Magic and Mood

head_Treesong_wp19Many Witches and Pagans are enchanted by the beauty and power of magic. Those of us who are new to our Craft often get caught up in the promise of making our dreams manifest in the world. We may do spells to draw money or love into our lives, rituals to send protection and healing, or divination to understand a confusing situation.

But what happens when the change we're looking for is internal? What do we do when our mood and other psychological challenges are the main barrier to making our dreams a reality?

Dion Fortune defined magic as “the art of causing changes in consciousness at will.” This classic approach to magic is especially powerful when facing inner challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, and mood disorders.

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Cultivating a Magical Mindset

head_Tess-WhitehurstMake yourself ready for magic.

What fuels our magical workings? Our intentions. And how do we project our intentions into the ether? Through our thoughts, feelings, and visualizations. To help us with this, we may use any number of things: incense, candles, herbs, words of power, crystals, and so forth. The more we practice, the more we tap into our ability to create and transform reality. As magical practitioners, we learn to concentrate and direct the power of our thoughts and emotions in much the same way a mirror can concentrate and direct sunlight to start a fire.

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The Art of the Craft

wp-23_columnists01-01Four Steps to Bringing Artistic Imagination to Your Magic

We magical folks are artists. Our greatest work is our life experience, and we paint it by dipping the brush of our intentions into the pigments of the Universe: starlight, song, a fresh sprig of rosemary, a lock of a loved one’s hair, an ecstatic dance, or a gentle wafting of fragrant smoke.

My mother, a visual artist, taught me that in order to truly see a cloud, one must recognize that it contains all the colors of the rainbow, not simply white or grey. They may be mixed in so much that you can’t necessarily discern one from the other, but they’re all there. Though I never achieved any sort of expertise at painting or drawing, this revelation taught me so much. Not just about how to look at clouds, but about how to look at everything: deeply, and with an awareness that there are almost always veiled and intricate dimensions to any given facade.

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Konxari Cards

Konxari Cards:
A Supplement for Your Ghost-Hunting, Séance, or Spirit Communications Experience

Paul Michael Kane, IRM Foundation, 2009
3/5 Broomsticks

The Konxari (pronounced kon-zar-ee) Cards set is a new spirit-focused divination deck. An updated version of the popular ouija board, these cards use evocative photographs, words, and symbols to give you many ways to connect with spirits. The publishers of the deck claim that Konxari has roots in ancient Egypt — roots the system shares with the more familiar Tarot cards. Erroneous information aside (at least as far as the Tarot goes), the set sparked my interest. Curiosity got the best of me, and I had to check it out.

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Cheesy, Bloody Bacchanals

Tarot of the Vampyres

IAN DANIELS, LEWELLYN, 2010

I am so damn sick of vampires.

Still, there’s much we can learn from these overplayed monsters. “Monster,” after all, translates in its Latin root to “portent, warning, revelation,” and it’s appropriate, therefore, to use the vampire archetype as a focus for Tarot-based divination. It’s rather cheesy, though… and The Tarot of the Vampyres is both enjoyably cheesy and surprisingly appropriate.

To be honest, I opened my review deck expecting to hate it. I didn’t open it, exactly — I unwrapped the plastic and the flimsy box fell apart in my hands.  

Dear Llewellyn: If you’re going to charge people 30 bucks for a set of Tarot cards, please get your game up regarding your production quality. The shoddy packaging was inexcusable. Okay, so what about the set itself?

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Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners: Your Fortune in a Tea Cup

Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners: Your Fortune in a Tea Cup
Caroline Dow, Llewellyn, 2011

4/5 Broomsticks

This book is an adventure into the world of tasseography, but author Caroline Dow not only endeavors to teach us all about tea leaf reading, but also about the rich culture of tea around the world, tea etiquette, how to brew a perfect pot, using unique tea blends and much, much more.

As a diehard tea fan myself, I was very curious as to what Dow had to say. In her introduction, Dow starts by briefly outlining leaf-reading history, starting with its heyday in Victorian times. She follows this with some personal anecdotes, which are present throughout the book, along with an explanation on how tea leaf reading works.

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