Tag Archives: Witches

Week of September 7th

CURRENTLY:
Sun at 14 Virgo
Mercury at 1 Libra
Venus at 0 Leo
Mars at 28 Aries (Rulership)
Jupiter RETROGRADE at 17 Capricorn (fall, very weak)
Saturn RETROGRADE at 25 Capricorn (rulership)
Neptune at 19 Pisces (rulership, strong)
Pluto RETROGRADE at 22 Capricorn
North Node at 25 Gemini

We’re in the dark of the Moon this week, so don’t do anything, just rest. The Moon is waning until next Thursday, September 17th when we will have a New Moon in Virgo.

Divine Timing.

Currently, Mars is at a dead stop in the sky, and will turn retrograde (go backwards) on Wednesday. It will retrace it’s steps and go over ground we’ve already covered, retriggering the sensitive degrees which heralded Covid19. The earth shaking changes of 2020 were sparked by the rare and fateful conjunction between Saturn and Pluto on January 12th. Mars has been tensely squaring these planets for weeks, giving energy to the dynamic protest movements erupting around the world. Mars will now go back and wake it all up, continuing the intensity of this year.

On a personal level, Mars is taking us on a journey through the underworld until November 13th. This means our energy is directed inward, and we look at ourselves rather than taking action on people or situations around us. We reassess our ambitions while Mars is retrograde, and revaluate our life path and direction. It is a time to think about our actions, and whether they are aligned with the life and world we want to create.

What’s the truth right now… what are you DOING?

What kind of life do you want to have, and are your current actions in alignment with creating it?

Are your goals in alignment with your true and highest self?

Your energy and drive are valuable; is it worth what you’re spending our time on?

Have your goals changed and do you want something different?

The North Node in Gemini encourages us to connect online. It’s up to us to let go of our repressed sexuality and anger (Pluto), welcome inspiration (Jupiter), and restructure our reality (Saturn). Venus in Leo, the sign of the heart, asks us to fall in love with ourselves and the creativity we hold inside, and share it with the world.

Monday, September 7th: Moon in Taurus. Great day to get out in nature or work in a garden… except for all of the smoke of course 😦 Cook an opulent mean instead. Taurus Moon is good for focusing on health and working with animals.

Tuesday, September 8th: Moon VOC all day in Taurus. Ground through nurturing your needs and home life. Make art.

Wednesday, September 9th: Moon into Gemini. Chatty. Good day for talking, sociability and online activities. Mars goes retrograde at 3:22pm Pacific. Tensions could be high today, so don’t dig too deep. Issues around sex, anger, and ambition may arise, as well as challenges with men. Focus on the goal. Avoid aggressive people, as violence can happen easily with Mars stationary retrograde.

Thursday, September 10th: Moon in Gemini. Good communications today, but stay civil.

Friday, September 11th: Moon in Cancer. Lots of sensitivity, sweetness and nostalgia. Arguments and drama will get you nowhere, so disconnect if someone wants to fight. Avoid overindulgence, except with food. Good movie night.

Saturday, September 12th: Moon in Cancer, Jupiter DIRECT in Capricorn. Sagittarians will feel great today with their ruling planet going the right direction. For the rest of us it’s a mixed bag. The desire for drugs and alcohol can be strong. Bring some compassion into your day. Use your imagination today and be receptive to inspiration and visions.

Week of August 10th

Hades or Pluto, God of the Underworld, Unknown artist

CURRENTLY:
Sun at 18 Leo
Mercury at 11 Cancer (weak)
Venus at 3 Cancer
Mars at 22 Aries (Rulership)
Jupiter RETROGRADE at 19 Capricorn (fall, very weak)
Saturn RETROGRADE at 27 Capricorn (rulership)
Pluto RETROGRADE at 23 Capricorn
Neptune at 20 Pisces (rulership, strong)
North Node at 26 Gemini

