Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Unicorns Cover 'All of the beasts obeyed Noah when he admitted them into the ark. All but the unicorn. Confident of his strength he boasted 'I shall swim!'. For fourty days and fourty nights the rains poured down and the oceans boiled as in a pot and all the heights were flooded. The birds of the air clung onto the ark and when the ark pitched they were all engulfed. But the unicorn kept on swimming. When, however, the birds emerged again they perched on his horn and he went under-- and that's why there are no more unicorns now.'
-- from a Ukranian folk tale

The unicorn has been a topic of wonder and speculation for centuries. The writings of such men as Aristotle, Genghis Khan, Saint Thomas, and Saint Gregory reflect the fact that these men considered the unicorn as a very real creature.

Webester's Seventh defines a unicorn as 'a mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse, hind legs of a stag, tail of a lion, and a single horn in the middle of its forehead'. The word 'unicorn' comes from the Latin 'Uni', meaning one, and 'Cornu, meaning horn.

The unicorn has been depicted in the folklore and legends of other cultures besides ours. The Chinese believed that they had the body of a deer, with horses' hooves and an ox's tail. Where in the west the horn was made of bone, the Oriental unicorn's horn was made of flesh. The coat of the unicorn was of the five sacred colors of the Chinese; red, yellow, blue, white, and black.

The Chinese called the unicorn 'K'i-lin'. To them, it was a symbol of wisdom. Around 2800 BC, the Emperor Fu Hsi wrote of seeing a k'i-lin. He saw markings on the coat of the animal, and and perceived those symbols as a written language, thus giving credit to the k'i-lin for the establishment of the written Chinese language.

The sighting of a K'i-in was a considered a good omen, and often signified the birth of a good ruler. Other times, it appeared to give a warning to men. A scouting party for Genghis Khan reported seeing a Chio-tuan, a type of K'i-lin, that warned the party to stop the war, and that 'moderation will give boundless pleasure'. Upon receiving the report, the Mongol stopped his battle plans.

Unicorns were reported in India as well. The Greek Ctesias wrote of seeing a 'wild ass' there, which was as large as a horse. He said that the horn of the unicorn was about a foot and a half long, and three colored, with the base being white, the middle black, and the top red.

The best known legends surrounding the unicorn are in Western culture. The common view of the unicorn as a horse with a horn is popular, and has been depicted in our heritage for thousands of years. The unicorn is mentioned in the Bible in several verses. The Palm Sunday tract in the Roman Catholic missal reads, 'Deliver me from the lion's mouth, and my lowliness from the horns of unicorns'. Saint Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan in the fourth century, considered the unicorn a symbol of Christ as he wrote, 'Who then has one horn, unless it be the only begotten son, the unique word of God, which has been next to God from the very beginning?' Saint Augustine considered the horn of the unicorn to be a symbol of the unity of the faith of the Church.

The horn of the unicorn has been sought after for centuries. In the west, it was thought to have magical properties, and could purify poisons. Therefore, it was a very valuable commodity to have. Pope Paul III is said to have paid 12,000 pieces of gold for one, but James I of England got a much better deal for his, only paying 10,000 pounds Sterling for one. The horn of the narwhal was a common substitute for that of the unicorn for those unscrupulous businessmen.

Because of that problem, a common test to determine the validity of a unicorn horn was to use its magical properties of purification. David De Pomis wrote, 'There is very little of the true horn to be found, most of that which is sold as such being either stag's horn, or elephant's tusk. A true test by which one may know the genuine horn from the false: Place the horn in a vessel of any sort of material you like, and with it three or four large and live scorpions, keeping the vessel covered. If you find four hours later that the scorpions are dead or almost lifeless, the horn is a good one, and there is not enough money in the world to pay for it'.

The search for the unicorn, and proof of its existance, dates back almost as far as the legends which surround it. Ctesias spoke of the unicorn in the court of Darius II, the King of Persia in 416 BC. Chinese writings date back to 2800 BC. The men of the Ancient World believed in the existance of the unicorn, so the object of their searching was to find it, not to prove it existed. It wasn't until later in history that man began to doubt the unicorn's physical existance. In the ninth century, Margoulies wrote, 'It is universally held that the unicorn is a Supernatural being and of auspicious omen; so say the odes, the annals, the biographies of worthies, and other texts whose authority is unimpeachable. Even village women and children know the unicorn is a lucky sign. But this animal does not figure among the barnyard animals, it is not always easy to come across, it does not lend itself to zoological classification, nor is it like the horse or bull, the wolf or deer. In such circumstances we may be face to face with a unicorn and not know for sure that we are. We know a certain animal with a mane is a horse and that a certain animal with horns is a bull. We do not know what the unicorn looks like'.

