Sunday, April 28, 2013

Arthur Schopenhauer - the art of being right

1. The Extension
2. The Homonymy
3. Generalize your Opponent's Specific Statements
4. Conceal Your Game
5. False Propositions
6. Postulate What Has To Be Proved
7. Yield Admissions Through Questions
8. Make Your Opponent Angry
9. Questions in Detouring Order
10. Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer
11. Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases
12. Choose Metaphors Favourable to Your Proposition
13. Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition
14. Claim Victory Despite Defeat
15. Use Seemingly Absurd Propositions
16. Arguments Ad Hominem
17. Defense Through Subtle Distinction
18. Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute
19. Generalize the Matter, Then Argue Against it
20. Draw Conclusions Yourself
21. Meet him With a Counter-Argument as Bad as His
22. petitio principii
23. Make Him Exaggerate his Statement
24. State a False Syllogism
25. Find One Instance to The Contrary
26. Turn The Tables
27. Anger Indicates a Weak Point
28. Persuade the Audience, Not The Opponent
29. Diversion
30. Appeal to Authority Rather Than Reason
31. This is Beyond Me
32. Put His Thesis Into Some Odious Category
33. It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice
34. Don't Let Him Off The Hook
35. Will is More Effective Than Insight
36. Bewilder Your opponent by Mere Bombast
37. A Faulty Proof Refutes His Whole Position
38. Become Personal, Insulting, Rude

*The Extension

is to interprete the opponent's words as generally and wide as possible, while limiting the meaning of one's own words to as specific as possible. This works because it's easier to find arguments against general, loose and wide claims than to limited, narrow and specific claims.

How to respond to this:

Stay on topic. Restate the claim in the correct interpretation and remind people that even though there are several ways to interprete words, this is what you are talking about.

You will be met with: "If that's what you mean, why didn't you say so!"

That's just an effort to change the subject. Ignore it. Don't start discussing the possible interpretations, don't start explaining why you said it in the first place or didn't say, don't start discussing grammar or your persona or the errors of using the language. You can repeat your argument.

(Then you will be accused of boring people… :-D)

*The Homonymy

Some words have several meanings.

For example stalk - a part of a plant or to follow someone, bear - an animal or to carry and left (direction or past tense of leave).

Some words have different meanings in different contexts. Tautology is in logic the use of circle argument, but in rhetorics over-repetition. Semitic is in liguistic a language family and in ethnology the people speaking semitic languages, but antisemitic is a Jew-hater.

Homonymy is to deliberately misunderstand the use of the word and to argue against the interpretation that's easiest to refute.

This is met the same way the previous trick.

*Generalize your Opponent's Specific Statements

This is third form of the same technique.

Interprete the opponent's statement that is part of the discussion as if it wasn't. Treat it as if it was meant to be a general or absolute statement and refute the applications of the statement you can.
Comes to mind several discussions with Xian apologists… the existence of absolute truth (there is only one absolute truth and that is that absolute truth doesn't exist), the nature of tolerance (I tolerate everything but intolerance), etc.

To respond to this is to specify. "I was speaking of this and this, not of that."

These three tricks are part of the "ignoratio elenchi" group - irrelevant conclusion or thesis.

The opponent argues against something not said. Sure, the arguments are true, and therefore the attacker believes (or acts as if) to have refuted your argument, but the arguments are totally irrelevant to the discussion at hands.

All you need to refute the "ignoratio elenchi" fallacies is to point out that even though they might be correct, they are totally irrelevant to the issue. After that, ignore the efforts to make them relevant.
"Red herring" and "tu quoque" fallacies are examples of "Ignoratio elenchi".


Conceal your game

To avoid that your opponent finds out what you are after and manages to refute your statement, sprinkle the premisses of the conclusion in the discussion randomly and "hidden". Then when several of these are accepted as valid or not refuted in the discussion, combine them and present your conclusion.


False Propositions

Prove that your opponent's propositions are wrong, and you have proven your opponent's thinking is wrong.

This is related to the "Guilt by Association" argument.


Postulate What Has To Be Proved
(postulate: to assume without proof, or as self-evident)

Begging the question.

One can do this by
- using another name of what has to be proved
- making a general assumption covering the particular point in dispute
(all human knowledge is uncertain, therefore one cannot trust the modern medicine)
- using the proof of any premiss of the argument as proof of all the premisses of the argument
- using particulars to prove the general
(Jolly is a dog, Bebe is a dog, Lady is a dog, so all your pets are dogs.)


Yield Admissions Through Questions

Ask many questions that cannot be easily and shortly answered and pick from the responses the admissions you need for your argument.


Make your opponent angry

When one is angry, one isn't thinking straight, one makes hasty decisions, one misses advantages. If nothing else, one leaves the discussion as to not to make mistakes.
Be unfair. Make fun of your opponent. Lie. Slander things important to him/her. Be insolent.


Questions in Detouring Order

Trick the opponent by concealing the purpose of the questions by asking them in random order. (conceal your game)

Use the answers to benefit your purpose, by deliberately misinterpreting if necessary. (strategies 1, 2, 3)


Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer

If your opponent usually answers negatively to questions you want him to answer positively, use the reverse psychology - form your questions in a way that it seems you are anxious to get a positive answer, when in fact the negative is what fits your purposes.

You can also disguise the question by asking a "real" question, or form the question so that you can use his answer to confirm what you want to be confirmed, what ever he answers. (Have you stopped beating your wife yet?)


Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases

If your opponent grants you parts of the premisses, don't ask him if he also admits the conclusion - act as if he had admitted it. No-one will notice the difference.


Choose Metaphors Favourable to Your Proposition

Use words, metaphores, formulations, analogues that creates the emotional response that benefits your purpose.

Are Palestinian suicide-bombers "freedom fighters" or "terrorists"? 
Female Genital Mutilation or Female Circumcision?
Abortion or Murder?
Patriotism or ultra-nationalism?
"the existing order" or "antiquated prejudice".


Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition

Give your opponent two options that LOOK as if they were opposite options. Make the "unwanted" option look as bad as you can, and the "wanted" option as good as you can.


Claim Victory Despite Defeat

Just ignore what is happening and act as if you have won. If you are loud enough, it might work.


Use Seemingly Absurd Propositions

If you find it hard to prove your point, present a new proposition, which is true but the truth is hard to see. Looks absurd but in reality isn't.

If your opponent rejects it, show the truth in the proposition thus showing how stupid your opponent is, and use the momentum to push the first point through. If your opponent accepts it, you have been proven right, and you can use the momentum to push the first point through.


Arguments Ad Hominem

See if your opponent's argument is in ANY WAY inconsistent with another argument he has made or admitted - it's enough if one of his friends or anyone who has agreed with him at any time has made the argument, and it's enough if you can make the argument LOOK inconsistent.

"There's something wrong with USA"
"Then why don't you move somewhere else?"

"I am against death penalty"
"You support abortion, which is nothing but death penalty for innocent, defenseless children"


Defense Through Subtle Distinction

When your opponent presents a counter-proof, bring forth a subtle distinction of your argument, which makes the counter-proof irrelevant and thus invalid.


Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute

If you notice that your opponent is about to win the argument, do anything to stop the discussion from going to that direction. Take a break, leave the discussion all together, change the subject, lead the discussion into another area…


Generalize the Matter, Then Argue Against it

If you are challenged to produce the objection to a specific point in the argument, and you don't have any, talk against a general, in some way relevant point and bore the people with a lot of words - sound very credible.


Draw Conclusions Yourself

This is related to "Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases"
When you have presented your arguments, continue to conclusion, whether your opponent have admitted the arguments or not.


Meet him With a Counter-Argument as Bad as His

If your opponent uses "bad" arguments, logical fallacies, shallow arguments or arguments that SOUND wise (but aren't), you could counter them by showing the lack, but it's better to throw in a just as "bad" argument.


petitio principii

If your opponent requires you to admit something that will prove his point, claim it's "begging a question" - the argument in itself is "evidence" of that the argument is true.


Make Him Exaggerate his Statement

Contradicting and arguing the point will irritate your opponent and make him exaggerate his statement, extend the statement beyond its limits, and then you can refute the exaggerated form, thus making it look as if you have refuted the original form.

If someone tries to do this to you, stop him at once and say "That's what I said, and no more".


State a False Syllogism

Syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two others.
Twist and turn the opposition's argument and drive from it other arguments, which you then prove to be absurd, dangerous, false or wrong.


Find One Instance to The Contrary

Find one example to which the opponent's conditions don't match.
"I love green - all my clothes are green"
"no, they are not. You're wearing blue jeans."

If this technique is used against you, see if
1) the example is true
2) the example is an example of the group you are referring to
3) the example is consistent - it might only look consistent.


Turn The Tables

Use the opponent's arguments against him.
"It is because of ABC I think blah blah blah"
"but it is just because of ABC the opposite is true."


Anger Indicates a Weak Point

If your opponent shows any signs of anger, start pushing the point, because his anger can be abused, and because emotional response indicates a weak point in the argument.


Persuade the Audience, Not The Opponent

If you can't attack the opponent's arguments nor persona, use the "argumentum ad auditores" - if the public agrees with you, you must be right. If you don't have audience, get one.

(J.W. used this very much - he had always his "leash of bitches", rather stupid women who thought he was all that and more, and who would blissfully agree with anything he said. So if he had nowhere to go, he stated something irrelevant but true, or something that just sounded good, and asked his court if they saw the sense in it - which they always did, of course - and then they started ridiculing me…)



If you find yourself in a tough spot, change the subject. It's good if the new subject is seemingly relevant to the previous subject, but it doesn't matter. Present the issue as if it was very relevant and important and as if it proved your opponent wrong.

"The Jews control the media"
"No, they don't"
"Just look at how the AIPAC work in USA for Israel's cause!"


Appeal to Authority Rather Than Reason

Argumentum ad verecundiam.
Appeal to authority.
"If so-and-so says it is so, it must be so."


"This is Beyond Me"

If you have no reply to your opponent's arguments, say that you don't understand the arguments. This strategy demands your audience, because it is based on the your reputation as intelligent man. You're so smart, so if you "don't understand" something, it is because it's senseless, idiotic, irrational, unreasonable and absurd.

It is a form of appealing to an authority - and the authority in question is yourself.

To counter this trick is to say "I beg your pardon; but, with your penetrating intellect, it must be very easy for you to understand anything; and it can only be my poor statement of the matter that is at fault". Keep rubbing it in.


Put His Thesis Into Some Odious Category

Invalidate the assertion by putting it into some category. What ever he states, confront it by saying "that's —ism". It has no significance whether it is or not, but you are making an impression of that
1) people have tried this with you earlier too and didn't succeed that time either
2) it's utter stupidity to try to push anything —ist, because everyone knows —ism is utter stupidity.

(A response to this is "—ists always call anything they disagree with to —ism and everyone criticising them to —ists".
I don't think it was in common use when Schopenhauer wrote his list. ;))


It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice

"That's all very well in theory, but it won't do in practice." This is based on the idea that if a theory is correct, it must work in practice - if it doesn't, the theory is false.


Don't Let Him Off The Hook

If your opponent tries to use any of these techniques on you, you know you have found a weak point in his argument. Don't let him change the subject.


Will is More Effective Than Insight

"argumentum ab utili"
Make your opponent believe that if he wins the argument, he will loose the cause, that the conclusion of the arguments he's presenting will lead to harming the things he appreciates. If that doesn't work, make your audience believe that if your opponent wins the argument, THEY will see their cause lost, that the conclusion of your opponent's arguments will harm the things they appreciate. They'll give you their support immediately. If this doesn't work, widen the "target" group - you're fighting for the best of the society, the mankind, the world.


Bewilder Your opponent by Mere Bombast

Use a lot of words.
If that doesn't fool your opponent, use "fine words" and "learneth expressions"… Faculty language, technical terms, anything that sounds good but expresses nothing. If you don't fool your opponent, you'll fool your audience.


A Faulty Proof Refutes His Whole Position

Should your opponent choose a faulty proof to support his correct argument, refute it and claim the victory, as if that faulty proof was used to hold the whole argument together.


Become Personal, Insulting, Rude

If nothing else work, use ad hominem attacks. Get personal, insulting, rude, spiteful, offensive. This should be used as last resort, because you should be able to win the argument without looking bad, or at least looking better man than your opponent.
"Nothing is of greater moment to a man than the gratification of his vanity, and no wound is more painful than that which is inflicted on it."
If your opponent attacks your persona, calmly state that such argument is irrelevant to the question at hands, and continue proving him wrong in the issue.


Schopenhauer's "The Art of Being Right" is a satirical list of techniques one can use to win an argument. The idea of these techniques is to win an argument - "to be right" - and not to share information or find the "golden middle road".

"For it is with victory that you are concerned, and not with truth"

Schopenhauer ends his list with this:

The only safe rule, therefore, is that which Aristotle mentions in the last chapter of his Topica: not to dispute with the first person you meet, but only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to cherish truth, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong, should truth lie with him.From this it follows that scarcely one man in a hundred is worth your disputing with him.

You may let the remainder say what they please, for every one is at liberty to be a fool - desipere est jus gentium.

Remember what Voltaire says: La paix vaut encore mieux que la verite (peace is better than truth).

Remember also an Arabian proverb which tells us that on the tree of silence there hangs its fruit, which is peace.


