Divination: Pendulums- A How To

A pendulum is one of the simplest and easiest forms of divination. It’s a simple matter of Yes/No questions being asked and answered. Although you can purchase pendulums commercially, ranging from about $15 – $60, it’s not hard to make one of your own. Typically, most people use a crystal or stone, but you can use any object that’s got a bit of weight to it.

Make Your Own Pendulum

If you decide to make your own pendulum, you’ll need a few basic supplies:

  • A crystal or other stone
  • Jeweler’s wire
  • A lightweight chain
  • Lightweight Chain

Take the crystal and wrap it in a length of jeweler’s wire. When you’re done wrapping it, leave a loop at the top. Attach one end of the chain to the loop. You’ll want to make sure the chain isn’t too long, because you’ll probably be using it over a table or other surface. Generally, a chain between 10 – 14″ is perfect. Also, be sure you tuck in any poky pieces of wire so you don’t jab yourself later.

Charge Your Pendulum

To charge your pendulum, place it overnight in water or salt. Remember that some crystals will degrade in salt, so be sure to check before you do this. Another option is to leave the pendulum outside overnight in the moonlight.

Calibrate Your Pendulum

To calibrate your pendulum simply means you’re checking it to see how it’s working. To do this, hold it by the free end of the chain so that the weighted end is loose. Make sure you keep it perfectly still. Ask a simple Yes/No question to which you already know the answer is Yes, such as “Am I female?” or “Do I live in California?”

Keep your eye on the pendulum, and when it starts moving, note whether it goes side to side, forwards to backwards, or some other direction. This indicates your “Yes” direction.

Now, repeat the process, asking a question to which you know the answer is No. This will give you your “No” direction. It’s a good idea to do this a few times with different questions, so you can get a feel for how your pendulum responds to you. Some will swing horizontally or vertically, others swing in small or large circles, others don’t do a whole lot unless the answer is really important. Once you’ve calibrated your pendulum and gotten to know it a bit, you can use it for some basic divination.

How to Use a Pendulum

Pendulums are made from a variety of materials including crystals, wood, glass, and metals. They are often used as tools for spiritual healing and inner growth.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 15 to 30 minutes

Here’s How:

  1. Choose A Pendulum:
    Allow a pendulum to choose you. If you like the way it looks or feels, it is meant for you.
     
  2. Cleanse Your Pendulum:
    You may cleanse it by holding it under running cold tap water, soaking it in sea salt, or setting a mental intention to free it of ‘picked up energies.’
     
  3. Understand the Directional Swings of Your Pendulum:
    Pendulums swing in vertical straight lines, horizontal straight lines, and in circular movements.
     
  4. Define the Directional Swings of Your Pendulum:
    Assign each directional swing a “response” by first asking the pendulum to show you what certain responses look like. Ask: What does a NO look like? What does a YES look like?… and so on.
    • Pendulum Response Examples:
      • vertical swing signifies NO
      • horizontal swing signifies YES
      • circular movement signifies NEUTRAL
  5. Prepare Your Questions:
    A question should be one that can be answered with a positive, negative or neutral response.
    • Good Example Question:
      Will I be offered the job I interviewed for this morning?

      Poor Example Question:
      Will my pregnant cousin deliver a boy or girl?

  6. Set Your Intention:
    It is imperative that you precede your question session with a prayerful request or statement.
    • Example Intention:
      It is my intention to receive truthful answers which will serve the good of all concerned.
  7. Ask Your Questions:
    Be prepared to ask several questions in order to receive enough information to aid you in your quest for answers.
     
  8. Between Questions:
    Make sure to completely stop any pendulum motion between questions to clear any lingering energies that pertain to the previous question.

Tips:

  1. Accept information only if your instincts assure you it is accurate.
  2. Keep a notebook handy to write down your questions and your pendulum’s response.
  3. Each pendulum may have a different response. Likewise, each person must establish their own directional swings before using a pendulum.
  4. Make sure that the pendulums have been cleared of any negative energies before and after each use.

What You Need:

  • Pendulum
  • Intentional Mind Set

Death: Let’s Talk About That

With the recent passing of Robin Williams, I thought I would take a moment to talk about Death and what that means for Wiccan’s. Everyday the world loses someone, but not many people like to talk about it, unless it’s a celebrity. Of course, we should be very respectful of the friends and family, regardless of how famous the person is. So..

What Is the Wiccan Perspective on Death?

Death . . . punishment, oblivion, or release? Or perhaps something else altogether?

To a culture which fears failure, resists natural balance of cycles, and lacks spiritual connection with the Divine, dying is a terror to be avoided at all costs.

But what does death mean to witches? What is a Wiccan perspective on life and the afterlife?

The Answers?

Unlike most religions, Wicca does not fear mortality.

While a loved one’s passage is always painful, witches don’t shrink from the natural processes of life. The Wheel turns, and sometimes things must be let go.

We also know the Wheel will turn again, and things that have been lost will be returned to us. The form may change, but nothing is ever really lost.

 

Wicca also has a different relationship than many modern religions to people who are dead.

Death is not a wall, to witches, but a veil. We may not be easily able to see and touch our beloved dead, but they are not entirely gone.

We may grieve the distance between us, but we still perceive an enduring connection with our beloved dead.

So it is natural that friendships can endure past death.

Many people, even non-Wiccans, have experienced communication with their beloved dead.

How many stories have you heard about a loved one appearing to family members, at the moment of death? So many of us have had dreams and whispered words and half-glimpses of loved ones who have died.

Some of those may be simple imagination, but not all can be so dismissed.

 

So What is a Witch’s Relationship with the Dead?

One of acceptance. Even of honouring.

