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December 8, 2011

Yule: Origins and Customs

by Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman

Celebrations During the Winter Solstice, Yule Log and Mistletoe
Yule is the name for the pagan festival which celebrates the Winter Solstice and many present day customs originate from those traditions.
Yule Correspondences:
  • Incense: Pine, Cedar, Rosemary, Bayberry, Juniper, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Myrrh
  • Metal: Gold
  • Stones/Gems: Sapphire, Turquoise, Serpentine, Peridot, Jacinth
  • Colors: Red, Green, White, Silver, Gold
  • Foods: Nuts, Apples, Oranges, Mulled Wine, Turkey, Goose or Ham , Popcorn
  • Herbs and Flowers : Holly, Mistletoe, Rosemary, Oak, Spruce, Pine, Ivy, Fir, Poinsettia
  • Animals: reindeer, the stag, mouse, deer, horse, bear

Yule Customs and Origins

Nearly every ancient culture held a celebration to mark the shortest day of the year and the return of the Sun. Celebrated annually on the


October 16, 2011

Samhain and Halloween in Britian and Ireland

by Marc Latham
 
Millions of people still celebrate the Halloween festival that takes place on October 31st, and this article describes its history and traditions.


At the end of October and early November people all over the world celebrate the end of summer with festivals of fire and tricks. In Britain and Ireland the celebration has been taking place for centuries.


From Samhain to Halloween
 Samhain means summer's end, and was the Celtic New Year. It was the second major fire festival of the Celtic Year, and ran from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 2 November. In Ancient Wisdom (Parragon: 2002), Cassandra Eason wrote that 'It originally marked the onset of winter, when the cattle were brought from the hills...The Celts believed that with the onset of winter the ghosts of the departed would come shivering from the woodlands and bare fields for the shelter of their former cottages. Food would be left in the kitchens or parlours for them.'


British Paganism came under attack from Christianity after the Romans invaded in the first century AD, with many holy sites destroyed, and the old traditions frowned upon.

September 19, 2011

Fall Equinox - Autumn Harvest


by Janis Masyk-Jackson
The fall or Autumnal Equinox celebrates harvest time, the changing of the colors of the leaves, the first day of fall, and the Wiccan holiday Mabon
There's something very unique about the fall equinox. It's one of  only two days in the entire year in which night and day are of the same length everywhere in the world. The other day is in spring. It's also a time for harvesting crops and depending on where someone lives in the world or their religious background, a time of giving thanks.

Autumnal Equinox

As the hot days of summer end, the leaves on the trees begin to burst into color as they begin changing into tones of yellow, orange, and red, signifying that fall is here. It's also harvest time. In the United States, some people celebrate the equinox with festivals and street fairs. The equinox usually takes place either on or by September 22.
The United States isn't the only country that celebrates a harvest. Similar celebrations take place in various Asian countries. Korea has the celebration known as Chusok, while Japan's celebration is called Obon. In China, Harvest Moon is celebrated.

August 8, 2011

How to Cleanse Negativity from the Home

by Deanna

Smudging and Other Simple Techniques to Clearing Space from Negative Imprints


Clear negativity at home with cleansing agents like salt, smudging with sage, ringing a bell, letting in  adequate sunlight and fresh air, besides getting rid of clutter for "good movement"


Homes can accumulate negative energy over a period of time, especially if the space has not been cleansed in a long time. Clearing the space of negative energy is especially important when moving into a previously occupied  home.

Many believe that fights, conflicts, deaths, unpleasant traumatic episodes tend to leave their negative residual energy behind. Energy sensitive people may be able to sense this if a particular place feels

July 24, 2011

Making and Using Talismans and Amulets

Charms That Banish Evil, Bring Good Luck, Psychic Ability

by Joy Richardson


Talismans and amulets are considered magical items by some people. They believe the items can offer protection, influence, and bring about changes in bad situations.


Triskele Amulet from Wren's Grove
People carry or wear talismans and amulets for a variety of  purposes. For some, it's the hope of bringing about change, for others it's the belief that magical items can provide protection. Talismans and amulets can be carried on the person or they can be put in an appropriate place, such as on a desk, or under a pillow.

