Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dream Interpretation and Symbology

There are many different opinions regarding dreams and their interpretation. Some swear by the various dream dictionaries that can be found, both online and in the bookstore. Others consider these frivolous and limited in their helpfulness. The best approach is probably somewhere in between.

Interpreting the Symbols in Dreams

Even with the most respected of dream dictionaries, almost all of the symbols found within its pages have various meanings and interpretations. Some symbols will even have contradictory meanings, leaving the seeker perhaps even more confused than before they picked up the book.

This being the case, it is perhaps not a good idea to rely solely on any type of dream dictionary. In the end, the interpretation of dream symbols can only be done by the dreamer. The most important factors are the dream, the symbol itself, and intuition.

Beginning with a dream dictionary is probably a good idea, at least to start. Look up the interpretation of a particular symbol. However, instead of taking this information literally, it is perhaps best to use this as a jumping-off point, so to speak. Take the book’s definition and, if it doesn’t seem just right, adapt it to suit what does feel right; this feeling is intuition, and should be obeyed when interpreting dreams. If the book definition goes completely against intuition, it's generally believed that it's best to go with one's intuition instead.

People in Dreams

Seeing people in a dream — even familiar people — does not necessarily indicate that the dream is about that particular person in terms of its meaning. In general, principle characters in a dream actually represent an aspect of the dreamer's personality, tendencies or another aspect of self.

In this manner, an argument with another person, no matter who it is, usually represents an inner conflict. On the other hand, interactions with people in dreams can also indicate inner harmony. It is the form of interaction that is important here, not necessarily the individual people involved.

Types of Dreams

Dreams are a combination of extremely complex symbols, both connected and independent. For the most part, dreams are analytical in nature, meaning that they are a way for the higher self to give its input on everyday life. These dreams analyze interactions with the world, including, but not limited to interactions with the environment and other people.

Some dreams are therapeutic. The percentage of therapeutic dreams varies from person to person. Those people suffering from an inferiority complex will, of necessity, have more therapeutic dreams than a truly strong, confident person. Of course, someone with a feeling of superiority will also have therapeutic dreams, though of a different sort. Therapeutic dreams are the higher self’s way of attempting to overcome character defects.

Prophetic Dreams

Most dreams are not prophetic in nature. The percentage of dreams that are directly concerning the future in a prophetic fashion is perhaps 5% for most people. Many people assume that a dream that seems to concern the future is a prophetic dream. Generally speaking, this is a mistake.

There are a number of ways to determine if a dream is perhaps prophetic. Some of these are:
  • Dreams that are in full color and exceptionally clear;
  • Very easy to remember; if the dream is easily forgotten, then it wasn’t likely prophetic;
  • Clear messages are delivered, perhaps even dates; and
  • Dreams are structured, with a definite beginning, middle, and end.
Dreams that follow this pattern should be recorded in detail. It can later be determined if they were, indeed, prophetic in nature. It's believed that prophetic dreams are often a communication from the "higher self" that's intended to prepare the dreamer for what is to come. For instance, a prophetic dream can lessen the shock of a potentially traumatic event.

Recording Dreams

The most important part of interpreting dreams is probably recording them in the first place. It is difficult to attempt a thorough dream interpretation if there is no source, and dreams tend to fade with time. Therefore, it is best if the dreamer keeps a journal next to the bed. Immediately upon waking, the dreams should be recorded, even if it’s the middle of the night.

Interpreting dreams should be mainly a matter of intuition. While book definitions can be helpful in the matter of dream interpretation, it is important to remember that these are merely suggestions. They are not rules.

The Modern Use of Flower Essences

Flower essences work on basically the same principle as Bach Flower Remedies. This means that they are designed to combat emotional or spiritual difficulties, such as stress, depression, fear, anxiety, anger or confusion. The idea behind the flower essences is simple: emotions change thoughts, thoughts change behavior, and behavior changes lives. The flower essences target emotional difficulties, the first step in this change.

How Are Flower Essences Made?

Like many other forms of natural medicine, including Bach Flower Remedies, flower essences are preferably prepared using the sun-infusion method. This involves allowing the plant to soak the flowers in spring water, making sure that the water and plant are in direct sunlight, allowing the sun to pass through them. This is typically done over the course of at least an entire day.

If there is insufficient natural sunlight, it is permissible to boil the flowers for several minutes. Do not heat the flowers dry (without water) on the stove, as this could cause a fire.

Even better than both methods would be to collect the morning dew off the particular flower, but this is impractical. Instead of attempting this, both the sun-infusion and boiling methods are perfectly acceptable. These essences are then consumed in small quantities, usually two to three drops, up to four times per day.

