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November Newsletter 2021

November 02, 2021

In Western pagan traditions, the four elements of nature, earth, air, water, and fire, form the basis of natural magic. Honoring these elements is a part of most contemporary pagan rituals. Ceremonies usually begin with the casting of a ritual circle, and at the quarter-points, the four directions and their corresponding elements are acknowledged and bid welcome.

The Witch’s Supply Box for November explores the element of Earth.

"Attuning and working with these energies in magic not only lends you the power to affect dramatic changes in your life, but it also allows you to sense your own place in the larger scheme of Nature."
~Scott Cunningham, Earth Power~

Element: Earth
Gender: Feminine
Planet: New Moon/Dark Moon, Saturn, Venus, Earth.
Time: Midnight
Season: Winter
Direction: North (in most traditions).
Zodiac: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
Energies: The sense of safety and security, purpose, self-worth, work ethic, abundance, fertility, and receptivity.
Symbols: Pentacle, soil, trees, mountains, valleys, geological structures, rocks, sand, root chakra.
Deities: Gaia, Macha, Saturn, Pan, Demeter, Artemis, Danu, Ceres, Cernunnos, Adonis, Dionysus.
Nature Spirits: Gnomes, Trolls, Dwarfs.
Colors: Green, Brown, Black.
Herbs and Plants: Oak, Ivy, Corn, Rice, Acorns, Apples, Dandelion Root, Licorice Root, Violet.
Crystals and Gemstones: Garnet, Hematite, Jasper, Aventurine, Coal, Copper, Salt, Iron Ore, Larvikite.
Animals: Cattle, Tortoise, Rabbit, Deer, Snake, Bear, Ant, Dog.
Traditional Tool: Pentacle, Coin.
Altar Objects for Earth: The altar (base) itself, Plate, Ceramics, Coin, Rock, Dish of soil, Sand or Salt, Food (especially fruits, vegetables, or grain foods), Candle (green, brown, or black), Deity statue, Horn or Bone, Acorns, Seeds, Images of trees and mountains, Oil (Patchouli, Vetiver, Evergreen) Tarot Ace of Pentacles

The contents of your supply box may be used to set up an altar to the element of Earth.


Connecting with the Element of Earth through Grounding
One of the most useful tools in the magical practitioner’s toolbox is grounding, a term used to describe any techniques which are used to bring you back in contact with the present moment.

Magical practitioners typically practice grounding before and after a ritual or magical working. Before the working, grounding gives you the energy and strength for the work and helps you shut out distractions so that all your attention is focused on your work. After ending a ritual or magical working grounding channels any remaining, excess energy out of you and into the ground.

Grounding techniques may also be used when you are feeling drained energetically, you have been spending a lot of time around others or attended a large event, you are taking care of other people and need to take time to care for yourself.

Simple Ways to Ground

Feel your feet. Either sitting or standing, place all your awareness on the bottom of your feet.

Follow your breath. Close your eyes and as you inhale, follow the air as it enters your nose and goes into your lungs. On the exhale, follow the air as it leaves your lungs and exits through your nose or mouth. Observe the breath instead of forcing it with your mind.

Be a Tree. Stand with your feet parallel and at least shoulder’s width apart. Tuck your chin and keep your spine straight, your hands resting at your side. While standing straight imagine your energy flowing down your spine. Sink all your body’s weight and tension into your feet allowing it to be absorbed deep into the Earth. Imagine roots growing out the bottom of your feet, extending deep into the ground beneath you.

Get on the Ground. Sitting in a comfortable position, palms of your hands on the ground or floor, or lying down, placing your body flat on the ground or floor. Take three deep breaths. Imagine the energy flowing through your hands and the rest of your body and into the Earth.
Being grounded is the feeling of having your energy balanced and calm even when circumstances are hectic. Grounding technique gets more effective with practice.

Other suggestions for connecting with the element of Earth:
A walk outside, bare foot if possible.
Focusing on the food you’re eating.
Gardening
Hiking
Putting on music and moving your body.

Divination for November – a One-card draw and Interpretation
Deck: Earth Warriors Oracle by Alana Fairchild, published by Blue Angel Publishing.
Card: Mama Quilla - Mandala of the Moon
November is likely to bring changes that may or may not be readily evident or welcome. Since it is the beginning of a new turning of the Wheel of the Year, it is important to remember that everything has its own cycle. While the work continues, it is important to recognize the natural rhythm and work with it rather than fight against it. Go with the flow when possible, and rest when opportunity to do so is presented. When a confrontation is called for, weigh the cost against the possible outcome.

