Article

Temple Astrolog: Curiosity Killed the Cat

Are you curious about what happened to some people that used to be in your life? Have you been tempted to call your ex. lover? The one that cheated on you, took all your money and left you with debts? Or your crazy ex friend that moved into your apartment ate all your food and refused to move out when asked to? Or your ex coven friend that talked about you behind your back. Well, don’t do it. Even if it is a seemingly innocent curious investigation. By going back you start to pull in and invite the same energies that you have worked very hard on letting go of in the past. So how come that you are so curious then? Let’s look at the astrology and see if we can find some answers.

Mercury retrograde and Juno

Every now and then a planet looks like it’s going backward. On an astrological level it affects us in a way that the planets energy is going inward instead of outward. In the case of Mercury (communication, learning) it slows down the communication in the outer world, but it is good for deep inner thought and investigation. Mercury retrograde is also famous for messing up computers, phones, delays and problems with any kind of deliveries. In this time of mass communication it is no surprise that it is the mercury retrograde that is the most famous one. On the 13th of October the last Mercury retrograde of 2020 started and it will end on November 3rd.

When Mercury retrograde started it was in Scorpio (transformation, sex, drama) and right next to the goddess asteroid Juno (relationships, starts and endings). This will color this Mercury retrograde period drawing the energy to past relationships and dramas.

Mercury in itself will leave Juno and continue backwards into the sign of Libra (relationships again) until it turns direct again on the 3rd of November and begins its journey to and through the sign of Scorpio. On the 27th of November both Mercury and Juno meets up once again in the sign of Scorpio and the events that are set in motion now will have its resolution then. A good date to mark in your calendar.

The Glamour of Mercury

Every planets has its gift and every planet has its glamour and power of seduction. For example, when a strong Venus transit happens we can suddenly fall in love and when the transit is over, we fall just as fast out of love again. Or when Jupiter (expansion) touches us we can get hybris and a god or goddess complex and with Neptune we risk getting lost in the world of dreams. What about Mercury then?

The obvious shadow of Mercury is manipulation and stealing (ruler of thieves, spies) but it can also be very seductive by the power of curiosity. Something that starts with just wanting to know more, or a lust to know how something works can potentially lead to real danger.

For example, if a first time user of drugs is under the influence of Neptune he or she wants to feel the rush, but under the influence of Mercury it is curiosity. If it is a relapse under the influence from Venus or Neptune it is the love of the drug that pulls, with the influence of Mercury it is on a more intellectual plane.

Right now Venus is in a challenging aspect to Neptune in Pisces (drugs, illusion). This aspect can glorify and romanticize people, events and also the use of drugs. Together with the curiosity of Mercury mentioned above there is a danger of either starting with drugs or having a relapse. If you or someone close to you has these kinds of problems, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help.

The wrong crowd of people

This Mercury / Juno energy in Scorpio can lead to hanging with the wrong crowd of people. As a teenager you usually don’t understand your parents worries about your friends and social life, but when you get older and perhaps become a parent yourself, you get it.  And to be honest, adults can also hang out with people that are not good for us.

Mercury rules over the 3rd house in the astrological chart. There we find our relationship to siblings, friends and neighbors. At first glance we may not realize just how much that influences us. Anyone who has had a sibling or a friend in trouble know how much it feels in the heart. And if you have had a conflict with a neighbor you know how much that can affect your daily life and harmony.

With this constellation and Mercury retrograde we get a chance to think about past relationships. Those connected to romantic love and also those connected through family, friends and the areas that we live or have lived in. Dangers that we have avoided, difficult things that we have worked through. Now is the time to let go of the past and continue forward to the things that build you up.

If you are currently living in a bad environment this energy can help you to make changes. Don’t underestimate how a small choice can lead to a big positive change in your life.

Earth magick and miracles

Venus (magick, love) is now in the earth sign of Virgo at 19 deg. There she is really strong for working with practical magick. Venus is in a trine, a good aspect to the asteroid Pallas Athena, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn all in the earth sign of Capricorn ruling power, structure, manifestation and government. This is a super constellation for earth magick. The last that Venus loses this contact with is Saturn at the time of Samhain and by then Venus has moved along into the sign of Libra.

Ancient Memories fading again

For some time now we have had a tigon of fire activating ancient memories. The south node (the past) in Sagittarius (knowledge, teacher) in a grand trine to Vesta (priest, priestess, devotion) in Leo and Lillith Black Moon (the hidden) in Aries. Perhaps this has brought back to you ancient memories, magickal talents and recalls of times that has passed. As this configuration ends around the 25th of October there is no guarantee that your connection will stay open. So make sure that you write everything down. The gate is closing. Make copies of your work and so on. Extra important now when we also have Mercury retrograde with communication and computer problems to consider.

Intense and special times

We have very intense and special times ahead of us. Hopefully we are all intelligent (mercury) enough not to be tempted to go back to something bad just to check- in on something or someone, but instead use the energy to move forward in life. If your friends are about to go back and make a big mistake tell them to shape up! And ask them to return the favor to you if needed. Thankfully we have a superpower to use with extra strong earth magick. As Witches, Healers and Magickal People we don’t need much to start a big change. Just an opening and the first humming sound of Magick…

Blessed Be! / Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red

Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) 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

The Bends

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

“I’m pretty advanced magickally. I don’t need to do that anymore.”

Oh really? I get it. I’ve been there before myself, but there is a reason why certain techniques remain, why certain core practices are, well, core. But in the days of quick fixes and shortcuts, we can be oblivious to both why this is true and what the consequences are when we forget. And then we wonder why we are having problems. After many years of observation and experience, I liken the phenomena to the bends.

What are the bends, you ask? The most common form is from diving deep and coming up too quickly, which can cause decompression sickness (DCS) as dissolved gases in solution in the body, such as in your blood, form bubbles as you depressurize. Do it slowly, you adjust. Do it quickly, you can subject yourself to a variety of symptoms from rashes, difficulty breathing, pain, damage to the lymph system, nerve and tissue injury, and sometimes even death.

What are the spiritual bends then? When we go into something too quickly or come out of it too quickly, we then spiritually short circuit, though the symptoms may show up later, making it hard for some people to see direct causality. The “I’m pretty advanced magickally. I don’t need to do that anymore” is usually followed sometime later in the day with “I have a severe headache” or “I suffer from digestion problems/allergies/respiratory illness/nervous exhaustion/endocrine imbalance.”

