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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in magick

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot Magick for Brigid's Day

At this turn of the Wheel of the Year many people celebrate Imbolc, or Brigid. This holiday is in anticipation of the coming spring.

Brigid, as the Goddess of healing, smithcraft and poetry, challenges us to use creativity to inspire our healing, and to use our need to heal to inspire our creativity.

This is a piece of meditative magick. You will use the tarot images to help you focus your mind and ask Brigid herself for guidance. Your answers will come through your intuition and your connection with Brigid. You will feel your answers in your heart, in your mind, and in your dreams and visions.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Silence Then Sharing

 

This past weekend I shared the details of a new magickal technique that I've been working on for some time. I have always been a tinkerer and an experimenter and have developed many formulas, workings, castings, spells, and such. Most of the serious magickal practitioners that I know are always adapting and expanding tried and true patterns, and/or creating new rituals and techniques from scratch. There is a lot of perfectly good material available that can simply be followed step-by-step and produce great results. We must not place novelty and innovation above what is known to be efficacious. However, the ancients did not know everything, and we do not have a complete record of their written or oral magickal technology, and there are needs today that they could never have imagined. Moreover if you are in a living tradition, then there must be room for innovation and the incorporation of new material.

 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    Sage advice from a source I trust and a good reminder to ask questions before jumping in and attempting something unfamiliar. Stud
Are Some Tarot Decks More Magickal Than Others?

Someone recently asked me if some decks carried more magickal power than others. I thought that would be a good topic to address here on 78 Magickal Tools.

The magickal power in a tarot deck comes from a number of sources. The first and most important source is the power of archetypes. This power is inherent in virtually any tarot deck.

What are tarot archetypes? Each tarot card holds a specific energy. One of the ways we can describe that energy is as a theme or character with which we are all familiar. For instance, we can see the Fool as the seeker on an epic adventure - he is Frodo, Percival and Don Quixote.  We can see the Hermit as the wise old man.  He is Dumbledore, Obi Wan and Gandalf. We can see the Lovers as the syzygy, or divine couple - Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Liz and Dick.

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  • Christiana Gaudet
    Christiana Gaudet says #
    Thanks, Deborah! There are so many layers of tarot symbolism!
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    This looks great, Christopher! You always delve deeper than most.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A look at the year ahead

Just over a week into the new year and that means it's time to put some plans into action, and look at the year ahead. One of which is steering this blog's content in a more useful direction by providing practical information on how I bring "my" Paganism into my everyday life as well as further explaining more about my spiritual practice, our homesteading adventures, observations of the world and Pagan community, and how that all fits together, even if not perfectly.

Believe it or not, today is a great day for thinking about 'blue' moons! While I don't consider them anything special, plenty of people do. I do admit, however, that it's an extra opportunity to do some full moon-based magick! The funny thing about blue moons is that most people have no idea how to tell when one is going to happen without looking it up in an almanac or the internet.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_galaxy-in-crystal-ball.jpgWe look around us, look at the news, and we see pressure, and tension. We see courage (thank you, Malala) and change. We see explosions, violence, power run amok, and dug-in-at-the-heels stubbornness. There is a buzz in the world of astrology around this aspect we call the Uranus-Pluto square. I see its effects in the charts of my clients, my friends, and my own chart as well. I see its effects in the chart of the USA, in the charts of large organizations, in every Cardinal Ingress chart last year and for a couple more years to come. So I’m pretty certain there is a lot to be learned from this configuration, and in this post, I’m going to explore some of the ramifications of one side of the square — Uranus in Aries.

The square is a 90 degree aspect of tension, and many people do not handle tension well, which is why squares often seem to manifest as difficult events. It’s a stressful aspect that demands integration and synthesis as the path to growth and progress. Taking the wisdom that can be gained from both planets and signs involved, then weaving those insights together into a sturdy rope that you can cast into the future, is the way to handle a square. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to weave a rope long enough to hang yourself by drawing on the negative characteristics of the planets and signs. The difference, of course, is conscious awareness and intention. Let’s look at how we might utilize Uranus in Aries for spiritual growth and positive change.

