Monthly Archives: February 2017

Druid’s Prayer: An Analysis “for the love of all existences”

Druid’s Prayer: An Overview

The Druid’s Prayer, also known as the Gorsedd Prayer, is generally attributed to The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, although some concerns of authenticity have emerged with this book. The following comes from The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, available at Sacred Texts online:

Grant, O God,
Thy protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of God. God and all goodness.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

The Druid’s Prayer: My Version

You will find several different versions of the Druid’s Prayer on the web: it is human nature to tinker with things, and published prayers are no exception. Personally, I was concerned with the version above because it did not acknowledge the Goddess as well as the God, an important consideration for me, so I came up with this version:

Druid’s Prayer

Grant, O Lord and Lady,
Thy protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of Spirit and all Goodness.

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Druid’s Prayer and the Chakras: A Suggestion

I have a suggestion to encourage grounding with the Druid’s Prayer: tie it to opening and clearing (if necessary) the chakras during meditation. The spiritual journey with the chakras would look something like this:

“Grant, O Lord and Lady,Thy protection;”  
This protection starts a chain reaction.
“And in protection, strength;”    
The root chakra is opened.
“And in strength, understanding;”  
This understanding, on an emotional, primal level, opens up the sacral chakra.
“And in understanding, knowledge;” 
This knowledge, propelled by Will, opens up the solar plexus chakra.
“And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;”  
This knowledge of justice opens up the heart chakra.
“And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;” 
 The love of justice, and being able to articulate this love, opens up the throat chakra.
“And in that love, the love of all existences;” 
 The third eye chakra is opened.
“And in the love of all existences, the love of Spirit and all Goodness.”
The crown chakra is opened.

Feel free to try this exercise and see if it does not provide grounding for the Druid’s Prayer. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

Druid's Prayer

Sunrise at Stonehenge: Symbolic of the Druid’s Prayer

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Positive Path: What on Earth and in the Stars Make it “Positive”?

What Is a Positive Path?

Inquiries into a Positive Path: Occasionally someone will see my pentacle or other magickal jewelry, or perhaps note my Pagan status from a Facebook post, and express curiosity about my beliefs, such as a belief in God. I’ve even been asked if I’m on a positive path — couched in the phrase of “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

I usually give a concise answer: that Wiccans and other Pagans believe in God and Goddess, that we embrace a nature-based religion, and that it holds life as sacred. I also mentioned believing that all positive paths ultimately lead to the same place: the Divine.

A Positive Path: Some Intriguing Philosophical Questions

This last part got me to thinking: what makes a path “positive”? What quality do these positive paths have in common? Is it the presence of a moral code, and how explicit does this moral code have to be?

For Christians, this code consists of the Ten Commandments, a list of what not to do. Jewish observers follow a comprehensive, holistic code, Midrash Halakha.  For Buddhists, the Five Precepts comprise a moral compass. And Baha’i observers have their own extensive moral code.

Awen and Nature

Wiccans, of course, honor the Wiccan Rede (keeping in mind that the Rede offers advice rather than a mental straitjacket), and other Pagan observers have other moral codes; Asatru follow the Nine Noble Virtues, for instance. These are but only a few examples of religious moral codes of various positive paths: many of them discourage certain actions, and some of them exhort proactive thoughts and deeds.

What is the common denominator? I believe that what makes a spiritual path positive is love: the power to send out love as well as the power to receive love unconditionally. This includes loving oneself as well as family, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and the earth. Love is the driving force.

That is why all positive paths lead to the same goal. If a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Zoroastrian, a Sikh, and a Pagan are all praying for peace, these prayers are all going to the Divine–whatever each person’s concept of the Divine: an important lesson to remember, especially in these turbulent times. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

The Divine and the Positive Path

The Divine and the Positive Path

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Fond, Bittersweet Memories of my Best Friend: Rest in Peace

Memories of My Best Friend Sara

A friend is forever: this I believe in every fiber of my being. This bond of friendship can last forever, even surpassing death.

