Thursday, December 25, 2008

Migration of Symbols

The Migration of Symbols
Count Goblet d'Alviella

"This is a study of the migration and mutation of symbols by a late 19th century Belgian lawyer and Masonic scholar, Count Goblet d'Alviella (b. 1846, d. 1925). Originally published in 1891 in French, this book covers a huge web of interchangeable symbols, which are found over a wide range of cultures through the Near East, India, Europe, and further abroad, notably in Mesoamerica. He attempts to explain the widespread use of symbols such as the Swastika, the Tree of Life, the Winged Globe, the Trident and the Caduceus. Despite the title, d'Alviella does not adhere to one theory; instead he has a whole toolkit, including diffusion, mutation, independent origins and appropriation, as well as psychological, historical and sociological explanations.

He demonstrates that the same symbol can have different interpretations in different cultures and at different times. Such is the case with the swastika, which today is obviously associated with absolute evil, but which has been used historically as a symbol of the Sun's yearly path, and regarded as a good-luck symbol, even to this day, in the far East. With over 150 line illustrations, this book is an invaluable source book for symbologists, and makes fascinating reading for readers interested in the development of religion..."

Source & Complete Text -

Free PDF Download -

Citation -
Goblet d'Alviella, Eugène. The Migration of Symbols. [London]: A. Constable and Co, 1894.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Planetary Positions Calulator

Planetary Positions

"This page gives the geocentric (earth-centered) positions of the Sun, Moon and the planets. A list of astrological conjunctions is attached. The right ascension is correct to within a couple of minutes. Some of the declinations have reversed signs; this is a known bug (however these are not used in conventional astrology). The position of Pluto will be off by a bit more than the other planets, but accurate to within a degree or two. The algorithm does not take into account interplanetary gravitational interactions; it uses the current orbital characteristics of each planet and interpolates from a known set of values. Hence, the further back or forward in time you set the date to, the less accurate the positions will be; they will be more accurate the closer they are to 1 January 1980. This algorithm does not take into account the precession of the equinox..."

Full Information -

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hail! Mighty Ancient Nile

Records of the Past, 2nd series, Vol. III
ed. by A.H. Sayce



Adoration to the Nile!
Hail to thee, O Nile!
who manifesteth thyself over this land,
and comest to give life to Egypt!
Mysterious is thy issuing forth from the darkness,
on this day whereon it is celebrated!
Watering the orchards created by Ra [1]
to cause all the cattle to live,
thou givest the earth to drink, inexhaustible one!
Path that descendest from the sky, [2]
loving the bread of Seb and the firstfruits of Nepera,
thou causest the workshops of Ptah [3] to prosper!


Lord of the fish, during the inundation,
no bird alights on the crops.
Thou createst the corn, thou bringest forth the barley,
assuring perpetuity to the temples. [4]
If thou ceasest thy toil and thy work,
then all that exists is in anguish.
If the gods suffer in heaven [1]
then the faces of men waste away.


Then he torments the flocks of Egypt, and great and small are in agony.
But all is changed for mankind when he comes;
he is endowed with the qualities of Num. [2]
If he shines, the earth is joyous,
every stomach is full of rejoicing,
every spine is happy,
every jaw-bone crushes (its food).


He brings the offerings, [3] as chief of provisioning;
he is the creator of all good things,
as master of energy, full of sweetness in his choice.
If offerings are made it is thanks to him.
He brings forth the herbage for the flocks, [4]
and sees that each god receives his sacrifices.
All that depends on him is a precious incense.
He spreads himself over Egypt,
filling the granaries, renewing the marts,
watching over the goods of the unhappy.


He is prosperous to the height of all desires,
without fatiguing himself therefor.
He brings again his lordly bark;
he is not sculptured in stone, in the statues crowned with the uræus serpent,
he cannot be contemplated.
No servitors has he, no bearers of offerings!
He is not enticed by incantations!
None knows the place where he dwells,
None discovers his retreat by the power of a written spell. [1]


No dwelling (is there) which may contain thee!
None penetrates within thy heart!
Thy young men, thy children applaud thee
and render unto thee royal homage.
Stable are thy decrees for Egypt [2]
before thy servants of the North! [3]
He stanches the water from all eyes
and watches over the increase of his good things.