How Flower Essences Can Be Beneficial

Anyone and everyone can benefit from the use of flower essences. Male or female, young or old, flower essences can help to reduce stress and ease emotional loads. Flower essences can provide many of the following benefits and more:
  • relief from emotional stress
  • feelings of clarity and peace
  • insight
  • inspiring confidence
  • dealing with change
  • enhance self-image
  • relieve fear or anxiety
  • increase motivation
Effects of Individual Flower Essences

The following list is far from comprehensive. It does, however, give a brief overview of the most common of the flower essences in use today, and their general effects.
  • bilberry — calms and brings peace and clarity
  • camphor — removes toxicities, allowing other remedies to work more effectively; activates meridians
  • chamomile — emotional balance and easing emotional tension; mental clarity
  • columbine — inspiration; enhances healing and integration; activates higher chakras
  • daffodil — align to Higher Self; useful during deep meditation; helps in the passing of information to the conscious mind
  • daisy — clear focus and intuitive understanding, especially spiritual understanding
  • dandelion — increased energy; relieves tension; good for high-strung individuals
  • forget-me-not — awareness of spiritual connections; increases reaction time
  • gooseberry — sense of ease and relaxation; improves attitude; increases the desire to be a part of the world
  • honesty — personal clarity; acceptance of changes and increased flexibility; clears negative emotions
  • lavender — spiritual sensitivity and awareness; eases nervousness; spiritual cleanses
  • nettle — eases stress associated with a broken home; helps with sibling relationships; very calming
  • oriental hellebore — reduces tension and over-excitability; increases self-assuredness, while decreasing shyness; helps in establishing goals; motivation, poise, clarity, balance
  • passionflower — increases spiritual focus; easier access to higher states of consciousness
  • rue — energizes and stabilizes emotions; acceptance of oneself; self-expression
  • sage — wisdom, perspective; aligns mental and spiritual bodies; psychic abilities
  • snapdragon — dynamic energy and a healthy libido; improves verbal communication
  • snowdrop — confidence, especially spiritual confidence; clear direction in life; energizes the thought process; brings insight
  • snowflake — clarity of purpose; calming energy; protect from unwanted thoughts
  • St. John’s Wort — eases psychic and physical vulnerability; eases fear, helps with disturbed dreaming; increases the ability to separate thought from emotion
  • wild violet — acceptance and understanding; courage and personal fulfillment; self-expression and clarity; encouragement of true potential
The flower essences described here are not to be used to treat physical ailments. That is more the realm of herbology, and not within the scope of this article. Rather, flower essences are to assist in dealing with emotional and spiritual difficulties, from stress to fear, and many emotions in between.

The Historical Use of Flowers and Their Essences

Throughout history, flowers have been used as an expression for those concepts which escape verbal communication. Later, in the days of the Inquisition and similar persecutions, flowers and their emblems were used in many mediums, from art to architecture, as a secret form of communication.

Historical Interpretation of Flowers

There are many different interpretations of individual flower essences, mostly dependent upon physical location and historical time period. The lotus is a prime example of this. In Ancient Egypt, the lotus was a symbol of new life. However, later, in medieval Europe, it was said to represent the mystical center of things. In the Far East, the lotus represented the universe evolving from a central sun as it sprung from the navel of Vishnu.

As Christianity began its rise, many of the flowers originally dedicated to Greek and Roman gods were reassigned to various saints. Many flowers originally said to be ruled by Aphrodite, for example, became associated with the Virgin Mary, who was the Christian symbol of the feminine divine.

Specific Flower Essence Correspondences

Through history there were many interpretations of various flowers, as discussed above, and therefore their essences. Some of these are listed below. For the most part, these associations are taken from medieval Europe, since it is these interpretations that tend to have been carried forth into modern times.
  • broom – significant with love
  • calendula – success
  • camelia – perfect loveliness
  • candytuft – indifference
  • carnation – pure love
  • clover – happiness and good fortune
  • cowslip – unexpected love
  • daffodil – having high regard
  • daisy – symbolized a birth
  • gentain – injustice
  • geranium – comfort
  • hawthorn – hope
  • hollyhock – ambition
  • iris – purity and majesty
  • jasmine – was the emblem of the Virgin, also known as the star of divine hope
  • lavender – indicated that a reunion was to take place
  • Madonna lily – illustrated the marvels of paradise, signified purity and chastity
  • olive – represented peace, and still does in most book religions
  • passionflower – faith
  • rose – symbol of earthly love, symbol of heavenly delight and the mystic center of being
  • trefoil – the Holy Trinity
  • wallflower – fidelity in adversity
The Mystical and Esoteric Use of Flower Essences

Flowers and their essences were used by witches and magicians in their spells. Modern practitioners continue to use these essences for similar purposes today. In more ancient times, the growth of a flower, the how and why of it, was considered a mystery. This mystery lead many to conclude that flowers have many magical and supernatural qualities.

