Shitala is the Hindu goddess of disease, attributed with the creation of small pox, among other insidious maladies. Ironically, it is Shitala you call upon to cure illness, to cleanse the body of disease. What a paradox this goddess is! She despises filth and dirt. When invoking Shitala, you must physically cleanse your home or sacred space, and you must have a ritual cleansing bath before beginning. To disregard these actions would mean an unsuccessful invocation.
Healing Candle Spells
For physical maladies, go with the Element of Earth, the color green and all the other correspondences that are connected to this element and this type of magick. (You’ll find correspondences for the elements, as well as other information to help you craft your magick and cast your spells, at the end of this book.)
But there’s so much more to it, and there are so many ways to be ill, or other reasons people need healing:
For mental illness, you will call upon the element of Air, and your candle color will be yellow. For a victim of physical violence, or sexual abuse, you’ll use the energies combined of Earth (green for physical healing), Air (yellow for mental healing), and Water (blue for spiritual healing). For someone who is terminally ill, you will call upon Spirit, and your candle will be white. It will ease their passing and light the path for their journey to the other side. It will invoke their spirit guide, who will take them by the hand, helping them travel safely as they cross over.
The tools: white candles; sage, or a cleansing incense like sandalwood, and a bowl or holder for this; bells, if you fancy them; a broom, for symbolism and to “sweep” away negative energy from each room; a bowl of salted water to asperge (sprinkle) each room, as well as every nook and cranny.
The method: I start from the bottom and go up, so begin in the basement, if there is one, or the lowest floor. Basically, you’ll go from room to room, cleansing it of negative energy, moving it out and “sweeping” it along until you push it right out of the house with the last room or space you clear.
Enter a room, demand the negative energy and ghosties (or other spirits) leave. Walk clockwise around the room with the salted water first, dipping your fingers in it and sprinkling the space as you go. Then do the same with the incense, smudging the rooms, making sure that you include any closet space or cubbies. Energy lurks in these spaces, you know. That’s why children, who are more in-tune with it, are often afraid of these little dark closets and corners. For a final flourish, and to make your point to the spirits or other entities trying to take over this space, use the broom to symbolically “sweep” the negative energy right out the door. Sweep from east to west in large whooshes. The broom doesn’t even need to touch the floor. After all, you’re literally sweeping a space, not the floor itself. Make sure, as you do this, that you are ordering the spirits to leave, that you are reclaiming this space, and that you are in charge. Put some emotion into it!
As a side-note, don’t be alarmed if you feel a rush of goosebumps up your legs as you’re doing this. It’s nothing scary, and it’s nothing that will harm you. It’s just the energy that you’re moving; you can often feel it. (Yes, peoples, it’s an actual “Real” thing.)
Embracing the Goddess:
Call upon Shitala for the most obvious of reasons: to banish physical illnesses and maladies. Be respectful, be wary, be sure that you appease her with ritual cleansings. Remember that this goddess not only cures illness, she creates it.
Herbs: columbine, lemon balm, myrrh,
Color: blue, silver
Feminine Face: Crone
Snake Woman is often considered to be a household and fertility deity, as well as a powerful goddess and priestess. Seduction is her forte. Within the serpent lay her power. She represents the Feminine Mysteries and holds within her realm of magic healing and empowerment throughout all stages of a woman’s life. A goddess of Crete, Snake Woman is often depicted bare-breasted, clutching a snake in each hand.
The small group of women, wrapped in brightly colored blankets or clutching a soft shawl about their shoulders to keep off the early morning chill, tread softly on the well-worn path in sandaled feet, rising up through the trees, ever higher onto the hilltop.
At the end of this path, in a small clearing, a flat stone altar has been erected. The centerpiece of this altar is a tall ceramic statue of Snake Woman, her breasts bare to the morning sunrise, two writhing serpents in each of her raised hands. Placed around Snake Woman are a ring of tall red pillar candles rolled in herbs, one candle for each of the women in the group. Within the center of this altar stands a large cast iron cauldron.
From beneath their blankets and shawls, the women bring forth small scraps of paper with their intentions written upon them…healing for an illness; the strength to make a necessary change; power to transition from mother to crone, from maiden to mother; the desire to find love, to re-ignite the passion of an old love, to celebrate lasting love.
The women stand in a circle around the large flat stone, each woman stepping forward in turn, placing her written intention into the cauldron and then bending to light the red candle before her. When all the candles are lit, the women stand around the circle once more, hand in hand, each one chanting their personal affirmation, their desire, invoking the spirit of Snake Woman. As the chanting rings clear, becoming louder and more intense, one of the women bends to ignite the paper in the cauldron. As the flames rear up, a unified shout rises from the group…and then silence descends.
Embracing the Goddess:
If you feel that you’ve lost the passion in your life for love, passion that drives you to succeed, passion that enables you to wake each day eager to leap into the fray of life, embrace Snake Woman and learn to turn the wild-woman within you loose. Cut the ties that bind with the enthusiasm and energy of this goddess.
Snake Woman’s Correspondences:
Herbs: black snakeroot, coriander, goldenseal
Colors: red, orange, yellow
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbols: the snake, wild bare-breasted women
Sophia is one of the most powerful of goddesses, a goddess of the middle-east, entrenched in the legacy of the Gnostics, of Judeo/Christian culture. She is the ultimate Divine Feminine, the personification of divinity, the ultimate sacred feminine energy and entity of the universe. This goddess takes the patriarchal personification of “god” and stands it on its ear. Sophia is the voice of wisdom from the divine. She is the creatrix of all the universe. It’s believed that every human in existence carries a sparkle of her energy within them.
“Conversation with The Divine”
Universe, I know you’re listening. You can be really, really quiet sometimes, trying to trick me into life and stark reality; but I know you’re there, and I know you’re listening. And I know you can hear me.
Life is running its course…figuratively and literally.
How? How do I know this?
I know this by the living “Flow” of life, in a figurative way, a physical way, an undeniably human/mother nature way:
I know this by moving rushing water in streams, and rivers, and bubbling brooks. I know this by the blood rushing through my veins in a mortal journey between my heart and the rest of my body. I know this by the miraculous flow of blood from a mother’s heart to her unborn child. I know this by the flow of sap from the roots to the limbs of a tree, all the way to the very top. I know this through the flow of moisture from a tree’s roots up through the trunk to each and every single leaf. I know this through the white and nourishing flow of milk from every human mother’s breast, and from the breast of every mother creature.
Life is flowing…it never stops. When it ceases in one spot, it resumes somewhere else; forever, and ever, in an endless immortal blaze of Nature.
Embracing the Goddess:
When you need personal power, when you need divine guidance, when you need protection or healing, when you need relief from mental anguish, when you need to connect with the divine on a personal universal huge in-your-face way…invoke Sophia.
Herbs: bittersweet, pine, sage, star anise,
anise, slippery elm
Feminine Face: Mother
The Greek goddess Thalia is a goddess of vegetation and foliage, the “Blooming Goddess”, one of the three Graces. Thalia is the goddess of springtime. She represents the earth’s bounty, it’s abundance and fertility.
Whether you live in a house with a nice-sized plot of land to till what you want for a garden space, or whether you are a city apartment dweller with only a balcony and some pots, you can create a magickal garden devoted to the goddess using the energy of Thalia. The following garden layout is equally do-able with both of the above scenarios. It’ll work. It’s about size and dimension and the relativity of it all.
At the 4 corners: Plant hibiscus, to honor the goddess and your own feminine energy and power.
To the North: Plant primroses, for the element of Earth. May they bring to you physcial well-being and manifestation of your magick into the world of atoms and matter.
To the East: Plant sage, for the element of Air. May it bring to you mental well-being and manifestation of your magick into the world of the mind and it’s ever winding labyrinth of thought.
To the South: Plant marigolds, for the element of Fire. May they bring to you all the energy you need for all the passion it will take to make a difference in this lifetime and beyond.
To the West: Plant asters, for the element of Water. May they bring to you inspiration in the form of dreams and spirit contact; inner sight; honest emotions; and a cleansing of your body, mind, and spirit.
And at the center of Thalia’s garden, what do you plant?
Plant yourself. Stand, sit, or lay in this sacred center, absorbing the energies all around you, the energies of the elements, the energies of the plants, the energy of the goddess.
Embracing the Goddess:
Thalia’s energy can be invoked for your spring planting, or to celebrate spring and the sprouting of the world once more into a magickal green blossoming realm. Thalia can be invoked when abundance is needed, abundance on many levels: material things– money, food; immaterial things– more…more laughter, more spontaneity, more happiness, just “more”…whatever it may be.
Herbs: vervain, corn, knotweed,
patchouli, wood sorrel
Color: brown, green
Planet: (Gaia) Earth
Day: all seven
Feminine Face: Maiden
White Buffalo Calf Woman
White Buffalo Calf Woman influences agriculture, basic survival, and enrichment rituals and ceremonies. She embraces the nurturing side of our nature; she is what prods us to excel and succeed in the rough arena of the world. White Buffalo Calf Woman is who we invoke in rituals and ceremonies to honor the Mother in us all, the caretaker. It is her energy that is present in every woman holding a baby to her breast, raising a child, caring for the animals of the earth, sharing her life with a man. This goddess is what compels us to place another person’s well-being before our own.
Women Surviving the Modern World
1. Start each day with a small ritual. It doesn’t have to be complicated– light a candle, or anoint yourself with an oil, or be still for a 5 minute meditation, or write down a thought in your journal.
2. When you become frustrated with the circumstances you are dealing with, put everything on hold for a half an hour and have a Starbucks. Yes, you are worth a $5 cup of coffee. You’re worth a gazillion $5 cups of coffee.
3. Take a solitary walk in a favorite spot, or take a walk with your best friend, or take a walk with your dog– who just might be your best friend.
4. Watch a movie that inspires you, that makes you laugh; or watch a movie that makes you cry…even though you’ll think you’re crying because of the movie, you’re really not, you’re cleansing yourself from bottled up emotion.
5. Do something creative: If you write, start a book, even if this means writing just the first sentence in an empty notebook, just one sentence, and you’ve started a book, more will come later. If you paint, start a painting, even if this means painting a canvas all over with one color; call it the background, and eventually you’ll think of things to put on top of it. If you sculpt, pick up a lump of clay, even if all you do is roll it in the palm of your hands to form a ball, and call it good; eventually the ball will turn into something else.
6. Give away something to someone who needs it. Soon after you do this, you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This is the Universe, rushing back at you with positive energy and lots and lots of Love.
7. Clean out your refrigerator. You won’t really just be cleaning out your refrigerator, you’ll be cleaning out all the unnecessary junk that’s cluttering up your life. When you’re all done (with the refrigerator), and you stand there holding the door open, admiring all the sparkling clean shelves and extra space, know that you’re not just looking at a refrigerator.
8. Call someone who’s lonely. The unexpected connection will jump start a chain reaction of positive energy. When you finish talking to this person, you’ll feel an inrush of their energy, and then a burst of Sun-Rays-Are-Coming-Out-My-Fingertips feeling. This is magick.
9. Buy: 1) a pair of earrings; 2) a new lipstick; or 3) a pair of shoes. This sounds so material, but what’s wrong with that? Know that you’re not just purchasing Stuff, you’re creating an affirmation with a physical action. In reality, you’re shouting to the Universe: “I’m worth it!”
10. Be the first one to say: “I love you” or “I’m sorry”.
Embracing the Goddess:
Invoke this goddess in rituals honoring the “Mother” aspect of the goddess, as well as the human “Mother” in us all. For deep within us all, every individual has the capability to nurture. It’s the print of humanity.
White Buffalo Calf Woman’s Correspondences:
Herbs: quince, bistort, wheat, sage, hyssop
Animal: white buffalo
Color: white, purple, green, brown
Feminine Face: Mother