Wicca Stuff Blog by Dragon Queen
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Dragon Queen's blog: "Wicca Stuff"

created on 03/12/2007  |  http://fubar.com/wicca-stuff/b63967

    Firstly you need to form the shape that your Ritual will take, planning exactly what you are going to do, the reasons behind your Ritual, what form your Casting will take, what resources you will need, and what you hope to achieve! At first it can be a good idea to write (or print out) your Casting Instructions so as to be able to do them easily, the Deities present won't mind you referring to notes, and this is better than to keep making mistakes!

    Next you need to cleanse and 'ground' yourself, a simple way to do this is to take a Ritual Bath (a Simple Ritual Bath and Self Blessing Ritual is included in our Cleansing Section), once this is complete you may dress in your Ritual Clothes (if you have any!) or go 'skyclad' if you prefer, whichever feels right to you!

    Once you are 'cleansed', then tis time to cleanse the space you will be using for your Ritual, your Sacred Space. If it's an indoor area, you may want to tidy and clean before you have your Ritual Bath, but if outdoors then this may not be possible. You can sweep the chosen area clean Magickally using your Besom (if you have one), use a Special Ritual (such as the one included upon Our Cleansing page) or use a variety of visualization techniques to cleanse the space! (Two personal favourites of our are to sweep the area clean with your Athame, Wand (see our Altar and Tools page for details) or pointing finger (whilst stood in the centre of where your Circle will be) and to then visualize either fire coming from your pointing finger and burning away and removing all negativity and impurities, or to visualize the Air Element (in the form of a strong wind) streaming from your fingers and blowing all negativity out and away from the Sacred Space. 

    Once the area is cleansed, then tis firstly time to mark out the area that will become your Sacred Space for the duration of your Ritual. This is normally a circle, the precise dimensions of which will depend upon the room you have available, and your personal preferences, within which is usually scribed a Pentacle (please see the Altar & Tools page for instructional details). Traditionally the Circle should be 9' across, and have 3 outer circles, each 6" apart in radius, with the Pentacle inscribed inside the smaller circle, facing North (a compass is useful here if you don't know the direction of North!), but if this isn't possible for you then don't worry, The Lord and Lady will understand and still enjoy your Ritual for the honour that you pay them! If indoors, you could mark its boundaries with Tarot Cards, Crystals, Cord, Chalk or if you are fortunate to have an area that can be reserved for Ritual use, then you may well choose to use paint or permanent marker pen! Ourselves, we are very fortunate to be able to have a 9' Circle permanently scribed on the floor, within which is a Pentacle, and around the edge of which is written in Runes our Patron Deities, the Wheel of the Year Sabbats and symbols for the Elements. (There are a few pictures of the Circle on the Silver Wolf's Lair page.) If outdoors then you could use Cord, Leaves, Earth or Flour to mark out your boundaries!

    Then tis time to set out your Altar and the Elemental representations (four coloured candles or other symbols of the Four Elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water to be placed in the relevant directions, see Guardians page for details) before Consecrating the Ground and Casting Your Circle. Remember, once you've cast your circle, you may not leave it's boundaries (or break the circle) until your Ritual is ended, so be sure to have everything you will need inside it's boundaries before you cast! (Some folk feel that tis OK to 'cut' a door in the Circle, as suggested by Scott Cunningham, others feel that this isn't wise! Whatever you're personal preference, as long as you are happy with your choice, then tis OK!) . If you haven't set out an Altar before, then please visit our Altar and Tools page for information and details! The basic set up of a Wiccan Altar remains the same for most celebrations and Rituals, though you may well have differing decorations and colours depending upon what time of year, Magick you are planning or Sabbat you are celebrating! (See the Wheel of the Year and individual Sabbat pages for suggested Altar decorations)

                               

Consecrating the Sacred Space

    Some Folks like to consecrate the Ground before Casting their Circle, others actually do it as part of their actual Casting (Our own preference), whichever you prefer is perfectly acceptable, after all, tis better to go with something you feel comfortable with rather than do something just because you've seen (or heard of ) others doing it. We've included a simple Consecration Ritual below if this is your particular preference, or there's our Full Casting at the Bottom of the Page!

    

'I call upon you Oh creature of Earth,

To protect and consecrate this Circle,

May this ground be pure and clean,

Free from negativity and harm!' 

Scattering a pinch of salt as you walk the boundary. Next walk around again, but this time with Water, saying,

'I call upon you Oh creature of Water,

To protect and consecrate this Circle,

May this ground be safe and pure and clean,

Free from negativity and harm!'

Again scattering drops as you circle the boundary (visualize the water hissing and boiling away as it hits the floor, burning away the negativity). Lastly repeat with burning Incense (an Air and Fire symbol), 

'I call upon you Oh creatures of Fire and Air,

To protect and consecrate this Circle,

May this ground be pure and clean,

Free from negativity and harm!'

    Your Space is now consecrated, ready for you to Cast Your Circle and begin you Rites!  

        

Casting the Sacred Circle

(A Wiccan Ritual)

    Firstly we light the Candles upon the Altar, the Work (White) and Goddess and God candles (Silver & Gold, White & Black, or just white), following which we consecrate the Salt and Water upon Our Altar. This is done by drawing an Invoking Pentacle in the Salt with Our Athame, and saying,

    'We call upon you Oh creature of Earth,

To protect this Circle and Aid in Our Rites.

Wherefore do We Bless and Consecrate Thee,

So Mote It Be'

    Next we insert the Tip of Our Athame into the Water, again drawing an Invoking Pentacle, and saying,

    'We call upon you Oh creature of Water,

To protect this Circle and Aid in Our Rites.

 Wherefore do We Bless and Consecrate Thee, 

So Mote It Be'

    After the Altar supplies have been consecrated we mix some of the Salt with the Water and stir with Our Athame (deosil), saying,

 'We call upon you Oh creatures of Water and Earth,

 To protect this Circle and Aid in Our Rites. 

Wherefore do We Bless and Consecrate Thee,

 So Mote It Be'

    Once this is complete we personally choose to light the candles we have to represent the Elements, (at the Four Directions of the Circle, North (Earth - Green or Brown), South (Fire - Red), East (Air, Yellow) and West (Water - Blue), then proceed to Cast the Circle itself. This is done by walking Deosil around the Inner Boundary of the Outer Circle three times, firstly with the Consecrated Water and Salt (the mixed ones), to represent both Earth and Water, sprinkling it as we go (visualize the water hissing and boiling away as it hits the floor, burning away the negativity). Second time around we use a burning Incense stick, to represent both Fire and Air Elements, drawing pentacles as we go (usually to the Four Directions), and third time around we use the Athame, visualizing a bluish/white light coming out from the tip of the Athame, which builds into the walls of the Circle as it touches the floor. As you walk the Circle, say these words of Power, repeating for each circuit of the boundary,

    'Oh Thou Circle, Be Thou a meeting place of Love and Joy,

 In Perfect Truth and Trust

 A Shield against all wickedness and evil intent,

 A Rampart of Protection for All who stand herein! 

Wherefore do we Bless and Consecrate Thee,

By the Holy and Sacred names of Athena, Cerridwen, Rhiannon,

Mercury and Pan (you can substitute your own alignments if preferred).

This Circle is Cast, safe and secure, 

Sacred Space created for all that is Pure!

 So Mote It Be!'

    We usually Visualize the Circle itself spreading out in a multi-coloured hue, arching both above our heads and below our feet through the ground to meet and form a perfect sphere, a barrier against all that is not pure and clean!

    Next we Summon the Guardians of the Elemental Watchtowers, these being the entities that control the Elemental Forces, and are invited to attend from the Elemental Realm where they normally reside. 

    Firstly we call North, standing before Our Altar, facing to the North, and state the following whilst drawing an invoking Pentacle above the Altar with either the Wand (Silver Dove) or Athame (Spiritwolf). 

    'Hail to Thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the North, 

Here Our Cries, Lend Us Your Presence and Power,

 Give Us Protection, Grounding and Good Sense, 

By Hill and Dale, Deep Cave, Old Bone,

By Fertile Field, Hill and Soil and Stone,

Be with Us Now Oh Powers of Earth!'

    Whilst invoking Earth, visualize fields of lush Corn, Mountains High and Proud, Silent Standing Stones and the richness of the soil that supports the plants. Feel the weight of the Earth, it's reality and rootedness.

