Grilled Sweet Pepper and Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
From A KITCHEN ADDICTIONAdded by Divemex
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6 ozs spaghetti (whole grain, cooked, drained, and cooled)
1/4 cup low-fat italian dressing (or fat-free)
1/2 lb zucchini (finely sliced and quartered)
1/2 lb summer squash (finely sliced and quartered)
2 cloves garlic (coarsely minced)
5 sweet pepper (small, grilled with skins removed and finely sliced)
parmesan cheese (for sprinkling)
TOTAL TIME35 min
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Amount Per Serving
Calories 220 Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol less than 5 mg 1%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Potassium 520mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Vitamin A 70%
Vitamin C 260%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
June Full Moon Esbat
In June we enjoy the longest days of the year, especially before the Summer Solstice. Even though the sun begins to withdraw after the Solstice, the shortening of days is imperceptible and we enjoy long hours of light. This is a time to be active, to feel sensuous and to be aware of our bodies and the life-force energy that flows through us. As the Wheel of the Year moves into summer, we raise the heat of this new season with both a drumming circle and a circle dance. The circle is one of the oldest and most elemental symbols. It is also a symbol of perfection and wholeness. It represents unity and endlessness. It echoes the recurring cycles of life and death and rebirth; of the sun and moon and seasons. The circle reminds us that all events, all life, and everything in the universe is connected in a perpetual flow of energy. With a circle dance power and strength is evoked. The drum is one of the oldest musical instruments known. In ancient cultures drumming was a sacred function. The rhythm of drumming and dancing connects us with nature and the heartbeat of life.
June Full Moon Ritual~Solitar
Moon of Life
Items needed for this ritual include: a drum or other percussion instrument (or use your hands!); Chalice; Mead or a honeyed tea such as chamomile.
Use these distinct sounds just before evoking each direction.
North – slap a hand against the center of the drumhead (avoiding a resonating sound) in a slow rhythm;
East – brush a finger over the drumhead in a circular motion;
South – with a drumstick, make a staccato rhythm at the edge of the drumhead;
West- with a drumstick, create a deep resonating rhythm in the center of the drumhead.
As you walk around the perimeter of your circle, lightly brush a finger over your drum in a circular motion to create a gentle sound.
As I feel the warm sun on my face,
The rhythm of life beats a fast pace,
It is time to dance and feel free,
Sacred this space, I now decree.
Move to each direction, respectively. For the Lord and Lady, stand at the altar.
North [Drumming] I call ye spirits of North, of Earth to join my celebration of life.
East [Drumming] I call ye spirits of East, of Air to join my celebration of life.
South [Drumming] I call ye spirits of South, of Fire to join my celebration of life.
West [Drumming] I call ye spirits of West, of Water to join my celebration of life.
Alternate a rhythm and counter rhythm, and then say:
I call the Lord. I call the Lady. Join my celebration of life.
Begin drumming and moving deosil around your altar. Become fully engaged in the rhythm and allow your consciousness to shift inward. You may find that you begin to journey. Go with the energy flow as it may reveal information you need at this point in your life.
When it feels appropriate, bring your journey to a conclusion and your activity to stillness.
Say: May my celebration of summer send a ripple of joy out to the world.
Use your usual method of grounding energy.
Take the chalice of mead or honeyed tea from the altar and say:
In this time of the Mead Moon, the Honey Moon, the Moon of Life, I drink this to celebrate summer. I will enjoy the bright days of summer that stretch before me.
Standing at the altar, and then face each direction respectively. After speaking each part, briefly beat your drum.
Lord and Lady, I thank you for the gift of life and the enjoyment it brings. Thank you for your presence in my circle. Stay if you will, go if you must, I bid you farewell.
Spirits of West, I thank you for the resonant rhythms of the ocean. Thank you for your presence in my circle. Stay if you will, go if you must, I bid you farewell.
Spirits of South, I thank you for the crackling staccato of Fire. Thank you for your presence in my circle. Stay if you will, go if you must, I bid you farewell.
Spirits of East, I thank you for the gentle sighing of Air. Thank you for your presence in my circle. Stay if you will, go if you must, I bid you farewell.
Spirits of North, I thank you for the deep rhythm of Earth. Thank you for your presence in my circle. Stay if you will, go if you must, I bid you farewell.
