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The Spellcaster's Reference
Magickal Timing for the Wheel of the Year
By Eileen Holland
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2009 Eileen Holland
All rights reserved.
Using This Book
The obvious use for The Spellcaster's Reference is to determine auspicious times to cast spells, perform rituals, or engage in other magickal operations. It can, however, also be used in many other ways. Perhaps the most important of these is to understand and use the Principle of Correspondences.
"As above, so below."
This basic metaphysical principle means that everything in the Universe is connected, that the macrocosm influences the microcosm. All things and beings share atoms that are in constant motion. Nothing ever actually stands still. Nothing is truly separate or distinct. Everything is connected, but some things are more connected than others.
The Principle of Correspondences is also called the Law of Association. Correspondences are magickal shortcuts, direct links between things. Knowledge of them is extremely useful, because they help to achieve results.
Correspondences are a particular interest of mine, and I have been researching them for a long time. I am fascinated by how they have been applied in so many cultures, faiths, and traditions throughout history. From Mesopotamia to China, from Nabatea to Ireland, and from India to the New World, we find magickal correspondences. There is often wide agreement, but with variations for local climate, fauna, and flora. Sometimes there are cultural or religious differences. Whatever the case, all correspondences are powerful, and you can make use of them to increase the effectiveness of your workings.
Here, we will briefly discuss ways to incorporate correspondences.
In classical correspondences "planets" mean the seven heavenly bodies that our ancestors could observe with the naked eye: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, the Moon, and the Sun. The remote planets and even major asteroids also affect everything with their vibrations, but here we will confine ourselves to those heavenly bodies about which the most lore has been accumulated.
Knowing which planet has dominion over a time period or an intent affords the opportunity to utilize that planet's correspondences in a working (see Hours, p. 102). It can help in deciding things such as which angels to evoke for a ritual, what flowers to use, or appropriate items to add to a spell bottle.
The elements recognized by most traditions are are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. As with the planets, knowing which elements have dominion over particular intentions or time periods affords the opportunity to utilize their correspondences in workings. Here are some basic examples:
Color: black, brown, green, ocher, russet
Tool: beeswax candle, pentacle
Charm: clay, honey, mud, musk, pottery, soil, yellow square
Animal: bison, buffalo, cattle, earthworm, goat, jaguar, mole, stag, tortoise, wolf, all burrowing creatures
Metal: coal, lead, mercury
Incense: amber, benzoin, musk, patchouli, sage, sandalwood
Plant: all, but especially grain, roots, banyan tree, all root vegetables
Goddess: Bona Dea, Ceres (Mother of Corn), Cerridwen, Coatlicue, Danu, Demeter (Queen of the Fruitful Earth), Gaia, Hebat, Isis (Lady of the Land, Queen of the Solid Earth, Goddess of Green Things), Ki, Nerthus, Ninhursag (Lady of the Stone Ground), Nokomis, Onatha, Ops, Parvati (Lady of the Mountain), Persephone, Pomona, Rhea, Sita, Terra Mater (Mother Earth), Tonantzin (Bringer of Maize)
God: Adonis, Arawn, Attis, Bacchus, Cernunnos (Lord of the Forest), the Dagda, Damuzi, Dionysus, Geb, Green Man, Horned God, Marduk (Lord of Growth), Osiris (The Great Green, Grain of the Gods), Pan (Lord of the Woods), Saturn
Evocation: dryads, gnomes, nature spirits, plant devas, Uriel
