Sunday, November 8, 2020

A Training Program for Elemental Calls

A basic training program in empowered vocalizing is simple to follow: the constituents are not complicated or obscure, and build from very ordinary foundations without technical vocabulary or pseudo-mystical jargon. Such simplicity does not alter the fact that teachings of the type described in our training program have been in use for thousands of years; the ambience of culture and the language employed, of course, will change from time to time and place to place, but the basics of human energy, breath, voice and the Elements remain. 

The initial stages of this training require careful repetition and regular application; this type of training, like any other, builds through regular use. Idle experimentation is fruitless, but careful repeated effort, combined with patience, will bring distinct and powerful results. 

The following program of training may be easily self-administered, or may be undertaken by a group of people working together. If the second option is followed, there should also be some individual work at home, not only to build upon and reinforce group training, but to ensure that the group does not become the sole source of inner work, possibly creating a false dependence. 

The different units within the program may also be worked within their own right at a later stage and upon more advanced levels, but the basic sequence of training and development must be established first. 

As a general rule the basic units outlined should be worked with until they are familiar and natural, before any of the advanced stages are tried. Such familiarity and naturalization will take a minimum of two to three months, and a full cycle of each stage outlined below could take a year from beginning to end, and then continue as a regular discipline for the rest of a lifetime. 

For reference purposes, a general suggested time-scale is included with each stage or exercise, but different people will learn and develop at different rates, so it is not to be considered as a rule or an inevitable pattern. Much of the pacing of inner disciplines becomes, with long practice, a matter of intuition, but the intuition and self-pacing cannot develop until a firm foundation of very strict, disciplined training has been laid down. Without this essential hard work and discipline in the early stages, there is nothing for the intuition to work with, no established patterns either as physical training or in the way of inner growth. Traditionally, a personal teacher is present to assess the points of transition, to suggest or define when the pupil may move on into higher or deeper aspects of training. Today we ate not able to work in this manner, so each stage is laid out as a simple overall plan of self-training.

Breathing the Four Directions (the first month)  

This exercise is best done out of doors, on, or before open windows in fresh air. The fresh air rule applies throughout all empowered vocal work, though at much later stages it may be necessary to work indoors in seclusion with advanced visualizing techniques. 

All the usual basic rules of meditation apply, such as wearing loose, comfortable clothing, working in a situation where no sudden disturbance will occur, and ensuring careful attention and concentration upon each phase of the exercise. This is not, essentially, a course of physical training in the sense of a sport, of keeping fit, or of muscular development. Although we use the voice, it is not a type of vocal training in the sense of artistic endeavor, though it will help natural expansion and beauty of voice considerably in the long term. It is a holism, a harmonic program of work which combines physical and inner training; by this method false barriers between inner and outer energy and expression, between the vital forces, the imagination and the body, are gradually broken down and realigned constructively.

If you are addicted to tobacco the preliminary breathing and balancing exercises may help you towards a cure, but empowered vocal work cannot progress beyond the most basic levels if you smoke. The choice is simple: if you wish to work with empowered voice and chant, you must give up your addiction. If you cannot do this, you are too ineffectual for this type of inner development.

By way of balance we should add that nonsmokers will also have any number of addictions and habits that come to the fore as barriers to inner development; there is no 'value' judgement as to one addiction or negative habit being any worse or better than another. As we are concerned here with breath and vocal tones, however, smoking is the most prevalent weakness and addiction that interferes with or counteracts progress and empowerment.  

In spiritual and magical development, the weaknesses or imbalances are seen as feedback patterns between the Elemental energies of the individual; they are like knots or tangles which absorb life energy and divert it away from proper routes, from harmony and balance. If they can be unraveled and reassigned in a more balanced pattern. these convoluted self-amplifying nodes of elemental energy are tremendously valuable and effective sources of power. Training exercises such as the detailed program described here can go a long way towards lessening the hold of habits and negative tendencies, but the will to change must come from the individual. 

Let us now return to the breathing exercises themselves, either outdoors or in a wellventilated room, Some simple deep breathing may be done while standing or sitting to clear the lungs. No special techniques should be practiced during this warm-up, as they will interfere with what is to follow. If you have already learned yoga breathing exercises or similar techniques, you will need to clear your mind down to the very simplest basics of healthy breathing, and absolutely nothing more. Mixing techniques is a waste of time and energy, and, in some (admittedly rare) circumstances, can be debilitating or even potentially dangerous to health and psychic balance.

a) Stand upright with arms raised to a horizontal position. Empty your lungs by breathing out using the diaphragm to expel as much air as possible. As you expel the air, gently lower your arms to your sides.  

b) Breathe in steadily through the nose (mouth closed, tongue touching the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth). As you breathe in, raise the arms steadily, and rise on to your toes. This may take a little practice initially, so if you lose your balance, simply breathe out and begin again. 

c) With arms held out horizontally, expel the breath through your mouth, counting quietly aloud '1-2-3-4' and lower your feet and arms together to the position of rest.  

This is the outer or preliminary form of the exercise. Several levels of inner work are added to it as you progress, the first being brought into operation as soon as you can draw breath and rise on to your toes and remain balanced for the minimum of four to eight seconds necessary. As you develop breath and balance, this period will lengthen naturally, but it should never be a feat of endurance or a self-imposed trial. There is always a natural limit and period to such breathing and balancing and this begins as a fairly short period, and gradually lengthens. Striving is counterproductive. 

Breathing the Directions (within the first month, extending well into the second month)

The first breath out, quietly uttered as '1' is defined by focusing awareness before you. The second breath is defined by focusing awareness to your right; the third behind you, and the fourth to your left. When this circular focusing or orientation has been completed, you descend to your position of rest, as already described and practiced. It is important not to turn or twist the head or body; although we rotate awareness through a full circle, the body and head remain perfectly balanced and relaxed, facing forward.  

During this part of the exercise, people sometimes have problems deciding how far their awareness extends. In practice it is best to assume that you are extending your perceptions no further than the length of your outstretched arms; thus by rotation of the Directions as described, you define a sphere of awareness and energy around yourself. There is a wealth of magical and metaphysical potential in this part of the exercise; the sphere of consciousness or Being ultimately extends through the universe, which is in itself an infinite sphere of expansion/contraction. For practical purposes, however, we work to more modest personal dimensions, though in developed work the awareness can be focused through the use of the imagination into other dimensions, to distant locations, or to make contact with other entities. We shall leave all of this aside for the present, and remain working with our breath and uttering the Directions. 

Once the basic breathing, balancing and orientating exercise has been progressed until it is familiar and easy to carry out, we move on to the next stage. Before doing so, the basic breathing and balancing work as described above must be done regularly; as with all meditative or inner disciplines, the exercise should be carried out daily, preferably at the same time of day. Ideal times traditionally for this type of work are dawn (literally) or very late at night, around midnight. This is by no means inflexible, and individuals may find that the middle of the afternoon or sunset are equally empowering. The main point is that the breathing and balancing must be done regularly every day, and that the exercise must be worked through at least seven times in succession to have any long-term effects.

 Once a day is the minimum required for this type of training; anything less is pointless and trivializing. A serious student or group would gradually build the exercises until they harmonized with the fourfold pattern known as the Wheel of Life. This conceptual model of relative energies and states (see Figure 1) gives inner balance, though it should never be regarded as an icon or a dogmatic set of rules. If the minimum required work is once a day (at a key time which suits the student best, but always at the same time each day), then the maximum is four times a day, to correspond and harmonize with the Four Elements, the Four Quarters, and the Four Seasons. Thus we might carry out the exercises at Dawn, Noon, Evening, and Dusk. 

In many world traditions these are the sacred times for singing specific songs or chants, and for playing specific types of music, or even specific musical instruments. The foundation of this cyclical approach to energies, music, and consciousness is to attune to the natural phases and harmonies of the land and planet, as they are expressed within one's immediate environment.  

