25 November 2013

My latest artworks and PLUGS

I've been busy creating new things. Mainly spirit boards, but I've done some other things here and there. I've begun woodburning some runes and painting a rune casting board, a clay goddess, I picked up some wood ornaments to paint yesterday. I have visions of bright red cardinals sitting on a snow covered pine tree. I have also had an idea for a new type of spirit board and I began that today.

My latest board is my most favorite board. I love how the colors turned out and just how everything came together.

I'm going to be plugging myself and a couple of my friends. It is Yule time after all and maybe you will find a couple of gifts *wink wink*

It is now available to purchase at Lapulia Studios. If you have never visited Lapulia, you really should. Besides my awesome spirit board selection, they have the most gorgeous magickal books! They are so nicely made. And yes, I own one. I have the Celtic Moon Book of Shadows Here is a picture of me holding it to show you the sizes of their books. If you decide to purchase one know that Rita and her people will make a magickally delicious book of beauty just for you.

Anyway, my latest boards are now available on Lapulia. Each of these are lovingly handpainted by me and only me.  My boards are works of art that can be put on display when not in use.

I just finished the Edgar Allan Poe Board. Edgar is in the middle with the Masque of the Red Death on the right, The Raven  with the Cask of Amontillado, The Telltale Heart are on the left. Nevermore for No and Doubtless for Yes. The Pit and the Pendulum is represented by the pendulum planchette. 

My next board is the Aleister Crowley board. I am proud as punch with this one. I think it turned out quite nicely. He has the Book of the Law on his left and the Unicursal Hexagram on his right. He also has an Eye of Horus planchette.

I have 3 other designs but these are my two latest designs. 

I have made a new, wonderful friend. She is an author of the book "The Spirits of Ouija" Karen A. Dahlman is just an excellent author on this subject. I had thought about writing my own pamphlet how-to to send with each of my board sales, but this book was recently released and I purchased a copy. OH MY! If I was going to write a book about my own experiences, it would be like this book. So, I spoke with Karen and she granted permission for me to include this book with my board sales. 

I mean, I can't send tools such as this out into the world all willy nilly with no instruction. You have to know what you are doing and this book includes an opening prayer, 13 steps for use, history of ouija boards, Karen's personal experiences and lots more!

From the back of Karen's book:

In this "Ouija Tell All" a 40-year odyssey spent communicating with spirit friends from the Great Beyond! They speak of personally-relevant insights, beneficial healing, closure on grief, opening to greatness, developing your empowerment, spiritual growth and soul evolution, to name a few. Karen shares with you the unfair misconceptions Ouija has received over the years, from its fall from grace of the parlor rooms of yesteryear to the forgotten corners of today's closets. Karen provides the how to's, the don'ts, the warnings, the recommendations and identifies various consciousness with whom she has communicated. Come read stories of animal communication, specifically pets we love, dead and alive! Yes, I said "alive" Plus, you'll learn how to use Ouija to tap into your own divine guidance, your Higher Self, and learn to listen to this guiding principle that resides within. Karen shares actual accounts from her sessions, including the various entities you can meet, what happens when we are dead, and what happens in between lives. Get ready for a phenomenal exploration into consciousness. Come with Karen as she takes you behind the veil to meet her spirit friends, up close and personal. A whole new world is awaiting you!

13 November 2013

Spirit Boards

This was originally a post that I wrote for the 2013 Samhain's Sirens blog/giveaway project. I thought that I would add it here as a separate article for anyone that missed it there.

One of my own designed handpainted Spirit Boards

Spirit Communication: The Spirit Board
by Loren Morris

My favorite form of spirit communication is the spirit board. The spirit board has several names. It is also known as talking board, witchboard, and the Ouija board. The Ouija board is a brand, but many people will use the word Ouija to describe every spirit board.

The talking board itself has been has been popular since the latter half of the 1800's. The predecessor to the talking board was the planchette. The planchette was just that. A planchette with a place for a writing tool and it enabled the user to employ automatic writing as a form of spirit communication.

The Ouija board itself can be found in most board game aisles at your local store. I, myself, have let my children use the board. My oldest and my youngest have expressed interest and used them when I had company over and we already had the board out. I've found that if you just let them try it and guide them, they usually lose interest pretty quickly. Many people fear the board, or even think that children are too young and shouldn't use it. However, I don't feel this way, but each household should do as they see fit. The evil stigma that seems to surround the board only began with the Exorcist movie. Spirit boards were once popular and there was no fear surrounding them. There is an episode of Lassie where the Sunday School is setting up for a carnival. Timmy sets up a fortune telling tent and uses a Ouija board. Obviously, if the board were seen as an evil tool, then it would have definitely NOT been used by a 9-year-old boy during a SUNDAY SCHOOL carnival for family TV programming.

Some early books that are about spirit communications are:

1868 Planchette's Diary; Kate Fields

1919 Voices from the Void: Six Years Experience in Automatic Communications; Hester Travers Smith

1920 Our Unseen Guest; Darby and Joan

Beginning in 1913 Patience Worth, a 17th century entity,  communicated through the Ouija (and Pearl Curran) and wrote several novels and a book of poetry. Some of the novels are: The Sorry Tale: A Story of the Time of ChristHope TruebloodTelka, An Idyl of Medieval England and The Pot Upon the Wheel. The title of the book of poetry is: Light from Beyond

You can read more about Patience here.

Another spiritualist that began on a Ouija was Jane Roberts. Jane began experimenting with a Ouija for a study on extra sensory perception and during this time a spirit known as Seth began speaking to her through the board. Not long after, Jane said that she could hear the messages in her head and she was able to stop using the board. She would thereafter go into a trance, channel Seth, and dictate to her husband in Seth's "voice". Several books were written, including: Seth SpeaksThe Seth MaterialThe Unknown Reality Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and The Coming of Seth.

Roberts passed on in 1984 but she still has a great following. You can read more here.

In 1972, Flight 401 crashed in the Everglades. The ghosts of the flight attendants, pilot, and the co-pilot were all being seen by other airline employees. The author, John G. Fuller took a Ouija and contacted the spirits. The result is The Ghost of Flight 401.

William Butler Yeats' wife practiced automatic writing. He used her ability to write his book A Vision, which is a metaphysical masterpiece.

Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, used the Ouija to help create the famous program's 12 steps. The spirit that aided in the writing? A monk named Boniface.

You can read more http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/node/518

Some good sites to visit for more information:

The Mysterious Planchette

The Mysterious Planchette Blog

My own blog

Museum of Talking Boards

Also, since the article was written, I have purchased an absolutely fabulous books written by Karen Dahlman, and I highly, highly recommend it. You can purchase it here (and get an autographed copy):


Brightest Blessings and I hope you enjoyed the tidbits of information about spirit boards,

Loren (Saga)

Familiar Familiars

This was originally a post that I wrote for the 2013 Samhain's Sirens blog/giveaway project. I thought that I would add it here as a separate article for anyone that missed it there.

My own familiars, Hecate (front) and Hocus aka Kissy (back)

The witch's familiar is most often seen as the hunched and hissing black cat on the end of the broom during a witch's flight on many Halloween decorations. Just where do those visions of the cat come from?

I've seen various comments over the past couple of months on facebook pages regarding familiars. Comments about the witch's cat, or comments saying that an animal isn't really your familiar, that its really a spirit so everyone needs to stop calling their cat a familiar.

So, which is it? Can your faithful cat that loves to join you in ritual really be your familiar, or the bird that sits on your shoulder during meditation?  Or are only imps or spirits that you have called, are they the only real familiar that you can have?  Well, all of these examples are. I have a spirit familiar. It is stationed as guard for my home. I also have 5 cats, but only 3 of them join me in ritual. So, even though I have 5 pets, I only consider those 3 as my physical familiars.

This article is going to be about our physical friend familiars. Our cats, our dogs, our birds, our toads, etc.

The History of the Familiar 

It was believed that the familiar was given to the witch by the devil. Witches were supposed to care for the familiars, so any marks on the witches' bodies could be where the familiar fed on the witch's blood. Familiars were thought to be sent out to wreak havoc and bring sickness and death.  Cats were believed to be the favored familiar form for witches.

Witchcraft accusation was very politically motivated. It helped to get rid of enemies, and gain land and other possessions. Of course, since the cat, especially the black cat, was considered to be a witch's familiar, it would have been killed along with it's owner.

Cat-burning did appear to be a favorite pastime in medieval France. After the cats were burned the people would take the ashes home for good luck. I guess they didn't realize that in itself was a form of witchcraft.  However, in regards to sweeping cat massacres that were caused by a papal bull, Summis desiderantes affectibus, ordered by Pope Innocent VIII, I cannot find truth to it. I have read the bull and it makes no mention of cats. What it does do is officially recognize witchcraft.

Queen Elizabeth 1 reportedly had dozens of cats (or just one cat in a basket, according to which one you read) burned to symbolize the releasing of demons.

You can read more about cat burning in France.

In the Chelmsford witch trials during the 16th and 17th centuries, the only connection between the accused was a white spotted cat named Sathan that could reportedly talk. This white spotted cat was the devil in cat-form which was fed bread and milk and kept in a basket. A toad and a black dog are also mentioned in these trials as familiars.  You can read more here:

Chelmsford Witch Trials

There were two Essex women that had mice as familiars. They all had names, as did all the other familiars of accused witches.

Elizabeth Clark, a poor one-legged woman, confessed to having five familiars. They included a kitten, a spaniel, a black rabbit, a polecat, and another creature that was described as being greyhound-like with an ox's head and broad eyes. It could also turn itself into a headless 4-year-old child. Since Elizabeth was the first victim of the Witchfinder General, I'm sure he tortured her endlessly to extract such information.

You can read more here: Matthew Hopkins

Pyewacket was also a name given by Elizabeth as belonging to an imp. The Witchfinder General said that no human could come up with that name.

The Witchcraft Act of 1604 made it illegal to commune with familiar spirits.

The only mention in the Malleus Maleficarum of familiars is that they aid their witches in everything. It did not tell how to deal with the familiar.

During the Salem tragedy, 20 people were executed, and 2 dogs were also hung.

You can read more here: Salem 

Familiars in Literary and Film:

Just a short, incomplete list of familiars in literary and film works. 

Shakespeare's Macbeth:  A brinded cat, Graymalken is the familiar of the first witch. A toad, named Paddock is the second witch's familiar. An owl, Harpier, is the the third witch's familiar.

T.H. White gave Merlin an owl familiar in The Sword and the Stone. The owl always came when needed.

Pyewacket is the sleek, modern Siamese cat that belonged to the witch, Gillian, in Bell, Book and Candle. 

The winged monkeys that belonged to Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.

From the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore had Fawkes, the Phoenix; Harry had Hedwig, the owl; Hermione had Crookshanks, the cat; Ron had Scabbers, the rat; Voldemort had Nagini, the snake.

Salem, the talking black cat, from the Sabrina The Teenage Witch series.

The familiar for Miss Price in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a black cat.

Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service  had a black cat familiar named Jiji

Familiars in Modern Times:

As I said before, the modern witches don't just limit themselves to the cat. Some have snakes, spiders, dogs, birds, and even toads.

Many don't believe that the familiar can be a physical pet, but is instead a spirit, such as an imp.

I don't feel you need to empower your familiar with some kind of special energy or powers. I believe they bring their own magic with them.

Since three of my cats are always drawn to my magical workings, I only regard those three as being familiars. I've never "pressured" any of my cats to be such, and I've never brought them into my circle. Rather, they've always made their way there themselves and they usually just end up sitting and watching. Bob, my oldest cat, could care less. He has never made his way over, or even looked. Its not his thing. Hecate, my long haired Siamese, loves it. As soon as she see me getting my circle ready she runs and sits down for the entire duration and doesn't move from her chosen spot until it is over. The other two are in and out. Kissy loves to hang out and he will often sit through the whole thing. Gaia, Hecate's sister, has recently begun to show the same interest as Hecate and she will perch beside Hecate. Retrograde Moon Demon is on the same wavelength as Bob. Its not her thing, either.

Whether or not my cats have some kind of "attunement" to my work, I can't say, but I do enjoy having them there. They also seem to enjoy it, so I'm sure they add their "energy" to my work.  It works out all the way around.

Gillian Kemp has written an awesome spell book entitled The Good Cat Spell BookShe has a brief history of cats as objects of worship and different sections filled with spells. She also has a section on feline divination. The book comes with cat oracle.

A great book to read regarding your magical cat is by Ellen Dugan, The Enchanted Cat. She includes many spells and information in it, like the Kitten Blessing Spell and ideas for connecting with your cat.

Another great book to read is by Raven Grimassi, entitled The Witch's Familiar: Spiritual Partnership For Successful Magic I touched on it briefly in a previous blog that can be found here. He covers more the spirit familiar than of the physical familiar, however he does include an appendix of classic familiars which has a great list and information on physical familiars.

Also, check out Christian Day's The Witch's Book of the Dead.

Brightest Blessings,

Loren (Saga)