Categories
Awakening Witchcraft

Introduction to the Elements

The four elements – earth, water, air and fire are something that we often take for granted. Within both the spiritual and scientific communities these are discussed and accepted as being the corner stone of life – though they may be seen and known as something slightly different, the foundations are still the same. Over the coming weeks I will be breaking down each element and discussing what it means, how to work with it and how it influences our life, though today I wanted to give you a brief introduction to what you can expect and a little ‘history’ lesson on the elements throughout our lives.

I will be making accompanying videos that will delve deeper into the magickal practices that you can do to connect to the element itself and how I incorporate them into my own everyday life but for now let’s get an overview of what they are.

You can see the mention of the elements within traditions from modern Western esotericism to Christianity, Buddhism, ancient pagan religions and everything in between. While these may all differ in how they are mentioned, the aspect of knowing there is other things that make up our life or are around us that create life and sustain it. For this article and the continued articles I will be looking at this from a Western approach though as I am talking through my own belief system which is an accumulation of the many different pieces of knowledge I have gained over the years and what resonates for me, this may not resonate for you and I always encourage you to do your own research.

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Let’s go back and do a science lesson for those of you who like to understand in a modern way. Many people in our past – Pliny, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Manilius and Paracelsus to name a few of our more famous characters that are at the essence of modern science explored this concept of the elements that make up our life. For this I will be using Aristotle as our main example as he is the one I find is most mentioned in a lot of the scientific research I have come across.

The ancients believed that the elements made up all things and within Greece the common time I came across as this being widely accepted was around 450BC though I know that many cultures believed and taught this well before this time. Aristotle is widely known as introducing the concept of a fifth element known as aether and if you do a google search on this to this day you will see the conflict surrounding this element though modern science has “debunked” the theory – it is more likely to be accepted as the theory of dark matter and I will be dedicating an entire article to this fifth element. It was widely accepted through physics and alchemy within history as being the ‘space inside the particle or the material that filled the universe beyond the terrestrial sphere’.

Back to our science. In modern science they do not teach the elements as they do in spiritual communities and to some degree they “debunk” this theory of the four elements in replacement for the common acceptance of what they are now ( I will point out that though science is our most accepted “religion” and belief system today, it is constantly evolving and I believe it is just the second side to the coin with spirituality) Our modern four elements that are accepted as making up life are: Solid (earth), liquid (water) gas (air) and plasma (fire) so you can see though the words have changed, the concept is still very much the same and this is true to many belief systems.

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So let’s leave science behind and delve into the spiritual aspect of the elements. The elements can be seen as our oldest ‘ancestors’, they were here before us and within us is the essence of these elements. To look at this simply – we need fire from the sun to keep warm and grow food, water to drink and sustain life, air to breathe and earth to support it all. Depending on the traditions you explore there may be a hierarchy to these elements in order of importance or power – within my own belief system I blend traditional Wicca belief that they are all equal with a little of the alchemy aspect too – which talks of the masculine and feminine qualities and as they were back in time – the masculine being more higher than the feminine. While my own beliefs may sound a little contradictory, I find that I do feel the masculine elements – which I will go over briefly momentarily, are more elusive in their essence so I do feel they are a little more “rare” or complicated to deal with.

So our elements can represent day to day qualities within our lives and often we associate other objects within the elements as well and this can complicate things – for example though we see plants as being an element of earth, within the plant world you will find plants that represent the element of fire or water depending on their qualities. The same can be seen for days of the week, planets, time of day, emotions etc. Let’s have a quick look at a basic list that can explain what the elements can represent – keeping in mind that this may vary slightly depending on the traditions you are exploring.

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Earth: this is feminine, the “lowest” on the alchemical list as it is present in a solid form, it’s qualities are cold and dry, seen as the direction of the north, winter, midnight and time of the new moon. Its colour is green, the magickal tool is represented as the pentacle and the elemental being it is governed by is the gnomes. The zodiac signs are Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.

Water: this is also feminine, higher than earth as though it is physical it is fluid in form. It’s qualities are cold and moist, the direction of west, autumn and the waning moon and time of sunset. It’s colour is blue and the magickal tool is the cup or chalice and the elemental is Undines. Zodiac signs are Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio

Air: This is masculine and as it is not seen though still present at all times it is the 3rd highest on the scale. Its qualities are warm and moist, seen as the direction of the east, spring time, sunrise and the waxing moon phase. Its colour is yellow and the tool can be either the want or sword/athame depending on your traditions – for me it is the sword. Its elemental is Sylphs with the zodiac signs of Aquarius, Gemini and Libra.

