Archive for the ‘witchcraft’ Category

15
May

How to Charge a Wytche Bottle

   Posted by: Scrivener

Empowering a Witch Bottle

 

 

You will need these items:

 

  • A bottle with a stopper
  • Pins, rusty nails, etc.
  • Rosemary
  • A bit of red wine
  • A candle small enough to fit inside the bottle.
  • Some nail clippings from yourself or some hair.

     

     

    Magus: (Casts magick circle, then backs against the circle, and concentrates on directing trapped negative energy into the witch bottle.)

     

    Magus: (concentrates their thoughts on directing all negative energies into the bottle. They should visualize a swirling vortex of dark energy being sucked into the bottle.)

     

    Magus: (Pours the wine, drops the needles, and inserts the rosemary into the witch bottle—or the bottle may be premade)

     

    Pins, needles, nutmeg, rosemary, intent, and wine,

    I put into this witch bottle of mine,

    To trap and guard against harm, bad luck, and enmity,

    Now take in the bad luck directed at me.

    In a swirling vortex suck in the ill magick and negativity.

    What you do not take in return to sender three times three compliments of me.

     

    Magus: Return to sender three times three.

    Return to sender three times three.

    Return to sender three times three.

     

    Magus: (lights the small candle and recites.)

     

    Magus: Starry moonlight, and Dawn’s sunlight,

    Infuse this lit candle bright.

    Consume the dark, bad luck and ill magick blight,

    And change what was once darkness so this witch bottle emits only good luck and light.

     

    Magus: Change darkness to light.

    Change darkness to light.

    Change darkness to light.   �

     

    Magus: (drops the candle into the bottle and immediately stoppers the bottle with the wax plug. May optionally seal the bottle with wax.)

     

    Magus: With this stopper, bad luck is at an end.

    Negativity is trapped within and cleansed.

    Light shines through, and good luck is all this bottle sends.

    As long as this bottle remains sealed,

    All harm, enmity, bad luck, and negativity is healed.

     

    This is my spell; this is my will.

    As it is above so it is manifest below.

    By stars, moon, and sun, the deed is done,

    So mote it be.

     

Magus: By stars, moon, and sun, the deed is done; so mote it be.

By stars, moon, and sun, the deed is done; so mote it be.

By stars, moon, and sun, the deed is done; so mote it be.


15
May

Witch Bottles

   Posted by: Scrivener

Witch-bottles are probably quite familiar to many Pagans, at least as a concept. Witch-bottle isn’t a poor little Witch in a bottle, or hold something Witches drink in their gatherings. They are more akin to a “bottled spell”. The tradition originates from British folklore, traveling with British immigrants to the Americas, if not further. Many modern Pagans have included Witch-bottles in their collection of spells, widening and diversifying this old tradition – and making it more comparable with their personal ethics.

A Bit on the History of Witch-bottles

The history of Witch-bottles goes back hundreds of years. The origins of this tradition has been dated to the 1500’s. They were used most actively for a couple of hundred years. This is the same time when the Witch-hunts were going on. After this period, the tradition slowly waned. The last historical Witch-bottle was found in a cabin built in mid 19th century, in Pershore, Worcestershire (UK).

The actual bottle of a traditional Witch-bottle during the 16th and 17th century was a German stone bottle called “bartmann” or “bellermine” bottle. Similar bottles of stone material were manufactured in Holland and Belgium. The technique wasn’t mastered in England before the 1660’s and bartmann bottle manufacturing was rare in Britain.

The bottle got its name from a cardinal called Bellarmino only after the Witch-bottle tradition had already begun. These bottles had a round belly and they were decorated with a facial image of a grim looking bearded man and a medallion of stylized floral or natural imagery.

Even though these bottles were being manufactured actively in Germany long before the time of Bellarmino – who was against the Reformation – these bottles were given their familiar name as a satirical comment on the Cardinal. His bearded figure resembled the typical bearded man depicted on these bottles.[1] Later on, the bearded image was taken to represent the Devil, which suited well for Witch-bottles, after all — witches were considered as people allied with the Devil.

Glass bottles were also used, but according to my sources they were never as popular as Witch-bottles as were the bartmann ones.

Old Witch-bottles contained things like bent iron nails, human hair (head hair and pubic hair) and urine. Urine as an important ingredient of a Witch-bottle has been long known in folk traditions, but actual findings with the bottle still containing urine have been rare. However, all of the Witch-bottles found in England which were tested for urine, did prove positive. Other traditional items contained in Witch-bottles include small bones, thorns, needles, pieces of wood and in some cases heart-shaped pieces of cloth.

The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace. Other sites include under the floor, buried in the ground there, and plastered inside walls. The fireplace is, from a magical point of view, a security risk as it has a straight connection with the open skies above. It was believed that the curse of a Witch or even a Witch herself in a shape-shifted form could get into a house through the fireplace. Another security risk was the doorway, as doors are opened and closed several times throughout the day. In addition to the fireplace, the bottles were often hidden near the doorway.

On the Original Uses

The most active period of Witch-bottle usage and the Witch-hunts don’t coincide by accident. The fear of Witches produced ways of protecting oneself against them during times when slightest misfortune was easily interpreted as being caused by a curse put on one or another member of the family. From the point of view of a present day Witch, the original purpose for building a Witch-bottle wasn’t that pleasant: they were intended to keep Witches and Witches’ curses away. The contents of a Witch-bottle was designed to not only divert an attacking Witch, but also to cause her to suffer the agonies brought on by all the nasty things inside the bottle. To put it simply: to turn the curse back to the curser.

The urine in the bottle symbolizes the target of the curse. The curser and the target of the curse were believed to have a strong connection and the curse was believed to target not only its intended victim, but also the bodily fluids of the target. When the bottle was placed in a way that made it easier for the curse to meet with the urine (in the Witch-bottle) before the actual target, the curse hit the bottle and not its intended victim. This is why the bottles were usually hidden where they were. The importance of pubic hair and hair was similar to that of the urine.

Witch-bottles are very much a part of age-old traditions of sympathetic magic with its intentions of causing pain for the Witch with the contents of the Witch-bottle. According to folk beliefs, the use of Witch-bottles sometimes brought the Witch herself, writhing in agony, knocking on the door – begging for somebody to break the Witch-bottle and promising to reverse the curse.

The Witch-bottle was believed to be active as long as the bottle remained hidden and unbroken. People did go though a lot of trouble in hiding their Witch-bottles. Those buried underneath fireplaces have been found only after the rest of the building has been torn down or otherwise disappeared.

Modern-Witch-Bottles

Very generally speaking, the modern day Witch-bottles are very similar to historical Witch-bottles in their basic structure, even though their intended purpose has changed. The most common purpose for constructing a Witch-bottle today is capturing negative energies targeted at the constructor of the bottle, her family or her home. Even though some bottles are “mirroring” in nature, they aren’t normally built to cause agony to the sender of negative energy/caster of curses. Some Witch-bottles are intended to change negative energy into positive one and then release it into the surrounding area. This kind of bottles could be classified as “guard and protect”-bottles.

The basic structure of Witch-bottles can be used for purposes other than protective: for financial gain, for helping with artistic creativity, to call forth positive energy (instead of “just filtering out negative energy”), for improving health, etc.

One could say that the basic principle is the following: practically speaking, a Witch-bottle is a container of some sort, usually a jar or a bottle, which is filled with objects and often also liquids which fill a given magickal purpose. The person making the Witch-bottle, or in other words, the one casting the bottled spell, can charge the objects magickally beforehand and build the bottle to work on this charging until the need of renewing the spell arises. Witch-bottles can also be built to recharge themselves by the energy they ‘capture’ for as long as the bottle stays unbroken, whether it be years or centuries.

Instead of magickally charging the items, one can build a bottle whose the powers are based on its contents, but cumulatively so, resulting with powers stronger than the sum of its parts. Also this version can be designed to be seasonal or “one time lasts a life time”.

What Do Modern Witch-Bottles Contain?

The typical contents of the basic protective Witch-bottle today is quite similar to that of the traditional one: bent iron nails (some say they are better if old and rusty while others say clean and unused are best), thorns, rusty razor blades, broken glass or pieces of broken mirror (some say breaking a mirror for Witch-bottle use causes bad luck, others claim that breaking a mirror for this particular use will not cause bad luck except for people sending negative energies to the bottle builder), or other sharp and dangerous “nasties”, urine of the bottle’s builder, often also menstrual or other blood. One could use semen as the masculine counterpart for menstrual blood. The bottle is often a common tight-lidded glass jar, or a bottle with a rather wide mouth.

Other types of Witch-bottles may contain sand or different colored sands, crystals, stones, knotted threads, herbs, spices, resin, flowers, candles (no, you won’t burn them inside the bottle), incense (you won’t burn it either), votive candles, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, saw dust, ashes etc etc. Actually, everything used in “normal spells” can be used in this bottled version of a spell, the Witch-bottle.

Additional materials include candles and/or wax to seal the bottle/jar with. The rest of the materials depend on the ritual in question (if any) and the religion of the builder of the bottle.

