Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Persephone Myth

There are many variations of the myth surrounding Persephone, so I have taken the common elements and created a summary that feels a little more 'whole' than any individual stories I've read. I'm sure you would be able to find a large number of variations in different aspects of this tale but this is just my interpretation from my own research and feelings.

Persephone was the only child of the union between Zeus, the King of the Gods, and Demeter, the Goddess of Agriculture. Demeter doted on Persephone and she grew up knowing the love, nurturing and tender care of her mother as well as the playful sisterhood of her half-siblings, Athena and Aphrodite.

As Persephone grew, Hades, King of the Underworld, who was also her father’s brother, fell in love with her. Hades was often jealous of Zeus’ power and appealed to Zeus for Persephone’s hand in marriage. Zeus, wanting to appease his brother, agreed, but neither Zeus nor Hades shared their plans with Demeter or Persephone.

In order to make Persephone fall in love with him, Hades planted a beautiful narcissus flower in Demeter’s garden. As the lovely Persephone amused herself picking flowers one day, she noticed the narcissus flower and while she was distracted by it, Hades took the opportunity to abduct her and take her to the Underworld.

When Demeter discovered that her daughter was missing, she was distraught. She neglected her duties in her grief and all that grew began to die. She searched everywhere on earth for her daughter but when she could not find her she appealed to Helios, the God of the Sun, who could see everything. Helios told Demeter of Persephone’s abduction by Hades and of the agreement with Zeus.

Demeter was furious and confronted Zeus. Zeus saw the crops dying and knew that he needed to take action so that Demeter could return to her duties. He agreed to negotiate with Hades for the return of Persephone.

With Persephone’s great capacity for love, she came to know Hades not just as her abductor and saw that the actions he had taken were motivated by love for her. She came to understand Hades and accepted from him a pomegranate, eating six of the seeds and thus binding her to Hades in marriage. Through this marriage she also took the title, and accepted the responsibilities, of Queen of the Underworld.
Persephone enjoyed the responsibility and the power of her new role and began assisting those who were having difficulty transitioning from the land of the living to the land of the dead. She often gained their confidences and through their confessions and her powers of insight and empathy, she became the keeper of much secret knowledge.

Knowing that he was breaking his agreement with Hades, Zeus sent Hermes as the messenger to demand Hades return Persephone. When Hades explained that Persephone had become his wife, through the symbolic eating of the pomegranate seeds, Zeus ordered a compromise, declaring that Persephone should spend six months of each year in the Underworld with Hades and the remaining six months should be spent with her mother, Demeter, assisting each with their respective duties during the time she was with them.

This is a multi-layered story. It gives us the myth of the seasons as Persephone’s return to her mother is reflected in the spring as Demeter then tends to her responsibilities and things begin to grow again. The fertility of the land continues to grow into summer but when Persephone returns to Hades, Demeter again begins to mourn and neglects her duties so things begin to die in the autumn and winter months. In this way, Persephone is the goddess of life, death and rebirth.

Another aspect to this story is of Persephone as The High Priestess with her role as the Queen of the Underworld. This is reflective of our subconscious and the secret knowledge that she holds as obtained from the information passed on to her through her communications with those entering the spirit world. The idea that we can learn more and develop our psychic abilities through times of physical hibernation thereby allowing us to be guided from within is also represented here. The importance and relevance of our dreams is pertinent as well.

The link to Persephone as the Queen of the Underworld is also a comment on the connection to the spirit world; sometimes it is an indication that we need to explore our fears and learn what is haunting us or what our own personal demons are. This is an acknowledgement of the darker side of life as being necessary to the light that we would otherwise hope to move in each day.

One of Persephone’s great strengths is that she did not dwell in the tragic situation that befell her. She was abducted as a Maiden Goddess and taken from her family in the midst of her innocence but instead of taking on the role of victim, she embraced the necessary aspects of this and rose to be queen over it all. This is a wonderful inspiration to those who have experienced pain, suffering or seeming injustice and Persephone can be a powerful ally to regaining your own personal strength. The point in the story where Persephone willingly (although in most versions of the story, unknowingly) partakes of the pomegranate seeds and then accepts her responsibilities and the consequences of her actions through upholding her marriage to Hades is another lesson that has great relevance and power. Her transition between Maiden and Queen of the Underworld symbolises power born from vulnerability and her message to us all is to accept all aspects of yourself.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spell To Attract Garden Fairies

The task was to create a spell that used the herb thyme and this is the result...

Many fairies are friendly and their presence can enhance a garden by creating a feel of magic, charm, kindness and love, which will, in turn, permeate through the plants and flowers that grow there. If you wish to attract fairies to a garden, this spell can invite them but if you fill your garden with bright and interesting things, the fairies will also be more likely to stay.

