The Mystic Path, Part 1

“Out is the great heart of nature all things proceed, and all things lead back there at last; all worlds and systems of worlds, from the great central sun to the smallest particle in space, must thrill responsive to the pulsation of that infinite heart of compassion. The Great Mother reaches forth to receive her own.”
-Katherine Tingley, quote from 1922 (1)

The beautiful thing about the Eight Tenets of Witchcraft (2) is that while there are simply only eight of them, they can provide an infinite amount of thoughts to contemplate upon. Since these tenets provide a practical philosophy to witchcraft that we constantly strive towards, you find that various ones visit you during your routine contemplation or even during those little moments you find yourself working on something and a moment of awareness washes over you. These moments of awareness is the way in which the tenets work themselves out into your life. They are not a list to parrot in any particular order.

I feel at this time the Tenet of Harmony wishes to make itself known a bit more right now. Much is happening all around us in the world right now and many people are finding it hard to stay confident and focus on onward progression. Just take a moment to glance down your Facebook news-feed where everyone is constantly commenting on how they are mad or angry about the next thing that someone says. Even more micro than that, every time someone stubs a toe or has a cold, Facebook is then filled with the latest update and opinion on it – spreading even further their upset and shared sympathy, like a mental virus upon a friend’s list.

The crossroads and crux of the matter is not that people’s feelings are unwelcome, the problem seems to be found in the methods and employ of expression in these comments and opinions. A good quote that I have found from the book, Theosophy, by Katherine Tingley is:

“The very fact that you find stumbling blocks in your way should give you an influx of courage, a positive joy, because of the opportunity thus presented to you to cast them away forever. Self-conquest! Is that not what you are here for?”
-Katherine Tingley (1)

A truly wonderful book of spiritual insights by Katherine Tingley.

We have truly entered a new world of negative thought-forms that can be projected to the masses at such greater quantity than ever before – and when not careful, can be sucked into the pattern of spreading the upset and negative to everyone in sight of us: all from looking at a simple post on Facebook that didn’t really add to the progressive evolution that we all aim for when we study another tenet of witchcraft: The Tenet of Reincarnation. (But we will need to leave that Tenet for another time)

So what else is a witch to do?

Well, after you read such an interesting and thought provoking quote as above by Tingley, we come face to face with the fact of how one negative comment, post or even just how one “Negative Nelly” can just spread the toxicity to many. They add to the overall uneasiness and general anxiety felt. We must face the facts and begin to create ourselves something more evolved when the struggles present themselves, as they do to all of us. No one is immune from the cosmic laws of balance in the universe. \

For those who are fans of the amazing Tori Amos, on her new Native Invader tour (3), the new hashtag is #militiaofthemind which is a reminder that people can become a militia of the mind and out-create the negative that saturated and permeates social media, the news and even water-cooler discussion. All sides – the left and the right must co-create together, finding a way to the first Tenet of Witchcraft which is the “Tenet of a Balanced Life” instead of the extremes we see on all sides today.

For the higher ideals to come to form, we must become expressions of those ideals. This all starts from the inside and works its way out into other areas of your life.

We are constantly under the distraction of our desires. Every advertisement, every form of social media, television, magazines; all provide an outlet to pull you into more and more desire-thoughts.

Desire is not negative as that is what keeps us going and growing. Our inward Higher Soul (Higher Manas) yearns very strongly for the desire to be reunited back into the Divine Monad, The Supreme Being; walking upward on the steps of consciousness. Our bodies desire for our own life to be sustained, hence, our urges for hunger and intimacy with others which are tools of the main terrestrial desire of our bodies: Survival.

Those that follow the path of Esoteric Buddhism call this cycle of death and rebirth Samsara. They equate this to suffering and concern their spiritual practice around the work of escaping the suffering of Samsara and entering Nirvana. They are aiming for something very similar that we aim for. The Ancient Wisdom Traditions all seem to lead to the same path, just masked in their own individual cultural expressions – which is why we can find something to appreciate in the many different paths that abound.

As the witch begins to tend to things on all levels, starting firstly on the terrestrial plane, such as taking care of physical needs such as health and wellness, they can then begin at some point in their advancement to channel some of their desires into the advancement of the soul – the elevation of consciousness where you begin to find and explore what your purpose in life may be.

Ask yourself, “Who am I?” Ask anyone willing to participate with you in this experiment, “Who are you?” Many times, we find that we ourselves and those we ask will define themselves only by what they do in terms of earning a living or career. Sometimes they may define themselves as a parent (mother/father) or an extension of their life-partner. All of these things are not bad, but it doesn’t get down to the question of “Who are you?” You are more than just a Mother, brother sister. You are more than just a teacher, accountant, technician. These are but the things we must do to which teach us, but it is not who we are.

When someone is ready to find out who or whom they might be, the first thing you can do is find some activity to help others. This is not just one way to discover who we are and take us out of the personal ego-bubble we shroud ourselves in, but is a start to learning another one of the Tenets of Witchcraft, The Tenet of Humility.

By now, you can see these tenets are not just things we think about and contemplate, they are something we do, strive for and struggle with.

Bringing us back to the Tenet of Harmony, this particular Tenet is one key in traveling the path of the occult adept. We all know what something un-harmonious sounds like or mis-matched un-harmonious items look like; so this tells us that not only do our physical terrestrial senses strive to seek out Harmony in all things, but that our Higher Soul seeks out a spiritual Harmony as well in which that everything has its own time and place and space.

Numbers, sound, color are but some of the outward senses in which you begin to see what harmonizes and what doesn’t. Thoughts leading to progressive evolution lead to Harmony, telling us that some thoughts and steps can bring about Harmony as well.

Even within the occult, it is possible to meet some that revel within the transgressive. They look constantly for ways in which they can break all the rules, which they feel do not apply to them, and revel in the imagery of black magic. As time goes on, some grow out of that before it is too late. For as we know, nothing within the physical plane is outside the natural laws. Even higher planes of existence have their own set of rules and laws that must be followed.

So why would someone want to purposefully become transgressive? What I have found is that a tremendous amount of effort is expelled in doing so which brings on what is termed “Astral intoxication.” This is an over-stimulation of the Astral Body itself which gives folks in the occult what they might describe as a “ritual high.” Sometimes this can lead to what a fellow witch friend of mine described as a “magical hangover.

As we know, the Astral Plane is but the place where all things which must come into the physical (earth) must first pass through the Astral (lunar/moon). The astral plane is a world of illusion and delusion. It has its function and place, but it is a realm of illusion. The Astral Plane is not a “Mystical Realm” and you have not reached nirvana or a mystical state by the simple experience of Astral intoxication, in which any powerful witch worth his or her own salt is able to induce on themselves and anyone else when needed. Though, many beginner occultists feel they are all powerful when experiencing Astral Intoxication/Ritual High. This is a gate we must all pass through when we first learn to separate what is illusion and what is reality.

Separating illusion from reality can be really difficult. This can be a tricky thing for a great number of witches, as most witches I know are all very nostalgic people, including myself. We all look back with fond memories with nostalgia on memories past. So tell me this – if we are all honest: “When you started out in witchcraft, did you want terribly and desperately to buy one of those super expensive blank grimoires or ‘Book of Shadows’ from various makers?” Be honest! I bet almost every one of you did! Probably many of you even spent the hundreds of dollars that they cost in order to buy one or have one made. Though, maybe you were on a limited budget and didn’t have the opportunity to get one, but I bet most had worked their hardest to either hand-make themselves a blank grimoire to look as old and “ye arte olde” as possible? (Don’t worry, I did the same thing too! We all do.)

So what were we attracted to here with the fancy blank grimoires? We were attracted to the glamour. Glamour is but illusion, which was drawn upon our very witch-nature to be very nostalgic.

You see this today with many modern spell-books being published in very expensive and limited qualities that cost anywhere between $100-$600 per copy because they are beautifully produced.

The desire for these beautifully produced books are not a bad thing in the least. You may prefer beautiful produced books with nice coverings that will hopefully last a very long time. Though, you must be honest with yourself, would you have bought this book if it was published in the cheaper booklet form like the old Anna Riva booklets, or did you purchase it strictly because of the aesthetic quality of the cover?

A great spell-book actually – and when it was purchased, only cost a few dollars. More practical spells are included than the fancy-pants grammars of magic published today costing in the hundreds of dollar!

Funny thing is, my old little paperback copy of Anna Riva’s book The Modern Witchcraft Spellbook is simply a great little practical grimoire! Above is my copy printed back when it first came out in 1972 (I think?) that has held up well and receives good use which has great practical charms and spells in it. When I bought this originally, I think I paid $4.00 or $5.00. I fondly remember the first spell I cast using this book in which I made a Protection charm by hollowing out an egg by making two little holes in each end and blowing out the contents and stuffing with five finger grass herb and dealing with wax and painting the eggs. The finished products were displayed on little metal egg stands and were used for protection from all harm that could be done with the five hands. And, it was funny watching others try to blow the yolks out of the eggs without laughing. Omelets for everyone! (4)

Even though the pages have long since yellowed, the staples and pages have held up rather well considering the printing and its age.

