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 am a retired MSW, Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist, and a Dr of Ministries. I provide individual and family counseling.

Skinny Witch Healthy Juicy Turkey Tacos

Recipe - So Quick and Easy

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
12 ounces ground turkey
2 tablespoons taco seasoning - Try this homemade taco seasoning
½ cup water
6 corn tortillas, lightly toasted
Fixings for toppings – I used a bit of crema (sour cream), Cojita cheese, picante sauce, roasted jalapeno peppers, diced avocado and chopped cilantro

Cooking Directions

Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl.
Add onion, jalapeno pepper and ground turkey. Cook it all together about 8 minutes, or until the turkey is nearly cooked through.
Add taco seasoning and water. Stir. Reduce heat and allow to simmer about 10 minutes, until most of the moisture reduces and the flavorings thicken up. Leave just a bit of the liquid in the pan to keep the turkey nice and juicy and moist.
Serve onto toasted tortillas and top with your favorite fixings!

Spring Cleaning~


The Spring Equinox, or Ostara, is a time for finding balance in our lives. In my  Candlemas for Cleaning I suggest the idea of moving your spring cleaning to that sabbat, here I have a different kind of spring cleaning in mind.  Our lives are fast paced and we live in a material culture where keeping up with the Joneses is just what we do.  We’ve been programmed for that since we left our mothers’ wombs.  Even the minimalists among us accumulate stuff over the years, all of us not usually conscious of exactly how much we’ve got around.  There are an endless number of ways to restore balance in your life, all sorts of complex spells you can perform, but I suggest this method.  I’d say it’s a simple method but often it can be a very emotional experience.
That stuff we hoard, often without realizing we are hoarding it, all of it has energy attached to it.  We imprint upon our stuff the emotions and energies that were going through us perhaps at the time of purchase, during the objects use, or merely by that object being in our home at a certain time.   Maybe the object holds memories and emotions about someone who had an impact on our lives.  Perhaps the energy of the object has just become stagnant over time.  The energies these objects hold have an effect on the overall energy of our home and on us.  Those who feel out of balance in their life may want to consider this type of spring cleaning for Ostara.
Take this time to look around your house, don’t open any drawers or anything yet, and just take a look at what is out in the open.  Do all of the things you have around still make you happy?  Do you use the items?  Do they have a positive energy?  If the answer is “no” now is the time to act. You can try to cleanse the items etc. but that’s a topic for another day.  Get a box or bag and toss in whatever you answered “no” to.  When you toss it in the bag let it go energetically.  Release it if you need to.  This may take some time and you may need to do some work with your Shadow Self to truly let things go.  Letting go of objects often sounds easy but as you start trying to let things go you find out that it may not be as easy as you first thought, not because of materialism but because of our energetic connection to the items we have.  After you’ve removed anything that is out in the open that no longer serves you it’s time to open your closets, drawers, storage containers, garage, shed, or where ever else you store your stuff.  The same goes here, if it doesn’t make you happy, you don’t use it, or it has negative energy, get rid of it.  I feel I should put a note in here that while your tax documents probably don’t make you happy nor is it likely they posses a positive energy you may need to use them at some point so you’ll want to hang on to stuff like that. 
While going through all of your possessions you’ll discover that some objects have stronger energetic ties to you than others.  With many items that’s a positive thing but with items that are negatively tied to you those connections will need to be removed.  Ask ten different Witches and you’ll get fifteen different answers on how to do this, as you’re used to me saying, handle it in whatever way feels right/ works best for you.  This may be a time to work with your Shadow Self or you may simply want to remove the ties that bind.  I know Witches who do cord cutting spells, who burn the ties off, and who untie them.  Personally, I find that cutting cords is only a temporary solution, they grow back just as a pruned hedge will continue to grow after being trimmed.  I untie the cords from my energy and this is usually successful for me.
You’ve cleaned house and released the objects/untied the objects from your energy.  What now should you do with the boxes and bags of clothes and other items?  Cleanse the piles of items by smudging, using bubbles (adapt the bubble method in Candlemas for Cleaning), or whatever cleansing spell you favor.  You don’t HAVE to bless them but you at least want to neutralize them.  After that you have a few options.  Did you find objects that don’t actually belong to you?  Stuff that was left at your place you may want to return to its owner when it is possible and safe to do so. You could have a yard sale but for this exercise I really recommend you donate or give away the rest.  You can post the items you want to give away on your local Freecycle site or donate it to your local Good Will, Salvation Army, or Good Shepard.  If you’re looking for a secular place to donate it to, try your local food bank.  We have a food bank here that raises money by running a second hand shop.
Will this make everything in your life magickally better?  Of course not, but you’ll be amazed by the results.  Finally old baggage that you didn’t know you were still carrying around will be released.  You may feel lighter and happier or you may find yourself having a good cathartic cry.  You might even get angry if you’ve been repressing some.  This is all natural and it’s perfectly OK for you to have these feelings.  Let yourself FEEL them and then release them.  At the end you’ll feel better and more balanced as the Wheel continues to turn.
 

The first step to cleaning a room was always to take the pictures down from the wall.  Work your way down from there. I never considered that step to be necessary, but I understand the mentality behind it.

When you are manifesting new things, you can't always build on what you've got. Sometimes you have to set aside everything that is not necessary. Sometimes you even have to specify what that is--as quickly as reasonably possible, of course, so that you can move on to creating rather than destroying.

 When opening up the windows or shutters there is usually accmulation of ded bugs. (For any that didn't get out of my house on their own, I wish them lemon-fresh bliss in the ant afterlife. Go in peace.)

 In my spiritual life, I'm still in the process of removing the rotten stuff and whatever feeds on it. I need to be clear about what is not welcome in my sacred space in addition to what is.

And in some cases, I just need to take the pictures off the wall and get down to the bare essentials.

I don't need any glamour when I get together with my spiritual community. I declare that stuff busted. Now. 

I don't need a Pagan version of Disney World. The real world, inside and out, is breathtaking in and of itself. 

I don't need to frak a Pagan to have a good time (not every time we gather, anyway). That's missing the whole point. 

I don't need to support anyone who doesn't recognize the Goddess in me. She is there, even when it's inconvenient or disturbing the status quo or just not 'nice'. Goddess is in all of us, to be respected and cherished, and that means there's no place for hierarchy upon hierarchy or ego games. Go in peace, if that's your bag, but just go. (There's no bug spray for humans, as far as I'm concerned. You gotta stay alive wherever you're going.) I'm keeping the friends I love, along with their naturally beautiful souls and generous work ethic, and tossing the rotten situations that surrounded our meeting. (Once uncovered, some of these can be rebuilt better than ever.) And of course, I'm keeping my Divine nature and theirs.

Since there are healthier and safer settings where we can manifest wholeness and truth and community, let's do this. It doesn't have to be fancy, backbreaking, or expensive. It doesn't have to look good in pictures. It just has to be real.

Let's wake up and make it real.

*snaps fingers*

Now.


The Spring Equinox, or Ostara, is a time for finding balance in our lives. In my blog Candlemas for Cleaning I suggest the idea of moving your spring cleaning to that sabbat, here I have a different kind of spring cleaning in mind.  Our lives are fast paced and we live in a material culture where keeping up with the Joneses is just what we do.  We’ve been programmed for that since we left our mothers’ wombs.  Even the minimalists among us accumulate stuff over the years, all of us not usually conscious of exactly how much we’ve got around.  There are an endless number of ways to restore balance in your life, all sorts of complex spells you can perform, but I suggest this method.  I’d say it’s a simple method but often it can be a very emotional experience.

 

That stuff we hoard, often without realizing we are hoarding it, all of it has energy attached to it.  We imprint upon our stuff the emotions and energies that were going through us perhaps at the time of purchase, during the objects use, or merely by that object being in our home at a certain time.   Maybe the object holds memories and emotions about someone who had an impact on our lives.  Perhaps the energy of the object has just become stagnant over time.  The energies these objects hold have an effect on the overall energy of our home and on us.  Those who feel out of balance in their life may want to consider this type of spring cleaning for Ostara.

 

Take this time to look around your house, don’t open any drawers or anything yet, and just take a look at what is out in the open.  Do all of the things you have around still make you happy?  Do you use the items?  Do they have a positive energy?  If the answer is “no” now is the time to act. You can try to cleanse the items etc. but that’s a topic for another day.  Get a box or bag and toss in whatever you answered “no” to.  When you toss it in the bag let it go energetically.  Release it if you need to.  This may take some time and you may need to do some work with your Shadow Self to truly let things go.  Letting go of objects often sounds easy but as you start trying to let things go you find out that it may not be as easy as you first thought, not because of materialism but because of our energetic connection to the items we have.  After you’ve removed anything that is out in the open that no longer serves you it’s time to open your closets, drawers, storage containers, garage, shed, or where ever else you store your stuff.  The same goes here, if it doesn’t make you happy, you don’t use it, or it has negative energy, get rid of it.  I feel I should put a note in here that while your tax documents probably don’t make you happy nor is it likely they posses a positive energy you may need to use them at some point so you’ll want to hang on to stuff like that. 

 

While going through all of your possessions you’ll discover that some objects have stronger energetic ties to you than others.  With many items that’s a positive thing but with items that are negatively tied to you those connections will need to be removed.  Ask ten different Witches and you’ll get fifteen different answers on how to do this, as you’re used to me saying, handle it in whatever way feels right/ works best for you.  This may be a time to work with your Shadow Self or you may simply want to remove the ties that bind.  I know Witches who do cord cutting spells, who burn the ties off, and who untie them.  Personally, I find that cutting cords is only a temporary solution, they grow back just as a pruned hedge will continue to grow after being trimmed.  I untie the cords from my energy and this is usually successful for me.

 

You’ve cleaned house and released the objects/untied the objects from your energy.  What now should you do with the boxes and bags of clothes and other items?  Cleanse the piles of items by smudging, using bubbles (adapt the bubble method in Candlemas for Cleaning), or whatever cleansing spell you favor.  You don’t HAVE to bless them but you at least want to neutralize them.  After that you have a few options.  Did you find objects that don’t actually belong to you?  Stuff that was left at your place you may want to return to its owner when it is possible and safe to do so. Don’t go tracking down an abusive ex to give him back his Hootie and the Blowfish CD.  You could have a yard sale but for this exercise I really recommend you donate or give away the rest.  You can post the items you want to give away on your local Freecycle site or donate it to your local Good Will, Salvation Army, or Good Shepard.  If you’re looking for a secular place to donate it to, try your local food bank.  We have a food bank here that raises money by running a second hand shop.

