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The planet Venus (love, magick) is right now located at 14 degrees Cancer. This is very exiting because this is the location of the fixed star of Sirius.

Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, also called the dog star or the star of Isis, the Egyptian goddess. It takes Venus 225 days to move around the Zodiac and through the signs, so this is not a rare occasion, but there are some other interesting things going on.

This time the energy of joint Venus and Sirius is anchored by the north node (our dharma, where we “should be” going) at 17 degrees Cancer, and the south node at 17 degrees Capricorn (the past, karma) This means that we can heal old karmic wounds from Sirius connections, and possibly Egyptian as well, and get help to move forward and do what we came here to do (the north node) especially regarding our relationships and our larger bigger family of light workers (Cancer) or incarnation wave. If you have a connection to the Goddess Isis or Goddess work in general this is a possibility to deepen that work and to move further into her mysteries.

Sirius energy is very high frequency energy and has the possibility to tune up the whole nervous system. Many healers can feel that their healing energy gets upgraded from time to time, and this can be such an event.

Another anchoring planet is Saturn, also in Capricorn, right now at 16 degrees. Saturn is a wonderful planet to work with for embodiment. Many times we can feel that Saturn is working against us, manifesting things we believe that we don’t want, like karmic issues we are not finished with, or limitations we need to let go. But Saturn has another side to it, and one of these things is the power to anchor energy and make it physical, tangible.

So right now we all have the power to manifest more healing power in our bodies, to upgrade our healing abilities, and embody more of the Divine Feminine, both in our bodies and on this planet. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that this is happening right now when the need for healing seems to be so great.

Decoding with Pallas

We also get help from the asteroid of Pallas Athena at 16 degrees Libra, making a T-square to Venus, Sirius and the north node in Cancer and Saturn and the south node in Capricorn. There she can help us to translate and decode what is going on and make it understandable for not just ourselves but also others. So if you are a channeler of some kind, a creative artist, singer, dancer, magician, witch or healer to name a few, making new or ancient knowledge and information available for others, then this is a certainly an exciting event.

Challenging Download

Upgrades in your energy system can sometimes be challenging and uncomfortable with headache, nausea, pain in the body, and a flu-like feeling. If you experience this, what may help is a lot of water, meditation, and sleep. If we think about it smart phones also need to be restarted after an upgrade. It can be very helpful to talk to your body and work with the new healing energy entering the system instead of working against it. And of course also to talk to your spirit guides and ancestors for healing and support. If possible carry a high quality quartz crystal around your neck in the heart area both day and night during this transit. This can assist both the download and integration of the healing energy.

This transit is until the 19th of July. Many Blessings and good luck!

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

Is Art a Living Magick Entity?

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

I’ve been thinking a lot about the spirit of Art—of poetry, graphics, books, and in particular, songs. As an animist at heart, I think even non-tangible things have spirit. While art does not have personhood, does it have spirit-hood? Does that spirit transcend its creator? Does it transcend the creator’s intention and original inspiration?

I remember the debate from poetry class—if a reader got a meaning from a poem separate from the original intention of the author, was that interpretation valid? At the time I was both an aspiring poet and chemistry guy, and I was fighting the math-science guy, who believed that the original author’s interpretation is the only interpretation. He argued that you could have your own idea about a poem’s meaning, but it would be wrong if it were different from the author’s (he was a very binary kinda guy). I remember similar questions in music appreciation class while in college for my music degree (I took a turn from chemistry to voice). Context is important, but songs will often outlive their context, particularly if the theme is ambiguous enough to be open for interpretation. Sometimes the author will unconsciously invoke themes in both the composition and recording style without always intending it. Yet those unfamiliar with such references will not know either. Someone can certainly influence your relationship with a piece of art or music by giving you greater context, but does it fundamentally change your relationship with the art?

I think about the interpretation of songs by different artists and different styles. Once, a friend and I were working on a project, but my friend felt we must be as true to the composer’s intentions as possible by doing only what was on the paper score and nothing more. I tend to have a more fluid approach and find that music, particularly in the context of ritual, will morph with the consciousness of the people performing it, and the more you try to control it, the worse the performance will be.

I think about how creativity lends itself to expanding a piano piece to a full orchestral score. I think about derivative works like parody, sampling, and movie adaptations. Artists copy the greats to learn and then make variations upon a theme. So do musicians. We all learned to take apart songs and then switch major chords to minor to hear the difference.

