Isis of the moon
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Isis of the moon
Charge a moonstone with your blessings, love, and best magic wishes and then activate it by exposing it to moonbeams overnight. Ask the Goddess of the Moon, Selene, to guide and watch over the person carrying the stone. Give it to someone you love for protection while they travel.
Qualities: Sensitivity, intuition, clairvoyanceMagickal Form: Gemstone
The physical appearance of a stone often suggests its spiritual qualities, and moonstone's foremost attribute is the ability to assist us in calming and soothing the emotions. Even its appearance is subtle. They aren't brilliant stones; all specimens, from the peach and gray hues to the gem-quality blue, and rainbow-colored pieces, cast a light which is soft and translucent.
Said to be infused with the light of the moon, this gemstone holds the power of prophecy and divination. It lends great protection to its wearer. Use moonstones to tell the future and to increase psychic awareness. Wear the pink or rose-colored stones near the heart to attract love.
Moonstone stimulates confidence and is worn for protection. It is also believed to increase fertility and honors the energy of the moon. Because of this, it is useful in fertility matters, protection, and increasing one's psychic vibrations.
Moonstone assists with greater clarity and light while opening doors to ones inner capabilities. It is considered a talisman for good fortune and success as it helps the wearer to see all possibilities and discard tunnel vision.
When one has achieved a state of emotional calmness, this stone may be used to open people to an intuitive understanding of spirituality. An important aspect of this understanding is the acceptance and appreciation of the nature of change in physical existence -- just as the moon herself undergoes constant change.
Though wearing moonstone as a ring is often recommended, it is equally effective in other forms of jewelry. If you want to use it as part of a meditation you can either sit and hold it in your receptive (non-dominant) hand, or, if lying down, place it on the heart, solar plexus or third eye.
Compiled from various sources including:
The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients
- Themes: All lunar attributes - Instinct, Creativity, Luck, Reminity, Water elements, Safety in travel
- Symbols: Silver or white items, water, moon images, the number 13
The Roman goddess personifying the moon, Luna had the additional unique quality of being a protectress of charioteers, which in modern times could make her a patroness of automobiles.
March may come in like a lion, Luna escorts it out lambishly, with her soft, shimmering light. She is the full moon, which symbolizes the growing awareness developed this month, the fullness of loving emotions, and charms and enchantments empowered by the silvery light of the moon.
To do today:
Go moon gazing (if it's cloudy, or if the moon can't be seen, you'll have to wait for another day). To encourage any of Luna's attributes, recite this invocation to the moon:
Fill in the blank with your heart's desire. If possible, gear your request to match the energy in today's moon phase. A waxing moon augments spells for any type of growth or development. A full moon emphasizes maturity, fertility, abundance and "ful"-fillment. Waning moons help banish unwanted characteristics or shrink problems, and dark moons emphasize rest and introspection.
Found in: 365 Goddess
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
It's no accident that the caduceus, the staff entwined with double serpents, is the modern symbol of the medical profession. Snakes are the primary animals of healing and have been so since ancient days. Once maintained in the temples of healing that were the first hospitals, their venom both heals and harms. Their old skin fades and grows dull, only to be shed painlessly as the snake emerges vivid and youthful once again, revived and refreshed. Because they lack limbs, snakes are always in contact with Earth. They burrow in Earth's crevices, live in the sea and in trees; they are privy to all Earth's secrets. Snakes are the guardians and sometimes sharers of Earth's wisdom, the guardians of her treasures, including secrets of healing.
This magical diagnostic technique is especially suited for conditions that defy conventional identification or treatment. An image of a snake is required. It may be a photograph, a stone fetish, or other artistic rendering, however, it must fit comfortably under your pillow and not disturb your sleep.
1. Bring the image to bed with you before going to sleep.
2. Gaze into the snake's eyes and charge it with its mission: to reveal the mysteries of your ailment and its required treatment.
3. Place the image under your pillow, then go to sleep. The goal is to incubate the required dream.
4. Repeat this ritual until the dream has been received, clarified, and understood and no further dreams are required.
Found in: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells
The snake dwells in so many places, climates and environments, comes in so many colors, shapes and sizes that this creature can be said to be one of the most versatile of all. Indeed snakes represent versatility, transmutation and change, their natural inclination to “shed their skins” leaving behind the old, and adapting to the new, supports this idea.
The snake has been, throughout the ages, controversial in many regards. Some see the snake as a bearer of evil or bad news, but most see the snake as the healer and spiritual icon that it is. Like any creature, human or animal, they possess both noble and questionable qualities. Some people fear them and many more are charmed by them.
Most of us recognize the snake as the symbol of physicians and alchemists, which shows two snakes wrapped around a staff. This again, supports their totem reputation as healer. Snakes are highly respected in India and their lore and symbolism is highly regarded by their culture; Vitana, the mother of snakes, is the symbol of water and the underworld and the Goddess Shiva always wears snakes on her body as jewelry, which represents sexuality. Native Indians also see the snake as a representation of fertility and healing.
Those who are said to posses Snake like qualities have control over their emotions, excellent intuition and the ability to heal quickly. They are slow to anger but have enormous coiled power within them and will strike with control and precision when they must. Some snake type people, like their reptile counterparts, will give their opponent fair warning before striking, others will attack powerfully and without any warning. Snakes rarely, if ever, attack unless provoked, which is an excellent lesson for all of us to learn. Others should be on their guard when in snake territory and should respect the snake’s province.