On the Hiding Place

A Pagan living in their own house may be able to hide the Witch-bottle in the traditional way under the fireplace, under the floor, or in the walls. However, it is more common to bury the bottle in the yard in a place where nobody will accidentally break it while digging in the garden. One such place is behind stones under the stairs. For a Pagan living in a terraced house burying the bottle in the garden should work well – as long as you are careful not to attract too much attention to yourself while burying an odd object (the bottle) during the correct phase of the Moon, at night, with just candle light, wearing suspicious looking ritual garments.

Apartments can be a difficult place to live in when you’re trying to find somewhere to hide a Witch-bottle. Or, at least it may seem like that! Digging a hole and burying the bottle in the yard may be not only difficult, but also quite likely not allowed. Nosy kids can dig the bottle up and hurt themselves on the contents. Not to mention that in the right (or wrong, to be more precise) neighborhood could cause lots of trouble for the Pagan attempting to hide a bottle in the yard.

However, the situation is not that impossible! The bottle doesn’t need to be situated near the home in order for it to work. If you are constructing a bottle intended to be a personal safety guard, it can be buried in a forest or sunk in a swamp. With a Witch-bottle designed to guard a given home and those living in it, you can use a large flowerpot by the front door or on the windowsill to bury the bottle in to. In this case, the bottle should be small enough to fit in the flowerpot – with the plant!

Another idea I’ve heard is putting the Witch-bottle into a closet next to the front door, where it could easily do its job as a guardian and protector of the home and its inhabitants. However, this solution might cause some trouble if the same thing that happened to one Pagan happens to you: the Witch-bottle she kept in her closet worked very well – until it one day literally blew up. The bottle was of the very traditional type, so cleaning up after this wasn’t that pleasant, as you can well imagine! While refining the idea further, we ended up putting the bottle in a covered bucket filled with soil and then putting the bottle inside the bucket in the closet.

For a Pagan still “in the closet” or living in something like student housing with a room mate these ideas may not be that usable. There’s still no need to panic, as Witch-bottles can be made in miniature size, too. One witch working with test tubes in her professional life worked out recycling methods for test tubes as miniature Witch-bottles small enough to fit in the flowerpots on her windowsill. If you want to use test tubes, make sure you can close them tightly. There are also miniature bottles and jars available at various gift shops which can be used as well.

It should be noted that not all Witch-bottles are designed to be hidden away. Some are intended to be left out in the open, for example on the windowsill, on your altar or on your (work) desk.

Some Instructions

The next part contains some instructions for making Witch-bottles. I won’t be including any particular instructions for rituals. First, because the exact rituals used depend on the religion of the person crafting the Witch-bottle and rituals aren’t even always necessary. One doesn’t even have Pagan religious inclinations for constructing a Witch-bottle. One of the persons who has made a Witch-bottle with my instructions is completely unaffiliated religiously, doesn’t consider himself a Pagan, and is more or less an Atheist. He is, nevertheless, very happy with the results. Second, planning the ritual (if one decides to have one) can be considered an important part of constructing a Witch-bottle. As important as planning and gathering the objects used. Third, if you are using a pre-made ritual, you can easily end up repeating somebody else’s words and copying somebody else’s motions, without proper emotions. Finally, modifying things to suit you better is in this context not only allowed, it’s recommended!

Basic Bottle for a Modern Witch

This is the tried and tested basic Witch-bottle, suitable also for modern day Pagans. The bottle is intended to be one that protects its maker, often also the maker’s home and family, from negative energies. Depending on how the bottle is made and on the maker’s Will, the bottle can be one that gathers the negative energies in itself (capturing), one that sends the energies back to where they came from (mirroring) or one that changes negative energy into positive (transforming). I would say, however, that this traditional Witch-bottle isn’t the best suited one for the last option.

Materials

  • Glass, earthenware or stone bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap. Size depending on how big you can easily hide. Size doesn’t matter that much, so be reasonable.
  • Protective gloves for handling items you’ll be putting in the bottle. A Witch-bottle won’t help you much if you manage to get a blood poisoning while constructing one.
  • Wax or candles to seal the bottle. Black is a good choice.
  • Another jar for “potty” if you don’t have one. Aiming isn’t that easy, especially if you’re trying to hit something like a Witch-bottle. So, you’ll need something to pee into – and of course you’ll need your urine.
  • All kinds of “nasties”: Nails, rusty and bent (you can bend them yourself, too). Pieces of barbed wire, thorns, burrs, pieces of glass and/or mirror, needles etc.
  • Some things to choose from: Menstrual blood (if you are female) or semen (of you are male). You can drain menstrual blood from your menstrual pads or tampons, in order to get semen. Well, you do know how to get it. Word of advice, though – if you are using sex magick as a part of your Witch-bottle building ritual, do try to remember that you were supposed to collect some of the semen to use in the bottle. It’s not that easy to collect it out of your partner, you know. Other blood – get a sterile needle from the pharmacist and remember to buy some band-aids as well. You can also add your pubic or other hair to represent yourself. An egg can also be included.
  • Bandages should be readily available, in the case something happens. A lot of the stuff you’re putting into the bottle is sharp.

Preliminary preparations

Gather all the necessary items, your bodily fluids being the very last ones as you don’t want to store them even for a day. You can collect other items intended for a Witch-bottle over a long period of time, storing them until you have all the necessary items and enough of them. Items found on the ground suit the purpose well. Cut metal items into smaller pieces if necessary so that they fit into the bottle you’ve chosen. If you’re using a very small bottle, remember that will need only a very very small number of each item or alternatively small items (broken needles, tiny nails etc).

Choose a date to suit your magickal workings best and plan your ritual, if these things are important for you. Waning moon is often considered a suitable time for building a Witch-bottle. The ritual can consist of just the visualization of the bottle’s intended use.

You can use the following to help with your visualization:

Your bodily fluids are intended to symbolize yourself, they are part of your essence and are traditionally used in magick. Instead of having the negative energies hitting you, they hit your “representative” in the Witch-bottle, the part of your essence.

For a capturing bottle: The “nasties” inside the bottle are intended to capture the negative energies – the metal captures them, the glass confuses and cuts them, the thorns puncture them and iron (and egg) dissolve them. You can visualize the negative energies drowning in the urine. If you are building a mirroring bottle, visualize the glass and mirror mirroring the negative energy back to its sender or to grounding it to earth. For a transforming bottle you can use colored glass and visualize the negative energy transforming into positive one before continuing on its journey forward to benefit you, your home or the universe.

Choose the place to hide your Witch-bottle before you make it. Be sure you have all the necessary equipment like a shovel. By the time the bottle is finished, it’s too late to start pondering “but where will I put this thing?” If you are going to bury the bottle in the ground, choose the place so that people or animals will not dig it up.

The Actual Making of the Bottle

Have all the necessary equipment and items at hand in a place you consider best suitable for the task, at a time most suitable for you. Cast a circle, if you feel one necessary. You can build the bottle and have your ritual at the site of where you will hide it or do everything else in one place and then take the ready bottle elsewhere to be buried.

Fill the bottle with items you’ve chosen until they form a disgusting mixture. Shake the bottle to mix the items, if necessary. If you are including an egg, don’t break it and add it as the last of the solid items. Remember to leave enough room for it as well.

After this, add urine, menstrual blood or semen, or prick your finger with the sterile lancet and add as the very last thing a few drops of your blood. You won’t need large amounts, blood and semen are considered potent, so few drops will do.

Close the cap or lid and seal the bottle. You can carve symbols of your choice (for example runes, a sigil), being careful not to break the seal. If this happens, remove the wax and start the sealing process again.

If you are going to go to another place to hide the bottle, clean up after yourself especially if there is any chance that somebody else will get to the place where you were building your bottle before you come back from hiding it! If you did cast a circle before starting, take it down. Remember to ground yourself (if you are creating the bottle at the place where you’re hiding it, you can do this afterwards).

Travel to the hiding place and hide your Witch-bottle in a suitable manner. Banishing words suit the situation well and if you don’t know how or don’t want to use traditional banishing spells or something similar, you can even swear like a drunken sailor! You can bury the bottle upside down, putting more nasties in the hole you buried around the bottle before covering it all up. If you are hiding the bottle somewhere inside your home, hide it the right way up.

Wiccan Version

The Wiccan versions of the Witch-bottle which follow are more suitable for the Wiccan view of the world, magick and ethics. They are often intended to capture the negative energies or prevent it from ever arriving and – what’s important – prevent it to harm the home and its inhabitants. Many of these Wiccan versions are very much like the basic bottle described above, so it isn’t necessary to repeat everything over. However, you can use wine, (apple) vinegar or blessed (salted) water instead or in addition to urine. The nails used may be new, etc.

Many Wiccan Witch-bottles use herbs, with the herbs being chosen according to their magickal qualities. There are sometimes very specific instructions given for the gathering of each herb and other items, including correct phases of the Moon. The herbs and other objects may be put in the bottle the previous day, letting the bottle stand by the witch’s bed over the night. In the morning, you can add (morning) urine to the bottle, after which the bottle is closed and sealed utilizing Wiccan rituals. Some instructions state that the bottle will be placed in a cupboard or closet, so you don’t necessarily have to carefully hide it.