Even though Wicca celebrates life on Earth, most witches are aware that mortal existence is limited and limiting.

Death is a freedom from the burdens and blindness that come with a physical body.

And it is an inevitable part of life. Without death, birth would be a disaster. Without death, new life must remain unmanifest.

In the turning of the Wheel, it is the periods of rest that empower growth.

This doesn’t mean that a witch neglects to do what she can to preserve and improve life, within reason.

But it is pointless – even harmful – from a Wiccan perspective to keep someone alive at any cost, or without an enjoyable quality of life, or against a person’s wishes.

So the things that our culture fears most about dying has no meaning in Wicca.

Do Witches Go To Heaven?

Well, “Heaven” was a Christian word for a mostly-Christian concept. Its refers to a literal, physical place up in the sky where Yahweh lives with Jesus and angels and all good Christians.

So . . . no. Thank goodness!

The Christians probably wouldn’t want us, and we certainly don’t want their idea of heaven. (Most of us are not impressed with Yahweh.)

An Expansive Heaven

But the word Heaven is shifting in meaning, as human consciousness shifts from religious dogma to spirituality.

Sometimes now Heaven refers to being in the presence of the Divine, without the illusions of separateness that flesh creates.

As a state of expanded consciousness and Oneness with the Divine, then certainly all witches go to Heaven. If not after this incarnation, after some future one.

Life After a Witch’s Death

Words confuse an issue for which we have no vocabulary.

As a culture, we lack even the understanding and concepts to talk about life in a meaningful way, let alone death.

But here’s what I’ve read, and believe to be true.

The afterlife is very different than the Christian ideas of heaven and hell, at least for many people.

For some people, it seems that there is a sort of life on another plane, where people are free of pain, and their thoughts immediately create the world they live in. They all seem very happy there.

But for most, there is a transition to another state of existence. They pass through a “barrier” that’s described like a cloud, or a filmy veil, or a field of light. They are cleansed of the pain and suffering from their time on Earth, and then they rejoin their soul-friends to discuss their lives and how far they came on their journey.

Sometimes we feel a sense of peace when someone passes, like they’ve opened a window to the other side and the sweet breeze blows through… and for just a moment we feel it along with them.

I think we can trust that feeling… I think it’s far more TRUE than all the mumbo-jumbo that many religions put out.

Is There Life After Death?

This is a question that can be answered only once we figure out what we mean by life.

Is life consciousness? Is it the physical processes of body and brain? Is it the “me” we think of as ourselves?

Like everything else in Wicca, it’s impossible to state The Wiccan Viewpoint. Every witch has her own.

But commonly, witches believe that there is more to existence than the physical plane we now inhabit. And that when we die, we are opened up to expanded levels of existence.

Do Witches Reincarnate?

One possibility for life after death is reincarnation.

Many witches accept at least the possibility of reincarnation – that is, that the spark which is “me” comes back to life in another body, possibly throughout eternity.

What this really means, though, is unknowable. How can I be “me” if I’m somebody else? What is the “me” that comes back? These are questions that can’t fully be answered.

The Mystery of Life after Death

 

The mystery of death is certainly not going to be solved by any one article, or even any one religion.

Wicca Spirituality has a certain philosophy, which inspires Wiccans to have certain perspectives on death. But we don’t claim to have all the answers, and not every witch would agree with any one viewpoint.

It’s probably safe to say that all witches believe that consciousness continues after death, and that no one really knows how or in what form.

As witches, we’re comfortable with this kind of ambiguity.

We can’t know all the answers of life. And we don’t need to.

We only need to find what is true for ourselves. And then live it.

When you’re really living, you don’t worry so much about death anyway.

Setting up your Altar

An Altar is an important aspect of the Wiccan religion for many witches. A value that goes way beyond having someplace to put all your witchy stuff! An altar can be as elaborate as a custom carved church style massive affair with ornate ritual tools placed in specifically measured positions. An altar can be a stump of wood in a forest, a TV tray in your living room, or anything in between. Any altar is a symbolic manifestation of your innermost self. It is an expression of your heart’s longing and your soul’s potential. It is also a focal point for your devotion. A spiritual practice arena for devotion to the Divine. 

 

Temples Within And Without

We each have a Temple in our inner hearts. And any spiritual process is about entering and worshiping there. It’s not easy to access something so abstract. So, like your symbols and tools and Gods and Goddesses, you create something that comes through the gate of your senses. Something you can see and smell and touch. Even hear and taste, if possible. The more senses you engage, and the more you balance your sense perceptions, the more you can access the spiritual levels that you seek. In this context, altars are not some esoteric mystery, but the most natural expression of what has value to you.

One of the first considerations for your altar space is likely whether it can be displayed openly, If you feel that your practices would bring unwanted scrutiny on you, you might decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and find a small cabinet you can hide your altar tools and ritual supplies in, and close.

Other possibilities for an altar can be just a regular table with an altar cloth, a nightstand, a bookshelf, a tree stump, or just about any other surface you desire. It can be as large or as small as you are comfortable with, that will hold your Wicca supplies, and where you can work with them appropriately.

Once you have chosen your altar, then you can decide which ritual tools you wish to place on it. Of course, you CAN choose the ritual tools first, THEN find an altar that will fit them all, but in either case, you can modify the advice to suit your particular situation. See, that’s the fun part about being Eclectic….very few instances result in the accusation that you “aren’t doing it right.”

First comes the altar cloth. I always choose a cloth that is pretty, functional, AND not too difficult to get wax off of. You know you’re going to be dripping wax from time to time. It’s inevitable. That’s why I personally don’t buy very expensive altar cloths, since I know I am a clumsy witch. The altar cloth is generally used to protect the altar, and is not “necessary” but can be meaningful (depending on its symbolism) or merely functional.

