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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Flower Remedy Ritual
Flower essences restore emotional balance and aid physical harmony. Naturopathic doctors and healers recommend using Dr. Bach’s flower remedies, which were originally created from the morning dew found on flower petals. These subtle medicines are available in most health food and metaphysical stores. To know which essences are right for you, take a pendulum and write the essence names on paper in a wheel formation. Holding the pendulum in the middle, wait for it to select one name while chanting:

Spirit of the flower, help me this day
To keep disease and depression far at bay. Blessed be.

To prepare the following remedies, mix two drops of flower essence in 30 milliliters of distilled water. Take four drops of the remedy daily until your health is restored. You can also apply the remedy to your pulse points: wrists, temples, behind the ears, back of knees. You can also add it to your bath, or spray it into the air. Following is a guide to healing flower remedies:

Addiction: skullcap, oregano
Anger: nettle, blue flag, chamomile
Anxiety: garlic, rosemary, aspen, periwinkle, lemon balm, white chestnut, gentian
Bereavement: honeysuckle
Depression: borage, sunflower, larch, chamomile, geranium, yerba santa, black cohosh, lavender, mustard
Exhaustion: aloe, yarrow, olive, sweet chestnut
Fear: poppy, mallow, ginger, peony, water lily, basil, datura
Heartbreak: heartsease, hawthorn, borage
Lethargy: aloe, thyme, peppermint
Stress: dill, Echinacea, thyme, mistletoe, lemon balm
Spiritual blocks: oak, ginseng, lady’s slipper
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Teutonic Tonic

You will notice that many a witch appears ageless. There is a good reason for this; we manifest a lot of joy in our life, including creating potions to take excellent care of our skin for goddess-like youthfulness. This refresher is inspired by the eternally strong and beautiful deity Freya.

Combine these oils in a sealable dark blue bottle:

  • 2 ounces sweet almond as base oil
  • 2 drops chamomile
  • 2 drops rosemary
  • 2 drops lavender oil
Shake very thoroughly and prepare to anoint your skin with this invocation:

Goddess of Love, Goddess of Light, hear this prayer,
Your youth, beauty and radiance, please share. So mote it be.

Clean your skin with warm water, then gently daub with the potion. You can also make a salve or balm using my recipe if you want to turn the clock backwards. Prepare to be asked for your beauty secrets.
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Green Man - Home | Facebook 

My friend and I couldn't have been at the Renn Fest for more than two minutes when we ran into a gaggle of fellow pagans.

This, of course, is hardly to be wondered at. Renn Fests are famed pagan Meccas, and this particular one happened to be the Paganistani (i.e. Minnesota) Renn Fest, after all. There are so many pagans at the Minnesota Renn Fest that for a while it actually because fashionable to wear a cross, not so much out of religious conviction, as to stand out in the crowd.

They ask where we're headed, and we explain that we always start off our day there by pouring a libation for the Green Man. Pagans generally being game for spontaneous religious observance, they come along.

A pagan landmark of the MN Renn Fest—“Let's meet up at the Green Man,” people say—the Green Man stands probably 20 feet tall: a large, archaic-looking wooden mask mounted on a tree trunk, and bodied out all around with a tangle of fox grapes. This being September, the grapes are usually just coming ripe around now.

We stand before the Green Man, make our prayers, and pour out our libation, relishing the opportunity to indulge in public pagan worship. We'd like to dance around Him—that's the traditional observance—but there aren't quite enough of us to join hands.

Fortunately, this is the Renn Fest.

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Wood Anemone: Faery Flower, Witches’ Flower

The star-shaped wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) flower is white with a ring of yellow at the center. The petals have a delicate vein pattern that looks like they were sketched on with a pencil. The flower closes its petals and droops on cloudy days, at night, and before it rains.

Commonly called windflower, the anemone was said to only open with the help of the wind. The Greeks had two legends about the flower. One is that the nymph Anemone fell in love with Zephyrus, god of the West Wind, but his jealous wife turned her into a wood anemone. The other is that the anemone grew from the tears of Aphrodite and the blood of Adonis when a wild bore killed him.

