Symbols of Rain or Rain-Related Events in Dream Interpretation

Its raining in my backyard-Hooray
(Photo credit: aussiegall)

Generally speaking, weather-related dreams offer little insight as far as dream analysis and interpretation are concerned with the exception when dreams include symbols and vision of rain and rain-related events. The main reason for having a multitude of interpretations for dreams about rain is its direct relation to water, which has been strongly connected to the fertility and abundance, which are characteristics of prosperity and happy life in many of the world’s cultures regardless of their geographic location. Presence of rain in dreams serves as a linking element between availability of favorable weather conditions and personal well-being and feelings of security. Similarly, dreams containing threatening or even catastrophic events and involving rain events, can be a representation of insecurity or fear reflected at a subconscious level.

Many dreams are inherently related to emotions and feelings experienced while dreaming, for example soothing and comforting feelings of warm summer rain, feeling secure and protected while observing rain falling outside in bad weather from inside the house, or expression of loneliness and discomfort while being caught in the cold rain on the street and so on.

For some people, while experiencing dreams about rain, the visions can evoke feelings of stressful and worrisome existence, some kind of disturbance or effects which result in excessive introversion, low self-esteem and depression projected into wake life. Psychological aspects of experiencing these kinds of visions can add to formation of complexes and states negatively affecting person’s life, especially if dreams are recurring in their nature.

The composition or the way rain was observed in a dream as well as its various degrees of intensity can provoke different emotions and reactions following the dream. The color or even the size of rain drops seen or felt while dreaming are explained and interpreted with a surprising variety of meanings and symbolic connotations by dream interpretation sources. Additional elements (i.e. thunder, lightning, wind) can add to or completely reverse the original meaning about rain symbols, creating ambiguous or contradictory interpretations of rain-related events experienced while dreaming.

As it has been mentioned before, dreams about rain are closely related to symbols and visions of water, therefore there are a lot of similarities in the way these two type of dreams are interpreted. Often enough, the notions of clear or dirty water are approximated to explain similar dreams about rain. Many sources regard clean and fresh rainwater as a symbol of personal rejuvenation and renewal, the ability to start life over and expect to be favored by the destiny that lies ahead.

While trying to find a meaningful explanation of a dream about rain, try to recall details pertaining to the situation: were you alone or with other people in the rain, what was rain’s intensity, was it accompanied by some environmental conditions such as thunder or lightning, what was the feeling you experienced in this dream? Other recollections could be related to the impact which rain had on you in your dream. Interpretation of a vision when you did not feel comfortable in the cold rain could be quite different from an event when you happened to notice other people or kids enjoying a light summer drizzle. The negative or positive outcome of such experience can change dramatically based on details you bring back from your subconscious visions related to rain and rain-related events.

About the Author

By Alex B. Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.

Interpreting Dreams about a House

English: The Old School House. The Old School ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Houses can appear in dreams as a variety of scenarios and situations. A person can be dreaming about building or buying a house, a house can be subjected to destruction by natural disasters or wars, it can be taken over by strangers or inhabited by familiar people, such as friends or neighbors. Commonly, dreaming about a house means encountering or going through big changes in life, instability or indication of personal growth. In other sources, a house represent a womb and female essence, so after experiencing a dream about a house, you may ask yourself whether you are having your mind set on becoming pregnant, or maybe you and your partner have been considering a possibility of having a new addition to your family and may be harboring concerns about providing a nurturing and comfortable environment for the newborn. In parallel, you may also carefully examine the strength and commitment in your relationship with the partner, which would help in taking it to the next level. This could also be a good time to look at your own role in this relationship, which may lead to questioning whether you are a dependent or self-sufficient part of this relationship.

Dreams about a house refer to the state closely related to the individual’s own “self”, these visions can characterize the dreamer’s personality as being dominant or submissive with a set of behavioral traits describing individual lifestyle and personal outlook on life depending on surrounding conditions. In addition to important features for psychoanalytical interpretation of dreams about a house, such as parts of the house (i.e. roof, middle stories, cellar, rooms), house condition and external and internal characteristics (i.e old or new condition, architectural details, interior and exterior detailing) can result in meaningful and sensible decoding of the dream.

Great importance and interpretational value can be hidden inside scenarios or events observed or experienced during dreams about a house: try recalling a specific place or spot inside the house where you found yourself during the dream. For example, dreaming about being inside a bathroom or shower, with reference to the rest of the house, can be an indication of inane erotism, obsessive masturbation or traits related to aggressive nature, including negative way of thinking and destructive psychological tendencies as rudimentary features of initial development stages. Images and visions of a kitchen space in reference to the entire house are interpreted as signs of prominent pathological aggression toward others. Images of a bedroom or dining room inside a house are referred to as positive symbolic meanings. Some dream interpretation sources attribute images and visions of a house to various aspects of body and body function of an individual experiencing these types of dreams. They suggest possible interpretation of dreams about a house based on these descriptions, for example cellar or basement represents lower parts of human body, attic can be related to head or brain and windows can represent eyes.

Signs of worries, conditions leading to depression and anxiety can be related to, according to some sources, witnessing strange unfamiliar people or animals inhabiting or sheltered inside a house. After experiencing this dream, analyze your life conditions and position you take in life, this exercise may help uncover situations which make you feel upset or dissatisfied as suggested or implied by visions or symbols contained in the dream about a house. Dreams involving visions of building a house can be a reflection of changing life circumstances and prospective positive developments.

