Song of the Witches BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (from Macbeth) Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Cool it with a baboon’s blood, Then the charm is firm and good
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Mystic Moon Café hosts bring a variety of guests to talk about paranormal phenomenon, cryptozoology, ghost hunting, favorite authors on many topics – fiction, conspiracy theory, and fact, featured music artists, and more!
Welcome to Wendy’s Magick Studies, a companion blog/podcast to Mystic Moon Café Radio. Once a week, probably late on Sundays, I will be presenting something magical, something mystical, and possibly movie and/or book reviews of Urban Fantasy, Magic, and so on.
Moon Magic – Folklore, History, Legend & Myth: Since this is a companion article for Mystic Moon Café, I thought I would begin with a basic introduction to Moon Magic and the accompanying Lore. Please keep in mind that I am not a ‘practicing’ anything – except for snark-ologist – so this is pretty much academic, although I will try to include a few relevant spells and will attempt these spells myself whenever possible.
Wendy Lady’s Magickal Studies, a companion blog/podcast to Mystic Moon Café
Radio. Once a week, probably late on
Sundays, I will be presenting something magical, something mystical, and
possibly movie and/or book reviews of Urban Fantasy, Magic, and so on.
Now, I’m no
expert in any of these things, but I know what I enjoy. Research and Learning are at the top of my
list. I will be delving into one aspect
of Magic, Witchcraft, Folklore, Myth and/or Legend in each article.
So, if you
are so inclined, join me on this journey of discovery!
start with a bit of Friday the 13th lore and such since this coming Friday
is both September 13th and there is also a Full Moon? Here’s everything to know about
this year’s unique September full moon.
The moon is
a wonder in all of its phases, but we seem to go a bit loony for her when she’s
full. And this month, the full moon has a lot going on; enough to make all of
us lunar fangirls and boys extra excitable. Consider the following:
1. It’s the
moon closest in date to the autumnal equinox is awarded the title of harvest
moon. Given the moon’s cycles, this means that harvest moons can happen as
early as September 8 or as late as October 7. This year’s equinox falls on
September 23, and thus the month’s full moon will wear the crown.
2. It will
provide extra light
harvest moon occurs when the orbit is more parallel to the horizon, its
relationship to the eastern horizon stays close to the same for several days.
This means that while usually the moon rises around 50 minutes later each
night, the harvest moon rises just 25 to 30 minutes later across the northern
U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe, according to
NASA, which notes. While all full moons rise at sunset, the fact that the
Harvest Moon has a shorter rising lag on successive days means that we get what
appears to be a full moon rising near sunset for more days than usual; this
gave farmers a “sunset extension” of sorts, which went to good use during the
very busy time of harvest.
3. It’s full
just for an instant
True of all
full moons – although it may appear full for a few days, astronomically
speaking, the moon is full at the moment that it’s exactly 180 degrees opposite
the sun in ecliptic longitude. For this year’s harvest moon, that means it will
be full for a fleeting moment at 4:33 Universal Time on September 14.
4. But for
many the harvest moon coincides with Friday the 13th
For those of
us in the Eastern time zone, the moon turns full at 12:33 a.m. on Saturday,
September 14th – thereby depriving us of the spooky magic of such a mash-up.
For the rest of the United States time zones, the moon becomes full officially
before midnight on Friday the 13th.
fact: Paraskevidekatriaphobia means a fear of Friday the 13th!)
5. A Friday
the 13th full moon is relatively rare
We have not
had a nationwide full moon on Friday the 13th since October 13th, 2000 – and
won’t have another until August 13th, 2049.
6. It will
also be a micromoon
supermoons get all the fanfare for their increased appearance in size … but
let’s not ignore the adorable micro moon! This month’s full moon nearly
coincides with apogee – the point in the moon’s orbit when it is farthest from
Earth. The difference in moon-to-Earth distance between apogee and perigee is
30,000 miles. This difference in distance makes a
supermoon look 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than a micromoon. We
love underdogs, go little micromoon!
