Magic and Probability

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My garden condo building of ten units was built about seventy years ago. Field mice frequently come in from the outside and nest in the building. I have been working with the exterminator to get rid of the mice in my kitchen. Therefore, I decided to write a spell to banish the mice from my unit.

My knowledge of spellcraft is limited. Therefore, I consulted various spell books for suggestions. I came up with a very simple spell. It requires a minimum of knowledge and follows standard magical correspondences. If it fails, I have the exterminator to fall back on. Since we began, the numbers of mice killed have been decreasing. Therefore, I feel detached enough from the result to do the spell.

For the spell, I would place two candles in the kitchen – one black, one pink. The color black is traditionally used in banishment spells. (Also, it is associated with the Dark Moon, a potent time for banishing.) As I focus on that burning candle, I would chant, “Mice, mice go away, Stay outside and play.” (I want to direct them to go out of the building.) I would light the pink candle afterwards to fill the kitchen with happiness.

To have the spell be as potent as possible, I need to do it at the Dark Moon, which is the traditional time for banishing. The three days of the Dark Moon is considered best for the removal of pests. A major problem, for me, is that it can only be done once a month during a three-day period.

To strengthen the correspondences, I would need to do the spell at the waning of the year. However, it’s springtime and I want the mice gone now. Since this is the waxing of the year, the banishing spell will be weakened. The object of magic is to have as many associations as possible within the working, since the whole is greater than the parts.

The traditional day and time to do a banishment spell is an hour after sunrise on a Saturday. The hour after sunrise is still a liminal time, while drawing on the influence of Saturday. Saturday is also the day I make offerings to the Household Lars (Spirits), who usually take the form of a snake. Since snakes do hunt mice, doing the spell at that time would add to the number of correspondences.

However, the Dark Moon only comes every twenty-nine days. A Saturday Dark Moon only occurs three times in 2018. If I wanted to do the spell on Saturday with the Dark Moon, I would have to wait until August before doing the spell. Again, the correspondences for doing the spell now would be weaker.

The other problem is that I want the mice to leave my building and not just my unit. There are ten units in my building and eleven in the adjoining building, which shares a wall. I would have to be very specific as to where the mice need to go, which is outside. I also do not want them to return. That may be beyond my modest abilities.

For a replacement time, I could do the spell during the Taurus Dark Moon since it relates to the home. Since I am using candles, the best time is midnight. Because I want the full power of the Dark Moon for magic, midnight would be the prime time.

To further direct the mice to the outside, I would add green and brown candles to the spell. Green is the color of the grass and brown the seeds. Also, these colors represent the earth element of which mice correspond to. I would burn them both after the black candle.

It would be a good spell since I am already working with the exterminator. If the spell fails, I still have the advice of the exterminator on ridding the mice. We need to plug the holes under the stove where the mice are coming in. Meanwhile, the exterminator is checking the outside of the building for mice holes.

Works Used:
Hollard, Ellen, “The Spellcaster’s Reference.” Newburyport (MA): Weiser Books. 2009.
Paterson, Rachel, “Animal Magic.” Winchester (UK): Moon Books. 2017.
—- “Moon Magic.” Winchester (UK): Moon Books. 2014.
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon, “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard.” Franklin Lakes (NJ): New Page Books. 2004.

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Divining with an Eight-Ball

As a Roman Polytheist, I regard divination as a conversation between humans and the Gods. As a diviner, I need to know multiple forms of divination. Different Gods prefer different systems to speak to people. Some forms are traditional such as Runes for the Norse Gods or wooden staves for Apollo. Other forms help to clarify the answer, which has been given. Many diviners who work in various Polytheistic traditions usually know at least eleven systems to employ. I use four regularly and have another five in reserve for further needs. As a diviner, I do need to know a variety of forms to do my work well.

