Seven or eight years ago, I shocked a large group of my Pagan friends. I was at a small festival in Oklahoma that happened to take place during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I was vending and teaching at this festival (as well as performing my first song) and knew most of the attendees very well. As we were cleaning the dining hall after dinner, I invited everyone down to my vendor table to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a drink of Irish whiskey. The look of horror on some of their faces was priceless.
Invoke (v.): To petition for support; to cite as authority; to conjure.
What does it mean to invoke?
The word "invoke" derives from the old Latin word vocare, meaning "to call" and is related to the word vox, meaning voice....
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ~ Marianne Williamson
If you’ve been anticipating that lovely, romantic Full Moon on Valentine’s Day, you might want to reconsider your approach. Instead of dreaming of moonlit skies and stardust, dust off your altar and pull out your journal and your magical tools, because you’re going to want to work to shift the energy of this Full Moon into some positive results. As with most difficult charts, there is power here, but you need to put a bridle on that horse, or you’ll likely get thrown.
The New Year and the Waxing Moon bring a wonderful magickal opportunity. What would you like to manifest in your life?
What would you like your life to look like this year?
Don’t worry about what you want to remove. Think instead about what you want to grow, initiate, invest in, create and attract....
The winter festival time can be stressful, even for Pagans. Some honor their family’s holiday traditions with a bit of discomfort. Others are caught up in the responsibilities of cooking, baking, gifting and visiting like everyone else.
Whatever you celebrate this time of year, tarot can help you make it more joyful, more inspiring and more fun.
All you need are the Four Aces....
This blog, 78 Magickal Tools, is about using tarot in ritual and magick. I believe that the only limits on what tarot can help us do are the limits we impose ourselves.
In my posts I like to give ideas of ways to use the cards with the hope that you, the reader, will be inspired to discover and create even more ways to incorporate the cards into your spiritual practice.
The ritual ideas I am going to share with you will work best if you adapt them to your own traditions and beliefs to create a full ritual. Rather than using my ideas as a script, use them as an example and inspiration to help you create a meaningful and powerful Samhain ritual with tarot....
Your tarot deck is a fabulous tool for magick. Each card carries specific energy. You can use your cards as altar tools to invoke energies and entities. You can use your cards to offer protection, to quickly usher in change and to assist with healing.
You can use tarot as part of formal magick in ritual. You can also use tarot in casual magick by carrying an image with you or pinning an image to your wall.
Here are some ways tarot assists in magick....
I’m back from my summer travels! We drove from Florida to Connecticut, where I was happy to give tarot readings to many friends both old and new.
The long trip in our Ford E250 Cargo Van got me thinking about tarot magick for travel. These days I do it without even really thinking about it. Gas? Check. Oil Change? Check. Magick? Check.
I get my kids to do it too. My daughter has a pewter Chariot card hanging from her rear view mirror....
On the weekend of Vancouver Pagan Pride, one of my tradition sisters offered to touch up my new sacred tattoo that I had received about six weeks prior. "It's really great for someone who was new, and her lines are excellent," she said, "but it's fading a little already and I want to dress it up a little, if that's okay with you."
My spirit-sister Jennica had done the tattoo - a triple moon with a blue pentagram in the center of the full one - in a cast circle as part of sacred ceremony. It was my first tattoo ever and that meant a lot to me. I had insisted upon this because I had been told the story of how my initiator Lord Redleaf had received the Green Man tattoo on his chest as part of ritual in a cast circle and it moved me. I told my trad sister Amity Loyce this and let her know that it was very important to me that it remain sacred, and still done in a cast circle and empowered. "Sure, that's fine," she said with a nod. "I don't have any problems doing that! I always wanted to tattoo in a cast circle . . ."
The next thing we knew, we had a tattoo party planned for the following evening. Amity and her partner Mick would come over to the place I was staying at and we would cast circle and do the tattoo as part of ritual. Furthermore, my husband and Priest Erin Righ, and my lover and Priest Redleaf, decided that they would get matching tattoos representing their 3rd Degree in our tradition, Star Sapphire Wicca, representing the degree and the Horned God. Redleaf's wife and Priestess Dolphanie would conduct the ceremony on our behalf....