One of the things I always put on my altar is a statue of the Matron Goddess I am working with at the time, and, depending on the ritual I am about to perform, I may include my patron God. Well, what if you don’t HAVE a Matron or a Patron yet? That’s perfectly fine. You may always choose to exclude a statue, or to instead include a generic statue of the Spiral Goddess and/or the Spiral God. I place my statues in the top center of the altar, just because I like them there.

Next comes the candles. My personal taste is three candles, one white, one red, and one black signifying the Goddess in her maiden, mother and crone phases respectively. These I put in the top center right in front of the statues, making sure they are far enough away from the statues not to drip wax on them or to set them on fire. There’s nothing more annoying during ritual than having things catch fire when you do not intend them to :-)

My cast iron cauldron with a chunk of charcoal in it goes in the center of the right hand side of my altar. I prefer cast iron cauldrons and charcoal to stick or cone incense, but your milage may vary and you can use what suits you best, of course. You can also place it anywhere you like, as I am merely using my set up as an example. I still use incense a lot in my rituals and in my everyday use in the house.

So we have our Fire (candles) and our Air (incense). Where’s our Earth? For Earth, I use an offering bowl . And in said offering bowl, I place some sea salt . So why would sea salt signify Earth instead of Water? Well, to me it’s a little of both. Salt comes from the earth and mixes with the water of the sea. You can, of course, put dirt in there, or anything else that signifies Earth to you. I put the Earth to the center left side of my altar.

And then, the either totally elaborate, utterly plain, or maybe even paper cup chalice . Anything that can hold water can be your chalice if it has that meaning for you. As we have said, the chalice holds the element of Water that you can use for your ritual. Whether you add salt to it to purify it or not is up to the type of ritual you are doing and your personal preference. I put the chalice in the center center part of the altar, in front of the candles and the statues.

That just leaves the athame and/or the wand. I like to use both, the athame to cast the circle, “cutting” out a sacred space beyond time, and the wand to direct power. I generally carry my athame on my degree cord around my waist, OR in the center of the altar to the front, in front of the chalice. I put the wand next to it.

So, that, in a nutshell, is altar set up. If you feel that your correspondences (i.e. must put Earth in the East, etc.) do not agree depending on the position of your altar, that’s all right. The important thing is that you understand WHY you are placing things where you are placing them, not that you copy someone else exactly. If it doesn’t have specific meaning to you, the ritual itself will not be as meaningful or powerful.

Feel free to comment or ask questions, here on the Contact Page, on Facebook, or at EverydayWiccanWays@gmail.com

By clnow3088

Drawing Energy from Mother Earth

In Wicca, energy and nature are one.  We know that Divine energy naturally flows through everything.  It connects us to each other and to the very world we live in. This energy can be manipulated and directed by our thoughts and activities, so it’s important to learn exactly what increases or drains it.  In this article we’ll explore how our Mother Earth can help us draw on this energy.

Many of us feel renewed after contact with our Mother Earth or one of her four elements.  Who hasn’t been refreshed by the feel of soft grass or cool earth beneath their feet, the fresh outdoor air, the warmth of the sun on their face or the relaxing sound of running water?  You don’t even need to be outside to draw on these energies.  Filling a room with plants, a water fountain, pictures or artwork of Nature and other gifts from your Mother Earth can also lift your spirit and raise your energy.  Your mind simply needs to visualize or sense the Earth and it will naturally begin to draw energy from the connection you have to her.

Mother Earth can also strengthen your energy by improving your overall psysical health.  In addition to fresh air, sunshine and pure water, you should allow your Mother Earth to bless your kitchen with an assortment of fresh, unprocessed foods.  Her bountiful gifts of living foods can help improve your health and increase your lifespan.  Spiritual leaders from many different paths also believe that these foods can actually enhance our ability to communicate with the Divine.

Sharing Your Energy and Gifts With Others
Once we learn how to raise or maintain our own energy, most of us feel the need to reach out and help others in any way we can.  One reader recently asked “Can I bring this gift to people who do not ask for it? Another wrote, “I now worry for my family who are non-wiccans. What can I do to protect them?”  I believe it pleases the Divine when we extend this positive energy to others.  Of course we should get the persons permission if we want to do serious energy work on them.  But as for sharing a smile, hug, kind words or some bit of knowledge you have about natural remedies, these are all perfectly acceptable ways to lift up and help strengthen a person’s spirit.  Best of all, when you give this positive energy away, it tends to multiply and return to you 3-fold!

What is YOUR favorite way to share positive energy with others?

Witchy Crafts: The Witches Ladder

Since olden times, feathers have been collected for magickal uses. One of the most famous charms using feathers is the Witches Ladder. To make a Witches Ladder, three different coloured yarns are braided together, the colours depending on the purpose of the spell. Nine feathers are worked into the braid.  Feather colours will depend on the type of magick you are working.

 The magickal qualities of feathers are determined by their colour, and sometimes by the birds from which they fell. Listed below is feather lore from European folk magick sources. You’ll find it differs slightly from that of colour symbolism in general.

 Found feathers are best. Walk in the wild, keeping your eyes open for these treasures.

 FEATHER  COLOUR &  MEANING

 WHITE –    White feathers symbolize purification, spirituality, hope, protection, peace, and blessings of the Moon.

  RED – Red feathers symbolize physical vitality, courage, good fortune, and life.

  BLUE –  Blue feathers symbolize  mental abilities, peace, protection. And psychic awareness.

 YELLOW –  Yellow feathers bring cheerfulness, mental alertness, prosperity, and blessings from the Sun.

  GREEN –  Green feathers symbolize money, prosperity, growth, health, and fertility. Green and red mixed feathers affect financial matters.