Speaking of books, I recently finished a new book by Lynne McTaggart called The Power of Eight (5) that was recommended to me by a friend, as she had always been interested in McTaggart’s writing and her work:

I was able to finish the book and it surprised me on how much I enjoyed reading it and I came to the conclusion that it would make a most excellent book for people just starting to learn about Wicca. Even though the book mentions the word Wicca only twice, many of the ideals in her “Intention groups of no less than eight people” really seems like a beginner-Wicca group.

What McTaggart does in this book is form small intention groups of no less than eight people to focus and concentrate on problems that need healing or solutions. She does so with the assistance of many universities and researchers in order to collect the data needed to justify her theories. For the skeptic who wants to see the data, this could be an excellent book that just might make you believe there is more to all of this than you think.

She also mentions other groups and people that do similar type of work such as Christian Science, Rosicrucian and even Jesus and his disciples. In fact, she has a theory that the Biblical accounts of Jesus show that he actively encouraged people to pray together in a certain way for the same thing.

A wonderful old book first printed in 1918 part of the New Thought Movement teaching techniques to improve your own power of concentration.

To the Occultist, no new ground is broken here, but what is interesting is reading the results of her research experiments into her intention groups.

People involved in the New Thought Movement, Theosophy and various types of Occultism have been doing this work for many, many years and writing about the phenomenon since the 1800s, but not a great deal of them put it through research experiments in the same way as McTaggart.

A personal theory of mine I’ve always had the theory that Wicca’s idea of a “Cone of Power” can be traced back to some of the Theosophical ideas on thought radiation. Just change the term “Cone of Power” with “Long Distance Group Thought Projection” and we seem to be talking about the same concept, just performed in various unique ways. Discussion and talk of “Long Distance Hypnotism” also seem to apply here in this discussion. (The idea of a Cone of Power is but one of the many, many tools used by the witch in his/her work.)

Reading the book by McTaggart, I wasn’t disappointed that Wicca wasn’t mentioned more than what it was even though Wicca has been doing the same thing for a longer time now because I get the idea that the author is trying to have a very wide appeal to many people of diverse backgrounds and audiences – to help those who are of any spiritual background or those who are not part of any spiritual background and just want to improve their lives and the lives of people around them.

For those who are interested in Wicca or beginning their study into Wicca, I do recommend The Power of Eight book as a possible one to introduce a seeker to learn about how to work in sympathy with others on issues that might be tackled together in a group. It also gives examples of successes and failures and will help a seeker think of ways to make course-correction should what they be working for not materialize. The book will give you ideas for anyone of any spiritual variety; be it Witch, Christian, Buddhist or even Agnostic! This is a principle of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition that is found universally and would be not out of step with a Witch than it is for a Christian. Teaching people how to pray is hard. Teaching people how to pray in groups is but another challenge. This may help ease that challenge a bit.

Even down to her experiments on impregnating liquids with thoughts that McTaggart’s participants attempted in the footsteps of Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan who passed away in 2014 did when he studied how human consciousness could effect water molecules; sounds like the magical practice of the use of “fluid condensers” that witches of our coven carry out on a regular basis as another tool within the toolkit.

I know that when Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work with crystalline structures of water when frozen came out that many witches I know watched with anticipation and excitement on the work that he was doing. One thing that you will find is that witches are always interested in science and respect the scientific process. To us, science and witchcraft are not mutually exclusive. You can be a witch and a scientist with no conflict.

Emerson once said, “Power to him who power exerts.

“Don’t waste your mental powers in wishes. Don’t dissipate your energies by trying to satisfy every whim. Concentrate on doing something really worth while. The man who sticks to something is not the man who fails.” (6)
-Theron Q. Dumont, 1918

Bibliography & Works Cited:

  1. Tingley, Katherine; Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic. Print.
  2. Leek, Sybil; The Complete Art of Witchcraft. Print.
  3. Amos, Tori; 2017 Native Invader Tour Book. Print.
  4. Riva, Anna; The Modern Witchcraft Spellbook. Print.
  5. McTaggert, Lynne; The Power of Eight. Print.
  6. Dumont, Theron Q.; The Power of Concentration. Print.

 

 

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Witch-Swag & Reading

Sometimes I think it will be fun to just do a few posts now and then of recommended reading and even some new stuff that comes out that if you find interesting that you may consider adding to your own Witch-Swag collection.

First up: Herbalism

One of the areas I am often asked is for reading materials related to herbalism. One of my favorite reference books is Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs.

Second Up:  Healing

Another area that I am commonly asked for is materials related to self-healing. Though we live in advanced times, we at times seem to be in a place where we need constant healing, inside and out – physically, spiritually and emotionally.  While no book could ever be replacement for the care of a qualified doctor, physician or therapist, there are some materials related to the esoteric that are good reads and one of my recent reads was Israel Regardie’s book, The True Art of Healing that I picked up from my local library.

Lastly, Spells….

The next most common thing I have been asked is resources for learning how to cast spells as a solitary.  Fortunately, the classic Hour of the Witch by the Green Witch, Gundella has been re-released on Vinyl, Compact Disc and MP3.  As a side note, if you purchase the Vinyl, you also get added as a bonus a booklet on love magic and spells from Gundella that are not included on the recording….. And added bonus!  This collection is truly “Witch-Swag” indeed.  Check out the photos of this amazing production!

Blessed Be!

Magic Spells for Halloween

I couldn’t let the month go by without writing an article about Halloween and spell making! Yes, it is that time of year once again and the Wolfa Coven and other friends of the Wolfa Coven have been extraordinarily busy since Lammas.

This year, I presented a lecture at our local Pagan Pride Festival on Healing Magic and the Seasonal Rites. I taught the folks in attendance about the methods Sybil Leek taught on Healing Magic and how they could get started, along with giving them various resources in which they could learn how to perform healing magic like the witches do!

A new mortar and pestle that my High Priestess purchased for me on her recent cruise to the Caribbean. It is beautiful, isn’t it? We will look forward to use this for mixing healing tisanes!
Don’t these look tasty? These were gifts from two local witches. Yum, Yum!

At the lecture, the people in attendance also learned about Sabbats and Seasonal Rituals. I even read to them a passage from the classic book, The Corn King and the Spring Queen, which gives examples in novel form of the four Seasonal Rituals that we might call Sabbats today. (the book was written in the 1930s and the main character is a witch – a novel that would be of interest to many witches) Along with this reading, we talked about how they could write their own Sabbats for coven use or for solitary use.

One thought on Seasonal and yearly rituals that I didn’t speak of as a resource but I have thought a but about recently is the classic book written by Valerie Worth titled, “The Crone’s Book of Wisdom,” (1) which in recent years has been re-titled to “The Crone’s Book of Charms & Spells.”

Worth’s book does not follow the standard four classic Sabbats or four Seasonals, or even the modern eight that many now call “the Wheel of the Year,” but instead elects for twelve symbolic rituals for each month of the year. Some are timed at various phases of the moon, some at the celestial times such as the equinoxes and even one for the first day of the year.

The reason I thought a bit about the symbolic rituals for the yearly cycle in Valerie Worth’s book recently is because you do not hear too many people discuss the performance of these rituals. I have always wondered if there were groups out there that make use of them. (I know many that have made use of her excellent spells, but have not heard of anyone making use of these twelve symbolic rituals. If any of you have used them in your covens, please let us know!)

During one of the recent full moon rituals we worked spell for rain for people who needed it in Canada.

Now we should probably move on to talking about magical spells at Halloween. I know I have written before a number of articles about this time of year and the spells that are appropriate for this time, but this is a new and fresh article with thoughts for 2017. I will also try to list some of my past blog posts at the end of the article should you wish to read even more spells and magic for this time of year that we at the Wolfa Coven have been into over the past couple years!

First, when it comes to spells, many people parrot definitions of what “magic” is or they lump magic and spells together for this definition. Many times, the definition stated is a quote from Dion Fortune or Crowley. For me personally, I prefer a much more practical approach. Rather than give the standard definitions that everyone just continues to repeat each other on, I am going to give you a quote that I think matches our own Wolfa Coven’s philosophy in the Horsa Tradition of magic because it relates to the many Theosophical definitions rather than the Dion Fortune and Crowley that at times confuses new seekers to Wicca. (While D. Fortune and A. Crowley are interesting people and have much to share, I think what they are referring to in many ways is different than the practical, everyday witchcraft that folks reading this article may be interested in.)

“When you send out thoughts (which is what you are doing when casting a spell), they set up a vibration on the Astral Plane, the vibration reaches the astral counterpart of the person on whom you are casting the spell and he or she responds accordingly.” (2)
-from “Book of Spells” by Marc de Pascale

Now that we have given a closer definition here, let’s get on with what activities and spells may be of interest to you now that we are approaching Halloween.

A photo of the Full Moon taken by A., a Priestess of the Wolfa Coven during a ritual during the Full Moon in October 2017.

Speaking of the power of thought and spells, the wonderful old book by Elbee Wright, Book of Legendary Spells (3), has a particular ritual within it called “Spell for Creating a Familiar.”

This spell for creating a familiar is really creating what we might call a thought-form in the shape of a person that you give form and shape to in order to accomplish certain tasks for you.