My circle is open but unbroken,
No longer sacred, this space I decree.
Words of the Goddess have been spoken,
In faith and unity, blessed be.
This rite is written for a group of four people or more, but if you needed to, you could easily adapt it for a solitary practitioner or a family coven.
Time Required: Varied
Summer nights are usually pretty warm, though, so after dark is the best time for an outdoor rituals (be sure to remember the Magical Bug Spray!). Ask each member of the group to bring an item to place on the altar that represents the warmth of the summer growing season. Some ideas would be:
Fresh herbs or flowers
Summer fruits such as strawberries, raspberries
Sea water, sand or shells
You'll want to include quarter candles*, as well as a cup of wine, fruit juice or water. If you're including Cakes and Ale as part of your celebration, place your cakes on the altar as well.
Assign a member of the group to call each quarter. Each person should stand at their assigned quarter holding their unlit candle (and a lighter or matches), and facing the altar. If there are more than four of you present, form a circle.
The person in the north quarter lights their green candle, holds it to the sky, and says:
We call upon the powers of Earth,
and welcome you to this circle.
The sun's heat has warmed the earth
and will bring us the bounty of the soil,
when the harvest time comes.
Place the candle on the altar.
The person to the east should light her yellow candle, hold it to the sky, and say:
We call upon the powers of Air,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the wind bring us fruitfulness
and togetherness of family and friends,
in this season of growth and light.
Place the candle on the altar.
Moving to the south, light the red candle and hold it to the sky, saying:
We call upon the powers of Fire,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the shining light of this season's moon
illuminate our way at night,
as the sun has brightened our lives by day.
Place the candle on the altar.
Finally, the person to the west lights the blue candle, holds it to the sky, and says:
We call upon the powers of Water,
and welcome you to this circle.
Although the earth may become dry and parched
during the long hot weeks of summer,
we know that again the rains will come
and bring with them life.
Place the candle on the altar.
Have everyone in the circle join hands and say:
We gather tonight by the light of the moon,
to celebrate the season, and rejoice.
May the next turn of the Wheel bring us love
and compassion, abundance and prosperity,
fertility and life.
As the moon above, so the earth below.
Go around the circle, passing the wine, fruit juice or water. As each person takes a sip, they should share one thing they are looking forward to. Summer is a time of growth and development before the harvest arrives. What do you plan to manifest for yourself in the coming month? Now is the time to state your intent.
Take a moment to reflect on the growth you've seen since Spring. When everyone is ready, either move on to your next ceremony -- Cakes and Ale, Drawing Down the Moon, healing rites, etc. -- or end the ritual.
* Quarter candles are colored candles based on the colors of the four cardinal directions: green for north, yellow for east, red to the south and blue in the west.
What You Need:
Candles for each of the four quarters
A cup of wine, fruit juice or water
Symbols of summer to decorate your altar
Be Blessed~Elder Airwolf
[wicks-1] Most consumers usually think of a candle’s shape, color or fragrance as its most important element. Most candle manufacturers, though, would probably say it’s the wick that makes the candle.
The purpose of a wick is to deliver fuel (wax) to the flame. Acting like a fuel pump, the wick draws the liquefied wax up into the flame to burn. Different wick sizes allow for different amounts of fuel to be drawn into the flame. Too much fuel and the flame will flare and soot; too little fuel and the flame will sputter out.
All wicks consist of a bundle of fibers that are twisted, braided or knitted together. These fibers absorb the liquefied wax and carry it to the flame by capillary action.
There are literally hundreds of different styles and sizes of wicks. The type of wax used in a candle, as well as the candle’s size, shape, color and fragrance materials all impact wick choice. Selecting the correct wick is critical to making a candle that burns cleanly and properly. Reputable candle manufacturers take great care in selecting a wick of the proper size, shape and material to meet the burn requirements of a particular candle.
TYPES OF WICKS
Most high-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibers to encourage a slow and consistent burn. In general, twisted wicks are of lower quality than braided or knitted wicks. They burn much faster because their loose construction allows more fuel to quickly reach the flame. However, twisted wicks are useful for certain applications, such as birthday candles.
In general, wicks can be divided into four major types:
Flat Wicks. These flat-plaited or knitted wicks, usually made from three bundles of fiber, are very consistent in their burning and curl in the flame for a self-trimming effect. They are the most commonly used wicks, and are often found in taper and pillar candles.