We’re in the dark of the Moon this week, so don’t do anything, just rest. The Moon is waning, or balsamic, until next Tuesday, August 18th when we will have a New Moon in Leo. There’s a lot roiling under the surface…

The current Sun in Leo is a wonderful time, since out brightest star has come home to his kingdom. We can let our hair down and be ourselves. The Sun symbolizes the soul and identity, and invites us to express ourselves. The background of Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn have changed how we do this. We can express ourselves, but we have to protect our fellow humans from the scourge of Covid19 at the same time. We need to wear masks and physically distance. The North Node in Gemini encourages us to connect online. It’s up to us to let go of our heavy worries (Pluto), welcome inspiration (Jupiter), and restructure our reality (Saturn). Leo, the sign of the heart, asks us to fall in love with ourselves and the creativity we hold inside, and share it with the world.

And then there’s all the stuff going in Aries which is INTENSE! We have Black Moon Lilith (wild feminine) joining forces with Eris (Goddess of Discord) – both hanging out with Mars (God of War). Yikes. These three are scary enough on their own, all sitting on their dark thrones at 22 Aries. They bring the absolute insistence to be ourselves, define our boundaries and fight if need be to make a point. Have you seen the violence in American cities over the past week? Stand offs and clashes between protestors and police, looters… and that horrible explosion in Beirut. These three are squaring (causing tension) with the three in Capricorn, causing the fall of old patriarchal structures, institutions, and governments (Saturn). Change is in the air.

This affects us personally too. We need to find our deep, repressed, toxic wounds and give them some air. Collectively, there is a new spotlight on the toxic wounds of slavery, racism, sexism and wealth disparity. It’s all coming up to be healed and shifted. We need to own all that we are, all that we’ve done, and all that we want to be; moving forward with justice and compassion for our fellow woman and man.

Mars square Pluto will be exact on Thursday, and will be continuing into October. This square can be violent and will turn the heat way up on simple disagreements. Be diplomatic and avoid risks. Seriously. The pandemic and rioting can increase the danger on the streets. Remember Pluto represents repressed sexuality, ambition, anger and masculinity. Lilith, Eris and Mars have the keys are letting this energy loose. Men in general, and Aries people, can get into a lot of trouble the second half of this year.

Monday, August 10th: Moon in Taurus. Authority can be stubborn today, so best to not rock the boat. However, if you want to bring stability to an issue, today is a good day to work on it.

Tuesday, August 11th: Moon in Taurus. Refocus on your needs and home life. Walk in nature, work in the garden and cook something scrumptious. Beware of overspending with online shopping.

Wednesday, August 12th: Moon into Gemini. Chatty day, good for talking, sociability and online activities. Tensions are rising though with tomorrow’s event, so don’t dig too deep.

Thursday, August 13th: Moon in Gemini. Mars, Lilith and Eris in EXACT square to Pluto. Stay in bed lol. Seriously though, lay low today and stay under the radar. This square could ignite big confrontations.

Friday, August 14th: Moon in Gemini, going into Cancer at 4:35pm Pacific. Probably the best day for reaching an understanding with others. Good movie night.

Saturday, August 15th: Moon in Cancer, Uranus RETROGRADE in Taurus. Get yourself grounded and centered before undertaking anything. Bring some compassion into your day.

Sunday, August 16th: Moon in Cancer continues… be kind to yourself and others. We are in the realm of the New Moon, so contemplate what you’d like to see happen in your life over the next month.

Hecate

Hecate.Goddess at Pompeii
Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale. Cubiculum M, second panel from south end of west wall. According to Barnabei, this wall painting depicts a golden statue of Diana Hecate bearing torches.


“She was the goddess who scattered her benefits on the end of life on those who protected it. She welcomed them, in peace underground, among the ranks of the blessed in the happiness of Elysium.
In the painting she has a gold crown with serpents’ heads and necks on the top. Her chest was crossed by a white band to which was attached the quiver, visible behind the right shoulder. She is within a sacred portal wrapped in yellow ribbons. From the portal hangs a bearded mask of an old Silenus above which a lintel is supported on the wings of two swans. On top of the lintel are two silver urns and between them is a round gold shield. At the base is a small red walled area with an altar with offering on top and two vases on benches. Either side are red columns painted with flowers and climbers.”

