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Tarot of the Day

The Emperor

The Emperor

Today’s card is The Emperor, number four of the Major Arcana. In the most practical terms, The Emperor card represents the highest leadership, a head of state or the most exemplary and powerful person in the land. This archetypal ruler is responsible for the affairs of a society or community, which are directly proportional to his well being and happiness.

The more enlightenment and cosmic perspective this energy brings, the better life is for all. The Emperor archetype masters the world of matter and physical manifestation. When you apply this card to your situation, you can acknowledge your potential for mastery. Reinforce a sense of sovereignty and divinity within yourself, despite any self-limiting beliefs, habits, or appearances to the contrary. Be that change you want to see and lead by example.

Draw upon the capable inner resources you possess to get the task complete. When the Emperor arises, he advises you get in touch with your inner sovereignty and natural self-possession. Realize that somewhere deep inside you is the memory of royalty. Reach within to find that strain of natural nobility and leadership. These innate qualities will help you manage your current situation. The Emperor suggests that you have the necessary abilities to be the final authority. This situation is an opportunity to showcase your competence and skill. Don’t be afraid to embrace the role of leader and act with the confidence of someone who knows how to take care of business. You are ready!

Today, may your be blessed with the realization that by leading others, you are growing into the YOU you want to be! Happy Summer Solstice! 🌞💖

Magickal Tools

Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows

A Book of Shadows is a book containing religious texts and instructions for magickal rituals found within the Neopagan religion of Wicca, and in many pagan practices. One famous Book of Shadows was created by the pioneering Wiccan Gerald Gardner sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and which he utilized first in his Bricket Wood Coven and then in other covens which he founded in following decades. The Book of Shadows is also used by other Wiccan traditions, such as Alexandrianism and Mohsianism, and with the rise of books teaching people how to begin following Wicca in the 1970s onward, the idea of the Book of Shadows was then further propagated amongst solitary practitioners unconnected to earlier traditions.

Initially, when Wicca was still dominated by covens, only one copy of the Book existed for an entire coven, kept by the high priestess or high priest. That rule has proved unfeasible, and it is now commonplace for all Witches to have their own copies. In the various traditions that make up British Traditional Wicca, copies of the original Book composed by Gerald Gardner with the aid of his High Priestess Doreen Valiente, along with alterations and additions that have been made since then, is followed by BTW adherents. They have tried to keep the contents of this Book a secret, although it has been published on a number of occasions by figures such as Charles Cordelll, Lady Sheba, and Janet and Stewart Farrar. In other Wiccan traditions and amongst a number of solitary practitioners, alternate versions of the Book have been written that are independent of Gardner’s original.

In non-traditional or “eclectic” forms of Wiccan or Neo-pagan practice, the term Book of Shadows is often used to describe a personal journal rather than a traditional text. This journal records rituals, spells, and their results, as well as other magickal information. This can be either an individual or coven text, and is not normally passed from teacher to student. In many cases, this kind of Book of Shadows is an electronic document (disk or website) instead of a hand-written one, although I recommend creating your own, especially if you are just entering the Craft. Involving your subconscious through the creation of ‘art’ in the form of a magickal tome involves all five senses and aligns you more quickly to the  lessons and energies that you are working with.

Some reserve the Book of Shadows for recording spells and keep a separate book, sometimes called the Book of Mirrors to contain thoughts, feelings and experiences. I find this to be helpful as a journaling tool that can be used to look back on where you’ve been and how far you have come along your magickal path. Both can be used to record your successes and to gain perspective when you seem to be ‘stuck’ for new ideas or confirmation of your vast growth along the way.

May you be inspired to make your own Book of Shadows or Mirrors and to break out your old one if you haven’t in a while. Use them as a tool for growth and to shed a new or different light on your magickal journey!

 

*this information provided in part by Wikipedia.com.