I remember meeting Sara when we were both in grade school. Her family lived next door to mine; their cat, Kangaroo, came over to visit in my front yard. As I was petting Kangaroo, Sara came over indignantly and proclaimed Kangaroo as hers. After a brief argument ensued, one in which we were debating who owns a cat (the answer, it turns out, is “no one” –no surprise to a true cat aficionado) and whether strangers had the right to pet a visiting cat, we became fast friends.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Sara, an Arian, and I, an Aquarian, were all but inseparable: her fiery enthusiasm for life and my contemplative approach to living complemented one another beautifully. as best friends, we confided in one another: our hopes, fears, and opinions  revolving around math, the well-being of our various cats and dogs,  the exasperating nature of various siblings, and, later, the enigma of boys. This continued during elementary, junior high, and high school—until I moved away during my sophomore year. That was the year that we—indeed, our daily lives— began to drift apart. For awhile, I lost my best friend.

My biggest regret is not staying more closely in touch with my friend over the years. Yes, life happens–and did happen, for both of us. We both had our share of heartache, but also joy, in our personal and professional lives. Yet when we would occasionally see each other, it was as if the years melted away, as if we were still living next door to one another: our friendship seemed to pick up where it had been left off.

best friend

Pinky Swear and the Best Friend

These memories came flooding back on December 6, 2012–the day that Sara was taken off life support, courtesy of a brain aneurysm–and afterwards, during the grief process.

These memories are bittersweet at best; however, time is beginning to soften the pain, years later.  One comforting thought is that Sara did find spiritual peace in the months before she died: she found a relationship with the Divine that made her happier, more fulfilled. Whatever her life lesson happened to be, perhaps she found the answer to it. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

Spring into savings: Lune Soleil Enterprises is celebrating Ostara with our Ostara Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until March 20, 2016: good towards 20% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code OSTARA when prompted. Blessed Be!

 

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Prayer for Victims of Despair: Love and Light to You All in These Troubling Times

Prayer: An Offering for Victims of Despair and Dimmed Hope

Around this time of year, I notice that my own mood tends to plummet as I delve further into hibernation mode. This tendency is pronounced this year, more than ever, as we experience the demoralizing roller coaster ride that is our current presidency of the United States.  With that spirit in mind, I offer this humble prayer: may it give hope to all during these difficult times.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Prayer for Victims of Despair

O Blessed Lady, O Blessed Lord,

Please be with those who are in the depths of despair, especially loved ones left behind by those who have passed into the Summerland, as well as those who are experiencing depression or who are contemplating suicide. Hold them in your arms: comfort them with your presence.

As the dark, cold winter is but a temporary stage, may the despair be just as fleeting. May love and light shine upon All. Blessed be, by star and stone.

Flying Dove, Symbol of Prayer

Flying Dove, Symbol of Prayer

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Ritual Altar

Abbreviated, Not Gutted Ritual: Still Meaningul

Rituals: Streamlined but Not Truncated

In an ideal world, the Pagan working outside the home would be able to take off Sabbat days and observe ritual without guilt or repercussions.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Federal law does allow for observance of holy days. However, some Pagans find that, in practice, taking off these days is a hassle, at the very least. Some Pagans who are not out of the broom closet may not feel comfortable in asking for these days off.

I find it helpful to do full ritual the weekend before the Sabbat, if the holy day falls on a weekday, and to do the same for Esbats, or moon (often, full moon) observances. On the actual day of the Sabbat or Esbat, though, I do an abbreviated ritual to honor the Lady and the Lord.


With this in mind, I offer the following ideas for streamlined rituals; feel free to combine any of the following tips.  Keep in mind that a ritual need not be complex in order to be “real”: if you connect to the Goddess and to the God, the ritual is authentic and “counts.” This is what is most important.

Streamlining Ritual Tips

1. Meditate upon Deity and the meaning of this observance, whether it be Sabbat or Esbat, to you.

2. Take a walk; enjoy nature and the tranquility it offers. Stop and smell the roses, or whatever flowers happen to be in bloom. If necessary, take allergy medication.

3. While at your desk, treat yourself to a floral arrangement or, better yet, a potted seasonal plant.

4. Treat yourself to a special lunch or dinner that contains foods associated with the observance.

5. Give back to nature: hang a birdhouse, work in compost around established plants, plan (and then later plant) a garden that will attract butterflies, such as the Monarch butterfly.

6. Give of yourself. Volunteer your time to a worthy cause, even if for an hour at a time.

7. Play music that is appropriate to the Sabbat or Esbat. Create playlists ahead of time; bask in the music.

8. Tap your inner child: draw your conception of the Lady and the Lord at the moment in the Wheel of the Year or at this particular moon phase.

