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~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

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Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess
I have one son now coming into his native shaman training and 4 beautiful grandchildren.

Besom Magick

Blyssful Sun's Day my Legionnaires~

One thing is to be said about this sacred tool across the sea of centuries and in all traditions both pagan and not is the besom. For each of us in some way in some period of time we have used one large or small to dust, clean, protect, for-warn, message, a lookout, a blessing and so on. So here today I provide you with some other perspectives and chants by the Hecate's Cauldron. I have to say this site comes highly recommended for anyone wishing to follow the Goddess Queen of Witches Hecate!

BESOM CHANTS

Most covens, start their rituals with a ritual sweep with their besom to begin the process of sweeping out negative energies and bringing in the good energies. This is part of creating sacred space. Many witches feel their besoms/brooms carry energies with it as well. I have several sacred besoms and feel they are full of energy from the many Circles they have been used to sweep with and simply by being in ritual with me. I have one particular besom hanging in my moon/sun room which I purchased in Salem, Massachusetts and when I pass it each day, I actually chat to it and touch it. It is very special to me and very magickal from the energies it picked up with its stay in Salem. We Witches are weird lots, I must say! I have another besom which has been with me during my days as a Handmaiden to my High Priestess in a Wiccan coven and through my degrees of elevation.

There are a lot of witches who feel that the besom is just as sacred or more sacred than some of their tools. After all, that is what we witches are known by. During rituals, we dance around with our brooms as if we were flying, as they are our partners. Our besoms are very sacred to us and are placed some place special when ritual is over with. We hang our besoms by the fire place on a nail so that the besom does not touch the ground. We name all our magickal tools but in truth to some witches their staff, wand and besom are most sacred to them.

Dating back as far as ancient Egypt, the besom (pronounced beh-sum) was once a wooden staff with a fan of feathers. Used for protection and purification purposes, a magick broom is made of straw or grass tied around with a leafy branch of pine, oak, fir, lavender or rosemary. It is used to clean your ritual circle of unwanted energies. Called the "Faery's Horse," your magick broom can be used for astral traveling. Different kinds of brooms are used for different things. For example, hawthorn besoms are best for handfasting. Oak besoms can be used as a powerful tools for personal protection and to draw in ancestral energies and knowledge. You can also put magickal herbs on and around your broom for the different kinds of magick. I have three different kinds of brooms in my cottage and each are very dear to me as mentioned above.

Below are some chants you can memorize to do your ritual sweep and let your besom fly~!

Witche’s broom swift in flight 
Cast out darkness, bring in light 
Earth be hallow, air be clear 
fire bright, as water heals 
A sacred bridge this site shall be 
~As my will, so mote it be~

Sweep out evil, sweep out ill, 
Where I do the Lady's will. 
Besom, besom, Lady's Broom 
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom. 
~So Be It! Blessed Be~

This Circle I sweep with besom of Heather; 
All harmful and evil must vanish and scatter. 
This Circle I sweep with besom of Heather; 
~All peaceful and good are invited to enter~

Besom, besom long and lithe 
Made from ash and willow withe 
Tied with thongs of willow bark 
In running stream at moonset dark

As the ritual fire is lighted; 
Sweep ye circle, deosil, 
Sweep out evil, sweep out ill. 
Make the round of the ground 
Where we do the Lady’s will.

Besom, besom, Lady’s broom 
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom 
Rid ye Lady’s hallowed ground 
Of demons, imps, and Hell’s red hound.

Then set ye down on Her green earth 
By running stream or Mistress’ hearth, 
Til called once more on Moon or Sabbat night 
~To cleanse once more the dancing site~

With each sweeping motion, imagine the area being washed energetically with a cobalt blue light, as you say any one of the chants.

©Permission must be given before any material is used from this website as well as providing a link back to Hecate's Cauldron.

http://hecatescauldron.org/Besom%20Chants.htm

[Blyssful Sun's Day my Legionnaires~ One thing is to be said about this sacred tool across the sea of centuries and in all traditions both pagan and not is the besom. For each of us in some way in some period of time we have used one large or small to dust, clean, protect, for-warn, message, a lookout, a blessing and so on. So here today I provide you with some other perspectives and chants by the Hecate's Cauldron. I have to say this site comes highly recommended for anyone wishing to follow the Goddess Queen of Witches Hecate! BESOM CHANTS Most covens, start their rituals with a ritual sweep with their besom to begin the process of sweeping out negative energies and bringing in the good energies. This is part of creating sacred space. Many witches feel their besoms/brooms carry energies with it as well. I have several sacred besoms and feel they are full of energy from the many Circles they have been used to sweep with and simply by being in ritual with me. I have one particular besom hanging in my moon/sun room which I purchased in Salem, Massachusetts and when I pass it each day, I actually chat to it and touch it. It is very special to me and very magickal from the energies it picked up with its stay in Salem. We Witches are weird lots, I must say! I have another besom which has been with me during my days as a Handmaiden to my High Priestess in a Wiccan coven and through my degrees of elevation. There are a lot of witches who feel that the besom is just as sacred or more sacred than some of their tools. After all, that is what we witches are known by. During rituals, we dance around with our brooms as if we were flying, as they are our partners. Our besoms are very sacred to us and are placed some place special when ritual is over with. We hang our besoms by the fire place on a nail so that the besom does not touch the ground. We name all our magickal tools but in truth to some witches their staff, wand and besom are most sacred to them. Dating back as far as ancient Egypt, the besom (pronounced beh-sum) was once a wooden staff with a fan of feathers. Used for protection and purification purposes, a magick broom is made of straw or grass tied around with a leafy branch of pine, oak, fir, lavender or rosemary. It is used to clean your ritual circle of unwanted energies. Called the "Faery's Horse," your magick broom can be used for astral traveling. Different kinds of brooms are used for different things. For example, hawthorn besoms are best for handfasting. Oak besoms can be used as a powerful tools for personal protection and to draw in ancestral energies and knowledge. You can also put magickal herbs on and around your broom for the different kinds of magick. I have three different kinds of brooms in my cottage and each are very dear to me as mentioned above. Below are some chants you can memorize to do your ritual sweep and let your besom fly~! Witche’s broom swift in flight Cast out darkness, bring in light Earth be hallow, air be clear fire bright, as water heals A sacred bridge this site shall be ~As my will, so mote it be~ Sweep out evil, sweep out ill, Where I do the Lady's will. Besom, besom, Lady's Broom Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom. ~So Be It! Blessed Be~ This Circle I sweep with besom of Heather; All harmful and evil must vanish and scatter. This Circle I sweep with besom of Heather; ~All peaceful and good are invited to enter~ Besom, besom long and lithe Made from ash and willow withe Tied with thongs of willow bark In running stream at moonset dark As the ritual fire is lighted; Sweep ye circle, deosil, Sweep out evil, sweep out ill. Make the round of the ground Where we do the Lady’s will. Besom, besom, Lady’s broom Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom Rid ye Lady’s hallowed ground Of demons, imps, and Hell’s red hound. Then set ye down on Her green earth By running stream or Mistress’ hearth, Til called once more on Moon or Sabbat night ~To cleanse once more the dancing site~ With each sweeping motion, imagine the area being washed energetically with a cobalt blue light, as you say any one of the chants. ©Permission must be given before any material is used from this website as well as providing a link back to Hecate's Cauldron. http://hecatescauldron.org/Besom%20Chants.htm]

Chocolate Chip Cookie Shots


How fun is this? When I saw the idea to make chocolate chip cookie shot glasses, I knew I'd be trying it. Serving these at my little sisters ultra decadent "Love is Sweet" bridal shower was absolutely perfect. These cookie cups are ultra rich, and so fun to eat. You can have your milk and cookies and eat it too! All at once! You'll need a popover pan  to make this recipe work. I actually bought one just so I could make these. Now, admittedly, these are larger than shot glasses, but the actual cup part where the milk goes is true to a shot size so the name sticks. You have to give these a try. Your kids, guests, or whoever will love them. I can't imagine someone not having fun with these treats!

Time To Make It: 30 minutes hands on + baking time + cooling time
Yield: About 6 or 9 "cups" (depending on how thick you make them)

Ingredients
1 cup all vegetable shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a nonstick popover pan.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together shortening, brown sugar, and sugar until mixture is fluffy. 
3. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until smooth.
4. Use a large spoon to stir in flour. Mixture will be really crumbly, but should hold together when pressed. Stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips until combined.
5. Scoop mixture into popover pan and press to the bottom and sides, making sure to leave a hole in the middle for the milk to go later. You only need the sides and bottom to be about 1/4 inch thick. It's hard to get it much thinner.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until cookies get a golden brown kiss.
7. Carefully remove the cookies from the popover pan. This can be done by placing a large cutting board or pan over the popover sheet and flipping it over. Gently tap the bottoms of the popover cups to loosen. Let cool completely.
8. Carefully melt the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl by microwaving for 15 seconds at a time, removing and stirring, until chocolate is melted. 
9. Coat the holes in the cookie cups with the chocolate. Drizzle some in and swirl, or if your chocolate is on the thicker side just give it a good smearing. 
10. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Serve by filling the "cups" with milk and enjoy! 



Recipe Adapted from Yumsugar
- See more at: http://www.thestayathomechef.com/2014/07/chocolate-chip-cookie-shots.html#_a5y_p=2033775
 

Hecate’s History and Origin

Hecate’s History and origin is a very complex one for even though Hecate is considered to be a powerful Goddess and a Goddess for the people; there is not much written information about Her as She does not have much involvement in mythology nor does She have much interaction with other Deities. Only a few deities are well documented in literature and Hecate is one of the many who are largely absent, especially before the fourth century.   Also....one has to bear in mind that there is only so much factual information out there from paintings, plates, the Hymns, etc., regarding the Goddess Hecate and the rest of the written material is merely speculation and should be taken as such.  For instance, the mention that Hecate had many children.  There is only one factual evidence in which Hecate may have had one child, Skylla, and it was not from Hermes but from Porkys.   I have read some sources state that Hecate had many children and some with Hermes which is mere speculation with no evidence.  In fact, the only association Hecate has with Hermes are their roles as chthonic Deities  and/or guardians of the common people.  For those reasons above, I am careful in what I believe to be information on Hecate or any other Deity for that matter and I tend to take more to heart on what scholars have to write than anything else..  Anyone can write a book but the difference is between whether it is factual or mere speculation on the author's  part. 

Hecate is an ancient Goddess from an earlier pre-Greek strata of myth. The Greeks found Her difficult to fit into their scheme of Gods. Some came to see Her as a daughter of the Titans, Perses and Asteria and thus cousin to Artemis. Others saw Her as an even more primal Goddess, making Her a daughter of Erebus and Nyx. What is so confusing here is if Hecate was seen as a daughter of minor parents such as Perses and Asteria, why would Zeus "give" Her so much power and ruler of Earth, Heaven and the Underworld, and He favored Her above all.

Two major works of the Archaic period, the Theogony of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn to Demeter contain the most significant references to Hecate. There are two other known references to Hecate in Archaic literature. Both are unfortunately very brief such as Hecate having some connection with Iphigeneia, and is also the mother of Skylla by Porkys (a minor Sea God.)   With references to Iphigeneia, please see Hecate and Artemis which is discussed a little later.

Hesiod’s Theogony is probably the oldest, surviving major Greek work of literature.  It dates to the late eighth or early seventh century which is slightly earlier than the current dating of Homer’s work. In Hesiod’s poem, roughly in the midpoint of the poem, is material describing the birth, history, powers and spheres of influence of Hecate. This passage–"hymn" to Hecate–is the longest section in the entire poem pertaining to an individual deity other than Zeus. It also involves humans more than any other section. She as described as follows:

411: She is the child of Titans Asteria and Perses (and thus a cousin of Artemis and Apollo);

411-15: She is honoured by Zeus above all others, and has been granted shares by him in the Sky, Earth, and Sea (Underworld to Homer)....an honor to which Hecate already had!

416-18: she is invoked by humans in every sacrifice;

418-20: she grants (or withholds) much favor and success to humans who call upon Her;

421-28: she keeps the rights that she held among the Titans, as an only child and direct descendant of Gaia, Ouranos and Okeanos "(Earth," "Sky" and "Sea");

429-47: she blesses six specific groups of mortals: leaders, warriors, athletes, cavalrymen, fisherman.

448-49: she is honoured by all the deities although She is an only child;

450-52: she is kourotrophos ("nurse") to all living things.

