The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Have a Happy Samhain ~ Halloween

Happy Samhain eve my little tricks and treats!!

ooooh, this is the night we've all been waiting for!!  What are you going to dress up as? Me? Well .  .  .  I've given it a lot of thought, but I always go as a witch. It's just me, you know?  So, you'll understand with the festivities and all that tonight's blog will be short and very sweet.

I plan on spending today decorating, just last minute touches and tweaks. Making sure the little graveyard out front by my cauldron is properly lit, the altar set and the bags of candy counted and placed by the front door.  I'll greet my little ghouls and monsters tonight in my garden, with rubber snakes & rats and candy in hand.

There's tons of great documentaries on the history of Halloween on all the cable channels, and lots of scary movies, shows on ghost hunting, and a great old movie starring Vincent Price is on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) at 1:30 pm EST "Tower of London"  this afternoon Sunday Oct 31)

For dinner on this night I always prepare little appetizers and finger foods. I'll make a cider punch and its a party. If its a year where I don't invite anyone, we party with the spirits, for this is really their night. It's been a busy season, so I hope the spirits aren't too rowdy tonight!

Whatever you do today and tonight, I wish you bats, cobwebs and candy. Candy, candy. candy!! 

Have a safe and happy Samhain Eve, Bright Blessings to all of you





© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com 


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What you send out, returns three fold . . . or does it?

 Good evening all,

Let's discuss for a bit the law of three.  All who start walking this path soon hear of a law, or rule. the law of three, also known as the three-fold law.  'What you send out, returns three-fold to the sender' , so in other words careful what you do, because it will return even more intensely to you.

Like much in the world of Wicca, where this rule  is a very strong one, the origins of this belief is shrouded in legend and mystery. There are many schools of thought as to where this idea of karmic retribution returning to the magician  first began.

Karmic return has been a concept for centuries in many cultures. Yet, as we can observe, it doesn't always work as promised. If the bad things people did to others always came back with three times the severity in consequences, well we wouldn't need police, courts or prisons.

There is a phrase in Gerald Gardner's fictional  High Magic's Aid published in 1949 where it is believed by some scholars this concept was first introduced by Gardner and would be adopted as a key concept in his new religion of Wicca:

"Thou hast obeyed the Law. but mark well, when thou receivest good, so equally art bound to return good threefold.'

  Yet there was controversey surrounding even the founding father of Wicca and his sources, as his high priestess Doreen Valiente was quoted as saying in regards to Gardner's three fold law " I think old Gerald cooked it up in one of his rituals and people took it terribly literally." - Doreen Valiente

Let's not quibble over origin as that's simply a waste of time, but let's discuss the practicality of this law. First, it's not a law, at least not by our understanding of physics.  It's a 'law' that gravity works. Stand upright, with an apple in one hand. Each and every time you open your hand the apple you hold will drop. This is a law of physics. The concept of what you do returning to you three fold is not a law, a law that we can depend on every time. It is instead a warning that what you do will return to you, and as a warning to new magickal practitioners who first experience the power and ability when wielding magick, to take it seriously and not lightly or ever to harm others. 

Now, I have seen this concept at work. I have found that the 'times three' whammy is only in reference to magick cast in a circle with magickal intent and focus. This is clear in most writings on this subject, yet many people seem to interpret this as anything they do will return three times! Wow, that's a little extreme! It's an awesome idea when things are going great and you're happy, loving life and everyone in it.(hear birds singing)

Then there's Wednesday for example.    Half way through the week and you dread driving through that traffic yet again and your week seems it will never end. Maybe you were a bit short with that lady who cut you off, and really isn't that gesture bit childish? Well, it might be a bit harsh for you to receive karmic feedback of a automobile issue three times as severe? That could be a bit out of balance. I find energy is returned with equal strength. What you send out, comes back. Flip someone off in traffic and most likely you will deal with the sting of someone's tongue that day or shortly thereafter, or receive your own gesture of affection from a fellow road traveler.

Now, I'd like to look at this topic a bit more seriously. In reference to magick done in a circle with magickal intent, I do believe the energy is returned magnified. I also tend towards some schools of thought that what is being effected are our three worlds, our physical, mental/psychic and spiritual selves.  As strongly as I lecture against ever doing anything regarding another magickally without their express knowledge and permission, there are those foolish enough to disregard the warnings and play with it anyways. I have heard the stories from people who stop by and visit, and I have seen people who have deliberetly attempted to harm another with their magick.

  Now, mind you, I consider it harming another if you put a love spell on someone without their knowledge or permission.  A binding spell on any other human being or spirit is also taboo.  Yes, it can be done. But the effect is worked on the practitioner, not the intended, and I've never seen it come out good. Ever.  I've said it before and the same principle applies here, we work our magick from within. 

But for those foolish and reckless, most of the times, the practitioner  loses the ability to cast any effective magick. Almost as if there were a cosmic divine plug that gets pulled.  I have over the years, unfortunately witnessed a couple of individuals who had attempted, it was revealed at a later time, to control others with their magick, and to hold power over them. This is considered direct harm. Both of these individuals developed severe psychological disorders, but I caution against assuming they did not have a latent mental illness before developing an interest in the magickal world.

Anyone who, in anyway, wishes to control, impress or have power over others, with their magick, needs to know that the magickal world does have rules, although I fear us mere mortals only understand but a few of them. Perhaps the rules are specific and as individual as each of us. I only know what I've seen and I know karmic return exists.  But I don't fear karma. It makes me feel good to do good things, to be nice to people and try to understand others frustrations when directed at me.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not Glinda, the 'good witch of the North' hummmph, I could tell you stories about goody Glinda,  she has her moments, let me tell you!   Well I have my good days and like everyone else I have my not so good days. I joke, when people ask me "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" and say "It depends on the day. Cut me off in traffic and we'll see!"  On a regular basis though, everyday I am aware of my behavior, temperament and how I come across to others. I try to moderate me, so I don't affect others adversely.  I also try to learn from each experience I have.

Just the other day, I was driving and as I came to an intersection I slowed and I saw a man out walking along at a good pace and he walked right off the curb, and continued into the intersection in the crosswalk. I slowed to allow him to pass and he stopped and got a bit testy and growled 'go, go, go, you've got the light grumble, grumble, growl', with more anger than he probably realized.   I continued on my way, and checked in with myself if I had that bit of karma coming. I couldn't remember anything specific, so I thought maybe there was a bit of balancing needed, and if so o.k.,  that wasn't so bad. 

Then I thought about the man.  I have no idea what was going on in his world and he could have had many reasons for having a bad day. If anything,, he's probably feeling bad growling at a complete stranger who was just trying not to run him over.  So my lesson, not to take it personally and send loving energies out to the grumpy man, because I don't believe you can have too many loving energies surrounding you.

There's little room for victims on this path. Oh sure there are those who want to blame others for their difficulties even in the magickal world. But the truth is, we craft our reality every moment of every day. We really can blame no one else, but you can take the credit for crafting a life that brings you happiness and joy. If your life does not make you happy, only you can re-create your world. Send out what you will, all the while knowing it will return to you.. 





© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Magickal Moment

Greetings my Halloween Hobbits! 

Do you have magickal moments? I bet you do. You just need to look for them. I ask at the beginning of every class for students to share a 'magickal moment' from the past week.  Initially new students don't have ones to share until they have been in class for a week or so and start to look for the magickal moments.  I know, the real world doesn't seem very magickal at times. But it's the only world we have  and there is magick to be had in the most unexpected, fabulous places. I promise.  Here let me show you.

These are some of the magickal moments I've experienced lately.  About two weeks ago there was a rainbow over Manchester and the colors were so vivid and complete. There was no faded edges often seen in other rainbows.  I watched it as I drove home,  then had the opportunity to get out of my car in my driveway and just look up. One of the greatest works of art I'd ever seen, by one of the greatest masters. It was also special because I was able to share it with a couple of friends, gotta love cell phones!  No, I didn't take a picture, because rainbows seldom ever look as spectacular in photos. Maybe if you're a professional photographer, but I prefer my rainbows real and by looking and absorbing, I'll be able to enjoy the memory for a long time.

That was a magickal moment for me  I'm fond of calling a friend or two when there's an amazing full moon, or spectacular sunset. It seems more special to share it with someone, when these experiences are too beautiful to just enjoy yourself.

Tonight I had another magickal moment. I taught a class on the History of Halloween and it was wonderful discussing the world of the witch with a group of interested, curious students, many of whom were new at discovering this world. I love the energy of a student who has recently discovered this path and is opening more and more to the possibilities it holds. It's exciting and re-affirming for me as I remember when I was first learning and exploring and discovering magickal moments every day. That magickal memory has never faded. I hope it never does. 