There are long ways “in” and short ways “in” and reasons to do both. An adept magician can dive in and out in daily life to make something happen. They feel truly called in that instance, but that is in one moment and not the everyday default. People who are often very naturally talented, or grow more powerful with practice, often toss away core techniques as training wheels that are no longer needed. While true for some, many others then find themselves experiencing symptoms from rising and falling too quickly on a day-to-day basis, a condition akin to the bends. They didn’t wear their suit. They didn’t prep their vehicle. Just because they are capable of the deep dive without prep doesn’t mean they should do it, or do it often. Doing so means that later on, you probably won’t be capable of it.

We live in a time when our living spaces are generally not tuned to the spiritual, even if we have an altar on every available flat space. There is not the harmony and synergy to have it all work together to provide the support as there is with a traditional temple space tuned to a tradition and the work of that tradition. Many of us don’t learn the techniques to really build the body of light to traverse clearly and safely in our magickal work. Others disregard the entry and exit points in traditional vision, or the lowering and raising techniques of trance consciousness. Frequent failure to take it slow and steady, or even long and ecstatic, results in things like headaches, ungroundedness, delusions, paranoia, and bodily imbalances particularly of the nervous and endocrine system, those that carry the voltage of magickal current. It’s not a race or contest.

I belonged to a magickal study group where one person in the group, newest to the mystical, got fascinated with brain-synching binaural beat recordings played upon headphones as the answer to enlightenment. He was impatient with meditation, mantra, and ritual work. While I’m not against exploring new uses of technology, someone deeply versed in traditional techniques and cultures said, quite profoundly, that there is a reason why the yogis spent years alone in caves to seek enlightenment, and previous to that, worked in the sacred scripture and traditional techniques. A shortcut might not lead to where you want to go. And I do agree. I feel the same way about entheogen, those I have used. They punctuate important experiences, but are not my daily practice. Those who often open the gate with only substances or technology find they can’t quite ever reach that level again and struggle with maintaining a practice and going deeper.

Sacred space is both our vessel for adjustment and our recompression chamber when we are experiencing these symptoms. Taking more time in sacred space, in stillness and in balance, is a remedy. Taking time to adjust in and out—to experience and enjoy the experience rather than jumping frantically from one reality to another—is key to avoid the bubbling of the bends within your consciousness.

Right now we have a big trine in fire that can create a guiding light. This light can take you down memory lane to forgotten important keys and portals of understanding. The trine of fire is created by Vesta (devotion, priest, priestess) in Leo, the south node (karma, the past) in Sagittarius and Mars (drive, will) and Lilith Black Moon in Aries.

Vesta can show where we are devoted, what our inner fire is burning for. She has a connection to both Virgo and Scorpio, the later giving her influence over how we express our sexuality. Now in Leo, Vesta gives fire to what makes you unique and special. You may feel a stronger need to be seen by your partner, so now is the time to do something special together. Make reality of that planned date night!

Love Magick

If sex has not been on the priority list lately with mars retrograde, then here are some sparkles! The south node takes us back in time to what has been, and sometimes karma. This figuration (Vesta, Mars, Lilith Black Moon, south node in the fire signs) can help to heal sexual wounds, to embrace your own beauty and uniqueness and to dare to shine bright. It is also a great time for making incense, oils and candles for love, sex and passion. Just be aware of the Mars and Lilith Black Moon conjunction that makes things go deep and dark very easily, so a light touch of the heavy stuff goes a long way.

What You Promised to Do

Vesta is very strong on holding promises and keeping vows. Do you remember what you have promised to do? With the connection to the south node, we all get a reminder and we do well to stop and listen before we proceed.

Perhaps you made a promise to never let anyone else put you down (fire) to never be bullied again (Mars), or to never keep silent when things aren´t okey? (Lilith Black Moon). Perhaps you have made a promise to spirit? To keep a flame of something special going? (Vesta). Now is the time to go back to your journal books, dream books and magickal record keeping. Look out for alliances and promises made, especially those made in a ceremonial setting or through an initiation.

Finding that trail of information might just be the knowledge that you need right now to proceed in beauty on your road ahead. If you don´t remember the oaths that you have made, the Universe might make sure that you remember and follow up on it.

Unexpected Help

You could also be receiving unexpected help from your past. A person from your past, or simply good favours and energies that are returned back to you. This could extend beyond this lifetime and be something from a past incarnation. Pay attention to dreams, signs and visions as they may provide important information. Unexpected people and opportunities can show up.

This big trine of fire is until around the 16th of October.

Meaningful Conversations

Now is a great time for Swedish fika with friends. Mercury (communication, friends, siblings) is together with the asteroid Juno (relationships) in the sign of Scorpio. This amplifies deep conversation about meaningful things. They are also in a good aspect to Venus (love) in Virgo that brings understanding and the ability to analyse. You may be surprised by the good things and transformations that could come from these meetings. So call a friend and get some coffee. If you meet IRL remember to keep distance!

If you have been thinking about seeking couples therapy or regular therapy now can be a extra good time to get started with that. Any kind of investigation or project that needs analysing or deep research will get extra help from this configuration. The beneficial aspect between Mercury and Venus ends around the 14th of October. Mercury and Juno travels together until around the 23rd of October.

Blessings!
– Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red

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

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

What Is Your Witchcraft Budget?

At one of the reiki shares we were sharing what was going on a bit in our lives. One share stuck out to me the next day. It was of a parent who was putting two kids through college and how as parents they had to go over what their budget was so they could afford to send both progeny to college. One thing that had to be factored into their budget was witchcraft and what they spent on it. I started to mull over this idea of a “witchcraft budget.”

Budgets in themselves are not very exciting but they are necessary to achieve a long term goal. To make one you have to be introspective as to what your priorities are. It takes courage to see yourself in the eyes of a budget for it can bring up sadness as we let go of things of less priority to make room for our true priorities. This could be why people avoid doing them. As witches we need to be introspective and a budget is a great way to think about how we “spend” our lives.

This conversation had me thinking not only in the terms of money but also in the terms of how I spend my time and energy when it comes to witchcraft. What practices give me the most back in enjoyment, benefits to community, benefit to my own self growth? As witchcraft is a science, as well as an art and religion, one needs to have data to be able to judge how well something works for you. Turning back to my journal I looked over what seemed effective for me and where I had “over spent” on something that did not give a whole lot back. This type of introspection is helpful to make future plans.

Tracking our “spending” in our journal can be a valuable experience. Spending a little time learning how to track one’s progress and self in a journal can be valuable. Learning how to bullet journal can be helpful in learning what you have been doing and its effects.

A budget is just a plan and should change with the circumstances. Looking to my students through their progress through the craft, I have found that at different times students’ “budgets” had to change to accommodate a priority. One example was a student who lost a family member during their classes. Suddenly they found themselves behind because their budget had to now accommodate their grieving process. This sudden life change disrupted their life but was a sudden priority change that was completely necessary to their healing process. This is why the witchcraft budget is an adaptable plan to the circumstances we are going through at the time.

