"Merry Meet and Blessed Be!"

"Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust..."

Friday, June 29, 2012

Home Blessing Rituals

When you move into a new home you want it to be yours! One thing about not building your own home is that the person who lived before you in it leaves their energies, good or bad! I live in a home built in the 1880's, it has wonderful histories! But it also has those peoples' energies still in here! Some are not so bad but others...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Pentagram and Pentacle

One of the most tale telling signs of a witch is the Pentacle. It is a very misunderstood symbol, in most parts thanks to early Christian witch hunters. It has come to be called a devil symbol and evil. However that could be farthest from the truth! Just checking to see what search was used to lead people to my blog I noticed one of the top searches was "devil star" and "devil worshiping symbols". The truth behind the symbol is much more beautiful.

That dusty old broom closet

Why should witches have to continue to hide? Why do we give the church the right to continue to hunt us and attack us? Why are we allowing ourselves to be forced into hiding still to this day? Why is it a church can legally go to a soldier's funeral to protest that person's life but a pagan soldier cannot have a symbol of their religion on their headstone? Why is it a church is allowed to make me feel uncomfortable in my own home by coming to my house and trying to force their religion on me but I am not allowed to publicly sell my homemade homeopathic goods in my own town?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Inner workings of an eclectic coven

I have often been asked how do I call eclectics a coven. Well, Websters defines a coven as:

A question of skyclad

It is true that some traditions require ritual nudity, but however the concept of nudity can make many cringe in fear and avoid rituals. There are several things to take to mind about ritual nudity. Legality being the first and foremost consideration to bear in mind. Comfort being the second.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Basics are Basic

I have given a list and break down of the basic ritual tools used for witchcraft. For all rituals and Sabbat rituals you will need these tools. There are other tools that we use. Various different herbs, stones or crystals, oils, even fruits and vegetables, and a few other things. Usually a ritual requiring a special tool will state the reason for it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cauldron's Bubble

The cauldron is a very versatile item! A witch should try to come about several various sizes! They can be used for anything from placing offerings in them to actually brewing "potions"! Like the challis, the cauldron represents the womb of the Goddess.  It is also a symbol of earth and water.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Ties That Bind

In witchcraft one of the most misunderstood tools is the cords. What color should they be? Why do we use them? How long should they be? What should they be made of? Are there different types of cords for different rituals? I will try to explain these as best as I can. If anyone has any other information I forget please feel free to email me with it so that I can update my knowledge! dancingmooncoven@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black or White Magic?

I get asked almost daily if I'm a good witch or a bad witch, I guess people watch too much Wizard of Oz or just Television in general. The truth is there are both good and bad witches out there and then most of the time the bad witches are people who are misunderstanding of the craft. Can magic be used for bad? Yes it can. Can witchcraft be used for personal gain? Yes it can. Are there witches out there that use it to hurt others? Yes there are. But......

Friday, June 22, 2012

My cat has 9 tails!

A cat of nine tails is another name for the scourge! The scourge is used in witchcraft not as a punishment but as ritual cleanser! It is not exactly used to leave whelps (unless you want it too!).

Altar Tiles

The altar tile or paten is a disk placed in the center of the altar where offerings and other tools, including the water and salt dish are placed to consecrate them.

Consecrating Tools


This is the ritual I learned for consecrating tools. This is from my personal book of shadows. Please be sure to follow all directions and consecrate all of your tools before ritual use. When they are not in use I suggest storing them where others will not be tempted to handle them. Nothing draws more interest from all types than a witch's altar. Curiosity gets the best of everyone! Not to mention no one wants anyone pawing their possessions! For others to handle your ritual tools would be bad because it would interfere with the charge and could leave behind negative and/or unwanted energies.

Magic Wands, Wands of Magic

Wands stir up images of wizards and dragons, but a wand is important for focusing energies especially during rituals to the element of air. The wand is a phallic symbol and masculine. It can be used in place of the Athame or sword when the element of air is involved as they are both symbols of fire. Wands can be everything from a raw twig to an elaborately ornate one that you buy! Some very important elements should however be kept in mind for your wand.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cup of Wine

The challis and wine are two of the tools of witchcraft that are symbolic of the Goddess. The challis representing the cup of life or the womb. The wine would be the life that flows from it. In witchcraft the challis is always an offering to the Goddess and a libation is first poured out to the Goddess and offerings of liquid are given in the challis. So, what is a challis? Do you have to consume alcohol?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Your BoS

A Book of Shadows is a witch's right hand tool. (My page on this can be found at this link Book of shadows) It is where they write down everything they have learned. You can't hope to remember EVERYTHING! No matter how you create you BoS, hand written or typed, you should be the one to create every word and page within it. If you photocopy the pages from another person you are creating just another copy of someone else's book. There will be parts you miss and possible mistakes you won't catch. You should create your own Book of Shadows as a reflection of you. Keep it safe and take care of it and in times of need it will take care of you! Buying a blank BoS is fine, but buying a prewriten book is just not acceptable. Besides any good witch takes pride in the creation of their BoS!

