Coven Cup & Blade: Cakes and Wine

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Within the Wiccan coven ritual structure, cakes and ale (sometimes called bread and wine or cakes and mead) are an important aspect of the magickal working.  Its symbolism is of the union of male and female polarity and brings the focus of the coven together to celebrate the bounties of the God and Goddess brought by their union. Like communion in church where the partaking of wine is to symbolize the blood of deity, in the Wiccan tradition when the ale is blessed using the cup and blade its charged, blending the feminine and masculine forces which are found within Deity.  The athame upon the altar represents the God and the chalice the Goddess: therefore when the blessing of the ale occurs as part of the consecration of food and drink, it’s a representation of the sacred marriage.  God and Goddess become one – light and dark, magnetic and electric, positive and negative.  This act celebrates life as a balancing of opposites which is needed for creation in the natural world.

In our ritual joining of these energies through this act, is a powerful way to release and merge these polarities which are ultimately consumed by the practitioner.  It’s also way to become close to the Goddess and God and thank them for aiding us in our boons which were asked for in the working aspect of the ritual. It shows that we can take Piety within us, which in turn bestows us with their amalgamated felicitations.  This union of divergences manifests as power within, which are then consumed by the coven members who do this one by one, thus deepening the connection to one another. The aspect of consuming the ale, grounds the energy raised in the circle during ritual and assists it in manifesting in the physical sphere from the etheric. Whatever remains in the cup are libations scattered within the coven’s cast circle further promoting focus and abundance within the group.

Another point to take note of is that when you share food and drink it allows you to build stronger connections and bonds.  Within the coven environment this is true of not only the feasting aspect after ritual but the cake and ale aspect within ritual.  In the coven we give and receive shared knowledge and experiences.  Therefore sharing the cake and ale is a practice of goodwill with one another, as well as a partaking of the God and Goddess’s bounty together.  The sharing of food is a communal activity which emphasises familial connections and what is a coven after all but a spiritual family joined in religious celebration.

Here is a simple drink blessing I would like to share with you which I created for use in wiccan rituals and can be done in a coven or solitary environment:

Libation Blessing

 Making your own cake and ale imbues your magickal intent and shows you have sacrificed and offered your time and resources for the Goddess, Gods and fellow coven members.  Mead which has been made for coven rituals has been a staple in wiccan communities for decades.  Known as one of the world’s oldest drinks which predates wine making, this fermented drink in its simplicity yet complexity enables the maker to create various flavors than simply the traditional blend of honey and water.  Mead throughout various cultures has been thought to bestow magickal healing as well as fertility and as such a perfect representation for the joining of the God and Goddess.  Here is a mead recipe you can make yourself for your rites and rituals:

Honey Mead Recipe

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

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Libation Blessing – Wiccan Style

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Take the cup and hold it up to the moon and say:

“This is a symbol of the Goddess and the Feminine”

 Take the athame and hold it up to the moon and say:

“This is a symbol of the God and the Masculine”

Plunge the athame into the cup and say:

“Together united as one – may they manifest fruition,

Light & dark, magnetic & electric, positive & negative

All come from the same source which brings us our boons!”

© T. Georgitsis 2004

Tattwa Cards

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Tattwa cards were a vision technique created by the Golden Dawn (a western magickal tradition) which was inspired by Hinduism to help its members psychically develop astrally whilst scrying.  They are used in a pathworking sense and cover the elements contained in magick: earth, air, fire , water and spirit.

I first got into the Tattva cards when I was about 20 years old and had joined my first Wiccan coven. It was a requirement that after my crafting and as part of my year and a day training, I use them in path-working exercises. I worked with them as directed by my HP at the time but I also worked with them, the same way I worked with the tarot in my mid teens. I conducted my own research and study on each card, assigned my own instinctual meanings to each card and worked and meditated on each card for a certain time frame. I would finish off by placing each card under my pillow to stimulate dreams which would assist in this path working. One lesson I learned quite quickly was to work in ascending order instead of picking a card out of the deck randomly, which was quite unlike and rash of me in hindsight (since I NEVER did that with the tarot) and especially since the first card I pulled and therefore my first attempt of the dream incubation lesson involved me sleeping for two days straight because I had drawn the Ether of Ether card! That was NOT a good idea and I should of had a physical guardian looking over me (along with my astral ones) since I was so green with this tool.

