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Spells for a Better World: Dream of Utopian Peace

We at the Temple of Witchcraft have been looking for ways to do outreach so our distant members can feel connected to the greater work of the Temple. The Pisces ministry presents a full moon circle here at the Temple’s home in Salem, New Hampshire, every month. This year our focus for those moon circles is spell work. We were inspired to produce some spells that will be used at the Temple full moons and make them available to all our initiates and friends to join us. Each spell has the intention of creating a better world for us all. You may feel free to join us as is appropriate for your own circumstances. You might join us for all of them or just a few. We hope you will take us up on the opportunity to join in on the Great Work.

Since we are doing spells, each one may require you to get supplies ready to cast the spell with us. All the supplies for the next month are listed in the postscript of the month before to give you time to acquire any necessary supplies. We have attempted to make them as simple, but still effective, as possible to make these available to the most people.

We will also be working with the thirteen goals of the witch in-person and also in our journals throughout the lunar month. We will provide some journal prompts for you if you want to join in.

Register here to join us in person in Salem, NH!

Goal of the Witch: Meditation

  • How much of a part of your spiritual practice is meditation?
  • When you have an issue or problem before you do you ever try to meditate on the issue?
  • What is your favorite type of meditation? What does it do for you? Why is it favorite?
  • What type of meditation do you dislike? Why?
  • When meditation is difficult what makes you return to it?
  • What are your personal benefits from meditation.

Astral Meditation Working: Dreams of Utopian Peace

This “spell” for a better world is a little different because we are going to do a meditative exercise. Since this is the Pisces moon we are going to stimulate dreams of a world of utopian peace by bringing the energy of utopia down from the divine plane. We will rise on the planes of being to the divine plane. While there we will call out to the energy of utopia and bring a bit of it down through the planes into the physical one.

I got the idea for this meditation from a Silva Ultra Mind meditation where you bring a problem up through the planes to the causal plane, dissolving it and reshaping it so it is no longer a problem, then bringing it back down into the physical. It is much like something made in a factory. If you find a flaw in something made in the factory you don’t start fixing it after it is made. You go back to the idea stage, the drawing board, the plans and then remanufacture with the new plan. So you take it back to the causal plane. I combined this idea with the Rising on the Planes exercise we teach in Witchcraft One. You could use this exercise to bring down from the divine level anything you want to create in this world.

Special thanks to Christopher Penczak for letting me use his wording for the first part of this meditation.

Pisces Full Moon: Dreams of Utopian Peace (mp3)

Assume a meditative position. Relax fully. Engage the entire self. Use the Countdown Meditation to enter a meditative state.

First, be aware of the physical world, and your physical body. Without losing your meditative state, be aware of your flesh and blood, breath and bone. Be still within your body, not disassociating from it. Be aware of the room, and any other people in the local vicinity. Be aware of all your physical senses other than sight: hearing, touch, smell and even taste. What do you perceive in the physical plane?

Extend your awareness beyond the physical world, to the etheric, the energetic support and framework of the world you know. Often truths are apparent in the etheric world that remain hidden in the physical. What do you perceive in the realm of etheric energy?

Expand your awareness, rising up and out of the physical and etheric world. Rise up to the astral plane, where the object and subject blend together. This is the realm of patterns, of dreams and images. This is the sea where all things take their shape. What do you perceive in the astral world?

Expand your awareness, rising up and out to the emotional plane. Enter the realm of emotion and feeling. What do you feel? You might feel your connections to people, to those who evoke a strong emotion within you, or to places where you feel a strong attachment. As you rise higher, you enter the realm of the “higher emotions” of compassion and unconditional love.

Expand your awareness again, rising up and out to the mental plane. Enter the realm of ideas, language and concept. Enter the realm of sacred geometry and the form behind all forms. What do you perceive? What thoughts and ideas are clear to you? What information do you remember or learn? The higher you rise, the more abstract the though process becomes.

Expand your awareness again, rising up and out to the psychic plane. Enter the realm beyond linear time, looking at the past, present and future from above. You might see visions of that was, is and what could be, for yourself, people you know and for those in the world beyond you.

Expand your awareness one final time, rising up and out to the divine plane, the level of the soul. Feel yourself in tune with divinity, the Divine Mind, the connecting force between all things. Feel your connection to all life, not only in the physical world, but in all seven worlds. Feel the part of you that is god- like and one with everything.

In this merging with the divine, call out to the divine energy of utopia. It might feel like peace, unity, cooperation, joy, or some other feeling. Connect fully with this divine energy of utopia and world peace. When you feel you have fully connected, draw that energy down with you into the psychic plane.

Allow yourself while in the psychic plane to see what utopia looks like. Any visions you might have of what utopia really means or things you can do to encourage it. Draw this vision of utopia down with you into the mental plane.
See the thoughts that are inspired in the mental plane about utopia. What language circles around it? What ideas about it become clear to you now?

