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We've had some drama and are currently doing some internal housekeeping and rewriting here on Gypsy Magic.

It's going to take a while to get things set right here and I am really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. I apologize for links to a "page not found" instead of something cool and magickal.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Hogmanay Trollolay!


The roots of Hogmanay perhaps reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, as well as incorporating customs from the Gaelic New Year's celebration of Samhain. In Rome, winter solstice evolved into the ancient celebration of Saturnalia, a great winter festival, where people celebrated completely free of restraint and inhibition. The Vikings celebrated Yule, which later contributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas, or the "Daft Days" as they were sometimes called in Scotland. The winter festival went underground with the Protestant Reformation and ensuing years, but re-emerged near the end of the 17th century.

There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of 'first-footing' which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses well into January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall dark men are preferred as the first-foot.

Each area of Scotland often developed its own particular Hogmanay ritual.


An example of a local Hogmanay custom is the fireball swinging that takes place in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire in north-east Scotland. This involves local people making up 'balls' of chicken wire filled with old news paper, dried sticks, old cotton rags, and other dry flammable material up to a diameter of 60 cm. Each ball has approximately 1 m of wire, chain or nonflammable rope attached. As the Old Town House bell sounds to mark the new year, the balls are set alight and the swingers set off up the High Street from the Mercat Cross to the Cannon and back, swinging their burning ball around their head as they go for as many times as they and their fireball last. At the end of the ceremony any fireballs that are still burning are cast into the harbour. (Here's a video)

Many people enjoy this display, which is more impressive in the dark than it would be during the day. As a result large crowds flock to the town to see it, with 12,000 attending the 2007/2008 event. In recent years, additional attractions have been added to entertain the crowds as they wait for midnight, such as fire poi, a pipe band, street drumming and a firework display after the last fireball is cast into the sea. The festivities are now streamed live over the Internet.

Another example of a pagan fire festival is the burning the clavie which takes place in the town of Burghead in Moray.



In the east coast fishing communities and Dundee, first-footers used to carry a decorated herring while in Falkland in Fife, local men would go in torchlight procession to the top of the Lomond Hills as midnight approached. Bakers in St Andrews would bake special cakes for their Hogmanay celebration (known as 'Cake Day') and distribute them to local children.

In Glasgow and the central areas of Scotland, the tradition is to hold Hogmanay parties involving singing, dancing, the eating of steak pie or stew, storytelling and consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, which usually extend into the daylight hours of January 1.

Institutions also had their own traditions. For example, amongst the Scottish regiments, the officers had to wait on the men at special dinners while at the bells, the Old Year is piped out of barrack gates. The sentry then challenges the new escort outside the gates: 'Who goes there?' The answer is 'The New Year, all's well.'

An old custom in the Highlands, which has survived to a small extent and seen some degree of revival, is to celebrate Hogmanay with the saining (Scots for 'protecting, blessing') of the household and livestock. This is done early on New Year's morning with copious, choking clouds of smoke from burning juniper branches, and by drinking and then sprinkling 'magic water' from 'a dead and living ford' around the house ('a dead and living ford' refers to a river ford which is routinely crossed by both the living and the dead). After the sprinkling of the water in every room, on the beds and all the inhabitants, the house is sealed up tight and the burning juniper carried through the house and byre.

The smoke is allowed to thoroughly fumigate the buildings until it causes sneezing and coughing among the inhabitants. Then all the doors and windows are flung open to let in the cold, fresh air of the new year. The woman of the house then administers 'a restorative' from the whisky bottle, and the household sits down to their New Year breakfast.

The above info is from Wikipedia, and from the Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World 3 Vols. we have this small tidbit on Hogmanay:

The last day of the year is called in Scotland, Hogmanay. On this day the children in small towns perambulate among the neighbors of the better class, crying at their doors, "Hogmanay!" or sometimes the following rhyme:

Hogmanay, trollolay,
Gie's of your white bread
and none of your gray!


In obedience to which call, they are served each with an oaten cake.

New Year's Stone Prosperity Spell


At sunrise on the morning of the new year, go outside and find the largest stone you can carry. Take this back to your house and put it in a place of prominence. If you keep the stone in your house for a year, it will be one filled with prosperity. Replace the stone every year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Diet Ice


Use this method to empower water to remove excess weight from your body.

  • 1 ice tray
  • Water, to fill the ice tray
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Lemon wedges
Tint the water a pretty yellow and pour it into the ice tray. Drink water with a lemon wedge over this ice as part of your diet.

Each time you add ice, affirm, "As the ice melts away, so too does my excess weight. So mote it be!"


From: Elemental Witch

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Spell for Clairvoyance


If one goes on Christmas night in the morning twilight into a wood or forest without uttering a word or letting a sound be heard, without looking around, without eating or drinking, without seeing any fire, and follow a path leading to a church, when the sun is rising, he will see as many funerals as will pass that way during the year. He can also see how the produce will be in the meadows and pastures, and whether any fires will break out, or epidemics occur; in fact, for the time, he will be clairvoyant.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Spell

This is an old old spell - and posted here for educational and informational purposes only. Mistletoe berries are poisonous. This is the reason there will be dreams - some of them bad - some of them possibly fatal - so do not make or ingest this mixture!




