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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Broken Song

     There was a little bird, who couldn't sing a song. He would squawk and cackle and try his best to greet the coming dawn. He could never join the chorus, or the majesty of his flock. They'd line the trees each morning, as he'd hide down by the river, and longingly he'd watch. As the years grew on he lost all trace of want and jealousy. He'd just sit and enjoy the music, and contented he would be.

     He never gave up hope though, that one day he'd find his song. Sometimes he would practice, and practice all night long. The other birds would feel pity as they heard his broken call, coming from the riverside after darkness would fall.

     One morning a group of young birds, came and rested down by him, alighting over the river on their way to sing. Suddenly a gust of wind caused the branch to sway, the weight of all the birds must have been too high that day. As he watched the branch did crack and in the water fell, panic soon gripped him as birds do not swim well.

     He opened up his beak and let out a mighty call, it was broken and it was out of tune, but it was recognised by all. The other birds all heard it and were alerted straight away, for the bird by the river was never heard at this time of day. Diving down like well practised pilots, over the water they could skim. They lifted out the young birds and laid them down next to him.

     As those young birds grew to adults, a story they would tell, of how their lives were saved by a bird who never sang well. From that day he took pride of place up on the wing. And any time he wanted, for him they all would sing.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Magical Alphabet: E is for Esbat

"Esbat" and "Sabbat" are two terms you come across a lot in witchcraft and paganism, although Esbat tends to be used more in Wiccan circles it is now used across many Pagan paths.

Where as a Sabbat is a celebration of one of the seasonal festivals, an Esbat is a gathering of magical practitioners purely for magical work, often falling on the full moon or new moon.

An Esbat can be used for healing work, initiation rites, or purely to bring together a coven or group of magical practitioners for a social gathering.

The word Esbat is thought to come from the French ├ębat meaning simply "frolic". This indicates a greater enphasis on socialising and fun than is experienced at Sabbats.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

What is Meditative Reiki?

As some of you reading this will know I offer Meditative Reiki, and a lot of people have started asking me what this is, as they've never heard of it before. Well that's because I made it up!
Not in a "lets think of a fancy name I can give something" kinda way, but it's a treatment I devised, and "Meditative Reiki" was the most common sense name for it.

For year before I started my work with Reiki, I had worked with guided meditations for ritual purposes, journeying work and as a stand alone way of focusing my energy and altering my perceptions. It struck me a couple of years ago that having clients listen to guided meditations through out their reiki treatment could be hugely beneficial... so I tried it. Happily, I found it worked very well.

So after a couple of years of creating meditations specifically for the purpose of this treatment I have found that it boosts the effectiveness of reiki in a number of cases. I believe this is because it involves the client in their own treatment more. Whilst they are receiving reiki, they are able to use the meditation to consciously direct that energy, and utilize it in a way they will find most beneficial.

I am currently developing more reiki meditations to offer people and would be interested in hearing peoples suggestions.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Some Witches DO Curse

Ok, it's been a while since I did a "let's get this straight" type of post, and this is one I should really have done a while ago.

There seems to be this ever growing misconception that modern witches don't curse. Well that's partially true, as some modern witches don't curse, others however most certainly do.

This belief seems to stem from the fact that in some of the more modern ritualistic manifestations of witchcraft, Wicca for example, things like the Three Fold Law seem to inhibit cursing and hexing. However, not all witchcraft practitioners belong to paths like this. A lot of re-constructionist practitioners will often quote "If ya cannea curse, ya cannea cure!" Meaning to curse is as natural a part of our nature as it is to cure.

Cursing and hexing form a huge part of our magical heritage, from poppets to spoken charms. In years gone by some cunning folk made a living from protecting people against them and undoing them. This is documented everywhere from court records dating from witch trials, right through to the large collection of poppets displayed at the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting some witches lock themselves away in a tower with flying monkeys reining terror and misfortune over everyone. What I'm saying is, occasionally, usually by way of defense, you need to very firmly take action against someone, and there's no reason that this can't be magical.

It's true, the universe has a way of balancing itself, so randomly hexing people into oblivion will most likely come back and bite you on the backside. However, there is also a school of thought that believes that as a magical practitioner, you can be the means by which balance is restored. In other words, eventually a jackass will annoy a witch, and that witch may well be the source of that persons karmic comeuppance.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Magical Alphabet: D is for Dancing

Dancing forms an important part of many Pagan traditions and rituals. Some practitioners use dance and movement during rituals as a “power building” exercise, in the same way drumming and chanting may be used. There are also more specific examples.

