Article

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

“As above, so below” we say to guide our magick. “As within, so without” is the maxim to help us in knowing ourselves. We can understand ourselves better by looking at the world, and understand the world better but looking at how our body consciousness responds to the world. A big part of my job as a Witch is working with individuals, seeing clients for readings and healing work, examining the forces and dynamics of pressure affecting them in their day-to-day life, and figuring out the root issues and remedies for them, be they in this life or another. I’ve noticed a deep link between the conditions of our society and the conditions of our overall health. People’s individual health can act as a barometer for the greater conditions of the world, if we choose to look within/without and above/below.

As a practitioner of magick and Witchcraft, one of the things you can become quite sensitive to is the power of group consciousness. Magickal groups such as covens and circles gather together and share a collective power, but they also process a collective burden, creating one of the factors that reveal strains in magickal groups today, as many people don’t realize you often share the good and the difficult. We choose to participate in covens, but there are a lot of group energy dynamics that are inherent and unconscious. Most noticeable is the group energy of regions, often publicly exhibited by their sports teams, accents, linguistic idioms, and folk customs; it is the same with nations. Overall these groups inhabit a collective consciousness in the world that history would divide into two major zones—the Eastern and Western worlds—a division that ignores the cultural and consciousness distinctions of indigenous people who don’t quite fit into the historic narrative of East-West dichotomies (though there are interesting parallels to make between the earth and the structure of the brain, with its two major hemispheres and their archetypal associations, and how many parts of the brain, like many other cultures in the world, do not fit neatly within either). We can look in general to the “modern” world—both east and west, and the shared group consciousness developing through global economics, technology, and media—and in it, see some of the pathologies, and hopefully remedies, that through the powers of Witchcraft can create change on all levels.

The first of the conditions I see affecting so many people is the addiction to stimulation overall, particularly through our social media. People are on a constant stream of text, images, sound, all forms of information, at all hours of the day. Our eyes in particular are overstimulated, disrupting our rhythms and sleep patterns. It is overwhelming, but there is also a fear of “missing out” if one doesn’t stay on top of the flow. We will be “disconnected” from not only what is going on, but from our friends. Speaking deeper to that, there is a deep need for validation coming from these practices, as people share and seek “likes” indicating approval or acceptance. Posting and checking posts become almost Pavlovian, except that instead of a bell, it’s more like a button that stimulates the response. Scientists are doing studies on how brain chemistry is affected by social media, how we become stimulated by our online presence, often mistaking posting about something as actually doing something. It is these shifts in brain chemistry that possibly cause the physical addiction issues, but it’s really the psychological habits, and the deep soul’s needs, that are found under it. This speaks to our need to belong, to feel accepted and supported, and we are willing to accept an overt sign measured in clicks rather than foster the deeper responses that in one-on-one or small-group relationships can truly provide support.

The remedy for this overstimulation is knowing the ebb and flow of rest, of when to use the tool and when to put down the tool rather than be controlled by it. Rest is the tide of day and night, of wake and sleep, of activity and of dream. Somewhere between the two is the world of imagination, letting the images and ideas rise up from within you, rather than be provided by social media content. Another remedy is stimulating your imagination and discovering what inspires you through artistic expression instead of only passively engaging in media. Media fasts can stimulate the imagination and give us time and space to explore our own creativity. The deeper medicine is in establishing and evolving core relationships where you feel both supported and accepted and can offer that acceptance to others.

Practice: Start by honoring the four times of the day—sunrise/waking, noon, sunset, and midnight/slumber. Take a few moments at these four points to attune to the tide of the day. Don’t make checking your phone or computer the first thing you do. Take a moment to tune in before anything else. Take breaks throughout the day, but particularly at noon, perhaps before lunch, and at sunset, and observe and feel the shift going on in the land and planet where you are. Reflect before bedtime, or take some time to collect thoughts in your journal or have a more formal meditation or ritual. As you learn to honor the tides of rest and wake, let images, ideas, and thoughts stir from your inner worlds and imagination. See daydreaming and fantasy as something sacred. Sure, it can be a part of “creative visualization,” but not all such acts need to be empowered by specific goals. Enjoy the act of imagination for the sake of the imagination.

An even more serious concern that overstimulation is the rampant rise of more and more mysterious autoimmune diseases, particularly around chronic inflammation. While there are a wide variety of theories to root causes, depending on the particulars of the symptoms, we have an ever-growing inflamed society on all levels. I feel it growing more and more in current political crisis. If we look at our own anger around the injustices of the world as we perceive them, we are constantly outraged. To not be outraged can often feel like being complicit. As an old college friend’s t-shirt read, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”: such sentiment can feel very true when faced with the horrible situations manifest in the world. Yet to be constantly outraged is a recipe for a terrible life. Joy must be found somewhere. As if each of us is a cell in the immune system of the world, humanity itself is suffering overall from a chronic psychic inflammation and giving that same condition to the planet. As we experience it in the mental-emotional-astral level, we manifest it in our bodies. Usually inflammation comes from an over-reaction to the immune response. We are trying to heal the world, but our response is not effective, and the disproportional response without a useful plan of action for change is only making the situation worse. As in the very nature of autoimmune disease, we are attacking ourselves, as expressions of humanity and of nature. We fight amongst ourselves as people, and we wreck our environment, thinking it is something separate from us. So our own bodies are attacking ourselves.

While I never wish to be complicit, we must balance our emotional reactions—and especially our overreactions—by seeking what good can be done here and now, and what good can be planned for in the long term. Then we must do it. But trying to do all the things to bring justice at once, without coordination or cooperation, is detrimental to ourselves personally and doesn’t help the greater good. If I can’t do something about a particular injustice, I have every right to feel angry, upset, hurt, and frustrated, but I cannot set up shop there and live from that place of feeling angry, because then I won’t then be able to do the things I am actually capable of doing for the greater good. As any mystic or meditator will tell you, it’s understanding the difference between reaction (characterized by our wild outrage) and our response, which will harness our outrage to better use, or sometimes even bypass the outrage into the action itself.

Since so much of this is happening on the emotional spectrum, I, as a Witch, find watching the patterns of the Moon, with its four phases and twelve signs each month, and its yearly cycle of twelve to thirteen full Moons, deeply helpful in becoming aware of both my reactions and responses. That awareness helps me choose which reactions I want to work with and which ones I am okay letting flow. I can’t necessarily be perfect in all things, so awareness of all the facets of my emotions can help me better understand my patterns, what pushes my buttons, and what lunar times I’m most vulnerable to overreaction. My family marks their calendars when the Moon is in Cancer, as evidently I can be quite difficult during that time. Cancer is my rising sign, and I am more likely to direct this difficulty outwardly. When the Moon is in my natal Moon sign of Virgo, I’m more withdrawn and not likely to cause problems for others. That wonderful feedback was hard to hear from my loved ones, but now that I know, I can make myself more aware of my behavior and choose better before I escalate. My responses are my responsibility. With this awareness, I can better navigate the world of politics, community, and culture too.

