The Witch’s Athame

Hectate Athame
Hectate’s Winged Athame from Eclectic Artisans Pagan Marketplace

An athame is one of the “working tools” used in rituals. This is a ritual knife which tends to be double-edged with a dark handle. Even though athames are traditionally double-edged with dark handles, it is important for you to find one that speaks to you. Try not to pick the most ornate or the most expensive, because if you do not see it as an extension of yourself then it never will be.

Cedar Athame
Etsy.com The Spelling Bee

This brings us to the main purpose of the athame, to direct one’s energy. The other uses witches tend to ascribe to the athame, making symbolic cuts and casting a circle, are both related to directing one’s energy. A circle is cast by directing one’s protective energy down to the physical plane. A symbolic cut is done the same way, by directing one’s energy through two physical or symbolic mediums. This means that the athame itself does not wield power, instead YOU are the one that ascribes power to it. This is another reason why you should pick one that really resonates with you, because it is an extension of your energy. Due to the general purpose of the athame, it is reasonable to interchange the wand and athame or even get rid of them altogether and use one’s hand to direct energy.

The athame (just like anything else) absorbs the energy around it. This is why it is important for your athame not to be used to actually cut anything. It is made for ritual purposes, and ritual is where it should remain. It is also a good idea to carry your athame with you and let it get to know your energy. However, it is wise to carry your athame with you when in the comfort of your own home, because unless you have a concealed weapons permit, it is illegal to carry it out in public.

Obsidian Knife
Etsy.com Witchery Way

The athame (like the wand) is of masculine nature due to the phallic symbol it embodies. It is important to remember this when consecrating and naming your tool. (Yes you may name your athame and tell it it’s purpose). When consecrating your athame you may invite the male counterpart (or specific male deity) to empower your tool.

In Wicca some have their ideas of what is right or wrong, but this circle believes that what is right is what YOU hold to be true. If you use an athame, wand, or finger as long as you do it with good intention then you are doing it right.

What type of athame do you have? How did you consecrate it? If you do not have one, why?

Blessed be, Luna

Seedlings from Imbolc Part 2

This is a continuation of the ritual from Imbolc and the first update. I will jump right in and discuss some of the magickal properties of the plants that have sprouted.

2015-03-05_11.22.17Parsley, as is often the case with green herbs, can be used to increase prosperity. Further, parsley can be used to purify oneself or end misfortune when added to a bath. For the home, parsley can calm and protect as well as create a general sense of well being. When used in spell work, strength and vitality are increased after an illness. However, some sources consider parsley to be an evil herb and cutting the plant may be also cutting back your luck and/or love! Parsley is masculine, is under the rule of Mercury and the element of air.

Parsley must go to the devil and back nine times before sprouting

– Folk saying (concerning the time it takes to sprout)

serrano_peppers_bg
Photo: http://www.turnernewzealand.com

Two types of peppers were planted (Serrano Chili and Jalapeno). Not much about the magickal properties of these specific peppers could be found, however there is some information concerning chili peppers in general. Chili peppers can be used to break a hex as well as in fidelity and love spell work. Dried peppers or seeds can be added to love spells to increase passion in a relationship. Peppers are masculine, ruled by Mars, and (not surprisingly) under the element of fire.

It is better to eat pepper and be happy, than eat honey and be sad – African Proverb

marigold
Photo: Karen Juliano http://www.flickr.com/photos/31068810@N02/6147508777/

Marigold is mainly used for love and attraction spell work. It can be used to attract respect, admiration, new love or add life to a current relationship. Marigold can be placed above the bed to cause prophetic dreams, or under the bed for protection. One of the major magickal properties of marigold is related to psychic energies as it can help with prophesy and clairvoyance.

Calendula (marigold) strengthens the heart exceedingly – Culpepper

Hopefully this inspires some to plant some of these magickal herbs for your own spell work.

Blessed be, Luna

The Dedication Ritual

Hello All,

The Circle of the PussyWillows is proud to officially welcome our newest member Soleil Autumnrosa. On February 18th, a new moon, Soleil conducted the final induction ceremony: the Dedication Ritual.

While the Dedication Ritual is a relatively private affair among circle members, we wanted to share some details with our readers. Enthusiastically, Soleil also provided us with pictures from her ceremony, so that we could share her experience.

The Dedication Ritual must be done on the new moon. The significance of the new moon is that it is a time of new beginnings. This time is perfect for a dedication to a circle because while you are still your unique self, you have begun a new chapter with others. The one performing the ritual is dedicating oneself to this new beginning.

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Photo by Soleil

The Dedication Ritual requires several specific items. For example, strawberries are used as the primary offering, alongside a libation of wine. The strawberry represents dedication, new beginnings, and feminine nature, which corresponds neatly with the purpose of the ceremony. Similarly, members use Nag Champa incense, comprised of Frangipani and Sandalwood. This combination of scents has magickal properties associated with shelter and protection, purification, meditation, and brings the devotee closer to the Divine.

By far, however, the most meaningful item present upon the altar during the Dedication Ritual are the branches of Pussy Willows. Foremost, Pussy Willows represent the earliest signs of Spring. The Dedication Ritual takes place during the season of Imbolc, when Pussy Willows begin to bloom and the earth sheds the final weeks of winter.

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Photo by Soleil

The Pussy Willow is also symbolic of the future, reminding us there are goals to attained. The flowering tree renews and revitalizes, awakening our inner hopes, joys, and inspirations. Our circle unites under these ideals and ultimately commits to sharing these principles with others.

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Photo by Soleil

As all good witches do, Soleil made this ritual uniquely her own. She used dirt to represent earth, a bowl of water for water, a blue candle for air, and a red candle for fire. For the libation, she used beer instead of wine, to preserve the ceremony’s historical authenticity. Soleil’s spectacular photographs document the beauty and sincerity of the Dedication Ritual. Thanks to you, Soleil, for your photo contribution and welcome to the Circle of the PussyWillows!

20150218_192655If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts in the section below!

Pax et Bonum,

Meadow

And blessed be,

Luna

Circle Overview

The founders of Circle of the PussyWillows currently do not live in the same place geographically (spiritually they are exactly in the same place), and therefore cannot hold regular meetings. However, there has been a general consensus to practice magick at least once every Monday (or moon’s day).

We accept both the god and goddess, and there is not an emphasis on one more than the other as they are both halves of a whole. Our approach on which god or goddess that a member can worship is an eclectic one. The member has the option to choose which deity suits a specific situation.

The Circle of the PussyWillows does not follow any hierarchical order and there is no “leader,” however the founders do outline the general parameters of the circle, and encourage a collaborative structure.

We are currently only accepting one new member per year. The reasoning behind this is that the circle is a very tight knit group and everyone is a part of the welcoming of a new member. Since there is no central location for the circle, this process of building trust and establishing relationships is slowed. Thus, it takes approximately one year for this relationship to be built among all members before the process can begin again with a new member.

Current Status: Closed

There is a minimum age of 18 for any member who wishes to join the circle.