Monday, April 30, 2012

13 Goddess WK09: Mayan Goddess Ixchel

Ixchel is identified as the goddess of medicine and midwifery.  She calls us to open ourselves up as a channel for divine healing energy.  Interestingly she is typically found to be portrayed as the grandmother aspect of the Moon.

Mayan Moon Goddess by TigerHouseArt
This work is best done during the time of the full or waxing moon.   
Prepare your work area by setting up any tools you may use in addition to your spell candle. While setting up your area, CONCENTRATE on the purpose of your work. Envision what it is.
Use a pin to carve a moon into a white or light blue candle.  Use your intuition to draw the phase of the moon that comes to mind.
Hold the candle between the palms of your hands and direct all of your energy into the candle.  Using silver (if possible) or blue ink, write out a petition paper.  In your own words state your intent for this spell. Include things like protection, safety, freedom from illness, strength to the immune system ect.  Light the candle, burn the petition paper in the candle flame and say (either aloud or to yourself): 
Lady Ixchel, I ask for guidance from the divine.
Help me to bring health to me and mine.
If possible, focus and meditate on your desires until the candle is almost burned out.  Combine the ashes and left over wax together and bury it in the earth as close to your home as possible.

Health and Healing Candle Spell
PS: This goddess print is from an amazing artist who has been notified.  If you are so inclined, please click through and check out his other wares.

PPS: Enter to win a full set of printable BOS pages from a pagan-run small business here.  
PPPS: Enter to win a Tarot Tips Sheet just for spreading the word about a Pagan Publisher here


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Intentional: Creating a Ritual

Today is a fun day in that I get to play with the 'big witches'.  Sometimes it feels like I got invited to the grown-up's table :)  But not only do I get to hang with the Witches today, I'm actually running ritual so why not share the process on here with my lovely readers?  I believe that creating ritual is like any other creative process and each person will do it a little differently but that we can all gain insight by seeing how others do it.  Here's me.  Please remember all of these steps are simply how things are done today in the world according to Kat.

The first step of any ritual is intention.  I was chatting with the High Priestess I borrow on a semi monthly basis and expressed my new Sacred Space epiphany, that I'm doing all of this backwards.  The more I thought about how disjointed my magical training is the more I'd like other young people to be able to avoid it.  So the intention for today's working is: Allow the younger seekers to find guidance.  Intention crafting is almost as difficult a process as ritual craft; it should be short and sweet but directed and to the point but making sure to include all the important elements.  The seven words of my intention went through many incarnations, changing even as I write this.

The next part of ritual is purification but that's not the difficult part.  Now that I have the intention I want to discover what the main magic of the ritual will be.  This is typically the part where energy is raised within the sacred space, built up and then released with the intention.  There are various ways of raising energy, like movement, song, intoning, circling, etc.  I think today I'm feeling the noise makers.  We will raise the energy by using hand-held percussive instruments, starting at a very love volume and slow pulse.  As the energy gets added we will increase the speed and volume of the percussive noise until it feels wild and ecstatic and then we will released in intention.  I think when I get there I will crowd source a bit and see what everyone's comfortable with.

Now that the intention and main magic are decided I can work on the other parts or the structure.  Basics include purification, which I think we will most likely do with burning incense and salt water.  I like using these two methods because they bring together all four elements.  If we're feeling cheeky I may just run a quick purification by fire visual, but that may be dangerous, depending on who's house one is in.

Next up is grounding, which I have no desire to lead and don't feel I should need to at the grown-ups play-date, but sometimes a lead grounding exercise is really good for getting all the participant's minds in the same ritual and sacred place.  If we do feel like grounding together I will probably run a quick and dirty water cycle visualization, as I dislike the tree method a lot and the water cycle has the connections to above and below that is so necessary to good grounding.  I believe that all elements can be used to purify and all can be used to ground in, I just haven't figured them all out yet; this will be it's own SI post some other day.

So the participants and space are ready for the ritual to begin, now what?  Set up the sacred space.  This is one of those things that every tradition and sometimes every witch does just a little bit differently.  The three elements of setting up sacred space include casting a circle, inviting the elemental energies and inviting divine presence but not necessarily all of those steps and not necessarily in that order.  Today I will probably cast the circle then invite the elemental energies and then the divine presence.