Fire: This is masculine and seen as the rarest and highest element. Its qualities are warm and dry, the direction of the south, summer, midday and the full moon phase. Its colour is red and the magickal tool is either the sword/ athame or wand – for me it is the wand (I use tarot as my basis here, the suit of wands is usually seen as fire and swords as air) the elemental is Salamander and the zodiac signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Spirit/aether: This does not have the same kind of correspondences as the others – though it is seen as the “as above, so below and within” concept and can be represented with the colours of violet, orange and white.

So you can see here that the further we delve into the elements, the more interesting they become as not being just simple elements that make up our life and they are also something that deserve our respect and can be worked with on a day to day basis. I hope you have enjoyed this brief introduction that has barely scraped the surface of what to expect and stay tuned for our more in depth look at each element throughout the coming weeks.

Love and Light

Elizabeth

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Categories
Astrology Witchcraft

Working With the Moon Phases

We know that the moon influences the tide, fishermen know that the phase of the moon will dictate the kind of catch you can get and gardeners who use a moon calendar will tell you that a garden will be that much stronger and more productive if you plant according to the moon. When we work with the moon, more often than not people only pay attention to the full moon – perhaps this is because it is so bright in the sky that even the most unspiritual of us cannot help but look up in awe at the beauty of the moon. It is common even today for people to say “It must be a full moon” when people are acting strange and it is in fact where the term lunacy and lunatic came from – a term for diseases that were thought to be caused by the moon. For astrologers, the moon phases are key components to astrology and can influence our day to day lives. From a personal perspective, the moon influences our emotions and for women, our reproductive cycles mimic that of the moon and for everyone the moon can be a powerful ally in achieving the goals you wish and making life decisions.

The moon has approximately a 28 day cycle around the earth with different “phases” that she goes through. We will now take a look at each phase and how you can work with them.

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The moon cycle starts with of course the new moon – the second most common aspect that we hear of today. At this phase, the moon is actually a tiny sliver of light in the sky, barely noticeable though many may think it is completely dark – this is not the case as that is a phase unto itself. It is the time when the moon is “rebirthing” in the sky, this is time that we can plant the seeds of new beginnings, and it is the clean slate for us to begin again with new intentions. The added benefit for working with this moon can be using the astrological component or what star sign the moon is at this stage to look at which aspect of your life is best to work with these new beginnings. This is time to dream big, visualise success and put down the actions that you will take in order to achieve your goals.

The next phase is the waxing crescent moon and is between 3 – 7 days after the new moon. This is the time to explore the dreams that you have put into place at the time of the new moon. Start putting your plans into action, review the dreams you committed to at the new moon and watch the energy build with momentum. This is the taking the first step, having faith in yourself and moving forward. Trusting that it will come to fruition and really push through. This is when you start to build the habits needed in order to make it through.

Next we have the first quarter moon and this is between 7 – 10 days after the new moon. This is when your challenges will start to come into play, your strength to keep going is going to be tested and doubts may begin to creep into your mind. Your commitment to your goal needs to be strong now as it will be tested and it is also a good time to see if you are still feeling just as hyped or excited about your goal as you were at the time of the new moon. Review that now and see if you are still wanting to continue or if it is becoming just another chore because if your heart is not in it, you will not succeed and it is best to let go and move onto another goal, though pay attention to what it is that you are truly feeling because these doubts may just be a test that you need to overcome, issues coming to light that will hold you back if you do not address them at this point.

Now we move into the gibbous phase of the moon 10 – 15 days after the new moon, this is the time to review what is working and what isn’t, make the necessary adjustments to your course of action and if some habits have slipped – get back into them now while the moon is still in the “growing” or attracting stage. Watch your patience, especially if you don’t see results yet because patience is needed.

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Everybody’s favourite – Full moon phase! 15 – 18 days after the new moon. This is make or break time, the time you will start to see results or have your goal completely manifest into reality. Emotions will run high so if it is a long term goal, makes sure you are checking in with yourself to keep your emotions balanced and use this time to illuminate any potential setbacks and release and let go. Ensure you work with forgiveness as well, forgiveness for yourself and others especially if you decided at earlier on in the phases to let go of this goal.

Disseminating moon – 3 – 7 days after the full moon, this is a time to relax, review what you have learnt, what worked for you and what didn’t. Share your knowledge with others if needed or journal the lessons in order to reflect on when you set intentions again for the next cycle.