 

Will this make everything in your life magickally better?  Of course not, but you’ll be amazed by the results.  Finally old baggage that you didn’t know you were still carrying around will be released.  You may feel lighter and happier or you may find yourself having a good cathartic cry.  You might even get angry if you’ve been repressing some.  This is all natural and it’s perfectly OK for you to have these feelings.  Let yourself FEEL them and then release them.  At the end you’ll feel better and more balanced as the Wheel continues to turn.

 

I have many seasonal routines, but none as important--or noisy--as spring-cleaning. It has always been important for me to clean magickally as well as physically. As usual, I started out this time with open windows so that all the mold, dust, cooking odors and yucky energy from seasonal depression, colds and other nasty stuff that builds up over the winter can escape.

After another cup of chai, I proceeded to dance around the house beating my drum, made a second trip with my tambourine to stir up all the old, stagnant energy, and to recharge any latent good energy that might have taken the winter off. I have recently added an element of ceremonial magick borrowed from a friend's tradition, by doing a very cool banishing pentagram. This particular banishing ends with a dramatic "fencers lunge," athamé at the ready, and the words: "Trouble not the servants of the gods!" I say this forcefully, like I really mean it.


Consecrating and purifying the house with the elements is also part of the ritual. I walked around the house with each element in turn, incense for Air, a candle for Fire, my chalice for Water, and kosher salt for earth, sprinkling or waving it around as needed.
 

A simple chant for each element seems to help the process along, something like "I consecrate this house with the element of Air..." This time, I was in the mood to chant for all of them: "Fire, Water, Earth and Air, we call you to this place. Fire, Water, Earth and Air, to help create a sacred space." This chant stirred up quite a bit of energy, as evidenced by Bad Kitty abandoning her battle with the dreaded mini blinds, then chasing me around the house swatting at me, adding the ringing of her little collar bell to the task at hand.

Next I turned my attention to the houseplants and the nature spirits that inhabit them. I brought each plant down from the shelf, removed dead or damaged leaves and cleaned the remaining leaves. Any plant that needed repotting was taken care of, and they were all fed, watered, and talked to.


Next, it was the standard tasks: mopping, dusting, laundry and vacuuming that most folks consider a "normal" spring-cleaning, with a few modifications. I have an herb mixture, using the "nine time nine protects thee and mine" formula--any nine protection herbs will do--that I use for protection spells. I sprinkled it on the carpet as a sort of "Pagan Carpet Fresh," prior to vacuuming.
 

I add cedar and rosemary oil, as well as salt, to all my cleaning solutions to magickally charge them. This is also added to the laundry when I wash all the bed linens and towels.

When cleaning the bathroom, I visualize any negative energy going down the drains when rinsing the sinks and tubs. I save the real "yucky stuff" to power flush down the toilet.

 

Spiritual Spring Cleaning

 

Ritual: according to the Encarta Dictionary, the observance of actions or procedures in a set, ordered, and ceremonial way.

 

We all have rituals. Some of them are practical, like the routine we have before we go to bed. (In my house, that goes something like this – lock the doors, turn off the computers, clean the litter boxes, turn off the lights throughout the house, brush teeth, pee, go to bed with a book. Yes, I lead a glamorous and exciting life…why do you ask?) Some rituals are spiritual, whether that means observing a particular holiday, or lighting a candle on an altar.

 

Some are a combination of both. In many ways, these are my favorite kinds of ritual. I’m a pragmatic kind of woman…if I can accomplish two purposes with one act, I’m a happy camper.

 

One of my yearly rituals is something I like to call “Spiritual Spring Cleaning.” You might say that this is something of a specialty of mine. I’ve given workshops about it at Pantheacon and other Pagan conferences, written about it in my various books, and in articles in the Llewellyn annuals. All that means, really, is that it is one of my favorite things to do, and I like sharing it with others.

 

You don’t have to be a Witch to do spiritual spring cleaning. It just requires  mindful focus and a little extra effort. This is how I do it, but as with everything else, you are welcome to change my approach to better suit your own needs and inclinations.

 

The Purpose: To cleanse your personal space (home, apartment, whatever) on a level that goes deeper than simply sweeping the floor and dusting off the spider plants.

 

Why Do It: Some kinds of clutter and mess are obvious, like that pile of papers on the table and the laundry you meant to put away three weeks ago. But energy gets cluttered too, and by clearing and cleansing the space you live in, you can often lift yourself out of ruts you didn’t even know you were in, and clear the way for new and rewarding pursuits.

 

What You’ll Need: A sage smudge stick (or the cleansing incense of your choice), salt and water in a small bowl, a broom and some magickal cleansing oil and/or more salt & water mixture  or lemon juice (optional). If you have sea salt, that’s great, but even regular old table salt will do.

 

How You Do It: It couldn’t be easier.

 

If you are going to do a regular spring cleaning, as I do, you can do the spiritual spring cleaning either before or after (I like to do it afterwards, once you’ve stirred up all the stagnant energy by physically cleaning). Otherwise, you can do this by itself, at any time. In reality, I often do this in the fall, as well as the spring, to prepare my home for the long winter hibernation.

 

Starting either at the bottom of your house (the basement or first floor) or at the front door if you have an apartment, walk from room to room wafting your sage smudge stick and visualizing the smoke clearing and cleansing the space. Take extra care to go around all doors and windows, and any other entrances such as chimneys, since negative energy can come and go through these areas. If you can, open all the windows before you start, and visualize any negative energy or unwanted crap (yes, that’s the technical witchy term) going out the windows. If, as is often the case where I live, it is too cold to open them all, you can just open one window a crack at the end. Be sure to shut the window (s) once you have gotten rid of all the bad stuff.

 

Repeat the process with the bowl holding the mixture of salt and water, sprinkling it around the rooms with the tips of your fingers or a feather. In this case, you should visualize bright protective energy springing up wherever you walk. Again, take special care with doors and windows, and any spots that just don’t feel “right.”

 

For an extra boost, dip a broom (magickal or mundane) in a little water with either magickal protection and/or cleansing oils in it, or a squeeze of lemon juice (which is both cleansing and yummy smelling). Sweep your house as you normally would, but as you go, visualize any negative energy or old bad feelings (left over from arguments, bad days, whatever) being swept away as you go.

 

When you’re done, feel how light and clear your home feels, and open yourself up to new and wonderful things as they waft in on spring breezes.

 

Ritual—not just for holidays (or bedtime). Happy spring!

 

~Elder Airwolf~

Legion of Pagans
 

METAPHYSICAL GEMS~COLOR RED

Color can influence our emotions, our actions and how we respond to various people, ideas and situations. Much has been studied and written about color and its impact on our daily lives throughout the ages.
Why are there no purple power tools? Why did you just smile when you read that? Is there a truly blue food that we are happy to consume? The mind bending power of color is amazing!
Many people believe that colors are powers, and that colored stones are especially powerful. Here are some of the meanings of colors and the energies contained in their corresponding stones.

TODAY is RED:

Red is the warmest of all colors on the color wheel. It is the color most chosen by extroverts and one of the top choices by men in general. Although warm, red can also indicate anger or hot temper; as well as being the color representative of Mars, the God of war. In China red is the color of prosperity and joy, in China brides are known to wear red, and front doors of dwellings are often painted red to take advantage of this meaning.
Red is associated with fiery heat and warmth, it is also the color of blood, and as such holds very strong symbolism with live and vitality. It helps to bring focus to the essence of life and living with emphasis on survival.
Add the color red into your life when you are looking to:
increase enthusiasm and interest
create more energy
create action and confidence to follow your dreams
protect yourself from fears and anxieties
The color read is also representative of activity, energy, stamina, sexuality, love and the joy of living.
Therapeutic uses for the color red include supporting the circularity and metabolic systems, strengthening will power and keeping one active.
Red Gemstone Properties
In addition to their own metaphysical properties, red gemstones also carry with them the color properties. They can be used to strengthen the body, promote will power and courage, add vitality and overcome sexual dysfunctions. Placing a red gemstone in or around your home or place of work will stimulate vitality and energy.
Some of the common red gemstones would be ruby, garnet, spinel, coral as well as many jaspers, and other stones that are only partially red.

METAPHYSICAL GEMS-COLOR PINK


Color can influence our emotions, our actions and how we respond to various people, ideas and situations. Much has been studied and written about color and its impact on our daily lives throughout the ages.
Why are there no purple power tools? Why did you just smile when you read that? Is there a truly blue food that we are happy to consume? The mind bending power of color is amazing!
Many people believe that colors are powers, and that colored stones are especially powerful. Here are some of the meanings of colors and the energies contained in their corresponding stones.
TODAY is PINK:
Pink is the color of universal love and friendship, it is a quiet color that lovers favor. It is a blending of red and white, not actually a color but a hue of red. As white is representative of the potential for fullness, red is the color that helps you to achieve that potential. Pink combines these energies.
The quality of energy in pink is dependant on how much red is present. Shades of deep pink, such as magenta, are effective in neutralizing disorder and violence. It is even told that limited deep pink tones are used in some prisons to diffuse aggressive behavior.
Add some pink to your life when you are looking to:
calm feelings
neutralize disorder
find relaxation
gain acceptance and contentment
Pink Gemstone Properties
In addition to their own metaphysical properties, pink gemstones also carry with them the properties of their color. Pink gemstones may be used to promote self love and self worth, while at the same time protecting by removing violence or aggression and working to regain order. Carry or place pink gemstones around your home or place of work to stimulate love and beauty as well as to diminish aggression.
Wear pink when you would like to present yourself as a peaceful, calm individual who is non threatening. The softer shades are quite feminine and darker shades will alleviate feelings of friction.
Some of the common pink gemstones are rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rose quartz, pink opal, pink tourmaline, kunzite, danburite and pink calcite.

