Posted on 13 Comments

Welcome to the Úlfsvættr Craftsman domain

I want to welcome you to my website of the Úlfsvættr Craftsman. This is the culmination after years of study and working to fine tune my craft in order to produce the highest of quality. Items that easily could become heirlooms passed on to younger generations. But more than that is this Blog where I have so much I want to share with you from my vast experiences and wide variety of knowledge crammed packed into my mind. I hope you enjoy what you see and in some way whether you visit to browse my shop, look through the gallery or just read through this Blog which will be added to four times a month. In time or perhaps by the time you are reading this I will also have a newsletter available as well. Thank you again for taking the time to read this welcome message and remember to always “Keep the Primal Side Alive.”

Posted on Leave a comment

Sharks: Mythology, Spiritual Importance and More

Sharks have been an essential part of native cultures along the coasts across the world for 1000s of years. You can find them in tales as being human hybrids, Gods, monsters with superpower like abilities and more. Since I was a young kid I have had a special love and connection to the oceans and Sharks have always been special to me. In fact the Hammerhead shark is one of my spirit animals. I even have two tattooed as a part of my left sleeve who swim around my matron goddess Rán. I even had my own personal spiritual experience with a school of Hammerheads in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So today I want to dive deep into the world of Sharks in folklore, spirituality and more.

Once Upon a Time in St. Croix

It is a long story so I will try to be brief with this personal experience of mine. During my U.S. Coast Guard career I spent a tour in the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically on the beautiful island of St. Croix. With two friends of mine we decided to go dive a shallow water shipwreck right off the coast in about 50 feet of clear blue Caribbean water. My two friends were geared up with SCUBA and I was free diving with my snorkel and fins.

My two friends dove down to go inside the shipwreck as I was swimming along a reef nearby when suddenly a school of Yellowfin Tuna swam by me at such a fast speed I was surrounded by bubbles. I was maintaining neutral buoyancy when suddenly out of the distance appeared a school of Great Hammerhead sharks! It was incredible to say the least. This species of Hammerhead can reach up to 20 feet in length and one swam by me that I would guess was between 12 to 15 feet. I was surrounded by at least two dozen. It probably lasted for 30 seconds but felt like a lifetime. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Sharks in Global Mythology

  • Greek

The Myth of Lamia: Lamia was the daughter of the sea god Poseidon. She had an affair with the king of the gods, Zeus. When Hera, Zeus’ wife found out about the affair she stole and murdered Lamia’s children, which drove Lamia mad. To help her get revenge, Zeus turned Lamia into a giant shark monster so she could devour the innocent children of others as revenge.

The Myth of Cetus: After Andromeda, the princess of Aethiopia’s mother Cassiopeia, was bragging that her daughter was more beautiful than the sea god Poseidon’s daughters. Poseidon decided to take revenge by sending a giant shark/whale monster name Cetus after her. Luckily for Aethiopia, the legendary hero Perseus was able to save the day and kill Cetus.

Akheilos: Akheilos is the son of Zeus and Lamia and was a lesser known sea god with a shark head and a fiery fish body. Akheilos was turned into a shark as punishment after boasting that he was more attractive than the god of beauty Aphrodite.

  • Hawaiian

Kamohoali’i: Kamohoali’i was the king of the sharks gods and guardian of the Hawaiian Islands. He could transform into both a human and a variety of different sea creatures to help people.

Ka-moho-ali’i swam in the area around the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe.

Ka’ahupahau: A shark goddess that was born a human. After being transformed into a shark god, she dedicated her life to protecting people from shark attacks.

Kane’apua: Was the trickster shark god, who could perform magical feats to entertain and delight all.

Keali’ikau ‘o Ka’u: Keali’ikau ‘o Ka’u fell in love with a human and gave birth to a green shark that would help people trapped at sea.

Kuhaimoana: Was a massive shark god that protected the Ka’ula islet and ensured fisherman had a bountiful catch.

Kane’i’kokala: Was a shark god that would save shipwreck victims.

  • Fijian

Dakuwaqa: was a major god of the Fuji islands. Dakuwaqa was half shark, half man. He would help fishermen avoid danger at sea, protect people from ferocious sea monsters, and would help ensure a bountiful catch. In the Cook Islands, Dakuwaqa was known as Avatea, and was also the god of the sun and the moon. In Tonga, he was known as Takuaka and was a warrior god that would protect people from other vicious gods.

  • Bahamian

Lascu: is a half-shark, half-octopus sea monster with a bad temper from Bahamian mythology. Lascu is responsible for sinking ships, drowning swimmers, and causing whirlpools. Lascu is said to be responsible for the blue holes, or sinkholes found along the island. It is said she will make a sinkhole whenever the residents of an island have angered her.

  • South American

The native tribal people of Brazil and Guyana, believed that the constellation Orion’s belt was actually the leg of a hunter named Nohi Abassi. After tiring of his mother-in-law, Nohi abassi trained a shark to eat her. What he did not know is his mother-in-law found out and disguised her other daughter as the shark. Instead of attacking the mother-in-law, his sister-in-law attacked him and sawed off his leg. That leg became the constellation.

  • Maori

Kawariki: was a princess who fell in love with a simple peasant boy Tutira. Her father, a sorcerer king was not happy and so he cursed Tutira, turning him into a shark. Rather than be defeated, the two still met in secret and would swim together at night. One day, there was a huge tsunami that destroyed the village and swept all the villagers out to sea. Tutira, as a shark, saved the villagers and brought them back to shore. Once Kawariki’s father realized the shark that had saved them was Tutira, he was so impressed with this heroic act, he turned Tutira back to a human and apologized by letting him marry Kawariki.

  • Zanzibar

The myth of the monkey and the shark is a simple fable about how a monkey living in a fruit tree and a shark became friends. The monkey would help the shark eat fruit from the tree and the two would talk. To repay the monkey, the shark offered to take him on his back to his home for a big feast. Turns out the shark only befriended the monkey because his king was sick and needed a monkey heart to cure him. When the monkey found out the shark’s goals, he tricked the shark into thinking he had left his heart back at the tree. The shark took him back to the tree where the monkey climbed up and mocked the shark for being stupid. The moral of the story, never trust a shark or a monkey. SOURCE

In #fijian #mythology, the deity of the sea known as Dakuwaqa is regarded as a shark-god. He was very popular with the fishermen because he would protect them from sharks and other dangerous creatures at sea. When Dakuwaqa was going to Kadavu Island to conquer it, he was attacked by an octopus. After a great battle, the octopus managed to pull out its teeth and restraining him with its 8 arms to prevent the massive attack by the demon. He was a helper during sea disasters but  was also a killer. Today, many parts of Fiji claim to have remnants of his former home and that he once lived among them. The village of Rukua in Beqa for instance has a cave where Dakuwaqa once lived with his two daughters. He is often described as a muscular man with an upper torso that’s usually associated with a great white shark but he can also alter his appearance due to his abilities of shape shifting. According to other legends, he can grow to 60 feet long and has the head and tail of a whale with a brown spotted or mottled back.
The Tiburones  are said to be flying sharks, with razor sharp teeth, crushing jaws, and able to circle their prey from the air. ‘Tiburon’ is Spanish for ‘shark’, most English translations of the Ibalon use this name for the creature (Triburon). In Bikol, these creatures are known as Pating na Pakpakan. In the Ibalon epic, they were tamed by the warrior-hero Handyong. SOURCE

The Cook Islands

From the Cook Islands comes the popular legend of Tekea the Great, the king of all sharks.

One of the most popular tales is that of Ina and the Shark. Though there are many versions of this story, it basically says that Ina was a beautiful, young maiden in love with the god of the Ocean, Tinirau. Tinirau lived on a floating island and asked Ina to come and see him. But she needed transportation across the waters and an unnamed shark offered to help her. She hopped on his back and they were off.

Afterwards, she became hungry and she wanted to break open one of the coconuts she had carried along. She hit it against the shark’s head to open it, denting his head in the process. The angry shark threw her off and she would have drowned (or he would have eaten her). Luckily, Tekea the Great came to her rescue and carried her to meet Tinirau.

Anyway, the islanders believe the knock on the head was how sharks got the indentations on their heads. SOURCE

I own a copy of this amazing book and one chapter covers the story of Nanaue, the Shark-Man of Hawai’i folklore and it is a book I highly recommend. You can purchase a copy HERE.

The Shark as a Spirit Animal SOURCE

Shark teeth have long been a symbol of strength and manhood.

Sailors and surfers often wear them for good luck and protection from drowning. In the Middle Ages people donned a shark tooth to protect them from poison in foods and beverages, which could easily translate into safeguarding us from toxic situations.

In Hawaii a story tells us that a young, brave warrior fought the God of the Sea. He won, and for his reward he received a necklace of shark teeth. So again we see them symbolic value of safety.

In this part of the world people consider the Shark spirit as a type of Ancestor or Deity known by the name Aumakua.

In Polynesia people wear a row of dots around their ankle to protect from Shark bites (or in this case whatever’s nipping at your heels). Shark as a Spirit Animal could be letting you know to watch for those who would try to bring you down by “cutting your legs out from under you”.

In the animal kingdom, males are often presumed to be the most dominant, but in the ocean, does this presumption hold water? Scientists search for answers to understand if the biggest and baddest sharks of them all are female. From the great white sharks of South Africa to the tiger sharks in the Maldives, scientist teams seek to uncover the ultimate rulers of the waves.

People born with a Shark Totem have amazing energy and deep emotions. Now, this may sound odd considering Sharks pretty much have only one facial expression that we are aware of. But, with Water as their element, of course they are creatures of the dreamscape and the real of psychic awareness.

In this, Sharks are not void of emotion but, rather, complete masters of it. They do not wear their emotions on their fins but you may rest assured they “feel” a great deal.

Wherever Shark people swim it seems like opportunity is only a cresting wave away. Shark people have intense drive and enthusiasm. You come by it naturally. Remember, Sharks never stop moving.

You may find yourself wanting to travel and find challenging adventures. In the pursuit of your goals, those with Shark as a Totem Animal will torpedo fearlessly forward until they’ve caught the bait.

Symbolic Meanings of the Shark

  • Comprehension
  • Family Safety
  • Sure Movement & Action
  • Personal Power
  • Leadership
  • Work Ethic
  • Advancement
  • Past Life Awareness
  • Transformation
  • Shape Shifting
  • Productivity
  • Independence
  • Bravery
A team of shark scientists from Florida International University, are on an expedition to try and find the world’s biggest great hammerhead.

So as you can see there is a LOT regarding the world of Sharks in worldwide coastal culture and I could have kept going on but instead I feel it can conclude here but with some further resources I looked into that I highly recommend checking out. Sharks are given such negative representation by Hollywood and even in media yet Sharks are one of the most important species regarding the ecosystem of the oceans of the world and must be respected and protected. I can only hope that doing my part with this blog post will help others realize how essential they are not just in the balance of nature but in our spiritual lives as well.

Further Resources

Hawaiian Shark Mythology

Sharks in Hawaiian mythology

Sharks in Mythology

Unveiling the Mystical Connections: Sharks and Indigenous Mythology

Sharks, Sawfishes, and Rays: Their Folklore

Takuaka – The Myth of the Shark God

Shark Folklore Around The World: Myths And Legends

Fiji’s Shark Legends

In Photos: How Ancient Sharks and ‘Sea Monsters’ Inspired Mayan Myths

The Shark spirit animal : Symbolism and meaning

Posted on Leave a comment

The Akhlut of Inuit Folklore

Creatures of folklore from indigenous cultures around thew world is one of my many fascinations. From the Rougarou of Cajun folklore to the Selkies of Irish folklore and many in-between. However I must say my absolute favorite has to be the Akhlut of Inuit folklore and for two specific reasons which its makeup of being a hybrid of a Wolf and Orca. I briefly touched on the Akhlut in my Orca blog post but today I wanted to go into more detail on this fierce creature who hunts the Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland.

In Inuit folklore, the kăk-whăn’-û-ghăt kǐg-û-lu’-nǐk or akh’lut is an orca-like composite animal that takes the form of a wolf when on land, and is sometimes depicted as a wolf-orca hybrid.

In 1900, the American naturalist Edward William Nelson described the kăk-whăn’-û-ghăt kǐg-û-lu’-nǐk among a number of other mythical and composite animals:

“It is described as being similar in form to the killer whale and is credited with the power of changing at will to a wolf; after roaming about over the land it may return to the sea and again become a whale. While in the wolf form it is known by the above name, and the Eskimo say they know that this change takes place as they have seen wolf tracks leading to the edge of the sea ice and ending at the water, or beginning at the edge of the water and leading to the shore. … These animals are said to be very fierce and to kill men.”

– Edward William Nelson

Nelson attributed stories of the creature to the orca (akh’lut), and explained wolf tracks appearing to lead into the sea as the result of ice breaking away from the edge. He identifies other composite animals among Inuit folklore, including a white whale that can transform into a reindeer, and says that belief in the kăk-whăn’-û-ghăt kǐg-û-lu’-nǐk is prevalent among Inuit along the shore of the Bering Sea. SOURCE

Akhlut are known for their ferocity, and they hunt humans and animals alike.

