Imbolc: Awakening the Spirit

Imbolc is taken from the Irish-Gaelic which is translated as “in the belly” (of the mother) and falls around 8 August in the Southern Hemisphere (when the sun moves into 15 degrees Leo).  It represents the quickening of light and life and around us we begin to notice the first stirrings of spring as the first flowers begin to appear.  These seeds have lain dormant within the earth over the cold winter months now begin to stir with life. All around us there is evidence of the earth’s slow awakening to the growing power of the sun, and we may find in ourselves this awakening as we venture more and more outdoors.

Being a festival of fire, Imbolc celebrates the light of spring piercing the darkness of winter.  As new life flows through the world of nature, we celebrate the waking of the soul as our spirits begin to quicken.  Now is the time look toward the future.

In contemporary witchcraft lore, at Imbolc the Goddess awakes from her slumber in the Underground and emerges youthful, bright eyed and virginal again.  She is the Flower Maiden and while there is an air of innocence about Her, this is coupled with a degree of knowing, similar to retaining knowledge of a past life.  She is aware of Her powers of potential and is unrestrained and full of the energy of youth.  There is an air of innocent about Her, however She is not naive.  It is the young God who tends to be the naive one, as He begins to understand His sacred purpose and is initiated into the mysteries of His sex.

Imbolc is a good time to contemplate what needs to take root and grow in our life, and what to be swept away in order to make room for our new plans.  In doing this, it is a good idea to sit down and ponder on some searching questions, to get in touch with what is seeking the light of day within us and to be prepared to let go of anything outworn.  However, it is best to proceed cautiously for it is a time to design and plan, to dig foundations rather than to build.  Imbolc is the glimmering of the year’s increase, but only the first glimmering for, as in nature, the weather can still change and nip new life in the bud.

Imbolc is a good time also to cleanse ritual tools, consecrate items we have not consecrated yet, and even rearrange the altar.  Add a small vase of spring flowers or a fresh white candle to capture the essence of Imbolc.

Source: Dancing the Sacred Wheel by Frances Billinghurst (TDM Publishing)

Herodias and the Queen of Witches (Coby Michael Ward)

Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches. Charles Leland. Ilustrator unknown. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches. Charles Leland. Ilustrator unknown. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

The Witch Queen in Traditional Witchcraft

The concept of a Queen of Witches is not new to modern traditional witchcraft.  When investigating this concept from a historical perspective many common themes begin to arise, and we see the fluid stream of polytheistic syncretism.  Certain names and themes circulate around this concept, shedding light on the transformative nature of pagan deities.  They are not fixed in concrete and steel like the gods of modern society, but ever changing and growing like the roots of a tree, branching out above and below.  For me, the Queen of the Witches is the chthonic aspect of the mother goddess embodied in the fertile earth.  She draws her fertility from the dark rich soil, feeding the lifeforms of the surface.  She is one of the elder gods.  A nameless primal archetype of early humanity who has overtime assumed multiple forms, names and identities based on the people perceiving her.

Within the school of Traditional Witchcraft there are a handful of recurring deities that are linked in the historical procession of the primordial witch goddess; such recurring names as: Diana, Herodias, Habondia, Frau Holda and others help us piece together the etymology of the original goddess.  I am generally focused on those figures found within the folklore of the British Isles and Germany via the Holy Roman Empire.  Within this spectrum the earliest sources are traced back to Greece and Rome from which these themes disseminated originally.  Witchcraft scholars seem particularly interested in the goddess Diana.  Historical sources show that her veneration continued well into the Christian era.  Her origins, like many others begin in ancient Greece before making their way to the Roman pantheon.  It was a Roman custom to create composite deity names for various situations for example the Roman Juno-Lucina began as Hera-Diana in Greece.  It is here that historian Carlo Ginzburg, in his famous Ecstacies, points out that the original nomenclature was written and transcribed as Hera-Diana. The Church seeking to associate goddess worship with diabolism used this as an opportunity to distort the original theme.  Hera-Diana was transcribed as Hero-Diana to associate her with the biblical figure Herodias.  This was reinforced at the ironically named Council of Truer in 1310, which set Herodiana next to Diana to perpetuate this distortion.

