It's Here, Check it out……

I ordered 4 BOS’s for the “Raffle for a Cause.” Three of them came in. I was beginning to sweat it. But Mystie went down to the Post Office and guess what was there! You got it, the 4th BOS. Take a look…….

Isn’t it fantastic. Check out the details on it…..

Double Dragon Leather Blank Book of Shadows

The Double Dragon leather bound, blank book has been hand tooled to  depict the image of two dragons facing each other in fight, with their  scaled, serpentine bodies entwined. The result is a beautiful image of  harmony and mysticism, certain to inspire those who put their thoughts  to pen within the pages within. These pages are acid free, and made  entirely of recycled biomass. The result is approximately 250 pages of  sturdy paper that is well suited for accepting pencil, ink, and even  light washes or paints.

The book measures 7″ by 5″ and is held closed with a leather strap.

 

I am going to add it to the raffle page. I am so happy I got what I wanted to put up for auction. Everyone of you are super great people and I think you deserve the best. Remember the auction runs to August 25th. Then if you win you get your choice of one of the 4 BOS’s.

Here’s the link again. Give me a minute to add this one to the page. Have Fun, Enjoy & Good Luck.

http://witchesofthecraft.com/raffle-for-a-cause/

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'THINK on THESE THINGS' for August 19th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

A graphologist is a handwriting analysis expert who can take apart the loops and dashes of our penmanship and tell us about our nature. We have a natural curiosity about ourselves. We want to know whether our self-image is the true one. We often think we are capable of seeing another’s true nature, but we seem to lack the ability to really know ourselves. In fact, so much about us reveals our disposition and temperament that it can be distressing.

Our handwriting may tell us about our emotional nature, and we may learn that we are introverts by the slant of our letters, but much of our disposition can be self-analyzed by the way other people respond to us.

It doesn’t take a graphologist to tell us that if we are inconsistent in our friendliness, if the tongue alternates acid and honey, if we continually complain, continually gossip, criticize and pout, we are revealing a nature we too often think is hidden.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:http://www.hifler.com 
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site:http://www.whitebison.org

Elder's Meditation of the Day August 19

Elder’s Meditation of the Day August 19

“If we keep everything in balance, we are in harmony with ourselves and are at peace.”

–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

As within, as without, our present thought determines our future. If we want peace outside ourselves, we must first have peace inside ourselves. It’s not what is going on but how we are looking at what is going on. We need to keep ourselves in balance. We must be careful to not get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. We must know the times – time to work, time to rest, time to play, time to sleep, time to pray, time to lighten up, time to laugh, time to eat, time to exercise. There is a saying “The honor of one is the honor of all.” This means when we work with all, we need to also work on one. We need to take care of ourselves. You cannot give away what you don’t have.

Great Spirit, let me walk in balance today. Remove from me resentment, self pity and self seeking motives. Let me love myself so I can love my neighbors.

August 19 – Daily Feast

August 19 – Daily Feast

To live peacefully with other people, we need insight and careful judgment. We judge by appearances far too often and that leads to misunderstanding. So much is hidden from ordinary view that it takes time to know something well enough to say anything at all. We have to know that because we have light does not mean there is no darkness. And because we have food does not mean there is no hunger. Can our eyes see all the reasons and purposes in the actions of other people? Unless we have known someone’s pain and carried his burden, we cannot know how we might react in the same circumstances. Our senses cannot tell us everything. Only compassion and understanding show us the truth.

~ O Great Spirit, help me never judge another until I have walked two weeks in his moccasins. ~

EDWIN LAUGHING FOX

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daily OM for August 19th – Conditions are perfect

Conditions are perfect

Don’t put off your life waiting for conditions to be right. Conditions are  perfect, right here and now, because you are alive and able to make a  difference.

The day to live life fully is not someday. Someday never comes, yet today is  here for you right now.

Wait no longer, for in this moment is the opportunity you seek. Life can be  as rich and fulfilling as you dare to imagine on this very day.

For life’s richness does not come from arranging your affairs in a certain,  specific way. Life’s true richness is found by allowing, feeling, expressing and  experiencing your own unique beauty as it flows out from you.

Let that beauty flow into whatever circumstances you may find yourself in.  Release the conditions you’ve put on joy, and let it fill your world, however  that world may otherwise be.

On this day, in this moment, in this place, conditions are perfect for you to  fully live. Experience the wonder of your life that is right now.

— Ralph Marston

Daily Motivator

Daily OM for August 19th – Savoring Ceremony

Savoring Ceremony
Tea Rituals

by Madisyn Taylor

 

Tea time with friends can be turned into ceremony simply by the intention in which you prepare your tea.

