Tag Archives: Writing

Picatrix

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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

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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.”

 

Full Moon in Pisces

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“Sirens by the Sea” by Victor Karlovich Shtemberg (1863-1921)

Sun at 19 Virgo. Full moon in Pisces today (Friday) at 9:33pm Pacific.
Mercury enters Libra just after midnight tonight.
Mars at 16 Virgo, and Venus enters Libra at 6:43am Pacific tomorrow morning.
Jupiter at 16 Sagittarius
Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto retrograding.

Happy Birthday to all the Virgos! Tonight’s lovely Harvest Moon is for you. It will be in the sign of Pisces, which represents inspiration, psychic sensitivity, compassion, mysticism, and connecting with the divine. We’re doing some soul searching this weekend; be open to messages you receive from the universe. They could come through your own thoughts or insights, something someone says, or a synchronistic event. Today’s Full Moon in Pisces brings actualization to that personal area of your chart. Meditate and reflect.

Virgo and Pisces are both signs of purity, but Virgo focuses on the body and healthy habits, while Pisces brings a purification of the Soul.

The danger of Pisces is engaging in escapism to avoid facing reality. If you are able keep your feet on the ground, Pisces brings huge spiritual strength. Try not to overindulge in food, drink, sex, shopping, alcohol, TV or drugs this weekend. Instead, be open to what the Universe wants to show you about your current path. Take a break from worrying and personalizing everything and see that you are part of something bigger. The ruler of Pisces is Neptune, and this planet brings connection to all the different planes of existence; the feeling that we are all ONE.

Orangefis

 

Gen X

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Fun article on Generation X. We’re all middle aged now! As an astrologer, I find it interesting to watch my generation as they travel through life. We are meant to shake things up. We were born during the tumultuous 1960’s, when Uranus and Pluto were in a conjunction in Virgo. We are redefining technology, communication, service, health, habits, and what it means to achieve a dream.

“The tech, music, style, books, trends, rules, films and pills that made Gen X … so so-so.”

“Like many things considered “cool,” Gen X is pretty exclusive. You had to be born between 1965 and 1980 to get in to this gloomy, goofy club of forgotten middle children, and only about 65 million of us were. (Both boomers, at 75 million, and millennials, at 83 million, far outnumber us.)

The idea behind that “X” was about coming between. Gen X supposedly didn’t know what they were, or what they wanted. All they knew, they were told, was what they didn’t want — marriage, money, success — and then they shrugged and popped a Prozac.

And you know what else Gen X is? Getting older. Its oldest members are 54; its youngest are preparing for 40. As we try to make sense of that fact, here’s a look at the stuff we loved and hated, as well as a re-evaluation of things like “The Rules,” grunge, CK One and 1994; an appreciation of John Singleton; a quiz to figure out which generation you actually are; and a visit with Evan Dando, plus some dynamite for the myths that have always dogged Gen X. So put on your headphones, click on that Walkman below (surprise!) and let’s travel through this time machine together.” — Anya Strzemien

Female Saints

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Here is an interesting rewrite of Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass, incorporating female saints in place of the usual male saints list. If you recognize the author, please let me know!

I love it ❤

“Mother of Fertility on whose breast lieth water, whose cheek is caressed by air, and in whose heart is the Sun’s fire, womb of all life, recurring grace of seasons, answer favorably the prayer of labor, and to pastors and husbandmen be thou propitious. With love we honor them that did of old adore Thee and manifest thy VICTORY unto the world:

Shekinah, Shakti, Sophia, Athena, Iymma, Isis, and Hé Kokkiné Guné. With these also: Sappho, Hypatia, Medea, Miriam, Fatimah, and Guenevere; Joan of Arc, Hildegard von Bingen, Caterina Benincasa, Teresa of Ávila, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Rebecca Cox Jackson, who bore the labarum of Light through the darkness. And these also: Eva von Buttlar, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Ida Craddock, Anandamoyi Ma, and Vivian Godfrey Barcynski; “Anna Sprengel,” Florence Farr, Violet Firth, and Ann Davies, who nurtured a Golden Dawn; Rose Edith Crowley, Leah Hirsig, Sarah Jane Wolfe, and Phyllis Evelina Seckler –

O Boundless ecstasy of the Naught, who gathereth the Blood of all saints into thy Cup! With all thy Daughters of the Sangraal, we honor and love Her that is above, within, and about us. May thine Essence be here measureless, mystical, mysterious, and maternal to manifest this feast.”

