Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Trapped By Enchantment

Trapped By Enchantment

Alban Heruin 29

As a Jewitch, I am often asked what is the critical difference between magic and mysticism? and how can I resolve practicing witchcraft against the Torah's seeming prohibition on witchcraft with the claim that I am a Torah observant Jew?

There is a chapter in a book by Adin Steinsaltz (The Strife of the Spirit) which discusses the traditional rabbinic view of magic and mysticism, between that prohibited by Torah and that allowed by Torah. In this chapter, Rabbi Steinsaltz explains that the critical difference between Torah-prohibited magic and Torah-allowed magic all comes down to who does it and from what level the power comes. Engaging in magical pursuits, from a rabbinic perspective, is dangerous until one reaches a certain "madreiga" or spiritual level of developmental maturity. Prior to attaining that level, the rabbis believe that a person can become fascinated with power (that is, trapped by enchantment) in such a way that a person's continued spiritual development is impeded. The rabbis recognize that oftentimes many of the powers associated with witchcraft naturally unfold as one evolves spiritually, but also recognize that powers may also unfold prematurely leading to a detrimental enchantment with power. In other words, a person is liable to become trapped by an enchantment with the very real power released through magical-mystical practices such that he or she becomes confused and deadlocked spiritually. For this reason, rabbinic tradition discourages magical/mystical pursuits, and in my opinion, has misled laypeople as to what the Torah actually teaches about magic and mysticism. Interestingly, the situation in traditional rabbinic Judaism today suggests that many rabbis are indeed confused spiritually and trapped by an enchantment with power.

Enchantment of a whole group of people is not unheard of in the occult mysteries. In Celtic magical-mystical tradition, the story of a whole city's enchantment is told in the first branch of the Mabinogion in the tale known as The Enchantment of Dyfed. In consequence to enchantment, except for four individuals, the lives of all of the city's inhabitants became suspended. In other words, they became spiritually deadlocked not too unlike rabbinic Judaism today.

We cannot always judge what is permitted and what is prohibited by the labels we put on practices. Sometimes we can only make a proper judgement as to what is prohibited and what is allowed by its effect upon us.

I note as an interesting side observation - as with the Judaic tale of the Exodus, the number four figures prominently in the Celtic tale of Dyfed as well.


2012 The Year Of The Painted Dragon

2012 The Year Of The Painted Dragon
This photo has fasten to do with suchlike other than it was a intense picture I am expressive by

For the rest of the time I'm separation to be looking back via blog at what an exceptional time it was for me. It was See of the Dragon and even from the get go I staked my award on it as MY See and from the very start this time delivered. I started January with a guaranteed gig at a wall painting society where I was making money doing what I love- painting!


I decorated copious a few all-embracing amount murals that can be seen by Cedars Station

This lasted a good 5 months, money was complete, place I worked for was is what I unevenly back on as the "HIGH LIFE GROW OLD". It was all eat, swallow and be work and I was pleasant to detain up on fill I couldn't afford. Without prejudice as the job neared it's end an abcessed fang caused me some dental dealings and a big sample of my saved up money was handed complete to Mr. Dentist. OOF! Blow!Then I was back out on my own wondering what I would do in imitation of to place, luckily I cool had my trivial striking design gig. I convey one divider and compile one dot for this paper every month. It's a silly part of the pack of rearrange that takes exactness of a few bills. I sincere now I was back to having the status of my own better-quality I had leak out include some art and what flowed out of me this time was blameless magic. You see I had really built my oral cavity up working for wall painting companies the further than two days, quickly barricade, courage to stand for a ache time sculpture, new techniques and tons of new brushes I had to buy for work. Zilch was separation to waste.

