Falling stars have traditionally had a myriad of metaphysical and spiritual meanings behind them. Stars are, in particular, frequently associated with the idea of the human soul. In the Teutonic mythology of central Europe, it was believed that every person was represented by a star which was attached to the ceiling of the sky by the threads of fate. And when Fate ended your story on earth, she would snip the thread attaching your star and it would fall, presaging your death.
In Romania, there is a belief that the stars are candles lit by the gods (and later the saints) in honor of each person’s birth and that the brighter the star the greater the person. The falling star represents the soul’s final journey to the afterlife as it is being blown out and across the sky by the divine candle keepers. In these and other cultures, falling stars and meteor showers were celebrated ~ they honored the ancestors who had come before them, and in particular the newly deceased who were joining the ranks of the highly venerated generations who had come before.
Even in the Middle Ages after the triumph of Christianity, the pagan equation between shooting stars and the movement of souls could not be snuffed out entirely. And so it was vilified; the shooting stars were cast as the souls of evil and impious men being cast out of heaven and down into the bowels of the earth.
Shooting stars in particular hold a special place with the cosmic mythologies of most ancient civilizations. For the falling star represents an interaction between man and the divine. It represents something moving from a heavenly cosmic plain to the mortal, earthly world. It was probably with some surprise that upon tracking the falling place of a “star” to earth, they would discover a small crater filled with a glassy rock, which, today of course, we call a meteorite.
Many cultures venerated meteor rocks as powerful magickal talisman, sent from the sky gods to the denizens of earth. The ancient Greeks believed that finding one would bring you a year’s worth of good luck and a wish; and it is from them that we have ultimately inherited the idea of wishing upon a star. Native American medicine men have been known to wear them as protective amulets, passing them down through generation after generation of shaman as symbols of their power. And temples throughout the ancient Mediterranean were in possession of meteorites, likewise holding them as sacred objects.
Even in the modern world, a meteorite is one of the most venerated objects in contemporary monotheistic religious practices: the Black Stone of the Ka’baa. Believed to have been sent from God to Abraham and then passed down to Mohammad, the Ka’baa stone is technically a relic of all three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and is the centerpiece of the holiest of holy Mosques in Mecca in modern Saudi Arabia, a former temple to the local Moon/Water God.
In the modern world we explore the stars scientifically: searching for the answers to the Big Questions regarding the origins of life and the extent of the wider universe around us. We look up at the stars through veils of ambient electric lights and smog, wishing upon them still. We escape to the countryside to truly see the stars as best we may, watching them in place of the television sets which usually fill our nightly vision.
For much of the time mankind has walked the earth, we did not know the stars as we know them to be today: huge balls of plasma energy strung out in space billions of light years away. Instead, we held them on high as something else, something magickal. In ancient societies, when the sun went down, there was the vast illuminated landscape of a starry sky lurking above them: mysterious and constant. It was a distinct part of their cultural worldview; its placement in the heavens and its occasional idiosyncrasies explained as part of ancient mythologies and religions. Imagine their wonder looking up at the night sky and imagining it looking right back at them.
And bear in mind, that without electric lights to dim the view, the night sky would have been distinctly brighter and filled with finer textures and gradients of colors and lights. The Milky Way not a slightly filmier band across the sky but a broad avenue of swirling colors stretching across an upside down starscape: a fitting pathway for the gods or divine river among the cosmos.
Shooting stars have and always will hold a special amazement to those viewing them. For their beauty alone they are worth staying up for.
Egyptian priests believed that cats carried the magnetic forces of nature and so close proximity to the creatures enabled them to access these powers.
- Ruler: Bastet and/or Freya
- Type: animal
- Magickal Form: alive, whiskers, hair
This animal is the most common of the witches’ familiars. They are very sensitive to occult workings and wise in the ways of the goddess. In order to make the cat a familiar, it must taste the blood of the witch.
The correct way to do this is to let the cat become your familiar in his or her own time. You will know when this occurs, as he or she will take a good hard bite out of your hand, cheek, or leg and draw blood. Voila! You are now bonded for eternal life.
