Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Alan Hefner describes the Green Man:
A legendary pagan deity who roams the woodlands of the British Isles and Europe. He usually is depicted as a horned man peering out of a mask of foliage, usually the sacred oak. He is known by other names such as "Green Jack, "Jack-in-the-Green" and "Green George." He represents spirits of trees, plants and foliage. It is believed he has rain making powers to foster livestock with lush meadows. He was frequently depicted in medieval art, including church decorations.
Green George, as he is usually called in spring Pagan rites, is represented by a young man dressed head to foot in greenery, who leads the festival procession. In various festivals, Green George, or an effigy of him, is dunked in a river or pond to ensure that there will be enough rain to make the meadows and pastures green. It is also believed by some the Green Man shares an affinity with the forest-dwelling fairies since green is the fairy color. In some locals of the British Isles the fairies are called "Greenies" and "Greencoaties." In the myth of "The Fairy Children," there appears two fairy children, a brother and a sister, who have green skin and claim to be of a race with green skin.
The Green Man is linked to nature sprites and corresponds to the horned god (for example - Cernunnos, Tammuz and Damuzi, Herne, Pan, and Osiris).
Monday, July 28, 2008
Note the methodological similarities between calculating Witchcraft's planetary hours and calculating Judaism's halachic hours. Both Witchcraft and Judaism use these time calculations to determine the best time to do ritual work.
CALCULATING PLANETARY HOURS
Source: Bewitching Ways
The planetary days are divided into 24 planetary hours with the first hour of the day beginning at sunrise and the last hour of the day ending at sunrise of the next planetary day. The period that extends from sunrise to sunset (daylight) is divided into 12 hours and the period extending from sunset to sunrise of the next day (nighttime) is also divided into 12 hours giving the 24 hours of the planetary day. However, the term Hour does not necessarily mean 60 minutes.
These influences can either help or dissolve your effort so it is important to calculate carefully.
Your planetary hours are specific to your exact location. In order to calculate your planetary hours, you will need to know the sunrise and sunset for your area. You can get this from your local newscast, newspaper or online.
Now comes the math.
1. Figure out how many minutes there will be between Sunrise and sunset
For example, say the sunrise is 6 a.m. and sunset is 8 p.m. There would be 840 minutes of daylight.
2. You then divide that number by 12 to get the number of minutes in each planetary hour of the day.
840/12= 70. So, each day planetary hour in our example would be 70 minutes long.
3. Divide your day hours into planetary hours using the minutes as your guide for increment
hour 1 in our example: 6-7:10 a.m.
Hour 2: 7:10-8:20 a.m. etc.
4. Repeat process for time between Sunset and Sunrise (for the next day) to figure out your night planetary hours.
CALCULATING HALACHIC HOURS
Source: Halachic Times (original source taken offline, info abstracted from earlier Craftwork Of A Jewitch entry, new source - from Ask Moses - What is 'Halachic Time' or a "Halachic Hour'?)
The normal calendar that we use divides a day into 24 equal hours. Normally, noon is approximately the midpoint between sunrise and sunset, and of course midnight is approximately the midpoint between sunset and sunrise. This is thrown off, of course, by daylight savings time and other minor factors.
The "Jewish day" (daytime part) divides the time between sunrise and sunset into 12 equal parts that are often called "halachic hours". Since on average, sunrise is around 6am and sunset is around 6pm, we can call sunrise "Halachic 6am" and sunset "Halachic 6pm". This will then make it easy to describe the 12 halachic hours of daylight.
The times for morning, afternoon, and evening prayers are based on the notion of the halachic day. Also, the times for the start and end of the Sabbath, fasts, etc.. all use the Halachic day, although in some cases fixed times are used. For example, candlelighting on Friday night is always 18 real minutes before sunset, not 18 halachic minutes.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Although I have only identified myself as a witch for a few years, I have been a practitioner of Jewish Kabbalah for nearly 15 years. Kabbalah is the Jewish mystical tradition, and is also the mystical system employed by many ceremonial magicians and members of the Golden Dawn. (Just for the record, I am neither a ceremonial magician nor a member of the Golden Dawn.)
I have had shamanic-mystical experiences since I was born, so I consider myself a natural witch-shaman. I was also born with and continue to have conscious memory of my preincarnate soul's journey into manifest existence - the memory has remained with me throughout my life. While all souls make the journey in some form, few remember it. I am one who remembers it. It is an ever-present link to other realms of consciousness and being.
