Welcome to Yesterways Order of WiseCraft

Witching my way through the world one day at a time here at Yesterways Cottage, incorporating the ways of old with modern times. Join me as I journey on a spiritual path I call "Yesterways WiseCraft Wicca." Feel free to comment and ask questions -- I'll get back to you, I promise, Witch's honor.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to cleanse your house of negative energies

I get asked this question quite often -- how to cleanse a house of negative energies. There are many ways to do it but below is the method that I use. I included my video and directions. 




CLEANSING A HOUSE


Things You'll Need

  • Charged water and salt mixture (separate bowls with a small amount of water in one and plain salt in the other)
  • Sage bundle to burn (you can use Sage incense...)
  • Optional – Rattle or other noise maker (even wooden spoon and heavy pot to bang on will work)
  • Optional but recommended – Crystal chips (Amethyst is really good)
  • Small nightlights or white candles (enough for every room)
  • Incense – I like to use Nag Champa but Patchouli is also good and Sandalwood too
  1. Physically clean your house getting rid of all junk and clutter. if there is something you have brought into your home from somewhere else, consider whether it could be an item that has a spirit or bad energy attached. Remove it from your house to test -- if the problem goes away, permanently get rid of the item(s)
  2. Create *Holy Water* - Gently pour the water into the salt, adding a prayer or invocation. Example: "May blending the elements of pure salt to preserve the sanctity and pure water cleanse this space, be blessed in the Name of ........." (here add your own prayer or finish the invocation to whichever deity you have belief in). Do this in a sacred and meaningful way, in the knowledge that you are creating a powerful medicine to cleanse and heal your home. (You can also purify and energize your water under the Full Moon before using if you have time)
  3. Doing one room at a time – take the water and either using your fingers or a little brush, sprinkle the holy water around the walls, every door and every window. Don't forget corners, behind large furniture, closets or high shelves within a closet. Make sure that everywhere has been treated.
  4. After using the salt/holy water in the room, take your rattle/noise maker and go everywhere in the room, high and low, corners, etc. This breaks up stagnant energy.
  5. Take your Sage bundle now and pass the smoke all around the room, high and low, in the corners, behind things etc. – this drives out bad energies.
  6. If you are using crystal/amethyst chips, you would now place them in the window sills and over doorways.
  7. Pour the remaining salt/water mixture in a line in front of any doors leading in and out of the building. As you do so be sure to recite the names of all who live in the house and all those whom you wish to pass freely in and out, including all pets that need to go in and out. This allows them to move with ease across the boundaries that you are setting up.
  8. Go back into the house, and in each room light a small white candle and some incense. Leave both to burn out to the end.
Bright Blessings,
Rayven Michaels


Samhain and Halloween -- There is a Difference

(photo credit: Huffing Post)

I would like to start off by saying that Halloween is NOT the "Witches Holiday". Halloween is a holiday for little children to get candy, and for Adults to decorate their houses with scary witch and ghost figures. The true Witches Holiday is Samhain, pronounced "Sow-en" by most people of the Craft in modern day. Samhain literally means "Summer's End", and it marks the end of the harvest. A time when our ancestors would harvest their crops one last time to prepare for the long winter ahead. 

Samhain is a Celtic holiday. The Celts divided the year into two seasons, the light half and the dark half. Samhain is a celebration of the Beginning of the Dark half of the year, and was actually considered to be more important than its counterpart, Beltane for its magickal potentials.

Samhain is considered a "cross-quarter" Sabbat, even though it always falls on the 31st, and the cross-quarter doesn't officially occur until the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Scorpio, sometime in the 1st week in November. 

Samhain also symbolizes the death of the God, the final turn of the wheel. The days become shorter, the nights longer. Also, Samhain falls between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, a time when the "veil between the worlds" becomes very thin. It is a time to pay homage to our elders and ancestors that have passed from this world to the next.

This time is a time much like Thanksgiving, a celebratory feast in which we celebrate the year's bounty, and remember those who have passed. Many people of the Craft hold traditional "Dumb Suppers", called a Feast of the Dead, in which a large meal is prepared and eaten in silence, with an extra place set in remembrance of our ancestors. Many also light a candle to bring in the "New Year", lighting their way through the darkness of the upcoming months until Yule.

(NOTE: this same article is quoted heavily around the internet so I am uncertain of the original source or its author, however, the source from which I copied is: http://hearthsidecuups.tripod.com/wheeloftheyear.htm)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

CANCELLATION -- MABON RITUAL IS CANCELED

CANCELLATION -- MABON RITUAL IS CANCELED -- My sincere apologies and regrets. I have so looked forward to this but I am ill with an upper respiratory infection which as I understand it can be very contagious... The medication I am taking is making me drowsy and dysfunctional -- I dare not drive to ritual and I am in so shape to perform ritual. I am so very very sorry.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Witchcraft vs. Wicca and Witches, Wiccans and Wiccan Witches...

If you are heading down the witchy trail, you will trip over this issue soon enough: Witchcraft versus Wicca. And boy what a hot bed of coals it can be depending on who you bump into. In fact, Witch, Witchcraft and Wicca are all heated topics depending on where you look.

First off, let's talk about Witches -- some readily state "only a Witch can make a Witch". These are usually Witches that follow a tradition and are referred to as "Trad Witches". It is their beliefs that only someone within a coven can train and initiate a Witch. Under their beliefs, all others are simply posers. However, highly respected authors like Scott Cunningham supported the idea that an individual can designate themselves a Witch and self dedicate and initiate themselves to the Goddess path. These Witches are usually referred to as solitaries or eclectic Witches because they are weaving their own web -- they don't have traditions passed to them by a coven or family members.

Now let's get down to the Witchcraft vs. Wicca issue. Witchcraft is a practice of magick that does not require any underlying belief system -- so you can actually have people of any religion doing witchcraft and spells. These individuals are referred to as Witches because they practice Witchcraft.

Wicca on the other hand is a religion that may or may not include the practice of Witchcraft. That's right, not all Wiccans practice magick -- some just follow the religious aspect of Wicca. So, in a manner of speaking you have Wiccans (spiritual only) and Wiccan Witches (those who practice spiritual Wicca AND Witchcraft). Another defining point of Wiccans is that they follow some form of the Wiccan Rede and believe in the Threefold/Tenfold Law.

Oh but let's muddy the waters a little further. What is a Wiccan? Well, I said above they follow the Wiccan Rede and believe in either the Threefold or Tenfold Law. However, there are those that will argue that a *TRUE* Wiccan would be Witches that were initiates of Gardnerian Covens -- Gerald Gardner being the founder of Wicca. It is argued that any others that take up the name Wiccan are NOT Wiccans.

So, which Witch is which? Using the definitions above we can now define Witches, Wiccans and Wiccan Witches as follows:

Witches -- any person who practices the art of Witchcraft regardless of their underlying spiritual beliefs.

Wiccans -- a person who follows the spiritual beliefs of Wicca, follows the Wiccan Rede and either the Threefold or Tenfold Law; AND/OR is an initiate of a Gardnerian Coven.

Wiccan Witch -- a person who follows the spiritual beliefs of Wicca, follows the Wiccan Rede and either the Threefold or Tenfold Law AND practices Witchcraft.

And be aware that this doesn't even remotely touch all the subsets of Witches, such as Hedge Witch, Kitchen Witch, Ceremonial Witch, Satanic Witch, Celtic Witch, Eclectic Witch, British Traditional Witch, Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Dianic, Pictish, Hereditary, Caledonii, Pow Wow, Strega Witch, and Solitaries. Wow! And there are many more...

So, with all this dilemma and controversy surrounding Witchcraft, Wicca, and Witches, what is a Witch to do? Carry on of course, using the terms as you wish. Just be prepared for the arguments you may encounter. Or do what I did -- create and name your own path. That is how I came to follow the path of WiseCraft Wicca.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lammas Blessings to All!

Lammas, the festival of the First Fruits of the Harvest, is the first festival of the Waning Year. It is celebrated on July 31 or August 1, while the climate (in the United States) is essentially still Summer. Never-the-less, technically, Lammas is the first day of Autumn.




Lammas Blessings to All!

~Rayven Michaels~


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Framing Pagan Pride -- prepare for those awkward questions

And here is another wonderful article that discusses "framing" the pagan argument.  We have all had that awkward moment when someone non-pagan jokingly says "so do you guys worship the devil or what?" or "do you guys do blood sacrifice?"  If you haven't had this moment yet, trust me, you will or one very like these.

Check out this excellent article that will set you up to respond to those awkward questions. Enjoy!

http://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/framing-pagan-pride/

Bright Blessings,
~Rayven~

Pagan In Paradise: Wiccans, It Is Time To Stop Splaining

This is a very interesting article. Enjoy!
Bright Blessings,
~Rayven~

Pagan In Paradise: Wiccans, It Is Time To Stop Splaining: “Thou does protest to much”, is an old saying that goes directly to the heart of the traditional discourse between ma...

Fantastic time at Lammas Ritual

Had a really fantastic time at Lammas Ritual. It was pretty sweltering but we had the shade of the trees and after enough sweating, you feel even the tiniest of breezes on your wet skin.  Ritual was simple and easy and then drumming afterwards. Many thanks to the guitarist/drummer and to the tambourine wielder. You guys were awesome.  I definitely need wrestle my drum out of the closet to polish up on using it.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Community Lammas/Lughnasadh Ritual and Gathering

Yesterways will be hosting a Community Lammas/Lughnasadh Ritual and Gathering.  Check out our WitchVox listing for details. (click here

To get all the latest news on our community events, be sure to visit and "like" our  Yesterways Academy of WiseCraft or  Muskogee Area Pagans  pages on FaceBook.  To get specific location details, request to become a member of the Muskogee Area Pagan secret group. Also visit our sister community's Facebook page McAlester Pagans.

Blessings
Rayven Michaels

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Community Summer Solstice Ritual and Gathering

Yesterways will be hosting a Community Summer Solstice Ritual and Gathering.  Check out our WitchVox listing for details. (click here)

Blessings
Rayven Michaels

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Wiccan Rede

Below I have included the full version of the Wiccan Rede. As I have explained in one of my videos (click here for part 1 and part 2), while I do believe that everyone should strive to harm none, it may not always be possible, so I also follow "just enough", meaning do only as much as is necessary. I also follow "do that which is right". For me, using all three of these (and three is a magickal number and also corresponds with the three aspects of diety), builds a nice framework for me to live my life.


The Wiccan Rede
(Full Version)

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,
let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek.

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.

When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.

Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's
insight.   Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.

Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.

Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.

Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.

As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.

When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.

In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be.

Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.

With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill:

"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Easy Incense for the slim budget

Maybe you are on a slim budget, have no budget at all or simply don't have a new age shop around to buy incense and charcoals. Where there is a will there is a way -- and a few simple things from the kitchen.  Nearly every kitchen out there has these three things: a glass container (wine glass, empty glass jar, or old candle votive), cinnamon spice, and salt. The only other things you need are notebook or typing paper and matches or lighter.

Put 1 to 2 inches of salt in the glass or jar that is at least 4 inches or taller. Now, cut a thin strip of paper that is at least one inch shorter than the top of your glass and at least one inch taller than the salt.  Push this empty paper tube down in the salt in the middle of the glass.  Now fill the tube sticking up out of the salt with ground cinnamon.  Light the paper on fire and VOILA! You have a beautiful smelling incense. ;0)

Wish I could take the credit for this idea but I got it from this YouTube video.  Be sure to watch the full video as she has lots of helpful ideas. Embedding isn't allowed so click the links.

The Witch's Way - Incense on a Budget - Part 1

The Witch's Way - Incense on a Budget - Part 2



Blessings,
Rayven Michaels

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ostara - Spring Equinox


The holiday Ostara, or Eostre as it is sometimes referred, being named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, is one of the Eight Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year.  It is celebrated at the time of the Spring/Vernal Equinox which is the First Day of Spring and falls on March 20 this year (2013). In ancient times, offerings of cakes and colored eggs were made as thanks for bringing in the Spring. Rabbits were sacred to her, especially white rabbits, and she was believed to take the form of a rabbit. This Pagan holiday has been adapted by Christians as the celebration of Easter (March 31 this year) in which Jesus, their Savior, rose from the grave. 

Pagans and Christians alike, celebrate this holiday by coloring eggs, eating sweets and decorations of white rabbits, and lets not forget those sugary confections, Peeps!  

Here is a bit of a fun story https://www.facebook.com/PaganNewsNow/posts/10151572399951518
I do hope that link allows you through.  It is a precious story about the selfless love of a small girl who tries to save a freezing bird.  She begs Goddess Eostre for help who pauses in her duties of bringing Spring and assists the freezing bird.  However, in her haste, Eostre fails to unfreeze the little bird's wings, leaving it unable to fly. The little girl in child like innocence demands the Goddess fix the birds wings. Amused by the child's insolence, Esotre instead, transforms the bird into a rabbit so that its frozen wings are no longer an issue.  And what do you suppose that leads to?  You guessed it, a Rabbit that lays brightly colored eggs every Spring.  Please do read the actual story as it is much more elegantly told by the author than my rudimentary summary here.

Ostara Blessings to All!
Rayven Michaels

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WiseCraft Wicca 101 Class Now Forming




Classes Now Forming

Event Details: Our next hands-on/in-person WiseCraft Wicca 101 class will begin on Feb. 27, 2013 in Muskogee. This WiseCraft Wicca 101 class is a comprehensive year-and-a-day study program combining academic materials with Wiccan activities designed to help the Seeker/Dedicant student candidate become a fully functioning practitioner of WiseCraft, our version of eclectic Wicca. Classes will meet approximately every two weeks with a final class in approximately March of 2014. Students who complete this course will have the option to undergo an Initiation Ritual as a Solitary Priest/Priestess 

Fees associated with this class are "love donations" which helps with costs and expenses associated with materials, time and rent/utilities of the Yesterways covenstead. However, students will not be turned away based on inability to pay. Yesterways is a teaching organization and strives to work with seekers of all economic levels.

Our informational meeting will be held in late January or early February. Watch for details on time and location. At this meeting students and teacher can interact and ask questions. Students accepted into the class will be contacted with time and location of class meetings.

NOTE: If you can't attend in person classes, contact us regarding mentored online classes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Full Moon Correspondences

The February Moon derives its name from the Roman Goddess Februa, who was also known as Juno Februa.  Februa was also the name of a Roman purification festival held on the fifteenth day of February in ancient times.  Others say that the name came from the god Februus, who was later identified with the Roman Pluto or Dis.

During the month of February, the Great Solar Wheel of the year is turned to Candlemas, one of the four Great Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world.

Other names for the February Moon include:
  • Chaste Moon
  • Storm Moon
  • Snow Moon
  • Quickening Moon
  • Moon of the Seer
  • Full Hunger Moon
  • Ice Moon
  • Horning Moon
  • Wild Moon
  • Red & Cleansing Moon
  • Solmonath (Sun Moon)
  • Big Winter Moon

Correspondences:
  • Element: Fire
  • Astrological signs: Aquarius the Water-Bearer and Pisces the Two Fishes
  • Colors: light blue, violet, purple
  • Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal, rose quartz
  • Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of the   house plants 
  • Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar, myrtle 
  • Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard
  • Flowers: primrose,  
  • Scents: wisteria, heliotrope 
  • Animals: otter, unicorn 
  • Birds: eagle, chickadee 
  • Deities: Brigit, Brighid, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite, Mars

In the Celtic Tree Calendar:

February 1 – 17: Rowan
Associated with the coming of new life born from the dark of winter, protection, and strength; the goddess Brigid.

February 28 & 29: Ash
Associated with the sea (myths tell of it having come from the undersea realm of Tethys), protection; the god Manannan.

Power Flow: energy working toward the surface: purification, growth, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Moon Energies in Aquarius


When the Sun and the Moon line up, there is no illumination on the moon, thus creating a dark or new moon.  I think this quote sums up the New Moon energies very well: "The New Moon is a time to plant seeds for the future, an energetic doorway to pull in what you'd like to make real in your life.

In general, you want to start things during the New Moon that you want to manifest between now and the Full Moon.  The New Moon is a time of new beginnings and planting new (magickal) seeds.  It is a good time to set goals, revisit existing ones, and begin new projects.  Each lunar cycle is influenced by a particular astrological sign.  Working with the influences of each astrological sign can enhance your abilitiy to manifest what you want.

The sign for this New Moon is Aquarius which is ruled by the element Air.  So, this New Moon is a good time to work with things in the mental realm such as ideas and intentions.

New Moon Blessings!
Rayven 


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additional reading:


Monday, January 28, 2013

January Full Moon Correspondences

January is named after the Roman God Janus.  However, the January Full Moon is known by a variety of names:
  • Cold Moon
  • Wolf Moon
  • Old Moon
  • Storm Moon
  • Moon after Yule
  • Snow Moon
  • Ice Moon
  • Quiet Moon
  • Chaste Moon
  • Moon of Little Winter

Correspondences:

Element: Air
Colors: Black and white, silver, brilliant white, blue-violet, violet, lilac, black
Stones: Hematite, garnet, onyx, jet, chrysoprase
Nature Spirits: gnomes, brownies
Trees: Birch, Hazel
Herbs: Marjoram, Holy Thistle, nuts, seeds and pine cones
Flowers: Snowdrop, crocus
Scents: Musk, mimosa, oakmoss
Animals: Fox, coyote
Birds: Pheasant, blue jay
Deities: Freyja, Inanna, Sarasvati, Hera, Ch'ang-O Sinn, Juno, Pax, Venus, Antu, Janus

In the Celtic Tree Calendar: 
January 1 – 20: Birch
Associated with new beginnings, the birth/rebirth of the sun, protection, and purification.
January 21 -31: Rowan
Associated with the coming of new life born from the dark of winter, protection, and strength.

Power Flow: Sluggish, below the surface; beginning and conceiving. Protection, reversing spells. Conserving energy by working on personal problems that involve no one else. Getting your various bodies to work smoothly together for the same goals.

This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual. Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities.

Projects to make:
Moon Candle (from about.com)
Moon Braid (from About.com)

Other full Moon info from About.com




  • Full Moon Ritual
  • Winter Full Moon Ceremony for a Group
  • Drawing Down the Moon

  • _____________________
    sources:
    January Full Moon on About.com
    Farmers AlmanacNames given to Moon by other cultures
    http://www.examiner.com/article/magical-correspondences-for-january
    http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/moonphasemagic/g/Cold_Moon.htm
    http://witchery.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/january-esbats-information/



    Imbolc - Feb 2, 2013

    Imbolc, one of the eight Sabbats on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, is Feb. 2, 2013.  It is the time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  The Romans called it Lupercalia, the Egyptians celebrated it with the Feast of Nut while Celtic traditions honor the Goddess Brighid, or Saint Brigid after Christianization.  In addition to Saint Brigid's day, another Christian celebration for this time is Candlemas when the clergy would bless candles and people would light them in each window of their homes to ward off the darkness of mid-winter.  But what most children know this time for is Ground Hog Day where Punxsutawney Phil serves as the official weather forecaster by coming out of his hole and if he sees his shadow, we have 6 more weeks of winter.  I personally hope dear little Phil does not see his shadow and we can move on to Spring. 


    Here is an old English saying:

    If Candlemas be fair and bright,
    Winter has another flight.
    If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
    Winter will not come again.

    One of the things that I associate this time of year with is my Father's birthday on February 1 who was born just after midnight and only minutes after his twin brother.  He was an inspiring cancer warrior that lost his battle at the Fall Equinox of 2009.  And yes, I can hear you now. Love you Dad.

    For more information about Imbolc, visit History of Imboc on About.com.


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    sources: