Spirit of Place: The Great Ocean Road

Having traveled several times down the Great Ocean Road  I still haven’t seen all its natural wonders in its entirety due to so many of its wonders.

The Great Ocean road is one of the worlds most scenic coastal drives located in Victoria, Australia which contains beautiful beaches and cliffs as well as lush rain-forests.

 

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The 12 Apostles284_24783589761_6628_nImage (C) T Georgitsis 2008

 

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The Otways

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Brief Descriptions on Wicca Traditions: Alexandrian Wicca

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Alexandrian Wicca  is a tradition named after Alex Sanders whom started the tradition with his wife Maxine.  Sanders was known as the King of the Wiches and established the tradition in the 1960’s in England. 

The tradition has many similarities to Gardnerian wicca but also contains elements of ceremonial magick and kabalistic practice which Saunders was a student of.  The name refers to Alex himself as well as the Library of Alexandria in Egypt and came about when a student –  Stewart Farrar asked Alex about what their initiates should be called for a book he was writing “What witches do” but there is a conflicting account of the Gardnerians calling Sander’s coven members Alexandrians. 

Alexandrian wicca follows the same god and goddess model of the Gardnerians as well as their sabbat and moon ritual gatherings but it includes new moon gatherings as well, is considered more eclectic and ritual nudity is only an option. Sanders worked on a book called “Book of Shadows” containing all his teaching notes and was passed on.  This term is used by many witches today to label their collections of notes which has information they have been taught or picked up along the way. 

In Alexandrian Wicca the belief “only a witch can make another witch” is adhered to and there are three degrees of initiation in which only a second or third degree can initiate others into first degree. A member who hasn’t become initiated to first degree is called a neophyte or dedicant, first degree is referred to as a witch, second degree is referred to a priest or priestess and a third degree is referred to as a high priest or priestess.

Regarding Alexandrian Wicca, it’s believed that Sanders was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca and that’s how he got a copy of the BoS, but he wasn’t a student of Gardner’s.

Books written by Sanders:
Book of Law
Alex Sanders Lectures

Brief Descriptions on Wicca Traditions: Gardnerian Wicca

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A tradition named after Gerald Gardner the founder who was a civil servant in England and a student of magick.  It is believed to be the parent of all Wiccan traditions and the founder stated he was initiated in 1939 by the New Forest Coven, who claimed their linage could be traced to pre-Christian times in England.

 Gardner formed his own coven called Bricket Wood Coven. Like other traditional wiccan covens,  practices are kept hidden from non initiates  and there are three levels of initiation. Belief in the Horned God and Mother Goddess is part of their central faith since it’s a religion. The term Wica comes from this tradition which later became known as Wicca as the founder states that is what the members of the New Forest Coven were known as.

Gardner with the help of Doreen Valiente took fragments of the rituals he had received by the New Forest Coven and reconstructed them using the influence of occultists such as Crowley, Leland, Mathers and Kipling.

When the Witchcraft Laws were repealed in the early 1950  Gardner went public and reveled in the attention he received about witchcraft much to the consternation of some of his coven members. This led to Valiente forming the “rules for the craft” which outlined the do’s and don’t’s in the craft and Gardner countered with “wiccan laws” which then led to Valiente leaving to form her own coven.

Part of Gardnerian practice includes following  the 8 Sabbaths of the year aka the wiccan wheel of the year and they were the first to incorporate them into their regular rituals instead of just the full moon gatherings which came from the New Forrest Coven.  Nudity is part of the practice which is also known as skyclad work and its thought to have manifested due to Gardner’s affiliation with the naturalist movement.

Books written by Gardner:
High Magic’s Aid
Witchcraft Today
The Meaning of Witchcraft
The Gardnerian Book of Shadows

Pagan Blog Project: F is for Florida Water

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What is Florida Water?

Florida water is a cologne type water used for spiritual and magickal purposes in the Americas (originally used and created by Caribbean and African descendants).  The name comes from the flowery tones of the scent as well as references to The Fountain of Youth which is rumoured to be located in Florida.

It is used to clean, purify, heal, protect, banish negativity, break hexes, as offerings to the spirits of the dead and as a base of scrying water.

Tina’s Florida Water  (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients

  1. 200 mls of rosewater
  2. 200 mls of orange blossom water
  3. 50 mls of vodka
  4. 8 drops Lavender Oil
  5. 8 drops Bergamot Oil
  6. 3 drops Clove Oil
  7. Small handful of dried purple sage blossoms OR jasmine blossoms(you can omit this if you like)
  8. Own Perfume

Method

  1. In a glass bottle with a wide mouth pour the dried sage blossoms.
  2. Add vodka.
  3. Now add rose water and orange blossom water.
  4. Add Lavender, Bergamot and Clove Oil.
  5. Add a few sprays or drops of your personal perfume.
  6. Shake and place in dark cupboard or refrigerator (if herb added) for a moon cycle.
  7. After a moon cycle strain the herb out, then use.

Simple Use for Florida Water

Add a capful to your mop bucket and wash the floors to dispel negativity in the home.

© T. Georgitsis 2014

The Charge of the Goddess

“The Charge of the Goddess”

Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full,then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.