Both the planet Uranus and the sign Aries resonate strongly with the concept of freedom. Aries needs freedom to act, to establish the self in the world, “to boldly go where no one has gone before”. Aries needs to DO something, and restrictions of any kind are anathema. Uranus insists on freedom because it is required for change, and to establish independence and uniqueness.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Magick of Significators

In earlier days of tarot reading a significator was cognitively chosen by the reader to represent the querent. The choice of the significator did not add to the interpretation of the reading in any way. It may have been simply part of tradition. It may have been seen as a way for the reader, the querent, the cards and the Universe to connect.

Significators were chosen from the sixteen Court Cards based on age, gender and hair color.

Only a few modern tarotists continue this tradition today.

Many tarot spreads have a significator position. The card that randomly falls into this position describes who the querent is at the moment of the reading. This can be very helpful information in a reading.

Significators have an important place in tarot magick, too.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot Magick for the New Year

There are many tarot spreads and techniques that we use to make predictions for the coming year. We can also use tarot magick to create the coming year.

You can incorporate this tarot magick technique into any kind of ritual, or simply perform it as a magickal working on its own.

While those who follow the Wheel of the Year celebrate October 31st as the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new, many of us also celebrate the calendar New Year as well. This magickal working is appropriate for either New Year celebration, or both.

First, remove the Hermit and the Sun from your deck. These cards have a specific place in the ritual. In this magickal working the Hermit and the Sun represent the old year and the new year, respectively.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Christiana-Gaudet_HRacepent_12B_raw.jpgThe four tarot Aces are potent magickal tools. In some tarot decks, their images are similar to the traditional altar tools used in many Pagan traditions. This is no accident. The four Aces are the Four Tools of Magick, and you can use them as such.

In divination, each tarot Ace can represent a new beginning. The Ace is the essence of its element as well as the beginning of a journey inspired by its element.

Here are three exciting ways to use the Aces to in your magickal life.

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The virtue of curiosity in your magical practice

One of the most important virtues a magician can cultivate is curiosity. While the old saying that curiosity kills the cat comes to mind, we should consider that such a saying really is a response to curiosity that favors the status quo. It discourages exploration in favor of keeping things the same. Such an attitude should be an anathema to the magician.

Curiosity is at the core of my spiritual practice. When I was much younger I was a born again Christian and I left because I realized that I couldn't find all the answers in one book and that allowing myself to be limited to what I considered to be a narrow perspective of the universe was not good. So when I discovered that magic was real I voraciously began to read books and I allowed my curiosity to explore and experiment with what I learned. Curiosity motivates me to discover my questions and answers and it is an emotion that I couldn't imagine being without.

I think that to truly make magic your own you need to be curious. It is not enough to read books and do the practices in those books, nor is it enough to learn from others and only do what those others have instructed you to do. While both activities can be useful for building a foundation, at some point you need to leave the nest and learn to fly. You need to take your magical practice and personalize it, making it your own, and to do that, it necessarily must be reflective of your interests.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Well said! If you think about it, any seeker wanting growth and spiritual health needs curiosity. It's the only way to expand our
  • Carolina Gonzalez
    Carolina Gonzalez says #
    I couldn't agree more with your every word. I follow the same approach and give the same advice that you are giving here to my own
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Thanks Carolina! It's important to encourage curiosity...it's how we grow.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'Devil's Night'

Some slightly more modern history and a slight indulgence: witches always end up in the news around this time of year. Suddenly every news paper or local news station wants to do a 'did you know there are real witches?!' story.

It all gets a bit tiresome.

I originally wrote this poem for my annual Halloween cards (a habit that has been lost to my gypsy ways and busyness). My father reminded me that he associated 'Devil's Night' with much more unpleasant memories: 1960s Michigan it was often a time of angry destruction. If you've seen the original Crow movie, they use it in a similar way -- an excuse for serious mayhem.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Seeing - Doing

 

I was recently asked the question of how it was possible for someone who had limited to no psychic ability to lead a ritual? I should also add the context of the ritual in question was one that involved operative magic rather than devotional work. In other words how could a person that was seemingly head blind be capable of weaving together the energies that were being directed towards them in the ritual. How does a person who does not perceive subtle forms and subtle energies know whether or not the circle, or whatever magical container they've created, is actually solid and secure? How do they know if there are imbalances that need to be corrected? And lastly how do they know if the work has truly been done? I will be honest and say that if someone had posed that question to me a few decades ago, I would've said that it was not possible. And I would've been wrong in making that summary judgment.