Herodias, Erodiade, and Aradia

According to the research of Raven Grimassi; “the appearance of Herodias, as a biblical figure, in connection with a goddess of witchcraft is an intentional displacement of deity figures.” (Herodias in Witchcraft)  Initially it seems as though the close spelling between these two different names is what resulted in the distortion, however it played into the goal of the Church to dismiss the validity and reality of Dianic worship.  This allowed church officials to connect the pagan figure Hera-Diana with the Biblical figure Herodiana or Herodias, and the Italian translation of Erodiade into one cohesive idea.  The story of Herodias begins in the New Testament, much like the Old Testament’s Jezebel another wicked woman of the Bible.  Herodias is known for her role in having John the Baptist beheaded for criticizing her marriage.  She is depicted as one of the Bible’s many wicked women, in association with witches.

This depiction of Hera with a Hind is titled Diana of Versailles and is an example of the composite deity Hera-Diana. Louvre. Wikimedia Commons.
This depiction of Hera with a Hind is titled Diana of Versailles and is an example of the composite deity Hera-Diana. Louvre. Wikimedia Commons.

Erodiade (Herodias) remained part of Italian folklore prior to Charles Godfrey Leland and his popularization of the name Aradia.  According to folklorist Sabina Magliocco, Aradia was a supernatural figure of Italian folklore that was widely known prior to the publication of the Gospel of the Witches, which wasn’t published until 1899.  It seems that it is a common trend for the early Church to graft itself onto local folklore by creating Biblical connections with the intention of converting pagans, however in retrospect it seems that this only insured the survival of these entities by facilitating their transition into the new religious paradigm.  Papal proclamations and decisions made in councils would determine the Church’s official stance on these issues.

Diana, as the Queen of Witches

There are a handful of female deities that most fully embody the power of the mother goddess and the craft of the witch.  Diana, and her many counterparts and consorts are known for leading her followers on the winding path of spiritual discovery and personal power.  The Church also recognized this powerful embodiment in the form of Diana, attesting to her connection to the Unseen.  Their goal, after hundreds of years of polytheistic goddess veneration, was to convince people that Diana was an illusion created by the Devil to lead the unsuspecting away from God.  By introducing the concept of deception, Church officials attempt to dismiss the validity of Dianic worship.  They condemn those who believe in such illusions, however those who believe witchcraft itself is an illusion are even more deceived according to the Church.  Church doctrine at the time explicitly warns of women who follow Satan, fly at night and worship Diana as found in the Canon Episcopi.

The four main points of the Canon Episcopi are outlined in the infamous Witch hunter’s manual, the Malleus Maleficarum. The first and most important of these main points is that there is only one true God and no other should be worshipped except for him.  The second point mentions Diana specifically as the goddess of the pagans; it points out that she is actually the devil in disguise using glamour to deceive people.  The third point continues to discuss the devil’s power of illusion, by making followers think that are flying long distances, it is actually another glamour used by the Devil.  The fourth and final point again mentions Diana by name.  It states that real witches make a pact with the Devil and must obey him in word and deed.  The canon also encompasses all and every act of witchcraft which are many and diverse.  It also states that real witches are doing much more than worshipping Diana and flying at night.  It is suggested that the Canon should be extended because, “witches do much more than these women, and are of a very different kind.”  I believe this quote from the Malleus Maleficarum is an example of the distinction between pagan folk practices and actual witchcraft, which was a common nuance at the time.

Her Majesty

The image of the Queen of Witches has taken many forms over the millennia.  The power to assume these cross-cultural forms is unique to the elder gods of our nameless tradition.  Sects of night flying witches were known to ride with various ancestral goddesses.  As the goddess of life, death, and rebirth; she presides over all aspects of our existence.  She is the primordial mother of the Underworld beckoning the souls of the dead back to her embrace.  According to many traditional witches, the Queen of Elfhame or goddess of witchcraft as she is known, is a counterpart to the Master of the Wild Hunt.(Craft of the Horned Piper, 17-20)  During the winter months from Samhain to Yule the Wild Hunt or Furious Horde led by the Horned One and his Queen, are known across Europe for guiding the souls of the dead across the sky.  Both assuming different aspects during the dark and light halves of the year.