You will need:
  • 12 rocks or crystals of approximately 1 inch diameter and one larger rock or crystal
  • 13 bright flowers, preferably ones that are from the garden where you are wishing to attract fairies to
  • Up to 13 small fairy statuettes or charms (can have less if necessary)
  • 13 sprigs of thyme
  • A protection amulet
This spell should be performed at dusk and works best at Beltane (31 October in the Southern Hemisphere, 30 April in the Northern Hemisphere) as this is when the veil between the human world and the fairy world is at its thinnest.

Choose a small area in your garden where you will conduct the spell. You will need to have a cleared area where you will be laying out the items listed above as well as a place for yourself that is in reach of this area.

Sit comfortably and take three deep breaths. Take your protection amulet and hold it in your left hand. Extend your right hand with your palm turned upwards and say:

As the time of dusk draws nigh
Tis soon a time when fae shall fly
Which may, I know, bring treats or tricks
One may not always sure predict
So in this charm I do direct
The power and purpose to protect
Ill-willed spirits cannot linger
Once I draw this symbol with my finger

Draw the symbol on the protection amulet in the air with the finger of your right hand or an invoking fire pentagram (from air to fire to spirit to earth to water to air) if there is no symbol on the amulet. Put the amulet on.

The next step is to form a circle on the ground with the twelve smaller rocks or crystals. Say the following for each of the rocks or crystals as you place them on the ground:

Fairies sit at a fairy seat
Soon the fairies here will meet

Place the larger rock or crystal in the centre of the circle and say:

The Fairy Queen presides within
Surrounded by her fairy kin

Next, place a flower on each of the rocks or crystals and say the following for each setting:

This fairy throne I now adornThe fairy spirit is reborn

A sprig of thyme should then be placed on each flower with the following words:

By thyme I call the fairy folkAnd fairy magic thus invoke

Take a few moments to sit peacefully and meditate on the fairy ring. Listen carefully for the fairy footsteps that may be heard on the leaves and in the breeze as the fairies start to dance closer and closer.

When you are ready, place a fairy statuette or charm on or next to a fairy setting in the circle and say the following:

A fairy ring this does resemble
As the fairies here assemble

Repeat until all fairy statuettes or charms have taken their place in the fairy ring. You may wish to meditate for a few more moments before saying:

Now the circle is complete
A welcome place for fae to meet
I bid you enter full of grace
To work good magic in this place

Stay by the circle until all of the light has gone from the sky then go quietly leaving the fairy ring intact.

In the morning, take each of the fairy statuettes or charms and place them throughout the garden, under plants and leaves, on top of rocks, hanging from branches etc.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


From the Latin word fluo or fluere meaning “to flow” or “to flux” and also known as fluorspar or fluor, fluorite is a stunning crystal found in many areas of the world including China, Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Brazil, Canada, parts of America, Mexico and Russia. Fluorite has a hardness rating of 4.0 therefore is more suited to use in jewellery and ornaments however it also has industrial uses including being used as a flux (i.e. to remove oxidation from the metals to facilitate soldering, brazing, and welding), as part of the manufacturing process of opalescent glass, enamels and cooking utensils and to make hydrofluoric acid.

In its pure form, fluorite is clear, however, it is common for fluorite to appear in various shades thereby earning its reputation as the most colourful mineral in the world. The colours of fluorite include purple, blue, green, red, pink, yellow and black often with more than one colour present in a single specimen.

Another interesting quality of fluorite is hinted at in the relation to the word fluorescent. Due to natural impurities that occur in fluorite, such as the presence of europium ions or yttrium, some specimens of fluorite fluoresce under ultra violet light. Depending on the impurities and the region in which the fluorite formed, the colours and intensity of the fluorescent glow (and sometimes phosphorescent glow, which is the continuation of the glow once the UV light is removed, and thermoluminescent glow, which is the ability to glow when heated) can vary.

Fluorite is popular for carvings due to its interesting and varied appearance as well as its versatility in healing and magic. Fluorite can be used to absorb and neutralise negative vibrations and can also enhance the characteristics of other stones, particularly when harmonised with the colours of the particular piece of fluorite being used.

Sometimes referred to as the Genius Stone or the Third Eye Stone, fluorite is used in meditation, placement or spell work relating to the mental plane. It is an excellent aid to increase concentration, decision making and also works with your higher self and can help to bring the knowledge gained in such interactions into the mundane world.

Fluorite corresponds with the astrological signs of Capricorn and Pisces and with the elements of air and water. Magical uses include:
  • Assists in meditation
  • Brings order to chaos
  • Cleanses other stones and crystals
  • Clears blockages
  • Clears communications
  • Clears the aura
  • Clears the mind
  • Enhances mental processing
  • Healing
  • Heightens intuition
  • Protects from physic manipulation
  • Releases negative energy
Fluorite can assist with the following physical conditions in conjunction with appropriate medical treatment:
  • Bone problems
  • Dental problems
  • Disorganised thought or Attention Deficit Disorder
  • DNA
  • Eye, ear, nose and throat problems
  • Infections
  • Intestinal problems
  • RNA and cell damage

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spell for Dealing with Painful Contact from the Past

This is a spell that I wrote last year following a request from my sister who had been contacted on Facebook by an old friend. She'd had a pretty traumatic friendship with this person in her teenage years and the contact message she received brought up a lot of painful memories. She admitted to having a kind of morbid curiosity to find out what this other person had been doing but didn't know if she wanted to open the old wounds any further. After my sister performed this spell, she said it gave her the peace and clarity to decide what she would do, to wish the other person well and to then move on.

