Spells and Charms * Practical Sorcery * Magical Cures
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The epic poem, Kalevala, is celebrated by the Finns this day (February 28) with parades and readings from the poem. The Kalevala recounts a battle of wits between three wizard brothers and the witch goddess, Louhi. It is a treasure trove of ancient shamanistic practices and spells. Here's a reading:
Festival of Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries and border markers.
In Roman religion, Terminus was the god who protected boundary markers; his name was the Latin word for such a marker. Sacrifices were performed to sanctify each boundary stone, and landowners celebrated a festival called the "Terminalia" in Terminus' honor each year on February 23. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill was thought to have been built over a shrine to Terminus, and he was occasionally identified as an aspect of Jupiter under the name "Jupiter Terminalis".
Ancient writers believed that the worship of Terminus had been introduced to Rome during the reign of the first king Romulus (traditionally 753–717 BC) or his successor Numa (717–673 BC). Modern scholars have variously seen it as the survival of an early animistic reverence for the power inherent in the boundary marker, or as the Roman development of proto-Indo-European belief in a god concerned with the division of property.
The name of the god Terminus was the Latin word for a boundary stone, and his worship as recorded in the late Republic and Empire centred on this stone, with which the god could be identified. Siculus Flaccus, a writer on land surveying, records the ritual by which the stone was sanctified: the bones, ashes, and blood of a sacrificial victim, along with crops, honeycombs, and wine, were placed into a hole at a point where estates converged, and the stone was driven in on top.
On February 23 annually, a festival called the Terminalia was celebrated in Terminus' honor, involving practices which can be regarded as a reflection or "yearly renewal" of this foundational ritual. Neighboring families would garland their respective sides of the marker and make offerings to Terminus at an altar—Ovid identifies these, again, as crops, honeycombs, and wine. The marker itself would be drenched in the blood of a sacrificed lamb or pig. There followed a communal feast and hymns in praise of Terminus.
These rites were practised by private landowners, but there were also related public ceremonies. Ovid refers to the sacrifice of a sheep on the day of the Terminalia at the sixth milestone from Rome along the Via Laurentina; it is likely this was thought to have marked the boundary between the early Romans and their neighbors in Laurentum.
Also, a stone or altar of Terminus was located in the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Rome's Capitoline Hill. Because of a belief that this stone had to be exposed to the sky, there was a small hole in the ceiling directly above it. On occasion Terminus' association with Jupiter extended to regarding Terminus as an aspect of that god; Dionysius of Halicarnassus refers to "Jupiter Terminalis", and one inscription names a god "Jupiter Ter."
There is some evidence that Terminus' associations could extend from property boundaries to limits more generally. Under the Republican calendar, when the intercalary month Mercedonius was added to a year, it was placed after February 23 or February 24, and some ancient writers believed that the Terminalia on February 23 had once been the end of the year. Diocletian's decision in 303 AD to initiate his persecution of Christians on February 23 has been seen as an attempt at enlisting Terminus "to put a limit to the progress of Christianity".
Color: Lavender Element: Water Altar: Upon a lavender cloth set a tray of cakes shaped like clasping hands, and many cups full of hot tea. Offerings: Promise to attempt to be more considerate of those you live with. Daily Meal: Any food, but it must be served from one great plate for every table, and it should not be in separate portions.
Romany spiritual traditions combine a dislike of disturbing the dead with a desire for the protective capacities cemetery dirt offers. Although one might not want to disturb one's own ancestors or someone one knows, there's no actual fear of the cemetery, thus an anonymous, unknown grave is chosen.
This spell harnesses abstract, protective qualities inherent in graveyard dirt to protect a child embarking on a long journey. Here's how...
Camphor is under the dominion of the moon. The lunar palace of Lady Chang'O is allegedly crafted from cinnamon wood, however both true cinnamon and camphor derive from trees of the Cinnamonium family. Maybe the Moon Lady's palace was built from camphor wood.
Because of this connection, camphor can transmit some of the moon's protective and luck drawing powers. Here's how:
Charge spring water with lunar energies by filling a white, blue, or silver container with clear spring water and then leaving it in a windowsill or outdoors on a full moon night.
The next day, dissolve a camphor square into the lunar-charged spring water.
Use this water to cleanse appropriate magical tools so that they may be used to fulfill your wishes and be imbued with the power of the moon.
Lupercalia is uniquely Roman, but even the Romans of the first century were at a loss to explain exactly which deity or deities were being exalted. It harkens back to the days when Rome was nothing more than a few shepherds living on a hill known as Palantine and was surrounded by wilderness teeming with wolves.
