Leap Year’s Day.

Coming round only once every four years, Leap Year Day – otherwise known as February 29th – is something of a special day.  We hear so much about there being nothing spectacular about this day, when the present day calendar was being created nobody paid any heed etc, is the general gist of what people like to say.  But how can we, as witches, not mark this day?

According to Roman traditions, this day is good for working magicks for improbable things.  In my mind that makes it a very special day.  Reserving this day for once in a lifetime type magick – and by this I mean working for things you probably would never normally do – we can work magick for anything from a dream lover, to a dream house.  The only thing that limits us is ourselves.

Given that the day is traditionally used for women to propose to their sweetheart, it would be a good day for love spells.  Or maybe you want to patch things up with soemone – whether that be romantically, or as a friend, – but have not had the courage to do so.  The energy from this special day lends itself to improbable situations, making it the perfect tiem to just go for it.

Whatever you choose to work for, today is definitely a special day for making your dreams a reality.

O is for…..

…….Ogre.

An Ogre is the generic name for hideous creatures, usually giant-sized, who scare humnas.  The female version is an Ogress.  Ogres to me are creatures like Shrek and Fiona, from the movie Shrek.  That is what I think of when I envison an Ogre.
Obviously their appearance gives them a bad reputation, as does the fact that are supposed to feed on humans.

N is for….

…….Nymphs.

Nymphs are born of Gaia, also known as mother nature in the Greek pantheon.  They are associaited with nature and are often found protecting natural habitats.  Nymphs can also be seen around Pan, Hermes, Apollo, Atremis, Dionysius, as well as creatures such as Satyrs.
Nymphs are described as beautiful and sexually attractive.  They love to dance and sing and they are, ahem, quite armourous too. 

They live for a long time, it is said they do not die from old age, but usually die in other ways.  That they can live for so long often gives the impression they are immortal, though they are not.  They often bear a child to a God – whichever one they have mated with – and these children are immortal.

M is for…..

……Mermaids.
It is said that a mermaid is a very attractive woman on the top half, and her lower half is that of a fish.  One particular story that I read has a mermaid being able to change into a “full” human in order to attend a market so that she could buy things.
The typical image we have for a mermaid is of a beautiful half woman-half fish sitting on a rock, out at sea, combing her hair and or singing.  Apparently the mermaids have no souls and lure fishermen to their death, by singing beautiful, haunting songs.  When the sailor gets close enough the mermaid grabs him and drowns him.  There are also tales that have the mermaids keeping the souls of the fishermen in cages, deep under the sea.
Typically the mermaids are the same size as a typical woman, but some tales have them up to 2000 feet in length.

L is for….

…. Loch Ness monster.

Probably the most famous of all mythical creatures.  The theories surrounding this even have theories surrounding them!  Whatever your views are on mythical creatures I think you have to admit this one is the most plausible,  There are far too many sigthings for this not to real.  And whilst this isn’t really witchy it does show us that we don’t know all of the answers, or have the proof about everything, even though we think me might do.

Pagan Blog Project – second D post.

For my second post on the letter D I want to elaborate on my dream theory.

After my post last week I got to thinking about how I had barely scratched the surface of the subject of dreams. You could also be forgiven for thinking that I was dismissing all dream experts and claiming they do not understand the dreamer.  This is not the case.

The subject of dream interpretation is as deeply misunderstood as the subject of Astrology.  Both are very often the butt of jokes; people read their horoscopes but usually don’t take them seriously.  The same can be said about some people’s attitudes to dreams.  We have them, they are odd, but they are just a bit of fun and don’t mean anything.

I disagree with that attitude because I happen to believe that when we dream our subconscious self is trying to relay some sort of message to us.  Often when we are awake we are so busy that we barely take any notice of our inner voice and the messages it tries to get over to us.  When we dream we are receiving the inner messages that we need to deal with stuff that is going on, whether it be something huge, or something mundane.  Our inner selves know the answers to what troubles us and conjures up images and scenarios that will make us take notice; if we dreamt of nothing spectacular we would pay no heed to those inner messages and the solutions would go unheeded, hence the spectacular images and scenes we conjure up in our sleeping minds.

When dream interpretation books are written they cover a few basic symbols – usually those with universal meaning – and then the author adds their opinion on to it.  For instance, if someone dreams of a chimney it generally represents some form of release.  But if you search online and in different books the meaning can be anything from general release to escape, sexual release, release of tension and so on.  This can cause the dreamer confusion and is partly responsible for why the subject of dream interpretation can be the butt of jokes.
If you write your own dreams down and then pick out the meaningful – meaningful to you – symbols, then spend some time pondering on what those symbols represent to yourself, you are half way to interpreting the dream.

Recently I dreamt of a chimney.  My mother was in the room with me and there was also a nurse.  The nurse reached into the chimney and closed a little door and then turned to me and said something.  What she said was personal and the meaning of the dream is very personal.  If I had looked this dream up online or in a book I would not have got the same interpretation.  Obviously because it was my dream I was able to attach the significance to it, I was able to attach a situation to the dream and make it fit.  That it is how the cynics believe we come up with answers to dreams, and maybe in the case of my own dream they may have a point.    I have spent many years researching my dreams and their meanings and deciphering the hidden messages in the dreams of friends and family.  I always make it clear that the symbols in dreams mean different things to different people and that my interpretation is just my point of view, given the images presented to me.  I explain how I do the interpretation and encourage the person to have a go themselves, and usually the interpretations are similar.

