The Opening of the Gates

This is how the solar eclipse looked from my hometown in Mexico. Notice the two pillars of light at each end. The moon is right in the middle Blessings to all of you!

A Day of Eclipses, Elixirs, and Other Brews...

Good morning to all. I wanted to take this little opportunity first and foremost to thank you for following this well-intended blog. Secondly, I wanted to say how sorry I am that I have not been able to keep it as up-to-date as I want to, but I am taking control of my life once more, getting back on that ridding horse and moving on after the whirlpool of events that almost drowned my soul. Yet, there is light after all, and once you achieve it, there is no stopping you from returning from that land of lost souls to help others.

Today marks a very special occasion, as a Solar Eclipse is upon us. If you wish more information about the whens and wheres, here is a link to the Huffington Post website that tells you all about it (HERE). As for me? I plan to enjoy one of the most magnificent things this universe has to offer. During this event, all those energies we have been gathering around (good and bad) can be renewed, as the energies of the sun combine with those of Earth and the moon. 

Check out this post at Gypsy Magic about the 2012 Solar Eclipse.

Happy magic, everyone! 

13 Goals of a Witch

By Lady Abigail
from Ravensgrove Coven


The Thirteen Goals of a Witch

These goals were written by Scott Cunningham. I find them very important and significant. What I love about them is that they are not a bunch of lofty, unattainable goals. They are a way of life, and realistic things that can be achieved through work and dedication. I think that we should remind ourselves of them daily. Have them written somewhere in your home. Know them by heart and say them out loud to yourself every day.

Know yourself
Who are you? Do you really know all there is to know about yourself? Getting to know who we are is a life time journey. We are always growing and changing. The exploration of the soul is the most important journey you will ever make...and the longest one too :)

Know your Craft
The Craft. So many different ways of worship. So many traditions! Knowing your chosen Craft path doesn't end when you have read all the 'right' books or after initiation. That is, in a sense the beginning of knowing your Craft.

To achieve any of these goals, you must be on a constant quest to learn more. More about yourself, your Craft and the world around you.

Apply knowledge with wisdom
Some people seem to think that these 2 words are interchangeable. They are not. Knowledge is what you know. You gain knowledge through various forms of study. Wisdom is something else entirely. It is something that can not be taught. It is that which you gain through experience and intuition.
Combine your knowledge with your wisdom.

Achieve balance
This seems to be something of a challenge as many of us have busy lives. We have many responsibilities and it can be difficult at times to just stop..take a deep breath , and put your personal priorities into perspective. This means creating balance in your life. Spiritual, emotional and physical. If you don't have balance, you're unbalanced. It's as simple as that. Make time to achieve balance...you won't regret it.

Keep your thoughts in good order
Self explanatory.

Keep your words in good order
Self explanatory but the quotes "Speak little, listen much" come to mind, along with "Think before you speak".

Celebrate life

Enjoy your life! Celebrate it and all of the wonders it brings you. There is cause for celebration every day. From the simple things like waking up, enjoying a nice cup of tea or a warm bath to the more obvious ones. In Pagan books of days, you see that everyday is cause for celebration.

Attune with the cycles of the Earth
This can be a tough thing to do if your schedule seems destined to keep you indoors. Working long hours in a concrete building with no window, driving in grid lock traffic and then rushing to take care of your house hold tasks. Our ways worship the Earth and there are ways (no matter how busy you are) to attune with the cycles of the Earth.. It just takes some creativity and imagination.

Breathe and eat correctly
The importance of eating correctly is fairly obvious. You are what you eat. Unfortunately, since healthy living has come in to major focus, many have become confused about just what is and is not good for you. There are, however some foods that never come into question. Fresh fruits/ vegetables and grains. A balanced diet that includes these every day is essential. Breathing is something that is not discussed very much. There are yoga and meditation books and web pages that do discuss the importance of adopting a calm, slow and deep breathing pattern.

Exercise the body

Self explanatory.

Meditation is (in my opinion) as important to your health as a proper diet and regular exercise. It is also imperative, along with visualization for successful rituals, spells and divination.