The point of this stage of the ritual is to separate the space we are in from the mundane world physically and fairly temporally, hence the line "a space out of time and a time out of space"; a circle takes the space between the worlds.  They also serve to filter the energies.  For instance, I always envision my circle as a giant semi-permeable membrane that allows in the energy that is necessary and not detrimental to the working and also allows our energy to flow out as necessary.  I will probably bring my 'travel wand' to cast this circle, teehee.  I've decided to use song to call in the elements called 'I Am' © 1997 by Christian Williamson and you can listen to it here.  I think I will ask Hermes to join us as a God of travel and communication and Athena to be welcome as a Goddess of wisdom.

Once all the magic is done it's very important to say thanks you and good bye.  As I once told my five year old, Gods are kinda like grown-ups and you have to be polite.  I will thank the divine for their time and hail and farewell them, then do the same for the elemental energies, then I will (probably not use the wand to) open the circle and hugs will ensue.

Now that this is all written out, I feel better.  Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Giveaway! Featured Favorites Friday - Faeriegill's Needful Things

One of my favorite Etsy Teams is the Witches of Etsy.  It's a lovely supportive group with some amazingly talented members.  Today I am delighted to share with you an interview with one of the team members,  Gilly  from Faeriegill's Needfull Things and Wishes.  Not only has Gilly agreed to let us in on some details of her creations but she's also giving away a set of BOS pages to one of my lucky readers!  Read on to the bottom to enter via RaffleCopter form.

Futhark Rune Reading by Email

Q: What got you into your work here on etsy?
A: I had been reading tarot via email for a long time and had been doing it on Ebay for a few years and so decided to start doing this elsewhere. I enjoy making small pieces of jewelery, putting together little spell kits and making bath goodies too and so Etsy was recommended to me as a website to sell these on.

Q: How does what you make support the Craft?
A: My mini book of shadows and pdf spells are great for those who are new to the craft and not sure how to write their own spell, this will give them an idea. My mini spells are also geared toward the novice in that they have everything included for to do the spell.

Faerie and Bead Kilt Pin Brooch

Q: Where does your inspiration come from? What is your spiritual path and how does it effect your products?
A: I am inspired by all things faerie, bright colors.  I would say I am a solitary practitioner, I don't belong to any group and prefer to do my rituals alone, I don't particularly stick to one pantheon so in that I guess I am eclectic too. I do try to reflect this in the items I sell too

Q: What is your favorite part of the etsy selling experience?
A: I enjoy the appreciation that my clients give me as they will usually send me an email thanking me, I had one client who even bought me a gift, that truly was a lovely experience, because it showed me I had done a good job.

Q: Which is your favorite holiday and why?
A: My Favorite holiday is Samhain, as this is the end of one year and the beginning of another, I feel a closer connection to the spirits at this time of the year and I also love to see the golden and red colors of the leaves at this time too.

Mini Love Spell Kit

Q: Which piece is your favorite to make?
A: I love all my pieces, I cannot really single one out, as they are all put together with love and harmony.  I love making jewelery items, as I feel that I have created something totally unique

Q: What's your favorite mythical animal and why?
A: My Favorite mythical animal is the Dragon, I have a mini one on my table when doing my Tarot or Oracle readings. as to why, this is simple I was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Giveaway Tarot(ish) Wednesday - Pagan Publishing Edition

One of the first people I took a successful and thought provoking Tarot Workshop with was the amazing Debbie Chapnick.  Not only does she do an incredible job of explaining and exploring the Tarot, she is also the owner, editor, and everything else at Datura Press that was started in 1999 to publish her Tarot Tip Sheet.

Dolores and Merlin at Tintagel
A few years ago Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki asked a very honored Debbie to act as her archivist. Now most of Debbie's time is spent going though wonderful papers, organizing them, and creating books. These books contain lectures, workshops, rituals and meditations, most of which have not seen the light of day for 40 years. Amongst these papers are not only the work of Dolores, but of W.E. Butler, Gareth Knight, Dion Fortune and the Rev. Robert King.