Cat’s are excellent weather forecasters, and can be used in various methods of divination. More info can be found here: Cats
When a cat drops a whisker, place it on the altar for good luck. It is very bad luck to cut or pluck a whisker from a cat. Cat hair may be obtained by rubbing the back against the grain. Add the hairs to gamblers’ luck potions to increase your chances of winning.
- Black cats are very lucky indeed and you will be blessed when one crosses your path.
- Red cats and calico cats bring money.
- A Gray cat will protect you.
- A Siamese cat will bring laughter into your life.
Found in: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients
Here’s a nice little tutorial on how to clean bones you may have collected to use for making runes, dice, divination tools or for other magickal purposes.
Use a very sharp boning knife to remove the bones you need from the limb. Be sure to remove any excess cartilage or shreds of flesh. Always practice basic knife and kitchen safety.
The bones can be cleaned a number of different ways:
- Boil in water for between 15 minutes and half an hour.
- Soak overnight in bleach (bones will smell like bleach for some time afterwards).
- Pour hydrogen peroxide over the bones and watch it foam. Continue to pour until foaming ceases.
- The natural method:
Place in a safe area outside (safe from wandering domestic and wild animals) where ants or other carrion-eating insects can reach the bones. A glass jar with large holes in the lid is recommended. Let the insects clean the bones for you. This is a time-consuming yet very effective method.
- A modification of the above (natural) method:
You might be able to find information on ordering special beetles to clean the bones. I don’t really know anything about them, but, there are supposed to be beetles that eat flesh off any sort of skeleton that are used within the medical/taxidermy professions. Supposedly, that’s how anatomical human and animal skeletons are cleaned.
A butcher/taxidermy worker suggested boiling the bones in something called “sal soda”.Apparently, that is what they use in his taxidermy shop in order to clean skeletons for hunters. It is supposed to dissolve tissue and cartiliage into a gel that can be rinsed off. He gave me a large bag for free, and it worked quite well on the first batch of bones I used it on.
After doing any of these methods, you may have to remove extra “shreds” of flesh. I tried a combination of the above methods, and found that bleaching the bones overnight, then boiling them in sal soda for about twenty minutes was the best method to get clean, white bones. If you overboil the bones, they will dry out, and the outer calcium covering will flake away. They are still usuable if this occurs.
What is sal soda?
Sal soda is sodium carbonate, the same chemical as washing soda. Sodium carbonate typically comes in three forms – washing soda is the decahydrate, which is usually in the form of colorless crystals that look a bit like crushed ice. If left in the open air, these lose water and become the powdery white monohydrate (the sal soda mentioned above). Soda ash is the anhydrous (waterless) compound.
Sodium carbonate an alkali, so it will be good for stripping away greasy substances such as fat and marrow. Don’t use it with aluminium vessels or cutlery, and try to keep it off your hands, though it’s not as nasty as sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) which is often used for unblocking drains.
Be careful when using caustic substances – be sure you read and follow the safety instructions that come with them.
As well as giving structure to the body; bones survive for a long time after death, and so are imbued with magickal properties. Both human and animal bones could be, and were employed in spells and healing charms, and also in divination.
Bones are a type of fetish. A fetish is “an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency (source)”. The word fetish originates from the French fétiche which stems from the Portuguese word feitiço meaning “charm” or “sorcery”. Feathers, bones, crystals, and stones are all types of fetishes. Skulls and bones have an appeal to witches who perform spirit work and are a necessary and simple way to connect with spirits of the dead and of animals.
Working with bones is not just for necromancers and black magicians. Practitioners who work with bones are a wide range of healers, diviners, shapeshifters, rootworkers, witches, shamans, druids, and pagans.
Over two thousand year ago, in China, bones were heated up and the resulting cracks interpreted as indicating a prediction. Bones as predictive devices were used in other ways, too. For example, bones of small animals were collected in a ritual way, and thrown upon the ground in the act of “casting the bones,” a term reference still in use for other divinatory methods, such as rune stones.
In Britain, divination by the blade-bone of a sheep was formerly well known. In Africa, thieves were detected, lost goods found, and problems solved by the ceremony of “Throwing The Bones.” Different kinds, usually those of domestic or wild animals, are used to represent individuals, or spirits, or the forces of nature, and are thrown like dice. The answers to the question being read from how and where they fall.