The Akhlut is from Inuit mythology and is considered a rather vicious beast.  As you can see, it has orca traits as well as four legs.  This is because this aggressive spirit takes the form of an orca, but transforms into a wolf in order to hunt on land.  You can tell one has been around when you find wolf tracks leading to or from the icy water.  This is pretty much it as far as physical traits since it is fairly elusive.  There are times where it is described as a hybrid of a wolf and orca like above.

There are many origin myths for the Akhlut, but this is the one I found most often.  A man became obsessed with the sea and wanted to stay there.  It reached the point where the people of his village could not recognize him, so they made him leave.  He ‘hungered for revenge’ and joined a pack of wolves to survive.  He may have worked with the wolves to attack villagers, but that wasn’t consistent.  Anyway, his love of the ocean returned after he fed and he dove in to transform into an orca.  Now, he remains in that form, but returns to land and becomes a wolf whenever he is ‘hungry for revenge’.  It does appear that this eventually evolved into hungry for food over time. SOURCE

In this exhaustive story collection, the rich tradition of Inuit storytelling becomes accessible to the rest of Canada for the first time. Unipkaaqtut is the Inuit word meaning “to tell stories.”
This definitive collection of Inuit legends is thoughtfully introduced and carefully annotated to provide the historical and cultural context in which to understand this rich oral tradition.
Read about the origin of thunder and lightning, the tale of the man who married a fox and many animal fables from the North. Fascinating and educational, this little-known part of Canada’s heritage will captivate readers of all ages. As a work of historical and cultural preservation, this text will be invaluable to those studying Inuit.

What Always comes back into these stories though, is that there are footprints of a wolf to be found going to, or from the ocean, without any signs of the wolf leaving, or going to the ocean. There are, however, some simple explanations for this. First of all, the chunk of ice the arctic wolf was coming from/ going to, simply broke off. Either with the wolf still on it, or with the wolf already having left, but a few meters away. The second solution is somewhat more mysterious, and still some kind of myth. It says that sometimes, when alder arctic wolves are being rejected by a pack, they would commit suicide by jumping in the cold, icy water and drown themselves. This is rather odd, however, because survival instinct should prevent them from doing that, because it’s very strong with animals. The third explanation is that the wolf jumped into the water, swam a little bit, and came onto shore a few meters away. However, this would mean that the wolf would need a reason to swim, because it’s not really nice to swim at the north pole, and it can be rather dangerous, so this theory also has his flaws. SOURCE

Discover the world of Inuit mythology! In this video you will delve into the rich culture and beliefs of the Inuit peoples of North America. Discover their gods and spirits, their legends and myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. In this video you will learn the history of the Inuit gods, such as Sedna, the goddess of the sea and marine animals, and Nanook, the god of bears and hunting. We will also explore Inuit spirits, such as the Tupilak, spirits that could be summoned to harm others. In addition, you will discover the fascinating Inuit legends, such as that of Igaluk, the god of the moon and Malina, goddess of the sun. You will also learn about the legend of the Tunita or Dorsett, who according to legend, were the first inhabitants of their land and are described as having the musculature and strength of a polar bear.

So as you can see there is little known about this fearsome creature of the Arctic but even with what is known the Akhlut is not only my favorite creature of folklore but actually one that really resonates me on a personal and spiritual level especially due to the origin story of the Akhlut. In the future I do plan on featuring other creatures of Inuit folklore along with creatures of folklore from around the world.

Further Resources

Akhlut

Akhlut, Hunter From the Depth

What is the origin of the akhlut’s name?

Things that go bump – Akhlut

Sedna: Inuit Goddess of the Sea

Posted on Leave a comment

Chechnya: The Folklore, Mythology and Ancient Religions

If you have followed my blog over the past two years you will know how fascinated I am by ancient culture, mythology, folklore and indigenous traditions. Some I have shared are very well known and some not so much. Today I want to dive into a place and people that unfortunately most are not aware of have a rich history regarding their spiritual beliefs that is on a small scale as far as I have researched still exists. That place is the land of Chechnya and its people. So let’s get into it and I hope you enjoy what I am about to share with you.

Introduction

The Chechens (/ˈtʃɛtʃɛnz, tʃəˈtʃɛnz/Chechen: Нохчий, Noxçiy, Old Chechen: Нахчой, Naxçoy), historically also known as Kisti and Durdzuks, are a Northeast Caucasian ethnic group of the Nakh peoples native to the North Caucasus. They are the largest ethnic group of the North Caucasus and refer to themselves as Nokhchiy; singular Nokhchi, Nokhcho, Nakhchuo or Nakhtche). The vast majority of Chechens today are Muslims and live in Chechnya, a republic of Russia. The North Caucasus has been invaded numerous times throughout history. Its isolated terrain and the strategic value outsiders have placed on the areas settled by Chechens has contributed much to the Chechen community ethos and helped shape its national character. Chechen society has traditionally been egalitarian and organized around many autonomous local clans, called teips.

A teip (also taip, teyp; Nakh [ˈtajpə]family, kin, clan, tribe) is a Chechen and Ingush tribal organization or clan, self-identified through descent from a common ancestor or geographic location. It is a sub-unit of the tukkhum and shahar. There are about 150 Chechen and 120 Ingush teips. Teips played an important role in the socioeconomic life of the Chechen and Ingush peoples before and during the Middle Ages, and continue to be an important cultural part to this day. Teips being sub-units of tukkhums, members of the same teip are traditionally thought to descend from a common ancestor, and thus are considered distant blood relatives. Teip names were often derived from an ancestral founder. As is also true of many other North Caucasian peoples, traditionally Chechen and Ingush men were expected to know the names and places of origin of ancestors on their father’s side, going back many generations, with the most common number being considered as 7. Many women also memorized this information, and keener individuals can often recite their maternal ancestral line as well. The memorization of the information serves as a way to impute clan loyalty to younger generations. Among peoples of the Caucasus, traditionally, large scale land disputes could sometimes be solved with the help of mutual knowledge of whose ancestors resided where and when.

The Chechens, who call themselves noxchii (singular noxchi or noxchuo ) and their land Noxchiin moxk (“Chechen land”), are the largest indigenous nationality of the North Caucasus. They speak a language of the Nakh-Daghestanian, or East Caucasian language family that is native to the Caucasus, and have lived in or near their present locations for millennia. Chechnya is a small territory of about 5,000 sq. mi. (13,000 sq. km.) corresponding to about 85 percent of the historical Chechen lands (the rest is in today’s Daghestan), with some non-Chechen steppe land added in the north. The lower North Caucasus foothills and adjacent plain including the capital city of Grozny (Soelzha-ghaala “Sunzha City” in Chechen, a name still much in use despite its official renaming to Djohar in 1996) are the most densely populated part of Chechnya. The Chechens numbered just over a million in mid-2000 according to a Danish Refugee Council census. Somewhat over half of the world’s Chechens live in Chechnya; most of the others are scattered throughout Russia, several tens of thousands live in Kazakhstan and nearby, and a few tens of thousands in JordanTurkey, and Syria. Continue reading HERE.

Chechens: Culture and Society is an ethnography that elaborates the lived experiences of Chechens, focusing primarily on relationships and socio-cultural norms within the context of the current conflict in the Chechen Republic.

The Mythology and Folklore

Although the Vainak peoples (Chechens and Ingush) of the North Caucasus were Islamized relatively late in the early modern period, Amjad Khaimuka (2005) explores their pre-Islamic religion and mythology, including traces of ancestor worship. I propose to rebuild some of the elements. and a funeral cult. The Nak, like many other peoples of the North Caucasus, such as the Circassians and Ossetians, practiced tree worship and believed that trees were the abode of spirits. The Vainak have developed many rituals for offering specific types of wood. The pear tree held a special place in Vainakh beliefs.

Jaimoukha (2005), page 252, contains a list of reconstructed ‘Vainak gods’. Dar (Chechen), Dar (Ingush) or Dara – Supreme God. Corresponds to the Greek Zeus, the Roman Jupiter, the Germanic Wodan, and the Circassian Teshwe. Gal-Yerdi or Gela – Sun god and patron of cattle breeders. Worship services were held on Nak New Year’s Day, with metal spheres, candles, and sometimes animal sacrifices. Hera – God of Darkness. Seela or Sela – God of stars, thunder and lightning. Sera is often portrayed as an evil and cruel deity in Vainak mythology. His skeins (loose bags made of animal skins) contained “nights” (stars, lightning, thunder). He lives on top of Mount Kazbek in a fiery chariot. It was he who chained Puharmat to the mountain for stealing fire, and for this reason it was forbidden to carry embers and ashes on Wednesdays in his month in the old Vainakh calendar. During the period of Christianization in Chechnya and Ingushetia, he (like Vatshira in Ossetia and Ilya Muromiets in Russia) was identified with Elijah the Prophet and maintained his status. He also, like the Greek Zeus, was unable to control his mortal lust for women (to the dismay of his wife Hulki), and as a result of his episode with a mortal maiden, his daughter, the goddess Sera Sata was born. Sata or Sera Sata – According to various versions, Sheila’s wife or daughter. Goddess of craftsmanship, especially female craftsmanship, equivalent to Satanaya in the Northwest Caucasus. Her face is described as beautiful and shining like the sun. She guides Pukarmat to the top of Mount Kazbek and helps him steal Serra Fire for Earth’s inhabitants. Maetsill – God of agriculture and harvests, and protector of the weak. Ishtar-Deela – Lord of life and death, ruler of the underworld (“Deeli-Malkhi”), responsible for punishing the wicked. Molyz-Yerdi – War god who brought victory to Vaynak. Elta – God of hunting and animals, and of the harvest before Maethir took over the role. He was blinded in one eye due to his father Dheera’s disobedience. Amgali (-Yerdi) – minor deity. Taamash(-Yerdi) – (“Lord of Wonders”) Lord of Destiny. It’s usually small, but when it gets angry, it becomes huge. Tusholi – Goddess of fertility, protector of those greater than her father, Deela. She is believed to live in the sacred Gullane Am Lake. According to scholars, Tushori was the primary deity in early beliefs. People petitioned her for healthy offspring, a bountiful harvest, and a prosperous herd of cattle. In later times, Tushori became an object of worship mainly for childless women. She had a holy day, Tushori Day, on which women brought offerings such as red deer horns, bullets, and candles to the sanctuary of Mount Dheerateh (except for priests and priests). could only be entered with explicit permission). (It was forbidden to cut down trees.) Her day is now considered “Children’s and Women’s Day”. The hoopoe, known as the ‘chicken of Tushori’, was considered ‘her’ bird and could not be hunted except with the permission of the high priest and strictly for medical purposes. Dartsa-Naana (“Mother of Blizzards”) – Goddess of blizzards and avalanches. She lives on the snowy summit of Mount Kazbek, drawing a magical circle around it, which no mortal of any sense dares to cross. If any would dare to do so, Datha Nana would cast them into the abyss and let deadly snow roll upon them in her mountain home. Mok Nana – Goddess of the wind. Seelasat – (“Oriole”) Guardian of the Virgin (probably identical to Sata / Sela Sata, see above). Meler Yerdi – God of plants and cereal drinks. Aira – Guardian of the Eternal Timeline. Mozh – The evil sister of the Sun and Moon. Shrikes have eaten all their other relatives in the sky and are now in constant pursuit of their celestial brethren. A rare eclipse occurs when she catches up with them and takes them prisoner. Mr. Moz agrees to release Sun and Moon only at the request of his innocent eldest daughter. Bolam-Deela – Not much is known about him/her. He/she may or may not have been equal to Dheera Mark. Khagya-Yerdi or Maetzkhali – Lord of the Rock. Mattir-Deela – Another lesser-known god. P’eerska – (Friday) Keeper of Time. SOURCE

Closed Captions in English is available for this video.

When meeting the Chechen mythology and Chechen pagan cults, their connection with the culture of Asia and Europe is clearly traced. This is explained by the fact that since the third century AD, the Caucasus has been the intersection of the routes of communication of many Eastern and European civilizations. Thus, in the language, cults and mythology of the Chechen Republic, in its everyday traditions, up to the present day, the features of the culture of the peoples of Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe are preserved. The same applies to the Chechen theater, music and dance culture of Chechnya. Due to the constant military actions on the territory of the Chechen Republic over many centuries, a significant part of the cultural heritage of the people was irretrievably lost. But the traditions turned out to be alive thanks to the Chechen people, who retained their cultural and ethnic identity.

The number of genres of modern Chechen folklore is impressive: it is the traditional Nart heroic epic and associated mythology, various fairy tales, legends, tales and legends, religious, children’s and ritual folklore, plays, songs and poems of the so-called tyullik and Zhukhurgov. Chechen mythology is not so rich, but it is interesting with relics of pastoral and agricultural cults and totemic beliefs, and the myth “How the sun, moon and stars happened” is just a fundamental work of cosmogony and a significant historical monument of folk culture.