What is strange about the description of Hecate here is there is no chthonic, lunar or, her magical practices, nor any mention of torches, or her favorite place such as the crossroads, as if it was intentionally "whitewashed" of what was assumed to be the true, unsavoury nature of Hecate, as if Hesiod wished to keep the darker side hidden.

In the Pre-Olympian Deities, in tales concerning the beginning of things, three great Goddesses play the part of Mother of the World: the Sea-Goddess Tethys, the Goddess Night ( whom Zeus stood in sacred awe of) and Mother Earth. They constitute a trinity. All through mythology, one comes across three Goddesses. What is more, they do not merely form accidental groups of three–usually a group of three sisters–but actually are real trinities, sometimes almost forming a single Threefold Goddess. It might be because in earlier times, the calendar year was by the Moon. The lunar month was divided into three parts, and our moon had three aspects: as the waxing, the full and waning sign of a divine presence in the sky.

Now, according to Hesiod, the Great Goddess Gaia gave birth to 12 Titans and Titanesses, three brothers took their own sisters to wife–Theia bore to her husband, Hyperion, Helois, the Sun, Selene, the Moon and Eos, Dawn. Phoebe (which is another name for Moon) bore to Koios two daughters: the Goddess Leto, (mother of Artemis and Apollo) , and Asteria, (star Goddess) who bore Hecate to Perses/Persios (the son of Eurybia "Goddess of wide force, " who some say was a daughter to Gaia. Eurybia is the sister to Phorkys who Hecate who later bears the female Sea-Monster Skylla). Rhea married Krones, to whom she bore three daughters and three sons, the Great Goddess Hestia, Demeter and Hera and the great Gods Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. So, according to Hesiod, Hecate is therefore the cousin of Apollo and Artemis. Hecate is mostly seen carrying two torches, which to some, the torches represent the Moon. Hecate was an only child. In this respect, Hecate resembles Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld. For the rest, She was an almighty threefold Goddess. Zeus revered her above all others and let her have her share of the earth, the sea and the starry sky; or rather he did not deprive her of this threefold honor, which she previously enjoyed under the earlier Gods, the Titans. Tales are told of Hecate’s love affairs with the Gods of the sea, and most particularly with Triton. When Hecate was not walking on the highways, she dwelt in her cave which to many, consider that to represent the Underworld.

It has been speculated by one author that Hecate was not a Moon Goddess before the Roman period. He says that torches alone does not make Her a Moon Goddess. However, Hecate’s grandmother is Phoebe, the Moon. Hecate’s father, Peres, is an old Sun-God, and when there is a Sun God, there is always mention of a Moon Goddess, and so Hecate’s ancestry therefore reflects her heritage as an ancient Moon Goddess. Plus a few passages of Sophokles evokes a very clear picture of Hecate that Her torches seem to pair her specifically with Helios, the Sun God. Aristophanes speaks of Hecate’s torches showing the way at night: ("and you, oh daughter of Zeus, holding up two flaming torches...show the way...so that I may search for the thief"). (Many believe that Hecate is not the daughter of Zeus as Hecate is Pre-Greek.  Also there is a picture of Hecate holding the Sun God Zeus when he was a small child.)   But this could indicate a line between Her torches and moonlight. However, somewhat more substantial evidence is found by considering together two unrelated passages of Bacchylides. Fragment 1B reads ("Hecate, torch bearing holy daughter of great-bosomed Night...") The prooemium of Ode 7 is to an unnamed daughter of Nux (Night) as benefactor of footracers at the Olympaid of 452: this role recalls Hecate helping athletes in the Theogony. Now the four-year Olympic cycle was actually measured as one half of a "great year" of 100 months (i.e., 100 lunar cycles) and the final ceremonies were held at Full Moon. Furthermore the Greek word of 100 ishekaton, which bears a considerable resemblance to Hecate’s name. If Hecate is the unnamed Goddess referred to in the "ode", this timing might therefore reflect a very old lunar aspect of Her.

Hecate stood before the doors of most houses under the name of Prothyraia, the Goddess who helped women in childbed. Some authors felt to describe how and with what purposes Hecate was evoked by women would take people more  into the field of Witchcraft, and their main purpose of their research was  confined to Hecate’s origins as close as possible to Mythology and not Witchcraft and women's ways.  She had names such as "the strong, Threefold One, or the Distant One or Remote One. The wife of the sun God Helios was named Perse or Perseis, which is also one of the names of the Moon Goddess Hecate and doubtless represented the Underworld aspect of the "widely shining" Goddess. It is interesting, that the name of the Queen of the Underworld, Persephone, can be taken to be a longer, perhaps even a more ceremonious form of Perse, Perseis, Perses, Perseus and Persaios–all names of Hecate and her associates–and are probably used from pre-Greek times as a name of the Queen of the Underworld. Persephone is referred to Kore, the Maiden, when she returns to her Mother, Demeter, in the Spring and once again, she is known as Persephone when she returns to the Underworld. So, there are many aspects which connect Hecate to Persephone as there are many speculations if Persephone and Hecate are one and the same. Many speculate that the myth of Persephone journeying to the Underworld happened before the myth of the abduction by Hades but instead, Persephone journeyed to the land of the Underworld for teachings from Hecate or even that She then became Hecate.

It is also noted that at one time Hecate was seen as young and later she was a Mother. She was never portrayed as the Crone, and you have to wonder why. Most ancient drawings, whether they are on plates, bowls, jars, etc., one never sees an elderly lady portrayed. It is either Maiden or Mother or both but never an image of an old wrinkled woman.  But this might be because no one lived a very long life.  Or, perhaps, as in today’s society, the elderly was not respected and looked upon as if they were not there, as if they did not exist and that life belonged to the young and fertile. Perhaps during the Matriarchal times, the Crone was recognized for Her wisdom and She was respected until the warring Solar Gods with their sexual prowlness came and took the powers away from the Goddess, and the Crone was cast away to die in some hidden cave.

Homer’s Hymn to Demeter, the earliest account of the abduction of Persephone by Hades, dates to the late seventh or early sixth century. Although the roles of Hecate in the hymn are quite minor, the work presents a noteworthy relationship between Hecate, Demeter and Persephone. However, Hecate’s appearances are very brief and sudden. Some scholars feel once again, as in Hesoid’s Hymn, something is missing.   Perhaps Hecate’s role in the hymn was reduced from a more active one in which She was Persephone’s companion from the outset. Or, more emphasis was put on Demeter, thereby leaving Hecate as secondary, which contradicts what other scholars have said; i.e., that  "Hecate was secondary to none." Perhaps it was a desire to purge the Hymn of a figure that had acquired an undesirable reputation. It is even possible that the role in the Mysteries (Eleusis) are part of the arreton ("secret things") and thus unmentionable by initiates.

It is noteworthy to mention that in Homer’s Hymn to Demeter is the connection between Hecate and Helios. The two are paired in later literature through Medeia. The view, common in Roman times, that Hecate was a Moon-Goddess and thus logically paired with Helios, the Sun-God. In the Hymn, both begin as observers of the event: Hecate hears it (the Moon which has not yet risen), Helios the sun sees it. On the one hand, Hecate is shown as very supportive of the two Goddesses: She brings news to Demeter, accompanies her when she seeks more information from Helios and repeatedly embraces Persephone upon her return. Helios, on the other hand shows little compassion whatsoever. The connection between Hecate and Helios is odd, as their actions are contrasting reactions. If a significant link existed between the two at the time, based on their being Moon-Goddess and Sun-God, it plays no important role in the Hymn, yet their well known association with Medeia makes it unlikely that their pairing is coincidental.

A complicating factor in understanding Hecate’s relationship with Persephone is that the latter is not a simple figure. It has often been suggested that Persephone originated as two distinct figures: Persephone, a pre-Greek Queen of the Dead, and Kore, the Greek daughter of Demeter. When Hecate appears as a companion, it is with the innocent daughter of Demeter. However, when the chthonic Hecate is evoked, she is often named with, or even identified with, the Queen of the Dead. It is interesting to note that the first part of Persephone’s name resembles Perseis, a name sometimes associated with Hecate, as daughter of Perses. If Persephone and Kore were originally two separate deities, then perhaps their merging transformed whatever original relationship one or both had with Hecate.

Hecate often had the title Phosphoros which means light bringer.

Hecate and Artemis

Hecate has been associated many times with Artemis and Apollo, as She is their cousin. Her cousin Apollo had the title Hekatos, as early as Homer, and Artemis took Hekate as a title, at least by the end of the fifth century.

In Classical and later literature, Hecate is closely connected with Artemis. They share several titles, attributes and functions and appear to be considered identical in many instances.

A different sort of connection between Hecate and Artemis is revealed in a number of similar legends concerning girls or young women who die either by being sacrificed or by taking their own lives often in order to ensure the safety of their people. One legend, which is the earliest surviving case concerns Iphigeneia (sometimes called Iphianassa, Phimede, or Iphimedeia) and her stepfather, Agamemnon, the latter of which is counselled to sacrifice his stepdaughter to Artemis in order to ensure the safety of the Greek fleet when it sailed for Troy from Aulis in Boiotia. At the moment of death, Artemis replaces Iphigeneia with a deer (or a bear), taking her far away and transforming her into a Priestess or a divine attendant and calling her Hecate.  Another story, however, is that Artemis tranforms Iphimedia into an attendant named Artemis Enodia.     The titles Hekaerge (far-working) and Hekatebolos (far-shooting) which so clearly resemble Hekate’s name, are often added to Artemis’ name to indicate her belligerent and destructive roles.

Hecate’s functions may have changed as the result of political manipulation. You had mergers where treasury of the league was moved to the Acroipolis from Delos, where Artemis was prominent. For the most part, Hecate would seem to have been the loser in such a merger: she did not seem to acquire any functions normally reserved for Artemis, such as archery or governing wilderness, while Artemis’ name joined Hecate’s at Eleusis. Perhaps this dominance by Artemis is why Hecate’s chthonic role became so pronounced in the literature of Athens in the fifth and later centuries: She may have lost most of Her other functions to Artemis. However, Hecate preserved at least a moderate level of independence to the end of antiquity.

Hecate is connected with the feminine in independence from the masculine. While both Artemis and Hecate are evoked in childbirth, this is in the sense of helping with an exclusively feminine mystery, unlike the Goddess Hera, Zeus’ wife, who is guardian of the relationship of woman to man. Thus Hera is the jealous guardian of marital fidelity, the protectress of the marriage vows. She is the Goddess of childbirth, not as a feminine ritual but as the result of male-female connection as it relates to the preservation and integrity of the blood line and inheritance.

The Artemis-Hecate archetype was rather feared by the patriarchs of the Solar Gods, because if pursued by women, it could have led to their developing a sense of an independence from the masculine. Thus the cult of Hera, under the protection of Zeus, became very important in late classical times.

The Greek Artemis should not be confused with Artemis of Ephesus who was the Great Mother Goddess of the Ionian Greeks. The Greek soul was in later patriarchal times, unhappy with the independent Artemis who is the wild virgin of the hunt and only by remaining aloof from contact with the masculine can She retain Her independence. So the Greeks encouraged the grafting onto Her of the Artemis of the Ephesus-Mother facet.

Hecate’s connection with Apollo is the most interesting than She has with any other Gods. The most striking connection between Apollo and Hecate is through two of his common titles that resemble Her name: Hecatos and Hekatebolos. One way of interpreting this set of names is possibly that Hecate and Apollo were originally paired and that Artemis came to replace Hecate. Even though Homer and Hesiod have Artemis and Apollo as close siblings, there are many sites where they are worshipped by themselves. Apollo took on an equal status with Artemis on Delos only in the sixth century, while Artemis never joined him in Delphi which is strange.  ! However, Hekate’s early presence with Apollo at Miletos (and later at Didyma) could be interpreted as the last signs of a partnership that originated among Bronze Age people of Asia Minor. By this thought, Artemis presumably replaced Hekate as companion of Apollo Hekatos when She began to absorb other Asian Goddesses early in the millennium.

If it were not for Apollo’s title of Hekatos, his relationship with Hekate could probably be treated as being of limited significance. However, their sharing of names can hardly be a trivial coincidence, and Hecate’s origins and identity are somehow tied to those of Artemis and Apollo. There are several speculative but quite interesting pieces of evidence that point to Hekate and Apollo having common roots in Bronze Age Aisa Minor, perhaps as paired guardian deities. However, whatever the connection, by the sixth century, any close relationship between Apollo and Hecate are limited to a few Ionian sites such as Miletos and Didyma, wherein Gods such as Helios and Hermes were more commonly her male companions.....Helios the Sun Good and Hermes being  chthonic in nature. 