Lupercus, protector of flocks against wolves, is a likely candidate; the word lupus is Latin for wolf, or perhaps Faunus, the god of agriculture and shepherds. Others suggest it was Rumina, the goddess whose temple stood near the fig tree under which the she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus. There is no question about Lupercalia's importance. ...
Valentine's Day has its roots in ancient orgiastic festivals. On February 14, The Romans celebrated Febris (meaning fever), a sacred sexual frenzy in honor of Juno Februa, an aspect of the goddess of amorous love. This sex fest coincided with the time when the birds in Italy were thought to mate.
The ecstatic rites of the Goddess merged over time with those of Lupercalia, the bawdy festivities in honor of the pagan god of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, Pan, which were observed on the following day, February 15....
Use this invocation to ask the archangel of Venus, Anael, to bless and bring harmony to a romantic relationship. Light a candle at Anael's hour (between 9 and 10am) and burn some rose incense. Scatter a few pink rose petals on your altar, and then say the invocation.
Archangel Anael, angel of the mystic planet Venus,
as I light this candle,
my consciousness opens to receive your divine influence...
“Whichever woman I give the apple to, whichever woman I throw the apple at and hit with it, may she put off everything else and become crazy with love for me. Whether she takes it in her hand and eats it, or puts it away in her dress, she will not stop loving me.”
Here is a list of the different woods favored by different magickal traditions:
Ainu:Bamboo, with leaves remaining. Top carved into spiral designs
Druid (British): Hawthorn, rowan, yew
Druid (Gaul): Oak
Russian: Slavic birch
Lightning-struck wood is considered packed with power. Driftwood makes an excellent wand; it does not have to be cut and combines the powers ofEarth and sea.
Keep in mind that no wood will work as well for you as the wood from a tree with which you have forged an alliance.
Wands are not limited to wood. Metal wands are excellent power conductors. Embellish with crystals, seashells and charms. Copper is a particularly excellent conductor of energy. An iron wand provides power and protection.
From wikipedia we have this scholarly definition of a wand:
A wand is a thin, straight, hand-held stick of wood, stone, ivory, or metal. Generally, in modern language, wands are ceremonial and/or have associations with magic but there have been other uses, all stemming from the original meaning as a synonym of rod and virge, both of which had a similar development.
In ecclesiastical and formal government ceremonial, special officials may carry a wand of office or staff of office representing their power. Compare in this context the function of the ceremonial mace, the sceptre, and the staff of office. This is a practice of long standing; in Ancient Egypt, priests were depicted with rods. Its age may be even greater, as Stone Age cave paintings show figures holding sticks, which may be symbolic representations of their power.
From the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.In Pharaonic Egypt, toilette articles, weapons against possible enemies, amulets against serpents, were also left in the tomb, together with magic texts and a magic wand which enabled the ka (soul) to use them.
In classical Greco-Roman mythology, the god Hermes/Mercury has a special wand called a caduceus.
Six- to eight-foot-long staves with metal tips adorning them are carried traditionally in Freemasonry during rituals of the Craft. Ceremonial uses may have several wands for different purposes, such as the Fire Wand and the Lotus Wand in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In Zoroastrianism, there is a similar ritual implement called a barsom.
In Wicca and Ceremonial magic, practitioners use several magical tools including wands for the channeling of energy—they serve a similar purpose to the athame although the two have their distinct uses. While an athame is generally used to command, a wand is seen as more gentle and is used to invite or encourage. Though traditionally made of wood, they can also consist of metal or crystal. Practitioners usually prune a branch from an Oak, Hazel, or other tree, or may even buy wood from a hardware store, and then carve it and add decorations to personalize it; however, one can also purchase ready-made wands.
In Wicca the wand usually represents the element air, or sometimes fire, although contemporary wand makers also create wands for the elements of earth and water as well. The wand is most often used by modern Pagans, witches, Shamans and others in rituals, healing and spell casting.
There is some scholarly opinion that the magic wand may have its roots as a symbol of the phallus. It may also have originated as the drumming stick of a shaman, especially in Central Asia and Siberia, as when using it to bang on his drum or point, to perform religious, healing, and magical ceremonies.
In many cultures, prayers are often said over bread, which is considered sacred, before eating it. Bread represents the union of humankind and the divine. In some cases it is representative solely of the divine, but by ingesting it, humans are able to take in the divity.
Bake and eat dark breads full of grains for prosperity.
On the full moon, place round bread on the altar and bless it for prosperity and fertility. Offer half the bread to the earth and share the other half with others.
On the autumn equinox, cut phallic-shaped bread into pieces and then bury them in the earth. This rite symbolizes the sacrificed grain god whose seed will return to the earth to fertilize it and bring new life in the spring.
