Protection Magic

At Sunday’s Welcoming Circle, we began with a basic list of protection magic and went from there. Here are some of the ideas that were shared:

Protection Incense Blends

Protection Incense (David Taliesin)
1 part Hyssop
1 part Rosemary

Protection for magical and visualization work inside the circle.

Protection Incense #5 (Scott Cunningham)
4 parts Frankincense 1/2 part Mugwort
3 parts Myrrh 1/2 part Yarrow
2 parts Juniper berries 1/2 part St. John’s Wort
1 part Rosemary 1/2 part Angelica
1/2 part Avens 1/2 part Basil

Burn for both physical and psychic protection while visualizing.

Protection Incense (Catherine Yronwode)
Mugwort – strong protective herb
Star Anise
Althaea (Marsh mallow)
resins such as Frankincense, Myrrh, Copal or Benzoin.

To bring forth benevolent and protective spirits.

Protection Oil

Simple Protection Oil [David Taliesin)
7-9 drops of Hyssop Essential Oil
1/4 cup olive oi

Dragon’s Blood Oil (Laurie Cabot)
1 ounce almond oil
1 teaspoon of powdered dragon’s blood resin

Dragon’s blood oil is used for protection, empowerment, and really any majickal intention. Dragon’s blood helps you collect your thoughts and will, and catalyzes all majick. You can use just a drop in any spell, or put it on yourself and your tools before doing any majick.

Protection Mojo Bags

A list of things that can be used:

Herbs—Basil, Bay Leaf, Cedar Leaf Tips, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Hyssop, Juniper Berries, Rosemary, Rue, Sage, Sandalwood, Vervain, Wood Betony, Wormwood

Resins—Frankincense, Copal, Dragon’s Blood

Stones—Black Kyanite, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Malachite, Obsidian, Quartz crystal

Color—Black, Purple, Red

Talismans—Your choice

Protection Prayer

The Light of the Divine surrounds us
The Love of the Divine enfolds us
The Power of the Divine protects us
The Presence of the Divine watches over us
Wherever we are, the Divine is. All is well.

Shielding is also important. See my post of Grounding and Shielding @ http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

Native American Protection Symbol

Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation through symbols. Native American symbols are generally geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. The Protection symbol is depicted as two arrows within a circle. The weapons were symbols of the major form of defense for the American Native Indian and the circle was another powerful symbol. A circle around another Native American symbol signifies family ties, closeness & protection. The circle has no break and cannot be broken. The black center circle depicts the air symbol which represents life.

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Protection Ritual

Here is the Protection Ritual we used at tonight’s Welcoming Circle.

PROTECTION RITUAL

ANOINTING FOR PROTECTION [David Taliesin)
7-9 drops of Hyssop Essential Oil
1/4 cup olive oi

May the Divine Presence protect you
and keep you safe from all harm.

CASTING THE CIRCLE—Protection Prayer

The Light of the Divine surrounds us
The Love of the Divine enfolds us
The Power of the Divine protects us
The Presence of the Divine watches over us
Wherever we are, the Divine is. All is well.

CALLING THE QUARTERS – Face each direction as you speak. [David Taliesin]

Guardians and Ancestors of the East, Spirits of Air, we ask for your protective energies to be with us in our circle tonight. Protect our spirits from negative thoughts that rob us of our power, and hostile words that leave us feeling weak and defenseless. Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the South, Spirits of Fire, we ask for your protective energies to be with us in our circle tonight. Protect our minds from conflicting voices that make it difficult for us to discern the way forward, and bad advice that is disguised as truth. Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the West, Spirits of Water, we ask for your protective energies to be with us in our circle tonight. Protect our emotions from misdirected anger that can harm the wrong person, and media hype that leaves us in a continual state of panic. Hail and welcome!

Guardians and Ancestors of the North, Spirits of Earth, we ask for your protective energies to be with us in our circle tonight. Protect our bodies from people who seek to do us physical harm, and disease that robs us of health and vitality. Hail and welcome!

Divine Presence who is known to us by many names, we ask for your protective energies to be with us in our circle tonight. We seek to serve you, to make this world a better place, to be agents of change in a troubled world. Shield us from everything that prevents us from doing this sacred work. Hail and welcome!

PROTECTION MANDALA (Handout for everyone)

protectionmandalaThe protection mandala you have in front of you is governed by the element of air. Notice the hatched cross barrier. It is like an army of crossed swords and the heart center is well guarded by a unified group of individuals, symbolizing both warrior and nurturer traits.

This mandala carries the spirit of the bear. She brings her protective nature; she stands her ground; makes her presence known. She reminds us to also know instinctively when to retreat and how to best prepare for any periods of waiting.