Chakra Association with Pink
There is no chakra association with pink, although Rose Quartz is very powerful for the 4th, Heart Chakra
 

Leap Day

Feb. 29th is Leap Day.

It was invented in 45 B.C. when Julius Caesar replaced the many calendars used throughout the Roman Empire based on the moon’s lunar cycles with one unified calendar based on the sun, having 365 days and a “leap” day every 4th year. This was called the “Julian Calendar.” Caesar also made the beginning of the year January 1st. Previously, the first month of the year was March.

Remnants of March being the first month can be seen in the Latin names of months September, October, November and December:

“Sept” is Latin for seven
“Oct” is Latin for eight (ie. octogon=eight sided)
“Nov” is Latin for nine
“Dec” is Latin for ten (ie. decimal=divisible by ten)

The old fifth month, Quintilis, was renamed after Julius Casear, being called “July.” As it only had 30 days, Julius Caesar took a day from the old end of the year, February, and added it to July, giving the month 31 days.

The next emperor, Augustus Caesar, renamed the old sixth month, Sextilis, after himself, calling it “August.” A day from the old end of the year, February, was added to August, giving that month 31 days, and leaving February with only 28 days.

After three centuries and ten major persecutions, the Roman Emperor Constantine recognized the Christian religion.

 

The most important event in the Christian calendar was Christ’s crucifixion as the Passover Lamb on the Jewish Feast of Passover, His being in the grave on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and his Resurrection of the Feast of First Fruits, or as it was also called, Easter.

The Apostle Paul wrote in First Corinthians 5:7 “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

As Julius Caesar unified the Roman Empire with the Julian Calendar, Constantine, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., decided to have a unified date to celebrate Easter throughout the Roman Empire. His insistence that it be on a Sunday resulted in Christianity cutting ties from the Jewish method of determining the date of Passover based on the lunar calendar, which traditionally began the evening of 14th day of Nissan.

Constantine set the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the first paschal full moon falling on or after the Spring Equinox, though in actuality it is calculated through the use of tables.

“Equinox” is a solar calendar term: “equi” = “equal” and “nox” = “night” meaning daytime and night are of equal duration, occurring once in the Spring and once in the Autumn. In the year 325 A.D., Easter was on March 21.

In 567 A.D., the Council of Tours returned the beginning of the year back to the ancient beginning of March, as January 1st was associated with pagan Rome.

By 1582, it became clear that the Julian Calendar was slightly inaccurate by about 11 minutes per year, resulting in the calculated tables having the date of Easter ten days ahead of the Spring Equinox and further from its origins in the Jewish Passover.

Pope Gregory XIII decided to revise the calendar by eliminating ten days. He set a leap year for every year divisible by 4, except for years divisible by 100, unless that year is also divisible by 400. It sounds complicated, but it is so accurate that it is the most internationally used calendar today. Called the “Gregorian Calendar,” it also returned the beginning of the year back to January 1st.

Protestant Europe did not adopt the Catholic Gregorian Calendar for nearly two centuries. This gave rise to some interesting record keeping. For example: a ship would leave Protestant England on one date according to the Julian Calendar and arrive in Catholic Europe at an earlier date, as Europe was using the Gregorian Calendar.

Another example is April 23, 1616, the day William Shakespeare died in England. Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Man of La Mancha,” died the same date in Spain, but when the differences between England’s Julian and Spain’s Gregorian Calendars are removed, Cervantes actually died ten days before Shakespeare.

England and its colonies waited till 1752 to adopt the Gregorian Calendar, but by that time there was an 11 day discrepancy. When America finally adjusted its calendar, the day after Sept. 2, 1752 (Old Style), became Sept. 14, 1752 (New Style). There were some accounts of rioting.

Another interesting event occurred on this day during Christopher Columbus’ last voyage. Driven by storms around the Caribbean Sea, two of Columbus’ ships were abandoned and the remaining two were worm-eaten and sinking. Columbus was shipwrecked on Jamaica. Indians brought food for a while, but then threatened to become hostile.

Columbus, using his skill as a navigator, predicted that a lunar eclipse would take place on Feb. 29, 1504. He called the Indian Chiefs to his marooned ship and told them if they did not stay on good terms, he would pray that God would blot out the moon. When the eclipse began, the Indians shrieked and quickly made peace with Columbus.

Columbus later wrote: “My hope in the One who created us all sustains me: He is an ever-present help in trouble.”

Leap Day Customs & Traditions

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since Leap Years were first introduced by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago.

Women Propose to Their Men
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.
This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

Leap Day Babies World Record
People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.

When do Leap Day Babies Celebrate Their Birthdays?
According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are Leap Day World Record Holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 and of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.

Unlucky in Love
In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day, just as Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. Greeks consider it unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day
Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during common years.

 

MUSHROOM BALSAMIC BRAISED SHORT RIBS



INGREDIENTS
Get Ingredients
Get Ingredients

5.5 lbs short ribs
3 cups beef stock
1 cup dry red wine
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 package brown gravy mix
1 package onion gravy mix
3 - 4.5 oz jar whole mushrooms

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F.
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Add 1 T olive oil to a dutch oven set over medium high heat. Add the short ribs and brown, working in batches if necessary. Remove the browned ribs to a plate and set aside.
Add the stock, wine and vinegar to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits on the bottom of the wine. Bring to a simmer.
Whisk in the two gravy packets and the mushrooms. Return the short ribs (and any accumulated juices) to the pot, nestling them in the liquid as much as possible.
Cover the pot and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2 hours.
Skim off as much fat as possible and serve over polenta.

HEALTHY SMART WYTCH WEEK PLANNER By Donna Morgan on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 1:13pm from Skinny Wytch by Elder Airwolf

 

Breakfast~MONDAY
· 2 slices of Bread, Rye
· 1 ounce of Cheese Brick, Full-Fat
· 1 cup of Blueberries
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 6 ounces of Yogurt Low-Fat, 1-2%
· 1 small Grapefruit
Lunch
· 3 ounces of Turkey, White meat,pastured
· 1/2 cup of Pasta, Brown Rice (Cooked)
· 1/2 cup of Sauce, Tomato
· 5 Olives
· 1 1/2 cups of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 1 slice of Bread, 100% Whole-Grain
· 1/4 cup of Cheese Ricotta, 0-2%
· 1 serving of Vegetables of YourChoice
Dinner
· 4 1/2 ounces of Cod
· 1 cup of Couscous (Cooked)
· 1 cup of Eggplant, roasted or sauteed
· 1 Tbsp of Salad Dressing, Organic
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 1/2 cup of Ice Cream, Natural Low-Fat

Breakfast~TUESDAY
· 2 slices of Bread, Rye
· 1 ounce of Cheese Brick, Full-Fat
· 1 cup of Blueberries
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 6 ounces of Yogurt Low-Fat, 1-2%
· 1 small Grapefruit
Lunch
· 3 ounces of Turkey, White meat,pastured
· 1/2 cup of Pasta, Brown Rice (Cooked)
· 1/2 cup of Sauce, Tomato
· 5 Olives
· 1 1/2 cups of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 1 slice of Bread, 100% Whole-Grain
· 1/4 cup of Cheese Ricotta, 0-2%
· 1 serving of Vegetables of YourChoice
Dinner
· 4 1/2 ounces of Cod
· 1 cup of Couscous (Cooked)
· 1 cup of Eggplant, roasted or sauteed
· 1 Tbsp of Salad Dressing, Organic
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 1/2 cup of Ice Cream, Natural Low-Fat
Menu History

Breakfast~WEDNESDAY
· 6 ounces of Yogurt, Flavored orFruited, Low-Fat
· 1/2 ounce of Almond
· 1 medium Peach
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 1 Egg, Organic/Grass-Fed/Free-range
· 1/2 Muffin, English, 100% Whole Grain
· 1 serving of"Free" Spread
· 1 small Apple
Lunch
· 2 ounces of Bison / Buffalo, Filletor Steak
· 1/2 cup of Beans, Kidney
· 1 tsp of Oil, Olive
· 2 cups of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 6 Crackers, Rice
· 1/4 cup of Cottage Cheese, 0-1%
· 1 serving of Vegetables of YourChoice
Dinner
· 3 ounces of Lobster Meat
· 3/4 cup of Green Peas
· 1/2 cup of Lentils
· 1 serving of Green Vegetable Saladwith Dressing
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 1/4 cup of Cottage Cheese, 0-1%
· 1 medium Orange
Menu History