We have to include the circumstances we have to deal with in our budget. Every one’s circumstances are different. Some people have kids, some have medical conditions, some have elderly parents to care for, an addiction, a chronic issue, a job commitment, or a multitude of variables. These circumstances call for us to be creative and to realize what our priorities are. When it comes to dealing with our circumstances it can be helpful to budget out time, money and energy to see what we can afford. Some people put off their craft to make room for these circumstances and some will over spend on the craft to escape dealing with them. The goal of the budget is to find a way to make it balanced and remember the benefits of your craft.

As a hypnotist I think about what I say and how to frame things to make sure I am telling my subconscious things that are helpful. Saying that “this isn”t in my budget yet” is different then saying you don’t have the money, time, or energy for it.  When I say it isn’t in my budget I am saying I have different priorities right now and If I want to make something new a  priority I have to shift things. You have time, money, and energy but they are being spent on different priorities recognizes that you have abundance and does not put energy into creating lack. Following the sentence with the word “yet” makes it so you are not limiting the field of possibility for this to manifest in the future when priorities shift.

Adam Sartwell (New Hampshire) works as a certified Consulting Hypnotist with the National guild of Hypnotists and ICBCH, and professional Tarot reader. He is a co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft, a religious nonprofit. Award wining Author of Twenty-one days of Reiki and The Blessing Cord. He has been published in anthologies such as Green lovers, Ancestors of the craft, and Foundations of the temple. For more information on his work as a hypnotist  and online courses go to https://hypnointuitive.com. To see more about his work as an author, psychic reader,  and teacher go to his website https://adamsartwell.com

The Pact, Contract, and Agreement Here and There 

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

Witches are known for making the pact, the contract, with otherworldly powers. It is described in both the Medieval Christian world and today’s popular horror and fiction as an infernal pact between the Witch and the Devil, where the soul is exchanged for a familiar spirit, magickal knowledge, and power. Today’s Witches, however, see it a distortion of traditional shamanic and magickal practices—agreement and relationship. Magickal workers across the world seek out otherworldly beings, develop relationships, and make partnerships, just as we do in the terrestrial world between people, groups, companies, and nations.

Establishing such relationships is the way of the world as far as we know it, from working solely through self-motivation to hopefully a greater sense of enlightened self-interest. From there, with sufficient agency and awareness, beings can act from a place of altruism. While we cannot always know the motivations of otherworldly beings, we see reflected in their actions some of our basic understandings of motivation.

Our mutual aid results in the creation of agreements on different levels. An agreement is simply harmony in opinion, position, or feeling, though such agreements can establish a foundation for further relationship. A contract can be written or spoken, and often establishes the parameters of what each party is giving and what is owed, the circumstances around the agreement. Often there is a power imbalance between the parties of a contract, such as an employer or landlord. Contracts are enforceable by the law of the society in which they are made. A pact, from the Latin pactum, is a formal agreement, usually between two on equal footing, such sovereign countries or organizations. They can bridge the gap between societies and systems. I think that is why the term “pact” is so popular for Witches and spirits, for it is mutually agreed upon between beings of two different worlds. While from the Christian perspective, there is a power imbalance, to the Witch, it is between sovereign beings, different but equal in respect.

Along with negotiated agreements we enter into consciously, we have a variety of agreements that we do not consciously agree to, but have implicitly agreed to nonetheless. We could consider reality an agreement. What we refer to as consensus reality is an unconscious agreement as to the perception and parameters of the world as we know it, conditioned through language, tradition, and culture. Toltec teacher Don Miguel Ruiz and his family have popularized the idea of agreements with yourself and your experience of reality, including his book The Four Agreements. Change your agreements and you change your experience.

We have an established, unconscious social contract, including freedoms, rights, authority, and government. We exchange absolute freedom for the mutual sharing of collective burdens and resources. Our social customs and expectations are all ways we have agreed to participate, even if we haven’t explicitly agreed. They entail the “way things are” for us. Their agreement is tacit. While explicitly discussed in the Age of Enlightenment, the roots of such ideas are found in ancient civilizations and tribal cultures.

In our overculture and society, where we have a social contract that is difficult to avoid if we wish to participate in society, we as Witches often seek to disrupt and redefine for ourselves that contract, challenging authority and even breaking down systems by our own actions. Yet we often choose a secondary form of agreement in relationship, that of our subculture and community. It comes in many forms. It is often tacit and never consciously examined, but it is there nonetheless.

How does this fit with the Witch as rebel and edge walker, untamed and bowing to none? For some, it might seem contradictory, but it’s in the paradox where the mystery is truly experienced. As folks around me know, I’m a big Terry Pratchett Discworld fan, particularly of Granny Weatherwax, and I’m fond of paraphrasing Granny Ogg in the book Witches Abroad, who said that “when Esme uses words like ‘everyone’ and ‘no one,’ she doesn’t include herself.”

Yet the beloved Witches in Discworld have their own form of community. There are traditions that govern their gatherings and the settling of disputes. Different regions, such as Lancre and the Chalk, have different traditions, but there are common threads to each. They have no overt leaders, but they recognize leaders. When, as a Witch, I feel exempt from things—w hen I’m not everyone and I’m not nobody—I stand between. While I think safety and acceptance is important in the overculture, I’ve often lacked it and have had to deal with the reality of what is, even when it’s not fair. I have often made my way working between, through the cracks of exceptions, with little regard for the many rules that I felt didn’t apply to me. Sometimes I got caught. Sometimes I had consequences. Most of the time I just did my own thing, often breaking from conventional groups and traditions after not particularly liking how they were operating, but finding little mechanism there for me to successfully effect change. After all, I didn’t think it was my place to make others change if they were happy, but I had to find my own way. While agreements and structure can and should be challenged, if your inherent nature has you challenging everything all the time, then perhaps it’s is a sign that the group is not for you, and you should go your own way. A group where the majority go their own way is self-regulating, as not all groups are meant to survive—are built to survive—indefinitely. Everything has its season, including whatever way you currently espouse. As you grow older, your ways will change too.

In sharing my own way, that sharing developed relationships and then agreements, boundaries, and in a large enough group, a subcultural contract. I understood the groups I left a little bit better. My choices came with consequences, even if they were to no longer deeply participate in former groups and traditions. If Witchcraft is about relationships in all levels, there are always boundaries to relationship. Unconditional love does not mean unconditional behavior. Violating a boundary—even when feeling justified or thinking the boundary is unfair—can result in consequence.

So there can be a paradox between those seeking a Witchcraft that is wild, free and dangerous, without structure and leadership, while at the same time seeking it to be safe, inclusive, accepting, ethical, and clear. Those are two different subcultural social contracts, and while we do want both, our mystery and struggle are found in the paradox of these two perspectives on the Craft.