Draw that thought form of utopia down into the realm of the emotional plane. Feel the emotions that are linked with utopia. Feel the unconditional love that can be if we accept utopia.

Draw that feeling down from the emotional plane to the astral plane. In this the plane of dreams and images let this feeling of utopia flow out to create dreams of utopia. A world where we are all working toward the success of the world. Let this energy you have brought down with you become planted here in this realm so it can be brought into being by those who catch this dream.

Come down from the astral plane to the etheric level, and from the etheric level to the realm of the physical. Feel your flesh and blood, breath and bone. Come back. Come back. Come back.

Count yourself up with the end of the Countdown Meditation. Give yourself clearance and balance. Ground yourself as needed.

Postscript: For next month you will need a bottle, small representations of animals of sky, land, and water, some protection herbs, and some small sharp objects like pins, broken glass, or small iron nails. Also choose a place in the wild where you will bury your bottle.

Temple Astrolog: Seize the Moment

On a collective plane, we have all been working on some karmic issues for what seems a long time. Pluto (death, transformation) has been travelling with both Saturn (karma) and the south node (karma again, and the past) in Capricorn (once again, karma). To say the least, it has been exhausting and many of us are tired to the bones (ruled by Capricorn and Saturn)!

The good news is that, right now, Pluto is making some wonderful aspects that can help us harvest the fruits some of the deep work we have been doing lately. Pluto is making a trine to Mars, the Sun, Mercury, and Venus, all in the sign of Virgo. If you see an opportunity coming your way that you have been working a long time for, size the moment! Go ahead, take a chance.

Mystic rectangle and a great potential

The Sun and Mars (both related to our will) in Virgo are also in a mystic rectangle with a trine to Saturn, the south node (the past), and Pluto (transformation) in Capricorn, and a sextile to the north node in Cancer (family, security) and finally an opposition to Lilith black moon and Neptune in Pisces.

Mystic rectangles are tricky. They hold such great potential. Unfortunately, I have seen it in many charts with clients who did not live their full potential. The opportunity was there, the talent and the opening to a great chance, but they did not dare to take the risk and make the change. On a collective plane we may also be standing at a crossroads. Do we dare to make changes? Believe in miracles and opportunities opening up, or will we let the moment pass us by?

Lilith black moon and Neptune in deep water

As Lilith black moon holds one angle of the mystic rectangle together with Neptune, we are extra challenged to listen to our instincts. Lilith black moon is the hidden point, what we can not see with our ordinary senses. With her, we must trust our other senses and learn how to see in the dark.

Right now Lilith black moon is in direct opposition to the Sun, and that makes it hard to see ourselves and our potential right now. If you are in doubt, ask a friend that you know speaks the truth. And if you have the chance to be such a friend right now, do it! If this energy is used wisely, we all have the potential to make quantum leaps right now, on a personal level and as a collective whole.

Vesta following a higher calling

To help us dare to make changes and get the energy needed, we have Vesta in Taurus. Devoted, stubborn, not afraid to dig in and to do the work, she is in a grand trine of earth to Mercury and Venus in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn. If there is a need for a telephone chain, she’ll do it. If there is a demonstration needed, she will get it done. No task is to great for her, as she has the power to move the earth if the cause it the right.

Whatever you are doing right now, believe in yourself and believe that anything is possible. Like the Tarot card The Moon, it is darkest just before dawn. Right now is not the time to give up, it is the time for joining hands and together jump into a brighter future.

Blessings!

Karin Ugander is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and Psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is a high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program.

You can find Karin Ugander at Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial

Finding Your Place in the Temple

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

When co-creating the Temple of Witchcraft’s paradigm and structure, we tried to create an esoteric pattern that would serve it well into the future. We have a service-oriented “ministerial church” at the foundation of the Temple, divided into the twelve astrology signs, each with three major areas of focus, like the three decans of each zodiac sign. Each of the twelve lead ministers is encouraged to have three deputies to help oversee the work of the Temple, so our council of twelve lead ministers is aided by potentially thirty-six deputies. Our mission is to provide support for students and ministers in seeking and manifesting their own ministerial mission. While many seek the teacher and sabbat leader roles you might find in a traditional coven structure, we have a wider mission in terms of both public ministry and ministry within our Witchcraft community.

During the spring leadership retreat of 2019, Alix Wright—President of our Board of Directors and our Pisces Lead Minister, as well as being an active teacher in our mystery school—brought up a few things, including how there is not a place in the Temple for those who wish to work magickally and socially on the problems of homelessness, for example. Then the issue of working with abused women and where that mission would fit in the Temple was also brought up.

While not specifically written into any by-laws or current policy documents, when a minister has a desire to do something, we encourage them to look at the astrological mandala and think, “where would this issue fit in?” Then they should seek out support and work in that ministry. Even though we can’t do massive campaigns for all issues all at once, we can find places to build support for ideas, actions, and future policy. For instance, these two examples would both would fit under the Ministry of Cancer. Cancer’s archetype is the great Mother, and Cancer oversees both Goddess Spirituality specifically and women’s issues in general, including our Women’s Mysteries monthly group. In astrology, Cancer rules the Fourth House, the House of “Home,” so homelessness or instability of home would fall under Cancer/4th House. From there, volunteers can be recruited and a ministry can be built.

