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Sunday, July 14, 2013

For A Magickal Bastille Day

Theme: It's time for a revolution!
Colors: Blue, white, and red
Symbols: The Eiffel Tower and the French national flag
Presiding Goddess: Lady Liberty

About Lady Liberty: Although, Lady Liberty is not a goddess in the true sense of the word, she is a potent symbol of freedom. The statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom. In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was turned into a "Cult of Reason" and for a time "Lady Liberty" replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars.

To do today:

Time to take stock of your life and circumstances. Is it time for a revolution in your life? Is it time to break down barriers, make new rules, give yourself permission to be free of oppressive situations and/or relationships? Is it time to draw up your own Declaration of Independence, or as the French termed it, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen?

Here is a spell for personal freedom:

This spell taps directly into the energy  and power of Bastille Day, and can be performed any time it is needed. You will need a length of blue, white, and red ribbon or yarn. It should be as long as you are tall. You can use three ribbons, each a solid color, or one ribbon that is a combination of the three colors. You will also need an envelope, and a handful of dandelion fluff, or feathers, a small candle, and a knife or pair of scissors.

Light the candle, and then place the dandelion fluff into the envelope, and seal it shut. Those little bits of fluff or feathers represent your spirit. The envelope represents the walls you have created to protect yourself. Carefully fold or roll the envelope up so that will fit comfortably in your hand. You control your own destiny. It lies in your hands now.

Sit down, holding the envelope, and think about what restricts your freedom, what circumstances and situations starve your spirit, and steal your joy, what binds you, what constricts you, what holds you back. Begin to tie the ribbon around the envelope. There is no wrong way to bind up the envelope with the ribbon. Tie as many knots as you'd like. While you are binding the envelope, be thinking about the restrictions that bind your spirit. When you are complete, drip candle wax onto the bundle to seal it, and then snuff the candle.

Now, take the wrapped up envelope outside, along with the knife or scissors outside. Take a few moments to breathe in the outside air, listen to the sounds around you, notice the wind and the sky. You can be free. You can claim your freedom. Allow yourself to think about how it will feel to be free. When you are ready, begin to cut the strands of ribbon away from the envelope. As you do, say the following:

Bondage has no hold on me.
Beautiful Lady set me free.

When the ribbon is completely cut, very gently open the envelope and take out the dandelion fluff or feathers. Holding them in your hand, gently breathe into them and then hold them high and toss them free. Don't worry if they simply fall to the ground. Any feathers or fluff that fails to fly free can be picked up and gently placed in an open spot where they will catch the breeze.

Burn or bury the remains of the envelope and the ribbon. When you go back inside, re-light your candle. You are now ready to let your own light shine. Allow the candle to burn completely.

About Bastille Day:

What follows is an excerpt from a Paris newspaper account of the fall of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789:.

It was a terrible scene. . . . The fighting grew steadily more intense; the citizens had become hardened to the fire; from all directions they clambered  onto the roofs or broke into the rooms; as soon as an enemy appeared among the turrets on the tower, he was fixed in the sights of a hundred guns and mown down in an instant; meanwhile cannon fire was hurriedly directed against the second drawbridge, which it pierced, breaking the chains; in vain did the cannon on the tower reply, for most people were sheltered from it; the fury was at its height; people bravely faced death and every danger; women, in their eagerness, helped us to the utmost; even the children, after the discharge of fire from the fortress, ran her and there picking up the bullets and shot; ...and so the Bastille fell and the governor, De Launey, was captured ... Serene and blessed liberty, for the first time, has at last been introduced into this abode of horrors, this frightful refuge of monstrous despotism and its crimes.


Interestingly, although the name of the Bastille evokes dark images of despotism and unjust imprisonment, in reality it was a great deal pleasanter than most ordinary prisons. A central part of the myth, and an indication of its potency, was the story of a prisoner supposedly forced to wear an iron mask to conceal his identity even from his guards - the sufferings of this Man in the Iron Mask were given wide publicity by Voltaire. Archives of the title reveal that there was indeed a masked prisoner from 1698 until 1703, when he died. The mask was made of velvet, and he was well treated.

It was originally built in the 14th century to guard one of main entrances to Paris, but by the 18th century the Bastille served only as a prison - mainly for political, aristocratic prisoners who could not be thrust into the crowded gaols with common criminals - and occasionally as a store for arms.The fortress also accommodated printers, booksellers and authors who produced works that the authorities considered seditious. Voltaire was imprisoned there twice: first in 1717 when he was suspected of writing verses accusing the Régent of incest, and then again in 1726. Throughout the 18th century there were never more than 40 inmates, most of them serving short sentences.

On the morning of 14 July 1789,  the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men annoyed by all the disturbance: four forgers, two "lunatics" and one "deviant" aristocrat, the Comte de Solages (the Marquis de Sade had been transferred out ten days earlier). The cost of maintaining a medieval fortress and garrison for so limited a purpose had led to a decision being taken to close it, shortly before the disturbances began. It was, however, a symbol of royal tyranny.

Upon learning that the Bastille had been taken, King Louis XVI, who was residing at Versailles, was reported to have asked an informer: "Is this a revolt?" and La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt said, "No, Sire, it is a revolution." Little did Louis know that the mob's next plan was to march to Versailles, and take him away with them as well.

Note: This post was put together by Shirley Twofeathers for Gypsy Magic, you may repost and share it only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

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