Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Magical & Ritual Use of Herbs - Damiana (Tumera diffusa)

A sacrament to improve and tone sexuality

Family: Tumeraceae.
Botanical Name: Turnera diflUsa.
Synonyms: Mexican damiana.
Geographical Location: Tropical parts of the Americas, particularly Texas and Mexico. It is also harvested in Africa.
Habitat: Grows in dry soil; needs sun.
Botanical Description: A small shrub with ovate leaves that are broadest toward the top end. The leaves are smooth and pale green on the upper side and smooth on the undersides except for a few hairs on the ribs. The flowers are yellow, arising singly from the axilla of the leaves followed by a one-celled capsule splitting into three pieces. The flower has an aromatic smell and a bitter taste.

HISTORY
Many women in Mexico have found that a cup of damiana tea taken one or two hours before intercourse helps to immerse them in the sex act. It is believed to have a tonic effect upon the sexual organs and the nervous system. Most effective when used in combination with saw palmetto berries (Serenoa repens) in a 1:1 ratio.

CHEMISTRY
The leaf contains 0.2-0.9% volatile oil, 14%resin, approximately 3.5% tannin, 6%starch, and a bitter substance called damianian.

PRIMARY EFFECTS
Mild aphrodisiac and marijuana-like euphoria, lasting about an
hour and a half.

PREPARATION
In his book, A Manual of Sex Magick, LouisJ. Culling describesa damiana drink preparation: Take 2 heaping tablespoons of dried damiana leaves and boil them in 1 cup of water for five minutes. Cool, strain, and drink in the evening. He recommends continual use over a two-week period for significant results.

RITUAL USE
Below is a fine recipe for an aphrodisiacal cordial of damiana.
Soak 1 ounce ofdamiana leaves in 1 pint of vodka for five days.
Pour off the liquid, strain, and filter through a conical paper coffee filter. Soak remaining alcohol-drenched leaves in *pint of distilled or spring water for another five days. Pour off the liquids, strain, and filter as before. Warm water extracts to 160°F and dissolve in Y2 to 1 cup of honey. Combine alcoholic and aqueous extractions. Age for one month. During the aging a sediment will form as the liqueur clarifies. The sediment is harmless but you may wish to siphon the clear liqueur from it. For best results, take 1 or 2 cordial glasses of the beverage nightly. The taste is exquisite.
Small quantities of liqueur are excellent for any ritual oriented
toward sex magic. Although its chemistry is unknown,
damiana can be used as a sacrament to improve and tone sexuality.

Note of Caution: Excessive long-term use may be toxic to the liver.
Damiana can make a really fine smoke if used in a waterpipe. For a marijuana-like high, a blend known as Yuba Gold is:
4 parts damiana leaf
4 parts scullcap herb
~ part lobelia herb
4 parts passionflower herb


Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Charge of The Goddess - For use by all Pagans

Listen to the words of the Ancient Mother, who was of old called among men Astarte, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Maia, Diana, Terra, Ishtar, Hecate, Brigid, and by many other
names.


Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, ye shall assemble in sacred space and adore the spirit of me who is Mother of all. There ye shall assemble who desire to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets. To these I will teach things that are yet unknown, and you shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is Joy on Earth, and my Law is love unto all beings. Keep pure thine highest ideals, strive ever towards them. Let naught stop thee or turn thee aside, for mine is the secret that
opens upon the door of youth, and mine is the Cauldron that gives the knowledge of rebirth.


I am the gracious Lady who gives the gift of joy to the hearts of mankind. I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold! I am the Mother of all things, and my love is poured out upon the Earth!


Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe:


I am the beauty of the green Earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the rhythms of the waters, I call to your soul to arise and come to me. For I am the soul of nature who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and to me all things must return. And before my face thine inmost self shall be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold! All acts of Love and Pleasure are my rituals! Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within thee. And thou who seek to know me, know that thy seeking and yearning will avail thee not, unless thou knowest the mystery: for if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning , and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Friday, March 26, 2021

The Thirteen Principles of Witchcraft

The Council of American Witches (now defunct) adopted the 13 Principles of Witchcraft in April of 1974. Although many modern-day Witches are unfamiliar with the C.A.W., the Council's principles are widely adhered to just the same. They are as follows:


1) We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross-quarters.


2) We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.


3) We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called supernatural, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.


4) We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity – as masculine and feminine – and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.


5) We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconsciousness, Inner Planes, etc. – and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.


6) We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those have courageously given of themselves in leadership.


7) We see religion, magick, and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it – a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft – the Pagan Way.


8) Calling oneself a Witch does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.


9) We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.


10)
Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that it's institutions have claimed to be 'the only way', and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.


11) As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.


