How to Find your Magickal Name

People have magickal names for a few reasons.

- its a name that is sometimes used only in ritual circle (more commonly, people who are out of the broom closet use it within the Pagan community, at meetups, coven meetings, online, etc)
- its a name used to disguise, if someone isn't out of the broom closet
- its a name that aids a person in getting into the ritual mindset

In some traditions, a teacher or priestess will give you your magickal name, but I think it's important that you choose your own (or it chooses you). There are several ways to choose a name.
One way is to use numerology. Take the numbers of your birthday at and add them up until you get one number. For example, 6/12/1980 would be 6+1+2+1+9+8+0 = 27, 2+7 = 9. This would be your birth number. Then, think of names that you like. Use a numerology table like the one found here ( and find the numbers associated with the letters in your ideas for names. Add the numbers up for each one, until you have a single digit. Try to match your birth number. If you go along this route, you can change the spelling of the name that you really want, until the numbers match up.
Another way is to find your name through asking the God/dess through meditation. In my opinion, this is the best way. Begin meditating with the intent of finding a name. Ask the God/dess for a name. S/he may even show you the symbolism around your new name. However, you probably want to make sure that you are okay with taking what s/he gives you. I used this for finding my magickal "last name" (there are LOTS of Ivys out there) and I wasn't too excited about the name "Rainriver," but she gave it to me, and showed me the symbolism, and kept it I did- for awhile at least.

Yet another way is to choose something that you are attracted to. Some people take the name of a god/dess, (personally, I don't think taking the name of a deity is the way to go, but that's just my opinion), some people choose a natural object, an animal, stone, etc. If you go this route, you may wanna stay away from the names that are generically associated with Witchcraft, like Raven, Stone, Moon, Silver, Willow. There are LOTS of people out there with these names. Unless you are really sure that that is what you want your name to be, then go with it.

These are just a few ways to find your magickal name, a jumping-off place to point you in the right direction. When you find your name, you'll know. It will resonate with you, deep inside, and you'll know you made the right decision!

Yule by Any Other Name

Webster’s Dictionary defines Yule as: the feast of the nativity of Jesus Christ. Many other dictionary sources cite similar definitions. So, at first glance, Yule doesn’t seem like it would be a holiday for Pagans to celebrate. After all, think of all the Christmas carols that speak of celebrating yuletide, and bringing Yule cheer!

However, Yule wasn’t always associated with Christmas, and the birth of Christ. Prior to the birth of Christ and the development of the Christian religion, many native peoples celebrated a winter holiday that occurred on or near the winter solstice. The winter solstice happens on or around December 21 (20-22) each year. The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year. Most ancient European peoples celebrated this holiday with festivals, each similar to one another, but very different.

The most well-known Pagan winter festival is the festival of Saturnalia- the birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The Romans celebrated this festival with friends and family in homes decked with laurel and holly. Evergreen boughs were brought into the home and decorated temples as a sign of the cycle of life. No criminals were executed during this time, and schools were closed, and the people rested. Good luck gifts were exchanged with friends and family, and the season was a time of goodwill. Parades and processions through the street were very common during Saturnalia.

In the area of Scandinavia, it would be dark for days during the winter months. During this darkness, scouts would be sent to the mountain tops to watch for any sign of the rising sun. Many people would light candles in their windows to help encourage the sun to return. Once the sun returned, the scouts would return to the villages with the good news. A great festival would be held. This festival would be called Yuletide and people would celebrate with bonfires and feast around the Yule log.

The people in the Mesopotamian area celebrated a new year’s festival around the Winter Solstice called Zagmuk. The peoples of Mesopotamia believed in many gods, but above all, they worshipped a chief god, Marduk. They believed that Marduk would do battle with the demons of chaos. During Zagmuk, the people planned to assist Marduk. According to tradition, during this 12 day festival, the King is supposed to die as a sacrifice, and return to fight alongside Marduk. However, instead of the king actually dying, the people would dress up a criminal and treat him as royalty for a day. Then, the criminal was slain, sparing the king, but yet aiding Marduk in his fight.

The Persians and the Babylonians celebrated their festival of Sacaea. Their festival was very similar to Zagmuk. One interesting highlight of Sacaea is that during the festival, masters and slaves would change places. Also celebrating a similar holiday were the Greeks, who made sacrifices to aid the God Kronos, who would be gearing up for battle against Zeus and his Titans.