She who is the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Her. For She is the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. from Her all things proceed, and unto Her all things must return; and before Her face, beloved of gods and men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, She has been with thee from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.

by Doreen Valiente

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Image (C) T. Georgitsis 2012

 

 

The Witches Creed

“The Witches Creed”

Hear now the words of the witches,
The secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny’s pathway,
That now we bring forth into light.

Mysterious water and fire,
The earth and the wide-ranging air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
And will and keep silent and dare.

The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat
Returns, and the witches are seen
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe’en.

When day-time and night-time are equal,
When sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
And Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
Thirteen is the coven’s array.
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.

The power that was passed down the age,
Each time between woman and man,
Each century unto the other,
Ere time and the ages began.
When drawn is the magical circle,
By sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies,
In land of the shades for that hour.
This world has no right then to know it.

And world of beyond will tell naught.
The oldest of Gods are invoked there,
The Great Work of magic is wrought.

For the two are mystical pillars,
That stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
The forms and the forces divine.

The dark and the light in succession,
The opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:
Of this our ancestors teach.

By night he’s the wild winds rider,
The Horn’d One, the Lord of the Shades.
By day he’s the King of the Woodland,
The dweller in green forest glades.

She is youthful or old as she pleases,
She sails the torn clouds in her barque,
The bright silver lady of midnight,
The crone who weaves spells in the dark.

The master and mistress of magic,
That dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever-renewing,
With power to free or to bind.

So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,
And Dance and make love in their praise,
Till Elphame’s fair land shall receive us
In peace at the end of our days.

And Do What You Will be the challenge,
So be it Love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment.
By Magic of old, be it done! “

by Doreen Valiente

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Image (C) T Georgitsis 2011

 

The Witches’ Chant

“The Witches’ Chant”

Darksome night and shining Moon,
Hell’s dark mistress Heaven’s Queen
Harken to the Witches’ rune,
Diana, Lilith, Melusine!
Queen of witchdom and of night,
Work my will by magic rite.
Earth and water, air and fire,
Conjured by the witch’s blade,
Move you unto my desire,
Aid ye as the charm is made!
Queen of witchdom and of night,
Work my will by magic rite.

In the earth and air and sea,
By the light of moon or sun,
As I pray, so mote it be.
Chant the spell, and be it done!
Queen of witchdom and of night,
Work my will by magic rite.

By Doreen Valiente

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Image (C) T Georgitsis 2012

Reconnecting To Wicca Through A New Tradition…

In the 90’s I was initiated into a wiccan tradition called Elphame Wicca through the Church of Wicca Australia which was headed/founded by the Arch-Priestess, Lady Tamara von Forslun in Perth.  Tamara’s initiator was Rhiannon Ryall who was initiated in England in a small rural village. The way I describe it is a combination of Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca but from what I have deducted the term Elphame Wicca isn’t used publicly as the initiates continued in private or adapted the teachings to their own style after the covens in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne imploded or disappeared in the early to mid 00’s.  Even though I circled with a private offshoot coven of Elphame initiates and then ran my own closed coven for years – I’ve been feeling the need for structured group work with contemporaries or those interested in the pursuit of knowledge and practical working where I am not the one leading, mentoring or holding the space.

Although I have friends who I occasionally practice with privately as well as me running events through my two groups (Lyceum of Heka &  The Sanctuary of Hekate’s Crossroads) which are predominately Witchcraft, Hellenic and Kemetic in nature – I went out looking in the Melbourne scene for a coven to circle with, without egocentric, money hungry or sexual predators teachers/mentors/facilitators close to home. The majority of groups I found had focuses I wasn’t interested in, were short lived or I wouldn’t touch with a 10ft barge pole due to my personal ethics and morals.

Last year I bit the bullet and joined The Silver Birtch Grove which is part of the ADF even though the druid path isnt my thing.  I love attending the rituals because I find them beautiful and powerful and really respect the facilitators of the grove I call friends. I continue to engage and connect to these gatherings but I am not interested in  the training programs through the ADF just yet – perhaps at a later stage down the road.

This year I’ve joined a friend’s private coven which is in the Georgian tradition and am taking the lessons like everyone else who’s been invited to join.  Working with this new coven has inspired me to relearn things from a different perspective and re-read certain books I’ve had for years and are the inspiration of various wiccan traditions such as: The Witches Bible, Buckland’s Big Blue Book, Natural Magick, Spiral Dance, Devoted to You, West Country Wicca etc and I am thankful I am such a bibliophile.  I’m actually quite surprised with how naturally I’ve gravitated towards Wicca again…I’m feeling quite reinvigorated with relearning this path from a different outlook.

I always believe that training and re-training through education is important for every magickal practitioner because we never stop learning no matter how experienced we think or feel we are 😉

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Image used with permission  (C) http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Black Spirits and White, Red Spirits and Gray…

“Black Spirits and White, Red Spirits and Gray”

Black spirits and white,
Red spirits and grey,
Harken to this rhyme I say.
Four points of the Circle, weave the spell,
East, South, West, North, your tale tell.
East is for pale break of day,
South is red for noon’s fiery hour,
In the West is twilight grey,
And North is black, for the place of power.
Three times round the Circle’s cast.
Great ones, spirits from the past,
Witness it and guard it fast.

By Doreen Valiente who adapted from Shakespeare

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Image (C) S Altman. 2013