The Moon is Earth’s oldest temple, holding the potency of countless
prayers since the dawn of Time…A bell whose ringing brings you into the field
of the Mother, where body & soul can quietly drink.. Dana
Moon Magic – Folklore,
History, Legend & Myth:
this is a companion article for Mystic Moon Café, I thought I would begin with
a basic introduction to Moon Magic and the accompanying History
Lore. Please keep in mind that I am not a ‘practicing’ anything – except for
snark-ologist – so this is pretty much academic, although I will try to include
a few relevant spells and will attempt these spells myself whenever possible.
here we go:
The Moon, in terms of distance, is the closest
Heavenly body to Earth. It can be see it in the sky for three out of four weeks,
and for thousands of years, people have used its light to guide them in the
well before recorded history, the Moon has been the subject mystery and
fascination, both worshipped and feared.
Perhaps, because of the Moon’s waxing and waning, she has garnered more
mystical folklore than even the steady Sun.
Oldest Lunar Calendars and Earliest Constellations have been identified in cave
art found in France and Germany. The astronomer-priests of these late Upper
Paleolithic Cultures understood mathematical sets, and the interplay between the
moon annual cycle, ecliptic, solstice and seasonal changes on earth.
First (Lunar) Calendar
The archaeological record’s earliest data that speaks to human awareness of the
stars and ‘heavens’ dates to the Aurignacian Culture of Europe, c.32,000 B.C. Between
1964 and the early 1990s, Alexander Marshack published breakthrough research
that documented the mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the Late Upper
Paleolithic Cultures of Europe. Marshack deciphered sets of marks carved into
animal bones, and occasionally on the walls of caves, as records of the lunar
cycle. These marks are sets of crescents or lines. Artisans carefully
controlled line thickness so that a correlation with lunar phases would be as
easy as possible to perceive. Sets of marks were often laid out in a serpentine
pattern that suggests a snake deity or streams and rivers.
Aurignacian Lunar Calendar / diagram, drawing after Marshack, A. 1970;
Notation dans les Gravures du Paléolithique Supérieur, Bordeaux, Delmas / Don’s
of these lunar calendars were made on small pieces of stone, bone or antler so
that they could be easily carried. These small, portable, lightweight lunar
calendars were easily carried on extended journeys such as long hunting trips
and seasonal migrations.
the largest animals was arduous, and might require hunters to follow herds of
horses, bison, mammoth or ibex for many weeks. (Other big animals such as the
auroch, cave bear and cave lion were well known but rarely hunted for food
because they had special status in the mythic realm. The Auroch is very
important to the search for earliest constellations.) Info from:
The Sun, Moon, planets,
and stars have provided us a reference for measuring the passage of time
throughout history. All cultures before recorded history charted the heavenly
skies to make some sort of sense out of their environment.
calendars have been in existence for thousands of years. For our ancient
ancestor’s time was measured by the number of Moons that had passed from a
certain period, and by the shadows that the Sun and Moon cast.
are “Man made” lunar calendars that some scientists place as old as
32,000 years. Some recent archeological findings are from the Ice Age where
hunters carved notches and gouged holes into sticks, reindeer bones and the
tusks of mammoths, depicting the days between each phase of the Moon. These
artifacts are dated between 25,000 and 10,000 B.C. There are also surviving
astronomical records inscribed on oracle bones dating back to the Shang dynasty
of the fourteenth century B.C. that reveal a Chinese calendar, with
intercalation of lunar months.
The Sun, Moon, planets, and stars
have provided us a reference for measuring the passage of time throughout
history. All cultures before recorded history charted the heavenly skies to
make some sort of sense out of their environment.
