Collected here are past articles that have been on
"The Occult Shop" main page, or written for other local publications.
Enjoy! * The Occult Shop Staff*
Click here to get instuctions for a Healing Ritual:
In front of your altar cast a circle and
call in Deities such as Gaia (earth mother), Isis (Goddess of many), Venus
(love), Angels, Ma'at (justice), Hercules (strength), Hermes (communication),
Buddha (healing, compassion), or check out "The Witches God"
and "The Witches Goddess" by the Farrars. Light your deity candles.
Anoint your 3 (or less) candles with the oil. As you do this envision
and state your goal for this spell. At this time light the candle(s).
Pack your herbs into the sachet. Now hold your stone or stones in your
left hand and meditate on the goal of your spell. See healing taking place,
and a scene of peace emerging. If you have other goals that are directly
relating to the purpose of this spell you may meditate on those now. Now
take the sachet and the stone(s), place them in your right hand. Now being
projecting your healing energy and thoughts to the subject, person, place
or thing you are sending it to. Make this as real as possible. Allow the
Gods you have invoked to fill you with divine love, and healing. As this
feeling wells in you project it out to the scene in front of you. See
this energy causing change to occur before you. See miracles take place
as the Gods empower and carry out your energy and well wishes. Hold this
image and make it as real as possible. When you feel you are finished,
calmly open your eyes and take a breather to ground. If you find it hard
to ground go hug a tree (yes it works), or draw the energy from the deep
Feel them empowering you as you empower the sachet. You
may go into chanting at this time.When you are finished you may snuff
out both of the candles if they have not burned down. Thank all who have
helped you in this rite, and dismiss them. Close the circle as usual.
You can do this spell as often as you wish.
Tarot Cards I:
We will explain each month one Tarot card in depth. In this issue I thought it appropriate to explain just what they are, and their many uses.
I was always curious about "supernatural" subjects as most young psychics are. At the age of seventeen, one of my mothers elderly friends gave me a Tarot deck. It was old, and worn, with the meanings of the card written on each individual one. Everyday or so I would sit down and do a reading. Yet I kept a healthy skepticism just the same. I would write down my reading for the day, and check the accuracy before I went to sleep. By my next birthday I kept noticing "The Emperor" card came up in every reading. This meant I was going to meet a man with money, and power. The astrological symbol for this card is Taurus. The night I went out for my birthday, I walked up and started talking to this complete stranger. We talked all night, and he gave me his phone number. He indeed was a man with money, and political stature. That was several years ago, and Robert the Taurus and I are still friends. This proved to me that the Tarot can work.
As I progressed I began reading for friends and family. Time and again the cards foretold the future with great accuracy. I was also developing my spiritual path, and healing abilities. I found I needed to be rooted in my spirituality to attain pure results.
No one knows the origin of the Tarot. Many say they where a form of Hieroglyphics created by the Egyptians. From there the Gypsies (derived from the word "Egyptian") spread them through Europe. The first historical documentation was made in 1332 by Alphonnse XI, king of Leon and Castile. The record states that he banned them from further use.
In the 1990's we have seen a resurgence of the early 1900's fame of Divination. More intellectual, and psychological methods seem to be in demand. The mediums, and séances of old have been replaced with crystal points, and rebirthing. The Tarot is a tool that has never gone out of style.
There are many myths about the Tarot. "The Death card means your gonna die.", "Don't let anyone touch your cards.", "Don't buy your own deck.", "If you charge for readings you will lose your 'power." and my favorite "So, you tell fortunes?"
Forget all the wives tales you have ever heard. The tarot is a card deck made out of paper with creative drawings and symbolism. In short it is a tool to bring out the subconscious knowing of the self. The only thing "spooky" about it is the person wielding the cards. Tarot reading is vastly different from fortune telling. Fortune telling is based upon the belief of fate. "You vill meet a man vith dark hair, and a dark heart, bevare!" With fortune telling there is no way to change your path, it is destined. The Tarot is designed to tell you of your future and give you advice on how to change or enhance it. I often term it as a psychology session with future insight.