I think about the realm of folk music traditions, and how basic points stay, but rhythms, melodies, and even lyrics will morph over time with the people who play it. Is the spirit of the piece best served with these new artists, or is it being violated? When Tori Amos talks about her songs as “girls” or that “Cooling” told her to fuck off and that it doesn’t want to be on an album but played live, I get it. I’ve had books be very specific about their release or delay. Once released into the world, will art have its own journey and relationships with people separate from its creator, or will it always tie back to the original artist? The influence of art obviously moves forward in time, but can its effects, like magick, move backward in time to its creator? Can art redeem a flawed creator? Can someone’s interpretation, correct or not, damn an artist retroactively? This can certainly be true socially, but does art influence the artist’s “soul(s)” just as rituals of veneration can elevate the dead in the afterlife?

I think of people who “introduce” new spiritual entities to the world. Most soon lose control of any official voice if the entity is popular, as the entity has its own relationships as it grows more well known. Effective practices and interpretations get passed on, while ineffective ones don’t, at least on a folk level. We could make another argument with institutional religion, but even in those cases, folk practices remain the undercurrent, outside of the institution’s official sanctions.

A witchy science friend shared her idea that the spirit of technology is in the same boat as the spirit of art—teachings move beyond the inventor and have ramifications that could vilify a good inventor with unforeseen uses or possibly increase the good credited to an inventor with a problematic history. Do you junk a technology when the inventor uses questionable or even downright reprehensible methods to get to prove the theory? Or once a technology is out into consciousness, can it be used ethically despite its origins? Should it? Scientists probably have less of a potentially anthropomorphized relationship with their work, but maybe not. I’m imagining Tori Amos as a chemist now….

As my Witchcraft is an art as well as a science and religion, I reflect on the magick in all art, and the level of animated spirit in all art. I think the world is not nearly as simple as we’d want it to be, and I’m all for art breaking away from its creator and finding its own way through time and space, perhaps even surviving the artist’s lifetime.

We at the Temple of Witchcraft have been looking for ways to do outreach so that our more 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 to make them available to all our initiates and friends to join us. Each of spell has the intention of creating a better world for us all. Feel free to join us in this work 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: Apply knowledge with wisdom
    Are you thinking like a witch when it comes to what you are dealing with?
  • Do you back your actions up with spell work and meditation?
  • What comes to your mind when you think about wisdom?
  • Who do you think is wise? What have they taught you? Do you implement this wisdom? Do you embody this wisdom?
  • Do you seek wisdom before you act?
  • What is one step you can take to embody and employ wisdom in your life right now?

Capricorn Full Moon: Crystal Grid for Healing Nature

A crystal grid is a form and placement of crystals using number, crystal quality, energy connection, and intuition to reach a certain intention. Sometimes this arrangement looks a great deal like a crystal mandala. This month our goal is for healing nature around us for our spell for a better world. Since the healing the earth needs in different areas may differ this crystal grid has some parts that are all the same and some that will be up to you intuitively. We will be using the diagram called the Flower of Life, this sacred geometry is a visual representation of the interconnectedness of life and is the seed blueprint of life.

Here is a printable PDF of the Flower of life diagram

In my last post I told you you would need seven quartz crystals. Crystal points work best because you can see which way they project energy but with your intuition you can see the “point” of any quartz crystal. Just use your intuition of what way the crystal flows. One of these quartz crystals goes in the center and may be pointed up. If you have a small crystal ball to place in this spot that will work as well. This is the “key stone” of your grid. The others go at the points of the flower of life diagram pointing out. They point outward to effect the area around you you wish to heal, not all grids do this. The six points are the Framework of this grid. Six points placed in the shape of a Star of David or hexagram is one of the most simple grids for healing.

Once you have all these in place you can choose to just activate it as is or add to it, listening to what the earth needs and adding crystals in places around the flower of life. If you’re going for the latter, bring out your crystals and allow yourself to be open to what is needed and arrange them in response to your intuition. If you don’t like the feeling of the grid, feel free to change it until it feels right to you.

When you feel it is ready, it is time to activate it. Place your hands over the grid and call on the divine to activate this grid with you for healing the earth and nature for the highest good of all concerned harming none. Imagine light flowing down into the grid and through it to the earth, the crystals radiating out the healing to the earth and all of nature. Leave the grid up until you feel its work is done.

Postscript: For next month you will need a piece of paper, a pen, and a place to burn said paper.

The asteroid Juno (love, partnership) is in the sign of Leo. There she is joined by the planets Mercury (communication) and Mars (will, passion). This is a strong trio creating passion, will, and drive. It puts your love life in focus. We will all want more out of our relationships and we are more likely to talk about love within our relationship, but also with others. Juno in the sign of Leo wants to be proud of her partner. She wants to stand side by side with someone with a big heart filled with love and compassion, and she can do almost anything for her partner as long as there is a heart connection and shared values. But if she feels like she is being made a fool, or trust is broken, she will become a lioness and leave the partnership, sometimes suddenly and with a roar!