Hecate and the Son God, Helios

There are several references in literature that show an association between Hekate and Helios. Hecate and Helios are the only witnesses to Kore’s (Persephone) kidnapping, and they inform Demeter what has happened...first by Hecate and then by Helios. It has often been assumed that this relationship reflects their complementary nature as Moon Goddess and Sun God. In every version of the legend of Persephone, Hecate and Helois are either paired as observers or are both absent. This suggests that this pairing is not coincidental, though not necessarily vital to the story. It is relevant to note that there is a common pattern found in folklore in many parts of the world of the Sun and Moon being questioned concerning events occurring on Earth, as they are assumed to be able to observe everything. Helios is explicitly called skopos, meaning "watcher" and Hecate is able to hear clearly the abduction from Her cave. Probably she "hears" because it is during the daylight hours that Kore is taken and the Moon is not out shining.

Hecate and Hermes

Hecate’s association with Hermes is the least documented in early times of those considered so far. The earliest evidence supporting a true connection with Hecate is at the entrance to the Athenian Acropolis in the fifth century which bears the three images of Hecate connected. The role as chthonic deities of which both deities received sacrificial meals left at their statutes. They were called Enodia and Enodios, meaning "in/or the road." Hermes is the only deity, besides Persephone, with whom Hekate significantly shared chthonic functions. Evidence for their shared role dates only to the fifth century, but earlier evidence exists for both independently and perhaps their association came about because they shared this function.

Hecate and Her Roles in Early Greece

"Lord Helios and the sacred flame,

weapon of Hekate Enodia

which She bears when leading in Olympos

and in her haunts by the sacred three-ways on Earth,

crowning herself with oak leaves and twisting coils of wild serpent."

Hecate is a Goddess of entrances which generally serve one or more of three functions: to establish a boundary and to protect what is inside from the outer world, to help travellers setting out from or returning to the entranceway and to watch over the actual transition that the entrance entails. Protection from what is beyond a boundary is a role that is commonly assigned to Hecate but most importantly, she is involved with unseen, spiritual foes rather than physical defense of the city such as Athena Nike.

There is another attribute of Hecate indicating a gatekeeper role: the holding of a key. In the Orphic Hymn to Hekate, she is called kleidouchos ("key-holder"). By Hellenistic times, the bearing of a key often symbolized the ability to open and close the gates between Earth and other realms such as that of the Underworld.    Persephone was also shown with a key. In Hecate’s case, this could reflect her association by that time with spirits, especially those summoned by magicians, as She could let spirits in and out.

Hecate - Goddess of Women -

Hecate is considered a Goddess of Women. Birth, childbearing and death are matters of great importance to all human societies. Hecate is associated with all three. If Hecate can be considered a Goddess of Transitions, she was particularly a suitable goddess to evoke in all matters concerning birth and death. These matters are also traditionally considered the concern of women, if not their exclusive domain, so Hecate’s involvement in them may imply a particular focus upon women.

As early as Theogony, Hecate has the role of kourotrophos...child’s nurse. Hecate is the oldest known kourotrophos, as in the Theogony She is called Kourotrophos to all living things.

Ceremonies of death were largely the concern of women in ancient Greece. Women predominate in artistic and literary representations of mourning and the laying out of bodies; laws were passed governing their actions and influences of funerals. House sweepings and offerings were made to Hecate at crossroads at the Dark Moon after a 30-day mourning period.

It has also been suggested that Hecate had a role in marriage, another transitional stage of life of particular importance to women.

Scholars such as Wilamowitz and Nilsson feel justified in claiming that Hecate is a Women’s Goddess and one of the reasons for that belief is that women were more prone to be more superstitious then men and to practicing magick privately in association with Hecate. In deed, another Greek author said he wished to only provide the myths regarding Hecate, for anything which was practiced by Greek women would be considered Witchcraft!

Of the three most likely roles for Hecate when she is found at entranceways, the evidence best supports that of guardian against outside dangers. Particular emphasis may be on defending against supernatural forces, a function which may be directly tied to her frightening association with restless spirits.

Another of Hecate’s roles was Hecate Propolos which means guide and companion, and She was certainly that when accompanying Persephone to the Underworld and being her companion while there.

Most all drawings and pictures of Hecate depict her with two torches where other Goddess have only one torch. Hecate is known as Hecate Phosphoros which means Light Bringer.    Also, morning and evening stars (the planet Venus) were named Phosphoros (light bringer) and Hesperos (of the evening). So, perhaps her two torches were seen to represent Phosphoros and Hesperos. Her torches could also represent the light of the Moon, the fire representing childbirth.

Goddess of the Underworld

In the second half of the fifth century, there is in Greek literature a side of Hecate that is both frightening and new. She is associated with restless spirits and phantasms that attack by their own volition or under the command of spiteful foes with purification ceremonies involving the killing of dogs and with offers left at crossroads at every Dark Moon. In situations such as these Hecate is known as Hecate Chthonia.

In many parts of the world, they feel that the crossroads are supernatural places....places to work magick and to encounter spirits of all kinds. In later literature, Hecate is associated with crossroads and most particularly three-way intersections. Sacrificial meals are commonly left out at crossroads for Hecate, especially during the three days about  the Dark Moon. These are sometimes called Hekates deipna (Hecate’s banquets.) Offerings are to solicit Her aid in protection against the other spirits. Many felt that restless spirits walk the earth during the Dark of the Moon. Neglecting to make offerings to Hecate is therefore dangerous not because she might attack, but because She is the one who stands between you and the dangerous spirits. Because of Hecate’s association with crossroads, she is called Hecate Enodia (in the road.)

Hecate is also associated with dogs, and dogs, as well as Hecate, are credited with excellent night vision.

Chthonic deities, in their role of governing the dead were associated with snakes. Snakes appear with Hecate almost entirely in the context of her hair.

Hecate has a significant role in the nearly obsessive portrayal of Medeia in antiquity. Medeia’s primary role is usually that of an evil magician and herbalist. She is also a Priestess of Hecate and a descendant of Helios, the Sun God; Hecate, and to a lessor extent Helios, were Medeia's benefactors or teachers. This is probably Hecate’s most noted role in later literature, and as such, contributed much to her negative image.  Helios, on the other hand, has not suffered in the same way....naturally.....He being a male and Hecate being a female.   It goes to show that even back then Gods practicing magick were not Witches or anything evil. However, a Goddess who is associated with  magick and She gets a negative image!   Literature has it that Medeia evoked Hecate and performed magick regarding women's issues and this reflects Hecate’s role, once again, as the benefactor of this magick as evidence for Her being a Woman’s Goddess.   Many men would argue the point, but that still does not change that Hecate was not only a Goddess for the people but most particularly a Goddess for the women for Hecate assisted in the roles that women performed.  . 

The prominence of Hecate Chthonia in later literature is probably the most difficult to explain. One scholar suggests that Hecate’s chthonic side must have been present from her beginnings in Karia and was brought to the forefront in the fifth century when superstitious fears and magic practices became widespread among the common folk.  Hecate’s chthonic image became enhanced at the expense of her other functions in Athens to differentiate Her from Artemis as well as Her association with other Chthonic deities such as Persephone, Queen of the Dead who many feel are one and the same.

In summary, Hecate is a Goddess for the people and most particularly women and not the entire community and was most likely honored in private ceremonies on Her own. Due to Hecate’s "unsavory" character and the magickal practices of Hecate’s followers such as Medeia are not in keeping with "proper" Greek religion, She was not idealised in ancient Greek culture. In other words....Hecate did not fit into what man thought a Goddess should represent.  This is probably why She was never considered an Olympian Goddess.  The relatively sudden and widespread archeological evidence for Her worship in the sixth century indicates that Hecate came from some other outside location. The question of Hecate’s place of origin has been questioned on account of her negative reputation and a desire to keep the Greek religion clean. Nevertheless, it is a common conclusion that the worship of Hecate originated in Asia Minor, in particular Karia.

By the fifth century, when records became relatively abundant, Hecate is firmly in place in the Greek world and as a Greek Deity. That century also marks the point when the literary record begins to stress Hecate Chthonia and often in a dangerous form and unfortunately at the expense of her other functions. As mentioned earlier, the Greeks probably wanted more emphasis on Artemis and less on Hecate.   Hecate Chthonia seems to have little bearing on actual religious practices but more on supporting the magickal practices of Medeia and other female figures. The negative portrayal of powerful women such as Medeia and the Amazons who live outside of the bounds of society, is most common in Greek and Roman literature. When these women are associated with Deities, it is usually with Goddesses who honor their independent nature such as Artemis, or grant them unusual powers, such as Hecate. So...it is quite possible that through simple association with Medeia, the ghostly and dangerous side of Hecate was popularized.

Another important factor contributing to the stories involving Hecate may be that much of Her worship served individual needs–protecting one from harmful ghosts and guiding one through difficult transitions and the use of magick rather than those of the community. Apparently the Greeks thought that individuals acting on their own could be very threatening to society. What is interesting in nearly all of these stories is that they feature individual women performing rituals for their own purposes. Perhaps humble, day to day ritual practices by women with statutes of Hecate in their homes added to fuel the fears and imagination of others. But  the women who evoked Hecate, respected Her but did not fear Her. Hecate carried with Her independence and power.....things that Greek men did not want women to have. Many women turned to Hecate for protection, childbirth and childraising, as Hecate was called upon for many functions. Parents gave their children names that began with Hekat, sculptors were hired to construct statues of Her for all to see, and people were initiated into Her mysteries. The worship of several deities was restricted by official decree in the Roman period, but never that of the our Lady.......Lady Hecate, Queen of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld...a privileged with which She was given but what She already had before the Olympian Gods.

©Permission must first be given before use of any material from this website as well as linking back to Hecate's Cauldron if used for teaching purposes

 

http://hecatescauldron.org/Hecate's%20History%20&%20Origins.htm

 

“Hecate, The Goddess of the Witches”

 

“Hecate, The Goddess of the Witches”
Hecate___Goddess_of_Witchcraft_by_The_Fairywitch

Hymn to Hekatê

Hekatê of the Path, I invoke Thee, Lovely Lady of the Triple Crossroads,
Celestial, Chthonian, and Marine One, Lady of the Saffron Robe.
Sepulchral One, celebrating the Bakchic Mysteries among the Souls of the Dead, Daughter of Persês, Lover of Solitude, rejoicing in deer.

Nocturnal One, Lady of the Dogs, invincible Queen.
She of the Cry of the Beast, Ungirt One, having an irresistible Form.
Bullherder, Keeper of the Keys of All the Universe, Mistress,
Guide, Bride, Nurturer of Youths, Mountain Wanderer.

I pray Thee, Maiden, to be present at our hallowed rites of initiation,
Always bestowing Thy graciousness upon the Boukolos.

—-Shrine of the Forgotten Goddesses

twigbar

links

Hecate ~ Goddess of the Witches
 

Hecate is a powerful goddess representing the aspects of the Triple Goddess: goddess of fertility and plenty; goddess of the moon; and goddess of the night and the underworld, which led to her evolving as the patroness of magic and Witchcraft. She mixed fertility with death to be used as earth power. She has been called supreme, both in heaven and hell. It is believed that even Zeus called on her whenever he wished to grant something to someone. Hecate is portrayed as the most powerful – who could give aplenty or destroy totally. She is said to have the power to bestow on or withhold from mortals any gifts she chose. All the secret powers of Nature were at her command. She had control over birth, life, and death. Because of her power in the three areas of nature, heaven and earth she was represented as a triple form.

She is most known as an underworld goddess; the Goddess of the Dark of the Moon, the nights that there is no moon and the world above is as dark as the world below. She was the overseer of the world of the dead. At night she traveled roaming the earth accompanied by her dogs, Hermes, and dead souls. Some say she sent demons from the lower world at night and that she causes nightmares and insanity, and was called “the Nameless One.”

