The key to success in homesteading self-sufficiency is learning how to make alliances with other living things. We’re used to working with plants and animals on the homestead, but don’t forget the fungi! Fungi are an entirely separate kingdom of life that has much to offer. These fascinating beings can help create a more balanced, integrated and productive backyard ecosystem.
The thing all fungi have in common — and what distinguishes them from the other biological kingdoms — is they exude powerful enzymes to digest their food externally, absorbing nutrients directly into their cells. Reproduction among fungi centers on spores, which are carriers of genetic information for further generations. This is similar to the reproduction of plants via seeds, but on a far smaller scale — the billions of spores are microscopic.
When conditions are right, spores germinate into long strands called hyphae. Each hypha contains half the genetic material needed to produce fertile offspring. When compatible hyphae fuse, their genetic material combines and eventually grows into a complicated mass called mycelium. The mushrooms you see on your walks outside are special reproductive structures grown by the mycelium to release spores and begin the cycle anew.
Mushrooms are divided into four classes, each with a unique relationship with plants. Parasitic mushrooms feed on the tissues of living plants, usually killing the host plant or tree; endophytic mushrooms live within the tissues of plants, trees and grasses without harming them; mycorrhizal mushrooms form mutually supportive relationships with plants (including many crops) in the root zone; and saprophytic mushrooms are decomposers that feed on dead organic tissues while breaking them down into simpler components, making them available to other members of the local ecology and speeding the formation of soil humus. The saprophytic class includes the easiest species for home cultivation.
Five Functions of Fungi
Edibles. Mushrooms are packed with nutrition. They’re rich in protein, minerals, ergosterols (precursors to vitamin D), B vitamins, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Be aware that a few species are lethally toxic, and no mushroom should be eaten unless you are absolutely certain of its identity and safety. This caution applies as much to cultivated as it does to wild species. Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and oyster mushrooms, for example, are easy to identify when they fruit on cultivated logs. A species such as edible nameko (Pholiota nameko), however, is a close enough look-alike to the deadly galerina (Galerina autumnalis) to require as careful identification on inoculated logs as it does if gathered in the wild.
The Magicians Maxim.
To Dare, To Will, To Know, To Keep Silent.
Magic, as opposed to magic the art of illusion and sleight of hand, is the Art Of Causation. Magic is a natural human ability, we are all born with this innate ability to make Magick, all it takes is the desire to learn, and practice. Magic is creating change by connecting with the energies of nature.
These energies of nature exist in all things, all solid matter is made of atoms, sub-atom particles, below this level is pure energy. At the this level of pure energy, there is no solid matter, here everything is connected by threads of energy.
Magic is the control and manipulation of these threads of energy, this energy exists at all levels and planes, so by creating changes to these energy threads causes effects to occur within the physical plane. Magic allows you to alter this energy reality to bring about changes in the material reality, conversely altering your material worlds causes changes to the energy reality.
"Magic is the science of the control of the secret forces of nature." - S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Order of the Golden Dawn.
"Magic is a comprehensive knowledge of all nature." - Francis Barrett.
"Magick is the Art and Science of causing changes to occur in conformity with will." - Aleister Crowley
To perform effective magic, you will need to perfect your visualization skills and train your mind to think in a different way. Magic is based on the principle of "As Above, So Below", this may be taken to mean that which exists on the spiritual level also exists on the physical level. Magic is about responsibility, to ensure that your magic comes from a desire to create harmony. Magic is about learning to control forces within yourself.
There are three basic ingredients in Magic. Desire, Form and Manifestation, you must want something with a real desire/need in order to end up with it on this level. Need is expressed as an idea in your imagination, define your imaginings with clarity and precision, only then can your desire manifest on the physical level.
The Ten Laws of Magic
1. What one gives Magickal Energy, is also received.
2. Magical Energy follows thought and emotion.
3. Thought and emotion creates existence.
4. Magical Energy is the Cause and Effect.
5. All things contradictory are in fact, complimentary.
6. Magical Energy is directed by the Will.
7. Magical Energy flows through the shortest path.
8. All levels of Creation are affected by thought and emotion.
9. Thought and emotion are the voices of Spirits.
10. Magic works in silence.
If Magic is an art form, then the basics of the magicians art can be learnt, real mastery comes from practice or natural talent. But like any other art form, some people will be more adept at Magic than others. Magic is Desire, Form and Manifestation.