 Look for the magickal moments in your day. Perhaps its the voice of someone dear,  a symbol that has special meaning appearing to you,  an unexpected moment of perfect synchronicity. Magickal moments can happen spontaneously and you can manufacture them. As long as they touch your life in a magickal way, that's all that matters.

What do I mean by manufacturing a magickal moment? For instance, this past year I wanted to have a special birthday celebration and so I designed the day and the celebration with a few close friends and made an incredible magickal moment out of the occasion with memories that will last forever

Look for the magickal moments in your life this week, this month. Don't push them aside as imagination, coincidence or happenstance.  Stop, just a moment, notice the magick in the moment and allow it to color your day.  The witch looks for the magick in everything, and you know what? We find it more often than not.


© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Which witch is which? Explaining the differences between pagans and witches and Wiccans oh my!

Good evening my friend,

Tonight I want to answer a question I'm asked on a regular basis. What is the difference between all the different labels one can wear, when one doesn't follow a mainstream Western religious tradition, such as the Jewish faith or a Christian belief system. The following is my understanding of the following terms:


Pagan - from the Latin Paganus meaning country dweller.  Way back when, the good ol' days when Rome ruled the world, it was as cosmopolitan and modern a city as our Los Angeles or New York City today, and the term, Pagan,  was used to refer to those who chose to live in the countryside. Those who continued living and worshiping the old ways, the old gods. A derogatory term inferring those who lived in the country were old fashioned and out of touch with modern ways and beliefs. Much as we might feel about those who live without indoor plumbing!

I mean come on, some modern invention and concepts are just all around good! I  appreciate the old ways, in many ways, hey I burn a Yule log every year!, but I'm all about microwave ovens, dishwashers and, yes I'll admit it, indoor plumbing. 

So, let us consider the poor pagans. Just simple folk who chose, most likely by life's choice rather than theirs, to reside in the country, many generations along,  living the lives of farmers, laborers and common men. Worshiping as their ancestors had worshiped for a thousand years. Wow, talk about a family tree! They cared not about new shows being held at the Coliseum, and they most likely had never seen a gladiator, and worked hard every day simply so the family would survive. They worshiped the old gods,and goddesses,  praying to the god of the harvest for a bountiful harvest, that more than enough grains would be harvested so that no one died of starvation during the upcoming winter. They made an offering to the goddess of the hearth and home for a safe delivery of a new baby.  For a thousand years, these ways worked and gave comfort, tradition and would not be given up lightly. The pagans were those who refused to 'go modern' and they stuck with tradition.


Witch-a very old word with questionable origins, but many scholars agree it is most likely from the old English word wicce (masculine), the feminine wicca. Meaning, to the best of my understanding, wise-man for wicce and wise-woman for wicca. A wise man or woman was one who knew of the herbal remedies, also known as a cunning-man or woman. One who knows the magicks and mysteries of the natural world.  Somewhere in time the word was changed, I believe most likely because of pronunciation evolution which changed the sound of wicce to sound like witch.

A witch today is in my opinion, a person who strives to work closely with nature and to understand the magickal world around us, and then to use it to benefit ourselves and if we can, others. A witch can be male or female. In ancient texts he-witch and men-witches were common terms. We never call male witches the term warlock. This is an erroneous term used by early Christians to designate a male witch but it is a word from old Scotland meaning one who betrays and brings death.

Wiccan - from the word Wicca:  Wicca is a modern day, religion founded in the early 1950's by Gerald Gardner, an amateur anthropologist, archaeologist, writer, weapons expert and explorer  who studied the magical religious practice of the indigenous tribes in the southern and south eastern Asia then returned home to England and found that there were still witches covens gathering and following the old ways. He braved condemnation, accusation of devil worship and even negative feedback from others of the craft for bringing their ways to the world by his books and the publicity he sought for Wicca.  He felt only by publicity could he attract others to this path and therefore prevent the old religion from dying out. He was successful.

A Wiccan today is someone who practices the neo-pagan religion of Wicca.  Wicca has no central authority and hopefully we will never have one. Each Wiccan group can declare themselves such just by saying the words.  This is an attempt at avoiding the issues and challenges any organized religion has. Each group does as it feels, but having said that,  there are some commonalities amongst the groups. In general many groups celebrate by recognizing the full and new moons, celebrating and recognizing the Sabbats, our eight agricultural feast days, and many practice magick of some sort.

A witch is not necessarily a Wiccan.  A Wiccan is by definition a witch, because Wicca is the religion of the Witches as stated by Gerald Gardner when he founded Wicca. Some Wiccans do not use the word witch, probably because of centuries of bad press.  Furthermore a witch can be a Christian.   Hmmmmm, you don't say?

 I myself have been 'advised by friends and people who care about me to not use the word witch. Mostly because of the stuff attached. I am proud of the ancient word, the image of the ancient wise woman, and I use it proudly.

I've often used the example that in many parts of the world, the same horrible, untrue rumors that are aimed at us, i.e. devil worshipers, evil, harmful etc. are said in reference to Americans. I've been told in some parts of the world, to admit you're an American can be dangerous. 

I've also been advised by those most wise and close to me to be authentic, to 'never deny who you are' and I think that's the best advice I can give you. The advice I follow myself. Be proud of who you are, if you are new to this path, learn, learn, and learn some more. When you think you've got it all, and you're all that and a flashy new wand! get over yourself and learn some more. Educating yourself about this path is the best thing you can do, then speak with knowledge and authority to others, in a sense continuing the work started by Gerald Gardner.

I would like to take a moment, if I may, to comment about how we communicate as magickal people in a non magickal world.  Speak with authority, knowledge and patience, but speak in a credible way.

Please for the Goddess's sake, please think about how you come across to others in your day to day world and in your community. I pretty much exist in a world filled with witches and the magickal. A wonderful world of my creation, Enchantments. Yet I talk and interact with people in the store and the real world all the time, in a normal, conversational way. Outside of my store, many don't even know I'm a witch, or maybe they do. The point is, it doesn't matter to me.

I personally have met too many people in our magickal world who can't talk to anyone it seems, without filing every sentence with magickal, terminology which can be confusing  to the regular person, and with reason.  Using words and terminology that they don't understand throws a person off his normal conversation and they are left in a place you chose, where they are not very comfortable. This can be fear inducing and its also  arrogant, in my humble witch's opinion.

It's like we're the stereotypical 70's hippie, stoned out talking about the colors and the flowers, man!  Test yourself,    if in the first few moments of meeting someone new at a CVS or Walmart you tell them you need to communicate with their inner willow tree, please just stop.    k?     You are not helping our cause. Take a deep breath, understand that no-one wants a religious or spiritual belief fostered upon them, NOT even yours my young Wiccan friend, and turn yourself to learning more, not teaching others. There's time for that later.  

Also know that people not accustomed to our ways can be victims of 'new-age overload' if you pepper the first few conversations with words like 'energies', auras, chakras, and crystals!   People will stop looking at us like freaks, when we stop acting so freaky (to them)!! I know its not freaky to us, be authentic,be unique,  but be considerate of others. I find that I can be magickal, and fabulous,  and feel the witch 100% of every moment of every day and not cause others to look at me askance. Well  .   .   .  unless I really want them to!

Have a wonderful Friday!!! A day of love, mmmm, maybe a day to try out that nifty little love spell you were saving up?







© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Guardians of the West, element of water

 Greetings everyone,

Well, the Canada geese have been heading south, raucously calling out their farewells as they soar overhead, so graceful and serene.  Only a few more days until the big night!! Yikes, its been exciting but soon to be over. Then for this witch, it will be a time to prepare for winter and settle in for a season of rest, renewal, discovery and planning for our next season.  

I've included another photo from my garden, of my eunonymous bush in the front yard.  If you look carefully you'll see a little green statue in front of the red burning bush. For estimating the size of the bush, the statue stands 2 feet high.  The eunonymous bush, also called the Wahoo bush by the Native Americans, we often call it by its common name, burning bush,  because of the intense bright crimson shade it turns when touched by frost. This bush also has a neat, dense twig structure and provides safety for birds and small animals year round.  Many a time I have seen small birds fly quickly into the bush only to see a larger predator bird like a hawk fly over soon afterwards.

It's a lovely bush to plant within a few feet of the house, especially if you have indoor cats.  I have small shelves on the windowsills of my house where the cats can sit and watch the birds who frequently hang out in the burning bush.  The cats are fascinated and will watch for hours. 

