October 2004 Newsletter
1) Judith's Ramblings
- Judith's Ramblings
- Product Spotlight
- Ritual Workings
HAPPY TO SAY that I gained 500g but lost over 1.5" overall. I lost on my calves, thighs and arms so everything is toning up nicely. I'm varying my diet - still not eating stuff I'm allergic to (some fruits, veggie legumes (pulses), corn (maize), wheat, yeast, mould, etc...) so mostly an Atkins diet but once a week I come off and eat loads of fruit I'm OK with. Seems to be working nicely for toning me up! I'm not losing weight but I am losing size!
COME WITH US FOR A CHOCOLATE WEEK TOUR! We're doing the chocolate tour on Thursday October 7th from 10:30am - we will start at Rococo on Kings Road at 10.30am, proceed to L'Artisan and Pierre Marcolini and end up at Harvey Nichols. This tour takes in my *FAV* chocolatier - Pierre Marcolini. I also thought that instead of stopping at Harvey Nichols for their "all you can eat chocolate mousse" at 2:30, we could continue as a group on to other chocolate events like the Green & Blacks talk in Kew Gardens or perhaps the launch of the new chocolate bar from seventypercent. Or we could hit other chocolate shops as a group like prestat for the tasting of the hedgehogs and Charbonel et Walker for Bucks Fizz chocolate tastings. The choice is ours! There are already a few of us going. The cost will be £25 for the first part (11:30am - 2:30pm) of the chocolate tour but we can then go and do more chocolate tastings around London ourselves and make ourselves sick on free chocolate! If you'd like to go (there's already a group of 4 going), please pop me a line so I know how many to expect and to co-ordinate the rest of our chocolaty day with.
Ritual was SUPERFUN and we'll be doing a big outdoor event if the weather is OK for Samhain with a nice fire, food and a lovely ritual. In this ritual, we have solved the smurf mystery thanks to hubby and one reader who wrote in - smurfs turn purple when you strangle then and debate was still raging over what colour they turned when they drowned - white or green...? Ritual and the pub gatherings are always open to anyone and lots of fun. As one person said, it was nice to go to a ritual where everything is explained and everyone needed a bit of help so no one felt left out. It's always that fun and friendly.
Remember that it's Samhain this month so if you need incense, oils, blends, athames or anything for ritual please do order early!
Why am I so excited about WorldCon? I mean, what is it anyway? For me, WorldCon is a chance to hear about all the books about to come out in the next few months - sometimes up to a year in advance. I can go to panels with my favourite authors talking about issues that really vary from the fantastical to the infinitely practical. I can go have coffee and biscuits with the writer of an erotic novel and get a few free books I can curl up with and read when nothing I want to go to is on. It's a chance to meet people I haven't seen for ages - in one case 12 years! WorldCon is a great many things and in 2005 it's going to be Scottish! I've already booked in to the Moat House on-site hotel (though my heart lies with the party hotel *sighs*) and some spots are super cheap at only £26.50 for a single or £30.20 for a double room. If you'd like to join in the fun but want to read more about it, just pop over to the website http://www.interaction.worldcon.org.uk/ - the guy who made my bronze shoulder dragon will have a stall there - you'd be well advised to go there for his stall alone!!
If you're itching to cut your teeth on a smaller Sci-Fi/Fantasy con, why not join the EasterCon crowd? Going on for longer than Dave or I have been alive for, this is a smaller but still great bunch of people with great funny plays, fan panels, fab shopping, fun evenings and a statue of Posideon in the lobby quite possibly as far from the sea as you can get in the UK. Now *that* is a hotel with a sense of humour. So if your easter bank holiday weekend is free, join us and help me celebrate turning 35 on the Friday! http://www.paragon2.org.uk/ Usually attendance is under 1,000 (whereas WorldCon is probably going to be 4,500 or something like that) so you'll have plenty of chance to mingle with authors.
