Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Editorial # 1~~~"Are there more Atheists in the world?"~~~

I am going to take a side-step here and address a question that was posed to me by Ms. Q

And I’d like all of you to add this to your “History Section” of your Book of Shadows.

Ms. Q asked……

“Is it me, or is there an increase in Atheism nowadays?”

Hmmmm My first response would be "What prompted that question?" and then my second would be ---not so much an increase in atheism but an increase in making sure that church and state are separate.Many people still believe in god, but there are factions that do not want the concept of God or a god or any kind of deity involved in everything----but in times of crisis, well as the old saying goes "There are no atheists in foxholes". Which is true, in almost all times of great stress, many, many people revert to the belief that there is a “higher power” that can help make sense of everything or can give strength.

Part of the problem of this perception of atheists, is that many young people and even a generation or two back like back to the 1960's had and have doubts about God, it would seem that all the pat answers as given by the Church, and I am talking about ALL religious faiths (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist) so I use the world church generically, do not fill a void that is within a person. Some young people take it to extremes because the mind is young and therefore easy to impress and mold, to the point of becoming suicide bombers because the idea of a perfect heavenly life is much better than the life they are living.

When truthfully they Must live this imperfect life because the Higher Power is saying to them “You must work to make it better through peaceful means”, unfortunately that message gets lost because of Man’s perceptions of greed and dominance.

Then there are some people that have a void within their hearts and souls but do not know it, they want things to strictly go their own way, no god, no government, nothing---but what they don't realize is that attitude puts them in the position of god, and subconsciously they realize that. It gives them a sense of power; they just don't like the idea that there is an invisible deity that has power over them. Therefore they become atheists.

They use science and physic to explain away miracles, but forget that an intelligent creator will use physics to have miracles happen, then there are those things that occur beyond physics such as spontaneous remission from cancer, no one can explain that, ergo a miracle.

What atheists do not realize is that an intelligent creator created the rules but we have to discover them, that is what makes life so interesting. I’ve known scientists who were at least agnostic but as they delved into things, there were able to explain things like the parting of the Red Sea or the burning bush, but it is the timing of such events at crucial points that has them questioning things, to the point that they start coming around to the concept of an intelligent creator.

Many of our “Love Generation” Hippies from the 60’s and 70’s wanted to tear down order and create chaos, free love, free drugs, free everything, what they didn’t realize is that with freedom comes responsibility, and consequences for one’s actions, but those young people didn’t want to take responsibility for their actions, many now have criminal records, many are dead, many died from diseases, many had illegitimate children who cursed them for their life style and a few woke up and realized that positive change had to come not from tearing down, but making changes within. Martin Luther King jr. and Cesar Chavez knew that and their ways of making positive changes within the order of things were the best. And they had religious faith to support them.

What those “Free Love Generation Hippies” didn't realize is that there is a natural balance of life that does have power over them, but they were and are too blind to realize it. And what has happened is we now have two generations (a generation is 20 years) of young people who are rudderless.

Now surprisingly many atheists and agnostics know religion better that those of those religious faiths, that is because they studied it only to their own perceptions so that they can win arguments, when they do not or have not experienced the overwhelming experience of a spiritual nature, they cannot join faith with life or the belief of an intelligent creator.

People who garden, who grow vegetables and have fruit trees see this natural balance of life, the farmers who have small farm holdings see this natural balance, people who practice the old crafts of canning and preserving see it, people who pay attention to the changes in the seasons see it as well and celebrate it, you cannot plant a seed, watch it germinate and grow, come to full flower and produce it’s fruit, then make the seeds, die and re-generate itself without knowing and understanding this wonderful balance of life and that it MUST come from a power that is greater than ourselves, an intelligent designer.

Steven Hawking, a brilliant scientist postulated that even though “…there is a law such as gravity, …the universe can and will create itself from nothing….it is not necessary to invoke God….” This is a break from his pervious religious beliefs of a Creator design. (I have not printed the entire quote but it can be found)

But Dr. Michko Kaku said that Einstein took that same original premise but went one step further and postulated another theoretical question and that was “Why?” and when he did he discovered that there had to be a “God” and that Hawking perhaps in fear, backed away from that one extra step. Dr. Kaku on George Noory’s program “Coast to Coast” talked about string theory and it was during that concept of string theory in which there could be other universes existing along with ours, that when Einstein did pose that question did he realized there had to be a Creator.