The Vainakh symbol of Dela-Malx. on the stone is the Ingush symbol of sun/earth motion, as is on the flag of Ingushetia:
Dela-Malx was the main god. In ancient Vainakh traditions they days honoured were the winter and summer solstice, except it is in the opposite perspective… in December, the darkest day of the year, was celebrated the “birth” of the sun (positive sense) and in June, the lightest day of the year, was the “death” of the sun (almost negative sense), as the days would then become shorter.

The heroic epic of Chechnya is in many ways similar to that of the Balkars, Ossetians, Circassians and Karachais – both in form and content. Basically, it has three epic groups: legends about giants (cyclops, giants with two eyes and giants – the founders of clans), works about national heroes and traditions – legends that are not associated with the Nart epic, but have a heroic-epic typology. Here is a translation of an excerpt from a legend typical of the second epic group of works:

So only on the battle lined up both nations with the leaders,
Troy sons rush, with chatter, with a cry, like birds:
Creek is such a crane is distributed under the high sky
If, having avoided both winter storms and endless rains,
Screaming herds fly through the rapid flow of the Ocean,
Swearing threatening and killing men undersized, pygmies,
With terrible rage on whom from air heights attack.

Chechen fairy tales are very similar to works of a similar genre of other peoples of the North Caucasus and Europe. The plot is a fairy tale magic, domestic, tales of animals, where good always triumphs over evil, and the main character usually comes out the winner from various difficult situations. SOURCE

The Vainakh peoples (Chechen: вайн нах, Ingush вей нах “our people”) are the speakers of the Vainakh languages. These are chiefly the ethnic Chechen, Ingush and Kist peoples of the North Caucasus, including closely related minor or historical groups.

Vainakh Deities

The gods of the Chechen and Ingush peoples SOURCE

Necropolis in Itum Kale(Chechnya), and tower of Tsoi-Pheda protecting the peace of the dead

The following is a list of Vainakh divinities — from “Amaga-erda”, the protector of lakes, to the “Votshabi”, the spirits which watch over herds of aurochs. This list was copied from Mariel Tsaroieva’s amazing Anciennes Croyances des Ingouches et des Tchétchènes (“Ancient Beliefs of the Ingush and the Chechens”, published in 2005), which I found in a remainders bookshop in Brussels. Ms Tsaroieva is of Ingush origin, and holds a PhD in History of Religion from the prestigious Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales in Paris. A former teacher of romance linguistics at the state universities of Chechnya-Ingushetia and Kyrgyzstan, she has published many articles and books on folklore and “geolinguistics”, both in Russian and in French.

The list reads as follows:

The Gods of the World

“diala” — the god-father

“tusholi” — the goddess-mother

“kurkhars” or “tshugul” — the hairstyle of Ingush women

“tq’a” — the god of the universe

“nana latta” — mother earth

“h’al-erda” — the sky-god

“mago-erda” — the god of magic and of wisdom and knowledge

“eshtar” — the god of the afterlife


The Astral Divinities

“malkha” — the sun-god

“but’ ” — the moon-god

Seela or Sela – God of stars, thunder and lightning. Sela is often portrayed in Vainakh myth as an evil and cruel god. His skein (a loose bag made of animal skin) held the “night” (stars, lightning and thunder). He lives on the top of Mount Kazbek with his fiery chariot.


The Gods of Nature


“seli” — the god of (thunder-)storms and lightning

“dardza-nana” — the goddess of snowstorms

“mikha-nana” — the goddess of the winds

“khi-nana” — the goddess of rivers and springs

“amaga-erda” — the protector of lakes

“hagar-erda” or “hirga-erda” — the aurochs-god or the rock-god

“amgali-erda” and “saniba-erda” — the tribal gods

“kherkh-erda” — the god of fruit-trees (also protector of great trees, with the “naj-gantskhoi”, the spirits which protect “naj”, “oak trees”)



The Gods of Various Domains of Rural Life

“elta” — the god of hunting

“votshabi” — the spirits which protect herds of aurochs

The “Masters of the Woods” and their daughters or sisters, the “almas”

“tamij-erda” — the god of stock-breeding

“mat-tseli” — the god of agriculture and of justice and equality

“matir-diala” or “matar-diala” — the god of haymaking

“mats-khali” — the god of renewal (of crops)

“boalam-diala” — the god of plants (vegetation) and of travellers



The Gods of Social Life

“susan-diala” — the protector of women and of maternity (i.e. the protector of mothers)

“agoi” — the protector of girls

“orkhus” or “orkhush” — the god of fecundity and procreation

“dika-seli” — the god of goodness and kindness

“arda” — the god of boundaries (or of boundary-markers?) and of clan possessions



The Gods of Work and Handicrafts

“sela-sata” — the protector of handicrafts and know-how

“p’harmat” — the blacksmith-god

“malar-erda” — the god of intoxicating drinks (i.e. the god of alcohol)

“moloz” — the god of war


The Gods of Disease

“una-nana” — the goddess of contagious diseases

“higiz” or “hegiz” — the goddess of smallpox



Some Forgotten Gods of Antiquity

“ami” and “h’ur-ami” or “fur-ami” — perhaps the god of good tidings and the goddesses of the winds, respectively

“baini-seli” — the god of agriculture, perhaps, now replaced by “mat-tseli”; apparently related to the Georgian Mokheve (i.e. the inhabitants of Khevi, the valley of the Terek between the Djvari Pass and the Daryal Gorge)

“falkhan” — probably related to Mago-erda, the god of wisdom and knowledge

“suvsa” — probably the ancient goddess-mother

“sampai-tsuge” or “siampai-tsuoge” — probably the ancient god of trees or of forests; sometimes worshipped as the rain-god

In Conclusion

I really enjoyed putting this post together and learned quite a lot regarding this subject and plan to look more into the traditions and folklore of the people of Chechnya. I found a real treasure trove of resources which I will include for those of you who want to learn more about the amazing folklore and mythology which originated from the ancient people of such a fascinating culture.

Further Resources

Chechen native religion

The legend of the “Hordune-Din” (the “Sea Stallion”)

The Pagan Religious Practices of the Chechens and the Ingush

The Shamanic Themes in Chechen Folktales

The Origin of the Chechen and Ingush: A Study in Alpine Linguistic and Ethnic Geography

The Diversity of the Chechen culture: from historical roots to the present

Chechen Fairy Tales, Fables and Stories

The Abrek in Chechen Folklore

Dancing Through Mythological Threads: Unraveling the Symbolism of Chechen Dance

Posted on Leave a comment

The Kingfisher: Facts, Folklore and More

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was exposed to a huge variety of Flora and Fauna in the beautiful nature that is Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. My favorite was and still is the coastal region of the PNW. It is common to see Terns, Seagulls, Orcas, Sea Lions and more. One little colorful and energetic coastal bird that is quite common to see, especially around the Columbia river bar is the Belted Kingfisher.

Recently after reading a small excerpt from one of my books and discussion with a close friend of mine I had quite the revelation that my bird spirit animal is indeed the Kingfisher. Making all four spirit animals of mine marine animals (Canadian Coastal Wolf, Hammerhead Shark, Giant Manta Ray and Kingfisher).

So with today’s blog post I want to cover the facts, folklore and spiritual meaning of this beautiful and very important species.

Kingfisher facts

kingfisher, any of about 90 species of birds in three families (Alcedinidae, Halcyonidae, and Cerylidae), noted for their spectacular dives into water. They are worldwide in distribution but are chiefly tropical. Kingfishers, ranging in length from 10 to 42 cm (4 to 16.5 inches), have a large head, a long and massive bill, and a compact body. Their feet are small, and, with a few exceptions, the tail is short or medium-length. Most species have vivid plumage in bold patterns, and many are crested.

These vocal, colourful birds are renowned for their dramatic hunting techniques. Typically, the bird sits still, watching for movement from a favourite perch. Having sighted its quarry, it plunges into the water and catches the fish usually no deeper than 25 cm (10 inches) below the surface in its dagger-shaped bill. With a swift downstroke of the wings, it bobs to the surface. It then takes the prey back to the perch and stuns the fish by beating it against the perch before swallowing it. Many species also eat crustaceans, amphibians, and reptiles. SOURCE

More Fun Facts

  • Kingfishers have something called a nictitating membrane which is a thin translucent eyelid that protects their eyes when they dive underwater.
  • When they breed they build their nest burrow into the stone-free sandy soil of a low stream bank. These burrows can also be utilized by Swallows.
  • You won’t see these birds near polluted waters since the fish population is not big enough to support them. Each Kingfisher needs to eat its body weight in fish everyday.
  • Males and females will combine their territories during breeding season in order to feed their young. During the colder months they will often divide their summer territory. Each territory covers about 1km of river. SOURCE
A Belted Kingfisher relaxing on the shores of the Columbia river bar Chinook Harbor, Wa. SOURCE

Cool facts of the Belted Kingfisher

  • The breeding distribution of the Belted Kingfisher is limited in some areas by the availability of suitable nesting sites. Human activity, such as road building and digging gravel pits, has created banks where kingfishers can nest and allowed the expansion of the breeding range.
  • The Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species in which the female is more brightly colored than the male. Among the nearly 100 species of kingfishers, the sexes often look alike. In some species the male is more colorful, and in others the female is.
  • During breeding season the Belted Kingfisher pair defends a territory against other kingfishers. A territory along a stream includes just the streambed and the vegetation along it, and averages 0.6 mile long. The nest burrow is usually in a dirt bank near water. The tunnel slopes upward from the entrance, perhaps to keep water from entering the nest. Tunnel length ranges from 1 to 8 feet.
  • As nestlings, Belted Kingfishers have acidic stomachs that help them digest bones, fish scales, and arthropod shells. But by the time they leave the nest, their stomach chemistry apparently changes, and they begin regurgitating pellets which accumulate on the ground around fishing and roosting perches. Scientists can dissect these pellets to learn about the kingfisher’s diet without harming or even observing any wild birds.
  • Belted Kingfishers wander widely, sometimes showing up in the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the British Isles, the Azores, Iceland, Greenland, and the Netherlands.
  • Pleistocene fossils of Belted Kingfishers (to 600,000 years old) have been unearthed in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. The oldest known fossil in the kingfisher genus is 2 million years old, found in Alachua County, Florida. SOURCE
The Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher is one of the most enigmatic and rarely filmed birds in the world. This fascinating documentary spends a year with them as they survive monsoons, droughts and predators to raise their brood for the next season.

Kingfisher as a Spirit Animal

In Polynesia, where the bird is sacred, the Kingfisher represents control over the seas. The connection is easy to see when you learn about the Kingfishers’ preference for living near water bodies where they can find food. Some clever Kingfishers even take to stocked backyard ponds!

When Kingfisher arrives in your life as a Spirit Animal, it heralds a time of abundance and peace. You have harvested the results of competent labor and begin attracting good fortune. Rejoice! Open your wings and fly on the winds of prosperity. Kingfisher will pull you back, however, if you misuse the blessing.

Kingfisher sometimes arrives as a Spirit Animal when you struggle with a specific fear. Kingfisher teaches you how to invoke courage and tackle anything coming your way head-on. The fear you experience may be because of an “unknown”- something you won’t truly discover until you reach the horizon. Kingfisher Spirit reminds you, such situations can open the way to expanded consciousness. Transform fear into anticipation.

The Kingfisher Spirit Animal brings new things into your life. Perhaps there will be a change in careers, a potential mate, or a skill you’ve been trying to develop. Whatever focus the Kingfisher brings, stick to it. Keep it in your sights. The best part? You will have a ton of fun.
For individuals who struggle with self-expression, the Kingfisher is a welcome ally. Explore the words you use and how you use them. Think about body language. Apply the psychic gifts you have for tapping into intent. If you heed your Spirit Animal’s advice, people will see you, hear you, and understand you fully.
SOURCE

Take a dive into the wonderful and diverse world of kingfishers. Explore their physical characteristics and how they differ between the different families, the habitats in which they abide and what they eat (not all is what it seems!) and the countries where they are found. Discover over 50 species of kingfisher and what makes them all incredibly unique.

Celtic symbolism connects the kingfisher to serenity, patience, and the vibrant beauty of nature. The way that kingfishers wait for their prey alongside ponds and streams evokes a sense of tranquility and watchfulness. The Welsh poet William Henry Davies wrote of the kingfisher in his 1910 poem of the same name:

“It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues;
And, as her mother’s name was Tears,
So runs it in my blood to choose
For haunts the lonely pools, and keep
In company with trees that weep.
Go you and, with such glorious hues,
Live with proud peacocks in green parks;
On lawns as smooth as shining glass,
Let every feather show its marks;
Get thee on boughs and clap thy wings
Before the windows of proud kings.
Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;
Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;
I also love a quiet place
That’s green, away from all mankind;
A lonely pool, and let a tree
Sigh with her bosom over me”

William Henry Davies

Kingfisher in Dreams

Dreaming of a kingfisher is largely a positive experience which indicates the start of a peaceful or joyous period in one’s life. A kingfisher’s appearance in a dream may mean that you have entered a period of rest or calm, and that you should take this time to renew yourself and acknowledge your blessings with gratitude.