Square Wicks. These braided or knitted wicks also curl in the flame, but are more rounded and a bit more robust than flat wicks. They are preferred for beeswax applications and can help inhibit clogging of the wick, which can occur with certain types of wax formulations, pigments or fragrances.
Cored Wicks. These braided or knitted wicks use a core material to keep the wick straight or upright while burning. The wicks have a round cross section, and the use of different core materials provides a range of stiffness effects. The most common core materials for wicks are cotton, paper, zinc or tin. Cored wicks can be found in jar candles, pillars, votives and devotional lights.
Specialty Wicks. These wicks are specially designed to meet the burn characteristics of specific candle applications, such as oil lamps and insect-repelling candles.
WICK USE IN THE U.S.
[wicks-2] Approximately 80 percent of the wicks manufactured in the United States are made of all-cotton or cotton-paper combinations. The remainder consists primarily of metal- and paper-cored wicks.
Lead wicks were banned from the U.S marketplace in 2003, and for several years before that were found primarily in inexpensive foreign candle imports. NCA-member manufacturers voluntarily discontinued using lead wicks in the mid-1970s, and in 2000, asked all U.S. candle manufacturers to join its members in signing a formal pledge not to use lead wicks.
The metal-core wicks sometimes found in candles are typically zinc- or tin-core wicks. They are most often used in container candles and votives to keep the wick upright when the surrounding wax liquefies. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown both zinc- and tin-core wicks to be safe.
Not to be confused with candlewick.
Wick of a candle
Wick in a rolled beeswax candle
A candle wick is usually a braided cotton that holds the flame of a candle or oil lamp for a set period of time depending upon the amount of wick. A candle wick works by capillary action, conveying ("wicking") the fuel to the flame. When the liquid fuel, typically melted candle wax, reaches the flame it then vaporizes and combusts. The candle wick influences how the candle burns.
Candle wicks are normally made out of braided cotton. Wicks are sometimes braided flat, so that as they burn they also curl back into the flame, thus making them self-consuming. Prior to the introduction of these wicks special scissors were used to trim the excess wick without extinguishing the flame.
Large diameter wicks typically result in a larger flame, a larger pool of melted wax, and the candle burning faster.
In tealights the wick is tethered to a piece of metal to stop it from floating to the top of the molten wax and burning before the wax does. Candles designed to float in water require not only a tether for the wick, but also a seal on the bottom of the candle to prevent the wick from wicking water and extinguishing the flame.
In some birthday candles, the wick is a stub. This limits how long the candle can burn.
Wicks can be made of material other than string or cord, such as wood, although they are rare. The cotton of tampons can be used as wicks for oil lamps in wilderness survival situations.
Dipped candles hanging by their wicks
Fine wire (such as copper) can be included in the wick. This provides two advantages: it makes the wick more rigid, letting it stand further out of the liquid wax, and it conducts heat downward, melting the wax more readily. The latter is particularly important in candles made of harder wax.
Stiffeners were once made of lead, but these have been banned in the US for several years by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, due to the concerns about lead poisoning. Other core stiffeners, such as paper and synthetic fibers, may also be used. The CPSC was petitioned to ban candle wicks containing lead cores and candles with such wicks by Public Citizen, the National Apartment Association, and National Multi Housing Council on February 20, 2001. The ban against manufacturing, importing, or selling candles in the US with lead wicks became effective in October 2003.
Pretreatments of wicks
Virtually all wicks are treated with various flame-resistant solutions in a process known as mordanting. Without mordanting the wick would be destroyed by the flames and the flow of melted wax to the flame would cease. Beyond that, wicks can be treated with substances to improve the color and brightness of the flame, provide better rigidity to keep the wick out of the melted wax, and improve the flow of that wax up the wick. Common treatments are borax and salt which are dissolved in water in which the wicks are soaked.
Candles really are an amazing lighting system -- the fuel itself is the package. There are two parts that work together in a candle:
The fuel, made of some sort of wax
The wick, made of some sort of absorbent twine
The wick needs to be naturally absorbent, like a towel, or it needs to have a strong capillary action (as in glass fiber wicks used in oil lamps). If you buy a length of un-waxed wick at a craft store and play with it, you will find that it feels like soft string and absorbs water very well. This absorbency is important in a candle because the wick needs to absorb liquid wax and move it upward while the candle is burning.