Breakfast~THURSDAY
· 6 ounces of Yogurt, Flavored orFruited, Low-Fat
· 1/2 ounce of Almond
· 1 medium Peach
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 1 Egg, Organic/Grass-Fed/Free-range
· 1/2 Muffin, English, 100% Whole Grain
· 1 serving of"Free" Spread
· 1 small Apple
Lunch
· 2 ounces of Bison / Buffalo, Filletor Steak
· 1/2 cup of Beans, Kidney
· 1 tsp of Oil, Olive
· 2 cups of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 6 Crackers, Rice
· 1/4 cup of Cheese Ricotta, 0-2%
· 1 serving of Vegetables of YourChoice
Dinner
· 3 ounces of Lobster Meat
· 3/4 cup of Green Peas
· 1/2 cup of Lentils
· 1 serving of Green Vegetable Saladwith Dressing
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 1/4 cup of Cottage Cheese, 0-1%
· 1 medium Orange
Breakfast~FRIDAY
· 6 ounces of Yogurt, Flavored orFruited, Low-Fat
· 1/2 ounce of Almond
· 1 medium Peach
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 1 Egg, Organic/Grass-Fed/Free-range
· 1/2 Muffin, English, 100% Whole Grain
· 1 serving of"Free" Spread
· 1 small Apple
Lunch
· 2 ounces of Bison / Buffalo, Filletor Steak
· 1/2 cup of Beans, Kidney
· 1 tsp of Oil, Olive
· 2 cups of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 6 Crackers, Rice
· 1/4 cup of Cheese Ricotta, 0-2%
· 1 serving of Vegetables of YourChoice
Dinner
· 3 ounces of Lobster Meat
· 3/4 cup of Green Peas
· 1/2 cup of Lentils
· 1 serving of Green Vegetable Saladwith Dressing
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 1/4 cup of Cottage Cheese, 0-1%
· 1 medium Orange
Breakfast~SATURDAY
· 1/2 ounce of Peanuts
· 1 cup of Basic Hot Cereal (Porridge)
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 1 Egg, Regular
· 1 slice of Bread, 100% Whole-Grain
· 1 serving of"Free" Spread
· 1 cup of Grapes
Lunch
· 3 ounces of Crab Meat
· 1/2 cup of Beans, Black
· 1 tsp of Oil, Flax Seed
· 1 cup of Coconut Water
· 2 cups of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 6 ounces of Yogurt Low-Fat, 1-2%
· 1 serving of Vegetables of YourChoice
Dinner
· 3 ounces of Pork, Loin Chop, Lean,pastured
· 1 cup of Quinoa (Cooked)
· 1 Tbsp of Sauce, Soy / Tamari,Regular
· 1 tsp of Oil, Coconut
· 1 cup of Mixed Green Salad
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 3 Crackers, Graham, 2.5-inch square
Breakfast~SUNDAY
· 1 Muffin, English, 100% Whole Grain
· 3/8 cup of Cottage Cheese, 2%
· 1/2 ounce of Pecans
· 3 large Prunes
· Fish Oil 
Snack #1
· 1 Egg (omega-3)
· 1 slice of Bread, Rye
· 1 serving of"Free" Spread
· 1/2 cup of Juice, 100% Fruit (fresh-squeezed/pressed/juiced)
Lunch
· 4 1/2 ounces of Mussels
· 1/2 cup of Potato (Sweet)
· 2 servings of Vegetables of YourChoice
· 1 tsp of Oil, Coconut
· Fish Oil 
Snack #2
· 1 cup of Milk, Cow, Organic, Whole
Dinner
· 3 ounces of Pork, Loin Chop, Lean,pastured
· 1 cup of Quinoa (Cooked)
· 1 small Pickles, Sour / Kosher
· 1 cup of Eggplant, roasted or sauteed
· 5 Olives
· Fish Oil 
Snack #3
· 3 medium Guavasteens / Feijoas /Pineapple Guavas

What is Theurgy and Henosis

The Left-hand Path

The topics of Black Magick and the Left-Hand path have often come up in our conversations with some of you. While there is a great stigma attached to an individual who has strayed onto this path, it is unfair to assume that this individual is inherently malicious.
Sometimes the individual has had treacherous life experiences which he or she is unable to shed. These feelings build up within the individual until they feel as if there is no resort other than to find vengeance for the problems that life has imposed upon them.
There is also an individual who first seeks to practice for the benefit of others and themselves. They begin in the same manner as other practitioners. They seek to better understand the Universe and to extract all of the meaning that they are able. However, sometimes this is not enough. They are left with a void feeling despite what they have accomplished. They become obsessed with the "something more". It is at this point that they stray from the path that they had initially chosen.
What is Theurgy?
This path begins with theurgy, or the performance of miracles through the search for divine intervention in human affairs. The concept of theurgy in itself is innocuous. It is the utilization of Magick to better oneself internally. This does not mean to Cast a Luck Spell upon oneself nor to help another through Magick and identify the practice as self-betterment. Rather, Theurgy usually infers the invocation of the Goddess to enhance one’s understanding of Her. Most qualified practitioners who have mastered the art of invocation have sought to enter this medium state in order to feel the presence of the divine. Others have done so in the attempt to acquire a piece of knowledge from the Goddess. Usually, this interaction is sufficient, and just to know that the divine exists and is within reach brings enough satisfaction that the goal can be considered achieved and no further action is required.
What is Henosis?
Then there is the rare breed of humans who seek something more. Henosis can practically be called Mad Magician Syndrome, as those who attempt it are willing to risk everything on Earth as well as their connection with the Universe. Fundamentally, Henosis is deification. The magician (for we shall no longer call him or her Wiccan at this point) seeks to not only invoke the Goddess, but to retain the Goddess until She fuses within the practitioner and becomes one. Here, the magician’s body continues to serve only as an avatar, but this avatar reaches a point of true apotheosis, or being exalted to the level of a deity. There have been no reported cases of the success of Henosis, but many cases in which the practitioner died trying. Self-asphyxiation are everyday forms of Henoism, where an individual is no longer content with who they are, or the meaning of their existence. Rather, they take drastic steps to try to shed their human form and become something superior. There is always a better way.

Legion of Pagans Educators

Donna Morgan Wolf- Elder Airwolf:

Elder Founder/CEO Developer Director & Master Educator of Legion of Pagans Educational Institution of Magick LLC,Ordained Dr. of Divinity, Clinical Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist, Druid/N.A. Shaman Sage, Voodoo Priestess.

Julie Francis~Apple Elf Jules

LOP.com Administrator Educator, (Face Book Groups Lead SupervisorAdministrator)

Ordained

 

NM Farrar (T'Sesha Naneki Evenfall)

2nd Degree Eclectic Priestess and Witch. Reiki Master - Usui and Tibetan Reiki.  Animal Reiki Practitioner. Dedicant candidate, ADF. Postulant, Fellowship of the Ancient White Stag, ASW.  Master Gardener, State of Maryland.

Legion of Pagans- Administrator/Educator LOP.com

 

Lindsey Hardwick (Rogue Storm)

LOP. com Moderator & Teacher Aid Educator/FB admin

Ordained Priestess

 

Diana Schoenberg (Falling Star)   

Administrator LOP.com

Educator & Educational Assistant, Ordained, Gray Witch.

***Backup Staff*

Awesome Probiotic Recipes

Most of you probably know by now just how good probiotics are for your health.

Here's just a short list of some of the benefits probiotics have been clinically shown to yield:

smoother digestion
reduced gas & bloating
less constipation or diarrhea
boosted energy
improved mood
clearer, healthier skin
weight management
boosted immune system

You may also already know that probiotics are found in a number of different food sources, such as: kimchee, kefir, tempeh and kombucha tea.

However, most of the food sources that are naturally probiotic-rich are fermented, and – let’s be honest – they’re not that tasty.

What I always thought would be truly helpful is a way to make some of those probiotic-rich foods actuallytaste good.

So my research team and I decided to come up with three recipes that are incredibly delicious AND chock-full of probiotics. We did a little research, a little experimenting in the kitchen...and the results were amazing.

So, here are three great, family-friendly recipes to naturally help restore your digestion through the beneficial probiotics in the ingredients...

Miso Glazed Salmon
Ingredients:

3 tbsp White Miso Paste
2 tbsp Sake
1 tbsp Honey
2 tsp Soy Sauce
4 Salmon Fillets

Miso is packed with lactobacillus probiotic strains. For this easy recipe, just whisk the first four ingredients together, then marinate your salmon in the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Place the fillets on a pan 6” from your broiler, and broil for 6-10 minutes.

Turkey & Gouda Sandwich
Ingredients:

Sourdough Bread Slices
Gouda Cheese
Sliced Kosher Dill Pickles
Fermented Brown Mustard

Simple, delicious, and full of probiotic-rich ingredients! Spread the mustard on your bread and layer the Gouda & pickles along with a few slices of Low-Fat, Roasted Turkey Breast.

Sauerkraut Bacon Potato Soup
Ingredients:

2 Large Potatoes, Cubed
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 tbsp Diced Garlic
2 cups of Chicken Stock
4 oz Diced Bacon
1 32oz Jar of Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is the original probiotic "superfood."

In a stockpot, sautee the chopped bacon for about two minutes. Add the onion & garlic, and sautee till fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until potatoes are soft (about 30 minutes).

Native Medicine Wheel


THE NATIVE MEDICINE WHEEL
Are you seeking a new beginning in your spiritual quest? Perhaps a clear quartz crystal, a Native American totem for the Earth Renewal Moon, would be helpful.
Or are you seeking the freedom to find your own path? A blue crystal totem such as an azurite from the Air Elemental Butterfly Clan might help.
Maybe you need a Spirit Guide – Wabun, Spirit Keeper of the East Wind, may help.
You may not be familiar with the rich spiritual traditions and beliefs of the Native Americans but these traditions and beliefs can bring a new spirit to your life. Read on… you might find what you are seeking.
In this Guide you can work through the entire medicine wheel. You will find instructions and links to pages that discuss every element of a medicine wheel.
You can also use the handy Birthday chart page to find the elements of the Medicine Wheel that pertain to people born at certain times of the year.
The Medicine Wheel may well be a valuable tool for you or a family member as you deal with the myriad of issues modern life seems to be throwing at all of us. We often find that getting in touch with our past can help in aiding our present and future. We believe the Native American Medicine Wheel is one of the best ways to achieve this.


There are many Native American tribes, each with its own spiritual beliefs and customs. Although each has its own culture, all of them share a common, deep appreciation and genuine reverence for Mother Earth and the Creator, otherwise known as the Great Spirit. They all share a belief that all nature is to be respected - the land, trees, animals, rocks, and resources that make up our home – this Earth. We can all learn a great deal from them as we seek to live in harmony with our own natures and the nature of this earth.

the GuideNative American spirituality is an extensive and rich cultural treasure developed over many centuries, and one in which the Native Americans take great pride. Many of their teachings and practices are rightfully restricted to their tribal members. This is only right.
One area of the Native American culture that we believe needs to be shared now, more than ever, is their reverence for the Earth we all need to preserve. While each tribe’s practices and beliefs are theirs alone, their concept of the Medicine Wheel we find resonates with those of other cultures, many of which have traditions of spiritual circles. It seems the stone circle is a somewhat universal symbol of the relationship of the physical and spiritual world across cultures. Such monuments have been constructed in many parts of the world throughout history for many different reasons. From Atlit Yam in Israel to Stonehenge, they have been an integral part of the beliefs of many of us. Perhaps the Native Amercian Medicine Wheel with its similarity to other culture’s icons, can help all of us be better people and better stewards of this planet. We have found it to be so for ourselves.
We believe learning about the Native American Medicine Wheel can help those of us in other cultures appreciate the important values of the Native Americans. We cannot teach those values, but we can at least provide a visual aid to help in understanding them. We offer the crystal Medicine Wheel as only that – a way for everyone to begin to appreciate and respect the beliefs of a different culture.
This guide, and the Wheel it presents, is taken from the writings of Sun Bear, who died in 1992, and according to Wikapedia, was “a sacred teacher of Ojibwe (Anishinabe) descent.” While we are aware of the objections to his approaches in the 1980s to sharing the traditions of his tribe with outsiders, we have found that his writings provide a Medicine Wheel that has been public knowledge for a quarter century.
As you explore this Guide, and use the Medicine Wheel, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised with the opportunities they bring you to form new relationships, have more energy, and to develop characteristics you desire. It will certainly bring you a deeper appreciation of the Native American culture and a deeper understanding of your role in preserving this Earth upon which we all depend for life itself.
In using this Medicine Wheel or one of your own devising, take time to appreciate the wisdom and deep spirituality of the Native Americans' culture. There are no “right” answers in spirituality. Each person, family, tribe, culture, and nation finds its own way. You may find the Medicine Wheel as helpful to finding your way to spirituality as we have.


