Winter Solstice

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The shortest day of the year marks at the Winter Solstice, known to Wiccans as Yule (from the Norse Iul, meaning "wheel"). This is the time when the new Sun God is born to the Mother Goddess. It is one of the Lesser Sabbats of the year and falls at or about December 21.

The myth of the battle between the Holly King and the Oak King that occurs at the Winter Solstice and again at the Summer Solstice can be found throughout Europe. The Yule battle is won by the Oak King, who then rules as the days increase in length and the Wheel of the Year turns toward the summer. In the summer the Holly King wins. Remnants of this belief in the battle may be found in the traditional Yule Mummers play, performed across Britain and Europe (and now even in the United States) often in association with Morris dancing. In the play the light is represented by St. George and the darkness by a Turkish knight.

Part of the Pagan celebration is the gathering and displaying of evergreen boughs, showing the promise of new life in the coming spring. A Yule tree is erected in many areas to represent the phallus, or the spirit of fertility. From this came the Christian Christmas tree (gifts from the tree actually symbolize the semen springing from the phallus). Yule was established as the birth date of Mithra--with veneration for the sun--and was then adopted by the New Religion (within a few days) to mark the birth of the "Son" Jesus.

A Yule log is burned on the balefire at this time. Obtained from the land of the covenstead, the log is ceremoniously carried in and placed in the fireplace (or the balefire, if at the sabbat site) with just one end of the fire. Lit from the remnants of the previous year's Yule log, it is then inched forward as it burns. The end of a fresh Yule log from that fire is then saved and carefully kept until the following year and is used to start that year's fire. The Yule log supposedly protected the house from fire and lightning thoughout the year. The balefire itself was burned to give life to the sun on its journey. Ashes from the Yule fire were mixed with cow manure and sprinkled over the filds as a symbolic aid to fertility, insuring new life and a fertile spring.

An Invitation To the Fringe of Reality

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I don't think I have mentioned it here in the ezine before, but I'm thinking that many of you readers would enjoy my new forum - Fringe of Reality - so I invite you all to check it out. Once you're there, I would very much appreciate it if you'd introduce yourself at this thread so we can all get to know you. That way we know you are a real live person, and not an email harvester. We've had a few of those lately, so be sure to check the "hide your email address" option when you sign up.

Just a note about the topics discussed there - well, they can be about anything you like, even if it is something completely off-the-wall. In fact, we welcome those types of topics, because they tend to make one think outside the box. Chances are, if you are subscribed to this ezine, you pretty much think outside the box anyway, so you would be most welcome there! So, if you want to rant and rave about something, that's fine - or if you just want to start a chit-chat thread, that's fine too. Everyone is welcome - except spammers, phishers, and email harvesters, of course!

Hope to see you there!

The Killer In the Backseat | Urban Legend

I was looking around for some cool urban legends and I found this classic. You have probably heard it before. I remember seeing something about it on the movie Urban Legend, I think. Anyway, I thought you guys might enjoy something like this.

--K

The Killer In the Backseat


As told by Emily Dunbar...

One night a woman went out for drinks with her girlfriends. She left the bar fairly late at night, got in her car and onto the deserted highway. She noticed a lone pair of headlights in her rear-view mirror, approaching at a pace just slightly quicker than hers. As the car pulled up behind her she glanced and saw the turn signal on — the car was going to pass — when suddenly it swerved back behind her, pulled up dangerously close to her tailgate and the brights flashed.

Now she was getting nervous. The lights dimmed for a moment and then the brights came back on and the car behind her surged forward. The frightened woman struggled to keep her eyes on the road and fought the urge to look at the car behind her. Finally, her exit approached but the car continued to follow, flashing the brights periodically.

Through every stoplight and turn, it followed her until she pulled into her driveway. She figured her only hope was to make a mad dash into the house and call the police. As she flew from the car, so did the driver of the car behind her — and he screamed, "Lock the door and call the police! Call 911!"

When the police arrived the horrible truth was finally revealed to the woman. The man in the car had been trying to save her. As he pulled up behind her and his headlights illuminated her car, he saw the silhouette of a man with a butcher knife rising up from the back seat to stab her, so he flashed his brights and the figure crouched back down.

The moral of the story: Always check the back seat!

Comments:
In another common variant of this legend, the imperiled female (and it's always a female, please note) pulls into a gas station and is frightened by the odd behavior of the attendant, who keeps trying to get her to leave the car and join him in the office. It turns out he has glimpsed a knife-wielding murderer in the backseat and is trying to save her life!

Folklorists have traced the legend back to the 1960s and believe it may have been inspired by a vaguely similar real event in 1964 involving the discovery by a New York City policeman of an escaped murderer hiding in the backseat of his (the cop's) own car.

"The Killer in the Backseat" was among the legendary horror stories dramatized in the 1998 film Urban Legend. Let us not assume, however, that real-life evildoers never lie in wait for their victims in the backseats of vehicles. As reported in the Decatur Daily News on September 14, 2007, a female college student in Alabama was threatened by a man with a gun who popped up suddenly in the backseat of her SUV. She escaped, fortunately, by slamming on the brakes and bolting from the car.

Source

Yule Lore | December 21st | Sabbat

Monday, December 01, 2008

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.

Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land, or given as a gift... it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.

Source

Tips On How To Have a Budget-Friendly Yule

I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but let's face it, our economy in the US is in horrible shape right now, and many of our pocket books are suffering.

But I say don't despair. There are ways around this sort of thing. Patti Wigington at About.com: Paganism/Wicca has written a lovely article on how you can cut your costs this Yule.