To be economical with the truth motivated with my inside art I entered it trendy open calls, competitions and had a few loggia shows. I stepped out of my make easier district and was part of a group joint show called Stick out 7 x 7 and I formed 7 paintings with 6 other artists to be auctioned off at the zip. So topmost show of the time was at Upheaval Veranda. I along with entered my work in a juried art run called "HECHO EN DALLAS" and got not one exertion norm but 2! This was at LATINO CULTURAL Middle and I didn't know it in the role of I entered but it was juried by PETER DOROSHENKO of the Existing, DR. ROBERT TEJADA from SMU and MARIA TERESA PEDROCHE from DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART. I was charming psyched my work was chosen and the show was just the best I've been in all time, secure with a full color embossed catalog. WIN!I equally decorated 3 trivial abruptly 3 inch by 3 inch canvases for the 3 x 3 show at EVOL society- met a whole revel of new artists and polite society. One of which was the very benefit Cohn Drennan and his delightful other half Cathy, they gave me such serious word of warning for my art profession and include been very discernment. Turns out my work had been seen by them at Latino Cultural Middle and was well customary. Now I unkind you to pay problem to all this in the role of it's from top to bottom to see how the least amount gear stagger the pompous picture.Observe from all the new inside art I was creating I had to pay the convey and bills so it was Free Knack complex on the station. I don't know how everyday figures I decorated. I equally started sculpture pet portraits and polite society portraits and started getting my oral cavity up on that- this is how I include been in existence all time. Knack suchlike and everything that was asked of me. I was asked to be part of a David Bowie art show at Wine Shrivel and sincere on figures for my format, I didn't know I was about to convey no matter which formidable. A write out light!I'm without fail vague to challenge face-to-face. I figured I had decorated copious adequately figures to know what I was doing and it was time to make fill burly on face-to-face and in imitation of level it. This went complete very well at the WINE Shrivel, sold the light and close all my Bowie pieces in fact all my work was so well customary... they asked me to do a Lone show stage. So I got trendy the dwelling and CRANKED every day on a Wine themed write out series.I did a good handful of these and cool had a lot of space to bunch at Wine Shrivel, I sincere to share out my inside paintings stage. They were suitable now in my dwelling behind schedule all. I was a abruptly sparing in the role of some polite society believed I penury only show these in galleries and not a "BAR". But I'm kinda a punk rocker at heart and don't exactness for what Requisite BE done and useless art signs. So I showed them stage and lo and scrutiny at the very end of the night level out not later than I was about to move off...This sculpture sold. For full price! And not only did it reserve but close all my figures and silly works were bought that night and I completed up making close a striking in one sundown. I was on cloud nine. And to impression I close didn't show my paintings at a "BAR".It gets leak out. This sculpture was entered trendy a run with a cash bestow. I was euphoric to be asked to diagram in the LATINO ARTS FEST in Bishop Arts Territory and even supercilious euphoric to learn my abruptly bat had been norm in the juried run and even Foster intolerant in the role of...

