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Category: SpiritSong (page 1 of 4)

The Origin of the Witches Hat

The exact origin of the witches hat is unclear to us. In images of witches drawn by artists, especially in those aimed at a younger audience, we often see witches depicted as wearing cone shaped hats. While these may seem to be comical attire, which are part of artist designed costumes for the intent of entertaining the viewer of the image, there is actually a deeper symbolism behind them. One of the earliest images of the witch wearing a pointed, cone shaped hat can be seen in 13th century artwork in the form of woodcuts in which the witches are depicted as being naked with nothing covering their heads. Other clothed images with other various head-wear such a head scarves were much more common than that of the cone shaped hat.

Bronze age ceremonial headdresses have been found in Central Europe, one of which was found in Switzerland and was studied in the Berlin Museum. Their appearance is of a hollow cone made from gold. Historians have made the conclusion that they are indeed headdresses due to the remaining material left inside the hats, which include what looks to be a chin strap to make wearing the hat more comfortable. Before this discovery it was thought that these artefacts were vases of sorts. The golden headdresses were thought to have been worn by king-priests, or oracles, who were priests who were believed by the people of the time to have magical powers, including the power of prophecy and divination.

There is some speculation that the pointed hat holds its origins in the peaked caps that were worn by Jews in the 13th century. Pope Innocent III decreed that all Jews must wear this pointed hat in 1215. This anti-Semitic ruling, among other anti-Semitic sentiments, lead the people to associate this particular pointed hat with many things the church taught them to fear and to view as evil or against God. This did not stop wealthy noblewomen of the 15th century wearing tall peaked hats called hennins in the name of fashion, who wore these hats despite protestation from the Christian Church who greatly disliked the conical hats, possibly due to its horn like shape, which in turn may have reminded them of the Christian devil. While both of these hats were pointed or conical, they were quite different in appearance which is likely why they were not associated with anti Semitism by 15th century ladies. Pointed hats were still in fashion among commoners until 1600’s.

These pointed hats were also associated with the dunces hat in this century. However the dunces cap dates back as early as the 13th century and was devised by John Duns Scottus, a Scottish scholar of theology, philosophy and the metaphysical. The original purpose of which was not as a humiliating punishment to children, as it was used in the 19th century but rather to help children who had difficulty in learning to read to focus. This was done by asking them to focus on the point, which was situation behind the head in an elevated position. This was meditative and allowed the children to focus long enough to grasp the reading material. The halo with which saints are painted wearing is situated in the same position as the point. When working with magic, or the energies of the universe, it is important to be able to focus in order to direct those energies successfully. While it is unclear whether witches of earlier centuries did indeed wear pointed hats, it is clear that they would have understood the importance of focus. This also links in with the dunces hats previous association with scholars of the highest quality. The knowledge needed to practice witchcraft needed equal, if not more dedication to study that scholars gave to their pursuit of knowledge in various fields which may have influenced. There is also some speculation that the wearing of the conical hat not only helps the person to focus, but traps the metaphysical energy in the hat, near the head, making it easier to draw upon in ritual.

It was not until the 18th century, that artists, which the increased popularity among the population, of the dark and mysterious, began to create art showing witches wearing cone shaped hats. Often these images were part of chapbooks aimed at children and other literature in later years, most of which were illustrated fairy tale books in the Victorian era.

The cone of power is also linked the witches hat. This is a visualisation, and energy raising technique used by pagans in ritual. This energy is drawn from their surroundings. The energy, as the name of the rite suggest, is directed from the middle of the circle into a cone shape. The witches hat is thought by some to be a physical symbol of the direction in which this energy is raised. Using the cone of power in ritual can greatly improve the working that is done, which makes the witches hat a tangible symbol of successful work achieved by employing effective techniques. The cone of power and witches hat also symbolises masculine and feminine energy in equal parts. When in an upright position it becomes a phallic symbol, taking on the masculine and when in an upturned position it can represent the womb, giving it feminine energy. It is theorised by some that the witches hat can be seen in parallel with the Lingam- Yoni, a sacred object in Hinduism. It consists of a basin which resembles a vagina and another conical object set inside it. This is symbolic of fertility and creation between the God Shiva and the Goddess Parvati. It is a rite that is very like the Great rite in Wicca. Overall, the witches hat represents balance, which is important in ritual work. This however is very likley to be a concept devised by modern witches due to the more intense hostility witchcraft faced in previous centuries. Going back to masculine symbology, there is also some resemblance in the shape of the conical hat, to horns of the horned god, which are a symbol of power. While there is little evidence that the witches hat was used in ritual by witches of the past, there is more solid evidence that horned helmets, which were made materials too soft to be used in battle were worn in ritual in the 12th century BC, a practice which continued into the first century BC

Wherever the witches hat holds it origins, and whether or not it holds symbolism for the majority of pagans, it certainly has become an iconic image of the witch flying high in the sky, shrouded in mystery and magic.