Many flowers, most commonly clover, lavender, and heather, were believed to bring luck, just as is believed today. Others, such as St. John’s Wort, peony, and lily are said to protect against evil. Daisies and dandelions, in addition to serving as clocks (since they open and close at certain times each day), were also used as oracles of love. This is still common practice today, in the tradition of pulling off the petals while reciting, “She loves me, she loves me not.”

The use of flower essences, both in mundane and mystical practice, is still common today. The meanings of these flowers have often been passed down through the ages, and so have a powerful history. Whether for healing, the casting of a spell, or as a means of communicating in secret, the use of flowers stretches back to ancient times.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Exploring the Source and Significance of Dreams

Most people in modern society take little notice of a random bit of half-remembered dream, whether it be a good dream, full of hope and happiness, or a nightmare, full of terror. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the scientific world continues to explore dreams in depth. There are numerous laboratories conducting a multitude of tests focusing on dreams and dreaming, all around the world.

On a more metaphysical level, dreams and their symbols have been important to most cultures around the world for many centuries. Thought to convey messages or even predict events, historically, dreams were rarely dismissed.

The Source of Dreams

Before, an ability to approach dreams from a spiritual point of view, it is important to understand where they come from, and why they come at all. Determining where they come from is a simple process of elimination.

The mind can be roughly divided into three parts: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the superconscious mind. The conscious mind, the part of the mind that is responsible for everyday activities, is at rest while dreaming, and so not likely the source of dreams. The subconscious mind, the instinctual part, is generally passive, and not really capable of logic or reason. It seems unlikely that the subconscious mind could possibly be responsible for the complexity of a dream, giving that its responsibility is contrary to the nature of dreams.

That leaves the superconscious mind, also called the higher or spiritual self. Since neither the conscious or subconscious mind can logically be thought to be the source of dreams, it must be the superconscious mind that is responsible. The higher self does nothing randomly. This means that dreams must carry some importance to the higher self, and so warrants some attention.

The Importance of Dreams

The question of whether or not dreams are important at all has long since been answered on a scientific level; dreaming is vital to the sanity of the conscious mind. Scientific research has shown that when subjects have their dreams continually interrupted, they develop great amounts of emotional stress. In addition, science has also revealed that each person dreams, on average, seven times each night, for up to forty-five minutes at a time. Some argue that the sheer amount of time dedicated to dreaming must give dreams some significance.

When the source of dreams, some believe that the higher self, is taken into consideration, the importance of dreams becomes even more evident. For the majority of the population, some theorize that dreams are the only way the higher self has to really communicate with the conscious mind. Therefore, the higher self must spend each and every night attempting to get across any message that it deems necessary.

The higher self expends a great deal of time and effort into creating a dream to transmit a certain message. In addition, science has proven that they conscious mind cannot function without an appropriate amount of dreaming, which occurs every night, and several times each night. Taking all this into consideration, dreams are probably not random, and likely far more important than most people realize, on both a scientific and an esoteric level.

Candle Magick Superstitions

Rumors, superstitions, and omens about candles date back hundreds of years. Some of these have passed into history, while others, such as the blowing out of birthday candles, are still very much a part of modern society. Candles and their behavior have been said to predict everything from luck, to marriage, to death, and everything in between.

Candle Omens of Bad Luck

The prediction of bad luck using candles has survived through the ages, sometimes with a practical purpose in mind. For example, it is considered bad luck to fall asleep with a candle burning. Vague, true, but this warning has a more mundane purpose as well, since an unattended candle could potentially burn a house down.

Other omens are just as vague. The traditional saying, “If a candle falls and breaks in two, double trouble will come to you,” isn’t very specific. It could be anything. And the popular superstition that says that allowing a candle to burn itself out will bring misfortune is certainly subject to interpretation.

Other superstitions regarding bad luck and candles are not so vague. A drip down the side of a candle during a séance (but at no other time) is said to predict bad luck or even death (which would be very bad luck) to the person nearest that side of the candle.

