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Back to Basics: Casting the Circle and Calling the Quarters

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Teresa Reitan
3:12 PM (15 minutes ago)
 
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Back to basics: casting the circle and calling the quarters. It goes by many names; calling the quarters, calling the directions, calling the watchtowers, and calling the elements, to name a few. But if you ever encounter a book that talks about “calling the corners”, put the book down, and walk away from it quickly. If a person says it, walk away from him or her very quickly. There are no corners in a circle. Someone misheard “quarters,” took it to be “corners”, and has been spreading the disinformation to the Pagan community ever since. We don’t care what their “qualifications” are, it’s incorrect.

 

This is similar to the idea that a male Witch is a warlock. A Witch is a Witch is a Witch. But if you know anything about the Norse Heathen tradition, you know that warlock comes from the old Norse warlogr, which means sorcerer. In English, it got twisted to gnarled or twisted, to an oathbreaker, one who betrays his own kind.

 

There are several ways to cast the circle. One way is to cast it with each of the elements, as it is done in NROOGD, a tradition which we’re both familiar with. In both the Craft, and ritual magick the circle is cast in order to contain and focus the power and energy that will be raised. In ritual magi ck, the circle is also cast in order to protect the magician from any entities that may see fit to manifest themselves. There are many ways of casting and charging the circle, one each for each tradition that has come forward. Tegwedd personally favors the NROOGD method. First she puts together the charging bowl, and then she and and any other priestesses present will cast the circle using the tools of the different elements. One of the circle castings of NROOGD is

 

“Athame draws the circle round about

Power stay in, world stay out.”

 

Then follow three more chants with three more tools.

 

Aidan Kelly wrote a great book Beatnik Commie Hippy Witches about the history of NROOGD. We urge you to get a copy of it from Amazon.

 

In the different TV shows that feature magick, and Witchcraft the writers and producers are actually beginning to do research on how spells are done. For example, a merchant in Supernatural had a well done circle under the rug in her store. While she doesn’t approve of the letting of blood, and feels that it is somewhat sensationalistic, Tegwedd and Stephen liked the way that the rituals were done in both the Originals and Supernatural. One even suspects that the two shows may have consultants who are experts in these fields, and that the producers and directors are actually listening to them. We feel that this is only the beginning, that there will be more shows in which magick is done. Case in point: when True Blood returns, they’re probably going to have magickal consultants and do their research

too.

 

Back to casting the circle: When you cast a circle, you’re really not casting a two dimensional circle but a sphere. Tegwedd likes to visualize it as she casts it. She likes to visualize a sphere of light that fills the entire room, and extends above the ceiling, and below the floor. When Stephen casts a circle, it is very dependent upon how much space he has. If his space is very limited, he just stands in one place and revolves as he casts it. Stephen visualizes the elements while casting the circle. He also smells scents while casting the circle. “Don’t limit yourself to just vision. Incorporate your other senses such as smell, taste, and hearing.” It is best if you do everything you have to do before casting the circle so that you don’t have to make a door and leave the circle. Everyone in the circle, should for example take their bathroom breaks before the circle is cast, and make sure you have everything you need for the ritual in your working area and turn off your phone.

 

Calling the quarters. Basically you are calling upon the four guardians of the watchtowers, each of which have a direction, an element, a color, a name, and a shape. One woman of our acquaintance talked about screaming birds of the east when she did a ritual. The guardians don’t have to be noisy, but they should be ferocious. After all, all they are doing is protecting you from the astral nasties that are attracted to the psychic noise of someone doing a ritual. When Stephen is calling the directions, when he’s calling the east, he feels wind, when he calls the south, he feels heat, when he calls the west, he feels moisture, when he calls the north, he feels the ground under his feet. The key is to us more than just vision. Tegwedd will have to try this. She admits to having used just vision, but she thinks this might be good.

 

Tegwedd was told online a few days ago that the original covens ( to Tegwedd, this spells Gardnerian) had a circle within a square, and that’s where the corners come from. Having studied both Gardnerian and Alexandrian trads, she thinks this is so much BS. Stephen tends to agree. The square is the room you’re having the ritual in. The “corners” aren’t in the quarters . Stephen said “It’s fanciful BS, but it’s still BS.” We both agree that it’s BS. Where’s the proof? That person brought forth no evidence to prove her case, so it truly is BS. If it were part of the original covenwork, Aidan Kelly would have mentioned it in his Crafting the Art of Magic. Tegwedd did research on both Gardnerian and Alexandrian coven practice, and it doesn’t mesh with either her research her or her personal experience. So her warning about it stands. So there. The thing that bothers us about it all is that people are out there perpetrating and perpetuating a fraud. People who don’t know any better are buying books with this disinformation in it, thinking this is part of the Craft, and passing it on to others. We challenge you to do your own research. Research the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions for yourselves, after first ascertaining that you are researching the actual traditions, and see if we’re not right. Sometimes the members of those traditions will spread disinformation to “protect” their oathbound material. We feel that it is beeter to say nothing at all, rather than spread disinformation, if you have oathbound material to protect. Or come up with something completely different but genuine, as Dorothy Morrison did with her The Craft: A Witch’s Book of Shadows. Tegwedd is a big fan of Dorothy Morrison for this and many other reasons, and has all of her books. The people who are talking about “calling the corners” in their books are ripping off people and hurting them. If they honestly don’t know that it’s incorrect, then they don’t know what they’re talking about, and have no business writing about the Craft or teaching it.

