Newspaper Astrology


The problem with newspaper astrology is that it focuses only on the sign your Sun is in. It’s particularly inaccurate for me as my Sun is in Scorpio, but the vast majority of my planets are in air and fire signs.

This means that when the newspapers say that my Sun is in Cancer or Capricorn and good things will happen, they are dead wrong.

This is because the Sun makes some very nasty aspects (see bottom of this post for details if you’re interested) in those signs and only one nice aspect.

I am currently having a very hard year because Saturn is in Capricorn (which the papers probably say great times for me) and for most of this year making some nasty aspects.

This is why I calculate my own astrological chart.

Saturn aspects : square natal Moon, conjunct natal Jupiter, square natal Pluto (there’s roughly a 0.2 degree orb between the natal Moon squaring natal Jupiter, which is one of the reasons why it’s lasting so long).

Sun in Cancer aspects : first a sextile with natal Mars, then makes a cardinal cross with square natal Moon, square natal Pluto and opposite natal Jupiter. Later it squares natal Venus/Uranus conjunction and lastly trine Sun.

Sun in Capricorn aspects : square natal Moon, conjunct natal Jupiter and square natal Pluto. Later square natal Venus/Uranus conjunction and lastly sextile Sun.

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Dark Fluffies


This is a term a friend of mine coined to describe fluffy bunnies who are not all “everything in the universe is lovely” but still manage to combine the ignorance and idiocy of your generic fluffy.

For anyone who is ignorant of the term “fluffy” a good example is a sister of a friend of mine who was telling him that you could cure any illness by rolling around in grass yet went to A&E when she had a broken collarbone. He encourages her for the entertainment value.

Dark fluffies are those who will happily tell you all about how to curse, but when you ask them how to cure mysteriously fall silent. They are those who will extol using blood in spells for everything, when it’s obvious it will not work for a cleansing spell.

Midsummer


This is the first ritual I’ve done in a while. All the tests came back from my doctor negative, so I assume the tiredness was my fibromyalgia stepping up a gear. I say “was” because the last time I was flametending I asked Brigit for healing. Last Monday I tried to walk around the sward and felt knackered after it. The next day I felt fine, despite going out to a toddler group. The third day I weeded the drive for half an hour and felt fine, where normally it would have had me on the sofa. It looks like Brigit has answered my prayers, although I’m being cautious and taking it gently for now.

The ritual went well and was lovely. All my rose bushes were out, which added to the atmosphere. The first one to come out was my old-fashioned pink climber called Celsiana, which smells how you think roses should smell and is now past its best. The second is in the height of its glory and is an old-fashioned off-white rambler called Garland. The last is a red tea rose called Fragrant Glory which has a strong smell.

Ancestors 101


If you are going to make an altar to the ancestors, keep in mind these points.

Firstly, not all ancestors will wish to be on your altar. When you first place a photo of the ancestor(s) you wish to have on your altar, light the candle and ask them if they wish to be on the altar. If they do not, whatever their reason, respect their wishes and remove their picture. Bear in mind that ancestors may change their mind – my mother-in-law said she did not want to be in contact with me via my altar, then a few months later the other ancestors said she’d changed her mind and wanted back on.

Secondly, the ancestors on the altar will have all the same faults and virtues that they had when they were alive. If an ancestor is an untrustworthy son-of-a-gun when s/he was alive, they’ll still be like that after death. Only venerate the ones which will support you in your life. I have not yet had an ancestor turn up who I did not wish to be in contact with after death, but if I did I would politely request them to leave. If the ancestor did not I would then research banishing rituals for spirits.

Thirdly, I have heard that you should wait a year and a day after their death to invite them to your altar. I was going to do that after my Poppa (mother’s father) died only because it seemed like a decent interval. However, he turned up on my altar six months after he died. This may be an exception, as he was always a people person and my son is named after him, which may be a good reason for hearing from him sooner than I thought. I would still wait a year and a day, but it would be insulting to ask them to come back later if they turn up before that interval.

Altar to Brigit


I am in the process of making an altar to Brigit. I confess that what is holding me back is that I am broke, but hopefully I will get things together and buy what I need next month.

An altar to a deity is so that you can connect more with that deity; also it will hopefully aid focus when I am flametending.

So, what am I going to put on it? A candle is a must. Not only to connect to any entity, but because Brigit is a goddess connected with fire. I am going to leave any other elements out. While the Celts had their own elements of water, air and earth none of them seem to be particularly connected to Brigit.