Third quarter moon – 7 – 10 days after the full moon, a time of crossroads. Look back at where you came from and see how far you have come. Conflicts and emotions that arise now will hold valuable insight to emotions that may have been hindering your progress. If you did achieve your goal this is the time to celebrate it. A time to bring balance back to the energy and recoup your strength and have trust in the process and the lessons learned. This is the acceptance for what has occurred phase.

Balsamic moon – 10 days after the full moon until the new moon, a time for healing and soothing. If things did not go to plan, this is the time for self-care and emotional healing. If things did work out, now the celebration is over it is time to regroup and replenish your energies. This is the time to let go. Just before the new moon – the 48 hours before the new moon occurs is seen as the dark of the moon. This is a time for self-reflection and inner work, not action. Use this time to review all you have learnt through the cycle and emotionally prepare yourself for the beginning of the next. Journaling is great for this. You can, if you feel it is beneficial, make a list or organise your intentions for the new moon.

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As you can see the moon phases are extremely powerful to work with from a practical every day sense with goals and also great to review for our emotional and mental wellbeing. When you add the energy of working with astrological star signs too, this can add more depth and layers to the energy you are working with – taking note of what star sign the moon phase is in will show you more highlighted energies that suit that of the star sign for example and earth sign such as Capricorn, Taurus or Virgo would be good energy to work with materialistic aspects such as money or career pursuits, you can then break this down further by using say, the routine loving energy of Virgo to work with creating a new diet regime or exercise routine.

Within the 28 day cycle of the moon there is an additional cycle that many do not realise they can work with and this is the 6 month cycle of new moon in a particular star sign to the full moon in the same star sign – this occurs every 6 months and is an additional benefit to work with. For example this would be beginning something at the new moon in Gemini and then working with the same energy you see above but on a monthly scale – leading to the full moon Gemini which would occur in 6 months’ time. This is a great option to do if you are working on larger projects or goals.

See below a video i recently completed of working magic with the moon

Working with the energy of the moon is just another way that we can help to gain more control in the influences of our daily lives and take charge in our goals and dreams.

Love and Light

Elizabeth

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Categories
Astrology Awakening Witchcraft

A crash course in basic Astrology

Astrology – science or fiction? Throughout history humans have looked to the sky for answers on the past, present and future. Astrology is one of the limbs of this and though many do not believe in astrology and put it down to mumbo jumbo, others base their whole lives around the stars. Indeed the ancient rulers of our world would make decisions based on what was written in the stars, destinies were written at the time of birth of new royal children and matters of state would be dictated by favorable moments in the sky.

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Whether you believe in astrology or not, you have more than likely picked up a horoscope article to read the predictions for your week or month ahead, maybe even felt that it resonated for you a little bit before going about your day. When we talk of astrology the first thing that comes to mind is horoscopes – more to the point your star sign or, where the sun was situated in the sky at your time of birth, but astrology is far more complicated and in depth than just a star sign and horoscope. Some people dedicate years of their life to understanding the ins and outs of astrology and what makes up this art of reading the sky. Astrology on a personal level is a snap shot of time at the moment you are born. This is called a birth chart and it does not just detail where the sun was at your time of birth, but layers where each planet was, where the moon was and many other details. It can show you the inner workings of your personality, your potential, your weaknesses and how you will live your life. On a day to day basis, where each planet is at that current time, where the sun and moon are situated in the sky all play a part in the subtle energy around us and influences on our home planet.

For the sake of keeping this blog post simple and to cover the basics of astrology I will only go into the common areas we come up against – this is the major constellations, planets, the sun and moon signs and retrogrades.  When we look at the major constellations these are what we also know as our star sign or sun sign. They are Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. Now they each deserve their own detailed history that I won’t go into here as they have stories behind their names and their meanings. From a personal and astrological point of view, these are what people mean when they commonly ask you “what sign are you?” or “what is your star sign?” and this is dictated by the constellation that the sun was in from our perspective here on earth on the day you were born. All these signs have particular traits and personality types. The sun sign is your personality and how your ego relates to and deals with the world. Now some people may be born on what is called a cusp and this means that they are on the cross over dates from one sign to another and this can mean they can take on the traits of the neighbouring sign.

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Your moon sign is calculated using your time and location of birth as well as the date and then corresponding to that it is what constellation the moon is in at this time. The moon sign governs your emotions and your inner world, how you reflect internally and emotionally handle things. A great tip when reading horoscopes is to read both your star sign and your moon sign to get a better understanding of the horoscope energy surrounding you.

