The purification ceremony is conducted as a preparation for a ritual. In this ceremony, you need to clean the future Voodoo doll components, ingredients and tools before crafting the doll. This will remove or neutralize unwanted energies within the materials and objects. After performing a spell, you can recharge the doll for future use. This is a crucial and important step as a preparation for the ritual, without it your actions may become meaningless or even dangerous.
In order to create a Voodoo doll, many different materials are required, some of which are not taken directly from nature such as beads, buttons, fabric, thread, glue, paint etc. Think about the number of people who touched these materials from the manufacturing stage onwards. This is why it is important to purify and cleanse everything before starting a ritual.
This doesn’t apply to items received from your spiritual guide or from the church are not needed to be purified. You only need to add your energy to these items.
The purification ceremony can be performed in various ways:
This can be done by cleaning your dolls with water, with dissolved sea salt or raw stone salt.
Burn the incense while the Voodoo doll is placed on top of the smoke in order to absorb it.
The Voodoo dolls is buried in the ground in order for it to receive the energies of Mother Earth.
[Blyssful Freya's Day my Dark Witches~ Voodoo Purification Ceremony The purification ceremony is conducted as a preparation for a ritual. In this ceremony, you need to clean the future Voodoo doll components, ingredients and tools before crafting the doll. This will remove or neutralize unwanted energies within the materials and objects. After performing a spell, you can recharge the doll for future use. This is a crucial and important step as a preparation for the ritual, without it your actions may become meaningless or even dangerous. In order to create a Voodoo doll, many different materials are required, some of which are not taken directly from nature such as beads, buttons, fabric, thread, glue, paint etc. Think about the number of people who touched these materials from the manufacturing stage onwards. This is why it is important to purify and cleanse everything before starting a ritual. This doesn’t apply to items received from your spiritual guide or from the church are not needed to be purified. You only need to add your energy to these items. The purification ceremony can be performed in various ways: This can be done by cleaning your dolls with water, with dissolved sea salt or raw stone salt. Burn the incense while the Voodoo doll is placed on top of the smoke in order to absorb it. The Voodoo dolls is buried in the ground in order for it to receive the energies of Mother Earth.
Blessed Day my Legionnaires!
Wow once again another month ends and next rolls in as we look towards the Fall Equinox of the Mabon Sabbat. With that being said, our LOP Newsletter is about to launch for September 2014 on Monday the 1st. It is packed full of magickal information, events, spells, and rituals.
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I always have a magickal feature tied in with whatever Sabbat we are having or even what season it maybe. This time I chose Earth Magick. To me, Earth Magick and Lammas go hand in hand with each other. When you stop to think about it, our Mother Earth is indeed an amazing being. We have abused Her, soiled Her, stripped Her of all Her natural resources and yet, she still provides for us.
We start in early March planting our seeds for Harvest. We put those seeds in the ground. Mother Earth takes those seeds and protects them, She guards them and watch over them. After a few months, those seeds have turned into plants. Plants that Gaia has watched over and ensured our continuous survival. Without these plants our dear Earthly Mother has nurtured, grown and cared for, we would not exist. But even though, Gaia provides for us, gives us food and resources that are absolutely essential for our survival, we still abuse Her.
We are just now coming to the realization without our blessed Gaia, we could not exist. We would not exist. We are trying to rectify the damage that we have done to our Mother Earth but is it too late? There is an old saying around here, “you never know what you had till it is gone.” Let us hope and pray that it is not to late to save our beloved Mother Earth.
As Witches, I do not have to tell you our part that we play in this role. We all know it too well. It is one of our Laws, “to protect and preserve our Planet in and all ways possible. To aid and assistance mankind in anyway possible.” I did paraphrase the Law but we all know it by heart. The Goddess gave us our powers for many reasons. I believe strongly that one reason was for us to prevent the destruction of this beautiful world she has given us. It is time to stop the destruction of Mother Earth and try, if we can, to heal the wrongs that have been done to Her. I only hope and pray we are not too late.
Earth is our only home. It is that from which methodologically we sprang, and in its moist soil we bury our deceased. From its surface we pull verdant vegetables and healing plants. Animals graze atop it, and within it lie riches of gold and silver, precious stones and oil. Until recently, no living thing— save birds—left its surface for more than a few moments.
The ancient goddesses of the earth have survived to this day in the guise of Mother Nature, a deity being reclaimed by nature-conscious souls in the dawning of the twenty -first century. The earth was once worshiped for its own sake, and today it is newly revered as our home and our sustenance; without it we would perish.
Ecological movements have sprung up to fill the need of protecting our planet. Spaceship Earth, as it came to be called once we had succeeded in leaving its atmosphere and gazed at its bluish mass from space, is Gaia: our Mother, our home, our all. It always has been.
As such, it has entered into religious and magical thought and practice for thousands of years . Some of the spells and techniques presented in this chapter are as ageless as the thrust of a mountain. In these earthy spells lie the roots of all magic, for if all forms of magic are not of this element, they are certainly performed upon the earth.
Think of a freshly dug handful of earth. Smell the richness of the fertile soil. See the striking color, from whitest clay to volcanic red to blackest black. This is the fertilizing nature, the storehouse of vitamins and minerals essential to life. This is also an excellent arena in which (or with which) to practice magic. Here is some of that magic.
Healing with the earth works through the process of transference. The wound or disease is transferred magically to another substance, usually an organic one, which is then buried. As it rots, it releases the wound or disease.
To remove a disease or heal a wound, rub the afflicted part with an apple or potato . Then, as quickly as possible, dig a hole in the ground , put it in, and cover it over with earth. It is done.
One note here might be wise. Healing magic should always be used in addition to conventional medicine and never as a replacement. Doctors are the only people qualified to help your body heal itself.
By all means perform healing magic for yourself or friends, but not in place of qualified medical attention. The medicine of today was the magic of yesterday.
THE EARTH BED
If you are sick, find a spot where the earth is bare, uncovered by concrete, plants, and leaves— pure fresh soil.
Sit or lie down on the earth. Mentally see your wound or disease sinking into the earth. Feel the pain and anguish, the physical and emotional effects of the problem running down into the ground beneath you.
Sense the rhythm of the earth —feel the steady beat of nature pounding away. It should pulsate in tune with your heart, pounding until you feel your whole body undulating with energy.
Then feel it coming— cool, deep, soft energy rising from the ground up into you.
Rise, dust yourself off, and check to see if you feel different.
If you are bedridden or otherwise cannot do this, have a dish or pot of fresh soil in your sickroom. Earth gives off healing vibrations and its presence will aid your recovery.
A simple method would be to place a potted plant in your sickroom. Not only will the plant lend its own healing energies (ivy is great and will cause no strange looks) but the soil in which it is placed will aid you as well.
TO LOSE YOUR TROUBLES
Take a handful of earth and gaze into it; pour into it all your problems . Outline, in minute detail, all of those problems plaguing you.
When you are finished, throw the dirt behind you and walk away from it, not turning back.
AN EARTH CHARM
Tie up in a small green square of cloth some fresh, rich soil.
Firmly tie this so no earth can escape.
Carry this with you if you have troubles with stability, security, and self-control. If you are apt to let your emotions rule your life or if you are constantly angry or nervous, this amulet of earth will help.
Fill a small flat vessel at least seven inches in diameter with earth. Sit relaxed and gaze not only at, but into the soil. You will eventually begin to notice symbols staring up from the earth.
AN EARTH PROTECTION BOTTLE
Into a long, small bottle pour fresh, clean soil. Fill it to the top and cap it. Place this bottle near the entrance , preferably in a window, to guard against evil entering into your home.
In past ages earth was thought to confound evil spirits and demons, who had to count every grain of earth in the bottle before entering the dwelling.
Today, evil spirits are seen as negativity that floats around the earth in large quantities. This negativity can enter your home. This earth protection bottle can, therefore, be useful in blocking negativity from entering your house.
TO PROTECT CHILDREN
To protect them while you are away, throw a handful of earth or sand after them as they leave, without their knowledge. This will ensure their safety.
A LONG-TERM EARTH SPELL
This spell is ideal if you are a good gardener, and if you have a need that you don’t mind waiting several months before it manifests.
Take a seed from a plant that is symbolically related to your need. Over a pot of soil or a special plot of land, hold the seed in your power hand and visualize your need strongly.
Speak to the seed. Tell it why you need its help to make your need come to fruition.
Then plant the seed, giving it loving encouragement and water.
Tend to the seedling when it appears and be sure that the plant doesn't die due to your own neglect or carelessness . If this happens, your need won’t manifest. At least not until you do another spell.
If the plant grows up healthy and happy, expect your need to arrive. Once it has, take very good care of your magical plant, for it not only represents your need, but it also is now a growing, living thing, which you brought to life in order to fulfill your need.
You are responsible for the plant. Take care of it and it will sing to you alone all the secrets of earth magic.
A Hitchhiker's Guide to Faerie! • Always have your honey •Here is a rule list of things you should and should not do if you so happen to cross the threshold.. Some of these guidelines are based off lore and the rest are based off personal experience.…and seriously, bring honey.☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆
Politeness and respect goes a long way, and it could save your ass. It is really a universal skill to have.If a faery starts talking to you, be sure to be polite. It will not do you any harm. Woe if you're rude or pompous, you may find yourself in a heap of trouble. Do not purposely insult the Fae. Apologize and truly mean it, of course. Even then– they might not forgive you. (Humans are the same way…)Please do not assume that all Fae know one another, or like one another. Faery food is fine it is from someone your personally trust and what have you, then you do need not to be weary about what you are eating. Do offer the fae folk sweet, shiny, natural gifts. We like the shiny. Honey. Recognize your environmental/carbon footprint. Plenty of fae dedicate time and effort in helping protect the planet. You should too! According to lore, try not to walk into circles of mushrooms, in Faerie they are spellbound more times than not–– on Earth? Not very magical. Circles of dark green grass, too. If you choose to befriend a faery, don't carry cold iron on you. (However, iron that's been shaped into other things, such as steel and Wrought iron is not as lethal) and they will take it offensively. There are a couple of theories that I will explain as to why iron is so lethal towards fae.Faerie time is different from Earthly time. Try to not say thank you. The fae find it disrespectful as it dilutes their act of kindness or whatever they have done for you. Say, you are most kind or I appreciate your help/act of kindness/fellowship, etc. as a means of gratitude. Not over or under, but in-between, is where you'll find the blessed and unblessed unseen. Nothing in Faerie is black or white, but a rainbow of various gray shades.Keeping the rule of number 13 in mind, do not say I'm sorry. Say, my apologies, pardon me, or I express regret. When the fae speak they mean everything they say, the tongue holds power, so be careful what you say and listen closely to them, because they may be saying more than they let on. If you are so super awesome that you can get the fae to promise something they will stick to that promise even if it means them death. The phrases "a faery's promise" and You have my word is also said and just as strong. Either of these sayings mean business. Fae are masters of manipulation, they will twist your words and generally make you regret what you asked for. Do understand that manipulation is a survival skill~ and it honestly isn't narrowed down to just Fae culture. You can actually contract a fae, like a bond between you and them where both parties have to do something for one another. Be careful though, faeries are very good at finding loopholes. Ex: You say they can't cause you any injury and then they bite you, explaining the fact that they simply chose to take injury as meaning "verbal insult" instead of "bodily harm"... sly. The fae are able use glamour to confuse you or mislead you if that is their goal. If you are going for walks in wooded areas if you get an overwhelming feeling of not being welcome, then leave immediately. Because the Fae probably feel threatened by your arrival, and do not want you there. Or, it could be something else entirely not fae. Some areas are more prone to fae activity than others may they be urban or wild.