Candle Superstitions of Good Luck

There are certainly as many omens of good luck, blessings, and protection as there are bad, when it comes to candle magick. Lighting a brown candle on Imbolc Eve is a popular practice said to attract good luck while keep evil spirits at bay; killing a moth flying about a candle flame is said to have the same effect.

Many people, regardless of belief, light a pure white candle in a new home in the hope of bringing good luck and happiness. Bayberry-scented candles are frequently burned down to bring good luck and money. This practice of burning down the candle contradicts the previous idea of it bring bad luck to burn down a candle, as often happens when dealing with superstitions.

Omens Regarding Dreams and Candles

Dreams are a powerful source of omens. To dream of a candle usually has a meaning that is dependent upon the color of the candle. For example:
  • Black – death or illness
  • White – true love
  • Red – passion and sexual desire
In addition to this, there are other meanings of candles appearing in dreams. It is said that if a young woman dreams of two white candles, she will soon receive a proposal of marriage. Dreaming of five candles is said to mean love and marriage for anyone, young woman or no.

A candle alone, with no indication of color, is often said to be an indication of intelligence, or of spiritual understanding. A candle in a holder means happiness and prosperity, while a holder with no candle indicates sorrow and great misfortune, maybe even death.

Using Candles to Predict Love

The methods and means by which to use candle magick to either predict or draw love are many and varied. Some are as simple as burning a candle on a specific day, others are a chance happening that predicts the unexpected.

Burning a pink candle on Valentine’s Day is said to bring true love, while a white candle at a wedding is supposed to ensure a long and happy marriage. Bringing a lover is a little more complicated, and involves sticking two pins through the middle of a red candle at midnight (the day is not important here), and when the candle burns down to the pins, the lover is said to arrive.

Some events occur by accident. For example, accidentally knocking a candle out is a lucky sign that there might be a wedding in the near future. A candle that suddenly goes out during a wedding, though, indicates that the marriage will end in sorrow.

These are hardly the only omens and superstitions relating to candles and candle magick. There are thousands more, predicting everything from death and banishing evil to money and the weather. While these superstitions are hardly substantiated, there are many firm believers in the magickal powers of candles.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gemstones and Candle Magick

Crystals and gemstones have an enormous amount of power. Just as with candle colors, crystals give off vibrations, and have been used as healing tools for many hundreds of years. Combining crystal and gemstone magick with candle magick to effect healing is simple and effective.

Historical and Mythological Use of Crystals and Gemstones

The use of crystals for healing, power, and objects of meditation and magick dates back to very early times, and is present both in historical fact and mythological uses.

In ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid was capped with a giant quartz crystal. This wasn’t just for decoration, but to invoke the natural attributes of quartz. Throughout history, crystals have topped the scepters or kings and queens, as well as their crowns. The stones used were typically those associated with kingship and power, such as ruby, diamond, and emerald.

In the mythology of Atlantis, the priests and citizens there used crystals to harness the power of the sun. These crystals were called ‘firestones’ and were used for a variety of purposes, including the elimination of illness and disease from the body. This is mythology, of course, but it reinforces the fact that ancient people had a great deal of belief in the healing powers of crystals.

How Crystals Work

Gemstones and crystals give off an astounding amount of energy, energy which can penetrate to many levels of our awareness: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. They transmit and receive energy constantly, and this energy can be utilized by anyone.

The vibration of most crystals and gemstones is fairly stable, and this vibrations can be used to stimulate healing, induce dreams or visions, cleanse the aura, or aid in magickal or psychic development. Each crystal gives off its own distinct vibrations, so each has its own purpose. Regardless of the type of crystal, never use it if the vibrations do not feel right.

How a crystal is used and its placement is highly dependent upon the purpose of the spell or ritual. In the case of healing spells, and rituals, the crystals should be pointed inward toward the body to impart energy, but outward and away from the body to remove pain or other difficulties.

Combining crystals with candle magick is simple enough. When the candle is lit and the spell or ritual is being performed, either place the crystal near the candle, or hold the crystal clasped tightly in one hand. Use the right hand to transmit energy, and the left to receive energy.