12) We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as Satan, or the Devil, as defined by the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the sufferings of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.


13) We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.


[The above principles are now in the public domain.]

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Nature Spirit Magic

Introduction

Each plant, animal, rock, and other entity has a spirit (consciousness resonance matrix). These spirits can join together, in a hive-mind, as a spirit of an area. Nature spirits include real biological intelligences, are psychically powerful, and are much less abstract and controllable than the Elementals that many magical people who perform all of their rituals indoors are familiar with. They can be extremely powerful allies. It is possible to sense nature spirits, to determine if they are receptive to a ritual planned, and to have them actively participate in magical workings if they are.

Some Effects Of Working With Nature Spirits

Spectacular physical manifestations can happen when working with nature spirits in the wild. I have personally seen actual foxfire mark the boundaries of a magic circle at a location that was identified as a receptive power spot and attuned to a planned ritual the day before. I have seen more than one site attuned for ritual be dry and comfortable, with a round hole in the clouds overhead, on days that were cold and rainy at other nearby locations. Birds have joined in rituals, flying around the circle when energy was being raised; and insects, birds and animals have joined in chants. In addition, the wind often responds to invocations. Generally, these spectacular manifestations happen unexpectedly.

With or without such manifestations, nature spirits often will channel tremendous amounts of power into the magic being performed. It is suggested that you do not consciously try for specific manifestations. Let Nature channel her power into the magic in her own way. If approached with respect, nature may give you many pleasant surprises.

Spectacular physical manifestations are not a necessary sign of success. If you need a spectacular manifestation and nature spirits know this, you will get it. The best success in magic is on the inner planes and more subtle than such manifestations. This success involves beneficial changes in consciousness that last and helpful chains of synchronicity. In addition, working with Nature Spirits can also bring a deep sense of partnership with Nature, and bring new levels of attunement.

To get the best results, perform nature spirit attunement several hours to several days before the main ritual. The purposes of such attunement are to find suitable power spots and to get the help of friendly nature spirits. This timing gives Nature time to gather her children and to prepare to actively participate in the main ritual.

What To Not Do

If nature spirits are approached with disrespect by attempting to command them rather than listening to them and inviting them to work with you, nature spirits may flee, rebel, or attack. I once attended a ritual by some pseudo-Crowleyites who attempted to perform the "Ritual of the Barbarous Names" at a power spot in a forest and then to extend the circle several hundred yards in all directions.


While the forest in general had loud insect and frog noises, the area at which the ritual took place got quiet immediately when the main ritualist declared that all spirits were subject unto him. The vibes from nature could best be characterized as "Oh yea, Mother!" One participant was quickly possessed by an angry spirit and kept repeating "You killed my children, your children will never live in peace." When the priestess stepped out of the boundaries of the original circle, she was attacked by bees; and bees covered the Book of the Law. Magicians should know better than to attempt to command spirits whose true names they do not know!

Calling Nature Spirits

To make the most out of working magical ritual in the wild, one should find power spots where nature spirits are receptive to the ritual planned and approach the spirits with respect, as equals. In my experience, the most effective power spots for working with the living intelligences of nature are located in wild areas with diverse, active ecologies.

When entering a wild area to find a site for a ritual, find a place that feels good. Then do the following, either individually or, if in a group, as a guided meditation:

Relax, while standing upright, and focus on your breathing. Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm. Breathe together if in a group.

Feel the wind, and let it relax you and awaken your spirit within, as your deep breathing takes you into non-ordinary reality.

Picture, in your mind's eye, a light inside you. As you breathe, feel the light expand, purify and energize you - as it expands to fill your aura.

Feel yourself glowing, balanced, purified, and full of power.

Connect with your inner self (your higher self), and feel your intuitive self operating.

Feel yourself as:

The wind, full of life and intelligence, communicating with all round.

The Sunlight, warm, alive, channeling the power to communicate with nature and energizing all around.

Water, emotional, intuitive, refreshing, and connected with nature.

The Earth, and note how your physical body is able to wander while remaining part of Mother Earth.

Focus on your spiritual self, and:

Note the light within and feel it as love,

Expand the light and love beyond the immediate aura of your body to the surrounding area - where you will go to find a power spot and contact nature spirits.

Telepathically (by thinking while channeling the love and light energy) send out signals to nature spirits to emerge and be aware of your presence.

Say why you have come, and invite them to join in sharing, mutual celebration, and the work you intend.

Visualize the light and love energy you are channeling extending out and merging with the light from distant places.

Feel the power of the Earth flowing up through your body and feet.

Feel the power from the sky, and channel this power also to further energize the carrier signal of light and love for communicating with nature.

Visualize the light expanding and merging.

Continue to send out telepathic signals.