Getting back to our “home grown farmer” if one taps into the life energies, they can sense it and use it, but they also need to understand that there are life lessons to be learned. Atheists don't want to learn it. Sad to say those that have a Catholic background get dissatisfied with the post Vatican II church and turn away from it, why? Because the post Vatican church lessened the importance of Mary both within and without the church. Many of these young people sense there needs to be a balance, and are attracted to Wicca, but even Wicca does not answer all their questions.

Although it helps them understand the natural balance of life, parts of their souls within wants to mesh their combined beliefs, as well as work with the energies. Many of them go towards Wicca without fully understanding this balance and become confused.

Old timers like me that had my Catholic upbringing and teaching pre-Vatican II and with the guidance of my parents and grandparents have no problem meshing all if it together, because I also had the extra advantage of understanding the seasons bounties and was taught from death comes life, but in life there must be death to create life. We lived our lives simply, we planted, grew, preserved our food, sewed our clothes, we learned to make do, we SAW LIFE!! I find that it is important to acknowledge that we are guided by an unseen force to our destinies, but there those dictators who would short circuit a natural progression of understanding the natural laws, by yoking us to their laws such as “shirah law”, or communist programs or movements.

Two movies---"Ghost" with Patrick Swaze and the movie “Sixth Sense” in which the kid says "I see dead people" (with Bruce Willis) show the movement of energies in the unseen life force.

Another movie, “Practical Magic" shows ways to tap into that life force, but also being responsible in utilizing that life force.

In Star Wars---they don't talk about God but "The Force"--- Yoda said when he sensed the death of planet "I sense a disturbance in The Force"---it's there, unseen, plucking like a spider’s web, and just as fragile to connect to, but you cannot destroy it.

But what we as those who know these energies, who know the Force, what we have to do is rise above Atheism, above the nay sayers and be as a beacon of light.

This happened to me at work some years ago----I was working the front desk, an elderly customer, a man that I had known for a long time, came in to pick up a book he requested---suddenly he keels over, I rush to him knelt down to him, he looked at me and I said "Sir you are in a safe place, help is coming, we will notify your family, you will not be lost, you are safe." He squeezed my hand said "yes" and then he died.

I do not know what prompted me to say those words, but I just knew he had to hear them, then I had to pretend that he was still with us because there were children in the building, I told the children to get back the paramedics were coming, when they arrived they also pretended he was still alive to the public at large even though I knew he was dead.I asked my boss to have some off desk time, she gave it to me, and I went to the staff room, she came later and I said that I knew he died right there but we were to not say that, and could I go home for the afternoon. She let me go home.

I came back the next day to work, my boss called HR and HR asked me privately if I was all right did I need to see a psychologist and I said no I had family and we did a rosary for the gentleman, and a healing rosary for myself and I felt fine, and I was fine.

HR couldn't understand that---so I took him to the staff room and told him, I said "Death is a part of life, life is a part of death, what I needed was a little time to process the shock of it and to pray to commend the spirit of the deceased into God's hands" HR understood, I used God and God's force to help me process this situation and to heal me, privately in my own way.Something that many young (meaning a generation or two) people do not understand.

So we need to be beacons of light during this darkness, even at the hospital, when I was afraid about the surgery I was to have, the nurses for me, were angels of light, one gave me a prayer card and she saw that I held on to it. If I said I was afraid they would talk to me, and I saw that they were drawing upon an energy or Force that helped them find the words to help me counter act my fear.

Many people in their youth drew away from God or the idea of God, but not until they have had more living experience do they come back to God or at least that idea. The ones that remain staunchly atheists still have that void, I’ve looked at them, at their Aura’s and I see this black void around their hearts, they may love their children or their work or a cause, but with this black void in their aura they do not truly love---as a matter of fact, I see within them a vibration of hate, they hate everything that is around them and within them. They feel that to behave in a moral fashion because of a religious belief is not true ethical behavior but blind obedience. But they do not take it to the next step and ask “why?”

They cannot posit that to have a strictly atheistic society can’t work, look at the failure of communist Russia and Cuba, even Castro said that the communist program does not work and invited the Pope (John Paul II) to visit Cuba where the turn out was over whelming.

People who practice Wicca, hoodoo, voodoo, practical magic, Santeria, cadelumbre, lucumbe and those beliefs that understand and work with the energies KNOW that there is something very powerful out there. They know there is a Creative Force that does have intelligence but it chooses to work with us quietly and presents to us the life lessons that we need to learn.

I’ve found that when one watches all the episodes of “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth” do I find that my belief in a Creative intelligence to be re-affirmed, and that my path of being a combined belief of old time Catholicism, Witchcraft and Shamanism was indeed the correct path as taught to me by my Grandmother and Mother.

