Lore: Hermes invented fire by striking a pomegranate against a bay laurel. It is also sacred to Apollo and Zeus.
Magical and Ritual Uses:
For Psychic Powers: Burn with Frankincense on charcoal. It can also be placed beneath your pillow for prophetic dreams.
For Protection: Carry a Bay leaf in a mojo bag to ward off evil, negativity, and unwanted people. Place around windows and in the attic to prevent lightening. A potted bay is also used to protect against storms and invoking the protection of Apollo. Wearing a wreath of bay is used to conquer one’s fear of thunderstorms.
To Remove a Curse or Evil Spirits: Mix with Sandalwood and burn over charcoal.
To Attract Love or Romance: Use in a fire sacrifice to the gods. The oil can also be extracted and used to dress a candle which is then burned.
For Victory: Take three fresh Bay leaves and write the names of Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael on each leaf, then wrap the leaves in white cloth and carry them.
Dabble In Magic Using This Handbook Of Witchcraft
There was a time when choosing to invoke an incantation as a means to an end would get one burnt at the stake. In today’s world, taboos seem to be falling like leaves in autumn. So one need not be fearful any longer when choosing to resort to witchcraft in a time of need.
Dark future for wrong psychics
There are many things to dislike about end-of-year celebrations — the pressure to make New Year’s Eve memorable, the shameful amounts of money wasted on fireworks, drunken renditions of Auld Lang Syne. But perhaps the most annoying tradition is the value placed on predictions made by psychics.
According to a 2009 Neilsen poll, 49 per cent of Australians believe in psychic powers, despite — it must be pointed out — a distinct lack of supporting evidence.
However, as 2010 draws to a close, we have a unique chance to put some of these beliefs to the test by reflecting on the accuracy of psychic predictions made at the start of the year. After all, the rest of us face performance reviews at this time of the year, so why not critically appraise clairvoyants as well? Read full story from haroldsun.com
January, New Year and the Compitalia
For many people, after the December festivities January comes as a quite a gloomy anti-climax. However, Classical Pagans (i.e. those following a Roman/Greek pantheon) perceive the world with somewhat different eyes.
Subsequent to the festivities of Yuletide and the Midwinter Solstice, or Christmas – if one subscribes to the more recent Christian ethos, we swiftly arrive at the start of another contemporary year. I accentuate the word ‘contemporary’ because calendars have so frequently changed over the centuries.
The bucolic, pre-Christian, Celtic land dwellers regarded the period we now call Halloween (originally Samhain) as the end of summer and commencement of winter. It marked the start of the New Year.
When we disregard the ‘man-made’ calendar and take a long look at nature’s moods, this old agricultural method of time calculation begins to make a great deal of sense. Read full story from ufodigest
The efforts come one day after SCA went public with the decision from the mayor-elect’s transition team to exclude a secular representative for atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheistic Washington, D.C. residents at his first official inaugural event—an ecumenical service entitled “One City … Praying Together” at 8 a.m. Sunday, January 2, 2011. Read full story from richarddawkins.com
Robert Barasa, 24, was banished from the village after a meeting held at Buwhera on Tuesday. Karim Sityabude, who is field operations chief of the Uganda traditional healers Busia Chapter, was present at the meeting. Read full story from newvision.co.ug
Yes, Virginia, Hellenes Have Christmas Traditions
Two decades ago, Ann Landers did a column about how various cultures celebrate Christmas. Halfway down her list was this gem: “If you are Greek Orthodox, your sect celebrates Christmas on January 7.” Several people wrote back that 1) the Orthodox church is not a sect — it is the original church from which the Catholic one split after the Schism of 1054 and 2) only the so-called Old Believers track Christmas by the Julian calendar.