You can be transphobic, misogynistic, and sexist in today’s Craft, but there are consequences. Such behaviors violate the social contract among us. Some groups might spell them out in policies, rules, or “ardanes,” while others keep them implicit and social, such as a withdrawal or shunning from community. What was acceptable in ages past isn’t acceptable now. What is acceptable now can change as community grows and the agreements change. Some groups will change, and some will hold to other ways; both paths will have consequences in the larger scheme of things. You are free to come and go as you please, but people are not required to hold the door for you or keep it unlocked for you after you’ve left.

Some Witches refuse all form of convention and agreement, operating truly as a Witch alone, at least in flesh. Others find they can’t agree to any convention once they become conscious of it; they then have fractious relationships in community, appearing to only agree when it suits them. Even when not intended, this creates the perception of malcontent. For most of us, there are various levels of agreement, contract, and compact, unvoiced and unwritten, but apparent. In days not so long ago, there was a clearer sense of Witch culture and community, and certain observable conventions attended to by those who were otherwise rebels and outsiders. Yet many of these conventions and structures of respect and community are not apparent in today’s Paganism, while new structures and norms are being established. Some were archaic and needed change. Others have been mostly lost to all but a few groups and traditions.

There are general conventions and customs for participating in public Pagan events, such as open rituals, Pagan Pride Days, and festivals, though each region and group develops their own specifics. There are the agreements in informal practice circles, study groups, classes, and working covens. There is a covenant formed by those joining a formal tradition, a clan or order, and between elders and teacher of different traditions coming together in peership.

Today the secret society of occultists is more like a public conspiracy, not quite hidden and not quite open, with various levels of entry, responsibility, and blessing. There is burden and blessing to tradition. Some of the wisest words I’ve heard in years past are that as Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans, we all use many of the same terms and draw from similar sources, yet we are all defining these words differently. There will be confusion and misunderstanding when coming together in community around not only practices, but on social expectations.

So as a conscious magickal practitioner, take this time to reflect upon what agreements, contracts, and pacts you have made in your magickal practice, with entities, and within community.

With entities, many today lack the personal sovereignty found in our formal definition of the pact and instead act as supplicants or servants to what they perceive as a greater power. Depending on the attitude in which this is approached, this might conflict with Witchcraft tradition for many of us. While I may serve the greater good collectively, I am not a servant. I am in service. Many people become fascinated with the deity of the current moment, quickly entering into agreement and service without clarity of purpose. When working with an entity, what are you offering, and why? Is it a loving act, freely offered, or an exchange? What is your expectation? What is the expectation of the entity? Is there exclusivity? Or a specific time requirement? What do you get, if anything?

With community, what is your social contract at your level of participation? I think a lot about this in terms of the community I participate in and facilitate, including the Temple of Witchcraft. While not a servant, ours is a community working in mutual service as a magickal order extending outward.

In the Temple we are very agreement based, being founded upon a school based in a system of magickal training. There is enrollment, lessons, required work, feedback, tuition, and graduation. Lack of participation over an extended time breaks the contract. Each degree is a separate agreement, with a beginning, middle, and end. As much as we can hate bureaucracy, there are community policies and process. To move forward in community participation is a tacit agreement to the structure and policies. Those who participate deeply and volunteer within the community can enter into leadership and help change and set policies. Our magickal system is technique based, not religion based, open-ended in terms of relationships with spiritual entities. Function over form is stressed. Spiritually our community is a compact between people and entities working together mutually. Entities that can work within the functions of community are welcome, and sometimes people introduce us all to specific spiritual beings, or spiritual beings will draw their practitioners to us, once connected. We all receive from the whole, and we contribute to the whole through the virtue of our spiritual work, time, and energy, through volunteering, intention, ritual, and participation. There is a web of support and magickal work woven together.

It is more than acceptable for one to participate in education to their desire and then minimally participate in the rest of the terrestrial organization, while continuing to partake in the lessons and/or spiritual current of tradition in their personal practice. The community structure provides an opportunity to put into practice all that we learn, on every level. Ours is a multicultural and multi-expressional occultist vision of the Craft, ever evolving and facilitated by our magickal order of practitioners dedicated to the Great Work. This vision informs our ethos which is another tacit part of the magickal social contract of our order. This is often what attracts people to us, but is not always fully understood. We have a specialty, a specific focus, and realize we are not for everyone, and in fact, we are not for every Witch. We are one thread in a great tapestry of Witchcraft and the world.

No matter what your community and your spiritual relationships, reflect upon the implicit and explicit structures, expectations, and agreements you have. Bring them into consciousness. Understand. Work within the structures you have, leave them, or create new ones all together. Remember the interconnection and interdependence of all things as you weave a web of magick and community.

Happy news! Vesta (devotion) is joined with Venus (love, magick) in the sign of Leo (success). They are in the configuration of a Yod, “Finger of God” created by Neptune in Pisces (creativity, mediumship) and Jupiter (expansion) in Capricorn.

You can use this energy to “Shoot for the Stars!” Dream big and set out a strong intention to the Universe. This arrow of light has a better chance of reaching its goal if you charge it from your heart and soul, rather than from your more earthly desires. You can carve the astrological signs of Venus, Vesta and Leo on a golden or yellow candle and send your wish out. Or you can step outside under the stars and talk directly to the star of Venus about your wish.

This configuration is also good for deepening your magick and the intensity of your love life, if you wish to do so. It can help to expand your heart (the sign of Leo) so that you can give and receive more Love (Venus, Vesta, Neptune) and allowing your magick to grow (Venus, Jupiter) This aspect is until around the 28th of September.

Being caught up in Gossip

The planet Mars is now in his home sign Aries. That gives us all more energy, drive and willpower. It is very close to Lillith Black Moon (confusion, limited vision) and that makes it hard to see what to do with all that energy. Mars is also in an opposition, challenging aspect to Mercury (communication, siblings, friends) in Libra (balance, relationships, justice).

So we have strong communication about relationships, charged up with a lot of will and confusion. With this constellation we are in danger of being trapped in gossip and strange entanglements. This can be both on a national/collective scale and on a personal one. Sometimes gossip is born from having nothing else to talk about. Sometimes gossip is created as a diversion, distracting you from what is really going on. It is worth to notice that people keen on talking about others usually like the spotlight as long as it doesn’t come too close to themselves and their personal sphere.

Talking about others can be quite innocent and a way of keeping rapport on whats going on. But it can also become a highly charged energy that can create a lot of damage. Some labels on us that we are given by others may never be washed away. Right now Pluto is also in this game, by making a challenging T-square to both Mercury and the Mars/Lillith Black Moon aspect. The light side of Pluto is transformation, the darker one is Manipulation and abuse of power.

