Shamanic Writings

March 13th, 2017 – So You Want to Build and Altar – Part 4

Published on March 13, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
Stones or Crystals For the Earth element, in the North, stones and sometimes crystals are used. These bring in Earth energy, which helps with grounding (except perhaps for quartz crystals). Gem stones also carry certain energies which can be invoked by having them on your altar. There are also hearth stones that can be placed at each of the four corners as markers for the four directions. Usually these are used in outside settings. I often adorn my altar with various stones to enhance the energies being worked with. Wand The wand is like a portable, handy version of a broom and is mostly used in Wicca and other similar practices. There is a theory that originally one instrument performed all the purposes served by the two today. A wand can be made of any natural material. Wood tends to be considered traditional. Since all woods have unique Powers, you may like to choose the wood to suit your particular needs. Wands can be used for divination and channeling magical energy. They can be used to cast and recall circles, in place of the athame. The magical wand goes in the South, for the power of will, magic, and transformation. It also represents yang, or god, energy. Other Altar Tools Besom/Broom A broom is not necessarily classified among altar tools, but it is indispensable for energetically cleansing sacred space. While handy to keep nearby, brooms are usually too unwieldy to put atop an altar. It is best to make your own besom/broom for this use. DO NOT use a broom you use for regular every day cleaning of your home or space. Cauldron Traditionally cast iron, a cauldron is like a 3-legged rounded cooking pot. You can get them in sizes from huge to tiny. Cauldrons are handy items for…
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March 6th, 2017 – So You Want to Build and Altar – Part 3

Published on March 6, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
Offerings When you would honor the Divine with a gift of thanks or prayer, you can bring them to the Altar as an offering. Often flowers are kept on the altar as an offering. Anything that is beautiful or special to you, or symbolic of the purpose for the offering, can be offered. The Mead or Wine, even the cakes you might make for a ritual can be given as the offering. Any offering you give should be harm free, in other words, it cannot cause harm to have given it, or to return it to the earth. Offerings are one of the most overlooked practices yet one of increasing spiritual power and importance. Pentacle/Altar Tile The Pentacle, a 5-point star within a circle, usually is placed in the center of the altar. The pentacle is one of the most important altar tools, offering protection and power in magical work. However, other symbolic tiles can be used by those who do not practice Wicca which is the faith that uses the pentacle the most. I have a tile with runes on it. Salt Water A small bowl of water with salt dissolved in it is used for cleansing. Alternatively, the altar chalice may be used to hold the salt water. Water and salt are both purifying agents, not only in the physical realm but the energetic as well. Salt water also represents the energies of earth and water united in the ocean womb which gave birth to all life on the planet. So while this may seem an insignificant addition to your altar tools, it holds great power. If you are lucky enough to be near the coast, you can always gather ocean water for this purpose. I often spritz the salt water around the sacred area as I call…
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February 27th, 2017 – So You Want to Build ad Altar – Part 2

Published on February 27, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
So last week we talked about the first four parts of the altar. These next four come in a number of variations depending on practice. Not all practices will use these items. Bell (Optional) Bells are like the Voice of the Goddess. When you ring one, it brings attention to the divine and the divine to you. Not all practices use a bell as a regular part of every ritual. In some, the bell is used only to ring in the New Year or a specific season, like an equinox. I have seen some circles where the bell is used to ring in the four quarters. Bells have been used throughout the centuries in many faiths to symbolize a solemn part of the ritual. Your bell can be plain or ornate, or you can choose not to have one at all. I do not use one. Candles - Direction Candles/Four Quarters Candles First, let me provide a little background especially for those newer to the practice. The four quarters are also known as the four directions. North, South, East, West. Each direction is called when casting the circle to join in and help create the sacred space and in essence stand guard. In some practices, there may or may not be a deity or spirit guide called along with the corners. Each corner is also associated with one of the four elements. Traditionally in some, (not all) practices a candle is lit during this calling/summoning. In my practice, I only use candles for long, extensive rituals lasting many hours. For shorter rituals it is not needed because I am calling up a guarding spirit to stand watch. You will need one candle for each of the directions, color-coded. One will go in each appropriate direction . . . For North:…
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February 20th, 2017 – So You Want to Build and Altar – Part 1

