Belenos and Bealtaine

The end of October, that marks the gateway to summer, may have passed, however tomorrow, 7 November marks the astronomical timing of Bealtaine, when the sun moves into 15 deg Scorpio.  The festival of Bealtaine is based around an ancient Celtic festival that was associated with the sun.  It is often believed that the word “Bealtaine” means “bright fire,” however medieval Irish glossators associated it with the God, Bel, who was considered to be a version of the ancient Celtic God of fire and light, Belenos.

Belenos: the Shining One

Belenos (meaning meant “bright, brilliant” or “shining”), or variants of his name, was known throughout the Celtic lands of western Europe, such as Belenus and Bel. At least 31 inscriptions citing Belenos or Apollo Belenos (as he was sometimes known in Roman-dominated areas) have been found by archaeologists, more citations than almost any other Celtic deity. His name, nature, and function are testified to by classical commentators and the imagery of sculpture and votive offerings associated with Belenos.

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Halloween or Bealtaine – A Southern Hemispheric Dilemma

As the end of October quickly approaches, it heralds in “that time of the year” again when, despite it being the gateway to Summer here in the Southern Hemisphere where people should be heralding in the festival of life and light that is Bealtaine, the increasing commercialism of Halloween becomes more and more evident.

Every year I notice more “trick or treating” encouragements echoing what is largely perceived to be a American-styled “custom” – if only it was that well embraced. The other year I was even greeted to some local “little darlings” virtually camping out on my doorstep for me to come home from work wearing black bin liners as capes. What a total let down!!

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Power of the Spoken Word (Dr Hyder Zahed)

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” (Yehuda Berg)

Considering the “powerful force” of the words we utter, we must discipline ourselves to speak in a way that conveys respect, gentleness and humility.  One of the clearest sign of a moral life is right speech.  Perfecting our speech is one of the keystones of mature people.  Before speaking take a few moments to contemplate what you will say and how you will say it; while considering the impact they will have on the listener/s.  Be kind to all and speak words that are beacons of inspiration, enthusiasm and encouragement to all.  Kind and sweet words are always music to the ears of the listeners.

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Talismans – Objects of Power

Having a talisman imbued with your intention is yet another tool
you can use to assist you in your journey.

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.

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Greeting the Divine Spirit

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.

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Understanding the Charge of the Goddess

Gerald Gardner’s Book of Shadow

“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.

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Is Your Word Your Bond?

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”.

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Imbolc – Awakening the Spirit

Nothing is so beautiful as spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look like low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes lightning to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
George Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
The earth is in the slow process of returning back to life after the long winter’s sleep with the first tendrils cautiously making their appearance.  There is the likelihood of frosts, but despite this, early flowers are pushing their way to the surface – snowdrops, dwarf hyacinths, jonquils, early irises and even daffodils are appearing, making the statement that spring is on its way.  A fragile warming of the air can be felt as winter, usually the season of rest and withdrawal, comes to an end.  This is the time of uncertainty.  A sudden frost can kill the new plants and flowers, if they appear too early.  They also run the risk of developing rot with the last of the winter rains.
The nights are still very cold, but the daytime temperatures are slowly beginning to increase into the 20°Cs.  As the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius slowly leave the Southern skies, they are replaced by Orion and its nebulae, as well as the bright Sirius.  The Southern Cross is lying on its side between three and four o’clock in the southwest and heading down to the southern horizon, with the Pointers (Alpha and Beta Centauri) above it.

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The Four Powers of the Sphinx

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)

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Hunting for Wetiko (Cymraes’s Corner)

“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.” 

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