The ritual for the familiar starts out with the pretty standard ceremonial pentagram ritual of white magic and then tells you to construct the being with step by step directions.

We know beings like this are a form of thought-form that is shaped out of astral matter by concentration. The elemental spirits/astral light (the nervous system of the astral plane) is shaped by our thoughts when we concentrate and apply the right amount of emotional involvement. (I have watched and heard witches mistakenly call these created beings “elementals” but that is incorrect as the elemental spirits exist outside of our concentrated (or sometimes subconscious thoughts, which combine with the Astral Light.) This type of familiar would be more typically called a “thought-form.”

Another subject important to the witch is prayers and incantations. The prayers that were written by Sybil Leek are important to our coven. They are used in ritual and when performing solitary work. One of the prayers she wrote titled A Grateful Incantation (4) would be an appropriate one to use this time of year. A time to give thanks to that which we have received and all the good blessings we are appreciative of. If you have Sybil’s “Complete Art” (3) book you can use it as is within your ritual, or you may compose one of your own so that you can customize it to the blessings you have received.

As you can tell, witches love magical books. This is because witchcraft highly engages the imagination, cleverness and inventiveness that witches are known to have. This makes unique books highly prized by the witch. I have yet to meet a real witch today that refuses to read. One of the tenets of our coven is the “Tenet of Learning.”

Magical charms and talismans are another type of magic that would interest the witch at this time of year. Since witches are said to be able to see or observe what other people miss or fail to observe, how about a charm that is reputed to do just that!

Marcello Truzzi wrote in his old book, Cauldron Cookery, a spell titled “To See What Others Cannot See.” (5)  This spell uses a cat’s eye gem or you can substitute a tiger’s eye, and lay it in salt water for three day, then in the sun for six days and then wear it as a necklace. This may be a charm that could help you observe and see spirits as you enjoy the ghostly delights of this time of year!

Speaking of Marcello Truzzi’s book, a good friend of his when they were both alive, Gundella the Green witch (I have written a little about her before), is having her classic 1971 vinyl record, “Hour of the Witch,” released through Modern Harmonic in Vinyl, Compact Disc and MP3 album. It looks like you can purchase this through Amazon, Books-A-Million, or any other place where you can purchase music.  It has an official release date of October 20, 2017.

Check out this great article by Dangerous Minds talking about the re-release of Gundella’s Hour of the Witch!

Check out this great promo video clip here of the re-release!  Let Gundella teach you how to cast spells!

Why mention Gundella’s “Hour of the Witch” record? Well, her record is full of classic, traditional magical spells and how to make them that even the beginner can learn to master. Gundella was a great story teller and retired school teacher who rose to fame on the lecture circuit and was part of a coven that was located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (outside of Detroit) I always liked Gundella because I considered her tradition of witchcraft to possibly be kin or like-minded to our coven’s tradition of witchcraft.

See a video clip of a 1979 interview that Gundella gave.  Great video!  Here it is:

Let’s now talk about dreams and dream work since Halloween is when we enter the dark time of the year….

“Tell your dreams to the sun, and they will leave you.” (6)

Because the amount of daylight hours we are experiencing is rapidly shrinking, we spend more time in darkness than we do during earlier points of the year. This allows for even greater forms of introspection and mind work.

One book on how dreams work that was highly recommended by Sybil Leek is a small book by C.W. Leadbeater titled, Dreams. This book will give you info on how Dreams come to be from an occult standpoint so you can understand them better. One of my favorite passages from this book is:

“If one guides his soul persistently upward, its inner senses will at last begin to unfold; the light within the shrine will burn brighter and brighter, until at last the full continuous consciousness comes, and then he will dream no more. To lie down to sleep will no longer mean for him to sink into oblivion, but simply to step forth radiant, rejoicing, strong, into that fuller, nobler life where fatigue can never come – where the soul is always learning ……” (7)
-C.W. Leadbeater

Next, I would say the learning of some simple folk charms and remedies for healing would be in order. Already, some folks are starting to feel the typical fall and winter season colds and congestion. There are many folk remedies for assisting this, including many herbal ones, but there are also folk charms that involve simple remedies such as burying items in a tree in order to be rid of certain illnesses and many others.

One interesting little healing charm written about by Delphine C. Lyons in her fantastic little book, Everyday Witchcraft (8), which gives a few healing spells including one to break a fever in which seven knots are tied in a piece of string and it being tossed over your left shoulder into a stream. (8) The purpose of tying the knots into the cord is to bind in the fever into the knots. The throwing it into a stream over your shoulder is of course an act of getting rid of the fever you’ve bound in the knots and letting the water carry the fever away in the cool water from you, cooling the fever as it travels away from you. As you toss the cord, speak a small little chant to symbolize the water taking the fever away. It is one clever little spell.

Since when we think of ‘Halloween’ we all automatically think of pumpkins being carved into Jack-o-lanterns, you might wonder, are their any spells that can be done with a pumpkin?

Europe didn’t have pumpkins to carve, but the idea of carving turnips and other root vegetables was translated into pumpkins when folks found them here in the new world. These jack-o-lanterns, whether they were carved into the old root vegetables like a turnip or in our American style pumpkins, were designed to drive away evil and provide protection for the home.

Earlier we spoke about one of Valerie Worth’s books, The Crone’s Book of Wisdom, but in regards to pumpkins and Halloween I want to speak about another one of her witch books, which was called “The Crone’s Book of Words” which was republished as “The Crone’s Book of Magical Words.”

In Worth’s “Words” book, she describes directions for a magical spell using a Jack-o-Lantern on All Hallow’s Eve with a little incantation that says, “Let the pumpkin’s candle glare, into darkness everywhere; burn all evil from the air!” (9) Valerie Worth gives some other directions for setting out the pumpkin too, but this book is another one that is just as strongly recommended as the other one by her for first-rate spell making!

The altar last week. Photo taken by A. (a Priestess of the coven) A ritual was worked on a warm night with the Full Moon overhead.

Having the ability to work outside underneath the full moon is a beautiful thing. The October moon is a sight to behold! Last week, various members of our coven and related witch-family met outside underneath the light of the Full Moon and I am told, the weather was just so beautiful indeed and perfect here in Pennsylvania! I was with other witch-family this past week camping out in a beautiful home in the rural mountains of West Virginia but still had the chance to enjoy the beauty and power of the Full Moon even though it is a bit chillier there than at home.

This is one of my new favorite photos taken by A. of the Wolfa Coven. The magical sacred “Hallows” of Witchcraft placed around the central baalfire. The Officers of the Four Directions using these magical tools for the communication with the spirits and intelligences within the Astral Light.

Thinking of the power of Full Moon Ritual reminds me of a magical practice called “Moon Bathing” that was talked about by a West Coast witch Lady Sara Cunningham, who was a student of Israel Regardie and taught “Wicca Craft” on the West Coast.

In Lady Sara’s book (10), she recommended holding a red filter over the body at various parts under the moon to filter the moonlight. After so long, you would perform the ceremonial ritual known as “The Middle Pillar” and this along with the Moon Bath with a red filter was said to increase vitality and sexual potency.

Has anyone tried moon-bathing this way before? I haven’t tried this myself with filtered light but I will have to try this sometime as our coven does use moon light and the dew at night for certain magical uses.  If you have, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!

What about songs and rituals this time of year? One Seasonal ritual uses what is called “The Sleeping Song” written by William G. Gray in his classic book: Seasonal Occult Rituals. (11) Our coven has used this beautiful ritual and I have read that other covens have to, such as Gundella’s coven of Ann Arbor Michigan and so did Patricia and Arnold Crowther’s Sheffield Coven. (She talks about these same rituals in her book “High Priestess” as Patricia was a good friend of Gray.)

Gundella the Green Witch gives the words to “The Sleeping Song” here in one of the newspaper articles about her that matches the version of “The Sleeping Song” we use. (clicking this will open up a new window for your to view the scan of the article – you will need to zoom in closer to read it clearly.)  You can also view the entire ritual completely by obtaining a copy of Gray’s wonderful book.

Maybe this time of year makes you introspective enough that you wish to think esoterically on the magical tools. One of my favorite books, The Mind of the Druid (12), talks about what we witches would call the Magic Cauldron (the cooking pot) and the Fire at the Hearth and how when cooking something within the metaphorical heart is similar to cooking simple food at the hearth. This brings new meaning to the idea of the witch’s cauldron. The author, Dr. E. Graham Howe says,

“So the four elements of fire, earth, water and air, each plays its rightful part, before we can cook the simplest food. It is the same for the work which is done in the heart, where fire (idea, will or intention) inspires; water (desire, feeling, “blood”) contributes its warning timely quota; air (the detached observant eye if cool, clear cerebration) sees what is happening; and all us brought down to earth in due season, with the fulfillment of achievement.” (12)
-The Mind of the Druid, Dr. E. Graham Howe

You might also ask where you can go to learn more spells. Isn’t there a book out there that is filled with a tremendous amount of spells on a wide range? Well, one book I can strongly recommend was written by one of my mentors, so I may be a little biased, and that book is “The Witch’s Spellcraft” by Tarostar. This book goes from herbs, to oils, to poppets, to candles to talismans. He covers it in all in a small concise volume.

