Current News

I am currently in the process of migrating the content shared here to a series of new websites hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com.

As you explore this site, you may find links to a "page not found" instead of something cool and magickal. For this I apologize. I am very working hard behind the scenes to restore those pages along with a link to their homes on my new website where they can be viewed in full.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

A Reading From The Kalevala

The epic poem, Kalevala, is celebrated by the Finns this day (February 28) with parades and readings from the poem. The Kalevala recounts a battle of wits between three wizard brothers and the witch goddess, Louhi. It is a treasure trove of ancient shamanistic practices and spells. Here's a reading:

Wainamoinen's Harp Songs

Then the singer of Wainola
Took the harp of his creation,
Quick adjusting, sweetly tuning,
Deftly plied his skillful fingers
To the strings that he had fashioned....

...I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: Wainamoinen's Harp Songs

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Circle I walk



"I walk to the North of my sacred space;
Herein all negativity be erased.

I walk to the east where the magic winds dance...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Widdershins, and can be found in its entirety here: The Circle I Walk

Festival of the Boundary Markers


Termini in Roman mythology began as boundary markers between wilderness settings. The termini were rural boundary stones marking property lines between fields and neighbors. There was an annual ceremony each 23rd day of February called the Terminalia when first fruits were offered and libations of oil and honey were poured over the termini to renew the power or forces within the boundary stones between properties. Ovid presents the story as follows

When night has passed, let the god be celebrated
With customary honour, who separates the fields with his sign....


... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: Festival of the Boundary Markers

Festival of Terminus

Festival of Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries and border markers.

In Roman religion, Terminus was the god who protected boundary markers; his name was the Latin word for such a marker. Sacrifices were performed to sanctify each boundary stone, and landowners celebrated a festival called the "Terminalia" in Terminus' honor each year on February 23. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill was thought to have been built over a shrine to Terminus, and he was occasionally identified as an aspect of Jupiter under the name "Jupiter Terminalis".

Ancient writers believed that the worship of Terminus had been introduced to Rome during the reign of the first king Romulus (traditionally 753–717 BC) or his successor Numa (717–673 BC). Modern scholars have variously seen it as the survival of an early animistic reverence for the power inherent in the boundary marker, or as the Roman development of proto-Indo-European belief in a god concerned with the division of property.

The name of the god Terminus was the Latin word for a boundary stone, and his worship as recorded in the late Republic and Empire centred on this stone, with which the god could be identified. Siculus Flaccus, a writer on land surveying, records the ritual by which the stone was sanctified: the bones, ashes, and blood of a sacrificial victim, along with crops, honeycombs, and wine, were placed into a hole at a point where estates converged, and the stone was driven in on top.

On February 23 annually, a festival called the Terminalia was celebrated in Terminus' honor, involving practices which can be regarded as a reflection or "yearly renewal" of this foundational ritual. Neighboring families would garland their respective sides of the marker and make offerings to Terminus at an altar—Ovid identifies these, again, as crops, honeycombs, and wine. The marker itself would be drenched in the blood of a sacrificed lamb or pig. There followed a communal feast and hymns in praise of Terminus.

These rites were practised by private landowners, but there were also related public ceremonies. Ovid refers to the sacrifice of a sheep on the day of the Terminalia at the sixth milestone from Rome along the Via Laurentina; it is likely this was thought to have marked the boundary between the early Romans and their neighbors in Laurentum.

Also, a stone or altar of Terminus was located in the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Rome's Capitoline Hill. Because of a belief that this stone had to be exposed to the sky, there was a small hole in the ceiling directly above it. On occasion Terminus' association with Jupiter extended to regarding Terminus as an aspect of that god; Dionysius of Halicarnassus refers to "Jupiter Terminalis", and one inscription names a god "Jupiter Ter."

There is some evidence that Terminus' associations could extend from property boundaries to limits more generally. Under the Republican calendar, when the intercalary month Mercedonius was added to a year, it was placed after February 23 or February 24, and some ancient writers believed that the Terminalia on February 23 had once been the end of the year. Diocletian's decision in 303 AD to initiate his persecution of Christians on February 23 has been seen as an attempt at enlisting Terminus "to put a limit to the progress of Christianity".