Honor the Goddess and God
Self explanatory.

The Rose

 (From "Sticks, Stones, Roots, and Bones" by Stephanie Rose Bird)

No other plant is as intimately linked to love as the rose (Rosa spp.). When working with roses, seek out the old-fashioned scented types, such as those listed below, rather than the more neutral tea roses. Roses are beautiful, and like the lotus, they suggest female genitalia in the height of passion. The blush of the rose is often linked to the blush of a bride or a sexual partner during orgasm. In parts of Africa and the Middle East, holy temples are spiritually cleansed entirely with highly potent Bulgarian rose water. Rose water enhances the sacred environment.

A little-known fact is that roses are a systemic nervine (translation: they calm and soothe your nerves). Only your imagination sets the limits when it comes to using roses in love-drawing potions and tricks.

Old-Fashioned Shrub Roses for the Hoodoo's Garden

1. Apothecary's Rose -- This is a richly fragance, medicinal rose with a spicy scent.

2. Belle de Crecy -- This is considered the purest rose scent.

3. Bulgarian Rose and Damask -- The sweet, fragant roses from which quality rose water and attar of roses is made.

4. Celestial -- Contains the aroma of clean skin.

5. Madam Isaac Pereire, Guinee, and Souvenir de la Malmaison -- These are stunning and fragant.

6. Maiden's Blush -- This is considered to be refined.


The Origins of Brighid

by Paula Jean West
CIRCLE Magazine On Line
Brighid, the Goddess to whom I had dedicated myself, is the Celtic Goddess of inspiration, healing, and smithcraft. She is one of the best examples of the survival of a Pagan Goddess into Christian times. She was canonized as St. Brigit by the Roman Catholic Church and various stories are given of Her origins and Her life. She was a Druid's daughter, described in the Carmina Gadelica as the "daughter of Dugall the brown." She is reported to have predicted the coming of Christianity and to have been baptized by St. Patrick. Popular folk tales describe Her as the midwife to the Virgin Mary, and She is thus always called upon by women in labor. The Christian St. Brigit was a nun, and later an Abbess, who founded an Abbey at Kildare in Ireland. She was said to have had the power to appoint the bishops of Her area, an unlikely role for an Abbess, made stranger by Her unusual requirement that these bishops also be practicing goldsmiths.

In ancient times, the Goddess Brighid had a shrine at Kildare, with a perpetual flame tended by nineteen virgin priestesses called Daughters of the Flame. No man was permitted to come near Brighid's shrine and neither did Her priestesses consort with men. Even food and supplies were brought to the priestesses by women from the nearby village. When Catholicism overtook Ireland, Brighid's Fire Temple became a convent and the priestesses became nuns, but the same traditions were upheld and the eternal flame kept burning. Each day a different priestess/nun was in charge of the sacred fire and on the 20th day of each cycle, the fire was miraculously tended by the Goddess/Saint Herself.

For more than a thousand years thereafter, the sacred flame was tended by nuns. In 1220 CE, though, the Bishop became angered by the no-males policy of the Abbey of St. Brigid of Kildare. He insisted that nuns were subordinate to priests and must open their abbey and submit to inspection by a priest. When the Brigidine nuns refused and asked for another Abbess or other female official to perform the inspections, the Bishop was furious. He decreed that the keeping of the eternal flame was a Pagan custom, and ordered the sacred flame to be extinguished. Despite this persecution, St. Brigit remains to this day the most popular saint in Ireland, along with St. Patrick. In the1960s, though, Vatican II declared there was insufficient proof of St. Brigit's sanctity, or even of Her historical existence, and She was decanonized, so that the Roman Church's campaign against Her became successful. Recently, however, despite the initial protests of the Roman Catholic church, two nuns, by the name of Sister Mary and Sister Phil, have reestablished the worship of St. Brigit at Kildare and have relit Her sacred flame, which burns once more. The first modern Candlemas/Imbolc celebration at the ancient site of Brighid's sacred well in 1997 drew hundreds of people and grows every year in popularity. The flame of Brighid's love burns brightly once more.
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