If all things are connected then we are all part of the entire spectrum of creation, this Earth we live upon, the Universe, in which the earth and the planets inhabit, and all that it contains. It in turn is a part of us all, then Magic comes not only from within but also from without. Magic, therefore becomes a four fold act, Desire can be trained, Form can be harnessed, Harmony, with self and the Universe can be achieved, Manifestation becomes a reality. Magic, is then mastery of self, and the achievement of harmony.
Symbology and Correspondences
he God and Goddess: Symbology and Correspondences
This list of symbols and correspondences can be used to represent the God and Goddess and magical workings, visualisations, pathworking, or indeed anything that may help you make a connection with the God and Goddess around you.
Table of Correspondences
Goddess and God Symbology
[The Horned God]
Earth Corn King
Maiden, mother, crone All things come from one.
Three Sky God
Great Mother Horned God
The Hidden Moon Herne
Ruler of Change Cernunnos
Tides and Times Pan
Mistress of Magic Ruler of Wild Creatures and Ancient Forests
Giver of Oracles Guardian and Shepherd
Birth Bringer Lord of Life
Death Taker Divine - power of Light
Rebirth Giver Magical Smith
Initiator of the Magician The Maker and Designer
Inspirer of poets Divine Sky Father
The Enchantress Harvest sacrifice
Spell Weaver Lord of The Wild
Charmer and Binder The Goatfoot God
Measurer of Life's Thread Great God of Nature
She Who Cuts The Thread Yang
Our Lady in Darkness Upright Pillar stones
Ruler of The Underworld Totem poles
Healer and Restorer Mithras
Queen of the Dead and Unborn Star Child
Isis - meaning Throne - Aset in Egyptian Beltane
Ea the Mother of Time, Soul of Space, Oldest of the Old God's Fire
Binah - The Dark Mother of All Champion of The Goddess
Yin Spear of The Sun
Ge - Sphere of the Earth Arrows of Passion
Circles Scarlet Poppies - symbol of sacrifce
Holes Lammastide or Lughnassadh - mourning the sacrificed God
Springs Oak, Ash, Sycamore, Holly, Horse Chestnut, Pine
Wells The Lingam
Fountains Green Man
White Green Jack
White Goddess Athame
Eostre - Saxon Goddess Hermes
Rowan, Apple, Yew, Hawthorn, Elder, Willow Mabon, son of Modron
The Yoni Iron
The Chalice Saturn
Mirrors - Hathor Mars
Silver The Holly King
The Sacred Cow
Ekwensu was a Trickster God (Alusi) of the Igbo people who served as the Alusi or God of Bargains and the tortoise. Crafty at trade and negotiations, he was often invoked for guidance in difficult mercantile situations. Like most Trickster Gods, the deity was a force of Chaos and Change, thus in his more violent aspects, Ekwensu was also revered as a God of War and Victory who ruled over the wicked spirits and the chaotic forces of nature. His companion was Death. With the advent of Christianity, the more beneficent aspects of the deity were supplanted by missionaries who came to misrepresent Ekwensu as Satan.
He was the testing force of Chukwu, and along with Ani the Earth goddess, and Igwe, the Sky God, make up the three highest Alusi's of the ancient Igbo people. Ekwensu is also the Igbo word for Satan.
^ A.I. Bewaji, John. "OLODUMARE: GOD IN YORUBA BELIEF AND THE THEISTIC PROBLEM OF EVIL.", University of Florida, Gainesville, April 03, 2010
Opata, Damian U. Ekwensu In the Igbo Imagination : a Heroic Deity Or Christian Devil, Nsukka, Nigeria : Great AP Express, 2005.
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (New York: Doubleday, 1993).
Opata, Damian U. Haunted Ontologies: Translation and Trauma in Postcolonial Igbo Society of Southeastern Nigeria.
Ofu na Ogu
The name of Ekwensu gives you a practical, shrewd nature with interests in business and the world of finance.