Where misery existed, joy manifests itself;
all beasts rejoice.
The children of Sebek, the sons of Neit, [4]
the cycle of the gods which dwells in him, are prosperous.
No more reservoirs for watering the fields!
He makes mankind valiant,
enriching some, bestowing his love on others.
None commands at the same time as himself.
He creates the offerings without the aid of Neit, [1]
making mankind for himself with multiform care.


He shines when he issues forth from the darkness,
to cause his flocks to prosper.
It is his force that gives existence to all things;
nothing remains hidden for him.
Let men clothe themselves to fill his gardens.
He watches over his works,
producing the inundation during the night. [2]
It is a god Ptah … [3]
He causes all his servants to exist,
all writings and divine words, [4]
and that which he needs in the North.


It is with the words that he penetrates into his dwelling;
he issues forth at his pleasure through the magic spells. [5]
Thy unkindness brings destruction to the fish;
it is then that prayer is made for the (annual) water of the season;
Southern Egypt is seen in the same state as the North.
Each one is with his instruments of labour,
none remains behind his companions.
None clothes himself with garments,
the children of the noble put aside their ornaments.
The night remains silent,
but all is changed by the inundation;
it is a healing-balm for all mankind.


Establisher of justice! mankind desires thee,
supplicating thee to answer their prayers;
thou answerest them by the inundation!
Men offer the first-fruits of corn;
all the gods adore thee!
The birds descend not on the soil.
It is believed that with thy hand of gold
thou makest bricks of silver!
But we are not nourished on lapis-lazuli;
corn alone gives vigour. [1]


A festal song is raised for thee on the harp,
with the accompaniment of the hand. [2]
Thy young men and thy children acclaim thee
and prepare their (long) exercises.
Thou art the august ornament of the earth,
letting thy bark advance before men,
lifting up the heart of women in labour,
and loving the multitude of the flocks.


When thou shinest in the royal city, [1]
the rich man is sated with good things,
the poor man even disdains the lotus;
all that is produced is of the choicest;
all the plants exist for thy children.
If thou hast refused (to grant) nourishment,
the dwelling is silent, devoid of all that is good
the country falls exhausted.


O inundation of the Nile,
offerings are made unto thee,
oxen are immolated to thee,
great festivals are instituted for thee.
Birds are sacrificed to thee,
gazelles are taken for thee in the mountain,
pure flames are prepared for thee. [2]
Sacrifice is made to every god as it is made to the Nile. [3]
The Nile has made its retreats in Southern Egypt,
its name is not known beyond the Tuau. [4]
The god manifests not his forms,
he baffles all conception.


Men exalt him like the cycle of the gods,
they dread him who creates the heat,
even him who has made his son [5] the universal master
in order to give prosperity to Egypt.
Come (and) prosper! come (and) prosper!
O Nile, come (and) prosper!
[O thou who makest men to live through his flocks [1]
and his flocks through his orchards!
Come (and) prosper, come,
O Nile, come (and) prosper!]
This work has been successfully finished and dedicated to the scribe of the treasury Qaqabu [by the scribe Ennana]. [2]
48:1 The orchards of Ra are mentioned in the Book of the Dead, ch. 81.

48:2 This belief in the celestial origin of the Nile survived in Egypt, at all events as late as the time of Joinville (Histoire de Saint-Louis, ch. xl.).

48:3 Ptah is associated with the Nile in a list of divinities represented on a wall of the age of Ramses II at Karnak (Champollion: Not. Manuscrites II. p. 255, where Ptah is called Ptah, pa Hapi aā).

48:4 In the Anastasisi text: "Causing the temples to keep holiday."

49:1 The Nile is not only the dispenser of life to mankind, but also to the gods (see verses 4, 10, 53). In the Hymn it absorbs as it were all the gods, and even takes the place of Ra in verse 14.

49:2 Num, the divine creator, like Ptah, is similar to Ptah in his relation to the Nile. The two verses point out that all life is dependent on the Nile, an idea which is developed to excess in the verses following.

49:3 Funerary offerings made to the ka or "double."

49:4 See verse 14.