The following instructions are a basic version of a Wiccan version of the Witch-bottle, using herbs. You can do everything using a longer/more complex or a shorter/simpler route, depending on your own inclinations. You can for example start collecting the necessary items on a given phase of the moon (for example on the day before New Moon) and perform the ritual on the next Dark Moon. Or, you can collect the items when you have time for it and build the bottle at any phase of the moon (with protective spells, you don’t always have to wait for the right phase of the moon – you do it when you have to). You can utter a suitable spell with every item added to the bottle, summoning the spirit of the item/accessory and meditate for a while – or you can speak your chosen words after the bottle is filled. You can make the bottle as part of a ritual, or you can construct a ritual especially for this occasion. One reason why I’m being so vague with the instructions is that I’m not Wiccan myself.

Materials

  • Bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap or lid
  • Sea salt
  • Crystal or stone, for example turquoise, obsidian or black onyx.
  • Herbs, for example acasia, aloe, lilies, lime, lotus, agrimony, corn, cayenne and black pepper, dried onion, salvia, frankincense, basil, mint, myrrh, garlic, rosemary, mistletoe, pine needles.
  • A few nails or needles
  • Wine, (apple) vinegar or urine
  • Thread
  • Black candle for sealing
  • The usual tools used in the ritual section

Preliminary Preparations

You can choose the herbs and crystals you are going to use according to their special qualities or use some of those I’ve listed. You can also use a drop or two of an essential oil instead of a herb. You can choose the number of herbs and solid items in general (in this case, essential oil is counted as “solid”) to put in the bottle on numerological grounds either so that the number of all solid items is a specific one, or that you will use a certain number of herbs. Suitable numbers are 7, connected to protection, or 9, connected with the Goddess.

Gather the necessary items. Clean the bottle you are going to use. Wash it with warm soapy water carefully (if you can use a specific soap made for protective purposes, so much the better) and dry it well. You can leave the bottle over night in the light of a full moon to charge it. Choose a place to hide the bottle. For a bottle to be filled as part of a ritual or ritually, it is a good thing to have all the necessary tools at hand, on your alter. You can also construct your ritual and spells and chants beforehand.

The purpose of the crystal (which isn’t absolutely necessary, the list is given as an example – including the liquid items) is to use it’s magickal qualities, the same goes with the herbs. The salt is there to purify and bless the target of the Witch-bottle (the person(s), home to be protected). The nails and needles ground the negative energy and you can also visualize it being then sent back to its sender, threefold. The thread tangles the negative energy in a knot similar to what you are tangling the thread into and to bend the energies away from the builder of the bottle. You can also visualize the negativity tripping over to the thread. The urine represents the builder of the bottle. When using wine or vinegar you can visualize the negative energies drowning in the liquid, with vinegar acting as a purifying element as well.

The Actual Making of the Bottle

If you’re constructing the bottle as part of a ritual, you can perform the ritual opening as usual.

Start filling the bottle with the salt. After the salt, add needles or nails, bent or straight. After this, it’s time to add the herbs. The crystals and the thread you’ve tangled into a “ball” can be added next. If you are adding liquids, that is done after the solid items.

When the bottle is otherwise finished, you can raise energies with a suitable chant (I’ve seen the traditional “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna” recommended for this purpose) and directing it into the bottle, after which you close the bottle and seal it with the wax of the candle.

End your ritual as usual and bury the bottle into a suitable place or otherwise hide it. You can burn incense on the hiding place to seal the spell properly.

Witch-Bottle to Show Off

Witch-bottles that are intended to be left out in plain sight are not usually made to that much protect their makers, but to bring the one who has cast this bottled spell something she or he wants. The usual reasons are the reasons so common with other types of spell as well: the wish the gain more love, material gains, happiness, creativity.

I won’t give any specific instructions, only basic principles:

Select the bottle or jar used according to its color, shape or the simple fact that it is pleasing to the eye. Go through the magical qualities of herbs, colors, essential oils, metals, crystals etc and choose the ones you’ll use in the bottle according to how well they suit your intended purpose. You won’t normally use any liquids (except for a few drops of essential oils) in bottles left in the open, they are “dry bottles”. Aim for a harmonious whole. That means: don’t try to squeeze in your bottle every single herb or crystal associated with, for example, wealth. Too much is too much!

Pick a few suitable herbs or oils, one suitable crystal, one suitable color. To represent the color you can add (silk) ribbon to the bottle or tie a ribbon around it, or paint a symbol representing your goals with the chosen color. You can also make a “hat” to cover the lid of the bottle, making it out of black cloth and painting a symbol on it with fabric paint or magic marker, or use the color of your spell as the color of this “hat”. You can use colors as colored sands or salts. Even metals have their own magickal correspondences, so you might want to use metal dust or chips.

If you are following the phases of the moon or other celestial objects in your magick, take them into consideration while constructing the bottle. It is up to the bottle’s maker whether to use a formal ritual or not.

As a basic principle, it could be suggested that sands (and metal dust/chips) usually go to the bottom, herbs and oils on the sand and the crystal in with the herbs.

Final Words

You can easily develop a large number of versions of the basic Witch-bottle to suit your (and others’) needs and life situations. Even during the time historical Witch-bottles were in use, there were new versions being developed, so why not today?! There is no One True Witch-bottle (even though there probably are people who would like to claim so), only bottles more like the traditional ones and bottles of more modern variety. I have run into all kinds of bottles myself, some being love-raising bottles on the brink of going over the level of good taste and ethics (some actually going overboard) to bottles constructed to bind a given bad person very tightly. The many varieties speaks volumes for how effective this type of spell work can be and how versatile it is.

[1] Oxoniana, vol. i. p. 232, tells how the bottle got its name: “One of the Fellows of Exeter (College), when Dr Prideaux was rector, sent his servitor, after nine o’clock at night, with a large bottle to fetch some ale from the alehouse. When he was coming home with it under his gown the proctor met him, and asked him what he did out so late, and what he had under his gown? The man answered that his master had sent him to the stationers to borrow Bellarmine, which book he had under his arm; and so he went home. Whence a bottle with a big belly is called a Bellarmine to this day, 1667.”

Originally published in Finnish in Vox Paganorum Also available at The Cauldron.

4
May

The Chalice vs. the Blade

   Posted by: Scrivener Tags:

Riane Eisler describes how humankind once lived in a caring, sharing environment. That period, which lasted for tens of thousands of years, survived, though barely, just into historical times. It was characterized by a worship of the divine feminine as represented by the chalice in the title of Eisler’s book.

In a blink of the eye, historically speaking, that environment was brutally overthrown and replaced with the beginnings of the patriarchy in which we live today. Those who overthrew this golden age worshipped not life and creativity, but death and destruction; in short, the blade. Those in power today continue to worship that blade, which has been changed by the rapid rise of technology into the lethal systems that could end all life on the planet in a matter of days or hours.

The premise of The Chalice and the Blade is that the rapid transition from a partnership society to a male dominator society was the result of the sociological equivalent of a “critical bifurcation point” in Chaos theory. Eisler explains in some detail how the currently popular scientific theory applies to that sudden shift into darkness that occurred approximately six or seven thousand years ago. However, she also goes on to propose that we once again face a critical bifurcation point; that we live in an exciting, dangerous time in which we can just as rapidly overthrow our hierarchically controlled patriarchal system and replace it with a technologically advanced model of the partnership system in which both genders work together to emphasize the nurturing side of life.

That’s the theory, anyway.

I found the early part of The Chalice and the Blade fascinating. Eisler frequently quotes such notables as Marija Gimbutas and James Mellaart, whose archaeological findings are the supporting pillars in Wiccan/Pagan cosmology. In fact, my only complaint about the first two-thirds of the book is that Eisler often refers to specific photos in the books of those two authors, but does not reproduce the photos in The Chalice and the Blade. Not a problem if you have the other works at hand; however, not everyone does.

About a third of the way from the end of the book, however, I began to lose interest. This is the point at which Eisler begins to explain how our age has reached that critical point in which we can effect a rapid transformation of our patriarchal (dominator) society into anything we want–in particular, the partnership model that would truly represent a maturing of our species. So why did I lose interest? Eisler’s theory is the stuff of dreams.

I would give almost anything to return to a Chalice-oriented social structure. However, Eisler just didn’t convince me that we have reached that critical bifurcation point. She labors long on man’s cruelty to woman and what things might be like; too long, by a good measure. Of course, in the vernacular of the internet, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Having lived in those heady days of revolution known as the sixties, I’m a little more realistic about the pace at which change occurs. However, those days also taught me that persistence is how to bring change about. For that reason, I can criticize Eisler for her verbosity, but not her persistence.