Well, today was warm and wet.  Wet is appropriate for this discussion. We have one element left to discuss, The element of water, guardians of the west.  The west energies can encompass some deeper aspects of our lives. The gates of death are, in our philosophy, located in the west.  This is a typical spiritual understanding found in many cultures where they see the sun awakening, coming to life in the east and dying in the west.  Many ancient cultures looked towards the sun as a deity, and worshiped the sun as it brought life, and as it went out at night, it died only to be reborn the next day.

In addition to the death aspect, and we do not perceive death as a bad, creepy or evil thing, but a natural part of the life cycle, the element of water has the qualities of governing emotions and your emotional world, healing, peace, sleep, dreams, compassion and friendships. The emotional, close, intimate world you share with family, loved ones, friends all fall within the realm of the element of water.

Astrological signs governed by water are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

The moon has water energy as the two work together, the moon and the tides on earth. As we are mostly water, in the biological sense, we are swayed by the moon and the water found in the atmosphere around us. Most people either love, or hate violent rain storms, hurricanes and such. There are few people I've met, that have no emotion at all, towards intense storms, frankly because we 'feel' the energy around us.  Some of us enjoy the intense energy, I for one love storms of any sort. Others find it difficult and unsettling. But people react to storms, I think because of the energy and water involved. 

Water is like the element of earth in that its character is feminine. Feminine energy is cool, dark, soothing, comforting, receptive and nurturing.   Passive, understanding and accepting.  Feminine is the yin to masculine's yang. Where the masculine is projective, the feminine is receptive, male is hot, female is cool.  These attributes have been in place for centuries, and Aristotle spoke and wrote extensively of the differences to be found between the feminine and masculine.  We find these characteristics today to still be valid.

For fun, I've included a small quiz I created a few years ago, that will help you determine which elements figure predominantly in you. Yes, most everyone knows their element as far as their astrological sign, and if not, no worries! I've included that also.  But it occurred to me one day while working in my garden, that we are not just one element exclusively, but that we have a percentage of the other elements within us. This quiz was the result of a lovely afternoon meditating and learning from nature in my garden, I had fun creating it, and I hope you enjoy taking it.

To find out which elements are strongest  within you, take my quiz.  The key at the end will help you score. 

What Element Are You?

1.  When working out in the garden what item would you never wear?

a. gloves
b. hat
c. shoes
d. sunglasses

2. Do you use an umbrella when it rains?

a. sometimes
b. most of the time
c. always
d. never

3. What would bother you the most?


a. being in a large crowded, noisy, excited place
b. being in the dark
c. being in a dark, damp cave or basement
d. being alone

4. Imagine you are upset about something and you were told that if you sat or lay down beneath one of four trees you would feel better. Which tree would you choose?

a. oak
b. soft fir
c. sugar maple
d. willow

5. What would you most like to do on a perfect day off?

a. go shopping
b. go on a hot air balloon ride
c. go on a roller-coaster
d. travel down a gently flowing stream in a very comfortable boat.

6. Design your front yard to reflect who you really are. What one design element of this list would you have to have?

a. a privacy hedge or fence
b. a manicured lawn or wild grass garden
c. a bright, beautiful flower garden
d. a fountain

7. What animal of these four are you most 'in sync' with?

a. bird
b. dragonfly
c. bee
d. butterfly

8. what would be your ideal vacation from the four listed?

a. dude ranch
b. skiing
c. tropical island
d. cruise

9. What creature would you most likely pick up?

a. toad
b. spider
c. salamander
d. snake



10. What pet are you most likley to have?

a. cat/dog
b. bird
c. reptile
d. fish

11. Which one of the color combos is most pleasing to you?

a. brown- green
b. red- yellow
c. black - red
d. blue-green

12. Which of the following would be most abhorrent to you?

a. falling a great distance
b. being buried alive
c. drowning
d. being burned

13. What is your astrological sign? Use the key below if you're not sure.

a. earth
b. air
c. fire
d. water

Earth signs are: Virgo, Capricorn and Taurus
Air signs are: Aquarius, Libra and Gemini
Fire signs are: Aries, Sagittarius, Leo
Water signs are: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

When complete count up the a's, b's, c's &  d's.

The element you have the most of, is predominant in your life, and may not be a surprise. But notice how many of the other elements you chose.  Learning about the elements and how they work within you, learning more about who you are, and why you do what you do, can help in becoming a more authentic, happier you.

If you have mostly a's you are primarily earth. Earth energy manifests within us in needing foundation, security and safety. Home is usually very important, and you're happiest there. Stability and creating your world yourself is the job of earth energy. Also can be stubborn, very detailed oriented at times, and may have difficulty seeing others point of view, especially when you really, really know you're right!!

Mostly b's indicate a strong affinity with air energy.  If you have lots of air in you, no joke intended!! , Then the work of the intellectual is your sphere. Truth, honesty and space are necessary for your happiness and to function at peak performance. Air energy oes not like to be tied down, nor dictated to. Air needs to discover the answers on their own and enjoys the discovery process.  People with air can also be a bit absent minded, but its only because they are so focused on what's happening in their heads, which quite frankly is often more interesting to what is going on around them, no offense!

Lots of c's mean you are in touch with your fire energy. Change, you like it!! Excitement, lights, music, people are all parts that fire energy craves. Fun, fun, fun!!! Excitement, drama and change.  Wanting to make things better, getting rid of the old, replacing with new and different. Fire does not stand for long with the same old, same old.  Always wanting and striving for more is good in small quantities, but stress in large quantities can be harmful.  fire energy is stress.  We need it in small doses but if you have lots of fire, try to temperate it with enjoyable things you like, that also give you a break body and mind wise. Excercise is a healthy alternative to using up excess energy without it using you up!!

Lot's of d's tell me you are living in the emotional world of your choosing. That family, friends, loved ones and the emotional part of life is predominant in you and this quality needs to be addressed. The emotional cannot be safely set aside, not if it needs tending to.  Take care of you, in all the ways you desire and need. Your emotional world can become stronger and more rewarding.  If too emotional, because of grief and stress, know that it too will pass, and maybe some help in the form of talking with someone or seeing your doctor can help you balance out a emotional energy that is too strong.

The good news folks?  We change the quantity and amounts of energy we walk around with. If today this quiz indicates you are primarily one element more so than others, in six months that could very well have changed. Keep checking back and pay attention to the elements as they work through you and the insight they give you into your world will be priceless. 



© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guardians of the South, elements of Fire

Hello again!

Weren't we just discussing Indian Summer? Well, it's arrived, yeah! What a gorgeous, warm almost balmy day and today again saw me out in the garden, trimming, cutting back and enjoying this beautiful, although short reminder of summer.  I know it's only around for a day or so, but I'm enjoying it.  I just finished cutting back the zebra grass and I've included a photo of it before it came down.

I love the way the sun highlights this particular grass, seemingly illuminating the blades of grass from within.  I have planted this variety of tall, ornamental grass on the eastern and western edges of my garden. This is to take advantage of the morning sun and evening sun, the lighting effect is really spectacular. This plant is also magickal to me.  It starts growing a new plant from the crown left from the year before in the early spring. The plant puts out completely green blades of grass with no striping at all. Regardless of how big the plant gets, it doesn't start getting yellow zebra striping until the weather turns hot enough.  How hot is that?   Well, you'll just have to get some zebra grass, plant it and see!!


Zebra grass is a nice planting to bring in the air element, which was the last element we discussed.  Tonight's discussion surrounds an exciting element, the element of fire.  The South is the realm of fire. Fire's color is red, its energy is masculine, exciting, projective and ever changing.  One of the strongest magickal qualities of fire is change. It also encompasses passion, intense love, sex and lust.  Oh, wait .   .   .    I can hear some of you thinking,
"hey now, it's about time we got to the good stuff!!"   I've been asked about love spells, probably more than all the other spell categories combined over the years. They do work.   But before we get into love spells, let's discuss a little more about the south and the element of fire. 

Courage, strength(both physical and mental), determination, all fall into this realm's sphere.

The salamander has for centuries been a creature of fire. I know, salamanders are small, cool and moist. But Aristotle and Pliny, both famous philosophers and great scholars of their day, claimed the salamander to be a creature that lived in fire. There seems to be no agreed upon thought as to why they attributed a small wet creature that lives in logs such a hot reputation. I do know that if you pick up a salamander often they are marked with bright red or orange markings. The serpent or snake is also associated with the South and fire.

Transform your garden by thinking of the red found in nature.  Red flowers, like bright red salvia, geraniums, roses, and plants that turn bright red in the fall such as the burning bush, eunonymous, that we have so much of in the Northeast all call for the fire element.  There are some lovely ornamental dogwoods called red-twig dogwood, that seem to grow much differently from a typical dogwood. I have a photo to your right in the side bar. They grow with many trunks from the ground and don't seem to get more than 3 - 4' tall, perhaps with trimming.   The winter is when this beauty really shows off. The red twigs or red colored bark of the trunk stand out dramatically from freshly fallen snow and provide a spark of fire energy, even in the midst of winter. 
   
