even into the first part of the 20th century, oatmeal was the common meal of most industrialized countries. Unless you lived on a farm, you probably didnít have eggs or bacon, which wouldnít keep long. You did however have oatmeal.
Corn flakes and wheat flakes are basically the same thing. You heat the grain in water to soften it, then you mash it. It took the Kellogg Brothers to realize that people didnít want to do all that work themselves, and they made huge fortunes. How old is that box of Wheaties in the back of your cupboard? Do you ever worry about it going bad? Unless something gets into it, you probably donít have to worry. That is the value of grain. It keeps for long periods.
That was what sustained our ancestors through the Winter each year. The American Midwest may be called the Bread Basket, but it wasnít just bread they were making with all that grain. As long as there is grain to eat, people will survive through the Winter. If youíve ever travelled across the Great Plains, every farm you see, has a grain silo.
Most of the time, what is still standing is just a ruin, since farms no longer keep their grain once itís harvested. The fact that you can still see these disused silos, shows that it wasnít that long ago that each farm kept its own grain supply through the Winter. Both to feed livestock, and to feed the family.
It is this grain harvest that we celebrate at Mabon. Grain is that important. It is so important that it has its own holiday and celebrations. It is so important that Deities were charged with ensuring that it grew. Without grain, most of the world would starve in the coldest months. Because we can now produce so much grain, we can live anywhere on the planet, no matter the season.
As long as there is grain, there is life.
Mabon isnít just one of the Harvest Festivals, it is The Harvest Festival.
Let people tell you that Mabon is about the Fall Equinox. Let them tell you itís about the balance of dark and light. While that is all true, you know better.
Mabon is about the grain.
The Magickal Plan
The months seem to roll by so fast. It seems like just yesterday, I was talking about the slow part of the year, and looking forward to Spring. Now here we are at the beginning of Fall. Where does the time go? Philosophers will tell you that time flies when youíre having fun. Scientists will tell you that time is relative.
The one thing that I have learned is that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass. I can remember when 10 years was a lifetime for me, now it seems much shorter. Granted, if youíre looking at a goal ten years from now, it seems a long way off, but take my word for it, if you think you can put off working on that goal because you have plenty of time, you are sadly mistaken. Ten years will be gone before you know it!
Most people donít make long term, multi-year goals like that. We tend to think in the here and now, and less about the future. I suppose that is why many people now reach the age of retirement, and have little saved up.
One of lifeís great lessons is that of Time Management. Those who learn that lesson seem to have plenty of time to do the things they want. Most of us live day to day, hardly looking beyond the next weekend. Struggling in the daily grind at your job, or even the issues you may have at home, seems to take up what little free time we may see ourselves having.
Often we will lie awake at night, wishing we could get some sleep because we have to be up early the next morning for work, but inwardly resigned to the fact that what sleep we may get will be far too little for the night. We worry about money. We worry about love. We worry about our children. We worry about all the little fears we all have.
These are certainly not invalid fears, and they do require our attention. I have learned that the reason these thoughts keep us awake at night, is because we havenít given them the attention they require while we are awake. Once we lay down at night, our mind quiets, and all the other distractions from our day leave us. Itís this time that all the issues that were buried, come out to play.
Because we had buried the problems and worries under all the other things that happen in our daily lives, we havenít given them a thought. Now they demand our attention, and wonít give us any rest. Itís at these times we are far too busy worrying, to figure out solutions, so we spend the night thinking, or more precisely, worrying about things beyond our control.
What if, instead of letting things sneak up on you, you took a little time each day, to handle small worries before they got big? What if, instead of burying the worries under daily activities, you took a few minutes to search out and find what could become an issue later?
Even spending as little as 10 minutes a night (or morning, if that is when you have the time) in a quiet place, thinking about where you are, and where you want to be, can be extremely beneficial. It allows you to take control of your life, by actively engaging in planning what you wish to do. Instead of letting problems come to you as huge worries, you go searching for them while they are still small.
You see, itís not the size of the worry that causes us to lose sleep; itís that we canít see a way around the worry, that trapped feeling of having no way out.
If you take a little time each day to plan out what it is you want to do, say over the next ten years, and you consistently work on that plan, those worries tend not to bother you so much, because long before they can trap you, youíve already worked out a plan around them.
If the worries that you lose sleep over most are about money, start working on ideas for making more money. Youíve got ten years to pull it together. You donít have to create an entire life plan all at once. You do it a little at a time, by deciding where it is you would like to be in ten years. Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to be promoted to a specific place in your current occupation? Do you want to be retired and enjoying life?
Once you have the goal, itís now a matter of designing the plan, but youíve got ten years to get there. You donít have to have the perfect plan now. Simply start looking at ways that you could get from where you are now, to where you want to be. Come up with as many ideas as you can, no matter how silly they might be. You never know what might make your dreams come true.
Over the next ten years, you will choose a plan that seems most likely to get you where you want to be. You will work on it in your daily life, putting the things in place that you will need later, adapting it as situations change, and making course corrections along the way. You may even have to scrap one or more plans and start over because you find they just wonít work.
Thatís ok. Knowing what wonít work, is just as valuable as knowing what will work.
The important part is that you are working on your plan. It has to be a real, achievable goal. It canít be some fantasy that you are doing as a mental exercise. If itís just a fantasy, the worries will continue to rob your sleep. Whatever it is that you decide you want to do, just spend ten minutes a day on planning in your mind.
The physical adjustments in your life will happen almost by themselves, because you already know what changes to make when you get to them. Because you have spend a few minutes each night, thinking about what you want, and how to get it, when the choices come into your life that will either help you, or hinder you getting to your goal, you are going to make those choices without much thought.
You wonít need to, because youíll know what the right choice is. It wonít take long for you to be able to look back and see the changes in your life, and how far youíve come toward your goal. This only encourages you, and confirms for you that yes, you are making a change toward what you want. As you get farther along, the changes become easier because they become a matter of habit.
When you first start out, the changes you make will be small, even insignificant. Thatís ok. Over time that small change grows. If there was an asteroid out by Pluto, that was going to hit the Earth, and you nudged it by just a degree, the difference in its trajectory would be enough to cause it to miss Earth by millions of miles. What if you just tapped it lightly once a day, every day, for ten years? As long as you tapped in the same spot every day, you could actually get it to reverse its course.
Thatís all you are doing by taking a few minutes every night to plan. You are tapping lightly. If you do it consistently, over time, you will find that what would have been a huge push from your life before, is now just a shove. It may take a little effort on your part, but it would be like pulling yourself up onto a short wall, instead of scaling a building.
Your plan doesnít just have to be about money, or possessions, it can be about anything. It also doesnít have to be a ten year plan. I chose ten years as an arbitrary number because it gives you enough time to do anything you set your mind to. You could instead, work on bringing someone close to you, and set the time for five years, or one year. Itís up to you.
The most powerful magick that we work, doesnít change the world to our wishes, it changes us so that we can make the most out of who we are. The most powerful spells we cast arenít cast on others, they are cast on ourselves, because ultimately, the only person we really have power over, is ourselves.
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,
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