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Archive for the ‘09. Abstract Magick’ Category

My first connection with magick came in the form of the Moon. I’m not sure why I felt inclined to learn about lunar energy first – I don’t know if that’s the natural order of things, or if that just suited me best. At any rate, my connection to the moon, her phases, and her magick is undeniable.

I’ve created a new page (as opposed to category) called Moon Magick. This page can be found on the top navigation bar of The Road HOme (as opposed to the categories listed on the right).

This page is a work in progress.  I hesitated posting it, although I’ve been wanting to do it for quite some time, because it wasn’t “complete” or “perfect” according to my standards.  But, recent influences and insights are indicating that it’s time I procede with it, whether or not I consider myself prepared.  Maybe someone else has insights they can share, or maybe others can gain insights from what I’m sharing.  Exchanging knowledge and information is the best way to learn.

So, I’ve got more to add, including the moon in the zodiac, gardening by the moon, and more – but at least I’ve got a good start to it by outlining the moon’s basic phases and the energies accompanying them.  As I can, I’ll add more, but I can’t promise when.  I’m still working out this whole personal agenda thing and time management. *soft smiles*

Bright Blessings,

W

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I’ve created a new page (as opposed to category) at The Road Home called Magick Compass. You can find it in the top navigation links (as opposed to the categories on the right of the page).

The Magick Compass is something I created years ago when I was first exploring the world of magick.  With it, I’ve outlined the four directions, elements, and their correspondences and energy flow.  It’s a piece that needs work, but it’s not a bad start.  As time allows, I’ll buff that page out a bit, add to it, revise it, etc. – but I wanted to include it now because it’s something I intend to reference often for personal purposes.

Feel free to share your own insights and opinions on this.  If you see something I’ve missed, or understand something differently, I’d love to exchange information and share knowledge.

Blessings,

W

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This weekend, although we did go to T’s sister’s and his mothers, we weren’t able to go out on the 4-wheeler again into the woods for tree-spirit photos.  However, I did have an opportunity to visit an extremely enchanted tree. This was such an incredible experience – I’ve never seen anything like it, and yes… although my digital camera was absent of batteries, my iphone did a fine job of capturing the magick to be shared.

Osage Orange Tree Hundreds of years old, this tree was larger than life. It was inside of a park area and although I had no idea what we were turning in there for (other than, “Oh, you wanna see a tree?”), I spotted it as soon as the truck went through the gate. I couldn’t wait to get out for a hands-on experience with this magnificent wonder… and though I was able to catch a few precious snapshots, this tree holds many more mysteries than I was able to capture in a short visit. As quickly as I could, I made my way from truck to tree, slipped out of my flip flops, walked around the perimeter taking a few photos, then climbed on. If ever I get the chance, I’m going back… at a time when Rhythm can share the wonder, and will do a better job with photographs. This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip! All of these photos are from this one enchanted tree.

DragonThis is the first “face” T pointed out to me in this tree… it’s on the side of the tree you first see when approaching from the parking lot.

 He described it as a dragon’s face, pointing out its two eyes, its nostrils, and its “snarl”.

It impresses me more than I can say that I’ve found someone who can “see” the same things I see in nature. I’m used to trying to explain or justify myself (silly girl!), trying to get others to understand that there’s more to life than meets the eye… and now I’m experiencing this part of my life with someone who understands because he can see the same things I do, and I’m deeply touched that he had the insight and the desire to introduce me to this tree and its many faces.

I really wish Rhythm could have shared this with us… although I’m sure he’ll delight in the photographs. He’s got a special affinity for dragons, and I think this face in this tree would have been quite the thrill for him. That’s okay, though… there will be a next time.

I’m sure the picture would have been lots better if I’d have had a digital camera, but the iphone didn’t do a bad job at all… I’m calling this picture, “Dragon Magick”.

DinosaurThis is a neat one here, very distinct and emerging from the tree. The wood on this part was a lighter shade of brown, which really made the face stand out even more… and rather than being set in the trunk itself, this one is sort of protruding so it had a “coming at ya” appeal.

This reminds me of a dinosaur head… a vegetarian dinosaur.

He’s got a pensive look in his eye, almost as if he were questioning, “Friend or Foe?”.

Friend, of course.

Because of his supposed vegetarian status, I’m calling him “Herb”.

This next one is a turtle.

Tree Turtle

Gater, Snake, FishThis one’s what I call a “threefer” – three faces for one photograph. The most obvious, at least to me, is what looks like an alligator with its jaws open wide and preparing to clamp down. Just above the gator face, though, I can see the shape of a snake, and below the snake, a fish… it’s like this was the aquatic portion of the tree…

Then, if you look in the upper left corner of this image, there’s another face… that of an old man.

