Pagan Blog Project: E is for Ethics When Dealing With Predators

Communicating online or in person to hurt or take advantage of another due to insecurity, lies and manipulation for self-gain, has become quite a prevalent practice I have witnessed unfolding more commonly in recent years, in the magickal and spiritual communities.  I call these people predators and have personally witnessed and been exposed to this treatment myself.  What never ceases to amaze me is when their supporters or fence sitters (which usually tend to have a cult like dedication to them) witness this behaviour and either encourage it, support it or engage in it assuming it will never happen to them, which it more often than not –  does.

Some of these predators can be quite dangerous and wear a fake glamour mask of kinship to lure in potential victims whom they can use and abuse as they see fit with little or no consequence.    What I have also seen is these predators manifest as egocentric community leaders (whether it be self-elected, through a group/organisation or propped up by their followers) and have an apparent two facedness or anger management issues who often project their issues onto those around them and do not tolerate being challenged– again without consequence.  This can also be seen in predators who claim to be representatives for the gods or a specific path and project they have the “only” or “right” way of practice and see others with contempt who provide services to the community these predators see as competition.  So more often than not, these predators try to rid themselves of the competition through slander of them and their practices to everyone and anyone who will hear them.

These predators have many narcissistic attributes which can at times be representations of their sociopathic tendencies, yet constantly cry victim if you confront them, always blaming others for issues and never taking personal responsibility for their negative actions.  These predators also never like to be questioned about their motives or experience and often lie to save face much to the distress of their victims, which some sociopathic predators seem to revel in.  Predators feel others are envious of them and try to bring them down when opposed.  Therefore the victim mentality is quite prevent in these types and more often than not these predators are very badly emotionally and mentally damaged and have a skewed perception of right and wrong.

What can be done about this in our magickal communities?  From what I have seen – not much unless its to: protect yourself from interacting with them when you witness bad behaviour, reduce your exposure to it, be vigilant about proper etiquette in interaction with them ie always question and never follow blindly, speak out directly to the offending parties in a tactful way if you feel something untoward is occurring, have honest interaction with those who ask of your experiences without letting your emotions and personal feelings drive you and also speak in detail to any organisation who represents your local community (ie Pagan Awareness Network or Pagan Alliance in Australia) who can keep records if anything develops into litigious situations.

Why is this so? Well basically because warning people off predators  publicly can lead to a myriad of issues which can include retribution of slander which is steeped in falsehood or in some cases ligation.  That is why I see this issue as a double edged sword – it can help yet cause damage at the same time.

So what do we do? Do we stay silent when we watch friends, acquaintances and strangers in the community be constantly sucked in and spat out by these predators?  Do we speak out to our own detriment or do we simply move on and forget about it?

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I would like to honestly get some feedback in what others think about this because I feel it’s a very important issue which is constantly being challenged in our magickal and spiritual communities.

The Alternative Spirit (Issue 1): Regular Hekate Column – Hekate’s Deipnon

In this new magazine I will be continuing my regular Hekate article – in the first issues its all about Hekate’s Deipnon…

https://www.facebook.com/TheAustralianPaganMagazine?fref=ts

Pagan Blog Project: D is for DIY

I like to challenge myself to learn to make my own devotional items, especially since I prefer to tailor things for my own spiritual and magickal needs/wants.  I find all you need is a can-do attitude, patience and practice – which is essential in developing your crafting skills.

Making your own magickal items for your workings can also ensure the ingredients you use are environmentally and ethically sourced. Also you dont have to spend a fortune for commercially manufactured items which can always be on the pricey side and you can make things from recycled materials so you cut down on waste.

When my aunt and mother were creating their magickal crafts there wasnt a local occult shop they could just pop into.  What they did is made do with what they could use from around the house and also what they could wild harvest in nature.  I am so glad to have had this influence in my early years because quite frankly its taught me to be self-sufficient and not wasteful.

I have a thing for not throwing anything out which I might use at a later date.  I have a cupboard filled with old jars, containers and the like which aren’t appropriate for giving away and can be reused.  They come in handy when making your own craft items.

black salt

(Pictured above is some Hekate: Black Salt – I reused an old spice jar which I had washed, sterilized, used to pack the black salt and re-labelled.  Even the ingredients used are re- purposed by using offerings I made to Hekate in the way of rock salt and home grown herbs which I had burned into ash.)