Resources:

“Herodias in Witchcraft” by Raven Grimassi

The Goddess Aradia and other subjects

Wikipedia Entry: Herodias

In Line with Spirit – Staying on Track

In a world where we have routines to get everything done, we rarely have a routine for our spiritual self.

In a world where we have routines for nearly everything – our route to work, our physical fitness regimen, and our weekday schedule – it is amazing how many people forget to create a routine for meeting their spiritual needs. We run around in an attempt to be at our many appointments on time and meet our many obligations. In our efforts to be as productive as possible, however, our spiritual needs tend to take a backseat. After all, taking care of our spiritual needs doesn’t directly pay the bills or tone our abdominal muscles.

We may even wonder who has time to meditate or write in their journal when there are more pressing matters to see to. The truth is that nurturing ourselves spiritually is what gives us the energy and grounding that we need to make sure that our lives stay on track.

How you choose to nurture yourself spiritually is a personal choice. For some people, meditating once a day may be what they need to stay centered. While spending 10 to 20 minutes with your eyes closed and your brain devoid of thought may seem like a lot of time doing nothing, this state of nothingness actually allows you to stay calm and focused so you can be as productive as possible.

Writing in your journal everyday lets you stay in touch with yourself so that you are always tuned in to your feelings. Repeating affirmations for success, happiness, and well-being on a regular basis can help you live with optimism and enthusiasm and create what you want in life.

Having a routine for nurturing your spirit that you do each day lets you feed energy to your soul and can serve you well if your life suddenly takes an unexpected turn into a difficult period. This kind of routine grounds your spirit in your body so that you stay anchored in yourself as you move through each day. Nurturing yourself spiritually allows you to not only stay on track in your life, but it allows for your life to stay on track with what your spirit wants.

Source: Daily Om

Astrology of July 2019 – Eclipse Season (Astrobutterfly)

Are you ready for July? I’m not going to lie – July 2019 is perhaps the most challenging month of the year. We have two eclipses, several tense oppositions in Cancer-Capricorn, and Mercury Retrograde conjunct Mars for two weeks! 

When astrologers say “Don’t do this now…“, “Don’t make any decision at the Eclipse“, “Don’t sign contracts when Mercury is retrograde”, “Don’t fight with your spouse when Mercury is conjunct Mars…”, etc – they are missing the point. It is exactly when we have eclipses, oppositions, and retrogrades that we DO have to do stuff. That’s the whole point of challenging aspects, to DO stuff, NOT to not do stuff. 

An eclipse, an opposition or a square is a time of action – by definition. You can wait a lifetime and chase your trine transits and you’ll notice that nothing happens anyway – because things happen when we have tense aspects, such as squares and oppositions or when eclipses hit your chart. 

A planet is more active when retrograde (because it is at its closest to the Earth) so you can’t ignore its energy even if you try. Yes, you may have to redo stuff when Mercury is retrograde. Yes, some things might get delayed. But that’s what Mercury retrograde is here for. To push us to deal with stuff we didn’t deal with when Mercury was direct. 

If you try to avoid the energy of a planet or aspect, things only get worse (not better). When we refuse to work with the energy of a planet, we either deny it or project it onto other people. And this is exactly when the planet ends up overpowering us. But when we invite it, work with it, this is when we get the best out of it. You’re better off if you swim with the current – rather than against it. 

2 July – Total Solar Eclipse in Cancer

July starts with a BANG. On 2 July 2019 we have a Solar Eclipse at 10° Cancer. This is a Total Eclipse, meaning it’s more powerful than a regular eclipse, and it is a North Node eclipse – meaning it’s about embracing the new (rather than dealing with the old).

Have a look to see if you have a personal planet or angle around 10° Cancer or 10° Capricorn. If you do, then this Eclipse will be very important for you and will bring new things into your life.

3 July – Venus enters Cancer

On 3 July 2019 Venus enters Cancer. Venus is what we value. Cancer is the sign of home, family, nurturing, comfort and security. In the coming weeks, these themes will become more important. Venus is also the planet of relationships, so Venus’ transit in Cancer is a good time to get closer to your partner and re-establish that sense of trust and intimacy.