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ritual For A Day of Peace in the Family

Color: Lavender
Element: Water
Altar: Upon a lavender cloth set a tray of cakes shaped like clasping hands, and many cups full of hot tea.
Offerings: Promise to attempt to be more considerate of those you live with.
Daily Meal: Any food, but it must be served from one great plate for every table, and it should not be in separate portions.


Invocation:

May there be Peace in this house.

(Response: "May there be peace in this house!")

Peace can be a hard mistress.
The daily round of the ordinary,...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows, and can be found in its entirety here: Ritual For A Day of Peace in the Family

Monday, February 21, 2011

Protection From Beyond

Romany spiritual traditions combine a dislike of disturbing the dead with a desire for the protective capacities cemetery dirt offers. Although one might not want to disturb one's own ancestors or someone one knows, there's no actual fear of the cemetery, thus an anonymous, unknown grave is chosen.

This spell harnesses abstract, protective qualities inherent in graveyard dirt to protect a child embarking on a long journey. Here's how...

.... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Gypsy Magick and Lore, and can be found in its entirety here: Protection From Beyond

Feralia - A Roman Day of the Dead

The Feralia was the closing festival of the ancient Roman festival of Parentalia. During the Feralia, families would picnic at the tombs of their deceased family members and give libations to the dearly departed. It was believed that the shades of the dead could walk upon the earth above their graves during Feralia.


... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: The Feralia

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Camphor Moon Spell


Camphor is under the dominion of the moon. The lunar palace of Lady Chang'O is allegedly crafted from cinnamon wood, however both true cinnamon and camphor derive from trees of the Cinnamonium family. Maybe the Moon Lady's palace was built from camphor wood.

Because of this connection, camphor can transmit some of the moon's protective and luck drawing powers. Here's how...

... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Magickal Apothecary, and can be found in its entirety here: Camphor Charged Moon Water

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Lupercalia


Lupercalia is uniquely Roman, but even the Romans of the first century were at a loss to explain exactly which deity or deities were being exalted. It harkens back to the days when Rome was nothing more than a few shepherds living on a hill known as Palantine and was surrounded by wilderness teeming with wolves.

Lupercus, protector of flocks against wolves, is a likely candidate; the word lupus is Latin for wolf, or perhaps Faunus, the god of agriculture and shepherds. Others suggest it was Rumina, the goddess whose temple stood near the fig tree under which the she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus. There is no question about Lupercalia's importance. ...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Pagan Calendar, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: The Lupercalia

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day has its roots in ancient orgiastic festivals. On February 14, The Romans celebrated Febris (meaning fever), a sacred sexual frenzy in honor of Juno Februa, an aspect of the goddess of amorous love. This sex fest coincided with the time when the birds in Italy were thought to mate.

The ecstatic rites of the Goddess merged over time with those of Lupercalia, the bawdy festivities in honor of the pagan god of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, Pan, which were observed on the following day, February 15....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been merged with another, and moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: Valentine's Day

Invocation to the Angel of Venus

Use this invocation to ask the archangel of Venus, Anael, to bless and bring harmony to a romantic relationship. Light a candle at Anael's hour (between 9 and 10am) and burn some rose incense. Scatter a few pink rose petals on your altar, and then say the invocation.

The Invocation:

Archangel Anael, angel of the mystic planet Venus,
as I light this candle,
my consciousness opens to receive your divine influence...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows, and can be found in its entirety here: Invocation to the Angel of Venus

Ancient Greek Love Spell

Here is a simple love spell from ancient Greece:


“Whichever woman I give the apple to, whichever woman I throw the apple at and hit with it, may she put off everything else and become crazy with love for me. Whether she takes it in her hand and eats it, or puts it away in her dress, she will not stop loving me.”

Stone Love Spell


Go to a place that contains many water-worn stones. Look for a large, flat rock while visualizing yourself being involved with the perfect mate.

