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    Santeria the survival of an ancient african religion

     

    Many perceive Santeria as a bizarre an undesirable amalgamation of primitive, pagan beliefs and Roman Catholicism. Many believe the religion to be a dangerous, perhaps even Satanic, variation of Voodoo featuring zombies, indiscriminate animal sacrifices and other totems that make those from “first world” religious backgrounds uneasy. The truth behind Santeria is far less ominous. Santeria is a legitimate religion with roots that trace deep back into history. European colonization of the “new world” brought with it the importation of slavery. Many slaves were Yoruba’s (that territory lies in what is now a part of modern-day Nigeria). The Yorubans practiced a highly evolved religion that included multiple Orishas, which can be roughly understood as beneficial forces akin to saints in Christian religious practices or lesser deities in polytheistic religions. Yorubans understood the concept of “Ashe,” the life force of every person, and developed a number of worship and celebration rituals. Slaveholders found the idea of Yoruban religious practices add odds with their own ostensibly Christian belief structure. Fearing the unique customs of the Yorubans and understanding the risk its unfettered practice could have upon the institution of slavery, European colonists in the Americas attempt to destroy the faith and while the Catholic Church worked to convert slaves to Christianity. The religion we now call Santeria, however, did not die. It went undercover instead. Yoruban slaves worshipped the Orishas, but they disguised the figures as Catholic saints. While dancing to the sacred Yoruban drums would not have been tolerated, considerately praying before a representation of a Catholic saint was encouraged. In reality, those prayers were not directed to the Christian martyrs, but to the Orishas. This practice is the source of the name “Santeria,” a Spanish word referring to the worship of Saints. Yorubans continued other rituals and practices of their faith covertly, as well. Due to the historical context, the traditions were necessarily cloaked in secrecy. This allowed the religion to survive, but gave it an air of mystery that survives today. Santeria does involve a level of mysticism to which many from Judeo-Christian backgrounds are not accustomed and limited animal sacrifices under specific circumstances (primarily chickens) can be practiced by Santerians. However, those who perceive the faith as a dark and dangerous force are incorrect. Santeria represents the survival of peaceful and ancient traditional African religion against tremendous odds. It is still practiced today in many parts of the Caribbean and the United States.

         
    Scripture for when you are helpless

     

    All of us who live in the East Texas area just came through Hurricane Rita. Much damage was done through here. Through it all, though, Proverbs 1:33 came through for us. Prov 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (KJV) In the wee hours of the morning, when the storm was at its fiercest, slamming trees into our house and shaking it to the very foundations, God gave us the Scripture to pray. We were to pray for Paul’s “power tent” that God placed him in as he battled the “thorn-demon.” 2 Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV) You see, our youngest daughter, her four children, her husband, his mother and niece and two friends were here to dodge the storm. Immediately after they got here, the storm moved and was coming right at us. We were helpless. We could not move. The evacuation traffic was too heavy. It took our daughter 12 hours to get to our house only 85 miles away. As you can see, the highways were jammed. There was no escape. We were stuck here. We could not leave. Our two friends tried to leave but after two hours they had only gone one mile. They turned around and came back to our house. We then knew that we were here for the duration of the storm. We also knew that the only way out was the protection of God Almighty. Again, the only thing the Holy Ghost would let us pray was for the “power tent.“ You see, in the verse above, the expression “rest upon” translates two Greek words, “upon” and “tent.” Jesus put a “tent of power” upon Paul which protected him from the thorn for the rest of his life. We prayed for this “power tent” and got it. Trees slammed into our house, carport and yard. Our gutters were blown off. Our carport was smashed but our cars were not touched. Our home itself was safe. None of us were harmed at all. No damage was done to our house except the gutters. The “power tent” came down. Praise God! We were all safe. When helpless, pray for the “power tent.”