  ORANGE –  Orange feathers bring attraction, energy, and success.

  PINK – Pink feathers attract love.

  GRAY –  Gray feathers symbolize peace and neutrality.

  BROWN –  Brown feathers give stability and respect. They also symbolize the home and grounding.

  •  Brown feathers striped in black, like the tail feathers of a pheasant, give a balance between the physical and spiritual life.
  •  Brown feathers banded or mixed with white bring happiness and give the kind of protection that enables one to go unnoticed amidst those who would harm them.
  •  Brown and red mixed feathers bring healing to animals.

  BLACK –  Black feathers give the mystical wisdom that comes with true spiritual initiation. 

  • Black, iridescent feathers give mystical insight. Black and white mixed feathers give union and protection.
  • Black (or gray) feathers banded or mixed with white give hope, balance and harmony.
  • Black mixed with purple means deep spirituality.
  • Black, white, and blue mixed feathers brings change.

 PEACOCK FEATHERS – The “eye” on the end of the peacock tail feather protect against the “evil eye” and stimulates inner clairvoyant vision.

 ROOSTER FEATHERS – The rooster’s two prominent tail feathers (called sickles) are symbols of the God and Goddess.

  • The black ones are sacred to the God because of their resemblance to the curved horns of the Horned God. They are also a symbol of male virility.
  • The white ones are sacred to the Goddess because they resemble the tool (the sickle) with which grain (sacred to her) is reaped. They also resemble the waxing and waning Moon.

 

MAKING THE WITCHES LADDER

 Items needed:

     3 cords of equal length, each 3 feet long (Traditionally, these cords are red, black, and white for the three aspects for the Goddess, however you may substitute any color for its magickal correspondence.)

  •     9 feathers
  •     Ring on which to tie cords to anchor them while braiding (Optional)

 

Assemble materials. Cast circle or create sacred space. Light a candle in a colour corresponding to your magickal working. (Blue for peace, etc.) Burn incense which corresponds to your purpose. Have a small bowl of salt and a small bowl of water at your work space.

 If using a ring, tie one end of each of the three cords side by side to the ring. (You could even use a belt buckle or hanger). Anchor this ring to a doorknob, handle, or chair back. If not using a ring, tie one end of the cords together loosely. Begin to braid, saying this or a similar rhyme:

 

    Yarn of red, black, and white

    Work your magick spell this night.

 

As you braid, work all nine feathers (all one colour or a combination of colours, depending on your magickal intent) into the ladder, one at a time, as evenly spaced as possible. As you insert the feathers, begin this or a similar chant:

 

    With this feather and this string,

    Protection (or peace, etc) this charm will bring.

 

When all nine feathers have been tied onto the cord, and the length is braided, tie the ends of the cords together to make a circle (after removing the braid from the ring). Consecrate the ladder by passing it through the incense smoke and candle flame, asperge it with salt and water, saying:

 

    In the names of the Goddesses

    And the God

    By Air, Earth, Fire, and Water

    I consecrate this charm

    Of feathers nine and cord of three

    As I will, so mote it be!

 

Hang the witch’s ladder high in your house where it will not be seen by others, but where you can see it everyday.

19th Century witch's ladder found in Wellington, Somerset, England (now in Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford)

 

By clnow3088

Cleansing Tarot Cards

This is for Sara Bittick, who requested information. Keeping your cards clean is mostly a matter of common sense. They are made of paper, so if they get sticky or dirty, wipe them with a very slightly damp cloth and then wipe them dry immediately. But when people ask about “cleansing the cards” they are not usually asking about a bit of jam or pizza sauce that dripped on their Ace of Pentacles. What they really want to know about is how to energetically cleanse the cards.

When to Cleanse

As with so many things tarot-related, there are no absolutes. Here are some points when some readers feel the need to cleanse or clear their cards:

1. after a very challenging reading

2. after many readings in a row

3. before using a new deck

4. after the cards have lain dormant for a while

5. after a milestone, life change, or shift in spiritual belief

6. at certain times of the year, such as holidays, birthdays, or full moons

7. before using a second-hand deck

8. when feeling disconnected from the cards (this may be more of a case of the reader grounding his or herself rather than cleansing the cards)

9. if someone has touched your deck without your permission

How to Cleanse

As with the timing, there are a variety of ways that readers cleanse or clear their decks. As long as the method makes sense to and has meaning for you, then that method is perfectly valid. A clearing ritual can be as simple or as complicated as you like. I usually do a quick clearing technique (simply going through the deck one card at a time, touching each card, looking at it, making sure it is upright) when I’m working. For holidays or for welcoming a new deck, I usually do a more elaborate clearing and blessing ritual, to clear the cards, to imbue them with energy, and bond with them.

1. store your deck with a rose or clear quartz (or any other crystal that has meaning for you…for example, I like to use a Tiger’s Eye)

2. run your deck through the smoke of burning sage or other incense

3. lightly sprinkle your deck with sea salt dissolved in water (I have never done this, but have sprinkled dry sea salt on my cards in a blessing ritual; I just don’t want to risk putting water on my cards)

4. put all the cards upright and in order (Major Arcanas, 0 – 21; Wands, Ace – King, etc.)

5. shuffle the deck seven times (or whatever number has meaning for you)

6. set on the inside of a windowsill overnight during a full moon (I make sure it is a full moon that is in a sign that resonates energetically for me)

7. light a white candle (or purple, or whatever color represents the energy you want to bring to your cards), sit in front of the candle holding your cards. Pray, meditate, or visualize your cards becoming clear and/or cleansed.