Here are some tips I have which I have found valuable over the years:

*Wash and store old glass jars, bottles and containers as they can come in handy to store various items in such as oil blends, herbs, resins, incense, waters, powders etc. You can also use jars as soy candle holders and bottles as candle holders or vases.

* Used charcoal blocks can be used in recipes such as black salt or can be gathered and placed in a charcoal burner as a buffer between the container and a lit charcoal piece.

*Old pieces of wood can be used to make a pentacle, portable shrine or tools box.

*Perishable offerings can be thrown into a compost for use over a garden and some items can be used to regrow the vegetable or plant it came from by harvesting seeds to planting the item remnants.  I have done this successfully with garlic and onions and even some herbs.

*Offerings in the form of flowers, herbs, salt and even fruit can be reused in the making of incense, waters etc. Drying them out in a slow burning oven after you’ve cut up your ingredients is a great way to reuse fruit peel in blends.

*Broken plates, glasses, old pins, rusty nails etc can be used for protection magick such as witches bottles.

*The stubs of candles can be used similar to sealing wax in various spells and workings.

 

If anyone has any other re-purposed ideas they would like to share with me please do 😀

 

© All images and information shared – T. Georgitsis 2014

Pagan Blog Project: A is for Abramelin Oil

What is Abramelin Oil

Abramelin oil is an oil blend used for ceremonial purposes. The recipe is an adaptation from the Jewish Holy Oil of the Tanakh and appears in the mediaeval grimoire called “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” written by Abraham of Worms. It was popularised and brought into the modern era by practitioners of the occult Aleister Crowley and SL McGregor Mathers.

Tina’s Abramelin Oil   

Ingredients

  1. 2 Part Myrrh
  2. 1 Part Cassia (replace with 1 part cinnamon if not able to source)
  3.  3 Parts Cinnamon
  4. 1 Part Calamus (aka Sweet Flag)
  5.  4-8 Parts Olive Oil (depending on preference for strength of scent ie use less if you want it stronger)

Method

  1. Blend all oils.
  2. Once blended, store in a glass vial and keep within the temple out of direct sunlight.

Simple Use for Abramelin Oil

A masculine anointing and consecration oil for temple tools and self.  Provides wisdom, stability, love, prosperity and success.

Anoint crown chakra and third eye before ceremonial magick work.

© T. Georgitsis 2014

Pagan Blog Project: D is for Divine Dance

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(Image (C) T. Georgitsis 2012)

Dance has long been regarded as a exemplary way to elevate one’s soul in a spiritual way. Dance has been part of religious ceremonies, rites and celebrations from time immemorial. Its a way to display the myths of various cultures and has been used  to pass on traditions of these cultures for generations . Divine dance is a wondrous way to commune and connect with Deity.  This occurs by becoming an instrument attuned through repetitive movement which can induce transcendence. Dance can also be used as a tool for the transmission of  healings and blessings which can manifest as a euphoric or peaceful feeling.

Dance allows you to tap into the cosmic consciousness and can raise your vibration. With devotion, dance becomes an offering to the gods and ancestors  – in its essence its  alchemy in action. When you move in rhythmic motions it opens you up and fills you with a harmonic energy which expands your perception.  Dance connects you to your primal self yet at the same time can strengthen your sentient link to your higher self.

Dance is a form of moving meditation allowing us to weave the magickal world into the mundane. With dedication and regular practice you can master the various subtle energies around and outside of you, to further develop the bond between you and the cosmic energies.  With love and devotion, dance can unfold and manifest into the most beautiful works of art.

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(Image (C) T. Georgitsis 2012)

Some examples of divine dancing can be seen through Turning Dervish Dance, Zaar Dance, Indian Classical Dance, Sword Dance, Maypole Dance, Cham Dance, Greek Folk Dance and Jewish Worship Dances just to name a few.

I learned how to dance pretty much around the same time I learned to walk.  I was influenced by my family who indulged in this pastime at various celebratory events, as well as my general love of music which would inspire me to get lost in various styles and rhythms.    When I was around 6 I started to attend formal Greek Folk dancing lessons and I didn’t realise at the time how instrumental and what an impact it would have in my devotions to the gods.  Over the years I have tried various forms of dance but the one I always come back to and use regularly for communion with spirit is traditional Egyptian Belly Dance. I have written a short article on its benefits which can be viewed here:

https://setjataset.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/bellydance-for-body-mind-spirit-and-emotion-2/

Whatever style of dance you are drawn to, try to engage in it regularly as an offering and see how it enhances your magickal and spiritual practice.