Snakes awaken spiritual and magical intuition in the person who chooses this totem or is chosen by it. Snakes are associated with unseen creative forces at work. With the snake totem the powers of intuition and observation becomes keener and more precise. As snakes represent change and intuition the combination of these characteristics will allow for great new developments in life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made. They represent openness to new experiences, and thus, opened horizons.
The Snake in the wild is generally clam and peaceful. They hunt for food when hungry and can go long periods of time without eating again. They bask on warm rocks and will usually not attack unless prompted. To annoy or provoke a snake is a very unwise mistake, which many people make. Because of their calm and somewhat shy nature, many believe that they are too still or quiet to be much harm, however, as many have discovered, while a snake may seem as though it is still and unaware, if pressed they can and will deliver a dangerous blow or bite, sometimes without warning, that can leave permanent damage or even cause death to its victim.
Snakes are very sensitive to their environment, they are silent, calm creatures and seem to be very serene on the outside, but within this animal is coiled power that can deliver lethal blows, with well timed and startling accuracy. The snake is a powerful totem, symbolizing eternity, wisdom, transformation and intuition. Their wisdom is expressed as healer and the snake has been used as a symbol of this for centuries.
Source: Mani Zone
Salus was a minor goddess, the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of healing, whose staff, with a snake coiled round it, is symbolic of the practice of medicine. Their Greek equivalents were Aklepios and Hygeia. Her role in the pantheon was to feed and care for her father's sacred snakes and act as his assistant. She was worshipped as being responsible for the welfare, not just of individuals, but of the people as a whole. Her name in Greek and Roman comes down to us in such words as 'hygiene,' 'salve' and 'salubrious,' and even 'salute' and 'safe.'
In works of art, of which a considerable number has come down to our time, she was represented as a virgin dressed in a long robe, with the expression of mildness and kindness, and either alone or grouped with her father and sisters, and either sitting or standing, and leaning on her father. Her ordinary attribute is a serpent, which she is feeding from a cup.
To invoke the healing power of Salus (Hygeia) either of these two invocations can be used, or you can create an invocation of your own.
"O much desired, prolific, general queen. Hear me, life-bearing Hygeia, of beauteous mien, mother of all; by thee diseases dire, of bliss destructive, from our life retire; and every house is flourishing and fair, if with rejoicing aspect thou art there. Each daidal art thy vigorous force inspires, and all the world thy helping hand desires. Hades, life’s bane, alone resists thy will, and ever hates thy all-preserving skill. O fertile queen, from thee for ever flows to mortal life from agony repose; and men without thy all-sustaining ease find nothing useful, nothing formed to please. Without thy aid, not Hades’ self can thrive, nor man to much afflicted age arrive; for thou alone, of countenance serene, dost govern all things, universal queen. Assist thy mystics with propitious mind, and far avert disease of every kind."
~ Orphic Hymn 68
"Hygeia, most revered of the blessed ones among mortals, may I dwell with you for what is left of my life, and may you graciously keep company with me: for any joy in wealth or in children or in a king’s godlike rule over men or in the desires which we hunt with the hidden nets of Aphrodite, any other delight or respite from toils that has been revealed by the gods to men, with you, blessed Hygeia, it flourishes and shines in the converse of the Kharites; and without you no man is happy."
~from the Ariphron
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Many Wiccan books discuss the taking of a Wiccan /magical name. The ceremonial bestowing of such a name upon the initiate is a part of many initiation ceremonies. Afterward, the new Wiccan is usually exclusively called by this name within the circle.
For many Wiccans, taking a new name (magical name) is an outward symbol of her or his devotion to Wicca. It's seen as a part of the process of rebirth into the religion.
To cut to the heart of this matter: is it necessary for you to adopt a Wiccan name? If you wish your Wicca to correspond to conventional Wicca as far as possible, yes. If you feel freer than these constraints, adoption of a special name isn't necessary. Once again, the decision is yours alone.
The major reason for utilizing a magical name is that it represents the Wiccan you. For some, use of this name gives them a sense of power and mystery which they may otherwise not feel. We live in such a mundane world that it can indeed be difficult to 'switch on' the magical side of our nature. Thus, use of a Wiccan name may assist in altering the conscious mind and preparing it for ritual.
Some people take an entirely different approach: they legally adopt their Wiccan name. Thus, Sally Thompson becomes Amber; Frank Jones, Greywolf. This name may even appear on driver's licenses, leases and other documents. This legal avenue is inadvisable unless you're completely open about your religion, since such a name will naturally draw attention to its bearer. Though many state that they've chosen to use their new name to the exclusion of the old one purely for spiritual reasons, most are also making a public statement regarding their religion--and not all of us are ready for such a step.
How do you find your magical name?
There are many approaches. Some Wiccans adopt the name of a Goddess or God, in honor of Them. Others look into their family's cultural history and choose a name from the associated folklore: a person with British ancestory may opt for a name culled from British folklore. Many contemporary American Wiccans incorporate an animal in their name, such as 'Howling Wolf' or 'Sweeping Eagle'. (Or like mine and my brother's *no you CANT have them!!!* Silvara Wilde, Silvara = Silver Dragon, Aris Coldwolf.) Flower and plant names (such as Rose, Oak Keeper, Grove, Fir, Ash) are other possibilities.