You Will Need:
  • Malachite (cleansed before use)
  • Lavender (can be the flower from a real sprig of lavender or lavender essential oil, lavender bath/beauty product etc infused on a piece of cloth or whatever you have handy)
  • Small bag/pouch (only needs to be big enough to put your malachite and lavender in)
  • Three candles - one red, one white and one green (birthday candles are ideal as the spell calls for you to burn each one in turn and wait until they burn out)
  • Lighter
Performing the Spell:

Sit comfortably.

Place the candles in front of you with the red candle on the left, the white candle in the middle and the green candle on the right.

Hold the bag, lavender and malachite in your hands.

Ground and centre.

A message from the past received
From one whose words I once believed
Now knowing how I was deceived
When all the tangled webs were weaved
While I’m strong I’m still unsure
How deep the scars that I endure
But my intentions here are ever pure
To find a place where I'm secure
So bring me love and bring me light
Through these words as I recite
Set boundaries with what I invite
And protection onwards from this night

Place the bag in front of the red candle and say:

This bag will hold all that I need to carry away with me tonight.

Place the lavender in front of the white candle and say:

With lavender I will find love, peace and healing.

Place the malachite in front of the green candle and say:

With malachite I am protected.

Focus on the red candle and say:

This candle symbolises the pain of my past relationship with .

Break the red candle in half, return the upper half to the candle holder and place the bottom half next to it. Light the upper half of the red candle and say:

As this candle burns and melts away, so, too, do the painful memories of this time. It was my choice to hold on to these memories and in this flame I choose to release them.

Focus on the flame of the red candle and recall past hurts, humiliation, regret, hatred and all negative feelings and experiences with this person. Allow them to surface but to only exist within the flickering of the flame like you are watching them from afar and they are separate to who you are.

Once the red candle has burnt out, light the white candle and say:

This candle symbolises purity and healing. In the light of its flame I will accept the full enormity of my own self worth and will be able to see the where the past was a reflection on others, not on myself. I will understand that I am responsible for my own actions and not those of other people. I will accept that my experiences may have been a result of the pain and self doubt of others and choose for their only impact on me to be that of knowledge and understanding of the human spirit and of my own personal strengths. I will have the grace to wish well for others and through this I will be healed myself.

Focus on the flame of the white candle and feel pure love and healing.

Once the white candle has burnt out, light the green candle and say:

This candle symbolises protection and my own strengths. In the light of its flame I will be reminded of my resilience and all that I have overcome. Through this knowledge I will be protected from the negative affects of others actions, past, present and future.

Once the green candle has burnt out, pick up the bag and say:

This is what I carry

Place the lavender in the bag and say:
This is healing

Place the malachite in the bag and say:

This is protection. Blessed be.

If possible, leave the candles where they are until the next morning.

Carry the bag with you until you take the required action or until you definitively decide that you do not need to take any action at all. After that, place the lavender in the garden, cleanse the malachite and leave the bag out on the night of the full moon to cleanse it after which time it can be used again if needed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Healing Poppet Spell To Give Health To A Plant

The task was to create a spell using Aloe Vera - a common plant but not one with an abundance of references in terms of spell work.

As with many things in Wicca, I was inspired by my natural environment and the things happening around me. I had been recently gifted with an Aloe Vera cutting but I fear I wasn't doing very well with my charge and needed to give it a bit of a healing boost. As Aloe Vera is a plant with amazing healing qualities, I decided to write a spell to create a healing poppet to give health to a plant...

This spell can be used to help when a plant is starting to wane, is looking slightly unhealthy or when replanting to help the plant to stabilise and thrive. You will need a healthy Aloe Vera plant from which to take a small cutting and some natural / bio-degradable material, which can be anything from a swatch of cotton to a paper towel, from which to make a small poppet.

Sit before the healthy Aloe Vera plant and ground and centre.

Focus on your intention to bring health to the plant you will be working the spell on. Picture the plant as it is now and ask the healthy Aloe Vera plant for help with your intentions by saying:
By the flower, bush and tree
With health and life to share
Pass your abundance here through me
As my intentions I declare

Take a small cutting from the healthy Aloe Vera plant using your boline.