 

Another piece of BS Tegwedd learned a few days ago was in one of her Tarot groups. A woman said that in the guidebook accompanying The Witches’ Tarot Deck it said that “If your client gets freaked out or scared then you lose part of your soul.” Why would you lose part of your soul? It sounds like hype and sensationalism. So much BS. It isn’t that easy to lose your soul or parts of it. Stephen says “This bizarre statement should not detract from the deck itself, which does great readings.” There has been this conspiracy among Tarot writers from the very early days to make out like the Tarot is this ugabuga scary thing, when it isn’t. Sure, there should be an air of mystery surrounding the Tarot, and reading the Tarot isn’t for everyone. Heck, divination isn’t for everyone. The cards don’t speak to just anyone. If they did, Senator Ted Cruz would read Tarot. Can you see how dangerous that would be? But this aura of danger surrounding the cards is just so much huey. How can 78 pieces of colored card stock be a danger to anyone? A goodly amount of critical thinking is called for here. All any reading can do is give you a snapshot of the way that the currents of psychic energy are flowing now.

 

The standard call to the quarters goes something like this”

 

Hail onto Thee O guardian of the Watchtower of the North, East, South, West

Thou Who art the gnome, sylph, salamander, undine,

We call upon Thee to guard this circle and to witness this ritual.

Hail onto Thee from the abodes of Earth, Air, Fire, Water,

Hail and welcome!

 

Then using either wand or athame you inscribe the pentagram for that element in the air.

“Notice there’s no corners,” says Stephen, who is here for comic relief. “But to get serious, I use colors, numbers, Gods and Goddesses, animals, and scents.” But Tegwedd likes things simple and basic, stripped down to their basic components. The colors of the elements are: green, brown, and black for Earth, yellow of gold for Air (in ritual magick the color of the dagger is yellow because it represents Air.), red for Fire, and blue for Water. Spirit is the sacred center, and for that, you invoke the Goddess and the God. In ritual magick, you start calling your quarters in the east, while in the Craft, you start in the north.

 

Well, that’s about it. If you have any questions about casting the circle and calling the quarters, do ask them in replies to this discussion and we’ll answer them.Image

Another Putty Anals

Well, it’s been a long time since our last discussion to this group, but Stephen’s been living at his money manager’s house (read girlfriend), and came back in January because she said he was driving her crazy.  So now he’s back to drive Tegwedd and Len crazy.  Len much more than Tegwedd, because she can ignore Stephen, and Len doesn’t seem to be able to.  The putties have been doing their putty things, and that is what this discussion is about.  Pyewacket, our calico, has made Putty Bear, who is almost twice her size, her bitch.  She licks him, bites his neck, and mounts him as though she were a tomcat.  It’s too funny.  Remember the putty mantra:  lick lick lick, bite bite bite, scratch scratch scratch, buzz buzz buzz, hump hump hump, chew chew chew, fart fart fart.

 Pyewacket has a game she plays when she gets called to come in at the end of the day.   She’ll lurk by the door, but when one of us opens the door to let her in, she’ll run away until Tegwedd calls her with her special call, “Pye Pye Pyewacket, Pye Pye Pyewacket, chocolate covered Pyewacket, yum yum yum!” which Charles Hixon came up with decades ago.  Not only that, but she’s taught the other putties to do this too.  Putty Bear really excels at it.  They teach each other these tricks to create chaos in our lives.  Dr. Livingston will cozy up to you, be very sweet and loving, but she’s just preparing to fart.  She likes to spend the night with her Uncle Lenny, get nice and warm so that she’s ready to let one.  If you don’t feed them when they’re ready to eat, they’ll go on an affection strike.  They’ll jump right out of your lap, and scratch your hands if you don’t fork over the wet food pdq. 

We lost Inky a few days before Samhain.  We believe that he was murdered because he was black.  We think it was superstitious Jesoid brats who kill black cats around Halloween for the same reason that they killed black cats during the Burning Times; they think they’re demons or imps.  Those who killed him covered his body tried to cover up their crime by covering him up with fallen leaves.  This was no accident.  Dr. Livingston I. Presume has taken over Len’s computer chair.  She says a couple things in human speech:  yeah and me out.  Tegwedd asked her if she wanted to go outside and she said “Yeah!” clear as day. 

