Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- Z -- PLANTS, ANIMALS, AND STARS. OH MY!

ZODIAC -- There are many different zodiacs out there.  The Western one we are familiar with.  Gemini, Capricorn, Virgo, etc. There are also the Chinese, Celtic, and others.

The origins of Western Astrology come from the ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian as well as Sumerian and Egyptian, but here are the mythological origins from the Greek.  Aries -- Ram of the Golden Fleece, Taurus -- Europa's ravishment by Zeus, Gemini -- the twins Castor and Pollux, Cancer -- Hera's giant crab sent to attack Hercules during the battle with the Hydra, Leo -- the Nemean Lion, Virgo -- goddess of purity and innocence, Astraea.  Last to return to the heavens when Pandora opened the box and is associated with Dike goddess of justice, Libra -- scales of Themis, goddess of divine justice, Scorpio -- the scorpion that killed Orion, Sagittarius -- Chiron the centaur, Capricorn -- goat Amalthea who fed the infant Zeus or Pan, Aquarius -- Ganymede, Pisces -- Aphrodite and Eros escaping Typhon.

There are different versions of why the Chinese Zodiac (sheng xiao) animals are in the order that they are.  Most have the a competition that a heavenly being (be it the Jade Emperor, Yellow Emperor, etc.) has ordered. The race would decide the order.  The cat and the rat were friends, and it ends up somehow the cat was left out of the race by some means by the rat, albeit on purpose or not.  So once good friends are eternal enemies.  You can go HERE or HERE or even Wikipedia even to read.  Also the animals change with the different countries.  In different Asian countries, some of the animals are altered slightly, but on the whole they are similar.

The Celtic one is fairly new.  The ancient Celtic calender was more fluid, using the lunar cycle as a guide. It is also probable they were not named for trees or animals.  Most likely they were named for the quadrants.  Samhain, "Summer's End", would be an example.

So here is a brief rundown of signs and their months/years.


Capricorn  -- The Goat - Dec. 22–Jan. 19                             
Aquarius -- The Water Bearer - Jan. 20–Feb. 18
Pisces -- The Fishes - Feb. 19–Mar. 20
Aries -- The Ram - Mar. 21–Apr. 19
Taurus -- The Bull - Apr. 20–May 20
Gemini -- The Twins -May 21–June 21
Cancer -- The Crab - June 22–July 22
 Leo -- The Lion - July 23–Aug. 22
Virgo -- The Virgin -Aug. 23–Sept. 22
Libra -- The Balance - Sept. 23–Oct. 23
Scorpio -- The Scorpion - Oct. 24–Nov. 21
Sagittarius -- The Archer - Nov. 22–Dec. 21


Zi – Rat – 1936, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 2008, 20
Chou – Ox – 1937, 49, 61, 73, 85, 97, 2009, 21
Yin – Tiger -- 1938, 50, 62, 74, 86, 98, 2010, 22
Mao-- Rabbit -- 1939, 51, 63, 75, 87, 99, 2011, 23
Chen – Dragon -- 1940, 52, 64, 76, 88, 2000, 12, 24
Si – Snake -- 1941, 53, 65, 77, 89, 2001, 13, 25
Wu -- Horse -- 1942, 54, 66, 78, 90, 2002, 14, 26
Wei – Sheep -- 1943, 55, 67, 79, 91, 2003, 15, 27
Shen – Monkey -- 1944, 56, 68, 80, 92, 2004, 16, 28
You – Rooster -- 1945, 57, 69, 81, 93, 2005, 17, 29
Xu – Dog -- 1946, 58, 70, 82, 94, 2006, 18, 30
Hai – Pig -- 1947, 59, 71, 83, 95, 2007, 19, 31


Beth – Birch – Dec. 24 to Jan. 20
Luis -- Rowan – Jan. 21 to Feb. 17
Nion -- Ash – Feb. 18 to Mar. 17 
Fearn -- Alder - Mar. 18 to Apr. 14 
Saille – Willow – Apr. 15 to May 12
Uath -- Hawthorn - May 13 to June 9 
Duir – Oak - June 10 to July 7
Tinne – Holly - July 8 to Aug.4
Coll – Hazel – Aug. 5 to Sept. 1
Muin – Vine- Sept. 2 to Sept. 29
Gort --Ivy - Sept. 30 to Oct. 27
Ngetal -- Reed – Oct.28 to Nov. 24
Ruis -- Elder –Nov. 25 to Dec. 22

