Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Divine Divination

The book that I'm currently engrossed in had a very long chapter dedicated to just talking about divination, the divination tools, divination techniques, and how to connect yourself to the Divine through divination. I wanted to make a post about this because I rarely use divination for myself unless it's during spellwork such as scrying or having a tarot card image or rune stone that goes along with what I'm doing. Before reading this chapter, I had just sat down with a friend and talked about how I feel really disconnected with divination.

This book put a lot of things into perspective for me. So first off, what exactly is divination? Divination is a form of magic and prophecy that helps us make practical decisions in our every day lives by revealing truths about our past, present, and future. It aids in our personal growth as Witches by explaining how our past shapes us and clarifies what we are going through in the present. Phyllis Curott in her book Witch Crafting explains it this way:
The word divination comes from the Latin word divi, which means deity. Divination is the means by which you engage in dialogue with the Divine. Communication with deity provides proof that you are not alone, that the Universe is alive, and that it is aware of your presence, your longings, fears, needs, wounds, gifts, and truest self. As you craft yourself as a Witch, you will find that divination provides divine guidance when you most need it.
Divination is a very unique tool that helps us know thyself. These words were inscribed over the entrance to the temple at Delphi. Before you were to enter to see the oracles, every visitor had to receive their own vision of themselves first. In order to know your future you must first become self-aware. You don't have to by psychic in order to work with divination; the tools help you with this second sight.

There are many divination tools to assist you on this journey such as rune stones, tarot cards, I Ching, pendulums, astrology, and even tea leaves! When starting out, you may wish to start with tools that you have heard of before and are somewhat familiar with such as tarot cards. Take some time and meditate on which deck is right for you or which tool calls to you more strongly. You don't have to immediately understand how to use the tool. Many tarot decks come with books that already have the meanings of each card, layouts, and how it all works. Try meditating on one card a day or one rune stone a day to become more familiar with the deck or stones. Even highly experienced practitioners do this technique to stay in tune.

You can even use your practices with divination as a daily devotion to your deities. Since divination is strongly connected to your own inner power and connection with the Divine, try seeing this time as strengthening that bond. By doing this, readings may be clearer. If you don't understand a reading you can always ask for clarification as well. Be weary and don't ask the same question over and over again expecting a different answer because you didn't like the first one you got. They only tell you what you need to hear. You don't have to limit your divination abilities to just when you are using tools. Observe the world around you. There are signs and symbols all throughout nature.

Animals are very instinctual creatures and we can learn a thing or two from them. My familiar assists me quite frequently when I'm needing some spiritual guidance. He knows when I should be devoting my time to my deities and tells me so. He also helps me pay attention to other things in life. He's a very skittish but intelligent cat and probably the best judge of character I've ever known. As I'm writing this, he's laying on me right now purring comfortably with content. He knows that I'm setting out on what I need to do by spending this time being reflective about my own studies.

Another form of divination that I have always paid attention, but never really considered it divination, are dreams. I have very vivid dreams and much of it is lucid dreaming, which is something you can train yourself to do over time. A couple of nights ago I had a dream about my friend who runs the Grove with me. In the dream I was at her house after a ritual and needed to leave or at least felt the urge to leave although there was a terrible storm outside. She had provided me with a place to sleep but I chose to leave and embrace the storm instead. This dream can have several meanings and I invite my readers to interpret it as they wish (a little dreamscaping exercise if you will). Dreams like this and all dreams should be paid attention to because our subconscious is directly in connection with the Divine and we receive messages all the time and all around us.

Keep practicing and devoting yourself to your Craft. The outcome may mean a better and brighter future for you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Book Review: Tending Brigid's Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone

There are some books that I can take a lot of information from and use it in my Craft and this is a book that definitely inspires that feeling. Although it focuses on one Goddess, Brigid, it does mention several other Celtic deities and deities that can be traced back to Brigid from Greek, Egyptian, and even German culture.

Weatherstone focuses most heavily on the fire aspect of Brigid. She does mention that Brigid is an Earth Goddess, a fire Goddess, and a water Goddess but tends to stay more concerned with her flamekeeping aspect. Although I appreciate this as I personally see Brigid more as a fire Goddess and evoke her as such, I felt the balance of the elements was very skewed in one direction and her other aspects became very lost throughout the book. I'm sure this was not the author's intentions but I had hoped to see more on her water and earth aspects as I feel like those are not as thoroughly investigated.