Environmental aspects (i.e. where the house is located or how it is situated in relation to other objects) and state or condition of the house also play significant role in what these dreams can mean and how they are interpreted. Contents and interior features of the house can add special and at times conflicting interpretations. Many dream interpretation sources also point out that scenes from the past taking place inside a particular house reveal origin and hidden desires of an individual to address issues, suppressed impulses or complexes retained since the time they had occurred. Dream meanings will vary to some degree when interpreted for males or females who experienced a dream containing visions of a house.

About the Author

By Alex B. Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.

Being Naked in a Dream

Museum of Modern Art Henri Rousseau. The Dream...
The Dream, 1910 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot of dreams experienced during sleep and asked to be interpreted deal with being naked or getting naked. Some of these dreams involve scenarios when people suddenly realize they are naked in front of a group of people or while being present in places where they should not be nude (such as public places, open areas or in other similar situations). These visions are usually a reflection of vulnerability and fears related to hidden thoughts about this person’s concerns and worries in waking life.

Sometimes, when a feeling of shame and embarrassment accompanies these dreams, this could also mean unpreparedness and lack of confidence before embarking on a serious project or endeavor. Many dreamers experience sudden realization of being exposed to a large crowd of people, for example during a presentation, at church or public gathering, completely naked or wearing only underwear or small coverings instead of clothing. This, again, points to the fear of being talked about and criticized for the lack of expertise in and control over a situation or an important task to be handled. As a matter of fact, these dreams can become quite intimidating and frightening as deadlines are drawing closer and little time is left to catch up and take care of responsibilities in real life.

Another side of this vulnerability can manifest itself when dreaming about being undressed or stripped off clothes by other people or someone in power. These images are frequently interpreted as a fear of losing or letting go something important, in a more psychological respect, something a person holds private and unavailable for others to know about or even suspect. These dreams can be triggered by meeting someone for the first time and who left a lasting impression or impact on the person who later had this dream. The fear of being “read through” or being figured out in intentions and actions is translated to visions of being stripped of clothes which, metaphorically speaking, conceals things considered private and undetectable by others. The obvious solution to overcome this fear or discomfort while dealing with this person or people, is to learn more about them by communicating and trying to resolve unfounded (or maybe justified) suspicions and distrust toward the person who tried to approach you in waking life.

Some dream interpretation sources refer to visions of being naked in a dream to excessive timidness, inability to make important decisions and reluctance to move forward in life because of some personal characteristics or psychological traits preventing a person from exposing too much to other people. Some of these traits can be brought about or inherited because of the way the person has been raised, some of them are imposed by the culture or society, including religious beliefs and traditions.

It is important to remember that when we do not expose or share our opinions and feelings with people around us, misunderstanding or lack of acceptance may lead to inability to fully express what we really want in life thus resulting in underachieving or being defenseless when important decisions are to be made. Therefore, dreams which involve being naked can serve as an indicator of psychological makeup and personal attitudes, which after realization and careful analysis can help develop better communication skills and pave the way to better interpersonal qualities which are so important in today’s world.

About the Author

By Alex B. Looking for instant interpretation of your dreams? Try our Instant Dream Interpretation engine with thousands of descriptions of what your dreams may mean. Look up your dream instantly using our Instant Dream Look Up with extensive database of meticulously compiled descriptions based on trusted sources.

The Origin of Halloween: Samhain, the Celtic Festival of Darkness and Mystical Light

Alfablot at boulder without flash
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celebrated at the beginning of November, the Celtic Festival of Samhain marked the coming of the winter months, with their dimming light and heightening darkness. The root of the word “Samhain” comes from “samhradh”, meaning “summer” in Irish Gaelic. While the exact etymology has not been confirmed by scholars, in Celtic tradition, “Samhain” corresponds to “end of summer” (a combination of samh “summer” and fuin “ending, concealment”).  Samhain and Beltanne (May Day) stood in opposition as the beginning of the season of winter and summer, respectively, but Samhain was a much more prominent festival and may have marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year as Frazer has pointed out.

Samhain was, consequently, a festival of deepening darkness and budding light. It was a meeting place between two opposites – the winter and the summer, the dark and the light, death and life. As such, the festival contained both aspects of existence – although the darkness, increasing at this time, was more profuse and substantial.

In its ‘dark’ aspect, Samhain marked a period of destruction and chaos. Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of this was the ritual killing of the Irish kings of Tara. According to Dalton’s evidence and interpretation, the kings that had behaved unsuitably or unpiously in office would be killed on the day of Samhain. Ritual killing was also effected against animals: Samhain was the season when the cattle that would not be kept through the winter were slaughtered.

On Samhain, the forces of darkness or chaos returned to rule. According to Irish mythology, 1st of November marked the day that the demonic Fomorian race oppressed the people of Nemed. According to another legend, the divine Aillen the Burner puts everyone to sleep at Samhain and burns the palace of the Irish kings at Tara. During the festival, bands of men, women and children dressed in masks and costumes embodied the havoc-causing divinities and inflicted their own terror and chaos on the neighbourhood. As Dalton points out, the tyrannical Irish king Conn Cetcathachwas killed by fifty warriors dressed as women. The habit of cross-dressing was popular in various parts of the Celtic world as expressions of the breakdown of rules on Samhain.