A small but quite mighty book of powerful magic spells!

 

Now for practical jokes of trick-or-treat and because my witchcraft grand-kids have a wicked sense of humor, two of them bought me this from an antique store:

I hope you realize the humor of this Money House Blessing spray and the craziness of why this is funny! They got a big kick out of seeing my reaction to such a thing!

Lastly, I wish to leave you with this quote that inspired many talks I have had with students and witchcraft grand-kids this month regarding thought-forms, the elementals and our talks on the Seven-fold Principles of Man. This quote is on the Art of Thinking:

“The art of thinking is the greatest art if all, for “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The thinker knows he is today where his thoughts have taken him and that he is building his future by the quality of the thoughts he thinks.” (13)
-quote from “The Art of Living” by Wilfred A. Peterson

Happy Halloween & Blessed Be!

Other articles by Wolfa Coven about Spells and Magic at Halloween:

  1. Rite of Winter
  2. Meditation & Introspection in Ritual
  3. The Witches Cauldron
  4. Dreaming of Ritual Practice
  5. The Witches’ Seance
  6. Spirits, the Dearly Departed and Reincarnation
  7. Necromancy & the Dumb Supper
  8. Dreaming About Someone?
  9. Cold Air?
  10. The Dark Night of the Soul
  11. Spells, Rituals & Meditations in the Darkness
  12. My Inspiration: Sybil Leek
  13. Hallowmas High Ceremonial Dumb Supper

Bibliography and Educational Quotes Included from:

  1. Worth, Valerie; The Crones Book of Wisdom (now called: The Crone’s Book of Charms & Spells); Llewellyn Publications; St. Paul, MN.; 1988. Print.
  2. Pascale, Marc; Book of Spells; Taplinger Publishing Company; New York, NY; 1971. Print.
  3. Wright, Elbee; Book of Legendary Spells; Marlar Publishing Co.; Minneapolis, MN.; 1968, Print.
  4. Leek, Sybil; The Complete Art of Witchcraft; Harper & Row Publishers; New York, NY; 1971. Print.
  5. Truzzi, Marcello; Cauldron Cookery: An Authentic Guide for Coven Connoisseurs; Meredith Press; New York, NY; 1969. Print.
  6. Paulsen, Kathryn; The Complete Book of Magic & Witchcraft; Penguin Books Ltd.; New York, NY., 1970. Print.
  7. Leadbeater, C.W.; Dreams; The Theosophical Publishing House; Adyar, Madras, India; 1918. Print.
  8. Lyons, Delphine C.; Everyday Witchcraft; Dell Publishing Co, Inc.; Canada; 1972. Print.
  9. Worth, Valerie; The Crone’s Book of Words (now called: The Crone’s Book of Magical Words); Llewellyn Publications; St. Paul, MN; 1971. Print.
  10. Lady Sara; The Magical Virtues of Candles, Herbs, Incense and Perfume; Aleph Books Publications; Glendale, CA; 1974. Print.
  11. Gray, William G.; Seasonal Occult Rituals; The Aquarian Press; London, Great Britain. 1970. Print.
  12. Howe, Dr. E Graham; The Mind of the Druid; Skoob Books Publishing LTD; Bloomsbury, London. 1989. Print.
  13. 13. Peterson, Wilfred A.; Twenty Three Essays on The Art of Living; This Week Magazine; Mount Vernon 10, NY. Print.

Autumn Spells & Rituals

“We should correct our own faults by seeing how uncomely they appear in others.”
-Francis Beaumont

It is hard to believe autumn is right around the corner! The Wolfa Coven just recently celebrated the Lammas Festival which reminded us of the inevitability that the fall is just around the corner.

The tranquility of the forest at our Witch-Meet in the Woods, 2017.

Fortunately for us, we can still appreciate and enjoy summer since Lammas signifies the height of the season in our locale as the earth’s response to the sun’s initiation of the summer season as Midsummer Sabbat.

The effects of late summer was fully enjoyed just a few short weeks ago at our “Witch-Meet in the Woods” which was our camp-out sponsored by our coven and a few other connected covens in order to get together and celebrate the beauty of nature and re-connect a group-mind by covening together for 3-4 days.  Not only was a great amount of this time spent out in the forest, a great amount of time was spent on magical activities that were shared in by all.

I really enjoyed this scene of beautiful ferns near a small stream of water in the forest. It is easy to think that Nature is so simple, but the simplicity of shows a vast network of energy that orders life “just so” in order to produce the outward manifestation of growth reaching upward.

One activity at our Witch-Meet that we enjoyed was a Witch and Occultist honoring ritual in which two witches led us in a sitting to honor witches and occultists that have passed on. Those honored were influences in the magical work – both well known and some not so well-known.  Folks such as Eliphas Levi, Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Sybil Leek, Alex Sanders, Robert Cochrine, Doreen Valiente, Charmaine Dey and many others that have transitioned on were honored at this special ritual along with deceased members of the initiatory lines present. This may have to become an annual tradition!  Some of the witches present even commented at how they were so excited to learn about some of the folks they were not familiar with.

Witch-poppets for all purposes were constructed as well by those present. Various materials were used in our poppets such as beeswax, modeling clay, semi-precious stones, items found in nature and cloth were used in the construction of these items.  Overall, I believe all the poppets turned out great!

A protection poppet made from sticks, clay, pieces of cloth, natural items from the forest and a ruby.

Other items crafted in preparation for autumn were sugar scrubs.  One witch lead us in how to make and prepare coffee, salt and sugar scrubs along with essential oils that were safe for skin use and for various skin types.  This is a great time to make these in preparation for late autumn and winter months when the cooler weather dries out the skin.  It feels great for me personally to exfoliate dead and dry skin cells to make applying lotions more effective.  Some witches said they prefer to use these scrubs before showing up to coven for ritual.

A scrub I made from brown sugar, coffee, grapeseed oil and a few drops of tea-tree oil.

Another witch gave us a very good idea for divination with herbs that are pressed into wax – about the size of runes, which can be tossed and read.  This makes a new divination technique to learn here through the autumn months!

Much of our groups here recently learned various forms of drumming at our Witch-Meet!  We practiced on both Djembe (African drums) and Doumbec (Middle-Eastern drums) to learn this new-found skill to us.  Most folks liked the sound of the Djembes drums most with their very earthy or downward beats.  I really liked the sounds of the Doumbec too with its upward, light beat.  Both sound great when mixed together, and we are grateful to the witch in our coven who was able to teach us and the other folks that were in attendance.

A week later, our coven was able to put our new drumming skills to the test for the Lammas Festival.  During our Sabbat-Ceremonials, the Vestal Virgins (Maidens) of our coven perform what is called the Maiden Dance within the circle to consecrate the cast circle with the right atmosphere for the Sabbat- Ceremonial to be conducted by the coven.  Instead of recorded music being played, the drumming skills of the coven were put to the test!

An herb-man made from herbs from the garden for the Lammas Festival. My herb man was made from Rue, Kentucky Mint, Apple Mint and Catnip.

While the Vestal danced the magic circle, three members of the coven played three different drums outside of the magic circle: one Djembe, one Doumbec and one hand drum.  The beat was kept up for a time as she raised the atmosphere of the sacred space and this went on beautifully.  We will probably continue this practice throughout a number of our Sabbat festivals.  That means we better keep on practicing our drumming!

On another topic, a great activity for witches in the autumn months is the brewing and manufacture of potions, lotions, salves and such!  Since all of nature is fully in bloom and the fruit and flower of the fields have ripened, this is the prep-time of harvest to begin to ready both potions and medicinal remedies.  One witch of our coven began the manufacture of her salves from the flowers and herbs of her bountiful garden.  The plants and flowers looked most exquisite!

Speaking of magical potions, a good friend of mine who runs One Witch’s Cottage has recently made seven particular fluid condensers that are stunning-looking and ingenious in design.  Her potions are called Elixures, which is a beautiful name unique to her product line!  They are a blend of ritually charged moon waters, herbs, resins, gold tincture, semi-precious gems and all-natural dies and preserved in grain alcohol and lastly ritually-charged for magical use.  You can even purchase your own set of seven Elixures for a very reasonable price from One Witch’s Cottage.

Fluid Condensers of all sorts is also a specialty of our Wolfa Coven and we hold them in high-esteem as well.  Sybil even made them popular again in the early 1970s and we are ever thankful, as they seem to have the ability, when placed upon an object, to magnify the thought-impregnation-ability of an object.  A good example of using the fire elementals in this is by taking some of the compound universal fluid condenser that I have made and with a paint brush, brushing it on to a piece of paper and let it dry.  Then I will impregnate my thoughts onto the paper by concentration and writing upon the paper since the paper’s receptive abilities have then been magnified many times to hold my concentrated thought until I release it back to the base elements by burning the petition paper.  There are traditional spells for each of the four magical elements, and, likewise; traditional spells that can be used with each of the elements depending upon the nature of the element used, which corresponds as well to the behavior of the elementals within the Astral Plane. Like many magical spells, fluid condensers works by control and release.  If you are curious about the manufacture of a fluid condenser on your own, I can recommend the book Cast Your Own Spell by Sybil Leek and also Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon which both give you great information on the making and use of fluid condensers along with so much other invaluable magical information.

