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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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hekate Suppers At The Crossroads

A practice particularly associated with the sacred three-way crossroads of Hekate was the Hekate Supper, or depina Hekates. It may be that these offerings were made to appease ghosts and keep them at the crossroads, avoiding trouble from them whilst traveling etc. Alternatively these offerings were described as being made to placate the goddess and ensure that she would look favorably upon those who made regular offerings.

It has been suggested that the crossroads was sacred to Hekate due to her having been abandoned at a crossroads as a baby by her mother Pheraea, and then rescued and brought up by shepherds. This Thessalian tale comes from a scholiast to Lycophron's 3rd century BCE play Alexandria, and was a late invention.

Aristophanes recorded that offerings to Hekate were made "on the eve of the new moon" which is when the first sliver of the new moon is visible, signifying a possible connection with Hekate as a lunar goddess, rising, like the moon, from the underworld on the night of the new moon.

There are also references to the offerings being made on the thirtieth day of the month, but keep in mind that this was calculated on the Greek calendars, it would vary from state to state as there was no uniformity in the calendar system being used.

It has further been suggested that the offerings made at the Hekate Suppers were a form of charity, and certainly the consumption of the food by the poor was noted by Aristophanes (5th century satirist):

"Ask Hekate whether it is better to be rich or starving; she will tell you that the rich send her a meal every month and that the poor make it disappear before it is even served."

The 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia, the Suda, paraphrased this quote and added the following:

"From her one may learn whether it is better to be rich or to go hungry. For she says that those who have and who are wealthy should send her a dinner each month, but that the poor among mankind should snatch it before they put it down. For it was customary for the rich to offer loaves and other things to Hekate each month, and for the poor to take from them."

Various sources mention different foods offered to Hekate at the suppers. These were:
  • Magides - A type of loaf or cake
  • Mainis - Sprat
  • Skoroda - Garlic
  • Tigle - Mullet
  • Psammeta - Sacrificial cake somewhat like the psaista
  • Oon - Eggs (raw)
  • Tyros - Cheese
  • Basunias - A type of cake
Another type of food offering which was left to Hekate on the eve of the full moon was the amphiphon, a type of cake. Amphiphon means light-about, an appropriate name for this flat cheesecake which was surrounded by small torches.

The supper, or leaving of offerings at the crossroads was one of the hardest practices for the Christian church to stamp out. Records indicate it was still taking place in the 11th century CE, and it may well have continued far longer.

From: Hekate Liminal Rites

Monday, January 28, 2013

Digging Up Buried Treasure

Account of an Experienced Fortune Hunter, How Treasures Beneath the Earth Rise and Fall.

If one is contemplating to dig up a treasure, he should above all other things know, whenever the treasure stands highest to rise with the sun and return again with the sinking of the same. If the treasure happens to be hidden in an open field, the affair will soon be righted by digging around, crosswise, or undermining, so that the treasure can be reached from below, but one must not be tardy in constructing the posts or galleries in order to prop the treasure in time, because the digger might otherwise be buried underneath the falling heap. But, if it can be so conducted that the sun can shine crosswise under the treasure, it may be raised, since the goblins of the earth have no longer the power to remove the same.

Found in:
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore and The Occult Sciences

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wolf Lore and Superstition

During the middle ages, wolves were ascribed magical powers and wolf parts became an important part of many early pharmacies. Powered wolf liver was used to ease birth pains. A wolf's right paw, tied around ones throat, was believed to ease the swelling. 

It was widely believed that a horse that stepped in a wolf print would be crippled, the gaze of a wolf would cause blindness, the breath of the wolf could cook meat, and that wolves sharpened their teeth before hunting.

Dead wolves were buried at a village entrance to keep out other wolves (some farmers continue to shoot predators and hang them on fence posts to repel other predators.)

Travelers were warned about perils of walking through lonely stretches of woods, and stone shelters were built to protect them from attacks. Our modern word "loophole" is derived from the European term "loup hole," or wolf hole, a spy hole in shelters.

Modern (one could say, more enlightened) ideas about wolves hold that they embody the following attributes and qualities: 
  • Facing the End of One's Cycle with Dignity and Courage, Death and Rebirth, 
  • Spirit Teaching, An Astral Wolf Could Lead You to a Spiritual Teacher, Learning, the Shadow, Careful Study, Spiritual Guidance in Dreams and Meditations, 
  • Instinct Linked with Intelligence, Cunning, Intuition, Thought
  • Social and Family Values, Loyalty, Steadfastness, Stability, 
  • Spirit, Inner Divinity, Psychic Energy, Ritual, 
  • Strong Protection, Skill in Protection of Self and Family, Ability to Pass by Dangers Invisibly, Escaping Hunters, Guardianship,  Outwitting Enemies, 
  • Taking Advantage of Change, Perseverance, a Pathfinder, Success, 
Collected from various sources.
Image found at: Deviant Art

It's the Full Wolf Moon

And the wolves they are singing that sweet but haunted song,
Oh father oh sister,
Take me home today...


Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Seed Blessing

When you start a plant from seeds, it is proper to bless the seeds beforehand. Place them on your altar and light a white candle. Add a clear quartz crystal to the altar for extra energy. Say something like:

Lord and Lady, 
I ask that you bless these seeds and impart your energies into them 
so that a large, beautiful, strong plant may 
grow in your honor. 
So mote it be!

As you can see, the blessing need not be stiff or formal. A simple stated request works best. Another way to bless the seeds is to call upon the universal energies of the four elements (fire, earth, air, and water). A simply stated request is usually enough.

Gold Rush Day

Presiding Goddess: Nokomis
Themes: Prosperity, Luck, Providence
Symbols: Gold, Golden items, Corn

About Nokomis: in Algonquin tradition, Nokomis is the "grandmother" who supplies us with the earth's riches and gives nourishment to humankind in times of need. When people are hungry, Nokomis provides food. When there is no food to be found, she offers to let us consume her spirit, thereby continuing the cycle of life.

To do Today: Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of gold in California and the resulting expansion westward in the United States. In keeping with this prosperous, fortunate theme, wear or carry something gold today to bring a little more of Nokomis's abundance your way.

For financial improvements, especially if you have any pressing bills, eat corn (any type) today. Before consuming it pray to Nokomis, saying:

"Grandmother, see the sincerity of my need. 
Go to your storehouse and dispense _____ 
(fill in the minimum amount you need to get by) 
so that I might meet my obligations."

Eating the corn internalizes the energy of the prayer so opportunities to make money start manifesting.

If you're pressed for time, grab a kernel of unpopped popcorn and put it in your wallet or purse to keep Nokomis's prosperity (and your cash) where it's needed most.

The History: In January of 1848, James Marshall had a work crew camped on the American River at Coloma near Sacramento. The crew was building a saw mill for John Sutter. On the cold, clear morning of January 24, Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets. Thus began one of the largest human migrations in history as a half-million people from around the world descended upon California in search of instant wealth.

From: 365 Goddess and other sources

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Importance of Salt

Salt is a primary tool of any Witch, regardless of the personal path. Sacred to all ocean deities and considered one of the most sacred substances of earth. It is a representation of earth herself in a mineral form. Salt is used in traditional magical practices for blessing, grounding, protection, and cleansing. It is frequently used as a base for other ingredients in powders, floor washes, bathing spells, and charm bags.

Salt represents prosperity. It was once used to pay salaries in ancient Rome: the word salary comes from the Latin sal, for salt. Add salt to dark leafy greens to increase your income.

Salt is seen as a feminine, nurturing mineral, whereas sulphur is thought to be the male, destructive mineral. Salt works in banishing spells by breaking up or splitting apart any negative influences, due to its purity. It is used in holy water and is a staple on most altars.

From: Elemental Witch and other sources

Monday, January 21, 2013

Astrological Healing Waters

Each part of the body is under the dominion of an astrological sign, from the head (Aries) to the feet (Pisces). The sign influences that part of that anatomy. In days long gone by, medical physicians were expected to have strong working knowledge of astrology.

Astrological Healing Waters consist of lunar-charged healing water, corresponding to the astrological signs. Here's how:

Each month, on the night of the full moon, expose a glass bottle filled with pure spring water to the moonbeams. In the morning, label the bottle with the appropriate astrological sign. (or place in smaller bottles, then label.).

Apply these waters to the parts of the body ruled by that astrological sign for healing purposes. (See astrological correspondences for parts of the body.)

Note: If the sun and moon happen to be in the same astrological sign, the effectiveness of the water would be enhanced. To calculate what sign the moon is in on any given day, you can use this nifty Moon Sign Calculator.

From: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells

Astrological Bodily Correspondences

Dates given for each astrological sign are approximate, and indicate the sun's position in the sign; moon signs can be determined by referencing in an ephemeris, almanac, or Moon Sign Calculator.

Aries - Mar 21 to Apr 20 - Head
Taurus - Apr 21 to May 20 - Neck, throat, shoulders
Gemini - May 21 to June 20 - Lungs, hands, arms
Cancer - June 21 to July 20 - Breasts, stomach
Leo - July 21 to Aug 20 - Heart, solar plexus
Virgo - Aug 21 to Sep 20 - Digestive System
Libra - Sep 21 to Oct 20 - Kidneys, back
Scorpio - Oct 21 to Nov 20 - Reproductive and eliminatory organs
Sagittarius - Nov 21 to Dec 20 - Thighs
Capricorn - Dec 21 to Jan 20 - Knees, bones
Aquarius - Jan 21 - Feb 20 - Calves, ankles, circulatory and glandular systems
Pisces - Feb 21 to Mar 20 - Feet

Aquarius Begins

Themes: Justice; Tradition; Zeal; Femininity
Symbols: Fire; Water
Number: Nine
Presiding Goddess: Oya

About Oya: A Yoruban mother goddess and spirit of the river Niger. Oya flows with us through the last day of January, strengthenning our passion for and appreciation of life. She is wild and irrepressible, like the fire she's said to have created, yet Oya presides over matters of fairness and custom, using that fire as the light of truth. Artistic depictions of Oya show a nine-headed woman whose bosom speaks of fertile femininity.