Egypt, the paths of the stars were recorded as early as 6,000 years before
Christ. The wisest of the Egyptians were the Hermetic philosophers, who
possessed a profound knowledge of the sky. They relied upon the predictable
motion of these bodies through the sky to determine the seasons, months, and
years. People began a preoccupation with measuring and recording the passage of
time. There was a need for planning and for divination and prognostication; to
maintain these cycles meant that records needed to be kept and observatories
needed to be built to precisely measure these cycles.
erected various calendars to provide a source of order and cultural identity
and as a need to organize their time more efficiently. As far back as 5,000 to
6,000 years ago civilizations in the Middle East and North Africa also made
primitive clocks in order to divide their time more precisely. Of primary
importance to the Egyptians was the time when the Nile river began its annual
flood tide. This was carefully noted so they knew when to plant and harvest.
of their activities, whether for work, rest or play were in harmony with the
flow of “Mother Nature,” the changing of seasons, the rising and
setting of the Sun and Moon and the phases the Moon passed through in a month.
There was a time for everything under the Heavens! The seasons, tides,
eclipses, and phases of the Moon were known to be in direct correlation to the
movement of the Sun, Moon, and Earth.
and Calendars traditionally held a sacred status among diversified cultures and
provided the basis for maintaining the cycles of religious and civil events, as
well as for agricultural and hunting purposes. These early calendars are based
on the Moon’s cycles.
time keepers were usually Sages, Magi, or astrologer-priests who guarded the
sacred records in their rock temples in India, on their ziggurats in Babylonia
or their stone observatories and pyramids in Egypt. They calculated that a
month was the period the Moon revolved around the Earth, and from this understanding
various Lunar Calendars evolved. Until the time of Julius Caesar, the calendar
was primarily lunar, with various schemes devised to keep step with the cycle
of seasons. When measured in this fashion, lives ebbed and flowed in a 29.53059
Occult, Astrology, Alchemy, Prophecy, Fortune Telling, Spells and Superstition
plays a large and complex part in magic and the occult. This is a comprehensive
history of the moon’s importance in the worlds of astrology, alchemy, prophecy
History of the Moon and Astrology
place in the astrological world starts in about 4000 BC with the Sumerians who
worshipped the god of the Sun (Utu), Venus (Inanna) and the Moon (Nanna). Their
rulers came from the priest who communicated with these gods. A special sort of
priest emerged called Banu Priests who could read the signs of the sky. These
priests were predicting natural phenomena, usually an eclipse of the moon.
The moon is
an essential element in the most important text relating to alchemy. That text
is known as the Emerald Tablet:
Tablet drawn by Heinrich Khunrath, 1606
Tablet has several other names: the Smaragdine Tablet, the Tabula Smaragdine
and the Secret of Hermes. It is an ancient text said to have been produced by
the Egyptian moon god Thoth, who is also referred to as Hermes Trismegistus.
The short and highly cryptic piece of writing claims to describe the secrets of
the primordial substance and how it can be harnessed. The tablet’s meaning is
very obscure. It seems to state that all things come from some primal source of
which the sun is the father and the moon is the mother:
is the Sun, its mother the Moon, the wind carried it in its belly and its nurse
is the earth.’
The Ancient Egyptians worshipped her as the Mother of the Universe, and in Central Asia, sheis the Goddess’s mirror, reflecting everything in the World.
In the Basque language, “Moon” and “Deity” are the same word – Ilargi, Ile or Ilazki. In Basque mythology, she is the
daughter of Mother Earth, to whom it returns daily..
Britain’s old name is ‘Albion’, meaning “the Milk-White Moon
To the Persians, the Moon was ‘Metra’ – “Mother, whose love
The Vedas, sacred texts for Hindus, say that the Moon is a
receptacle of souls between incarnations.
The Catholic Church’s Mary is closely associated with the Moon.
Early paintings depict her standing on a crescent Moon.
It is unlikely that any civilization, ancient and modern, has
not been influenced in some way by the Moon’s magic.
Outside of religion and spiritual beliefs, a rich folklore about
the Moon developed among common people in Europe. It was believed that:
At the moment you see a new Moon, jingle coins in your
pocket. This is a sure way to multiply your fortune as the Moon waxes.