She is still a shoulder putty.  Charcoal has also become a shoulder putty.  Stephen was just being sadistic, and running numbers on Pyewacket’s head when we asked her if she were a shoulder putty.  The truth is that she never has been a shoulder putty.  For those of you who are just now tuning in, a shoulder putty is a putty who perches on your shoulder as you go about your daily business, occasionally adding puttyish comments.

A few months ago, we had the cuteness battle, and Putty Bear came in second after Pyewacket.  It’s his face, you know, so cute and cuddly, like a bear, a teddy bear.  Of course Dr. Livingston is pretty cute too.  And so is Charcoal, in his own way.  Don’t you think it’s just precious the way that a putty will stop right in the middle of a room s/he is walking across and start grooming hirself?  Our house is basically set up for the comfort and convenience of the putties.  They know that they are royalty.  They have thrones.  Pyewacet likes to lie on the satellite box.  We call it “her throne.”  Putty Bear likes Tegwedd’s walker/rollater.  Trouble is Putty Bear also likes the satellite box, probably because it’s warm, and it’s been a cold winter.  Her other perch is Tegwedd’s computer tower, which is probably also warm. Dr. Livingston’s perch is on the end table next to Tegwedd’s side of the sofa. 

When Len and Tegwedd go out on their weekly excursion to Tegwedd’s group at Kaiser, when they yawn, they say which putty gave them the yawn.  They are supper putties because they can give us yawns across town.  We’ll start with Pyewacket, then Dr. Livingston, Putty Bear, and Charcoal.  Just like in “Rape loot pillage burn!” you’ve got to get the order right.  The putties configure themselves in some outlandish positions when they lie down to sleep.  If one such as Charcoal is lying in one of our laps, he will extend his paw in a Nazi salute, “Sieg heil!” and say “This is my human.”  They also get themselves into the Tao symbol (Yin-Yang) and the book ends pose. 

Every day after the morning feeding we let out so that they can go out and terrorize bugs and mice.  Right now Dr. Livingston is doubled around herself, and her tail is swatting the arm of the sofa.  Pyewacket and Putty Bear were having a lick Fest that erupted into putty combat.  They batted at each other for a few minutes then Pyewacket leapt away.  The bromance between Charcoal and Stephen continues.  Charcoal is very doglike and clingy; so clingy in fact, that Stephen often can’t get any work done.  And of course when a putty jumps into the window we sing,

“How much is that putty in the window

The one with the scraggly tail

How much is that putty in the window?

I do hope that putty’s for sale.”

Even though they are all hydrocarbon based life forms, they are silicates (silly cats).  Dr.Livingston will turn onto her back to expose her belly if you start scritching her.  She loves getting her belly scritched and this is a sign of extreme trust of us.  When Len first arrived last year, and saw all the putties in the house, he loved it, and still does.  His favorite, like Tegwedd’s, is Pyewacket, who is the cutest. 

But watch out when your putty lies down with crossed paws in front of hir.  Crossed paws are dangerous.  Stephen likes to have cross ventilation in the house on pleasant days, and was wondering if this were anything like a putty’s crossed paws.  We think that crossed paws is like a secret handshake, the Masonic handshake.  Putties may be a secret society, the FreeMasons, the Illuminati, or the Bilderbergers.  There’s the Putty Illuminati, or the Putty Co-Masons, where they plot world domination.  But as far we’re concerned, putties already rule the world.  They do have some allies among the dogs, such as Sassy, (Walt and Julie’s dog) who was raised with putties, and has many puttylike qualities.

Putties love to be sung to.  You don’t need to have a great voice or even be able to carry a tune, as putties are not critical listeners.  You who have been here from the beginning may know this, but you might not know that they also like to have poetry recited or read to them.  Dr. Livingston’s favorite poem is William Blake’s poem “Tyger tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night.”

The putties also have to check out anything new that comes into the house.  After all, it might be food or putty toys.  Also, anything we do has to be supervised by a putty.  Mere humans can’t get anything done right unless there is a putty supervising.  Do share your putty stories with us.   

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Welcome to Abbott’s Inn Nordic Rune Corner 11!  We’re certainly glad you could make it!  Do be sure and check out the other Abbott’s Inn Nordic Rune Corner groups on the Internet.  The Rune system we will be discussing is the Elder Futhark Runes.  So you see, the Runes really are Nordic.  There are several other Rune systems, such as the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc and the Frisian Runes, but the Elder Futhark is the one that is best known, and the one that the most books are written about.  The earliest Runic inscriptions date from about 150 CE.

 It is thought that as the Germanic wave of the Indo-Europeans moved west and north, they became acquainted with the ancient alphabets such as Etruscan, and that the  Runes are a derivative of those alphabets.  The Younger Futhark developed into the long branch Runes, called Danish (even though they were also used by the Norwegians and Swedes) , short branched or Rok Runes and stavesyle Halsinge staveless, further into Marcomannic Runes, the Medieval Runes (1100-1500 CE) and the Dalecarlian Runes (1500-1800 CE).  There are similarities between the Runes and Ogham.  There is also a Runic script in Turkey, although we are not familiar with it.  Stephen Says it’s because there were Norse mrecenariesin Turkey as well as other places, but Tegwedd isn’t so sure. 