The Healing Properties of Crystals

Here is a list of the most common gemstones and their healing properties. Bear in mind that gemstone therapy should only be used to treat minor ailments. For anything major, crystals should be combined with advice from a medical practitioner.
  • Agate: blood purifier, epilepsy, fever, menstrual cramps, stomach diseases, teething in babies
  • Amber: dysentery, ear aches, indigestion, blood purifier, acne, asthma, bronchitis and other lung problems, eczema, psoriasis, throat irritations, urinary tract infections
  • Amethyst: allergies, blood clots, brain tumors, diabetes, dropsy, eating disorders, hallucinations, headaches, glaucoma, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, stress
  • Aquamarine: anxiety, coughs, ear aches, headaches, insomnia, liver problems, toothaches, swollen glands, upset stomach, laryngitis
  • Bloodstone: slow the flow of blood from a wound, anemia, fevers, hemorrhoids, inflammation, insect bites, menstrual problems, mental stimulant, blood purifier
  • Emerald: depression, epilepsy, fever, pancreatic disorders
  • Garnet: anemia, depression, frostbite, impotency, menstrual cramps, neuralgia, paralysis
  • Hematite: bladder/kidney problems, bloodshot eyes, high blood pressure, insomnia, wounds
  • Jade: anxiety, bladder/kidney disorders, emotional pain, fear, indigestion, stress, urinary problems
  • Jasper: blood purifier, bladder infections, menstrual cramps, nausea
  • Lapis Lazuli: bleeding, burns, nerve diseases, depression, epilepsy, eye ailments, fever, headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, infections, inflammation, insomnia, menopause, menstrual cramps, mental disorders, migraines, multiple sclerosis, sore throat, stress, surgical recovery
  • Moonstone: cancer, colds, flu, infertility, insomnia, irregular menstruation, menopause, premenstrual syndrome
  • Ruby: anemia, blood poisoning, cancer, depression, exhaustion, infertility, sterility, problems with the heart, kidneys, or liver
  • Sapphire: Alzheimer’s disease, burns, nerve diseases, fevers, hemorrhoids, infections, inflammation, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, nosebleeds, sore throats, ulcers
  • Topaz: depression, bone diseases, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, shock, stress
  • Turquoise: asthma, burns, lung diseases, fevers, high blood pressure, inflammation, migraines, tension, trauma
Incorporating the use of crystals and gemstones into candle rituals for healing is simple and effective. As can be seen from the list above, many conditions have more than one stone available, so finding one that’s appropriate should not be too difficult.

Herbs and Candle Magick: Using the Magick of Candles for Healing

Herbs have extraordinary healing powers, and this power does not have to be limited to potions and other concoctions. The power of herbs can be added to candles, both homemade and store-bought.

Adding Herbs to Homemade Candles

Incorporating herbs into homemade candles is a fairly simple process. The process of candle crafting is almost identical, with one small difference. When the wax is melted in the double boiler, powdered herbs should be added. This should be done by pinches, not in large patches, to avoid igniting the powdered herbs.

Never add whole herbs, or even crushed herbs to hot wax. Not only do they have a chance to catch fire in the high heat of the wax, but they may ignite when the candle is burning, posing a fire hazard.

Adding Herbal Power to Store-Bought Candles

There is no real way to add actual herbs to a store-bought or ready-made candle. However, a similar benefit can be achieved thought the anointing and consecrating of the candle in question. In this case, an oil made from the appropriate herb would be used to ‘dress’ the candle.

Dressing a candle involves taking a small amount of oil and anointing the candle on all surfaces. Allow the candle to dry before burning, to avoid having the oil ignite.

Herbal List for Healing Candle Magick

Presented here are just a few of the herbs that could be helpful in incorporating herbology into candle magick. The information presented here is not medical advice. The properties listed here are magickal in nature, designed for use in candle magick, and not to be taken internally for these purposes.
  • Agrimony: diseases of the liver, including jaundice
  • Aloe Vera: external wounds, including and especially burns
  • Angelica: toothache pain, alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Chamomile: fever, colic, inflammation, nervousness, menstrual cramps
  • Crimson Clover: cancer and cancer-related ailments
  • Dandelion: liver ailments, gall stones, constipation, ailments of the pancreas, spleen, or feminine organs
  • Garlic: bronchial ailments, infections, arthritis, rheumatism
  • Ginseng: all sex-related ailments
  • Goldenseal: eczema and other skin ailments, eye ailments, internal infections, ringworm, poison ivy and other plant-related skin conditions
  • Lavender: depression, fatigue, sprains, neuralgic pains, rheumatism
  • Mallow: tonsillitis
  • Milkweed: warts
  • Myrrh: gum irritation and other mouth pain
  • Peppermint: headache, menstrual cramps
  • Rosemary: vertigo, stress, weakness of the limbs, depression, headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, heart conditions, paralysis, rheumatism, colds, colic, liver problems
  • Sage: sprains, varicose veins, depression, flu, fever
  • Solomon’s Seal: bruises, skin irritations
  • Willow Bark: headaches
  • Witch Hazel: tumors, swellings, inflammation, anxiety, eczema
  • Yarrow: muscle pains, liver ailments, canker sores, colds, fever
Combining the powers of candle magick and herbology to aid in healing can be extremely effective. Herbs have very powerful healing properties, and combining these with the strength of candle magick can heighten any healing spell.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Candle Colors

The color of a candle has a significant effect on the spell or ritual that is being performed in magick. This means that before casting any spells or performing any type of magick, especially candle magick, the color of the candles should be chosen very carefully.