         
    Scripture for when you feel alone

     

    Here is a Scripture that will build your faith to a fever pitch. Actually this is my wife Corky’s favorite Scripture. She signs her name with this reference on every letter she writes. She is very active in ministry. Over the years, she has answered so much mail. She has sent out thousands of letters. And all of them are signed with "In His Palms." Now see this powerful Scripture. Isa 49:15-16 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (KJV) Yes it is possible for mothers to forget their sucking child. But God will absolutely not forget us! He said above, "I will not forget thee!" Then He said, "Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands!" “Graven” translates a Hebrew word that means “to hack out” or “to cut in.” In other words, God “cut us in” the palms of His hands. He could have wrote our names In simple ink. But no! He “hacked us out” in the palms of His hands. What a faith builder! No wonder Corky signs her letters with the expression, "In His Palms!" Jesus said it again in the gospels. Matt 28:20 20 I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV) Matt 18:20 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (KJV) John 14:18 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (KJV) Remember this when you feel alone and rejected. God hacked you out on the palms of His hands. Remember this when even your best friend has turned on you. God cut you in the palms of His hands. Remember this when even that family member you counted on most has let you down. God hacked you out on the palms of His hands. "I will not forget thee!" “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” "I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands!" We are not alone. You are not alone. Jesus is always here.

         
    Scripture for when you have a broken heart

     

    The Scripture below is very special to all of us. We are aware that God heals our bodies. We also need to be aware the He heals our broken hearts. Ps 147:3 3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (KJV) He not only heals our broken heart, he binds up our wounds. Think back over your life. How many heart wounds we have all had? But thank God that he comes through with a healing for our hearts so we can carry on for him and our families. The pain all of you have felt in your lives is staggering. But think again. The Bible says Jesus was touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Heb 4:15 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (KJV) Infirmities, here, translates a Greek word that is a combination of two words. It combines the Greek negative with the word for strength. In the above verse it means the absence of strength. It means no strength at all. In other words, when we have heart wounds to the breaking point, we are drained of strength. We are drained of the will to go on. This is a helpless, hopeless feeling. This is the meaning of the above expression, the feeling of our infirmities. It is a weakness we actually feel. No matter what we must go through, Jesus has already “been there and done that.” He knows from personal experience our hurts, our wounds, our pains and our feelings of no strength to carry on. Jesus has been tempted and/or tried in all the same points where we have been tempted and/or tried. He has felt what you have felt and has made it through. Consequently, he heals those of us who are broken in heart and then He binds up our wounds. How good to know that Jesus understands us. How good to know that he can identify with us when we pain and grieve. He was indeed touched with the feeling of our infirmities. How good to know that we can identify with him in this.

         
    Scrolling down the scrolls

     

    Who would want to listen to preachers drone on about the meaning of each and every symbol found in the Bible? Who is still interested in listening to the same old Bible stories of Noah, or of Moses? People have heard, even watched these stories often enough to memorize them. With the waning interest in Biblical activities, a new development in the way Bibles are taught is necessary, if not called for. And the online Bible steps up to the challenge. An online Bible usually features complete Bible text with searchable books, verses, and even chapter numbers. Biblical terms can also be searched from a specific Bible verse to a cross-reference to the other books and stories in the Bible. The pages of an online Bible are usually printable or e-mail ready. A more advanced online Bible website may have an interactive page wherein users can talk and share reflections in a live chat application. An additional feature usually found in kiddie online Bibles is a short cartoon strip or video clip of famous Bible stories. Now, that you have a more or less good idea what online Bibles are, let's talk about the advantages of using it. First, it's online, meaning it is easily accessible even if you're in the office for a few minutes of praying or reflection. There is no need to carry your old and dog-eared Bible around. Second, there is no need to flip and squint at chapter or verse numbers to look for a particular verse. The online Bible is searchable, you only need to type in a keyword and the Bible will search entries with your specific keywords. Third, dressing up won't be necessary to conduct Bible studies. Just e-mail your friends and Bible study buddies and set up a Bible study online through live chat. Who knows? Maybe other people will join you too. It also cut costs since you won't have to spend for gas, fare, or food. However, these advantages of the online Bible take away the feeling and spirituality of being part of physical community. So why not take an online Bible for an interesting family time. Since the Bible is in a medium your kids are interested in, you'll have minimal or no trouble at all to ask them to browse it with you. They might even enjoy its features very much that they'll make it a daily habit. Another thing you can do to improve the communal feeling is to teach other people how it works. Either way, you get the benefits of having an online Bible and still share a spiritual bond with other people.