    Then turning to the East, again we summon by drawing an invoking Pentacle above the Altar and saying, 

'Hail to Thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the East.

Here Our Cries, Lend Us Your Presence and You Power,

Give Us Clarity, Vision and Swift Thought,

By Wind and Cloud, Tall Mountains Height,

By Blue Horizon and Clear Mornings Light,

Be with Us Now, Oh Powers of Air!'

    Whilst Invoking Air, Visualize standing on top of a Mountain, surrounded by crystal clear Air, Clouds beneath you, with a gentle cool breeze blowing against your face. Feel the freshness of Air, how bright and clear it is.

    Next we turn to the South, and again invoke by drawing an invoking Pentacle above the Altar whilst saying,

'Hail to Thee, Guardians of the Watchtower of the South,

Here Our Cries, Lend Us Your Presence and Your Power,

Give Us Inspiration, Energy and Intuition,

Bonfire Beacon Burning Bright,

Embers rich, Wild Lightning Strike,

Be with Us Now, Oh Powers of Fire!'

    Whilst invoking Fire, Visualize Heat, Sun beating upon your face, wild passionate dances, firelight and wild lightning. Feel the energy and passion of Fire, warmth, heartiness, comradeship and the flash of inspiration.

  Next we turn to the West, and again invoke by drawing an invoking Pentacle above the Altar whilst saying,

'Hail to Thee, Guardians of the Watchtower of the West,

Here Our Cries, Lend Us Your Presence and Your Power,

Give Us Love, Wisdom and Empathy,

Green Hearted Lake and River Wide,

Crystal Fountain and Ocean Tide,

Be with Us Now, Oh Powers of Water!'

    Whilst invoking Water, Visualize waterfalls, the swell of the Ocean, the song of a mountain stream. Feel the cool, soothing presence of water, akin to a long cool draught of drink on a burning hot day.

    The Circle is now cast, and all that remains is for us to invite the Goddess and the God to witness our Rites! This we do by visualizing the Lord and Lady, resplendent in all their finery upon the Astral Plane, and then humbly ask them to attend our Rites as follows.

'Hail to Thee,

Sun Lord, Lady Moon,

Hear Our Cries, Grant us Thy presence and Thy Boon!

We ask Thee both to attend Our Rites,

On Hill or In Dale, beneath Moon's Lite,

Where Ever We Be,

To Give Praise to Thee!

Ne'er for Ill, Always for Right!

Be with Us now this Blessed Night!

This Circle is Cast, Safe and Secure,

Sacred Space created for all that is Pure!

 So Mote It Be!'

    Once the Circle is cast, we then move onto any specific Ritual that we may have planned, such as a Sabbat or Esbat celebration (some simple suggested Sabbat Rituals are included upon our Wheel of the Year and individual Sabbat pages, and some Full Moon Rituals for the Esbats in our Goddess Rituals page), and then onto any other Magick that we feel we'd like to do. This could be a Guided Visualization to meet up with Our Spiritguides, Spellcraft for any specific purpose, Healing, Dedication and/or Consecration of any new Tools we may have, or any other form of Craft related pursuits.

    Once we have finished any other workings then we partake of 'Cakes and Ale', a celebratory feast (which may take any form you'd like, normally wine and cake for us!) to honour the Bounty shown to us all by the Goddess and the God (remember to save some as an offering to the Goddess and God, by placing it onto your offering plate, and leaving it outside / burying in the earth to show that you give back to them what you are also receiving), before releasing the Circle.

Releasing the Circle

    Once the Ritual has ended you need to release it before returning to the more mundane world, this is best achieved by reversing the order that you Cast the Circle in.

    Firstly, bid farewell to the Lord and Lady, thanking them for their presence, and their help in witnessing your Rites. A good way of doing this is as follows,

'Hail to Thee,

Gracious Lady, Protecting Lord,

 We Thank Thee for Thy presence and Thy Boon!

This Rite hath ended!

You are welcome to Stay, Depart if you Must,

In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust!

Athena, Cerridwen, Rhiannon,

Farewell to Thee

Our Gracious Ladies Three!

Mercury and Pan,

Farewell to You

Our Gods times Two!

You are welcome to Stay, Depart if you Must,

In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust!'

    You can then extinguish the Goddess and God candles, either by snuffing or by pinching them out, never by blowing, as this will offend the Fire Elemental Guardian, by dissipating their energies with the Air Element.

    The next thing to do is to thank and dismiss the Guardians of the Watchtowers, and the Power of the Elements that they have brought with them. We usually do this by Thanking them individually, and extinguishing their Candles as we go, this time Widdershins (anti-clockwise, as this is considered the direction for Banishing) as follows below. 

    Starting with North, we speak the following whilst drawing a Banishing Pentacle in the Air above the Candle, extinguishing the Candle once the Farewell has been said.

  'Hail to Thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North,

We Thank Thee for Thy Presence and Thy Power Here Tonight,

As Guardians of Our Circle and Witness to Our Rites!

Go in Peace, Oh Mighty Ones of the North,

With Our Blessings and Our Thoughts!

Hail and Farewell'

    Next we move to the West, and again we speak the following whilst drawing a Banishing Pentacle in the Air above the Candle, extinguishing the Candle once the Farewell has been said.

  'Hail to Thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West,

We Thank Thee for Thy Presence and Thy Power Here Tonight,

As Guardians of Our Circle and Witness to Our Rites!

Go in Peace, Oh Mighty Ones of the West,

Within Our Thoughts Be Ever Bless't!

Hail and Farewell'

    Next we move to the South, and again we speak the following whilst drawing a Banishing Pentacle in the Air above the Candle, extinguishing the Candle once the Farewell has been said.

'Hail to Thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South,

We Thank Thee for Thy Presence and Thy Power Here Tonight,

As Guardians of Our Circle and Witness to Our Rites!

Go in Peace, Oh Mighty Ones of the South,

Be Thee Ever Blessed From the words spake through Our Mouths !

Hail and Farewell'

    Finally we move to the East, and again we speak the following whilst drawing a Banishing Pentacle in the Air above the Candle, extinguishing the Candle once the Farewell has been said.

'Hail to Thee, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East,

We Thank Thee for Thy Presence and Thy Power Here Tonight,

As Guardians of Our Circle and Witness to Our Rites!

Go in Peace, Oh Mighty Ones of the East,

Within Our Thoughts Be Ever Bless't!

Hail and Farewell'

    Now tis time to Release the Circle, setting it free into the Cosmos to do Our Bidding, This is best done by saying the following whilst visualizing the Circle shrinking to a multi-coloured Ring (the same diameter as the original circle, but only a few inches thick), which then rises into the sky, shrinking into the distance to become one with the All!

'This Circle hath Ended,

The Rites Here are Done,

By the Light of the Moon and Power of the Sun,

This Circle is Free, Released Whole and Pure,

Free to do Our Bidding upon distant Shore!

The Circle Here Hath Ended,

Open but Never Broken,

This is Our Will,

So Mote It Be!'

Now Your Ritual is Ended!

    Before then departing, tis an idea to spend a short while reflecting upon what you have achieved during your Ritual, taking time to consider your actions and what they mean to you, and to think upon any happenings and whether they may be a sign from anyone else. Usually this is when we write in our personal Book of Shadows, noting all and everything that happened, as tis a good idea to note it down immediately before you begin to forget things! You may also feel it necessary to spend a short while 'grounding' yourself, dissipating any 'energies' that arose whilst in the Circle, before returning to the everyday mundane world.