You judge most things by their material value and you are usually pre-occupied with seeking your own financial independence.
You desire to be in a position of leadership, for you can see where all the details fit into the overall situation and you have analytical and organizational ability.
You are seldom open to new ideas except those you can prove to yourself in a tangible way.
Imaginative, theoretical, or inspirational ideas are of little interest to you.
In close association you are not often attentive to the needs of others.
It is difficult for you to demonstrate tenderness and warmth and, consequently, personal relationships are not as harmonious as you wish them to be.
Having a large appetite, you could over-indulge in food causing a weakness in your health in the digestive and eliminative tract.
Health problems could also arise in the prostate gland and male generative organs later in life.
Goddess Iansan also known as Oya
By Donna Morgan on Monday, December 23, 2013 at 2:08pm
Iansan, Goddess of the winds, hurricanes and tempests.
Iansan ("mother of nine children") is a Goddess of the winds, hurricanes and tempests. She lives at the gate of the graveyard, and has dominion over the realm of the Dead.
Oya - Yoruba underworld goddess
Submitted by PhyllisDoyle on September 10th, 2013 – Flag this news as inappropriateCategory: Articles
Far beneath the mass of waters in the great Niger River, is the realm of Oya (also called Iansan), the underworld goddess of the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
From a plateau of granite rock mountains with deep canyons and valleys, out of the dense forest and rolling grasslands of the southeastern Guinea Highlands flows the great Niger River, the third longest river in Africa. In Nigeria, the river leaves much of its waters in the Niger Delta, a massive area that covers over 70,000 km (approx. 43,500 square miles). The Niger then journeys on to the Atlantic Ocean.
The culture of the Yoruba people is rich in mythology and folklore. They believe that to keep their oral and philosophical culture alive is of the utmost importance, for the philosophy of the mind is what leads them to religion and ultimately to their spirituality. Oduduwa, believed by the people to be the ancestor of their kings, was a philosopher as well as a deity.
He defined the proper behavior, culture and manners by being the epitome of those traits. He is seen as the Bringer of Light. Oduduwa is an Orisha, which is a manifestation of Olodumare (God).
Oya, like Oduduwa, is also an Orisha. She is a warrior and the spirit of the wind.Oya is also the spirit of lightning, hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and destruction. Yet from the chaos of destruction comes change and transition which she is the spirit of as well. She guides and assists those in transition, especially when in passage from life to death.
Oya, as the goddess of the underworld, stands in wait at the gates of cemeteries to help the spirits of those who have died go forth along their spiritual journey to another realm. Oya, as the female warrior of the Yoruba pantheon is the representation of the power of femininity -- yet the female to Oya is not the weaker of the sexes, for she is symbolic of the strength, courage and independence of women. When she is invoked, she shows her assertiveness and feminine powers. When changes are to come she dances and the swirling of her skirts of all colors is like the winds of the tornadoes and hurricanes she calls.
The mighty Niger River flows with time (life), is in constant change (chaos), flows to it's destination (death) till it reaches the ocean (passage) and goes on to other waters (spirit). Oya is the river, the goddess of chaos, death, passage to spiritual realms. The Niger River has nine tributaries and Oya is the Mother of Nine.
Oya carries a sharp machete which she uses to cut through stagnation, as the force of the waters will cut through whatever is in its path, thereby making room for new growth. Being the spirit of the wind she carries the dead to the otherworld. Oya's spirituality and task as a goddess of death is a message to us to flow with our destiny, embrace any change that fate hands us and to reach the end of our journey with the knowledge that we kept on our true path in life.
As the wind, Oya is the first breath of each soul born into this world, and the last breath taken when a soul leaves this world.~ ~ ~ ~
© Copyright Phyllis Doyle Burns 2013
“A grandfather and grandson were out hunting one early morning, and they came upon a ridge on the mountain they were walking on…. over the ridge was a large clearing below, where at a distance, they could see two wolves – a black one, and a white one – fighting furiously.
They watched as the wolves attacked each other in battle. The grandfather narrowed his eyes, and said slowly, “Ah, yes…. this is the way with all of us Human Beings, within our hearts, each and every day.”