Although the Romans regarded the anemone as a lucky flower and wove it into chaplets, in later centuries it was sometimes associated with bad luck and called devil’s bite, possibly because of the irritant it contains. In spite of the name and skin irritation it may cause, the anemone was worn as an amulet for protection against sorcery.Believed to ward off witches, anemones were hung over doorways. Also believed to be used by them, in Germany anemone was called hexenblumen, “witches’ flower.” In England, picking the flowers was said to bring on thunderstorms and taking them into the house would attract lightning. That earned it the folk name thunderbolt.

Wood anemones were reputedly a favorite of the faeries, who were said to paint streaks on the petals in the moonlight. Faeries were also said to close the flowers when it rained and to use them as tents at night.

The energy of wood anemone supports courage and creativity, the emotions and relationships. For luck, blow on the first anemone you see and make a wish. To bolster determination, carry an anemone bulb in your purse or pocket. Plant anemones in your garden to bring harmony. When you see the flower close at dusk, say goodnight to the faery that may be inside.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Clarify Your Intention
Why do you want to create a mandala? Your reason is your intention, and is the focus of your ritual. One basic guideline is that the creation of a sand mandala should be “for the greater good.” Some examples of reasons to create a specific mandala include:
 
To help create world peace
To bring renewed health to body and spirit
To bless a new home
To bless and bring joy to all people in your life
 
Sun: Its rays are a representation of light, energy, and life. A sun mandala will represent the positive and celebrate your life, the spark and flame of existence.
 
Moon: In all its phases, the moon represents the feminine and female power. Moon mandalas are wonderful for women to create in celebration of their own femininity and of woman-power throughout time. Any goddess mandala can include the symbol of the moon.
 
Heart: A universal symbol of love, this sweet design would make an excellent blessing to a romantic relationship or a gift to loved ones.
 
Triangle: It represents the Christian Holy Trinity and Egyptian spirituality and wisdom.
 
Downward-Pointing Triangle: It represents the “yoni yantra” and signifies the female, the element of water, and the mother and the ability to create. A mandala blessing for an expectant mother should include the downward-pointing triangle. Water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces would do well to honor themselves with this design.
 
Double Triangle or Hexagram: In tantra, this represents all of creation, the conjunction of male and female energies. The concept of infinity is also represented by this symbol. A relationship mandala, especially in the sensual realm, will work well with double triangles. If you want to connect to the great universe, the symbol of infinity is essential. This symbol is ideal for creativity mandalas. In India, the double triangle indicates Kali in union with Shiva, and it is also the symbol for the heart chakra. If you want to create a mandala for blessing a relationship or to open your heart, the hexagram is an excellent choice. Combining the heart symbol and hexagram would be a powerful love mandala.
 
Pentagram: Other names for the pentagram include the Wizard’s Star, the Druid’s Foot, the Witch’s Cross, and the Star of Bethlehem. Wiccans have claimed the pentagram as their insignia. If you want to do a mandala for healing the earth, the pentagram will accomplish this quite nicely.
 
Square or Quadrangle: It is the sign of the four directions, and also the four elements and the four seasons. The square of the day also indicates the four significant times of day: sunrise, noonday, sunset, midnight. For the ancient Hindus, the square stood for order in the universe. You can use a square to invoke the four directions in this way, to honor the elements of air, earth, fire and water, and also to mark sacred time for prayer and meditation.
 
Octagon or Double Square: With its eight points, this is another symbol for divine order and unification. It is a good symbol for peace on earth. Essentially an eight-pointed star, the octagon is a symbol for rebirth and renewal and the wheel of the year. The octagon is believed to have magical powers, as does the pentacle or pentagram, when drawn in one line. In this case, they are believed to indicate sacred space. An octagon is a very good symbol to include in a mandala when you are embarking on a new phase of your lifea new home, job, relationship, a “new you”that can be blessed in this manner.
 
Knotwork and the “Knot of Eternity”: These are lovely symbols of unity. In Buddhist tradition, knotwork represents contemplation and meditation. Celtic knotwork symbolizes the eternal flow of energy and life.
 
Lotus: This flower represents beauty, creation, renewal, and in Buddhism, the search for enlightenment. If the lotus has twelve petals, it represents the energy of the sun. If it has sixteen petals, it is the symbol for the moon. The most spiritual mandalas will likely contain the image of the lotus.
 