Samhain was also a time when the dead came back to roam the earth. This happened because the normal order no longer applied, and hence the boundaries of the otherworld were broken. Freed from the rules that clearly separate one world from the next, the dead returned to visit the living. They were welcomed at ritual feasts where, as Kondratiev has noted, they were “actually” present. It was this custom of honoring the dead that made the Catholic Church adopt the date of 1st and 2nd of November as the Day of the Saints and Day of the Departed.

If Samhain was a dreaded time when rules were broken and demons roamed the earth, it was also a time when light was re-born. Samhain, as Frazer has observed, was not a festival of the sun: the sun is in retreat in autumn. Instead, Samhain marked the birth of a mystical light – a light that may originate in the first ray of sun at dawn or the first lunar ray after the new moon. In Ireland, a bonfire was started on the royal hill of Tara accompanying, perhaps, the coronation of a new king after the killing of the old one. The custom of lighting fires on Samhain was also pervasive in Scotland and Wales. In line with this new light, Samhain was also a time when the forces of good eventually prevailed: the demon Fomorians were destroyed, Aillen the Burner was slain. Divination was also pervasive as a practical translation of the ‘light in the darkness’ motif: the diviner would try to shed a dim light into the dark future.

This combination of darkness and light, fear and hope, order and chaos gave Samhain its particular coloring of a merry time of misbehaving. It was a festival where rules were briefly abolished and tension – whether communal, social, political or even psychological – could be released. It was also a time when new order was born – hence the competitions and games of worth that were practiced during this period. Figures of power were abolished and others replaced them; rules were destroyed and recreated.
It is perhaps of interest to see what has remained of this festival time in today’s Halloween customs.

  • The symbolic kindling of fires in the lit pumpkin;
  • Games of worth in the popular ‘bobbing for apples’ – a water ordeal.
  • The havoc wreaked by deities and the dead in modern movies like Halloween, Scream, Dracula and vampire stories, American Werewolf in London and other horror classics;
  • The identification of the living with deities and the dead in Halloween trick-or-treating and costume-wearing
  • The sacral fear surrounding the Samhain celebration survives in urban legends of ‘razors hidden in apples’ to harm children.
  • The tradition of Samhain feasts in Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and Halloween candy;
  • Mischief survives in the mild “tricks” played on those that do not propitiate the costumed revelers
  • Abolition of traditional hierarchy is still present in the ascendance of children over adults during the Halloween season.

Perhaps more investigations should be carried out in this aspect, yet what is certain is that Samhain has evolved into Halloween in subtle, but yet powerful ways, maintaining in the process its fundamental character of an out-of-the-ordinary time when rules become more relaxed and identities more fluid behind the mask. It is unfortunate that its spiritual core has taken second place to ‘ordered chaos’, yet the enduring power of the Samhain is witnessed by its innovative ways to survive and adapt in the modern world.

  1. Kondratiev, A. (1997). Samhain: Season of Death and Renewal. Online. Accessed 29 October 2008.
  2. Frazer, J.G. (1922). The Golden Bough: A Study of Magic and Religion. London : Macmillan
  3. Dalton, G.F. (1970). The Ritual Killing of the Irish Kings. Folklore 81(1), pp.1-22
  4. Kondratiev, A. (1997). Samhain: Season of Death and Renewal. Online.  Accessed 29 October 2008.
  5. Walsh, M.J. (1947). Notes on Fire-Lighting Ceremonies I. Folklore 58(2), pp. 277-284.
  6. Wikipedia. (2008). Samhain. Online. Accessed 30 October 2008
  7. Dalton, G.F. (1970). The Ritual Killing of the Irish Kings. Folklore 81(1), pp.1-22.
  8. Kondratiev, A. (1997). Samhain: Season of Death and Renewal. Online.  Accessed 29 October 2008.
  9. Frazer, J.G. (1922). The Golden Bough: A Study of Magic and Religion. London : Macmillan.
  10. Kondratiev, A. (1997). Samhain: Season of Death and Renewal. Online.  Accessed 29 October 2008.
  11. Best, J. & Horiuchi, G.T. The Razor Blade in the Apple: The Social Construction of Urban Legends. Social Problems, 32(5), pp. 488-499.
  12. Dell Clark, C. (2005). Tricks of Festival: Children, Enculturation and American Halloween. Ethos 33(2), pp.180-205.

About the Author

Jo Hedesan is currently studying a MA in Western Esotericism at University of Exeter. She is a member of the European Society for the Study of Esotericism (ESSWE) and American Association for Study of Esotericism (ASE). She has published several journal articles and has presented papers at scholarly conferences on the topic of esotericism and history. She is writing a blog on esoteric topics and research at http://www.esotericoffeehouse.com

Necromancy Rituals

Most people probably think of zombies and other “walking dead” when they hear the word “necromancy.” This article explains that that’s not what necromancy is really about.

Although often involving morbidness and spiritual themes of mortality and the spirits of the dead, necromancy has little to do with the more popular notions of who and what a necromancer is. Most simply, necromancy purposes to communicate with the dead in order to gain special knowledge, whether that be foretelling the future or discovering knowledge long forgotten. As such, the ancient and ongoing art of necromancy will be explored by first outlining its history, second, describing how necromancy is practiced today, and finally, a more in depth overview of the different implements of necromancy, such as rituals and potions.

Necromancy – A History

Necromancy is old. One of the earliest mentions of necromancy actually comes from the Bible’s Old Testament. Saul, the first King of Israel, requested that a witch (who apparently came from Endor) come to his court and, through necromancy, conjure up the dead spirit of Samuel. Continuing with the biblical theme, Origen, a 3rd century C.E. theologian and scholar probably coined the term, combining the Greek ‘nekros’ or dead body, with ‘manteia’ or diivination. Necromancy is also found in ancient literature, the earliest of which is Homer’s Odyssey.