Actually, the more I look at this shot, the more I see…

 
Last but not least, here’s a shot T took of Stinkerbelle (left, standing) 
and me (baseball cap and barefoot comfort!) bonding with this tree’s energy.

Stinkerbelle and me in tree

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Written in 2001

 

“The magick moving through art is the ability to visualize without seeing, listen without hearing, speak without talking, and feel without touching.” ~Wendi Friend~

I over-slept today. I awoke frantic and frazzled due to bad dreams and thick stress. My eldest child, Atlas, was already gone off to school. The younger two decided that I should be left to sleep, so they played quietly together in the loft after having gotten dressed and made their beds. I awoke feeling the need to crawl inside myself; but in a healthy way. I felt like my heart was trying to tell me something. I wanted to sit still and listen. I wanted to silently remember my dreams and explore my thoughts.

Brewing my first pot of coffee for the day, I wrote down that I was hungry for creativity. Creativity, for me, is medicine – whether I’m creating with words on paper, crafting with supplies, or playing with notes of a new song. When my hands are busy, anticipation and expectation preoccupied with art, I can hear myself better. I can see the journey ahead a little more clearly. I can breathe a little more deeply. I was ready to heal. I was hungry for creativity.

Unfortunately, growth was not the only thing I was feeling this morning. The sign on my heart must have been flashing, “No Vacancy,” because all the space within it was consumed with a mixture of hope, need, want, and guilt. I know why I’m in this position. I know that stress backed me into a corner. I know that responsibility challenged time to a race and won. I found myself staying up late nights, waking early in the morning, and skipping meals in between because I couldn’t find the time to do all that needed done in the accomplishing of my goals. I felt guilty because the kids wanted to spend time with me. But, then, so did I.

That’s when I remembered this quote and wrote it down on paper again at that moment: The magick moving through art is the ability to visualize without seeing, listen without hearing, speak without talking and feel without touching. I wrote it down the first time in a journal/coloring book I’d received as a gift. I used a pink gel pen, then – and must have re-read the statement a hundred times while my left hand colored the picture to the left.

As I re-wrote the phrase this morning, seven year old Stinkerbelle knocked on my door, wanting to know if she and Rhythm could go play outside. Turning in my office chair, I smiled, saying, “Ya know what? No. Why don’t you go get your brother and the two of you can hang out in here with me for a while.” Stinkerbelle was thrilled to no end, as was her brother. I had no idea that hanging out in my office would be such a treat for them. When they were both in here, I explained that I’d like them to do something creative with this part of the morning, then they could go outside and play. Stinkerbelle immediately wanted to put to use the weaving project she got for her birthday. Rhythm had been wanting to play with my magnetic poetry book. He watched me do an exercise the other day, thought it was neat, and had been wanting to try one of his own. He picked out five words from my bag of magnetic poetry pieces while Stinkerbelle began stretching little loops of elastic to hook and weave on the plastic base. While the two of them nestled into their creative acts, I nestled into mine.

While Rhythm wrote his own thoughts of the day and Stinkerbelle wove a pot holder, I allowed the pen to move across paper with my own round of magnetic poetry. I withdrew five words from the plastic bag and wrote them down:

1. wind 2.away 3.sister 4.summer 5. morning

`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~

Morning flew quickly by today.
Summer heat taunts, though it’s only spring.
Winter has finally melted away,
making room for the great sun king.

Dreaming of a garden of flowers
I seek nature’s comforting glow.
Sister wind has exhausted her powers
when March currents did forcefully flow.

As I stand in these seasons changing,
I am one with light and sound.
My mind does it’s mystic rearranging
while my feet connect to the ground.

So I thank the entity Mother Earth
for destruction, obstacles and strife…
for death only makes room for birth
and a new opportunity for life.

Winds blow away negativity
cold freezes ugly thoughts
heat melts snow, warming creativity
and I find what I have sought….

my own inner garden of peace.

While we were working, I noticed how tranquil we all were. Rhythm and Stinkerbelle both worked with pleasant grins stretched across their faces, and I realized I was doing the same. We were able to be together, and yet apart, all at the same time. We were all doing the same thing, but differently. We were all being creative and exploring ourselves. This satisfied all of our needs. Their wanting to be with me didn’t mean that I couldn’t still do what I needed to do. I learned that they just like to be in my presence and sharing in my love of art.

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

“We do not know, in most cases, how far social failure and success are due to heredity, and how far to environment. But environment is the easier of the two to improve.” ~J.B.S. Haldane~

Do you ever feel displaced in your environment, off balance in an unexplainable way? Having bad dreams? Keep finding yourself at the fridge even when you’re not hungry? Do you feel suffocated in certain rooms of your home or office? Many unexplainable feelings may be identified or rectified by changing your environment by way of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui: a philosophy which, through its practice, creates a balanced environment. Feng Shui may improve areas such as finances, health and career. It may also increase awareness of true self, making obstacles less difficult to overcome; creating a harmonious, peaceful existence by using intuition and common sense to maintain and restore the natural balance of life.

