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Friday, May 16, 2008

Séance Pt 1


Séance Part 1




We are all familiar with the old stereotype of a séance –a darkened room, people holding hands in a circle around a crystal ball, lots of good spooky fun.

But this is of course a stereotype. It is not completely inaccurate –many Spiritualist séances of a century ago did look and feel a lot like that. But today a real séance is likely to be a lot more mundane, with few if any aspects of the old stereotype present.

The term “Séance” is French and means “a sitting” –in the sense that one “sits” for spirit communication. Actually today “sitting” is the more common term for the practice, but we will use séance here because everyone immediately recognizes its basic meaning.

In a séance we seek to communicate with spirits –either the spirits of people we have known, spirits who are in need, or Spirit Guides who are there to aid and guide us.

Obviously this practice is based upon the belief in the immortality of the soul, and the ability of the living to develop the psychic abilities to communicate with the spirits.

A séance works through the clairvoyance of the sitters. It works best if at least one is of the sitters is a developed medium, but all people have and can develop clairvoyance. We have conducted weekly séances during the course of which people who had no previous experience of clairvoyance became quite skilled at receiving messages.

Whenever several people are together they amplify each other’s abilities. A developed clairvoyant will amplify the abilities of anyone working with them.

Spirit messages are received when the medium is in trance –either light trance in which the medium retains consciousness, or deep trance in which the medium looses consciousness and has no knowledge of what is happening.

A séance can be conducted with only the medium(s) in light or deep trance, or with everyone present in light trance, depending upon the people’s abilities.

Although the term “séance” was popularized by Spiritualists, the practice of receiving spirit messages is quite ancient, having been practiced by many ancient peoples through a variety of techniques.



Conducting a séance

To conduct a successful séance, or any kind of spirit work, it is absolutely essential to have the right attitude. The emotional and spiritual vibration are of paramount importance, and if they are off then nothing will work correctly.

Working with spirits is not a game, it must be taken seriously and engaged in for the right reasons –a genuine desire for communication, for personal spiritual growth and understanding.

It is not “spooky” or “scary” and should never be practiced with that expectation or desire –because the universe will tend to give you what you ask for. If you are looking for a scary experience you may get one even if only because it is the only one you are in a state to receive.

One also should refrain from being judgmental or skeptical during a séance. It is fine to analyze and even be skeptical of the information received AFTER the séance is over, but it is important to avoid this DURING the séance as it will tend to shut down the process.

Nor should you ever work with spirits while intoxicated, as this will both tend to warp any communications you receive and may also offend the Spirits. Some people do like to take a small glass of beer or wine before sitting for spirits, but just enough to relax slightly, never enough to intoxicate.

Instead have a reverent attitude and positive expectations. It is the spirits own decision whether they speak to you or not. Be respectful and remember that the spirits are not there to serve you, though your Guides are there to help you –your Guides being those spirits who are your specific guardians and helpers.

Generally however if you are drawn to spiritual work it is because your Guides have drawn you.

It is best to conduct a séance in a fairly quiet and peaceful atmosphere where there will be no distractions. A skilled medium can communicate anywhere regardless of what is going on, but beginners can be easily disrupted.

The stereotype that a séance must be conducted only in a darkened room is rather silly and always was. However some people are more able to relax in low light, and relaxation is important to the process, so you may prefer to eschew really bright light –though for an advanced medium this is irrelevant.

One should avoid having too much metal around as metal tends to conduct energy and may tend to absorb the energy needed for communication. Some people go so far as to remove metal jewelry, though this is not really necessary.

It is good to light one or more candles, as these will augment the natural energies. It is also good to create energy constructs to act as batteries for the same reason –imagine four columns of white light in the corners of the room, and a ball of light at the center. Advanced energy workers can refine this to personal taste, perhaps creating energy constructs specifically suited to the energies of the participants.

Many people imagine that they need elaborate protections to conduct a séance. This is not so. You should ask your Guides to admit only appropriate spirits who wish or need to communicate, and they will see that this is the case. Having asked your Guides to do this you should have trust in them and know that only those spirits they have approved will speak.

It can be good to cense (“smudge”) the space where the séance is to be conducted with cleansing herbs such as sage or rosemary. This will help to cleanse the energy of the place.

It is good to pray and meditate at the opening of the séance to establish a spiritual tone. It is also good to make a statement of purpose stating that you have come together to speak with the spirits and are willing to speak only to spirits of good will or who are in need of your help.