Thoth and The Book of Thoth - The Myths behind the Legend
True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is the same as that which is below, and that which is below is the same as that which is above, for the performance of miracles of the One Thing.
Thoth -The Emerald Tablets of Thoth
The Myth & Legend of Thoth and The Book of Thoth
Thoth is one of the most complex Egyptian deities. According to classical belief it was Thoth who brought the idea of creation into existence by uttering the thoughts of the creator; Ptah then put those spoken words into effect. The ancient Egyptians considered Thoth to be the mind behind cosmic order, the architect of the universe. Thoth was the principal deity of the city of Hermopolis (the City of Hermes) or Khemnu as the Egyptians called it. According to Egyptian legend, the temple of Hermopolis housed fragments of the cosmic egg that Thoth himself as the divine Ibis, had hatched on the Island of creation, from the egg the first sun had risen.
Thoth’s association with the creation myth also extends to the divine birth of the pharaohs themselves. Thoth was said to lead Amun the king of gods to the bedchamber of the waiting queen.
Thoth was not only associated with the creation of the physical world, as the originator of the written word in the form of hieroglyphs, he is also credited with the authorship of The Book of the Dead (The Book of am Tuat). The Book of the dead is a book of spells, prayers and rituals that would assist the dead on their journey to the afterlife. According to Egyptian understanding the deceased person would be judged by a panel of 42 assessors of the dead, which corresponded with the 42 administrative areas that Egypt was divided into. From this originates the legend of the 42 Books of Thoth.
Hieroglyphs, the language of the gods.
Thoth’s most recognisable association is that of the god of writing, as such he is often depicted as a man with the head of an Ibis, holding a writing stylus and an ankh. Ra was said to have appointed Thoth ‘scribe of the Ennead’ before he retreated from the Earth knowing that Thoth’s wisdom would allow him to serve as humanities teacher and guardian. It was Thoth who was appointed to keep the affairs of humanity in order. The written word was an essential tool for organising and administering the government of Egypt bringing order and structure to a vast country. It has been estimated that contrary to popular belief, only around one percent of the Egyptian population was literate, most of these being priests, members of the ruling classes and scribes. Scribes, (sesh) were known as followers of Thoth and held a unique and respected position because of their skills and the connection with the words of the gods that those skills provided.
Hieroglyphs were known as ‘medu neter’, which translates as ‘words of the gods’. When temple priests carried out services in the temples and read from the temples texts they were thought to be reading and speaking the magical and divine words of the Gods themselves.
Whether in spoken or written form the words contained in these texts were considered so sacred and so powerful that as a precaution, certain hieroglyphs were actually inscribed in two separate halves to diminish their power, which was considered highly potent and capable of causing havoc if activated by mistake. Priests also conducted magical rituals to activate the divine power that their texts contained.
The influence of the mythology enshrined in the written word was such that over time developed into the legend of The Book of Thoth. According to both esoteric and occult legend, the book of Thoth was said to be the repository for the greater Egyptian mysteries. This was said to be a book of magic that was so powerful that one single spell that it contained it would give the person that spoke it access to all knowledge beyond book learned knowledge and to wisdom of Thoth himself. Legend has it that the Book of Thoth was hidden in an ancient tomb in Sakkara, in Northern Egypt.
Thoth and the Tarot
Because many occultists believe the Tarot to be an esoteric remnant of the legendary Book of Thoth, the tarot as a system, regardless of the deck origin, is often given the generic name of The Book of Thoth. Drawing on the origins of the Egyptian mystery school tradition, occultist Aleister Crowley took this association one step further by naming his tarot deck the THOTH deck. According to some the tarot was intended as a tool that would guide the initiate on a journey of enlightenment and discovery that would lead to both inner and outer knowledge and wisdom which parallels the Egyptian understanding of the significance of hieroglyphs themselves. Another thing that makes Crowley's Thoth deck stand out from other decks is the fact that the deck actually has three magus cards which represent the three forms of Thoth. The full title of this card is The Magus of Power. The path of the Magus card on the Tree of Life is the 12th which runs from Kether the 'Primum mobile' or first swirlings to Binah or 'understanding'. This again emphasises Thoths position as a conduit for the will of the creator to be conveyed to humanity. Crowleys three magus cards (see above) represent the three in one Thoth - Hermes - Mercury aspect of him as a deity.
The many facets of Thoth
Besides being the god who introduced writing to the world, Thoth has multiple other associations and is depicted in a variety of ways sometimes he is shown as an ibis other times, a baboon or as a dog headed ape wearing the combined lunar disc and crescent above his head.
Thoth's many roles include being the Egyptian God of the moon, calendars, chronology, the spoken word, writing, magick and knowledge and measurer of time (the latter being due to the fact that he rode with Ra in the solar boat). Thoth also goes by several aliases including Thot, Tehuti, and Djehuti. He is also known as Hermes Trismegistus or ‘Thrice Great’ the Trismegistus title seems to originate from the fact that the Egyptians knew him as Thoth, the Greeks called him Hermes and finally the Romans named him Mercury. The Thrice great association also links in to the fact that there are three pyramids on the Giza plateau and certain esoteric texts such as the Alchemy of the Soul refer to three temples of knowledge.
The Roman version of Thoth, Mercury, the god of thought was somewhat androgynous in nature. A symbol of magic and intelligence Mercury was associated with quick silver, the element mercury and the planet closest to the sun. Mercury is one of the three principals of alchemy.
The magickal association of Thoth extends into his title of Hermes Trismegistos, in fact the term Hermeticism (the magical, astrological and alchemical doctrines derived from Egyptian and Hebrew sources) originates from this association. As Hermes Trismegistos he was the legendary author of various treatises including the Emerald tablets and originator of the Hermetic axiom ‘As above so below’. Hermes Trismegistos was said to be the first alchemist.
Thoth and the Moon
Thoth's association with the moon originates from the myth that recounts how he enabled Nut to give birth to her five children (Isis, Osiris, Set, Horus the elder and Nephreys) by using his cunning to win a game of draughts with the moon. By winning a seventy second part of the moons light, he managed to create five extra days (the Epagomenal days), which allowed Nut to give birth to her five children without breaking Ra’s decree that her children could not be born on any existing calendar day. This myth more than any other is responsible for Thoth’s role as a lunar deity.
Further evidence of Thoth's role as a lunar deity can be seen through Thoth’s connection with the eye of Horus. In mythology the eyes of Horus were said to represent the sun and moon. The left eye, which was damaged in battle was said to explain why the moon was dimmer than the sun. The eye of Horus was also a powerful magical talisman and contained within it a complex system of measurement, which again links back to Thoth in his capacity of measurer of the earth
It was Thoth who restored the head of Isis another lunar deity and magician, when an enraged Horus had decapitated his mother. It was also Thoth who helped Isis when her beloved Osiris had been murdered by their jealous brother, Set, enabling her to resurrect her dismembered husband and impregnate herself, thus ensuring he had an heir. Osiris then became Lord of the underworld.
According to some versions of Egyptian mythology, after the final battle between Horus and Set over Osiris’s throne, it was Thoth who wrote to Osiris then Lord of the Underworld and asked him to intervene in the final judgment of the Ennead (the eight founding gods) and find in favour of Horus’ claim to the throne of Egypt.
The Mythology and many roles of Thoth
One of Thoth’s numerous roles was to record the outcome for the deceased person who had entered the Hall of Judgement. Anubis would check the weight of the dead persons heart on the scales against the weight of the feather of Maat to see if they balanced each other. And it was Thoth who declared the deceased to be ‘true of voice’ or vindicated if they did. As the god of magick, Thoth taught Isis the craft of magick to Isis enabling her to bring Osiris back to life and saving the life of Horus when a scorpion had stung him and he faced immanent death.
Thoth's female counterpart and according to mythology, his wife was Seshat, (although alternate myths state that Maat was Thoth's wife). Seshat, the female scribe, is depicted as wearing a panther skin dress and has a seven pointed star above her head. Like Thoth she was also associated with measurement – temple reliefs from the middle kingdom show her recording gains made from foreign battles. She is often referred to as ‘she who is foremost in the house of books’ and ‘lady of the builders’ which again suggests her role as consort to Thoth.
Emerald TabetsAs Thoth the Atlantean, Thoth was said to be an Atlantean priest that left Atlantis prior to its destruction and moved to Khem (Egypt) where he founded a new civilisation based on the higher knowledge of the Atlantean society. As a priest who had knowledge of the gift of immortality he was said to have created the three pyramids at Giza to instruct initiates in the art of transforming the physical and spiritual body using the Merkabah, which is symbolised by the star tetrahedron we see Thoth holding in his palm in the picture above. According to Flower of Life teachings the Pharoah Akenaten and his wife Nefertitti where instrumental in trying to steer Egypt to unlock the key to mankinds existance found in the Egyptian mystery school network that Thoth himself had founded.
When you look at the variety and depth of the mythology concerning Thoth, it comes as no surprise that he should be credited with authorship of The Book of Thoth and the Emerald Tablets of Thoth (an artists impression of which can be seen on the left). Whether these legends are based on fact of myth has become a disputed subject over the last decade or so. Certainly, Pythagoras, himself a mystery school initiate, is said to have written that Thoth had taken him by the hand, led him under the great pyramid and taught him about the sacred nature of geometry and the true nature of reality. Certainly there are many people who claim to have had direct communication with Thoth as a god form, which leads us to the starting possibility that Thoth is more of an interdimensional being than a myth.
Pachi Mama, Patchi-Mama or Pachamama is the Quechan or Inca word for “Mother Earth” or more accurately “our mother in space and time”. Most cultures have an Earth Mother concept and those of South America are no exception. But the word “Pachamama” goes beyond the name of a single Goddess, it encompasses a entire world view and way of life. It involves the belief that the Earth is a living being and the mother of all of Earth's life. In traditional societies, grown children were expected to take care of their parents and thus, it should be expected that we all care for Pachamama. Pachamama cares for her children as a mother cares for her young and does not turn away from them. If she fails to provide, it is because she is not well.
PAGANS LOOK TO THE SKY'S
Moon joins up with Mars and Saturn at nightfall August 31
AUGUST 31, 2014
Saturn, that dinky object to the right of the moon, reappears after disappearing behind the moon on May 22, 2007. Image credit: Andy
You won’t want to miss the beautiful celestial attraction on the evening of August 31, as the rather wide waxing crescent moon, and the planets Mars and Saturn all bunch up together in the southwest sky as darkness falls. Take a stroll with a loved one, or family and friends, to see all these worlds lighting up starry heavens first thing at nightfall.
The moon and two planets - Saturn and Mars - bunch up together in the southwest sky after sunset. The moon will be closer to the star Antares tomorrow, after sunset on September 1.
The moon and two planets – Saturn and Mars – bunch up together in the southwest sky after sunset. The moon will be closer to the star Antares tomorrow, after sunset on September 1.
