THE WHEEL SPINS -‐ SEPTEMBER -‐ OCTOBER 2020
The Western Sun, withdraws the shorten'd Day;
And humid Evening, glidng o'er the Sky,
In her chill Progress, to the Ground condens'd
The Vapours throws. Where creeping Waters ooze,
Where Marshes stagnate, and where Rivers wind, Cluster the rolling Fogs, and swim along
The dusky-mantled Lawn. Mean-while the Moon
Full-orb'd, and breaking thro the scatter'd Clouds, Shews her broad Visage in the crimson'd East.
~ James Thomson from the Seasons 1730 ~
ANIMAL SPIRITS AND SYMBOLISM
By Goddess Rosemary
This is the time of year we, the Sahjaza, honor animals. Birds, fish and reptiles are all included; this is the coming of the time of the Stag.
We all know throughout history that animals have played a role in mythology and folklore in a wide variety of roles. They’ve been depicted as providers of sustenance, as well as fierce protectors and guardians and sources of mankind’s survival.
In the year of the Dragon, we once again will visit the theme of the Dragon as this year comes to one more turn of the wheel under the auspicious sign of the Dragon. This mythical beast or guardian spirit appears in vast and totally varied cultural backgrounds from, China, Germany, the Celts, as numerous as these symbols of dragons are found equally numerous are cats the jaguar the lion panther the images as Bast and Shemeckt are honored both by the Sahjaza.
No one can forget the primal panthers played out in the cult classic film starring Nadia Kinski, “Cat People.” In my opinion this film is on my top 10 of all time list. It’s one of the most premier cult-classic “animal turns human,” or human turns animal films of all time. The epic start of this film with the “family tree” sequence to the evolution of her maturity in the journey from maiden to womanhood, and including the classic maidenmother-crone archetypes in the film if you are looking for mythology behind the wonderful story line. It’s all in there. Someone could very well do a thesis on this film in relation to mythology regarding the turning of man to beast and vice versa. The primal images in this film stand out as one of the greats and many have strived thereafter to duplicate this imagery with special effects but to me this still stands as one of the greats of film there is good vs. evil there is the hunger there is the temptation and more its all there the whole package if you have not yet seen it take a look and watch this one, if you have this is a great film to revisit this time of year. This film and the original “Howling” are my top picks for this season for all time great cult movies to revisit.
Animals may have been viewed as the protectors of the human race, however their role in that and their survival are in great peril. The pit bull, the only American bread dog that is pure USA as well as many other large breed dogs, is under constant regulation and law attack. The pit bull was a breed that was created and called “nanny dog” as farmers left the wise dogs in charge of the children as they went out into the fields to protect the kids why they worked all day.
We’re a far cry from using them thus today the fighting rings have warped the image and created a bad image for this caring dog way removed from its days as the nanny. We must be vigilant to not allow regulations to move our big dogs from our homes there are many breed specific regulations sneaking onto the books to stop this we must pay attention and become proactive watch and see what those you vote into power have planned for dogs and cats and limits of animals in your communities.
It’s up to you to vote on these regulations and watch it at a local and state level. Demand “no kill” shelters and low cost or free spay and neuter clinics. In 1250 BC depictions of animals like Anubis weigh the human heart. Imagine if animals judged us today. What would they say about our treatment of animals in this society? What would the sacred scribe Ani then say of us on with the lifting of the sacred writing feather of truth? How would we stand in the light of their judgment?
One of the most fierce mythological dogs that I can think of is the Greek three-headed dog who in my mind brings to mind Monty Python type images guard the underworld Cerberus keeping the living out and the dead in.
Ravens and crows have a duo nature being both cleaver and cunning and can be anything from muse, to protector to trickster; they have been called guardian spirits, bearers of secrets, and evil omens. I find they are a wonderful omen for me they are to me bringers of good will and good luck as well as come in the spirit of happy protection. To me they come as friendly messengers, when I lived by the Cloisters in Inwood, NYC they followed us to the park where I walked a dog for someone and Alisha and I would get some coffee con leche and go to the park from end to end walking the dog midnight, ravens would hop from tree top to tree top like a tree top troubadour escorts talking all the while to us as we went along the length of the paths they knew our route and followed us back up the hill to the brownstones. In Nevada there was a raven I called, “Spock,” who would come to visit me in the Black Rock Desert so much he became my own decorating my fence posts and eating from my hand.