The séance should begin at the time that has been set for it. If a series of séances is planned, they should ideally be set for the same hour each time. This builds a pattern for both the sitters and the spirits, and is more important (especially when learning) than one might think.

Once the séance begins it should not be interrupted –very like a ritual. Interruptions will break the mood and make the process much harder. Phones should be turned off, and people should not be coming and going from the room.

People should think of the bathroom BEFORE the séance –though allowances should of course be made when necessary. The “potty dance” does not help build concentration for anyone.

A séance will work best when conducted by people with an established relationship: either pre-existing or built up over the course of several séances. Successful séances can and are done with strangers, but tend to have less striking results because the rapport is less. Receiving messages in this way is a skill which is built up through experience.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spell Writing Pt 5


Spell Writing Part 4:
Lay Out and Composition


Lay Out and Composition

For the purposes of this lesson we will carry out the writing of a Prosperity Pouch Spell. In composing or laying out a spell, I like to think of it as writing a recipe for change. Spells are a lot like recipes. They contain a list of ingredients and steps for preparation and execution. For a magickal spell, our first thought is our intention. With this in mind you might like to think of a title for your spell. However, at this time, your intention is most important. The title can simply be your intention. If your spell intention addressed prosperity, you might simply call it ‘My Prosperity Pouch Spell’ or even include your name ‘Lynda’s Prosperity Pouch Spell’. Consider continuing without choosing a name. Often a name will come to you while you are writing the spell.

Next, you will want to date your spell by simply entering the date you wrote it or began writing it. As you are the one who created it, you alone know when it came into being, whether it is the day you first thought of it, or the day you actually sat down and began writing it. The choice is yours.

Then, state your purpose in a brief phrase. For instance, ‘A spell for a prosperous change written by Lynda’ or simply ‘A prosperity pouch spell written by Lynda’. You just want to write something to comment on the intention of the spell. If you are writing a spell for someone else, then you might want to say something like ‘A prosperity pouch spell written for a friend’. What ever the case may be, statement of purpose will make it easier for you to identify a spell when you are looking for a spell to use.

In spell-writing it is important to determine the timing related to your spell. Here you will enter the time of day, day of the week, planetary hours, moon phase, tidal movement, or what ever other timing information you choose to use, if any. Also included here will be exact dates the spell will cover. For instance, if the spell will last seven days, then you will enter the beginning date and the ending date, including month, day, and year. Again, it is up to you how many of these correspondences you will use, or if you choose to use any at all.

A point to consider when writing a spell is setting the location. Where you perform the spell may take some planning. If you choose to perform your spell outdoors, such as at a park or at the seashore, you will need to take into consideration the other ingredients. You won’t want to try to light candles at a park if there is a fire danger warning in effect. You would not want to attempt to keep a candle lit on a windy beach. For this you might like to use a jar candle or even an oil lamp. If you write a spell that is to be cast outdoors you will need to make sure that all and any ingredients that you may place out in nature are ecologically safe. For instance, if your spell involves leaving an offering to Deity or nature, you would want to leave something like flowers, herbs, or natural objects. You would not want to leave plastic or imitation flowers. When spell casting outdoors, be prepared to pack out all waste and trash. If others before you were not as thoughtful, bless Mother Earth by picking up after them. Another point to consider is privacy. If you are sure that there will be no unexpected visitors, you can pretty much perform your spell as you choose. Ideally, this is what we all would like in an outdoor setting. However, if your location is a public beach or park, you will want to be discreet and try to find a private place. Always be sure to carry out anything you carried in; never leave trash or anything harmful to nature. This is why I like to stress the use of only natural ingredients for spell workings. Always leave the area better than you found it.


Lay Out and Composition

Another important step in the process is to enter the supplies you will use in the spell. You will want to list the ingredients and the amounts or numbers needed. If you are including one of each item, then you will want to list it that way. It is important to remember that numbers play a very important role in spell-writing and working. Numbers have magickal meanings and these meanings are often interpreted differently depending upon who is doing the interpretation. Use your intuition. Listen to your inner self and start there. You can use the common magickal meanings attributed to numbers, also. The choice is yours. If your intuitive powers are strong, then listen to them. There will be a list of number correspondences in a later lesson. You will also want to list anything you will need to perform the casting of this spell. You should list all ingredients as well as all tools needed. An example of items to list here would be herbs, oils, incense, stones, candles, magickal or ritual tools (chalice, cauldron, athame, etc.), pouches, pen, paper, matches, cords, mixing bowls, water - anything you will use for or in the spell.