The Effect of Color on Humans

Science tells us that each color of light vibrates on its own frequency, and magick dictates that each individual frequency attracts certain attributes. This can be seen easily enough in every day life. Hospitals, for example, never paint their walls black. Instead, they use calming shades of blue, pink, and green.

The choices humans make every day often reflect the power of color. Someone who is feeling a little depressed may choose a shade of gray or black, perhaps even blue (the term ‘feeling blue’ didn’t just come out of nowhere). Bright yellow, seen by many as a happy color, is often worn by those who are feeling at their happiest. Red and purple make people feel powerful. These are not hard and fast rules, but they do offer an insight into why certain people choose particular colors.

Candle Color Properties

Each candle color is considered to have its own magickal properties. Some of these can be found below:
  • White: meditation, consecration rituals, initiation rituals, exorcism, divination, healing, truth, peace, innocence, clairvoyance, spirituality
  • Silver: get rid of negativity, encourage stability, initiation rituals, divination, lunar energy, the Goddess
  • Pink: Love, friendship, innocence, femininity
  • Red: Fertility, sex, passion, love, health, physical strength, anger, will, courage, leadership
  • Orange: stimulation of energy
  • Yellow: confidence, happiness, attraction, charm, persuasion
  • Gold: attracting the power of the cosmos, solar energy, the God
  • Green: fertility, success, luck, money, prosperity, ambition, also counteracts greed and jealousy, physical healing
  • Blue: honor, loyalty, peace, truth, tranquility, wisdom, astral travel, prophetic dreaming, protection during sleep, energy healing
  • Purple: psychic or magickal power, healing involving power and the aura, success, independence, protection of the home
  • Brown: location of lost objects, improve concentration, telepathy, protection of pets and familiars
  • Gray: neutralize negative influences
  • Black: meditation, banishing evil or negativity, reversing spells
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the color you would like. In this case, simply use white. Consider it the multi-purpose candle.

Sabbat Candle Colors

In addition to general properties, candle colors also correspond with the pagan Sabbats. Some of these are mentioned in the chart below:
  • Samhain: black, orange, flame colors
  • Winter Solstice: red, green, white
  • Imbolc: red, white, pink
  • Spring Equinox: green, yellow, pastel colors
  • Beltane: green, rainbow colors
  • Summer Solstice: bright green, blue
  • Lughnasadh: dark green, yellow, orange
  • Autumn Equinox: orange, yellow, brown
Astrological Candle Colors

Each of the twelve astrological signs, from Aries through Pisces, is ruled by its own color. When casting any zodiac-related spells, it is important that the candle color be correct.
  • Ares: red
  • Taurus: green
  • Gemini: yellow or silver
  • Cancer: white
  • Leo: gold or yellow
  • Virgo: gray
  • Libra: royal blue
  • Scorpio: black or red
  • Sagittarius: dark blue or purple
  • Capricorn: black or dark brown
  • Aquarius: light blue
  • Pisces: aquamarine
Daily Colors

Finally, each day of the week is associated with a particular color. So, a spell performed on a certain day may benefit from a candle of the appropriate color.
  • Sunday: yellow
  • Monday: white
  • Tuesday: red
  • Wednesday: purple
  • Thursday: blue
  • Friday: green
  • Saturday: black
These colors are not necessarily a hard and fast rule. Each individual color may awaken a different sensation than that ones mentioned here. This is fine. Ultimately, each individual must decide which color is best suited for their own purpose, depending on their own personal feelings.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Candle Consecration

Whether a candle is hand-made or store-bought, it should be consecrated before use in even the simplest of spells or rituals. Even for a candle whose sole purpose is to provide light while a spell is read aloud should be appropriately consecrated.

How to Consecrate a Candle

The easiest method of consecrating a candle is to ‘dress’ it. This doesn’t mean breaking out the doll clothes! Dressing a candle means to anoint it. This is done with a small amount of oil, usually during the waxing phase of the moon. However, the Full Moon works as well. The dates of the Full Moon can be found on most calendars these days.

Dressing the candle does two things: it consecrates the candle, and it charges it with magickal energy. This makes it ready for use in ritual, ceremony, or spellcraft.