Compared to shamanism of other areas and eras, necromancy was common and famed from the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. During the Early and High Middle Ages, the practice of necromancy exhibited an obvious Arabic influence, such as the incorporation of moon phases and other astral concepts and forces. Christian and Jewish symbols are also incorporated into the divination rituals and spells. The trend continued during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, in which necromancy was practiced alongside Christianity, even though prohibited by the latter. The tension between the Catholic church and ‘black magics’ such as necromancy fostered modern day public perception of necromancy, i.e., desecration of corpses in graves which was sacrilegious to the pervading religious norm.

Necromancy – As It Exists Today.

"Edw[ar]d Kelly, a Magician. in the Act o...
“Edw[ar]d Kelly, a Magician. in the Act of invoking the Spirit of a Deceased Person.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Regarding necromancy, The Encyclopedia of Occultism states that, ‘The art is of almost universal usage’. Considerable difference of opinion exists among modern adepts as to the exact methods to be properly pursued in the necromantic art, and it must be borne in mind that necromancy, which in the Middle Ages was called sorcery, shades into modern spiritualistic practice. There is no doubt, however, that necromancy is the touch-stone of occultism, for if, after careful preparation the adept can carry through to a successful issue, the raising of the soul from the other world, he has proved the value of his art.’ That being said, necromancy is more of a conceptualized practice, rather than an ordered science and craft. However, there are some constants when analyzing the rites and rituals utilized as a part of necromancy, which takes on two main forms: divination by means of ghosts and divination by means of corpses.

One constant that any seasoned necromancer could agree with is that the art necessarily takes its toll on the necromancer. In other words, the source of the necromancer’s power comes from harnessing the powers of death internally in order to express or transfer those powers as the necromancer sees fit. This craft builds off of the innate fears and horror associated with death, decay, and destruction. A necromancer will experience great pain and suffering; however, they will understand the very real powers of death and, having understood them, will have a great power.  A cursory study of what constitutes the art of necromancy will quickly show that there are no set rituals or systematic potion configurements. The sources of necromantic power, sometimes called ‘Death Essences’ are for the individual necromancer to find and harness themselves. The implements, spells, and rituals of necromancy.

As mentioned above, necromancers each have their own methods of discovering and harnessing the power of death. This is why magicks of all kinds are referred to as ‘practices’: you are always getting better. There are a few constants, however, that seem to show up in every rite or ritual.

An assistant – apprentice, acolyte – whatever you want to call him or her, another person’s presence can provide strength and protection, as well as an extra hand to light the candles. Location – where you work matters. Places that have special spiritual significance – especially dealing with death, such as a graveyard – are best. Other places where spiritual forces are strong are at beaches, deserts, forests, and crossroads.

Patience – necromancy is about summoning, communicating with, and learning from the dead. As a matter of course then, the workings of necromantic magic are contingent on a second party: the dead.  The knowledge that comes from harnessing the essence of death is deep and powerful. Like all sincere spiritual endeavors, the point of necromancy is self-discovery, empowerment, and the ability to be the master of your own destiny.

About the Author

Kim Brown is a hereditary witch. She writes books and teaches classes on  witchcraft. You can find more information on witchcraft and Necromancy here: http://www.realwitchcraftmagick.com. Sign up for our free newsletter!

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Learn the Four Card Elemental Spread

The Fool (tarot card), painted by Bonifacio Be...
The Fool from the Visconti-Sforza tarot deck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Four Card Elemental Spread is an easy spread for those who love to read tarot cards. As with all readings, you should focus, shuffle your deck slowly and thoughtfully before laying them out on your reading cloth or special space. I always use a special reading cloth, lined with silk both to protect my cards and also to remind me that I’m about to embark on something special.

Take the cards from the top of the shuffled deck and lay them out, from left to right. The first card represents EARTH, the second AIR, the third FIRE and the fourth WATER. The interpretations I use for these are as follows:
Earth Money, practical matters, home life

Air Troubles, loss, quarrels

Fire Work, business, enterprises

Water Emotions, love, pleasure

Ok, the cards that came up for me are as follows:

Position 1 (Earth) The Empress

Position 2 (Air) 10 of Cups

Position 3 (Fire) Ace of Swords

Position 4 (Water) Strength

The Empress in the Earth position shows me that I’m happiest at home, content with family. It’s a card of abundance and lets me know that I should continue to work hard to gain all that I wish for.

The 10 of Cups, in the Air position, is another lovely card, adding another element of a contented home life, particularly at the end of a stressful day, when home is where you can relax and be yourself. The two pets, normally regarded as natural foes, are happy in each others’ company, having resolved any differences they might have, a lesson I should take on board with those whom I don’t always see eye to eye with.

In the Fire position is the Ace of Swords – a powerful card that signifies victory over difficulties but only after using up energy and inner strength. I should be prepared to move forward with any new ideas I have and the final card,

Strength, in the Water position, backs up the Ace of Swords as a card of self-empowerment and vitality. Strength is all about using your inner power and wisdom. As Water is a sign of emotions and relationships, I feel that I should always remember the strength of my personal relationships with those around me and continue to build on these.

Various card combinations tend to indicate specific events and you should always look for some confirmation from other cards.