I told one Atheist that some people will be surprised when they get to the other side and St. Peter drives up in a beat up old Ford Truck and say “Ya’all get in the back of the truck we’s goin’ up to the Big House now.” That was a while ago, since then he converted to the Catholic faith.

Then there is the perception of what is heaven but that I will save for another essay.

So in spite of all the atheist talk out there, be a beacon of light in this darkness, in the end we all will discover a Divine Presence that loves all of us.

Bright Blessings, Ms. A.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chapter 2: The Autumn Equinox Sept 21-23: Mabon

Mabon: Celebration of the Autumn Equinox

Ordinarily I would have started with the beginning of the Witches’ year or Samhain aka All Hallows eve October 31, but because The Autumn Equinox is so close and because there happens to be a full moon on this very important End of the Witches year, I thought it would be good to give you an idea of what we celebrate.

If you have started your note book observing the change of the seasons, you will have noticed the leaves falling and turning brown, there are no butterflies, that flowers have created seed pods and dried up, that certain birds or animals no longer appear. That the fruits and vegetables in our markets have changed, no cherries or apricots for instance, instead we have apples and late pears. Or that some animals---like raccoons and possums have gotten more aggressive.

That is because Fall is upon us.

Miss Faith in her “all about column” has given a very good description of this time of year which I’m going to post here and those remarks in these [ ] brackets are my additions.

’Every fall many religions and non-religions around the world celebrate the

autumn equinox in one way or another. The day of celebration normally falls on

either September 22nd or 23rd, depending on the placement of the leap year. This

year [2010] the equinox will take place on September 23rd, but why should you celebrate

and how should you do it?

Depending on your religious or non-religious affiliation, you may or may not

even notice that the fall equinox takes place. On average, most people are only

aware that there will be an even amount of light and dark, meaning there will be

12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on this day. To Pagans and Wiccans

however, it is a day of celebration.

[This is one of two days in the entire solar year where there is the balance between light and darkness]

The holiday, known as Mabon, is a Sabbath. A Sabbath is considered a high holy day

or a day of power. Mabon is one of eight of the seasonal celebratory days in

which Pagans and Wiccans celebrate on the wheel of the year. Mabon is seen as

the second harvest of the year and it is also when gardens are in full bloom and

full of the bounty of nature. Mabon is thought of as the Pagan Thanksgiving,

where they celebrate the passing of the year and in turn give thanks for

everything they have been given.

According to Wiccan and Pagan spirituality, this is the time when the sun God

prepares to depart and develop once again in the mother's womb. The Goddess,

both sad and joyful, will then anxiously wait for his rebirth in the Spring.

This is the time when Pagans and Wiccans that have altars will begin to decorate

them with various items such as acorns, leaves, pine cones, Indian corn, apples,

pomegranate, gourds, and berries. Some Wiccans/Pagans may also use this time of

year to harvest their gardens, bake breads, and harvest seeds from vegetables to

use for planting next season. Since the rays of the sun are beginning to die,

this is also a time to begin honoring the dead by placing apples, acorns, or

pine cones on burial sites as well as having joyous celebrations in memoriam to

the departed.

Most Wiccans/Pagans will focus their rituals on more balance and harmony and may

align energies toward protection, wealth, security, prosperity, and self

confidence. Other festivities for celebration could also include walking in the

woods, scattering left over seeds and other offerings in harvested fields, and

offer libations to the trees.

There are various stones, colors, and incense used with Mabon. Some of these include: Sapphire, amethyst, yellow topaz, yellow agate and lapis lazuli, red, orange, green, gold, maroon and brown, and sage, benzoin and myrrh. You may also associate some flowers and plants with Mabon such as mums, marigolds, roses, ferns, and tobacco.[These items you would have on your Altar or use on your Feast table]

The full moon for the month of September that is generally around the time of

Mabon is referred to as the Harvest moon. Normally this moon is known to be seen

as bigger and brighter than the other full moons throughout the year. Some say

this is because of the marriage of the full moon to Mabon while others state

that it only appears to be bigger and brighter and is actually what is called a

moon illusion.

Nevertheless, it does not really matter what your outlook is on

why the moon appears larger for the Harvest moon than other times. The important

thing is that you look within yourself during this time of thanksgiving as well

as give your thanks and appreciation to the earth and things around you. This

year, whether you call it the fall equinox, Mabon, cornucopia, harvest tide, [Harvest Home] the second harvest feast, witch's Thanksgiving, feast of Avilon, or the first day of

Autumn, make sure you take time out of your busy day to relax for a moment and

celebrate the bounties of fall.’