When we look at planets – the planets within astrology are Mars, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn and Mercury. Now we also know that Ceres and Charon have been added into this too and due to astronomy downgrading Pluto, there is a lot of different opinions around what a planet is and what is not though I am going to keep things simple here and refer to the most widely accepted terms. Within each constellation they will have a “ruling planet” that governs the star sign and imparts its energy. In history our planets were seen as the gods or goddesses more often than not so they took on the personality traits of these beings. For example – Venus is the goddess of love and beauty and one of the constellations she rules over is Taurus – who are very likely to be fond of love, sensual energy and luxury or Mars – known as the god of war and he rules over Aries who can be known to have a hot temper.

Because we have the planets as additional celestial objects with influence in the sky and everything is constantly moving with the gravitational pull and going through cycles, astrology looks at the movement of these planets as well as the sun and moon in the sky from our vantage point on Earth.

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So as the moon and sun make their trips through different constellations, so too do the planets. The moon goes through monthly phases which also have an influence and I will go into the moon cycles on a separate post and the sun goes through a yearly rotation as we know this with the modern calendar. Planets are all moving around the sun as we know through science and astronomy and the sun is technically stationary and it is in fact earth that circles the sun, from our point it looks as though the planets and the sun are moving around us. The reason for this very brief and very loose science and astronomy lesson is to help you to understand what a retrograde is in the astrology world and what they mean.

A retrograde is when the planets seemingly move backward in the sky. This is actually due to the planet being in closer proximity to Earth and Earth passing or being passed by the other planets. It is similar to that sensation you may get in the car at traffic lights when someone takes off and for a split second you feel as though you are going backwards. There are actually more complicated paths that the planets take through the sky but we don’t need to go into that detail.

Because most of the time a planet is moving forward or as the term is in astrology – direct, a retrograde is looked at as important because of the more “rare” occurrence, though in reality around 80 percent of the time we have a planet in retrograde. The most widely accepted belief is the more common a planet goes retrograde – the more likely we are to feel its effects and this is why you have probably heard of mercury retrograde season as mercury goes retrograde often. Retrogrades are mostly seen as disruptive, they bring out the stagnant energy and the sometimes more negative aspects of the planets traits.

So you can see here that looking at just a star sign or just where the sun or moon is on any given day is truly only giving you an overview and that there is so much more to take into consideration. This is really just the tip of the astrological iceberg when you look at how much information is out there and how much there is to learn as the sky itself is really, limitless and this practice has been around for thousands of years and will continue to be around for just as long as humans seek to understand our relationship with the cosmos.

Love and Light

Elizabeth                                                                                                     

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Categories
Witchcraft

Understanding the Wheel of the Year

With Samhain upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere and Beltane in the Northern Hemisphere I thought now would be a great time to discuss the wheel of the year, its importance in history and the added touch of magic it can add to the lives of us modern day spiritual beings.

The wheel of the year is most often associated with witchcraft or Celtic and pagan traditions though it is honoured by many cultures throughout history. I will be referencing the traditional Wiccan wheel of the year for this article but do not feel like you cannot change or honour the celebrations according to your own faith or beliefs, that is the beauty in magic and nature, it can be honoured in any way you see fit.

The wheel of the year is exactly that – honouring the seasons and the turn of the year. We know that we have four seasons in a year being spring, summer, autumn and winter and though these are the key seasons that are honoured, the wheel of the year has a more intricate system of working with the land and marking the changing points within the seasons. Perhaps the most commonly known days are the spring and autumn equinox as even the weather channel will announce these days as being the time when the length of day and night are equal. You most likely have also heard the winter solstice and summer solstice. I am going to break down each point on the wheel of the year – there are 8 major celebrations which are often called Sabbats, and explain what each one means, give a few suggestions on honouring and celebrating them and the times they occur in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

I will start with Samhain as it is almost here and is widely accepted as the New Year in Celtic, pagan and Wicca traditions.

Please keep in mind that though the basis of the celebrations is explained, these are by no means set in stone and you will find that different places and different cultures may have a slightly different interpretation of the holiday. I always encourage you to do your own research to find what resonates for you – this is a breakdown based on my own beliefs and ways of celebrating the wheel of the year, with additional information from sources I have used over the years.