When picking a deck make sure you feel a connection with the cards. Hold them in your hands, and feel their energies. You may feel heat, or a tingling sensation, or they may say to you "Put me back."
Once you have found your deck, I suggest carrying them in a black, or purple silk pouch. This will keep the psychic vibrations of the cards intact. It is a good idea after each reading smudging cards with incense, or separating them card by card in two stacks, as a way of cleansing them.
By: Rev. Banshee
Self Empowering Ritual: Tools you
will need are a red candle, a white candle, dried orange and lemon peels,
a garnet or tigers eye stone, a red cloth, parchment paper, a pen, string
and some kind of solar, or fire oil. In front of your altar cast a circle
and call in Deities such as Lugh, Hel, or Pele. Light the white candle
as an offering of fire to the deity. Hold the stone in your left hand
as you write on the parchment what you wish this spell to do for you.
Do you want to be more popular? Be taken more seriously? Feel confident
in a certain situation? Be creative, this spell is only limited by your
imagination. Anoint the red candle with the solar oil, an anoint your
root and throat chakras Light the candle saying "Bright fire of power,
I no longer cower. Confident in your light, I am filled with strength
and might." Allow the flame to burn, as you meditate on your rising
thoughts. Next take the red cloth and fill it with the herbs you have
selected. You may also include your stone in the cloth. Gather the edges
and tie with the sting. Hold the newly made sachet in your dominant hand,
and speak to the Gods what you have written on your parchment paper. Feel
them empowering you as you empower the sachet. You may go into chanting
at this time. When you are finished you may snuff out both of the candles
if they have not burned down. Thank all who have helped you in this rite,
and dismiss them. Close the circle as usual. You can do this spell as
often as you wish.
Recipe for Moon Water: Take a crystal
or glass bowl and fill with spring, or natural water (sea water is best).
On the night of the waning or full moon go outside or to a window where
the moon shines through. Place the bowl in direct contact with the moon
so that you can see her reflecting in the water. You may sit there and
meditate on the Goddess at this time, thus empowering the water, or walk
away and let the moon work her own magick. The time you leave the bowl
is up to you, I suggest at least an hour. Then draw a hot bath and drop
in any lunar herbs, sea salt, bath salt, etc. that you wish. Let the materials
seep as if a tea. Then add the moon water. This should make one powerful
LUGHNASADH: (July 31st) also
known as: Lammas. Lugh the fire and light god. In Ireland the leader of
the "Tuatha De Danann" after defeating Balor. This is the traditional
time for "Teltown handfastings" which last only a year and a
day. At the end of such a time, the couple then decides if they wish to
be legally married. This is a time of fertility and harvest. This is also
the height of festival season. This year we plan to attend Pan Pagan in
Indiana, and The Celtic Moon Clans fest in Kentucky.
Samhain: The Witches Halloween. The leaves are falling, the days
grow shorter, and that familiar scent of Autumn fills the air. A feeling
of magick touches this season. A most sacred time for remembering our
ancestors, and our psychic selves. To the ancients this was a time when
the "veil" between the world was thin. For a short time once
a year the spirit world, and the physical world where joined. A change
of seasons, from light to dark, from Summer to Winter. This was the time
to gather your harvest, and brace for the cold nights. The Witches New
Year. A time to give thanks for the fruitful summer, and divine for the
future year. The Tarot cards are a favorite of diviners around the world.
Yet there are other tools just as viable. The crystal (or glass) ball
is used in the art of "Scrying". To scry, you set your crystal
ball on black material (silk, velvet) and then clear your mind. Laurie
Cabot in her book "Power of the Witch" describes how to change
your consciousness by going into alpha. This is a very useful technique
to open your subconscious. The objective is to clear your mind, and allow
yourself to receive pictures from the crystal ball. Most see a cloudy
smoke first. Then you may see colors, shapes or actual scenes as if watching
a movie. It also helps to have a candle near by to cast shadows and reflections.
For more on Crystal balls read "Crystal balls and Crystal Bowls"
by Ted Andrews. Pendulums are also a great practice that anyone can utilize.
Pendulums made from semi precious stones are best (lapis, amethyst, quartz).
