airwolf

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

Administrator | Last logged in at

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

Appalachian Magick

Protection Charms, Spells, Curses & more from the mountains of Appalachia

Appalachian magicks are definitely a flavor unto themselves. Some of the practices have their roots in various European traditions but have a bit of Native American lore thrown in as well. Follow the links below to discover the lore concerning each topic. The same links are offered to the left but their titles had to be abbreviated.

Be warned: The information provided is NOT meant to be practiced. Some of the spells and undoings involve killing animals. The information is presented for its historical value ONLY.

Death Omens and Their Undoing

(Warning: some of these methods include harming and killing animals. They are presented as historical information and not intended to be used.)

Mountain Folk (as well as the Irish) believe that a raven that nests on the roof is an omen that a death will occur within a fortnight. To undo this omen you must scare away the ravens before they leave of their own accord. This must be accomplished without the use of human gestures or voices. To do so means that the death will occur in half the original amount of time. Gunshots, rocks and or other animals have been traditionally used.

Black birds who come to rest on a windowsill is a bad omen. If it takes something and for caws while it is there the omen means a death in the family. There are two ways to undo the omens. If it only takes something, you must retrieve the stolen item. If it caws, you must kill the bird and then burn it in a cemetery. Please not that there is a difference between blackbirds and crows. Crows indicate a blight on your land or a famine.

Protection From The Dead and Prevention of Hauntings

Dried basil hung over the doorways, windows, & fireplaces will keep ghosts from entering.
Rue or Purslane planted near the house discourages ghostly visitors.
Wild horseradish or mustard placed under a pillow will prevent nightmares induced by ghosts.
Spinning clockwise 3 times before entering your dwelling reportedly confuses spirits so they cannot enter.
Rapping 3 times on your door post before entering deters ghosts.
Rapping 3 times on your bedpost also deters ghosts from inducing nightmares.
Bells, chimes, and door harps are ancient methods of deterring ghosts stemming from China and Scandinavia.

Serving a plate of potatoes to a ghost just after sundown is another ghost banishing method. When leaving the plate announce that it is for the spirit. Just before dawn, bury the potatoes and the spirit should go with them.If you know the identity of the spirit, and have access to their belongings there is a North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain potato banishing that might be useful.

Take an unwashed, unpeeled potato and cut it in half. Then hollow out a small section, leaving fairly thick walls. Place a small, non-valued item belonging to the deceased inside the hollow space. Then use two long nails or pins to reseal the potato. Take it to the cemetery where they are buried and leave it. The ghost should be bound to the cemetery until its ready to move on.

If you feel you are being followed by an evil spirit, cross over running water. It is said that spirits cannot cross over running water.

To turn away negative forces of human, spectral or animal nature, toss nine broom straws, one at a time, on a hearth fire at sunset.

Squeaky doors should be fixed because they are invitations to ghosts and troublesome spirits.

Windows can be protected with sprigs of fresh rosemary, basil, and woodruff.

Prevention of Curses and Undoing Curses

Prevent a curse, tie up a lock of your hair, a stick from your yard and a clipped nail with red string and carry it in your pocket. Curses cannot affect you as long as you carry the charm. If you lose it, however, it can be used against you by competent enemies.

The broken mirror curse (i.e. seven years bad luck) can be undone by taking the largest shard to the cemetery and touching it to the oldest headstone at midnight.

Placing a fern or ivy on the porch will protect against curses. If its eaten by an animal, then a curse is already in place. Planting dill with the fern protects it against animals.

Yarrow or Pixie Lichen Moss hung on a crib will drive away curses and negativity. This can also be achieved by driving a nail into the crib post.

Milk containing chamomile fed to a child each night was said to protect it from evil and preserve its life 'til dawn.

Appalachian Tree Lore

Oak logs burned in the hearth helps strengthen the home against natural disasters
Pine and Cedar logs burned in the hearth brings prosperity
Birch logs burned in the hearth brings happiness
Elm protects against curses and evil
Basil and Rosemary tossed into a fire protects and brings happiness.

Love Charms and Spells

Collect a handful of violet buds, think thoughts of romance and then toss them in front of you. Look at the patterns they form on the ground. They should suggest a name or the initials of your future mate. If you get better results with white blossoms then your mate will always be faithful. If you get better results with purple blossoms your marriage will be passionate.

Tossing myrtle into a fire is said to cause the face of your future mate to appear.

A white dove flying over your house is an omen that there will be a marriage in your family within a year.

Odds and ends

To prevent a miscarriage, carry a piece of mottled jasper (also known as bloodstone) in your left pocket.
Blue glass (such as a bottle) in a window repels negativity.
Iron above the doors and fireplace repels unwanted faery folk.
A saucer placed above a door will turn away thieves.
Appalachians 'smudged' their homes with a 'purging incense:' a combination of dried valerian root, dried basil, and rue (not pleasant smelling). In some areas it is traditional to have the oldest member of the household carry the incense while the youngest carries a lit candle and walks behind them.
Horseshoes placed above doorways bring good luck and blessings (originally from Irish folklore).
Dried leather beans strung together and hung over the door brings good luck and protection.
Seeing a cardinal (or "red bird") means you will have unexpected visitors.
Dreams are usually interpreted by their contraries (e.g., dreams of death or a funeral indicates pregnancy of someone you know, and vice versa).
Placing a hat on a table results in unexpected guests, usually unpleasant ones.
If your right palm itches you are going to receive money.
If your left palm itches, you will have an unexpected bill or loss of money.

These were submitted via email to me from Scott who lives in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Submitted by Patty German who learned of these from her grandmother. http://www.whiterosesgarden.com/book_of_shadows/other_books/appalachian/appalach_contents_pgs/APP_INDEX_PG.htm

Appalachian Granny Magic Author

Ginger Strivelli

The Appalachian Granny

Magic Tradition of Witchcraft is one that is only recently being heard of. Though the tradition is a very old one, dating all the way back to the first settlers of the magical Appalachian Mountains who came over from Scotland and Ireland in the 1700's. They brought along their even older Irish and Scottish Magical Traditions with them. Those two 'old world' Traditions were then blended with a dash of the local tradition of the Tsalagi (Now, called the Cherokee Indians.) The recipe for the Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition was then complete, though this potion simmered on a low boil for many generations before anyone dubbed it with the name, 'Appalachian Granny Magic.' The Witches of the Appalachian Mountains called themselves 'Water Witches' and/or 'Witch Doctors' depending upon whether they were personally more gifted in healing, midwifery and such realms of magic, or if they were more in tune with dowsing for water, ley lines, energy vortexes and the making of charms and potions.

Often a Practitioner called themselves by both titles if they were so diverse in their Magical practices. The Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition, like many of the older ones, was passed on from parents to their children for many generations, and generally was not 'taught' outside of the individual family structures. Because of the rural and secluded nature of the Appalachian community, the old customs, wisdom, and practices were not as often lost, forgotten, or 'modernized' as the 'old world' traditions that came over to other, more urban areas of the 'new world.' Therefore, one will often find that ancient Irish or Scottish songs, rhymes, dances, recipes, crafts, and 'The Craft,' are more accurately preserved in Appalachia than even in Ireland or Scotland. Many of these old Scot/Irish traditions, as well as the Tsalagi traditions, both magical and mundane, were carried on in Appalachia until modern times. Some songs, spells, and such have been passed down for many years that way, though sadly, sometimes only by rote, with the original meanings beings lost in the shifting sands of time.

In the secluded mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, the Virginias and the Carolinas, this denomination of the ancient religion of Witchcraft continued right on through the decades of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and the early twentieth centuries; a time when Witchcraft elsewhere was being nearly forgotten and abandoned by the increasingly modern and monotheistic world. The people of the mountains still relied upon Mother Nature in a way, that 'city folk' did not anymore. The fertility of the crops, the livestock, and of the people themselves was as paramount to the Appalachians of 1900 as it was to the early American colonists in the 1600's. Therefore, fertility, and the worship of Mother Nature, Jack frost, Father Winter, Chloe, Spider Grandmother, Demeter, and such varied deities continued in the Appalachian region, staying a current part of the people's faith, rather than becoming a mythic memory as such 'nature worship' did elsewhere. In fact, we still see "Lady Plenty and Lady Liberty" Goddess of the harvest, with cornucopia in hand, and Goddess of freedom, on the official North Carolina State seal.

Amazingly, even the terms "Witch"", "Witchcraft", "spells", "charms" and such never became taboo in the modern Appalachian culture. Nearly every mountain top and 'holler' community had their local 'Witch' who was openly called such, as a title of honor, not as a insult or a charge of crime, as the term came to be used in other more urban American cultures of the seventeen, eighteen and nineteen hundreds. The "Witch Doctors" were still called upon to heal a sick child, or deliver a baby, or tend to the dying, as Witches had been so charged with doing in Europe during ancient times. Since often a mountain community had no medical doctor to call upon, the local Witches continued to work as the only healers, well up until the early twentieth century. The local 'Witch' was also called upon to dowse for water, ley lines, and energy vortexes when one was digging a well, planting a new garden, burying a loved one, or doing any other work with the Earth. Thereby, the term 'Water Witch' arose, though, it is misleading, as these Witches dowsed for more than just water, and one did not have to be a Witch to dowse, though most dowsers of that era and location were, indeed, Witches.