A fire pit, chiminea, or other fire element is always a nice choice. Just be sure to find out your local zoning restrictions on open flame fires in your neighborhood, to be sure you can legally have one.

The element of fire, is also the realm of the dragon and fire drakes, mythological creatures that live in the flames of the fire.
 
Ms. Faith's Candle spell for Love  

Candles are a perfect spell method for love, using the element of fire, bringing in change.  

First a Magickal Disclaimer:  It's important when doing a love spell, that if it's to bring in a new lover, do not visualize or specify a person you know. To do so would be negative manipulation and we do not have the right to do that.  Instead visualize perhaps tall, dark, handsome or pretty, person. Other non specific traits are o.k. to visualize i.e. doesn't live with parents, has a good paying job, likes the same movies etc. This is the type of person who will cross your path in the coming weeks with a love spell properly visualized.

I know, I know, I've heard it before "But Ms. Faith, seriously, we are meant to be together, we are SOUL MATES!!! He doesn't know me yet, but  just one spell, I know he would stop dating every other girl in town and focus only on me!"  Um, I hate to disappoint, but   .  .  .  no he won't.  Now might be a good time to mention we take a firm stand against aiding and abetting stalkers. We just won't do it!

So, stop thinking about a specific someone and just see yourself happy, coming home at night and just seeing yourself aglow with happiness and love.  The person who will bring that to your life will cross your path and if your spell is done correctly, you will have more than one eligible one, and then you can choose of your own free will. 

If you are in a committed relationship, and you wish to visualize your lover, just make sure they know you are doing a spell (yes, they must be informed, even if you know what's best for them!!) and you must have their permission. Once obtained, some serious spell casting can be had!  This is a simple yet effective love candle spell.

Take a red candle.  Carve hearts in the side.   The rune X called gifu is the sex/lust rune and pretty effective if historical myth is anything to go by.  If you are doing a spell with the permission of your lover, you may carve both your names in the side of the candle. Dress (rub in) a love oil, or an essential oil of rose, then place in a fireproof holder. Place candle in holder on a plate with silver, reds or pinks.  Use colors to enhance your spell.  I am a serious proponent of glitter. I'll come right out and say it.  Glitter is fabulous and should be used more. 
 Sprinkle red, pinks, purple glitters on plate, or even on the red or pink cloth of a love altar.  A statue of a love Goddess is always a nice touch on an altar dedicated to love magick. Stones of pinks and reds and quartz crystals also add to the love drawing magick.

Place candle in your line of sight, on top of a television or on a near by table, so you can look at it occasionally as it burns and visualize your end result.  Light the candle. Let it burn until it goes out, or snuff it out and re-light at another time and allow to burn completely out. Keep seeing your visualization, while the candle burns. You don't have to stare at the candle, just every now and again as your gaze falls on the candle as it burns see your visualization.

What should you visualize?  Just yourself.  Yes, just you. Coming home to someone, coming home after a date, perhaps even sitting at a nice table in a restaurant you like. Just visualize it as if your date is in the rest room. You very happy, waiting for their return, excited to be with them. See what makes sense for you. But the focus of the visual is you.

See yourself happy, excited, in love, being loved.  At night when you close your eyes see the love life you desire.In the morning start your day by seeing the visual for a few moments before you open your eyes and get up for the day. The visualization is key.


This spell can be layered further by performing it on a Friday, a day known since antiquity as a day of love.

It's important to remember, as with any spell, once the magick has been cast then one is responsible for doing the physical work.  A spell cast for getting a good job, does no good if the spell caster never leaves the couch. The physical action of sending out resumes, going on job interviews, is all still required. You only make the winds of good fortune and luck flow in your direction by working a bit of magick. 

The same is true with love magick. You want a special someone in your life, and you've decided to cast a love spell. After all you deserve it! A secret about magick? I'll tell you.  .  .   the magick works within you. It causes change. Perhaps your magick causes you to become more aware of who you are, how you interact with people, how others view you.  The magick works from within, it emanates out (many times people will say "you're glowing!" ) and it attracts others to you.  Can you see how the energy goes out, returns and completes a circuit?

After the spell is cast, you need to put yourself out there. Perhaps take some risks, deal with some false starts, but you have to go out, meet people and you will find that someone. Fire magick causes change, and if you want your love life to change in any way, fire magick is the way to do it.  


© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Elements of the East, Guardians of the Air, I call and invoke you . . .

 Greetings everyone,

 What a lovely day I had today harvesting and cutting plants in my garden.  Today I worked in my elemental garden and was giving much thought to this discussion.  We last talked about the elements of the Northern realms, guardians of the earth.  While harvesting garden sage this afternoon, I thought about how best to dry and preserve it, for use throughout my winter.

I found a simple wreath wire circle in the garage and with some gold cording and some clippers I fashioned the wreath in just about 15 minutes.  I posted a picture of it in the left bar next to this article.  This is the time of year I like harvesting the most, I like to think its the spirit of the squirrel in me, wanting to put all good things away for use this winter. I try to harvest and dry my magickal herbs, and I always leave some to winter over.   Many a Thanksgiving day has found me running outside, usually barefooted!  that last Thursday in November to grab a bit of oregano, lovage or mint that I know I left in my early winter garden to add a bit of nature to our feast. .  

  Now let's discuss a bit of the next element on the wheel, turning towards the east. The color commonly used to denote east is yellow and it is an element of air. Whereas earth was an element that syncs up with the feminine,  receptive, cool and comforting, Air is an element that is masculine in its character. Projective, exciting, and invigorating, the element of air governs truth, intellect, justice, communication and critical thinking.  Clarity of mind and insight are qualities of this element.

My elemental garden,, this is a small garden appx 12 feet by 20 feet surrounded on all sides by a garden wooden walkway and a stone block retaining wall.  The garden is in a Southern exposure but I have all sides planted with plants that work with each element.  For instance in the north I have lambs ears and vinca vine, whereas in the east I have sundrops and tansy.  The sundrops have early spring to summer yellow blossoms and the tansy blooms bright yellow caps in the late summer.  What's nice about the sundrops is their foliage turns bright red in the fall, honoring the spirit of the South, element of Fire. We'll talk about that element in our next discussion.

Let me share some other concepts you can use to bring the element of Air to your garden and your life,  

Bells: the ringing tones float on the air bringing wishes to you and I always feel that when I ring a bell, that somewhere, happy nature spirits pause and send their blessings.

Incense, a personal favorite of mine. I burn incense indoors and out.  Just a hint of incense smoke floating on the air, creates a special atmosphere nothing else quite achieves.

I prefer real, hand rolled Indian crafted incense, as most hand dipped incense is considered toxic, up to 90 % petroleum based solvents and have been proven to cause and irritate asthma, allergies and sensitivities.  Spend a bit more and avoid hand dipped 'punks' and purchase instead hand rolled incense. This method ustilizes real aromatic herbs, woods, essential oils and resins, hand rolled in an ancient manner that burns longer and more steady, and is far less harmful. Many people I have spoken with that cannot tolerate incense, find they can use and enjoy with no reactions hand rolled incense products.

Images and figures like dragon flies, and birds.  Any winged and flying creature, including spiders, as spiders hang from their webs using air as a tool for their survival.

Astrological signs, glyphs also can be used in design or other imagery. Gemini, Libra both air signs, but many people get a bit confused when discussing the third air associated astrological sign of Aquarius.  Aquarius is the sign of the water-bearer, its glyph is double-waves, but its an air sign!  I couldn't possibly explain why!  But you can use the imagery in working with the element of air.

Feathers, and branches from trees, wands (which are made from branches) and fairies and unicorns (yes, unicorns are creatures of air).  I place fairies under both elements of earth and air, the winged images attest to the air aspect, but the ancient race of little people from Ireland and Scotland known as the Tuatha de Danaan, the legendary fairy race of magickal people who are said to be the Goddess Danu's children. Tuatha means people, earth, and North in ancient Gaelic from Northern Scotland.They are said to live in fairy mounds deep inside the earth.

The specific Scottish Gaelic words for North or earth is tuath,  East or air, aiet,  South or fire, deas and West or water iar

This is a recipe for  a spell mix to burn. It's a nice way to honor the spirit of air. First thing is to dry various herbs and plants, or purchase them already dried,  then mix them together and grind into a powder, and burn for an incense type of smoke that many use to cleanse and bless a room or building.  I like this recipe I put together recently:

Ms. Faith's Air Incense for Truth and Intellect, Clarity and Insight


This will aide you in your day to day life, to help you focus, study and retain information.  Helpful for those who need to study and prepare for tests or other mental, intellectual challenges.  