The Griffin

 

The griffin, has be represented in various forms from ancient Persia and ancient egypt. These forms include art and mythology dating back as far as the 4th millennium BC. There have also been finding of evidence of the griffin appearing in ancient mythology found on “frescos” dating from the 15th century BC which is a type of painting method where paint is applied to fresh, unhardened plaster “fresco” I think meaning to paint it on fresh in this case, in the throne room of a Bronze age palace of Knossos.

In these depictions, the griffin is often presented as a creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion and the talons, again or the eagle. Its ears are like the lions but elongated and are often feathered. They are black, white, grey or dark brown in colour usually, but sometimes are depicted as having blues in their colouring. As the lion is the king of the jungle, this leads to the giffin often being called the king of the birds.

The griffin was seen as a protector from negative energy, slander and evil by the ancient Persians in the Persian Empire and so was seen as a creature that was both majestic and powerful. Because of the attributes of the animals represented in its appearance, the lion and the eagle, it is also often seen as intelligent and of a creature of strength. The griffin Is also a protector of treasures and valuable possessions such as gold, and this is particularly true for belief in India. This was a symbol of divine power and a symbol of a protector of the divine and are often believed to be the pets, or more so the companions of the gods and are also believed to have been created by the gods themselves who wanted protectors who would defend them to the death so they took the lion for its intelligence and the eagle for its courage and combined the two. It is also believed that a griffin pulled the chariot of Apollo, who is a sun god in ancient Greece as the griffin had the ability to fly and was certainly strong enough to carry the god from earth to the sun and back. Like the griffin, Apollo also was a representation of intelligence.

If a griffins mate was to die, they will never seek a new mate, they mate for life. That being said, they have many many years with their mates as a griffin can live for up 800 years. Another interesting aspect to them is that their claw is said to have medicinal properties. The same can be said foir its feathers which were believed to possess the power to restore eyesight. This may be derived from the idea that eagles have particularly good eyesight, or an eagle eye.

The Griffin can be a trickster according to some lore. People will find themselves challenged to a game of wits in the form of riddles and questions. If they are correct, they will gain passage through the entrance of which the griffin is guarding. If they lose, the griffin would kill the person who was trying to gain passage.

The Boline

 

The Boline is a tool used in ritual in several Pagan Paths. Like the athame, it is a knife, which is intended for magickal use only. It is a white-handled knife, and its blade often curved in shape, like the crescent moon, which marks its difference visually from the Athame, with its black blade and straight, double edged blade. It is sometimes known as the burin, but this is a much less commonly used name for this tool

While both the athame and the boline are used in magickal and ritual work, they are used differently. The athame is never used to cut anything physical and is only used for “cutting” and directing energy. The boline, however, is used for cutting herbs, both in harvesting and preparation, tree cuttings, and even in the cutting of cords. They may also be used in inscribing sigils and symbols on candles,, wands , other wooden tools, and other items and surfaces used in ritual. The boline may also be a straight, sharpt blade. This version of the tool is best for carving, and whittling wands and other items that can be crafted from wood or other various materials that a person might use to create their own magickal items. It is one of few tools usually used outside of a ritualistic circle.
The boline, for those that lean more towards ceremonial magick, and who seldom implement the use of herbs, may view the boline as a more unnecessary tool than the athame, wand or even the staff. A green witch however, whose practice leans heavily on the use of herbs and/or kitchen work, may find that the boline is one of their most important tools. It all depends on the path of the individual whether it is important to the practice or whether they deem it unneeded so it is impossible to state the absolute importance of this tool. This can be said for any tool used in magickal or ritualistic practices. The boline, although not as widely used, is just as important and as sacred as any other tool. In the same breath, it is not required to have one to be able to call yourself a witch, or wiccan, despite its practical usages, though there are many who will disagree.
It is widely considered to be very poor etiquette to touch another witches boline as they, like many other tools are very personal to the owner. Many people will cleanse and reconsecrate their boline if another touches it. Sometimes, they may allow close friends or their coven to touch it but many do not even those to touch their tools, but for the most part, not many will want anyone to touch their tools.
There is much recommendation that both the athame and the boline are cleansed and consecrated before magickal use. Purifying the boline can be done by leaving it in sunlight for an hour a day for a full moon cycle, smudging it, cleansing it with water, crystals or the use of salt. Whichever works best for you personally. Some practitioners may choose to dedicate their boline to a specific deity, or purpose, for example herbal work only, or they may have a boline especially for carving sigils. Many people will simply use their boline for all suited purposes, which is an equally valid choice.
In essence, the boline serves the physical cutting needs of the practitioner, while the athame serves the spiritual and astral needs, and is used in symbolic cutting only.