You may also simply make up a name. Many Wiccan names consist of two words that have been put together. Such names are usually quite descriptive. (Silverhair, Shadowdancer, Mist Walker)
Some famous Wiccan names have been published. Gerald Gardner publicly used the name Scire. At least one of Doreen Valiente's magical names was Ameth. A well-known High Priest adopted the public Craft name of Phoenix.
Still other popular names include: Morgan, Morgana, Morgaine, Morgraine, Lugh, and Arthur; Ariadne, Diana, Hermes, Poseidon, Cassandra, and Triton; Selket, Ma'at, Osiris, and other Egyptian names.
Among the most commonly used names are Amber, Phoenix, and Merlin. Calling out one of these names at a Pagan gathering will usually cause many heads to turn. (Try it. I dare you! *L*)
So there are plenty of possibilities from which to choose. If you decide to use a Wiccan name in ritual, always use it. Use it in prayer. Use it in rituals. Write it, in runes or English, on your tools. You may even wish to perform some sort of name-adoption ritual. This could consist of casting a circle and invoking the Goddess and God to be present and asking Them to recognize you by your new name. Use of a Craft name may not give you any additional power, but it's a traditional practice, and many enjoy it.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Center yourself by sitting or lying upon the ground, closing your eyes, and imagine a whirlpool of energy surrounding you, travelling in clockwise motion from your head down to your feet, back up to your head, and back down to your feet. Continue this imagery until you feel grounded and centered, oblivious to daily distractions and cares. Once centered, allow your mind to wander to the animal you wish to merge with. Don't force the imagery, rather allow it to happen.
Picture the animal clearly in your mind. Watch it, empathize with it, feel yourself merging with it. Imagine what it is like to be the animal. Imagine the sights it sees, the smells it senses, the motivations and ways of thinking it may have. Become those thoughts. Merge with the animal by disolving the distinctions that make it separate.
Once you have fully merged with the animal, you can communicate with it. Ask it what you want to know. Tell it what you want it to know
Friday, March 25, 2011
This is a short film developed by group of young Romany Gypsies living in Kent, about their history and culture and lifestyle. It features Billy, Charlene, Hayley, Henry Joe, Joe, Maria, Saedie, Maryann, Ollie, Samantha, Stacey.
It stops rather abruptly - but definitely worth watching!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Today (March 23) is the fifth day of the Quinquatria. A five day Roman festival to honor Minerva which coincides with the five day Ancient Greek festival to honor Athena - her Greek counterpart. Here is a ritual designed for group participation. It can, however, be modified for the solitary practitioner.
- Colors: Blue and brown
- Elements: Air and earth
- Altar: Upon a brown cloth light five blue candles, incense, and many tools of the crafter.
- Offerings: Make something.
- Daily Meal: Let those whose craft is cooking or baking make what they will as an offering.
(All approach the altar and select a tool, and speak their intentions towards it. Tools are then taken outside and laid on the Earth, and the Tool Blessing is said over them. Then, for the rest of the day, craftwork will be done, or things made or repaired.)
Tool Blessing (to be spoken or chanted or sung):
Found in: Pagan Book of Hours
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
- Color: Golden
- Element: Fire
- Altar: Upon a golden cloth set five gold candles, a chalice of wine, the figure of a lioness, and a crown resembling a turreted city.
- Offerings: Lions, herbs, wild game, music.
- Daily Meal: Game birds, such as turkey, goose, pheasant, or quail. Moretum, made of feta cheese, olive oil, herbed vinegar, chopped celery, and ground coriander.
Found in: Pagan Book of Hours
In Ancient Roman religious tradition, the hilaria (Greek: ἱλάρια; Latin: hilaris, "hilarious") were festivals celebrated on the vernal equinox to honor Cybele, the mother of the Gods. The Romans took this feast originally from the Greeks, who called it ΑΝΑΒΑΣΙΣ, (Ascensus)
The day of its celebration was the first after the vernal equinox, or the first day of the year which was longer than the night. The winter with its gloom had died, and the first day of a better season was spent in rejoicings.
The manner of its celebration during the time of the republic is unknown, except that Valerius Maximus mentions games in honour of the mother of the gods. Respecting its celebration at the time of the empire, we learn from Herodian that, among other things, there was a solemn procession, in which the statue of the goddess was carried, and before this statue were carried the most costly specimens of plate and works of art belonging either to wealthy Romans or to the emperors themselves.
All kinds of games and amusements were allowed on this day; masquerades were the most prominent among them, and everyone might, in his disguise, imitate whomsoever he liked, and even magistrates.
Monday, March 21, 2011
On March 21, the Salii marched to the Regia taking the bronze Ancilia, the sacred shield that had fallen down from heaven, and its 11 copies. They danced through the streets carrying poles with the shields mounted on them in their left hands. With their other hand, they banged the shields with a drumstick. Even in the time of Cicero, the Carmen Saliare they sang was so ancient that he could not understand it.
At the end of each night, they would stop at a place to be feasted before starting up again the next day. This festival would end on March 24 when they would return to the Regia and return the shields.
