What does the word Magick conjure up for you?

A Sorcerer summoning a demon?

Morgan la Fay weaving an enchanted robe with which to kill her half-brother, King Arthur?

Native American shamanism?

Invoking the sea gods?

A voodoo doll?

Hermione practicing her craft at Hogwarts?

But there’s more to Magick than just the supernatural stuff. Magick can be a perfect souffle or book that captures your imagination. There’s the magick of childhood – the wonder of experiencing everything for the very first time.

Magic is moments that define so much
you feel that you have no words to express the feelings.

– Shruti Ghosh

Magick is music that gives you goosebumps…

Relationships can be magickal. Sitting down to write a poem, letter, or post and having the words flow effortlessly – that’s Magick! Chrismastime, running into a childhood friend, Practical Magic AND Bell, Book and Candle (OK, both movies are about witchcraft but that doesn’t make them any less MAGICKAL.), a warm Summer night, kinetic energy created by a storm, the smell of the air after it’s rained, NATURE

For some, a forest can be a magickal place.

Others find enchantment beneath the ocean

or in a sunset.

There’s Magick in the air when the first crocuses appear

and in the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly.

The Magick of nature is all around us. In every living thing. The Magick of LIFE never ceases to amaze and humble me all at the same time.

A tomato plant growing out of a sidewalk crack.

A tiny begonia Magickally appearing out of nowhere.


Magick is believing that anything is possible.

This Post started with one at Apartment Therapy: “Instead of a Resolution, Consider Adopting a Word of the Year.” I had several in mind but MAGICK was the word I awoke with this morning…

I grounded myself and gave thanks for all that I have and all the MAGICK in the world around me – and inside me. I asked that I embrace it, nurture it, and grow it. Now, let’s go back to the Tarot card seen at the beginning of this Post.

Before I do a read I cleanse my deck in incense smoke. Today I used Dragon’s Blood. I noticed that the card at the bottom was The Priestess. This happens from time to time, but not often, and I normally ignore it. I didn’t have any question to ask so I shuffled and cut the cards thrice like normal; however, before I had a chance to perform that third cut one card stuck up from the deck. When this occurs it’s a sign to pull that card – which is what I did. That card was The Priestess.

The Priestess is the Planetary Trump of the Moon and is the Number 2 card in the Major Arcana. Major Arcana (Trump cards) represent life lessons, karmic influences, and archetypal energies that are affecting you right now. The Number 2 symbolizes duality, balance, and wisdom; and in Numerology it represents a supremely feminine force with the strongest intuition.

The Vampyre Priestess wears a silver headpiece adorned with the sign of the Triple Goddess: the three phases of the Moon. The quiver of arrows at her back links her to the Roman Goddess Diana, patroness of hunters, crossroads, the underworld, and the Moon. Diana is also considered an aspect of the Triple Goddess. At the Vampyress’ neck is a black lace choker studded with one black stone. Her pale dress is patterned with images of NATURE: Birds, snakes, flowers, and butterflies. Except for her blood-red lips, she is void of color. Black is her hair, eyes, fingernails, the ribbon embellishing her gown, and the coiled serpent armpiece. A lit black candle rests beside her while a black book (dripping with blood) levitates before her, its pages waiting to be filled.

Divine Feminine. Occult talents. Seduction and mystery. Arcane knowledge. Independence. Shamanistic journeys. Psychic power. Dreams and the unconscious.

The Priestess (feminine) balances The Magician (male). Together they represent Yin-Yang: The seemingly opposite forces that are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. She is both physically and mentally in tune with the natural world as well as the spiritual world, and is the conduit between the mundane and the sacred.

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It is not possible to kindle fresh fires from burned-out embers.
– Ruth Sawyer

Although the lady has been bitten by a Vampyre the blood on her dress is not hers. She’s managed to escape to this beautiful garden sanctuary. Note the position of the woman’s body mirrors that of the angelic statue she stops at, their hands meeting in prayer. The statue acts as her Guardian Angel, which in turn represents her connection to the Divine. She takes a breath and quiets her thoughts. Her action parallels the symbolism of the murdered crow, which is the suit’s Totem Animal. This moment of respite will afford the young lady the time she needs to reflect and regroup.

