Thursday, 30 August 2007

Sensual Meditation

Sensual Meditation Image
This week we are practicing our visualization skills on those around us. So, I thought it might be beneficial to do a guided meditation designed specifically to increase empathy for others.

You might want to read the words of this meditation... slowly... into a tape recorder and then play it back for yourself. If the sound of your own recorded voice is a little disturbing, perhaps you could find someone else to read the script, or, alternatively, you could practice some self-love and just be with it how it is. Either way, it may take some time and practice to really go deeply into this meditation. When you see the three dots (... ) that's an indication to pause when reading the script. This meditation is approximately 10 minutes long.

Here it is:

See if you can position yourself as comfortably as you can... shifting your weight so you're allowing your body to be fully supported... head, neck, and spine straight...

And taking a couple of deep, full, cleansing breaths... inhaling as fully as you comfortably can... sending the warm energy of your breath to any part of your body that's tense or sore or tight... and releasing the discomfort with the exhale... so that you can feel your breath going to all the tight, tense places... loosening and softening them... and then gathering up all the tension and breathing it out... so that more and more, you can feel safe and comfortable, relaxed and easy... watching the cleansing action of the breath... with friendly but detached awareness...

And any distracting thoughts or feeling you might have... those, too, are sent out with the breath... so that inside, you can be still and quiet... like a lake with no ripples...

And now... imagining a place... where you feel safe and peaceful and easy... a place either make-believe or real... a place from your past... or somewhere you've always wanted to to... it doesn't matter... just so it's a place that feels good and safe and peaceful to you...

And allowing the place to become real to you, in all of its dimensions... looking around you... taking the place in with your eyes... enjoying the colors... the scenery... fully appreciating every detail with your eyes... looking over to your right... and over to your left...

And listening to the sounds of the place... the motion of wind or water... the music of birds or crickets... or a whole blend of sounds...

And feeling whatever you are sitting against or lying upon... or perhaps feeling the quality of the ground beneath your feet... whether it's sand or pine needles or grass... or you might be in a cozy armchair... or sitting in a nice, warm rock in the sun...

And feeling the air on your skin... either crisp and dry... or balmy and wet... perhaps you are inside, feeling the warmth of a cozy fire on your face and hands... or maybe you are outdoors, and there's just the subtlest caress of a fragrant, gentle breeze... so just enjoying the feel of the place on your skin...

And smelling its rich fragrance... whether it's the soft, full scent of flowers... or sharp, salt sea air... sweet meadow grass... or maybe the pungent smell of peat moss in the woods...

And as you become more and more attuned to the safety and beauty of this place... feeling thankful and happy to be there... you might begin to feel a kind of tingling... a pleasant, energizing something in the air all around you... something that contains expectancy and excitement... a sense that something wonderful is just about to happen...

And as you look out in front of you... just a few feet before you... you begin to discern that there is a king of transparent screen there... getting more and more opaque and solid as you look at it...

And as you watch the screen with a kind of peaceful curiosity... you gradually become aware of a human form beginning to appear on it... becoming more and more defined... until the three-dimensional image of a person is quite clear
someone you want to understand better... or resolve something with... appearing on the screen... in whatever characteristic posture they have... wearing whatever it is that they wear... doing whatever it is that they do... crisp and clear in every dimension...

And surprised but not surprised, you see that you can softly and easily enter the screen... to have a closer look... undetected by them, you can slip into the screen... and have a slow, detached, curious walk around them... seeing them from every angle... the profile... and the back... and the other side...

And experiencing the feel of the air around them... the sounds of the breathing or the voice... the smells that surround them... just slowly moving around them... experiencing a full, rich awareness of them... with all of your senses...

And now... in the safe, magical space of the screen... for the sake of your own learning... somehow, for just a short while... sliding past the boundaries and slipping into the body of this other person... entering this other awareness... and breathing their breath... for just a brief while...

And if there is any resistance to doing this, just gently noting it, and allowing yourself to soften all around it... for the sake of understanding more... to learn what you need to know... just an experiment... feeling what it is like to be in their body... breathing their breath... looking down and seeing the hands and the feet... the clothing...