The Four Card Elemental Spread is a great spread for both beginners and more seasoned tarot readers.

Practice your readings. The more you interact with your cards, the more familiar they will become and the easier it will be to do readings.

Consulting books and guides which tell you the meaning of the cards is helpful but remember that the tarot is an intuitive tool. This simply means that reading them comes from within, it’s instinctive and natural. Learn to trust your own judgment and go with the flow. Your first impressions of the cards during a reading are usually the ones to stick with. This is using your intuition and is the best way to read the cards.

About the Author

By Julie Atkins. Learn more about the fascinating world of tarot over at tarotcardsforyou.

Celtic Shamanism

What exactly is Celtic Shamanism? For that matter, what is “Celtic”? This article looks into the question of Celtic Shamanism.

18th-century engraving reproducing a bas-relie...
18th-century engraving reproducing a bas-relief found at Autun, France, depicting “two druids” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is there such a thing as ‘Celtic shamanism’? Probably not.

Do we have a native shamanic tradition within the British Isles? Certainly.

These two statements are in no way contradictory. It only seems that way because of the word ‘Celtic’.

‘Celtic’, in fact, has been so over-used and so abused in its usage, that we can no longer say with any certainty exactly what it refers to. Nor can we assume that the use of the word, by any two different writers or historians, means precisely the same thing.

The fact is that we have little hard evidence about the Celts and, given this vacuum, the people themselves, their practices and beliefs, have been variously mythologized, idealised, and/or demonised in order to create solidity out of Irish mist.

The ‘hard evidence’ and ‘real information’ we believe we have about Celtic ‘shamanic’ practices is not without problem either, since most of it was passed on orally and has been subject to elaborations, embellishments, distortions and, indeed, fabrication, over time.

It was not until the Christian colonisation of Ireland, for example, that the ancient stories, passed from mouth to ear across the generations, began to be recorded in writing at all – and then, we can imagine, they were ‘shrunk to fit’ the Christian agenda. Under this new spiritual regime, for example, the earth goddess, Brigid, is ‘miraculously’ transformed into St Bridget, with similar but quite different attributes to her natural predecessor and, of course, a new-found belief in the ‘one true [male] god’.

Notwithstanding the slight problem of a dearth of factual evidence, however, everyone seems to have their own ideas about the Celts. These ideas are really projections of ourselves onto the fog-screen of history and an archetypal reflection back to us of what we would like, or need, to be true. No doubt it fits our modern, urban, need for romance and escapism to imagine our ancestors as poetic warriors, living wild and free in great sacred forests, in idyllic communion with the whole of nature.

The Romans, however, had very different ideas, stemming, again, from their own (imperialistic) needs. To them, the Celts were savage barbarians, sacrificing their children, prizing the severed heads of murdered enemies, and living in the woods like animals, where they worshipped pigs and dogs and other lowly beasts. Such projections enabled the Roman leaders to justify their invasions of Celtic lands, where they would do us all a favour by ‘civilising’ the barely-human heathens who had the audacity to live there.

The Greeks, too, had their conception of the Celtic people, a somewhat different conception to that of the Romans. They called them Keltoi, which has connotations of ‘Hero’ and also of ‘Strangeness’. The Keltoi were the ones who stood outside of civilisation and had an unusual understanding of nature and the elements. To the ‘civilised’ Greeks, the Celts were still savages, but perhaps they also had something about them, some secret power or knowledge…

In summary, there are as many ‘Celts’ as there are windows into the human imagination. What we know (almost) for certain, is that they lived between 700 BC and 400 AD. Apart from that, their very tribal natures, as well as the different landscapes they occupied and the variation in natural resources available to each tribe, obviously meant vast differences between them in terms of beliefs, customs, culture and living (as well as ritual) practices. Even in the British Isles today, there remain huge differences between the way of life of the Scottish, Irish and Welsh-speaking peoples.

As Emma Restall Orr has written, in her commentary on the ‘classical’ Druid (the Celtic ‘priest’), as a man “in white robes, bearded, with ornate staff and golden sickle tucked into the belt”…

“In fact, this image of the Druid in white is little more than two hundred years old, created during a period of revived interest in the tradition when one picture from the classical literature of two millennia ago was chosen from many: Pliny’s image of the Druid cutting mistletoe from the sacred oak. If Strabo had been used, the stereotype might be rather different, but his Druids – in red, adorned with gold – had not perhaps the dignity and nobility that was needed”.

Despite its fanciful nature, however “it is this figure that is responsible for drawing many into the tradition. But what is that tradition?”

Shamans Of Britain

Druidry is the native spirituality of Britain, which has its origin in the animistic principle of honouring the earth, the ancestors, the elements, and the connection between all things. “Druidry emerged out of the rocks and forests and rain of Britain, and its very nature is wrapped in the beauty, power and shifting stories of all that Britain has been over many thousands of years”.

For Orr, the focus of Druidic practice is ‘awen’, an old British/Welsh word which means ‘flowing spirit’. The word contains notions of creative genius and poetic imagination, in a similar way to the Irish word ‘imbas’, which refers to a sense of wonder and inspiration.

“Understanding that all creation is imbued with spirit (matter and physicality being the creativity of spirit), the Druid knows that it is in relationship, spirit to spirit, that inspiration is found… In recognizing the spirit of some aspect of creation, be it elemental, plant, animal, rock or human, we are given the opportunity to know our own spirit, to respond from our own spirit… Where spirit touches spirit, where there is communion on this level and the energy of life is exchanged, awen flows. [Awen] is the lightning that reaches between earth and sky, between lovers’ eyes.