As you contemplate upon this mandala, take the time to color it if you like. Allow it to speak to you. Your spirit may be asking you to be selective with your power. You must always trust your instincts, listen to whether your heart is telling you to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, or when to stay away from conflict, for it will not benefit you in any way to always be on the defensive. Protect your heart, but also know when to fight for it.

ENERGY RAISING TO EMPOWER THE MANDALA

CLOSING THE CIRCLE [David Taliesin]

Guardians and Spirits of the North, we thank you for your protective energy and caring presence in our circle this night. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell.

Guardians and Spirits of the West, we thank you for your protective energy and caring presence in our circle this night. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell.

Guardians and Spirits of the South, we thank you for your protective energy and caring presence in our circle this night. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell.

Guardians and Spirits of the East, we thank you for your protective energy and caring presence in our circle this night. Stay if you will, go if you must. We bid you farewell.

Divine Presence, whose energy fills and directs everything, we thank you for your protective energy and caring presence in our circle tonight. As we leave this place give us the wisdom to know when to fight and when to retreat; when to speak up and when to remain silent. We bid you farewell.

The circle is open but never unbroken
Because it is a circle woven in love.
Whatever energy is left in this space
We return to the earth with a spirit of gratitude.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.

Original portions of this ritual Copyright ©2017 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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August Full Moon: Sturgeon Moon

supermoon-sturgeon

According to the Farmer’s Almanac “Some Native American tribes called the August Moon the Sturgeon Moon because they knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this Full Moon.”

Since the habitat of sturgeon is water, perhaps we can use this full moon (August 7) to reflect on our emotional life which is commonly associated with the element of water. Even though Lughnasadh has come and gone, the harvest continues. In fact, we have two more harvest festivals to go! With this in mind, what “emotional harvest” do we want to reap in our lives at this moment? Is fear preventing us from pursuing our dreams? Is anger alienating us from others? OR do we want to cultivate more peace in our lives? Do we have the courage to feel love again?  I think you get the point.

If this sounds like a worthwhile activity to you, my suggestion is to go outside tomorrow evening and find a place where you will not be disturbed. Soak in the energy of the full moon and let Divine, in its feminine form, whisper to you the truth about your emotional state at this point in your life.  What needs to be cultivated? What needs to be uprooted?

As a side note, several species of sturgeon are harvested for their roe which is processed into caviar.  This is a rare and expensive gift that symbolizes the rare and expensive gifts each of us possess, some of which are emotional. What gifts do you want to reveal this full moon? Claim your power and let your light shine!

Copyright ©2017 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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DIY: Feather Smudge Wand

sm00Over the past several months birds have been leaving me the gift of feathers while walking my dog in the park. I took it as a sign and began thinking about making my own feather smudge wand with a few of them. There are a number of tutorials online for how to do this but this is my process to create a simple but elegant wand using mostly natural materials:

Step One: Prepare a stick for your wand. I did this prayerfully and picked up a piece of maple I found that fit my hand perfectly. I stripped off the bark, took a knife and cut off the little buds and then put a little teak oil on it. You could also stain it or leave it natural.

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Step Two: String feathers with twine. I used the Native American method of stringing feathers. You can find a video of this on YouTube.

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Step Three: Tie feathers to stick. I did each one individually, using a square knot. Then I put a dab of Gorilla glue on the knot before snipping off the ends.

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Step 4: Wrap with suede/leather cord. I used the same method to attach the leather that I did to attach the twine to the feathers. Start with a loop that’s pointing toward the finished end. Wrap the cord around the stick. Finally tuck the end of the cord through the loop and pull the string on the top until the loop closes and secures the cord. [I hope that’s not thoroughly confusing!]

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Step 5: Snip the ends of the suede or attach them to the wand with Gorilla glue. You can also add any other embellishments you like.

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So, that’s how I did it. I’d be curious to hear from others who have made similar wands. How did you make yours? Happy crafting!

Copyright ©2017 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

 

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Lughnasadh or Lammas: August 1st

lughnasadh

August has a rhythm all it’s own, especially in the South. These hot, humid days force us to slow down our pace a bit, and why not? The soil has been tilled. Gardens have been planted. Some vegetables have already been harvested and more are on the way. The only thing left to do is pray for rain and wait until everything is ripe and ready. In the meantime, we can escape the sweltering heat of the day by “sitting a spell” on the porch with friends, sipping glasses of sweet tea and eating a freshly baked peach cobbler! That’s how we roll in North Carolina and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The first of August is known by several names: 1) Lughnasadh, which is Gaelic for the modern Irish word “Lunasa,” meaning August. In ancient times the Sun God Lugh was honored. 2) Lammas is the English version of the same holiday. The word is Anglo-Saxon for “loaf mass” and was celebrated by Pagans and Christians alike. 3) Festival of Green Corn, which is the name Native Americans attach to this harvest festival, and 4) Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is an odd ancient Christian observance that has been removed from the liturgical calendar.

