ט'ו באדר תש"ע
It's time to fully invest in Goddess, so I did it. I'm retiring the witch hat I purchased from a costume company and have commissioned a custom made hand sewn plush black velvet witch hat made by a real witch with a natural talent for handcrafting witch hats.
The hat is about 20 inches from brim to point, with an approximately 50 inch brim circumference. Reinforcing wire runs between the brim layers, and up the seam of the point (covered so I don't feel it). The hat cone can be 'flopped' over as desired, and will hold its shape with the wire support. Brim band is hand stitched. Brim edge is trimmed in coordinating decorative braid. This is a quality hat which will become an heirloom.
I'm purring with absolute delight.
The cute artsy handmade (freehand, not stenciled) sisterhood sign I also purchased to hang near the altar in my bedroom.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
ט'ו באדר תש"ע
י'ד באדר תש"ע
Today is both the Full Moon (as observed in the practice of Celtic Witchcraft) and Purim (as observed in the practice of Jewish Kabbalah). In practical observance of both of these entwined magical times, this weekend's personally entwined (from The Witch's Hat, the Hebrew 3-letter root צנף also means 'entwining') entries:
The Witch's Hat
On High And Low Styles Of Magical Practice
Tsunami Warning Cancelled For Hawaii
י'ד באדר תש"ע
CNN reports today, Tsunami Warnings Cancelled
(CNN) -- Tsunami warnings were canceled for all countries Sunday, a day after a deadly 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile, forecasters said.
However, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in its cancellation alert it was only advising governments, and "only national and local government agencies have the authority to make decisions regarding the official state of alert in their area and any actions to be taken in response."
The quake struck Chile early Saturday, killing at least 300 people and prompting tsunami warnings and advisories along the Pacific. Chilean officials are expected to announce an updated death toll later Sunday.
In the U.S. state of Hawaii, the cancellation occurred nearly two hours after the first waves came ashore. Coast Guard crews said they had found no significant damage to ports or waterways as a result of the tsunami.
But the tsunami center said some coastal areas may see small sea-level changes or unusual currents for the next few hours.
The cancellation "does not mean it is now safe to resume normal activities or re-enter evacuated shoreline areas," the tsunami center said. It said that county civil defense agencies and local police departments would make those determinations.
"There was no assessment of any damage in any county, which is quite remarkable," said Gov. Linda Lingle. "It's just a wonderful day that nothing happened and no one was hurt or injured."
Read the full article at link above.
From a related entry - Witches Working With The Universe, On High And Low Styles Of Magical Practice:
Few witches have demons and destructive angels or spirits chasing after us. More likely, many witches have had the experience where 'demons', 'angels' and Nature spirits of all kinds, in fact, are our most ardent and unbidden willing protectors.
This then is the extraordinarily natural benefit of low magic over high magic.
Posted by Lori at 4:58 PM
High magic is usually the term for what the wizards do. It's rather like a Catholic mass [or any other highly hierarchal ceremonial ritual], with all the ritual words in a sacred language, pomp and finery, ordained divine conduits, and strict adherence to detail. The power in high magic comes from without... the great universal energy that is harnessed by the correct performance of the ritual itself, with some measure from the performer(s), but not much. They are mostly lent energy for the spell, which is why there is such an emphasis on hierarchy in high magic. It is vital that the ceremony be followed exactly with the correct people taking care of their assigned functions. The more powerful the spell, the less room for error.
The big draw for this kind of magic is that it offers a great deal of power in a relatively short period of time, but with a corresponding danger level as you ascend. The goal is to eventually control and submit the entire Universe.
Low magic is usually what witches do. Its goal is to make you one with the Universe, and therefore blissful, content, wise, with all your needs provided for. To unleash and accept your Goddess within, which is the same as the Goddess without, by giving full release to your Goddess self. This means that much attention is paid to your own instinct and the answers that are right for you, as your Goddess cannot ever be wrong, you just have to get better at hearing her. So our spells are more like meditation, sometimes with helpful symbols or foci like incense, statues, herbs, and other paraphernalia.
