Old Girls' Book of Spells: the real meaning of menopause, sex, car keys, and other important stuff about magicby Cal Garrison
Witchcraft, magic, and spell work are as old as time itself. But the "Sixth Sense," or mental pathway that controls thought processes, lies dormant for many women. Menopause changes all that
"Speeding tickets are an expensive nuisance. Use this spell on the day you have to show up in traffic court." Plus, a whole lot more real-life spells for real-life problems.
Witchcraft, magic, and spell work are as old as time itself. But the "Sixth Sense," or mental pathway that controls thought processes, lies dormant for many women. Menopause changes all that - and the Third Eye is free to function. In The Old Girl's Book of Spells, author Cal Garrison urges women "of a certain age" to embrace their hot flashes and understand that menopause is a portal that can take them to higher levels of consciousness.
With a sly sense of humor and the wisdom of experience, Garrison conjures guaranteed spells for all aspects of life. From conquering insomnia to dealing with almost-adult children, she offers her time-tested, old girl's tips for using the power of focused intentions to work magic.
� An unwanted house guest? Invoke the "Don't Come Around Here No More" spell.
� Suffering from memory loss? Try the "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are" spell.
� Afraid of flying? Pack a "Mojo" bag in your carry-on.
� Rough day? Imbibe a witch's brew - "Mother of the Skye's Magnificent Margarita."
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The Old Girls' Book of Spells
the real meaning of menopause, sex, car keys & other important stuff
By CAL GARRISON
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2002 Cal Garrison
All rights reserved.
The Real Meaning of Menopause & Other Important Stuff about Magic
Witchcraft, magic, and spell work are as old as time itself. There was a time, long before the Great Deluge, when the inhabitants of this planet had total control of their thought processes and could manifest anything just by thinking about it. But this "sixth sense," which was once as much a part of us as the other five, we now call "supernatural," simply because the mental pathway that accesses it has atrophied. Even though it appears as if we've lost that ability it is probably more accurate to say that it lies dormant. Somewhere in our collective unconscious, each one of us remembers how to awaken the sixth sense.
Our connection to our psychic abilities and our ability to tap our sixth sense actually strengthens as we become women of a certain age, or crones. Up until puberty the pineal gland, the gland that houses the third eye, is open and clear. Around the time we get our periods a shield of calcium forms around this gland. I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with needing all the higher vibrational energy to mate, conceive, and reproduce. This calcium shield stays in place until menopause, but at menopause it dissolves and the third eye is free to function without obstruction again.
All the freaking out that goes with having your period stop, all the emotional ups and downs, are really about the adjustment we make as these higher sensory perceptions reawaken. Even hot flashes are an expression of vital kundalini energy; they tell us to take all that heat and send it up to the third eye.
If it seems ridiculous to you that anyone would think about writing a book of spells expressly for crones, it should seem more ridiculous that it hasn't been done before. In the ancient Egyptian spiritual traditions women were not even considered to be ready for initiation until the age of forty-five. At that point, if a woman was chosen as a candidate for the priestess path, she had to spend the next twelve years in the temples of initiation that lined the Nile. Do the math. It took them till the age of fifty-seven to get to a place in themselves where their wisdom amounted to anything. Why we live in a culture that diminishes the power of the "elder" female is a question that is buried under mountains of patriarchal manipulation. The Egyptians must have known something about menopausal forces that we've certainly lost touch with. Here we are pumping hormones and whining about hot flashes when we could be connecting with the God head!
Menopause is a portal that takes us to higher levels of awareness. Younger women have it all going on in the "T & A" department, but their psychic intuitive abilities are clouded by the fact that 90 percent of that energy is going into their sexual-reproductive functions. After menopause, that force can't come forth reproductively anymore, but it doesn't disappear. But no one tells us that there's another purpose for that energy, so we accept it as a nuisance and take hormones to suppress it. In this book we'll be looking at using it to feed the higher spiritual centers instead.
There's a reason why all the old etchings and engravings of witches and their "doings" portray images of women with a lot of chin hairs whose bodies aren't exactly Playboy material. As crones, we have "the gift," girls! Maybe now that the veil is being lifted on all the secrets, the one that's kept menopausal women relegated to the junk bin will get blown away too.
A lot of what's in the book is spells—all kinds of spells that are particularly appropriate to our time of life. Spells for reviving passion, spells for bringing you business or getting a better job, spells to clear bad vibes in your home, spells to help you find your car keys (or any other lost object), spells to help you sell your home, spells for protecting you while you travel, spells for voiding a traffic citation. Some people will think you're crazy when you start talking about spell work, but it's really not crazy at all. The images that many of us associate with witchcraft, magic, and spell work hark back to the days of the Inquisition; they're bogus. There's nothing spooky or hocuspocus here to steer clear of. Doing a spell is a simple matter of focusing and directing your thoughts on something that you would like to make happen in your life. It's an excellent way to direct wayward thoughts toward a constructive goal.
