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What are Besoms?
HOW TO USE YOUR RUNES
HOW TO USE YOUR PENDULUM
How to use your scrying mirror
How to use your scrying bowl
What are Altar Cloths?
What are Books of Shadows (Grimoires)?
What are Athames?
How did The Rainbow Flag get started??
What are Sabbats?
What are Amulets & Talismans


What are Besoms?
Besom or Witches Broom The old picture of the witch riding around on the broom's stick casting magic spells is believed to have come from a agricultural fertility rite, where the women rode around the fields (like on a hobby horse), with the broom between their legs, hoping to bring the farmers a good harvest. Many pagan traditions have the bridal couple, jump across the broom, a symbol of fertility (old bit of agricultural fertility magic), to signify the establishment of their new household. The brooms are usually decorated for the occasion and then kept in a place of honor in the home. In many Wicca handfasting (marriage) rituals, couples often jump over the broom if they want children. Historically, brooms made great gifts for weddings or handfastings. Just add a little ribbon, some flowers, and your are good to go. No wrapping needed. Every new home needs a new broom! Witches use brooms in magick and ritual. The pagan broom or "besom" is used in ritual for cleansing the general circle or ritual area. The besom is sweeping away the psychic dirt, getting the area purified for the ritual at hand. A Witch may begin a ritual by sweeping the area with the magick broom, visualizing the psychic dirt being swept out of the ritual area. The sweeping also helps to get the mind ready for the ritual, quieting the mind and narrowing the focus for the witch. The besom is a purifier and is related to the element of Water. Besoms have been used by Witches to indicate to other occultists that they were resident, or at work, by placing a besom (broom) outside the door. This is NOT to say that anyone who has a kitchen broom sitting outside their door is a witch. Many Witches keep a besom by their door, or hanging from their door to protect the home from unwanted outside energies.

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HOW TO USE YOUR RUNES
Runes HOW TO USE YOUR RUNES A simple method is to place runes in a sack, shake them up, and then draw three placing them down in a row before you. The first rune would represent the past, second the present, and the third the future. Or alternatively if you choose the first rune would represent the issue at hand, the second would represent the conflict involved in the issue, and the third would represent the course of action one should take. Traditionally, the position of a rune was not important; upside-down or inverted didn't matter as long as the rune came up it meant more or less the same thing. But some rune-workers do apply inverted and reversed interpretations to runes. Inverted runes would be those that are upside down, and reversed runes are those that appear to be mirrored from right to left. An inverted rune could be interpreted as the opposite of the rune

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HOW TO USE YOUR PENDULUM
Pendulums HOW TO USE YOUR PENDULUM There are generally no rituals involved with pendulum use, although some people hold their pendulum in their hand before they begin in order to 'charge' it, or feed it their energy. You can use the pendulum anywhere. When you ask your questions, you may want to record the answers. You do not have to be psychic to use a pendulum. It will guide itself, either moved by your thoughts or a spirit who will work through you. Once you select your pendulum you are ready to begin. Sit down and get comfortable. Try to choose a time when you are relaxed and not so full of stress. You can rest your elbow on a table in front of you, allowing the pendulum to swing free; or, you can hold your arm in a horizontal position. The most important thing is that your pendulum can swing freely. The first step is to get the feel of the pendulum and how it will move for you. You will ask your pendulum questions that can be answered by 'yes' and 'no'. So first you must determine in which directional pattern the pendulum swings for 'yes' and in which direction for 'no'. Hold the pendulum in your hand and watch it closely. Be certain the pendulum is not being guided by the movement of your hand or fingers. Now address the pendulum and say, "Show me Yes". It will soon swing in one direction - which could be side to side, back and forth, or in circles. Now say, "Show me No". It should swing in the opposite direction. Once you have determined the pattern for 'yes' and 'no' you are ready to begin asking your questions. Start with something simple such as, "Is it rainy today?", "Is it January?", or "Can you answer my questions?". Once you get the 'swing' of it, you can move on to personal questions. If the motion of your pendulum increases, or the circles get large, the energy is increasing and you can expect change linked to the question you were asking. Pursue further questions to get additional information. The faster the movement, the stronger the energies. Sometimes a pendulum will appear to dance up and down, and this is usually an affirmative response. If the pendulum does not move at all then you must stop and try again at another time. Good luck, may the answers come to you!