Most experienced witches don't bother with it, however, unless we are trying to work on something much harder than usual. To effect change in the Universe, we try to use the Butterfly effect, to tug on the string of the Great Weave that will most affect the change we want. In trying to find the string, we learn how the Universe works and so increase our wisdom.
Most women choose the style of Low magic because it is more like their usual style of being: persuading and joining, rather than controlling.
I'm sure most of you have heard of the phrase "As above, so below". Only one interpretation is rendered as "As in Heaven, so it happens down here." Another, more widely used and helpful meaning is "Change or events Outside affect the Internal, and vise versa." 'High' in the case of magic means 'external', 'low' means 'internal'. ONLY when hierarchy becomes so predominate in this culture, and High implies more powerful, and consequently more male, does High and Low magic take on some connotations that some people today take umbrage with. It's not a personal insult to our style.
Now. When was the last time any of you enslaved a demon, deity, or angel to unwillingly do your bidding? How about binding your local ghosts, fairies, and spirits as your personal gophers? I don't remember when it was that I forced the dead to come back in an unquiet rest to speak about the secrets of the Universe... High magic involves the use of formula and ritual to achieve just such dog collars on the Powers of the Universe.
I've seen a young wizard tell me that Hunters from the sprit world are stalking him, and we did a little complex ritual around a lamppost to confuse them so they can't follow. I mean, I never saw them, but that doesn't mean they weren't there, so I won't doubt his word. Much. But I'll tell you. I've never done anything in my magic work to invoke their wrath in the first place.
I am not comparing levels of power here. A very experienced or instinctive witch who is close to the Warp and Weft of the Universe can indeed stop a storm with a thought. Unfortunately, that takes a great deal of Enlightenment to reach that point, so most of us don't get there in a hurry, if ever. Now, it takes a wizard of far less experience, personal power, and self-mastery to achieve the same ends by going through the rigmarole to capture the power of the Storm God and just fire away or let Him do the work. It's not easy, but it's a hellova lot easier than becoming one with the Forces of a Hurricane and personally knowing on an unconscious level what strings to pull.
With these kind of benefits attached to High magic, including the hierarchy, the feeling of mastery and the practice of invincibility, it's no wonder that most wizards are men. But there is no such thing as a free lunch. Most powers that are so bound in High magic are not only interested in becoming Unbound as soon as possible, they would also like to wreak revenge on the mortals who dared to commit such an atrocity.
Which is why my little wizard friend was almost PROUD at the Things following him. The quality of a wizard is told by the quality of his enemies, after all...
Read entire article here.
We can understand then that with 'high magic,' great power may indeed be harnessed by the practitioner no matter the level of personal enlightenment or development into a Sacred Unity with the Universe. With the path of McMagic however, comes the possibility of unleashing great danger.
In contradistinction to the methods of many 'high magic' practitioners, most 'low magic' practitioners are less focused on attaining quick McPower and more focused on attaining the enlightnment necessary for working with the Universe instead of against Her. As Treasach has implied in her writing, few witches have demons and destructive angels or spirits chasing after us. More likely, many witches have had the experience where 'demons', 'angels' and Nature spirits of all kinds, in fact, are our most ardent and unbidden willing protectors.
Related entry: Tsunami Warning Cancelled For Hawaii
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
ז' באדר תש"ע
This is a cool piece of news - Legally Binding Handfastings In Ireland
Pagan weddings, in many cases performed by a recognized druid, will now be allowed in Ireland.
Following a five-year campaign the Irish state has now recognized the right of the Pagan Federation Ireland to perform weddings.
Couples will now be able to be legally married after a ceremony that concludes with jumping over a broomstick to mark crossing over from an old life to a new one.
