E4 Crystal Quartz & lmbolc

Crystal Quartz and lmbolc

Welcome to episode 4 of the Arcane Academy Podcast!
This week, we are discussing, Crystal Quartz & Imbolc.

Summary:
In the second episode of 2018, we bring in Mela, co-owner and store manager of Magus, to talk about quartz, specifically crystal quarts. We all so have a discussion on pendulum and how to use them. In the second half of the episode, Liz and Markus  talk about the fire festival of Imbolc.  Leave a comment on our Facebook page or on Soundcloud+ for suggestions for episodes or topics you’re looking to know more about.

Crystal Quarts:

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Pendulums:

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Producers:
Cameron Williams MC & Music
Liz Johnson Host
Markus Ironwood Host & Editing

 -Sources-

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E3 Ginger & Camphor Oil

Ginger and Camphor Oil

Welcome to episode 3 of the Arcane Academy Podcast!
This week, we are discussing, Ginger & Camphor Oil.

Summary:
In the first episode of 2018 Liz and Markus discuss the soothing properties of both Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) Oil. In addition, we take a segue over to honey and discuss it’s uses in herbal medicine and how it can be used in your life. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or on Soundcloud+ for suggestions for episodes or topics you’re looking to know more about.

Ginger:

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Camphor Tree leaves:

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Producers:
Cameron Williams MC & Music
Liz Johnson Host
Markus Ironwood Host & Editing

 -Sources-

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! And check out our Facebook page

Sigil Witchery

Laura Tempest Zakroff’s Sigil Witchery is a unique resource for those interested in Sigils and the art of making them. This little book contains a history of magickal mark-making, a new spin on sigil creation, follow-along practices, suggestions for applications of sigils, and a gallery of the author’s work. It’s a lot to pack in at under 200 pages!

Laura spins the reader through history, starting with cave paintings and going all the way through modern use, pointing out some relevant helpful examples along the way. The history/example section is really strong. It is one of the most comprehensive ones out there, and is blessedly not Eurocentric.

The method itself, and this book, would be useful to both those familiar with sigils, and those who are new to them. New sigil witches may need to read a little more carefully, or a few times through to get some of the nuance, but hey, good techniques take practice! Those that are familiar with Spare’s method of sigil creation (writing a statement of intent, striking off letters, forming a glyph, and so on) will find the technique Laura teaches familiar, but from a different, intuitive-based viewpoint. To start, Laura goes through a variety of simple shapes and marks. These marks are the foundations of her sigils. Arrows, hearts, chevrons, dots, and many other simple marks are discussed at length for their possible attributions. Rather than smashing letters together, ala Spare, Laura teaches to thoughtfully mix different smaller symbols to form a larger glyph, resulting in a completed sigil. Some familiarity with Spare’s methods might be helpful, but Laura includes lots of exercises that the newbie can use to follow along and learn with. This includes a “practice” section, where the reader can read a scenario that requires a sigil, see what they come up with, and compare their results to Laura’s. This section is really helpful to drive the technique home, especially for new sigil witches.

Similarly to Laura’s other book The Witch’s Cauldron (which is definitely worth a read!), Laura goes through multiple different ways that Sigils can be used and applied, breaking away from the strict “sigils-must- be-burned” rules that has arisen from the Spare method. Temporary sigils made of salt, tattoo sigils, sigils in motion, hidden sigils, logo sigils, and a wealth of other applications are covered.

The main takeaway from Sigil Witchery seems to be that sigils, being intuitive-based magick, should be made and used intuitively. Her perspective is that of someone who is not a Chaos Magician, or a Ceremonial Magician, which provides a different insight than many of the sigil-making resources available now. As a time-tempered Modern Traditional Witch, (among other things, she’s a busy lady!)

Laura has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. A new reader might miss some of the nuances of this book on the first read-through, but its short length makes it easy enough to read again!

 

Kitty, Magus Minion

E2 Lepidolite & Tarot Cards

Lepidolite and Tarot Cards

Welcome to episode 2 of the Arcane Academy Podcast!
This week, we are discussing, Lepidolite & Tarot Cards.