(Published by Miss Faith---Miss Faith is a full time student and she is currently working with as the Guide to Makeup. She has finished her Bachelor's Degree in Intelligence Studies Published September 10, 2007 by: Miss Faith © 2010 Associated Content, Inc.)

Miss Faith makes a very good point about the reasons surrounding the Fall Equinox, a Witch in recognizing the seasons of the year knows that there are at least 3 times or 3 basic phases of harvesting, August 1, Sept 21-23, and the final one Oct 31.

August 1 is the bringing in of the fruits and vegetables that cannot be eaten to be stored or canned, Sept 22 the Autumn Equinox is the harvesting of grain before the rains come, and Oct 31 is the final harvest before winter and is the culling of the animals or slaughtering of the excess animals and their meats preserved by various means for the winter.

The three Harvest Festivals are reasons to give Thanks for what blessings we receive, even if we feel that we have not received much, that which we have received we should be thankful for.

With the Fall Equinox, once again nature is in balance, the light and the dark are the same hours, but the light must give way to the dark, we need to go into winter to allow the earth to rest, if you are a gardener and grow herbs, vegetables and fruits, this is the time to do your final harvesting of your herbs and start drying them, harvesting the seeds to plant for next year, harvesting your vegetables and fruits to either make into sauces, can them, dry preserve them, make jams and jellies, some people can freeze things but not all things freeze well.

Once the garden is harvested, this is a good time to enrich the soil, save the seeds for future plantings, prepare the cold frames for the early seedlings for next year.

This is also the time to make wine and beer, the pressing of the grapes, if you are into wine making and such this is a good time, or at least stock up your “wine cellar”. The making of apple cider and butter is also an event.

If you are an apartment dweller, you can still have a few pots to prepare to grow herbs for next year, even cherry tomato plants or a dwarf lemon tree if you have a large enough patio or balcony.

If your apartment does not lend itself for larger plants, a window sill for future herbs can still be prepared. You can also go to the Farmer’s market or a Harvest Festival Crafts Fair or an early Oktoberfest, to celebrate. Some people go to the local farmers to see what they offer to be harvested, you can get a box of apples or something for a fantastic price. Or they go and drive out to the local vineyards to sample wines and buy some to bring home.

I remember that about this time of year was a busy time for the preparation of foods for storage. It was extremely busy, that when I got home from school, either my Dad or my Uncle would pick me up and take me over to my Granny’s house where my Mom, Aunts and Granny would be in the midst of canning and drying fruits, vegetables, herbs, going through the pantries to see what was needed in the way of jars and such to store things.

I would be in the dinning room doing my homework and being the oldest girl when I was done with it, I was expected to help out in some way.

A table of feasts can be prepared with corn bread, wine or apple cider, pumpkin soup or bread, yams or sweet potatoes, late grapes.

The traditional Foods of Mabon/Autumn are: cornbread, wheat products, bread, grains, berries, nuts, grapes, acorns (not for eating but for decoration) use hazelnuts or walnuts or almonds, seeds (sunflower seeds ), dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots vegetables (i.e. onions, carrots, potatoes, etc), hops (in beer), apples, pomegranates, carrots, onions, potatoes, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale and ciders, breads, apples, pomegranates If it looks like I’m repeating myself I am because I’m gather this from several sources.

I remember my Granny and some of the ladies, my Mom and Aunts, the men folk would drive, they would get together on the Autumn Equinox on a Saturday that was closest to it, to go to a farm that raised cattle, there they would be shown the one or two steers that they had invested in. I remember them saying prayers of thanksgiving, throwing Holy Water on the steers to bless them and then the steers would be led off.

About a week later, we’d go down again and all the meat was freezer wrapped with names on them and what portions they were. They were packed in ice and brought home and put in the freezers that were at one of the ladies’ homes. These were large freezers, very heavy duty. By the time I was graduating from high school that was no longer done for economical reasons, but my Granny substituted a simpler ritual to honor the spirits of those animals whom we rely on to survive.

On the day of the Equinox, a sort of altar was set up outside if the weather was fine, if it was rainy then inside. The altar would be decorated with autumn leaves, mums, Yellow or coral colored roses, yellow and gold colored candles, small plates or bowls of grapes, apples, pomegranates, dried corn, nuts, a statue of a cow or bull and a statue of Mary usually the one Our lady of Grace where she is stepping upon a serpent. There would also be a small bowl of Holy water as well. There would be incense burning, sandalwood usually.