Animals as guardians include a vast many roles as vast as the varied paths of spirituality. Christians have the sacred tree of life, which is guarded by the unicorn on one side and the mature stag on the other. At the same time you see the correlation of the time of the stag in the pagan or old religion incorporated into Christianity. Are they both symbols of Christ? Some say so is the stag therefore the sacrifice? Why the unicorn? No one is really sure theologians debate this issue. Why a mythical creature such as the unicorn it would be interesting to really know remembering the tapestry I looked at with these two images at the Cloisters museum. I have a small lacquer jewelry box with this image of the unicorn on it a piece from that tapestry. These symbols were used many times over and over as images of Christ.
There are a good many animals that have varied roles and the animals themselves are varied by type and look some are hybrid mixes of a good many animals into one some are part one and part another. The protection by these animals and beast images include spirit guides fertility totems gateways to the ancients and ancestors, wisdom teachers, keepers of secrets, helpers and companions, law keepers and truth judgers, spiritual enlightenment bearers, helpers with super powers and wings and tails as well as other super qualities. For example Buddhism has the dog-lions are guardians of law and enlightenment and Buddha himself revered these animals. Native American’s have clan guardians, depicted on masks, costumes, and totem poles and are deeply woven into their culture, dances, stories, mythology and lore. The various animals signified for some the location and tribes as well as areas they came from and family’s they came from as well. I love the story of the Spider Woman in the Navajo mythology. Look her up you will too.
The Dragon is lesser known as one of the symbols or emblems of Osiris. And was attributed with the annual Nile flooding this flooding was the life’s blood of the region as all life depended on this flood for fertility of the land and insuring the future.
Kundalini is the attempt to take make and female energy. It’s a great example of Z/n being the emphasis of opposites, day and night, dark and light, male and female, yin and yang, top and bottom, the Kundalini energy is the serpent energy the energy of our Sahjaza sacred Oboros the sacred circle of snake with its tail in its mouth. Female energy is Shakti energy. Male energy is Shiva energy.
Together they make a whole and appear as a coiled serpent -- its open mouth the central energy channel its entrance called the Sushumna the base of the spine the Sahasrara the pure consciousness symbolized as a lotus flower of 1,000 petals. Waken the serpent is the aim of Kundalini yoga, uniting the spirit and body, creating male and female perfect balance. We the Sahjaza strive for balance in all things and this sort of yoga would be a good way to work on such balance. (Photo of goddess rosemary with dragon ring by Annie Sprinkle).
A while ago I asked several of you all this question, “If you were to be an animal or bird or come back as one what would it be.” The second part of this question could be, “if you were to choose companions or advisors of any mythical or real animal bird fish reptile or creature, what would you choose?”
This example showed to me a side of each individual who responded and I was able to impart knowledge and information to them regarding their choice, as well as opening up ideas for further research and information on their choices. And so I ask you the reader to do the same. Choose the answers to these two questions and see where it leads you. Meditate on and invite your “critter” into your sleeping and waking life and see where it leads you. I would be interested in hearing feedback on this one. Watch for them to come to you as a messenger, do they come more often after your selection and invitation? Do you see them or symbols of them more often? Watch for their messages for imparted knowledge’s and as well for warnings or other messages in your life.
Social status and symbolic languages have been developed involving the illustration of animals, human animal and animal like creatures as well as combinations of animals creating one creature with characteristics of many animals. To be used to horrify and guard tombs and other royal palaces as well as keep guard of cathedrals and pyramids and a variety of other places sacred to us for example the fantastic gargoyles. They decorate the pages of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other nighttime tales with outrageously frightening images. These sometimes were also used as family crests marking territory and lineages. Often wings were added to these beasts. They were more exotic across Europe.