By clnow3088

Meditation Techniques- Wicca

A Centering Meditation

Sit any way that you feel comfy, so long as your spine is straight. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take very long and very deep breaths through your nose. Each time you breathe in, hold it for 2 or 3 seconds and then slowly exhale. Continue this breathing until you feel very calm and peaceful. This usually takes 3-5 minutes ( but that is just me). Take as long as you need. It is different for everyone. Just go at your own pace. You can also use sound to center yourself. Just sit quietly and ring a small bell or chimes. Focus on the soft sound and breathe deeply. Keep making the noise until you feel centered.

 

 

A Grounding Technique

This works great for those times in school or at work when you just can’t seem to keep your feet still or relax. Place your feet flat on the floor and breathe in deeply. On the exhale, picture the excess energy flowing out of your feet and into the Earth. Keep doing this until you feel calm. Usually my feet feel very heavy after doing this. My friends have gotten the same feeling too when doing this, so I guess it is just a normal sensation.

 

 

How To Find A Mantra That Fits You

Sit in a comfy position. Picture yourself leaving your body and travel up to the cosmos. See yourself sitting calmly in the center of the Universe. Concentrate on the stars, then after a few minutes of gazing at them, a few of the stars will glow a bright baby blue. Concentrate on one bright blue star at a time. As you gaze at that particular star, you may hear a phrase or word whispered in your head. Repeat what you hear and focus inward. If the mantra is right for you, you will know it within. If it is not right for you, simply gaze at another blue star and repeat this until you find a mantra that fits you. After you find a mantra, thank the Universe and feel yourself slowly descending from the sky, back into your body. When you open your eyes, you might feel a little tired or drained. I find that drinking a nice cold cup of juice re-energizes my body. You might also wish to have a small snack. Milk and juice are ideal for recharging yourself.

 

 

Meditating On Your Mantra

Sit in a comfy position and center yourself. During this meditation, you can sing, say, whisper, or think your mantra. All that matters is that you focus on your mantra and nothing else. That’s it. You can do this for as long as you like.

 

 

A Chakra Meditation

You can do this meditation either standing or lying down, however it is important to not cross your legs or arms since this will close your energy loop. Center yourself. Hold your right hand a few inches above your Root Chakra. Focus on this spot and hold this focus for a moment. Picture energy coming down from the Universe and flowing through your hand, into the chakra. Each time you inhale, feel more energy being drawn into the chakra. When you feel a comfy warmness in this area, move onto the next chakra and keep doing so until you have charged all of your chakras. This exercise is very helpful for when you are feeling out of balance. It also helps during times of physical illness. YOU SHOULD STILL SEE A DOCTOR IF YOUR CONDITION IS SERIOUS. This is not a substitute for a doctor’s care, it is an aid to help strengthen the healing process. If you wish, you can hold crystals/stones in your hands while doing this or place the appropriate stone on the appropriate chakra. The corresponding stones are:

Red Jasper–Root Chakra

Carnelian–Sexual Chakra

Tiger’s Eye–Solar Plexus Chakra

Aventurine–Heart Chakra

Sodalite–Throat Chakra

Lapis Lazuli–Third Eye Chakra

Amethyst–Crown Chakra

 

 

Balancing And Clarifying Your Chakras

Here are some chakra color treatments to put you back in balance. For the following, visualize each specific color penetrating and cleansing that chakra. This is a good way to balance yourself in the morning before getting up and starting your day.

Root Chakra:

A very bright shade of red.

Sexual Chakra:

A clear shade of orange.

Solar Plexus Chakra:

A bright and sunny yellow.

Heart Chakra:

You can visualize a bright green or a bright pink. Both are seen as the color of this chakra.

Throat Chakra:

A light shade of blue.

Third Eye Chakra:

A transparent indigo.

Crown Chakra:

Violet or white are both seen as the color of this chakra.

Banishing Curses and Negative Spirits

 

Do you feel cursed? Are negative events in your life happening more frequently than you think they should? I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that these negative energies can be dealt with if you understand how they work. The bad news is that there are no words you can utter or incense you can burn that will make all the negative in this world magically disappear. Negative energy is something we have to deal with on a regular basis. There is no getting around it. The goal of this article is to help you better understand why it’s in your life and assist you in finding effective ways to deal with it.

To begin with, it’s important for you to understand that your thoughts and actions are affected by the energy of the places you go and the people you see. Between financial challenges, relationship problems, health issues and family or friends constantly sharing their problems with us, no one is really immune to negative energy.

To make matters worse, worrying about curses or harmful energies will only give them power.  The moment you start to wonder if you have been cursed, negative events can escalate. And any negative thoughts or feelings you harbor can prevent you from receiving special blessings in your life. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to fill your mind with positive, peaceful and loving thoughts every day, until there is simply no room for any negative energies. Clearing your mind of the negative is only half the battle. If you don’t fill it with the thoughts you want, negative thoughts will eventually work their way back in.

We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. How we choose to handle the challenges we face each day will ultimately determine whether we are blessed or cursed. Below is an excerpt from Lesson 10 of our Living Wicca Today publications summarizing this idea:

“Whether a situation turns out to be a blessing or a curse may ultimately depend on how you choose to respond.  While problems can cause pain, they can also provide a wonderful opportunity for growth.  When you view your problem as a challenge to conquer, or an opportunity to discover a creative solution, that’s what you will do … and you’ll be a stronger person for it.  For those who can stay positive, struggle and crisis can turn into new growth and success.”

If someone is actually sending negative energy your way, you most likely know who it is. The real question is what do you do about it? Too many people come to Wicca.com seeking a spell or a pendant that will protect them from certain individuals or bad spirits. In movies, we are led to believe that we can open up a book of shadows, utter a few special words, and our problems are solved! Or we are told that if we wear a special pendant, it will protect us from negative spirits and energies.