During the days of the polio epidemics, mothers hung camphor balls around children's necks to ward away illness. This spell works under the same premises, except that what you're warding off is the metaphysical virus of an unwanted romantic attention, or to ward off illness, negativity, or whatever you would like to repel.
Dip a cotton ball in essential oil of white camphor and keep it in your pocket or tucked into a bra. Alternatively, you could hang it around your neck.
NOTE: Be sure not to use any other variety of camphor. Only essential oil of white camphor is safe for use.
Camphor is a substance frequently taken for granted. It's used in many lotions and cosmetics because of the cooling sensation it provides. Camphor, botanically related to cinnamon, is considered a sacred lunar plant. In Marco Polo's time it was bartered for with gold.
Camphor allegedly reduces sexual desire. Burn camphor or add one or two drops of essential oil of white camphor (other forms are toxic) to your bath when you need to cool off.
Ruler:Moon, Buddha Type:Extract from tree Magickal Form:oil, whole chunks
Obtained from the evergreen tree, this fragrant white compound holds many spiritual properties. In voodoo rituals, it is burned for love and attraction. It is one of the most sacred substances to offer to the moon goddess on a new moon to thank her for her abundant blessings.
Camphor is also used in cleansing and purification rituals. Use it to get rid of unwanted passions or unwanted admirers.
It is one of the seven substances most sacred to Buddha and meditation upon it, or in its presence, will bring enlightenment.
NOTE: Only essential oil of white camphor is safe for use.
One of the most used tools of spellcraft and magick, candles are essentially vessels that carry and deliver prayers. Candles are also used on the altar to honor gods and goddesses and the four quarters or elements (earth, air, fire, and water).
Candle colors and shapes have different meanings:
Red: love or energy
Pink: flirtation, harmony, or emotional healing
Orange: success and motivation
Brown: power and stability
Black: protection or cursing
White: to clear the path, protection, and healing
Blue: peace and protection
Green: prosperity, fertility, growth
Purple: power and wisdom
Yellow, success, fame, and glory, also clarity
Male and female figures: love, protection, separation, healing
Cat : love and luck
Cross: protection, meditation, devotion
Seven-knot: burned while making wishes as each knot burns
Seven-color: devotionals for the seven orishas, or Yoruban gods and goddseses
Skull: used for hexing or healing depending on the color
Witch: love spells
Reversible or double-action: these black and red candles are burned to return evil to the sender.
Candlemas is the Christianized name for Imbolc, and all of the church candles are blessed for the year. The Virgin Mary is also honored. Today, this holiday is chiefly connected to weather lore. Even our American calendar keeps the tradition of Groundhog Day, a day to predict the coming weather. The Groundhog Day tradition tells us that if the Groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of bad weather. An old British rhyme instructed:
If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.
We pagans see the God as an infant during the time of Imbolc...
As this is a time of new life and growth, it is appropriate to plant bulbs or flowers or to sow seeds. However, you will need to use your judgement and some local knowledge to decide whether to actually do so at Imbolc or whether to wait a week (or several) until the last frosts have passed. Of course seeds can often be started indoors and planted out a month or so later...
February was named for the Roman goddess Februa, mother of Mars. As patroness of passion, she was also known as Juno Februa and St. Febronia from febris, the fever of love. Her orgiastic rites were held on February 14th, St.Valentine's Day. In Norse traditions, she is equated with Sjofn.
The Irish called this month Feabhra or an Gearran, the gelding or horse. The horse was used to draw the plough, but Gearran also means 'to cut' and 'Gearran' can be used to describe the 'cutting' Spring winds. To the Anglo-Saxons, this was Solmonath, "sun month," in honor of the gradual return of the light after the darkness of winter. According to Franking and Asatru traditions, this month is Horning, from horn, the turn of the year....
To Wisdom I call out, Wisdom I invoke Wisdom I embrace, Wisdom that once spoke in every wheeling star, in every sturdy oak: Show your face again, Sophia! Remove your shadow cloak!
February gets its name from the word februare, meaning "to purify." This is likely due to the fact that February was the traditional month of cleansing in Rome, when people repented of holiday excesses. The official day for focusing on purification is February 15. (I suspect the ancient cure for hangovers, onion juice, saw a lot of use this day). This cleansing theme also explains the prevalence of water-themed celebrations during this month, along with festivals for the dead.
By now the hectic pace of the holidays has begun to settle down, and life returns to some semblance of normalcy. Nonetheless, the need for the Goddess does not go away during day-to-day activities. If anything, making life an act of worship means including her in even the simplest of things. In terms of energy, any magic focused on growth, well-being, purification, cleansing, or initiation is suited to this month's aspects.