4 parts benzoin, 2 parts gum mastic or gum arabic, 1 part sage, 1 part peppermint, a drop or two of lavender oil and lemongrass oil.  Crush all dry ingredients in a functional mortar and pestle. (When I say functional, make sure the inside of bowl or mortar is rough or unglazed. The end of the hand held part, the pestle needs to be unglazed and have a tooth, or rougher surface. These are used to grind down the dried ingredients. Unfortunately many mortar & pestle sets are sold for decorative purposes and are smooth and made of materials not conducive to the work required.)

After the dried ingredients are ground down to a soft, fine powder, add drop by drop the oils. Then make sure the oil is mixed well, by rubbing the powder with a wooden spoon to work the oil completely through the dried powder. When properly incorporated you won't be able to tell oil was added, so don't put too much!  The purpose is to bless, not fumigate your home!!  

While mixing together think of your purpose, your magickal goal. To bless your home and bring peace and blow away unwanted energies, remember we're working with qualities of air. Physical aspects like blowing and movement are also imagery you can use.

When you have ground, mixed and visualized then take a charcoal briquette, one designed to be burned safety indoors, place on sand in a fire proof container, and light. These little charcoal tablets are available at all fine witch shoppes,  are pure charcoal treated with a safe amount of sparking agent so that with just a touch of a lighter, it starts to burn. After a few minutes, it will start to ash over. Then take a small pinch of the incense and sprinkle on top of the burning coal.  The spell mix will start to smoke, soft, fragrant clouds of smoke censing your home and helping to invoke the clean, pure energies of the air element. 

These are just a few things to help you get to know the element of Air, and perhaps invite some of these energies into your life.  




© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Elements - North - Earth and a simple spell using the element of earth to bring in money

 Greetings all,

I have been receiving some great comments and also some questions I'd like to address.  I've been asked, just yesterday, specifically in regards to the discussion on the pentagram, to describe in more detail the elements I referenced when describing the points of the pentagram.  The elements and working with them is a very big part of the witchcraft I practice.

Please refer to the pentagram diagram on the side bar of this blog.   The top point represents spirit.  The lower four points correlate with the compass points.  North, East, South & West.  These elements also represent the physical world to us.   My training and study is strongest in the Celtic pantheon and I call it Celtic/Druidic referencing the Priesthood of the ancient Celts.  Were all Celts magickal? In comparison to people today, I would say yes.  They lived amongst and with nature, a part of nature.  They saw magick in all things, or the potential of the magickal in all things.  Things like steam, fog and mist, not water but not only air, was in between and therefore very magickal. Twilight and dawn, not day yet not night, as in between. Midnight, not yesterday, yet not quite today, again, in between.  These are common images when one thinks of the Druids and their magickal workings, as well as much of the imagery associated with the witch and the spooky world people envision around us.   The natural world, which was all around them,  was completely magickal to them and 5,000 years later also to us.  

The Druid's who I believe acted as the scientists, the most learned of the Celts, were highly educated, and knew of the universal mysteries and the mystical.  Yes, they were the 'Priesthood', the group of men and women who led the Celts in their religious practice as well as the physicians, pharmacists and judges when needed.  They also sought to learn of the elements and to use the elemental energies to affect needed change in their lives and the lives of their people.  This discussion will start with the element of North.  Those who follow witchcraft with a Celtic background often start casting our magick circles in the North and go around the circle in a deosil or clockwise motion to then the east, then South and then the West, and continuing to finish again in the North.  'Deosil'  means in Scottish folklore, to move Sun-wise,  and  was considered the “right, prosperous direction”, turning from east to west in the direction of the sun. To move in the opposite direction, against the sun or counterclockwise was known as widdershins. Going against the sun, or going in the 'wrong' direction.

I start in the North when casting a circle to work magick.  The Northern Elements, also known as the northern watchtowers, the Guardians of the North,  the elements of Earth, as well as many others, are the natural elemental energies that flow around us constantly and aide our workings if we choose to invoke them and utilize their powers.

 The North elementals, by being properties of earth,  have the following associations attributed to them. The color green,  the qualities of abundance, fertility, growth, security, strength, foundational work, prosperity, wealth,  money.  To bring these qualities into our lives we use natural 'correspondences' color, herbs, essential oils, crystals, minerals and stones, wood, grains, seeds etc. Things created by nature, we feel, have inherent magickal qualities that either attract or repel certain energies.  The element of earth, the north, in addition to the qualities it governs above, also claims the mammals, the trees, salt, rocks, mountains, dirt, soil and that found within, certain metals, such as gold and silver, copper and lead.  Human qualities are also governed by the elements, and its believed from a Celtic/Druidic view point that beauty, the left foot, wisdom, endurance, patience, tolerance, judgment, respect all were qualities of the northern earth realms.


I will tell you how to do a  simple spell that demonstrates a number of these energies being used in this discussion. It  is one that is designed to bring in money.  It is a simple candle spell where I will introduce you to a concept I call 'Layering a Spell'.    

'Layering a Spell' is a term I came up with when I started teaching witchcraft at my school Enchantments,  I'd never before heard of this term and I believe I came up with it. I applied this to spell casting, and I find that this descriptive term is really quite accurate.    I found when teaching students I needed to present what we do in a fashion that can be learned and correctly utilized by them.  I tend to compare much of what I do in spell casting to cooking. I was a professional chef  in an early part of this life and I see many correlations with spell casting and cooking, so much of what we do looks like recipes, because they are.  

  I have created terms like 'Layering a Spell', 'Flipping a Spell', and 'Spell Manifestation', that are discussed in greater detail in my book.  I will spend some time in the next few weeks talking about these areas a little more. 


Use a small green candle, carve some simple symbols in the side of the candle. The money sign used in our culture is a good one. The   F     rune fehu is also a good one. A small drawing of the sun,  a circle with rays around its edge is also good for bringing in money and good luck.  After you've craved the candle, not too deeply, just so you can see the symbols, rub a small bit of oil into the candle.  An oil with earth properties is a good choice, such as the essential oils of patchouly, pine, or basil, or a good one you just might have in your household today, olive oil.  Olive oil has long been used in spell work, especially by those from Greece and Italy. 

After preparing your candle, and be sure to rub the oil in very well, so the candle is not slick with it.  We don't want to create and burn a torch, my young witchlings!! Oil and wax are cousins and when worked in well become one with the other, making their separate powers stronger when combined.  During this process you are adding your energies to this combination making as I call it, magick or alchemy.


'Layering a Spell' consists of using more than one and sometimes many different spell components to construct a more elaborate spell for your needs.  Working with the northern elements of  earth, wanting to bring in money, we have a cute little candle, all dolled up with a pretty oil and nice markings ready to go to work for you! But wait!  Not .  .  .  so .  .  .  fast.  Let us continue layering our spell a bit further.  

First layer :  a small green candle. You want it to burn out within an hour.

Second layer: carving runes and symbols indicating money. You can even carve a specific amount like $20,000,  for example, if you needed the money for a project remodeling a room in your house. Be realistic though. To carve a billion dollars on the candle, just because you can get that many zeros to fit, is silly.  Keep within your realm of relativity and ability to truly see that money manifest.

3rd layer:  Anointing the candle with essential, natural oils. Don't use aromatherapy oils if possible, only because they contain chemicals that are not safe to burn and inhale.
4th  layer:  you may choose to roll candle in one of the following depending on desire:
                    sugar - to sweeten your chances               
                    ground cinnamon - to draw money and protection
                    ground geranium petals - to make the money come faster

The 5th layer is to place the candle in a fire proof holder and place on a green, silver or gold plate.  (these are very plentiful in all the stores this time of year, the holidays are just around the corner. I also pick up red and heart adorned plates around Valentines Day for love spells all year long!)

A note on fire safety!!  Burning a candle anointed with oils indoors is safe as long as precautions are taken to ensure burning in a fire proof container and always under supervision. That is why the candle needs to burn out within an hour.  Never allow children or pets unsupervised around lit flames. Seriously, its just not a good idea.  If you need to leave the room for any reason, be sure to snuff the flame out. Its not recommended to blow the flame out, snuffing is better. Then re-light the candle when you return, allowing it to burn all the way down, as your spell is cast. 
                   
At this time,  and any time along this list of layers you may choose to stop, hold the candle, visualize the end result and burn the candle, thereby casting your spell.  You do this by holding the candle, visualizing the money already in your life and how cool that room is going to look when its finished, or the party you'll throw to celebrate the new room.

