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Monday, August 30, 2010

Timing Techniques in Divination

Using divination to determine the length of time before something  begins, ends, or manifest is a difficult skill to learn and even experienced readers still have difficulty in timing events even after years of practice. Knowing if and when a desired event will likely happen is a valuable piece of information that allows the individual to 
  1. Determine if a certain goal is worthy of pursuit.
  2. Helps develop short-term and long-term strategies for successful completion. 
Predicting events through the art of divination has often largely depended upon the intuition/ability of the reader and the tool that he or she uses (if any). In my experience reading Tarot/Playing Cards I have often based questions of timing on the final, or outcome, card in a reading. 

For example if the outcome card is the 3 of Pentacles, I would automatically think that the outcome will occur within 3 Days...3 Months...or 3 Years.  The answer I give would then be based on three things. They are:
  1. The question that was asked. For example, if the client comes in wanting to know the outcome of a job promotion for which s/he is being considered. Using the 3 of Diamonds as an example, logic would dictate that she should get an answer within 3 days or 3 months depending on circumstances.
  2. The over-all reading. If the reading indicates many obstacles or delays, I would answer 3 months. However if the cards were more positive in nature, I may answer 3 days.
  3. My own intuition. As you contemplate the reading a certain time period may simply feel more 'right' that another option. There will also be time when specific dates or time-periods will just come to you. In these instances I forgo any logic and lead with what my intuition is telling me.
If the final card was a Court Card I would base my answer on other visual cues found on the card.  For example, compare the two cards below. 

If the final card was the Knight of Wands, I may notice that the horse has two legs "in the air " (delays) and predict that the desired event will take place in two months or even two years. Alternately, I may notice that there are five branches (growth) on the wand and predict 5 days. 

If the final card was the Knight of Pentacles, my eyes may be drawn to the yellow-pentacle on a yellow background in the Knight's hand which reminds me of the Sun. Taking into account the horse seems to not be moving, and the fertile fields in the background I may predict that the event may take as long as a year to take place. Again, my answer would depend on the question asked, the other cards in the reading, and my own intuition.

Cartomancers have developed several methods to determine if and when an event is likely to happen. One reader I know times events by formulating the question such as How many (days, weeks, months, etc..) before (fill in the blank)? He then has the individual shuffle and cut the cards as usual and lays down the cards in a straight line until a card appears which represents the desired outcome. He counts the number of cards on the table telling him how many (days, weeks, or months) it will take for the desired outcome to occur.

For example, the questioner asks: How many weeks will it take before I find a new job? The cards are shuffled and cut and finally laid in the following order

8 of Spades * 10 of Clubs * 3 of Hearts * Ace of Diamonds

The reader stops at the Ace of Diamonds which he interprets as the beginning of a new business venture which promises to be prosperous and successful. The Ace of Diamonds was the fourth card laid down and therefore he predicts that the client will find a new job within four weeks. 

In addition, the three cards which precede the Ace can predict what the client may feel or experience before he finds the new job such as stagnation (8 of Spades), a sense of being overwhelmed (10 of Clubs), and renewed hope (Three of Hearts). Since the reader has already predicted that the client will get a new job in four weeks, the three of hearts may portend that s/he gets called in for an interview since the number three is linked to the planet Mercury and therefore communication.

People who read Playing Cards have often observed that there is a similarity between how a standard deck of playing cards are structured and the modern calender. They are:
  • There are 52 cards in the standard playing card deck and 52 weeks in a year. 
  • There are four suits in a deck and four seasons in a year. 
  • There are 13 cards in each suit and 13 weeks in each season. 
With this information in mind, the standard deck of playing cards can be divided into four season with Hearts representing Spring, Clubs representing Summer, Spades representing Autumn, and Diamonds representing Winter. The four season can then be divided into 13 weeks. Beginning with the Ace and ending with the King, each card can represent a week in each season. Ace being the first week and the King of any suit representing the 13th. 

For example the 6 of Diamonds would represent the 6th week of Winter, the King of Hears would represent the 13th week of Summer, etc... Using these correspondences a reader can predict to within a week's time when an event will begin, end, or manifest. 

These are just a few of the ways in which a card-reader may determine if and when an event will begin, end, or manifest.

Carolina Dean 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to Make Your Own Athame

What is an Athame?

