Monday, August 26, 2013

Aphrodite's Eyes -- a cowrie divination system

About a year ago, I started developing a diloggun-esque divination system. It's very Aphrodisian in nature, but I started with the 16 cowrie method found in the African system. Aphrodite has guided this adventure -- giving me the names of eye/mouth pattern and the names of the spreads.

I'm sharing a little here with those who are interested. It's still a little rough, and I work it very intuitively. Use your own intuition to guide you, as well.

Eyes = the smooth, rounded sides of the cowries
Mouths = the open, flatter sides of the cowries

Method -- Gather all 16 into your hands. Whisper to them or kiss them, and then toss them on the floor or onto a mat. Make note of their groupings, mentally marking them in four groups of four. Read them generally from left to right and from top to bottom. You will interpret the shells based on the eye/mouth patterns and also based on the "spreads" they form.

The following verses are meant to help you interpret the eye/mouth patterns.

You’re not worthy, and yet you ARE
both earthbound mud and shining star.
Arise and go into the night
to see, to BE the guiding light.

In blood and soil and toil and pain
you’re born into this world again.
From cauldron-womb to mother’s breast,
your journey starts; you cannot rest.

Evening star, the Queen of Heaven,
Passing through the trials, seven.
The Hero or the Fool we are,
rising like the Morning Star.

An ancient and undying Truth:
Each age conceals an inner youth.
Remaining young is not an art.
Hold your youth within your heart.

All roads, all days, all songs must end
to sleep, to breathe, begin again.
A treasure’s hid in sorrowful endings:
the promise of a new beginning.

Justice, with her scales and sword,
measures both your deed and word.
Intents and thoughts she does not weigh.
Be careful what you do and say.

Love of mother, love of son.
Love deeply and love everyone.
Love friends and children and your mate.
Love till there is no room for hate.

Sacred Union – hearts and minds,
bodies, lives, and souls entwined –
Bless each one with joy and pleasure.
Such a gift is priceless treasure.

Safe within a an earthen shield,
unruly seas to harbors yield.
Anchored firmly in this calm
your bark escapes the threat of harm.

Blest accord, cooperation.
No thought of ire or base frustration.
Heads and hearts in loving ease.
Home and self have found some peace.

Dove of Peace, we draw you near.
Take from us both pain and fear,
leaving only your sweet love
to live in peace, O Gentle Dove.

Open waters, clear and bright,
Sky-kissed ocean brings delight.
Dark below, as any tomb.
Mother Ocean, life’s great womb.

Sacrament of love divine,
bliss-filled bodies intertwined.
In best of cases, spirits mesh
while taking joy in earthly flesh.

Silver speech and golden belt
can cause the Will of Man to melt.
Hold convictions, tight and true,
or watch them charmed away from you.

Pleasure, joy, and untamed bliss,
delight and humor, marked by this.
Bubbling font from Spirit’s well.
Laughter in your Soul does dwell.

No light or slim reflection cast.
The door is sealed shut, firm and fast.
Within the blackest pitch of night,
Embrace the Dark and mourn the Light.

The following SPREADS are very loosely based on (or rather, inspired by) geomancy.

A couple of notes to help understand the spreads:

1. The spreads are obviously set up in pairs of opposites. I'm not sure why, but that's how it worked out. 

2. Joy and Sorrow are both meant to represent doves -- one soaring, one falling. 

3. Gain and Loss are scales.

4. Fate is a horseshoe. Freewill is an overturned bowl or cup.

An example, then, of a reading might go as follows:


From left to right, I would interpret this casting as:

Path -- Sea
Fate -- Queen of Heaven
Female -- Peace
War -- Endings

So, what is all this saying to me? Well, ... ha! One of you lovely readers is getting a reading, but I have no idea who. You are new to the blog, and new to this path, I think. You have felt a calling to the Sea -- perhaps water witchery, in general. But it hasn't occurred to you until now that perhaps Aphrodite (or Astarte or Inanna) has a direct hand in YOUR life. She does, sweetie. You, my lovely lady, have had trouble finding peace with your femininity and with the Divine Feminine in general; but that conflict is about to to come to a close. The sooner you stop fighting yourself, the sooner you will find peace and make the progress you have been hoping for. You're going to shine, sister!

Alrighty, well. Thus concludes the free and easy version. I will continue to work on writing everything up in a way to help folks understand, and I will eventually publish that in a nifty little book (paperback and ebook, I am sure). In the meantime, get yourself some cowries and practice, if this speaks to you. You know what I know, at this point!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vinalia Rustica 2013

(Not my photo. Looked like this, though!)
The wildflowers waved sunnily at us from their shaded paths as we carefully picked our way into the woods.

Vinalia Rustica has been one of my favorite of all the Aphrodite festivals for the last several years -- made spacial in large part because I had a shrine that I helped tend on a special piece of land. I've shared those photos (and my love for that place) here over the course of those years. Politics and pain have collided, though, in such a way that I doubt I'll ever that land again in the waking world, and I have left Aphrodite's Shrine there in her own care -- trusting that others will step forward to tend Her.

I had honestly forgotten that today was Vinalia Rustica. I don't have a shrine or a temple to tend for her right now, and it's a sore spot for me. I'm remedying that absence as soon as I am able, and I have plans for a glorious temple in her honor.

So, I wasn't thinking about that when I went with my coven sisters to a place that is about to become special to us. It is a wild place, a free place. It is a place where Indiana limestone and brown-eyed Susans speak clearly. A place where Artemis runs and Pan dances. It is a place where Aphrodite laughs, and her voice echoes off the cliffside!Sirens sing there, along the banks of the cool, deep stream.

There is no temple but the cliff. No shrine but the rocks and groves of walnut and sycamore trees. No offerings but the wildflowers.

And it is PERFECT!

It was the perfect place to honor Aphrodite, and it was the perfect way (in wildness and freedom and celebration with my sisters).