Practice: Keep a Moon journal. If you are already keeping a journal—as in the Morning Pages exercise from The Artist’s Way, a classic book by author Julia Cameron, or the popular “bullet journaling” of today—make note of the Moon’s sign and your experiences throughout the day. Were you reactive? Proactive? Optimistic? Depressed? Angry? Flighty? Notice a pattern of peak power times to accomplish things, times to rest or relax, and times to pause and reflect. Keep note of them, which should help you avoid overreaction and choose some simple time to be more effective. As you develop this knowledge, you might want to go deeper into understanding astrology and magickal timing in general, including learning about your own chart and sharing that information with the people around you, if they are open to such.

Lastly, and most detrimental in the long term, is this economic myth of unlimited growth. With it comes the model of unlimited consumption in modern capitalist theory. Where does that happen in nature? Nowhere, you might be tempted to say, but you’d be wrong. It does happen in nature. It happens in cancer. Cancer is unlimited cell growth going wild, beyond any healthy “pattern,” to form benign and malignant tumors, with malignant tumors interfering with other body processes and taking resources needed from vital systems. The cancer itself will continue to consume all that is being taken in, to feed itself instead of allowing the healthy parts of the body to feed, eventually becoming more aggressive.

In a world where our economic model is based upon the natural model of cancer, it is easy to see why we are both destroying our biosphere and each other, and why humanity’s own bodies appear to be suffering an epidemic of malignant cancers. One might reason we have better science to identify the factors of illness, and what was once classified as “death by old age” is classified as a specific cause of death, and that our detection of cancers that have always been there has improved, but I have to say in just my lifetime, people seem less happy, satisfied, and generally sicker if they have not found a personal breakthrough in terms of their personal journey. That is not to say that spiritual, magickal people don’t get cancer. They do. But without that personal breakthrough, I tend to observe a general wearing away from the expectations of life—such as doing a job you don’t like or taking on responsibilities to economically survive to the detriment of personal satisfaction. And upon retirement, the stress catches up and illness manifests.

Now I know many of my metaphysical friends who also teach about prosperity and abundance are probably a little mad at me, thinking “of course there is unlimited prosperity” and are offended I compared the idea to cancer. Well, they are right too. In nature, the only healthy unlimited force would be the Sun. Even when it sets from our perspective, it is eternally shining forth. Do we know our star will eventually collapse? Yes, but for all practical personal purposes, it is unlimited for us. Yet the unlimited and eternal nature of the Sun speaks to an unlimited spiritual, intangible, energetic reality, and not necessarily a tangible financial one. The Sun will continue to shine on a tree, but a tree, no matter how old it gets, has a life cycle of seed, seedling, maturity, elderhood, and death. A tree that succumbs to decay did not have a moral or spiritual fault. Yet the actions of humanity are speeding up the loss of many species of plants and animals, which does have a moral and spiritual fault. While the energy of the Sun is unlimited abundance, it manifests in cycles and seasons in which we perceive night, winter, endings, and darkness as well. This is a part of life. Our society, like the tree, cannot be in a perpetual state of ripe fruit, and neither can we. The tree that is eternally in simultaneous flower and fruit exists outside of time, in the realm of faery, not humanity.

As the Sun shows us both the possibility of unlimited energy and the limits found in the cycles of physicality, we look to the cycles of the Sun and the Earth, our Wheel of the Year, to help regenerate. Today many Witches are not fans of the Wheel of the Year, feeling cut off from our agrarian and hunter-gatherer roots that play such a strong role in our mythos. Global weather shifts have created places that do not experience four seasons, and in truth, many places never did. Yet there is an underlying astrological reality of energy at the root of the mythos. The sabbats are determined by the sign of the Sun, as the solar holidays occur when the Sun shifts from a mutable sign to a cardinal sign, starting the astrological season, and the fire festivals occur in the midst of a fixed sign, the peak of the astrological season. English folklore considers the solstices to be the midpoints, and in the yearly cycle, they are, but astrologically each initiates winter and summer. Looking for the flow of the stars, through the Sun and Moon to the Earth, can be very helpful to us in times when even the weather and seasons are stressfully inconsistent. In some older traditions, it was both the Witches’ responsibility to turn the seasons, and to “recharge” and regenerate their power at these points. Regeneration of our own cells, realigning them with the cycles of life and death, and regeneration of our own being, as cells within the body of Earth, can help us stem the desire of unnecessary consumption and unlimited growth, and return back to the spirit of the agricultural seasons of birth, life, death, and rebirth, for these are the great mysteries of our Craft.

Practice: Celebrate either the four seasons of the year, the eight sabbats of the modern Witch, or the twelve zodiac signs with simple rituals to regenerate and renew yourself. Take the time to align with the spirit of the season. As much as you can, purposely book fewer events during the winter season. Take the time to be less social and more solitary. Plan on being busier in the spring and fall, as they are our planting and harvesting seasons. As much as possible, eat in alignment with what is naturally and locally available to you. At the actual holidays, do rituals to not only bless the world and turn the Wheel, but to take in energy for yourself and your own healing and regeneration. One of my primary spiritual practices is potions in the forms of teas, tinctures, and flower essences. For every sabbat cycle, I have drawn a tarot card, giving me advice for that eighth of the year, and using that and the natural energy of the season and zodiac signs, I compose an herbal formula to keep me steady. Even if I am unable to do anything spiritual that day, I take my remedy or make my tea and remind myself of the time and place I am in, and what I am working on to regenerate myself.

So as I contemplate our relationship to the group consciousness of our magickal groups, communities, regions, nations, and the world, and our current state of health, I like to keep these three “R’s” in mind as I engage. We live in a modern world, and there are many things I absolutely love about it. I love the ability to communicate with loved ones and travel the world. I love the access of information we have. But as I navigate it, I find my experience enhanced more when I take time to rest, respond appropriately, and regenerate through the paths of the day, month, and year.

Being a healer is for many a calling from deep within. Perhaps even as a child you felt the need to save animals of all sorts and sizes and support family and friends in need. As a healer, you have the need to help in your heart. Most times this is a wonderful experience, sometimes it is something that can get you into both pain and trouble, but as a natural healer you can’t stop searching for ways to help.

In the world of astrology, the planet Chiron (Chiron is after many debates now considered to be both a planet and a comet) is perhaps the planet most suitable to describe the complexity both of being a healer and the healing process itself.

Chiron the Wounded Healer

Chiron is many times referred to as the wounded healer. Chiron in myth was the teacher of the children of the gods, a master of hunting, medicine, warfare and astrology. He was the teacher of Achilles, Jason, Hercules, Peleus, and many other heroes and warriors. His grandparents are Uranus (father of the sky) and Gaia (mother earth). His parents are Kronos (Saturn) and Philyra, a water nymph. He is a centaur, half man and half horse and through his parents he is also a combination of earth and sea.

One of the stories about how Chiron was hurt is the he was accidently wounded by one of Herakles’ arrows, poisoned with Hydra venom. He was hit in the leg and the pain was enormous. If he had been mortal he would have died, but being an immortal he did not. He was instead stuck between life and death. No matter how much Chiron learned about medicine and healing he could not completely heal himself. In the end Chiron gave up his immortality and then his half-brother Zeus placed him among the stars in the constellation of Saggitarius.