See Barnabei F., 1901. La villa pompeiana di P. Fannio Sinistore.
Roma: Accademia dei Lincei. p.74, Fig. 17.
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“Hecate: The Virgin Mother Goddess
The Greek Magical Papyri repeatedly refer to her as the Great Mother, using the epithets of Geneteira and Pammetor. An example comes from the Spell to the Waning Moon: “Mother of all who bore love.”

The judeochristian depiction of a virgin woman who brought to life the son of God, displayed in a metaphorical way the connection between the Acausal and the physical realm.

This is one of the hidden aspects of Hecate, the one who holds the keys between the Acausal and the Causal.

Reviewing the existing literature about Hekate reveals that her three-formed nature is reflected in her maternal roles. She can be considered Mother of the Gods, Mother of All Things and a mother to individuals.

In addition, her long history portrays her as the Mother of Witches. Contemporary Hekate is often seen as The Dark Mother, which reflects NAOS’ interpretation of her.

Hekate is a complex goddess that presents herself in different forms throughout the ages and to those seeking her, as reflected in her various maternal roles.

(1) Hecate has even been linked to the Virgin Mary through Mary’s indirect link to Lilith (as the second Eve) and through the association of both with the holy day of August 15. This is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin when Mary is petitioned to avert storms so that the fields can ripen. A festival for Hecate was held on August 13. She too was invoked for help in preventing storms so that the harvest could be gathered.

(2) She was at one time the goddess of all aspects of the moon but eventually this dominion was split into three with Persephone/Artemis as the virgin/new moon and Demeter/Hera/Selene as the mother/full moon.

She was connected to all three of the life stages. She was there at the time of fertilization and birth. She could open the womb of all living creatures. As the mistress of gates, doors and the abyss she was the symbol of the feminine womb. She was the guardian of women in child birth. She was a nurse of the young. She had associations to growing and the harvest through her relationship to the phases of the moon and her suppression of storms. She was the goddess of healing and magic. And at the end of time she was the Queen of Night, Mistress of the Lower Way, Opener of the Way to Death.

As the Queen of Death, she ruled the powers of regeneration as represented by her association with the serpent.

Haire Aghia Hecata!
Haire Nyktairodyteira Despoina!”

From N A O S at http://www.Noeton.org

Way of the Wizard

Sword and Rose by Raoul Vitale

“A wizard can turn fear into joy, frustration to fulfillment. A wizard can turn the time-bound into the timeless. A wizard can carry you beyond limitations into the boundless.”

—Deepak Chopra (The Way of the Wizard)

An Adult’s Guide to Social Skills, for Those Who Were Never Taught

This is the most important thing a person an learn in their lifetime, and if you were never taught, you can learn it. Mastering this will make your life much better – in every possible way. If you struggle financially, or with loneliness, this could be part of it.

“It’s a shame so few of us are taught the basics of how to interact constructively with each other. If you never were, we’re here to help.

Learning social skills can be difficult if you weren’t exposed to traditional group dynamics as a child, if you struggle with a mental illness like anxiety or depression, or even if you just didn’t have a lot of positive role models when you were growing up. Young people tend to learn how to manage their own emotions, recognize those of other people and manage them both effectively by socializing. If these weren’t skills you developed growing up, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Before we get to specific social situations, we should discuss the concept of emotional intelligence (or E.I.). Put very simply, E.I. is your ability to acknowledge your own emotions, recognize emotions in others and use that information to guide your behavior. This is a relatively new area of study in the field of psychology, and developing your own E.I. can help you understand and improve your social interactions.

There are several models of emotional intelligence, but for our purposes, we’ll look at the author Daniel Goleman. He outlines five general categories of E.I. that complement and support one another.