Basically, Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest Sabbats or festivals.  This particular one celebrates the first fruits of corn, wheat and barley. Needless to say, this is something to be thankful for, especially in ancient times. A successful harvest meant there would be plenty of grain to last through the cold winter months. The main food for this festival is bread in one form or another. Bread has always been universally symbolic of life, Mother Earth, home, hearth, harvest and vitality. Because of this, ritual bread appears in every religious tradition I can think of.

For early Christians “Loaf Mass” was an adaptation of the Pagan Lughnasadh. In both traditions, bread was baked and presented as an offering to the Divine in thanksgiving for a successful harvest. Here is an ancient Christian prayer that was used on Loaf Mass:

Holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, graciously deign,
to bless this bread with Thy spiritual benediction
that all who eat it may have health of body and soul
and that they may be protected against all sickness
and against all the snares of the enemy.  Amen.

Some of the bread in the Christian tradition was used to celebrate the Eucharist (Holy Communion) on Lammas. The rest of it was blessed and taken home for the Lammas Day feast. I also discovered that in Anglo-Saxon England this blessed bread was used by some to work magic! According to a book of Anglo-Saxon charms, a Lammas loaf was broken into four bits, which were placed in the four corners of the barn in order to protect the gathered grain.

In modern times, we can celebrate Lughnasadh/Lammas not only by giving thanks to the Divine for a successful harvest, it can also be a day to support local farmers. Let’s face it, they work their tails off to grow the food that appears on our tables. Perhaps we can use this holy day to commit ourselves to buying as much locally grown food as possible. I make a weekly trip to a tailgate market that is less than a mile from my house. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us urban dwellers to connect with our agrarian brothers and sisters. I always have wonderful conversations with the vendors there and I’ve learned a lot about how to cook the fruits and vegetables that are grown by them.

As a final note, my Cherokee brothers and sisters still celebrate the Festival of Green Corn. There is always dancing, singing, drumming and the eating of corn in a number of forms. You can Google the topic for more information.

So I wish everyone a most blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas celebration. If you’re ever in North Carolina I have a glass of sweet tea and a peach cobbler waiting for you!

Copyright ©2017 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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Lavender: The Great Nard Controversy

lavenderIt is common knowledge that lavender is an herb which promotes relaxation, emotional balance and serenity.  But things start to get heated when the question is asked as to whether lavender is the same thing as “spikenard” or “nard” that is found in the Bible.  I believe they are two different herbs.  Here’s why:

Lavender (genus Lavandula) is named from the Latin “lavare,” which means “to wash.”  Ancient Romans used lavender in their famous baths as a perfume.  People knew you were clean because you smelled of it afterward!  The confusion begins to arise because the Greeks called lavender “nardus,” referring to the city Naarda, where lavender was often sold. Many simply called the plant “nard.”  However, the Romans called lavender “asarum,” because they believed the poisonous asp viper lived among lavender bushes.

Spikenard (nardostachys jatamansi) is a flowering plant of the Valerian family that grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China and India.  It is the more valuable of the two because lavender (lavandula stoechas which we now call French or Spanish lavender) was grown locally as well as regionally.  Spikenard had to be imported from a great distance, hence its value.  All of the scientific and biological resources I checked all agree these are two different herbs.  The confusion probably comes from the Greek’s calling lavender “nardus.”

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s all inhale a little lavender oil and relax!  This noble herb has been used for over 2,500 years, starting with the ancient Egyptians who used it as a part of the mummification process and also as a perfume.  It’s use was also widespread among the Arabs, Romans and Greeks.  Modern Wiccans believe its magical properties include sleep, long life, peace, wishes, protection, love, purification, visions and clarity of thought.  Christians of earlier times regarded lavender as a safeguard against evil, and hung a cross of lavender over their door for protection.

The most beautiful and holy use of lavender I’ve encountered is at one of our local hospice centers who bathes its dying patients with lavender-scented water.  It relaxes the patient as well as their family!  What a lovely gift to both!

Copyright © 2017 by sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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July Full Moon: Buck Moon

buckfullmoon

Native Americans call July 9th’s full moon the Buck Moon because in North America bucks (male deers) are beginning to sprout their antlers. Symbolically this ties in with the first harvest theme of Lughnasadh which we will celebrate in a few weeks on August 1st. A good reflection question to ask ourselves during this month’s full moon is “What do we want to harvest in our lives? What do we want to manifest in our world?”

These days there is a lot to be fearful about and we can choose to give into that fear and manifest anxiety and worry. OR we can draw our strength from nature and the Divine and harvest a new crop of love, compassion, reconciliation, hope, etc. May we use tonight’s full moon to ground and center ourselves so we will remain strong in these trying times. Blessed be!

Copyright ©2017 by David Taliesin, http://www.sabbatsandsabbaths.com

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