With so much misinformation existing regarding Wiccans and Witches alike, I thought I would take a minute to write about some of the common myths that surround us and why they’re wrong to begin with.
Although some myths start out innocently enough and are based on
misunderstandings, others were intentionally started as a means of
encouraging hostility and even hatred and punishment of those who
practiced the Craft. Because this still exists today and people are
still being ostracized for their religious beliefs, no matter how
peacefully they may practice them, it’s important to educate people when
Of course, we also don’t want to be walking information booths,
either. That would be tiring and there are some people that no matter
how hard you try, you’re just not going to get through to.
Myth 1: Witches and Wiccans practice human sacrifice.
Truth: This has deep roots and it’s hard to know where it came from.
While anthropologists will argue that Druids practiced human sacrifice,
it’s hard to say, really, if this is true. It’s important, however, to
note that Paganism has many branches and is an umbrella term that
envelopes many different people. Throughout the years, a lot of
religions have used human sacrifice in some form or another-whether it
was for ceremonial rituals or to simply make statements. (Look at how
many victims the Crusades had, along with other religious wars. I would
argue that these were human sacrifices, just done under another term.)
Wicca, as a rule, does not condone human sacrifices. We do not require
the blood of a newborn (how horrible!) or anyone else. Many times, this
gets confused with Satanism, which is a whole other ballgame.
Myth 2: If you are a Witch, then you must be Wicca.
Truth: Not necessarily. In terms of history, Wicca is a relatively new
term that is used to encompass very old beliefs. There are a lot of
different areas of Paganism and it’s very possible to be a practicing
witch, but to not necessarily be Wiccan. In fact, there are some Witches
that don’t really consider themselves to follow any one part of
Paganism and are solitary, just as there are solitary Wiccans.
Myth 3: You have to belong to a coven.
Truth: This isn’t true, either. You CAN belong to a coven if you feel
that you can practice in a more rewarding manner. You don’t have to,
however. There are lots of solitary Wiccans and Witches. There are some
that practice within covens as well as on their own. There is no rule
saying that you have to join a group.
Myth 4: You have to perform rituals naked (skyclad).
Truth: We do not demand that you take off your clothes to perform a
ritual. As a matter of fact, if you live in the city or have nosy
neighbors, then I would recommend that you don’t. While some Witches and
Wiccans like doing this, others find it uncomfortable. It’s a personal
Myth 5: Your spells have to rhyme.
Truth: This is a funny one for me. I know someone who read a fiction
book about witches and they informed me that every time one of the
witches performed a spell their words always rhymed, even when they came
up with it on the spur of the moment. Now, I like the idea of rhyming
and on occasion mine have. However, I have to admit that sometimes I
just can’t think that quickly. If I spend my time trying to make the
thing rhyme, I lose a lot of precious energy. If I have the time to
really think about it, though, and it’s a ritual or spell that I want to
use again in the future then I might go that extra step. Rhyming is not
necessary, but it does give a chant a certain flow, which might make it
easier to repeat.
Myth 6: We worship the devil.
Truth: Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard this one many times. No, we do not
worship the devil. The devil, as I have said many times before, is a
Christian concept and Christianity is not something that we typically
follow. (I say “typically” because I actually do know a few Christians
who also dabble in witchcraft, although they would never use that word.)
We do believe in a form of evil and I’ll get into that another time,
but we certainly wouldn’t worship it.
Myth 7: We can fly.
Truth: Oh, I wish we could! Wouldn’t that be fun! Not to mention a
gas-saver, too. Unfortunately, we can’t fly. Some people are able to use
astral projection which can probably FEEL like flying to them, but
their physical body remains behind. There are also those who are able to
levitate, but again, we’re talking a few inches-certainly not enough to
send them over the ocean.
Most of the time, I let the misconceptions make me laugh. Sometimes,
they hurt my feelings. The best that we can do, though, is to shake our
heads and try to explain them and then move on. Don’t let negative
energy take over.
quinta-feira, 23 de junho de 2016
Ten of Cups
Briefly:This card symbolises great happiness and contentment.
Full Meaning: This card two people basking in the sunlight in front of their farm. Celebrating their abundance. Beside them animals frolic around. There is a rainbow in the background and several tall, green trees, some shrubs, beside a river and with mountains in the far distance. The sky is blue and the day looks warm as in Springtime. There are 10 cups across the sky in front of the rainbow. This card symbolises great happiness and contentment. Two people are brought together in unison and peace to share a special time in their lives. A joint project has obviously reached fruition and they are proud of their achievements and wish to celebrate in grand style. If you draw this card you may rest assured, that even though it took a long time to get where you are, it has all been worth the effort and the energy expended. You can relax in your new found comfort zone and pursue your other objectives with peace of mind, knowing that your life is now more secure than it has ever been.