Color: blue, pale blue, sky blue, clear, white, pastels
Tool: athame, censer, sword, whistle
Charm: bellows, blue circle, fan, feather, flute, perfume
Stone: aventurine, lapis lazuli, clear quartz crystal
Animal: dragon, sphinx, all flying birds and insects
Metal: aluminum, mercury
Fungus: fly agaric, puffball
Plant: almond, angelica, anise, baby's breath, cedar, citronella, all citrus, dandelion, freesia, white geranium, goldenrod, honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, lilac, pansy, parsley, pennyroyal, snowdrop, thyme, wormwood, yarrow, all plants and trees with spores, aerial roots, fluffy seed heads, winged seed pods, or which provide incense
Goddess: Aditi (Cosmic Space), Aine, Allat, Aradia, Arianrhod, Cardea, Cybele, Freya, Frigg, Hathor (Lady of Heaven), Hera, Iris, Isis (Mistress of the Sky), Juno, Lilith, Mary, Nut, Sekhmet, Semiramis
God: Adad, Amon (The Invisible One), Anu (Expanse of Heaven), Baal (Rider of the Clouds), Boreas, Enlil (Lord of Air), Great Spirit, Horus, Hurukan, Indra (God of the Blue Vault), Jupiter, Kephera, Krishna (Infinite One), Marduk (Wakener of Winds), Mercury, Odin, Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent, Nine Wind), Shiva, Thor, Thoth
Evocation: angels, elves, fairies, Pegasus, Raphael
Color: gold, orange, hot pink, red, white
Tool: athame, candle, censer, sword
Charm: bonfire, civet, star, red triangle
Stone: coal, flint, hematite, red jasper, lava, obsidian
Animal: dragon, horse, lion, phoenix, salamander, snake
Metal: brass, gold, iron, steel
Incense: brimstone, copal, dragon's blood, frankincense, rose, rosemary
Plant: cactus, carnation, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, dittany of Crete, eye of Satan, garlic, ginger, High John, horseradish, jalapeño pepper, marigold, mustard, nettle, nutmeg, onion, pepper, radish, rowan, sunflower, tobacco
Goddess: Aetna, Ashtoreth, Ayida Wedo, Bast, Brigid (The Bright One, Lady of the Forge), Chantico (Lady of the Hearth), Coatlicue, Fuji, Graine, Hestia, Kali, Oya, Pelé, Vesta (The Shining One)
God: Agni (Divine Fire), Baal, Belenus (The Brilliant One), Dazhbog, Hephaestus, Lugh (The Shining One), Mithras, Ogun (Lord of Metals), Prometheus, Shango, Tsao Chun (Lord of the Hearth), Vulcan
Evocation: djinna, Michael, Raphael, seraphs, Uriel
Color: aqua, black, blue, clear, green, sea green, ultramarine, white
Tool: bowl, cauldron, chalice
Charm: ambergris, ice, rain, tears, inverted triangle
Stone: blue lace agate, aquamarine, coral, mother-of-pearl, water opal, pearl, clear quartz crystal, river rock, sea salt
Animal: crab, crocodile, dolphin, fish, frog, porpoise, seabirds, diving and wading birds, all marine life
Metal: copper, mercury, silver
Incense: camphor, coconut, myrrh, strawberry, vanilla
Plant: bat nut, cabbage, calamus, camellia, cantaloupe, cattail, cucumber, driftwood, eryngo, eucalyptus, fern, frangipani, gardenia, kelp, lettuce, lotus, papyrus, rice, rushes, watercress, watermelon, water lily, willow, aromatic rush roots, all gourds, reeds, aquatic plants, succulent plants, and those that grow near water
Goddess: Anahita (Great Goddess of Waters), Atargatis, Benzaiten, Boann, Chalchihuitlcue, Coventina, Danu, Ganga, Ilmatar, Inanna, Luonnotar (The Water Mother), Nantosuelta, Nehalennia (The Seafarer), Oshun, Ran, Sarasvati (Flowing Water), Sulis, Tefnut, Tiamat, Yemaya (Holy Queen Sea)
God: Aegir, Apsu, Dagon, Dylan, Ea (Lord of the House of Water), Enki (God of the Sweet Waters), Hapy, Mannan, Neptune, Njoerd, Poseidon, Tlaloc, Yamm (Prince Sea)
Evocation: Gabriel, Ganymede, merfolk, Michael, nereids, Raphael, water nymphs
Direction may determine which way you face during a ritual, or while casting a spell. Alternatively, they can help decide things like how to stir a potion, or where to place candles during a working.