© All images and articles  T. Georgitsis 2014

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(Image (C) T. Georgitsis 2012)

Sekhmet Sekhem Workshop on 9th February 2014

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(Sekhmet Shrine (C) image copyright T. Georgitsis 2014)

On Sunday 8th February 2014 I taught a Sekhmet Sekhem workshop in Sacred Mist in Malvern (Victoria, Australia) as Sekhmet’s Priestess and as a Master Sekhem Practitioner.

It was a hot windy day as I set off in the early morning to set up and prep for the vibrational modality I was going to teach with the guidance of Sekhmet.  

The owner Lesley had done an AMAZING job setting up and the workshop space was beautiful and perfect for my needs:

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I got there half an hour early and set up a Sekhmet shrine, the odds and ends table which the students would need throughout the day ( which included stationary and their manuals), as well as some morning tea/afternoon tea in the kitchenette behind the partition.

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I had specific Ancient Egyptian themed music playing throughout the day and burned my own Sekhmet incense blend to clear and prepare the space.

Throughout the workshop I also used other complimentary vibrational tools…I placed my Sekhmet statue in a crystal grid with some gem stones sacred to her which were given out to the students at the end of the workshop, I had the students use pomanders to clean their auras before the commencement of the workshop , I also used sacred waters to purify my students and the space as well as natron which was offered, kyphi was burned throughout the day as was a specific candle I had made,  I anointed my students with specific oil blends, I had offered various heka amulets which I had pre- made under purity conditions and then handed out to students as a way to record their personal symbols received during the initiation.

The workshop itself consisted of various prayers, ritual gestures, meditations, initiations and information presented in discussion, notes and interaction with one another.  Overall the energy of the workshop was quite healing and centered.  Everyone in attendance was very respectful and was there to learn and I am truly blessed to have been able to initiate and share the current of Sekhmet Sekhem with everyone!

 

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The Australian Pagan Magazine (Issue 5): Heka

In issue 5 of the Australian Pagan Magazine I have written an article on Heka (Ancient Egyptian Magick):

http://www.theaustralianpaganmagazine.com/store/prods/theaustralianpaganmagazineissue5/

Spirit & Spell (Issue 10): Regular recipe column – Lugh’s Harvest

In this new issue (10) of Spirit & Spell my regular recipe column, Food & Faith, discusses Lugh’s Harvest with me sharing a few of my recipes of summery punch drinks:

http://spiritandspell.org/buy/backissue/issue-10-feb-2014/

The Cat In Magick

Having been raised with domestic cats as pets I have developed a strong connection to the feline and have been lucky enough to be owned by a few cat familiars.  My first familiar* came to my attention in my late teens when I originally became interested in Wicca and I set up my altar.  My ginger tabby Hoody would love to jump onto the altar and absorb the energies raised upon it, even though on occasion he would singe the end of his tail on the candles lit upon it.  Hoody would accompany me or keep watch over me whilst I performed spells and rituals. When I would cast circle he would actually be able to discern where the invisible boundary of the circle was and would dutifully pace the boundary in a stance of protection and once the ritual had started he would sit sphinx position outside the boundary facing in and watch over me.  This led me to find out more about cats and the role they have played in magick and not surprisingly they are considered a magickal and sacred animal from Ancient Egypt to the modern witch.

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Cats were believed magickal and sacred in various cultures around the world.  In Ancient China, Ii-Shou the god of the gathered crops took the form of a cat to protect the harvest. In Japan the Emperor Ichijo found 5 kittens in his palace during the 10th day of the 5th moon which was an auspicious day and thereafter cats were considered good luck and images were placed in temples, businesses and homes. In Ancient Rome cats were sacred to the Goddess Diana and were seen as guardians and protectors of the home whilst also being a symbol of domestic virtuousness. In Norse mythology the fertility Goddess Freyja’s chariot is drawn by cats and they are believed to be a blessing with respects to procreation and newborns.

Its often speculated that the Priests of Ancient Egypt were the first to domesticate wild cats whom they fed temple scraps to. Images of the cat in Ancient Egypt can be traced as far back as 2600BCE which shows the longevity of their interaction with humans.  Cats were mummified and placed in tombs which showed they were greatly loved and valued by their owners who would also shave their eyebrows in an act of deep mourning. Cats were so revered in Ancient Egypt that harming a cat was a crime punishable by death.