The grandson asked, “What do you mean, grandfather?”, to which the old one replied;
“Always in our hearts, every day, is a struggling battle, like those two wolves down there…. one is the wolf in us who wishes to do bad things, and the other is the wolf who wishes to do good and honorable things.”
The grandson listened more intently now, with a look of slight recognition, and deep concern. The grandfather continued….
“Sometimes, the bad one seems to win…. and other times, the good one seems to take a stronger lead. When we see honorable people who do great deeds, and make great sacrifices for the good of others, we know that the good wolf’s spirit is strong within his heart, and is the winning spirit in that Human Being. Each good and honorable deed he does gives this spirit more power within him. This in turn, empowers the Human Being to be more honorable.”
[the story of two wolves, native american story of wolves, native american story of good and evil, native american, native american story]
The boy smiled, as the grandfather continued to speak….
“But when we see those people who turn to badness, and hatred, doing terrible and dishonourable things, we can know that the bad wolf within him is strong – and each bad and wrongful deed he does, gives the bad wolf more power over him, until it has won, and has utterly consumed him.”
[the story of two wolves, native american story of wolves, native american story of good and evil, native american, native american story]
The young one’s face fell with a look of slight, shuddering inner fear.
So the boy thought long and hard on these things, as he continued to watch the wolves battling below. They both battled fiercely, giving no quarter – neither one backing down. Seeing this, he looked within himself, and saw the truth of his wise grandfather’s words, and it made him very concerned for himself with a great, deep fear.
“But grandfather,” said the boy, “How will I know which wolf will win within me??”
The grandfather smiled, looked at him with an understanding eye, and after a moment, told him,
” ….the one you FEED.”
Do you feel the push and pull of the two wolves within you?
What do you do to feed the wolf?
The formula for Lady Luck conjure oil is as follows: Irish moss, cloves, cinnamon, orange and a lodestone in a base of almond oil. Use to anoint candles, ritual tools, your wallet, purse, anywhere you keep money, playing cards, dice and anything connected to playing games of chance; pour a few drops in your palms and rub your hands briskly together before gambling to sway luck in your favor.
To make a good luck horseshoe talisman, take 9 pods of garlic, 9 sprigs of thyme and 9 sprigs of parsley and place in a small brown paper bag and wrap around the bag 9 times with red string, then tie the packet to the horseshoe and hang it over your door
Here’s an interesting lucky charm to help a friend get good luck for a particular circumstance. Walk around the person three times in a sunwise direction, then give him or her a fava bean on which you have inscribed the number 7. Tell them to make their wish on the fava bean and keep it with them until their wish is answered. Once it is answered, the person should pass it on to someone else in need of good luck by performing the same action - walking around the person in need of good luck and then passing on the fava bean. In that way, it keeps the positive energy flowing with a domino effect.
How Raven Helped the Ancient People
Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the sun and moon and stars, of fresh water and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire and without fresh water.
Gray Eagle had a beautiful daugher, and Raven fell in love with her. At that time Raven was a handsome young man.(1) He changed himself into a snow-white bird, and as a snow-white bird he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's lodge.
When Raven saw the sun and teh moon and the stars and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the lodge through a smoke hole.
As soon as Raven got outside, he hung the sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the sun set, he fastened the moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. By this new light he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he hadstolen. It fell to the ground and there became the source of all the freshwater streams and lakes in the world.
The Raven flew on, holding the brand of fire in his bill.
The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black.. When his bill began to burn, he had to drop the firebrand. It struck rocks and went into the rocks. That is why, if you strike two stones together, fire will drop out.
Raven's feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from the firebrand. That is why Raven is not a black bird. (1) Raven was the benefactor of the mythological people along the shores of Puget Sound and the beaches of the Olypic Peninsula, much as Coyote was of the ancients east of the Cascade Range. Among many other deeds, according to Quillayute mythology, Raven brought the blueback salmon to the rivers along the Washington coast. Having eaten some in the underground home of his father-in-law, Moke, young Raven determined to take a blueback salmon home with him. Pursued, he hid the scales of the fish in his mouth and nostrils. He came up to the south. He threw one scale of the salmon into the Quillayute River, one into the Hoh, and two into the Queets. He washed off all the rest of the scales into the Quinault River. That is why there are a few blueback salmon in the Quillayte and Hoh rivers today, many in the Queets, and very many in the Quinault. "So much for that."