Anointing Oils

There are many types of anointing oils that can be used to dress a candle. Personal preference generally dictates which is picked. Anointing oils can be purchased from most New Age shops, or they can be made, as the recipes below will show. As an alternative, olive oil, available at all major grocery stores, can be used as an acceptable anointing oil. Jojoba oil can also be used, but it harder to come by.

When making anointing oil, swirl the ingredients in a clockwise direction in a clear glass jar. This mixes the oils together. Then, leave the oil to sit for at least twenty-four hours, so the ingredients to blend. Finally, if any herbs or other solid matter (such as gemstones) has been used, strain the oil, usually through cheesecloth, to remove any particles. The oil is now ready for anointing.

When it comes to choosing any of the below recipes, it’s mostly about personal preference. The recipes can be adjusted or completely rewritten. There are no clear rules.

Goddess Anointing Oil
  • ½ cup olive or jojoba oil for base
  • 5 drops lavender or jasmine oil
  • 5 drops rose or rosemary oil
  • ½ teaspoon powdered myrrh or sandalwood
  • 1 teaspoon powdered basil or daisy
  • ½ teaspoon powdered yarrow or willow

Spirituality Anointing Oil

  • ½ cup olive or jojoba oil for base
  • 5 drops mint or peppermint oil
  • 5 drops myrrh or sandalwood oil
  • 1 tablespoon powdered rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sage
  • 1 tablespoon powdered violet or willow
  • 1 pinch powdered turquoise or jade, if desired (powdered using a metal nail file)
Many other oils and combination oils can be used. Olive or jojoba make the best base oils, and jojoba oil tends not to spoil as quickly as other oils, and so is a good choice. If a particular ingredient cannot be found, substitutions are permitted. Most recipes will present some options when it comes to certain ingredients; even if they don’t, alternative ingredients are always available.

Consecrating, or dressing, candles before they are used in ritual or spellcraft is a necessary step in candle magick. It not only cleanses them, but it also imbues them with magickal energy. This makes them more effective in magickal workings.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Candle Magick

Candles and fire have been used for centuries by Witches all around the world to evoke many different emotions and states of mind, as well as to set the mood. They have also been used to invoke spirits and entities, and to perform transformational magick.

The Mystical Power of Candles

Candle flames give off mystical power. This fact has been known by magicians and other similar practitioners for many years. They can be used cast a spell, perform divination, meditation, and healing, set the mood for a ritual, or banish or summon various entities. There is also great symbolism, from a magickal point of view, in creating light out of darkness.

The candle can also be seen as mystical in regards to the human body. Each part corresponds to a part of the body: the wax is the physical body, the wick is the mind, the flame is the soul.

Candle Colors

Colors are very important in candle magick. Science tells us that each color vibrates on a specific frequency, and magick tells us that these frequencies attract different spiritual influences. While this article cannot deal with color in detail, the following are some candle colors and their general meanings:
  • Black: banish evil and negativity, absorbing energies, meditation
  • Green: fertility, money, ambition, counteract jealousy
  • Purple: psychic power, healing the aura
  • White: consecration, meditation, divination, peace, spiritual strength
Candle Shapes

In candle magick, the shape is also important. There are many shapes available, and each has their own purpose. Many times, these purposes are combined with the color of the candle. The term ‘shape’ can also be used to indicate the symbols that may be carved into the candle, as it can often be difficult to find a candle in the specific shape desired.

Moon-shaped candles are burned to add power to magicks performed during the Full Moon, or to invoke the Goddess. Oftentimes, human-shaped candles are used to represent the person or persons the spell is directed at. Any phallic-shaped candle (which could be simply a taper candle, if needed), can be used for sex magick.

There are other shapes which are more difficult to find. Mummy-shaped or devil-shaped candles, used for Egyptian and Voodoo magick, respectively, are incredibly hard to find, and usually just carving Egyptian or Voodoo shapes upon a standard candle is easier. Skull-shaped candles are easy enough to find at Halloween, but rare outside that, and can be used in séances.

Probably the most commonly used candle in magick, apart from your standard candles, is the seven-knob candle. It has seven balls of wax strung together with one wick, and are generally used for spells which last seven days, where one ball is burned each day. During the burning, the goal is focused upon, and it is believed that after the seventh day, the spell will manifest.

Performing Candle Magick

Once the appropriate color and shape has been chosen, or at least the symbols necessary carved onto the candle itself, the candle must be prepared. This is generally done by consecration. Consecrating a candle can be as simple as anointing it with consecration oil, or as complex as performing a full ritual just for the purpose of consecrating the candles.