  • Self-awareness: This simply means being able to identify your own emotions and how they work. Are you anxious in loud environments? Do you get angry when people talk over you? If you know these things about yourself, then you’re practicing self-awareness. This can be more difficult than it sounds, but simply being aware of yourself is all it takes for this step.
  • Self-regulation: Taking it a step further, self-regulation deals with your ability not just to know your emotions, but manage them. Sometimes that might mean handling them as they come up. If you get angry, knowing how to calm yourself down is important. However, it can also deal with managing the emotions you will face. If you know that stalking your ex’s Facebook is just going to make you feel bad, self-regulation would help you go do something to better your own life instead.
  • Motivation: External factors like money, status, or pain are powerful motivators. But in Goleman’s model, internal motivation is a key component. This means that you know how to manage your own motivation and create or continue projects because you choose to, not because something outside yourself demands it.
  • Empathy: It’s just as important to be aware of the emotions of others. This might mean developing the skills to recognize how people are expressing themselves — can you tell the difference between someone who’s comfortable versus someone who’s anxious? — but it also means understanding how other people may respond to the circumstances they’re in.
  • Socialization: This area deals with your ability to steer your relationships and navigate social situations. It doesn’t mean controlling others, but understanding how to get where you want to be with other people. That might mean conveying your ideas to co-workers, managing a team, or dealing with a conflict in a relationship.

Every social situation is different and there isn’t always a “correct” way to handle any of them. However, when viewed through the lens of these core competencies, most social situations become a lot more manageable. We’ll go over some common scenarios even adults might struggle with, but keep in mind how these principles can apply in all situations.

Confronting someone when you have a problem with that person can be scary. If you’re the type to avoid conflict, you might rationalize it away by saying you want to keep the peace, or you don’t want to upset anyone. However, this can be a way of avoiding your own feelings. If there wasn’t something bothering you, there would be nothing to confront anyone about.

Dr. Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist, explained to Psychology Today that it’s our own fears that keep us from confronting others. Our fear that we’ll lose something we have, that we’ll hurt someone we care about, or that it will hurt but accomplish nothing. One of the first steps to constructively confronting someone is to recognize that fear in yourself and identify the real issues that led to the conflict in the first place. If you’re annoyed that your partner forgot your birthday, for example, ignoring how you feel about it won’t resolve the conflict.

Once you’re ready, Gregg Walker, a professor at Oregon State University, recommends having the conversation when there’s time to discuss the issue, focusing on “I” statements like “I feel hurt that we didn’t do anything for my birthday,” and describing behavior and your reaction to it, rather than hurling accusations. Healthy confrontations require a fair amount of awareness of your own emotions, so this is a good time to practice that skill.

Whether it’s a meeting or a party, any time you get more than a couple of people together in a group, it can become difficult (if not impossible) to get a word in edgewise. While most tricks on how to combat this involve managing how you talk — pausing in the middle of a sentence rather than the end, or finishing your sentence even if someone tries to interrupt — an often overlooked issue is managing how you react to being talked over.

It would be great if everyone was polite and let you finish or paused to ask what you’re thinking. This doesn’t always happen. If someone interrupts you and you become annoyed, that can kill your motivation to speak up again. Or you might become visibly agitated and demand to be heard, which can be off putting and make people less likely to want to listen to what you have to say.

Instead, Chris Macleod, counselor and author of “The Social Skills Guidebook,” suggests accepting that group conversations are a “vortex of noise and chaos” and going with the flow. Don’t spend all your time trying to fit in that one thing you badly wanted to say. Instead, go with the flow of the conversation and look for new opportunities to jump in. When you do, speak loudly and with confidence. More practical tricks like keeping your stories short or framing a complaint as a story can smooth over the experience, but regulating your own frustration and annoyance is the foundation these tricks build on.