 

Coffee may be the power beverage that gets us revved up in the morning and fuels us when we’re burning the midnight oil, but tea is the drink we turn to when we want to relax and be refreshed at the same time. Black, green, white, herbal, hot, or ice cold, tea is more than a soothing beverage. It can be a ritual, a cultural experience, and even a spiritual practice.

The reverence for tea has inspired ceremony in many cultures. From the spirituality of Chanoyu, the Japanese way of preparing and serving tea, to the sharing of Maté in Latin America, tea rituals are for celebration, ceremony, and relationship bonding. In China, tea rituals are part of many wedding ceremonies with the bride and groom serving their elder relatives in a show of respect and gratitude. The Chinese art of drinking and serving tea has been a source of inspiration for poetry and song. The Russian custom of chaepitie has inspired a unique style of teapots, caddies, teacups, and cozies. The samovar, a special brewing device, has become the symbol of the Russian tea ceremony and an object of art in its own right. Iced tea, popular in the U.S., as well as other parts of the world, is a modern ritual bringing cool relief on a sweltering summer day.

You can turn your own tea time with a friend into a simple ceremony by preparing your tea with the intention of offering nourishment and good wishes to the other person. When you are seated together, rather than drinking your tea right away, look at one another and express your gratitude and appreciation for your friendship. When you pour the tea, again intend it as an offering. Drink your tea slowly, savoring its flavor and aroma. Let its warmth or its coolness soothe your body. When you are finished drinking your tea, thank your friend for taking part in this nourishing ritual with you. Whether savored in the presence of another or tasted alone, the custom of drinking tea provides a soothing pause in our hectic world. Drinking tea can be a daily ritual that brings inner calm and clarity to the body, mind, and soul.

Daily OM

The Law of Return

The Law of Return

The Law of Return means that what you do affects what happens to you. If you do good, good is going to happen to you; if you do evil, evil will happen. The Law of Return exists in every religion in one form or another. In some it’s given a multiplier. Good and bad are said to come back upon you three- or tenfold.

The Ethic of Self-responsibility
Simply put, We and only we, are responsible for our own actions. In Wicca, there is no “The devil made me do it.” We don’t believe in devils.

The Ethic of Constant Improvement
The desire to improve the world around us, guided in part by the Law of Return.
Ecology, teaching and preaching tolerance, racial harmony and reverence for the arts and history, and living one’s life toward peace are important examples. Only by being constant in our learning, and growth, do we help prevent intolerance.

The Ethic of Attunement
Divinity is within us and around us, and becoming in-tune with this power is a major facet of Wicca.

1. We, in our Self, are divine. No one is in control of us except us.

2. The Gods/other powers are divine. The gods/goddesses are more like parents,
and less like the god of Christianity.

3. Earth is a living being. Each individual being, plant, animal or mineral on Earth is a part of that being. Everything has a spirit of its own.

What Is Magick?

pentacle58

What Is Magick?

Wiccans and other followers of modern religious Witchcraft use magic extensively. Wiccans and Witches define magic in many different ways and use it for a number of different purposes, but despite that diversity of opinion finds that the general result upon the practitioner is a positive one. Its power may come mainly by suggestion and the focusing of attention.

It can be characterized as assertion of the will. Working of magic is often dependent upon being part of a social group which supports the belief. We tap into the essence of the divine when we attempt to get closer to our gods, or when we work magic.

In “Power of the Witch”, Laurie Cabot writes:

Certain things are everlasting. Magic is one of them. It comes from the Persian and Greek roots Magus and Magos which means wise. The English word “magi” meaning wise men, comes from them. (1)

She also writes:

Magic is knowledge and power that come from the ability to shift consciousness at will into a nonordinary, visionary state of awareness. Traditionally certain tools, song, music, colors, cents, drumming, fasting, vigils, meditation breathing exercises, certain natural foods and drinks and forms of hypnosis. Dramatic, mystical environments, such as sacred groves, valleys, mountains, churches, or temples will also shift consciousness. In almost every culture some form of visionary trance is used for the sacred rituals that open doorways to the Higher Intelligence or for working magic. (2)

Wikapedia.com offers this explanation:

Natural forces that cannot be detected by science at present, and in fact may not be detectable at all. These magical forces are said to exist in addition to and alongside the four known forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.

Intervention of spirits similar to these hypothetic natural forces, but with their own consciousness and intelligence. Believers in spirits will often see a whole cosmos of beings of many different kinds, sometimes organized into a hierarchy.
A mystical power, such as mana, that exists in all things. This power is often said to be dangerous to people.

A mysterious interconnection in the cosmos that connects and binds all things, above and beyond the natural forces.

Manipulation of symbols. Adherents of magical thinking believe that symbols can be used for more than representation: they can magically take on a physical quality of the phenomenon or object that they represent. By manipulating symbols, one is said to be able to manipulate the reality that this symbol represents.