Primal Utterances (third month)

Having built up the power of breath, and developed some degree of skill in orientating to the Four Directions, we now begin to bring in the deeper levels of the training, which involve dedicated and precise use of the imaginative forces. The following stages are added to the physical exercise:  

a) Before inhaling and rising on the toes, pause for a moment of stillness. This involves the ancient technique of suspending the activity of the mind, reducing activity as near to Nothing as possible. There are a number of training techniques suitable for this, and one is included at the end of this chapter (see page 15.5). The first inhaling of breath comes from this state of Peace, of Stillness, and the nearer we can approach to stillness, the more effective the breath, balance, and utterances will be (third into fourth month). This part of the training cannot be rushed or passed over, for all that follows simply will not work without it. 

b) The simple exhalation and gentle counting is replaced by utterance of key sounds. These are usually the Elemental vowels, with one vowel attuned to each Direction.  

c) Thus we breathe in, rise upon the toes, raising arms to a horizontal position. The breath is then exhaled slowly while uttering the four basic vowels in a simple pitched chant, on one single level of pitch or note. The note is, at first, whatever note arises spontaneously from within you. No more is needed in the way of vocalization at this stage, and that spontaneous note, energized breath, and vowels merge together to generate a potent sequence. The Vowels are identified with the Four Directions: Before, Right, Behind, and Left. (fourth into fifth months)

d) Above, Below, and Within. With sufficient practice, there will be ample breath remaining after uttering four vowels to the four directions to utter three further tones. These are uttered in the following order: Above, directing attention to a point just above the crown of the head; Below, directing attention to the point where the feet contact the earth (or floor if you are in a building, but visualization of contact with the earth below must be clear); Within, focusing upon what is often called the Heart Center, a power center or chakra approximately in the center of the physical body. As there are a number of slightly varying teachings concerning Power Centers, we must remain within the framework of this particular tradition, in which the Heart Center is usually called the Solar Center; a central locus or harmonic point of balance within each and every one of us. Though we visualize this as having a central physical location, in point of fact it can and does move, both during specific exercises, and during the phases of a lifetime. Such refinements, however, are not directly relevant to our present basic training.  

The constituents of empowered voice may be summarized as follows: 

 Individual work 

1. Breath and breath control 

 2. Utterance of tones, musical shapes, and overtones 

3. Vowel sounds 

4. Energized Names, Words, Calls (addition of consonants)

Group work (includes 1-4 above before any group work becomes effective)  

5. Group utterance of tones, shapes, and overtones 

 6. Selected harmonic patterns built through group chant/utterance 

7. Call and response 

Further developments of group work  

9. Movement: ranges from simple, relatively static movements (hand movements and steps) to complex dance patterns 

10. Repetition of tone cycles and patterns and attuning of locations through empowered music

Two essential aspects of this work have not been listed separately, as they run through all of the general categories listed above, and through all meditative, visualizing, and magical and spiritual arts. The first is controlled use of the imagination. This may involve telesmatic images (gods, goddesses, saints, angels, and so forth) or carefully defined inner-world locations such as landscapes, Elemental scenarios or symbolic structures such as temples, abbeys, even entire other worlds complete with inhabitants. 

The second is arousal and direction of the vital energies. This is known in various guises, but essentially involves a response from within oneself which occasions a change of focus and intensity in the centers of vital energy. These are known as Power Centers or chakras, while the energy itself is known as the Inner Fire or kundalini. Various traditions teach refinements of the location and arousal of power centers, and the opening out and harmonic motion of the energies is closely connected to the pitch, shape, and harmonics of empowered chant, vowels utterances, and specific calls or words of power.

The most famous example, perhaps, is the Tibetan Buddhist Om Mani Padme Hum, which involves an arousal and circulation of energy not only within the individual or group but through many worlds and dimensions. Other prayers, chants, and patterns of power are found in other religious and magical traditions, for the concept of the highly empowered chant linked to specific tones and words is found all over the world in all periods of history. Many cults or esoteric groups have specific prayers, calls, chants, and formulae of their own.  

There has been a tendency to revive this important tradition in a trivial, commercialized manner with modern pseudo-Eastern cults, mainly aimed at selling books and highly modified semi-traditional techniques to western students. In such cults, key words or mantras and 'secret' phrases play an important part, but mainly to give the members a feeling of security and isolation from society, separating them out from those who are not members. This is a negative aspect of such traditions, showing how they may be abused.

If we examine the positive aspects, we find classical examples in the great world religions, such as Aum and Amen or Alleluhiah. Certain universal utterances are found in all cultures, and relate to the deepest roots of speech and consciousness itself. More specifically, we find that magical traditions, mystery cults, and other initiatory sources of inner transformation employ phrases or musical calls that relate only to their own tradition, though always bridging over into a more universal comprehension. Such words of power, phrases, and musical utterances can be very effective indeed, for they are examples of fine tuning with highly defined purposes, like expert tools or dedicated equipment.

In rare examples, we find complete systems of calls and utterances taught to humanity by entities dwelling in other dimensions. Perhaps the most published and least understood of these is the Enochian system received by the Elizabethan magus Dr John Dee, through the mediumship of the unsavory and erratic Edward Kelly.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Cutlery Spell

Bringing company to your home

If you have recently moved home, or have changed your situation in some way, your social diary may be emptier than usual. Of course, you could invite people to dinner or throw a party-but sometimes a little magic will generate a more spontaneous social flow. This spell ensures that friends and neighbors head toward your home, so be certain that you really want their company before you set about casting it! 

The symbol made by the crossed knife and fork in this spell signifies that there is always a place reserved at your table for guests. It also represents an X as marked on a map-a destination- sending out a message onto the magical web that X marks the spot where treasure can be found. The riches that your guests will find at the end of the trail is, hopefully, hospitality and good company. You will need to keep standby quantities of tea, coffee, and cookies at the ready.  

Cast this spell on a Thursday, the day of expansive and hospitable Jupiter, and on a waxing moon, to attract company.

What you need...

  • One pink candle. approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder. 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • One eggcup containing salt 
  • One eggcup containing virgin olive oil 
  • One eggcup containing water. 
  • One fresh, uncut loaf of bread 
  • One dining knife and fork 

 What to do...

  • Place all the ingredients in the center of the dining table, 
  • Visualize a circle of golden light surrounding the whole room, 
  • Light the candle, saying: Pink for affection, Friendship and pleasure, Bend your direction to, Find what you treasure, 
  • Pour the salt onto the table, saying: May we season friendship with good conversation, 
  • Anoint the table with a little of the oil. saying: May your path to my table be smooth and swift,
  • Sprinkle a little water onto the table, saying: May love and affection guide you, and a river of friends ~ow to my door, 
  • Break the loaf into three equal parts, saying: May we all eat heartily whenever we meet 
  •  In the center of your dining table cross the knife over the center of the fork. right to left, in an X-shape, saying: There is always a place at this table for guests, From North and from South, from East and from West, And those seeking company here will be blessed, For all that is shared here is all that is best 
  • Use one-third of the loaf for your household, and sprinkle the remaining two-thirds outside to the North, South, East. and West of your house, for the birds.

You are done! Blessed Be.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Speech Bubbles Spell

Promoting communication at the table

A lot of communication happens over food: a glance at the way that a family or group of roommates behave when sharing a meal often tells you all you need to know about what is going on in that household! Thankfully, it is less common nowadays to observe rules of "silence when eating," and for some people meals are the main time when family or house matters are discussed. Smooth communication in the dining room is, therefore, a matter of key importance in the general exchange of information, ideas, and interpersonal contact throughout the house. A little bit of magic to improve the flow of conversation is what this spell is all about. In magic, Air is seen as the element of all forms of communication. It is thus associated because, physically, vibrations that travel through the air create sound, and of course we have to draw breath in order to speak. There is also a historical connection: the feathers used for quill pens in the past were derived from birds, whose home element is the Air. Air is used in this spell to produce bubbles, which carry your wishes, then burst, releasing the magic to do its work. 

Try this spell on a Wednesday, the day of the communications planet Mercury, and on a waxing moon to increase the power of communication in the home. 

What you need...