On our website you won’t find any spells posted that banish evil spirits and solve all your problems. Instead, we encourage you to create your own magic. The actual strength of any spell or pendant depends largely on its ability to tap in to YOUR inner power. In other words, you already have the ability to create the world you want. Magical spells and tools are simply used to assist you in directing this energy. Write your spells in your own words, and use tools or charms that have special meaning to you.

For example, when I look at the Goddess Tree of Life pendant, I am reminded that the energy flowing through my life comes from my Mother Earth, and as I grow in strength, I should strive to branch out like the tree, offering comfort and sharing the fruits of my life with others. When you wear a symbol that reflects your beliefs, it gives added strength to what you think or feel.  This type of pendant is much more powerful than one you simply purchased in hopes it would somehow protect you or bring you money. Again, the power to change things is within YOU, not the pendant! The stronger your mind or intent is, the more effective your magic will be.

Of course your own spirit must be strong if you hope to banish any unwanted spirits or negative energies that you do come into contact with. If life is currently extra tough, or if the actions of others are completely draining your energy, you can count on Mother Earth to be there for you, waiting to comfort you and renew your spirit.  Her Divine energy is far stronger than any individual or group of people that may be sending negative energy your way. Stay connected to her.  The Divine has always existed in Nature and always will. Spend a little time with your Mother Earth and she will help you find the strength to face any conflicts or challenges in your life.  Harmful thought-forms sent out by others will tend to bounce off and fade away if your own energy is strong!

If you can’t go outdoors as much as you’d like, simply surround yourself with special pieces from Mother Nature to remind you of her. Set up a desktop fountain for the sound of running water, collect rocks & gemstones, a twisted tree branch or wood box you can hold and touch, and gather fresh flowers to bring the fragrance of a magical garden into your home.

Finally, one reader asked me what to do when negative or unwanted spirits possessed an entire property. This is a big job, but the principle is the same. Remove anything you can that gives you negative vibes, and fill the area with new plants, young trees or other things that inspire you and lift your spirit. If you simply try to remove the negative without filling the area with beautiful things that you love, the negative can easily return.

By clnow3088

How to make Talismans and Amulets

About Talismans and Amulets
 
Before we begin, it is important to distinguish between the two! So what is an Amulet exactly? An Amulet is a “natural” object, that can be used (when consecrated) for many purposes- like protection, luck, health, etc. also to attract and repel things. While a Talisman, on the other hand, is a “man-made” object that also has a similar purpose to those previously stated.  Note that Amulets, a lot of the time are used to prevent/repel things while talismans are often used as transmitters/ projectors/ attractors of some sort.
 
How to make an Amulet:
 
Like mentioned before, an Amulet is made from a natural object, so we won’t be making it per say. What we are doing is simply making it wear-able!
 
An excellent example of this is a Hag stone! (For those who don’t know what a Hag stone is, it’s basically a stone that has been naturally worn away with water to have a large hole (or holes). Like this:
Then, to be worn as an Amulet, you can do this with cords:
But in the creation process of making the Hag stone wearable (or which ever natural object you have), you need to cleanse it and consecrate it. So for this example, the Hag stone, known for it’s protective qualities, it can be first cleansed is water with salt. Also it can be passed through the smoke of burning herbs (like lavender or etc.) or incense. After purified, as you are charging it with your energy, you can request that your deities bestow their protection onto it so that it’s wearer will be protected as well.
 
Also, it’s handy to know that you don’t have to leave the “natural object” in it’s original state. You can carve or paint onto it as well for increased magical potency!
 
Now to move on to Talismans…
 
How to Make a Talisman-
Like previously mentioned before, talismans are “man made” for the most part. You can include parts made from nature- like crystals, but it will still be considered a Talisman.
Anywho, so here is what you need to do:
  1. Get the main special object- it can be a pendant like mine, or it can be something as simple as a ring. You can even make it from clay or metal (having a special sigil or symbol on it can play an extremely important role in the talismans function.) But ultimately a talisman can be made from any material.
  2. Determine what the talisman’s purpose is. Will it be used for healing? To draw love? Protection? Also choosing the right “time” to do it is also helpful. (Like paying attention to the phases of the moon for increasing strength/effectiveness, etc)
  3. Place that object on a chain. You can put semi-precious stones on the strand like I did to further promote the intended desire of the Talisman. (Further, it’s helpful if you are in a semi-meditative state when you do this.)
    a. Another note: if you place stones along the chain or certain objects, you can use it as a way to place more spells on it, and activate them whenever you need them.
  4. Charge the Talisman with your energy. (Feel your energy build inside of you then allow it to flow through you and into the talisman. You can also ask for your deities to bestow their blessing, protection etc. onto it as well.) When you feel it is “full” you can stop.
  5. If there is any residue energy left over in you, just ground yourself.
 
That’s it my friends! That’s how you make Amulets and Talismans! Pretty easy huh?

Meditation- Why and How

Why Learn to Meditate

Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.

The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions. If we train in meditation, our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Usually we find it difficult to control our mind. It seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind – blown here and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. For example, if we get what we want, such as a new possession or a new partner, we become excited and cling to them tightly. However, since we cannot have everything we want, and since we will inevitably be separated from the friends and possessions we currently enjoy, this mental stickiness, or attachment, serves only to cause us pain. On the other hand, if we do not get what we want, or if we lose something that we like, we become despondent or irritated. For example, if we are forced to work with a colleague whom we dislike, we will probably become irritated and feel aggrieved, with the result that we will be unable to work with him or her efficiently and our time at work will become stressful and unrewarding.