         
    Sharia boards in canada

     

    Sharia (Islamic) Law has been a hot topic of debate for Canadians. Many Canadians are opposed to the implementation of Sharia because of misperceptions about flogging, decapitations and potential abuse towards women. However few have discussed the where if any in Canada a lending institute must certify their mortgages as Islamic. Currently there is no Sharia board that represents all Muslims in the Canadian banking system. Each Islamic bank may or may not have their own Sharia board which gives their collective opinion as to the Sharia compliance of a particular home purchasing program. Furthermore, different schools of thought exist in determination if some act is in accordance with Sharia or not. Lending institutions have to determine exactly what Sharia compliant is and what is not. Canadian law does not recognize Sharia law except in the case of false advertisement or mutually agreed upon marriage arbitration. False advertisement claims are typically brought against restraints that advertise that their food is Halal when in fact it isn’t. Arbitration by an elder or learned person in the case of divorce has only recently been recognized by courts but must be willing engaged in by both parties. International banks may have a Sharia compliance board which overviews the compliance of lending practices but these do not hold any legal precedence in Canada. Furthermore, such boards are typically on the payroll of the lending institution and their opinion may be suspect in matters of detail. Small cooperatives that purchase homes and sell ownership do not have a Sharia compliance board and function within the confines of Canadian law. These programs function within a small community setting and with limited financial capital. Such programs were developed during the beginning stages of Islam in Canada and are still prevalent today. Therefore, approval by a Sharia board is not a mandatory requirement of an Islamic mortgage. However, simply because a Sharia board is not necessary doesn’t mean that any mortgage is Islamic. In order for a mortgage to be considered Islamic it still needs to adhere to the basic principles of Sharia that prohibit the use of Riba (interest).

         
    Silver and gold

     

    Silver and Gold. If ever there was a time to repent of your sins and accept Jesus as Lord, today is the day. The financial world is lieing to all. They are saying that this world is in great shape. China and the United States are spending money like there is no tomorrow. Both are becoming broke. [CNN; Bush's proposed Pentagon budget for the fiscal year that began October 1 is $419 billion, not including as much as $50 billion that Congress is likely to add to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and against terror worldwide(Babylon?). He mentioned no budget figures, but the U. S. Defense Department has earlier said China might be spending $90 billion on defense this year -- three times the announced total.(Gog and Maygog?)] [''People should not be forced out their homes at the will of any private development,'' said Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June that local governments could take homes for private development projects that generate jobs and tax revenue.] Psa 146:3-5 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: We hear lie after lie concerning the financial positions of not only this country but all. This is one of the things that the anti-christ will use to get the world to trust in Him. Many today are wanting signs from God that His word is true, but, He has showed you signs and wonders, time and time again. Floods, earthquakes, fires, Hurricanes, Tsunamis, signs in the heavens, but still people are blinded by what they do see. Science is blinding people to the truth, always coming up with some logical reason for each and every catastrophe. We have seen man at his best and at his worst. Can you not see, that man cannot handel all these catastrophes, money is becoming tighter and tighter. You cannot put your trust in man and his money. Isa 2:19-22 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of ? Who is man that you can put your trust in? Where is it stated that this world will last forever? Where is it stated that your savings will be there when you need it? No where. There is no guarantee for tomorrow. Just look at the news here lately, Company after company are taking the benefits and retirement away from there employees, a man who has worked for 25 or even 30 years for his retirement, loses all and has to start over again. The rich getting richer and the poor are paying the bill. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of ? Think, Think about what is going on, think about the prophecys of the Bible, Think about your future in eternity. There is no such thing as ”Social Security”, who can guarentee your future? (Barnes)A man shall cast ... - That is, “all” who have idols, or who have been trusting in them. Valuable as they may be - made of gold and silver; and much as he may “now” rely on them or worship them, yet he shall then see their vanity, and shall cast them into dark, obscure places, or holes, where are moles and bats. Isa 31:7-9; For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. The destruction of Babylon is simple enough. Rev 18:16-19; And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. The idea that Silver and Gold will continue to be of great price is a deception that many are believeing. When just the debt of this country is over $7,000,000,000,000, where will the rest of the world be in the next couple of years? Who are we to turn to, who are we to trust? Each day the debt grows and grows around the world. Do you really believe that things can continue on. There are going to be great wars coming. The anti-christ will rise up, He will make war and He will decieve the world into thinking He has all the worlds problems solved. Do you really want to put your trust in man and Silver and Gold ?