Pagan weddings are also known as hand-fasting and most recently, the nephew of Richard Branson got married that way and they have become increasingly popular.
Ray Sweeney, coordinator of Pagan Federation Ireland told the Irish Sunday Times that there are 40 couples ready to be married now by the old tradition of binding their hands with ribbons, literally tying the knot.
“The couples used to have a civil marriage in a registry office first, but they often did it on their lunch break because they considered the pagan blessing more important.”
The tradition of hand fasting goes back to the Celtic pre-christian era. Currently eight marriage solemnizers or druids are being trained in how to carry out the wedding. 250,000 people in the last Irish census revealed they followed no organized religion.
Read the entire article by Jane Walshe at link above.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
ו' באדר תש"ע
Due to technical difficulties, Covenspace is no longer in service. Many Covenspacers have moved over to Witchbook for social networking - here is a link to my new Witchbook homepage and new Witchbook blog, The Witch's Circle.
Monday, February 15, 2010
א' באדר תש"ע
The morning of the first day of my new job started off with hazardess weather conditions, so driving to my new place of employment on the interstate with blowing, drifiting snow was a minor challenge. After arriving at my destination however, the day went extremely well. I am very impressed with the staff, the well-kept building and the general sense of real professionalism I encountered. All of the staff and the residents seemed happy to be there - a very good sign. Benefits are great too.
I'm going to enjoy working there.
Thank Goddess for my new job and for the great environment I perceive it to be.
Posted by Lori at 5:17 PM
Saturday, February 13, 2010
ל׳ בשבט תש"ע
Well, on the heels of the issues with my Blackberry Tour, the package sent to me FedEx Overnight early this past Friday won't be here until 3PM Monday. FedEx should not be allowed to advertise itself as overnight delivery when it delivers an overnight package 4 days later. I wanted to start my new job Monday morning with what I had FedExed Friday. Delivery Monday at 3PM is too late to do that. Good thing my need is not an emergency and only a case of 'I'd like to start my new job with this thing that I've ordered.'
I have a theory - the Universe has been conspiring to frustrate me this week. And you know what? It has succeeded. I am indeed frustrated with all this week's frustrations.
Breathe, Lori, breathe.
A good thing happened this week also - I found out that my credit rating has now recovered following all of those (not so long ago) long years of unemployment and underemployment. Yay! I now have people wanting to give me credit - do you believe it?! Now, I just have to stay employed so that I can remain in good standing with the bank that loaned me the money to buy my car and with the merchant who gave me the credit card with which I repaired my credit rating.
So, despite my frustrations with my possessed Blackberry and FedEx, I am okay because the other side of the Universe which desires to support me (instead of frustrate me) is conspiring to make me happy.
Posted by Lori at 7:33 PM
כ״ט בשבט תש"ע
I recently upgraded my cell phone to a Blackberry Tour 9630. I downloaded a ringtone from Crackberry.com and set the ringtone correctly. In fact, after the new ringtone failed to 'set' the first time and several times thereafter, I reset the ringtone via several pathways, including "set ringtone/alerts" and "media".
The ringtone sounded fine when I "tried it." The phone indicated that it was set to the ringtone I had set it to. However, when family members called me from inside the house where I am living, though the ringtone was set, the ringtone which rang was a default ringtone and not the set ringtone. I had also set my mother's Blackberry Tour ringtone, and it worked (and still is working, even though she has changed her ringtone several times now). On my Blackberry, I tried a battery pull and the ringtone still failed to "set" even though, according to the phone, it was "set."
I took the first upgraded phone back the next day after purchasing it. After trying a few things, they changed out my new Blackberry Tour for another new Blackberry Tour. I set the phone twice with two different downloaded ringtones at the Verizon store, and each time, when someone at the store called my phone, the set ringtones worked exactly as they should have. So, I went home thinking all was well.
