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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*

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Click here to get instuctions for a Healing Ritual:
Candles: pink ( love) light blue (healing) white (purity,cleansing)
Herbs: Lavender (peace, stress relief) , and anise seed (intuition) Mint (health)
slippery elm (Healing)
eyebright (awareness)
white willow (healing,wisdom)
Crystals: Atleast 1 clear quartz or Amethyst (these stones are good for most situations ). Rose Quartz (love), Jet (absorbs negativity), Tigers Eye (strength, truth), Lapis (psychic, healing and reflective), or Hematite (calms the emotions).
Oil: Lavender (healing), Sage (cleansing) Dragon's Blood (protection, love) Rose (Honors the dead, love),
Tools: Colored bag for herbal sachet. (blue, white, or pink)  

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 earth.
At this time snuff out your spell candle (or leave burning), then with love dismiss the gods/spirits you have invited. Then snuff out your deity candles. Then you can close your circle, and go about your day.
This spell can be performed on a daily basis, or just once as you feel it is necessary.

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.
If you need supplies for this spell order them at The Occult Shop on-line or come to the store and get a free pack of incense. We hope this will encourage more people to do this spell. If ordering on-line just place in the customer message: "Supplies for healing spell".

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.
By: Rev. Banshee

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 magickal experience!
By: Rev. Banshee

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.
By: Rev. Banshee

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.
By: Rev. Banshee

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

Boxing Aphrodite
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.

Spring Cleaning
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.
Brandon Lee
Born: February 1, 1965 (Aquarius)
Died: March 31, 1993

This ancient fertility festival is alive and strong in paganism today. On May first witches will gather in groups to celebrate the coming of summer, fertility and the union of the God and Goddess. The Lord of the Waxing year rises to take his bride, the Goddess. Together they dance and celebrate life with colorful flowers, affirmations of joy. We thank winter for all the peace and relaxation it has brought to us. From this point on we feel the quickening of the earths pulse. We are called to action and the flurry of Summer.

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.
By: Rev. Banshee

Pagan Festivals
There are many things to look forward to when planning to attend a festival. Time away from work and stress, a chance to get back to nature and your spirituality, and finally to be in the company of others who think like you do. Plus it's more fun than a barrel full of monkeys!
Upon arrival most festivals will have a welcome tent where you can register, or sign in. The first day there is an opening ritual for everyone to attend. This is a great chance to see all the people you will be spending your time with and meet festival organizers. Before or after this main rite tent set up is done. Camping is the only way to spend a festival if you ask me! Although a few people may opt for a hotel near by if available.
Classes take up the bulk of activities during the day. Some festivals provide famous authors or pagan leaders who lecture and sign books. The classes are a great way to expand your spiritual focus and ask the questions that you never had anyone to answer for you. More often than not you will receive answers from the teacher and many different perspectives from the others attending the class. Festival planners usually assemble children's activities and games. Some sites have a place to swim; most will have woods to wander. Vendors from near and far gather in a merchant row offering goods from the rare and exotic to the mundane (from batteries to Band-Aids).
Some festivals offer meal plans so you don't have to bother with cooking, while others will offer coffee, snacks and breakfast.
In the evening you may attend a main ritual, to celebrate the season, or a member of a coven receiving a degree initiation. Later in the evening festivals offer large bonfires. Some of these fires are set aside for a bardic circle, where people sing, tell stories, read poetry and socialize. Main fires are reserved for drumming, chanting and dancing. These fires are the high point of the festivals for me. If you have a noisemaker bring it along. It's an amazing feeling to be drumming by a fire at night, watching pagans dance and move with spirit. If you don't drum try out your dancing feet, belly dancing is always appreciated. It is easy to slip into a trance with all the energies present.
The last day consists of clean up and packing. There is a closing ritual where you can get all those e-mail addresses you wanted.
Check out the HEARTHFIRE Festival in June! Rumors of a Bacchanalia this summer check back next month for more details. Say have you been to Pan Pagan? This year is the 25th anniversary. The Occult Shop will be there, will you? Check out their site Here.