Paraffin wax is a heavy hydrocarbon that comes from crude oil (see What is the difference between gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, etc.? for details on how things like gasoline and paraffin wax are made from crude oil). When you light a candle, you melt the wax in and near the wick. The wick absorbs the liquid wax and pulls it upward. The heat of the flame vaporizes the wax, and it is the wax vapor that burns. You can prove that it is wax vapor, rather than liquid wax, that is burning with two experiments:
If you place one end of a metal or glass tube (shaped like a thin straw, 4 to 6 inches / 10 to 15 cm long) into a candle's flame at a 45-degree angle, you can then light the upper end of the tube. The paraffin vapor flows up the tube and is the fuel for this second flame.
When you blow out a candle, you notice a stream of white smoke leaving the wick. This stream is paraffin vapor that has condensed into a visible form. It continues to form as long as the wick is hot enough to vaporize paraffin. If you touch a lit match to the stream, a flame will run down it and re-light the wick.
The reason the wick does not burn is because the vaporizing wax cools the exposed wick and protects it. You may have seen the camping trick of boiling water in a paper cup. The cup does not burn because the water inside cools it. The liquid wax does the same thing for the wick.
Paraffin wax will burn on its own, but it is like cooking oil, motor oil and coal in that you have to get it very hot for combustion to begin. An oil fire is intense and very hard to put out. Paraffin is the same way. In a candle, this works great -- only the tiny amount of wax on the wick is hot enough to
Imagine if there were no electricity and you had to survive up to 12 hours of darkness each night by candlelight! It sounds wonderful in our age of cold, sterile, fluorescent light. But if you had to live that way all the time you'd find it an awful lot of bother, especially if your house had many candles, all burning at once. You'd not only have to keep the wicks burning brightly, you'd also have to ensure they weren't going to tip over and cause a fire. Drawbacks aside, candles will always be a symbol of romance. Look more closely and you'll also find they're classic examples of ingenious technology. Let's take a closer look at how they work!
Photo: Who says science isn't romantic... or romance isn't scientific? Candles are a great example of how science adds an extra dimension to the beauty of the natural world—a point the brilliant American physicist Richard Feynman was fond of making. Listen to him discussing the question: Can a scientist really enjoy the beauty of a flower?
How candles use combustion
[A candle works by drawing in heat and fuel (wax) at the base and giving off heat (rising hot air) at the top] Candles make light by making heat, so they're crude examples of what we call incandescent lamps (old-fashioned, electric filament lamps, pioneered in the late 19th century by Thomas Edison, are a much more sophisticated version of the same idea). All the light a candle makes comes from a chemical reaction known as combustion in which the wax (made from carbon-based chemicals typically derived from petroleum) reacts with oxygen in the air to make a colorless gas called carbon dioxide. Water is also produced in the form of steam. Since the wax never burns perfectly cleanly, there's also a little smoke produced. The smoke is an aerosol (tiny particles of solid, unburned carbon from the wax mixed in with the steam) and it often leaves a black, carbon deposit on nearby walls or the ceiling above where the candle's burning. The steam is made in the blue part of a candle flame, where the wax burns cleanly with lots of oxygen; the smoke is made in the bright, yellow part of the flame, where there isn't enough oxygen for perfect combustion to take place.
Artwork: How a candle works: A candle is a miniature chemical factory that converts the hydrocarbons (molecules based on the atoms hydrogen and carbon) in wax into carbon dioxide and water (steam) through the chemical reaction we call combustion. Oxygen is pulled in at the bottom, fuel is drawn up the wick, and heat is given off at the top where the hot air rises.
How a candle wick works
[Labelled photo showing temperatures of different parts of a burning candle flame] Candles may look simple but they're remarkably ingenious. Set fire to the wick (the little string poking up at the top) and heat travels rapidly downward toward the wax body of the candle beneath. The wax has a low melting point so it instantly turns into a hot liquid and vaporizes, funneling straight up around the wick as though it's rushing up an invisible smokestack (chimney). The wax vapor catches light and burns, sending a flame high above the wick. Heat from the flame travels in three directions at once by processes called conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction carries heat down the wick to melt more wax at the top of the candlestick. Convection draws hot wax vapors out from the wick and sucks oxygen from the surrounding air into the base of the flame. The flame also gives off invisible beams of heat in all directions by radiation. The candle continues to "feed" on the wax underneath it until it's all burned away—until all the potential energy locked away in the wax is converted to heat, light, and chemical waste products.