Blessed be,
Lady Alice

Incense



Incense can open the mind through the sense of smell! Different smells can have a strong effect on the mind, they can trigger memories and influence emotions. Our sense of taste and smell are so closely related that without one we cannot have the other. Incense can be used during meditations to focus the mind. Different types burn differently and for different duration. Sticks will burn at different rates depending on size. Cones can burn for a long time because of their high resin content. You can burn whole resins using charcoal burners (please use caution with charcoal inside). Whether you make your own or buy them is up to you. The type you use is also up to your comfort levels, some people find the smell of burning incense to be too strong. I suggest they try to use essential oils and a warmer or scented candles because they have a milder odor. Which ever you choose to use please be sure to use caution! Burn them on a heat proof surface in a stable area! I suggest placing them in a heat proof dish on a bed of sand to absorb the heat. Carefully handle the censor as you lift and move it.

Different scents can have different influences on the mind and can be different for every individual. Some might find the smell of hot apple pie or cookies baking to be a reminder of childhood while others may not enjoy so fondly. The same with incense. This is a general meaning list, but I suggest finding the smells that work best for yourself. Experiment and try many!

Candles



Candles and incense are a great part of rituals and ceremonies. The warmth of light the lit candle gives off can set a soothing mood!

I will start with candles and their uses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The reason to understand

To answer a friends question, "Why are you just posting boring stuff about knives and directions and not any of the good stuff?", a witch's tools are the good stuff! Having an understanding of their function and symbolism is very important. It is as important as a Christian understanding why the cross is worshiped! The quarters are and must be called and respected for each and every ritual. They must be understood and respected. A witch not following the ritual correctly isn't a serious devotion to the craft but a "fluffy" who just likes attention. You must know your tools and why you use them, it's like having a shed full of tools and not knowing what they are used for. This is the "good stuff"! The tools and their uses is very interesting to me, why we use them, properly using them. The quarters are a balance to everything, they are the basic elements of life and one must know and respect them in order to work with them. The fact that you continue to think they are boring and not worth your time shows me that you are not ready to be my student and that you would give my name a bad connotation to anyone who knew I was your teacher. This comment is why I refuse to allow you into my circle and be a part of my ritual. When you can understand and properly respect that witchcraft is more than hocus pocus, then I will be willing to teach you, but for now you are just a child acting out against your parents and I won't have you disrespect my religion to do so. Now, I love you but I will have your respect if you want mine. I am not trying to hurt your feelings but to let others who are thinking the same thing know that Wicca, Witchcraft, and other types of paganism are religions and should be respected as such and if one chooses to be a follower they should also be willing to devote themselves to learning and understanding them.

Blessed be,
Lady Alice

Athame and Boline, Not the same thing



An Athame is a ritual knife used during ceremonies. Traditionally it has a black handle and a double edged blade. The Athame is used in rituals as a channel for a witch to focus their energies.

A Boline is another knife used during rituals for cutting herbs and other ritual needs for cutting. Traditionally it has a white handle and a double edged blade. The blade of this knife should be sharp and well cared for because nothing is more dangerous than a dull knife!

Usually a witch has both knives. They are special knives set aside only for ritual use. Cutting garden herbs with the Boline is acceptable if it is for ritual usage. Knives with wooden handles are great because you can easily carve runes and symbols into them. Both are masculine and phallic in nature representing the God and fire.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Broom sticks!

Witches and brooms are a familiar combination! Though I do get a little irritated being asked if I can fly on mine! My best come back for this is asking them if they can walk on water! That being said a witch's besom is a very important part of magic. We use it to "sweep" all the negative energy out of our ritual areas. I make brooms and sell them for handfastings and other ritual use. I make them big and small! Usually when I make them for weddings I ask the couple for their colors and I tailor make it to fit their details. I have found that many people like several different styles from fanned to round, from thick and bristly to long and slim. Several things should be remembered about brooms. First being, their brush should never actually touch the ground when it's used to "sweep" out the circle. It is a symbolic cleansing. Second I have never actually flown ON my broom (flew to India once WITH it!). You can hang your broom over the door to your house to ward of negative energies that may try to come in. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Moon Ritual

Perform this ceremony outside if at all possible -- it's the best way to get a good look at the sliver of new moon. You'll need a moon candle, wrapped in a black cloth, to place on your altar. (This is traditionally a white pillar-style candle). You'll also need a hand-held mirror. Tie some silver and white ribbons on it if you wish. Finally, have a small bowl of Blessing Oil handy.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dark moon ritual

All you need is you and the Dark Moon! 