Right now we all need to be alert on how we and others are using communication and willpower. Is it for the highest good, or is it to get an advantage and to win the game?

Mars retrograde can be a good thing!

Mars is now in retrograde. That means that from earth it looks like the planet is going backwards. When a planet is in retrograde the energy goes more inward. In this case it can actually be a good thing. It helps people and nations to think, before they act. To not be driven so much by impulse and instinct, which is really Mars natural thing to do. So when a “case” or information comes your way and you are hesitating on what to say and what to do, give yourself the time and space to think a bit before you act. Mars is retrograde until around the 15th of November, so we all get a chance to practice this.

The Gossip box

The energy of gossip can be scattered and eliminated in its energy form, taking away the energy so that the gossip does not have the power to live on and causing harm. One creative and fun way of doing that is to create a “killing gossip” box. You will need

  • A small box with a lid, preferably made of cardboard. If it´s for personal use a small size that you can have in your handbag is perfect. If you are making the box for a coven or community you may want to use a larger one.
  • Black paint and some glue.
  • Small piece of paper to insert on the inside of the lid.
  • A piece of jasper (against gossip and slander).
  • A clove of garlic, (protection and killing parasites).
  • A pinch of sage, (truth and cleansing).
  • A pinch of black salt, or black pepper corn, (protection and umpf!).
  • Small black nails (sharp objects to dispel the energy).

(the sum of items inside the box should be uneven like, 5,7 or 9)

How to do it:

Paint the box and the lid black and let it dry. Put in the stone, garlic, the herbs, salt and the nails in the box. Take the small paper and tear (not cut) all the sides of the paper so it will fit the inside the lid. Write “killing gossip” on the paper and glue it on the inside of the lid. If you want to you can write it in Theban script. Put on the lid. Make sure that there is enough room in the box or the items to get a really good shake. Bless the box according to your belief or tradition.

Tada! You gossip box is now ready to be used. Whenever you feel the energy of harmful gossip around you or in your surroundings, give the box a good shake with the intention of shattering the energy and giving it no more energy and life. If you want to direct the energy further you can open the lid and whisper to the box the name of who needs the gossip energy around them taken away, and then give it a good shake. Remember to thank the “gossip box” for the good work it is doing.

What is under the Mystic Rectangle?

A mystic rectangle is an aspect pattern that looks like a box. In the mystic rectangle that we now have Mars, Lillith Black moon and Mercury (as mentioned above) makes good aspects to the south node (karma) and the north node (where we are supposed to head on to) With this energy we can find out hidden and important things about ourselves, not only from this lifetime but also from other lives. So pay extra attention to your dreams and signs that comes your way, as they may give you important keys of information.

Mystic Rectangles are generally considered to be good and a lucky aspect pattern to have. However, I have in my work with clients found that people with this aspect often has one or more life -secrets that they carry with them. That could be anything from their sexuality to spiritual orientation or what they really feel about their family or job that they are doing. Something that they have literally “put the lid on”. When they dare to acknowledge what is under the lid, to speak from their heart and soul a big change in their life happens.

On a collective plane we can suspect that some information that has been hidden for a long time may now surface, and that it has the potential to create a big change of awareness. On a personal level we have the possibility to take a few extra moments and think about if there is anything that we need to say to the world? Something to share with others, so that our personal light may shine brighter in this world by being more authentic in who we are.

Blessings! / Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red

Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) 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

Ancestors & Apple Bars

I was visiting my mom one Fall and I asked to go through her recipe box and write down any of the ones I wanted. We sat and looked through the many recipes and I would ask her about if this or that one were any good. I was surprised to find recipes I had never tried before. I remember as I looked through it thinking: “I don’t think I have ever had apple bars.” I asked my mom about the recipe and she said it was her father’s favorite. He passed when I was too young to really understand death. My clearest memories were not about foods he liked. I remembered most fishing and being told I was scaring the fish with my incessant talking.

I thought about what a precious gift it is to learn something more about him, another way to honor my ancestry by making something he loved. So I went home and tried out this new to me recipe handed down from my ancestry. Peeling, coring, and shredding the apples, mixing the batter, all while thinking of my scant memories of my grandpa. The bars are light and cake-like. They taste a bit like what I would think the ambrosia of the gods would taste like.

This recipe is something I often think about as the autumnal equinox comes closer and apples are in season here in New England. It also helps me to prepare myself for the coming Samhain by reminding me of my ancestors. Enjoy!

Grandpa’s Favorite Apple Bars
In honor and memory of R.L.H.

3 medium sized eggs
1 cup of oil (I use canola)
1&1/2 cups sugar
2 cups of flour
6 medium sized apples: peeled, cored, and shredded or finely chopped (Granny Smiths are my favorite baking apple, but you can use others)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the eggs in a bowl and beat for 1 minute (I do this by hand but you can use a mixer if you want). Add the sugar and oil, stir until combined. Add in the dry ingredients. When the batter is ready, fold in the apples. Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into bars.

Adam Sartwell works as a certified Consulting Hypnotist with certification by NGH and ICBCH, and professional Tarot reader. He is a co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft. Award wining Author of Twenty-one days of Reiki and The Blessing Cord. For more information on his work as a hypnotist  and online courses go to https://hypnointuitive.com. To see more about his work as an author, psychic reader,  and teacher go to his website https://adamsartwell.com.

Astrological Aromatherapy

The Temple of Witchcraft’s Virgo Ministry works with the Spirit/Archetype of the Healer. In this piece we’ll explore astrological aromatherapy. You’ve probably heard that Aromatherapy is the art and science (every time I say that I think of Severus Snape talking about the ‘exact art and subtle science that is potion-making’) of using essential oils for health and wellness—be that physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Essential oils are the essence and lifeblood of the plant and they impart not only aromatic and physical benefits but energetic, spiritual and magickal as well. Here we will explore how aromatherapy can help us strengthen and balance our energies—based on our natal charts.

Crafting magickal aromatherapy blends to harmonize and maximize our core/inner selves can be as simple as selecting an essential oil or two for your Sun Sign. But why stop at simple? A great blend you can craft is to select an oil for your Sun, Sign, your Moon Sign and your Ascendant.

Below is a starting list of essential oils for each of the Signs, many are common, a few are on the rarer side. Select one or two for each sign. Choose from what you have, what you know…or use a pendulum to select an oil from each Sign. Start by blending 1-2 drops each in about ½ ounce carrier oil (grapeseed and sweet almond are the most popular.) Witch magickal aromatherapy the attributions and intention of the blend is more important than the scent of the blend…but experiment a bit. If you can’t stand what you blend…it won’t do much good for you! Be sure to writer down what you blend together. ‘Tinker’ with your blend to perfect it.