While not currently active, we have a contingency for those who truly fall outside the twelve, a ministry specifically for inter-faith work as we get more ministers who might be interested in that. It is semi-jokingly referred to as Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, as the thirteenth sign that astronomers (not astrologers) seek to jam into the zodiac without quite understanding astrology. We decided long ago that if anything doesn’t fit the twelve, it could possibly find a home in Ophiuchus. As Ophiuchus has no elemental or modality associations, it can be anything we desire it to be, the mystery of the serpent.

When we have students who wish to volunteer or ministers seeking to find their ministry in community, their first task is to think about their will, their passion, and to identify what ministry it would fall under. We encourage them to start volunteering and being active there as a way to introduce their own visions into the ministry. Sometimes there will be support. Sometimes we will be stretched too thin or otherwise unable to accommodate a specific vision, but the key to eventual success is discovering where one’s work fits in with the mandala of the zodiac. This is how we change, adapt, and grow, while keeping to our structural foundation. Each lead minister brings a new vision and purpose to the ministry, and someday that might be you!

Pagan Earth Alliance

The Temple of Witchcraft and our Taurus Ministry are proud to support the Pagan Earth Alliance. From their website, PEA President Kansas Stanton explains his, and the organization’s, vision:

I don’t know when environmentalism really began for me—I cannot pinpoint a pivotal time in my memory when my whole worldview shifted to what I am today. Perhaps it came from the oak tree that I grew up with as one of my best friends until it unfortunately passed on. Or maybe it was from playing in my father’s woods with my brothers; pretending we were warriors in a vast empire. Or maybe something synchronized in my head when I heard my first whale song, or when I saw my first footage of animals fleeing the rainforest as the trees were burned and cut down. It could have happened when I watched Fern Gully too many times or when I watched a documentary called, Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry. But honestly, I think it happened back when I could see depth perception and color variation and noticed all the incredible beauty I’m surrounded by. The Earth will always be my first love. The sudden boom of thunder on a prairie or a downpour in the desert with the smell of wet clay and sage that follows. Bird murmurations and horses running together. Mountains of mythic heights and trees older than anyone I’ll ever meet. The smell of rich soil and knowing there’s millions of beings in a single handful. Waterfalls and tempests, moss and snowflakes, sunsets, coral reefs, fog, and a beast ripping the flesh off its prey to live. Every single cell in my body loves this Earth and everything it does for us.

The knowledge that we are responsible for losing all these wonders, wonders we haven’t even discovered yet, tears me apart. The more ongoing depredation our planet experiences from our choices, the more threatened we are, as well as all the other beings and energies we share our home with who have innocently fallen victim. The blame game is over—we are above that. We are the consumers. We are the decision-makers who can make changes every day. And we are the Nature-centric spiritualists who see the Earth not as a resource to extract our enjoyments from, but as a parent and source of all life, energy, and magick. It is from this love that makes me Pagan. It is from this love that made me an environmental scientist. And it is from this love that I began Pagan Earth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring environmentalism to all Pagans, Wiccans, and witches—no matter their traditions.

But we are, after all, still products of our society. We ship statues of our gods made from synthetic resin and packaged in Styrofoam that pollutes our seas and chokes our animal friends. We cast circles near fracking and gather herbs that have been sprayed with pesticides. We serve meat at our Sabbats that never saw a field and contributed to global warming, on plastic plates that bacteria can’t break down. This, of course, is not unique to just us but happens to all communities today. But we of all people should know how vital Nature is to us. And so, I began an organization that aims to bridge that gap by educating Pagans on how to live and practice more environmentally, or about global environmentalism and what all of it means or caused by. This is an organization that helps Pagans and covens in rural areas who don’t have political access or need assistance in making changes in their communities, or who would like to know that their tools and products are environmentally vetted and certified. The organization is also a source for eco-friendly tableware for your Sabbats and hygiene products for your ritual baths. We offer grove-planting campaigns, workshops and presentations, ecological restoration events, and awareness.

We must act and act now, my tree-hugging friends. Because the Earth is sacred to us.

Learn more about the Pagan Earth Alliance and their work by visiting their website: paganearthalliance.org.

Force, Form, and Function

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

Magick, philosophy, religion, spirituality, and science all intersect on some level today, just as they did in times past. Our desire to unite them again stems from a desire to perceive—and operate from—the living, unified interconnection and independence that our modern society does not emphasize. We realize something is missing from our worldview, and even our cutting-edge occultists are looking to bring things together on a magickal level (at least at first).

