Phallephoria Festival in Athens

Dionysus fertility festival in the streets of Athens last weekend. Looks like the ancient Gods are finally returning home along side diversity and freedom of religion. I realised this more so with my last visit.

I would love to see some posts from our followers of retuning ancient festivals in their region.

 

The Cosmic Witch Part 9

Written for Coven life

By Priestess Hypatia

30/01/2020

 

Mercury pentacle 4th for blog

The 4th Pentacle of mercury- Seal of Solomon

 

Continuing from the previous post of aligning with Universal Powers for effective magickal practices…….

In this post I will be discussing the 7th of the Sacred Seven (in no particular order) that I have been mentioning in the previous posts.

Here I will be talking about the final planet of the sacred seven and not in that order, the planet Mercury. Ruling over Gemini and Virgo it is the planet that influences the intellect and of communication and therefore the element of air.

Mercury the planet is androgynous and neutral, it is neither masculine nor feminine, neither positive nor negative, taking on the qualities of whatever aspects it comes into contact with.

The Planet

Distance from Sun: 57.91 million km
Orbital period: 88 days
Length of day: 58d 15h 30m
Mass: 3.285 × 10^23 kg (0.055 M⊕)
Surface area: 74.8 million km²

The God

In the Ancient Roman World Mercury was the equivalent of the Greek God Hermes. The swift-footed messenger God traversed between the upper and lower worlds and his origins can be traced back as far as 13th– 15th Century BCE.

The many associations of Mercury include that of fertility, communication that include writing, messengers, trade, luck, and thievery. He was the patron saint of merchants, business people that were involved in all types of trade. The staff of Hermes, the Kerykeion is recognized as a symbol of trade and commerce and not that of medicine.

As the God of Medicine Aesculapius and His Rod is attributed to the arts of health and healing.

In the ancient Egyptian world he was connected to Thoth that is also connected with communication and responsible for writing the Emerald Tablet.

Planetary Magick Correspondences

Day- Wednesday

Colour– Purple, yellow and sometimes Orange

Element– Air

Gem stone– Opal, aventurine, moss agate, fluorite, and sodalite

Herbs– Almond, Anise, Clover, Dandelion, Dill, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lilac, Mace, Peppermint, Rosemary, Vervain

Number(s): 8, 64, 260, 2080

Archangel: Raphael

Metal: Mercury (toxic), safe replacement used in modern magick is Aluminum, sometimes also Zinc is mentioned

Olympic spirit (ruler): Ophiel

Importance in Alchemy– Spells, ritual and charms

Astrology

Due to Mercury’s speedy elliptical orbit, Mercury often appears to be going backwards, with frequent retrograde motions of about 3-4 every year. The good news is that these retrogrades are short lived, the bad news is that when they are in that motion they can at times wreak havoc in your life. Caution in signing contracts, breakdown in communication, avoid surgery, avoid travel, heightened anger, frustration, anxiety and of course the list of all your insecurities goes on. Now the majority of the time such retrogrades go unnoticed, that is until something happens in your life, then there is always Mercury retrograde if it does.

Spell Against Mercury Retrograde

If you are familiar with spell work you can try this to draw the positive aspects of Mercury during its retrograde. It encourages harmony, balance, protection and healing is such tumultuous times.

Spell work-

  1. Purple candle
  2. Anointed with frankincense
  3. Surround with your choice of crystals and herbs from the magickal correspondences above
  4. Light the candle and say:

‘My mind is a fortress, backwards Mercury, shall cause no deceit, nor damage. The light and stones shall save me’.

  1. When the candle has burned all the way down, and extinguished itself, take the stones, place them in a mojo bag, and carry with you as long as Mercury stays in retrograde.

Orphic Hymn

Below is a beautiful hymn or prayer to the great God Mercury- Hermes. Use this if you want to invoke the energy of Mercury- Hermes, use the planetary magickal correspondences for extra guidance and remember as with any spell work to understand, observe and respect the energies that you are working and drawing from and with.