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Samhain (October 31st in Northern Hemisphere, April 30th Southern Hemisphere)

Samhain is also known as All Hallows Eve of Halloween in modern day society. Though we all celebrate Halloween around the globe on October 31st, this is actually only correct in the northern hemisphere. Samhain is the traditional New Year and is the first day of winter. In modern society, this holiday is seen as “spooky” because it is when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest – so the ancestors, or those who have passed on are able to walk in our worlds and we in theirs. It is also a time when mystical or magical creatures from other planes of existence can step through and a great time to look both in the past and the future due to this thin veil. This can traditionally be seen as when the God enters the underworld and when the Goddess is in her crone aspect when looking at Wiccan and pagan traditions. A great way to honour this day is by celebrating your ancestors – perhaps by providing them an offering or simply by reminiscing on their memory. Using dark colours such as ruby red, blacks and oranges with clothing or on your altar is great – pumpkins are in season at this time so you can make a jack o lantern and light some candles in honour of the past and those who have come before us. Using scrying mirrors or bowls to look into the future and working with darker grounding crystals such as obsidian, jet and tourmaline and fiery crystals like carnelian or bloodstone are wonderful. This is a time to honour the beginnings and endings in all things.

Winter Solstice (December 20th – 22nd in Northern Hemisphere, June 20th – 22nd Southern Hemisphere)

The winter solstice is also known as Yule and this is traditionally where the idea of Christmas came from – hence the term yuletide. The winter solstice is the longest night of the year and the tradition of welcoming back the light – as after this night the days start to grow longer again, is where the yule log comes from. This holiday symbolises the birth of the light or the “dark god” and was a time of merriment and celebration. The dark god was represented in celebration as the first person to step foot in the house baring gifts – and you can see here where the tradition of Santa Claus comes from. The yule log is a tradition that came from Scandinavia and was traditionally burnt in honour of Thor to encourage him to help dispel the dark nights with his fire and courage. The yule log was never completely burned and always lit with a piece of the log from the previous year, often decorated with ivy, holly and other evergreens and ribbons. This is a wonderful tradition you can incorporate into your own celebrations for the winter solstice, wearing the colours of red, green and gold are great to honour the light and making mulled wine is another great way to celebrate. Citrus fruits and spices should be used in your cooking.

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Imbolc (February 2nd in Northern Hemisphere, August 1st in Southern Hemisphere)

Imbolc is also known as Candlemas and this is traditionally the beginning of spring or a time for new beginnings. Often associated with the goddess Brigid who among other things is also a goddess of muse and fire. This is a time to celebrate the light that has returned and the end of winter. Milk offerings to the goddess and the god are often given or this can be offered to the faeries if you prefer. This is a time to purify the home, cleansing and opening the doors and windows to allow the old energy to leave and new energy in. Banishing magic is powerful here as is meditation. Lighting white candles in honour of the goddess. Using crystals such as rose quartz or clear quartz and other light and healing energies is beneficial. Artistic pursuits or writing in all forms is a great way to tap into this energy.

Spring Equinox (March 20th – 22nd in Northern Hemisphere, September 20th – 22nd in Southern Hemisphere)

The spring equinox is also known as Ostara – a Germanic goddess of fertility, and is where the name Easter is derived from. This day is one of balance – when the day and night is equal length and is mostly celebrated as the return of life, the fertility of the land. The symbols of Ostara are eggs, rabbits and spring flowers and you can already begin to see where the tradition of the Easter bunny and chocolate eggs comes from! The custom of giving eggs at this time actually goes back as far as the early Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Gauls. The egg is a symbol of life and the practice of colouring eggs dates back to ancient civilizations.  This is a wonderful way to celebrate the spring equinox, you can also use this time to plant seeds with intention in magical ways, replace anything that you need in your spiritual or magical tool box. Decorating the home with spring flowers and bulbs, using crystals such as moonstone and the colour green are great for this day.

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Beltane (May 1st in the northern Hemisphere, October 31st in the Southern Hemisphere)

Beltane is also known as May Day in the northern hemisphere and perhaps one of the most widely known ways to celebrate Beltane is the Maypole, a pole or long branch that is decorated with ribbons that people dance around to slowly wind the ribbons to the pole. This holiday is one of fertility and love magic more often than not and is a time of great celebration. In Celtic tradition, the night before Beltane all the fires are doused and then the fires were re-lit, often from one communal fire with the nine sacred woods and this was symbolic of banishing evil forces. This was done before the sun rose and as the people watched the sun rise, many would jump over the fire as a way to cleanse and bring good luck and walk around the fire 3 times. This is something you can do yourself by lighting a bonfire or even a candle as a symbol of this, you can hang ribbons in a tree as a way to offer prayers and wishes, bless the garden or a plant with the magic of this time – it is even more powerful if it is one that you planted at the time of Imbolc. Love magic and strengthening your bonds are great to do now. Working with citrine, sunstones, amber and topaz are great, as are strawberries and cinnamon in foods.