Which part of a candle flame is the hottest?
Here are some approximate temperatures for the different parts of a candle and its flame. Note that the exact temperatures vary quite a bit depending on all kinds of different factors, notably the type of wax from which the candle is made but also the ambient (air) temperature, and how much oxygen is present. Please don't take these values as absolutely definitive ones that apply in all cases—they're just a rough guide.
Wick: 400°C (750°F).
Blue/white outer edge of the flame (and also the blue cone underneath flame where the oxygen enters): 1400°C (2550°F).
Yellow central region of the brightest part of the flame: 1200°C (2190°F).
Dark brown/red inner part of the flame: 1000°C (1830°F).
Red/orange inner part of the flame: 800°C (1470°F).
Body of the candle: 40-50°C (104-122°F).
Melted pool of wax on top of the candle: 60°C (140°F).
Perhaps surprisingly, the brightest part of the flame is not the hottest. The blazing part of the flame gives off three quarters of its energy as light and only a quarter as heat (so you can see a candle is, at best, around 75 percent efficient as a lamp). The hottest parts of a candle flame are actually the blue, almost invisible area near the base, where oxygen is drawn in, and the blue/white part around the edge, where the flame meets the oxygen-rich air all around it. The flame gets progressively cooler as you move in from the outside edge toward the wick. Cooler areas are darker and colored orange, red, or brown. Most of the flame's heat is delivered toward the tip, where a large volume of gas is always burning and convection is sweeping hot gases constantly upwards. If you want to heat something with a candle, hold it near the tip.
Do candles burn in space?
The answer's no, yes, and maybe. "No", because there's no oxygen in space. "Yes", because you can burn candles in a spaceship where there's an artificial supply of air. The answer's "maybe" because candles don't burn in the microgravity of space exactly as they burn back here on Earth. There's no "up" and "down" in space, so there's no "top" or "bottom" of a candle flame either. Convection doesn't draw cooler oxygen in at the bottom and throw hot exhaust gases out at the top, as it does here on Earth, where hotter gases are less dense (weigh less per unit of volume) than cooler ones. In the microgravity of space, with plenty of oxygen, candle flames are more spherical, as this NASA photograph clearly shows:
How to Wake up your Magical Powers using the Triquetra!a handy ritual to awaken your Magical powers
Triquetra is a highly significant and important symbol in Magical traditions all over the world.
The Triquetra Symbol:The meaning of the Triquetra. Used often in popular culture such as the series “Charmed” and the album cover of Led Zeppelin this symbol has intrigued many for its occult symbolism and I am sure that many of you feel a certain attraction to it. But what is the real meaning behind this symbol?
Let’s have a look first at the etymology of the word. Triquetra comes from the Latin words “tri” and “quetra” meaning “three” and “cornered” respectively and its original meaning is triangle. At a first level of analysis, 3 is a magical number with specific occult symbolism. In paganism, we can see that the aspects of the divine are often represented by the number three.
Triquerta, like a Venn Diagram of ProbabilitiesThe Goddess has three archetypical aspects: Maiden, Mother and Crown while the God is represented as the Horned God or the Hunter, the God-King (ruler of the Summer Solstice) and the Sacrificed God. I am aware that many other pagans will use different terms for the three archetypical aspects of God and I cherish into that. Always remember that Gods embrace diversity.
Ancient stone with TriquertaNow back to the point, Triquetra can easily be affiliated with the three aspects of the Divine and express the Unity between them “Three as One” meaning that all three aspects of the Divine are One and One is expressed by three (many).
I will take this one step further and give an example. The Goddess in most traditions is usually depicted as the Moon. The Moon has three phases (four according to some) waning moon, full moon and waxing moon. Now imagine three circles like a Venn diagram in Probabilities [pic.2] (always a passion for Statistics but I won’t take it too far this time) you can see that the parts that are joining together form the Triquetra, three aspects of the moon, three aspects of the Goddess (or Divine) joined together.