I found her tips to be very helpful and I thought you might too. In her article, Patti discusses the following 10 ways to help you save money this holiday season:

  1. Make a Budget
  2. Don't Spend a Fortune on Cards
  3. Shop Early
  4. Trim the Trimmings
  5. Don't Buy Yourself Stuff
  6. Forget the Expensive Party
  7. Ditch the Fancy Wrapping Paper
  8. Donate Time Instead of Cash
  9. Pay Now, Not Later
  10. Have a Greener Yule

2,900-Year-Old Gravestone Reveals Ancient Belief System

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A 2,900-year-old gravestone from the ancient kingdom of Sam'al, located in what is today southeastern Turkey, has shed light on an ancient religious belief heretofore unknown. The gravestone, called a stele, is in nearly pristine condition and archaeologists were able to translate all the writing on it. Now they've gained new insight into what people of the Iron Age believed about souls and death.

A team of archaeologists from the University of Chicago will discuss their findings at a conference this weekend. The man who created the stele was named Kuttamuwa, and he describes himself as a "servant" of King Panamuwa. Kuttamuwa's stele, in pristine condition, was found in a suburb of the walled city, far from the palace - archeologists speculate it was probably the man's own house. Though the city of Sam'al was influenced by local Semitic cultures in many ways - including their language - Kuttamuwa and Panamuwa are names that show the Indo-European cultural influence. Also, Kuttamuwa was cremated, a practice shunned by Semitic tribes of that era.

Apparently Kuttamuwa had his stele made while he was still alive, and last summer the archeological team found it, translating its inscription like this (there are question marks for translations they aren't sure of yet):

I, Kuttamuwa, servant of Panamuwa, am the one who oversaw the production of this stele for myself while still living. I placed it in an eternal chamber(?) and established a feast at this chamber(?): a bull for [the storm-god] Hadad, ... a ram for [the sun-god] Shamash, ... and a ram for my soul that is in this stele.


Written in an alphabet derived from Phoenician, the language is a West Semitic dialect similar to Aramaic and Hebrew. The stone depicts Kuttamuwa himself, eating at a table laden with food and drink.

What this reveals, according to research lead David Schloen, is that Kuttamuwa's people believed in a split between body and soul. This was a relatively novel belief at the time, and many neighboring peoples like the Israelites believed the body and soul were one. Kuttamuwa, however, planned for his soul to remain in the stele while his body was cremated. That's why he requested a "feast" in the chamber to feed his soul. Researchers found remains of food offerings in ancient bowls around the stele.

According to archeologist Schloen:

Kuttumuwa's inscription shows a fascinating mixture of non-Semitic and Semitic cultural elements, including a belief in the enduring human soul—which did not inhabit the bones of the deceased, as in traditional Semitic thought, but inhabited his stone monument, possibly because the remains of the deceased were cremated. Cremation was considered to be abhorrent in the Old Testament and in traditional West Semitic culture, but there is archaeological evidence for Indo-European-style cremation in neighboring Iron Age sites.

Funerary Monument Reveals Iron Age Belief [via University of Chicago]


Source

The Ancient City of Petra

Situated in present-day Jordan and hidden amidst nearly impenetrable mountains to the east of the valley connecting the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, stands the ancient city of Petra. One of the world’s most visually stunning archaeological sites, Petra (meaning ‘the rock’ in Greek) is an abandoned necropolis of temples and tombs cut into towering cliffs of red, pink and orange sandstone.

Primarily known as a commercial and ceremonial center of the Nabataean culture during the centuries before and after the time of Christ, the region of Petra was inhabited in far greater antiquity. Archaeological excavations have revealed a rock shelter of the Upper Paleolithic period, dating to around 10,000 BC, and a Neolithic village from the 7th millennium BC. While evidence of habitation during the Chalcolithic and Bronze ages has not yet been found, the region of Petra was again occupied in the early Iron Age, around 1200 BC, by the Edomite culture of the Old Testament (Edom, meaning red, is the Biblical name for this region of the Middle East).


During the 6th –4th centuries BC, the Nabataeans, a nomadic tribe from the northwestern part of Arabia, entered and gradually took over the lands controlled by the Edomites. The first historical mention of the Nabataeans is in a list of the enemies of the King of Assyria in 647 BC, during which time Petra was still occupied by the Edomites. There are several reasons, religious and economic, suggested for the Nabataeans selection of Petra as their capital. The city of Petra is situated at the beginning of Wadi Musa, meaning the Valley of Moses, and this site had long been venerated as one of the traditional sites where Moses struck the ground and the water gushed forth. The region was also revered by the Nabataeans as the sacred precinct of their god Dushara.



Petra’s prominence also derives from its proximity to ancient caravan routes, its easily defended location, stable water resources and proximity to rich agricultural and grazing lands. The Nabataean capital was strategically situated only twenty kilometers from the crossroads of two vital trade routes; one linking the Persian Gulf (and thereby the silks and spices of India and China) with the Mediterranean Sea (and the empires of the Greeks and Romans), the other connecting Syria with the Red Sea. In their early years, the Nabataeans probably only plundered these caravans but as they grew more powerful they seem to have levied tolls as a guarantee of safe conduct. By the third and second centuries BC, the city of Petra had developed into a rich and powerful center of the caravan trade. During the next four hundred years, their dominion spread as far north as Damascus and their capital city was beautified with splendid temples, tombs and many hundreds of freestanding residential and commercial buildings (the less substantial houses and stores have long since crumbled to sand). The earliest tombs and temples, dating from 300 BC, show Egyptian and Assyrian characteristics, and with the Greek and later Roman influences the Nabataeans developed their own distinctive architectural style. All these structures were laboriously cut into the soft sandstone rock that would have long ago crumbled if not for the fact that this region of Jordan receives very little rain.


In 106 AD, the entire Nabataean kingdom came under the control of the Roman Empire. During the ensuing centuries Petra continued to prosper as the Romans carved many buildings as well as a great theater capable of holding 3000 spectators. While the political and economic power was completely in the hands of the Romans, the Nabataeans continued to adhere to the practices of their own religion. With Emperor Constantine’s proclamation of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire in 324 AD, Petra and the lands of the Nabataeans came under the sway of the Byzantine Empire for the next three hundred years. An inscription in the so-called Urn Tomb indicates that the interior was converted to a Christian church in the fifth century, when there was a Bishopric of Petra.


