Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When did you first know that you were a witch?

I knew that there was something ‘different’ about me before I was old enough to know that there was a name for it. One of the earliest magickal experiences that I remember took place when I was about four years old, hidden in the cool shade of a grove of trees on a terraced hillside at my grandmother’s farm.

The day was very hot, but beneath the canopy created by the large grove of trees that covered the hillside, it was very cool; and I squatted on one of the wide terraced ‘steps’, beneath a tree that had small round leaves lining it’s branches. I took hold of one of the small new twigs at the base of the tree; and I slid my hand along it’s length, filling my palm with the cool green leaves.

As my head was bent and I was examining these leaves, I heard a noise. I looked to my right, through the fence lining this edge of the grove, into the world of brilliant hot sunshine, to see a large white cow grazing in the field beside me, only a few feet away.

The wind came then, through the tops of the trees. I froze as I listened to it, the roar starting at the opposite end of the grove and working it’s way through the tree tops towards me, till it was directly overhead. I realized that this wind sounded like voices, voices that seemed to come directly from the trees.

It was then that a realization dawned on me, leaving an indelible print so strong that this memory is still starkly vivid to me fifty years later. It was a realization that I was too young to form into words…but I knew.

This blog post is an excerpt from my online book,
"Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way"

© Amythyst Raine 2011

Other topics covered in this book includes:

How Does Real Magick Work; Forms of Magick; The Mysteries of Magickal Manifestation; Creating Magickal Space; Magickal Supplies; 12 Months of Magick; 7 Days of Magick; Animal Magick; Magick for Love n' Money; Mojo Magick; Magick Oils, Potions, Powders; Crystal Magick; Candle Magick; Magickal Alphabets & Symbols; Witches' Bottles; Essential Oils; Kitchen Magick, Good Luck Charms; Questions & Answers; Magickal Substitutions; Terms & Lingo

Monday, January 23, 2012

Imbolc & the In-Laws

This isn't just a blog about Imbolc, though that's a large part of it. It's also a blog about religious intolerance, ignorance, and the repercussions of both. As many of you who might know me are aware, my spiritual path has caused almost a complete severance of ties between my husband and his family, by this I mean his parents, some aunts/uncles, and his four siblings. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back came when one of his aunts, (M.), who has been making an effort to connect, called me the other day to chat and wanted to know what the word "Grimoire" meant in the title of my book. I explained this to her, and we went on with our conversation, mostly about her duties and activities in the Lutheran church-- I listened politely. The next evening my husband's uncle (M.'s brother) called. He said: "M. called me the other night. She sure doesn't think much of your wife. We can't understand why you married a witch."

I have to make a couple points here. I find it slightly unnerving and totally Twilight Zone for someone to call and talk to me as though they actually liked me, even ending the conversation with "Love you", when in fact they don't. I also find it a very strange experience to be respected and liked by a certain segment of society, and then to walk into a group of people who not only despise me, but may be suspicious and even afraid of me. It's mind boggling to say the least, and my mind is so spacey anyway, it doesn't need any extra boggling.

I thought about this situation, and it seems that there are two problems: 1) a lack of information (knowledge). These people know zilch about paganism in any form. They live in a very small rural community, and anything outside their world that is not understood seems to be threatening to them, so they dismiss it with hostility and an Amish type of 'shunning'; 2) they are extremely intolerant of anything they view as 'different', whether it be spiritual practices, or even very personal things like body adornment, clothes, makeup ("You don't wear black eyeliner do you?"...ummm, Yes!), and we don't want to go anywhere near the subjects of body alterations like tattooing or piercing.