As we search for interconnectivity, one of the challenges with many of our current practices in magick is merging magickal art, culture, and religion with our understanding of metaphysics. Along with a hunger for shared understanding, we hunger for deepened culture and art in the context of our spiritual ideas. We look to the old, and some feel it is their job to preserve old ways and reconstruct ancient practices. Others, like myself, feel that though we draw upon the old, we live in a new world, and our challenge is to weave something that speaks to us here and today. Both approaches are needed. Some need to weave and care for the individual threads and specific sections. Some are looking at the pattern of the larger tapestry. The problem when looking at recreating past religious practices is that once you establish and grow something on the best available information and understanding, and then five, ten, twenty, or a hundred years later, new information contradicts that understanding, how do you acknowledge the academics while working in your paradigm? Do you dismantle and recreate again? That’s a fine solution for an individual, but what of a community built around those traditions? Can you continue as is, doing what you were doing? Yes, though that is where much of the critique from the current generation is centered. Many are focused upon the art, culture, and religion, and are not interested in the occult philosophy, particularly if that occult philosophy seems to contradict their current understanding of their ancient art and religion.

While Witchcraft is my religion, I use that word in the deepest sense, as a linking force. To me it is akin to yoga, a yoking practice and philosophy, a wide body of systems existing in a cultural context, but also surviving and being put to use outside of that context. The linking and yoking together is the union with the divine, but it is also that which brings together the like-minded in community. It is important to link my practices to the momentum of tradition through both the ancient Pagan temples and the rural folk traditions, back to our tribal past. It is important to not relinquish a word to prophetic monotheistic religions, particularly in a world where those religions get protections, status, and benefits that our people are often lacking.

Though Witchcraft is my religion, I was taught it is also an occult science and an esoteric art, with all three aspects being equally important. Different practitioners, however, will personally emphasize one aspect over another. I am unapologetic about the occult foundation to my Craft, which provides the bedrock for the religious ideas and cultural expressions. I think of yoga as much the same, a series of philosophical ideas and techniques one can explore that gives rise to deepening religious paradigms and rich art and music.

So for me, exploring the mysteries always involves looking beneath to the patterns supporting the experience. What is the universal, interconnected pattern that goes beyond a region, a language, and a people? In the world of the occultist, we look to the force, form, and function.

The varieties of deities, spirits, and powers are the specific forms we encounter. We build relationships. We have personal interactions. We experience emotions and exchange. For many, the world of forms and images is fulfilling and that is all that is desired.

For some of us, we seek the power behind the power, and this is where we often lose the religionist. In the view of the interlinking and interdependence of all things, we want to find out the force behind the form we experience. Where does it come from? How and why does it function? Is there something larger, and sometimes less personal, supporting the structure of the form?

To many, such ideas are blasphemous, but the occult Witch is always heretical, seeking to explore even Pagan blasphemy in the desire to know and learn. Yes, we do acknowledge the gods are real and individual, as individual as any of us. Yet they are also not, as they don’t operate in the same individual space as us, and at heart, we know there are really many forces that support our individual form. There are cultural group minds and group souls; there is the archetype of the Human supported by a collective un/consciousness. We evolved out of particular strains of DNA linked back through time to the primordial soup of the Earth. As our magick transcends space and time, we interact with all of those forces and know likewise these spirits are a collective of forces gathered to form. In our quest to know, we want to know the larger forces behind the forms.

Despite people’s claims otherwise, certainly the ancient Pagan philosophers had similar ideas, seeing similarity and a certain level of union between gods of other cultures. The Romans wrote of the Celts worshipping Mercury. They certainly weren’t worshiping the Roman Mercury, but a Celtic god with similar attributes and functions. The Egyptians and Greeks compared their gods, such as Neith and Athena, as both weavers. The Romans fused an expression of the Roman Minerva who was already matched with the Greek Athena to the water goddess Sulis in Bath England. Even our days of the week go back to the planetary gods, their expression in many different languages forming a type of universal planetary folk magick practiced widely by Witches and magicians today.

In the Temple of Witchcraft, while we have shared culture and values, we are ideally a tradition of technique, and our techniques lend us shared experiences that focus upon the function of our individual allies, rather than their form, their identity. We don’t require belief or worship of any particular deity to join us in the mystery cult. We do require particular practices to be explored and experienced. Different entities, in our different relationships, will fulfill their functions for us. For example, we perform a working with the Master of the Forge. The Master is an entity of force that is expressed in many forms. For some who perform the work, it is Brid. Others get Vulcan or Tubal Cain. Even the potter god Ptah works with some of the same principles. Some students get a nondescript Master of the Forge. You work with who shows up, as the gods have their own agency, and will often choose you as much as you choose them. Sometimes the ones you choose say no and don’t show up, and if you are not aware, you’ll miss who actually wants to work with you. Often the one who shows up will be unexpected and challenging, forcing you out of your chosen comfort zones and into new growth and learning.