It's fair to say that no Beltane celebration would truly be complete without a dance around the May Pole. Their origin is still debated, with many people believing they stem from Germanic tree worship, and others believing they are a phallic symbol. However, regardless of you're views on their origin, it's hard to dispute their place in British magical customs.

Dancing around poles very similar to May Poles also occurs at Midsummer in some countries. Though even without the pole dancing around a fire at sunrise or sunset is a widely held Litha custom in many traditions.

Dance certainly plays a part in modern celebrations. At the larger Summer festival the sun going down often marks the beginning of some fantastic displays of fire dancing, belly dancing and other traditional dances, usually accompanied by drumming. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Magical Alphabet: C is for Cleansing

Cleansing is a word you hear a lot in magical groups, but want exactly does it mean?

Well from time to time you may feel a negative energy in a place, or that something isn't quite sitting well with ritual tools, or that your tarot deck feels heavy and clumpy. These are signs that there is cleansing work to be done. If you use magical energy in your life, over time you become a lot more aware of it, and it will soon become apparent that if energy is... well... sticky! A part of the energy you call in for each spell, ritual or reading, will remain. This is why you get such an apparent atmosphere at certain historic site, which is the good side of this. The bad side is that if you use a tool or place a lot, for lots of different types of ritual, the energies can start to get a little confused with one another. Cleansing is the practice of removing the affects of that energy. A lot of people view it as totally removing the energy all together, but I feel leaving it there in a sort of “dormant state” adds a power to the place or object.

There are a lot of different ways to cleanse, and it can involve some very elaborate ritual work, but other methods are very simple.

Bells – The sound of ringing bells is a good way to cleanse and clear any space.

Citrine – This crystal is said to not only clear negative energies, but is also thought to be “self-cleansing”. I keep tumble stones of citrine in the bags where my tarot decks are kept for this reason.

Incense – Burning Sage, Frankincense or Copal (to name but a few) will cleanse a space, objects and tools can also be passed through the smoke.

Moonlight – People often leave objects and tools that need cleansing out in direct light from a full moon.

Salt – Burying objects in salt (natural sea salt) will cleanse them.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

WE DID IT! - "Tarot Professionals" course gets accreditation.

Today we reached a big milestone, not just for Hedge-Witchery, but for professional tarot reading in general. I'm aware this is quite a bold claim, and I'm not usually the "look how awesome I am" type... but in this case there's been a major workload involved and to be honest I'm pretty chuffed with myself for doing it... so there! blows raspberry

Back in September Hedge-Witchery launched a new online “Tarot Professionals” course. Today I was greeted by an email confirming this course has been externally verified and accredited as a professional development course.

Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time, or following me on social media will have, at some point witnessed one of my rants about unprofessional practice within the realm of Psychic and Magical service providers. So when I decided to offer this course, it was always at the back of my mind that I had to make myself as accountable as I expect the people taking the course to be, so I decided it had to be externally accredited and verified.

As you can imagine this was no short task, and it was at this point I realized that there possibly weren't any other available accredited courses for a reason. However on we plunged, and luckily we found an accreditation organisation that was as keen to take the industry in this direction as much as I was.

Anyway, after months of work, lots of coffee, lots of begging feedback and favors off friends, and sending the accreditation company's head of assessments a tarot deck so they could join in with some of the lessons on the introductory courses... we have finally arrived at where we wanted to be.

The fact that these types of courses have approval from a mainstream coaching and training body, rather than purely within internally assessed groups and organisations, will give the subject more accountability and professionalism. It will also instill confidence in those seeking out this form and topic of study that the level of instruction they are getting is of a set standard.

This is just the start though, I'm going to enjoy the achievement for a few weeks, but after that, given we're now recognized training providers, we'll look to offer more accredited courses within esoteric studies. Obviously this will be a long term project and each course will take at least a year each to develop,  but our feet have found their way firmly on that path.

The course itself is available to all Full Members of Hedge-Witchery.co (membership cost a maximum of £2.99 per month), and one off registration fee for the course is normally £125, but has been reduced to just £75 until the end of February as a special members offer. The course it based online and can be studied at entirely at the individual learners pace.

The course doesn't just include the study materials and certification, it also includes first years membership to “Hedge Witchery Professionals”, which students will receive upon completion. This will give them £2million public liability cover, membership to a further professional body (T.H.I.N.), and online promotion of their services.

3 Kings Stone Circle