“Yet simply breathing in the beauty of inspiration is not enough. It is the Druid’s responsibility to ensure that this energy continues to flow, spirit to spirit, for energy which is held in the body or soul stagnates and swells with sickness or pride. So inspiration must be expressed, the energy inhaled must be exhaled, and this is done through the Druid’s creativity”.

What we might call the Keltic ‘Path of the Hero’ had, we imagine, three ‘Ways’ or areas of expertise: The Way of the Bard, the Ovate and the Druid, each with its own means of inspiration and creative expression.

The Bard is the poet and storyteller, who weaves magic and mystery with words, and can find mystic prayers, blessings and songs of empowerment, of protection, and enchantment. His words have the power to harm or to charm, to soothe and to transport the listener into the worlds of poetic imagination, where the wellspring of creative genius, the shamanic landscape, is to be found.

The Ovate is the seer, who perceives the holism of the world, the bigger picture of life intertwining with forces beyond the mundane and the human. His is the power to foretell futures, to witness the past, and to understand its cosmic dance into the life-yet-to-come. Through this, he may unravel the past and shift the events of the present so that new potential and healing may come in to being.

The Druid is more fully the shaman, the rounded Man of Power, who knows the arts of the Bard and the Ovate, and is able to use these skills, and personal magic, to negotiate with the spirits, the elements, and the power of nature Herself, in order to bring back their gifts to the tribe. The church of the Druid is the sacred grove of the forests – a “church not made with hands” – which exists within, is part of, and represents the infinite power of Nature.

“The sacred text is the landscape within which we live. Its language is that of the deciduous forests, the ancient oaks, the heather-tinged moors, the meadows of grass lit with buttercups and daisies, the long dark winters that creep into the bones, the laughter and dance of chilly May evenings. Its path has been trodden for many thousands of years by those who found inspiration in the beauty and fertility of these lands”.

The very mention of ‘Celtic shamanism’ will inevitably lead to debate, discussion, and argument, notably between academics, frustratingly unable to pigeonhole the meaning of that elusive concept; but also among ‘new agers’ with a cosy modern notion of forest rituals and flowing robes; and among more conservative members of the public, who are likely to view it as in some way similar to ‘witchcraft’ or perhaps even ‘Satanism’. It seems that we all have a notion of who the ‘Celts’ were and of ‘natural British magic’.

For that reason alone, it may be best, in some ways, to forget the word ‘Celtic’ altogether (‘Keltic’ is, in any case, more accurate) – but not to forget the power of its tenets and beliefs.

Creative genius, poetic imagination, the power of Nature, and the living Spirit of the World; these are the things which will create positive change in our lives, the skills which need to be honed.

About the Author

Ross Heaven is a therapist, workshop leader, and the author of several books on shamanism and healing, including Darkness Visible, the best-selling Plant Spirit Shamanism, and Love’s Simple Truths. His website is http://www.thefourgates.com where you can also read how to join his sacred journeys to the shamans and healers of the Amazon.

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How to Use a Crystal Ball

This article explains how to use a crystal ball for scrying, a form of divination.

Step 1. Preparation

Crystal Ball
Crystal Ball (Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall)

Most people find crystal ball gazing is easiest in a quiet, dimly lit room. Many people like to have candles burning. For some the reflections of the flames help to summon images – others find them a distraction. Burning incence is common and some people like to have soothing music playing gently in the background.The important thing to remember is that you are creating an atmosphere.

The important key when doing crystal ball gazing is that you must be relaxed and your mind must be clear. It is always best to perform a cleansing ritual followed by a protection ritual, and then begin your crystal ball work. Normally a cleansing ritual would be performed on night one. The next night you would perform a protection ritual on yourself and within the room you intend on performing the crystal ball gazing. On the third night you can then be well prepared to use your crystal ball. Even though these rituals are not necessity, it is always wise to do them for maximum safety and best results.

When performing any form of scrying or divination you are summoning forth forces from the spirit realm. Normally these forces are closed off from this plane we live in unless otherwise disturbed such as through specific rituals such as crystal ball gazing and scrying. When you perform divination these forces can either aid you in bringing forth images of the future or other events, or attack you.

Evil spirits and negative influences can use your crystal ball, scrying mirror, ouija board, or pendulum a link for them to step through into this world. They can also use it as a means to drain energy from you as well. This is why it is always best to ensure proper cleansing and protection is prepared before hand.

Step 2. The Crystal Ball Gazing Method

Place the crystal ball on a table in front of you. Many crystal balls you can buy come with their own stand. If you don’t have a crystal ball stand you might like to use a small cushion or a silk handkerchief purchased and reserved specially for this purpose.

Tip: To amplify your crystal ball gazing, you can use a gemstone sphere as a compliment to the crystal ball. Simply having a gemstone sphere resting next the crystal ball can augment your diving two fold.

Sit down and relax. Lay your hands gently on the ball for a minute or two in order to energize it and strengthen your psychic rapport. Whilst holding the crystal ball, think about the purpose of this scrying session. If appropriate try to visualize the subject of your question. Some people like to ask the question out loud, others prefer to internalize it.

Now, remove your hands from the crystal. Look into the crystal, stare deeply. Allow your eyes to relax and become slightly unfocused. After a little while you should see a mist or smoke forming in the crystal. Let this mist grow and fill the ball, then visualize it gradually clearing to reveal images within the crystal.