The lunar glare may somewhat obstruct the view of these planets tonight. So if you have binoculars, use them to get a better view Mars and Saturn. Mars exhibits a ruddy color whereas Saturn appears golden.
By the way, if you live in the right place in Africa, it’s possible that Saturn won’t be visible in your sky – at least for an hour or so. From certain spots in Africa, the moon will occult – cover over – Saturn, as the moon goes eastward through the Zodiac. At Yaounde, Cameroon, for instance, Saturn will disappear behind the dark side of the moon at 9:11 p.m. West Africa Time (WAT) and will reappear on the illuminated side of the moon at 10:15 p.m. WAT. Click here for more information on this lunar occultation of Saturn.
Although the threesome – the moon, Mars and Saturn – appear in nearly the same spot on the sky’s dome, they are not close together in space. This evening, on August 31, the moon is at or near its mean distance from Earth (384,400 kilometers or 238,855 miles). Another way of putting it, this lunar distance = 0.00257 of an astronomical unit (AU) – the Earth’s distance from the sun. In contrast, Mars lies at about 1.37 AU from Earth, and Saturn at 10.24 AU way.
At nightfall on August 31, look for the waxing crescent moon, Mars and Saturn to snuggle up together in the southwest sky.
What does this all mean?
If two celestial bodies attain the same declination at the time of a conjunction in right ascension (or the same ecliptical latitude at a conjunction in ecliptical longitude), the one that is closer to the Earth will pass in front of the other. In such a case, a syzygy takes place. If one object moves into the shadow of another, the event is an eclipse. For example, if the Moon passes into the shadow of Earth and disappears from view, this event is called a lunar eclipse. If the visible disk of the nearer object is considerably smaller than that of the farther object, the event is called a transit. When Mercury passes in front of the Sun, it is a transit of Mercury, and when Venus passes in front of the Sun, it is a transit of Venus. When the nearer object appears larger than the farther one, it will completely obscure its smaller companion; this is called an occultation. An example of an occultation is when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, causing the Sun to disappear either entirely or partially. This phenomenon is commonly known as a solar eclipse. Occultations in which the larger body is neither the Sun nor the Moon are very rare. More frequent, however, is an occultation of a planet by the Moon. Several such events are visible every year from various places on Earth.
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The most popular and ancient use of Bone throwing is by the african people and the technique is performed by healers called Sagomas, shamans or witch doctors. It consist of throwing bones in a circle and reading them in accordance to their position and meaning. The rules of how to cast bones and how to read them varies from person to person, and the thrown items doesn’t have to be bones either. The number of bones used is also very different for each individual. For the throwing area, a circle is normally chosen but there are many other diagrams that can be used or none at all.
This divination approach has a lot of potential and in the right hands, it can become a very powerful tool.
TRADITIONAL BONE READING
Traditional Bone Reading
“Above is a photo of a set of my bones I read during consultations. These are Traditional possum bones, I also have a set of coon bones that were fixed and given to me. The shell was given to me by MiMi who first taught me about the bones. It is used to move the bones around during the reading. I was taught not to touch them with my hands during a reading. The leather bag was made by my oldest son about thirteen years ago for my birthday to keep my bones in.” I decided to do this little write up because I am now offering bone readings on my website; they have always been offered to my in house clients. I have been reading bones in consultations with my clients for 20+ years. There is a lot of misconception about throwing the bones in Conjure on the internet. You cannot just kill an animal then use the bones for divination or collect some bones then use them. There are steps that have to be taken to get the bones ready. I was taught to read the bones by two different workers, one used possum bones and the other uses coon bones. They both prepare the bones in similar ways but not exactly the same. I learned both ways.<p> </p><p> </p>©starrI was taught that we are able to read the bones through our ancestors and the spirits that walk with us. You have to have a strong connection with your ancestors in order to receive the information through the bones. Your bones are very personal, and they should be taken care of after all this is a link between you and your ancestors.I have read a lot on the internet about how others work with their bones. Most say the bones should be hidden away. Some say you shouldn’t show your bones. I was taught my bones are protected by my ancestors and if someone stole them they would have to deal with my ancestors. So I have no fear of taking a photo of my bones. All I can say is it sucks to be dumb if you are willing to go against someone’s dead kin.<p> </p>Traditional Conjure workers throw the bones to find out what ails their client. Therefore the client is present when the bones are thrown. I was taught to have the client stand then the bones are thrown in front of them on the floor while prayers are being said to find out what ails the client. There is more to this but this is all I am willing to share. Both workers gave the same instructions for reading a client. Once the reading is over the bones have to be cleansed and fed. Then they are place with the ancestors to be refreshed.<p> </p>If I am doing a long distance reading for a client then I throw the bones on their photo. Sometimes I don’t have to have a photo if I get a strong connection with them; the ancestors just speak through the bones. Reading the bones takes years to perfect, this is not something you can learn in a day or two. I am still learning after all these years of throwing the bones.<p> </p>Each bone will represent something to the reader; I was taught that the ancestors name the bones for you. I have found this to be true. They guide you in understanding the message. You will always have a bone that represents the ancestors and one that represents a male and a female. You should have a bone that is used to represent the client you are reading for. I have a buzzard bone that was given to me many years ago that I added to my bones, this bone lets me know if there is illness or blocks. It all depends on where the bone falls in the reading. <p> </p>Bone throwing is becoming a thing of the past in Conjure as old workers are passing on. What I have seen on the internet is not Traditional bone throwing in conjure readings. The information given out is new age. There are no crystals in traditional bone throwing, you may find a stone, a piece of wood or root, maybe a shell or two but you want find a crystal. I have yet to see a website that offers traditional conjure bone readings. Folks are digging and scratching trying to find the information so it can be exploited on the net, so everyone and their brother can claim to be bone readers.<p> </p>If you are interested in learning to read the bones then get out and find an old conjure worker to teach you. You have to be taught the basics hands on, this is not something you can just jump into or learn from a book or a few days of teaching. The bones have to be prepared before they are given to you. I have taught a few folks that are special to me or I feel spirit lead to teach to read the bones. I hold this information with a tight fist because I refuse to see it abused as so much information is being abused.
Throwing the Bones and Reading Other Natural Curios
Wooden bowl containing shells, bones and nut kernels, South Africa, 1890-1924, from the Science Museum of London
Thrown, cast, and marked readings are inspired divinations performed by gifted psychic readers to answer life's questions for their clients.
In the traditions of some cultures, the bones, shells, and/or nuts that are to be thrown are left in their natural state; in other cultures they may be shaped and marked, much like dice, dominoes, or the cut cowrie shells used in Obi and Diloggun divination.
Among the Zulu sangoma diviners of South Africa, it is common to use a large set of bones and other natural curios, such as the eighteen items shown in the wooden bowl here.
Among the Mongolians, four unmarked sheep astragalus or knuckle bones are thrown, each of which has four distinguishable sides, which produces an array of 36 possible answers to any given question. The name for this system of divination is shagai, often rendered in English as "Complicated Fortune Telling." In addition to functioning as a system of divination, shagai can also be played as a gambling game.
Throwing the Bones
Reading 'possum bones in a circle cast in the dirt, as practiced by a traditional Alabama root doctor
A contemporary American bone reader's casting cloth
A contemporary American bone reader's casting of the bones on a goat skin.
Bone reading as practiced by a traditional African sangoma or diviner
In bone divination, bones of various sorts are ritually tossed onto a mat, an animal hide, or into a circle drawn in the dirt, and the resulting patterns interpreted. Throwing the bones is an ancient practice traditional to many regions of the world, including Africa, Asia, and North America. The number and type of bones employed, as well as the inclusion of other small objects, such as pebbles, shells, and hard nuts, varies quite a bit from culture to culture.
As a hoodoo practice, casting or throwing the bones has deep traditional roots in African culture, especially as developed among the sangomas or divining healers of the Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa, and Ndebele traditions in southern Africa. Trained as herbalists, spirit mediums, and diviners, they fulfill an important role in their culture, equivalent to that of a root doctor in the United States or an obeah practitioner in Jamaica.
The mingling of African traditions with Native American and European forms of divination has produced quite a lot of variation in hoodoo practices. Traditional items used in bone-reading by Southern-style root doctors and spirit-led fortune tellers who employ these ancient methods of divination include bones, stones, coins, stalks, or shells. Additionally, some who follow this style of divining with natural curios may also perform augury by inspection of natural botanical and zoological curios such as owl pellets.
Although there is no single system of bone or curio divination used by all African American practitioners, some old-timers read a set of chicken bones or 'possum bones, and do so only on the ground rather than a table-top, after the manner still practiced by some readers in Africa to this day. Others mix pebbles or shells or dice with their bones, as some sangomas do, and they might read on a mat or animal hide, or even on table-top -- but no matter what natural and man-made curios are included, the practice is still called "throwing the bones."
American conjure doctors and hoodoo bone readers consider it traditional to keep their divination bones in a basket, bowl, or bag on or near their altar when not in use and to cast them out onto a mat, a hide, or a circle to read them. Each bone may have a meaning, and the patterns among the bones may be significant as well. For example, in one family tradition, nine chicken bones are used, and each bone has a meaning: the wing bone signifies travel, the neck bone signifies poverty, and the wish bone signifies good fortune. In another family tradition, only 'possum bones are employed.
Marked Bones for Divination
Marked bones are often used in groups of two or four to obtain yes or no answers, as well as more detailed information. There is quite a bit of evidence to support the idea that gaming dice, often casually called "the bones," may have had their origin in marked bone divination, as there are still forms of divination in which the markings of the spots and dots on dice or dominoes are used to read fortunes for clients.
Some readers of chicken and 'possum bones also mark, paint, or otherwise indiate differences between the bones for ease of reading. For example, they may wish to use two similar-looking bones to indicate "male" and "female" people or to call attention to certain life conditions, such as love affairs, money matters, health concerns, or travel opportunities. Marking or painting the bones makes their identification quick and certain.
Contemporary Bone Reading Styles
Diviners who work with intuitive rather than mathematical systems of bone reading may create their own reading methods, drawing from a combination of established historical methods and personal inspiration. While some of these methods may resemble traditional African Sangoma-style readings, they are not Sangoma readings, which are rooted in Zulu tradition. Rather, these contemporary bone reading styles are based on the individual diviner's personal understanding of spirit and symbolism.
Other Forms of Bone Reading
In addition to being used in rites of throwing, bones are also ritually manipulated in other ways for the purpose of telling the future for a client.
For instance, in some cultures, cooked bones (most often the shoulder blade or scapular of a large animal) may be scraped clean of flesh and the marks upon it interpreted. In other cultures, certain specially selected bones, sometimes called oracle bones (usually scapulars or turtle pastron bones) may be burned in a fire or heated until they crack and the resulting chars and cracks examined in order to determine specific answers to questions.
Bones, as well as other body parts, may also be used as a means to communicate mediumistically with the dead and with spirits, through psychometry.
To schedule a reading
To some Westerners indigenous African techniques are at best puzzling and at worst smack of witchcraft. The West is replete with technological wonders. Our communication network is a veritable marvel with the likes of satellite phones, fax machines and the internet. However we seem to be lacking when it comes to the cosmic connection. Ancient African wisdom has a lot to teach us here. There is a realm of spirit but there is also a veil that must be penetrated if we wish to communicate with this potential source of guidance. Most Westerners do not have the techniques to pierce the veil, the bones do.
