aka Litha, Midsummer
The height of Summer! All of Nature is at its peak & celebrates the abundance of life and the strength of the Sun. This is the longest Day of the Year, from here after the Days will get shorter, the Nights longer. But today is bright, warm, and full of power and energy.
Common Midsummer Traditions
These are just a few of the many traditions that many Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans enjoy on Summer Solstice.
A key component to all Wiccan rituals and works of magick is the Magick Circle. And although its presence is basic, the creation of a Magick Circle is not.
What makes it difficult to properly cast a Circle, is that it is entirely an energetic construct. The world in which we live is very much a physical one, where even emotions come second to tangible truth. So, learning to recognize our world as an energetic one and then to manipulate the varying energies as per our own will can be rather difficult.
As hinted above, there are two factors essential to being able to not only cast a Circle, but work magick of any kind (for, yes, truly, casting a Circle is a magickal act.) The first is being able to recognize energy, to feel it and, possibly, see it. The second is being able to manipulate that energy.
Without being able to recognize energy, it is increasingly more difficult to work with energy, though not impossible (this is where that favorite maxim of the magickal world comes into play: fake it till you make it.) This is why many times when first learning to cast a Circle, you may not feel any change in your surroundings. This can be either because of not having learned how to feel the energy, or because the casting just simply didn’t happen. Either way, like all aspects magick and Witchcraft, it takes practice and isn’t always accomplished the first try (or the second, or third…)
Here is a relatively simple method for casting a Circle. It involves no tools.
Physically mark out your Circle. This can be done with flowers, stones or crystals, pinecones, or string or rope, for example. While it isn’t necessary to actually mark out the Circle, it can be helpful as it gives you a visible reference point to where you are going to lay the energy.
Stand at the North Quarter of your marked out Circle. Close your eyes; breathe slow and deep. Feel your connection to everything. Know that just as much as you are a part of all of Nature, it is a part of you, you are One.
Focus your attention inwards and with every in breath, concentrate on forming a glowing ball of light within you. Every in breath makes it larger, every out breath makes it stronger. Feel this energy swirling inside of you, filling you, waiting to be released.
Open your eyes. Hold out one hand so that it touches the air above your marked out Circle. Walk clockwise now, toward the East, then South, then West, and finally back to North. As you walk, push this glowing ball of light down your arm and out through your hand. See it form a glowing line in the air above your marked out Circle. As you return to North, the line joins itself and becomes a circle, then stretches, forming a beautiful glowing sphere of energy around you, Above and Below.
The Circle is Cast.
Witchcraft on a Budget, #2
The witches of old knew well the powers inherent in the world around us. Branch, leaf, stone, wind, all were sources of unlimited power waiting to be tapped and used to one’s Will. Unlike witches today, those whom we base our traditions and practices upon had no stores from which to procure their materials. Rather, they relied upon that which could be found and made.
It is in that very same spirit, of innovation and practicality, that the Witchcraft on a Budget series of articles is founded.
One item, to which we all have access to, and which can be quite the magickal ally, is the simple found stone. Know it as that pebble that gets stuck in your shoe, the small stone that you nonchalantly kick down the sidewalk, or the sharp stone that you step on barefoot in your kitchen. Know it as the treasure you would stuff your pockets full of as a child and bring home to show your parents, and now, again, recall its worth and alluring pull.
The simple found stone, for all its ordinary appearances, is quite the treasure. Just as crystals do, the found stone possesses an energy that is well suited to magickal workings. And also like crystals, various types of stones are better suited to certain specific magickal goals. But, unlike most crystals, this inherent energy is much more malleable and is able to be utilized to a wide variety of purposes (though, naturally, some stones may be more inclined to certain properties.)
These common stones, be they found in a river bed, a forest trail, or from the street, can be used as protective charms, divination aids, and even in healing, either alone or with other crystals. Their uses truly are vast, as like clear Quarts, they can be programmed to any use. Here’s how.
Once you have found a suitable stone, preferably one that has jumped out at you and made its presence known (my favorite was gifted to me by a friendly Oak tree,) you want to make sure that it is physically clean. A light scrubbing in water will suffice, be it sink, pond, river, or ocean. At this point, you want to be open to any impressions you get from this stone; it may reveal to you what sort of magickal working it would be best suited for.
Now, if preferred, is the time to psychically cleanse the stone. This is more than likely not needed if the stone was found out in nature, but if the stone was found in the street or sidewalk, it may feel necessary to take the physical cleansing a step further. This is easily done while physically cleaning the stone: see an electric blue light emerge from your hands, washing over the stone, and removing all traces of energy that would be counterproductive to your goal. These energies will remain in the water leaving your stone clean and purified.
To charge the stone, and thus prepare it for magickal use, first make sure that you have clear in what you want to use the stone for. One specific goal is always best in magick, as anything more can get muddled up (the energy doesn’t know where to go.) Hold your stone firmly in your dominant hand. Close your eyes, exhale, and feel yourself calm and center. Say aloud what it is you want to use the stone for (e.g. “I charge this stone for protection,” or “This stone will radiate happiness and joy.”) Focus on this goal and push that goal into the stone. You will feel the energy rise in your hand, perhaps as a tingle or warmth. Hold tight to the thought of your goal until the energy you feel in your hand changes (the heat may reside or the tingle stop.) It is done. The stone can now be effectively used.
Carry it in your pocket, add it to a Charm bag, or use it in conjunction with Candle Spells. The found stone is very versatile and lends itself easily to a wide variety of magickal uses.
Throwing the Bones
Whether you're struggling with something spiritually or in everyday life, bone divination can highlight areas where focus is needed and identify alternative ways forward.
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