You may incorporate color into a working with your choice of things like fabric for a charm bag, a robe for a ritual, candles for a spell, or an altar cloth for a season.
You can incorporate numbers by answering the question "How many?" Examples include how many times you repeat an incantation during a working, how many ingredients you add to a magickal recipe, how many of a deity's titles you use during an invocation, how many candles you place on an altar, how many participants speak during a ritual, or how many knots you tie in a mojo bag.
You may incorporate metal by your choice of tool for a working—an iron cauldron or a copper wand. You may instead reflect it in altar furnishings like a brass brazier or silver candlesticks. Many different types of objects can be used— copper pennies that you add to a charm bag, or jewelry like a gold necklace or platinum ring that you wear during a ritual.
You can incorporate a stone by wearing it during a working, such as an amber necklace or a pearl brooch. You may instead place the stone on the altar, using a large crystal, an amethyst sphere, or a dish of turquoise pieces. Small stones can be used in many ways, for instance to encircle candles while spells are cast, or to weave into witch's ladders.
Real animals, as well as mythical creatures like basilisks and unicorns, are included in this category. The best results are obtained from workings that do not harm animals. Items that have been acquired without causing harm have no negative vibrations that can make your magick go awry. For this reason, images of animals are widely employed instead of actual creatures.
You can wear things like ceramic scarabs and carved stone fetishes on necklaces, for example, or add similar items to medicine pouches. Alternatively, you can place images of creatures—such as wood carvings or clay sculptures—on altars during workings. You can use representations of animals to decorate clothing—for example, a phoenix kimono or a dragon T-shirt that you wear during a working. Magickal tools can also represent animals, like a serpentine wand, or bear images of animals, like a knife with a lion on its handles.
You can also incorporate items provided by animals, such as feathers, into your workings. This means only using things that animals have shed naturally, like fur or snakeskin, or cast off after death, like seashells. You can place shark's teeth or cat hairs into spell bottles, for instance.
Here are a few examples of the myriad ways that plants can be used magickally. Dried flowers and herbs can be added to wax when candles are made, or ground and added to magickal powders. Fresh flowers can be used to decorate altars and ritual spaces, or woven into chaplets or garlands to wear during workings. Seeds and dried herbs can be added to mojo bags. Wood that is appropriate to a working could be used to kindle a ritual fire for it.
Creativity and imagination are your only limits, except to use common sense. Do not work with plants to which you are allergic. Toxic plants such as henbane or poison hemlock are better avoided. If a plant is illegal where you live, find a magickal substitute for it and use that instead. In this book, poisonous or dangerous substances will be marked with the icon. The best magickal results are generally obtained when a working incorporates only those plants which correspond to its intent, or to its timing.
Fungi can be used in the same way as plants. You can add dried mushrooms, for example, to spell bottles and charm bags. You can safely avoid poisonous fungi by only using fungi that are sold as food.
Burning an appropriate incense can greatly empower a working. You can burn a vanilla joss stick, toss frankincense tears onto a brazier, smolder dragon's blood resin on a charcoal disk, or burn a cone of sandalwood incense or a dried branch of rosemary. The method is not important. What matters is that the incense correspond to the intent or the timing of the ritual, spell, or other magickal working.
A charm is an object that is incorporated into a working. It can be honey or an egg you eat, milk or wine you drink, ambergris incense you burn, almond oil or musk cologne you use for anointing, a piece of driftwood you add to a fire, a tool you use, or something you wear. A charm may also take the form of an image or an item you place on an altar, at the center of a ritual circle, or elsewhere. I provide a great variety of charms in this book.
Invocation is an appeal to a higher power. Gods and/or goddesses can be invoked to empower magick. This is especially true when they are specific to a working, or to the auspicious time for it. This book can be used to determine whom it is appropriate to invoke at any given time. When a deity has a relevant title, it is provided in parentheses after his or her name. An example of this is Juno (Light of Heaven), a title for that Roman goddess in her solar aspect.