And feeling what is happening in the heart... (pause)... the belly... (pause)... the muscles of the back and the neck... (pause)... open and curious as to how it is in there...

And seeing out from their eyes... what the world looks like... sounds like... feels like... as you breathe their breath... feel their feelings...

... (longer pause)...

And perhaps even seeing you over there... with this pair of eyes... what you look like... sound like... how you seem... from this body... from this awareness... feeling what it feels like to be looking over at you, while breathing this breath... soft and easy... just allowing yourself the space to experience this... in the safe, magical space of this screen... with friendly but detached interest...

... (longer pause)...

And now... softly and easily... very gently wishing this body goodbye... with whatever thoughts and wishes you feel appropriate... saying goodbye to this other... and gently moving back into your own body... re inhabiting your own body... fully and easily... breathing deeply into your own belly... exhaling fully from your own nose and mouth...

And feeling grateful for your ability to move so easily here and there... you step out of the magical, translucent screen... back into your peaceful outdoor environment... again taking in the beautiful sights and sounds and smells... and watching the shimmering screen fade...

Understanding that you have in fact added to your own understanding in a very real way... increasing your own well-being as you open your mind and heart in this way... safely and easily... and knowing that you can do so again whenever you wish...

And so... very gently... and with soft eyes... coming back into the room whenever you are ready... knowing that you are better for this... and so you are...

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Online Samhain

Online Samhain Image

On-Line Ritual Facilitators:

Keymaster -- Priest
Otterkin -- Priestess

(8-13,Shadow Hawk) Hello all, Blessing Be among Thou.
(8-3,John & Karen) Hi.
(8-5,keymaster) Ok we are ready now.
(8-10,Jehana & Jeff) ready here.
(8-4,Tapestry) Ready.
(8-3,John & Karen) ready
(8-12,Frodo) I'm here, dunno for how long.
(8-6,Grey Owel) ready

Tonight we celebrate the Sabbat Samhain, the eve of the New Year.
This is the time when the Goddess in her aspect as Crone veils Her face and the Horned One takes His throne. It is a time to reap the good and to banish the bad. To this end, we folded paper with that which we would banish written upon it. With the old year dying and the new year yet to be born, it is also the time when the dead may be invited to leave Caer Arianrhod and join us in the ritual and the feasting afterward. During the feast, the Lord of Misrule reigns and is free to inflict his Puckish like humor on us all. Welcome all, and let us begin.

Take a deep breath.....and let it out slowly...
Relax, and visualize the link between us...
Scattered to the winds are we, but we are here together....

We enter a grove amidst tall oaks, lit by a waning moon and a circle of torches.
It is a warm indian summer night with little wind, and an aura of expectancy flickers like the flames. Our altar stands at the North, decorated with apples and pomegranates, nuts and corn. There is an empty plate and a hand-thrown earthenware bowl filled with fresh water. A chalice holds the wine. The cakes are slices of pumpkin bread with raisins, and oatmeal cookies. The small cauldron of cleansing is of old polished brass with a handle for carrying. A large, black iron dutch-oven stands on its three legs in the center of the circle. Wisps of smoke rise upward and tongues of flame reach beyond it's rim.
Four unlit torches lay near it. Here the callers of the Guardians will light their torches, to place them in empty sconces planted in the earth at the North, East, South, and West. There are small buckets of water beside each sconce.
Because we are modern pagans, the Priestess has brought a boom-box with appropriate music. Listen inside yourself and you will hear it.

Focus on the water in the chalice. A symbol of cleansing and rebirth. I add a dagger-tip of salt to represent the aspects of the earth. Great Mother, bless this cup that we may be cleansed. (The chalice is passed clockwise, with each of us sprinkling ourselves.) (When this is done, I return the chalice to the altar.)
The incense we have chosen for this night is juniper and myrrh. It burns with the charcoal in the small brass cauldron. Breathe it in, and think of fire and air together. Let the strength and joy they represent become a part of you.
Great Father, bless this fire and air that we may be purified as it passes over and through us. (Cauldron is passed clockwise around the circle, by its handle)
(When all have breathed it, the Priest returns it to the altar.)