The fairy folk, leprechauns, and other 'wee people,' followed the Scots and Irishmen to Appalachia, it seems, as the Witches of this tradition continue to work closely with these beings. Of course, the Tsalagi people had their own such beings, here when the Scots and Irishmen arrived. The Tsalagi called their magical being neighbors; 'Yunwi Tsunsdi,' which translates to 'The Little People.' Offerings are still commonly given to the wee people daily in Appalachia. To this day, you will find a granny woman leaving a bowl of cream on her back door step, or throwing a bite of her cornbread cake out a window, before placing it upon her families' table. The spirits of the dead are often worked with as well, a lot of ancestral spirit guide workings are passed down through our Tradition, those practices trace back to not only Scotland and Ireland, but the Tsalagi Nation as well. 'Haints' are widely feared as 'angry' ancestral spirits, and many spells, charms, and rituals are practiced to keep these troublemakers at bay. One of the most interesting and common haint related spells requires that the doors of a home be painted 'haint blue.' Haint Blue is a bright baby blue with a periwinkle tinge, very close to but about one shade darker than the Carolina Tarheels' Blue color.

This color is believed to repel the spirits and keep them out of the home. Music is a large part of the Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition. Many of the oldest spells are sung and danced. Clogging, as Irish Step-dancing came to be called in Appalachia, as well as reels, gigs, lullabies, and chants sung in rounds are all very common magical ingredients in Appalachian spells. For example, a traditional Earth Blessing to be sung while planting and harvesting goes; (Broken into syllables for easier pronunciation of the ancient Tsalagi language, English translation follows) A da we hi a ne he ne ha Do hi u a iu ni O lo hi a li ga lu lo hi u nah ta Ga li e li ga O sa da du Wise Protectors, they are so giving Serenity, it resounds Mother Earth and Father Sky are so giving I am thankful, it is good Another example of the old world musical roots of Appalachian musical magic is the locally common use of the song 'Auld Lang Syne' for Samhain and Funerals, as well as the secular new year.

Divination is popular among Appalachian Granny Witches. Many read Tarot, and regular playing cards, tea leaves, and clouds. Scrying in bowls of water, dirt, or sand is also common. Spider webs are scrutinized for messages from the Cherokee Spider Grandmother Goddess, a Goddess of fate, magic, weaving, art and storytelling, who is said to weave magical messages into the webs of her creatures. (In Tsalagi, She was called; 'Kanene Ski Amai Yehi.') "The Weaver" Painting By Ginger Strivelli The tools of the Appalachian Granny Witch vary a bit from the modern 'Wiccan' tools we all are so familiar with. The Wand, often instead called the 'rod', as it is in fact a dowsing rod, is the most important tool. This is usually a long straight rod, rather than the 'forked stick' type dowsing rod used by mundane dowsers. It is generally made of wood from a flowering tree such as dogwood, apple or peach, (For Water dowsing) or made from a metal, (For ley line or energy dowsing) copper conducts energy best, I personally feel.

A ritual blade, such as a Athame, is only occasionally used and more often a agricultural blade like a thresher, ax or such will be used in its stead. Cauldrons are used more widely than chalices, in fact, a cauldron placed in ones front yard was a 'open-for-business' type Witches' sign in times gone by, much like a barber's pole is used today. However, that practice has become a popular decoration in the South in recent decades, and one is likely to find a person has a cauldron decorating their front yard, because they saw it in 'Southern Homes Magazine' and thought it was quaintly attractive, rather than it being used to advertise that the 'Witch is in,' so to speak. Mirrors, candles, brooms, pottery, and baskets are other common tools of the Tradition, and all of those items are still commonly made at home, by hand in the mountains of Appalachia. As most of the Magic of the Tradition is of a healing, practical or sympathetic nature rather than "High" or Ritualistic in form, and there are some differences related to that.

Ritual clothing is generally not used, and circles are not cast for every spell, only the more formal rites. An Appalachian Witch, like myself, might do a dozen or more spells in any given day, often with two or three generations of practitioners taking part, so running in to change clothes, or stopping to cast a full circle in the 'strict' form would be rather impractical, and in fact, neither was commonly done in the past, in our Tradition. Although some modern Appalachian Witches, being eclectic already with our Scottish, Irish, and Tsalagi roots, have started to use some other Traditions' practices (such as wearing ritual clothing, casting a formal circle, etc.) at times, as well. We, as a Magical Tradition, are very practical, and 'down-to-earth.' We are very eclectic, and informal in our approach to Witchcraft. It is our way of life, as well as our religion. And we are working to preserve both, for the future generations of Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition Witches.

Resources:

Mountain Magick by Edain McCoy
Voices of Our Ancestors by Dhyani Ywahoo
Scottish Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Celtic Myth and Magic by Edain McCoy
Myths of the Cherokee James Mooney

Appalachian Granny Magic

Contributed by: firewytch

Appalachian Granny Magic is only recently being heard of by many people even though the tradition is very old, dating all the way back to the first settlers of the Appalachian Mountains. In the 1700's immigrants came and brought along their Irish and Scottish traditions. Those two traditions were then blended with the local traditions of the Cherokee Indians. Although it has been around for a long time there is very little information written about it. It is known to be an earth based tradition passed on by Scottish, Irish and Cherokee ancestors. It is the belief that nature is sacred. The Appalachian Witch respects and reveres nature however they do not worship it.

Appalachian Granny Magic was passed on from parents to their children for many generations and usually was not passed outside of the family. The Appalachian communities were small, rural and secluded, so the customs, wisdom, and practices were not as often lost, forgotten, or modernized. Because of this many of the ancient Irish or Scottish songs, rhymes, dances, spells, rituals and 'The Craft,' were more accurately preserved in Appalachia than in most other places in the world. Many of the Scot/Irish traditions, as well as the Cherokee traditions, have been carried on in Appalachia up to this day. In the secluded mountains of the South Eastern United States, this form of Witchcraft continued right on through the decades of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and the twentieth centuries; a time when Witchcraft was being forgotten and abandoned by the world. The people of the mountains still relied upon Mother Nature.

The fertility of the crops, the livestock, and of the people themselves was as important to the Appalachians of the 1900’s as it was to the immigrants in the 1600's. Mother Nature, Jack Frost, Father Winter and other deities continued in the Appalachian region, as a part of the people's beliefs. Most Appalachian Witches believe that all people have a spirit; that all things of the earth have a spirit. They believe that spirits are a part of nature but not a part of the energy of god; they do not believe in many gods and goddesses as separate entities, they believe in one universal GOD.

Appalachian Witches observe the sabbats, solstices and equinoxes, but do not relate them to mythology; it is the seasonal changes that they recognize. The terms ‘Witch,’ Witchcraft’, ‘spells’ and ‘charms’ never became taboo in Appalachia; nearly every mountain top and holler had their 'Witch'; although practitioners usually called themselves cunning or wise women. Local folk went to the wise ones for prophecy, and protection, for delivering babies, healing with herbs, and other remedies and cures; providing abortions, love potions, and poisons; divination and casting of curses and blessings, or care for the dying. Often a mountain community had no doctor to call, the Witches were the only healers available to them,well into the twentieth century. (The local 'Witch' was also called upon to dowse for water.)

Fairy and leprechaun lore was brought by the Scots and Irish to Appalachia and the Witches continued to believe in them. The Cherokee people had their own magical beings when the Scots and Irish arrived. Offerings are still given to little people in Appalachia; it is as simple as leaving a bowl of milk on the door step or throwing a piece of cornbread out a window for them. Working with spirits of the dead and ancestral spirit guide workings were also passed down, these practices trace back to Scotland, Ireland and the Cherokee Nation. Spirits were shown respect; believed to be those who passed before… ancestors, family; but not all spirits are believed to be helpful, some can be troublesome. 'Haints' are feared spirits; spells, charms, and rituals are practiced to keep them away. One of the most common ‘haint’ related spells requires that the porch ceiling of a home be painted ‘haint’ blue. This is believed to keep the ‘haints’ out of the home. Divination is popular in Appalachia.

Many of the Witches read Tarot, and regular playing cards, tea leaves, coffee grounds, spider webs and clouds. Scrying in water, dirt, or sand is common. The Appalachian Witch tools are different from 'Wiccan' tools. The Wand, is called the 'rod', it is the dowsing rod and for some Witches the most important tool. It is usually a long straight rod, made of wood from a flowering tree such as dogwood, apple or peach for Water dowsing. A ritual blade is not used; a kitchen knife or an ax will be used instead. Cauldrons are used for many purposes. A cauldron placed in the front yard was an 'open-for-business’ Witches’ sign in times gone by. Mirrors, candles, brooms, pottery, and baskets are other common tools and some of those items are still made at home, by hand in the mountains of Appalachia.