These techniques SHOULD NOT BE USED.
These are unfair techniques, using logical fallacies, lying, cheating and bullying just to "win" the debate, just "to be right". They don't create understanding between people, don't lead to solutions, create only hurt feelings, disappointment, frustration, anger, and as you use these techniques, people will start avoiding you and stop listening to you. So, even if they do work, in that you will "win" every debate, DON'T USE THEM!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Findhorn Garden, part IV

So, I'll finish my book review with Roc and Elaine :-)

Robert Ogilvie Crombie, or ROC

“Roc was a loving and gentle man, a wondrous story-teller, a musician, and an embodiment of the best of Scottish charm. He was the wise old man, the grandfatherly figure children adore and the magician who guides heroes and heroines on their paths to accomplishment. He was a man of culture who had one foot in this world and one foot in the world of spirits and mystery”
- A White Wizard, A Seeress, and The Nature Spirits They Played With 

Roc communicated with "nature spirits" or "elemental spirits"

"What is meant by the elemental kingdom?
Ancient and medieval philosophers believed that all matter was mady up of differing combinations of what they called the four elements - earth, air, fire and water. They also believed that these elements were inhabited by beings or entities knows as elementals. While earth, air, fire and water are not elements in the present-day meaning of the word, they remain useful concepts in esoteric and occult teachings, because they have a higher significance than the purely physical one. It is important to understand my interpretation of the word "elemental", since certain schools of thought use the word to mean negative or evil entities from the lower astral plane. There are such entities which should preferably be termed "pseudoelementals", since the true elementals come from a higher plane and are part of the angelic hierarchy".

He tells the story of how he came to communicate with such spirits, fauns, dryads, gnomes, fairies and such, but more so Pan. He too got the lovely idea from Wind in the Willows and The Piper at the Gates of Dawn"... I have to say, if those book fearing Christians would ban books they should ban Wind in the Willows and Mary Poppins, which are largely responsible for my Pagan mindset :-D (Also, C.S.Lewis has had a great influence on my spirituality. So, you don't need to be afraid of his "Christian themes", if you are not Christian, you will just overlook them and not be brainwashed to believe Christian dogma :-D)

Pan says "There is always time for the important things. Communicating with my subjects is not a garden game for the odd half hour when there is nothing else to do. I have observed far too much of this contemptuous superior attitude of man towards my subjects; it is almost worse than disbelief."

 I got a glimpse of fairies once... it was a summertime... after Midsummer, but not Autumn yet. I was walking our dog in the forest and I saw a procession, airy, white, mistlike, but clear, of forest folk with a unicorn, dancing through the forest... I could feel Mother's heartbeat under my feet... I could feel the life of earth...

I need to return there.

The last person writing in The Findhorn Garden I want to mention is Elaine Harrison.
She seems to be a very private person, I can't find any photo of her anywhere.

Elaine tells the story about how she was guided to Findhorn by a pegasus.
Not the same way as Roc, no, but she first had a dream in which a pegasus came to her and asked her to ride on him.
Then she received a letter from TTEAM - with a pegasus logo on the envelope.
So, she went through with her plans to become a Ttouch practitioner.
One thing lead to another and another, and finally she found herself at Findhorn. She was supposed to interview Eileen Caddy, and just the day before she noticed the cover image of a book she had received as preparing reading...

Anyway, she talks about her experiences about communicating with plants.
" a natural empath, animal healer and communicator, I was entirely open to the possibility of receiving something from the plant. I have always fully accepted that plants comunicate and was accustomed to getting intuitive feelings about plants, but to date had not actually received a direct communication from one. However, even accepting all of that, when I did receive a very clear message from the plant I almost dismissed it completely, it simply didn't make sense."

And I remember writing to my reading notes:

"I am thinking about Gaia.
I am thinking about the angel book.
I am thinking about animal communicators."

You see, in the first copy I had of this book, it ended with David's part, and it didn't have Dorothy's messages from the different Devas. I wrote this after Dorothy's part.

So, I think I'm on the right track here.

Elaine Harrison, BTW, has written "How to Develop Telepathic Communication with Animals"

Also, I am reminded by D.J.Conway's Magickal, Mystical Creatures, which I need to re-read...

Findhorn Garden, Part III

David Spangler...

I put David here next, because I hate his part, and it would be better if it never got in the book.
He sounds totally fake to me.

Peter said "In 1970 a young man (25) David Spangler and his spiritual colleague Myrtle Glines came to Findhorn from America. For several years before that, David had been a lecturer and writer on New Age themes. When he arrived he found us to be a dozen or so people working in a garden and living a God-centered life. Within the following eighteen months community membership grew to 150. During David's three year stay our identity expanded into that of a New Age community and training center."

He was 19 when he was asked to speak about his "guides" to a larger public, and a year later he left his studies and became a professional New Ager... "lecturer, educator, counselor"...
He went to Findhorn because he found "words to be not enough to bring about the New World" and Findhorn was what he had been looking for... Nevertheless, immediately as he arrived to the garden, he starts changing it. He has had this "spirit guide", "John", who suddenly becomes some sort of emissary "representing the interests and the consciousness of the elemental kingdoms", thus placing "John" as higher authority than Pan, Landscape Angel, even God. They haven't needed any emissaries so far, they didn't need one 1970 either, but David needed the power and authority.
Now, in Findhorn, people are used to simple, humble and sincere authorities of Peter, Eileen, Dorothy and Roc, who actually do hear what the other life forms are saying, and David is not stupid, so he creates the "messages" so that they sound like those coming from God and Devas.
That the garden is slowly losing the vitality doesn't worry anyone, they have David to tell them it's as it should be.

"Are you saying there must be changes mede in the way the gardening is being done here at Findhorn?"
"That is what I am saying", answers "John".

Yeah, sure...

He doesn't see the nature spirits and devas as equals, no, he sees Man as superior, God-like and with a mission to dominate the world. I hate it when he repeats over and over again "Man has dominion over nature".
"John" sayd "the nature kingdoms look to you to lead them". 
"John" says "Man primarily needs only to communicate to the beings of nature what is required without any other physical activity on his part..." 
The humans are here to lead, counsel, teach, lecture and educate, train these "dumb beasts" into being better themselves as they already are.

Through it all he shows a sad misunderstanding of the nature of devas and nature spirits.

"There are beings that regard humanity as a nuisance at best, a dangerous, disruptive force at worst..."
I get the impression that the nature spirits see us as some sort of lost, confused, incomprehensible children, not aware of our own power or meaning, blind, deaf, dumb, but oh, so prideful, playing our mysterious games and causing damage, like a child ripping off wings from a fly because it doesn't understand the fly is a sentient being, a dot of life, as important as we are.

Nah. I say he's fake. Now, I haven't met him, nor spoken with him, I have no other experience of him, but when Peter's, Eileen's, Dorothy's and Roc's story fills me with love, gratitude and hope, David fills me with distaste, suspicions, and takes me down.
That's all the evidence I need.

Findhorn Garden, part II

Next is Eileen's part.

I love her connection with God, the openness, the submission... I wish I had the serenity to actually listen to God.

"You are all individuals very specially chosen and trained by Me to do a specific work which only you can do"

It's not only Eileen, Peter and Dorothy this concerns, it's about all of us. Everyone. We have all been hand-picked by God to do what only we can do... Which is why it's so sad that so many people are being scared and punished and shamed from doing what they were created to do. I believe we all have our mission written in our heart, and that it shows in things that move us. Our parents have been chosen very carefully, our place of birth, every such detail, to give us the best possible training for the job we are here for to do.

"I was told that in something like polishing the floor, you can do it positively so you really enjoy seeing a lovely shine come up as you rub, or you can do it negatively and just feel it is another job that must be done. When you start on a job, whatever it may be, see that your attitude towards it is right, and how very different it will be. Your attitude makes one thing to another."