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 flame.
By: Rev. Banshee

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."
The Wiccan religion is recognized by the United States government, and in recent times has been seen as the fastest growing religion. Witches are everywhere. You cannot tell them by their status in the community, nor by their age, race, gender, or sexual preference. Some of them wear black, and carry a wooden staff with them to the mall. But most are just average looking individuals, who work daytime jobs. Wicca is a religion, no dress codes, or jewelry required. Although most Witches have an affection for crystals, and pentacles.
One golden rule defines the Wiccan religion. The Wiccan Rede (or law) This poem brings to light all of the natural goodness inherent in the religion. "In perfect love, and perfect trust," explains this is a religion not beholden to guilt or conversion.
"Bide the Wiccan Rede ye must, In perfect Love and perfect Trust. These eight words ye fulfill, An ye Harm none, Do what ye will. Ever mind the rule of three, lest in thy self defense it be. Follow this with mind and heart, and Merry ye meet, and merry ye part."
"The rule of three" relates to the belief in Karma. What ever you do, be it positive of negative will be visited upon you three times as strong. "An it harm none," means follow your bliss, and do what makes you joyful as long as you are not harming anyone in the process, including yourself.
The following statements where taken from April 1974, the Counsel of American Witches. "We practice rites to attune ourselves to the Earth at the times appointed by the seasons, and the phases of the moon." "We acknowledge a power far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary is sometimes called 'supernatural.' But we see it as laying within that which is naturally potential to all." "Calling ones self a witch does not make one a witch." We do not accept the concept of absolute evil."
In the religion of Wicca the Divine, or the All manifests in the form of the feminine and masculine. The Wiccan religion is based on nature, and in nature male and female exist. In fact both are necessary for life. Each human has traits of both masculine and feminine, the Gods also have a blending of these traits. For example Athena is a war Goddess, while Eros is a God of love. There are many names for the different aspects of the Gods.
The male side of the deity is usually symbolized by the sun, for it's strength brightness, and warmth. The light also points to logical, conscious thought. The feminine side is represented by the moon, in her triple aspect of maiden (waxing), mother (full), and crone (waning) phases. This darkness represents subconscious, and imaginary, psychic thought.
Wicca has four major Sabbats, and four Esbats (minor Sabbats). These are the "witchy" holidays. They take place on the quarters and cross quarters of the year. During such celebrations great feast are made, and each holiday has it's own rituals rich in custom, and old traditions imported from England or Ireland. The maypole, a crown of candles, mistletoe, or even the jumping of a small bonfire can be part of the celebration.
In the past year with Wicca's growth in popularity there are groups forming for witches rights. Recently there was a march on Washington for this purpose. Wicca is one of the most persecuted religions of our modern day.
If you would like to learn more about Wicca, I suggest you read "Ray Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft," Laurie Cabot's "The Power of the Witch," or "To Ride a Silver Broomstick." by Silver Ravenswolf.
By: Rev. Banshee

Cleansing Spell

Moon Phase: Dark - Waning
Tools: 1 White Candle, a quartz crystal, {herbs} Dragons blood, lemon peel, orange peel, spearmint, sage, white cloth, white string, a vessel with water and a small carving tool. (If you do not have all the tools, use what you have, yet do not substitute anything unless you are well versed in the craft.)

The Spell
In a quiet place, where you will not be disturbed, relax in a sitting position. Take a few deep breaths, and calm yourself. It is best to reach a state of mediation, during that time think about your reason for doing the spell. When ready envision a sphere of white, or blue light around you and your tools. Now call in your deity(s). For example: "Lord and Lady, I ask that you enter my circle, and that you lend your power, and light to the work that is done with in." Upon the candle carve your initials, your astrological sign, and your numerology. (To find your number just add your birth date like so; 2+11+1974=25, 2+5=7) You may also carve a symbol that reminds you of cleansing, like a rain drop.
Anoint your crown with water from your vessel, with your fingers. In like fashion anoint the candle with a few drops as well. Rub the water into the candle with your hands. Now light the candle At this time wrap your herbs in the white cloth, and tie it with the string. This package is called a 'sachet.' Hold the sachet in your dominant hand as you look at the candle, and mediate on what this spell will do for you. The cleansing that needs to take place. Envision what it would be like, as if it had already happened. See yourself cleansed. I suggest you meditate at least 20 minutes. You may wish to close your eyes at some point, yet keep in mind the candle is the focus point.
In closing, dismiss your deity(s). "Lord and Lady, I give you love and thanks, from the bottom of my heart, and ask that this spell be for the harm of none, and the good of all. Please continue to protect and guide
me. Blessed Be." If you cannot let the candle burn, then pinch it out with your fingers saying, "Although I extinguish you on the physical, still burn in the astral."Envision the sphere of light slowly shrinking, until it rests in your heart. Carry your sachet with you, or leave it on your altar. For this spell it is best to bathe with the sachet and or candle near you.
By: Rev. Banshee

