For millennia, mankind has found peace and solace in objects of significance. When cleansed and consecrated through ritual, such objects – be they crystals, amulets, herbs, or written words – become talismans. A talisman is any item imbued with a specific power by its bearer to serve a specific intention. Ancient Egyptians used massive stone tablets as healing talismans while the Greeks and Romans used lead talismans to communicate with the spirit realm.
At the commencement of this calendar year, I made a vow to myself to make more of a conscious effort to focus more on my own personal spiritual path and connection with the Divine, something that I had felt was slowly becoming more and more neglected as I had spent the last 10 or so years basically focusing on assisting others. As what usually happens prior to embarking on a new course of action, my initial approach was filled with enthusiasm and excitement … that was until the Universe seem to chuck me a curve ball and the realisations of the “real” world kicked in. Only a fortnight into this “new plan” it was clear that my desire to refocus and reconnect with the Divine needed to be achieved through alternative means.
“Whenever you have need of anything,
once in the month or better it be when the moon is full,
then you shall assemble is some secret space …”
and so goes “The Charge of the Goddess”, a piece of prose which is probably closest thing to scripture that originated out of Wicca. During this prose the Goddess seems to instruct (or guide) her followers in ways as to how she is recognised and can be worshipped. Right from the beginning, the Goddess is introduced as “the Great Mother” who has been recognised by many difficult people and cultures by an assortment of names – Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, and Brid.
Part of membership within many coven or esoteric group involves the rite whereby an oath is sworn. Sometimes, depending on the structure of the group, there are a number of oaths that are sworn as the member moves through the ranks. Regardless of the number of oaths, very rarely does one supersede any made previously – more often than not, any subsequent oaths tend to for an additional layer (or enhancement) of the initial oath.
The word oath comes from the Anglo-Saxon āð (also referred to as a “a true principle or belief, especially one of fundamental importance. An oath is also a “solemn appeal to a deity”, as well as being a “formally affirmed statement or promise accepted as an equivalent of an appeal to a deity or to a revered person or thing; affirmation”.
It is within Transcendental Magic by French occultist Eliphas Lévi (1810 – 1875) that the “Four Powers of the Sphinx” is allegedly first mentioned. Although later to become know as the “Magi’s Pyramid” (amongst other names), Lévi’s referred to these four “powers” as being “indispensible conditions” that a student of the Ars Magica must include within their study in order to attain the “Sanctum Regnum” 0r the knowledge and power. These four “powers” were inscribed upon the symbolic forms of the sphinx as being:
To know (sciere)
To will (velle)
To dare (audere)
To keep silent (tacere)
“The term Wetiko is a term found in the Native America Cree Nation which refers to an evil being or spirit which creates terror in humans through acts of terrible evil. The term is analogous to the more recognisable Windigo of the Ojibway / Chippewa Nation mythology. These are beings of destruction and chaos, believed to infect a human host and cause them to engage in the most abhorrent behaviours right up to and including cannibalism.”
(Knotmagick by Victoria (Vicky) Newton)
The reason for this introduction is because my attention was recently brought to an article on Cymraes’s Corner about such entities, parts of which follows. This article in its entirety can be found here.
” … there was no ritual, no incense billowing from the censer, no flickering candlelight, no barbarous words… none of this, but a sense of something watching, waiting… waiting for that moment to invade, infect, much as a mosquito does. A low level of intelligence, aware, but predatory. It was simply there, in the corner of my psychic eye, waiting to pounce! But was ‘it’? So I took to drawing the things I saw hovering, waiting for it’s chance to strike, and as I did so, it faded away ~ not completely, but it hid, out of sight, waiting… by the time I had finished the sketch, I believed it gone.”
The conversation of how important developing the practice (and yes, it is a “practice”) of meditation is when it comes to studying magick has come up recently. Being a long time practitioner of both, it is my opinion that the two go hand in hand together. Yet I am often surprised that this is not the general perception of all magickally orientated people. The reason for this seems to relate to how the word “meditation” is actually interpreted.
The dictionary meaning of “meditation” tends to refer to being engaged in an act of “contemplation or reflection”, as well as to “engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness”.
When looking at meditation from a magickal perspective, there is actually no evidence found within the medieval grimoires to suggest such a practice was used, save for prayer. Therefore this indicates that magick can certainly be performed without meditation. However, considering the benefits that meditation can bring to the individual alone, I am personally of the view that when the practice of meditation is included to one’s magickal practice then the latter is brought to a completely different level.
Why do we seem to reluctant to embrace the Pagan God?
Is it because of some deep rooted psychological hangover from a repressed Christian past that we desperately wish to avoid, or is it what the Sacred He could actually do to us?
Do we fear he will bring out our “uncontrollable” side?
Do we fear that he will lead us to places we are not able to properly understand or experience?
Have we truly forgotten how to interact with the Divine Masculine or are we now ashamed to embrace the testosterone fed energy in this modern age?
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’erbrimmed their clammy cells.