  • One yellow candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder. 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • One tablespoon of water. 
  • Three drops of pine essential oil 
  •  One oil burner with a tea light or votive 
  • One bottle of soap bubbles, complete with a wand 
  • Three sycamore "keys" (seeds) that have fallen naturally from the tree 

What to do...

  • Place all the ingredients in the center of the dining table. 
  • Light the candle, saying: Element of Air Bless all who gather here With bright conversation And the ability to listen. 
  • Place the water and essential oil in the bowl of the oil burner and light the tea light or votive. 
  • Open t he bottle of soap bubbles and, moving clockwise (deosil or sunwise) around the room, create a circle of power by blowing bubbles through the wand allover the room. 
  • Take the sycamore keys and hold them above the oil burner, saying: Seeds that have traveled through the air, Containing the knowledge of the trees, Unlock the magic that is carried, On the Air and in the breeze. Then place them in the bowl of the oil burner. 
  • Standing in the center of the room, close your eyes and picture in your mind's eye friends and family gathered around the dining table having enjoyable conversations. 
  • Taking a deep breath, blow showers of bubbles into the air three times, imagining those images into the bubbles. 
  • Put out the candle and allow the essential oil to scent the whole room. 
  • Burn the yellow candle a little at sundown on each subsequent day until the Full Moon, when you should allow it to burn down completely  

 You are done.  Blessed Be.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Salad spell

Mending quarrels in the home

Whether you share a home with friends or family, quarrels can be distressing for all concerned. Even in cases where it is obvious where the blame lies and easy to see the solution, the general unpleasantness of a disagreement can cast a shadow over the whole household. This spell works best where the occupants are accustomed to sharing meals together, because it will require all quarreling parties to participate in eating the results, as described below. 

In life we are often required to swallow the bitter as well as the sweet, and in magic there are ways of symbolizing this. The various salad leaves used here are a mixture of bitter and sweet-or, at least, nutty flavors. Cucumber is added to cool tempers down. Herbs, such as the basil and mint, have been used in magic for thousands of years, and their medicinal effects are put to good use here. For example, basil helps to allay depression and impatience. The spell works its magic by mixing leaves and herbs together in a harmonious fusion of taste, thus symbolizing the restoration of balance between opposites. Where better to achieve this than in the dining room, the focus of gossip, news, banter, and of course eating?

Cast this spell on a waxing or waning half- moon to attain a truce, on any day of the week.  

What you need...

  • One white and one black candle, approximately 6 inches/ 15 cm in length, placed in secure holders
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Equal amounts of these leaves: iceberg or 10110 rosso, plain leaf or oak leaf, spiderleaf or wild rocket, and corn salad/Iamb's leaf
  • Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • Small bunch of fresh mint leaves • I 6 thin slices of cucumber 
  • Honey and mustard dressing, made from wholegrain English mustard, honey, fresh lemon juice, virgin olive oil. and white-wine vinegar . 
  • One salad bowl 

 What to do...

  • Place all the ingredients on the dining room table, with the white candle to your right and the black candle to your left. .
  • Light the candles. 
  • Visualize a circle of silver light encompassing yourself and the tables and chairs. 
  • Take the iceberg or 10110 rosso and the plain leaf or oak leaf and place them in the salad bowl. saying: Bland-to-taste and bitter leaf Be you balanced in your grief. 
  • Take the spider leaf or wild rocket, and corn salad or lamb's leaf and place them in the bowl. saying: Peppered sweetness, ~avor mild Blend to tome that which is wild. 
  • Throw in the basil and mint, saying: Basil sweet to lift the mind Mint enjoin all to be kind. 
  • Finally. add the slices of cucumber, saying: Coolness full grown in hot season Bring combatants to cool reason. 
  • Mix together t he mustard, honey. lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar to make the dressing, and add to the salad to freshen and bind it; then call everybody together to eat. 
  • When everyone has left the table, blowout the candles, but light them again at each subsequent meal until they have fully burned down. 

You are done!  Blessed Be.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Matchstick spell

 Protecting you from your enemies

There are times in all our lives when we feel in need of protection against the outside world, and against the ill will of others. The flip side of this is the need to feel positively supported, and this little bit of magic works on both principles. As well as guarding you from the "evil eye" of others' bad intentions, the matchstick figure created in this spell offers the blessings of the Sun to those in need of support. Thus it fends off ill feeling from outside the home, and nurtures the strength and support found within it. Of course, the spell will only work if you have truly not deserved the bad feelings of those who wish you harm. The matchsticks used here are shaped in a St. Andrew's cross arrangement. This X-shape has ancient origins, traditionally blocking entry and bringing love. The latter is seen in the way that we mark kisses on cards and letters-this is actually the symbol of the rune "Gifu," meaning "Gift," (and it is inscribed on the candle below). Rune wisdom tells us that Gifu signifies both the giving and receiving of gifts, and this spell should only be cast if there is a positive commitment to give and take in your relationships with friends and enemies alike. 

The spell should be done on a full or half-moon, to reflect your intentions of defending and bringing, and can take place on any day of the week.  

What you need

  • One needle. any size 
  • One tea light or votive candle
  • One matchbox with a lighting strip 
  • Three long wooden matches 
  • Ordinary matches or a lighter 
  • One length of black cotton. exactly nine times the length of the index finger on your writing hand 
  • Hammer 
  • One small tack 

What to do 

Place all the ingredients in the center of your living room. 

Using the needle, inscribe an "X" into the surface of the tea light or votive candle. 

Light the tea light or votive candle with ordinary matches or a lighter 

Visualize a double circle of light (with an inner and an outer ring) completely surrounding the room. 

Taking two of the long matches, with the heads upward, use the cotton to bind them into an X shape, and continue winding the cotton around them until it has all been used up, leaving just enough cotton to tie a loop and fasten off. 

Hold the matchstick X at a safe height above the candle flame, saying: Fend off harm, Nurture love, As below, So above. 

Take the third long match, light it, and with its flame light the heads of the bound matches, saying: So mote it be, before immediately blowing them out. 

Hammer the tack to your living room window frame, and hang the matchstick X in your window, where it can be seen from both inside and outside, if possible. 

The next time you go out of the house, bring back in with you a gift to be shared among all who live there, be it a plant, a candle, fruit, or some chocolate-and enjoy! 

You have completed this spell.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Feather spell

Lightening the atmosphere with laughter

Because it is a shared space, the living room is often where family discussions or exchanges take place, and these may sometimes be a little "heavy!" Sensitive souls can often detect an unhappy atmosphere after a family argument simply by walking into a room where people have been shouting or quietly fuming after disagreements. Although this can build up in any shared area of the house, it is particularly important to guard against this in the living room, because this is where we should most be able to enjoy rest and respite from stress. This spell is a great antidote to the "heavy weather" generated by the natural tensions of shared living space. It hardly needs saying that feathers represent lightness, but they are also used here as symbols of laughter. This spell calls upon Baubo, the ancient Greek goddess of laughter. Wise old Baubo, so the legend goes, entertained Demeter, the Earth goddess, when she was mourning the disappearance of her daughter, the Spring goddess, Persephone. Baubo was clever enough to know that laughter helps us to forget our troubles when there is nothing we can do about them. 

This enchantment is best woven on the waxing moon, to attract a good atmosphere, and on a Wednesday, the day of the planet Mercury who rules Air.  

What you need

  • Either the Fool card from a tarot deck or the Joker card from a standard deck of playing cards 
  • One yellow candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • Three bird feathers, either white or gray, shed naturally 
  • One 18 inch / 45 cm length of narrow yellow ribbon 

What to do

  • Place all the ingredients on the floor in the center of your living room, standing the Fool or Joker card up against the candle so that you can see it throughout the spell casting. 
  • Visualize a circle of pale silvery light completely encircling the room. 
  • Light the candle, saying: Old woman, Wise Fool, Baubo, it is you I call, Cast sadness from this place forever, Make hearts within as light as feathers. 
  • Take the feathers in a bunch and fan them out from the stalks. Tie them in this position, winding the yellow ribbon around and between the stalks. As you do this, chant the following words: From the floor, To the rafters, Lift the roof with, Sound of laughter. 
  • Fasten off the ribbon, and hold the feather "fan" in front of the card so that the Fool or Joker witnesses the completion of the spell. 
  • Place the card back in the pack, allow the candle to burn down safely, and position the fan, feathers upward, on a mantelpiece or shelf in the living room.  

