Saturday, 29 March 2014

Black and White - the Magic of Balance

I put a spell up on Facebook on the 29th March to get rid of bad luck. At the end of the spell is the instruction to take a bowl of water containing a coin outside and throw the water and coin away across a road. I also mentioned that anyone who found the coin would also pick up the bad luck you have got rid of.

I had a reaction from one reader who said 'Why would you want anyone to pick up the bad luck? This is a 'no' for me as it is against my principles.'

My answer was that you do not 'want' anyone to pick the coin up, but the spirit of bad luck has a right to exist and in order to leave you it has to have the opportunity to enter elsewhere. This is also something found in many old spells to rid you of warts or of illness.

For example: take a number of coins or small stones and touch each one to one of your warts, put all of these in a bag. On your way to church on Sunday morning throw the bag over your shoulder, whoever comes in contact with the bag will get your warts.

This is a demonstration of the magic of Balance and is something which acts in every area of life, not just in magic. Incidentally the word Karma simply means 'balance'.

For example if I am offered a job and take it on, I am by the very nature of the thing preventing everyone else in the world from having that job. Does that mean that I should refuse to take any job in case I am preventing someone with greater need from having it? Equally if I am the right person for the job, and I refuse to take it, my refusal could prevent the company that offered me the job from expanding or growing and thus ultimately put a lot of other people out of work.

We are only a small cog in the mechanism of the universe, we cannot know all the 'ins' and 'outs' of how our behaviour, actions, or lack of actions will effect every other being or part of the universe.

However whatever we do, or don't do, will effect something, even if it is only ourselves.

So by throwing the coin where there is the possibility of someone else picking it up, we are allowing the balance of 'good' and 'bad' within the universe to remain in equilibrium.

These energies work like the balances on a scale, or the ends of a seesaw: if you press down, somewhere in the universe there will be an equal rise. It is your choice what you do and don't do, but never believe that by doing nothing you are not effecting the universe.

Think of an unmoving rock in the middle of a pool, even though it may not be moving it changes the ripples of the water as they bounce off it, it provides shade for small creatures, or a place for them to sit and sun themselves.

When we work magic we are choosing to dynamically effect the universe. It is our own choice which magic we work, but there is no such thing as purely black or white magic, all magic is a shade of grey.

If we choose to expel energy or an entity from anywhere, we are effectively making it homeless. It will float around until it latches onto a new home somewhere - or even comes back to where it was originally. Which is why it is important to make sure that those energies have somewhere to go - even if you leave it to the gods of chance to decide.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring Equinox

Today is the Spring Equinox that time of balance when light and dark are literally in equilibrium, but now with the light advancing, bringing in the warmth of spring.

So how can you celebrate the feast of Eostre, Ostara or Alban Eilir? I saw one ritual where a small pot plant is placed on the altar and at a certain point the plant is touched gently so that you can 'connect with the energies of the plant and, through it, with all nature'.....

Go outside!

This really is the festival where you can see nature in action.

Take a walk in a park, or in the country, or even around your own garden and just look at how nature is renewing herself. Look at the newly unfurling leaves, they are fresh and a brighter colour than at any other time, see the plants which are magically reappearing after vanishing completely through the winter.

In our garden we have daffodils bright yellow and bold, a real 'in your face' spring flower, a few early Sorcerer's Violets (Periwinkle) peeping out from the mass of shiny deep green leaves, and a tufty orange flowers on a shrub which my mother gave me - and I have no idea what it is called.

The hazel trees are festooned with dangling catkins, dancing in the lightest breeze, showing off their ready sexuality to all and sundry.

The perennial oriental poppies and monkshood are pushing their leaves out into the world again as are the clumps of grape hyacinth which will soon be covered in tiny, bobbly blue flowers. I see we have some bluebells coming through too and the celedines are carpeting the ground through the nearby woods. And the shamrock has gone wild covering the statue of the hare crouched in amongst them.

Eostre is the original festival of hares and eggs. At this time of year, if you are very, very lucky you might catch sight of hares chasing across the fields or boxing. Which is basically the female hare fighting off the male until she is ready to receive him.

According to one legend the goddess found a little bird dieing in the cold of winter, so to save its life she gave it fur and transformed it into a hare. The hare lived, but as it was still a bird at heart, it found itself laying eggs in the spring time, so it decorated the eggs in bright colours as an offering to the goddess.

So how do you celebrate Eostre? Be with nature if you can, hard boil an egg or two and let your artistic nature rip, paint them, decorate them - and don't forget to eat them too.
Plant some seeds, or buy yourself a plant, any plant and look after it - a pot of basil can feature in many love spells, and growing an onion or other bulb and naming it after the one you desire is a very old spell to cause love to grow.