You can do this by holding just a green candle, no further work put into it, but you will get a smaller manifestation. For a large amount, like $20-25,000 you may want to put in a bit more effort, and several layers into your spell.  It is true in my world, you get out of your magick what you put into it.  Lazy witches get little in the way of real manifestation. 

If you'd like to add additional layers, you may now decorate the plate already holding the adorned candle in its holder, with a handful of coins ( layer 6 )  Silver dollars, half dollars, quarters are good, even coins representing money, though not real currency i.e.  foil wrapped chocolate coins, found around Halloween, pirate money available at Renaissance fairs and the like, even coins that you won't redeem from a supermarket, or play coins from games.  All represent abundance and wealth.  So scatter some coins around the plate.

 Next layer, where are we?

Oh yes, the 7th layer, Add a few dashes of gold and silver glitter.

These colors, gold, silver and green are used because these colors represent the color of our money, our green currency is based on gold, and our coins are silver.  Color magick is an important feature to the magick I use. Green is also a color of nature, represents the earth element and gold and silver are metals that come from within the earth. Even our modern currency could be said to follow exactly the elemental magickal properties attributed to the Northern Realms from the ancient Celts.

Layers 8 and 9:  you can also place on the plate stones that have money attracting properties such as gold pyrite, green agate, jade, copper etc.  You can also put a picture, of what the money will purchase as an end result, under the plate. Maybe a decorator's model of that 'perfect' room with features you want to incorporate, like a big screen t.v., leather couches , etc. Place this under the plate. Make sure it is kept away from the flame.

You may add a 10th layer by burning your candle on a Thursday. Thursday is a day for financial, business and money spell work.

Now, light the candle. This is not a layer, but the final action of casting the spell.  Let the candle burn down. After is has completely extinguished, any leftover bits of wax and the coins can be carried in a pouch, or placed in a small bowl. You may choose to put the picture on your refrigerator or bulletin board so that every day you see the picture, you can touch the coins and stones in the bowl thus keeping the magickal workings active until the manifest in your reality.  Keep visualizing the same image of your spell manifesting, in this case the room you renovated, every time you see the picture and touch the bowl or pouch of spell bits. 

Oh,   .  .  .  did you think magick was easy?  hmmm


Our next discussion will be East - Elements of Air  - Truth and Intellect 


© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Reading the Tarot

 Autumnal Greetings everyone!

My goodness,  October is certainly acting typical. That's O.K., because I've lived long enough to believe in 'Indian Summer',  a short warm period that should come around anytime now, just to remind us of what will be our reward once we make it through the long, cold winter.  'Indian Summer',  the folk name for this warm spell, lasting a day to a week on average,  typically occurs after the first few frosts. As the changing of the leaves attests to, we've had a frost or two.   I'm keeping my fingers crossed and blowing a wish or two in the air that this warm spell arrives for Halloween.  I love a nice, warm Halloween evening so everyone can have fun and frolic without worry of cold and rain.

Tonight I want to discuss the tarot.  I've read the cards for almost 30 years, and have been a professional reader the last six years.  I have had the most interesting education reading cards for people.  I teach students how to read the tarot in my classes at Enchantments and I wanted to dispel some common misconceptions regarding the tarot I've encountered over the years.

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding how one should acquire their first tarot deck. I've learned that people believe you cannot purchase your own deck, there are supporting rumors that say you must be gifted a deck or Yikes! even steal a deck. Truly, people will repeat the silliest rumors, especially when it involves our magickal world.  Please let me state for the official record, YES you can not only purchase your own deck, and I highly recommend legally acquiring your tarot deck, but you should choose your own. 

It's akin to purchasing any other intimate, close, personal item. Seldom will someone else know you enough, to pick the right deck for you.  But no worries, if this happens know you can have and work with more than one deck. Many people choose to collect decks.

Most modern readers refrain from interpreting reverse readings or cards that get put down upside-down.  This was popular in the past, but let us consider the beginnings of the tarot for a moment. It is difficult to say definitively  when the first deck was created. It has a murky history deep in the past of Central Europe, most likely Italy.   No,  the Gypsies did not invent the tarot. They were known to do divination using a deck of typical playing cards, and after the tarot had become popular throughout Italy, Gypsy clans adopted its use. 

First and foremost the tarot was first used, according to written history, by the early Italian Christians as a playing card game known as 'Italian Tarocchini'  in the 14th century. When I make this statement it is important to remember,  that in the 14th century, deep in medieval times, the Catholic church controlled all. Without exception. Any games of chance or entertainment were approved by the church or forbade. Black or White. It was not until a much later time when mystics, philosophers and then occultists adopted the tarot as a way to divine the future.

Divination is spoken of in the bible with the Old Testament referencing of a number of individuals who used divination.  One ironic story is how King Saul had driven all mystics and fortune tellers from Israel. Then to his chagrin needed to seek out the Witch of Endor, in the dark of night and in disguise, so that she could tell him how his army fared against the mighty Philistines. This story is recounted in the First Book of Samuel Book (28:3-25).  The witch is absent from the deuterocanonical version Book of Sirach (46: 19-20).

I have often told people they should get their cards read for fun, but know that there is truth in the readings. We don't look for bad things that may happen, and I strongly advise anyone who trains with me from looking for the bad, the dark energy or to ever tell someone there is some bad energy or curse around them, as this is the market of the con, the charlatan and the crook.

Many people feel they need to have a question before consulting the tarot. I have never found this necessary. The cards will tell you what you need to know. So, if you have no question (personally I advise against a question, as it can limit the scope of your reading), ask for a general reading. When someone has a specific question I have them throw the witches runes for a clear yes or no answer.  

The reading is information on your life and how the next few months will pan out, if you continue to do what you do. It is neither good nor bad, but totally up to you to make that determination.  Tarot can help people interpret seemingly unrelated things going on in your life, and can give perspective.  It's important that you find a reader who has no issue with allowing you to take notes, have a friend sit in, it should always be up to the client. I've told clients if they wish to bring their attorney with them, I'm fine with that. I mean it!! I might upset some people, but I'll say it, A reader who controls this aspect of a reading has something to hide. Or else, is not comfortable enough as a reader to be charging someone and acting the professional.

There are too many charlatans around, and everywhere on the internet that prey on the fears, misconceptions and superstitions of good people.  Any reader that leaves you with a feeling of fear, trepidation or worry after a reading should be suspect. Also anyone that tells you they can 'remove' the bad, or 'evil' by having you come back, by purchasing more readings, usually at escalating fees, is a FRAUD.  Please beware and have your cards read for fun and if you can afford the fee.  Readers charge from $20 to a hundred or more, depending on the reader and their claim to fame.

With this information in mind, I will also advise against trying to read your own cards. It's difficult, akin to doing your own psychotherapy.  Few are able to see their world without bias and in perspective, enough to interpret a spread of cards accurately.  Tarot cards can also be used as a daily oracle and in spell work by the individual, but I'll speak more about these topics another time.

In addition to reading the tarot, my clients get the added benefits of a crystal ball reading, stone divination and a witches runes,  reading for my fee. A reading takes about 30 - 40 minutes. Take notes regarding your reading, as I personally don't need to keep 'your stuff' in my head. It's yours with my blessings. I seldom remember specifics of a clients readings even a few hours or days after wards. The last thing I wish to say about a tarot reading for tonight, is even if you don't like something you heard, know you can always change your future. Nothing is carved in stone. 

                                                            What I am up to this Weekend! 


I'm looking forward to this weekend. I'm reading tarot cards at a Psychic Weekend being held at the Daniel Rust Inn in Coventry CT.  I can't tell you enough how much I love this place and the wonderful women, Cathy and Germaine,  who own  and run it. Located in quaint little Coventry, CT , 2011 Main Street,  it is a historic inn set in a beautiful country setting.  I'll be reading tarot for $65 per person and there will be an after party with wonderful party foods and a fire in the fire place. After I read everyone's cards we sit and chat in the great room and talk about all sorts of spooky, fun and witchy things. I'm happy to answer questions and discuss what it is that I do.  The party is $30 a person to support the Daniel Rust Inn and there are spaces still available.  Please call if you wish to attend, the number is 860-742-0032. 
 
© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Predicting Winter, Halloween and the Celtic Wheel of the Year

 Greetings all,

What a gloomy, absolutely perfectly dismal New England day we started with, only to have it end with bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds!  We only needed some wood smoke drifting in the air, to practically transport us back in time a century or two.  I  have been looking for signs of the upcoming winter season and trying to divine whether it will be mild or severe.  Unfortunately, signs I'm seeing all point towards a more intense winter than we've had in a while.   Two unfortunate raccoons we're lying dead in the road on  my way to work this morning.  It's never fun seeing that, and it makes me a little sad, but what caught my attention as I drove by, was the size of both.  They were huge, bigger than any I've seen lately.  Wild animals that live in the natural world around us,  eat more as winter approaches and the their size has historically and in folklore been used to predict the weather.