The heraldic pelican was depicted nourishing her own chicks why she was in a boat like woven nest with droplets of her own blood. All manners of beasts – birds, bears, lions and all combinations therein adorned shields and armor. The oldest of these are perhaps, the lion followed by the bear, the boar, and the wolf, used in the medieval cast or knight and family imagery. Three fishes are a sign of the holy trinity on a coat of arms from 1448 found in the U.K. while the silver fish jointed pendent in the Andes Mountains that I did see women wear when I was there was an image or totem used for fertility. The fishes crafted scale like silver sections moved.
The lion is the living symbol of Ra the power of the sun. The lion guards the spirit realm, death and the afterlife in its relation to Osiris. The lion headed Goddess Sekhmet protects the young and keeps away disease and disaster. Sekhmet the Goddess is often depicted holding a sward with her lions face. Thus she is one of the Sahjaza warriors patron goddesses the patron of the Mradu, as the Goddess Bast is the patron of the Sahjaza Kitra. The Hindu associates the lion with the Goddess Durga and calls her the guardian of the North. Christianity adapted the lion to represent the lion of Judah and a symbol of Christ as I have before mentioned in this document. On Sumerian shrines lions offer protection as the God of war named Nergal.
Jaguar woman and jaguar shamanism is a topic well worth spending some time researching and experimenting with on your various paths of shamanism and spirituality of animal totems. There are many facts on the ancient practice of this path from the South Americas to evoke the Jaguar is to conjure up some powerful medicine and to travel on a powerful path. There are too many paths and legends and traditions to discuss here in this writing.
Not all of them call for you to take on the look of a jaguar some wear the skins some do not, there is a tribe in the Amazon of Northern Peru that is called the Matses that think if they look enough like a jaguar they can call on its spirit for protection and cunning their imitation includes body modification some of the methods they use are altered edges of their mouths to enlarge it to make it look more cat like, pierced whiskers, tattooed skin spots eye decoration their mouth slits and tattooing mimic very well the big cats. They give themselves full facial jowls and posture with the ceremonial lip cut alterations and tattoos. Splintered wood both men and women use to adorn themselves with whiskers.
Ocelotl is the Aztec jaguar’s name honored for its cunning and ferociousness. It was thought that Ocelotl controls the fertilizing rains. And the Aztec thought that only blood shed of an enemy would create inspiration for Ocelotl to allow the rains to flow. Elaborate mock rituals with some depicting enemies were carried out to call forth the rains when no enemy was about. Thus bidding Ocelotl to bring forth the blessed rains. The jousting is costumed and elaborate bouts of highly decorated teams of fist fighters battled in these mock battles the players also include; Ocelotl, deer, four winds, and other players.
In ancient Greece the leopard was Dionysus the God of Wine’s, sacred animal. The god was seen in leopard garb or riding a leopard. The cult of the Dionysus wore elaborate leopard masks, there are mosaics that are beautiful and elaborate of these scenes in Greece on walls and on pottery as well as leopard masks, they are known to be from as early as 180 ADE. There is at least one with one of these illustrations of Dionysus with a sward and has a reflective mirror like shield with a ribbon decorated is riding on a heavily clawed beast with a lashing tassel at the tip end of the beasts tail.
Why did the leopard create so many myths of being the god of the keeper of the rain? The distinct color of the beast may be the answer for it looks like the pattern of the earth as the life giving rains fall? This may be the answer to this mystery but this is my thought as to why the beast is attributed by so many cultures with being the bringer of rains. And the boom from its belly issues a growl not unlike thunder and is fast as lightning.
Scorpions are mostly destructive in mythology the scorpion is the 8th sign of the zodiac and was to punish the vanity of the human hunter the great hunter. Scorpius stung Orion to death -- so often when you see scorpions you know that you need to look to your vanity and vain way of being or that of others around you. Mayans regarded scorpions as destruction that drove away the wind the storms the rain. The Egyptian god Set in the form of a scorpion attempted to kill Horus as an infant. It was believed that a dead crocodile could easily turn into a scorpion. A wanton aggressive nature is thought to associations with scorpions. However they are well adapted to living in the deserts and are a stunning noteworthy example of nature’s ability to adapt.