Never start a project during the waning Moon, it will not be
A woman who sleeps in the Moonlight increases her fertility.
The New Moon is good luck but should never be looked at through
glass or tree branches.
After seeing the Moon for the first time in a new year, ask a
question of the first person you see. If the answer is “yes,” you will marry
A pregnant woman should never face the Moon; her child will be
born with mental problems. To stop this, she must turn in a counterclockwise
circle three times and spit.
bit fantastical, but Folklore and Superstition are quite often that way.
The word lunatic comes from the Latin ‘Luna’, and it was
believed that people were more likely to exhibit aberrant, crazy behavior
during a full moon. Studies have been done which show that emergency room
visits and accidents are increased during the full moon period, but there has
yet to be conclusive evidence for the cause
Folk magic involving the Moon could fill pages and pages. How
much of this is based on real magic and how much is mere superstition?
Surprisingly, a lot of Moon lore and magic holds true power. One “superstition”
about the Moon is that emotions become unstable during the full and new Moons.
The Moon has been credited with lunacy for centuries. Paracelus, a 14th century
alchemist and physician, claimed that insanity grew worse during the dark of
the Moon. Before 1808, some mental hospitals routinely had patients beaten
during certain lunar phases. This was to prevent outbursts of lunacy..
seems to have an effect on animals as well as people. Dr. Frank Brown of
Northwestern University, an expert on animal behavior, reports that hamsters
spin in their wheels far more aggressively during the moon’s full phase. Deer
and other herbivores in the wild tend to ovulate at the full moon, and in
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the full moon is mating time for coral.
Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, was
inspired by the strange – and yet very true – case of Charles Hyde, a London
man who committed a series of crimes at the time of the full moon.
legend says that if Christmas fell on the day of a dark Moon, the following
year’s harvest would be a bountiful one. Some parts of the British Isles
believed that a waxing moon on Christmas meant a good crop the next fall, but a
waning moon indicated a bad one would come.
folklore standpoint, many traditions of weather magic indicate that a lunar
halo means rain, snow, or other types of foul atmospheric conditions are on the
way. Related to the lunar halo is the phenomenon called a moonbow. Interestingly,
because of the way light refracts, a moonbow – which is just like a rainbow,
but appearing at night – will only be seen in the part of the sky opposite of
where the moon is visible.
• The first time you see a crescent moon for
the month, take all your spare coins out of your pocket, and put them in the
other pocket. This will ensure good luck for the next month.
• Some people believe that the fifth day
after a full moon is the perfect time to try to conceive a child.
• Many cultures throughout history have
honored lunar deities, including Artemis, Selene, and Thoth.
• In some Chinese religions, offerings are
made to the ancestors on the night of a full moon.
• In some Native American legends, the moon
is held captive by a hostile tribe. A pair of antelope hope to rescue the moon
and take it the village of a good tribe, but Coyote, the trickster, interferes.
The antelope chase Coyote, who tosses the moon into a river each night, just
out of reach of the antelope.
• The night of the full moon is believed to
be a good time for divination and scrying.
“The new and first-quarter phases, known
as the light of the Moon, are considered good for planting above-ground crops,
putting down sod, grafting trees, and transplanting. From full Moon
through the last quarter, or the dark of the Moon, is the best time for killing
weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber, and planting
Most every farmer knows that roots are supposed to grow best
when planted during the dark of the Moon, and plants with edible parts above
ground grow better when planted in the waxing Moon. A quick search in the
internet will bring hundreds of sites on planting by the Moon. Many
farmers—commercial and backyard —swear by the Moon method
Many pre-Christian lunar worship rites and rituals have carried
over into modern times. These have long lost their original meanings but are
nevertheless still practiced. The use of birthday candles and cakes is a good
example. This tradition comes to us from the ancient Greeks. To honor the
birthday of Artemis, goddess of the Moon, lunar-shaped cakes with candles were
placed on her altar. Blowing out the candles and making a wish is a remnant of
prayers offered to Artemis
Weather and the Moon
The Moon’s role in weather patterns has some interesting folk
magic. When the crescent Moon lies on its back, with horns up, a drought is
thought to be inevitable. When it is vertical, like the letter “C,” rain is on
its way. A long drought is expected if the Moon hovers low on the southern
horizon. A ring around the Moon is supposed to bring heavy rain or snow.