The 4 of Knives (Swords) is Lord of Rest from Strife and is ruled by Jupiter (expansion) in Libra (balance). All the fours represent structure and stability. The suit of Knives (Swords) relate to mental activity, the intellect, rational thinking, and communication; astrologically, they are connected to the Air signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.

Essence: Stilling turbulent thoughts and clearing our minds. Healing and recuperation. Gathering inner resources. Moment of repose. Sweeping away distractions. Getting our bearings after a time of stress. Allowing our higher self to work on our behalf.

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The Devil, The Rebel, The Trickster, and The Shadow

“Speak of the devil and he appears.”
“When you dance with the devil, you don’t get to pick the tune.”
“Better the devil you know.”
“The devil is in the details.”

and my favorite:
“The devil’s best trick was to convince us he doesn’t exist.”

The Devil represents the Zodiacal Trump of Capricorn in Tarot, and is ruled by Saturn (discipline and responsibility, Taskmaster) and exalted in Mars (creative energy and willpower, Warrior). Traditionally the keywords for The Devil are predictable (oppression, addiction, obsession, dependency, excess, powerlessness, and limitations); but in the Tarot of Vampyres it expresses itself thusly: Originality, Rebellion, Duality, Independent, Mischievous, and above all, having a Lust for life. No commonplace Baphomet-like symbol graces the card above. Indeed. Here The Devil appears to be more a lusty goatman – think Pan or the Horned God (consort of the White Goddess).

The Devil is the card’s quintessential Archetype but I’m going to attach it to three more…

  1. The Rebel – Just like his alias, Lucifer, The Devil goes against the grain, resists the status quo, and forges his own path.

    “Lucifer was perhaps the one who best understood the divine will struggling to create a world and who carried out that will most faithfully. For by rebelling against God, he became the active principle of a creation which opposed to God a counter-will of its own. Because God willed this, we are told in Genesis 3 that he gave man the power to will otherwise. Had he not done so, he would have created nothing but a machine, and then the incarnation and the redemption would never have come about. Nor would there have been any revelation of the Trinity, because everything would have remained One for ever.” – Carl Jung (1942) [source]

  2. The Trickster – The devil is known as “the father of all tricksters” and the cause of deceipt and deception. Like the Greek god Pan, The Devil is crafty, playful, opportunistic, light-hearted, and Devil-may-care.

    “…he can also be the agent provocateur that helps us live more fully into life.”

  3. The Shadow – The Devil is the dark and shadowy side of our existence. He demonstrates how a selfish devotion to material possessions and ill-conceived passions can tie us down and keep us from true happiness.

    “Milton called Satan the principium individuationis, the principle of individuation, and to the extent that our shadow side helps us become more fully ourselves.”

I drew the card after asking this question: “Through the end of 2021, whose energies should I engage?”

Major Arcana Tarot cards represent the life lessons, karmic influences and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul’s journey to enlightenment. The Devil‘s message: Enjoy life for life is worth living. Leave behind structured ideologies, dogmas, and false morality. Embrace a healthy down-to-earth attitude. There’s a fine balance to be had between the animalistic passions that all humans possess and the Divine inspiration we strive to attain. Nothing’s wrong with meeting in the middle. Human are of The Earth as well as The Divine. To ignore either would be disastrous.

The only other hope is that he [man] may learn to curb a creativity which is wasting itself in the exploitation of material power. Unfortunately, all attempts in that direction look like bloodless Utopias.
– Carl Jung

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Grianstad an Gheimhridh

Yule. The Winter Solstice. In Irish, Grianstad an Gheimhridh. In the Northern Hemisphere it’s the longest night of the year and will occur in the U.S.A. on December 21, 2021 at 7:56am PST.

The 12 days of Yule – which begin on December 21st and last through January 1st – is a time of symbolic rebirth and renewal. Everything about this holiday honors life, light, and hope. The Celts believed the sun stood still during the Winter Solstice. During this time they burned a whole tree in the hearth – the Yule log – which they believed encouraged the sun to move, thus making the days longer. The first 12 days after the Winter Solstice are symbolically associated with the 12 months of the year. Celebrating the return of the light can be done in many ways. It is all about clearing the old and acknowledging a rebirth of awakening energy.