The images you see might not be what you expected. That’s OK, don’t fight them. Your subconscious mind knows what information you need. Many people find that when they first begin to use a crystal ball, the images have nothing to do with what they focus on. This is because your mind is not yet adjusted at being able to grasp and focus on the energies being past from your subconscious into the crystal ball itself. Think of the mental energies going from your mind to the crystal ball as a funnel. The base or “tip” of the funnel is your subconscious energies and that energy is being directed upwards towards your conscious mind which is the mid point of the funnel. The conscious part of the mind that receives the subconscious energy then “spills” it into the crystal ball to form those images from the subconscious, which would be the mouth of the funnel.

Since divination uses both the subconscious and conscious part of the mind at the same time it can be rather difficult to concentrate on both at once. Your subconscious is where the energy is stemming from. It passes it upwards to your conscious which is needed to act on that energy into the crystal ball. Without the conscious mind you would be in more of a deep meditated state and your eyes would not be able to consciously focus or input the images within the crystal ball.

As noted, it is perfectly okay that the first couple times you divine with a crystal ball the images are not related to what it is you want. The fact you are able to see ANYTHING in the crystal ball is showing progress. The more you work with the crystal ball, the better you will get at being able to see exactly what it is you want to see by manipulating your subconscious energies to your conscious energies, and then to the crystal ball. Either way, just let the images flow, changing and taking you wherever they choose to go. Don’t try to rationalize now, time for that later.

Step 3. Closing The Crystal Ball Session

Let the images slowly fade back into the crystal ball. Don’t just stop the session suddenly, instead reverse the process you used at the beginning. Visualize the mists coming back and covering the images, then receding to return the ball to its natural state.

Thank your crystal ball and put it away carefully wrapped within a dark cloth is best as dark cloth keeps the energies of the ball contained within it and prevents it from leaking out.

It is also always best to ensure you cleanse your crystal ball. A good, fast, and simple way of doing this is to simply light a sage smudge stick and or sage incense and move the ball around the smoke before you place it back for storage. Another quick and easy way to cleanse your crystal ball would be to give it a dip in salt water for roughly one minute. You do not want to soak it too long in salt as it can damage and ruin the crystal ball.

About the Author

Joseph Barresi is an expert on the occult, paranormal, witchcraft, and Wicca. He co-runs a blog with all kinds of information and how to’s on the above subjects. You can view the blog here: Wicca & WitchCraft Information Blog

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How To Set Up A Wiccan Altar

This article discusses things to consider and think about when planning and setting up a Wiccan altar.

English: A traditional Wiccan altar displaying...
English: A traditional Wiccan altar displaying magical working tools, including athame, boline, sword, wand, pentacle, chalice and censer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, you’ve decided to embark upon a Wiccan path, and you’re trying to figure out what all is necessary to set up your Wicca supplies. You would like an altar, but you aren’t quite sure how to go about it. There are lots of “instant altar and tools” kits you can find on the Internet. We have a few ritual tool kits ourselves, but where to start? What to include? Where to put it? How to set it up? With all the possibilities, how do you go about choosing what is right for you?

An altar can be as elaborate as a custom carved church style massive affair with ornate ritual tools placed in specifically measured positions. An altar can be a stump of wood in a forest, a TV tray in your living room, or anything in between.

One of the first considerations for your altar space is likely whether it can be displayed openly, If you feel that your practices would bring unwanted scrutiny on you, you might decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and find a small cabinet you can hide your altar tools and ritual supplies in, and close.

My altar is placed in an armoire with doors that close. Not because she wishes to keep things “secret,” but more that she feels it is more respectful for the altar tools and ritual supplies to be kept for the eyes of those who would appreciate them rather than gawkers wondering if the athame is used to murder small animals.

Other possibilities for an altar can be just a regular table with an altar cloth, a nightstand, a bookshelf, a tree stump, or just about any other surface you desire. It can be as large or as small as you are comfortable with, that will hold your Wicca supplies, and where you can work with them appropriately.
Once you have chosen your altar, then you can decide which ritual tools you wish to place on it. Of course, you CAN choose the ritual tools first, then find an altar that will fit them all, but in either case, you can modify the advice to suit your particular situation. See, that’s the fun part about being Eclectic … very few instances result in the accusation that you “aren’t doing it right.”

First comes the altar cloth. I always choose a cloth that is pretty, functional, and not too difficult to get wax off of. You know you’re going to be dripping wax from time to time. It’s inevitable. That’s why I personally don’t buy very expensive altar cloths, since I know I am a clumsy witch. The altar cloth is generally used to protect the altar, and is not “necessary” but can be meaningful (depending on its symbolism) or merely functional.

One of the things I always put on my altar is a statue of the Matron Goddess I am working with at the time, and, depending on the ritual I am about to perform, I may include my patron God. Well, what if you don’t HAVE a Matron or a Patron yet? That’s perfectly fine. You may always choose to exclude a statue, or to instead include a generic statue of the Spiral Goddess and/or the Spiral God. I place my statues in the top center of the altar, just because I like them there.

Next comes the candles. My personal taste is three candles, one white, one red, and one black signifying the Goddess in her maiden, mother and crone phases respectively. These I put in the top center right in front of the statues, making sure they are far enough away from the statues not to drip wax on them or to set them on fire. There’s nothing more annoying during ritual than having things catch fire when you do not intend them to.