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- Y -- LOG, GRAVEYARD, AND A DAY

YEW -- English Yew is a long lived tree found in many graveyards across Great Britain and many predate the churches, which may have roots in Druid groves.  It was a sacred tree to the Druids.  It was a symbol for immortality, death and rebirth.  It can live for 1000 years or more.  There are estimates that some trees are even 4000 years old!  It is one of the oldest known species of tree. Weapon handles were made from its wood.  Its a poisonous plant.  It has connections to the Otherworld.

YULE -- It is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, around December 21.  It is the rebirth of the God as one of the eight Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year.  Many of the Christmas traditions come from this holiday, including the hanging of mistletoe and the Yule log.

The Yule log was burned to celebrate the the rebirth of the sun.

Many cultures shared this celebration in different forms like the Egyptians, Celts, Norse (Juul), Romans (Saturnalia), and Germanic tribes.

The burning of the Yule log is a tradition that has been carried on for at least a thousand year or more.  A piece from the old Yule log (kept for protection through the year) kindles the new Yule log after a piece is taken from it for the next.  There are certain rituals and superstitions about how the log is decorated and received, but I'm not going to get into them.

YEAR AND A DAY -- December 23.  The Druid lunar months consisted of 28 days in each of the 13 months.  It was used in courts of law.  Mistletoe rules this day, which was called All Heal, Golden Bough and a few other names.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


XERANTHEMUM ANNUUM -- A plant used to make besoms/brooms around Bulgaria and the Balkan regions of Eastern Europe.

 Also called the Immortelle or the Everlasting. In the language of flowers, it means Cheerfulness Under Adversity or Unfading Remembrance.

In Turkey, it was used as an analgesic burn remedy.

XI WANG-MU -- (Also called Hsi Wang Mu)  This is a goddess from the Chinese Taoist pantheon.  She lives in the Kulun mountains and guards the Tree, which grew the Táo Zi, the Peaches of Immortality.  (The ones Monkey stole.  The ones that only grew every 3,000 years.  Yep, those peaches.)

She is called the "Queen Mother of the West".  Her powers were almost infinite.  Her ferocious beginnings as a humanoid goddess with tiger features and tail began thirty-three centuries ago with the first recorded record of her. She was a wild goddess that brought plagues and death to the people before organized Taoism morphed her to the most powerful goddess in their pantheon, who had her own throne and controlled life and the afterlife.

XOCHIQUETZAL --  (pronouced Sho-chi-ket-sal) She is the the Aztec goddess of beauty, prostitutes, household crafts, artists (sculptors, painters, etc.), lovers.  She is also the goddess of feminine sexual power.  She was associated with flowers, but he marigold is sacred to her.

She created humans and was the intermediate between them and the gods.

Her festival was celebrated every eight years at the  end of autumn.

I was really grasping at straws with this one, but I managed to find some awesome things.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- W -- AQUA, SPOKES, AND NORSE

WHEEL OF THE YEAR -- The Wheel of the Year encompasses the eight Sabbats celebrated: Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnashadh (or Lammas), and Mabon.

The Wheel usually begins with Samhain and the death of the God.  It follows with rebirth of the God.  He grows in power with it culminating at Litha, the Summer Solstice.  Then his power wanes as the darkness of winter grows.

Both the Celts and Anglo-Saxon/Norse have influenced this wheel. Agricultural rites from both ancient cultures are celebrated.

WIDDERSHINS -- To move counterclockwise.  Also called withershins.  Many practitioners do not use this since it is against the sun's direction, but there are some that use it as banishment and destructive use like releasing a circle.

A Symbol for Water
WATER --  Water is one of the four Elements.  It is feminine in nature and is connected to the Goddess.  It's used for psychic workings like scrying, purification, and healing spells.  It's receptive in nature.

The cauldron and cup are associated with this element along with the color blue.