The Christianization of the Roman Empire signaled the end of the golden era of Nabataean culture and the magnificent city of Petra. Decline slowly set in. With the establishment of the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus in 661 the region of Petra fell under the control of Islam and the commercial importance of the city plummeted. A series of earthquakes in the 7th and 8th centuries destroyed many of the cities in the region, further weakening the agricultural and commercial infrastructure. Following the establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad in 750, the region of Petra was neglected and thereafter virtually disappears from the historical record. Abandoned to time and the elements, Petra was unknown to the outside world - with the single exception of an insignificant Crusader fortress built in the 12th century - until its ‘rediscovery’ in 1812.


Studying the Middle East with the funding of an English explorers society, a young Swiss adventurer, Johann Burckhardt, was slowly making his way from Damascus to Cairo by a little known and dangerous land route. Fluent in Arabic and posing as a Muslim traveler, he heard tales from desert Bedouins of the extraordinary ruins of an ancient city hidden in the remote Sharra Mountains. No European had seen the fabled city, or lived to tell about it, and Burckhardt recognized that he would have to resort to deceit to gain entrance. A plan developed in his mind. He would hire local Bedouins as guides, telling them that he intended to sacrifice a goat at the shrine of Aaron (the brother of Moses), whose tomb he believed was in the vicinity of the ruined city. At the village of Elji (now called Wadi Musa), Burckhardt persuaded two Bedouin to escort him along the Valley of Moses and toward the shrine of Aaron. There is only one reasonably safe path leading to the shrine from Wadi Musa and, luckily for Burckhardt, it passed directly through the ruins of Petra. Winding his way along an extremely narrow gorge the explorer came unexpectedly upon the great rock temple of Khasneh. More than 30 meters high and carved entirely out of the face of the sheer cliff, the Khasneh has become the symbol of Petra and was immortalized in the Hollywood movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Bedouin leading Burckhardt to the tomb of Aaron became increasingly suspicious of his intentions with the result that he neither reached the tomb nor was able to view the major shrine of the Nabataeans, known as Al Deir (he did, however, perform his mock sacrifice at the foot of Jebel Haroun).



Located in a remote gorge, northwest of the center of Petra, Al Deir is the largest and most visually stunning of all the structures in Petra. Carved entirely out of the red sandstone of a mountain wall, the temple is 50 meters wide by 45 meters tall and has an 8-meter tall entrance door. Inside the single empty chamber (12.5 by 10 meters), the walls are plain and unadorned except for a niche in the back wall with a block of stone representing the deity Dushara. The chief deities of the Nabataeans were Dushara, Al-Uzza and Allat. The name Dushara means ‘He of the Shara’, referring to the Sharra Mountains on the northern border of Petra. Like the Hebrew god, Jehovah, Dushara was symbolized by an obelisk or standing block of stone (and this indicates influences from archaic Sumerian, Egyptian and megalithic cultures) and his symbolic animal was the bull. The goddess Al-Uzza was symbolized by a lion and was the ‘peoples’ deity, where as Dushara was the god of the nobility and the official cult. The goddess Allat was associated with natural springs, of which there are several in the otherwise extremely arid lands of the Sharra Mountains.


An elaborate processional way leads to Al Deir from the center of Petra and the enormous flat courtyard in front of the temple, capable of accommodating thousands of people, suggests that the temple was the site of large-scale ceremonies. There are traces of a stone ring in the courtyard but no other indications of the type of worship that was practiced by the Nabataeans. While the exact age of the temple is unknown, on stylistic grounds scholars date it to the mid-1st century AD. The Al Deir is sometimes called ‘The Monastery’ because of a belief that it served as a church during Byzantine times. A few small crosses carved on the interior walls show that the Christians used the temple for some purpose.


According to certain traditions it was in the region of Petra that Miriam, the sister of Moses, died and was buried. Her mountaintop shrine was still shown to pilgrims at the time of St. Jerome in the 4th century AD but its location has not been identified since. Some scholars have suggested that the temple of Al Deir may be the site of her grave but this was certainly not the original or the primary use of the temple.


The splendid ruins of Petra, which were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, have for some years been faced with a worrying threat; salt blown in from the Dead Sea is encrusting the relatively delicate sandstone and slowly weakening the buildings.


Other important sacred places in Petra include Al-Madbah, The High Place of Sacrifice, on the summit of Jabal Madbah; a cult site devoted to the spirit of water on the mountain of Umm al-Biyara; the mountain of el-Barra where stands Aaron’s tomb; and, at the entrance of Petra, three massive Jinn (spirit) stones sacred to the local tribes. Fifty miles north of Petra, on the peak of Jebel Tannur, stands the important Nabataean shrine of Khirbet Tannur.


Readers interested in more extensive information on the religious practices and enigmatic dolphin iconography of the Nabataeans will enjoy Deities and Dolphins: The Story of the Nabataeans; by Nelson Glueck.


Source

Ra | Egyptian Sun God | King of the Gods

Depicted as a falcon crowned with a sun disk or a man with a falcon's head.

Ra was the God of the Sun. He sailed across the heavens in a boat called the 'Barque of Millions of Years'. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and sailed on his night voyage through the Underworld, leaving the Moon to light the world above. The boat would sail through the twelve doors, representing the twelve hours of night-time. The next dawn, he was born again.

It was not always smooth sailing. During the day Ra had to fight his chief enemy, a snake called Apep. He was helped by the other gods, such as Seth and Bastet.

The sun disk on Ra's head often has a cobra round it. A cobra appears on the forehead of Pharaohs, like Tutankhamun.