Found at Wikipedia
Today (March 21) is the third day of the Quinquatria. A five day Roman festival to honor Minerva which coincides with the five day Ancient Greek festival to honor Athena - her Greek counterpart. Here is a ritual designed for group participation. It can, however, be modified for the solitary practitioner.
- Color: Blue
- Element: Air
- Altar: Upon a blue cloth lay many musical instruments, blue candles, a clear glass bowl of water, and a fan made from a bird's wing.
- Offerings: Song and music.
- Daily Meal: Light vegetarian meal.
(The rest of the day should be spent in song, whatsoever has been chosen by the community as the absolute best that they can do, as an offering. Songs can be solo offerings, or as a group. Those who wish to give private offerings can play instrumental music after the main group has left.)
Found in: Pagan Book of Hours
Sunday, March 20, 2011
- Draw a bath.
- Into the bath, pour 1/4 cup Epsom salt, 1/4 cup coarse and 1/4 cup fine Dead Sea salt.
- Put on a piece of moonstone (ring, neclace, bracelet, or anklet).
- Light a blue candle and place on a fireproof container near the bathtub.
- Bring a crystal ball with you into the bath.
Call her name quietly but deliberately, drawing it out slowly like a snake's hiss. "I-sis, I-sis, I-sis." Breathe in and with the exhale whisper, "I-sis." Do this for about five minutes.
Lift the crystal ball into the air once you feel the spirit of Isis within the room. Hold the ball in front of the candle flame. See what is in store as you divine by scrying both fire and crystal.
- Themes: Magic, Harvest, Dreams, Divination, Perspective, Faithfulness, Love, Spirituality, Destiny
- Symbols: Bloodstone, Amethyst, Silver, Myrrh, Cedar, Hawk, Moon
One of the most complete goddess figures in history, Isis breathes on us with spring winds to revitalize and fulfill our spirits in every way. Egyptians venerated Isis as the Queen of Sorcery, Life of the Nile, Mother Moon, and Protectress. Isis taught humankind the basic skills necessary to build civilizations, and she came to represent the powerful attribures of faithfulness, love, inner beauty, oracular insight, and spiritual awareness (to name just a few). She could also change her followers' destinies.
To Do Today:
Today is the spring harvest festival in Egypt, honoring the giver of all life, Isis. Put a bloodstone or amethyst in your pocket today to inspire any or all of Isis's characteristics in your soul and life. If you have any silver or white clothing, wearing them will also foster Isis-centered energy, because these colors are associated with the moon.
Our traditional activity today is fortune telling, an art under Isis's dominion. To encourage visionary dreams from her, put some rose petals under your pillow before going to bed, and burn some myrrh or jasmine insence. Keep a dream diary handy, and write your impressions immediately upon waking so you won't lose the insight.
From: 365 Goddess
Take some of the lint and stuff the eggshell with it. Instant fairy bed! This idea could be taken a lot further ~ a really imaginative child could make a whole fairy village from eggshells and bits of other things.
When you've collected the eggs, peel them, sort by color, and them turn the shells over to the kids. Hand them a rolling pin and some paper towelling or newspaper, and let them crush the shells into small pieces.
These eggshell bits make great mosaics, and can be created for either magickal or mundane purposes. Maybe this would be a good project for your child's first pentacle, or perhaps for some windowsill or altar magickal decorations.
If you'd like to try it, here is a simple how-to:
- Rinse eggshells and let dry.
- Lay eggshells flat on a work area.
- Use a rolling pin or bottom of a cup to smash eggshells into small pieces.
- Arrange eggshells in a pattern on a piece of firm white paper (such as paper for watercolors).
- Secure with white glue, mixed with a bit of water.
- Let dry.
- Use watercolor paints to color eggshell bits as you like.
- Let dry.
- Voila! You have a beautiful mosaic picture.
Rinse eggshells and break into tiny pieces.
Prepare a variety of dye colors in plastic containers by adding a few drops of food coloring to a small amount of hot water. A drop of vinegar added to the water will help to set the color.
To dye eggshells, simply immerse them in the water. Leaving the shells in the dye for varying lengths of time will create different shades of color to work with.
Remove shells from dyes and spread them out on paper towels to dry. When shells are dry, gather the different colors in separate containers.
The shell pieces should be arranged in the basic mosaic design before beginning to glue. When satisfied with your design, glue shell pieces into place with white glue. If desired, use a clear spray lacquer to coat the entire mosaic.
Sources: Amberflame, kids stuff, eHow
To start, when you crack open your eggs to cook, try to crack them as close to the narrow end as possible. By doing so, you can leave most of the eggshell intact, forming a little cup.
Empty and rinse out the egg with hot water, setting it to dry in a place where the kids (and the cats!) won't be able to knock them off. I usually keep my eggshells in the original cardboard containers.
When you have at least a dozen or so, you have the start of your magickal garden! These eggshells make great miniature planters for starting seeds in. The eggshell symbols new birth and growth, and when the seedlings are large enough, they can be planted in the ground, eggshell and all.
When you do plant them, roll the shell gently between your palms to crack it, so the roots will be able to work their way through.
By starting the seeds in their own little "egg pots," you can charge them in groups for specific purposes, or just provide them with general blessings.