Thinking about this situation, I took it upon myself to spread some knowledge, hoping that this might turn on a lightbulb somewhere, open a crack to a doorway of understanding, or at at least invite some tolerance into the picture. I'm being optimistic, I know. But I thought I would begin this adventure by writing up a nice letter on Imbolc and sending it along, just as you would letters or cards for any other major mainstream holiday. Whether this will work or not, I have no idea. Here's the letter I mailed off. I tried to keep it simple. I didn't want to overwhelm them with too much information at once, just a tidbit to give them a glimpse:
Happy Imbolc! If you’re not pagan, you may recognize this holiday as ‘Candlemas’ (February 2), a holiday celebrating the purification of the Virgin Mary, according to Jewish law, and a presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple, also according to Jewish law. However, long before Judaism & Christianity arrived on the scene, pagans in the old world celebrated this day as ‘Imbolc’, a celebration of birth and lactation, as their herds of sheep began to grow with the birth of lambs. The celebration of Imbolc is in honor of the Old Woman of winter who is magickally reborn as the Young Maiden of spring.

This was also a festival to celebrate the Celtic goddess Bride, a goddess of fire/flame, poetry, craftsmanship, and healing. This goddess is invoked when survival is an issue, whether physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual. When the Roman church invaded the British Isles, they discovered that the people’s devotion to Bride was so strong it could not be eradicated. To solve this dilemma, the Roman Catholic Church renamed the Celtic goddess ‘Brighid’ and made her a saint.

The following is a list of corresponding herbs, flowers, animals, feast foods, etc., that are used in the festivals of Imbolc for symbology, as decorations, and for the magick performed at this time:

Herbs: basil, bay, celandine, benzoic
Altar Flowers/Herbs: angelica, myrrh, flowers that are yellow/white/or blue
Feast Foods: bread, cakes, dairy products, seeds
Animals: burrowing animals, ewes, deer, goats, lambs
Incense: jasmine, myrrh, neroli
Rituals/Spells: candle magick, initiation, hearth/home blessings, fertility magick, healing magick, cleansing rituals
Pagans today celebrate the Wheel of the Year, eight sabbats (holidays) which recognize and acknowledge the changing of seasons, the earth, and nature. This celebration of and homage to the natural world, and the practices that accompany this spiritual path, is called “Witchcraft”.

For more information, including videos, go to:
http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/wheeloftheyear.htm
Every religious group, while perhaps a majority somewhere, is also inevitably a minority somewhere else. Thus, religious organizations & individuals should and do show tolerance toward members of other religious denominations.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck by John Holland



I collect tarot decks, and I have about fifty as I write this. Of all the tarot decks I collect, I only have a handful of oracle decks, and these are purchased because I love the artwork or the intuitive inspiration and intentions behind them; but I never use them for readings. This deck, The Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck, is different.

This deck is divided into six sections, and one reason it's so desirable and easy to use for readings is that the creator kept the essence of the twenty-two major arcana cards found in a traditional tarot deck.

There is a color-coding to the six sections of this deck. The colored borders include: black, for the major arcana and the seven chakra cards. The thirty-six minor arcana cards include: red for the physical aspect of life; green for emotions; indigo to clarify the mental aspects; and violet for the spiritual side of life.

The artwork is brilliant, bold, and beautiful; and it lends itself extraordinarily well to the energy of each card. The book which accompanies this deck is very thorough. There's much more to it than those small white pamphlets included with most decks; this is more like a mini-book. It not only covers an in-depth look at each card, but also covers numerology; color interpretation; a section on psychic development, including clairsentience, clairaudience, and clairvoyance; tarot spreads; and symbols & images.

To purchase The Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck, click Here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healing and Prosperity: A Crystal Grid

To begin the new year, I felt that a crystal grid to promote energy for good health and prosperity was in order. I sat this grid up on the kitchen table, along with four tea candles, and we wallowed in new-age health and prosperity energy till we were up to our eyeballs in it. If you'd like to follow suit and bring this energy into your space, into your life, and into manifestation, here's what I used and how I did it:

My center stone is a large selenite crystal used as the energy generator, or battery, for this grid. Selenite is the one crystal that supposedly never needs to be cleansed. It's energy is pure and constantly moving- this is a high vibrational stone; this makes selenite the perfect battery for any of the crystal grids you decide to create.