50:1 The gods had to submit to the power of incantations and magic formulæ (compare the legend of Ra bitten by a serpent, the romance of Setnau, and numerous passages in the Book of the Dead). The Nile alone was excepted from this law; it remained enshrouded in mystery in its retreat near the two whirlpools often mentioned in the texts and even alluded to by Herodotus.

50:2 So in the Anastasi text. The fixity of the periodic return of the Nile is probably referred to.

50:3 Verse 5 has, however, stated that the Nile had no servants; perhaps the secondary gods are meant here who directed the spread of the waters over Egypt, that is to the north of the whirlpools from whence the Nile rose.

50:4 Neit is often represented with two crocodiles on the breast; her relation to Sebek, the crocodile-god, is difficult to define.

51:1 Neit appears here as the goddess of production; the Nile has no need of Neit (or perhaps the rain) in order to generate the crops; it makes its way throughout the country by means of canals and trenches.

51:2 This seems to be an allusion to the festival of the "Night of the Drop" (Lêlet en-Nuqta), still observed in Egypt on the 5th of June, when the rise of the Nile is supposed to commence. The name is due to the old tradition recorded by Plutarch, according to which the rise of the Nile was caused by a tear which dropped into it from the eye of Isis. In M. Amélineau's Contes et Romans de l’Egypte Chrétiennes, i. p. 17, the rise of the Nile is attributed to the intercession of St. Michael, whose festival is celebrated on the 6th of June; three days before, the archangel prays that the water may rise, since it is "the life of men and animals."

51:3 Unknown word, conjectured by Cook to represent the name of a new god Kabes.

51:4 The Nile inspires Thoth the scribe of the divine utterances.

51:5 The Nile is unaffected by incantations, but serves himself with them at his pleasure in order to manifest himself.

52:1 The Nile is indeed the dispenser of all wealth, but true wealth does not consist in gold or silver, but of the products of agriculture which enable men to live.

52:2 Women are represented on the monuments accompanying the singers by clapping the hands; this custom still survives throughout the East. It is possible that we still possess the festal songs of the Nile, of which Lane has preserved for us some fragments in his work on The Modern Egyptians.

53:1 Probably Thebes, the residence of the Pharaohs at the time when the Hymn was composed. No other city can be meant, as otherwise the mythological texts would have mentioned it. Thebes, moreover, is near Silsilis, where the height of the Nile was measured, as is indicated by the Book of the Dead, chap. 149, and the royal decrees of Silsilis, which institute festivals in honour of the Nile.

53:2 These offerings are mentioned in the decrees of Silsilis.

53:3 See verse 7.

53:4 The other world.

53:5 The Pharaoh.

54:1 From the Anastasi papyrus.

54:2 See the Papyrus Anastasi 7, pl. 7, ll. 5 and 6.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Herbs: Cassia and Cinnamon

Cassia and Cinnamon - Some Differences

Cassia or Cassia Bark (Cinnamomum aromaticum, synonym C. cassia) is often substituted for Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum and C. Verum) because it is much cheaper to cultivate and is a close relative to cinnamon. Cassia is primarily native to Southern China, Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam. Korintje Indonesian cassia (Cinnamomum burmanni) or Padang cassia is primarily what is imported to North America.

Cinnamon originally hailed from Southern Asia and the West Indies, dates back as far as circa 2700 BCE. This aromatic herb (spice) was grown and used by the early Chinese and Ayurvedic healers as a treatment for fever, diarrhea, digestion, pain, and dental (tooth and gum) ailments, and more. It has been used as an antiseptic to help kill certain types of staph fungi, bacteria, and other micro-organisms. In addition, cinnamon was added to natron (i.e., a natural mineral that is water absorbent and a drying agent) embalming mixtures used by the Ancient Egyptians, during mummification, where the body cavities were filled with this spice as a preservative. The herb (leaf and bark), oil, tonic, tea, and incense are highly useful for medicinal, aromatherapy, culinary, and for magickal (Hoodoo spiritual) purposes—such as:

Astral Projection
Energy (Power)
Love (Lust)
Money Drawing (Wealth)
Purification (Cleansing)

Other Names for Cinnamon:
Ceylon Cinnamon, True Cinnamon
Arabic: Qerfa
Chinese: yook gway
French: cannelle
German: Ceylonzimt, Kaneel
Indian: dal-chini, darchini, dhall cheene
Italian: cannella
Sinhalese: kurundu
Spanish: canela
Tamil: karuvappadai

Other Types of Cassia:
Chinese cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) or Cassia – native to Burma and South China.