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5 Powerful Lessons Arya Stark Teaches about surviving trauma

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Arya Stark from the series “Game of Thrones” has fascinated me from the beginning. Now that we are at the end, I’m going to miss this character and the show itself. There is a rich, diverse, cast of characters in GoT, but I’ve loved watching Arya’s growth from the horrifying trauma she survived as a young girl, to the incredible woman she has become. This article addresses that very issue, and I found it to be full of insights for everyone. There are definitely spoilers here, so watch Season 8 first!

Here are the main five:

1. Her heightened instincts and ability to sense danger with alarming precision

As a child, Arya is trained by Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou) to be as “swift as a deer, quiet as a shadow, calm as still water.” She also learns that fear cuts deeper than swords. These are all lessons that will inevitably help her to defeat the Night King. Arya’s training with Syrio lays the crucial foundation for her sword-fighting abilities, but it is actually the dangerous incidents she is forced to confront head-on in everyday life that challenge and hone her ability to identify and navigate danger skillfully. It is in her life experiences after her initial training that give her the platform to utilize these lessons. From living on the streets of King’s Landing to fighting a trained assassin from Braavos while temporarily blind, Arya learns to defend herself against a variety of perpetrators even when she is just a child on the cusp of womanhood.
Many of us are familiar with the term “hypervigilance,” a state of hyper-attunement we can develop to our surroundings due to trauma. Arya develops it in spades as she learns to evade danger in every corner. Often, hypervigilance is seen as a negative symptom of trauma, but actually, there are times our heightened attentiveness can be useful for our discernment of someone else’s true motives and character. According to researcher Willem Frankenhuis, people who have been abused in childhood can develop what Dr. Michael Ungar calls “an uncanny ability to detect threats in their environment, an enhanced capacity to learn new things, and even improved memories when it comes to paying attention to parts of their environment that are the most relevant.”

As therapist Athena Phillips writes in a 2012 article for GoodTherapy:
“Survivors of trauma regularly inform me of what they experience as something akin to having superpowers. The capacity to feel things other people can’t, to identify either the goodness or inherent evil in someone just by looking at them, or to ‘predict’ interpersonal outcomes are some of the new-found abilities people have described. People who have experienced trauma often indicate that they are able to pick up on covert human behaviors, and there is a great deal of trust in their capacity to intuit. Oftentimes, these powers really do exist; survivors have developed a discriminating aptitude for picking up on environmental cues that may have significance to them.”

2. Her fragmented sense of identity and search for her true identity and wholeness.

Trauma creates fragments: It shatters the connection among memories, thoughts, emotions, and the self. Complex trauma survivors often find themselves confronting disparate inner parts that developed as a result of the traumas they endured; according to trauma experts, they must find ways to identify and integrate these parts in healthy ways in order to reach their true core calm and compassionate self. Much like any complex trauma survivor, Arya tries to escape the terrors of her childhood by taking on other identities and dissociating from her past except for her justified rage at those who murdered her family members. Arya’s need for vengeance ultimately creates a “protector self” that keeps her focused on a list of people she must kill rather than her true self and her grief.
Arya’s search for her own identity is also astutely represented by her brutal experiences at Braavos where she learns to become “no one” in her training to become a Faceless Man and assassin. There, she is beaten, terrorized, and challenged to fight back. Ironically, it is her journey to becoming no one that eventually leads her to own the fact that she is indeed someone. As she tells Jaqen H’ghar bravely and with conviction, “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.” It is only when she integrates her darkness within her true self, recognizes her true power and strength from the traumas she has emerged from, that she decides she is going home. She goes home not just to her family but to herself.