Selenite: Planet/Moon; zodiac sign/Gemini; chakra/third eye; energy/receptive or feminine; element/Water. Magickally speaking: selenite induces clarity of thought and perception, it ignites a higher consciousness that allows access to energies found on other planes. This crystal also anchors the lighter ethereal side of our being to the slower heavier vibration of earth, of matter. Selenite is a powerful crystal and can be used for skrying the past, present, future. Selenite stabilizes erratic emotional energy and connects the conscious part of our mind to the sub-conscious, allowing for clear thoughts and unexpected revelations. This beautiful crystal is also an excellent provider of protection, bringing peace and security into your home.

The stones situated evenly around the selenite crystal, the inner ring, include eight stones: four blue lace agates, two aventurines, and two bloodstone.

Blue Lace Agate: Planet/Mercury; zodiac sign/Gemini; chakra/third eye; energy/receptive or feminine; element/Water. Magickally speaking: This is a serene stone conducive to relaxation and destressing. Blue lace agate promotes a peaceful atmosphere within a space and among individuals who inhabit this space. This is the primary stone I use for healing the body, mind, and spirit. Holistically speaking: The blue agate stabilizes the aura, transforms negative energy, and is conducive to healing any problems with the digestive system, including the stomach; the eyes, uterus, lymphatic system, pancreas, and skin.

Aventurine: Planet/Mercury; zodiac sign/Aries; chakra/heart; energy/projective or masculine; element/Air. Magically speaking: aventurine is used to manifest spells of prosperity and is used as a lucky talisman by gamblers. It is considered an all around good luck stone. Holistically speaking: green aventurine is used to treat malignant maladies; disorders of the heart; blood-pressure; cholesterol; metabolism; allergies; migraines and eye strain; sinus infections; and issues with the lungs and urogenital systems. Aventurine enhances intelligence and increases creativity. It's a very calming stone and also lends itself to promoting peace and releasing stress.

Bloodstone: Planet/Mars; zodiac sign/Aries, Libra, Pisces; chakra/heart, cleanses & realigns the lower chakras; energy/projective or masculine; element/Fire. Magickally speaking: In ancient Babylon this stone was believed to have the power to overthrow enemies. Bloodstone is used in magickal spells for legal, business, and financial matters; for invisibility spells; and for spells promoting personal protection, including issues of banishing negative influences and healing any wounds in the ancestral line. Holistically speaking: The most potent thing bloodstone is used for is to halt bleeding; issues with the blood and the circulatory system; miscarriages; health issues with the liver, intestines, kidney, and spleen; infections; and fevers. Bloodstone is considered a general health enhancing talisman.



The outside ring of crystals is made up entirely of clear quartz crystal points. Five of these were rough unfinished crystals, and three of them were very small polished quartz crystal points. The purpose of these crystal points is to keep the energy moving, to raise the power level of your grid, basically- to keep the magick flowing smoothly in a positive direction. They are placed with the points all headed in the same direction, and in a direction that suggests a clockwise movement.

Clear Quartz Crystal: Planet/Moon & Sun; zodiac sign/All of them; chakra/harmonizes all the chakras & aligns the aura; energy/projective & receptive, or both masculine & feminine; element/Fire & Water. Magickally speaking: clear quartz crystal is used in spells to enhance power; for weather magic- to bring rain; it's used in the creation of magic wands for shamans, esteemed in the Native American traditions for its power; and is connected to the Goddess and full moon rituals by some Wiccan traditions. It is symbolic of spirit and the divine, and it is a wildly popular new-age stone. Holistically speaking: Clear quartz crystal is considered a tremendously powerful energy generator; it's believed to generate electromagnetism and to dispel static electricity; it regulates energy; heals karmic wounds; and is considered a master healer that covers almost any condition.