The reason I am writing today is the company is at a crossroads. People, such as distributors and bookshops worldwide want these books but Datura Press needs enough in stock to fill the need.  They need books and advertising! Currently books are ordered as needed. It keeps things going, but doesn't make much in the way of profit to expand and keep these valuable resources available to the community. Books bought in bulk, however, are less expensive.  Right now books are announced on Facebook by Debbie and through an email mailing list. People hear about these impressive books by deeply respected authors only by word of mouth. Advertising money will help get the word out to a wider audience.

Here's the Breakdown :

  • 120 copies of each title (Archives vol 1-6, Rituals Vol 1 & 2, Shadows & Light) comes to $8,504.79. This includes tax and shipping.
  • $420 towards the creation of a website with a working store.
  • A little over a $1000 towards listing the books at New Leaf Distributors, in all their catalogs and included in their email blasts. Considering they are the largest distributor of New Age/Occult books, it is well worth the expense!

  How You Can Help:

Debbie has set up a fundraising drive on Indie GoGo to raise the money needed to expand Datura Press and make these occult works available to a much wider audience. And there are perks:

  • For a $25 donation you will receive a Tarot Tip Sheet:  An eight panel card that is a valuable resource for tarot beginners and experts alike and makes a great teaching tool.
  • For a $50 donation you will receive a CD by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki :   The Mysterious Pleiades was a lecture given by Dolores in Delaware in 2011. Only a handful of people have heard this treasure!
  • For a $125 donation you may pick any two books from Datura Press:   There are 6 volumes of Archives and two books of Rituals to choose from.
  • For a $200 donation you will receive a one hour Tarot Reading over Skype or phone by Debbie herself.


 Other Ways You Can Help:

Tell everyone you think would be interested!  To add to the incentive to share I personally am offering one Tarot Tip Sheet as a giveaway and all you have to do is let people know about this campaign.  Easy entry through the RaffleCopter form below and you can win just by sharing.

Monday, April 23, 2012

13 Goddess WK08: Roman Goddess Vesta

Vesta is the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family.  She calls us to focus on making our home a place of wonder, safety and hospitality and she will help us to protect it.

Vesta Spirit Doll by Griselda of AwesomeArt

Vestia House Blessing Candle Spell

This spell is best performed during the night of the Full Moon. Spells to bring energy in are done at this time because the energy of the moon helps move things into your life.
Use a pin to carve the ELHAZ the rune of protection and confident warding away of destruction and harm into the candle.  You can add other symbols or words to increase the directedness and power of the spell.
Hold the candle between the palms of your hands and direct all of your energy into the candle.  Using silver (if possible) or blue ink, write three words that you would most like to see reflected in your home (i.e. love, strong, protected, safe, shelter) out a petition paper.  Light the candle, burn the petition paper in the candle flame and say (aloud or to yourself): 
O gracious Lady Vesta, Keeper and Protector of hearth-fire, be Welcome
I ask that you bless this place, protect this place and help me achieve my goals for this home.
If possible, focus and meditate on your desires until the candle is almost burned out.  Combine the ashes and left over wax together and bury it in the earth as close to your home as possible.

PS: This goddess spirit doll is from an amazing artist who has been notified.  If you are so inclined, please click through and check out her other wares.

PPS: Enter to win one handmade item up to $15 in value from a pagan-run small business here


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Intentional: Collegiate Crossroads Crucible

So each year at the Sacred Space conference I have found that I tend to come home with at least one really big ‘AhHa!’ moment. In 2011 that AhHa! was recognizing, for the first time, that I went to college at the crossroads. Now, I mean this figuratively in that college is that place between being dependent and independent and choices made in this liminal space shape current and future paths. But for me personally I also mean this in a very literal sense.