To Do Today:

Enjoy a glass of water when you get up to begin generating Oya's zest for life in your body and soul. This is also very suited to the energies of the day. Aquarius represents the Water Bearer who continually pours inspiring, creative waters from celestial spheres into our lives.

Get out and do something today. Invoke Oya through your pleasure and pure excitement. Dare to dream; then try to make that dream come true somehow.

If there's some area in your life that needs more equity, try making this Oya charm: Take any small candle and carve Oya's name into it. Have a glass of water nearby. Light the candle to invoke the goddess. Hold the water over the candle, saying:

What injustice consumes,
Oya's waters quell.

Drop a little water on the candle, then trim off the taper, carrying it with you to draw justice to you.

From: 365 Goddess

Aquarius Oil

Add the following essential oils to 1/8 cup of a base oil. Visualize as you mix and smell.  For best results, don't use synthetics.
  • 5 drops Lavender ...
I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, The Magickal Apothecary, (hosted at and can be found in its entirety here: Aquarius Oil

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Simple Sea Salt Magicks

In maritime lore, seawater was thought to cleanse a person thoroughly, absorbing any bad luck, due to the salt content of the water. Throwing salt into a fire for nine consecutive days was thought to break any chain of bad luck, while throwing salt at a person was sure to bring that person grief.

 From: The Elemental Witch

Shell Magick

Shells hold universal energies. They can be used for spell work in the same manner as crystals or herbs:
  • Abalone: The abalone shell is often featured on an altar as a focal point. It can be used to hold smaller items, to burn things, or simply to add extra power to a spell.
  • Clam: Clam shells are used for purification and love spells. They can be placed in charm bags.
  • Conch: Conch shells work best in love spells.
  • Coral: Coral works well in matters of health and healing.
  • Cowries: Sacred to the Orisha Oya, the cowrie shell has a prestigious magical pedigree. Due to its vulva-like appearance, this shell is frequently used upon altars as a representation of the Goddess. Cowries work well in matters involving money and prosperity.
  • Oysters: Oyster shells work best in matters pertaining to luck. They are said to promote good fortune. They make wonderful additions to charm bags.

Water Charms

Naturally occurring objects that are said to be empowered with magical properties manifest themselves in water as well as they do in the other elements. A sand dollar, for instance, is a potent a natural charm as a four-leaf clover. Here is a list of the magickal attributes some common and  naturally occurring objects, brought by water:

Coral: The name coral has its roots in the Greek language. It translates literally to "daughter of the sea." An extremely protective talisman, coral has been accredited with driving away nightmares, harmful spirits, ghosts, theft, accidents, sterility, and violence. It is also credited with regulating menstruation.

Holey stones: Waves, sea creatures, and wind have been known to erode stone surfaces in such a way that a natural hole is created in the stone. These "holey stones" are very powerful in matters of protection. They are also said to be useful in healing rituals, as they absorb sickness and disease. An old wives' tale relates that looking through a holey stone will improve one's eyesight.

Mother-of-pearl: Mother-of-pearl is said to attract money as well as to protect. It is frequently used in ritual jewelry and placed on altars as a representative of water.

Pearls: Pearls have been thought for eons to be the tears of the Goddess. They are useful for attracting love and protection and improving one's luck.

Sand Dollars: The sand dollar is a potent natural good luck charm. A sand dollar is the skeleton of tiny sea creatures with the imprint of the five-pointed star upon them. In spell work, they are useful in matters involving protection, wisdom, and luck. The sand dollar can also be used as a representation of the pentacle on your altar.

Seaweed: The lore of seaweed was plentiful among the sailors of old. Seaweed was said to foretell the weather, promote friendships, and protect against fire or evil spirits. To divine the weather, keep a piece of seaweed beside the front door. If it shrivels, there will be warm weather. If it becomes moist, it will rain. To harness the friendship and protective aspects of seaweed, you only need to carry it. Burning seaweed produces a rich fertilizer that has been used in farming for centuries.

From: The Elemental Witch

Simple Water Magic

Some of the most effective types of magic are the easiest to perform. One method of water magic is to draw symbols on a sandy beach and wait for the waves to erase them and bring your spell to completion. You can use magical symbols or simple stick figures. You can also draw with soapstone or natural chalk and allow the rain to wash it away. Releasing things into a running stream is yet another method. The following spell is just one example of this type of magic. When it comes to simple ways to work with water, you are limited only by your imagination.

Note in a Bottle Spell
  • 1 glass bottle
  • 1 piece of paper
  • A writing implement.
Take the paper and write your wish upon it. Petition the goddess of the sea to bring this to you. Roll up the paper, slip it into the bottle, and cap it. Begin to count the waves rolling into shore, and on the ninth wave, cast the bottle far out into the sea. You can go about your day with confidence, knowing your wish will be fulfilled.