One of the most creative parts of spell-writing may very well be your incantation or spoken charm, or any spoken words. These are usually spoken at specific intervals of the spell-working. You will need to compose the charm or incantation and determine when it will be spoken. Most are usually spoken or chanted when the ingredients are being blended together or put together. For instance, if you are putting together a magickal pouch spell using an herb, an oil, a stone, a pouch and a candle as your ingredients/ supplies, you might want to begin combining the herb, stone and oil by mixing them together in a bowl. While you are mixing you will be chanting the incantation. It might be something like:
“Herbs and stone and oil combine,
Let prosperity be mine!”

You will need to determine the number of times to repeat the chant by determining the magickal number to match the intention. There may be more chants or incantations included in a spell, in fact there may be many, however for the purposes of this basic course, we will simply include one. We covered writing your own charms and incantations in Lesson 4.


Basic Spell Writing
Lay Out and Composition

A major step that makes your spell working flow smoothly is called ‘procedure’. These are the step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the spell. You will begin at the first steps. The instructions might read like this:
“At your altar or sacred space, place your pentacle disk in the center with the mixing bowl in the center of the pentacle disk. Light the green candle. Place the herbs and stone in the bowl, add the oil by drop. Mix them together. Repeat the following incantation three times:
‘Herbs and stone and oil combine,
Let prosperity be mine!’
Now take up the pouch in your receptive hand (left hand for right handed people) and with your power hand (right hand for right handed people) pick up the magickal mixture of herb, oil and stone, and place it into the pouch. Empower the pouch and its contents by sending your energy from within you, and into the pouch through your power hand.”

Determining the steps in the spell requires a lot of thought and consideration. How you accomplish this is a matter of thinking the process through as if you were actually working the spell in your mind. It is sort of like trying to find your path in unfamiliar territory. You will probably make a few false starts until you come up with your procedure. When you get to the point of describing your procedure, you will already know what type of spell you are writing. In the case of our example ‘Prosperity Pouch Spell’ we knew we wanted to make a pouch that could be carried or worn. With that said, we then knew it would require ingredients and those ingredients would have to be empowered and combined so we chose to use the mixing bowl to mix the ingredients and the charm spoken as we mixed and empowered, followed by placing the ingredients into the pouch.
Next comes the closing. At this point, for this particular spell, we have pretty much finished our spell. All that is left now is to close it and this is simply done by extinguishing the candle and speaking a closing. Your closing can be anything you wish to state. You may simply want to say ‘So mote it be!’ or ‘Blessed Be’. In keeping with magickal ethics, the Rede, the Law of Three, and Karma, I always like to end by including the following or similar words:
‘With harm to none and for the highest good of all concerned,
So mote it be!’
In perfect love and perfect trust, we thus seal the spell and send it on its way into the Universe and into the hands of the Goddess and God.

As an option, you may wish to include an entry titled ‘Further Instructions’. In the case of the sample spell, it would give instructions on how to use and maintain the pouch. It can be very confusing if after working a spell you are unsure about how to deal with what it left over. This section will tie up any loose ends by explaining any details not mentioned in the actual spell. This is the perfect place to mention what to do with any libations (drink, liquid, etc.), herbs, incense or other items that may be left over from the spell casting. Whether they should be cast to the wind or buried or whatever needs to be done, this is the place to explain it.

So, we have gone through the steps of writing and laying out the spell. Let’s see what it will look like when it is all written out. We will use Lynda’s Prosperity Pouch Spell as an example.

Lynda’s Prosperity Pouch Spell
A prosperity pouch spell written by Lynda
Timing: At Noon during the time of the Full Moon.

Date of Creation: Jan. 1, 2004

Supplies Needed:
A pinch of goldenseal herb
A drop of cinnamon oil
1 small Aventurine stone
A small pouch to be worn or carried on person.
1 green candle
Your pentacle disk
A small mixing bowl or shell

Location: At home: at your altar or other sacred space.

Charm/Incantation:
‘Herbs and stone and oil, combine
Let prosperity be mine!’