Once the consecration has been performed, the practitioner must clear the mind, and gaze into the flame until a trance-like state is attained. At this point, what happens differs. If the purpose is divination, typically the practitioner would stare into the flame during this trance, awaiting images or symbols that might connect to the purpose of the divination. If a spell is to be worked, then after consecration would be the time to do this.

Candles are a powerful tool for modern magickal practitioners, whether Witches, magicians, shamans, or anything else. They have many uses and applications, and their ease of use increases their popularity constantly.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Wheel of the Year

Most religions mark the year in some way. In Wiccan thought, the different stages of the year are marked by what are called ‘Sabbats.’ These are the holy days of Wicca, the festivals which mark the cycle of the sun as it progresses throughout the year.

The Sabbats and Their Dates

There are eight Sabbats throughout the year, approximately six weeks apart (though this varies slightly). They are often divided into two categories, Greater Sabbats and Lesser Sabbats.

Greater Sabbats reflect the natural cycles of the earth, the seasonal changes which we cannot escape. Since these are not specifically solar holidays (unlike the Lesser Sabbats), the God and the Goddess are honored equally. For the northern hemisphere, the Greater Sabbats are:
  • Sahmain, on October 31st
  • Imbolc, on February 1st (sometimes celebrated on February 2nd)
  • Beltane, on May 1st
  • Lughnasadh, on August 1st
The Lesser Sabbats are the solstices and equinoxes, the exact dates for which can be found on most modern calendars. The solstices mark either the longest or the shortest day of the year. The equinoxes are those dates when night and day are exactly equal. Since these are based on the movement of the sun, the God is honored. The Goddess is acknowledged also, but the God should be given more deference at these times. The approximate dates for the Lesser Sabbats, in the northern hemisphere, are:
  • Winter Solstice, December 19th-25th, sometimes called Yule
  • Spring Equinox, March 19th-25th, sometimes called Ostara
  • Summer Solstice, June 19th-25th, sometimes called Litha
  • Fall Equinox, September 19th-25th, sometimes called Mabon or Harvest
The Importance of the Sabbats

In ancient times, these Sabbats were vitally important. Each marked a certain point in the year that was significant to the people. The Greater Sabbats marked the agricultural cycle. At Imbolc, even though winter was at its coldest, the people celebrated the coming of spring. This was a time of purification, of cleansing and preparing for the upcoming planting.

Beltane marked the beginning of the planting season. At this point, any crops that hadn’t been planted had to be, to ensure a decent harvest. The coming of Lughnasadh, often called the First Harvest, was the time when the first plants begin to drop their fruit. Samhain, coming right before the cold of winter, was traditionally the time when the animals that would provide food through the winter were slaughtered.

The Lesser Sabbats were also important. The Winter Solstice was the time of rest, while the Spring Equinox marked the true beginning of warmth, of the approach of summer. The Summer Solstice was the end of the planting season, and the Fall Equinox was the time of the Final Harvest, of ensuring that all crops were harvested and prepared for the long winter months.

The Role of the Goddess and the God in Wiccan Sabbats

The Goddess and the God were present and important during this cycle. Simply put, the Goddess rules the summer months, as She represents fertility and growth, and the summer is the time of crops and planting. The God rules the long winter months, for He generally is the God of the Hunt, and the hunt was vital to the survival of ancient man during the months when crops did not grow.

Though one may rule a specific time of year, both the Goddess and the God are present, and always equal. It is only that one is more visible than the other at certain times of the year.

Wiccan Sabbat Rituals and Traditions

Modern Wiccans usually mark the Sabbats with rituals. These rituals are designed for celebration, for merriment and feasting. No magick is performed unless deemed an emergency, such as healing. In times of old, many would gather to mark these occasions. Today, whether you are one or one hundred, the goal is celebration.

The altar and chamber should be decorated to reflect the ritual. Often, the decorating of the ritual space can become an important part of the ritual, if done immediately beforehand.

The rituals themselves vary greatly depending on the Sabbat to be celebrated. Generally, the core of the ritual, after the ritual space is cleansed, purified, and prepared, usually include:
  • Enactment – This can take a great many forms, from a skit, to a dance, to a song; anything that truly reflects the season and the reason for gathering.
  • Declaration – This is simply a statement of the meaning of the particular Sabbat, and this is sometimes combined with the enactment.
The Sabbats, both Greater and Lesser, are a highly important part of modern Wiccan practice. They are holy days, celebrations, and an opportunity to reflect, all in one.