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.

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.