We hope you found Our Ritual an Inspiration, feel free to use it for your own personal use, and to change such things as you see necessary, though if you want to use it for anything other than personal use, then please

A

Adder's Tongue: Dogstooth Violet; Plantain
Ass's Foot: Coltsfoot

B

Bat's Wing : Holly Leaf
Bat's Wool : Moss
Bear's Foot: Lady's Mantle
Bird's Eye: Germander, Speedwell
Blood: Elder sap or another tree sap
Blood from a Head: Lupine
Blood from a Shoulder: Bear's Breeches
Blood of a Goose: Mulberry tree's sap
Blood of a Hamadryas Baboon: Blood of a spotted gecko
Blood of a Snake: Hematite
Blood of an Eye: Tamarisk Gall
Blood of Ares: Purslane
Blood of Hephaistos: Wormwood
Blood of Hestia: Chamomile
Bloody Fingers: Foxglove
Blue Jay: Bay laurel
Bone of an Ibis: Buckthorn
Brains: Cherry tree gum [this phrase usually designates any fruit tree gum]
Bull's Blood or Seed of Horus: Horehound
Bull's Foot: Coltsfoot
Bull's Semen: Eggs of the blister beetle

C

Calf's Snout: Snapdragon
Capon's Tail: Valerian.
Cat: Catnip
Cat's Foot: Canada Snake Root and/or Ground Ivy
Clot: Great Mullein
Corpse Candles: Mullein
Cuddy's Lungs: Great Mullein
Crocodile Dung: Ethiopian Earth
Crow Foot: Cranesbill, wild geranium, buttercup

D

Devil's Dung: Asafoetida
Dog: Couch grass
Dog's Mouth: Snapdragon
Dog's Tongue: Hounds Tongue
Dove's Foot: Wild Geranium
Dragon's Blood: Resin of Draco palm
Dragon's Scales: Bistort leaves

E

Eagle: Wild Garlic of Fenugreek
Ear of an Ass: Comfrey
Ears of a Goat: St. John's Wort
Englishman's Foot: Common Plantain
Eye of Christ: Germander, speedwell
Eye of the Day: Common daisy
Eye of the Star: Horehound
Eyes: Inner part of a blossom; Aster, Daisy, Eyebright

F

Fat from a Head: Spurge
Fingers: Cinquefoil
Five Fingers: Cinquefoil
Foot: Leaf
Frog: Cinquefoil
Frog's Foot: Bulbous buttercup
From the Belly: Earth-apple
From the Foot: Houseleek
From the Loins: Chamomile

G

Goat's Foot: Ash Weed
God's Hair: Hart's Tongue Fern
Gosling Wing: Goosegrass
Graveyard Dust: Mullein
Great Ox-eye: Ox-eye daisy
Guts: The roots and stalk of a plant

H

Hair: Dried stringy herbs; ripe male fern
Hair of a Hamadryas Baboon: Dill Seed
Hair of Venus: Maidenhair fern
Hare's Beard: Great mullein
Hawk: Hawkweed
Hawk's Heart: Wormwood seed or wormwood crown
Head: Flower of a plant
Heart: Walnut; bud, seed, or nut
Hind's Tongue: Hart's Tongue Fern
Horse Hoof: Coltsfoot
Horse Tongue: Hart's Tongue Fern

J

Jacob's Staff: Great Mullein
Jupiter's Staff: Great Mullein

K

King's Crown: Black Haw
Kronos' Blood: Cedar

L

Lamb: Lettuce
Lamb's Ears: Betony
Leg: Leaf
Lion's Hair: Tongue of a Turnip [i.e., the leaves of the taproot]
Lion's Tooth: Dandelion aka Priest's Crown
Lion Semen: Human Semen

M

Man's Bile: Turnip sap

N

Nightingale: Hops

P

Paw: Leaf
Physician's Bone: Sandstone
Pig's Tail: Leopard's Bane
Privates: Seed

R

Ram's Head: American Valerian
Rat: Valerian
Red Cockscomb: Amaranth

S

Seed of Horus: Horehound
Semen of Ammon: Houseleek
Semen of Ares: Clover
Semen of Helios: White Hellebore
Semen of Hephaistos: Fleabane
Semen of Herakles: Mustard-rocket
Semen of Hermes: Dill
Shepherd's Heart: Shepherd's Purse
Skin of Man: Fern
Skull: Skullcap Mushroom
Snake: Bistort
Snake's Ball of Thread: Soapstone
Snake's Head: Leech
Sparrow's Tongue: Knotweed
Swine's Snout: Dandelion leaves

T

Tail: Stem
Tears of a Hamadryas Baboon: Dill Juice
Teeth: Pine Cones
Titan's Blood: Wild Lettuce
Toad: Toadflax; Sage
Toe: Leaf
Tongue: Petal

U

Unicorn's Horn: False Unicorn Root; True Unicorn Root
Urine: Dandelion

W

Weasel: Rue
Weasel Snout: Yellow Dead Nettles/Yellow Archangel
White Man's Foot: Common Plantain
Wing: Leaf
Wolf Claw: Club Moss
Wolf Foot: Bugle Weed
Wolf's Milk: Euphorbia
Woodpecker: Peony
Worms: Thin Roots

Candle Colors


White
  • The Goddess
  • Higher Self
  • Purity
  • Peace
  • Virginity
  • (substitutes any other color)
Black
  • Binding
  • Shapeshifting
  • Protection
  • Repels Negativity
Brown
  • Special Favors
  • To Influence Friendships
Silver
  • The Goddess
  • Astral energy
  • Female energy
  • Telepathy
  • Clairvoyance
  • Intuition
  • Dreams
Purple
  • Third Eye
  • Psychic Ability
  • Hidden Knowledge
  • To Influence People in High Places
  • Spiritual Power
Blue
  • Element of Water
  • Wisdom
  • Protection
  • Calm
  • Good Fortune
  • Opening Blocked Communication
  • Spiritual Inspiration
Green
  • The Element of Earth
  • Physical Healing
  • Monetary success
  • Mother Earth
  • Tree and Plant Magic
  • Growth
  • Personal Goals
Pink
  • Affection
  • Romance
  • Affection
  • Caring
  • Nurturing
  • Planetary Good Will
Red
  • Element of Fire
  • Passion
  • Strength
  • Fast action
  • Career Goals
  • Lust
  • Driving Force
  • Survival
  • Blood of the Moon
Orange
  • General Success
  • Property Deals
  • Legal matters
  • Justice
  • Selling
Copper
  • Professional Growth
  • Business Fertility
  • Career Maneuvers
  • Passion
  • Money Goals
Gold
  • The God
  • Promote Winning
  • Power of the Male
  • Happiness
Yellow
  • The Element of Air
  • Intelligence
  • The Sun
  • Memory
  • Logical Imagination
  • To Accelerate Learning
  • To Break Mental Blocks

The Tools are listed here:

A wide variety of "working tools" are found in Wicca, the tools or objects used in making magick are essential, although they are just tools. They hold no inherant power within themselves, but focus and refine the power within you. They are visual and manual aids or symbols to help in contacting the subconscious mind and persuading it to work the magick you desire. The success of magick is in the belief, emotion and discipline you bring to the ritual, not in the tools you use.
Don't worry about having all your magickal tools at once, they will come to you when the time is right. Truthfully you don't really need any of them to work magick. They simply serve as props to keep your conscious mind occupied while the sub-conscious carries out your magickal intentions.

All Wiccan traditions use some of these tools. Some use all some use only a few. I've tried to cover all the basics. For more information you can check out the "Classics" List at my Book Nook

ALTAR ATHAME BELL BESOM OR BROOM BOLINE BOOK OF SHADOWS
CANDLES CHALICE CAULDRON HERBS
INCENSE BURNER PENTACLE ROBES STONES AND CRYSTALS SWORD WAND OR STAFF

ALTAR

The altar or working space is the first thing you'll need in any magickal working. Ideally, you should have a special room for this, but few of us live in ideal situations.
Your altar can be as simple as a coffee table or as elaborate as you wish.


The ritual altar serves a dual purpose; it's a place to keep your ritual tools and materials; and it serves as a visual focus for your magickal work. Some traditions hold that the altar should always face the East, or the South, or in the center, etc., etc... Put your altar where it feels right for you. More important, put it somewhere where you will be able to see it easily, where you'll be able to reach the things you need to reach, and where you won't trip over it.


The right side of the altar is usually dedicated to the God. A red, yellow or gold candle, or an appropriate figure, is usually place there, as are the censor, wand, athame, bolline and a bowl of salt.
The left half of the altar is usually dedicated to the goddess. Tools sacred to Her are placed there: the cup, the pentacle, bell, crystal, cauldron and the bowl of water. An image of the Goddess may also stand there, or a green, silver or white candle can be substituted. The besom or broom may be laid against the left side of the altar.The cauldron is also sometimes placed on the floor to the left of the altar if there isn't room on top.