 I went to school at Southampton College of Long Island University, now closed due to incompetence at the highest levels. To get to my school, the directions include: get on NY-27 and drive, keep driving, enjoy the pine-barrens, drive some more and at the first stoplight, take a right. We were the first intersection, the first power substation, the first sign of civilization past the barrens, the first real stopping place on the main road down the south fork. If you let your head go way out with it, the school was a liminal point (college), in a liminal town (first stop on the south fork), on a liminal place (the south fork – between the ocean and the bay), on a liminal place (the island – a glorified sandbar left by glaciers). Once this AhHa! hit, some parts of the college experience suddenly clicked and made so much more sense.
If any of you have caught me at one of those times where I feel safe and supported enough to be open about my experiences (totally different blog post), you have probably heard me talk about Campus. Campus is a collection of energies, spirits, essences and places of power that just happens to have a college sitting on top of it; doesn’t that sound like a perfect combination (sarcasm alert). Every couple of weeks the P.A.G.A.N.S. Club would walk the boundaries of Campus after our meeting and it would go a bit like this:
  • Leave the upper class dorms, waving to the sleepy presence that’s in the big field
  • Walk over towards Pratt hall and say hi to the Indians on the front lawn, check that they are maintaining the boundary of Campus along Montauk Highway
  • Take a few moments for someone to play with the dead boy in the windmill
  • Skirt the actual footprint of Pratt Hall, just making sure there are minor wards up; that house is spooky and doesn’t play well with others
  • Stop by the ley line under the pine tree circle, if so inclined cheerfully check on the dragon there that smells of deep ice and raw rock
  • Swing out around the theatre and play with those bouncy spirits in the (non-circular) pine tree patch
  • Feel, check and reinforce the front boundary of Campus along the road that cuts from NY-27 to Montauk Highway
  • Smile and wave at the Public Safety officers at the front gate, they may think we’re crazy but they’re always friendly
  • Connect with the corner-node of Campus that begins the stretch of boundary with NY-27, high tension lines and the railroad track parallel along the line; check and reinforce as necessary while walking along the inside of the high tension lines.
  • While passing the freshman dorms, smile at the Montauks and check that the Peconics are loosely contained
  • Enjoy the rest of the walk around the upperclassman dorms and back home as Campus feels better, whole, grateful, at peace… this is the most difficult to describe
    Many traditions teach that crossroads are places of power and we certainly found this to be true. What’s less often said is that places of power are typically neural, not positive or negative when one looks at their entirety. As a place of power Campus challenged us to experience the mundane and the non-mundane concurrently, but it was never malignant.
    Those with any sensitivity to energy were forced to either deal with their layers of experiences or to block one out completely. Many of my friends choose to self medicate the non-mundane away and others fell so far behind in their mundane responsibilities that they could no longer continue to be there.

    As I look back there are only a few of us that managed to maintain grades and continue to grow in our power, hence the crucible in the title. For me the challenge of Campus enabled me to just treat as ordinary so many non-mundane things:
    • Listening to my body and fasting when called to do so 
    • Picking up cards as a tool for my intuition with Tarot Card fights that lasted till 2am 
    • Having conversations about past lives with other people that were there with me and have the same memories 
    • Having a group of people all experience walking the Boundaries as described above, and experiencing it in the same way at the same time 
    • Warding a space 
    • Tapping a ley line 
    • Forcibly ground myself and others 
    • Talk with and interact with spirits and energies and even spirit entities 
    • Allowing the Goddess to speak through me 

    At the time we didn’t think about it too much, this is just what we did and what happened. Looking back, and even a bit at the time, I can see how overwhelming this could be and understand why my friends may have made their choices. I use the crucible analogy because what Campus did was strip away all the peripherals and just leave us with the pure experience of all of these things; some of us managed to make it through the fire.

    I miss Campus. I miss walking the boundaries and I worry how Campus is doing with all the changes. I miss the friendships I made there. I deeply miss the friendships that were lost. But mostly I miss the luxury of sharing experiences in a truly safe space, without judgment. I’m recently starting to connect with people who feel the same and having honest and open conversations with them is helping, slowly but surely.


