About Us
American Interests
Arizona Regional
7-Gates University
Free Stuff - E-groups
Internet Investigations
Psionic Guards
Site Search
Social Unrest
Universal Wholesale
Webmaster's Lounge
Cuchulain the Champion of Ulster gets his name from replacing the Hound of Cuchul that he kills. He is called the "Hound of Ulster" from this event. The hound is also his totem animal.  There are many other Magickal totemic animals in Celtic Magick and history: The Eagle (Iolair), Crow (Badb), Raven (Bran), Sow (Airc), Boar (Bacrie), Cat (Caoit), Otter (Balgair), Bear (Arth), Badger (Breach) and the Eel (As-chu).
The Dragon is another mighty Magical animal that appears in British and Welsh stories. It is, of course, a creature of fire but is also related to the Power of the Land. Another word for Ley Lines is Dragon Lines.  Another name for raising Power is to invoke the "Eye of the Dragon". The whole Earth was viewed by the Druids as the body of the Dragon. Menhirs and stone Circles were located at great Power nodes. The Celts called Dragons "Fire Drakes".













Aristotle's Corner Ark of the Covenant Atlantis - Ayn Rand Epic Theology Jesus Said...
Magick Speak Marquez last words Merlyn Says... Psychic Reading Universal Concepts

The importance of these animals is in their use as Spirit Guides in the Otherworld and their aid as a familiar in working Magick. To find your totemic animal will require you to experience a shamanistivc trance. This is usually accomplished by "drumming" and meditation. (You'll need someone to drum or a "drumming tape" to allow yourself a chance to really meditate). Open youself up to the God of the Hunt as you meditate upon the Tree of Life. He will come to you while you are in trance (usually after 10 to 40 minutes of drumming). Your totem animal will apear running from the Great Forest. When the animal appears, let its essence fill you. Become your totem. Dance its dance and sing its song until you are one in the Spirit. You should repeat this ritual as often as necessary to have a close rapport with your Spirit Animal guide.  Much of what you are told and given will be from the perspective of the Animal and will be difficult to understand unless you are truly One with it.  

The Transmigration of the Soul
I would like to start this discussion by quoting an ancient Celtic Culdean verse:
                              "Out of a Timeless World
                              Shadows fall upon time.
                              From a beauty older than earth
                              A ladder the soul may climb.
                              I climb by Fionn's Stair
                              To a whiteness older than time."
The above verse is referring to Aradach Fionn, a listing of the Oghams.  Each rung of the ladder or stair represents a lesson learned or a new life of continuing perfection. Such a series of lessons and rebirths are a manifestation of the Druidic concept of the Tramsmigration of the Soul.
               A few quotes about Druids:
"The principal point of their teaching is that the soul does not perish, and that after death it passes from one body into another." .....Julius Caesar.
"Among them the doctrine of Pythagoras prevails, according to which the souls of men are immortal, and after a fixed term recommence to live, taking upon themselves a new body."....Diodorus
According to some sources, this transmigration of the soul was done in an upward fashion, with each incarnation bringing the Being closer to the True Spirit. According to others, we are reincarnated into future lives of our progeny...thus Mongan is The Spirit of Fionn reincarnated in the Seventh Century CE (Fionn himself was said to be Cumhail reincar-nated). As we have seen previously, the Spirit of Tuan mac Carill is reincarnated several times as a variety of animals until he is reborn in the sixth century and relates his history of Ireland from the time of Partholan forward, St. Finnen is the Irish monk to whom the story was related. This story was eventually recorded in the Eleventh century manuscript, "The Book of the Dun Cow". No record exists to indicate that the Druids believed in "karma", duality (as seen in the concept of "good and evil"), original sin (actually they believed man was inheritly good), nor a heaven and hell afterlife.
Where did one's soul reside then ? Many stories were told and written of the Otherworlds that awaited the Spirit between incarnations, These stories are called immrama or "wonder voyages" and usually involve taking ship to a Magickal Isle. The voyages of Bran and St. Brendan generally fit into these catagories.
When one arrives at an Otherworldly island, time can pass extremely slowly compared to the Physical world. Oisin the son of Fionn went to such a faery world for a few days only. When he returned for a visit upon one of those Magickal White Horses, he discovered that many hundreds of years had passsed.  Although he had been cautioned not to dismount during his visit, he did so and was immediately transformed into an extremely elderly man. St. Patrick was brought to him and heard his many stories of the exploits of Fionn and the Fianna as well as the lands of Tir na Og. Oisin was eventualy rescued by his Sidhe princess and returned to the Land of Eternal Youth. Some of the other Lands are called:
                              Tir fo Thuinn   - Land under the Wave.
                              Tir na mBan   - Land of Women.
                              Tir na mBeo   - Land of Life.
These four Tirs or lands make up the Celtic Underworld where Souls reside until reborn. There are also Plains above that are generally the habitations of the Gods.
               These are:
                              Sen Magh        - Old Plain
                              Magh Argetal  - Plain of Silver Clouds
                              Magh Mell       - Plain of Delight
                    Magh Ionganaidh     - Plain of Wonder

The Irish Celts felt that the Being had the following attributes or divisions:

                              Delph         - The appearance or Outer form
                              Duile         - The Body Elements (flesh, bone, blood, etc)
                              Ana'l         - The breath or anima
                              Menma         - The Mind and the Will
                              Cuimhne       - The Memory
                              Fein          - The Self
                              Pu'ca         - The shape-shifting Shadow
                              Enaid         - The Soul.
I would like to finish my remarks on Reincarnation and Transmigration with another ancient verse. This verse is from the Fifth Century CE and is the translation by Kuno Meyer:
                              "I invoke the seven daughters of the sea
                              Who fashion the threads of the sons of long life.
                              May three deaths be taken from me!
                              May seven waves of good fortune be dealt to me!
                              May no evil spirits harm me on my circuit!
                              In flashing corslet without hindrance!
                              May my fame not perish!
                              May old age come to me, may death not come
                              to me until I am old!"
                              "I invoke Senach of the seven periods of time,
                              Whom fairy women have reared on the breasts of plenty.
                              May my seven candles not be extinguished!
                              I am an indestructable stronghold.
                              I am an unshaken rock.
                              I am a precious stone.
                              I am the luck of the week.
                              May I live a hundred times a hundred years.
                              Each hundred of them apart!
                              I summon their boons to me.
                              May the grace of the Holy Spirit be upon me!"
"In Between Times and Places", "Need Fires" or Days of Imbalance, Portals, Dolmens, Passage Graves and Stone Circles"

Tonight the Magickal nature of "In Between Times and Places" will be discussed and examples will be given for their use in Magickal "wor-kings". The Druidic concept of "imbalance" in Magickal workings will be introduced and discussed. The nature and use of the stone megalithic sites will also be presented and discussed.

Tonight we undertake a journey to the lands that are between the worlds.  This is the same place where anything can happen that Rod Serling referred to as the "Twilight Zone". The ancient Celts sought out this

Magickal place to aid their Magickal Power and to seek the Otherworld.  Before we can undertake this journey of the Spirit as well as the Mind, a brief review and synopsis of our previous discussions on the Celtic Otherworld and Magick are in order.

                     "In Between Times and Places"

As we noted previously, the Celts believed that Reality actually consisted of multiple worlds.  As a minimum, they believed there was a World of the Stars or Gods, a Middle World (the Earth) and an Under-world. All these worlds were connected in some way, with events and Magicks from one affecting events occuring in a different world.  The Celts believed that these Worlds were closer at certain times. These are the "In Between Times" that we are going to speak about tonight. It should also be no surprise that the Celts and Druids practiced their most important Magicks during such times of transition as the sunrise, sunset,the moonrise, moonset and the transitions of the seasons (Beltaine and Samhain) and the extremes of the Sun (Mid-Winter and Mid-Summer) or the great "Fire Festivals". Later during our discussions of stone circles and passage graves we shall see one way that this desire to do Magick at the optimal times was possibly implemented.

                 "The Magickal Laws of Druidic Power"

Celtic tales of Magick are filled with events that are linked to "in between states". This could be a mysterious fog, a time of dusk or next to the edge of water. All of these conditions have one state in common, they represent imbalance. Any student of the physical sciences can tell you, that all forces can  be resolved into the sum total of the in-dividual forces. One of the factors that must be overcome when moving anything is inertia. During times of change, when imbalance occurs naturally, is the time chosen by Druids for their Magicks. This is and example of the Law of Magickal Association, the Law of Similarity and the Law of Contagion as stated by Issac Bonewits in his book "Real Magick". Here is a listing of those three laws of Magick:

         Law of Association.

If two things have anything in common that thing can be used to control both, and they have a mutual influence on each other, depending on the size of the thing shared. The more they have in common, the more they influence each other.

         Law of Similarity.

This is the basis of "Sympathetic" magic and basically says that effects resembles causes.  "Lookalikes are alike".

         Law of Contagion.

It states that once things come into contact, they continue to interact after separation.  "Power is contagious".

These three Laws of Magick basically say that if you want to do Magick pick a time when Magick occurs that is similar to the kind of Magick that you want to accomplish. There is a very similar belief held by modern Wiccans.  Wiccans normally do creative or "positive" magick when the Moon is in its waxing phases. Banishing or "dark" Magick is done during the waning phases of the Moon. Druidic Magick took advantage of the times when the Sun or Moon "touched" the Earth (Sun/Moon rise/set).

At such a time, some of the Power inherit to these heavenly deities could be "borrowed". This is the Law of Contagion at work. At Sunrise and Sunset is when the mists "Magickally" appear, making fog or mists a time of Magickal workings. The area of transition between states of matter such as the edge of a river or lake was also thought to be a Magickal location. This could have been due to the belief that all knowledge flowed forth from  the Well of Segais or Conla's Well but I believe it is more closely associated with the belief that where different worlds met was also a place where entry to the Otherworld was the easiest.  This also explains why they favored divination by the edge of water. Fire scrying is another example of this "Magick" in transition states. Fire is the ultimate transitory state of matter and leads us to the next  topic of discussion, "Need Fires" and "Days of Imbalance".

                          "Days of Imbalance"

As you will recall, another time of greatest imbalance was when the change of the seasons and the extremes of the Sun. This is, of course, Beltaine, Samhain, Mid-Winter's and Mid-Summer's Solstices. Great fires were kindled during these festivals for two reasons: To encourage and enhance the energies of the Sun and to create conditions favorable to Tramsmutation of Power.

These "need fires" were used to scry, to purify and to sacrifice as well. Animals and other offerings were cast into the flames. As we have seen in a previous Workshop, cattle were driven between the fires and youths engaged in jumping through the flames. (It has been conjectured that this practice of flame jumping had its origins in earlier practices of human sacrifice.   I personally have not seen a single valid reference to Druidic human sacrifices.)  The thought was also held that "like attracts like", so that the Power of the flames would also attract the Magickal Power of the Sun.

Being periods of imbalance, the Druids also took advantage of the flows of power to perform divinations.  These great fires also served to signal the Power of the Druids to all people, as well as to unify their control over the minds of the Celtic nations.

                 "The Otherworld, Portals and Domans"

Although the Celts did not build the megalithic structures found within their lands, they were certainly aware of them. Without exception these monuments were attributed to the God/dessess, heroes and/or to the Tuatha de Dannan. The many dolmens were thought to be passage ways or portals to the Otherworld.  Many myths and tales surround trips made to and from the realm of the Sidhe by passing through a dolmen archway when the Moon was full. Modern archeology has determined that these dolmens are actually neolithic burial sites.

            "Bru'gh na Bo'inne (Newgrange)"

One of the oldest structures in the Western world is found in Ireland upon the banks of the Boyne river. This is the Bru'gh na Bo'inne, the burial place of Irish kings and the legendary palce of the Dagdha and Angus mac Og. The area is also known, in English, as New Grange. This structure was erected by the original inhabitants of the land around

3500 BC, predating Stonehenge and being contemporary with the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Egypt. The structure was covered with white stones in ancient times and would "shine' in the Sun when seen from great distances. This is very similar to the way the Great Pyramid was also described when seen in the sunlight with it's reflective coating.

Many ancient Irish legends and tales are associated with this structure and the passage of time. Most of these tales are about time standing still or seeming to pass without notice. Their stories center around Angus mac Og (the Young God), his birth in a day, his attaining the ownership of the Bruig for "only a day and a night" (lasting forever in endless cycles), and his arrangement of his foster father Midir's marriage to Etain (who is the subject of many stories of shapeshifting and transformation).

                    "Spirals, Symbols and Carvings"

This theme of timeless days and transformation is very important when one considers that one possible use of this structure was the taking of shamanistic journeys. (Angus himself was visited by an aisling or "dream woman" who played for him upon a timpan and eventually they are transformed into white birds of enchantment).

Martin Brennan, an Irish-American, was the first person to note the relationship between the carvings at New Grange and the rays of the Sun.  Using the discoveries of Brennan and our previous information about Celtic Shamanism, I am going to suggest that the interior chambers of this structure were used for shamanistic ceremonies and journeys.

Let me describe the geometry of Bru'gh na Bo'inne that a Draoi' priest might have encountered when appraoching the structure for religious/Mag-ickal ceremonies. The first thing that would be noticed is a brillant white bowl or hemisphere shining amidst a sea of green. This mound is surrounded by 97 kerbstones and the entire structure is then encircled by a ring of standing stones.  At the entrance is a stone that one walks around to enter the inner chambers. This stone is covered with spirals that have been carved into the stone. The stone is divided by a line that is aligned with the Mid-Winter Sunrise, the right hand spirals being counter clockwise (tuathal or widdershins) and the left hand spirals going clockwise (deosil). This is exactly the same type of path through the sky that one would observe for the sun during the year. (In fact, if you take a lens and focus the Sun's light on a board and leave it in place for a year, a track will burned upon the board in the shape of an interconnected double spiral. This experiment was done in the early 1970's by American artist Charles Ross.)  The entrace to the interior chambers, beyond the entrance stone, is 70 meters in length.  One must pass beneath three large stones that are thought to be symbolic of the Celtic Cosmology, the Sky World, the Middle World and the Underworld. Once past this Otherworldly entrance, one encounters a large chamber with four smaller side chambers that are oriented to the four cardinal directions (North, South, East and West). The inner walls are covered with spirals and symbols, among them is an eight-rayed sun symbol (depicted within a circle). This symbol as well as the rest are selectively illuminated by the Sun's entrance through a small hole in the roof box that is oriented directly to the Mid-Winter sunrise. A finger of light would shine within the chamber to illuminate the carvings, shining in golden flecks upon the chamber walls. Within the main chamber were great stone bowls that were possibly filed with water and arranged to further enhance the solar display within by acting as mirrors. The seemingly hap-hazard arrangement of carvings upon the walls are organized and transformed by the rays of the Sun.

             "A Night with Angus mac Og"

Now that the stage is set, imagine yourself to be a seer of the fourth millenia BC. You have fasted for days and have spent the long dark night of Mid-Winter meditating within the inner chambers of Angus mac Og.  You have performed your rituals you have attained a trance-like state and you await the rising of the Sun, the new God of Light to return to the world. What far journeys or estatic visions will be triggered within your Sacred Space by the new Sun's first rays?  A sudden thin ray of white light pierces the blackness of the inner chamber with an il-luminating shower of images as the inner darkness explodes! Your mind reflects the brilliance of the new born Sun as your inner consciousness expands into infinity! Your brothers and sisters would follow the dark shadow the standing stone to the carn's entrance to find you and the inner chamber reborn within the rebirth of the Mid-Winter Sunrise! What stories you could tell! What prophecies you could make! I sometimes think that Bru'gh na Bo'inne is really the Hyperborean " ...temple of the Sun..." mentioned by the ancient Greek writers, rather than Stonehenge.

                    "The Land of the Hyperboreans"

Perhaps the British Isles are the Islands of the Hperboreans after all?  Where else is found such a system of large scale, megalithic structures all centered around the Sun and the Otherworld? One has only to step within any of these raths to be transported to another time or another age. Bru'gh na Bo'inne is only one among many such locations.  Three great mounds exist in this area of the Boyne river, New Grange is the most elaborate but the nearby mounds of Dowth and Knowth are also fascinating.  Dowth is oriented to receive the rays of the setting Sun on Mid-Winter while Knowth has two passages and is oriented to receive the rays of the Equinoxes.  These chambered passages are not limited to Ireland, but are found throughout the British Isles and even in Brittany. Two noteable sites are located at Maes Howe in the Orkney Islands and at Gavrinis in Brittany. The interaction of carvings and site orientation is also wide spread and not limited to just the rays of the Sun. Many sites also used the beams of the Moon to illuminate passages and special formations. Although these sites could be called observatories by those of a purely scientific viewpoint, that would be in direct contradiction to the aims and worldviews of their creators. To fully appreciate the beauty, majesty and wonder of these Magick sites, requires us to use our entire mind. Perhaps we should now consider the other great location that has equal claim to being the Hyperborean Temple of the Sun?  That location is called Stonehenge.

                             "Faery Rings"

Who has nor heard of the mysterious lights that are seen within faery rings when the Sidhe dance within the Moon ways? Such lights have also been observed within Magickal Circles constructed by Wiccans and modern day Ceremonial Magicians. The crop circle phenomena has also been associated with light displays and formations. All these phenomena have been reported and seen by reliable witnesses (although , as with all such events, there have been cases of fraud as well). The fact is that such circlular formations have all been associated with light displays and other unexplained phenomena.  It is no coincidence that all of the previously mentioned Magickal phenomena are also associated with the oldest such locations, the stone circles. Many hundreds of these sites are found in Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The two greatest of these are Stonehenge and Avebury. I will discuss Stonehenge tonight. I may discuss Avebury in the future if it is of sufficient interest to the other members of the workshop.


Has there ever been a place to fire the imagination such as Stonehenge? What secrets does it hide as it sits amid the many other marvels to be found upon the Salisbury Plains ? This question and thousands more like it have passed through the minds of mortals for at least the last 3000 years. Why was it built? Who built it? How was it used? Can it be used again? I'm sure you many have a few questions of your own!<G>  Before we get to the questions, let's go through a few of the details we know about the site and some of the more recent discoveries that have been made regarding its possible uses.

               "Stonehenge I"

Stonehenge was built in three phases, starting with the construction of Stonehenge I around the year 1900 BC.  This is about a thousand years after the Pyramids and the tombs of the Bru'ghna Bo'inne and a few hundred years before the fall of ancient Troy and the Oddessy.  The first phase of construction was a great circular ditch with banks being piled upon either side.  The people building it were late Stone Age people, Not much is known about them except that they were hunters. An opening was left on the northeast side with four holes being left at the entrance that may have contained wooden poles. Two other holes inside the enclosure may have held upright stones. A third hole was dug that still contains the "heel stone", over which the sunrise is observed. A variety of other features are associated with this first phase of construction. I shall refer you to "Stonehenge Decoded" by Gerald S. Hawkins and John B. White for a more indepth discussion of these or other Stonehenge details. The entire structure was about 320 feet in diameter and about 6 feet high by 20 feet wide with the heel stone and possibly two other standing stones being visible. The entire bank would have been glaring white since most of the surrounding surface region is composted mostly of chalk. The heel stone rises about 16 feet into the air and is about 8 feet thick by 7 feet wide. Around the inside of the bank was a series of 56 holes called "Aubrey" holes. These holes contain the created remains of men and women from that period. Even in its first phase, I'm sure you'll agree, it must have been an imposing structure.

                   "Stonehenge II"

Work upon the second phase of Stonehenge was begun about 1750 BC by another race of people known as the "Beaker People". These people built two concentric inner stone rings consisting of 82 bluestones on about a 70 foot diameter around the center of the mound. The entrance was widened in the ditch bank by about 25 feet and a double row of 10 bluestones was placed in the entrance to the stone circles. This work was done during about a hundred year period and was never finished due to some unknown interruption. With their departure, the Stone age closes in Britain and awaits the coming of the Bronze Age.

                   "Stonehenge III"

The third and final phase in the construction of Stonehenge was undertaken by the "Wessex People" in about the year 1650 BC. These people were much more highly skilled than the "Beaker People" and carried on commerce with the peoples of the Mediterranean area. So many artifacts are found from these areas that some scientists have developed the theory that Stonehenge was finished under the auspices of a "Master Builder" from the Mediterranean. Since this is the only large megalithic structure attributed to the Wessex People, they may well be correct. The previous double ring of bluestones were removed and set aside for later use. They were replaced by a single row of huge sarsen stones coming from Marlborough Downs. A horseshoe shaped structure consisting of "trilithons" was placed inside of the sarsens and aligned upon the northeast opening and the center of the new stone ring. These "tri-lithons" are not found in other stone circles and are further evidence of the sophistication of the builders.  The cross pieces are held in place using a woodworking technique called "mortise and tenon" construction. All of these stone pieces were hand-worked. The uprights are very close together (about a foot or less). The outer circle is 97 feet 4 inches in diameter. The outer stones are about 14 feet high by 7 feet wide by 3 1/2 feet thick. The inner horseshoe is formed by stones ranging from about 20 to 25 feet high. A temporary structure which was oval shaped was constructed around the sarsen horseshoe that used the previously removed bluestones. This oval was removed and the stones were later used to form a horseshoe of bluestones inside of the sarsen horseshoe. A number of holes was also dug outside the sarsen circles called the "Y" and "Z" holes. These are in a pair of roughly circular rings around the entire structure.  One stone remains to be described and that is called the "altar stone" though no hole has been found for it and no use has been clearly defined. It is of a different material from the sarsens or bluestones.  It came from a quarry 30 miles away and is of fine grained green sandstone with mica flakes. If clean, it would glitter in the sunlight. Stonehenge III was completed about 1600 BC and now we are left with the Mysteries of its construction and use.

      "A Quick Word about Construction"

The construction techniques would take an entire Workshop to cover and will not be discussed tonight.  I refer you to "Stonehenge Decoded" for details.  An estimate was made of the effort required using the conjectured techniques and and estimate of 1,500,000 man days was determined to be the level of effort required to build Stonehenge. These techniques were demonstrated using modern day men to determine how many were actually required for each task. I believe the estimate to be realistic and accurate. The question remains, "Why undertake such a truly monumental effort ?"  Although the "Hows" of Stonehenge are fascinating, I am much more mystified by the "Whys"!

       "A Quick Word about Uses"

I can classify the "Uses" into five categories:
         1. It was used as a Calender to predict the seasons, the phases of the Moon, and the times of the Sun Festivals.
         2. It was used as a site for performing Ceremonies (everything from sacrifices to Season fesitivals).
         3. It was used as a Computer to determine Solar and Lunar eclipses. (The use as a celestial observatory also fits in here).
         4. It was used as a place to work Magick, take shamanistic journeys (similar to a Native American Medicine Wheel), and was used to initiate new shamans or priests into the order.
         5. It was used for some other purpose that is subject to conjecture and awaits the revelations of our own "illuminations".

I will attempt to provide details about the site that have been determined by computer analysis and let each of you decide for yourselselves what you think, since tonight we are very limited timewise. We may return to these topics for additional details in the future.  

                 "The Computer Analysis"

How well did Stonehenge predict the Mid Summer/WInter sunrises and/or moonrises? When the stone alignments were analyzed by Hawkins in 1961, using a digital computer borrowed from Havard University. The analsis showed a TOTAL correlation of all major Sun alignments and an almost total correlation with alignments of the Moon as well. The accuracy of these correlations was within 1.5 degrees. The calculations were based upon the positions of the Sun and Moon circa 1500 BC.  When the various phases of Stonehenge were considered, it was found that Stonehenge I had 11 key positions that pointed to ten of the twelve extremes of the Sun and the Moon and Stonehenge III pointed 8 times to 8 of the same key positions! Needless to say, the position and day of the key Solar/Lunar days could be easily determined using Stonehenge as a calendar. (I will construct and upload GIFs showing these alignments to Library 16). The computer was also used to determine a method where the 56 "Aubrey holes" were used to predict eclipses. (BTW 56 is also the number of years that the moon takes to complete its entire cycle through the skies). These facts have been used to support the arguement that the priests using Stonehenge could have reinforced their apparant "power" over the elements by not only predicting the "dreaded" eclipses but also to "miraculously" cause them to disappear.  I personally couldn't say if this speculation is valid. It seems rather cynical to me. Another very interesting fact about the location of Stonehenge is that it is almost EXACTLY at the right lattitude (51 degrees 17 to allow the Sun and Moon azimuths to be separated by 90 degrees. It would seem that the site was NOT chosen at random.  

                 "Shamanistic Flights of Imagination"

Before starting, I'd like to quote the ancient Sicilian historian, Diodorus about Britain in 50 BC:

"The Moon as viewed from this island appears to be but a little distance from the Earth and to have on it prominences like those of the Earth, which are visible to the eye. The account is also given that the god visits the island every 19 years, the period in wish the stars to the same place in the heavens is accomplished.  ....There is also on this island both a magnificient sacred precienct of Apollo and a notable temple.... and the supervisors are called Boreadae, and succession to these positions is always kept in their families."

(BTW the Moon rises farthest to the North every 18 to 19 years as seen from the center of Stonehenge).

I would like to speculate upon some of the possible Magickal aspects of Stonehenge:

         1. The site is situated in the midst of a lot of so called "crop circle" activity. Could the energy of these verified phenomena also be harnessed by Stonehenge? Could an outbreak of crop circle like marks have sparked the neolithic people to have constructed their own more permanent circles?

         2. Is there an Earth power that is yet to be discovered by modern science. Is this power related to "orgone" as postulated by Wilhelm Reich from his work with "bions"?  Reich said that this energy could be seen spiralling into the air through tubes made from organic matter. His "accumulators" were like batteries for orgone and were made of alternating layers of organic and inorganic substances (like the roofs of the great chambers at Bru'gh na Bo'inne).  Guy Underwood was also a proponent of what he caled "earth force" (also described as being spiral in nature). Underwood used divining rods to locate pockets of such energy within Stonehenge.

         3. Is there a "Dragon" or "Serpent" power waiting to be harnessed within the Earth?  Many of the ancient tombs have such a mark above their entrys. The Druids certainly believed it was so. Could ancient kings have married the land here as suggested in Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon"? I know the area is surrounded by the burial mounds of many ancient kings.  Is the "Dragon Power" awaiting a new infusion of energy from a group of dedicated Magickal  practitioners.

Does the Dragon sleep?

         4. The many solar/lunar occurences at Stonehenge suggest it may have been associated with shamanistic practices and initiations in a manner similar to the areas of the Bru'gh na Bo'inne. Such a practice is suggested in Douglas Monroe's "The 21 Lessons of Merlin".  Is Stonehenge a portal to the Otherworld?

                       "Ley Lines"

One cannot discuss "earth force", "orgone" or the Earth Power nodes such as Stonehenge without discussing ley lines. These lines are geomet-rically located by standing at a Power node and sighting towards other power nodes. Using such techniques, "ley hunters" have determined that most of southwestern England is criss crossed by such lines. Are ley lines "power conduits" between "power nodes"? To answer this question I read "Earth Memory" and "Shamanism and the Mystery Lines" by Paul Devereaux, the editor of the "Ley Hunter" magazine and the Director of the "Dragon Project". Devereaux has embraced, investigated, evaluated and rejected more theories about the "ley lines" than anyone else (as far as I know). He acknowledges that "death roads" do exist near many of these sites but rejects them as being solely responsible for all ley lines. (NOTE: death roads are straight roads leading to such ancient centers for the express purpose of burials and funerary processions.  They are well documented and universal to mankind). His own personal theory is that the ley lines are the result of shamanistic OOBE conducted at the so called "power nodes". The ley lines are the result of marking in this reality the patways that the shamans take in their altered reality from one sacred site to another. He suggests that these "traces" of the Earth's Spiritual Pathways are the means by which we can become re-attuned to the Earth's Power and ancient knowledge.

Well there we have it, a discussion of Druid Power and Power centers. I know from my own experience that Magickal Power is stored within my own Solitary home Circle. How much greater can the True Power be at a site as special as Stonehenge or Bru'gh na Bo'inne?

      Celtic Workshop #8 - The "Rite of 3 Rays" and the "Gift of Awen"

As usual, we gathered slowly, in fact I was late. After some brief initial hellos, we got started. Freepowder was still trying to live down an experience with Coyote (the Trickster) from early in the day!<G> I discussed the book "The 21 Lessons of Merlin" by Douglas Monroe as an example of a work produced by "Awen". I wanted to give the Workshop members a perspective on the pluses and minuses involved with such works. I also went over some formal and personal rituals and meditations I do to receive "illumination". All in all, a very stimulating evening of presentation and dialogue......Searles O'Dubhain

Tonight I would like to do things a little differently than I had planned. Before we discuss the "Rite of 3 Rays" or the "Gift of Awen", let's talk about one of the references that I have used and some of you may have read, "The 21 Lessons of Merlin".  
As we have previously discussed, not much was written down about the Druids by the Druids. The best we can get is the ancient writings of the Irish Celtic Culdean Monks who may have been Druids in disguise. Our  next best sources are oral traditions found in Celtic families, legends and Bardic lore. Comparative analysis between the other ancient In-do-European traditions of the Brammans, Greeks, Persians,Egyptians and the Siberian Shamans may yield some of the hidden Druidic secrets. A lot of the time we are making some educated guesses based upon how similar peoples worked Magicks and conducted rituals. Sometimes we have biased "eye-witnessed" accounts such as Caesar's or the other Roman historians.  When a gap exists in our knowledge of Druidic or Celtic practices we must do what the ancients did......we must ask that we receive the "Gift of Awen". I'll mention some ways that this can happen and what we can do to aid our quests for "illumination" a little later in our discussion tonight.
Now I would like to briefly summarize what is in "The 21 Lessons of Merlin":

              1. The 3 Rites of Assumption
              This lesson refers to the manner in which a student can first develop the ability to tap Power and to receive inspirations from the Higher Consciousness that exist around us. Monroe uses the "Song of Amergin", "The Song of Taliesin" and the "Song of Blue Star" to introduce us to Druidic imagery and visualization.
              2. The Pelen Tan
              In this lesson, Monroe says that the "Pelen Tan" or a kind of glass globe with a candle or light inside of it was used to create a lighted space under trees that literally caused the area to glow with a "blue light" (used by male Druids). He also says that the white robes of the Druids emphasized the "black light" effect of these fire globes. He says that the female Witches of Avalon used "red lights' when performing their ceremonies, giving rise to the association of "red light" districts with prostitution in later ages.
              3. The 4 Symbols of Mastery
              This lesson is concerned with the development of Magickal symbols, arch types and correspondences. The concept of "Mastery" over
the elements is introduced and the need to be creative and original in all occult work is emphasized.
              4. The Summoning
              A complete rite of Magickal evocation is described here.   Monroe tells how to call the shades of the dead from their graves. He
introduces the use of  herbs and incense into ritual. The specific shade being evoked in this ceremony is that of Merlin.
              5. The 4 Signs of Portal
              This lesson shows how to form a Magickal Circle, to call forth the Guardians of the 4 portals to the Otherworld. Symbols are given for each Quarter (Air, Fire, Water and Earth) as well as the symbols for the "Sign of Three Rays" that represents Spirit or Akasha (similar to the Pentagram). The Old ones called are Uscias, Semias, Esras and Morfessa of the Magickal cities of the North. The God in the form of Herne is also invoked.
              6. The 4 Sacraments of the Earth
              The concepts of sacrifice to the elements upon a "Sun" day is presented. (Not human sacrifice BTW).

