30 July 2011

Brighid's Cross

Brighid's Cross was a symbol derived from ancient solar symbols known from early times in Europe. There were several regional forms but none resemble the classic Christian cross.  The crosses were made from straw, sheaves of grain, rushes, or grass, depending on the region of origin. They were hung in the house and farm buildings as protection against illness and other misfortune.

In the Scottish Highlands, women also made Brighid crosses before a wedding and placed one in the mattress of the marriage bed to ensure fertility.

28 July 2011

Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere

Imbolc is taken from the Irish-Gaelic which is translated as “in the belly” (of the Mother) and falls around 1 August in the Southern Hemisphere.  It represents the quickening of light and life and around us we begin to notice the first stirrings of Spring as the first flowers begin to appear.  These seeds have lain dormant within the Earth over the cold Winter months now begin to stir with life. All around us there is evidence of the Earth's slow awakening to the growing power of the Sun, and we may find in ourselves this awakening as we venture more and more outdoors.

Being a festival of fire, Imbolc celebrates the light of Spring piercing the darkness of Winter.  As new life flows through the world of nature, we celebrate the waking of the soul as our spirits begin to quicken.  Now is the time look toward the future.

23 July 2011

Nine Ways to Help Awaken Consciousness

By simply being yourself, you can help the people in your life see a living example of consciousness.

1. Living by your values allows you to become a positive source of inspiration for others. Don’t hide – express yourself and embrace life without reservation. By simply being yourself, you can help the people in your life see how one person can make a difference by being a living example of consciousness.

22 July 2011

Making Sense of it all with "Covensense"

It is always a joy to be reading a book that is funny, yet informative, not to mention insightful - and my current reading material, that being "Covensense" by Patricia Crowther (Robert Hale, 2009) is proving to be just that.

Crowther, for those not aware of who she is, was initiated into Wicca in 1960 by Gerald Gardner. Along with the likes of Doreen Valiente, Lois Bourne, and Eleanor Bone, Crowther is often consider to be one of the "early mothers" of Wicca.

Together with her late husband Arnold (who died in 1974), Crowther established what came to be known as the Sheffield Coven in 1961.

The author of many books (including two that have found their way into the Temple's own library "Lid of the Cauldron" and "The Zodiac Experience", this latest book is written along the lines of questions and answers - allowing Crowther's extensive knowledge and personal experience about the Craft to come through.

Things we cannot Control

We develop grace as we learn with the guiding hand of the Universe,
life will unfold exactly the way it should.

The idea of trusting the Universe is a popular one these days, but many of us do not know what this really means and we often have a hard time doing it. This is partly because the story of humankind is most often presented as a story about struggle, control, and survival, instead of one of trust and collaboration with the Universe.

Yet, in truth, we need to adhere to both ideas in this life.

10 July 2011

A key to personal development

One book that I have enjoyed reading in recent times is Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister’s Thelemic Magick by Rodney Orpheus (which is probably obvious considering this is my second posting about this book).  Within this book, I came across a passage that I have adapted for a more Wiccan focus, however regardless of what spiritual path one is following, I believe it gives much thought ...

"One of the keys to Wicca is personal development. This means you have to do the work yourself. Simply reading books and/or web sites is not good enough. While this may increase your theoretical knowledge (or then again may totally confuse you further), unless you do it, you are wasting your time. Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding."

It is only through personal experience that you yourself can access what are termed as the "Mysteries" contained within Wicca - no teacher, regardless of how wonderful they may be, can experience these Mysteries for you ... nor can their interpretation be 100% relevant for you.

03 July 2011

Your Perfect Teacher - Life

Many of us long to find a spiritual teacher or guru. We may feel unsure of how to practice our spirituality without one, or we may long for someone who has attained a higher level of insight to lead the way for us. Some of us have been looking for years to no avail and feel frustrated and even lost. The good news is that the greatest teacher you could ever want is always with you—that is your life.

The people and situations we encounter every day have much to teach us when we are open to receiving their wisdom. Often we don’t recognize our teachers because they may not look or act like our idea of a guru, yet they may embody great wisdom. In addition, some people teach us by showing us what we don’t want to do. All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the major, conspire to teach us exactly what we need to be learning at any given time. Patience, compassion, perseverance, honesty, letting go—all these are covered in the classroom of the teacher that is your life.

Creating Our Own Reality

I came across the following article by Robin Wood (http://www.robinwood.com/index.html) who is the creator of the first deck of tarot cards (the Robin Wood tarot) that I purchased myself.

Creating Our Own Reality
© Robin Wood 2005

It’s completely true that we create our own reality.

Not because we get to choose what happens to us; few of us are that lucky.

01 July 2011

Horns of Power: Manifestations of the Horned God

It is often said that despite the seemingly wealth of information avaailable of all aspects of Paganism, there is one area in particular that tends to be overlooked - that of the God, the Divine Masculine.  Luckily for us, however, the team at Avalonia Publishing recognised this gap when they produced an anthology of articles and poems back in 2008 entitled “Horns of Power: Manifestations of the Horned God” (edited by Sorita d’Este).

With Marc Potts’s wonderful painting of “Herne” painting glaring out from the cover, this book is truly something special. The series of articles, impregnated with illustrations, photographs and even guided visualisations, are well research and provide the reader with a wealth of information about this rather overlooked aspect within modern Paganism, and in particular Wicca.

New Moon in Cancer

Cancer New Moon: - Call and Response

by Dana Gerhardt

It is another New Moon: when the magically minded make wishes and astrologers attempt to divine this cycle’s intentions. But fates are personal. Even if a new moon chart could be forced to describe them all, no single astrologer could tell that many stories. The wishes you make now may indeed be super-powered, but if you do not have a strong relationship with the archetypes, don’t expect special favors.

If you rarely visited your cookie-baking grandmother, don’t expect her to FedEx goodies to your dorm room. New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. Visit the invisible world. Bow and open yourself to their touch. Make an offering. Humans have been rendezvousing with these archetypes for thousands of years. When you call out to the gods, they do respond!