It's easier for most people to swallow the idea of "the power of positive thinking" than it is to consider "doing a spell" because it doesn't offend our puritanical programming. I am pretty sure Norman Vincent Peale was no fan of "The Great Beast." Nor am I. Even though there are plenty of people that worship Satan and practice the black arts, I am not concerned with these things in any way, shape, or form. At its essence, there's absolutely no difference between doing a spell and using positive thinking.
HOW DID I GET HERE?
My first experience with the enormous power of focused intentions happened when I was about ten years old. I was sitting in the back of the station wagon and my thirteen-year-old sister, Christine, was up front with her best friend Marcia. The two of them were making fun of me, and I was enraged at being humiliated and rejected. Christine and I had "issues" that dated back to her attempt to poison me when I was six. She had always had it in for me, and I never knew why. Whatever my feelings were toward her on that day, they must have reached critical mass. I wanted to retaliate, but all I could find in the back of the car was a common pin and a pointed Dixie cup. I fashioned a missile by sticking the pin through the point of the cup. Fueled with the force of my clear intention I aimed this little rocket at Christine and it flew right up her left nostril. I couldn't believe it but at the same time I wasn't the least bit surprised because that's exactly where I wanted it to go.
As I got older the witchy thing was something I adopted as a look. When I was in high school you had to dress preppy to be in. I looked too much like a sexually ambiguous gym teacher in those waspy outfits to get any attention from the boys. Thank God the Beatles came along and brought the "mod" look with them. I caked on the eyeliner and loaded up with black stockings and little pointy-toed black shoes. I traded my John Meyer of Norwich clothes for Edwardian frocks designed by Mary Quant. I turned myself into a little teen witch and got a huge amount of mileage out of being different. The deeper meanings of needing to look this way got lost behind clouds of marijuana smoke. But by the time I was eighteen, I was reading Tarot cards, and by the time I was twentythree, I was doing spells. I had no idea what any of this was but it came very naturally to me.
I had a very turbulent and changeable love life when I was young and all of the magic I did centered on attracting love. When I was alone, I'd sit for hours and focus my mind on the person I was enamored with until I could see them in my inner vision. When their image was clear I would speak to them as if they were there with me, tell them how I felt, and mentally invite them to respond. Sometimes they materialized immediately. Sometimes I would get someone other than the person I was focusing on, but something always happened.
As I got more comfortable with what I was doing, I made small figures out of red wax to symbolize the object of my affection. I carved their names into the wax, wrapped these little "poppets" in red silk or felt, lit a candle, and spoke my intentions out loud. Later on I began anointing the wax figures with oils and writing down on paper whatever it was that I wanted to happen. These slips of paper were burned, buried, or carried with me, along with the little wax effigies. I want to repeat here that I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't read books on the subject because as far as I knew there were none. All of this came naturally. In some part of my self, spell work was something I just knew how to do.
During this time I was living in the country and spent a lot of time walking through the fields and woodlands. As I walked, I noticed the plants growing in the area. I knew somewhere inside myself that they were good for something, so I'd dig them up, take them home, and identify them using a stockpile of books on herbalism that I rooted out of my grandmother-in-law's bookcase. Pretty soon my house began to look like a tobacco barn, with dried herbs and weeds hanging everywhere. Trusting souls came to me when they were sick and walked away with teas, tinctures, and salves for whatever ailed them.
My knowledge of healing came from applying everything I read through trial and error. I read somewhere that mullein leaves soaked in oil for a month cured earaches. My oldest daughter was one of those babies that had a ton of earaches, so she was my first guinea pig. A few drops of warm mullein oil in Eliza's little ears saved me so many sleepless nights walking the floor with her, not to mention what it would have cost me to buy antibiotics. I learned that burdock roots boiled into a tea purified the blood, so I tried it and it made me feel like "Superwoman". I read that yarrow leaves stopped bleeding, so I used them every time I had a nosebleed and found them very effective. I had a surefire cure for poison ivy that I made out of Solomon's Seal root. When I discovered that these herbs had magical properties as well, I began incorporating them into my spell work.
Somewhere along the line someone passed a booklet on to me that drew connections between everything that grew in the wild and the planets that ruled them. Any herb, flower, root, bark, or seed vibrates at a specific frequency. These frequencies resonate with corresponding planetary vibrations. Plants that have an affinity with Venus are useful in love spells because by the Law of Similars, or the Hermetic Axiom, they have the capacity to attract the Venusian influence. Any plant that is ruled by Mars will draw support from that planet for spells that are meant to enhance courage, strength, and physical passion.
I also began studying astrology in 1964. My father, who wasn't into any of these things but was open minded enough to understand that I was a little "different," went out and bought me my first astrology book as a Christmas gift. I was sixteen. Over the next six years I devoured every book I could find on the subject and, by a stroke of good luck, ended up living one town away from a world famous astrologer. When he offered to teach classes at his home, I was there with bells on. Looking back, it amazes me that I had no sense that all of these interests were weaving themselves together in my life. Aside from the fact that the astrology lessons formed the basis for my career as a professional astrologer, what I learned about the stars made it possible for me to incorporate knowledge of the lunar cycles and planetary affinities into my spell work.