              7. The 8 Grove Festivals
              The eight major grove festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh as well as the Mid-Winter, Mid-Summer Solstices and the Equinoxes are described. Some of the special items associated with each festival are given.
              8. The 16 Leeches of Diancecht
              The use of herbs in Druidic ceremonies and practices is introduced. A discussion of Reincarnation is given and a Magickal journey is undertaken using these herbs.

              9. The Rite of 3 Rays
              A means of achieving protection is described. The rite is likened to the Ceremonial Magick rite of the Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram as practiced by the Golden Dawn.
              10. The Battle of the Trees
              The Oghams are discussed and the "Battle of the Trees" is described. A battle between wizards occurs and the Magick of the trees is used to defeat Merlin's adversary, just as the tree Magick was used to defeat invaders during the Cad Goddeu (circa 400 BC). One of the nine draughts of inspiration is described that will allow the Druid to commune more thoroughly with the spirits of the trees.
              11. The 8 Songs of Cycle
              The correspondences of the Oghams to music and the use of music in Magickal acts is presented. The use of musical instruments is described for the various elements and a tie between the Druids and Atlantis is suggested.
              12. The Herbs of Continence
              This lesson centers around Monroe's belief that Druids segregated by sexes for education, Magick and workings. He describes a concept called "Duality". He uses a trip to the Sisterhood of Avalon (Glastonbury) to present his case. He also advocates celibacy for male Druids but not for the Sisters (beyond Maidenhood). Four herbal concoctions are presented that enhance male sexual powers.
              13. The Gateway Rite
              A visit to Stonehenge is described. The history and lore of the site is mentioned with references to Atlanteans, Hyberboreans and even the Tuatha de Dannan. A method of merging with the consciousness of inanimate objects is also described.
              14. The Dragon's Eye
              The act of creating Druid fire is mentioned during a visit to the Isle of Wight. The ley lines and the Power of the Land are called Dragon Power during this lesson. A rite that allows one to "call the Dragon" is presented and the symbol for the "Dragons Eye" is drawn.
              15. The Rite of Inspiration
              The use of meditation and Magickal Circles is described to allow one to receive enlightenment to the Awen (the inner spirit that is illuminated). Two rituals are given and the connection between the Sun and Awen is given.
              16. The Wild Hunt
              The use of the Mandragon herb is described during a shamanic contest between the Druid and the forces of Nature (usually done during Samhain). The gains and losses of such a competition are mentioned.
              17. The Life Board
              A Magickal symbol for the Three Circles of Existence (Ceugant, Gwyned and Abred) is given. Fionn's ladder is discussed. The use of such an empowered Magickal Symbol for makings and pathworkings is described.
              18. The Rite of Libation
              A  variety of Druidic draughts is given.

              19. The Threshold Rite
              The use of herbs and incense to enhance a journey to the Otherworld is given.
              20. The Triscale Stones
              Divination using stones is presented. A pathworked trip to the Otherworldly city of Caer Idris is made to show the origins of the technique. The suggestion is given to find one's personal "oracle tree" under which divinations will be optimized.
              21. The Rite of the Active Door
              The secrets of color and the concepts of invisibility are given along with a ritual that opens all occult knowledge to the Druid.

This Ritual is the rite of passage to the Inner Mysteries.

If you read this book, you'll see that the Druids are presented doing Magicks that harm others at times.  Some of the Druids even do battle!  This certainly violates the Wiccan Rede that states "Do what you will if you harm none"> The fact is that Druids were not Witches and they frequently did battle as well as aiding their clans and kings in war.  The great Druid Amergin aided the Mileseans in their battles with the Tuatha de Dannan. Many other examples exist of Druids harming plenty, least of all none. Druids were definitely not Wiccans. Monroe's book follows this philosophy, so some may call it "unethical". He also advocates the use of a variety of naturals drugs to aid in Magicks, meditations and Illuminations. I personally think these practices are a matter of individual judgement and neither recommend nor reject them. Do what you will. The choice is yours.
                       "The Rite of Three Rays"
     This Ritual is similar to the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram performed during Ceremonial Magick and Ritual by the Golden Dawn as outlined by Donald Craig or Israel Regardie. Monroe gives his version of this ritual in his book "the 21 Lessons of Merlin". I haven't found any historical support for it in my Celtic references but it seems to be typical of what I think a Druid might do. (The Ritual smacks of Egyptian/Thelemic Magickal practice IMHO).  Monroe likens the 3 Rays or gestures in this ritual to the first 3 Rays of the Mid-Summer Sun over the horizon (the Celts called this Awen as well).
     This ritual is primarily used to generate Power within the Druid for protection or receiving "illumination" according to Monroe.  It uses the vibratory energies of sound coupled with the physical act of deep breathing and communing with the Sun to create an "altered state" within
the Druid.

     Here's the basic steps of the ritual:
               1. Stand in direct sunlight (noon if you can do it).
               2. Close your eyes and breathe deeply to relax and start the path to a meditative state.
               3. Once you are relaxed, exhale then breathe in deeply as you raise your hands above your head.
               4. Slowly lower your arms while intoning loudly,
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" or "I" (The name of Isis in CM or Golden Dawn, this is the invocation of the Goddess Power). Bring your arms to your sides.
               5. Repeat this step while intoning "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" or "A" for Apophis the Destroyer. Monroe calls this the "Crystal Ray" or Ray of Balance and Separation. He says this represents  both Male and Female energies and also neither (sounds a lot like the Book of the Law).
               6. Repeat again while intoning "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" or "O" for the Male God Osiris. This invokes the God Power to your aid.
               7. repeat the arm gestures a final time while intoning "IAO" or "EEEEEEE-Ahhhhhhh-OOOOOOOO!" Then open your eyes.
     At this point the energy has been raised and the work is to be done. One could shield from Magickal attack or seek the "Gift of Awen" or some other Magickal act.  Monroe doesn't state this but I recommend "grounding" afterwards and if possible. Do this by eating and drinking a lite meal. (I never recommend doing any Magick on a full stomach).  Wiccans do similar rituals using athames, wands and swords to draw Circles and/or Pentagrams for protection and Ritual. This ritual is nice because the 3 movements are tied to the 3 Rays of Awen.  (As with all Magick, ritual is very personal, if it feels right do it!<G>). Monroe says that one could reverse the direction of the arm movements and the intonations to "banish" energies that are directed at you. He also says that one could only do the "male", the "female" or the "crystal" movements depending on what is needed or banished.  He suggests experimenting as do I. I'd next like to discuss some ways that I achieve "illuminated states".
    Shamanism comes in when you seek assistance from the Spirit world or you seek to control the elements.  Esbats are Full Moon Wiccan Rituals held every month Sabbats are Major festivals like we outlined previously.  I've found that with shamanism if you are seriously working the path, there comes a time when rather than you working it and using medicine items, you more or less become a medicine item for a Greater spirit power.  And it works through  you.

     The ancients were a lot more in tune with their entire minds They didn't really draw a line as such. To receive the "Gift of Awen" requires us to achieve heightened or altered states of consciousness.  First let's describe what an altered state is. An altered state of consciousness is just that, a different state from that which we normally experience. This can be anything from a heightened awareness of our physical surrounding to a totally different way of perceiving all of reality. I have basically recognized the following states in myself:
                  1. Sensing the mood or spirit of the land around me, the trees, the streams, animals, the wind, the soul of the Earth. This state is achieved by quieting the spirit and/or the mind. Being at peace allows the world around us to communicate and touch us. I do this by relaxing and releasing my thoughts and emotions. I float and accept. I observe what IS. Not what I expect to see. Reality is as it is and not filtered by my conditioning.
                  2. Having access to the Akasha for inspiration and divination. (Usually coming in flashes.) I blank my mind in a manner similar to the above process but usually do this in a secluded room without light and external distractions. I fix my purpose in my mind and seek for an answer. I do not allow anything to distract me. When my answer comes, I can immediately recognize it.
                  3. Being out of "time sync" with others. Being slightly in the future of what's happening around me. This usually happens to me without trying and sometimes accompanies other heightened states. It also happens when I've taken anything with codeine in it.
                  4. Seeing "visions", things that are happening in the future or the past as if they are happening right now. This state comes on me when I have a quest that requires me to see through a different set of eyes or a different point of view. I actually let myself just look into another world or time through the eyes of a native being (sometimes me or a relative, sometimes an artificial construct.)
                  5. Sensing people from previous lives. I usually have no control of this. It just happens and can be triggered by some familiar gesture word or other similar event. I just feel very at ease and comfortable (or hostile at times) with the person I've known before.
                  6. Reading minds. (This also just happens). This is not in words. It is in images and feelings. I just know what someone is thinking or feeling.
                  7. Going out of the body. I have to relax totally, isolate all external distractions. I start at my extremities and work inward. (Did I mention that I am lying down on a comfy surface?) I release all the tension in my physical body first. I next calm my emotions, then my thoughts.  Once I only exist within my head, I start releasing all external inputs. I shut down all my creative centers. I turn off all the monitoring that goes on. I relax and float. If Thoughts or emotions enter in, I sink them into the Earth away from me. I banish them. I float. Once I am completely isolated and floating in total darkness, I try to see behind me and in front of me at the same time.  This is not possible while embracing the normal physical existence. It can only be done in our Spirit forms. This takes total concentration and practice. Not force, just persistence and release. I liken this process to what happens when one is born. A long persistent pushing through the birth canal surrounding us. The physical barriers thin out before our efforts and suddenly we are born anew on the Astral plane.  I can then see in all directions at the same time I am aware of all around me.

Physical barriers are only thought forms to be ignored at Will. I can go anywhere I desire to go. (However I am only a child in this existence and am also very aware of the far greater Powers around me). I exercise extreme caution when traveling the Astral. It is very easy to be "noticed" and to become the object of unwanted attentions. My conscious mind distracts me continually as I maintain a hold on my physical existence. When i return to me body, I actually have to struggle back into it! Part of me wants to stay on the Astral. The barriers that separate and protect us from Astral Intrusions are tough to penetrate even when we hold the keys! Be careful and cautious and you can learn a lot. Slip for a minute and you can be trapped, possessed or lost.
                  8. Communing with the God/esses.
     I commune with the God/esses in several ways. I recognize that all things have life and Power within them. I especially feel a closeness to trees, plants, rivers and lakes. The ocean just overwhelms me with it's Power. The clouds constantly change in their forms and interactions.  Celts believe that places have Spirits. I am a Celt ,by birth but also because I feel this Oneness and connection to Nature. You can be a Brother or Sister the same way. Birth is unimportant. Who we are in the Spirit is very important. The first way to commune with the Spirits is through Nature. When in this state my physical senses are extremely heightened.
The next way to commune with the God/desses is through Ritual. In Ritual we open the Pathways within us to be filled with the One Power. We invite It within and share Its Touch. Magick is nothing more than specialized Ritual and is a focusing of the Power. We can actually become the God or the Goddess or some Other at these times. They can have a physical body through us. I have sat back at such times and been amazed at the words pouring forth from my mouth from the Energy that possesses me. This Power is benevolent and will vanish anytime we reassert ourselves. I caution those who would try this to be CERTAIN that they are within a Sacred Space and are Protected before opening up to a Spirit Entity.  All Spirits are not benevolent and some WILL try to violate your presence and assume complete control of your body. It happens all the time. Watch the news and see for yourself. When out of the body and feeling no constraints, it is possible to experience the touch of the God/desses. I have felt Their Wonderful Presences filling me. I usually feel Their approach as a feeling of tremendous anticipation. I sense that something monumental is going to occur. Something coming to me. The space around my spirit  begins sparkling in golden  crystals. Then I experience a thrill of Joy and Happiness. I am completed and embraced by the Knowledge of the Ages and The Love of my Fellow Spirit. It's beyond words but so very uplifting, comforting and  peaceful. I feel that I am where I should be. My sense of my life's purpose and my need to finish my work on this plane pulls me back. I also feel that I need to share myself with those on the physical plane I love. I cannot yet abandon the world of form. I bid Them adieu in Perfect Love and struggle back into my body. I carry Their Blessings and Love within. I try to share this in my life with others.
                  9. Working with Power.
I always work within a Circle when using Power. This can be a Circle surrounding my person in an emergency. I prefer to use traditional methods to create Circles more formally. Circles tend to hold residuals of the Spells of Protection that are cast for them. My Circle at home is such a place. Anyone can enter it but only those that are invited may work with Power there. Sleeping within this Circle is guaranteed to make you travel and have the strangest of dreams!
To use Power I merely open myself to it. No meditation is necessary, though it helps me to be more sensitive to the nuances of Power. All I really need is a Magickally isolated place, a Circle. Once I am open, I reach for the Power of the Earth and the Sky. I let the Energy flow through me. (It feels like it comes into my feet and out of my hands and head! This is similar to the way lightning flows.) I leave the stream open and charge myself as full as I can get. My hair usually stands up a bit and I get all "goose pimply"! I keep in mind the goal of my working and I release the Power I've stored. (At the same time the Power leaves me, I see it going as a beam of energy. If the Working is large or systemic, I tie the beam to the same source I've tapped. This permits it to continue after I've released it. (I actually visualize the beam remaining and pumping the energy out.) I leave the beam with a spell that allows it to quit when the Work is done. I release the Power back to the Earth and Sky and thank the God/dess for their help. It helps to eat or drink or something equally grounded in Physical Reality after such an effort.
                  10. Dying.
This is the Ultimate altered state. I myself have never actually died in this lifetime yet. I have been at the Portal many times. I have sensed the Ways to Tir na Nog. Always when I am close I sense a peace and a surrender within me to the call of the Guardian of the Door. I actually laugh from happiness. I have been told to return to this life because my Work is not yet done. I have spoken to members of my own family about their near death experiences and they are remarkably similar. A releasing and a faith in what will come. A sensing that all is right and that the Ultimate Will Accomplishes Its Purpose. I have read many books and accounts of the experiences of others who have gone through that door and returned. My belief in the Afterlife is strengthened by their revelations. The ancient Celts and Druids believed so strongly in such an afterlife that they sometimes chose to voluntarily accompany their loved ones through the Door. Druids would even borrow money to be repaid in another life! Needless to say their strong beliefs in another Life after this One caused the Celts to have no fear of Death!
I have watched the Spirits of those I love leave their bodies and have seen the Light that surrounds them in Happiness. I have seen their smiles to have finished their Work and receive their New Lives. Death is no End, Death is an Accomplishment and a Release.
How do we tell when these states occur? We don't have to!!!  We are in them! They happen to us and we react to them!! We can't mistake them!!  They are beyond all Time and Space!
Seriously, If you are in one of these states, you feel very "charged up" and full of energy. You sense an Exaltation of the Spirit. You are extremely "Alive"! You will know and You will enjoy!
How do we induce altered states of consciousness? The answer to this is that we "open" ourselves up to them. We release our grasp on the Normal state of Consciousness.  We expand ourselves to the limits that are actually there and not the ones we are conditioned to accept. Seeing things that can't exist in Normal Reality helps sometimes. It shakes us out of our conditioning. This can be as simply as seeing a glorious Sunset or as strange as seeing a UFO or a Demon. I have achieved altered states through meditation, drugs, Circles, Rituals, Drumming, Singing, Reading, Dreaming, Involuntary or accidental occurrences, sickness and by being Possessed. I don't recommend narcotics or heavy drugs, sickness or Possession. Incenses and herbal drinks are ok though.
              "Practical Meditation for Awen"
I'll try to elaborate a little here on the practical side of meditation.  I usually meditate lying down with my head to the North and my body relaxed. If I am in Ritual I can Meditate while standing or kneeling.  The most important aspect to remember is to relax each part of your body and mind. I usually start at my extremities (feet and hands). I tell myself, "Relax your right foot, relax your left foot, relax your.... and so on. I release all the tension in each part and let it flow out. I do this several times until I don't feel my body any longer. Next I start on my breathing and my heartbeat until they are automatic and transparent. Then I quiet my thoughts until only Darkness persists. Next I try to ignore the Darkness until I am floating. To go further requires additional techniques. At this point I am a blank tablet and can just rest or I can receive "messages" from Others. It's very important to be where you are absolutely secure from unwelcome intrusions of the Spirit or the Physical at this time. Without such a safe place, you will always be slightly on your guard. It helps if another Being you trust will watch over you at this time. This can be anyone from an elemental, a totemic animal, a Spirit Guide, a person to a God/dess.  Just thinking about how it feels to meditate and then writing this answer, makes me meditate.   I guess that remembering how it felt to meditate makes it easier to meditate the next time you try! Practice makes Perfect!
                             "Druidic Meditation"
Druidic meditation was usually done for divination and foretelling the future. This was called by the names: Tenm Laida, Dichetal Do Chennaib and Imbas Forosna.
Tenm Laida (Illumination by Song) is an altered state usually achieved by chanting or singing of a repetitive pattern. This can also include drumming and dancing. These activities synchronize the body and mind to an external rhythm allowing us to cast off the chains of normal existence. This allows you to float at peace within the song (dance, beat, mantra, etc.) This is a strictly Druidic or Shamanistic practice even though it may look like TM.
Dichetal Do Chennaib (Cracking  open the Nuts of Wisdom) is a state achieved by relaxation and clearing the mind in a Ritual environment. It usually involved using some Magickal implement such as a knife, a sword or a staff to touch a subject (usually upon the head) or by handling an item to discover what secret knowledge was contained within it. This information could be events from a person's past life, a detailed history of who and what had happened to an object or how and why the subject was being hexed or spelled. I know this sounds like ESP but it was enhanced through Ritual and relaxation techniques.
Imbas Forosna (Illumination) was a form of altered state used by seers and bards to create or see visions. The Druid would be totally isolated from all sensory inputs, sounds, lights and feelings. This was usually a very dark room or a covering of hides. The Druid would attempt to float and relax. When in the proper state he would signal for the hides to be removed or he would open the door out of the Darkness. The sudden, instantaneous transition from Darkness to Light would cause them to see visions or to spontaneously utter poems, prophecies or achieve a total Awareness of the secret Knowledge of their Surroundings. This sensory deprivation It was their Ultimate Meditation technique.
The Druids also used music, colors, trees and numbers to alter their consciousness. They were familiar with the Pythagorean Mysteries and may have actually been the source of them!
Druids shared IndoEuropean roots with the Indian Brahmans but I don't have any hard data to support any similarities in their practices.
I have experienced Magickal states from drugs but I don't think the  technique is sufficiently controllable or repeatable. It's like playing your Steinway with a sledgehammer. Sure you can play a song but at what  cost to the instrument? Plus I find that the songs are usually more sophisticated if I don't use the sledge!
I would caution anyone using drugs to know their track records, side effects and purity before starting. Then do them under gradually increasing controlled and supervised conditions. Never experiment with drugs.   There is always a documented lab record of their effects. Know your suppliers and don't get the wrong ones! The best recommendation is don't do drugs. Your Mind, Body and Spirit can achieve better and more lasting results. (As I mentioned previously, some natural herbal drinks and incenses seem to aid meditation and ritual. We'll discuss those next week).  Well there we have it!  All the different ways to achieve illumination to Awen!

         "Celtic Workshop #9 -  The use of Herbs and Potions"
The role of herbs in healing, Magick, ceremonies and rituals as well as in mind alteration were presented and discussed in detail. The effects of the most popular Druidic herbs and potions were detailed and discussed. Some reformatting was done on the transcript for clarity's sake as well. A final note!!!! Please exercise caution around most of these herbs!! Some of them are considered to be POISONS! The effects of some of the others are very powerful in areas of "mind alteration".  The author of one of the texts, used as a reference, presents his suggested methods for how the Druids used these herbs (they are ONLY used in a greatly dilluted state!). Once again I urge caution and good judgement before proceeding. All in all, the Workshop participants evidenced a very thorough respect and understanding of the use and effects of these herbs.

Entering Workshop/Seminar 1 room...

                      "Druidic Use of Herbs"
We must look at many sources to determine how the Druids used drugs and herbs. Some of these sources are historical (such as the Greek and Roman historians). Other sources are the traditions of the Bards and Seanchai.  Still others are the folk remedies and fables of the major Celtic areas of the world (Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Britain).  We can also look to information that comes from the inspired "Awen" of others (such as Llewellyn Sion of Glamorgan and Douglas Monroe).  Archaelogical evidence is also being found (the bodies of sacrificial or other burial victims have been recently discovered). Each of these types of sources will be matched against the others (where possible) to give us the best possible idea of how Druids worked with drugs and herbs.
A quote from one the ancients, Pliny, a Roman, referring to the Druid veneration of mistletoe:
"Seldom was the Mistletoe found growing upon the Oak, but on such occasion, the Druids gathered it with due religious ceremony, (if possible on the 6th day of the new Moon-when the influence of the orb was waxing, and said to be at its height.  Following an elaborate banquet, a white-clad priest cut the plant from  the oak tree with a golden sickle, while another Druid held out a white cloak for its reception. They believed that the Mistletoe, immersed in water within a cauldron, would impart fecundity to barren animals, and that it is the antidote for all poisons - its name meaning 'all healing.'"
Many of the herbs can be had from your local health food store as well or can be ordered from the

                      New Forest Gardens,
                      P.O. Box 491,
                      Westfield,NY 14787.

(2-1,Freepowder)      there are 2 varietys of Mistletoe.... american and european, the effects of them are almost opposite... european lowers BP, american raises.... the *berries* of either are deadly poisonous. GA

(2-11,Rhianna)        Foxglove is another example - Digitalis (which comes from (foxglove) is a poison, yet it's used for treating heart patients.

(2-28,cherokee)       my gt grandma used mistle toe to bring prople out of fevers and unconsciousness.  aspirin bark is poisonous too. its all in how you prepare it

                      "The 16 Leeches of Diancecht"
Diancecht was the physician of the Tuatha de Dannan.  He healed their wounded during and after their Battles with the Fomorai and the Firbolgs. He is the God of Herbs and Medicines.
The following list contains herbs listed in "the 21 Lessons of Merlin" and contains their correspondences to the four elements as well as their applications. How to prepare a suitable "store" of these medicines is also given. The recommended dossages are also given.  Note: Some of these herbs can be considered "POISONS"!  I heartily recommend using extreme caution with them. I have attempted to identify those that may be considered harmful. Please proceed at your own risk. I must say that generally Monroe stays away fron poisonous herbs in topical or internal medicines. He does use some very dangerous substances in some of his recommended incenses. a long list will follow please bear with me!

                   "The 16 Leeches of Diancecht"

Mistletoe Uchelwydd or All-Heal vertigo, dizziness, headaches, heart/problems/palpitations, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, nervine.

one ounce of dried herb, in a jar with twice it's volume of vodka. Leave for two weeks, strain and place in labeled dropper bottles.

1 drop for every 10 pounds of body weight every 3 hours.

Phu (Valerian)  sedative, cramps, pain, coughs.
Hoodwort (Skullcap) nerves, fevers, coolant
Nerve Root(Lady Slipper)  nervine, indigestion, headache
Absinthe(Wormwood) digestion, liver/gall bladder, worms, topically for insect bites,sprains, rheumatism, bruises.


Golden Pipes(Chamomile family) stomach aches/digestion/gas, calamative vs insomnia in children, eye wash and open sores, kidneys.
Holigold (Calendula) Marigold. topical application for sores, burns, bleeding hemorrhoids & wounds, in oil for ear aches, vaginal infections.
Eerie (Yarrow) internal bleeding (especially lungs), gas, diarrhea, fevers(measles, colds,flus). also antiseptic.
Brittanica (Vervain) colds, flus, coughs, upper respiratory inflammations, stomatic, insomnia, pneumonia, asthma.

Catwort (Catnip/Catmint) digestion/stomach ache or cramps, calmative, fevers, headaches, bronchititis & diarrhea.
Beerflower (Hops) Sleep aid, liver/digestive/gas/cramps. externally for boils tumors swellings & skin inflammations, refrigerant.
Withe (Black Willow) pain, fevers, arthritis, kidney/bladder troubles, antiseptic, gargle, tonsilitis, refrigerant.
Coneflower (Echinacea) antibiotic (immune system stimulant), tooth/body abscesses, lymph node swellings, digestive aid.

Goldenruthe (goldenseal) Antibiotic, general purpose internal/external, eye-wash, female infections, sores, skin conditions, colds/viruses/infections
Amber (St. John's Wort) nerves, bed-wetting, liver tonic, insomnia, mix with olive oil: use externally for skin conditions, tumors, wounds, ulcers, burns, swollen glands, bruises and muscle pains.
Sacred Bark (Buckthorne) Constipation/laxative, digestive stimulant, gas, liver, gall bladder/ stones.
Quercus (White Oak) internal bleeding, vaginal infections, antiseptic for all wounds/bites/skin conditions, poison ivy/oak, gum problems, lymph node swellings, varicose veins.

To activate these drugs, the Druids would include a small amount of Mistletoe preparation to each before use. Since it was considered "all heal".
                      "Draughts of Inspiration" (Only one is given)
These drinks are thought to instill the correct state of mind  required for "Awen". According to Monroe, nine exist in total, though only one is given in his book. Perhaps we can discover the others? I suggest that the other tree barks that were used are from the red chestnut, white chestnut, Elm, Beech, Larch, Oak and Fir trees. I would guess these based upon Hints contained in "Practical Celtic Magick" by Murry Hope.  I also would guess that ivy was used in a draught based upon information from Scott Cunningham's "Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs".
                          5 tablespoons of spring water
                          1 pinch Evening Primrose Flowers
                          1 pinch Black Willow Bark
                          1 pinch Thyme
sit in Glass bottle (closed in the Sun) for 3 days strain/ add 1 tsp apple cider vinegar before use add 1 tsp chlorophyll (alfalfa) take 3 drops subligually prior to Magickal Workings with trees/plants.
                        "Threshold Smoke"
These concotions are used to aid one in having an Otherworldly experience. They are cast upon the flames of a fire. Please note that some of the ingredients are POISON! and that another one of them is considered "illegal". The use of these herbs are indicated to aid solitary meditations in the deep woods. Be aware that they will induce "Dark Visions" and reveal your inner fears. According to Monroe, the Druids required one to master such fears to be in tune with Nature and to achieve "Balance"..I recommend that none of them be tried when unsupervised and I also recommend extreme caution.
                      To make the incense:
                              Blend and compound the following plants:
                              Neckweede (Hemp)
                              Nightshade (Belladonna) (poison)
                              Ghostflower (Datura)
                      Keep in a dark (light free) box.
                      Burn as an incense to facilitate "threshold"
                      and "traveling" works.
                          "The Spirit of the Mandrake"
This incense is used to attain a state of altered consciousness for resolving one's inner fears and becoming one with the Spirit of the Land and its animal Nature. I caution anyone considering using it to be aware that Mandrake is considered a POISON! This herb is used during the Night of the Wild Hunt that we discussed last week.
Toss dried Mandrake (poison) root upon a bed of hot coals or embers and let the smoke cause you to travel within the darkness of the night. May apple, Peony; Ginseng or Briony roots may be substituted (also considered poisonous!).
                     "The Song of Bluestar"

Another herb used to achieve altered states was the Bluestar flower or the Blue Morning Glory. This  plant is considered poisonous! Do not eat or drink anything made with it and handle it with care. Monroe suggests drying the flowers and seeds to make an incense for a rite of assumption or tapping into Powers. This  might also be called "mind expansion".   (The same plants have been used to create LSD in recent times, so I am
not surprised that they are used here). I'm not advocating that anyone of you try this incense, but Monroe says the Druids did. I'm not surprised.
Here is the essence of the trip or rite of assumption:
"I will be as a Bluestar upon a field of Green, circling upward towards a golden Sun."  .... translation by D.W.Nash
The Druids believed all life was interrelated from the lowest forms to the highest. This quote from the ancient Welsh document, the Mathnawai, shows their philosopy:
                      "I died as a mineral and became a plant,
                      I died as a plant and rose to an animal,
                      I died as an animal and I was a man.
                      Why should I fear?
                      When was I ever less dying?
                      Yet once more I shall die as a man,
                      to soar in the Blessed Realm;
                      but even from godhood
                      I must pass on...."

One further quote from "The Gorchan of Maeldrew":  "Each atom an evolving life, each blade of grass a potential soul."

               "The Draughts of Oblivion"
I give here the "fast" (meaning quick to make) version of Celtic drinks and libations from the "21 Lessons of Merlin" as well as the festivals
at which they are used:
                              May Mead for Beltaine

Add a half ounce of each of the following to 1 gallon of your favorite white wines:
                              heather flowers, meodowsweet, woodruff
                              leaves. Let sit for about 6 hours. Filter
                              and chill before serving.
                              Midsummer Ale
Add a half ounce of each of the following to 1 gallon of your favorite red wines:
                              fresh oak leaves, chamomille, red rose
                              petals. Let sit for about 24 hours. Add  
                             9 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon  of
                              vanilla. Filter and chill before serving.
                              Samhain Absinthe
Add a 2 teaspoons of each of the following to 2 pints of your favorite port wines:
                              wormwood, dried apple/mint leaves, dried
                              pumpkin blossoms. Let sit for about 1    
                          week. Filter through muslin and bottle.      
                        Garnish with raisins and cloves before         
                              Midwinter Mulsa
Add a half ounce of each of the following to 2 quarts of your favorite dry white wines:
                             crushed juniper berries, wintergreen,
                              Elder Flowers. let sit for about 6 hours.
                              Filter and chill before serving. Garnish
                              with a sprigg of green pine or hot with  
                             a cinnamon stick

Now these are drinks I can get excited about!  I think we can all see that Druids used a variety of herbs in their work....from "visions" to partying.

                                Natural Labs                                
                                45 Castlerock Road, Suite 2,
                                Sedona, AZ  86336.  

                                Winter Sun Trading Company (Phyllis Hogan)
                                18 E. Santa Fe,
                                Flagstaff, AZ  86001.