Counting the number of stars in the ring tells how far away the storm is. No
stars bring the storm within a day.
indications may seem like superstition, but the Moon does affect weather.
During its waxing phase, the Moon affects the earth’s magnetic field and may
trigger thunderstorms. Reports from over 1500 weather stations during a 50 year
period show heavy rainfall occurs more often in North America during the 2nd,
and 4th quarters of the lunar cycle than during the other phases
At the site, History.com, there is a great
article that looks at even more obscure and less mainstreem myths,
including the ideas that aliens inhabit the moon, that the moon is actually a
hollow spacecraft, or that there was a secret Nazi base there during World War
Fear of the Moon
People of ancient times often feared the moon. The Aleutians
thought that if anyone offended the Moon, it would fling stones down at the
offender and kill him. The Hakkas believed that, if on the 15th day of the 8th
month, clouds covered the moon before midnight, oil and salt would soon be
scarce. The Chaldeans, close observers of eclipses, believed that when the Moon
was obscured, she had turned her back on earth. Many Native American’s believed
that eclipses were caused by a serpent swallowing the Moon. Hindus explained an
eclipse by describing a giant who grabbed the luminaries and tried to eat them.
The Chinese had a similar belief, but a dragon instead of a giant grabbed the
Moon for a tasty meal.
Some ancient peoples tried to help the Moon escape the monster’s
clutches by shouting and making loud noises with musical instruments. This
would supposedly frighten the beast away. And since the Moon always reappeared,
they naturally believed their din had indeed frightened the monster and saved
For many Pagans, the cycles of the moon are
important to magical workings. It’s believed in some traditions that the waxing
moon, the full moon, the waning moon and the new moon all have their own
special magical properties, and so workings
should be planned accordingly.
The full moon has long had an aura of mystery and magic about it. It is tied to the ebbs and flows of the tide, as well as the every-changing cycle of women’s bodies. The moon is connected to our wisdom and intuition, and many Pagans and Wiccans choose to celebrate the full moon with a monthly ritual.
If you’re starting your path to become a Witch, one key element
that can determine your success when casting spells at home is your ability to
keep track of the moon phases and work with them to improve your ritual Magic.
The first thing is to be aware of what the Moon phase is today.
Today, September 8th, 2019, has a First Quarter
Moon/Moon in Capricorn
some incense to help you set the mood. The best aromas for tonight are: Musk, Frankincense, Lemon, or Citrus.
Moon is passing through Capricorn, invite Her energies with this chant:
you, Dear Moon, for uniting me to the stability and practicality of the Goat.
Just like her, I am ambitious
and determined to achieve my goals”.
piece of paper. Write in clear letters your deepest wish. Don’t overthink.
Instead, just start writing. Visualize your idea of a perfect future and write
it down in the present tense. The First Quarter Moon is a time of abundance and
growth, so think BIG! Be clear and precise, whether it’s a love request, a
money target, or just a dream to work towards.
Light a white candle on your altar. Place it
next to your petition and leave it there.
your altar any crystals that you would like to charge with the energies of
tonight. Especially sensitive gemstones for a Sunday are: Amber, Carnelian, Diamond, Tiger’s Eye Quartz.
Meditate for a while. Then take the paper and paste it in your
diary, Book of Shadows, or hide it in a secret place.