"My beloved child, when you really believe wit your whole heart and at all times, that man was made in My image and likeness, you will have found the greatest secret of life."

It reminds me of something, I don't know if I read it somewhere, or what, but "we are a limitless spirit in a limited body". We ARE angels, but we also have a physical body, able to create physical things in a physical world, able to sense, able to feel (emote?)... It is not that we are LIMITED by our body, no, it ADDS to our being. I have never understood people who talk about denying your flesh and trying to release oneself from the physical bounds, as if the world and creation was something bad, evil, restrictive, limiting, harmful... I believe that those people have misunderstood it very gravely.

 "Man was made in My image and likeness, then he abused his body so much by eating wrong food, by drinking the wrong drinks, by thinking the wrong thoughts..."

"It is so important that you really enjoy what you are eating and not do it out of a sense of duty."

I believe being a fruitarian is the way to go. Just eating fruits and seeds... perhaps also milk and eggs. I love milk and eggs. Lacto-ovo-fruitarian? Bah. It kind of doesn't feel right.
I mean... dieticians and doctors warn people from becoming fruitarians, but just look at orangutans. They are frugivores. "Orangutans primarily eat fruit (65%), along with young leaves, bark, flowers, honey, insects, and vines".
Sure, insects. And bark and vines. But... how much B12 is there in insects? How much of their diet is insect-based?
"At the San Diego Zoo, the orangutans are offered cabbage, romaine lettuce, kale, carrots, yams, broccoli, bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes. Treats might include papaya, corn, turnip, onion, popcorn, raisins, peanut butter, and walnuts."
Yeah... fruitarians :-D

"Do you not realize that you have within you all wisdom, all knowledge, all understanding? You do not have to seek it without, but you have to take time to be still and to go deep within to find it. Many souls are too lazy or feel that there is so much to be done that they have no time to be still and go into the silence. They prefer to live on someone else's wisdom and knowledge instead of receiving it direct from the source themselves."

This to me is one of the biggest peeves with New Age and such. People are running from one Sage to another, follow any Guru, Teacher, Master, without stopping and LISTENING.

"You should be able to hear [My voice] at all times, in all places, no matter what is happening around you, no matter what state you may be in. Your need for Me is constant. As it was in the beginning when man walked and talked with Me, so it is now happening again. This is the relationship I long to have with all My children."

All we need to do is listen. God is there, speaking, the nature spirits, devas, elementals, angels, the whole host of other life forms, it tries to communicate with us, always open, always respectful, always loving and giving us their full attention. But we never stop...

Then came Dorothy's part.

She reminds us of that all three of them had been actively LISTENING to their inner voices for years. It just didn't happen. They were prepared and intuned to LISTEN.

"To me God is an indwelling presence, the core of what I am and what everything is. od is life itself, speaking through all life. And God's will is the path we tread which develops the best ofr us and for all we encounter. "Let my will be a mystery for you to find in each moment", my guidance told me. "Seek it within the litte and the big. It includes all people and all things, all questions and all answers."

I remember the feeling of love towards the mankind... I was sitting in a bus, it was late, and in steps a drunken man, talking loudly some antisemitic crap. And I looked at him, and thought how he too was Goddess' son, beloved child... I felt a deep sympathy for how difficult and hard he must feel his life is, feeling the need to drink and feeling so vulnerable that he had to blame others for the misery he felt... I wasn't afraid, just compassionate. Such a lovely feeling...

She talks about her "special mission" for Findhorn.

"One of the jobs for you as My free child is to feel into the nature forces, such as the wind. Feel its essence and purpose for Me, and be positive and harmonize with that essence. It will not be as difficult as you immediately imagine because the beings of these forces will be glad to feel a friendly power. All forces are to be felt into, even the sun, the moon, the sea, the trees, the very grass. All are part of My life. All is one life. Play your part in making life one again, with My help".

"What will come to you will come as on the wings of song, effortlessly"
One should not force the connection. Just have patience and listen. Be open, loving, truly appreciative, grateful, and sincere, willing to co-operate, and they will find a way to communicate with you. 

"Seek into the glorious realms of nature with sympathy and understanding, knowing that these beings are of the Light, willing to help but suspicious of humans and on the lookout for the false, the snags. Keep with Me and they will find none, and you will all build towards the new."

She explains the devas. Now, deva is not the "real" name for these... entities, but it does well enough. She would have called them angels, but chose not to, because of the connotations people have of the word "angel". There is a deva of everything. Every plant has a deva - or more so, every sort of plant has a deva or a guardian spirit.

"The devas hold the archetypal pattern and plan for all forms around us, and they direct the energy needed for materializing them. The physical bodies of minerals, vegetables, animals and humans are all energy brought into form through the work of the devic kingdom".

"While the devas might be considered the "architects" of plant forms, the nature spirits of elementals, such as gnomes and fairies, may be seen as the "craftsmen", using the blueprint and energy channeled to them by the devas to build up the plant form". 

She talks about the Landscape angel. "a certain being overlighting the geographical area", and The Angel of Findhorn, a "composite being", born from the substance of our thoughts and ideals, the radiations and energies of everything working together for a higher purpose.

(Later in the book Holger, a member of Findhorn community some 10 years later, said "In working on the compost heaps, I have found that a simple object like a pitchfork has an identity and its own characteristic energy. I find that if I hang onto a pitchfork tightly and make it do what I want, by the end of the day I am exhausted. But if I hold the fork loosely, just balancing it and not imposing my will on its will, it becomes an extension of myself and we flow easily, without resistance. If we recognize the living entity of that pitchfork, we can learn how to use it properly."
And there is a message from Machine Deva: "Machines, too, respond to human love and care... ...We would not belittle the mind, for through it we were brought to birth. But behind the mind, empowering it, are forces of even greater strength which we would as you to use when you deal with machines. Metals are part of the one life; treat them as such and you will get a response. Bring joy to the world of metal by co-operating with us.")

She says "It delighted the devas when Peter acted on their suggestions. While at the beginning of our contact they had seemed rather remote, our co-operation changed that, and they became friendly and even anxious to help. In fact, we were told that they were practically queuing up to experience this new contact with human life."

I remember C.S.Lewis' Prince Caspian.

"We badgers have long enough memories to know that. Why, bless us all, wasn't the High King Peter a Man?"
"Do you believe all those old stories?" asked Trumpkin.
"I tell you, we don't change, we beasts," said Trufflehunter. "We don't forget"
It's about the same thing with the devas.

"So although the devas welcomed our questions as a means to bring about understanding and true co-operation between us, what interested them most was the process by which a human - deaf, fumb and blind in their regions - was reaching out to know them and talk to them".

They were told to have as many different sorts of plants as possible in their garden, because that focused the forces of devas, and that in turn attracted overlighting devas...

"The primary impact on me of the deva world has been this necessity to rise to a higher state within myself in order to contact them. If I am depressed, angry, resentful or caught in some negative emotional state, I cannot enter the light and joyous atmosphere of their realms".