Chiron in the Natal Chart

In the personal astrology chart Chiron shows where we have a wound that needs healing on a deep level. It is an area in our lives where we search for healing again and again and, like Chiron himself, there is no complete cure. What we can gain from trying is not just more skill and knowledge, but hopefully also more humility and wisdom. The pain may never go away completely, but we can get better and we can, by our own experience, teach others to do the same to a degree that we become teachers and leaders in that area.

Examples: A man with Chiron in his 6th house (Virgo, health, earth) was born with severe scoliosis. Through sacro-cranial treatment at an early age he became better and when he got older he could perform sport at a high level. He later became a sacro-cranial teacher himself, devoted to helping young patients.

A woman with Chiron in her 3rd house (Gemini, speech, learning, air) had speech impediments and stuttered as a child. Today she is a university teacher and a professional speaker.

A man with Chiron in his 8th house (Scorpio, death, ancestors, water) was born in a family with abuse in many generations. He himself became a sex-addict. Today he is sober and is working as a shamanic healer.

A young woman with Chiron in her 5th house (Leo, artistry, fire) was bullied a lot at school. She was different with a loud voice and a lot of energy. Today she is an artist and a singer.

For all these people, the wound is still there to some degree. The man with scoliosis has to exercise every day to keep his body in balance. The speaker has to talk slow and take her time. The shamanic healer is waking up every morning making a decision to be sober and the singer still has to work on knowing that it is okay to light up a room.

Through their healing journey, they have become wiser and they are all great healers helping others. We all have Chiron somewhere in our chart. Some more and others less, but it is still there and if we dare to follow the pain and work on healing it, we can become wiser and more complete.

When the Path of the Healer Changes

As a healer it is important to know what it was that made you follow the path in the first place. What personal pain is it that you are trying to heal? “As you heal others, you heal yourself, and as you heal yourself, you heal others.” But what happens when something is healed? Are you ready to let go of it? Are you ready to move ahead to another calling? Or will you hold on to what is known? As Chiron moved in February 2019 to the next sign, the sign of Aries, we are all asked that question.

When Chiron Changes Signs

Unlike other planets, Chiron’s obit is unique and erratic. It spends more time in some signs than others. It can be between 2.5 years to 8 or 9 years. He spends the longest in Pisces and Aries. Chiron always makes a return to the same position every 50-51 years. When Chiron moves to another sign, it is always a change for everyone, but especially for everyone involved in healing work. As a healer it means that the big “healing theme” changes.

Chiron in Pisces from about 2010 until now in 2019 has been teaching us many things. Chiron in Pisces is connected to being part of something larger. To fuse ourselves with others and connect with others on a deeper and bigger plane. Chiron in Pisces can find healing by meditating in larger groups, singing mantras in a big retreat centre, dancing with others in a giant stadium, connecting with the whole world through Instagram. Connecting with the greater mind through mindfulness. For Chiron in Pisces, being a part of something and being there can be more important than the personal gain or insights.

The Need for a Personal Experience

The move to Aries is a big change. Aries is about finding out “who am I?” Finding bliss and meaning through other people does not usually work well for Aries. It has to be a personal experience. Chiron in Aries can feel more lost in a crowd. What does this mean to me? How can this help me? Why do I not feel what all the others seem to be feeling?

As healers this may mean that we have to change perspective from the collective to the personal. It can mean that we will have empty big classrooms and yoga retreats because what clients and students are searching for now is a more personal interaction and a more personal experience. It can mean wanting a more personal interaction with the teacher, but perhaps more that the experience itself needs be direct and unique.

What is Spirit saying directly to me? What can I do to make the world a better place? How can I change things? This may mean spiritual practices more directed towards personal growth and personal experiences will grow and ones directed towards the masses will loose students and followers.

The Challenge as a Healer

A challenge with Chiron in Pisces is the theme of self-sacrifice. You are doing something for the greater good because if you are not doing it, then who will? This way of thinking may or may not have influenced you to stay in service for a long time. Perhaps organizing events, being a leader or teaching something for a long time. Now, as Chiron moves into Aries, you are challenged by questions like: How are you growing in this environment? How is your healing developing? Are you happy and excited about the future?

If not, perhaps it is time to leave the situation to move ahead to the next adventure. Because Pisces is the 12th of the Zodiac signs, and Aries is the 1st, it is always a kind of death and rebirth when a heavenly body moves from Pisces to Aries. This can mean that the upcoming adventure with Chiron moving from Pisces into Aries is bigger and more different than you could imagine, should you choose to embark on the journey.

The healer is who you are, not what you do

In this time of change it is important to remember that being a Healer is who you are, not necessary what you do. If you are growing, blooming, and being happy more healing energy flows through you no matter where you are and what you are doing. If you are unhappy, but staying out of obligation and self-sacrifice you are not only hurting yourself, you are also not operating at your highest healing potential.

Chiron will stay in Aries until 2027, so we will have some time to figure this out, but Aries is a warrior and not known for having patience, so we can expect both drastic and rapid changes once the new direction is set. The sign of Aries is ruled by the planet Mars (power, energy, speed). With Chiron in Aries healing the sacred masculine will also be a big theme.

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

Suggested Reading About Chiron

  • Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow
  • Chiron and the Healing Journey by Melanie Reinhart
  • Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs by Melanie Reinhart

Details About Chiron

Apr 17, 2018: Aries
Sep 25, 2018: Retrogrades into Pisces
Feb 18, 2019: Aries
Jun 19, 2026: Taurus
Sep 17, 2026: Retrogrades into Aries
Apr 14, 2027: Taurus

Chiron was last in Aries from 1968 to 1976.

Pisces—the water sign that rules healing and escape—that began in April 2010.

Chiron has an irregular orbit and spends more time in some signs than in others. Chiron can transit a sign from anywhere between 1,5 years to 9 years. Chiron spends the most time in Pisces and Aries (8 to 9 years).

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 of 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: Exercise Mind and Body

  • In what way do you exercise your mind?
  • What puzzles of life are you dealing with right now?
  • Are you reading or rereading something that expands your mind?
  • What is one small step you can do to take better care of your mind?
  • How do you care for your body?
  • Do you think you are getting enough exercise, sunlight, pure clean water, the right foods for your body, and rest?
  • What is one small step you can do to take better care of your body in the next week?

Scorpio Full Moon: The Waters of Peace

For this spell you will need a bowl, water, fresh roses (or dried if need be), an athame, an optional container for your waters, and a strainer. This month’s intention is to spread the energies of active peace through the medium of waters.

I say “active peace” because we want to solve problems to bring about peace and not get complacent to just have that peace erode. Peace takes work both inner and outer to solve problems and regain emotional equilibrium.

Pour your water into the bowl and put it at the center of your altar. Bless the water with this invocation.

I call to the Blessed spirits of water
Masters and teachers of emotion and peace
To bless this water with their light and energy
That is brings active peace to the world
For the highest good, harming none
So mote it be!

Take out your roses and crush the heads letting the rose petals fall within the bowl of water. Blessing it by saying something like the following.

I call to the plant spirit of rose,
Keeper of the mysteries
Bringer of love and peace
To bless this water to bring active peace to the world
For the highest good, harming none
So mote it be!

Take your athame and hold it to the sky, saying:

I call to the Goddess of the moon,
Mistress of emotion and solutions
To strike this blade with her power
To fill it with her light
And from it fill this potion with her might
Dip the blade within the mixture
As God is to Goddess
As blade is to bowl
Truth is to love
And all paradox is solved
This water brings active peace.
So mote it be.