Ra was the greatest of the gods and he kept his power in his secret name, which only he knew. He had started to grow old, and sometimes he dribbled. Isis collected some of his saliva and made it into a snake. She hid the snake where Ra would walk. When Ra trod on it, it bit him, and Ra screamed in pain. All the gods gathered round, but none could heal him. Isis said "If you tell me your secret name, this will give me enough magic power to heal you." Ra didn't want to do this, but eventually the pain was so bad that he had to. Isis healed him, and ever since then she has the magic powers that Ra had.

Source

Pygmalion

Pygmalion saw so much to blame in women that he came at last to abhor the sex, and resolved to live unmarried. He was a sculptor, and had made with wonderful skill a statue of ivory, so beautiful that no living woman could be compared to it in beauty. It was indeed the perfect semblance of a maiden that seemed to be alive, and only prevented from moving by modesty. His art was so perfect that it concealed itself, and its product looked like the workmanship of nature. Pygmalion admired his own work, and at last fell in love with the counterfeit creation. Oftentimes he laid his hand upon it, as if to assure himself whether it were living or not, and could not even then believe that it was only ivory. He caressed it, and gave it presents such as young girls love, bright shells and polished stones, little birds and flowers of various hues, beads and amber. He put raiment on its limbs, and jewels on its fingers, and a necklace about its neck. To the ears he hung earrings and strings of pearls upon the breast. Her dress became her, and she looked not less charming than when unattired. He laid her on a couch spread with cloths of Tyrian dye, and called her his wife, and put her head upon a pillow of the softest feathers, as if she could enjoy their softness.

The festival of Venus was at hand, a festival celebrated with great pomp at Cyprus. Victims were offered, the altars smoked, and the odor of incense filled the air. When Pygmalion had performed his part in the solemnities, he stood before the altar and timidly said, "Ye gods, who can do all things, give me, I pray you, for my wife" he dared not say "my ivory virgin," but said instead "one like my ivory virgin." Venus, who was present at the festival, heard him and knew the thought he would have uttered; and, as an omen of her favor, caused the flame on the altar to shoot up thrice in a fiery point into the air. When he returned home, he went to see his statue, and, leaning over the couch, gave a kiss to the mouth. It seemed to be warm. He pressed its lips again, he laid his hand upon the limbs; the ivory felt soft to his touch, and yielded to his fingers like the wax of Hymettus. While he stands astonished and glad, though doubting, and fears he may be mistaken, again and again with a lover's ardor he touches the object of his hopes. It was indeed alive! The veins when pressed yielded to the finger and then resumed their roundness. Then at last the votary of Venus found words to thank the goddess, and pressed his lips upon lips as real as his own. The virgin felt the kisses and blushed, and, opening her timid eyes to the light, fixed them at the same moment on her lover. Venus blessed the nuptials she had formed, and from this union Paphos was born, from whom the city, sacred to Venus, received its name.

Schiller, in his poem, the Ideals, applies this tale of Pygmalion to the love of nature in a youthful heart. In Schiller's version, as in William Morris's, the statue is of marble.

"As once with prayers in passion flowing,
Pygmalion embraced the stone,
Till from the frozen marble glowing,
The light of feeling o'er him shone,
So did I clasp with young devotion
Bright Nature to a poet's heart;
Till breath and warmth and vital motion
Seemed through the statue form to dart.

"And then in all my ardor sharing,
The silent form expression found;
Returned my kiss of youthful daring,
And understood my heart's quick sound.
Then lived for me the bright creation.
The silver rill with song was rife;
The trees, the roses shared sensation,
An echo of my boundless life."
Rev. A. G. Bulfinch (brother of the author).

Morris tells the story of Pygmalion and the Image in some of the most beautiful verses of the Earthly Paradise.

This is Galatea's description of her metamorphosis:

"'My sweet,' she said, 'as yet I am not wise,
Or stored with words aright the tale to tell,
But listen: when I opened first mine eyes
I stood within the niche thou knowest well,
And from my hand a heavy thing there fell
Carved like these flowers, nor could I see things clear,
But with a strange confused noise could hear.

"'At last mine eyes could see a woman fair,
But awful as this round white moon o'erhead,
So that I trembled when I saw her there,
For with my life was born some touch of dread,
And therewithal I heard her voice that said,
"Come down and learn to love and be alive,
For thee, a well-prized gift, today I give."'"


Source

Behind the Language of Numbers

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Often associated with occult and astrology, numerology is any of the many systems, tradition, or beliefs in a mystical relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things.1 it is the study of numbers and letters significance . In the process of analyzing one's name or birth date, numerology is a tool to help understand the Eternal OM.

It is perceived to be attacking the laws and teachings of the Bible. It does not. The use of numbers in the Bible, Koran and some religious books have been noted in the interpretation by people of what is wisdom.

Numerology works in many ways. Through numerology, a person gains deeper knowledge and a broader idea of one's destiny. It also soundly enlightens someone with a better understanding of others, both in the good and bad aspect.

The birthday number is known to be the key of one' s fate. It influences the life and it is unalterable . Birth decides the note of harmony and vibration. It relates the material side of life. Since there are only nine numbers in numerology, each person is assigned to all these numbers.

The heart number on the other hand, helps someone to find the person's desires. While the heart number works for desires, the maturity number signifies the dominant traits that shapes his decision making process. While people may have any number names, the deciding factor is the destiny number.

Tested and believed, numerology can be used to find the time best for investing, getting a job, marrying, traveling or plans of moving.

The combination of the letters in the name and the date of birth gives clues of what character, strengths and weaknesses a person has. This information can be useful to get back on track and head to the same direction one is destined to take. Change sin one's life can be pleasantly surprising at how everything seems to be falling into place , and the happiness that one feels is realized. While going on the wrong way with what has been laid up on birth might be too stressful and might lead to an unfulfilled life.