Traditionally practiced in the far east, Feng Shui was originally used to prognosticate placement of graves or to map a location for a home or communal area . These same philosophies are now used for the interior design of the home, office and garden. The aim of Feng Shui is to restore full equanimity to the natural order through sensitivity and awareness of life’s natural functions.

Nature has a balance and has had since before humankind invaded the planet. The concepts of Yin and Yang are symbolized by the sun and the moon. They are two opposite energies operative in the universe, said to be inclusive of each other. This exchange of negative and positive which keeps the world in rotation creates Qi, the life giving force of the universe.

Qi compares to the wind, a natural energy source constantly flowing all around us. Everything is alive with the energy of Qi. Qi is also like water, an energy source that can be redirected. It is a cycle that if disconnected will affect everything else that depends on the continuance of this natural flow of energy. For example, the Colorado river was diverted with the building of Hoover Dam, which changed the entire direction of the flow of the river, which then affected plant and animal life along both paths, the natural path of the river and the diverted path. Feng Shui translates to “wind-water.”

Feng Shui methods are structured on Qi and the belief of the importance of the five Elements; water, wood, fire, earth and metal which are considered the building blocks of life.

Feng Shui can be used to locate an area and direction in which to build a home or office based on the flow of energy or obstructions of energy in the area. Feng Shui can be applied to interior design in which colors and placement of objects affect the way a person behaves inside their home. For example, the color blue is representative of the element water. Having too much blue in one room can make the occupant feel like they are drowning. Adding yellow, the earth sign; symbol of cheer, is a simple remedy to restore balance.

Crystals are used in Feng Shui and are believed to have properties that protect and break up concentrations of blocked energy. Color and or fabric is applied to symbolize the five elements and enhance certain traits such as strength, wealth and creativity. Bamboo flutes are also used frequently as are mirrors, often placed in strategic order to reflect negative energy from windows with obstacles, such as trees, in their view. Having an obstacle in view in the home is said to manifest by way of obstacles in the life. Feng Shui can also be applied in the garden by choosing specific colors and species of plant varieties and the right locations in which to plant them.

If what the spirit seeks is an existence which is peaceful, harmonious, productive, balanced and beneficial not only to the self, but the environment, consideration should be given to changing your environment by way of Feng Shui.

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Growing a garden can be an excellent springboard for nurturing the health of your body, mind, and spirit. Long recognized for the physical properties of foods and medicines produced, gardening is also a benefit for its natural tranquility. Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “Stop and smell the roses.” Maintaining a garden can help one do exactly that — take the time to stop and smell the roses. Tending a garden also reinforces other parables, such as reaping what we sow and seeking soul food. Whether you’ve a big yard or a small balcony to work with, starting and growing a garden may improve your health and your living conditions on both the physical and the spiritual planes!

On the physical plane, growing your own garden can do wonders for your health. Time and conditions allowing, you may choose to grow your own vegetables, thereby insuring that what you ingest is completely organic and the freshest in town! But if time, space and weather conditions interfere with the growing of vegetable crops, you can easily create a flourishing herb garden with rosemary, thyme, basil and other treasures from nature’s chest.

Such herbs can be grown indoors in pots; they don’t require much, and the benefits they produce are countless. Your home grown herbs can then be used for culinary purposes, healing teas, bath satchels, herb pillows, incense, potpourri, household crafts, and more! Not only are these foods healthier and better for you, but home grown is generally quite a bit cheaper than store bought products. Food and herb gardens are a way of taking the body and soul back to the basics.

Flower gardens offer many rewards for those who tend them. Flowers are pleasing to the senses for reasons many of us don’t stop to consider. But each individual flower has its own flavor, personality, energy, purposes, and properties (not to mention faeries!). Through color, shape, size, scent, and more, flowers communicate in a language that’s all their own – providing a sense of comfort we don’t find elsewhere. Stop and consider for a moment all the ways mankind has honored and used flowers throughout time. Each of the 50 states in the United States is represented by its own flower. Many flowers have religious symbolism; we send flowers in love, celebration, or sympathy. The essences of flowers are even bottled and sold for health purposes!

We may not understand the inner workings of the effects flowers have over us, but there’s not much doubt in the fact that flowers are powerful. Having fresh flowers in a home makes those in the home feel more relaxed and comfortable in most situations and while modern conveniences allow flowers to be purchased at the local grocery store, there’s no feeling quite like arranging fresh cut flowers for various rooms in your home. Many flowers and plants are believed to have protective qualities, and are therefore planted or placed strategically in and around the home.