Summary:
The second episode of The Arcane Academy Podcast covers the stone lepidolite, noted for it’s brilliant purple shine, and the origins and uses of modern tarot cards. Leave a comment on our blog, follow us on Facebook page or on Soundcloud. Suggestions topics for episodes on subjects you’re interested in learning more about to know more about.

Lepidolite:

Rider-Waite Tarot - Death Card:

Thoth Tarot - Death Card:

Producers:
Cameron Williams MC & Music
Liz Johnson Host
Markus Ironwood Host & Editing

 -Sources-

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E1 Nettles & Neroli

Nettles and Neroli

Welcome to episode 1 of the Arcane Academy Podcast!
This week, we are discussing, Nettles and Neroli.

Summary:
In the inaugural episode of The Arcane Academy Podcast, Liz and Markus talk about the herb Nettles (Urtica dioica) and the essential oil of Neroli a.k.a bitter orange (Citrus aurantium). We discuss other essential oils that would pair nicely with the Neroli as well. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or on Soundcloud+ for suggestions for episodes or topics you’re looking to know more about.

Nettles:

Source: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Neroli:

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Producers:
Cameron Williams MC & Music
Liz Johnson Host
Markus Ironwood Host & Editing

 -Sources-

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! And check out our Facebook page

Heart Chakra

The next chakra of the seven main is the heart. A unique aspect of this chakra is that it has two different colors that correlate with it, both green and pink. As such we will look at a green stone aventurine, and a pink stone rose quartz. They are both commonly used with the heart chakra, each with interesting healing characteristics.

First there is rose quartz, the stone of unconditional love and infinite peace. It is considered by many to be the most important stone for the heart chakra. It purifies and opens the heart as well as attracts romantic love. Aids in acceptance of necessary change, and enhances positive affirmations. It’s a beneficial stone emotionally because it releases unexpressed emotions and heart ache. Also encourages self-forgiveness and acceptance while invoking self-love and self-trust. Physically rose quartz strengthens the physical heart and circulatory system. Heals kidneys and adrenals and alleviates vertigo.

The other stone we are discussing is aventurine. Most of the time when people bring up this stone they are referring to green aventurine as we are now. It is a very positive stone of prosperity. Has ability to protect against environmental pollution. Also defuses negative situations and turns them around. Psychologically it reinforces leadership qualities and decisiveness. Promotes compassion and empathy while encouraging perseverance. It can stimulate perception, allowing ability to see possibilities and alternatives. Calms anger and irritation, and promotes a feeling of well-being. Physically it assists the thymus gland, connective tissue, and nervous system. Helps prevent heart attacks and migraines.

Both of these heart stones are beneficial and unique in their own right. The heart chakra is the bridge between the upper and lower chakras needing awareness and healing to best aid you on your life’s journey. These stones can help you live a happy, healthy, life full of love and compassion.

-Lily, Magus Reader

An Edge on Meditation

Let me tell you a secret, I’ve been meditating for many years, but I was never good at staying completely still.  I always found that when I sat down to meditate, I got very itchy. When I tried to resist the urge to scratch, the itch got worse and worse until I could not take it anymore. Eventually, I decided that if a quick scratch was all it took to make the itch go away, then it was quicker and easier just to scratch, relieve the itch, and then refocus on my meditation. I felt guilty about it, though. Meditation is supposed to help one sharpen the mind and overcome desire, and yet I could not overcome the most basic of cravings and bodily sensations.

 

Then a few months ago something changed. I sat down to meditate and immediately felt an itch at my temple. I was annoyed at the power that my body had over me and I decided that just this once, I would overcome it. The itch got worse and worse, as usual, but I actively worked to transform the discomfort into resolve to overcome the desire. The sensation increased, but I was no longer associating it with a desire to scratch; the itch instead became a sort of mounting ecstasy. Then I noticed that for some time my mind had been calm and centered and that the itch had faded away. Without realizing it, I had overcome it. Since then, when I have sat down to meditate, itchiness has still arisen, and it is still annoying, but I have been able to transform the sensation and wait for it to pass. It only took overcoming it once to learn that it was a surmountable obstacle. Now, finally after years of failing I can sit still and quietly for extended periods. It is a small victory, but a significant one.