Creating Your Sacred Space on the Inner Plane

 

Most of the time, when we think of creating our Sacred Space, we think of casting our circle with tools and tangible aids, such as candles and incense, along with an idea of the physical size of the sacred space. There will, however, be times in which we may want to do a magical working in a time and place in which we do not have access to our tools, the physical space, or even the privacy to cast a protective circle in our usual way. In these situations it may be plausible to create our sacred space on the inner plane, rather than with tools. This is a method that uses your mind and senses, and requires a lot more visualisation so it is a good idea to have a good hold of visualisation before using this method in your working. It can also be an efficient method for strengthening your visualisation skills, and also your ability to work with the elements and with energy.

This method requires us to understand the elements, their correspondences and their influence on us. Some people also believe that the ability to work with the God and Goddess or indeed, to include them in your practice at all is needed in this method, but it all depends on your practice, as some people do not work deities at all. Can you still cast your sacred space on the inner plane? Of course!. I personally like to work with Mother Earth and the God along with my ancestral spirit guides on the inner plane, especially if this working involves healing work for another person.

A dear friend of mine named Dawn, aligned the elements in such a way with each part of us that I really like and it goes as follows.

Earth = Body Air = Thoughts Fire = Passion Water = Emotions Spirit = Spirit.

If the presence of the pentagram is important in your work you maybe like to begin by standing with your arms and legs outstretched to form the pentagram with your body. I prefer to visualisation the pentagram being drawn in the air, or even drawn the pentagram with my finger as it is more subtle, and also due to my preference of being still while working on the inner place.

For those that wish to work with the God and Goddess in your working, and are used to having a physical representation of the deities in their ritual bear in mind that every holds the masculine and feminine within themselves.

I will now share a method for creating the sacred space on the inner plane.

Method as taught to me by two wonderful teachers:

Needed:

  • An understanding of what the elements mean and how they influence us

  • Visualisation skills

  • Your senses

  • Some quiet time

  • Knowledge and prior experience in casting a circle

  1. While we will be working on the inner plane, it is still important to get comfortable and settled in the physical space you are working in. Light some incense if you wish but this is only a luxury as we are working without tools in this method.

  2. Take some deep breaths to help strengthen your focus and to help calm and centre yourself. This is still very important despite the lack of tools. In fact, it is even more important, as with a lack of tools, many people will find that they have a harder time focuses. There is nothing wrong with this, it is just how some people work, but it is all the better reason to take some extra time to ground and centre yourself. You might like to chant a peace mantra for a few minutes before moving forward. A peace mantra that helps me to find my calm centre before working with this method is

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti which means “peace”

  1. Concentrate on the element of air. Connect with air and consider the correspondences it is associated with. Visualise yourself as feather being carried gently by the wind to your destination, like your intent in your magical working being carried to it’s completion.

  2. Next concentrate on the element of Fire. Again consider the correspondences it is linked to. Visualise the heat of the sun warming your skin, and the heat of the hot pavement of a summer day under your feet.

  3. Concentrate on the element of water and think about the correspondences here also. Visualise water washing away the dirt from your hands, cleaning them, and flowing around crops, allowing them life and the feel of rain on your skin

  4. Concentrate on the element of earth and again think about its correspondences. Visualise the cool earth between your toes, imagine yourself as a plant growing from the soil, the earth nourishing you, sustaining you.

  5. Visualise the God and Goddess in your space and invite them to stay and work with you, welcoming them into your circle in your own usual words.