Don't live near the ocean? That same spell can be performed by any body of water large enough to produce waves. If you are throwing the bottle into a lake or river, petition the goddess of lakes and/or rivers.

From: The Elemental Witch

Blessings of the Waters

Themes: Joy; Health; Cleansing
Symbols: Water; Flowers; Fern; Birchwood
Presiding Goddess: Kupala

About Kupala. The Slavic goddess of springs and water, Kupala, whose name literally means "to bathe," washes us with happiness and longevity. Oddly enough, she has a fire aspect too, which likely alludes to purification, protection, and transformation. Wildflowers, birch trees, and ferns are sacred to her.

To do today:

To bring a year filled with joy, contentment, and health, leave a natural-fiber cloth outside today to gather dew. Use it tomorrow to bathe in Kupala's magic.

Take some flower petals to any moving water source (even a hose) and toss them on the stream. As you do, make a wish for something that will make you really happy. Let Kupala, in the form of the water, carry your wish toward manifestation.

To rid yourself of sickness, negativity, or a bad habit before the year gets really rolling, find a safe fire source (such as a candle that's self-contained in glass). Put this on the floor and jump over it. As you do, say:

Old burns away; only the good, the good shall stay.
Old to new, old to new, Kupala, my heart renew.

This symbolically leaves the old behind and invokes Kupala's aid in your efforts for positive change.

Note: This post came from the book 365 Goddess , and today, January 19, is the day given to the Water Blessing Festival in Bulgaria. However, I think she must have been referring to the Anastenaria, a firewalking  ritual performed primarily in May with a smaller one on an unspecified date in January, which culminates in a water blessing after the fire walking. ..

Water Stones

This is a fairly comprehensive list of stones and crystals ruled by the element of water, along with their attributes and uses.

Amethyst: The amethyst is one of the best known magical stones. Said to cure drunkenness, a chunk of amethyst was often dropped into a goblet of wine. The amethyst is an intensely spiritual stone and is useful for opening the third eye, shifting consciousness, and increasing psychic awareness. It is said to have a calming influence. It also works well in beauty spells.

Aquamarine: The aquamarine is the stone of the Sea Witch. It is useful for increasing psychic awareness, cleansing, purifying, travel protection, and promoting peace and harmony.

Azurite: This stone promotes psychic awareness and divination. It may also be used in healing spells.

Beryl: Beryl is the material used for true crystal balls. It can be worn to protect against foul weather or to call rain. It is said to aclm arguments by allowing civil, intelligent debate.

Blue calcite: Blue calcite is useful for healing and purifying.

Blue lace agate: This stone promotes peace and happiness when worn or carried. It also absorbs stress. Blue lace agate has a calming influence on the household when placed about the home or worn as jewelry.

Celestite: Celestite absorbs stress, promotes healing, and helps the wearer express emotions. This stone is particularly useful in therapy settings.

Chalcedony: Chalcedony is another good stone in therapy settings. It also serves to guard against psychic attack and nightmares.

Jade: According to African belief, jade has the power to stimulate rain to fall. It is also used in fertility matters, as an attractant for good luck, and to attract love and friendship.

Lapis lazuli: Lapis lazuli is a stone of personal strength. When worn, it is said to improve one's mood, mental state, and eyesight and to calm the spirit by attracting universal forces of love. It also works well in matters pertaining to fidelity.

Lepidolite: Lepidolite is a stone of peace. Its relaxing vibrations are said to calm even the most hostile of tempers. It absorbs stress and anger.

Moonstone: The moonstone attracts love vibrations. It is also useful in fertility matters, protection, and increasing one's psychic vibrations.

Sapphire: Sacred to Apollo, the sapphire has been credited with increasing psychic awareness, love, protection, improving one's social life, and relieving anger.

Selenite: Selenite is used for boosting one's personal energy and deepening the bond between lovers.

Sodalite: Sodalite is another therapy stone. It is thought to relieve fear, stress, nervousness, anger, and mental imbalances.

 From: The Elemental Witch

Water Correspondences

  • Attributes: Feminine and receptive
  • Season: Winter
  • Magical Virtue: To Dare
  • Direction: West
  • Time of day: Dusk
  • Sense: Sight
  • Fluid: Tears
  • Planet: Moon
  • Power animals: Turtles, dolphins, whales, otters, frogs, seals, crabs, horses
  • Places of power: Beaches, harbors, piers, rivers, streams, creeks, waterfalls
  • Commonly associated colors: Blue and sea green
  • Linking items: Sand, shells, mood rings, seaweed, coral, mirrors
  • Gods and Goddesses: Tara, Poseidon, Yemaya, Ochun, Ganga, Sedna, Kanaloa, Venus, Neptune
From: The Elemental Witch

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To Make Yourself Invisible

Pierce the right eye of a bat, 
and carry it with you, 
and you will be invisible.

Note: It is unclear if you are to carry the bat with it's eye put out, or the eye itself.