Books on the Runes are myriad.  There is Freya Aswynn’s Northern Mysteries & Magick (formerly Leaves of Yggdrasil), The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Runes by Sirona Knight, and Nordic Runes by Paul Rhys Mountfort, to name but a few.  Authors such as Edred Thorsson  have written many books on the Runes.  Tegwedd owns a copy by Thorsson titled the Elder Futhark, but that’s only the first of many.  We think it’s cool the way that Barrett put the Runes on the Trumps the way he did.  Try to find info on Clive Barrett on the Internet, will you?  All we could find is that he is the author of two Tarot decks; the Norse Tarot and the Ancient Eqyptian Tarot (of which Tegwedd has 2 copies;  she gave one to Doc, which she inherited with his demise). 

The Turkish script, as engraved on the Orhon standing stone in Mongolia, certainly resembles Runes superficially, although that may only be the straight lines that per force must be present in order to carve them in stone. The modern system of Runic divination is based, according to the Wikipedia, upon Hermeticism, classical Occultism, and the I Ching. Could someone please explain to us please what Runic divination has to do with the I Ching?  The only thing they have in common is that they are both examples of sortilege, the drawing of lots (if one does the yarrow   stalks version of the I Ching)systems of divination.  The cultures are completely different from each other.  Wikipedia is not the last word, but since Tegwedd keeps getting Bing junk every time she tried to look something up in the Paganpedia, it’ll have to do for now.  She’s tried to remove Bing at least 3 times with Len’s help, but Bing keeps popping up.  She did have the satisfaction to telling Microsoft that “Bing sucks out loud.” when she removed it, and Microsoft asked why.  Bing is the worst search engine in the world.  Do contribute your thoughts On Runes. 

The Elder Futhark is divided into three sections called aetts, which, coincidentally, have eight runes each.  The first aett is Freta’s aett.  The second is Hagal’s aett, and the third is Tyr’’s aett.  In the Norse tradition, like the Chinese, eight is one of their most important and auspicious numbers. 

How did the Runes originate?  The current is that as the Germanic and Gothic  waves of the Indo-European emigrants moved west and north around 1000-600 BCE, they passed through northern Italy and became acquainted and entranced with the Etruscan alphabet, and they sought to recreate it in their writing, as they became a literate people.  Okay, other scholars will tell you that they became acquainted with other Italic alphabets as well, but we believe that it was the Etruscan which was the main contributor.   For more information on the history of the Runes, go to either Wikipedia or Paganpedia.  Google the history and origins of the Runes.  According to the Havamal, Odin sacrificed Himself to Himself on Yggdrasil, and stabbed Himself in the side with His spear.  The drops of blood from both His empty eye socket and the wound in His side solidified into the Runes as they fell at the foot of Yggdrasil.  But such scholars and authors as Donald Tyson aver that the blood was really menstrual blood, and and the Runes were originally a women’s mystery.  So it was the women who copied down the Etruscan script, and developed the Runes from that.  Tegwedd maintains that yes, Odin gave the Runes  to men, but the women had them first, and Stephen agrees with her. 

Clive Barrett created the Norse Tarot and the Ancient Egyptian Tarot.  He put a Rune on each Trump card.  Stephen and Tegwedd each own a copy of this deck.  She took it off the shelf to study for this posting.  She plans on using it this coming week for the Tarot card portion of the daily Omens in the Gloamin’.

Do reply with any comments or questions you may have about this post or Runes in general. 

Sorry to have been gone for so long, but Stephen just recently returned to the fold, after spending nearly a year at Lizet’s, only  returning here to attend to the cats’ needs.  This is the combined blog for Imbolc and Ostara.  Imbolc, which means “in the belly” in Gaelic, is sacred to Bridgit, Goddess of the forge, midwifery and healing, and bardry.  She is also Stephen’s patroness Goddess.  Imbolc is when the lambs and kids are being born and suckling at their mothers’ teats.  Thus the traditional foods for this Sabbat are goats’ milk cheese and ice cream.   This is a strong women’s Sabbat because they often get pregnant around this time, to have their babies around Samhain or Yule.  But Tegwedd thinks it’s because people romped it up around Lupercalia, two weeks later on February 15th

Lupercalia is an ancient Roman festival commemorating Luperca, the wolf bitch who suckled the infant twins Romulus and Remus, who later would found the city of Rome.  We Pagans use it as our day to show love.  It is well known that wolves mate for life.  It’s handy because we get all the Valentine’s stuff, candy etc. for fifty per cent off. 

