PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
This week we're going to talk about Artemis or Candle crystals, which are long thin points with a 6 to 1 ratio (for example: 1 inch wide and 6 inches long, or 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long, ETC). This is a potentially confusing topic, so I hope this post helps clarify rather than muddy the water.
Candle crystals should not be confused with Candle Quartz. Candle Quartz is a crystal which looks a lot like a Cathedral or Lightbrary crystal (see picture, right). Imagine a candle in the shape of a crystal, but with the wick at the base (turn the crystal upside down in your mind, the base at the top with a wick and the point at the bottom). The wax would drip down the sides, in subsequent layers, toward the tip (which is upside down), so when you turned the crystal back upright, it would look like a dripping candle and is called Candle Quartz. (As an aside, there are some really helpful diagrams of a lot of these different crystal types from a mineralogical standpoint (rather than metaphysical) on The Quartz Page, I would highly recommend bookmarking and visiting the site!)...
As some of you know, I grew up in a funeral chapel family. All throughout my childhood, my brother and I would tag along when our dad went to work, and we would run around the back of the chapel while he embalmed or made funeral arrangements. We had two phones at our house: our house phone, and the chapel phone, which could ring at any hour.
This proximity to the certainty of mortality came with so many blessings. One of my favorite is my ability to remember - in an instant! - how exceptionally lucky I am to spend even the tiniest of moments with a loved one. Another is my ability to bring myself back to an awareness of the unfathomable preciousness of every individual breath.
Still, it's easy to forget these things during the daily grind and the relentless hypnotism of our cultural messages. So, in the spirit of gratitude (and to warm us up for the upcoming holiday) I thought I'd share 8 of the countless things that make you the luckiest person ever.
2. Your relative degree of health and ability. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of health, you very likely have a number of wonderful abilities, including (but not limited to) any or all of the following: the ability to walk, run, dance, speak, hug, laugh, see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. You also very likely have many or all of your appendages. We don't think of these things much when we have them, but if one of them disappears, how much we miss it, and treasure the memory! But just by remembering this, we can treasure these things now....
Well, I saw it last night, right on cue.
The season's first domestic Yule tree.
It was November 7.
Oh, I understand Christmas creep. I understand the thirst for magic. I understand the craving for celebration by those who really only have one holiday.
By my reckoning, we're a little past the midpoint of the Samhain thirtnight. We're still in the season of the ancestors. The big, public rituals and gatherings are over now. This is the quiet part of Samhain, the interiority, the tag-end, the tail: the time to reflect and look within.
And then comes Time Between: what my friend and colleague Magenta Griffith calls “The Fallows.”
For hundreds of years collections of small objects have been used as a tool by people with psychic talent to answer questions about the hidden nature of a problem or situation. Such items as bones, shells, and nuts—left in their original state—are thrown and read. In Obi and Diloggun divination cut cowrie shells are used for the same purpose. Sangoma diviners from the Zulu tribe use bones and other items in a large set which is thrown using a bowl. The Mongolians use four sheep bones known as astralaugus or knuckle bones in a system called shagai. Each side has its own particular conformation and so creates thirty-six possible answers for each query. American hoodoo/rootworkers use small bones along with other small objects; Santerians use cowrie shells or coconut pieces.
When you're the last surviving pagans of the Hindu Kush, I suppose you get used to the fact that every now and then you're going to be up to your ears in anthropologists.
And sometimes that's a good thing.
Wynne Maggi had come to the three remote valleys in Northwestern Pakistan where the Kalasha, a people some 4000-strong, continue to practice their ancestral religion, in order to study the women of the culture and, in particular, the role of the basháli, the moon-house, in their lives. Generally, when the missionaries come, the moon-house is one of the first institutions to go, and surprisingly little anthropological study has actually been done on the subject as a living concern.
One morning, while she was drinking tea with her hostess Wasiara Aya, two of Wasiara Aya's relatives, both converts to Islam, came to visit.
After some general conversation, one of them asked Wasiara Aya point blank: "Why don't you convert to Islam so you can go to Heaven, and not burn in Hell forever?"