Secret life of modern-day witches – BBC News By Lynette Horsburgh

Kathy Rowan-Drewitt
Image captionKathy Rowan-Drewitt concealed her fascination with witchcraft

It is 400 years since the Pendle witch trials led to 10 people being hanged for witchcraft. But do modern witches still suffer prejudice?

He has carved out a successful career as an employment lawyer.

But the 38-year-old, who is sometimes known as Myrddin, also takes part in activities which he prefers to keep secret.

For Myrddin is the head of a witches’ coven in Lancashire.

He said: “We don’t do anything sinister like Devil worship and we don’t make human or animal sacrifices.

“We honour, revere and give thanks to nature. We celebrate the seasons. It’s not all blood and gore.

READ MORE HERE:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-19211852

The Witch’s Blade – Some Athame Basics By Bronwen Forbes

The athame – the tool that some say is the most important for any practicing Witch or Pagan, and the one most misunderstood by law enforcement and other non-Pagans. What is the athame? How do you pronounce “athame”? Should it be sharp?

What’s the difference between an athame and a boline? Where can you get one? How can you safely take your athame to a ritual not at your house? And just which of the four elements is it supposed to represent anyway?

What is an athame?

The athame is a double-edged knife – double-edged like a dagger, rather than single-edged like your favorite kitchen paring knife. Traditionally, it also has a plain, black, wooden hilt, although that is not necessarily the rule unless your coven leader says it is.

There are some lovely athames with intricately carved hilts out there, including some with silver or gemstone inlay. If one of them “speaks to you” and your group allows it (and you can afford it) , then by all means get it and use it joyfully! The athame is used to physically draw the circle in the air during circle casting, and to consecrate pretty much anything the owner wants consecrated.

Your athame is your own – you may let other people touch your tarot cards and drink from your ritual chalice, but your athame should only be touched by *you*. If you have a large enough ritual space, i.e. you tend to lead a lot of rituals outdoors that are attended by several dozen people each, you may wish to forego the smaller blade in favor of a ritual sword. It serves the same purpose and is easier for the participants to see.

How do you pronounce “athame”?

“Athame” is pronounced either uh-THAW-mee or ATH-uh-may. Ath-AIM is incorrect; so is ARTH-aim, uh-THEEM and uh-THEEM-ee.

Should the athame be sharp?

In general, the athame is not sharpened, primarily for safety reasons. Think about it – in order to cast a circle, one is usually walking around a *very* dark room that is at best comfortably full of furniture and at worst also uncomfortably full of people sitting on the floor. This is not a good situation in which to be tripping and falling with a very sharp knife in your hand. Just so the blade has the potential to be sharp if necessary, i.e. it is made of metal. That is good enough for the Gods and should be good enough for us, too. Which leads us to…

What’s the difference between a boline and an athame?

Easy: a boline is sharp and an athame is not. Traditionally, the boline also has a white handle, but I have known many witches who have gone to a camping store and purchased a perfectly good red-hilted Swiss Army knife to use as their boline (which has the added benefit of a built-in corkscrew with which to open the bottle of ritual wine!) .

An athame *never* cuts anything physical – it is strictly an energy tool. The boline is the practical knife – if you need to trim a too-long candle wick, cut up some herbs, etc. while in ritual, the boline is the tool you reach for, not your athame.

Where can you get an athame?

There are countless online shops that sell pre-made athames. If you want something more personalized, do a Google search on “handcrafted athame” and see if you like the wares from any of the artisans’ sites that pop up. Wal-Mart used to sell the little four-inch wooden-handled boot daggers, complete with a clip on the sheath; I don’t know if Wal-Mart still sells them, though.

Check out flea markets and garage sales near you – you never know what someone is willing to getting rid of for a dollar or two. If you are a devout kitchen witch and consider cooking and feeding folks to be your primary ritual/magickal practice, you probably don’t need a double-edged blade. Treat yourself to a really nice kitchen knife – and sharpen it!

How can you safely take an athame to a ritual 

CRYSTALS THE POWER OF AMETHYST HEALING PROPERTIES BY HEATHER ASKINOSIE

Amethyst Healing Properties

Amethyst crystals are generally one of the first gems people are attracted to when begin their crystal healing journey. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise since amethyst healing properties have been valued for thousands of years. As early as 25,000 B.C, the Neolithic people in Europe and the ancient Egyptians prized it for its beauty and legendary energies. Greek and Roman societies also placed high value on the Amethyst healing powers. It has long been considered a gemstone of royalty, being used in the crowns, scepters and rings of bishops.  Amethyst is said to have been the ninth stone in the breastplate of the high priest of Israel, and one of the ten stones upon which the names of the tribes of Israel were engraved. With all this rich history, there must be a reason so many different ancient civilizations harnessed the properties of Amethyst.

Amethyst Healing Properties

Meditate with Amethyst

Amethyst crystals are exceptional for providing spiritual protection, inner strength and clarity of mind, making them a classic meditation tool. Meditating with them can help you to become more in tune with your feelings, helping you to get to know yourself on a much deeper level. It also stimulates the crown chakra and calms your thoughts, making it a powerful aid in meditation.

Relieve Stress and Relax

Amethyst healing properties also include acting as a natural form of stress relief. This crystal attracts positive energy while ridding your body of any negative emotions—feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, depression and more. The healing properties of Amethyst help to clear your body’s energy field of all negative energies and influences, acting as an energetic shield that creates a bubble of spiritual light around your body.

Amethyst healing properties

Place Amethyst in Your Home

Aside from what they can do for your body, amethyst crystals are one of the most beneficial stones to have in your environment. Due to this, many people fill their homes with them—in their bedroom, living room, bathroom, car, office, meditation room etc.—so that the amethyst healing properties constantly surround and protect them. These crystals work to purify any space of negative vibrations, emanating an energy ideal for you to thrive in. They help to clear the mind of unnecessary thoughts and clutter. On a physical level, having amethyst crystals in your home is believed to help strengthen the immune system and heal any imbalances that lie in the body.

Amethyst clusters and Amethyst geodes carry the strongest power to rid your home of negative energy, making them the best ones to fill your home with. These crystals can be placed on your fireplace or your altar—somewhere central in your house, so that the amethyst healing properties can radiate to every room. They also make wonderful additions to a child’s

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.energymuse.com/blog/amethyst-healing-properties/

 

 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

2-minute read

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is only experienced at certain times of the year, usually in autumn and winter, has an negative impact on your mood. Treatment can often make a big difference.

What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes according to the season. People with SAD have symptoms of depression or mania at roughly the same time each year.

SAD usually develops in autumn and winter, then disappears in spring and summer. In some people, the symptoms develop in spring and early summer.

People with mental illness might find their symptoms change at different times of the year. For example, some people with bipolar disorder find they are more likely to experience mania in spring and summer and depression in winter.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

Symptoms usually start out mild and get worse as the season progresses. When the season changes, people normally become completely well again.

Symptoms of SAD in winter include:

  • lack of energy
  • sleeping too much
  • finding it hard to wake up in the morning
  • feeling very tired all the time
  • overeating and craving carbohydrates
  • gaining weight
  • losing interest in normal activities

Symptoms of SAD in summer include:

What causes SAD?

SAD is thought to be caused by changes to the body’s circadian rhythms (its ‘body clock’) at certain times of the year. It may also happen because in winter the body produces less of the

READ MORE HERE: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/seasonal-affective-disorder