To maximize the effects of gardening, such as producing larger, heartier plants, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, one can attune their gardening efforts in accord with the moon’s phases and astrological journey, tending to the garden with the care of the ancients, respecting the spirit within each plant and particle in order to harvest its magick. Some examples of such care are to only harvest on full moon nights, cutting plants with a single slice by a special blade. In addition, herbs are dried hanging upside-down in a warm, dark place, tied together by red ribbon.

Planting and harvesting in accord with the moon has been done for centuries. As such, foods which grow underground are best when planted during the waning moon phase, when the moon’s light is reducing. However, foods growing above ground are to be planted during the waxing moon, when moonlight grows. Additionally, by doing a small amount of research, one will soon find that different varieties of plants, vegetables, herbs, and flowers grow more efficiently when planted during a specific astrological position of the moon. For example, StarBreezes.com suggests, “Plant and prune to encourage growth when the moon is in Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Capricorn, and Libra. Weed and Harvest when the moon is in these signs: Leo, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Aquarius and Aries.”

You don’t need to be an expert in order to start your own garden. You don’t need to be a full time farmer in order to enjoy the benefits of home grown vegetation. All you need are a few seeds of inspiration coupled with a little bit of magick. Once you get started, the benefits of gardening will continue to grow and take root, nurturing body, mind, and spirit.

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Most of us won’t deny the power of words – especially those of us who rely on them as tools of our trade. We, as a race, regardless of the language we speak, depend on words to get us through each day. We read words on menus when we order food in restaurants; we rely on words to direct us in traffic. Words are used to comfort children as we sing them a lullaby or tuck them in at night with a bed time story. We depend on words to communicate with each other, and with our own thoughts. Yet, for as much as we recognize and rely upon our need for words, rarely do we value their true power. Words are power! Words… are magick!

In the book *The Four Agreements, author Miguel Ruiz refers to words as white magic and black magic, explaining that every single word we think or speak becomes a spell. That spell then attaches itself to you, the one to whom you’re speaking, or your environment, where it will remain until a more powerful word spell breaks it. Everything you say has power and influence over everything that is. If you tell someone they’re ugly, if they choose to accept the spell, they’ll go home believing they’re ugly. On the same token, if someone has always felt they were ugly and you tell them of their beauty, the attitude that person has from that point forward toward themselves and their environment will be uplifted!

Years ago, I used to go to a highly recommended hair dresser for hair cut and color. Truthfully, I didn’t care for what she did with my hair – but for some reason, I could not break myself away from her. I’d always book a follow up appointment and never cancel or go to anyone else. I didn’t realize, at first, why I felt so drawn to her. After a few more visits with open mind, I found the spell. No matter when I went to see her, she always had something uplifting and positive to say to me. Whether her comments were on my clothes, the color of my skin, my smile, my career, or how well behaved my children were, she always had kind words to share that left me feeling better when I left than I did when I arrived. This was her magic. What she did for my hair didn’t mean nearly as much as what she did for my spirit.

Over the years, I’ve belonged to several writing groups online. In these groups, it is customary to critique and be critiqued. In this practice, I’ve noticed three types of people. There are those who post quite critically, pointing out every flaw in the writing. There are those who reply with a one sentence comment void of true communication (the safe way), and then there are those who are able to bring to light the positive qualities in the writing while gently pointing out room for improvement. Only one of these methods provokes a positive reaction, and that’s the method of carefully chosen encouraging words.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of positive affirmations. To tell yourself something bad is to insure you’ll feel bad, but to remind yourself of the good helps promote the good within. To say you can’t do something will insure that you will continue to not be able to do it. Yet, to say, “I’m having trouble doing something” leaves you an opening for growth and improvement. To say you’ll never make it at something will prove you right, but to say you’re finding it difficult to do will present you opportunity to advance. How many words do you use on a daily basis that hurt yourself or someone else? What kind of words are you using to shape your experiences in life? How many words that you choose to think or use are borne of kind intent or compassionate spirit toward yourself or others? Which of your words are obstacles and which of your words are keys to freedom?

Play a game with words. For 24 hours, be extremely conscious and aware of every word you think or speak. If you can, keep score. If your words are painful, or if they serve as obstacles, mark them on the left side of your paper. If your words are positive and create openings for bettering yourself, encouraging others, or freeing a path, then mark them on the right side of your paper. At the end of the day, tally up the score and measure your contributions to your own circumstance and the pain or pleasures of others. Call this game, “Mark My Words.”

At the same time you play the game, you may choose to play another game that we’ll call, “Eat Your Words.” While you’re measuring up your own use of words, take count of the types of words pointed at you by others. You may be surprised at some of the forms of white and black word magic casting spells on you every time you engage in conversation. If you like what’s being said, if what’s being said is a benefit to you, accept those words as true. However, if you find the spells being cast are harmful, then envision yourself replying with, “Eat your words!” This sends the power of the spell back to the sender, not into your soul.

One period of 24 hours with awareness of words and you may be surprised to discover the types of games people play – and sadly, never even know they’re playing!