But that's not really what Tarot cards are about. In fact, they're not even really meant to tell your fortune or future. According to The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, "The most powerful sources of information come from within; the Tarot aids in coming in contact with one's Higher Self."
But what does that mean? In this article, we'll look at the various ideas about where Tarot cards come from, what they mean and how a deck of cards can possibly tell you anything about yourself. You'll learn why it matters where the cards fall and why you don't have to be a psychic to do a Tarot reading.
Types of Readings
There are actually two different types of Tarot readings: question readings and open readings.
In question readings, you are addressing a specific question. Tarot is not intended to answer specific yes or no questions. Most say it also shouldn't be used to make decisions, but instead should be used as a guide to help you make the decision yourself. For this reason, the way a question is stated is very important. According to Joan Bunning, a Tarot reader and teacher, questions should:
Keep your options open: If you have the answer before the reading, then you're not allowing the cards to guide your overall decision. Bunning gives this example: Asking how you could encourage your mother-in-law to move out, as opposed to asking how you can get along better with her, is narrowing the scope of the true question by answering it before you even get started.
Find the best level of detail: Your question should be focused, but not overly detailed. Rather than looking at one particular aspect of a problem, find a way to look more broadly at it. For example, rather than asking how you can make your home life less chaotic, ask how you can better balance kid schedules and adult schedules. That is a focused question. But do not go so far as to ask how you can coordinate baseball, soccer and Cub Scout schedules and still have family time -- that's too detailed. Only include the minimum level of detail needed in order to express what you want to learn from the cards.
Focus on yourself: If the reading is for yourself, make sure your question focuses on you rather than on someone else who you think may be the root of your problem. For example, asking why your son is experimenting with drugs is focusing on him, not you. Asking what role you play in your son's decision to experiment with drugs brings the focus of the question back to you.
Stay neutral: In order to stay open to other points of view, your question has to be neutral and not convey a preconceived notion that your view is necessarily the right one. The cards can give you guidance if you ask for it. For example, asking why you're doing more work around the house than your spouse isn't neutral; asking how you can get more cooperation from your spouse when it comes to housework is neutral.
Be positive: Make sure your question is stated in a positive rather than negative way. Instead of asking why a specific event hasn't happened, ask what you can do to help make that event happen.
Open readings address the larger aspects of your life rather than a specific problem area or question. They're usually done when you're entering a new phase of life, such as getting married, graduating from college or starting a family. You can somewhat direct the reading if you have a general area you want to cover, such as your career or health, but that's as specific as the direction gets.
There are many varieties of Tarot decks, and there is no standard number of cards across all decks. While the types of cards, the suits and their meanings are the same, the illustrations vary greatly. Decks are based on various themes such as nature, animals, fantasy, dragons, etc. The most common deck in the United States is the Rider-Waite deck, which was created in 1909 by A.E. Waite, a prominent member of the occult group the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and published by Rider & Company. The artist was Pamela Colman Smith. This 78-card deck was the only readily available deck in the United States for many years, which is why it is considered the "definitive" tarot deck in the United States. According to The Hermitage: A Tarot History Site, however, there is no "definitive" tarot deck.
The Tarot deck is made up of the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana. Like regular playing cards, the Minor Arcana of the Tarot deck includes four suits. Rather than spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, however, the suits are:
circles or pentacles
Each suit has meaning regarding a specific approach to life. The cards within these suits are numbered one through 10 and also include the court cards -- the king, queen, knight and page. The Minor Arcana cards represent the more minor, practical daily ups and downs in life.
The Major Arcana are not associated with the suits. They include the picture cards that represent principles, concepts and ideals. They are numbered one through 21, with the 22nd card (the "Fool") marked as zero. The Major Arcana cards represent strong, long-term energy or big events in some area of life.
Seeing a Major Arcana card about a particular subject in one reading and then getting a Minor Arcana card about the same subject in the next reading would mean that this subject is becoming less important in your life.
Before a reading is performed, the cards are shuffled by the person receiving the reading. Some say this transfers that person's energy to the deck. The person receiving the reading should also be concentrating on the question or area for which they want guidance while he or she shuffles the deck. In some more traditional circles, a more elaborate sorting and separation of the cards is performed (see The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Web site for this version).