You can use this as an anointing oil, a personal magickal perfume, as an aid to raise your energetics before and kind of magickal working. Please use caution when using essential oils…read about each oil before you use it. If you are allergic to the flower, please don not use the essential oil! Do not take essential oils internally. Yes, I know I sound like Mom…but this IS Virgo, remember? Suggested books include: The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews (Scott Cunningham); Magickal Aromatherapy (Scott Cunningham) and Mixing Essential Oils for Magic (Sandra Kynes).

Above all—have some fun. This will help you explore another aspect of your highest and most magickal self.

ARIES

Frankincense, Cedarwood, Clove, Cinnamon, Pine, Allspice

TAURUS

Cardamom, Patchouli, Vanilla, Thyme, Oakmoss, Rose

GEMINI

Lavender, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Dill, Eucalyptus, Anise

CANCER

Chamomile, Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Sandalwood, Violet

LEO

Orange, Lime, Benzoin, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Rosemary

VIRGO

Patchouli, Bergamot, Fennel, Lavender, Peppermint, Cypress

LIBRA

Rose, Rose Geranium, Mugwort, Ylang Ylang, Cardamom, Spearmint

SCORPIO

Black Pepper, Ginger, Clove, Myrrh, Basil, Vanilla

SAGITTARIUS

Cedarwood, Ginger, Sage, Orange, Nutmeg

CAPRICORN

Vetiver, Cypress, Patchouli, Magnolia, Myrrh, Oakmoss

AQUARIUS

Lavender, Petitgrain, Benzoin, Pine, Peppermint, Cypress

PISCES

Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Sage

Change the Story

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

Despite running a school, founding an organization, and otherwise doing a lot of seemingly structured and orderly things, I tend to be subversive and rebellious by nature. Like many Witches, as soon as you tell me I can’t do something, I want to do it, and sometimes I do. While I have great respect for tradition, I also realize we don’t live in the past. We need to find new ways to go with the old. I like to go my own way, and I think that by the very nature of our craft, if we claim the identity of Witch with all its baggage, we must possess a certain ability to live outside the rules. I wrote about it in a previous article, “I’m a Witch so I’m Exempt” but we must remember we still have to live with the consequences of our rule breaking. I modify my behaviors, despite my nature, based on what serves my Will and the greatest good for the moment. Sometimes it’s being rebellious, and sometimes it’s not. And if you want others to participate in whatever your intention is, you have to make a compelling case to them.

Not too long ago, a friend sent me an article. It was about Venus figurines from the Stone Age and all the academic and moral reasons why they shouldn’t be called Venuses, where the idea came from, and some rather lackluster suggestions on what we could call them now. This was a case of the author being right, yet not creating any change, even among the people who would be agreeable to those points.

Part of the magick in changing anything—including a tradition, practice, or even society—is that you have to change the story. You can’t just ask people to forget the previous story. Once something is out, you can’t put it away, make people forget it if they like it, or otherwise drop it, even if they agree with you intellectually. You have to paint a picture. You have to make that picture engaging and compelling. That is part of the work of the new Æon and the new societies we want to make. By all means dig deep into tradition and root your new idea within it, but then shift it into a new story that serves your vision and intention.

If we look to the past, we see how myths, customs, and traditions are hijacked, subverted to a new cause. While that might sound disrespectful, as a Witch, I propose if you want to change something, particularly something around Witchcraft, you have to subvert the dominant paradigm with something that not only builds upon it, but also turns it in a new direction. This is the crooked path, after all. If you can do it well, not only will you make a change, but people will enthusiastically help spread the word.

For example, one of the most subversive things done in advancing our craft is Doreen Valiente’s and Gerald Gardner’s transformation of the hedge crone into the priestess of the mysteries. In my mind, this change was a restoration of the ancient priestess, but many historians would argue the point. In the end, while historians are important in the halls of academia, we have transformed the modern consciousness around being a Witch by honoring truths that go beyond factual understanding. Those drawn to the strange and eldritch now have a wider, and arguably deeper, palette of colors to paint their life.

Working strictly on an academic or even social level is a Sisyphean task usually doomed to failure. You can be intellectually correct, but that doesn’t change the “momentum of the past” (a term from the teachings of the late Raven Grimassi advocating the use of established magickal techniques and images, which I’m using more widely here) unless you are making a persuasive argument. Most nuanced, culturally sensitive, well-researched arguments are too long and require too much from the listener/reader to make the change. Most people, I’m sorry to say, are lazy.

In the article I mentioned, the idea of a powerful feminine image previously named Venus has empowered women and Witches all over. We use such images in our art and upon our altars and shrines. The replacement term has to be just as engaging, even when we recognize that the Roman Venus, or even Greek Aphrodite, has nothing to do with these ancient works of art and iconography, that this was a name coming from a sexist man emphasizing bodily characteristics.

But while “Female Icon” might be more culturally sensitive, and even more accurate historically, it doesn’t have a hope of catching on, and on a very real level, it disempowers our magickal connection to the imagery. If I had a dream of the Venus of Malta, then it’s like I’m announcing a title of someone and something important when I say, “Venus of Malta.” Is it a Goddess? An ancestor? I don’t know, but it is something alive and real for me. If I had a dream of the Maltese Female Icon A, well, okay. Hmph. It’s not such a living thing to me. It has no vitality, even if it’s the same piece of art of the same associated entity.

I think in making powerful changes you have to hijack the story rather than try to change something established with nuanced argument. Use the logical reasons as the basis for your change, but realize that to get people to support your new idea, you need a symbol, a name, an image that resonates. Changing the name of something someone had a deeply personal relationship with feels like an attack. Unless you have an alternative that is alluring enough to distract from this feeling, the response you get will be anything from subtle resistance to out-and-out retaliation. Every modern Witch or priestess who loves describing their Venus of Willendorf statue to a new house guest is not going to start describing their treasure as the “Female Icon found in Willendorf which may or may not necessarily be a goddess because we don’t know if the creators believed in goddesses per se or saw her simply as a female spirit or the representation of a human woman with no spiritual overtones.” Hijack the concept of Venus as a name if you don’t like what you believe it stands for now. If you can’t, be prepared to offer something more enticing.

To me she is Venus Luciferia, Queen of the Venefica and Great Green Earth Mother. That is both true to my practice and would give an alternative view to those Witches who question if it should even be called Venus. These are all iconic expressions of her, so why not call them Venus? Calling them Female Icons keeps them rather sterile, while the Venus title can make them come alive, like the many forms of Tara or any other divinity. Were they all really Tara? Was Tara misapplied to some figures out of zeal? I don’t know, but there are many Taras now.