WEDNESDAY -- Wednesday is named after the Norse god, Odin, Or if you prefer one of his other names, Wodan.  Translated, his name means master of ecstasy.  He was both a war god and loved to incite war.  He was also a poet god.  He stole the mead of poetry from a giant, which was made from the blood of a human created by Aesir and Vanir spit to cement the truce at the end of the war. (Uh, totally gross.)

His favorite peeps were berserkers and outlaws (for whatever reason) and held favor for a few amazing warriors.

What is more interesting is that in some texts it is said he was a practitioner of seidr, which is a shamanistic practice that rewove destiny.  It was considered a woman's magic and for a man to practice seidr, he was considered unmanly and was looked down upon.  So . . . yeah, interesting contradictions.

The Roman god, Mercury, or Greek Hermes, is also the name for this day.  Dies Mercurii is the root word for the Spanish miércoles.  As god of commerce, messages, luck, thieves, boundaries, roads, travelers, and eloquence, he had his work cut out for him.  What's even more cool is that he also guided departed souls to the underworld.  He was one of the few that could come and go as he pleased.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


VICTORIAN AGE --   The Victorian Age saw one of the strongest revivals of occultism, supernatural experimentation, and spiritualism.  Mesmerism, séances, psychical research, and much more exploded through all ranks of society during this period.

The famous Fox sisters of Hyndeville, New York were one of the first to begin the American occult revival in 1848.  They claimed that they could speak with ghosts through knocks.  Soon mediums were as popular as wine as entertainment and soon Gothic elements entered mainstream books.  Charles Dickens, for example, had this book with ghosts. A Christmas Carol, haven't heard of it, right? 

Many famous people like Conan Doyle were more interested in mesmerism (or in today's language, hypnosis).  Franz Anton Mesmer created the theory of animal magnetism in 1766 and used mesmerism to heal.  The term hypnosis (coming from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos) did not come about until 1843 and was coined by the English scientist James Braid.

Books like Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles G. Leland and The Veil of Isis came out.  The Veil of Isis or Mysteries of the Druids by W. Winwood Reade, published in 1861. Aradia was one of the first neo-pagan books to be written It was published in 1899.  You can read it on the Sacred Text website.  

Societies dedicated to magic, esotericism, occultism, and spiritualism flourished.

A group was founded to study paranormal activity.  The Society of Psychical Research (or for you Ghost Hunt fans B.S.P.R.) was founded in 1882.  They were the first society to study supernatural phenomenon using scientific methods.  

Bonus points:  Is E. Tisane a real person?  I cannot find mention of him anywhere.  Supposedly he was a French policeman who created the criteria for poltergeists.  I'm wondering if he was a made up person by the writer of Ghost Hunt.

A/N:  I was going to do Visualization, but this was much more fun.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Yggdrasil, F. W. Heine image 1886
UNDERWORLD -- Cultures from the beginning of man to now believed that the physical realm was interwoven with many different planes of existence or Otherworlds.  The underworld was/is one of them.

Every culture has an underworld of some kind, or places where spirits reside, but this is only the tip of a complex paradigm.  Many cultures, like the Norse, had a multitude of realms. Those that held the dead, those that held beings other than humans, and those that were the physical plane being among them.

One example, Niflheim was the realm of the dead for the Norse.  Vahalla and Folkvangr were reserved for warriors who died in battle and resided in Asgard, realm of the gods.  The Norse light elves, dark elves, dwarves, and giants had their own worlds, which are Alfheim, Svartalfheim, Nildavellir, and Jotunheim respectively.  Midgard was the name of the human realm.  These realms were all connected by the Yggdrasil, the World Tree.

Shamanism, one of the oldest spiritual and healing arts, has a deep history with the realms of the nonphysical world and are said to travel these realms.

At one time or another, there were shamanistic practices spanning the globe. Name a culture, and they more than likely had some type of shaman in their history.  Depending on the culture, shamans were either male, female, or some had both.

I won't delve any more into shamanism because there are so many ancient and modern versions that I could never do it justice.

URUZ -- This rune is comes from the Futhark system.  As a rune it symbolizes Auroch, the wild ox.  It is strength and power but revered it is the opposite.

Some Wiccans use uruz to represent physical health.  So this rune is used to cast a healing spell.  One way is through candle magic.  It's carved into the candle and burned.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- T -- THUNDER, WOLF, AND THREE

TALISMAN -- Talismans are objects charged with personal power.  They are used to attract a specific energy or force.