Indian cassia (Cinnamomum tamala) – native to India.

Saigon cassia (Cinnamomum loureirii) – native to Indonesia; grown in Korea and Japan.

Oliver’s Bark (Cinnamomum oliveri) – Australian substitute of cassia and cinnamon.

Mossoia Bark (Cinnamomum) – Papua New Guinea substitute for cassia and cinnamon.

All in all, Senna (Senna Genus) and Cassia (Cassia Genus) are both part of the Fabaceae Family while Cinnamon is of Lauraceae Family and the Cinnamomum Genus.

▪ Dr. K.A. Sahure

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nature, Spirit & Magick

By Larry Cornett


Each plant, animal, rock, and other entity has a spirit
(consciousness resonance matrix). These spirits can join
together, in a hive-mind, as a spirit of an area. Nature spirits
include real biological intelligences, are psychically powerful,
and are much less abstract and controllable than the Elementals
that many magical people who perform all of their rituals indoors
are familiar with. They can be extremely powerful allies. It is
possible to sense nature spirits, to determine if they are
receptive to a ritual planned, and to have them actively
participate in magical workings if they are.


Spectacular physical manifestations can happen when working with
nature spirits in the wild. I have personally seen actual
foxfire mark the boundaries of a magic circle at a location that
was identified as a receptive power spot and attuned to a
planned ritual the day before. I have seen more than one site
attuned for ritual be dry and comfortable, with a round hole in
the clouds overhead, on days that were cold and rainy at other
nearby locations. Birds have joined in rituals, flying around
the circle when energy was being raised; and insects, birds and
animals have joined in chants. In addition, the wind often
responds to invocations. Generally, these spectacular
manifestations happen unexpectedly.

With or without such manifestations, nature spirits often will
channel tremendous amounts of power into the magic being
performed. It is suggested that you do not consciously try for
specific manifestations. Let Nature channel her power into the
magic in her own way. If approached with respect, nature may
give you many pleasant surprises.

Spectacular physical manifestations are not a necessary sign of
success. If you need a spectacular manifestation and nature
spirits know this, you will get it. The best success in magic is
on the inner planes and more subtle than such manifestations.
This success involves beneficial changes in consciousness that
last and helpful chains of synchronicity. In addition, working
with Nature Spirits can also bring a deep sense of partnership
with Nature, and bring new levels of attunement.

To get the best results, perform nature spirit attunement
several hours to several days before the main ritual. The
purposes of such attunement are to find suitable power spots and
to get the help of friendly nature spirits. This timing gives
Nature time to gather her children and to prepare to actively
participate in the main ritual.


If nature spirits are approached with disrespect by attempting
to command them rather than listening to them and inviting them
to work with you, nature spirits may flee, rebel, or attack. I
once attended a ritual by some pseudo-Crowleyites who attempted
to perform the "Ritual of the Barbarous Names" at a power spot in
a forest and then to extend the circle several hundred yards in
all directions.

While the forest in general had loud insect and frog noises, the
area at which the ritual took place got quiet immediately when
the main ritualist declared that all spirits were subject unto
him. The vibes from nature could best be characterized as "Oh
yea, Mother...!" One participant was quickly possessed by an
angry spirit and kept repeating "You killed my children, your
children will never live in peace." When the priestess stepped
out of the boundaries of the original circle, she was attacked by
bees; and bees covered the Book of the Law. Magicians should
know better than to attempt to command spirits whose true names
they do not know!


To make the most out of working magical ritual in the wild, one
should find power spots where nature spirits are receptive to the
ritual planned and approach the spirits with respect, as equals.
In my experience, the most effective power spots for working with
the living intelligences of nature are located in wild areas with
diverse, active ecologies.