 

Goddess of Fertility

Hecate was looked upon as a goddess of fertility, whose torch was carried over freshly sown fields to symbolize the fertilizing power of moonlight. In women’s agricultural mysteries her trinity took form as Kore the green corn, Persephone the ripe ear, and Hecate the harvested corn. She is closely associated as a Goddess of Midwives and pregnant women. Hecate is described by Hellenic as being in the houses of women in childbirth. Since she is a Goddess of the underworld which deals with life and death it little wonder that she was petitioned for help by women having difficulty in child bearing.

 

Goddess of the Underworld


Because of her connection to the underworld, Hecate is often portrayed as having similar traits as those of Persephone. Hecate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone and after their reunion became Persephone’s minister and companion in Hades. And it was she who offered to make sure that Zeus’ ruling was obeyed when it was decided that Persephone’s time would be divided between her mother and Hades. Thus she was closely associated with Eleusinian Mysteries. Like Hades and Persephone, Hecate was never allowed to sit as a member on the council of Olympians. The Crossroads As Goddess of the Crossroads she is usually portrayed with three faces, thus she was Hecate Treyia, “Hecate of the Three Ways.” And it was at the crossways where three roads met where the Greeks left their monthly offerings. Offerings, particularly on nights of the full moon, were left at roadside shrines built in her honor, especially by those wishing this goddess of prophecy and magic to assist them on journeys. All those who embarked on a journey or a venture, war, adventure, harvest – anything, always offered their prayers to Hecate, for it was upon the crossroads that you would meet her.

 

Worship


Throughout the ages incarnations have been chanted to her, sacrifices were offered to her. Food offerings called “Hecate’s Supper” were left there late at night on the eve of the full Moon. The person leaving the food walked away without looking back, for they were afraid to confront the goddess face to face. This was a way of honoring the threefold goddess where on could look three ways at once. One petition for her patronage is recorded in the third century by Hippolytus in Philosphumena:

Come infernal, terrestrial, and heavenly Bombo (Hecate), goddess of the broad roadways, of the crossroad, thou who goest to and fro at night, torch in hand, enemy of the day. Friend and lover of darkness, thou who doest rejoice when the bitches are howling and warm blood is spilled, thou who art walking amid the phantom and the in place of the tombs, thou whose thirst is blood, thou who doest strike chill and fear in mortal hearts, Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a thousand forms, cast a propitious eye on our sacrifice.

Aspects and Imagery


In vase paintings she holds two torches while in statuary she was frequently depicted as having three heads and three bodies. In later times Hecate took on the form of a pillar called Hecterion. One statue shows her with three heads and six arms, bearing three torches and three sacred emblems. A key, rope, and dagger. With the key to the underworld, Hecate unlocks the secrets of the occult mysteries and knowledge of afterlife. The rope symbolizes the umbilical cord of rebirth and renewal. The Dagger or Athame is a symbol of ritual power.

She is “The goddess that troubles the reason of men.”
The Greeks called her “The Hag of the Dead”
She is also called “the most lovely one” a title of the moon.
The owl is her messenger, and the willow is her tree.
Rides a chariot pulled by dragons.
Depicted wearing a gleaming headdress of stars.
She was connected to the goddess Artemis, Diana, and Persephone.
Closely associated with Eleusinian Mysteries.

History/Genealogy

It is believed that her powerful position was derived from the Egyptian mid-wife goddess Heqit, Heket, or Hekat, who in turn evolved from the heq or tribal matriarch of pre-dynastic Egypt, who was a wise-woman in command of all hekau or “mother’s Words of Power.” In her moon-goddess aspect she is often part of the trinity with Selene, and Diana/Artemis. In Greek mythology Hecate was the only child of the Titanes Perses (god of man-made destruction – he who lays waste) and Asteria (flaming one: goddess of fire. After the fall of the Titans she was pursued by Zeus. She cast herself into the sea as a flaming meteor from heaven and was transformed permanently into the island of Delos which later became a sanctuary for Leto to give birth.) . From her parents she inherited powers over the earth, sea and heavens. Hecate was the only Titan who retained her power after Zeus’ victory. During the Middle ages, Hecate became known as Queen of the Ghostworld, or Queen of Witches. She was particularlly demonized by Catholic authorities.

Festivals and Celebrations

On the Greek isle of Aegina a festival was held every year in her honor. Mystery rites were held in her behalf.
On August 13 in Greece at the House of Storms and Fertility. It was held to aid in keeping the harvest storms from destroying the harvest.
Hallowmas held on October 31 to honor Hecate at a time when the veil between the world was the thinnest.
In Italy by the lake of Avernus, there was a scared dark grove of Hecate. In private worship to her followers were offered Hecates suppers. The leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to this goddess and her hounds.
Sacred to Hecate

Key, torch, cauldron, dogs, owls, wild animals

Attributes

Poppy, animals dog, willow, star

Misc

Medea was a priestess of Hecate. In some accounts she is actually Hecate’s daughter.
The appearance of black howling dogs at night meant that Hecate was near, and their barking announced her approach. “If the dogs are traveling at night, it means Hecate is about.”
She is only visible to dogs.
Her name was called at night at the cross-roads of cities.
She is said to live near the tombs of the victims of murder.

—–Article found on: Sibylline Order


CRONE

Untie a knot,
Tie a new knot
Bind it and set it free!
Take me in your twisted hands,old woman
With each wrinkle I am yours in the end
Twist the twine, weaver of time
Your destiny is mine.

I raise my eyes into my eyes
And there I see you beckoning
Conspirator, adventurer
Upon the spiral way.
Whose approach is creamed away in lies
You are not refused in me
Whose whisper now is deafening
I watch you weaving patiently

Holy Mother of the Web,
Weaver of the spider’s tread
Sister spinners, weavers all
Dance upon the Harpy’s claw
Fill the void with sacred rage
Rattle the bars, free the cage
Shatter silence with your cries
Sister flyers, pierce the skies!
Like the snake that sheds its skin,
Letting transformation take me
The golden chrysalis hands by a thread

As I look within
Where one leaves off and the next begins,
In your chaos will I bide
Shadow spinner, Moerae,
Guide me to the other side!
Untie a knot,
Tie a new knot
Bind it and set it free!

—–By: Ruth Barrett, The Temple of Hecate

 

Freya's Day Forecast July 25th, 2014

Blyssful Freya's Day Stargazers~

Crescent Moon
(waning /6% of illumination)
This is a time to rest, reevaluate and reflect, pulling back into yourself to reconnect with inner sources of strength. Now is not a time to initiate anything new. It’s a phase suited to spending time with friends and getting in touch with the “big picture.” A window of opportunity exists for seeing your life objectively and becoming aware of what is important to you. At this point, what are your dreams and aspirations? What larger goals can you aspire to that will bring vitality and excitement into your life? This is a time for resting and gaining inner strength to prepare for a new cycle.

Friday 25th July 2014
Moon 11° Cancer opposes Pluto [in retrograde] 11° Capricorn
Moon 16° Cancer conjunct Mercury 16° Cancer
Moon 16° Cancer trines Saturn 16° Scorpio
Moon 16° Cancer squares Uranus [in retrograde] 16° Aries

Friday Moon in Cancer - 12th House Karma
Pleasant day of inner "Happiness" created by Twists of Fate
Moon in Cancer is in it's 12th house of karma and therefore anything could happen - most significantly now that Jupiter is in Leo - and following the Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Leo on Thursday - you will feel good about "life" - in fact very good about "life". Although I should say that although you will wake-up feeling refreshed and optimistic on Friday - the full effect of Sun-Jupiter conjunction will be arriving at the triple conjunction - Jupiter - Sun - Moon - Leo - New Moon on 26th/27th July 2014.
 
Today and tonight this final phase of the Moon in Cancer will be peaceful and calming - and - it will create an aura of karmic destined calmness and peace from WITHIN you - you will feel the inner happiness.
 
Moon 11° Cancer opposes Pluto [in retrograde] 11° Capricorn - usually this opposition would disturb you from deep within - but remarkably it will either attract a karmic "coincidence" into your life OR it will make you feel NOTHING towards something you used to have feelings for - hence proving to you - you've changed for the better.
 
Moon 16° Cancer trines Saturn 16° Scorpio - as today is Mercury trine Saturn - a date with destiny - the destined stability you will feel it emotionally too and will come deep WITHIN you.
 
Moon 16° Cancer squares Uranus [in retrograde] 16° Aries - again this square should technically bother you - but it won't - much like seeing a photo of your ex on facebook and thinking how ugly they are and that you've been "saved" from being connected to someone who is so wrong for you - Moon square Uranus creates detachment from the "past" - and as a 12th House square - it is necessary for you to END and be DETACHED in order to be ready for the New Moon's new surprises.
 
Moon 17° Cancer conjunct Mercury 17° Cancer - the most fascinating aspect of the day - as something karmic and destined will happen - a "conjunction" in 12th House of karma is a SPECIAL day.

Aries Horoscope

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)
Taking a sentimental journey through your memories might sound like a good idea today, but it could open a can of worms before you know it. Recollections of your youth may be spiritually uplifting until you remember something that also brings hurt feelings into the present moment. If you become stuck on anger or resentment, the best way to move forward is to shake off the past by starting a project that requires your total concentration. Redirecting your energy into something creative is the fastest route to bringing your focus back to the here and now.

Taurus Horoscope

(Apr 20 – May 20)
You might try a strategy of passive resistance today if someone at work makes unreasonable demands on your time. You’re not interested in wasting your energy arguing with anyone or explaining why you believe people are out of line. Instead, you opt to display your infamous bullheadedness because you assume that actions will speak louder than words. Nevertheless, others won’t correct their errant ways unless you take the time to give them constructive criticism. Just make sure you treat everyone with the same respect you expect in return.

Gemini Horoscope

(May 21 – Jun 20)
You often make spur-of-the-moment decisions to spend money on something that you want. However, you’re more serious about your financial situation now that the retentive Cancer Moon is visiting your 2nd House of Possessions. It may be a prudent idea to say no to an unnecessary purchase today, but don’t take your frugality so far that you pass up a really great bargain or a promising opportunity. Considering all your options from a practical perspective helps you to make a fiscally wise choice that continues to feel good into the future.

Cancer Horoscope

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)
One moment you’re enthusiastic and eager to take on your day with confidence. However, the next moment you may be complaining about how much work you have on your plate. Ironically, your moodiness could annoy everyone else more than it bothers you today. Thankfully, it’s easy to prevent negativity from recycling back to you. Take some time to recharge your emotional batteries without blaming anyone else for your current need for a break. As long as you fulfill your obligations as promised, no one will fault you for your choice.

Leo Horoscope

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)
The spotlight may continue to shine on you as the radiant Sun and boisterous Jupiter travel through your performance-oriented sign. But now the emotionally defensive Cancer Moon is hiding out in your 12th House of Escapism, tempting you to search for the nearest exit. Although you normally love the idea of performing on stage, today you value your privacy even more. Whether or not your heart is in it, you Lions know better than anyone that the show must go on.

Virgo Horoscope

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)
You really don’t want to disappoint your workmates, but they may be expecting so much from you these days that you begin to worry. Nevertheless, a dash of self-doubt can be therapeutic if it motivates you to do the necessary research to prepare for your job. However, your fear of failure is problematic if it prevents you from doing anything at all. Keep in mind that you are your own biggest critic and it’s nearly impossible to satisfy your standards of excellence. Setting more realistic goals enables you to feel positive about your accomplishments.

Libra Horoscope

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)
You may be more responsive to your associates at work than you are to a friend or lover, setting the stage for a possible relationship meltdown today. The Moon’s visit to your 10th House of Profession reflects your current drive for success, but you could be so eager to get ahead that you end up paying an emotional price. Thankfully, remaining aware of your ambitions allows you to step back and find your center before you lose your balance.

Scorpio Horoscope

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)
You could feel uncomfortably restrained today by the same set of circumstances and responsibilities that seemed just fine a few days ago. Part of your current problem is the strong wanderlust you are feeling now that the Moon is traveling through your 9th House of Adventure. Overcome your current inclination to let an opportunity pass because you have so much to do at home. If you are offered a chance to get out of town, take it. You can always finish up leftover chores when you return. You only live once.

Sagittarius Horoscope

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)
Interpersonal interactions take on an air of intensity now that the Moon is swimming through the waters of your 8th House of Intimacy. Oddly enough, you aren’t as interested in clever conversations that explore the far reaches of the cosmos as you are in getting to the bottom of your feelings. But emotional clarity isn’t the only thing you need today; you also want to create a magical moment with someone special. With the right person, you could turn an ordinary day into a memorable one.