Any gods are acceptable to do the work if they are willing to work in the technique and system with you. That way, we create a culture of common experience and technique, of function, without getting dogmatic to the form of specific religious icons and cultures. We can create a society of Witches who share and support, but weave webs of their own unique magickal relationships and worldview, without having to divorce from community and magickal order.

After a summer with a lot of fire, we have now moved into a period of a lot of Earth and for many of us it may come with a wonderful feeling of finally touching ground. Juno (relationships), the Sun (self), Mars (will and drive) and Venus (love, relationships) are all joined together in the sign of Virgo.

This Virgo energy is supported by a trine to Uranus in the sign of Taurus. This creates a lot of creative earthly energy that can create miracles and wonderful manifestations. Even if you are not normally a “handy” person this energy may surprise you and before you know it, you could be doing all sorts of practical things. Everything from redecorating your house to knitting or making your first attempts in the kitchen. If there ever was a chance of being successful in your new practical endeavors, it is now!

If you are usually a creative person, well, there’s nothing stopping you now. Creative ideas, recipes, crafting, magickal potion-making all seem to flow through you right now. A little reminder though to make notes as you go ahead with your magickal creations. As a witch there’s almost no sadder thing than not remembering how you made your favorite new blend of oils or perfect candle set up. A scrappy note is better than none, but in the name of Virgo, do yourself a favour and make it readable. Who knows, you might receive the recipe that will help you create a whole new enterprise!

With all that manifestation power, what could possibly go wrong?

Well nothing, and possibly everything. We have many planets in Virgo, ruling the sixth house (health). Virgo is by itself ruled by Mercury (nervous system) and is getting fuel and energy from a trine to Uranus (electricity, kundalini, higher octave of Mercury) in Taurus (ruling the 2nd house, the body)

A lot of heavenly energy (Uranus) is touching earth and can shake things up. We also have the ability to embody more heavenly energy than normally. This could help us reach new levels of understanding and possibly enlightenment in certain areas. Uranus is not a dependable guy, with him we should expect the unexpected, this means that if we are not careful we can also receive an overload that has the potential to hurt our nervous system.

If you have a history with an overload of energy to your nervous system in the past like a too early or to strong kundalini rising, this is the time to be extra cautious. In this case, less is more.

Extra-strong ceremonies

If you are leading ceremonies or performing initiations during this transit you can expect extra energy entering the ceremonial space. If you are working with sacred earth sites and especially standing stones or stone circles of any kind, chances are that the power moving through them is extra potent at the moment. Make sure to ground and release overload of energy after ceremony and disconnect from the underworld as well. Overload of energies can come from above or below likewise.

The trine to Uranus ends around the 10thof September.

Virgo, a sign of order or chaos?

In most astrological books we can read that Virgo is a tidy earth sign with order and cleanness. But then why have we all met quite a few Virgos who seem rather messy by outer appearance? They may have a desk or study with papers all over the place, or a car that looks more like a messy trailer filled with all kinds of stuff. Well the answer is that it is all in their head. If you move around some paper in their office, they will know it. Because in their head they have perfect order, despite the outward, seeming chaos. All Virgos have at least one area where they sort and label things. It can be in the office, or it can be in their wardrobe or in their head where they have memorised all their clients by name. Virgos are excellent in making things more efficient. If that means letting go of outer order to save time for thinking because they find themselves busy solving problems, well, that’s what they will do.

We must not forget that Virgo (like Gemini) is ruled by Mercury and connected to the god Hermes, the emissary and messenger of the gods. Hermes is one of the few who actually can move down to the underworld and return back up again to the word of humans and all the way up to the gods of Olympus.

This is one of the reasons some the most productive and creative Virgos are in need of an “god-sent” assistant helping them with mundane things like arriving to meetings in time and remembering to eat. It’s not like they don’t care about others or are being arrogant. It just that they are way out there somewhere between the underworld and the heavens, probably solving a problem of sorts. So don’t be fooled by your Virgo college professor’s disordered look, there is a sharp mind inside that sees everything that you do.

Being in nature is good for everyone, but it is extra important for Virgos as it helps them reconnect to the earth and remember that they are in fact, an earth sign. If you have a loved one who is a Virgo and find that you have lost heart-contact with them lately, take them out in nature, or choose a restaurant that is outside, remind them of that as long as we are incarnated in human form, our “world” is that of humans in the middle world. They will thank you for it.

As we all may receive an extra dosage of Virgo energy right now this is a good reminder for all of us.

Handfasting or Blessing ceremony

With both Venus and Mars (planets of love and attraction) joined together with the sun and the asteroid Juno in Virgo it’s wonderful timing for an autumn handfasting or renewed vows. Of course the trine to Uranus comes with an unexpected touch, but that can just sparkle things up with a bit of adventure. And who doesn’t like that in their relationship? It can also assist in bringing a new start. Virgo is a sign associated with the great mother and the abundance of earth and this can bring many blessings upon everything from a relationship to a company or a tradition. If you have been thinking about a blessing ceremony of any kind this could be a great time to do that.