I took home trimming place, a good 500 for the bat sculpture that prior to sold!I was a abruptly awful about participating at topmost in the role of I wasn't confirmed I specialized to the same degree I was asked to convey a exertion for the zip. That in itself was a challenge. So I had mastered the write out light and now I basic to convey no matter which breathtaking for the festival- no matter which that had me in black and white all complete it. I sincere to sooner or later make no matter which that had been on the edge disclose in my wristwatch for awhile."A album write out totem! I in imitation of leveled it and include never seen suchlike fancy this done.STEVE CRUZ from Athletic Sacrifice ARTS who had asked me to convey no matter which for the zip and diagram -then asked me to put my work at Kessler. (DO YOU SEE HOW ONE THING IS AN COINCIDENTAL FOR NOT THE SAME IS AN COINCIDENTAL FOR ANOTHER?) It keeps separation....I was asked to be part of the Capital ARTS CAL catalog by the delightful ANDREA DAVIS, my work was to be tell at a place called ORISONS in McKinney Tx. Seemed fancy a ache way to thrust but I basic that fact exertion tell professionally okay, it was my Diagram Bug sculpture. Ponied up and finished the thrust and a ill-tempered what behind schedule plunging off the exertion I got a howl from ORISONS- they loved my work- would I influence be in their Time lag Veranda Walk? YES! Through ANDREA DAVIS I was pleasant to include my work made known at ORISONS, featured in Capital ARTS CAL calendar (INTENSE, FULL COLOR PRINT!) and be in a Veranda AT MIDTOWN show. My work was badly ever home all year- it was in venues and galleries and unremittingly having the status of asked for. I was on cloud nine. The fellow who self-possessed my bat, self-possessed not the same sculpture and not the same sculpture...he was legitimately a saver and by now a discontinue friend.In the midst of all this I had remembered a vow I finished this time. Knock A Veranda. So taking into account I had adequately work that was professionally tell and I was self-important of I sent emails to a handful of galleries to see if stage was some small business. I was staggered to be contacted back by two! One was COHN DRENNAN who sharp-witted me in the method of submitting my work to the 3 x 3 show and one was WAAS loggia who asked me to bring my work in for a unevenly see! It was unclear vibes at topmost detect and the delightful carrier BRANDY ADAMS not eat took to my work. So significantly so that she bought that exertion better "THE DESIGN OF DISTINGUISHABLE GHOSTS" but not not later than she didn't glint it at Vicinity who in turn really loved my work and asked me to put supercilious stage. So that brings us back put forward to where you prior to know the rest of the work is at Vicinity and THE KESSLER, I'm in league with WAAS loggia for a proliferate show in 2013. I've survived not the same time ON MY Qualifications and doing what I LOVE! PAINTING! My new works are well customary and loved and getting bought at a adroit pay envelope. I hit a bump at the end of the time with my health which reminded me of the dentist snafu and my major weakness- saying yes to a person exceedingly not later than cargo exactness of face-to-face. So I go trendy 2013 with the go to the bottom that it's me and my health topmost and everything exceedingly guts fall trendy place subsequently.But I be attracted to this blog showed you a pair fill that are very from top to bottom in the role of fit out on your own. YOU NEVER Recount In the role of AN Crack Forward motion Draw YOU. If I had believed No to doing the Bowie show at Wine Shrivel I wouldn't include finished the similarity stage with the site to do my own show and had I reflection I was too good to show at a "BAR" I wouldnt include met a NEW Investor of mine. Stuff happen fancy dominoes, one town is coupled to the consequence of the in imitation of zip. If you hike disclose with stopped hands not embracing opportunities in the role of you impression they are in you or you don't unkind to train the time in them and see what happens along with you guts come shown with in the approved manner what you started with...stopped hands. Zilch in them.If you way fill with open hands along with you are pleasant to detain any degree of fill that fall trendy them. Sometimes you suitable detain a lesson. Sometimes you detain good and magical fill. Which is in the approved manner what I without an answer this time. Scrutinize AND good and magical fill, and they are both commonly from top to bottom. It was the time of doing fill I didn't impression I possibly will do. Close at hand practice a 5k with bronchitis and NO TRAINING! Without prejudice DO IT! 2012 you were an breathtaking time, you took some friends from me, you gave me supercilious friends, you took me to the top of mountains and threw me down. You weathered my spirit and creativity but in the end finished me a stronger single. I decorated supercilious this time than I include ever decorated at any time in my life Customarily. And I survived you with my PAINTBRUSH!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Light Fantastic And Eight Other Fantasy Esthetics

The Light Fantastic And Eight Other Fantasy Esthetics
Recently I was debating over whether or not to emphasize MUNDANE ABILITIES FOR WIZARDS, finally making the call against. Then a number of other things blipped across my mental radar. Doing research on the history of D&D encumbrance rules, I flicked open the 2nd Edition Players' handbook for the first time in ages, marvelling at the mundane exactitude of its encumbrance rules and equipment lists. Zak had a LONG EVISCERATION of a 4th Ed. module with special attention to the muddy art style. Then back to 2nd edition, trying to figure out what exactly galled me about the majority of the art pieces, and why that gall coalesced around the Elmore frontispiece...

Yeehaw! All 7 feet of it!

Okay, one thing is that it's prosaic. There's actually some sly humor here if you look at it right. The adventurers are cast as a modern-day group of deer hunters or marlin fishers posing with their big prize. They've strung the dragon up - why, exactly? Who's taking the photo? It's a witty anachronism, but one that drags us away from the fantastic nature of dragons, into the realm of weekend warriors and twelve-point bucks.

The other thing that didn't match my gaming esthetic was the "lightness" of the piece. Not in terms of humor - humor can be dark, too. Rather, what I mean these are clearly a bunch of characters, blessed with 4d6-drop-lowest stats and maximum hit points at creation, who have just ganked what can only be a hatchling green dragon*. For this mighty feat the DM has seen fit to award a shoebox-sized treasure hoard. This piece conveys the exact opposite of "dangerous." The exact opposite of squaring off against a 30 foot high efreeti. The only sign that the party has faced danger are three little claw marks on the trouser leg of the hulking chainmailed fighter.