Fashion a small poppet using the natural / bio-degradable material placing the cutting of Aloe Vera inside the chest area as you make it. It doesn’t really matter how you make the poppet or what it looks like but it will need to be of an appropriate size to place in the pot or on the ground very close to the plant you will be working with. As you make the poppet, chant the following:

She carries here within her heart
This gift of health she will impart

Under the new moon or at dawn during the new moon phase, kneel before the plant that you will
be giving the healing poppet to and say:

By the flower, bush and tree
This gift I bring to you
Her healing love will shine on thee
And your health she will renew

Place the poppet as close to the base of the plant as possible and say:

Blessed be

The poppet should be left in the plant until it breaks down naturally and can be turned into the soil in due course.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oracle Bay Spell

This spell is inspired by the Delphic Oracle. At the site of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, a woman, in some stories a young virgin possibly of noble blood and in others a post-menopausal celibate peasant woman, sits on a brass tripod over a crevice in the inner hearth. As she breathes in the vapours created from the decomposing body of the monstrous serpent that was slain by Apollo, the woman, known as the Pythia, speaks the prophecies of Apollo.

This spell should be used when you seek guidance from the oracle. Before conducting this spell, give proper thought to why you are seeking guidance. Clearly understand your reasons and ensure you have given consideration to your motives and the factors affecting the situation. Once you have this settled in your mind, you will need to formulate a specific, concise and direct question and have this ready for the ritual. You can either write this question on the paper (see list below) before performing the spell or you can do it when you actually perform the spell.

For this spell you will need:
* A picture of Pythia (look in books, try a Google image search, etc)
* A medium to large cloth
* Two sticks or cones of bay incense and a lighter/matches
* Crushed bay leaves
* Pot suitable for pouring filled with boiling water
* Spoon or athame to stir the water
* White cup and saucer
* Small piece of white or light coloured paper and pen or pencil
* Writing pad

Choose a place where you won’t be interrupted. Fold the cloth into a triangle and place it on the ground. This will represent the tripod on which the Pythia sits.

Cast circle.

Stand facing north with the tripod cloth representation in front of you and say:
“Here in this sacred space, I am Pythia.
I am she who was chosen to speak the oracle of Apollo and I am ready to pass on his message and that of Gaia before him.”

Sit on the tripod cloth.

Take the crushed bay leaves in your right hand and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I infuse this water with the power to divine.” Sprinkle the crushed bay leaves into the water and stir with the spoon or athame.

Light the bay incense and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I light this incense to create the vapour of the slain python.”

Visualise yourself as Pythia and complete the recreation of the scene of the Delphic Oracle in your circle. Look at your picture of Pythia for a few moments then close your eyes and imagine that your folded cloth is really the tripod on which Pythia sits. Picture yourself sitting there looking down over the chasm. Smell the incense and allow it to form an association with Apollo and with the smell of the vapours that rise from below you and linger all around. Taste them in your nose your and mouth and feel the giddy sensation they create as your head buzzes and swarms with the energy of the moment. Then, meditate on the situation surrounding your question until the first incense has burned out.

Write your question on the small piece of paper if you didn’t do so previously and place it on the saucer under the cup.

Stir the hot water with the crushed bay leaves with the spoon or athame and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I draw on the knowledge of the unknown and the insight and wisdom of the Delphic Oracle.”

Pour some of the water and crushed bay leaves into the cup and say:

“By the leaf of the bay, favoured herb of Apollo, I sip on Pythia’s cup and take prepare for the words of the oracle.”

Carefully sip the water avoiding the crushed bay leaves until they are all that is left in the cup then turn the cup upside-down onto the paper with the question that is on the saucer.

Light another bay incense and meditate on your question. Look at the pattern of the crushed bay leaves and residue on the piece of paper that your question is written on. Pick up the writing pad and pen in preparation for any messages that come through via automatic writing and also allow yourself to speak aloud any words that come to you.

When you feel that you have received your answer, even if you don’t understand what it means, allow yourself to become more aware of your physical surroundings. When you are ready say:

“In this moment, I give thanks to Apollo, Gaia, Pythia and the spirit of the oracle and release you from this circle. Blessed be.”

Open circle.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is sometimes known as Passionvine or Mayhop and is a perennial vine that is native to the West Indies and Southern America although it is now grown in most parts of the world.

The passionflower gets its name from 15th and 16th century Spanish missionaries who applied the unique physical structure of the plant to symbolise the last days and crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to Wikipedia as follows:
* The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
* The tendrils represent the whips used in the Flagellation of Christ.
* The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
* The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the Crown of Thorns.
* The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
* The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
* The blue and white colours of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.

The leaves, stems, flowers and tendrils of the plant have been used medicinally, ritually and recreationally and the fruit from the plant (sometimes known as passionfruit, granadilla or water lemon) is also popular. It can be taken as a tea infusion, tincture or smoking mix, however, as with all herb, a medical professional should be consulted first.

Although thorough medical testing has yet to be conducted, passionflower is thought to provide sedative and mild hallucinogenic effects. As a result, passionflower is sometimes used for anxiety and related conditions such as nervousness, agitation, stress, tension and insomnia as well as being used as a muscle relaxant and digestive aid. It is typically thought of as non-addictive and has been successfully used to decrease the impact of opiate, cannabis and alcohol withdrawal.