The spell is complete.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Fire rune spell

Transforming relaxation into energy

This spell helps you to maximize the benefits of a good, relaxing home life by turning it into energy whenever you feel the need. The old northern peoples of Scandinavia recognized the benefits of a stable home life: an ancient blessing for newly married couples wished "flag, flax, fodder and frig" for them, meaning hearth, clothing, food, and love. Happily, they have left us a legacy of their wisdom: an alphabet of "runes," magical symbols dating from pre-Christian times that were found scratched or carved onto stones. Combining the concept of the "hearthstone" with an appropriate rune symbol, this spell transforms the inner power generated by rest and nurtures it into a dynamic and fiery energy when you most need it. 

Open fires are rare in modern homes, but because it is the spirit of the hearth (rather than its physical presence) that counts, you should find a place that you feel is the "heart" of your living room, ideally near a source of heat. The rune used here is known as "Eoh" (pronounced "Eeyer"), which represents transformation. Appropriately for a spell that seeks swift change, Eoh resembles the zigzag shape made by lightning strikes. The best time for casting this spell is on a Sunday, the day of the Sun, and on a waxing moon, to attract energy.  

What you need

  • One sheet of old newspaper 
  • One smooth, palm-sized stone, oval and slightly flattened
  • One small pot of black craft oil paint 
  • One fine paintbrush 
  • One red candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder 
  • Matches or a lighter 

What to do

  • Place all the ingredients on your "hearth," ensuring that the newspaper is positioned under the stone, paint, and brush. 
  • Light the candle, saying: I call upon the power of Fire, To work itself to my desire, Take the lightning from the storm, That energy shall be transformed, And with the blessing of the rune, It shall be mine within one moon. 
  • Paint the rune "Eoh" onto the center of one side of the stone. The rune should be approximately 1-1/2 inches / 4 cm high. 
  • Taking care not to smudge the wet paint, take the stone in both hands and, keeping your eyes on the symbol you have Just painted, chant toward it no fewer than 30 times the name of the rune: Eoh. 
  • When you have done this, lift the stone above your head in both hands, saying: By my breath and by my mote, By my blood and by my bones, Witness, Fire, this mark and note, The power held, In this stone, That whenever I need energy, As I will it, so shall it be. 
  • Place your hearthstone on your "hearth," and allow the candle to burn down safely next to it. Ensure that your "fire rune" stone is undisturbed for at least one moon cycle (a month). 
  • Thereafter, whenever you need to transform rest into energy, all you have to do is touch the stone, say the word "Eoh" aloud, and silently ask for the energy you need. 

You have completed the spell.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Grounding spell

Deflecting everyday stresses

Everyday modern life is full of stresses that have the potential to develop into serious strains on our health or our relationships. This is true whether you are a high-flying entrepreneur, a student, a secretary, a factory worker, or a full-time parent. It is especially important, therefore, that our living spaces provide us with a sense of "groundedness" against the stresses that cause instability and imbalance in our lives. 

This spell literally "grounds" your stress, as it uses soil, or compost, in which you can symbolically bury your anxieties. It combines an old magical technique--that of letting the element of Earth sort out the bad energies from the good and thus provide stability with the modern magic of psychological "self talk." This provides an ideal brew for those coping with modern life and its accompanying strains, and a beautiful visual feature for your living room. Whenever you water your plant, remember that you are not only nourishing the plant, but also growing the spell that keeps you grounded. This will add to the spell's power.  

This spell should be carried out on a New Moon, as this is a good time to strengthen yourself from within. It can be done on any day of the week. 

What you need

  • Three sheets of old newspaper 
  • One standard terra-cotta flowerpot. approximately 5 inches / 13 cm in diameter 
  • Bulb compost to fill the pot. One small gardening trowel or a dessertspoon • One black candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length. placed in a secure holder 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • One salt shaker
  • Ink pen with some black ink
  • One strip of paper approximately 1 x 4 inches / 2.5 x 10 cm 
  • One flowering bulb, any indoor variety  

What to do

  • Place all the ingredients on a table in the center of the living room, with the sheets of newspaper underneath the pot. 
  • Half fill the flowerpot with compost, using the gardening trowel or spoon. 
  • Light the candle, saying: May the energies of the New Moon, Who takes away unwanted things, And transforms them, Do the some for what I commit to this Earth. 
  • Using the salt shaker. create a circle of salt around the base of the pot, and not less than 3 inches / 7.5 cm away from it. 
  • Take the pen and write down on the strip of paper the word "STRESS." 
  • Press the paper hard between your hands and imagine all the anxiety and pressure that you feel at the end of a difficult day passing into it. 
  • Roll the paper up into a tiny, tight scroll and push it into the compost in the pot. 
  • Place the bulb in the pot, and cover it with compost up to the end of the shoot. 
  • Place your palms on the soil in the pot, saying: Earth take away, All I wish away, Transform all gloom Into flowers that bloom. 
  • Take a deep breath and blow away the circle of salt. 
  • Care for your bulb in accordance with any instructions that come with it, and repeat the action with the pen and paper scroll whenever you feel the need to de-stress and get "grounded."  

You have completed the spell.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Floating candle spell

Creating a space for rest and enjoyment

For the majority of us, the living room is a place to unwind and relax, whether we are watching television, listening to music or reading. Most of the time these functions are combined, but there may also be occasions when we wish to bring a little more tranquility into our lives by retiring to the living room to meditate or do relaxation exercises. This spell inspires an atmosphere that is conducive to both entertainment and relaxation, and has the added bonus of providing the room with an attractive centerpiece. 

In magical traditions, the colors green and blue are used to symbolize the elements of Water and Earth. Here, Water is used to invoke peace and harmony, while Earth (the element of physicality and animal comforts) provides a sense of physical well-being. Psychologically, both colors are very easy on the eye, and produce a sense of rest and calm. The spectacle of flames on water concentrates the mind on both stillness and energy, and is uplifting.  

This spell calls upon the goddess Rhiannon, a Welsh deity associated with the sea, and on Demeter, an ancient Greek earth goddess, to lend their energies to the enchantment. It is best carried out on a waxing or Full Moon, on any day of the week apart from Saturday, the day of restrictive Saturn. 

What you need

  • One blue candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder 
  • Matches or a lighter  
  • One green candle. approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder 
  • One large decorative glass bowl. half filled with water 
  • Two blue floating candles 
  • Two green floating candles

What to do

  • Put the ingredients on a low table in your living room. 
  • Visualize a web being woven at speed around the walls of the entire room. 
  • When the web cocoon is complete, light the blue candle, saying: Rhiannon, Lady of Tides, Let all who drift into this space, Becalm themselves and slow their pace. 
  • Light the green candle, saying: Demeter, Ruler of growth, Let all who seek enjoyment here, Be nurtured by the atmosphere. 
  • Place your hands, palms down, just above the water in the bowl, and visualize people sitting around the room, talking, joking, watching television, reading, and looking happy. Imagine the feeling that arises from that vision traveling through your body, down your arms, through your hands, and into the water. 
  • When you feel that you have "charged" the water and the bowl with the vision of enjoyment and rest, light the blue, then the green, floating candles, saying: Green is the color of the trees, And Nature's balm that brings us ease, Blue is the color that is best, For soothing souls and bringing rest, So may these candles bring good cheer, By showing these are honored here So mote it be! 
  • Renew the green and blue floating candles, and the water. whenever you need to refresh the atmosphere of calm and enjoyment. 