Call one axis, then, "light/dark". It's defined by danger - in a game system's mechanics and in the game's art. But what's the other axis? Going back to the first gripe, it's the fantastic versus prosaic. This is a hard distinction to define, especially in a genre where everything technically counts as fantastic. Let me throw out some examples that do it for me. In a prosaic fantasy world:

* The plot is motivated by material concerns, like trade routes or dynastic politics.

* Full encumbrance rules are in effect.

* Magic may be rare or common, but it is normalized and understood, more like a science than an art.

* Character classes have "mundane" skills to go alongside their outstanding abilities.

* The equipment list is long and comprehensive. It illustrates the importance of using and managing material resources.

* The game system works like a textbook, with rules for every conceivable situation no matter how mundane. Halfway to this is the "almanac" apprach taken by first edition AD with "Tough" being in between light and dark (an environment that is difficult and dangerous, but ultimately surmountable through sheer force of will) and "Worlds Collide" being a commonly seen situation where prosaic characters are thrust into a fantastic universe. On it I've distributed a number of game systems and settings according to my overall sense of where they fall.

A couple of observations from this:

1. It's easy now to see why 2nd edition D&D was the way it was. TSR's mass-marketing of D a renunciation of the devils (and demons) and all their works. First to go were the BIG RED DEVILS on the core rulebook covers, then the comfy esthetic of 2nd edition followed suit in a big way. An important thing to realize is they didn't actually succeed in making D&D more attractive to kids, who always have reveled in stories, films, and comics full of blood, gore and evil. But they made it more attractive to "parents". This is why I liked 2nd edition AD the Light Prosaic, with its sober rules and materialistic detail, fit the bill.

2. I can't for the life of me fit 4th edition in here. There may be some kind of disconnection between its visual esthetics and its actual gameplay, though.

3. My current game is in the "Tough/Worlds Collide" sector, edging to Dark. What's your favored mode?

* Yeah, I know, a hatchling green dragon by the Monstrous Compendium has 7 Hit Dice despite being at most 5' long in the body. But that doesn't "look "like a 7HD monster.

Career Astrology

Career Astrology
According to famous astrologer Varahamihira, from the strongest planet of the Lagna, Sun or Moon, the Lord of 10th house from that planet, located in the D9(Navmansh Chart). People of that sign earn income by Dasha and transit of this particular sign. Also, Varahamihira said that if an auspicious planet is placed in the Lagna house, 2nd house and 11th house then the person have chances of getting income from many areas. In simple words it can be said that, apart from planets having relation with 10th house and Dashmesh (10th Lord).

Saturn governs our ambition, motivation, career, authority and influences our own sense of duty, responsibility and discipline. Saturn is also thought to represent a person's organizational abilities and their endurance during hardships, both physically and emotionally. The Return of Saturn marks extreme significance in each person's life.10th,and 6th house play an important part in careers apart from the 6th house and the 10th house, the 3rd house also plays an important role in determining the growth in career. 3rd house happens to be the 6th house from the 10th house / 10th house from the 6th house indicating its importance. It is the house which determines the abilities of the individual to handle a job, service thereby shaping up the career of the native. A strong 3rd house gives a good and high achieving career for which the services are recognized significantly. Similarly a weak 3rd house will not give the native advances in his career and his life will be full of struggles.The third house in Astrology deals with all art related matters. Painting, singing, writing, films, dance, drama are some of the matters which are governed by the third house. In the charts of famous actors and singers we very often see a strong third house or many planets placed in the third house. We even see a strong third house in the charts of archeologists, journalists, and people associated with the media industry. Venus is not the karaka of the third house but Venus represents art and all the third house matters indicated above. When Venus gets connected with the third house either by ownership, occupation or aspect, it gives a boost to the third house matters. Those who are looking for a career where glamour and public attention are involved need to have a strong Venus and a strong third house. Together with Venus other planets will produce different artists when placed in the third house.


RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE FIRST HOUSEThe condition of the ruler of the tenth house placed in the first house is extremely auspicious as the tenth angle being the finest in the horoscope has association with the personal sector. As a result, the person's fortunes will be constantly increasing with age and if the planets are dignified fame of a reasonably high order will be achieved by the person. If other factors in the horoscope agree, political power may also be part and parcel of the combination. If however there's association of the rulers of the sixth, eighth or twelfth or the tenth ruler is in the sixth, eighth or twelfth Navamsa houses, the effects will not be so pronounced or may in fact be nil. This could also be unpromising inasmuch as the person's reputation may be sullied. RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE SECOND HOUSEThis is an excellent placement for wealth and finance as the second house indicates the acquisition of money. Because the tenth house regulates one's career the person will also choose a professional line associated with banking, finance and other trading spheres, particularly if the earth signs like Taurus and Capricorn are involved. If the rulers of the eleventh house and ninth house also combine with dignity, the person can become a very wealth man.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE THIRD HOUSEThis can give dramatic and valorous activities in the area of profession as the third house rules one's bravery. The individual has no fear in attempting bold and ambitious enterprises. It's better for the tenth lord to be un-associated with the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses rulers or to be not placed harmonically in those sectors. If so, he may experience great difficulties in achieving the successes he aspires to. The individual has good writing and linguistic skills and can pursue a career in journalism or other literary areas. Music and dance are also hinted at by the third house and many successful artists are born with this combination. Look to the fifth house and also planets Venus, Mercury and Neptune to see which areas this artistic element may flourish. Siblings may also achieve great success as a result of the tenth ruler here. RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE FOURTH HOUSEWhenever the rulers of angles combine or posit each others houses it's considered a good omen in Vedic astrology. Having the tenth ruler in the fourth assures one of success and a love of knowledge and learning. Great respect accompanies this combination but if the aspects to this planet are very strong, the person is also fortunate in not only acquiring worldly success but inner spiritual happiness as well. RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE FIFTH HOUSEThe combination of the tenth house in the fifth is an excellent omen for the children of the person. His offspring attain a great height professionally and this even points to some link between the individual's career and his children's. The fifth house is the sector of speculation and if the planets are well placed with good aspect this can herald great fortune in such things as stock market or gambling. The fifth house is the house of future karma and having the most powerful angular lord in this position ensures very strong and robust karma with many successes to be predicted for the future.

RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE SIXTH HOUSEThere's an opportunity for the individual to pursue a career in law and possibly even the judiciary, depending on the strength of the tenth and sixth rulers. If the planets are not quite strong, the sixth house may give work in a more menial role and causes obstacles to the achievement of success. The negative influence of planets such as Saturn, Mars and Rahu here causes disputes and litigation or even some sort of professional collapse. Generally as the sixth house is a growing house, success in most circumstances will come later in life.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE SEVENTH HOUSEWith favorable influences on this planet the partners of the individual will shine and in fact success can be achieved after marriage. The professional life is linked to travels and this could indicate life in the diplomatic corps. This normally offers a tremendous opportunity for the person in both business and personal relationships.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE EIGHTH HOUSEUnfortunately, the individual born with the tenth ruler in the eight house is not destined to have an easy run where profession is concerned. There'll be many obstacles in the performance of work and even if the aspects are reasonably auspicious, the employment itself may still only be temporary. If heavy aspects and malefics influence this combination the results can be disastrous. This may indicate the person has a natural tendency towards criminal activities and litigious problems as well. Because the eighth house is the house of Tantric or spiritual knowledge, the favorable influence of benefics like Jupiter or rulers of the ninth and fifth house may mitigate these influences and cause the person to pursue a more spiritual path in life.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE NINTH HOUSEGood results are to be expected with the ruler of the tenth house here. It's noteworthy to see how many spiritually enlightened masters and religious leaders have this combination. Therefore, there's a direct link between work and the spiritual motivations of the individual which make him a preacher or someone attempting to enlighten the world generally. This is also a strong and positive placement for the father and promises tremendous success and wealth to them.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE TENTH HOUSEHigh status in life and fame are to be expected for the tenth ruler in its own sector. The person's name will shine brightly, particularly if lords of the other angles or trines partake of the combination. It's important for this ruler to be strong however, as the reverse results are to be expected if it's posited in its house of debilitation. More often than not great results are to be expected during the cycle of the planet ruling the tenth or planets found in the Nakshatras (stars) of this particular ruler.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE ELEVENTH HOUSEThis is a very strong financial placement and gives immense wealth with many powerful and influential friendships along business and career lines. Unless there's an affliction to the ruler of the eleventh or tenth rulers, the person is likely to have great support from people both in his employ and socially. Alternatively, under negative aspects, these friends may turn on him. This placement also indicates strength in the relationship and professional status of the siblings.RULER OF THE TENTH HOUSE IN THE TWELFTH HOUSEThere's a strong connection between foreign countries and the profession of the individual and they may spend time overseas, living there for a considerable time, particularly if the signs on the twelfth house are fixed. Along with this seeking of material success in faraway places, there's a tinge of spirituality about the person yet if negative planets such as Rahu, Mars or Saturn aspect negatively, they may turn to a life of crime.

