Introduction to Dream Shielding

dream shielding
Dreaming is a healthy and wonderful outlet for our fantasies, fears, and emotional and physical stressors. It’s a healthy way for the body to sort out problems into a workable format, to analyze events going on in our lives, visit other verses, access the astral, feed, and even work magick. It is also a way for less ethical individuals to stalk and terrorize individuals who can’t or don’t know how to protect themselves. A basic knowledge of psychic self defense and shielding is important for everyone in the magickal community and especially so if one is being plagued by an overzealous and unscrupulous dreamwalker.
There are many different ways of handling someone like this but the primary thing to remember is that in every dream you are in control. This is your world, your thoughts, your mind, your time on the astral or aetheric. This is not someone else’s time unless you invite them in or allow them to control the sequences and events in your dreams.

Read more

Circle Etiquette

Circle Etiquette

At some point in our paths we have the opportunity to be a part of either public or privately held circles. Being a part of a circle is a powerful experience, builds community, cohesion, and helps to deepen our spiritual path. I have always held the best way to teach our path is to be an active part of the path, not only by books alone but by experience.

Most of us started our spiritual path in some form of Christianity with a regular church attendance. With this in mind, there were certain observations one had to make so the service was not disturbed and everyone could benefit from the experience. While Pagan circles are not usually as formal as Southern church services, there is still a certain amount of etiquette one should observe when attending either public and privately held circles. Generally, it’s just common sense and common courtesy.

13. With social media making it very easy to locate and attend circles knowing when to RSVP and when not to can be tricky. Generally if it is a public circle and it states specifically to RSVP, do. The coordinator will probably want to know how many to expect for refreshments or other post ritual arrangements, the amount of supplies necessary, space, and parking. If you are planning to bring a guest please have them RSVP also, or RSVP for them.

Read more

Tools of the Craft : The Besom

Brooms are everywhere this time of the year. Black ones. Orange ones. Black and orange. Brooms with lightening bolts on the handle. You name it and you can likely find it on a besom. Other than the pointy hat, few other things identify witches as well, witches other than this universal accessory. Brooms have played an integral part in modern witchcraft and occult history. In fact, it would be hard to locate a circle anywhere this time of the year where a broom wasn’t somewhere to be found. It’s not just for sweeping the front porch anymore, at least not these.
As I said, brooms come in all sizes, shapes, textures, and patterns. Traditionally brooms were created from an ash or hazel (depending upon which was readily available in the area), sometimes willow, and birch branches or an herb called…you guessed it!….broom. Broom in it’s natural habitat of England, Scotland, parts of Asia, and warmer climates of Europe, has many uses, making brooms is just one. This bitter tasting herb grows as a shrub and can be used as both a toxin and a medicine. As an herbal treatment for bladder and kidney problems, and as a diuretic broom is used in conjunction with other herbs usually as an infusion over the course of a week or two until it is ready to be mixed into a potion. Unlike most herbs, this one is better taken with alcohol as it is very bitter and has an unpleasant scent after it dries and is boiled down.
The herb itself is very tall almost three feet high, woody with long tangling twig like stems, and grows in unlikely places. The rougher the terrain the happier this particular herb is. In fact, it will grow on rocky mountains in poor soil with little rainfall. This made it ideal for using as a tool or utensil for cleaning as well as magick.
Constructing brooms (besom) is pretty simple really. All that is needed is a long stave of either hazel, ash, or willow, willow twine, and long twiggy broom. The broom is connected to the stave with the willow twine and voila a besom is born! Of course the use of said besom isn’t always so simple.
Besoms were used, and still are, to clean the space for circle, to sweep away stagnant energy, as a protective barrier, to welcome guests, as a marital fertility aid (jumping the broom), and in some cases as a form of circle casting itself. Besoms placed near doorways welcome guests and ward away negative spirits. Sweeping the doorway, porch, and front of the home prevented energy from gathering and remaining there to cause problems later. In some cultures, sweeping of one’s feet meant the person in question would either get pregnant, go to jail, or get married. In other cultures it’s a way of removing the last bits of energy after shaking it loose with the besom.

Other lore regarding the besom include never sweeping with a broom while a deceased family member is in the home. A broom that suddenly falls from a door way announces company on the way. Brooms placed over the door protects against fairies and imps. Never bring old brooms into a new home and never burn a broom. Both are very bad luck.