Once the cards are shuffled and the deck has been cut, the reader lays out the cards in a pattern called thespread. Each position in the spread has a meaning, and there are many different types of spreads, ranging from those that incorporate a single card to spreads that include all 78 cards of the deck. Which spread is used is up to the reader and the specific type of question or reading. Some spreads focus more on a specific type of information. For example, one spread might focus more on emotional matters, while another might bring in more information about the influences of others. One of the most common spreads is the Celtic Cross:
There are many more spreads for Tarot card reading, and readers can even make up their own.
Below, using the Celtic Cross spread as an example, you can see that there is an order in which the cards are laid down for the spread and that each card position within the spread has a meaning. There are many different meanings that each position can have -- it all depends on who you ask. This set of meanings comes from the Angel Paths Tarot and Healing Web site. The card meanings (see Individual Tarot Cards and the next section) are combined with the position meanings. In addition, combinations of cards or card pairings also affect meanings.
In the next section, we'll step through a reading to show how the card meanings can be combined with positions and pairings to reach an interpretation.
Once the cards are laid out, their meanings are interpreted based on their positions and their neighboring cards. Let's look at the Celtic Cross spread:
Here is an approach for reading the Celtic Cross spread according to Tarot reader and teacher Joan Bunning [Source: Learn Tarot]. At the right, you can see how this tarot reader and teacher interprets some of the Major Arcana cards.
Begin by looking at theCircle/Cross section. The cards in this position represent what is happening in your life at the time of the reading.
Next, look at the first six cards in pairs. These cards paint a picture of your immediate situation. The cards in position 1 (the central issue) and position 2 (the secondary issue that can either be opposing or reinforcing) will identify the central theme of the reading. The cards in position 3 (the root cause that can be an unconscious influence or deeper meaning) and position 5 (your attitudes and beliefs, a conscious influence, your goal or an alternate future) represent things that are going on within you at different levels. And, the cards in position 4 (your past, a receding influence or something that has been resolved) and position 6 (the future or an approaching influence or unresolved factor) represent how people and events are flowing through your life.
Next, look at the Staffsection of the spread, again considering cards in pairs. Looking at the cards in position 7 (as you are, as you could be, as you present yourself and as you see yourself) and position 8 (your outside environment, someone else's point of view and you as others see you) tells you about your relationship with your environment.
Finally, look at the card in position 10 (the outcome-overall, your inner state, your actions or effects) to see the projected outcome.
Joan Bunning suggests to then ask yourself how you feel about the projected outcome. What does it say to you?
Go back and review the cards that led up to that outcome, and see if there is a card that stands out as they key to that outcome. Then, look back at card 5 to see if the projected outcome is also shown as an alternate outcome there. Look at the card representing the near future in position 6 to see if it supports or contributes to the projected outcome. Finally, look at the card in position 9 (guidance, key factors, hopes and fears or overlooked factors) to see there is any relevance there.
Because Tarot cards each have one picture that faces in one direction, it is possible that cards will be facing the opposite direction when dealt. According to most sources, this doesn't change the meaning of the card, but simply weakens the impact of the meaning.
What do They Mean?
Tarot cards have different meanings depending on where they fall in the spread. Here are a few of the face cards and their various meanings:
Death: Ending; Transition; Elimination; Inexorable forces
The Fool: Beginning; Spontaneity; Faith; Apparent folly
The High Priestess: Nonaction; Unconscious awareness; Potential; Mystery
The Lovers: Relationship; Sexuality; Personal beliefs; Values
The Magician: Action; Conscious awareness; Concentration; Power
Rune stones, (sometimes cards), are used as tools of divination - a way to predict one's future. Rune Stones come in a set of 24 ancient alphabetic symbols. They can be made of different materials - wood or glass most common and attractive - and usually kept in a pouch or box. They usually come with a book of instructions defining the symbols.
Ideally ruins are cast on an East-West axis or facing the sun. A white cloth is laid down and used to determine the direction of the casting. From here the focus should lie with the pressing question. After casting the stones onto the cloth the ones which have fallen the right side up are read and depending upon whether the rune is reversed or not will have a bearing upon its meaning and the reading as a whole.
An alternative to casting the rune stones ...
Pick a rune stone randomly for a day reading; you can also do what is known as a 3 rune spread. Some feel that the day rune is a good way to get an answer to a single question. The 3 Rune Spread is used for asking broader questions whereas the single rune can be drawn on a daily basis.
Meanings and interpretations of each rune stone are shown below.
FEHU - F: Cattle
Abundance through effort, inheritance of self and self value, material gain, earned income. Success, happiness and wealth.