You have now completed the spell.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wind sock spell

 Conducting the flow of energy through your home

Occasionally it is possible to detect an unsettled atmosphere in your home, or to get the feeling that things are somehow out of balance. This may lead you to conclude that your home has either hosted unpleasant events in the past or is haunted. However, nine times out of ten what is actually being experienced, at an emotional level, is a blockage of the normal energy flow. We humans tend to trail our feelings around with us, leaving imprints of our personal energy - our spiritual "signatures"-in the places we most frequent. If the natural rhythm gets blocked in some way, then pockets of excess energy (or even an energy vacuum) may be felt. This is because the same ability that enables us to leave our imprint also makes some of us sensitive to either its absence or its presence. 

The Chinese tradition of Feng Shui provides a system for positioning objects in the home to ensure the free flow of energy. This wind sock spell employs the European tradition of "sympathetic magic," using the Western symbolism of the five elements. Here, the elements of Air and Water work together to restore the flow of energy through your home. The wind sock is shaped like a fish: an ancient symbol of wisdom and unity with the elements. Cast this spell on a waxing half-moon to encourage balance, on a Monday in honor of the Moon, the ruler of psychic energy.  

What you need:

  • One sandalwood incense stick, placed in a holder 
  • One small bowl of spring water 
  • One white candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • One 12 x 12 inch / 30 x 30 cm square of material in any green 
  • One 12 x 12 inch / 30 x 30 cm square of material in a contrasting green 
  • Standard sewing needle and green thread 
  • Three 12 inch / 30 cm lengths of fine wire 
  • Two matching buttons, any size 

What to do:

  • Place all the ingredients in the center of the space in which you will be working. 
  • Sit in the center of your working space, placing the incense to your right and the water to your left. 
  • Visualize a circle of flowing light encircling the entire room. 
  • Light the incense and the candle in silence. 
  • Take one square of fabric, and stitch a 1/2 inch / 1 cm hem on two opposite sides. 
  • Sew the two remaining sides together, to form a tube with a hem at each end, leaving a small gap through which to thread the wire. 
  • Thread two of the lengths of wire through the hems and shape the material into a tube, using the third wire to form a loop with one of the "mouths" of the tube, by which the wind sock fish will be hung up. 
  • From the remaining piece of fabric, cut out two side fins and a fish tail and sew these onto the tube in appropriate positions. 
  • Sew the buttons on to form eyes; these should be equally balanced on each side of the tube. 
  • Pass the finished wind sock through the incense smoke, sprinkle it with some of the water, and hold it before the candle for seven heartbeats. 
  • Hang your fish wind sock from the ceiling or beam, wherever you wish to facilitate the flow of energy in your home. 

You are finished!


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Mirror Spell

Welcoming good energies and defending against bad

In magic, mirrors are often used to reflect, bounce back, and intensify energy. This spell uses a double-sided mirror to reflect and bounce back ill intentions coming toward your house, and to intensify the good vibes inside it. Reflections and glass have long been associated with water, the element of balance, love and healing. These energies are welcome in any home, and as the inward-facing mirror meets the balance, love and healing generated by you, it will multiply it within the household. The outward-facing mirror, although intended to bounce back ill feelings to those sending them toward you, also restores balance, love, and healing in the lives of ill wishers once they are shown the error of their ways. When ill wishes are reflected back onto the sender, they are more likely to "see" how badly they are behaving. 

Using mirror magic in this way is not a "curse"; what the sender experiences is neither more nor less than they have sent toward you. This is an ethical and fair way to deal with bad "vibes" that originate from the resentment of others. Remember, the mirror will also bounce back positive energy to those who perform good deeds. Cast this spell on a Dark (New) Moon, which is best for building protection, and on a Saturday, the day of Saturn, which is the planet of boundaries and teacher of discipline.  

What you need:

  • One salt container with a flowhole 
  • One black candle, approximately 6 inches/ 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder
  • Matches or lighter
  • One charcoal disk 
  • One fireproof container
  • One teaspoon of dried juniper berries 
  • One double-sided round mirror. or two single-sided round mirrors of similar size (any), glued back to back 

What to do:

  • Take a bath (using half a teaspoon of salt) prior to casting this spell, and work naked or at least barefoot. 
  • Place all ingredients in the center of the space in which you will be working. 
  • Sitting in the center of your working space, visualize a series of rings like those of the planet Saturn, encircling the entire room. 
  • Light the black candle, saying aloud: Saturn, planet of restriction, Guard my home from malediction, Guide into the right direction, All the good found in refection, To those seeking to attack, Reflect the ill and send it back.
  • Place the charcoal disk in the fireproof container, light it and when it glows red hot, sprinkle the juniper berries on it. 
  • Pass both sides of the mirror through the incense smoke, saying: Be purified. 
  • Place the mirror flat and pour salt onto it in the shape of an eye, saying: See all evil and turn it away. Whatever others do or say. 
  • Turn the mirror over, allowing the salt to fall to the ground, and pour salt onto the reverse surface in the same way, saying: See all good and magnify, Within whatever you espy. 
  • Take the mirror to a window at the front of your house, and hang or stand it there, placing the surface that is to bounce back evil vibes facing outward, and the surface that is to magnify good energies facing inward. 
  • Your magical mirror should now be left undisturbed.  

You are done!

A Brief History of Wicca

The Nature Goddess 

Way back in our distant past the tribal healer, wise person, shaman, or herbalist would not necessarily have been known or identified as a witch. Local dialect names would have been applied to them such as the ‘cunning man’ or the ‘wys wyf’ of Old England, the ‘Strega’ of Italy, or the ‘Incantatrix’ of Ancient Rome, for example. Further back in time, wise folk would have been known by many and varied names. It is within these hazy mists of antiquity that we must search to find the origins of witchcraft. 

Fertility in the natural world was vital to our ancestors. If the crops failed, if livestock numbers fell, or if no new babies were born, the tribe would die out. Fertility was life itself; its absence was total extinction. Therefore, the concept of fertility and motherhood was embodied in the form of a great Earth Mother. Stone Age man carved beautifully crafted images of the fertility and nature goddess still worshiped today by Wiccans. These figurines, called "Venuses", indicate that witchcraft, as a religious belief, is at least thirty thousand years old, and perhaps older. 

Images of a male consort or "husband" to the Goddess have been found dating back a similar age, complete with horns or antlers on his head as a sign that he represents not only human beings but also the entire natural and animal world. There is an example of this on a wall of Les Trois Freres cavern in France. This cave painting, thought to be about 20 thousand years old, has been nicknamed "The Sorcerer" and shows an upright human figure with a horse-like tail, a beard and large antlers on his head. When farming arrived, these ancient gods were expanded into this new domain and became deities of the crops and harvest, the rain and sun, the flocks and pastures, the fruits of the earth and the seasons. 

The Warrior Aristocracy and the Birth of God  

It was the discovery of metal at the dawn of the Bronze Age that tilted the spiritual balance in a new direction. Those who possessed sharp bronze weapons came to dominate the population. Chieftains and kings gathered armies to extend their power even further and so gave rise to a new type of social order within society - the warrior aristocracy. The temple friezes and stellae of Egypt, the clay tablets of Nineveh and Babylon, the Vedas and Upanishads of India and the Hebraic scrolls of the Talmud that became the basis of the Old Testament of the Bible, record a succession of violence, butchery, battles, wars of conquest, territorial disputes and invasions all beginning at the time metal was discovered. 

During this period of violent and bloodthirsty cultural upheaval, God was invented in the Middle East, the best-known record of this being the Old Testament itself. The male-dominated warrior kings of the Metal Age required a strong male god, because in their world the male was the lord of creation. Only sons, not daughters, could carry the inheritance of a bloodline to the next generation. In order to ensure that every son was recognized as the child of his father, with no possible doubts about lineage, the warrior society controlled sexual union by enslaving women. In all realms over which the single male god hovered, women were made the subject of stringent male laws to ensure that no impregnation could occur other than by a woman's ‘legal owner’. Penalties were severe. In the Bible we can read that a woman caught in adultery would be mercilessly stoned to death. To this day under Islamic law an adulteress still faces the death penalty. Women became the property of men, a situation demanded by the religious beliefs of the warrior caste. The ancient and more compassionate belief, however, the Old Religion of humankind, in which the Ultimate Creator was female and women the leaders, never entirely vanished from the face of the Earth: it became known as witchcraft.