Invocation may be voiced or psychic, formal or informal—whatever seems correct to you. Remember that it is always polite to show respect and thank deities after you have called upon them.
You can also appeal to lesser beings than deities for help in magick and rituals. These include angels, demigods, fairies, heroes, nymphs, and other mythological figures. These beings are evoked rather than invoked. Simply saying their names aloud and sincerely requesting their assistance is usually sufficient. With this book, you can identify appropriate entities to evoke for workings at specific times.
Rituals and Spells
You can use the information provided here to create spells and rituals, as well as schedule them. Several examples follow. Use them to help create your own magickal workings.
A Ritual for Justice
Let us suppose that you and the members of your metaphysical circle are concerned about justice being done in an impending murder trial. You discuss it and decide to hold a ritual to influence the trial's outcome. Checking Part 4 of this book, Intent and Magickal Timing, you discover these correspondences under "Justice":
Monday/Thursday / Saturday/first hour after sunrise on Sunday, Thursday, or Saturday/first hour after sunset on Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday/Waning Moon/Dark Moon/Full Moon in October/October / Libra/Pisces
To bring someone to justice: Saturday/first hour after sunrise on Saturday/first hour after sunset on Tuesday
You are all outraged by the murder, believe that the accused is guilty of it, and want him convicted. The calendar tells you that the Full Moon, one week hence, will fall on a Saturday. It seems clear that holding your ritual at dawn on that Saturday is very auspicious, so that is when you schedule it.
You consult this book's correspondences for Saturday and plan the rite. Everyone agrees to dress in black, wear diamond jewelry, and hold black feathers. You will use seven dark blue pillar candles to delineate the ritual area, each surrounded by a ring of poppy seeds. You will burn frankincense and invoke the Norns.
A Spell to Banish Negativity
Imagine that meditation has helped you to identify a negative pattern that you keep repeating in your life. You are determined to banish this. A friend has given you a Banishing Spell that you think will be good, but you must choose a time to cast it. You check Part 4, and note these correspondences for Banishing:
Sunset/Saturday / first hour after sunrise on Tuesday or Saturday/first hour after sunset on Tuesday or Friday/Waning Year/ Waning Moon/ Waning Crescent Moon/ Dark Moon/ Full Moon in February, September, October, November, or December/ Disseminating Moon/Winter / January
It's July, so you are in the Waning Year. The Waning Moon will begin in a few days, so you decide to wait for that. Sunset feels auspicious to you. It is also convenient, so you decide to cast the spell at sunset on your next day off.
As directed by the spell, you gather items that represent the negative pattern and put them on your altar. The spell does not mention other props, so you refer to this book's correspondences for sunset. With their aid, you decide to burn purple candles and jasmine incense while you cast the spell. You also decide to invoke Dusk Zorya and request her help with the banishing.
A Personal Ritual for Strength
Suppose that physical weakness has been a problem for you. You face some upcoming challenges and need to be strong enough to meet them, so you decide to create a personal ritual. You check Part 4, and find these correspondences for Strength:
Sunday/Tuesday / first hour after sunrise on Sunday or Tuesday/first hour after sunset on Wednesday or Friday/Summer / June/ Aries/Taurus / Leo
physical strength: Sunday/Tuesday/ first hour after sunrise on Tuesday/ first hour after sunset on Friday/ Sagittarius
Physical strength is your primary concern. You decide to hold your rite on a Tuesday, and consult an almanac to choose a time that is under the House of Sagittarius. You refer to this book's section on the Zodiac for Sagittarius correspondences, and design your ritual. Four purple candles will mark the quarters. The altar will have a censer of dragon's blood and a large vase of peacock feathers on it. You will wear a purple robe and an amethyst ring. While holding a bow or an arrow, you will invoke Artemis and Apollo, and ask them to send you strength with the speed of an arrow's flight.
Excerpted from The Spellcaster's Reference by Eileen Holland. Copyright © 2009 Eileen Holland. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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