I use the 8 ball as a divination tool. For me, it is a simple tool for a quick answer and for clarification. Sometimes the answer from the original divination is unclear or the querent needs more information. The “Yes,” “No” and “Maybe” aspects are useful to me. In Roman divination, the question asked has three answers – “Yes, the Gods will allow it,” “No, They won’t,” and “They don’t care what you do.” The “Maybe” of the 8 ball acts as “The Gods are not interested.”

Mathematics of receiving a certain answer in an 8 ball.

The probability of a positive answer with an 8 Ball (includes “maybe”).

P=10/20, with M=10, 20=N. 50 percent for “yes.”

The probability of a negative answer.
P=5/20 with M=5. N=20. 25 percent for “no.”

My Brain on Mathematics

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About seven years ago, a wall fell on me while I was shopping. I ended up with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and severe PTSD. I lived in fear of any wall or shelf taller than me falling and crushing me. I refused to go outside without a bicycle helmet.

A major part of my recovery was to learn how to calculate the odds of a wall falling on me. Because one had, I assumed that it was a common occurrence. What I learned was that outside of construction work, it was rare.

I reviewed statistics on the various causes of TBIs. One third were from strokes, while another third were from falls. One sixth of TBIs were caused by car crashes. Of the remainder, the most came from sports injuries, such as being beaned by a flying hockey puck. Being crushed by a wall was an outlier. (These statistics had excluded military TBIs and gunshot victims.)

Therefore, when I go shopping, I repeat to myself how slim the odds are for being crushed by a wall. (I have since given up wearing a bicycle helmet.) It has become a habit of mine to assess the probability of being hit in the head. (I have no desire to reinjure my brain.)

One specific thing that I did which involved probability and my TBI:
I assessed whether the falling debris from the Chinese space station would hit me. When I heard the reports of this space station breaking up, I panicked. After finding out that the debris field would include where I lived, I had a severe PTSD attack. Therefore, I researched how much space debris actually do reach the ground. Most are burned up in the atmosphere upon re-entry. Since 1985, only two reported instances worldwide involved people. Therefore, the probability of any space debris hitting me was miniscule.

The picture of Moby Dick and the boat illustrates how remote wall falling actually is and the trauma I felt (and still feel).

Tempestas and the Gods of the Winds

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In June, Tempestas, the Goddess of Storms is given offerings by Romans to keep travelers safe. I find that interesting since June is also the start of the hurricane season in the Atlantic. Perhaps it is not that surprising since hurricanes can influence weather in Europe.

Besides Tempestas, I make offering to the Gods of the Winds. Having good relations with the Winds is necessary to work weather magic. For example, farmers want rain and sun during certain months, while sailors want to avoid wind storms at sea.

The Wind Gods of Rome have the attributes of the climate of Southern Europe. Since I do not know the names of my local Wind Gods, I use the Roman names if they fit. Some of those Wind Gods share similar attributes of the climate of Washington D.C. I believe that different areas are governed by different Gods of Winds (and Storms). Some like Hurican, the Carib God of Storms, rules over the Atlantic and East Pacific Oceans.

Aquilo of the Northeast brings the cold weather. We receive Nor’easters that blow northeast to southwest. These massive storms bring snow or rain, lingering for days. Corus, the oldest of the Roman Wind Gods, blows the cold in from the Northwest, Where I live, our winds of winter come from the West (October through March). Meanwhile for the Romans, Favonius of the West brings spring. For us, the North Wind comes in April.

Starting in May and throughout the summer, the wind is from the South. For the Romans, Auster of the South brought the sirocco from North Africa. This Wind God governs the strong winds of summer and autumn. Volturnus of the Southeast brings the warm rains and winds. Our major storms come from the Southeast. Vulturnus of the East also brings warmth and rain. However, Washington D.C. rarely receives any wind from the East.

Our Wind Gods include Derecho, Hurricane and Nor’easter. Each Wind God is formidable in their own right. Arriving without warning, Derecho is a “thunderstorm-induced straight-line wind” — a squall line with exceptionally strong winds. Derecho. Every few years, Derecho will arrive during the summer to wreak havoc.

Named after Hurican, Hurricane arises in the warm seasons of summer and fall. Spawning in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane brings strong winds and torrential rains. This forceful Wind God creates inlets and destroys islands.

Nor’easter rules only the Eastern coast of North America. Occurring in the colder months, the intense Nor’easter can batter an area for days. Severe flooding often occurs from the high storm surges.

Throughout the world, Wind Gods reign over various regions. Australia has the dusty Brickfielder. For South Africa the Cape Doctor blows form the Southeast. Each has their own particular attributes.

Monotheistic Filter: Expulsion from Eden

The Goddess religions reject the over-emphasis of the masculine Divinity in Monotheist religions and the subjugation of women. These religions depict the expulsion from the Garden of Eden as the Goddess being deposed by the God. The patriarchy that many Goddess Pagans rail about destroyed the peaceful matriarchy of prehistory.

The work of Marija Gimbutas, Lithuanian-American archeologist, implanted the idea of the Great Mother Goddess in prehistory in Pagan minds. The original idea was started by Johann Jakob Bachofern, Swiss anthropologist, in the 1860s. He asserted that the early Europeans were matriarchal. Friederic Engels (of Marx and Engels) reformulated Bachofern’s idea into a matriarchal Golden Age that was dislodged by the patriarchy of the Indo-Europeans.

Marija Gimbutas described the former Goddess culture of Europe. Ruled by female shamans, this peaceful and egalitarian culture nurtured all life. Gimbutas continued, “Through an understanding of what the Goddess was, we can better understand nature and we can build our ideologies so it will be easier for us to live.” (Note 1) Joan Marler, American archeomythologist, added, “If her theories are correct, then peace, reverence for the earth and the honoring of life are not only human capabilities, they are the very underpinnings of European civilization itself.” (Note 2)

Because of the Great Goddess myth, various Deities of prehistory are seen as Great Mother Goddesses. The interpretation of the objects of prehistory have been subverted into a Goddess Culture. For instance, the Bird Goddess becomes the supreme image of the Holy, with Inanna of Sumer and Isis of Egypt, Her Aspects. The Monotheistic Filter employed by the Goddess religions eliminates the male to formulate the One Goddess.

Notes:

Note 1. “About Marija Gimbutas,” Belili Productions.

Note 2. Ibid.

Works Used:
“About Marija Gimbutas,” Belili Productions. 2007. Web: http://www.belili.org/marija/aboutmarija.html

Adkins, Lesley and Roy Adkins, “Dictionary of Roman Religion.” New York: Oxford University Press. 1996.

Black, Jeremy and Anthony Green, “Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia.” Austin: University of Texas Press. 2014.

Blair, Nancy, “Amulets of the Goddess.” Oakland (CA): Wingbow Press. 1993.
“Goddess for Every Season.” Oakland (CA): Wingbow

Gimbutas, Marija, “The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization.” San Francisco: Harper & Row. 1989.

Markale, Jean, “The Great Goddess.” Rochester (VT): Inner Traditions. 1997.

Marler, Joan, “The Myth of the Universal Patriarchy.” 2003. Web: http://belili.org/marija/eller_response.html

Orr, Emma, “Kissing The Hag.” Winchester (UK): O-Books. 2009.

Paper, Jordan, “The Deities Are Many.” Albany NY: State University of New York Press. 2005.

Penry, Tylluan, “Sacred Shadows: Ice Age Spirituality.” U.K.: The Wolfenhowlepress. 2013.

Ravenna, Morpheus, “Banshee Arts.” Web: http://bansheearts.com/blog/.
“The Book of the Great Queen.” Richmond (CA): Concrescent Press. 2014.