Capricorn Horoscope

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)
Even an easy going relationship might seem fraught with emotional tension today with the sensitive Cancer Moon’s presence in your 7th House of Others. You’re willing to express your feelings now, without even realizing that your openness increases your vulnerability. Unfortunately, your fear of losing control can be triggered if you’re pulled too far off track by an intense interaction. Don’t walk away from this chance to connect. Rather than shutting down your heart, see what you can learn by exploring unfamiliar ground.

Aquarius Horoscope

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)
You wish you could set aside your emotional needs today so you can focus on the logistics of your everyday life. Although the Moon’s visit to your 6th House of Daily Routine encourages you to ignore your passions, denial isn’t a viable strategy. Push up against your discomfort by openly expressing your desires, even if it means taking a risk. Happily, you might be pleasantly surprised when you discover that others support your unconventional pursuits.

Pisces Horoscope

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)
Expressing your needs to someone you trust deepens a current friendship or sets the stage for a new romance as the reflective Moon moves through your 5th House of Love. Don’t pull away from displaying your tenderness because you feel more alive when you’re busy nurturing others. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to maintain a clear perspective on your emotions, or you could become more attached than you planned. Make sure your intentions are clear before the waters get too deep.

Cat Magick

Blyssful Thor's Day my Legionnaires~

Freya Magic Cat Spell

Cats are sacred to the Norse Goddess Freya. In Norse Shamanism the Volsi venerated the cat.

A cat's brain is always in an alpha state, so it is easy to communicate with physically. So-called cat experts would say that cats are hallucinating when they stare at certain spots of the room. But we know that they are seeing the spirit world. Cats become familiars the more you pet them. 

Here is some cat potion you can use to anoint your cat, bringing him or her protection and magical empowerment, followed by a cat spell.

(Magical Cat Potion)

1 dram catnip oil                                       
1 dram olive oil
1 dram heliotrope oil                                  
shedding fur of a live magic cat (just a few strands)
large pinch catnip leaves 
Blend all ingredients and keep in a magic bottle.

(Magic Cat Spell)

Putting a cat in the Magic Circle is not always a good idea, because during a ritual they often decide to get up and leave and have a snack. It is better to use fur or whiskers to represent the cat in the circle. Never cut a cat's whiskers! They will use their whiskers to judge the width of their bodies. Gather them up when they fall out. For the following spell you will need:

cat potion above                                    
1 magic mirror
1 statue or picture of a cat                      
1 bowl of cat food or sliced chicken or turkey for special treat
1 white, 1 black, 1 yellow candle            
1 wand
1 small bowl                                           
1 black magic bag
1 thurible and charcoal                            
3 foot black cord
                                                               
Parchment and 1 black pen

Light the candles and anoint with cat potion, and say: I call upon Freya to come to this sacred space and bring their power and love to cast this spell.

Pick up the picture or cat statue and pass it through the smoke of the incense. Place the "cat" in front of the magic mirror as if the cat were looking into it. On your parchment write:
"Cat, Cat show to me what my future is to be. Cat, Cat to me send a future I may shape and bend. Cat, Cat protect the animals and the human race. I ask that this will be approved in the eyes of Freya, by my will so mote it be. 

Place three drops of cat potion and whiskers on the spell. Roll it up and put it in the black magic bag. Then tie the bag to the black cord so that you may wear it for three days and three nights. While you wear the black bag, expect your cat to act a bit strange.She will see Freya and Faeries around you.

When you have a chance, pet her and look into her eyes to see the other world. If you do not have a cat use the stature of the picture and keep it front of your magic mirror every time you need an answer or protection. After the three days and nights, hang the cord in your living space. 

If you want you can make a cat collar, taking black fabric and forming a tiny tube to fit around her neck. Place tiny crystals or some herbs inside. Or buy a collar and tie on a pentacle, but charge it in a Magic Circle first.

Cat Whiskers


The cat’s whiskers are specially adapted to act as antennae. They are used to navigate, to detect movement and to judge the width of an opening. Whiskers are also an indicator of mood—when the whiskers are back, the cat is angry, so watch out. Some people think finding a whisker is good luck. I know one woman who is a millionaire that has a cat whisker collection! 

Cats and Witches

Norse legend tells of Freya, goddess of love and fertility, whose chariot was pulled by two black cats. Some versions of the tale claim they became swift black horses, possessed by the Devil. After serving Freya for 7 years, the cats were rewarded by being turned into witches, disguised as black cats.
Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.
Folklore has it that if a witch becomes human, her black cat will no longer reside in her house.
It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves. Partly because of the cat's sleek movements and eyes that 'glow' at night, they became the embodiment of darkness, mystery, and evil, possessing frightening powers. If a black cat walked into the room of an ill person, and the person later died, it was blamed on the cat's supernatural powers. If a black cat crossed a person's path without harming them, this indicated that the person was then protected by the devil. Often times, a cat would find shelter with older women who were living in solitude. The cat became a source of comfort and companionship, and the old woman would curse anyone who mistreated it. If one of these tormentors became ill, the witch and her familiar were blamed.
A kitten born in May will be a witches cat.
Some believe black cats are witches in disguise.
Others believe black cats are witches familiars (beings that aid witches in performing their craft)..

For the ability to see through difficult situations, and to deal with someone who is very cunning I would use cat's whiskers or cats nail castings ( they do not need to be fresh and of course only use them when the cat has discarded them, in my household this means not hovering the carpets until I have checked to see if any of my cats have left little 'whiskery gifts' for me on the floor!)
Also for protection and stability, old iron nails or iron filings.
Hair or nail clippings from the person to be protected (must be freshly cut) note here! Please be careful who you give hair or nail clippings to, as they can also be used for power over another.

JACQUELYN TIERNEY 

PET PARTS IN RITUAL WORK
April 9, 2014

Every so often I will come across a lone whisker nestled between it's tumbleweed companion of dusty cat fir and the floor. "I've been waiting for you," it says to me.
Some of the whiskers are white. Some of them are black with a hint of brown. Some gradually change from brown to white. A few of these whiskers are short; others are long. The longer ones tend to be spindly, curling up and then over at the ends while the other half of the whisker lot is short but mighty, their magical heartbeats strong despite departure from Mother Cat. I will usually know which of my two felines has been shedding their vibratory sensors, (*important* because whiskers contain the spirit of the animal and each cat has their own magical gift to share) but sometimes their past eludes me and I must speak to the vibrissae itself. 
Me: Whisker, how would you like to work your magic? Would you prefer to be placed in the sacred bowl for safe keeping or would you like to go up on the working altar?
Whisker: I am need of some rest after my long journey with Mother Cat. I will take respite in the bowl.
As is usually the case. Though, there have been a few whiskers in my experience who are eager to participate in magical workings right away. All whiskers I have found have been quite vocal, and I presume yours will let you know how to handle them when you two shall meet. I should also add that the whisker will retain some of it's previous host's personality, and this is why I choose the whiskers of my cat who is an older and gentler soul for psychic work and the whisker's of my younger, sassier cat for work having to do with the material. However some whiskers, despite kitty of origin, will simply wish to be placed on the everyday altar to channel positive cat spirit energy into the office and home.
And, it's not just whiskers that can increase the effectiveness of a magical working, you know. Bones, nail clippings and hair also have a history of magical uses too. In the text, Animal and Plant Lore Collected from the Oral Tradition of English Speaking Folk, (Memoirs of American Folklore Society, 1899) Fanny Dickerson Bergen (ed.) notes, "to cure chin-cough, nine hairs from the tail of a black cat are to be chopped up, soaked in water and swallowed. (Ireland.)" (pg.149)
Yum.
The use of Black Cat Bones in African-American Hoodoo tradition, aid in invisibility, doing work that needs to go undetected and bringing back a lost lover. Black cat hair can also be used in mojo bags for luck in gambling in addition to the aforementioned Whooping Cough cure. (*If you are a subscriber of mine and in need of black cat hair for under-the-radar type work reach out to me and I will do my best to humanely and lovingly procure some for you from my current feline resident who lives her life out of sight under the bed.)
Our intrigue for these sweet, cunning, mysterious and (oh so darling manipulative) creatures goes back at least 12,000 years, proven in the paintings and hundreds of thousands of mummified cats at Beni-Hassan, those at Bastet's tomb (Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of pleasure, protection from fire, perfume and the nurturing mother (fertility) who's original head of a lion was eventually replaced with that of the domesticated cat.) Bastet could be vengeful, protective and docile just like her animal counterpart. These are also traits that we can focus on when deciding how to use whiskers, fur and/or shed nails from our cats into our magical workings today.