The First Healers

From the remotest known eras of human history up to the present day, every tribe, village and community had its "wise-person", either male or female; its "witch-doctor", the medicine man or woman; the driver-away of demons and ghosts and the curer of ills and ailments. These people have been grouped together under the epithet "witch" and their various skills as "witchcraft" for many centuries. The existence of these people right up to the present day is living proof that pure science cannot supply all the needs of human society.  

The general condemnation of village witches and shamen by official state religions, is the outward result of the inbuilt reluctance that powerful people have of sharing their power. Whatever religion achieved power; it jealously claimed to itself all magical and miraculous occurrences. If healing happened to one of the faithful, it was a miracle and brought glory to the religion; if healing was brought about by someone else it was declared the work of the "Devil" because it could not be claimed as an ornament of the faith. 

The knowledge of all natural things, plants, berries, roots, fruits, leaves, herbs, and crystals, was the lore of the wise, as well as the ability to make magic and cast out evil spirits. When the nature Goddess and Horned God were worshiped by humanity, the wise-person was held in great honor. Healing on all levels, whether mental or physical, was their most important skill within the community and - since it involved exclusively natural ingredients - the practitioner was believed to be highly esteemed by the Goddess and Horned God of nature.  

The Historical Evidence

After the First World War, a distinguished archaeologist and anthropologist, Dr. Margaret Alice Murray (1863-1963) was drawn to investigate witchcraft after returning from excavations in Egypt. She approached it from the point of view of an historical and anthropological research project. In 1921 she published a remarkable and influential book "The Witch-Cult in Western Europe" and followed this up some years later with "The God of the Witches". These books helped to bring witchcraft to the attention of the modern world and began to generate an enormous popular interest in the beliefs and customs of witchcraft. Dr. Murray advanced for the first time as a scientific theory that what was popularly referred to as witchcraft, was actually the survival of a pre-Christian fertility and nature religion once widespread before being driven "underground" by the hostility of Christianity, and still surviving within our folklore and old traditions. For example, the custom of dancing round the maypole is the enactment of an ancient pagan fertility rite. One survival of the Old Religion proves that it continued to be important to the ordinary people throughout Saxon, Norman and medieval Christianity. There are old churches everywhere with small ornamental carvings of figures of a stylized woman in a sexually overt pose, from six inches to two feet in height, representing the prehistoric pagan fertility goddess worshiped by witches. Known to archaeologists as "sheelas" from their Celtic name Sheela-na-gig, there are over seventy in Ireland and twenty-three in mainland Britain, most of these in Christian churches. In at least one surviving example, at the eleventh century church of Whittlesford in Cambridgeshire, there is also a depiction of a male partner, a naked man with an animal's head, possibly representing the Horned God. 

In his book The Lost Gods of England (1957) Brian Branston remarks: "There can be little doubt that we have in the sheela the actual representation of the Great Goddess Earth Mother on English soil." He goes on to add: "What may be surprising is that the 'idol' should so clearly retain characteristics which go back to the figurines of the Stone Age." He also gives the significant statement: "That the cult of the Great Goddess did not end with the Middle Ages but still flourishes today is indicated by the resurgence of 'white' witchcraft, 'wicca', in Great Britain... there are certain modern Wiccan rites which are traditional with roots going back to the Middle East of at least 2500 years ago..." 

The Wise Pagan

Christianity, like all new imported ideas, took root most readily in the great ports and trading centers such as Londinium Augusta (today's London). In the rural areas, the Old Religion continued to survive. Even today, country people are considered to possess quaint customs and manners, older values and ways of life. This division between town and country was even more pronounced in older times, and the Latin word for country dwellers was pagani, from which the word pagan originated, meaning one whose lifestyle and beliefs were of an older and more firmly established variety than those of the towns and cities.

After the Roman withdrawal, Britain entered a new age of barbarism in which so few records were made that it became known as the Dark Ages. During this time Christianity became extinct in Britain and any herbal and medical lore was retained largely in the folk medicine of the local cunning man or woman. Eventually the Church of Rome sent a new wave of missionaries to convert the pagans of these islands and to re-establish its presence. Slowly at first, the native pagan religion was ostracized and then outlawed altogether. It became dangerous for anyone to retain loyalty to the Old Religion. The old ways began to be observed in secret. Thus, under church and state persecution, followers of the ancient religion formed an underground movement that met in secret at remote locations.  

The Anglo-Saxons, whose language was a form of German rather than what we would now recognize as English, had a name for such followers of the Old Religion, part of whose belief were the practices of healing and natural magic. This name was Wicca, pronounced today as "wikka" (the masculine form is Wicca, the feminine wicce) but in Anglo-Saxon correctly pronounced as "witcha". From this word came a more modern version, ‘witch”. 

The Persecution of the Old Religion  

The earliest known written reference to witchcraft is nearly as old as writing itself, contained on a clay tablet from the reign of King Hamurabi of Nineveh dated to around 1700 BC. It was not until well in to the Christian era, however, that authorities began to recognize witchcraft as a belief that was opposite to that of the established church, worshiping and honoring female instead of male power, and fertility and physical joy instead of celibacy and guilt and therefore, in their view, a belief that should be discouraged and stamped out. 

During the early years of the Christian revival in Britain following the Dark Ages, Christianity and paganism had co-existed with little conflict. In the middle of the tenth century, King Edgar ordered every priest in the land to promote Christianity with the utmost zeal. A little later, the witan (council) of King Ethelred directed that wherever witches, magicians and certain other offenders were found in the land, they should be "...diligently driven out of this country..."

Anglo-Saxon England was defeated by the Norman invasion of 1066. Duke Guilliaume, who we know as William the Conqueror, publicly stated his own disbelief in witchcraft. Nevertheless, four years later when Hereward the Wake and his guerrilla army were successfully defying the Normans in the marshes of Cambridgeshire, William was persuaded, rather against his better judgement, to engage the services of a local witch as a possible means of dislodging the rebels. This plan collapsed together with the high wooden tower built for the witch to stand on in order to aim curses at the Saxons: the witch was plunged headlong into the swamp. In the early 1400’s as the dark ages faded into the Renaissance that was spreading across Europe, society began once more to expand its knowledge and understanding. One influential character of that time was Paracelsus, an alchemist who, like Hippocrates, was a significant contributor to the medicine that we know today.

Medical treatments during this time were increasingly becoming the province of the alchemists, who were known to use mental patients and prisoners in their quests to find new chemical cures. These experiments involved (among other things) the treatment of syphilis with mercury (quicksilver) a highly dangerous poison to the human body, but adequate enough results were achieved to merit continued experiments by these ‘quacksilvers’ as they were known. It is from here that we get our word ‘quack’ to describe anyone who works with as yet unproven medical hypotheses. During the reign of King Henry VIII, there was so much confusion about the law when it came to the divide between the rising influence of the alchemists (medical scientists) and the more traditional botanical therapists (herbalists) that he passed an edict which stated:-

“… it shall be lawful to every person being the King’s subject, having knowledge and experience of Herbs, Roots and Waters or of the operation of same, by speculation of practice within any part of the king’s Dominions, to practice use and minister in and to any outward sore, uncome, wound, apostumations, outward swelling or disease, according to their cunning, experience and knowledge in any of the diseases, sores and maladies before-said and all other like to the same, or drinks for the Stone and Strangury, or Agues without suit, vexation, trouble, penalty or loss of their goods… .”

This confirms that the practice of herbalism and healing by the ‘cunning folk’ (witches, heathens, pagans and shamen) was still acceptable during his sovereignty, although during his reign he also introduced the first Witchcraft Act (1542). In those days witchcraft was not classified as it is today. The term witch was intended to be derogatory and literally anyone could be branded a ‘witch’ just because a neighbor didn’t like them, or because they had a physical affliction, or perhaps the local cattle had just been struck down with a disease. The blame nearly always fell on a nearby ‘innocent’ who had nothing to do with witchcraft at all. The increasing suspicion aimed at anyone who was in any way different from the norm led in part to the atrocities committed during the witch-mania.

