Did You Know?

If you’re reading this post right now you probably read my blog somewhat regularly. You may even be a subscriber. I would bet you find something interesting in what I write. I thank you for that. If this is your first introduction to me, how serendipitous! If this is you please feel free to check out my other posts (after this one!).

Did you know that this blog is only a portion of my website? Indeed, this is just one portal into my gift to you. You can learn more about me and my healing journey by reading the “Meet Michele” section. Living Moon Meditation allows me to offer you a variety of healing services. From reiki and meditation to oracle card readings and grief coaching, I have quite a bit to offer. Check it out over on my services page.

If you are struggling with areas of change in your life, grief coaching may be for you. Many people think grief relates only to death. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Death is only one form of life change. Grief is an intense emotional response to dealing with change. We can grieve the loss of a relationship or the change that comes from just about anything. I offer many different options for helping you navigate your way through grief. If you don’t see your ideal offer feel free to contact me. I’ll be more than happy to work with you to create your ideal coaching package.

For those of you who want to work with me more in depth and on a consistent basis, I have you covered. Patreon offers the ability to choose your level of support. In exchange I will give you dedicated monthly support to help you grow into your best spiritual self. I have six tiers to choose from ranging in price from $7 to $100. The value of your offerings exceed the price of each tier. Plus, whatever level you choose, you will receive the benefits of all the lower tiers as well. Check it out now! If you join me on Patreon now, you’ll receive a special offer. I am gifting a free elemental personality chart to all Patrons subscribed at the Chai ($18) level or higher. But you need to hurry. This offer expires at NOON on November 3rd, 2019.

Sukkot and Ancestor Veneration

Now that we have passed the High Holidays and the Days of Awe, we are embarking upon another 7 day Jewish festival- the harvest festival Sukkot. Sukkot begins on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei- at the time of the full moon. Sukkot is a time to build huts and decorate them with fruits. It’s the time we dwell in these huts to remind ourselves of our agrarian roots and the temporary nature of the dwellings we lived in in the desert after the Exodus. 

Sukkot is so much more than this, however. It is also the time to venerate our ancestors. Just like the Celtic Samhain and the Mexican Day of the Dead, Sukkot is a time to honor and remember our ancestors. Building a sukkah and engaging in everyday activities within it is not enough. We also welcome ushpizin or guests, into our sukkah. Those guests are friends and relatives, but also, our ancestors.

Traditionally speaking we invite one of the seven patriarchs and matriarchs to dine with us each night of the festival. It is often common to also welcome our own ancestors to dwell with us as well. In order to welcome the ancestors it is customary to decorate the walls of the sukkah with photographs and other objects. We also place empty chairs for the spiritual ushpizin to sit in. Special prayers and blessings are recited for welcoming the souls of our departed ushpizin. When we decorate the sukkah and welcome our spiritual guests, we are basically building an ancestor altar (although modern Judaism would not even be aware of this). 

The custom of welcoming guests into our sukkah goes all the way back to our patriarch Abraham. It is well known that he would sit in his tent and welcome guests. His tent is said to have been open on all sides so that he could see travelers from whatever direction they came. When Abraham saw a traveler, that person would become his guest for a welcoming meal and respite from the road. 

Let us be like Abraham and make this Sukkot a lovely time of welcoming our ancestors as guests. They have been travelling a long and hard road after their passing. Let us welcome them into the cool shade of our sukkah for rest and a meal.  

Yom Kippur- A Day of Perfect Balance

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. It is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar. It is the crown jewel of the High Holy Days. Yom Kippur is a day of personal and communal reflection. This year (2019), Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Tuesday October 8 and ends at sundown on Wednesday October 9. 

Like Rosh HaShanah 10 days earlier, the central themes of Yom Kippur are teshuva (turning from wrong) and repentance. Both holy days along with the time in between is a magical time of restoring order and balance to our lives. It is no wonder that Yom Kippur falls during the month ruled by Libra. Traditionally speaking, this is the day when G-d weighs our souls in the balance and determines our fate for the year. It is a solemn time, yes, but it is also a joyous time. If we properly prepare ourselves and observe the day,we will merit favor for another year. 

If done correctly, Yom Kippur is the conclusion of 40 days of soulful reflection. The month of Elul (the month preceding Tishrei when the High Holy Days occur) is a month of introspection and reflection. This is intensified on Rosh HaShanah when we come together as a community and publicly for prayer and introspection. Ten days later on Yom Kippur we come together once more for a final day of admitting our wrongdoings and seeking forgiveness. On this day, after 40 days of reflection, we again find balance in our lives. Our wrongs from the previous year break us, but on Yom Kippur we are able to be merged together again in wholeness. 