9. Write a poem about the Sabbat or Esbat and/or about the Lady and the Lord.

10. Light a candle with a seasonally-appropriate scent, if allowed at your workplace; alternately, you can use a flame-less, scentless  candle.

Pagan Altar set up for Ritual, featuring the Goddess

Streamlining Ritual: My Wish for You

May all of your rituals touch your heart and connect you lovingly with the Goddess and the God. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

The Goddess and ritual

Pagan Altar set up for Ritual, featuring the Goddess

Spring into savings: Lune Soleil Enterprises is celebrating Ostara with our Ostara Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until March 20, 2016: good towards 20% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code OSTARA when prompted. Blessed Be!

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Waning Moon: Getting Rid of the Negative Stuff in Life

The Waning Moon: A Time for Banishing and Releasing

The waning moon occurs right after a full moon and lasts until just before the new moon makes an appearance. Symbolized by the Goddess as Crone, the energy of the waning moon is steadily decreasing; thus, any magickal efforts you put forth during this time should concentrate on removing or banishing things in your life.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Do you want to cast a spell to banish emotional overeating or to reduce debt? Do you wish to end an addiction or bad habit? Do you wish to break off a toxic relationship? Do you wish to banish an illness? The waning moon is the perfect time to do so.

More specifically, the waning moon is divided into two phases: waning gibbous and waning crescent; each phase lasts about a week. According to The White Goddess, a waning gibboous moon is the “Moon of Retribution” and “brings a conscious process of creative release,”  while a waning crescent is the “Moon of Harvest” and is a time for introspection and “readying oneself for the energies of the New Moon.”

Whatever you need or want to banish and release in your life, you should call upon the aid of the waning moon to make it happen. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

waning moon

Waning Moon

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The God as Greenman: Verdant, Fertile Deity

The Greenman: An Overview

The Greenman is one of many archetypal aspects of the God: the paired twin of the Horned God. Whereas the Horned God represents animalian sexuality, the Greenman is a god of vegetation, representing the lushness of the warmer seasons as well as the promise of rebirth.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

The Greenman: A Closer Look

The Greenman’s face, the one part of the body usually seen, and often depicted in sculpture and similar artwork, is surrounded by or, more often, consists of green leaves, often oak. Branches or vines may protrude from the Green Man’s mouth. The Greenman goes by other names as well: according to Alan G. Hefner’s article “Green Man” in Encyclopedia Mythica, the Greenman’s aliases include Green George, Green Jack, and Jack in the Green . Specific gods who embody the Green Man aspect include Dionysus,Viridios/Viridius, and Osiris. The Greenman appears in folklore and literature as Puck, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as Treebeard and, most likely, Tom Bombadil.

May your relationship with the Greenman be a lush, meaningful one. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

Dionysus, one aspect of the Greenman

Dionysus, one aspect of the Greenman

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The Horned God: Or, It’s Time to Get Horny

The Horned God, Frequently Misjudged

Just as with the Goddess, the God has myriad aspects: one of the more prominent aspects is that of the Horned God. This aspect is often the most misunderstood and maligned by non-Pagans but revered by those of us drawn to the Pagan paths.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Christian Distortion of the Horned God

In a brilliant public relations move, the Catholic Church transformed the Horned God into Satan, a jealous, evil, and sexual, fallen angel, as a foil to God, that gleefully tempts humankind into temptation and sin. This transformation solidified with Eliphas Levi’s artwork of Baphomet.

Pagans’ View of the Horned God

Pagans regard the Horned God as in his sexual prime, in his aspect as Lover: the horns represent virility: entirely appropriate, as he is the Consort of the Lady. The horns, or sometimes antlers,  also link this aspect of the God as does the erect phallus he often sports, to his role as Lord of wild animals and raw sensuality, as well as the hunt, both literal and figurative: the Horned God is pure male energy.

The Horned God is usually associated with late spring and summer, as well as noontime. Conversely, the Horned God also plays a role  in Death and the Underworld, as collector or hunter and escort.  Some examples of the Horned God include Pan, Cernunnos, Dianus, and Herne the Hunter.