On Imbolc, Tegwedd likes to have the Goddess bless her working tools.  She might even come up with a poem.  If she does, she will most assuredly share it with your, dear readers.  If Stephen gets inspired, he’ll share it with you too.  And another member has joined us.  In August, well, actually the end of July, Dallan Felisamador moved in.  He has been keeping Tegwedd company in Stephen’s absence, and sticks up for her when Stephen starts to try to control her.  Imbolc is one of the four Celtic fire festivals or cross quarter days.  Tegwedd likes it because it takes place during the sign of Aquarius, her Sun sign.  Her daughter was born on Imbolc Eve.  At Imbolc, we see the first stirrings of life during the white death that is winter.  Winter isn’t really all death, but the period of dormancy during which the Goddess gears up for a new season of life.  This can be called a period of gestation. 

The cross-quarter holidays of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh, and Samhain take place on February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st, and each lasts for nine days.  This is especially appropriate for Imbolc, since Bridget’s number is nine.  These fall exactly halfway between the quarter days of the equinoxes  and solstices.  Each of these falls on the 21st day of the month in which it falls, and is the first day of each of  the cardinal signs of the zodiac.  We recommend the Fairy Ring Oracle by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason.  Eight of the cards in this sixty-four card deck (it is not a Tarot deck) represent the eight Pagan Sabbats.   They are very colorful cards and contain a lot of faery lore.  The deck is published by Llewellyn, and can be obtained either by ordering directly from Llewellyn.com or Amazon.com.  But strongly urge you to patronize your friendly neighborhood Pagan store or occult or metaphysical shop.  They have really been suffering since the advent of the websites, and the Pagan store is a resource that deserves to be kept open. 

Ostara is when the world starts to come alive again.  In Minnesota, where Tegwedd came from forty years ago, There was often still snow on the ground on March 21st.  The Anglo-Saxon Goddess of spring Eostre gave Her name to the western Christian spring holiday of Easter, which is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full Moon on or after the vernal equinox.  Thus are the exigencies the Christians will go to, to differentiate their  holidays from ours, when it is patently obvious that the Christians stole their holidays from ours.  The Russian name for this holiday is Voscresenniye, which means “Resurrection.”  That kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

It may seem paradoxical to talk about a rabbit laying eggs, but it can be understood if you read the myth about the spring maiden Goddess Eostre.  Eostre was very young, ever a maiden, but very powerful.  It was late winter, almost the vernal equinox, and Eostre was outside playing in the snow.  She discovered a bird who had not made it south for the winter.  It seemed to be frozen stiff, but She thought She could heal it.  She held it next to Her warm heart, and tried to warm it. But it would not warm up, and seemed to be dead.  She searched to feel its heartbeat, but could find none.  She wept for the bird, and the warm tears soaked into the bird’s feathers.  Feathers became fur.  Wings became front paws.  The spindly hind legs of the bird became plump hind paws.  Long ears sprouted on top of its head, and the beak became a constantly twitching pink nose.  The bird had become a lovely March hare.  But it was a bunny who laid eggs.  Eggs have long been a symbol of fertility, and so we still celebrate this holiday with colored and candy eggs.  We celebrate the fertility of the land, but as the Russian word tells you, the resurrection of the land is not limited to the Anglo-Saxons, but is all over the world.  Those down under in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and sub-equatorial South America celebrate it on September 21st

Well, we hope you enjoy Imbolc, Lupercalia, and Ostara.  Be sure and go to Tegwedd’s Facebook page under the name Teresa Reitan, to see the omens she puts up each day, a Rune, an Ogham Few, and a Tarot card.     

Happy Beltaine!

Party! Party! Party!


Happy Beltaine, Beltane, or Bealtaine, however you spell it. Warm weather has finally come to Sacramento. Tegwedd switched her wardrobe out today, packing away her fall and winter wardrobe, and getting out her spring and summer wardrobe. She was astonished at how many pairs of shorts she has, and how many little nothing dresses. When Tegwedd was a little girl, we used to celebrate May Day by making little “cootie catcher” baskets, filling them with flowers from our mothers’ flower beds, and putting them on our neighbors’ front stoops without being seen. When she grew up, she learned how the Communists, the Soviets and the Red Chinese had co-opted May Day for their own dull drab purposes. But for her, May Day, which became Beltaine for her from 1974 on, was always about flowers, Maypoles, and May baskets.

Progress continues on the Ultimate Guide to the Tarot. According to Stephen, it is a community effort. “If you contribute knowledge to the writing of this book, your websites will be featured in the back of the book, and whatever name it is your Will to go by will be mentioned in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book. The links have to be Pagan-related, they can’t be some restaurant or something, but they can be a Pagan occult magickal shop.” .

With the coming of spring and summer, comes yardwork. Tegwedd uses her breaks when watering or weeding to do her nature awareness sessions for the ADF Dedicant Program. Thursday night she brought a sample of one of the weeds in the side and back yards. Lindsay Harbaugh, a fledgeling herbalist, identified the clingy, sticky weed/herb as cleavers, or Lady’s Bedstraw, an herb of many uses. It is an anti-inflammatory, which can be taken both internally, and topically for ailments such as gall bladder and urinary infections, gonorrhea, and even psoriasis. Tegwedd offered Lindsay all the Lady’s Bed Straw in the backyard because otherwise it’s all going in the Green Waste truck to be made into either mulch or compost. Tegwedd has no idea what happens to the plant material that gets picked up by the Green Waste people.