When entering a wild area to find a site for a ritual, find a
place that feels good. Then do the following, either
individually or, if in a group, as a guided meditation:

o Relax, while standing upright, and focus on your breathing.
Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm. Breathe together if
in a group.
- Feel the wind, and let it relax you and awaken your spirit
within, as your deep breathing takes you into non-ordinary
- Picture, in your mind's eye, a light inside you. As you
breathe, feel the light expand, purify and energize you - as
it expands to fill your aura.
- Feel yourself glowing, balanced, purified, and full of power.
- Connect with your inner self (your higher self), and feel
your intuitive self operating.

o Feel yourself as:
- The wind, full of life and intelligence, communicating with
all round.
- The Sunlight, warm, alive, channeling the power to
communicate with nature and energizing all around.
- Water, emotional, intuitive, refreshing, and connected with
- The Earth, and note how your physical body is able to wander
while remaining part of Mother Earth.

o Focus on your spiritual self, and:
- Note the light within and feel it as love,
- Expand the light and love beyond the immediate aura of your
body to the surrounding area - where you will go to find a
power spot and contact nature spirits.

o Telepathically (by thinking while channeling the love and light
energy) send out signals to nature spirits to emerge and be
aware of your presence.
- Say why you have come, and invite them to join in sharing,
mutual celebration, and the work you intend.
- Visualize the light and love energy you are channeling
extending out and merging with the light from distant places.
- Feel the power of the Earth flowing up through your body and
- Feel the power from the sky, and channel this power also to
further energize the carrier signal of light and love for
communicating with nature.
- Visualize the light expanding and merging.
- Continue to send out telepathic signals.

o Now go deeper:
- Close your eyes, sit on the Earth, and feel your connection
while you channel more light and love.
- Continue modulating the light and love with your thoughts -
inviting receptive spirits to join with you and to make
themselves known.
- If in a group, someone should start playing a drum at a rate
of about one beat per second; and you should listen to the
drum and let the drum take you deeper.
- Affirm that you are a nature magician, a medicine person, who
knows and communicates with nature. Let this part of
yourself emerge to full consciousness. Let the drum and the
connection to your inner self awaken that part of yourself
that naturally communicates with other life forms. Let it
awaken your telepathic senses.
- Continue sending telepathic signals to nature.
- When you feel ready and an inner urge to begin, open your
eyes a crack and look around, while continuing to channel
love and light and telepathically calling for a response.
- You may see light coming from certain areas that are
receptive. You may get other signals, such as a feeling of
power or love returning in a certain direction. Perhaps the
type of response to this work will be unexpected; follow your
intuition in interpreting it.

- You may test your connection by communicating (mentally)
instructions for signals for yes/no responses (such as light
getting brighter for less and darker for no) and then
mentally ask questions and observe the responses.

o When you have found an areas that seems to be responsive and
receptive, begin walking to the area, while beaming love
energy. Extend your aura to the area and sense the energy.


o Before entering a power spot, ask permission to enter. If the
response is good, enter; if not, locate another more receptive

o When entering the power spot, look around. Perhaps the
responsive energy will be concentrated around some singularity
(a bush, a tree, a specific branch, a moss covered rock, or
other entity that stands out). Perhaps the energy will be more
general. Use your intuition and feedback from the spirits to
guide your actions.

o If it feels right, send out a signal that you would like to
touch the singularity (or the ground) for better communication.
If the response is good, approach beaming love energy, and then
touch or hug the singularity (or the ground).

o Treat the spirits as you would other Pagans you meet for the
first time - be sensitive, open, and listen.


o Now that you have made contact with spirits that seem
receptive, deepen the communication:
- Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm, and with each
breath, feel more refreshed.
- Now imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree; and, from
its base, roots extend deep into the Earth. Deep into the
rich moist Earth.
- With every breath, feel the roots extending deeper,
- Feel the energy deep within the Earth and within the waters
of the Earth. Feel your roots absorbing nourishment from the
Earth and from its waters.
- Feel the moist, warm energy rising.
- Feel it bursting up from the Earth and rising up your spine,
like sap rises in a tree.
- Feel the energy rise to your crown chakra (at the top of your
- Now imagine that you have branches, branches that sweep up
and then bend down towards the Earth, like the limbs of a
- Feel the branches extending and interweaving with your