Now that you understand the meaning of the Triquetra take it a bit further and apply this symbol to your spells, bring its power in your life and empower everything you do.
3 white candlesIncense: Jasmine, Rose and PatchouliA Triquetra (either the symbol you use per se or a drawing)
Now place the Triquetra in the middle. Put one white candle in each corner of the symbol and if you are using incense sticks put one stick in every corner of the Triquetra between the symbol and the candle. In the lower corner put Jasmine, on the top the Rose and the third corner place Patchouli. Alternatively, if you use dry flowers or oils put the incense/oil burner underneath the Triquetra, in the middle and a bit above of the two lower candles. Now light the candles and the incense (sticks or incense/oil burners) and chant 9 times (three times three) with all your heart and with a smile upon your face:
magic of triquetra charmed power of three spell
“Powers of high, listen to my pleaThree aspects of the Divine I invoke thee.
This magic time, this magic hourI ask you to lend me your power.
Bless this symbol with your love,Bless this symbol with your might,I feel you with me day and night.
Hear my call, hear my pleaThree as One always with me!Three as One forever be!”
Now thank the Gods/God for their gifts and love and leave an offering (as you can imagine three offerings suit better to this spell J ). For maximum potency repeat this spell for three consecutive days, even better schedule the spell to start one day before the Full Moon, repeat again the day of the Full Moon and once more the day after the Full Moon.
The Fierce Lady is a woman in Love. She adores men, faces her demons, & nurtures the world.
A true Fierce Lady:
(1) She cultivates inner beauty. As much pressure as women in the modern world get to use all available resources for appearance, the Fierce Lady actively cultivates her natural, inner beauty. She does this by filling her mind and heart with messages that are positive. She understands there is a deep reservoir of peace within her, and she actively taps into this. Her outer beauty is a reflection of deep inner peace and joy, and she lets nothing get in the way of her access to this inner strength.
(2) She puts others first. This is not self-debasement. The Fierce Lady knows that if she hasn’t taken care of herself, she can’t take care of anyone else. She has compassion first for herself, so she may have compassion for others. Starting from a base of healthy self-esteem, the Fierce Lady knows how to think about what others want, be considerate of their needs and desires, and be solicitous of them. Because of this, she is a pleasure to be around.
(3) She allows herself to be put first. Because her self-worth is not neurotically tied into always being in a serving role, she can relax and allow herself to be cared for, tended to, looked after, and, yes, put first. She recognizes that this is generosity, not selfishness: that other people (often men) get pleasure from serving women, and so she gives them the gift of allowing them to take care of her. And the best givers are great getters. She understands that the wheel of Giving and Getting is simply the karmic cycle of the Gift, and she doesn’t try to over-control its flow, but surrenders into the flow instead.
(4) The Fierce Lady surrenders. Whether it be surrender to her lover, or the larger surrender to the flux of events in the world, the Fierce Lady understands there is only so much she can do, only so much she can control. She practices regularly opening her posture, her breathing, and her heart in the middle of the most difficult situations — those that tempt her the most to shut down completely. She knows that her greatest gift lies in the undefended opening and blooming that allows her to catch the most sun. And she knows that it is her surrender that most opens her man.
She adores Men. Many women on the path to becoming Fierce Ladies have mixed feelings about men. They love them and hate them, adore them and fear them. This fraught relationship reflects inner demons that must be confronted and conquered.
(5) A Fierce Lady has conquered her demons, repaired her relationship to the masculine, and henceforth simply adores men for all they offer her. Although particular men may become beloved to her heart, in this area she broadcasts wide adoration of all men, despite their particular quirks and foibles — and all men can feel this, and are attracted to the Fierce Lady because of it.
(6) She is Fierce. You can call this “feisty” or “fiery” or “strong”, but it comes to the same thing: the Fierce Lady is no shrinking violent (although she may have started out that way). She speaks her mind, she stands up to authority when authority is wrong, she does the right thing regardless of what law or conventional wisdom says to do. A Fierce Lady is a lioness. She has the same protective instinct for all the downtrodden in the world that a mamma bear has in protecting her cubs, and this is fired with a finely-honed sense of justice. She steps in to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and care for those who cannot care for themselves.