I have noticed something this year regarding our weather.  It's been almost perfect for New England. We've had hot when its supposed to be hot, rainy when it's supposed to be rainy, now turning cool and colder right on schedule. No crazy heat waves off season, or months of rain throughout summer, just perfectly behaved weather.   Having lived in New England my entire life, I assure you, when New England weather starts to behave itself, I get a little worried!

Now, I'm not saying things have been good so let's see what bad befalls. I don't believe that line of nonsense. But I do have a sense that we will be having a good old fashioned winter, with plenty of snow, often, and a solid winter season right through until spring.  I'm not passing judgment, some of you will love this prediction, some will not.  I myself prefer mild winters with little snow, combined with a late start and early finish.  So I heartily hope I'm wrong.

I've been looking up lately, waiting for the first sign of the Canada geese flying south as if one needs the reminder the summer has passed and winter is on its way.  Yet, somehow its a sign, a symbol of where we are on the wheel of the year.  In the column on this discussion's right, I've put a wheel of the year, a yearly calendar  followed by ancient the Celts,  thousands of years ago.  

Samhain pronounced (sow-wen) is what the ancient Celts called our Halloween.  Samhain is traditionally November 1st.  The night before Samhain eve, known in much of the modern world, as Halloween.  It is our New Year's Day, the first day of the pagan year.  The ancient Celt's priesthood, the Druid's, were astronomers, scientists as well as men and women of religion. The druid's were  likely the most educated group of the Celtic peoples.  They divided the year into eight Sabbats.  Holy days surrounding the planting, growing and harvesting aspect of the calendar.

This was an ancient pagan holiday that evidence exists it has been recognized for almost 5,000 years. In the early15th century the church outlawed Samhain and in its stead placed All Hallow's eve on October 31st, a day of fasting, prayer and penance, for revering the hallowed, the sanctified, the holiest.  The next day November first became All Saint's Day, to honor, as it suggests, all of the Saints and the next day November 2nd, became All Soul's day, to remember everyone else.  Three days to remember those who had passed on but by design and permission of the church.  

Today Samhain (Halloween) November 1st, is our day of the dead. A day to honor the ancestors who without we wouldn't be here. Samhain is a old Celtic word for November. A day of remembrance of our loved ones, friends and family members who are no longer with us to be remembered. It is customary to place a plate, filled with good food, at a place at the table, with an empty chair for the spirits of those departed to  partake of the loving energies and festivities.

In Italian culture there is a fava bean soup that is made and placed on the table of the ancestors, perhaps with photos and mementos of past loved ones.  The soup, delicious, hot, steaming only to be enjoyed by those in spirit form. 


So many cultures have a day reserved for the loved ones who have passed on.  Halloween is a day that many Wiccans, witches and magickal people use to honor our loved ones, the ancestors. It is believed the 'veil between the worlds' is thinnest and communication by oracle or divination is more easily achievable on this day, October 31st/November 1st. Yes, both days are good for divination, oracle boards, runes and the like. 

The other holy days of the wheel of the year in order after Samhain are:

Yule ( Winter Solstice) December 20-24
Imbolc  February 1
Ostara  (Vernal/spring equinox) March 20-24
Beltane May 1
Litha (Summer Solstice) June 20-24
Lughnasa  August 1
Mabon (Fall/Autumnal Equinox) September 20-24
Samhain Novwmber 1

We can talk about the other Sabbats as they come to pass.  I'll touch on more fun, interesting and curious facts about Halloween over the next couple of weeks.  For instance it was on Halloween October 31st in 1517 when a priest, Martin Luther,  posted a document onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This document contained 95 heretical concepts that would start the Protestant Reformation.

Tomorrow we'll discuss crystals, gems and minerals:   The magick of stones

There is debate whether they celebrated all of the eight holy days, but the past will always foster debate amongst experts.  What I describe to you is a general understanding and accepted beliefs from the archaeological record  of a culture, hidden and mysterious that dates back almost 5,000 years.









© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do you . . . believe in ghosts?

Ghosts and spirits can be a pretty vast topic, so I will try to keep this discussion focused on the real life ghost experiences I've had, well just a few of them, as there have been many.   I've been able to sense ghosts for many years, and also see them on occasion. 

I have no spirits inhabiting my home, but the building my store is in, has a number of spirits from past owners and people associated with the house.  The building was built in 1899 and there is a female ghost that will call out "hello" from time to time.  I've heard her, as well as a friend of mine who helps me in the store, Laurel, has heard her also.

I was once asked to help a friend who had spirit activity going on in their home.  I went and sat down in the children's room where it seemed some of the activity had been going on. The family complained of pots and pans rattling in the middle of the night, small items being thrown across the room, physical manifestation with no human assistance.  When I tried to communicate with the energy present, a small girl, approximately the age of 4 or 5 appeared.  She told me a story of how she had fallen out of a big automobile out on the road. She showed me how she was sitting in the back seat of a large, old car from the 1940's, playing with the door handle and not wearing any seat belts, fell out of the car.  That's how she got there, she informed me.  I asked her if she wanted to go on and see her family, people who loved her. She became obstinate and angry. She felt her parents left her behind. Of course they didn't, but her spirit felt left behind.

I asked her why she was so noisy in the night. She said she didn't sleep anymore and everyone went to sleep and she was lonely. The family had two young children in the house, she was attracted to them because they were close to her in age. I explained to her the family was scared when she made noise at night and threw things around. (after all, this is more child like behavior than ghostly evil-spirit behavior once you look at it a bit differently.)  I explained to her what the family needed and then I explained to the family what they were dealing with. Nothing evil or terrible, just a little girl spirit that chose to remain for a time in a place where she could play with other kids.  The family was relieved after I explained and seemed much more comfortable when things went 'child-like' in the night.  They would speak to the spirit and she would quiet down.  I believe after time the spirit of the little girl moved on. 

In my experience most ghosts are misunderstood by those of us on this side of the veil.  Spirits don't need to be scary or upsetting, indeed spirits can give us comfort. Often over the past 30 years when one of our cats passes away, we would feel the weight and motion of the animal walk over our feet in bed, in the evening or early morning. Just as when the cat inhabited its physical body, except nothing was visible.

We had a cat, Sneakers, a black and white tuxedo cat that was allowed outdoors. She would often sit in the window of the television room and pluck with her claws at the screen.  Sometimes she wanted to come in, sometimes she just wanted to say hello. Ofttimes she would pluck and sit and watch us, happy to be near but far enough away to be a cat. She was the only cat of ours, and we've had quite a number over the years, but the only one who had this particular habit.

She passed away one year and we were upset at our loss.  A few nights after her passing, we were sitting in the television room and we heard the window screen 'pluck  .  .  .  pluck .  .  .  "  we both looked at the screen and we could see it move, being gently pulled and released, we just could not see the cat.  We knew she was telling us she was o.k.  The plucking sounds continued off and on for a few months, then they faded. 

I don't believe in being afraid of something until it gives me a reason.  Most spirits that we sense are loved ones who have passed on and wish to be near us for a while. If they were loving and wanted while they were alive, why would they be anything else after death?

 Do you believe in ghosts? You should, they believe in you.




(c) 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog post may contain material from my book 'Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies' For more information see www.enchantmentsschool.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Pentagram

 Greeting all,

Let's discuss a sensitive subject.  The Pentagram.  Wait for a moment if you wish to insert creepy, horror movie music right here.

There is still a common fear associated with the symbol of the five pointed star, also known more commonly by its geometric shape, the pentagram. Few symbols associated with the witch have been so completely maligned. 


We react to symbols on a deep, primitive level.  Symbols or images move us deeply, causing feelings that are not necessarily following conscious thought. for instance,  many people may feel trepidation when they see the skull and cross bones or bright red lightening bolts indicating danger, or relief when they spy a police car in an emergency situation. How many times have the male/female  images indicating a public restroom on the wall of a building brought a sense of relief to you?

Symbolic images are meant to convey a common thought to those who see it.  It is because of many years of misinformation and deliberate fear enhancing rumors that have many people skeptical as to the innocence and positive nature of the pentagram. 

The five pointed star shape is thought to have ancient associations.  People centuries ago lived with nature, whereas today we live in spite of it. Ancient man was more attuned to the cycles of nature, the night skies and the heavenly bodies that inhabit those skies.  The planet Venus could be seen with the naked eye and people thought the planet to be a representation of the Goddess. Over several years the planets' path takes on a pentagram design in the night skies.  The movement of the planet  is imperceptible to the naked eye, attesting to the fact 'ancient' mankind had a keen understanding of observing the astronomical world.