Venus and Mars are traveling together until around the 6th of September, but the stellium of planets in Virgo is until around the 15th of September. Juno, the asteroid for relationships and partnership, is in Virgo until the beginning of November.

Blessings!

Karin Ugander is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and Psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is a high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program.

You can find Karin Ugander at Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial

Temple Astrolog: Fire in the Sky

There is a lot of Leo energy from the stars right now. Mercury (communication) Venus (relationships, magick, value), the Sun (self), Juno (partnership), and Mars (will). It’s like the whole sky is roaring like a Lion. But what is it saying? And how do you live with a Lion?

Leo is the second of the fire signs. Here the instinctual and direct energy of fire is maturing, but it is not there yet, reaching full maturity in the last fiery sign of Sagittarius. Fire is demanding, direct, confrontational, and sometimes difficult to meet up with, but it is not manipulating or holding on to things a long time. Yes, it can be blunt and childish and sometimes we can get burned by fire, but there is no ill intent. That is one of the reasons that it is easy to forgive a Leo.

Leo at its best can teach us how to roar, be courageous, dare to stand in the light, and play with our gifts. At its worst, we demand all the light to shine on us and truly believe that “there can only be One” and of course that one is Me!

When we are fully diving into our creative space, the rest of the world disappears. We lose time, forget to eat, we get high on the creative energy, and all we want to do is to stay there and give birth to what we are working on. It’s like living in your own universe, close to the Sun and with all the brilliant colors shining on you. In many ways it’s like being in love, but you are having a love affair with the creative powers of the Universe.

It’s a wonderful feeling, but we must also be aware not to get lost. Around our bubble there is another life going on, and if we are not careful then suddenly the world around us has moved on without us noticing. This is a balancing act for all creative people. How to be in our creative universe, giving birth to great things, and at the same time being present in our relationships and the life around us.

In the Tarot card Lust we can see a woman with a Lion. She can hold the creative and passionate energy of Leo and help to make that power usable. In the same way we can work with energy of earthly Virgo to ground the powers of creativity. Take a break to eat, go out in the forest and ground yourself, play with your kids, have a Swedish “fika” with your friends. Afterwards you will return to your creative project with fresh eyes and a heart filled with human love and a feeling of centeredness.

With all of these planets in Leo we can get a lot of creative work done, but the Sun and Venus conjunction can also create a romantic bubble, so we’ll do best to keep an eye open on what is going on in the world around us.

Watch out for stubbornness and violence

The asteroid Vesta is in the sign of Taurus. Vesta is holding a flame of dedication and in Taurus she can be very dedicated and holding on hard to what she wants to protect. Being dedicated and protective can be a good thing, but it is also the same thing that can motivate someone abusive and violent. Right now Vesta is getting fuel from a square to Juno (relationships) and Mars (will, drive) in Leo. Both Taurus and Leo are fixed signs and do not easily change opinion or direction.

This influence is increasing and around the 15th of August. Then the Sun and Venus in Leo (with Juno and Mars close by) is in exact conjunction to Vesta in Taurus. It cools down a bit with Mars entering Virgo on August 18th and around the 26th the stellium in Leo has moved into the sign of Virgo.

This transit creates is a very tense situation with a lot of fire and I do hope that it will not manifest in forest fires or other harmful situations!

The need to have a strategic plan

What we can do during this fiery transit is call upon higher will and make a higher perspective available. Like many times lately we can get assistance from Pallas Athena positioned in the sign of Libra. She makes a sextile to Venus, Sun, Juno, and Mars in Leo. She also reminds us to have a strategic plan. If we want changes to last we need a plan and we need to follow up with more than actions in the moment (Leo). It is easy to get lost in emotions and the passion of the moment, but with the help of Pallas Athena we can take that energy and direct it towards long-lasting goals with laws and regulations (Libra) for the good of all and the generations to come.

A magickal snow globe & the power to cool things down

If you live in a place with too much heat and too many conflicts you can work with cooling stones in your crystal grid. Light blue stones like blue calcite, larimar, and blue aragonite have a cooling and calming effect. Just like there is a spectrum of fire between warmth and burning, there is a spectrum between cooling winds and ice, so there is a magickal span before putting something or someone in the freezer and freezing the situation. Symbolically speaking that span of magick would be snow.

If you want to you can get a snow globe (“snö glob” as we say in Swedish) and magickally charge it to cool things down. Surround it with cooling and calming stones and herbs when you are not using it. (You can also decorate the snow globe with the runes Hagalaz and Isa, but then be careful not to use it too much as the hail rune can be very transformative and ice freezes things solid, and you just want to cool them down.)

When things get overheated, shake the globe. Of course there may be more and deeper work to do to resolve the issue or conflict, but it may surprise you what a bit of snow magick can do to create a higher and more balanced perspective, especially when the world of Lions are on fire.

Blessings!

Karin Ugander is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and Psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is a high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program.

You can find Karin Ugander at Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial

What is Spiritual?