When I got home, again when family members called my phone from their phones (one of them also a new Blackberry Tour - my mother and I had each bought one at the same time), my set ringtone no longer rang, but my phone again rang with the same default ringtone as the first Blackberry had done.
I tried a battery pull, a soft reset and double soft reset - but still no banana! Calls to my Blackberry rang through with the default ringtone, not the set ringtone.
The next morning, I again took my Blackberry back up to the Verizon store, and when I got there, an employee there called my number from two different phones within the store and - sheesh Louise! - my Blackberry rang correctly with the ringtone I had set it to. So, I went home - and do you know what? - right when I got home, I called my number from a family member's cell phone, and the ringtone had reverted right back to the default ringtone!
My Blackberry is possessed or something.
Any techies out there know what in the world is going on with my Blackberry Tour?
Posted by Lori at 4:44 PM
כ״ט בשבט תש"ע
Sabbath Day of the Dark Moon
Commentary on Mishpatim from Garden of the Dark Moon Jubilee - Sex Magic and the Real Meaning of Negative Mitzvah 310.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
כ"ז בשבט תש"ע
Right after I posted my previous entry (Basketfull of Beasty Balls), a deer stopped for awhile in, and then proceeded to walk down, the driveway by my car. While he was standing opposite me (looking at him from another closer window while he was in the yard), he met my eyes and looked right at me for several minutes as I waved at him. Here are the images I managed to capture of him as he was walking back to the woods after I went to get my camera:
Posted by Lori at 5:51 PM
כ"ו בשבט תש"ע
Last night I dreamt. This is the end of the dream.
There were two parallel-like realities. I was pulled from existing in the normative one into a special one hidden from the normative world.
I was able to go back and forth between the existent realities at will because of my unique chemistry. Those in the normative reality from which I had come could not enter into the special one, and weren't even aware of its existence. Only few of those who primarily existed in the special one could enter into normative existence without it killing them or cutting off them from re-entering the hidden reality. There was something very unique about my chemistry (and the chemistry of the few others who, like me, could move without damage through either reality). This ability to move equally well in both worlds made me a highly valued person in the special existence, sort of like a special-operations person might be in the military.
Two other women had been pulled into the special reality at around the same time I had. We each arrived and sat down in theater-like seats. In the seats directly behind us, we were each then pulled back into the lap of a male beast-like creature (each which looked something like the beast in the cartoon film Beauty and the Beast, although I was only able to accurately perceive the one directly behind me). I had to decide whether or not to remain with him. I liked him, so I said okay. He felt comfortable and fitting for me.
The scene changed and we were in a small gym-like auditorium. My beast was a leader and he also had to be judged by the judges to be fit for me (of special-operations potential). I had to help him survive the judging ordeal by gathering up all the balls (like nerf balls but hard like rubber) which had been thrown out onto the gym floor and place them all within a high basketball hoop (closed shut at the bottom) within a short time-limited period of time. There were lots of balls to pick up, and the basket was located at a very high place on the wall - it was a difficult test for me as well - to get all the balls in the basket within the short period of allotted time.
The timer started. I started retrieving balls, putting each one in the basket one after another. My beast was in a closed chamber hooked to the gym-like room undergoing some ordeal at the same time I was retrieving balls. One time, the chamber opened briefly and I saw the my beast was less beast-like, but not yet quite human-looking. As soon as I saw this little bit of transformation, the chamber closed back up with him in it.
One of the persons watching our ordeal, trying to thwart our success, came out onto the gym floor and picked up one of the balls still remaining to be retrieved and threw it out the door of the special world into the normative one. Egads! - I knew innately that I couldn't lose touch-contact with special world all during the ordeal or the whole procedure would be disrupted and a failure! Quickly, I got to the door, and with one of my tiptoes still inside the special world, and gripping onto the door with one hand, I went through with the rest of my body into the normative world and pulled the tossed ball back into the special world. I fully reentered the special world. The ball in my hand was the last ball to be put into the high basket.