Reversed: Abandonment of plans, loss, disappointment, frustration.
URUZ - U: Brute Strength
Strength, home love on all sides, health, changes, a forceful masculine archetype.
Reversed: Missed abilities, weak will power, lack of motivation
THURISAZ - TH: The seeing of the future
Opening the door or gate to see the future, luck reflection for action, protection. You will see the truth.
Reversed: Not willing to heed information given, having a stubborn mind-set
ANSUZ - A: references the ancestral god, Odin.
Message from within (listen to your 'little voice'), advice from others, chance encounter, careful thought so you will know what to do from this point in time
Reversed: Watch out for trickery, the dark side of yourself when others interfering with your plans, or there is failed communication
RAIDHO - R: Journey
You're about to embark on a journey - either in the physical world or a journey of your soul to heal something that needs healing.
Reversed: Unexpected, unpleasant journey, transit problems, upsetting plans, lost tickets, communication
KENAZ - K: Beacon or torch.
When you feel in the dark - this rune will bring an opening, to help you open to who you are and your highest possibilities. From the darkness - light will come.
Reversed: withdrawal, anxiety, closing, loss
GEBO - G: Gift of Harmonic Relationships
Unity with self and all others - especially with our higher selves, nature and all things around us. Cannot be reversed.
WUNJO - W or V: Bliss and Glory
You do not Need anybody. Peace, pleasure, self-worth, joy and serenity, happy results, harmony, prosperity
Reversed: Sorrow, dissatisfaction, disappointment, friction, delay, possession by higher forces
HAGALAZ - H: Destructive forces
This refers to the destructive forces of nature, and things that are out of our control. Cannot be reversed.
NAUTHIZ - N: The Negatives of Human Needs
Caution, hold, coming in touch with a side of you that you may not like, resistance, distress, delay, constraint or restraint. Reflect on how bad things can and appreciate what you have.
Reversed: Improper course of action, think twice before acting, don't make hasty judgments!!
ISA - I: Ice
Frozen in time, calm, non-action, everything on hold, letting go of ego and seeking your inner truths, you are blocked by your emotions. Cannot be reversed.
JERA - J or Y: The Cycle of One Year
Reaping of a reward when your world seems stagnant, harvest the seeds you have planted, gain, fruition, things happening in their own time and space when they are supposed to! Cannot be reversed.
EIHWAZ - EI: Yew Tree
Stability, doing the right things, patience, perseverance, endurance. Decided what is the right way to get the things accomplished in your life. Cannot be reversed.
PERTHRO - P: Initiation, Things Unexplained, Something Hidden
A hieratic or mystery rune pointing to that which is beyond our frail manipulative powers.
Perth is associated with the Phoenix, the mystical bird which consumes itself in the fire then rises from its own ashes. Its ways aresecret and hidden. Powerful forces of change are at work here. Yet what is achieved is not easily or readily shared. After all becoming whole - the means of it - is a profound secret. On the side of the Earthly or mundane, there may well be surprises, gains or rewards that you did not anticipate. On the side of human nature this Rune is symbolized by the flight of the eagle. Soaring flight, free from entanglement, lifting yourself above the endless ebb and flow of ordinary life to acquire broader vision - all this is indicated here.
Perth stands for the heart of Initiation - Nothing external matters here, except as it shows you in its inner reflection.ThisRune is concerned with the deepest stratum of our being, the bedrock on which our destiny is founded. For some Perthmeans experiencing some form of death - or transition. It is a letting go of everything, no exceptions, no exclusions. Nothing less than renewal of the Spirit is at stake.
Hidden information and truths, mysteries, esoteric, that which is unknown on a conscious level, it could come into the light and you would understand the 'higher meaning' of things.
Reversed: Events stalled, you need to clear out something - unpleasant surprise - the old way has to come to an end, do not focus on outcomes, nor bind yourself with memories of past achievements or you will orb yourself of the true present. When your inner being is shifting and reforming, on a deep level, patience, constancy, and perseverance are called for.
Do no repeat the old - let it go!
The initiation - the veils of the illusion are being lifted - let the old ways go!
Stay centered, see the humor and keep your faith firm.
Spirit guides - (How interesting as my guide is Zoroaster and I call him Z!) - protection, fortunate new influence, making the connection with spirit and working through your issues.
SOWILO - S: The Sun
The circle is completion - wholeness, the sun, the path to awareness and self knowledge. See you 'dark side' - that which makes you destructive to yourself and others. Seek change to heal and be complete with yourself. Cannot be reversed
TEIWAZ - T: Tyr, the sky god.
