PBP2014: D – For Divination

Divination has played a large part in my pagan lifestyle.  When I first discovered Wicca (as we all do), the first thing I learned was how to shield.  But the second…the second thing I learned was how to divine the future.  I started with throwing stones in the playground, and it transformed into using the Ouija Board (until my mother found out, and banned it from the house).  And that transformed into quartz crystals, and finally, tarot cards.

I can still remember my first tarot deck – a sultry purple, kept hidden in my underwear drawer until I felt comfortable enough to come out with my first altar (and that, I remember too – a pathetic thing, with four candles and a mirror – it took me a long time to realize that the “Wiccan” way of doing things meant little and less to me).  The Mythic Tarot, a play on images of my favourite Grecian myths, which lead me and guided me through the bulk of my teenage years, and well into my early twenties.

I can still remember my trepidation, as I realized whenever I used the cards, they told me of ill fortunes to come – nearly all of which came true.  I remember pulling the Death card, and the Devil, more times than I can count.  I remember them telling me over and over, no matter how many different questions I asked, that my life would be a struggle, and I would come out stronger for it.  My first breakup: you will come out stronger for this.  My first surgery: you will come out stronger for this. The first time I failed a course: you will come out stronger for this.

I didn’t believe them.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t believe them.  Nothing could be worse than this, my young adult brain thought.  This is the end of you.

And I put the cards away. I hid them, sequoistered within the confines of my altar cabinet, collecting dust.  Coming with me move after move, and never being touched for years.

I became afraid of my cards.  They only predicted the bad things to come, and I didn’t want to know.  I wanted to live in the present, or be stuck in the past, but I definitely did not want to know the future.  The future was a problem for my future self (and in some ways, I still believe this.)

Finally, two years ago, I bought a new deck of cards.  And I finally have a new understanding.  They don’t predict the bad things in my future.  They don’t predict anything.  They are a tool which lets me know, that if I follow on the course I’m on, they are one of a thousand likely outcomes.  Now, sometimes my fortune comes true, and sometimes, in a rare while, I make a conscious choice not to let that future become true.  And just sometimes, a bad thing still happens, but rather than wallow in my own self-destruction, I look for the other reasons that the fates have led me here, and I try to find joy in it.

Now, I have one tarot deck, two Rune sets (both handmade, one by me, and one by a long-distance acquaintance), and I can read the Homeric Oracle*.

And now, I let the Fates guide me, but I don’t let the Fates control me.

*For more information, please see my guest post over at nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com 

PBP2014d

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PBP2014: D – For Divination

Pagan Blog Project 2014: C – Crystals

Just a quick and dirty little rhyme for C…and yes, ‘botheration’ is a word!

Amethyst is a calming stone,
Bloodstone lets your courage known,
Carnelian carries the message of love,
Dendritic Agate resembles a tree’d grove.

Emerald is a blissful gem,
Fluorite does not condemn,
Garnet enhances ones internal fire,
Howlite dispels selfishness and ire

Ivory leaves anxiety behind,
Jasper, of which there are many kinds,
Kyanite facilitates mediation,
Labradorite facilitates transformation.

Moonstone is laden with feminine energy,
Nephrite balances opposite synergy.
Obsidian grounds your heart to Earth,
Pyrite increases your wallet’s girth.

Quartz is master of them all,
Rhodochrosite answers a healer’s call,
Schorl repels negativity,
Topaz promotes creativity.

Ulexite magnifies a botheration,
Vanadinite provides deep meditation.
W, X, and Y have no common minerals,
Zoisite brings out your potential.

PBP2014d

Pagan Blog Project 2014: C – Crystals

Pagan Blog Project 2014: A – Artemis

Surprise! This was my big plan.  I’m a few weeks behind, but I propose to catch up.  I’ve attempted a few times in the past to do the PBP, and have always met with failure.  This is because I have already tried to copy some of the great pagan bloggers, and write essays and beautiful rhetorics, and explain my beliefs in a public way.