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

In today’s media age of memes and rage posts, I have seen a theme of people considering what is or isn’t “spiritual.” Some will encourage you to let go, be peaceful, find a tribe with your vibes, or otherwise conjure the image of your “best life.” Others—outraged by the conditions of the world—will respond that spiritual people can be angry, ridicule those who have crossed a line, curse when they desire, throw shade, drink “tea,” and behave in a manner that is contrary to most stereotypes we have of being spiritual. Those who are Christian will be at the extremes of “turn the other cheek” and “whip the money lenders in the Temple” as an answer to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). Both are right, and both are wrong. Witches don’t quite have the same phrases, so perhaps we are somewhere between Glinda and Elphaba—the good and the wicked, the “harm none” camp and those happy to curse to cure—without really understanding the deeper significance to each polarity.

Appropriate spiritual behaviors are not static; they occur contextually within culture and, more importantly, universally with consciousness evolution. What is right action at one time is wrong action at a different stage of development. While we seek comfort and familiarity, we often cling to behaviors, stereotypes, and the behaviors of those around us rather than venture into new and uncharted territory of consciousness because surrounding ourselves with what we know is easier.

So in one stage of our life, it can be appropriate, healthy, and helpful to be really angry and express it. But as we change, to be stuck in anger as a default reaction harms and stunts our evolution. We usually progress naturally on a path, but we can be stubborn, and despite a desire to be a mountain-climbing individualistic goat, we tend to align ourselves according to the reactions of our family, friends, and fellows around us. The image of the disruptor as spiritual is appropriate in one context, just as the guru alone on the mountain is appropriate in another context. In the wrong context, it is escapism and delusion no matter what paradigm we have bought into.

Various models and maps outline stages of consciousness. While often described as linear, a practitioner knows they are anything but. You can use the Qabalistic Tree of Life, chakras, astrology, alchemical operations, or Gates to the Underworld as a pattern. I had two students in Sweden studying Hermetic Qabalah with me. They are channelers and “received” their own system of “ramps” describing consciousness. Without prior conscious knowledge of the Qabalah, we continually found parallels and insights reflecting and comparing their unique system to Qabalah, and with the language difference, I could tell the Qabalistic concepts were new to them, but the essence transmitted was the same. To me this shows a certain universal nature to human experiences of consciousness.

Qabalah expresses it as ten visions, each level a virtue embodied when you “get” it and a vice demonstrated when you are lacking that level of consciousness. Each level has an obligation, a focus, to bring you to embodiment.

A more linear Western understanding of the chakra system of India in New Age healing practices shows stages of life akin to the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow, adopted and adapted from the Blackfoot Confederacy. When people fixate on “destroying” the ego, most likely a misunderstanding for transcending, and do not yet have a healthy, fully formed sense of ego self, they self-destruct trying to live up to a spiritual ideal. One must energize the solar plexus to open the gate of the heart. Part of building a healthy ego, particularly if you had an unhealthy growing-up environment where healthy self-esteem was not fostered, is exploring identity. Part of being spiritual at that stage can be becoming very egotistical. It’s like the cocoon of the caterpillar, not pretty but necessary. When we look at such person and think they are not being spiritual, we are wrong, for that is appropriate for the spiritual work before them. If they get stuck, there is a problem, and many people get stuck as many cocoon but never hatch. Hopefully most are just late bloomers, in this life or the next.

Along with ego, we can find expressions of anger, sexuality, voice, silence, empathy, leadership, service, and withdrawal, all with appropriate expressions and even explorations into imbalance as appropriate for a time. When entered into at the wrong time, they are toxic and illusionary. When remaining in them too long, when our soul wants to move to the next step and our personality resists, we create a trap, often with the illusion of previous attainments equaling full illumination or enlightenment. Those in a different stage can look “lower” than us but might actually be “higher” as there really is no comparison between people. Lower and higher can be illusions too. The goal is to be in the right spiritual “place” at the right “time” doing the right “thing” for your own soul, no one else’s. As my Eastern philosophy teacher said, “Far better to do your own dharma imperfectly then someone else’s dharma perfectly.” That won’t do you or the world any good.

So the answer is that everything is spiritual. Everything can serve. One consciously on the “path” seeks to be as conscious as possible about the circumstances, actions, and responses taken, moving towards a personal level of enlightenment. I find myself using the Thelemic technique of asking “What is thy Will? And to what end?” and then following each answer with the second question until I exhaust myself and have hopefully become clearer of my motives or decided to change course to align my actions with my deeper purpose. Your method of introspection will be different, but question everything, most importantly your own decisions, actions, motivations, and responses, and you will find what is spiritual for you at this current point of your own evolution.