Invocation/ Prayer to Mercury- Hermes

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
“Hermes, draw near, and to my pray’r incline, angel of Jove [Zeus], and Maia’s son divine;
Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, with heart almighty, and a prudent mind.
Celestial messenger, of various skill, whose pow’rful arts could watchful Argus kill:
With winged feet, ’tis thine thro’ air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse:
Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine:
With pow’r endu’d all language to explain, of care the loos’ner, and the source of gain.
Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Corucian, blessed, profitable God;
Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, and in necessities to mortals kind:
Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;
Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, give graceful speech, and me memory’s increase.”

Orphic Hymn- #27

Week 39 – Goddess Knowledge Card – Demeter

Demeter is an ancient Greek Great Mother goddess, a goddess of life and death. The Greeks emphasized her role as goddess of cultivated earth, the giver of fruitfulness and abundance and provider of the gift of agriculture. She and her daughter, Persephone, called by the Greeks “the Goddesses,” together represent the continuous cycles of life and death, the two phases of the vegetative power of the earth. Demeter is remembered primarily for her great love for her daughter — when Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter’s grief caused the whole earth to go barren. Here we see Demeter ready to give birth, to produce life.

Demeter offers a blessing of fruitfulness and possibility, of coming joy, of abundant life, and of hope.

More information on Greek Goddess Demeter

Images of the Greek Goddess Demeter

More information on Greek Goddess Persephone

Images of Greek Goddess Persephone

More information on Greek God Hades

Images of Greek God Hades

 

Week 38 – Goddess Knowledge – Hera

Hera is an ancient goddess who, before she appeared as wife to Zeus in Greek mythology, was powerful, matrilineal queen in her own right. Hera is the original, all-powerful, multifunctional goddess responsible for every aspect of existence, a symbol of the complete woman. Among the Greeks, Hera was the goddess of marriage, a special goddess of women who accompanies each woman through every moment of her life. Her various titles point to her roles as bringer of fertility; goddess of marriage; protector of children; of women during childbirth, and of money; and presider over all aspects of public life. She was often represented with a peacock, symbolic of beauty, luxury, and immortality. The spots on its feathers reflect the starry firmament, and the peacock has knowledge of the weather, reflecting the ancient role of the goddess as bringer of the seasons. Hera is a mature, powerful goddess, combining both practicality and nurturing, a strong image of the supremacy of the queen within.

For more information on Hera

To see images of Hera

The Magick of Food 6

Garlic

garlic-watercolor-illustration-irina-sztukowski

Written By Priestess Hypatia

For Coven Life

28/12/2019

 

So let’s start this article with a little Poetic Medicine……

 

An Ode to Garlic

Oh Garlic, what homage

can we bring you

and your graced state

of bulbousness?

Packed tightly into

your little white dome

we want to break you open

and spread your cloves like

shining white pebbles onto

the shores of our meals.

Continue reading this beautiful poem by

By Lara Kirsten

 

‘Eat no onions nor garlic, for we are utter sweet breath, and I do not doubt but hear them say, it is a sweet comedy’

-William Shakespeare in a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 

A wonderfully pungent herb that has been known for its ability to ward off vampires and the like, is considered a staple in many people’s diets around the world. My nona would always hang a big bunch of garlic by the door, mentioning it was to keep the bad eye out. As a child never really knew what that meant. I do now and a bunch of garlic is always hanging in my kitchen.

As a main feature in our culinary world, the humble garlic demands its presence in the medicinal home apothecary because of its numerous benefits. With all these wonderful components combined and its availability and accessibility garlic is renowned as a superfood and hailed for its healing properties since ancient times. Hypocrates the father of medicine swore by its healing properties, curing anything from infection to leprosy.

As a member of the Lily family, garlic is the cousin to onions, leeks and chives. It averages about 2 inches in height and consists of small separate cloves. There really is nothing like the taste of garlic. It stimulates the palate hitting it with a hot pungent and subtle sweetness. No wonder so many have written odes and poetry to this incredible plant. I hsve added some above.

A native to Central Asia garlic has been cultivated for over 5000 years. The ancient Egyptians considered it as sacred and was placed in the tombs of Pharos for the afterlife. It was not only the food of Kings and Gods but was also given to the slaves that build the Pyramids. Its known medicinal properties made garlic a valuable commodity in the world of labor. Healthy workers meant better productivity, better productivity meant advancements, better advancements made a strong, sustainable and superior civilization.