"Considerations we had hitherto thought impractical in the garden, the devas insisted wee eminently practical. Our attitudes, thoughts and feelings had a great effect on the plants, they said. Knowing this had a great effect on us, as well, since we had to learn to be careful about how we felt, how we spoke and what we did around the garden. If we were not in a good state, it was best to go elsewhere. We began to realize the truth of what the devas were telling us: "Every creature, human or otherwise, reacts to and acts upon its environment for all is one."

Which reminds me of Jane Sherwood's Post-Mortem Journal
‘My name is Mitchell,’ he said. ‘It won’t convey anything to you but I work with newcomers and was here when you came into view.”
I felt suddenly constrained and diffident and the change must have been obvious to him for he said: ‘Don’t do that, for God’s sake, or I can’t stay. You have to learn that your feelings create an atmosphere about you that alters your relationship to those you meet.’
I shrank away and his light dimmed. In alarm I called to him and he heard me and returned.
‘I think I had better find someone you have known to help you,’ he said, but I was ashamed and begged him to stay. So again we went on together and he explained to me that my present body, being of such a light, responsive kind, would express in its colour and emanations every emotion I felt so that not the slightest change of mood could be hidden."
" Mitchell explained to me that my present body, solid as it seems is now really composed of a kind of matter which on earth I thought of as ‘emotion’. This feeling stuff is now exterior to the real me and has no physical drag to slow down its activity. Hence the frightening release of emotional energy and the impossibility of masking it."

Violet Deva by Peter F. Christiansen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Findhorn Gardens, part I

That part from Scott reminded me of The Findhorn Garden, a book that I love. I especially love the first 4 stories.

Peter's story about how they came about to start a garden by a caravan park they had to live in, because he just couldn't get a job.

"Eventually, the Board sent one of their investigators around to see me. He had with him a fat file with a complete record of my efforts to obtain employment. After going through it, he looked up at me and said, "Would you say that God is preventing you from getting a job?"
Amazed at his understanding, I replied, "Why, yes, indeed."
"Well", he said, "then presumably if we cut off your money, God will provide for you."
He had played his ace card.
"Yes... yes, I expect... yes, He would." 
So that what they did, and that is what God did."

I love the simple trust and faith he has. God will provide, he believes, and God does.

When ever he needs anything, he does the preparing work, and - God provides. They get cement when they have prepared the area where it is supposed to go, they get soil and manure, when they have done all the grounding work for the garden, they get everything they needs just as they need it.
All the time they are guided by God.

"Both Eileen and Dorothy wrote down the guidance they received each day from the God Within. This ranged from advice on inner development, to the food we were to eat, to specific tasks for the day. My own guidance took the form of intuitive flashes of inspiration - often received while working - that carried a sense of conviction, a deep inner knowing. These were sometimes confirmed and amplified by the guidance Eileen received."

And they do all with focus and love... 

"I was told that by working in total concentration and with love for what I was doing, I could instill light to the soil. It is difficult to explain, but I was actually aware of radiations of light and love passing through me as I worked."

And then the devas!

"One morning in May... ...she received a message during meditation, that brought us into a totally new phase in the garden's development. She directly contacted a spirit of the plant kingdom, the deva of the garden pea... ...I jumped at the chance, thinking: At last! Now we can get straight from the horse's mouth the answer to any questions we have on gardening. I brought out all those questions... ... and Dorothy put them to the deva of the species concerned... ...we received the answers... ...they told us how far apart plants should be, how often to water them, what was wrong and what to do about it."

" longer need you be controlled by events, but by your power of thought you control them. You can bring about anything by your thoughts... ...what you think, you create. This is where your faith and belief must be unshakable. When there are nay doubts or lack of confidence, you are unable to bring about these truths in form. My wonders are to be manifest in form."

Our needs are met so that we can be servants of God and do God's work. That we can work to heal the planet... no, to join the troops of God, being the force of life... All the elementals, plants, rocks, animals - humans included - the rain and shine, the wind and snow... all is one. I am a star is a flower is a bird... we are all one.
But anything we do because of fear, when we see the life and world as an enemy, all the others as competitors, people who want what's ours... it won't work. It will just breed more fear and lack and want...

Energy Play & Visualization

Excerpt From: Wicca - A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

The energy and magickal powers at work in Wicca are real. They aren't of some astral plane. They're within the Earth and our selves. They maintain life. We daily deplete our store of energy and replenish it through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the powers that stream down from the Sun and Moon.

Know that this power is physical. Yes, it's mysterious, but only because so few investigate it in magickal ways. Following are some exercises to help you do just that.

Calm yourself. Breathe deeply. Rub your palms together for twenty seconds. Start slowly and rub faster and faster. Feel your muscles tense. Feel your palms grow warm. Then, suddenly, stop and hold your palms about two inches from each other. Feel them tingling: That's a manifestation of power. By rubbing your palms together and using the muscles in your arms and shoulders you're raising energy -- magickal power. It's flowing out from your palms as you hold them apart.
If you don't feel anything, practice this once or twice a day until you have success.
Remember, don't force yourself to feel the power. Trying harder won't accomplish anything. Relax and allow yourself to feel what's been there all the time.

After you've actually sensed this energy, begin to fashion it into shapes. Use your visualization to do this. Directly after rubbing your hands, while they're still tingling, visualize jolts of energy -- perhaps electric blue or purple -- passing from your right (projective) palm to left (receptive) palm. If you're left-handed, reverse the directions.

**Note: Remember the science fiction and fantasy movies you've seen wherein a magician sends power from his or her hands? Remember what it looked like in cinematic form? If you wish, use a similar image to visualize personal power streaming from your palms. Though that was just special effects this, of course, is real, and we can use this picture to actually send out that power.

Now envision this energy slowly swirling in a clockwise direction between your palms. Form it into a ball of glowing, pulsating magickal energy. See its dimensions, its colours. Feel its force and heat in your palms. This is a bit of energy which you've released from your body. There's nothing supernatural about it. Cup your hands around the ball. Make it grow or decrease in size through your visualization. Finally push it into your stomach and absorb it back into your system.

This is not only great fun but is a valuable magickal learning experience. When you've mastered the art of energy spheres, go on to feel energy fields.

Sit or stand before any plant. Herbs and plants in bloom seem to work best. In a pinch, cut flowers can be used as well.

Breathe deeply for a few moments and clear your thoughts. Hold your receptive (left) palm a few inches above the plant. Pinpoint your consciousness to your palm. Do you feel a dull throbbing, a hum, a wave of heat, or simply a shift in the energies within your palm? Do you feel the inner force of the plant?

If so, good -- you've felt energy. After you've felt energy. After you've accomplished this, try sensing the energies of stones and crystals. Place a quartz crystal, Stretch out with your feelings and become aware of the non-visible but viable energies that pulsate within the crystal.

All natural objects, remember, are manifestations of divine energy. With practice we can feel the power that resides within them.

If you have difficulty feeling these powers, rub your palms lightly together to sensitize them and try again.

This energy is the same power we're filled with when we're angry, nervous, terrified, joyous or sexually aroused. It's the energy used in magick, whether we pull it from ourselves or channel it from the Goddess and God, plants, stones and other objects. It is the stuff of creation which we utilize in magick.