*Reference
Book Title: The Four Agreements
Author: Miguel Ruiz
ISBN: 1878424319
Format: Paperback, 138pp
Pub. Date: November 1997
Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Introduction

About eight years ago, give or take a few months, I received my first quilt. My father, long-since divorced from my mother, was married to a woman who had no children of her own. During two brief visits to my father’s house, I met and bonded with his wife. Shortly after those visits, I became ill with cancer. Two years I endured several surgical efforts to tame the beast, and countless invasive procedures. Eventually, a hysterectomy was in order. Just before I went into the hospital for my partial hysterectomy, I received a box from my step-mother. In it, a quilt her mother had made. Her mother had since passed away and my step-mother had no daughter of her own to hand the quilt down to. To my great honor, she sent the quilt to me at a pivotal time in my life.

Since the day I received it, I’ve slept with that quilt every single night. It has moved with me more than half a dozen times over the years. I take it on vacations. I wrap myself in it when I write. I snuggle in it when I watch television. Worn to the point of ragged tears and snags, the quilt my step-mother handed down to me has been a constant companion, a cloak of protection, and a key to inspiration, tradition, nostalgia, heritage, and magick.

Making a quilt of my own has always been an interest, but a light-hearted “one of these days” kind of interest that didn’t provoke action. I daydreamed, that’s all. Over the years, the daydreams converted to night dreams and I began seeing quilts in my dreams as I slept. I felt drawn to quilts in antique shops and knew that the quilts were speaking to me.

Earlier this year, during the summer, I mentioned to a friend who enjoys crafting that I’d like to make a quilt of my own. I remember supporting this same friend during the making of her own first quilt, a patriotic flag following the events of September 11th. Recently, I had the honor of vacationing at my friend’s house in Pennsylvania for a week. During that vacation, I mentioned quilts again. When I did, we decided to take it a step further and made a trip to the local craft and fabric store. The rest of the week, I began working on my first quilt – a combination of pinks, burgundies, reds, oranges, and yellows. It reminds me of a Raggedy Ann and Andy Valentine’s theme.

While stitching together my first pieces of fabric with clumsy, unskilled hands, my mind drifted and wandered and wondered through the ancestry of quilts and the magick permeating quilted timeless treasures. Hence, this writing; I’m curious.

Brief History

The word quilt is derived from the Latin culcita, a stuffed sack, mattress, or cushion. While many believe quilts to be a product of colonial times, history produces evidence of quilting from ancient artifacts from China, Egypt, India, and Persia. One reason history holds its secrets well, in regard to quilting, is due to the fact that many of the original quilts or quilt variations were buried with their owners. However, art and other ancient relics reflect use of quilts from thousands of years ago.

Discovered in the Middle East, the crusaders are responsible for bringing the quilt back to Europe and the British Isles in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The fourteenth century found the quilt to be a way of life due to climate – and anything that could be added for warmth would be used, including grass, leaves, and paper as well as wool. By the early fifteenth century, quilted garments were being worn.

Initially, quilts were quite basic – usually plain white and three simple layers consisting of fabric, stuffing, and fabric. Three layers of fabric and stuffing, stitched together at critical points formed the first quilts out of necessity. The purpose of quilts, naturally, was to keep warm. However, by the sixteenth century, as the quilting technique was applied in other domesticities such as curtains and rugs, quilting became a way of life.

As quilting became more popular, it was discovered that designs could be incorporated with the stitches, which then took on an additional function to their original purpose of holding the fabric together. Embroidery and ornamental embellishments became an intricate part of quilting from that point forward, with letters, symbols, images and such being woven into the design.

While its true quilts originated as a need for warmth, possibly as far back as ancient times, the craft of quilting evolved to an art form as well as an elaborate form of fashion – an art form imbedded, now, with tradition and nostalgia.

Quilting Traditions

When quilting was introduced to the British Isles, it was the wife who became responsible for designing and producing the family’s bedding and other fabric household items, and who was responsible for teaching her own daughters the trade when they reached appropriate age.

Young girls, as soon as they were able, were taught the trade of quilting by their mother. They would spend their youth quilting daily at twilight, assembling a collection of basic home needs to be included in the girl’s dowry as preparation for her marriage. By the age of marriage, the girl would have all but completed her collection, with one piece remaining: The bridal quilt. This quilt would be the most decorated and elaborate of all her creations, and would be assembled as a group effort consisting of extended family and friends. This could well be where the quilting circle originated. Once the bridal quilt was finished, the collection was complete and the young woman would not quilt again until her own daughters were of age to learn the craft.

Many assume quilting was also a daily aspect of the lives of women in Colonial America, but such is not the case because fabric was expensive and not easily obtained. American quilting didn’t really expand until around 1840 when the textile industry had grown to the point that fabric was readily available to nearly every family. From that point forward, quilting has become a much loved American tradition – a tradition imbued with magick.