Passionflower may interact with other drugs, particularly blood thinning agents, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines and barbiturates. There have also been reports of passionflower causing hypersensitivity reactions (such as hives, skin blood vessel inflammation) and asthma. As a sedative, it may cause drowsiness and in larger doses it can create a hypnotic state or cause hallucinations. Passionflower is not recommended for pregnant women or young children.

As a magical herb, passionflower can be used to attract and keep love as well as to bring peace and blessings, particularly when grown in or around the home. The hummingbird (in the form of a charm or some other representation) enhances passionflower in spell work due to the assistance several breeds of hummingbird afford to some varieties of passionflower in terms of pollination.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


A beautiful bright to dark green crystal, usually with stripes or swirling patterns, Malachite has a silky appearance and is found in the Congo, the Middle East, Peru, Romania, Russia, Zaire and Zambia. The green colouring of Malachite comes from copper with the water content affecting the depth of the green and the dark/light patterns.

Chemically, Malachite is closest to Azurite and can actually be formed from Azurite as it crystallises. As a result, the two are often found together.

Malachite is toxic therefore should be used cautiously when carved or used in crystal water. It should not be taken internally. Malachite is also sensitive to acid, heat, hot water and ammonia. As such, polished Malachite should not be washed in water, acids or any product containing ammonia.

The word Malachite may be a derivative of the Greek words "malache" meaning "mallow" (a green herb) or possibly "malakos" meaning “soft”. Both aptly relate to this green, soft stone.

Physically, Malachite is often associated with the following:
* Stomach
* Liver
* Kidney stones
* Lungs
* Immune system
* Multiple sclerosis
* Circulation and other issues related to the blood (e.g. reducing bleeding, blood purifying, blood pressure)
* Radiation and chemotherapy
* Sleeping problems
* Asthma
* Bones and bone marrow
* Cancer
* Growths and tumours
* Joints
* Muscles
* Inflammation
* Bacterial infection
* Brain disorders
* Purging of toxins
* Vertigo
* Child birth
* Morning Sickness
* Pain relief and trauma
* Epilepsy
* Gall Bladder
* Infections

Magically, Malachite is generally used for the following purposes:
* Protection
* Transition and transformation
* Clearing negativity
* Promotes faithfulness and loyalty in relationships
* Accepting responsibility
* Releasing inner truth
* Clarifying emotions
* Assisting in physical and psychic healing
* Meditation
* Psychic visions
* Self-expression and creativity
* Money matters

Malachite may assist with the following:
* Depression
* Anger
* Nightmares
* Addiction
* Anorexia
* Confidence
* Emotional healing
* Trust

Malachite has a feminine feel to it and is associated with the astrological signs of Capricorn, Scorpio, Taurus and less commonly Libra, Aquarius and Sagittarius.

Malachite can be used on the heart chakra due to its green colour for matters of the heart but also the throat for self expression and creativity. In history, the ancient Egyptians used ground Malachite for their eye make-up and over children’s beds as a protection symbol.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Goddess Maia

Pronounced May-ah, the Goddess Maia appears most commonly in Greek and Roman mythology but is typically represented as a fertility goddess associated with spring and the month of May.

In Greek mythology, Maia is the eldest of the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. She was said to be the most beautiful of all of the daughters but was shy and chose to live alone in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia and is therefore sometimes referred to as a mountain nymph. The God Zeus fell in love with Maia while he was married to Hera. Zeus met with Maia secretly in her cave where, according to the Homeric Hymn they were “unseen by deathless gods and mortal men, at dead of night while sweet sleep should hold white-armed Hera fast."

Maia fell pregnant to Zeus and gave birth to Hermes. One night while Hermes was still an infant, (in some stories on the very night of his birth) after Maia had wrapped him in a blanket and fallen asleep, Hermes crawled out of the cave and went to Thessaly where he stole some of Apollo’s sheep and hid them in his mother’s cave. Apollo was enraged by the theft and confronted Maia who showed him Hermes who, as an infant, should not have been capable of such a deed. Apollo was not satisfied, however, and appealed to Zeus, who sided with Apollo and declared that the sheep should be returned to Apollo.

During this debate, Hermes invented the lyre using a turtle shell, which he was playing when Apollo returned to the cave to reclaim his sheep. Apollo was instantly enchanted by the lyre and exchanged the stolen cattle as well as other gifts for this new and wonderful instrument.

Maia is also sometimes referred to as the “Grandmother of Magic” due to her son, Hermes, having been the one to discover and master this art.

Other than Hermes, Maia had no other children of her own but she was charged by Zeus to raise his son, Arcas, when his wife, Hera turned Arcas’ mother, Callisto into a bear upon discovering Callisto and Zeus’ affair. Arcas is thought to be the namesake of Arcadia, which is a region of Greece in the Peloponnesus.

