The Smart Witch

Magic and More



To Know ... To Keep Silent

In some traditions, you may hear the phase, "To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent." Sounds sensible enough, but what does it really mean?

The phrase refers to four important reminders about the practice of Wicca. Although the interpretations may vary, in general, you can follow these explanations as beginning guidelines:

To Know
To Know refers to the idea that the spiritual journey is one of knowledge - and the study and accumulation of that knowledge is never-ending. If we are indeed "to know," then we must constantly be learning, questioning and expanding our horizons. Also, we must know ourselves before we can know our true paths.

To Dare
To Dare can be interpreted having the courage we need to grow. By daring ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, to be something that people see as "other," we are in fact fulfilling our own need "to dare." We are facing that which is unknown, moving into a realm that is far outside what we're used to.

To Will
To Will means having determination and perseverance. Nothing of any value comes with ease, and spiritual growth is no exception. Do you want to be a competent practitioner of magic? Then you must study, practice and work at it. If you make the choice to evolve and grow spiritually, then you will be able to do so - but it is, in fact, a choice we make. Our will guides us, and will lead us to success. Without it, we are stagnant.

To Keep Silent
To Keep Silent means that we need to make sure we never "out" other members of the Pagan community without their knowledge and permission. It also means we need to keep our practices private. Furthermore, it means that we need to learn the value of inner silence. It is a rare person indeed who recognizes that sometimes the unspoken is more important than the words we utter.





Elemental Magic: Earth

Earth, Air, Fire and Water. These Elements correspond to the four directions of our physical world, the four quarters of the universe, the four winds, and most importantly the four quarters of the magical circle.

This post concerns the Element of Earth. The source and provider of all our needs. Earth represents sensations, decay, patience, stability, strength, health, warmth and comfort, animals and animal instincts, farming and physical labor.

Its feeling is dry and cold, its season is Winter, its colors are Browns, Blacks, Purples and some Greens. Its symbol is the Pentacle or rice, salt or grain in a brass or terra cotta bowl or a stone. Its Moon phase is the Fourth Quarter and its favored time is Midnight.

A high Earth person seems a practical sort and quite "down to earth". A hard worker, stable and a good provider - although he or she can be a little too stubborn. A low Earth person can seem confused, insecure and alone, unable to feel wanted and the work may be affected.

Earth Magic can involve the use of herbs and plants. Using the correct herbs to attain your desire can be very effective. Burying objects and making offerings to the Earth - such as planting trees - are forms of Earth Magic. Using your gems or crystals and burying them in the Earth under an appropriate tree while making your wish is also effective.

Something else that is considered Earth Magic is any type of routine magic. Anything you do on a routine basis can be used as a magical vehicle. While performing something you do at the same time everyday, prepare yourself and use this period for clarity on a subject, determine the best course of action in a situation or to find just where you are in the course of your life.





Elemental Magic: Air

Earth, Air, Fire and Water. These Elements correspond to the four directions of our physical world, the four quarters of the universe, the four winds, and most importantly the four quarters of the magical circle.

This post concerns the Element of Air. Air represents mental activity, thoughts, reason and intellect. It represents memory, knowledge, persuasion, birth and friendship, freedom, clarification and expression.

A high Air person is at ease in complex situations and can sit and think things through, and can carry through with decisions. A low Air person will seem to be without any direction and unable to define or visualize any future and can not reason out the alternatives and objectives.

It's feelings are moist heat, it's season is Spring, it's direction is East/Mental. The symbol is the Wand, Athame, or the smoke of the incense. It's colors are White, Light Blues, Yellows and Green. The Moon phase is the first quarter, and it's time is Dawn.

Different types of Air Magic include Visualizations. An important tool in any magical work, visualization makes the events happen. For this type, it is important that all the other factors, such as color, time, the moon phase, winds, and so on, are all in balance. Have the other tools working, such as incense and candle burning, or even the right tea or wine to drink in the background. This helps you to "fix" or "ground" the images or ideas you are using in your visualization.

As our thoughts are extremely powerful, as are our Words. Words can be put together in such a way as to form spells, or used in channeling your power. Words give rise to our desires and can be released upon the winds for attainment.

When created and repeated with intensity and concentration the spoken word is a powerful magic in itself. You do not have to be an accomplished linguist, a simple sentence will do. This creates an atmosphere of concentrated awareness and strength. Words can be used in moments of stress and fear, and will create the magic itself. The words do not have to be spoken aloud, say them to yourself if needed or wanted.

Another Air Magic is Mirror Magic. It can help in overcoming inner problems and also help with difficult personal decisions. Mirror magic uses both the Word and Visualization forms and can also aid in being able to visualize a future event. A mirror may be used as a Scrying Tool, in which you are able to "see" possible future events.