A kingfisher dream may also indicate longing. It may be a sign that your energy is too focused on something unattainable. Be especially cautious about nostalgia. The past is perhaps the most unattainable object of all; you can only move forward. SOURCE

More than one hundred species of kingfishers brighten every continent but Antarctica. Not all are fishing birds. They range in size from the African dwarf kingfisher to the laughing kookaburra of Australia. This first book to feature North America’s belted kingfisher is a lyrical story of observation, revelation, and curiosity in the presence of flowing waters.

The kingfisher—also known as the halcyon bird—is linked to the mythic origin of halcyon days, a state of happiness that Marina Richie hopes to find outside her back door in Missoula, Montana. Epiphanies and a citizen science discovery punctuate days tracking a bird that outwits at every turn. The female is more colorful than the male (unusual and puzzling) and the birds’ earthen nest holes are difficult to locate.

While the heart of the drama takes place on Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, the author’s adventures in search of kingfisher kin on the lower Rio Grande, in South Africa, and in London illuminate her relationships with the birds of Montana. In the quiet of winter, she explores tribal stories of the kingfisher as messenger and helper, pivotal qualities for her quest. For all who love birds or simply seek solace in nature, Halcyon Journey is an inviting introduction to the mythic and mysterious belted kingfisher.

Kingfisher Encounters and Omens

An encounter with a kingfisher is often a sign that you need to slow down and exercise some patience. Kingfishers are the ultimate stoics, placidly surveying the water below for as long as it takes. If you encounter a kingfisher, it may mean that you must wait in order to achieve your goal.

Additionally, a kingfisher encounter may be an invitation to stop and smell the roses. Do your best to enjoy the present without fixating on a singular goal or desire. Nature’s beauty is all around us and it never costs a dime. The kingfisher reminds us to be grateful for what we have and for all of the amazing things that we have the opportunity to experience each day. SOURCE

Kingfishers in Folklore and Mythology

The kingfisher is a small blue and orange bird that can be found in most of the world. In Greek mythology, Alcyone, a Thessalian princess, and Ceyx, the son of Lucifer, were married. They sometimes called themselves Zeus and Hera. This angered Zeus and he threw a thunderbolt at Ceyx’s ship while he was out to sea. Ceyx was killed. Morpheus, the god of dreams, came to Alcyone in a dream as Ceyx and told her of his fate. Alcyone was overcome and drowned herself. The gods took pity on them and turned them both into kingfishers. Kingfishers were also known as Halcyons in Ancient Greece. Any days of calm and peacefulness are called Halcyon days.

Polynesians believed the sacred kingfisher had control over the water and the waves.

Different Native American tribes have different symbolism for kingfishers. According to Makkah legend, when the earth was populated by the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things, they turned a fisherman who was also a thief into the kingfisher. The white feathers around the kingfisher’s neck were the shells from the necklace that the thief had stolen. A kingfisher on a totem pole represents speed, agility, luck, and patience. The Sioux associate the kingfisher with fertility. Most North Coast Indians view the kingfisher as a sign of good luck.

The Dusun people in Malaysia consider the kingfisher a bad omen. Warriors who saw a kingfisher when going into battle were supposed to return home.

In China, kingfishers are symbols for faithfulness and happy marriages.

In Sabah, from 1982-88 the coat of arms depicted a kingfisher. Traditional fishermen considered the kingfisher a messenger of the gods. SOURCE

This is the story of an animal filmmaker who fulfilled a childhood dream: a documentary, featuring the reclusive and rare kingfisher. The material was not shot in some distant country; it was made here in Germany, in the centre of Europe’s green heart, near a tributary of the Rhine. Animal filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Zimmermann used to admire the flying diamond even as a small child. As an adult, he could at last capture this beautiful bird on film – closer and more intensive than ever before. The results enable us to share his observations as if we had actually participated in the film our-selves. Watch the kingfisher, caught on the wing whilst hunting. Experience how elegantly and powerfully the bird breaks the surface of the water, thereby catching small fish. Enjoy detailed footage of the exciting family life of these fascinating animals. The film reveals the secret life of the timid kingfisher, from the beginning of territorial conflicts in spring, the digging of a breeding hollow and the hostile attacks of a sparrow hawk, to the persistent expelling of the young birds from the parental territory – all captured in truly unique pictures. Experience a passionate and unforgettable documentary. Look forward to this delightful declaration of love to our wild nature – and to the flying diamond.

There is so much more I could add regarding this amazing global species known as the Kingfisher but I feel I have covered a really good amount of content. Even as I put this blog post together I have felt a deeper connection to the Kingfisher and even plan to purchase the book I found for this post. I feel like I personally need to learn more about this species and specifically focus on the Belted Kingfisher which I absolutely intend to do.

Further Resources

The Myth of Halcyon – Halcyon Days

Kingfisher Symbolism: 7 Spiritual Meanings of Kingfisher

The Ancient Greeks Believed Kingfishers Were Born of Epic Love

Native American Kingfisher Mythology

Take on Nature: Why the kingfisher is known as ‘the halcyon bird’

Posted on Leave a comment

Pinecones – the Ins and Outs 

Pinecones – the Ins and Outs by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Pine trees, which belong to the ancient group of plants called gymnosperms, are one of the oldest plant species on earth, dating back to more than one and a half million years.

 They produce cone-shaped organs known as pinecones.

The main function of a pinecone is to keep a pine tree’s seeds safe. 

Pinecones close their scales to protect the seeds from cold temperatures, wind and animals – such as squirrels, birds or deer.

Pinecones open up and release their seeds when it is warm and easier for the seed to germinate.

However, despite popular opinion, pine trees cannot grow from the cones themselves. 

The cone is the husk, protecting the seeds inside.

Pinecones can sometimes stay on pine trees for more than 10 years before falling to the ground.

Pinecones, as you know them, are the FEMALE of the species.

The male cones, even at maturity, are smaller, softer, and much less distinctive than the iconic female cones. You might not have ever noticed them. The male cones release pollen, which drifts into the air and eventually finds female cones.

All members of the pine family (pine, spruce, firs, cedars, larches, hemlocks, yews, etc) have cones, but “pinecones” only come from pine trees.

 The largest recorded pinecones in the world are from the Coulter Pines of California/Baja California. Known as “widow makers,” these giant cones with dagger-like scales can weight up to 11lbs.

The Fibonacci numbers are Nature’s numbering system. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the pattern of the florets of a flower…to the bracts of a pinecone.

In this case, we see a double set of spirals – one going in a clockwise direction and one in the opposite direction. 

When these spirals are counted, the two sets are found to be adjacent Fibonacci numbers. This is otherwise known as the “golden ratio”.

Pine Cones are everywhere in the Sierra Nevada foothills where we live. We use them in our wood stoves as kindling, but I’ve never really stopped to think about what they really are, what their purpose is or why they’re so dang sharp. Today, I learned more than any one person should about the common Pine Cone. Turns out they’re actually very interesting.

Are pinecones edible?

When prepared properly, some green pine cones are technically edible, although, for some, they may be difficult to digest.

Pine nuts, also known as pine seeds, are the edible seeds contained within pinecones. Pine nuts contain protein, carbs, fat, vitamin K, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and magnesium.

Pine nuts have been a staple for Native peoples for thousands of years. Historically, Native peoples ate the raw nuts, ground them into a pine nut flour, made pine nut butter, or used them in soup.

Pinecone Jam (similar to honey) has long been a staple in Ukraine, Georgia and Russia. 

Made from the natural syrup of boiled soft, green, young cones, the aromatic jam is used as a folk remedy for weakened immune systems. 

Pinecone jam has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, cough, asthma, respiratory diseases, TB, arthritis, and cancers.

Additionally, cooks worldwide use the immature, green pinecones to use as edible garnish, season meat, or to slip into tea. 

Italians have been using pinecone nuts (“pignoli“) since the Middle Ages as a prime ingredient in pesto, and desserts such as torta della nonna, and pignoli cookies.

Since the pine tree is able to sprout after forest fires, on mountainsides, and in semi-desert climes, it is no surprise that the ever-resilient tree signifies longevity, wisdom, and immortality. From the pine cone staffs carried by the worshipers of Bacchus in the classical world to their role in the movement to establish national parks in nineteenth-century North America, pine trees and their symbolism run deep in cultures around the globe. In Pine, Laura Mason explores the many ways pines have inspired and been used by people throughout history.

Mason examines how the somber, brooding atmosphere of pine woods, the complex forms of pine cones, and the coniform shape of the trees themselves have aroused the creativity of artists, writers, filmmakers, and photographers. She also considers the many ways we use the tree—its resin once provided adhesives, waterproofing, and medicines, and its wood continues to be incorporated into buildings, furniture, and the pulp used to make paper, while its cones provide pine nuts and other food for animals and humans. Filled with one hundred illustrations, Pine provides a fascinating survey of these rugged, aromatic trees that are found the world over.

Pinecones in history, cultures and religion

The pineal gland takes its name from the pinecone. Not only is its shape similar, but just as the pinecone closes its scales when it’s cold or dark and opens itself up again when the warm weather returns, similarly, the pineal gland regulates melatonin levels to keep people awake during the day and asleep at night.

In 1600s Old English, the word “apple” was applied to coin terms for many fruits and flora such as “earth apple” (a potato), “love apple” (a tomato), and “oak apple” (the round nut produced by oak leaves). “Pine apple,” was named as such for the tropical fruit’s resemblance to pinecones. “Pineapple” is the only one of these Old English terms that stuck.

Throughout the span of recorded human history, pinecones have served as a significant symbolic representation and has always been a synonym of good wishes, embodying the meanings of life force, immortality and divinity.

As a symbol of royalty, the Pine was associated with the Greek goddess Pitthea.

To Sicilians, pinecones are a symbol of fertility, prosperity and abundance. 

In Greek mythology, Dionysus (also known as ‘Bacchus’ in Roman mythology), the god of wine and fruitfulness, carried a Thrysus – a fennel staff woven with ivy and leaves and topped with a pinecone. This staff was a symbol of fertility and was used for ritualistic purposes.

 Celtic women believed that placing a pinecone under their pillow would promote their chances to conceive.

For the Aztecs and the Assyrians, pinecones were a symbol of spirituality, immortality and enlightenment.

The Mexican god “Chicomecoatl” is sometimes depicted with an offering of pinecones in one hand, and an evergreen tree in the other. 

In Hinduism, several gods and goddesses are depicted with pinecones in their hands. 

Shiva, the deity of destruction, even has a hairdo that resembles a pinecone. 

The Egyptian Staff of Osiris (1224 BCE) depicts two spiraling snakes rising up to meet at a pinecone.

 The Catholic church uses the pinecone in its iconography as well. There is a pinecone carved into the staff that the Pope carries during religious ceremonies. Additionally, at the Vatican in Rome, you will see a gargantuan bronze pinecone statue.

In Buddhism, the pinecone’s role as a seed and its potential to grow into a towering tree are seen as symbols of the potential for enlightenment within all beings. It represents the inherent Buddha nature within each individual and the journey towards spiritual awakening.

In modern spiritual practices, such as Wicca and contemporary Paganism, the pinecone is often used as a symbol of nature’s wisdom, spiritual growth, protection, and the cycles of life and death. As a natural object, it is highly valued for its symbolism.

Pinecones and magic

Pinecones can be used for cleansing, purification, attraction, and repelling negative energy. 

Hang a pinecone over your bed to ward off nightmares, or illness during winter months.

Keep a pinecone on your altar or spiritual space to assist with keeping evil influences and negative energies at bay.

Place a pinecone in your car to provide protection from physical harm.

Burn pinecones in your hearth to protect and warm your home, or hang a pinecone over your door to bring positive, cleansing energy. 

(Please note: pinecones are extremely flammable. You only need one or two for a large fireplace – too many, and you’ll have a fire hazard.)

Placing a pinecone at your work desk is an excellent way to increase success and prosperity. 

Carry a pinecone to increase fertility, or to maintain health and strength. 

Meditate with a pinecone to help alleviate dark moods, or to connect your third eye and manifest your higher consciousness. 

You may use pinecones in ritual spells to cleanse, attract prosperity, to protect against negative energy, or to help “stay the course” during difficult times. 

In short

Pinecones have been an integral part of human societies and cultures since ancient times. 

As a practical and beautiful object, the pinecone continues to inspire and captivate human imagination. 

While it might appear like a simple object, it is replete with symbolism and meaning, making it highly valued in many different cultures and architecture.

Embodying rebirth, the essence of the majestic pine tree is captured in its beautifully simplistic and symmetric cone. Pinecones have thus come to represent, not only enlightenment, but our connection with the divine.

