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Archive for September, 2013

The Power of the Word

witch casting circle
~“To bind the spell every time, Let the spell be spoke in rhyme.”

The preceding is a witches’ chant from the Wiccan Rede that speaks of the need to speak a spell in rhyme. I try to do this when I create a spell mainly because I enjoy writing in this fashion. Many people will argue (and I agree) that it is the intent of the magician that is most important, and rhyming words will not make or break a spell. A rhyme can help in remembering the words in certain chants and rituals and this can allow the spell caster to speak the words with more of a flow. Today, however, I felt Spirit telling me of another reason to create my spells with rhyming words; and that is to build power.
I chose to work my spell in the morning and my crow and raven friends were out in the yard in full force. As I began smudging the area for the circle one large black bird came very close to me and very noisily commented on what I was doing. Ted Andrews in his book, Animal Speak, speaks of the crow and raven as representing (among other things) the power of the word. Even if a person is speaking to Spirit in silence they are still using words to form their thoughts. Sound itself is energy, so it stands to reason that that the spoken word should carry some power. We have all experienced the power of a word spoken to hurt as well as words spoken to comfort and heal. Such power there! The crow and raven also represent magick. No wonder my feathered friend was getting so excited!
I believe that casting a circle is not only to protect the witch from evil or negativity. Actually, I ask Spirit to do that before I even begin any casting. What I like to think the circle is also doing is containing the energy of the spell and allowing it to grow until I am finished and ready to release it into the universe to manifest in the physical realm. I used to cast a circle just for protection, but now I feel its purpose is also to contain.
So, this morning I cast the circle as I said the following three times:
Cast a circle ‘round we go,
Not too fast and not too slow.
Contain the energy sure and true,
To grow the power of all I do.
Three times around the wheel I go,
And as above now, so below!

An important part of spell casting is raising the energy. This can be done through drumming, dancing, playing an instrument and, you guessed it, singing or chanting. By repeating those rhyming words over and over in multiples of three the energy builds. Say those words with rhythm and feeling and the power really grows! Don’t dismiss raising the power as unimportant. Spells have a lot more punch when the power is raised, and how better than through the power of the word? Even nonsense words can build power. “Heckedy, Peckedy” , “Bubble, Bubble,” (sorry!) have a rhythm to them that is mesmerizing. Today I was dealing with a person who was driving people crazy with hateful words and I started with “Mumbly, Jumbly, North to South, Only kind words can leave your mouth.” I normally don’t interfere in people’s behavior this way. I allow the universe to play things out most of the time, but this person was threatening the happiness of a loved one, and a protection spell alone wouldn’t have been appropriate in this case. Besides, I stipulated that no harm should come to anyone. I always put that in as a safety net.

I don’t consider myself Wiccan per se, but there is a lot in the Wiccan Rede that is useful, and it is written in rhyme. This is a case where the rhyme helps to remember the content of the rede. Perhaps the most meaningful verse in the rede is the following:
Eight words the wiccan rede fulfill: An’ it harm none. Do what ye will.

Those rhyming words help us to remember that harming others is not part of the path that most of us have chosen to follow. Chanting a prayer in rhyme to the Lord and Lady each morning and evening brings comfort to me as I send protection and healing energy to my loved ones. The Word is, indeed, powerful to do harm or to do good along this path on Earth.

Blessings,
Lady Sarina

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The Natural Pagan Lifestyle.