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ATHAME


Your athame (or personal knife) should be purchased new, the shape and size depending upon what appeals to you. In the Wiccan tradition the hilt is usually black and the blade sharp on both sides. The blade should also be of a metal that can be sharpened as you will use this knife to cut herbs and incise candles. The sharp edge is also a reminder of the power we take into our hands when we work magick.
If you do purchase a used knife be very certain there are no negative vibrations on it. Cleanse and consecrate it before use.
The dirk is the equivalent of the athame in PectiWita. It generally has a longer blade, though whatever feels comfortable to you is acceptable.

The athame is associated with the Fire Element and the South (some traditions associate it with Air and the East.)


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BELL

Some Wiccans use a bell in their rituals, though certainly not all. Sound is vibration and vibrations are important, not only in everyday life but, especially, magick. To help achieve the right vibrations, the right "mood" or "frequency", it helps to ring a bell. It can actually be just as effective-and thereby as important-as the burning of incense, which also affects vibrations. Don't overdo the bell ringing. A very occasional single-, double-, or triple-ring, scattered throughout the ritual, can be far more effective than a constant jangling.
The bell you use should be chosen carefully. Don't just take any bell - each has its own particular timbre. Find one which seems "right" to you, one which soothes and mellows rather than one which is harsh and strident. If possible, remove the handle and replace it with a leather loop. In this way you can carry the bell strung from you belt (if you prefer that is!).
The bell is a feminine symbol and so is often used to invoke the Goddess in ritual. It is also rung to ward off evil spells and spirits, to halt storms, or to evoke good energies. Placed in cupboards or hung on the door, it guards the home.


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BESOM

The Besom is used to cleanse the ritual area. There are those who insist that a besom must be made of broom, but this isn't necessarily true. In fact, it is said that fairies hate the scent of broom. Straw or grass brooms are fine for indoors, while outdoors, any leafy twig found on the ground will work well. Many stores and craft shops carry the old-fashioned "witch" broom made of straw or grass that is perfectly acceptable as long as it feels right to you. I made my besom with an oak branch and eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender and twine. It works and that's what matters most.

To cleanse your ritual area, start in the center and moving deosil (clockwise) sweep the circle from the center to the outer edges, all the while envisioning and chanting that negativity is being swept out and the circle is being cleaned


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BOOK OF SHADOWS

One of the most important items is the Book of Shadows, or Journal if you prefer. This is where you should record everything associated with your journey; rituals, spells, thoughts, inspirations, and any other information you deem needful. It can be in any form you choose; 3-ring binder, journal, computer file(!), etc...



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BOLINE

This is usually a white handled knife traditionally used for physical cutting if you don't want to use your Athame for that. It is simply a practial, working as opposed to a purely ritualistic magick knife. It is used to cut wands or sacred herbs, inscribe symbols onto candles or on wood, clay or, wax, and in cutting cords for use in magick.

Some Wiccan dictate that the white-handled knife be used only within the magick circle. This would, of course, limit its usefulness. Do what feels right to you. Personally, I don't use a bolline, unless you'd consider my garden clippers qualify!



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CANDLES

Candles are associated with Fire and Air, and are used for everything from lighting the altar to specifics in spells. The type of wax does not matter, Color is what is important here. For basic magickal working the basic candle colors needed are white, black, green, red, yellow, blue, gold, and silver. For more information on these colors see my candle page.



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CAULDRON

The cauldron is an essential in Celtic magick. It represents the element of Water. The cauldron is mentioned in many Celtic myths (most notably Cerridwen's story) and is always connected with magickal happenings. Black cast iron is best and most traditional material, although it can be of other metals. Filled with water it can be used as a scrying tool, similar to a magick mirror or a crystal balll. During certain spells candles are set in it and allowed to burn out. It is an all purpose tool; a vital part of your Celtic spellworkings.

The Wicca see the cauldron as a symbol of the Goddess, the manifested essence of femininity and fertility. Ideally the cauldron should rest on three legs, its opening smaller than its widest part. Cauldrons can be difficult to find, and expensive when found. I use a cast iron dutch oven. It doesn't have legs but it seems to do the trick anyway.



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CHALICE

Your chalice or goblet can be of any shape, size or composition. Beware of pretty pewter cups, they contain lead and can be dangerous to drink anything from, especially wine. The chalice holds water or wine, but is occasionally used empty. The chalice, like the cauldron, is of the Element of Water and associated with the West. It may be used for everyday drinking but is usually reserved for occasions when it is felt necessary to pour libations to the gods, or similar ritual use. Personally, my goblet is part of my Renaissance costume as well as a magickal tool. Since I feel like it will pick up the right energy when I use it at RenFaires this really doesn't stray too far from tradition.



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HERBS AND OILS

Herbs are often burned for incense during a spell or ritual. Charcoal blocks are available for this purpose in gift and candle shops as well as new age and occult supply stores. Essential oils are used for anointing candles, tools, the altar and the body in rituals and spell working. They may be used as tokens of esteem and respect for the deities and energies of the Craft. As plants of various kinds have customarily been offered to the Lady, herbal offerings can be especially meaningful for their particular significance and properties. Since all herbs and oils have their own particular energies they can be a valuable, if not essential, addition to your magickal matierials. Herbs are always associated with the element Earth.

For detailed information see my herb page.



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INCENSE CENSOR OR BURNER

A good incense burner is essential, especially if you plan to use the better incenses that are burned on charcoal. Choose a burner that has some sort of a foot or stand under it. Fill it with a layer of fresh sand, which makes it easier to clean and cuts down on the heat that will pass into the altar. If you can't find a suitable censor make one. Any bowl or cup will serve well provided that you fill it at least half-way with salt or sand. If you plan to move it as all while hot, chains or handles are a necessity.
Representative of the Element of Fire and aligned with the South, the incense burner can also be used in spells that require the burning of paper.



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PENTACLE

A pentacle is traditionally a flat disk made of metal or wood and inscribed with a pentagram. It is used as a power point for consecrating ritual objects, such as water or wine in a chalice, amulets and tools; and is associated with the Earth Element and aligned with the North. It can also be used for grounding stray energy in a room.

The pentacle was "borrowed from ceremonial magick. In this ancient art it was often an instrument of protection, or a tool used to evoke spirits. Pentacles are also hung over doors and windows to act a protective devices, or are ritually manipulated to draw money owing to the pentacle's Earth associations.

I use a large sand dollar that has a perfect pentagram already on it. I suppose traditionalists would probably say that this isn't proper, but it feels right to me, and that is the most important thing.



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ROBES

A robe that is only saved for spellworking can be a fundamental part of your magickal paraphernalia, (if your tradition doesn't call for you being skyclad that is!). It can be plain, decorated, and of any color that appeals to you as long as it makes you feel "magickal". It is nice to have more than one robe, each in a different color. The colors can be matched to the candle colors required for a particular spellworking.
If you don't like the idea of a robe, wear whatever feels comfortable to you. The idea is to feel at ease not to be "fashionable".



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STONES AND CRYSTALS

Colorful stones of various shapes and sizes are used in some spellworks. Whether you purchase them or find them yourself, be certain that their vibrations feel comfortable to you. Crystals and other stones are good conductors of magickal energy in their natural state and need not be polished to be of use.
All stones and crystals are of the Element Earth and play an important part in Celtic spellworkings.



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SWORD

sword

The sword, like the staff, is a tool of command, It is not used often, but can be necessary for certain spellworkings. Its size, style and length are a personal choice; just be careful that you can easily handle the sword you choose. The weight and length of a Scottish Claymore, for example, becomes a real test of endurance after several minutes. For a woman, a sword length of 17 to 25 inches is a good choice. Like the Athame, the sword is of the Element of Fire.



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WAND OR STAFF

Traditionally, both a wand and staff should be of wood and made by the person who will use them. If your purchase these or have them made, fill them with your own vibrations before using them. This is easily done by handling them often and deliberately sending you own positive thoughts into the object. The wand and staff can be naturally-formed tree branches or made of dowels ornamented with crystals, stones, wooden beads, or whatever else you fancy.
The length of the wand depends upon what feels comfortable to you, but tradition states that it should be no longer than your forearm.
The staff should be at least shoulder-high and as thick as is comfortable to hold, usually about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. It should be cut during the waxing moon and allowed to dry out thoroughly at room temperature. You may strip the bark off of it or leave it on, whichever you prefer.It may be left natural or stained/varnished/oiled. The staff is the sword and wand rolled into one, and as such is a symbol of both magickal knowledge and the right to petition deities or archetypal powers. The staff is the main tool of the PectiWita tradition.
Both Staff and Wand are of the Element of Air and are aligned with the East(although some traditions hold that the wand is an instrument of fire and aligned with the South).