         
    Simplest way to be healed by faith

     

    Of all the ways our blessed Lord has given us for healing by faith, the following is the easiest. It must be ministered by the elders of the church. James gave us the instructions for this way of healing in the following Scriptures. James 5:14-15 14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (KJV) My first real experience with faith healing involved using the above Scripture. I was a denominational pastor at the time. My oldest daughter, a Senior in High School, had a girl friend who had terminal cancer. My daughter told her to ask me to pray for her healing. She called me and I told her to read the above Scripture first, think deeply about what she had read and then call me back if she still wanted to pursue healing by faith. She read it and a day or two later called me back and said "full speed ahead." She wanted to pursue healing by faith. Next, I called those in the church whom I considered to be on a higher spiritual level with God and asked them to meet with me. When they arrived at my study, I explained to them why I had asked them to meet with me. I explained that this little girl had a terminal cancer and that if God did not reverse course with her by a supernatural healing, she would in all probability die. I read them the Scripture above and gave them the opportunity to leave if they did not want to participate. None left. Next, I called in the girl. I asked her again if she wanted to pursue healing by acting on God’s word. She again said yes. Then I placed a chair in the center of the elder men and asked her to sit down in it. She did. My daughter was in the room with her. According to the above Scriptures, the elder men and I anointed her with oil and prayed for her healing. We saw no visible sign that she was different at all. (This is the place that many grow weak and quit.) I explained that many times we must wait for a time lag before we see the physical results. The next day she had to go to her doctor for a checkup and blood test. Her dad took off work that morning and took her. They did the tests as they did every time. Then her dad took her to school and went to work. Later that same day, her dad (while still at work) received a call from the doctor who asked him to bring the girl back to his office the next morning. The dad asked if anything was wrong. The doctor assured him there was nothing wrong. He said that he simply needed to do the test over as this one did not take. “Nothing to be alarmed about,” he reassuringly told the dad. Early the next morning they were back at the doctor’s office. They did the test again. Then she went to school and he went back to work. Then, just a little later in the morning, the doctor again called the dad and asked him to please come back by his office. He did. The doctor said that he did not know what was going on but both tests showed that his little girl was absolutely cancer free. Cancer Free! Learn something! This is healing by faith. Believing is simply acting on what God said. In this case He very simply said for a sick person to call the elders of the church together and allow them to do the two things they are instructed to do for healing. This child did! She was not and is not a theologian by any means. But she did not have to be anything but obedient. She obeyed and God delivered the goods. Is God any different today? Is His word less powerful now than it was then? Did he love her anymore than He loves you and me and our loved ones? Of course not. He changes not. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. By the way, this healing occurred in 1982. Till this very hour, this high school girl has never had even one symptom of a recurrence of her cancer. What kind of cancer? She had leukemia.

         
    Sitting shiva sympathy gift the jewish tradition of mourning

     

    Strength in numbers Sitting Shiva is the tradition of mourning in the Jewish religion. Gathering together as a community is at the core of sitting Shiva, just as it is at the core of many Jewish traditions. The strength and support of friends, family and neighbors, during sitting Shiva, plays a key role in helping the bereaved get through the process of grieving. Shiva is the mourning period, traditionally observed by the parent, spouse, sibling or child of the deceased. During Shiva (“sitting Shiva”), which is traditionally a seven day period that begins immediately after the funeral, the family stays home to focus on their grief, remember their loved one and receive visitors. Although traditionally a seven-day period, many families sit Shiva for a shorter period; perhaps 1, 2 or 3 days. The Shiva period is often announced at the funeral. Sympathy Gift Baskets are Customary Jewish custom discourages sending flowers or gifts other than food when people are sitting Shiva. In fact, Shiva begins with seudat havra'ah, "the meal of consolation," prepared by family and neighbors. For those who are unable to make a personal visit, sending a food gifts basket such as a Shiva Food Gifts or Sympathy Gift Baskets, with a thoughtful card is an appropriate and helpful gesture. “I find that when giving a sympathy gift or sympathy basket, people feel the need to send it immediately,” says Jane Moritz, owner of The Challah Connection. “However, it’s important to remember that people are visiting throughout and even after the Shiva period. The need for food to share continues for some time, so spacing out gifts is perfectly acceptable.” Be sure to find out if the family sitting Shiva keeps kosher so you can send an appropriate food gift basket. In addition, when you are thinking of what to write, a simple message when people are sitting Shiva is best. Consider a message such as “With our heartfelt sympathy,” or “We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts,” or the most traditional, “May God comfort you among all mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.” What you can do and say For many, consoling the bereaved that are sitting Shiva can be difficult and uncomfortable. However, Jewish customs are quite clear in describing proper etiquette and that helps alleviate awkward feelings. Generally, be a good listener and be as helpful as possible when people are sitting Shiva. Soon after arriving, visitors should approach the mourners and sit quietly with them, possibly offering a hug or handshake, but letting the mourner begin the conversation. They may not feel like talking at all, and sitting in silence is perfectly acceptable. Alternatively, the visitor can simply say, “I’m sorry,” and that can be enough. Just being there says it all—words are not always necessary when visiting those sitting Shiva. It helps to remember that Shiva occurs during the most intense days of mourning. Those who have just lost a loved one will experience a range of powerful emotions, and that is an important part of the healing process. This is the perfect time to share stories, photos and cherished memories of the deceased. Moreover, if you do not know what to say, remain silent. Shiva—an act of kindness If there is a chance to be helpful, make an offer, or just complete the task, when appropriate. Run errands, pick-up at the airport, host someone coming in from out of town, cook or clean up, or take care of children. Whatever can be done to remove daily chores from those sitting Shiva becomes an immense help. Shiva calls should be thought of as an act of kindness, not as a burden. The visit can be an hour or less to avoid tiring the family. Different families will observe Shiva in different manners. It is traditional for mourners to have a tear in their clothing to symbolize their loss; they may sit on low stools or even on the floor to show the depth of their sadness, and some show a traditional disregard for vanity and personal comfort by maintaining only the minimal standards of personal care, dressing simply and covering mirrors. Usually a 24-hour candle burns in memory of the deceased. In some homes, mourners will recite Kaddish up to three times a day with a minyan, which is a group of 10 Jewish adults. At times, it is difficult to gather a minyan, so visitors who can participate are especially appreciated.