Published on February 20, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
How you build your altar will entirely depend on how YOU chose to. Now, there are some standard items that every altar has in common regardless of practice. So this series of articles is going to cover the varying tools needed to build a basic altar. Not all items will be necessary depending on practice or faith and will be noted as optional. So let’s talk about the first 4 items on your list. Altar Table: This is usually one of the hardest pieces to acquire. Ideologically, it will be a table that you can leave up and dressed at all times. Height and size depends on the primary practitioner. I am 6’0”. In searching for a table I looked for something both tall (bar height) and collapsible. I found both online. Real wood or real materials should always be chosen if budget allows. Ornate decoration is optional. My table is rather plain and simple, but I have seen beautiful tables that are intricately carved. In my search for my current altar I came across tables with wrought iron legs and marble tops. So you can see it really comes down to personal preference. Altar Cloth: This item is optional, especially if you have an ornate table, but it is useful. Choosing one with an appropriate color or design, you are able to set the stage for the energy of your altar. Some people look for altar cloths that have symbols relevant to their practices. I have seen ornate cloths with runes or alchemy symbols. Now there are some pragmatic uses for an altar cloth. However, something too ornate can prove to be problematic with dripping candle wax or spilled mead and/or wine. I have often recommended finding a simple table cloth in various colors to represent the various rituals…
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February 13th, 2017 – New Home Cleanser

Published on February 13, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
This is a new tool in my personal arsenal, especially when asked to cleanse and bless a new home. Many people are wary when moving into new homes because they have no idea of the energies lingering there. While this can’t always be done prior to moving in, when it can it is an excellent tool to help strip away that which is no longer welcome. I use this along with other cleansing and sanctifying rituals. Ideally one would do this three times prior to moving in. You Will Need • large pot for boiling • fresh basil leaves, whole • fresh hyssop, whole if possible or parts that will be easily strained away • fresh pine needles, whole • white vinegar • bucket • new mop head and sponge NEW IS IMPORTANT!!!! 1) Make a strong infusion of the basil, hyssop, and pine. You may have to keep adding ingredients until the tincture is strong enough. You’ll know when the smell becomes almost overpowering. 2) Strain out the solids. Let the water cool, but not become ice cold. 3) In a separate bucket while the tincture is cooling add clean rinse water and vinegar. ¼ cup vinegar to a gallon will work. You may add more or less based on your personal preference. 4) Add the tincture to the vinegar mix and gently stir 5) Cleanse the floors and all cleanable surfaces of the house. Make sure to scrub all doorways and entrances thoroughly. Notes: SCRUB the house prior so all dirt and grime has been removed. This isn’t designed to physically clean the house as it is energetically. Remaining dirt and grime will cling to this concoction. This can be harmful to wood floors so use a damp mop style of cleaning. Theoretically you can put the tincture…
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February 6th, 2017 – Rotten Apple Banishing Spell

Published on February 6, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
There are many forms of banishing spells out there. Some situations don’t fall within existing spells. This is a generic banishing spell that you can use for just about any situation. Maybe your situation has no possible solution and the only way to resolve it is to banish it in its entirety. You Will Need • an apple (color does not matter) • a mint leaf and oil • a bamboo skewer • black silk or satin ribbon • shovel 1) Cut the apple in half horizontally so the star in the center is exposed. 2) Rub one half of the apple with the mint leaf concentrating on the situation that you need banished from your life. 3) Anoint the other side of the apple with mint oil while concentrating on the situation and how you want it banished from your life. 4) Place the two pieces of the apple back together and skewer them together with the bamboo skewer. 5) Tie the pieces of the apple together with the black ribbon. 6) Bury the apple as far from your home as you can. As the apple rots your problem will dissipate.
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Imbolc / Candlemas February 1-2