(7) The Fierce Lady loves. She loves animals, she loves nature, she loves men, she loves women, she loves shoes, she loves something – passionately, independently, fiercely. The object of her love is less important than the fact that she is overflowing with it, freely broadcasting it into the world. It is said that men want love, but women are love — and it is true. (Really, both men and women are Love, but let’s not pick nits — we’re making a list here.)
(8) The Fierce Lady is impeccable with her word. She understands the considerable power of her words — the power to heal, and the power to harm. Because of this great power, she takes great care and daily discipline to avoid using her word against herself, against her sisters, or against her brothers or anyone else.
(9) The Fierce Lady understands soft power. Her discretion, diplomacy and subtlety command the greatest respect, and get the greatest results. She understands how easy it is to “try too hard” and how easy it is to “effort it” and use the linear, masculine power that gets results, but at great cost. She understands that between the water and the rock, the water always wins. She channels this power of Nature and wears down her obstacles. Every time.
(10) The Fierce Lady nurtures the world. This is a very wounded world. The Fierce Lady understands that what the world needs now is not more harsh, angular & austere solutions, but more nurturing. This is why the Fierce Lady addresses herself to the deepest and most painful wound she feels called to address, whether this is rescuing stray animals or feeding orphans in Africa. She knows that as long as she brings her warmth and nurturing love to this wound, it doesn’t matter if it’s the ‘biggest’ or ‘most important’ — what matters is merely that she knows, from listening to her deepest inner voice of of wisdom, that this is exactly where she should be, doing exactly what she is doing.
Although crows and ravens are part of the same family (Corvus), they’re not exactly the same bird. Typically, ravens are quite a bit bigger than crows, and they tend to be a bit shaggier looking. The raven actually has more in common with hawks and other predatory birds than the standard, smaller-sized crow. In addition, although both birds have an impressive repertoire of calls and noises they make, the raven’s call is usually a bit deeper and more guttural sounding than that of the crow.
Both crows and ravens have appeared in a number of different mythologies throughout the ages. In some cases these black-feathered birds are considered an omen of bad tidings, but in others they may represent a message from the Divine. Here is some fascinating crow and raven folklore to ponder:
Morrighan often appears in the form of a crow or raven, or is seen accompanied by a group of them. Typically, these birds appear in groups of three, and they are seen as a sign that the Morrighan is watching – or possibly getting ready to pay someone a visit.
In some tales of the Welsh myth cycle, the Mabinogion, the raven is a harbinger of death. Witches and sorcerers were believed to have the ability to transform themselves into ravens and fly away, thus enabling them to evade capture.
Crows sometimes appear as a method of divination. For the ancient Greeks, the crow was a symbol of Apollo in his role as god of prophecy. Augury – divination using birds – was popular among both the Greeks and the Romans, and augurs interpreted messages based on not only the color of a bird, but the direction from which it flew. A crow flying in from the east or south was considered favorable.
The Native Americans often saw the raven as a trickster, much like Coyote. There are a number of tales regarding the mischief of Raven, who is sometimes seen as a symbol of transformation. In the legends of various tribes, Raven is typically associated with everything from the creation of the world to the gift of sunlight to mankind. Some tribes knew the raven as a stealer of souls.
For those who follow the Norse pantheon, Odin is often represented by the raven – usually a pair of them. Early artwork depicts him as being accompanied by two black birds, who are described in the Eddas as Huginn and Muinnin. Their names translate to “thought” and “memory”, and their job is to serve as Odin’s spies, bringing him news each night from the land of men.
In parts of the Appalachian mountains, a low-flying group of crows means that illness is coming – but if a crow flies over a house and calls three times, that means an impending death in the family. If the crows call in the morning before the other birds get a chance to sing, it’s going to rain. Despite their role as messengers of doom and gloom, it’s bad luck to kill a crow. If you accidentally do so, you’re supposed to bury it – and be sure to wear black when you do!
Even within the Christian religion, ravens hold a special significance. While they are referred to as “unclean” within the Bible, Genesis tells us that after the flood waters receded, the raven was the first bird Noah sent out from the ark to find land. Also, in the Hebrew Talmud, ravens are credited with teaching mankind how to deal with death; when Cain slew Abel, a raven showed Adam and Eve how to bury the body, because they had never done so before.