Now go deeper:

Close your eyes, sit on the Earth, and feel your connection while you channel more light and love.

Continue modulating the light and love with your thoughts - inviting receptive spirits to join with you and to make themselves known.

If in a group, someone should start playing a drum at a rate of about one beat per second; and you should listen to the drum and let the drum take you deeper.

Affirm that you are a nature magician, a medicine person, who knows and communicates with nature. Let this part of yourself emerge to full consciousness. Let the drum and the connection to your inner self awaken that part of yourself that naturally communicates with other life forms. Let it awaken your telepathic senses.

Continue sending telepathic signals to nature.

When you feel ready and an inner urge to begin, open your eyes a crack and look around, while continuing to channel love and light and telepathically calling for a response.

You may see light coming from certain areas that are receptive. You may get other signals, such as a feeling of power or love returning in a certain direction. Perhaps the type of response to this work will be unexpected; follow your intuition in interpreting it.

You may test your connection by communicating (mentally) instructions for signals for yes/no responses (such as light getting brighter for less and darker for no) and then mentally ask questions and observe the responses.

When you have found an areas that seems to be responsive and receptive, begin walking to the area, while beaming love energy. Extend your aura to the area and sense the energy.

Entering A Power Spot

Before entering a power spot, ask permission to enter. If the response is good, enter; if not, locate another more receptive area.
When entering the power spot, look around. Perhaps the responsive energy will be concentrated around some singularity (a bush, a tree, a specific branch, a moss covered rock, or other entity that stands out). Perhaps the energy will be more general. Use your intuition and feedback from the spirits to guide your actions.

If it feels right, send out a signal that you would like to touch the singularity (or the ground) for better communication. If the response is good, approach beaming love energy, and then touch or hug the singularity (or the ground).
Treat the spirits as you would other Pagans you meet for the first time - be sensitive, open, and listen.

Deepening Communication With Nature Spirits

Now that you have made contact with spirits that seem receptive, deepen the communication:

Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm, and with each breath, feel more refreshed.

Now imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree; and, from its base, roots extend deep into the Earth. Deep into the rich moist Earth.
With every breath, feel the roots extending deeper,

Feel the energy deep within the Earth and within the waters of the Earth. Feel your roots absorbing nourishment from the Earth and from its waters.

Feel the moist, warm energy rising.

Feel it bursting up from the Earth and rising up your spine, like sap rises in a tree.

Feel the energy rise to your crown chakra (at the top of your head).

Now imagine that you have branches, branches that sweep up and then bend down towards the Earth, like the limbs of a willow.

Feel the branches extending and interweaving with your surroundings.

Feel the warm, moist energy of the Earth flowing through your branches. As it flows, feel yourself being purified, centered, and connected to the Earth.

Feel the power from the Earth flowing through your branches and then down back to the Earth, like a fountain.

Note how your branches absorb energy from the air. Also, feel them receiving light (fire) from the sky.

Feel the energy from above penetrating deep through your body into the Earth.

Feel the warmth of the Earth rising also.

Feel the energy circulating.

Notice how your branches intertwine with the branches of energy surrounding you.

Feel the energy dancing among your branches and the branches around you.

Notice how your roots also intertwine with underground energy channels.

Feel the energy dancing between your roots and the surrounding energy patterns.

Notice how you and the life around you are rooted in the same Earth, breathing the same air, receiving the same fire, drinking the same water, sharing the same underlying essence. You are one with the magical grove.

Telepathically mention the time in the past when nature spirits and people communicated regularly and the need to establish such communication now.

Test your connection by asking questions and observing the responses.

Working With Nature Spirits

Explain to the spirits the purpose of your coming to them and the nature of the ritual you plan.

If the spirits you contacted are receptive:

Explain to them the details of the ritual and invite them to provide ideas.

Listen, you may receive suggestions on how to improve the ritual. Such suggestions may come in the form of hunches, visions, answers to yes/no questions using pre-arranged signals, or in other ways.

Explain what type of space is needed and ask what the best place to perform the ritual is.

You may see light or get other psychic signals leading you to other sites, or you may be at one of them.

You may also ask what the best places for other aspects of the planned work are (picnicking, individual vision quests, etc.).

If preparation of the site is needed (removing briars, preparing a fire circle, etc.) ask permission of the spirits before proceeding with such action.

Before you leave the power spot, tell the spirits you have contacted when you plan to return to do the ritual (visualizing the associated lunar and solar aspects can help with this communication).

Invite them to join in the ritual when you return and to bring their friends.

Ask if it would be best to return silently, with drums, with chanting, or with some other form of approach.