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The Pentagram means different things to different people. Some may argue as to what it represents, but I will tell you the real meanings of it. The Pentagram right side up represents God ruling over the world of matter. The 5 points represent the 5 places that Christ was wounded. This is why Devils are afraid of it!  It also represents the Microcosmic man with his arms stretched out.

Let us not forget that it also represents the elements Spirit, Water, Air, Earth, and Fire as shown below.
This is used by most people in Witchcraft.

Now there is also the upside-down Pentagram. It represents Satan or the world of matter ruling over God. It is the same as denouncing God.  To wear it is to attract evil around you. It will not bring good spirits around you. Normally it is only worn by Satanists or devil worshipers.  So if you wish to attract good spirits around you... wear it right side up!

Here we have an example of both the right side up and the reversed Pentagram...
                                                       
 

   Right side up (God ruling)                        Upside-down (Evil ruling)

Many mainstream religion believers think that they are both evil and represent the Devil. But that is because they are so... ignorant and blind to the fact that there is a difference. It shows their lack of study on the true facts of history. I wear the right side up Pentagram and I personally have had many people come up to me and ask me if I am a Devil worshiper!  This really pisses me off! But I explain the reality to them.

Now it is time to teach you a very important and powerful Ritual called the
Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram...
This ritual will surround and protect you with the power of the Almighty aspects of God and his Archangels. This ritual should be done every day in the morning and at the end of the day. Try not to do it right before bed , because it will energize you to where you won't be able to go to sleep. This ritual is exactly what it says... it banishes all spirits or influences good or bad that may be around you. It gives you an open channel to God with no interference!  When you do this you are in the presence of God! So treat it with respect. After a period of time you will notice a difference in your life. You will have that Glow! It strengthens your Aura so that you are like a shinning sun. This ritual is also one of the first ones you would do after conjuring a spirit or using the Ouija board.

1. Sit on a couch in the upright position and close your eyes and your arms at your side or in your lap. Do not move around. Just sit there and relax for a minute.

2. Clear your mind of all thoughts. How do you do this?.... simply imagine a big Dumpster or a very large metal box on your mental screen. Then see it open and put all your thoughts and worries in it one by one.... bills... your lovelife.... problems.... your children.... your job... everything you can think of. Then close the lid and lock it! Then push it off your mental screen.

3. Now sit there quietly with no thoughts for a minute. When you are ready to start... do not forget to tell yourself as you go through each part of the body that you are becoming more and more relaxed as you go. YOU MUST TELL YOURSELF THIS!

4. Now... start with your head.... imagine every part of your head relaxing... start with your eyes.... then go to your ears.... the mouth... all your facial muscles. spend time with each part to make sure it is fully relaxed.

5. Now go to your neck and do the same.

6. Now go to your whole chest and stomach region and start with your heart... slow it down and make it at peace. Relax all you chest muscles and then your stomach area.

7. Now relax your arms feeling them going limp. Relax every muscle in  your arms one by one including your fingers.

8. Next go to the groin area and relax all the muscle there.

9. Now it is time to do your legs.... start with the thighs and work your way down to the feet relaxing each and every toe.

By this time you should be like a big lump of silly putty... totally relaxed and and at peace. Now here comes the fun part. This is where you will get to hypnotize yourself and see if it really works.....

1. Site there with you arms in you lap and or at your side and tell yourself that your right arm is getting very light. It is getting very, very light. Keep telling yourself this and feel how it is getting lighter. Tell yourself that it is getting so light that is is staring to raise up off your lap. Feel it it getting light as you keep telling yourself this and feel it raising up off you lap. It is getting lighter by the second and it is raising up higher and higher until it is up in the air.

2. Once you have achieved this and your arm is up in the air you may tell yourself it is getting heavy again and lower it to your lap. You will now tell yourself that you will awaken fully refreshed with energy and a clear mind.

3. Open your eyes and evaluate what you have done. Write down your experience in your magical journal. If you did not have success... try again later that day and keep trying until you are satisfied. If it never works for you.... you may be one of those who cannot be hypnotized.

Now.... this method can be used on someone else. Try it on your best friend... except you are the one who will be telling them to relax each part of their body. Then do the arm raising stunt with them and see if it works. Remember.... as you go through each part of the body with them... tell them they are getting more and more relaxed and sleepy. If this works then you can try more difficult things like making them do funny things...

Remember... DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE DO THINGS THAT WILL HURT THEM OR OTHERS!

 You can also use this method to remember things and program yourself to lose weight or study better or what ever you so choose!

 If you have been successful.... Congratulations! You now know how to Hypnotize!



C.2001-2005 Puzuzu

Some Traditional Wiccan Terms

1.      Altar - a surface that has been prepared for the work of doing rituals and magick

2.      Amulet - an object that deflects negative energy. It is usually worn on the person.

3.      astral projection - the practice of separating the spirit from the body and having that spirit move around the world.

4.      astrology - the study of the stars and how their position affects personality and future events

5.      Athame - a short ceremonial knife, sometimes with a double edged blade.  It is used to direct energy during the Wiccan rituals.

6.      autumnal equinox - a day of the year in autumn when the night and day are of equal length.

7.      Balefire - a fire used for magical purposes, often used in the ceremonies during Yule, Beltane, and Midsummer.
Beltane - a Wiccan festival celebrated on April 30 or May 1.

8.      Between the worlds - the concept that a Wiccan Circle, when properly performed, exists between the physical and spiritual dimensions where people may contact other spirits

9.      Blessed be - a phrase used by Wiccans in both reading and parking.

10.  Blood of the moon -  the time of a woman's greatest energy, usually during her menstrual cycle.

11.  Book of Shadows - a book of rituals and spells.  There is no single official Book of Shadows.  Each book of shadows is relevant to the person who uses it and develops a set of spells and rituals used for gaining influence and power.

12.  Burning Time, the - a time from the 1500s to 1600s where the Catholic church killed many pagans because they

13.  candle magick - the use of candles in spells and rituals.

14.  Centering - to focus your thoughts and energies.

15.  Chakra - a location of energy focus and human body.  Typically, there are said to be seven.

16.  Chalice - a cup used in rituals that can contain wind, water, or other liquids.

17.  Channeling - the practice of allowing another spirit to speak through you.

18.  Chanting- the use of repetitious words and or rhymes designed to induce an altered state of consciousness.

19.  Charge - to infuse energy into an object.

20.  Charm - an object that has been charged with energy

21.  Circle - a group of people, usually Wiccans, who have been gathered to perform a ritual.

22.  Cleansing - removing negative energy

23.  Coven - a group of Wiccans.  A group of witches, usually numbering 13.

24.  Cowen - someone who is not a witch

25.  Craft - another term for Wicca

26.  Crone - one of the three aspects of the goddess.  Also, someone who has passed the stage of menopause.

27.  Deity - a god or goddess, a particular view about a God or godess held by a Wiccan.

28.  Deosil - Clockwise motion

29.  Divination - discovering the unknown by observing and interpreting random patterns are symbols through such tools as clouds, tarot cards, flames, smoke, etc.

30.  Dowsing - the use of an object, such as a stick, to find something or someone, and sometimes to find an answer to a question

31.  Drawing down the Moon - a ritual for the invocation of the goddess done at the full moon where energy is drawn into a female witch.

32.  Drawing down the Sun - a ritual for the invitation of God where energy is drawn into a male witch

33.  Earth Magick - magic that is centered around the energies of Mother Earth

34.  Earth Power - the natural energy that exists within the earth.  Therefore, there is energy within plants, rocks, water, the wind, etc.  Wiccans often try and tap into the earth power in their rituals and spells.

35.  Elementals - creatures associated with the elements.  Gnomes with the earth, Sylphs with the air, Salamanders with Fire, and Undines with Water.