Found at OakDancer.com
Start with raw eggs. My favorite tool to pierce the shell is a small nail ~ for some reason, I've never had good luck piercing the shells with needles.
Pierce the narrow end of the shell with a tiny hole. At the wider end of the egg, use the nail to pierce a wider hole. This is the trickiest part of the operation, but I've been lucky and only lost a few eggs. Just handle the eggs gently, and once you make the hole in the wider end, use the tip of the nail to gently enlarge the hole.
Then, for those of you who have never done this before, simply place your lips over the smaller hole and blow. (No, you don't want to know what it looks like! LOL)
When the egg is blown out, place a finger over the smaller hole, and fill the egg about halfway with warm water. Shake well and rinse; do this several times to make sure the egg is completely cleaned out. Put in a safe place to dry.
When these blown-out eggs are dry, they can then be filled with various herbs and such, and decorated as charms. The decorations can be as simple, or as elaborate as you wish.
Here are some possible color, symbol and herb combinations for a few different magickal purposes:
- Fertility - Pregnancy: spring green or bright yellow; basil, poppy, cucumber, acorns, myrtle, all nuts, apple, pomegranate, mistletoe, myrtle; roosters and hens, spiral, the runic B, raindrops
- Protection: red, white or purple; ash, basil, dill, fennel, hyssop, mistletoe, rosemary, rue, vervain; pentagram, equal-armed cross
- Healing: green or blue (purple is good for severe illnesses); rosemary, red carnation petals, sage, saffron, lavender, myrrh; pentagram, oak leaves
When preparing the herbs to put inside these charms, they must be ground very fine. Remember, these are very tiny holes you will be putting them into.
Once the herbs are ground and charged, you are ready to pour them in. If you plan on hanging the eggs, you must first thread a cord or string through the egg. I would tie the knot at the smaller hole, leaving the larger hole to pour the herbs through.
If you don't plan on hanging them, you could use any number of things to seal the hole, and provide additional magick. "Seals" that come to mind include acorns, small stones, pieces of wood and shells.
Fill the egg as much as possible with your herbal mixture of choice, and then seal the other hole. (Note, if you plan on hanging the eggs, this second seal is not vital; simply be careful where you hang it.)
My personal preference would be to decorate the egg first, and then fill it with herbs, but you do whichever works best for you.
Once the charm is completed and fully charged, you can either hang it up, or place it somewhere where the egg might remain intact. I would also plan on renewing these charms periodically.
Everything is reborn in spring -- even Easter eggs, which can be transformed into votives for your table or altar. Eggs are a symbol of rebirth and a start of a new life. Start your season off with these beautiful eggshell votive candles!
Things you need:
- 2lb Candle Wax
- Crayons or candle dye pellets
- 4″ Pre-tabbed Candle Wicks
- Eggcups or unfinished Wood Egg Holders
- Food Coloring or Egg Coloring Kit
- Egg Carton
First, make a hole in the top of each egg with a pin; enlarge the holes, and pour out the yolks. Clean shells, then dye them with food coloring (follow package directions). Nestle shells in a carton. Cut wire-core wicks to 4 inches long, flatten one end, and fasten in shell with a bit of warm wax. Using a funnel, fill shells with hot wax (tinted with melted crayon or dye pellets). Let the wax cool. Trim the wicks, and light.
To make the holes in your eggs, gently and carefully tap a sharp serrated knife around the narrow egg of the egg. Lift and twist the small portion of egg shell to remove it from the egg body. Empty the out the yolk and clean the egg carefully.
Paint or Mod Podge your own egg holders for a unique fun look. Set aside and let dry.
Place your egg shells into an egg cartoon for safety. Hot glue the wick tabs to the inside bottom portion of your eggs. This way your wicks will not float when the hot wax is being pour in. Be sure that your eggs are dry inside before applying the hot glue.
Melt your candle making wax by purchasing a double broiler or you can also combine a smaller pan within a larger pan, to make your own type of double broiler. Be sure that you place water in the larger pan and be on the watch that the water doesn’t evaporate. Heating the candle wax up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit is fine generally. I suggest adding the color and additives to your wax right around 190 degrees F. Stir the wax it for several minutes, this will make certain that the wax has an even temperature throughout and the mix is blended thoroughly.
Source: Martha Stewart
- 6 large, white eggshells
- mortar and pestle or a rolling pin and waxed paper
- 3 small bowls
- 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
- hot and cold tap water
- 1 teaspoon of high-gluten or pastry flour
- 5-8 drops of food coloring
- 3 x 5 card
- 2 rubber bands
After removing the membranes on the inside, wash the eggshells and allow them to air dry.
Grind the eggshells into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or by placing them on waxed paper and crushing them with a rolling pin. Put the powder in a small bowl.
In another bowl, mix the cornstarch with a half teaspoon of cold water. In the third bowl, mix together the flour and food coloring and then add hot tap water until the dough reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes. Mix the eggshell powder and cornstarch mixture into the dough.
Knead the mixture between your hands. In a few minutes the blend should reach the firmness of play dough. If it seems too wet, knead in a few extra pinches of flour; if it's too dry, add a few drops of hot water.