A talisman or amulet can be made for any reason, though commonly they are used for such purposes as stimulating creativity, increasing prosperity, expanding psychic receptivity, and overcoming problems.

The difference between a talisman and amulet is simple. A talisman

July 6, 2011

Cleanse and Purify Your Psychic Energy Field

by Terri Parrot

Psychic energy is believed to be a life force in the body that balances one with the environment.


Psychic abilities are often described as the natural expression of the soul, and are a function of constructively developing and applying skills at a spiritual, mental and physical level. However, one's belief system embracing the existence of psychic abilities has a significant impact on the effective expression of the subtle energies of life. It is believed one is able to awaken dormant psychic abilities through learning to relax and use focused concentration to increase sensitivity to internal and external energies.


May 29, 2011

Healing Crystals

By Kristen Lauter

Body, Mind, and Spirit
The beauty and mystique of crystals have enamored folks for thousands of years.
Chakra Seven Door Energy Kit
Not only were crystals used as tools, but they have always been and are at present worn to accentuate the body as well as beautify the decor of any living space. Crystals are not only found in computers and electronic gadgets but they are believed to have magical and healing properties as well.
Crystals have been used to protect, ward off harm and interpret messages from the spirit world. Traditionally gemstones were used to alleviate pain and sickness. Today, however, crystal healers use the crystals to remove the energy that causes physical illness.


Chakras in Relation to Crystal Healing


There are specific crystals which correspond to seven main energy centers of the body. (Also known as chakras) The color of the crystal corresponds with the color associated with a particular chakra.

May 6, 2011

Energy Clearing

by Kaz Hanford

After a healing, it is vital that the healer clears the healing room of any residual negative energy left from the healing. During a healing, the healer may remove blockages from the clients etheric and/or physical body which have hindered the natural flow of energy. These blockages should not be present in the body and therefore should be removed. If the client has an illness that has manifested on the physical level, there will be energy given off that may be heavy, sticky or negative - we call it 'spiritual slime'.

This tends to stick not only to the healer, but must also be removed from the client's aura and the healing area itself. During the healing, it is not uncommon for the healer to become aware of this negative energy clinging to their hands and arms, and they may even have to stop and clean it off with their other hand or a feather. It may feel uncomfortable and perhaps may make the healer ache a little. This is why it is absolutely vital for the healer to wash their hands right up to their elbows after a healing. They must make sure that they clean off this energy so that it does not remain in their aura and create problems with their own personal energy flows.

April 27, 2011

Beltane Festival Symbolizes Start of Summer

by Joy Richardson

Beltane is one of the greater sabbats of the pagan calendar and is celebrated on May 1 in the Northern Hemisphere. Beltane's polar opposite, Samhain, is celebrated on this day in the Southern Hemisphere.
Beltane marks the midpoint of the sun’s progress between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. Beltane symbolizes the start of summer, and is one of the most important festivals of the year.
Its origins lie among the Celtic people of Western Europe and was celebrated all across the British Isles, including England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. In Ireland it was known as “Bealtaine”, in Scotland “Bealtunn”, and in Wales as “Galan Mae”.

Historically, this is the time of year when crops began to grow, when animals bore their young, and when people came out of houses after being cooped up during the long dark months of winter. In olden times the coming of fair weather and longer daylight hours were most welcome and cause for celebration.

Building Sacred Fires

Beltane is one of the four great “fire festivals” that quarter the turning points of the Celtic year. In preparation of Beltane, the

March 30, 2011

Energy Healing Through Chakras

by  Kristen Lauter
April 17, 2009
  
    Energy healing dates back 4000 years to Egypt, and although there are many forms of its use today the general understanding is that there is a force within that is able to heal and assist in creating of reality when in proper alignment with it.
What is a Chakra?
A chakra, which in ancient yoga systems of India was referred to as "wheel of light," is one of the main focuses of energy healing. There are seven main chakras in which each chakra correlates with a frequency band and subtle bodies associated with each band, as well as specific endrocrine glands.
A chakra, also known as an energy vortex, is also considered a gateway to consciousness. When a chakra is opened and balanced, the energy is directed to heal all areas of life associated with that chakra. Evolving up the ladder of the chakras is also considered the path to ascension (raising body’s frequency to that of light).