If you’ve read Mellaart and Gimbutas, you might want to pass on reading The Chalice and the Blade. However, if your Goddess history is a little weak, you should take a look at this book to fill in the gaps. ~ Yona

*****

Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade was one of several books by feminist scholars released in the late 1980’s that tried to sketch out the origins of patriarchy in order to suggest ways that it might be ended. Like Marilyn French’s Beyond Power and Gerda Lerner’s The Creation of Patriarchy, Eisler asserts that patriarchy is built on particular symbol and value reversals – the Great Mother Goddess, primary symbol for the divine source of being and associated with peace and compassion, is marginalized and then discarded entirely, while a masculine war god is raised in her place. Of these three similar books, however, Eisler’s is by far the shortest, simplest, and easiest to read, which may account for its continuing popularity and multiple reprintings since its initial publication in 1987. At the time of writing, the book has sold over 500,000 copies and has inspired a similar study of China edited by Min Jiayin, The Chalice and the Blade in Chinese Culture.

Eisler uses the symbols of chalice and blade to stand for two competing sets of values and models of society. The chalice stands for a style of social structure that Eisler calls the partnership model, in which relations between the sexes are understood primarily in terms of partnership rather than hierarchy. The resulting society is egalitarian, peaceful, and matrifocal, centered on the nurturing values traditionally associated with mothers. Using a variety of archaeological studies, Eisler claims that such societies existed in Neolithic Europe from the beginning of the agricultural revolution until around 5000-3000 BCE, when warlike invaders from the fringes of these regions conquered them. These invaders’ social model, which Eisler calls the dominator model, is warlike, hierarchical, and organized around patterns of domination. Sex, race, class, and other characteristics are used to rank individuals in a social pecking order, which is then kept in place with the threat of violence. This model is generally associated with a male god and with the glorification of the ability to take life, in contrast to the partnership model’s sacralization of women’s ability to give life through birth. Eisler also coins more technical-sounding terms to describe the dimension of gender in these models: she calls the principle of the partnership model gylany, which is intended to invoke the linking of the two sexes, while she refers to dominator societies as practicing androcracy, the rule of men by force.

For Eisler, history is the keystone of her argument, her proof that because partnership societies existed in the past, they might be achievable again in the future (xv). She uses Minoan Crete as her primary illustration of a partnership society, and draws on archaeologists James Mellaart and Marija Gimbutas to argue that the worship of a single Great Goddess was the shared religion of all of Neolithic Europe. The following chapters turn to cultural and art history, as she examines the literature of the ancient Greeks and Hebrews to find myths suggesting remnants of usurped female power. Her particular proof texts include the story of Adam and Eve, in which Eve is tempted to eat the fruit of knowledge by a serpent, a symbol associated with Goddess worship in several ancient cultures of the region, and the Greek Oresteia, in which the Furies are stripped of their power to punish the murder of a mother by a son when Athena sides with the gods against the goddesses.

Eisler’s ultimate aim, however, is not historical but normative. The chapters on archaeology and cultural history serve as a background for her insistence that with the invention of the atomic bomb, humanity has reached an evolutionary crossroads. Human society must turn again to a gylanic model of association and embrace its values, because to continue along the path of androcracy is likely to lead to nuclear war. The remainder of the book is devoted to what Eisler calls Cultural Transformation theory, and sketches out mechanisms by which transformation from a dominator model of society to a partnership one can be accomplished. Among her observations is a criticism of the rigid sexual stereotypes that she sees as a necessary part of a dominator society, as well as the claim that the rise of women’s status in a given society is highly correlated with its overall quality of life.

Although Eisler’s goals are admirable, her assertion that history provides the proof for her arguments is dangerous due to the poor quality of her scholarship. Much of the archeology that she relies on for her argument has been discredited by later scholars, particularly the work of Marija Gimbutas. Even in the case of Crete where the material evidence is suggestive of an egalitarian society, Eisler’s claims are grossly overstated. She makes far-reaching statements about social structure, the nature of Minoan religion, and the relations between the sexes essentially on the basis of a limited set of paintings, buildings, and figurines. In contrast to most contemporary archaeologists, who are hesitant to make any certain claims about the Neolithic due to limited data, here the speculations of a few now-discredited archaeologists are reported as proven fact. The lack of illustrations in The Chalice and the Blade prevents the reader from coming to her own conclusions about the artifacts on which so much of Eisler’s argument rests. Further, Eisler’s cultural history is both oversimplified and full of minor errors. For example, in analyzing the two creation stories of Genesis, she attributes the first story (in which man and woman are created simultaneously) to an earlier, more egalitarian source, while the second story (of Eve being created from Adam’s rib) is considered a later androcentric addition. Contemporary biblical scholarship, however, dates the second story hundreds of years earlier than the first. The simultaneous-creation story which Eisler admires is actually part of the priestly tradition that, a page before, she portrayed as an androcentric conspiracy, carefully editing out evidence of egalitarianism from the biblical text (85-86). Finally, despite Eisler’s frequent insistence that it is not men per se, but rather the sacralization of killing and death that creates dominator societies, her model nevertheless perpetuates the very “war between the sexes” that she seeks to end – pitting the nurturing, womblike chalice of the Goddess against the destructive, phallic blade of Yahweh and other war gods. In her tendency to strongly associate women and mothering with her desirable model, she potentially marginalizes men by failing to effectively model positive images of masculine power. Under a system where Mother is God, can men legitimately be anything but children?[1]

Postscript: Riane Eisler was born in Vienna, but was forced to flee with her family to Cuba and then to the United States in response to the Nazi occupation of Austria. She holds degrees in sociology and law from the University of California, and is currently president of the Center for Partnership Studies, a non-profit organization dedicated to realizing Eisler’s vision of cultural transformation. Its work includes programs against violence in intimate relationships, designing partnership-style educational techniques for children and adolescents, economic activism, and public education on the research of Eisler and her associates.

Works Consulted

The Center for Partnership Studies [online]. Cited 24 Apr 2004. Available from World Wide Web: (http://www.partnershipway.org/).

Conkey, Margaret W., and Ruth E. Tringham. “Archaeology and the Goddess: Exploring the Contours of Feminist Archaeology.” Feminisms in the Academy, eds. Domna C. Stanton and Abigail J. Stewart. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1998.

Donaldson, Laura E., reviewer. “The Course of Co-Creation” (The Chalice and the Blade book review). Cross Currents 40 (Spring 1990): 124-6.

Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade. With special epilogue for 25th printing. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1987 [1995].

Patton, Laurie L. “The Chalice and the Blade (book review).” Anglican Theological Review 70 (July 1988): 287-290.

Ruether, Rosemary Radford. “The Chalice and the Blade (book review).” Daughters of Sarah 15 (May-June 1989): 22-23.

 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven


 

    First Degree

Minimums for Initiation

 

  1. Be able to meditate and or maintain a trance state for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Be able to visualize the results of their magick.
  3. Be cognizant of their heritage
    1. Be able to converse intelligently about the major traditions in Wicca
    2. Know the major historical figures in Wicca
    3. Understand that while Wicca may have sprung into existence in the 1950’s, that it’s roots lie with Goddess worship and witchcraft techniques which extend back to at least Paleolithic times.
    4. Be passably well read on the heritage of their life-path and be able to discuss Wicca intelligently.
  4. Have an awareness of Deity
    1. Know what Deity means to themselves and others.
    2. Have a passing familiarity with differing religious pantheons in order to better define their personal relationship to Deity and to further understanding of others on a different path.
    3. Be aware of their God and Goddess.
    4. Know the steps to take to further their spirituality.
  5. Be able to function as a competent solitaire.
    1. Understand how Wicca is a lifestyle and not just a religion.
      1. Be familiar with the laws of Karma.
      2. Understand at least in a limited fashion the concept of living lightly and deep ecology.
    2. As a Wiccan, know your responsibilities to society.
    3. Understand the Wheel of the Year.
    4. Know the lore connected with the Sabbats and be able to observe the Sabbats and Esbats.
    5. Be confident in their ability to conduct rituals.
  6. Have a passing familiarity with numerous magickal systems so that if they should decide to pursue further experience in magick the student will know how to proceed.
  7. Have a thorough understanding of the basic symbolism of the Circle including,
    1. Casting the circle, calling the quarters, and invocation of deities.
    2. Altar arrangement
    3. Must have obtained proper ritual wear as put forth in the laws and know why you are required to wear a robe in ritual.
    4. Be well versed in Circle protocol and etiquette.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to write a full Sabbat or Esbat ritual. (teachers choice)
  9. Know the Sabbats, dates, mythos and symbolism behind them.
  10. Know the Esbats, what they stand for and how they are used magickally.
  11. Choose a healing art and demonstrate a beginning knowledge of it.
  12. General knowledge of the power of symbols. (May include some runes).
  13. Demonstrate a general knowledge of one magickal alphabet.
  14. Demonstrate the ability to cast a circle, create sacred space, and perform basic ritual of teachers choice.
  15. Display a passing competency of one form of form of divination.
  16. Receive a recommendation of secession from the HPS, the HP or at least one member of the coven council.
  17. Demonstrate the ability to write and cast a spell of your choosing.
  18. Complete a paper on what you believe a First Degree is and why you want to advance to that level.
  19. Know the differences between Witches and Pagans.

 

` Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of

humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the

Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves.