Wanting more love and passion

The energy of Juno in Leo with both Mars and Mercury can move and shake relationships. Don’t be surprised if you find you want more from your partner. More love, more passion, more fun, and a deeper connection. All of these things are great, but before you go on your quest to change your partner, first take a look at yourself and find your part in it. As the old saying goes, “It takes two to tango”

Leo is about heart and inspiration. So the way to open the heart of the matter is to work with inspiration, joy, and pleasure. Telling your partner that you want to share more love and enjoy more of life together is better than telling them all the things that they do wrong. A Leo who feels ashamed and small is not a happy lion and will not be up for change of any kind. A Leo who feels strong with more love and joy to share will take down the stars for you.

Love connections from the past

The trio of Juno, Mars, and Mercury in Leo is making a big trine in fire to both Chiron in Aries and Ceres in Sagittarius. As soon as we see Chiron in aspect to personal planets, we know there is some serious personal healing going on. Don’t be surprised if you dream about an old lover from the past, or even run into them in person. Even if the relationship was hurtful in some way, perhaps you now have the perspective to look at what you learned from the relationship? What were the hidden gifts you could not see at the time of the breakup? How has this relationship changed you? And perhaps the most important question, how has that relationship made you a better lover and partner today?

Getting your heart broken is never a fun thing. But only the one who has had their own heart broken and been humbled by the experience knows how delicate a heart is, and has the compassion do deal with other loving hearts in a gentle way.

Love Fridays

Friday is ruled by the planet Venus, the planet of love, romance, and relationships. It is connected to love goddesses like Venus, Aphrodite, and the Norse goddess Freya, giving Friday its name. If you want to work on bringing in more love into all areas of your life, you can create “Love Fridays,” not just for you but for your whole family. Bring fresh flowers into the home, cook some food that you love, or bring some take-out food home. Light pink, red, or green candles anointed with essential oils for love. Put on music that makes you feel romantic, good, and happy. I know many families that have come closer together by doing the Love Friday project together. Why not take turns in choosing favorite foods and arranging love playlists? Love and romance is not only for some ages. Everyone can fall in love, no matter what age, and loving yourself is a skill that you are never too young or too old to work on.

You can go as deep into this as you want and use the kind of magick that is close to your heart. If you are a green witch perhaps you will use your skills with flower essences for love in a Friday drink and make the perfect love flower bouquet. If you are a kitchen witch you can put more power into cooking a meal of love and passion. You can also use Love Fridays as an inspiration to explore an area of witchcraft that is not your home court. Exploring and “flirting” with new areas of magick can be exiting and often gives a new spark of passion and inspiration to already known skills.

The transit with Chiron in trine with Juno ends towards the end of July. Wanting more passion and closeness in our love life will continue as long as Juno is in Leo, until the end of August when Juno moves into the sign of Virgo together with the Sun on the 24th of August.

Blessings! And May the gods and goddesses of love shine brightly upon you with compassion and love.

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

Reading for inspiration

  • Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic – Amy Blackthorn
  • Love Magick – Lilith Dorsey
  • The Magick of Flowers – Tess Whitehurst
  • Wicca in the Kitchen – Scott Cunningham
  • The Witch’s Heart – Christopher Penczak

The Lost Art of Magickal Exploration

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

I was taught that Witchcraft is a science, art, and religion, but through its practice, I learned that magick is way of life, a state of being, and most importantly, an adventure. The science, art, and religion were the foundations to learn. The adventure, the journey, was the means by which I could experience magick as a way of life and a state of being. I often tell people we start out by learning magick. We then do magick, putting into practice the ideas we learn. Then we become the magick itself, or rather, we fully realize we always have been, and so has everyone and everything else. While we can understand this idea, we can’t live it and embrace it fully until we go on the journey and travel the path.

Today many people can get too caught up in the public and private recognition of others, or in the collecting of things, be they certificates, initiations, or simply arcane information. A true seeker wants to know everything about everything, but there comes a point where we must digest what we have learned and put it into practice. Sometimes in the quest to find out everything about everything, particularly in this day and age where esoteric information is so abundant and easily accessed, we get distracted from the firsthand knowledge that comes with experience. Even when applying our skills, we can get too enchanted in the process of psychically or magickally impressing other people, particularly doubters. It’s a fun practice, and I must admit I’ve done it in my time, but it should be a phase, not a lifestyle choice.