Roll the mixture into a stick, wrap a 3 x 5 card widthwise around it, and secure the card with rubber bands. Allow chalk stick to dry for two days, remove the card, and let it dry for two more days.
Tips: If you want to make white chalk, don't add any food coloring. Only use this chalk on sidewalks because it is abrasive and may leave marks on wood, ceramics, and walls.
You will need:
- 6 egg shells
- Hot water
- Paper towels or soap molds
- Food coloring
- Measuring spoons
Try both fresh and frozen produce. Canned produce will produce much paler colors. Boiling the colors with vinegar will result in deeper colors. Some materials need to be boiled to impart their color. Some of the fruits, vegetables, and spices can be used cold. To use a cold material, cover the boiled eggs with water, add dyeing materials, a teaspoon or less of vinegar, and let the eggs remain in the refrigerator until the desired color is achieved. In most cases, the longer you leave Easter eggs in the dye, the more deeply colored they will become.
Here is the preferred method for using natural dyes:
- Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered.
- Add approximately one teaspoon of vinegar.
- Add the natural dye. Use more dye material for more eggs or for a more intense color.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- If you are pleased with the color, remove the eggs from the liquid.
- If you want more intensely colored eggs, temporarily remove the eggs from the liquid. Strain the dye through a coffee filter (unless you want speckled eggs). Cover the eggs with the filtered dye and let them remain in the refrigerator overnight.
- Naturally-colored eggs will not be glossy, but if you want a shiny appearance you can rub a bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry.
Natural Dye Ingredients listed by color imparted:
- Yellow - Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled), Carrot Tops (boiled), Celery Seed (boiled), Ground Cumin (boiled), Ground Turmeric (boiled), Chamomile Tea, Green Tea, Fenugreek (boiled), Turmeric (boiled), White grape juice
- Yellow Orange - Vanilla extract
- Orange - Dandelions, Paprika, Orris root, Yellow Onion Skins (boiled), Cooked Carrots, Chili Powder, Paprika
- Pink - Heather, Iris blossoms, Beets, Cranberries or Juice, Raspberries, Red Grape Juice, Juice from Pickled Beets
- Red - Cayenne, Madder root, Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled), Canned Cherries with Juice, Pomegranate Juice, Raspberries
- Reddish Purple - Purple grape juice, Red raspberries
- Blueish Purple - Beet juice, Blackberries, Mulberries
- Lavender - Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice, Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice, Red Zinger Tea
- Violet Blue - Violet Blossoms, Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled), Hibiscus Tea, Red Wine
- Blue - Black raspberries, Canned Blueberries, Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled), Purple Grape Juice
- Green - Bracken, Carrot tops, Spinach Leaves (boiled), Liquid Chlorophyll
- Yellow Green - Daffodils, Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
- Golden Brown - Dill Seeds
- Brown - Strong Coffee, Instant Coffee, Black Walnut Shells (boiled), Black Tea
- Black - Absorb and dispel negative influences, Mystery, Rememberance, Eternity, Constancy
- Blue - Healing, Peace, Astral projection, Fidelity, Sleep, Unity
- Brown - Animals, Helps connect to the rythms and energies of the Earth
- Gold - Activity, Money, The God, The Sun
- Green - Abundance, Calm, Fertility, Prosperity, Neutralize difficult situations, Renewal, Freshness, Hope
- Indigo - Clairvoyance, Healing, Past lives
- Orange - Attraction, Energy, Friendship, Willpower, Endurance, Strength
- Pink - Romantic love, Peace
- Purple - Communication with higher level beings, Connection with the Divine, Ending quarrels, Healing, Tranquility, Patience, Trust, Deep Sleep, Healing serious illnesses
- Red - Courage, Lust, New life, Desire, Passion, Sexuality, Strength, Enthusiasm
- Red Violet - Hidden knowledge
- Silver - Psychic abilities, Spirituality, The Goddess, The Moon
- Turquoise - Spiritual Knowledge
- White - Good fortune, Healing, Purification, Virgin Goddess
- Yellow - Creativity, Communication, Intellect, Knowledge, Youth, Mind Power, Light, Purity, Happiness, Wisdom
Ostara, the ancient German Virgin Goddess of Spring, loves bright colors. The light pastels of spring are perfect offerings for Ostara. To represent earth on your altar, choose bright or pastel colored stones like Rose Quartz, Amethyst, or any of the Calcites (blue, red, yellow, or green). If you have some Citrine, be sure to include it. Citrine has long been an aid for mental clarity.
By including an offering of colored eggs on your altar, you will be taking part in an ancient tradition (still performed!) by the Germanic people. Ostara has been honored this time of year with painted eggs for centuries.
To symbolize fertility, in addition to the eggs, you can include seeds or rice on your altar. I like to use rice as a symbol for fertility on my altars.
Incense and feathers are perfect symbols for air on your altar. It is important for Ostara's altar that you include a symbol for air because Ostara herself is the living symbol for Air. (This must be the way Ostara and Easter became associated with birds, i.e. chickens) Be sure to burn incense at your altar when you are dedicating it to bring in the energy and vibrational qualities of Ostara.
The perfect time to dedicate your altar is at dawn. Choose a day, then plan to dedicate your altar to Ostara at dawn's first light by lighting incense and repeating an invocation to her as well as a prayer of thanksgiving for all that Ostara symbolizes in your life:
- A clear mind.