 

The Welsh gypsy practice of jumping the broom is said to bring the newly wedded couple good fortune and many children. In parts of Africa sweeping over a man’s feet is said to bring on impotence. Of course, one can’t mention brooms without the practice of riding one.

 

The Dark Ages brought mountains of superstition regarding witches and devils. One is said to be the consort of the other and riding a broom was a reward for carrying out the devil’s work on Earth. I strongly suspect that should a Witch be able to actually get a broom to sweep his or her floor on its own, much less fly, there would be mass conversions. Certainly modern television witches have no problem twinkling their noses to a spotless home. However, Dark Age witches probably used a salve called flying ointment which was used to dress the broom for ritual use. This ointment consisted of a fatty base in which essential oils and herbs were mixed and then used to dress the broom from tip of the stave to the joining of the herb. Herbs such as wolfsbane, hemlock, henbane, and Nightshade were used and still are as a basis for charging these brooms. Charging is the practice of imparting energy onto an object so it become personal and receptive to the individual’s will. The first mention of flying ointments in conjunction with brooms and their use could be as early as the mid 1400’s.
The besom itself is a work of symbolism. It represents the union of the God and Goddess, a holy marriage, that revitalizes the Earth. Brooms may be created on May Day (Beltane, Belteanne, Beltaine, Cetsamhain), but not purchased on this day. To do so is said to sweep away friends and family and prevent visitors from returning.
Today modern witches still use the besom as an altar adornment, to sweep away negative or stale energy, and to recharge the energy in a space. They are used to cast circle, to mark the barriers of a circle, cleanse and consecrate the circle, and to prepare for smudging. Non-witches also use the broom to scent their homes, adorn their doors, and decorate their homes. It’s unlikely any of us witchy folk will be saving gas and riding our brooms any time soon, but the tradition and lore still live on.

Crystal Grid Basics

Crystal grids are all the rage in the metaphysical and natural sciences world. Scientists are beginning to explore these simple crystal patterns as a means of healing and exploring the Earth’s natural energy grids. Crystal grids are part applied science and part intuition. They work with the Law of Attraction and the natural ley lines in the Earth.

Ley lines are bands of geomagnetic energy that stretch across the globe usually beginning and ending in a mountain or hill source. Where you find ley lines you will usually also find a location of water. The Earth is naturally embraced within a magnetic field. This magnetic field can be used as a guideline for planting strong crops, finding healthy water,

Archeoastronomy, and geosciences. The ancient civilizations of the Mayans, Incans, Aborigines, Celts, Sumerian, Babylonian, and Chinese, knew of these ancient lines of energy and used them to construct sacred spaces, to conduct rites of worship, for healing, and energy work.

The Law of Attraction states simply that your thoughts translate as energy. That energy is released through intentions. Speaking or sending positive thoughts yields positive results. Speaking or sending negative thoughts yields positive results. This is a mixture of perception and belief. If you believe your life is negative it is. By keeping your thoughts positive you emit positive energy, as your thoughts and perceptions are nothing more than energy. The energy is reflected in the vibration of the energy field around your body. In terms of science, the Laws of Thermodynamics may be applied, which states simply that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it may change form and it may be transferred from one thing to another. In this respect the energy you create with the Law of Attraction (using thoughts and perception as forms of energy) may be transferred to the crystals using the First Law of Thermodynamics. When you charge your stones this is what you are using.

By using natural laws of energy and using sacred geometry, you can create a simple, beautiful, and powerful crystal grid to attract abundance, healing, love, and tranquility into your life.

Sacred geometry applies within the shapes used for constructing pieces of spiritual art, buildings, shrines, temples, churches, and so forth. This is a very ancient form of mystical science which gives the vibration of a form a number, the number of which is applied to a specific spiritual attribute. Ideally the form should connect and be made of equal parts of the same number. Using crystals with a specific vibration is also important as this determines the frequency that your grid will emit. With the aforementioned science in mind, use this as a determining factor for your crystals:

* All things are energy in one form or another. The crystal you are holding is created from the same exact energy that also created you. All energy is derived from a central source, however or whatever you determine that source to be. Therefore you and the crystal already have an energetic connection.

* The same energy that connected you and the rock is also the same energy that connected other people, things, and creatures in the world. You are already a part of their lives by collective consciousness, and also a part of the stone. Creating and sending energy through an extensive length is space is positive through this collective connection.