    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Pagan Blog Project WK16: H is for Hydromancy

    HYDROMANCY: divination by the appearance or motion of liquids (as water)

    How cool is that?! 
    Selenite Crystal Ball by kuberacove
    As you may know, I experiment with all types of divination, sometimes even on purpose.  I am very successful with Tarot and Oracle cards of all types, I’ve worked with runes and the I-Ching, pyromancy (fire) is awesome, ceromancy (candle wax) has worked in the past, crystal ball gazing is occasionally very eventful and sometimes I just say things.   

    Hydromancy is another form of divination involving the use of water to bring messages and can be done in many ways.

    SilverWater by picsoflive
    In nature one can sit alongside a body of water, relax one’s mind and gaze into the water.  This is very similar to pyromancy in that everyone experiences it differently.  Images may appear or the sound of the water may become words or messages.  Using the light of a full moon or patterned shade of trees may increase the liminal space that assists in reaching messages.

    Black and Blue Scrying Bowl by NewTribeCrafters
    When inside one can fill a bowl with water, relax the mind and gaze as above.  When choosing a bowl a simple one may be better than one with a picture or pattern in it.  Also consider the color of your scrying bowl as a completely clear glass bowl may only help you scry your table-top.  The water that is used can be from anywhere but water collected from nature or spring water that has been energized by celestial light (the moon or the sun) may be easier to use.

    I have a fantastic Tibetan Scrying Bowl that is used by filling the bowl then creating a vibration on the water with the handles.  Pictures in the ripples and the sounds of the vibrations all help to paint a picture and impart information to me.

    If you are looking for additional information I suggest searching up: Martin. A. Del Rio (1551-1608): a Jesuit expert on magic and the occult who wrote, among other books, Disquisitionum magicarum libri sex


     PS: All product images are from amazing sellers who have been notified.  If you are so inclined, please click through and check out their wares.

    PPS: Enter to win one handmade item up to $15 in value from a pagan-run small business here.

    PPPS: Enter to win one of three sets of witch-crafted original art bookmarks here.


    CLOSED - Mini-Giveaway Featured Favorites Friday - Spiral Hawk Studio

    As if one giveaway wasn't enough...
    Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the pleasure of introducing to you the amazing pair of artists that power Spiral Hawk Studio, Rachel and Daryl.  I found this lovely shop through etsy teams and was very graciously given a beautiful art print that hangs in my ritual space.  I asked if they would be interested in appearing here and am very excited to share more about them.

    Oh, and if you read all the way to the bottom there may be a RaffleCopter form for a mini-giveaway here and an automatic entry into their giveaway at 100 likes on facebook!
    Set of 8 Bookmarks
     About us: Daryl & Rachael Roy, with Our artistic powers combined We Are..SpiralHawk Studio!
    • We Create Unique Handcrafted Art, Jewelry, Walking Sticks, Wands, Decor and so much More...!
    • We are Collectors, Miners, Finders and Campers, We are Seekers and Helpers and Friends to all Creatures.. We keep to Ourselves, but, look what We Make- from Our hands to Yours, for Creations sake.. with Blessings and Smiles, and Grateful Hearts- We share with you here, Our Spirits, Our Arts...
    • Sticks and Stones, Gems and Bones and Silver things to Adorn you! Custom Creations, Vintage Sensations and more than Obscuria for you..! (...and, Free Gifts with Every Order!)
    • We Love makin' stuff, and findin' treasure..and travelin' for work and pleasure..We work real hard at minin' stones, stringin' beads and findin' bones..
    • We accept Requests, Custom Work..and We are "Trade Friendly"- just convo Us with your thoughts!
    • "Our Shopscape" is everchanging!! 
    • You can find us on etsy, on facebook, at our blog, and through our sister shop StrangeBrewsVintage

    Trio of Wooden Owl Beads
    Q: What got you into your work here on etsy?
    A: We had been urged onto the internet by friends and family; previously we had simply set up tables at our local flea market and at random local shows. We found Etsy to be pretty much perfect for us as an outlet for the things we make to find a home!

    Q: What is your favorite part of the etsy selling experience?
    A: The Etsy selling experience has been fun! We have shipped orders to France, the UK, Germany, Canada, Poland, and every region of the USA. We never would have reached these customers with a local shop! And being able to follow up, get feedback from your customers and answer any questions they have after the transaction lets you really connect with people as the the maker of the item and the user of the item.