- Feel the warm, moist energy of the Earth flowing through your
branches. As it flows, feel yourself being purified,
centered, and connected to the Earth.
- Feel the power from the Earth flowing through your branches
and then down back to the Earth, like a fountain.
- Note how your branches absorb energy from the air. Also,
feel them receiving light (fire) from the sky.
- Feel the energy from above penetrating deep through your body
into the Earth.
- Feel the warmth of the Earth rising also.
- Feel the energy circulating.

o Notice how your branches intertwine with the branches of energy
surrounding you.
- Feel the energy dancing among your branches and the branches
around you.
- Notice how your roots also intertwine with underground energy
- Feel the energy dancing between your roots and the
surrounding energy patterns.
- Notice how you and the life around you are rooted in the
same Earth, breathing the same air, receiving the same fire,
drinking the same water, sharing the same underlying
essence. You are one with the magical grove.

o Telepathically mention the time in the past when nature spirits
and people communicated regularly and the need to establish
such communication now.

o Test your connection by asking questions and observing the


o Explain to the spirits the purpose of your coming to them and
the nature of the ritual you plan.

o If the spirits you contacted are receptive:
- Explain to them the details of the ritual and invite them to
provide ideas.
- Listen, you may receive suggestions on how to improve the
ritual. Such suggestions may come in the form of hunches,
visions, answers to yes/no questions using pre-arranged
signals, or in other ways.
- Explain what type of space is needed and ask what the best
place to perform the ritual is.
- You may see light or get other psychic signals leading you
to other sites, or you may be at one of them.
- You may also ask what the best places for other aspects of
the planned work are (picnicking, individual vision quests,
- If preparation of the site is needed (removing briars,
preparing a fire circle, etc.) ask permission of the spirits
before proceeding with such action.

- Before you leave the power spot, tell the spirits you have
contacted when you plan to return to do the ritual
(visualizing the associated lunar and solar aspects can help
with this communication).
- Invite them to join in the ritual when you return and to
bring their friends.
- Ask if it would be best to return silently, with drums, with
chanting, or with some other form of approach.
- You can also ask the spirits to provide guidance for working
in balance and to provide a teacher to provide further
o Before you leave the power spot:
- Thank the spirits,
- Channel love energy,
- Trigger your memory of the experience, and
- If it feels right, leave an offering of tobacco, or beer and
honey poured on the ground (or other suitable material).

o Leave in peace and love.

o Proceed to other sites that were indicated by the spirits,
doing similar meditations at each site.

o If you need something, like a staff, a Maypole, or a wand, you
can also ask where you can find it and follow the guidance you
receive (not slavishly, but as you would guidance from another

o Before leaving the general area in which you found power spots
and contacted nature spirits:
- Channel love energy towards the receptive sites you found,
- Thank the spirits of the land,
- Pull back your roots and branches,
- Ground any excess energy into the Earth (placing your hands
on the Earth, breathe in any excess energy, and channel the
energy down your arms, while visualizing and feeling the
energy going into the Earth), and
- Leave in peace and love.

o Naturally, you should leave the area at least as clean, and
preferably cleaner, than you found it.

o If you work with techniques of Wicca or Ceremonial Magic, you
may find that by casting a circle, calling the Elements, the
Goddess, the Gods, and the local nature spirits while you are
at receptive sites, you may be able to greatly increase

o Through the use of drums and other power raising techniques, it
is even possible to energize receptive nature spirits. The
results can be very interesting. If with a coven, such circles
can be done as part of a group attunement to a power spot you
have located.

o If you do not get good feelings in response to your explanation
of the ritual and are unable to come up with a ritual that
gives good responses, do not try to force a good response. You
would only be fooling yourself.
- Thank the spirits for their attention.
- Ask them why they are not receptive (if it feels right and
they are communicative).
- Trigger your memory.
- Pull back your "roots and branches," return any excess
energy you feel into the Earth.
- If it feels appropriate, leave an offering of tobacco or
other appropriate material, out of respect for the spirits.
- Move to a more receptive site.

o If it is hard to find a site that is really receptive, you
- Consider any impressions you got of why the nature spirits
weren't receptive in the area you were in, and re-think your
plans for a ritual, as necessary and appropriate.
- It may also be appropriate to look for another general area
in which to find a suitable power site that is receptive to
the work planned.