My cast iron cauldron with a chunk of charcoal in it goes in the center of the right hand side of my altar. I prefer cast iron cauldrons and charcoal to stick or cone incense, but your mileage may vary and you can use what suits you best, of course. You can also place it anywhere you like, as I am merely using my set up as an example.

So we have our Fire (candles) and our Air (incense). Where’s our Earth? For Earth, I use an offering bowl. And in said offering bowl, I place some sea salt . So why would sea salt signify Earth instead of Water? Well, to me it’s a little of both. Salt comes from the earth and mixes with the water of the sea. You can, of course, put dirt in there, or anything else that signifies Earth to you. I put the Earth to the center left side of my altar.

And then, the either totally elaborate, utterly plain, or maybe even paper cup chalice . Anything that can hold water can be your chalice if it has that meaning for you. As we have said, the chalice holds the element of Water that you can use for your ritual. Whether you add salt to it to purify it or not is up to the type of ritual you are doing and your personal preference. I put the chalice in the center center part of the altar, in front of the candles and the statues.

That just leaves the athame and/or the wand. I like to use both, the athame to cast the circle, “cutting” out a sacred space beyond time, and the wand to direct power. I generally carry my athame on my degree cord around my waist, or in the center of the altar to the front, in front of the chalice. I put the wand next to it.

So, that, in a nutshell, is my altar set up. If you feel that your correspondences (i.e. must put Earth in the East, etc.) do not agree depending on the position of your altar, that’s all right. The important thing is that you understand why you are placing things where you are placing them, not that you copy someone else exactly. If it doesn’t have specific meaning to you, the ritual itself will not be as meaningful or powerful.

About the Author

By Knot. Whether you are Pagan, Wiccan, or just spiritually minded in general, www.Wiccame.com online will surely have something in their large, unique collection or wares that will supply you with the proper ritual tools and altar items for your rituals and spells.

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Healing Powers of Gemstone Spheres

This article explain the use of gemstone sphere in healing magic and in divination.

spherestones
Stone Spheres (Photo credit: doctor paradox)

Using gemstone spheres and adding them to your Wiccan supplies can be incredibly beneficial for many reasons.

Gemstones in general have many different healing, protection, attraction, and purification based properties that by themselves can be quite potent. When added to your rituals and spells these effects can be two fold.

The benefit of gemstone spheres however are that they are good sized orbs and the energy concentrated within them is amplified. Being circular, gemstone spheres also make excellent tools for diving and divination purposes which will be discussed below.

Gemstone Spheres for Healing Purposes

Gemstone spheres can have remarkable healing powers. Depending on the type of gemstone you have, or want to get, they all have their own innate abilities that can enhance your own power.

Whether you are looking for healing emotional, mental, or even physical ailments, gemstone spheres can be used to help these issues.

A good way to use a gemstone sphere would be to take the stone and gently roll it around your body slowly going from head to toe. Focus on your forehead, chest, and stomach in particular, but by performing this slow rolling motion will have the gemstone sphere’s energies go into and through your whole body.

This can be done as a prelude to a ritual, during a ritual, after a ritual, or all three depending on what you are comfortable with.

For example, if you were to perform a ritual to heal or purge negativity within and around you, a good stone for this would be the quartz gemstone sphere as quartz is incredibly powerful in eliminating negativity. You would take the quartz gemstone sphere and before you perform your ritual, roll it slowly over your body(ensure it makes direct contact with your skin) and say a prayer as you do so:

“Negativity within, you will leave
You have no more power over me
With this stone I purge you away
In my body you will no longer stay”

The above is just an example you may use, you can create your own if you wish, whatever is comfortable.

Using the gemstone spheres in such a manner is also very soothing and calming. Another idea would be to use them as a massaging tool as well. If you normally perform massages for friends or lovers, you can have them lay on their stomach and you can take your gemstone sphere and gently roll it up and down their neck, back, and legs which will guarantee an even more pleasant massage.

If you or someone you know is suffering from illness such as a cold, flu, or even something more severe, you can take your gemstone sphere and use it’s energies for this as well. Again, rolling the stone over the body is best, you can even have the person who is inflicted with the illness hold the stone as you perform a prayer or ritual for them. With them holding the gemstone sphere directly, they will be able to draw in the stone’s energies directly. One gemstone sphere that is excellent for ailments such as detoxify the liver, lowering blood pressure, fever reduction, speeding up recovery from burns, and can alleviate cramps is the Chrysocolla gemstone.

Divination Uses For Gemstone Spheres

Gemstone spheres make excellent compliments to your crystal ball, scrying mirror, or pendulum if you use divination.

Many gemstone spheres have the ability to enhance your abilities as you are scrying and diving, so having a gemstone located right next to your crystal ball or scrying mirror can be very beneficial. One such gemstone sphere that promotes psychic awareness, enhances mental powers, and increases strength is Black Amethyst.

As noted, these gemstones can also be used for specific rituals and spells as well, being used as a sole tool or as a compliment tool. If you are performing a ritual for prosperity and to gain more wealth, you can use a Malachite Gemstone Sphere which promotes prosperity, wealth, better business, and to protect the money you already have.

Resources And Information

If you would like to view various gemstone spheres or wish to add them to your wiccan supplies, you can see a good selection here: Gemstone Spheres.

About the Author

Joseph Barresi has an information blog about ritual tools, wicca, witchcraft, the occult, paranormal, and divination where you can learn everything you need to know on these subjects: Wicca & WitchCraft Information Blog

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