Now that you've felt the power, use visualization to move it around. You needn't rub your palms together to raise energy -- you can do this simply by concentrating on doing so. One of the easiest methods is to tighten up the muscles -- tense your body. This raises energy, which is why we must relax in meditation. Meditation lowers our energy and allows us to drift from this world.
When you feel yourself bursting with power, hold out your right (projective) hand and direct energy from your body, through your arm and out your fingers. Use your visualization. Really see and feel it streaming out.

For practice, stand in your home. Build the power within you. Direct it into each room, visualizing it sinking into the cracks and walls and around doors and windows. You're not creating a psychic burglar alarm but a magickal protectant, so visualize the energy forming an impenetrable barrier across which no negativity or intruders ca cross. After "sealing" the house, halt the flow of energy. You can do this by visualizing it stopping and by shaking your hand. Sense your protective-powered energy resting within the walls. A secure, safe feeling should flood through you as you stand within your now guarded home.

Yes, you've done this with your mind, but also with power. Energy is real, and your ability to manipulate energy determines the effectiveness of your circle and rituals.
Work with feeling and directing the power daily. Make this a sort of magickal play until you reach the point where you won't have to stop and think, "Can I do it" Can I raise the power?" You'll know you can.


Excerpt From: Wicca-A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

This is the most basic and yet advanced technique called for in magick and Wicca. The art of using our brains to "see" what is not physically present is a powerful magickal tool used in many Wiccan rituals. For instance, the forming of the magick circle relies in part on the Wiccan's ability to visualize personal power flowing out to form a sphere of glowing light around the ritual area. This visualization, then, directs the power that actually creates the circle; it doesn't create it alone.

Because of its usefulness in changing our attitudes and lives, many books are being written on visualization today. Each book promises to show the secrets of visualization.

Fortunately, nearly all of us already possess this ability. It may not be fine-tuned, but practice makes perfect. Can you, at this moment, see in your mind your best friend's face, or your least favorite actor? What about the piece of clothing you most often wear, the exterior of your home, your car or your bathroom? That's visualization. Visualization is the act of seeing with the mind, not the eyes. Magickal visualization is seeing something which is presently non-existent. It may be a magick circle, a healed friend, an empowered talisman.
We can raise energy from our bodies, visualize it streaming out from our palms, and then form it into a small glowing sphere, fashioning it psychically as if into a snowball, and mentally by seeing it as we desire.

In magick, I might raise energy and, while doing this, hold an image in my mind of something I need -- a new car, for example. I visualize the car, see myself signing the contract to buy it, driving it on the road, pumping gas into its tank and making payments. Then I direct energy to empower the visualization -- to bring it into manifestation.

In other words, visualization "programs" the power. This could be explained as a form of mental sympathetic magick. Instead of creating a physical image, we create pictures in our heads.

Thoughts are definitely things. Our thoughts affect the quality of our lives. If we constantly moan about being broke, then do a fifteen minute visualization to bring money into our lives, that fifteen minutes of energy will have to counteract 23 hours and 45 minutes of daily, self-induced negative programming. Thus we must keep our thoughts in order and in line with our desires and needs.

Visualization can help here.
To hone this tool, try these simple exercises, widely known within Wicca.

Exercise One: Sit or lie comfortably with your eyes shut. Relax your body. Breathe deeply and still your mind. Pictures will continue to pop into your head. Choose one of these and stick with it. Let no images intrude other than the one you've chosen. Keep all thoughts revolving around the image. Retain this picture for as long as you can, then let it go and end the exercise. When you can retain one picture for more than a few minutes, move on to the next step.

Exercise Two: Decide upon an image to hold and retain it within your mind. You might wish to have it physically present and study it first, memorizing each detail -- the way shadows play on it, its textures, colours, perhaps even a scent. You might choose a small
three-dimensional shape, such as a pyramid, or something more complex such as an image Aphrodite rising from the sea or a ripe apple.
After studying it thoroughly, close your eyes and see the object before them -- just as if your eyes were open. Don't look at the object again with your physical eyes but with your magickal imagination -- with your powers of visualization.
When you can hold this image perfectly for five minutes, move on.

Exercise Three: This is more difficult, and is truly magical in nature. Visualize something, anything, but preferably something you've never seen. For instance, let's use a vegetable from Jupiter. It's purple, square, a foot across, covered with quarter-inch green hairs and half-inch yellow dots.
This is just an example, of course.
Now close your eyes and see really see this vegetable in your mind.
It's never existed. You're, creating it with your visualization, your magickal imagination. Make the vegetable real. Turn it over in your mind so that you can see it from all angles. Then let it vanish.
When you can hold any such self-created image for about five minutes or so, continue on to the next exercise.

Exercise Four: This is the most difficult. Hold a self-created image (such as the Jupiterian vegetable) in your mind with your eyes open. Work at keeping it visible, real, a palpable thing. Stare at a wall, look at the sky, or gaze at a busy street, but see that vegetable there. Make it so real you can touch it. Try having it resting on a table or sitting on the grass beneath a tree.

If we're to use visualization to create changes in this world, not in the shadowy realm that exists behind our eyelids, we must practice such techniques with our eyes open. The true test of visualization lies in our ability to make the visualized object (or structure) real and a part of our world.
When you've perfected this exercise, you're well on the way.

Pomegranates, the Seeded Apple

By Joan Russell

Pomegranates have a hard  brownish-yellow to red rind which encloses reddish juicy pulp with many seeds. Botanically the fruit is a large berry that is two to five inches in diameter. It is grown in warm areas such as California and Florida in the US.  The edible part is located around the seeds, which makes the fruit  hard to eat and use in recipes. Most of the commercial production of this fruit is in California.  It is available through January.


Pomegranates have been cultivated since prehistoric times. They are native to Persia, Greece and the Mediterranean basin.  The species appears to have become naturalized from birds spreading the seed.  The Old Testament calls them rimmon, which come from the Arabic term rumman. The amount of seeds made the ancient cultures associate the pomegranate with procreation, increase and abundance.  The early name for pomegranate was Malum Punicum or Apple of Carthage.

In the US William Bartram saw the fruit grow in the ruins of Frederica, Georgia about 1773. The Spanish Padres were also credited with bringing pomegranates to California missions some 200 years ago.  The word is derived from Middle French pome garnete and means seeded apple. It has been a symbol of fertility in many cultures.  Some people used the fruit to treat inflammations, such as sore throats and rheumatism.


The fruit has a variety of uses.  It is used to decorate dinner and banquet tables as part of an arrangement.  The fruit, about the size of an apple, is split open to reveal several clusters of red seeds enclosed in a white spongy membrane. It is grown for the juice that can be extracted and to eat the inner berries. When the fruit is eaten raw the berries are sometimes removed with a nut pick. Sometimes the berries are used as a garnish on desserts and salads. The juice which can be extracted from the berries is used in beverages and to make syrup.  The juice is used to make grenadine for flavoring drinks.

Even the outer rind of the fruit has some  interesting uses.  The rind is used to make ink that some people describe as unfading.  The skin or peel is also boiled to make a bitter drink that is used as a cure for dysentery.

The most popular commercial variety grown is the Early Wonderful variety. It is large, glossy, and a deep red color. This variety is believed to have been started in California.