The divining bones are not strictly all bones but comprise shells, money, seeds, dice, domino-like objects or even dominos themselves, and other objects that have been appointed by the sangoma and the spirit to represent certain polarities (for instance a miniature car to represent a journey). Animal bones from lions, hyenas, anteaters, baboons, crocodiles, wild pigs, goats, antelopes and others form the large majority of the objects in the sangoma's bag, and there are bones for all psycho-socio-spiritual polarities. The bones represent all of the forces that affect any human being, anywhere, whatever their culture. The primal energies and attributes the animals represent hold enormous power. For example, the hyena represents the thief that comes in the night, and a hyena bone is often used to locate a stolen object. The anteater is the animal that "digs the grave" and an anteater bone may be used where death is concerned, or it may represent a deceased person or his spirit.
Before throwing the bones, the healer invokes the ancestors by giving snuff, kneeling and clapping, and rattling or chanting a song. First, a general reading is given and then specific questions are asked and answered. Each question is answered by a separate throw of all the bones.
It is the ancestor, and not the healer, who is providing the information. The sangoma is just the messenger. There is an understanding between the healer and the spirit as to the meaning of the bones and how they line up in relationship to each other. In fact when the bones are thrown, they do not fall in a random pattern but rather in a distinct arrangement which can be read by the sangoma whose training has taught him to diagnose past and present ailments and even predict future occurrences. It seems that a "mini-field" of attention, intention, and coherence is set up between the healer, the patient and the ancestors that allows the bones to lie in an intelligent pattern. The metaphor they represent can then be interpreted by the healer. The reading is usually concerned with what is happening at that moment in the patient's life. Since the healer is reading a metaphor, he may get the wrong image and have to change direction. Divining is like interpreting someone's dream, and only the owner of the dream will know if the meaning rings true. The information is given humbly and democratically. The healer will ask the patient if she agrees and, if so, will continue along the same line of exploration. If the patient disagrees, the healer will read another polarity or look at the same polarity in a different way. Correct interpretation is seldom offered dogmatically. Usually the patient is well aware of what is going on in her life. The bones will often highlight or focus on a problem that requires attention and that may have been ignored or denied.
The healer is attentive to the fact that there is always free will and that anything can be changed. Rituals can be offered to the ancestral spirits to correct almost any eventuality. Bone readings are usually concerned with helping people deal with their current dilemmas - marital discord, money trouble, and other problems. But the bones also can warn a person not to take an upcoming journey, and they can highlight a past event that has bearing on the present. The future can always change because of free will brought to bear on the present moment. Far-reaching and accurate prophesies are sometimes suspect since free will is ever-present to shift the variables and alter the future.
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DEM BONES: SKULLS AND BONES IN MAGIC & RITUAL
Posted by Sarah on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
[Hare and Fox Skulls]
“Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk a-roun’”
Bones are a type of fetish. A fetish is “an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency (source)”. The word fetish originates from the French fétiche which stems from the Portuguese word feitiço meaning “charm” or “sorcery”. Feathers, bones, crystals, and stones are all types of fetishes. Skulls and bones have an appeal to witches who perform spirit work and are a necessary and simple way to connect with spirits of the dead and of animals. Working with bones is not just for necromancers and black magicians. Practitioners who work with bones are a wide range of healers, diviners, shapeshifters, rootworkers, witches, shamans, druids, and pagans.
The safest and easiest way to clean bones is maceration. Remove any remaining skin or flesh and place the bones in a container and completely cover with tapwater. Replace the water every few days with fresh water. You can pour out the smelly water in your garden as a morbid compost tea your plants will love. When the water stops becoming murky and as smelly you are ready for the next step. Rinse the bones again with plain water and scrub off any remaining tissue. Then submerge the bones in a container filled with hydrogen peroxide. This both sterilizes and whitens bone. It may take a few hours or a few days depending on the size of the bones and the strength of the hydrogen peroxide. Afterward remove the bones and give them one last rinse with water and allow them to dry. They are now ready to work with as you please. Never use bleach. It will cause bone to degrade at a very fast rate and can also cause fatty tissue to become trapped inside the bone resulting in greasy smelly bones that will continue to decompose. Here’s a great pdf of instructions from The Bone Room: Prepping individual skulls and bones using maceration.
Too squeamish to deflesh bones and leave them in a bucket of smelling rotting water? No worries, there are two other methods you can use to avoid that part. The first is to bury the animal. Bury it fairly deep so scavengers don’t smell it and run off with your precious bones. Depending on the size of the animal, skull, or bones you are burying, it will take three months to one year for all the skin and tissue to decompose and just leave the bone(s) behind. To make it easier to dig up a skeleton of a whole animal bury it it in a burlap sack. The bag has to be a natural coarse material and loosely woven in order for the bits to still decompose properly. Once you’ve dug up your bones, wash them with water and follow the same instructions above using hydrogen peroxide. The second alternative method is exposure. Some people have had success leaving dead animals they find on a hot sunny roof to decompose. This is an efficient method if you don’t mind the smell and toss a dark rubbermaid container over top to get the heat, but not the damage from the sun. Once again, the length of time it takes depends on the size of the animal or bone. Please don’t throw a deer on your roof! I’d only recommend this method for parts of a larger animal or whole smaller creatures like birds and squirrels. If you use the exposure method you’d have to live on a farm or in a more rural area. Suburban neighbours tend to frown upon decomposing animals next door.
Take red ochre
Fat and tallow
Rub my bones
And say your prayers
“Barrow Song” — Telling the Bees
Reddening bones is a practice found across countries, cultures, religions, and time. It is mainly performed by peoples practicing ancestor worship, but animal bones can be reddened as well. The process is literally making the bones red. This is meant to mimic the lifeforce, blood, and tissue that have since left the bones and give them life again. To redden human or animal bones you use, mix red ochre with red wine until it forms a paste and let it sit in a jar or bowl covered for a day or two. If you can’t get your hands on red ochre pigment you can substitute with old red brick dust as old bricks contain ochre. Then apply the mixture to the cleaned bones with your hands and cover the whole bone or skull with paste. Leave it on for another day (half a day at least). You can wrap it in plastic to keep the paste wet or spray it now and then with water or red wine to keep it moist. Keeping it moist allows the colour to leech into the bone just like henna into the skin. Then remove the paste and allow any remaining particles to dry. When the skull has completely dried, brush away any remaining red ochre particles. Do not wash the bones, but a gentle polishing with a soft cloth is okay. Store your newly reddened bones on your altar or in a beautiful box or cloth bag.
There’s a thousand things you’ve got to see to believe,
c’mon and lay them bones down at my feet
we’re going to look into your future see what we can see.
“Bangor Mash” — The Devil Makes Three
There are so many different types of bone divination, mostly belonging within a cultural context, that it is better to find a method that resonates with you or is found in the culture you base your magic and practices in. I’d even recommend coming up with your own system. Most bone divination practiced today is performed in Africa and Asia. The amount of lore on bone divination merits an article of its own. If I did write such an article it would solely be on Scottish bone divination methods. For the time being here are some more varied resources to explore:
Ancient Bone Divination (video)
Divination by Chicken Bones: A Tradition Among the Kammu in Northern Lao People’s Democratic Republic (article)
Reading the Bones (video)
The Oracle of the Bones (book)
Throwing the Bones and Reading Other Natural Curios (article)
The possession and reverence of human bones is most commonly found in cultures who practice a long tradition of ancestor worship. It is still part of the mourning process in some Asian countries today to dig up the bones of your loved ones after a few years, clean them, reassemble them neatly in a box and find them a new home in a tradition called “second burial”. Despite misconceptions, it is not illegal to possess human bones in Canada and the United States. This doesn’t mean grave robbing is legal, but instead that it is legal to purchase human remains or to convince your parents or grandparents to let you have their skull after they die (that is, if you can talk them into it).
Human bones are used in magic and ritual as a fetish or vessel to house the spirit of the dead person and enable them to ground better in this realm so a magical practitioner can better communicate and work with them. The spirits of the dead are not servitors to be bound and ordered around. Instead they are allies to help and guide us. Place your skull or bones in a place of reverence either on an ancestral altar or in a beautiful container like the reliquaries of churches in the Middle Ages. Leave your bones regular offerings. Find out if the spirit has any preferences of alcohol, tobacco, flowers, foods, candies, or objects. You can invite them to share in the essence of your meals ever day at dinner as well. The person the bones belonged to in life can become a familiar spirit to you in your art. They can help you commune with the dead and send messages back and forth. They can travel places you cannot and be your eyes and ears. Always make sure to work with a spirit out of love and respect. If you work with bones not of a family member be sure to build up a friendship with the spirit as you would with a real person. Do not ask too much of them too soon, but instead be consistent in your offerings and communion with them first.
Human bones can also be used in necromancy. Necromancy is a form of divination working with the spirits of the dead. One summons them and presents them with questions about the past, present, or future. It is believed the dead are not bound by time and are excellent oracles and advisers. For more information on working with spirits of the dead see my article on Ancestors in Modern Witchcraft.
“All shells and bones
the spey-wife enters,
Kathleen Jamie, Atoms of Delight
Animal bones are used in witchcraft and folk magic to commune and work with animal spirits as familiar, guides, and protectors. Like human bones, the bones of animals can be also be used to ground a spirit animal in this realm. Bones act as a spirit vessel for animal familiars to dwell in when you work with them. This doesn’t mean that the spirit lives in the bone(s) all the time, but instead it is their home when you call upon them. Animal bones and skulls can be placed on an altar or carried in a medicine or crane bag to work with them outdoors or on the move. Animal bones can be used to call upon mythological creatures as well. To do this you need only to combine bones from the different animals that make up the creatures. For example, bind together parts from an eagle and lion to summon a griffon or combine snake, lizard, and the bones or feathers of a bird of prey to summon a dragon.
Animal bones can be incorporated into ritual jewelry for direct contact and easier communion with the spirits the bones belong to. Ritual jewelry using bones is the most practical and direct way of bringing your animal familiars into rituals and spellwork. If you only have very small bones or a delicate insect to work with than you can place the parts in a glass vial and either use it as a vessel on your altar or attach a chain or leather thong to it to wear around your neck. By wearing animal bones you can take on the attributes and powers of the animal they belong to such as fox teeth for cunning, owl bones for seeing in the dark, or snake bones for the ability to renew and change your life. Bones can also confer an animal’s magical abilities. Many animals are “shamanic” in nature enabling the practitioner to whom they are familiar to adopt their ability to travel between worlds. Such creatures known to travel between the realms of earth, sea, and sky or have extraordinary powers of transformation include frogs, toads, snakes, all birds (especially water fowl), alligators, crocodiles, turtles, beavers, otters, dragonflies, spiders, beetles, butterflies, cicadas, and more.
Animal bones can be used to craft ritual tools. Many traditional rattles are made using skulls, turtle shells, or little bones tied closely together for the sound of their rattling against one another. Bones can also be tied to staffs or stangs, wands, or even sewn onto ritual robes. Animal bones, especially chicken and other bird bones, are used for traditional divination methods in many cultures. This can also be incorporated into European practice by carving Futhark or Ogham runes onto animal bones or using slices of deer antler instead of the usual materials of wood and stone.