Like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not.

Concentration or meditation. A certain amount of restricting the mind to some imagined object (or will) produces mystical attainment or an occurrence in the brain characterized essentially by the uniting of subject and object. Magic, as defined previously, seeks to aid concentration by constantly recalling the attention to the chosen object (or Will), thereby producing said attainment. For example, if one wishes to concentrate on a God, one might memorize a system of correspondences (perhaps chosen arbitrarily, as this would not affect its usefulness for mystical purposes) and then make every object that one sees “correspond” to said God.

The magical power of the subconscious mind. To believers who think they need to convince their subconscious mind to make the changes they want, all spirits and energies are projections and symbols that make sense to the subconscious. A variant of this belief is that the subconscious is capable of contacting spirits, who in turn can work magic. (3)

However you define it magic requires dedication, concentration, and belief. Prayer, miracles, and magic are all pretty much the same thing. Whether you pray to God in a church or cast a circle and invoke the Goddess, you are still directing divine attention.

Reference:

Wicca’s One Universe

Thirteen Goals of a Witch

Witchy Comments


Thirteen Goals of a Witch

 

1. Know yourself.
2. Know your Craft.
3. Learn.
4. Apply knowledge with wisdom.
5. Achieve balance.
6. Keep your words in good order.
7. Keep your thoughts in good order.
8. Celebrate life.
9. Attune with the cycles of the Earth.
10. Breathe and eat correctly.
11. Exercise the body.
12. Meditate.
Honor The Goddess and God
 
(taken from the writings of Scott Cunningham,

Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, 1988, pg 151)

A Short History Of Witchcraft

A Short History Of Witchcraft

 

Witchcraft has been part of the folklore of many societies for centuries. Witchcraft has also come to refer to a set of beliefs and practices of a religion. Its followers call it Wicca, the Craft, the Wisecraft, or the Old Religion. Many people, particularly conservative Christians, do not consider Witchcraft a religion as they understand the term.

Belief in witchcraft exists around the world and varies from culture to culture. Historically, people have associated witchcraft with evil and usually have regarded a witch as someone who uses magic to harm others, by causing accidents, illnesses, bad luck, and even death. Some societies believe that witches also use magic for good, performing such actions as casting spells for love, health, and wealth. People around the world continue to practice witchcraft for good or harm.
Unlike those who practice witchcraft for harm, the followers of Wicca believe in practicing magic only for beneficial purposes. They worship a deity with male and female aspects, but some traditions emphasize the female, or Goddess, side of the deity.

The term witch comes from the Old English word wicca, which is derived from the Germanic root wic, meaning to bend or to turn. By using magic, a witch can change or bend events. Today, the word witch can be applied to a man or a woman. In the past, male witches were also called warlocks and wizards.

Witches also are said to be able to fly. They may fly under their own power, ride tools such as brooms or rakes, or ride magical animals. This is not true, while there are spells and rituals involving brooms, we do not fly on them.

Some witches have great knowledge of how to make herbal potions and charms. A potion is a drink that causes a desired effect in a person’s health or behavior. A charm is a magical incantation (word or phrase), or amulet that helps to bring about the desired effect.
The practice of Wicca–Witchcraft as a religion flourishes primarily in English-speaking countries. Wicca has no central authority. Its followers, some call themselves Witches, are loosely organized in groups called covens. Some covens are made up of only women or only men, and other covens are mixed. Many Witches do not join a coven but practice alone as solitaries.

The practice of Wicca is controversial, primarily because many Christians find the idea of a religion based on witchcraft objectionable. Some Christians associate any form of witchcraft with the worship of Satan. This, however, would be difficult, as Wicca does not acknowledge the existence of a “Satan”. Satan and the Devil are Judeo-Christian inventions. Others fear that Wicca might be tied to modern cults. This is not true. Wicca is a religion, legally recognized as such.
The U.S. Army, with the publication of the Army pamphlet 165-13, A Handbook for Chaplin’s, recognizes Witchcraft as a religion.

Wicca includes pagan, folk, and magical rites. Its primary sources are Babylonian, Celtic, Egyptian, ancient Greek, Roman, and Sumerian mythologies and rites, but also borrows from other religions and mythologies, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and the rites of American Indians. Essentially, Wicca is a religion that celebrates the natural world and the seasonal cycles. It acknowledges the Goddess as the feminine side of a deity called God. Witches worship both Goddess and God in various personifications, including ancient gods and goddesses.

Rites are tied to the cycles of the moon, which is the symbol of the power of the Goddess, and to the seasons of the year. Religious holidays are called sabbats. There are four major sabbats: Imbolc (February 1), Beltane (April 30), Lugnasadh or Lammas (July 31), and Samhain (October 31).