Elemental Magic: Fire

Earth, Air, Fire and Water. These Elements correspond to the four directions of our physical world, the four quarters of the universe, the four winds, and most importantly the four quarters of the magical circle.

This post concerns the Element of Fire. Fire represents passion, enthusiasm, desire and courage. It is force, lust, fertility and virility, initiative and rejuvenation. Fire represents both light and heat. The light of intelligence and the courage to follow it.

A high fire person is bold, dramatic and passionate in all areas within himself or herself, however this person must be careful as fire can destroy everything in its path. A low fire person is usually cold, slow to act, without enthusiasm for life or himself or herself.

Fire magic can bring on the new, bring on courage and passion and destroy the old. It's feelings are hot and dry, it's season is Summer and direction is South/Energy. Its symbol is the Athame/Sword, Candle and the Burner. Its colors are Reds, Oranges and Golds. The moon phase is the second quarter and it's time is high Noon.

The different types of Fire Magic are Bonfire Magic, which usually involves burning something such as an herb or flower, or a piece of paper or petition on which you have written your desire. It is used for banishing, ridding or destroying negative influences in your life.

Another is Candle Magic, a simple, easy and useful method in bringing about your desires. A color for the candle is chosen and can also include the correct scent in relation to your desire and lit sometimes for up to seven days. This type of Fire Magic is usually for any type of desire.

Another is Sun Magic. Using the Sun in your desires is a beautiful way in which to enhance new beginnings in love, health, work and home, awaken subtle powers and aid in attraction desires.





Elemental Magic: Water

Earth, Air, Fire and Water. These Elements correspond to the four directions of our physical world, the four quarters of the universe, the four winds, and most importantly the four quarters of the magical circle.

This post concerns the Element of Water. Water is the symbol of our emotions. Water imbues all life forms, and in us we flow with the "tide" of our feelings. Water involves intuition, insight, conception and pregnancy, fertility, the womb, health, beauty and divination.

A high water person may seem as though at the slightest touch the well is opened and can be over emotional and over dramatic in all areas of life. A low water person may appear as a cold calculating one, one who is indifferent and unresponsive. A good balance of water here is needed to keep the flow running smoothly.

Its feelings are cold moisture, its season is Fall. Its direction is West/Emotion and its colors are Blue, Light Grays, Sea Greens and Whites. The symbols are the cup or chalice. The Moon phase is the Full Moon and its time is Dusk.

Some Water Magic can involve the use of the beach and its sand, shells, animals and seawater. This is especially good for love spells and when you need to "get a grip" or clarify your own emotions. Shells are widely used in the practice. These can hold appropriate herbs or be used as a symbol of Water Magic.

One old tradition is using that of well water. Gems and stones are exposed to this for a period of time and used at night, during the full moon or the waxing phases, for Water Magic. Be careful though to know your stones, as some do not react well in water for long periods of time.

This type of magic can give you insights to how others think of you, what others are doing and how well they are. Water Magic can help you to find the truth within yourself. Be careful when using this type of magic, though, for if there is an intent of maliciousness or control of another, all you will get is a reflection back unto yourself.

Water spells can involve the use of a Scrying bowl. This is a bowl of clear or colored water in which you are able to "see" the future and future events or get a clear direction on decisions. Scrying bowls are widely used in certain meditations and visualizations.




Accessing Past Lives

Have you ever wondered how you know what you know, why you are attracted to or repelled by certain people, places and objects - or even periods of history? Why you enjoy certain foods, fragrances, music or physical locations and dislike others? Do you dream of other time periods, especially ones you experience repeatedly? These experiences may be your past lives speaking to you.

It doesn’t take an oracle to tap into your past lives. In fact, it’s easy for you to open the door to an exciting new adventure and reveal who you were in a past life.

Consider how your memories come to you. You experience them in one or more of your senses: seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling. The following exercise may teach you something about yourself that you never knew.

Exercise 1: Think of an example for each of these questions:
• Do you imagine in pictures? Can you see in your mind with your eyes open or closed? Do you see color or black and white?
• Can you remember and re-experience sounds such as music or a song in your head? Can you recall conversations? Can you in fact hear them?
• Can you remember what something feels like to touch? Do you remember experiences through your emotions, either positive or negative?
• Can you remember and re-experience in your mind the tastes of foods that you like or dislike? Are there any foods that you remember by the way they feel in your mouth?
• Can you bring back the memory of an aroma? Can you remember a fragrance that is pleasing and comforting?

You may have answers to all the questions above, or you may be able to remember with only one or just a few of the senses. That is the way you are; no one will do this exercise the same way.