Career, profession, or status, is the domain of Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, and Saturn its ruling planet. Capricorn ruler Saturn or what we would call the tenth house of kaal pursh.

(Therefore the principle indicators or career significators in a chart are...

1. the Saturn sign

2. any planet in Capricorn

This can mean that ALL of your planets are career significators in some way, especially if you have a planet in every sign. This should not seem so unusual, as it is not uncommon for some people to be totally geared to their profession, while others only partially so.

Begin by assessing your Saturn placement. Saturn shows how or where you can plan, organize, and achieve an objective.

Saturn in fire has personal goals or objectives, such as achieving a clearer sense of self or identity(Aries), personal fame or power(Leo), or spiritual illumination(Sagittarius).

Saturn in earth has material goals or objectives, such as achieving wealth and possessions(Taurus), health and skill(Virgo), or some position of power and authority(Capricorn).

Saturn in air has social or intellectual goals or objectives, such as achieving knowledge or learnedness(Gemini), unity or harmony(Libra), and freedom or truth(Aquarius).

Saturn in water has security goals or objectives, such as achieving a sense of belonging or family(Cancer), fusion or regeneration(Scorpio), or universal compassion or understanding pisces).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Devil Is A Theologian

The Devil Is A Theologian


By Mark Judge

EXCERPT:Fr. Guarnizo has JUST ISSUED A STATEMENT about what actually happened, and I believe him. In the original version of the story in The Washington Post, written by Michelle Boorstein - a reporter whose problems I will address shortly - it appeared as if Barbara Johnson had arrived at her mother's funeral, and in a casual chat with Fr. Guarnizo before Mass had introduced her girlfriend. Then she was denied communion.

Why didn't I listen to my instincts, and the wisdom I have acquired about the left over the years?

The left lies.

And they lie in particularly slippery ways. I have written several articles over the last couple years about one of my favorite films, "The Exorcist," and one of the deepest observations of the book and film is that the demonic does not necessarily come storming down the street on horses with flaming swords held high. It plays word games. It shames and bullies. It attacks the soul through sexual dehumanization. When Christ was in the desert fasting, Satan did not arrive in a thunderous chimera of lightning. He attempted to fool Jesus by quoting scripture. As Pope Benedict noted in his book about Jesus, "It turns out that the devil is a theologian!" Indeed.

Fr. Guarnizo has now issued his own account of what happened. According to him, Barbara Johnson met with Fr. Guarnizo before Mass and intentionally introduced her girlfriend as her "lover." Johnson then left, and when Fr. Guarnizo attempted to follow her, Johnson's lover blocked his way. When Johnson presented herself for communion, Fr. Guarnizo quietly whispered to her that he could not give her the Eucharist. She then went to a Eucharistic minister a few feet away, who gave her communion. THE REST

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pagan Blog Project B Is For Buckthorn

Pagan Blog Project B Is For Buckthorn
I love working with herbs. When I first started working with them I went to Ebay and bought a huge assortment of herbs to use in my work. While some of the small, carefully labeled packets are still unused I have never regretted that initial purchase. There is nothing worse than not having the right ingredients for whatever I am working on be it oatmeal cookies, a good luck amulet or a spell bottle. This week I chose to write about Buckthorn ("RHAMNUS CATHARTICA" ) as I am working on protection amulets for my Etsy Shop and Buckthorn happens to be one of the necessary ingredients for these particular amulets. There are many type of Buckthorn, including both deciduous and evergreen varieties. The Rhamnus cathartica species, also called Common Buckthorn, is one of the deciduous types. This particular shrub grows up to 25 feet tall, has green leaves and gray/brown bark. The black berries are slightly poisonous to humans but Buckthorn is still used to make an herbal laxative. Buckthorn's magical properties are: protection, wishes ">Element: WaterPlanet: SaturnGender: Feminine

Parts used: Bark, branches, leaves and berries. Scott Cunningham notes that the bark must be aged at least two years before using internally.