If you can leave the bowl out under the full moon to absorb more of the energies of the moon. Ideally, the color of the flowers will bleed into the water when it is done. When you feel it is ready, strain out the rose petals for composting or disposal. You can bottle the potion to spread in different places or you can pour it out onto the ground in a sacred space to join with the waters of the world bringing peace.

Blessed Be,
Adam Sartwell

Post script: Our next spell will be pretty simple. All you will need is a pen, paper, fire source, and a fire-safe place to burn.

What is Real?

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

What is real? Your tradition is not real. Your practice is not real. Your coven is not real. Really? Not so long ago, I was complimented (?) by someone in the magickal community who uses their pedigree in British Traditional Wicca to question the legitimacy of others as Witches, denouncing their stories as “fake” even though the founders of their own tradition faced (and still face) the same cries of forgery and charlatanism. They complimented me on the fact that I am “real” and that if I made shit up, at least I didn’t try to make a fake story about it. While I appreciated the back-handed kudos for being direct and clear (at least most of the time), the conversation did get me to thinking about what is real.

Today there is a lot hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing around how “real” our traditions are, and a sense of betrayal from those who are deemed “fake.” As an occultist, I find it incredibly strange that finding out where something comes from could rob a personal experience of meaning. That makes absolutely no sense to me. But I guess it’s because my first and foremost desire is in the techniques, the technology of the magick. While there is art and culture to it, I want to look under the hood at how it works, if it works. As a former Catholic raised in dogmatic and patriarchal customs, I guess I had a sense of betrayal. How could a religion of love reject me as a homosexual man unwilling to confirm to their rules? Well, in retrospect, in a theology accepting eternal punishment in hell for disobedience, it was pretty easy to see that was coming, but it still hurt. And because I didn’t have a lot of direct experiences in Catholicism, I had no idea how to look to the underlying principle.

So when I entered Witchcraft, I vowed not to make that mistake. I assumed everyone was lying, or at least telling the story in the way that was most helpful to them and their motives. Thankfully I had a teacher in Laurie Cabot who taught that history is written by the winners and that things are not always what they seem. From her, I learned to take everything with a grain of salt, knowing it comes from a human perspective, and to do my own research on everything. So I did. I came to the conclusion that if I saw something—a repeated symbol, idea, or pattern in several different cultures and times—then perhaps that was a theme of the common human experience that could have value to me now. I started to collate ideas and concepts that ranged far and wide, and I gradually accepted them as “a” truth. I never got hung up on one paradigm or tradition. While I honor my teachers, I never fell into the cult of personality, of having my power stem from their blessing. Some people do, and they soon dress and emulate their teachers, thinking that is the secret. It’s not. My power comes from the inherent work and effort I’ve put into my own magick. And so does yours.

As someone looking for those shared experiences common to the human quest for meaning and understanding, I examine a variety of cultures, religions, and time periods for common themes. Are they the same thing? No. But do they share core characteristics that were shaped by the time, place, environment, language and customs of the people? Yes. It brings us into the difficult arena of appropriation and respect. Some find it disrespectful to make the comparisons, believing such things cannot be equated, and that comparative myth robs us of rich individual cultures. And they may have a point. If I were looking strictly for religion or religious culture, I would not necessarily compare, but I would seek to recreate and reconstruct things I have a direct connection to, a right to access.

But I’m not looking for that. As an occultist, I am breaking systems down to their parts and trying to figure out how the pieces fit (or how they don’t) into my practice today. I look for what is common, for what will now be shaped by my own time, place, environment, language, and customs. This is a process—a system of cultural exchange, study of the past, and personal gnosis common to the collective human experience—that has been going on for as long as humans have experienced magick. I don’t purport to be anything that I am not, nor take and use anything whole for personal gain to the detriment of others. I research, talk, question, experience, compare, and synthesize, as occultists have before me, looking for the wider meta-theory to explain the cosmos, consciousness, and our place and purpose in it.

As I grow in my own culture and community, and we gather together in common cause and build upon older ideas and create and recreate new ones, we move beyond the science and into the artistic cultural expression. As a mystery cult in the best sense of the word, meaning like-minded individuals gathered to experience the ineffable, we share culture. This is the vehicle to hold magickal technique. Ritual is art. Over time groups organically grow their own coherent internal symbol structure, mythos, story, and art, often rife with contradictions, a hallmark of any organic process. If it all works too neatly, too cleanly, there is no mystery. Some questions cannot be answered or explained, only experienced. Through this work I began to understand the difference between literal history and mythic history.

All religions have a mythic history, a meta-history explaining the great world with their own place in it. Some of it is based on literal events. Some of it is mythologized to fit a world view. Some of it is in the ancient past, and some of it is far more recent than many are comfortable with. But mythic history entwined with literal history helps us find and experience the magick. All religions and cults have had it. We can look to the claims of the second temple of Jerusalem and wonder how strong the proof is for the first temple. We can look to the stories of Christ and wonder why there are not more historic non-Christian accounts of this great leader. While Buddhism mythically has always been in Tibet, we know historically it was imported from India. The parting of the Red Sea? The resurrection? Enlightenment under a bodhi tree? There may be kernels of history there, but we cannot accept them as literal fact. Ancient civilizations were more accepting than we are today. Ancient people didn’t have tools like internet searches and social media to research and denounce potential falsehoods, so the mythic history grew to hold the perspective of the cult. More recent examples, such as the adventures of Joseph Smith and the founders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, seem ridiculous to many of us, and are often ridiculed, but talk to any practitioner or former practitioner of Mormanism, and you’ll find deep mystical experiences. As a magician, check out one of their Temples, and you cannot deny that something is going on in there, with their art and icons and geometry.

Out of all the religions, I think Buddhists have the best attitude in separating mythic and literal history. Rooted in the techniques, one is not dependent upon the other. For example, the Dali Lama can espouse the Buddhist mythos supporting Tibet’s origins, while also calling for more research into the migration of Buddhism into Tibet and recognition of the indigenous shamanic practices that existed in and were adopted by Buddhists until the country was culturally transformed. To the Buddhist, it matters not if there was ever a historical Buddha, or if his life created Buddhism in the way it is told. The details, while sometimes debated, are not fought over as a literal truth in the same way other religions do. Buddha is a state of consciousness, to be awakened to the true nature of reality. Buddha himself can be a distraction to the student finding their own awakening. As the famous Zen wisdom says, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” There is no Buddha, only Buddha nature expressed by individuals. Imagine telling that to a fundamentalist Christian. Now think about what that might mean to the Witch.