Procedure: Prepare your altar or sacred space.
“At your altar or sacred space, place your pentacle disk in the center with the mixing bowl in the center of the pentacle disk. Light the green candle. Place the herbs and stone in the bowl, add the oil by drop. Mix them together repeating the following incantation three times:
‘Herbs and stone and oil combine,
Let prosperity be mine!’

Now take up the pouch in your receptive hand (left hand for right handed people) and with your power hand (right hand for right handed people) pick up the magickal mixture of herb, oil and stone, and place it into the pouch and seal or close the pouch.” Empower the pouch and its contents by sending your energy from within, and into the pouch through your power hand.
Closing: Now extinguish the candle and finish by saying:

‘With harm to none and for the highest good of all concerned,
So mote it be!’
It is done.

Further Instructions: The pouch should be worn or carried as needed to attract prosperity. The contents of the pouch may be refreshed or replaced as needed or desired.

As we see here, our spell is complete and as such can be worked at the proper time, as needed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spell Writing Pt 4


Spell Writing Part 4:
Magickal Properties & Correspondences


Magickal Properties and Correspondences

In this lesson we will cover the basics of correspondences. Correspondences are magickal properties related to spell ingredients and timing, etc. It would be a tremendous undertaking to try to list all the correspondences or properties of all spell ingredients in one place. So for the purpose of this basic course, I will list enough to give you a list that you can work with as you begin to write your spells. As you become more familiar with writing spells, you will begin to collect more and more information on correspondences and will find your basic lists growing.

There are an unlimited number of ingredients you can include in your spells, far too many to list here. We will include some basic herbs, oils, stones, and other correspondences. By using these lists you will be able to write your own basic spells. Each will be listed by intention.

Note: When working with stones, clear quartz crystals may be used in place of any stone and can be included in any working to add its power to the energy of the spell and its ingredients.

Courage

Herbs: Agrimony, cloves, mullein, mustard seed, sweet pea, tea (black or green tea), yarrow.

Stones: Agate, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone, carnelian, red tourmaline, tiger's-eye.

Oils: Cedar oil, clove oil, ginger oil.


Creativity:

Herbs: Beech, cinnamon, clove, vervain.

Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, fluorite labradorite, sapphire.

Oils: Cinnamon oil, honeysuckle oil, jasmine oil, lemon oil, mint oil, orange oil.


Good Luck

Herbs: Allspice, bayberry, cabbage, caraway, heather, moss, parsley, peony, poppy,
star anise, strawberry, vanilla bean, violet.

Stones: Amber, amethyst, aventurine, apache tears, jade, lepidolite, tiger’s eye, turquoise.

Oils: Orange oil, pine oil.


Happiness

Herbs: Azalea, catnip, cherry, geranium, hawthorn, lavender, saffron,
St. John’s wort, violet, witch grass.

Stones: Amethyst, chrysoprase, yellow zircon.

Oils: Apple blossom oil, basil oil, lavender oil, sesame oil, tuberose oil.

Healing

Herbs: Allspice, angelica, apple, bay, blackberry, cedar, garlic, sandalwood, rosemary.

Stones: Agate, bloodstone, coral, hematite, holey stones, jasper, pink tourmaline,
rose quartz.

Oils: Camphor oil, coriander oil, cypress oil, eucalyptus oil, myrrh oil.


Love
Herbs: Avocado, cardamom, carnation, coriander, frangipani, ginger, jasmine,
rose, tomato.

Stones: Calcite, beryl, moonstone, pink tourmaline, rose quartz, sapphire, topaz.

Oils: Cardamom oil, coriander oil, ginger oil, jasmine oil, rose oil.


Magickal Powers

Herbs: Alder, galangal, marigold, mugwort.

Stones: Bloodstone, garnet, quartz crystal, malachite, opal.

Oils: Allspice oil, dragon’s blood oil, ginger oil, vanilla oil.


Money

Herbs: Almond, buckeye, comfrey, dill, garlic, honeysuckle, oak moss, tonka bean,
vertivert.

Stones: Aventurine, coal, calcite, goldstone, jade, mother of pearl, salt, opal.

Oils: Allspice oil, basil oil, bergamot oil, cinnamon oil, cinquefoil oil, patchouli oil, pine oil.


Protection

Herbs: Bay leaf, bergamot, cloves, cinquefoil, dragon’s blood (resin), geranium, juniper, rosemary, St. John’s wort, Spanish moss.

Stones: Emerald, hematite, moonstone, holey stones.