Still, for those that have trouble understanding what fluid condensers are:  think of magical oils.  Condition oils for various purposes are a great example of a simplified fluid condenser – in which you anoint an object to transfer power/magnetism/prana/vril or whatever you chose to call it to an object inflamed with your one specific thought.

The reason the autumn time is a great time to make fluid condensers, magical oils and other magical and medicinal items is because since we are now at the first harvest, the plants and herbs you need for potions, lotions, notions and such seem to either be in bloom by now or have bloomed by now.

Herbs censing the air at Lammas Festival on the baalfire.

Lammas, or as it was of old called; Lugnasad, was a great time to get together for all types of activities with the covens.  MacCulloch says in his chapter on festivals in The Religion of the Ancient Celts. says this about Lugnasad:  “Formerly at convenient centres were held on this day, not only for religious purposes, but for commerce and pleasure, both of these being of course saturated with religion.” (1)

In times past, the Lugnasad Festival included ritual nudity in the rites when they were concerned primarily with agricultural matters.  MaCulloch states that: “Pliny speaks of the nudity of the women engaged in the cult.  Nudity was an essential part of all primitive agricultural rites, and painting the body is also a widespread ritual act.  (……) By unveiling the body, and especially the sexual organs, women more effectually represented the goddess of fertility, and more effectually as her representatives, or through their own powers, magically conveyed fertility to the fields.”  (1)

Today, there are many witches who do still practice the festival sabbats in the nude; but since many witches of today are not farmers or involved in agriculture for food other than home gardens, the traditions of celebrating the festival naked today do not have the great importance they had on our ancestors of times past.  Still, some witches today still celebrate in this way, while other witches such as those in our coven, tend to opt for more beautiful ceremonial dress or plain and simple robes in order to celebrate the seasonal by giving back thanks to the Great Mother Goddess, the goddess of fertility, through ceremonial offerings to Her for all that the earth has given us throughout the year.  This ritual act seems to be an almost universal practice no matter what tradition of witchcraft you partake in.  You can see what things seem to have survived to a greater extent and which things are more fragmented.

Matthew and Julia Philips mention this in a Summer’s End ritual in their excellent booklet titled, The Witches of Oz, where they state at the end of one of the invocations:  “I give you in return a small gift; a symbol of my love for all the things you have given to me.” (2)

Philip’s and Philip’s book is an excellent resource for any budding coven!

What about for the solitary witch who casts his or her spells alone or just prefers not to travel to coven?  I am sometimes asked about resources of this nature where solitaries would like good, quality works to work from.  Fortunately, there exists a number of excellent resources I can highly recommend.  One of them is a beautiful book called, The Hedge Witch’s Way by Rae Beth.  An English Witch, she is the author of the best-selling book titled Hedge Witch, which is another book for solitaries.

The earth sometimes come alive with pops of color among the forest covered in greenery!

In The Hedge Witch’s Way, Rae Beth provides wonderful spells and prayers for Sabbats along with a great deal more for practical matters as well.  One reason I like her book so much is the prayers she gives in it remind me of the beautiful prayers that Sybil Leek had wrote that have become popular in the religion of Wicca that she published in her classic best-selling 1971 book, The Complete Art of Witchcraft.  This type of white-witchcraft prayers and invocations that both Sybil Leek and Rae Beth wrote might be called Theurgy, in which we invoke the Great Mother Goddess and Great Father God for our needs.

One of the beautiful spells she gives for Lammas uses baked bread in the ritual and one of the blessings ends with the words, “And, as I give it back to Earth, our mother, may she and all creatures thrive.” (3)  As you can see, these type of spells common at Lammas seem to be universal among most traditions of Wicca or witchcraft; whether celebrating the festival at coven or working solitary.

I can’t say enough good things about Rae Beth’s excellent books!  They are truly easy to follow and practical guides for solitary witchcraft work.

I wanted to make sure I made mention of Rae’s book here because at this time, most who currently read our coven blog are witches in various types of covens, so I wanted to make sure that I in no way didn’t leave our readers who are solitary witches without resources that are available for purchase who work and practice in the Old Religion in private.

On the subject of bread and foods, since fruits and veggies are so abundant this time of the year and in season, one thing I like to do is when I try a new recipe that contains a fruit or veggie that I am not familiar with is to attempt to look for folklore about it up in order to understand what witches and other magical practitioners once thought about it.

Recently, I have cooked a couple recipes with fresh endive.   I didn’t know much about endive other than knowing how to cook with it, so I decided to check out a bit of folklore on this plant to get a better understanding of it.

One resource that I chose to look in is a book called, The Magic of Herbs by Henri Gamanche.  One curious bit about endive referenced in the book is: “Endive carried on the person is supposed by many to enable a lover to inspire the object of his affections with the belief that he possesses all the good qualities which she can probably wish for.” (4)  Wow!  Pretty impressive plant from a magical folklore perspective!

For the last topic of this blog post, I wanted to end with one helpful way of getting into the spirit of the autumn seasonal.  As I said earlier in this post, at one point in time, the Lugnasad festival held a great importance on agricultural work, but since most witches of today most likely do not work as farmers for the most part, how can witches who are not as agriculturally inclined still celebrate the seasonal and be on point with the power of this day?

The altar at the Lammas Festival, 2017.

Bill Gray in his excellent work, Seasonal Occult Rituals poses the following questions that make us really think deeply on this on many levels which can lead us to celebrate this seasonal whether you are part of the agricultural cycle or not:  ”What have we done with ourselves during the year past that was worth doing? Just how many of our seed-ideas have come up, let alone produced any noticeable crop?” (5)

As is usual, Gray makes us stop, think and analyze ourselves for what is the down to business “goods” of the matter.  This book goes into lore and ritual practice for all four seasons and is highly recommended to those who wish to study Seasonal-Ceremonial ritual.

Each of the harvest festivals we celebrate seem to always make room for personal reflection.  Maybe this is because the old agricultural work of harvesting crops in times past was very reflective work, allowing the mind to be reminded of our own inevitable mortality – the cycle of life itself.  Either way, we always ask that we can make correction in this time of reflection for onward and upward progression to understand what we have been able to foster, bloom and bring to flower and what we could not.

“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”  – Alexander Pope

I hope this educational blog post gives some insight on what some within the religion of Wicca may be planning, doing or thinking about as we approach autumn and celebrate the autumn seasonal rituals, along with referencing many other works that will aid your study – whether you travel to coven for the sabbat or you work quietly alone.

Blessed Be!

Bibliography, References & Works Cited:

  1. MacCulloch, J.A.,The Religion of the Ancient Celts, T&T Clark, Edinburgh, Great Britain. 1911. Print
  2. Philips, Matthew and Julia, The Witches of Oz, Capall Bann Publishing, Great Britain. 1994. Print.
  3. Beth, Rae, The Hedge Witch’s Way, Robert Hale Limited, Great Britain. 2001. Print.
  4. Gamanche, Henri, The Magic of Herbs, Original Publications, Bronx, New York. 1985. Print.
  5. Gray, William G., Seasonal Occult Rituals, The Aquarian Press, London, Great Britain. 1970. Print.
Camp fire at the Witch-Meet in the Woods, 2017.

 

Magical Incenses used in Witchcraft

Witches today use magical incense in the same fashion as the practitioners of the occult arts have used them for centuries.  One of these practices, such as the use of magical incenses that correspond to the seven classical planets, seems to be used for the same purposes today as they once were. In this blog, I will share with you educational references and resources that can further aid in your exploration of this very topic.

Seven Planetary Incenses offered by One Witch’s Cottage. We highly recommend these carefully blended incenses. They are made by an initiate of the Wica using high quality ingredients and blessed during the correct planetary correspondences. They are offered for sale at reasonable prices at the following link: https://onewitchscottage.com/

One of the traditional methods of using ceremonial blends of incense has a tremendously long history.  Many of the old books of magic discuss recipes, formulas, exorcisms and conjurations of the charcoal fire used to burn incenses and also many times, recipes and conjurations used to make these special incenses.

Incenses that correspond to the seven classical planets seem to be the most widely discussed. These old grammars discuss how the proper ingredients blended into incense would attract the necessary spiritual intelligences that corresponded with the desired outcome that was wished for.  A great deal of careful blending seems to be recommended, along with very careful consecrations and ritual to obtain the results that these spells had to offer.  Because of the intense concentration required, it is no wonder these old grimoires stood the test of time!

One thing that I was taught that seems to be universal to many witches I have met is the old statement that “Witches make do.”  So while we may not always follow the old grimoires to the very letter, witches are known to adapt and “make do” with what they are able to do and obtain. Most of the time, this is because we wish to craft with safe ingredients. There are some old recipes that used drugs that are illegal to grow or purchase in their ingredients that we would never use today in casting spells.