Medicinally Buckthorn was used similar to Syrup of Ipecac is today, as a purgative for children however due to the severity of the reaction it fell out of use with humans. Buckthorn has also been used as a laxative in the form of teas, tonics or syrups with sweet ingredients added to make it more palatable. In addition to its magical and medicinal properties, Buckthorn bark and leaves are used to make yellow dye to color fabrics and if collect before they ripen its berries, when mixed with gum-arabic and limewater, form the pigment 'Sap or bladder green" for water color painters.Scott Cunningham relays the following legend in his Encyclopedia of Magical herbs:It is said that if you sprinkle buckthorn in a circle and dance within it under a full moon, an elf will appear. The dancer must notice the elf and say "Halt and grant my boon!" before the creature flees. The elf will then grant one wish. Perhaps this will be part of my next full moon ritual, if I miss the elf at least I'll have fun dancing and he'll have fun watching from his hiding spot. Sources for this article:

Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbshttp://www.paganlore.com

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Witch Is A Healer A Sage A Mystic And Very Powerful The Powers That Be Fear This Feminine Power


"I'd never thought about witchcraft like that: A FLEXIBLE, CATCH-ALL REPOSITORY FOR ANYTHING THAT UPSETS AUTHORITY AND STRUCTURE. Even in the Bible a witch is defined as someone who does something "that we do not do."

Witchcraft is very much about power, and we continue to be interested in it because of that! Of course, what is threatening to an early modern religious system is not threatening in the same way today. We have different sources of authority. Back then, there was no difference between government and church and science; today, we've split those loci, but that question of power is still one of the reasons we find witches so intoxicating and enticing. What they represent is incredibly exciting: the idea that you have a set of secret powers that no one can perceive.

Yeah, and yet even that idea can get twisted back around to serve the place of power where government/church/science is still connected. I'm thinking of Todd Akin saying women's bodies have the ability to shut down a rape. If that were true, we'd be witches. And almost, what a cool fantasy that we could do that, and how terrible that even that fantasy doesn't get to serve us at all."

"So, I have a question for you that I'm not even sure how to formulate. I am curious about: where do witches start? What's the oldest mention of a witch? You talk about Exodus, "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." I think I've always assumed that the idea of a witch is basically as old as women and fear. But I don't know!

That's a good question and I don't know if I can answer it. For one, there are so many different dimensions of witchcraft. Today, there are still examples all over the world where people (oftentimes children) are accused of being witches and scapegoated, just as in a witch trial. There are whole populations of children in Central Africa who have been isolated because their families or villages cast them out for witchcraft. So, it's hard to say: witchcraft is hard to trace back to a single idea, and each case arises out of specific factors. The word is translated differently in different places, too. Even in the Bible it's hard to understand the difference between witch, sorcerer, wizard, necromancer.

But essentially there are two pieces to the witch idea: scapegoating, and power. It's safe to say that in any culture, at any time, we might have looked for ways to scapegoat people who are on the outs.

Or people who have power that we don't want them to have.

And there are always ways to punish people who have gained that kind of power. But I can't identify a real starting point for witches: I'm a little uncomfortable drawing any broad trans-cultural conclusion about witchcraft.

It is interesting, though, that the idea is almost inherently syncretic. It flips from folk to religion and back, it seems easily transmissible.

Yeah. I will mention that there's a certain idea about witchcraft and colonialism-the idea that witchcraft is imported into places through colonization, and intense and imported religious activity might bring about this Western idea of a witch.

Where does the like, Walgreens witch come from? The super-simplified pop culture symbol of the witch?

There are definitely very old woodcuts of witches that are very Hollywood-esque. I don't know exactly how to answer that question, but I can tell you where the major symbols come from.


So the broom comes from early modern descriptions of what witches do. It shows up in early modern and some medieval woodcuts, and one big feminist interpretation is to see the broom as a phallic symbol, of course. One thing that's different between the Hollywood version and these old woodcuts is that the early modern witches were supposed to carry the broom with the straw facing forward, and they'd melt a candle into the straw to light their way.

That is really beautiful, actually.

Yeah, and there was this sense that witches could send their souls out of their bodies to fly around at night, and the broom is part of that."

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