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How to use your scrying mirror
How to use your scrying mirror Scrying mirrors are used to induce visions, and answer questions. Before starting, make sure the room your in is as dark as possible. Some people like to place a small votive candle behind the mirror in a pitch black room. If you have a specific intention, chant it in your mind, or whisper it out loud over and over until you're mind is completely focused on nothing else. The way to use a the mirror is to not look at, but through the surface of it. Gaze into it's blackness. Images, colors will soon begin to appear. If this method doesn't feel right for you, I suggest skipping the candle and using a dark cloth to make a kind of tent covering yourself and the mirror. Some people may experience difficulty getting results at first. It can take some people weeks to get results from scrying, so you may have to practice this a number of times. Be patient with yourself, make sure you are grounded and completely focused. Also, don't just hope for visions to appear, expect them. Enjoy your journeys in this fascinating form of divination

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How to use your scrying bowl
How to use your scrying bowl As with all scrying, creating the appropriate atmosphere is essential. You will need to experiment to find what works for you. Some people like to use candles and incense, others find these a distraction. Given the connection between water scrying and nature, one possibility is to consider buying one of the many recordings of natural sounds available and have this playing gently in the background. Some people simply stare at the the surface of the water until they begin to see visions. Others prefer to agitate the water slightly, possibly by stirring it with a freshly cut twig. As you meditate on the water and the question in the mind you will hopefully begin to see shapes and visions appear. Whether these are of a mystic origin or are a message from your subconscious doesn't really matter - it's now down to your intuition to make sense of the message.

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What are Altar Cloths?
An altar cloth is used by magicians, Wiccan, witches, and other practitioners of the occult for one or more of several reasons. Protection of the altar. Many altars are either handmade, expensive or unique, thus the altar cloth will be used as protection against damage. Altars commonly have candles, open flame, bowls of water and salt, and burning incense, all things that could damage an otherwise priceless (to the user) altar. Decoration. Some altar cloths are simply chosen for decorative purposes, as many occultists, such as Wiccans, may leave their altar on display at all times. It may also be changed to match the corresponding sabbat, esbat or season. Practical magic use. Some individuals may choose altar cloths that are of use in the application of magic (or magick). For example: an altar cloth with the cardinal directions on it, or the pentacle or pentagram. Another example is it may have runes or glyphs of power used to enhance the magicians personal power or provide protection.

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What are Books of Shadows (Grimoires)?
Whether it's called a "Book Of Magik", a "Magikal Grimoire", or a "Book Of Shadows", it's important for every witch to create a book of records. These are your personal notes, a diary of your spiritual or magikal experiences. A book to record your dreams, interpretations, aspirations and affirmations. In a simplified definition, it is a book kept and used by a witch to record research, thoughts, experiences and spiritual information, such as spells, incantations, potions and so on. These wonderfully crafted Books of Shadows & Grimoires will make a great addition to any Altar

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What are Athames?
Every Witch has a personal knife. In many traditions it is called an athame (pronounced "a-tham-ay). It usually has a steel, double-edged blade. The Athame is both a storer and a projector for power. The athame can be used in place of a wand or sword so if you are just beginning to collect your magickal tools, the athame will probably be one of your first acquisitions.

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How did The Rainbow Flag get started??
The Rainbow Flag The Alyson Almanac: A Treasury of Information for the Gay and Lesbian Community describes Rainbow Flag as follows: In 1978, Gilbert Baker of San Francisco designed and made a flag with six stripes representing the six colors of the rainbow as a symbol of gay and lesbian community pride. Slowly the flag took hold, offering a colorful and optimistic alternative to the more common pink triangle symbol. Today it is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers, and is flown in lesbian and gay pride marches worldwide. In 1989, the rainbow flag received nationwide attention after John Stout successfully sued his landlords in West Hollywood, when they prohibited him from displaying the flag from his apartment balcony. Meanwhile, Baker is still in San Francisco, and still making more flags.

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What are Sabbats?
What are Sabbats? From "sabbath," or "Saturday." In Wiccan terminology, one of eight important holidays marking turning points in the year, based on ancient pagan solar calendars. (The "Sabbath" comes to modern Neopaganism through European witchcraft folklore.) The eight Sabbats together are known as the "Wheel of the year," and are: Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh & Mabon.

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What are Amulets & Talismans
Amulets & Talismans An Amulet is an object which has intrinsic power to give protection to its wearer, whereas a Talisman is specifically made to achieve a particular purpose. Amulets give protection by absorbing negative energies, while Talismans work by generating a positive force to achieve their objective. Both work like self charging solar batteries and are constructed in a way which links them with the appropriate planetary force concerned for the intention.

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Last Updated: 10 Apr 2008 23:19:14 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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