    Carnelian Nuggets with a Glassfilled Spiral Shell
    Q: What's so important about what you make and how you choose to make it?
    A: Ritual tools such as wands and personal stones, staffs and jewelry made with various semiprecious stones are not usually easily accessible. Even with the information age and the internet, it can be hard to find tools etc that are affordable. We mine the minerals we use ourselves whenever possible and harvest our own materials (wood, shed antlers, etc).  We are Eclectic and prefer not to label ourselves as belonging to any one Religious Group. We have deep spiritual connections to the Earth and Nature; we're shamanistic in our rituals and methods of thinking, and this comes through in the things that we make.

    Carved Spiral Poplar Wand

    Q: Which piece is your favorite to make?
    A: I really enjoy making wands. Each piece is made from wood that I harvest myself with reverence and respect; each crystal is hand-picked for each particular wand. And carving, to me, really puts a piece of YOU into what you're making.

    Phantom Crystal Triskellion Staff

    Q: Which piece in your shop has the most meaning for you?
    A: This one

    Phantom Crystal Triskellion Staff

    We have a vast array of products in Our Shop- surely something for everyone, and New Items of every sort showing up almost daily! We take Requests & Custom Orders! Just Convo/msg Us your thoughts, and together lets bring your idea to life! :)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    This giveaway ends in one week at midnight on 27th April 2012 .  Open WorldWide! All winning entries will be verified.  If a winning entry cannot be verified a different winner will be chosen.
    The Winner will be notified by email and has three days to reply or another winner will be chosen.

    Goddess Artwork by Daryl Roy
    SpiralHawk Studio is a working MultiCraft Studio/Shop- sawdust and beads speckle the floor, stripped saplings lean against the walls, Tools of All Sorts for so many Crafts are here and there and otherwhere..! There are Gemstones and Rough, Leather and Stuff, Beads and Bells and Ocean Shells- Papers and Books, Boxes with nooks, even some Art in a frame..  Coppers and Silver, Glass from all over, salvage, vintage and antique.. Minerals, Drusy, Crystals and Stones- Fossils,Teeth, Fur and Bones.. We just Love to Create!

    ***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. Please note that I am not responsible for the delivery of this prize and can not be held accountable if, for any reason, is it not received. Furthermore, I am in no way liable for any injuries that may result from the use or misuse of this product. **

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    We have a Winner!: $25 to ADK Aromatherapy

     Thanks so much to everyone for entering

    And the winner is via Rafflecopter...

    results powered by
    Entry #107  carizza t.
    Swing by my current giveaway from Sandi's Enchanted Garden for another chance to win something witch-crafted.


    Monday, April 16, 2012

    13 Goddess WK07: Hindu Goddess Lakshmi

    Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of prosperity, light, fertility, wisdom and courage and is believed to protect those who follow her from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.  She asks us to have faith and remember that the future is bright.  Sometimes we need to clear our hearts of fear as it is a block to visualizing and manifesting the light.

    Lakshmi Artwork by Sue Halstenberg
    Lakshmi Cleansing Candle Spell

    This spell is best performed during the waning Moon towards the last quarter. Cleansing spells are done at this time because the energy of the moon helps move things out of your life.
    Use a pin to carve your name or personal symbol into the candle; keeping your intention in your minds.  Hold the candle between the palms of your hands and direct all of your energy into the candle.  Visualize a beautiful many armed goddess of light standing with you, reminding you that the future is full of brightness.  Light the candle saying:
    Lakshimi, Goddess of light and manifestation
    Help me to clear my heart of and fear
    I release this astral slime
    And all darkness which is not mine
    I let go of all that may have harmed.
    Negativity released; I am charmed
    If possible, focus and meditate on your desires until the candle is almost burned out.  Combine the ashes and left over wax together and bury it in the earth at a cross-roads if possible.

    Psychic Cleansing Candle Spell

    PS: This goddess image is from an amazing artist who has been notified.  If you are so inclined, please click through and check out her other wares.

    PPS: Enter to win one handmade item up to $15 in value from a pagan-run small business here