Out of This World - Shamanism Healing

By: Eric Cho


Many of the ancient cultures of the world adhered to one or the other form of Shamanism. This is a tribal healing tradition where a Shaman is said to transcend the boundaries of the conscious world and travel to a world unbeknown to the ordinary man. Here, the Shaman converses with spirits and come back with secrets that allows him to heal others, foretell the future, control the weather and even ward off attacks.

March 3, 2011

Energetic Systems of the Body: Auras and Chakras

by April Lalibert

A. Lalibert
 
The word chakra means "wheel." It is literally an energetic wheel of energy circulating within the human body. There are seven main chakras and many more minor chakras. The chakras contribute to a healthy aura, which is the body's overall energetic field. These two energetic systems complement each other and work together to contribute to a healthy functioning system.


The Seven Chakras
The wheels of energy are specific to certain areas of the body. Below gives an overview of the colors associated with each chakra, the chakra name, the activity it supports in the body and the areas of the body that are nourished by each area (given in that order).
  1. Red-Root-Survival-adrenal glands, legs, feet
  2. 
    Chakras for Beginners
    
  3. Orange-Navel-Sexuality, Creativity-ovaries, testicles,womb, genitals
  4. Yellow-Solar Plexus-Personal power, control--stomach
  5. Green (purple)-Heart-Love-physical heart and hypothalamus
  6. Light Blue-Throat-Speaking your Truth-thyroid, vocal cords
  7. Indigo-Third Eye-Knowledge of Self-face, nervous system, pituitary
  8. White-Crown-Purest Being-Pineal gland, cerebrum
Chakras are easier to work with in the short term since they are healed directly by thoughts, intentions and influenced by gemstones and music. 

Click here for a simple chakra meditation to enhance and balance the flow of energy within the body.

February 16, 2011

Grounding Meditations – Easy Energy Meditation for Beginners

by Janis Masyk-Jackson
   
Meditation Techniques for Beginners
 
 It's best for this meditation to sit on the floor as it sets the stage for an energy meditation featured later on in this article. Make the area as calm and peaceful as possible. With all the hustle bustle people go through in life on a daily basis, time is needed to relax, quiet the mind and learn how to focus on just one thing.


Meditation Bible- 140 meditations in user-friendly guide
 
At this point, the idea is to focus on breathing. Close your eyes and begin to breathe in through the nostrils and exhale through the mouth. Pay close attention to your diaphragm. Notice the way it expands when you take a breath and sinks in when you exhale. The reason for focusing on this is to keep your mind busy on the meditation instead of any random thoughts that may come into your mind.
Keep focusing on your breathing only. Dismiss any other thoughts that come along. This meditation should bring you focus. By allowing yourself to concentrate on only one thing, you are able to rid your mind of all other thoughts. This can open the door for many other forms of meditation. In this case, you want to be able to bring in fresh energy into your body.

Grounding Meditation

A grounding meditation is an easy way of meditating that focuses on the breath. It's great for beginning  meditation as it lays this  foundation for other meditations. To begin, find a quiet place where you won't be bothered.



January 30, 2011

Candlemas/Imbolc

by Mike Nichols

It seems quite impossible that the holiday of Candlemas should be considered the beginning of Spring. Here in the Heartland, February 2nd may see a blanket of snow mantling the Mother. Or, if the snows have gone, you may be sure the days are filled with drizzle, slush, and steel-grey skies -- the dreariest weather of the year. In short, the perfect time for a Pagan Festival of Lights. And as for Spring, although this may seem a tenuous beginning, all the little buds, flowers and leaves will have arrived on schedule before Spring runs its course to Beltane.
'Candlemas' is the Christianized name for the holiday, of course. The older Pagan names were Imbolc and Oimelc. 'Imbolc' means, literally, 'in the belly' (of the Mother). For in the womb of Mother Earth, hidden from our mundane sight but sensed by a keener vision, there are stirrings. The seed that was planted in her womb at the solstice is quickening and the new year grows. 'Oimelc' means 'milk of ewes', for it is also lambing season.
The holiday is also called 'Brigit's Day', in honor of the great Irish Goddess Brigit. At her shrine, the ancient Irish capitol of Kildare, a group of 19 priestesses (no men allowed) kept a perpetual flame burning in her honor. She was considered a goddess of fire patroness
 