You can make a pendulum chart for yes or no questions, or get creative
and make them for time limits, your health, or your best path in a certain
situation. A celebrated tradition on Samhain is the "Dumb Supper".
This is a ritual feast for the dead, and a great way to honor our ancestors.
A place for all who will eat at the table is set, and also a place is
set in honor of the departed. A candle is also lit in their honor. It
may be nice to have a candle in the window to guide their way home, and
one on the table. The food should be in theme with your ancestors. If
your dear grandma loved a good potato soup, then have that as a course.
If you come from an Irish back ground, why not try your hand at an old
Irish recipe? Also things that may have not come so easily to our ancestors
as now in modern times, such as sugar, honey and butter. Get creative!
During the dinner silence is observed. Cakes and wine are offered to the
ancestors, as well as the courses in the meal. When dinner is over you
can reminisce about departed friends, or do some divination for the coming
year. In the morning (or that evening) find a nice tree and offer your
gifts from dinner at the foot. Pour the wine and place the food on the
grass. If you are doing it in the evening it is a good idea to take one
of the candles from dinner, to light the way of the spirits.
Tarot Card of the Month: Sept 2001
This month we have all been through too much. The card I have drawn is the 10 of wands. It shows a man oppressed by the weight of the ten staves which he is carrying. They are ranged so closely in front of him that he can't even see where he's going. Nothing exists for this man except his burdens and responsibilities. Though his destination that is just now in site.
The card speaks of exhaustion, burden, and stress, through the chore of carrying 10 wands over a long distance on a warm day.
We have all felt the exhaustion after a long journey. The traveler the represents us, is close to reaching the city of his destination. So this time of struggle will be most burdensome, yet by the end of this month we will feel like we are closer to a goal. Take care not to take on more than you can handle. Spreading yourself too thin could lead to an emotional and spiritual low.
So the card speaks of the stress of this time, yet also speaks of hope. Rev. Banshee
My All Hallows Tradition: Hecate, the great triple goddess of Magick, Psychic work, and of the crossroads. I call upon Hecate for her wisdom and protection for the new year. Being a goddess of the crossroads she can see both past and future. Her wisdom is that of the wise old crone. The Greeks and Romans left offering to Hecate at a crossroads where the traveler had three choices in which way to journey. This was called "Hecate's Supper". These offerings where taken to her at the dead of night, on the eve of the full moon. One left the food and walked away, never looking back for fear of confrontation with this powerful goddess. Dark goddesses such as Hecate and Kali-ma are both feared and respected. The fear comes from nothing less than facing your true self, all your darkness, and hidden feelings. Yet this to some of us is nothing to fear. So if you are feeling brave and wish to know what the New Year holds for you invoke Hecate into your circle. I invite her, and do a 78 Tarot card reading on the year to come. They are always quite accurate, and the warnings I heed. Hecate can show you where you may have trouble or a downfall, and if you're smart you will do your best to avoid these dangers. Forewarned is forearmed.
By: Rev. Banshee
Being pagan I revel in my relationship with the God and Goddess. Among you I worship, among you I teach, learn, among you I dance. My spirituality has taught me to appreciate my body, it's form and functions. I feel the liberation in running naked through the woods, stirring up the fire with ecstatic dance, but do I feel safe?
Too many times I have noticed when speaking to a "spiritual" man about the religion or philosophy, I find this "Spiritual" man staring at my spiritual breasts. This leads me to think that my body is held in higher regard than my wisdom. How are pagan women really valued? Actions speak louder than words.
Patriarchy has overrun us in recent centuries, as you know for we all "Fight the good fight". They took statues of pagan old and bashed their heads and tore of their limbs to render them "powerless". For instance the famed Aphrodite statue was desecrated because she symbolized a beautiful and powerful Goddess. Are we taking the power away from our pagan women by only noticing their physical beauty?
We clearly recognize that the Goddess is celebrated through the female form and sexuality. Now is the time to recognize the mind within the Goddess. The joyous, carefree, playful, compassionate, healing, intuitive, mysterious, wise- Maiden, Mother and Crone.