- You can read more about various methods of bone divination here: Throwing The Bones
Animal bones are used in witchcraft and folk magic to commune and work with animal spirits as familiar, guides, and protectors. Like human bones, the bones of animals can be also be used to ground a spirit animal in this realm. Bones act as a spirit vessel for animal familiars to dwell in when you work with them. This doesn’t mean that the spirit lives in the bone(s) all the time, but instead it is their home when you call upon them.
Animal bones and skulls can be placed on an altar or carried in a medicine or crane bag to work with them outdoors or on the move. Animal bones can be used to call upon mythological creatures as well. To do this you need only to combine bones from the different animals that make up the creatures. For example, bind together parts from an eagle and lion to summon a griffon or combine snake, lizard, and the bones or feathers of a bird of prey to summon a dragon.
Animal bones can be incorporated into ritual jewelry for direct contact and easier communion with the spirits the bones belong to. Ritual jewelry using bones is the most practical and direct way of bringing your animal familiars into rituals and spellwork.
If you only have very small bones or a delicate insect to work with than you can place the parts in a glass vial and either use it as a vessel on your altar or attach a chain or leather thong to it to wear around your neck. By wearing animal bones you can take on the attributes and powers of the animal they belong to such as fox teeth for cunning, owl bones for seeing in the dark, or snake bones for the ability to renew and change your life.
Bones can also confer an animal’s magical abilities. Many animals are “shamanic” in nature enabling the practitioner to whom they are familiar to adopt their ability to travel between worlds. Such creatures known to travel between the realms of earth, sea, and sky or have extraordinary powers of transformation include frogs, toads, snakes, all birds (especially water fowl), alligators, crocodiles, turtles, beavers, otters, dragonflies, spiders, beetles, butterflies, cicadas, and more.
Animal bones can be used to craft ritual tools. Many traditional rattles are made using skulls, turtle shells, or little bones tied closely together for the sound of their rattling against one another. Bones can also be tied to staffs or stangs, wands, or even sewn onto ritual robes.
Animal bones, especially chicken and other bird bones, are used for traditional divination methods in many cultures. This can also be incorporated into European practice by carving Futhark or Ogham runes onto animal bones or using slices of deer antler instead of the usual materials of wood and stone.
Among the Australian aborigines, death spells are cast by “singing magic” into a bone and pointing it in the direction of the victim, who then pines away and dies.
A charm against cramping was to carry a knucklebone, or the patella of a man or a sheep.
Those afflicted with headaches could find relief by driving a nail into a dead man’s skull, or by drying and powdering the moss found upon it and using it as snuff.
Bones, like blood and some of the organs of the body, were once thought to be centers of psychic power, and to be the vehicle or dwelling-place of the soul. Life and consciousness remained in them after the death of the original owner, and it was therefore very dangerous to disturb them when they lay in the tomb.
Misfortune, or even death, inevitably followed such an act, which was forbidden alike by reverence for the dead and superstitious fears of their vengeance. Nevertheless, this widespread and strongly held belief did not prevent the quite frequent theft of bones from churchyards and prehistoric burial grounds for use in magick and witchcraft.
Symbolically, bones carry the essence of the creature that they were once a part of, and there’s a curious but relatively common belief that somehow or other an intact set of bones can be remade into a live body This idea is seen in fairy tales, myths, and traditions from all over the world.
An example of this is the Lapp belief that the bones of a bear, if carefully preserved, will come back to life and the animal will allow itself to be hunted once again. Bear “burial” places have been found where the bones of the bear have been carefully reconstructed. These sites also show evidence of respectful funerary rites.
In a similar practice, the Plains Indians would bury the bones of the buffalo with due care and attention so that the animal would be able to come back to life.
Due to its size, the bone is one of the very last in the body to rot, along with the skull. For this reason – its longevity – the bone was used as a vessel during religious and magickal rites and rituals.
Because bones are such an important part of the body and because they are believed to hold the essence of their owner, the bones of saints are considered holy relics, imbued with magickal powers, and kept locked away in churches. They were believed to be so holy that devils and demons would keep well away, and if the bones were dipped into wine or water, the resulting liquid would be infused with mysterious powers including the ability to cure various ailments.