THREEFOLD LAW -- The Threefold Law is not technically a law per se.  It is more of a defining principle that governs many pagans and wiccans.  It is similar to karma.  Basically what it means is that whatever you send out be it magic workings or whatever will come back on you three times as powerful.

When or how it comes back to the person depends on which variation is believed.  There are several different thoughts on this from cosmic to the more mundane.

Not all use magic practitioners use this principle.  Just like with any religion, there are differences in beliefs in Paganism and Wicca.

TRIPLE GODDESS --  There are many triple goddesses in ancient pantheons.  The Moirai, the Morrígna, and the Norns are a few of them.  These are three individuals that form a group function.  Then there are those with three heads like Hecate at the three-way crossroads.

The Wiccan Triple Goddess is represented by the phases of the moon and are visualized as three different stages of life: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

There is debate as to whether She is a reincarnation of an older goddess/es or a creation of the Neopagan revival.

Mjollnir Pendant
THURSDAY --  Thursday is named after the Norse god, Thor.  He was the God of thunder and lightning.  The Romans honored their god Jupiter on this day.  Dies Jovis/Iovis (Jove's day) honors their god of sky and light.  The Greek equivalent is Zeus.

Thor was the protector of humans and gods against evil.  He carried the hammer Mjollnir.  He was one of the most popular of that pantheon.  When the church started to take over, the people began to wear Thor's hammer in defiance.

Jupiter governed over the distribution of laws and used oracles to give the people his will.

TUESDAY --  Tuesday is named for the Norse god Tyr, which relates to the Germanic god, Tiu (Twia).  The Romans called it dies Martis, which translates to Mars day.

Both Tiu and Mars were gods of war, while Tyr is a defender god.

Tyr, in Norse mythology, was shown to bear only one hand.  The other was sacrificed in the jaws of Fenrir when the gods tricked the wolf son of Loki into chains.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- S -- FESTIVAL, MARK, AND WHEEL

SABBAT -- Sabbats are the name for the eight major celebrations in Wicca and Pagan religions.  They consist of the Greater Sabbats and Lesser Sabbats.  The Greater Sabbats are Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh.  These four are the four fire festivals from Pre-Christian times and are when each season is at its peak of power.

The Lesser Sabbats are Yule, Ostara, Litha, and Mabon.  These are the transitional Sabbats when the seasons are turning.  These are the solstices and equinoxes.

SIGIL -- Sigil is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

noun (sig·il) (si-jil)
1: seal, signet
2: a sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic

It comes from the Latin and means a mark, sign, or seal.

In Wicca, sigils are said to very powerful and are designed with elements that have specific meanings. They sometimes start as a sentence of intent and are created specifically to will it into being. They can be inscribed onto objects like candles, talismans, amulets as well as other things.  They can be used for many purposes like protection.

 Sigils can be abstracts that are very personal to the creator and can have no meaning to anyone else, or they can be made of other symbols put together or even letters from the sentence of intent.  

Historically sigils have been the equivalent of the true name of spirits and were used as such in the medieval magic.  Some pratictices involved summoning angels and demons through their sigils.  

Many other cultures have used sigils like the Hebrews.  Their word is segula has a few meanings including talisman, folk remedy, safeguard, or superstitious action. 

The sun cross
SUN --  The sun has been worshiped since man walked the earth.  Every ancient culture has some form of sun worship.  The Egyptian Ra, the Greek Apollo, the Celtic Lugh, and the Japanese Amaterasu are just some of the gods and goddesses associated with the sun.

For Many Wiccans, the Wheel of the Year is a representation of the eight Sabbats that follows the God's birth and death as the sun.  Within the Wheel is the sun cross, which divides the Sabbats into their quadrants.

SKYCLAD -- This is the proper term for ritual nudity.  It has absolutely nothing to do with anything sexual.  It is not a requirement at all.  

SAMHAIN -- (pronounced sah-win, sow-in, sah-vin) is a Celtic word that means "summer end".

It is a the beginning of the Wheel of the Year and heralds the third and final harvest before winter.