Towards twilight, the candles would be lit and we would gather at the altar, Granny would then take the bowl of Holy water and going clockwise would bless everyone there, then facing the altar I remember her saying prayers, everyone had their rosaries, and she would recite a rosary but on the Our Father beads, instead of the usual mysteries it was something else. On the first three beads right after the cross say a Hail Mary on each bead one for Faith, one for Hope, one for Charity.

Then starting with the first large bead she would announce what it was to remember. The prayers went like this:

First mystery

The planting of the seed

Holy Mother as the seed was planted into you, so do we plant the seed into the ground with hope and love, just as the animals male and female mate, so do we see the abundance to come.

Say Our Father, followed by 10 Hair Mary’s

The growth of the seed

Holy Mother just as you watched your child grow, and mature , just as you and Joseph looked for him in the temple with fear in your hearts for his safety and love that he was safe, so do we watch over our seedlings, our young, with love and fear that they will reach maturity

Repeat the pattern of prayers

The bloom of the flower

Holy Mother, just as you asked him to perform his first miracle so that his ministry would bloom, so do we watch as the blooms form, as the animals swell as the flock grows, knowing that it comes from you.

Repeat the patter of prayers

The making of the fruit

Holy Mother, as you saw his ministry grow and as you began to understand his path so do we see the forming of the fruit and with it the secret it carries.

Repeat the pattern of prayers

The Harvesting.

Holy Mother, as you saw your son cut down at his perfection, and then with weeping buried him so you too saw his resurrection and continuing life, as we see with the Harvesting so do we see within everything the continuing of life everlasting.

Repeat the pattern of prayers

After the final Hail Mary say---

We give thanks to all the abundance that we receive from the harvests and as we receive so do we give back to life, to the earth, from the earth we came, to the earth we return back to our Mother for with each turning of the season so do we understand that from life comes death, from death comes forth life.

Then Say “Hail Holy Queen” prayer

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve, to thee do we send
up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us; and
after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God

That we may be made worthy of the
promises of your Son.

After that then Granny would bless the foods that were on the altar with the holy water, Then she’d take a sharp knife and cutting an apple in half through the middle would show us the hidden 5 pointed star within the apple and say “Behold the hidden rose within all life, it shows air, earth, fire, water that is a part of us and the spirit that is life within us.”

She’d put that apple in a special bowl, sprinkle it with gold glitter, and pour some wine on it, saying “Let the fruit of the vine, the abundance of earth cover us so that we increase in abundance, Oh Holy Mother all source of light and goodness, you have created all things, and filled all creatures with every blessing, lead all of us to your light even as the darkness begins to grow around us so that we will forever see your promise. ”

Then she would take some gold glitter and sprinkle it on our heads, we’d each get an apple to eat, and sip a little wine.

Taking the apple that was cut in half we’d go to a tree in the back yard and bury it at the roots of the tree, and we’d chant “Dying you destroyed death, rising you restore life, by death and resurrection we live forever.”

Afterwards we go into the house and eat, almost always it would be a hearty stew with root vegetables, corn bread and fresh baked sweet French bread, with real butter, apple and berry pies, there’d also be sweet yams or sweet potatoes, cooked kale or spinach, carrots, cheese, Apple cider to drink and wine, coffee of course.

People then would talk about how the year had been so far for them, and look at ways to turn a negative into a positive.

Then the children would be packed off to bed, and Granny would do a prosperity spell if the moon was waxing or full, or a spell to banish negativity if the moon was waning. This would depend upon the phase the moon was in at the time of the Equinox.

The closest Full Moon before or on the Autumn Equinox would be the Harvest Moon, and that is when it is time to do a spell for prosperity.

This Equinox the Harvest Moon falls right upon the time of the equinox so the celebration at this time is very special.

I have given you a ritual that you can do in the privacy of your home, either with a group of people or by yourself with some modifications.

Either before or after this period you should take in any Harvest or Craft Fairs or Octoberfests (don’t get drunk) go through a Farmer’s Market to see the Fall and winter foods that are offered and begin to prepare a list of the foods that you would be eating during this time, look for recipes, especially for hearty stews and soups to see you through the Fall and Winter.

Enjoy an occasional hot cider or hot chocolate for those chilly nights.

This is also the time to put away the Spring and Summer clothes (with cedar blocks to keep them fresh) and bring out the fall & winter clothes, keep a couple of t-shirts or cotton shirts out for the stray hot day, but by Samhain you will be wearing winter clothing. Bring out blankets, and candles, especially those with apple vanilla or cinnamon scents or fall scents avoid pine at this time. You want something that gives the memory of what Grandma’s kitchen would smell like during the fall, if your Grandma was into baking.

