February 24, 2017

Review: The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak

Title: The Inner Temple of Witchcraft; Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development
Author: Christopher Penczak
Cover Design: Lisa Novak
Pages: 337
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis:  Explore your Inner Temple--your personal sacred space where there are no boundaries and all things are possible. With study, dedication, and practice, the lessons and exercises in this book will empower you to transform the repetitive rigors of the daily grind into a witch's web of magickal experiences.
The Inner Temple of Witchcraft is a thorough course of education, introspection, meditation, and the development of the magickal and psychic abilities that are the birthright of the witch. Four introductory chapters present the history, traditions, and principles of witchcraft, followed by thirteen lessons that start with basic meditation techniques and culminate in a self-initiation ceremony equivalent to the first-degree level of traditional coven-based witchcraft.

As you progress through this year-and-a-day course of study, you will explore a wide range of topics that support and inform the dedicated witch:

- Ancient and modern magickal philosophy

- Modern scientific theories supporting a new definition of reality
- "Instant" magick  techniques for protection, healing, and serenity
- Energy work and anatomy, including chakras and auras
- Astral travel, dreams, and spirit guides
- Healing techniques for body, mind, and spirit

This book's non-dogmatic presentation encourages an eclectic, personal approach while providing a strong foundation for the practice of witchcraft and magick. Develop your psychic abilities and practice potent magickal techniques as you explore the source of every witch's power--the temple within.

Winner of the 2003 Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) Award for Best Magic Book

My Review: Had Christopher Penczak's brilliant works been published decades ago, I would not have struggled at all in exploring, learning and living my path! Penczak's writing style is amazing and well-suited for beginners and highly experienced Witches alike. Nothing is left "to the imagination". The reasoning or science behind our abilities and goals is clearly stated, along with perfectly executed personal exercises to build ourselves from WITHIN - the very backbone of successful Witchcrafting.

I will read and re-read this book several times, and look forward to delving into the accompanying books Penczak has authored in this series. Out of the dozens of "Craft-related" books I have read, If I had to recommend just ONE to those considering a Pagan or Earth-based path, it would be this one. The introductions also offer excellent explanations for those who are simply seeking to comprehend true Witchcraft, whether they choose to practice or not. Even if you're not seeking to become a Witch, working through the self-strengthening activities can be of great benefit to your overall well-being, health and outlook.

Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.

February 7, 2017

Full Moon of March ~ The Storm Moon

The month of March is named after Mars, God of War. Anglo-Saxons called it Hraed-monat (rugged month), or Hlyd-monat (stormy month). A stormy March was an omen of poor crops, while a dry March indicated a rich harvest. Some books refer to February as the "Storm Month", however, I find this inaccurate. Where I live, March often IS stormy, and as the old wives tale goes, “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. Many call March the month of the Hare Moon.

Ritual Verses for the Full Moon of March:
by Polly Taskey
You may wish to incorporate the following verses into the 9 Basic Ritual Steps when conducting Full Moon Rituals. You may also choose to include a Charge of the Goddess.

February 2, 2017

Full Moon of April ~ The Hare Moon

April is from the Latin aperio ("to open", like buds). Anglo-Saxons called it something close to Easter-monat, in honor of the Teutonic Goddess of the same name. She ruled spring and light. The Romans dedicated April to Venus, often referring to it as Mensis Veneris instead of Aprilis. April is associated with fertility (rabbits, Easter), and the coming mating of the God and Goddess at Beltane on May 1st. Many call April's Moon the Seed Moon, however, I have learned that February represents the Seed Moon and March is the Storm Moon.

The first few months of the calendar year are all about renewal - shedding the old, used and dull to make way for the fresh; the present and future. Often, we find that we get into a habit of holding close to the trials and experiences of the past - after all, they are familiar to us no matter how painful they were - and there is a bit of comfort in things that are "familiar".

Rituals for the Full Moon of April might focus on purging undesirable habits, traits or negative influences while casting out burdens in order to welcome emergence and deep purification. While fire is the Element often used for bidding farewell to the dull and useless; water may be incorporated afterwards to purify oneself - as if shedding an old skin and being reborn to the light and promise of the season.

Suggestions include writing the traits, habits and negatives within your life on either a stick of wood or piece of paper, casting it into the flames of fire, and following with splashing fresh water from a large bowl (perhaps with white or pink rose petals floating on the surface) upon your face.
The April winds and cleansing rain, freshen Earth where dust remains,
As bunnies frolic to and fro, freed from their warrens down below;
The nesting birds are molting too, revealing plumage bright and new.
And as the world sheds off the old, we re-emerge both fresh and bold.

Promises of light and love surround us as we shed the glove
of stale and baneful thoughts and traits; purity of the soul awaits.
Within this new and blessed spring, we revel in the gifts it brings
from Mother Earth and Father Sun, as if our lives have just begun.
 by Polly Taskey

Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.
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