8 July – Mercury goes Retrograde and Conjuncts Mars 

On 8 July 2019 Mars is conjunct Mercury, and then a few hours later, Mercury goes retrograde. What is interesting is that this time it is Mars applying to Mercury. Usually, Mercury is applying to Mars, because Mercury moves much faster than Mars. But because Mercury is now stationary, Mars takes him over.

If we normally think (Mercury) before we act (Mars), this time around, we will act (Mars) before we think (Mercury). And as a result of this action, we will decide to go back (Mercury goes retrograde) and make some changes. Confusing? There is much more to this story. Everything will become clear two months later, around September 3rd, when Mercury will finally apply to Mars.

9 July – Chiron goes Retrograde

On 9 July Chiron goes retrograde at 5° Aries. Chiron is where we feel broken and inadequate. Now that Chiron is in Aries, these feelings of brokenness and inadequacy are about the very foundation of who we are (Aries is the sign of identity). Basically, with Chiron in Aries, we feel that something is wrong with us.

But these feelings are a symptom of a healing crisis. Healing is about to come, but for that to happen, we have to feel the pain first. If we stuff it down, it doesn’t go away, it just “works” in the background, and becomes even more problematic. If you want to heal, there is no other way around. You have to face the pain. When Chiron goes retrograde, this search for integration moves inwards. When Chiron is direct we look for answers outside. When Chiron is retrograde, we look for answers inside. 

9 July – Sun conjunct North Node and Opposite Saturn and South Node 

On 9 July 2019 Sun is conjunct the North Node. North Node is our soul purpose, what we aim for in this lifetime. The Sun and the North Node are now in Cancer. No matter what your sign is, there is a part of you who is Cancer. There is a part of you who needs roots, who needs a place to call home, who needs to nurture and be nurtured.

However, Sun and the North Node are exactly opposite Saturn – now at 17° Capricorn, which is of course, also conjunct the South Node of the past (the North Node and the South Node are always opposite each other).

The pull to stay where we are is stronger than ever. Saturn is a very stable, solid, material planet. If you have a bad habit, something you want to get rid of, don’t fight it. Make friends with it. Thank it for what it has given you. And then let it go by itself.  

11 July – Mars square Uranus

On 11 July 2019 Mars (at 6° Leo) is square Uranus (at 6° Taurus). Mars-Uranus squares are very unpredictable. Mars is the planet of action, and Uranus is the planet of change and unpredictability. With Uranus, you never know what you’re going to get.

Mars square Uranus means that our actions (or other people’s actions) will take us by surprise. Mars and Uranus are in fixed signs, so we will resist change until the very last minute. Until we will eventually blow off, just like a volcano. Because Uranus aspects are almost impossible to predict – or to prevent – the best course of action is to reflect AFTER the event has happened.

At some level – whether you were aware of it or not – you were not happy with that specific situation. Something had to happen. What needs to change – about yourself, or about your life, so you can live more authentically? 

14 July – Sun opposite Pluto 

On 14 July 2019 Sun in Cancer is opposite Pluto, now at 21° Capricorn. The Sun is our identity, our center of gravity, it’s who we are. Pluto is the planet of power and the insurmountable forces of nature. Tense Sun-Pluto aspects always bring power struggles and ego wars. There is something you want to prove – to the world, or to yourself, and you will not take no for an answer.

Sun opposite Pluto ultimately brings the opportunity to expand your identity. You are much more than you think you are.  

16 July – Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn

On 16 July 2019 we have the second eclipse of the month. This time we have a South Node Lunar Eclipse at 16° Capricorn. If North Node Eclipses are about embracing the new, South Node Eclipses are about releasing the old. “Releasing” doesn’t mean we have to get rid of something. Perhaps you have a hidden talent, but you’re not aware of it. A South Node Eclipse will bring it to the surface. ‘Releasing’ means that something is now ripe. All our work has bear fruits and now we have the ‘outcome’. 