The incenses that were recommended were formulas relating to the seven classical planets:  Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.  Each is said to have herbs, resins and what-not that are said to attract the correct spirits and banish spirits that would be against the operations that are undertaken.  The desire to attract the correct spirits and banish the bad spirits can be found in many of the exorcisms performed in ritual today and for centuries past.  For example, take this snippet of a consecration found in the Greater Key of Solomon which during the exorcism says, “…deign to bless this odoriferous incense so that it may receive strength, virtue, and power to attract the Good Spirits, and to banish and cause to retire all hostile Phantoms.  Through Thee, O Most Holy Adonai, Who livest and reignest unto the Ages of Ages.” (1)

The exorcism of the charcoal on which the incense shall be burnt is also recommended.  An example of one of these exorcisms may also be found in the K.O.S. (Greater Key of Solomon) as well and begins with, “I exorcise thee, O Creature of Fire” and after the sacred names are sounded to let the spirits know that you have spiritual authority for the act; the conjuration ends with, “that thou mayest enlighten the hearts of all the Spirits which we shall call unto this circle, so that they may appear before us without fraud and deceit…..” (1)  {further instructions can be found in the Key of Solomon, through which many editions have been printed for a very long time.}

Other grimoires also have variations of these same things.  An example of this would be A.E. Waite’s book The Book of Black Magic & Pacts (a compilation of many grimoires including the Black Pullet, the Heptameron, Grimoire of Pope Leo, K.O.S., Lesser K.O.S. and many, many others) has a version of the exorcism:  “vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these creatures, of whatsoever species they may be, so that they may obtain virtue and power to discern good spirits from bad, even phantoms and enemies, through Thee O Adanay, who livest and reignest for ever and ever.” (2)

Many of the old grimoires have very specific recipes for the blending of the incenses for each of the seven days. An example of this can be found in Raphael’s Ancient Manuscript of Talismanic Magic.  For the incense of the Sun, Raphael’s recommends:

“The perfume to be perfect, ought to be composed of Saffron, the wood of aloes, the wood of Balsam, of Myrrh, the 6th part of an ounce, add to it a gram of Musk and Ambergrise, the whole pulzerized and mixed together, after this, it is made into small seeds which you shall use on Sunday.” (3)

Another example of this can be found in a wonderful French grimoire from 1870 by Paul Christian titled, The History and Practice of Magic also gives incense recipes for each of the planetary talismans listed as well.  For example, for the Talisman of the Sun:

“The consecration of the talisman consists in exposing it to the fumes of a scent composed of cinnamon, frankincense, saffron and red sandalwood, which is burned with laurel and dried heliotrope stalks in an earthenware vessel.  The talisman is then placed in a sachet of pale yellow silk, hung on the breast.” (4)

This book is a wonderful text that was even prized by H.P. Blavatsky!  My own edition of this book was edited and revised by Ross Nichols; who was a well-known leader of the Ancient Druid Order which later became the popular Druid Order, The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

I’ve always wondered where we were able to obtain the knowledge of which plant corresponds to which planet.  It is possible this came through the concept of the Doctrine of Signatures or Paracelsus?  Later on when Culpepper’s Herbal came about, it also listed each herb corresponding with the planetary correspondence.

For those interested in Culpepper’s Herbal, I highly recommend a book by Sybil Leek called, Herbs: medicine & mysticism, including comprehensive herb encyclopedia. (Published in 1975)  In this work, with the help of fellow astrologer Glen A. Hilken, they created this book in order to “bridge the gap between Culpepper’s astrological classification and the escalating interest in both astrology and herbs that we are undergoing today.” (5)

At the back of Sybil’s book you have a listing by state of where you can obtain the herbs you may be looking for, including a listing for The Rosemary House which is a local herb shop here in Pennsylvania that is near and dear to us and still open and going strong today.

However these astrological classifications came about, they have stood the test of time and are still referred to today.

What about these classical incenses for the modern witch?

A great resource to purchase incense blends that correspond with the seven classical planets is from a good friend of mine that owns the website: One Witch’s Cottage.  I trust her incense blends for each of the seven planetary incenses completely!  She is also an initiate of the Wicca as well, so I know personally that the ingredients she uses are quality ingredients and are blended and consecrated during the correct astrological timing.  Each of her seven incenses has certain themes, such as Solar Success for the Sun, and Serene Sight for the Lunar Incense.  These incense blends are so universal, that no matter what occult working or spell you wish to perform, you can select the one that properly corresponds to the work at hand. Her incense blends are very reasonably priced for the high quality ingredients she uses.

I can personally attest to the quality of these incenses from One Witch’s Cottage through use of them as well.

During one of our recent coven rituals, one of the workings performed was for the consecration of a Solar Talisman for a Probationer of our coven.  The incense that was used in this working was the Solar Success incense blended and sold by One Witch’s Cottage. She requested that a healing be performed and it was thought that a talisman would be best at this time for its long-term effect – to allow the force of the coven to constantly be at work for her as long as the talisman is in use. The Planetary Square of the Sun was placed in a magical triangle and the metal talisman was suspended overtop of the square.  During the spellcasting, strong conjurations were made to throw out all phantasm that would be harmful or impede the working, and then the spirits of the Solar Orb within the Aether all around us were summoned and constrained to perform the healing work that we wished to effect.   At the end of the ceremony after peace declared between us and the spirits, she was then able to wear the talisman to carry forth the effect that the talisman was designed to do now that this solar talisman was consecrated and sanctified for the purposes of healing.

Another view of One Witch’s Cottage’s fabulous Incenses.

Strong conjurations and talismanic magic is but one of many methods of performing the work we wish to enact. These incenses are not just made for ceremonial talisman work and conjurations, but for any other work that a witch may wish to do.

Just a small selection of examples for what you may use planetary incenses for, such as the excellent ones offered by One Witch’s Cottage would be:

  1. The incense corresponding to the Sun might be used for healing, riches and even special favors and honor
  2. The incense corresponding to the Moon might be used at the Full Moon to honor the Great Mother Goddess, when performing a Drawing Down of the Moon, at the New Moon for special wishes or even for psychic visions
  3. The incense for Mars may be used for protection against enemies, and also for any types of work related to machinery
  4. The incense corresponding with Mercury could be used for any form of divination. Mercury is the ruler of communication, and would be especially effective when doing any psychic readings of any kind
  5. The incense corresponding with Jupiter might even be used for any type of expansion – expanding current successes or encourage growth
  6. The incense corresponding with Venus could be used for any works of attraction or love
  7. The incense corresponding to Saturn might be used to bring endings

The methods of spellcasting when using Incenses of the Seven Planets are vast!

If at all possible, it is recommended that you cast your personal spells during the correct planetary hour and day.  If you are not certain how to do this, a great book you can refer to is The Magic Candle (6) by Charmaine Day.  She was a student of the late Sybil Leek and one of the founding Elders of the Sacred Pentagraph.  While the book is focused on candle magic specifically, the instructions for casting your spells are excellent!  If you want an extended list of what each of the Planetary Incenses can be used for, or what spells would be appropriate in the correct planetary hour, Charmaine has pretty lengthy lists of what is most appropriate.  It is a highly recommended little booklet for practitioners of witchcraft and hoodoo as well!

If you are interested in trying your own hand at crafting your own planetary incenses for each of the seven planets, and you want to follow tried and true recipes that are safe to use today; then another Elder of Sacred Pentagraph, friend and mentor; Tarostar, has written an excellent book called The Spiritual Worker’s Handbook (7) which has traditional recipes that can be blended for use.

Overall, the occult tradition of using planetary incenses is alive and well, just as it has been for hundreds of years for the modern witch, sorcerer or any practitioner of the occult arts.

Blessed Be!

Links:

One Witch’s Cottage – Offering incense blends of the seven classical planets, Elixures & beautiful cloaks! Highly recommended, and all handmade by an initiate of the Wicca.

https://onewitchscottage.com/

Bibliography & Works Cited:

  1. Laurence, L.W. de; The Greater Key of Solomon, The de Laurence Company, Inc. Chicago, IL. 1914. Print.
  2. Waite, Arthur Edward; The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, The de Laurence Company, Inc. Chicago, IL. 1910, 1940. Print.
  3. Raphael; Raphael’s Ancient Manuscript of Talismanic Magic, The de Laurence Company, Inc. Chicago, IL. 1916. Print.
  4. Christian, Paul; The History and Practice of Magic, The Citadel Press. New York, NY. 1969. Print.
  5. Leek, Sybil; Herbs: medicine & mysticism, including a comprehensive herb encyclopedia, Henry Regnery Company. Chicago, IL. 1975. Print.
  6. Dey, Charmaine; The Magic Candle, Original Publications. Old Bethpage, NY. 1982. Print.
  7. Tarostar; The Spiritual Worker’s Handbook, International Imports. Toluca Lake, CA. 1985. Print.

Summertime Spells & Rituals

“One must KNOW in order to DARE. One must DARE in order to WILL. One must WILL to have the Empire. And to reign, one must BE SILENT.” (1)

The time of summer is now upon us and that means it is time for the Wolfa Coven to perform the Rite of Summer and also in the near future the Summer Solstice Sabbat.

The Maypole we had this year at Beltane was absolutely beautiful! A big thank you to our coven’s Vestal Virgin for taking this beautiful photo!