3. Her post-traumatic growth and psychological self-mastery

As therapist Andrea Schneider notes shrewdly in her Game of Thrones blog series, characters who have endured trauma on this show can exhibit promising signs of post-traumatic growth, the positive psychological changes we benefit from after enduring adversity. While regaining a pre-trauma identity is next to impossible for characters like Arya, her post-traumatic growth is tremendous.
Not only does Arya learn to incorporate the life lessons of her trauma into her sword fighting and archery skills, she learns psychological mastery. She learns the art of resourcefulness even when she has nothing. She learns how to stealthily collect information (like when she does when acting as cupbearer to Tywin Lannister) to further her journey. She learns a great deal about patience, self-control, confidence, observing rather than reacting, and how to put herself in the mindset of her attackers and predators around her so she can anticipate what they will do—and can preemptively strike. As a result of her traumas, she gains wisdom and skill sets beyond her years, which many adults in the show are still struggling to obtain.
Arya has no explicit desire to be a leader or queen, but her ability to lead due to her experiences make her more fit for the throne than many others who seek it for personal power. It is her desire for justice, rather than power, that makes her unstoppable. Complex trauma survivors experience many of these same psychological benefits as they process, heal, and grow from their traumas. They can learn to navigate life with an increased sense of gratitude, fortitude, and develop a habit for making the best of their circumstances to create success and joy at an even more intense level than someone who has never been traumatized. As they heal, they have an incentive, drive, and determination that can far surpass that of the average person, as well as a greater sense of meaning.
It is only when Arya Stark integrates her darkness within her true self and recognizes her true power that she decides she is going home.

4. Her darkness has to be integrated in order to fully own her light.

Arya is a curious character in that she is not encouraged to forgive those who have wronged her or took the lives of her loved ones. That is what makes her one of the most phenomenal female characters on television: her darkness is not minimized or sugarcoated. It is recognized, along with her authentic outrage, in all of its unflinching glory. And skilled trauma therapists agree: forced, premature forgiveness can actually hinder a survivor’s journey because it invalidates how we really feel and does not give us the time or space to actually process our traumas.

Trauma therapist Anastasia Pollock puts it this way:
“The people I work with in the therapy room are resilient and courageous. They are able to work through their traumas, but many get caught up on one point: They believe they are supposed to forgive the perpetrator but can’t seem to get there. This is what I tell them: You don’t have to forgive in order to move on. Emotions are important and automatic. When we can acknowledge and appreciate even the darkest, most negative-feeling emotions, they often soften and release. As soon as I say, ‘You don’t have to forgive,’ the person usually breathes a sigh of relief.”

Unlike a woman who turns the other cheek and goes immediately into love and light without any kind of transformation beforehand, Arya turns to her sword, Needle, to deliver a much-needed message to perpetrators like Walder Frey (David Bradley). The North remembers, and so does she. She avenges her loved ones one by one, and when she does, we can’t help but cheer from the sidelines.
Although in real life this form of vigilante justice is unrealistic, not recommended and quite gory (none of us should be baking our enemies into pies—we’d have a more productive time processing our traumas in therapy), we learn an important lesson about trauma: it cannot be spiritually bypassed. Our so-called “dark” emotions must be acknowledged in order to fully own our true light. The outrage and rage we feel must be seen, heard, experienced, confronted and (while perhaps not shown on this show) healthily expressed in order to be healed. Whether Arya’s quest for revenge is misplaced is up for debate, but one thing is for sure: this young woman is not your typical depiction of a trauma survivor who forgives and forgets her way into healing. Yet her intense emotions are an all too real part of this journey.