Steep mistletoe berries, to the number of nine, in a mixture of ale, wine, vinegar and honey; take them on going to bed, and you will dream of your future lot. A storm in this dream is very bad; it is most likely you will then marry a sailor, who will suffer shipwreck at sea; but to see either sun, moon or stars is an excellent presage; so are flowers; but a coffin is an index of a disappointment in love.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Saturnalia


The Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of Saturn, celebrated on the 17th of December. Saturn being an ancient national god of Latium, the institution of the Saturnalia is lost in the most remote antiquity. Falling towards the end of December, at the season when the agricultural labors of the year were completed, it was celebrated by the country-people as a sort of joyous harvest home, and in every age was viewed by all classes of the community as a period of absolute relaxation and unrestrained merriment. The festival was extended in later times to three and still later to seven days.

During the celebration of this holiday no public business could be transacted, the courts were closed, war was suspended, all private enmities were for the time forgotten, and the city was alive with hilarity. On this day the slaves feasted and were waited upon by their masters, as the female slaves were waited upon by their mistresses on the Matronalia.

The special feature of the festival was the gift of wax candles and of little images of wax or clay called sigilla. The public festival, in the time of the republic, was for only one day; but for seven days the celebration continued in private houses.

Many of the customs of the Roman Saturnalia were taken over by the Christian Church in celebrating Christmas. Thus the origin of the Christmas-tree, and the custom of making presents to children and friends may be traced back to the Roman Saturnalia, while the Yule-log and Yule-fire are remnants of ancient sun-worship, one of the Roman festivals in honor of the Sun god being celebrated on the 25th of December as "Dies Natalis Solis Invicti."

From: Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Folklore and the Occult

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Balancing A Situation

Calling a situation into balance can be a bit tricky. For example, suppose you are upside down in your finances - more going out than you can bring in. You can use fire and ice to call for a balance. Here is a spell that can be used to bring balance to any situation.

You will need the following:

  • An empty paper milk carton (quart size)
  • Water, to fill the milk carton
  • A gray or brown taper candle as tall as the milk carton
  • A pencil
  • Piece of string
  • Cooking spray
  • Large bowl or cauldron (gallon size)
  • Sand or soil
Spray the inside of the carton with cooking spray. Tie the string to the wick of the candle. Wrap the other end of the string around the pencil. Place the candle in the milk carton and use the pencil to hold it upright by placing the pencil across the top of the carton. (You may cut small notches in the top of the carton if needed.)

Carefully fill the carton with water and place it in the freezer. When the water is frozen solid, tear the carton away. Place the candle in your cauldron, or other large ceremonial bowl. Note: The bowl or cauldron must be deep enough that the layer of sand or soil will easily absorb all the melting ice without covering (and thus putting out) the lighted candle.

Say, "I call upon the universal forces of my Lord and Lady to bring balance to my life. I will that my current financial situation become balanced in the most beneficial way for me and my loved ones. As I will it, so it shall be." (This can be reworded to fit your specific situation exactly.)

As you light the candle, visualize yourself happily spending and receiving money in perfect balance, always having enough for what is needed. Allow the candle to burn completely down, and then pour the water and sand out under a tree.

Found in: Elemental Witch

Spell For Balancing the Self


When using fire and ice together, you are calling for a natural balance to take place. It can be a balance of the self, a balance of a situation, or even a balance of the checkbook. This is a great spell to do during the Christmas Lunar Eclipse.

You will need:

  • A large clear glass bowl
  • Equal amounts of water and ice
  • 3 floating candles (these can be multicolored, gray, or brown)
  • Handful of salt
Place the ice in the bowl. Add the salt and say, " I cast off any negativity and purify this ice. It is blessed by the Goddess and the God." Add enough water to make the surface smooth, and bless it in the same manner.

Place the candles in the bowl and say, "I call upon my higher self to bring my being into harmony. I will myself to be balanced in all situations. So mote it be!"

Clap your hands three times and light the candles. This is a good time to reflect on which areas of your life need balance the most. It also is a beautiful sight to sit and watch the ice melt while the flames dance. Spend an appropriate amount of time in reflection before you close your circle or leave the area.

From: Elemental Witch

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Character of the Days of the Moon


Notes: I am assuming that this counting of the days begins and ends with the new moon. Notice that there are 29 days listed even though it only takes the moon 27.3 days to orbit the earth. I also found the juxtaposition of the Major Arcana of the Tarot with Old Testament happenings, and the Goddess Hecate (see day 27), an interesting mix.

1. The Juggler, or Magus— The first day of the moon is that of the creation of the moon itself. This day is consecrated to mental enterprises, and should be favorable for opportune innovations.

2. Pope Joan, or Occult Science — This day is propitious to revelations, initiations, and great discoveries of science.

3. The Celestial Mother, or Empress— The third day was that of man's creation. So is the moon called the MOTHER in Kabbalah, when it is represented in association with the number three. This day is favorable to generation, and generally to all productions, whether of body or mind.