Monotheistic Filter: Core Unity (All Religions are the Same)

The concept of that the core doctrines of all religions are the same comes from 19th Century Liberal Protestantism and Scientific Rationalism. “Core unity” according to the New Thought Movement, is “the principle is that Truth is Truth, whenever it is found, whoever is sharing it.” (Note 1) Theosophy posits the theory that all religions possess the same hidden truth. Furthermore, this truth can be retrieved and distilled to be worshiped on its own.

Theosophy and its offspring, New Age Religion, adopted and expanded on the doctrine of core unity. Because of the influence of Theosophy on Pagan thought, what people regard to be “karma” is differs greatly from the Hindu concept of “karma.” The Pagan use of karma does not refer to reincarnation, but to what happens in this life. Also, the “past lives” of Paganism is a different doctrine of “reincarnation” of Hinduism.

The other aspect of core unity is that everyone seeks to be united with God. The Unity Church say that “We are spiritual beings in human bodies,” which is a common sentiment amongst Pagans. Religious Science/Science of Mind adds “human partnership with Infinite Intelligence to achieve success.” (Note 2) These 19th Century religious movements developed the popular idea that humans evolve to unite with God.

Notes:

Note 1. New Thought, “New Thought Beliefs.”

Note 2. Religious Science, “Beliefs of Science of Mind.” 2004.

Works Used:

“Divining America: Religion in American History,” National Humanities Center Teacher Server. 2010. Web: http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/divam.htm

Halstead, John, “Are Invented Religions Real?” Earthseed. 29 January 2016. Web: http://godischange.org/2016/01/29/are-invented-religions-real/

The International New Thought Alliance, Web: http://www.newthoughtalliance.org/

Religious Science/Science of Mind Church, 2004. Web: http://religiousscience.us/

Romanian Association for Psychoanalysis Promotion (AROPA), “Resources for Carl Jung.” 2017. Web: http://carl-jung.net/index.html

The Theosophical Society, “What is Theosophy.” 1998. Web: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/gdpmanu/ryan-wh/wit-hp.htm

Walter, Philippe, “Christianity, the Origins of a Pagan Religion,” trans. Jon E. Graham. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions. 2003.

Walton, Chris, “Philocrites: Religion, Liberalism, and Culture.” 2009. Web: http://philocrites.com/index.html.

Gods of the Month: June

June (Junius) is dedicated to Juno, the Patroness of Women. It is unclear why Juno is honored by Romans at this time, since only Juno Moneta has a festival day in June. However, marriages in the last two weeks of June were considered especially blessed by this Goddess of Marriage. For more on Juno: God of the Month: Juno Regina

VESTA
The main focus of June is the Vestalia from June 7 to 15. The Inner Sanctum of the Temple of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth, was opened to women. The temple was cleaned, purified, and rededicated. (The rubbish was then into the Tiber River.) In the Roman religion, Vesta is the Perpetual Fire, Who keeps the Pact between the People and the Gods. For more on Vesta: God of the Month: Vesta

HERCULES
I have personal cultus to Hercules, who is considered to be one of the early founders of Rome. Some of the Greek mythology of Heracules was grafted onto Hercules, the Roman God Hero. However, Romans had their own particular myths about Him. For example, the focus of Hercules’ worship, the Ara Maxima (the Greatest Altar) is where He killed Cacus, the monster who terrorized the early Romans.

Two temples of Hercules have dedications this month. Hercules Magno Custodi (the Great Custodian) has one on June 4, and Hercules Musarum (of the Muses) on June 29. The first was vowed on the orders of the Sibylline Books in light of Hannibal’s victories against Rome. The second was where poets and others would come to pay their respects to Hercules and the Muses. For more on Hercules: God of the Month: Hercules

SUMMANUS
Another God, I have a cultus for is Summanus, the God of the Nocturnal Heavens. He ruled the night as Jupiter ruled the day. His festival day is June 20, when people offered round breads imprinted with wheels to Him. For more on Summanus: God of the Month: Summanus

For more on June in Her many aspects:

God of the Month: Juno Moneta

God of the Month: Juno Lucina