The Egyptian Goddess Bast was originally a lion headed goddess but her image eventually morphed into a cat headed goddess due to the sacredness the Ancient Egyptians held them in.  Bast was the daughter of the sun god Ra and the daughter of mistress of magick, Isis and one of Bast’s titles was “Rage of the Eye of Ra” and Bast’s name itself means soul of Isis – Ba-En-Auset.  Some myths describe her as the daughter of the God of the Underworld, Osiris instead of Ra and thus her role also includes Mistress of the Dead.

Bast’s symbols are the sistrum (a dancing rattle) and as such Bast is attributed with dance, music, love, sexuality and pleasure which gives her connections to Hathor.  Another symbol was a basket which represents the womb of life and as such Bast is ascribed as the goddess of fertility, motherhood and the underworld. Lastly another sacred symbol to Bast is the aegis, a shield like ornament and with that association Bast is credited with war and protection. Adorned in red, the symbol of motherhood and as a daughter of the sun god Ra, Bast oversaw the growth of the crops in the fields and was a representative of the sun.  Being dual natured Bast also was the moon representative of the eye of Horus and her strongly independent nature also classified her as a virgin ie being owned by no man.   The magnificent attributes of Bast strongly correlate with the characteristics of a domestic cat and as such shows their archetypal energies were elevated to the status of “God” thousands of years ago and if you have a cat in your life or been around cats, you know they wouldn’t expect any less.

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 (image supplied by: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/)

Originally in British folk lore the black cat was viewed as lucky and was seen as a symbol of the dark night as they could shadow their witches at night time rituals. Black cats are traditionally seen as the witches cat because they were viewed as being able to be able to absorb and carry magick. In many cases cats kept company of people like midwives, herbalists, healers and witches in the middle ages due to their independent yet caring nature which made them perfect companions for solitary practitioners.  During the 16th and 17th century cats whom were seen as familiars of witches were persecuted along with them and so were exterminated in large numbers which decimated their population and increased the rat population which is believed to have caused the plague to spiral out of control during these times.

As a magickal familiar the cat can give a witch warning of psychic attack or spiritual presences by their alert and observant natures.  The cat can be a centred, graceful and calm guide who inspires us to find that within ourselves and it can allow us to channel our magick in a clear and concise way.  The feline familiar teaches us to pay attention and be vigilant with respects to the subtle changes around us which we can work with and which will aid our intuition.  Through the wisdom of the cat’s traits of hunting we can be inspired to explore in search of new possibilities with a cautious yet playful way.  Also the cat’s ability to sit and just be encourages us to do this which allows for self contemplation.  The feline familiar has confidence in themselves which is evident in their graceful walk, constant grooming and “I don’t care what you think” attitude which can in turn encourage us to be confident within ourselves, our bodies and our sexuality.  When we are ill, a cat familiar instinctively knows this and the developed bond will allow them to show they are here for support and this can inspire the same behaviour in us with others.

A cat is not a pack animal and as such doesn’t need a leader and can live an isolated existence with its owner. Fiercely independent and able to confidently display their various moods, cats don’t seek to be ruled.  Their dualistic nature can range from purring loving bundles of fur to predatory hunters who can scratch and bite if threatened which in my opinion is the perfect familiar for those who resonate with those qualities.

A cat has nine lives and it is said that a witch can transform into a cat nine times in their lifetime. The magick of the cat can be used to bewitch, protect, transform, bless, charm and scry and with that said I strongly urge you to connect to these magnificent feline beauties and find what benefits they can bring into your practice.

* Familiar = an animal believed to be possessed of magic powers and has close association with a magickal practitioner.

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My current feline familiar-  Midnight (maine coon with domestic oriental mix) who was born on Beltane Eve and is one of the witchiest cats I have had the pleasure to be owned by.  The whole time I was writing this article he was constantly by my side rousing me and encouraging me in his own amusing yet magickal way.

© Article and Photos T. Georgitsis 2012 (first appeared in Spirit & Spell Issue 5, 2012)

Bibliography:

The Magical Lore of Cats by Marion Davies

Capall Bann Publishing, 1995

The Enchanted Cat by Ellen Dugan

Llewellyn Publications, 2007

The Cat in Ancient Egypt by Jaromir Malek

The British Museum Press, 1993

The Cat in Magic by M Oldfield Howey

Bracken Books, 1993