When you’re young, making friends can be relatively easy. School often means that there’s a group of people you’re required to hang out with who are your age. You may share some interests, and you’ll see one another almost every day. As an adult, it can be harder. Everyone’s busy, everyone’s tired, and time feels in short supply. Or so it seems. What really may be lacking is motivation.

As Vox explains, one of the most important keys to developing a new friendship is, well, showing up. You both say, “We should hang out sometime!” but for some reason you never do. Why? Sure, you have things going on, but you still managed to binge watch the latest “Stranger Things.” There’s nothing wrong with a little “me” time, but it’s also O.K. to spend some of it reaching out to someone new.

When making new friends, you have to start with some internal motivation. Decide for yourself that you’re going to make friends and then put yourself in situations where that can happen. Take a class, join a club, or just talk to people you know but aren’t friends with yet. More important, follow up. If you find someone you want to be friends with — and especially if there are indications that person wants to be friends with you, too — put it on the very top of your to-do list to follow up. You’ll be surprised how easy it is when you do it on purpose.

Talking to a stranger for the first time — whether it’s at a party, a work event, or just on the street — can be complicated. You never know less about someone than when you first meet them. That’s also something you can use to your advantage. People like to talk about themselves. So much so that, according to research from Harvard University, people will sometimes even give up money to be able to talk about themselves.

You might feel awkward or uncomfortable when you’re out on your own, but practicing a little empathy can reveal a powerful truth: So does everyone else. Research from the University of Chicago found that less than 47 percent of its participants believed a stranger would be willing to talk with them. In reality, every attempt was successful. Most of us are willing to have a conversation, we just don’t always want to be the one to make the first move.

However, not everyone is open to a conversation with strangers all the time. An easy way to check is to pay attention to what they’re doing at the time. Are they wearing headphones? Do they seem in a hurry? Are they at their job and only making conversation as part of their duties? If so, you might try again later (or with someone else). If they’re not busy, start by saying hello or opening with a compliment. From there you can keep the conversation going with the “insight and question” method. Simply offer an observation or insight, follow it up with a question, and let the conversation flow naturally.

These are far from the only social situations you might find yourself struggling with, but the principles that can be applied are nearly universal. Acknowledge your own emotional state and manage your needs and feelings in a constructive way. Take the initiative to pursue the social outcomes you want, and empathize with others who are dealing with the same struggles you are. With practice, the rest of the complex nuances of social interaction will flow a lot more naturally.

Picatrix

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.27.17 AM

Picatrix is the name used today, for a 400-page book of magic and astrology originally written in Arabic under the title غاية الحكيم Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm, which most scholars assume was originally written in the middle of the 11th century,

Picatrix: an ancient manuscript that teaches how to obtain energy from the cosmos”

“Through this ancient manuscript…the reader could attract and channel the energy of the cosmos so that a certain event develops according to the will of the practitioner, zodiacal magic; which is said to help master and dominate with accuracy—through the force of the universe—nature and its surroundings.

The Picatrix is an ancient Arabian book of astrology and occult magic dating back to the 10th or 11th century, which has gained notoriety for the obscene natural of its magical recipes. The Picatrix, with its cryptic astrological descriptions and spells covering almost every conceivable wish or desire, has been translated and used by many cultures over the centuries, and continues to fascinate occult followers from around the world.

The Picatrix was originally written in Arabic, titled Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm, which translates to “The Aim of the Sage” or “The Goal of the Wise.” Eventually, the Arabic writings were translated into Spanish, and eventually into Latin in 1256 for the Castilian king Alfonso the Wise. At this time it took on the Latin title Picatrix.

The Picatrix is divided into four books:

Book I – “Of the heavens and the effects they cause through images made under them”

Book II – “Of the figures of the heavens in general, and of the general motion of the sphere, and of their effects in this world”

Book III – “Of the properties of the planets and signs, and of their figures and forms made in their colors, and how one may speak with the spirits of the planets, and of many other magical workings”

Book IV – “Of the properties of spirits, and of those things that are necessary to observe in this most excellent art, and how they may be summoned with images, suffumigations and other things”

Here’s the full article

Lodge 49’s Vision of the Magical Life

RipleyScroll

A section from the English illustration known as the Ripley Scroll, based on a15th century original.

I just finished watching Season 2 of “Lodge 49” on AMC, and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in bettering yourself or walking a spiritual path. It’s a great reflection on what a spiritual community or occult lodge can do for people. I am currently involved with two lodges, and I found this show to be a great representation of my experiences there!

Check out his article by Amy Hale and watch the series! It’s really great.

“Lodge 49 wins acclaim for its dreamily languid and unfolding plot and compelling characters, yet we never hear of it described as an occult themed show, which it most definitely is. This is most likely because of the emphasis of the weird over that of the showy and supernatural, but make no mistake, Lodge 49 captures the magical life beautifully. This is not the occult as wished for, this is the occult as it really is. In fact, I believe it is the most accurate occult show on television. This show is about people and relationships and finding the wonder that lies just beyond.

For several years now, we have been hearing about the meteoric rise of interest in the occult and witchcraft as people grasp to re-enchant a dark world. The rise in supernaturally themed media such as Strange Angel, Good Omens, Sabrina the Teenage Witch or American Gods both mirrors and supports this trend. In those shows, however, we see cosmic battles of good and evil being fought through fiery and dramatic magic.

Big personalities like Aleister Crowley or compelling underdogs like Sabrina manipulate their trials through spells, sorcery and sometimes inherited power, suggesting that magicians are, in fact, a breed apart. But anyone who has ever spent any time around committed occultists and witches knows that everyday magic looks nothing like that. Lodge 49 is quiet, eccentric, and deeply authentic. I know more than my fair share of people who belong to occult orders, and they all feel as though this show was written just for them. Obviously, that is a rather selective demographic, so the show’s success should tell us something about both the exquisite storytelling of the creators and cast of Lodge 49 and the eternal pull of the magical quest. When it comes to portraying the genuine occult experience and the cultivation of an enchanted life, Lodge 49 is the real deal.”

 

Number of Witches in U.S. may surpass 1.5 Million

sword-back.JHWilliamsIII

“Sword-back” By JH Williams III

That’s a LOT of witches! I’ve encountered a few different articles on this lately, and from my own research, it seems to be true. From an article in Quartz by Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz & Dan Kopf in October this year, “Although Trinity College hasn’t run a survey since 2008, the Pew Research Center picked up the baton in 2014. It found that 0.4% of Americans, or around 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan—which suggests continued robust growth for the communities.”

I often hear, “are there enough healers, witches, magicians and artists on the planet to heal our society? Well it appears the numbers are climbing, and hopefully healing will spread along with it. 🙂

Source: The US witch population has seen an astronomical rise

“Though the data is sparse, what we do know is that the practice of witchcraft has seen major growth in recent decades. As the witch aesthetic has risen, so has the number of people who identify as witches.
The best source of data on the number of witches in the US comes from assessments of the Wicca population. Not all people who practice witchcraft consider themselves Wicca, but the religion makes up a significant subset, as Alden Wicker noted for Quartz in 2016.

Wicca is a largely Western religious movement that dates back to the mid-20th century in the US and UK. According to the site wicca.com, it’s a belief system informed by “pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,” that promotes “free thought and will of the individual, and encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature.

From 1990 to 2008, Trinity College in Connecticut ran three large, detailed religion surveys. Those have shown that Wicca grew tremendously over this period. From an estimated 8,000 Wiccans in 1990, they found there were about 340,000 practitioners in 2008. They also estimated there were around 340,000 Pagans in 2008.

Here’s another article I found with good information.

Full Moon in Cancer

Full Moon in Cancer – exact Saturday morning at 9:50 am Pacific.

This full moon occurred at the first degree of Cancer, which is the most powerful degree of any sign.