That’s why South Node Eclipses are associated with karma. Indeed, what goes around, comes around, and a South Node Eclipse is just that – a time of adjustment and reconciliation. 

19 July – Mercury retrograde re-enters Cancer

Mercury Retrograde is about RE. Re-doing, re-searching, re-viewing, re-examining, re-inventing, re-thinking, re-scheduling, anything that starts with RE. RE means you need to pay closer attention to something. When Mercury retrograde changes signs, its modus operandi changes. The “look at me” Leo vibe changes. Mercury in Cancer is not anymore about getting validation from others, but about coming to terms with its own identity. Mercury retrograde in Cancer is an invitation to retreat into your shell and look for answers within. 

21 July – Venus opposite Pluto

On 21 July 2019 Venus (at 21° Cancer) is opposite Pluto (at 21° Capricorn). This is a “femme fatale” aspect. Cancer and Capricorn are feminine sings. Venus is the planet of love and values. Pluto is the planet of power.

When Venus is opposite Pluto we can completely lose our head. Venus follows her heart, not her head. But Pluto says “I don’t care what you want, there is a larger perspective and the world will not change to accommodate your wishes and desires”.

Venus opposite Pluto will show the tension between what we want and what is possible. You can either accept that you can’t have everything you want, or you can choose to fight even more for what you want. 

21 July – Mercury conjunct Sun

Mercury is retrograde and is conjunct the Sun. This means that we are about to begin one of the three yearly Mercury cycles. The Sun-Mercury conjunction takes place at 28° Cancer – so if you have a planet or an angle around there, make sure you take this opportunity to start something new. You don’t have any planets there? Then find the house in your natal chart where the transit takes place. 

29 July – Sun square Uranus 

Sun (at 6° Leo) is square Uranus (at 6° Taurus) on 29 July 2019. Sun is the planet of identity and Uranus is the planet of sudden change. When our lives turn upside down, the last thing to change is OURSELVES.

To read this article in its entirety, visit Astrobutterfly.

Welcoming Back the Child of Promise

As the Wheel of the Year turns, we find ourselves now at the Winter Solstice.  The sun is at its northern most point during its yearly migration across the sky which means that whilst the Northern Hemisphere is basking in its warmth, for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the warming rays are a distant memory.  

It is with this longing that we create our rituals that focus around the return of the Child of Promise, the Invincible Sun, or as it was known to the Romans, the Sol Invicus, the Unconquerable Sun.

The Winter Solstice is also the time of the never-ending battle between the Holly King and his twin, the Oak King.  Twice a year (usually at the solstices) they meet and battle for the hand of the Goddess. 

At the time of the Summer Solstice, Oak King is at the height of his strength, while the Holly King is at his weakest.  However, the Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox, the tables finally turn in the Holly King’s favour for at the Winter Solstice, he vanquishes the Oak King. Robert Graves, in his poetic work The White Goddess, identified a number of paired hero-figures which he believes are variants of this myth, including Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Gronw Pebr; Gwyn and Gwythr; Lugh and Balor; Balan and Balin; Gawain and the Green Knight; the robin and the wren; and even Jesus and John the Baptist.

The Goddess reminds us not to take things for granted for the worse of the Winter storms are yet to come as the Night Hag, the Bone Mother of Winter still stalks the land.

Within the darkness, we ask ourselves:
“To die and be reborn, the Wheel is turning,
What must we lose to the night?”

We release our fears and inhibitations in order to expose that fragile light deep within our selves that has been stiffled or hidden.  And as we light our candles to honour the returning light that the Child of Promise will bring, we also encourge this light to shine forth.

Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere

The timing of the winter solstice is marked when the sun reaches its furthest north position in the sky and starts to move back towards the south.  As it does, it marks one of the main turning points in the year, the others being the equinoxes as well as the summer solstice (that occurs in December).  The timing for the winter solstice this year will fall on Saturday, 22 June at 1:24 am (Adelaide time).  From this moment onwards, days start becoming longer and night times shorter.  however with the worse of the winter weather yet to arrive, this thought is not often the first that comes to mind.