* Crystals have their own energy. The numerical values of their name is not their frequency. Their vibrational frequency (harmonics) is measured by the density of the crystal which is reflected within the color, structure, and weight of the stone. Note the weight difference and intensity of color in a piece of tumbled clear quartz, rose quartz, fancy jasper, and hematite. Structural differences may add to the energetic qualities of the crystal and function, but doesn’t really affect the actual harmonics of the crystal that much.

You can use pre-set crystal grid kits or you can create them yourself. You may also use as a center stone a crystal generator, points, balls, pyramids, or merkaba. These are all used to collect, cleanse, and magnify the energy used with the grid. Use what you are drawn to, what you like, and what connects with your purpose. Excellent general use stones include clear quartz, selenite, jaspers, amethyst, aegerine, agates, moonstone, and river stone.

The Magickal Child, Creating Effective Thoughtforms

I suppose by now it would be fair to assume Mama Gaia is mightily unhappy. The Northwest is burning, Texas, parts of Tennessee, and Louisiana are having flooding issues, monsoons are hitting parts of Asia hard, earthquakes are hitting the Southwest, and Florida, the Leelands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and accompanying islands are getting slammed by Irma with Jose following up a bit too closely. This is accompanied by prayers, positive vibes and more than a little fear. But it’s also accompanied by weather magick and a big aspect of that is creating and sustaining effective thoughtforms.

A thoughtform is a carefully crafted package of energy that is triggered by a specific switch (timing, contact, or energy level) and may be an integral aspect of shielding as well. If you are not familiar with effective grounding, centering, shielding, and visualization skills this is not something you may want to attempt, nor should you.

Thoughtforms may be created during intense rites, sex magick, ecstatic worship, or deep meditation in which the energy package is given a specific purpose and also a trigger that will cause it to activate and de-activate and dissipate. This package may take on any form that is easy for you to work with. If you are comfortable working with dragon or unicorn energy, go for it! These magickal children are not limited by either physical plane nor the laws of physics any more than any other form of energy. Physical laws do not apply to them.

Begin your rite as you would any other rite. Be in a state of mind that allows you to separate from limiting scenarios and physical law. Before your rite you should gather items together that represent what you wish to achieve, what form you wish your thoughtform to take, exact details of your creation, and then set your triggers and exact details of your goals. It should have a trigger that releases it back to the Aether as well.

The latter is very important because without it it will keep going and without a goal once the one it was created for is completed, it could cause a bit of mischief. Because these packets of energy have no particular morality or charge, merely a purpose, they will grow unattended and unreleased according to whatever charge feeds it. This is why it is very important to both give it a specific purpose and a trigger that dissipates it.

You will want to raise a great deal of energy and if you are working solo there’s a lot of ways to achieve this. You may work with others through your online groups (only those you trust!), dance, drum, sing, trance, or through masturbation. All of these are perfectly reasonable and effective ways of raising a great deal of energy alone. If you are working with a group you may opt to leave out the latter option, but be sure everyone is on the same page and working as one unit. For that reason alone, this type of magick is well suited for solitary practitioners.

Now that you have safely set up your ritual you need to create details. These details allow you to easily visualize your creation. If you wish to create a sigil that embodies this working, do it.  Visualize the color of the energy you are working with. If I wanted to create a dragon, imbued with ice for instance, I would use the rune Isa, which literally means “ice”. This rune slows things down. I would resource my vast love of dragons and pull something white, silver, and gray. I would imbue it with freezing breath and chilling scales tipped with ice and I give it the elements of Sky and Sea (Air and Water). It would have a very fluid body type, very lithe, and be suitably airborne when necessary. Its purpose would be to deflect and hopefully diffuse and when the energy level of its target drops below a 3 it would be triggered to diffuse and return to the Aether. I would then give an offering, blessings, and close my space.

Other sources of inspiration could be forms of High Magick, Low Magick, sigils, cultural and ancestral lore.

Keep in mind you may set a specific time on these but the most effective magick takes time to craft and may take some time to fully manifest. These specific forms of magickal children can be very draining so you either want to keep the goal to the point or you want to give it less energy intensive tasks and a quick dissolution timeframe.

Self-care is also important as you are essentially attached to your creation while it is active. You will need to imbibe on living prana through raw fruits, vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs, walks outside, and clean beverages without the additives. When your thoughtform has dispersed you should feel less tired and more balanced.

As I’m loving the energy and coolness of the beautiful Harvest Moon, I hope whatever you choose to manifest this evening works in your highest good.