This is a time of the year that we all seem so very busy.  Being witches, we understand and respond to the tides and changes in nature and since we are in the tide of rapid growth, which means rapid activity for everyone.  This is normal within the natural cycle of things and is never a surprise for a witch – for we understand these times come around again each and every year.  I always tell my students, “Strike when the iron is hot!”

Maybe you are new to witchcraft and want to know what activities that many witches engage in this time of year or maybe you are seasoned in the arts of witchcraft and looking for fresh ideas of what other witches may engage in.  You may ask yourself even, in the life of the witch, what activities might we find enjoyable and worthwhile in the magical work that we perform this time of year?  In this blog I hope I can give you some inspiration from the magical work of the Wolfa Coven….

Because the weather here in the Northeast of the U.S. is fair and nature springs forth in full bloom, many of our activities focus on activities out of doors.  You might find yourself carrying forth the old cauldron for cooking your meal over the Sabbat baalfire at coven (an article here on The Witches Cauldron!) or you might find yourself casting spells with flowers and plants that you gather outside.  This is something that is a specialty in the Wolfa Coven as we have a great affinity for spellmaking with natural items.

An example of spells using plants and flowers is to gather together flowers and plants that correspond with the desire you wish to bring about – these flowers become a physical petition for your will.  These flowers can be arranged in a vase in your home or artfully designed or tied into a posy or nosegay to be dried and carefully work their magic in your home, office, bedroom or even given to a friend for healing or so they may obtain their desires.

I was pleasantly surprised a few years ago when I purchased the new edition of The Spiral Dance by Starhawk in which she describes in her notes a similar technique of creating a spell of this nature on page 273 that she calls “eco-spellcasting” (2) because the items themselves are all natural and can be given back to nature when completed.   The method Starhawk describes is sound, practical and costs little to nothing to do.  Most importantly, it is down-home practical spellcasting.

The smell of Lilac in the garden is truly magical and highly fragrant.

Another version of this work is performed by the Wolfa Coven and I’m sure many other witches as well and that is arranging the appropriate plants and flowers upon the Sabbat altar.  Flowers present on the altar are important for the attraction and working with nature spirits and serves as a method for us to align with the energies of the season.  To do this, we gather cut flowers, tree branches, plants and herbs from outdoors and arrange them into a beautiful vase to decorate the Sabbat altar.  The plants selected are almost always plants in season that correspond with the correct time of the year.

Roses from the garden from late May – early October are typically among some of the flowers arranged on our altars here at the Wolfa Coven. The magic and mysticism surrounding roses are many – especially since much of what goes on at a coven is “sub-rosa!”

This idea common in Wicca has been thought about by many others too, as many have seen the power and simple effect that cut flowers and plants have on the space when carefully arranged.  A beautiful quote that emphasizes this is:

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”  – a beautiful quote penned and made popular by Anne Morrow Lindberg

Speaking of the idea of prayer, it is but a powerful form of communication and radiating of power in which you use certain divisions of seven-fold bodies of man that make up our very being.  The problem is that so many folks do not know how to correctly “pray.”  The practice of prayer is very common among the members of the Wolfa Coven – the power of applying correct prayer.  With nature in full beauty and nice weather, it makes a great time of the year to travel to certain locations that allow us to pray.

While I can’t write about here our exact techniques in the application of prayer, I can direct you to a wonderful new book that teaches many great techniques of applying prayer correctly – bringing to modern man the ancient techniques of prayer.  You can discover some of these techniques from a wonderful book by Gregg Braden called Secrets of the lost mode of prayer – the hidden power of beauty, blessing, wisdom and hurt.

The experienced witch may find this brief quote will ring-true to them and may whet your appetite a bit to purchase this book yourself and learn about how to pray:

“What you have seen is what we do to create the feeling in our bodies.” (3)

What could be a more simple and worthwhile endeavor for a witch to learn more about?  Many who are new to witchcraft shun the practice of performing prayer because the word itself may bring up hurt feelings and emotions from possibly a previous religion they have left.  Once you are able to let go of the hurt emotions that only impede our progress to finding real occult truths, you may find it a worthwhile practice to integrate.  The fact is – prayer belongs to no one religion.  You can be any religion and engage in prayer, or no religion whatsoever!

The opposite of prayer is meditation, which instead of radiating power outward, we read the astral matter around us to discover what is truly there.  This may best be described as contemplation and we have written a blog about this as well that you can find here.  

The world’s most famous witch, the late Sybil Leek, talked about the importance of understanding the difference between prayer and meditation in her best-selling book Diary of a Witch (4) in which many magical gems are revealed to the reader if you are careful enough to watch for them.  Many times, we are obsessed with the actual story itself, rather than reading between the lines to find the gold-nuggets that are discerned by the occult adept.  They are there to find if you know how to spot them.

In the teachings of the Wolfa Coven, we work with the elementals and the manipulation of the aether through the correct concentration and movement of what today might be called the power or astral light/aether by concentration which attracts the elementals to a place and then directed by thought.  This might be used in combination with techniques similar to Starhawk’s “eco-spellcasting” (2) or through use of natural items and concentrated thought using a magical fluid condenser upon an object.  The study and understanding of the higher mind, the desire body, the electromagnetic field and the astral/ethereal body gives many hours of fascinating study into this subject.

Speaking of the power of plants, you may be surprised that many activities for the herbal enthusiast can occur at any time of the year.  Many great herbals can give you wonderful information that you can use the natural items that Dame Nature gives us.  One of my favorite little gems is Mrs.Reppert’s Twelve Month Herbal by Bertha Reppert. (5) In the book, she gives us an herbal activity for each day of the year!  The activities can be for making herbal remedies, herbal treats, growing and tending to plants and flowers or even working with garden fairies!  If you are interested in some of my favorite herbals that I refer to time and time again, I have written a blog on my favorite herbal books that will introduce these to you that you can have hours upon hours of enjoyment learning about and practicing herbalism and the gentle art of brewing potions, tisanes, simples and even recipes for dinner!

Speaking of nature spirits, a worthwhile activity is tending to the environment around you.  If you haven’t started the practice of recycling, it could be a good idea to take that up!  Summer cleaning in which you go through your house and de-clutter can be a spiritual activity in itself.  As you remove clutter from your space to donate, recycle or even up-cycle; you can spiritually clean the space.  Almost as if you mentally say, “As I give of this item so that ………..”

Tending to your immediate environment not only attracts the attention of the nature spirits around you, it changes the energy of the area around you.  A great little booklet by Clifford J. Mikkelson called How to Help Nature Spirits Clean up the Environment (6) gives helpful ideas for what we might call “Mindful Living” today by outlining a few simple techniques to recognize the power of them in your environment and also how you can be mindful of their presence.

Magical herbalism is a very popular venture among witches.  One traditional herb that is picked at Midsummer is St. John’s Worth which is said to ensure pregnancy (7) as a folklore fertility charm.  In fact, either Midsummer or St. John’s Eve is said to be the most popular time to pick herbs.  In fact, in Gypsy Witchcraft the Summer Solstice is said to be the most powerful time of the year to cast love spells and brew love potions.  Both the Gypsy witches of England and of Eastern Europe consider this a very powerful night.  Some Gypsy witches might even consider all spells to be most powerful this time of the year.

Cinquefoil or the “Five Finger Grass.” A prized little herb of witchcraft. Here in Pennsylvania, it grows everywhere and most consider it a weed.

Also on the subject of herbalism, one close friend of mine who is a Gardnerian initiate of the Wicca who lives on the West Coast is engaged in creating herbal items that will be of interest to many readers of the Wolfa Coven blog.  She is finishing her preparations of these herbal brews and will soon have them ready for sale after they have been consecrated in circle.  We have spent many hours over the last year talking about this fun venture she is doing and I can’t wait to write about her amazing abilities and products in magical herbalism here on this blog and introduce you to her items.  Stay tuned!

My favorite book on Herbalism and referenced quite often!

Today, the practice of “Mindfulness” and mindful living has become a recent trend in a positive direction.  You can find this practiced amongst lunch-clubs, with co-workers at the office or even in schools today to help children in their cognitive thinking.  This is a positive thing in the Age of Aquarius that has occurred in which the art of expanding our own awareness has shown positive impacts.  How better would this world be if we were all more mindful of what we say and do in our interactions with others?  This is a subject that also is of an interest to members of the Wolfa Coven and both members of the Horsa Tradition and Sacred Pentagraph have practiced for many years, and in fact, hold this as one of our Tenets of Witchcraft!  To us, Mindfulness falls in under the Tenet of Harmony in which we constantly work to be in a place of harmonious existence with the world around us. (Something we constantly strive and aspire to do)  To find our place in the grand scheme and be in harmony with it – with people, nature, spirits, etc.   It is amazing how the Tenets of Witchcraft that we practice is very similar to many of the trends that spiritual and mindful folks in the world are now constantly working towards developing on a wider scale.  This is amazing to see!