Oils: Cypress oil, juniper oil, patchouli oil.


Prosperity

Herbs: Alfalfa, almond, elderberry, mistletoe, musk, parsley, peony, poppy, tulip,
vertivert.

Stones: Aventurine, bloodstone, chrysoprase, mother of pearl, olivine, ruby, sapphire,tiger’s eye.

Oils: Almond oil, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, patchouli oil.


Success

Herbs: Clover, honeysuckle, peony, rowan, strawberry.

Stones: Amazonite, chrysoprase, malachite.

Oils: Ginger oil, oakmoss oil, sunflower oil, verbena oil, vertivert oil.


Wisdom

Herbs: Bodhi, lemongrass, sage, sunflower.

Stones: Coral, chrysocolla, jade, sodalite, sugalite.

Oils: Almond oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil.




Magickal Properties and Correspondences

Color Correspondence Table

White: All purposes, peace, purity, protection.

Black: Banishing, banishing negativity, absorbing negativity.

Red: Energy, strength, passion, courage, protection, self-defense.

Pink: Romantic love, friendship, peace, compassion.

Orange: Energy, courage, success, willpower, imagination.

Yellow: Intellectual pursuits, confidence, travel, communication.

Green: Healing, money, wealth, fertility, jobs, growth, luck, abundance.

Blue: Healing, patience, happiness, wisdom, psychic abilities, tranquility, changes.

Purple: Power, spirituality, meditation, magickal powers, deep healing.

Brown: Stability, pets, grounding, strength.



Tidal Correspondence Table

High Tide: The water is at its highest level. This is the optimum time to perform all typesof magickal spells.

Ebb Tide: The optimum time to perform banishing spells to send off the unwanted with the receding tide.

Low Tide: The water is at its lowest level; the optimum time for introspection and going within.

Flow Tide: The tide is ‘coming in’ or rising. The optimum time for performing
manifestation spells, spells to bring in or draw.



Lunar Correspondence Table

Waxing Moon: Optimum time for manifestation spells, spells to draw your desires or goals.

Full Moon: Optimum time for all magickal spells and workings, the time of greatest power.

Waning Moon: Optimum time for introspection and magickal spells of banishing
negative or harmful energy.

New Moon: Optimum time for new beginnings.



Days of The Week Correspondence Table

Monday: Psychic abilities, peace, healing, fertility.

Tuesday: Passion, courage, protection, strength.

Wednesday: Wisdom, divination, studies, travel.

Thursday: Money, prosperity, luck, wealth, success.

Friday: Love, romance, friendship, beauty.

Saturday: Family and home, transitions, new beginnings, banishing.

Sunday: Healing, power, success, protection, vitality, vigor.



Time of Day Correspondence Table

Morning: New ventures, new beginnings, success, jobs, healing, purification.

Noon: Power, strength, energy, courage, protection, prosperity, money, luck. Add extra energy and power to spells.

Evening: Banishing, getting rid of unwanted or negative energy.

Night: Love, divination, magickal power, psychic abilities.



Element Correspondence Table

Earth (North): Grounding, money, jobs, possessions, prosperity, manifestation, growth.

Air (East): New beginnings, communication, study, learning, wisdom.

Fire (South): Courage, creativity, passion, protection, strength, banishing, energy, will power, change.

Water (West): Purification, love, psychic powers, dreams, divination, peace.


In this lesson I have attempted to give you the basic information on magickal properties and correspondences. At this point, by using the tables and the information in the previous lessons, you should be able to sit down and write a spell of your own. Do not limit yourself to these short tables. There is a wealth of information to learn in regards to magickal properties and correspondences. The lists of herbs, stones, oils, and other spell ingredients are as limitless as the imagination. It is a wise witch who listens to his/her own intuitive voice when laying out a spell. If you sense the need to use a certain ingredient in place of one traditionally used, then do so. It is by listening to our higher selves that we truly begin to learn and grow as witches.


Summary and Closure

In this course we have covered the very basics of writing a spell. By following these guidelines and applying our Wiccan principles to our workings, we are sure to create spells that will enhance our lives and light our paths to becoming balanced and powerful witches. I wish you success in your magickal endeavors.

Blessed Be,
Moonraven (Rev. Teri Ott)
1st Degree Priestess Correllian Tradition
1st Degree Mentor
1st Degree Senior Mentor
aka Marina Seabourne Writer and Sea Witch.