The bat has so many mythologies I will focus on a few only here. The bat has been called the, “devils bird,” and has been thought to be a witches willing winged familiar, I guess that is why one came in my bedroom less then a month ago and flew around a few laps. The bat is attributed with swallowing the sun in Peru. There are ornate pre-Columbian artifacts of pure gold bats that were linked to types of ancient sorcery. Bats rely on acoustics to “see” and radar echoes. Bats, among witches symbolize a rebirth.
And last I will touch on some mythical beasts before asking you once again what your list of furred creatures, fish birds reptiles or methodological creatures would be to become and to be on your list of familiars, totems or guides.
The Yeti or the abominable snowman, Bigfoot, footy or Sasquatch -- are they the same creature? Are they real? They could be. There are enough reports that this may be a real beast there are stories around the world they are known by a variety of names and have been seen by reputable people and a vast number of people. Why do they not become in death found? This is one of the questions that are used to nay say their existence, however, perhaps when they are going to die they go as the elephants do to one place or perhaps they come to get their dead and ceremonial like take them to a place where we will not find them, or the brush swallows them up or they enter caves. The lake Eyre beast is a Loch-Ness type monster appearing on her shores for as many years almost as “Nessie” has been bowing to her astonished public to keep her mythology alive as the Bigfoot passes across roads before astonished motorists in kind. Perhaps if you are in tune with nature enough quiet and introspective respectful and remote enough and look long enough you will know the mysteries and solve some of these riddles and myths from Minotaur to centaur to sphinx.
We will another day explore more of the complex mysterious and spiritual relationships that exist between man and the beasts. Remember to protect the universe our habitat yours, and the animals, and if you put anything, anything at all, on your lawn, besides water, your simply no longer able to call yourself green.
High Priestess Temple Sahjaza
The Besom Broom in Ritualistic Practice and Magickal Use
By Corvo Obsidian Sahjaza
The history of the broom, broomstick or besom is quite old. The broomstick itself was an integral fixture in the ancient homes throughout Europe. Since most of the homes were made of wood, straw and had dirt floors, the only way to keep a home “clean” was to sweep out the old.
To show just how ancient this practice really is there is evidence of this concept in the KJV translation of the Bible.
In Isaiah, 14:23
“I will sweep it with the besom of destruction saith the LORD of hosts.”
Besoms and brooms have long been misunderstood. Not only are they used in Witchcraft and Paganism to sweep away negative energies, but are also used as protect devices – not unlike an inanimate familiar.
One of the earliest incarnations of the broom were known as besoms. Simple in form, they were constructed of twigs tied to a handle. The bristles could be made of straw, herbs or twigs. The symbolism is as follows: The shaft or handle represents the branch of a tree. Naturally there is a connection to the “Tree of Life” in this reference. It’s been discovered that the besom or broom was made from Hazelwood and the bristles from birch twigs. The purpose of the besom was and is still to this day, to ward off evil spirits, negative energies and to protect the home and all who dwell within it. Family member Brighid Affalon says, “I mostly use it after a safe cleanse to sweep out the remaining negative energy.”
Because the broom can be used to sweep away the negative, some of our own Sahjaza use the besom in this manner. It makes a wonderful tool for magickal practices and rituals.
Lady Ophelia made her own besom back in Hungary and is always with her. She made it out of Vine Maple branches and used rope to tie it together to the handle. She used it for clearing the area before a ritual or clearing the negative energy from her house. She usually keeps it hanging on her wall, just like her ancient counterparts used to.
Historically, brooms made great gifts for weddings or Handfastings. You can add a little ribbon, some flowers and you’re good to go! No wrapping needed. Every new home needs a broom.