Teacher/God/Goddess of the Day

Baal, Lord of Fertility

Baal, Lord of Fertility

This morning, I was meditating. I began to call forth deity in my mind. First came the Goddesses, almost too many to count; their names card stories came easily to mind. Then it was the gods’ turn. I drew a blank. I have worked with many Gods over the years. From Celtic to Egyptian, from Norse to Native American, I have worshipped and called several into my sacred space. But this morning, overwhelmingly, Baal was the only name that would come into my mind. And so, as I have learned over the years, He has something to show me right now. Maybe he wants to be tapped into for creativity and the healing of the Earth. Maybe his message is coming through for all of us. Just in case, I decided to share him with you this morning so that you, too, can learn a bit more about this maligned pagan God.

Baal was a god worshipped in many ancient Middle Eastern communities, especially among the Canaanites, who apparently considered him a fertility deity and one of the most important gods in the pantheon. As a Semitic common noun baal (Hebrew baʿal) meant “owner” or “lord,” although it could be used more generally; for example, a baal of wings was a winged creature, and, in the plural, baalim of arrows indicated archers. Yet such fluidity in the use of the term baal did not prevent it from being attached to a god of distinct character. As such, Baal designated the universal god of fertility, and in that capacity his title was Prince, Lord of the Earth. He was also called the Lord of Rain and Dew, the two forms of moisture that were indispensable for fertile soil in Canaan. In Ugaritic and Hebrew, Baal’s nickname as the storm god was He Who Rides on the Clouds. In Phoenician, he was called Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens.

Knowledge of Baal’s personality and functions derives chiefly from a number of tablets uncovered from 1929 onward at Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra), in northern Syria, and dating to the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE. The tablets, although closely attached to the worship of Baal at his local temple, probably represent Canaanite belief generally. Fertility was envisaged in terms of seven-year cycles. In the mythology of Canaan, Baal, the god of life and fertility, locked in mortal combat with Mot, the god of death and sterility. If Baal triumphed, a seven-year cycle of fertility would ensue; but, if he were vanquished by Mot, seven years of drought and famine would ensue.

Ugaritic texts tell of other fertility aspects of Baal, such as his relations with Anath, his consort and sister, and also his siring a divine bull calf from a heifer. All this was part of his fertility role, which, when fulfilled, meant an abundance of crops and fertility for animals and mankind.

But Baal was not exclusively a fertility god. He was also king of the gods, and, to achieve that position, he was portrayed as seizing the divine kingship from Yamm, the sea god.

The myths also tell of Baal’s struggle to obtain a palace comparable in grandeur to those of other gods. Baal persuaded Asherah to intercede with her husband El, the head of the pantheon, to authorize the construction of a palace. The god of arts and crafts, Kothar, then proceeded to build for Baal the most beautiful of palaces which spread over an area of 10,000 acres. The myth may refer in part to the construction of Baal’s own temple in the city of Ugarit. Near Baal’s temple was that of Dagon, given in the tablets as Baal’s father.

The worship of Baal was popular in Egypt from the later New Kingdom in about 1400 BCE to its end (1075 BCE). Through the influence of the Aramaeans, who borrowed the Babylonian pronunciation Bel, the god ultimately became known as the Greek Belos, identified with Zeus.

Tarot Reading

Baba  Yaga’s  Hut

About the Owner

My name is Maria ‘Peacock’ Barrett and I am a WITCH! I was raised in an atypical family where I was encouraged by example to stretch my boundaries and embrace nature, as well as other cultures and traditions from around the globe. Although my parents were raised as Protestants, I was exposed as a child to alternative ideas ranging from Taoism and Buddhism to transcendental meditation and tarot card reading. As I got older, we occasionally attended a Unitarian Universalist church. I was also exposed in limited doses to Catholicism, Judaism, and a cult called The Way. None of these seemed to fit.

As an adult, the idea of Paganism was introduced to me by a friend. I was immediately drawn to it and its focus on Nature and the interconnection between mankind and the Divine. I was also moved by its astonishing honesty and atmosphere of non-judgment, of trust and love. Since 1989, I have never looked back or regretted my decision to place my feet on this path.

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