The Native American Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel, representing the many cycles of life, is an ancient symbol that has been used by Native Americans for thousands of years. The circle is representative of life's never ending cycle (birth, death, rebirth) and each stone or spoke placement in the wheel focuses on a different aspect of living. The Wheel is a ceremonial center, an astronomical laboratory like Stonehenge, a place to pray, a place to meditate, a connection to nature, and a focus for enabling connections with all creation.
In the words of Sun Bear, found in his book, Dancing with the Wheel, Medicine Wheels are energy vortices, “springboards that will allow you to link up with all the energies in the universe.” In Compass of the Heart, Loren Cruden tells us that there is no one traditional medicine wheel and many tribes do not use a circle of stones to honor the spirits of the cardinal directions. She does point out, however, that most spiritual paths do honor the four directions (sometimes six - counting Earth and Sky) and the medicine wheel is a good way to name and use the orientation of the circle in a spiritual quest.
The Medicine Wheel is, as Sun Bear observed, a powerful energy vortex when constructed that brings the energy focus many of us can use in our lives. When you have constructed a Medicine Wheel you will find that you are constantly moving around the wheel to find the energies your life needs at a given time. Each part of the Wheel brings different mixes and balances of energy. The crystals and stones will often seem to glow with pulsing energy that leaps around the Wheel in the areas that you need it most.
We suggest you start with understanding the Creator and Inner Circle elements and then work outward. The journey will be rewarding and most certainly enlightening. Below you will find information on constructing and using your Medicine Wheel. We trust you will find this guide as useful in your journey to spiritual enlightenment as we, and many others around the world, have.


Setting Up Your Medicine Wheel
Here we will teach you how to construct and use one wheel in particular– the Medicine Wheel of Sun Bear, which has evolved to attract a world-wide following. However, do not become overly focused on his vision and teachings. The Medicine Wheel you make must be yours. The symbols and crystals used must be meaningful to you. We will show you some ideas, but mold and shape them to your own spirit and needs.
The Medicine Wheel of Sun Bear is a Native American compass of energies – essentially a circle bisected horizontally and vertically to divide the circle into four equal parts. The dividing lines are oriented to the four cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West. No, it does not give you directions to a physical place; though it does assist your needs of guidance. In the Native Americans’ language, most times “medicine” means “power.” Another way to look at a Medicine Wheel is as a power wheel. The power it brings to us is highly spiritual.
The structure of our Medicine Wheel consists of thirty-six very different and powerful crystals and stones that form a Center, an Inner Circle, an Outer Circle, and four Spirit Paths that connect the Center to the two circles.


The Center

The Center is where the crystal representing the Great Spirit is placed. This is because the Great Spirit, also known as the Creator, created everything and is the source of all life.
The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle is composed of seven crystals which are the foundation of physical life since they hold the fundamentals of building life. Within the Inner Circle of seven stones are stones representing the Earth Mother, Father Sky, Grandmother Moon, and the Four Tribes. These are not physical tribes like the Apache or the Iroquois, but rather the Tribes of the Turtle, the Frog, the Thunderbird, and the Butterfly. These tribes represent the four Elements – Earth represented by the Turtle Clan, Water represented by the Frog Clan, Air represented by the Butterfly Clan, and Fire represented by the Thunderbird Clan. Each of these Clans brings a special energy. We will explore how each of them may contribute to your spiritual life and growth as we progress through this guide.
So our Medicine Wheel has the Creator surrounded by his physical creations – the sun, the earth, and the moon, along with the elements that are the foundation of those creations – earth, water, air, and fire.
The Four Clans

On the Medicine Wheel we have positions for the four clans: the Butterfly Clan, The Frog Clan, the Thunderbird Clan, and the Turtle Clan. These are Elemental Clans - associated with the elments of Air, Water, Fire, and Earth.
The Elemental Clan into which you are born (see Birth Totem Chart), represents which element (Fire, Water, Air, Earth) that you relate to, share characteristics with, and have a personal responsibility for. Clans in this respect are not to be confused with Tribal Clans, such as family groups.
The Outer Circle
The Medicine Wheel also consists of an Outer Circle. The Outer Circle first contains four anchor stones that represent the Spirit Keepers of the cardinal directions – Kabibonokka the Spirit of the North, Wabun the Spirit Keeper of the East, Shawnodese the Spirit Keeper of the South, and Mudjekeewis the Spirit Keeper of the West. Each of these Spirit Keepers have an energy and spirit you may well need in your life.
These four stones of the Spirit Keepers divide the Outer Circle into four quadrants, into which twelve stones representing the twelve moons of a year are placed. Each of the twelve moons is represented by a stone or crystal which aids in bringing the energy and spirit of that time of the year and that phase of spiritual life to you. We will explore each of these moons in this guide to allow you to choose the right energy that you need in your life. The Outer Circle is also the circle of the spirit world, just as the Inner Circle is the circle of the physical world.
The Winds
The winds were personified in Native American lore and names were given to represent their character for each cardinal direction. Mudjeekeewis is the Spirit Keeper of the west wind, father of all the winds. The other winds and their representative keepers are Wabun, the Spirit Keeper of the east wind, Kabibonokka, the Spirit Keeper of the north wind, and Shawnodese, the Spirit Keeper of the south wind.
While the personification is steeped in lore, it remains that the winds themselves, the actual movement of energy and air, the changes in weather, and destiny they portent are powerful elements sometimes beyond role.
Each wind is represented on the wheel by its designated Spirit Keeper. While you will find pages for both the wind and the Spirit Keeper, keep in mind that they are both presented on the Medicine Wheel as one.
The Spirit Guides of the Winds

The Native American Spirit Keepers, Shawnodese in the South, Wabun in the East, Mudjekeewis in the West, and Kabibonokka in the North each guard the spirit of a season. These are both the seasons of the year, and the seasons of your life.
From the Book of Revelations to ancient Native Americans, the four spirits of the winds have been invoked to bring us the power of the four directions, the four times, and the seasons of the year and of our lives.
Click through the tabs to find out more about the Spirit Guides of the Winds: Mudjekeewis, the Spirit Keeper of the west wind, father of all the winds; Wabun, the Spirit Keeper of the east wind, Kabibonokka, the Spirit Keeper of the north wind, and Shawnodese, the Spirit Keeper of the south wind.
The Winds

All Native American tribes regarded the winds as the power of the spirits of the four cardinal points and many represent them in bird form. Navajos say there are white swans at each point.
Many tribes, from Algonquins to Peruvians, believed storms were caused by the struggles of the four giants that ruled the winds. Many of the legends of their origin and descent are connected with the winds.
The Moons
There are twelve moons that border the outside circle of our medicine wheel.The moon circles the earth twelve times a year; and like the Wheel of Life and other representations of the cyclic nature of our Universe and our lives in it, the Medicine Wheel marks the passages of time in the year and in our individual lifetimes.
What is important to understand is that each moon is also a passage in your life, and you move from moon to moon as you grow and mature. Each brings a spirit and energies to a part of your life. You must not stagnate in one moon, but progress around the Medicine Wheel gaining the strength, wisdom, power, and knowledge of each moon.
The Moons
The moons mark the "stepping stones" around the wheel making it a "moon calendar". You can easily know under which moon you were born, and you can easily know which moon we are currently experiencing.
The Paths
The Outer Circle of the Spirit Guides of the Winds and the twelve stones of the yearly moons are connected to the Inner Circle by four paths called Spirit Paths. Each of the Spirit Paths is built of three stones that connect the physical world to the spirit world. These twelve stones represent the characteristics we need to develop and to connect our physical existence to our spiritual growth. They allow us to move outward to encompass the spirit world we seek.
These twelve characteristics are:
• Cleansing
• Renewal
• Purity
• Clarity
• Wisdom
• Illumination
• Growth
• Trust
• Love
• Experience
• Introspection
• Strength
Again, each of these characteristics and their representative stones or crystals will be explored in this guide. Everyone can find ways to improve their spirituality, and the Spirit Path stones bring the energy of the Medicine Wheel to our efforts.
Path Stones