Many times the only tools used are the mind and willpower of the Witch. Appalachian magic was a solitary practice. It required little preparation and no expensive tools or specialized knowledge. It was very practical and down-to-earth; eclectic and informal in its approach, rather than ‘High’ or ‘Ritualistic’ in nature. It was primarily concerned with omens, curses, cures, and protection. Ritual clothing was generally not used, and circles were not cast. All nature was believed to be sacred, so a “sacred” place did not have to be created; Appalachian witches believe magic need not be ritualistic to be effective because Magic is essentially prayer. SOME modern Appalachian Witches, being eclectic already with Scottish, Irish, and Cherokee roots, have started to use some other traditions practices such as wearing ritual clothing and casting a circle.

Many of the old spells and remedies are still used in Appalachia today. In fact a few years ago my father had shingles, a relative in the coal mining mountains of Kentucky told him the best treatment was to rub the area with the blood of a black chicken. (He didn’t try it.) I have spent my life in the mountains of Appalachia. My grandfather was an Irish immigrant, who married a Cherokee woman. I was born in a coal mine camp in eastern Kentucky, delivered by the local witch.

I have painted the porch ‘haint’ blue for my mother-in-law and watched a witch dowse for water after wells went dry. I have experienced Granny magic first hand all my life, even though it was never called that. It was just a part of daily life. This is about the Appalachian Granny magic I know. I hope you enjoyed reading about it. Here is a sample of spells, remedies and beliefs of the people in the Appalachian Mountains. I have included things I have heard and seen. Some work and some don't.

If you dream of a birth, there will be a death and vice versa.
If your ears are burning, someone is talking about you.
When a certain area of your body itches, it foretells of things to come:

left eye = you will be made happy
right eye = you will be made angry
palm in general = you will receive money
back of hand in general = you will give away money
fingers in general = you will receive money only to spend it quickly
right palm = you will shake hands with a stranger
left palm = you will touch money
souls of feet = you will walk on strange grounds

A horseshoe aimed upward, nailed to a barn or house, will protect from evil and bad luck.
A raven that nests on the roof is an omen that a death will occur. To undo this omen you must scare away the ravens before they leave on their own.
Black birds that come to rest on a windowsill are a bad omen.

If it caws while it is there the omen means a death.
If a bird flies into the house it is bad luck.

Finding a dead bird is also considered a bad omen.
Dried basil hung over the doorways, windows, fireplaces will keep ‘haints’ from entering.

Garlic placed under a pillow or knocking 3 times on the bed post will prevent nightmares caused by spirits.

Knocking 3 times beside your door before entering deters ‘haints’.
Bells and chimes are methods of keeping ‘haints’ away. (windchimes).
If you feel you are being followed by a ‘haint’, cross over running water. “Haints’ cannot cross over running water.
To turn away negative forces from humans or animals toss nine broom straws, one at a time, on a fire at sunset.
Squeaky doors are invitations to ‘haints’.
Windows can be protected from ‘haints’ with sprigs of fresh rosemary and basil.
Placing a fern or ivy on the porch will protect against curses. If it’s eaten by an animal, then a curse is already in place.
Yarrow or Lichen Moss hung on a crib or driving a nail into the crib post will drive away curses.
Carrying a piece from a tree that has been struck by lightening will protect the carrier.
Acorns thrown on the roof before it rains will prevent hail damage.
Oak logs burned in the hearth will protect the home.
Pine and Cedar logs burned in the hearth brings prosperity.
Birch logs burned in the hearth brings happiness
Elm protects against curses and evil.
Basil and Rosemary tossed into a fire protects and brings happiness.
A white dove flying over your house is an omen that there will be a marriage, some believe it is generally a good omen.
To rid your self of a wart, cut a potato in half and rub on the wart.
To make your hair grow you should place clippings under the down spout of your home.
To cure a child of asthma, have the child cut a mark on a tree as high up as can be reached. When the child is taller than the mark on the tree the asthma will be gone.
If someone plants a cedar he will die when it grows large enough to shade his coffin.

http://www.iamawitch.com/article.php?story=20060516132527159

Being Claimed By The Goddess

Way Back when i first started this blog i told you of a dream i had where in the Goddess claimed me as her daughter. I told you i would eventually give you full details of this dream…and totally forgot to do so!

 

So my dears, read on to get the full account of that dream….

 

It is a summer day in some wilderness retreat. My friends,family,and acquaintances are celebrating a pagan holiday and i am walking side by side with the OldWoman face of the Goddess.She has a warm grandmotherly feel too her with a keen edge. She wears layers upon layers of grey and black shawls and skirts. Her hair is grey and somewhat mattyand her eyes are black and tinkly like a ravens. We chitchat and laugh together, mostly amused that all these people are here celebrating a pagan holy day and have no idea they are doing so! For several moments we talk and enjoy each others company when suddenly she turns serious. This whole time she has been leading me into the back of a pavilion. The back of it is hidden from the rest of the scene. Once we are there she turns to me, looks me in the eyes and takes my left hand.

 

I feel her draw something on the palm of my hand as she says, “I name you the witch…” and she gives me a name. i would have thought this was a name from my cultural interests…but it wasnt its a name from India and it means “black beauty” or “beautiful night”….

 

So, there you go…how i was claimed by the Goddess….

http://barefootwisewoman.wordpress.com/

Why Take The Journey?

We as a society are often told not too talk about certain things.  A lot of times things such as abuse,self loathing,rape,and fear  are  put on the list of “inappropriate” conversation topics. Especially if they happened too you. Propriety dictates what is “healthy” conversation. It is unfortunate because often just being able to talk about these things can heal even the deepest emotional and spiritual wound.  And so dear reader, you know why i post here. To heal and to challenge the boundaries of “propriety”.

 

In my previous journey post, i asked for healing. My goal for some time now has been healing. You see my darlings, i know that i have a Soul Shard. Several years ago my life was in a terrible state of turmoil. I had been in a state of spiritual crisis for some time and then to add too that i lost my home,my mate, and my friends all in one fell swoop. I had been in such an emotional state that when the final blow was struck i felt something break inside me… If it  had a physical sound i suspect it sounded a bit like glass breaking mixed with a piano string snapping…

 

From that moment forward i didn’t feel like i should. My emotions felt muted, and in some cases gone entirely. It was kind of nice to function is a numb fog.  However,one can only function that way so long and i did return too my roots and start working things out. I was significantly better until 2011. My home was struck by the first EF6 tornado on record and not three days before my father in law had a massive stroke and fell into a coma. Not long after that my mother was diagnose with stage 2 breast cancer…and it went on and on like that.

 

Now i realise ive slipped back into a numb state, and ive started working forward to help find my Soul Shard and retrieve it.  I’m sure some of you may wonder what a Soul SHard is. Its a shamanic concept… and one that modern science, even if it wont admit it, and found as well. When a deeply traumatic event takes place in a person’s life a part of them self seems to shatter and fall away. Thar shard is a part of the soul that has removed it self because of the stress and trauma of the event. That part can almost become autonomous too the rest of the soul. unfortunately this can cause the whole to no longer function correctly. Emotional and mental issues will manifest and eventually can start to case physical health problems.

 

The foremost job of a Shaman(druid,witch wisewoman etc..) in these cases is to search the other world for the shard and reconcile the too parts.  It’s not easy…often the shard will hide and resist. Now i am at that state, finding the shard. Where have i gone? I have found when i am on the other side i am that which is my purest form. Who i am at my core… Not what the world wishes to see, not even what my Mate chooses to see…Me that which is a fragment of the Divine.

 

So on my latest journey here is the progress i made:

I found my self walking down a wooded path, hand in hand with a Shadow. It was smoke like and in the shape of a humanoid. I could tell neither gender nor race only that it was human shaped and meant me no harm.  It walked with me until i reached the shores of the Lake where Barinthus met me in the Barge. Again he was sandy blonde with medium sized dear horns and blue woad tattoos on his face.

 

But this time there was a priestess in the barge with him.  She was silent and he hood was pulled down so i could only see her nose and mouth. She helped me onto the barge without a word. The Shadow stayed on the banks of the lake, as far as i can tell.  From there i sailed too the shores of Avalon and was dropped off there. I made my way through the fields in their final state of harvest. The tools of harvest were brought too my attention and we were instructed to think on what we wished to cut away and what we wished to harvest.

 

Sacrifice and harvest…the same and yet different depending on what side of the fence you are on…

 

Finally i reached the Tor and sat down to consider what it was i was doing here. I was here, again seeking my whole self. I took stock of who i was in this place. I was older, but only slightly.  My hair had stones and feathers hanging in it. I wore the cloths of a Primal Shamaness. I wore a dear skin tunic and a robe of cotton below it. I carried my stang, but she had been completed (ill post pictures when i make manifest her true form here in this world) and i felt who i was. My truest self. And i knew what i needed to ask the Goddess:

How do i bring my truest self into the physical world?