A certain amount of trust may be called for this month. Even if well-laid plans do not go exactly as intended, rather than trying to exert more control, it may be better to step back and trust that the new course might be even more beneficial. The potential for creative endeavors to bear fruit this month is also good.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A READING

1. How do I pick the right reader for me?
Trust your intuition and focus on the person’s energy. You should feel comfortable with them.  Some readers tap into Spirit with only their intuition. Others use various tools. I primarily use intuition. But especially when reading at the shop or an event with many readings back to back, I add Tarot, oracle cards, pendulum and/or numerology to enhance the process and confirm my intuition. Other readers use runes, bones, astrology, etc . All these tools have their own power and vibration, but serve as a jumping off point for intuition.  

On the other hand, some readers do not claim to be psychic, but use their skill at interpreting Tarot, your astrology chart, or other methods. You may also find yourself drawn to readers who use a particular method, particularly if you are learning that method yourself.

2. What kind of questions should I ask?
I find the best use of a reading is to help you be more proactive, clarify your situation, offer new options, the likely consequences of each, and the best ways to improve the outcome.  A reading can also  confirm your own intuition, or let you know when you are on the right track.  

Time works differently on the other side, so “when” answers are always relative, as well as subject to your free will and the free will of others in a situation.  Questions that focus on how to get to your intended goal can be very rich and productive

When asking about a third party, like a love interest or coworker, it is best to focus on what you need to know about your part in the relationship, what you are learning from this relationship, and the advantages and disadvantages of staying or moving on.      

3. What if I don’t have a special question?
The reader can offer a general overview of what you most need to know, or just focus on an area of your life, like career, relationships or your spiritual path.  But often, the more specific the question, the more specific the answer can be. So I encourage people to ask questions as they occur during a reading. That said, some readers do not take questions, or ask you to hold them until the end, so it depends on their personal style.  

4. I asked a reader a question, but most of the reading was about a different subject. Why?
I call this “shaking the apple tree and getting oranges”.  It doesn’t happen often, but usually means that Spirit has a different priority, and is taking the opportunity to deliver a timely message you need.

If time allows, a reader can include your original question, but keep an open mind and put the surprise information on your radar.  I find I always get the answers I needed most, not always the information I expected.

For example, long ago I did a reading about my business, but the cards clearly focused on someone I had just started dating. I reshuffled, concentrating on my business, and got most of the same cards! I felt frustrated, but the reading made it clear that their ex was going to come back and cause trouble, and boy was that true! So in that case, forewarned was forearmed.

Most people are very nervous about their first reading, concerned that they will hear something “bad”.  But knowledge is power, and a good reader will focus on arming you with strategies to improve the situation, giving you hope and helping redirect you to where you can flourish.  Free will is always in operation, and very few situations are carved in stone.

Pamela Shook has been reading Tarot professionally for over 30 years. She reads at the shop on Sundays from 1-6pm, and serves an international clientele online through Etsy. 


Circle Cast for The Quarters

Earth: The Sun sets and we are enrobed in the longest darkness. There are distant stars and a sliver of Moon. We plant our feet firmly on the cold earth and welcome the healing of endarkenment. Spirits that tend the lives of the dear old Earth, we welcome you to our Solstice circle. Welcome!

Air: The Sun rises on a new day, a new agricultural year. The day is seconds longer and will continue to grow until Midsummer. We are inspired by the brisk cold of winter air, still, bright. Flights of imagination that refresh our creativity, we welcome you to our Solstice circle. Welcome!

Fire: The Sun sinks into the burning Yule log, warming and enchanting us. We peer into the flames and read the omens dancing there. When the omens are good, we dance our gratitude. Flames of hidden knowledge, we welcome you to our Solstice circle. Welcome!

Water: The Sun’s face is reflected in the quiet pond whose edges are frozen, matted with dead leaves and water-weeds. We wait at the edge, knowing it will soften in due time--teaching us patience in our quest for transformation. Water and ice, frost and snow, teachers of patience, you are welcome to our Solstice circle. Welcome!

Release quarters

Water: Spirits of water, of transformation, we are grateful for your presence on this near-Solstice night. With love, we set you free. Blessed be.