Hold your hand over the mandala design you have drawn and visualize the light of the universe, of the sun pouring through you and through your hands to the sand and the design. If you feel a personal connection to any benevolent spirits such as angels, the Buddha, or gods or goddesses, you should call upon them to also bless your efforts and the material with their sacred energy.
 
You may notice a warming of your hands as you continue concentrating “in the light.” Invoke aloud or pray silently to your benevolent guardians to bless your endeavor. When you are ready, take some time to look at your mandala and contemplate the image you have created. Look deeply and quietly and “receive” any insights or messages during meditation. Close the ritual by dedicating the blessing energy of the mandala to the greater good of the universe.
 
Color Symbology for the Chakras and Mandala Design
First, root (base of spine) | red | security, survival
 
Second, sacral | orange |  pleasure

Third, solar plexus | 
 yellow | divine, personal power
 
Fourth, heart | green | abundance, love, serenity
 
Fifth, throat |  blue |  creativity, originality
 
Sixth, third eye |  indigo | intuitiveness, perception
 
Seventh, crown | violet | holy bliss, all is one
 
Color Connection
Color is a form of energy that can be broken down by individual vibrations. We use colors in our homes and at work to affect moods. The right colors can calm, energize, or even romanticize a setting. Colors promote many desired states of being. Anyone using color is tuning in to the vibration frequency of that particular color. Some psychics have the skills and training to read your aura; they can literally see the energy radiating out from your body.Other colors not in the spectrum or chakra exist in crystals and stones, and are significant in their own right: brown, gray, black, white, silver and gold.
 
Brown: the color of humility and poverty; represents safety and the home.Gray: the color of grief and mourning; symbolized resurrection in medieval times; gray is the first color the human eye can perceive in infancy.
 
Black: protection and strength; fortifies your personal energies and gives them more inner authority; symbolizes fertile, life- giving, rich earth, and nourishing rain in Africa.
 
White: purity, peace, patience, and protection; some cultures associate white with death.Silver: relates to communication and greater access to the universe; indicates a lunar connection or female energy.
 
Gold: direct connection to God; facilitates wealth and ease.
 
The color spectrum is correlated with seven basic vibrations. These are the same vibrations that comprise the musical scale, and the same vibrations that are the foundation of our seven vibration chakra system. The “lightest” vibrations are at the top and the “heaviest” vibrations are at the bottom. By now you should know that the color system is composed of seven colors, all visible in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. A great way to remember the colors is by their collective acronym, which sounds like a name: Roy G. Biv. Consult the following color guide when you are choosing a color for any aspect of your life.
 
Color management can help you on the most basic level each day. To combat feeling depressed, wear yellow to raise your energy level. If you have a business meeting and you want to put your colleagues at ease, wear earthy colors like brown or green. You can experiment with different combinations, too. Remember, the purpose here is to find your soul colors.
 
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Before the Sabbat began, the jar of flying ointment circulated among the crowd.

The “main ritual” at the large national gathering of witches that year was a Grand Witches' Sabbat in the Old Style: the Horned, in all his naked male beauty, towering on the altar, the wild dancing, the love-making in the shadows....

Now, there are flying ointments and flying ointments. This particular one had been formulated without any of the traditional “flight herbs.” (There was mint in it, though, to give that tingling sensation on the skin....) No one, I hope, would ever be so irresponsible as to hand out the Real Stuff to the unwary at a public gathering. Certainly not at any ritual that I have anything to do with, anyway.

It didn't matter, and there's the point.

“Oh my gods, that stuff last night,” people said the next day. “What did you put into it?”

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Create Your Temple Sanctuary: Magical Mandalas and Sacred Space

Spiritual health is just as important as the other kind. Regular maintenance and what I call “inner work” is greatly abetted if you have sacred space where you feel at your best. If you don’t have access to a temple space, you can create a sacred temple space in your own home. The imprint of your own creativity is vital to your personal shrine; it should be decorated with things also made by your own hand. Ideally, your windows allow sacred light to fall upon your designs. This is an artistic endeavor; you are making sacred art. If you do your best work at night, be sure to have adequate lighting. It is also a good idea to reduce the possibilities of distractions and interruptions. It is strongly suggested to turn off phones and television, to create as peaceful an environment as possible.

Bless the space in a fashion of your own choosing with your favorite incense, candles and objects that represent deepest spirituality to you. A magical mandala will greatly enhance your sacred space. The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itselfa cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

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