Buddhists seemed to know how to take the story and work with what was there already. I think of the transition of Avalokiteśvara to Quan Yin or the welcoming in of the Tibetan deities and sorcery into the practice of traditional Buddhism that had shed deities in its philosophy when it took root in Tibet. I think of how Buddhism takes the form of Zen Buddhism in Japan and how Buddhism in general forms all these different cultural branches. Today we would look at the merging or transformation of Avalokiteśvara/Quan Yin as cultural appropriation, misgendering, and generally problematic, but it preserved and even made more popular a figure that could have otherwise been wiped out by one sect over the other.

I think the winner of the tale, as an entity, is the surviving Quan Yin, perhaps using their own agency to navigate human culture and stories and assume such a popular and beloved role all over the world. Are other entities responding to such things, and are their wishes independent of their creators or even their seeming benefactors? Can the entity disagree with their publicly recognized spokespeople, with a vested interest in controlling the imagery, icons, and ultimately the theology around themselves? Are the entities ultimately free to leave the culture of origin on their own accord? How would they do that, if not through the hands of others?

You can still love someone—even a culture, religion, or tradition—and want to grow beyond it. If we give ourselves the freedom to do that, do not our gods and spirits have the same rights? If we are Pagan, Witches, Polytheists, or Animists, we have to realize regardless of what we think is correct, the entities have their own agendas, needs, and motivations that are non-human, and anthropomorphizing them, assuming our motivations are theirs, our causes are theirs, and our methods are theirs, just creates another dogma. How many practitioners who are deeply devoted to a deity—say Hecate, the Morrighan, Odin, or even Jesus Christ—lose themselves in that devotion and start to assume their personal will, opinion, and direction are god-given? They go off the rails in the eyes of a more balanced practitioner.

In the end, I don’t care that much about the names of the Venus statues. If consensus offers us something better, so be it. Until it does, I think of them as various archaic Venuses. For now, with everything else going on in the world, it’s not a burning issue for me. But I think about this idea in a much wider range of societal change, both in the Craft and in the greater world. I can understand the perspective of how something smaller like this can contribute to the overall forces of patriarchy and colonial attitudes, but I also think we have to address what we are building while we are deconstructing. I fear the consequences of robbing language in general—and magickal language specifically—of its vocabulary in whatever worlds come next, in relegating certain words by certain people to taboo. Isn’t the role of the Witch to transgress and to embrace the taboo?

Societal Change—Challenges and Consequences

I think conversation is powerful and great, but often progressive change to the world, the ushering in of a new Aeon, is stymied by those trying to have long, subtle, nuanced conversations with people who don’t care or aren’t currently capable of having those nuanced conversations. When you try, it can come across like an attack. Then we get frustrated that we are perceived as attacking when we are not, and we shut down the dialogue all together. There is no clear suggested narrative.  But the people who don’t want to discuss social justice, inequality, climate change, COVID-19, gender studies, human rights, Black Lives Matter, or any of the many issues urgently needing change and beneficial action do like stories. They like to tell a story, and they’ll often listen to a story if it engages. They like media. They like movies. They like songs and television. So how do we change the story? What symbols can be used to engage them, to move them toward more subtle conversations? Many of the changes already underway have come about by learning the tragic stories of the people involved, speaking their names, and bringing awareness to a real and tangible level. That is part of the magick right there.

I think about how we learn about Christian conversion of the Pagans, in the adaptation of Pagan symbols and holidays to the Christian calendars. Some gods became saints and those that couldn’t be accepted were demonized. Greek Neoplatonic hierarchies of gods and spirits became Christian nine choirs of angels. Qabalah became a fusion of just about everything to preserve the mysteries in times and places hostile to all mysteries, whether they were Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or Pagan.

But when we become too purist, or break into too many opposing camps seemingly with the same goals, we can’t change the story in a meaningful enough way. Imagine if the Christian church had said they couldn’t change the birth of Christ to the Winter Solstice time, that it would have been problematic. Yes, true, but then would Christianity have been the story across the world that it has been? How necessary was Christmas and Easter to Christianity? As the things practiced by most Christians and celebrated (or at least acknowledged) but most non-Christians, they have become a necessary part of our supposedly secular but nonetheless Christian dominant society. Even the things that are not true, linearly and chronologically, have a bit of mythic truth to them. For good or ill, they created a bridge that changed the story in their favor, making the world the way they wanted it. While I might hate the results, I have to admit that was good magick.

We can argue that Christianity should not have risen, and that they shouldn’t have appropriated the holidays, but they changed the story from what they felt was genuinely harmful—pagan godlessness—to what they thought was truly helpful—salvation. What they did with the story as things progressed is another matter entirely. While we don’t want to emulate their results, or propose one belief system and theology for all, I can’t help but notice so many Witches today seeking to go “deeper” and diving into the folk mysticism and magick of Christianity and the practices it has merged with over time. When we look at those practices, they have changed some of the story, with heretical non-canonized saints like Expedite and Santa Muerte.

The Lure of Conspiracy

One of the great successes that the New Age movement (rooted in Theosophy and sharing far more than I’m comfortable with in Illuminati Conspiracy Theories) is that they have changed their story of humanity. They have told a worldwide story that is now inclusive of the globe, that stretches into pre-human times and beyond to the stars. And the conspiracy theories get so much credibility because people know there is something wrong with the mainstream narrative, that it no longer works, which creates a feeling of betrayal and a search for truth. When that is not coupled with introspective work and true mysticism, it leads to delusion and paranoia. It’s easy to believe in ancient and modern aliens running things or shadow conspiracy governments because the truth of random chaos seems too crazy, and the official story of continual upward progress seems ridiculous when we look at ourselves as a species. But the highest and lowest expressions of these global stories have engaged people looking to understand what is really happening in a way that includes everyone, for good or ill. The conspiracy theory does that well, though often the “them” is some unknown shadow, but that is still the story, competition.

For those without an esoteric bent to their worldview, the Tea Party and the MAGA hat narrative fills the void of understanding, explaining why the world is the way it is, and creating a divide between us versus them. Those we identify as TERFS recognize this on some level and don’t want the story to change because they feel their story hasn’t come to completion. The introduction of a new element to their story, trans women, feels like a return to an old story, where their needs and rights are put second, so they have resistance and attack. Those who identify as feminists and are not seen as transphobic have worked trans women into their narrative in a way that is inclusive and helpful to all, not frightening. Often the battle to define rights and womanhood doesn’t address the story, and the feelings attached to the story, that all sides have, which makes it hard to create a place where a new story can be created together.