On this rock, mark with red ink two intertwined hearts. As you do this, keep visualization in mind. When you are finished, bury the stone in the earth in an uncultivated place.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Quick Guide to Casting Spells

– A General Set of Steps to Follow
– By Melinda

Magic spells are amazing ways to take back our power, one which had been taken away for centuries by organized religions and the people who presume that they personally know the Creator and are the only ones who are capable of communing with HER or HIM.Magic spells allow us to use the tremendous energy that each of us have for creating magick in our lives.

However, there are some simple rules that people need to remember when working spells. First and foremost; remember...

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Book of Shadows, and can be found in its entirety here: Quick Guide to Casting Spells

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Favored Woods For Magickal Wands

Here is a list of the different woods favored by different magickal traditions:

  • Ainu: Bamboo, with leaves remaining. Top carved into spiral designs
  • Berber: Oleander
  • Celtic: Hawthorn, hazel
  • China: Peach, willow
  • Druid (British): Hawthorn, rowan, yew
  • Druid (Gaul): Oak
  • Romany: Elm
  • Russian: Slavic birch
  • Scythian: Willow
Lightning-struck wood is considered packed with power. Driftwood makes an excellent wand; it does not have to be cut and combines the powers ofEarth and sea.

Keep in mind that no wood will work as well for you as the wood from a tree with which you have forged an alliance.

Wands are not limited to wood. Metal wands are excellent power conductors. Embellish with crystals, seashells and charms. Copper is a particularly excellent conductor of energy. An iron wand provides power and protection.

Found in: Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells

What is a wand?

From wikipedia we have this scholarly definition of a wand:

A wand is a thin, straight, hand-held stick of wood, stone, ivory, or metal. Generally, in modern language, wands are ceremonial and/or have associations with magic but there have been other uses, all stemming from the original meaning as a synonym of rod and virge, both of which had a similar development.

In ecclesiastical and formal government ceremonial, special officials may carry a wand of office or staff of office representing their power. Compare in this context the function of the ceremonial mace, the sceptre, and the staff of office. This is a practice of long standing; in Ancient Egypt, priests were depicted with rods. Its age may be even greater, as Stone Age cave paintings show figures holding sticks, which may be symbolic representations of their power.

From the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.In Pharaonic Egypt, toilette articles, weapons against possible enemies, amulets against serpents, were also left in the tomb, together with magic texts and a magic wand which enabled the ka (soul) to use them.

In classical Greco-Roman mythology, the god Hermes/Mercury has a special wand called a caduceus.

Six- to eight-foot-long staves with metal tips adorning them are carried traditionally in Freemasonry during rituals of the Craft. Ceremonial uses may have several wands for different purposes, such as the Fire Wand and the Lotus Wand in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In Zoroastrianism, there is a similar ritual implement called a barsom.

In Wicca and Ceremonial magic, practitioners use several magical tools including wands for the channeling of energy—they serve a similar purpose to the athame although the two have their distinct uses. While an athame is generally used to command, a wand is seen as more gentle and is used to invite or encourage. Though traditionally made of wood, they can also consist of metal or crystal. Practitioners usually prune a branch from an Oak, Hazel, or other tree, or may even buy wood from a hardware store, and then carve it and add decorations to personalize it; however, one can also purchase ready-made wands.

In Wicca the wand usually represents the element air, or sometimes fire, although contemporary wand makers also create wands for the elements of earth and water as well. The wand is most often used by modern Pagans, witches, Shamans and others in rituals, healing and spell casting.

There is some scholarly opinion that the magic wand may have its roots as a symbol of the phallus. It may also have originated as the drumming stick of a shaman, especially in Central Asia and Siberia, as when using it to bang on his drum or point, to perform religious, healing, and magical ceremonies.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Bread as a Magickal Ingredient

In many cultures, prayers are often said over bread, which is considered sacred, before eating it. Bread represents the union of humankind and the divine. In some cases it is representative solely of the divine, but by ingesting it, humans are able to take in the divity.

Bake and eat dark breads full of grains for prosperity.

On the full moon, place round bread on the altar and bless it for prosperity and fertility. Offer half the bread to the earth and share the other half with others.

