Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ladybug Luck

I have a ladybug living on my desk.  I’m happy about this, of course, because ladybugs bring good luck. This belief may originate from their propensity to devour aphids and other bugs that harm plants.  Farmers love them, and who can blame them. For my money, that ladybug can eat all the other bugs he or she wants.

The ladybug made me think about the concept of luck. Some believe it is fated and nothing you do can affect how much good or bad luck you have. Others believe the amount of good luck you have is directly proportionate to how much work you do. If you’re like most people, you’re somewhere in the middle. We can influence the amount of luck we have, not only through our actions but also through our manipulation of energy through spells and connecting with the universal source, the divine.

The equinox reminds me how hard it is to maintain the balance required between our actions and our spirituality. It’s incredibly easy to become involved in the day to day of everyday life and fail to match our actions to our beliefs, and vice versa. This results in loss of contact with our spiritual selves, and we have to work that much harder to reconnect.

Friday's free spell this week was a spell for balance and harmony, which we need in order to create the reality we want. Obviously, we can’t work with the universe to create a new reality, if we aren’t in touch with it. One of the ways I like to connect to the universe is to sit outside and just enjoy the beauty of the nature around me. I’m lucky in that I still have just enough country left around my house that if everything is growing and green, and I don’t look to the left terribly closely, I can pretend I’m still surrounded by trees. It doesn’t work as well during the winter, but it’s still close enough for me to have a way to connect, informally, with the universe on a regular basis.

Connecting with deity during ritual or at a gathering is one thing, but to accomplish your goals, you need a daily, personal relationship with the universal energy or deity. Many people, myself included also use reminders of that connection such as amuletscharms, special candles, or even just having your altar visible and set up. I also make sure to cleanse my jewelry and my beads, so that when I’m making jewelry, I can feel my connection to the elements and the all.

The things that remind you of that connection will be specific to you, and sometimes you’ll find an unexpected one just by looking at the items that are important to you. When you maintain that connection and match your actions to your intentions, you create your own reality. Maintaining the balance to maintain the connection is not easy, and some days it will be extremely difficult. The important thing is working to keep that connection alive. It feeds the creation of your desired reality.

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Spell for Luck

With Mabon fast approaching, many of us are considering how we will celebrate. As for my house, we’re having a pot roast made with homegrown potatoes, carrots, and onion.  For those of you who know me, no, I did not grow these at “my” home. My thumb is unfortunately, somewhat brown, but my roommate keeps us in herbs and tomatoes. However, no matter how good he is, we just don’t have that big a garden.  This is a feast to celebrate the harvest though, so it’s only fitting to use fresh vegetables.

One element of my preparation for Mabon is to decide what type of ritual and spell we want to do for the Equinox, and get ready for that by casting a luck spell beforehand to add energy to our ritual.
As with most spells, the caster can customize the spell to individual preference. Many people simply choose to wear a talisman or charm to add to their good luck. Others want to cast a circle, call the quarters, and use formal customs. Both types work equally well. The focus, intent, and beliefs of the caster determine the effectiveness of all spells, so if something about a spell is not working for you, change it. Your ability to put everything into your spell will determine the outcome, so you want to make it good.

Not only can you draw good luck with this spell, you can also bless and anoint a good luck talisman of some sort at the same time. You will need the following:
Bowl or cauldron (we have some adorable new ones in bright colors)
Wooden Spoon

Set up your altar with small things that represent good luck to you. As you might have guessed, many of my altarpieces are triquetras of one form or another, so that’s what I use. Collect whatever says luck to you, and place it or them on the altar along with the candles, the bowl, and the oils. If you wish to bless an item, gather it within your space. Since you’re doing a blessing as well and blessing amulets, use your athame to cast a simple circle and raise energy.

Place the bowl in the center of your altar and combine your oils, pouring one at a time. Whether you want only enough of the blend for anointing your candles, and your amulet, you will use 1 tablespoon of almond oil to 1/8 tsp. each of the rose oil and the peppermint oil. If you want to save some to wear as a perfume, use 1 ounce of almond oil to 1/8 tsp. of each of the other oils As you pour each one, say

            Bless this oil that it bring its luck to me

When the oils are all in the bowl, gently swirl them together. Use your spoon to complete the blending.

Carve what type of luck you want, love, money, business, home, into the candle. Anoint your candles with the oils. As you do so say,

            Good luck and good fortune flow to me

Light the candles.

Dip your amulet into the bowl until the charm itself is covered. As you do this say,

            Bless this sign of fortune and see
            As my will, so mote it be

Slowly release the energy and your circle. Let the candles burn for at least one hour.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Why do We?

The other day, while I was thinking about what I would write this week, I asked a friend, what he would like to see if he were new to Paganism. His answer made perfect sense.  If you’re new somewhere, what do you want to know? Why they do what they do? At that point, I thought it might be a good idea to do a periodic, “Why do We?” Let me know what you'd like to know about.
If you have never been to a ritual before, or you’re new to paganism, your first ritual can be a bit confusing, so we’ll start at the beginning, with casting the circle. The first mention of magic in connection with circles comes from the Greeks, but the first written reference to casting a circle comes from, Henry Cornelius Agrippa in 1510.
From ancient times to modern, man has worked with, and within, circles. Stonehenge, and Gobekli Tepe, a series of stone circles in Turkey, built 6,000 years prior to Stonehenge show how long we’ve found circles conducive to creating sacred space. All religions have some concept of sacred space, whether it's a temple, a church, or a synagogue, many of which are circular or have a large circular space within them. Pagans create their sacred space through the casting of the circle. This also creates a circle of protection around the participants and helps them raise power.

Most casters will have a personal variation of their own to solidify their bond to the circle, other than its circular shape, there is no one rule that applies to every circle. As a general guideline, in Wicca, the circle should be 9ft. in diameter, but the point of your circle is to create a sacred space within which you can work. The size of the circle and the elements you use to create your circle can vary depending on the size of your group, the purpose of your ritual or spell, the season, and the phase of the moon.
People cast circles in a number of different ways as well. Some use salt, stones, or some other physical item to mark the circle, while others use energy only. You will probably want to try both to see which works best for you. When you’re preparing to cast your circle, gather your tools, your altar, candles, altar cloth, chalices, athame, and boline, and bring them all inside the circle before you close it.

Tools you will need specifically for the circle will vary depending on the type of circle you plan to cast. A simple athame can be tool enough to cast your circle if you want, or you can use salt to draw your circle on the ground. Quite often, a part of generating the energy to seal the circle and to do your magical work comes from “calling the quarters.” If you choose to do this, you may choose to use small altar tables to hold candles and offerings to the elements of the quarters.

Casting your circle also involves visualization. Regardless of the method you choose to cast your circle, you need to visualize the circle of energy surrounding you. This “cone of power” is your sacred space. Within this space, you can work your magic, worship your deity, conduct initiations, and celebrate Sabbats. Here there is peace and serenity. 
What questions do you have? Please let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer them.