The basic techniques, when practiced diligently before and beyond the altar and temple room, will teach us directly. When we put them into practice in our daily life, we begin to see the wonder of the subtle world supporting our day-to-day reality. The two are not separate. Whenever and wherever you safely and appropriately can, open all of your senses and look for the patterns and the spiritual forces engaging in the world around you. Do it in cities. Do it in the countryside. Do it in stores and restaurants. Do it at gatherings and rituals. Do it outside your home. Do it at work. Engage your psychic senses when you are witnessing, but not necessarily involved in, dynamic things around you. Observe what a fight looks like psychically. Observe the energies of a loving exchange. Observe what is occurring at your gym. You might be surprised, literally, by what you see. Or perplexed and confused. Or confirmed. But you’ll never know directly unless you engage.

Commune with your allies and guides. Don’t get too caught up, early on, on “serving the gods.” While I think service is great and I dedicate my life to it for spirits, community, and planet, some too quickly get into a master-servant relationship with divinities and mistake it for spiritual growth. From a magickal perspective, a priest/ess is a partner working with, not necessarily serving or recreating old worship patterns. That work has been done, and from a magickal standpoint, there is new work, new ally-ship to be done. Yes, it is rooted in the old, but it isn’t just a repetition of the old. We live in a different age. Speak with your allies. Ask them what work you have together. Let them show you and teach you. Be open. If your only expectation is to recreate old patterns of worship, they’ll oblige, but if you are open to new exploration, they will also oblige. Find inner world healers to help you release and heal. Will they ask you to help them, or other people, or the planet, in exchange? Find teaching spirits to tutor you. While messages of love and forgiveness are wonderful, I’m talking about those that will teach you esoteric techniques not found in any book…yet! Perhaps you’ll be guided to share it with others or write about it. This is how new techniques are best birthed into the world, in cooperation with the other side. Some might be unique to you, but others might be transmission of lost lore, or new lore to help our current generation. They help you pick up old threads and weave new patterns with them, patterns for our current age.

When out and about in a psychically receptive mode of perception, be open to communing with the genius loci, the spirit of the place, and any other entities you encounter. You might take them by surprise because so few people acknowledge them. What is your main spiritual intermediary—guide, go-between, control, familiar, or fetch? Whatever way you categorize it by function, who acts as your intermediary? Ask for information as you observe. Ask your spirit to lend you its perception or awareness. Ask your ally to translate communications between you and unknown spirits. If you want to know about something happening wherever you are, commune with your ally.

Engage in what some would call “psychic questing,” especially in the company of a small, intense group of practitioners. Use the information gained from spirit communion to guide you, like following a trail of breadcrumbs. Interact with the land and the spirits of the past. Engage with sacred sites, old churches, standing stones, and other places of powers. Do so with respect, and always start with the question “Is there any work for us to do together?” and be accepting when the answer more often than not is “no.” Follow up with “May I observe?” and often the answer is yes, as long as you don’t interfere. Such quests sometimes lead into bizarre territory and can reflect far more about the group consciousness than literal truth, even if it’s presenting as objective history with bits that can be verified. But such explorations can often lead to work to heal the land, release spirits in torment, shift an institution, and work with the folk soul of a people and place.

A group setting can be both good verification and support in such psychic questing and prepare you for later “assignments” as a solo magical practitioner. In fact, while coven, lodge, and circle structures are great, unless there are strict rules in your community, don’t be afraid to “play” with others. Yes, magick is an intimate act, and I’m not saying to do deep magick with just anyone, but often a circle of peers across traditions and between communities is a wonderful thing. Like a musician who starts playing guitar in her room, then joins an intense rock band, and then expands outward to play gigs and sessions in a variety of bands, the life of a Witch can be the same. We put a lot of time alone in a room practicing our “chops.” Then we join whatever “band” (aka coven or lodge) we think will “make it” and be our band for life, and sometimes that is true, but more often it is not. Covens, like bands, can disband or even implode in drama, which offers a different type of learning. Then we have a common experience and desire to play in a lot of different projects, some ours, some to help friends and peers as they help us. It can be a wonderful way to learn new things together in a supportive setting, just outside of our expected trajectory, providing a scenic detour that can offer a great education.