Tegwedd and her friend Len McQueed changed the userpic for her Live journal account. She changed it for two rather vain reasons: she had just finished the tam, and was inordinately proud of how she looked in it, and she thought she looked slimmer than she had in the picture in her Druid green nobles.

We also have dandelions. Dandelion comes from the Latin dente-de-lion: teeth of the lion, from the jagged “toothy” leaves of the plants. Dandelions also have several medicinal uses, and you can make wine from the flowers. You can eat the leaves in salads, or as greens like spinach, and they contain Vitamin C, and more A than carrots do. We used to hold the flowers under each other’s chins to see if our friends liked butter (the yellow reflection under our friends’ chins meant they liked butter.) and when the flowers became puffballs, we’d make a wish, blow on them, and watch the winged seeds scatter. If you managed to blow all the seeds off of the stem, your wish/Will will come true. The flowers, leaves or roots are good for: alcoholism, bladder infections (UTI), bronchitis, bruises, cholesterol control, colds, culinary, diabetes, digestion, female hormones, hypertension, Irritable bowel syndrome, liver, memory improvement and mental focus, osteoporosis, PMS, pregnancy, tonic, and warts.

There is a philosophy which reads that weeds are only plants with no herbal uses. We don’t have the space for all the recipes for herbal remedies you can make with the dandelion parts. But there are many herbals you can consult for these. Tegwedd’s favorite is Mrs. Grieve’s 2 volume herbal, which dates from the 17th century. There is also Culpepper’s famous herbal, also from the 17th century, published in 1653, to be exact. Tegwedd has five or six herbals in her personal library, including Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical [sic] Herbs. She has the Star Herbal which she uses for making embroidery patterns from the illustrations, Jude’s Herbal,which has all kinds of home remedies, and the Barefoot Doctor’s Manual, which is available from the US Government Printing Office. It has Chinese herbs in it.

Tell us about your Beltaine/Beltane/Bealtinne activities and plans.

This post was inspired by the 15 people who hung out in our Abbottsinn International School of Magick Chatroom. I thought it would be a hoot to do a post about this experience so here it goes. I hope you like it my fellow Astral Adventurers. This is my 3rd attempt to write this. My POS (piece of shit) computer ate the previous 2 attempts. Maybe it doesn’t like my writing style or maybe just maybe it hates me. I was listening to my favorite PRN (paganradionetwork.net) and it killed that to. The bastard! Woe is me! Now I’m trying to play my Music Hunter and it won’t let me that play either. I think it is afraid I’m going to replace it when it turns 4 years old in July as if I had the $1,000 plus dollars to do such a thing. Which I don’t I might add. Oh Well such is life. Lets start this post by talking about my favorite Astral Plane one which I invented in a very stoned out stupor over 30 years ago. I call it The Half-Astral Plane a place where you go when you are very stoned on your favorite blond hashish a place where you go when you go very deep into listening to your favorite Pink Floyd album like Wish You Were Here or listening to your favorite Heavy Metal Bands like Metallica and Mega death and Slayer. Or avant-garde music like King Crimson. Or intense comedy like listening to my favorite drug induced Firesign Theater album on headphones listening to the importance of having soles on your feet. Yes the Half-Astral Plane is for all you fine stoners out there. I may be 61 years undead but I still love my Astral contact high. Some things you just never get over. A flying high Heavy Metal Pagan that’s me. There are many other Astral Planes and we will visit some of them in this post to be sure. Now lets leave my favorite Half-Astral Plane for another more conventional Astral Plane and that would be The Dreamlands which H.P Lovecraft one of my Dark Heroes talked so lovingly about in his wonderfully Dark Cthulhu Mythos. The Dreamlands where you go and sometimes don’t come back. Fun monsters reside there. You must possess a great force of Will to survive there. I love a place with challenge. Ah! The Dreamlands where nothing is as it seems. Dark and strange beings dwell within. Such stuff great novels of darkness are written. Oh how I love such images. Such Nightmares and Fantasies reside in the Dreamlands. Beware of what you don’t understand but don’t show fear but strength. Such is the Realm of the Dreamlands Oh how I love it. One of the groups we are planning to bring to this network eventually is our group Call of