On the Native American Medicine Wheel there are four spirit paths. Each leads from a Spirit Keeper to the sacred center space of the wheel where true spiritual enlightenment is found.
The path from the North is the path of physical health and healing, the path from the East is the path of a sound mind and healing the mind, the path from the South is path of healthy emotions and emotional healing, and the path from the West is the path of the spirit and spiritual healing.
Building and Using a Crystal Medicine Wheel
This part explains how to construct the medicine wheel and how to use it.
Building a medicine wheel is a personal experience. There are as many designs as there are people. Most are circles, and most have a totem or representative of each of the four directions arranged around the circle. From there, the opportunities are wide open.
Location and Size
Medicine wheels are sometimes built big enough to walk around in. Some are built with animal totems, others with plant totems. Some have a few totems, some have many. In this guide, we offer a crystal/stone medicine wheel. It is small enough to set up anywhere. It is based on the visions of Sun Bear. We know you may well want to start with this one, but follow your own visions. Substitute stones, designs, and totems as seems appropriate to you and your life.
There are no right or wrong ways to build a personal medicine wheel. It is a depiction of your life – so build it your way. Here are some guidelines that might help in the beginning.
Put the wheel in an area that is readily accessable, but not one that might be subjected to being disturbed. You want to be able to use it, but not have it be a distraction to other activities. Put it in a sacred space.
You do not need a large wheel. Ours is about 18 inches in diameter. It is large enough to be useful, but not so large as to be unwieldly.
Choosing the Stones and Crystals
The number of crystals and stones you will need will vary with the design. If you are building a simple one, then as few as five stones will work. If you want to build an advanced, complete wheel, the Medicine Wheel can take up to 40 stones. It can be difficult to collect all the stones for a full wheel. Use what you have. While we do offer a complete set of stones for this purpose, you can use others that you have collected. The power of the wheel is not dependent on having all the “right” crystals. Rather its power is much stronger than that.
Do clean and cleanse your Medicine Wheel stones. Keep them from sources of negativity when the wheel is not assembled. Treat them with respect as they symbolize elements of your life.
Placing and building the wheel
Once you have drawn the wheel design – and it can be on anything, including the ground – place the stones from the Creator Stone outward. Each stone should be carefully placed after a short blessing and offering to the spirit.
Once you have placed all the stones and crystals, say a final blessing of your wheel. It is ready for use.
Walking the Wheel
Using the wheel will involve a bit of research and study. You will usually start by focusing on the stone that represents the moon under which you were born. Focus your attention on that stone, and reflect (or read about) its spirit. Think about the lessons of its totem. Absorb them once again.
Next, a bit of a harder task: identify where you are on the Wheel. You can do this by focusing on each stone in turn on the wheel, or focus where you mind’s eye is drawn. Identify the stone, and reflect on its meaning, spirit, and lessons. Identify its totem animals and the lessons they teach. If you are not familiar with each stone, review the guide until one stone “jumps out at you” as the issue you are facing. Focus on that stone and its spirit. Meditate keeping that stone in mind. Let your mind wander to the power of the crystal and the lessons you want from the animal spirit totem. Take from the wheel the energy and spirit you need for the day and your growth.
More Resources
We can offer several excellent sources for learning to use your Medicine Wheel.
Kelly Callahan’s excellent The Path of the Medicine Wheel is a small volume packed with simple to follow advice. Sun Bear's Dancing with the Wheel is the seminal volume we have used the most. Compass of the Heart by Loren Gruden is a lovely work on embodying Medicine Wheel teachings. Medicine Wheels by Roy Wilson is also a wonderful resource that is highly recommended.
These volumes offer a wide variety of ceremonies, prayers, and methods for gaining the most from your medicine wheel. We encourage you to gain the wisdom offered by the authors. Your Medicine Wheel will bring you the life you seek if you take a bit of time to learn how to bring its “medicine” to your life.
 

Spring 2016 CLASSES

LEGION OF PAGANS SPIRITUAL MINISTRY

INSTITUTION OF MAGICKAL EDUCATION

Spring 2016 CLASSES

 

 

All Legion of Pagan Classes are lined up and posted for information and registration for

Spring Class lineup:

Registration for classes begins on

February 1st, 2016

At

www.legionofpagans.com

~Class Descriptions~

*****************************************

Pre~Class:

We all got to start somewhere! I have developed this crash course class to help the very new students be prepared for their formal education in level I classes. This is nothing worse than being totally lost before you begin, so if your placement screening determined you needed a little extra help welcome to this class.

 

This class is a prep-screening tool to determine where you, the applicant, would best fit in the Legion of Pagans curriculum. Should an applicant miss 10 or more questions, a 2 week crash course will be required prior to enrollment in the level I Basic Witch classes.

 

The tuition of $40.00 for this course will be applied to any of the Level I Progressive Class tuition upon successful completion.

Required Text Book:

Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins

 

Link for book:

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=34683904&color=000#/!/

 

SPRING CLASSES OPEN REGISTRATION BEGINS:

February1st, 2016

~REMINDER IF YOU ARE A FIRST TIME STUDENT HERE, GET YOUR PRE-TESTING DONE EARLY~

 

~~~ THE BASIC WITCH CLASS~~~

DESCRIPTION & OUTLINE

 

This class will be following the teachings of the old Celtic Aoumiel Witch.

We will be studying each chapter of Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft.

 

 

The course will take 8 weeks but can stretch out depending on what the mini test scores are per-week. We want to make sure that you have an understanding of what you are practicing. THIS CLASS INVOLVES "ROOT WORK" and if you have personal issues on the forefront please attend to those needs before taking this class. You will be doing a lot of personal introspection and you will need to be fully focused.

 

 

There is a fee for the course of $100.00

 

Also make sure when you sign up that your class is pre-paid and you have a correct email address.

The email and address can be sent addressed to me at

www.legionofpagans12@gmail.com

 

~~~ REGISTRATION~~~

 

Registration will begin on:

SPRING CLASSES (February 1st, 2016)

~REMINDER IF YOUR A FIRST TIME STUDENT HERE, PLEASE GET PRE-TESTED EARLY~

 

CLASSES BEGIN ON (February 21st, 2016)

 

Class orientations begins (February 21st, 2016)

 

ALL STUDENT MUST CHECK INTO CLASS ON THAT DAY!

All students attended the spring class must have completed their registration, pre-paid for the class with your book orders if you chose that option. I need current email to complete registration.

All students can pay for their course and supplies by clicking on our “Neighborhood Needs and Ministry Funds” tab in the green toolbar and select donations and your payment method.

Remember this must be completed before classes begin to complete enrollment this class. Your personal information will be kept by me in the class folder at:

www.legionofpagans12@gmail.com

 

.

 

~Intermediate Witch Class Description~

Level 2 class

prerequisite required

 

This class is a progressive from level one of the Basic Witch and students registering for this class must have had previous training. IT INVOLVES "ROOT WORK" and if you have personal issues on the fore front please attend to those needs before taking this class. You will be doing a lot of personal introspection and you will need to be fully focused.

If you have not taken the first class with the LOP your will be asked for documentation from prior training and an aptitude test to gain entry.

In this class the Greenwich will be learning about the Sacred Connection to Nature, Balancing Light & Shadow as well as some more on progressive Magic spells and casting arts of the craft.

 

Registration - (February 1st, 2016)

Orientation week -ALL STUDENTS MUST CHECK INTO CLASS ON THAT DAY!

CLASS BEGINS (March 21st, 2016)

The cost for the class is $150.00

Required Text Books not Kindle

Author- Ann Moura-Green Witchcraft II Balancing Light & Shadow

Green Magic- The Sacred Connection to Nature Books Author- Ann Moura

Power Spellcraft for Life by Arin Murphy-Hiscockooks Author- Ann Moura

Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins

 

Books are available through Amazon.com or ABE.com

Registration will follow the submission of your donations receipt to legionofpagans12@gmail.com

Donations for the class can be made through the LOP site at www.legionofpagans.com

From there you can fine the pay pal donations tab under the Neighborhood Needs & Ministry Funds tab in the menu toolbar on the current events page.

Bright Blessings and see you in class!

 

 

~~~BEGINNERS HERBOLOGY 101~~~

CLASS DISCRIPTION,

COURSE COSTS AND REGISTRATION DATES

~DISCRIPTION~

For centuries Witches have grown their own herbs for magickal,

culinary and medicinal uses. A garden or container with herbs,

can focus on elementals, planetary influences, a particular deity

or particular spell work, such as protection, prosperity or love

magick. The possibilities are endless.

You will learn how to grow, harvest, and dry and use 50 basic herbs in

a Witches daily life.

Required Books:

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Your Backyard Herb Garden by Miranda Smith

Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins

 

Registration enrollment for this class will begin on:

SPRING CLASSES OPEN REGISTRATION BEGINS:

February 1st, 2016

***Classes begin on Monday March 21st, 2016***

~REMINDER IF YOU ARE A FIRST TIME STUDENT HERE, GET YOUR PRE-TESTING DONE EARLY~

 

Please pay for class in the Neighborly Needs & ministry Funds tab.

Please email your receipt to:

legionofpagans12@gmail.com

Class expected 12

Class cost for herbology 101 $125.00

Books are available at amazon.com or your favorite store.

 

HERBS & POTIONS DISCRIPTION

 

~~~WELCOME TO THE HERBS & POTIONS~~~

The next progressive class of Herbology 101

 

Within the Herb & Potions class

you will discover, how to use

Witchy Herbs as the art of healing.

You will learn how to combine Witchy

Herbs with Astrology, Tarot, Gemstones

and Planetary correspondences to

enhance your magickal spells and rituals.

I also will include some Herbal Potions,

that will be a great benefit to every

GreenWitch.

 

Required Book need for Class:

 

The Master Book of Herbalism

By Paul Beyerl

Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins

 

Registration will begin on:

SPRING CLASSES OPEN REGISTRATION BEGINS:

February 1st, 2016

~REMINDER IF YOU ARE A FIRST TIME STUDENT HERE, GET YOUR PRE-TESTING DONE EARLY~

PREREQUISITS REQUIRED

 

 

Class orientations begins (Monday March 21st, 2016) - ALL STUDENT MUST CHECK INTO CLASS ON THAT DAY!

This will be a 12 week class.

Class Cost $150.00

Pay in the Neighborly Needs & Ministry Funds and send receipt to:

legionofpagans12@gmail.com

There will be no drop-class option

 

A small quiz is given each week to determine the progress in class.

It is possible we might have to repeat a class an extra week, depending

on each student’s progress, we want to make sure every student fully

understands each weekly reading assignment, before we move on to the

next chapter in class.

 

 

)O(~~~LOP Mini Candle Magic Class Description~~~)O(

Candlelight is magickal and brings warmth and sets the mood.

Candles have been associated with myth,

lore, superstition, spells and been long used

for divination's and rituals, to intensify the

energies while performing magickal work.

Each color of the candles represents a

specific intent and combined with a spell,

will bring forth strength within our magick.

By using the proper candle color,

engraving a small symbol onto a candle or

by adding herbs and essential oils,

we create candle magick and when we

are using our special prepared candles

with our spells and rituals, we are adding

extra strength and energy to our magickal

work.

In this Class you will learn to incorporate

candle magick into your everyday magick.   