We can talk about the Burning Times as a way to express the sense of persecution that so many of us experience, particularly when we are new to the path and seeking empowerment, while also acknowledging the mythic truths that passed for truth in terms of the numbers and stories are just that, myth and not fact. But don’t let that swing you to a point of view that persecution against those perceived as Witches never actually happened, for amid those cases are several strange folkloric tales pointing to deeper truths. We can reclaim, or perhaps simply claim, words that express who we are, particularly if those words are not claimed by others. Even when there is confusion, to define our words and terms as we use them for clarity, we have the right to self-identify in our own spiritual quest. Words change meaning and use over time, which is why dictionaries often list multiple meanings for the same word in different contexts. We can talk mythically about a great peaceful culture before the patriarchy, as many myths have a time before time when all was at peace and union with the gods. It gives us hope and vision for a future, even if we can’t point to a time and place where it is true. There is still so much of our history on Earth we are ignorant of, and stories and myths fill those gaps. We can speak of sunken cities and consider the variety of flood myths and literal sunken lands that provide kernels of truth to the tales of Atlantis, and still not confuse these tales with verified, scientifically accepted facts. Yet all the time science is proving things that once appeared false, and scientific opinions can flip with new evidence. We can tell our stories for meaning and be soberly open to new facts without invalidating our truth and our experiences. As any good bard will tell you, something doesn’t have to have happened to be true.

A popular saying is that spirituality is having your own experience, while religion is belief in someone else’s experience, their account of it, as scripture. I used to believe that, but I’d like to see the definition of religion go back to its roots as a force linking us consciously with the divine, not unlike yoga yoking us to the divine in union, but as a former Catholic, I certainly understand the sentiment behind the statement. If you have a technique that offers experience, even after arduous practice and training, no one can take the experience from you, even if the teacher or tradition somehow “betrays” you. Teachers have clay feet. It’s natural to project so much upon those who mentor and teach, in life and even more so after death. Likewise such figures become targets of other projections, which can be true but are sometimes untrue, with vehement characterizations of actions and motives by people who were not there. If you weren’t in the room when it happened, you can’t really know what happened, and even in those cases where you were, perspective is a funny thing.

There are many things we will never “know,” and over time in community, you can see trends when famous figures are embraced, then vilified, and then embraced again in a cycle. Some get instant folk sainthood by the zealous. I know one fellow practitioner who died, and the stories told about him don’t resemble the reality I knew when he was alive. But I also know if you call upon him in circle and ask for help now after his death, he’s right there working with you, so there could be merit in his mythologizing. Likewise I know wise and loving practitioners whose contributions have been minimized and almost forgotten despite enjoying quite a bit of popularity and community success in life.

If the system or tradition has a philosophy that you can put into real practice, and you experience the benefit of it, then the teaching is good, even if the teacher is flawed. Look for teachers who emphasize the timelessness of the teaching, and who, whenever possible, try to take themselves out of the story of the teaching. Sure, claim your sources and be truthful about how you got the teaching, but emphasize the teaching. Personality is just a vehicle to transmit the teaching. Charisma is a tool, not the goal. Then it doesn’t matter if you got a “grandmother” story with it, a term referring to the reported fantastical initiation of Alex Sanders by his grandmother. If the teaching brought results, it is sound.

We seek verified psychic experiences to know we are getting results. We do spells to shape our reality to see the results. And we build relationships with spirits and deities, and ultimately with ourselves, because such relationships result in a fundamental shift in worldview, paradigm, and consciousness. With such experiences, it matters not if your tradition or teacher is “real.” Many of the best myths in our Craft involves tricksters, tricking us out of what we were so certain of to see things in a whole other way.

We are at the end of April and Beltane festivities are just around the corner. The sun has just entered into the earth sign of Taurus, which usually comes with a sense of stability and comfort, but right now rebellion is in the air and things are not calming down easily, so what’s going on?

Battles of Life

Well, a lot of things are going on right now, especially in the sign of Aries the warrior. Chiron, Venus, Vesta, and Mercury are all together in in the sign of Aries. They are inspiring us with bravery, boldness, courage, and faith in the future. Aries can run straight into battle with no fear, and that can be good, but sometimes we need to think before we act as well. Luckily we have the asteroid Pallas (wisdom, strategy) in the opposite sign of Libra (balance, justice) helping us to balance things.

If you have the chance to take a few moments to breathe, think, and make a plan before you rush into one of your battles in life right now, that is good, and it might increase your chances of success. Still, you can only hold back a warrior for so long, and sometimes connecting to the primal force of fire and “doing what needs to be done” is an old recipe for both survival and success. This balance between acting and thinking is something that we all are being challenged by now.

The underworld and connecting to lost times

The connection to the Underworld has been strong for quite a while, and it will continue to be so. Saturn (time, karma) is in conjunction with the south node (the past, karma) very close to Pluto (the underworld, soul, transformation) in Capricorn (old time, teacher). This is challenging for everyone as we meet up with many things that we just have to deal with. No one is getting out of this world alive, and no one gets away from this constellation literally “chewing” on all of us right now.

On the bright side, this is wonderful for all kinds of work with the ancestors: connecting to the underworld, sacred sites, and the wisdom of old ages. As a witch this could be a time of reconnecting to ancestors, power, wisdom, and talents lost in time. We may think this link or portal will be forever, but this, like many other things, will pass eventually. So take the opportunity to make friends with the Spirits that are visiting right now and grow a strong bond with those with whom you feel a loving connection. In this way you can stay connected even after the portal closes down more.

The south node and Saturn are traveling together until the middle of November 19th, when one part of this gate is closing in. Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are dancing together until the middle of March 2020, and that is also when Saturn moves into the sign of Aquarius and we let go of some parts of our connection to the underworld and move on to new adventures.

The Ancestors backing you up

The brave warrior energy of Vesta and Mercury in Aries is right now connected to Saturn, the south node, and Pluto in Capricorn in a T-square with the north node in Cancer. This means the warriors of old times are very close to us. The Ancestors and Mighty Dead of your Tradition, or other traditions, may very well get closer to you, helping you in a personal way. (Anyone looking to work with them more closely should take a look at Christopher Penczak’s book The Mighty Dead.) Pay attention to the signs you receive, books and ceremonies coming your way. Dreams guiding you towards the next step. Act on the signs you get from Spirit during this time as it may be a map towards an exiting adventure with the Master Teachers right next to you leading the way. But remember you are the one who must take the steps.

Letting go of old wounds

If you have memories of being a wounded warrior in this or other lifetimes, this may surface now. The good thing is that it has a chance to heal and be transformed. Ask for help if you or someone close to you need assistance. If you live near an old battlefield, there may be a lot of spirit activity at this time. Sometimes it can help to give an offering of peace and healing to the site. You can ask a medium, minister, or healer to help you if you need assistance, as you may want to make sure that nothing is attaching itself to you. Be mindful of your personal practices to maintain your boundaries and well-being.

Sensitive children

For sensitive people, especially children, this is a time when they see and feel extra much from the world of Spirit. Take this as an opportunity to remake the wards around the house and recharge amulets and protective jewelry. This influence with the warrior energy and the underworld wanes as Mercury (the messenger of the gods) moves into the sign of Taurus, letting go of the connection to Pluto (the underworld) around the 7th of May.

Shall we dance?

On television they are “dancing with the stars.” Well, in paganism and Witchcraft we are dancing with the Gods and Goddesses, aren’t we?

Beltane is a fertility and spring celebration at the lighter part of the year and connected to spirits of fertility, birth, and growth. On the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year we have Samhain, the last of the harvest festivals, connected to endings and rest. Even if the Spirits are connected by their opposite connection on the wheel, they are not likely to hang out with each other. Except for now, when the connection to the underworld is so strong even if it is Springtime moving towards Summer. It makes this an exiting time, specially if you are a Spirit! So look out for unusual combinations of Spirits talking and hopefully having a good time. (Perhaps you will also be guided to make unusual combinations of herbs and potions?)