As I put the the last ball into the high basket, the chamber opened up and dumped out a naked man onto the gym floor. My beast was now a fully human man.
The end-timer never went off, so we had succeeded.
I woke up.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
כ"ב בשבט תש"ע
A snowstorm happened here Thursday night and all day Friday.
It snowed several inches here in the midwest USA over both times (both times together constituting 'Friday' locally according to Jewish and Celtic timekeeping), where on Thursday night, I dreamt of being on the uppermost floor of a high tower (where I was looking for an apartment home) chanting an ancient archaic form of ritual Hebrew (Specialized Archaic Hebrew Dialect), and the snowstorm, as it increased moving east from the midwest, was blamed for the deaths of father-son Samaritans in Virginia. The Samaritans' car had stopped to help at the scene of a snowstorm-related traffic accident because a passenger in their car was a nurse who could help with any injuries to the people in the automobile resting in the left northbound lane. I am a nurse. Mount Hermon, a mountain tower of snow, is the source of water for the Land of Israel. The dream vision of chanted words (Devarim on Mount Hermon) Thursday night is like melted snow and dew.
The Samaritan Cohen Gadol was mourned Thursday, having passed away Wednesday at his home at the age of 83. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Samaritans mourn their high priest
BY BEN HARTMAN
05/02/2010 05:00 (Jerusalem Post)
Elazar ben Tsedaka, 83, ‘wise’ and ‘selfless,’ traced his office back to Aaron.
Snow flurries drifted to the ground on Mount Gerizim overlooking Nablus on Thursday, as mourners gathered to bury the spiritual leader of the Samaritans, who passed away the previous day.
High Priest Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq was born during a snowstorm 83 years ago, one mourner said. On Thursday, as he was being laid to rest at the holiest site in the Samaritan religion, the snow began to fall again.
According to Samaritan tradition he was the 131st holder of the post since Aaron. This is not be accepted by all historians, but the office may well go back to the Hellenistic period, which would still make it the oldest office in the world. One account in Josephus suggest that it is an offshoot of the Zadokite high priests in Jerusalem from around the time of Alexander the Great.
Mourner Menashe Tsadaka described Elazar as “a wise man in the community who people always came to for answers.”
The Samaritans are a tiny, largely misunderstood sect that practices a religion that is a close parallel to Judaism. Samaritans believe theirs is the true religion of the Israelites and follow their own Samarian Torah, written in an ancient form of Hebrew largely alien to modern Israeli eyes. Today’s Samarians trace their lineage to Israelites who have lived in northern Samaria before the Babylonian exile, and they still view Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, as the center of their religion.
Mourners took shelter from the storm inside the community center in the hilltop neighborhood of Kiryat Luza, where much of the ethnoreligious group of 730 lives. Nearly all the rest live in Holon’s Neveh Pinchas neighborhood.
As the procession hurriedly left the cemetery, people headed to the shiva ceremony at the high priest’s home, where over heaping plates of rice and lamb, mourners wept for the loss of the leader of one of Israel’s tiniest communities atop the mountain that has been the center of their religion for millennia.
Read the entire article at link above.
כ"ב בשבט תש"ע
Information excerpt from Omniglot, script samples from Omniglot and Ancient Scripts.
The Samaritans claim descent from the northern tribes of Israel. Evidence from recent DNA tests supports this claim and shows they are related to the Israelites through the paternal line.
The Samaritan alphabet is still used by Samaritans in the city of Nablus and in the Samaritan quarter of Holon. There are currently just over 700 Samaritans.
* Type of writing system: abjad / consonant alphabet. Vowels indicated with diacritics.
* Direction of writing: right to left in horizontal lines.
Used To Write
Samaritan Hebrew, a descendant of Biblical Hebrew used by Samaritans as a liturgical language.
Samaritan Aramaic, a dialect of Aramaic used by the Samaritans in their sacred and scholarly literature.