By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind

Such fluctuations of mood arise because we are too closely involved in the external situation. We are like a child making a sandcastle who is excited when it is first made, but who becomes upset when it is destroyed by the incoming tide. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency.
If we train in meditation systematically, eventually we will be able to eradicate from our mind the delusions that are the causes of all our problems and suffering. In this way, we will come to experience a permanent inner peace, known as “liberation” or “nirvana”. Then, day and night in life after life, we will experience only peace and happiness.

Breathing Meditations

Generally, the purpose of breathing meditation is to calm the mind and develop inner peace. We can use breathing meditations alone or as a preliminary practice to reduce our distractions before engaging in a Lamrim meditation.

A Simple Breathing Meditation

The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practicing a simple breathing meditation. We choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. We can sit in the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. If we wish, we can sit in a chair. The most important thing is to keep our back straight to prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.

The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid.

We sit with our eyes partially closed and turn our attention to our breathing. We breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control our breath, and we try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is our object of meditation. We should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

At first, our mind will be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making our mind busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we should immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.

Benefits of Meditation

If we practice patiently in this way, gradually our distracting thoughts will subside and we will experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation. Our mind will feel lucid and spacious and we will feel refreshed. When the sea is rough, sediment is churned up and the water becomes murky, but when the wind dies down the mud gradually settles and the water becomes clear. In a similar way, when the otherwise incessant flow of our distracting thoughts is calmed through concentrating on the breath, our mind becomes unusually lucid and clear. We should stay with this state of mental calm for a while.
Even though breathing meditation is only a preliminary stage of meditation, it can be quite powerful. We can see from this practice that it is possible to experience inner peace and contentment just by controlling the mind, without having to depend at all upon external conditions.

So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind

When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. This feeling of contentment and well-being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggravated by this stress. Just by doing breathing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress. We will experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usual problems will fall away. Difficult situations will become easier to deal with, we will naturally feel warm and well disposed towards other people, and our relationships with others will gradually improve.

Transforming Meditations

Meditation is a method for acquainting our mind with virtue. The more familiar our mind is with virtue, the calmer and more peaceful it becomes. When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness. If we train our mind to become peaceful we shall be happy all the time, even in the most adverse conditions, but if our mind is not peaceful, then even if we have the most pleasant external conditions we shall not be happy. Therefore it is important to train our mind through meditation.

When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness.

There are two types of meditation: analytical meditation and placement meditation. When we contemplate the meaning of a Dharma instruction that we have heard or read we are doing analytical meditation. By deeply contemplating the instruction, eventually we reach a conclusion or cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise. This is the object of placement meditation. Having found our object through analytical meditation, we then concentrate on it single-pointedly for as long as possible to become deeply acquainted with it. This single-pointed concentration is placement meditation. Often, analytical meditation is called simply `contemplation’, and placement meditation simply `meditation’. Placement meditation depends upon contemplation, and contemplation depends upon listening to or reading Dharma instructions.

Since most of the problems we experience when we are new to meditation come from over straining at placement meditation, it is important to be moderate and avoid becoming tense from exerting too much pressure. The effort we apply should be relaxed and steady, and whenever we become tired we should rest.

Meditation Posture

When we practice meditation we need to have a comfortable seat and a good posture.

When we practice meditation we need to have a comfortable seat and a good posture. The most important feature of the posture is to keep our back straight. To help us do this, if we are sitting on a cushion we make sure that the back of the cushion is slightly higher than the front, inclining our pelvis slightly forward. It is not necessary at first to sit cross-legged, but it is a good idea to become accustomed to sitting in the posture of Buddha Vairochana. If we cannot hold this posture we should sit in one which is as close to this as possible while remaining comfortable.

The seven features of Vairochana’s posture are:

(1) The legs are crossed in the vajra posture. This helps to reduce thoughts and feelings of desirous attachment.
(2) The right hand is placed in the left hand, palms upwards, with the tips of the thumbs slightly raised and gently touching. The hands are held about four fingers’ width below the navel. This helps us to develop good concentration. The right hand symbolizes method and the left hand symbolizes wisdom – the two together symbolize the union of method and wisdom. The two thumbs at the level of the navel symbolize the blazing of inner fire.
(3) The back is straight but not tense. This helps us to develop and maintain a clear mind, and it allows the subtle energy winds to flow freely.
(4) The lips and teeth are held as usual, but the tongue touches against the back of the upper teeth. This prevents excessive salivation while also preventing our mouth from becoming too dry.
(5) The head is tipped a little forward with the chin slightly tucked in so that the eyes are cast down. This helps prevent mental excitement.
(6) The eyes are neither wide open nor completely closed, but remain half open and gaze down along the line of the nose. If the eyes are wide open we are likely to develop mental excitement and if they are closed we are likely to develop mental sinking.
(7) The shoulders are level and the elbows are held slightly away from the sides to let air circulate.

If we want to color our mind with a virtuous motivation we need to clear away all our negative thoughts and distractions.

A further feature of Vairochana’s posture is the preliminary breathing meditation, which prepares our mind for developing a good motivation. When we sit down to meditate our mind is usually full of disturbing thoughts, and we cannot immediately convert such a state of mind into the virtuous one we need as our motivation. A negative, disturbed state of mind is like pitch-black cloth. We cannot dye pitch-black cloth any other color unless we first remove all the black dye and make the cloth white again. In the same way, if we want to color our mind with a virtuous motivation we need to clear away all our negative thoughts and distractions. We can accomplish this temporarily by practicing breathing meditation.