Raven Totem Animal
Shamanism and Native American spirituality speak of animal totems. These are important nature symbols used by people to get in touch with specific required qualities found within an animal. A person's totem animal will have qualities they need, that they connect with, or feel a deep affinity toward. You can work with more than one totem animal, although many people tend to have a main totem that they work with all their life.
Raven is known as the "keeper of secrets" in numerous native tribes.
As a totem, Raven is the teacher of mysticism. Having such a wealth of myth and lore surrounding him throughout many cultures and ages, Raven is the ideal teacher of this subject.
The black color of ravens and their carrion diet associates them with darkness. This dark void represents the the unconscious.
Raven brings heightened awareness and a deeper understanding of our consciousness. Raven allows us to see into the hearts of others using our newly found perception, helping us to empathise with their feelings.
Raven encourages us to experience transformation, so that we can be reunited with the mysteries of the universe, and rid ourselves of our inner demons.
The Raven, Magick and Witches
Air and Water
Samhain and Imbolc
Station on the Wheel of the Year:
Northwest and Northeast
Raven is said to be the protector and teacher of seers and clairvoyants. In the past, witches were thought to turn themselves into ravens to escape pursuit.
The Raven as a Familiar
A familiar is a spiritual animal power or supernatural spirit, representing a species as a whole (i.e. Raven, not a raven) in a similar way to a Totem Animal.
A witch works with a familiar by drawing on a particular species for their strength and abilities. A familiar may also act as a guide to the Otherworld, and act as helpers in healing or magic.
The term familiar is also sometimes applied to a witch's companion animal, such as a black cat.
The Raven is a teacher, particularly of magical systems. If you find that one is attracted to you, it means you have the potential to be a great worker of magic. Raven does not care if this is for good or bad.
Raven familiars are not for the newly initiated - Raven only appears as a familiar to those who have progressed significantly down the path. Your consciousness must be at a certain level to understand the teachings Raven brings.
Raven brings the secrets from the underworld, particularly bringing the secret of transformation from the underworld to the world of magic.
Raven appearing physically out of the blue, or in a vision, is an important omen.
The Raven appearing in a vision can signify a warning, telling you to take heed as you may be in dangerous territory or are attracting negativity to yourself through magic or other workings.
Alternatively it can mean that the higher powers have acknowledged your progress in your magical workings and have sent Raven to instruct you further in the magical arts.
Ravens are found all over the world in artwork and mythology. They have been regarded as omens of death, war, and bad luck to some, and creators of light, fire, magick, and change to others. Ravens are known as the “keeper of secrets” in several native tribes, and are the teachers of mysticism. Whether the meaning of a Raven is good or bad depends on the people of that culture and personal interpretation.
Ravens do a good job cleaning nature by eating dead animals and further recycle using the same nests year after year. They bring in new materials for repairs if necessary thus perpetuating the cycle of change: death and rebirth. Change is the ending of one thing and the beginning of something new so it’s no wonder that we fear their presence when they spiritually help us to let go of our obstacles so we can find new magick in our lives.
Ravens come to us with heightened awareness and greater understanding of our consciousness. Its intelligence is possibly its most winning feature. These birds can be trained to speak. In fact, the Raven is often heard to cackle utterances that sound like “cras, cras,” meaning “tomorrow” in Latin. This speaking ability leads into the legend of ravens being the ultimate oracle. It is with this new perception that we begin seeing into the hearts of others and experience their feelings.
The Raven is a messenger too, so its business is in both keeping and communicating deep mysteries. Their black color and diet of dead animals associates them with the vast void of darkness, which is representative of the unconscious. Countless cultures point to the raven as a harbinger of powerful secrets. It is through the consistent unveiling of inner depths, and the positive/active utilization of inner impulses that the esoteric secrets become exposed to the light of our own consciousness.
The Raven asks us to experience the transformation it brings within our multidimensional self, and be reunited with the mysteries of the universe so we can expel our inner demons.
Just as Raven brought the stars, the moon, and the sun to us all; let Raven bring you to your own light and fly free into the magick of creation.
Coming soon to the Clever Cauldron Shoppe as soon as I make them. Please express your interest. They are handcrafted diamond willow wood and adorned with white rabbit fur, leather strapping, and adornments to native culture. Cost will be $28.96+ S&H.