Found in: Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore and The Occult Sciences

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Gypsy Medicine Bag

Here is a Medicine Bag to be carried or worn to facilitate healing. Gather the following ingredients:
  • A sprig each of St. John's wort, woundwort, and self-heal
  • Twig or leaf from an oak tree
  • Tiny water-worn pebble, which should be round or disc-shaped and preferably have a reddish or orange hue
  • Light downy feather
  • Scrap of red flannel or woolen cloth.
  • Red, orange, and light blue thread
  • Red drawstring bag
  • Sandalwood or Myrrh essential oil
Bind the herbs and feather round with a cord made from plaiting (braiding) red, orange, and light blue thread together. Wrap the herbs together with the bebble in the red cloth and tie with another length of the plaited cord. Put in a red drawstring bag, and perfume with the sandalwood or myrrh oil.

Gypsy Pouches and Mojo Bags

Magickal pouches are found universally. Australian aboriginals, Amerindian shamans, Voodoo Bokos, African medicine men, European wisewomen - all employ pouches stuffed with various ingredients that they feel bring health, wealth, luck (good or bad), and/or protection. They may be called wanga, gris-gris, mojo bags, or whatever.

The Gypsies, too, make and carry such items. Depending on the purpose, so do the contents vary. The name for a Gypsy pouch is "putsi," the real meaning of which is "pocket."

For love, the Romanis make little bags of red silk, which they fill with rose petals, acorns, a piece of amber, cinnamon, two cloves, a bean, a piece of orris root, and a silver or gold coin. This is worn next to the skin. Occasionally they use small chamois leather pouches rather than silk.

Some Gypsies also include such items as a small bird's feather, a piece of lemon peel, lavender, a wedding ring (perhaps the mother's or grandmother's), and a small piece of coal. Many Gypsies have two pouches. One is the silk one, which hangs around their neck, and the other is the leather putsi, which they hang from their belt. Into this second one it is easy to slip any new item that is spotted and recognized to be of value. I do this myself. Always keep your eyes open ... you never know when you might spot something that could be a very powerful amulet.

From: Secrets of Gypsy Love Magick

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Doorway Folk Remedies

Doorways have power, down through the centuries we have always known this to be true. The door is the way in, and the way out. How you step through it, what you put over or in it, who comes and who goes all have their causes and effects. Here we have an extensive collection of folk remedies that use the power of going in and coming out to cure all sorts of maladies.
  • ArmsWhen you stand in a door jamb and press your palms against the sides as hard as you can, then when you step out of the doorway, your arms will automatically rise up.
  • Asthma For asthma, bore a hole in the doorway the height of the child; put in the hole a piece of the child's hair after spitting on it. Plug it up, and as the child grows above the hole, the asthma will leave.
  • Chicken pox: If you would cure chicken pox, lie in the doorway and let a chicken run over you. Or find a place where a cow has been wallowing and lie down in it. 
  • Childbirth DifficultiesIf child delivery is difficult, pregnant woman sits on doorway - interestingly pregnant women were often told never to stand or sit in a doorway as this would cause a difficult childbirth. 
  • Child Safety: If a feather is placed in the doorway, a young child will not pass it to go out.
  • Crying BabyFor a crying child, the baby is put down in the doorway of the house and all the dirt swept up from the various rooms is quickly swept over him.
  • Enganido (a general weakness in children): at hour of Angelus or prayer, several blessed herbs (rosemary, olive laurel) are burned in the doorway, along with cat hair and a hen’s feather; 2 women named Mary stand on either side of fire; one hands child to other and a certain charm or prayer is recited (prayer is unknown); done nine times on nine days. 
  • EpidemicsA monkey’s skull is placed on one’s doorway to ward off epidemics
  • Good HealthThe Druids hung mistletoe over their doorways, believing that only happiness could enter a house so protected, and it was credited with curative powers in the homes where it was hung. Alternatively hang garlic cloves in the doorway to keep illness away. Also, onions hung at the door-way absorb all disease from anyone entering, but the onions must be thrown away.
  • Health and WealthSprinkling salt across your doorways will keep health and wealth inside your house.
  • HealingA woman was cured by different mystical expedients and certain enchanted yarn which was laid in the doorway. The first man who entered the room through the door was infected by the disease and the woman recovered.
  • Induce Insanity (in women): To induce insanity in women, hang horse’s hoofs and ox horns in bag at doorway. 
  • LuckIf the left hand itches, be sure to rub it on wood, especially on the side of the doorway, that all that enter will be good luck or bring good luck to you.
  • NosebleedsA jar of blood placed over a doorway will stop nosebleeds.
  • Pregnancy Gender TestFirst foot by which a pregnant woman enters a doorway determines the sex (but it is not stated which). A more definitive gender test is as follows; Hang needle from doorway. Female with burden stands there under. If needle circles-female. If needle swings-other type.
  • Pregnancy Test: The Berlin and Carlsberg Medical papyri give almost identical instructions: examine the woman’s eyes while she stands in the doorway. If one eye looks like that of an Asiatic and the other like that of a Negro, she is not pregnant, but if both have the same color, then the test is positive. Wreszinski suggests that the woman is made to stand in the doorway so the light will be good without the sun shining in her eyes. L├╝ring implies the examiner stands outside the house. Since the eyes of the Egyptian, the Asiatic, and the Negro are dark anyway, the “difference” must have been rather subtle at best.
  • Puncture WoundsIf you step on a nail, grease the nail and put it over the doorway or somewhere where it will not rust, to prevent infection.
  • Sign of a Good HousekeeperIf a broom should fall across the doorway, and the next person to enter is a woman and picks the broom up, stands it on the handle, broom end up, she will be a good housekeeper.
  • Sunburn protectionOn first of march, even if it’s snowing, leave the house for the first time by going backward through the doorway. This insures protection from sunburn in the summer
  • Teething problemsWhen a baby is born, write its name and birthday on an egg, put it in a sock and hang it above the doorway he is carried through most often, and the child will have no difficulty cutting teeth. Or you can simply tie an egg in paper sack, hang it over doorway so baby may pass under it. 
  • Tooth Ache: A girl’s toothache is cured by making motions over tooth with a nail and mumbling an incantation. On floor of doorway make 3 crosses with the nail and drive it into the boards with hammer. Every blow of the hammer was striking the tooth itself.
  • Walking DifficultiesTo make a stunted child walk: set him in the doorway and sweep his legs with a new broom.
  • Wart removal: Cut a potato in half, sprinkle cut side of one piece with salt. Rub the wart and then run through three doorways and outdoors toss the potato over your left shoulder without looking.
Contraindications - When doorways are to be avoided:
  • A patient suffering from fever who leaves his house before dawn to obtain a cure should leave by the window rather than by the door. Otherwise, the first person to pass through the doorway would catch the fever.
  • Carry anything on the shoulder through a doorway will stunt the growth of a child
  • Do not allow a pregnant woman to sit or remain on the doorway lest she have difficult delivery.
  • If you step over a broom that has fallen across a doorway, it brings sickness.
  • If you step over someone lying on the floor his growth will be stunted. This may be averted by stepping back over him.
  • It is bad for a rooster to crow in the doorway if someone is ill inside. It may mean death.
  • It is bad luck to walk under the extended arm of a person standing in a doorway.
  • Never make the sign of the cross in a doorway, or death will come to your family.
  • Never place a small child near a doorway when the -door is open, or a witch will cast a spell over it.
  • Never shake hands through a doorway; it is bad luck.
  • Stumbling at the doorway upon one’s going out of the house will bring misfortune.
  • To prevent your baby from having a hard delivery, do not stand in open doorways when you are pregnant.
  • You should break a glass at the front doorway after returning home from a funeral. It is supposed to break the trend of deaths.
  • Witchcraft curses are put on families by secretly sprinkling a potion on the doorway or making a circle around the house so that contamination will occur on contact.
Remember this rule: Always step through a doorway with your right foot first. If you should step through with your left foot first, go back, turn around three times and then go through with your right foot