Further Resources

Did you know that many pine trees are edible? & not just edible but medicinal too? Pine trees are packed full of vitamins & antioxidants plus they are also antibacterial, antifungal & more! The pine trees bring with them many gifts into our world, The needles, bark, resin & even pollen all have many special properties free for us all to enjoy all year long. In this video we’ve created a guide to pine where we learn how to identify pine tree’s easily with 3 simple steps & we explore their world of free food & medicines so we can all welcome the joys & benefits of pine into our lives.

When do pine cones fall? And what to do with them

11 Amazing Uses for Pine Cones You Probably Didn’t Know

Can You Eat Pine Cones? {5 Best Uses for Edible Pine Cones}

6 Ways to Use Pine Cones in Your Garden

9 Clever & Practical Pine Cone Uses in the Home & Garden

Posted on Leave a comment

The Etruscans: The Great Ancient Civilization of Italy

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know how much I am interested in ancient civilizations across the world. It has been a fascination of mine my whole life and have amassed a decent part of my personal library cover this topic. One region of the world I really enjoy studying is the Mediterranean; from the Roman empire to Greece to the Carthage, etc. One particular ancient civilization in that region I feel really had a big part in shaping the future civilizations of not only Italy but the surrounding area are the people who were known as the Etruscans. From their culture, art, rituals, deities, occult practices and more, these people have a fascinating history which is what today’s blog is all about.

Who Were The Etruscans?

Despite their amazing achievements and lasting influence, the Etruscans remain one of Italy’s great mysteries. Fleur Kinson sheds a little light.

For most of us, ‘Etruscan’ is one of those words we’ve met many times but, if pressed, couldn’t precisely explain. We might know the word has some connection with Tuscany. We might even know that the Etruscans were a people, and that they did impressive things of some kind. But like ‘Phoenicians’ and ‘Carthaginians’, they tend to be a name with no picture – another obscure, long-dead ethnic group only familiar perhaps to people with a classical education. If you plan to visit anywhere in central Italy, it’s really worth sharpening up your hazy understanding. You’re going to meet that word ‘Etruscan’ everywhere you go; a lot of irritation can be saved by clearing it up here. A word of warning, though: it’s a well-founded cliché that anyone who starts learning about the Etruscans quickly becomes hooked on the subject. If you can’t bear to acquire a new interest, look away now.

For half a millennium or more, the Etruscans were Europe’s most advanced civilization outside Greece. Made wealthy by international trade, they spent their time making wine, building roads, draining marshes, painting vases, founding cities, creating sculptures, and constructing aqueducts. Hmmm… sounds a bit like the Romans, doesn’t it? Well it should. Consider three facts: i) at least two of Rome’s earliest kings were Etruscans; ii) most Romans had some Etruscan ancestors; and iii) the Romans took many of their ideas on art, law, religion, public institutions, water management and road-building directly from the Etruscans. You owe more to these unfamiliar ancient people than you probably imagine.

The Etruscans themselves, keen on living for the moment, didn’t seem to care whether or not they preserved their glory for posterity. When their civilization was subsumed into Roman, they didn’t bother asserting a self-consciously distinct ethnicity and melded with the newcomers. Thus an artistic and fun-loving culture was half erased from history – a culture in which banquets were eaten in bed while dancers pranced about and wine-throwing games were played. A culture with strong erotic sensibilities, but also with rudimentary sexual equality – something lost, alas, on the Romans.
With so little testament to the particularities of Etruscan existence and so much testament to the spectacular existence of the Romans, popular and academic attention has understandably always concentrated on the latter. Indeed, scholarship on things Etruscan only really started in the last century or two – and studies still abound with words like ‘mysterious’ and ‘enigmatic’. Etruscan civilization might have been rescued from historical oblivion, but only just. Continue reading HERE.

Unravelling The Enigmatic Etruscans – Documentary

Occult and Spiritual Practices

As some of you may know, the Etruscans much like most ancient civilizations were spiritual people with certain holidays, death rituals and magical practices. It was basically intertwined into their culture much like what we saw with the Romans before they converted to Christianity.

A couple of years ago I came across the reprint of a book originally published in 1963 titled, Etruscan Magic and Occult Remedies by author Charles Godfrey Leland. This amazing book goes into such depth on the magical and occult practices of the Etruscans even with detailed descriptions of potions and spells.

The book itself is described as a “scarce antiquarian book”which was essential to have reprinted and I for one am grateful this was done.

This is my personal copy of Etruscan Magic and Occult Remedies and you can purchase your own copy HERE.

Etruscan art and the afterlife

Terracotta kantharos (vase), 7th century B.C.E., Etruscan, terracotta, 18.39 cm high (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Early on the Etruscans developed a vibrant artistic and architectural culture, one that was often in dialogue with other Mediterranean civilizations. Trading of the many natural mineral resources found in Tuscany, the center of ancient Etruria, caused them to bump up against Greeks, Phoenicians, and Egyptians in the Mediterranean. With these other Mediterranean cultures, they exchanged goods, ideas, and, often, a shared artistic vocabulary.

Unlike the Greeks, however, the majority of our knowledge about Etruscan art comes largely from their burials. (Since most Etruscan cities are still inhabited, they hide their Etruscan art and architecture under Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance layers.) Fortunately, though, the Etruscans cared very much about equipping their dead with everything necessary for the afterlife—from lively tomb paintings to sculpture to pottery that they could use in the next world.

From their extensive cemeteries, we can look at the “world of the dead” and begin to understand some about the “world of the living.” During the early phases of the Etruscan civilization, they conceived of the afterlife in terms of life as they knew it. When someone died, he or she would be cremated and provided with another “home” for the afterlife. ​Continue reading HERE.

In The Etruscans: A Captivating Guide to the Etruscan Civilization of Ancient Italy That Preceded the Roman Republic, you will discover topics such as: Politics, Government, and Social Structure
How an Individual Lived
The Origin of the Etruscans
The Etruscan Orientation, c. 600-400 BCE
The Roman Conquest, c. 400-20 BCE
Mythology and Religion
Art and Music
The Etruscan Language and Writing
Architecture
Surviving Text and Literature
And much, much more!

An intriguing phenomenon

Sleep and Death Carrying off the Slain Sarpedon (cista handle), 400-380 BC, Etruscan, bronze – Cleveland Museum of Art  
© Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

With an extinct language that is only partly understood, much of what was initially known about Etruscan civilization comes from the commentary of later Greek and Roman writers. One hypothesis about their origins, the one favored by Herodotus, points to the influence of ancient Greek cultural elements to argue that the Etruscans descended from migrating Anatolian or Aegean groups. Another, championed by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, proposes that the Etruscans originated and developed locally from the Bronze Age Villanovan culture and were therefore an autochthonous population.

Although the current consensus among archaeologists supports a local origin for the Etruscans, a lack of ancient DNA from the region has made genetic investigations inconsistent. The current study, with a time transect of ancient genomic information spanning almost 2000 years collected from 12 archaeological sites, resolves lingering questions about Etruscan origins, showing no evidence for a recent population movement from Anatolia. In fact, the Etruscans shared the genetic profile of the Latins living in nearby Rome, with a large proportion of their genetic profiles coming from steppe-related ancestry that arrived in the region during the Bronze Age.

Considering that steppe-related groups were likely responsible for the spread of Indo-European languages, now spoken around the world by billions of people, the persistence of a non-Indo-European Etruscan language is an intriguing and still unexplained phenomenon that will require further archaeological, historical, linguistic and genetic investigation.

“This linguistic persistence, combined with a genetic turnover, challenges simple assumptions that genes equal languages and suggests a more complex scenario that may have involved the assimilation of early Italic speakers by the Etruscan speech community, possibly during a prolonged period of admixture over the second millennium BCE,” says David Caramelli, Professor at the University of Florence. SOURCE

The Etruscan civilization lasted from the 8th century BCE to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE. In the 6th century the Etruscans expanded their influence over a wide area of Italy. They founded city-states in northern Italy, and to the south, their influence expanded down into Latium and beyond. Early Rome was deeply influenced by Etruscan culture (the word “Rome” is Etruscan). The Etruscans also gained control of Corsica.

The Archeological Story

(Marco Merola)
Archaeologists working in a large necropolis 75 miles from Rome recently discovered the impressive tomb of an Etruscan noble family dating to the 7th century B.C.

In the nineteenth century, the ancient tombs of Vulci, some 75 miles northwest of Rome and 25 miles west of Viterbo, were a stop on travelers’ Grand Tour of Europe. Since the late eighteenth century, when the first official excavations were undertaken on the orders of Cardinal Guglielmo Pallotta, numerous burials, ranging from the simple to the spectacular, had been found in the area. In the Necropoli dell’Osteria, roughly translated as the “Necropolis of the Pub,” travelers encountered impressively built and richly decorated burials dating from the seventh to fourth centuries B.C. belonging to the Etruscan culture that had once inhabited the region. Some of the tombs had evocative names given to them in contemporary times in order to attract more visitors. There was the Tomb of the Sun and the Moon, the Tomb of the Inlaid Ceiling, and the Tomb of the Panathenaica, named after the sacred athletic and literary games held every four years in Athens to celebrate the goddess Athena. Continue reading HERE.

Excavations of a 2nd century BC burial site in the southern Tuscany region of Italy is providing new insights into Etruscan identity that survived the Roman conquest of Etruria.

The site was discovered in 2017 during a construction project, revealing a settlement and associated burials, which was investigated by researchers at the time but never published.

The settlement is one of few Etruscan sites untouched by looters in antiquity or modernity, allowing researchers to analyze grave goods that are relatively intact, and further understand the distinct Etruscan burial rituals.

According to researchers, the entrenched and distinct characteristics of the Etruscan population survived in the presence of the dominant Roman power and its associated law.

The Etruscan traditions continued for over two centuries following the Roman conquest, shaping the local area with a fusion of both civilization’s social, cultural, and economic habits, until the area was devastated during the Social War between the Roman Republic and several of its autonomous allies (socii) in Italy. SOURCE

Artifacts from Tomb of the Silver Hands, via the Archaeological Institute of America

While trying to relocate the lost Etruscan tombs of Vulci, archaeologists found over twenty unrecorded graves, tombs, and large funerary complexes. Here, they discovered the Tomb of the Silver Hands, which contained some unique finds that shed light on Etruscan society.

Researchers assigned this name to the remarkable tomb because they found two beautifully styled silver hands, still with gold plate remnants, inside the grave. These hands were part of a sphyrelaton, a wooden funerary figure meant to represent the departed and protect the soul after the body was cremated.

In previous research, it was assumed that tombs containing sphyrelatons belonged to warriors or noblemen, but archaeologists found evidence to the contrary in the Tomb of the Silver Hands. Upon closer inspection, it became clear that this tomb belonged to a high-ranking woman in Etruscan society.

Researchers have also discovered evidence suggesting that both men and women were highly literate, regardless of social status. This is indicated by inscribed objects that have been recovered during archaeological excavations. Mirrors, perfume vases, and cosmetic containers with inscriptions have been recovered among grave goods, as well as inscribed ceramic tablets buried with them in tombs.

This image of equality starkly contrasts what we know of the women of ancient Rome. According to ancient Roman records, women were considered unequal to men and were not seen as full citizens. Instead, young Roman women were limited to education as it pertained to running households and were even subject to legal penalties if they remained unmarried by a certain age. SOURCE

Where Did the Ancient Etruscans Come From?

For generations, researchers have wondered who the Etruscans were and where they came from. As early as the fifth century B.C.E., Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the enigmatic people first lived in a faraway land before migrating to the Italian Peninsula.

Now, reports Ariel David for Haaretz, a sweeping genetic survey has confirmed the Etruscans’ origins, suggesting they were local—and proving Herodotus wrong. The new DNA analysis, which was centered on 82 individuals who lived between 800 B.C.E. and 1000 C.E., shows that these ancient people shared many of the same genes as their Roman neighbors. Researchers collected genetic samples from skeletons found across the former region of Etruria, which spanned Tuscany in northern Italy and the central part of the peninsula, as well as the island of Corsica.

As the study’s authors write in the journal Science Advances, “[T]he local gene pool [was] largely maintained across the first millennium B.C.E.” That finding changed dramatically during the time of the Roman Empire, when imperial expansion sparked the incorporation of populations from across the Mediterranean.

“This huge genetic shift in imperial times transforms Italians from a people firmly within the genetic cloud of Europe into a genetic bridge between the Mediterranean and the Near East,” lead author Cosimo Posth, a geneticist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, tells Haaretz.

Earlier archaeological and genetic research indicated that Italy was initially settled about 8,000 years ago by people migrating from Stone Age Europe and, later, the Eurasian steppes and Anatolia.

“The Etruscans look indistinguishable from Latins, and they also carry a high proportion of steppe ancestry,” Posth tells Andrew Curry of Science magazine. Continue reading HERE.