Summer Solstice (June 20th – 22nd Northern Hemisphere, December 20th – 22nd Southern Hemisphere)

Also known as Midsummer or Litha, this marks the longest day of the year and when the earth is most fertile. This holiday is often associated with the faeries – we all know the Shakespeare play a Midsummer Night’s Dream! This is the perfect time to honour the fae with offerings and fun and revelry. Lots of food and wine is always a grand way to celebrate this time. The summer solstice is also the time when the two gods – the oak king and the holly king battle it out (the oak king is best described as the “lighter god” who rules from Midwinter or yule until Midsummer) and the holly king wins and takes the throne with the goddess. This symbolises the winter and the summer as personas. This is a great time to honour the concept of descent into the underworld – think Persephone going into the underworld with Hades, Isis going to save Osiris or Baldur descending to the lower levels of Asgard. The theme here is strong, of the going deep within and this is the perfect time to start doing this yourself – of course with lots of merriment and celebration. Magic and rituals focusing on partnerships and union is great – think of hand fasting and marriage that often happened at this time (though this was often because of children that were conceived at the time of Beltane).Working with roses, honeysuckle and other sweet smelling flowers is great, ritual baths are wonderful now if it is too hot to celebrate outside or even go to the ocean and use that as your bath.

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Lammas (August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere, February 2nd in the Southern Hemisphere)

Also known as Lughnasadh, this is traditionally the first harvest season. Lammas means the feast of bread and Lughnasadh is the feast of Lugh (a Celtic god of light). This time is traditionally when the grains are harvested and the preparations for the winter begin. Many choose to bake cakes or bread specifically for this holiday, though as the Goddess is also the harvest mother, corn mother or grain mother in this time, you can also use corn and other things such as sunflower seeds. This is a time of honouring the harvest and giving thanks for the abundance of the summer and a time to start preparing and storing for the winter. Hand fasting or marriage was also done at this time, though it was also accepted that the marriage could be a temporary one year if both parties agreed. The first sheaf of grain would be baked into the bread or added to beer in celebration. You can bake goods such as cakes or bread or have a picnic outside in honour of the harvest with fresh local produce. Leaving offerings of honey or oatcakes to the fae is traditionally done at this time. Working with crystals such as tiger’s eye and topaz is great now.

Autumn equinox (September 20th – 22nd in Northern Hemisphere, March 20th – 22nd Southern Hemisphere)

Also known as Mabon, this is the great harvest season and when the most work is done! This is also a time of equal day and night so balance and harmony is honoured here too. The corn dolly (a form of straw work weaved together) was made out of the last sheaf of grain to be harvested and ceremoniously bought into the home as a symbol and a way to protect the last seed until the next season. This is also a time to harvest the fruits and in particular the apple is honoured here as it is symbolic of renewal, healing and regeneration. You can use this time to make your own corn dolly, go to a farm and harvest your own fruits, go for a walk and give thanks to what you have in life. A gratitude journal is great to start now. Harvest your herbs for drying or preserve the summer bounty such as sauce making or jam making is another great way to honour this season.

I hope you have enjoyed this break down of the Wheel of the Year and I truly hope it has inspired you to work in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth. Experiment with your own ideas or rituals and if you cannot spare the time, simply acknowledging the day for what it brings is more than enough.

Lots of Love & Light xx

Elizabeth

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Categories
Cleansing

3 Ways to energetically cleanse your home right now

Cleansing the home does not mean you have to go out and purchase new items or have an array of different objects and rituals set out, though at any given time these can enhance your cleansing and make it deeper.

Most of us are familiar with the use of sage or smudging sticks to cleanse the home or incense. If you have these already than add them into these tips to make it deeper and more special but they are absolutely not required at all.

During this time of isolation and such heavy energy in the world, we need to pay extra attention to the energetic health of our home. Negative energy within the home can affect your personal energy which it is why it is so important to pay attention to what is happening within your sacred space. The home is just that – your sacred space. It is where you go to rest, to relax, to feel safe and comforted and when we spend so much time cooped up inside, watching the news or scrolling through social media and seeing the negative things that are happening in the world, our own emotions begin to change the energetic vibration of the home. Never mind the fact that when we are leaving the home, it is to rush to pick up the essentials – often not being able to get everything we need which creates more internal anxiety and we interact with others who are filled with fear and anxiety, then we bring these same emotions into the home.

You can see how even if you cleanse your own personal self, these emotions and energy are still trapped within the home and can continue to do damage without you even realising! So, let’s explore some options you can do right now to help cleanse the home, even incorporating them into a family practice to make it more fun and enjoyable, by explaining to the kids and family what you are doing.