The Magick of Doorknobs

Ruler: Ellegua, Mercury
Type: brass, copper, silver
Magickal Form: Attached or unattached to a door

Gaining access is always an issue in spellcraft. Doorknobs often provide an innocuous and subtle way to influence another person. Doorknobs can also be used in personal rituals to open metaphorical doors. Rub a small dab of coconut oil into a doorknob and as you turn it, make a wish concerning something or someone you wish to access. Carry a doorknob with you when you feel that too many doors are closed in your life. Continue to carry until you feel things opening up.

Janus - Lord of Beginnings

Title: Lord of Beginnings
Also known as: Giano, Dianus
Origin: Roman
Feast Day: January 9th, The Agonalia
Tree: Oak
Number: 1
Time: Month of January

Janus is the two-faced spirit, but in the most positive sense of that term. Janus literally has two faces, indicating his power to see from all directions and perspectives. He sees the past and future simultaneously. Janus is a guardian and protector.

Janus is among the most ancient and significant deities of the Roman pantheon. He was in the Roman region long before the Romans arrived. Before the arrival of Jupiter, he may have been the preeminent male spirit. Officially superseded by Jupiter within the context of the Roman pantheon, Janus retained his right to be first.

Similar to modern traditions involving Eshu Elegbara, Janus is the first spirit invoked before any invocations, sacrifices, or offerings made to other Roman Deities. Jupiter then follows as "king," followed by whomever else might be invoked.

The Roman Temple of Janus had double doors, known as the Gates of War. The temple was a visible symbol of peace or war. When there was peace throughout Rome, the doors of his temple were shut. This was a rare occurence.