Whatever the last two weeks have been about, their key lessons are becoming real the next seven days. Try to keep things light over the holidays 🙂

Reclaiming The Radical Legacy of The Witch

barneywitch

Article by 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about witches. Not just because top ten lists of hot tv witches and sexy Halloween selfies currently swamp my social media feeds, but because my tables and shelves are currently so laden with herbs, plants, berries, phials and bottles that if an inquisitor of old were to enter, I’d find myself quickly tied to the stake. And while this worry seems remote, it’s a plain fact that women in third world countries are still hunted down, tortured and set aflame for the crime of witchcraft.

Sure, the witch is emerging from the world of taboo and shadows onto the world stage. Sure, she’s being touted as a feminist icon  – a “powerful feminine model free from male influence or ownership”. But I’m not so sure. Because how can it be that the witch, once associated with everything transgressive and beyond the realm of normative society, is now so trendy and positively mainstream?  Is it really a feminist step forward that W magazine declared Fall 2016, the season of the witch, replete with pouting models in gothic dresses, chains and black lace underwear?

And while many believe the witch of the middle ages was a spectre created by the church, I believe she was real. Yes, many put to death were just ordinary women who practiced folk magic, herbalism and midwifery, but many were powerful spiritual leaders of the indigenous, animist faith traditions of the old world – and their magic was earned through a lifetime of spiritual discipline spent in communion with nature.

And I worry her make-over into nubile fashion siren not only obscures this history, but her true relevance as a role model to us today. One that if resurrected, would be just as subversive and dangerous to the powers that be. 

Today the witches tall black hat and burbling cauldron have become icons of Halloween kitsch, but they were once hallowed items of the holy women and priestesses, the healers and herbalists, the oracles and diviners of old Europe. Their conical hats and cauldrons date back to the 2nd Millennium BCE and were connected to the female shamans of the Indo-European peoples.

recently-updated246

Tarim Mummies, 1800 BCE

 

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Scythian Princess and her cauldron, 4th to 5th century BCE

 

Their cauldrons (as well as crystal balls and magical wands) were still being used thousands of years later by the “witte wieven” or wise women, the sibyls, seers, and female druids of Celtic, Anglo Saxon, and Norse traditions of the middle ages.

According to Max Dashu, author Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion,  these “dream-readers, sooth-sayers, and herb-chanters, fire-gazers in Switzerland, or water-gazers in France and Spain”, practiced “all the elements of shamanism: chants, prophecy, healing, weather-making powers, and shapeshifting”. Legends tell of their sacred cauldrons in which “they simmered mysterious herbs to produce a drink of immortality and resurrection.”

These women were the guardians of the earth, the protectors of the sacred groves, lakes and springs, from which they derived their magical power. And until the middle ages they were highly respected, sought out and consulted for healing and divination by common folk, nobility and clergy alike.

But according to Barbara G. Walker , it was during the 14th century that the Catholic Church, during its relentless expansion and appropriation of sacred land, began to distinguish between witchcraft, perpetrated by women, and sorcery, a legitimate pursuit of men.

witchwisewomen

While books on sorcery were condoned well into the enlightenment, female witches in contrast were said to “magically injure crops, domestic animals, and people, and in general “outrage the Divine Majesty”. And thus their religious practices (as described by Dashu) of “sitting-out” on the land “gazing, listening, gathering wisdom” were extinguished by a priesthood that sought to bring nature, magic, women (not to mention their land and property) under male control.

witchburn

These women did not go easily, or take usurpation of their holy sites and old ways lightly – it took the Church hundreds of years to hunt them down. And so it seems likely, at least to me,  that the stereotype of vengeful witch, casting curses and blighting crop, was real, at least for the church. She must have been the original eco-feminist, fighting the patriarchy with one of most powerful tools at her disposal, magic. And the Church took it pretty seriously indeed.”

Read More here: https://gathervictoria.com/2016/10/23/reclaiming-the-radical-legacy-of-the-witch/