But that’s not who I am, and that’s not how I work.  I work in prose and poesy.  I take words, wonderful words and wind them up and down the lines on the page like magic.  I take meter, and throw it out of the window, in favour of alliteration, allegories, and whimsy.

So that’s how I’m going to do this year’s Pagan Blog Project.

Starting with Artemis, who is the heart of my heart.

***

She wanders

(silently)

through the forest
her feet lingering in the loam
as laughter from the lips of the wind
and joy from the mouths of the moss
caress her, howling
the wild of the night
and the smell of the hunt are hers.

Her wolves they –
– bark, growl and hiss
as antlers peak through the leaves…
and tremble.

(Precision and power)

a gift to the stag from the sister of the sun,
whose very heartbeat is an offering.

(An offering!)

Of blood to the mouths of the moss,
Of breath to the lips of the wind,
Of soul to the sex of the universe,
who accept such gifts greedily.

She wanders.

PBP2014d

Pagan Blog Project 2014: A – Artemis

Food: Flourless Blender Pancakes with Blueberries

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I forgot entirely about this website.  But if you’ll notice, I’ve changed how it looks, and I’ve got (hopefully) big plans for it in the upcoming year.  As I drift further and further into winter – and yes, it’s still very much winter where I now live – I drift further and further away from the earth, and into the time-sink that is known as my new 9-5 job.  Sitting down here, sipping on some lemonade to remind me of sunnier days (well, it’s SUNNY, it’s just not WARM), I am reminded of the little things that float through my life like dust motes in the air.  

Little, important dust motes.

So look for some big changes in the upcoming future, and in the meantime, get your witchy self into the kitchen, pull out that big ol’ blender (or in my case, your Magic Bullet), and delight in this little recipe I found on the world wide web.

Magic Bullet.  Get it?

Flourless Blender Pancakes with Blueberries, adapted from Gluten Free Blondie

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 ripe banana

2 egg whites
1/3 cup oats
1 tbsp apple sauce
1 tsp ground flax seed (optional)
splash of vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
frozen wild blueberries (that I picked last summer)
Instructions
Add banana and egg whites to the blender and blend for about 15 seconds, until they’re completely combined and a little frothy.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the blueberries. This includes: oats, apple sauce, flax seed, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend for another 10 seconds or so until the ingredients form a consistent batter, and the oats are broken up a bit. (You may need to jostle the blender a few times to make sure nothing gets stuck at the bottom.) Mix in blueberries with a spoon, so the batter gets all over them.*
Place a small, non-stick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Once skillet is hot, pour in the pancake batter and, if necessary, evenly spread out the batter with a rubber spatula.
Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes. Once the bottom of the pancake is nicely browned and the top is set, carefully flip the pancake and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so.
Slide the pancake onto a plate, add your favorite toppings and eat!(in my case, heaps of peanut butter, or a drizzle of maple syrup)
*original recipe says to add blueberries in the pan right after you pour the batter…but I found my blueberries stuck to the pan when I did this, even after greasing it, even after using a non-stick pan.
Food: Flourless Blender Pancakes with Blueberries

Magick Mondays: Magical Properties of Wood

Alder – Alder is said to be good for controlling and banishing elementals, especially of fire or water as the tree has strong links with both elements, and it can apparently be used for the healing of wounds. It is allegedly attracted to water, so is used for dowsing. Legend has it that the Alder tree is a favourite of the Elven King’s daughter. It is strongly associated with resurrection.

Apple – Apple is probably the best choice for any kind of fertility spells, or any magic to do with increase, plenty or abundance. It is a good protector of the home and cultivated land, and is said to be good for gardening magic. Traditionally, the home of the Unicorn is said to be beneath the Apple tree, and it is also where he is most easily caught. Legend tells us if a pure young woman sits quietly under an Apple tree, the Unicorn will come and gently lay his head in her lap and allow her to feed him apples.

Ash – Best known for being Yggdrasil the World Tree in the Northern Tradition, Ash has a powerful affinity with the powers residing in water. It is good for magic to do with healing and karma, and is said to provide protection from drowning. It can be used in spells that require focus and strength and it is said to banish mental strife. It is said that an Ash staff hung above the door will ensure protection of the home.

Bay – Traditionally, Bay is used for purification and healing, and is said to bring strength and protection. It can also be used to increase psychic powers.

Beech – Beech is said to be excellent for any spells concerning prosperity or plenty and to increase the capacity for learning.

Birch – Birch is traditionally used for cleansing rites and driving out evil spirits. It is useful for matters concerning protection and healing, but its great strength is in rituals to do with birth, rebirth and renewal, or any kind of new beginning. It can be used in exorcism.

Blackberry Bramble – Blackberry Bramble, or Briar as it is also known, provides strong protection of the home. It is useful for spells concerning money or prosperity, and it is said to aid in the healing of burns.

Blackthorn – Also known as Quickthorn or Sloe. Blackthorn provides very strong protection, especially of the home, and can be used in magic to deter unwanted visitors. It is said to protect against malevolent magic. It can also be used in exorcism.

Camellia – Camellia is said to be useful in matters concerning riches.

Clematis – Clematis is said to be useful in magic to attain goals and achieve aspirations.

Cherry – Cherry is useful in any magic concerning romantic love or lust, and is said to be an aid to divination. It has the ability to bring individuals to the threshold of a new awakening.

Cypress – Cypress can be used in magic for healing and longevity and is said to provide comfort and protection.

Elder – Elder is the retreat of the Elder Mother, powerful matriarch of the hedgerows, woods and semi-wild places. She is the one who takes revenge on the despoilers of the countryside, and you cross her at your peril. It is said that you should never burn Elder wood on your fire, or the Elder Mother will burn your house down in retaliation. The wood of the Elder tree is especially highly charged magically, and can add power to any magical undertaking. Along with Hazel, it is said to be one of the best woods for wands. It is seen as a threshold tree, guarding portals to other realms, and legend has it that it never gets struck by lightning. It is believed that an Elder stick will kill serpents and drive away robbers, and the twigs have been carried during wedding ceremonies for good luck. It can be used for protection or exorcism rituals, and to bring healing, prosperity or sleep. It is particularly good for making women more sexually attractive to men, and for increasing the male libido!

Elm – Elm can be used in any magic to do with love, whether romantic or any other kind.

Fennel – A Fennel wand was traditionally carried during classical times by the followers of Dionysius. It has commonly been used for purification rituals, and is said to be good for magic to do with protection and healing.

Fig – Fig is excellent for spells to do with romantic love and emotional balance. It is said to bring harmony between the sexes and to help with impotence and infertility. If placed above the door of your home it is said to ensure a safe return from a journey.

Gorse – Also known as Furze or Whin. Gorse is strongly connected with the Sun and can be used in magic for money and protection. It is associated with new love and is said to feed the flames of passion! It is said to be effective when used in magic to do with fresh starts or new ventures.

Hawthorn – Hawthorn, or May as it is also known, is excellent for magic to do with general happiness, because it dispels negative energy and strife and brings hope. It is useful for cleansing and purification, and is believed to ease enforced chastity and increase male potency. It is also said to bring good luck in fishing!

Hazel – Hazel is an exceptionally magical tree, as well as being extremely useful on the physical plane. It is best known for being the Celtic Tree of Wisdom, and is said to bring luck, fertility, intelligence and inspiration. Together with Elder, it is said to be one of the best woods for wands. If you hang it in your window it will protect your house from lightning, and it is also supposed to help make wishes come true!

Hebe – In classical Greek myth Hebe was the cupbearer to the Gods and poured for them the draughts of nectar and ambrosia which brought them everlasting youth. Her temples were seen as places of sanctuary, and if criminals gained entrance they were pardoned, many of them leaving their fetters hanging from the trees in Hebe’s sacred groves as an offering of thanks to the benevolent Goddess.

Holly – Both the Holly tree and the wood are held to be sacred, so it’s a good choice for consecration. It has a strong association with fire, and signifies the virtues of balance and directness. It is closely linked with combat and is said to bring courage and protection whilst fighting for a just cause and also to ward off evil spirits. It is good for magic to do with material gain, and is said to enhance beauty. It can also be used in spells for physical revenge.