So when you are attending your next pagan festival watching a woman dance the dance of the Goddess, dare to show your interest in the way she talks, not just the way she walks.
Here is a recipe for a powerful cleansing of the home or an apartment. You will need: water, salt, lemon juice, rose quartz, frankincense, sage and dragons blood (if you cannot find dragons blood then cinnamon and clove will do).
Take all the dry ingredients into circle and grind them together. Call upon Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth and Home. Empower the herbs with the intent of clearing your home of any and all negative vibrations. Visualize all the dark shadows lifting from your corners and furniture never to return again. When this is done, in a clockwise manner, seal every threshold and corner with your magickal mixture. If there is a room in your home that has any particular bad memories you may wish to cleanse it twice.
I've found it useful to leave the herbs around the house for at least a full day and night so the energies have time to work.
Your next step will be to mix the salt, lemon juice, water and the cleansing agent of your choice. Clean everything in a clockwise (deosil) motion. You may wish to call upon Hestia again to empower and witness your rite of cleansing. Now clean your home and yes, windows included.
When this is done you may vacuum the remaining herbs. Then in each corner of your home place a small rose quartz. This will ensure peaceful loving energies until your next cleansing.
When all is clean and clear, it is my suggestion that you burn a red candle in honor of Hestia, for she is a Goddess of fire as well.
When I was just a bit over 6 years of age, I lived in Glendale, Ohio. Next door to us resided an elderly woman, who was nice to the kids in the neighborhood. One wintry day she invited me and a boy into her side yard. There she showed us a huge stone statue of a fat scantily clad oriental man. She called him Buddha. She told me to rub his belly and make a wish and I did. Then she said to erase the wish all I had to do was rub his head. That afternoon the boy and I played with our new friend Buddha, making and erasing wishes.
Not long after that day I found myself again in her side yard. I was chasing a black bird with a broken wing. Like all children I wanted to take it home and nurse it back to health. I couldn't find the bird anywhere so I went to my friend Buddha. I wished that the bird would be in a beer keg planter near by. I waited a minute then slowly crept up to it. Low and behold there the bird lay. I was surprised and happy! Come to think of it the planter was almost too high for an injured bird to get into. Hmm.....
Last year I was at the woman's home. She breeds cats and I wanted a kitten. She insisted in giving me an older male that I could take home that day since the kittens were too young to wean. My boyfriend who was with me did not want to take the older cat. Walking around the yard I stumbled upon Buddha. I wished that my mate would see my point of view on the subject. Needless to say that the male cat slept with us that night.
Last week a friend of mine gave me a Buddha statuette. I haven't wished upon it yet for its magick is powerful. We must be careful what we wish for, because with Buddha, you will get it.
Buddha is a Hindu God, son of the Star Goddess Tara and the Moon God Soma. Buddha is considered both beautiful and powerful, the founder of the lunar dynasties.
Much love to my childhood friend - Buddha
Rev. Banshee (1994)
A glossy black bird known as the crow was seen to be much more to our ancient ancestors. They worshiped immaculate ivory carvings of a Goddess who's features were a beaked mouth, talon fingers and women's breasts. Centuries later our Crow Goddess has become our Crow God. We see traces of her in Cronus (which literally translates to "the crow"), Odin and Apollo.
Still, today the Crow is seen to be a bringer of death or bad omens similar to a black cat. He is basically an underworld God, a taker of souls. In Laurie Cabot's book Love Magick she describes underworld Gods as mournful, reclusive and dark. For example, Vanth of Etruscan origin leads the dead souls to the underworld similar to the story of the ferryman taking souls across the River Styx in Greek Mythology. The Crow is the bringer of dreams, he is your escort on your journey to the astral.
Friday, May 13, 1994, Mirmax films released a 90's version of this ancient myth. The Crow is based upon a series of comic books created by James O'Barr. Brandon Lee (R.I.P) plays Eric Draven, an unknown musician who lives with his fiancée in a dark and dirty urban setting. On "Devil's Night", the eve before Samhain (Oct. 30), he and his fiancée are brutally murdered by a gang. Eric lies in his grave until a year later. We are shown a crow pecking upon Eric's tombstone and the earth covering his body begins to break away. This dark and morbid scene is when Eric is awakened from his slumbers by the spirit of the Crow to bring karmic justice upon the souls of the murderers. Another twist of the story is Eric newly acquired sight. He practices the art of psychometry (touching objects such as jewelry and seeing the past) to gain insight and ultimately to defeat the object of his revenge.