So as you can see with just this blog post, even though it would appear we know quite a bit about the Etruscans, in reality there is so much that has either been lost in time or yet to be uncovered. I personally hope that Archeological excavations along with preservation and studies of ancient Etruscan site continue so that we can further understand these fascinating people who truly had a hand in shaping the Mediterranean world.

Further Resources

History Documentary BBC | Etruscan civilization

Etruscan Life and Afterlife: A Handbook of Etruscan Studies

Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greek & Romans

Why the Romans Don’t Want You to Know About the Etruscans

10 things that you may not know about the Etruscans

Who were the Etruscans?

Posted on Leave a comment

Aquamarine: The Sailor’s Stone

Aquamarine: The Sailor’s Stone by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Aquamarine is a beryl – a rare silicate mineral found in igneous and metamorphic rocks around the world, and a blue-green sister to the deep green emerald.

Aquamarine gemstones are found in a number of exotic places including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, and Brazil.

Color is a defining aspect of this gemstone, which is why most Aquamarines are heat-treated to remove yellow tones and enhance the bright blue hues in this stone.

There is an unmistakable passion behind the consistency with which Aquamarine is compared to the ocean.

Everything about this crystal swirls around water; from its name to its beautiful blue coloring’s, and even deeper – right down to its very meaning.

In Latin, Aquamarine was named ‘water of the sea’ – with Aqua meaning “Water” and Marine, “Of the Sea”. 

History and Folklore

This ocean blue gemstone was once believed to be the treasure of mermaids and was also said to be sacred to Neptune, Roman god of the sea. 

Early sailors would wear the jewel, with Neptune’s likeness carved into it. 

Aquamarine was often referred to as the “sailor’s gem” and was carried by Roman fishermen as a talisman on seafaring journeys for good luck with their catch, to protect them from rough seas, storms, shipwrecks, and even to avoid seasickness. Roman physicians would use this stone to treat overeating and bloating.

As a last resort, sailors caught in severe storms were said to throw their Aquamarines overboard in a desperate attempt to calm the gods.

In Greek mythology, this is reflected similarly, with the equivalent sea god, Poseidon. According to Greek legend, Aquamarine washed ashore from the toppled treasure chests of the sirens. 

Furthermore, in Roman legend, Aquamarine was said to absorb the atmosphere of young love and was considered an appropriate gift for a bride the morning after a wedding.

It was also believed by many to be an antidote to poison, a mermaids spell, and a talisman or offering that helped to bring the rain thundering down upon lands of drought.

Aside from the Romans and Greeks, this gem has been coveted by many different cultures, spanning throughout the ages for thousands of years.

During the Middle Ages, Aquamarine was thought to be the source of power for soothsayers, who called it the ‘magic mirror’, and would use it to answer questions about the future or to tell fortunes.

Aquamarine was linked to the apostle, St. Thomas, who frequently traveled by boat.

It was also appreciated in Indian culture, as it was connected to the Buddhist religion and used as a symbol of love and mercy. 

The Sumerians, Egyptians and Hebrews alike, all admired Aquamarine crystals and considered them precious gems. 

Beads made of this crystal were discovered with Egyptian mummies. 

It was also believed that the High Priest of the Second Temple wore Aquamarine stones engraved with the six tribes of Israel. 

Metaphysical and Healing Properties

Spirit Magicka Rock’n Crystals

Traditionally, Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and, as a water stone, gets its many benefits from the planet Venus, correlating with the zodiac signs of Pisces and Aquarius.

Shamans use stones like Aquamarine because it is believed to allow us to look both within and outward.

Aquamarine is said to help gain truth and wisdom, making it the perfect crystal for gaining a clearer perspective.

Aquamarine is often used as a good luck stone and is thought to bring feelings of peace, love, joy and happiness to those who wear it.

It is also considered to be the stone of courage and preparedness and is believed to help maintain balance and order during chaos. 

The properties of this gemstone contain the healing, vibrant powers of our ancient seas. 

A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated guide to crystals, The Crystal Bible is the perfect gift for a beginner or experienced crystal enthusiast.
Find a known crystal instantly or identify an unknown crystal in this easy-to-follow directory, featuring over 150 crystals.

It includes:
– Photos of over 200 crystals, many in both raw and polished forms
– Detailed descriptions of each stone’s colors and appearances
– Individual properties of each crystal, to help improve your health, heal your body, and stabilize your energy

The Crystal Bible also includes introductions to chakras, auras, crystal grids, and more, providing the basic knowledge needed to use crystals effectively and serving as a quick reference for those with more crystal healing experience.

Evolved over millions of years, Aquamarine helps to sooth unpleasant emotions such as grief or loneliness, as well as assisting with communication and self-expression.

You can also use an Aquamarine gem essence to cleanse your environment and infuse it with the healing frequencies of this gentle and uplifting water stone.

Aquamarine brings its watery wonder to Feng Shui, ensuring that its peaceful presence soothes a room in an instant.

These are only a few of the many benefits Aquamarine is believed to have. 

By stimulating the Throat chakra, working with the Aquamarine helps to enhance immunity by opening the flow between the heart and the throat energy centers.

Sometimes referred to as the “breath stone,” Aquamarine is said to alleviate sinus, lung, and respiratory problems. 

It is also believed to help with bronchitis, colds, hay fever, and various allergies.

As sailors need clear eyes to watch for storms on the horizon, Aquamarine is all about supporting strong eyesight and bringing life, light and vision, both spiritually and physically. 

How to utilize Aquamarine

The therapeutic uses of Aquamarine have a long and well-documented history.

You can activate your Aquamarine crystal by holding it under tap water or natural running water. Set your intention while the water activates your crystal.

Aquamarine can unblock or realign Chakras. To unblock the Throat or Heart Chakra, meditating with this gem is believed to be extremely helpful. Simply find a quiet place to relax and place an Aquamarine gemstone over the appropriate part of the body. 

Lie still or meditate if you prefer, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Aquamarine is ideal for wearing in jewelry close to the skin, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets. 

This way, the stone’s power can have a direct connection to the energies of your body and instill you with its protective and supportive energy.

Aquamarine works for insomnia by bringing deep relaxation to the mind and body. When wearing this crystal-clear blue stone, you can experience a fluidity and ease that allows you to let go, physically and mentally, and rest deeply.

You can also place your Aquamarine anywhere in your home in order to allow its impactful energy to flow into your physical space. 

This can not only cleanse the energy in your home but also emit protection, healing, and all of the other metaphysical properties of Aquamarine as well. 

Additionally, practicing witches will often use this shining ocean gem in many different rituals and spells. 

Aquamarine is known as a highly affective, magical and spiritual tool. 

Aquamarine “do not’s”

Aquamarine rates a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. 

Heat exposure is not recommended for this gemstone, but the color is stable against light exposure. 

In order to protect your Aquamarine stone from inadvertent damage in the cleaning process, avoid all cleaning products that contain ammonia or alcohol. 

This beautiful crystal can be attacked by hydrofluoric acid. 

Warm soapy water is always a safe cleaning method for Aquamarine.

This stone does possess chemical components that require caution. 

This does not necessarily mean it poses a threat to life, however, because of its chemical components and structures, how you use it is very important. 

This gemstone is extremely dangerous if inhaled. If you work in an industry that granulates aquamarine crystals, take the precautionary measures to ensure that you don’t inhale the dust from aquamarine. 

If you soak your aquamarine in water, ensure to not drink such. Whether the intent is spiritual, physical or otherwise, doing this exposes you to extremely serious health hazards.

Aquamarine is a powerful gemstone. When you use it the correct way, there are unending spiritual and metaphysical benefits you stand to enjoy. 

Aquamarine is part of the beryl family of crystals along with gems such as Emerald and Morganite. It comes in a dazzling range of aquatic blue hues. All Beryls grow in a hexagonal formation that creates a balancing energy in our lives. They allow you to integrate your spirituality with your physical, everyday life. Finding balance in your life by working with crystals of the beryl family will facilitate your connection with nature and the spiritual consciousness of its elements. This consciousness is often experienced by us in the forms of beings such as fairies, gnomes and, in the case of Aquamarine, as mermaids and mermen.

Further Resources

Aquamarine: A Neptunian Stone’s Plutonic Origin Story

Aquamarine Meaning, Powers and History – The Meaning and History of Aquamarine

Crystal Basics: The Energetic, Healing, and Spiritual Power of 200 Gemstones

Gemstones of the World: Newly Revised Fifth Edition

Posted on Leave a comment

Candles and Magic

Candles and Magic by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Candles have a long and interesting history in religious worship, magic, and folklore. They light the way to the sacred, dispel the forces of darkness, and are associated with ghosts and the dead. 

Many believe that the act of burning a candle is an ideal way to forge a connection between the spiritual realm and the world in which we live. 

Candles and fire have been vastly utilized in spiritual practices, rituals and divination. Each practice has its own, in depth meaning. This practice, for example, is also known as lychnomancy when it involves three identical candles laid out in a triangle. A variant that seeks divine meaning from the flames of an oil lamp or torch is called lampadomancy. Pyromancy is the act of attempting to tell the future using fire, in which case candles may be used but are not required. It is even believed that ancient Greeks performed pyromancy.

Fire in itself is a source of inspiration and power that has inspired awe and wonder from ancient man, even in the early years of our development. Fire, not only kept the cave man warm and cooked his food, but also frightened away animals for their security. It has been an ever-present force in human history, from prehistory on-wards, across all cultures and continents.

The origin of candles is not known, but there is evidence that beeswax candles were used in Egypt and Crete as early as 3000 B.C.E. Other early candles consisted of tapers made of a fibrous material, such as rushes, saturated with tallow.

Candles have been used as tools in spiritual ceremonies since the Stone Age, and are utilized by countless theologies to this day.

WHAT IS CANDLE MAGIC?

Candle magic can be traced back to Paleolithic times. 

Fire changes everything it interacts with, whether it’s turning a love letter into ashes or boiling water on the stove. This transformational energy is what is channeled in candle magic, encouraging and accelerating changes.

Candle magic is an ancient form of manifesting, wish fulfillment, empowering intentions and bringing focus to goals. 

Different candles may be used in various ways based upon the goals and intentions of the practitioner. The creative nature of candles is influenced by an individual’s intention, the practices and behaviors the individual engages in to meet the intention, as well as the physical characteristics inherent within the candle.

PRACTICING CANDLE MAGIC

The practice of candle magic requires more than the mere presence of candles; it requires the involvement of the practitioner and an understanding of the significance the practice holds.

Different candle rituals will yield different results. Additionally, when practicing candle magic, the practitioner must be fully learned in the craft – not only to ensure success, but to be aware of the subtle signs and details that make ALL the difference in ensuring a clear and comprehensive ritual. 

For example, black smoke or white smoke indicates negative influences or spiritual influences. Your candle may even speak to you. The crackles and the pops usually indicate something along the lines of someone trying to “spark” conversation, pun intended — you’re receiving messages. 

High flames and low flames mean different things. Candle magic is simple, but very in depth. 

This ritual practice is an easy, effective way to cast spells for just about anything. A candle ceremony is a powerful method of focusing your intent to achieve specific goals and manifest certain outcomes.

The Witch of Enchantment

RITUAL CANDLE OPTIONS

Candles are a staple item in any magical tool kit. They’re used to amplify and release energy, and they can either be left (unlit) around your home to promote positive vibes or used (lit) in rituals(spells).

What kind of candles are appropriate for candle magic? The answer – whatever you feel works for you. 

You might use chime candles—colorful, skinny candles that are easily accessible, inexpensive online and in just about any metaphysical shop you come across. 

Other candle styles you might choose to use are tapered candles, pillar candles, votives, tealights, and even candles of intricate shapes that hold special meanings.

Important considerations for those selecting candles include the following:

  • How fast the candle burns
  • The length of time the candle will burn
  • The quantity of smoke the candle emits
  • The movement of flames as the candle burns

CANDLE COLORS

The color of a candle is an important attribute for those who seek deeper divine or spiritual meanings from candles, whether they are lit or unlit. 

Various colors reflect different energy forces (meaning that each color possesses, stores, and emits different variations of energy).

White:

Because white is somewhat of a blank canvas, these candles are also universal when it comes to spell-work.

However, this color is known for its power in new beginningscleansing and purification. White also sometimes represents the Crown chakra and can help provide insight and clarity. 

Black:

Black will be the candle you reach for when it comes to endings, healing and loss, protection charms or to dispel negative energy. Black is also typically used when practicing baneful candle magic.

Red:

As the color of the fire element and representing the Root chakra, red candles can be used for spells that have anything to do with protection, strength, courage, energy and stamina. Red also represents passion, libido and sex, as well as power. 

Blue:

Representing the Throat chakra and the element of water, blue has everything to do with healing, tranquility, and peace. Dark blue will also represent honesty and truth. This color can help with self expression, communication and mental stimulation.

Yellow:

Yellow candles will represent the element of air, as well as the Solar Plexus chakra, and can be utilized for spells related to intellect or focus. It also represents courage, success, determination and joy.