With that a door down into the Mound opened and i followed the steps counter clockwise down…down…down into the hearth.

Whenever i am here i can hear a deep vibrating heart beat…The air throbs with it. The room is medium size and down the center runs a stream like an aqueduct. Small torches on the wall light the area enough to see.  In the back of the room sat a women on a primitive bench.

 

Her hair was white and her clothing simple. As i stepped closer i could see she was spinning her own hair on a spindle.

 

 

I Approached this goddess knowing exactly who she was, she was Ragnell the Arthurian face of of the Owlwoman.  i kneeled before her and she leaned down to be almost nose too nose with me. As i watched her face is was as if smoke would curl over and around her and as it passed her face would change from old and hag like to young and beautiful and back again. i said too her:

Sister, how do i bring my truest self into the world? How to i manifest this self in my everyday life?

Her serine face smiled and she said too me:

Spin the Thread

Weave the Web

Dream the Dream

Remember the Raven (at this point the image of a raven holding a small smooth stone passed through my mind)

See the Owl

Weave the Dream

Make it happen.

With that i stood and walked back too the stairs, i thanked Ragnell and in a shimmer of gold light made my way up…up…up…and out…back into my body…

http://barefootwisewoman.wordpress.com/

Embrace Your Hag Under The Full Moon

It has been far longer than i had realized, since last i posted here. I’m sure you all thought this blog was dead! For a time i suppose it was. Since last i posted i was inducted into the Daughters of the Sacred Grail, a women’s Avalonian group. During which i had a vision of the Horned Hunter.  And earlier this year my partner and i were able to conceive a little girl. As i write i am 8 months and one week pregnant.

  However, today i’m not here to write about my little one (you’d be surprised but one does get tired of talking about their   spawnling) During this period i took off from the blog, i began to study the “Bee Mysteries” so to speak. The past is full of priestesses who were devotees of Bee Goddesses. The topic has interested me every since seeing the remake of The Wickerman. But as of late my path has been heading in a totally different, or rather parallel, direction too Bee Priestesshood. This has left me a bit lost and confused. I kept receiving indicators,messages if you will, on a totally different wavelength.

  My road seems to be dipping down below the normal road of service and ritual. Deep down into the darkness of the Unseen places.

You take the high road,

and I’ll take the low road…

I was and am being lead down the low road. Or at least the Low Road has been made available for my travel. But, again this left me confused and a tad disappointed in my self. I have been championing the Bee Path for over a year now, and it seems to not be part of this new direction…or old direction depending on how i look at it.

  So, in hopes of divining where i’m going with all this, the past few full moons i’ve been working to figure this out in the Otherworld. All things start there and eventually manifest here, so it the best place to get direct answers. Last months whilst on the Holy Isle i became and old woman. A Hag in looks. I was shown an owl and a young child playing in a garden. I filed these things away for safe keeping in my mind.

 

  Still not satisfied, this month i sought out Dame Ragnell Her self. The Lady Ragnell and i have a history together. I assume, since she seeks me out in this world and the Other, that she is my Matron goddess. Last night i sought her under the hill in Glastonbury. Deep down in the widdershin world. The Horned Hunter ushered me to the Otherworld in his barge small white candles hanging from the tines of his deer horns. He asked me what i came to seek and i told him three times. He simply nodded and offered me his hand then helped me off the barge on the other side.

 

  From there i made my way,with purpose, too the Tor  [Image] At the top I found a sort of trap door that i entered and began my decent via widdershin stares. Once i reach the bottom waiting for me was Dame Ragnell with her stark white hair and ancient face. I sat before her and watched her gnarled old hands spin her hair into thread on a bottom whirl drop spindle.

 

  In short order i told her of my trials, of my worry over the Bee Path, and not understanding the direction i’m going. She listened, but only grunted now and then to indicate her listing, or perhaps to punctuate something i was not grasping. When i was spent and had said everything i could think to say, she looked up from her spindle into my eyes. Again, as in times before, Her face would flash from old and ugly to vibrant and beautiful in a puff of smoke. Her eyes turning from beady and black to bright blue.

 

  For several seconds she just looked at me. Finally she grabbed my arm and simply said

Embrace your Hag

 

Then the spindle in Her hand shrank a little and became silver. She handed it to me and cackled out (very much like a raven or crow)

 

You’re symbol

 

I put the spindle in my Crane Bag and when i looked up She was gone…

 ~unknown author~

  Do i know for sure what these things mean? I’m not positive, but i have a good idea. Reflecting back on my phraseology when telling Her of my worries, yes i think i understand her answer. My path is simplistically complicated. I have been looking at the parts and not the underlying current. My road is that of service, but i will always be beside and underneath what most people see. Mine is the way of the old Owlfolk, walker between places. What does this mean for the whole Bee Priestesshood, i’m not yet sure. But at least now i know where North is.

 

The Genius Loci

The Genius Loci is the spirit of a specific area,even cityscapes have some genius loci in them. This spirit will watch over the area and the spirits that reside within it. They are the Guardians of the area and can be a great ally too the practitioner.

This process or ritual is intended to be used on a regular bases to build a relationship with this entity.  The benefits of doing the work is many fold, including helping the practitioner to come to understand, in a more personal way, the symbiosis between man and nature. As well as learning the locations of power spots or Faery Gates in the area,being able to ask favors or petitions of the Land Spirit, and creating a power location for personal spiritual work.

I strongly suggest you not petition the land spirits for anything until you have established a firm relationship with them.

What you will need for the working:

1 red candle
Bread (please remember this is an offering too someone, quality DOES matter)
Wine,beer,or other spirits again quality
any bobbles you may wish to also offer
bell,whistle,or drum

For this rite you will not be casting a circle, so you do need to be mindful of the area you have chosen. If an area feels hostile or negative its a good bet its not a land spirit interested in your company. Thus do not choose to do this working there. I would suggest starting with the Genius Loci near your home. Look for some thing distinctive in the landscape. Often that is where you will make the strongest first connection with the spirit. Once you have found your location you may proceed as follows:

Facing north, place the candle in the middle of your work space, bread to the north of the candle,wine to the west,bell to the east, and finally, you set in the south. If you wish at this point you may walk in a widdershin direction around your work space 3,6,or 9 times. This will help you create a stronger connection with the Unseen spaces. Think of it as cranking on an old Graham Bell telephone.

Settle down before your altar, setting in the south facing north,close your eyes and experience the sounds,smells, and sensations of the area. Try to sense the spirit here. When you are calm and centered and have fully awakened your senses too your surroundings; take up your bell or other instrument and ring it. As you do you must KNOW that this sound rings forth into the Otherworld across the Veil and is heard by the Genius Loci.

Now light the red candle saying something to the effect of:

“I kindle this flame

as a beacon into the unseen places.

I draw the eye of the Spirit of this Land.

A sworn child of the Mother,

who wishes only to honor you.”

Hopefully, if all goes well straight out of the gate, you could get some sort of response here. Be patient and above all, observant. It will be subtle a branch moving oddly, an animal that looks at you in an uncanny manner. If nothing happens, do not fear, it may not for several workings. Just continue on with the work. However, if a feeling of panic, or hostility comes over you, pack it in sister! You’re being told to shove off. But lets say all goes well.

Next hold your hand over the bread and say something to the effect of:

“Here is the bread of life,the nourishment of the Earth

As it gives life too me

i offer of it too you

I consecrate it in honor too the spirits of this land.”

Take a small bit of the bread and say “May we never hunger”

Next take up the cup of wine and say some thing too the effect of:

“Here is the cup of Mater Sangreal

The blood of the Mother

The blood of abundance

I consecrate it in honor of you the land spirits.”

Take a sip of the wine and say “may we never thirst.”

Now you have a few options here, you may place the bread and wine in a hole you have dug, or a bowl,or place the bread in the cup then poor it out as you speak. However you choose to do it bring the two together and say something to the effect of:

“As i have taken,

So this is given

Shared in honor

as one who is of the family of the Old Gods

with the Spirits of the Land.

I give it to the Ground

I give it to the Genius Loci

That the seen and unseen people

and spirits may be made whole

again and live in peace.

For behold,what is taken is truly given,

and what is given is truly taken.

So be it.”

(by the by the line what is taken is truly given and what is given is truly taken is from Robin Artissons book The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill please check it out for more workings and prose )

From here you may leave any other offerings you have thank the spirits and leave your offering of bread and wine on the earth as the invocation suggests. Tahda! you just honored a Genius Loci…now keep doing so! Come back and keep the area clean, feed the animals, do this working again at least once a month. Eventually very interesting things will happen if you allow your self to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

The Genius Loci

 

The Genius Loci

 

The Genius Loci is the spirit of a specific area,even cityscapes have some genius loci in them. This spirit will watch over the area and the spirits that reside within it. They are the Guardians of the area and can be a great ally too the practitioner.