possible uses of feline whiskers, fur and nails in conjure, ritual and magical workings:
1. Altar and Prayer work for Psychic Opening and Environmental Awareness - Cats are highly sensitive to the energy of people and spirits in their environment and can detect vibrations in the air through their whiskers. Place whiskers on your person or altar during Spirit Walks or meditations to aid in psychic opening and awareness. 
2. Opening the lines of communication with shelter animals, strays and pets - Use whiskers as channels to transfer energy from yourself to an animal in meditation. Further enhance communication by combining the whisker with graveyard dirt from the burial place of a beloved pet who has passed or that of an animal who had strong communication skills with others during their lifetime in your magical workings. 
3. Enhanced Protection for the animal, self and the home or place of business (I love resident kitties in a place of business, don't you?!) - Jen Rue of Rue and Hyssop adds both whiskers and hair that has been shed from her cat to a witch bottle, "to extend the protection of that bottle to not just me and my home, but to the cats too." Cats are hyper-aware of all energies entering or approaching your space including friends, spirits and other creatures. Often, when I stay in hotels with my female cat, she will perk her ears up and growl at every passerby in the hallway outside our hotel room door as a way of asserting her authority over the territory of our room and protecting her human companion. 
4. Assist in Navigation and Extra Protection during Travel or Exploration of a new landscape - A cat's whiskers allow them to determine the width of small spaces, stay balanced and navigate around obstacles (especially those cats who lose their eyesight.) Therefore, whiskers can help you overcome obstacles, navigate, and feel out the energy of a space or environment.
5. Add whiskers, nail clippings or hair to a "healing bottle" with herbs and crystals should your cat come down with something or be in a period of transition to the other side. If your feline has already transitioned, memorialize him or her by placing various pet parts in a talisman to be worn on your body or a memorial bottle to be placed on your altar. 
6. In need someone or something to stick around or stay stuck on you? Incorporate a cat claw into your ritual or mojo bag. Speaking from personal experience, I am very familiar with the ability of a claw to deeply and securely anchor itself. Try pulling a 22lb cat who detests the car out from under the farthest corner of a four post bed flush with the back wall and sandwiched between two heavy nightstands. Good thing I practice yoga.
7. Extricate yourself from a current situation or Create more Space for yourself - Include the whisker or hair of an independent cat into your magical working. 
Lastly,
8. For Commanding Loyalty and Dominating a Relationship - Roll the hair of your cat or dog in Follow Me Boy oil to make someone follow you like a dog.
[Photo: The cat’s whiskers are specially adapted to act as antennae. They are used to navigate, to detect movement and to judge the width of an opening. Whiskers are also an indicator of mood—when the whiskers are back, the cat is angry, so watch out. Some people think finding a whisker is good luck. I know one woman who is a millionaire that has a cat whisker collection! Cats and Witches Norse legend tells of Freya, goddess of love and fertility, whose chariot was pulled by two black cats. Some versions of the tale claim they became swift black horses, possessed by the Devil. After serving Freya for 7 years, the cats were rewarded by being turned into witches, disguised as black cats. Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night. Folklore has it that if a witch becomes human, her black cat will no longer reside in her house. It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves. Partly because of the cat's sleek movements and eyes that 'glow' at night, they became the embodiment of darkness, mystery, and evil, possessing frightening powers. If a black cat walked into the room of an ill person, and the person later died, it was blamed on the cat's supernatural powers. If a black cat crossed a person's path without harming them, this indicated that the person was then protected by the devil. Often times, a cat would find shelter with older women who were living in solitude. The cat became a source of comfort and companionship, and the old woman would curse anyone who mistreated it. If one of these tormentors became ill, the witch and her familiar were blamed. A kitten born in May will be a witches cat. Some believe black cats are witches in disguise. Others believe black cats are witches familiars (beings that aid witches in performing their craft).. For the ability to see through difficult situations, and to deal with someone who is very cunning I would use cat's whiskers or cats nail castings ( they do not need to be fresh and of course only use them when the cat has discarded them, in my household this means not hovering the carpets until I have checked to see if any of my cats have left little 'whiskery gifts' for me on the floor!) Also for protection and stability, old iron nails or iron filings. Hair or nail clippings from the person to be protected (must be freshly cut) note here! Please be careful who you give hair or nail clippings to, as they can also be used for power over another. JACQUELYN TIERNEY PET PARTS IN RITUAL WORK April 9, 2014 Every so often I will come across a lone whisker nestled between it's tumbleweed companion of dusty cat fir and the floor. "I've been waiting for you," it says to me. Some of the whiskers are white. Some of them are black with a hint of brown. Some gradually change from brown to white. A few of these whiskers are short; others are long. The longer ones tend to be spindly, curling up and then over at the ends while the other half of the whisker lot is short but mighty, their magical heartbeats strong despite departure from Mother Cat. I will usually know which of my two felines has been shedding their vibratory sensors, (*important* because whiskers contain the spirit of the animal and each cat has their own magical gift to share) but sometimes their past eludes me and I must speak to the vibrissae itself. Me: Whisker, how would you like to work your magic? Would you prefer to be placed in the sacred bowl for safe keeping or would you like to go up on the working altar? Whisker: I am need of some rest after my long journey with Mother Cat. I will take respite in the bowl. As is usually the case. Though, there have been a few whiskers in my experience who are eager to participate in magical workings right away. All whiskers I have found have been quite vocal, and I presume yours will let you know how to handle them when you two shall meet. I should also add that the whisker will retain some of it's previous host's personality, and this is why I choose the whiskers of my cat who is an older and gentler soul for psychic work and the whisker's of my younger, sassier cat for work having to do with the material. However some whiskers, despite kitty of origin, will simply wish to be placed on the everyday altar to channel positive cat spirit energy into the office and home. And, it's not just whiskers that can increase the effectiveness of a magical working, you know. Bones, nail clippings and hair also have a history of magical uses too. In the text, Animal and Plant Lore Collected from the Oral Tradition of English Speaking Folk, (Memoirs of American Folklore Society, 1899) Fanny Dickerson Bergen (ed.) notes, "to cure chin-cough, nine hairs from the tail of a black cat are to be chopped up, soaked in water and swallowed. (Ireland.)" (pg.149) Yum. The use of Black Cat Bones in African-American Hoodoo tradition, aid in invisibility, doing work that needs to go undetected and bringing back a lost lover. Black cat hair can also be used in mojo bags for luck in gambling in addition to the aforementioned Whooping Cough cure. (*If you are a subscriber of mine and in need of black cat hair for under-the-radar type work reach out to me and I will do my best to humanely and lovingly procure some for you from my current feline resident who lives her life out of sight under the bed.) Our intrigue for these sweet, cunning, mysterious and (oh so darling manipulative) creatures goes back at least 12,000 years, proven in the paintings and hundreds of thousands of mummified cats at Beni-Hassan, those at Bastet's tomb (Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of pleasure, protection from fire, perfume and the nurturing mother (fertility) who's original head of a lion was eventually replaced with that of the domesticated cat.) Bastet could be vengeful, protective and docile just like her animal counterpart. These are also traits that we can focus on when deciding how to use whiskers, fur and/or shed nails from our cats into our magical workings today. possible uses of feline whiskers, fur and nails in conjure, ritual and magical workings: 1. Altar and Prayer work for Psychic Opening and Environmental Awareness - Cats are highly sensitive to the energy of people and spirits in their environment and can detect vibrations in the air through their whiskers. Place whiskers on your person or altar during Spirit Walks or meditations to aid in psychic opening and awareness. 2. Opening the lines of communication with shelter animals, strays and pets - Use whiskers as channels to transfer energy from yourself to an animal in meditation. Further enhance communication by combining the whisker with graveyard dirt from the burial place of a beloved pet who has passed or that of an animal who had strong communication skills with others during their lifetime in your magical workings. 3. Enhanced Protection for the animal, self and the home or place of business (I love resident kitties in a place of business, don't you?!) - Jen Rue of Rue and Hyssop adds both whiskers and hair that has been shed from her cat to a witch bottle, "to extend the protection of that bottle to not just me and my home, but to the cats too." Cats are hyper-aware of all energies entering or approaching your space including friends, spirits and other creatures. Often, when I stay in hotels with my female cat, she will perk her ears up and growl at every passerby in the hallway outside our hotel room door as a way of asserting her authority over the territory of our room and protecting her human companion. 4. Assist in Navigation and Extra Protection during Travel or Exploration of a new landscape - A cat's whiskers allow them to determine the width of small spaces, stay balanced and navigate around obstacles (especially those cats who lose their eyesight.) Therefore, whiskers can help you overcome obstacles, navigate, and feel out the energy of a space or environment. 5. Add whiskers, nail clippings or hair to a "healing bottle" with herbs and crystals should your cat come down with something or be in a period of transition to the other side. If your feline has already transitioned, memorialize him or her by placing various pet parts in a talisman to be worn on your body or a memorial bottle to be placed on your altar. 6. In need someone or something to stick around or stay stuck on you? Incorporate a cat claw into your ritual or mojo bag. Speaking from personal experience, I am very familiar with the ability of a claw to deeply and securely anchor itself. Try pulling a 22lb cat who detests the car out from under the farthest corner of a four post bed flush with the back wall and sandwiched between two heavy nightstands. Good thing I practice yoga. 7. Extricate yourself from a current situation or Create more Space for yourself - Include the whisker or hair of an independent cat into your magical working. Lastly, 8. For Commanding Loyalty and Dominating a Relationship - Roll the hair of your cat or dog in Follow Me Boy oil to make someone follow you like a dog.]
 

Daily Forecast for July 24th, 2014

Crescent Moon
(waning /20% of illumination)
This is a time to rest, reevaluate and reflect, pulling back into yourself to reconnect with inner sources of strength. Now is not a time to initiate anything new. It’s a phase suited to spending time with friends and getting in touch with the “big picture.” A window of opportunity exists for seeing your life objectively and becoming aware of what is important to you. At this point, what are your dreams and aspirations? What larger goals can you aspire to that will bring vitality and excitement into your life? This is a time for resting and gaining inner strength to prepare for a new cycle.

Thursday 24th July 2014
Moon enters Cancer - begins 12th House Karma
Moon 7° Cancer trines Neptune [in retrograde] 7° Pisces
Moon 8° Cancer conjunct Venus 8° Cancer

 Moon enters Cancer - 12th House Karma
Happiness created by Twists of Fate and Changes-of-mind
Moon enters Cancer 4am GMT - 5am Europe - 8:30am India - 3pm Sydney Australia - [Wednesday 11pm USA EST] - begins the 12th House of Karma - as explained many times before - when the Moon arrives in the house that it was when it became the New Moon - it's 12th house and that's when the Moon checks to see if you have done - what you were destined to have done during the past lunar month.
 
NewMoon 27th June 2014 and oscillations of Moods in June/July '14 forced specific karmic change - in fact some of you won't realize what's unfolded - but in the past month you have changed - and you should feel quite happy with yourself - because you see you were PUSHED and FORCED to make a change - and you managed quite well.
The Karmic FullMoon in Capricorn on 12thJuly 2014 defined "you" - and you're in the middle of a process of seeing what the new "you" is - as you slowly emerge. In fact as Moon enters it's natural "home" star sign of Cancer - you will be feeling quite accomplished and quietly confident that karmically you feel successful - because you sense the new "you" is a better version than the old "you".
Although many people FEAR the word karma - because it defines pain - Karmic 12th House is the time of rewards because of GOOD KARMA - especially for all the good things you've done - inexplicably the Moon in 12th House of Cancer will create sudden and unexpected GOOD SURPRISES defined by GOOD karma.
 
Karma explains the inexplicable - not necessarily in WORDS and CLEAR thoughts - but you KNOW that something is definitively karmic, strange, unusual and extra-ordinary - by all the events that are happening in your life and in the world. Last week's tragic Malaysian Plane MH17 is sending each of us a message - just like the tragic missing Malaysian MH370 in March 2014 - something strange is happening in the world - what "it" is and why "it" is so - will soon become clear to all of us - as destined events will be making everyone - change your minds about what is truly important in life.
The most fascinating aspect of Moon in Cancer - will be double conjunctions with Moon conjunct Venus and Moon conjunct Mercury in the 12th house of GOOD karma - you're going to be pleasantly surprised by what happens on Thursday and Friday. Inexplicable coincidences when one thing leads to another - and you get pulled towards your future - that's when you realize the planets-up-there are sorting everyone's lives out.
 
Moon in Cancer will define emotional wholesomeness - you will "know" what is RIGHT and WRONG for you - defined by the clear and precise way you'll be feelings - it will ensure you connect and have feelings for people who are good for you and right for you.
Moon 7° Cancer trines Neptune [in retrograde] 7° Pisces - surprisingly it will remind you of something / someone from the "past" - who is GOOD for you - and whom you have good memories about. More than likely as this aspect is spiritual and karmic - it's probably of someone who has DIED - whom you have a strong positive memory of - when you think of them.
Moon 8° Cancer conjunct Venus 8° Cancer - it's a conjunction in 12th house - this means something very specific and very precise - something strongly karmic will happen in your life. Might even be someone you've tried avoiding - but today - by coincidence you'll see and meet them.

Aries Horoscope

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)
Words roll off your tongue so easily today that you could create trouble before you know it. In fact, you might have so much to say that it sounds like your feelings have been brewing beneath the surface for too long. But even if you haven’t been holding back, you’re ready to throw caution to the wind now. Staying aware of the ramifications of your message saves you from complicating the situation further. Don’t dwell on the past; instead, let your forgiveness work its magic so you can move ahead with a clean slate.

Taurus Horoscope

(Apr 20 – May 20)
You aren’t happy if someone opposes your plan, yet it’s challenging to compromise if your stubbornness gets in the way. You may believe you’re acting graciously now, but you might irritate others with your attempts to gloss over difficulties. Thankfully, you have a chance to do something special that can have a positive impact on those closest to you. Decide what is more important — accomplishing your goals or nurturing your loved ones. Taking the road less traveled requires courage and sacrifice, but the rewards are worth it.

Gemini Horoscope

(May 21 – Jun 20)
Your agile mind may already be planning multiple escape routes. However, you might not seek out direct confrontation when push comes to shove, unless you do it in the spirit of playful banter. However, unspoken emotional issues can overwhelm your desire to be lighthearted. It doesn’t matter now how well-meaning your intentions are until you find a way to exercise your limited powers of self-restraint. Thankfully, your positive attitude is contagious if you listen as much as you talk. A constructive dialogue clears the air and gives everyone a chance to speak their piece.

Cancer Horoscope

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)
Exercising caution is wise because the hypersensitive Cancer Moon might stir up plenty of emotional turmoil today. Thankfully, your self-confidence can quiet your insecurities, even if you end up revealing more than you initially intended. Thinking twice before spilling the beans prevents a sticky situation. However, if you say nothing at all, your hurt could easily turn to resentment. Don’t give up while searching for that elusive middle path between transparency and secrecy; your relationships will benefit from your persistence.

Leo Horoscope

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)
Your imagination may be too active for your own good today; you could annoy your coworkers by cutting them off before they complete their thoughts. They might think you are hungry for attention and can’t stand to share the spotlight. However, from your perspective, it’s just a matter of expediency. A Sun-Jupiter conjunction in your sign fills you with bravado, prompting you to push harder to accomplish your objectives. Paradoxically, giving others an opportunity to shine ultimately improves your chances of reaching your destination.

Virgo Horoscope

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)
Your goals may be so altruistic now that you begin to wonder if you are fooling yourself. It’s one thing to strive to positively impact the world, but quite another if you grow resentful because your personal life is neglected. Don’t wait until your good intentions turn sour; balance your spiritual pursuits with your practical needs. When service to others is tempered by common sense, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

Libra Horoscope

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)
Although your friends might seem pleasant enough today, something is still bothering you about their actions. Unfortunately, the more you think about their behavior the crankier you become; nevertheless, you won’t likely get what you want by blowing your top. Instead, work off your pent-up tension by buzzing around like a bee in a garden. Thankfully, putting integrity back into your relationships only requires a decision on your part to change your attitude. You don’t have to be a victim of your worries. Take the high road and choose love over fear.