This is the time when the Goddess is in Her third aspect, the Crone.  She is symbolized by the waning moon.  It is said that the God dies before He is reborn at Yule, the Winter Solstice.  It is when those who have gone before are remembered.

It is believed that the veil between the worlds is thinned and that the dead could roam freely on the Earth.  One tradition during this time was called the Dumb (Silent) Supper.  As a sign of honor, a place was set at the table for the departed.  The plate was filled with food for their spirit guest.  The supper would be completely silent. It was believed that looking at the chair was bad luck.  Also, to placate any evil spirits roaming around, food was placed on the doorstep to ward them off.


SATURDAY --  This day of the week is named for the Roman god Saturn.  He is the god of sowing seeds and later of time.  He was once the supreme ruler of the gods after his father and before his son, Jupiter.  He is equated with Cronus in Greek mythology.  His festival, Saturnalia, fell on December 17.  It was the most famous of all because this festival was the IT festival.  Slaves were free to speak and sit with their masters as well as be served by them.  Gifts were exchanged, which may have influenced Christmas.  A 'king' was elected by dice game and was given the power over his 'subjects' and could request them to do ridiculous things. 

Saturn may have roots as an underworld god that held sway over funerary rites.  this can be surmised by his first consort, Lua.  She was a goddess that soldiers sacrificed captured weapons to avoid misfortune.


SUNDAY -- Sunday comes from the Latin dies solis.  It means day of the sun.  The Roman god, Sol, was similar to Helios. In many of the Romance languages it has been changed into a word that translates to "the Lord's day".  Also, to note, that in Norse mythology, the sun was a goddess called (shall we guess? That's right!) Sól!  Her brother was the moon. They were chased across the sky by wolves until Ragnarok. 

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.


Hello everyone.  Yesterday at 7 am PST the internet went down for most of the day.  It affected quite a few places in my state.  It wasn't only Internet; it was phones and some tv too.  So I wasn't able to do anything until it was fixed, which was late afternoon.

And tomorrow I will be eaten alive by two rambunctious little black and tan Yorkie puptarts.

In essence, I'm going to very behind in my A to Z blog hopping this week.

But rest assured I will totally binge read my email blogs as well as hopping the list this weekend when I will be home.  But only after I get V post done.  I had meant to do it yesterday, but as you know: man plans (or in this case woman), God/the gods laugh.

So see y'all Saturday, which I think is in today's post!  How cool!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- R -- TOOLS, ETHICS, AND VIKINGS

RECEPTIVE HAND -- This is the hand the receives energy into the body.  Left for right-handed people and reversed for left-handed.

REDE -- This is the guideline for conduct.  I found endless forms that vary in words, length, and other things, but one line was the same in most of them (except that some did not have the antiquated ye): An harm ye none, do what ye will.  Some translate it as don't cause harm to others or yourself, but there are other schools of thought on this.

Here is an example of a simple, to the point Rede.  This particular one is quoted from Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft (Green Witchcraft Series) by Ann Moura on page 76.

Bide the Witch's law ye must,
in perfect love, in perfect trust.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
An harm ye none, do what ye will.
What ye send forth comes back to thee,
So ever mind the Rule of Three.
Follow this with mind and heart,
and merry ye meet, and merry ye part.

RITUAL TOOLS --  By now, I've talked about chalices, cauldrons, pentacles, and a few more I'm probably forgetting.  These are all ritual tools.  Ritual tools are items used in ceremonies and magick.  They are cleansed of negative energy before used and are consecrated.  They are also charged with energy.  Bathing them in moonlight will not only cleanse but recharge them, but there are other methods.  Water, salt, sunlight, burying them, and smudging are all possible methods. It depends on what material the tools are made crafted from.

ROWAN --  Also called Mountain Ash, Witchesbane, Witchwood, and Thor's Helper to name a few.

This tree is one of the most sacred to Wiccans, witches, and the Druids.  It has a long history that weaves though the centuries.  Its ancient Celtic name was fid na ndruad, which means wizards tree.

It has association with fairies.  A lone rowan was believed to be a gateway to Elfhame, or in the Norse, Alfheim.

The wood is used to make wands, staves, and amulets.  It's used in protection and has been used for thousands of years.  Some believe that the rowan would banish evil spirits and they were planted near cemeteries.