This process or ritual is intended to be used on a regular bases to build a relationship with this entity.  The benefits of doing the work is many fold, including helping the practitioner to come to understand, in a more personal way, the symbiosis between man and nature. As well as learning the locations of power spots or Faery Gates in the area,being able to ask favors or petitions of the Land Spirit, and creating a power location for personal spiritual work.

I strongly suggest you not petition the land spirits for anything until you have established a firm relationship with them.

What you will need for the working:

1 red candle
Bread (please remember this is an offering too someone, quality DOES matter)
Wine,beer,or other spirits again quality
any bobbles you may wish to also offer
bell,whistle,or drum

For this rite you will not be casting a circle, so you do need to be mindful of the area you have chosen. If an area feels hostile or negative its a good bet its not a land spirit interested in your company. Thus do not choose to do this working there. I would suggest starting with the Genius Loci near your home. Look for some thing distinctive in the landscape. Often that is where you will make the strongest first connection with the spirit. Once you have found your location you may proceed as follows:

Facing north, place the candle in the middle of your work space, bread to the north of the candle,wine to the west,bell to the east, and finally, you set in the south. If you wish at this point you may walk in a widdershin direction around your work space 3,6,or 9 times. This will help you create a stronger connection with the Unseen spaces. Think of it as cranking on an old Graham Bell telephone.

Settle down before your altar, setting in the south facing north,close your eyes and experience the sounds,smells, and sensations of the area. Try to sense the spirit here. When you are calm and centered and have fully awakened your senses too your surroundings; take up your bell or other instrument and ring it. As you do you must KNOW that this sound rings forth into the Otherworld across the Veil and is heard by the Genius Loci.

Now light the red candle saying something to the effect of:

“I kindle this flame

as a beacon into the unseen places.

I draw the eye of the Spirit of this Land.

A sworn child of the Mother,

who wishes only to honor you.”

Hopefully, if all goes well straight out of the gate, you could get some sort of response here. Be patient and above all, observant. It will be subtle a branch moving oddly, an animal that looks at you in an uncanny manner. If nothing happens, do not fear, it may not for several workings. Just continue on with the work. However, if a feeling of panic, or hostility comes over you, pack it in sister! You’re being told to shove off. But lets say all goes well.

Next hold your hand over the bread and say something to the effect of:

“Here is the bread of life,the nourishment of the Earth

As it gives life too me

i offer of it too you

I consecrate it in honor too the spirits of this land.”

Take a small bit of the bread and say “May we never hunger”

Next take up the cup of wine and say some thing too the effect of:

“Here is the cup of Mater Sangreal

The blood of the Mother

The blood of abundance

I consecrate it in honor of you the land spirits.”

Take a sip of the wine and say “may we never thirst.”

Now you have a few options here, you may place the bread and wine in a hole you have dug, or a bowl,or place the bread in the cup then poor it out as you speak. However you choose to do it bring the two together and say something to the effect of:

“As i have taken,

So this is given

Shared in honor

as one who is of the family of the Old Gods

with the Spirits of the Land.

I give it to the Ground

I give it to the Genius Loci

That the seen and unseen people

and spirits may be made whole

again and live in peace.

For behold,what is taken is truly given,

and what is given is truly taken.

So be it.”

(by the by the line what is taken is truly given and what is given is truly taken is from Robin Artissons book The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill please check it out for more workings and prose )

From here you may leave any other offerings you have thank the spirits and leave your offering of bread and wine on the earth as the invocation suggests. Tahda! you just honored a Genius Loci…now keep doing so! Come back and keep the area clean, feed the animals, do this working again at least once a month. Eventually very interesting things will happen if you allow your self to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

 

 

How a good little Celtic Pagan girl got caught up in Hoodoo

 How a good little Celtic Pagan girl got caught up in Hoodoo

October 23, 2013 by thistleinavalon

I have a secret. I enjoy learning about Hoodoo.

Despite being what I consider a Celtic Eclectic Pagan, with a strong interest in the Avalonian path and in gleaning what I can about the ancient Celts, I’ve developed a fascination with American folk magic.

At first, I thought I should keep it to myself. Surely some of my peers would look askance as it didn’t seem to fit well with my primary path. After all, folk magic is often called low magic – and what did it have to do with connecting to my Celtic ancestry?

Well, I’ve realized it has a lot to do with it.

[Horseshoe]

Horse shoes have been used for luck and protection for centuries.

Frankly, it was my Celtic path that brought me to American folk magic in its varied forms. One of the things my Hearth group does at Samhain is to ask the ancestors to join us or to honor them in some way. These rituals also include a guided meditation, usually to meet with the crone aspect of the goddess. Most of the time, the woman I found wasn’t the goddess. It was my grandmother.

Over several years and maternal grandmother meetings, I’ve found that Samhain is also a good time to work with ancestor spirits to heal ancestral wounds – I believe that’s why my grandmother comes to me. Unfortunately, that side of my family has plenty of wounds to lick. As part of this work, I tried to learn more about my family and the different cultures from which it came. My intent was to find my ancient roots.

My mother’s maternal side is Irish or Scots-Irish, though we don’t know what her paternal side was (given her complexion, it was probably not Irish or Scottish). This side was from eastern Kentucky, deep down in the hills. My father’s side was German and probably Scottish, and that grandmother was very superstitious. From her we inherited the need to have a horseshoe above the door, to toss spilled salt over the prescribed shoulder, and were stuck eating ham and cabbage on New Years Day. This part of the family was from eastern Pennsylvania.

[Taken in 1941, this picture of a Berks County, PA, barn shows several Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs - a traditional folk practice. These stars are considered protective. Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey.]

Taken in 1941, this picture of a Berks County, PA, barn shows several Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs – a traditional folk practice. These stars are considered protective. Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey.

As I tried to learn what life was like in these two areas over the last 100 years or so, the Pagan in me couldn’t help but notice a huge body of folklore and folk practice associated with them. Soon, I was intrigued by Appalachian Granny Magic and Powwow, which is the folk practice of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Then I found the connection between these and Ozark Mountain Magic. I grew up on the edge of the Ozarks, seeing hints of these practices without understanding them. Of course, Hoodoo is really getting notice lately and has subtly been incorporated into some other traditions, so I found myself intrigued by this as well. Many of these descended from old European and African practices. Some have mixed and mingled with Native American and Jewish practices as well.

I’ve been a little dumbstruck that so many Pagans in North America look to the ancient Celts, Norse, Greeks, Egyptians, and so on for magical inspiration – but we have so much magic right here at our feet. As Orion Foxwood says in The Candle and the Crossroads:

“Yet this country is rich in magical lore, techniques, and practices. These practices are often overlooked because they are too familiar or close, or they are seen as superstitious and not evolved. This last statement is inaccurate; folk magic is the mother of temple magic and formalized religion.” (pg 8)

Simply put, without low magic there would be no high magic.

Foxwood goes on to tell how the Southern conjure practices he grew up with seemed very similar to those of the English traditional witches he met when he was young:

“They work with the spirits of the dead, crossroads spirits, Faery beings, angels, and spells to affect our spirit and overall wellbeing.“ (pg 16)

Since I’ve stopped ignoring what was right in my face, I’ve became much more comfortable with working with the ancestors. I also realized that that means more than just our ancient ancestors – it also means the ones from 30 or 70 or 100 years ago. It includes the great grandmother known for being a healer or the uncle who’d walk a large circle around a horseshoe lying on the ground. Yes, it is great to learn what the ancients did and how it affects us and how we can learn from it, but working with more recent ancestors is just as important. Some might say more so, given the tremendous power of ancestral wounds.

Also, who’s more likely to work with you? The gods and goddesses who have thousands of people calling on them? The spirits of ancestors from 2,500 years ago? Or the spirit of the great grandmother who held you as an infant? I think that’s a no-brainer.

So I’m done separating the two sides of my personal practice – Celtic Paganism and American folk magic – here and elsewhere. One side isn‘t better than the other. They are two springs feeding the one river that quenches my spirit.

The Avalonian Tradition

It has been long since the chord of Avalon has sung out in the hearts of women. In the centuries since her end, we find scattered notes come down to us through the stream of time — in art, literature, music and legend. The past 150 years especially have heralded her re-emergence. The Pre-Raphaelites movement and the writings of Yeats and Tennyson beautifully illustrate the Victorian romance with the Arthurian mythos. The magickal traditions which emerged at the turn of the last century also began to tie into the energy of Avalon, most especially as seen in the work of Dion Fortune.

The power of Avalon, and indeed, the entire Arthurian legend, is not a fancy of days gone by. We need only look around us to find ample proof of its relevancy. Tales of Arthur, Morgan Le Fay and Merlin fill today’s bookshelves. Psychologists, fantasy writers, Celtic scholars and personal growth proponents have all gained insight from this mythic cycle. There are many Wiccan and Pagan groups which draw heavily from the realm of Arthur and find a path of spiritual growth symbolized in the Quest for the Grail and the Code of Chivalry.