So how well do you imagine? Memories are a form of imagination. The way you recall in your five senses is the way you imagine. Your unconscious mind is the repository that holds all the images in your memory, even those from past lives. Some people have a hard time accepting what they are imaging. They analyze the bits and pieces and miss the big picture that is arising from their unconscious mind.

Exercise 2: Try this to see how well you imagine with your senses:
• Imagine a relaxed, positive and peaceful place in your mind that may be real or made up. Can you visualize it?
• Can you place yourself in the picture, experiencing the sounds, temperature, smells, or even tastes if there are any? What are you wearing? Are you holding or carrying anything?
• How does it feel to be in this place? If you can imagine a good feeling, take a comfortable long breath and let yourself enjoy this positive and relaxing feeling.

Were you able to experience this exercise through one or more of your senses? If you did, you are already well on the way to developing tools that will help you in discovering your past lives.

How many times have you heard someone wistfully long for “the olden days”? Do you have a favorite time in history that you are especially attracted to or interested in? If you do, take a comfortable breath and perform the following exercise.

Exercise 3: Imagine a picture from an olden time that interests you. Make note of the details in the scene.
• Can you imagine being in the scene and looking through the eyes of someone there? If you can, raise your hand and feel their hair and describe what you feel.
• Look at their feet. What do you see? Are they barefoot or wearing shoes?
• What about the clothes? Long, short, silky, rough? How do they feel when you run your hands over them? How they feel as you are wearing them?
• What is the temperature there? Look around – can you tell what season it is?
• What do you imagine for smells? Food, fires for cooking or warmth, perfume, the scent of flowers?
• Do you experience the taste of anything? Remember that some scents or images, like lemons, can evoke a taste or a feeling in your mouth.
• What are the emotions connected with the scene? Happy or unhappy? Is there peace and plenty, or war and need?
• Can you now play and witch this scene as if it is a movie? If something is unpleasant, you can always come back to the surface of your conscious mind.
• Play the scene in your mind, looking around 360 degrees – what is going on around you? Is there something you should be doing right now? Perhaps you are making something like a meal or pottery? Maybe you have something in your hand, is it humble or ornate?
• How do you feel as you play and watch the scene? Perhaps the pride of an artisan in his or her craft? Maybe there are children or animals requiring your attention? Are you hungry or well fed, clean or grimy, striving or subjugated?

Play the scene for as long as you can, taking in each detail, each nuance through your senses. Now come back to full consciousness. Did you experience anything? If you did, you may have discovered a scene from one of your past lives. That is how easy it is.

And nothing may happen the first or second or even third time you try this. Keep at it, and don’t bring any preconceptions to the exercises like how you think you may have died in a past life because you’re afraid of something now, or that you must have been royalty, or that your current gender is the one you’ve always been.




Windflowers
      John William Waterhouse

"Let The Beauty We Love Be What We Do."

- Rumi




Sabbats

Eight Sabbats comprise the Wheel of the Year. The Sabbats are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. These days are Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lughnasadh, and Mabon. Sabbats are celebrated in honor of the God, since it is His sacrifice of birth, life, death and rebirth that are represented by the Sabbats.

Esbats are the celebration of the 13 full moons that occur every year. The Esbats are lunar and represent the Goddess at her height of power. These are the times when Her magic is more potent than on any other day of the month. To see a list of the dates for the Full Moons, visit the Reference page.

Samhain
Other Names: Witch's New Year, Summer's End, All Hollow's Even
Northern Hemisphere Date:
April 30 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Southern Hemisphere Date: October 31 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of:
The Lord dies and awaits his rebirth at Yule
Related Holiday:
Halloween
Colors:
Orange & Brown
Symbols:
Fall fruits
Notes:
This is the day that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. This is a good time for divination. At dinner, remember to set a place for your loved ones that have past this year. Leave an offering of food and drink on your door step for those souls that may still wander.

Yule
Other Names: Winter Solstice
Northern Hemisphere Date:
December 21 (there about)
Southern Hemisphere Date: June 21 (there about)
Celebration of:
The Goddess gives birth to the God
Related Holiday:
Christmas
Colors:
Purple or Dark Green
Symbols:
Holly, mistletoe, pine branches, pine cones, wreath
Notes:
Shortest day of the year. Yule log is decorated with evergreen & holly strands before being lit at sunset and is burned until sunrise. Celebration of family and friends. Celebration of peace, love and positive energy.

