I’ve taught magic to folks for 17 years or so, and thus, as High Priestess, often born the brunt of pseudo-psychotic rants from those calling themselves sincere Seekers one second, yet who take offense over the flimsiest of pretexts, inexplicably act suspicious, make outlandish, erroneous accusations, and burn the very bridges they previously claimed to want to build with “folks of like mind.”
Although such can happen at any time when people who think they’re mature enough to handle the imbed conditioning or regret that mastering magic provokes in aspirants, I’ve noted that such often happens near or during Litha Sabbat celebrations held every June 21st or 22nd.
Why should this be? Why do tempers flare during a season of freedom, a gathering immersed in natural bliss? Because the Sun is high in the sky. Many seem as unaware of the incredible impact that the Sun exerts on their emotions as they are of their prejudices and motivations. Taught as they are that the Earth’s electro-magnetic shield protects them from the majority of solar rays, they nonetheless doublethink dismiss their need for ever-higher degrees of sunscreen. They deny the mind-blowing might of the Sun’s real exertion, and thus pay it as little heed as they do the sway their birth and rising signs have on their temperament, goals, and actions.
Traditionally, countries wait for winter’s passing to begin or resume war. Heat can make the blood and brain seem to boil. Heat can make you feel crazed, sticky with sweat that seeps unbidden from ever pore, as if your body’s leaking salt tears bemoaning its fate. If enough time passes without relent, flash-point anger can occur, leading to “crimes of passion,” friendship split, or even sparking revolution.
Witches fight an uphill battle to help keep folks sane amidst arbitrary societal demands for money or selfish pursuits. And Covens know that the seasons ebb and flow, sometimes gently, sometimes mutable, even extreme. But other groups may be surprised when the cohesiveness they enjoyed in winter is cast off by one of their number when summer arrives.
When flowers and showers give way to summer doldrums (those “dog days” of steam when the air itself holds its breath and seems too parched to cry out for rain), doubt sets up, begetting recrimination. The group’s work suddenly feels under attack, their accomplishments thrust in jeopardy, and friendships can quickly falter just when folks are supposed to be enjoying Nature again.
Perhaps liberals involved in spiritual groups are particularly vulnerable to letting detractors think what they will — to shrug off insults. And true, if someone nurses their resentments, prefers to not to be disabused of their notions rather than express them in hopes of resolving them, there’s little that truth to the contrary can do to prevent them from crashing in flames.
Of course it’s unfair that a group ever put one person on the hot seat, as such practically guarantees rancor. But private talks often end in traded rants as well, without witnesses as to what was said, and although discussing problems by passing around a talking stick seems egalitarian, things can still deteriorate into focusing on negatives rather than positives.
It’s wise to anticipate arguments, for they will arise. So as summer waxes and tempers threaten to fray, be magically prepared to prevent catastrophic conflict, and use wise ways mitigate their impact.
• When in doubt, don’t. If you feel on the brink of ballistic, enact the Witchy Power to Be Silent. Anger abates with time, and you may end up glad you held your peace, and proud that you didn’t explode over some silly perceived provocation.
• When in doubt, divine. Do a reading and ask the God/desses Pax (peace), Concordia (concord), or Eirene (tranquility) for guidance. Tarot cards and other magical methods may reveal that your ire is baseless, or explain secret stressors responsible for others’.
• Cool down with water and herbs. Bathe in a sachet of lavender buds, chamomile flowers, and basil while imbibing cannabis sativa.
• Promote harmony with food. Serve passionflower tea, apricots, Brazil nuts, ginger, licorice, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and peas.
• Wear cool colors and gems. Becalming colors include blue, green, and pink. Gentle gemstones include aquamarine, iolite, peridot, jade, blue topaz, and rose quartz. Your gem choice should depend on the message you want to send: To evoke tenderness and elicit sympathy, wear lapis lazuli. For love and loyalty, wear sapphire. For friendship, wear turquoise. To prevent emotional hurt, wear a reflective hematite pendant. To prevent confusion or misunderstanding, don’t don mutable stones such as diamond, alexandrite, or agate.
• Wear a protective talisman. A pentagram can protect your feelings with the power of the five Elements. A Hand of Fatima charm is a similar, but filigreed alternative. The 13-symbol Italian Cimaruta can grant even more protection. To prevent a “circular argument”, don’t wear a spiral or round Amorite fossil amulet.
• Play conducive music. Songs in the major modes of Ionian (Sun, scale C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, to dispel gloom) and Mixolydian (Jupiter, scale G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G, for optimism) or minor Phrygian (Venus, scale E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E, to calm) work wonders.
• Avert fights. Infuse the air with apple or cypress essential oil. Make a bouquet of sky-blue aster flowers, pansies, poppies, roses, thyme, tulips, or violets.
• Avoid bickering on Tuesday. Violence is prone on this day sacred to the war God Mars. Foster friendship on Fridays, the day sacred to the love Goddess Venus.
Lady Passion is co-author of The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems and High Priestess of Coven Oldenwilde in Asheville, NC. She may be reached via: www.oldenwilde.org