Pomegranates can be held at room temperature for a time. They should be out of direct sun.  For longer use they can be refrigerated at 32-41 degrees.  The seeds can be refrigerated in plastic bags or frozen for later use.

Try to choose fruit with thin unbroken skin. Inside, the membranes should not be too prominent and seeds should yield  at least 1/2 cup juice. It is impossible to look inside so inspect the outer skins for good color (no brown spots or other signs of spoiling).

The easiest way to remove seeds for a recipe is to cut the ends of the pomegranates with a knife. Cut or score the fruit along the rind so as to break through the rind but not the entire fruit. Fill a bowl with cold water and immerse the fruit under the water and soak about 5 minutes.  Break the fruit apart in the water into sections and separate seeds from the rind and membrane.  The seeds fall to the bottom when you separate them and the rind and membranes floats to the top. Remove the membranes and  rind, then drain the seeds and put aside for use.

A good way to extract juice from pomegranates is to run the seeds through a coffee grinder or food processor. Strain pulp through wire strainer into a bowl. Take a spoon and

push down on pulp in the strainer to extract as much juice as possible to the bowl. It is important to rinse out the strainer and coffee grinder or food processor as you process each  batch.

A medium-size pomegranate yields about 3/4 cup of seed and 1/2 cup of juice.  Pomegranate syrup can  be used as an excellent sauce for fresh fruit. or a refreshing drink by adding sugar, water and ice.  It can also be used as a syrup on waffles and pancakes.  The seeds can be used in salads, desserts, and eaten raw.


2 large pomegranates
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cut off the ends of the pomegranates. Cut the outer skin of the fruit in several places with a knife and place in a bowl of cold water for at least 5 minutes. Let the fruit soak for 5 minutes.  Break the fruit into sections with your hands in water and remove seed from the rind and spongy membrane. The seeds will fall to bottom of bowl and rinds float to the top. Remove the rind and membrane then strain  the pomegranates seed  through a strainer and put aside.

In a coffee grinder or small  food processor grind small amounts of the seeds at a time. Remove each batch of seeds with pulp and strain into empty bowl through wire strainer.  Discard pulp and seeds but not juice. Use a spoon to push down on pulp so you can extract as much juice as possible into the bowl. Do this until you have processed all the seeds and extracted the juice. Please be sure to clean the strainer and grinder or you go along.

Pour the liquid from the bowl into a clear container and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.  It is said that the sediment will settle to the bottom of container.

When ready to make syrup use entire mixture but strain a few times again through the wire or mesh strainer. Pour mixture into medium sauceepan over medium heat adding sugar and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it cook over lower heat until it thickens. Let it cool then pour into a container then refrigerate. Use on fruit salad, waffles, and even ice-cream or cake.

Pomegranate sangria.  "Pomegranates are a rich source of the wrinkle-reducing plant chemical ellagic acid."

Magical properties of Pomegranate
by Candace Hunter

Pomegranate trees are vigorous growers, sprouting many suckers from a single root and crown. Their fruit is filled with seeds, not just five or six or even ten or twenty, but 840 seeds. Pomegranate's fertility magic is about diversity. Pomegranate teaches us to cast our seeds far and wide, to send out many branches, to find strength in a diverse or wide array of creative pursuits.

Uncompromising in its environmental requirements, pomegranate's fertility magic is about protecting the diversity we sow. Pomegranate won't fruit if the conditions aren't right, although very few would call pomegranate tender or delicate. Pomegranate reminds us to be aware of our environment, to choose where and when we sow our seeds wisely, and to be incompromising in the conditions we require for our own growth.

Just as pomegranate may drop its fruit in the first few years, pomegranate projects may appear to be failing initially. Stick with it and trust in pomegranate's magic to help you realize the abundance you seek, an abundance that can endure through many more years. After the initial two or three years of fruiting, pomegranate can bear as many as 400 pounds of fruit for another ten to fifteen years. That's a lot when you consider pomegranate's generally compact stature.

Despite pomegranate's somewhat rugged appearance, with its wild growth habit, somewhat thorny branches, and long and leathery leaves, pomegranate shapes fruits that house potent medicinal energies. Pomegranate seeds can help prevent cancer, ease the affects of aging, and prevent unwanted pregnancy, and that's just the beginning. It's no wonder that Persephone used those same seeds to shape the story of her marriage and that kings and queens, gods and goddesses have identified with its power; who can argue with magic that strong? When you invoke the magic of pomegranate, you draw on the energies necessary to solidify shape. Hold your intentions well, and pomegranate can help you create in big and powerful ways.

Magical uses of pomegranate
Pomegranate "magic" - the health effects of pomegranates

A folktale about a magical pomegranate

Using Blood in Magick

by Natalie J. Lincoln

Anyone who studies traditional Witchcraft and Folk Magick with any more than a cursory interest will find that many spells call for the use of blood as an ingredient. Blood, being the very stuff that nourishes life, is a powerful Magickal substance. Blood-letting in ritual constitutes a sacrifice more dramatic than simply burying coins or pouring libations. Sealing a spell with blood will strengthen almost any working, provided that the blood is shed in accordance with the theme of the spell. (For example, it would be foolish to use blood in a healing spell.)

Ethical Considerations
It is my conviction that shedding any blood other than your own in Magick is ethically wrong. Although some organizations condone this practice, there are three major reasons why I refuse to participate in such activities.

Primarily, my own instinct tells me that the practice of using another person or creature's blood in ritual is distasteful, obscene and goes against natural law. More practically, using another individual's blood not only Magickally binds them to you, it also can weaken the symbol of blood in the ritual, as the sacrifice made is not your own. Most spells that call for blood can be filled by using only a few drops of personal blood, such as from a finger whose energies correspond to the purpose of the ritual.

Practical Considerations
With the rise of HIV and bloodborne pathogens there are several practical considerations that need to be taken by a Witch interested in using their own blood in ritual. For the not-very-squeamish I recommend this link (blood vampirism) which provides modern bloodletting safety considerations to individuals in the Magick and vampiric communities interested in extracting blood.
While I do not ethically agree with much of the information presented here, I applaud the site for its efforts in educating laypersons who handle blood.

Other considerations for Magickal bloodletting:

Always use clean, sterilized pins or needles when extracting blood for Magick. Needles can be sterilized by heating them over a flame until glowing (please let the needle cool before using it!) or by swabbing with rubbing alcohol.

Never share a needle that you or another person have used to extract blood with.

Keep a supply of band-aids and antibiotic ointment handy for after the spell.

Substitutes for Blood in Magick

Of course, just because a spell calls for blood doesn't mean that blood must be used. Rather, there are many instances where it is preferable not to use blood in a spell, even if it is called for. Squeamish folks may find the thought of pricking themselves with a needle so disturbing that it detracts from the concentration and focus needed to properly cast a spell. If a spell calls for more than a drop or two of blood I prefer to use a substitute. Here are some common substitutes for blood in Magick:

freshly layed eggs - fertilized farm fresh eggs from a black hen are thought to be the very best, and have long been a charm among the Romani.

red wine - even the Catholic Church approves this Magickal substitute!

pomegranate juice - this has the added benefit of looking and smelling vaguely bloody.

whole pomegranates - splitting these open with a sturdy bolline on the altar can be a memorable and powerful experience, as the fruit is known for 'bleeding'.

salt water - one of the reasons salt water is traditionally seen as such a powerful consecration and banishing charm is its taste, which was thought to be similar to that of blood .

red ink - in place of writing something in blood; I have had good results with dragonsblood ink

menstrual blood - yes, ladies, we can use our own naturally shed blood with great Magickal effect.