Brown:

The color of the natural element of earth, brown candles can be used for any spells dealing with matters of the home, any and all material things, as well as animals or when working a spell for pets.

Green:

Green is all about finances, prosperity, success and luck. Green also represents the Heart chakra, growth and may be used for spells dealing with fertility, setting new intentions, and health. 

Pink:

Pink candles are all about love and tenderness. A pink candle can invite in compassion, self-love, or self-acceptance. This is also the ideal color for spells involving friendships, family and connection.

Orange:

Orange is the color of the Sacral chakra, reconciliation, productivity, and attraction. You’ll also want to reach for an orange candle when in need of a bit of creativity or confidence.

Purple:

As the Third Eye chakra color and representing the divine feminine, purple candles can be used for a number of spells working with justice, mediation, independence, psychic power and clarity. This color also attracts enlightenment and wisdom.

Silver:

Silver embodies the energy of the moon. You’ll use a silver candle when it comes to spells related to intuition, purification, self reflection or physiological realizations. 

Gold:

Gold is the color of the divine masculine and represents the Sun’s energy. You can also use a gold candle when it comes to spells dealing with prosperity, ambition, business and success.

The definitive guide to candle magic, written by a leading authority with over 30 years of experience making magical candles and creating candle spells.

Author Jacki Smith, founder of Coventry Creations (currently among the largest and most successful magical supply companies), shares her magical secrets with readers, enabling them to empower themselves through successful spell casting. Her book explains the nature of magic spells and provides examples for a wide variety of purposes including love, money, healing, and protection, liberally punctuated with tips from “Aunt Jacki,” deriving from her many years of experience.

The Big Book of Candle Magic shows: How to create your own candles
The basics of crafting your own spells
How to use basic supplies for everyday magic

SETTING THE SCENE

Before diving in to any sort of ritual or magic, it is imperative that the practitioner be in the right headspace. 

Cleansing your physical space is as equally important. There are countless ways to cleanse the energy of a room or an object. You may choose to cleanse with smoke, aromatic mists, or even sound.

You may sprinkle some herbs in the bathtub or shower to bathe and ritually cleanse yourself to prepare for your magical work. (Cleansing prior to any ritual, candle or otherwise, is always highly encouraged.)

“Dressing” your ritual candle(s) is another recommended practice prior to performing a candle spell. 

This involves rubbing the candle with oil such as almond, coconut, or jojoba, with added essential oils if preferred. 

Rub the candle from top to bottom to draw things to you or from bottom to top to send things away. 

As you rub the candle with oil, focus on your goal and mentally *pour* that vision into the candle. 

Herbs are another wonderful addition to any ritual and will easily stick to an oil-dressed candle. Depending on what spell or intention you’re wanting to manifest with your candle spell, you can incorporate corresponding herbs as a boost (basil for abundance, rose petals for love, rosemary for healing, etc’.)

Additionally, when preparing a space for candle magick, (be it an altar, porch table etc’) including other herbs, crystals or incense is a very common practice as it can strengthen the ritual energy.

Always make sure to set your candle on a fire-proof surface, ensure there isn’t anything above or near your candle that could easily catch fire, and keep pets and children away from your candle setup. Finally, never leave a candle burning in your home unattended.

THE BEST TIMES FOR CANDLE MAGICK

Most spell casting is done at night, because the ambiguity of darkness leaves room for transformation.

Through experience, you’ll learn when your most powerful time is. For some, they’re at their best around dusk, while others prefer midnight, while still some others swear by the pre-dawn hours. 

Regardless, candle magic is especially suited for darkness so that you may better study the flame. 

Many candle magic practitioners will recommend aligning your candle workings with the cycles of nature.

This is believed to add an immense dose of power to the spell. 

The Moon cycle each month provides a steady structure around which you can craft your candle ritual. 

New Moons, for instance, mark the beginning of a new cycle and are excellent times to cast spells to attract new desires, planting seeds for the cycle to come. 

Full Moons, marking the end of a lunar cycle, are great times for banishing that which no longer serves you. It is a time for closure, resolution and completion of goals.

The two weeks following the New Moon is a time marked for beginnings, while the two weeks following the Full Moon is a time marked for endings. Schedule your spell accordingly. 

PREFORMING A CANDLE RITUAL

Once your space has been cleansed, your colors chosen, and your ritual area prepared, you’re now ready to cast your candle spell intention. 

Hold your candle in your hands and visualize your goal. The more clear and focused your intention is, the more likely that your manifestation will occur. 

You may even choose to write your intention(s) down on a small piece of paper to later burn during your ritual. Another option is to etch your intention(s) into the candle wax.

It is also acceptable to simply speak the intention(s) aloud – as you’re lighting your candle. The choice is entirely personal. 

Once the intention is set, it’s time to light your candle. 

During your candle’s burn, you may chant your intentions, or simply meditate for a time and then leave the candle to burn out on its own accord. However, should an abrupt or unexpected need arise, it is perfectly acceptable to put out your candle’s flame. 

There is a common belief (amongst less experienced magic practitioners) that one must never blow the candle out, lest the intention be “lost” – this is a misconception. 

You can simply relight your candle and reset the intention whenever you feel the time is best. The true power of any spell lies within the intention – not the medium or materials alone.

If you consciously will your intention away as you blow out your candle – that’s exactly what will happen. Whereas if you simply blow out your candle while planning to relight it, with your intention still consciously set – you’re good to go.

It’s as simple as that.

Once your candle has been charged with your intention, you may even perform a daily ritual where you re-light your candle while repeating your intention, until the candle is fully burned down. Alternatively, you may decide to use your ritual space to perform a spell in one session. 

During a candle ritual, it is important to focus on the manifestation taking place throughout the candle spell. 

Act with full confidence that the outcome is now inevitable. If you continue dwelling on the original problem, you will suffocate the magic before it has the chance to initiate change. However, by projecting confidence, you’ll insure your candle spell has the space to work its magic successfully. 

Candle magic allows individuals to have interactions with elemental energies, the world surrounding them, the broader universe, and their powers within.

With self-reflection, focus and sound judgment, candle magic can be used to transform yourself, your life and even your future.

This simple yet profound tool can make powerful magic. Whether you want to call in abundance, success, love or protection – a little candle magic is all you need.

Further Resources

Featuring authentic candle magic that anyone can do, this joyous book encourages you to dance in the moonlight and rekindle your spark of magic with a little wick, wax, and flame. Renowned practitioner Madame Pamita guides you every step of the way as you perform spells and gain the confidence to create your own. The Book of Candle Magic empowers you to manifest more happiness, love, prosperity, and fulfillment. Learn to make candles from scratch, do candle readings, start your personal grimoire, add some pizzazz to your rituals, and much more. It’s time to reclaim your birthright of using fire to reach your magical goals―this irresistible book shows you how.

Candle Magic for Beginners: Spells for Abundance, Love, and Healing

Candle Magick – Different Forms

Candle Magic – Colors, Rituals and Meanings

Candles, Roman, 500 BCE

The History of Candle Making: From Ancient Civilizations to Modern Day

6 Interesting Facts About the History of Candles

Tradition, History & Development of Candles

A Brief History of Candle Making

A History of Candle Use

Posted on Leave a comment

Amphitrite: Greek Goddess-Queen of the Sea

For those who know me well know that I have a deep connection and fascination with the Gods, Goddesses and all spirits of the sea. I feel like most of the deities of the sea are not talked about enough and today’s blog post is honor and share with my readers all about the amazing Greek sea goddess Amphitrite.

AMPHITRITE was the goddess-queen of the sea, wife of Poseidon, and eldest of the fifty Nereides. She was the female personification of the sea–the loud-moaning mother of fish, seals and dolphins.

When Poseidon first sought Amphitrite’s hand in marriage, she fled his advances, and hid herself away near Atlas in the Ocean stream at the far ends of the earth. The dolphin-god Delphin eventually tracked her down and persuaded her to return to wed the sea-king.

Amphitrite was depicted in Greek vase painting as a young woman, often raising her hand in a pinching gesture. Sometimes she was shown holding a fish. In mosaic art the goddess usually rides beside her husband in a chariot drawn by fish-tailed horses or hippokampoi. Sometimes her hair is enclosed with a net and her brow adorned with a pair of crab-claw “horns”.

Her name is probably derived from the Greek words amphis and tris, “the surrounding third.” Her son Tritôn was similarly named “of the third.” Clearly “the third” is the sea, although the reason for the term is obscure. Amphitrite was essentially the same as the primordial sea-goddess Thalassa. Her Roman equivalent was Salacia whose name means “the salty one.” SOURCE

Amphitrite (1866), by François Théodore Devaulx (1808-1870). North façade of the Cour Carrée in the Louvre palace, Paris.

Birth & Family

According to Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) in his Theogony, Amphitrite was the daughter of Nereus, a sea god who was sometimes referred to as the ‘old man of the sea’, and Doris, an Oceanid who was the daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Amphitrite was one of the 50 Nereids.

And Nereus and Doris, lovely-haired
Daughter of Oceanus circling stream,
Begot and bore, in the unfruitful sea,
Their children, most beloved of goddesses:
Protho, Eukrante, Sao, Amphitrite,
Eudore, Thetis, Galene, Glauce, and
Cymothoe, Speio, and quick Thalia,
And lovely Pasithea, Erato and
Eunike with her rosy arms, and fair
Melite, Eulimene, Agave,
Doto, Proto, Pherousa, Dynamene,
Nesaia, Aktaia, Protomedeia, and
Doris, Panope, and the beautiful
Galatea, and the lovely Hippothoe,
Rosy-armed Hipponoe, Cymodoce,
Who, acting with trim-ankled Amphitrite
And Cymatolege, easily can still
Waves on the misty sea, and calm the blasts
Of raging winds.


(Hesiod, Theogony, 241-259)

Nereids

The Nereids were beautiful sea nymphs, with the highest-regarded being Amphitrite and her sister Thetis. They are represented in Greek art as sitting on dolphins and holding either tridents or garlands of flowers. Their primary duty was to attend to Poseidon. After Amphitrite married Poseidon, the Nereids became part of their royal court.

They were worshiped by sailors and fishermen with altars dedicated to them located on the seashore. Offerings of oil, honey, and milk were made to them, and sailors invoked them so they may have a favorable voyage and safe return to shores. SOURCE

Amphitrite Wife of Poseidon, The Queen of the Sea Goddess.Amphitrite is commonly referred to as the Nereids, one of the 50 nymph daughters of the Greek sea god Nereus, and his wife, Oceanid Doris. This indeed, is descended from the Amphitrite given by Hesiod (Theogony).

Etymology

The etymology of the name “Amphitrite” (Greek Ἀμφιτρίτη, translit. Amphitrítē) is uncertain. Its first element seems to be the Greek prefix ἀμφί- (amphí-), meaning “around, on each side,” while the second element resembles the Greek adjective τρίτος (trítos), meaning “third,” but also the verb τιτραίνω (titraínō), meaning “to pierce.” 

Thus, Amphitrite’s name could possibly be interpreted as either “around the third” or, alternatively, as the only slightly less nonsensical “piercing on each side.” Which of these etymologies is correct—or whether the true etymology is entirely different—is impossible to know.

Titles and Epithets

As a daughter of Nereus, Amphitrite was a “Nereid” (Νηρηΐς, Nērēḯs); for sources that made her a daughter of Oceanus, of course, she was an “Oceanid” (Ὠκεανίς, Ōkeanís).

Amphitrite also had a number of colorful individual epithets in ancient literature. She could be described as εὔσφυρος (eúsphyros, “fair-ankled”), βοῶπις (boôpis, “ox-eyed”), or κυανῶπις (kyanôpis, “dark-eyed”), terms that highlighted her beauty; or by the more obscure χρυσηλάκατος (chrysēlákatos, “she of the golden spindle”); or even as Ποσειδωνία (Poseidōnía, “she who is Poseidon’s”), emphasizing her role as Poseidon’s queen. Amphitrite may have also shared the Homeric epithet ἁλοσύδνη (halosýdnē, “sea-born”) with her sister Thetis.[1] SOURCE

Poseidon and Amphitrite, Greco-Roman mosaic 4th A.D., Musée du Louvre. Poseidon (Roman Neptune) and Amphitrite ride across the sea in a chariot drawn by four Hippocamps (fish-tailed horses). The god holds a trident and the two are both crowned with shining aureoles. They are accompanied by a pair of winged Erotes (love-gods) who bear a billowing, rainbow-like sash.