  6. For the circle, visualise white light emanating from yourself, growing and expanding around you, forming a ball, or a bubble if you like to think of it like that.

  7. You now have created your sacred space on the inner plane.

  8. Perform whichever spell you intended to do, maybe a simple candle spell if you have a candle, or work completely without tools for your working also.

  9. When you are done, recall the energies you sent our by doing the same visualisation you did for creating the circle (number 8) but in reverse. Thank the God and Goddess for their presence and say goodbye.

  10. You must then banish the elements but visualising them fading away and leaving your space, thanking each other as they go. You have now closed your sacred space on the inner plane.

  11. Do not forget to ground yourself by whichever method you choose. A small snack and something to drink will do the trick!

I hope this is helpful to some of you, especially those of you who have trouble getting the time and space to set up your sacred space with tool. I use this method a lot myself and have done naturally for a long time. I became more efficient at it through the guidance of my dear friends Dawn and Danielle and I wanted to pass it on and share it with others.

New Years Ritual

Sometimes there will be times in our lives when we will need a fresh start in order to move on to the next stage of our life, or to grow as a person, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. There are times however where we may be held back, either by ourselves, or outside circumstances. It is quite common to procrastinate in taking these steps because we are held back by fear, apprehensive or simply feeling unwilling to make a change. Sometimes what we need is a clean slate in both mind body and spirit. This ritual will revolve around letting go of those things that hold us back, preventing us from moving forward. This ritual will take quite a part of your day but you will feel so much better for it.

Needed:

  • A Green candle for new beginning
  • A black candle for banishing negativity)
  • Sage Smudge Stick
  • Oil and bath salts of your choosing
  • Your usual ritual tools you use when casting your circle.

What to do:

  • Clean your home, a ritual for a fresh start should begin with a clean home. Clean everything, do the laundry, change the bed, mop the floors, sort out your drawers and storage spaces, ect. This may take more than a few days for those with a busy schedule and that’s okay.
  • When you have cleaned your home, clean it spiritually by smudging your home with sage, visualising all the negativity fading away. Feel free to use any other cleansing methods you are familiar with.
  • Set up what you need for casting your circle and performing your ritual.
  • Time to cleanse yourself! This is going to be in mind, body and spirit, so begin with a spiritual cleansing bath (or shower, there are sage soaps and shower creams on the market if you don;t have a bath.
  • Once you have had your spirit bath return to your prepared room and cast your circle in your usual way.
  • Sit for a while and relax, let go of all your worries and any bothersome thoughts.
  • Visual what you wish to leave behind, whether it be a bad habit, attachment to an old relationship, old hurts, anything you want to banish, fading away from your life and memory and space. Continue this until you feel satisfied that the energies of this thing you wish to banish have faded away.
  • Light your black candle and say “ I banish (thing you want to banish) from my life, it is no longer needed and does not serve me in a positive way.
  • Light you green candle and say “ I welcome positive energies, habits, experiences into my life and attract only those things which are for my higher good.
  • Sit for a while visualising positive energy surrounding you.
  • When you feel ready, stand up and banish your circle in your usual way.

Take some time in the days after doing this ritual to actively make an effort to cease the bad habits you wish to banish. Also do something that is good for you and will help you achieve you goals.

Best of luck to all of you who give this a go. Believe in yourselves!

The Blarney Stone

 

Like many placeskiss-the-blarney-stone in Ireland, there is a wonderful myth and lore aspect of the famous Blarney stone in Ireland. The Blarney, in county cork, Ireland is well known for its legendary power to give whoever kisses it, the “gift of the gab”, or the gift of eloquence. Pilgrims come from all over to kiss the stone at Blarney castle. Years ago, people were held over the battlements by their legs to kiss the stone, but these days with safety regulations and a good deal more common sense, the castle is now adapted to that people simple have to lean in backwards, while lying on the floor, with the assistance of an on hand helper to help keep their balance, to kiss the stone. It is the gift of eloquence, a highly regarded trait, that drives people to make such a risky endeavour. However there are now safety beams in the gab between the walkway and the stone. It is 120 steps up to the battlements to reach the Blarney stone.

The stone is not simply a tourist attract. It is steeped in great history and lore and there is a variety of different beliefs and stories surrounding the stone.