The berries form a natural pentagram.  The cooked berries are edible and medicinal.

RUNES -- The divining rune system I will be focusing on comes from the Futhark language of the Norse and Northern Germanic peoples. The name Futhark comes from the first letters of this alphabet (F, U, TH, A, R, K). The origin of this writing systems is uncertain, but can be traced from about the 3rd century.  As with all languages, it went through changes as it evolved.  Examples of it can be found throughout Europe.

The mythological origins of the runes comes from a story of how Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil over the Well of Urd, where the Norns (think the Fates only more awesome) held their power over destiny.  He sacrificed an eye as well to gain the knowledge of the runes mystical powers.

One simple pattern takes only three runes.  They are drawn one at a time and placed right to left.  The first rune is your present situation.  The middle one is the the attitude and energy surrounding the situation.  The last, shows the probable outcome of the situation.

Like tarot cards, many of the runes can have different meanings when they are drawn upside down.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Monday, April 20, 2015


QUARTERS -- Calling the Quarters, Guardians, Guardians of the Watchtowers, or whatever title they are given are used when casting a circle. Depending on the belief, they are the cardinal directions, directions and elements, elementals, protective spirits (hence Guardians), some have the elements separate from the Guardians or the Guardians add their elemental power to the circle. 
 Whether They are evoked, invoked, or convoked, it is the rule of thumb not to call forth something that is not understood fully.  

Usually the elemental energy is used to enhance the magic performed in the circle.

QUERENT -- In a tarot reading, this is the person who is getting the the reading. Can also be called the Seeker.  The querent will have a specific tarot card that represents him/her in the spread (the layout of the cards), which is called the Signifier or Significator.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- P -- DOLLS, HAND, AND FIVE POINTS

PAGAN --  I looked up pagan on a couple of dictionaries online.  What struck me as funny (and I'm weird and so is my sense of whimsy and humor) is that it says --- well, let me copy and paste it from from the British Dictionary entry:

         noun -- 1. a member of a group professing a polytheistic religion or any religion other than Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.

Okay, I agree with that since that is the modern day meaning of the word, but back in the day (as in the ancient Romans), it was Christianity that was the pagan religion.  I think the irony of the shoe being on the other foot amusing me.  Also, what is even more hilarious is that pagan used to be a term for country folk, villagers, non-combatants, and a few other not-so-nice terms with the modern meaning of redneck and hick.  It had nothing to do with religion whatsoever.  The word was corrupted over time when things were translated.

So, now that's out of the way, you're probably wondering why I bothered with this at all.  Well, it's because I just wanted to point out the fact that the terms Pagan, Wiccan, and witch can be mutually exclusive.  A person can have pagan beliefs but not be a witch or Wiccan.  Some practice the Craft without being Pagan or Wiccan.  Wiccans are not necessarily Pagan or witches, even though it's more than likely that they are inclusive.

PENTACLE -- A pentagram encompassed by a circle.  Can be made of some Earthly material (like clay) to represent the element of Earth on the altar.

It is also one of the more common suits in a tarot deck.

The inverted pentacle/pentagram has had a bad rap since it has been used as official Satanic symbol but it has a deeper history.

The Sigil of Baphomet (the inverted pentacle with a goat's head) has roots to the Knights Templar and even farther back. Some suggest it has to do with the Goat of Mendes. Others have taken the ATBASH encryption cipher (basically a substitution cipher. Z = A) to the word Baphomet. It becomes the Greek word Sophia. Sophia is the Goddess of Wisdom and referred to as the Bride of God (Yes, as in the biblical God) in Gnostic texts. So maybe the Templars were just giving the divinity back the feminine. (I'm having a Da Vinci Code déjà vu moment here.)

The Congressional Medal of Honor it bears a inverted pentacle. This medal of valor is the highest honor a member of the armed forces can receive.

PENTAGRAM -- A five-pointed star that resembles the elements Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit.

It is a symbol that has a extremely long history.  From Sumeria to Greece to modern day, this symbol as well as the pentacle has laced itself into many cultures with a multitude of meanings.

Modern day flags have the Seal of Solomon (aka a pentagram) as a part of them.

At one time, it represented the wounds of Christ at his crucifixion.