 

Asherah Rising

Queen of Heaven beside her King

Sacred Tree beside the Temple

Female with Male

Two are One in Divine Harmony.

 

Raisin cakes baked for her

Libations of wine poured out

Women worshipped her

Knowing they were created in her image.

 

But man feared woman’s power

Afraid she would deny him

Could not let her shine

Refused to share the spotlight.

 

He tore down the Sacred Trees

Named her as an idol

Banished her name

Denied her very existence.

 

In all the years since

Woman has been subjugated

A plaything for man to control

Not even her own person.

 

Now Asherah is rising

Air, Fire, Water, Earth

Cyclones, fires, floods, quakes

The Elements are raging.

 

Divinity is broken

We are able to correct it

Restore the Queen to her King

For in this day, Asherah is rising!
~Chaya Levana

The Mezuzah as Amulet

Have you ever noticed that Jewish homes have a little box attached to the doorpost? It’s a slanted box on the outside of the home (and sometimes on doorposts of interior rooms).  This little box is called a mezuzah, and it’s one of the amulets that Jews have used throughout history to bring protection to themselves. (I have also written about another Jewish amulet- demon bowls.)

A mezuzah is a small box affixed to the doorpost of the home. It contains a scroll with text from the Torah, specifically Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21:

Hear, O Israel, the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is One.

You shall love the L‑rd your G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.

And it will be, if you will diligently obey My commandments which I enjoin upon you this day, to love the L‑rd Your G‑d and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, I will give rain for your land at the proper time, the early rain and the late rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be sated. Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them. For then the L‑rd’s wrath will flare up against you, and He will close the heavens so that there will be no rain and the earth will not yield its produce, and you will swiftly perish from the good land which the L‑rd gives you. Therefore, place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul, and bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be a reminder between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, to speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise. And you shall inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates-so that your days and the days of your children may be prolonged on the land which the L‑rd swore to your fathers to give to them for as long as the heavens are above the earth.

 

The outside of the mezuzah is usually affixed with the Hebrew letter shin which stands for Shaddai- one of the names of G-d. The name Shaddai is often on the reverse of the scroll. Sometimes, other names and charms were written on the scroll as well- names of angels, kabbalistic imagery, etc

Historically speaking, the mezuzah was used as an amulet and talisman, both warding off evil and attracting blessings to those within the home. As you can see from the text, having the scroll affixed to the doorpost was seen as a method for ensuring prosperity, fertility, and long life. Traditionally, the belief was that the scroll had to be deemed kosher for the the mezuzah to be effective. At various times, when negative things would happen, it would be blamed on the person not having a mezuzah on their doorpost, or that the mezuzah was ineffective due to its non-kosher status. Many times, a person was urged to have their mezuzah checked to ensure it remained kosher after negative things happened.  

Many people claim that the mezuzah is not an amulet or talisman, but is simply an object used to fulfill a divine commandment. But, it can’t be argued that at times throughout history the object has been seen as having magical or mystical properties. The same goes for today- some do still view the mezuzah as an amulet. Whether or not a Jew believes the object has magical properties, the object is often placed, just as prescribed, kosher and on the doorpost. If the reason is to follow a divine commandment, I question why it is important to obey that command. Surely, a person gets something out of following an instruction- even if it is just feeling good about oneself. No matter how you look at it, the mezuzah does serve as an amulet in some way.

 

Demon Bowls

 

Magic bowls. Demon bowls. Incantation bowls. These bowls have gone by many names throughout the ages, but despite the various names, they all boil down to this: Judaism has a long history of magical practice (no matter how much some people want to deny it).

 

Magic bowls are pretty simple. They are a pottery bowl with an incantation written on them. The spell would generally start at the rim of the bowl and be written in a spiral around the outside of the bowl although sometimes the script was on the inside . Traditionally they were written in Hebrew or Aramaic and crafted by rabbis or magicians for their community members. But, they weren’t only crafted by or for Jews. Zoroastrians/Persians and Christians (as well as others) were customers for magic bowls

 

These bowls had many purposes. They could be used for healing or repelling demons. Lilith was a favorite for this. Many Jewish women would have a magic bowl for guarding against Lilith stealing her babies. Incantation bowls were also frequently used to call upon a deity for protection or guidance. In addition to the names of deities, the names of rabbis were also used within the incantations written on magic bowls. Many such bowls also included scripture as well as the names of angelic beings.