Scorpio Horoscope

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)
Your career is on the launch pad now that the Sun is hooking up with Jupiter in your 10th House of Public Life. Nevertheless, you might still have some reservations about taking the next step on your ladder to success. Fortunately, you can play both ends of the spectrum today. Honor your intuition, even if it’s telling you to wait before making your move. However, in the meantime, clearly state your intentions to the universe without holding back. Time is on your side

Sagittarius Horoscope

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)
Grandiose visions about an upcoming adventure can capture your imagination today. Your mind is moving fast — so fast that you may not even finish one thought before you’re on to the next one. Others might criticize you for your sloppy thinking, but it’s your loss if you respond in anger. Instead of posturing to defend your ideas, use the feedback you receive to help sharpen your plans. Rolling with the incoming waves is almost always a smarter strategy than fighting against them.

Capricorn Horoscope

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)
You might bring important information out into the open, but the positive effects of what you say can be lost if you don’t know when to stop. You could be angry at someone today, yet you don’t want to hurt his or her feelings just for the sake of revenge. Be as fair as you can while speaking directly from your heart — and not your head. Equanimity increases your chances for finding a peaceful resolution.

Aquarius Horoscope

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)
This is a rather strange time for you as a tug-of-war develops between your inner needs and your outer expressions. Others may encourage you to take a risk because they truly believe in you. But don’t do anything rash because expressing your unrestrained emotions can create more problems now than they solve. Instead of reacting impulsively now, place additional room between an external stimulus and your response. A quick dash to the finish line sounds wonderful, but you’re more likely to be a winner if you set a sustainable pace.

Pisces Horoscope

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)
An unexpected change of plans may turn your world upside down today. If you are unsure of what to do next, acknowledge your culpability in the present circumstances instead of denying it. Remember, theoretically, nothing happens to you; reality unfolds with your assistance. Even if you feel temporarily overwhelmed, don’t move too fast. Keep the faith; you have the ability to overcome nearly any odds now with lucky Jupiter on your side.

~Elder Airwolf~

Dragon Magick


 

In all forms of magick, the universe and everything in it are said to
be made up of four elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth. The
element of Spirit rules the centre as a balance. In dragon magick,
specific dragons rule these elements and help to create through
their powers.

These four elements correspond to the four directions, the four
quarters of the universe, the four winds, and the four quarters of
the magickal circle.

Each element has assigned traditional rulers and boundaries to
their kingdoms. They possess form and force, and can influence
our personalities as well as magickal procedures. Each element
and its dragons has certain qualities, natures, moods, and
magickal purposes; each has positive and negative traits. Because
the magician calls upon each element and its ruler, it is very
important to understand them, what they are and what they do.


A Dragon is a fabulous animal represented as a
large-winged, scaly serpent with a crested head and huge claws.

In reality, where did the conception of this great beast come from? Perhaps it's
origin is our imagination and dreams. When did it come alive? Perhaps life
happened when mankind's first nightmare breathed life into it. Some people say this
magnificent creature is unreal and, of course, you have those who say it lives. I
believe the latter . . . do you? 

In actuality, the creature is of a tremendous size and immense intelligence. As with
all living things, there are different ages, sizes, types, and shapes. It is said that
dragons of evil nature are such colours as white, black, green, blue, or red, whereas
the good and kind dragons are said to be metallic colours such as brass, bronze,
silver, gold, or platinum. To be truthful, the colour of the creature's scales have
nothing to do with its nature, but rather its breath weapon, strength and intelligence.
In truth, dragons are neither good nor evil, but what their environment makes them .
. . just as it is with mankind. Dragons have been christened with such elite titles as
Guardian of Law, Champion of Justice, Defender of Mercy, Protector of Purity, and
Patron of Virtue. Throughout history, they've befriended the helpless and weak,
ridding the world of those who are merciless and unjust. Although not destructive
by nature, all dragons have been known on occasion in their zeal for valour, even if
by accident, to obliterate their enemies while carrying out one of their elite titles. 
The question is, will we ever see one? Sadly, the answer of present day is no
because our reality is too hard, cold and industrious. Our world lacks the
imagination and creativity the great dragons from ancient realms need to survive for
extended periods of time. However, if we close our eyes and dream, we can travel
to the medieval age of the mighty knights and the magnificent world of Camelot
where perhaps then, the answer will be yes. As it is, the majestic dragons, although
silent and patient, still dwell within the caves of our dreams, waiting to be called
forth to carry out their exalted titles. 

O Lord, who made the dragon, and the dragon's open sky, And gave to me a
dragon's soul; a dragon's urge to fly-- Let me dance within your cloudscapes far
beyond Earth's chain, Let me rejoice in my grandeur, let me not grow vain! Let me
vindicate my honour with my fang and claw, Let my raging heart show mercy, let that
show no flaw! Let me have the joy of all the shining gold I've stored, Let no
pauper-dragon go forth starving from my hoard. And, Lord, should the need arise
and I be called to fight, Dragon-Maker, make me victor, and, God--help that knight! 

Dragons and Dreams go hand in hand Share your Dreams with a Dragon if you can
Dragons will add Magic and other Wonderful Delights Dragons will believe in your
Dreams with all their might So share your Dreams with a Dragon start with one or
two and all of your Dreams are bound to come true 

My friends, All of us love Dragons. Not only because they represent something
which we believe is missing in ourselves, such as nobility or honour, but because
they are part of the "old world". Where anything was possible. Some people say
that Dragons never lived or have died out of this world. I say they haven't. We just
need to rethink ourselves and get back our innocence to see them again. Not our
"purity" as man thinks of it but innocence. How long has it been since you took time
out of your very busy life and just sat? Watched the sun come up or go down,
watched the stars shine in the velvet darkness, or even just watched the birds?
When you can do those things and recapture your joy in simple things than maybe
just maybe we will see the dragons again. They are there... living just out of sight
with all of the other beauties of ages past like the Faeries, Gnomes, Sprites,
Sylpths, Unicorns and Griffons. Please try sometime. I think that they are just
waiting for us to believe again. I know we live in a world that is hard to exist in.
One of poverty, disease and war.. but beauty is only a belief away. We can make
the changes that our world needs...if we only try.

Nephthys The Egyptian Goddess

Areas of Influence: Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess symbolized the transitional nature of death. In one Egyptian myth she helped Isis collect the scattered limbs of Osiris to reconstitute his body.

In her funery role she was considered a fearsome but necessary companion to assisting the dead through the different levels of the afterlife.

She was also the Goddess of mourning, comforting the relatives of the deceased. These wailing mourners were described as the "hawks of Nephthys".

This Goddess was the guardian of Hapi who protected the Canopic jar which contained the lungs.

She protected the Pharaoh in life as well as in death, incinerating his enemies with her fiery breath. This Deity also gave the Pharaoh the power to see that " which is hidden by moonlight," linking this Goddess to the powers of darkness and magic and making her a popular Deity with witches and magicians.

Her importance has been overshadowed by her sister Isis. In reality whilst Isis governed the energy of birth, growth, development and the visible she represented death, decay, stagnation and the invisible. In many ways she can be viewed as being the opposite force or the other side of the coin to Isis. However, because many fear death and magic in the modern world, rather than recognizing these forces as part of the cycle of life, her role has been sidelined.

Even this analogy does not truly represent the importance of this Goddess, recent evidence suggests that although there are no surviving temples dedicated to this Goddess she was worshipped widely. This Goddess also performed an important role at births where she stood at the head of the bed to comfort and assist the mothers whilst her sister Isis, acted as midwife.

This Goddess was worshipped by nursing mothers as she was considered to be the nursing mother of Horus and the Pharaoh himself.

This Goddess was also known as Nebethet and Nebkhat. 

Origins and Genealogy: Seb and Nut were her parents of. Her siblings included Isis, Osiris and Set.

Married to Set the Egyptian God associated with the barren desert and sterility meant she was often thought to be a childless Goddess. Later myths however, suggest that after a union with Osiris she gave birth to Anubis.

Strengths: she is a protective Goddess and represents the cycle of death and rebirth. 

Weaknesses: The duality of her nature means she is often neglected and misunderstood.

 

Nephthys's Symbolism

In her funery role Nephthys was often symbolized by a hawk, falcon or a woman with wings outstretched in protection.

She is also shown with her Hieroglyphs (a basket and a house) balanced on her head. 

 

Sacred Birds: Falcons and Hawks.

Additionally this Goddess is the protector of the Pheonix whose rise from the ashes symbolises rebith. 

 

Nephthys 's Archetypes

The Witch:

Uses knowledge of the universal laws of nature, the conscious mind and esoteric powers to manifest their desires.

The shadow Witch uses their gifts to increase their own power.

Nephthys was associated with the unseen world and magic. 

 

Please follow this link to the Archetypes page to discover which other Goddess Archetypes resonate with you.

 

How to work with This Archetype

The Witch:

The Witch maybe one of your Archetypes can if you have the gift of understanding how to transform situations, influence people, and make your visions and dreams a reality.

The Shadow Witch reminds you not to use these abilities to gain power over others as this is not magic but sorcery.

Monthly News

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~Elder Airwolf~

 

Uelanuhi - Cherokee Goddess of the Sun

Uelanuhi - Cherokee Goddess of the Sun, her name meant "apportioner", as she was responsible for dividing time into units. Her warmth was captured for man by Grandmother Spiderwoman's web.

Unelanuhi: Cherokee Goddess of the Sun
My mother and I were discussing the topic of the perceived genders of the Great Luminaries last night. According to her, she has always seen the sun as feminine and the moon as masculine. “After all, he is the man in the moon, isn’t he?” she asked. However, this viewpoint is unusual in much of Western cosmology, despite the existence of Sun Goddesses from European traditions such as the Norse who saw the sun as the Goddess Sunna, from whose name we derive our word for the sun in English.

In the patriarchal classical world, solar energy was masculine while lunar energy is feminine. Due to Western culture’s inheritance from these patriarchal traditions, as a whole we have much the same mindset regarding the masculinity/femininity of the cosmic bodies. However, in many cultures worldwide, the roles were reversed. Sun Goddesses reign over the daylight hours, while moon gods watch over the night. The Cherokee Sun Goddess Unelanuhi is a wonderful example of this viewpoint. As I am one-sixteenth Cherokee, the legends of Unelanuhi especially interest me.

According to Cherokee legend, in the beginning Unelanuhi lived on the other side of the world. The animals of the world, tired of perpetual darkness, decided to come together to bring light to the world. The opossum tried to bring the sun to this side of the world, but burned off his tail. The vulture tried next, but ended up burning off the feathers on his claws. Finally, Grandmother Spider spun a web on which She traveled across the sky. She found Unelanuhi, roped Her into Her basket, and brought Her shining light to our world. However, the sun was too low in the sky, and the new heavenly light became a curse as people died left and right from the extreme heat. The animals came together and raised the sun up to Her present height in the sky.

Another legend tells of her romance with a young man whom She met with once a month in the dark of night, but who refused to tell Her his name. In the dark, she dipped her hands in ashes and rubbed his face. When daylight came, her brother, the moon god, met her at breakfast with ash on his face. This is how the moon came to have its characteristic marks. Ashamed, he ran away as far in the sky as possible, but could not resist visiting his sister once a month in the new moon’s darkness.

The last legend I shall tell has many parallels to the Filianic faith, in which Unelanuhi is an aspect of Sai Raya. Unelanuhi had a Daughter who lived in the middle of the sky. Every day at noontime, Unelanuhi would join her daughter for dinner. Unelanuhi grew to resent the people who lived upon the Earth below, as every time they looked up at her they squinted their eyes and wrinkled their faces. She decided to kill the people with Her intense heat. The spirit people told their human kin that in order to survive they must kill the Sun. They transformed two people into a copperhead and a spreading adder, who traveled to the heavens to await Unelanuhi by Her Daughter’s house. When the spreading adder was about the spring and attack, the bright light blinded him and he could only spit out yellow slime, as he continues to do to this day. The people went to the spirit people a second time, and this time they transformed two people into a rattlesnake and an Uktena (a fearsome horned serpent in Native American mythology). However, the rattlesnake was very quick and eager, and coiled up just outside the house. When the Daughter opened the door to look out for Her Mother, the rattlesnake ended up biting Her instead of the Sun, killing Her instantly.