On the autumn equinox, cut phallic-shaped bread into pieces and then bury them in the earth. This rite symbolizes the sacrificed grain god whose seed will return to the earth to fertilize it and bring new life in the spring.

From: The Encyclopedia of Magical Ingredients

Fornacalia - Day of the Ovens


The Fornacalia was held in honor of bread, and the ovens used to dry grains. This festival was movable, and could have been held any time between Febuary 5th to February 17th.
  • Color: Brown
  • Element: Fire
  • Altar: This ritual should be performed in the kitchen, with the altar built on top of the stove or inside the oven. Set a brown cloth with a red candle and many loaves of bread on wooden trays.
  • Offerings: Give some of the loaves of bread to those who have need of it.
  • Daily Meal: Everything baked - breads, cakes, pies, casseroles.

 Invocation to Fornax:

Goddess of the Oven
 Lady of Fire Enclosed...

I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: The Fornacalia

Friday, February 04, 2011

Disting - The Charming of the Plough

Time: Early to Mid-February, Normally Observed at First New Moon
Focus: Disir, Goddesses & The Beginning of the Planting Season
Overall: A time to honor the Disir (in a broad sense), Goddesses and those connected with the coming power of Spring - the Vanir, local land wights and Nerthus to name a few examples.


Charming of the Plow is a ceremony that marks the beginning of the planting season; when the first furrows are made in the fields. In the Old World that usually meant bonding with and asking for the blessing of Gods and Goddess, the local land spirits and perhaps anyone else who might help insure the crops are a success...

... I am so sorry, but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar. It can be found here: The Charming Of The Plough

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Setsubun!

Japan has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The term setsubun originally referred to the days marking the change from one season to the next, so that there were four of them, but today only the day before risshun (the beginning of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar) is called by that name. Setsubun comes on either February 3 or 4, depending on the year.


... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: Setsubun

Camphor Protection Spell

During the days of the polio epidemics, mothers hung camphor balls around children's necks to ward away illness. This spell works under the same premises, except that what you're warding off is the metaphysical virus of an unwanted romantic attention, or to ward off illness, negativity, or whatever you would like to repel....

... I am so sorry but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, Magickal Ingredients. It can be found here: Camphor Magick and Lore

Camphor Cool Off Spell


Camphor is a substance frequently taken for granted. It's used in many lotions and cosmetics because of the cooling sensation it provides. Camphor, botanically related to cinnamon, is considered a sacred lunar plant. In Marco Polo's time it was bartered for with gold...

... I am so sorry but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, Magickal Ingredients. It can be found here: Camphor Magick and Lore

Magickal Uses of Camphor

Ruler: Moon, Buddha
Type: Extract from tree
Magickal Form: oil, whole chunks

Obtained from the evergreen tree, this fragrant white compound holds many spiritual properties. In voodoo rituals, it is burned for love and attraction. It is one of the most sacred substances to offer to the moon goddess on a new moon to thank her for her abundant blessings.

Camphor is also used in cleansing and purification rituals. Use it to get rid of unwanted passions or unwanted admirers....

... I am so sorry but this post has been combined with another and moved to my new website, Magickal Ingredients. It can be found here: Camphor Magick and Lore

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Candle Magick

One of the most used tools of spellcraft and magick, candles are essentially vessels that carry and deliver prayers. Candles are also used on the altar to honor gods and goddesses and the four quarters or elements (earth, air, fire, and water).

Candle colors and shapes have different meanings:
  • Red: love or energy
  • Pink: flirtation, harmony, or emotional healing
  • Orange: success and motivation
  • Brown: power and stability
  • Black: protection or cursing
  • White: to clear the path, protection, and healing
  • Blue: peace and protection
  • Green: prosperity, fertility, growth
  • Purple: power and wisdom
  • Yellow, success, fame, and glory, also clarity
  • Male and female figures: love, protection, separation, healing
  • Cat : love and luck
  • Cross: protection, meditation, devotion
  • Seven-knot: burned while making wishes as each knot burns
  • Seven-color: devotionals for the seven orishas, or Yoruban gods and goddseses
  • Skull: used for hexing or healing depending on the color
  • Witch: love spells
  • Reversible or double-action: these black and red candles are burned to return evil to the sender.
Source:
The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients

Candlemas


Candlemas is the Christianized name for Imbolc, and all of the church candles are blessed for the year. The Virgin Mary is also honored. Today, this holiday is chiefly connected to weather lore. Even our American calendar keeps the tradition of Groundhog Day, a day to predict the coming weather. The Groundhog Day tradition tells us that if the Groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of bad weather. An old British rhyme instructed:

If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.