It can be very powerful to purify and center yourself and to
attune to the spirits of the land using the techniques previously
described for calling nature spirits immediately upon returning
to the site.

Often, individuals may have found small specific power spots to
which they have a special attunement, where the spirits are
interested in participating; but where the site is too small, has
too much vegetation, or is otherwise unsuitable for the main
ritual. Individual attunement to the spirits in such areas and
inviting them to participate in the main ritual can be
Then approach the main ritual site using the previously arranged
technique. You should have the details worked out with the
spirits of the land. An exceptionally powerful technique
involves doing a procession through or past receptive power
spots, inviting nature spirits to join as you pass each power
spot, and then moving to the central power spot for the main
ritual. If participants are at individual power spots, they can
join the procession as it passes nearby.

When consecrating space in the wild, or casting a circle, do not
set up the perimeter as a barrier to all outside forces; it
should be a beacon to attract friendly nature spirits, a
container for holding magical power, and a barrier to spirits
who it isn't right to be with.

One thing that is fun and worthwhile in nature is to bring
instruments, such as a rattle, a flute and/or a drum, to tune in
to nature's sounds, and to make music in time to nature's
sounds. You may be able to get some very interesting back and
forth exchanges of music going with selected creatures of the
wild, and get into an amazing jam session.

After the work is complete, be sure to thank the spirits for
their participation. Libations and other offerings may also be
left for the spirits during and/or after the ritual.


There are other ways of working with nature spirits. This is one
approach. The author thanks Selena Fox for teaching the basic
guided meditation technique for locating and contacting nature
spirits at a tranceworking session sponsored by the Chameleon
Club (part of the Association for Consciousness Exploration) in
1981, Vicky Smith for editorial review of this article, Isaac
Bonewitz for the outline of the expanded tree meditation, and
Carlos Castenada, Black Eagle, Pasha, the Goddess, the Gods, and
various nature spirits for teaching the rest of the good methods.

Most of this article is an expansion of an article by the author
titled "Finding a Sacred Grove for Druid Initiation" by Larry
Cornett, published in The Druid's Progress and in Amaranth


This article is written by Larry Cornett. It is copyrighted
l988; and it is hereby placed by the author in the public domain,
providing it is not modified without the explicit permission of
the author and providing the author is acknowledged. It may
therefore be distributed freely to any BBS or other Electronic
Forum or copied and handed out for free. Permission to reprint
it in a publication for sale may be requested from the author,
and will generally be granted in exchange for a copy of the
publication containing the article. This copyright takes
precedence over any copyright expressed or implied by any BBS or
commercial system on which this file is posted.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Zodiacal Gems

The Book of Talismans, Amulets and Zodiacal Gems [1922] by William Thomas and Kate Pavitt


The following notes are written in the hope that they may put readers upon their guard against some common deceptions and prevent disappointment which with a little knowledge can be avoided.

The qualities which make gems valuable are beauty of colour, brilliancy or fire, and hardness, in which they excel all other substances known.

A large variety of coloured stones come from Ceylon, and many tourists and travellers buy stones there in the hope of securing bargains, a hope that in the majority of cases does not materialise. Dealers in gems are amongst the shrewdest of mankind, and from continually handling and examining stones become wonderfully keen in judging them from their appearance and feel, and are very seldom mistaken in distinguishing the real from the imitation, and no novice will get the better of them in a deal, so that intending purchasers who have no practical experience of gems are advised to buy from established firms with a reputation to lose, or on the advice of an expert, rather than rely upon their own judgment.

Before the full beauty of a stone can be appreciated it has to be cut and polished, either with facets, or in the form known as cabochon. Practically all transparent stones are cut with facets, the best and most popular form being the "brilliant" cut (as shown in Illustration No. 1 of the Frontispiece) which has been. found so effective with diamonds that the term "brilliant" has become the recognised name for a diamond cut in this manner.