Numerology when used in the right way unleashes someone from perceived limitations and pushes someone to the best he can be. Knowing the weakness, alerts a possible action to alter this into strengths. The use of numerology depends on the person. Either one uses the positive traits or ignore it. Either one notes the negative trait and develop it to a positive one or the reverse. The end of it still lies on the person.


*** Visit http://psychicguild.com for more related stories.

Merlin

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A Latinized form of the Welsh name Myrddin. He was a magical figure who appears in literature ranging from medieval manuscripts to modern novels. References to him may also be found in a wide varity of place names and specific sites throughout Great Britain. He was a wizard frequently linked with King Arthur, although Guiley suggests he may have originated as a version of the Celtic god Mabon, the British Apollo. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth's life of Merlin, the great wizard, together with the bard Taliesin, took the wounded King Arthur to the Fortunate Isles.

One of the best known portrayals of Merlin is found in Sir Thomas Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur, first published in 1485. In this story Merlin helps reaise the young Arthur and, on Arthur's accession to the throne on the death of Uther Pendragon, becomes the young king's magical advisor. Although more recent portrayals of Merlin show him as an old man, usually bearded, earlier representations depict him as a young, beardless man.

Medea

Medea was a priestess of Hecate and niece to Circe, in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Aeëtes, king of Colchis and was famed for her magical arts. Medea fell in love with Jason and, with magic, helped him acquire the Golden Fleece from her father. However when Jason betrayed her, she caused the death of their two children and also the death of Jason's second wife. Medea married king Aegeus and by him had a son, Medus.

Medea later married Achilles, in the Elysian fields, and was honored as a goddess at Corinth, although the chief seat of her cult was Thessaly, the home of magic. She was made immortal by Hera and became known as "the Wise One."

Thoth

In Graeco-Roman times, the Egyptian Moon God Djehuti, or Zehuti, took the form Thoth (pronounced "Toe-th"). He was associated with Hermes. In Egypt, Thoth was patron of literature, science, wisdom, and inventions. He was also the spokesman for the gods and Keeper of the Records.

Thoth is depicted with the head of an ibis and, many times, wearing a solar disk sitting on a crescent on his head. Thoth also was occasionally depicted as a dog-headed ape, suggesting that he may have been derived from a fusion of two earlier lunar deities. He is usually counted as the oldest son of Ra but sometimes as the child of Geb and Nut.

Thoth had all knowledge and wisdom. He invented mathematics, astronomy, magic, medicine, music, and all the arts and sciences. He was also the inventor of hieroglyphs and, as such, became known as "Lord of Holy Words." As Moon God, it was his job to measure time.

A tarot deck designed by Aleister Crowley, with the art executed by Frieda Hariss, is known as the Crowley Thoth Tarot.

Universal Truths

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We came to this physical state here on earth from a non-physical (spiritual) state. We were created even before the foundation(s) of the world. We WERE (before) and thus ARE someone that we've forgotten. I believe that we are on a exponential time increase to get back to "remembering" who we once were as we move to a fifth dimensional consciousness and out of the third dimensional world to which we're accustomed, but not satisfied in.

Everything that IS vibrates!

Indigo and Crystal children have been described by those with expertise in communicating with them (ie. Meg Blackburn Losey) as beings who live in the fourth dimensional consciousness with capabilities for the fifth. They have an ability to hold on to many of the memories of their spiritual past life. And they speak often of how things were and the desire to get back to that life.

A way explaining the unexplainable would be through radio frequencies.

When we enter this planet we come in at a high spirit frequency. Let's call this an FM band frequency. An FM radio band goes from 88 to 108 MHz (megahertz, or millions of cycles per second) whereas an AM radio frequency ranges from 535 to 1705kHz (kilohertz, or thousands of cycles per-second of electromagnetic energy).

Let's liken the FM band to universal truths.

The minute we come out of the womb we begin to slow down (dumb down if you will) the vibrational frequency from FM to AM and the older we get the more we forget (the past) and soon we no longer remember the universal truths, but have them replaced by earth beliefs (Am frequencies). Our level of vibration drops (becomes more dense) the deeper we sink in the earthly beliefs and fall from the pure state of compassion and love.

Love heals- love is healing!

If there was a core Kingdom message that Jesus brought (which brought healing as well), it was that of unconditional love; however, the church has transformed that teaching into a set of purity codes and laws of moralistic behavior.

Therefore, the more we victimize, have ill feelings, thoughts, criticisms and judgments about ourselves and others the more dense our vibrations become. Repressed emotions, stress, anxiety, depression all create energy blockages. These energy blockages also make our vibrations denser. The denser our vibrations become the less power (will) we have to direct our life the way we would like to.

Transpersonal possibilites are increasing.

For whatever reasons (cyclical?) we're now headed back into a lighter, less dense, and higher vibrational season and that's part of what 2012 (axial age II or maybe III?) is all about. Maybe we ask ourselves on a regular basis. Are we living universal truths or following earth beliefs- Kingdom living or humanistic survival?

Source

What Is An Adept?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

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In its broadest sense, an adept is a magical master—an initiate who has worked through many years of learning and experience to become a teacher and elder. Medieval magicians and alchemists applied the term to any master of their sciences.

The Theosophists say that adepts control forces in both the physical and spiritual realms, that they are able to prolong their lives by many years, if not centuries, and that their knowledge far exceeds that of normal human beings. Adepts are also referred to as Mahatmaas, Rahats, Rishis, and as the Great White Brotherhood.

In witchcraft, the term “Elder” is preferred and there is no connotation of having lived an extraordinary number of years in this lifetime. There is, however, a belief among man Wiccans that the position does come after many lifetimes spent in the Craft (reincarnation being one of the tenets of Wicca). An adept is usually one who teaches others, and will often work one on one with a neophyte witch, bringing the person to the point of initiation and, not infrequently, beyond that.

“Adept” is not an official title in Witchcraft; it is an appellation earned but not bestowed.