Maia and her sisters Taygete, Elektra, Alkyone, Asterope, Kelaino, and Merope were turned into doves by Zeus. In some stories this was said to be deliverance from the pain they felt at their father, Apollo’s punishment following he and his brother, Menoetius, siding with the Titans in their war against the Olympians in the Titanomachy (or War of the Titans). As a result of his involvement, Zeus ordered that Atlas to stand at the western end of the earth and hold up the heavens on his shoulders (not the earth as is the common misconception due to later artistic interpretations). In other stories, the transformation into doves was deliverance from the pursuit of Orion. As doves, they flew into the heavens and turned into stars to form the Pleiades in the constellation of Taurus.

As a Greek goddess, Maia’s name is given to mean “great mother”, "midwife", "female doctor", “nurse”, "good mother", "foster mother", or "aunty". As a Roman goddess, however, Maia is also called Maia Maiestas, meaning the “good goddess”, “great or powerful”, “more” or “she who is great”. Other names for Maia in Roman mythology include Bona Dea, Fauna or Ops and she is celebrated as the Goddess of Spring, typically on the 1st of May but also sometimes on the 15th of May, which is also the date of her son, Mercury’s, dedication of his temple (NOTE: Mercury is the Roman name for the God Hermes).

Maia was often associated with Vulcan, sometimes as his wife, as both were deities of heat – she in terms of the increasing natural heat of the earth at the commencement of spring and he in terms of fire and volcanos. In ceremonies held on the 1st of May, a pregnant sow was often sacrifices by the priest who oversaw the rites of Vulcan, however some sources indicate that a sow-shaped wafer could be substituted. The choice of the sow represents the fecundity (pronounced fi-kuhn-di-tee, meaning fruitfulness, fertility and also referring to the capacity to produce many offspring) of the earth and therefore of the goddess Maia.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Nine Muses

The beginning of the mythology of the Muses is somewhat confused and contradictory leading to a school of thought that the concept of inspiration for literature and the arts that the Muses stand for was originally embodied in several non-specific goddesses who were the patrons of poets. Later there is a suggestion that there was only one Muse but it is commonly believed that there were originally three Muses, who were the daughters of Gaia and Uranus. The three Muses were Melete (pronounced mel-uh-tee) who was the Muse of practice and meditation, Aoide (pronounced ay-ee-dee) who was the Muse of song or voice and Mneme (pronounced nee-mee), which is sometimes said to be the shortened form of the name Mnemosyne (pronouncednee-mos-uh-nee) although other sources indicate these are separate deities, who was the Muse of memory.

Of these original three Muses, Mneme was said to have had nine daughters by the God Zeus (in some stories this was a result of Zeus lying with Mneme over nine consecutive nights) and these daughters were known as the nine Muses. It is believed that the nine Muses did not originally have specific domains but provided inspiration for all poetic pursuits and it was as a result of artistic representations of the Muses, particularly in sculptures, where each was depicted with a different emblem in order to differentiate between one another and it was from these representations that their domains were later defined.

Calliope (pronounced kuh-lie-ah-pee) is the eldest and highest ranking or most superior of the nine Muses. Her name means “beautiful voice” or “fair voiced” and appears as a mediator in a story about an argument between Aphrodite and Persephone over possession of Adonis where she decided that time with Adonis would be shared between the two suitors as well as allowing Adonis some time to himself. She is the patron of epic (or heroic) poetry and is usually depicted with a writing tablet and stylus. Calliope has been partnered in different stories with the was God Ares, with whom she had four sons, Mygdon, Edonus, Biston, and Odomantus who were the founders of the Thracian tribes known as the Mygdones, Edones, Bistones and Odomantes respectively, and also had two other famous sons, Orpheus and Linus although it is not clear as to whether these were by Apollo or the King Oeagrus of Thrace and in some cases Linus is said to be the daughter of Calliope’s sister, Urania.

Clio (pronounced klee-oh) means “the proclaimer”. She is the Muse of history and is usually seen with a parchment scroll or a set of tablets. Clio is credited with introducing the Phoenician alphabet to Greece and had one son, Hyacinth, with Pierus, the King of Pieria.

Erato (pronounced eh-rah-toh) is the Muse of lyric or love poetry. Her name is derived from the Greek word eros and means desired or lovely. In art, she is depicted with a Kithara (which is a member of the lyre family and which Erato invented) but also sometimes with a wreath of roses or a love bow and arrow as is carried by Eros (Cupid).

Euterpe (pronounced yoo-tur-pee) means the “giver of delight” or “rejoicing well” and she is the Muse of music. Her symbol is the flute and she is credited as the inventor of the aulos (or double flute). According to Homer's Iliad, Euterpe became pregnant by the river god Strymon and bore a son, Rhesus.

Melpomene (pronounced mel-pom-ah-nee) is the Muse of tragedy and, as such, is typically shown with a theatrical tragedy mask although sometimes also carries a bat, club or sword and wearing cothurnus, which were boots traditionally worm by actors, and a garland or crown of cypress. Her name means “the songstress”.

Polyhymnia (pronounced pol-ee-him-nee-ah) means “the one of many hymns” and she is the Muse of sacred poetry or divine hymns and sometimes also of geometry, mime, agriculture and meditation. She is usually shown with a serious and pensive expression and often wears a veil.