Quilting Magick

There are multiple ways in which quilts are magickal. Because they have, in many cases, become family heirlooms, there’s a timeless sense of connection woven into quilts. We can get lost in daydreams and visions of aged but skilled fingers laboring over yards of material, threading her needle, and day-dreaming her own intent as the quilt becomes a whole.

Much of the magick of quilting reflects directly on the thoughts, intent, time, and energy invested in the birth of a quilt, the essence of which remains long after the quilter’s death. Hours upon hours, needle in and then out again, one square – one thought – one stitch after another woven into the fabric of time and space. Pay mind to the hands, the fingers, thoughts, daydreams, hopes, well-wishes, and love threading the fragments together.

We can clearly see the magick generated through thought, energy, and intent of the quilter, but what may not be seen as clearly is the purpose in the type of stitch used in a quilt. There are several variations of stitches, each representing a magickal meaning or purpose. Some forms of stitching include the chain stitch, good for working with the cycles of nature and symbolizes the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; and the cross stitch which is appropriate for workings with efforts requiring balance, quality, or justice.

For a complete list of stitch styles and their magickal correspondences, visit the Country Cauldron website. (http://www.countrycauldron.com/stitches1.html)

Because quilts are decorated using varied patterns, shapes, colors, and designs, magick can also be imbedded into quilts via symbols, elemental representation, astrological influences, Reiki, Feng Shui principles, and more.

There are several patterns and designs stitched into quilts with magickal intent. Through magickal intent, with the use of size, shape, color, and symbols, you can create quilts designed for healing, prosperity, prophetic dreams, protection, wisdom, blessings, love, or myriad other purposes.

Quilts in Dreams

Quilts can also be considered magickal when they appear in dreams, offering symbolic meaning to the dreamer. One theory suggests that a plush down quilt is a sign of prosperity, whereas a patchwork quilt in dreams symbolizes domestic happiness.

The Witch’s Book of Dreams by Karri Allrich says the following about dreaming of quilts:

“Stitching and piecing a quilt together out of various materials can represent your desire to integrate and bring together all the various aspects of your life into one whole.. If you are snuggling under such a quilt, you are secure and comfortable with all the pieces and feel as if things have come together for you.”

Whether the magick of quilts comes to you in dreams, handed down via family tradition, or by way of inspiration to learn about or create a quilt of your own, it does a soul good to embrace the magick of quilts!

Sources:

Here are the resources used in researching this piece, and additional websites that offer more detail on the history of quilts, magickal meaning of quilts, quilt patterns, and more.

http://members.shaw.ca/kitchenwitch/kitchenwitch/quilting.htm

http://www.womenfolk.com/historyofquilts/

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/3567/GG8.html#Paganism%20and%20Quilting

http://www.goddesswriting.com/mgcthreadsmain.html

http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/tbarcalow/Quilt/History/history.htm

http://www.geocities.com/asetmoonglow/moon_goddess.pdf

http://www.kateryndedevelyn.org/Quilting.pdf

http://magick-whispers.com/crafting_sewing.htm

http://www.historyofquilts.com/

http://www.angelfire.com/ca5/witchcraftstudies/quiltingcraft.htm

http://www.handmadequilts.net/quilting_history.asp

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/quilts/

 
A Witch’s Book of Dreams
By Karri Allrich
Llewellyn Publications
ISBN: 1-56718-014-1

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

When it comes to conjuring spells, writing incantations, brewing potions, or working other forms of magick; with the exception of honoring the threefold law and the law of harming none, the greatest benefit is that there are no set rules etched in stone to be followed. True, you can go to any bookstore and buy a myriad of spell books to follow word for word, but magick is meant to be made unique by each practitioner. Many witches advise that any spell borrowed be slightly altered, in verbiage or ingredients, to make it uniquely that of the one who casts the spell. Here are some guidelines, suggestions, and shared knowledge from experience – not rules and regulations.

Abiding by the threefold law and the law of harming none may seem simple, but in reality and beyond, these laws are extremely intricate and complex. Every action has a re-action. Each reaction is magnified by three, then, returned to sender. This is the threefold law. The threefold law does not only apply to those spells you intentionally cast, or only to the incantations you poetically scribe, but to each and every thought you think on conscious and subconscious levels. In order to truly live by the threefold law, one must always and forever be evaluating their own purpose, intent, actions, and consequences. In addition, you may think you’re safe from the law of harming none if you never make a voodoo doll, or if you never curse another. But to think a bad thought about someone is to curse them; or to accidentally involve another because your plan wasn’t carefully enough thought through, is to harm them. We hurt people without meaning to, so it’s a fine line to walk when aiming to harm none. Once you’ve mastered the threefold law, the law of harming none, and the basic study of elements and energy, you’re ready to begin creating your own spells, brews, potions, and incantations – according to your own guidance and knowledge.