 

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  • Elissa Rich
    Elissa Rich says #
    An excellent point. Sometimes the work being done is purely intuitive with a conscious focus of will only - I tend to operate that
  • Robin Fennelly
    Robin Fennelly says #
    Ivo, thank you for sharing these insights. As one who does not see or sense in the traditionally defined way, I appreciate the rem

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This one little word gets ignored in our lives a lot more than we’d like to admit. I for one have been trying to use it more when confronted with self-doubt, new things or even old things which I’ve tried to put off rather than dealing with because I’ve convinced myself that they’re some how easier to ignore than address…I’m human after all.

Incorporating spiritual practice into ones daily life seems to be one of those things that so many of us desire, but so few of us actually do. When I wrote an article here at Witches&Pagans about starting a morning routine which involved appreciation and an informal conversation with a deity, it got very little public response, but the number of emails and Facebook messages I got not only let me know that many of you read it, but that most of you are afraid to even try to do something like this on the off-change that you’ll some how “fail”. As is you can actually fail at feeling gratitude and appreciation for what you have in your life or that your god(s) are so ready to give up on you that they won’t even aid you during your attempt to strengthen your relationship with them.

See how silly it sounds now that it’s out there? I hope so. In classic “me” style, can I suggest that you do one small thing…get over yourself and try it. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. How much? That’s up to you, not me, however, it shouldn’t be about how much you can gain. I discovered long ago to let the “how” not even enter your mind. All you ever have to do is the work which would allow a “how” to manifest in the way appropriate to whatever it is you’re intending, and someone else takes care of it from a universal sense. I know, I got a little “new agey” just then, sorry.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Chosen Belief

One of the things that I value about being a Pagan, is that my religion welcomes knowledge that comes from science. The research of astronomers and of archaeologists figures in my meditations and in my spiritual and magickal practice. I'm also happy that we have been called the people of the library rather than the people of the book. I have access to the myths, the stories, and doctrines of more cultures and ages than my spiritual ancestors could have imagined. I'm extremely grateful for the abundance of teachings that this represents as it gives great depth and breadth to whatever spiritual, magical, or religious work that I undertake. However there is a cost and a challenge that comes with every gift. With greater knowledge comes the possibility of greater doubt. Without a single book or body of teachings identified as the preeminent source of truth, there can be a weakening of the power of belief.

 

On the longest night of the year, science tells me the Sun will rise again and that the days will grow longer. On the longest night of the year, the myths that I hold true tell me that our actions determine our relationship to the Sun. When I see the glorious Moon shining in its fullness, I see a Divine light and I see a large rock held in the dance of gravity. When I look at the attributes and stories of a Deity across the lines of cultures and time periods, I see the lines of soft and hard polytheism grow blurry in a syncretic mist. I think you can find your own examples for the experience this dynamic in your life. This is not a blog about faith in the normal sense of the word. Nor is it a blog about belief in the normal sense of the word. The concern that I'd like to raise, is that one of the primary fuels of magick is belief.  The knowledge that we have in the modern world can interfere with the process by which we create the power of belief. As it is, we live in a culture that discourages a belief in the power of magick so we already have one obstacle to overcome. And though I believe that more knowledge can result in more power and more effective practices, I also know that it can create emotional, cognitive, and spiritual dissonance.

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  • Maggi Setti
    Maggi Setti says #
    The dissonance and paradox here of meaning being multi-fold is both the bane and beauty of our religion. It holds the wonder and

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Magickal Religion

In my first post in this blog, I shared my working definition for the term path. In brief, a person’s path is the synthesis and the summation of their spiritual, religious, and magickal undertakings. If you have not read the first blog, I hope that you take time to read it.