This is a simple ritual that anyone can do at any time, but is especially effective on the longest night of the year.

Burning ceremony
Write down the things you want to let go of on pieces of paper (hurt feelings, lingering grudges, a toxic relationship, or anything else that has been holding you back). Burn each strip one by one, focusing your intention on setting yourself free from these emotional anchors. The “death” of these papers makes way for the “birth” of a more positive future.

Those who have a close connection with nature believe that on the day of the Winter Solstice fate can be changed. Nature herself can assist with this by reviving and starting a new cycle, fulfilling many desires, and enlisting the support of higher powers for the coming year. This is the time when you can radically alter your destiny. The energy of the Winter Solstice supports Magick related to turning points, changes, new beginnings, home and hearth, family relationships, world peace, and personal renewal.

3 of Skulls (Pentacles)
Preparation, self-confidence, teamwork, self-realization, mastering new challenges

Arianrhod was the Celtic Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate. Every living thing in the Universe was a point on her web and was connected on the spiritual plane. Touch any point on the web and all other points were affected. This is similar to the Butterfly Effect: The butterfly effect concept has been used as a broad term for any situation where a small change is supposed to be the cause of larger consequences.

“The card foretells the manifestation of a desire, project, or situation though putting in hard work now, leading to abundant rewards. At this time a harmonic and coherent structure is forming on our behalf – the investment of labor in an external or physical direction will soon be rewarded and our goals will be reached.” [1]

Celebrate Yule by roasting chestnuts while sipping this:

Holiday Nog

Wet the rim of a glass and dip it in cocoa powder
Fill 1/3 full with your favorite red wine
Fill the rest of the glass with good quality eggnog (My favorite brand is Strauss.)

Adapted from this recipe.

Yule Fires

In ancient days the folk of old
When chilled with fright by the winter’s cold,
Did kindle up a great Yule fire
With leaping flames in its’ great pyre
So to entice the waning sun
To rise again and wider run;
Its’ fiery course across the sky
To warm them so they would not die

So we, whose minds now sense a chill
of anger at the evil will
The human conflict, hate and strife
Which holds a menace over the life,
Would kindle up a flame of love
That we within our hearts many move
In Yuletide joy with love embrace
And thus abide in peace and grace

– John G. Mackinnon

Finally, revisit my Post of last December 21st for it contains an important message at the very end.

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[1] Daniels, Ian (2010). Phantasmagoria. Llewellyn Publications. p. 270.

Lord of Material Happiness

This weekend’s card is the 9 of Grails (Cups).

Ruled by Jupiter (expansive) in Pisces (receptive), the essence of this card is: Happiness, contentment, optimism, and compassion. Abundance surrounds you and you are finding ways to be happy in the present moment. As the “Lord of Material Happiness”, emotional fulfillment here is linked to the physical realm of Being. You are happily tethered to your earthly existence, creating a oneness with Nature and all its creative beauty.

Known as the “wish card”, the 9 of Grails indicates a wish is soon to be granted in a natural and divine manner. What you want is likely to come into being in your life, so dream big!

In Tarot, all nines are related to the Moon. The 9 of Grails is ruled by Pisces whose zodiacal trump card is The Moon. Indeed, in the card above the moon is full and quite grand. Ethereal and illusionary, the Moon represents our unconscious and intuitive self.

Tomorrow is the last Full Moon of 2021 – the Oak Moon – in the sign of Gemini (adaptability). The Moon quickens our psychic abilities while Gemini’s mental acuity will enable us to quickly adapt to any changes in our environment by tuning into our intuition. And guess what? It’s in a harmonious aspect to expansive Jupiter (trine) – which makes this a lucky and benevolent moon phase.

Yesterday I wrote about the 13 Moon-driven Esbats and how they relate to the Celtic Tree Calendar. I love sunshiney days – especially warm ones – and when I see the morning sun shining on the trees outside my window I just know the day’s going to be wondrous. But I also love the mystical quality of the moon as she peaks through gossamer clouds or triumphantly stares down at us on a clear night. (Like she did last night as I walked to the mailbox.)

Just as the sun imparts a masculine vitality during the day, so the Moon fills us with her mysterious feminine energy at night.

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