The only complaint I have ever had using this method came from a woman I was friends with a few years back.  She was anxious over her dream meaning and asked me to interpret it.  I did and she didn’t like what I told her.  The gist of it was that the symbols she was dreaming about – repeatedly, by the way, – were predicting she was going to find herself in a highly embarrassing situation resulting from her loss of self control.  She dismissed my interpretation as rubbish and chose to accept what another person had said.  I shrugged it off – you can’t please everyone – and forgot all about it.  About a fortnight later I heard about this very same woman having a melt down in a shopping centre after she had endured a highly stressful shopping trip with her child.  She had shouted at her kid, screamed in frustration and then slumped to the ground and wept uncontrollably.  By all accounts she felt really foolish and was really embarrassed at what had happened to her.
Her dream had warned her this was going to happen, she chose to ignore the message, but it still happened.  She avoided me for quite some time after that, which was silly really, but her choice.  The lesson here is that we may not like the message we are receiving but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the right one.  That is also why I always encourage folks to interpret dreams for themselves, that way they will maybe pay more heed to what their inner self is trying to tell them and avoid situations like that very public melt down.

Learning the basics and adding your own personal meanings to symbols can give a person a real in depth dream interpretation.  I have done exactly this and have found that this method gives a more accurate reading than just sitting going through a book, or online web page would.

Panic.

I’ve had a panic attack today.  I haven’t had one of those in a long time.  There’s some stuff going on right now, nothing overly major, just stuff kind of stuff and I had to speak out about something.  My point was well received and everything went well……but afterwards I was just so done in.  I just felt like my whole being imploded on itself and I started to feel as if a great weight had landed on my chest.
I was worried that all of my work would be undone, as if my little chat had undone all of my good work and I was in full blown panic mode.  I have spent the rest of the day nursing my very emotional well being and having not being around the social media circuit has helped me enormously.  I think sometimes we get too caught up in what is happening round the forums, social media sites, on the chat etc, we totally lose sight of our real selves and we forget what we can do.

Sometimes the real magick in our lives is not in the spells and rituals that we do, but in the simple pleasures we find in our everyday lives.  Like the simple pleasure I found today in seeing a pheasant rummaging about on the railway line behind my house.  Nothing spectacular, nothing amazing, not even magickal, just an ordinary occurrence that helped me shift my focus.

Be careful what you wish for!

My garden has become a bone of contention between me and the Manshape.  He has piles of wood in it, neatly stacked now, yes, but it’s still there nevertheless.  It’s been preventing me from getting my seeds planted out and the new roses put in that he bought me at Valentine’s.  I have become a naggy wife over it and have wished for the piles of tree trunk bits to be sorted.

And now my wish has been answered.  A family friend who also has an open fire mentioned last week that he has a chainsaw – which is what was needed to cut most of the wood that is left in the garden.  So the wood is being cut by M as we speak, and a lovely mess is being made of my already messed up lawn.  When I looked out of the window a few minutes ago to see how they were getting on, my first thought was to scream in exasperation.  But not wanting to make a total fool of myself I came upstairs and sat down to write a blog post.  Now I have had a little while to think this over I can see that I am getting exactly what I wanted – the wood cut up.  The wood is being cut into fire size pieces and stored in bags for later use – once it dries out.  The mess can easily – maybe not easily for me – be cleared away and I can finally get my seeds and plants sorted out.

Isn’t it funny that when we wish so hard for something it never turns out quite how we expected it to?

Pancakes.

Every culture seems to celebrate this day in some shape or form.  I know it’s really a Christian holiday, Shrove Tuesday, but with so many people “flipping” out on the idea I thought I may as well enjoy some pancakes later on tonight.

In my family we have always had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.  I am absolutely hopeless at cooking them, I blame the arthritis in my hands as I can’t grip the spatula properly or the frying pan handle.  DH had taken over the cooking when I started losing the mobility in my hands but even he is hopeless when it comes to pancakes.  I had considered buying one of those pancake makers – expensive I know, especially when we would barely use it.  But DD2’s boyfriend is a dab hand when it comes to frying and flipping pancakes, so we have him over for tea and he is going to cook for us.

K is for……..

…….the Kraken.

I knew that I would write about this creature when I got to K.  It is a creature that I am pretty familiar with, having been a huge fan of the film Clash Of The Titans – the  original one.  The creature I have always been familiar with is enormously tall, sort of like a huge lizard type man, as per the Kraken in the film.  So imagine my surprise when I look into this myth and discover that the Kraken is in fact a huge Octopus.

The myth states that this creature loves the taste of human flesh, as well as consuming ships, whole.  Sailors who happened upon a sleeping Kraken would often mistake it for an island – the top of its head quite often the only thing visible.  They only discovered the truth when their ships’ were attacked.

Of course, the legend I am familiar with is the one from the Clash Of The Titans.  The Princess Andromeda is to be sacrificed to the Kraken as a result of her mother’s bragging about her beauty.  Cassiopeia claims that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Goddess Thetis and this angers her, hence the sacrifice.  Of course she is saved by Perseus, who marries her after solving an almost impossible riddle, who just gets to her in time after severing the head of the Gorgon, a creature who turns everything to stone if she looks into their eyes.  Perseus uses Medusa’s head – because even in death her stare is lethal – to turn the Kraken into stone and he holds Medusa’s head up for so long that the Kraken cracks and crumbles into the sea.

That myth is a far cry from the stories of Octopus like creatures who devour men and ships.

Clash of the Titans Poster