New Years Resolution: New Years: Sticking to your resolution!
Many of us have participated in the tradition of the "New Years Resolution". When faced with a new calendar year we are often called to reflect on how the past year has effected our lives. Did we accomplish all that we had hoped to? Are there new issues now that we did not foresee last year? How do we wish to spend the next year? Some people have a 5 year plan, while many others just set short term goals. Now at the beginning of 2001, where do you see yourself at the beginning of 2002?
We all have a great opportunity this month to set our lives straight. Goal setting can be a very magickal operation. Join us as we teach you how to set your goals in motion, and manifest the best!
The History: The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the New Year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year's Day was no different. Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians who celebrated it in March. The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus. The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.
The New Year, no matter when people have celebrated it, has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's time to reflect on the changes we want, or often need, if we're to have the motivation to move forward. Resolutions are a reflection of the Babylonians' belief that what a person does on the first day of the New Year will have an effect throughout the entire year.
The Strategy: There are three factors in writing a functional New Years resolution.
1) Figuring out what you truly desire.
2) Writing it down in a motivating manner.
3) Then keeping up with the resolution and making slight changes if necessary.
1) In order to figure out what we would like to change about our lives we must reflect on the past. What issues or situations have been nagging at us? Using a form of divination such as the Tarot cards can help us see things more clearly. Shuffle the cards asking them what issues you need to work on most to attain fulfillment in your life. Cut the cards then lay them out in a 5 spread. Here you have the question, the past, the present, the environment (or possibly the near future) and lastly the answer.
Making a laundry list of self-improvements is not always conducive to motivation. We may tend to get bogged down thinking of the work we must do to improve our quality of life. So start out with a reasonable list of a few well rounded goals. If your goal is something you have been trying to do for years yet have still not succeeded try working on just that one goal. After that is accomplished you can always move on to the next thing.
2) Writing a functional resolution may sound easy, yet it is a task that if done correctly can make all the difference in keeping your Resolution. Let's say your resolution is to relax more in the coming year. Word this carefully. Try not to think of it as "This year I am going to relax." That's a stress-inducer waiting to happen. It forces you into thinking of the resolution as something you must do, not something you want to do. Try to make it sound a little gentler: "This year I'm going to explore different ways of relaxing." It also suggests more of a plan-you'll fulfill the resolution by experimenting with relaxation techniques. The first resolution sounds as if you're going to force yourself to relax by sheer willpower. Also keep it positive. Try to keep your resolution free of negative words such as "not", "won't", "can't", "stop", etc. There are some theories that the subconscious mind does not process such words. So saying "I won't eat my weight in chocolate" translates into "I eat my weight in chocolate". Some people prefer to write affirmations as if they had already taken place, such as "I am free from chocolate cravings, and enjoy eating healthy".

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.
Making slight changes in the goal may also be necessary to keep up with the wiley ways of the 5 year old.
Ritual Work: Picking out a candle, crystal, oil, incense and herbs can start you on the path to working a powerful goal attaining New Years spell. After having written the perfect resolution, doing a little magick will surely put you over the top. Using the tools, and the resolution a simple ritual can be crafted. Write your resolution on parchment paper, use calligraphy pens if you wish. The more work you put into preparing any spell the more powerful it will be.

Rev. Banshee

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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