January 25, 2011

What You Need to Know About Aromatherapy Oils

by Krishan Bakhru

From the days of early civilization in Egypt, people have been using aromatherapy to in everyday their everyday lives. Without the intricacies of modern healing, people back then only resort to traditional and alternative  medicine in relieving physical pain. But, due to the emergence of  modern science in the field of medicine, this tradition of healing using natural resources have slowly disappeared.
But today, with the trend of going back to the natural and to the basic, aromatherapy is becoming quite popular in the world of healing because of its therapeutic properties. Usually, aromatherapy involves the use of aromatherapy oils derived from various parts of plants. These aromatherapy oils are believed to contain therapeutic properties that greatly help patients to recover and heal eventually.
Basically, aromatherapy refers to the healing technique that uses aromatic oils extracted and distilled from different plants to bring about a feeling of well being physically and psychologically.

January 15, 2011

Candle Lore and Magic
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Ph.D.

Candles have a long and interesting history in religious worship, magic and folklore. They light the way to the sacred;they dispel the forces of darkness; they are associated with ghosts and the dead; they can find buried treasure; and they play a role in incubated dreaming.

The origin of candles is not known, but there is evidence that beeswax candles were used in Egypt and Crete as early as 3000 B.C.E. Other early candles consisted of tapers made of a fibrous material, such as rushes, saturated with tallow.

Ancient peoples observed that candle flames revealed mysterious things. By staring into a flame, one could enter an altered state of consciousness and see gods and spirits, or see the future. The late Egyptians of about the third century used lamps, and possibly candles, in a magic ritual for "dreaming true," or obtaining answers from dreams. The individual retired to a dark cave facing south and sat and stared into a flame until he saw a god. He then lay down and went to sleep, anticipating that the god would appear in his dreams with the answers he sought.

Ancient Pagans used candles and lamps in religious observances, a practice which the Roman Christian theologian Tertullian vehemently protested as "the useless lighting of lamps at noonday." By the fourth century, both candles and lamps were part of Christian rituals, but it was not until the latter part of the Middle Ages, from the twelfth century on, that candles were placed on church altars. The Catholic Church established the use of consecrated holy candles in rituals of blessings and absolving sins, and in exorcizing demons.

Witch-hunt Lore

During the witch-hunts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, inquisitors' handbooks such as the Malleus Maleficarum (1486) prescribed holy candles as among those consecrated objects "for preserving oneself from the injury of witches." Farmers used holy candles to protect their livestock from danger and bewitchment.

January 7, 2011

Smudging, The Sacred Bowl Blessing


 
Smudging is a ritual or ceremony to remove purify or bless people or places. Smoke attaches itself to the negative energy and removes it to another space. "Cleansing" is the word traditionally used, but you can think of it as a shift in energy from any bits of negativity to a more positive, peaceful state. Smudging can be used to cleanse an object, a place, or your spirit, mind or body. Native Americans often use smudging in association with other ceremonies using only the sacred herbs of that tribe deemed for purification or blessing. The herbs of one tribe may by deemed "taboo" or  "sacred" in another. Hence "smudging" is referred to this practice of First Nation or Native American tradition.

In many traditions, smudging involves a four directions ceremony or prayer. It, thus, sends specific kinds of smoke or prayer into the four different directions. Of course, different tribes have different smudging prayers, but the smoke is typically directed or programmed to do a specific action or a specific direction, aiding in divination. However, in general smudging is used to maintain balance and shield against negative energy. As has been noted above, it is often used as a cleansing agent.