I remember learning about a study in school where a heterosexual male subject would walk across either a suspension bridge, or something sturdier, to talk with a female. The men who were experiencing a fear response from crossing the suspension bridge were more attracted to the female researcher than those who did not. This is called misattribution of arousal. Humans are not good at identifying the source of physical arousal, and so the physical effects of fear can easily be mistaken for attraction. This also means that it is relatively easy to trick the brain into misidentifying a sensation. I believe this is why I was able to convince myself that the itch was not an itch at all, but rather an ecstatic resolve. All it took was a conscious renaming of the sensation.  Next time you are experiencing an unpleasant feeling or sensation try renaming it and see if you can transform it into something useful. Sensation is power and power can be redirected. Use it wisely.

-Adam, Arch Minon

An Immortal Series

When I first arrived at Magus and saw Tamora Pierce’s Immortals series on our fiction shelves, I couldn’t help but smile. Throughout my teenage years I was obsessed with Pierce’s books. After receiving Squire, the third book in the Lady Protector series as a gift, I tore through her catalogue, reading pretty much everything she’d written up until that point.

 

Though I loved all her series, the Immortals quartet was definitely one of my favorites. It follows

Veralidaine (called Diane), an orphan bastard, who discovers she has the ability to communicate with animals when she’s in her early teens. Set in Pierce’s world of Tortall, the series takes us through Diane’s adventures as her powers evolve and she grows up. It is a rollicking good time with great coming-of-age themes and an intriguing bit of sweet romance. Diane is a smart, strong heroine supported by a fun cast of characters. Recommended for fantasy readers in middle school and up.

-Katta Hules, Magus Minion

Santa Muerte

Mexico has long been a country of superstition, power struggles and blood. Today most of the population is staunchly Catholic. Faith an important aspect of daily life as any day may be your last. Mexicans have had a long working relationship with death, this is well depicted in La Santa Muerte. Tomas Prower walks the reader through the political landscape and Mexican history that has impacted the drug war. Santa Muerte is the patron saint of lost causes. A patron mother to a flock of black sheep.Mostly widely associated with the various drug cartels, though her following continues to grow. She is the saint to all those marginalized the LGBTQ community, addicts, drug dealers and all those who respect Death as a figure to be known. This book gently guides of tools that are used in the rites with the Dark Lady. Prower gives detailed descriptions of spells, rites, and goes deeper into Mexico’s deep conscious of Death. I recommend this book for any person curious about the topic of Santa Muerte and about her spiritual workings. As a relationship with a lady is to be earned and cultivated.

-Xochitl Ramirez, Magus Minion

Crowley and Waite

When I was preparing to teach my Tarot 101 class at Magus last week I decided to do a bit of research and the creators of two of the most common Tarot decks; the Rider/Waite and the Thoth.   I’ve always recommend that students start with the Waite deck or one that follows his symbolism.  I’ve never been a fan of the Thoth deck myself, but many people are drawn to it.  I could list all the things I don’t like about Thoth and what I do like about the Waite deck, but I’ll save that for another time.  What drew my attention was the similarities and differences between the two men.  

I knew they were both involved in a Victorian occult group called The Order of the Golden Dawn.  So I was curious about how they might have interacted.  Well, they didn’t like each other much!  In fact Crowley referred to Waite as “dead Waite”.  

Waite was born in the US in 1857, his father died when he was quite young and his mother returned to England.  He grew up in fairly humble circumstances.  In contrast Crowley was born to well to do fundamentalist Christians (Plymouth Brethern) in 1875.  

Waite’s biographer said that Waite was the first person to undertake a systematic study of Western mysticism as a spiritual tradition.  Crowley on the other hand was influenced by Eastern philosophies including Hinduism, Buddhism and Egyptian practices.  Early on Crowley created his own religion and declared himself its prophet.  

They most certainly knew each other.  Waite joined the Golden Dawn in 1893. He left in 1896 and re-joined in 1899. Crowley, who was 18 years younger joined in 1898.  Waite was also a Freemason and at one point  Rosicrucian.  

Waite created his Tarot publishing it in 1910.  Much of the symbolism was based on a complete deck that dated back to 1491.  Crowley first envisioned his deck as a six month project, but it ended up taking five years!  He completed the deck in 1943, but both he and the artist died before it was published by the OTO in 1969.  Oh one more thing of interest!  Crowley is widely believed to have been a spy!

-Carol, Magus Minion