Cthulhu Group I don’t remember its number talk to Tegwedd about that. She keeps track of the numbers for the groups. I hope many of you will join it.
The next Astral Plane we will explore will be The Realm of the Great Old Ones where even more horrible monsters reside. Here is the Heart of the Cthulhu Mythos. Here is where the Monsters and Gods and Goddesses reside and thrive and wait till the time when they can rend the Veil of Time and Space and come to our world and rule as they did millennia before in a time that the our world has long forgotten. Ah! H.P.Lovecraft could create such images. The world lost such a visionary when Lovecraft died.
Now we shall end this post by exploring a more conventional Astral Realm. I speak of the Etheric Plane. This is where your Etheric Body travels and sees sites like other Etheric Travelers and great vistas that look very much like lands and seas on this plane of existence. The Etheric Body is also known by the name of the Etheric Double. This is an exact replica of your physical body here on the Earth Plane. The Etheric Plane is yet another level or dimension of the classic Astral Plane. I have a killer site to turn you onto it is called: http://www.Mind-N-Magick.com I’m a member of it I’m known as Abbottsinn there. Just tell them I sent you. You want to get their free toolbar and check out their Paganpedia. See what it has to say about the subjects we covered in this post. Let me know what you find and share it with the rest of our Astral Adventurers in this group. Well I hope you liked this post. It took hours to write lets hope the next one will be easier. Till we meet again: Take Care and Blessed Be. Peace! Peace! Peace! AD (arch-druid) Stephen W. Abbott

It has been a long time since we’ve been on here, and that’s been due to several factors. Tegwedd didn’t have Internet for almost two months, and found working with the library computers, and Stephen’s computer very frustrating. Finally, the last couple weeks of 2011 we got the Internet working on both computers. We hooked up the router she had gotten from a friend as a gift, and we were in business.

We have passed Imbolc or Brigit, the day sacred to Stephen’s patroness Brigit. She is the Goddess of the forge; of healing and midwifery, and of poetry. Tegwedd’s coven, the Coven of the Sacred Cats, used to do a blessing of the ritual tools for Brigit/Imbolc (which means “in the belly”, the time of sheep and goats giving birth and lactating. Every year her priestesses of Kildare light the Brigit flame. She was so sacred, powerful, and close to the hearts of the people that the Christian church could not eradicate Her, or demonize Her as they did with our other deities, but had to co-opt her as a saint. A story was told that St. Brigit was the midwife who delivered the Blessed Virgin Mary of St. Anne.

Next up is Lupercalia. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because Valentine was a persecutor of Pagans and Witches. If he died a martyr’s death, he deserved to die. Instead we celebrate Lupercalia because wolves mate for life. Luperca was the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus. The Luperci used to run through the streets on that day clad only in wolf pelts, and hit with birch twigs all the women who wanted babies.

Now look forward to the spring equinox or Ostara. The Christian holiday of Easter gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre. Apparently she saw a bird suffering from the cold and attempted to warm it. The bird still dies, but from its corpse arose a rabbit that laid eggs. Then there is the March hare that goes nuts in the early spring because it is during its rutting or breeding season. While we’re on the subject of Alice in Wonderland, the Hatter was mad or crazy because the glue they used to fasten the hats together was toxic and caused brain damage. In the coven to which Tegwedd belongs, we used to put together “Herne baskets.”
Lyraluna and Tegwedd would each spend a certain amount of money on their favorite springtime candies, and put the baskets together, pooling their candy. It was a bonding experience for the two women, and everyone profited from the experience the next morning when the baskets were distributed. Everyone got one, adults and children because we indulged the child inside everyone..

Stephen says of Ostara, “It’s a very popular Sabbat in faery circles (cf the Fairy [sic] Ring Oracle by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason).

Tegwedd has been working steadily on the Tarot book we are writing. Actually, she is doing most of the writing, while he is supplying some of the knowledge. We are both contributing our depth of knowledge and personal experience with the Tarot. In Stephen’s case, it was more than fifty years, in Tegwedd’s case, more than 40 years’ experience We are now working on Chapter 5, the first few cards of the Major Arcana. We are also searching for a publisher for the book.
We’ve discovered a new Pagan social network called PaganPlace.com. Stephen started a chat room called the Abbott’s Inn International School of Magick, where we had a stimulating discussion about astral realms. The express purpose of the room is discussing some topic, and learning from the discussion. Tegwedd wants to discuss hedgecraft. She was really turned on and inspired by Silver RavenWolf’s book HedgeWitch. We have started three groups so far on PaganPlace.com; Adventures in the Astral Realms 12, DruidWicca Coven 11, and Hedgecraft 4 Us 4. We’ll be starting the next two in March. We can only start two groups per month there as Nyx DarkSky wants to make sure they’re well maintained. Stephen grumbled a bit and rankled at the restriction, but Tegwedd can her reasoning behind this. We have been a bit profligate with our groups. She would like to see just a few multitopic groups, but he keeps coming up with groups that cover smaller and smaller areas. How can we ever keep up with them all?

Hedgecraft is as old as the proverbial hills. Stephen calls it the “magickal power of the woods.” Both Europe (including the British Isles) and North America used to be covered by thousands of square miles of forests. Having woodcraft could make the difference between life and death. Which plants were good eating? Which plants were medicinal, and at which dosages, depending on the mass of the patient? Which plants were toxic? Which mushrooms were edible? Which mushrooms would send you on a trip from which you would never return?Dosage was all important. Hedge Witches per force were generalists and polymaths. They had to know a lot about everything.