Fire: Spirits of fire, of kindred and love, we are grateful for your presence on this near-Solstice night. With love, we set you free. Blessed be.

Air: Spirits of air, of inspiration, we are grateful for your presence on this near- Solstice night. With love, we set you free. Blessed be.

Earth: Spirits of Earth, of the cycle that tends us, we are grateful for your presence on this near-Solstice night. With love, we set you free. Blessed be.

Scents-ibility for November: Aromatherapy by Star

November marks the start of a new cycle for many Witches and Pagans in the northern hemisphere. We have honoured and remembered our dead, put our gardens to bed for the coming winter, and after a brief respite, can begin planning for the new cycle of the wheel.

November also holds the secular holiday of Thanksgiving which falls on the fourth Thursday of the month each year in the U.S. In contrast to the stories of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621 between pilgrims and Native Americans, it is important to note that many Native Americans recognize it as a "Day of Mourning." Some scholars, like journalism professor, Robert William Jensen, have even called for eliminating Thanksgiving and replacing it with a "National Day of Atonement."

The concept of Thanksgiving is not unique to North America and its origins are derived from harvest festivals that can be traced back to ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, comes from Greek mythology and the story of Zeus accidentally breaking off one of the horns of the goat who nursed him. It may interest some to know that the spices of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg which figure prominently in Thanksgiving pies are also connected to Zeus and prosperity.

I tend to think of November as the month of Gratitude. It is a great time to reflect on the past cycle, examining what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes the things we can be the most thankful for are things that did not work!

When it comes to scents and aromatherapy, November is full savory and spicy scents for most people. Even before the seemingly never-ending pandemic overtook us, more time spent indoors often meant more chances to be exposed to cold and flu viruses. The aromas we associate with holiday cooking are also useful in keeping ill health at bay.

Clove and cinnamon both possess antiseptic and anti-microbial properties. Nutmeg while not having any anti-microbial aspect does have an antiseptic effect. The other things all three have in common is their ability to ease digestive upset and their ability as antispasmodics. If I was going to design a holiday that involved overeating, in a month where viruses abounded, these essential oils or essences would be pretty high on my list!

Magically speaking, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg are a trifecta that offer protection, prosperity, physical strength and well-being, and can amplify psychic awareness. Using these scents as a way to convey gratitude seems like it could also be a roadmap to creating more prosperity in the process.

During the month of gratitude, we can use each day to contemplate what we are thankful for, even it is something that did not happen. Employing scent can help us to explore the sources of our gratitude. Aromas can also help us to express our gratitude - whether as an offering to the Gods; as a gift to our friends; or simply as a reminder to ourselves to be grateful.

Blend for Gratitude:

2 drops of Cinnamon essential oil
2 drops of Clove essential oil
1 drop of Nutmeg
1 drop of Benzoin
1 drops of Lemon essential oil
To apply topically:
Blend with 1-2 oz of Sweet Almond
Shake well before each use

To use as a spray:

12 oz of distilled or filtered water
½ oz of witch hazel or alcohol
Add witch hazel to spray bottle, then drops of oil, and finally water. Shake well before each use

A note on safety and how to conduct a skin patch test
As with all essential oil blends, a skin patch test should be done before topically applying. Simply apply a small amount of the blend to the inside of the upper arm. If no irritation develops after 24 hours, then it is safe to use. If at any point during a skin patch test if irritation develops, the application area should be immediately treated with either a dairy-based product like milk or yogurt to halt the irritation. Then the testing area should be and thoroughly washed with mild soap and water and cleaned of the substance applied.

Please note that no matter how safe and natural you believe essential oils to be, they are not recommended to be applied straight or “neat” directly on the skin. There are a few exceptions for regular use, but even those should only be used that way under the advice of a certified or registered aromatherapist. Young children, the elderly, anyone with a comprised immune system, and those who are pregnant may require a formula that is much reduced in active ingredients.

Essential oils of any variety should always be cautiously used around pets, and never used on cats or in any way that would allow them to ingest it—like breathing in vaporized spray or licking it off of their fur.

The mountains are my bones,
The rivers my veins.
The forests are my thoughts,
and the stars are my dreams.

The ocean is my heart,
It's pounding is my pulse.

The songs of the Earth
write the music of my soul.

Ishika Ghosh

Asheville Pagan Supply

555 Merrimon Ave
Suite 100
Asheville NC 28804
United States

828-424-7868