Francis Barrett, in The Magus (1801), states: “To be an adept is possible…to be an adept, according to God’s will, is no contemptible calling.”

A solitary Wiccan may well consider him- or herself an adept, and be so considered by others. This is especially true if the witch is an expert in a particular field, such as herbology, astrology, or divination.

Aphrodite

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Aphrodite was a Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture. Her Roman equivalent is Venus. She is directly related to the ancient fertility goddesses and mother goddesses, such as Hathor, Isis, and Astarte. In fact some authorities suggest Aphrodite was Phoenician and was the sister of the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar and the Syro-Phoenician Astarte. According to some mythological accounts, she was born from the churning and foaming of the sea when Kronos threw Ouranos’s severed genitals into the water (the Greek aphros means “sea foam”), but this story arose later. In it, Aphrodite arose from the roiling sea and was borne by the waves to Cyprus. At the Cyprian city of Paphos, a temple was erected to her.

In origin, Aphrodite was obviously a fertility goddess. Her domain covered all of nature, animal and plant. She grew to be viewed in many aspects: as Aphrodite Urania, the goddess of pure love; Aphrodite Genetrix, or Nymphia, goddess of marriage (she was prayed to by unmarried women and widows); Aphrodite Pandemos (common) and Aphrodite Porn (courtesan) as the goddess of lust and venal love, and patroness of prostitutes. She was also Aphrodite the Warrior, represented helmeted and carrying arms. She was so worshiped at Sparta.

Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of fire, metalwork and craftsmanship, but was loved by many others, gods and humans. It is said that she roused the passionate desires of all the immortals and all came under her influence, with the exception of Athene, Artemis and Hestia. Her cult, in one form or another, was found throughout the Mediterranean lands. Festivals in her honor, known as Aphrodisia, were common.

Many witches use the name of Aphrodite as the goddess they worship, while others include her in their listings of honored deities. Of the many symbols sacred to her were the dove, sparrow, goose, and swan, the goat, the lynx, and the dolphin. Sacred plants included the rose, myrtle, quince, clover and watermint. Friday is sacred to her and her special festivals are on April 1 and 23, June 23 and July 19. She is associated with the zodiacal signs Taurus and Libra, and connected with the throat, kidneys and lumbar region.

Flagellation

Monday, February 11, 2008

Devotees of the goddess Isis, priests of Cybele, followers of Dionysus, the ancient Greek cult of the Spartans, and other religious followers of many different persuasions have recognized flagellation, or ritual scourging, as a necessary part of religious rites. In its broadest sense it is a spiritual cleansing.

The life-size frescos on the walls of the Initiation Room at the Villa of the Mysteries, just outside Pompeii, Italy, in clued a scene showing a priestess of Dionysus scourging and initiate. In the Wiccan initiation there is a similar ritual scourging as part of the palingenesis, which is the central theme of all initiations. It is a symbolic death prior to rebirth. Since it is symbolic, it is not designed to hurt the neophyte. The Wiccan scourge, in fact, is a whip made with thongs of silk or a similarly soft material. They are not knotted or in any way enhanced to produce pain.

Flagellation, or scourging, is also used by some witches to raise power when working magic. There are many ways of raising this cone of power—dancing, changing, singing, or sex, for example—and ritual scourging is one of them. Here again, the design is not to bring pain. The recipient (in some traditions this would be the priestess of the coven) is repeatedly scourged, but the thongs of the instrument are drawn across the body repeatedly in an almost hypnotic movement. The Book of Shadows, the coven’s ritual text, states that “the Scourge is used to bring blood to the surface of the skin, not to hurt.”

Yet the witchcraft practiced in the Middle Ages included a scourging that was designed to hurt. In the records of the 1662 trial of the Scottish Auldearne witches, Issobel Gowdie spoke of the leader of the coven beating them: “He would beat and buffet us very sore. We would be beaten if we were absent any time, or neglect anything that would be appointed to be done…He would be beating and scourging us all up and down with cords and other sharp scourges.” Of the Northumberland witches (1673), it was reported, “All of them who had done harm gave an account thereof to their protector, who made most of them that did most harm and beat those who had done no harm.”

Lycanthropy

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lycanthropy is the transformation of a human being in to the form of a wolf. The term is derived from the Greek words lukos, meaning wolf, and anthropos, meaning man. Such a human, transformed, is known as a werewolf. This term derives from the Anglo-Saxon wer, meaning man, and wulf, meaning wolf. There are countless folk tales of werewolves coming from every country in the world where there is or was a presence of wolves. In other countries that have not known the wolf, there are folk tales of such things as weretigers, werebears, werefoxes, wereleoopards and werepanthers.

Some people believed that the only transformation that occurred was purely in the mind of the person. In other words, no physical changes took place. The affected individual merely believed that the changes had occurred. Yet there were numerous well-documented cases —including several in France in 1598—that appeared to show otherwise.

Throughout the time of the witchcraft trials at the end of the 16th century, there were several of cases of lycanthropy. Geiler von Kayserberg’s book on witchcraft, Di Emeis (Strasbourg, 1517), includes an illustration of a man being attacked by a werewolf. The Révérend Père M. Mar. Guaccius’s Compendium maleficarum (Milan, 1626) has an engraving of a witch transformed into a wolf. A variety of German works of the 16th and 17th centuries also show these types of pictures. In many of the witch trials in Britain, evidence was offered of witches transforming themselves into a variety of animals, including rabbits, cats, dogs, crows and wolves. In 1573, Gilles Garnier of Dole, France admitted to becoming a werewolf and killing a ten-year-old girl, ripping her body to pieces with his claws and teeth. In 1589, Peter Stumpf of Bedburg, near Cologne, under torture confessed that he changed into such an beast with the aid of magic belt that was given to him by the devil. He could change back into human form, he said, by taking off the belt. Among others, Stumpf killed his own son and twelve other children, plus two young women and various livestock. He and his daughter were sentenced to be horribly tortured then burnt alive at the stake..