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It is said that the various pagan paths are forms of nature based spirituality. This definition seems to imply to many who are not pagan that paganism is somehow a primitive or childlike way of believing. Pagans are seen as naïve and even silly in the way they live their lives and worship their gods. Then there is the whole witchcraft, “murdering innocent animals and children” idea that has been perpetuated since the burning times. There is so much misinformation out about paganism that focuses on the negative beliefs of the ignorant ones, that it’s almost enough to make a pagan lose heart.
At times, when I feel like I am losing focus on what is truly important in life and succumbing to the often negative mindset of the modern world, it helps to remind myself what being pagan is really all about. Being pagan is feeling a connection to the natural world. Call me a “tree hugger” but I am at my most alive and connected to Spirit when I am in nature. I feel for the pagans that are forced to work inside cubicles all day away from the trees and animals, but I bet there are many of those pagans who bring plants and crystals and other parts of the natural world into their cubicles to feel that natural connection throughout their work day. Lucky is the pagan who lives in the country and grows their own organic food, but the apartment dwelling pagan who grows veggies on their balcony is a hero in my eyes.
Pagans are often the ones seen spearheading environmental programs to save the Earth and it’s creatures from pollution and other forms of destruction. Living the green life is natural for a person who finds spirituality in nature. Adopting animals from an animal shelter or strays off the street is another common practice among pagans. Again, there is that connection to the Earth and all its creatures that is so satisfying to the pagan soul.
I like to follow the seasons and celebrate their change by decorating my home and garden to reflect the change in nature. I also follow the moon signs and phases and try to stay aware of how the moon energy is affecting my world and how I can harness it to improve the way things are going for me and my family. Giving thanks and feeling gratitude to the Lord and Lady is the basis for what I believe, and acting on that gratitude through a connected lifestyle is better than any words I might speak to Them in ritual.
Staying connected to Spirit and the pagan lifestyle on a daily basis is often challenging when life gets busy, as it is known to do. Recently I was rereading the correspondences of the days of the week as they relate to performing magick, and it occurred to me that those same correspondences might be used to focus an intention on those every day activities we have to perform. What positive energy might we bring to our lives if we could use the ability to time activities in the just the right way?
When possible, I will use these daily correspondences to plan the work and activities of my week. So here is what I am thinking I might do:
• On Mondays I will do anything connected to nurturing. That includes tending the garden, cooking and baking (a good day to bake bread for the week), talking to my mom, doing something special for my kids and furrbabies. You get the picture. Monday is connected to the moon which is feminine and mothering. Sprinkling some holy water around the house or working with essential oils would also be great on Monday. Monday could definitely be a good time to do the laundry with the connection to water.
• On Tuesdays, which is ruled by masculine and energetic Mars, I will work out (not just on Tuesday but definitely on this day!), I will tackle jobs that need energy and make war on the dirt and grime (both physical and spiritual) that may have accumulated during the previous week and fortify the protection on my home and family. Burning candles would be great on a Tuesday to beef up the household energy level.
• Wednesday is about the planet Mercury and communication. Networking, communicating, catching up with old friends and clearing out my inbox. Airing out the house, burning incense and even vacuuming and sweeping would be great to work with the air element that can be associated with Mercury.
• Thursday is associated with Jupiter and abundance. I may make this the day I plan menus and go to the supermarket. Being generous in all its forms would be good on a Thursday. Giving the gift of time and working for a charity on Thursday would also be appropriate.
• Friday is all about Venus and beauty. Time to spruce up the house and garden and beautify your surroundings! Plan a romantic dinner for you and your partner or just watch a dreamy movie or listen to some lovely music.
• Saturday is related to Saturn and a good time for discipline and banishing things from your life and environment that you no longer need. Purge and cleanse! If your home needs a major cleansing then Saturday just might be the day for it. Get out the floor wash and smudge sticks and banish away!
• Sunday corresponds to the sun (yeah, I know the sun is not a planet…neither is the moon… they ARE heavenly bodies, though, and they count). I put Sunday last because to me it is at the end of a work week. It is a day for hanging loose and soaking up some rays. Sit quietly (in nature, of course) and contemplate all that life has given you. Be thankful. Life really is good.

This list of days and associations is just a suggestion as what you might do on those days of the week. Feel free to add to the list. I’m sure I will! So that is the plan. And you know what they say about the best laid plans. But, hey, living the natural pagan lifestyle is so rewarding when you remember to stay focused on your connection to Spirit.
I wish you joy in a life dedicated to realizing the magick in all of creation!
Blessings,
Sarina
days of the week tea towels2

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