Honeysuckle – Honeysuckle is said to increase psychic awareness, to enhance clarity and to encourage creativity. It can be useful in magic concerning protection, money and prosperity.

Ivy – Ivy is good for love magic, especially if it relates to fidelity or constancy, and is said to promote faithful friendship. It is useful for anything to do with protection and healing and can be used for binding spells. It is said to provide protection from intoxication!

Larch – Larch is said to provide excellent protection and is especially good for protecting from theft.

Linden (Lime) – Commonly known as Lime. Linden is said to be protective and can be useful in magic to do with love and luck. It is associated with immortality and is said to promote peaceful sleep.

Magnolia – Magnolia is said to bring fidelity in love.

Maple – Maple is good for any magic to do with prosperity, love or longevity. It is said to bring success and abundance, but also to teach humility.

Nettle – Nettles main use is in exorcism and the casting out of evil spirits, but it is also useful in magic for protection and healing. It is said to promote lust!

Oak – Oak is known for its properties of strength and endurance, and can provide strong protection. It is excellent for magic to do with power or dominion, and can be helpful in spells to do with prosperity.

Pear – Pear is particularly good for magic to do with physical love, and spells to increase lust. It is said to be effective in making you, or anyone else, into a better lover!

Pine – Pine is excellent for healing, it is said that just its presence in the sick room can speed recovery. It has traditionally been used for fertility and money spells, and considered to be useful for magic involving change or shapeshifting. It protects against all forms of negativity and can be used in exorcism rituals.

Plum – Plum is excellent for all aspects of healing, and is also a good protector as it helps to disperse negative energy and evil. It makes a first class general purpose wand.

Poplar – Poplar is useful in magic to attract money and bring eloquence, and provides strong protection against theft. It is also said to be able to aid the ability to fly!

Rhododendron – Rhododendron is said to help with the process of focusing on knowledge and enhances one’s awareness of enemies.

Rose – Rose is most strongly associated with charms to do with romantic love, but it is also excellent for emotional healing. It is said to bring luck and protection, and can be used to aid divination and enhance psychic power.

Rosemary – Rosemary has always been used for remembrance, not just of people or past events but also to encourage learning and increase divinatory powers. It is excellent for magic concerning healing and purification, love and lust and is said to bring peaceful sleep and to enhance youthfulness. It is strongly protective and can be used for exorcism.

Rowan – Rowan is very protective, especially against lightning and evil witchery, and can be useful in healing. It is said to increase psychic powers and bring power and success. It is allegedly the best wood to use if dowsing for metal. It is also the traditional choice for Druid’s staffs.

Sweet Chestnut – Also known as Spanish Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut is said to be useful in all workings to do with romantic love.

Sycamore – More correctly called Great Maple. Due to a mistranslation, Sycamore has been mistakenly credited with being sacred to the Egyptians. It is believed to promote relaxation and harmony, whilst at the same time raising energy levels and banishing lethargy. It is good for any magic to do with prosperity, love or longevity. It is said to bring success and abundance, but also to teach humility.

Thistle – Thistle is believed to be very strongly protective and is used in magic for the breaking of curses. It is said to bring strength and to aid healing.

Vine – The Vine is held to be sacred in many cultures throughout the world, but holds a particularly important place in the Greek tradition as being the special plant of Dionysus. It has been used as a symbol of joy and exhilaration, but also of wanton lust and abandon. It is also symbolic of resurrection and transformation, and is useful in magic dealing with these themes.

Willow – Willow is a very magical tree that increases psychic energy, so it’s excellent as a general purpose wand. It is believed to share the essence of snakes. It is useful for magic concerning healing and fertility, and it is said to aid divination and bring inspiration. Its powers are strongest at night, under the moon.

Yew – Yew has for centuries been associated with death and immortality and is sacred to the crone aspect of the Goddess. It is seen as forming a direct link to the ancestors and can serve as a pathway to ancient wisdom.

Source

Magick Mondays: Magical Properties of Wood