To be successful in competition, very motivated, finding the spiritual or transcendental self.
Reversed: Low energy and lack of enthusiasm
BERKANA - B: Birch-goddess
To be prepared, cautious in what you do. Also references your family and home.
Reversed: An unfortunate domestic situation - so use caution.
EHWAZ - E: The Sacred Horse
The balance of things in the universe, stability, move forward carefully focusing on the tools that will help you get there
Reversed: Sudden unexpected change that is not wanted
MANNAZ - M: The nature of Humanity
The self and its place in the collective conscience of humanity. We are all part of the collective unconscious - we are all One. Your attitude towards and their attitudes towards you. Take this time for personal reflection. Cannot be reversed.
LAGUZ - L: Water - Emotions
The moon, the flow of emotions and all things into the collective unconscious - all bodies of water - Aquarius - feminine energies - higher mind, spirituality, health and healing - a time of cleansing.
Reversed: Not listening to your inner voice, tackling something you know you should not do - or are not capable of doing.
INGWAZ - NG: Fertility
Fertility of the joining of human beings, usually for a new life - a pregnancy. Finish what you are doing, tie up lose ends and start something new. Cannot be reversed.
DAGAZ - D: Daylight or Dawn.
A new day begins and go to work. You become more insightful, breaking through your new ideas. Light is around you. Cannot be reversed.
OTHALA - O: Ancestral property - Inheritance
Freedom and independence through releasing ideas and things that keep you 'stuck'. You will feel 'free'. You will inherit from someone.
Reversed: Not letting go of outmoded ideas and concepts. You will feel 'stuck'.
BLANK RUNE: Sometimes called "Odin's Rune":
Anything is possible and can happen. The sum total of who you are, what you have done, and what you have become. Choose a direction and go for it. The blank Rune was added to the others in the 1980's. It shows that as humanity has grown - the possibilities are beyond what was conceived by the original Runes. Some people include the blank Rune in a reading - while others leave it out! I prefer to leave it in as the Universe has limitless possibilities!! If you get this Rune - and you believe in yourself - you can manifest anything.
Runic Magic in History
There is some evidence that, in addition to being a writing system, runes historically served purposes of magic. This is the case from earliest epigraphic evidence of the Roman to Germanic Iron Age, with non-linguistic inscriptions and the alu word. An erilaz appears to have been a person versed in runes, including their magic applications.
In medieval sources, notably the Poetic Edda, the Sigrdrifumal mentions "victory runes" to be carved on a sword, "some on the grasp and some on the inlay, and name Tyr twice."
In early and more modern times, related folklore and superstition is recorded in the form of the Icelandic magical staves.
In the early 20th century, Germanic mysticism coins new forms of "runic magic", some of which were continued or developed further by contemporary adherents of Germanic Neopaganism.
Runes have been used in Nazi symbolism by National Socialists and neo-Nazi groups that associate themselves with Germanic traditions, mainly the Sigel, Eihwaz, Tyr, Odal (see Odalism) and Algiz runes. The fascination that runes seem to have exerted on the Nazis can be traced to the occult and volkisch author Guido von List, one of the important figures in Germanic mysticism and runic revivalism in the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1908, List published in Das Geheimnis der Runen ("The Secret of the Runes") a set of 18 so-called "Armanen Runes", based on the Younger Futhark, which were allegedly revealed to him in a state of temporary blindness after a cataract operation on both eyes in 1902. In Nazi contexts, the s-rune is referred to as "Sig" (after List, probably from Anglo-Saxon Sigel). The "Wolfsangel", while not a rune historically, has the shape of List's "Gibor" rune.
Modern systems of runic divination are based on Hermeticism, classical Occultism, and the I Ching.
quarta-feira, 1 de junho de 2016
Queen of Cups
Briefly:You could be about to achieve a position that is very dear to your heart or perhaps child birth or a wedding.
Full Meaning: The picture on this card shows a beautiful woman, dressed in a gown that could be a wedding dress. She is holding a cup between her hands as if she has just been given this by someone in front of her. She has lovely long hair that is braided and she wears pearls around her hair. She wears an elaborate head dressing and her entire focus is dedicated to the cup she is holding. She is standing beside the ocean. If this is you, then you may be about to get married or even have your first child. You are sensitive and caring and very family orientated. You are immaculately well groomed and have great pride in your appearance. You could be about to achieve a position that is very dear to your heart. If this is not you, then someone you know already, or whom you are about to meet, who is described by this card is about to enter your life and make a huge impact on your lifestyle.