This unique blend of energies can give the ceremonies a different but most potent “flair”. So don’t be afraid to adapt the rituals, making them a perfect match for everyone attending, human or not!

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 Happens When We Win?

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

What happens if and when we “win?” By winning, I mean that after years of saying the viewpoint of a polytheistic, esoteric, environmental, feminist, spiritual culture should have a stronger voice and more influence in the overculture and society, people start to listen. What do we have to offer? And how will that change how we define ourselves?

My primary concern is that once you define yourself in reaction to the dominant force, in rebellion only, what do you do when you win? Witches are notoriously rebellious and often contrary. Particularly today we are both reactionary and resistance based. In big and small ways, many of us are reacting and not responding. Even in our responses, we are often working against something. And that is a necessary aspect. It is the catabolic, the restrictive, and the hex that balances the anabolic, the expansive, and the healing. We need both dissolution and coagulation in the reimagining of the world. We need both separation and conjunction, withering and waxing for a dynamic response. But while we are tearing down what does not serve, what are we building? And how are we balancing?

The source of both our strengths and our weaknesses is the rebellious nature of our essential selves. We often describe ourselves as goats, not sheep. Many keys to initiation are through the adverse and the taboo, through disobedience to the mainstream. If we wanted to be well-behaved and “just like everyone else,” we might never have found our Craft. We don’t want to be normal, and we envision a world where it is okay for each individual to choose what is normal and not have it imposed. While many want Paganism to be accepted as just another religion and Pagans as just like everyone else (often going to great lengths to dismiss the “woo woo” of mysticism, trance, and spellcraft), most Witches know we didn’t seek this path out to be just like everyone else. These different ideas are creating conflict amid modern Pagans and Witches today and contributing to the growing divide between religionists and occultists at heart. This tension leads to amazing new art and ritual, drawing on the past to forge new traditions and ideas, but can also lead to Witch Wars, coven dissolution over petty differences, and the abandonment of long-term traditions and larger shared goals. A Witch is alone, and a Witch is never alone.

Sometimes I fear that our inability to navigate both sides of our crooked path will leave the Witch’s voice out of the conversation, the visionary plan, and the rebuild. When the edge is moved once again, we will most likely move to the next edge, the next boundary, but when all is embraced and accepted, when we approach the coagulation of the alchemist, what will we do? The magick and mystery must be woven as at least a thread in the greater societal tapestry as it has been in ancient and indigenous cultures. It is not necessary for the magick to be in opposition to the whole, but it must be in tension with a part of it. We collectively have simply forgotten what that looks like in the Western traditions, and we need to recreate it. Otherwise we will be sowing the seeds of a new world in astral dreams, which is deeply important work, but it will nonetheless be relying on others to do the real-world action of follow up, which doesn’t get our hands dirty. And all Witches learn, eventually, that we must get our hands dirty, or we will be ineffective. We must work for the change we desire.

For me, the key to moving forward is separating rebellion from revolution. While rebellion is rooted in opposition and resistance to a seemingly dominant power, revolution is a rotation, a turning of the wheel. While today we use it as a form of upheaval, particularly in the context of society, it means to roll back, often quickly and somewhat in opposition to the more archaic form of evolution, the gradual rolling forward of progress. Today we think of it primarily—and considering our current politics, strangely controversially—as a Darwinian, biological evolution. It’s in opposition to the anti-evolutionary, anti-science stance of the religious intelligent design theory. An occultist of any stripe wouldn’t deny intelligent design, but also wouldn’t include it as science. It is a philosophy and point of view, not a hard science.

In magick we are often envisioning the Golden Age, the time before and the greater cycles, rotations of time. Can the Witch’s spirit of revolution be the re-evolution, a return to the primordial self and another imagining of humanity and our relationship with the world? Then we explore, model, and share these new ways of being as possibilities for others in the revolution and turning of the world. Revolution can reimagine new paradigms and systems of groups, education, community, art, and religion.

The revolution is organic because anything that is forced and reactionary doesn’t have roots to survive. Things need to be rooted both in the patterns of the Earth and the consciousness of the heavens to thrive. For me, I’m less interested in resistance and more in withdrawing my energy from things that don’t work, building things that do work, and fulfilling my own vision of the world. But that is my part. Others will clear the way for new things to grow, dismantling the old. That is their part.

My hope is we won’t neglect the building while we are busy breaking failed systems down. Rather than convincing someone to not do something or not use a word, symbol, or idea, we should provide an alternative. The way things evolve organically is to provide new examples, words, symbols, ideas, paradigms, and ways of living. Model them. Adapt them as you learn better. And wait to see what catches on when you share them. Don’t push them as the one way, but as a way, and see what people choose. When you model things that work better, eventually people interested in living that way will find them. Edgewalkers are also the ones who need to model them in the world, so they can be found. Be yourself. Be your vision of the world, and allow yourself to be discovered as you are, building the world you wish to live in bit by bit.

The numerological vibration of 2019 is 39/12/3. A year with a lot of changes on many levels. (For more information of the whole year, please read the previous post 2019 Numerology: Sunshine and Surprises.)

As we move to the month of April and the second quarter reaching to June, things are being intensified and we find ourselves at a place that is an energetic “tipping point.” As challenging this may be, it is also a great opportunity to make changes towards the life that we want to live, both personally and as a citizen on this planet. So let’s take a look at the numerology vibrations and see what they can show us.

April – 43/7 and the power of the mind

The numerological vibration of the month of April is 43/7 (4+3=7). This is a very special number and personally I regard it as a kind of “master number” even if traditionally it is not. This vibration is very strong on the mental plane. People having this as one of their personal numbers all have a strong mental energy and a talent for telepathy. They have both a sharp eye and a keen mind. They are interested in anything that is quick and moves rapidly. People with the 43/7 vibration also loves all kinds of vehicles: cars, planes, motorbikes. You can often find many of them selling cars, among pilots or as professional photographers. With this energy this month things will start to move rapidly in all areas of life. You cannot hold back this energy even if you try, you are moving forward. What you can do is to direct the energy to where you want it to go. With this, 43/7 can assist you to get access to your mental powers and steer the change towards a place of beauty and fulfilment.

43/7 has a connection to stones and crystals and all kinds of energy work. People with this vibration usually have a fascination of the lost civilization of Atlantis and the Ocean, even if not otherwise interested in spiritual things.

Spirit work and seduction

One of the challenges of 43/7 is the longing for other planes of existence. They love the feeling of merging with other energies and they love having a good time. This makes drugs and other intoxicating things a dangerous zone for them. During the month of April we can all more easily access other planes and other frequencies, but we all need to be aware not to get lost in the seducing call from poisonous plants or seducing spirits from other worlds.

43/7 is connected to the Tarot card the 3 of Cups.

44/8 manifestation of a higher plane

In the month of May the numerological vibration is 44/8, a master number associated with karma and hard work. People born with this vibration did not come to the earth plane to spend a holiday as a human, they came here to work and grow, a lot. The number 8 is a mental builder and it comes from 4+4 = 8. The four is a physical builder and here it comes two times. Therefore it is no surprise that this number is often found as a personal vibration for people working as architects, professors, leaders, politicians, and inventors. The number eight is associated with the snake and the power of change. People with this number often have interesting lives, and many ups and downs. They can have it all, lose it all, and then have it all again. You can find this person on a mountaintop in Tibet meditating with monks, and you can find them in a board meeting.