It's really a ton of fun to join in with a event where you meet people of a like mind and learn stuff. That's why we've decided to do a conference - a *MINI* conference - on Saturday April 2nd, 2005 with speakers, workshops including how to cast your own spells and of course, SHOPPING! What we're also hoping is that the fine woman behind Peacock Angel - where you should shop for natural incense - will give a workshop including some raw materials for you to take home with you! It would be part of a goodie bag you would get as an attendee of the conference. Yes, you'll get a bag of goodies just for attending - fun or what?!
Official word from the manager of the pub we were made to feel unwelcome in - we are welcome and he'll force the staff to make us welcome *IF* we don't draw any attention to ourselves because customers were complaining they didn't want to sit near us as we were in to the occult. Yes, customers complained about us being in to the occult and our dragon being an occult symbol and thus our unwelcoming experience. Since the welcome will be forced and since it was bigoted customers who were and are the problem, we are moving the pub moot to the Bothouse in Wallingford.
Would you like to help us win "best online shop" again? Please do. Please pop over to http://www.witchcraft.org/polls/fillsurvey.php?sid=10 and vote for all your favourites and I'm hoping that New Moon Occult Shop will get your vote for best online shop. Please - THANK YOU!
2) Product Spotlight
Each month I pick a product and put the spotlight on it. I try and vary the theme of what I choose to make this section as interesting as possible.
Egyptian Scarab Oracle - The ancient Egyptians knew the power of the sacred scarab, symbol of life, hope, and regeneration. The Egyptians believed that everything vibrates with living magic; the actions of sacred birds and animals can reveal the will of the gods and goddesses; and with the right divination system, all things can be known.
Learn about the art of divination in ancient Egypt and the role of the scarab in magic and literature. A vivid dream of life as a temple priestess in ancient Egypt led Mysteries of Isis author deTraci Regula to create the Egyptian Scarab Oracle. This kit contains thirty beautifully crafted scarabs and a satin drawstring pouch. Each scarab bears the likeness of a goddess, god, or symbol of ancient Egypt.
The easy-to-use guidebook presents reading tips and layouts, interpretations for each scarab symbol, the Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet, and instructions for creating your own scarabs for divination and protection.
Find out whether your mate is a passionate Horus, a difficult Set, a sensitive and understanding Osiris, fiery Serqet, erotic Hathor, or strong yet loving Isis. Simple to learn and fun to use, the Egyptian Scarab Oracle will help you discover which Egyptian deities you resonate with, learn to read simple Egyptian Hieroglyphics and stimulate your intuition. You can use this oracle to gain insights about love and relationships, finances, career planning, and much more! £35/$68
Scarabs of Transformation
New Worlds Isse: NW014
By: deTraci Regula
One night, during the time I was writing The Mysteries of Isis, I had a dream of the ancient temples. A nighttime celebration was taking place, and I remember walking toward the high pylon gates, hearing music drifting out over the sands; the night was warm and bright with moonlight and hundreds of oil lamps illuminated the temple courtyards. Everyone was mingling together—temple staff and students, local residents, and a few merchants and travelers, all enjoying the music and dancing. The presiding priestess of the temple called everyone’s attention to a divine game about to be presented. She took hundreds of carved scarabs of all different colors and shapes, gathered them together into a net, and then swirled the net and scarabs above her head, suddenly releasing a corner and letting a rain of scarabs fall on the assembled crowd.
Whatever scarab touched us, that was the one that would be interpreted. My attention had been caught earlier in the evening by a young trader from far away, and now, the scarabs seemed determined to bring us together. One of the stone bugs bounced off of him, hit me, and then tangled in my robe. The resulting laughing efforts to extract our scarab attracted the attention of the high priestess, who came over to us. She noted that the shared scarab which had chosen us was one that indicated impending marriage.
From this dream, and extensive research into Egyptian arts of foretelling the future, I developed the Sacred Scarab divination system which has now manifested as the Egyptian Scarab Oracle kit and the book Sacred Scarabs for Divination and Personal Power. The kit includes the book, a pouch, and thirty scarabs designed and sculpted by Kerigwen.