I used a medium-sized polished clear quartz crystal to activate this crystal grid. Below is a link to one of my videos, in which I explain how this is done:

A Crystal Grid

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Release Date


With “The Gray Witch’s Grimoire” you can empower yourself through ancient mysteries, secret rites, and magickal spells that leave the world of the mundane behind and nurture the wise-woman in us all.


Book Release!
May 25, 2012

US $19.95/UK £11.99

Moon Books
John Hunt Publishing

(Links & purchasing information will be posted
as soon as it is made available.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Queens' Magick

The four court cards for the Queens, found in the tarot deck, carries the energy of the four elements: Earth-- the Queen of Pentacles, Air-- the Queen of Swords, Fire-- the Queen of Wands, and Water-- the Queen of Cups. I've developed four magickal oils that carry the essence of each of these Queens, and I'm posting spells here to use in conjuntion with 1) the tarot card connected to each Queen, 2) the oil created for each Queen, and sometimes a candle for each Queen in the color correspondence to her element: Queen of Pentacles- green (Earth); Queen of Swords- yellow (Air); Queen of Wands- red (Fire); Queen of Cups- blue (Water)

The magick for the Queen of Pentacles will weigh heavy and is grounded to the energy of the elemental realm of Earth, as well as to the physical realm of manifestation, and it is manifestation that this Queen will bring to our spells.

Spell:

To Manifest Your Desire

We're talking about a physical manifestation of something that you want, whether it be money; a new house; a better car; or some other physical item you long to have. We're also talking about manifestation of something you want, but something that is not made of molecules and atoms, whether it be a new job; success with an endeavor; a dream vacation; or something else that is very real, yet not an actual physical object.

Correspondences for Manifestation Spell:

Day: Thursday
Planet: Jupiter
Moon Phase: waxing to full
Colors: Earth/green; Jupiter/purple
Oil: Queen of Pentacles Oil
Herbs: Earth- (included in the oil);
Jupiter- cloves, sage, star anise
Stones: malachite, mystic topaz, peridot
Incense: patchouli

Other items:

1. an image of your desire,
or a written explanation of your desire
2. a green candle
3. a fireproof container

The Method:

Gather all the necessary items together for this spell, including an image of what you're going to manifest, or a piece of paper upon which you've described exactly what it is you're going to manifest. It's recommended that magick be cast within a sacred space, but this is not a written rule. If you're not comfortable casting a circle, at least sprinkle a little salted water around your work area, or smudge the area with sage or an incense of your choice.

1. place the fireproof container in the center of your space or altar
2. dress the candle with the Queen of Pentacles oil & place it in the container
3. sprinkle the herbs for Jupiter around the candle in the container
4. place the stones on your altar, arranging them around the container
5. light the candle & your incense
6. hold the image or the paper in your hand; close your eyes and still your mind- ground & center; as you're holding this object in your hands, envision it in your mind, envision it in your mind until it is as real as it would be if you were looking at it, envision it in your mind until it is as real as it would be if you were experiencing it.
7. open your eyes & immediately touch the paper to the candle flame; drop it into the fireproof container with the candle and allow everything to burn down.
8. once everything has cooled down, bury the candle wax and ashes from this spell in the earth upon your property

The magick for the Queen of Swords is often intangible, moving through the mediums of thought and communication. She is connected to the elemental realm of Air, and it's her magick that touches us with a spark of creativity, mental fortitude, self-expression and communication.

Spells for Communication, Messages, & Ideas

1. Talk to Me

When communication between you and someone within your circle has either petered out for no apparent reason, or stopped abruptly due to disagreements and a falling out, it's important to get that communication flowing as soon as possible to repair the relationship and reaffirm your bond. There's a very easy way to do this:

Take a dab of Queen of Swords oil on the pointer finger of your dominant hand and anoint the bottom of a water glass, moving your finger in a clockwise circle- round and round and round she goes.