In 153 BCE, the Romans changed their calendar, moving the New Year from the spring equinox to January 1st, one of the feast days of Janus, Spirit of Beginnings. With one face, Janus looks back on the old year; with the other he looks forward to the new. Roman New Year's rituals incorporating the feast of Janus lasted for six days of joyous, raucous celebrating. Festivities included drinking, feasting, and decorating homes and buildings with holly, mistletoe, and lights.
  • Invoke Janus when you wish to begin anew, when you need to make a fresh start.
  • Invoke him before beginning new projects, ventures, and relationships. 
  • Invoke him to understand the past.
Favored People: Diviners; he seems to like pretty women, too.
Iconography: Janus has two faces: one looking forward, the other back. Sometimes one face is young; the other old.
Consort: His original consort seems to have been Jana (Diana), but he was eventually paired with Juturna.
Sacred site: The Janiculum Hill in Western Rome, center of his veneration.

Offerings: His traditional Roman offering was whole grain farro wheat mixed with salt, also Ianual, a type of focaccia (flat, oven-baked Italian bread) made with flour, eggs, oil, and cheese served during rituals thanking Janus for providing a bountiful harvest.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

It's Midwives' Day

The ancients honored their midwives today (January 8) as the goddess's assistants by giving them gifts. In modern times, this might equate to sending a thank-you note to your physician or pediatrician.

  • Patron Goddess: Eleithyia
  • Themes: Birth; Children; Creativity; Fertility
  • Symbols: A Torch; White Flowers
About Eleithyia:

As the aegean goddess of birth, Eleithyia acts as the midwife to your new year, filling it with creative power. Eleithyia's name translates as "Fluid of Generation," giving her strong fertile aspects, and she also has a hand in personal fate.

According to myth, Eleithyia was the midwife of the gods and even birthed Eos, the creative force behind all things. When Eleithyia's hands were closed, birth was delayed. When Eleithyia opened her body, a child arrived effortlessly.

To bring Eleithyia's fertility to any area of your life, try this spell:

Gather a handful of white flower petals. Work in an area that somehow represents your goal. If you want a fertile garden, for example, cast this spell in your garden; for fertile ideas, perform it in your study. Visualize your goal as you release all but one petal, turning clockwise to the winds, saying:

The wish of my heart, Eleighyia see,
and bring back to me fertility.

Carry the last petal to help the magic manifest.

Source: 365 Goddess

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Epiphany Lore and Superstitions

"Twelfth-day" is the twelfth day after Christmas, or Epiphany, occurring on the 6th of January. It is a festival of the Christian church in commemoration of the manifestation of Christ by the star which guided the magi to Bethlehem. "Twelfth-night" is the eve of Epiphany, when many social festivities and superstitious rites were observed. "Twelfth-tide" is the time or festival of twelfth-day. "The Twelfths" are the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany. Epiphany is also called "Little Christmas," being the social festival which brings the merry-makings of the Christmas cycle to an end.

A special cake, called "Twelfthcake," is prepared for the festivities on twelfth-night. A bean or a coin is baked into it, and, the cake being divided by lot, whoever draws the slice containing it is entitled to preside as king or queen over the festivities. This custom is a relic of the old Roman festival of the Saturnalia, at the close of which the Roman children drew lots with beans to see who would be king.

A series of cards, called "Twelfth-night cards," representing different characters such as king, queen, minister, maids of honor, or ludicrous or grotesque personages, were distributed among the guests, who had to assume the respective characters during the festivities.

A curious custom is the annual cutting of the Baddeley cake at Drury Lane Theater, London, on Twelfth-night. William Baddeley, the last actor to wear the uniform of "His Majesty's Servants," left £100 in bank stock, the income from which was to buy a Twelfthcake, with wine and punch, which the ladies and gentlemen were requested "to partake on every Twelfth-night in the great greenroom."

The Devonshire farmers have an old custom of wassailing the fruit trees on the eve of Twelfth-day. They proceed with their servants, who carry large pitchers or milk pails filled with cider, to their orchards. Here one tree is selected as representative of the rest, and saluted with certain incantations; cakes are dipped in the cider and hung up on the branches, and the tree is sprinkled with the cider. They all dance merrily around it and afterward return home to feast. This is done in order that the trees should bear more fruit.

"Wassail the trees that they may bear
You many a plum and many a pear;
For more or less fruits they will bring
As you do give them wassailing."

On twelfth-day in Ireland, they set up a sieve of oats as high as they can and in it a dozen candles. In the center is a larger one, all lighted, so as to have luck all the year.

In Styria, Austria, Epiphany is commonly called St. Bertha's day, and it is believed that the devil is abroad in great force on that St. Bertha's night. If one makes on that night a magic circle, and stands therein holding elder-berries gathered on St. John's night, one would obtain the magic fern-seed which will come wrapped in a chalice cloth, and confer on one the strength of thirty or forty men.

On Epiphany, or as it is called in Bohemia, "Three Kings' Day," the festival of the three wise men who visited the Infant Saviour, three crosses should be made on every door, not only of the house but on the stables, pens and coops, to keep witches away. Bonfires are made at night and brooms are thrown as high as possible, all on fire, to represent the burning and the scattering of the witches. But beware that you do not point at one of the flying brooms! One of the fiery darts will pierce your finger.

