In a world filled with toxins, there is something reassuring about lighting a handrolled candle made from a sheet of natural beeswax as opposed to a candle made from paraffin, a petroleum byproduct.
Beeswax is an ingredient in ointments and natural body products, and it can also be crafted into poppets, talismans and also magical seals.
When ancient tablets and medieval grimoires speak of “wax”, they are almost always referring to beeswax. Petroleum-based wax had not yet been manufactured, and vegetable waxes that were available were inferior to work with. For candle making, it was often animal tallow that was used as beeswax was prized for being rare and hard to obtain. It has only been though the improvement in apiary technology over the last two centuries that has made beeswax more readily available. Yet despite this, beeswax is still a comparatively precious ingredient for ritual items.
When we connect to higher energies for help, it is much like a phone connection which needs to be closed at the end.
We may have become accustomed to asking for help from the unseen world whether from angels, guides, or ancestral spirits but sometimes we may forget to close our connection afterwards with a thank you. When we connect to these energies for assistance, it is much like a phone connection. Forgetting to close the conversation with a proper goodbye is like not hanging up. While that line is still connected, others can have trouble getting through, while in the meantime, batteries are being drained. Saying “thank you” is a way of releasing our concerns into trusted hands and getting out of the way so that the Universe’s divine order can work on our behalf.
Central to many practices of contemporary Wytchcraft is the liturgy written by the late Doreen Valiente known as the “Charge of the Goddess”. Within poetic prose the Goddess, advises her followers:
“Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you ….”
which ties in very nicely with the following message received from Daily Om about humility.
Within contemporary Wytchcraft, there is the concept of acting with respect to one’s “Highest Ideal” – as is stated within the “Charge of the Goddess” where the Moon Goddess speaks:
“Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside.”
One’s “Highest Ideal” can be likened to one’s “True Will” as found within the Thelemetic magickal tradition, where an individual, a follower of that path acts in accordance with their Higher Self, one’s Holy Guardian Angel.
Within the more traditional branches of contemporary Wytchcraft, certain passwords are provided – those being “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” and prior to initiation into the Priesthood, the Dedicate is expected to have meditated upon these passwords to understand their “true” or “deeper” meaning. Likewise, a novice/neophyte seeking entry into the Temple of the Dark Moon’s Outer or even the Inner Court is expected to fully understand, or at least given due consideration, to the words of the Goddess and endeavour to “strive ever towards their highest ideal” for this implies that as the novice/neophyte grows within the Craft, their horizons, personal limitations and preconceptions will continuously expand and mature.
Being a avid reader, it is not unusual for me to have not only a number of books on the go at any one time, but also books on various subjects, especially the numerous techniques and/or magickal practices. One book that I read a number of years ago was “Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister’s Thelemic Magick” by Rodney Orpheus. A strange choice for someone proclaiming to follow contemporary Wytchcraft some may say, however within it, I came across a passage which, while I have adapted it to have a more Craft focus in the posting below, even in its original format within Orpheus’s book, it provides much food for thought regardless of what spiritual path you may follow …
“One of the keys to Wicca is personal development. This means you have to do the work yourself. Simply reading books and/or web sites is not good enough. While this may increase your theoretical knowledge (or then again may totally confuse you further), unless you do it, you are wasting your time. Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding.”
Following on from the Full Moon lunar eclipse that was witnessed at the end of January, this coming week, we will experience a partial solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, obscuring view of the sun from our vantage point here on earth. With this event being “partial” eclipse, this means that the sun will only be obscured partially.
Although this eclipse probably will not be able to be visible from Adelaide (we will have to wait until July before we can witness a partial solar eclipse), it will be visible in southern South America, in particular Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and even in Antarctica. This does not mean however that its energies will not effect us, because they will, regardless of whether we can witness the event or not.
So what does this partial solar eclipse mean energetic wise?
One of the aspects of Contemporary Wytchcraft is the alignment with the changing seasons. This is done through the observance of the eight seasonal festivals, sabbats, that mark the turning of the year, often called the “Wheel of the Year“. Within modern Paganism there are traditionally eight sabbats – being the summer and winter solstices, the autumn and spring equinoxes, as well as four “fire” festivals. Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh.
The idea of this eight-fold Wheel of the Year was created in the 1950s by the founders of what has become two of the more popular modern Pagan traditions, Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern witchcraft (often referred to a Gardnerian Witchcraft or Wicca), and Ross Nichols, the founder of modern Druiry, and in particular The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids.
As the seasonal Wheel of the Year turns, for those of us residing south of the equator, the festival of Lughnasadhis almost upon us. Taken from a Celtic word thought to mean “the commemoration of Lugh”, the Irish God associated with the sun and agriculture, the festival of Lughnasadh marked the funeral games that Lugh held in honour of his foster mother, Tailte, who died while clearing the Forest of Breg and making it a plain for cultivation. The modern day Telltown (Tailtean) in County Meath, Eire, is believed to have been named after Tailte.
Being the first of three harvest festivals, Lughnasadh is considered to be the festival of first fruits, where a blessing of the crop would take place as now was the time that apples were beginning to ripen on the trees, the summer vegetables being picked from the gardens, and the corn waiting to be harvested. The first harvests of grain, wheat and barley are also harvested around this time of the year (save for here in South Australia where such grain harvests often take place ain December, round mid summer). Continue reading “Lughnasagh – The Festival of the First Harvest”→
A recent discussion raised a comment regarding the connection between the magickal arts and the practice of magick, or more appropriately was there any need for meditation within the magickal arts.
Learning the discipline of meditation is all about control over the mind … well it is for me anyhow. It is about turning away from the noisy confusion of the projected external world and turning inward in order to gain clarity, peace of mind and even connection with the higher forces, ie the Gods. When we are able to establish this place of inner calm, we become more alert, aware and focused in what we are doing.
Yemoja/Yemaya is considered to be the mother of all orishas found within the Yoruba religion of western Africa, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. Here she is also the patron deity of the Ogun River and is worshipped at various waterways including streams, creeks, and springs.
Her name is contraction of the Yoruba words Yeye (meaning “mother”); ọmọ (“child”), and ẹja (“fish”). Together her name is roughly translated as meaning “Mother whose children are like fish, which reflects the vastness of her motherhood, her fecundity, and her reign over all living things. Yemaya governs everything pertaining women; childbirth, conception, parenting, child safety, love, and healing. She also oversees deep secrets, ancient wisdom, the moon, sea shells, and the collective unconscious.