On the night of the Dark Moon, as late as you can possibly stay awake, stand outside and breathe in the blackness of the night. It is Hecate’s night, the Crone Goddess has covered you in her blanket and given you the time to consider all those things in your life that you no longer need. You are safe within the womb of the Dark Goddess.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Meditation

Meditation is a form of mental exercise to help focus your mind. Meditation helps you be able to focus inside your own body and mind. You must be fully self aware to be able to focus energies into rituals. Things you can control are a great start. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Concentrate on each breath in and each breath out. Feel how it fills your lungs and how your heart reacts to the oxygen filling your lungs. With each breath in visualize a strong wind blowing through a room stirring things up, as you breath out visualize all the clutter blowing out the door. As you focus on your breath begin to be aware of your heart beating. Count each beat time your breaths by a beat count, breathe in for a count of three beats and then breath out for the same count.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mid-summer

Wednesday June 20 will be the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere this year. Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice. Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump. Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer (funny how ancient witchcraft is now called modern medicine). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and is a day to celebrate feast to the God. The summer solstice, Litha, is a celebration of the spirit or soul.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Setting up an Altar

Altars are our working surface. It's like an artist's pallet or a carpenter's work bench. It reflects their character and is functional in the aid of their crafts. A witch's altar is just that too. It is a surface from which to work rituals and spells. It can be a special table bought and solely devoted to nothing else or it can be the top of a small box use to hold and carry all the tools. I have had both. When I lived with my parents I had a small end table that I used and stored everything in it's drawer, when I lived in a tiny apartment I had a small wooden box I used because I could move it from room to room. I am currently in the process of setting up a special altar room in my home, but also a spot in my yard! An altar must be big enough to accommodate all of you essential working tools with a little room left over to comfortably allow for special ritual items. A crowded altar can make ritual work a pain and it can destroy your focus. An altar can also be a special cloth you spread out for rituals and then roll up and put away after. Just be sure it is something you feel comfortable working on, especially with lit candles.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dismissing Your Circle



When you have finished your ritual the quarters will need to be dismissed. Again moving from one quarter to the next beginning in the North and moving counter clockwise. This time draw a banishing pentagram in the air and thank each element for joining you.






North Quarter

"Guardians of the North, Powers of Earth, you who are the stabilizer and nurturer, solid as the mountains, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

West Quarter

"Guardians of the West, Powers of Water, you who are emotions and pure love. Who is the morning dew, and the torrential rains, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

South Quarter




"Guardians of the South, Powers of Fire, you who are passion and the hearth. Great One who lives within the coals of the home fires as well as wild fires, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite."

Friday, June 8, 2012

East quarter


"Guardians of the East, Powers of Air; you who are thought and morning breeze and the wrath of storms, I call upon and invite your presence to witness this rite."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Calling the Quarters/ Casting a Circle

When calling the quarters you are doing more than just walking the cardinal directions of the compass. You are asking the elements in that direction to join and bless your magic. You're seeking their support and powers to assist with your workings. Respect and understanding is the first thing to begin with. With anything it is the first thing! You should know the workings of calling the quarters and casting your circle for anything to work, but if improperly called things can be disastrous. Knowing which direction to start and which direction to travel is a very important part of rituals. Begin in the East and call to the guardians while drawing an invoking pentagram in the air. Then move clockwise to the south, west, north, and finally returning to the east.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Altars and tools

Just a quick word to let those who sent me an email. Later I will post about calling the quarters and opening a circle. I just didn't include it in my previous post because my focus was on the Full Moon ritual and it would have made for a very long post! Maybe a few posts of the next few days explaining each quarter and what it signifies. There are several ways that a room can be set up to balance these things to aid in rituals. But still to no end, OUTSIDE works better than any environment.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Full moon ritual to the Goddess

With Venus soon moving across the sun and tonight's moon reaching full, I think a little dedication to the Goddess is in order! Here is a simple full moon ritual from my personal book of shadows, it can be done both in a group and as a solitary! It can be done anytime there is a full moon as it is not Sabbat specific ritual but a calling for the moon or Goddess's energies. Enjoy!