The ground beneath us has been sprinkled with ginger and swept to remove all negativity from this space. Let us join together and in the names of Danu the Great Mother and Arianrhod the White Lady, and of Cernunnos the Hunter, I cast and consecrate this Circle. (I draw the invoking Pentagram in the air with one hand and then, with a long stick from a hazel tree, draw the circle deosil, North to North.)

Let the caller of the Guardian of the East, step forward.

Lords of the East, Masters of inspiration, intelligence, new beginnings, and the wind rattling my windows this night, Hail and Welcome. (Light Torch & place in sconce)

Let the Caller of the Guardian of the South, step forward.

(8-10,Jehana with us. Hail & Welcome (Light torch & place in

Let the Caller of the Guardian of the West, step forward.

(8-3,John & Karen)
Lords of the West, guardians of the dark ocean and the lands beyond be with us now in this time between the worlds. Hail and welcome. (light torch and place in sconce)

Let the Caller of the Guardian of the North, step forward.

Lords of the North, Masters of the Earth, the hills, the valley, and forests -- join us now in this time of great joy (light torch and place in sconce)

(8-7,Otterkin) (Facing the center)
The Circle is bound. This is a time that is not a time, in a place that is not a place, on a day which is not a day, and we are safe between the worlds. So mote it be.
(8-5,keymaster) So mote it be!
(8-12,Frodo) So mote it be!
(8-3,John & Karen) so mote it be!
(8-11,wanda) So mote it be!
(8-10,Jehana from
bane, good; from death, birth!
(I then place my piece of paper into the fire)
I banish the pain of past relationships,

(8-7,Otterkin) (I step to the fire in the cauldron.)

of my bitterness,

I banish the pain in my childhood memories, but not the memories themselves.
(I throw my paper into the flames.) (Each in turn comes to the fire to throw in their paper, saying aloud their banishment or not as they choose.)

I banish the tensions and uncertainties that have been plaguing my life as of late.

(8-10,Jehana & Jeff)
We have banished (toss)

(8-3,John & Karen)
We have banished! (toss)

I banish depression and anger from past relationships

(8-11,wanda) (stepping to the fire)
I banish my deep sorrow from loves past...and embarrassment from words spoken too hastily. (toss)

(8-6,Grey Owel)
I banish the quickness of temper (toss)

(8-5,keymaster) (I go to the altar, and lift my hands above the cakes and wine)
All life is your own
All fruits of the Earth
Are fruits of your womb
Your union,
Your dance. Lord and Lady,
We thank thee
for blessings and abundance.
Join with us,
Feast with us,
enjoy with us!
Blessed be!
(8-7,Otterkin) Blessed be!
(8-11,wanda) Blessed be!
(8-12,Frodo) Blessed be!
(8-4,Tapestry) Blessed Be!
(8-3,John & Karen) Blessed be!
(8-10,Jehana & Jeff) Blessed be!
(8-6,Grey Owel) Blessed be!

(8-5,keymaster) (I now pass the wine clockwise around the circle) (Everyone takes a drink)

(8-12,Frodo) ->gulp!munch.<
(8-10,Jehana libating; (nibble)
(8-4,Tapestry) (take piece, crumble a bit onto the ground and eat the rest.)
(8-11,wanda) (breaking off a small piece and savoring it)
(8-3,John & Karen) Breaking off a piece, sharing it, nibbling
(8-7,Otterkin) My cat has cut her own door into the Circle, and I share my bit of cake with her.
(8-6,Grey Owel) (consume heartily)
(8-5,keymaster) (breaking off a piece, eating it, grokking its fullness) (I replace what is left of the cakes and the wine, near the altar, for the Sidhe to enjoy)
Will the Caller of the Guardian of the East, step forward and release the Guardian.

Lords of the East, thank you for your assistance. Hail and Farewell.
(take torch and plunge it into bucket of water.)

Will the Caller of the Guardian of the South, step forward.

(8-10,Jehana of Fire and of Will, we thank you for your assistance -- Hail and farewell! (Plunge torch into bucket of water.)

Will the Caller of the Guardian of the West, step forward.