More Facts About Amphitrite

  • The “Bibliotheca,” a collection of Greek myths and legends collected in the 1st or 2nd century, describes Amphitrite as a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.
  • Amphitrite at first didn’t want to marry Poseidon and hid from him.
  • Another god, Delphin, talked Amphitrite into marrying Poseidon and earned a place in the sky.
  • Just as the Romans called Poseidon Neptune, they called Amphitrite Salacia.
  • The Romans considered Salacia to be the goddess of salt water.
    • Amphitrite is also believed to have given birth to a variety of sea-creatures including seals and dolphins.
  • Poseidon wasn’t a good husband and cheated on Amphitrite with other nymphs and goddesses.
  • On one occasion, Amphitrite got so angry that she tossed magical herbs in the nymph Scylla’s bath, and the herbs turned Scylla into a horrible monster.
  • Later Greeks viewed Amphitrite as a personification of the sea, which was also called Thalassa.
  • Many ships in both the US and British Royal Navies were named after this goddess.
  • There is also an asteroid called 29 Amphitrite.
  • The Louvre has a statue of Amphitrite that was carved by Jacques Prou in the early 18th century.
  • “The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite,” which was painted by Nicole (Nicolas) Poussin in 1634, depicts their marriage. SOURCE

Amphitrite is a sea goddess that is truly worthy of honoring and even to this day statues and paintings of her done over the centuries can be found across Europe and the US. It is said if you visit a statue of her and leave an offering of a coin or sea shell she will grant you good luck upon your way. I plan at some point to create something in her honor and will put it on display. She is certainly a sea goddess I have much respect for.

Further Resources

Greek mythology continues to appear in popular movies and books today but have you ever wondered about where these characters started out? Discover the origins of your favorite characters from Greek mythology with this collection of profiles to tell you who’s who in classical lore!

In Greek Mythology, you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these personas and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!

Poseidon and Amphitrite: The God and the Queen of the Seas – Greek Mythology – See U in History

Amphitrite Goddess

Amphitrite – an overlooked Greek goddess

Amphitrite

In ancient Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a sea goddess and wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

Composed in a more intuitive than traditional way and dedicated to the Greek sea goddess known as Amphitrite. This track has a light, etheric feel to it. But there is also a slightly darker, more mysterious variation to this track called “Legacy of Amphitrite”. Can be used for listening, relaxing, studying or even for rituals. Enjoy!


Posted on Leave a comment

The Magic of the Moon

The Magic of the Moon by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Witches in Greek and Roman literature, particularly those from Thessaly, were regularly accused of “drawing down the Moon” by use of a magic spell. 

In ancient indigenous cultures, the moon has always held a special place and was worshiped for its rhythms of life and the universe. Just as we move through different phases in life, so does the moon – every month. No matter if the moon can be seen or not, it is always with us.

The moon, like the sun and the five planets visible to the naked eye, was wrapped into the mythology of many ancient cultures, and considered a deity by some. 

To the Egyptians, it was Thoth, to the Greeks, Artemis, and to the Hindus, Chandra.

However, the Moon is still very much recognized for its power in modern day science as well.

One power source already in operation relies on the moon’s gravitational pull to spin its generators. Tidal power plants arranged like hydroelectric dams have been around for decades. They trap water during high tide and then, during low tide, release it through turbines.

HOW DOES THE MOON AFFECT US?

There is undeniably a natural rhythm to the universe, whether it’s the seasons or something more cosmic…such as the phases of the Moon. 

We know the Moon’s gravitational pull causes predictable rises and falls in sea levels. And with our bodies being primarily made up of water, it makes sense that we can also benefit from the phases of the Moon on a much smaller scale.

It’s long been believed that the moon can affect your mood. It’s certainly true that environmental factors can play a part in a person’s mood swings and act as a trigger for anxiety and depression.

There is a belief common to many cultures that working rituals at the time of different phases of the moon can bring about physical or psychological change or transformation. 

The Moon and the lunar cycle are associated, mainly, with the emotions (even madness), the subconscious and dreams, fertility, transformation, manifestation and repeating or ending cycles.

Different moon phases can impact people in different ways. 

Some may experience dramatic mood swings – from passionate or creative to combative or anxious. 

Additionally, you may find that some moon cycles seem to benefit your energy more than others. For example, while getting to your ideal REM state wasn’t an issue during the new moon, you may experience restlessness during the full moon – or vice versa.

Everyone is different and your connection to the moon is entirely personal. While some sort of affect, (anything, from one’s mood – to appetite or sleep changes) is more than typical, what specific differences you may notice depend entirely on your own energy and your own current state of being. 

Whether or not the lunar cycle affects you in a negative or positive way very much relates to whether or not you are connecting with its energy, or combating it.

This is why many people engage in monthly “Moon rituals” to get in alignment with the cycles of nature in order to gain perspective and reconnect with themselves.

Moon rituals are an ancient practice that is still done today. They originated in places like Egypt and Babylonia in cultures that worshiped the moon. Today, moon rituals create a sacred space for you to focus inward, set intentions, spread love, and feel empowered.

This video has been very, very, very long in the making and I am so excited to finally be getting it out to you all! One of the most important magickal connections we have as witch’s is the moon. It’s influence can be seen in almost all areas of life and thus it can be a powerful partner in spellwork! In this video I covered each phase including the new moon, the waxing moon, the full moon, the waning moon, and the dark moon as well as more information on the general workings with and of the moon!

CONNECTING WITH MOON ENERGY:

Astrologers, witches, and mystics alike can all agree on the power of the Moon. It’s one of the two luminaries in our sky (alongside the Sun) and an incredibly potent tool for manifestation and magic.

Tapping into the Moon’s energy cycles means connecting to the energy of openness, healing, renewal, intuition and wisdom. It can bring awareness to rhythms and patterns within our your body, mind, heart, and spirit.

The Moon’s entire cycle is around 29+ days, in which it goes from a new Moon to a full Moon and back again. These changes in phases indicate a change in energy.

Waxing Moon Energy:

When the Moon is waxing (growing), it is said to be an ideal time to manifest what you want.

Waning Moon Energy:

When it is waning (shrinking), it is the ideal time of the month for letting go and cleansing.

Full Moon Energy:

Cosmically speaking, the full Moon is the time of the month where energy peaks and then releases, like a “cosmic sigh.”

The Moon rules over the subtle, subconscious, and intuitive aspects of the self, and its wax and wane reflect our own.

Connecting with the phases of the Moon as an implementation to one’s self-care routine has been claimed to aid in delving into emotions and intuition. 

When we align ourselves with the energy of the moon, we’re tapping into an ancient energy current. One simple way to do this is by practicing moon rituals. 

 From meditation to setting intentions, there are many different moon rituals and practices – some of which are still very commonly practiced by modern day witches and mystics. 

From new moons and eclipses to blue moons and the super moon, there are ample opportunities for the moon to influence our emotions and thoughts. Many believe our emotional potency is heightened during a super moon, while a new moon can bring change and new perspectives. Knowing when and how to use that power is key.

In Moon Magic, you’ll learn how the lunar phases influence our emotions and well-being differently and how to harness that power for healing, emotional strength, and physical and mental wellness. Third-generation intuitive Diane Ahlquist helps guide those new to the power of the moon through lunar recipes and simple exercises, such as intention setting and moon meditation to help you capitalize on the moon’s inherent power and channel the moon’s energy whenever you need it most.

Manifesting intentions:

It is believed that just after the new Moon cycle, when the Moon’s crescent works back towards the full Moon, is the best time to set an intention. 

Some good advice is to start small, like a ripple on the surface of the ocean, and carry it forward everyday incrementally.

Meditate on your goals or write out your dreams and desires. The New Moon is an auspicious time to do this because of what appears to be the “empty” nature of the darkened sky can be filled with the light of your intentions.

You can keep your writings in a book to reflect on, or write them on something biodegradable (such as a bay leaf) and bury it under the moon.

Making Moon Water:

You can create Moon water by leaving water outdoors to charge under moonlight, or even by setting it on your windowsill (obviously opening any curtains so as to allow the moonlight in).

Because the Moon affects the ocean’s tides, there’s already an energetic connection between the element of water and the Moon. When you add intention (and maybe a crystal or two) you can create a tool that can be used for everything from watering your plants or adding it to your ritual bath, to cleansing your home or workspace (simply put some of your moon water in a small spray bottle, or dampen a light cloth, and you’re good to go).

Grounding:

The time leading up to a full Moon can often make people moody, sensitive, and fatigued. It is helpful to use this time to pause and ask yourself how you are feeling physically and mentally.

Are you eating as much as you should? Are you getting enough sleep? 

How are your relationships and/or career? 

Being in tune with your feelings will help you stay grounded and help you efficiently make positive changes. The full Moon is the perfect time to look inward and re-calibrate.

Meditation and reflection:

Meditation offers the perfect opportunity to sit with your thoughts and reflect. Use the energy of the full Moon, when emotions often come to the surface, for some meditative introspection. 

There are many guided meditations online you can tune in to for some guidance if needed and it can take as little as 5 minutes of your time to meditate – by far, worth it.

Harness the power of the magical, mystical, glorious Moon with more than 100 spells, chants, and rituals, along with Esbat celebrations for the Full Moon.
The Moon is one of our most prominent and ancient symbols. It has shaped how we understand and track time, its movement controls the tides, and its rise into the sky signals the coming of night. The distinct phases of the lunar cycle have associations with different states of being. These states mirror a kind of spiritual quest which, like our search for ourselves, never ends. When we observe the Moon, we see reflections of the grand pattern of life that is birth, death, and rebirth.
With this invaluable handbook filled with enchantingly beautiful illustrations, follow the Moon as she traverses each sign of the zodiac and discover how each astrological phase affects magic—and how your personal Moon sign affects your magical work. The discussions include the influence of the seldom-discussed energies of the Blue Moon, the Black Moon, and lunar eclipses.

Energy cleansing:

Cleaning your physical space helps to clear out any negative energy, making room for what you are asking to come in. Clear your home of any trash, clutter or things that no longer bring you joy. 

Open the windows to let fresh air in. Wipe down surfaces, put on clean bed sheets or water your plants. 

Some people will also perform a smudging ceremony cleanse the negative energy in the air.

It is sometimes recommended to preform these cleanses during or just after the new Moon in order to prepare for the manifesting, waxing-moon phase.

Giving thanks:

Celebrating and being thankful is amplified with moon energy and can have positive effects on your body, mindset, and can help you to manifest your future wants and dreams.

Giving thanks to the Moon can be as simple as speaking your thanks aloud, under the night sky. Another option is to write your thanks down in your journal to reflect on, or onto something that you can bury outside, such as a bay leaf.

Giving thanks does not require a specific moon cycle. However, it’s often set as a new moon or full moon ritual as these lunar phases are all about fresh cycles, continuing positive cycles, and releasing that which no longer serves us.

Leaving offerings:

Deities of many cultures are often left offerings under the light of the full or new moon. These offerings vary, from certain foods, herbs, and mead to feathers, candles or hair, depending on which deity you’re offering to. In order to fully learn which types of offerings would be considered appropriate for your deity, you would certainly have to get to know the deity themselves in depth, to understand their preferences.

The Fae (fairies) are often left similar offerings during major moon cycles as a token of friendship or as a trade for a wish.

A few of the many deities who are commonly associated with moon offerings are:

(Greek)

  • Hecate
  • Artemis
  • Selene
  • Nyx

(Celtic)

  • The Morrigan 
  • Ceridwen 

(Egyptian)

  • Thoth 
  • Iah
  • Khonsu

(Roman)

  • Diana
  • Luna

(Sami)

  • Mano

(Hindu)

  • Chandra 

(Tibetan)

  • Mawu 

(Slavic)

  • Devana 

Charging crystals:

Bathe your crystals in the light of the moon. Each phase of the moon will bring a different energy to the charging of your crystals. 

For example, during the waning phase of the moon, you can expect an energy of release, as the moon is changing from its full moon phase to new moon phase (shrinking).

Similarly, charging your crystals under the full moon doesn’t mean they will work “better” – it simply means that the energy from the full moon (energy such as inner alignment, passion, etc’) will influence your crystal(s) in a slightly different way. As it is a common misconception, it’s important to notate that there is no rule, requirement or need to put crystals out under the full moon. Any moon phase will do just fine and is simply dependent on what type of energy you’re wanting to charge your crystals with. 

IN SHORT:

The Moon’s energy is potent and powerful – just as we are, if we choose to believe it. It can be used as a way to connect more deeply with ourselves, our feelings and our intuition. 

Some believe that moon magic is one of the most holistic ways to keep your body in good health. 

Each Moon phase presents us with an opportunity to either manifest, reflect, take action or rest. Living in tune with the Moon is completely natural, allows us to be more mindful and helps us to harness the energy of it’s phases.

Often with the frantic pace of our modern-day lives, it’s hard to find the time to connect with nature. That’s why turning to the Moon phases can help you connect to something deeper and sometimes give you a new outlook.

“Only in darkness can we glimpse the fullest light our soul carries for us.” 

~ Angie Weiland-Crosby

Further Resources:

Today we are talking about lunar witchcraft and working magic with the moon – for spiritual people, witchcraft practitioners, and even magical skeptics.

The Universe: Mind-Boggling Mysteries of the Moon

Moon Mysteries

The Moon Power Boxed Set: Featuring: Moon Spells and Moon Magic

21st Century Atlas of the Moon

The Book of the Moon: A Guide to Our Closest Neighbor