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Option 1 – The physical clean

Yes this may seem the obvious choice and the least fun of all of them but physically cleaning your home is the easiest and most thorough way to cleanse it. When we clean with intention – the intention to not just clean the surfaces but also to clean the energy, your own thoughts help to stimulate that process. Ensure that as you cleanse you have at least one door or window open and try to direct your cleaning pattern or visualise the energy leaving through this opening. On top of providing an exit point for the energy, it is also allowing the fresh air and breeze to come in and help move everything along. Another key point here is to have all your curtains and blinds open to allow the sunlight in – even if it is a cloudy day. Sunlight is proven to kill germs so it is beneficial to let as much light in as possible, especially when cleaning. Another tip is the water you use for either mopping the floor or wiping down surfaces, add an extra magical oomph with some salt or a squeeze of lemon if you have it in the house.

Option 2 – The energetic sweep

If doing a full house cleanse is not of interest to you, getting the broom out to energetically sweep the house is perfect. Ensure you have a door open and instead of sweeping the surface of the floor, hold the broom just above the ground and focus on sweeping the negative energy towards the door. It helps to work in a counter clockwise direction as this is traditionally the ideal way to banish. Using affirmations and visualisation, ensuring you get into the corners of the home will help to move the energy. Adding a candle if you have some, to the darker corners of the home will help to illuminate the darkness and burn it away.

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Option 3 – The Sound cleanse

Sound is a powerful way to shift the energy of the home and by far the most enjoyable way to cleanse especially if you have young children who are becoming restless. Usually most would recommend using things like singing bowls – if you do have these then great, but sound can be as simple as clapping, singing, stamping your feet, bells, pots and pans with wooden spoons or even clapping two metal spoons together. To add in some extra fun vibes putting on music will add to this. The idea here is to use noise and the sound vibrations to help to shift the energy, you can even add some dancing in for additional fun and to help cleanse and shift your own vibration. The process is the same, open the doors and windows and make noise in every room, getting into the corners and you can even shout out that you are removing the negative energy or banishing all but positive thoughts in the home. It may make you feel silly but that is part of the joy here, unleash your own inner child and embrace the fun to be had in such a simple way to cleanse.

A final note on cleansing energy. Working with the natural cycles of the moon is also extremely powerful. Cleansing can be done at either the new moon or full moon or even both as part of a moon ritual, or if you want to work with the ideal astrological aspects of cleansing, the waning period and the time of the dark moon are perfect to remove what is no longer serving you – which in this case is the negative energy. The waning period of the moon is the time between the full moon and the new moon – as the moon begins to slowly disappear and go within. The dark moon is usually the 24 hours prior to the new moon, though some may say it is up to 72 hours prior.

Walking the spiritual path does not mean we need to buy fancy things and have structured rituals in order to be a successful spiritualist. It is all about intention. May these suggestions help you to cleanse your own sacred space and bring some joy and peace back into your home during these chaotic times.

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~ Namaste

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Awakening Chakras Kundalini

Kundalini Energy

What is Kundalini energy? Kundalini is a Sanskrit term for the divine energy within the body, meaning coiled snake. It is the divine energy known as Shakti that is referred to as the divine feminine or primordial energy or, cosmic energy. Often the kundalini energy is seen as a sexual energy as it is associated more often than not with the tantric arts but kundalini is so much more than that. The concept of Kundalini energy though related to eastern traditions, can be found in many cultures under different names and different types of experiences and is not exclusive, though for simplicity we will use the eastern concept as it is the most widely known. I want to nip it in the bud now that kundalini is not referring to a being or force possessing you, it is pure energy that you are born with, and one can associate it as a divine connection within the soul itself that returns to source when we die.

We explored the chakra system last week which is important to understand as the kundalini energy rises through these energy centres within the body. The kundalini is believed to lay dormant within the base of the spine – the root chakra like a coiled serpent, hence its name and this is something within us all. This energy force is responsible for enlightenment or spiritual liberation. Depending on who you ask you will get a slightly different meaning behind it, but what stays the same is this is a primal energy force within the human body that once awakened, gives you a greater connection to the divine.

Having a kundalini awakening can occur through spiritual practice or life events and can feel overwhelming or ecstatic, frightening or blissful depending on if you are ready or aware of what is happening. As this energy moves through the chakra system when it awakens, it clears out blockages and releases emotional, physical and mental traumas and karma which can in turn be an uncomfortable process if you are not ready for it. If there are major blockages within the chakra system, the kundalini energy may not be able to flow freely and become blocked itself. This is partly why keeping the health of the chakras is so important especially when working with kundalini energy.