 

I’d like to say a few things about magickal religions and what the adjective “magickal” means in this context. All religions have an exoteric and an esoteric component though they vary in the proportions of each and how they are expressed.  One of the simplest examples of this is the idea that sacred teachings can be taken to have a literal exoteric meaning and also a hidden teaching that is only found through an esoteric understanding of the same words. The exoteric portion of religion tends to be normative (about how we should live) while the esoteric portion of a religion tends to be transformative. Magickal religions have a larger proportion of the esoteric than the exoteric. Magickal religions tend to have fewer restrictions on gaining access to esoteric teachings or experiences than mainstream/non-magickal religions. Another important distinction about the nature of magickal religions is that their members are more likely to be practitioners of some esoteric art or science. Although on the surface it may appear that prayer, faith healing, and similar practices are comparable to ritual or operative magick there are substantial differences. Magickal practitioners have a more active engagement and understanding of the process that they use to access the powers and forces that they are a part of their religion.

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Oh, the trials of an astrologer…I’m trying to decide when the Olympics actually began. Was it when the first game was played, on Wednesday? At the beginning of the opening ceremony on Friday? At the end of the opening ceremony? Hmph. Shouldn’t the first games be after the opening ceremony? Mercury is indeed retrograde, and I am bewildered.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to look at the event chart was to compare it with the chart of Michael Phelps, arguably the world’s greatest swimmer, who is making headlines all over the place for his less-than-stellar Olympic performances so far. He barely qualified, then finished fourth in his race, and I wondered what transits were affecting him astrologically. (Chart is here. I used a rectified time [rectification by Dean Bensics] of 10:26 PM. )

Lo and behold, his Sun, at 9 degrees of Cancer, lines right up with the transiting Uranus-Pluto square — Uranus brings upsets and change, while Pluto brings metamorphosis, and intense public focus. Transiting Neptune, retrograde, is closely square his Midheaven, a transit Noel Tyl describes pithily as a probable “ego wipeout”. But wait! There’s more! The planets are really piling on this man. Mercury Rx just transited oppose his Ascendant a few days ago, and now joins the Sun in his 6th house of health, while Mars just squared his natal Mars on Saturday, when he did so poorly in his first event. Mars is the planet of the competitive athlete. There’s a lot more going on — I don’t have room for anywhere near all of it here, but I will also note that Venus opposed his Moon on the same day. The Moon is the dispositor of his Sun and Mars, and rules the 6th house. It is a mistake to think that the so-called “benefic” planets — Sun, Venus, and Jupiter — are always benefic. They are until they slap you upside the head with too much, too fast, too soon of the wrong things. Phelps is undergoing some life-changing and potentially difficult transits and arcs, no doubt, but there’s a real undercurrent of strength here, as well as some mitigating transits, and he may well make a comeback before the games are over. If he does, he’ll work hard for it, and it’s likely to be spectacular.

OK, so on to our week ahead!

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

The unexpected death of a friend this week brought into sharp relief the differences between traditions around death and grief, not only between different communities but also between different generations. How we handle the dead and our sorrow shows a lot about our culture.

For the Anglo-Saxons, much of what we know of their material culture -- apart descriptions in poems and histories -- come from discovered burials. But burial wasn't always the norm. We have a magnificent pagan shipboard funeral of a king in the opening lines of Beowulf. For a long time people dismissed it as a rather fanciful thing.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    My condolences on your loss, Kate; I thank you for sharing your wisdom and reflections with our community.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Thanks so much, Anne. The power of community in bad times reflects the strength of its joy in good times. And the fluctuation betw
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Thank you, my dear. It's never easy, but the weight becomes more familiar as we age, alas. It's the first time I have felt 'away'

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

You’ve found yourself in need of a boost to your financial prosperity, and don’t have the time, means, &/or inclination to go out and buy a bunch of fancy-schmancy exotic herbs, oil, candles and everything else?

Some down-home conjure can help you on your way!

Magic doesn’t have to be complicated or heavily ritualistic. It can be right at hand, and performed with some whispered prayer. A walk through your kitchen and perhaps a quick trip to the grocery store will yield all the supplies needed for a beautiful and effective ritual working to manifest to extra money!

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  • Yvonne Catherine Jackson
    Yvonne Catherine Jackson says #
    very information will be using it soon

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