One story tells the stone is actually Lia Fail, also known as the Stone of Destiny, the stone brought by the Tuath de Dannan, when they came to Ireland. Lore tells that the Lia Fail possessed the power to identify who would be the next High King of the land. And in later lore there are stories that tell of how the Mc Carthy family prevented a witch from drowning and in thanks she revealed to them the stones powers. The McCarthy family, owners of the original castle were said to have been given part of the stone of destiny in thanks for helping with the defeat of the English by the Scottish in 1314 at the battle of Bannockburn by Robert the Bruce

The stone is made of blue stone, which is the same stone that Stonehenge comprises of and is said to have been part of the stone of scone, that the original King of The Scots, who I could not find a name for, sat on during his coronation. However, it is not believed by archaeologist that it was indeed cut from the same stone as Stonehenge or even part of the stone used to seat the King of the Scots, nor do they believe it is actually the Lia Fail, but we can dream and enjoy the stories and lore none the less.

Another story as to how to the tradition of Kissing the Blarney stone came about is that of Queen Elizabeth the 1st sending the Earl of Leinster to visit Cormac McDermot McCarthy, who was the lord of Blarney, to give the land to Queen Elizabeth as a token of his Loyalty. On his travels to Blarney, the Earl was said to have met an old woman who asked why he looked so down. He explained the situation to her and his difficult task ahead. She told him of the Blarney stone in the battlements of the castle, which was unreachable but would grant the gift of eloquence to any who kissed the stone. He was not a man who was good with his words, so in desperation he found the stone and kissed it. Although he could not convince the Lord to give the grounds to the Queen, he was able to write he a letter filled with flattery and well made excuses. Although she is said to have said his letter was full of “Blarney”, he lived to tell the tale (lol)

Yet another tale, a more magical tale mixed with history, tells of Cliodhna, the Irish goddess of beauty, who fell in love with a human man. In the tale, before she is carried by the waves back to the faery realm, she tells the man who built blarney castle, who was about to go to court to kiss the stone. In court he was able to win his case with words of persuasion.

 

Lugh: A god of the Tuath de Dannan

 

Lugh or Lugus, islugh a Celtic God who has similarities to the Roman God Mercury. In Ireland he was known as sam ildanach. He was part of the Tuath de Dannan. His name also may mean “shining one”. He was noted by Julius Ceaser to be a God of Great importance to the Celts. There are many dedications to in the form of statues and inscription, which lend to the heavy evidence of genuine worship him of him from circa 500 BC. He is one of the most documented of all Celtic gods and for that reason he is one of the most well known and understood.

He is known to many to be a god of skill and the giving on talents to humans. He is also known as a warrior, though not in the same sense as a God of War but rather he is skilled in battle, as he is skilled in so many other arts. As a warrior, his weapon is a magic spear, which was able to fight without the aid of its owner. Other arts that he is highly skilled at include: arts and crafts, manual arts, smithing, healing and martial arts. Commerce, lightening, reincarnation, prophecy and revenge are also attributed to this God. Lugh possesses eternal youth , and is cery handsome and full of energy. This energy is what lends to his high level of skill in the aforementioned areas.

He is is the son of the sun and father to Chullain and is sometimes known as the deity of the sun. In other mythological sources he is stated to be the son of Ethlinn and Ciann. His grandfather is Balor of the Evil eye. His special day is the Celtic and pagan festival, Lughnasagh, which marks the beginning of the harvest seasons. It is also custom to honour his with grains, bread and other symbols of the harvest as a god of grain and late summer storms.

Lugh appears in many Celtic mythological tales.

One appearance of which occurs during the Battle of Moy Turra.

Lugh travelled to Moyturra. At the time of his arrival, a huge feast was taking place in the Royal court. He was greeted at the gate by the guard and was asked to tell what skills and talents her had for only one person possessing each skill or talent to the highest standard was permitted to enter the royal court. Lugh told the guard “I am a wright” to which he was given the reply that there was already a wright in the royal court. So Lugh offered again and said “ I am a smith” to which he received the same reply. He went through all his various skill, those being he was a champion, a poet, a musician, a hero, a historian, a sorcerer, and a craftsman. To which he was told that all these positions were already in the royal court. At this, Lugh retorted “Ah but you you have an individual who possesses all of these skills simultaneously?” The guard could not argue with this and admitted that they did and allowed Lugh to enter the court and join the feast

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The Tuath de Dannan- A brief synopsis

 

riders_of_the_sidhe-1The Tuath de Dannan or the people of danu were so named because they were thought to have been descendant of the Goddess Danu.They existed thousands of years ago in Ireland between the years of 1897 BC and 1700 BC, they were said to have been an ancient tribe of tall beautiful people who were talented warriors, poets, musicians and sportsmen. As well being a mythological race of deities, they were a race of heroes in Irish history.