It was not really until the reign of Elizabeth I, however, that serious witch hunting began in England. The sudden dramatic increase in witchcraft phobia at this time was brought about by the return to England of the "Marian exiles." These were large numbers of extremist Protestants who had been forced to flee from England when the Roman Catholic Mary Tudor, Elizabeth's predecessor, came to the throne. These religious fanatics had sought refuge in the Calvinistic towns of Europe, such as Geneva and Zurich, where fierce witch persecutions and burnings were already raging. When Protestant Elizabeth was crowned, it became safe for the exiles to return home again, bringing with them extremist continental notions about the nature of witchcraft and the way in which it should be eliminated.  

In Europe and Scotland, witchcraft was defined as a heresy; a crime against the church, and the punishment for such a crime was to be burned at the stake. In England, though, it was defined as a crime against the state, and the punishment was hanging. English Christians who found themselves to be on the wrong side, such as archbishop Cranmer, were burned; English witches were hanged. 

The Witchcraft Act of 1563 was replaced in 1604 by another Act that was even more severe and which remained in force until 1736 when it was replaced by a new law that actually forbade the prosecution of anyone performing witchcraft, stating that there was no such thing, and instead making it an offense for someone to pretend or claim that they were witches. This enlightenment was a result of the flowering of the "Age of Reason" in which learned people became more interested in the developing world of science. Charles II took a tolerant view of witchcraft and was far more interested in the scientific proceedings of the Royal Society, of which he was the patron. 

The last English execution for alleged witchcraft was that of Alice Molland who was hanged at Exeter in 1684, and the last witch to be condemned to death - although the sentence was never carried out - was Jane Wenham of Walkern in Hertfordshire who was tried in 1712. Under the existing law at that time the judge, one John Powell, had no alternative but to condemn her to death, since statutes had to be obeyed, but he managed to delay the execution until by his own efforts he was able to secure a royal pardon for her.  

The propaganda campaign of the Christian Church against witchcraft was so successful, so merciless and was applied for so many centuries, that it forms a distinct undercurrent in society to this day, It is this legacy that forms the root of so many of the misconceptions of witchcraft that are still accepted as true by large sections of the population - for example, that witches are Satanists; that witches worship the Devil; that witches perform human or animal sacrifices; that witchcraft is evil; and that witchcraft is a blasphemous parody of Christianity. Witchcraft is none of these things, although the accusations have remained firmly planted in the depths of public consciousness, fertilized by the Church and the media, and from time to time the old hysteria bubbles to the surface again.  

The Emergence of Wicca 

While the law of 1736 forbade prosecution for witchcraft in England, it did not altogether remove it from the statute books. What it did was to abolish it as a religious offense and officially disclaim the supernatural or occult powers of witches in the light of the increasing scientific reasoning of the period. Instead, the law punished those accused of witchcraft (far less severely than before) for maintaining the pretense that they were witches at all, thereby reducing the "crime" of witchcraft to one of fraud if a person claimed any kind of special magical powers. The proper definition of a real witch is a person, male or female, who observes the Old Religion of the Earth Mother as goddess and the Sky Father as god, anciently envisioned as the Horned God, the Old Religion being that which was practised and believed in prior to Christianity.  

However, regardless of the true nature of witchcraft, no parliamentary law could eliminate the negative beliefs about its practices that had been drummed into the average person for so many centuries by the Christian church. Sporadic incidents of "witches" being hounded and sometimes killed continued to occur for a long time after 1736. 

Across America in the 1800’s the ‘regular’ or acceptable doctors were getting increasingly annoyed at the popularity of herbalists and other healers, so much so that in 1847 the American Medical Association was established, which effectively eliminated any non-regular practitioner from performing any form of medicine. In this way alternative medicine virtually disappeared from the United States for the next 60 years, held only in existence by the Native Americans and other folk traditions.  

In the United Kingdom the picture was largely the same. In 1854 the Medical Reform Bill put before parliament was intended to ban the practice of herbal medicine unless individuals were registered with the British Medical Association. There was a united uprising against the Bill and it was dropped, thus allowing the continuance of the practice of herbal medicine up to the present day. 

On some levels this was a good idea, because it stopped any misuse of power by dubious practitioners, but on the other hand meant an insidious erosion of the witch’s healing status within society, so much so that secrecy had to shroud witchcraft’s practices for hundreds of years. From these horrendously dark times of persecution, there gradually rose the phoenix of Wicca as we know it and practice it in the present day. However, the negatively biased title of "witch" is almost automatically bestowed upon witches, even today. The proper definition of a real witch, however, is a person, male or female, who observes the Old Religion of the Earth Mother as goddess and the Sky Father as god, anciently envisioned as the Horned God, the Old Religion being that which was practised and believed in prior to Christianity.  

The Wiccan Revivalists

This modern emergence of witchcraft was driven essentially by two people; Dr. Margaret Murray whose popular books we have already mentioned and Gerald Gardner. Many others made significant contributions to the spread of knowledge and interest in the subject, but these two individuals remain paramount. 

Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964) had a deep interest in the religious customs of the tribes he had encountered in the Orient. It is believed that Gardner was a member of a witchcraft coven based in the area of the New Forest in Hampshire. This would have been a "Traditional" Wiccan coven, one of those groups following the Old Religion that had survived throughout the centuries down to the present day. It is thought that Gardner was initiated into witchcraft in 1939, by a woman named Dorothy Clutterbuck. 

Gardner was also associated with another existing coven located at Bricket Wood near St.Albans of which the High Priest was a man called Charles ("Charlie") Cardell. During the 1940s Gardner published a book about witchcraft called High Magic's Aid, but because claiming to be a witch was still a criminal offense, this highly accurate book was written in the form of a novel. After the Second World War in order to comply with the newly formed United Nations Organization and its Universal Charter of Human Rights, Britain was obliged to repeal the last Witchcraft Act of 1736. This disposed of the legal restriction on openly publishing books on witchcraft written by witches themselves. 

In 1954 Gerald Gardner published what was to become his most influential book, Witchcraft Today in which he affirmed that, despite centuries of persecution, groups of witches were still thriving throughout the country. He immediately received floods of letters from interested people, and many were initiated into witchcraft by Gardner and his High Priestess – the late Doreen Valiente - and later went on to start up covens of their own. Within a few years there were groups of witches all around the country.  

Gardner, however, did not teach the identical kind of witchcraft that was being observed until his time. One theory holds that his parent coven in the New Forest had told him he must keep some of their rites and customs secret. This cannot be proved. However, Gardner fashioned for himself and his followers a newly formed variety of witchcraft, drawing from old pagan sources including many aspects of Traditional witchcraft, for which he made use of the ancient Anglo-Saxon word for "witchcraft", Wicca.

It is perfectly possible that traditional covens prior to Gardner called what they were doing Wicca, but it was Gardner who proliferated the term and who became the greatest influence on the growing spread of witchcraft during the 1950s. This led to an explosive flowering of Wicca during the 1960s when people were searching for new values and beliefs after the imposed austerity of the post-war era. The type of witchcraft that Gerald Gardner promulgated soon came to be called Gardnerian Wicca, and today this is probably the most commonly encountered variety of witchcraft. 

Other forms of Wicca were soon branching off the main stem established by Gardner. During the 1960s Alex Sanders with his wife Maxine founded what was to be named after him as Alexandrian Witchcraft. Sanders incorporated into his system many elements drawn from branches of the occult, such as the Qabbalah (an ancient Hebrew occult system) and the inclusion of Judeo-Christian "words of power" written around the edge of the working circle. There are also Dianic Wiccans who, taking their name from Diana, one of the many ancient names for the witch's goddess, are female-oriented covens in which few or no men are admitted. There are, however, no vast divisions within the general religion of witchcraft, or Wicca, as there are for example between Catholics and Protestants in Christianity. All witches regard their individual varieties of the Craft as being branches and twigs upon the main family tree of witchcraft that has its main trunk rising throughout recorded history and its roots buried deep within the earth of our prehistoric past. 