Yet, from all of these, we gain but mere glimpses of the totality of Avalon. At the end of his life, Arthur was borne on the barge to her shores to await Britain’s need. So too has Avalon’s memory been kept alive through the tales of that once and future king. Hidden in shadow, the barest glimmer of all which once was Avalon whispers to us from the traditions of Arthurian legend. And, like Arthur, her re-emergence comes at a time of great need.

We live in an era when opportunities for women stand almost unrivaled in Western culture since the dawn of patriarchy. The societal support of a woman’s worth, however gradually and hard won, has encouraged many women to seek a spiritual path of female empowerment. No longer are these women contented with religious forms which do not allow them to participate in the ecclesiastic realms, or which teach them that they are fl awed beings by virtue of their misfortune of being born female. The renewed concept of Woman as Sacred has truly transformed mindsets and dissolved outdated paradigms of a woman’s place, human purpose, and the nature of the Divine.

Women seeking the Goddess turn to the ways of their ancestors, the ways of Earth-honoring living peoples, and to the Cosmic Mother whose path of Creation is constantly being revealed. The path is one which leads within, but is not without its manifestation in the material world as well. For it is too, a time of great need for the Earth herself. Many women turning to environmentalism and embracing the concept that the Earth is a living being, see the plight of Gaia as a mirror of the station and freedom of women. They see the healing of the Earth and of Self as one and the same.

For many women seeking a spiritual home, the legend of Avalon has called to them across the ages. An island of Women’s Mysteries … A sanctuary of service to the Goddess … An honored haven of learning and healing … A place of solitude … A center for women to come into their personal power through their inner wisdom … The images these invoke have resonated with innumerable women, and the resulting quest for her shores has served to pull Avalon even further out of the mists.

Many seek to answer the question: What is Avalon? Is she an allegory for women’s empowerment — a goal for which to strive? Is she a myth whose legend serves to inspire us so that we may draw wisdom from her symbolism? Is Avalon another guise of the Celtic Otherworld? There are many traditions which connect her with the Fortunate Isles, the Gateway to Annwn, the Apple Island Paradise. Is she, as some have posited, a feminist’s pipe dream — a romanticization of a matriarchal ideal spun out of a need to believe that such places did indeed once exist? Was Avalon, in fact, a physical place, where priestesses trained to keep the Mysteries and manifested a place of growth and healing?

In truth, it may not matter.

The varying perspectives and the scholarly quest to prove or disprove her existence pale in comparison to the greater purpose of Avalon. Whatever she may once have been, she serves today as a resource for women seeking to come into their power. She holds the keys of women’s wisdom, once honored and sought after, now returning to the consciousness of those with the courage to seek it. She is a focus for all the Mother’s daughters — a goal, a template, an endless source of inspiration. Avalon is a beacon, shining out from the maternal waters, promising connections between the women of today, continuity of the forgotten knowledge of the women of yesterday, and serving as a promise of constancy for the women of tomorrow. The mists are thinning, sisters. Who knows the way back home to Avalon?

copyright © 2013 The Sisterhood of Avalon are property of The Sisterhood of Avalon 

 

Daily Forecast for December 26th, 2013

Thursday 26th December 2013

Moon 11° Libra squares Pluto 11° Capricorn

Moon 16° Libra squares Jupiter [in retrograde] 16° Cancer

Last Quarter (waning/90-45 degrees)

December 26, 2013 — The time of reaping is at hand. There is a feeling of completion infused into the atmosphere during the Last Quarter Moon. The opportunity opens to recognize how far you’ve come in various parts of your life. This is not a good time for new beginnings, but rather a reflective period suited to evaluating how you have been using your time and what has been accomplished. Issues of authority may arise. This Moon phase supports taking responsibility for actively tying up the loose ends of projects that are already underway.

I'm not going to be explaining the complicated Moon in Libra aspects - as each of these squares and oppositions will create far too many unpredictable changes during the course of Wednesday 25th December & Thursday 26th December 2013 - that whatever I predict could easily change - for these "Karmic days" define the inexplicable and the unpredictable.

One thing is for sure - there's going to be a lot of things happening creating destined changes in your lives from 25th December 2013 in preparation of the triple conjunction - Sun-Mercury-Pluto - New Moon of 1st January 2014. Then the 2nd phase begins from 1st January 2014 until karmic Full Moon in Cancer on 16th January 2014 - to create 2 important life-changing specific karmic events that will be happening in your life - all of which are being defined NOW by your thoughts, your karma and your aura - from 25th December 2013.

25th => 27th December 2013 Moon in Libra

Karmic Decisions are being "made" in your minds

Since 25th December - Mars 8° Libra opposes Uranus 8° Aries with Moon in Libra creating squares and oppositions means - a moment of unacceptable stress has been reached in your mind - as Aries rules the Mind and Thoughts - and now a karmic solution needs to be found - to solve the pain created by opposing forces - destiny informs you that something is NOT RIGHT and Moon in Libra - makes you feel it's NOT right.

There are numerous possibilities - either breaking them apart, destroying them or finding a way to harmonize them - OR doing NOTHING and ACCEPTING them - which I've suggested so many times - because when you ACCEPT them - then you're detaching yourself from "control" - and then destiny can rearrange your karmic destiny much easier. But people who REFUSE to ACCEPT - get worried - get stressed out - become stubborn and create BAD KARMA - which will only make things worse for them - there's no helping "them" - because like attracts like - and people with bad karma - have karmic debts that need to be paid.

The critical point arrives 31st December: Mars 11° Libra squares Pluto 11° Capricorn - and thereafter defined by the karmic triple conjunction New Moon on 1st January 2014 - defining that many people [with very bad karma from past-lifetimes] will choose to DESTROY and be hatefully destructive - instead of healing the karma and becoming harmoniously loving and compassionate.

 

However, for YOU - who have good karma - you might sense the nervousness in the air - but you "know" life is a journey - and the best way to enjoy the journey is to ACCEPT everything that happens - happens for a reason. Indeed - this period of time is intensely karmic as predicted - so you can't expect events or feelings to be logical - therefore ACCEPT - and you'll see life is a big blessing.

However, I can see that the squares and oppositions means you "think" that the forced stagnation, frustration and stress that's being created - is forcing you to DEAL with something - because you're getting to a point that you're being PUSHED to do something. Again - please take my advice - as said above - it's a WAKE UP CALL - for you to accept the need for change - especially karmic healing that you need to do on yourself relax - and let destiny move you into place - because if you do anything "rash", "hasty" and "foolish" - it will come back "against" you - let life unfold and let yourself be guided. When you do what you're supposed to do - life will give you the positive energy and good feelings to do it - and moreover - it will go smoothly - even amidst all the squares and oppositions.

Healing pastlife Karma within your soul, becoming spiritually enlightened and karmically wholesome - means turning negative situations into positive ones - turning darkness into light - I think YOU can do it - although i doubt many on this planet can do it. It's ironically strange that - when "some" people say they're perfect - it actually means they aren't - in fact they are so far from "perfect" and "wholesome" - that they can't even see the truth when it hits them - which it will in the next few days - if it hasn't already hit them - because a truly enlightened soul - always knows there's much more karmic work to do than one can see.

Aries Horoscope

 

(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

You would like to make it through the day without stirring up too much mischief, but your good intentions could run into a roadblock in the form of someone who won't get out of your way. Your promises may land on deaf ears, unless you back them up with responsible behavior. The more you talk today, the further you might wander from the truth. Think carefully about your message and then speak through direct actions rather than hopeful words.

Taurus Horoscope

 

(Apr 20 – May 20)

You must own up to the truth today, even if you're tempted to deny reality in order to keep a dream alive. Recent events may have increased your expectations in a romantic relationship or a business partnership. But now it makes sense to reassess your goals and set a new path. Be proactive or an unexpected change in circumstances might catch you off guard. Inflated dreams all but guarantee failure, so clarify your view of the future while you still have time. A realistic outlook greatly increases your chances for success.

Gemini Horoscope

 

(May 21 – Jun 20)

Sharing your feelings is challenging today because you're afraid that if you say what's in your heart, you will elicit a negative response. Your message could be so on target that it carries even more weight than you expect. Even if you have the very best of intentions, you might lack the subtlety now to get the delivery just right. Start off slowly and feel your way into the conversation, rather than blurting everything out in the very the first sentence. A measured approach works in your favor, allowing others to see you in the best possible light.

Cancer Horoscope

 

(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Your even-handed approach may be rewarded today, but you still have to wait longer than you think to receive what you want. Fortunately, you Crabs have powerful pincers that enable you to be amazingly tenacious. Nevertheless, you still must exhibit extreme patience now. There's absolutely nothing wrong with knowing exactly what you want as long as you're not in a hurry. Stay the course and you might just get the results you seek in the long run.

Leo Horoscope

 

(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

If your creativity has been hampered recently by distracting circumstances, your life is now beginning to move forward again. You may feel the changes coming, but you're still at the edge and need to suppress your urge to do too much yet. Don't waste your energy by jumping in to a new task or planning for a major project. Instead, tie up loose ends, revisit an old idea or retell a story that can help you process your feelings about the past. But don't dilly-dally today; you will want to be ready to go when the lights turn green.