 

~~~All mini classes cost $60.00 and there are no refunds once the class starts~~~

This is a 4 week course

 

CLASS REGISTRATION STARTS ON: (February 1st, 2016)

 

***Classes begin on Monday March 21st, 2016***

 

(REGISTER THROUGH legionofpagans12@gmail.com)

Make your donation to the Neighborhood Needs & Ministry Funds tab

located in the menu toolbar under LOP HomePageWall.

Send a copy of your receipt to legionofpagans12@gmail.com to complete your class registration enrollment.

 

~~~ MATERIAL NEEDED ~~~

 

BOOK: Exploring Candle Magick by Patricia Telesco

Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins

 

 

A small quiz is given each week to determine the progress in class.

It is possible we might have to repeat a class an extra week, depending

on each student’s progress, we want to make sure every student fully

understands each weekly reading assignment, before we move on to the

next chapter in class.

 

 

~***~Faery Magick Mini Class~***~

 

My name is FallingStar and I will be your guide through this course. I am a solitary earth witch and have had some lovely encounters with the faeries, some of which I will share with you throughout the course. We will be joined by my wonderful Sister in the Craft, Rogue Storm who will be assisting me in guiding you on this journey :)

It is very important to remember that in any and all dealings with the Fae to treat them with the utmost dignity and respect. They are very magickal beings and exist with different rules and guidelines than we as humans do. They have much to teach us when we are open to them and the lessons they provide. Their realm is truly unique and magickal. By pursuing this journey you are expressing your genuine interest in gaining knowledge of the Realm of the Fae and all that it includes. Once you have entered this Realm with an open heart and an open mind, you will forever change your view on life as you know it now.

 

For registered students, please click and scroll down on the Faery Magick Mini Class room to find the course outline and assignments. The protocol for this course is under the Mini Classes location on your menu. You will also find my welcome.

You will be expected to check into this class at least once daily, Monday through Friday. Your participation is mandatory!

All assignments must be submitted to the email address provided and written in proper English which means sentences and the original question included. Please use your Spell Check as well before submitting. Assignments will be posted DAILY and you will have until the following morning to complete and submit it to me. Working with the Fae can be very mesmerizing so please make sure you are grounded after any meditations. There is also additional information on the Faerie the DOCUMENT LIBRARY section of this website.

 

MATERIALS NEEDED: (No Kindle versions. Books available on amazon.com or ABE.com)

BOOK: The Ancient Art of Faery Magick (Author DJ Conway)

General Interest Reading (this is not part of course): The Light bearer’s Daughter & The Book of Dreams (Author: O.R. Melling)

Wiccapedia by Shawn Robbins

 

 

Course Cost: $60.00 USD (No refund once class begins)

 

Length of Course: 4 Weeks

 

It is possible we might have to repeat a class an extra week, depending on each students progress, we want to make sure every student fully understands each weekly reading assignment, before we move on to the next chapter in class.

 

CLASS REGISTRATION STARTS ON: February 1st, 2016

***Classes begin on Monday March 21st, 2016***

 

** All students are required to check into classes on the first day of class **

 

How to Register?

Go to www.legionofpagans.com.

Visit the Neighborhood Needs & Ministry Funds tab located in the menu toolbar & make a donation to the Legion of Pagans specifying your course.

Send a copy of your receipt to legionofpagans12@gmail.com, and specify your course to complete your class registration enrollment.

 

You must be a member of the Legion of Pagans to take a course. For more information on how to apply and registers for one of our classes, please inquire to: legionofpagans12@gmail.com

 

Please don't hesitate to ask questions!

 

 

 

 

There will be no drop-class option

 

A small quiz is given each week to determine the progress in class.

It is possible we might have to repeat a class an extra week, depending

on each student’s progress, we want to make sure every student fully

understands each weekly reading assignment, before we move on to the

next chapter in class.

 

)O(We have new classes in development)O(

Look for open registrations coming soon

 

~*****Our Educators*****~

 

*Donna Morgan Wolf- Elder Airwolf:*

 

Elder Founder/CEO Developer Director & Master Educator of Legion of Pagans Educational Institution of Magick LLC,Ordained Dr. of Divinity, Clinical Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist, Master Herbologist, Druid/N.A. Shaman Sage, Voodoo & Pagan High Priestess.

 

*Diana Schoenberg (Falling Star) 

Administrator / Executive Secretary for LOP.com

Ordained, Gray Witch. Educator & Educational Assistant.

 

 *NM Farrar (T'Sesha Naneki Evenfall)

 

LOP Admin/Instructor. Eclectic Priestess and Witch. Master Gardener. Animal Reiki Practitioner.

Legion of Pagans- Administrator/Educator LOP.com (Lead Admin-Face Book Groups)

 

*Catherine Logan-Major~RavenCat

Legion of Pagans Admin/Educator, Facebook Groups Administrator

Ordained Minister with the Canadian International Metaphysical Ministry. Reiki Master.

Ordained Priestess with the Fellowship of Isis

 

 *Lindsey Hardwick (Rogue Storm)

LOP.com  Moderator & Teacher Aid Educator/ Face Book Administrator

Ordained Priestess

 

Apple-Elf Jules

LOP & FB Administrator/Educator

Solitary Witch Prime

 

************************************************************

Course curriculums were created by the

Legion of Pagans Spiritual Ministry

Copyright © 01242011

Legion of Pagans Educational Institution of Magick

~Elder Airwolf~

Website CEO/Owner

 

See:

www.legionofpagans.com for information and registration.

To Drink or Not Fruit Smoothies?


Fruit Smoothies?
Lately it seems that everybody and their brother is talking about juice cleanses and 'detoxing' your body.
But the truth is: prolonged periods of juice cleanses aren't good for your health or losing weight.
Why?
I'll explain and I'll also show you exactly what you should do instead to melt fat and boost energy.
Reason #1
SUGAR.
Both store-bought and home-made juices are PACKED with the white stuff. When you drink a glass of juice...
Your blood sugar spikes which forces your body to store more fat
Your insulin sensitivity drops like a stone (also bad for your belly fat)
The roller-coaster sugar ride leaves you feeling groggy about an hour later – bye bye energy
Reason #2
If not done properly, juicing destroys the healthy fiber inside fruits and veggies.
That means you won't feel full and satisfied after your glass of juice. You'll just feel hungry. So if you do some 'juice cleanses', stay on them for only a short period of time and be sure to add the fiber squeezed out in the juicing process to your own recipes -- like in muffins and breads...
If not, guess what usually happens next?
BINGE-eating. And I don't need to tell you that means more belly fat.
Reason #3
Juice-cleanses don't give you the essential fats and proteins your body needs.
You miss out on heart-healthy fats and metabolism boosting proteins.
All you're left with is sugary carbs... and that means more belly fat and more frustration.
Reason #4
Giving up solid food is miserable!
After a few days without a proper meal -- your stomach will feel like it's eating itself. You'll dream about cheeseburgers and pizza... Heck, you may even find yourself gnawing on the furniture! Just kidding, but seriously, you can forget about having any energy to do fun activities with your family... you'll feel like the walking dead.
Alright... so what should you do instead? There is an amazing system for melting fat and boosting energy that I just discovered. It's based on a cutting-edge scientific strategy called "Metabolic Cycling" which works with your body's natural fat-burning cycles to give you amazing results.
You'll see and feel the changes so fast that it will ALMOST seem like cheating...
So forget about juice cleanses from concentrated fruits, go all natural occasionally or don't go there at all!
Stay Healthy,
Stay Balanced,
Stay Happy.

~The Kitchen Witch Elder Airwolf~
 

The Dorm Witch

 Ritual tools for university spaces 
BY DEANN BELL

One of the first things you will learn on entering university dormitory halls as a witch is that ritual space is at a premium and fire, candles, incense and athames are not allowed. Your dorm room has many purposes, only one of which is to provide space for spiritual wellbeing. So what’s a university witch to do?

Having dedicated ritual space does not necessarily mean having a full-time altar. Preparing a ritual space that can be easily deployed and packed away is simple and using tools that can be rededicated can help to make the most of a limited budget.

All rituals can be adapted to your needs – that is the beauty of witchcraft. Preserve the intention and the symbolism and the rest is just energy work. You will need:

A small box with a lid

To keep your ritual tools in. It can act as a temporary and transportable altar and be stored under your bed the rest of the time. This saves space and keeps your magical items out of dorm mates’ hands.

A ritual mat

Muslims uses prayer mats as a dedicated holy space to pray and a Pagan ritual mat can be used in a similar way. Any colour or cloth will do, so long as it is dedicated to ritual purposes. It is helpful to have one that you can comfortably sit on and that already has a large circle on it.

An altar cloth

Also known as a scarf. Charity shops are full of them in an array of colours. Place your ritual box in the middle of the ritual mat and then cover it with your altar cloth. Tah-dah! You have created a dedicated ritual space.

A compass

Borrow one if necessary so that you know which direction north, east, south, and west are for spell purposes.

A bell

Use in place of sage or incense for cleansing your room and your tools. Think of the sound as literally vibrating the air to shake loose unwanted energy and to energise your spell space and tools. The bell is also handy for opening and closing rituals.

A black feather and a white feather

Use these as your air symbol, in place of incense. Use the feather to move the air around when you invite air to join your circle. You can also use the feathers to draw your circle if you do not have a wand.

Incense holder

Use it to hold your feathers up on your altar. Having the feathers standing creates a clear demarcation between active air and the resting tool, in the same way that lighting an incense stick would.

A small jar of earth

Your symbol for earth. I like to use small jam jars – cleaned and dedicated, the jar closes so that earth does not get all over your ritual tools. It can be opened during your ritual to invite earth to join your circle.

A small bowl

Use this as your symbol for water, rather than a chalice or cauldron. They are easier to get a hold of and to wash without causing too many questions. Fill with water when you invite water to join your circle.

Volcanic rock such as pumice, obsidian or basalt

Use this as your symbol for fire. Some people recommend using electric or battery-powered candles but I don’t find them very effective. Visualise the rock in its burning form and then surround it with a red piece of ribbon to enhance the visualisation. This will create a demarcation between the burning and resting state.