Nevertheless that I consider myself a natural witch, in the course of my spiritual development, when I cognitively recognized myself to be a witch, I dedicated myself to the craft as a solitary, in active ritual recognition of my witchblood (as Veronica Cummer describes in her excellent book, Sorgitzak) .
Witchblood - I love the way the word sounds. It soothes my spirit. So primordial and true to reality, it is. Given the reality of witchblood in general, it makes sense to me that I personally draw from several spiritual traditions in my own practice. I am a tapestry of many peoples - Welsh, British, Irish, Germanic, Jewish and Native American (Anishnaabek and Tsalagi). The unique traditions of all these peoples are part of my heritage, part of my witchblood.
Significant to my dedication to the craft as a solitary witch, even though I had a small BOS already in use at the time, I purchased a custom made artisan handcrafted Book of Shadows. A huge expense for me at a time when cash was not plentiful, the purchase itself was sacred, and invested with my hopes and dreams for my future and continued development as a witch 'out of the broom closet' of my own consciousness.
My mystical journey over the decade and a half prior to coming out as a witch had been tumultuous, painful, full of rejection and replete with seriously harmful descrimination from both secular and religious communities of all kinds. My life was battered and scarred.
Within the milieu of a tattered life, after assimilating the practice of witchcraft for only a short time into my usual practices of the time, the practices of witchcraft quickly and effortlessly balanced out what had been missing in my mystical practice for years. It was upon this realization that witchcraft was vital to me spiritually, that I decided and acted to dedicate myself as a witch. Walking the path of a kabbalistic shamanic druidic witch is my bliss. All of these paths are in me, some more than others certainly, but all of them are part of me nevertheless. I am still blooming as a witch, as a kabbalist, as a mystic, as a druid, as a shaman, as a human being. Tomorrow I will be more than I am today. Witchcraft has brought my life into balance and given me steadfast joy. My Book of Shadows is a testament to that. Consequently, commissioning the craft of my Book of Shadows was a healing act for me as well as integral to my rite of dedication.
Shown above is a Book of Shadows similar to the one I commissioned in March of 2007 and received a few months after that. My BOS is like the one shown except my book is black as opposed to brown. When not in use, my BOS is stored in a special place under the permanent altar set up in my bedroom. The leather of my book is deeply and exquisitely wrinkled. The spine has five corded sashes with a pentacle set into the spine at the third cord. The end papers are marbled black. The inner aged parchment pages are huge - 11 by 14 inches! The edges of the 500 pages are particularly spectacular, hand-burned, like the book has been plucked from a fire. My book is a gorgeous piece of handcrafted artwork and I love it.
Friday, July 25, 2008
In follow-up to my previous post (Cutting & Clearing Negativity Spell), some spellwork notes:
The spell candle was stone charged with clear quartz crystal and lit during the planetary hour of Saturn (reish) with the third quarter moon 48% full.
Forty-eight centimeters equals a cubit.
When something approaches the end of its "measure," it is reduced to a single cubit. The Essence
The power of any negative energies over me has reached its end.
So mote it be.
"כ"ב תמוז התשס"ח
The moon entered taurus (the bull) today, creating a powerful opportunity for spellcasting an end to the bull's negative energy.
Cutting & Clearing Incense
Using an olive wood mortar and pestle, during the third quarter moon 50% full and the planetary hour of Mars, I made the loose incense for this evening's shabbat witchery:
1 part broom
1 part chicory
1 part cinchona
1 part galangal
1 part milk thistle
1 part mullein
1 part nettle
1 part rue
1 part vetivert
1 part wahoo
1 part witch grass
Beeswax Pillar Candle Dressing Oil
3 drops rue
3 drops bergamot
3 drops myrrh
1 drop cinnamon bark
linseed carrier oil
small onxy gemstone
Creation Letter Inscriptions
zayin- yud (Excalibur, channel - chochmah to gevurah)
ruis (passing of old cycles, change and renewal, looking ahead)
Ace of Swords (action, great rising force, bringing about change, cutting through)
Wheel of Fortune (changes, turning events, progression, breakthrough)
Central Altar Gemstone
natural amber specimen (5th element - binds together earth, air, fire and water)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Queen of Swords, from Seasons of the Witch Calendar
כ"א תמוז התשס"ח
~ I conjure the means to match my strength ~
Spirit - Queen of Swords, upright over and behind altar, guarding altar. Print from Seasons of the Witch calendar. "Two feet firmly on the ground, in relaxed yet ready position. In the wrought iron doorway, prepared for the journey." [Tarot Magick, Kelly Danann]
Four Corners, cards from Llewellyn Tarot:
Earth - Justice (truth, justice, balance, deliberation, insight, honor, patience, right action)
Water - Queen of Swords (empowerment, courage, determination, revolutionary, pioneering)
Fire - Ace of Wands (inspired breakthrough, visionary, quick thinking, understanding, confidence, strength)
Air - Queen of Wands (warm intelligence, worthiness, talent, courage, steadfastness)
Related entry: Excalibur
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
A few tips for gently heating and burning resin incenses in small areas:
1. Use a tea light heated oil diffuser. The candle heats the reservoir holding the resins which then heats the incense within it to release their scent. Thick soapstone is a safer choice and is less likely to 'explode' (as thin porcelain diffusers might) with dry heating or if the reservoir goes dry if heating resins with water. It's a good idea to use a little water or unscented wax chips with the resins for gentler heating, especially if using a diffuser made of finer materials.