Psychically explore the subtle planes of the world you observe. Travel! Journey! Let your allies be your tour guides and take you places on and off the familiar maps. Ask questions of your allies and request to be shown how, and where, and why. You’ll find not everything is written about in the myths or found in the Shamanic Tree or Qabalistic glyphs. Of course, it is somewhere, just not a place easily described by our current maps of reality. This is good. Find places somewhat beyond human consciousness. Observe. Interact when appropriate. While you approach, do so with caution and respect, but don’t be so cautious that you will not be willing to make a mistake, get lost, or get hurt. Just like life, those are a part of learning too. We try to minimize them, but if we play it totally one-hundred-percent safe, we would never leave our houses. Life and magick both contain risk. Be sensible, but also be adventuresome. Explore and play along in addition to being disciplined and pious. The playfulness might get you as far, maybe even farther, than the strict discipline, at least after you’ve put in some time being disciplined enough to learn the basic skills. Stretching beyond the familiar territory builds a level of spiritual “muscle,” strengthening the light body to hold more and more consciousness, a key to our evolution.

For some wise magicians and Witches out there, this is all common, basic sense. Who isn’t doing these things? You might be surprised. Some get stuck in what they are taught and never dare to go beyond it, looking to earn the approval of teachers, yet this art of exploration was common amid my teachers and in my own life. Somehow, unfortunately, this practice has gotten lost along the way for many people seeking to stay within the “lines” of their book or tradition, or stay in their “lane” and not mess with forces they feel are beyond them. Do as you Will, but do so because it’s your choice to do so amid all the possibilities, rather than a choice made out in ignorance. Know that it is all possible, and not either-or. Know that you can have a unique path while simultaneously participating in a system, tradition, or community. The exploration, along with progress in a training program or tradition, will be the combination that can really promote your magical development and spiritual evolution. A regular deep practice with a large portion of it devoted to being guided by allies and exploring things off the books has been key for me. It’s also been key to have mentors, peers, and teachers who could affirm and confirm and challenge my explorations in educated, heartfelt conversations.

All of the above assumes you have the basic foundation and training to approach these things with common sense. You know how to enter in and out of trance; you’ve opened to psychic perception without being overwhelmed, you know how to ground, shield, and center; you have an effective guardian spirit ally and know how to operate and offer respect in the spirit world; and you have the common sense and intuition to know when to get out and when you are over your head. Don’t try to run before you can walk. If you don’t have all of these things under your belt, work on that first and then engage in the lost art of magickal exploration!

Temple Astrolog: Play Nice and Fair

We all know that we should do it, right? Play nice and fair. But sometimes it is harder to do what we know is the right thing to do. Right now Mars (will) and Mercury (communication) are in the sign of Cancer (relationships, family, feelings). Cancer is a water sign and is very loving and friendly, usually. But, when they feel threatened or not well-treated they can get really defensive and also cruel. Yes, they can but they would never admit it. When they feel like they are under attack they can either withdraw inside their shell, or use their claws and give a good pinch or two. But we still love you anyway.

So what could make us all become more defensive right now? Both Mars and Mercury are now in opposition (challenge) to Pluto (death and transformation) in Capricorn. All planets that Pluto touches gets more depth, drama, and intensity. That means that will (Mars) and communication (Mercury) are very intense right now. Pluto can make Mercury’s communication like a laser beam of truth. But here it is important to stop and breathe for a while and think before you act (Mars) or speak (Mercury) to avoid hurting someone.

But they started it, and it really hurts!

Being an adult and being wise are not the easiest things when Cancer and Capricorn are in conflict with each other. Cancer is cardinal water, a leading sign, and Capricorn is cardinal earth also a leading sign. Both want to be right and both want to lead. When they get hurt, Cancer has a “hard shell” and Capricorn has a “hard horn” on his head. Well, you get the picture. This can get ugly if there is a chance for stubbornness to set in. This goes for people of all ages.

As a parent, it is also good to know what battles to fight and which ones are not important at the end of the day. Remember that children and animals cannot choose their environment like adults can. They have no choice but to go where we go. This is a period with a lot of tension and the potential for violence and conflict is in the air and in the collective field. Sensitive beings, especially animals and children, pick that up really easily. What we can do to assist them is to work with our craft, eliminate harmful energies and create peaceful ones. This is the right time to pick up that crystal grid for peace and harmony and work on your district and neighborhood.

Complicated family gatherings

This aspects can make the summer family gatherings heaven or hell, depending on the mood of the day. Cancer is very much connected to different moods. Capricorn can also decide to be dull and not give away anything to anyone. If you have relatives who have not spoken in ten years, now is maybe not the best time to try to change that.

If you are an event coordinator or just planning the family picnic, my advice is to have good and fun distractions. Have many options for what to do. Dividing the party into different groups and activities can be helpful. Don’t plan on doing anything for to long. Break up the party in time. Venus is now in the sign of Gemini and that could potentially lighten things up a bit making people more open to new ideas and conversations.