I have always loved scarabs, and an ordination of mine was blessed by the spontaneous appearance of one which we passed from hand to hand. This dream seemed to be a special gift, a way of sharing the magic of scarabs. While today the ankh symbolizes ancient Egypt to us, in times past it was the scarab which was more frequently revered as a symbol of Egypt and of ever-changing life itself.
Khephera, the name of the sun in its form of a divine scarab beetle, is also the Egyptian word which means to become, to transform, to take on new shapes, new roles. It is a word of regeneration, of expanding the self and of taking on new forms, in life and in other planes of existence.
So when we hold a scarab in our hand, we are holding the essence of change and transformation. While the Egyptian Scarab Oracle can be used to foretell future trends, it is also ideal for bringing about personal change and growth. You are in charge of your own transformation; we are all self-created anew each and every day. You can passively accept the future as it weaves around you or, like Khephra going through the physical phases of transformation from grub to pupa to winged metallic beetle, you can choose to change and so alter the future. Any divination speaks to the person you are at that moment. Don’t like the future? Change the local present, which is yourself, and what is to come will amend itself.
One of the reading patterns given in the Egyptian Scarab Oracle is the Double Arc of Nut. This pattern can be used in two ways—outlining approaching trends and situations, or revealing the strengths and weaknesses already active in an individual. It is also very insightful in considering different careers or job choices.
When using the Double Arc of Nut pattern for this purpose, simply hold the thought in your mind that you wish to understand your strengths and weaknesses as you draw the scarabs. Remember, too, that few traits of character are entirely one or the other. Lay out ten scarabs in an oval before you. Picture an imaginary horizon line dividing the scarabs into two groups, five active above the horizon, five lying nascent below. All that is above the line is positive, active, and in use; all that is below it, is challenging, latent, or intuitive. In some cases, those positive strengths above need the compensation below.
Interpreting from left to right above the horizon, you find those traits that are most active now. The first two scarabs are “morning” scarabs—influences which are just coming into play. The key scarab is in the middle or noon position, where it shines over all others. The last two are “afternoon” scarabs—parts of you which are diminishing in influence, though still active. Continuing under the horizon, you find the evening scarabs, distant influences, deep parts of yourself just beginning to exert a pull. At the center, at the place of the midnight scarab, you find what balances, modifies, or diminishes your brightness above. Proceeding on, you find the scarabs of the approaching dawn—
latent influences which may be about to break through and affect your everyday reality in a more potent way. Read all together, this pattern gives you a grasp of what is active and “above the horizon” in your life as well as what is concealed in mystery “below the horizon.”
As scarabs have always been used as amulets of protection and magic, the scarabs in the set can be carried to draw their influence to you. They can also be used to make traditional impressed images on foil or paper, which can be folded and carried for use as talismans.
Enjoy the magic of the mysterious scarabs!
3) Ritual Workings
How do you create your own rituals? How do you know if you're doing them correctly? These are common questions that people pose to me - even those who are training through distance learning on many courses.
To a certain extent, rituals have to be experienced. That is why I run open rituals - so that when you have questions, it's easy to find answers in how rituals are run practically plus I'm always open to "why did you do that like that?" questions which I always endevour to answer with more than "because that's how I learned to do it".
Structure is an important part of ritual. Whether a Greek play (which was ritual), a personal ritual or a public ritual for 500, certain structures are usually used.
Of course there needs to be a beginning, middle and an end but how to organize them and what order do they happen in and why? The why part is a bit beyond what I can cover here but the organization and order questions I can answer from my own experience.
Gardnerian ritual structure is the only thing from all of Gardner's writings that Doreen Valiente could not trace to an existing occult work. It is awfully close to the way I was taught to do rituals and I think that of all the things that different branches of witchcraft have to offer us, one thing seems to remain almost unchanged - the ritual structure.