Virgo Horoscope

 

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Even if you strive to be perfectly clear when sharing your perspective today, you still might be misunderstood by someone who isn't really listening to what you say. Unfortunately, people might jump to an erroneous conclusion if they don't hear the facts exactly as you report them. Nevertheless, don't let anyone else speak for you, because you're the only person who is capable of expressing your unique point of view. Take your time and present your case as precisely as possible and then move on.

Libra Horoscope

 

(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

The holiday season might not be turning out exactly the way you imagined it would. Ironically, the gulf between your expectations and what actually occurs puts you in touch with your roots as you remember old traditions you wanted to revitalize or avoid. But instead of worrying about the past, recognize that you can start anew right now in the present moment. Create your own vision about how you want to celebrate the new year and share your fantasy with someone special.

Scorpio Horoscope

 

(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You might not be feeling very confident today, but your situation isn't nearly as bleak as it seems. The Sun is in a stressful alignment with somber Saturn now, which is halfway through a two-year visit to your sign. Instead of fretting over something that went wrong or a goal you didn't reach, set new objectives by narrowing your vision and performing a serious reality check. Using your common sense when planning for your future improves your chances to regain your power and start moving forward again.

Sagittarius Horoscope

 

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You might not feel much like celebrating today, but your current malaise won't last long. You could find yourself wondering how you became so enthused about an idea that turned out to be less important than it seemed at first. Nevertheless, your excitement grew along with your vision. However, you must rethink the whole scenario now because it may not be living up to your expectations. Don't be afraid to let go of an old dream so you can begin to invent a wonderful new one.

Capricorn Horoscope

 

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Making progress on your goals is a daily endeavor now because there is a convergence of planets hanging out in your ambitious sign. Paradoxically, the end of the year is a tricky time to tie up loose ends because so many people are celebrating the holidays with family and friends. Nevertheless, your struggle will be well worth the effort. Even if simplification and closure are difficult to attain, lightening your load allows you to say yes to an exciting new opportunity.

Aquarius Horoscope

 

(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Although this holiday week is a very busy time for many people, you might feel more reclusive than social now. Mercury, the Sun and Pluto are traveling companions in your 12th House of Spirituality now, motivating you to focus your attention on something other than lighthearted fun with your friends. As much as you can benefit from some time alone, there's no reason to avoid interacting with like-minded individuals. The love and support you receive gives you strength for your current metaphysical journey.

Pisces Horoscope

 

(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

You may have grown weary of your never-ending responsibilities and are likely ready for a change of scenery. But even if you are busy today, allow yourself some time to imagine your ideal job. Freely fantasizing about a different career path could trigger a cascade of emotions that awaken a previously hidden sense of purpose. But don't let self-doubt or discouragement take over if it's not time to make major changes yet. Hold true to the vision of realizing your greatest personal potential, no matter what.

Today's Tarot: The World
What has traditionally been known as the World card points to the presiding intelligence, called "Sophia," or Wisdom, which upholds life on this and all worlds. A more precise title for this card might be "the Soul of the World," also applicable as a symbol of personal empowerment and freedom. In most Tarot decks it is a female figure that has become our standard World image. She originates in Hebrew, Gnostic and Alchemical lore, and stands between heaven and earth as the Cosmic Mother of Souls, the Wife of God and our protector from the karmic forces we have set loose upon the Earth in our immaturity and ignorance. 

Where the Empress energy secures and fertilizes our terrestrial lives, the goddess of The World invites us into cosmic citizenship -- once we come to realize our soul's potential for it. Just as the Chariot stands for success in achieving a separate Self, and Temperance represents achievement of mental and moral health, the World card announces the awakening of the soul's Immortal Being, accomplished without the necessity of dying. 

This card, like the Sun, is reputed to have no negative meaning no matter where or how it appears. If the Hermetic axiom is "Know Thyself", this image represents what becomes known when the true nature of Self is followed to creative freedom and its ultimate realization.
Today's I Ching Hexagram: 

56: The Wanderer

A seasoned traveler knows that a special kind of decorum is called for when one ventures far from home. He or she must develop a yielding nature outwardly, so that the 'local contact' or host can open doors and prevent unseemly errors. But inwardly, the wanderer knows that it is sometimes impossible to discern the true intentions of strangers — are they hostile, friendly or merely opportunistic? 

The twin houses of mystery and discovery rule any journey. Each new day is launched on a fresh landscape, one that reaches out to grab our full attention. Though new adventures are a great teacher — and often a great equalizer — there is an art to living lightly in a strange land. Mindfulness and discernment become the keys not only to success, but also to survival. 

If you are entering a new environment of any sort attempt to be sincere, flexible and undemanding, rather than obstinate. Let go of old attitudes and habits that could encumber you, or make you overly conspicuous. The onset of a great journey is not a favorable time to enter into binding agreements, or to start new enterprises.

Today's Rune:  [Ansuz] Ansuz: (A: The As, ancestral god, i.e. Odin.) A revealing message or insight, communication. Signals, inspiration, enthusiasm, speech, true vision, power of words and naming. Blessings, the taking of advice. Good health, harmony, truth, wisdom. Ansuz Reversed or Merkstave: Misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation by others, boredom. Vanity and grandiloquence. (Odin is a mighty, but duplicitous god. He always has his own agenda.)

Today's Faery Oracle: 
The Singer of Transfiguration

Yay!! The jackpot card...

If you've been experiencing a time of struggle or hardship, this card assures you that this is about to end, if it hasn't already.

These tough times were a period of initiation and through them, you have reached a new level of being and instigated deep transformation within yourself. It's almost like you have been put to the test, and now have stepped through the gate of transfiguration.

A new way of life has been accepted and things will never be the same again...and this is a good thing! This card heralds a time of fulfillment and accomplishment, success and power, joy and inner peace - and it doesn't get much better than that!

View this card turning up today as a reward for past achievements and a time now of preparation for the next climb up the path.
 

Today's Spirit Animal Oracle:

That Which is Behind You
  Badger 
Badger is a ferocious opponent, unwilling to back down over any issue. Unfortunately, this unwavering stance leads some Badgers to their demise. If Badger has dug into your reading, he is asking whether you are fighting the right fight. Is this issue the hill you’re willing to die on, or are you fighting for no other reason than pure stubbornness? Think about it. 

 

Your Current Place
  The Crane 
Cranes have been revered for centuries in many Oriental cultures, symbolizing good fortune and long life. If Crane has flown into your reading today, he brings a message of good tidings. Be prepared for something special today—emotional balance, good health, a spiritual “ah-ha!”, or simply pure joy. 

 

That Which is before You
  Opossum 
You’ve heard the expression “playing possum”? It means to play dead and is derived from Opossum’s ability to act in whatever way the situation demands. If it’s practical to play dead, so be it; if it’s to Opossum’s advantage to be aggressive, watch out! Take your cue from this master actor today—and play the role that will serve you best.

~Elder Airwolf~

 

 

What is Boxing Day? Why is it Called Boxing Day

What is Boxing Day?:

How many times am I asked - what is Boxing Day, or, why is it called Boxing Day? Arguments come thick and fast as to why and I hope, like me, you find the answers below interesting. But first off I must say; it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.

It starts of course with our greed here in Britain and Ireland for a longer holiday; it’s not enough for us to have Christmas Day celebrations we have added on another day called Boxing Day. The day is a national holiday and one to spend with family and friends and eating up the leftovers. Its origins however, are steeped in history and tradition.

 
Why is it Called Boxing Day:

Arguments abound on the origins of the name Boxing Day, all of the answers here are relevant, so maybe it is all of them.

A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present.
Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas day then opened the next day.
Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck.If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.

When is Boxing Day?:

Boxing Day is the 26th December and is a national holiday in the UK and Ireland.

 

Activities on Boxing Day:

Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, usually those not seen on Christmas Day itself.

In recent times the day has become synonymous with sport. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. Many top football teams also play on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day is also a time when the British show their true eccentricity taking part in all kinds of silly activities like swimming the English Channel - not the warmest place on December 26th - fun runs and charity events.

Activities on Boxing Day - Fox Hunting:

Until 2004, Boxing Day hunts were a traditional part of Boxing Day but the ban on fox hunting has put an end to the hunt in its traditional sense. Hunters will still gather dressed resplendently in red hunting coats to the sound of the hunting horn but it is now forbidden in law to chase the fox with dogs, so the dogs now follow artificially laid trails.

The New Boxing Day Sport - Shopping:

Another ‘sport’ to emerge in recent years is shopping. Sadly what was once a day of relaxation and family time sees the start of the sales. Sales used to start in January post-New Year but the desire to grab a bargain and for shops to off-load stock means many now start on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day in Ireland:

In Ireland, Boxing Day is known as "St Stephen's Day" and is famous for its "Wren Boys". St Stephen was killed, purportedly stoned to death, for believing in Jesus. In Ireland the Wren Boys would go out and stone Wrens to death then with blackened faces, carry their catch around the town knocking at doors and asking for money. This barbaric act has now stopped but the Wrens Boys will still dress up and parade around time though, but collecting money for charity.