36.  Elements, The - the building blocks of the universe are the four elements: Earth, fire, air, and water.

37.  Equinox - occurs two times a year on March 21 or Sept. 23 where the day and night are of equal length.

38.  Esbat - a Wiccan ritual performed in a coven.

39.  Evocation - calling up spirits and/or other non-physical entities

40.  Familiar - an animal that has a bond with a witch

41.  God - The male divine principle:  horned God, God of the hunt.

42.  Goddess - the female divine principle:  Moon Goddess, maiden.

43.  Handfasting - a wedding

44.  High Priest/Priestess - a witch who is the leader of a coven, sometimes a person who has received the third degree initiation

45.  Imbolc - a Wiccan festival celebrated on February 2 also known as Candlemas, Feast of the Waxing Light.  it celebrates the arrival of spring.

46.  Invocation - a request to a higher power, god or goddess.

47.  Lughnasadh - a Wiccan festival celebrated on August 1 which signifies the harvest.

48.  Mabon - a Wiccan festival celebrated on September 21st, a celebration of the second harvest and preparation for winter.

49.  Magick - A term first used by Aleister Crowley (a Satanist).  It refers to any ritual or spell that is designed to bring about a change in a person or the environment.  Magick allegedly works within natural laws and cannot violate them.

50.  Merry Meet - a phrase used as a greeting.

51.  Midsummer -  the summer solstice that occurs around June 21.  It marks the time when the sun is at the height of its power.

52.  Neo Paganism - It is a bit broad in its meaning, but generally it is a group of religions based out of old European and pre-Christian belief systems.

53.  New Moon - the phase of the moon when it is entirely dark

54.  Old Religion - another term for Wicca.

55.  Ostara - a Wiccan festival of March 21 that celebrates the beginning of spring.

56.  Pagan - Generally it refers to those who hold to religious beliefs but are not Jews, Christians, or Muslims.  Pagans are often polytheistic and/or pantheistic. 

57.  Paganing - a ceremony where on infant is presented to the circle and to the God and Goddess.

58.  Pentacle - an object used in rituals upon which a pentagram (five pointed star in a circle) is engraved or inscribed.

59.  Pentagram - a five pointed star

60.  Path - the particular religious journey that a person is on.

61.  Quarters - north, south, east, and West.  The four corners of ritual circle.

62.  Reincarnation - in Wicca, the teaching that people souls continue on after death, go to a holding place (Summerland) where there lives are contemplated, and the decision in two which location and time to be born into occurs.

63.  Ritual - a Wiccan ceremony where objects and movements are designed to bring about desired effects.

64.  Runes - sticklike figures such as symbols that were once carved in rocks, play, candles, which are supposed to have energies that can be used during magick.

65.  Sabbat - a Wiccan festival.

66.  Samhain - a Wiccan festival celebrated on October 31, Halloween.

67.  Scry - to look upon object intensely as in a meditative state and opening oneself up to visions.

68.  Skyclad - Wiccan terminology for nudity.

69.  Solitary - a Wiccan who practices the craft by him or herself.

70.  Spell - a ritual designed to bring about a certain effect.

71.  Summerland - A place of peace and paradise that all spirits go after death where they are rejuvenated and reflect upon their previous life before proceeding on to another incarnation.

72.  Talisman - A ritually charged object designed to attract a specific energy

73.  Threefold Law - All the good you do will return to threefold in this life.  Likewise, all the harm you do will return to threefold also.

74.  Tradition - a particular type of Wicca that a person practices

75.  Underworld - the spirit realm of the dead

76.  Widdershins - movement that is counterclockwise.

77.  Witch - someone who participates in magick, male or female.

78.  Witchcraft - the practice of the earth based and pagan religion focusing on nature and its manipulation through rituals.

79.  Wicca - A religion do ride from ancient Celtic belief systems that focuses on the goddess and nature.  It is sometimes referred to as witchcraft.

80.  Wiccan Law -

81.  Wiccan Rede - "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"  This means that as long as you don't harm anyone, you are free to do what you want in Wicca including casting spells.

82.  Yule - a Wiccan festival celebrated on December 21 marking the rebirth of the sun god.

1. Know yourself 2. Know your Craft 3. Learn 4. Apply knowledge and wisdom 5. Achieve balance 6. Keep your words in good order 7. Keep Your thoughts in good order 8. Celebrate life 9. Attune with the cycles of the Earth 10. Breath and eat correctly 11. Exercise the body 12. Meditate 13. Honor the Goddess and God.