With that said it is a great system and I would suggest starting with making your own deck.  Creating your own deck gives you more of a connection to your cards. I would start with white cardboard cards which are about 6 x 6 inches and draw/paint on the symbols. Alternatively you can purchase a deck but I would ensure you have cleaned them properly with all the elements.

Details of Tattva Cards

Tattva cards are divided into five categories Akasha, Tejas, Vayu, Apas and Prithivi.

Each category has a card for the main tattva symbol, plus 4 additional cards containing smaller images of the remaining tattvas.

ie for Akasha:
Akasha (main card)
Tejas within Akasha (Fire of Spirit)
Vayu within Akasha (Air of Spirit)
Apas within Akasha (Water of Spirit)
Prithivi within Akasha (Earth of Spirit)

You can use this chart showing all the tattwa cards to create your own:

download

This is a link which shows you how to scry using the tattwa cards from the Golden Dawn Research Ctr:

Golden Dawn Tattwa Cards

 (c) T. Georgitsis 2016

Knowing Hekate: A coloring book by Sara Croft

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This is the one of the best spiritual/magickal coloring books I have come across and I highly recommend it. The artist shares with us her talent of capturing Hekate’s spirit whilst allowing us to fill in what colors we resonate with, thus allowing us to give our own flavor to her image. I have always wanted to find a coloring book which I connected with and spread a little magick my way whilst honoring a Goddess I very much respect. Like the title suggests its dedicated to Hekate with some incredible images for you to color. These images are accompanied with concise information about Hekate which creates a wonderful devotional aspect to the book and teaches you about Hekate whilst you color. Combining creative with informative, this is a great coloring book for a novice or master and I would recommend it for all devotees as well as those who have no knowledge of this limitless Goddess. I loved this book so much I ended up getting copies not only my nieces, nephews and godchildren but also gifts for my friends whom loved the whole vibe of the book.

Serving as her Priestess…

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Its been years since I took up the devotional to Hekate who called me to serve her as Priestess.  I was going through a hard time which I feel now was the Dark Night of the Soul after my father’s death.  Hekate was the only one who came to me when I called out for assistance during this dark time as my patrons seamed to go silent.  She came to me as the Light Bearer and Queen of the Crossroads and illuminated which path I was to take in ritual and meditation.   I was never overwhelmed by her calling me to service as I had worked with her numerous times before so I did as she asked and chose to honor her.

The more I worked with her the more I honored myself and that is one of the most valuable lessons I learned.

Io Hekate!

Hekate Incence: Cthonic Hekate Blend

 

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Cthonic Hekate Blend

1 Part Livani (Greek Pine Resin)

1 Part Pomegranate (Shredded Dried Husk)

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

Brief Descriptions on Wicca Traditions: Elphame

Lady Tamara von Forslun set up The Church of Wicca and created the Elphame tradition of Wicca in the 70’s – 80’s in Perth, Western Australia.  Tamara’s mentor and teacher was Rhiannon Ryall who initiated her into the craft as a teen.  The Church of Wicca received legal registration as a church in 1989 which made it Australia’s first legal wiccan church.  It became defunct in the early to mid 2000’s due to some infighting and Tamara stepping down from her role as Arch High Priestess.

Elphame wicca is based on Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca and heavily influenced by ceremonial magick. The degrees start as cowan (seeker) witch (1st degree) priest/ess (2nd degree) and high priest/ess (3rd degree) when the person hives off to form their own coven.

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FOI and my role…

As a Priestess Heirophant within the Fellowship of Isis and my work, a few months back I had the pleasure of being voted in as a member of the Archpriesthood Union:

http://www.fellowshipofisiscentral.com/

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(C) T Georgitsis 2007

Also as an aside, my Lyceum which teaches the College of Isis curriculum is once again taking on new students. Fore more info see my Lyceum page on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyceum-of-Heka-Fellowship-of-Isis/223016837711229

Pagan Blog Project: Y is Yes I’m Coming Out

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When I was 21, I chose to share with my sister that I had joined a Wiccan coven.  My relatives were well aware of my magical and spiritual practices due to the familial connections but that was done with one’s own family and without outside participation.  I was worried with how they were going to handle the news of me practising witchcraft with a bunch of Australians who I wasn’t related to, so I thought I’d test the waters with my sister.

To say it was a complete shemozzle was an understatement…..

I spent most weekends at my sister’s place for years helping her out due to a horrid divorce as she had heavily relied on me as confidant, supporter and helper so I thought it would be a good time to share my news with her.  I felt she would be open if I was just honest with her in a clear, concise way.  I was informative and positive about it all, as I really wanted her to understand where I was coming from.  She spoke little and only mentioned to be careful and seemed to be accepting of my choice.