I am not going to give a prosperity spell at this time, because I want you to start enjoying and observing this changing season.

Once last note, wiccan’s call this time Mabon, but Granny never did it was simply Fall or Autumn or the 2nd Harvest or harvest Time as a matter of fact from August 1 to Fall was always considered harvest time, the preparation for Winter. This was also a time to check your car, your house, your appliances, clothing and everything to see you through Winter’s challenges. Granny would also start stocking up on those things for colds and flu as well. So that is another thing that you can do.

Bright Blessings. Ms. A.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chapter 1---to Everything there is a Season----The witches' Wheel of the Year


The Wheel of the Year

One of the first things that many people forget is the old adage that “To Everything there is a Season.”

Many wiccans/witches say that the Christian church stole the holidays from the pagans or country dwellers to help make Christianity more palatable. I would be the first to acknowledge this.

But what many practioners of Wicca do not realize is that their practices are variations of the lost Eluisan mysteries which is older than any ancient Egyptian or Sumerian practices.

But because of the vow of secrecy revolving around those ancient practices and how the priestesses were scattered to the four corners of the earth by the early Christian church, we can only infer what they may have been.

One thing is known is that it acknowledges by the use of a theatrical presentation, the story of Demeter and Persephone (aka Kore), or the Seasons of Light and Dark, of Growth and Harvest, of Summer and Winter, of Life and Death. In short “The Wheel of the Year.

Getting back to the Christian worship, if you read in the Bible it says that Shepard’s were out in the field tending their flocks, now if this was to happen on or about Dec 25, it would be impossible because most flocks would be in barns or shelters and Sheppard’s would not be out in the fields because it’s winter. Which confirms that Jesus was born in the spring time or lambing season. (one falsehood corrected)

So it would be impossible to have both the death and resurrection and the birth of Jesus at the same time of year, it throws the balance of the cycle off.

BUT on or about Dec 21 is the shortest day of the year, then soon after the days start getting longer, until it reaches it’s peak at Mid Summer or June 21/22 the longest day of the year, so to have Jesus’ birth right at the time when the world is getting darker and is at it’s darkest point is perfect for that is bringing “The Light into the World” aka “the word made flesh”.

The time of Jesus’ death and ‘resurrection’ is historically correct and is right at the time of what Wiccan’s call Osatra which later became Easter. The celebration of Osatra is at the Spring Equinox the lambing time or when many creatures aka farm animals gives birth, and it is the time when the Earth starts to become green again, the promise of re-birth.

For pagan’s Ostra is pretty much a fixed time because on or about that time the constellation of Orion the Hunter pretty much disappears from the evening night sky, but for Christians Easter is a movable feast; how does one determine Easter in the Christian church? Easter Sunday occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox---it was the church’s way of trying to divorce itself from the pagan origins.

The Christian period of Lent which is 40 days and nights is also determined by when the Christian Easter Sunday is held. But this can vary between various Christian faiths from 44 days to as long at 55 days. See wikipedia’s listing on Lent and its observations, but for many people the idea of Lent is to celebrate the 40 days Jesus was in the desert to fast and pray and was tempted by the Devil which he turned away and then was ministered by the angels for his strength of purpose.

During these 40 days Christians need to build their own strength of purpose this way through Prayer which is Justice towards God, fasting which is Justice towards yourself and almsgiving or financial donation which is Justice towards one’s neighbor, for many people it is also giving up a special food or treat that they enjoy, working to stop a vice such as smoking, over eating or drinking alcohol and giving of one’s time doing a charitable service or fund raising.

During this time some people would go to extremes and give up eating healthy, for others it would be full abstinence from meat of all kinds including fish and trying to stay on vegetarian meals, but in truth the body needs, meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables and fruits of the season to stay healthy, and drinking water to keep hydrated. So fasting must be done with carefulness in mind.

The Islamic feast of Ramadan observes a period of extreme fasting for one month or from moon to moon which is 28/29 days, this is suppose to be in observance of suffering.

But part of the problem with that is that it does not observe the natural 365 days of a proper seasonal year, in a sense because it is only a 12 month lunar year of only 354 days, it throws off the balance of life, so that one can have the fasting during the hottest months and longest days which is very unhealthy for a body. Being a purely 12 month lunar calendar year it is off by a drift of 11 or 12 days each year which throws it out of synchronization with the seasons. If the Islamic calendar followed 13 lunar months it would be in correct balance, but the problem is that it takes 32 ½ years for it to come right with the seasonal year or the witches 13 month lunar year.