She was superb in her descriptions of flamekeeping for the Goddess Brigid and how to properly devote oneself to Her fully and completely. Many of her crafty ways of devotion I plan to incorporate into my own Craft as I feel very connected to Brigid. Her devotion methods were very simple and would easily fit into anyone's daily routine. Brigid's attributes are what I aspire to have. Her generosity, strength, and courage are all desirable aspects that I, myself, wish to embody. Through devotion and discipline, I plan to incorporate this more.

The book gives a lot of incite into different ways of devotion such as scrying, meditation, divination in respect to tarot, runes, and from natural messages, flamekeeping, writing, poetry, and much more. Some resources described I had never thought of before. After reading this book, I took up the art of jewelry making as a devotion to the Goddess in her smithcrafting element. I use metal to bind the beads together and created my own set of Goddess beads. Although the Goddess is related to fire and I tend to think of her mostly in this way, I found myself drawn to blue and green colored beads for my prayer beads. I was more drawn to her water and earthly aspects during creation, something the author says to just do without thinking why.

Weatherstone is very good with her citations and giving incite to many forms of prayer and worship. She incorporates poetry and scripture from all kinds of books, some of which are Christian. She explains that we shouldn't shy away from certain forms of art just because they are of a different theology but instead to make them our own. I certainly agree with this mindset because in staying away from certain literature we are limiting our minds.

This book can teach people a lot about this wonderful Goddess and all of her glories. Her animals, her plants, her stones, her love, her warmth, her hospitality, her courage, her strength, her forge, her hearth, and her teachings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Goddess Rosaries

Some people have an aversion to using the word rosary as it can signal to a person memories of Christian faith and other negative associations that they tend to place upon it. However, the word rosary comes from the Latin word rosarium which means garland of roses. The garland of prayer beads is symbolic of a portable sacred Circle that can go with you everywhere.

The rosary is used as a grounding tool to aid in trance and meditation through keeping track of mantras, prayers, and recitation of deity names. As you say each mantra or line of a prayer, you touch each bead imbuing them with that statement and giving them power. This power will remain within the bead and build over time as you continue this process.

Rosaries come in all different colors, beads, and stones. You can choose to string the beads together in a line or you can hook them together through metalcrafting work. If you have a specific prayer or mantra in mind, you can make your rosary to match it. You can place breath beads or heart beads along your rosary to signify when the mantra needs to be repeated.

You can also wear your rosary as a necklace that has power enhancing properties such as for protection or healing. You may also wish to place the rosary upon your altar as a reminder of your faith or by your bedside to aid it dreaming. Be conscious of the number of beads you would like to place. Nine is traditionally a Goddess number and you could choose to make your rosary with three sets of nine or five sets of nine, or so on. Do what feels right for you!

Created by Gilliauna

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Getting To Know Your Athame

An athame (ath-a-may) is a ceremonial double-edged dagger used to direct energy. Usually, it is black handled which defines it from the boline which has a white handle. The edges are blunt as this dagger is not used for cutting like the boline and is for strictly ceremonial purposes. Typically, it is created from steel but it can be made from different elements such as wood or bone. The handle may be inscribed with any symbols the barer wishes or symbols associated with their Coven or Grove. These symbols can represent deities, runes, elements, or whatever is desired.

The term "athame" is said to be suspected from the Latin term "artavus" which means a kind of quill knife. This knife was described in "The Key of Solomon" as a sickle shaped knife which is in line with the shape of the boline.

This tool is used for magical and ritual purposes only. It is used to direct energy especially when casting a Circle. It can be used for charging and consecrating items as well. The athame, in most traditions, is representative of the element of fire and is one of the 4 elemental tools in witchcraft along with the pentacle, the chalice, and the wand. In the other traditions it is associated with the element of air and the wand represents fire. The athame is also usually the main tool that's representative of a phallus and used in the symbolic version of the Great Rite.

When choosing your athame, take your time. This is a very important tool and to me is the most important tool. Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.