The hedges also symbolized the boundaries between the worlds. The hedge Witch learned to ride the hedges to travel between the worlds in order to gain healing for hir people. This is where the shaman aspects of hedgecraft or hedge witchery come in. There were at least two One has already been mentioned; riding the hedges for the purposes of soul journeys. The other shamanic aspect is shapeshifting. The hedge Witch had to be conversant with the ways and habits of all of the creatures in hir area, hir neck of the woods, so to speak so that s/he could call on their aid when needed, and also to become one of them and see the world through their eyes. Certain of the medicinal plants could aid in this. But the hedge Witch had to really know hir plants, and which dosage would do the job as opposed to which dosage was dangerously toxic. The hedge Witch was just as spiritual and religious as any other practitioner. Many of the .plants had magickal names attached to them, which led directly back to deities. S/he would call on these deities when dealing with the plants. Then there was the cottage aspect of hedgecraft. Making magickal objects, potions, brews, oils, and incenses from found objects is a big part of hedgecraft, as is kitchen witchery.

Who shall you read about hedgecraft? Besides Hedgewitch by Silver RavenWolf, there are several books in the general area of hedgecraft by such authors as Scott Cunningham and Ellen Dugan.

Have a good Ostara.

Hello PAGAN World!

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Magick is afoot.

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  • Divination:  Tarot and other systems, aspecting:  assuming the god-form, that is, having the deity of your choice enter your consciousness,
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  • Magickal change.  Because of the restrictive laws in this country, for Tantra/Sex Magick 18 and above only. , Qabalah and the
  • Tree of Life, a Pagan approach, a Pagan approach to its wisdom, knowledge and understanding,
  • The  Way of the Oak: Druidry: past, present and future,
  • Wicca:  The Craft of the Wise:  Wicca for a new age.
  • Gods & Goddesses R Us:  Everything you always wanted to know about our deities but were afraid to ask,
  • The Way of the Bard:  Bardic tradition in both Celtic and Norse (Skaldic) cultures,
  • Color magick: help beautify your mind.
  • Dark magick: Dark does NOT equal evil how to use the mystery and majesty of the night in your conjurations, Vampires and wereforms are welcome: your money is good here. Tarot spells:  how use Tarot cards for ritual magick & spell casting.  If we ourselves can’t teach it to you, we’ll find you someone who can.  They don’t call us Pagan-magickal networkers for nothing.
Pagan & Proud

Pagan & Proud

Here are a few sites that we recommend, which we have a connection to:  http://www.Mind-n-Magick.com We are both members of this site.  Be sure to get the free killer toolbar that they provide (powered by Conduit).  The toolbar has a fantastic Pagan-magickal store.  It also has a widget called Paganapedia, which is like wikipedia, but for Pagans.  Tell ‘em Stephen and Tegwedd sent you.  http://www.PaganRadioNetwork.net All Pagan music all the time, although there are some interesting podcasts offered from time to time.  Both of us are members of this site.  Stephen is known as Druidmaster.  Tegwedd is Tegwedd ShadowDancer.  You can do forums here and there is also a toolbar offered by Conduit, which we highly recommend.  http://Www.paganspace.net  has a lot of our groups on here.  You can join them for free. Paganspace.net is the largest Pagan network on the internet.  Like other social networks, you can have your own page, your own blog, and for a low fee, have advertising.  Wiccantogether.ning.com is a social network for Wiccans and other magickal people, the 2nd largest Pagan social network on the internet.  We also have many groups there.  You can have your own page, blog, and do advertising.   The advertising is for a low fee.  Facebook.com  We have 3 accounts there: Teresa Reitan, Stephen Abbott, and Stephen W. Abbott.  We have about 51 groups there The 51st is Obama fot Pagans.  Tegwedd created it May 2nd after the death of Osama bin Laden.  We have over 40 groups on Googlegroups.   We’re planning to expand our groups on Google. Go there, and join a few, all of them if you’re into it.  We’re also on Hi5, and  building up our group presence on that.  We have 16 groups on Yahoo.  We  don’t like Yahoo because they kill groups without warning, and their group creation process is difficult and draconian.  But join the groups on Yahoo.  Paganspace.com  we have about 20 or so groups on.  We’re planning on expanding there too.  Two networks that are exclusively Stephen’s responsibility, and that Tegwedd has nothing whatsoever to do with, are blessedbeuk.ning.com and ceridwenscauldron.ning.com.  A warning:   if you try to promote anything of yours that costs money, they will toss you off their network unless you pay their exorbitant rates.   Our network is http://abbottsinn.ning.com  where we also have groups.  Come join them.  If you know of any other free social networks where we can have groups, please let us know.  We are looking to expand our reach.

Research:   What do you need to know about Paganism and/or magick?  But our enterprise is strictly legal.  We do NOT write research papers.  We’ll lay out the facts with the documentation, that is, where we found the information, but you have to write the paper yourself.

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