Information collected from various sources
- Ruler: Moon, Jupiter
- Type: Water
- Magickal Form: Rain falling during a storm, or collected and saved.
Collect the first spring rainwater and add it to love baths to attract a new partner. It is a great way to cleanse and renew yourself before opening your heart to love again. Use summer rainwater for lust spells, fall rainwater for charisma, and winter rainwater for courage, power, and endurance. Stand in the rain to wash away bad vibes and negativity, and to heal feelings of loss.
When the Moon is at the full,
mushrooms you can safely pull,
but when the Moon is on the wane,
wait ere you think to pluck again.
Along with oysters, mushrooms have always been considered aphrodisiacs. The aphrodisiacal effect was increased if the mushrooms were picked at the time of the full moon.
Primitive people treated mushrooms with great respect, as it was so difficult to determine whether they were safe to eat. Even experts on mushrooms need to remember the old saying, “There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.”
Many mushrooms have “magical” properties, the toxins within them seeming to provide a gateway to another world. Images of fairies, elves, and goblins inevitably have a mushroom or toadstool nearby. In Chinese Mythology, mushrooms were one of the sacred foods eaten by the Immortals; they induced bodily lightness. Further, the fly agaric mushroom was said to grow only during times of peace and prudent leadership.
- Ruler: Neptune
- Type: Vegetable
- Magickal Form: Raw, cooked
This is the “flower” of illusion and many mushrooms are actually hallucinogenic. All mushrooms hold the property of fantasy and are eaten to invoke glamour or to create illusions.
- For love they should be cooked in soups with paprika and/or fish.
- To create glamours, or illusions, eat them raw.
The hallucinogenic effect of fungi has always been known, and used by shamans and warriors preparing for battle. Native Americans used hallucinogenic mushrooms in rites to produce visions, or embark on vision quests.
Rock paintings dating back at least 2000 years ago in the Tassili Plateau in southern Algeria depict shamans, apparently dancing around, holding mushrooms in their hands, with mushrooms sprouting from their bodies.
The Hebrews considered mushrooms as sacred and only priests were allowed to eat them.
Mushrooms were considered a delicacy in Roman times, but there was always the problem of determining whether or not they were edible. Emperor Claudius had this problem solved, as he used a food taster to eat some of his food first. Unfortunately, the mushrooms his taster tried one night produced no immediate effects. Consequently, Emperor Claudius ate them, and both he and his taster died. It is widely believed that his second wife, Aggripinna, who wanted her son Nero to have the throne, deliberately poisoned her husband.
Collected from various sources
- Other names: Dirt Dauber Nest, Organ Pipe Wasp Nest
- Magickal uses: Help in business, Control other people
Mud Daubers and Organ Pipe Wasps are inoffensive, gentle insects that carefully build tube nests of fine clay, which they carry a bit at a time from a nearby pond to a sheltered place protected from rain and snow. The tubes are constructed of contiguous compartments, and in each compartment the wasp places a paralyzed spider, on which it lays an egg. The egg hatches into a larva, eats the spider, pupates, and then metamorphoses into a mature wasp that bites its way out of the nest.
Each compartment is used only once, but the adult wasps return to their birth places with fresh clay, and add new compartments to the old nests. They like to build under protective overhangs, and year after year, if the nests are not disturbed, generations of wasps add to these structures, so that in time, their “organ pipes” can cover a wall.
Because Dauber wasps avoid touching people and never sting unless accidentally crushed, country folks tolerate them on porches and barns under the eaves, and take pleasure in watching them at their work.
Dirt Dauber nests are broken off the wall and powdered for use, either to control people or to help in business.
Success in Business – The Dirt Dauber gets its mud off the ground but builds its nest up high, symbolizing success. Therefore, if you take Dauber Dirt, powder it with Grains of Paradise (which also symbolizes a high place) and sprinkle it up high around your new place of business, you will have success there, and the business will grow.
The magickal association between Dirt Dauber Wasps and spells for stay-at-home husbands is based on observation. These wasps are one of very few Hymenoptera in which the male stays at the nest and guards it while the female is off hunting spiders, and also because mating occurs at the nest, where it can easily be observed by human beings.