In it’s essence it is about using spiritual power wisely on the earthly plane. Connecting the different planes of existence and directing it for the greater good of humanity and the earth. On that road there may be some blockages hindering the path of Spirit and that is what 44/8 is pushing for. Moving away the blockages, clearing the path of Spirit so it can manifest on the earthly plane.

If you have this vibration as a personal year it is exhausting, and it will be a challenge for all of us on the collective plane in the month of May. It may feel like a lot of hard work, and it is. But everything you do under this vibration is magnified by the power of the snake and the eight as an eternity symbol. That means everything that you do, all that time and effort you put in under this vibration, will give you a double return, at a minimum. It is very strong and wonderful to do earth ceremonies during this vibration. The connection to earth, power animals and plant allies are strong and it is easier to hear the earth song. 44/8 is connected to the tarot card 4 of cups.

June 45/9 Spirit in action

In the month of June we are under the numerological vibration of 45/9 (4+5=9) and we are meeting up with the result from the two previous months. The 45/9 is a number that has the ability to move a lot of energy because it is made up from two physical numbers, the 4 and the 5. If you find yourself in a new situation, like without a job, or no new contract, you do wisely to have a higher perspective. Take a deep breath, connect yourself to a higher plane and then anchor that energy on the physical level. The number 45/9 is about Spirit in action and what first might seem like a downfall, may very well be a great opportunity moving you to a place more aligned with your soul purpose. Pull that power down and manifest it in a good way.

45/9 is connected to the Tarot card 5 of Cups.

Downloads of energy

If you are a person who usually feels when a lot of energy is reaching the earth plane, you can be quite overwhelmed this period between April till the end of June. Don’t be surprised if you wake up in the morning with instructions of doing meditations at power places or planting crystals at certain vortex points. You may also feel called to meditate on certain events that are important for the generations to come.

The World of Spirit putting you to work

During this quarter from April to June we can expect to have a lot to do. If you are a lightworker, witch, magickal practitioner, healer, herbalist, counsellor, lawyer, politician, speaker, influencer, mom, dad, teacher, or have any kind of work involving other people, you will have a lot to do. Spirit will take any chance it has to assist in this critical tipping point. We can choose to complain about the intensity and hard work, or we can choose to lift our eyes up a bit and see that something big is about to happen and we have the gift of being in the middle of it, having a chance to be a part of creating something new and potentially wonderful. 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

Change Without, Change Within

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

Recently I read something whose author was taking a practitioner to task for doing “inner work” when the world so obviously needed “outer work.” The critique was a call against self-development and personal healing in favor of the community and the world. While I understand the sentiment, it also flies in the face of all that I know as an occultist and Witch.

The idea was that being self-focused is a privileged position, as many who are facing dire life-and-death situations cannot have the same focus, and our duty is to help them rather than get immersed in an egocentric sense of personal fulfillment. We should be immersed in activism, resistance, and politics, not meditation, therapy, or creativity. To worry about our own path, or the success of our own careers and relationships, is selfish. We can make our lives better by making other people’s lives better.

Even as a writer of what effectively boils down to “self-help” (though magick) books, I too cringe at some of the positive thinking books and courses out there. But I cringe because they address the symptoms—money, relationships, beauty, health, happiness—rather than the core of self. They are not getting to the inner reality, but instead address the desires and expectations, and if you are only addressing desires and expectations, then yes, I do understand this point. But through the true understanding of the core of self, we find the interconnectedness to all that is not self, to everything. Without it, we don’t have a true understanding on how our thoughts, words, and deeds really affect everyone and everything.

My foundational teachings were Witchcraft based in Hermetics, and the entry point to Hermetic teachings was the seven principles summed up in The Kybalion. I like to tell people that in focusing upon the Law of Attraction, you’ve both lost focus of its true heart and forgotten six more equally important ideas. There is the key concept known as the Principle of Mentalism that states we are all part of One Thing, within the One Mind. Another key concept is that of correspondence: “As above, so below.” The changes in one reflect the changes in the other.

The problem with focusing solely on either side of this equation is that it creates a fundamental misunderstanding of how they are both connected. Many people cannot change the outer world, and feeling failure due to the enormity of it all, withdraw and disengage. The desire to help needs to stem from an internal source. Often those escaping their own thoughts, feelings, relationships, and failures dive right into service, believing it selfless, but under those circumstances, it is actually selfish. Others dive right into their own feelings, thoughts, and problems, seeking to solve them. Some get stuck on the outer forms of success, but many go deep enough to find the authentic self, and the connection to all, allowing them to return inspired. Effective practitioners go through both cycles, eventually coming to the realization that they are the same, that working on the world is working on the self and working on the self is working on the world. I am often reminded of the teachings of a Seneca Nation elder, Grandmother Twylah, which were shared in a documentary directed by Donna Reed entitled Full Circle, part of a trilogy on Earth-based and women’s spirituality that was popular among the Witches of the early nineties: “I get a big kick out of people coming around and they’ll say, ‘What can we do to heal Mother Earth?’ Heal yourself, we tell them.”

The two are not mutually exclusive. We cannot hope to build a better world when we are suffering from our internal wounds. And we cannot hope to heal from those wounds without looking within. Likewise if we only put a window dressing to our internal imbalances, we will not create a balanced world. Both are required for success. Each person will have a different balance. And perhaps now is a time in the pendulum swing for the outer world to be more obvious and apparent. But that doesn’t mean the inner world goes away or gets put on hold.

We don’t yet live in a society that provides the foundational layers of the popular Hierarchy of Needs, proposed by Maslow but rooted in the Blackfoot Nation’s indigenous teachings. When we have a certain level of needs met ,we can then focus on self-actualization, which often leads us to service in the world. Many celebrities and musicians blessed with quick fame and fortune will suddenly have strange epiphanies and seek to help the world; those who don’t often become engrossed in ego and accumulation. Those who seek self-actualization often realize the interconnectedness and then go on to help others, particularly with the lower rungs, the safety net, of the hierarchy of needs.

It is in that spirit we pursue both inner and outer work in the Temple of Witchcraft. Meditation, healing, and personal spellcraft are essential foundations, but opportunities for service to the spirits, the people, and the land are also a fundamental part of the work of the Witch. Our ministerial “church” is divided into twelve ministries, each with three fundamental areas—an outreach, an intercommunity, and an esoteric aspect. We weave a web of support, mentorship, and service to the growing community, providing a place where seeking students can build upon what has come before, thereby learning to serve and minister to those who in turn are also seeking. Through our personal studies and service, we each find our own place, our own balance, between the two.

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 of 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.

Libra astrological Blue Full Moon

Goal of the witch: Keep your thoughts in good order and keep your words in good order

This month we focus in on our words and thoughts.

  • Have you said or thought things you regret in the past moon cycle?
  • What would you change about those thoughts or words?
  • Do you use your words to bolster the people around you?
  • What affirmations could you use to change the thoughts in your head?