In ancient Europe the winter solstice (the timing of which in the Northern Hemisphere takes place in December) was seen as a time of celebration.  The Romans had a week-long celebration called Saturnalia during which all wars had to stop and courts did not try criminals.  Later this festival became Dies Natalis of Sol Invicti or the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun celebrated on 25 December each year.

Within modern Paganism practices, the winter solstice is the time that marks the rebirth of the sun/son, the divine Child of the Goddess who emerges from her dark womb. 

The following “Solstice Prayer” by Thorn Coyle reflects the anticipation of waiting for the first rays of the sun to appear over the horizon:

We wait in the dark for the light to appear,
Mother, give birth to our brother the Sun.
We wait in the dark for the light to appear,
Mother, give birth to our brother the Sun!
We wait. We watch.
Out of the cold comes the promise of newness.
We wait. We watch.
Out of the cold comes the promise of day!

The Child of Promise is the new sun, which is small and weak at this time of the year, but will grow stronger as the sacred Wheel of the Year turns.  As such, the Winter Solstice is a time for celebrating new beginnings and to focus on what you wish to bring into your life.

A Candle for our Ancestors at Samhain

As the sun moves north of the equator on its way up to the Tropic of Cancer, the days continue to grow shorter and the nights longer.  This is the time of the An Ghrian Mór or “small sun” to the ancient Celts, that marks the commencement of the dark half of the year.  Now is the festival of Samhain for those of us south of the equator.

The word “Samhain” is said to come from the Scots Gaelic samhainn and the Irish Gaelic samain or samfuin, both meaning “summer’s end” (at least from an etymological perspective) with sam meaning “summer” and fuin meaning “sunset” or “end”.  Within the Irish medieval myth mentioned earlier, Tochmarc Emire, Samhain is the first of the four quarter days mentioned by Emer to the Ulster hero Cu Chulainn: “Samhain, when the summer goes to its rest, ” records Ronald Hutton in his book, Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain.

In Ireland and Scotland, a festival referred to as Feile na Marbh (the Festival of the Dead) was believed to have taken place; or in modern language, Oíche Shamhna (Irish) and Scots Gaelic, Oidhche Shamhna where the custom was (and in some places today still is) to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night.

Originally, the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”, or a single candle was left lit in the window to help guide the spirits of ancestors home.  Ancestors can fall into three categories – blood relatives, lineage (spiritual or otherwise), and those who are not related to us but who have inspired/enabled us to make life changing decisions (often for the better).

Samhain is a time of introspection. It is a time to heal the source of our deepest wounds, and those we have inflicted upon others around us. It is a time when we can learn to see things more clearly. We use this time to remove all falsehoods that we have built up throughout the year. We also can use this time of the year to remove those aspects of our life, which we have grown out of or no longer need.

Entering the Time of Transformation at Samhain

The sacred Wheel of the Year has turned and here south of the equator we find ourselves at Samhain and awaiting the veils between the world of the living and the realm of the dead to open before us.

At this rather sombre time of the year, we remember those who have left this world as the thinning of the veil makes it easier for us to contact our ancestors, as well as other spirits.  Ancestors need not only be those of our blood line, those people who we have known in this life – they can also anyone who has helped shaped us into the people we are today, who have inspired us to follow a path closer to the calling of our own True Will, in order to reach our highest ideals. 

During the stillness of Samhain night, light a candle and give thanks to those who have gone before you, regardless of your relationship with or memory of them.  

As the ecstatic Lord of the Wine makes his descent in to the Underworld where he will take up the mantle of the Dread Lord of Shadows, the comforter of souls, the Goddess too transforms into a slightly all of aspect that refuses to be confirmed to the typical “Maiden Mother Crone” aspect.  This is the time of the Dark Goddess, the shape shifter as she slips between the worlds, the unpredictable one who merges in and out the shadows, as well as merging in and out of the modern stereotypes of the Goddess – sometimes she is depicted as an old Crone, other times she is the Maiden, and yet she can also appear as the terrifying Mother who devours her children.  It is only through this “devouring”, that we fully understand the Mysteries which surround us.

