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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Seasons & Reasons

 

We live in private worlds mostly of our own creation, and though you may take that metaphorically or metaphysically, in this case I mean the physical conditions around us. I would wager that most of you that are reading this blog live in homes where you have the power of day and night by clicking the lights on or off. You, or someone associated with your home, probably controls the seasons of your home through heating and/or air-conditioning. Water comes to you through a faucet, and the roof keeps the storms at bay. If you so choose, and you have the coin to pay with, the fruits and vegetables of almost any climate and season can be brought to your plate. Unless you are in dire straits or have chosen an ascetic life, these domestic powers are generally taken for granted. Not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, they would have been seen as marvels to be only found in Fairyland or in a wizard’s keep. All magick has a cost, even the very tame magic that is brought about by wires, plumbing, and pistons. Although it is true that our creature comforts have economic, political, and ecological costs, it is one of the costs to our psyche that this blog will explore.

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      "A goddess!" I exclaimed, as I approached a large rounded feminine figure in the National Museum of Ethiopia.

      "No!" A man's voice echoed throughout the room.

   When he noticed people's glances upon him, the museum guide lowered his voice: "That piece is a very, very old", he said hesitantly.  "It is pagan.  She comes from the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group here in Ethiopia."

   I could not peel my eyes off the figure.  The unexpected discovery piqued my interest.

  "Does she have a name?" I asked hopefully.

   Instead of answering my question, the guide told me about Ethiopia's most famous woman:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

There are countless books which will tell you the right way to do your initiation.  I’ve read a number of them, both for covens and for solitary.  None of them spoke to me. 

Normally I’m a simple, as little fuss as possible, type of person.  Once I felt I was ready to declare my beliefs, I decided to do a ritual – full out, go for broke ritual.  I had it typed up, planned out, everything was going to go PERFECT. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    Thank you... it was a great experience
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
    How lovely for you!

My Coven was tired.

We had been busy--for years, actually. Between leading public rituals and attending festivals, there was a mess of parties thrown by other Coveners. Several members were performers of different kinds and had shows. A couple of people started teaching locally. Then there was our standard working group time. Like "good" Coveners, we traveled to the festivals together, attended the parties, formed cheering sections at the shows and dutifully attended the classes our members led. We somehow still found the time to offer rituals and work as a group, but not a lot. I felt badly offering Coven homework when we were already such a busy group.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Philipp Kessler
    Philipp Kessler says #
    Two things. First, I just received a copy of your book from the publisher. Looking forward to reading it. Second, an earlier art
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Hi Phillipp! The earlier article you mentioned was not written by me, but by Hilary Parry. Thanks for stopping by!
  • Philipp Kessler
    Philipp Kessler says #
    Ah, my apologies. I had misremembered who wrote it. I do hope that you get a chance to read what I write anyway. And looking forw

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mystical Cats Tarot
There’s a handful (or two) of feline Tarots on the market, but by far the best of them is the Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and Mickie Mueller.
 
Rather than anthropomorphisizing cats or merely posing them in Rider-Waite-Smith scenarios and stances, the creators took on the challenging task of portraying them in alignment with their varied natures: curious, mischievous, playful, mesmerized, predatory and—of course—lounging. 
 
Some of the 22 Major Arcana have been renamed (I’ll list them later) and the 16 Court Cards become Kitten (Page), Tom (Knight), Queen and King. The 40 Minor Arcana cards are divided into clans: Fire (Wands), Sea (Cups), Sky (Swords) and Earth (Pentacles). Weatherstone says of the four clans:
 
“Although every cat is unique, they have common affinities and traits that are determined by their clans, both by heritage and by clan culture. It would be difficult for an independent Sky Cat to feel at home among collective-minded Earth Cats, or for a dreamy and psychic Sea Cat to understand the restless urge for adventure that motivates a Fire Cat. Your own cats also belong to one of the clans, though they may not choose to reveal it to you. By observation and deepening your knowledge of clan characteristics, you may come to know them better—and know yourself better as well.”
 
Mystic Cats 19As with all her Tarot deck companion books, Weatherstone’s prose proves spiritually insightful and psychologically relevant, not to mention an enormously enjoyable read. For every card, she shares a general overview as well as sage “cat’s advice” for both upright and reversed images.
 
Mueller’s watercolor renderings are adorable, perfectly capturing cat antics both expected and impenetrable. What I love most about her art for the Mystical Cats Tarot, though, is her conscious act of adding herbal infusions to watercolors as part of her artistic process. Catnip made it into the paint for every image, while various card-specific herbs were included based on significance and symbolism. For example, the artist incorporated ginkgo leaf and olive into the Stars card (ginkgo is noted for its memory-enhancing qualities).
 
Thirteen artist sketches with collaborative notes between Weatherstone and Mueller serves as a nice touch to the 201-page companion book, giving us a behind-the-scenes peek into the often demanding work of deck creation. (Weatherstone’s notes to Mueller about raising up a cat’s head with the flehmen response so it doesn’t look like a Mystical Cat hairball is too funny!)
 
Cards measure approximately 4 ½ x 2 ¾ inches with a flexible, satin finish card stock that shuffles like a dream, while the attractive mirror-image cat’s paw motif on back is ideal for reading reversals. 
 
There are four spreads included in the companion book, and I’ve tried the 3-card Shield of Sekhmet layout with great success. I look forward tot trying the Nine Lives Spread sometime this year (on a momentous occasion). 
 
I’ve used the Mystical Cats Tarot several times within the last few months, and find it extraordinarily accurate—and a delight to use. Whether this is because of Weatherstone and Mueller’s talent or from owning (and loving) cats I can’t be sure. But if you DO adore cats, this is THE Tarot to own, in my opinion. 
 
Here’s a rundown of the (mostly) re-titled Major Arcana cards:
 
Mystic Cats 20The Cat (Fool)
Cat Magic (Magician)
The Priestess (High Priestess)
The Empress
The Emperor
The Priest (Hierophant)
The Lovers
The Chariot
Strength
The Hermit
The Wheel (Wheel of Fortune)
Consequences (Justice)
The Floating Cat (Hanged Man)
Death
Grace (Temperance)
Demon Cat (Devil)
The Tower
Stars (The Stars)
Moon
Sun
Good Kitty (Judgment)
The World
 
To see 18 additional images from this deck, click here.
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PaganNewsBeagle Magical Monday April 6

Howdy Beagle fans! Today we've got an installment of our occasional Magickal Monday series, in which we bring you stories of witchcraft, conjure, and all kinds of magick! A new shrine for Marie Laveau; the link between Voudou and traditional Haitian foods; L Ron Hubbard: magician?; capitalist magic?; garden magic for spring.

In light of the recent restrictions on visiting her tomb, the unveiling of a new shrine dedicated to Marie Laveau in New Orleans is cause for celebration for many.

This post describes the links between Voudou and traditional Haitian foods, as well as commenting on the legacy of colonialism (past and present) and its affect on Voudon practice.

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How I Started a Coven, and lost my sole

 

Really, how could I resist that title?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    What a wonderful story. I wonder how many other folks will chime in with stories of their list soles. Thanks for commenting! And
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    I love this! I am a Witch working at a Christian church (fully out and supported!) and I bike to work every day. One morning I was

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