For many years, Christmas was celebrated on various dates from December to April. In 350 CE, Pope Julius I decreed that the official date of Christ’s birth was December 25. Many scholars disagree, but since 350 CE, Christmas has been celebrated on that date. Even though most people no longer practice the ancient Pagan festivals, the winter traditions of olde are still evident and practiced each holiday season. Next time you see a Christmas tree, a pile of presents, or lit candles in a window, know that these traditions transcend centuries of celebrations.

Mistletoe- Not Just for Kissing

Did you know that Mistletoe- one of the holidays most inspiring traditions- is really a parasitic plant named for bird feces?

Mistletoe grows on hardwood trees, such as oak and apple trees. It’s parasitic, and as it grows, it thrusts its roots into the bark of the tree. While this rarely kills the host tree, mistletoe sucks nutrients and water from the host tree and uses this to further its growth. The berries of the mistletoe are eaten by birds, who then deposit their droppings on the branches where they’ve feasted, thus ensuring the cycle of life of the mistletoe plant. Actually, the name “mistletoe” is derived from the Anglo-Saxons. Their word for dung was “mistle” and the word for twig was “tan.” “Mistletan” was Old English for Mistletoe, and that reminds us that it was named for the bird droppings.

Bird poo aside, the Druids believed the mistletoe plant was of divine origin. In serious Winter Solstice rituals, druids would lead long processionals through the forest, until they came upon mistletoe growing on an oak tree. The head Druid would cut the mistletoe away from the host tree with a golden sickle. It was then caught upon a white linen cloth and was not allowed to touch the ground. The Druids believed that this plant was able to cure illness and other maladies and gave it the Celtic name “uile” or All-Heal. They also believed that it was a fertility plant, given to them by the Gods. You can still find All-Heal in many herbal shoppes, though it is poisonous and can cause stomach issues and it may even be fatal.
In rural Sweden and Switzerland, people believed that in order to get the full potency of mistletoe, one had to collect it in a special way at a certain time. The sun had to be in Sagittarius, and the moon must be waning. Also, the mistletoe had to be shot or knocked down and caught before touching the ground. It was also believed to protect against witchcraft and sorcery and was used in counter magic, in order to counter curses and hexes.
The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe most likely came from the associate of the plant with the Scandinavian cultures. Frigga, a Norse Goddes,s had taken the oath of every person and plant that they would not harm her son, Balder. All, except the mistletoe plant- she thought it too young, small and inconsequential. Loki found the mistletoe and, steering his hand, convinced Balder’s blind brother, Hod to heave the mistletoe at Balder. The dart of mistletoe went through Balder, killing him instantly. Frigga’s tears turned the red berries of mistletoe to white, and with his mother’s kiss Balder was restored to life. Frigga was so grateful that she declared that anyone who walked under mistletoe shall be bestowed upon them a kiss.
Mistletoe is one of the most revered and holy plants of the ancients. Transcending cultures and geography, this herb is known for its powerful healing and harming properties. So, next time you kiss someone under the mistletoe- remember just how powerful the herb above you might be.

One more toe in the pool!

So, I've made one more step into actually turning my hobby into a business. I registered a domain name, and am trying a hosting service. I'm planning on using wordpress, since it looks like many of my peers are using it. Evidently there is a shopping cart plug in? Well, I'll see, I guess. I don't know that I'm going to apply for a merchant account right away, since I'm signed up for paypal and google checkout.

I need to take new photos of all of the jewelry. I'm only going to take a few photos of each, so I don't get overwhelmed (or get the hubby to do it for me ;)

I want to turn this into an actual business, so I need to research how to do this. I tried to get the state to stop sending me business tax nonsense once I stopped selling IRW, but they didn't close my account or whatever. I guess I need to get them to close that down so that I can apply for a Sellers Permit under my business name instead. Unless I can just change that. I got something in the mail- I think it's all done online now- so I'll look into that.

I'm kind of excited, and looking forward to 2010.

I bought new tackle boxes yesterday to migrate my beads to- will give the old ones to the hubby along with the rest of the tackle box. I really liked that box, because it had a shoulder strap, but now I have too many beads for it anyway. Also hit up the Beadworks and Wal-Mart Saturday. Bought some fun glass beads- was planning on doing some multi colored/random bead bracelets on memory wire, but one of my coven sisters beat me to the punch and I got one for Yule. Its so pretty and I love it! So, I don't want to look like a copycat- so, I guess for now I'll stick to the monochromatic ones that I've been working on. Cookie Lee has multi-colored beaded jewelry in the catalog this go-around, and I want to make a necklace like the one my co-worker has.

Once I'm organized, I want to try to organize a beading meetup or something! Along with a scrapbook crop, since I have a blue million prizes I could give away. Oh my. I just typed "blue million." That's something that hubby always says- yikes!