Animal bones, hides, and feathers have yet another important use in magic — shapeshifting. These parts can be worn as jewelry or donned as a costume while going into trance to leave your body so either your spirit takes on the form of the animal or you are led to a living (and willing) animal to possess temporarily. Another method of using animal parts for shapeshifting includes making a magical salve or potion with bones, hairs, skin, or feathers to rub on your skin or take internally before attempting to shapeshift. If you are making a salve, include herbs and/or fungi associated with that animal as well as bits of your own hair or nail clippings in the recipe. If you are making a tea or tincture as a potion, make sure to do the same. In my experience tinctures are much more palatable than a tea of bone shavings and hair. For more information see my article: On Shapeshifting.
Andrews, Ted. Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small. Llewellyn, 1996.
Andrews, Ted. The Art of Shapeshifting. Dragonhawk Publishing, 2005.
Baring-Gould, Sabine. “Skulls”. A Book of Folk-lore. London: Collins Clear Type Press, 1913.
Searfoss, Glenn. Skulls and Bones: A Guide to the Skeletal Structures and Behavior of North American Mammals. Stackpole Books, 1995.
Thompson, C.J.S. “The Folk-lore of Skulls and Bones”. Hand of Destiny: Everyday Folk-lore and Superstitions. London: Senate, 1932.
Yronwode, Catherine. Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic. Luck Mojo Curio Co., 2002.
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The Legion of Pagans Spiritual Ministry claims no rights to this article, artwork, or any on our page. If this work belongs to you and you would like for us to remove it, please contact us and we will certainly do so. Being a non-profit educational site, we operate under the Fair Use rule of the US Copyright Law - please refer to the page information for full details. Blessings!
Oya, (Yansa, Aida-Weda, Olla), goddess of wind, fire, water, rainbow. Ruler over forces of nature, warrior, courageous, beautiful, sensual, unpredictable, charismatic and practical. Oya is the goddess of unexpected and sudden changes, she can be destructive, using her powers to create tornadoes, earthquakes and thunderous rain. From moment to moment this goddess can alter her behaviour, bringing sunshine and rainbows, or weather so extreme it can destroy entire regions. Her wild dancing is the energy that creates the perpetual movement of the world, her aim is to create change by breaking apart that which is old and unnecessary. Oya’s influence can enhance intuition and abilities, or instill limited mental capacity. The West-African river Niger is said to be an outward manifestation of the goddess Oya. Oya is a shape shifter and can at will transform herself.
During Voodoo ceremonies in which Oya appears through possession of an individual, causing the person to dance as if in a frenzy, while holding a torch in their right hand and moving as though setting trees or building alight.
DREAM PROTECTION SPELL
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or another fruit juice)
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 light weight cauldron (a glass bowl works too)
1 piece of paper
1 black pen
2 black or red candles (1 of each works best)
Mix the lemon juice, sea salt, and oil into your cauldron. Place the cauldron in front of you on the floor. Sit comfortably and place the candles beside the cauldron (red on left, black on right.) Rip the piece of paper in half then set it aside.
Light both candles, left one first. Now close your eyes and visualize a sphere. In the middle of the sphere, visualize yourself stuck inside, trying to get out. See the black and red candles burning around you. Watch as the candles spin around you, getting faster each time they pass. Then see yourself magickally being released.
On one piece of paper, draw a picture of what you saw. On the other, write down your biggest fear.
Light both pieces of paper on fire, using the black for the written half, red for the drawing. Then throw them into your cauldron. Take the cauldron outside and pour it (paper and all) into a hole in the ground. Cover the hole with dirt. The spell is done.
Current Moon Phase for Aug. 23 – Waning Crescent
(waning /3% of Full)
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.
Mysterious Lunar Leo on an almost "triple conjunction day"
Moon in Leo - Jupiter in Leo - Venus in Leo
Sun enters Virgo - Mercury in Virgo
Mars in Scorpio - Saturn in Scorpio
Moon 8° Leo conjunct Jupiter 8° Leo
Saturday 23rd August 2014 - Moon in Leo - 12th House Karma
Mysterious Lunar Leo on an almost "triple conjunction day"
During the year there are BIG days astrologically - usually everytime Sun changes star signs, whenever planets change star signs, at conjunctions and at New & Full Moon's - but there are even BIGGER days - defined by planets changing star signs which UNLOCKS something that's been waiting to happen.
On 23rd August 2014 begins Sun in Virgo Sun enters Virgo - 7am BST - 8am Europe - 2am USA EST 11:30am India - 5pm Sydney, Australia and with an "almost" triple conjunction - Moon-Venus-Jupiter in Leo - "life" is going to be very kind and it's going to be getting even better. From the chart above you can see that Moon-Venus-Jupiter in Leo all trine Uranus in Aries whilst the triple square to Saturn & Mars in Scorpio ensures that the "Destiny" defines it's exactness - EVERYONE will have a break-through of karmic success. Nothing will get in the way of destiny - not even laziness. It will SHOCK people who aren't aware of astrology - because plans they've made for weekend Saturday, Sunday and Monday - will suddenly be changed - and it will pleasantly surprise YOU - who are aware of astrology - because YOU KNOW - planets changing star signs defines CHANGES in REAL life.
Additionally, to the lunar triple conjunction Moon in Leo - Jupiter in Leo - Venus in Leo - the pairing of planets - Sun in Virgo - Mercury in Virgo and Mars in Scorpio - Saturn in Scorpio defines clarity in 3 specific areas of everyone's lives. Don't even think for one minute that you can look-back to the "past" - that's not an option - the future is happening NOW - and you'll be moving forward to the future today.
The Moon in 12th House of Leo - will simply make you feel inexplicably excited as "strange" and "mysterious" things just happen. What "it" will be for "you" - will probably be something you've been waiting for and expecting in the past few weeks.
Saturday 23rd August 2014 - Mysterious Lunar Leo with almost triple conjunction
Moon in Leo - Jupiter in Leo - Venus in Leo
Moon 8° Leo conjunct Jupiter 8° Leo
Sunday 24th August 2014
Moon 14° Leo conjunct Venus 14° Leo
Moon 16° Leo trines Uranus [in retrograde] 16° Aries
Moon 16° Leo squares Mars 16° Scorpio
Moon 17° Leo squares Saturn 17° Scorpio
Free Horoscopes by Astrodienst
I'm not going to explain the individual aspects - other than to say - it will touch and create a new reality for EACH of YOU. Depending on your maturity and stage of life - depending on your karma - depending on what life wants you to move towards in your future - you will FEEL a shift inside you - even a significant change of mind towards something / someone.
Your inexplicable feelings will make you feel that something is RIGHT - very RIGHT - and conversely make you avoid everything that's WRONG. The Moon square Mars and Moon square Saturn - will not create any conflict nor problems - it will simply guide you AWAY from and keep you AWAY from negativity and trouble.
Due to strength of "almost" triple conjunction Moon in Leo - Jupiter in Leo - Venus in Leo during the end of a lunar cycle - it will create endings in a very definitive "DEAD" way. Even if you've been hoping that something still remains in your life - you will see it's now karmically the right time to LET-GO and move-forward with "life". And the fact that Moon 16° Leo trines Uranus [in retrograde] 16° Aries will make you quite happy to move-on and let-go of the "past" - will mean you're mysteriously ready for a NEW phase of your life as you welcome the New Moon. The reason why it will feel mysterious - because something you thought you'd never let-go of - you'll be able to let-go with great ease.
And I must share with you a secret - that "if" the above astrological chart was a FULL MOON energy - then I would be saying - it's going to be the "end-of-the-world" on Saturday 23rd August - as people's inner negativity and anger would be revealed towards everything they HATE in life - and they would want to completely DESTROY everything they HATE.
Because the truth is - we all have something we HATE and dislike - but it's kept hidden - and thankfully - it is NOT a Full Moon - and therefore - the Mars & Saturn Scorpio squares to the 12th house Karmic Leo Moon will make you DETACHED from anything you hate - avoid anything BAD - and then the magic of 12th House Endings - will define it as a "DROP-DEAD" end in your life - enabling you to let-go of the DEAD and move-on to the vibrant life-giving future of your life.
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)
You may feel as if it’s now or never. You’re worried that your window of opportunity is going to close before you’re ready. However, it’s not wise to try to make up for lost time now. You had your moment in the Sun and it’s best to let the magical experiences ripen naturally instead of panicking and acting out of desperation. In the meantime, allow your feelings to come out to play before the changing tides carry them into the past. To every thing there is a season.
(Apr 20 – May 20)
You prefer to finish what you start and may grow anxious when there’s so much happening that you can’t keep up with the pace. Other people are expecting so much from you now that you don’t know what to do first. In a last-ditch effort to manifest the simplicity you seek, you might overreact and do nothing at all. Of course, this act of rebellion won’t solve anything. Gently push against your own frustration without becoming desperate. Sharing your secret fears with someone you trust tips the scales in your favor and brings you peace of mind.
(May 21 – Jun 20)
You may find yourself interacting with a new group of friends today, wanting to discuss subjects you never dreamed of sharing. But your unconventional ideas flow easier within your imagination than in reality. Your naivete bumps up against other people’s more cynical ways. Although your mind is racing at warp speed, you need to slow down and take someone else’s feelings into consideration before blasting ahead with your agenda. You don’t have all the answers yet, so wait for the rest of the story to be revealed before doing something you might regret.
(Jun 21 – Jul 22)
Conflict between what your head tells you and what your heart knows can resolve only if you have the courage to listen to both perspectives. Your thoughts are valid and you don’t need to adjust them. But what you do with your emotions is a different story. There’s no rule that says you have to express everything you feel. Finding balance now may be challenging, but you will be happier if you, at least, move in that direction.
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)
Just when you settle into a pace of life that works for you, change arrives on your doorstep. You may sense that summer is soon coming to an end, reminding you of everything still left undone. Fortunately, your indefatigable confidence can overcome the doubt you might have about narrowing your options. Keep your eyes on the future and your finger on the pulse of the present moment. There’s still time to experience the power of now.
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)
You receive a cosmic attitude upgrade today; people actually see a “sunnier” you now that the radiant Sun is back in your sign for the next four weeks, illuminating your 1st House of Personality. Paradoxically, you might not feel quite as positive as you appear, but you don’t want anyone to know. Thankfully, acting as if all is copacetic actually helps to manifest the emotional shift. But don’t rush the process because it could take a few more days to make the energetic transition.
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)
You could be quite assertive today and more willing to go out on a limb so that others know what you want. It doesn’t even matter if your chances of satisfaction are slim; it’s less about the destination now than the journey. Nevertheless, your persistence might still lead to surprising results. In any case, just putting your feelings out in the open may be enough of a catalyst to make magic happen.
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)
Monitoring your schedule is crucial now because you might sacrifice more of your time than intended if you don’t maintain solid boundaries. Fortunately, you are ready to take immediate action to regain control of your life. However, others may see your unorthodox behavior as erratic. Don’t be concerned about anyone’s judgments; consider what you need first and build the rest of your schedule around your priorities. The good news is once you nurture yourself you will have even more to give to those you love.
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)
Although you crave your personal freedom at any cost, there still may be a hidden price to pay today for having things your way. Although you’re willing to jump through the necessary hoops, others might not support your agenda now. It’s honorable to give those you love the benefit of the doubt but their lack of enthusiasm bothers you. Don’t let your annoyance fester or it could turn into something worse. Expressing your truth a little at a time is healthier than letting your anger take control.
