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.

Continue reading “Imbolc – Awakening the Spirit”

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)

Continue reading “The Four Powers of the Sphinx”

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.” 

Continue reading “Hunting for Wetiko (Cymraes’s Corner)”

Meditation: A Part of the Magickal Process

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.

Continue reading “Meditation: A Part of the Magickal Process”

Answering the Call of the God

“Thor” tapestry hanging by Polly Lind

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?

Continue reading “Answering the Call of the God”

Ode to Autumn by John Keats

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.

Continue reading “Ode to Autumn by John Keats”

Why the Autumn Equinox is not “Mabon”

It is that time of the year again that despite the ever lingering daylight savings, a definite change can be felt as the earth’s wobbling rotation pulls away from the sun here in the Southern Hemisphere.  The mornings are distinctively darker and the sun lingers longer below the horizon, and there is an ever slight chill in the air.  Yes, the time of the Autumn Equinox draws near (21st of March to be exact for this year).

As such, it appears time again to point out an erroneous association that first appeared in the 1970s and which, despite numerous attempts to rectify over the years, still perpetuates itself within modern Paganism – that being the usage of the term “Mabon” as an alleged alternative name for the Autumn Equinox.

The following is an excerpt from my own book, Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats (TDM Publishing, 2014), where once again (in what is coming to be almost an annual posting) I address is ongoing error in usage.

Continue reading “Why the Autumn Equinox is not “Mabon””

A Time of Balance – the Autumn Equinox

This Wednesday, 21 March, marks a time of equilibrium when the hours of day and light will be equal.  In the Northern Hemisphere, it will be the Spring Equinox, where the energy is manifesting before action, however here in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the time of the Autumn Equinox, the time of repose after action as we edge towards the darker months of the year.

We can take satisfaction in the work undertaken during the warmer months and reap the benefits.  Daylight saving is also about to end, and with it the realisation that Summer is well and truly over.  It is now time to make preparations for the colder Winter months, if we have not done so already.

Continue reading “A Time of Balance – the Autumn Equinox”

Trusting Spiritual Assistance

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.

Continue reading “Trusting Spiritual Assistance”

Of Equal Worth – Humility

Painting by John Weguelin of a priestess making offerings for the ka of a cat

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.

Continue reading “Of Equal Worth – Humility”