Eric is a dark, beautiful angel of death. The Crow as done by J. O'Barr is a modern myth of death, rebirth, sorrow and the laws of karma.
One can only contemplate the strong irony of Brandon Lee's death only eight days prior to the film's completion. He was shot with a projectile from a prop gun in the last scene that involved firearms. He was engaged to marry shortly after The Crow was finished, but as fate would have it, he had a visit by the real Crow. Blessed Be Brandon and thank you.
Born: February 1, 1965 (Aquarius)
Died: March 31, 1993
The Maypole dance is a great part of this ritual celebration. The Large staff of wood stands erect representing the penis. The ribbon which is wound around the "pole" in an ecstatic dance represents the vagina. This is the symbolic mating of the God and Goddess. From their love comes all things new and fertile.
This May first if you do not have a group to celebrate with find time
to celebrate alone. Thank the winter for it's wisdom and ask that the
Gods grant your wishes great fertility.
See Silver Ravenwolfs Festival Tips on the Web!By: Rev. Banshee
Autumn Equinox 21st of September: This is a time of equilibrium where the time of day and night are matched. The theme in days of old was rest after labor, and repose. At this time the veil between the worlds is thin. Spirits are less difficult to see and communicate with. It is also easier for us to send our energies out into the world.
I suggest you take this time to create balance and healing in your life. Through planning, meditation, spell craft or which ever way best suits you. Make up your mind about old issues and move forward into the more restful part of the year. The time of sipping tea by the fire grows near. Banshee
Winter Cloak: If your planning on
attending any out door rituals a warm cloak is a must. They can be as
fancy or plain as you wish. Take your personality into account when purchasing.
Are you going to wear your cloak mostly for it too look pretty, or may
you be using it to cover large mud puddles for ladies to cross over? Take
these things in consideration when choosing the material and style. Be
sure to check the length before you buy a cloak. I can't tell you how
many people I have seen stumbling and bumbling because their cloak was
too long. A hood is not a necessity for those with long hair. Yet if you
do intend on wearing a hood, make sure it is comfortable and does not
compromise your vision for this could cause problems when around an open
What is a Witch?
Looking at the history of the word "Witch" itself we find it
derives from such words as "Wit, Wicce, or Wicca." All of these
words are forms of "Wise" or "Wise Ones." Modern day
Witchcraft is called "Wicca," and those who practice it are
known as "Wiccan."
Moon Phase: Dark - Waning
New Years Resolution: New Years: Sticking to your resolution!
3) Keeping up with your resolution can be the most exciting and creative
part of the process. We are making changes in our lives when we set these
goals. Yet there is some part of our selves that enjoys not meeting these
goals, or we would have accomplished them already. Think of him or her
as a 5 year old you. He/She wants what he/She wants and will try many
tricks and games to get it. He/She will try to coerce you into cheating
just a little, then go into full blown tantrums if they do not get what
they want. Disciplining the mind and body is a must when attaining goals.
I suggest meditation. If this goal is really important to you, then meditate
on the benefits, visualize the outcome and how different your life is
because you have reached this goal.
The Death Card
I have been reading Tarot for seven years and still, even before I begin a reading I often hear "I hope I don't get the Death card." Numerous times when this card is turned over the client gasps in fear "Is that bad?" I smile to myself when this happens. There are so many myths about this card number 13.
Death is a card of transformation and change. Our subconscious speaks in symbols, and this is also how the Tarot is designed. When you dream about death, it does not mean you are going to die. Yet you may look forward to some life changing events to come in the near future. Like the butterfly from the cocoon, getting out of old patterns and worn out ways is the sentiment behind the veil of the Death card. It is a card of letting go of decay, and stagnation. Death makes way for new life and new growth. So "Don't fear the Reaper!"
1997 Rev. Banshee
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