The Roman poet, Vergil, in his Eclogues (c. 20 BCE), wrote, “Often have I seen Moeris turn into a wolf and hide in these woods: often too have I seen him summon the spirits from the depths of the tomb and transfer crops elsewhere.” Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) spoke of someone of the clan of Anthius, who was chosen by vote of the family and led away to a particular pool in the region of Arcadia. There he hung his clothes on an oak tree, swam across the pool, and went into the woods on the far side to transform into a wolf. He remained in that form for nine years before swimming back across the pool and changing back into a man. According to William Stokes (Religion of the Celts, 1873), St. Patrick cursed a certain race in Ireland so that every seven years they and their descendants would become werewolves.




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Calming the Mind and Body

Learning to calm the mind and body is particularly essential in reducing stress. When the mind and body are at peace, stress seems to just melt away. Relaxation exercises are among the simplest methods for quieting the body and mind. The purpose of relaxation techniques is to bring about a physiological response known as the relaxation response – a response that is the exact opposite of the stress response. While you may relax by simply sleeping, watching television, or reading a book, relaxation techniques are specifically intended to produce the relaxation response.

In order to achieve the relaxation response, a broad range of techniques can be utilized. It doesn’t really matter which technique you use; ultimately, they all should produce the same physiological state of deep relaxation. Some popular techniques are meditation, prayer, progressive self-hypnosis, relaxation, and biofeedback. The type of relaxation technique that works best for each person is entirely individual. The important thing is that you set aside at least five to ten minutes each day to perform a relaxation technique.

Breathing With The Diaphragm
Producing deep relaxation with any technique involves learning how to breathe. Breathing with the diaphragm is one of the most powerful ways to decrease stress and increase energy in the body. By using the diaphragm to breathe, your physiology can be changed considerably, literally triggering the relaxation centers in the brain.

Here is a popular way to learn to breathe with your diaphragm.

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Position your feet slightly apart and place one hand on your abdomen near your navel and place your other hand on your chest.
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  • Focus on your breathing. Notice which hand is rising and falling with each breath.
  • Gradually exhale the air in your lungs.
  • Inhale while slowly counting to four. As you inhale, extend your abdomen a bit, causing it to rise about 1 inch. Make certain that you’re not moving your chest or shoulders.
  • As you inhale, visualize the warm air flowing in to all parts of your body.
  • Pause for one second, and then slowly exhale to a count of four. As you exhale, your abdomen should move inward.
  • As the air flows out, visualize all your worry and stress fading away.
  • Repeat this exercise until you have achieved a sense of deep relaxation.

Progressive Relaxation

One of the most popular methods for achieving the relaxation response is progressive relaxation. Many people are unaware of the sensation of relaxation. In progressive relaxation, you learn what it feels like to relax by comparing relaxation to muscle tension. This technique is often used in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.

The idea is to forcefully contract a muscle for one to two seconds and then give way to a feeling of relaxation. Since the procedure runs progressively through all the muscles of the body, eventually a deep state of relaxation will result.

Start by contracting the muscles of your face and neck, and holding the contraction for a at least two seconds and then relaxing the muscles. Then, contract and relax the muscles in your upper arms and chest, and then the muscles in your lower arms and hands. Gradually repeat this process down your body from your abdomen, buttocks, thighs, calves, down to your feet. Repeat the whole series two or three more times.


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Artemis (Diana)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo, Artemis was one of the twelve great gods and goddesses of Olympus. She was a Greek goddess mainly associated with wildlife and with human birth. She was originally one of the great Mother Goddesses, with emphasis on her role as virgin huntress and patroness of chastity. As Apollo's twin sister, she is regarded as a divinity of the light, specifically the light of the "mon", and such has been an influential archetype for witches. Her symbol is the female bear and she is associated with the constellation Ursa Major.

Legend has it that she was born on the sixth day of the month of Thargelion, a day before her brother. As she grew up in her favorite Arcadia, she would hunt accompanied by sixty young Oceanids and twenty-nymphs. Armed with bow and arrows given to her by Zeus, she gained the epithet Apollousa, "the destructress," and was a deity of sudden death. She was especially venerated in Arcadia but was also worshiped throughout Greece, Crete, and Asia Minor.

Her Roman equivalent is Diana, described as "the eternal feminist." She is the source of magical power for witches, who gather to adore her at the full of the moon. The Canon Episcopi of the tenth century condemned those who "believe and profess themselves, in the hours of the night to ride upon certain beasts with Diana, the goddess of the pagans." She is a slim, beautiful virgin, usually depicted with her hair drawn back and wearing a short tunic--a Dorian chiton. She is frequently accompanied by either a young hind or a dog. As goddess of fertility , she is sometimes depicted with many breasts.

Artemis made chastity a strict law, although she did fall in love with Orion, whom she later shot in the head when tricked into doing so by Apollo. She had a dark and vindictive character and many were punished by death or torment when they crossed her or forgot to pay her reverence. Yet she could also be gentle and loving. She was also a music goddess and lover of singing and dancing.

Most Wiccans honor Artemis/Diana as part of the triple goddess aspect of the moon, and as a nurturer and protector. She has inspired the Dianic, strongly feminist, tradition of Wicca.


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What Is Smudging?

In Witchcraft, the consecration of a person or thing involves a sprinkling with salted water and a "censing" with the smoke of incense. Some Wiccans have adopted the Native American form of censing known as "smudging," which involves the burning of sage and other herbs and grasses.

Almost any herb that smells good when burned may be used for smudging. Any combination of two or three of the following herbs are traditionally favored among Native Americans: sage or sagebrush (Artemisia spp.); sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata); calamus (Acorus calamus); red will bark (Cornus amonmum); dogwood bark (Cornus floridum); cedar needles or bark (Thuja, Chamaecyparis, and Juniperus spp.); and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). After being ground or cut finely, the herbs are burned on an open plate such as a thin, flat rock or a shell, and the smoke is wafted onto the person or thing using a feather or fan made of bird's wings.