Another activity that we find to be popular at the Sabbat of Midsummer is that of the bonfire and the dance.  A great description can be found in MacCulloch’s wonderful and informative book titled, The Religion of the Ancient Celts:

“Dancing sunwise round the fire to the accompaniment of songs which probably took the place of hymns or tunes in honour of the Sun-god, commonly occurred, and by imitating the sun’s action, may have been intended to make it more powerful.  The livelier the dance the better would be the harvest.  As the fire represented the sun, it possessed the purifying and invigorating powers of the sun; hence leaping through the fire preserved from disease, brought prosperity, or removed barrenness.”  (8)

Today, many witches still leap the fires for luck!

Another exciting thing a witch engages in during all seasons is the learning of new skills and knowledge.  As you know, the path of becoming the witch is always one of constant learning. We take the Tenet of Learning very seriously in that there is always something new to learn.  A good friend and witch downline has recently written a new blog post titled Magic Words and Sigil MagickHis blog explains this magical art in very easy to understand language and is well worth the read. Fen Alarun is a serious witch and a thinker whom I admire.

For the readers of this blog who are interested in the role of gay and bi-sexual male perspective of witchcraft, another witch I admire who leads a sizable group of gay and bi-sexual witches that practice coven-based witchcraft all over the country has released a series of articles detailing the role of gay and bi-sexual male mysteries – both from the past and in the present day.  You can read the articles at www.galawitchcraft.com  The beauty of the Gala Tradition is that it is inclusive of gay men, of all gender identities who wish to practice and explore together – the becoming of the gay mystic and occultist.

The Gala Tradition of Witchcraft is a coven-based tradition, which focuses on discovering the male mysteries that are unique to gay and bi-sexual men.   http://www.galawitchcraft.com 

Overall, as you can see it can be quite a busy and active summer with many things to read about, explore and practice.  If you missed the first article in this series, Springtime Spells & Rituals, feel free to check that out too.  We look forward to continuing this series with both an autumn and winter edition as we continue to explore spells and rituals throughout the seasons.

Blessed Be!

Bibliography & Works Cited:

  1. Levi, Eliphas; The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic, a new translation by John Michael Greer and Mark Anthony Mikituk; A TeacherPerigee Book, New York, NY. 2017. Print.
  2. Starhawk; The Spiral Dance- Special 20th Anniversary Edition; HarperCollins, New York, NY. 1999. Print.
  3. Braden, Gregg; Secrets of the lost mode of prayer: the hidden power of beauty, blessing, wisdom and hurt; Hay House, Inc. 2006. Print.
  4. Leek, Sybil; Diary of a Witch; Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1968. Print.
  5. Reppert, Bertha; Mrs. Reppert’s Twelve Month Herbal; Remembrance Press, Mechanicsburg, P.A. 1996. Print
  6. Mikkelson, Clifford J.; How to Help Nature Spirits Clean Up the Environment; Golden Gnome Press. Birch Tree, MO. 1996. Print.
  7. Farrar, Janet & Stewart; Spells and How They Work; Phoenix Publishing, Inc. Custer W.A. 1990. Print.
  8. MacCulloch, J.A.; The Religion of the Ancient Celts; T & T Clark, Edinburgh. 1911. & Constable and Company Limited, London. 1991. Print.

Dreaming of Ritual Practice

“Students of occultism are well aware that it is indeed true that “thoughts are things,” for every thought impresses itself upon the plastic elemental essence and generates a temporary living entity, the duration of whose life depends upon the energy of the thought-impulse given to it. We are therefore living in the midst of an ocean of other men’s thoughts, and whether we are awake or asleep, these are constantly presenting themselves to the etheric part of our brain.”   (1)
-C.W. Leadbeater, “Dreams.” Originally published in 1898.

I would imagine that the power of the dream state has fascinated people since the dawn of time.  At times, our dreams can be upsetting and at other times our dreams can be most refreshing.  Either way, it seems that our dreams seem to be able to work out situations in the most remarkable ways.

“I’ll sleep on it” seems to be an almost instinctive way of trying to work out problems that we have yet to find answers.  How many times have you went to bed angry only the next morning to find your temper has cooled or problems that seemed overwhelming one moment were made clear or less problematic the next morning?  This seems to be a fantastic phenomenon to me and makes me think that if we all sleep on an issue before lashing out at others; we might get along better with other humankind.  This may be something that may be beneficial for us – as we live in a world where rapid communication happens in seconds.  How many times have you ourselves in disagreements online where one side of the argument escalates very quickly?  Tempers may have cooled if we only have waited until dawn the next day.

Many have reported wonderful accounts of premonitions that have come true as well.  Others may have found themselves dreaming about a particular individual only to find the next day that person was dreaming about them too!  I have experienced this phenomenon many, many times myself.  Usually people have been quite surprised to find this occur, especially our most skeptical friends!

I remember one very close friend of mine who is a staunch atheist, but has no problem or concern with my own acceptance and belief in the Ancient Wisdom Religion.   He was remarkably astonished to find that he dreamed about me the same night that I dreamed about him with remarkable similarities.  Of course, he still continued on as a staunch atheist, but opened up his willingness to explore other forms of psychic phenomenon such as astral projection.

Dreams may be but one way of cooling heated tempers, working out problems, and even a way of receiving premonitions; but at times can be a form of spiritual communication with those whom have gone before….

A remarkable experience seems to happen when you are an initiate of a coven line or lineage:  the ability to be plugged in to Guides of the coven that have transitioned from this life to the next and for them to communicate directly about coven practice through dreams and visions.

This is a re-occurring theme that seems to happen is where the coven guides communicate about rituals and magical practice through dreams.  I’ll give you an example:

One night during a dream, I walked into a beautiful antique shop and sitting in front of the counter/cash register was a stack of rituals on old yellowed paper. The deceased coven member I met in the dream said they did not have the chance to make full use of them so they were handing them on to me to see if I could make use of them.  Then, as if by strange coincidence, two weeks later rituals and spells arrived by mail to me from a close witch-friend on old, yellowed paper; I was astonished!  Situations like this have occurred more times than I can count.

Other times, I will receive information and magical practice from the Guides by dream as well – almost as if they are teaching me in a way they are able to reach me – through the dream state.  I have brought forth many spells and rituals in this way, having been taught them by deceased members of the coven line.

I decided to write this article today because I had another one of these dreams last night.  A wonderful witch somewhere in the coven line named Kim (whom must have passed away a long time ago possibly and I have not met psychically before?) shared with me a ritual booklet in this dream.  This booklet was stapled.  It was almost as if it was printed on large over-sized paper, folded and then stapled inside.  The document was for the coven and friends of the coven.

Of course, at times, I can’t always read all the words in this document in the dream state – but many times I can remember the photos.  I remember vividly the photo of a magical circle made on the ground in the forest with flowers in-between the two circles. The magical tools placed around the circle. Beautiful indeed!

After I heard from Kim and she showed me the document, I woke up around 4:30 A.M.  In days past before cell phones, it was recommended that you keep paper and a pencil by your bed to record down what you received.  So what do I do first thing?  Well, I grabbed my cell phone and after my eyes adjusted for 20 seconds or so to the bright cell phone light in the dead of night, I performed a search online via Bing search engine and on amazon.com to see if this was a booklet that someone had mentioned online or if it was in print somewhere.  I remembered pieces of the title on the front of the little booklet that was put together.  (I can’t confirm if Kim was the writer of the document, or if she was passing on what she was given? I searched for her too!)  

It is possible today to be able to make a short recording or video on your phone which enables us to get our thoughts down quicker than the old standby of paper and pencil.  See, a witch adapts to the newly available tools at his or her fingertips!

Unfortunately, the search turned up no responses to this document.  So if it does exist, I can’t find mention of it online or a search of anyone talking about it or maybe even the title was different.  So now at this point, I have to either wait and see if anything turns up from anyone I know, if it shows up, or it could be a possibility that if it doesn’t exist anymore, that I should write it down and create my own little booklet for members of the coven.

One skill I don’t possess well is the ability to draw or paint beautifully.  Fortunately, we do have members of the coven who can.  What I think this tells me is that when one of us does have a special psychic observation like this that you should work with someone skilled at drawing so they can translate the descriptions that were brought out.  This makes a wonderful magical cooperation!

I was able to download in my mind bits and pieces of the document – and if it doesn’t exist anywhere, hopefully through psychic means, I can transcribe the rest for the other members of the coven.

Through this, I can see how many other occult texts have been written – psychic inspiration through one form or another probably is how most of the world religions were able to have transcribed their own texts – from either Guides or entities or those dearly departed.  I would bet many of these came through or were inspired by dreams.

Usually I try to include photos in the blogs here that either a member of the coven takes a picture of or a photo I take on my cellular phone during the experience itself. I apologize for the lack of visual photos here – but I just couldn’t think what would be appropriate to put here at this time because the work of dream magic seems to require no other thing but your body and a place to sleep.

If the idea of dream work is something that you are interested in understanding a bit more – I can make a recommendation of a small little booklet that has been most helpful to me in the understanding of this type of psychic phenomenon.   I quoted the booklet above and also have listed full details below in the Bibliography of this article below so that you may find a copy of it if you wish.  It is a short read and has been most helpful in aiding me over the years to try and better understand how dreams work!

Blessed Be!

Bibliography:

  1. Leadbeater, C.W., “Dreams”, The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar India. 1918. Print

… a coven of British Traditional Witches practicing in the Horsa Tradition