When Queen Elizabeth visited Sudely Castle, Gloucestershire, about 300 years ago, on twelfthnight, "drawing the bean and pea" took place in her presence. No reason is given for the introduction of the bean and pea into the twelfth-cake, but Brand takes us to the ancient Greeks for the bean, and it may have been used on account of its mystic meaning. It was not allowed to be used for food by any of the disciples of Pythagoras lest it should be a receptacle of a departed soul, to eat which would be as impious as eating human flesh.

In Macedonia, on the 6th of January, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ, a cross is thrown into the river by the priests and dived for by the men. Sick children are dipped into the water for healing. Some of this holy water, which is considered to have medicinal value, is carried home by the people, and health is insured to all who wash in it. In Kavadartsy, some of this water is used to make new leaven for the bread, and some is also thrown into the well. In Monastir straw dipped into this holy water, is wrapped around the trunks of trees to make them fruitful.

On the eve of Epiphany, the Albanians also roll a round cake to the middle of the vineyard, and then distribute it in bits for the ravens, crows, and other birds, saying: "Assemble, oh ravens, oh crows, and eat, so that we may eat and drink and you do us no harm." This will so appeal to the honor of the birds that they will not touch the vines.

In Bohemia, the inscription "three kings" is made upon the door of the chief room of the house from the inside, every year on the 6th of January, "Three Kings' Day" by the priest, teacher, or sexton of the town, with a blessed crayon or chalk, in the form of C x M x B x 1899 (or whatever year it may be), which means the names of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, the three wise men who paid court to the Infant Jesus. This inscription protects the house from evil spirits and prevents them entering the rooms. It also brings blessings to the inhabitants. This we find of course only in Catholic families, and none of their domiciles are without it. The priest blesses the chalk for the believers, that they make inscriptions also upon the doors of their stables and barns to repel all witchcraft and magic that might do harm to the cattle or crops.

More Epiphany and Twelfth Night Lore:
  • Brooms bound during the twelfths protect against witchcraft.
  • Do no threshing in the twelfths, or all the corn within hearing will be spoiled.
  • If cattle are fed with stolen kale (a kind of cabbage) during the twelfths, they will come to no harm.
  • Whatever is dreamed during the twelfths will come to pass in the twelve months of the year.
  • If a broken arm is bound five or six times round with thread spun in the twelfths, it will speedily become sound.
  • In the twelfths magpies should be shot and burnt to a powder, which is good for the ague.
  • Those who wear linen made from yarn spun during the twelfths will be devoured by wolves.
  • No moth will come into yarn spun during the twelfths.
  • If hens are fattened with peas during the twelfths, they will lay many eggs.
  • At twelfth day the days are lengthened a cock's stride.
  • In the country between Hamelin and Mindcn and in other places, it is believed that no dung should be taken out of the cow house during the twelfths, else the cattle will be sick the following year.
  • He who steals on twelfth-night, can steal safely for a year.
  • If you eat peas or beans on twelfth-night, you will fall sick.
  • On the twelfth-night the dead walk, and on every tile of the house a soul is sitting waiting for your prayers to take it out of Purgatory.
  • If in the twelve-nights neither master nor man bring fresh-blackened shoes into the stables, the cattle will be bewitched.
  • On twelfth-night in Scotland a board is covered with cow's dung, candles set in it, and sprinkled with ash to make them light easily. They are then lighted, each being named for someone present, and as each dies, so will the life of the owner.
  • In the "Book of Precedents," published in London in 1616, we read that the 6th of January was five times lucky for Charles, Duke of Anjou, and equally lucky for the Earl of Sunderland.
  • If a Danish girl wishes to see her future husband, she must repeat the following verse before going to bed on the eve of Epiphany: "Ye three holy kings to you I pray, That ye to-night will let me see, Whose cloth I shall spread, Whose bed I shall make, Whose name I shall bear, Whose bride I shall be."
  • Be sure for luck's sake to spin off all the distaffs on the morrow after twelfth-day.
  • The twelve days after Christmas make the almanac for the year.
  • Tis thus believed in Trinity Bay, New Bedford, Mass., and Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia it is said that the first seven days of January foretell the first seven months of the year.
  • Those who do not spin in the twelfths may not wind on the 13th. (North Germany.)
  • In Transylvania whoever dies on the feast of Epiphany, is considered lucky.
  • On the eve of Epiphany, the Albanians sprinkle the grapevines with holy water, believing that this will induce them to bear well.
Found in:
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World

It's Plough Monday!

In Belgium, the Monday after Epiphany is called "lost Monday" and is a day of universal idleness. Hence probably has arisen the custom, not confined, however, to Belgian workmen alone, of idling every Monday or as they call it "making blue Monday."

Plough-Monday is the first Monday after Twelfth Day (6th of January). It is so called because, the Christmas holidays being over, the men return to their plough or daily work. It was customary on this day for farm laborers to draw a plough—called "white" on account of the mummers being dressed in white, gaudily trimmed with flowers and ribbons—through the parish, soliciting "plough-money," which would be spent in a frolic. The queen of the feast was called Bessy. The plough was also called "fond" or "fool," because the procession is fond or foolish, not serious nor of a business character.

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

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