Justice for the Wronged

This month’s spell intention is to help those who have been wronged in our law and order systems. Wrongly accused, misuse of the law, and anything that is an injustice.

This spell can be adapted to your own resources and spiritual style.

Seven day tarot candle variation: You will need an image of the Justice card from the tarot. I printed this one out from Wikipedia. If you are not an internet savvy sorcerer you can use an actual Justice card (see that variation below). Now take out your markers. I used a metallic copper-colored sharpie cause I am a Libra and I like things pretty. To magically justify my Libra-like choice, copper is ruled by Venus which also rules Libra which is the moon we are casting in. You can use any color you want or the one you have on hand for this.

I wrote on the card image. “For the wronged…Justice”. You could adapt it to any group you think has been wronged if you want to focus on a particular group of the wronged. For example: For the people of Flint, Michigan, for separated immigrant families, for trans people, etc. I wrote “for the wronged” because it does cover everyone wronged. If the witch’s flame within your heart calls to you to focus it more or differently, do so.

After it dries Modge Podge or glue it to a seven day candle. Let this dry for about a day or so. When you’re ready to burn it you can take a small nail and make some holes in the top of the candle to let the oil sink deeper into the candle and then anoint the top of the candle with an appropriate justice oil. If you have time and resources look for a blend like Truth and Justice oil, Justice oil, Black Hawk oil, Fiery Wall of Protection oil, Van Van oil, or just plain old protection oil to anoint the candle with. If you are low on supplies or time to get them some blessed olive oil will do.

In your circle, charge the candle to bring justice for the wronged then light it, chanting the following or something like it nine times:

Divine Lady Justice, Hear our plea
Empower the wronged, and set us free.

Release the cone of power with the word “Justice.”

A Justice card you want back and other type of candle variation: Take the Justice card and on top of it put a sticky note that says “for the wronged” or your own focus group. Place it under a clear glass plate so you can see the card but it can’t get any errant wax on it. Place the candle in a holder on top of the plate and anoint it with your justice oil of choice. Recite the chant above or one of your own. After the candle is done, burn the sticky note.

A janky Justice card from a deck you should have gotten rid of long ago variation: Most pagans have a deck that didn’t live up to expectation, don’t just throw it away, use its parts like a carrion crow as tarot magic components! In this one you write on the Justice card. Place it without a plate under the candle. Anoint, light, chant, release, and then burn the card in a safe vessel (preferably outside) when you’re done. (Also, don’t breathe in the smoke from the card, who knows what they are treated with.)

Blessed Be,
Adam Sartwell

Post script: For next month’s spell you will need some fresh roses, a bowl, and some water. If you want to be fancy with it you could also get some rose hydrosol.

There are times when it seems like the Universe is conspiring against us. That no matter what we do, the truth seems to stay hidden underground. Right now, the opposite is happening: The Universe seems to be conspiring for the truth to come out, out from the hidden place of shadows for everyone to see and feel. So let’s take a deeper look at what is going on right now.

The Spiritual Warrior in Me Salutes the Spiritual Warrior in You

The Asteroid Pallas (intelligence, justice, truth) is right now in the sign of Libra (justice, balance, relationships). She has been there for a while, working on our relationships. Asking questions about balance, fairness, and truth. Are you truly happy in this relationship? If, not what can you do to balance that? Are you being true to others, and perhaps the most important question, are you being true to yourself?

When Pallas is making strong movements in the personal astrological chart, we are encouraged to be bold, brave, and to show our true colors. This is especially true when Pallas is moving over our sun, moon, or ascendant. Then it is not uncommon that we get the final courage needed to “step out of the closet” in some way. That can be about our sexual identity, our religion, or our way of life. She is also often activated in the astrological chart when someone is making a tattoo or another personal statement. Pallas craves freedom and when she is active we need to step up, step out, and say. “This is Me.” If we don’t, it can feel like we are not able to breathe or remain comfortable in our own skin.

Pallas is also a great teacher of compassion and respect for others and other people’s life choices. What I find worth fighting for may not be the same as you, but we can both respect each other’s “fighting spirit” and the ability to stand up for something we believe in. When we think about it, how would it be if everyone was fighting for exactly the same issue? Then we would have many more areas being neglected and forgotten. Perhaps we could just say to each other, “The spiritual warrior in me reaches out to the spiritual warrior in you to promote enlightenment and peace.”

Juno, Initiations and Life Changes

Pallas is not alone on her quest. Right now she is joined in a trine to the asteroid Juno (love, marriage, and commitment) in the sign of Gemini (communication, information, friends). At first sight, Juno seems to be all about our romantic relationships and who we will end up with. But if we look deeper, there is more to learn and understand.

Juno shows what is personally important for us in a relationship. It is easy to believe that what I need, is what my friends, my parents, and my coven-mates need as well. But if we look closer and talk to each other without judgement, we may be surprised.

A person with Juno in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) needs a lot of emotional support and closeness to their partner. Staying with someone after sexual infidelity is probably out of the question and a “deal-breaker.” But for someone with Juno in an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) it’s lying that is the “deal breaker.” They may feel other things about the relationship are more important than sharing the same bed. The foundation of the relationship is partnership, mental stimulation, and the camaraderie.

In this way learning about Juno can teach us that not all relationships are built on the same foundations, but can be equally important for the people involved for different reasons.

Juno is connected to the Greek goddess Hera, married to none-other than Zeus himself. While she was completely loyal to him, he was constantly unfaithful. She did not leave him, instead she unleashed her anger towards his lovers and the children born outside of their marriage.

This describes Juno’s darker side: When we stay in something, despite the fact that it is hurting us. When we dim our light believing our partner will shine more brightly. When we judge others for being brave and making the changes that we, in our hearts, wants to do ourselves.

When Juno is active in our personal charts we either say “Yes!” and get deeper involved or, we cut the cords and move on. That can mean leaving the coven that takes more energy than it gives, letting go of a partnership, or moving away from what is hurting us and stealing our power.

It is interesting that Juno also signals initiation and big life changes like the start of menstruation, having sex for the first time, becoming pregnant, moving into menopause and—you probably has guessed this by now—being initiated into a coven or a tradition.

A Trinity of Justice Goddesses

Lilith Black Moon is in the late stages of her journey in the sign of Aquarius. (she will move into Pisces in the beginning of May). She has taught us and challenged us to deal with our collective shadows, but also how we can contribute to create change in the collective.

As a final “goodbye kiss” she is now joining both Pallas and Juno in a big trine in the air signs. These goddesses joined together will fight for the truth to come out. They will encourage those who have kept silent to speak, they will bring courage to dare to listen and dare to believe in the truth when it is spoken, no matter how hard it is to bear. And if someone tries to escape, these ladies are assisted by Pallas being in a square to Pluto (transformation, change, shadow work) and the north node (karma) in Capricorn (old structures).

Meditation and a Blue Light for Truth & Peace

What we can do to assist this work is to meditate for the truth to be revealed. We can also work with the color blue for Peace and Truth to work together, much like the Blue Ray in the Temple of Witchcraft and its associated Cauldron of Peace ritual. However difficult the truth may be a times, it almost always brings with it a sense of peace. It takes energy to hold on to things that are not true and when we let go, the soul finds rest.

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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