We pagans see the God as an infant during the time of Imbolc...

I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: Candlemas

Other Ways of Making Imbolc


As this is a time of new life and growth, it is appropriate to plant bulbs or flowers or to sow seeds. However, you will need to use your judgement and some local knowledge to decide whether to actually do so at Imbolc or whether to wait a week (or several) until the last frosts have passed. Of course seeds can often be started indoors and planted out a month or so later...

I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been merged with more information on Imbolc and has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: Imbolc - A New Beginning

Crescent Cakes For Imbolc

Baking is appropriate for celebrating Imbolc, and we often make Crescent cakes for the end of our Imbolc ritual. Here is our circle’s favorite recipe:
  • 1 1/4 cups Flour
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Finely Ground Almonds
  • 3 drops Almond Extract
  • 1/2 cup Butter or Margarine, softened...
I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: Crescent Cakes For Imbolc

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Ritual for Februalia

Februalia, Februa, and also Februatio, was the Roman festival of ritual purification, later incorporated into Lupercalia. The festival, which is basically one of Spring washing or cleaning (associated also with the raininess of this time of year) is old, and possibly of Sabine origin. According to Ovid, Februare as a Latin word which refers to means of purification (particularly with washing or water) derives from an earlier Etruscan word referring to purging.

The Roman month Februarius ("of Februa," whence the English February) is named for the Februa/Februatio festival, which occurred on the 15th day of the Roman month. A later Roman god Februus personified both the month and also purification, and is named for them. Thus, the month is named for the festival and not for the god.


Here is a ritual for Februata, and is appropriate any day during the month of February:
  • Color: White
  • Element: Earth
  • Altar: Spread with a clean white cloth and place thereupon four white candles and a bowl of water, very simply.
  • Offerings: Clean something externally, and at the same time clean something internally....
... I am so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Pagan Calendar, and can be found in its entirety here: The Februalia

More February Lore


February was named for the Roman goddess Februa, mother of Mars. As patroness of passion, she was also known as Juno Februa and St. Febronia from febris, the fever of love. Her orgiastic rites were held on February 14th, St.Valentine's Day. In Norse traditions, she is equated with Sjofn.

The Irish called this month Feabhra or an Gearran, the gelding or horse. The horse was used to draw the plough, but Gearran also means 'to cut' and 'Gearran' can be used to describe the 'cutting' Spring winds. To the Anglo-Saxons, this was Solmonath, "sun month," in honor of the gradual return of the light after the darkness of winter. According to Franking and Asatru traditions, this month is Horning, from horn, the turn of the year....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been combined with another, and  moved to my new website The Pagan Calendar hosted at shirleytwofeathers.com, and can be found in its entirety here: February Magick and Lore

February Magick

To Wisdom I call out, Wisdom I invoke
Wisdom I embrace, Wisdom that once spoke
in every wheeling star,
in every sturdy oak:
Show your face again, Sophia!
Remove your shadow cloak!


February gets its name from the word februare, meaning "to purify." This is likely due to the fact that February was the traditional month of cleansing in Rome, when people repented of holiday excesses. The official day for focusing on purification is February 15. (I suspect the ancient cure for hangovers, onion juice, saw a lot of use this day). This cleansing theme also explains the prevalence of water-themed celebrations during this month, along with festivals for the dead.

By now the hectic pace of the holidays has begun to settle down, and life returns to some semblance of normalcy. Nonetheless, the need for the Goddess does not go away during day-to-day activities. If anything, making life an act of worship means including her in even the simplest of things. In terms of energy, any magic focused on growth, well-being, purification, cleansing, or initiation is suited to this month's aspects.

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