You can also ask the spirits to provide guidance for working in balance and to provide a teacher to provide further guidance.
Before you leave the power spot:

Thank the spirits,

Channel love energy,

Trigger your memory of the experience, and

If it feels right, leave an offering of tobacco, or beer and honey poured on the ground (or other suitable material).
Leave in peace and love.

Proceed to other sites that were indicated by the spirits, doing similar meditations at each site.

If you need something, like a staff, a Maypole, or a wand, you can also ask where you can find it and follow the guidance you receive (not slavishly, but as you would guidance from another Pagan).

Before leaving the general area in which you found power spots and contacted nature spirits:

Channel love energy towards the receptive sites you found,

Thank the spirits of the land,

Pull back your roots and branches,
Ground any excess energy into the Earth (placing your hands on the Earth, breathe in any excess energy, and channel the energy down your arms, while visualizing and feeling the energy going into the Earth), and

Leave in peace and love.

Naturally, you should leave the area at least as clean, and preferably cleaner, than you found it.

If you work with techniques of Wicca or Ceremonial Magic, you may find that by casting a circle, calling the Elements, the Goddess, the Gods, and the local nature spirits while you are at receptive sites, you may be able to greatly increase communication.

Through the use of drums and other power raising techniques, it is even possible to energize receptive nature spirits. The results can be very interesting. If with a coven, such circles can be done as part of a group attunement to a power spot you have located.

If you do not get good feelings in response to your explanation of the ritual and are unable to come up with a ritual that gives good responses, do not try to force a good response. You would only be fooling yourself.

Thank the spirits for their attention.
Ask them why they are not receptive (if it feels right and they are communicative).

Trigger your memory.

Pull back your "roots and branches," return any excess energy you feel into the Earth.

If it feels appropriate, leave an offering of tobacco or other appropriate material, out of respect for the spirits.

Move to a more receptive site.

If it is hard to find a site that is really receptive, you should:

Consider any impressions you got of why the nature spirits weren't receptive in the area you were in, and re-think your plans for a ritual, as necessary and appropriate.

It may also be appropriate to look for another general area in which to find a suitable power site that is receptive to the work planned.

What To Do When Returning

It can be very powerful to purify and center yourself and to attune to the spirits of the land using the techniques previously described for calling nature spirits immediately upon returning to the site.

Often, individuals may have found small specific power spots to which they have a special attunement, where the spirits are interested in participating; but where the site is too small, has too much vegetation, or is otherwise unsuitable for the main ritual. Individual attunement to the spirits in such areas and inviting them to participate in the main ritual can be worthwhile.

Then approach the main ritual site using the previously arranged technique. You should have the details worked out with the spirits of the land. An exceptionally powerful technique involves doing a procession through or past receptive power spots, inviting nature spirits to join as you pass each power spot, and then moving to the central power spot for the main ritual. If participants are at individual power spots, they can join the procession as it passes nearby.

When consecrating space in the wild, or casting a circle, do not set up the perimeter as a barrier to all outside forces; it should be a beacon to attract friendly nature spirits, a container for holding magical power, and a barrier to spirits who it isn't right to be with.
One thing that is fun and worthwhile in nature is to bring instruments, such as a rattle, a flute and/or a drum, to tune in to nature's sounds, and to make music in time to nature's sounds. You may be able to get some very interesting back and forth exchanges of music going with selected creatures of the wild, and get into an amazing jam session.

After the work is complete, be sure to thank the spirits for their participation. Libations and other offerings may also be left for the spirits during and/or after the ritual.

Acknowledgments

There are other ways of working with nature spirits. This is one approach. The author thanks Selena Fox for teaching the basic guided meditation technique for locating and contacting nature spirits at a tranceworking session sponsored by the Chameleon Club (part of the Association for Consciousness Exploration) in 1981, Vicky Smith for editorial review of this article, Isaac Bonewitz for the outline of the expanded tree meditation, and Carlos Castenada, Black Eagle, Pasha, the Goddess, the Gods, and various nature spirits for teaching the rest of the good methods.

Most of this article is an expansion of an article by the author titled "Finding a Sacred Grove for Druid Initiation" by Larry Cornett, published in The Druid's Progress and in Amaranth Anthology.

Rights To Distribute This Article

This article is written by Larry Cornett. It is copyrighted l988; and it is hereby placed by the author in the public domain, providing it is not modified without the explicit permission of the author and providing the author is acknowledged. It may therefore be distributed freely to any BBS or other Electronic Forum or copied and handed out for free. Permission to reprint it in a publication for sale may be requested from the author, and will generally be granted in exchange for a copy of the publication containing the article. This copyright takes precedence over any copyright expressed or implied by any BBS or commercial system on which this file is posted.
Larry Cornet
9/24/'88 9527 Blake Lane, # 102, Fairfax, VA 22031 (703)352-3791