Now, you may or may not have an altar with various bits on it. For the purposes of this series I'm going to assume what I call a standard altar set up. This comprises a source candle (only candle lit by match or lighter), God and Goddess Candles (usually black (gds) and white (gd) but can be purple and pink or brown and green or any other combination), pencil taper for lighting candles from source, book of shadows, blessing oil, athame, elemental representations (incense, candle, water and salt usually), handmaiden candle in portable holder, snuffer (you can use the taper to dip the wick of the candles in their own wax), chalice.
Before going through the actual structure of the ritual, I'd like to develop the foundations - that is several ways to set up the altar and what to do before you engage in ritual.
It is important to be in the correct state of mind and body before doing your ritual. You need to sweep away the dirt of the day, and the mental dirt (so to speak). To this end, I recommend a ritual bath before doing any rituals. For those with showers only, take a long, relaxing shower where first you scrub away all messiness then just relax feeling the shower washing over you. For those with a bath, I recommend relaxing to soften the skin, scrub up well and then a last relax before toweling off.
Once you have bathed, get in to your ritual robe (even if it is just an outfit you reserve for rituals only, this should be something never worn for mundane wear - magickal wear only) and set up your altar within the space you will be using. This space should be clear and clutter free. If indoors, it should be clean and vacuumed or washed beforehand. If outside, make sure to sweep the whole area so what any hidden nasties are removed.
I place my altar in the center, facing north, towards (slightly) the north end of the circle (so when I am standing, I stand in the center). For an altar I like to use the dragon one we sell because it is funky, I have a ritual space that can accommodate it and I love dragons (plus I can store even my big book of shadows in it). You can use anything - a bench, a table, a set of drawers - anything that will hold your bits on it. This should be set aside as magickal only because this will help you get in to the proper frame of mind when doing ritual but sometimes our situations won't allow this so as long as you cover it with a bit of cloth you only use for ritual, that should be fine.
Now, as best as is possible I will describe how I set up my altar and you can adapt or modify this as you feel you need to. Assume in your mind a rectangle with the long side facing north.
In the center at the back goes the source candle. As this is the only candle lit from matches, I like to make it a white pillar. Others make this a white dinner taper. This is the only candle lit by match or lighter. In front of that are the God and Goddess candles with the Goddess to the right and the God to the left. You may wish to also add statuary to each side of the candles as well. In front of them is the chalice and in front of that the book of shadows. To the slight right and infront of the chalice is the blessing oil. In the corners I have the elements to in the top right corner is salt, bottom right is incense, bottom left is a red pillar candle and top left are shells. I also have a candle with herb bits in it with the salt (earth), a candle with a strong fragrance in a yellow colour for air with the incense, the red candle often also has the lighter in a dragon lighter case with it and I have a wonderful blue candle with shells in it for water. To the right of the book of shadows is where the athame goes. To the left is where the handmaids candle with portable candle holder is. Since this is used to read by, it is important that it has a way to carry it around without dripping all over the place. Also to the left are seasonal decorations and the cakes plate on which I put the bread. I also have seasonal decorations to the right on the other side of the athame. My wand lies next to my athame, on the right side of it. Where length does not allow the book fo shadows to be in the center, I place it to the right and shuffle the athame and wand further to the right. The pencil taper I use for lighting the other candles with generally lives on the right side within the fire area if possible.
Altars can be left up when not doing ritual but do make sure you keep everything clean and dust free. Ensure when burning candles and incense that there is some ventilation and that you are careful with smoundering bits. Ash from stick incense can still be hot and charcoal is hot until it burns out completely. Safety with fire hazzards is key.
Now that you have the altar set up and the candles glowing, we need to cast the circle. Hopefully you have written it all down and have opened your book of shadows to that page. I'll next cover the different sections to a ritual and give examples over the coming months of invocations, blessings, and more that you may wish to use as well as grounding and raising energy and how to handle the cone of power.
All information in this newsletter is copyright New Moon (Enterprises) Ltd with the exception of information such as spells which are copyright their original author. Please do pass the info on but please ask before using information in here on your website - THANKS!