Drawing down the Moon (also known as drawing down the
Goddess) is a central ritual in many contemporary Wiccan traditions. During the
ritual, a coven’s High Priestess enters a trance and requests that the Goddess
or Triple Goddess, symbolized by the Moon, enter her body and speak through
her. The High Priestess may be aided by the High Priest, who invokes the spirit
of the Goddess. During her trance, the Goddess speaks through the High
The name most likely comes from a depiction of two women
and the moon on an ancient Greek vase, believed to date from the second century
It could also come from line 145 of Claudian’s First Book
Against Rufinus. Megaera, one of the Erinyes, in the guise of an old man,
speaks to Rufinus:
Despise not an old man’s feeble limbs: I have the gift of
magic and the fire of prophecy is within me. I have learned the incantations
wherewith Thessalian witches pull down the bright moon, I know the meaning of
the wise Egyptians’ runes, the art whereby the Chaldeans impose their will upon
the subject gods, the various saps that flow within trees and the power of
deadly herbs; all those that grow on Caucasus rich in poisonous plants, or, to
man’s bane, clothe the crags of Scythia; herbs such as cruel Medea gathered and
In classical times, ancient Thessalian witches were
believed to control the moon, according to the tract: “If I command the
moon, it will come down; and if I wish to withhold the day, night will linger
over my head; and again, if I wish to embark on the sea, I need no ship, and if
I wish to fly through the air, I am free from my weight.”
The drawing down of the moon derives from the Vangelo. In
this a poem defining the drawing down of the moon is written and this has been
used as the basis for the drawing down of the moon by various Wiccan groups.
The practice forms part of both Gardnerian and Cochranian rites. The practice
is also reference in Reginald Scot’s “The Discoverie of Witchcraft”.
The modern form likely originated in Gardnerian Wicca,
and is considered a central element of Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccan
ceremonies. During the modern rite, the High Priestess may recite the Charge of
the Goddess, a text based in a mixture of writings by Gerald Gardner and
Aleister Crowley, though now often used in its recension by Doreen Valiente,
High Priestess in the Gardnerian tradition.
Mel D. Faber explains the ritual in psychoanalytical
terms of attempting to re-unite with the protective-mother archetype.
In modern traditions, some solitary Wiccans also perform
the ritual, usually within a circle and performed under the light of a full
Moon. The solitary will stand in the Goddess Pose (both arms held high, palms
up, body and arms forming a ‘Y’) and recite a charge, or chant.
The ritual in print:
“Drawing Down the Moon” is also the title of a book by
National Public Radio reporter, Margot Adler— Drawing Down the Moon: Witches,
Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today—originally
published in 1979. Adler writes:
…in this ritual, one of the most serious and beautiful
in the modern Craft, the priest invokes into the priestess (or, depending on
your point of view, she evokes from within herself) the Goddess or Triple
Goddess, symbolized by the phases of the moon. She is known by a thousand
names, and among them were those I had used as a child. In some Craft rituals
the priestess goes into a trance and speaks; in other traditions the ritual is
a more formal dramatic dialogue, often of intense beauty, in which, again, the
priestess speaks, taking the role of the Goddess. In both instances, the
priestess functions as the Goddess incarnate, within the circle.
So, the more attuned one is with the Moon,
the more easily Life and it’s surrounding circumstances can flow.
I’m going to stop here. What was supposed to be a short article
has turned into a 4000+ word essay.
Upcoming Sabbat: Mabon
the autumnal equinox in the Northern
Hemisphere, the point after which the nights become longer than the days, as
the North Pole tilts away from the sun. … In pagan mythology, the equinox is called
Mabon, or Second Harvest. It is a time to give thanks for the summer and to
pay tribute to the coming darkness.
I want to wish you Luck in your Magickal pursuits. I hope you found this interesting and helpful. I know I did.
Mystic Moon Cafe Radio hosts bring a variety of guests to talk about paranormal phenomenon, cryptozoology, ghost hunting, favorite authors on many topics – fiction, conspiracy theory, and fact, featured music artists, and more!