Most Witches practice in secrecy. Some do so because they believe that is the tradition. Others do so because they wish to avoid persecution. Because of secrecy, it is difficult to estimate how many people practice Witchcraft as a religion.

Modern Witches practice magic, both for spell casting and as a path of spiritual growth. Magic for spiritual growth is called high magic and is aimed at connecting a person to God or Goddess on a soul level. They follow the Wiccan Rede, which is similar to the Golden Rule, “An’ it harm none, do what ye will.” Witches also believe in the Threefold Law of Karma, which holds that magic returns to the sender magnified three times. Thus, Witches say, evil magic only hurts the sender.

Witchcraft has existed since humans first banded together in groups. Prehistoric art depicts magical rites to ensure successful hunting. Western beliefs about witchcraft grew out of the mythologies and folklore of ancient peoples, especially the Greeks and Romans. Roman law made distinctions between good magic and harmful magic, and harmful magic was punishable by law.
When Christianity began to spread, the distinctions vanished. Witchcraft came to be linked with worship of the Devil.

In Europe, beginning in about the 700’s CE, witchcraft was increasingly associated with heresy (rejection of church teachings). The Christian church began a long campaign to stamp out heresy. Beginning in the 1000’s CE, religious leaders sentenced heretics to death by burning.
The Inquisition, which began about 1230 CE, was an effort by the church to seek out and punish heretics and force them to change their beliefs. Eventually, the secular (non religious) courts as well as all Christian churches were involved in the persecution of witches. Especially after the 1500’s, most people accused of witchcraft came to trial in secular courts. They were charged with human sacrifice and with worshiping the Devil in horrible rites. Most historians doubt that worship of the Devil was ever widespread, if indeed it even took place. But stories about it created a mood of fear and anxiety.

The witch hunt reached its peak in Europe during the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. Many victims, who were mostly women, were falsely accused of witchcraft. Many accused witches were tortured until they confessed. Then they faced imprisonment, banishment, or execution.
In the American Colonies, a small number of accused witches were persecuted in New England from the mid-1600’s to the early 1700’s. Some were banished and others were executed.

The most famous American witch hunt began in 1692 in Salem, Mass. There, a group of village girls became fascinated with the occult, but their games got out of hand. They began to act strangely, uttering weird sounds and screaming. Suspicions that witches were responsible for the girls’ behavior led to the arrest of three women. More arrests followed, and mass trials were held.
About 150 people were imprisoned on witchcraft charges. Nineteen men and women were convicted and hanged as witches. A man who refused to plead either innocent or guilty to the witchcraft charge was pressed to death with large stones. Today, historians agree that all the victims were falsely accused. The girls pretended to be possessed. Their reasons are unclear, though they may have been seeking attention.

There are also several factors that could have contributed to the general mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Hunts. One interesting factor could have been ergot in rye.
The Puritans made bread with rye, and ergot may have been the culprit in causing lots of the strange behavior exhibited by the witnesses and the accusers. Ergot is a plant disease that is caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea. Ergot thrives in a cold winter followed by a wet spring. The victims of ergot might suffer paranoia and hallucinations, twitches and spasms, cardiovascular trouble, and stillborn children. Ergot also seriously weakens the immune system. Its victims can appear bewitched when they’re actually stoned.

Another factor that may have contributed to the witch hunts was general distrust and suspicion. In the time leading up to the witch hunts, Salem was splitting into two distinct areas. Salem Village, which was composed of the farmers and original setters, and Salem Town, made up of newcomers, merchants, and people who were more prosperous. These two groups did not like each other in general. The merchants were capitalistic, and this was no approved of by the other Puritans who wanted to create a society of purity and Christian rule.
The witchcraft scare lasted about a year. In 1693, the people still in jail on witchcraft charges were freed. (In 1711, the Massachusetts colonial legislature made payments to the families of the witch hunt victims.)

By the late 17th century, the witchcraft was well underground, as it was illegal to be a Witch, as well as against the Cannons of the church. It wasn’t until 1951 that the last of these laws was repealed, and modern witchcraft surfaced with Gerald Gardener, that all of Witchcraft was able to resurface, in it’s many forms.

Now there are many Covens out in the open and many many more still in hiding and who practice solitary, fearing a resurgence of the persecutions. In the 1960’s Raymond Buckland, Sybil Leek, Gavin, Yvonne Frost followed in Gardner’s footsteps, then more and more Covens came out into the open.

Witchcraft has come a long way, yet, sadly, even though there are laws today which protect an individual’s right to practice a personal religion such as witchcraft, there are those who still feel threatened by imaginary untruths about it.

Reference:

Wicca’s One Universe