Food and Drink on Boxing Day:

With guests often popping in for a snack and quick drink, the food and drink on Boxing Day is more relaxed than Christmas Day. Lunch will usually be a buffet or leftovers from Christmas lunch. Baked Ham is a popular Boxing Day meat and of course, Mince Pies with Brandy Butter or a slice ofChristmas Cake are almost obligatory.

Boxing Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[Page semi-protected]

"Christmas box" redirects here. For the genus of shrubs, see Sarcococca. For the film, see Boxing Day (2007 film).

Boxing Day
Observed by List of states
Type Bank holiday / Public holiday
Date 26 December
Next time 26 December 2013
Frequency annual
Related to St. Stephen's Day, Day of Goodwill, and Second Day of Christmas/Second Christmas Day.

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses[1] or employers. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and some other Commonwealth nations.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland and Italy, the day is known as St. Stephen's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín). In many European countries, including notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and those in Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.[2]

Contents

  [show] 

Origins

The exact etymology of the term "boxing day" is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive.[3] The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in places of worship in order to collect donations to the poor. Also, it may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen,[4] which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.

In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[5] This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663.[6] This custom is linked to an older English tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and maybe sometimes leftover food.

Date

Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day, which is also St. Stephen's Day, a religious holiday.[7][8][9] When 26 December falls on a Sunday, Boxing Day in many Commonwealth countries and former British dominions is moved to 27 December. In the UK, Boxing Day is a bank holiday. If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the following Monday is given as a substitute bank holiday. On the occasion when Christmas Day is on a Saturday – with Boxing Day on the Sunday – the following Monday (27) and Tuesday (28) of December both become bank holidays.

In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as an additional bank holiday since 1974,[10] by Royal Proclamation under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.[11]

In Ireland – when the island as a whole was part of the United Kingdom – the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen as a non-movable public holiday on 26 December. Since the creation of the Republic of Ireland following partition in 1920, Northern Ireland - being part of the United Kingdom - officially continues to use the British name 'Boxing Day'.

In Australia, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday. In the Australian state of South Australia, 28 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day and Boxing Day is not normally a public holiday. The holiday for Proclamation Day is observed on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday.[12] Nowadays Boxing Day is popular in Australia as the first day of a Test cricket match held at the MCG. A Test match is also often held in South Africa starting on Boxing Day.

In New Zealand Boxing Day is a statutory holiday; penalty rates and lieu time are provided to employees who work on the day.

In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday[13] that is always celebrated on 26 December. In Canadian provinces where Boxing Day was a statutory holiday, and it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week.[13]

Shopping

Boxing Day crowds shopping at the Toronto Eaton Centre in Canada

In Britain,[14] Canada,[15] and some states of Australia,[16] Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in the US. It is a time where shops have sales, often with dramatic price reductions. For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest amount of returns. In the UK in 2009 it was estimated that up to 12 million shoppers appeared at the sales (a rise of almost 20% compared to 2008, although this was also affected by the fact that the VAT would revert to 17.5% from 1 January, following the temporary reduction to 15%).[17]

Many retailers open very early (typically 5 am or even earlier) and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. It is not uncommon for long queues to form early in the morning of 26 December, hours before the opening of shops holding the big sales, especially at big-box consumer electronics retailers.[15] Many stores have a limited quantity of big draw or deeply discounted items.[18] Because of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, many choose to stay home and avoid the hectic shopping experience. The local media often cover the event, mentioning how early the shoppers began queueing up, providing video of shoppers queueing and later leaving with their purchased items.[19] Many retailers have implemented practices aimed at managing large numbers of shoppers. They may limit entrances, restrict the number of patrons in a store at a time, provide tickets to people at the head of the queue to guarantee them a hot ticket item or canvass queued-up shoppers to inform them of inventory limitations.[18]

Boxing Day Meets of Hunts
Boxing Day Meet of the Blencathra Foxhounds in Keswick, 1962
Boxing Day Meet of the Tiverton Foxhounds

In recent years, retailers have expanded deals to "Boxing Week." While Boxing Day is 26 December, many retailers will run the sales for several days before or after 26 December, often up to New Year's Eve. Notably, in the recession of late 2008, a record number of retailers were holding early promotions due to a weak economy.[20] Canada's Boxing Day has often been compared with the American Super Saturday, the Saturday before Christmas.

In some areas of Canada, particularly in Atlantic Canada and parts of Northern Ontario (including Sault Ste. Marie[21] and Sudbury), most retailers are prohibited from opening on Boxing Day, either by provincial law or municipal bylaw, or instead by informal agreement among major retailers in order to provide a day of relaxation following Christmas Day. In these areas, sales otherwise scheduled for 26 December are moved to the 27th.[22][23]

In the Republic of Ireland, since 1902, most shops remain closed on St. Stephen's Day. In 2009, some stores decided to open on this day, breaking a 107-year-old tradition.

In 2009, many retailers with both online and High Street stores launched their online sales on Christmas Eve and their High Street sales on Boxing Day.[24][25]

Sport

In the United Kingdom, it is traditional for the Premier League (England and Wales), Scottish Premier League (Scotland) and Irish Premier League (Northern Ireland), as well as the lower divisions and rugby leagues, to hold a full programme of football and rugby league matches on Boxing Day. Traditionally, matches on Boxing Day are played against local rivals. This was originally to avoid teams and their fans having to travel a long distance to an away game on the day after Christmas Day. It also makes the day an important one in the sporting calendar. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, much anticipated Test matches are played on Boxing Day. Prior to the formation of leagues, a number of important rugby fixtures took place on Boxing Day notably Llanelli v London Welsh and Leicester v The Barbarians.

In horse racing, there is the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey. It is the second most prestigious chase in Britain, after the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Boxing Day is one of the main days in the hunting calendar for hunts in the UK and US, with most hunts (both mounted foxhound or harrier packs and foot packs of beagles or bassets) holding meets, often in town or village centres.

Australia holds the first day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the start to the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Several ice hockey contests are associated with the day. The IIHF World U20 Championship typically begins on 26 December, while the Spengler Cup also begins on 26 December in Davos, Switzerland; the Spengler Cup competition includes HC Davos, Team Canada, and other top European Hockey teams. The National Hockey League tends to have close to a full slate of games (11 were played in 2010), following the league-wide days off given for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.[citation needed] In some AfricanCommonwealth nations, particularly Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania, prize fighting contests are held on Boxing Day. This practice has also been followed for decades in Guyana and Italy.[26]

So to those to whom you employ remember this day for their dedicated services and remember to make it true, make it real, and always make it magickal everyday!

~Elder Airwolf~

Humbly serving my Goddess )O(

Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha

By Donna Morgan on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 2:33pm

Ganesha — the elephant-deity riding a mouse — has become one of the commonest mnemonics for anything associated with Hinduism. This not only suggests the importance of Ganesha, but also shows how popular and pervasive this deity is in the minds of the masses.

The Lord of SuccessThe son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as the panchayatana puja.

Significance of the Ganesha FormGanesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.

How Ganesha Got His HeadThe story of the birth of this zoomorphic deity, as depicted in the Shiva Purana, goes like this: Once goddess Parvati, while bathing, created a boy out of the dirt of her body and assigned him the task of guarding the entrance to her bathroom. When Shiva, her husband returned, he was surprised to find a stranger denying him access, and struck off the boy's head in rage. Parvati broke down in utter grief and to soothe her, Shiva sent out his squad (gana) to fetch the head of any sleeping being who was facing the north. The company found a sleeping elephant and brought back its severed head, which was then attached to the body of the boy. Shiva restored its life and made him the leader (pati) of his troops. Hence his name 'Ganapati'. Shiva also bestowed a boon that people would worship him and invoke his name before undertaking any venture.

However, there's another less popular story of his origin, found in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana: Shiva asked Parvati to observe the punyaka vrata for a year to appease Vishnu in order to have a son. When a son was born to her, all the gods and goddesses assembled to rejoice on its birth. Lord Shani, the son of Surya (Sun-God), was also present but he refused to look at the infant. Perturbed at this behaviour, Parvati asked him the reason, and Shani replied that his looking at baby would harm the newborn. However, on Parvati's insistence when Shani eyed the baby, the child's head was severed instantly. All the gods started to bemoan, whereupon Vishnu hurried to the bank of river Pushpabhadra and brought back the head of a young elephant, and joined it to the baby's body, thus reviving it.

Ganesha, the Destroyer of PrideGanesha is also the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. He is the personification of material universe in all its various magnificent manifestations. "All Hindus worship Ganesha regardless of their sectarian belief," says D N Singh in A Study of Hinduism. "He is both the beginning of the religion and the meeting ground for all Hindus."