The old gods never died, but their common worship ended centuries ago. Some faded into obscurity, while others were incorporated into myth and legend. Over the years they’ve been adopted – and in some cases, exploited – by various popular cultures. Even people who recognize a particular goddess or god likely have more misinformation about them than real knowledge of who and what they are.
Learning who they are begins with reading their stories. This is easier for some pantheons than for others, and we must avoid the temptation to turn myths into scripture. But the best way to learn about the gods is to read their tales.
Learn how they were worshipped. Mainstream scholarship can be very helpful here. Again, this is easier for some than for others. We know quite a bit about ancient Greek religion. The Celts didn’t write anything down and much of what we have in the way of second-hand reports comes from dubious sources. But there’s more information about them than you may think. As an example, see the links under “Analysis” on the Coru Cathubodua resources page. I’ve read the two doctoral dissertations linked to on the page – they’ve been extremely helpful in understanding where and how Morrigan was worshipped. That in turn helps us figure out the best way to approach these deities here and now.
Read and talk to their contemporary followers. While we are informed and inspired by the past, we live in the present. So do our gods and goddesses. If one of them is calling to you, odds are good he or she already has followers. Some of them have even written books. Look around and ask around – there’s no need to reinvent the polytheistic wheel.
A commitment to the gods is a commitment to form a reciprocal relationship with them. There are many gods and many people – that means there are many different relationships and types of relationships. Some formal, some are casual, and some are quite intimate. There is no one right way, but there are some activities that can be helpful to anyone.
Talk to them – pray regularly. Jason Mankey has a very nice Hellenic ritual on his blog featuring some prayers from the Homeric Hymns. I’ve used some of those prayers too – there is power in their tradition and heritage. But spontaneous prayer is helpful too: stand in front of your altar or under the moon and speak the yearnings of your heart. We rightly want to avoid prayers that sound like a four-year-old’s Christmas list, but vocalizing what you value, what you need, and your thanks for what you have is always a good thing.
Listen to them – meditate regularly. You aren’t likely to hear audible voices and you may not hear voices in your head. Sometimes they speak in signs or omens, sometimes in feelings or impressions. Remain open as to how they will speak to you.
Sacrifice. Sometimes this means “to give up” and sometimes it means “to make sacred.” Pour libations. Share your food and drink. Give to others in their names. This isn’t some sort of divine bribery – as though the gods could be bribed with a glass of wine. It’s following the tradition of hospitality and reciprocity – the gods give to us, so we give to the gods and to each other, setting up a virtuous circle of giving and receiving.
Our goddesses and gods are not the “totally other” god proposed by the monotheists. Like every other living being in the Universe, they are part of the unity of all and are therefore related to us. But they are not us – they are older, wiser, and far more powerful than we are. Our relationships with the gods should be reciprocal, but they are not equal. Their concerns and priorities may be very different from our concerns and priorities. Your comfort and convenience is not likely to be their highest priority – set your expectations accordingly.
A commitment to the gods is a commitment to embody their virtues. Most of our deities have the title “God or Goddess of Somethingorother.” This is not all they are any more than “artist” or “engineer” or “mother” or any of your roles and identities fully describes all you are. Still, it’s an important part of who they are and what they have to teach us.
If you would be committed to Morrigan, commit to sovereignty, to self-determination in your life and in the lives of others. Commit to protect your family and your community from those who would do it harm, whether they are Fomorians, politicians or corporations. Commit to caring for those damaged by conflict and helping them transition to new lives.
If you would be committed to Cernunnos, commit to living free and wild and to nurturing the natural world. If you would be committed to Brighid, commit to healing others, to crafting things of beauty and usefulness, and to being a source if inspiration. If you would be committed to another, find their virtues and manifest them in this world.
The gods are different from us, but not so very different. The more we embody their virtues, the more like them – the more god-like – we become.