The most common description of the feeling of kundalini energy within the body is the feeling on an electric current running along the spine. Working to raise this energy is most often done through meditation, forms of breath work, mantras, tantric practices and yoga – specifically kundalini yoga which often incorporates all of the above.

Now you might be wondering what its importance is or if you must have this experience in order to become enlightened or move forward on your spiritual path and the short answer to that is no you do not, though awakening this energy within yourself holds profound experiences that will give you so much knowledge, peace and wisdom. Working with this energy is in fact working with the divine within you, if you are not sure if you have had this experience most who have will tell you that you will just know once it occurs because there is no explaining it. Honouring your body, mind and spirit are all acts of honouring the kundalini energy within you and through this service you will in turn, walk the path of your kundalini awakening.

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The Chakra System

What is the chakra system?

The word chakra comes from the sanskrit word meaning wheel or disk. The chakras are the moderators of energy within the body, often depicted as lotus flowers of a particular colour and each one resonating at a different frequency. Though they are often seen as part of the Hindu culture, the concept of chakras and internal energy systems can be seen throughout history and many different cultures from the ancient Egyptians to the Celts.

Chakras are an ancient system that has been studied for thousands of years and are a key component in our spiritual health and wellbeing.These energy centres of spiritual power are the transfer points for our thoughts, feelings and specific functions of our organs.

Your life force moves through these energy centres and helps to keep your body in balance and harmony with the world. These energy centres can become blocked and this can manifest in the body as physical ailments or life patterns. These chakras are located along the spine, starting at the base all the way up to the crown of the head. There are seven main chakras starting with the root chakra at the base of the spine, the sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra and the crown chakra. The first three chakras connect us in the physical world, the heart chakra blends the physical with the spiritual and the last three chakras connect us to the divine or spirit. So lets explore each one:

The first chakra – Root Chakra

The root chakra is located at the base of the spine, its Sanskrit name is Muladhara and its colour is red. It physically is associated with the spinal column, legs, kidneys and colon. This chakra governs your sense of security and base emotions. It is your literal roots to the world and includes your basic survival instincts. Interestingly this chakra also holds your ancestral fears from your parents and their parents through your DNA. Our environment from conception to death is effected within this chakra – this chakra holds onto everything you have experienced in life so far. This chakra can become unbalanced if your physical needs are not being met and is greatly influenced by your “tribe”, or the people you spend most of your time with.This chakra can hold onto resentments towards places, people and money.

The second chakra – Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is located at the sacrum, its Sanskrit name is Svadisthana and its colour is orange. It is physically associated with the reproductive organs, prostate and bladder. This chakra governs your emotional balance, sexuality, pleasure and creativity.

The third chakra – Solar Plexus Chakra

The solar plexus chakra is located near the navel, its Sanskrit name is Manipura and its colour is yellow. It is physically associated with the pancreas, liver and stomach. This chakra governs your personal power and self-esteem.

The fourth chakra – Heart Chakra

The heart chakra is located near the heart, its Sanskrit name is Anahata and its colour is green. It is associated with the heart and circulatory system. This chakra governs your love – including self-love, compassion, harmony and peace. It is the chakra that blends the lower physical chakras with the higher spiritual chakras. 

The fifth chakra – Throat Chakra

The throat chakra is located within the throat, its Sanskrit name is Vishudha and its colour is blue. It is physically associated with the throat, thyroid and mouth. This chakra governs your communication, truth and willpower.

The sixth chakra – Third Eye Chakra

The third eye chakra is located on the forehead, its Sanskrit name is Anja and its colour is deep purple or indigo. It is physically associated with the pituitary gland, pineal gland, nose and ears. This chakra governs your imagination, wisdom and intuition.

The seventh chakra – Crown Chakra

The crown chakra is located at the top of the head. Its Sanskrit name is Sahasrara and its colour is either violet, gold or white. It is not physically associated with parts of the body but associated with the spirit. This chakra governs your connection to your spirit and the divine and is where all energy flows through.

Removing a blockage or to balance a chakra that is overacting can be done through meditation, sound frequency, emotional healing including shadow work and various forms of counselling, exercise including yoga which is extremely beneficial for working with the chakras and energy systems within the body, eating foods and tonics to help balance them, energy healing and cleansing techniques. Living a life of balance and harmony can help to ensure your chakras also stay balanced which in turn helps your body to remain healthy.