The Athame corresponds to the East*, and the element of Air. Its color is Yellow, its season Fall, and its time Sunset. The Athame is associated with the Witch's mind and it reminds us to balance power with reason. It is used to invoke and banish energy.

Traditionally, the Athame is double sided, its handle is black and its blade is dull. The reason for this is that it is not used to cut things on the material plane, but rather on the spiritual plane.

The Athame is consecrated when the Full Moon is in an Air Sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) on the day (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) and in the hour (Mercury, Venus, Saturn) of that sign's planetary ruler.

Metal-smithing being a very specialized skill, you may not be able to make your own Athame. Again, you may have to seek out merchants from whom to purchase your Athame. However there are also other options available to you as well, including.

  • Second Hand Stores
  • Pawn Shops
  • Guns Show vendors often have daggers among their wares.

How to Make Your Own Athame

You will need the following:

Tin Foil

1) Begin by removing the blade from your kitchen knife. To do this, I took my knife to my patio with a hammer. I held the knife by the blade against the concrete with the sharp side of the blade touching the cement. I then carefully struck the handle with the hammer along its seam where the two pieces of the handle join around the handle.

2) Using your ruler, draw a basic T-Shape on a sheet of card-stock that is approximately 5 inches long and 3 at its widest part. Cut out the T-Shape and then fold it in half and using your scissors, cut the T-Shape in to a symmetrical design. This will be the pattern for the handle of your athame.
3) Trace your pattern on the cardboard four times and cut each piece out. 

4) Glue the blade you removed from the kitchen knife between two of the cardboard cut-outs. Make sure you use lots of glue. You may want to lay the knife on a flat surface and place something heavy on top of it. 

5)When it is dry, glue the second two pieces just as you did the first two. Allow to dry. 

6) When this is dry, there is bound to be some shifting of pieces so trim the handle so that it has a clean edge and that the both pieces of cardboard are even.

7) Now hold the Athame for a few minutes to get an idea for how it will feel in your hand. Does the handle feel too long? Would you rather then edges be rounded or have corners? Trim and adjust as desired, although I wouldn't attempt to get too detailed and fancy in my design.

8)Wrap tin foil around the handle shaping it as desired. When you are done, wrap the handle with tape to hold it all together. 

9) Finally, wrap the entire handle with yarn (your choice of color). You can wrap the entire handle with one long piece of yarn, getting as close to the tips as possible. When you are done, you can wrap the tips in a spiral pattern to cover the handle completely by smearing the tip with glue first and carefully laying down the yarn.
10) When you have wrapped the entire Athame you can coat it with several coats of glue allowing it to completely dry between coats. When the glue dries it will harden. 

11) Finally, paint the handle with a clear lacquer to seal everything. If you desire you can paint the handle a specific color before sealing with lacquer.

12) If you desire, you can then take a sharpening-stone and sharpen the dull side of the blade so that they are even. However, I like the idea that one side is sharp and the other side is dull, creating a balance of opposites. 

Carolina Dean

*Some traditions assign the Athame to the South and Fire.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Evolution of a Water-Cup

I've been in a really creative mood lately. I've been working on a set of magickal tools in the Ceremonial Magic Tradition. I don't intend to use these for the purpose of ceremonial magic, so I've broken with tradition and created the tools in different colors than those instructed and eliminated the sigils and names of power that are supposed to be inscribed on them.

I did not originally plan to blog about this process so I didn't take pictures of the process from the beginning, however I want to share with the few pictures of a cup I recently finished. The cup was found at the thrift store and was originally off-white on top and a dark tan on the stem. I painted the cup blue and then began the process of painting the design on the cup.

You can click here to get an idea of what the Water-Cup is supposed to look like in the Ceremonial Magick tradition.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: Supergirl (1984)

  • Actors: Faye Dunaway, Helen Slater, Peter O'Toole, Mia Farrow, Brenda Vaccaro
  • Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, THX, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2000
  • Run Time: 262 minutes

Although Superman was long thought to be the only survivor of his doomed home world of Krypton many Kryptonians were able to survive its explosion and survive in 'inner-space.' Their survival was made possible due to a device known as the Omegahedron, which provides their city with energy to power their devices, and air to breathe, among other things. Argo City has blossomed into a utopian society where its inhabitants have become complacent. Zaltar, the city's founder and resident artist, expresses his desire to leave Argo City for parts unknown; however his plans are not to be. Having 'borrowed' the Omegahedron to bring his tree sculpture to life Zaltar attempts to hide his theft from Allura, Kara's mother, by secretly slipping the Omegahedron to Kara while discussing his plans for leaving inner space. Kara subsequently uses the Omegahedron on her own creation, an insect-like creature, that tears through one of the city's walls.