Even though the existance of the unicorn is questionable, its symbolism is not. The beast, like all mythological creatures, has been a reflection of man's hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares, and inner consciousness. Freud considered mythological beasts as Representations of 'universal fears and feelings'. Specifically, Jung thought that the purity of the unicorn was of greater importance. Most mythological creatures represent man's worst traits, and are usually more evil than animals, or man. They kill for pleasure, and are often involved in unspeakable atrocities. The unicorn is an exception to the rule, being a symbol of purity, hope, love, and majesty.

The decline of the unicorn began with the Renaissance and the advent of scientific thought. The beliefs that had held for thousands of years began to crumble when man could not prove the existance of the unicorn. Systematically, report after report of a unicorn was attributed to a more believable occurance of a more mundane animal. Rhinos, goats, and horses were all considered explanations of unicorns. As technology advanced, more exact tests and record keeping were developed, which added to the mounting evidence against the unicorn. Finally, the unicorn was added to the list of animals regarded as 'mythical', and would later only be found in children's stories and other fables.

What of the unicorn today? The unicorn is returning, if only symbolically. It is that symbolism that people are seeking today, the idea of natural truth, purity, and love that much of society has lost in the shadow of technology. Odell Shepard wrote, 'It is not that the men of the Middle Ages who believed in unicorns were less intellegent than we; their intellegence was turned in a different direction... we wrong ourselves when we insist that if they cannot make good their flesh and blood actuality on our level we will have none of them'. To find the unicorn, as the ancients did, we have to unlearn what we have learned; we must go back to an earlier way of looking at the world. Only then will we find the unicorn.

'Well, now we have seen each other,' said the unicorn, 'if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?'

Suggested free e-books to read:

Pansophic Freemasons - Masonic Symbolism
Bylaws - Unicorn Tradition Of Wicca
Kelly Link - Magic For Beginners
John Alan Halloran - Sumerian Lexicon

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself

Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself Cover

Book: Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself by Nevrom Ydal

This article describes how to prepare your Ritual Area before a ritual. Before I begin theh article, though, let me issue a few disclaimers. The first one is that I do not, in any way, mean to imply that what I set forth here is the only way to do things. It is one way, and it's worked for me, and if you think my methods seem reasonable and fit within your framework of Wicca, then use them, if not, ignore them.

The second disclaimer is actually just a clarification of my background. I was trained in traditional (small 'T', as in Alexandrian, Gardnerian, and so on) Wicca. My methods might seem a little too ceremonial for some of the more eclectic Wiccans, and might seem totally unnecessary by the more spontaneous type of ritual Participation. Fine. Then don't use them!

Download Nevrom Ydal's eBook: Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself

Suggested free e-books to read:

Kathryn Rountree - Embracing The Witch And The Goddess
Ethel Thompson - Primitive African Medical Lore And Witchcraft
Andrew Lang - Myth Ritual And Religion
Nevrom Ydal - Preparing The Ritual Area And Yourself

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Power Animal Wolf

Power Animal Wolf Cover WOLF's Medicine includes Spirit teaching, social family importance.

"WOLF, MY spiritual GUIDE,

Wolf is a teacher and pathfinder. He comes to you when you need guidance and once you accept his medicine, you will move on to be a teacher to others about Sacredness and spirituality. Wolf can solve other people's problems easily, finding solutions in difficult situations. He communicates through subtle gestures and expressions. A simple glance can be worth a million words.

Would people are social and have a good sense of family values and togetherness. They are friendly and intelligent. They are also loyal to their mate and highly protective of family and close friends.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Sepharial - A Manual Of Occultism
William Frederick Poole - Cotton Mather And Salem Witchcraft
Aninymous - The Angelical Alphabet
Stephen William Hawking - Space And Time Warps
Jacob Behmen - The Super Sensual Life

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Power Animal Hawk

Power Animal Hawk Cover HAWK's Medicine includes Messenger.


Hawk carries a message in his shrill cry which only those with Hawk medicine can decipher. His piercing shriek slices Through the shroud of unknowing, asking you to seek the truth. His cry represents illumination in the Darkness of ignorance. Hawk will not let your talents and skills go to waste, instead, he will scope out the situation to make sure you use as much of your talents as possible. Hawk can solve a problem by flying above the situation. He removes himself from it, observing it only as a passive viewer. This allows Hawk to see the big picture. Hawk's broad vision allows you to see the past, present and future all laid out before you. Once you are aware of the opportunities in front of you, Hawk will help you to wisely choose your moves to make the best of your potential.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Anonymous - Potentialities Of Loki
Leo Ruickbie - Halloween And Samhain
Edward Kelley - The Angelic Alphabet
Aninymous - The Angelical Alphabet

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Shamanism For Beginners Walking With The World Healers Of Earth And Sky

Shamanism For Beginners Walking With The World Healers Of Earth And Sky Cover

Book: Shamanism For Beginners Walking With The World Healers Of Earth And Sky by James Endredy

James Endredy is a teacher, mentor, and guide to thousands of people through his books and workshops. After a series of life tragedies and mystical experiences as a teenager he changed direction from his Catholic upbringing and embarked on a life-long spiritual journey to encounter the mysteries of life and death and why we are all here. For over twenty-five years he has learned shamanic practices from all over the globe, while also studying with kawiteros, lamas, siddhas, roadmen, and leaders in the modern fields of ecopsychology, bioregionalism, and sustainable living. James also worked for ten years with Mexican shamanic researcher Victor Sanchez learning to share shamanic practices with modern people.

James Endready's new book on Shamanism takes a look at the world's oldest profession with insight, depth, all grounded in his own personal experience of working with indigenous peoples all over the planet. The book is comprehensive in scope.

James is one of the few people born into a Eurocentric culture who is a practitioner of shamanism worthy of your time. But as he accurately notes, even Eorocentric peoples were originally part of shamanic practices. He understands deeply the commitment/responsibility side of taking up this rather profound `call' by spirit, and what is entailed in walking this path.

He notes in his introduction that he is a "small shaman" Understanding that shamanic knowledge is a lifelong quest, where one's full powers are achieved in old age.

James differs substantially with the New Age (or neo-shamanism) movement in profound ways. He understands his commitment is to serve the traditional communities who keep these traditions alive for humanity; he further understands his own personal responsibility to his mentors, who have shared their knowledge with him.

Too often in our contemporary moment, there is a rush by some to embrace "spirituality" as a commodity. In this sense, Spirituality and neo-shamanic practices in particular, are seen as nothing more than a path to personal prosperity and happiness.

As James succinctly notes in his narrative, a shaman is chosen by spirit for a specific commitment to his or her own community; in this regard the `call' a shaman receives is to service to others, and not to one self. I suspect that the `call' any prospective shaman receives to take up this healing art and requisite commitment to training is understood by Spirit to also posses the required maturity to serve others selflessly. To further understand the call, is to also understand the sacredness of the indigenous world view and its connection to the land itself as a nexus to the ancestors who abide upon the land at the service to the continuity of the people. This Relationship between the living, the ancestors who have passed over, and the land is critical to the entire meaning of indigenous identity. When broken, the stories die and pass from the living font of the tribe.

James notes many interesting anecdotal stories of his own experience working with indigenous healers, elders, and sages, who have kept the stories and traditions alive. One of the functions of keeping these stories alive is the vast diversity of the art and its keepers. As James notes retelling a story of a question posed to a friend about something he did not understand in a ceremonial function:

"He casually explained that shamans all have different levels of knowledge and experience. Even the wisest and most experienced shamans didn't know everything that another shaman does, or even all the myths and histories of the people. That is why there are multiple shaman leaders, or kawiteros, that would always come together at special ceremonies and work together to keep the tradition alive. "

The author also pays particular attention to the maturity of the shamans he studied under noting that they often keep silent or speak briefly to the point; they avoid participating in community gossip, and are role models representing the best of human character traits. He discusses the differences between authentic shamanic power, and what it is not. He describes the various ways one is chosen to be a shaman and the signs or portends to this end.

In taking up the call, any prospective shaman undergoes a rigorous initiation where the former life drops away, and a new life emerges through intense trails. This is not a calling for the faint of heart, or dilettantes engaged in New Age superficiality.

So the author's discussion on Becoming a shaman is worthwhile and directly to the point.

The discussion on the plant spirit medicine is also profound. Again, as juxtaposed with the New Age movement which is entirely geared toward making a buck, or to create a cottage industry that is ubiquitous through eco-travel; James notes the dishonesty, not only to those who are being defrauded by shame healers, but also how this preoccupation with eco travel diminishes the indigenous communities.

As a case in point, I often visited the Shaur Indians deep in the upper Amazon jungle in Ecuador. On one particular trip, a couple of thrill seekers showed up obliquely with a tribe I had a relationship with through the environmental organization Dreamchange. In a subsequent conversation, these two were giddy and eager to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony without also understanding the sacred nature of the ceremony. As it turned out, neither had a vision using the medicine and both were disappointed afterword. I later asked the shaman why they did not receive a vision, and was told simply said that "their hearts were not true."

James also notes how different shaman use companion plants with the Ayahuasca, thus the brew is unique to every shaman. He also offers a warning that this is nothing to fool around with, if your heart and focus is not prepared in a good way that also honors the traditional practices. Since the authentic indigenous healers have been working with this medicine for thousands of years, and have a deep spiritual relationship with the plants, it is nothing to be taken lightly or as just another experience.

As I've previously noted, this book is comprehensive in scope and practice. I give it my highest recommendation. James brings to this work a creative spirit will still honoring the traditions and cultures giving them birth. You won't find a better guide or healer from a western perspective that Endready.

Buy James Endredy's book: Shamanism For Beginners Walking With The World Healers Of Earth And Sky

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Solomonic Grimoires - The Grand Grimorie With The Great Clavicle Of Solomon
June Johns - King Of The Witches The World Of Alex Sanders
Phil Hine - Techniques Of Modern Shamanism Vol I Walking Between The Worlds