(8-3,John & Karen)
Lords of the West, we thank you for your assistance. Hail and farewell!
(Plunge torch into bucket of water.)

Will the Caller of the Guardian of the North, step forward.

Lords of the North, Masters of the Earth..we thank you for your assistance and joining us this eve -- farewell! (grasping torch and placing it into the bucket)

(8-7,Otterkin) (I draw the banishing Pentagram in the air.)
Merry meet and merry part,
and merry meet again!
Let the Circle be open but never broken.

I hereby name............
Lord of Misrule.........
Let the Feasting Begin!

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Saturday, 25 August 2007

Eggshell Votive Candles

Eggshell Votive Candles Cover
Everything is reborn in spring -- even Easter eggs, which can be transformed into votives for your table or altar. Eggs are a symbol of rebirth and a start of a new life. Start your season off with these beautiful eggshell votive candles!


* 2lb Candle Wax
* Crayons or candle dye pellets
* 4'' Pre-tabbed Candle Wicks
* Eggcups or unfinished Wood Egg Holders
* Food Coloring or Egg Coloring Kit
* Egg Carton
* Funnel


First, make a hole in the top of each egg with a pin; enlarge the holes, and pour out the yolks. Clean shells, then dye them with food coloring (follow package directions). Nestle shells in a carton. Cut wire-core wicks to 4 inches long, flatten one end, and fasten in shell with a bit of warm wax. Using a funnel, fill shells with hot wax (tinted with melted crayon or dye pellets). Let the wax cool. Trim the wicks, and light.


To make the holes in your eggs, gently and carefully tap a sharp serrated knife around the narrow egg of the egg. Lift and twist the small portion of egg shell to remove it from the egg body. Empty the out the yolk and clean the egg carefully.

Paint or Mod Podge your own egg holders for a unique fun look. Set aside and let dry.

Place your egg shells into an egg cartoon for safety. Hot glue the wick tabs to the inside bottom portion of your eggs. This way your wicks will not float when the hot wax is being pour in. Be sure that your eggs are dry inside before applying the hot glue.

Melt your candle making wax by purchasing a double broiler or you can also combine a smaller pan within a larger pan, to make your own type of double broiler. Be sure that you place water in the larger pan and be on the watch that the water doesn't evaporate. Heating the candle wax up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit is fine generally. I suggest adding the color and additives to your wax right around 190 degrees F. Stir the wax it for several minutes, this will make certain that the wax has an even temperature throughout and the mix is blended thoroughly.

Source: Martha Stewart

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Saturday, 18 August 2007

Candle Modern Witch Healing Spell

Candle Modern Witch Healing Spell Image
To help speed recovery from an illness, write the sick person's name on a white human shaped candle of the correct gender. As you anoint it with 3 drops of myrrh or mint oil, visualize healing energy in the form of white light flowing from your hands and into the candle. Recite:


Place the candle on top of a photograph of the sick person and then light the wick. As the candle burns down, focus on the person in the photography, willing him/her to be well again. Then recite:



Continue to focus and recite until the candle burns out on it's own. (At this point I suggest taking the remains of the candle, wrapping it in clean white cotton and burying it outside, thereby burying the sickness.)

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Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Candle Warmer

Candle Warmer Image
Candles are easily made and do not need to be any shape or form, they can even be poured in old milk cartons and used for any ritual. This is only one example.

If you have a crescent-shaped mold and some wax, you can pour your own candle. To make the moon candle in this photo, you'll need:

o Paraffin or soy candle wax

o Wicking

o Candle release spray

o Crescent-shaped candle mold

o Color and scent of your choice

If you've never made candles on your own before, be sure to read David Fisher's Candle Making Basics for some tips.

Melt the wax according to manufacturer's directions. Spray the mold with candle release spray and place the wick where you want it. Carefully pour the melted wax into the mold. Be sure to prop the wick up with a dowel rod or some other support, so it doesn't flop over into the liquid wax.

Allow your candle to cool completely before removing it from the mold. Use in your Esbat rites, or for other moon-related celebrations.

Note: The candle in the photo is frosted on the top to hide some post-cooling cracking.

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