2. Use a ventilated votive holder fitted with a double-folded piece of metal screen. Place the resins on the screen lid, and a tea candle in the bottom of the holder.
3. If using charcoal, form a little bowl using aluminum foil. Place the foil bowl over the already lit charcoal and add your resins. The foil lowers the burn temperature, thereby burning the resins slower and more gently. Use tongs when dealing with charcoal.
4. Don't burn too much resin at once indoors, as resins tend to be very smokey - you don't want to set off the smoke alarm.
5. Japanese bamboo charcoal burns cleaner than black saltpetre charcoal.
Other tips are welcome.
Zayin - Gemini - Sivan - first set of holy tablets (luchot) - Mercury (פ)
Yud - Virgo - Elul - second set of holy tablets (luchot) - Mercury (פ)
Essential oils - lavender, bergamot
Carrier oil - almond
Base ingredient - crushed blackberries or blackberry wine
Related entry: Kabbalah Of Excalibur
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Free font downloads for various magical alphabets used in witchcraft.
Ancient (various types of runes, symbols and magical alphabets)
This page is subject to update with new material.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I've started a new project for upcoming Lughnasadh, the sabbat which harvests the Divine power of the long arm (like in my dream earlier this month). I am handcrafting for myself a unique magic poppet.
In honor of Lughnasadh, today I purchased for my as yet unmade poppet, a kachina ("life-bringer") charm of Angwusnasomtaka, the crow mother spirit from Hopi mythological cosmology. Angwusnasomtaka is a wuya. Black crows are associated with transmutation of consciousness in Hopi, Celtic and Jewish mysticism.
I also purchased today the spanish moss base stuffing which will be charged later with other botanicals and charms as I choose them during the poppet's construction.
Earth-brown 100% linen fabric will form the structure of the poppet's body. I acquired the linen remnant over a year ago at a bargain price. I didn't have any reason to purchase it at the time, other than it 'soothed my spirit' to look at it. So, I bought the remnant and stored it away until 'for what' I bought it came to me. The linen remnant has now been called up from the past to be used in the crafting of my poppet.
I am going to give my poppet a little besom too!
Oh! I am so giddy with excitement and happiness as I plan my poppet's construction. My heart was dancing as I opened one of my treasure boxes to pull out the old remnant of linen. My poppet already brings me joy!
How To Make Your Own Poppet
Illustrated Instructions On How To Make A Poppet
Thursday, July 17, 2008
A recipe for a candle dressing mixture for the Forest Dance full moon esbat candle. Into an almond carrier oil, add a pestle ground mixture of:
2 parts passion flower (peace)
2 parts lotus (protection, lock-opening)
2 parts myrrh (lifts vibrations, healing)
2 parts white sandalwood (manifestation)
1 part ginger root (success)
1 pomegranate seed (fire, essence of Divine emanation)
My candle dressing mixture for this year's Forest Dance full moon was prepared during the planetary hour of Venus (corresponding to the magical hebrew letter kaf, associated with the power to actualize potential) with the moon 100% full. The esbat candle itself was also charged with a clear quartz crystal and ritually inscribed with my spell using hebrew and ogham letters. My esbat candle was ignited during the planetary hour of Mercury, corresponding to the magical hebrew letter pei and associated with the communication of esoteric knowledge.
The Forest Dance full moon this month is in capricorn which corresponds to the magical hebrew creation letter ayin. Given this correspondence, this esbat is a good time to do a simple spell to receive physical sustenance and/or greater occult/spiritual understanding/insight into oneself or any situation in one's life.
As a solitary witch, among the incenses I'll be using in observance of this esbat is a new one for me called Forest Floor, a handcrafted softly woodsy scent.
My besom, handcrafted at Samhain.
