Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Full Moon in Taurus Altar October 2018

Earthy Taurus is a sign that focuses simply on getting things done.  Much like its animal symbol, the bull, Taurus is steady, stable and uncomplicated.  A full moon in Taurus beckons us to to complete our most pressing tasks, keeping our head low and our nose to the grind until they are complete.  With this in mind, I wanted to create a simple, no-nonsense altar to this sign that invoked its biggest traits in a straightforward way.

I started with a polished bull horn erected right at the back-center of the altar.  This horn is in direct correspondence with the animal symbol of Taurus and, when reflected upon the mirrored surface, presents a completed pair of horns.

Much of the altar invokes the protection that Taurus offers as an earthy, grounded sign.  In front of the horn, I've placed a golden offering bowl of quartz and bay leaf, both known for their protective properties.  I chose gold specifically as Taurus can be known to be a little greedy at times and gold tips its hat at that knowledge.

Like the bull horn, I've created horn mimics across the altar.  It's particularly noticeable here with the bay leaves and quartz point sticking out of the offering bowl.

I chose to charge my grandmother's necklace upon this altar as we near the thinnest point of the veil.  I've been increasing my ancestor work and it seemed only fitting.  I chose this necklace in particular because it includes the gold flecks along with the green echoed in other parts of the altar.  Green, of course, is an earth color that invokes visions of the grass a bull might find itself grazing upon.

Golden flowers on either side are surrounded by shards of moss agate.  Moss agate is a stone often linked to gardening, an earthy activity often associate with the sign of Taurus.

More quartz is placed along the altar in clusters of moss agate shards and larger stones, again encouraging that earthy, protective state of Taurus during this thinning veil season.

Lining the back of the altar, I've placed black candles lined with moss agate shards.  Black is the color of grounding and protection, perfect for the Taurus sign.  

You'll notice at this point that the number 5 is being echoed around the altar.  Taurus's geomantic number is 5 and thus you'll find this number in the flower and four shards of moss agate, the clusters of stones, the shards around the candles and, as pictured above, the bull horn.  You'll also notice that there are five gold flowers and five bay leaves.  As often as was possible, I tried to incorporate this aspect.  To learn more about geomancy and its association with astrology, click here.

Finally, on either side of the altar, I've placed these beautiful green tapers in gold holders for that final burst of earth and wealth.

Overall, this altar was a direct and steady nod to the bull sign for this full moon.  From the earthy green and stabilizing black to the repetition of the number five, this altar is elegant in its simplicity.

I'll leave you with a visual dissection of the altar.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

[Part Nine] Hermetic Spellcraft: Putting it All Together!

Throughout this series, I've discussed the Seven Hermetic Principles as presented in The Kybalion and attempted to modernize obsolete interpretations as they relate to spellcraft.  At this point, it's time to summarize and combine them in a way that we can fluidly progress through each of the principles to see the whole they present.

If you haven't read the previous articles regarding the principles, I suggest you start here and work your way through before reading this article!

I should note as well that, as we've progressed through these principles, I've offered a visualization that helps simplify each concept for better comprehension.  We must understand, however, that each of these individual components - the three realms, the pendulum, the non-polarized sphere - exist within one another.  We have only separated them to make the concepts clearer but, in reality, these individual components are simply part of those realms right in the center.

With this in mind, let's review what we've learned and understand it in the greater context!

The Principle of Mentalism
Everything we know exists mentally before it exists physically, meaning that manifestation first begins within the mind.  The mental lens is the first realm defined by these principles.

It is the blank white board before the words are written on it.

The Principle of Correspondence
Two more realms exist in addition to the mental realm: The physical realm, or the one below the mental lens; and the spiritual or subconscious realm, or the one above the mental lens.

The Principle of Vibration
These three realms exist in the very same space only just a degree off, creating a vibration that we understand to be energy.


The Principle of Polarity
Dichotomies do not exist.  Good and evil are subjective and relative. Everything is on a spectrum, including our own intents, and we should examine all aspects before committing.  As such, our spell work is like a sphere, with all the various gradients of meaning wrapped in one.  It is the aim that determines which side hits - and where.

The Principle of Rhythm
All of the realms have a natural rhythm that we cannot alter. Instead, we must learn to work with it.  This manifests visually as a pendulum that can bounce our ball back at us negatively or send it soaring in the direction we want it to go.

The Principle of Cause and Effect
We are responsible for the cause and effect that occurs within our realms.  We are the pitcher behind the ball.

The Principle of Gender
Creation occurs in all realms.  We must balance listening and doing to avoid stagnation or chaos.  This means we also wear the catcher's mitt and must understand we are not the only ones throwing these spheres.

And all of this is happening in the same space, the same three realms just a degree off.  All of this is contained right here:

It is where our "sphere of intent" is cast and where the pendulum swings.  It is where we stand.  It contains everything we know and understand to be a part of the universe.  This is our universe, our world, and we are responsible for it.

And with that, I conclude this nine part series on Hermetic spellcraft.  I hope I've helped you better understand how spells work within the context of witchcraft.  Happy spell casting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Runes: A Coloring Book Review

Some months ago, I was contacted by the lovely Heather Wahlers who was diligently working on a runes-themed coloring book, asking if I would be interested in reviewing it upon completion.  As a witch with an affinity for the Elder Futhark, I enthusiastically said yes!  You can imagine my excitement when I checked my PO box back in August and there it was, shiny and new.  As we approach gift-giving season, perhaps this book will entice you to make a purchase for the witch in your life!

Heather has repeatedly referred to her Runes coloring book as a "labor of love."  A year in the making, she was inspired particularly by the show Vikings, a historical drama from the History channel.  While she had used runes before in divination, she never had such a connection with them as she did after indulging in the series.  It encouraged her to research their history and lore, thus creating the basis for this coloring book!

Music groups like Wardruna and Danheim gave Heather additional inspiration, allowing her to fall into a trance in which the runes could speak with her.  She would draw what she felt on paper first, then use a digital tablet to perfect the linework.

Each page contains the name of a rune from the Elder Futhark line and a drawing of said rune along with imagery that matches the meaning.  These drawings are done in a thin line value to emphasize the colors you choose.  Each page ranges from the very simple to the incredibly complex, giving the novice and advanced colorer alike plenty to work with!

On the back of each page, you can find a drawing of the rune again along with four or five words dictating its meaning.  This allows you to pull the artwork from the coloring book without disturbing another piece and utilize it in your magic, from poppets and altars to flashcards and even ashes!

As a coloring book, it certainly succeeds.  The paper inside takes colored pencil and marker alike while the imagery is iconic to the meaning behind the rune on each page.

If I had one concern, it's that the more complicated pages can get easily lost visually.  Added line value could help distinguish different objects and textures better, but it's certainly not a major issue.  In fact, it gives the colorer some problems to solve!

Overall, I was very pleased with Heather's beautiful coloring book and would highly recommend it for any age!