TMP Post: Friday, July 08, 2005

Originally posted on Friday, July 08, 2005
Notes: I think he added me to his 'list' anyway.

sohail_2475: show ur boooooooooooooooos
sohail_2475: show ur boooooooooooooooos
sohail_2475: show ur boooooooooooooooos
sohail_2475: show ur boooooooooooooooos
ivyfyre: Whats a booo?
ivyfyre: A ghost?
sohail_2475: where u frm
ivyfyre: A place where people are educated and can spell correctly. They even can check profiles where I'm from. Where are you from?
sohail_2475: sorry dr i thk i hurt u
ivyfyre: I think that you are a moron.
sohail_2475: i thk u r the right person to whom i can chat
ivyfyre: Im not so sure.
sohail_2475: why dr u dont want chat wth me
sohail_2475: can i add u in my list
ivyfyre: No.
sohail_2475: ok f9 as u wish mam

Introducing "Time Machine" Posts

When I don't feel like posting, I've decided that I shall post something from my previous blog.

Way back when I was single/relationshipped, in an online coven, solitary, living in a studio apartment, etc. Sometimes the post will be funny, sometimes serious, sometimes a random flashback, sometimes something that will actually make sense.

For the Good of All and Harm to None!


“… for the good of all, and harming none…” This is a fun little statement that many Pagan and magick books like to add at the end of a spell. Just in case? To hedge your bets? I can’t remember the last spell I did that used this statement at the end of it- though I’m sure at some point when I was a n00b, I did, since the books advised to. I think at some point, though, I started to actually think and analyze what I was I doing when I mentioned that little tidbit at the end. I believe that the authors had good intentions when they advised their readers to add this statement. I believe that they were probably trying to minimize blowback potential. However, going about it this way completely hinders the energy of the spell.

First of all, one should have a good sense of their personal ethics and morals before doing spellwork. A witch needs to know herself well enough to figure out what she feels is right and wrong (I use the word “feels” as some matters are completely subjective) before trying to create change using magick. Another thing that I feel a witch should have is the sense of self-responsibility that seems to be missing from many people coming of age in this new generation. If you do something that screws something up, one needs to be able to take responsibility for it (not blame others), and step up fix it. Too often, I see witches say, “Well, the Gods must have willed it this way.” Which, of course, may be true, but if it’s obvious to another witch that you’ve left yourself open to blowback- it could be your fault that your love spell generated your stalker.

What is magick? Magick is change generated by the witch.. It’s not prayer- which is by definition communion with deity- it’s action. It’s the energy of the witch manipulating energy (whether this is personal, elemental, deity, etc) to create a change on the energetic/astral plane that will be reflected on the physical plane. That’s a lot to say, and it’s a lot to do, at times. A Witch should have enough confidence in her spell to not feel the need to put a qualifier at the end of it.

Also, you can’t throw out a spell meant to harm someone, add the qualifier and release yourself from responsibility. That’s another case of “Oh, well, the Gods must have willed it. After all, I DID say ‘with harm to none’.”

It’s the equivalent to saying “Harm to none- If the Gods will that no one be harmed, may these blessed batteries not work” and zapping someone with a stun gun. If you have done the work (ie: checked the batteries) and you know how to use the stun gun, most likely the stun gun will work. Using the qualifier at the end of a spell does not release you from the responsibility of the end result. There are better ways to reduce the potential for spell fallout than a silly phrase at the end of the spell.

Of course, if the Gods decide that your intended result of a spell is not to be reached, then of course your spell will fail. You don’t need to add “if the Gods will it,” at the end of your spell. How pointless. It takes away from your focus, like the FTGOAAHTN qualifier. You are the witch. You are doing the magick, you are enacting change. If you aren’t confident enough in your intent and skill (and your ethical code), why bother doing it at all? It just gives the energy another thing to focus on besides your end result. Why set yourself up to fail? The point of magickal spellwork is to change something- to focus your energy in order to make a change. Why take away from that focus with qualifiers?

What goes around, will come around- even if you mention a cop-out phrase at the end of your spell. There really is no copping-out.

The "Mysteries"

My advanced comp teacher in high school taught us several ways to start an essay. One way is with a definition. I always really liked to use this to begin my compositions, because it usually helps clarify a point, even before you start making whatever point you are trying to make.

The first definition of "mystery" listed at is this: a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand. And this is the perspective of what I write about today. The "mysteries" of Wicca and Paganism. Many people speak of these mysteries, many student want to learn the mysteries. Sorry, friends.

You can't learn the mysteries. You can't know the mysteries. You can only experience the mysteries. Are the mysteries only able to be experienced by adepts? No. There are mysteries around you every day. The changing of the seasons, life, death, taxes (well, maybe not taxes) are all mysteries. If you allow yourself to mindfully experience these things, rather than take them
for granted, you may find yourself a bit enlightened in an unexpected way.

Also, everyone's walk with their god/dess(es) is going to be unique. As everyone walks a personal path (even if one belongs to a coven, or practices a tradition), every person will experience the mysteries differently. Magick and other practices related to Paganism are also full of mysteries. Why does one working succeed, and another fail? How did this stupendous experience happen when it defies the laws of physics? Why did I have this wonderful and enlightening experience during meditation? Communing with the Gods? It's all part of the mysteries- one needs only to be mindful and open their heart to it, and experience the mysteries on their path.

If one just takes it all for granted, or only sees the mysteries through a self-centered looking glass.... "I defied the laws of physics- 'cause Im awesome like that." "The goddess spoke to me in a dream, because I'm so adept, and thats how She rolls." "My magick failed because I must have timed it incorrectly."... one will never know them.

In the Charge of the Goddess, it is said that "and you who seek to know me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without." Your mysteries are within your grasp. Open your eyes and mindfully open yourself to these experiences. I know this is a random post, but I felt compelled to write today.... and I'm listening to that 'inner voice.'

Geiger Counter and Thermographic Camera

Recently, I joined a paranormal group, and was asked to research two pieces of equipment: a Thermographic Camera and a Geiger Counter. While I posted it on my paranormal blog, I wanted to cross post here!

Geiger Counter

What is your device and what is it used for in ghost hunting?

A Geiger Counter is a device used to measure radioactive particles. Most measure beta particles and gamma rays, but some also measure alpha particles. Alpha particles positively charged and are composed of two protons and two neutrons. Beta particles are negatively charged, as they are fast moving electrons. Gamma rays are electromagnetic radiation and are neutral.

A Geiger Counter is made up of a gas filled tube that briefly conducts electricity when it comes into contact with a radioactive particle as described above. The tube conducts a brief current and this will cause the device to click, move a needle, or light up (depending on the type of device one uses).

Geiger Counters are used in the paranormal community to measure paranormal activity, much the same as an EMF meter. Many investigators will take a baseline reading, and then during the investigation, keep an eye on the Geiger Counter for any strange readings. Obviously, it would also help if one wasn’t sure if dangerous radiation was present.

How do you use it?

Typically, there is a “read” button that one depresses to get the reading. A normal reading is 0 to 1, and a possible paranormal reading could be anywhere from 1 to 20, or strange needle movement.

How do you maintain it?

Check the battery- in many devices, the “test” button will test the battery. In older models, calibration might be necessary.

What kind of paranormal activity does it detect?

The theory is that the Geiger Counter may detect possible spirit manifestations, that might also be caught on video or audio devices.

Do I need any accessories for it? If so, what?

Extra batteries, dependant on the model. Some are available with remote sensors.

What are the drawbacks or controversies of using this device?

There are really old devices floating around that may need calibration. There have been people selling other types of radiation detectors as Geiger Counters. The devices can be expensive. They start around $30 for the old cold war versions (that may need calibration) and the newer ones range from $200- $2,000+.



Thermographic Camera

What is your device and what is it used for in ghost hunting?

The thermographic camera (sometimes referred to as FLIR- Forward Looking InfraRed- device) senses infrared radiation and uses this information to create an image where colors refer to temperatures. All objects emit a bit of radiation due to their temperatures, and this radiation shows up on the screen as colors within the objects shape. White is the warmest, black is the coolest.

In paranormal investigating, it’s used to sense cold spots (like a thermometer), but because one can get an image of a wide amount of space, it allows the investigator to get a bigger picture of the environment. This include natural cold/hot spots- for debunking purposes, and of course non-natural temperature shifts that may be paranormal. This can include human shaped cold (or hot) spots. It’s also helpful to see small animals that might be active within the walls, making sounds that others might think is paranormal.

How do you use it?

The model I was looking at- the FLIR i5- one pushes a button and is able to scan an area.

How do you maintain it?

Check the battery, replace it if it’s low or not working. This depends on the model- most that I looked at were ‘field replaceable.’

What kind of paranormal activity does it detect?

It detects hot and cold spots. A theory is that in order for a spirit to manifest, it might need to use the energy from the air, generating a cold spot.

Do I need any accessories for it? If so, what?

Extra batteries.

What are the drawbacks or controversies of using this device?

One of the drawbacks is that, while it will show the investigator the temperatures of an area, the heat can reflect off of shiny objects.