 

Once a person had commissioned and received a demon bowl, it was often buried, upside down, inside their home. The reason for burying the amulet upside down was to trap or bind the demon inside. Bowls were sometimes also buried right side up in order to attract something to the owner.

 

Magic bowls are just one example of magic in ancient Judaism. It’s easy to believe today that such things never existed, but they did. Magic has long been part of the history of Judaism.

Note: Image By Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011), CC BY 2.5

Spelling Your Intentions

An intention is something you want to achieve and/or the determination to achieve it. Intentions, like magic, are mental. It’s all in your mind. I wrote about how magic is a mental discipline here. Regarding intentions, you visualize in your mind whatever it is you want to achieve. Once you have a clear and detailed picture in your mind you decide and determine that you will accomplish it. These two aspects are mental actions.

Note above that I said you need to have a clear and detailed picture of what your intention is. Why? The more detail in which you visualize your intention, the easier it will be to manifest said intention. Setting an intention to be healthy is vague. That doesn’t tell the Universe what you want. What does it mean to be healthy? What does health mean to you? How will you know you have achieved health? See what I mean? You need to have a specific and detailed view of what your intention is. Take time in setting intentions. You’ve probably heard to be careful what you wish for because you might get it. Well, that’s true. Everything in your life is something that you wished for and desired at some point. That can sound harsh if you are dealing with negative aspects of life. But, perhaps those negatives are the manifestation of unclear intentions. I’m not saying this to be harsh, but to share the truth. I am dealing with such things myself. I have since learned to be clear and specific with my intentions.

Having a clear and specific intention, however, is not enough. Your intentions will not just drop out of the sky into your lap. You must manifest it. That is magic. You have the power to manifest whatever you desire. You just need to learn how to do it.

Setting intentions is mental work, but manifesting (making magic) is an action. This is where spell crafting comes in. There are many ways to craft spells. I’m not going to get into things like herbology and crafting, etc., although that can be part of spell crafting (note the word ‘crafting’). What I’m specifically referring to here is the act of speaking or writing your intentions and how you are going to work that magic.

Affirmations

Affirmations are one type of spell and are very popular. They are speaking or writing positive affirming things to help set your mind for action. For instance, if your intention is to be debt free an affirmation could look something like this:

I am free of all debt. All of my financial obligations are met. I have the financial means to pay for what I need and want up front, free and clear.

Note that this affirmation is written in the present tense using positive, affirming language. It is not written in the future tense (I will be free of debt), but claims it in the here and now (I am free of all debt). There are also no negative statements in this affirmation.

Incantations

While incantations can refer to the act of uttering words for magical purposes, I am referring to the formula of an incantation. An incantation is a specific formula for writing or speaking the intention to help manifest it in reality. For example, let’s say you want to lose one hundred fifty pounds. You may have a written incantation that looks like this:

150 POUNDS

150 POUND

150 POUN

150 POU

150 PO

150 P

150

15

1

Note: This is how I do most of my incantations. If I want to reduce something I start with a whole and write it out and reduce by one until I have nothing. If I want to increase something, I start with nothing and add one until I have a whole

Affirmations and incantations are only two ways to craft spells and work magic. However, just like with setting an intention, spelling your desires is not the end step. You still need to do the work. Wanting something and saying it does not make anything happen. These are just the mental steps required to make it easier for the Universe to know what you want and open up to make it happen.

The Universe wants to give you what you desire. But you must know what you desire and must put proper action behind it. This is magic. It’s not receiving what you want dropped into your lap. That is what prayer is- asking a god for what you want and hoping that god gives it to you. In that instance, it’s up to the god and not you. I prefer to know I can work magic and manifest my desires on my own. I believe in my diety and pray, but not in a way that asks for my desires. I make my own magic- through spelling.

The Magic of the Winter Solstice

Magical practitioners often align their practice with the lunar cycles and phases of the moon. It is quite common to use the new/dark moon for setting intentions for things that you want to manifest, grow, and add to your life, and to work full moon magic for things that you want to lessen in your life. The reason for this is simple. You want to use the growing moon to increase and the waning moon to decrease so it is quite logical for manifesting magic from the time of the dark moon to the full moon and to practice banishing work during the time from the full moon to the new moon.