Grow

Propagate this wonderful hardy perennial or biennial by simply planting its coves in rich, moist soil that receives plenty of sunshine.

Eat

You can add garlic to pretty much anything that is savoury. Its addition will only benefit the dish and according to medical literature your health.

Try

Garlic bread- by mashing a couple of cloves, add some chopped herbs to about 130g of butter. Make incisions in the bread roll or baguette, insert lavish wads of the buttery herbed garlic butter, wrap in foil, place in a hot oven and heat till butter melts approximately 15 min. Unwrap foil and allow bread to crisp in oven for a further 5 min and voila- done!

Heal

Garlic provides numerous health benefits including:

  • Heart health support
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Immune booster
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Stabilizes cholesterol
  • Antibacterial and antiviral benefits
  • Anti-cancer support

It can be taken as a supplement in both capsules and powder. Fresh is best though.

Medicine for colds and flu in the winter season

This may assist in relieving sore throats because of its antimicrobial action. I love using this when I feel like I may be coming down with something.

Combine 1 part Witches Brew- fire cider (recipe below) and 1 part Honey or raw coconut sugar. Honey is best know for its antimicrobial properties that has been used since ancient times.

Magick

Often seen as an herb of protection, garlic has been used in cleansing rituals, in legend and modern times especially against vampires. Now don’t just think as vampires as blood sucking monsters. Its an energy that can come in the form of anything from psychic to microbial, this is why vampires are usually connected to things such as insanity, disease and pestilence.

In ancient Greece it was placed upon a pile of stones at a crossroads to invoke Hekate. As a powerful amulet garlic will ward off any negativity and evil energy. Now, for those who worship the Goddess Cybele, as the herb is sacred to her, it is recommended that this herb is avoided. You can also substitute garlic for wolfsbane.

Magickal Recipe

WITCHY BREW aka FIRE CIDER

Let’s have a look at a wonderfullly healthy immune boosting and delicious way to keep the vampires at bay with this classic recipe inspired by Rosemary Gladstar back in the 70’s. Offering protection against the unseen forces. Tweek it to your liking. This herb offers wonderful protection both on a spiritual energetic level and medicinal one. Never underestimate its a ability.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Mason Jar- any jar will do.

Organic (always best), raw, apple cider vinegar, this is also filled with probiotic goodness, balancing out the good microbes in your tummy.

3 or 4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped

2  medium onion, peeled and chopped

1or 2 small bulbs of ginger, fresh, shredded. I must admit more is better for me anyway. This is a great anti inflammatory!

1 teaspoon brown and yellow mustard seeds. These also come in black which when making for protection is a good addition.

½ teaspoon hot peppers of your liking (this is optional). This really is the spicier the better.

½ teaspoon black peppercorns or cayenne pepper.

½ teaspoon horseradish root peeled and shredded, another great anti- inflamatory.

½ teaspoon combined herbs of your choice such as cinnamon, turmeric, and rosemary I love using thyme and oregano. All of these are also antimicrobial and anti inflammatory.

 

  • Combine all the ingredients, fill a jar.

Pour the Apple Cider Vinegar over the contents to cover.

Cap, label, shake daily for a few weeks, storing in a cool, dark place.

Strain use cheese cloth or fine mesh fabric.

Pour into amber bottles and label for storage.

Use as a salad dressing ingredient, combine with oil, add to rice and other grains, I love this on steamed asparagus.

Take as take as a tonic especially during the winter months.

Shelf life is about several months. I love making this is small batches.

 

Most importantly please follow your doctors medical advice. The above information is general advice only and not to be in place of your usual medical treatment. 

 

The Magick of Food 5

Basil

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Written By Priestess Hypatia

For Coven Life

24/12/2019

 

Basil is the king of herbs. Here we enter the land of royalty in herb law. The word origins come from the Greek word meaning king or emperor.

A member of the mint family, basil is native and spread throughout the tropical regions from Central Africa to South East Asia. Its texture is tender with a pungent intoxicating aroma that is used in cuisines worldwide.