Apple Magick

You really can’t think about the Autumn months without the scents of apple pie, pork roast and apple, meat pies, lovely apple and cinnamon candles coming to mind. It instantly evokes a feeling of nostalgia, warm blankets, crackling fires, County fairs, and Mom’s warm apple cider. Just the sight of a fresh ripe apple in the farmer’s market makes my heart skip a beat! This is without a doubt the start of the holiday season. For Pagans it is the last of three Harvest seasons (Lughnasadh, Mabon,Samhain), each representing a different aspect of both physical and spiritual harvests. These three celebrate the bounty of hard work, of things coming to fruition, and our energies winding down with the cycles of Mother Earth to rest until the next planting season.

But most importantly they celebrate the bonds of family from birth to death and rebirth. Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain all celebrate the people in our lives that have passed on into the Summerlands. While the Harvest begins at Lughnasadh in gathering early Summer fruits but also begins the second planting season for Autumn. The celebration of these days are marked with fruits, vegetables, family gatherings, and remembering family waiting on the other side. In fact, Samhain was often called the Feast of Apples.
The apple, next to the pumpkin and turnip, is the most recognizable as a symbol of the season. It is also sacred to many deities across the world, especially those dealing with love, sex, marriage, and death. Apples belong to the element of Water and many of the deities associated are gods of passion, emotion, and the ebb and flow of life.
It’s said that Zeus gave his wife Hera a tree that grew golden apples for a wedding gift. Hera, being the goddess of marriage, gave these apples as gifts to the gods and sometimes mortals as blessings on their unions. The Atalanta is said to have been distracted by three golden apples thrown down in a race with her suitor, who received the apples from Hera. The Trojan War is said to have been indirectly started by a golden apple of discord presented to Paris by the goddess Aphrodite. Hercules retrieved the golden apples of immortality in a quest for the Golden Fleece.
In Scandinavia the apples of perpetual youth were protected by Indunn in Asgard. These apples were said to keep whomever ate one young forever. Gna, the messenger of Frigga, gave an apple to King Rerir who shared it with his wife who then bore him a child. Frey sent 11 golden apples to Gerda as a marriage gift. The goddess Freya is said to have an orchard of apples with magickal powers. At Yule she brings bags of apples to children.
Apples are also associated with the Blue Hag of Winter, the Cailleach Bhera, Cerridwen, Babd, the MorRhiaghan, Morgan Le Fey, Vivienne, Diana, Eve, Lilith, Athena, Flora, Pomona, Venus, Apollo, Aillin, Zeus, Dionysis, Olwen, and Chango. The goddess Pomona, a wood nymph of whom pommes (the name for flowering fruits) is derived. In fact the Feast of Pomona is held between November 01 and November 03.
Apples are used as offerings, wards, divination tools, blessings, in dream magick, for prophesy, in the crafting of tools, statuary, runes, charms, and as spell components. Fertility and love spells incorporate the apple and peeling an apple in one strip is said to have the initial of the first name of your future spouse. Slicing an apple in half reveals a pentagram that may be used as a ward or to bless tools. Apple branches make excellent wands and runes. Apples sliced in half or in thin slices and strung as a garland protect against negative energies and baneful spirits and invite love, prosperity, and health into the home. Potions made with apple bring love and health. Poppets made with apples may be used to draw love into your life.
In divination apple blossoms signify temptation, better things to come, a new chance. Runes carved into apple branches to make the Ogham tie strongly with relationship readings, may be used for love charms and protection and health charms for the family and home. Quert, also spelled Ciert, signifies the necessity of choice on the physical plane. On a mental level it shows many doors open for greater knowledge and self discipline. Spiritually this stave shows a need to choose a path and complete it before moving into another part of your journey. Peeling an apple in one strip is said to reveal the first initial of your future spouse while dreaming of apples signifies. Dreaming of apples signifies prosperity, health, and impending love. If you are already married it could signify temptation or a renewal of your current love. Bobbing for apples or twirling a rope with apples were both ways to predict impending marital status and bliss.
Apple blossoms may be used in fertility, prosperity, temptation, and divination spells or as an incense for love or divination during readings. Fruit may be used as offerings, incorporated into the Mute Dinner, and as parts of charms. Apples are also known as the food for the dead and many tales of the Underworld and Summerland. Pomegranates (a kissing cousin of apples), is associated with the goddess Persephone/Proserpina. The fruit is said to soothe their souls and keep them in the Underworld while they await their loved ones. In Celtic lore, Fae were said to offer apples to humans so they would remain in the Otherworld. The greatest of all realms, the Isle of Avalon where magick is said to originate and the Druids were said to train Priestesses and Priests of the Goddess and Her Consort, is also referred to as the Isle of Apples. The root for Avalon is Afallon, which has its root in the Welsh word for apple.
Apples are not only used for magick and divination but also have many positive health benefits as well. Green apples are known to relieve migraines and red apples eaten grated is known to relieve diarrhea. Eaten whole, tangier apples can ease constipation, and apple wine has many mystical as well as healing properties. Apple cider vinegar is a well known for its anti-bacterial properties and during the Plague walls and floors were often washed down with it to prevent other outbreaks. From a magickal perspective, washing the doors, windows, porches, walls and floors are said to keep evil spirits and baneful magicks from entering the home. Apples are very good for detoxing the body, liver, brain, and joint health as well as for treating gout, rheumatism, high blood pressure, and migraine headaches. Some say even the scent of a green apple begins to soothe their pounding head. Apples with honey was used to treat heart ailments in the old days and warmed apples soothe a sore throat and increase the appetite in people who are ill. An application of apples sliced and chilled directly to the skin is said to heal skin inflammations and inflammations of the throat.
Crab apples are a member of the apple family but unlike larger species, they can be extremely tart. They represent the Maiden at Beltane and the Crone at Samhain. Crab apples grow in clusters and are about the size of a quarter to a half dollar. These wee apples are usually grown for the honey that can be cultivated from the blossoms, but they are also stewed for a garnish (much the way cranberries are) and made into jellies and jams. Making a ring of crab apples with your intended love’s name carved into them is said to draw the person to you. The apples are then buried after the fact.