A traditional witch's broom is called a besom. Sweet-smelling spices in traditional kabbalah are called besomim. There is an interesting connection between a witch's besom (ritual broomstick) and kabbalistic besomim (ritual spices, typically a mixture of cloves and myrtle although other fragrant spices and plants may be used).
The Hebrew word besomim (בשׂמים) is from the root בשׂם meaning to "cut up"  (where spices are cut from a whole plant). Ritually, besomim are spices used to separate between sacred time and mundane time. In other words, besomim are significantly associated with the liminal zone between and joining sacred and mundane time (times primarily for spiritual and physical pursuits, respectively).
Likewise with respect to liminality, in ancient Rome, midwives used special brooms to ritually "cut the ties between the world of the living and the realm of the dead after childbirth" . Thus, the besom of traditional witchcraft is significantly associated with the liminal zone between and joining a time of embodied life and a time of spiritualized life.
These facts taken together suggest some common esoteric-occult-linguistic foundation for both the witch's besom and the kabbalist's besomim. The common foundation between the two ritual tools is connected to the ideas of "cutting", "liminality" and "unifying the physical and the spiritual".
Here is an interesting link describing how to construct a witch's besom.
 Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark
 Solitary Witch, Silver Ravenwolf; and The Woman's Dictionary Of Symbols And Sacred Objects, B. Walker
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
A few witchy facts about me:
My Names: A Mystical-Magical Dance Of Dark & Light
1. My mystical Hebrew name - Liorah ("light to me", i.e. darkness)
2. My magical Craft name - Lleucu ("light")
Colorful Animal Totems / Spirit Guides / Mythic Totems
3. Mouse, Golden Kitten, Dragon, Buffalo, Lion, Spider, Fleas, Elephant, Meercat, Shark, Whale, Crocodile, Gorilla, Bees, Hornets, Piranha, Dog, Bear, Wild Horse, Snake, Black Jaguar, Red Birds, Peacock, Phoenix, Black Crow, Butterfly
Primary Dieties / Archetypes
4. Female - Cerridwen, Hekate, Rhiannon, Shechinah, Lilith, Laylah, Morrigan, Asherah, Anu, Asibikaashi, Yocheved, Batyah, Tzipporah, Kali Mah, Devorah, Aranrhod, Hulda, Brighid, Chanah, Batsheva, Tamar, Chavah, Awen, Freyja, Ertha, Ma'at, Elisheva, Rahab, Tiamat, Yiska, Isis, Nut, Dinah, Asnat, Serach
5. Male - Yitzchak, Tiw, Beli Mawr, Yaakov, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Yisrael, Chaniel, Arawn, Lenpw, Yosef, Lugh, Dan, Benjamin, Samson, Set, Poseidon, Green Man, Pinchas, Eliyahu
Magical Alphabets I Use
6. Hebrew, Ogham, Bardic Runes
7. I am out of the broom closet. Thank Goddess.
8. I live magically, meditate and do ritual work regularly.
9. I was born remembering my pre-incarnate journey into incarnate existence. In Jewish kabbalah, such an experience of consciousness is discussed in the Talmud (Niddah 30b, for example).
10. Favorite Pagan holy day - Samhain; Favorite Jewish holy day - Yom Kippur
11. I divine using Hebrew letter cards, Welsh-mythology based tarot cards, Ogham staves, and an exquisite nearly 6" natural quartz crystal sphere. I also have smaller spheres of garnet, obsidian, amber, black marble, moonstone and wine jasper.
12. Special gemstones - witch's finger, natural amber specimen, aqua aura quartz, spirit quartz, jet
13. I am Capricorn using tropical placidus astrological reckoning. I am a Sagittarius using sidereal whole astrological reckoning. I have analyzed my sidereal whole natal chart and found it to be more accurate and particularly enlightening.
14. Favorite botanicals - amber, dragon's blood, copal, labdanum, pine, vervain, calendula, dandelion root, hawthorne, mugwort, oppononex, pomegranate, saffron, sandalwood, witch grass, juniper berry, aloeswood, woodruff, ginger root, heal all, jezebel root, flax seeds, gall nut, nettle, scullcap, rosehips, white willow, wormwood
15. Favorite oils - bergamot, cedarwood, sandalwood, mugwort, rue, spikenard, cinnamon bark
16. Favorite curios - premium Celtic sea salt, salt from the Dead Sea in Israel, garnet granules
17. Sacred places I would like to see - the Grand Canyon, Newgrange, Stonehenge, Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Pyramids of Egypt, Cave of Machpela
18. I have a collection of exotic herbal teas.
That's all I can think of right now.