Imbolc
Other Names: Imbolq, Olmeic, Candlemas, Brigits Day, Bride Day
Northern Hemisphere Date:
February 2 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Southern Hemisphere Date: August 2 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of:
The God is a young child growing in size and strength
Related Holiday:
Valentine's Day
Colors:
Pink or Pale Green
Symbols:
The Candle Wheel, Evergreens, Willows, Grain Dolly
Notes:
First planting of spring. Ritual fires are burned. A time for birth, healing and inspiration. This is a popular time for vows of dedication or consecration.

Ostara
Other Names: Spring Equinox, Eostre
Northern Hemisphere Date:
March 21 (there about)
Southern Hemisphere Date: September 21 (there about)
Celebration of:
The God and Goddess begin their courtship
Related Holiday:
Easter
Colors:
Light Green
Symbols:
Spring flowers
Notes:
Light overtakes the dark. Rebirth of life. Contemplate new beginnings and fresh ideas. Serious mediation on your hopes and dreams for the coming year. Solar festival of fire, light, and fertility.

Beltane
Other Names: Beltane, May Eve, May Day, Samradh
Northern Hemisphere Date:
May 1 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Southern Hemisphere Date: November 1 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of:
The Lord and Lady consummate their relationship
Colors:
White, Red and Pink
Symbols:
Spring flowers (especially the rose).
Notes:
Fire and fertility festival. Jumping over the balefire was said to insure protection. Dance around the May Pole. Ring bells to scare away bad spirits. Time for appreciation and affection for all that you have been given in your life. End of spring planting. A time for new beginnings, concepts and ideas.

Litha
Other Names: Summer Solstice, Midsummer
Northern Hemisphere Date:
June 21 (there about)
Southern Hemisphere Date: December 21 (there about)
Celebration of:
The Goddess is pregnant with the God
Related Holiday:
Feast of John the Baptist
Colors:
White and Pale Yellow
Symbols:
Spear (God) and Cauldron (Goddess). Summer flowers, St. John's Wort, birch, white Lilly's
Notes:
Longest day of the year. The God is at his peak strength. Midpoint of the year. Light large bonfires after sundown. Peak of magickal power. Remember that nothing lasts forever. Celebrate abundance, fertility, virility, beauty, and the bounty of our earth. Good time for handfasting, workings for empowerment and consummation.

Lughnasadh
Other Names: Lammas, Lughnasad, Lugnassad, Lunasa
Northern Hemisphere Date:
August 2 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Southern Hemisphere Date: February 2 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of:
A Festival of not only life and bounty, but of harvest and death, the complete cycle of life.
Colors:
Gold and Bright Yellow
Symbols:
Summer flowers, nuts and grains
Notes:
Fire and light festival. First grain harvest. Feast dedicated to Earth Mother. Count your blessings.

Mabon
Other Names: Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Pagan Thanksgiving
Northern Hemisphere Date: September 21 (there about)
Southern Hemisphere Date:
March 21 (there about)
Celebration of:
The God now sleeps within the womb of the Goddess
Colors:
Dark Brown and Red
Symbols:
Harvest Foods
Notes:
Second harvest festival. Celebration of thanks for the crops that were harvested. Dark overtakes the light.


 

Invocation to the Goddess

Divine are Your honors,
Oh Mother of the Gods and
Nurturer of All.
Yoke your swift chariot
drawn by bull-slaying lions and,

O Mighty Goddess
Who brings things to pass, join our prayers.

Many named and reverend,
You are the Queen of the Sky.
In the cosmos,
Your throne is above all others,
For You are Queen of the Earth.

You give gentle nourishment
To us mortals.
Goddesses, Gods and mortals
Were born of You,
And You hold sway
Over the rivers and all of the sea.

Hestia, Gaia, Demeter,
Inanna, Isis, Astarte,
Ishtar, Persephone, Diana,
Giver of prosperity
Who bestows upon mortals
All manner of gifts.

Come to this Rite,
Queen whom the drum delights.
Honored and loving Nurturer of Life,
Joyfully and graciously
Visit our deeds of piety.


 

Invocation to the God

Hear Our Prayer,
O best and Many-Named God.
Fine-haired, solitary,
And full of lovely song;
Many shaped and noble
Nurturer of all,

Maiden and youth in one,
Unwithering bloom,
O Adonis
You vanish and grow
Again in the fair seasons' turn.

Kurnunnos, Pan, Myrddhn,
Two horned Spirit
Of growth and blooming;
Much loved and wept for are you,
O Fair and Youthful
Hunter of the luxuriant mane.

Desire is in Your mind and
You come to the Goddess
In reverence and respect,
In sensuous joy is
Your desire fulfilled.

You are the seed planted
In the depths of the Underworld
That springs forth,
The Green God,
That we may sustain our lives.

You sacrifice Yourself
In gentleness
When you are grown.

Come Kind-Hearted One,
Come Blessed God,
And bring much joy to all.







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