Working with the color pink is helpful when working with groups and family activities to bring in more love and compassion, but pink is also known as the great releaser and now we are dealing with a barrel of potential gunpowder. So I would mix up the pink with a lot of green. Green gives space and is an antidote for claustrophobic feelings witch is easy to get if you are sensitive person trapped in a complicated situation with many people.

This transit ends around the 7th of July, when both Mars and Mercury have moved into the sign of Leo and at safe distance from Pluto.

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

We at the Temple of Witchcraft have been looking for ways to do outreach so that our more 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 to make them available to all our initiates and friends to join us. Each of spell has the intention of creating a better world for us all. Feel free to join us in this work 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: Apply knowledge with wisdom
    Are you thinking like a witch when it comes to what you are dealing with?
  • Do you back your actions up with spell work and meditation?
  • What comes to your mind when you think about wisdom?
  • Who do you think is wise? What have they taught you? Do you implement this wisdom? Do you embody this wisdom?
  • Do you seek wisdom before you act?
  • What is one step you can take to embody and employ wisdom in your life right now?

Sagittarius Full Moon: Petition to Generate Generosity and Good Works

For this spell, you will need a piece of paper, a pen, a safe place to work and a fire-safe container. The intention of this spell is to generate generosity and good works throughout our world community. As with any spell, we must take some action to put it into motion. The gods may call on you to offer something back to the community. Know that as you give, you will receive back threefold. Write out on your piece of paper a petition. You can write it out like the following, or change it to be one of your own making:

I, (your name) ask in the name of the Great Goddess, Great God, and Great Spirit to have the aid of all the Gods and spirits to promote Generosity and Good works in the hearts and minds of my fellow humans. May they see as I do that our work in this world is sacred and our offerings to others are sacred service to humanity and the divine. I thank the divine for all favors in my life and ask that this manifest only for the highest good, with free will to all, harming none. So mote it be!

In circle, read the petition aloud three times. Put it into your fire-safe container. If you want you can burn it after circle for fire safety or during circle if your space allows. Be mindful of smoke detectors! Raise the cone of power, then cross your hands over your heart in the God position. Wait for a message of how you can engage in generosity or good works to promote this spell.

Post script: For our next spell, you will need seven quartz crystals. Points are preferable, but use what you have.

Lilith Black Moon has entered into the sign of Pisces. Wherever Lilith Black Moon is present she creates a shadow place, a point where we cannot see with our eyes but must learn to use and trust our inner senses. To learn how to see in the dark and use our psychic powers.

When Lilith Black Moon is in Pisces we are out in deep waters and things gets both more complicated and interesting at the same time. On a collective plane we all dive deep into the Mysteries without map or compass. If we dare to do this “mystery dive” with our hearts and minds open we may encounter deep wisdom, spirits, and knowledge that we never dreamed existed. And if we did, we never expected to be able to communicate with it. For someone working in the spiritual field these are exiting times. Dreams and visions easily accessed. The potential of a full dreaming Journal with golden seeds for the future.

The danger of deep waters

The challenge with night dives, like all nighttime activities, is that you do not see your surroundings clearly and that you mind can easily play tricks on you. This is a transit of mystery and wisdom, but it is also a transit of deep shadow work and illusions.

This is a time when it is good to work with people you trust. Share your visions and insights even if they seem weird and strange. The opposite sign of Pisces is Virgo (earth, analysis, practical know-how). Use the Virgo energy to bring it down, or in this case bring it up from the waters. Write it down, analyze, think, and then let it go. Time will tell what do to with it. Just as some energies from above are not meant to be held in a human and physical body for a longer time, neither are energies from the deep waters.

Different kinds of service

The sign of Pisces is connected to spiritual service and through this transit you may find yourself doing just that, in an unusual way. You may suddenly find yourself taking care of the neighbor’s cat for a week and you don’t like cats, or you are allergic to cats, but somehow there you are and then it turns out that the cat is really nice and helps you to deepen your spiritual practice. Who would have guessed that?

People born with Lilith Black Moon in Pisces or the 12th house (ruled by Pisces) are often natural channelers. They have the ability to allow a higher force to enter into their bodies in a trance state. This can be as musicians, dancers, artists, ceremonialists, or mediums. This transit can increase the ability to do so, but as always, it is good to use discernment and common sense when working with the spiritual world.

How much do you need to know and is it helpful to you?