Because of that lack of synchronization with the natural seasons, because they observe the Islamic year based on Muslim holy days, I have had some muslims say to me that they always felt out of balance. When I explained to them about the seasonal year did they begin to understand why they felt their bodies were out of balance. Even though their faith in Allah had never weakened it wasn’t until they saw the imbalance with the seasons did they begin to understand something as simple as that, getting the mind and the body in sync with the earth did they understand that by doing that with the Divine Presence did they begin to feel insync.

But the reason for fasting in the natural 365 day calendar year is in fact far more mundane----many animals don’t give birth until about spring time, so the period before can mean low food supplies, chickens can slow down laying eggs, there is no fresh meat, dried foods are getting used up so to make the winter food supplies last longer, it would not be unusual to fast one day a week perhaps two days or eliminate one meal or eat a reduced amount of food, so fasting during this time would not have been unusual. It simply became incorporated into religious worship.

So the witch or follower of the craft, needs to look at a period of time for fasting to observe justice to the higher power, justice to oneself and justice to those in need.

I as a witch would do this, strict observation of fasting from Candelmas or Feb 2 to the Spring Equinox and then Friday fasting from Sunrise to Sunset from the Spring Equinox or the Christian Ash Wednesday to the Christian Easter. During those times it is important to get one’s own house in order to bring in the Freshness and rebirth of the Earth, both before the Spring Equinox and the 40 days to the Christian Easter.

It also happens to be the time, according to the secular calendar year, to do one’s income tax and payment of property tax, so this also helps to get one’s house in order.

In the jewish observance of Passover, they go through great lengths of cleaning everything, much of which has become our secular Spring Cleaning traditions

So what are the other Holidays that are in the Witch’s calendar and the Christians Calendar?

The witches new year always starts on Halloween October 31, All Hallow’s Eve. For Witches this is a time of remembrance of those who have died that year and from times before, one way of doing this is the “Dumb Feast” in which a place serving is set for those who have died, food and drink is put on this plate and cup, then when the feasting is over, the food for the dead is taking out either to one’s back yard or some quiet place and buried and poured (if it’s liquid)

The Mexican people how they celebrate the three days of the Dead starting with Oct 31 is as close to the correct way to celebrate this time, with Oct 31 being for children who have died, Nov 1 for those who were saints who died for their beliefs, and Nov 2 for those who were family, friends and even those you don’t know like the people who died on September 11. There is ritual revolving around this which will be explained in its own separate chapter.

Between All Hallows/Halloween and Yule/Christmas, there is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States and that is Thanksgiving.

The fact that it falls in November is good, because it is a perfect lead into the Yule/Christmas season. My Granny used it as a time to remember those that are with us and to give Thanks for those blessings we have received as well as the life lessons that we are suppose to endure---it is also a time to celebrate Family and the Living.

I’ve already mentioned the Yule/Christmas season as the spiritual aspect of one’s believes and the awakening of those spiritual aspects.

Other days fall in between Yule and Candlemas/Lent the secular New Years Eve, and the Feast of the Epiphany.

Feb 2 is Candlemas followed by Feb 14 Valentine’s day, then we have the Spring Equinox, followed by the Christian Lent and Easter, Then May 1 or May Day, then Midsummer or St. Johns day the longest day of the year, followed by the secular 4th of July, followed by Lammas on August First, the year then concludes with the Fall Equinox on Sept 21 approx.

I will deal with each of the Feast Days or Sabbaths in each of their own chapters and how, what and why each one is celebrated. Since we are at the end and the beginning of the Craft year, it would be good to deal with it as each holiday approaches and how to incorporate each of the Craft/Christian and Secular holidays into our ritual celebrations.

There is also the celebration or ritual working with the Moon in it Full and New aspect, this is referred to as an esabbath or little ritual, it is also time for magical workings as well. That will be dealt with in separate chapters, along with the Moon phases for each working.

In the next few chapters I will talk about the ancient beginnings of the Craft from sympathetic magick to ritual.

As well as symbology and color correspondences and many other things. Please remember this will take time.

The next Chapter before we go onto the Holidays will be about the first step you will need to take to protect yourself from negative energies as you begin to start on your Journey.

But before we do that, here is your first assignment---

Buy a calendar, a large calendar, and on it make sure it notes the full and new moons. Make sure it has space to write things on each day.

I will eventually give you web sites that you can check to see each phase of the moon, those will be important as you do your energy work as you need to do them.