The Madame Webb usually gives a besom as a wedding present or has a small one to decorate a wrapped wedding gift. She makes a besom every fall. She shares with us that she, “gets some willow branches and binds them together (ends up more like a switch). I do a house sweeping with the Celtic new year of Samhain, and then I burn the branches or put them back in a wooded area.” She adds that one should always sweep to the center of a room, counter clockwise. She also mentions that on Chinese New Year, “if you want to clean two weeks prior to the New Year, sweep to the corners but don’t use a dust pan or vacuum – you don’t want to sweep away any good energy or luck.”
The besom has been referred to as a “witches” broom as well as the early Celtic Pagans associating the broom with Faeries, according to our very own Elder Hedge witch Fae. As a witches broom, it is viewed as a tool that acts as a balance of divine forces. It’s part male and female in energy: the phallic handle and the female energy in the bristles. Because of this, the broom was and still is commonly used in Handfasting rituals. The besom, witches’ broom, was also used as a gate or door before a ritual space.
The besom broom is also known as a fertility symbol. The age-old picture of a witch riding around on a broomstick, casting magick spells is believe to have come from an agricultural fertility rite, where the women rode around the fields, with the broom between their legs, hoping to bring the famers a good harvest.
Priestess Aurora shares her thoughts on the besom. She says that most people, especially those new to Witchcraft, known as Neophytes, do not know that their besom can be used for more then just sacred rituals. She adds, “while we do use it when preparing sacred space for Esbats and Sabbats, we also use them for our Mundane Sacred Space as well.” Witches use brooms in magick and ritual. The Pagan broom or besom is used in ritual for cleansing the general circle or ritual area. The besom is sweeping away psychic dirt, getting the area purified for the upcoming ritual. The act of sweeping also helps to get the mind ready for the ritual, quieting the mind and narrowing the focus. It is also a purifier and is related to the element of water.
Here is an exercise from Priestess Aurora that you can do with your besom:
To use your besom to cleanse the home, and prepare it for sealing with sage, you first must insure that your broom has been consecrated and cleansed and has become a magickal extension of you. You also need to be sure that you’re in good spirits and not hanging on to any negative energy before you begin. Your intentions must be pure of heart and mind. Also, this is best done when you are going to be home alone so that you and your energy are the only things within the walls. If all of this is in place and you are ready to begin, place a small amount of sea salt in a line across the doorway that leads into the front of your home.
Next, depending on the size of your home, head to the top most floor and to the furthest back corner. If you are in an apartment go to the furthest back corner as well, which is usually a bedroom. Start by taking up your broom in your hands and envision a light of any color that is healing and happy to you. Many of us will use a white light since it is so pure and positive.
At the back corner of the room, begin to make a sweeping motion, not touching the broom to the floor but about an inch above the floor. We do not use our sacred broom for general house keeping of any type. Sweep the air to the center of the room, all the while chanting a small mantra something like this: "Naught but love enter here, all other energy is unwelcome."
Then move to the next back corner, again 'sweeping' the air to the center of the room. Move to the next corner and the last, repeating this process until all four corners are 'swept.'
Move to the center of the room, and say your mantra aloud in a normal tone of voice as you sweep the energy out of that room into the hallway. Continue this process in each room from the back of your home to the front door. Do not skip any rooms, including walk-in closets and bathrooms. Once you are standing at the front door, sweep the energy you have gathered from each room directly onto the sea salt. Visualize the salt becoming black or muddy.
Open your front door and repeat your mantra as you now sweep the air directly above the salt, in order to force it out the door and cast it to the wind. If you have a rather large lip at the doorframe, you first do the sweeping motion, visualization and then you can pick the salt up with a wet cloth and rinse it down the drain.
Now you can seal the home with sage or sweet grass as you would normally seal a spell.
Repeat this process each time you feel an uncomfortable shift in the air in your home. Remember, this too, is your sacred space.
Corvo Obsidian Sahjaza, Custos Libros and Sacred Scribe, Temple Sahjaza
FALL FERTILITY SPELL
The fertility spell indicated uses two apples, one of the fruits of fall.
Take an apple and cut it crossways through the core so that the center shows the star pentacle -- remove the seeds.
Take the second apple and remove the seeds as well as you did the first apple.