Karma

Kamma is an impersonal, natural law that operates in accordance with our actions. It is a law in itself and does not have any lawgiver. Kamma operates in its own field without the intervention of an external, independent, ruling agent. Kamma (in Pali Language) or karma (in Sanskrit) can be put in the simple language of a child: do good and good will come to you now, and hereafter. Do bad and bad will come to you now, and hereafter. In the language of the harvest, kamma can be explained in this way: if you sow goods seeds, you will reap good harvest. If you sow bad seeds, you will reap a bad harvest. In the language of science, kamma is called the law of cause and effect: every cause has an effect. Another name for this is the law of moral causation. Moral causation works in the moral realm just as the physical law of action and reaction works in the physical realm. In the Dhammapada, kamma is explained in this manner: the mind is the chief (forerunner) of all good or bad states. If you speak and act with a good or bad mind, then happiness or unhappiness follows you just as the wheel follows the hoof of the ox or like your shadow, which never leaves you. Dhmmapada Chapter 1: Yamaka Vagga- The Twin Verses Kamma is simply action. Within animate organisms there is a power or force which is given different names such as instinctive tendencies, consciousness, etc. This innate propensity forces every conscious being to move. He moves mentally or physically. His motion is action. The repetition of actions is habit and habit becomes his character. In Buddhism, this process is called kamma. ‘Kamma is volition,’ says the Buddha. In its ultimate sense, kamma means both good and bad, mental action or volition.. Thus kamma is not an entity but a process, action, energy and force. Some interpret this force as “action-influence.” It is our own doings reacting on ourselves. The pain and happiness man experiences are the results of his own deeds, words and thoughts reacting on themselves. Our deeds, words and thoughts produce our prosperity, failure, happiness and misery. Kamma is an impersonal, natural law operating in its own field without the intervention of external, independent ruling agencies. Since there is no hidden agent directing or administering rewards and punishments, Buddhist do not rely on prayer to supernatural forces to influence karmic results. According to the Buddha, kamma is nether predestination nor some sort of determinism imposed on us by some mysterious, unknown powers or forces to which we must helplessly submit ourselves. Buddhists believe that man will reap what he has sown; we are the result of what we were, and we will be the result of what we are. In other words, man is not one who will absolutely remain what he was, and he will not continue to remain as what he is. This simply means that kamma is not complete determinism. The Buddha pointed out that if everything were determined, then there would be no free will and no moral or spiritual life. We would merely be the slaves of our past and that which has already been decided. There would be no cultivation of moral and spiritual growth. Therefore, the Buddha accepted neither strict determinism nor strict undeterminism. Misconceptions regarding Kamma: The misinterpretations or irrational views on kamma are stated in the Anguttara Nikaya which suggests that the wise will investigate and abandon the following views: 1. The belief that everything is a result of acts in previous lives; 2. The belief that all is the result of creation by a Supreme Ruler; and 3. The belief that everything arises without reason or cause. If a person becomes a murderer, a thief, or an adulterer, and, if his actions are due to past actions, or caused by the creation a Supreme Ruler, or if that happened be mere chance, then this person would not be held responsible for his evil action.Yet another misconception about kamma is that it operates only for certain people according to their faiths. But the fate of a man in his next life does not in the least depend on what particular religion he chooses. Whatever may be his religion, man’s fate depends entirely on his deeds by body, speech and thought. It does not matter what religious label he himself holds, he is bound to be in a happy world in his next life so long as he does good deeds and leads an unblemished life. He is bound to be born to lead a wretched life if he commits evil and harbours wicked thoughts in his mind. Therefore, Buddhists do not proclaim that they are the only blessed people who can go to heaven after their death. Whatever the religion he professes, man’s kammic thought alone determines his own destiny both in this life and in the next. The teaching of kamma does not indicate a post-mortem justice. The Buddha did not teach this law of kamma to protect the rich and to comfort the poor by promising illusory happiness in an after life. According to Buddhism kamma explains the inequalities that exists among mankind. These inequalities are due not only to heredity, enviroment and nature but also to kamma or the results of our own actions. Indeed kamma is one of the factors which are responsible for the success and the failure of our life. Since kamma is an invisible force, we cannot see it working with our physical eyes. To understand how kamma works, we can compare seeds: the results of kamma are stored in the subconscious mind in the same way as the leaves, flowers, fruits and trunk of a tree are stored in its seed. Under favorable conditions, the fruits of kamma will be produced just as with moisture and light, the leaves and trunk of a tree will sprout from its tiny seed. The working of kamma can also be compared to a bank account: a person who is virtuous, charitable and benevolent in his present life is like a person who is adding to his good kamma. This accrued good kamma can be used by him to ensure a troublefree life. But he must replace what he takes or else one day his account will be exhausted and he will be bankrupt. Then whom will he be able to blame for his miserable state? He can blame neither others nor fate. He alone is responsible. Thus a good Buddhist cannot be an escapist. He has to face life as it is and not run away from it. The kammic force cannot be controlled by inactivity. Vigorous activity for good is indispensable for one’s own happiness. Escapism is the resort of the weak, and an escapist cannot escape the effects of the kammic law. The Buddha says, ‘There is no place to hide in order to escape from kammic results.’ Dhammapada 127) Our Own Experience: To understand the law of kamma is to realize that we ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and our own misery. We are the architects of our kamma. Buddhism explains that man has every possibility to mould his own kamma and thereby influence the direction of his life. On the other hand, a man is not a complete prisoner for his own actions; he is not a slave of his kamma. Nor is man mere machine that automatically releases instinctive forces that enslave him. Nor is man mere a product of nature. Man has within himself the strength and the ability to change his kamma. His mind is mightier than his kamma and so the law of kamma can be made to serve him. Man does not have to give up his hope and effort in order to surrender himself to his own kammic force. To off-set the reaction of his bad kamma that he has accumulated previously, he has to do more meritorious deeds and to purify his mind rather than by praying, worshipping, performing rites or torturing his physical body in order to overcome his karmic effects. Therefore, man can overcome the effect of his evil deeds if he acts wisely by leading a noble life. Man must use the material with which he is endowed to promote his ideal. The cards in the game of life are within us. We do not select them. They are traced to our past kamma; but we can call as we please, do what suits us and as we play, we either gain or lose. Kamma is equated to the action of men. This action also creates some karmic results. But each and every action carried out without any purposeful intention, cannot become a Kusala-Kamma (skillful action) or Akusala-Kamma (unskillful action). That is why the Buddha interprets kamma as volitional activites. That means, whatever good and bad deeds we commit ourselves without any purposeful intention, are not strong enough to be carried forward to our next life. However, ignorance of the nature of the good and bad effect of the kamma is not an excuse to justify or avoid the karmic results if they were committed intentionally. A small child or an ignorant man may commit many evil deeds. Since they commit such deeds with intention to harm or injure, it is difficult to say that they are free form the karmic results. If that child touches a burning iron-rod the heat element does not spare the child without burning his fingers. The karmic energy also works exactly in the same manner. Karmic energy is unbiased; it is like energy of gravity. The radical transformations in the characters of Angulimala and Asoka illustrate man’s potential to gain control over his kammic force. Angulimala was a highway robber who murdered more than a thousand of his fellow men. Can we judge him by his external actions? For within his lifetime, he became an Arahanta and thus redeemed his past misdeeds. Asoka, the Indian emperor, killed thousands and thousands to fight his wars and to expand his empire. Yet after winning the battle, he completely reformed himself and changed his career to such an extent that today, ‘Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Asoka shines and shines almost alone, as a star, ‘says a well-known world historian H.G. Wells .Other Factors Which Support Kamma: Although Buddhism says that man can eventually control his kammic force, it does not state that everything is due to kamma. Buddhism does not ignore the role played by other forces of nature. According to Buddhism there are five orders or processes of natural laws (niyama) which operate in the physical and mental worlds: 1. Seasonal laws (utu niyama) physical inorganic order e.g., seasonal phenomena of winds and rains, etc. 2. The biological law (bija niyama) relating to seasonal changes etc., 3. The kammic law (kamma niyama) relating to moral causation or the order of act and result, 4. Natural phenomena (Dhamma niyama) relating to electrical forces, movement of tides etc., and 5. Psychological laws (citta niyama) which govern the processes of consciousness.Thus kamma is considered only as one of the five natural laws that account for the diversity in this world. Can Kamma Be Changed? Kamma is often influenced by circumstances: beneficent and malevolent forces act to counter and to support this self-operating law. These other forces that either aid or hinder this kamma are birth, time or conditions, appearances, and effort. A favorable birth (gati sampatti) or an unfavorable birth (vipatti) can develop or hinder the fruition of kamma. For instance, if a person is born to a noble family or in state of happiness, his fortunate birth will provide an easy opportunity for his good kamma to operate. An unintelligent person who, by some good kamma, born in a royal family, will, on account of his noble percentage be honored by the people. If the same person were to have less fortunate birth, he would not be similarly treated. Good appearance (upadhi sampatti) and poor appearance (upadhi sampatti) are two other factors that hinder or favour the working of kamma. If by some good kamma, a person obtains a good birth, but is born deformed by some bad kamma, then he will not be able to fully enjoy the beneficial results of his good kamma. Even a legitimate heir to a throne may not perhaps be raised to that high position of he happens to be physically or mentally deformed. Beauty, on the other hand, will be an asset to the possessor. A good-looking son of poor parents may attract the attention of others and may be able to distinguish himself through their influence. Also, we can find cases of people from poor, obscure family backgrounds who rise to fame and popularity as film actors or actresses or beauty queens. Time and occasion are other factors that influence the working of kamma. In the time of famine or during the time of war, all people without exception are forced to suffer the same fate. Here the unfavorable conditions open up possibilities for evil kamma to operate, The favorable conditions, on the other hand, will prevent the operation of bad kamma. Effort or intelligence is perhaps the most important of all the factors that affect the working of kamma. Without effort, both worldly and spiritual progess is impossible. If a person makes no effort to cure himself of a disease or to save himself from his difficulties, or to strive with diligence for his progress, then his evil kamma will find a suitable opportunity to produce its due effects. However, if he endeavors to surmount his difficulties, his good kamma will come to help him. When shipwrecked in a deep sea, the Budhisatta during one of his previous births, made an effort to save himself and his old mother, while the others prayed to the gods and left their fate in the hands of these gods. The result was the Budhisatta escaped while the others drowned. Thus the working of kamma is aided or obstructed by birth, beauty and ugliness, time and personal effort or intelligence. However, man can overcome immediate karmic effects by adopting certain methods. Yet, he is not free from such karmic effects if he remains within this Samsara - cycle of birth and death. Whenever opportunities arise the same karmic effects that he overcame, can affect him again. This is the uncertainly of worldly life. Even the Buddha and Arahantas were affected by certain kammas, although they were in their final birth. The time factor is another important aspect of the karmic energy for people to experience the good and bad effects. People experience certain karmic effects only within this lifetime while certain karmic effects become effective immediately hereafter in the next birth. And certain other karmic effects follow the doers as long as they remain in this wheel of existence until they stop their rebirth after attaining Nibbana. The main reason for this difference is owing to mental impulsion (Javana Citta) of the people at the time when a thought arises in the mind to do good or bad.Impartial Energy:Those who do not believe that there is an energy known as kamma should understand that this karmic energy is not a byproduct of any particular religion although Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism acknowledge and explain the nature of this energy. This is an existing universal law which has no religious label. All those who violate this law, have to face the consequences irrespective of their religious beliefs, and those who live in accordance with this law experience peace and happiness in their life. Therefore, this karmic law is unbiased to each and every person, whether they believe it or not; whether, they have a religion or not. It is like any other existing universal law. Please remember that kamma is not the exclusive property of Buddhism. If we understand kamma as a force or a form of energy, then we can discern no beginning. To ask where is the beginning of kamma is like asking where is the beginning of electricity. Kamma like electricity does not begin. It comes into being under certain conditions. Conventionally we say that the origin of kamma is volition but this is as much conventional as saying that the origin of a river is a mountain top. Like the waves of the ocean that flow into one another, one unit of consciousness into another and this merging of one thought consciousness into another is called the working of kamma. In short, every living being, according to Buddhism, is an electric current of life that operates on the automatic switch of kamma. Kamma being a form a of energy is not found anywhere in this fleeting consciousness or body. Just as mangoes are not stored anywhere in the mango tree but, dependent on certain conditions, they spring into being, so does kamma. Kamma is like wind or fire. It is not stored up anywhere in the Universe but comes into being under certain conditions.
The Pagan Wheel of the Year:
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YULE
IMBOLC
OSTARA
BELTANE
LITHA
LUGHNASSADH
MABON
SAMHAIN