Monday, September 14, 2020

Wind chime spell

Bringing good news to your door

Folklore claims various reasons for the use of wind chimes in and around the home. They are believed to ward off evil spirits, attract fairies, or give the wind a voice! Here, they are used to honor the element of Air, which is the spirit of communication and the patron of messengers. This spell is particularly good for easing the flow of communication to and from your home, creating a tranquil atmosphere, and bringing good news to your door. 

It uses the old wisdom that music and clatter alike drive away evil influences and attract good spirits. Because different noises provoke different reactions within each of us, you will need to find a set of wind chimes that sound harmonious to you. The feathers used in this spell symbolize birds, which were depicted in ancient times as messengers of the gods. Their appearance in temples and on statues was regarded as an omen of both good and bad fortune, and their flight patterns were studied in order to predict anything from the future of a newborn baby to the outcome of a battle.  

This spell calls upon the powers of Athena, goddess of communication. It is best cast on a waxing moon, for positive energy flow, and on Wednesday, the day of Mercury, planet of communication. 

What you need:

  • One tablespoon of water 
  • Three drops of lavender essential oil
  • One oil burner with a tea light (or votive) 
  • Matches or a lighter. 
  • One yellow candle, approximately 6 inches /15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder . 
  • Three x 8 inch / 20 cm lengths of yellow 1/4 inch / 1/2 cm-wide ribbon
  • Three bird feathers, any color, gathered after they have been shed naturally 
  • One set of wind chimes

What to do: 

  • Add the lavender oil and water to the burner. and light it. Light the yellow candle, saying aloud: Athena, Goddess of communication, Empower and bless my spell, To bring good news to my door, With the swiftness of a bird in right, Good fortune to ensure. 
  • Using a length of ribbon, tie the first of the bird feathers onto any thread on the wind chime, chanting as you do so: Happy news, find your way, To my home, from today. 
  • Tie a second feather to another thread on the wind chime, chanting: Bright music, sacred sound Evil here, never found.
  • Tying a third feather to yet another thread on the wind chime, chant: Lucky breeze, happy din, Summon light, to flow in. 
  • Hang your enchanted wind chime in a porch, or over your front door. where any breeze or movement will stir it into action. 

You are done!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Lucky Bag spell

 Bringing good fortune

This spell uses a Lucky Bag-a collection of magical ingredients gathered together in a drawstring pouch-to contain all the luck you would wish for yourself and your home. The idea that you can "catch" and hold onto luck comes from a very long tradition. Corn dollies, for example, were originally woven to catch the spirit of the cornfield, so that it would return to bless the fields the next year. Likewise, the use of a pouch containing magical items dates back hundreds of years! The Lucky Bag should be purple-the color that symbolizes Jupiter, the planet of generosity and good fortune. 

This spell requires a number of ingredients that symbolize luck in different areas of your life. They include a nutmeg for good health, a coin for wealth, a rosebud for happiness, and rosemary for protection. These four "lucks" are placed inside a satin drawstring bag, which is hung over your front door. As long as the Lucky Bag remains there, you will be assured of good fortune and of the four "lucks" contained within. If you move, take your Lucky Bag with you and cast the spell again, using fresh ingredients, to let the four "lucks" know where you now live. 

Cast this spell on a waxing moon, to attract luck, and on a Thursday, the day of Jupiter. 

What you need:

  • One purple candle, approximately 6 inches / 15 cm in length, placed in a secure holder . 
  • One saucer of spring water 
  • One saucer of salt 
  • One small bunch of dried sage leaves
  • One fireproof dish 
  • Matches or a lighter
  • One whole nutmeg 
  • One highly polished coin, any denomination 
  • One fresh rosebud, any color 
  • One sprig of fresh rosemary 
  • One purple satin drawstring bag, approximately 2 inches / 5 cm square 
  • Hammer 
  • One 1 inch / 2 cm masonry nail 

What to do:

  • Place all the ingredients in the room in which you will be working, with the candle, water, salt, and sage on the table. 
  • Visualize a circle of dazzling white light encompassing yourself and the table. 
  • Light the sage, blowout the flames, place in fireproof dish, and allow it to smolder. 
  • Light the candle, saying aloud: Jupiter, ruler of fortune, Set my luck waxing with the Moon, Smile upon these fortunes four, Let good luck enter through my door. 
  • Take the nutmeg and, holding it before the candle, say aloud: This is the health of all who dwell here between turf and roof 
  • Pass the nutmeg through the sage smoke, saying: I bless you by Air. 
  • Dip it in the salt, saying: I bless you by Earth. 
  • Dip it in the water, saying: I bless you by Water. 
  • Hold it above the candle flame, saying: I bless you by Fire. 
  • Repeat this process with the coin, rosebud, and rosemary, naming them respectively as Wealth, Happiness, and Protection. 
  • When you have named the four "lucks," place them in the bag and tie it tightly, saying: As I hold you and cherish you, Cherish you and hold you me, By Jupiter, so mote it be. 
  • Carry the bag to your front door, envisaging as you do so the circle of light moving with you and shrinking, until it surrounds only the bag. 
  • Nail the bag to the wall above your front door and keep it there for as long as you live between the turf and the roof!  

You are done!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Spell to bless your home

Creating a magical home

Usually, creating a pleasant living space involves the careful use of decoration, color, and lighting. This spell takes the desire for an agreeable ambience one step further by giving your home a spiritual "lift." It works by removing old, stale energies and replacing them with a fresh, new atmosphere. Whether it is used to bless a new abode or for psychic "spring cleaning" your present home, this spell is guaranteed to promote a healthy, nurturing environment. 

The impulse to cleanse and bless the space in which we live has been with us since ancient times. For good luck, the Romans carried a flame from the hearth that they had left to the hearth they were going to, while the Celts were deeply superstitious about allowing a peat fire to die out. The ancient tradition of the "hearth fire" is continued in this spell, which calls upon the blessing of Vesta, Roman goddess of the hearth, and on the protection of Brighid, Celtic fire goddess, and culminates in the lighting of a candle to bless your home. The rosemary symbolizes cleansing, and is used here to sprinkle the salt water, a purifying mixture used in magic to clear away unwanted energies.  

The spell can be carried out at any moon phase, and on any day of the week, as it both banishes old energies and welcomes in the new. 

What you need:

  • Two white or cream household candles, approximately 6 inches/15 cm in length, placed in secure holders 
  • Matches or a lighter 
  • One bowl containing about 8 fluid ounces/250 ml of still spring water . 
  • One bowl containing one level teaspoon of ordinary salt . 
  • Four sprigs of fresh rosemary, tied in a bunch 

What to do:

 • Place all t he ingredients in the center of the room where people are likely to congregate most frequently (usually the dining room or living room), 

• Sit on the floor in the center of the room, and visualize a bright circle of light completely surrounding your home, 

• Light one of the household candles, 

• Lift up the bowl of water and say aloud: Water to heal and cleanse, 

• Lift up the bowl of salt and say aloud: Salt to purify and protect. 

• Pour the salt into the water, and stir it with the index finger of your writing hand until it has dissolved, 

• Stand up and lift the salt water above your head, saying; Brighid, Goddess of the healing waters, Of the flame that never falters, I drive out in your name, The spirits I no longer claim.

 • Use the sprigs of rosemary to sprinkle the salt water around the floor and walls of every room, As you are "cleansing" each room in this way. open the windows and visualize the old atmosphere leaving through them, in the form of dark smoke, 

• Close all windows and return to your "hearth" room, 

• Take the other candle in both hands, and say aloud: Vesta, Goddess of the hearth, Heart-fire of the path, I bless in your name, The home that I claim.

 • Light the candle, You should ensure that there is a lit candle in this room whenever you use it after sunset. 

You are now done and your home is blessed. 

Note: For instructions on forming a pagan circle for rites & rituals visit my blog post: