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Card Drawing May 24, 2016

Good day, friends! I received this gorgeous deck as a gift for my 33rd birthday. Today's guidance is from the Gospel of Aradia by Stacey DeMarco.

Which card(s) do you feel drawn to today?

1, 2, or 3...

Focus on the image and chose which cards you feel drawn to before scrolling down.

.........

Did you choose your card, yet?

........

almost there!

If you chose Card 1: Curses - Maledicta

Take responsibility for the energy you send out. Every action causes a reaction. Can an issue be reconciled with love and understanding rather than with hatred and revenge? Someone may have cast negative energy upon you - or you may have within you a pattern you need to break.

"Wormwood and rosemary,

blood. garlic, and rue,

Reflect the harm that comes to me

And send it back to you.

The evil eye it watches.

The evil eye I turn.

Mirror it back whence it came,

And the evil will I burn."

Evidence of curses - or as they are referred to in Latin, maledictum - has been discovered as fa back as the ancient Etruscans. However, while the witchcraft traditions of the Romans, Babylonians, Egyptians, and many primitive African societies included cursing, it is not universal to all craft traditions - and even where it is include, is not always used for negative purposes.

For instance, some curses are reflective in nature, used to mirror negative energy back to where it came. Also, powerful negative energy can be raised and directed at an illness within someone's body, not at the person afflicted with the illness. This technique is still used today among witches working with the very ill. And lates, ancestral spirits, or spirits unique to a place, are also still invoked today to assist with both positive and negative cursing.

While cursing is not a part of most contemporary witchcraft traditions, particularly those with a "home none" rede at center, a complete witchcraft education includes teachings about curses. For instance, one might learn what a curse is, how to cast a curse, and how to break one. However, cursing was a tool in the ancient strega's armory - and still is for her modern counterparts, by all accounts.

To the strega, both the existence of evil itself and the "evil eye", the malocchio (mal=bad, occhio=eye, which is a means of directing negative energy at an individual) are considered very real indeed. The evil eye can be cast deliberately - or even accidentally. For example, when someone stares too long at or overzealously compliments a newborn child or a bride or someone who has gained much success - especially if the person giving the compliment is feeling jealous - they may inadvertently cast the evil eye.

The strega has many charms and spells at her disposal to ward off the evil eye - to punish those who wield it. One of these, the hand gesture knowns as the cornicello is still used today. Charms featuring both the evil eye and the cornicello can be bought in almost any jewelry store in Italy, as the evil eye can be used to protect the wearer. This use, it's believed, as adapted from the protective Egyptian "Eye of Horus".

When considering the use of curses, keep these two keys in mind: First, a curse is a powerful energy that can backfire on the caster. (Also, since effective casting requires that al the energy we cast pass through our bodies, over time, the energy associated with cursing must negatively effect the body, mind, and spirit of one who regularly casts curses.) Second, as witches - or those who utilize the guidance of witches - we must be extremely mindful of the power and consequences of magic of all kinds, especially curses. Take responsibility for the outcome of such magic and seek ways other than cursing to influence situation, after all, interfering with free will is considered a kind of black magic.

If you were attracted to Card 2:

Night Women - Feminae Noctis

Expect joy and good luck to visit your home. A spring clean of your home or office is in order: reduce the clutter and clear the energy. Healing can be done in joy - and with movement! Go dancing! Love your body in all its splendor.

"Upon the appointed hour,

We let down our rules and our hair.

We gather among the forest dark,

With the moon as our only flare.

There are many of us, and more besides

That you'll never know or see.

We dance in our perfect naturalness,

We dance in our ecstasy."

Acadia and her disciples trained groups of Diana's devotees. These women came to be referred to as "night women" and they were encouraged to meet together, not just for devotion, but to strengthen their bonds. Of course, the bonds between women are generally strong, but in those harsh times it was vital that the night women found reassurance - and a renewal of spirit and commitment - by seeing their numbers at gatherings.

Night women have a special place in Sicilian folklore. Ancient stories mention groups of women gathering at night to create wonderful incantations and powerful talismans that were meant to assist those suffering from bad fortune or illness. These women were reported to dance - wildly, and often naked - and under a full moon, and enter into ecstatic trance in communion with Diana. Then, bodies re-covered, but with hair still bedecked with flowers, they would visit members of the community who were in need of their help.

Evidence indicates that before the early 1300s, these nocturnal visitors were not only welcomed but encouraged, and any special charms they left behind were greatly treasured. However, between the late 1300s and the mid-1500s, societal changes put pressure on these wonderful Dianic resellers. And while there were no arrests or trials for witchcraft in Sicily (as opposed to many thousands on the Italian Peninsula), it seemed prudent for the night women of the region to go underground.

Today, all over the world, witches of all traditions continue to meet and dance. Although they are not always skyclad (naked), they are often still bedecked in flowers - a tradition I find both empowering and beautiful.

If you picked Card 3:

Ritual - Ritualis

Rituals give our lives positive touchstones. Be grateful for what you have. Starting or ending the day with a simple ritual brings peace and inspiration. Rites of passage are important to our growth. Marking successes and celebrating milestones give life meaning and joy.

"We join flesh,

In heart, in song,

Dancing our connection,

Whirling away our wrong.

The way, the same way,

Repeated among our kin,

Passed down through blood,

Magic for all time."

Everyday we create and observe our own rituals. The simplest acts, when repeated - and especially when repeated with intention - can gain meaning. A ritual can be a sequence of specific words, a set of actions, a song, or a dance - and any of these can transform a state of mind, an emotional, or even physical state.

Acadia thought her followers teals that gave them a connection to the love and assistance of Diana and the Horned God. These rituals also provided access to the transformative powers of gratitude and devotion. The chants, prayers, and sacrifices she taught were quite specific, so that each woman, no matter where she was from, would be able to join a group and participate full in the rites.

Incantations, which were spoken rhythmically and with strong intention, were a prominent aspect of the Gospel of Aradia. There were often a part of the rituals Aradia passed on - and still are to this day in many witchcraft traditions.

Thank you for participating in my card drawing for today. I hope that you enjoyed it! Did the card(s) you felt drawn to give you some guidance to think about?

Don't forget to check back next week for another card drawing!

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