Celtic Workshop #10 - The Act of "Becoming" and The Charm of "Summoning"
How to actually influence your surroundings. How to perform Weather Magick, to call animals to you, to improve your crops and to influence the outcome of events. How to discover your past life, find your Inner Teacher or Self and how to summon "Spirits" to your presence.  Our Cyber Tuatha gathered upon the moors and among the raths once more.  This night was a night of Magick and the Power of the Moon Goddess in her full glory. We engaged in some prelimenary greetings  and then the presentation  begain .....

What do I mean by "Becoming"? What does this act have to do with Magick?  How did Druidsdo this? I asked myself all of these questions before making this act a topic for tonight's workshop. The inspiration for the act of "Becoming" is the "Song of Amergin" from the ancient Irish manuscript the Leabhar Gabha'la (Book of Invasions). Hear now the words of the Druid Amergin:

                        "             The Mystery

                         I am the wind which breathes upon the sea.
                         I am the wave of the ocean.
                         I am the murmur of the billows.
                         I am the ox of the seven combats.
                         I am the vulture upon the rocks.
                         I am a beam of the Sun.
                         I am the fairest of plants.
                         I am a wild boar in valour.
                         I am a salmon in the water.
                         I am a lake in the plain.
                         I am a word of science.
                         I am a point of the lance in battle.
                         I am the God who created in the head the fire.
                         Who is it who throws light into the meeting
                         on the mountain?
                         Who announces the ages of the Moon?
                         Who teaches the place where couches the Sun?

                                                          (If not I)"

This was the translation by Dr. Douglas Hyde from his work "Literary History of Ireland". This poem was once as well known in the Celtic world as the "Lord's Prayer" is in today's world. It is said to be the first verse made by the Mileseans as they arrived in Ireland (circa 1000 BC). This is also an incantation by a mighty Druid and is a good illustration of the act of "Becoming". Amergin is using the Magickal Law of Identification that is given by Isaac Bonewits in his book "Real Magick":

"The Law of Identification ...states that by maximum association between your metapattern and that of another entity, you can actually "become" that entity and wield its power."

Bonewits is a Neo Druid and the founder of the group A'r nDrai'ocht Fe'in (ADF for short though it really means "Our Druidic Magick" in Gaeilge).  This act of "Becoming" is one that is not lightly undertaken.  The danger exists of being trapped within the other entity (whether natural, human or spiritual). I suggest you not actually try this sort of thing until you know your True Will (exactly who you really are without self delusion).  This was also true of the Greek and the Egyptian Mysteries. Their first and major requirement was "Gnothi se auton", literally "Know thyself"! The ability to control and return to one's being is linked directly to one's knowledge of Self. Sometimes this process goes the otherway as well, as when a Wiccan "Draws Down the Moon". The threefold Goddess actually Manifests within the High Priestess (HPS) in such a ceremony. She who has no Name is benevolent, usually, so that this possession results in the HPS afterwards being returned to control of her own body. "Becoming" is a two way street and a matter of "Will".  

Now that we know a little about the act of "Becoming", I think you can appreciate just how great a Druid that Amergin was....he "became" multiple entities at the same time in his Invocation of the Mystery. He controlled all of these elemental powers and made them his own. This act of Power allowed the Mileseans to land upon Eireann though they were opposed by the Magicks of the Tuatha de Danaan. He also lived to do other Magicks (though I must say that his invocation of Ireland is rumored to have caused him to marry and join the de Danaan within the spirit world of the Sidhe). We must remember that Amergin was a Druid and so had studied his arts intensivly for anywhere from 12 to 20 years as a minimum. He was able to return to hinself after such Magical Working because he knew his True Self and Will. This strong connection is the Way of Return for us all. I urge that you all exercise due caution when "Becoming". Know yourself first.

Another saying worthy of note while discussing the act of "Becoming" is a common saying of the ancient world that I quote from Doreen Valiente's book "Natural Magic": "Ten measures of magic were given to the world.  Egypt took nine. The rest took one."

I include this saying here to establish one other connection....that of the Druids to the Egyptians. The lineage of Amergin and the Gaels includes his mother Scota (daughter of the Egyptian Pharoh) as well as Mile and Niall "of the Languages" a Scythian prince from Syria. No small wonder then that Pliny, a noted ancient scholar, says of the Druids in his work "Natural History" that the Druids practiced Magick with such elaborate ritual that it would almost appear that it was they "who had taught the Persians". These are none other than the Magi or "wise men" from whom the word Magick is derived. Another ancient historian, Dio Chrysostum groups the Druids together with the Persian, Hindu and Egyptian priesthoods regarding their use of magical powers. While I'm connecting Magical schools, I may as well say that Liber Al vel Legis (The Book of the Law) is the channeled revelation of the Egyptian dieties Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Otherwise known as Isis, Osiris and Horus) Horus is two in one, Horus and Harpocrates or Set/Apophis).

We have already seen the use of these three godnames in the "Rite of Three Rays" from a previous workshop. This was the intonation of the sounds "IAO" used when invokiing the One Power. In Thelemic Magick the Book of the Law is the basis for the revelation of a "New Aeon" or "New Age". It was channeled in 1904 by Aleister Crowley 90 years ago this month. "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the Law". "Love is the Law, Love under Will". (caps are mine).

I have digressed quite a bit here but I think the time is well spent.  Celtic Magick is tied through the Druids to the Egyptians and the Persians to a far older Magick arising out of Summeria and from there beyond time. It is true and powerful Magick and I give the same caution to you that I gave about herbs last workshop....think long and hard and with great deliberation before undertaking this journey. Once the path is taken, the journey must be completed.

Now I finally get to my first topic of the night! 

            "How to actually influence your surroundings"
The key to any act influencing the world around us is to be in tune and in touch with it first. You must hear the tune before you can change the music or even write your own song. I suggest a lot of meditation in Nature. Find a spot that "speaks" to the Pagan within you. Be at Peace and "feel" the pulse of Nature, the God and the Goddess. Once this rapport has been established, one is ready to influence the surroundings. The Druids left us few writings concerning their spells and Magicks.  We must "rediscover" these Works by looking at the Magicks that are done in the world today and by Using our "Druid filters" and "Celtometers"!! <G>  I have included examples of such "Natural Magics" from my own experiences, the experiences of other Witches and Druids as well as those that I found in the writings of Doreen Valiente, Bonewits and Scott Cunningham.

                   "How to perform Weather Magick"

For weather Magickal examples I turned to our very own Thunder Being, Shadow Hawk, shaman and wizard extraordinaire!<G> He obliged me with a few examples:

The first example involves the control of weather fronts and rain.  Our favorite shaman uses the techniques of dancing and drumming to attain a higher state. He invokes the Lightning beings and they join the dance with him. By being so in tune with them he can ask that they do his bidding. If he must act upon an existing weather front, he sends his "power animal", Dragon into the clouds. Dragon is a manifestation of this Shaman in the power planes. Dragon then interacts with the clouds and controls the storms. When the work is done, he is recalled to his shaman. The use of such a "power animal" or Magickal construct allows the wise shaman to "become" one with the elements of the storm and influence them without "losing himself" in their wild natures. The connection is retained with the Self (Shadow Hawk) back upon the ground while the power animal (Dragon) works among the clouds. The use of such Power has its price.... Shadow Hawk suffers sever headaches for three days following these episodes.

The second example of how our Dark Shaman uses the weather for Magick is in charging his Magickal tools: his sword, wand and athame. During a 200 MPH hurricane, he faced the Power of the storm, shouting out the invocation of the Quarters, forming a Magickal Circle and calling the storms Power into his sword, his wand and his athame. He also captured the storm's rain in a cauldron for later magickal workings. Can't you see him with the storm's winds lashing at his cloak? Sword upraised as lightnings crash all around him, exploding in sparks and reflecting in eerie blue lights off the steel of his blade and the aura of his Magick!!! He has used these tools in many Powerful workings.

                     "How to call animals to you"

This is a matter of "becoming" the animal in your mind and "willing" it to come to you.  Actually the "Beastmaster" movie illustrated this technique quite well. Most good hunters do this subconsciously and naturally.
                     "How to improve your crops"  
In this Working, invoke no other spirits than your own. Burn no fires nor incenses. Carry four stones with you that have been blessed by you in a previous ceremony. Set these stones to define the area that is to be planted. Cast a Magickal Circle within this field. Sit upon the ground and place both hands upon the earth at your sides. Feel the earth, it's dampness, its fertility, its calm. Reflect upon your needs and the crops you are about to plant.  Next recite a suitable chant or poem. I like this one:

                               "Go maith raibh agat, na mBande'.
                                Go maith raibh agat, na De'.
                                Go maith raibh agat, talamh me'ith.

                                Cuirim fad beannacht na greine thu.
                                Cuirim fad beannacht na gealai thu.
                                Cuirim fad beannacht mo chroi' thu.
                                Go me'adai Bhri'de do sto'r san
                                         ba'isteach de earrach.
                                Go me'adai Danu do sto'r san
                                        greine te de tsaamhradh.
                                Go me'adai Dagdha do sto'r
                                       san gaoth ple'isiu'rtha fo'mhar."

                   "How to discover your past life"

                       "How to summon 'Spirits'"

I will give an example of how to summon the Spirit of Merlin as found in the book "The 21 Lessons of Merlin" by Douglas Monroe. Before we begin there is a chant we must learn in old Welsh:

                                "Bedd Ann ap lleian ymnewais fynydd
                                      lluagor llew Ymrais
                                 Prif ddewin Merddin Embrais."

         the meaning:

                               "The grave of the nun's son on Newais Mountain:
                                        Lord of Battle, Llew Embrais,
                                        Chief Magician, Myrddin Emrys."

        the pronunciation:

                                "BETH AHN ahp T-Lay'in, eem-NEW-ais
                                    T-loo-AH-gor T-loo EEM-rais
                                 Preeve DEW-in MEER-thin EHM-rihs."

Pick a suitable night for the ritual, Samhain being the absolute best night. Gather nine pumpkins that are carved with faces (though candle holders will do...just not as spooky).  Set the circle up the day before the ritual as you don't want any distractions from your Work. Arrange the pumpkins with candles around you in a circle (about arms width) with the faces looking outward. Always light the candles from within the circle. Pick a suitably soulful dirge (for meditation and mood setting) from your favorite songbook (Monroe suggests his but you know what you like better). Sing this song as you meditate and reflect upon the Working. Place an iron cauldron within the circle upon a bed of coals.  Into this cauldron place a mixture of an herb, a flower and a tree (Monroe suggests using 1 part wormwood, 2 parts Ghostflower (Datura) and 3 parts Yew (juniper or cypress) as an incense mixture. (Store bought incenses work just as well and can be burned in an incense burner instead of a cauldron). Start the entire ritual at 30 minutes before Midnight.  At precisely Midnight throw additional incense on the coals and recite the above invocation nine times without stopping. "Become" one with the chant! See into the Darkness! Expect the coming of Myrddin Emrys! Sit quietly and await the coming of the shade of Merlin! You may ask for the answers to three questions. Release the shade by extinguishing the fire and incense completely, then extinguish the 9 circling fires of the pumpkin heads. You can  now pack up and leave. The key to successfully working this Magick is setting the mood, performing the meditations and reflections and reciting the invocation properly. The ritual can be adapted to allow you to invoke other Spirits as well to equal effect.

The ancient Gaels would do similar rituals to communicate with the dead.  They would usually lay  and sleep upon the grave of the person to be summoned while fasting, until the shade appeared. This process was not  lightly undertaken by them, as the dead could be quite dangerous to the living, wanting to regain the pleasures of the flesh (hence the need for the Magickal Circle of pumpkins and light). In a previous workshop I told how the Ta'in Bo' Cuailnge was recovered by a young Druid sleeping upon the grave of Feargus Mac Rioch. I'd like to caution you all once more to do these rituals only when in dire need.  That's why it's important to do two things...

                        1. Always work within a Circle.
                        2. Have someone there that can aid you if things get out of hand. This means severing the connection and banishing the entity.

This is also why it's so important to know your True Will. When you have that anchor you can come back from anywhere. I know... because I have done it. It's like climbing a hill though...

(2-28,cherokee)         Rhianna, I think as od said it's important to remember that you are working with very powerful energies. You must be pure and centered before doing the work. The indians believe it is not possible for an animal to take over a human because the animals are here as guides who keep us close to our source.

                                Out of Body Experiences
                                Astral Travel
                                Example Inner Journey on Fionn's Wheel
I relax my extremities first, then my legs, arms, trunk, head, breathing, heart and lastly, my mind. The body is calmed by physically lifting, then releasing a body part and "feeling" the waves of relaxation flow inward and up the body. This is done in succession until only the mind is active.
Once totally within the mind, relaxation of thought must occur. I achieve mental quietness by visualizing a totally "Black" void into which all thoughts, feelings and flickers of thoughts and feelings are fed.  This process continues until all is "black".  I float before a sea of Darkness. I see nothing, I feel nothing , I am nothing. Once this state is achieved, one may proceed to "travel" or have an OOBE.
                           "Leaving the Body"
To leave the body requires an additional two steps: an increase in the vibratory rate of the Spirit and a "pushing" out of the body. I am lucky that I seem to have discovered these techniques while experimenting on my own. The proper level of Spiritual vibration or "ecstasy" is achieved by further relaxation and through belief or "Will". I totally believe that my Spirit can leave my body and do anything. This focused and concentrated belief through Will is the essense of all Magick. It is absolutely necessary to achieve results. Some might call this process "faith". It is the stuffby which mountains are moved and with which entire worlds and even universes are created.  It is also the basis of Love and it is through Love that most of us discover the Power that we all have to create and perform Magick.
Everyone from Ahura Mazda to Jesus to Crowley says the same thing about this process. Love is Power. It is the fundamental requirement for creative Work. Let us soar upon the wings of eagles and fly on the wings of doves into the Astral.  I "key" the process of leaving my body to seeing in every direction at the same time. This is impossible for me to visualize or to consider in my "normal" existence while contained within the physical shell of my skull and the confines of my body.  
The "Darkness" I have achieved by relaxation of the mind is seen as a balloon. I see only one side of it. As my Magick squeezes this balloon, it expands toward me and through me until I am surrounded by the Darkness. While this process of transformation and metamorphesis occurs, I maintain constant contact with all aspects of the Darkness that I encounter when the passage is complete, I see the inside and the outside of the Dark Bubble.  I see in two directions! This is one step. I take as many steps as are necessary, piling belief upon work and work upon belief until no direction is unseen. I see myself from without and myself from within. I float and I create.  I "travel" and I do anything I can  conceive.  My existence is a "waking dream". I am the master of Reality. I am a new creation! This is the essence of OOBE. Where one goes from here is for a more advanced workshop. I trust the New Age forum OOBE Workshop will be just such an experience for all of us. I plan to be a part of it and I trust you will all join me there.
               "A Journey Through the Veil at Bealtaine"
In the spirit of this Bealtaine season and to Honor the Mother of Summer and the Lord of the Greenwood, I took out a copy of Fionn's Wheel to use as a focus for my reflections and musings. I found a quiet spot with no distractions and I gazed upon the Magickal Oghams of the Wheel. I sought guidance about the world around us and clarity as to my purpose. As I gazed upon the symbols, a mist began to form and I slowly began to journey. The veil between the worlds is thinnest on the spindle of the Wheel this night. What follows is the story of my journey upon the pathways of the Wheel:  (A voice within my mind spoke to me.)
"Tonight is a night of Magick. Come with me into the rath ..enter the home of the Sidhe. Let us walk the moonways and take the path of the journey within:"
                        "The Mists of Draiocht"
The mists arise in the meadow and gather in whorls and spirals. The air is filled with mystery. A strange call sounds...
                        can you hear it?...shivers and silvers..
                        bells?... or ... harp strings and laughter?
                        We are called...called are we....called...
                        we must go....we must go...we must go...
                        Wrapped in wraiths of shimmering silver..
                        flowing, ever flowing from without..
                        time is not here...reality dissolves...
                        consciousness journeys within.
                        Into the night i must go...on spirit wings,
                        leaving this world behind!! I must go!
                        Billowing fog and music calls to me!
                        I have no legs...the mist rises! ...
                        I ride the waves...no arms..none! The
                        Power flows within always within.....
                        within......I float I float I float..
                        Only me in the silence and the drums...
                        Only me...the spirit me survives!
                        And my heart lives on in echoes! It
                        calls to me across the void as I journey.
                        Hear the beat of my heart's drum...hear
                        the beat of life's blood...my thoughts
                        are a rhythm...a drumming, a rhythm of
                        life and thought across the shimmering
                        moonways....come within .....within..
                        Feel the energy in waves as it comes
                        ...in waves and we float..we float as
                        the waves...the waves...the waves...
                        come to us ..... we are...not
                        we are not...we are not..we are not! Not!
                        It comes!! The darkness comes!

                        "The Point of Light"
                        One point of light...one point of life!!
                        Only that ...only that...and the drum...
                        the drum as we journey...mists of silver...
                        we are mist and we float to the light..
                        the Silver wheel turns on mists of...
                        mists of...silver and light...a moth...
                        drawn...the light beckons..to the wheel...
                        swirling in light and darkness....how
                        can this be? Where can we be? How?
                        How?  The Wheel turns and we turn as
                        we spiral....spirals of life within...
                        within....no drumming...the silence is
                        all...Nothing and ALL!! We are!!
                        The journey begins:
                        "The Hallway of Music"
                        (Who is it that speaks?)
                        "Come to me my children...come within!
                        It is time... your time..our time...all
                        of time...and no time...We are here!
                        We are! We rejoice!
                        "Let us laugh and play the old songs!!
                        Let us sing and discover!! Dance the
                        dance and travel!"
                        Arms surround me and sweep me across
                        a floor that was not there a moment
                        ago. Laughter fills the air. I am happy.
                        I smile with lips I do not have. I am
                        me but I am theirs as well!
                        (How can this be?)
                        The colors are every color!! Multicolored
                        hues and rays abound!! They are many and
                        they are one !!! They are one and they are
                        many! The colors! The colors are all one!
                        The signs of mystery...abound...the Mystery
                        is in the signs ... The signs of Mystery!
                        All is Pefect ...all is Beauty...and...
                        I choose the first sign. ...."Huath"
                        <The flames engulf me!! I burn and I
                        am gone!! Into the Dark!! and the Light
                        beckons...Death and Life!! ....Love and
                        Sex!! I am steel!! I am a sword!!!
                        Goibhnui hammers upon his forge!!  I was
                        steel and now I am a sword!! I am a tool!!
                        I am a use!! Knowledge is upon me!! Waves of
                        sex lap upon the shores of death!! I am the
                        Crane walking the waters edge. I am Life
                        and Death .... endlessly ...  endlessly ...
                        until the Beginning. I must be shaped and
                        molded. I must burn the impurities! I must
                        sacrifice them to the Holy Fires! Purity!
                        Into the Twin Fires!!! Flames of Purity!!>
                        I have been remade!
                        "The Endless Sea"
                        The fires are gone!! The world is a Sea!
                        Deep Waters! Holy Waters! Healing Waters!
                        Awash in cooling , soothing waters
                        of forgetting and solitude...I am not here.
                        I am a wave upon a sea of stillness....
                        I am the reflection of the moon in
                        pathways of silver!! I am an endless sea.
                        A sea that flows around a Great Tree....
                        A Shining Tree of Light! A Tree within
                        the Light...a Tree that has been and
                        is always. It is the way!! It is a doorway!
                        A doorway to purpose!! A purpose that endures!!
                        Enduring for all time!! A White Tree of many
                        branches...many branches of life! Each branch a
                        gathering of silver ... silver leaves in the
                        moonlight. Moonlight and songs of Magick!
                        The music begins!!! The music of the
                        leaves sing to me! Each note...a lifetime
                        of purpose...attempted and tried....
                        gained and lost....melodies of song...
                        life's song....the call of the wren...
                        each small note builds with the others!!
                        a symphony of souls...a multitude....
                        all the same...It is I!! They are me!!
                        I am them!!! I lust and I long for me!!
                        All of me....The sound gathers and the
                        music swells!! It is the call!! The call
                        is made and we/I/us/they/I gather to BE!>
                        The doorway is open yet the door itself
                        is closed! Pass within with me:
                        "The Oaken Door of the Greenwood"
                        <I pass through the Oaken timbers of the
                        door itself! I step into a vast room...
                        the Great Hall of the God...the Grove!!
                        It is the Green Man...It is He!!
                        The forest is alive and sings the song!
                        He sits in Giagantic Majesty...humanlike
                        in shape upon a living throne of evergreen
                        and Holly!! His flaming eyes gaze upon a
                        burning bush!!>
                        (Hear the words of the God:)
                        "Come sit at my fire!!! Look within and
                        SEE!! SEE!! SEE yourselves!!! See them all!
                        Your lives and your deaths!! See your travels!
                        See your loves!!! I am HE! I am Lord of the
                        Greenwood!! I am life reborn from the womb
                        of the Mother. and You are a seed...you are
                        a forest!! You are remade!! Be One!! Be
                        a part of the All!! Live with me and my
                        children!! We are life...your life and
                        the forest...all souls in the green song.
                        We are verdent...green upon green...
                        upon green... Let us wed the Bride and be
                        ONE as we are always...you and I! We wed
                        the Land!!"
                        <I am a vine of flowers blooming upon
                        a canvas of green...painted against
                        a sky filled with grey...green birds
                        all flocking together...as one bird...
                        a giant creature of the Air... and I
                        soar through the beams and boughs of
                        the Holly King's Hall and into the Sky!>

                        Join me upon the wings of Air:
                        "The Flight of the Starling"
                        A lush green earth spreads in fields
                        below me as I soar upon the winds.
                        I journey through and above a garden.
                        Many blooms...many flowers...many scents.
                        The air is filled with sounds and scent
                        and I see Forever across the World of
                        the Living even unto the Hill in the
                        Center. The Center of all things. A great
                        stone temple arises within a grove of hazel
                        and is framed against a golden light. White
                        and grey stones surround a crystal well
                        that sparkles within the mote of the always
                        seeing eye! The Crystal Light shines forth!
                        It guides me to the spring!! The Waters
                        of Life!! The Wellspring of Knowledge!!
                        Crystal twinkles of light play music upon
                        my mind's eye and cascade in fountains of joy!
                        The Song of the Ages of Man and Woman ....
                        so Many and so Right...the temple is filled
                        by the Song and the Dance ...step and sing!
                        Brothers and Sisters! Are we all here? What
                        is this place? Am I here? Are you here?
                        We are within... I am AWARE.
                        "The Fountain and the Field"
                        I approach the fountain within the temple.
                        The roof is open to the sky and many birds
                        can be seen...yet only two are with me..
                        and they stand within the waters. One is the
                        white Crane from the Dead Sea.. I am speared
                        upon the point of his eye. I am pierced!!
                        I am lifted to a ledge of stone that surrounds
                        the inner temple...Here ther are many artifacts.
                        The spoils of war...the fruits of labor...the
                        ancient Magicks and Alchemies!! Tools of      
                        Magick!!  Tools !!! >
                        "Choose wisely....do not waste this spin upon
                        the spindle of life!! Now is the time of       
                        change!! One choice only can you have!! Choose
                        wisely....  or be gone!"
                        A rounded shield fashioned from hazelwood ....
                        gilded and bronzed with a covering of symbols
                        catches my eye...and I choose...wisely...
                        wisely...wisely I trust!!! Guide me!! I cry
                        out....Guide me my Guide!!! Aid me now!!>
                        This is the answer that appeared:
                        "The Fruit of the Tree"
                        A small voice croons to me..the voice of the
                        querc....small and brown ...common....yet..
                        It is Beautiful!! and it sits in a tree of          White.
                        White Blossoms above the Eternal Fountain.
                        Perfect Beauty and Promise!! I approach the
                        querc and the Tree.>

                        I ask,"What is this Tree that grows within
                        this Sacred Place oh small brown one? What
                        is this Tree and why am I here? Guide me!
                        Let your Spirit show me the way!"
                        The bird hops along a branch to where a
                        fruit of greens and pinks swells forth in
                        its ripeness.>

                        "Take...eat...SEE...and know life!!!Here
                        are the five points of Eternity!!! Here
                        are the seeds of Life itself!! Eat only
                        if you are wise! Live only if you are pure!
                        Endure only if you are strong and return
                        to choose wisely once again!! Now is the
                        time of the Five Pointed Star!! You must
                        become a Star child and grow!!! Be a
                        Point of Light in the Darkness!! Be the
                        Darkness and the Light!"
                        I reach up and take the fruit. I split
                        it into two halves...one more pink than
                        green ... the other more green than
                        pink. Within are the star shaped seed
                        chambers of life. The Star is born!!!
                        I bite into the Quert, the fruit of Life!!
                        I am BECOME!>

                        The World Beckoned to me once more:
                        "The Light in the Darkness"

                        The point of light recedes rapidly into
                        the night, a shooting star across the skies.
                        I am alone once more looking at the wheel,
                        wondering about myself...Who am I? What
                        does this mean? What awaits me? What awaits
                        us all?  We are alone and the Wheel turns.
                        Once more I gaze upon Fionn's wheel...
                        and know my journeys continue....It's
                        knowledge is my shield. I am a sword and
                        the fires of summer beckon to us all.
Such is the nature of an Inner Journey. I continue to see this journey and to reflect upon its meanings to me and to who I am. I recommend that each of you also undertake such journeys for yourselves. Go within to your Inner Guide and travel the Wheel.  Journey the pathways of Fionn to Wisdom and Knowledge. Beannacht libh!  That was my experience in an Inner Journey.

Celtic Workshop #12 - The "Outer Darkness", the "Dragon's Eye" and the "Many Speckled Rainment"

This Workshop was presented and hosted by Searles O'Dubhain. We covered the basis of Druid Magick or Drai'ocht. We discussed the "Dragon" or "Serpent" Power that is inherit in the Land. We touched on the many different areas of knowledge and discipline necessary to be a Druid. We also discussed the Mysteries of "Death" and "Rebirth". Some preliminary socializing soon gave way to the formal presentation and discussion:

Here is what I hope to cover tonight:
                             The Road to the Grove.
                             The Druidic concepts of Being.
                             The use of the Power of the Land
                             in the Rite of the "Dragon's Eye".
                             The "ley lines" and the "death roads".
                             The attainment of Druidic enlightenment
                             (Initiation to the Inner Mysteries)
                             Authority and the "Many Speckled Rainment"
                        "The Road to the Grove"
There are many paths to Magick though only One True Magick IMHO. The Grove is a home to this Power as is the Circle and the Temple. How do we attain the Power to do Magick for ourselves and for all of humanity? Let us look to see what the Pathways were for others.
                             "The Ancient Druidic Orders"
I have discussed the Ancient orders or levels of Druids in a previous workshop.  I include them here for the sake of our current discussion.
Druidic Bards studied for 15 to 20 years to learn the epics, chants, spells and histories of their peoples and clans. These works were memorized exactly and were a requirement for advancement to a higher or inner level of the Druidic ranks. The works had to be rendered with feeling so that the listener would be spell bound and consequently could relive the event. The Irish Druids had the following classes of Bards:
                            Class          # of Epics
                            Driseg         20   (the Beginner)
                            Foclaic        30   (Advanced beginner)
                            Cili           100  (Journeyman)
                            Anraid         175  (Master/Warrior)
                            Ollomh         175+ (Doctor/Judge)
It is to be expected that the lawyers, seers, scientists, judges, and clergy of the Draoi underwent similarly lengthy training periods.
                      "The Cloak of Many Colors"
In the Christian Bible, Joseph was awarded a cloak of many colors by his father because he was beloved among all of his brothers.  Due to the jealousy and greed of his brothers, Joseph was also sold into slavery in Egypt and suffered a "death" to his old way of life.  Because he was open to wisdom and could perceive the meanings within signs and dreams, he became the chief counselor to the Pharaoh and rose above his death to "new life". Just as the history of the Gaels is tied to Egypt, so the rites of Druids are tied to this idea of "many colors" and rebirth.  Please recall that the Mileseans descend from the Pharaohs  of Egypt and that their Druids were said to be better Magi than the Persians. To be as good a Druid as Joseph, one must learn the art of interpreting dreams, divination and eloquence. This is a mighty job and worthy of us all!

                        "My Own Personal Paths"
When I embarked upon the quest for my roots and for the nature of Drai'ocht, I was immediately impressed by two things:
                        1. The Druids were acute and patient observers of Nature.
                        2. The Druids were the scholars and scientists of their day.
Using these two ideas, I created a color-coded series of educational levels for myself in my quest into the secrets of the Draoi.
I believe there are five areas of knowledge in the Mysteries:
                                Knowledge of Self,
                                Knowledge of the World,
                                Knowledge of the Spirit,
                                Knowledge of Magick,
                                Knowledge of the ONE.
The entire process of learning and growing never stops. As a minimum I have required myself to know the following:
                        Knowledge of Self  (The Blue Level)
The Student must be able to meditate until he/she can know their inner voice.  The Student must know truth and abstain from lying.  The Student
must be able to love and be loved.  The Student must know the limits of self.  The Student must identify their Sexuallity.  The Student must know their life goals.  The Student must know their bodies and how to maximize and maintain their health.
         Knowledge of the World (The Green Level)
The Student must know the physical world.  The Student must know how the laws of Nature work.  The Student must be Holistic with Creation.  The Student must be able to shape the forces of Physics and Chemistry.  The Student must know the ways of Botany and Zoology.  The Student must study animals, plants, insects, birds,fish,trees and rocks.  The Student must hear the voice of the Waters and the Winds.  The Student must SEE within the Fires, The Student must be connected with the Earth.  The Student must know the history of civilization.  The Student must know the laws of man.  The Student must learn Music.  The Student must learn Poetry and Writing.

            The Knowledge of the Spirit (The Yellow Level)
The Student must know the Spirit within.  The Student must study the Religions of Humanity.  The Student must make a Spiritual Journey.  The Student must leave the body and walk the Moon Ways. (OOBE) The Student must see the origins and travels of the Spirit within. (PAST LIFE REGRESSION)  The Student must Know the Spirit in Music, Colors, Symbols and Life.  The Student must hear the Akasha.
             The Knowledge of Magick (The Orange Level)
The Student must read the Great Works (Cayce, Crowley, Enoch, Fortune, Hermes, Jung, Ogham, Pythagorus, Qabalah, Science, Solomon, Thelema, etc.)  The Student must learn to "See." The Student must learn to "Divine".  The Student must learn to "Shield."  The student shall learn to "Speak."  The student shall learn to "Heal."  The student shall learn to "Travel."  
              The Knowledge of the ONE (The Red Level)
The Student must create and lead a Ritual.  The Student must focus the three Powers (Earth, Self, ONE).  The Student must perform the Great Rite.  The Student must change Reality.  The Student must perform the rite of "Making."  The Student must be reborn and become ONE.
After passing through all levels successfully, the Student then becomes the Teacher and can wear the  White, Multi-speckled or the Dark Robes of their choice.  This is my path to Drai'ocht. You alone can choose the proper path to your Inner Light of Whiteness or Darkness. All colors are one color. All Drai'ocht is ONE DRAI'OCHT!
                  "The Druidic concepts of Being"
I would like to quickly touch on some Druidic concepts about states of being. These states of being correspond to the previous cosmology that we discussed in workshop 5. (Time does not permit me to make a complete discussion of these topics tonight. I may add another workshop to cover them more completely in the future.)
                "Barddas and The Circles of Being"
The Welsh Bardic work "Barddas" contains a description of the three
Circles of Being:
          1.  Abred or the Realm of Matter
              (The physical world of form)
          2.  Gwynyd or the Realm of Blessedness
              (The Magickal Astral world of Spirits)
           3.  Ceugant or the Realm of Infinities
               (That which is the home of the
                God/desses and the Blessed)

These states of being are separated by three veils that must be passed:
1.  Annwn or "Dark Forgetfulness"
    (This is the gap or veil that must be passed to achieve birth and rebirth in the Physical World.)
2.  Cythraul or "the Ghost"
    (This is the veil that must be passed to achieve enlightenment.)
3.  Lyonesse or "the Isle of the Blest"
     (This is the final veil that is passed when one has achieved complete enlightenment and complete growth.)
"Awen" or "illumination" is like a lightning bolt that can come to us across these veils and bring us knowledge and understanding.
The key to our Power and true wills is how well we are able to pass between these states of being. I will discuss some of these techniques
         "Circles of Thought" or, "The Cyclatron of the Soul"
One of the marvels of modern science is the atom smasher or particle accelerator.  Another name for these powerful devices is a "cyclatron".  This is basically a phased arrray of electromagnetic devices that take charged particles and accelerate them to tremendous speeds around a circular field until they approximate the speed of light or at least they approach relativistic velocities. The particles are then smashed into a target and the history of the mutual destruction is observed and recorded so that humanity may unlock the secrets of the Gods. I trust that most of us here tonight have experienced this acceleration effect within the vortex of our thoughts and Spirits. We strive mightily to increase the relativistic mass of our thoughts so that we may observe their behavor as they approach God-like reality in their manifestions.  Whirr and strive as we might, we are doomed to the universal restraints of our own humanity in much the same manner as nuclear physicists are limited by the unvirsal limits of "C" or light speeds (warp Factor 1, Mr. Sulu!<G>). Such are the limits of thinking.
               "The Salmon Leap and the Shaman's Death"
I have gone through the process of questing for ultimate meaning in life many times. Most of this effort has been exhausting as well as futile.  Only through extraordinary efforts have I actually attained results.  These results came about through quantum leaps of the mind and spirit across the "void". Since the salmon is the totem of knowledge, I call this leap the "Salmon Leap". It is very approprite to name it thus since the "void" is actually "death" and the salmon "leap" up the streams of it's birth to spawn new life from it's own death struggle. The ancients also refered to mighty feats as a "Salmon Leap". We must experience the "Shaman's Death" in order to attain our new life and knowledge. The "Salmon Leap" brings us to a New Reality and altered state of Being.  Included in the initiation rites to all of the Great Mystery Schools was just such a rite of Death and Rebirth. Anyone care to reveal their secrets now?<G> OTO'ers? GD'ers? Druids? Wiccans? AMORC?  Freemasons? Templars? Illumatti? Assassins? Channellers? Others? The floor is now open. Let's hear the words of Life and the words of Death. Josey Wales faces Ten Bears in the moment of Truth. The gauge is cast...the  challenge is issued. The floor is open to all comers!
Coming through the "dark night of the soul" or the "Shaman's Death" purifies and releases us so that we can experience illumination and enlightenment. Our "darkness' and ignorance are burned away in the flames of the Phoenix as we are reborn into the Light! Such a wonder!  The Akasha and all knowledge are there to be received! Our training and our quest are rewarded. We are a new creation!
                          "The Dragon's Eye"
The "Dragon's Eye" is another word for Earth Magick or the Power inherent to the Land that is at the root of the Celtic Soul. This is the power of Excalibur or Caliborn, the sword of Arthur. It is the "Dragon's Breath" that Merlin works with to create a Magickal Mist while using the charm of "Making". We have already seen the "Eye of the Dragon" in a previous workshop ritual. I would like to now open the floor for a further discussion by everyone here as to how we sense this Power in the Land and particularly how we sense it at many sacred sites such as "Stone Circles", Raths, Menhirs, Hills, "Ley Lines", "Stonehenge", "Avebury" or any other site of your experience. The floor is now open for Magickal discussion!

Anyone else have a good story for how they've sensed the Power of the Land? How it just is laying there waiting for the call?

(2-10,Freepowder)       Some time, when you can be alone for a while..climb up into the moutains, my mountains are the Sierras get up high, above treeline, and sit there, find a rock... where the wind blows all the time and just sit. it may take a while maybe an hour, maybe a day... but you will feel it.. strength more than power, but power just the same coming up form the rocks... singing in the wind... when you have got it right.. the animals will come you may not see them, the conys and the birds but you will feel them too if you are lucky.  they will talk to you not in words but in thoughts.  if you are ready your totem will make itself known I have found that no great preparation is neccesary but for an open heart and mind it happens for me everytime I go there which is not nearly often enough oh! don't do this in a lightning storm <G>

(2-8,O'Dubhain)         Beautiful Freepowder! A hymn to the Mother!  We can all sing the song of the Health of the Earth!  She is beautiful still in some places and will be again in others as we....and I do mean we.... all get together to release the Power of the Dragon!  THAT has been safeguarded for us by our ancient Shamans within the Earth. I sense that the keys for this Work are soon to be given to us all once more.

(2-15,Nan)              Well, I can think of many times that I've felt the Power of the Land but I'll offer just a simple recent example:  Last week I gave my ankle a nasty sprain, I knew that one thing it needed for healing was to walk barefoot on the land, so that's what I did <g> in general I find that going barefoot on almost any ground allows me to feel the power of the land......I don't do it long in the snow though <g>.

(2-8,O'Dubhain)         I'll bet!!!<G>  Many of the ancient sacred sites are no longer in active use. I think that the day is rapidly approaching where the Land will call us to Work Magicks at such sites. We will re-establish the "ley lines" of Power that are now just echoes of their past. These lines and sites require a Human/Dragon magickal connection to re-Power the grids that exist all across this planet. Many events occur today that point to this Work.

(2-15,Nan)              I just wanted to comment that a few years ago I visited a more obscure stone circle and noticed by items left behind that it had been recently used..... so not *all* the ancient sites are inactive and I'm glad!

          "The Many Speckled Rainment" "The Song of Amergin"
This translation by Dr. Douglas Hyde from his work "Literary History of Ireland" was as well known to the Druids as the "Lord's Prayer" is to todays priests. It is a perfect example of the many different Magickal skills used by the Druids. It is one of my personal favorites as well!<G> I would like to use it to discuss the "many-speckled" rainbow of Drai'ocht! Once again I give you the words of the Bard:
                                     The Mystery
                        I am the wind which breathes upon the sea.
                        I am the wave of the ocean.
                        I am the murmur of the billows.
                        I am the ox of the seven combats.
                        I am the vulture upon the
                        I am a beam of the Sun.
                        I am the fairest of plants.
                        I am a wild boar in valour.
                        I am a salmon in the water.
                        I am a lake in the plain.
                        I am a word of science.
                        I am a point of the lance in battle.
                        I am the God who created in the head the fire.
                        Who is it who throws light into the meeting
                        on the mountain?
                        Who announces the ages of the Moon?
                        Who teaches the place where couches the Sun?
                                                        (If not I)"
Let's just go down the line and list the Druidic attributes used in this one spell by lines and in order (I also assigned colors to each attribute):
                             Attribute                       Color
                             The Powers of: Wind,            (Red)
                                            Sea,             (Grey)
                                            Fire.            (White)
                             Persistence.                    (all)
                             Death in battle.                (Black)
                             The Power of the Sun.           (Golden)
                             The Power of the Green World.   (Green)
                             Courage in extremis.            (Red)
                             Infinite Knowledge.             (Yellow)
                             The resting place of the soul.  (Purple)
                             The Knowledge of Science.       (Yellow)
                             Focus through Discipline.       (White)
                             The Gift of Awen.               (Orange)
                             *Drai'ocht*.                     (White)

This the source or result of working with Magick for Druids. It is a measure of their Power and the strength of their "True Wills".  In the "21 Lessons" Monroe states that the students of Drai'ocht were awarded colored glass beads (called Gleini na Droedh) that were strung on leather cords for necklaces. These multicolored necklaces were kept
secret by each Druid and produced only to demonstrate their Authority to other Druids. Magick knowledge, discipline and practice determined the level of Authority thus attained.
                           "Into the Light"
                        "Behold the Flaming Door!
                        Behold the Burning sword of Gorias!
                        Enter if you dare the halls of Lugh!!
                        Wear the many speckled cloak of Samildanach!"
                        "Hear the words of the Sun!"
<A male Druid dressed in Robes of Gold and bearing a torch should
address the Initiates.>
     "I am Lugh Lamfadagh!!! I am Samildanach!
     I am thy burning desire for Knowledge!
     I am the Power that illumes the Heavens!
     Life is my gift to you, even as your Death is the Mother of Life.
     To know Me is to know yourself completely, even beyond Death!
     Enter if you dare!
     Approach the fires of Life!!!
     Die and live again!"
     "I, Lugh am the focus of the Power and you My Druid are its Manifestation!
     Enter the Flaming Door!
          Cead Mile Failte!
          Maith an Drui!"
<At this point the Initiate should be robed in the multispeckled robe and presented with a golden sickle and a staff fashioned from the wood of the tree that is his "soul tone".  Standing before the gathered assembly,He should recite his geneology and the many achievements of his necklace of Gleini na Droedh. The ceremony should then be completed by the conducting of the Initiate's personal ritual (from his work on the Red Level).>
                        Such is the end of a long journey.
                        An Fhi'rinne Roimh an Saol!
                        We must awaken the Dragon Power within us all!!
                        DRAI'OCHT LIVES AGAIN!
                        TA' ME' DRAI'OCHT!!

Celtic Workshop #13 - The "Charm of Making"

This Workshop was presented and hosted by Searles O'Dubhain. We covered some concepts touching upon the beginings of all things. We also covered how symbols are used to describe reality and Magick. We discussed the
necessity for *belief* in performing Magick. I led a discussion about a ritual that was centered around the Charm of "Making". The arch[e]types and the Quarters used in Celtic Magickal systems were also discussed.  Some preliminary socializing soon gave way to the formal presentation and discussion:

                            Opening Remarks
Tonight I attempt to tie together the beliefs of the Celts in Cosmologies and Magick or Drai'ocht to what we know of the world and reality through the study of modern science and more recent Magickal systems and their resulting Cosmological models. It is my hope that all of this discussion will clarify the history of the Celts and the workings of the Druids. The highest form of Drai'ocht was the Charm of "Making". This is the essence of creation by the use of the Will.  It is into the Cauldron of Primodial Creation that I plunge tonight as a Midwife to Magick.  Drai'ocht shall live again! The Dragon will once again be reborn!
In many mythologies and some philosophies, Chaos is the void that existed in the begining of all things before even time existed and from which all things have arisen.
"The notion that creation came from nothing (creatio ex nihilo) appears in several accounts of creation. The biblical story of creation contained in the Book of GENESIS begins with a formless, watery chaos that God shapes into the ordered world. The hymn of creation from India's epic Rig Veda (see VEDAS) describes the primordial situation as one of neither existence nor nonexistence and further states that no one, not even the gods, knows who produced the universe. In marked contrast is an Egyptian myth attributing creation to the deity khepri.  In this myth Khepri states that when he came into being, being itself came into being; all other beings were then produced from his actions and his body; but before him there was only nonbeing. Among the Polynesians, creation myths emphasize the dimensions of void space and the qualities of darkness as the primordial structures of creation. In these myths, the initial state of darkness and void in which the deity dwells is later transformed and the forms of the universe then emerge.  Creation is thus predicated on a void or a nothingness--a reality totally different from any form or substance of the created order. In addition, the deities who create from nothing or emerge from this void are given a new and special kind of power; for though creators of the world, they remain distinct from it in their originative form."  .......quoted from The Online Edition of GROLIER'S ACADEMIC AMERICAN Encyclopedia, Copyright (c) 1993, Grolier Electronic Publishing.
Magick is the ability to cross the void of Chaos and to create order in the universe that surrounds us. The primary way in which this creation occurs is through the focus of our own Wills.
                      "The Void was without Form"
"Chaos theory, a modern development in mathematics and science, provides a framework for understanding irregular or erratic fluctuations in nature. Chaotic systems are found in many fields of science and engineering. The study of their dynamics is an essential part of the burgeoning science of complexity--the effort to understand the principles of order that underlie the patterns of all real systems, from ecosystems to social systems to the universe as a whole." ..quoted from The Online Edition of GROLIER'S ACADEMIC AMERICAN Encyclopedia, Copyright (c) 1993, Grolier Electronic Publishing.
The BIG BANG theory of the creation of the universe is widely accepted by astronomers.  "It holds that the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely condensed state of matter. A further development of this model, known as INFLATIONARY THEORY, describes the original condensed matter as arising from virtually empty space. Whether the universe will expand forever, slow to a halt, or contract again and continue to oscillate indefinitely from one big bang to the next is the subject of ongoing speculation....." Charles Long .......quoted from The Online Edition of GROLIER'S ACADEMIC AMERICAN Encyclopedia, Copyright (c) 1993, Grolier Electronic Publishing.
Out of Nothingness was Reality formed. The diversity of Reality is due to the two great forces of separation: projection and reception (the male and the femine aspects of Power).  From this duality of all things, the rest of Creation is manifested. This manifestation can be described and modeled in many ways. I have chosen to limit myself briefly to two such descriptions during tonight's workshop. The first such model or description is the science of "quantum mechanics". According to this area of science, everything is composed of waves and the interaction between wavefronts. With two primary and distinctly different sources of waveforms, we get interference patterns. These lines of intersection have their own "nature" and give rise to other "quantum effects" in their own localized area of the space/time continuum. This ongoing process of interaction and manifestation can create Infinite Combination in Infinite Diversity (IDIC). I will discuss this concept later.  The other way in which two differing states can create their own "reality" is through the laws of Boolean Logic and Algebra. In digital design and simulation techniques, this fact is well known. I work in such areas and can reduce any system to a series of "min" and "max" terms of inputs and "truth tables". This Boolean discipline of using "min and max terms" has given birth to the CyberSpace that we currently
inhabit. I suggest that our present existence is no more than a "real-time" simulation in a greater system and that our creative/destructive interactions are constantly birthing new realities and new creations. We are each a "star" as some Magickal systems teach.
All Physical and Magickal systems have hidden controls that operate from outside the program flow (another word for this flow might be called "life"). This outside intervention might be what appears in the form of "Magick" to an internal observer of that system. The operating system for the host platform, such as DOS, determines the form of the relationships between all programs, files and other processes. A magickal way of stating this might be, "As Above, So Below".  Tonight, I have discussed only two ways that some realities are postulated and created. In the wide variety of the Infinite Cosmos, Diversity is carried to the extremes. Anything CAN and DOES happen!
One way man has attempted to understand and quantify his universe is through the use of symbols. The most often used symbols are numbers, letters and sigils. The Jewish Kabbala, the Celtic Oghams and the other Magickal alphabets are good examples of the use of such symbols to order and understand most physical, spiritual and Magickal relationships. I have talked about Oghams and Fionn's Wheel/Ladder in previous workshops.  I have also talked about the Celtic Cosmology. Tonight I will briefly touch on numbers and math. Please refer to the previous Celtic Workshops #1, 2, 3, 5 and the Online Wicca Kabbala Threads for more information in those areas. Another kind of symbol that can describe our reality is a relatively new form of mathematics called Fractals.
"A modern mathematical theory that radically departs from traditional EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY, fractal geometry describes objects that are self-similar, or scale symmetric.  This means that when such objects are magnified, their parts are seen to bear an exact resemblance to the whole, the likeness continuing with the parts of the parts and so on to infinity.  Fractals, as these shapes are called, also must be devoid of translational symmetry--that is, the smoothness associated with Euclidean lines, planes, and spheres.  Instead a rough, jagged quality is maintained at every scale at which an object can be examined.  The nature of fractals is reflected in the word itself, coined by mathematician Benoit B. Mandelbrot from the Latin verb frangere, "to break,"  and the related adjective fractus, "irregular and fragmented."
The science of fractals has been found to exist within many natural formations . Fractals are found everywhere we look, from the shape of coastlines to the geometry found in cellular divisions. Most dynamical systems that change their behavior over time become CHAOTIC in nature and can also be described using fractals.  The reason I mention fractals tonight is twofold. First, fractals show us mathematically how reality and life are manifested. As I said earlier, fractal geometry and mathematics are a fairly recent discovery. One important type of Fractal that is found in nature is called a Mandelbrot set. This particular set of fractals becomes inheritly unstable as one looks closer at it's component fractals. What is so interesting about this fact and study is that FRACTALS in the FORM OF MANDELBROT SETS have been appearing as CROP CIRCLES on the Salisbury Plains. This is the same area that is located close by both Stonehenge and Avebury.  What is the source of these symbols? Where is this information coming from? Are these crop circles some sort of Magickal alphabet or symbols? Are they communicated to us across time and space from other Magicians or other Entities? If they are such symbols, has this phenomena occurred before in the past? Did the Druids observe, record and understand this type of information during their times?
My second pointis that our knowledge of Magick is itself like a fractal.  With each piece of information we receive from our searches into the nature of Magick, we discover more and more questions. This gives rise to more and more associations and consequently more questions and disorder. Our attempts to totally understand Magick by close inspection  consequently results in chaotic thinking.  We see fractals everywhere when we look at the world. This world seems to be a fractal.  Everything from shorelines, earthquakes, cell structure to computer graphics have been found to obey the laws of fractals. Perhaps Magick and the heavenly cosmologies are fractals of the Higher Will? Perhaps our True Will is a fractal? Maybe fractals are the new Ogham, the new Wheel of Fionn?
If an idea can be reduced to mathematical or Magickal symbols, then it can also be manipulated or transformed. These relation-ships are called "veils" or "pathworkings" in Magickal works. In mathematics, such transformations occur frequently. What is complex in one domain is simple in another.  Engineers use such techniques as vector and tensor analysis to handle complex systems all the time. Magicians use the principle, "As Above , So Below" to aid their Magickal Workings.  Sometimes this Magickal work is also done while using symbollic logic to aid in the act of manifesting or "making" a new creation. We will next discuss how some of these Magickal transformations are done.
                          "Vibratory States"
The addition of external energy to a molecule or the introduction of additional molecules into a solution causes its electron configuartion to change. The electron "jumps" across an energy barrier to obtain a different orbit or geometry.  The Molecule changes its behavior, sometimes with amazing results. This change in electrons through levels or states of energy is directly analogous to the levels or states of vibration that a Magician goes through to "resonate" with other spiritual forces. These principles of resonance and vibration are the keys to the techniques of OOBE and energy transfer in Magickal systems.
To discover how we as Magickal/Spiritual entities can go through these types of transformed states, I looked at my own experiences, once again.
                        "Personal Experiences"
The keys to working Magick are BELIEF, DISCIPLINE and FOCUS. Focus is a matter of personal ability and is sharpened through practice and effort.
Discipline is inherit to our very natures. Belief is absolutely necessary to any Magickal Work. I have had three types of personal experiences that are the foundation of my BELIEF in MAGICK.
                        "The All from the None"
This experience I have discussed before. It is the first veil that must be passed to obtain BELIEF in Magick and the resulting Powers. Briefly stated, I was able to detach from the ordinary (while conscious) and encounter Spirit and Magickal Beings.  These experiences have reinforced my ability to work Astrally and Magickally. The secrets to this experience are meditation, inner quietness and the increased vibrational level of the spirit or "ecstasy".
By going into the "void" of Nothingness, I was touched by the Power of the Akasha! Anyone can do this, if they are willing to put in the time and effort to meditate to achieve inner "quietness".  The "Void" is the place where the Will can focus to create and produce all Magick!
                        "The None From the All"
These are experiences I have had from "lucid dreaming". I have basically been able to go anywhere and do anything in my dreams. I have had many
revelations and Super Normal experiences in these dreams. I guess the most outrageous experience was experiencing "death". Some deaths were just an abrupt end to one existence while manifesting into another bodyand another existence. One particular "death" was at the center of an exploding sun or bomb. I was literally blown into Nothingness and Non-Existence. I "floated" there in endless time without thought or being. I just was.  Only my Will still existed and through the exertion of my Will I was able to awaken into my body once more. This was not and ordinary dream. In fact, I'm not really sure this is the Reality I started out in! <GGG>  A Powerful incentive to learn more about Magick (to prevent such a thing from ever happening again)!!!!!
IDIC is borrowed from the Vulcan, Mr. Spock. It stands for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. This basically means the Universe is filled with possibilities and that anything can (and will) happen. This is all those strange events that can be dismissed if taken one at a time but will stagger you if you keep a log of them. This includes such things in my life as:  Flying or "floating" in the air by myself,  reading minds, seeing the future, seeing creatures that are in another plane, hearing the music of the Sidhe and incredible feats of strength and speed (that could not possible have happened). All these many events taken together point to a variety of techniques that people can do. The secret is in remembering how we did it!!! Or maybe in finding a really
excellent teacher. I am the worst of students but I am very persistent!
                         "The Charm of Making"

                         "Circles of Drai'ocht "
                         "The Guardians"
The Guardian of the East Quarter is Esras associated with the Power of Air. The sacred city of this Spiritual realm is Gorias. The Celtic Deities usually associated with this Quarter are Nuada and Scathach. The sacred treasure or weapon is the invincible sword.  The Magickal Deity for the elemental Powers or the wind singers and sprites is Paraldas, ruler of the Sylphs, Zyphyrs and the Winged Sprites. This direction is most often associated with ideas, thoughts, inspiration and psychic powers. Ritual work for this direction is associated with dawn, sunrise, Spring, harmony, travel and freedom.  A suitable invocation of the Guardians might be:

                        "Tugaim cuireadh do Garda de Soir!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Duile de Gaoth!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Esras de Gorias!"

                        "I give invitation to the Guardian of the East!
                         I give invitation to the Element of the Winds!
                         I invite Esras, Master of Inspiration!"

                        "TUG-im KIR-oo gu GAAR-du gu SKULL!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu DOO-li gu GWA!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu ES-rah gu GOR-ah!

The Guardian of the South Quarter is Uscias associated with the Power of Fire. The sacred city of this Spiritual realm is Findias. The Celtic Deities usually associated with this Quarter are Lugh and Bridgit. The sacred treasure or weapon is the flaming spear. The Magickal Deity for its elemental Powers or Salamandes and Firedrakes is Djinas, ruler of the Consciousness and flames. This direction is most often associated with Action, Passion and Change. Ritual work for this direction is associated with Summer, noon, sexuality and purification.  A suitable invocation of the Guardians might be:

                        "Tugaim cuireadh do Garda de O'Dheas!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Duile de Tine!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Uscias de Findias!"


                        "I give invitation to the Guardian of the South!
                         I give invitation to the Elements of the Fire!
                         I invite Uscias, Master of Conscious Action"


                        "TUG-im KIR-oo gu GAAR-du gu OWE-yass!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu DOO-li gu CHIN-e!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu ISH-kah gu FIN-jah!"

The Guardian of the West Quarter is Semias associated with the Power of Water or the Sea. The sacred city of this Spiritual realm is Murias. The Celtic Deities usually associated with this Quarter are Mannanan and the Cailleach. The sacred treasure or weapon is the cauldron.  The Magickal Deity for its elemental Powers or Nymphs and Undines is Niksas, ruler of the depths of the Sea and the spirits of the waters. This direction is most often associated with Emotions, healing and Marriage. Ritual work for this direction is associated with Fall, sunset, plants, the subconscious mind and dreams.  A suitable invocation of the Guardians  might be:

                        "Tugaim cuireadh do Garda de Siar!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Duile de Muir!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Semias de Murias!"


                        "I give invitation to the Guardian of the West!
                         I give invitation to the Elements of the Mystical Sea!
                         I invite Semias, Master of the Mind's Deep Waters!"


                        "TUG-im KIR-oo gu GAAR-du gu SHEER!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu DOO-li gu MWIRR!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu SEM-ahs gu MUR-ahs!"

The Guardian of the North Quarter is Morfessa, associated with the Power of Earth. The sacred city of this Spiritual realm is Falias. The Celtic Deities usually associated with this Quarter are the Morrigan and the Dagdha. The sacred treasure or weapon is the Stone of Fal.  The Magickal Deity for the elemental Powers or Gnomes and Dwarfs is Ghobas,ruler of the  inhabitants of the Earth and a crystal spirits.   This direction is most often associated with Destiny, Prosperity and Fate as well as Magick.  Ritual work for this direction is associated with Winter, night, midnight, self will and treasures.  A suitable invocation of the Guardians might be:

                        "Tugaim cuireadh do Garda de O'Thuaigh!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Duile de Talamh is Cloch!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Morfessa de Falias!"

                        "I give invitation to the Guardian of the North!
                         I give invitation to the Elements of Stone and Earth!
                         I invite Morfessa, Master of Destiny and Magick!"


                        "TUG-im KIR-oo gu GAAR-du gu owe HOO-ee!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu DOO-li gu TA-loo is KLOKH!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu MOR-fes-ah gu FAL-ah!

The Center of the Circle is protected by the Power of the God and the Goddess and the balance and diversity that They each manifest and control. This is the province of the Goddess of Sovereignty, Macha, and the Horned God or the Hunter, Samhan. The center is protected by the combined Powers of the Quarters and their Masters.  A suitable invocation of the Spirit might be:

                        "Tugaim cuireadh do Ana'l Fein!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Duile de Anam!
                         Tugaim cuireadh do Grian agus Geala!
                         Beannachtai' DE' agus mBANDE' againn!"


              "I give invitation to the Souls of our Ancestors!
              I give invitation to the Element of All Spirits!
              I give invitation to the Sun and the Moon!
              The Blessings of the God and Goddess be upon us!"


                        "TUG-im KIR-oo gu GAAR-du gu AN-aal FINN!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu DOO-li gu AN-um!
                         TUG-im KIR-oo gu GREE-un AG-us GYAL-a!
                         BAN-uck-ta JAY AG-us BAN-jay UG-een!"

                             "The Words of Power"
After the Guardians have been called, then the Words of Power Are Spoken and the Rite or Sign of Three Rays is performed for each of the Quarters.
This is the name of the God/dess of All and is intoned three times while making the appropriate hand gestures,
                                "Threshold Experiences"
If a portal to another plane or place is to be opened then the following Charm of Making is to be said three times (this Charm uses the Power of Sea and Stone):
                              "A ELFNTODD DWYR SINDDYN DUW
                               CERRIG YR FFERLLURUG NWYN;
                               OS SYRIAETH ECH SAFFAER TU
                               FEWR ECHLYN MOR, NECROMBOR LLUN"
                                                   "Dragon's Breath"
If something is to be caused to happen or prevented then the following Charm of Making is intoned three times (this charm invokes the Powers of Fire and Air):
                                    "ANAIL NATHROCK
                                     UTHVASS BETHUDD
                                     DOCHIEL DIENVE"
At this point the Power has been raised. The Will of the Draoi' should be directed and stated forcefully in the direction of greatest Power using the sign for that Quarter. Once the work, is completed, the God/desses and Guardians should be thanked and the Power Earthed by lowering both hands to the ground while kneeling.  The Circle is opened in the reverse of its creation and the bounty of the Land and Tuatha should be enjoined and enjoyed by all.
This is the end of the prepared presentation on the Charm of "Making".
This and "Pathworking" are the two most powerful abilities of a Druid.

       Celtic Workshop #14 - "The Wheel of Elements or Seasons"

Forum member Freepowder noted similarities between the Plains Indian Medicine Wheels and Fionn's Wheel from Celtics sources. His analysis and
presentation on these topics led into a discussion of other cross  cultural similarities. I added some info from a study of the indigenous peoples of the world as well as Celtic topics.

Tonight our man of many names, Freepowder, O'Ba'n,John White, Sir Freep, etc. will give us his thoughts on the wheel and the directions as compared between the Plains Indians and the Celts.  It looks to be good!<GGG> I may have a few comments of my own. I also have some info on thses directions compiled by a noted anthropologist, Angeles Arriens, for the indiginous peoples of the world. I hope we can discuss the use and meanings of directions to all of us in our magical work.
                                    "The Wheel of Elements or Seasons"
The world over, aboriginal religions have used the circle as a symbol of the world, the cosmos and the spirit.  Tonite I will attempt to draw some parallels between the Celtic version, Fionn's wheel or window and the Plains Indian version, the Medicine wheel.  Both of these wheels are pictured as a circle bisected by two lines, one vertical and one horizontal. In Plains Indian (PI from here on) the circle represents the cycles of the earth, of learning and of life.
The lines represent the 'roads' one must travel to achieve enlightenment.  The points at which the lines intersect the circle signify the four directions, east to the right, south at the bottom, west to the left, and north at the top.  There are qualities and totems (animal spirit guides) assigned to each direction. The totems and qualities vary somewhat, tribe to tribe, and the following is an attempt to combine several, mostly Lakota (Sioux) and Tsisistis (Cheyenne)  

red, illunination, child, the sun, spring, the source of life,
eagle, hawk and birds generally


yellow, innocence, youth, daylight, summer, fullness of life, snake,
lizard, mouse, horse, elk


black or blue, introspection, maturity, sunset, autumn, waning of life,
thunder beings, Bear, buffalo


white, wisdom, old age, night, winter, death, wolf, raven, buffalo
The PI speak of the guardians of the quarters as 'Grandfathers' or 'Grandmothers'. Animals in mundane life are refered to as 'Little Brother or Sister.' At the center of the wheel is,in Lakota, 'Wakan Tanka', the Great Mystery. The source of all life, of all that is.  Although Wakan Tanka is refered to as Grandfather, it has no sex, no body, it is at once the creator and all of creation. Also at the center is White Buffalo woman (or Sweet Medicine to the Cheyenne), the
personification of the earth, and the female aspect of Wakan Tanka. 
The cycle of life as illustrated by the Medicine Wheel starts at the east. The PI believe that as an infant a person knows all things, thus the connection with enlightenment. As you grow into youth these things are forgotten so you may learn, and grow, symbolised by the south and innocence. When you are mature you move to the west and introspection. 

Here you take your vision quest. As you approach old age you achieve wisdom in the north and, if you survive you return to the enlightenment of the east.

                        On to the Celts!
The Celts use either a four spoked wheel, identical to the medicine wheel in apearance or enhance the image with 'cross quarters' making an eight spoked wheel. One differnce in the Celtic version of the Wheel, is probaly due to the variation in weather patterns between the Britsh Isles and the Great Plains. The Britsh Isles are around 1000 miles north of the Plains causing several things to happen. The sun, even at midsummer will rise far further to the north in Britain. Britain's proximity to the trade winds cause the prevailing winds to come from differnt directions. Therefore the Celts start their journey of life in
the north.  The qualities of the quarters areremarkably similar if somewhat skewed as to direction. (Note: the animals assigned to quarters and cross quarters are approximate and individual impressions as to what animal goes where are most important IMHO)   
                                    They are:

black, winter, wisdom, clarity, death, earth, animals, minerals, fallowness, darkness, winter solstice, salmon, wolf, the Morrigan,


red, spring, inspiration, life, birth, renewal, air, birds, smell, dryness, germination, spring equinox, otter, crow


white, summer, spirit, humanity, change, power, fire, sun, light, vegatables, summer solstice, bear, hawk,


grey, autumn, creativity, ripeness, fertility, compassion, love, emotions, hearing, water, moon, twilight, fish, autumn equinox, stag, hound
The cross quarters mark the seasonal festivals, have associated animals and are used to represent the ages of mankind:
                                Imbolc: 31 Jan, child, eagle
                                Beltaine: 30 Apr, youth, sow
                                Lughnasadh: 31 Jul, adult, horse
                                Samhain: 31 Oct, elder, heron
The Celts assign Gods and Goddesses to the quarters as well. The following courtesy of O'Dubh, and subject to interpretation. God/esses are directional <G> as follows:

Master Morfessa of Falias, The Morrighan, Goibhniu, The Dagdha, Epona, Eriu, Macha (The Land, the Lia Fal, Magick, Soveriegnty)   


Master Uscias of Findias Danu, Anu, Lir, Lugh, Bridget, Scathach, Ogma, Nuada (The Invincible Sword, Wisdom, Strength, the Winds)   


Master Esras from Gorias The Dagdha, Lugh, Bridget, Danu (The Flaming Spear, Action, Fire, the Sun or Shining One)   


Master Semias from Murias, Manannan mac Lir, The Dagdha, The Cailleach, Cerridwen, Danu, Dianecht, Arianrhod (Rebirth, the Undry, the Sacred
Cauldron, the Sea, Water)   
Many of these God/desses are assigned to more than one direction because they have more than one aspect (The Dagdha, Danu, Bridget, Lugh, the
Morrighan). The best way to associate them with a particular direction is to base their direction upon their role in your Working or upon their use of the magickal tool involved.
The Celts have this multi-faceted diversity in the nature and directions of their God/desses due to their travels across Europe and their incorporation of the local Deities into the Deities of their respective clans.  When they finally stopped their travels, these Deities were then more fixed in their associated directions and attributes. As modern day Celts, we have the use of all of these Archetypes to aid or worship and to enrich our Magicks!

(2-21,cherokee)         the cherokee say that all ancient cultures descend through the plieades and that the druids and the cherokee have origins in atlantis the cherokee calendar as are most medicine wheels are based on the mayan system of time.  The Dogon of W. Africa say the same.  which is very similar to the celtic most ancient cultures say they got the wheel from the stars

Also some of the first sailors to come in contact with North American Indians were Welsh and they could converse with some of the tribes!

Seemed the Indians were speaking Welsh!<G>

(2-21,cherokee)         the cherokee also claim twelve tribes came out of atlantis when it was destroyed and populated the areas of the earth bringing this ancient wisdom to other cultures like the 12 tribes of israel there are 12 clans in the cherokee matrilieage.  There was contact betwweeen the nordic vikings and the indians after contact with the celts too.

(2-9,M&J)               As to the NA Indians speaking Welsh, I attended a Celtic League symposium a year or two back, and this was one of the talks.  I'll have to go back and review my notes, but as I recall this is heavily debated.  The accounts go back to a Welsh prince who supposedly sailed to America.  Whether or not this is true is highly uncertain.

(2-8,Freepowder)        The Welsh Prince was Madoc, and I believe...
he was supposed to have sailed in the 11th century.... there were
records of his sailing away.... but nothing on where he ended up....he
most certainly never returned to wales.... One possible explanation for
the 'Welsh' Indians is the occurance of grey eyes in some of the
southern tribes, notably... the Choctaw and Cherokee.... There are some
similarities in the languages, but it is possible.. that this is due to
some wandering Celt .... heading east from the orient. <G>

OK Thanks FP!<G>  There are many other similarities...notably the common belief among both sets of peoples, the Cherokees and the Celts, that springs were doorways to the Underworlds and possessed their own spirits. There are other similarities... The Irish have legends about the first settlers coming from the west after a flood.

 This was later Christianized to be the daughter of Noah Ceasir....but it was first thought to be Atlantis. Also some of the alignments of the stone circles are on the Pleides.  In fact, The two major hubs of the Celtic year are connected to when the Pleides first ascend into the constellation of Taurus That is when Bealtaine and Samhain actually occur.
As to use in your magickal workings, given the eclectic nature of most American Mages, introduction of the Plains Indian version of the attributes of the quarters is allowable. Perhaps even justified given our geographical location. I personally use the Indian colors and animals in conjunction with the Celtic God/esses. As they used to say in the Toyota comercials, 'It just feels right.' <G>

Here's my blurb on directions:  The "Four Fold Way" by  Angeles Arrien a survey of sacred directions and paths of the indigenous peoples of the
world gives the following characteristics to the directions:

The Way of the Warrior, Direction of Power, Element is Air, winged creatures, Standing Meditations, Right Actions, Dancing, instrumrnt is the rattle and season is the Winter.

The Way of the Visionary, Direction of Vision, Element is Fire, dessert and no legged creatures, Walking meditations, Truth telling, Singing, instrument is the bell and season is Summer.

The Way of the Healer, Direction of Love, Element of Earth, All four legged creatures, Meditating while laying down, Right Speech is the way of living, Paying attention, Story telling, instrument is the drum and the season is Spring.

The Way of the Teacher, Direction of Wisdom, Element of Water, All Water creatures,Sitting meditations,RightTiming in life's actions, Being Open
minded to outcomes, Silence is the best wisdom, instruments are sticks and bones and season is Autumn.

               "HOW TO USE MAGICK with a Straight Face"

(C) 1989 by Scot Rhoads, all rights reserved
MYSTIC MOON Metaphysical Books, NEW MOON RISING journal & BBS 8818 Troy St., Spring Vly, CA 91977 (619) 466-8064; BBS: 466-5403

             "People that eat blowfish are stupid.
        People that do not eat blowfish are also stupid."
                                        --Japanese proverb

   With  the advent of the New Age,  many people are airing great new  ways  to change your life for the better.  These  ideas  are based  on the premise that we have total control of our lives on some level.  All we need do is reach that level with our desires.  This is,  of course,  the big challenge. You can read millions of words on that subject.  Why is there so much information? Because achieving this kind of control is a very individual thing.  There are  so many different ways that each person could write his  own book.  To succeed,  each must find his own path. The reason there are  instructions  at  all,  though,  is because  each  can  find guidance in the successes of others.  Magick is one of these many guides.
   This  file is relatively short because it concentrates less on the  myriad  details of magick and more on how to find  your  own path.  The  task  is never as easy as it sounds,  but it  is  not complex,  either.  With straight forward exercises (good,  honest work on your Self) you will achieve whatever you desire.  We  all have  this  power.  The  way we use it is not by  gaining  a  new ability,  but by getting out of the way of the ability we already have. This book outlines the basic blocks and the kinds of things to  do about them.  But,  as with any advice,  it is up to you to honestly  assess your own situation and discover what works  best for you.  Remember,  achieving your personal Power is  everyone's path  in life.  You will succeed,  it is only a question of when.  This  book  is designed to bring that success more  quickly  and, overall, more easily.

   Many  people  these  days still appeal  to  the  "booga-booga" aspect of magick:  "We will grant you incredible powers to use on whomever  you please if you send us money." As we enter into  the New Age of understanding,  people are learning that occult powers are actually a natural part of everyone's life. It is our goal to help  this process along.  We hope to teach newcomers what magick is about.  This book is written not only to inform,  but also  to circumvent  the  psychological  barriers set up by  living  in  a mechanistic society. The mechanistic paradigm (the idea that each person  and  object  is  totally separate from the  rest  of  the universe  except through physical interaction)  precludes  magick(non-physically   affecting  one's  environment).   The  magickal
paradigm  states  that your beliefs  create  your  reality.  This choice  is like contemplating eating blowfish-- when  you analyze it,  you  can  conclude that adopting either paradigm is  stupid.  Since you can't please everyone else,  pick the one that you like best. If (and only if) the magickal paradigm appeals to you, then choose it. Then the trick is to get out of the mind-set that says that  magick  is  impossible.  We hope that  you  will  try  some exercises  to prove to yourself that magick works.  Once you have done  so,  then  you  are on the way to  achieving  anything  you desire.

   Power can be a very misleading term.  The way most people mean it is in the sense of "power-over." People recognize power as the ability to get others to do what you want,  especially when these others  have different ideas.  This is not Power (with a  capital 'P')  at all.  When you rely on someone else to do something  for you,  you  give  your Power to him.  This is very different  from doing something *with* someone,  then both parties gain.  But, to believe  that you must force or trick another is to say that  you need this person to do something that you cannot.  You may  steal their power (lower case) but you give away your Power.

Power is, among other things, the innate ability to bring whatever you truly desire into your life.  When you "make" others manifest them for you,  you create blocks in your own mind. These blocks say "I cannot do this myself," which obstructs your Power.   This is "giving away your Power."

   When you "take your Power," you accept responsibility for your life.  This  is not guilt or martyrdom,  it is honestly assessing your  life  and recognizing your  successes  and  failures.  Give yourself  credit for even the smallest success and recognize that you  can overcome every obstacle.  Then you allow your  Power  to express  itself.  What you need comes to you;  projects work  for you.

   We  often  think  of many  obstacles  as  insurmountable.  For instance,  many  believe  the lottery to be their only  desperate hope of escaping poverty.  Such people give away their Power. And why  shouldn't they?  Everything they've experienced  tells  them this.  Our  whole  society is rooted in the mechanistic  paradigm (all causes and effects have a physical link),  which precludes a belief in Power.  How is one to know that this concept works? How
can  this be real when it is so different from what we  are  used to?

   Our  society  has  a  concept of  "Reality"  as  an  objective existence  of  which  we are all a part.  When  two  people  have different  ideas of the nature of some detail,  then at least one is Wrong. We all have a fear of being Wrong. When we are Wrong we miss out on things and people don't like us as much. Therefore we desperately strive to be Right.  It turns out that Right is  what ever  those around you happen to feel that it should be.  It's as if  they  all  took a vote when you were out  of  the  room.  But "Right" changes all the time: from preservatives are harmless, to preservatives  cause cancer;  from Stalin is a great  leader,  to Stalin  was a monster;  from Ptolemy explains the forces  of  the universe perfectly, to Newton explains the forces of the universe perfectly,  to  Einstein  explains  the forces  of  the  universe perfectly.  The  philosophy  of science this calls this  evolving better  (or at least different) explanations.  Yet,  while  these ideas hold sway, people call them "Reality."

   Just how reliable is Reality?  We all live our lives using our individual concepts of Reality to get along. We update them as we see fit. But few will fundamentally change their concepts. We are sure  that,  although we may not have the details,  we  certainly have  a  feel  for  the basics.  Anyone who  disagrees  with  the mechanistic paradigm,  for instance,  must be missing at least  a few  marbles.  Such a person is irrational in a universe that  we
know to be rational.

   But  is the universe truly rational?  Science has pursued the mechanistic  paradigm  down  to  the  smallest  scale,   particle physics;  here  it fails to explain the  universe.  The  building blocks  of Reality do not behave rationally.  If you drive a  car from one side of a mountain to the other and you have a choice of two  tunnels,  you  will drive through one of them.  If a  single electron has a choice of two holes in a plate to pass through, it will go through both. You can plot the speed and position of your car  to the limit of the accuracy of your  instruments,  but  you will never be able to do both to that electron.

   When you observe this mythical car,  it is a solid object.  If it were not,  it would not be a car. If you drove it around, then tested  to  see if the car were not solid and discovered that  it wasn't,  what  would you think?  Around the turn of the  century, scientists figured out that light acts like a wave when you  test
for a wave,  and like a particle when you test for a particle. In the regular world it must be one *or* the other.  The two are as mutually exclusive as a non-solid car that you can none the  less drive.  Mysteriously,  light was behaving like both.  Eventually, scientists concluded that light doesn't work like the universe we
are  used to.  The act of observing light defines its  character.  This  is  called  wave-particle duality.  Later in  the  century, scientists  found that atomic particles,  the building blocks  of all matter, behave this way, too.

   Now  imagine  that  you  can find no evidence  that  this  car crosses  the space between where you see it and where you saw  it last.  Suppose  the  car isn't actually "there" when  you're  not looking--  the  act of looking brings it  into  "existence." What would you think if noticed that your expectations seem to have an effect on where it turns out to be?  This is awfully strange, but it  is  the  kind  of universe  that  particle  physicists  find.  "Looking  at"  a subatomic particle "brings it  into  existence."  Also,  scientists are finding that whatever kind of particle they expect  to  find in an experiment,  tends to be  there.  This  is starting  to  look less like brilliant theory and  more  like  an effect  of the observers.  They are no longer separate from their experiments. It turns out that the universe doesn't actually work the way we've always assumed it does.

   This  is  the nature of matter on the smallest scale,  and  it doesn't make sense in every day life.  This does not mean that we should abandon our present ideas of how to live.  Keep what works ("If  it  ain't broke,  don't fix it").  Particle  physics  won't affect how you drive through tunnels,  for instance.  But, if you
accept  physics,  the epitome of the mechanistic  paradigm,  this means  that our mechanistic ideas of how the universe  works  are fundamentally  incomplete.   In  other  words,   the  mechanistic paradigm is not the whole story.

   Big deal.  What does this mean in a practical sense? The world seems  to  work  just  the same as it did  when  the  mechanistic paradigm was unchallenged. But what if our preconceptions dictate what we are aware of?  It is a common trick to set up a group  of people  for  startling  event and see how many  will  overlook  a strange inconsistency.  In one instance, a teacher took a student off  into an adjoining room on a pretext.  There was the sound of
an argument and a crash and the student ran out through the room.  One of the other students suspected a set up and she was the only one  who  noticed that the teacher's accomplice  was  carrying  a bone.  A much more dramatic example is the story of Magellan's ships. When the explorer landed on a particular island, the natives, who had never seen europeans before, recognized them as funny looking men  in funny looking little boats.  But Magellan soon found that the  natives  were unaware of the large ships that  carried  them there,  though they were impossible to overlook.  The natives had seen men and small boats before,  but they had never seen a large ship.  Such a thing was outside of their experience and therefore outside  of their comprehension.  Their eyes must have  seen  the ships,  but their brains did not.  The natives gathered to try to see them, staring intently at where they supposed to be anchored.  Soon  the local shaman could discern the barest outline which  he described  to  the  others.  Eventually they could  all  perceive ships.
   Who  can  say what we make ourselves unaware of?  It  is  only after  we've expanded our perception that we learn how limited it was  before.  But we can't go around indiscriminately  "expanding our  consciousness."  What we choose to believe is based  on  our desires. If you are happy with what you believe, the is no reason to  change.  "If  it  ain't  broke,  don't  fix  it."  Change  is challenging and even if you succeed,  it may well be  unpleasant.  But  if  you feel unable to overcome obstacles in your life  (and you *really*  want to),  then you have nothing to  loose.  Magick will only expand possibilities.  If it's all a crock, you've lost nothing. If it's true, you can do anything you're willing to work for.  It is a draw-win situation. The only way you can lose is to make  your choice out of fear.  Don't let the opinions of  others influence what you choose to believe. Don't give away your Power.  Everyone else is in the same situation you are,  so when it comes to your own life, there is no greater authority than yourself. If you're  interested in magick,  try it and see for yourself if  it works for you.

                         WHAT MAGICK IS

Magick is a way of using your Power.  More technically, magick is the  process of non-physically affecting your environment through messages consciously impressed on the subconscious with a  system of symbols.  (This will become clear later.) This is the broadest definition and it can include such things as prayer,  meditation, chanting,  positive thinking,  subliminal tapes,  programming and hypnotism.

Some think that magick is unnatural and evil.  It is no more evil than  any  tool.  A  knife,  for instance,  is "good"  or  "evil" depending  on its use.  It can be invaluable in  many  beneficial projects,  yet  it  can also harm.  Nothing is immune to  misuse.  People even try to use prayer against others.  Such potential  is not a reason for fear,  but for respect.  The idea that magick is unnatural is a modern misconception. Magic has only recently come to  mean Hollywood special effects or pulling rabbits from  hats.  It  is often spelled magick in order to distinguish it from  this new   meaning.   For   millennia  magick  has  been  a  path to enlightenment  and  self mastery or just plain getting  what  you want.  It is nothing supernatural. Magick uses natural powers and the  natural flow of the universe to bring about the changes  you desire. We are so immersed in magick that, like still air, we are unaware  of  it.  We all use this  power  without  thought,  like breathing. Magick is using these powers with awareness.

Magick  involves  placing  a message of your choosing  into  your subconscious.  This is all that is necessary to achieve any goal. The power of the subconscious is awesome.  When you unite it with your  conscious will,  you can do anything you want.  Remove  the internal barriers and the external barriers melt  away.  Oriental philosophy would call this "following the Tao." Achieving this is the challenge of magick.

                        HOW MAGICK WORKS

   How  can programming the subconscious affect the world  around us?  What  are the mechanisms involved?  According to the  occult view, it works because that is the nature of the universe.

   In the West,  we use the mechanistic paradigm. A paradigm is a pattern  or model,  in this case describing the way the  universe works.  We  use  paradigms  to  function,  usually  without  even realizing  it.  The mechanistic paradigm is one of the most basic that  underlie our culture.  This model states that there  is  an objective  reality  in  which  objects  interact  solely  through physical contact. Science has updated this to include fields like gravity and magnetism,  but the principle is the same. The result is  a universe in which the individual is nearly  powerless.  You can only make real change through physical action.  Magick is the act of making such changes non-physically,  so it does not fit in with the mechanistic paradigm.

   Most   westerners  are  unaware  that  the  magickal  paradigm represents a majority view among the world's cultures. Basically,  it  is  the antithesis of the mechanistic view.  It  states  that there is no objective universe,  only subjective universes. These universes  are the perceptions of each individual.  You  couldn't possibly  do any experiment that would show your universe  to  be either subjective or objective. You must be an objective observer in  order  to  tell  the  difference.  You  are  automatically  a subjective observer because you are in the universe. That's life.

   At this point,  there is no practical difference between these views.  The universe looks the same either way.  But the magickal paradigm  also states that the universe is an expression of  your perceptions  and your perceptions are that part of yourself  over which  you have control.  When you change your own attitudes  and preconceptions,   the   universe  will  follow.   This  gives  an individual  as  much  power  over the universe  as  he  has  over himself.


We  obviously  don't exercise infinite power.  There is  more  to magick than merely having a desire or belief.  That is because we have  many conflicting desires and beliefs on many levels.  There is  a level called,  among other things,  the Little  Self.  This roughly  corresponds to the subconscious and the super  ego.  The ego,  the  part of ourselves which we think of as "I," is  called the Middle Self. The Little Self is the gateway to the High Self, our connection with godhead and the universe. Infinite power lies with  the High Self,  but our access is through the  Little  Self which has its own ideas.  The Little Self is aware of and accepts everything around it and everything you think,  even when you are not  aware.  These perceptions build up very strong ideas in  the
Little Self.  When these ideas are different from yours (those of the Middle Self),  your ideas loose.  To succeed,  you must unify your will.

   Of  course,  people  rightfully  complain that even if  we  do create our universe,  it's still tough to make changes.  That  is because  there is quite a bit of inertia to ideas that have  been strongly  supported  since childhood (or before,  if  you  accept past-lives).  In an extreme example, the original "Peter Pan" had to  be  changed to keep from harming children.  In  the  original version,  the  characters  flew  because  "they  believed."  Many children  attempted to fly and discovered the hard way that their Little Self did not agree. Things like a belief in gravity may be possible  to overcome,  but no one will argue that it's  commonly done.

   This example sounds silly because our experience of gravity is so  compelling  that  it seems ridiculous to consider  it  to  be "merely  a thought construct." But another belief that is  nearly as  widespread is that of poverty.  This is a significantly  less daunting belief which many have overcome.  As long as you believe you  are poor,  you will be.  This is often a very strong belief. Many  cannot even genuinely imagine themselves as being  wealthy. But,  because  it is not beyond reasonable comprehension,  it  is possible  to reprogram your Little Self-- much  as  it's possible for  left-handers  to  learn to be  right-handed.  Magick  is  an effective way to do this.

   If you are unconvinced,  consider how many little messages you heard  when  growing  up,  which you now believe on  some  level. Frequent messages, especially with children, usually become true.  If  you  have heard all your life that you are poor  or  dumb  or unsuccessful, eventually you believe it and eventually it's true. You  probably  know many people with an unjustifiably  poor  self image.  This  is  an  image which their Little  Selves  accepted,
probably during childhood when they couldn't protect  themselves. That is how messages to the Little Self work against you. And the Little Self is aware of everything,  even when you are asleep. It also believes everything it hears. So the next time that you hear that  you're not good or that you need to buy a product that  you don't really want,  consciously give your Little Self a different message. Talk to it and tell it what you want to believe. This is what  makes your universe,  so make it the way you want it.  When you  have a particularly powerful belief to  overcome,  then  you must send a powerful message. That is the role of magick.


   The religious rendition of magick is prayer. Although they are different things, the principles are similar. Techniques that are effective for one will work very well in the other. In fact, they use  many  common symbols.  One could say that magick is  secular prayer.

   Prayer  works when "God answers it." This is entirely in  line with  the metaphysical explanation.  You can say that the  Higher Self is God or your connection to God. This is simply a different way  of expressing the same ineffable principles.  You can  adapt anything  here  to fit into your views.  Don't let the way  these concepts are phrased put you off.  Feel free to interpret this as much  as  you like in order to make it acceptable and  usable  to you.


   The  explanations so far require new way of thinking about the universe,  but those entrenched in the mechanistic paradigm  need not miss out. Psychology has enough respect as a science to offer hope. If you replace Little Self with subconscious, the principle is  the  same.  Although there is no longer a source of  infinite power or non-physical change. But influencing the subconscious is the next best thing in a mechanistic world.

   Psychologists   would   say  that  magick  directs  all   your unconscious  efforts toward your goal.  It also eliminates  those unconscious  efforts  keeping you from your goal.  This  may  not sound like much, but it is primarily these efforts that determine success or failure.  It is easy to overlook because, for the most part,  the  conscious will is the same as the  unconscious  will. Thus,  we succeed at endeavors such as waking up, getting to work on  time and fixing dinner.  This may seem silly,  but when  your subconscious  doesn't  share  a  goal,   even  simple  tasks  are exceptionally difficult. The power of the subconscious can either fight  you  or  help you.  Where ever you  succeed,  it's  almost certainly  helping.  Where ever you fail,  it's almost  certainly fighting.

   The  subconscious represents everything the mind does that  we do not think about.  This involves a most of what we do. When you are  driving  on a familiar freeway in good conditions,  you  are usually  thinking  about  the  music  on  the  radio  or  salient problems.  At such times it is your subconscious driving.  If you notice  something strange in the road,  it was your  subconscious that brought it to your attention. This is very helpful, but that isn't  necessarily the case.  The subconscious can throw  up  all kinds  of barriers,  preventing even the simplest tasks.  It  can make  you late for work when it doesn't feel like going-- you can wake  up  late,  feel  ill,  misplace car keys or  even  have  an accident.  This influence sometimes goes to the extremes.  People can even be paralyzed by hysteria, a condition that lies entirely within  the  mind.  Pathological fears are  another  example.  An agoraphobe,  for instance,  can have such an extreme reaction  to being outdoors that he cannot leave his house no matter how badly he wants to.

   The  subtle  action  of  the subconscious  can  be  almost  as profound.   Even  when  the  influence  of  the  subconscious  is indistinguishable  from  chance happenings,  on larger scale  the effect is dramatic.  Psychologists try to ensure that experiments are  "double  blind"  for  this  reason.  They  must  set  up  an experimental group and a control group.  In the latter,  there is only the single element,  the target of the experiment,  that  is different.
   In  drug  testing,  experimenters  use placebos on  a  control group.  The act of administering a substance can have a  profound mental effect, even when that substance is inert, a placebo. When they expect effective drugs, people can have great results with a placebo.  But  the "placebo effect" is purely  psychological.  If either the experimenter or the subject think that they know which is  being administered,  that is enough to throw off the results. The  subconscious  of  the subject reacts  to  what  the  subject expects. If the experimenter knows what he is administering, then the subject's subconscious reacts to cues from the experimenter's subconscious.  This  is sometimes called the "Clever Hans effect" after  a horse which seemed to be able to do  math.  In  reality, clever  Hans but was reacting to cues from the people around him. When someone near him knew the answer, the horse could sense that
person's  expectation.  It was sometime before  researchers  even considered   these   nearly  invisible   clues.   Although   such subconscious  actions  are  very subtle,  they  can  dramatically change the results of an experiment.

   The  subconscious  similarly affects results in your  life  as well.  Magick programs the subconscious to work for you.  This is not  as potent as the metaphysical concept,  but it will make you as  effective as you can possibly be in a  mechanistic  world.  A unified  will directs all your efforts,  conscious and otherwise, toward   your   goal.   Since  the   subconscious   can   present insurmountable  barriers,  working  out these barriers is all  it takes to be on the road to success.

   Some   may   be  disturbed  to  think  that  magick   may   be misrepresenting  how it works,  but that should not be a problem. In  one  experiment,  scientists  gave placebos  to  a  group  of subjects.  After  the  placebos  "took  effect,"  the  scientists explained what they were.  Even when the scientists made it clear to the subjects that the placebos had no biochemical action, many subjects  still  wanted  a prescription for them.  (It  would  be interesting to see how much more effective prescription  placebos are  versus over the counter placebos.) Were these people stupid? Or were they wise to stick with something that worked?

                           New Science

   Those  that  cannot extricate themselves from old  mechanistic views  need an excuse to allow the placebo effect to  bring  them success.  Ironically,  the  same discipline which made magick  so difficult  can now provide this excuse.  Scientists are exploring some  new  ideas  which  depart  from  the  founding  mechanistic paradigm.  Ideas consonant with the magickal paradigm show up  in Jung's  synchronicity,  quantum physics,  the Gaia hypothesis and the morphogenetic field hypothesis (see Rupert Sheldrake's "A New Science  of  Life").  When these views  obviously  challenge  the traditional mechanistic paradigm,  they are a source of hostility or  amusement.  When the challenge is more subtle,  people ignore it.  Never the less,  the West is gradually turning toward a view more  in tune with magick.  With greater  frequency,  people  are willing  to consider the idea that we affect our universe on more than just a physical level.

   Scientific  evidence  now supports the idea of  non-physically affecting  your  environment.  Quantum physics suggests  that  an experimenter's  goals  seem  to  create  whatever  particle  he's looking  for.  The morphogenetic field hypothesis  suggests  that actions   affect  all  other  actions  to  the  degree  that  the circumstances are similar. This explains why it becomes easier to grow  a  certain  type of crystal over time and  how  new  animal behaviors "jump" from one isolated population to another. Science is  continually  finding support for things  that  metaphysicians have said for millennia.

   If  your  respect  for science is such that  you  cannot  take magick seriously,  do some research into these areas.  If you can find an acceptable explanation, then you can respect magick. This respect  is essential for success.  But don't look for  "proofs." The  concept of magick is nebulous.  It's designed to explain the way  things  are.   "Contrary  evidence"  only  shows  that   you misunderstand.   Change   your  definition  to  include  the  new

   Magick  can  never be proven wrong because it can't be  pinned down.  Since  it explains a subjective reality,  it can never  be proven  right,  either.  The magickal paradigm will  confirm  any preconceptions,  so  the mechanistic paradigm will look "true" if that  is  what  you expect.  Since it  also  postulates  so  many unknowns  in the mind,  this paradigm states that what you get is what you expected.  As with so many things,  you will believe  if you  want to and you won't if you don't want to.  But when you're on  the  fence,  the right explanation can help  you  accept  the possibility.  Only  then  you  can honestly try  magick.  If  you experiment with a negative attitude,  it is the nature of  magick to confirm this.  Magick works best for those practical enough to be skeptical, but open minded enough to give it an honest try. If a  part of you is genuinely interested in magick,  work to become comfortable with it.  Start with simple and harmless work.  Leave the embarrassing stuff for later,  after you've seen it work  and you don't care so much if your friends find out.

   Avoid  getting too involved in the "explanations." If you need one,  pick whichever you like. It doesn't have to be any of those here.  Each  has to build his own models.  In any  case,  reality transcends  the  understanding of  waking-consciousness,  so  any expressible  explanation  is "wrong" in  the  traditional  sense, anyway.  For  a  good  illustration,  try to  "understand"  wave-particle  duality  in  any but  a  mathematical  sense.  It's  as impossible to picture as a four dimensional cube.

   However  the  universe "actually is," always act in  a  manner that  is responsible in an objective universe.  If this were  not essential,  people  would  have abandoned the objective  universe long ago. Objective or subjective, there are many empirical rules of behavior that we all know.  Magick doesn't change these rules. Don't drive crazily because you've done a protection spell. Don't spend unwisely because you've done a prosperity spell. Don't jump off a building because you've done a flight spell.  Remain within these  rules  and  you  loose nothing by  acting  as  though  the universe  is  subjective.  You should not be doing  anything  you don't  want  to  do in the first place,  because  such  acts  are pointless in either universe.  If the universe is objective, then
you  have had some harmless fun.  If the universe is  subjective, then  you  have  the chance to get  anything  you  want.  If  you approach it properly, you can't lose.


                     Karma, the golden rule

   So far you have read a few possible explanations of how magick works.  This is to open your mind to the fact it *can* work.  But any   explanation  puts  a  limit  on  the   possibilities.   The possibilities  which a model rules out are much harder to achieve while   you  use  that  model.   Please  don't   limit   yourself unnecessarily.  But  remember,  no matter how much you may try to believe  that you can fly,  it's not likely you'll  succeed.  The obvious  lesson  here is,  be careful:  test the waters  of  your subconscious, act responsibly (but not over cautious). Don't jump off a cliff after your first flight spell.  Don't quit work after your  first job spell.  Start slow and find out how  your  Little Self works before you do any life changing work.

   There  is  a hazard so universal that you should treat  it  as fact:  Karma.  This is the old saw of,  "what goes around,  comes around."  You  attract  things of a similar nature  to  what  you concentrate  on (similar to morphogenetic fields).  And remember, when  you concentrate on something,  your Little Self does so  at least  as  much.  The  mechanistic reason for this  may  be  "the subconscious  mind  directing  subtle  actions  to  bring   about circumstances  in  tune with its thoughts." Metaphysicians  often explain it as "like vibrations attracting like."

   Everything has a "vibration." This is similar to the vibration of musical notes,  though obviously not the same. As with musical notes,  one  vibration  can start a  sympathetic  vibration.  One vibrating  piano  string  will start similar  strings  vibrating. Karma  is  the  word for this principle in  magick.  There  is  a
certain  vibration associated with any act.  If you hit  someone, the  emotions  and actions involved are of a  certain  vibration. This  will  tend  to  attract  things  of  a  similar  vibration, primarily violent acts.  You will tend to attract someone to  hit you.   It  turns  out  that  everything  you  do  to  others  you
essentially also do to yourself, and vice versa. It sounds trite, but  being  nice to others and yourself truly makes the  world  a better place for everyone.

   It  doesn't  matter how you understand karma,  or even if  you believe in it-- you are warned.  Many people  don't  believe. The action of karma,  particularly on such people,  is often too slow to  notice.  It  can  easily take lifetimes for a  soul  to  work through karma.  But the soul will, so avoid bad thoughts. This is
impossible,   but  you  will  get  better  with  practice.   Each unpleasant thought has a negative effect on you and others.  This brings negative things into your life. This is pretty rotten, but remember that each positive thought brings positive things-- that can  be pretty good.  In any case,  you needn't respect karma  to find yourself a happier person for trying to live this way.
   If  you are just learning about karma,  you will probably find that it is now a little more obvious in your life.  But sometimes it's difficult to figure.  If you do a spell to heal someone, you would  expect  to  be  attracting  good  things.   But  what   if immediately  afterward  you receive a transfer back home to  live
near your scummy relatives?  Hardly fair!  Yet that's the kind of result  you  can expect if you do anything to  a  person  without permission.  People  have enough difficulty with their own Little Selves,  it's  nearly impossible to divine the desire of  someone else's.  The most beneficent act could violate someone's will  on some  level.  If the person asks you,  then you are free to  act. But,  even  if you are absolutely sure that the person would want
it, if he hasn't asked you, don't do it.

   Another  fantastic  example is the love spell.  Do a spell  to attract  the  kind of person you want,  not  a  specific  person. Exercising  your  will on others without their consent is  always nasty--  doing  so  magickally has  an  even  higher  cost. Watch yourself.   Many  people  working  with  magick  do  so  under  a "threefold law." This means that any karmic response is  tripled. This  is  to  keep people particularly scrupulous when  they  are fooling around with this stuff. Take it seriously.

                          Know Thyself

   Karma is best described by the golden rule, "Do unto others as you  would have them do unto you." The other major rule of magick is  just  as  common place,  "Know thyself."  This  is  essential because of the Little Self.  Magick is the science of  expressing your  will.  Because  there  are many aspects to  your  will,  it follows  that  you must be aware of all these aspects  to  be  an effective magician.

   "Know  thyself" means be aware of the thoughts and feelings of your Little Self.  Learn how it feels about the things you  want. Learn  it's  beliefs.  You  must  know  your  starting  point  to effectively change negative beliefs.  To do this, you have to pay attention  to  all  the subconscious cues that your  Little  Self gives you. Explore your feelings, keep track of your dreams, look at  your past.  One of the best clues is your own  life.  If  you create  everything on some level,  then part of you "wants"  each thing in your life. You must not deny this, but work with it. The goal is healing because destruction is at best temporary.

   Different   desires  on  other  levels  interfere  with   your conscious desire.  Your Little Self picks them up everywhere. You must be aware of this so that you can counteract it.  Every ideal commonly  in  the  mass media  impresses  itself  strongly.  When Madison  Avenue  spreads  the word that young and  thin  are  the ideal,  your Little Self will accept this if you are not careful. If you are not young and thin, this message undermines your sense of  self worth.  The resultant sense of undeserving works against your success. There is so much exposure to these messages that it is a real battle to avoid them.  Particularly in childhood,  when we can't protect ourselves,  others deeply ingrain ideas that can be  with  us  for life.  You must work  hard  to  discover  these feelings and counter act them.  If part of you feels undeserving, genuine success seems impossible.

   There  are other aspects to this problem.  Not only might  you feel  undeserving,  but you could even desire failure.  There are many reasons for this,  usually based in childhood.  Whatever the cause,  you  must look at your failures to see if there might  be some  reward.  Many people are subject to  chronic  illness,  for instance,  because  of  the attention they get or  an  unpleasant situation  they avoid.  If you really want to succeed,  you  must consciously release your desire for the rewards of failure.

   You  must also look at the fear of success.  Many times we  do not  consider  the problems associated with what we are  striving for,  but  the  Little  Self  does.  It  may  be  afraid  of  the responsibility  of a better job or a new  spouse.  Think  through your  goals  very carefully.  What would life be like if you  had
what  you  desire?  You will have to address any  new  tasks  and responsibilities.  You  will have to be aware of any  sacrifices. Once  you  are  sure that you want not only your  goal,  but  the sacrifices  and responsibilities that go with  it,  then  release your fears.  People fear change,  because it is unknown. You must be aware that you are taking a leap and welcome it. Have faith in your Self.  When you know your Little Self well enough,  you will be able to trust that it will bring you what you desire. When you don't know it that well,  work on that. If you fail, it's time to work harder.

   When  you  and your Little Self have the same goals,  and  you have healed all the blocks to your success,  you *know* that what you want is coming.  When you know, you do not feel desperate. If you are feeling desperation, you are blocking. In that case, back to work! When you have worked hard enough, then you are ready for the  easy part,  the spell or ritual.  When you enter ritual  you should  know what you want and why you want it.  You should  have
healed  all  feelings of failure and undeserving and  you  should know  that  your  spell will bring it.  Work  to  cultivate  this feeling of calm expectation,  it is an important key. When you do a ritual, you will release all the power you have built to do its work on the universe.  You should not even have to think about it

   Once you achieve this,  though,  there is another caveat. Many people  have  something  unpleasant  happen  to  them  and  later realized  that  they had asked for it.  "Be careful what you  ask for,  you  just might get it." Always think carefully about  what you  want and how you ask for it.  Once again,  solid  background work is the key.

                          USING MAGICK
   Magick  is a field with many different disciplines.  There  is sympathetic,  Earth,  Ceremonial,  Enochian, Celtic, Egyptian and Kabbalah  magick just to begin.  These are occasionally different in their basic techniques,  but mostly they differ in the symbols they  use to achieve their goals.  The principles are  the  same, however.  Whichever form you prefer,  it is how you observe these principles that determines your success.  Beyond that, it is only personal preference.

   Preference is very important, too. It is your Little Self that you  are  addressing,  and it is as individual as you.  You  must learn what works best for you.  The first clue is what appeals to you most.  Once you find the best methods for you, you build your own  personal  magickal system.  It is up to you  to  find  these methods,  through research and experimentation.  There is so much information  that  it  is impossible to give more than  a  sample here.  The information in this book is enough to get started.  It is  your work that will complete it.  If you are happy with  what you get on your own,  you need never open another book.  But  you must  at  least pay constant,  careful attention to your work  to fine tune it.  As with anything,  the more work you put  in,  the better your success.

   The  first  principle  is  to  take  what  you're  doing  very seriously.  This  is  not  so easy when  you're  struggling  with society's  negative attitudes.  Ignore any intrusive thoughts you might have. Concentrate on what you are doing. You must passively avoid  any distractions.  Do not try to actively avoid  them  for
that  usually becomes an even bigger distraction.  As long as you enter with the right attitude, the rest will come with practice.

   Magickal ritual is a very special thing. You must set it apart from your ordinary functions.  When you do this, your Little Self is aware that you have that an important message to give it.  Not only  is  the message less cluttered by stray  thoughts,  but  it proceeds  more  directly  to the Little Self.  The  more  special things  you have surrounding your ritual,  the more effective  it is. (As long as you don't have so much that these things become a distraction in themselves.)

   Pick  a time when you are relaxed and awake and not under  the influence  of any drugs (e.g.,  alcohol or medication).  Take the phone off the hook and see that you are not disturbed.  Create  a "sacred  space"  that  is only for ritual.  If you can set  up  a regular  time  or  place which you use  for  nothing  other  than ritual, this is ideal.

   Before you begin,  take a bath or at least wash your hands and use  this  to  symbolically  wash away  all  other  thoughts  and distractions  in  your mind.  Relax your body  and  mind.  Remove watches  and tight clothes.  Make sure the time of the ritual  is clearly  separated from your usual day.  Use a symbolic act  like knocking three times to open and close the ritual.  Anything that you  can add to the ambience will help:  incense,  special or  no clothing,  candle light, silence or meditative music (or whatever music  is appropriate to the spell-- be careful of  any lyrics!).   If  you  know a second language that you don't ordinarily  speak, such as hebrew or latin, you may want to use this. Alternatively, you can use the Thee's and Thou's of archaic english.

   During the ritual,  concentrate on your goals.  Make sure that your ritual is not so long that you can't keep your mind focused! It  is better to repeat a ritual over days or weeks than to  have an  enormously  long  one in which you spend most  of  your  time thinking  about balancing your checkbook.  Know what you will  do before  you  start.  You  may ad lib,  but your purpose  must  be completely clear before you start.  Don't be surprised,  however, if  a  ritual  goes  differently  from  expected.  You  may,  for instance,  gain  an insight as you work that seems  unrelated  to your goal. It is important to consider this! It may be the key to what you are trying to achieve.  It may also be a distraction, so be aware.

                          The Attitude

   Since  magick  is the science of controlling  your  Self,  the entire  key is in attitude.  Not only must you take it seriously, but you must also cultivate the right feelings. You must want and expect your goal.
   Wanting seems easy, but this is deceptive. That is because the many  facets  of a personality often want different  things.  You must unify your desire just as you must unify your will. A person who grew up abused may learn,  on some level,  to associate  this with  love.  That person's Little Self will seek out abuse as  an expression  of  love.  It will want abuse even if the  individual does not.  Changing the desire of the Little Self to that if  the individual is the challenge.
   An even bigger challenge is that of expectation.  According to the  magickal paradigm,  you not only get what you want,  but you get it in the way that you expect it. Thus, if you do a spell for money  and  you  think "I'll never win the  lottery,"  the  money cannot  come that way.  If the spell is to work,  the money  must come from another source, such as finding a better job. Too often we rule out all possibility.  When you do a spell,  you know that has already worked.  If you do not know this,  it has not worked. This is the ideal.  It may well take some time before you work up to this point.

   For  these reasons it's usually best to start slow.  Remember, to be completely successful, you have to want and expect on every level. Begin with a project easier than levitation! Work your way up  to  something  life  changing  only  after  you  have  proven yourself.  And don't look for dramatic results.  Don't rule  them out, of course-- you can win the lottery or even have ET hand you a  suitcase of money.  But remember,  this is dealing in what you believe,  and  people  rarely believe that  dramatic  things  can happen to them.

   Look at magick as an extra push-- something to make the random events break your way.  In addition to magickal means, strive for your goals on the earthly level. Preliminary results usually tend toward  things  like improved success in your ordinary  pursuits:  business picking up,  a bonus,  getting that job interview. Also, the energy you put into these mundane efforts also supports  your magickal work.  Even if you concentrate on winning a lottery, you must  at  least  buy a ticket.  All your efforts  help  to  build expectation and gives a very strong message to the Little Self.

   The message you give to your Little Self is the most important aspect  of Magick.  The whole process is communicating the right message.  Desire  and  expectancy  are  the  two  most  important messages.  But often these do not get across. The Little Self has the  understanding  of a child.  There are certain messages  that work well and quite a few that work disastrously.  You must learn how to talk to your Little Self.

   The  Little Self understands images and feelings;  it does not understand negatives or time. When you say "I will not fail," the image  in your mind is that of failure.  The message  to  another person  would  be  what you mean,  because  they  understand  the negation,  "not."  The  message  to the subconscious is  "I  will fail." Never,  never,  never use a negative when talking to  your Little Self.

   If  you  change your message to,  "I will succeed," you  still have a problem. Since the Little Self does not understand time as we  do,  it will perpetually see success as being in the  future.  Success  will  never arrive.  The proper  message  would  be,  "I succeed." This is not the way we are used to thinking,  but it is necessary for magickal work. Always formulate your goals this way when you begin a ritual or spell. In addition, the more you think in  this  way  in everyday life,  the more powerful will  be  the positive messages to your Little Self.


   The  images  which  you give your Little Self  are  even  more important.  It  is  the  images  which your  words  conjure  that actually  do the communicating.  When you choose your  goal,  you should  try  to choose one or more images to  represent  it.  The image must include you in it,  either see yourself in a scene  or picture  it  as  if looking out of your eyes.  The  scene  should represent to you exactly what you desire.

   The  more  you imagine in your  scene,  the  better.  Details, smells,  sounds  and textures all help enormously.  The scene  is most  effective when it brings up all the emotions that you would feel if you were actually there.  A drawing or picture is a  good aid. Surround yourself with as many things you can find that make you  think of your goal.  Imagine you have what you want and know you have what you want. That is a successful ritual.


   Over the millennia, people have discovered symbols which speak to the Little Selves of nearly everyone.  Various sets of symbols form the foundation of the many different schools of magick. They are often culturally oriented. Because our culture is far removed from its magickal symbols,  each must discover his own. There are myriads  of occult books that offer as many different symbols  as you could want.  If you are interested, research them. Look first to your religion or ethnic background for your symbols. Mythology and astrology are also good sources.

   One  kind of symbol is the magickal tool.  This is a  physical object which you have consecrated for magickal work. If you have, for  instance,  a  cross  or  star  which you  want  to  use  for protection,  you  must empower the object for that purpose  in a ritual.   You  will  direct  you  will,  through  statement  and
visualization,  into  to  object.  From then on it is a  constant tangible reminder to you and your Little Self.  Treat it with the greatest respect.

   When you want to use a symbol,  first explore your feelings as you  look at it.  If it conjures the feelings you want,  then use it.  With symbols from a source, try do this before you read what the "authentic" meaning is. Sometimes you can get new information by  not prejudicing yourself.  Be careful if the meaning is  very different,  though.  If  you are not entirely in tune  with  your Little Self (and few beginners are), you may be missing something that will affect your spell.

   To  give you an idea of what to look for and a sample to  try, here  is  a simple set of symbols based on  the  Chakra.  Chakrum (singular)  is  Sanskrit for wheel,  although vortex would  be  a better  word.  Chakra refers to points in the body where  certain energies  localize.  These  types of energies correspond to  many different things: herbs, stones, times, planets, moods, political beliefs.  It  is possible to relate anything to a  chakrum.  This chart gives points on the body, one of the many color schemes and how one experiences these energies.  This becomes useful when you seek a reinforcing energy. You can use this chart to decide where to  apply a magickal oil or what color is best to use in a  given project.

RED       ROOT            Physical Health and Energy
ORANGE    SPLEEN          Sexual and Reserve Energy (Second Wind)
YELLOW    SOLAR PLEXUS    Mental and Emotional Energy
GREEN     HEART           Love, Prosperity, Fertility, Growth
BLUE      THROAT          Command, Creation, Will, Expression
INDIGO    BROW            Magick, Psychic Energy

LAVENDER  CROWN           Spirituality
WHITE     Positivity, all colors combined, the Universal Deity (God)
BLACK     absorbs negativity
PINK      Filial Love, "Agape" (look it up)
BROWN     Earthiness, Grounding, Hearth & Home
GOLD      Wealth
          TEMPLES         Thoughts, mind

The blue is a very light blue.  Indigo is a very dark blue,  like navy blue.  Lavender is a mixture of the colors and the energies of  red, indigo and white.  It is a very light color  which  you might be able tosee at the edge of a gas flame. The root chakrum is  at the base of thespine.  The spleen is a few inches  higher and  to  your left or along the spine (your  choice).  The  Solar Plexus at the navel (there is a major nerve nexus here). The Brow or Third Eye Chakrum is associated with the pineal gland.  On the skin, the point is on the brow between the eyes. The crown is the top of the head,  associated with the fontanelle (soft spot).  If you use something black (like obsidian) to absorb negativity,  be sure  to wash it occasionally to get rid of the negativity.  When you  burn  a black candle,  this creates a vacuum.  This  may  be filled  by for negativity unless you also burn a white candle  to bring in positive energy.


   Magick  is  not just an occasional exercise to bring what  you want,  it  is  a  way of life.  It requires  a  certain  kind  of relationship  with your Self.  This does not preclude any kind of life style or religion,  it is entirely separate.  It isn't  what you  do but why and how you do it.  Magick demands that you  love
and respect your Self and that you accept your Power. This is the goal. "Getting what you want" is a small bonus.

   Building  a magickal relationship with your Self is much  like building one with a best friend.  You learn all you can about its beliefs  and  feelings.  You help heal it and it helps  you.  You achieve  this through communication and love.  You  love  through learning acceptance. You communicate by learning and listening to the language of the Little Self.


   The  Little Self expresses itself most clearly in dreams.  You should  keep a regular dream diary.  Have a journal handy by  the bed.  As soon as you wake up in the morning,  write down as  many details as you can.  If you scribble down notes,  transcribe them into  a clear,  coherent text.  If you remember no dreams,  write this down. You should have an entry for every day that you sleep. It is best to record them in present participle (e.g.,  "I  dream that I am writing in my journal").

   Once  you  have a dream recorded.  Consider it and write  down your  impressions.  How does it make you feel?  To what  does  it pertain?  What  symbols  are there?  What does it tell you  about yourself and your life?  After you have considered these  things, you  may  choose  to  look up the possible  meaning  in  a  dream dictionary.  It  is  best  to do this afterward  because  someone else's interpretation could prejudice your own.  The advantage is
that  many dreams are "contrary." Such dreams actually  mean  the opposite  of what they seem to on the surface.  A dictionary  can help jog your awareness.  Once you've tried on your own, it's not a  bad  idea.  Remember,  though,  your impressions are the  most significant.

   You  can make great progress during your dreams as  well.  The more control you have in your dreams,  the more Power you have in your life. Try to develop this control. Remind yourself each time before  you  go  to bed that you will remember  your  dreams  and exercise your will in them. The ideal is called a waking or vivid dream.  In  this you are consciously aware that you are  dreaming and  everything,  especially  color,  is  very  clear.  The  most
important  thing  to remember in a dream is to defeat  everything that attacks you. Attackers represent those things afflicting you during the day.  Don't let them beat you in your dreams.  If  you need help,  call for it.  When victorious, make the attacker give you  a gift.  The gift is the benefit that you can gain from  any situation.  Defeat your dream monsters and you gain power to face your real monsters.

   From  your dreams you can learn what your Little Self  desires and  fears.  You  can also gain powerful symbols for  your  work. These  are all highly personal and it is up to you to divine this information.  But,  don't try to interpret too much. Much of what you  dream is reviewing the events of the day and other items  of no great insight. Look at all your dreams and discover which ones hold meaning for you. Don't worry when you don't understand. Your
Little  Self will keep trying when it has something important  to tell you. As long as you keep listening, you will progress.


   You should also keep a daily diary.  It too, is a line to your Little  Self.  Use this to record the events of the day and  your thoughts and feelings. These will reflect what is going on inside you.  Use  it also for introspection.  You must do a lot of  soul searching to learn about your Little Self, this is most effective
when written.

   It  is  even  more  important to track the  progress  of  your magickal  work.  Each time you do a spell or ritual  record  your goal, your feelings before and after and your methods. Before you get  to  this  point,  you  should also have  explored  all  your feelings  associated with it.  Then pay careful attention to  all
that  happens  to you (part of the reason for the  daily  diary). Often, a spell will work and we will not even notice.

   Since magick works with what we believe,  things come to is in the way we expect or allow.  When you do a healing,  it will tend to  look entirely natural,  rather than miraculous.  If you do  a prosperity  spell,  receiving  a tax refund check  the  following month  could be the universe's response.  Keep an eye out for any hint  of possible results.  Even the weakest indication  is  very positive.  It may not be enough to satisfy, but it means that you are  being effective.  If you keep working,  you will be able  to improve  until you achieve the result you desire.  When you  give yourself  credit  for even the smallest success,  you  build  the relationship between you and your Little Self.


   Another  good  way of communicating with your Little  Self  is through pendulum work. You can use any object on a string, but if it holds significance for you,  so much the better. Hold your arm steady and think about the pendulum swinging forward and back. It should eventually begin to do so without you *consciously* moving your arm.  Next change the movement to left and right by thinking about it. Once you can do this with facility, assign "yes" to one
direction  and "no" to the other.  If you choose forward and back as "yes," alternate thinking the direction and thinking the word. Eventually,  even  when you start cold,  the pendulum will  swing forward and back when you think "yes." Repeat with the word  "no" for  the opposite direction.  Now you have a way of talking  with your Little Self. You can ask it questions directly.

   Eventually, you  can even get your Little Self to spell words by  holding the pendulum over a semicircle with the  alphabet  on it.  The  direction of swing will indicate each  letter.  Another method  is automatic writing.  With this you hold a pen and relax and let "it" do the writing. (This may sound like an Ouija board, but  it is not.  Do not try to use one for this purpose  or  vice versa.)  Whatever method you use,  be careful.  Your Little  Self wants  to  please you.  It will tend to give you the  answer  you want.  Make  sure  you want the truth and that your  Little  Self understands this.  Always be friendly, as you would with a child. Praise  success and don't berate failure.  After all,  it is only trying to please. As usual, this requires regular work over time, but  eventually you can have such a good understanding  that  you need no tools. You will simply "know" how your Little Self feels. This is the ideal.


   Another  way to achieve this awareness is through  meditation. This  is  a  method of calming the  conscious  mind.  There  many physical benefits from the stress reduction alone. It also allows your  inner thoughts and feelings to express themselves.  All the skills  you learn in meditation are very useful  in  magick.  Not only  is it a line of communication with the little self,  but it teaches  you  to quiet the conscious mind which is  essential  in ritual.  You  would  do  well take instruction  in  a  meditation technique such as yoga or self-hypnosis.

   If  you  are learning this on your own,  observe these  rules: Relax  your  body consciously and completely.  You must be  in  a comfortable,  calm environment to do this properly.  Starting  at your  feet,  think about each part of your body and let it relax. It may help to tighten the muscles first.  Use a cue to tell your mind  to relax.  This can be something like mentally  going  down stairs  or  counting backwards.  [Do not use a  common  cue.  For instance, "three, two, one" is something that you might encounter on the radio while driving.  This could be dangerous. It would be better to use,  "three,  three,  three,  two, two, two, one, one, one."  This is less likely to cause a problem.  It is dangerously easy  to get into a meditative state during automatic tasks  like
driving.  This  you must avoid.] Once relaxed,  you can use  this state to allow subconscious thoughts to float to the surface,  or you  can  use  it in ritual to give a powerful  message  to  your Little Self. This mental state is another key to magick.

   You  will  find  that  it  is very  difficult  to  focus  your conscious  mind at first.  See how long you can hold one word  or picture in your head without any other thought. It is probably an astoundingly  brief  time.  Watch  commercials to  see  how  many seconds  they  show one unchanging  scene.  This  represents  the average attention span. This is one of the reasons that magick is so difficult,  you must remain focused for the entire ritual.  Be aware of you concentration span. While it is short, you should be working  short  rituals.  It is better to have three  five-minute rituals than one half-hour ritual if you spend twenty minutes  of the latter thinking of other things.

   In  order to improve your concentration,  spend some time each day trying to hold a word or picture as long as possible. Another good exercise is to pick a word and try *not* to think of it  for a week.  Count how many times you think the word in your head, if you  think it again when counting it,  count that instance,  too. This is very difficult,  but eventually you will even be able  to hear or see the word without thinking it.

   These  skills immediately become useful in communicating  with your Little Self.  You will want to hold positive thoughts,  such as "I am a loveable,  successful person." You will want to dispel negative  thoughts,  as  when the T.V.  tells you,  "I  was  very unpopular  until I started using Crealm Toothpaste!" When you are trying to reprogram your Little Self,  feel free to use aids such as  subliminal tapes.  Another good one is colored  cards.  Place your simple,  direct message,  such as "I succeed," on a  colored card where you will see it each day. Put small pieces of the same color where you will encounter them throughout the day. Each time a bit of card comes in your field of view,  your Little Self will notice and remember the message, even when you don't.

   Symbolic acts are also very powerful.  When you clean out your house  and get rid of everything that you don't *need,* you  make way  for new things to come into your life.  This is a good thing to  do  in concert with a major change  in  your  life,  quitting smoking or graduation, for instance. It helps to tell your Little Self  that your old life is over and your new one has begun.  The more you can eliminate the symbols of your old life, the more you can shape your new life to your liking.  Be aware of all that you do, for you can use ordinary acts to give messages to your Little Self. Your morning shower can be a ritual to "wash away" all your stress or yesterday's mistakes. If you do this, however, you must *make*  it  a ritual.  Develop a routine and concentrate  on  the
purpose  of  the act throughout.  This is true  of  all  magickal works.

   Once you have begun this work to focus your conscious mind and reprogram  your Little Self for success,  then you can begin some small  works  of magick.  You want to start  small  because  most people have difficulty accepting a great success on a deep level. If  start with a spell to win one million in the lottery and  you are not ready for this, your failure will set you back. If you do prosperity  spell  and  you get a small raise or win $10  in  the lottery, that is a start that you can build on.

   One   of   the  better  starting  goals  is   manifesting   an insignificant  object.  Manifesting  means bringing it into  your life.  Things  tend to manifest in unremarkable ways,  so keep  a look out. The blue feather is a classic. Set up a ritual in which you concentrate on a blue feather.  See it,  feel it,  smell  it,
want  it,  then let it go.  Then pay attention for the  following week  (and  keep  track in your journal).  You may  find  a  blue feather  on the side walk.  You may notice one for the first time on a billboard that you pass every day.  You may see one on  T.V. All of these are successes.
   It  is  best to start with insignificant,  uncommon  (but  not rare) objects.  An uncommon object gives you a good indication of success.  A  rare  object is a challenge you can work up  to.  An insignificant   object  is  easier  because  you  do   not   have interfering  desires  or  fears.  You  have  to  be  relaxed  and confident  and let go of your desire as you complete the  ritual. You  should be able to manifest such an object before you proceed to  a greater challenge.  It is valuable to repeat this  exercise every so often in any case.

   Another good spell to start with is a spell to do good spells. That is,  you can use magic to help remove blocks and fears.  For instance,  if  you have discovered that you feel  unworthy,  this will  seriously  impair your ability to manifest what  you  want. But,  you  can use your desire for self worth to empower magickal work  toward  feeling  worthiness.  You can also do  a  spell  to support your ability to concentrate on your goal. This is just an extension  of all the other methods of getting messages  to  your Little Self.

   When you discover blocks and fears,  when thoughts intrude and your  mind  wanders,  or when you find yourself thinking  exactly what you're supposed to avoid,  don't worry!  This happens as you learn  to  control  your will.  The idea is not  to  avoid  these problems,  but  to *learn* to avoid them.  You can't do  this  by trying to force yourself.  There are no instructions on how to do this,  only  exercises.  Just  do  your stuff and the  rest  will follow.  When problem surfaces, recognize it and go on. Don't try to  stop it and don't dwell on it,  just continue.  You may  know that  you  have  "spoiled" a ritual with  a  stray  thought,  but complete it anyway-- it's a good exercise. Sometimes you can deal with stray thoughts by *trying* to think about them.  Concentrate
on these thoughts and let your mind tire of them, then go on with your work.

   Work  steadily,  but not overly hard,  on these exercises  and make magick a part of your life.  Unify your will. Take and prove your  Power.  Only  after you have done this are you ready to  do magick.  When  you feel you are ready,  develop the messages  and visualization which will be the most powerful for you. Decide how you  are  going  to  set up your ritual area  and  how  you  will orchestrate your spell.  Whatever you feel best with is what will be  the  most  powerful.  If you need an idea of  how  to  start, consider the examples that follow.


   Once  you have discovered and addressed your blocks,  you  are ready  to do a spell.  This is only a little different from  what you have already been doing.  In a spell you do nothing new,  you do it differently.  A spell is a ritual, an act carefully planned to have the greatest effect.  You must do the planning,  for only you  know what will be the most effective ritual.  Plan carefully and completely. You may want to use a script (it would be best to memorize  it).  You can ad lib once you're more  experienced.  At this point,  you have enough information to develop more powerful rituals  than you are likely to encounter in any  book.  However, since this is so different from what most of us are used to, here are some samples to give you a starting point.  Feel free to  use and change these rituals as you please. They are here to give you an idea of how you may want to approach things.

   The  ritual starts in a special place.  It could be out in the woods  or in a special room.  Ideally,  you would never use  this place for anything but ritual,  but this may be impossible. If in the  home,  choose a quiet time and unplug the phone.  Make  sure that you are not disturbed.

   Before  the ritual,  carefully clean and arrange the area  and take a bath or wash your hands. Think about washing away the days thoughts and cares. You are now ritually purified. You should not engage in any mundane activity until after the ritual. Enter your ritual  area and knock three times,  to mark the beginning.  From this point all your thoughts are on the ritual. Don't do anything automatically.  No matter how familiar,  think about every action and what it means.

   Light  candles  and  incense (only if there is  no  danger  of fire!).  Imagine  the ritual area surrounded in a circle of white light.  You  may  physically trace this circle to  reinforce  it. (Traditionally,  all  such movements are clockwise when  invoking and   counterclockwise  when  dispelling.)  Repeat  an   act   of
purification.  This is like the bath only more symbolic.  You can hold your hand in the incense smoke and touch water from a ritual cup to your forehead, for instance. Next, relax and aum-- that is chant  the  mantra "ohhmmm" (or whatever works for you) to  bring your  mind  to the proper state of alert  relaxation,  ready  for work.

   At this point you will state your will. Tell your Self and the Universe   how  you  choose  it  to  be.   This  is  not   merely verbalization,  during ritual your word is law. What you say, is. Feel your statement with your entire being, with every sense. Use all the techniques that you have found effective.  Then,  let the
feeling go. It is going out into the universe to do its work. End your  expression with a statement like,  "According to free  will and  for  the  good of all." This helps to  avoid  problems  with karma,  as  long as you mean it.  Do not allow other thoughts  to intrude at this point, it is now time to close the ritual.

   Imagine  removing  the white light circle  (counterclockwise).  Knock three times to end the ritual.  Put out the candles,  clean each  item  and put it carefully away in  a  special  place.  The ritual  is  only  finished once you have completed all  of  these steps. Only then can you resume thinking about what's on the T.V. and how big a jerk your boss it. As a beginner, you should always be prepared to go through this entire procedure before you start. Even in an emergency, you should at least remove the white circle and knock (very quickly,  perhaps, but do at least this much when possible).  Nothing in a ritual is mundane, so it must be clearly delineated from your mundane actions.  Otherwise you will  dilute your spell and give the wrong messages to your Little Self.  When ritual is obviously separate,  your Little Self will know when to pay close attention.

   Once finished, do not talk about your work. Silence is another important key to magick. If you discuss it with anyone else, they cannot  help  adding  their  thoughts.   This  is  almost  always detrimental.  It is fine to work with people,  then your energies multiply.  But  never  talk about specific spells that  you  have done.

                     Destroying Your Enemies

   This  is one aspect of magick that attracts many.  It is a big mistake! Karma will get you every time. Don't try to rationalize. Though you may be able to put it off,  you will not escape karma. In the mundane world,  you might justifiably do violence in order to  defend yourself or another from physical attack.  In  magick, this justifies only defense, never attack. Don't imagine yourself to  be  an agent of karma or a martyr saving others at  your  own expense.  Who  ever  has  done  you  wrong  will  get  his.  It's frustrating to wait and we all want to be there when it  happens, but it is never worth trying to make it happen.

   When  you  have  any  kind  of  relationship,  particularly  a magickal  one,  you develop a karmic tie.  You will want to avoid such ties with people you don't like. Even if you get the best of such  a person,  he will still drag you down.  It's difficult  to resist when you feel that the person owes you.  If you have  been
swindled  and left with no legal recourse,  it's tempting to  use magick to get your money back.  Trying to get even will develop a tie  with this person and probably set you up for some bad karma. Don't  worry  about the money,  either.  You can  get  that  from anywhere (see "Prosperity"), In seeing this swindler as your only source  you  give your Power to him.  If you are brave,  you  can demand justice in such a situation.  This incurs no karmic  debt, but you,  too, can expect justice. Not very many people genuinely want  this.  Most prefer mercy because we have all done plenty of things  that  we would rather not have to pay for.  If  you  want mercy,  you must extend it to others.  When you ask for  justice, all your debts present themselves.  If you survive, great, but it
won't  be  fun.  There are much safer ways of dealing with  nasty people.


   Psychic  attack  can  be  a  real problem  because  it  is  so prevalent.  When you make someone angry,  the person is attacking you.  Simply directing angry thoughts is a psychic attack.  (This incurs bad karma,  so learn to avoid this yourself!) We all  have natural defenses,  so these attacks seldom have an effect. But if someone has ability,  or if he concentrates a lot of energy,  you are likely to suffer. Psychic attack usually comes in through the neck  and  manifests  as  a headache.  As  you  become  a  better magician,  you will be more sensitive to the energies around you. You  become  more vulnerable to psychic attack.  You also  become better able to defend yourself as long as you remain alert.  This work  will also help protect you from physical threats.  Keep  in mind that, though magic may help, you must still act responsibly!

Affirmations:  I am now safe and secure.  All negative influences are  reflected off me into the Earth to be healed.  I allow  only the positive into my life.

Visualizations:  See  an egg of white light around  you-- because this  keeps  in negative energy,  also see it filled with  violet light,  which  will turn the negative to positive.  Another  good visualization is three concentric circles around you (or whatever you wish to protect) of white (outside),  blue (middle) and  pink (inside).  Also, you can imagine a mirror at the back of the neck or encasing the whole body, reflecting outward.

Other: Religious symbols are especially good for this work.


   Remember  that the things you have in your life are those that you have drawn to you.  When someone upsets you, he usually has a lesson to teach you. If you can learn this lesson, you can escape the situation. If you escape without learning your lesson, you'll probably be in a similar situation soon.  Sometimes people  often make us angry by reflecting a part of our personality that we are unhappy with. Also, the negative vibrations we pick up during our everyday lives attract negative things. The purpose of the ritual bath  is to remove such influences.  It is also a good idea to do an entire spell for purification.  This is not only good to do on yourself,  but  also your home and wherever else you  spend  much personal time.

Affirmations:  The  white  light  cleanses  me  of  all  negative thoughts  and energies.  Only positive feelings remain in  me.  I release all negative vibrations into the Earth to be healed.

Visualizations:  See  yourself  being  washed clean by  white  or violet  light  from above you (your High  Self).  Each  time  you inhale,  take in pure white light.  When you exhale,  release all your negativity. See this negativity go down into the earth to be healed.

Other:  Place a piece of rock salt under your tongue. Use incense smoke or water to cleanse yourself.  Again, religious symbols are very effective.


   You  must take love spells very seriously,  for they are quite dangerous.  Never, never, never do a love spell on an individual.

This  is  often  a great temptation,  but  don't  even  risk  the possibility of imposing your will on another.  The karmic results are  severe.  Even  if you succeeded,  you would still lack  real love,  for you would have to continually renew the spell to  keep the person. What you want, among other things, is someone to help express your love for yourself.  As you will often hear, you must love yourself first.  This isn't a problem,  for you already love yourself-- that is the main reason you are alive.  The problem is when you block that love.  Eliminating these blocks is the Soul's goal. But don't despair, you needn't actually remove them to draw love  to  you.  Just beginning the work can attract that  special someone who will help.

Affirmations:  I  am  a perfect manifestation of love and I  draw love  to me.  I now allow love to come into my life.  I feel  and express perfect love and draw other loving people into my life.

Visualizations: Picture yourself as a magnet, feeling and drawing love.  Imagine  yourself bathed in green or pink or orange light, depending on your goals.  Pink is for filial love (agape) and for that  of  a  lover.  Orange  is for  the  sexual  aspect  (spleen chakrum). Green is for both (heart chakrum). But the distinctions are somewhat blurred, for love is a combination of all of these.

Other:  Friday is the day of Venus and the waxing to full Moon is a  time  of increase,  so these are good times  for  ritual.  The ubiquitous heart symbol can be useful.


   Money is not all there is to prosperity.  What do you want the money  for?  What kind of life do you want to live?  What do  you want to have?  Keep these goals in mind. You may get them instead of the money.

   As  you  work  though  your blocks  to  prosperity,  you  will probably  find  that one of the biggest  is  guilt.  Our  society functions under the assumption that a person can only gain at the expense  of  others.  Don't  try to get money by taking  it  from others through force or fraud,  magickally or otherwise.  That is
giving  your Power away.  In the magickal paradigm,  you  create. When you understand this,  there is no greed because you can have whatever  you desire and without taking from others.  It  is  not money that is a root of evil,  but the love of money.  It doesn't matter  how  much  you get,  but how you get it.  When you  do  a prosperity  spell,  it  should  be a  joyful  expression  of  the infinite  supply available to you.  If you are begging or hopping to be rescued, you have more background work to do.

   Another aspect to remember is that money, like all other kinds of energy, flows. In order to get it, you have to spend it. There must  be  an outflux for there to be an influx.  This is  not  an excuse  to  be irresponsible!  It is easy for the flow to be  too much in either direction (especially out!).  Don't be miserly  or
wasteful,  remember the flow. Use each bill you pay to remind you that  you've  drawn the money to pay it and that more money  will come to take its place.

Affirmations: I allow prosperity to manifest itself in my life in great abundance.  I draw from the infinite source all the money I need and more.  In my life,  I now express the infinite supply of wealth around me.

Visualizations:  Imagine  yourself  bathed in green light  (heart chakrum).   This   is  a  situation  where  visualization   works particularly well,  because it's a tangible object.  You can even use a picture or model of the new home or car you want.

Other:  Good times for a prosperity ritual are Thursday,  the day for  increase,  and during the waxing Moon.  The $ (or approriate regional symbol) has a great deal of power-- consider using it.

                    Health & Self Improvement

   Your  body is the most direct expression of your Little  Self. It  is  one  of the most accessible,  yet challenging  things  to change.  If  you can find and address the root causes  of  health problems,  like  heat disease,  it is often relatively easy to do something  about  them.  But  self image  problems  can  be  very difficult because of the way our society approaches the subject.

   Over weight is a good example of a self image problem. Madison Avenue  bombards  us  with  an ideal  of  beauty.  It  is  almost impossible to escape. If you are over weight and unhappy about it for other than health reasons, you are probably a victim of this. It  is dangerously easy to make self love or approval  contingent upon  losing  weight.   Until  you've  lost  it,   you  may  feel undeserving  and  thus fail.  You may succeed,  only to have  old habits  or new crises can throw you back into old eating  habits. You  have  made no fundamental change,  so the  cycle  reinforces itself. So many different problems manifest this way.

   You  will  certainly  want  to deal  with  eating  habits  and exercise,  but this is often insufficient.  People have different metabolic  rates  and different body types.  Do not  make  liking yourself  contingent upon your having a different body  type!  If you  dislike your body,  you dislike your Little Self.  You  must
love  yourself  unconditionally.  This is the  same  transcendent spirit expressed in wedding vows:  for better or worse, richer or poorer,  in sickness and in health.  Love yourself not regardless of how you look,  but because of how you look. Wanting to improve doesn't  mean that you must dislike yourself as you are.  If  you were given $900, you wouldn't despise it because it wasn't $1000. Rejoice  in your Little Self's expression of being  alive.  Until you do, this lesson will hang over your head. Ironically, you are most able to change your looks when it matters to you least.

   Remember to be responsible.  Always get good health care. When trying to lose weight,  follow a sane plan under a doctor's care. But  in addition,  work to love yourself unconditionally.  Strive constantly to fight the messages from the media and those  around you.  You  are a loving,  loveable person and your looks  reflect this.  Make  yourself aware of that.  When you succeed,  you  may eventually look like your ideal,  but even if you don't, you will see  the  beauty  in yourself.  You will be more able  to  defend yourself from those small minds unhappy enough to attack you  for not  conforming to their ideal.  You will also draw those who can see  your beauty.  As an extreme example,  anorexics always  feel that  they are too fat.  They cannot lose more weight,  for  that would kill them. The answer lies with truly seeing themselves.

   Any  time your goal is self improvement,  the principle is the same.  In order to better yourself,  you must first realize  that you are loveable, now and always. Never try to better yourself to become loveable-- it doesn't work.  The goal of magick is to heal those things you do not like in yourself,  not destroy them.  You better  yourself by first bettering your self image.  You  change your  behavior by healing the hurts that cause you to do  harmful things.  Recognize  that  all unhappy things are in  response  to pain.  Your Little Self can hurt you,  much as a favorite pet may bite  you because it is in pain.  Do not feel anger or misery but love and healing.

Affirmations:  I love myself completely as I am now.  I surrender to  love.  I know that I am a loving and loveable person.  I heal all  hurts.  I  now express perfect health in my  life.  I  bring complete health into my life. My body is now a beautiful, healthy expression of my Self.

Visualizations: Imagine yourself so close to the sun that you can see  nothing else.  Visualize the area you want to heal bathed in blue-green light.  Listen to or imagine the note F#.  Concentrate on  the heart and throat chakra (green and  blue,  respectively). The  root chakrum (red) is another good focus for  physical  well being.  When  healing someone not present,  put a photo next to a candle. Put the name of the subject on the candle and use this to focus your concentration.

Other:  Rituals  to increase energy and health are most effective during the waxing moon and at high noon.  Rituals for eliminating disease  or losing weight are best done during the  waning  moon. The  five pointed star (symbol of Man) might be a good symbol (if you do not have any negative associations with it).

                           Good Luck!

   At this point you are on your own. It takes forty days to make or break a habit, so you should concentrate on daily exercise for at  least this long.  Magick is not a quick,  easy way of getting what  you  want.  It is a long,  hard  road.  Though  it's  quite possible  to  have  instant success,  visible  results  can  take
months.  Real rewards can take years. But we all must travel this road  some time.  Be cautious of those promising an easier  path. Though  it may appear slow,  magick is one of the fastest ways of taking your Power.  The difficulty lies not in feats of  physical or mental prowess,  but in steady diligence. Do not try too hard, or you will not last long. If you are not happy with the way your life is going now and you desire to take your power,  then commit to  the life changes which magick demands.  If your commitment is genuine,  then everything will fall into place over  time.  Above all, be patient.

               Best of luck and stay on the path.
"HOW TO USE MAGICK with a Straight Face"
(C) 1989 by Scot Rhoads, all rights reserved
MYSTIC MOON Metaphysical Books, NEW MOON RISING journal & BBS
8818 Troy St., Spring Vly, CA 91977 (619) 466-8064; BBS: 466-5403

                          Nine Noble Virtues
     (Written by Lewis Stead from the Raven Kindred's ritual book)

The Odinic Rite lists the 9 Noble Virtues as Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, andPerseverance.

It would be hard to get much argument on any of these values from anyone.  They simply and briefly encapsulate the broad wisdom of our Gods and ancestors.


In virtually every statement of values applied to Asatru, Courage is listed first.  As Stephen McNallen has said, courage and bravery areperhaps the values which the Vikings are best known for.  However, despite our history, few of us face such turmoil as a literal battle for ones life.  In fact, I believe it might be easier to manifest courage in such a situation than to do so in the many smaller day to day occurrences in which courage is called for.

The most common of these occurrences for modern Pagans, is the courage to acknowledge and live ones beliefs.  It is also, sadly, the one that we most often fail at.  While we may often be full of the type of courage that would lead us to face a shield wall, many of us quake at the thought of the topic of religion coming up at the office or a friend asking what church we attend.  We won't offer easy answers, but we ask this: if you toast the courage of your ancestors to fight and die for what they believed in, can you trade away your religious identity for a higher salary or social acceptance?

In an essay on values there is also the question of moral courage. The way of Tyr is difficultto lose ones hand for ones beliefsbut, Tyr thought the price worth paying.  In a million ways modern society challenges our values, not just as Asatruar who are estranged from mainstream religious practice, but for religious people in an increasingly not just secular, but anti-religious culture.  Values are also not in favor in modern society.  Breaking or getting around the rules is encouraged to get ahead.  Living honorably is simply too inconvenient.  I think most people, Asatru or otherwise, find this repugnant, but the only way to change it is to have the courage to refuse to take part in it.


The second virtue, that of Truth, is the one that most led our kindred to embrace the Odinic Rite's statement of values as our own.  Early in our discussions, we decided that no matter what values we chose to hold out as our own, truth must be among them.  It is a word that holds so much in its definition, and includes such a wide variety of moral and philosophical beliefs that we were all drawn to it as a simple statement of what we stood for.

At least one of the reasons we wanted to adopt it was the simple issue of honesty.  As Bill Dwinnels said at a recent sumbel while toasting truth and  honesty: if you don't want people to know about something, don't do it.  Truth, in the sense of honesty, is essential to personal honor and also to any system or morality that is not based on rigid legalism.  If one is to uphold an honor code, one must be brutally honest with oneself and with others.

Truth is also the Truth that comes with a capital Tthe kind of Truth that one talks about in terms of religion or morality.  It's common to talk of different peoples having different "truths," but it's equally important to remember that while we acknowledge that each person or people has their own belief as to what Truth is or where to find it, there finally is a single Truth.  This is not the Truth as we believe it, but ultimate Truth.  While we may respect other people's truths and seek our own, we must never forget our search for The Truth.  Like the Holy Grail of Christian legend, it may never be ours to reach, but when we cease to search we perish.


Honor is the basis for the entire Asatru moral rationale.  If anything comes out in the Eddas and Sagas it is that without honor we are nothing.  We remember two types of peoples from ancient times: those whose honor was so clean that they shine as examples to us and those who were so without honor that their names are cursed a thousand years after they lived.  Good Asatruar should always strive to be among the former.

However, honor is not mere reputation.  Honor is an internal force whose outward manifestation is reputation.  Internal honor is the sacred moral compass that each Asatruar and God should hold dear.  It is the inner dwelling at peace which comes from living in accordance with ones beliefs and with ones knowledge of the Truth of what one is doing.  It is something deeply personal and heartfelt, almost akin to an emotion.  It's a knowing that what one is doing is right and decent and correct.

In many ways while the most important of all the virtues it is also the most ephemeral in terms of description.  It is all the other virtues rolled together and then still more.  The best way I have found to describe honor is that if you are truly living with honor, you will have no regrets about what you have done with your life.


Fidelity is a word that is far too often defined by it's narrow use in terms of marital fidelity.  By the dictionary it simply means being faithful to someone or something.  In marriage this means being true to ones vows and partner, and this has been narrowly defined as limiting ones sexual experience to ones spouse.  While I have found this to be great practical advice, many treat fidelity as if there were no other ways in which one could be faithful or unfaithful.

For we Asatruar fidelity is most important in terms of our faith and troth to the Gods.  We must remain true to the Aesir and Vanir and to our kinsmen.  Like marriage, Profession (the rite in which one enters the Asatru faith, similar to Christian confirmation or Wiccan initiation) is a sacred bond between two parties; in this case an Asatruar and the Gods.  In order for such a relationship to work, both must be honest and faithful to each other.

Asatru, although currently being reborn, is at its roots a folk religion and we also uphold the value of fidelity to the ways of our ancestors.  This is why historical research is so important to the Asatru-folk: it is the rediscovering of our ancient ways and our readoption of them.


In any discussion of the values of Asatru, discipline is best described as self-discipline.  It is the exercise of personal will that upholds honor and the other virtues and translates impulse into action.  If one is to be able to reject moral legalism for a system of internal honor, one must be willing to exercise the self-discipline necessary to make it work.  Going back to my earlier criticism of society, if one rejects legalism, one must be willing to control ones own actions.  Without self-discipline, we have the mess we currently see in our culture.

Looking at discipline in terms of fidelity, we see a close connection. Many Pagans go from faith to faith, system to system, path to path. Asatruar are much less likely to do this.  The discipline of keeping faith with our Gods and the ways of our ancestors is part of our modern practice.  In this way, we limit ourselves in some ways, but we gain much more in others.


Hospitality is simply one of the strongest core values at the heart of virtually every ancient human civilization.  In a community/folk religion such as our own, it is the virtue that upholds our social fabric.  In ancient times it was essential that when a traveler went into the world he could find some sort of shelter and welcome for the night.  In modern times it is just as essential that a traveler find friendship and safety.

In our modern Asatru community, we need to treat each other with respect and act together for the good of our community as a whole. This functions most solidly on the level of the kindred or hearth where nonfamilial members become extremely close and look out for each other.  It can mean hospitality in the old sense of taking in people, which we've done, but in modern times it's more likely to mean loaning someone a car or a bit of money when they need it (that's need, not want).

Part of hospitality is treating other people with respect and dignity. Many of our Gods are known to wander the world and stop in at people's houses, testing their hospitality and generosity.  The virtue of hospitality means seeing people as if they were all individuals with self-respect and importance.  Or perhaps from time to time, they are literally the Gods in human form.  This has profound implications for social action in our religion.  Our response to societal problems such as poverty (that's poverty folks, not laziness) is in many ways our modern reaction to this ancient virtue.

In terms of our modern community as a whole, I see hospitality in terms of frontier "barn raisings" where a whole community would come together and pool their resources.  This doesn't mean we have to forget differences, but we must put them aside for those who are of our Folk, and work for our common good.


Modern Asatruar must be industrious in their actions.  We need to work hard if we are going to achieve our goals.  There is so much for us to do.  We've set ourselves the task of restoring Asatru to it's former place as a mainstream faith and by doing so reinvigorating our society and culture.  We can't do this by sitting on our virtues, we need to make them an active part of our behavior.  Industry also refers to simple hard work in our daily vocations, done with care and pride.

Here's a few concrete examples.  If you are reading this and don't have a kindred, why not?  Stop reading now.  Go and place ads in the appropriate local stores, get your name on the Ring of Troth, Wyrd Network, or Asatru Alliance networking lists, and with other Pagan groups.  Put on a workshop.  Ok, now you're back to reading and you don't agree with what I'm saying here?  Well, be industrious!  Write your own articles and arguments.  Write a letter to the editor and suggest this material be bannedbetter that than passivity.  Get the blood moving and go out and do it.  That's how it gets done.  The Gods
do not favor the lazy.

The same holds true for our non-religious lives.  As Asatruar we should offer a good example as industrious people who add to whatever we're involved in rather than take from it.  We should be the ones the business we work in can't do without and the ones who always seem to be able to get things done.  When people think of Asatru, they should think of people who are competent and who offer something to the world.

This doesn't just apply to vocational work, but to the entire way we live our lives.  It is just as much a mentality.  The Vikings were vital people.  They lived each day to its fullest and didn't wring their hands in doubt or hesitation.  We should put the same attitude forward in all that we do whether it is our usual vocation, devotion to the Gods, or leisure time.

Self Reliance

Industry brings us directly to the virtue of Self-Reliance, which is important both in practical and traditional terms.  Going back to the general notion of this article, we are dealing with a form of morality that is largely self-imposed and thus requires self-reliance.  We rely on ourselves to administer our own morality.

Traditionally, our folkways have always honored the ability of a man or woman to make their own way in the world and not to lean on others for their physical needs.  This is one of the ways in which several virtues reinforce and support each other.  Hospitality cannot function if people are not responsible enough to exercise discipline and take care of themselves.  It's for those that strive and fail or need assistance that hospitality is intended, not for the idle who simply
won't take care of themselves.

In terms of our relationships with the Gods, self-reliance is also very important.  If we wish the Gods to offer us their blessings and gifts, we must make ourselves worthy of themand the Gods are most pleased with someone who stands on their own two feet.  This is one of the reasons for the Asatru rule that we do not kneel to the Gods during our ceremonies.  By standing we acknowledge our relationship as striving and fulfilled people looking for comradeship and a relationship, rather than acting as scraelings looking for a handout from on high.  It takes very little for a God to attract a follower, if worship simply means getting on the gravy train.  We, as Asatruar, are people who can make our own way in the world, but who choose to seek a relationship with the Gods.

In mundane terms being self-reliant is a simple way to allow ourselves the ability to live as we wish to.  In simple economic terms, if one has enough money in the bank one doesn't need to worry as much about being fired due to religious discrimination.  We can look a bigot in the face and tell him just where he can put it.  It's also nice to have something in the bank to lay down as a retainer on a good lawyer so we can take appropriate action.

On the other side of this is self-reliance in the sense of Henry David Thoreau, who advocated a simple lifestyle that freed one from the temptations of materialism.  Again, here we are able to live as we wish with those things that are truly important.  Religious people from all faiths have found that adjusting ones material desires to match one's ability to meet them leaves one open for a closer relationship with deity and a more fulfilling life.  While our ancestors were great collectors of gold goodies, they didn't lust for possessions in and of themselves, but for what they stood for and could do for them.  In fact, the greatest thing that could be said of a Lord was that he was a good Ring Giver.

Being self-reliant also means taking responsibility for ones life. It's not just about refusing a welfare check or not lobbying for a tax exemption, but also refusing to blame ones failures on religious intolerance, the patriarchy, or an unfair system.  The system may, in fact, be unfair, but it's our own responsibility to deal with it.

In societal terms, we have become much too dependent on other people for our own good.  As individuals we look to the government or to others to solve our problems and as a society we borrow billions from our descendants to pay for today's excesses.  Most problems in this world could be solved if people just paid their own way as they went.

The final virtue is Perseverance which I think most appropriate because it is the one that we most need to keep in mind in our living of the other values.  Our religion teaches us that the world is an imperfect place, and nothing comes easy.  We need to continue to seek after that which we desire.  In this imperfect world there are no free lunches or easy accomplishmentsespecially in the subjects we have set before ourselves.  If we truly wish to build an Asatru community that people will hold up as an example of what committed people can do, then we must persevere through the hardships that building our
religion is going to entail.  We must be willing to continue on when we are pushed back.  If one loses a job for ones religion, the answer is not to go back  and hide, but to continue until one finds a vocation where one can more forward and live as an Asatruar should.

Finally we must persevere when we simply fail.  If one's kindred falls apart because of internal strife, one should go back and start over. Pick up the pieces and continue on.  If nobody had done this after the disintegration of the Asatru Free Assembly, this would probably never have been written.  We must be willing to continue in the hard work of making our religion strongnot just when it is convenient and easy to do so, but when it gets hard, inconvenient, or just plain boring.  To accomplish without striving is to do little, but to persevere and finally accomplish a hard fought goal brings great honor.

                   DARK MOON
                   by Magus and Ariel

Chanting before and while entering circle.  Soft background music when ritual starts.

Priest:  We are gathered here in recognition of the dark, to celebrate the dark mother, the crone of time, grandmother of us all!

All ears hear!  The circle is about to be cast, let none be present   but of their own free will!  Be it known that we are in the presence of the dark Goddess.

Priestess: circles deosil with the salt, casts the first circle.

 I cast the circle thus!  With salt, deep from the womb of the mother!  From oceans deep and cold! I consecrate this space!  So mote it be!

Priest: circling deosil with water.

       I cast the circle thus!  With water, ancient and old; with the
       life blood of the world! I consecrate this space!  So mote it be!

Priest: circling deosil with censor.

       I cast the circle thus!  With fire and air, clean and hot!
       I consecrate this space!  So mote it be!

Priest: And ever it was thus!

All: So mote it be!

Calling of the quarters:

Priestess:  Ancient one of elemental Air! I call and summon thee by name!

Raphael of the wide ranging air!  Sylph of the endless skies! We bid you come!  Stand in our presence and guard this circle cast. 

So mote it be!

All:      So mote it be!

Priest: Ancient one of elemental Earth! I call and summon thee by name!

Oriel of the fertile plain!  Gnome of forests deep! We bid you come!  Stand in our presence and guard this circle cast!

So mote it be!

All:            So mote it be!

Priestess: Ancient one of elemental Fire! I call and summon thee by name!

Michael of flickering flame!  Salamander of scorching fire!  We bid you come!

Stand in our presence and guard this circle cast! So mote it be!

All:            So mote it be!

Priest: Ancient one of elemental Water! I call and summon thee by name!
Gabriel of oceans and streams!  Undine of pools and ponds!
We bid you come!  Stand in our presence and guard our circle cast!
So mote it be!

All:    So mote it be!

Priest stands in the east, Priestess stands in the west.
Together with outstretched arms begin chant   A U M !
<invoking Spirit pent>

All:            So mote it be!

Priestess:   And ever it was thus!  From the beginnings of the world,
air and earth, fire and water weaved together with spirit and love!


        We all come from the Goddess
        And to her we shall return.
        Like a drop of rain,
        Flowing to the ocean.***

        Isis, Astarte, Diana,Hecate,
        Demeter, Kali, Inanna **

Priest: Dark Mother!!  Crone of time!!  We ask your presence and your blessing!  All things to you must go, though darkness and death are your domain, you promise peace and rest!  Thy gift is life! Yours is the hand that turns the wheel and cuts the thread.Be with us this magickal night!  Give each of us your wisdom and bless our rite!  So mote it be!

All:            So mote it be!

Priest and Priestess circle while chanting:
        Hecate, Hecate of visage dower,
        Dark Mother, Dark Mother come in power.
        Hecate, Hecate of visage dower,
        Dark Mother, Dark Mother crone of time.

While Priest and Priestess chant, everyone else can chant also if the mood strikes.

Each person will take a sheet of parchment paper and write down that which they have outgrown and want removed. They will keep the paper with them until later when this petition will be burned and tossed into cauldron.

Priest and Priestess:

        And ever it was thus!

Priest:      As God

Priestess:   To Goddess


        So woman to man
        From the beginnings of the universe
        The energies joined and co-mingled
        whereby we are sustained and carry on.

Priestess takes chalice:

Dark Lady, Mother of night, we thank you for your presence and wisdom. (pouring liquid into libation bowl) as the fruit of the vine was plucked and pressed, it came to know the touch of death and thereby we are sustained and carry on!

Priest takes cakes:

   Likewise as the grain of the field ripened and fell beneath the

   scythe it came to know the touch of death, whereby we are

   sustained and carry on!

While cakes and wine are passed around all will chant:
   [in retrospect this works better if you've got the music.
Hebrew is hard]

        Hine matov umanayim
        Shevet akim gom yokad
        (Happy are they that dwell
        together as brother and sister)

Priestess: And ever it was thus!

All:            Blessed be!

Priestess stand in the west with cauldron in front of her.

Priest kneels and silently draws down .  While still kneeling

Priest says:

      Dark Lady of the waning moon!
      We thank you for your presence
      and your blessing, and in silence we turn within
      and willingly offer
      to thy realm that which is old and outdated,
      that which no longer has life and no longer grows.
      We offer to thy Blade that which
      we no longer need.
      (Priest stands and lights cauldron)

Priestess draws invoking earth pentegram in front of Priest saying:

      Of the Mother darksome and divine
      Mine the scourge, and mine the kiss;
      The five-point star of love and bliss -
      Here I charge you, with this sign.

Priest: Here ye the words of the Dark Lady; we who of old was called among men Hecate, Persephone, Kali, and many other names.

Priestess: Worship me as the Crone! Tender of the unbroken cycle of death       
       and rebirth.  I am the wheel, the shadow of the Moon.
       I rule the tides of women and men and give release
       and renewal to weary souls.
       Though the darkness of death is my domain,
       the joy of birth is my gift.

Everyone in turn ignites their petition off the cauldron and tosses it into the cauldron.

Priestess embraces each person as they go by.

Priestess: And ever it was thus!  That which falls to the hand of the crone finds regeneration and new life!

All circle and CHANT:

        She changes everything she touches and
        everything she touches changes!

Priestess: Grandmother!  Blessed thou be!  Depart to thy realms .
Thank you for the lessons learned this dark night! Blessed be!

All:            Blessed be!

Priestess: Ancient one of elemental Air!  Thank you for your vigil here!
Leave with us a renewed mind as clear as air!   Blessed be!

All:            Blessed be!

Priest: Ancient one of elemental Earth!  Thank you for your vigil here!
Leave with us steadiness and patience!  Blessed be!