It wasn't until I was forty that I discovered that what had come naturally to me had a name, Wicca. Wicca as we know it today is the surviving remnant of the female druidic teachings. By that time my life had taken so many twists and turns there were a million reasons that I needed spell work! My mid-life crisis uprooted me completely and I ended up out in the boon-docks with a wild and crazy ex-Marine. Our plans to build a self-sufficient lifestyle got blown out of the water when he went on a hell of a bender. My kids looked at me one day and said, "Ma, we gotta get outta here!" So, we loaded up the Jimmy and split.
We ended up on welfare and times were pretty tough. It was then that the whole concept of practical magic really began to kick in. When I wasn't looking for work, I was casting circles and doing spells like a maniac. Through some sort of feminine magnetism, this magic drew a group of great women into my life. They were all into Wicca too. We started doing circles at the New and Full Moons, and at the equinoxes and the solstices, performing rituals to attract success, abundance, love, health, and anything else we needed. We used Wicca because we had no other way to help ourselves. We used our circle work to bring about changes that we were hard pressed to make any other way.
We never became strict about our rituals. We didn't go in for initiations, great rites, or formal hierarchal structures. We practiced together when we felt like it and alone when it seemed more appropriate. Our magic was more akin to what the peasant women on the heaths and moors of the British Isles must have practiced way back when, whenever they were in need of something.
A FEW WORDS TO THE WISE
It's important to remember that the need to cast a spell is based in desires that are plain and simple. Sophisticated, arcane, elaborate rituals are unnecessary. Special knowledge helps, but it's far better to be connected to the wish with your heart and mind than it is to be an expert at repeating by rote someone else's words.
There is definitely an art to doing any type of spell work, but it comes from practice and experience and is totally an individual thing. As you acquire more experience you eventually learn what works and what doesn't. Keeping a record of what you do can help. The old books refer to this type of journal as "A Book of Shadows," but you can call it whatever you want. The point is, if you make things too complicated you'll be too intimidated to go ahead and just do it, so don't drive yourself crazy thinking that you're not ready or don't know enough. If you want to start doing spells, do it. Spell work is a natural thing and it will open doors that will take you to a million other places.
A warning: Before I go into more detail there is one thing I want you to remember. When you do this type of work you must keep in mind that only what is of the light, and only what is in the highest good for all concerned can be focused upon. If you are in love with someone, for instance, and they are already involved, it is in no one's highest good to work a spell to attract them. I have seen terrible results come to people who do this type of thing. Neither can you wish harm upon anyone or try in any way to overturn conditions in someone else's life in order to further the conditions in your own. There is a reason for this and it is best summed up in what is known as "The Wiccan Rede."
Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love, in perfect trust.
Eight words the Wiccan rede fulfill;
An ye harm none, do as ye will.
And ever mind the rule of three:
What ye send out, comes back to thee.
Follow this with mind and heart,
And merry ye meet, and merry ye part.
This is another way of saying "what goes around comes around." And believe me when I tell you, it does. We Wiccans say that anything you put out into the universe will come back to you three times. If your intentions have any form of negativity attached to them, you need to understand that you will receive back in triplicate whatever you send out. With that in mind, let's move on, and I'll share with you what I've learned.
Preparation: Picking the Time, Purification, Paraphernalia
I said we'd keep things simple, but let's face it, there's a difference between doing a spell and brushing your teeth! It's always important to prepare yourself to do spell work.
Timing. Certain spells are said to work best at particular phases of the moon or on specific days of the week. If you're doing work that involves attracting something to you, for example, it's best to do your spell between the New and the Full Moon. When the Moon is waxing, energy is building and this force is so magnetic it causes whatever we wish for to come straight to us. The druids taught that the sixth day after the New Moon was the most potent time to attract positive influences into your life.
If you're focusing on banishing influences that are blocking you in some way, then you'll want to pick a time during the two-week period where the Moon is waning. As the Moon passes fullness, it starts to shrink. Any spell you cast at this time will be affected by influences that cause problems to get smaller, be released, or disappear.
The following list will help you choose the most appropriate day for any given spell, but let me add that while picking the right day helps, most of us are too busy to be bothered, and any day will do in a pinch.
Emotional issues, children, birthing, growth, security, the mother, the family, or the home.
Guts, self-assertion, physical strength, or raw sexual energy.
Communication, travel, paper signing, or learning. Remember, Mercury is Quicksilver—it moves quickly. Your spells will manifest much faster if you work on a Wednesday.
Wealth, luck, and good fortune. Jupiter is a "legal" planet too, so if you're going to court, use Thursdays for your "litigious" spells.
Excerpted from The Old Girls' Book of Spells by CAL GARRISON. Copyright © 2002 Cal Garrison. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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