The Underworld into which the God has entered is the place of initiation where he must pass through in order to be reborn at the Winter Solstice.  Yet, until he is joined with his initiator, the Goddess who is the great teacher of all life’s mysteries, he rules alone for the Goddess still has her own fires to light and cauldron to stir in our world before she departs to join her beloved.  

Samhain is a time for introspection, as we too draw our energy within and prepare for the colder Winter months. And as we do, it will be wise to remember what happened to Gwion Bach, in the Welsh myth of Taliesin the Bard, should you happen to come across an old woman (Ceridwen) asking you to stir a cauldron in which a sacred brew is being prepared.

Living in a World Without Magic (Amy Hoffman)

When the world lost its magic and became too cold and serious.

As the energy of the April full moon begins to wane, I begin to turn my attention to the next intake of The Wytch’s Circle that will commence on Thursday, 23 May 2019. Unlike previous years the notes for this intake of students will come in the format of a 158 paged book of the same name. Somewhere along the line I came across the following essay, “Living in a World without Magic” by Amy Hoffman. Instead, it can appear that as we grow older, the “magick” of our world tends to diminish. Things that we once stood in awe as a child no longer hold such wonder and fascination as our conscious mind and life’s reality explains things away …. or maybe not.

I, for one, believe in magick, “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will” as magician Aleister Crowley described it. As an adult, I still find awe and wonder in the world around me, believe in the realms that exist alongside our physical reality, and have even experienced the power of the mighty gods that my distant ancestors revered.

But I also agree with Amy, that somewhere along the road that we call life, we, as a human race, have let the magic die. And in doing so, we have failed. So, I will let Amy take it from here.


“We failed ourselves, and we failed future generations. We made babies grow up too fast and become mini adults because there was nothing left to keep them young. Now we live in a world that is cold and dark and lacking in the magic that once upon a time kept us young and happy.

“Look to the past. Not really the recent past, further back than that, before your grandmothers and into a darker age of time where mobile telephones were not even a thought. Heck, telephones were not even a thought yet. Yes, they were simpler times, but they were times when people still believed. Believed in what? Everything. And it depended on where in the world you were as to what you believed in.

Think about it. Think how many different gods and goddesses different cultures have believed in throughout the years. And how about all the tall tales, and folklore and myths and legends that were passed down through generations and used to teach children lessons, and to explain how things worked in simple ways that children understood.

“Children could laugh and skip through life, believing that elves came out at night to cobble their shoes, instead of facing the harsh reality that the poor cobbler worked until his hands bled to make a pathetic amount of money to keep from starving.

“Today’s children get the truth. The cold, hard, unloving truth. There is no fairies left in the world to believe in, except maybe the Tooth Fairy, who let me tell you, inflation has left me a little peeved at her these days.

“But in all seriousness, when kids want to know what or why something is how it is now, we do not give them a beautifully crafted tale of mystery and wonder that leaves their little eyes glimmering with hope and intrigue and their little hearts pounding with excitement.

“We hand them a computer and show them a YouTube video. Here you go kid, you wanted to know why there are rainbows? Watch this, it will tell you exactly how the light refracts and shines through the raindrops and makes the rainbow. What’s wrong? You were hoping for leprechauns and pots of gold? Not in this world.

“And so there you have it. Everyone asks what’s wrong with today’s youth. There it is. The magic is gone. We stopped letting them believe in it while we rushed around in our busy, mundane lives and we stopped having time for fairies and gnomes.

“We stopped telling these tales and myths to them and they stopped caring. We showed them a world that could be explained by science and their tender little hearts grew cold. The twinkle in their eyes dimmed and they started growing up too fast. Sure, we’ve kept the basics, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and maybe a few other big wigs were spared, but the rest we forgot.

“We stopped telling them to gaze up into the stars on a clear night and look for the man in the moon, or in the case of my childhood, my Japanese grandmother showed me the rabbit with his wooden mallet, pounding the rice into mochi.

“And by god I believed it. I would look up at that big glowing orb and smile when I could make out the shape of the rabbit. We stopped explaining rainbows with leprechauns and we stopped telling them that gremlins and fairies stole missing items.

“We failed them and then we started to wonder why they had no imagination and why they needed an electronic device to entertain them instead of their own minds. The answer was because of us. Because we stopped giving them things to believe in and to imagine.