I do, on occasion, make things up to “boost” an energy I’m working with, although I rarely perform spells. Witchcraft is an earth-based practice, one that uses the natural resources and forces of the Earth, as well as the influences of the universe. Unlike scenes in the popular television series Charmed, witchcraft is not based on vanquishing demons and orbing from one scene to the next. On the contrary, witchcraft is a way of tapping into Earth’s natural resources, such as herbs and oils, crystals and gemstones, and planetary influences, among other things. It’s true you may find a witch stirring a brew in her cauldron, but it’s most likely going to be something she can wash her face with, mop the floors with, or cook with – and under most circumstances, won’t contain live or dead animal parts, with the exception of an occasional hair.

Scott Cunningham, well-known author of books on witchcraft, provides us with an excellent tool for learning the basics of whipping up magick in the form of Incense, Oils, and Brews. From this book (or from several online resources found easily via internet search), one can learn the basics of creating such potions. Study is key in magick and witchcraft because it’s important to know what magickal attributes come from what plants, flowers, and trees. Also important is to be able to decipher which elements can be harmful to your health if swallowed. Some herbs can be brewed into healing teas and tinctures, while others can be fatal if swallowed. Eventually, having studied and read, you’ll be able to recognize what oils or herbs you need to create a specific result.

Here are a few simple things I’ve conjured up along the way, and a few simple recipes I’ve created based on the knowledge gathered:

NOTE:

Remember to carefully label all of your products and keep harmful products out of the reach of children.

Bug Spray/Air Freshener/Household Cleanser
2 drops each of citronella oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, and cinnamon oil; combined with 4 drops of alcohol and eight cups of water, boiled and cooled, makes an excellent natural bug repellent that doubles as air freshener and kitchen/bathroom cleanser! I mix up a batch, fill up a spray bottle, and keep it under the kitchen sink.

Home-made All-natural Carpet Fresh
I use an old coffee can with holes punched through the lid as my dispenser. In it, I mix one cup of salt, ½ cup of baking soda, 3 tablespoons of sugar, then a few drops of whichever oil suits the mood and the purpose. The salt absorbs negativity, the baking soda absorbs odor, and the sugar adds a touch of sweetness. The oils are added for their specific energies and/or aroma. Certain oils are best for protection, others for love. Choose an oil based on the mood you’re trying to set in the room.

All Natural Mop Water
To mop, I use an old fashioned mop bucket and a good rope mop. In a pot on the stove, I mix about six cups of water with 2 drops each of Pine oil, Sandalwood oil, Patchouli Oil, and Cinnamon. To that mixture, I add 3 drops of alcohol (to break apart the oils), and ¼ cup vinegar. Once boiling, I remove from heat and pour the mixture into the mop bucket, then fill with hot water. You can use lemon oil, orange oil, or any other oils that suit your needs, but for a mop wash, I’ve found it best to include pine.

Not only do they work, but these ideas are extremely cost effective, and don’t contain an abundance of harmful chemicals and artificial odors. If you’re able to respect the threefold law, know you’re harming none, and are well studied in your craft, then don’t be afraid to listen to intuition and break free from recipe and spell books. Go ahead, make it up!

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Gazing into blackened sky, it’s the stars that are appreciated or wished upon. Actors, singers, dancers and artists are referred to as stars because we associate them with brightly shining glimmer and glitz. When a student does well on a paper, they’re often rewarded with a star. Our human bodies, when standing with arms outstretched to our sides with legs shoulder length apart, form the shape of a star. An apple sliced sideways presents us with a five-seeded star. Christmas trees are topped with stars. Even songs for children call attention to the enchanted sparkle of stars. Yet, if a star encased within a circle is encountered, some will shudder, associating it immediately as something evil.

Sadly, many people of today’s world shun the pentagram. Thinking it a sign of black magick or devil worship, there are countless people who don’t understand what the pentagram represents or the history behind this symbol. Truth be known, the pentagram has been in use for more than 8,000 years throughout a variety of cultures and has been appreciated for myriad reasons including geometry, spirituality, numerology – and yes, for magick.

While it is true that some people have inverted the symbol to represent black magick or satanic worship, those numbers are minor in comparison to the thousands of years and cultures who have put the upright symbol to use for positive purposes, including Christians. How can you tell an inverted pentagram from an upright pentagram? The symbol most often (but not always) associated with Satan worship or dark magick presents a star with dual points facing upward, whereas the pentagram reflecting the single point at the top is more commonly used, representing positive energy. To understand this more effectively, one must know what it is the five points of the star represent.

In several belief systems, each point of the star represents a unique element: Spirit, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The majority of us can agree that without these elements, there is no human life. This is the elemental perspective; but to make it more personal, these elements can be associated with more human aspects.