Published on February 1, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
The start of February is filled with significance. For many Pagans it marks the holiday of Imbolc, seen by some as the start of Spring (and by many others as the height of Winter). Millions more celebrate it as Candlemass or the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is traditional during Imbolc to light every lamp in the home at dusk, according to experts on pagan traditions. Candles can also be lit in each room of the house to honor the sun’s rebirth. A kerosene lamp with a red chimney cab also be placed in a prominent spot of the home. Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-molg), also called (Saint) Brigid's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde, Scottish Gaelic: Là Fhèill Brìghde, Manx: Laa'l Breeshey), is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 1 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, Imbolc was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain, and corresponds to the Welsh Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau. Christians, especially those in Ireland, observe the feast day of Saint Brigid at this time, and historical linkages between the holidays have been noted. Although many of its customs died out in the 20th century, it is still observed and in some places it has been revived as a cultural event. Since the latter 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Imbolc, or a revival of it, as a religious holiday. In Gaelic Ireland, Imbolc was the feis or festival marking the beginning of spring, during which great feasts were held. It is attested in some of the earliest Old Irish literature, from the 10th century onward. It was…
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January 30th, 2017 – Prosperity Powder and Candle

Published on January 30, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
If you are having problems with bringing prosperity into your world/life, this is a very simple concoction and candle to put together. You will need a green candle. Powder: Grind and powder the following • Allspice • Cinnamon • Myrrh • Orange Zest • Orrisroot • Patchouli • Vetiver You can make this powder in larger quantities and store it for about 6 months before it may start to turn. Some places may already offer these items in powder form. Make a space on your altar and place the green candle within it. Draw a circle around the candle with the powder. Meditate on the candle while holding it in your hands and state your desires succinctly and clearly. You may also dress the candle with any inscription or empowerment writing of your choice. If you are seeking more job offers, write job offers into the candle. If it is more income, write into the candle you seek a raise, or promotion. BE SPECIFIC. One of my favorite ways to use this powder is with a pine scented candle. Pine is for protection. This is to ensure that what prosperity you do bring in, is protected as not to vanish quickly. I also will take one of the glass candles and place the powder inside so as the candle melts it burns off some of the powder as incense. You can continue to add powder as needed until the candle is burned down.
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January 16th, 2017 – Triple Happiness House Blessing

Published on January 16, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
Triple Happiness House Blessing Bag You will need to gather the following items for this wonderful house blessing charm. 3 Garlic Cloves 3 Yellow Rosebuds 3 Golden/Gold Colored Coins 1 White Bag 1 Gold Ribbon 1 Iron Nail Set up your work space according to your methods. If you have had some unusual activity in your home, you may want to thoroughly cleanse the house with white sage for several days prior to performing this version of a house blessing. Bless/Infuse the cloves, rosebuds, coins, bag and ribbon with thoughts of harmony and happiness in your ritual. Place the garlic, rosebuds and coins in the white bag and tie it closed with the gold ribbon. While holding the bag, dance around your house three times sunwise (clockwise). (East – South – West – North). Then you will dance around your house three times moonwise (counterclockwise). (East – North – West – South). While dancing in BOTH directions envision sealing in love, happiness, and harmony into your home. Nail the bag over the front entrance of your home using an iron nail.
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Changes here at Soul Charts and Treasures.

Published on January 16, 2017 under Shamanic Writings
2017 is bringing many changes including some to Soul Charts and Treasures. Since 2013 I have been posting a weekly online reading each week. This year I decided to change that formula. I am going to start posting a cross between a weekly Shamanic Study and Weekly Ritual. Some of these rituals will not be necessarily Shamanic only, but generic that anyone, of any practice can use and adapt to their particular style. I hope you enjoy the new format and visit us here regularly. Shaman Laura Thornton
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