Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Of Seeing and Casting and Poppets

Merry Meet,

As Hermione Granger said in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban "Divinations is a woolly subject." Divinations is a way to understand what may be coming your way or the way of a loved one in the future. This can be done through dream interpretation, or by premonition or by Tarot or I, Ching, or by horoscopes or scrying or palmistry or by runes, whether they be through the Celtic Runes or the Nordic Runes. Divinations is always great if you are a seer, that is working intuitively and have visions or prophecies or some psychic transmission. That is always the clearest and most personal. But most of us depend upon our props to divine the future. The Tarot is the most popular way and so is astrology. For the Christian Witch this can present some problems ethically. If you feel that you shouldn't do it, don't. Tea leaves and palmistry and crystal gazing and scrying is very intuitive and takes a lot of patience and understanding of symbols and meditation and in the end you may have only limited success. This isn't to say that you shouldn't try them, it just means that if you don't get it or ever develop a faculty for it, that's okay.

Dream interpretation is probably the least problematic for Christian Witches because it is spoken of in the Bible and has been foretold to us in scripture that there would be young men who dream dreams and old men who see visions and women who would prophesy. I suggest you collect a variety of dream oracles or interpretation books and consult the ones who are most helpful to you in every instance that you have a dream that seems prophetic or just strange enough to bother you or linger into your waking hours. Keep a dream journal of your dreams and try to interpret your dreams and record those in your journal. Many oracles say that you should overlook dreams that come after consuming a heavy meal or a rich meal, dreams that come after drinking or watching certain types of movies or programs or dreams that strangely enough seem repetitive. Repetition does not necessarily mean prophetic but it could indicate bad vibes or even someone, another witch, working against you or your conscience. Be observant about colors and numbers and the time of day.

Casting spells for healing or for protection or for love or comfort or help of any kind should be done in cooperation with the moon. Full or new moons are the best and if you are casting a spell that you have found in a Book of Shadows or have written your own, do what feels right or what has been suggested by the writer of the spell. Think before you cast. What is this spell for? What do I want to gain from it? Who is the spell for? Why am I casting? Is it for good reasons? Another rule of thumb is to never cast a spell when you are angry! It will come back to you times three. And remember the witches' rede: Do what you will; Harm none. If you are not sure, don't cast. Meditate on your intention first.

As a Christian witch, I spend time in my sacred space before I cast. This gives me time to think, meditate and pray about the intention. Then, if you are sure you are casting a spell, gather your materials together so you will not have interrupt your concentration during the casting. Purify your self and your space and always thank God for the casting afterwards. Close any psychic or spiritual doors you may have opened and eat and drink afterwards...cookies and hot tea are wonderful ways to relax yourself after a casting. Leave the rest to your casting. Eventually, I plan to include some spells and opening and closing rituals for any esabat or sabat you perform.

Poppets are touchy and some Christian witches may not want to fool with them. The only thing that a Christian might object about a poppet is the use of a graven image but that is something you will have to decide on your own. A poppet is a little human form onto which you as the witch can project a casting. This tool has been the subject of many horror movies with voudouists and witch doctors and have given poppets a bad name. I have a neutral poppet that I work with over and over and I use it project healings and bindings and blessings to someone who is not physically here and may be needing special protection. I also use it for the sake of anonymity. No one who knows me personally knows that I practice the Craft. It is not because I am ashamed or I think what I am doing is wrong it is just that I practice as a solitary and I practice the Craft as an esoteric art. Secrecy in the Craft goes back to the burning times when men and women were persecuted for their practice and blamed if there were trials and tribulations. So, to protect my privacy and the privacy of those I cast for, I sometimes use a poppet. A poppet can be made of clay or wax or wood. Mine is made of cloth and I have drawn a heart on its chest and have written words of power and healing and the name of God on it. I direct my casting on this poppet in the name of whoever I work for and leave the rest to God. It is a sort of laying on of hands by long distance.

The next time I write, I will discuss the question of secrecy in the Craft.
Blessed Be
Aslinn Dhan