Modern Wiccans will also use white sage, garden sage, sweetgrass, and lavender. These can be dried, then the leaves tied together in a tight bungle wrapped with thread, and the resulting "stick" is burned.


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Ravens and Crows


Ravens are considered the most intelligent of birds, on par with the smartest non-avian animals on earth, including dolphins and primates. John K. Terres suggests that Corvidae, or corvids--crows, ravens, and magpies--possess "the highest degree of intelligence" of any birds.

The raven, sacred to Apollo, was regarded as prophetic. In Norse mythology, Odin had two ravens, Hugin and Munin, who flew out each day and reported back to the god all that they had seen. Odin was called Hrafna-gud, or "God of the Raven."

The crow features prominently in Native American mythology. Roger Williams wrote in 1643 of the reverence of the Algonquins fro crows. In the Pacific Northwest, the Kwakiutl and Haida leadership clan is known as the Raven Clan, with Raven Priests. They speak of great leaders who were guided by crows and ravens. Among the Chipeweyan of eastern Canada, crow is a trickster, while the Navaho refer to missionaries as crows, because of their black robes.

The Greeks and Romans believed that crows could predict the weather. Similarly, the raven was sometimes regarded by the Greeks as a "thunderbird" because of its ability to presage a storm. An old Irish saying, "to have raven's knowledge," means to have an oracular ability to see and know all things. In Wales it was common custom to doff one's hat at the sight of a crow.

In England, ravens are still kekpt in official capacity at the Tower of London. It is said that as long as they remain, England will never fall to her enemies. Crows and ravens are believed to have very long life, and in his Metamorphoses, Ovid speaks of the witch Medea injecting the veins of the elderly Jason with the blood of a crow that had outlived nine generations of men. In Tebet, the raven is the messenger of the supreme being.


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Fire Magick

Virtually every civilization has incorporated a god of fire into its pantheon. Most familiar are Ahura-Mazda of ancient Persia; the Greek's Helios; Hestia, goddess of the hearth fire; Loki, Norse god of fire and magick; Lugh, the Celtic sun deity; Ra, the Egyptian sun god; Sol, the Roman god of the sun; and Surya, Hindu god of the sun. Many of the world's religions accept that fire embodies a form of divinity through fire gazing, or propitiation.

In Witchcraft, fire is a part of magick and related to divinity. There should always be fire on a Wiccan altar, be it in the form of a candle or of the burning incense. Fire gazing is a popular form of divination. Just as small children will gaze into the glowing embers of a fire and imagine animals and scenes, so may a Witch or other seer gaze and see portents of the future. Such divination is known as pyromancy.

Candle magick is another popular form of magick utilizing fire. The candles, representing people and things, are manipulated in a ritual to influence who and what they represent. Candles are also used for divination, the flame being gazed at in the same way as are the embers of fire.


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The Story of Lilith

Friday, February 01, 2008

In Jewish folklore, Lilith is a female demon that is in some ways similar to a vampire. She was derived from a Babylonian-Assyrian demon named Lilit, or Lilu. It was believed that she had a particular power for evil over children. In the Rabbinical literature, Lilith became the first wife of Adam, but being his equal, objected to lying under him during intercourse. When he tried to force himself on her, she flew away.

The “Maid of Desolation” (ardat lili) of Babylonian tradition was a demon of waste places that originally inhabited in the garden of the Sumerian Inanna. In Assyrian belief, she was a wind spirit, with wild hair and wings. In the Talmud, Lilith is a succubus – an evil spirit of the night whose young, from her fornication with men, became demons. Molesting men while they slept, she was an angel of darkness, becoming a goddess of conception. This belief strengthened in the Middle Ages. It was said that children in their first week of life were most susceptible to Lilith, although some said a girl was in danger for twenty days and a boy for the first eight years of his life.

A talisman of protection against Lilith had to have three names engraved on it: Sanvi, Sansanvi, Semangelaf. These three names could also be written on the door to a child’s room. In medieval Jewish tradition, Lilith was the one who caused men to have nocturnal emissions. Her offsprong were the lilin, or lilim, and were said to have human bodies but with winges and the hindquarters of a donkey, although a terracotta relief from Sumer depicts Lilith herself as a human but with wings and the taloned feet of a bird. Lilith also appears in the folklore of Britain, Greece, Germany, Mexico, and even in Native American legends.

Some Witches consider Lilith a patroness. A Moon goddess, her beauty is more than human. Leland identifies her with Herodias, or Aradia , and quotes ancient Slavonian charms where she is mentioned.

Sources:
Leach, Maria (ed.): Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend. 1984
Leland, Charles Godfrey: Etruscan-Roman Remains. 1892



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Kali of Hindu Mythology


Literally “the Black One,” in Hindu myth, Kali is the destructive aspect of Parvati, consort to Shiva. She is usually depicted draped with several human heads and trampling on the body of her slain husband. She is simply one of aspect of the ultimate goddess, Devi.

She is often called Kali Ma, “the Black Mother,” and in addition to being a necessary destroyer, she is also a powerful creative force. Many of her rituals are orgiastic in nature. According to Patricia Monaghan,* Kali first manifested herself when the demon Daruka threatened the gods. The great goddess Parvati frowned at Daruka, knitting her brows in fury. From her sprang Kali, armed with a trident. She chased off the demon and made the heavens safe again. Myths tell of Kali dancing with Shiva, her dancing becoming wilder and wilder. She pauses, but should she continue, she could shake the world to pieces with her wildness. Despite the seeming negativity of this goddess, she is one of the most popular in India and is adopted by some Witchcraft covens.


*Monaghan, Patricia: The Book of Goddesses and Heroines.


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