We at the Temple of Witchcraft have been looking for ways to do outreach so our distant members can feel connected to the greater work of the Temple. The Pisces ministry presents a full moon circle here at the Temple’s home in Salem, New Hampshire, every month. This year our focus for those moon circles is spell work. We were inspired to produce some spells that will be used at the Temple full moons and make them available to all our initiates and friends to join us. Each spell has the intention of creating a better world for us all. You may feel free to join us as is appropriate for your own circumstances. You might join us for all of them or just a few. We hope you will take us up on the opportunity to join in on the Great Work.

Since we are doing spells, each one may require you to get supplies ready to cast the spell with us. All the supplies for the next month are listed in the postscript of the month before to give you time to acquire any necessary supplies. We have attempted to make them as simple, but still effective, as possible to make these available to the most people.

We will also be working with the thirteen goals of the witch in person and also in our journals throughout the lunar month. We will provide some journal prompts for you if you want to join in.

Goal of the witch: Honor the Goddess and God

  • How is your relationship to the Gods? What could you do to make it better?
  • What is your offering to the gods and the world?
  • Do you see the God/ Goddess within your fellow humans?
  • Are you giving yourself the quiet contemplation so you can listen for messages from the Gods?
  • What are your obstacles to working with the gods?

Aquarius Full Moon: Incantation for Cooperation

Now more than ever it is important for the world to see that we must work together to solve the worlds issues. So for this full moon’s spell we are doing an incantation. Write out the incantation below or one of your own on a piece of paper. Get out your cauldron or safe burning pot. Cast your circle and say the incantation three times and release it by burning the slip of paper with the incantation.

Let us erase the sides
And find our emancipation
Crossing the great divide
Through emphatic cooperation
Working hand in hand 
In better service to our land. 
Free will to all, harming none
So we say this spell is done.

Postscript: Next month we are going to share a guided meditation, so all you need is you and a comfortable place to listen and do the meditation.

Temple Astrolog: Healing with Fire

The sun has entered the fiery sign of Leo and has just been joined by Venus in the same sign. This may feel like a relief after many intense transitions this summer. Perhaps you now feel like you have some energy and speed re-entering your system again.

Recharging with Fiery Ceres

The asteroid Ceres (nurturing) has just left her retrograde period in Sagittarius and is moving forward int the same sign again. When she is in retrograde it is hard to find nourishment from others and from the environment as well. What we all can learn from this is to nurture ourselves, but that is hard when Ceres is in retrograde. When Ceres is retrograde in Sagittarius she can also be a bit immature, looking out for her own needs first.

It’s like someone saying “I´m hungry!” and the answer is, “Well, I’m hungry too!” or “ I could really need a hug right now,” getting the reply “Sorry about that but I’m cold, hungry, and alone!”

You get the picture. It’s fun if you can see the humor in it. But if you are a mom, a dad, or a leader of a coven you can be really drained right now after this period of everyone needing energy and nurturing from you and there just has not been enough going around.

Well, here is the good news: Ceres is back moving forward and in the sign of Sagittarius she comes with lots of inspiration, motivation and drive! Everyone will be better able to nurture themselves and be more self-going. If you or someone else close to you has been struggling with addiction of any kind lately this can be a relief of anxiety and pressure. Ceres in direct motion in Sagittarius is also giving motivation for therapy and change as Sagittarius gives a higher perspective, knowledge, and potential wisdom.

The hunger for knowledge and learning may also return if it has been a bit low lately. You can expect the funds for buying books, tarot decks, and oracle cards to increase. Those of us who are book and deck collectors have some missed shopping to make up for! A good energy returning for anyone having a esoteric shop or bookstore, or if you are doing readings for others. The Sagittarius nurturing energy is back and there is now more than enough energy going round for everyone.

Rune Fire Ceremony and New Moon in Leo

The Sun and Venus in Leo are making a grand trine to Ceres in Sagittarius and Chiron in Aries. This creates a grand trine of fire speeding up (Sun) healing (Chiron) and creating the power to “finally” moving forward. This energy gets amplified with the new moon in Leo on August 1st (depending on where you live) This is a perfect timing for a fire ceremony releasing the old and embracing the new.

A ceremony we do with our family usually at the solstices but can be done at any time is a rune fire ceremony. You can choose any time frame, but around six months is a good time span for the energy and healing to manifest in beauty. You will need:

  • A bag of runes
  • A knife to carve with or a pen
  • 3 sticks of wood
  • A burning fire or a big light

Shake the bag of runes and draw a rune for what needs to be released right now. What you need to let go of during the time from Lammas to Imbolc. Draw or carve the rune on the wood stick and give and release it to the fire.

Shake the bag again and this time ask what you need to fill up with. Draw the rune on the wood stick and ask for it to come to you as you give it to the fire.

Shake the bag for a third time and this time ask for healing for the people in your circle, it can be your family, your coven, or the larger family of the world. Draw the rune and send it into the fire.

With every rune, ask the healing to be done for the highest good, harming none. Also give a pinch of herbs to the fire with every release into the fire.

Ground and centre yourself afterwards.

Blessings!

Karin Ugander is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and Psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is a high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program.

You can find Karin Ugander at Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial

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