Ribbon

You can use green, red, blue, white, black, yellow, pink, brown, silver and gold. Use these to add appropriate colours to your spells. Once your spell is complete, cleanse the ribbons with salt water, dry them completely and then pack them away for your next spell.

Rice paper

You can use coloured paper if you like but plain white covers most needs. A lot of spells call for you to write an intention or incantation on paper, or inscribe it into a candle and then burn it. This uses air and fire for spell work but it is just as valid to use water and earth for that purpose. Dedicate the piece of rice paper you are using for your spell purpose. Decorate it with symbols, words, colours and intentions appropriate to the energy you are calling and releasing. When you are finished, drop the paper into your water bowl and watch it dissolve, visualising the intention dissolving into the water.

Take the water outside and give it to the earth to work with. Just as with air, almost all places and people touch earth. Energy sent through the earth with water also has an added bonus of being grounded and cleansed when it reaches its crafted destination.

A pen dedicated to spell work

A set of coloured pens for spell work is invaluable. You can use them to record your spells in your Book of Shadows, as well as for doing spell work with rice paper. For that matter, blessing pens for jobs (such as doing well on exams, or taking notes) is a skill I would recommend cultivating.

Other things

Other items you can use include scented oils, which can be applied to cotton balls and left out until the scent is gone. Stones, either picked up from outside or bought coloured and tumbled from your nearest Pagan shop, are also a good idea. These stones can be charged with intention and either kept with your ritual tools or carried
in your pocket when you need magical aid.

Kitchen herbs such as rosemary, cinnamon and thyme can be added to the water of your spell for extra oomph and to your food for extra taste. Rather than dedicating the jar of herbs or salts, pour only what you need. Table mats could have the symbols for earth, air, fire and water drawn on to them.

Kitchen witchery is another skill to cultivate. Brew your tea and charge it with energy for a productive day, or add symbols to your morning toast. Charming your own food is great fun but make sure that you get permission before you bewitch any communal food.

Don’t forget to look out for your uni’s Pagan student society in fresher’s week and remember the Pagan Federation also offers an online list of local moots. Not only can these people provide you with a great source of community but they are also likely to know where the local Pagan shops are in your new home and where safe outdoor ritual spots can be found.

The opportunities for magic are endless, even in a small space. Be safe and enjoy the start of your dorm witch path!

DeAnn Bell is a North Wales-based writer and lecturer in creative writing and creative studies. She is a kitchen witch with a pragmatic approach to practising Paganism in modern life.

The Contemplative Druidry

 

BY JAMES NICHOL

1st January 2016

Image: Darren Bailey, visit darrenbaileyart.com

I sit in darkness, eyes open. Darkness embraces me and within it, I hold my awareness. It is Samhain 2011 and I am beginning a contemplative exploration. Samhain seems like the right time, marking a descent into darkness, stillness and latency. Emma Restall Orr writes: “At its most fundamental, nature is darkness… In stillness, formless, in the darkness, nature is whole.”1

The weeks from Samhain to Yule move through dying to birthing with the birthing paradoxically closer the more we go into the dark. I initiate my exploration in ritual space and dedicate it to the Goddess in her wisdom aspect. My exploration – at first solo – was always intended to become collective. As a Druid, I wrote in a Druidic publication, inviting people to a contemplative day. This manifested on July 7th 2012, in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Six of us, all members of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, spent the day listening to each other’s stories, thoughts and feelings regarding contemplative practice within Druidry.

We saw the contemplative aspect of Druidry as under-developed and under-recognised in the wider community. We wanted to put ‘Contemplative Druidry’ on the Druidic map and extend opportunities for practice. Many of us already had a solo practice but more than one of us described how hard it can be to maintain without shared opportunities to slow down, to enter a nemeton of interwoven silence and reflection, and deepen practice, together.

Sharing her responses later in my book Contemplative Druidry: People, Practice and Potential2, one participant said she had experienced “far more” than the anticipated “gentle day” and felt “opened, stirred, deepened and confirmed… in my own spiritual practice” after recognising the common threads that had brought us together. “I was left with a deep sense of your continuing companionship along my solitary way.”

Speaking from the heart

Another pointed out how “lean ritual and a simple, slow process created a spaciousness which allowed a deepening of my own experience” and enabled “speaking from the heart”.

Overall, participants said that a stillness-allowing simplicity of structure engenders a powerful sense of presence. This was described in terms such as authenticity and flow – silence, yet also laughter and wildness; a trusting of process and allowing for “not knowing: always such a rich resource for nurturing and learning”.

The day had an affirming and renewing quality and we agreed to continue meeting. One participant later recalled the day in these lines, summarising the feeling-tone of the event:

“Six Druids sit silent

Speak, seek, remember, laugh:

Gentle healing day.”

At the end of our day, we decided to create an ongoing group and began to invite more people. The group grew and we moved from occasional days to a monthly meeting cycle including two full days a year.

I launched the Contemplative Druidry Facebook group at Lammas 2012. Much later, my partner Elaine Knight and I co-created Contemplative Druid Events as one vehicle for the holding of a contemplative thread in Druidry. Long before the contemplative inquiry, we had been considering a project inclusive of contemplative elements. We brought this energy into CDE.

We are committed to running an annual retreat near the Malvern Hills and occasional days and half-days in other places. The Gloucestershire group is now a flourishing concern and other members – including Julie Bond, JJ Howell, Karen Webb and Pagan Dawn columnist Nimue Brown – are involved in CDE as facilitators and have supported the project in other ways.

CDE does not require participants to be affiliated Druids. Our events are open to any fellow traveller willing to work with us in our way. We are committed to working in small groups and this gives all participants the opportunity to introduce themselves and be heard. We encourage a quality of listening which itself becomes a practice, intended to ensure that no one is misrecognised or ignored. This is counter to mainstream communication and so needs conscious attention. It is not about ‘getting it right’ all the time. The point is to be conscious.

In a contemplative context, we can hope to go further, establishing a level of trust that opens the door to deeper ‘I-Thou’, recognition and communion. Thus, events are enabled to be person rather than activity-centred.

This is one reason why we have not structured our work around long meditations or meditation training. Rather, we co-create a culture in which the blessings of space and silence are channelled into short meditations, attunement to the seasonal moment, silent walks and activities like ‘Awen space’ in which we sit with each other, open to spirit, and can speak, chant or sing into the silence when so moved. We awaken to the fields of energy and presence within us, between us and around us.

Periods of silent attunement

Our 2015 Spring Retreat was such a small group with only a short time for building community and working. Yet it was a setting for potent experiences. We used the approach of ‘lean ritual’, minimalist and powerful, to hold us in a dedicated contemplative Druid circle and mark transitions in our group process within that circle.

We built periods of silent attunement, five to 10 minutes long, into our ritual and transitioning spaces. We also provided spaces for formal sharing, getting to know each other through introductory and check-in processes, reconnecting each morning through a process called overnight phenomena and doing specific exercises offering the opportunity to reveal a bit more about ourselves (or not) with supportive attention.

The retreat included sitting meditations of 15 or 20 minutes (not long by many meditators’ standards), where we asked people to use whatever meditations they had been taught. During the retreat, Karen Webb offered a belly-breathing meditation (actually belly-heart-head with belly first and foremost). Imported from other work that she does, it nonetheless seemed highly congruent with Earth spiritualities and Druidry in particular. We worked with ‘Awen space’ and other practices that have become part of our repertoire, such as silent outdoor walking, in this case for just over an hour.

Elaine Knight offered Animist Hermetics, adapted from a Lectio Divina from the Book of Nature first developed by our colleague Julie Bond. This was a powerful practice, which got people very close to the aspect of nature with which they chose to engage. JJ Howell offered a version of his Enchanting the Void chants, developed independently of the contemplative exploration and now widely loved as a practice both within and beyond Druidry. It worked beautifully within the container of the contemplative retreat and, interspersed with Eisteddfod offerings, made for a magical Saturday evening.

In an inspirational talk on meditation at Rainbow Druid Camp 2015, Philip Carr-Gomm emphasised the primacy of the body and experiences of pain and pleasure as foundational to our awareness, as well as the meditator’s work in combining the seemingly polarised qualities of focus and surrender. For me, contemplative awareness involves an extended sensory perception – perhaps best languaged through poetry:

“Venture to say what your apple is called.

This sweetness, which originally condensed itself,

Spreading out, slowly in being tasted rose up

To achieve a clarity, awake and of transparency,

Resonant of opposites, sunny, earthy, of the here and now – :

Oh the experience of it, the feeling, the joy – immense!”3

This contemplative flavour extends beyond Druidry. In a Beltane article for 2015 Vivienne Crowley writes: “The days grow longer, the weather draws us out of doors… the energy of Beltane is all about wakefulness.”4

We can become aware of what is around us, living fully in the moment. She suggests the current surge of interest in mindfulness practice demonstrates a hunger for such awakening and points out that Buddhism was not alone in creating tools for such a process. “Indigenous traditions often emphasise this mode of being with the natural world – aware, awake and attentive to our interconnectedness with all that is around us.”

So, while personally working in a largely Druid context, I foresee a promising future for contemplative methods throughout our Pagan communities. At all points in the wheel of the year, I find myself conscious of their polar opposites. While the energies of Samhain and Beltane may be different, there is a contemplative call in each.

Contemplative Druid Events has a Facebook page and a blog. James Nichol blogs atcontemplativeinquiry.wordpress.com and can be contacted at grovelight@hotmail.co.uk for CDE enquiries.

Notes

Restall Orr, Emma The Wakeful World: Animism, Mind and the Self in Nature Winchester, UK: Moon Books, 2012.
Nichol, James Contemplative Druidry: People, Practice and Potential Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, 2014. Print and Kindle. (Foreword ‘Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth: the Nature Mysticism of Druidry’ by Philip Carr-Gomm.)
http://www.sonnetstoorpheus.com/book1_13.html Rilke, Rainer Maria Sonnets to   Orpheus, translated by Robert Temple 25/10/2014 (Book 1, Sonnet 13)
Crowley, Vivienne Beltane: The Sleeper Awakes? In Patheos Pagan Channel, Greening the Spirit: Writings on Pagan Spirituality, 23 April 2015