- New beginnings.
- Personal renewal.
- Fertility, either for the purpose of bearing a child or for creativity such as arts and crafts, writing, or decorating.
You can include anything you like on your altar to Ostara. You will know by how you feel if an item is appropriate or not. I believe it is important to include symbols for the four elements on my altars. The four elements are Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The four Calcites on my altar (red/fire, green/earth, yellow/air, and blue/water) represent Mother Earth and the four elements. I have added feathers and other items that symbolize Ostara to my altar as offerings to her.
Last, but not least, I have included a figure of a rabbit. The rabbit is Ostara's power animal. I am sure this is because of their propensity for fertility.
Celebrate the arrival of spring with flowers. Bring them into your own home and give them to others. You do not have to spend a lot of money - one or two blooms given for no other reason than 'spring is here' can often bring a smile to even the most gloomy face.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Rise before the Sun on the morning of the Spring Equinox. Find several stones and place them on the fence posts that surround your property, visualizing yourself, your home and your life filled with luck.
The Quinquatrus (March 19 through March 23) was named for the fact that it was the fifth day after the Ides (by the Roman method of inclusive counting), but popularly it came to be regarded as a five-day holiday in honor of Mars.
As Minerva Medica she is the patroness of physicians. Minerva is believed to be the inventor of numbers and musical instruments. She is thought to be of Etruscan origin, as the goddess Menrva or Menerva. Later she was equated with the Greek Athena and as such is also sometimes associated as a Goddess of war.
She is the daughter of Jupiter. In the temple on the Capitoline Hill she was worshipped together with Jupiter and Juno, with whom she formed a powerful triad of gods. Another temple of her was located on the Aventine Hill. The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva is built on one of her temples.
Today (March 19) is the first day of the Quinquatria. A five day Roman festival to honor Minerva and Mars which coincides with the five day Ancient Greek festival to honor Athena and Ares - their Greek counterparts. Here is a ritual designed for group participation. It can, however, be modified for the solitary practitioner.
- Colors: Red and blue
- Element: Fire
- Altar: Upon cloth of red (for Ares/Mars) and blue (for Athena/Minerva), place a sword, a spear, a shield, a length of hand-woven cloth, red and blue candles, a book and a pen, and two chalices, one filled with spiced wine or beer, and one with carbonated seltzer water.
- Offerings: Engage in a struggle of some kind. To honor Ares, make it physical; to honor Athena, make it mental. The morning exercise hour should begin with running or fast walking, as this was traditionally Racing Day.
- Daily Meal: Light, nutritious, high-protein, as for an athlete.
(Each comes forth and takes one of the weapons, and salutes the altar twice, calling out "Hail Athena!" and "Hail Ares!" The seltzer is poured out as a libation to Athena, and the spiced drink is poured out for Ares. In the workday to come, everyone should take on some physical task that strains them to their limit, and tests that limit, or if they are disabled, some organizational task requiring uncharacteristically complex strategizing.)
Found in: Pagan Book of Hours
The Festival of Anna Perenna, the Roman goddess of the circle of the year. Originally, her festival was celebrated on the full moon of the first month of the Roman year (the Ides of March), later it came to be celebrated on the 15th of March.
This festival was beloved by the common people of the Roman Empire, though it was also an officially recognized holiday. On the evening of the 15th, people would gather at the 1st milestone on the Via Flaminia in Her sacred grove of fruit trees (in bloom at that time of year) by the banks of the Tiber, and camp out, some bringing tents, others making little shelters from leafy tree branches. There they picnicked merrily into the night, feasting, dancing, singing, and celebrating with much wine, toasting to health and long life.
It was believed that one would live as many years as the cups of wine one could drink, and so it was of course traditional therefore to get very, very drunk. This festival connected the old and the new; it is interesting to note that the Via Flaminia was famous for its tombs and cemeteries.
Anna Perenna is the Roman Goddess of long life and renewal, health and plenty. Her two names both make reference to the year: anna means "to live through a year", while perenna means "last many years" (still seen in the English words annual and perennial). She seems to be concerned with cycles of renewal, and connecting the past to the present;
She Herself is described in some legends as old, and in others as young. Her festival was held on the Ides of March, the 15th, or midpoint of the month, when in the old calendar the moon was full - and the timing, both within the month as well as within the larger cycle of the year, also points to a relationship with memory, cyclical time, and endings becoming beginnings, for March was considered the first month of the year when springtime was in full flower and newness was all around.
According to Macrobius, sacrifices were made to Her with the intent "that the circle of the year may be completed happily". She is likely an original Italian Goddess of health and longevity, and perhaps the calendar as well, as She embodies the concept of the moon-calculated month within the year. Later legends make Her a deified human.
One of these states that Anna Perenna was an old woman from the town of Bollivae in Latium (the area of central Italy that included Rome). Historically, in 494 bce, the plebeians (the commoners or peasants), tired of paying taxes and being conscripted into the military while having no voice in the government, holed themselves up on the Mons Sacer, or Sacred Mount about 3 miles northeast of Rome, with intentions to secede. They were finally coaxed back to Rome with the institution of the tribunes, or representatives of the tribes, whose function was to represent the peoples' interests and defend their freedoms against those of the patrician class. In the legend, Anna Perenna brought the plebeians cakes and kept them fed. For these reasons She was always popular with the common people, and after Her death She was considered a Goddess.