The element of Earth represents our physical being, our bodies. Water is associated with our emotions, how we feel. Fire is the element of action, everything we do and Air equates to our mental being, everything we think. The final point of the star, the one facing upward, is spirituality, also associated to our psychic abilities or our sixth sense.

With the single point upward, one is signifying spirituality governing the other elements. However, in the cases of devil worship or black magick, the two points of emotion and action (water and fire) are upward, indicating personal, physical pleasure above all else. Appropriately by this definition, it is the inverted pentagram appearing on the Devil card of the Rider/Waite deck of Tarot cards.

That being said, note that negative associations with the pentagram were non-existent prior to the nineteenth century. Bear in mind, though, that the duel points upward does not necessarily imply or encourage negative energies as many religions use different positioning of the pentagram points to represent various levels of initiation. Other point positions can indicate time of year as well, such as the single point upward to represent summer, while two points upward is indicative of winter.

There is no singular definition for the pentagram that is right for all. In fact, one can check Webster’s dictionary and won’t find the word pentagram. An Internet search at Dictionary.com provides the definition of a pentagram as being “n. a star with 5 points; formed by 5 straight lines between the vertices of a pentagon and enclosing another pentagon.” But for millions of people spanning thousands of years, the meaning of the pentagram is defined differently.

Dating back to approximately 3500 B.C., the pentagram has been used by Jews as a symbol of Truth and representative of the five books of the Pentateuch., by Egyptians and Celts symbolizing the underground womb or the Goddess Morrigan, by Gnostics as ‘The Blazing Star’, by Druids as symbolic of Godhead, by Christians as the Five Wounds of Christ, by Mathematicians for it’s geometric shape, by the Greeks who called it Pentalpha, by freemasons, magicians and the list continues through present day use.

The pentagram has been believed through the ages to be protection against evil; a symbol of Gods and Goddesses; a sign of royalty; knightly virtues of generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety; a sign of life and humanity, the five fingers of man; symbolic of humanity reborn; representative of man’s quest for enlightenment and more.

Pentagrams have adorned buildings of various faiths, doors and windows as protection for homes, have been worn as amulets to protect the body and are used in magickal workings for purification and power. In addition to its diverse purposes, properties and presentations, the pentagram has been known by several names, including the Endless Knot, the Goblin’s Cross, the Pentalpha, the Witch’s foot, and the Devil’s star, to name a few.

Numerology lends its own flavor to the five points of the pentagram. Sulis.net reports, “Five is the quintessential number – it appears in all major religions and philosophies around the world in many forms. It permeates nature, math, art, literature and music. The pentagram is a widespread sacred symbol used in Ancient and modern times throughout almost all cultures of the world.”

Numerology.com lists the number five as being in accordance with the characteristics of adventure, change, freedom, exploration, variety, sensuality, unattached, curious, experienced, periodicity, knowledge seeker, knowledge teacher, traveler, imagination, child-like, playful.

Additionally, the number five is represented in Tarot by the Hierophant; in Astrology by Mercury, Venus, Taurus and Leo; in Runes by Raidho; in I Ching #15 Ch’ien; in the Tree of Life by Geburah, Severity (power); by the Hebrew letter He’, Nun; in Shamanism by the Bull Elephant; in Alchemy as earth/man; in the elements as Air and Fire; in the Aura by earth tones. The number five is represented by the colors blue-green (turquoise) and orange, is represented in gemstones as Turquoise and ruby, by the musical note G and is even associated to specific months in the year and days of the week!

As well as possessing the magick and mysteries of the number five, the pentagram is the most basic form of a star shape that can be drawn universally with a single line. With five distinct points and a womb shaped pentagon at the center, even architecture has employed the shape in such buildings as the Pentagon, a point of political power in the United States.

Too many people around the world currently associate the pentagram with something of evil nature or intent without knowing its origin or possible meanings. Considering the historic and widespread use of this symbol, not to mention its natural attributes apparent in plants and animal life, the instant negative association is a sad testament to closed minds or lack of knowledge.

Not every person wearing a pentagram charm, tatoo or emblem is a devil worshiper. Not every person wearing a pentagram is a witch. Not every person wearing a pentagram is a Christian, or a Jew or a mathematician. Whether used as a religious symbol or an amulet of protection, there must be a reason that this five pointed symbol has been an important tool throughout the ages. What does the pentagram mean to you?

Sources:

http://www.dictionary.com
http://www.flindersclubs.asn.au/pagan/paganism/pentagram.html
http://paganandproud.bravepages.com/ThePentagramitsrealhistory.html
http://www.fabrisia.com/pentagram.htm

http://www.witchvox.com/basics/pentacle.html
http://lilpagan.hyperchat.com/pagan3.html

http://www.sulis.net
http://www.numerology.com

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