Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The secret of Absinthe

Merry Meet!!

Well, the secret is out and they have the proof. 140 proof, that is. Absinthe is just a high powered alcoholic drink. There is no true narcotic style effect.

This is important to know. Many who follow a Goth life style tout its effects of producing hallucinations and dream and trance states. The truth is, absinthe is just rot gut, plain and simple.

I do of course believe in the powers and energies of wormwood, the primary ingredient. Wormwood is a great magikal herb used in small quantities but it is toxic and must be used carefully.

The reason I find this information so important is that the Goth community has latched on to it of late as a way to open up their minds and senses. All they are really doing is getting drunk. Goths also tend to dabble in magik and drunkeness and magik is dangerous folly. Dabbling is always dangerous but dabbling while intoxicated is doubly so. Remember, the first rule of witchcraft is to harm none,this includes yourself.

Beware and be well.
Brighetst Blessings Be

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beltane Approaches

Merry Meet!

It seems like yesterday I was writing about Yule and talking about presents and wintertime. Now it is Beltane and I am planning my herb garden and my flower beds and waiting for that last frost and spate of cold weather to finally go away.

For witches of Wiccan and Pagan traditions, Beltane is the time of Mother Earth renewing herself in nature and gowning herself in the greens and riotous colors of spring. Spring is the season of renewal and witches renew themselves and their talents and energies. It is the time that they clean not just their cupboards but their souls, too, set new goals, rid themselves of regrets for things done and undone and look forward to the growth of living things.

Gaelyn and I are champing at the bit to busy setting up his herb garden and cleaning his herb racks. I have herbs growing already in little biodegradeable pots, sunning themselves by the light of a grow lamp. I can already smell the fragrances from their new leaves when I lightly stroke them. Lavender, rosemary, thyme and catnip, St. John's Wort and mint and sage fill the little house he is renting with the smells of nature and magik.

I will watch them grow and become full and in August they will be mature enough to harvest and bind with twine and dry out on the drying racks and when we use them in magik, I will pull a few precious dry leaves and smell them and remember them as they grew. But I will also know that these herbs, though they are dry, are still alive with the energy of the earth, the elements, and the love I gave them as I watched over them as they grew that whole summer. And they will carry some of that summer inside them, even in the snows and cold and wet of Yule.

Thanks be to God who empowers all living things and thanks be to Mother Earth for her bounties and the promise of new life. May the sacred spirit you praise and honor do the same for all of you who practice the Way of the Wise.

Brightest Blessinsg Be

Monday, April 21, 2008

Building the Christian Witch Altar

Merry Meet!

One of the things that attracted me to Catholicism was a home altar I once saw in a person's house. It was a simple affair really, with a small statue of Jesus and Mary and a candle and Bible. Nothing to it. But resonated strongly with me and when I became a Catholic, I built myself a home altar. I love it.

When I became a Christian Witch, I found that the home altar was a integral part of witchcraft and casting. The home altar becomes your sacred space and this is where you gather energy to cast and create and work magik. Altars are very personal and can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.

Now, there are a lot of witchcraft writers that wool you about directions you should have your table facing and the shape of the table and what you should have on it. And that is fine, if you want to follow a formula for a while until you get a sense of how you use sacred space. I follow only few rules for the creation of an altar.

Think about how much space you have and how you plan to use it. Are you going to have large pieces of art, a large Bible, and a big cauldron on your table? If this is your plan, buy a nice big table. I wished I had more room because I would actually have a eight foot table set up with the main part of the altar in the center and then work surfaces with my book of shadows and cauldron on one end and my Bible and Prayer book and candle array on the other. I would also have storage underneath for all of my witchcraft books and supplies. But as it is I force myself to work in a rather small space so I don't go crazy.

Next think about efficiency. Are you a frequent duster? Or do you dust about once a month or just before a ritual? Are you a neat nick or a clutter bug?

Next think about devotion. If you are a Christian, are you devoted to Jesus Passion? if you are, a nice Crucifix might be great as a central image. You might use pictures or plaques instead of statues to cut down on use of table space. Do you have a sacred fire? If you are like a lot of us, you might not have an actual hearth so a nice large pillar candle may be serving as Sacred Fire. You may also want to have your Bible on display. If you do not already have one, you may want to get a slimline style that is small, or use a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs.

If you use a cauldron, it is fine to have a really big one, but if you are using a small table top, you may want look for a small one. And one of the things I use to actually cook potions is a simmer jar that is suspended over a tea light. We rarely cook large amounts of potion any more and you can cook it thoroughly and when it cools decant it safely. It also saves plenty of room for your work.

It is great if you have room for your book of shadows on your altar, but what I do is usually take the pages out of my book (my BOS is a three ring binder) and cast using the pages. It makes for easier reading and handling. You can also jot down the spell and take it to your altar.

Above all, have fun with your altar. Think of it as you magikal platform or room. Try to use your imagination and by all means honor who you are and express your best relationship with God

Brightest Blessings Be
Aslinn Dhan