All:            Blessed be!

Priestess:   Ancient one of elemental Fire!  Thank you for your vigil
Leave with us swiftness and action, a flaming soul to always do
what is right!  Blessed be!

All:            Blessed be!

Priest: Ancient one of elemental Water!  Thank you for your vigil here!
As you depart leave with us the fluidity of water that we may
have compassion for our fellows as well as our selves!

      Blessed be!

All:            Blessed be!

Priestess:   Let all ears hear!  The circle is open but remains unbroken!

   Brothers and sisters, we are children of the Lord and Lady!

May they always dance within our hearts.
Merry did we meet, merry do we part, merry we meet again!

All: Merry did we meet, merry do we part, merry we meet again!
                   Blessed be!

                          Prayers to Brighid
These are some prayers to Brighid that I adapted from prayers to the Irish Saint Brigid.  Comments are welcome.


This morning, as I kindle the flame upon my hearth, I pray that the flame of Brighid may burn in my soul, and the souls of all I meet today.

I pray that no envy and malice, no hatred or fear, may smother the flame.

I pray that indifference and apathy, comtempt and pride, may not pour like cold water on the flame.

Instead, may the spark of Brighid light the love in my soul, that it may burn brightly through the day.

And may I warm those that are lonely, whose hearts are cold and lifeless, so that all may know the comfort of Brighid's love.


Brighid, preserve the fire, as You preserve us all.

Brighid, may its warmth remain in our midst, as You are always among us.

Brighid, may it rise to life in the morning, as You raise us to life.

                            House Cleansing
                            By: David Piper

              _Banishing And Sealing Ritual For The Home_

To be performed during at the New Moon, but may be performed at any time in need.

You will need a new white Candle (any size with holder), small bowls for Water and Salt, and a large bowl of water as well, and the censer and an appropriate incense.  (Choose one that brings to your mind qualities you wish to have in your home.)

Banishing Ritual:

Meditate for a few moments on the task ahead; then make a brief invocation to the Goddess and the God, asking for Their Aid and Power in the Work you will do.

Light the white candle in its holder, and charcoal in the censer (or an incense stick may be used instead).

Consecrate Water and Salt in the usual way.

Consecrate the water in the bowl in the same manner, but do not add Salt; place this bowl in the center of the room.

Take the consecrated Water, elevate it to North, and say,

        "In the name of (Goddess) and (God)
         I banish with Water and Earth."

Sprinkle the Water lightly widdershins around the perimeter of the room.

Bless the incense, then elevate the censer (or incense stick) to North, and say,

        "In the name of (Goddess) and (God)
         I banish with Fire and Air."

Cense the perimeter of the room widdershins.

Take the Candle and cast a Banishing Earth Pentagram at North.  (Draw the Pentagram with the censer or incense stick, starting from the bottom left point up to the top point, and so forth.)  As you cast the Pentagram say,

        "With this Sign I banish ye, foul shades of the (Quarter)!
         Let this home be freed of your baneful influences!"

Then go widdershins around the perimeter of the room, casting a Banishing Pentagram at each Quarter beginning at the West and ending back at North, repeating the above at each Quarter.  (Do not repeat it again at North.)

Now turn and face the center of the room, where the bowl of water sits.

With your hands, draw any negative energy or vibrations remaining, and cast them into the water in the bowl by flicking or snapping your fingers at it.
Repeat this action until you are satisfied the room is cleansed.  Do not touch the water in the bowl, as it is being filled with the negative forces you are eliminating.

Move the consecrated Water, the Salt, the Incense, the Candle, and the bowl of water (being careful not to spill it) into each room in your home and repeat this ritual.

After banishing every room in the home (including bathroom, closets, pantry, etc.) you have finished.  Empty the large bowl of water into running water (a sink or toilet will do).  Wash the bowl thoroughly with cold water, scrubbing with some of the consecrated Salt.

Sealing Ritual:

Take all the Elemental substances used in the Banishing Ritual (Salt, consecrated Water, wax drippings from the Candle, and ashes from the Incense) and mix them into a paste.

Using your forefinger, use the mixture to draw an Invoking Fire Pentagram at each opening leading outside the home (the doors and the windows - and even the water pipes, if you should feel the need) while concentrating on the Intention of protecting your home from outside influences.  (Draw the Pentagram from the top point to the bottom right, and so forth.  Form the Star so that it is point up, or point out, as appropriate.)  You may make two Stars at each opening if you wish - one on the sill or threshold, and the other on the door or window itself.

Remember that Intent is the key to success in this, as in all magickal operations; going through the motions without Will brings no results.

                       The Center Point (Celtic)
                              By: Airmid

The methods that I use involve putting oneself in the center of the Three Realms, constructed as a triskele. The first is a movement meditation that I call "The Center Point." It involves both movement and a breathing pattern used to time the movement. Breathing is, ideally, timed to the heartbeat. Three each beat is one count. Breathing pattern is to inhale for 3, hold for 1, exhale for 3, hold for 1.

Movement is slow, rhythmic and deliberate. Each movement has its own meaning.

Start standing erect, arms relaxed at your sides.

Close your eyes and relax. Clear your mind, concentrating on your breathing, and listening to your heart beat. Breathe in and out in the 3-1-3-1 pattern three times as you allow yourself to relax.

As you breathe in the fourth time, raise your hands from your sides and cover your heart with your palms, one over the other -- you are at the center of the world.

Exhale, moving smoothly to one knee, placing your palms on the ground in front of you -- you stand firmly upon the Land.

Inhale as you rise to your feet. As you stand, move your hands behind you as far back as you can comfortably reach at waist or hip height. Your hands should be cupped as though you are holding liquid.

Breathe out, moving your hands in an arc around you until they meet in front of you at about the level of your navel -- the Sea always surrounds you.

Breathing in, move your hands back to your sides, holding them slightly away from your hips with your palms flat, facing forward and your fingers spread open.

Exhale as you raise your arms above you in a smooth curve over your head until the tips of your thumbs and index fingers touch --the Sky spreads itself above you.

Inhale again, lowering your hands in front of you until they are once again cupped over your heart -- you are at the center of the Three Realms.

                            CANDLE BLESSING
                         Coven of New Gwynedd

Blessings be upon thee, O creature of light!  Thrice blessed little herb!  Herb o' grease, with thy waxen stem and thy blossom of flame!  Thou art more potent against spells and terrors and the invisible menace than fennel or dittany or rue.  Hail! antidote to the dealy nightshade!  Blossoming in the darkness, thy virtues areheartsease and quiet sleep.  Sick people bless thee, and women in travail, and people with haunted minds, and all children.

<to be spoken when a new candle is annointed with oil, or when candles are being made -- when wax is being poured or the candle dipped -- preferrably on Candlemas>

                              Blessed Be,

                               The Coven
                          By: Julia Phillips

Greetings All!

This article was written by me several years ago, but I thought it might be of interest here, as it discusses several issues relevant to modern Witches. Any thought or feedback most welcome! Please remember, that although the historical stuff is pretty general, the other parts of the article are my own ideas, and not necessarily applicable outside of my own tradition :)

                          Covens and Witches

In 1662, Isobel Gowdie of Auldearne made four separate confessions of being a Witch, and in the process, gave the word "Coven" to the world.

Although there is no other historical evidence for this word, it has proven to be one of the most lasting facets of Witchcraft - ask anyone today what Witches do, and the answer will almost certainly include the fact that they meet in groups, called "Covens".

So given that a number of modern Witches do, in fact, either run, or belong to, a Coven - just what is its purpose in 20th (and 21st) century Western Civilisation? Why has this word of such dubious historical veracity survived over three hundred years? Is there a place in our modern world for a social group which, as far as we know, occurred only in 17th century Scotland?

The very fact of its survival for over three hundred years argues that there is a place for such a group. In my own case, I have been a member of, and run, Covens of Witches for a number of years, and it is a social model which fits extremely well within modern society.

The structure of a coven varies, but generally has one or two leaders, and a number of members of varying levels of experience. In a sense, the modern Coven has replaced the tribal family, and its members often fulfill familial roles, which are no longer available to them in the family in which they were born.

Some researchers have commented that many modern Witches come from a background which was disrupted; i.e., did not provide a safe family environment during their formative years. As I know a great many Witches for whom this was not the case, I think this is only a partial reason, and only for some people.

Humanity itself seems to be inherently tribal; any common bond between people will generally result in the creation cults or sub-cultures, where those of a like-mind will bond together. They will evolve their own social order (generally hierarchical), have their own common language, and often are identifiable by their demeanour and appearance.

Witches gather together in Covens for very much the same sorts of reasons; we are apart from general society by virtue of our beliefs and practices. Meeting with others who think and feel similarly to ourselves gives us the opportunity to share ideas and skills, as well as being able to practise our Craft.

A modern Coven provides a family-style environment, where the "Elders" can, by virtue of their experience, give encouragement, support, and advice to those seek to learn about Witchcraft. As with all families, Covens have very unique and individual ways of approaching this. Just as no two families are the same, neither are any two Covens.

Some Covens are run by people with an academic bent, and as would be the case in any family, this characterises the way in which their "children" are brought up. Other groups are oriented towards a more simple approach, and the oral traditions play an important role in the way in which the Coven is structured.  Some combine the these two approaches, and the variations upon the basic themes are endless.

For any "family" to exist harmoniously, everyone within the group must feel a part of the group, and wish to learn and grow within that group environment.  With a path such as Witchcraft, with its emphasis upon personal growth and development, it is likely that individuals who may at one time have been happy within their family group, will change, and wish to move away. This is a perfectly natural process, and the wise coven leaders will send those people off with their love and blessing.  Trying to keep them would be like trying to keep your sons and daughters tied to your apron strings forever!

Ultimately, and despite the popularity of the word "coven", I do believe that most Witches are solitary in nature, and will generally spend at least part of their lives without being a member of, or running, a coven. I think the inward exploration during these periods is vital to self-development, just as we believe it is important to encourage social-awareness in children. However, I also believe that at some stage it is important to learn the practices of Witchcraft from another person; to be an apprentice, if you will; because the act of passing knowledge from one person to another cannot be replicated by books,
correspondence courses, or be self-taught. This may seem an almost impossible task to some people, but as all the magical traditions teach: when the student is ready, the teacher will appear! What's more, it's true!

B*B Julia

               Group Ethics Rules:  Opening Suggestions!
                               By: Raven

Too often I had seen the Craft used as a personal power-trip, or with a disregard for the effects on others.  This time it happened in my home.

I introduced two guests, acquaintances of mine, to each other.  One was interested in learning about the Craft; the other offered to teach him. The would-be teacher went on about his skills, describing the would-be student's aura and psychic shields; leaned back in his chair, said, "I really shouldn't do this, I really shouldn't" -- then leaned forward and, with no warning or other preliminary, SLICED the student's shields "open" (as he said), leaving the student feeling naked and exposed.

To prove a point, I suppose, but what point I can't guess.

I was outraged.  Guests in my home are not to be abused -- by anyone. Even to a complete materialist, it would be clear that the student had had his personal space invaded, his emotional consolation removed, with no informed consent involved, and with no feeling of other protection.

I already knew the would-be teacher himself was taught by people of no great concern for ethics.  His was chiefly a fault of poor training, added to which he had never stopped to think that "occult" dealings with people might involve the same ethical issues as "mundane" dealings.
One of the several outcomes of that event was that I wrote the following guidelines for those two specific people, and suggested (NOT ordered) that they adopt these -- if they did still decide to work together. After that, well, several other people did express an interest.

Note!  This was written as a PROPOSAL; no-one has enacted it as a LAW. The hope is for it to be used by, and among, those who like the ideas.

(Really, all it does is put the concept of "Harm ye none" in practice.)

                         RULES OF THE CIRCLE


1.  Tell everyone participating what to expect, before the circle is closed or anything else begins.

2.  Give everyone participating the chance to say NO and to withdraw, before the circle is closed or anything else begins -- and then respect that decision.

3.  Be open, honest, and fair:  spring no surprises, trip no traps; NEVER use what you learn or do in circle to manipulate or compel any other person, or diminish anyone's dignity and free will.


4.  Encourage people not to wander in and out of any session between its beginning and ending, or cross the circle while it is closed.

5.  Protect every session from interruption by (or intrusion on) any outsiders -- by closed or locked doors, a fence, or some other clear marking outside the circle.

6.  While proceedings may not be secret, they ARE always private; keep silent about who and what you see or hear in circle, unless you have each other participant's specific consent.


7.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS close the circle and raise your wards before beginning, or continuing after a break.

8.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS dismiss your wards and open the circle after ending, or to allow passage across the circle.

9.  Conduct yourself with mutual respect and due courtesy, without  malice or ill will toward anyone, or else ask that the circle be opened and that you be dismissed from the session.



1.  I will abide by the Rules of the Circle.
2.  I will ask from you no more than you can give.
3.  I will not expect you to read my mind.
4.  I will not hide from you my limits or gaps in knowledge; if I just don't know, I'll tell you so.
5.  I will explain, to the best of my ability, not only what to do and how, but also why.
6.  I will not push you beyond your ability or willingness to proceed.
7.  I realize that I may be tempted to become dominating, a "leader" --  and I will do my best to resist this temptation.
8.  Because I received from others without payment, I will give to you without payment.
9.  As I can, I will learn from you in turn.


1.  I will abide by the Rules of the Circle.
2.  I will ask from you no more than you can give.
3.  I will not expect you to read my mind.
4.  If I have questions about what you show me, I will ask you.
5.  If I fail to understand anything, I will mention it.
6.  If I feel unready to proceed, I will tell you.
7.  I realize that I may be tempted to become dependent, a "follower" --  and I will do my best to resist this temptation.
8.  Because I receive from you without payment, I will give to others  without payment.
9.  As I can, I will teach you in turn.


                   Wiccan Ethics And The Wiccan Rede
                 By: David Piper, Sat 21 May 94 12:16

                    Part I:  What Sayeth The Rede?

The "archaically worded" construction "An it harm none, do what ye will," rendered into modern English is literally, "if it doesn't harm anyone, do what you want."

Many modern Wiccans "reverse" the construction, however, taking the first part and putting it after the second to read: "Do what ye will an it harm none," or in modern English "Do what you want if it doesn't harm anyone."

Many people give the word "an" or "if" a value of "so long as" - which is acceptable substitution, because it doesn't alter the meaning of the Rede itself.  However they then proceed to read "so long as" as "only if," and that is *completely different*, because the Rede has ceased to be a "wise counsel" [anyone checked the meaning of "rede" in the dictionary lately?] and become an injunction: prohibitive commandment, rather than permissive advice.

In other words, the original archaic construction actually says "if it is not going to hurt anyone, it is ok to do" - this is *not* the same as "if it hurts anyone it is *not* ok to do."

What is the significance of the change?  A larger one than you might see, at first glance.

The "actual construction Rede," or AC Rede, says it is ok to do something that won't harm anyone, but it *does not say anything* about those things which do cause harm, except to set an ethical standard of harmlessness as the criteria to judge by.

The "modern reconstruction Rede" or MR Rede, explicitly says that any and all actions that cause harm are forbidden.

The two constructions do *not* mean the same thing at all.  And it should be obvious that this has implications on our thinking, and discussions of the possibility of "obeying" the Rede.

Most of you will have heard or read, as I have, people saying the Rede is something to strive to live by, even though mundane reality makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to do so to the letter.  *This is only true of the MR Rede, not the AC Rede!*  As examples, they cite situations such as self-defense; *this violates the MR Rede*.  Period.  But it does *not* violate the AC Rede.  Period.

Earlier, I stated that the AC Rede does not rule on actions that do cause harm - and this is true.  It only rules on those actions which do not, by saying that they are acceptable.  This is relevant to "victimless crimes" for example - civil "crimes" may in fact be "ethical," by the judgment of the AC Rede.

What the AC Rede *does* do, in terms of actions that cause harm, is state an ethical value by which an individual must judge the results of her/his actions before acting.  In other words, by stating that a harmless action is ethical, the AC Rede sets harmlessness as the criteria for evaluation.  Acting to prevent greater harm - but in the process causing lesser harm - may then be ethical, if there is no harmless, or more harmless, method of preventing that greater harm - because *not* acting to prevent harm is to *cause* it, by an act of *omission* rather than *commission*.

In short the difference between the AC Rede, and the MR Rede, is that the AC Rede is a perfectly-obeyable ethical standard, but the MR Rede is not, as so many people have pointed out.  Do we take as our ethical standard a "counsel" which *can* be obeyed, or one which *necessitates rationalizing in some instances*?  Which is truer to the Wicca, and to the *real* Rede?

      "rede: n. [Middle English rede < Old English raed < base of raedan, to interpret] [archaic] 
1. counsel; advice    2. a plan; scheme    3. a story; tale    4. an interpretation"    (from Webster's New World Dictionary)

Part II: "Do good, an it be safe..."  (from the Ordains)

The MR Rede is the most common interpretation in Wicca today; so much so, that not only do many Wiccans not realize there's a difference in the two constructions, but they *deny* it when it is pointed out to them, holding firmly to the MR Rede as what the original has always meant.

At first the change of language was only an attempt to bring the language up from archaic, to modern English; but in doing so - especially with the public relations campaign, to convince people that Wiccans are "not black magick/not devil worship/not evil nasty curse-casters" the "harmlessness" aspect of the Rede was stressed, over the personal
responsibility aspect.  And in essence Wiccans became the victims of their own PR campaign.

An additional result is the injunction that one may never work magick for others, even to heal, without their knowledge and consent.  Of course, we are allowed by this injunction to ask "Can I pray for you?" as a means of obtaining the consent.  From "a love spell aimed at one particular person is unethical because it violates their will only to serve our lust" we've moved to an extreme: to the prohibitive injunction against ever doing any magick for another without permission, since it violates their free will.  Does anyone *really* believe the Gods will judge them ill, for attempting to heal someone?

What of the case of an unconscious accident victim and family unavailable to ask - are we forbidden to work?  No, of course we're not - but we *do* have to accept the karmic consequences of such acts.  Do you really think that a neurotic who uses an illness as a crutch wouldn't be better healed of that neurosis as well as the illness?  Of course that may call up some karma if the person isn't strong enough to give up that crutch yet.  Once again the real criteria is *personal responsibility* and consideration of the consequences of one's actions *before* one acts rather than the "thou shalt not" prohibitive commandment.

There is however another reason for the "prohibitive form" of these redes - one which has some validity.  The teacher bears a karmic responsibility for the student.  There was a group whose teaching was, "No magick may be done for another, even to heal, without their consent; any exceptions may be decided only by the High Priestess and the High Priest."  The point of this is that a student is not yet experienced enough, not yet wise enough (since wisdom is the harvest we reap of our experience and knowledge), to have that kind of decision, and the resulting karmic burden, left to rest fully upon her/his shoulders - hence, some teachers and some Trads do not allow neophytes to have responsibility for that kind of decision-making.

It is far better, however, to teach a student the essential importance of personal responsibility, the need to look ahead for possible consequences before they act, than to lay "thou shalt not's" upon them despite Wicca's insistance that we have none.

I received a comment about the last sentence in part I, paragraph 3, that said "Ack!  Welcome to the One Wiccan Commandment!  Any 'thou shalt nots' lurking around?"  Food for thought, my fellow Wiccans!  Food for thought!Í

                          Charge of the God 1
                             By: Siobhan
                          Tue 12 Jul 94 10:33

Here's something I picked up recently. The writer felt that there should
be a Charge of the God to go with The Charge of the Goddess.
     Listen the the words of the Great Father, who of old was called Osiris, Adonis, Zeus, Thor, Pan, Cernunnos, Herne, Lugh and by may other names:      "My Law is Harmony with all things.  Mine is the secret that opens the gates of life and mine is the dish of salt of the earth that is the body of Cernunnos that is the eternal circle of rebirth.  I give the knowledge of life everlasting, and beyond death I give the promise of regeneration and renewal.  I am the sacrifice, the father of all things, and my protection blankets the earth."     

    Hear the words of the dancing God, the music of whose laughter stirs the winds, whose voice calls the seasons:   "I who am the Lord of the Hunt and the Power of the Light, sun among the clouds and the secret of the flame, I call upon your bodies to arise and come unto me.  For I am the flesh of the earth and all it's beings.  Thru me all things must die and with me are reborn.  Let my worship be in the body that sings, for behold all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals.  Let there be desire and fear, anger and weakness, joy and peace, awe and longing within you.  For these too are part of the mysteries found within yourself, within me, all beginnings have endings, and all endings have beginnings."  So Mote It BE!

                          Charge of the God 2
                             By: Siobhan
                          Tue 12 Jul 94 10:33

This is the second Charge of the God I have.


Listen to the words of the God, who is the son, brother, lover, and consort of the Lady:

I am the fleet deer in the forest, I am the beach which receives the waves, I am the sun which warms the earth. I am the Lord of the Spiral Dance of Life, Death and Rebirth, the gentle reaper, the Winter stag and the Spring fawn. All things are of me, for I am of the Goddess, opposite, yet not opposing. I bring birth forth from the womb that is a tomb, for I am the seed which fertilizes. I am abundant Life, for I am the grain that grows and I am death, the harvest in the Fall. And I am rebirth after darkness, for I am the seed that springs forth anew.

I am fertility, the spreader of Life, and I am the Lord of Death, which adds value to life.

I am the Guardian of the gate between Life and Death. I am King of the Underworld, where no living being may venture, but I am also the King of Rebirth, turning the tomb into a womb.

I bring love and strength, peace and passion, hope and joy, for I am the gentle lover in the night.

All that I am comes from the Great Mother, the Divine Star Goddess, who is Mother of us all.

                         For a Few Myths More by Aries

"...Aries shows us how modern images (albeit set in 19th century America)..." Julia, Web of Wyrd No. 7.

For me, that "albeit" sounded like a gauntlet being slapped down. Can we show the presence of myth in films other than Westerns? We don't plan to go on in great detail, but we suspect that what we're trying to get across is the suggestion that maybe "The Mythic" is not the stories or rituals, but the substrate out of which our tales and trials grow.

When  we talk about myths we are really referring to ancienct stories, and not every ancient tale grew out of "The Mythic". More than enough were for entertainment, propaganda, satire or pornography _ to see everything that is old as also being venerable is to fall into the Confuscian Heresy. In much the same way our modern literature/film culture produces works serving as varying purposes as moral tales, epic adventures, pulp and hardcore porn, but also produces work that grows direct from "The Mythic".

In the rubric of science, "The Mythic" can be seen as being non-local; it stands outside of space-time, being here, there and everywhere; now, then, and everywhen. Our tales do not grow out of the ancient tales/myths, but draw afresh from the same wells as they did (do/will?).

In the printed media a good many SF novels are  based on the inner/underground journey; all that Phillip K Dick and Edmund Cooper wrote seemed based on this theme, in the same way "Metropolis" is of the "descent" type story.  One of the great advantages of film is the way it can make the sensations of the "descent" seem "real"; possibly by a species of autohypnosis into a state that Robert Anton Wilson refers to as virtual reality in his book, Cosmic Trigger 2. For us other examples of the descent theme are Orson Welles' films; Touch of Evil and The Trial (based on Kafka's book), giving a long shot of the journey.

The classic "Casablanca" we suggest is the story of the "descent" from a viewpoint inside the underworld itself. That Casablanca is the place of death is always suggested by the comment that Rick makes to Elsa when she says that Victor Lazlo will die in Casablanca; "What of it? I'm going to die in Casablanca. It's a good place for it." Full of refugees (lost souls). Rick exists in his own emotional limbo awaiting the descent of his own Inanna to set him free.

"Apocalypse Now" and the Conrad novel it is based on, "Heart of Darkness", gives a great example of the same story set at both ends of the century; the parallel of the inner and outer journey, especially as Conrad went through his inner journey whilst writing the book, and Francis Ford Copolla and crew went through theirs while making the film.  I would strongly suggest that "The Mythic" emerges into our lives first and formost; through tales we make sense of the patterns, and warn those who follow on from us.

Another great advantage of film is its ability to show us inside the underworld in such a way that we may lose track of where the boundaries lay, and become uncertain of what is real and what is illusion. If the previous films can be seen as "descent" themes, the following, we suggest, can be called "Chapel Perilous" themes. In "The Maltese Falcon"

we have the characters chasing the elusive bird, crossing and double-crossing each other, unconcerned by anything but possession of the miraculous object, which we discover at the very end is nothing but; "The stuff that dreams are made of".

With "The House of Games" _ Mamet's six year-old cult movie _ we enter the image of the labyrinthe, a subterranean night world of confidence tricksters, who lead a lady psychiatrist along until she, and us (the viewer) have problems distinguishing between what is real and what isn't, until it all becomes part of the game.

That is the nature of "Chapel Perilous", its existence can be denied, we can believe we're somewhere else (watching a movie?), but all the time we're trapped in it, unable to discern what is really going on.  Another cult movie that gives a beautiful experience of Chapel Perilous is Orson Welles' film "F for Fake", except this time we are the targets of the con. A documentary film about two fakers, itself really a clever montage of existing film clips put together to give the impression of a series of interviews. At some point the film moves into the realm of total fantasy, and the beauty of it is that we don't notice _ that is the Chapel Perilous experience. From here it is logical to move onto the ascent, or what could be called the "Promethean" theme. The film "Frankenstein" is the classic promethean film, but is full of timid, anti-Luciferan morality; i.e. to steal the "fire" from the gods instantly incurrs punishment; as a myth, that is no longer useful to us.

All of the above examples are tales based in the twentieth century. For a promethean theme we feel we should be looking forward; "2001 A Space Odyssey" is wonderfully symbolic in that it is based in the first year of the next millenium. There are four stages in the film: the first is "The Dawn of Man", taking place in prehistoric Earth, where "the slab" appears _ the promeathean gift, but what is the gift? fire? tool use? weapon use? the ability to kill? We would suggest that it is the gift of imagination; the apre man looks at the bone and "sees" a weapon; he has the ability to manipulate images in his mind.

In the film the image cuts instantly to a space craft on its way to the Moon.  This journey between the worlds we feel signifies that we have entered mythic space. In the next stage of the film, "The Moon", we meet "the slab" again, where it dispenses its next gift, the awareness of something beyond. In Qabbalistic terms we have moved from Malkuth to Yesod; the following stage of the film, "Journey to Jupiter", has us ascending the sephiroth to Chesed.

On the approach to Jupiter, Dave has to disconnect the higher functions of the computer, Hal. We would suggest this can represent a distrust of reason; a return to child-like ways, or a stepping away from the constraints of language.  As Hal closes down, it is language that deteriorates; i.e. it is language that constructs the world we perceive.  So to go into the infinite beyond, to take the Next Step, we have to go beyond language, hence all the descriptions of mystical experiences end up sounding like gibberish.

For the final stage of the film, "Jupiter and beyond to Infinity", we have the leap across the Abyss to the Supernals; Chokmah, Binah, Kether.  Because language fails us at this point, Kubrick relies solely on the visual image; the sequence seems baffling, but we wonder if he is trying to explain something that is also suggested by Ken Wilber in his book, 3317

"The Atman Project"; i.e., we evolve by changing how we translate the incoming information of our senses. We go from looking through to looking at each developmental stage. For most of us, we construct the world by looking through a semantic framework or grid; when we transcend this stage, we will be able to look at our semantic structure.  Likewise in the film, Dave sees the next stage from outside and then becomes it: the outsider, the astronaut, the urbane man, the old man on the death bed, and finally rebirth as the Star Child. Or as Crowley puts it in "Magick" when describing the grade of Adeptus (Exemptus); "Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either (a) becomes a Brother of the Left Hand Path or, (b) is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a Babe of the Abyss, who having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its mother."

So we contend that "The Mythic" is everywhere, everywhen, and despite our cultural estrangement from myths, "The Mythic" still emerges through our media in many guises, which includes, but is not exclusive to, Western movies.

                            Handfast Ritual

This is adapted from "Magical Rites from the Crystal Well" by Ed Fitch and is a combination of their handfast ritual and american indian ceremonial prelude. I'll skip over the consecration as it is a standard one and get straight to the ritual itself.  We had a Priestess only, so this was written with that in mind but could easily be adapted for a Priest and Priestess.

At this time and in this place
Do we call upon the Spirits of the Land
As well as the Mighty Ones of the Skies.
We call upon the Gods of our own distant past
From lands far away.
We call upon the Gods of our spiritual brethren
Who once called this place
Their own.
Witness and rejoyce with us in this moment
As love is affirmed.

__Groom's name__ and __Bride's name__ step forward Stand before the Gods and those who witness on Earth

__Groom's name__, if it is your wish to become one with this woman Will you pledge your love through all that may come As long as love shall last?

<Groom replies: I so pledge>

__Bride's name__, if it is your wish to become one with this man Will you pledge your love through all that may come As long as love shall last?

<Bride replies: I so pledge>

Does any say nay?

As the Gods and the Old Ones are witness
With those of us present now,
I now proclaim you man and wife1
Thus are thy hands fasted...
The Two are now One,
This work is done
And joy is yet begun!

There is also a portion for the rings using a wand that was left out of ours but is normally placed immediately after the vows and is as follows...

The rings are placed upon the wand before the ritual and the wand upon the altar.  (This is written for bot Priest and Priestess present)

     The priest picks up the wand and holds one end before him in his right hand, the priestess likewise holds the other end in her left hand.

Place your right hands

Over this wand...
And your rings...
His hand over hers.

Above you are the stars
Below you are the stones
As time passes, remember...
e a star should your love burn brightly,
Like the earth should your love be firm.
Be free in giving of affection and of warmth.
Have no fear, and let not the ways or words
Of the unenlightened give you unease.
For the Gods are with you,
Now and always!

The rings are exchanged during the vows.

 Handfasting (Celtic)

This is a copy of a Celtic handfasting I found in the book Finn Mac Cool by Morgan Llywelyn.

Bride and Groom repeat the following together:

You cannot possess me for I belong to myself.  But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give.  You cannot command me for I am a free person.  But I shall serve you in those ways you require and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.  I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, and the eyes into which I smile in the morning.  I pledge to you the first bite from my meat and the first drink from my cup.  I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care.  I shall be a shield for your back, and you for mine.  I shall not slander you, nor you me. I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel, we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances.  This is my wedding vow to you.  This is the marriage of equals.

The Priest or Priestess says:

These promises you make by the sun and the moon, by fire and water, by day and night, by land and sea.  With these vows you swear, by the God and Goddess, to be full partners, each to the other.  If one drops the load, the other will pick it up.  If one is a discredit to the other, his own honor will be forfeit, generation upon generation, until he repairs that which was damaged and finds that which was lost.  Should you fail to keep the oath you pledge today, the elements themselves will reach out and destroy you.