Consequently I was extremely annoyed and frustrated when I left her that afternoon and drove the 20 mins home, where my father was waiting for me in a heightened state of anxiety and apprehension.  My sister had called him as soon as I had left her place to tell him I had joined a cult and that I needed a good talking to as I was going to be brain washed and used.

I felt so betrayed.

I was genuinely surprised as truth of the matter is I had been so careful with the way I approached my sister about it all and was very selective with the language I used.  I even gave her a copy of Scott Cunningham’s “Witchcraft Today” to read and she showed some interest.  My sister knew how I privately studied the occult, how my interest was deepening as I got older, how I wanted to learn more and network with others who were likeminded – she knew these were the reasons why I had joined the coven  This is why I was so horrified at how she twisted my words in her mind and didn’t have the decency to speak to me about it further.  It pained me that my sister had backstabbed me this way and over time I noticed her pulling away from me.

Thing is I accepted my sister for all her insecurities, selfishness, ego, greed and bitchiness but I always protected her and defended her and thought that as a big sister she would also do the same to me – no matter what.  That wasn’t the case and what she ended up showing me was how much contempt and hate she had for our mother and the magickal tradition we are part of and how all magicians/witches are against God/Jesus.  I had NO idea she felt this way until I confronted her about her behaviour.  I knew she never practiced herself unless it was to remove a hex or evil eye (the same is with most of my family) but the absolute revulsion she had for practitioners of the craft really shocked me. Although we moved past it for a while she would always make passive aggressive digs about it.  In the end it wasn’t my coming out that destroyed our relationship but it was the beginning of me opening my eyes and taking in what a spiteful, bigoted and angry individual she was…she chose to severe the ties between us due to my personal choices of how to live my life years later and hand to god/dess my life hasn’t been dimmed without her – in fact its made me realise that I don’t NEED to have assholes in my life who put me down due to their issues with something that doesn’t affect them.

With that said, my father was more open.  He married a magician/witch after all and had witnessed my mother practice on occasion and was impressed and amused by her talent.  I was truly my mother’s daughter and as long as I was in a safe environment he supported me fully…plus he knew I wasn’t an idiot and could think for myself.  In fact my father met my fellow conveners and he opened up his home to them and many rituals as well as dinner gatherings were held there.  He got to know my fellow coven and got to see firsthand what lovely people they were.

In the end I realised that coming out even though you might think you are out is harsher and I get why so many people stay in the closet.

Would love to hear other people’s stories on what happened with them when they came out of the broom closed to family…

© T. Georgitsis 2015

Pagan Blog Project: X is for Greek Wind Rose (free topic)

A Greek Wind Rose is a classical compass which was used in the Mediterranean by the Hellenics and Romans.  The Greek Wind Rose typically shows the points of orientation, directions and the names of the winds all which correlate.  The classical wind rose is the Greek Wind Rose as seen below:

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The philosopher Aristotle in his Meteorology (c 340 BCE) created the 12 wind system which is seen below. 8 are principle winds: Aparctias (N), Caecias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Eurus (SE), Notos (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus ( W ) and Argestes (NW) and two are half winds: Thrascias (NNW) and Meses (NNE).  Aristotle made an addition with the Phoenicias wind for the SSE but didn’t suggest any for the SSW.

Aristotle’s wind rose (correspondence to modern compass directions)

North (N) Aparctias (ἀπαρκτίας)
(variant Boreas (βoρέας))
the top meridian
North-Northeast (NNE) Meses (μέσης) the polar “rise”
Northeast (NE) Caecias (καικίας) the summer sunrise
East (E) Apeliotes (ἀπηλιώτης) the equinox sunrise
Southeast (SE) Eurus (εὖρος)
(variant Euronoti (εὐρόνοτοι))
the winter sunrise
South-Southeast (SSE) No wind
(except local Phoenicias (φοινικίας)
South (S) Notos (νότος) the bottom meridian.
South-Southwest (SSW) No wind
Southwest (SW) Lips (λίψ) the winter sunset
West ( W ) Zephyrus (ζέφυρος) the equinox sunset
Northwest (NW) Argestes (ἀργέστης)(Variants: Olympias(ὀλυμπίας),
Sciron (σκίρων)
the summer sunset.
North-Northwest (NNW) Thrascias (θρασκίας) the polar “set”

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014