When you cut the apples, be sure not to cut the seeds. Lay the first two seeds out one from each apple the rest in a cup to the side. Swallow the first seed, from the first apple. Have your partner swallow the first seed from the second apple. Or you swallow both if your working by yourself on this spell.
As you swallow the first seed/s say “Aah, Oh, ou, aay, ele.”
As you swallow the first two seeds visualize the seeds being planted inside your waiting womb.
Take your cup of seeds, or take them in your hand, go out for a walk, or plant them here and there in your yard. Or you can just toss the rest of the seeds, as you continue to chant, “Aah, oh, ou, aay, ele,” and you walk till all the seeds are planted.
Relax with a cup of tea and enjoy your evening and know the first seeds are planted, in doing so your body is aware of your intent.
If your partner is working with you on this spell, feed each other the seeds and then walk hand in hand as you both chant, “Aah, Oh, ou, aay, ele.” as you plant the last seeds. When you get home or inside you will have the tea or dinner and lay with one another.
Fall is the time of gestation for many animals as well as humans. Blessed be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your seed.
~ Adapted from an old world fertility spell by Goddess Rosemary
“A stroke of luck or a gift from God?
The hand of fate or devil's claws?
From below or saints above?
You came to me.”
A STROKE OF LUCK
Song by Garbage
Warrior Talk The NA Elder's Meditation
"Silence is the cornerstone of character."
-- Charles Alexander Eastman, OHIYESA SANTEE SIOUX
Be still and know. Anyone can verbally attack another. Anyone can be a smart aleck. Anyone can be angry and tell other people things that will hurt them. Anyone can be sarcastic, devaluating and belittling. It takes a Warrior to be silent. Silence is so powerful. Silence can be so loving.
PRAYER FOR THE VOICELESS
Overcrowding and Neglect and killing of our animals trapped in shelters.
My prayers continue for a resolution for this slaughter.
Spay and neuter your animals.
It would be so nice if the corruption, at the expense of these many, hundreds and hundreds, of helpless animals would stop, this is outrageous, we are, as a country, better than this, to allow this. Hecate, St Francis and God and Goddess, we call on you to assist in exposing, and righting this wrongs and crimes committed against these helpless captives in the care of humanity.
Aid those who are striving to help assist the care needed to move to a better way of animal control and no kill shelters free traveling vet care and spay and neuter clinics. Expose those involved and deep in corruption and remove their power over these the helpless little ones who have no voice, no attorney no legal recourse or council to argue their captivity or sentences handed down for being homeless. When will this deplorable treatment stop.
We call on you our higher power to create a better situation for these animals.
Right wrongs and hand out swift justice create a new way of dealing with overpopulation through prevention and no kill options. Let it be so for all the creatures in need and let it be soon.
~ Goddess Rosemary
MILES’S DAVIS SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO CHILI
1/4 lb. suet (beef fat)
1 large onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork salt and pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can beef consommé
1 drop red wine vinegar
3 lb. spaghetti parmesan cheese oyster crackers
1. Melt suet in large heavy pot until liquid fat is about an inch high. Remove solid pieces of suet from pot and discard.
2. In same pot, sauté onion.
3. Combine meats in bowl; season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.
4. In another bowl, season kidney beans with salt and pepper.
5. Add meat to onions; sauté until brown.
6. Add kidney beans, consommé, and vinegar; simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
7. Add more seasonings to taste, if desired.
8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, and then divide among six plates.
9. Spoon meat mixture over each plate of spaghetti.
10. Top with Parmesan and serve oyster crackers on the side.
11. Open a Heineken.
2. John Szwed’s biography of Davis, “So What” mentions another chili that the trumpeter’s father taught him. The book includes the ingredients, but no instructions, save for serving it over pasta. Like a jazz musician, you’ll have to improvise.
3 large cloves of garlic
1 green, 1 red pepper
2 pounds ground lean chuck
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 jar of mustard
1/2 shot glass of vinegar
2 teaspoons of chili powder dashes of salt and pepper
pinto or kidney beans
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of beef broth
Serve over linguine
© 1976 – 2013 All rights reserved.
Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza -- Z/n.
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