         
    Sleep well with a feng shui bedroom

     

    Though you may not realize it, a Feng Shui bedroom is probably one of the best ways to bring good things into your life. With so much of your life being spent in the bedroom, you cannot do too much to improve this area of your home. This is the one area of your environment that may affect you more than all others. Your bedroom can influence your emotional, physical as well as psychological wellbeing, so it is extremely important that this room be in balance with the natural energy. By simply changing some things in this room, you can create a Feng Shui Bedroom and add harmony to your environment. When making your bedroom into a Feng Shui Bedroom, try to keep in mind that this room is meant for only rest, relationships, and self-renewal. Add colors and shapes that promote these things. If you are thinking of completely remodeling your bedroom, pay careful attention to the new bedroom furniture you select. For the Feng Shui Bedroom you should buy a bed made completely of wood, if possible. Another thing to keep in mind when you make major changes to your bedroom such as furniture and dйcor is that you should not stick with the same type of stuff you have always used. Try a change to see if it enhances the bedroom environment. When metal is used in a bed, it has the ability to conduct electricity, which is very bad for your health. In addition, try not to have anything electrical next to your bed. Don’t sleep with electric blankets, heating pads, etc. Lighting is also a very important part of the Feng Shui Bedroom. Your bedroom should have lighting that is not too bright or too dimfortable lighting is the key to a great bedroom. Do not place your bed inline with the doorway. This has a tendency to disrupt the energy that helps you rest and renew. Also, try to avoid keep any type of sharp object in your bedroom. Large plants and mirrors also disrupt the flow of energy and may cause sleeping problems. If you find that you have been having trouble sleeping well, this could be the cause. Remove these things from your bedroom. With a Feng Shui Bedroom you can create an environment that is beneficial to your health, success and happiness.

         
    Some tips for writing your own magick spells

     