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)
You can see a relationship meltdown in the making and may do your best to sidestep any sort of melodrama. But somehow you might be pulled into a complicated web of feelings anyhow. The tension is obvious but how to resolve it is not. Keep in mind you can’t fix today’s problems with a shortsighted approach. Concentrating on the horizon offers the best chance for finding the long-term solution you seek.
(Jan 20 – Feb 18)
It’s really true that all things must pass, but why does it seem that the good times roll on so much faster than the rest? You might wish that relationships could always be lighthearted. But now comes the hard work of establishing depth of feeling, although the intensity makes you want to bolt. Nevertheless, stay with the process even if it’s temporarily discomforting. An emotional metamorphosis brings new levels of intimacy if you give it a real chance.
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)
You might try to ignore the practical considerations of your finances today, even if you make a big deal about wanting to attend to all the details. You could successfully delay the work in front of you, but reality won’t take no for an answer now. You must manage your response by staying away from extremes. Whatever resistance you experience at first, it becomes easier to make a concrete plan once you start. Trust your common sense and you can’t go wrong.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Part of a series on
In particular religions
Ancient Egyptian Monotheism
Experiences and practices
Problem of evil
Portrayals of God in popular media
Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinctpersonal or anthropomorphic god. Some Eastern religions are considered to be pantheistically inclined.
Pantheism was popularized in the West as both a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza,:p.7 whose book Ethics was an answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate. Spinoza held the monist view that the two are the same, and monism is a fundamental part of his philosophy. He was described as a "God-intoxicated man," and used the word God to describe the unity of all substance. Although the term pantheism was not coined until after his death, Spinoza is regarded as its most celebrated advocate.
Pantheism is derived from the Greek roots pan (meaning "all") and theos (meaning "God"). There are a variety of definitions of pantheism. Some consider it a theological and philosophical position concerning God.:p.8
As a religious position, some describe pantheism as the polar opposite of atheism. From this standpoint, pantheism is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God. All forms of reality may then be considered either modes of that Being, or identical with it. Others hold that pantheism is a non-religious philosophical position. To them, pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical.
The first known use of the term pantheism was by the English mathematician Joseph Raphson in his work De spatio reali, written in Latin and published in 1697. In De spatio reali, Raphson begins with a distinction between atheistic ‘panhylists’ (from the Greek roots pan, "all", and hyle, "matter"), who believe everything is matter, and ‘pantheists’ who believe in “a certain universal substance, material as well as intelligent, that fashions all things that exist out of its own essence.”  Raphson found the universe to be immeasurable in respect to a human's capacity of understanding, and believed that humans would never be able to comprehend it.
The Catholic church regarded pantheistic ideas as heresy. Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk who evangelized about an immanent and infinite God, was burned at the stake in 1600 by the Catholic Church. He has since become known as a celebrated pantheist and martyr of science. Bruno influenced many later thinkers including Baruch Spinoza, whose Ethics, finished in 1675, was the major source from which pantheism spread.
The term was borrowed and first used in English by the Irish writer John Toland in his work of 1705 Socinianism Truly Stated, by a pantheist. Toland was influenced by both Spinoza and Bruno, and used the terms 'pantheist' and 'Spinozist' interchangeably. In 1720 he wrote the Pantheisticon: or The Form of Celebrating the Socratic-Society in Latin, envisioning a pantheist society which believed, "all things in the world are one, and one is all in all things ... what is all in all things is God, eternal and immense, neither born nor ever to perish." He clarified his idea of pantheism in a letter to Gottfried Leibniz in 1710 when he referred to "the pantheistic opinion of those who believe in no other eternal being but the universe".
Although the term "pantheism" did not exist before the 17th century, various pre-Christian religions and philosophies can be regarded as pantheistic. Pantheism is similar to the ancient Hindu philosophy of Advaita (non-dualism) to the extent that the 19th-century German Sanskritist Theodore Goldstücker remarked that Spinoza's thought was "... a western system of philosophy which occupies a foremost rank amongst the philosophies of all nations and ages, and which is so exact a representation of the ideas of the Vedanta, that we might have suspected its founder to have borrowed the fundamental principles of his system from the Hindus."
Others include some of the Presocratics, such as Heraclitus and Anaximander. The Stoics were pantheists, beginning with Zeno of Citium and culminating in the emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius. During the pre-Christian Roman Empire, Stoicism was one of the three dominant schools of philosophy, along with Epicureanism and Neoplatonism. The early Taoism of Lao Zi and Zhuangzi is also sometimes considered pantheistic.
The philosophy ofBaruch Spinoza is often regarded as pantheism, although he did not use that term.
In 1785, a major controversy about Spinoza's philosophy between Friedrich Jacobi, a critic, and Moses Mendelssohn, a defender, known in German as the Pantheismus-Streit, helped to spread pantheism to many German thinkers in the late 18th and 19th centuries.
For a time during the 19th century pantheism was the theological viewpoint of many leading writers and philosophers, attracting figures such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge in Britain; Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in Germany; and Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in the United States. Seen as a growing threat by the Vatican, it came under attack 1862 in the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX.
In the mid-eighteenth century, the English theologian Daniel Waterland defined pantheism as: "It supposes God and nature, or God and the whole universe, to be one and the same substance—one universal being; insomuch that men's souls are only modifications of the divine substance." In the early nineteenth century, the German theologian Julius Wegscheider defined pantheism as the belief that God and the world established by God are one and the same.
In the late 20th century, pantheism was often declared to be the underlying theology of Neopaganism, and Pantheists began forming organizations devoted specifically to Pantheism and treating it as a separate religion.
Albert Einstein is considered to be a pantheist by some commentators.
In 2008, one of Albert Einstein's letters, written in 1954 in German, in which he dismissed belief in a personal God, was sold at auction for more than US$330,000. Einstein wrote, "We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists and in its soul ["Beseeltheit"] as it reveals itself in man and animal," in a letter to Eduard Büsching (25 October 1929) after Büsching sent Einstein a copy of his book Es gibt keinen Gott. Einstein responded that the book only dealt with the concept of a personal God and not the impersonal God of pantheism. "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly," he wrote in another letter in 1954.
Pantheism is mentioned in a Papal encyclical in 2009 and a statement on New Year's Day in 2010, criticizing pantheism for denying the superiority of humans over nature and "seeing the source of man's salvation in nature". In a review of the 2009 film Avatar, Ross Douthat, an author, described pantheism as "Hollywood’s religion of choice for a generation now".
In 2011, a letter written in 1886 by William Herndon, Abraham Lincoln's law partner, was sold at auction for US$30,000. In it, Herndon writes of the U.S. President's evolving religious views, which included pantheism.
"Mr. Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt; he is or was a Theist and a Rationalist, denying all extraordinary – supernatural inspiration or revelation. At one time in his life, to say the least, he was an elevated Pantheist, doubting the immortality of the soul as the Christian world understands that term. He believed that the soul lost its identity and was immortal as a force. Subsequent to this he rose to the belief of a God, and this is all the change he ever underwent."
The subject is understandably controversial, but the contents of the letter is consistent with Lincoln's fairly lukewarm approach to organized religion.
There are multiple varieties of pantheism:3 which have been placed along various spectra or in discrete categories.
Degree of determinism
The American philosopher Charles Hartshorne used the term Classical Pantheism to describe the deterministic philosophies of Baruch Spinoza, the Stoics, and other like-minded figures. Pantheism (All-is-God) is often associated with monism (All-is-One) and some have suggested that it logically implies determinism (All-is-Now). Albert Einstein explained theological determinism by stating, "the past, present, and future are an 'illusion'". This form of pantheism has been referred to as "extreme monism", in which – in the words of one commentator – "God decides or determines everything, including our supposed decisions." Other examples of determinism-inclined pantheisms include those of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
However, some have argued against treating every meaning of "unity" as an aspect of pantheism, and there exist versions of pantheism that regard determinism as an inaccurate or incomplete view of nature. Examples include the beliefs of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and William James.
Degree of belief
It may also be possible to distinguish two types of pantheism, one being more religious and the other being more philosophical. The Columbia Encyclopedia writes of the distinction:
"If the pantheist starts with the belief that the one great reality, eternal and infinite, is God, he sees everything finite and temporal as but some part of God. There is nothing separate or distinct from God, for God is the universe. If, on the other hand, the conception taken as the foundation of the system is that the great inclusive unity is the world itself, or the universe, God is swallowed up in that unity, which may be designated nature."
Religious inclined pantheisms include some forms of Hinduism while philosophical inclined pantheisms include Stoicism.
In 1896, J. H. Worman, a theologian, identified seven categories of pantheism: Mechanical or materialistic (God the mechanical unity of existence); Ontological (fundamental unity, Spinoza); Dynamic; Psychical (God is the soul of the world); Ethical (God is the universal moral order, Johann Gottlieb Fichte); Logical (Hegel); and Pure (absorption of God into nature, which Worman equates with atheism).
More recently, Paul D. Feinberg, professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, also identified seven categories of pantheism: Hylozoistic; Immanentistic; Absolutistic monistic; Relativistic monistic; Acosmic; Identity of opposites; and Neoplatonic or emanationistic.
Pantheism in religion
Philosopher Michael Levine has said that there may be more pantheists than theists worldwide.:p.14 There are elements of pantheism in some forms of Christianity, Islam (Sufism), Buddhism, Judaism, Gnosticism, Neopaganism, and Theosophy as well as in several tendencies in many theistic religions. The Islamic religious tradition, in particular Sufism and Alevism, has a strong belief in the unitary nature of the universe and the concept that everything in it is an aspect of God itself, although their perspective, like many traditional perspectives, may lean closer to panentheism. Many other traditional and folk religions including African traditional religions and Native American religions:p.67 can be seen as pantheistic, or a mixture of pantheism and other doctrines such aspolytheism and animism. A variety of modern paganists also hold pantheistic views.
Main article: Hindu views on Pantheism
It is generally regarded that Hindu religious texts are the oldest known literature containing pantheistic ideas. The Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism teaches that the Atman (true self; human soul) is indistinct from Brahman (the unknown reality of everything).
The branches of Hinduism teaching forms of pantheism are known as non-dualist schools. All Mahāvākyas (Great Sayings) of the Upanishads, in one way or another, seem to indicate the unity of the world with the Brahman. It further says, "This whole universe is Brahman, from Brahman to a clod of earth."
In the tradition of its leading thinkers Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi, Taoism is comparable with pantheism, as the Tao is always spoken of with profound religious reverence and respect, similar to the way that pantheism discusses the "God" that is everything. The Tao te Ching never speaks of a transcendent God, but of a mysterious and numinous ground of being underlying all things. Zhuangzi emphasized the pantheistic content of Taoism even more clearly: "Heaven and I were created together, and all things and I are one." When Tung Kuo Tzu asked Zhuangzi where the Tao was, he replied that it was in the ant, the grass, the clay tile, even in excrement: "There is nowhere where it is not… There is not a single thing without Tao."