In addition, the Blue Mud Dauber specializes in killing Black Widow Spiders, which makes it a magickal ally to wives whose husbands may fall prey to the charms of a young widow woman.
If your husband runs around – not necessarily with another woman, but if he goes out with his friends, when he should be at home – you can mix Dauber Dirt from nine nest compartments that still have the larvae inside, grind them up, and add a pinch of this to his coffee every day. He will be compelled to stay at home, like the larvae in the nests.
For a woman to control her husband – Carefully remove a whole Dirt Dauber Nest, with the larvae still inside, from the wall without breaking it and place it in a teacup full of water. Let it soak for fifteen minutes, then drink the water off straight away. Repeat as necessary. This is said to cause your husband to come under your control.
A number of different spells using Mud Dauber Dirt as an ingredient can be found in the Book of Shadows.
Source: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic
Each month the moon waxes and wanes through its cycle, touching each star sign for a few days. As it changes rapidly, so can the emotional states of those people who have strong lunar alliances in their natal charts, hence the moons name, lunar, came from the word lunatic!
When the moon is waning, it’s on the cycle of diminishing; therefore, it’s a good time to end anything that isn’t working, which allows something new to enter your life. It’s also a prime time for clearing and cleaning.
When the moon is waxing, it’s on the cycle of becoming fuller, and thought to be a more prosperous time. This is the time for gathering up, for bringing in, for growing and adding to.
The strongest period for the full moon is the period either side of the full moon, 1-3 days. However, the period just before the full moon, keep in mind that the moon is still in its waxing cycle still becoming fuller, and directly after the full moon it then begins its waning diminishing cycle.
The new moon period is known to be a magic wish time, with its strongest time 1 to 3 days after the new moon and also just before the full moon. The time just before the full moon begins to diminish is a very powerful time to cast your dreams, goals and wishes to the universe for creation. This is one of the intense energy times to do spells, rituals, prayers and re-in force your positive thoughts.
An Eclipse signifies an intense time of energy, which can spark the beginning or end of relationships and situations, and can have an effect before and for months after the eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs on the new moon and a lunar eclipse occurs on the full moon.
Read more: NY Daily News Horoscopes
For centuries peoples have thought of the wind as being of four basic types, corresponding to the four directions or quarters of the Earth. These are the North, East, South, and West winds. Each is possessed of its own magical virtues, and certain spells are best cast during certain winds.
This may seem to rather unnecessarily complicated but it needn’t be. Looking to the winds when performing magic is no more difficult than checking the phase of the Moon, although the “phase” of the wind doesn’t last as long.
At best, if you can rig up a weather vane or windsock to determine the winds, you can adjust your magical workings slightly by waiting for the right wind.
Naturally, if the wind has been blowing steadily from the North all morning, it won’t do to wait for a Westerly one. The system is here to guide and aid, not to control our actions. Check the winds or not as you wish.
What follows are links to posts on each of the four winds, their meanings, and magickal workings:
In looking over the above discussions of each of the winds, bear in mind that this is not an absolute system. Different parts of the world have different attributes to the winds. The qualities discussed are those in favor in North America and Europe. Changes may be necessary for your own area due to climate, location, and weather patterns. As always, follow your own intuitive guidance when it comes to deciphering what each wind brings you.
The four winds are at least superficially related to the elements, and this can be kept in mind, but each has its own powers particular to the winds themselves.
One important point: In speaking of, say, the North Wind, it is the wind which blows from that direction rather than to the direction that is in question.
From: Earth Power
The West Wind is that which blows cool and moist; it may carry a hint of rain or mist as it washes over the land. It is a fertile, loving force which is gentle and persuasive.
It symbolically rules twilight, when all is at a standstill; day and night merge into a magical landscape of muted colors and cool breezes. Sunset, like sunrise, is an excellent time to perform magic – more so if the correct Wind is blowing.
Water magic – love, healing, fertility and so on – is excellent for the West Wind, as it adds its own forces and energies from that quarter. Especially excellent for spells involving cleansing or purely religious rituals, the West Wind is welcome relief after the dry, hot breeze from the South.
The West Wind is the blue of the sky just before all light fades from the sky.
From: Earth Power