I was reminded of this when I was leaving work a week ago, and a colleague asked, “Should I wish you Merry Christmas? I heard you Greeks don’t celebrate it like we do.” As those who read my posts know, I’m an atheist who misses many of my culture’s old customs, particularly those that thrum with pagan echoes. So I’m going to put my tour guide’s hat briefly on, and tell you what we Hellenes do around the time of the winter solstice. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
Then one night she discovered a website selling products for hoodoo—an ancient belief system based on spells, potions, balms and curses that slaves developed long ago in the Deep South. Ms. Forness ordered several items and instructions for performing certain rituals. She also had a telephone session with a hoodoo “doctor” who specializes in employment matters. Read full story from wsj.com
Forecasters keep eye on looming ‘Solar Max’
PARIS, France — The coming year will be an important one for space weather as the Sun pulls out of a trough of low activity and heads into a long-awaited and possibly destructive period of turbulence.
Many people may be surprised to learn that the Sun, rather than burn with faultless consistency, goes through moments of calm and tempest.
But two centuries of observing sunspots — dark, relatively cool marks on the solar face linked to mighty magnetic forces — have revealed that our star follows a roughly 11-year cycle of behaviour.
The latest cycle began in 1996 and for reasons which are unclear has taken longer than expected to end.
Now, though, there are more and more signs that the Sun is shaking off its torpor and building towards “Solar Max,” or the cycle’s climax, say experts. Read full story from google.com
All Christians ‘targets,’ Iraqi militant group says Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — All Christians in the Middle East are now “legitimate targets,” al Qaeda in Iraq announced Wednesday, as the group’s deadline for Egypt’s Coptic church to release alleged Muslim female prisoners expired.
An audio message released Monday gave the church 48 hours to disclose the status of Muslim women it said are imprisoned in Coptic churches in Egypt. Read full story from cnn.com
While these festivals may have been “sanitised”, it was not that “clever”. Many of the pagan rituals remain in these festivals, including the use of evergreen decorations, such as holly, ivy, mistletoe and pine trees. Read full story from belfasttelegraph.co.uk
5,000-year-old practice comes around again
Unlike a maze, which includes dead ends and tall walls that are meant to confuse, a labyrinth traces a single path that leads inexorably to the center. It has ancient roots in pagan pre-Christian beliefs, Celtic traditions, and even Wicca, and many consider it a spiritual journey to walk one. Read full story from philly.com
Chief Oshkosh controversy brings back painful memories
OSHKOSH, Wis. – The decision by the mayor of Oshkosh, Wis., to use the name and image of Chief Oshkosh to promote beer drinking in his tavern highlights long-standing cultural dissonances between Natives and non-Natives. Though less than one percent of the population of Oshkosh is Native American, its proximity to the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin has made the mayor’s promotion a focus of the ongoing controversy over how and by whom names and images of Native American leaders may be used. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com
Mexicans Seek Charms, Potions To Ward Off Bad Luck
The Sonora Market near the center of Mexico City is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways that wind between overstuffed stalls where the air is thick with sage smoke. One entire section is known as the mercado de brujeria, or the “witchcraft market.”
In a country facing tough times, Mexicans come to the market to buy potions, herbs and charms that supposedly will bring good luck and protection. Read full story from minesotapublicradio.org
Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead – review
Statues are speaking at the British Museum. The dead are coming to life. The statue in front of me is a small painted wooden figure of the god Osiris, just over half a metre high, in a glass case in one of the first rooms of this engrossing exhibition. It is instantly striking, because of the bright green of its face and hands, but its verbal eloquence lies hidden inside. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Carving a contemporary tribute to history
NIWOT, Colo. – Annual Nostalgia Days festivities in this community north of metro Denver recall the past for the area’s original descendants as well as for those whose 19th century ancestors settled here.
An eagle capture was depicted in a massive carving dedicated at the high point of a celebration for area residents and Northern Arapaho tribal members from the Wind River Reservation, in Wyoming. Noted Arapaho leader, Niwot (Left Hand), gave the town its name and brokered a temporary peace with white settlers in the gold rush era. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com