Spiral image symbols favored by the World Pantheist Movement
Two organizations that specify the word pantheism in their title formed in the last quarter of the 20th century. The Universal Pantheist Society, open to all varieties of pantheists and supportive of environmental causes, was founded in 1975. The World Pantheist Movement is headed by Paul Harrison, an environmentalist, writer and a former vice president of the Universal Pantheist Society, from which he resigned in 1996. The World Pantheist Movement was incorporated in 1999 to focus exclusively on promoting a strict metaphysical naturalistic version of pantheism, considered by some a form of religious naturalism. It has been described as an example of "dark green religion" with a focus on environmental ethics.
Nature worship or nature mysticism is often conflated and confused with pantheism. It is pointed out by at least one expert in pantheist philosophy that Spinoza’s identification of God with nature is very different from a recent idea of a self identifying pantheist with environmental ethical concerns, Harold Wood, founder of the Universal Pantheist Society. His use of the word nature to describe his worldview is suggested to be vastly different from the "nature" of modern sciences. He and other nature mystics who also identify as pantheists use "nature" to refer to the limited natural environment (as opposed to man-made built environment). This use of "nature" is different from the broader use from Spinoza and other pantheists describing natural laws and the overall phenomena of the physical world. Nature mysticism may be compatible with pantheism but it may also be compatible with theism and other views.
Panentheism (from Greek πᾶν (pân) "all"; ἐν (en) "in"; and θεός (theós) "God"; "all-in-God") was formally coined in Germany in the 19th century in an attempt to offer a philosophical synthesis between traditional theism and pantheism, stating that God is substantiallyomnipresent in the physical universe but also exists "apart from" or "beyond" it as its Creator and Sustainer.:p.27 Thus panentheism separates itself from pantheism, positing the extra claim that God exists above and beyond the world as we know it.:p.11 The line between pantheism and panentheism can be blurred depending on varying definitions of God, so there have been disagreements when assigning particular notable figures to pantheism or panentheism.:pp. 71–72, 87–88, 105
Pandeism is another word derived from pantheism and is characterized as a combination of reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism. It assumes a Creator-deity which is at some point distinct from the universe and then merges with it, resulting in a universe similar to the pantheistic one in present essence, but differing in origin.
Panpsychism is the philosophical view held by many pantheists that consciousness, mind, or soul is a universal feature of all things. Some pantheists also subscribe to the distinct philosophical views hylozoism (or panvitalism), the view that everything is alive, and its close neighbor animism, the view that everything has a soul or spirit.
Got a visitor last night, one I haven't encountered for several years, but once you have and heard the whaling screams you never forget. Guess my new homestead has lots of activity. Shall be an eventful Samhain. Here is some lore on the banchee I encountered last night.
Spirits of Legend and Fantasy: Banshees
When we listen to Irish legends, we often hear about leprechauns. However, leprechauns are only one of many spirits of Ireland. One, much more frightening and morbid, but arguably more interesting creature of legend is the banshee. These ghost-women appeared in many Irish folktales and are as much an element of Ireland’s history as their tiny green-clad counterparts. The following should teach you the basics of what you need to know about banshees.
What Is a Banshee?
A banshee, or Bean Sidhe, is a fairy from Irish folklore whose scream was an omen of death. Her thin scream is referred to as “caoine,” which translates to “keening.” It is said that a banshee’s cry predicts the death of a member of one of Ireland’s five major families: the O’Grady’s, the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors or the Kavanaghs. Over time as families blended, it was said that most Irish families had their own banshee. It is also said that the banshees followed their families as they emigrated from Ireland to other places across the globe, though some stayed behind to grieve at the original family estate.
Various versions of the banshee have been described, from a woman with long, red hair and very pale skin to an older woman with stringy, gray hair, rotten teeth and fiery red eyes. She is often depicted with a comb in her hair and this has led to an Irish superstition that finding a comb on the ground is considered bad luck. It is believed that a single banshee can take on any of these forms and shift between them, much like the goddesses of Celtic folklore. Other forms of the banshee include the Bean Nighe and the washer woman, both more attributed to Scotland than Ireland. The Bean Nighe is said to be the ghost of a woman who died during childbirth and would be seen wearing the clothes of the person about to die while the washer woman is dressed like a countrywoman and is cleaning bloody rags on a river shore.
Origins of Bnashees
It is unknown precisely when stories of the banshee first were told, but they can be traced back as far as the early eighth century. It is believed they were based on an old Irish tradition where women would sing a lament to signify one’s passing. This too was referred to as keening. As many keeners accepted alcohol as payment, which the church frowned upon, many have speculated it was these keeners who were punished in the eyes of God and were forced to become banshees. Another factor that likely contributed to the superstitious legend is the cry of the barn owl. In ancient battles, owls would screech and take flight if they noticed an army approaching, which would forewarn the defending army.
History And Mythology of Banshees
There have been several reported banshee sightings, but it is said that if a banshee becomes aware of a human’s presence watching her, she will disappear into a cloud of mist. When she does, it is accompanied by a fluttering sound like a bird flapping its wings. The Irish do not believe the banshee causes death, but merely warns of it. Although during the Middle Ages it was said that the banshee would also protect the souls of those of good heart and deed after they had passed on. The Bean Sidhe is also said to have a sister – the Lianhan Sidhe – who would win the love of mortal men and use it to destroy them.
Stories of Banshees
Many see banshees as entertaining folk lore while others genuinely believe in their existence. Had evidence of banshees consistently coincided with death by long-term illness or other easily-foreseeable causes, there likely wouldn’t be as much support. However, there had been reports of drowning and other sudden deaths of perfectly healthy individuals in the weeks following what was thought to be the sound of a banshee’s cry. The most famous example of this is King James I of Scotland who was murdered soon after he reported having been approached by a strange Irish seer.
In Ireland, the Banshee, who is supposed to be a fairy woman (bean, woman; sidhe, fairy) is said to wail and cry when members of certain families are about to die. It has never been established, however, why this ghostly creature follows some families.
In Old Gaelic legend, music and poetry were said to be fairy gifts and the possession of these was said to show a fatal kinship with the 'Duine Shee', or people of the spirit race.
Carolan, the great Irish harper - so runs the story - obtained some of the wildest and most beautiful music through hearing the fairy harpers play while lying asleep in the moonlight on a fairy mound.
The Banshee is believed to be an unearthly attendant on the ancient families of Ireland, the true descendants of the noble Gaelic race - those who have the Mac and O to their names - for:
By Mac and O
You'll always know
True Irishmen they say'.
But if they lack
The O and Mac,
No Irishmen are they'.
And the families with the old names of the chieftains of the Gaels, such as the O'Neills, the O'Donnells, the O'Connors, the O'Learys, the O'Tools and the O'Connaghs, each had their banshee whose cry, when heard by any of them, was a forewarning of death.
In Ireland, those persons who have the gifts of music and song are, it is said, watched over by the spirits; one the Spirit of Life, which is prophecy, such persons are said to be 'fey' and to have the gift of the second sight; the other, the Spirit of Doom, which is the reveler of secrets of misfortune and death, and for this dread messenger another name is the Banshee.
The wail of the Banshee is a peculiarly mournful sound that resembles the melancholy sound of the hollow wind, and having the tone of the human voice, and is distinctly audible at a great distance.
She is usually presented as a small though beautiful maiden, dressed in the fashion of Ireland's early ages who, with her mournful and melancholy cry, bewails the misfortune about to fall on the family she loves.
It has been stated by some writers that the Banshee was actuated by a feeling inimic to the person lamented. This, however was not the opinion of the people of an earlier day in Ireland.
Their belief was that the Banshee was the friend of the family she followed, that she at one period enjoyed life and walked the earth in the light and shadow of loveliness and immortality.
The very fact of the unearthly creatures always crying their sweet, sad song of sorrow at some misfortune bears this out, for if otherwise than a friend, why should her song not be one of rejoicing instead of lamentation? When the caoine of the Banshee was heard in the vicinity of the house of any old Gaelic family, it was at once felt that misfortune or death awaited some member of it.
Instances have been quoted of every member of a family having been in vigorous health when the cry of the Banshee was first heard, but before a week had elapsed someone had been accidentally drowned or killed or had met sudden death in some fashion.
It is well to remember that the Banshee belongs exclusively to the Celtic race. She is never heard bewailing the approaching demise of any member of the other races composing the population of Ireland.
An old Irish poem refers to the appearance of the Banshee in the morning:
'Hast thou heard the Banshee at morn,
Passing by the silent lake,
Or walking the fields by the orchard?
Alas! that I do not rather behold
White garlands in the hall of my fathers.'
while it is on record that the Banshee has been heard at noon, she is, however, rarely seen or heard by daylight. Night is the time generally chosen by her for her visits to mortals:
The Banshee mournful wails
In the midst of the silent, lonely, lonely night,
Plaining, she sings the song of death
A great chamber that overhangs the wild Atlantic waves, in the old ruined castle of Dunluce, where it sits on its rock above the green sea water of the Antrim coast, is said to be the home of the Banshee of the O'Donnells.
Here winter nights, through the old dark roofless ruin above the roar of the great storms, that come raging down from the far north, may be heard, it is said, the weird cry of the Banshee lamenting for the fallen fortunes of the great house, and for Ireland's want through her bitter loss - the scattered Chieftains of the Gael.
By Lough Neagh's shore, hard by Edenduff-Carrick, the Black Brow of the Rock, the ruined walls of the O'Neill's Castle still sit above the grey lake water where once in all his pride of power and ownership dwelt one of Ireland's most power Chieftains, the great O'Neill.
Here, from time immemorial, when any misfortune threatened one of the grand old race, the cry of the Banshee of the O'Neills would be heard throughout dark woods of Coile Ultagh away over the grey waters of Lough Neagh, and along the walls of the old castle echoing in the great vaults underneath and wailing over the graves of the great O'Neills.
Maeveen was the name that was on the Banshee of the O'Neills. She was some times seen as well as heard, and the form she usually assumed was that of a very old woman with long white locks falling down over her thin shoulders.
The Banshee was also very shy of encountering the eye of a mortal. The slightest human sound borne on the breeze of twilight drove her from sight and caused her to disappear like a thing of the mist.
Moore, in his beautiful song, asks:
'How oft has the Banshee cried
How oft has death untied,
Bright links that glory move,
Sweet bonds entwined by love.'
One of the strangest Banshee stories of all had its beginning in Dublin - at 2.30 am on 6th August, 1801, when Lord Rossmore, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Ireland, died at his home.
The evening before he had attended a vice-regal party in Dublin Castle. To the people he met there, including Sir Jonah and Lady Barrington, he seemed in the best of health, and stayed at the party until near midnight. Before leaving, he invited the Barringtons to join a party he was holding in his house at Mount Kennedy, Co Wicklow. In fact for a man of his background and position, he had spent a fairly ordinary evening - one that seemed to contain no hint at all of the strange things to come.
At two o'clock in the morning, Sir Jonah Barrington awoke and heard what were described as 'plaintive sounds' coming from outside the window, from a grass plot underneath it. He was to remember the Banshee-like sounds all his life. Lady Barrington heard the sounds, too, and so did a maid. Finally, at 2.30 am., Barrington heard a voice call 'Rossmore! Rossmore! Rossmore! and then there was silence. Next day, the Barringtons were told that Lord Rossmore was dead. His servant had heard strange sounds coming from his room, and rushing in, found him dying. He died at 2.30 am.
'Lord Rossmore was dying at the moment I heard his name pronounced', Sir Jonah wrote later.
It was a most terrifying experience from Sir Jonah. To the Irish staff, however, it was no mystery, for they knew it was the Banshee Barrington had heard.
