Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January Personal Update

The last time I updated was at the beginning of December.  Since then, we've had Yule, Christmas and New Years, meaning it's been a hectic several weeks!  And all that mad rush comes to a screeching halt when the first turns over.  The holidays have ended, slow season is in full swing and life just kind of... idly strolls by.  That is, unless you're buried eye-deep (literally) in autoimmunity.  Then, once the stress dies down, the flares come out.

Such is life, right?

Let's take a look at the past month or so.


The last time I updated, Artie still had his cone on.  After two weeks of dealing with it amazingly well, we finally got the stitches removed and the cone came off!  His treat for all of this?


Delicious Puppucino of course.


Artie's never had one - or any whip cream for that matter - and it seemed senseless to deprave him of it after a bout with cancer.




Holiday parties, mostly corporate ones, were the majority of my December gigs.  It was certainly a busier season than I'm used to, but I definitely won't complain!


I know I mentioned in December that I had a corneal ulcer.  I also, on a totally unrelated incident, ended up with a severely blocked tear duct over the holidays.


For as small as it looks, it packed one hell of a punch with pain.  Not quite a full blown scleritis break out with radiating pain through my cheek bone and into my jaw but more like a bruised nose and eye.  Like maybe someone punched me.  It wasn't pleasant.

I realize no one looks flattering when they're in pain and at the doctor but uh, yeesh.
Good luck bleaching that from your brain.
I look miserable.
Our eye doctor is amazing though.  Obviously, I got everything I needed to treat it but, on top of that, he gave me his cell number.  If it got worse over the holiday weekend, he would meet me at the office to lance it.  Even if it were Christmas Eve or Day.  I landed the jackpot on this optometrist, let me tell you.

Fortunately, it healed up after antibiotic drops and antibiotic meds.


Aaron and I spent Christmas Eve at home, which gave us a chance to have a nice candlelit meal and enjoy each other's company.  We're often kind of ships passing in the night with our jobs and lives.


Christmas Day was spent at my parents' house.  I title the above picture "The difference between a familiar and a pet in a single photograph."


I want to thank readers Jonathan and Betsy for the awesome book gifts!


And Toria for a heartfelt card, candle and key! Thank you so much!


Our contractors forgave the remaining $500 balance on our renovations for the holidays - which made me cry.  Like, sob cry.  Gonna be honest.


And, same day no less, the car in front of me bought my coffee for me.

I think I literally came home and cried about how good everyone is to my husband for an hour.  Then I went through and purchased $100 worth of witchy wishlist requests and volunteered with my husband's work to help serve 3rd shift Christmas dinner because there's no way that many good things happens without paying it forward.


Aaron and I spent New Years Eve in this year.  Typically, we don't.  Last year we gamed and the year before, I think I hosted.  This year, we're hosting as well.  But neither of us felt up for anything.  So we played games, had a little champagne (Actually, I just had some sparkling grape juice to avoid the heartburn.  I'm old.), did a ritual and went to bed.


After the first of the year, the circle and I started the restructuring of our Noviceship program.  We'll be working on it the entire year to prepare for 2019 Novices.  I'm actually quite excited about this.  It's one of the things the spirits of my New Year's Eve ritual said needed to happen.  I think the Primaries feel a little overwhelmed right now because we have an entire year of working on this but it'll be good for them, for me, for the circle in general and for future witchlings.


The pets have been doing well.


Artie gave us a bit of a scare this past week.  We noticed a lump on his shoulder, so I took him in for an FNA to make sure it wasn't a new cancerous growth.  Nope - just a cyst.  Then, five days later, we found a large lump on his hip.  Aaron took him in the next morning - just a reaction to the rabies vaccination since I went ahead and vaccinated him when we did the FNA earlier that week.



Lumpy buddy keeps making my heart jump!


I also have to say that our vet is amazing as well.  They didn't charge me for the FNA when it turned out to be a cyst even though the needle was utilized and they didn't charge us at all when we came in about the rabies vaccination lump.  Plus, I mean, they caught cancer that three other vets didn't so uh, yeah, I'm pretty loyal at this point.


Zeus is next on my vaccination and check up list.  Being a senior cat at 9 years old, he's due for blood work.  Plus I want to talk to them about his hyperesthesia.  I know there's not much we can do but he's just... so itchy, poor thing.  We've tried shampoos and sprays but nothing seems to cull it.  And we can't do steroids because he's so overweight - which we're working on - but it risks diabetes.  Some days it's so bad that, if I just touch his back, he falls on the floor and spazzes out about it.  I wish there was something - anything - I could do for him.  I mean, it's not necessarily affecting his quality of life heavily but it's frustrating for both of us, especially if his claws latch into me during an episode.


Not that the lovebug doesn't find ways around it.


Then Sasspants, I mean Hermes, will go in.


Followed by Derpy - I mean Apollo.


Oh. No. Nevermind. I definitely meant Derpy.


I don't necessarily expect anything to be wrong on either of their parts.  Probably just routine vaccinations and blood work.  But it's that time of the year and it needs to be done.

I have... clearly interrupted something here.  I'll uh, see myself out.
You don't get to judge me for eating cake for breakfast when you lick your butt hole every day.
When you want to cuddle but you're also too hot.
Gross.  Get a room.
Cat science: How all four feet of Hermes can fit into a cat hub the size of my hand.
Guys, I'm trying to do laundry. ... Guys?
Puppy kisses are the best. <3
And that sums up my December and beginning of January!  Have a good one, folks!

Monday, January 15, 2018

PO Box Announcement!