Terpsichore (pronounced turp-sika-ree) is the Muse of dancing and is usually holding a lyre whilst either dancing herself or while sitting down with others dancing to the music from her lyre. She was mother to the Sirens by the river God Achelous.

Thalia (pronounced thuh-lie-ah) is the Muse of comedy and idyllic poetry and her name means “flourishing”. She usually carries a theatrical comedy mask although may also be shown with a shepherds staff or a wreath of ivy.

Urania (pronounced yoo-rey-nee-ah) or Ourania means “heavenly” She is the Muse of astrology and her symbols are a globe and a compass. She is sometimes listed as the mother of Linus from a union with Apollo.

As with most deities, the muses can be seen as archetypes however it is particularly interesting with their being descendants of Mneme, one of the three original Muses who was the Muse of memory. There are many references to the Muses being able to provide the gift of inspiration as well as being able to take it away and in this context the link to memory is frequently made but in an inverse sense as the Muses act to take away the memory of inspiration. While the connection to memory is logical given that they are the daughters of the Muse of memory, this rationalisation appears incomplete. If one applies the concept of the collective unconscious to the gifts bestows by the Muses, it can be seen that the gift that the Muses bestow on those they work with are not new gifts but are a connection to the memories held in the collective unconscious.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Delphic Oracle

The Delphic Oracle is one of the most famous oracles of Ancient Greece. Located at the town of Delphi on Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis in Greece, it is site of the Temple of Apollo.

Legend has it that Apollo came to Delphi, in some stories he appeared in the shape of a dolphin carrying Cretan priests on his back and in others he walked there to pick laurel, which is a sacred plant and has many links to his life and worship.

The Delphic Oracle was originally said to be inhabited by an enormous female serpent or dragon, called Pythia, who spoke the prophecies of Gaia and guarded the oracle as the centre (sometimes referred to as the navel) of the earth and the whole universe. Apollo killed the serpent, casting it into a great chasm on which the Temple of Apollo was built and claimed the oracle from Gaia (although there are also stories where the oracle was handed on via various bequest with Apollo eventually being given it as a birthday present).

The role of Pythia was then filled by a woman, chosen from the Delphic community. In some stories she had to be a young virgin but later as a celibate post-menopausal woman. Pythia was upon a brass tripod above the chasm, which emitted vapours, which were said to be caused by the decomposing corpse of the serpent although modern theories have suggested it may have been ethylene gas or methane or that the chasm may have been a seismic ground rupture.

Pythia was said to then enter a trance like state, sometimes also enhanced by chewing bay leaves, in which she would pass on the messages of the oracle.

There are different stories as to how often this occurred, some say only once a year on Apollo’s birthday (the 17th of the ancient month Bysios, which corresponds to our current second part of February and first part of March) and then later to the 17th of every month, except in Winter when Apollo left Delphi.

In some stories, Pythia spoke in garbled language that was interpreted by the attending priests, however most say that her words were fully comprehensible but the meaning was cryptic and this is what the priests interpreted.

Click here for an online Delphic Oracle - it's not very convincing but it's still fairly interesting nevertheless.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Litha occurs on longest day of the year, which, in the southern hemisphere is around 21 to 23 December when the sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn and for the northern hemisphere it is when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer around 21 to 23 June. It is the first sabbat of the waning year.

Other names for Litha include Alban Heruin or Alban Hefin (Druidic), Feill-Sheathain, Gathering Day, Midsummer, St John's Day, Summer Solstice, Thing-Tide, Vestalia, Whit Sunday or Witsuntide.

There are many themes for this time of year, some of which are as follows:
* Abundance of light
* Balefire, especially jumping over the balefire
* Fairies
* Fertility of plants and harvest
* Fires / Bonfires
* Mistletoe
* Oak Trees
* The Sun – sun wheels, peak of the sun’s strength

The colours of Litha are the bright colours of summer, particularly blue, gold, green, orange, red, white and yellow.

Traditional foods for Litha are:
* Ale
* Corn cakes
* Garden fresh vegetables
* Honey
* Honey cakes
* Lemons
* Mead
* Oranges
* Pumpernickel bread
* Squash
* Summer fruits

Popular herbs, plants and flowers include:
* Carnation
* Chamomile
* Daisy
* Elder
* Fern
* Frankincense
* Heather
* Honeysuckle
* Ivy
* Lavender
* Lemon
* Lily
* Mint
* Mistletoe
* Mugwort
* Oak
* Rose
* Saffron
* Sage
* Sandalwood
* St. John’s Wort
* Vervain
* Wild Thyme
* Yarrow
* Ylang-ylang

Popular incenses at Litha are:
* Frankincense
* Lemon
* Myrrh
* Pine
* Rose
* Vanilla
* Wisteria

Litha-related gemstones include:
* All green gemstones, especially emerald and jade
* Diamonds
* Lapis Lazuli
* Tiger’s Eye