POPPET -- Poppets are dolls that represent a person for use in sympathetic magic like healing.They can be made out just about anything like cotton, clay, sticks, or whatever. They are NOT Voodoo dolls!

PROJECTIVE HAND --  Hand that sends out personal power. Personal power being that which is your energy.  For right-handed people, it would be the right hand since it is the dominate hand.  For lefties, the left.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google..

Friday, April 17, 2015

A to Z Chalenge -- O -- BUNNIES, ACORNS, AND EGGS

OSTARA -- (Give or take pronounced oh-star-ah) One of the Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year.  It takes place on the spring equinox.  It may derive from the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Ēostre.  Her name means "moving with the waxing sun."  Her symbols are eggs and bunnies.

One story goes that a bunny wanted to give a gift to the goddess.  He found a fresh egg. He wanted to eat it, but he thought it would make a great gift.  He decorated the egg and gave it to the goddess.  She loved it.  This is why the Easter Bunny delivers decorated eggs.

Culturally speaking, spring is one of the most prolific celebrations.  All ancient peoples had some version of a spring celebration.

It is a time of renewed fertility and sacred sex rites were and are performed for those who wish to participate.

OAK -- One of the most sacred trees in pagan culture.  Druids may have taken their name from the word for oak itself. They held ceremonial meetings in oak groves.

It has been associated with Cú Chulainn, Dagda, Taranis, early Christian beliefs, Thor, and a host of others.  Ancient oaks found there way into many names of places.  Places like Holy Oaks, Derry, and Kildare derive their names from it.

Many early Christian churches were built in oak groves probably because they may have been places of pagan worship.

Romans generals were given oak crowns in victory, which a version is still used in modern military.

One pagan tradition celebrates the Oak King and Holly King.  They battled for dominance as the old year passes and and new year begins.  The Holly King's power wanes as the Yule comes and the Oak King's power waxes to bring forth fertility by impregnating the Earth Goddess.  It symbolizes the cycle of life and death as the Wheel of the Year passes.

OLD ONES -- A term used to encompass all aspects of the God and Goddess.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- N -- HEDGE, GREEN, AND KITCHEN

NATURAL MAGIC -- Natural magic is when the practitioner uses both personal power (their own energy) and that of the Earth's together.  It can be in the form of natural objects, tools, or the Earth itself.  The elements can be used as well.  Candle magic, Stone magic, and herb usage are types of natural magic.  It is different from ceremonial magic because it's much simpler in form and not as ritualistic.

Green witches, Hedge witches (hedge defined as where the forest begins at the edge of the village), and Kitchen witches are more likely to use this form of magic. One does not have to be Wiccan to be a natural magic practitioner.

I had to do it.  There's too much eye candy to appreciate.
NEW MOON -- The new moon is as powerful as the full moon. It's when spells of new beginnings are performed.  An example is new ventures like job hunting, but it's also a time to banish negativity from your life like kicking a bad habit.  It is also the best time for scrying and divination.

Cleansing and consecrating of ritual tools take place during this time.

Some practitioners use this moon phase to rest and recuperate at this time.

Pythagorean Numerology chart
NUMBERS, NUMEROLOGY -- I'm not going to get too in depth into the Numerology portion of this one because there are so many different ways and theories to mention.

Numerology as defined by  noun
1. the study of numbers, as the figures designating the year of one's birth, to determine their supposed influence on one's life, future, etc.

Numerology is one of the oldest practices of divination.  It has roots in ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, China, Japan, and Arabia.

Each number represents a different meaning, which are used as the determining factors.

The different schools of Wicca have similar and different numbers that are sacred. Paganism and Wicca do have differences and similarities as well.  Some use numerology to find their Pagan or Wiccan names.

Numbers have meanings and  superstitions for many cultures.  4, 9, 13, 17, 39, and others are some of the unlucky numbers around the world, while 7 and 8 are considered lucky. Contrarily, some of those unlucky numbers are lucky in other places.  Just like you sometimes don't find a 13th floor in American buildings, many buildings in China will skip the 4th floor.

Numerology takes different forms.  Some use the birthday, the name by assigning numbers to each letter and adding them up, or some use cleromancy, which is casting lots or dice.  The I Ching, the Book of Changes, is an example of cleromany.

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.