The Many Beliefs of Basil

The many beliefs about the herb ranged and ranges from, the ancient Greeks placing it in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe passage to the underworld. In India it is dedicated to the Gods Vishnu and Krishna. In ancient Egypt they would embalm their dead. In Mexico it is carried around for prosperity and wealth. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it was a symbol of malice and lunacy. Pliny a Roman scholar believed that it was an aphrodisiac, it was not only given to animals for successful reproduction but also used as an herb to welcome love among couples. Basil is also gifted to new homeowners and new business owners as it attracts prosperity.

Grow

Very easy to grow basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or outdoors in a sheltered sunny position.

Eat With

Tomatoes, goats cheese, Mozzarella cheese, lemon, eggs, mint, shellfish, lamb, chicken, raspberries, strawberries, figs.

Try

A few torn basil leaves over fresh raspberries is absolutely delicious. Add a handful of basil leaves when making strawberry ice-cream. Poach white peaches in sugar syrup and add a handful of basil leaves then serve with extra shredded basil. Make bruschetta- one of my absolute favorite as a snack with a beautiful glass of vino!

Try this recipe by clicking on the link below:

https://www.recipetineats.com/real-tomato-basil-bruschetta/

or

A beautiful basil Pesto Humus

https://food.ndtv.com/recipe-basil-pesto-hummus-846290

 

Heal

The volatile oils present in the herb has many healing properties. Used in a variety of culinary preparations some of the benefits of basil include:

  • Good for digestion– It fortifies the nervous and digestive system and can be good for headaches and insomnia. Assisting with the body’s acid balance it restores the bodies PH balance. Our digestive system is a very important part of our immune system.
  • Anti-inflammatory- Eugenol, citronellol and linalool are the powerful essential oils that can help lower inflammation through their enzyme inhibiting properties. Consumption of basil could also soothe fever, headache, sore throat, cold, cough, flu. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help lower risk of heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions. Wonderful as a digestive.
  • Skin benefits– applying as a facial mask by making into a paste with olive oil, or make your own basil oil, using a base oil of almond or olive, a bunch of leaves in a jar, top with base oil, seal, infuse for a few weeks, strain, ready to use.
  • Mood disorders– Known as a hormone regulator. Drink as a tea.
  • Liver support– assist with liver detoxification, awesome cleansing ability. Drinkbas a tonic. Tonic made by infusing dried basil leaves in a jar with spirits.

Magick

As if the above is not magick enough. Here I will be briefly mentioning some of its metaphysical properties. According to Paul Beyerl, Basil is associated strongly with Dragon-like Basilisk and its contemporary association with the salamanders and dragons. It is used to invoke astral and mythological creatures. One can burn basil to invoke these creatures to assist in advice, inspiration and protection.

Basil has been planted upon graves and used as incense in the ritual of the dead. I suppose this goes back to the above mentioned ancient Greeks sending off their dead with basil in their hands. I love using this herb as incense during Samhain.

One can use basil in a fertility spell work, to enhance psychic vision and used in a mojo bag for protection.

The Cosmic Witch Part 8

Written for Coven life

By Priestess Hypatia

23/12/2019

Saturn

SaturnSymbolMeaning

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” ~ Buddha

 

Continuing from the previous post of aligning with Universal Powers for effective magickal practices…….

In this post I will be discussing the 6th of the Sacred Seven (in no particular order) that I have been mentioning in the previous posts. Here I will be talking about the planet that is connected to your 6th chakra and spiritual evolution. Saturn is the highest planet in the hierarchy of planets (of those known to the ancients) and thus the closest to the Gods and thus associated with immortality and longevity.

Saturn is associated with time and is timeless.

So what does this mean?

In Mythology:

In Greek antiquity Cronus was the counterpart of the Roman Saturn. Cronus was the titan son of Uranus (heaven) and Gaia (earth). The word Cronus in Greek actually describes time therefore he was the personification of time itself and ruled the cosmos during the Golden Age. Later the Romans adopted him into their religion and renamed him Saturn.

Saturn helps us realize that we are beyond time, that we are one with the universe, originating from the very energy that created us. We are all STARDUST. This energy was created during chaos, and yes the Greeks also had a God by this name that personified the chaotic birth of the Universe.

3rd Eye

This planet assists in unlocking our sacred place in the universe and by meditating on your 6th Chakra you can learn to melt away the complicated world around you. The 6th Chakra is connected to what they call your 3rd eye. This is the place where the human body meets the celestial spirit, it is the Anja (in Hindu).