The Banshee, Celtic Death Messenger
By C. Austin
As we move into the darkest months of the year, it seems appropriate to visit a a spectre as ancient as life itself - the death messenger or Banshee.
Throughout history and across cultures there are stories and myths of beings that forewarn of human death. Just as the joy and desire to live is innate to most humans, so is the fear and dread of death. Seeing a ghost is not as alarming as the chilling knowledge that "as I am, so you shall be". Because mankind lives at the behest of the beautiful sometimes cruel powers of Nature, a prophecy of death returns a bit of order to those struggling to see a tapestry of cosmic or divine purpose.
In past centuries (and even today) humans look for signs of eccentricities of domestic time to portend the snipping of the thread of human life. Clocks chiming irregularly or stopping, roosters crowing at night, candles melting in winding sheets or bees swarming at doors or windows to accompany a soul in flight. Birds perching at windowsills or housetops such as owls, robins and ravens have often been seen as harbingers of gloomy news. In Scotland, the "bean-nighe" or washing woman is seen by travelers around pools or fjords washing the shrouds of those who are about to die, singing a dirge or crying. The bean-nighe will tell for whom she is keening and also the fate of those travelers who would dare to ask her. The bean-nigh is thought to be the ghost of a woman who died in childbirth. The feminine gender of this grieving spirit is a theme found again in the exclusively Irish form of the "bean-si", or banshee.
The banshee tradition occurs throughout Ireland and nearby islands. The gaelic terms used most frequently to describe the banshee are the "bean-si" (a female dweller of a sidhe, or fairy mound), the "bean chaointe" (a female keener, a term found in east Munster and Connaught) and the "badhb" (referring to a more dangerous, frightening bogey). Although "bean-si" implies an Otherworld or fairy being, the banshee is a solitary creature without male counterpart who never partakes in communal human or fairie social enterprise. Speculation also links the banshee with the mystical race Tuatha De'Dannan, from whence the fairy folk are descended. There is little folk evidence to support Christian explanations that the banshee is a devil who wails for the souls that are lost to her as they ascend to heaven, or that they are familial guardian angels or souls of unbaptized children or even the souls of women who committed the sin of pride in life.
The mourning of the deceased is not just the affair of surviving relatives in Ireland. In years past, the measure of a person's respect and stature in the community could be seen in the number of mourners at a funeral and the breadth of their grieving. Professional women keeners, often old women, were paid in drink to weep at the graveside of eminent figures in the community. The Church frowned upon the entanglement of these often alcoholic women and their funerary services, perhaps giving rise to another theory that banshees are the ghosts of professional keeners doomed to unrest as a result of their insincere grieving. Interestingly, this does touch on a basic component of the banshee legend: that banshees follow certain families. If banshees are the ghosts of deceased keeners, their accompaniment is probably due more to a sense of loyalty than a sense of guilt.
More likely the banshee should be thought of as the "spirit of the family", a spirit who attends to the family in a time of transition. The banshee is described as a wee woman with long white, blond or even auburn hair who appears in the vicinity of the birthplace of the soon to be deceased. When seen, she is wearing the clothes of a country woman, usually white, but sometimes grey, brown or red. The former hues represent the colors of mourning while red is associated with magic, fairies and the supernatural. In some accounts she is seen combing her hair as she laments. She is heard more often than seen, wailing as she approaches the abode in the late evening or early morning, sometimes perching on the windowsill two to three hours or even days before a death. As she moves off into the darkness witnesses describe a fluttering sound, such as the sound made by birds flying at night. Hence, the mistaken belief that banshees manifest as birds such as the crow. The inaccurate association with crows is probably due to confusion of the banshee with the primitive Celtic goddess Badb, the goddess of war who appeared frequently in the form of a crow.
Banshees also wail around natural forms such as trees, rivers, and stones. Wedge shaped rocks known as "banshee's chairs" are found in Waterford, Monaghan and Carlow. Although there have been reports of banshees accompanying Irish families who emigrated to the Americas, it appears the banshee more often grieves for an emigrant at the ancestral family seat in Ireland. Stories are told of the misfortune visited upon men who interfered with the banshee by taking her comb or challenging her. These tales point up the value of courteousness towards women, the avoidance of drink, violence and late hours.
There is historical precedence for the banshee's appearance as a female spirit. In Genesis, Eve delivers the apple to Adam. In the Christian myth, Mary delivers Christ unto the world, in ancient Greece women prophesied the message of the gods to mortals who sought their divine purpose at the Oracle of Delphi. Women "deliver" children into the world. As death is as natural as life, it is appropriate that the banshee, a feminine shade, provide the message which ushers a soul along on its journey.
The announcement of the banshee was heard by non-relatives and friends, not usually by close family members of the dying. With this warning, friends from far and near would travel to the failing individual knowing it was the last chance to say goodbye. Upon being told of the banshee's pronouncement, surviving family members could admit the finality of the situation and accept the support of the community that had gathered around them. The visitation of the banshee gave the tribe the opportunity to talk openly about the death with family members and thereby ease the mourning process. Although human death is inescapable, the foreknowledge of such an event does provide advantages, to the soon-to-be-deceased, the survivors and the community -- thereby honoring both the living and the dead.
The Wailing Spirit the Banshee of Irish Lore
By: Linda Paul
Published: March 30, 2008
The banshee may well be one of the most misunderstood folklore legends in existence. People can relate to fairies, nature sprites, leprechauns and elves. While these supernatual beings may be mischievous, they are not portrayed as life threatening like the banshee. According to Irish legend, when one hears the wail of the banshee, death is not far behind. Actually, the banshee is often referred to in Irish and Scottish myth as a "fairy woman." Speculation also links the banshee with the mystical race Tuatha De'Dannan, from whence the fairy folk are descended.
The word banshee is derived from the Irish bean sidhe which translates to "spirit woman." According to legend, a banshee is attached to each Milesian family, which are the families who names begin with O' Mc or Mac and are of ancient Celtic lineage.
She is said to follow the descendants of these families to wherever in the world they may choose to travel or emigrate. She is always present, much like a Guardian Angel, quietly watching over and protecting her family. It is only when a tragedy that she cannot prevent happens that her wailing begins. She appears shortly before a death occurs in "her" family wailing and screaming in rage and frustration. She is heard not only by her family, but often by other people in the area. Sometimes a banshee will sit on the outside windowsill of the soon to be deceased for two or three hours or even days until the death occurs and then she flies away into the darkness, giving rise to the belief that a banshee may manifest as a bird or a crow.
When a member her family is dying, she paces the dark hills around his or her home during the late evening or early morning. She appears in many guises. Sometimes she is seen as a tall, thin woman wearing a misty white cloak of cobwebs with silver-grey hair that floats to the ground behind her as she walks. Her face is ghostly pale and her eyes are red rimmed from centuries of crying. At other times she may be seen as a young girl with long reddish-golden hair, wearing a green kirtle and scarlet mantle decorated with gold. She may appear shrouded from head to toe in a black translucent cloak. Or, she may have long white, blond, or auburn hair, wearing the clothes of a country woman, usually white, but sometimes grey, brown or red. White, grey and brown are traditionally Irish colors of mourning, and red is associated with magic, fairies and the supernatural. Sometimes she appears to be combing her hair with a silver comb as she laments.
She has been called the White Lady of Sorrow, Lady of Death, Woman of Peace, and Spirit of the Air. Even though she is has become a symbol of death, she also represents peace and an acceptance of the cycles of life and death which are inherent in every living thing.
In Scotland, the bean-nighe, or washing woman is sometimes seen by travelers around pools or fjords washing the shrouds of those who are about to die, singing a dirge or crying. If a traveler is brave enough to ask, she will tell the name of the person for whom she is keening. The bean-nigh is thought to be the ghost of a woman who died in childbirth.
The legend of the banshee may well have started Ireland in years past when the measure of a person's respect and stature in the community could be attested to by the number of mourners at the funeral and the extent and length of their grieving. Hence, professional women keeners were paid to weep at the graveside of eminent deceased figures of the community. These keeners were often alcoholic older women who were paid in drink to keen.
Naturally, the Church frowned upon this as a practice. This gives credence to the theory that the original banshees were ghosts of these professional keeners doomed to unrest due to their insincere grieving. This theory actually does fit in with the idea that banshees- like the ghosts of professional keeners - might follow certain families, perhaps out of loyalty rather than guilt.
Whatever the origins of the legend of the banshee, it seems fitting that the bearer of life and the messenger of death would both be women.
Despite her grim reputation, seeing or hearing a banshee is not what actually causes the death. In fact, the banshee is traditionally a very kind woman. As poet and historian W. B. Yeats commented, "You will with the banshee chat, and will find her good at heart."
The Legends of the Irish Banshee
The first is that she is the ghost of a young woman who was brutally killed and died so horribly that her spirit is left to wander the world watching her family and loved ones warning them when a violent death is imminent.
This particular type of Banshee appears as an old woman in rags with dirty grey hair, long fingernails and sharp pointed rotten teeth. Her eyes are blood red and filled with so much hatred and sorrow that to look into them will cause instant death. The Banshees mouth is permanently open as she emits a long and painful scream to torture the souls of the living.
According to legend there are a few Banshees that relish in taking a life and will stalk their victim wailing and screaming at them to the point that the victim goes insane or die. It has been told that the Banshee has ripped many a brave man to death with her bare hands. This is the type of Banshee portrayed in Hollywood ‘horror’ films.
Here in Ireland we have a much less gory view of the Banshee. She does attach herself to families usually with an O or a Mc in the surname such as O’Brien or McNeill etc, and she does indeed foretell a death in the family.
The Banshee does not ‘bring’ death but warns that death is near and this gives the family a chance to prepare and it is not necessarily a violent death it may be of a family member that has lived to 106 years of age! She is there as an escort to ensure that the loved one passes safely to the other side.
Stories have been passed down through generations of families of ‘O’s and ‘Mc’s of their personal experiences with their own Banshee and my family are no different.
I remember being told of an uncle who was walking home one cold blustery night (probably three sheets to the wind after partaking of a snifter to keep the cold out!) and on arriving home told my grand-mother that he had tried to comfort an old woman, dressed in black with a veil over her face, who was crying and wailing outside the house but every time he went over to her she moved away and kept pointing at the house.
My grand-mother knew straight away what this old lady represented and sent my uncle to bed telling him she would have a look. Needless to say she didn’t dare look herself. Three days later my grand-mothers brother died peacefully in his sleep. As children we used to plague my uncle to recount the story of the night he tried to invite the Banshee in for tea!
The Banshee may sometimes only be heard keening (an Irish word used to describe the wailing that women used to do over the body of a deceased person to ward off evil spirits) but when the Banshee decides to appear she may take the form of the following:
An old woman dressed in black with long grey hair and covering her face with a veil.
An old woman with long white hair, red eyes and dressed in a green dress.
A deathly pale woman with long red hair dressed in a white dress sometimes a shroud.
A beautiful woman wearing a shroud.
A beautiful woman with silver-white hair wearing a long shimmering silver dress.
A headless woman naked from the waist up and carrying a bowl of blood.
Of course no-one wishes a visit from a Banshee no matter how alluring she is but she does serve a purpose to the family by letting them know that they should start making preparations for a traditional funeral.
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