Othal is the New Black

Over the years I have had both the pleasure and amusement of watching symbols from many paths become mainstream, even fashion accessories and when followed with knowledge it’s a good thing. In a society filled with cultural appropriation this is nothing new for Pagans and Heathens. While it sometimes can prove to be just more of the same old, it’s a gradual sign of society becoming more tolerant despite outward appearances. I would love to see these trends come with information, but baby steps.

I have to constantly remind myself that our Nation is, comparatively speaking, very young. It still has some growing and maturing to do and that process is always accompanied by growing pains. Somewhere between the trendy New Age flavors in fashion today, someone got it very wrong. I, like millions of others in our country, was absolutely horrified to see symbols I hold very dear to my heart being waved as a symbol of hate and dissension. As Neo-Nazis and other like-minded groups marched through Charlottesville I couldn’t help but have a cold dread pour into my blood. A chill of foreboding perhaps, or just the utter horror of the situation on my screen and what this could mean for our family. Our baby steps sometimes cause us to stumble, fall, and get stuck in a bad, dirty place.

One of the more prominent symbols was the Elder Futhark Rune, Othal (Othala), a rune generally referring to lineage, ancestry, or something being inherited. The rune itself is a beautiful symbol of pride in one’s family, but it is also pride in the ties between our ancestors and the very land we walk on.

Othal (Othel, Othala) belong to the Aett of Tyr and is one of the runes found in the Elder Futhark, but not in the Younger Futhark. Its appearance also connects with another symbol used very often by another religious group, the Icthys. Both symbols resemble the fish and both reflect abundance but that is generally where the connections end.

Othal is derived from an Old Norse word odal connecting it to family and specifically genetic family with the natural connections between people of the same tribe. It may be first applied to ancestry or lineage and secondly to the land of the tribe. Germanic tribes and Anglo-Saxon tribes had two very different perspectives of tribal laws regarding land. In Celtic and similar tribe perspective tribes owned the land collectively and shared responsibility for the land. In Germanic perspective the individual owned the land and was singularly responsible for the upkeep and prosperity of the land. The Goths also adapted this symbol as a symbol of sovereignty connecting to divinity, specifically divine sovereignty.

Othal is a connection to each other, to the land, to our ancestry. It is the rune of abundance and of honoring our ancestors and lineage. It is not a rune of hatred and dissension. Even merkstave (if you choose to use reversals), the rune can be read as a lack of generosity, empathy, or appreciation for the land or family. It rather denotes a Scrooge character in which selfishness, greed, and lack of understanding eventually results in loneliness and loss of humanity.

In this perspective, Othal is exactly what needs to be invoked right now. Our society, our world, could use a little more nature, a little more kinship, and a lot connection to the land. Perhaps this was just the sneakiness of Loki tricking people into searching for exactly what they need hidden and disguised as chaos. Of all the symbols to become trendy, Othal is one of the best and brightest to use on the world’s runway.