4. The Emperor, or Ruler— The fourth day is baleful; it was that of the birth of Cain; but it is favorable to unjust and tyrannical enterprises.

5. The Pope, or Hierophant— The fifth day is fortunate; it was that of the birth of Abel.

6. The Lover, or Liberty— The sixth is a day of pride; it was that of the birth of Lamech, who said unto his wives; "I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold." This day is propitious for conspiracies and rebellions.

7. The Chariot— On the seventh day, birth of Hebron, who gave his name to the first of the seven sacred cities of Israel. A day of religion, prayers and success.

8. Justice— Murder of Abel. Day of expiation.

9. The Old Man, or Hermit— Birth of Methucelah. Day of blessing for children.

10. Ezekiel's Wheel of Fortune— Birth of Nebuchadnezzar. Reign of the Beast. Fatal day.

11. Strength— Birth of Noah. Visions on this day are deceitful, but it is one of health and long life for children born on it.

12. The Victim, or Hanged Man— Birth of Samuel, Prophetic and kabbalistic day, favorable to the fulfilment of the great work.

13. Death— Birthday of Canaan. the accursed son of Cham. Baleful day and fatal number.

14. The Angel of Temperance— Blessing of Noah on the fourteenth day of the moon. This day is governed by the angel Cassiel of the hierarchy of Uriel.

15. Typhon, or the Devil— Birth of Ishmael. Day of reprobation and exile.

16. The Blasted Tower— Birthday of Jacob and Esau; the day also of Jacob's predestination, to Esau's ruin.

17. The Glittering Star— Fire from heaven burns Sodom and Gomorrah. Day of salvation for the good, and ruin for the wicked; on a Saturday dangerous. It is under the dominion of the Scorpion.

18. The Moon— Birth of Isaac. Wife's triumph. Day of conjugal affection and good hope.

19. The Sun— Birth of Pharaoh. A beneficent or fatal day for the great of earth, according to the different merits of the great.

20. The Judgment— Birth of Jesus, the instrument of God's judgment. Propitious for divine revelations.

21. The World— Birth of Saul, material royalty. Danger to mind and reason.

22. Influence of Saturn— Birth of Job. Day of trial and suffering.

23. Influence of Venus— Birth of Benjamin. Day of Preference and tenderness.

24. Influence of Jupiter— Birth of Japhet.

25. Influence of Mercury— Tenth plague of Egypt.

26. Influence of Mars— Deliverance of the Israelites, and passage of the Red Sea.

27. Influence of Diana, or Hecate— Splendid victory achieved by Judas Maccabeus.

28. Influence of the Sun— Samson carries off the gates of Gaza. Day of strength and deliverance.

29. The Fool of the Tarot— Day of failure and miscarriage in all things.

Found in:
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World

Friday, December 03, 2010

Gingerbread Spell for Overeating


For this spell you will need to bake gingerbread cookies. The cookies are made the usual way, with the exception of one large cookie with a hole cut out of the middle (before baking). While rolling out and cutting the cookie shapes, spend time thinking about what it is that you are trying so hard to fill up with food. Is there an empty place inside you, a place of lack and hunger?

While the cookies are baking, find a red or gold ribbon long enough to tie around your wrist.

After the cookies are baked and cooled. Take the cookie with the hole in the middle, hold it gently in your hands and say the following charm:

There's a large empty place
In me I can't fill
I ask now the Goddess and God
If they will
When enough is enough
When more isn't right
please fill me instead
with love laughter and light
And give me just what is needed
To move through the day
In the very most possible (magical, powerful, wonderful... etc) way.
Eat the cookie slowly, savor the flavor. Tie the ribbon around your wrist to help you remember the sweetness of the moment. Repeat the charm twice more. Say the words slowly and mean every word.

Now share the rest of the cookies with family, friends, and wildlife. When that empty feeling comes again, and it will, take hold of the ribbon, and repeat the charm, remembering the sweetness of cookies and the joy of sharing, opening yourself again to the Goddess and the God.


Spell by: Madame Fortuna

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December Magick

Rise, dear lord of sunlight, rise.
Return to us, and return us to the light
On winter days you live within us
like a secret blaze.
Rise now again, lord Mithras,
Rise up victorious.

In the Julian calendar, this month came tenth in succession; thus the name for December comes from decem, meaning "ten" (hence the name for our modern decimal system). During this month the nights continue to get longer, and the weather often turns wet and cold. Many people find themselves struggling with the blues because of the lack of sunlight. This was probably the case for our predecessors too, so it's not surprising to find, scattered throughout the month, many rituals of light (like Yule), or those that give strength to the sun. These inspire extra inner light to keep things warm emotionally and physically.

Metaphysically, December is a good time to look within, meditate, and regroup before the new year. Focus on magic that purifies, heals, banishes depression, improves endurance, and increases your personal vitality. Also extend a little of this energy to the earth and sky, so that the Wheel of the Year will run toward the light once more, and with it your spirit.

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