With oblong stones "trap" cutting is followed, Emeralds being the principal stones cut in this fashion (as shown in No. 4 of Frontispiece). "Rose" cutting is the form generally adopted with very small diamonds nowadays, although it is a much older form than the brilliant, and large antique stones are to be found cut in this fashion, culminating in a point formed by six triangular facets in place of the table of the brilliant. Semi-transparent and opaque stones, such as Moonstones, Opals, Agates, Turquoises, and Cornelians are usually cut en cabochon (as shown in the stones illustrated in Nos. 3, 6, and 7 of the Frontispiece), and Amethysts, Rubies, Emeralds, and Sapphires are also frequently cut in this fashion.

For years past scientists have been experimenting in the manufacture of precious stones, and with so much success that reconstructed stones have been put on the market and are now fairly universally used. These stones are made up from fragments of small genuine stones which are fused together by a continuous and very powerful flame directed on the mass whilst it is kept in motion, resulting in a solid lump that can be cut and polished in the same way as the natural mineral. This has been very successfully done with Rubies, some having been produced which passed every test save that of the microscope, which revealed numerous minute bubbles of a rounded shape invisible to the naked eye, and in greater quantities than would be found in the natural stones wherein the bubbles are more rectangular in shape. These Rubies, and also reconstructed Sapphires and Emeralds, are on sale everywhere at the present time, so that intending buyers of precious stones should ask their jewellers to guarantee that they are buying natural and not reconstructed stones.

All transparent gems may be roughly divided into two classes, singly and doubly refracting, a ray of light passing through being refracted or thrown back according to the nature of the stone. If, therefore, a lighted candle is placed in a darkened corner of a room and is looked at through a stone focussed between the eye and the candle, if the stone is a doubly refracting one two images of the flame will appear, and if it is singly refracting, one only will be seen. Stones that are doubly refractive are Ruby, Beryl, Topaz, Sapphire, Emerald, Tourmaline, Peridot, Chrysolite, Aquamarine, Amethyst, Jargoon, Zircon, and Crystal. Singly refracting stones are Diamonds, Spinels, and Garnets; glass also is singly refracting.

One of the simplest and most effective methods of testing the genuineness of a gem is to try if it is affected by filing with a small jeweller's file; care must be taken, however, in its use, as the facets of even some of the hardest stones are easily chipped. If the file scratches the stone it may be taken to be glass, or composition.

Combination stones, known as "Doublets," are frequently sold as genuine stones; in these the top part is made of the real stone and the lower part of crystal, glass, or composition, so that for their detection the bottom part as well as the top must be tried with the file. "Triplets" are another form of deception. In this case the tops and bottoms of the stones are genuine and the centre part is imitation: To detect this the gem should be held in a small pair of forceps, or corn tongs, in a cup of clear water, when the different parts of the stone will be plainly seen.

White Sapphires, Jargoons, and Aquamarines are sometimes mistaken for diamonds; but the White Sapphire will frequently have a suggestion of cloudiness, and the Jargoon or Zircon, though very hard, is brittle and chips easily, soon showing signs of wear. White Aquamarines usually have a slight bluish or greenish tint. White Topazes and Rock Crystal are not so brilliant and full of life as the other white stones, and all these are doubly refracting, whilst the Diamond is single.

Imitation Sapphires are as a rule harsher in colour than the real stone, which is soft and rich in the quality of its colour.

Pearls are imitated with great skill, and are difficult to detect. They are usually lighter than the real Pearls, and if drilled the holes are seldom as small, and show marks of chipping and breaking round the edges. Pearls lose their lustre and deteriorate with age and the effect of gas and acids, and should be carefully wiped with a clean cloth after being worn, and in order to retain their brilliancy should be kept in dry magnesia.

Amber is imitated with glass and various compositions, glass being colder and harder to the touch and heavier than real Amber; whilst celluloid, which is frequently used, if rubbed briskly on a piece of cloth, will give off a noticeable odour of camphor which is largely used in its composition.

Opals and Turquoises, being porous, are affected by potash which is commonly used in the manufacture of soap, and also by oily or greasy substances; they should also be kept from contact with scent, as the spirit used in its. manufacture will very soon spoil the colour of Turquoises.

In conclusion, to ascertain if a transparent stone has any flaws it should be breathed upon until its lustre is temporarily dimmed, when any flaws or imperfections that exist can readily be seen.