    Writing your own spells is what every practicing Witch aspires to. The ability to craft your own spells gives you an advantage over "ready made" spells you can find in other places. This is because you will be putting your own emotion and energy into the spell in it's creation... it will be more "special" to you, and that is the secret of casting successful spells. If you want to learn black magic, all of the below holds true. The ingredients and tools that you use are purely dependent upon not only what traditional magickal properties they might possess, but also what they mean to you as far as symbology goes. There are different ways to set up the wording of your spells. They can be as simple as a two line “charge” to enforce your will, rhyming couplets (my personal favorite, since it helps me to better remember the words without referring back to written instructions), eloquent and lengthy prose to charge the spell to the energy of your will, or simply the use of repeating or chanting a single word over and over again. Everything that you put into the spell – the ingredients, the words, the time of day, etc – come together with your desire, emotion, and belief to bring your desired outcome (sometimes within a day). A quick word of warning: you should “steer clear” of casting spells to harm or control other people in any way. Not only does this go against the Witchcraft Ethics and Responsibilities I went over before – but trying to control someone else (or cause harm to them), opens doors in the future that you may not want opened. I have seen people loose everything because they practiced Magick in ways that go against common morality. Always make sure your heart is in the right place, and that you feel good about casting a spell. Now, here are the things you will want to do while creating your spell. Make sure to write down an outline for the spell on paper so you won’t forget anything. • Even if your spell is sounding silly as you write it – keep writing, as long as it is coming from your heart, and is for an intense desire that you have. • Unless it is an emergency situation, plan out the best timing for when to cast the spell – planetary influences, moon phases, etc. • When you have finished your spell, write it down in your Book of Shadows. • Record the results of your spell, and any feelings you had while casting it in your Book of Shadows • Revise the spell as necessary (in your Book of Shadows) as you figure out what went right and what went wrong. I have included an easy 12-step formula for you to use when creating your own spells in the Home Academy. I also walk you through a full example of a secret spell I wrote many years ago (and I have never showed anybody until now). Not only will it give you a great example to follow when you write your own spells, but it is also a spell you can use for yourself. I promise, you’ll love it!

         
    Spell for attracting romantic prospects

     

    This simple spell will put a strong force of Magick Energy at work for you, even while you sleep. Your belief, desire, and focus will be set to work to influence your fate – bringing romantic prospects to you one after another, until a connection is made. It is a very easy wiccan spell, but... Don’t let it’s simplicity fool you – it works extremely well as long as you are familiar with all of the techniques I have shown you previously in this book. First, of course, prepare your external sacred space, and cast your Magick circle around your altar. Then… On a Thursday during a waxing Moon, in the first hour after sunset: Light a purple candle and place it before a bowl of water. Hold a mirror up to the candle, the water, and then to your face. Gaze into your own eyes. Concentrate on your beauty, your lovability, and your desirability. Hold the mirror up to the candle again. Say Aloud: “In the grace of the universe And in the abundance of love, I affirm I am greatly desirable And open to the bounty of love around me. The flow of love, romance, and partnership is ever abundant, And in line with the greater good, I create and attract romance.” With your fingers, put water on the top of your head, in your mouth, and on your heart center. Blow out the candles. Spell For A Long & Happy Relationship When you have found someone special, someone you are falling in love with – this spell will increase the bond between you and that person. It does not “force” the bond, but rather magnifies each of your good qualities so that the other can see them more easily. Once everything good about you is magnified, the other person naturally grows more and more fond of you. First, of course, prepare your external sacred space, and cast your Magick circle around your altar. Then… On a Friday during the third hour of darkness: Place a potted cyclamen in the room, and water the plant. Light three candles: deep red purple, and white. Say Aloud: “I ask the goddess Branwen to bestow True love on my union with (insert name).” Breathe your love into your heart. Place the red candle in front of the other candles. “I ask that this be done for the greater good/ So be it. And so it is.” Gaze at the flames in each candle, and when you are ready, blow them out. Love Magick Summary Remember that it is important for you to be grounded in the basics of Magick and Witchcraft before you attempt any serious Love Magicks. Because desire and emotion are tied so strongly to Love, the spells can have some unpredictable results if you haven’t practiced the basic secrets of real Witchcraft. My Witchcraft Home Academy will Not only will you get step-by-step guidance on almost every part of Witchcraft, but I will hold your hand through 7 DVD’s of Magick demonstrations (including dozens of Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced love spells for almost every need and desire) And please remember the section on your Witchcraft ethics and responsibilities. Think twice before EVER casting a spell to affect someone’s free will. It really can come back to haunt you later in life (in the form of frustrated relationships, bad “karma” and other unpredictable things).