- circa Dec. 21
- February 2
- circa March 21
- May 1
- circa June 21
- August 1
- circa Sept. 21
- Oct. 31 / Nov. 1

YULE (circa December 21) (Winter Solstice, December 20-23 (varies according to the particular date on the standard calendar according to when the Solstice will occur astronomically)). Longest night of the year, the turning point when the days shall afterwards grow longer as winter begins its passage into the coming spring. It is, in the Goddess worship, the time when she gives forth again to the birth of the Divine Sun child who shall be both child and eventually lover and father of the next child in the cycle. Winter Solstice for pagans is a time of feasting and the exchanging of gifts and is the original Holiday that the Christian religions modified into their own Christmas, even up to the birth of the child (Most theologians who have spent time studying the birth of Jesus admit he was born in either March or April, not the celebrated Christmas date we all know from the standard calendar - it was moved to this date to help induce Pagans to give up their old ways yet allow them their holidays during the spread of Christianity through Europe and the British Isles). Traditional adornments are a Yule Log, usually of oak, and a combination of mistletoe and holly (also all later plagiarized into Christian ways). IMBOLC (February 2) (Candlemas, Brigid's Day) Not common to all Pagans, this is very popular with Wiccans and various Celtic sects. Brigid is the Celtic goddess of fire and inspiration (Poetry, smithcraft and healing) as well as yet another representation of the Fertility of Femininity and Love. Brigid had such a strong following among the Celtics that the Christian church decided it was easier to assimilate her into their own system, and so there came about the making of Saint Brigit and all the stories they created about her so that her followers would leave their old beliefs enough so they would not side with the Druids, who were known at that time as 'the snakes' because of their tendency to have tamed snakes that were used to help produce various healing mixtures via their venom, and who were violently opposing the Catholic church. In History, of course, the druids lost against the overwhelming odds presented by the church, led by a man who would then be himself sainted by the church, their Saint Patrick (who was no clergyman but a warrior). Thus Christian rule of various sorts came into Ireland. Handcrafts are often sacrificed to Brigid or dedicated to her as they are started on this day. Its celebration is done with many candles and as usual much feasting. The Christians also took, moved slightly and used this date by creating St. Valentine and using the day for one of chaste love reflections. Imbolc marks the recovery of the Goddess after birth of the God. The warmth of the power of the God fertilizes the Earth and so the earliest beginnings of spring occur. This is a sabbat of purification, a festival of light and fertility. Tis also a traditional time for initiations into covens and self-dedication rituals. Also known as: Feast of Pan, Feast of Torches, Oimelc. OSTARA (circa March 21) (Eostar, Spring Equinox, March 20-23 dependent on actual astronomical event) The Goddess blankets the Earth with fertility as the God stretches and grows to maturity. The hours of day and night are equal and light is overtaking darkness. This is a time of beginnings, action, planting spells, and of tending the gardens. This is the start in the pagan year of spring, at least among Wiccans and Celtics. The first flowers are praised and the God and Goddess thanked for the true return to happier times for all. Ostara is one of the more colorful holidays, not one of the somber colors found in Yule and Candlemas. Feasting and socializing are the important factors in this holiday as well as the celebration of the return of color to the natural world. In the Christian calendar, again to draw early worshipers, they marked this as the final days and rebirth of Jesus (when according to history he died in June!) BELTANE (MAY 1) (May Eve, April 30th-May 1st) Most important to pagans, save for Samhain, I don't know of any Pagan group that doesn't celebrate this holiday in some way. Beltane is the great Fertility rite of life, starting at dusk on the 30th and continuing until the dawn of the 1st. The union of the God and Goddess to conceive the sun-child to be takes place upon this holiday, no matter which tradition of paganism is involved. Beltane is the one holiday most discouraged by the Christians, who didn't even use it as a point for a holiday of their own because the power and nature of the day involved. Still, even in Christianized Ireland the May day dance of the Maypole remained, as did the giving of flowers to those you loved or cared for as friends. The Maypole is a symbol of the union of the God and Goddess to create life, the pole itself a phallic symbol while the dancers and their streamers or vines of flowers represent the fertile womb of the goddess as it takes in the Phallus of the god and takes in his seed. Besides the Maypole often a bonfire is present, and members of the group are encouraged to jump the flames for luck and their own fertility. Food, drink and love are the order of the evening. In most sects the celebration of unions of love are enacted. Beltane is the time of many marriages/handfastings in the pagan community (in some it is the point where one chooses to begin and end relationships of a physical nature). Clothing is very optional in most get-togethers on this holiday, and mostly it is sensual and colorful. Even those sects that are prudish about things tend to accept the rules of the holiday, as it is the holiday of free love. It is said that a child conceived on this day will grow up to wield great power and knowledge and to be healthier than upon any other. LITHA(circa June 21) (Midsummer, Summer Solstice, June 20-23, dependent on actual astronomical event) Held on the longest day of the year, the Solstice is the celebration of light's triumph over darkness and that of the bountiful beauty that light brings into life. Flowers are common in the circle, roses and bright cheerful wildflowers are upon the altar and usually worn by all. It is the changing point of the year, and the celebration of the spiral dance of the year is common among Wiccans. It a celebration with much joy, and much feasting. Many wiccans will attire themselves in bright colors and equally bright adornments of flowers. Litha's usual food fare may include honeycakes or cornbread. Litha is not celebrated by all sects nor in the same way. In the past, bonfires were leapt to encourage fertility, purification, health and love. Midsummer is a classic time for magick of all kinds. LUGHNASSADH(August 1) The great corn ritual of Wiccan belief (in Celtic realms this is the celebration of the wheat god, corn is an Americanization and it is possible there is an American Indian traditional holiday near this date that was borrowed by the American Neopagans). This is the big celebration of the harvest (Sort of a Pagan Thanksgiving, but the time clock is different as is that of the Celtics). Much feasting and dancing occur, though it is a bit more somber than many of the other holidays. Some Pagans celebrate this day as mearly the day to bake their bread and cakes for the coming winter and do no actual rituals save that of blessing the foods prepared. Pagans see this as a time when the God loses his strength as the Sun rises farther south each day and the nights grow longer. The Goddess watches in sorrow and joy as she realizes the the God is dying yet lives on inside her as her child. As summer passes, Wiccans remember its warmth and bounty in the food we eat. This sabbat is also called Lammas, August Eve, Feast of Bread, and this writers birthday! (I am a bit conceited that I was born on this day! Just ask my wife!) MABON (circa September 21) (Fall Equinox, Sept. 20-23, dependent on actual astronomical event) A lesser holiday, this is not widely celebrated and is most come with pure Wiccan groups, especially those who are based in the works of Starhawk and other Dianic sects. This is the weavers festival, and a braiding of cords are done in the process of casting a spell to add to ones life from what it is, each person weaving unto themselves what they wish and the coven as a whole weaving all the cords together to unite the power and efforts symbolically. The autumn equinox is the completion of the harvest begun at Lammas. Once again the day and night are equal as the God prepares to leave the body and the begin the great adventure into the unseen, toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. SAMHAIN (October 31) At Samhain, the Wicca say farewell to the God even though he readies to be reborn at Yule. This grand sabbat, also known as Feast of the Dead ,Feast of Apples, All Hallows, and of course Halloween, once marked the time of sacrifice. This was the time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food throughout the winter. The God fell as well to ensure our continuing existence. This is a time of reflection and coming to terms with the one thing in life which we have no control - death. Wiccans feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is it's least guarded and it's veil the thinnest. It is a time for dimensional openings and workings, and also the celebration of the death of the year king. It is a somber holiday, one of dark clothes and thoughts for the dead, it is said to be the time when those of necromantic talents can speak with the dead and it is certainly a time to remember ones dead. It is a time of endings of relationships and bad situations and it is the time when one can see the glimmer of hope in the future. There are as many concepts attached to this holiday as any other, truly a time of remembrance of our ancestors and all those who have gone before.
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