When the precious Omegahedron is sucked into space all hope seems lost, but Kara is determined to return it before the lights, and lives, of Argo City are extinguished forever. Kara follows the Omegahedron to Earth and, discovering her powers, becomes Supergirl.

Guided by a bracelet whose gem is linked to the Omegahedron, Supergirl follows the signal to Midvale, Illinois and assuming the alter ego of Linda Lee enrolls in an all girl college to provide herself with a cover story for her time on Earth. Meanwhile, the Omegahedron finds its way into the hands of a 'wicked sorceress' named Selena who harnesses its power to amplify her black magic. After experimenting on a chicken with her new found powers, Selena sets her eyes on winning the affections of Ethan, a handsome, if aloof, gardener. Selena's ambitions then reach new heights and she declares her desire to rule the world.

Supergirl struggles to acclimate to Earth culture, as she fights mundane forces in the form of Myra and Muffy, two female bullies at her school; and magical ones in the form of the dark forces Selena repeatedly sends in an attempt to destroy her. Failing in her attempts to destroy Supergirl and claim Ethan as her consort, Selena enlists the help of her erstwhile mentor, Nigel, into helping her fully control the Omegahedron and, upon success, abruptly turns on him in true villainous fashion. Now, having mastered the powers of the Omegahedron, Selena successfully sends Supergirl to the Phantom Zone, where she is powerless, and promptly turns Midvale into a police state. Here, Supergirl is reunited with Zaltar who has been imprisoned for losing the Omegahedron. Zaltar ultimately sacrifices himself in order to lead Supergirl out of the Phantom Zone and back to Earth where she engages Selena in an all out battle of might versus magic for possession of the ultimate power.

Considered a major failure for many years, Supergirl attempted to do what didn't occur until the release of Superman Returns in 2006, which was to revive a dying franchise. Critics panned the film for its camp, bad acting, poor use of actors, and sub par script. However, the popularity of Supergirl has grown over the years into a cult classic on par with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Harold and Maude, and Reefer Madness to name a few.

Although there are plot holes, there are not as many as have been claimed. One such plot hole which is often brought up is the question of where Supergirl gets her costume upon emerging from the lake following the Omegahedron. This question can be easily answered if you look closely when Kara enters the sphere which transports her to Earth you can clearly see that she sits on a clear package about the size of a throw pillow containing a suit in the familiar yellow, red, and blue. Other plot-holes such as the question regarding how Selena had knowledge of the Phantom Zone aren't so easily answered.

Despite its plot holes and occasional over-acting, Supergirl is not without merit. The 'flying ballet' sequence, as it has been called, captures the beauty and joy of a naïve young girl coming into her own power. The musical score brings an added dimension to the actions occurring in the film. Blink and you will miss Matt Frewer of Max Headroom fame as a trucker looking for a good time. While some have criticized Peter O'toole as lacking any emotional depth in his performance, I see him as a world-weary artist bored with his own existence and hungry for new adventures. Faye Dunaway is at her best as the evil sorceress Selena, although some would argue that Joan Crawford (Dunaway's character in Mommy Dearest) would beat Selena with a wire hanger given half the chance. Brenda Vaccaro as Bianca seems to be for this film what Otis (Ned Beatty) was for Superman The Movie (and it's sequel) comic relief--although her attempts at humor often fall flat and many of her lines are largely un-necessary. Finally, Helen Slater in her movie debut as Supergirl stands her own against the many veteran actors in whose company she finds herself. She certainly looks the part and plays her dual role to perfection.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable, family-oriented film that doesn't require you to think too much. If you love deadly bumper cars, invisible monsters, run-away tractors, flying ballets, ghost trains, world domination, pseudo-magic, demon storms, teenagers dangling in cages, and the sky raining coconuts with pin point accuracy--then this movie is for you and for two hours you will believe... a girl can fly!

Carolina Dean


Maid of Might

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