5. Her resilience and strength would not be the same without her experiences.

While none of us would ever volunteer for the traumas we experienced, we can’t help but admit that we would not be who we are without them. We can still validate and honor the injustice of our traumas while acknowledging the internal resources and coping skills they granted us. Trauma can give us the strength and resilience of a sumo wrestler, and Arya is no exception. As whole families are killed, legacies wiped out, and kingdoms come under siege, Arya remains—one of the few survivors of her family. A weary traveler and warrior, she is forced to confront what no child should have to endure. But she does endure, and she is better for it.
At the end, it is this little girl who grows up to be the warrior woman—who ultimately conquers the darkness. No one expected her or saw her coming. Everyone underestimated her. And therein lies her greatest power. It was the traumas of her past that gave her the ability to defeat the Night King, to avenge her loved ones, and to protect her community. Complex trauma survivors, too, are capable of this same kind of resilience—and the ability to give back what they never received.
Arya is every little girl who grew up in terror and trauma. Who survives impossible situations through her resilience, grit, talent, and determination. Whose identity is previously in fragments, only to become whole as she comes into the woman she was always meant to be. And yes, she is truly ruthless when it comes to her enemies. Yet it is perhaps her ability to own her demons that make her even more powerful when she’s avenging her loved ones, enacting some sweet justice and saving the world. We can all learn life lessons about trauma from this brilliant, multifaceted and truly one of a kind character. She is all of us who have survived—and thrived.
This article originally appeared on Psych Central as “5 Powerful Lessons Arya Stark from Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Complex Trauma Survivors” 🔥

by Shahida Arabi: a bestselling author of three books on emotional abuse and trauma.

Week of March 20th: SPRING

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Hail unto the coming of the mighty Spring.

Sun into Aries 2:58pm Pacific.
Full Moon in Libra 6:43pm.
Mercury in Pisces RETROGRADE (weakened, in it’s Fall)
Mars in Taurus (neutral influence)
Venus in Aquarius (weakened)
Pluto (transformation) on the South Node (the Past)

The Sun: The Sun’s entrance into Aries Wednesday, March 20th, heralds the Spring Equinox, and the beginning of the astrological year. It is FINALLY a great time for Sun magick! Still avoid Mercury or Venus magick for the rest of March. Focus on Jupiter (in Sagittarius) and Saturn (in Capricorn) which are very strong.

Mercury: Mercury sloshing around in Pisces, AND retrograde. Use your intuition and gut instincts; that’s all we have now.
Retrograde times are about reassessing our foundations so we can refocus ourselves. It’s not a bad or unlucky time; just be observant and notice how these retrograde periods effect you personally. The specific planet that’s retrograding is going over a specific part of your chart three different times, and that’s where things get interesting. Feel free to book me for a 15 minute phone reading if you’re curious how it’s showing up in your chart.

Venus: We have a “mutual reception” going on with Uranus in Taurus and Venus in Aquarius – each planet in a sign ruled by the other planet. There’s a wild electrical charge in relationships right now. A desire for radical love and freedom in self expression. Women cannot be limited in any way right now.

Uranus: Uranus into Taurus: March 6th to 2025 – massive change and upheaval regarding borders and land (possible wars over land values). We radically shift the foundations of our lives. Also, liberation and new ways of dealing with animals and plants. Freedom and genius with regards to relationships and possessions (Scorpios in particular). What was happening in your life seven years ago?

……………………………………………………

Wednesday, March 20th: SPRING EQUINOX and Full Moon in Libra. We are at a turning point; a crossroads. The goal is to maintain balance within ourselves, bring balance into our lives, and then into our relationships. The Universe supports you making huge changes right now, but do you have the courage to really do it? Have you reached the point of no return?

Thursday, March 21st: Full Moon in Libra still in effect. Issues from the past two weeks are coming to fruition now. Pay attention to what is happening in your life.

Friday, March 22nd: Moon VOC in Libra, then into Scorpio in the evening. Try to be los key today, and be sensitive to other people’s feelings. No serious conversations unless they lead to deeper intimacy. Avoid social complications.

Saturday, March 23rd: Moon in Scorpio. Any activities regarding healing, transformations or purification are great. Pursue spirituality or occult studies. Expect deep connections with others, and the inspiration for transform your life.

Sunday, March 24th: The mood lightens today as the Moon moves towards Sagittarius, but there’s still a serious, Scorpionic tone. Be lighthearted today, and go on an adventure.