Well, dear familiar, it means readers can send us mail and packages! If you'd like to send something our way, be it notes, cards, products to review, spell work or more, you can send it to:

Witchy Words
PO Box 165
Independence, MO 64051

I'll be checking this occasionally but, if you want me to pick it up sooner, drop me a line at marietta@circleoffountains.com!

This address will be available on the right panel of the blog and under both the "Reviews" and "About" tab!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

[Part 1] Introduction to the Seven Hermetic Principles of Spellcraft



Spanning all religions by connecting science and the occult, Hermeticism allows the practitioner of magic to rationalize the seemingly irrational through in-depth theory.  How exactly does magic work?  Why does it work?  What is energy?  How does a spell actually follow through?  Where do we aim when we cast?  How does it get there and how do we know?

But what is Hermeticism and why does it have any authority to claim the basis of magical theory?  Before we take a detailed look at the seven Hermetic principles of Spellcraft, let's dig into the history behind Hermeticism itself.


Who was Hermes Trismegistus?

All Hermetic theory and writing claims to come from an entity known as Hermes Trismegistus.  Some claim he is a syncretic deity of the Greek god Hermes and Egyptian god Thoth, and one could certainly see why.  Both were gods of writing and magic, both psychopomps who ushered souls across the veil and both specialized in communication, especially of the occult secrets.  In fact, Khemenu, the city where the Temple of Thoth was located, was called Hermopolis by the Greeks because of Thoth and Hermes's similarities.

During the Renaissance, and particularly as Christianity gained a foothold, it was generally accepted that Hermes Trismegistus was a prophet or sage.  In fact, it was claimed that he foretold the coming of a god of trinity - the Christian god and Christ.  Some even believe that he had both a God form and a human presence.

Whatever the case may be, a large body of ancient occult work is attributed to him.  This work, perhaps passed to man through divine intervention or through the prophet himself depending on your beliefs, became the basis for much of the occult religions we work with today.


What is Hermeticism?

Simply put, Hermeticism is the following of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus.  Three major texts outline the doctrines found in Hermeticism: The Corpus Hermeticum, the Emerald Tablets and the Asclepius.  Other books are claimed to have been written or influenced by Hermes Trismegistus as well, including The Kybalion and multiple works in reference to the Golden Dawn and ceremonial magick.  The papyri associated with the three major texts is thought to have been written around the first to third century during the Roman rule of Egypt.  Because Egypt was a part of the Roman free-trade market and thus saw the merging of various cultures and practices, Hermeticism draws together philosophy from a variety of religions.  All of these works create an equal playing field for all occult religions - something known as prisca theologia - and attempt to equate the science of antiquity with religious and esoteric practices through philosophy and theory.  In fact, the common phrase heard in modern witchcraft, "As above, so below," is first seen in the Emerald Tablets.

Hermeticism claims three wisdoms: Alchemy, the study of the reconstitution of various matter, including distillation and fermentation; Astrology, the study of the metaphorical and spiritual value of the movement of planets and stars; and Theurgy, the study of various entities and how they relate to the work.  Hermeticism can be seen as either a practice or a religion, and can be either the practitioner's sole spiritual theory or used in conjunction with other practices.


What is The Kybalion?

For the purposes of this series, we're going to look directly at The Kybalion.  Written around 1912 (though it claims 19th century origin) by an anonymous person or persons referred to as the Three Initiates, the Kybalion is an intensive theoretical philosophy on how we can shape and manipulate the world while staying within the constructs of science.  The Three Initiates take the Seven Hermetic Principles, attributed as quotes from Hermes Trismegistus, and offer interpretations.

It should be noted that it is clear that these interpretations are a product of their time.  The claim of gender as biological sex, feminine as receptive and demure and a number of other frustratingly obsolete interpretations of the principles riddle the pages - to the point that my copy of The Kybalion was scribbled on, battered and eventually given away.

We desperately need a more modern interpretation.


How will this series help?

The Seven Hermetic Principles, when the translations and interpretations are updated to a modern age, will help deepen your connection to spellcraft and spell work, producing more effective and meaningful spells.  The seven principles help us to understand how we can manipulate our universe without breaking the laws of science, where we should direct our energy and how to manipulate that energy to achieve the desired effect.  It is the what and why of magic.

While the principles may seem wordy and complicated, it's likely that you already know the philosophy behind them intrinsically.  Bringing them into full light will help strengthen your spell work.  Along with my modern interpretations and your personal knowledge, we will fine-turn your spell work to be the very best it can be!

Join me as we talk about the Seven Hermetic Principles of Spellcraft.

Coming Soon
Part Two: The Principle of Mentalism
Part Three: The Principle of Correspondence
Part Four: The Principle of Vibration
Part Five: The Principle of Polarity

Part Six: The Principle of Rhythm
Part Seven: The Principle of Cause and Effect
Part Eight: The Principle of Gender

Part Nine: Putting it All Together

More Hermeticism Resources/References
Corpus Hermeticum: The Divine Pymander
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes
Asclepius: The Perfect Discourse of Hermes Trismegistus by Clement Salaman
The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece by Three Initiates
The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus: Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times by Florian Ebeling
The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind by Garth Fowden
The Virgin of the World of Hermes Mercurius Trismagistus - Translated by A. Kingsford, E Maitland
Gnosticism and Hermeticism in Antiquity edited by Roelof van den Broek
What is Hermeticism? - Hermetic Fellowship
The Hermetic Tradition - Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Hermeticism - Witchcraft and Witches
Hidden Mysteries: The History of Hermeticism by Christopher Warnock (video)
The Hermetic Library
The Public Library of the Hermetic Academy