Their arrival in Ireland was quite the dramatic entrance, both in historical and mythological context. In historical accounts they arrived on the west coast of Ireland, from a great mist on large ships.

They burned their boats to ensure they would not leave this new land and settle into it, making it their home. In mythology, they arrived in Ireland on ships floating through the sky but could not land due to protective force fields cast by the Fomorians around the country. They sailed around Ireland nine times before they could find a weak spot in the energy field, which they sailed through and set down. They came from four different mythical cities, these were called Falias, Gorias, Findias and Murias.

They were the rulers of Ireland during this time, after winning the battle ( the first battle of Moytura) with Irelands previous rulers, the Fir Bolg, who they allowed to remain rulers of Connaught out of respect for their fine fighting skills displayed during the battle.

They were a cultured people who brought new skills and customs to Ireland. They were held to high esteem because of this and were respected despite having invaded the country.

The Tuath de Danna brought four treasures with them to Ireland, one each from each of the four cities which they were said to have come from. These four treasures had valuable attributes which assisted them greatly. These were the Lia Fail or stone of destiny, the Magic Sword of Nuada, the sling shot of Lugh and the Cauldron of Daghda.

Lia fail (stone of destiny)

The slia fail was said to have been brought to Ireland by the de Dannan from the city of Falias. It’s magical properties include being able to tell when the rightful king of Ireland was standing on it and would emit a scream when he stood on it. It was placed on the Hill of Tara which was known as the Seat of Kings in Ireland

Nuadas Sword:

Nuadas sword was thought to have been brought from the city of Findias by King Nuada of the Tuath de Dannan. When used, it would strike his opponents dead in a single blow. All blows struck with this sword were fatal.

Spear of Lugh

The spear brought by lugh was brought from the city of Gorias. No shot fired from this weapon was missed as it’s power was unfailing accuracy. Other sources claim that lughs weapon was in fact a sling shot rather than a spear.

Daghdas Cauldron:

Daghdas Cauldron was brought from Murias. This cauldron gave an endless supply of food, enough to satisfy any mans hunger and to feed an army and will not empty by means of the food simply running out. It is also said that any injured warrior placed in the cauldron when empty will be instantly healed, even if they are on the brink of death.

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Feng Huang

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There are many fascinating mythical creatures in Chinese lore and in the lore of many cultures across the world. A great many of these are bird like creatures. One of which is the Chinese, Feng Huang, which is often thought of as the Chinese phoenix. It, along with the Dragon, white tiger and the turtle, is one of the four celestial emblems of China, also known as the Red Bird. The Phoenix and the Feng Huang are often confused. While they have some similarities, the Phoenix is from Ancient Egyptian mythology. While some mythological creatures may have variations from culture to culture, while actually being the same crea

The Feng Hunag is thought to have been first despicted during the Shang Dynasty, where is is found inscribed in oracle-bones and have been seen in Chinese artwork for over 7000 year. The most common being pottery, and engraved on bronze objects.

In appearance , the Feng Huang is a rather unusual but majestic beautiful looking bird like creature. In lore it is said to have the body of a mandarin duck and the mouth of a parrot, with the head of a pheasant. Its legs are not unlike that of a crane, long and thin, yet strong enough to hold its body up. The Feng Huang is also said to have a beautiful colourful tail, like a peacock and wings of a swallow. Its feathers can be several different colours, including black, yellow, red, white and blue. In some art work, it is shown to have three legs, but most often it will have only two legs, as with any bird.

The Feng Huang is very positive and happy symbolically, and is associated with grace, peace, fidelity, justice and virtue. Fire and the sun are also symbolised by the bird, making it of the element of fire. It is balanced in male and female energy in harmony, representing both yin and yang. This is also indicated in its name, Feng Huang. Feng symbolises the male energy while Huang symbolises the female energy. In earlier times, Feng were the male of the species and Huang were the females. However, in modern times the creature is a balanced being, being both male and female. Although the bird is seen as balanced in gender, it is known as a feminine creature so that it can be presented as the female counterpart of the masculine dragon.