"Even though modern culture has done it's best to corrupt art into a celebrity production machine, simply another form of entertainment, designed specifically as an opiate to the downtrodden, gluttonous, and vapid, it fails because the artist knows better. Art is magic. Art is one of the rawest shamanistic forms of connection with the universal source of everything, but only if the artist is brave enough to give the audience what it needs rather than what it thinks, or has been told, it wants." --Peter Beckley
The past few weeks have found me focused on a personal project of connecting to the lunar energies. As a practicing witch I have worked with the lunar energies regularly for many years. I have worked ritual, written poetry and offered up praise to Her in all of her phases. So, it would seem that my connection is very deep already. The beauty of this Path, however, is that there is always something more that can be learned. Something new that can be experienced and a deeper level of knowing that can be brought into your work.
I have been on a mission to fully experience the energies of the Moon in all of her cycles and through the lunation of travel through the Zodiacal Wheel. Having a good working knowledge of astrology and planetary magick helps this journey, but the intent of connection to the phases of cycle is not dependent on it. I am also an Air sun sign, so analysis comes more readily than the emotional and feeling nature. This is precisely why I felt this work would be very productive.
I know of the potential held in the newness of Maiden Moon, but do not always fill myself with the enthusiasm and joy of that growing energy. I go through the (mechanical) routine of ritual and specified working to bring the successful start to the desired goal and fail at times to infuse its energy with the burgeoning spring of potential that the Maiden’s gift holds. As we mature chronologically, we often forget what it was like to be just beginning our lives and adventures and the “nothing will hold me back” attitude that typifies youthful exuberance. Everything and anything is possible and change is just taking another road. In the simplicity of re-engaging the wonder of seeing with fresh eyes and new perspectives my working grows and seeks out what will encourage and support its maturation....
Of course this post comes with a disclaimer. Before starting any weight loss program please consult your physician.
There’s a magickal disclaimer as well. Remember that when you do magick it is best to support your magick with appropriate mundane activities. As above, so below.
If you are interested in losing some body weight, tarot can help in many ways. Performing divination to help you understand your relationship with food is a helpful way to start. Once you are ready, a magickal ritual with the cards will give you some support to help you to stick to your weight loss plan....
One of the most powerful aspects of ritual work is invocation. To invoke an element, a spirit or a deity is to bring their energy to your circle, and to bring their healing magickal power to yourself.
Many Pagans use statues, images and altar tools to help with the process of invocation. To have the image of a deity on your altar not only honors the deity, it assists in invoking the energy of that deity.
We choose specific deities to invoke for specific reasons. Some of us invoke specific deities on certain holidays. It is also helpful to invoke a deity based on your specific need. A mother Goddess like Quan Yin might be helpful if you are doing fertility magick, for instance. A God associated with animals, like Cernuous, might be helpful in the healing of a pet. A Goddess of prosperity like Lakshmi might help with financial issues....
As I see it, there are three pillars of the Kemetic religion(s), in all its (or their) many forms. These pillars are: The gods, the practices, and the concept of ma'at. It is this third, ma'at, that I will be discussing in this particular post.
Ma'at is often translated as Truth, Justice, Good, Order, or Cosmic Order. It is all of those things at once, in a way that can't be adequately conveyed with any one of the above English words or phrases. For the Egyptians, the stability of the cosmos was not a fundamentally different thing from a king ruling justly. They were both manifestations of ma'at, and the lack thereof (an unstable cosmos, an unjust king, with the resulting disorder in the land) would be considered a lack of ma'at, and signs of its opposite, isfet (often translated as "evil" or "disorder".)
The gods are said to live on ma'at as we live on food. I would stretch this bit of theology farther, based on a couple of points:
Another confession: Instead of attacking De Occulta Philosophia, I'm going for the throat on Marsilio Ficino.