“I know that they do grow up. It happens to the best of us sadly. But the magic doesn’t need to die, we can take five minutes and set down our phones and tell them stories about fairies and trolls. We can teach them silly little habits, like leaving an offering in a ring of toadstools for the fairies.

“Why? Because it gets them outside, it gets them to observe nature and see the beauty of the world around them. It gives you an opportunity to explain some heavy stuff or really confusing stuff to them without either confusing them further, or giving them information that their little minds shouldn’t really have to process. Bring back the myths, and the legends, bring back the fables.

“Let them live in their imagined worlds a little longer before they have to face the cold world that we have to brave. Let them battle some dragons and evil spirits and hope that the elves bring back their missing socks for just a little longer, and maybe, just maybe you will find that your world feels just a little more magical too. “

Source:
“Living in a World without Magic” by Amy Hoffman

Full Moon 19 April 2019 – Pride Comes Before a Fall

The full moon on Friday, 19 April 2019 at 29° Libra is opposite Uranus. This means your need for change, excitement or freedom could make you restless and impulsive. Unexpected events and unpredictable behavior could add much tension to close relationships.

A full moon occurs when the sun is opposite the moon. This highlights opposing forces or polarities in your life such as your work versus home, or what you need versus what you want. Inner tension and external pressures can lead to personal conflict and crises that drain your energy. Your home, family and intimate relationships comes into sharper focus following a full moon.

The lunar qualities of emotions and instincts reach their peak at a full moon. Use you increased emotional strength and intuition to overcome any relationship challenges. Subconscious awareness allows for an impartial and balanced look at your personal relationships. You will clearly see any relationship dynamics or negative feelings causing disharmony.

The strongest influence on a full moon is always sun opposite moon which brings relationship into focus. The next strongest influence on this upcoming full moon is Uranus. Sun conjunct Uranus puts the focus on your need for change, excitement and independence. It brings excitement, unexpected change and freedom. You should feel a strong urge to break free from routine, doing something totally different from your normal activities. But with Moon opposite Uranus, unexpected changes and upsetting disruptions could bring restlessness and nervous tension.

Flexible and open-mindedness will increase the likelihood of more pleasant surprises and thrilling experiences. But if this impulsive energy affects your ego, you could take unnecessary risks or rebel against authority. Aggressive reaction and conflict may follow, with danger to yourself and your reputation.

Moon opposite Uranus can cause emotional upsets and relationship turmoil. Impulsive reactions and emotionally based decisions could turn a minor drama into total chaos. So take extra care when making important decisions, especially about relationships.

A strong need for independence can also be a strongly disruptive force. Unexpected events, mood swings or emotional detachment can put a lot of strain on your home and family as well as intimate relationships.

The full moon quincunx Venus increases your need for love and affection but also increases relationship tension, especially involving women. Tension rises because of an imbalance involving emotional support and love. The amount of loved received is not the same as the amount given.

Seeking satisfaction elsewhere would involve secrecy and the risk of being caught. Emotional comfort may even be sought in sweet food or drugs. Even if you don’t have any problems with others, you could still experience an internal imbalance involving self-love and self-image.

Karmic imbalances may be related to a family member, possibly your mother. Addressing unresolved issues from this relationship is the key to resolving other challenging imbalances in your life. An interfering or overly possessive mother is one challenge you may have to face. Infidelity, addiction or health issues are other possible sources of relationship tension that you may need to deal with.

Asteroid Hybris conjunct the full moon warns against foolish pride, overconfidence and arrogance. Keep this in mind if your ego begins to get carried away by Uranus excitement and impulsiveness. “Pride comes before a fall.”

The April 2019 full moon also highlights relationship imbalances involving emotional support and love. Asteroid Hybris conjunct the full moon calls for compassion and humility to replace overconfidence and arrogance.

A full moon has a relationship to the previous new moon. The goals you made during the new moon on 5 April can now be fine-tuned or completed, it is harvest time. You can make emotional adjustments in response to those new goals. The April full moon lasts for two weeks up to the new moon on 4 May 2019.

Source:
Astrology King