The 3rd eye is actually our Penal Gland in in our anatomical structure, so once again the ancients knew what they were talking about. Shaped as a pine cone- hence its name derivative, this gland is responsible for secreting melatonin which plays a role in the body’s internal clock or what medical science calls the circadian rhythm, one that regulates our relaxation and sleep.

This chakra is also called the brow chakra as it is located between your brows on your forehead and is considered to be the ‘seat of your soul’.

In Ancient Egypt

The eye of Ra or Horus is actually a representation of the penal gland, not only in a spiritual sense but also in a pictorial depiction.

Below is a picture comparing the 2 with rather uncanny similarities.

eye_of_horus_thalamus_brain-ourwonderlife.com_-1

http://www.ourwonderlife.com/de-calcify-the-pineal-gland-our-eye-of-horus/

 

The penal gland is where we perceive or see all things as energy around us. This is a place where you gain your multi-dimensional vision.

Meditation

The colour of this Chakra is Indigo. Each Chakra also has a sound, this is the sound of the universe- the sound of OM, the symbol is.

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Below is a short meditation on YouTube that you can try to assist you in connecting to this Chakra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab9LTtBZjeM

You can meditate on the above- sounding the OM loud or within and using the colour for visualization.

Saturn correspondences

Ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius

Astrologically Saturn is associated with the principles of limitation, restrictions, boundaries, practicality and reality, crystallizing and structures.

Governs ambition, career, authority and hierarchy, and conforming social structures.

Peoples sense of duty, discipline and responsibility, and their physical and emotional endurance during hardships.

Day- Saturday

Herbs- Bindweed, Bistort, Bluebell, Comfrey, Enchanter’s Nightshade, Foxglove, Hellebore, Holly, Indigo, Juniper, Mandrake, Monkshood, Mullein, Pine, Rue, Solomon’s Seal, Witch Hazel, Wolfsbane, Yew.

Minerals- Jet, Obsidian, Onyx, Sapphire, Smoky Quartz, Tourmaline,

Color- Black
Number- 3
Elements- Water and earth
Incense- Myrrh
Animals- Goat, crocodile
Angel- Tzaphqiel

Who were the Maenads?

Written By Priestess Hypatia

For Coven Life

19/12/2019

john_collier_-_priestess_of_bacchus1

Priestess of Bacchus, John Collier (taken from Wikimedia commons), 1886

In Thebes the birth place of Dionysus, the God of wine, the Maenads were born. They were known as the Priestesses who were part of the Dionysus cult and performed ecstatic dance. Roaming the mountains of Thebes, trancing and dancing in fawn skin dresses and panther throws, snake crowns and barefoot. Snakes in ancient times were used as healers.

The list of Maenads is long in history, these women that maintained the Dionysian cult with ecstatic ceremonies were distinct to the Hellenic world. A religious cult unlike no other, the women maintained a frenzied state of ecstasy. Extended periods of dancing (usually to the point of absolute and utter exhaustion) and drinking wine, the Maenads participated in orgiastic celebrations dancing naked through the forests of Thrace.

Dedicated to the God of debauch and fertility the Dionysian followers such as the Maenads experienced states of sexual drunken pleasure that allowed them to become closer to their God.

As members of a respected cult in Hellenic society the Maenads were actually celebrated for their sexual promiscuity, a welcoming change from the ever virtuous virgin Goddesses. Their sexuality gave them power and position more so than many other women in the Hellenic world.

330px-Dancing_maenad_Python_BM_VaseF253

Dancing Maenad. Detail from an ancient Greek Paestum red figure skyphos, made by Python, ca. 330-320 BC. British Museum, London.

Week 28 Goddess Knowledge – Fortuna

The Roman goddess Fortuna was the same as the earlier Italian goddess who presided over the death’s abundance and controlled the destiny of all human beings. Her name, derived from Vortumna, “she who turns the year about,” came to symbolize the capriciousness of life and luck, the vagaries of fate as the wheel of life turns around. Her festival was celebrated in October.

Fortuna gives us a way to approach the ups and downs of life, a perspective that can offer us some equanimity as we proceed on our journey.

For more information about Fortuna and Vortumna

To see images of Fortuna