As with all shadow work Lilith Black Moon brings things up an out in the open, but with Pisces there is just no bottom to reach because the water is so deep. So the question is how deep do you need do go? Do you need to go there at all? Let’s say that you find out your partner is having an affair and has done so for quite a while. Does it help you to investigate every detail of the affair? Will all the information help you or will it only hurt you more? Perhaps you have enough information to decide to move on to something better.

Or Let’s say that you find out that your boss is talking badly about you behind your back. Does every detail of what they said really matter? Or is it both energy and time saving to just decide to get another job?

The thing is, what Lilith Black Moon shows us is not anything new. It has been there for some time, but we have not been able to get a grip on it before.

All water signs have a challenge to let go of what has been and during this transit we all get a chance to practice that.

Practical self-Love

The antidote for getting lost or drowning in the watery world of Pisces we find in the opposite sign of earthly Virgo. To practice self-love and self-care is always good and important. But here during this transit we are talking about it as a survival skill. Indulge in long walks, luxurious bubble baths and delicious cups of tea and days off from work and family. Yes, I did say family as well. Make it to something you do and make it very practical and earthly. It’s not just about talking nice to yourself, because that is an air thing. Earth is about doing things for yourself in the physical world.

In this stressful world with unrealistic expectations of how we should be, look, think, and behave I find that practicing self-love is quite a rebellious act, and I like it.

This transit will last until the beginning of February 2020. Wishing you the best of luck.

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

If You Meet Hecate on the Road…Kill Her?

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

“If you meet Hecate on the road…kill her.” Sounds rather harsh. “Don’t you love Hecate, Christopher?” Yes, I do. “Then why would you advocate her murder?” Well, I don’t think for a moment that I, or you, can kill Hecate, but I think our ideas, our certainties, around the mystery and manifestation of the gods can be detrimental to our growth, and it’s only been getting worse in modern Paganism and Witchcraft.

I am sure many of you recognize this as a play on the Zen Buddhist koan “If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.” This popular variation comes from the original “If you meet the Buddha, kill him.” Attributed to the founder of the Rinzai sect, Master Linji, it doesn’t advocate murder but instead encourages us to destroy our preconceived idea of the Buddha and return to the practice. Anything we can conceive as clear and complete about Buddhahood is by its very nature unclear and incomplete, for according to the Tao Te Ching, “the Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” If you think you have it all figured out, you are just showing that you don’t. Can you realize that and keep moving toward truth?

When we get fixated on our idea of a thing, we stop experiencing it as it is. Today we can easily quote facts and sources, yet still fail to digest and integrate all the knowledge. We regurgitate others’ opinions in an effort to “win” instead of soul searching our own beliefs and realizing it is a never-ending quest.

This happens in Witchcraft. Sometimes we elevate a teacher or elder to this status of ideal. We seek to be a Witch like them rather than our most perfected self. Better to do your Dharma, your will and work, imperfectly than to do another’s Dharma perfectly.

Sometimes we fixate upon a tradition, a system, or a specific culture and time period. We think we have found “it,” yet our “it” can never be someone else’s. These things provide an initial framework and can support you, but you must experience their techniques and not get too lost in their identity or history. We are all seeking that simple thing that will end the quest, but the quest is never ending as long as you are in flesh.

And sometimes we fixate upon a deity. While any deity can be worthy of veneration and relationship, the mystical, magickal priesthood has a different relationship with the divine than the pious religionist. We seek the mystery embodied in the god. The past and present manifestation of the gods are helpful, but the god-human relationship, and therefore the manifestation, is ever changing. We often fixate and pin ourselves on the most recent manifestation, which can help for a time, but then hinder.

I seek Hecate as Witch Queen and Cosmic World Soul. Ideas around her have changed over the centuries and are changing again. Can you pin down definitively what she is? I don’t think so. The past can indicate the current arc but the deity, ideally like us, is moving. While the mystery behind the deity is eternal and is what we seek, the form is our interface. As we individually and collectively change, so will the form. A religion or god that fails to change to address the changing needs of the people will calcify or whither.

Those who seek to fix the god to the past–or worse yet, police others’ experiences and ideas—have met the Buddha on the road. They will either becomes fascinated with their idea and never go further on their own unique path, or they will kill the Buddha, the Hecate, the Witch, and return to the magick. The god, or idea, that needs to be policed or defended in such a way is not worthy. The powers make themselves known, albeit slowly across time. Those powers that are defending and policed by orthodoxy become monsters.

We may need to “kill” in such a way many times upon our spiritual path. The ability to release our certainty to the mystery is key to our magickal evolution, so be prepared to release and you will find things you cannot yet imagine. Do not be daunted. We often say the crooked path is one of healing and hexing, curing and cursing; it also requires killing. Realize the most necessarily killing is of our internal beliefs, ideas, and images that no longer serve and limit us. Be bold! And kill the orthodox ideal to find the mystery hidden within.