In Pagan mythology, Litha is seen as the time when the Oak King, who represents the waxing year, is triumphed over by the Holly King who represents the waning year. The two are actually one God, the Horned God, but the Holly King is seen as the growing youth while the Oak King is seen as the wise and mature man.
The Goddess is also celebrated at Litha by many Pagan traditions. She is seen as the woman heavy with child, who will give birth to the God at Yule. She is also seen as the bounty of coming harvests, of protection and sustenance.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Parsley Spell for Cleansing and Strengthening

There are several ways this spell can be used:
* Use every day for one moon cycle starting on the day after the moon is 100% full. During the waning moon, focus mainly on the cleansing aspects while building on the strengthening aspects once the moon begins waxing.
* Use by night at the full moon to increase the intensity of the spell.
* Use at dawn as a great way to start the day.
* Use at spring as part of an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ strategy.

You will need a knife, preferably your boline if you have one, and a small container of water. Moon water would be ideal however any pure, clean water can be used. The water should be consecrated and ready for magical use.

The spell should be performed while wearing white clothing or it can be done sky clad. The intention is to cleanse your body of negative or dormant energy and allow it to be filled with positivity and strength.

Kneel before the parsley plant, breathe deeply three times then say:
Plant of cleansing, plant of strength
Parsley from the Goddess sent
I ask her now for but a length
That her powers may be lent

Carefully cut one sprig of parsley and say:

Thanks to the Goddess, blessed be.

Place the sprig of parsley in the water. Using your athame or your finger, stir the parsley in the water three times then say:

Heed the flower, bush and tree
The cleansing power of parsley
I take within and focus true
That I soon may feel renewed
My health and strength in great reserve
Day by day will be preserved
My soul once heavy now set free
By the lady, blessed be

Eat the sprig of parsley.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good Night Sleeping Spell

Bad dreams? Insomnia? Restless, interrupted sleep? Try this Good Night Sleeping Spell and allow the magic within to help you get a good night’s sleep.

You Will Need:
  • Dried chamomile
  • Bowl
  • Pentacle
  • Sea salt
  • Boiled water (slightly cooled but still hot)
  • Feather
  • White pillar candle
  • White pillow slip
  • Small pouch (white, blue or black, perhaps with a star pattern etc)

On a night during the waning moon (so, between the full moon and the dark moon), take all items outside and sit quietly for a few moments then say:

As the Goddess is my witness
I seek a greater peace
From my conscious mind
To which I bind
At the times I should release

Let the light of blessed darkness
Be directed this way hence
That I may sleep
Each night so deep
When I’m ready to commence

Place the pentacle in the bowl and say:

My body seeks a wholeness
With my spirit and my soul
This symbol base
In love and grace
Shall aid me in my goal

Sprinkle sea salt in the bowl and say:

The earth compels a nearness
Represented by this salt
To cleanse and heal
And truth reveal
Acknowledged without fault

Wave the feather over the bowl and say:

The air creates a clearness
Represented by this feather
Of mind and thought
And learning sought
Working here together

Pour the water into the bowl and say:

The water shines with cleanness
Represented by this liquid
Pure once more
Each drop I pour
Negativity here I forbid

Place the candle in the bowl, light it and say:

The fire instils a boldness
Represented by this flame
Our passion deep
For restful sleep
To which I now lay claim

Place the pillow slip in the bowl so it is completely submerged in the water loosely around the base of the candle being careful to avoid the flame then place three pinches of chamomile in the bowl and say:

The chamomile invokes a calmness
Instilled into this weave
That sleep may come
When each day is done
And a restful night I will receive

Spend some time staring into the flame of the candle while filling yourself with a feeling of calm as you visualise yourself lying peacefully in your bed getting a good night’s sleep. Inhale the smell of the chamomile and create a connection to that scent within you.

When you are ready, extinguish the candle with a few drops of the water from the bowl. Wring out the pillow slip, pour the remaining water and any salt from the bowl onto the ground and say:

As the Goddess is my witness
I am thankful for this rite
That brings me peace
And sweet release
As I lay down to sleep each night

Allow the pillow slip and the chamomile in the small pouch to dry (it may not be able to be used that night) then put the pillow slip over your pillow and the pouch inside the pillow slip. As you drift off to sleep, inhale the fragrance of the chamomile and think about when you performed the spell then enjoy a wonderful, restful night's sleep.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Calming Oil

Here's a recipe for a calming oil blend. I came up with this when my friend, Owlfire, and I decided to mix some oils after watching the movie Perfume (lol, that is a messed up movie.)

Calming Oil

3 parts bergamot oil
3 parts hyssop oil
1 part roman chamomile oil
1 part petitgrain oil
3 drops lavender oil

mix with an equal amount of base oil, like grapeseed oil

You can shake to mix it, but shake very gently. Don't mix this oil if you are angry, anxious, or otherwise stressed, because it can affect the energy of the blend.
Mix the oils delicately, and enhance the oil with your own calming, healing energy.