Fill this glass with a beverage of choice and serve it to the person you are trying to re-establish communication with. The flow of conversation usually begins before the glass is empty.

2. Magickal Messages

If there's someone you wish to get a message to, there's a magickal way to do this. When all other avenues have failed, either because communication is being deliberately blocked, or they are just not listening, write down exactly what it is you have been trying to tell them. Anoint this paper with Queen of Swords oil and tie it outdoors, somewhere where the wind will catch it, preferrably in a tree, but a fence-post or a porch rail will work too.

3. Ignite Your Muse

If you are involved in a creative venture and get stuck for ideas and inspiration, anoint a clear quartz crystal point with Queen of Swords oil, place it in a small pouch and sleep with it beneath your pillow. You will wake the next morning filled with inspiration in the form of dreams, ideas, and images.

The Queen of Wands, connected to the elemental realm of Fire, rules magick of fiery unbridled passion with intensitiy of purpose and a ruthless pursuit of justice. It is her magick that will add swiftness to your spells, giving them focus and accuracy, and the Queen of Wands oil can be added to any spell crafting for this purpose.

Spells for Passion & Justice

1. Light the Fire

...and this is exactly what you're going to do, literally. You can do this several ways. You can either do it in a big way and light an outdoor bonfire, or a quaint and cozy fireplace fire, or you can even start a very small flame in your cast iron cauldron or some other small and very fireproof container. (Let me re-emphasize the words "very fireproof".)

At least three pieces of the wood or sticks that you add to this fire will be anointed with Queen of Wands oil.

When you get your fire going sufficiently, write down on a piece of paper just exactly what aspect of your life needs more passion or energy, or exactly whom it is you wish to ignite passion with. Touch this paper to your lips, and throw it into the flames.

2. Sweet Justice

If you are confronted in life with a situation that wreaks of unfairness, predjudice, or underhandedness, make a mojo bag aligned with magickal energy to right a wrong, a mojo bag to bring justice.

To this bag add:

1. a stone of apache tear,
anointed with Queen of Wands oil
2. three thorns from a flowering bush
3. a cat's claw, if you have it
4. a small slip of paper on which you've written
the name(s) of those you believe to be unfair

After all of these ingredients have been added to the mojo bag, spit in the bag and tie it shut. Keep the bag in a safe and secret spot.

Magick connected to the Queen of Cups will be the most elusive and illusionary of all. Connected to the elemental realm of Water, this Queen's energy will rule your dreams and visions, throwing open the door to magickal realms, infinite possiblities, and emotions.

Spells for spirituality & intuition

1. Spirit Guide Speak

If you wish to connect with your Spirit Guide, if you wish to receive a message of wisdom, insight, spirituality and secret knowledge, you're going to create a mojo bag that you will place beneath your pillow. Every night, for seven nights in a row, you will sleep with this bag beneath your pillow. Every morning, you will jot down in a small notebook any dreams,unusual thoughts, or visions that came to you on the previous night. On the morning of the eighth day, you will wake- and you will have the wisdom, inspiration, direction, or knowledge that you seek.

To create a mojo bag to call your Spirit Guide, add the following items to a small blue or white bag:

1. a stone of moonstone or rose quartz,
anointed with Queen of Cups oil
2. a pinch of mugwort
3. a marigold blossom
4. a talisman for the goddess- such as a Virgin Mary pendent,
or a pendent connected to a pagan deity

2. Third Eye Sight

To help you open your Third Eye chakra, and thus increase your psychic ability, anoint a blue candle with Queen of Cups oil, roll it in crushed mugwort, set it in a fireproof container, and light it.

As the candle burns, take a dab of Queen of Cups oil on the pointer finger of your dominant hand, and touch it to your third eye.

After the candle has burned itself out, fill a crystal bowl half-full of water, adding the remains of the candle and ashes, and set it outdoors where it will catch the moonlight.

The Queen's Oils
click Here

Tarot images used:
The Gilded Tarot
click Here