Have fun.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Household Ghosts

It is not unusual to have ghosts in your home.
The Romans knew this and set up a special shrine in their home for the family ghosts, the Lares. The Lares would be told about important happens such as births and marriages, a new spouse would be introduced to the Lares, and there would be special festivals for the household ghosts throughout the year.

The Grandmother of Ghosts, or the Queen of the Lares is Mania and the Romans would leave offerings of small loaves shaped like men and women at a crossroads. So if you were having trouble with your family ghosts, you would ask Mania to look into it.

The thing to remember is that often the ghosts have as much right to be wherever they are as you do, and sometimes it is the behaviour of the mortals in a household which upsets the ghosts.

There are different sorts of ghosts, and these days we tend to think of ghosts as the spirit or left-over energy of someone who has died. When we moved into our current home we were watched cautiously by a spirit which looked like an elderly woman, this may have been the spirit of a previous inhabitant who wanted to make sure that we were going to respect her home as much as she had. She must have been satisfied with our behaviour as she soon stopped feeling the need to keep an eye on us.

We also have been visited by the ghosts of pets who have lived with us. One dog who liked to perch on the arm of the sofa during life, made his presence known to a visitor by growling at her when she put her arm on his favourite seat.

Sometimes a disruptive spirit may not be the residue of a former resident, but may be an elemental spirit who has had a house built on top of their home. If this is the case, then the elemental really has more right than you do to be where it is, and there is no wonder it gets annoyed with these humans making free with its home and paying it no heed. There is no need to panic if you have this kind of ghost, just make friends with it.

The first step is to acknowledge that the spirit is there. Very often manifestations get louder and more intrusive just because the spirits are trying to make themselves heard. One woman was having this problem with a spirit in her hall, it would throw clothes off the coat rack, make the hall cold and be a really unpleasant place to be. I told her to sit on the stairs and talk to the spirit. She told it she recognised its right to be there and just told it something about herself and her family. She told the spirit that it was welcome to live with them as long as they could find a way to get along. She made a point, as the Romans did with their Lares, of telling it any news, if she was going away she asked it to keep out intruders, and she left it a bowl of spirit food once a week (a saucer of milk and honey with bread broken up in it).  The lady and her spirit now have an excellent relationship, the home is warm and loving and feels safe and protected too - and she has caught her children sitting on the stairs talking to the spirit too.

Incidentally if you are thinking of moving house and want to take your spirits with you, tell them what is happening and find a bottle or jar with a good fitting lid. Leave the bottle with the lid off in the place your spirits manifest, or where you talk to them, and tell them that if they want to go with you, they should go into the bottle and you will take them with you.

Give this three days and you will feel the atmosphere in the house change as the spirits withdraw into the bottle. Then put the lid on the bottle - remember to warn them you are doing this - take the bottle to your new home and open it there.

Keep your ghosts happy, and they will keep your home safe and happy too.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Who are you, Rhiannon?
Rising from the Faery mounds,
Riding your white, ambling horse,
No mortal swift enough to catch you.
The Moon.

Who are you, Rhiannon?
Rising from the waves,
Your white horse dancing on the waters,
The palace of the king below awaits you.
The Moon.

Who are you Rhiannon?
Rising over the apples,
Your white horse running through dreams,
Whispering: Rigatona, Great Queen!
The Moon.

This poem was inspired by the stories of Rhiannon from the Mabinogion. When she is first seen, she is riding a white horse which ambles across the land, but none of the swiftest mortal mounts can catch her.

Rhiannon is a Celtic Goddess, but like most of the Celtic deities, little of her powers and attributes have been recorded. The only things written about her are a few stories.

She is associated with horses, but as the horse was the only mode of transport available to our ancestors, nearly all deities have horse mounts, or chariots drawn by horses. However in one story of the Mabinogion she is condemned to stand by a mounting block and offer a ride on her back to any who wish it. Indicating the power to magically transform into a horse.

She is reknowned as a goddess of inspiration, and it was while thinking about her riding a horse that ambled, that I suddenly got a picture of the Moon travelling so apparently slowly across the sky, yet actually travelling far swifter than any mortal horse. And from there I was inspired to write the above poem.

The name 'Rhiannon' is believed to be a corrupted version of her original name, which has been reconstructed as 'Rigatona', which literally means 'Great Queen'.

Although, to me, the name Rhiannon is more lyrical and perhaps more inspirational.