The altar cloth will be green and I have an LED candle already consecrated to Brigit. I always change the colour to green as it starts off white. A bowl to put offerings and healing requests is needed, but I can get one from a charity shop and consecrate it.

Brigit has various animals connected with her; I will buy some toy animals from a children’s toy shop and consecrate those.

It seems a pretty bare altar; most of the pictures of those you see on the net are stuffed with all sorts of artifacts. If anything occurs to me to put on the altar or Brigit asks for it, then I will add to it but I am not going to put crystals on it just because someone has done some hard work working out what deities are associated with which crystals when Brigit is not connected with crystals or the earth in particular.

Candles


A lit candle makes a connection to an entity, whether it be the ancestors, spirits or a deity.

Either the candle being dedicated to the entity you want to connect to or a photograph will help matters.

Prayer


I have been a pagan for sixteen years and am just getting into prayer.

This is not counting the “A, please help me with X thank you” requests which I suspect everyone of any religion makes when they’re in a tight spot.

I have taken so long to get into prayer because I was brought up as Christian, yet God never answered any of my prayers, not even the ones of which I’ve given an example of in the paragraph above. So I became disillusioned and stopped praying.

When I became Pagan and found myself in a tight spot, I did pray then and the prayers were always answered. However, I did not start praying properly again when someone on a Facebook Brigit group recommended it for becoming more in touch with Brigit.

So far I say a prayer to Brigit when I light the hob and one to The Morrigan before I shuffle my deck of tarot cards. I suspect prayers will become more a part of my life as I progress in my path.

The Reality of Paganism and Witchcraft


When you decide to become a pagan and/or witch, you imagine it to be a wondrous world filled with magical things where you can wave a wand and make all your troubles go away.

The reality is that you just inherit another set of tools to deal with problems. You can see what the problem is by reading the tarot cards or look into the future to see if your spell will work. This depends on how good the reader is and unfortunately I am not that good a reader.

You may not use the tools in the right way. Using the tarot cards to make decisions for example, or there are times I have not asked the correct question.

You could curse a hated enemy, but the curse may not remove the problem or (for example) if you have cursed the enemy with digestive problems then they may take their discomfort out on you.

Then there’s the fact that spells take hard work. First, you have to sort out what you’re going to do and use. Then, do the divination to see the outcome of the spell. Third, repeat the first two steps till you get it right.

There’s also all the research and the reading and learning to do. There’s interacting with deities and the mistakes you make along the way, suffer because of them and have to put them right.

It’s fools like Silver Ravenwolf who write that you can become a witch by reading one book. I prefer Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax who says “I’m just learning every day”.

Hello Again


Apologies for the enforced absence; we had computer problems as the router slowly died of old age and we decided to change providers and get a new router for free.

This took a while and during that time I celebrated the Winter Equinox by wassailing the guardian trees of my neighbourhood. I am sad to say that the one which was my estate’s has been cut down. However, another one has taken its place.

January saw me do my usual clearout; I went through all my documents, letters and files on the computer and stored on CDs. I also cleared out my mobile phone of numbers I hadn’t used for a long time.

I was going to celebrate Imbolc, but my son was sick that day and even though he napped as usual in the afternoon I did not want to be doing a ritual and worrying that he would wake up and throw up in the middle of it. I felt I couldn’t give the proper attention necessary for that ritual, so nixed it.

I did renew my house protections and made a new Brigid’s cross to put over the house door. The old one goes up in the attic to protect from fire and lightning.

Hallowe’en Market


Last Sunday I went to the Hallowe’en market run by The Raven and Broomstick occult shop in Peacock Mews, Leighton Buzzard.

The market was a delight. There were many craft stalls of which the owners had obviously put hard work and many hours into their wares. There were also a few of which the wares were just a piece of wood with some crystals stuck into. Caveat Emptor.

The Raven and Broomstick itself has many wares : herbs, wands, skulls, the usual books and much more. I purchased a box for my tarot cards and while the carving on the box was not the best I had seen, I have been struggling to find a box for my tarot cards for years as the cardboard containing the pack is fast crumbling.

All in all, an enjoyable hour spent and I highly recommend taking a look at The Raven and Broomstick if you find yourself in Leighton Buzzard.

As for Samhain, I am writing this while suffering from the tail end of a stomach bug and while my appetite is back to normal I am still feeling tired and cold, so unfortunately it is a non-starter this year.

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