When Unelanuhi found Her daughter dead at the doorstep, She went inside the house and refused to come out because of Her immense grief. The people did not die from heat anymore, but the world was plunged into darkness yet again. The spirit people told the humans that if they wanted the Sun to come out again, they must travel to Tsusginai, the ghost country, and retrieve Her Daughter from the dead. In the ghost country, they would find the ghosts dancing in a circle, and when they saw Her they must strike Her with rods and place Her inside a box to carry back home to Her Mother. Under no circumstances should they open the box before they reach the Daughter’s home. They did this as they were told, and when the Daughter awoke inside the box on their way back to Her home, She began to cry and plead with them to let Her out. She complained of hunger and thirst but the people would not let Her go. Finally She told the people that She was suffocating inside the box, and out of fear that She would die, the people lifted the lid to give Her a little air. She escaped from the box in the form of a red bird (some say a cardinal). When the Mother found out that Her daughter would never come back to Her, she wept so much that a flood washed over the entire Earth. Young men and women danced before the Sun and sang their best songs, but She could not be consoled. Finally, a drummer changed the song, and Unelanuhi lifted Her face, so pleased at the sight that She forgot Her grief and smiled.

Unelanuhi

Unelanuhi’s story shares characteristics with that of another Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. Like Amaterasu, She hid away from the people and refused to come out. The story of Her tears of grief reflect another important myth reflected in cultures around the world, the Great Flood.

In the Filianic tradition, Unelanuhi represents Sai Raya, the solar aspect that is most close to Dea the Mother. Sai Raya is also my birth Janyati, which makes Her especially special to me. The Sun is the heart of our solar system, and on a microcosmic level, is the literal heart in our bodies and the hearth in ours homes. All things upon the Earth depend on the Sun’s warmth and light to grow, a very feminine outlook on the nature of solar energy. The Sun also helps us mark the passage of time. In Cherokee legend, Unelanuhi has a Daughter, which parallels to the Filianic tradition of the Daughter being a lunar reflection of the Mother, one that the people of Earth do not have to “squint their eyes at,” but rather can see more clearly.

In the Beginning was Hel


By Gittan Wigren

 

In the beginning was Hel, She was the primal Mother Goddess of life and death up in the North of Norway when the Ice covered Scandinavia, British Island and part of North Europe.  Because of the warmth in the Gulfstream - (Waves of Eli) it was a place of abundance of animals. In Lofoten 1994 they found a skeleton from an Icebear and another bear who was 55,000 and 22,000 years old! (kol.14 method)  Inside this area, with the big Ice around lived the Fosna people in 15,000 years. They lived in caves with the holy Fire - Eld in Swedish, under the Mother Goddess Hel’s protection in the cliffs and hills, the massive strong hills became a symbol for physical and spiritual survival, inside the womb of Hel. The old northern word for cliff was Hellir.  Everything this people created and their culture under this long “prisoning” because of the Ice, they carried with them under the wandering to south when the Ice melted. SHE whose step we can follow in mountains, hills, lakes , villages and in the language of the people of the North! In Swedish Hel means hole, holy, den Höljda - covered. She is the whole circle, the word wheel in Finland is hel! The Swedish words helig-holy, hälsa-health. Healing!

 

Helande-helhole and spirit-healing. Hälla-hill, Hall-hall, HELsingborg-Helsinki-Holland- Helsingland. There is 4000 thousand places in Norway, 3000 in Sweden, many in Finland and Holland. In the old Sweden they called the bird and for Helsingi, it have a ring around the neck - it is blessed by Hel because the bird carries the symbol of  Hel-the Ring!

 

“Ing ”in old Swedish means “belongs to”! The name of the area I live in is Helsingland – Land belongs to Hel! We can follow the wandering of the people and the marks She left.

 

In the language as the different clans created is the original words bounded to Hel as al, el and so on.  An example is the old word Altar, who is the same in all of the now talking language of the people from the north. And the word Hel and h-l-l seems to be a skeleton in the language.

 

The vocals glides and the letter h fall away, and al, el, ol, il is the beginning of many words. ELectricity, and ELd=fire. The word for society is samhälle-same hill!


We can find Her name in the Greek Sun Goddess HELios, means Hels Light. The Greek name Helice is a Swedish name of the first tree who grows up in the north after the ice age. It was Hels holy tree which grew around Her cultplace Vi.  Hels Vi was the holy place which later became Hell! The Swedish name for Hell is Helvite! Vite means punishment.

 

The Jewish people call the Sun El and the Gods Elohim. The main stone in Stonehenge is called the Helestone! In the ancient Peru starfall was called Hali, the Basker people called the moon - Hill, and the Arabian people Hillal. The Hebrew people called the morningstar Helel! And so on and on…

 

I think its very interesting to see Her ”tracks” in the language, to follow her back in time.

 

Well, the outspread of the people took many thousands years. Different people from many other cultures and religions met, and the language mixed. The patriarchal people with Thor and Gaut arrived, we know them historical as Goter.

 

Circa 200 years AC arrived to north Europa a religion from the south, the so-called Asacult (Asia?) with the male Gods, Oden and Tor. They came with the worship of the sword and male power. Hel as the old Mother Goddess of Life and Death became only a Death Goddess, who they feared. When the Christianity came around 1100, it took over the power from the Asa cult and did everything they could to destroy the ”Old Religion”. Specially the beliefs in the ancient Mother Goddess Hel. She became the great ”hor” and the rest of the matriarchs, (we called them ”jordemödrar”- earthmothers) who know Mother Earth and her laws became demonized and punished to the burning Hell. And the rest of the honoring in life we knew as holy, ceremonies, rituals and sabbats expelled into the shadows.

 

This shadows still lives in our unconsiousness after this epoch. The split between the earth and the heaven, body and soul, female and male, the right and left brain is still affecting us. Hel gets split from the wholeness, holographic perspective down to molecular level and we lost the view. We have looked after our savior outside ourselves in a distant heaven beyond and forgot the Mother we live on.

 

But in the mists and behind the shadows and illusions we can still see, feel and know Her presence. The Old People of the Earth still carries the Wheels and Keys to Her Worlds and Kingdoms. We can still see her marks and holy places on the surface on her ground.

 

The witness of ancient cultures, technologies mythologies, paintings and symbols scars our mind and souls … She has survived deep down and deep in the darkness of our souls and wombs. She lives in our body memory! She is returning, rising up to the surface. She is shaking us.

 

The facts of His’tory changes all the time, but Her’story  remains in our cells.

 

The strongest place I have been in when Her prescence is felt strongest is in circles with women. The moments of total presense. In all the ceremonies, rituals of Her. And of course in Her nature.

 

My own reflections is that I can see the collective story of Her  in my own psyche and lifestory. It is a reflection of the changes the world going through. As a little girl sitting out in the nature I saw and felt the connection with everything around me. The wondering and her song in my hearth, the feeling of belonging and oneness.

 

I remember the feelings and sorrow when the people around (my father) me didn’t understand and repressed my life-force. They tamed my wild instinctual nature to fit in. I felt wrong. My teenage time as a very sexual being and the disgusting reaction and control from my father and men around me, they called me hor. I can see that my life’s theme is to heal the guilt and shame of being a strong sexual being, and a daughter of Goddess.

 

I think we need to go back in history to understand today’s problems both individually and collectively to bring back the balance and connection to our Mother.

 

What I have written here has been important for me to understand my life, my story, and the worlds condition.

 

The roots of the Goddess culture in which our modern Goddess spirituality is based is for me following:

 

Everything is born from the Feminine. The whole Universe is a great womb which births life, a never ending cycle of life, birth, death, transformation and rebirth. Life is a circle within a circle. We all came from the Mother and to Her we shall return. Life and life-forms are ever-changing. We as women are Her vehicle, carrier of life as She is. We have all the wisdom and knowledge we need in our wombs. All life is connected in the Web of life. What we are doing against the Web of life, we do against our selves. There are no separation - its an illusion.

 

Our bodies is a mirror of Hers, we can embodiment Her and Her different faces.

 

We are here on earth to heal ourselves and Her. We came from the stars and to the Stars we shall return. To restore the balance on earth we must return to Her. The time of Her return is here. We need to honour the Sacred Feminine, both in women and men to get peace between male and female. Spirituality and sexuality is the same creative life-force we need to honour, and our female bodies are ecstatic! We can gain enlightenment through the body.

 

To feel and know the Goddess is to have an ‘inside the body experience’.

 

The roots in our Mother are based on the importance to ‘mirror’ ourselves in her Nature and cycles to understand ourselves. To know Her land. If we take something we shall give something back. Life is holy in all life-forms and in its beauty. We are a part of it, we need to surrender to Her, create a personal relation directly to Her - no hands between is needed.

 

When I surrender and let Her put me at the place in Her Web She want me in, I’m home.

 

From that place I rest and receive without struggle, and drink deeply from the Source - The Goddess! 

 

”I am Hel, the hill, the mountain, the ground.
   I am the building stones, I am the bones.
   I am the roots, I am the Tree with Holy names written on…
   I am the magma, I am the spark, I am the three, I am the dark.
  
   I am the mist, I am the disa, I am the fire, I am the ice
   I am Wakan, I am Valan, I am Sejd, I am Voluspan
   I am the branch, I am the bud, I am the egg, I am the mud…
   
   My name is an echo in villages and lakes, I am the dawn, I am the fawn
  I am the water, spring and wells, I am the Source from wich all life dwells

   I am the presence, past and future, I am the Web of life, I am the Norns
   I am rising from the underworld, cleansing from from false words
  
   Hel is my name-Goddess of the North!”

Menstruums

Menstruums :There are three basic menstruums, or solvents used to extract the chemical compounds of herbs in tinctures, alcohol, glycerin, and vinegar. Alcohol is the most used because it can extract fats, resins, waxes,most alkaloids, and some of the volatile oils, as well as many other plant compounds. Water is also necessary to extract the water soluble plant chemicals. Using an 80 to 100 proof alcohol such as vodka, brandy and gin provides the alcohol-water ratio you need without having to add anything. If pure grain alcohol ( 190 proof) is used, water will have to be added. Don't use city tap water that contains chlorine, use either distilled or pure spring water

Herbs: Either fresh or dried finely chopped herbs can be used. Use of one pint of menstruum to two ounces of dried herbs, or about two handfuls of fresh.

The important thing is to completely cover the herbs, leaving a couple of extra inches of liquid about the herbs to allow for swelling as the herbs absorb the liquid. Leave some headroom in the jar. If using vinegar, warm first before pouring it over the herbs.

Procedure for making an easy tincture:

Chop herbs finely
Place in a glass jar, labeled with the current date and name of the herb
Add sufficient liquid menstruum to completely cover the herb
Cap with a tight fitting lid, put the jar in a dark place at room temperature, and shake at least once daily.
After 2 to 3 weeks, strain the contents through several layers of cheesecloth.
Allow to settle overnight in a clean jar
Restrain through a filter paper
Store in a labeled, amber glass bottle away from light and heat.

The Chinese macerate herbs for months sometimes even years. For stronger tinctures a suggested time can be 4 to 6 weeks. The duration depends on the mixture and on your patience, in time you will develop your own style. I use a kitchen cupboard that I open on a regular basis, so I don't forget the shake the bottle. Tinctures will keep for 6 months. The standard dose is one tablespoon in a wineglass of water once or twice a day.

Liniments are made exactly the same as herbal tinctures, except they are meant for external use. Make sure and label your liniments "FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY" , when using a solvent that is inedible such as rubbing alcohol.

Using vinegar to tincture herbs. Alcohol has mostly displaced vinegar as a menstruum for making liquid herbal extracts, as it is far more efficient in extracting and preserving the medicinal properties of herbs. Vinegar is however passable solvent and useful in cases where you wish to avoid alcohol. When used in conjunction with alcohol, vinegar can sometimes assist in the extraction of alkaloid (base) substances from herbs. Such an extract containing both vinegar and alcohol is known as an acetous tincture.

Commercial Herbal Extracts It is important to understand the labels on commercial extracts. The information should always include the ratio of herb to solvent, the percent of alcohol content along with a complete list of ingredients, and instructions for storage and use. This is not a place you want to shop for bargins. Only buy proven brands you trust.

Strength is expressed in a ratio. Preserving the full range of medicinal properties often depends on using fresh plant material. Extracts made from fresh herbs generally use equal parts of plant matter to solvent, resulting in a ratio of 1:1. Dried herbs are more concentrated and the ratios range from 1:2 to 1:4.