But the solar cycles are also a prime opportunity to work magic- especially for magic that will take longer to manifest. Sometimes you can work magic in a month, but other times it takes seasons or years. When you know what you are trying to work in your life you can choose the correct astronomical cycle to work with.

The Winter Solstice is a time to work magic and set intentions for growth. We don’t think of Winter as being a season of growth. Instead, Winter is a time of death and dormancy. But seeds that are planted in Winter will grow in Spring. When we plant magical seeds at the Winter Solstice they use the quiet time and stillness to grow. The sun reaches it’s shortest height in the sky at the moment of the Winter Solstice. From that point on the sun is reborn and begins to grow higher in the sky each day until it reaches its zenith on the Summer Solstice.

Winter Solstice is the time to plant magical seeds. With good care and proper follow through on the intentions, the magic that you plant now will grow and bloom in Spring.

Happy Solstice!

Magical Mindset

What is magic? You may have even seen it written as magick. Is there a difference when the k is added at the end? That depends on the person you are talking to. Some people think of magic as sleight of hand tricks like a magician at a child’s birthday party. Those people are usually the ones who use magick as opposed to magic. They want to differentiate between the magick that they practice and seight of hand tricks. I just use the word magic without the k because I prefer it, but it really doesn’t matter.

The reason why magic vs. magick doesn’t matter is because magic is a mindset. It’s what you believe it is. Magic is manipulating your environment to get a desired outcome. But manipulation in this case is not bad. It’s taking what you have and transmuting it into what you want. Magic is neither bad nor good. It’s neither black nor white. It’s neither dark nor light. Magic just is. It’s what you make of it. If you don’t believe in magic then you aren’t magical. If you do believe, then you are.

Magical practitioners often use tools like crystals, herbs, oils, etc. to manipulate the situation or create an intention. But tools aren’t necessary and many practitioners use nothing at all. Magic isn’t a spell. It’s not an incantation, a ritual, or a charm. Magic is energy. Everything is energy, and magic is using your mind to change the frequency and vibration of energy.

You know how people use visualization to help themselves become better at whatever they are working at? Like a basketball player who struggles to make a goal but visualizes herself doing it until she succeeds? That’s magic! Or a person with low self esteem who repeats positive affirmations daily until she starts to believe good things about herself? That’s magic!

We create magic with our minds. We create what we think. It’s impossible to create positive things in our lives when all we think about is the negative. Likewise, it’s impossible to create negative when all we think about is the positive. Yes, bad things happen. That’s life. That’s not magic. Magic comes into play when you take what life gives you and change it into what you want.

It’s often not easy, and no one is successful 100% of the time, but everyone can create magic. If you think you can then you can. It’s all in your mind and what you think.

The Alchemy of Life

I believe in alchemy. Not the literal turning lead into gold kind of alchemy, but the kind that is more esoteric. When I was younger I did believe in literally turning lead into gold. I didn’t tell anyone because I knew that they would think I’m crazy and I couldn’t have that. But, since then, I’ve grown up. In that time, my views on many subjects, including alchemy, has changed.

Alchemy_symbols Blog Ready
Public Domain, symbol key from an alchemical text – Kenelm Digby A Choice Collection of Rare Secrets (1682)

I believe that many of the things we are taught throughout our lives- spiritually speaking at least- are metaphorical. And I believe that turning lead into gold is metaphorical. So what do the lead and gold represent? Us. Our selves. Lead is our base nature and gold is our higher conscious selves. Our lives are supposed to be about transmuting our base nature into an awakened, higher state of consciousness. And that transmutation is alchemy.
The practical daily aspects of how to achieve the alchemical change of our natures takes a different path for different people. It can come in the form of health and wellness, spirituality, religion, whatever. It’s different for each person because each person is different. But that isn’t to say that everyone following these various paths are pursuing the kind of higher self evolution that constitutes alchemy. There are plenty of health buffs who could not care less about their spiritual consciousness. And we all know that if religion in and of itself were the answer then millions of people would have achieved enlightenment. The path isn’t the answer although it is important. The path is the process, but only if you want it to be.

Flamel Blog Ready
Public Domain, The mysterious alchemical figures which Nicholas Flamel caused to be carved on his tomb. Reproduced in “Witchcraft, Magic, and Alchemy” by Grillot de Givry from an old engraving.

The entire purpose for Living Moon Meditation is the pursuit of alchemy. I am pursuing my higher conscious self. Everything here is about alchemy. I welcome you to join me in my adventure.
My name is Chaya Levana, and I’m an alchemist. You can call me crazy if you want to.