         
    Spending a day with god

     

    To be able to develop a close relationship with God, we need to spend quality time with Him. We need to study His Word, and let His Holy Spirit speak to us through it. We require time to spend in earnest prayer, talking to Him, praising and worshiping Him. We need time to look at nature and reflect on all the wonderful creations that He has made. And finally, we need time to spend with fellow believers, to worship together in song and have fellowship with each other, encouraging one another and building up each other’s faith by our testimonies. In this hectic world with our busy lifestyles it is so easy to get so engrossed in other things that we never have time for God. Some of us may spend a couple of hours of a Sunday morning attending church, but then the hum drum of the rat race catches up with us, and we find ourselves mowing lawns, going to the footy, or off doing other secular activities where God is just not a part of it. With stress related diseases such as heart attack and cancer on the increase every year, the necessity to take a days break, and bask in the presence of our mighty father in Heaven, has never been so important. We need to be replenished and rested, so that our bodies have time to recuperate. God gave us His Sabbath day as a blessing to all mankind. A day that we could truly get to know and fellowship with Him, and not have to do any work or labour. A day on which to rest, away from the worries and cares of this world. He also ordained it as a day in remembrance that He is the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The scriptures say, Exo 20:8-11 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it”. The Bible shows the true spirit of the Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight..” It shows that the Sabbath is a delight. It is a wonderful day and something to look forward to each week. All Bible references are from the King James Version.

         
    Sweet surrender

     

    "Thy Will (not mine) be done," when truly embraced, will create the opening for Spirit to reveal a realm of choices and opportunities impossible for us to know from our small, defended ego-driven selves. Here are a few testimonials from 5 GIFTS students: • "By releasing the illusory idea that I control Life, I free myself to select from a multiplied number of choices which the Universe offers." • "While I used to view surrender as an act of giving up, I now perceive it as an act of giving over." • "It is a conscious choice to allow the power and presence of God to live Its life as me." • "God would not want me to be something my heart did not want." Imagine allowing the sweet Divine Presence within to live your life! Imagine the choices open to you then. Imagine the ease and grace of each moment of each day. Imagine the relief you would feel if you really knew that you aren't alone . . . that you don't have to do it all yourself . . . and that within you is a "Knower," guiding you, directing you, maintaining you and sustaining you. Imagine surrendering into that Wise, Holy Self. That is SWEET SURRENDER! When we SURRENDER to the Power and Presence of God Within, the synonyms for SURRENDER take on a whole new meaning. Yield: To SURRENDER is to yield to the flow of Life rather than oppose it. Relinquish: To SURRENDER is to let go of resistance to accepting what is, to allow ourselves to choose differently. Resign: To SURRENDER is to reassign our little selves to the service of our Holy Selves and to the guidance S/He offers. We are resigning ourselves to more of the Goodness of God. Submit: To SURRENDER is to submit our will to the Divine Will of God within us. We are submitting our inner ear to listening to the Still Small Voice that is forever offering Its inspiration to us. In the words of a 5 GIFTS graduate, Be sure to render it all to God . . . Sure to Render . . . Surrender. When we give the GIFT of SURRENDER, it expresses in our lives as the quality of Trust. Usually we are called on to SURRENDER our way of believing and/or doing things when we are out of options and have nowhere else to turn. When the pain is too great, when what we've thought would work fails time after time, and when the resistance to change is so strong that our bodies are stiff and tight and our emotions are beyond frazzled, we find ourselves with no other choice than to give up and turn it over. To make that choice is to be at the headwaters of the River of Trust. Surrendering to the Power and Presence of God Within allows us to float freely on the Wisdom of the Holy Self, guided by the internal voice of Intuition and powered by the winds of the Love of God, to the shores of infinite possibility. I SURRENDER TO THE POWER AND PRESENCE OF GOD WITHIN ME!

         
    Symbols on headstones

     

    We often see symbols depicted on the front of headstones, many of which have a meaning. We have compiled a list of symbols and their common meanings to help you. Angels Angels are regularly seen on headstones and symbolise God and spiritualitymonly these Angels are Michael, who has a sword and Gabriel, who is shown with a horn. Books Books can depict that the headstone, grave or tombstone is a document holding information on the life of the deceased. An open book is often seen as a biography of ones life and a closed book depicts the ending of the story of the deceased. Butterfly A butterfly is often associated with the resurrection and rebirth of Christ. Candles Candles often represent spirit or the soul in a religious context. The Christian faith associate candles with Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. In Catholic burials candles are often left by the grave to represent the ongoing prayers for the deceased. Cross A key symbol of Christianity, symbolises faith, hope and charity. Doves A popular symbol used on headstones represents peace and also the Holy Spirit. Hearts Hearts often display love and affection from the living to the deceased, 2 joint hearts can represent marriage. The Scroll A scroll depicts the life and times of the deceased as if it unfolded from the rolled ends with the past and future not on display. If a hand it holding the scroll this can depict the life being held by Angels.

         
     
         
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