Therefore, be it noted that:

1. Chivalry is a high code of honor which is of most ancient Pagan origin, and must

be lived by all who follow the old ways.

2. It must be kenned that thoughts and intent put forth on this Middle Earth will

wax strong in other worlds beyond and return… bringing into creation, on this

world, that which had been sent forth. Thus one should exercise discipline, for “as

ye plant, so shall ye harvest.”

3. It is only by preparing our minds to be as Gods that we can ultimately attain

godhead.

4. “This above all… to thine own self be true…”

5. A Witch’s word must have the validity of a signed and witnessed oath. Thus,

give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron.

6. Refrain from speaking ill of others, for not all truths of the

matter may be known.

7. Pass not unverified words about another, for hearsay is, in large

part, a thing of falsehoods.

8. Be thou honest with others, and have them know that honesty is

likewise expected of them.

9. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one’s

head is a virtue.

10. Contemplate always the consequences of thine acts upon others.

Strive not to do harm.

11. Diverse covens may well have diverse views of love between members

and with others. When a coven, clan, or grove is visited or joined, one should

discern quietly their practices, and abide thereby.

12. Dignity, a gracious manner, and a good humor are much to be admired.

13. As a Witch, thou has power, and thy powers wax strongly as wisdom

increases. Therefore, exercise discretion in the use thereof.

14. Courage and honor endure forever. Their echoes remain when the

mountains have crumbled to dust.

15. Pledge friendship and fealty to those who so warrant. Strengthen

others of the Brethren and they shall strengthen thee.

16. Thou shalt not reveal the secrets of another Witch or Coven. Others have labored

long and hard for them, and cherish them as treasures.

1804

17. Though there may be differences among those of the Old Ways, those

who are once-born must see nothing, and must hear nothing.

18. Those who follow the mysteries should be above reproach in the eyes of the

world.

19. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and within

reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom.

20. Have pride in thyself and seek perfection in body and in mind. For

the Lady has said, “How canst thou honor another unless thou give honor to thyself

first?”

21. Those who seek the Mysteries should consider themselves the select

of the Gods, for it is they would lead the race of humankind to the highest of

thrones and beyond the very stars.


Following is a Dark Moon ritual written by one of our second-degree students. This ritual was performed by our coven on October 7th, 2010.

Dark Moon Ritual

Oct 7, 2010

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven & School of Wicca, Wytchecraft, & Magick

You will need these items:

General Items:

Altar facing East

Bell

Incense

Ritual Cakes

Wine or Ale

God/Goddess Candles

White Goddess Candle

Illumination Candle

Quarter Candles – Green (North), Yellow (East), Red (South), Blue (West)

Matches or Lighter

Athame, Sword or Wand

Besom

Chalice

Libation Plate

Cauldron

Ritual Specific Items:

Paper

Pen

Cleansing Sacred Space

(Maiden sweeps – with circular widdershins motions _ widdershins about the ritual area.  When she is satisfied that enough negativity has been removed, she sets the besom aside.

Next, she lights the white Full Moon Mother Candle.

Finally, the maiden checks the layout of the altar making sure that the altar is divided between male objects on the right – God Candle, censer, incense, HP’s athame/sword/wand, and besom – and female objects on the left- Goddess Candle, cauldron, bowl of water, bowl of salt, chalice, libation plate, bell, and the HPS’ athame/sword/wand.  The pentacle should be placed forward and between the Goddess and God Candles.  The maiden also ensures that the chalice is filled and the “cakes” are on the plate.  When these tasks are completed, she assists the HPS in any other way deemed necessary.)

Attunement

All:

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,

Whose breath gives life to all the world.

Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice

Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.

Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.

Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy

Myself.

Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

Charge at the Pentacle

(HPS and HP stand before the altar, the HP is on the right and the HPS is on the left.  Both of them place their right hands on the pentacle, asking the Goddess and the God for strength, wisdom, and guidance.)

Call to the Circle

(HPS rings the bell to call everyone to the circle.)

HPS: This time is not a time; this place is not a place; this day is not a day; and this night is not a          night.  I stand at the threshold between the                 worlds.  I stand ready to part the     veil of mysteries.  May the Great Spirit help and protect us on this journey.  May the Buffalo,            Guardian of Spirit, show us the sacred path and may Hecate protect and bless us all.

Blessed Be!

All: So mote it be!

Consecration of the Elements

Blessing the Salt

(HPS places the dish of salt upon the pentacle)

HPS: I consecrate thee, creature of salt, seasoning of the hearth, gift of Mother Earth.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

(HPS removes the dish of salt from the pentacle and then places the dish of water upon the pentacle.  Then she takes the salt, and using her athame, drops into the water three measures of salt.  She stirs the water three times with the tip of her athame.  HPS sets the salt aside.)

Blessing the Water

HPS: I consecrate thee, creature of water, vessel of our emotions, gift of Mother Earth.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

(HPS removes the dish of water from the pentacle.)

Blessing the Fire

(HP places the censer upon the pentacle.)

HP: I consecrate thee, creature of fire, that which brings  our passions and desires, a gift of Father Sky.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

Blessing the Air

(HP adds the incense to the censer upon the pentacle.)

HP: I consecrate thee, creature of air, who carries our thoughts and words to the stars, a gift of  Father Sky.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

(HP sets aside the censer.)

Circle Casting

By Earth

(HPS draws her athame, HP and HPS proceed doesil around the circle, beginning in the East, with the HPS holding the athame pointed at the perimeter of the circle.)

HPS: I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, to be a meeting place of love, joy and truth.  A boundary between the worlds of men and the Realms of the Mighty Ones.  A rampart and protection against all wickedness, that shall both contain and entertain the powers that shall be raised within.  Wherefore do I consecrate thee, in the names of Lugh and Hecate.

Strengthening the Circle

By Water

(Sprinkles the salt and water mixture around the Circle.)

Witch 1: Rain of water and salt sprinkled upon the ground, protect us from wickedness and make our magick sound.

By Air

(Takes the incense around the Circle.)

Witch 2:   Into the night sky, incense smoke roil, rise and writhe.  Sunder us from the mundane like a scythe.

By Fire

(Takes the candle around the Circle.)

Witch 3: Fire shine true and bright.  Aid, grant clarity of sight.  Mayest the Gods be with us this night.

Calling the Quarters

East: Hail and welcome, Hawk, Guardian of the East, messenger, protector and visionary of Air.  You, who awakens vision and brings our creativity to bear.  Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Air.)

North: Hail and welcome, Tortoise, Guardian of the Earth, symbol of goddess energy and eternity.  You , who slows down the pace of life and supplies limitless energy.  Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Earth.)

West: Hail and welcome, Otter, Guardian of the West, bringer of joy, laughter and sharing.  You, who awakens our inner child and leads our burdens to bury.   Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Water.)

South: Hail and welcome, Wolf, Guardian of the South, protector, teacher and Spirit if Fire.  You, who brings intuition and inner strength to our life.  Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Fire.)


Drawing Down the Moon

Invocation to the Goddess

(HPS assumes the Goddess position.)

HPS: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Mother Earth, bringer of light, the Triple Goddess, Hecate.

On this New Moon Night we celebrate you and the gathering in of the harvest.

Hecate, please come unto me with your light, and grant me your wisdom’s might.

(HPS lights the Goddess Candle.)

(HP stands before the HPS.  HPS draws the invoking pentagram before the HP.)

HPS: Of the Mother, darksome and divine,

Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss;

The five-point star of love and bliss-

Here I charge you in this sign.

(HP stands aside.)

Charge of the Goddess

HP: Now listen to the words of the Great Mother,  who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine,       Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other      names.

HPS: Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all witches.

There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these I will teach things that are as yet unknown.

And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.  For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on Earth; for my law is love unto all beings.

Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it, let naught stop you    or turn you aside; for mine is the secret door which opens upon the land of  youth, and mine is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality.

I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man.  Upon Earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before.

Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the Earth.

HP: Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess: she is the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe.

HPS: I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon upon the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe, from me all things proceed and unto me they must return.  Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.  And you who seek to know me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery:  for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Drawing Down the Sun

Invocation to the God

(HP assumes the God position.)

HP: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Father Sky, Lord of the Sun, Lugh.

Keeper of the harvest and guardian of the gates of Death, we celebrate you this New Moon night.

O Lugh, please come unto me, and grant me your wisdom’s might.

(HP lights the God Candle.)

(HPS stands before the HP.  HP draws the invoking pentagram before the HPS.)

HP: I am the stag of seven tines,

Lord of the Underworld, darksome and divine,

Mine is the realm of shadow sublime.

Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss,

The five-point star of love and bliss-

Here I charge you in this sign.

(HPS stands aside.)

Charge of the God

HPS: Listen to the words of the Horned God, the Guardian of all things wild  and free, and the Keeper of the Gates of Death, whose Call all must  heed:

HP: I am the fire within your heart… The yearning of your soul.  I am the Hunter of Knowledge and the Seeker of the Holy Quest;  I who stand in the darkness of light; I am He whom you have called Death.  I am the Consort and Mate of Her whom we adore, call forth to Me.

Heed my call beloved ones, come unto me and learn the secrets of death and peace.  I am the corn at harvest and the fruit on the trees.  I am He   who leads you home.  Scourge and Flame, Blade and Blood, these are mine own gifts to thee.

Call unto me in the forest wild and on hilltop bare and seek me in the Darkness Bright.  I who have been called: Pan, Herne, Osiris, Cernunnos, and Hades, speak to thee in thy search.  Come dance and sing; come live and smile; for behold, this is my worship.

You are My children and I am thy Father.  On swift night wings, it is I who lay you at the Mother’s feet to be reborn and to return again.

Thou who thinks to seek me, know that I am the untamed wind, the fury of storm, and the passion in your soul.  Seek me with pride and humility, but seek me best with love and strength.

For this is my path, and I love not the weak and fearful.  Hear my call on long Winter nights, and we shall stand together guarding Her Earth as She sleeps.

Statement of Purpose

Good Evening and Welcome to our New Moon Ritual.  Tonight we are going to face our fears and magickally rid ourselves of at least one.  Fears are the biggest stumbling block to our spiritual progression.  They inhibit our being able to become the best person we can be.  Overcoming our fears and working towards strengthening ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually is our lifetime goal.  So we are going to go outside and meditate on our greatest personal fear, then we are going to come back in, write it down on a piece of paper and banish it in smoke, fire and ash.

Power Raising

(HPS & HP lead the coven in the Witches Rune)

WITCHES RUNE

Darksome night and shining moon,

Hearken to the witches’ rune.

East then South, West then North,

Here, Come, I call thee forth.

By all the powers of land and sea.

Be obedient unto me.

Wand and Pentacle and Sword,

Hearken ye unto my word,

Cords and Censor, Scourge and Knife,

Waken all ye unto life.

Powers of the Witches’ Blade,

Come ye as the charge is made.

Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell,

Send your aid unto the spell.

Horned Hunter of the night,

Work my will by magick rite.

By all the powers of land and sea,

As I do say “So mote it be”.

By all the might of Moon and Sun,

As I do, my will be done.

(IF she likes, the HPS may have the coven chant the Eko Eko chant three times)

All: Eko Eko Azarak

Eko Eko Zomelak

Zod Ru Koz E Zod Ru Koo

Zod Ru Goz E Goo Ru Moo

Eeo EEo Hoo Hoo Hoo

Eko Eko Azarak

Eko Eko Zomelak

Eko Eko Lugh

Eko Eko Hecate

Main Working

Banishing Fear

The HPS opens a door in the Circle for the coven to exit and then closes it from the outside.  The coven proceeds to go outside and choose a spot away from others in the dark to sit and meditate on their fears.  When they have chosen the fear that they wish to banish the coven returns to the Circle.  The HPS opens a door in the Circle, the coven enters and then the HPS closes the door to the Circle again.  The Maiden hands out the pens and pieces of paper.  The members write down the fear they want to banish and folds the paper in quarters. One at a time the coveners light the paper with the Illumination candle, and place it in the cauldron, as they say:

COVENER: With Fire and Flame, Smoke and Air,

Take away the fear I bear.

In its place I see the light,

Return to me the power of might.

With Fire and Flame, Smoke and Air,

Take away the fear I bear.

In its place I see the light.

Return to me the power of might.

With Fire and Flame, Smoke and Air,

Take away the fear I bear.

In its place I see the light,

Return to me the power of might.

The Great Rite (symbolic)

(HPS takes the Chalice and the HP stands before her holding his athame over the chalice.)

HPS: You are the Spear of Lugh.

(HP lowers his athame into the chalice.)

HP: You are the Goddess of the Moon.

HPS/HP: And together we are one.

Consecration of the Wine and Cakes

(HPS places the chalice on the pentacle and lowers her athame into it while saying…)

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing thirst.

(HPS removes the chalice and replaces it with the libation plate.  Touching the cakes with her athame she says…)

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing hunger.

Simple Feast

(HPS takes the plate of cakes, HP takes the chalice.  They serve each covener and then each other using the following words and responses.)

HPS: May you never know hunger.

Covener: Blessed Be!

HP: May you never know thirst.

Covener: Blessed Be!

(When everyone has been served the HPS places the cakes that are left into the chalice with the wine.  HPS raises the chalice in both hands, saying…)

HPS: To the Gods!

All: To the Gods!

Closing the Circle

Release of the Goddess

(HPS faces the altar.)

HPS: Hecate, Mother of the Earth,

Triple Goddess, our time with you has passed too soon.

We thank you for the blessings of this night,

For friends and mentors, who show us the light.

For all that You are,

For all that we may one day be,

We salute and thank Thee.

Alas, our time together now is past,

We bid thee farewell.

Stay if you will and join our repast.

Leave us if you must.

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

(HPS extinguishes the Goddess Candle.)

Release of the God

(HP faces the altar.)

HP: Lugh, Father of the Sky,

Mate of she who lights our night, our time with you has passed too soon.

We thank you for the blessings of this night,

For your guidance and strength, and your wisdom’s might.

For all that You are,

For all that we may one day be,

We salute and thank Thee.

Alas, our time together now is past,

We bid thee farewell.

Stay if you will and join our repast.

Leave us if you must.

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

(HP extinguishes the God Candle.)

Release of the Quarters

South:   Hail, Wolf, Guardian of the South.  We thank you  for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Fire.)

West:   Hail, Otter, Guardian of the West.  We thank you for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Water.)

North:   Hail, Tortoise, Guardian of the North, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Earth.)

East:   Hail, Hawk, Guardian of the East.  We thank you for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Air.)

Opening the Circle

(HPS walks around the Circle widdershins three times while saying the following words.)

HPS: O Circle of Power, as I have conjured thee; I now release your energies  into this blade.

Where there was once a rampart between this world and the Otherworld, the rampart is no more.  Once again, our realms are separate.  However, the love and joy with which we met here tonight remains undiminished.

(HPS grounds the energy from the athame into the Earth and then rejoins the HP at the altar.)

HPS: As the Night gives way to Day,

As the Winter Must yield to Spring,

As Youth must turn to Age,

And as the Magickal returns to the Mundane,

So must tonight’s ritual come to an end.

We met here tonight in love and joy,

Take that love and joy with you when you depart.

May you always walk in Beauty.

The Circle is open but remains unbroken.

Blessed Be!

All: Blessed Be!

26
Aug

Demons: 1 – Pastor: 0

   Posted by: Scrivener

At last, I get to return to writing articles which are at least tangentially connected to Wicca and Magick. I’m sorry if the last few of my posts sounded as though they’d been written by Gordon Ramsay after a particularly bad day in Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately with a failed job search and the resultant financial anxiety, my wife’s illness and my own health concerns, the day-to-day rigors of running a coven, and just having to put up with stupid people doing idiotic things (and I thought we’d corralled all the idiots in Florida.)

Today’s lesson is about those bible-thumping, hallelujahing, forever trying to find Jesus with their GPS, Christian Radicals. In fact, there are so many of these aberrations in and around Warner Robins, that I’ve coined a new word: WRadical. ‘W’,’R’, Warner Robins—get it? Or I suppose the ‘W’ ‘R’ could also stand for Wacky Religious Right. Okay, so that’s two ‘R’s. Perhaps we could use WR2 then. Don’t get me wrong. As Wiccan, and especially as a Wiccan High Priest, I am and expect others in my coven to practice likewise, tolerance for all spiritual paths. Besides, if for no other reason, we should keep Baptists around for entertainment value.

As Wiccans, wytches, and warlocks—oh my—we’re expected to dress up in robes, chant, and dance about the occasional cauldron. But we’re Wiccan (Dark Moon Tradition to be exact) and people expect us to be on the fringes. However, just like in the song, Crosby is a member of ‘mainstream’ religions and “look[s] like a fine outstanding young man, I think [he’ll] do”. Therefore, like the tea party and all tea baggers, the wingnut right, fundamentalists and all repug-nicans, Crosby has focused on a non-issue and tried to make it of national import all for the sake of increasing the size of his flock. “[Picket] signs, [picket] signs, everywhere there’s [picket] signs fuckin’ up the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this [follow me], don’t [use that plywood demon], can’t you read the sign?”

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to school, a war for your very soul is being fought by fanatical fundamentalist Baptists against the forces of evil. That Evil— you must say it as though it were really evil—is to quote Mike Myers in “So I Married an Axe Murderer“, “Eee-vil as in Frui-its of the Dee-vil”, or as in Pastor Donald Crosby’s case, a demon. Just not any demon, mind you, but a spark shooting from his pitchfork, six foot tall, plywood high school football mascot.

That’s right—plywood. I bet your soul feels safer just knowing Crosby is on the case. Apparently, he’s an ‘ordained’ minister from the RAPP Bible Study Correspondence School. I didn’t make that up; see gkbministry [dot] com for his resume. From what I’ve found, the RAPP program is a literacy outreach program sponsored by the Calvary Baptist Church.

Even though RAPP sounds a bit like a correspondence school, as Wiccan clergy I don’t have a problem with that. Our own (Wiccan) history is filled with people of the like of Alexander Sanders and Gerald Gardner who if they couldn’t find a coven that suited them began their own tradition, or who sometimes cut corners as in filling missing parts of old rituals with ceremonial magick excerpts from the Golden Dawn. Therefore, realizing that religion is dynamic and not static and not always sanctioned by the status quo, and that all religions at one time were considered a cult (yes, even you holier-than-thou Christians—yes again that means you Baptists), I don’t have problem with Rev. Crosby’s ordination.

Below is a quoted summarization of the macon [dot] com article by Becky Purser.

WARNER ROBINS — A pastor who wants to get rid of the Demons mascot at Warner Robins High was arrested while picketing in front of the school on the first day of school Monday.

Donald Crosby, pastor of God’s Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Macon, was charged with disorderly conduct and picketing without a permit, both misdemeanors, after he refused to comply with officers requests to leave, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

Crosby, 36, was free on $650 bond.

Officers were dispatched to the school at 401 S. Davis Drive shortly after 7 a.m. in reference to the picketing, according to a Warner Robins police news release. Pugh said Crosby was among a group of about 30 people picketing against the school’s use of Demons as its mascot.

The group did not have a permit to picket, which is required by city ordinance, Pugh said. Crosby was told this, and officers offered to help him with the process of obtaining a permit but Crosby declined and would not leave, Pugh said. Crosby was arrested.

Crosby has been circulating petitions to have the mascot removed, he said, because demons represent evil and the mascot “gives evil a good face,” Crosby said. “Prayer had to leave but the demons can stay?”

Crosby said he has guardianship of a young man he considers a son who lives with him in Warner Robins and who is enrolled at Warner Robins High School. Crosby said the boy did not attend school the first day but is expected to start soon.

The police report stated that Crosby declined an invitation from Warner Robins police Maj. Harry Dennard to come back to his office where he would help Crosby prepare a request form for a permit.

According to the police report, Crosby declined the invitation and stated, “You’re just going to have to lock me up.”

The report also stated that Crosby told the crowd of picketers, “Let them lock all of you up.”

Crosby was arrested a second time a few days later and released after paying a $36 fine and posting yet another bond for $150.

The mascot mentioned is a red devil with horns wielding a pitchfork. A large version of the mascot is wheeled out to the end zone during football games. Sparks shoot from the pitchfork when Warner Robins scores. The mascot was named for the Air Force’s 7th Fighter Squadron when the school opened in 1946. The squadron was nicknamed the “Screamin’ Demons.”

I believe that as a religious leader (like me—High Priest and headmaster of the Circle of the Dark Moon School of Wicca, Wytchecraft, and Magick, I’m still getting over that one; just goes to show that the Gods do have a sense of humor) Pastor Crosby should choose his battles more carefully. If he wants more publicity for his church—fine—I can relate to that. But there are more positive ways to do that than attacking two of Warner Robins sacred cows: High School football, and the Air Force. For instance, maybe he could’ve taken that $850 and opened a food pantry to help the area’s hard hit unemployed. Perhaps he could’ve spent or donated that money to a local environmental group for cleaning up the Ocmulgee River. Finally, he could have taken that money, put on a little church open house/barbecue where he could’ve delivered a real spiritual message instead of tilting at demon windmills like a frocked Don Quixote.

However, the way he chose to instead spend that money did nothing to bolster the size of his flock, increase his credibility as a spiritual leader, or even to achieve his stated ends. In gamer parlance, he was ‘pwned‘ and failed—sort of like crashing and burning. Instead he’s been labeled the WRadical fringe so far to the right that it makes Rush Limbaugh look like a liberal and Fox like an unbiased news reporting network. For all the good that money did, Crosby may as well have used the money to wipe his rear end. Welcome to being a pariah, Preacher. We Wiccans, wytches, wizards, and warlocks have your back.

I wonder whether Crosby knows that in the game, World of Warcraft, a warlock can summon demons to do his/her bidding. Or for that matter, there are summoners among the WRadicals of Warner Robins who regularly call and consort with all manner of beings, demonic, angelic, and otherwise from the Far Planes and astral realms.

Q. How much do classes cost?
A. There is no cost for classes.

Q. Where do I attend classes?
A. We hold both in-person classes (we’re located in Warner Robins, GA) and online classes.

Q. Do I need any books?
A. Both the online and in person classes we use the following books:

The Real Witches Craft by Kate West,
The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penzak,
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland,
Wicca: the Complete Craft by DJ Conway.

The book list varies by year to year and depends on the degree program. It’s not necessary buy any of the books. I rarely give
reading assignments. While I base my lectures on the above listed books, lecture content is not exclusively from said sources.

Q. How do the online classes work? You just email me a lesson and then maybe I get to hear from an instructor once in a while–
right?
A. No, teachers and students interact just as though they were in a classroom. The online classes use Skype. Skype is a program which
allows student and teacher to converse and to see each other over the internet. To use Skype, you’ll have to download the client
program from http://Skype.com.

Q. When are classes held?
A. The in person classes are held Saturdays at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Q. What time are the online classes held?
Online classes are held Sundays at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

Q. What else can you tell me about the classes?
A. Class duration is usually one to one and a half hours long. The class format is a mixture of lectures based on reading material, and
our own experience coupled with teachings specific to the Dark Moon Tradition, and student participation. Additionally, we try to be
as hands-on as possible when it comes to things like herbalism, divination, and other ‘crafty’ types of activities. Additionally as part
of their training, our second-degree students will from time to time teach a class. One of the students will also be assigned to
mentor you. Not to say you won’t be able to email or call me with questions should you want to do so.

Q. How do I get setup for the online classes?
A. After you’ve downloaded and installed Skype, you’ll also have to register an account with http://skype.com. The software and
registration is free. Once you have your account set up, execute the Skype program and sign in—via the program not the web—and
send a request to add CircleOfTheDarkMoon as a contact. When we receive your request, we’ll add you as a contact and add you to
our class group and then on Sundays at 3:00 PM ET, we’ll initiate the call. So what you need to do on Sunday is load Skype, log in
via the program, and wait for a call from CIRCLEOFTHEDARKMOON and then answer it. After that things work pretty much the same
as any other conference call except we’ll be using computers, web cams, microphones, and earphones or speakers.  computers,
web cams, microphones, and earphones or speakers.

Q. Do I need any special hardware to participate in the online classes?
A. Even if you don’t have a web cam, you can still use Skype with just speakers and microphones or a headphone/microphone combo set.

However, we recommend getting a cheap headphone/microphone combination set available at Best Buy or similar stores for around
$40. The reason for that is with headphones, we don’t have the problem of feedback from the PC speakers.

Q. Does it cost anything to use Skype?
A. No, don’t worry about buying Skype credit or any of the other crap they want to sell you. The part of Skype we’re using is a free
service.

Q. How do I set up Skype?
A. You will need to tell Skype what type of microphone/webcam/speakers you’re using. You do that via the options tab on Skype. The
Skype website has fairly good instructions for setting up your hardware. If you’re having real difficulties, contact us and we’ll assist
you.

Q. Anything else?
A. Be sure to register with this forum. The Wytcheboard page is part of the Circle of the Dark Moon web site, and such is where we put
upload class handouts and where you can ask questions of all the members.

Q. What if I want to attend in person classes?
A. Contact us for registration for in person classes.

Signifigator (Your innate characteristics):

Strength

You face trials ahead but with head held high, you are able to grasp firmly your destiny. You will master the forces within you.

Objects in Your Dream:

Poster from the movie “Blow”:

10 of Cups

You fear that your former life of abusing drugs or being associated with the drug world will destroy your happiness

Broken Headboard:

10 of Pentacles (rev)

You have a hard time letting go of things that no longer serve your best interests: e.g. broken relationships, things you’ve lost but may never find again, your own doubts and fears.

Oreos & Milk:

5 of Swords (rev)

In your past there was a conflict and while you were victorious you paid a high price for your victory—loss of childhood innocence or something that represents former happiness.

Transition Card (influences People in Dream):

Queen of Swords (rev)

Trying to find meaning and even demanding that there must be a meaning to what happened to you in the past is a fruitless endeavor.

People in Your Dreams

You smoking marijuana:

Knight of Cups (rev)

Be wary of falling into old habits for doing this could jeopardize future happiness. Or, this could simple be a fear of that happening. You seem to have a lot of emotional baggage from your past.

Your Friend, Amanda:

Queen of Pentacles

Amanda represents a time when you were happier and things seemed simpler and everything made sense. Now, you are feeling very confused and are unsure of what to do.

You & Amanda:

9 of Swords (rev)

Here again, Amanda represents something from your past or a sense of loss. I feel that you are almost nostalgic about something and are desperately trying to regain it. Your heart is crossed and you can’t see your way to solve this problem or resolve some old conflict. Until you are able to do this you will be blocked from true wisdom and emotional calm.

Transition Card (influences Symbols or the Deepest Meanings of your Dreams):

Knight of Pentacles (rev)

You need a rest or currently are in limbo about something. However, don’t hang on to the past too long or spend too much time searching for meaning in your past for your future will require your attention for your future holds abundance or fertility if only you can adapt to your changing environment.

Symbols in Your Dreams

A Wall (appeared twice):

The Devil

You have misplaced blame. Take responsibility for what happened and move forward. You’ve been using these feelings like a wall to prop up a false sense of being a victim thus creating an imbalance in your life. The wall is a barrier you must move through to create a new you.

Castle:

The Emperor

A castle and an emperor or a king appears in your dream. But the emperor like the castle has decayed and fallen into ruin. You have weakened the foundation of your life or perhaps your relationship with a father-figure has deteriorated. You recognize this and wish for more stability in your life.

Shattered Windows in Castle:

The Fool

The Fool represents you and the new beginning and everything before you on a journey to a new life, and all you are hoping for but the broken windows suggest you must first move beyond the shattered halls of your past. While it is good to seek answers about the past the future and present are more important. Make a radical change in your life in the face of conventional wisdom.

Hunger (for Oreos and milk):

Temperance

Seek balance in your life and beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself—cut yourself some slack.

Haunted Buildings:

The Empress

You have some unfinished emotional business with something or someone from your past—possibly your mother or a mother-figure or perhaps even with yourself.

The Past Influences:

The Page of Pentacles (rev)

Carelessness in the past has caused you grief in the present. Pay more attention to practical matters. Seek new challenges or studies and don’t rest on your laurels. Be warned you don’t know as much as you think you do.

The Present Influences:

The World (rev)

You feel as though your world has literally been turned upside down and are languishing. But chaos and change are all part of growth. You lack confidence about your present and it’s not really all that bad. You tend to see the worst possible outcome in every situation.

The Future Influences:

The Mage (rev)

You have all you need at your disposal if only you will start to apply yourself and have a little faith. Continue your studies whether they be a magickal ones or mundane ones at a school. However do not let your blossoming abilities lead you down the path of manipulation and overly controlling others for that is an addiction as bad the other you suffered.

What it all Means:

The Hierophant

Through studies both magickal and mundane you will find what you seek but more importantly to you, you will come through this difficulty. You will learn (so make sure you keep studying), you will find some of the answers your looking for (others you will never know and must accept this as fact), and finally society will accept you and you will find contentment within structures others might find too confining but will make you happy.


Background

This spread was a remote reading for a friend. I’ll refer to her as ‘R’. Typically when asking a question about a situation, I like to use the Celtic Spread. I use the full 78-card deck for readings; therefore, I sometimes yet need to peek at the card interpretations. However, I look at the symbolism on the card and add my own thoughts as well. One must do that otherwise, there would only be a finite number of unique readings possible (albeit still a large number—something like (78! / [number of cards used]) if my memory of statistics serves me.) The deck I currently favor is the Gilded Tarot.

R is a fellow guildmate of the online game I play. She asked me for a reading and I consented, curious to find out how accurate I’d be without being close to the querent. She lives in Texas with her boyfriend who recently lost his job. I also know that things have not been all quiet on the home front.

The cards definitely echo her situation and unfortunately, unless R alters her present course, I don’t see much improvement of her situation. For a card-by-card analysis, see my comments below each card listed.

The Reading

Significator (Self)

The World

This card, usually chosen by the querent represents how they see themselves. Since this was a remote reading, I chose by cut of the cards using my left hand since the left hand represents spiritual matters.

A woman stands atop a pedestal surrounded by a wreath. Her demeanor is proud and confident. She wears a lion mask and her hair is blown back as though it were a mane. She holds in each hand a silver wand. The wand is a symbol of air and intellect. The two wands together suggest mastery of the unconscious and conscious.

R believes that she is captain of her own ship and master of all she surveys. This card could also indicate a victory or a completion of task. But does the reflection in the mirror always tell us the truth?

1. Self (Present Situation)

The Emperor (reversed)

The emperor is a leadership card. In this position and reversed the card indicates that the querent arrived at the present place through some poor judgments or miscalculations. Possibly, because the querent was too stodgy and unwilling to let go of autocratic rules or adhered to strongly to ingrained habits.

2. Self (Immediate Influences)

Five of swords

A man holds aloft a sword in triumph on a battlefield strewn with the dead, dying, and injured. The sword is the symbol of fire and passion.

Was whatever victory R won worth the cost? Sometimes the best battles are those waged in the halls of diplomacy.

With the Significator, this card also suggests that R is at an end of a cycle or period in her life.

3. Self (Recent Influences)

Ace of Cups (reversed)

The cup or chalice is the symbol of feminine nurturing and is of the element water. Water signs such as Cancer are homebody nurturers. The chalice or grail is also a symbol of the depth of universal gifts of romance, love, and idealism.

Because this card is reversed, (the cup is upside down and hence emptied), it means that R’s journey for whatever this particular grail stands for is at an end and combined with the previous card’s influence it would indicate possible dissatisfaction with a quest’s result.

Whatever R was looking for, she didn’t find it or it wasn’t worth the price she paid. The moon phases depicted above the cup, again point to feminine influences but since they are ‘below’ the reversed cup it could mean that the moon’s pull is at a low ebb as are R’s feelings. She must feel as though the bounty of the universal grail’s gifts have all ‘run out’ on her.

4. Self (Past Influences)

Four of Cups (reversed)

This card echoes the negative side of the Emperor and in conjunction with the previous card indicates that R may be seeking an ideal that does not exist. She ignores what has been laid at her feet while following an internal dogma that dictates that something better is out there but she’s not exactly sure what it is. This is a negative manifestation of the truism that the grass is always greener…

5. Self (Possible Goal or Outcome)

The Sun (reversed)

This card is never negative—even when reversed. Reversal merely diminishes the Sun’s effect. The sun is pictured above a zodiac circle with Jupiter and Saturn figured prominently. The other planets in the orbits are also pictured.

It’s important to this reading that Jupiter is pictured since R is currently under some financial distress and Jupiter is generous and expansive when it comes to money matters.

If Jupiter is expansive, then Saturn is restrictive. Saturn is the astrological taskmaster that admonishes us to knuckled down and get to work.

As a possible goal or destination, and in combination with the previous card, I’d say that with a little hard work, R can reverse her economic misfortunes but maybe not to the degree she’d like.

6. Self (Future Influences)

Two of Pentacles (reversed)

The two of pentacles shows a man effortlessly balancing two pentacles. This card relates to having mastery and balance in one’s life—especially where work is concerned. As I see it R is lacking in this balance. The ship and the dolphin in the background of the card indicates travel. I see R moving to some place where she can achieve balance in work and home life.

7. Fears

The Lovers (reversed)

This card is not always about relationships. Actually, it deals more with choices. The original card depicted a man choosing between two women.

However, in R’s case, I think it is about a relationship. In the fears position, this card tells us that her biggest fear is damage to their relationship because of economic turmoil or decisions they’ve made in the past.

8. Outside Influences

Three of Pentacles (reversed)

The three of pentacles is about career and pride in workmanship. R feels unappreciated or at least under appreciated in her job. This card shows a craftsman admiring his work. He takes delight and joy in his work or his creation. I feel that R has lost this joy in her work and needs to try to recapture that feeling or move on to something else.

9. Hopes and Ideals

Eight of Swords

A maiden (appropriate since R is female—this goes double for the Significator card) blindfolded, and bound is surrounded by eight swords. This would seem a predicament for most people, but the maiden exhibits a calm, if not confident air.

If the Significator shows how the querent views themselves, then, this card shows the reality of that perception. In this case we have a match between self-perception and reality. If only R can find it within herself to let go of past influences, unrealistic expectations, and yes even a stubborn clinging to romantic ideals which can never come to fruition, she’ll soon find her bonds broken.

10. Outcome

Four of Pentacles (reversed)

The four of pentacles (pentacles are an Earth suit concerned with career, wealth, and possessions) is an extreme or intensifier of the Emperor (which was drawn for the present position card.) When the emperor (in the upright position) provide authority and order for the betterment of life, all is well. However, when reversed, as is the case for this reading, it is merely order for orders sake.

Rather than a warning about an impending financial loss (that’s already occurred), the card seems to echo the Three of Pentacles drawn in the outside influences position. This draw reinforces the fact that R has lost sight of the fact that money / jobs are mere abstractions and only a means not an end. Also she should not be so fixated on current financial difficulties as to miss some opportunities (remember the Sun drawn in possible outcome position?) that will present themselves. She just needs to be flexible enough to recognize these opportunities and open to taking an unexpected (or even unwanted) path.

Overall Analysis

Since at least four major arcana cards were drawn for this reading, that fact indicates strong forces are at work.

The preponderance of pentacle and cups cards drawn is also interesting. These cards indicate trouble at home and at work and or trouble with financial matters. Moreover, since there is actually a run of cards from the pentacles suite (two, three, and four) However, with a little hard work, these difficulties can be overcome.

Another bit of good news for R is that while she may still hold some unrealistic expectations (Three of Cups and Five of Swords) her basic perceptions of herself are spot on as indicated by the Significator, and Eight of Swords. She is a strong and confident person and if she can marshal the strength necessary to change her current course then her situation will improve.


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