The body of the Feng Huang itself has its own symbolism and meaning. It’s body represents the six celestial bodies. Its head symbolises the sky, its eyes represent the sun while his back orspine represents the moon. The Feng Huangs wings symbolise the wind while, naturally, his feet represent the earth. It’s tail symbolises the planets. They appeared as good luck totems in the form of jade figurines in the time of the Shang Dynasty mentioned before, and may have been associated with ancient Chinese tribes.

To the people of China, the appearance of the Feng Huang was a fore telling of Harmony to come, and as such, was a very good and much welcomed omen. It was a very happy sight to see the Feng Huangs appearance at the ascension of the throne by a new emperor for this foretold a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous era during the new emperors time on the throne. It is said is to have appeared before the ascension of the throne of the Zhou Dynasty after the death of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di. . The Zhou Dynasty rule was harmonious and prosperous in a political sense during the 27th Century BC and this is how the Feng Huang gained its association with the foretelling of a harmonious rule on the throne.

In the Chinese Zodiac, it is sometimes associated with the sign of the Rooster.

People who wanted to show that honesty and loyalty were important to them, and were attributes possessed by members of the household, decorated their homes with images or other representations of the Feng Huang.

Using the Body as a Pendulum

Most often when we t9-intuitionhink of using the pendulum, the image that comes to mind is a bob on a string, of which we observe the direction of the swinging motion to determine an answer to any simple yes or no question posed, or to help find a lost object. What many people do not know is that we can use our body as a pendulum. I first heard of this from the owner of a pagan store I sometimes shop at, and I was very pleased with the accuracy of the results.

This divination method is sometimes known as applied kinesiology and it is an internal energetic divination tool that relies on your intuition, using the sensations in your body to determine the answer. It cuts out the outside tool or the middle man, that we would normally use to find the answers that come from you in the first place.

It is a wonderful way to develop and learn to trust your intuition and in time can help strengthen it. It can also be very insightful and a yes or no question sought in this fashion can open the window o deeper insight from our higher self, much more easily for some people, than a simple question posed using a tool. This is because it removes the distraction of any outside stimulation, and allows us to connect directly to our higher self. Another advantage is that it removes the belief that divination is impossible without a tool and that answers can only be obtained from outside sources. While yes indeed we can seek answers from the spirit world or from other sources, we all have answers within ourselves, and it is important to trust that intuition. By trusting our own intuition, and connection to our own higher selves, we are receiving the information that most applies to us and that is very much needed.

Using your body as a pendulum is simply, noting how your body moves in response to any question you may ask yourself. Take some steady breaths, clear your mind and focus on the question you wish to ask and pay close attention to how your body moves. It is best, as with the pendulum, to ask your body to show you a clear indicator for yes, no and maybe. Everyone will find their energy moves their body differently in response to questions posed. Some people might find their body moves back and forth for yes and side to side for no, the complete opposite, or something else entirely. It is very individual to each person so it is important to get to know which is right for you. We may even find that from time to time, the direction changes, as with a pendulum. This is okay, sometimes we have things going on that might influence our energy. Simply check regular what your “yes” or “no” is if you are feeling the need. When you become used to this method, it is highly likely you will know intuitively if your answers are off in any case

To confirm the correspondence of how your body moves to a yes or no answer, it is perfectly fine to begin with some questions you know the answer to, such as “Is my name Lisa?” which in my case would give me a “no” answer. Make sure to ask test questions you know for sure the answer to, as any uncertainty will present as an inconclusive answer. As with any divination tool, the answers can be influenced by the practitioners own bias. It is important to clear your head and ask that you are given a clear and unbiased answer to your question. When asking questions you wish to know the answer to, remember to phrase it well, as a badly phrased question can influence the accuracy of the answer you get, as with a normal pendulum. You are seeking answers from you own higher self here! If you confuse yourself with the question your answers will be confusing too!

Developing and working on trusting and strengthening our intuition is a never-ending learning process, one which we will never become a master in because there is always room for improvement. This is vital to remember in those times that we find we have been wrong, or didn’t receive the correct answer. It takes work, just like any divination method, to become adept at it. Trusting our intuition is certainly one of those things that we must keep working on, even if we feel like throwing in the towel.

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