Pagans continue to reclaim the Horned God and his role as a wild, sexual being, ready to unleash that raw energy at a moment’s notice. May He continue to run untamed in our hearts and imaginations. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

Horned God

The Horned God: One Interpretation
Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Magick with a “k”: Natural Power to Make Our Own Miracles

Magick: An Overview

Magick is the tapping of natural energy in order to effect change. Aleister Crowley echoes this definition in his work Magick in Theory and Practice: ” Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity  with Will.”

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

Whereas prayer involves asking Deity for help or giving thanks to Deity, magick works more directly with and through Deity to call up the natural energy in oneself and of the elements in order to bring about a transformation of some kind. Thus, this energy is empowering, whereas magic (without the “k”) refers to sleight of hand, stage tricks: no real, significant change.

Magick: White, Black, and Gray

White magick is performed with positive intent, with the admonishment of “Harm None” in mind. Black magick is performed with the intent to harm or manipulate someone. Gray magick falls somewhere in between: performed with good intentions but for the wrong reason (such as to stroke one’s ego rather than to help someone, or to cast a spell for someone without that person’s permission).

Magick: Different Kinds

Below are several kinds of magick that are commonly used, in no particular order (this list is by no means exhaustive):

Knot–this type uses a string; knots are tied in a prescribed order as each step of the spell is mentioned

Poppet –this kind uses a cloth doll, often for healing purposes

Candle–this type  uses the element of Fire. Candle magick can be used in a single session or over a prolonged period, such as one week.

Incense–this kind uses the elements of Fire and Air.

Herbal–this category uses herbs, often used in conjunction with other types of magick

Crystal–this type uses the element of Earth (although different crystals correspond to different elements)

Kitchen–this kind uses food and drink as vehicles for the raised energy

Mirror–this type uses the element of Water for inner beauty and other spells

Sex–energy is raised during sexual intercourse and sent to its intended purpose (such as healing)

Whatever your need or desire, may magick serve you well. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

candle magick

Candle Magick

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Pentagram as Sacred Pagan Symbol: Powerful Divine Star

Sacred Pentagram Symbol: An Overview

The  pentagram is a five-pointed star, usually pointed upward, “made by extending the sides of a regular pentagon until they meet, used as an occult symbol by the Pythagoreans and later philosophers, by magicians, . . .”. What this definition does not mention is that the pentagram is a sacred symbol to Wiccans and other Pagans, just as the cross is revered in Christianity and the Star of David is holy in Judaism.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for several companies, and I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program (proudly billed as “the leading selling program on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of members”). I use and heartily endorse these products and services, some of which are linked in this blog post, and any monies I receive as an affiliate or associate helps support my ever-growing book habit–at no extra cost to you.

As one website point out, the number five itself is sacred and adds a holy element to the pentagram: “The number 5 has always been regarded as mystical and magical, yet essentially ‘human’. We have five fingers/toes on each limb extremity.We commonly note five senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. We perceive five stages or initiations in our lives – eg. birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death. . . The Wiccan Kiss is Fivefold – feet, knees, womb, breasts, lips . . .The number 5 is prime. The simplest star – the pentagram – requires five lines to draw and it is unicursal; it is a continuous loop” (“Symbolic”).

The website Religious Tolerance mentions that the pentagram appears in nature, notably in the apple: “Kore’s sacred fruit is the apple. When an apple is cut through its equator, both halves will reveal a near-perfect pentagram shape at the core, with each point on the star containing a seed. Many Wiccans, other Neopagans and Roma (a.k.a. Gypsies) continue to cut apples in this way. The Roma refer to the core as the Star of Knowledge.”

Each point represents an element: Air, Water, Fire, Earth, and Spirit. We will be discussing these elements in more detail in the near future.

pentagram

Pentacle, a sacred symbol mentioned in the Wiccan Rede

Difference between the Pentagram and the Pentacle

The pentagram is the five-pointed star itself. The pentacle, on the other hand, includes a circle that surrounds a pentagram. Both variations are sacred.

Invoking vs. Banishing Pentagram

The invoking pentagram is drawn, usually in the air, to invoke a particular element. The banishing pentagram is drawn, also in the air, to release that element. Both are powerful tools in a Witch’s arsenal. Blessed Be, by star and stone.

Spring into savings: Lune Soleil Enterprises is celebrating Ostara with our Ostara Sale! We are offering a discount coupon, from now until March 20, 2016: good towards 20% off orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping. To redeem this coupon, enter the code OSTARA when prompted. Blessed Be!

pentagram

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