Breathing Meditation

When we have settled down comfortably on our meditation seat we begin by becoming aware of the thoughts and distractions that are arising in our mind. Then we gently turn our attention to our breath, letting its rhythm remain normal. As we breathe out we imagine that we are breathing away all disturbing thoughts and distractions in the form of black smoke that vanishes in space. As we breathe in we imagine that we are breathing in all the blessings and inspiration of the holy beings in the form of white light that enters our body and absorbs into our heart. We maintain this visualization single-pointedly with each inhalation and exhalation for twenty-one rounds, or until our mind has become peaceful and alert. If we concentrate on our breathing in this way, negative thoughts and distractions will temporarily disappear because we cannot concentrate on more than one object at a time. At the conclusion of our breathing meditation we should think `Now I have received the blessings and inspiration of all the holy beings.’ At this stage our mind is like a clean white cloth which we can now color with a virtuous motivation such as compassion or bodhichitta.

Loving Kindness Meditation

All living beings deserve to be cherished because of the tremendous kindness they have shown us.

The five stages of the meditation:

  • 1.Preparation
  • 2.Contemplation
  • 3. Meditation
  • 4. Dedication
  • 5. Subsequent Practice

1. Preparation

We sit in the meditation posture as explained above and prepare our mind for meditation with breathing meditation. If we like we can also engage in the preparatory prayers.

2. Contemplation

All living beings deserve to be cherished because of the tremendous kindness they have shown us. All our temporary and ultimate happiness arises through their kindness. Even our body is the result of the kindness of others. We did not bring it with us from our previous life – it developed from the union of our father’s sperm and mother’s ovum. Once we had been conceived our mother kindly allowed us to stay in her womb, nourishing our body with her blood and warmth, putting up with great discomfort, and finally going through the painful ordeal of childbirth for our sake. We came into this world naked and empty-handed and were immediately given a home, food, clothes, and everything else we needed. While we were a helpless baby our mother protected us from danger, fed us, cleaned us, and loved us. Without her kindness we would not be alive today.

The mere fact that we are alive today is a testimony to the great kindness of others.

Through receiving a constant supply of food, drink, and care, our body gradually grew from that of a tiny helpless baby to the body we have now. All this nourishment was directly or indirectly provided by countless living beings. Every cell of our body is therefore the result of others’ kindness. Even those who have never known their mother have received nourishment and loving care from other people. The mere fact that we are alive today is a testimony to the great kindness of others.

It is because we have this present body with human faculties that we are able to enjoy all the pleasures and opportunities of human life. Even simple pleasures such as going for a walk or watching a beautiful sunset can be seen to be a result of the kindness of innumerable living beings. Our skills and abilities all come from the kindness of others; we had to be taught how to eat, how to walk, how to talk, and how to read and write. Even the language we speak is not our own invention but the product of many generations. Without it we could not communicate with others nor share their ideas. We could not read this book, learn Dharma, nor even think clearly. All the facilities we take for granted, such as houses, cars, roads, shops, schools, hospitals, and cinemas, are produced solely through others’ kindness. When we travel by bus or car we take the roads for granted, but many people worked very hard to build them and make them safe for us to use.

Everyone who contributes in any way towards our happiness and well-being is deserving of our gratitude.

The fact that some of the people who help us may have no intention of doing so is irrelevant. We receive benefit from their actions, so from our point of view this is a kindness. Rather than focusing on their motivation, which in any case we do not know, we should focus on the practical benefit we receive. Everyone who contributes in any way towards our happiness and well-being is deserving of our gratitude and respect. If we had to give back everything that others have given us, we would have nothing left at all.

We might argue that we are not given things freely but have to work for them. When we go shopping we have to pay, and when we eat in a restaurant we have to pay. We may have the use of a car, but we had to buy the car, and now we have to pay for petrol, tax, and insurance. No one gives us anything for free. But from where do we get this money? It is true that generally we have to work for our money, but it is others who employ us or buy our goods, and so indirectly it is they who provide us with money. Moreover, the reason we are able to do a particular job is that we have received the necessary training or education from other people. Wherever we look, we find only the kindness of others. We are all interconnected in a web of kindness from which it is impossible to separate our-self. Everything we have and everything we enjoy, including our very life, is due to the kindness of others. In fact, every happiness there is in the world arises as a result of others’ kindness.

Our spiritual development and the pure happiness of full enlightenment also depend upon the kindness of living beings.

Our spiritual development and the pure happiness of full enlightenment also depend upon the kindness of living beings. Buddhist centers, Dharma books, and meditation courses do not arise out of thin air but are the result of the hard work and dedication of many people. Our opportunity to read, contemplate, and meditate on Buddha’s teachings depends entirely upon the kindness of others. Moreover, as explained later, without living beings to give to, to test our patience, or to develop compassion for, we could never develop the virtuous qualities needed to attain enlightenment.

In short, we need others for our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Without others we are nothing. Our sense that we are an island, an independent, self-sufficient individual, bears no relation to reality. It is closer to the truth to picture our-self as a cell in the vast body of life, distinct yet intimately bound up with all living beings. We cannot exist without others, and they in turn are affected by everything we do. The idea that it is possible to secure our own welfare whilst neglecting that of others, or even at the expense of others, is completely unrealistic.

3. Meditation

Contemplating the innumerable ways in which others help us, we should make a firm decision: `I must cherish all living beings because they are so kind to me.’ Based on this determination we develop a feeling of cherishing – a sense that all living beings are important and that their happiness matters. We try to mix our mind single-pointedly with this feeling and maintain it for as long as we can without forgetting it.

4. Dedication

We dedicate all the virtues we have created in this meditation practice to the welfare of all living beings by reciting the dedication prayers.

5. Subsequent Practice

When we arise from meditation we try to maintain this mind of love, so that whenever we meet or remember someone we naturally think: `This person is important, this person’s happiness matters.’ In this way we can make cherishing living beings our main practice.