A few years ago, I came across a book called "Music in Renaissance Magic" by Gary Tomlinson. He focuses on the magic of a man named Marsilio Ficino, who was a priest and the doctor of Lorenzo de Medici. Ficino is somewhat contemporary to Agrippa in the way that they both translated documents from Greek into Latin, and then proceeded to create their own synthesis of learning from those experiences.
Ficino stood out to Tomlinson because he wrote magical music. None of that music exists; it has all been lost to time, as Ficino's De vita libri tres has been out of my reach through library (another long story) and is too expensive to purchase. Until now.
Here's a way to see how and where your life is going and then rearrange it to your specifications!
When you think about it, that is divination at its best. Divination shows us our possibilities and our options. When we seek information from the Universe we get a sense of our tools, skills and abilities, as well as the energies around us. With that, we can direct our energies toward our most possible positive outcome.
Here's what you need to do. You can do this in sacred space, while journaling, or even as an exercise with your tarot friends....
We often perform house blessings and garden blessings. A house blessing may protect the home and those in it. A house blessing may bring prosperity and success to those who dwell within.
A garden blessing may increase fertility and the abundance of the harvest. It may offer health and wealth to those who visit the garden.
It is simple to offer blessings to the home and garden with tarot. One way to do this is with disposable tarot images - cards that you do not need to return to a working deck....
As I’ve written in many articles, gardening is a form of ritual, a work of gratitude and veneration for the gods. It also has some practical sides to it, such as helping feed my family, and providing a source of peace and joy in my life, and it’s a good workout. Feeding my family is an important function of the gardens, so I have many rituals and other methods of using magick to help them. One of those methods is by using amulets. A lot of people believe that a magick amulet is simply something that one wears for protection or something purpose, but that isn’t close to the entire story of amulets or their uses.
There seems to be much confusion or conflicting ideas about both amulets and talismans, how they’re similar and different, and what forms they take. A comprehensive examination of amulets and talismans is beyond the scope of this article, but let me just submit to you that amulets do not have to be worn, or indeed take the form of something that even could be worn. Approaching this method of magick from that perspective certainly opens up a lot of creative possibilities; one of which is what I call the Garden Crop Amulet. This magick amulet takes the form of a sigil created using the A.O. Spare method, but reproducing the sigil, as with any amulet or talisman that may have one, is only part of the task.
Using the Garden Crop Magick Amulet
It is best to manifest this magick amulet when the waxing moon is at its fullest. The easiest way to manifest the sigil is to draw it on a piece of paper to be buried deep in the garden soil, or draw it on or carve it into a small stick that can be stuck into the soil. After drawing or carving the sigil, hold the paper or stick between two hands on visualize the pale lunar energy funneling into your head and filling up your form like a cup. When the cup is full, pour that energy into the amulet you’re holding changing it from a pale white to a vibrant, pulsating green. You should pour this energy not from your hands into the amulet, but from your mouth in the form of a single, committed breath....
February 14 is drawing nigh and you have a hot date planned. You would like to turn up the heat on the the after-party. Whatever is a romantic Wiccan who wishes to skip the commercialism but honor the day to do you ask? Have no fear, because I have some notions of my own.
First, whether you are going out or strictly staying in for the eve, wear something that makes you feel sexy. Not just what you think your hot date will drool over, but something you can feel both confident and move comfortably in. Nothing kills the mood like self-consciousness. Scent is important. I am a big fan of essential oils because they aren't over-powering and add just the right hint of seduction. Mix your own come-hither blend ahead of time, or if you appreciate musky tones, you cannot beat a pure blend of amber and myrrh. Kuumba Made® is a good natural option.
If it is your own love nest you are heading back to, please be sure to tidy up in advance. Dirty dishes, stinky garbage, and neglected bathrooms all are major anti-aphrodisiacs. So make with the broom in your pre-planning and do put some fresh sheets on the mattress....