The Crooked Path

by Ashara Mayim

This past Yule, I had the opportunity to visit the Thunderdome and make ornaments to offer to the large tree on display in Old Gretna. As many activities during the holiday season, it was an evening filled with laughter, warmth, and the joy of being together. We talked about our ornaments and their correspondences as we lovingly crafted our offerings to the newborn sun god. It was a precious memory I will treasure forever… but not for the reasons you might think. What made that evening unique wasn’t the laughter, the music, the warmth and the wine. It wasn’t being with my chosen family or the heartfelt hugs I got from Tabitha. It was what came after that froze that evening in my memory forever. Because after the love, the joy, and the warmth, there was the cold. There was pain.

We had an unusually cold winter in New Orleans this year. Surely you remember the ice falling from the sky and the city shutting down due to the frigid temperatures. I am quite sure Pete and Renee did not mean to schedule our crafting extravaganza on a night where it was in the low 40’s, but there we were: wine in one hand, ornaments in the other, braving the chilling winds to offer our ornaments to the newborn sun king.

Sometimes, hard things get easier as you go. When I work out, I hit my stride as I warm up and I can relax into the movement. The hardest part of cleaning my house and doing dishes is convincing myself to get up and get started. Walking in the freezing cold, I can tell you with absolute certainty, does not get easier.

It doesn’t seem very far from the Thunderdome to the tree in Old Gretna when you drive. It’s one minute, perhaps two, to get there. But when you are walking in just above-freezing weather in only a light jacket and a Mardi Gras cup full of Reisling to warm your steps, it is a significantly daunting task.

“This isn’t so bad,” I remember commenting when we first stepped out into the night air. I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation, only that at first it was loud and jovial. We exchanged playful barbs at each other, talked about who would run out of wine first, and teased Pete for insisting we walk. As the cold began to bite our skin and chap our lips, though, the conversation tapered off. When our muscles began to tremble and we watched clouds of breath billow out from between our trembling lips, all I could think was, is this really worth it? How much further? All I want is to go inside. The warm house I had left in favor of this journey consumed my thoughts. My body hurt so much. Did I really want to give my gift this badly? But then it hit me.

The ornament was not my gift. My suffering was my gift.

And it was through that pain I found a deeper mystery hidden in this experience. The Sun God that night taught me about balance, polarity, and acceptance of my own situation. It isn’t about resisting the pain and wishing for something different. It’s about finding the beauty and wisdom in what is presented to me, no matter how painful. As I stood before the tree, offering my ornament to the child of light, I felt hot tears of gratitude land on my cheeks and grow cold with the wind. And even in the stinging of tears on my cheeks, I relished in the experience. I accepted the pain. I allowed it to teach me, and I am all the better for it.

As a culture, we shun pain. We run from it like the plague. If it’s unpleasant, we reason, it must be bad. “If it’s not fun,” everyone insists, “then why are you doing it?” I see it in pagan circles as much as I see it in mainstream society. “Beware of your shadow! You must overcome it!” “I banish all negativity from my life!” “I’m sick! Send healing!” I see pagans speaking about balance in their lives, yet at the same time they strive to escape unpleasantness of pain and suffering. They forget that both are necessary if they are truly seeking fulfillment and enlightenment in their lives.

We ask for “love and light,” but do we ever take a moment to embrace the darkness in which we find ourselves? Do we ever take a deep breath and simply sit with our feelings, no matter how unpleasant they may be? Shadow work is spoken of in pagan circles with trepidation and hushed whispers. We say we believe that we are expressions of the divine and that all is holy, but do we live our lives as though that is true? Can we accept that those “ugly” parts of us embodied by the shadow are just as sacred as the faces we present to the world?

I see so many witches standing in one spot. “I must remain in the light! I must live from a place of love! I invite only prosperity, only health, only pleasure into my life and banish all else!” But that is not balance. That is stagnation. All things have opposite extremes. The secret to balance is not staying in the middle, but swinging like a pendulum. We must always move, always push the boundaries, always grow…and always accept those experiences. We walk the crooked path. This is the way of Wisdom. This is the way of the Witch.

Life springs from the darkness of the womb of the Great Mother. Even in the heat of the June afternoon, we can hear the slightest whisper of darkness and cold. It is our job as witches to walk the world between. Learn the secrets in things unpleasant and unexpected and relish the blessings you find along the journey.

Blessed be, travelers.

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