The five pointed star or pentagram became a  symbol of the Goddess. Interestingly the early Christian used the pentagram to symbolize the five wounds suffered by Jesus. Before that ancient advanced cultures, such as Babylonia and Greece also used the pentagram in their spiritual work.  The word comes from the Greek Pentagrammon.

In the 1970's a religion started by Anton LeVey in California, which he called Satanism, decided to adopt the inverted, upside down,  pentagram as a symbol for their beliefs.  Wiccans and witches are not Satanists. Period. Satanism is a religion we can touch upon in another discussion.  We always use the pentagram, also known as a pentacle, with the apex pointed up. We never invert the symbol as Satanists do.  

It is very much because of the Church of Satan and its followers, who funny enough, seem to draw some negative and fearful reactions from the general public, that seemed to fuel the negative imagery associated with the Pentagram.  Mix the notoriety attracted by adult Americans proudly claiming association with such negative imagery, as Satan, the Goat's head and the like. Then add  rebellious teens and musical rock bands whose entire world exists in defiance of conformity and authority and you have a nifty symbol designed to spear fear through the hearts of the toughest parents.  Effectively.

I understand how and why people fear the symbol, but to me its beautiful and empowering. To me it is a symbol of the microcosm and the macrocosm.

There are those who see many things within. Today the simple pentagram is often surrounded by a circle, and we call this a pentacle.  The symbol with the circle around shows the five sense of man, with the heart in the center and the universe surrounding all.  That's one way of viewing this enigmatic star.

It has always been a symbol of protection, with its association to Venus, most especially protection of women. The top point for us today, signifies spirit. The great creative energy that many call God, Goddess or a name meaning the same. The four lower points symbolize the four elements. Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Depending on whom you read, there are any number of combinations of where those elements are situated around the star, but it matters not. The symbol simple states that we try to put the spiritual above the physical.

 That's a nice way  to look at my beliefs, I try to put the spiritual above the physical. While always honoring and revering the physical world, the natural world.  

I hope we can now put the scary rumors to rest. Besides its not the symbol that makes a difference in the world, but the person wearing it.

Tomorrow let's discuss Ghosts, Spirits and Hauntings!  Do you  .   .   .   believe in Ghosts? 


(There seems many debates ongoing in the world of the human sciences, anthropology, sociology, theology and such, as well as magickal experts, as to the origins and first usage of the pentagram and its meaning to the cultures who used it.  I have presented the history as I've researched and as such all opinions are mine, even the ones that disagree with the experts.) 



(c) 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog post may contain material from my book 'Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies' For more information see www.enchantmentsschool.com

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Decorating and Party Planning Part 2

 Greeting all,

Firstly, let me say a deep heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog,  sending their comments and showing their support by becoming a follower of this blog.  It's been a lot of fun for me and I'm glad you're enjoying it along with me.  I've re-set the settings so anyone can post a comment, regardless of what type of email account you have.

I wanted to continue the decorating and party planning discussion we started earlier this week. I love atmosphere!  I  place glass enclosed lanterns in the gardens with candles than can be safely burned within.  I also designed a unique outdoor candle holder. Its an old hanging brass chandelier meant to hang inside a house. I got it from a neighbors tag sale one year. Hanging from a central point, it splays out to six arms with light sockets at the end.  the I cut the electrical cord, and set it on a long steel post in the ground and I put wax candles in the sockets designed for light bulbs.  Set deep in the middle of a garden,with the grasses and plants turning brown and dying at the end of the season, it makes for an eerie yet elegant tableau that catches the eye, right at twilight when the garden is the most beautiful.

 This time of the year is a great time for accenting the garden with fairy lights, candles in glass votives, lantern or other illumination.  With the leaves falling from the trees, soon the full moon will be bright and visible everywhere and then the gardens take on a new drama as they settle into winter.

This is the time I go outside and with a ladder, climb to the top of the May pole, decorated with bright, colorful, happy ribbons last Beltane, this is a spring holiday we celebrate on May 1st.  Now, I cut down the ribbons, as is customary, and burn them in the outdoor fire pit.  It's time to either allow your May pole to rest unadorned for the winter months, the dark half of the year that starts on November 1st and goes until May 1st the following year.  Or if you'd like, you may re-dress your May pole with ribbons the colors of the season:   purple, black and silver. These ribbons will stay on the pole, hanging loosely, not bound around, until May 1st. 

Summer tiki torches take on a slightly more sinister look as we approach this dark time of the year.  Instead of setting them around an eating area or sitting area, as this time of year becomes  too cool for those activities, I set them inside the gardens, or alongside the walk way, but far enough back for safety.  For some reason, with the air getting colder, the leaves falling, perhaps some wood smoke lingering in the air, the presence of live flames gives an area a lovely medieval feel that makes you shiver in delight.  Its perfect for setting a eerie mood for Halloween.

If real flames are a bit daring, daunting or just not possible, decorating in light is also dramatic and adds a special look for the season.  I have an entry way room where I cover all the surfaces with red table covers, the fabric doesn't matter, but satin, silk or similar shiny fabrics reflects the light and makes it even more spectacular an effect.   I put red light bulbs in the overhead triple bulb light fixture and place ruby glass around the room.  There are some table lamps also fitted with red bulbs.  I collect ruby and cobalt glass objects,but if you don't have any around,  there are places like the Christmas Tree Shoppes where you can find tons of great inexpensive pieces.

A room can also be made all blue in a similar fashion, depending on the look you like.  The red room is warm, energizing and exciting and a blue room, complete with blue light bulbs and accessories brings a cooling, tranquil calmness to a person who steps inside. 

If you are planning a party for Halloween, start planning it now.  Rather than rushing and being under lots of stress, pre-party planning is key to a fun, spooky and relaxing holiday party.  Have a notebook where you keep your notes, and carry it with you throughout your day. Have it available to make sudden changes, record great ideas that occur and keep track of where you are and what still needs to be done.

I start with a few simple lists.

Party menu, inside decorating, outdoor decorating.  In addition, it's not necessary, but I always have a theme.

It makes it easier to keep the planning simple. A Harry Potter party won't have you trying to decide if the luau party plates would be appropriate.  I find the themes usually by emphasizing a common image of Halloween. bats, witches hats, brooms, one year it was everything spiders.  Yes!!   I know!!!  I'm not fond of the little nasties, but my aversion was one of the reasons I decided to immerse myself in everything arachnid that year.  I dressed the buffet table with fake spiders of all sorts, textures and sizes.

I wore a spider covered Victorian Gothic red and black lace dress, placed fake beasties in my hair and even went through the night with a tiny fake spider placed on the my cheek.  I could just see it in my side vision, and yes it did creep me out a it, but by the end of the night I was way better with spiders.  It takes a macho spider, with serious attitude,  or if its black and furry,  to really get my attention these days!!

What? Oh .   .   .  you thought  .  .  .  just because I'm a witch, I'd be good with spiders, hmmmmm?  well, I'm working on it.  I've pretty much mastered mice,  bats, black cats and toads.  I'm also pretty good with salamanders, but spiders, weeeell.  .  .  I'm getting better.

A fun Halloween image and indoor decorating concept is to set a small table with a dark covering. Set a candle in a stand and place a tarot card spread on the cloth.  A crystal ball and a few tumbled stones scattered around the cards also adds to the mysterious scene.

Tarot cards are easy to buy, as well as tumbled stones.  For a crystal ball, and unless you're really serious about reading it, and a nice sized real one is several hundreds of dollars, a suitable faux crystal ball will suffice.

Go to a pet store  that carries fish bowls and supplies for fish.  Find a small fish bowl, or round glass vase, spherical with an opening at one end. Next get a small bowl, a silver or silver colored one is ideal, just a bit larger than the size of the fish bowl. Then get some silver and blue glitter at a craft store. Fill the bowl with a mixture of silver and blue glitter and turn fish bowl upside down. Gently 'screw' it into the glitter until the hole disappears and now place it on a dark covered table with a small candle near by. Suddenly your simple little fishbowl takes on a mysterious aura.  The glitter sparkles and reflects the low candle light making a lovely inexpensive crystal ball display with your tarot cads and stones.  Place a witches hat on the chair next to the table and it will look as if the witch just left, for but a moment. 

There are so many wonderful decorating ideas out there this time of year, and entire publications dedicated to such.  If you need ideas, do as I do and go to the magazine rack, and look at the covers and choose the ones that seem more like you and your ideas.  The ideas presented here are my own ideas that I've developed over the years and I hope you find some of them work for you.

Happy decorating!! 
















(c) 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog post may contain material from my book 'Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies' For more information see www.enchantmentsschool.com