Telling a New Story

While no story is completely correct, each serves a purpose. An initiate realizes all stories are unreal, but that doesn’t mean they are not true on some level. Storytelling, narrative, is a tool for our magickal world view. As initiates we have to reprogram our inner dialogue—the story we tell ourselves about our wounds, trauma and own actions—not to deny it, but to frame that story in the context of our great journey and not become so obsessed with our wounds that we never learn to heal. Likewise, as a society, we have to learn to change the internal collective dialogue and the external interaction between people that is an expression of it. The process is larger and more group-oriented, but essentially the same.

We use established myth and folklore as a tool to remember and to grow, and in the changes of the ages, we have to set the stage of the new myths and folklore. What will it be? I don’t know, but I’m looking at Aquarian imagery: cups pouring forth, holy grails, cauldrons, waves of information, ambrosia, lightning, light bearers, fire stealers, and phoenixes. Unlike the vertical axis of Pisces, Aquarius is more of a horizontal organization, like the twinned Aeon of Horus and Aeon of Maat, Will and Truth, male and female, divine twins acting together.

I am loving the stories of modern new media, but while inclusive, they can also alienate those who probably need to see them the most. Things like Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Steven Universe, The Dragon Prince, and the two Avatar series are hopeful tellings of a story (can you tell I am a fan of cartoons?) While I love the mythos of Star Wars, it is of the last aeon. The essence of Star Trek is really pointing the way in story to the new age—betterment for the sake of betterment, no commerce, space travel, social ties across the world and across the galaxy with other races and people, and the continued urge to explore, to know and to grow in new and unexpected ways. While these are great examples for the overall arc, we could be better served on an individual level by thinking in terms of the story we tell ourselves and others and the world. You don’t have to have a TV show to think and act mythically.

What story do we want to tell ourselves and each other, and what is the purpose of it? If we want an equitable, just, balanced society, what story do we have to tell to get people moving there? What imagery? What rituals? And how do we get the “buy in” to engage enough people to participate in a meaningful way for real change?

I know that puts the burden on many people already doing a tremendous amount of work. If you can’t do it, don’t do it. But if you expect change and are working to create change, what are the most effective avenues to make that change happen? If we don’t want to change the stories in the way that others in the past have, how can we make a shift in ways that suits our ethics and culture? Many would argue that is not their job, but then spend hour upon hour arguing in the comment section of a post to get their point across, seeking intellectual satisfaction, a win, even though such discourse rarely yields an actual changed mind once things get heated.

How about we put some of that energy into the creative process and try to “out-create” as Tori Amos sings in her Night of Hunters album instead of out-debate? I’m fond of the teachings such as “It might not be your fault, but it is your responsibility.” If you can see the problem and the other cannot, it’s your job to move the situation towards healthy resolution. You might not want to, but your capability to be able to do it creates the imperative. Likewise is the teaching, “If not you, who? If not now, when?” As our own storytellers, bards, magicians, and Witches, we can’t expect someone to tell us the story where everything works out and then tuck us into bed, no work on our parts. We must participate in our storytelling, and within our own lives, follow up with the actions that match the story we are telling.

Mulling Spices

As we move toward the beginning of Fall with Mabon fast approaching it is a great time to start preparing some mulling spices to get in the spirit. Mulling spices can be used in wine or in cider to create delicious spiced drinks. They can even be used in a hot toddy.

This spiced “wassail” was used in southern England in medieval times during winter celebrations. They would sing and drink to the health of their apple trees to ensure a bountiful harvest the next year. At the end of their celebrations they would pour the last cup of mulled cider to the “Apple Tree Man” who lived in the oldest apple tree in the orchard.

With a little research and a bit of magic you can make a mulling spice that will help you to harvest your desires. Most basic recipes include the following ingredients. I have listed them here with their correspondences magically so you can brew up some magic.

  • Allspice: Success in love and money matters, banishing poverty consciousness, determination and healing
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Good luck, attraction, money 
  • Dried orange peel: Health, success, happiness
  • Whole cloves: Protection, love, money, healing, and strength

From here you can add a whole bunch of different herbs and sweeteners to customize your blend. Some of the common additives are:

  • Cardamom pods: Love and passion 
  • Dried Ginger: Love, money, success and power
  • Star Anise: Joy, blessings, luck, and psychic awareness
  • Whole nutmeg: Luck, money, health, fidelity, and psychic ability
  • Peppercorns: Protection
  • Vanilla bean: Love, lust, and power
  • Lemon peel: Cleansing, love, friendship
  • Maple sugar: Love, longevity, money, healing, and sweetness
  • Brown sugar: Friendship and sweetness
  • And my favorite, candied ginger: all the same things about dried ginger only sweeter!

Adding another layer to any mulled brew you want to make, think about your medium.

Cider is made from apples, used to bring about love, Healing, immortality, revival of the garden, and speaking with the dead. So if you mull some cider you can drink in these qualities as well.

In wine you have the power of the resurrected gods like Dionysus to bring back health, fertility, healthy gardens, and wholeness. The transformation of fermentation brings about an initiatory power to wine, which is why it is sacred in places all over the world.

The herbs used to make mulling spices are usually whole or crushed into smaller size. They are not ground to a powder or you will get gritty mulled drinks. A good rule of thumb for your mulling spices is about two tablespoons of spices to about a half gallon of cider or wine simmered on low for about a half hour. Don’t go over medium heat for wine, keep it on low. Put the spices in a tea strainer or muslin bag so you can remove them from the brew more easily. You can make your own blend of mulling spices to go with your intention, magically charging the herbs as you go. Spice blends also make great gifts for people who love mulled cider and mulled wine, packaged up in cute airtight bottles.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Mullin’ Spice Blend

When it is money and abundance that you need 
This mulling spice will help you succeed
Don’t be greedy, it is only fair 
When you have plenty there is more to share. 

1/2 cup cinnamon sticks, broken into chips
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup allspice
1/4 cup dried orange peel
1/2 cup candied ginger chopped into pea sized chips.
3 tbsp star anise

Charge each herb for abundant prosperity and to attract cold hard cash. Put the cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves in a sealable plastic bag, cover with a towel, and whack it with your rolling pin or a mallet to break them down into chips. Do not powder! Mix all ingredients together and put into cute airtight bottles and give some away to friends.

To mull, put two tablespoons of the blend in a muslin bag or tea strainer. Put this in a half gallon of cider or wine and simmer for a half an hour over low heat.

Adam Sartwell works as a certified Consulting Hypnotist with certification by NGH and ICBCH, and professional Tarot reader. He is a co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft. Award wining Author of Twenty-one days of Reiki and The Blessing Cord. For more information on his work as a hypnotist  and online courses go to https://hypnointuitive.com. To see more about his work as an author, psychic reader,  and teacher go to his website https://adamsartwell.com.

X