Download free Samaritan font here.
More information on Samaritan script and its optional vowels here.
Friday, February 05, 2010
כ"א בשבט תש"ע
Last night I dreamt.
I was touring Breezee Tower (a tall business building now deserted in my hometown) for an apartment on the upper floor. The halls of the building were busy with people - though deserted in real life, it was not deserted in my dream, but was in use for both business (lower floors) and apartments (upper floor).
The upper floor of the building was also haunted by ghosts. Most people were afraid of the ghosts, but I wasn't. I talked to the ghosts in conversation whenever approached by one.
There was a table in the middle of a side hallway. As I approached the table, I started to dance around the table (like one does at Simchat Torah) and chant a chant made up of words I had not ever learned before. I didn't understand many of the words released from my mouth, but someone at the table recognized them as an archaic specialized dialect of ancient Hebrew that very few people knew. It was a specialized ritual form of Hebrew. Some of the words I myself recognized - for example, Torah was pronounced as a construction of Tarah (tar sounding something like car, ah sounding like ahh - like in haftarah). I knew in my mind the word Tarah was Torah, but an ancient pronunciation of it.
I woke up.
Monday, February 01, 2010
י"ח בשבט תש"ע
In follow-up to today's earlier entry (Mysterious Exotic Intense Blue Sapphire), I've purchased a pair of handcrafted antiqued solid sterling silver Tall French Hook and Spiral ear wires for crafting an exquisite and unusual pair of blue sapphire gemstone earrings. Each ear wire measures approx. 3/8" x 1 1/4".
I'm really loving jewelry making. I love being a crafty lady!
I just completed taking two personality assessments (RightPATH 4 and 6) for one of the RNAC opportunities I applied for with an organization in a nearby city. They require these results before setting up an interview. My profile results describe me fairly well, I think.
On the RightPATH 4 Profile I scored as a Analyzer.
Regarding Analyzers at Work, my profile states:
"Since Analyzers excel at offering logical solutions to complex problems, they function best in roles in which they can evaluate and make necessary changes to improve efficiency."
Regarding an Analyzer's Contribution to Work, my profile states:
"Analyzers are natural organizers and administrators who can diplomatically create pressure to gain results and maximize performance in the workplace."
Regarding Analyzer Leadership Style, my profile states:
"Analyzers lead by planning, delegating, and explaining in their areas of expertise. They are good at keeping work efforts organized and focused."
Regarding Analyzer's Relationship to Authority, my profile states:
"Analyzer's are most comfortable when given freedom and authority to make decisions and implement creative ideas or improve efficiency."
Regarding Analyzer Communiation Style, my profile states:
"Analyzers communicate by clarifying, providing insights, questioning, giving directives, teaching, managing, or advising."
On the RightPATH 6 Profile, on the following continuums, my profile scored:
Compliance/Dominance - "Naturally cooperates with others to get the job done. Prefers to lead by working with others, rather than by 'taking charge.'" 
Introversion/Extroversion - "Very focused, prefers to work alone; private, serious, and reserved; would rather socialize with close associates." 
Detached/Compassion - "Objective and not afraid to make difficult decisions; likes to move ahead at a fast pace." 
Unstructured/Structured - "Likes to be accurate, organized, and prepared; naturally follows rules and prefers structure and predictability." 
Cautious/Adventurous - "Mid-range score. Average drive and spirit of adventure but usually prefers not to be a high risk taker." 
Concrete/Abstract - "Very creative; likes to generate and express new ideas and seek mental challenges." 
י"ז בשבט תש"ע
Ohhhh, the pair of rare and exotic, deeply mysterious, intensely lovely dark blue sapphire briolettes I ordered arrived today. Specifications: each approximately 8 X 6.5 mm, 3.45 carats total weight. My pair came from the strand pictured.
I haven't decided how I'm going to use them in design yet. Something special. They are just so gorgeous.