In a later legend Anna is a young woman, the sister of Dido, Queen of Carthage. After the death of her sister, Anna fled to Rome, where the hero Aeneas (the cause of Dido's broken heart and subsequent suicide) had settled. Here she ran afoul of his wife Lavinia, and in despair she killed herself by drowning in the River Numicius.
Afterwards she was said to have been given the surname Perenna, and worshipped as the nymph of the river. The River Numicius was considered sacred to Anna Perenna; at its source was built a temple to Aeneas as Jupiter Indiges (which literally means "Jupiter the Needy", though no one is quite sure what that is about, as Indiges or Indigites was a term used specifically for deified mortals), and at its mouth was the town of Lavinium, said to be named after Lavinia the wife of Aeneas, who is an ancient local Goddess as well.
In yet another tale, She is again an old woman. The God of War, Mars, was in love with Minerva, the Goddess of War and the Arts and a sworn virgin. He asked Anna Perenna to intercide on His behalf; instead She dressed Herself up as Minerva, and, veiled, came to Mars. When He tried to kiss Her She laughed and laughed at Him in scorn. Minerva's main Roman festival, the Quinquatrus, was held just 4 days after Anna Perenna's and this is usually the explanation given for why they are linked in this legend.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Repeat the following three times:
Place the bowl of water near where you work on your website for a period of three days. During that time, you should make changes to the site's layout, add content, or in some other way give your site some tender loving care. The bowl doesn't have to be right next to your computer, but it should at least be in the same room.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
The Romans celebrated Liberalia with sacrifices, processions, ribald and gauche songs, and masks which were hung on trees.
This feast celebrates the maturation of young boys to manhood. Roman boys, usually at age 14, would remove the bulla praetexta, a hollow charm of gold or leather, which parents placed about the necks of children to ward off evil spirits.
At the Liberalia ceremony the young men might place the bulla on an altar (with a lock of hair or the stubble of his first shave placed inside) and dedicate it to the Lares, who were gods of the household and family. Mothers often retrieved the discarded bulla praetexta and kept it out of superstition.
If the son ever achieved a public triumph, the mother could display the bulla to ward off any evil that might be wished upon the son by envious people. The young men discarded the toga praetexta, which was probably derived from Etruscan dress and was decorated with a broad purple border and worn with the bulla, by boys and girls. The boys donned the clothing of adulthood, the pure white toga virilis, or "man's gown". The garment identified him as a citizen of Rome, making him an eligible voter.
The celebration on March 17 was meant to honor Liber Pater, an ancient god of fertility and wine (like Bacchus, the Roman version of the Greek god, Dionysus). Liber Pater is also a vegetation god, responsible for protecting seed. Liber, again like Dionysius, had female priests although Liber's priests were older women.
Wearing wreaths of ivy, the priestesses made special cakes, or libia, of oil and honey which passing devotees would have them sacrifice on their behalf. Over time this feast evolved and included the goddess Libera, Liber Pater's consort, and the feast divided so that Liber governed the male seed and Libera the female.
On the Liberalia it was tradition for women to bake smaller pieces of flatbread or consecrated cake (liba) on outdoor ovens with different ingredients (e.g. eggs, cheese, oil or honey) and hand it to the people who were passing by. Ancient sources speak of a significant variety of recipes, and the tradition has been retained to this day as part of the Holy Week.
In Germany the Liberalia dish is still known as lebkuchen (“leb-cake”), with leb- derived from the Latin libum. In German Christian tradition the lebkuchen used to be consumed during Lent and the Easter season, but today has almost exclusively reversed its meaning and shifted to Christmas and the Advent. Aside from the wafers, real liba are also served in Spain, the traditional torrijas at Easter made of flour, wine and honey.
This ancient Italian ceremony was a "country" or rustic ceremony. The processional featured a large phallus which the devotees carried throughout the countryside to bring the blessing of fertility to the land and the people. The procession and the phallus were meant also to protect the crops from evil. At the end of the procession, a virtuous and respected matron placed a wreath upon the phallus.
Related to the celebration of the Liberalia is the Procession of the Argei, celebrated on March 16 and 17. The Argei were 27 sacred shrines created by the Numina (very powerful ancient gods who are divine beings without form or face) and found throughout the regions of Rome. However, modern scholars have not discovered their meaning or use.
In the argei celebration, 30 figures also called Argei were fashioned from rushes into shapes resembling men; later in the year they were tossed into the river(s). The origin of this celebration is not certain, but many scholars feel that it may have been a ritualistic offering meant to appease and praise the Numa and that the 30 argei probably represented the thirty elder Roman curiae, or possibly represented the 30 Latin townships.
Other ancient scholars wrote that the use of the bull-rush icons was meant to deter celebrants from human sacrifice, which was done to honor Saturn. Some historical documents indicate that the argei (the sacred places) took their names from the chieftains who came with Hercules, the Argive, to Rome and then occupied the Capitoline (Saturnian) Hill. There is no way at present to verify this information, but it does coincide with the belief that Rome was founded by the Pelasgians and the name Argos is linked to that group.