One place that you can go to is Llewellyn publishing They offer calendars especially Astrological calendars, which you will find helpful later on, but please be aware that they also crowd their calendars with other things as well, So a simple calendar with full and new moons and space to write is really best.

Put this calendar where you can see it and check it as needed. List on it the various holiday dates that you will be given as we go through the Witch’s year.

Your second assignment is to get a note book, a cheap note book, in it I want you to make observations of how the weather changes, the seasons change, those wild animals and yes there are wild animals in a city, that appear and then disappear, what blooms and dies, what ripens to be harvested. The various local festivals that your town or city sponsors, the dates that they have them. This will be important later on. Be sure to note the dates that you make your observations.

The reasoning behind this is that in each different local area, the weather changes differently, whether your East or West Coast, north or south, or Midwest, it is important to note these changes and local celebrations.

Your third assignment is to get a three ring binder, you may need to get several of them after a while, also get those page size subject dividers. Label each subject divider this way: History, Wheel of the year, spells, rituals, colors, incense, oils, divination etc. this is just for starters---eventually you will break it down further, such as separating the types of spells for love, prosperity, protection etc to the point where you will be creating different books to cover each subject.

But for now let us start with one binder with dividers, eventually you will see how it will grow.

The next part will be about how did we get religion and are what we doing religious or not.



I get a lot of young people, mostly girls, who are dissatisfied with their current religious upbringing or lack of same.

Many young people feel that their world, their lives are chaotic and out of control, for many reasons. They are trying to find answers and within those answers trying to find a way they can control their lives.

What they do not realize is that certain things, events, places and people are placed in their path for a reason; a learning lesson and they need to learn from those lessons.

Do not think that by knowing how to do magick dark or light that you can dominate someone, you can not, for if they are there for a reason they are there and the higher power will not allow such domination.

What you can do is work to control the impact they or it can have on you, but you must acknowledge the lesson to be learned otherwise Karma will come back to “bit you on the butt, BIG TIME”.

Whatever you do, do NOT skip anything, if I were to train you in person it would require you to be an apprentice, and forget the year and a day thing----proper training requires a life time and also an acknowledgement that there are things you cannot or never will control, that you will always meet up with something or someone stronger than you.

Do not ignore the basics, the foundations and just jump to the spells if you do that you will Not be prepared for the back lash that can happen to you.

So what I plan to do is this--- I will have chapters that deal with history, the why’s we do things, how it came about, I will have chapters that deal with the “Wheel of the Year” so that you understand that we are really connected to the nature energies, I will have chapters about rituals, and I will have chapters about spells (I’m using that as a general word).

I will show you, if you are Christian or Jewish, Muslim (but I will have to do it from a christian perspective) how you can incorporate those beliefs into the Craft, and no you do not have to give up your mundane religious beliefs. My Granny didn’t, as a matter of fact it helped expand my Christian beliefs and give them more meaning, but it did mean to give up the “pleasant poetry” of religious works (i.e. bible, torah, koran) and look at them with a much harder historical eye.

By doing that I have been able to weed out fiction and man-made restrictions from truth.

Granny once told me that ‘TRUTH LIES AT THE BOTTOM OF A WELL’

what she meant is that we have to delve into that deep well of lies, muck, falsehoods, slime of atrocities, mis-conceptions, breaking off the shackles of man-made patriarchy to begin to breathe the sweet air of true freedom.

But even with that freedom comes responsibilities and making sure that out of chaos comes order and to recognize the natural order that the higher power has placed upon us that patriarchal man tries to impose upon us by claiming it’s evil.

Because “TRUTH” is never evil.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Update and possible new Direction

Hello all you other followers of the spiritual arts both light and dark.

This is Ms. Q,

Eventually I will answer the question about Gnomes, fairies and Bigfoot, but I've decided to also post about spiritual practices including magik (this is with a "k" not a "c") the reason is that sometimes I get questions about spells for love, money, protection etc.

So on my chapters section look for those posts that will cover those subjects.

It will be difficult to follow along just by date, so by going by subject, you can also build up your own "Book of Shadows".

Much of what I will write about has been covered in books---many, many books----and pretty much covers what I learned from my Granny, eventually I will re-edit the labels to include chapter headings.

I many even take a break for a while because of family matters and I will include websites for you to check out---one of them will be Inanna's Paranormal Information Blog, she will cover ghosties and things that go bump in the night.

I don't think I can do separate pages on a blog but I'll see.

So watch for new posts---witchcraft posts, hoo-doo post, conjure posts.

Bright Blessings,
Ms. Q