Using Blood in Magick and Ritual  (excellent!)
Blood Magick
Menstrual Magick
Pomegranates in cooking and folklore

Some general information about spells, spellcrafting etc.

 "What is a spell? Why do we work them? How do they work?
Well for me magick is working with certain elements such as chanting, ritual tools, candles, nature, dance, etc... to connect to the flow of energy around us. A spell is giving that magick purpose.
You direct the flow to a certain cause.
I believe all around us is energy, everything is made from it, everything produces it, and it flows through everything. If I rub my hands together quickly I can feel the heat between them.
But I believe there is another way to tame this energy. Which is by connecting to our subconscious, our inner self. I believe it is more closely connected to this energy and therefore by using it we can direct it in other ways. I hope that made any sort of sense lol.
By connecting to our inner self through symbols or chanting, dancing etc... we can open ourselves up to better control and direct it.
I don't use many spells, I think I prefer rituals or just chanting, grounding, meditation. But I do use spells.
I think the difference between a spell and a ritual is the amount of spiritual significance and spells are usually smaller the rituals.
Also I feel a ritual can be for a longer more driven goal where as a spell is more right now.
Of course this is just how I view them, and it isn't the same for everyone
I do believe spells work. Not always, it matters how much effort we put into them. I can cast a spell for a million dollars but unless I am going to give what is needed to achieve that, and willing to work for it then it doesn't work.
Why cast a spell if you still have to work for it?
Well nothing is easy or jsut given to us. Its about balance. We only get what we give out of this universe.
I believe spells are an added aid though. They balance are actions with our spirits.
If you are trying to push everything one way and someone else is pulling in the opposite direction you will get no where fast! Its better to align everything on the right path.
I also know some people say we shouldn't cast spells, but just be open and ask that the universe gives it to us. I disagree with this respectfully.
I see that as sitting at home all day and wishing people would just bring you food. Its not going to happen. We have control over our lives, if we want something we need to go and get it."
Raven about spells in Care2's Witches and Witchcraft

"A spell is not a prayer but at the same time it is. I believe in Goddess who can't be forced to do anything, and I believe in people's free will - so by spellworking I am just changing the atmosphere to a more plesant for me. I think that spells are done to adjust the circumstances. They work mostly by changing MY attitudes and expectations and releaving my fears and giving me hope, strength, courage and trust. Spells are purely psychological. A curse will not work, unless you tell the cursed one that she is cursed. Likewise the blessing will not work unless you share it. Spellcrafting is using different things, like words, song, repeating, mantras, candles, colors, stones - well, anything really - as symbols in affirmation. I agree with you, Raven, about the rituals and spells. Rituals are more like sacred plays, bigger, more complex and concentrated, when spells are smaller, easier and quicker. why not just pray? Because I feel more satisfyed when I have done something, even when it is "only symbolical". It gives me a feeling of not just being a victim, God's, circumstances' or someone else's... Life is about experience and doing stuff, not about sitting and wishing."
Ketutar about spells in Care2's Witches and Witchcraft
"There is a difference between Wizard's spells (so called High Magic) Witches' spells (Low Magic) and shamanism.
Wizards' spells almost always involve spirits and demons (here demon is not used in the "opposite-of-angels" meaning, but as their own kind - like daimon) and it is often full of summoning and invocations.
Witches' spells are very simple and involve often rhyming and simple tools. A witch uses herself.
In shamanism the spells are... well, different. A shaman IS the spell. Shamanism is like spirit magic with simple tools - but shamans don't force the spirits, as wizards do. A shaman communicates with the spirits in spirit world and is so one of them - and at the same time aware of her physical being. That is one of the things New Age philosophies often miss - we are spirit AND body. The body is not something bad, something we should get rid of, deny and see as something that makes us LESSER - no, it makes us MORE. Angels envy us the touch...
I personally think that we should keep these things apart.
I call myself an orthodox witch, and I truly believe that it becomes dangerous when one takes this from there and that from here, and calls the demons to dance when performing a simple witch spell..."
Ketutar about spells in Care2's Witches and Witchcraft

Writing your own spells and rituals

Ashley on Spells and Spellcrafting

Rexenne about Spellweaving

Quicksilver about practicing magic - short, but some nice information

Crafting your own spells

Spelwerx on spell casting

Then follows some pages about ready-made spells. The only use for these in my mind is to learn to understand the structure of spells, so that one can form one's own spells.

Free spells and magic

Free magic spells and spell casting

The spells used in "Charmed" tv series
(and a still of every page of their BOS used to be on this URL, but the pictures have been removed. Here are some copies of the pages that has been published on the internet. And then there's this guy. He claims to have replicated most of the book... but I can't see any of the work. Also, he claims he has been working with it since he was 10. Which doesn't sound really credible.)

The Electric Witch's Book of Shadows
Scroll, scroll, scroll... when you have scrolled over "Witchcraft, Words of Wisdom, Spirituality, Tools & Techniques, Magic, Rituals, Correspondences, Herbs, Psychic abilities, Deities and Divination", it's time for "the good stuff" - spells.


"How do I pick my correspondences?
First, I must know what I'm doing the spell for. Is it a prosperity spell, a healing spell, a spell to find a new job or maybe to improve communication with a loved one?
Once I determine what I'm trying to accomplish, I hit the books. Within my library, I have several books that index what various colors, herbs, oils and stones correspond with various desired results. I try to be as specific as I can and try to blend my choice of correspondences to better "describe" my desired result.
If I'm going to perform a prosperity spell, what attributes are going to be needed to reach the final goal? Creativity, physical strength, courage? I try to chose some herb or the oil to correspond with those added aspects and keep in mind that most herbs and oils have several attributes. Its is very possible to have an herb with the attributes of both wealth and, say, strength. With one herb you can accomplish two ends.
I leave the color of the candle to the core of the spell. For a prosperity spell, green, a banishing spell, black. 
The same applies to the stone I use. I leave it to the core of the spell."
World of Wisdom - Spellcasting

There are thousands of sites online telling you what candles suit with what spells, which oil to use, which colors match your intentions, and so on - but you need to do it yourself. Sorry.

Some intention related correspondences.
Brigid's Haven - common spell correspondences
Weejee's Wiccan magic correspondences
Weejee's essential oil correspondences
Occult 100: spell correspondences
Ghost Dragon's correspondence list
Spell correspondences
Astrological correspondences of the planets
color correspondences
herb correspondences
Spelwerx herbal correspondences
Magical herb correspondences
Common herb correspondences by Darwin
Stone correspondences
Absynthe's Realm - stone correspondences
Gems and Crystals
Herbal magic - oils
Candle correspondences

Nature correspondences FAQ

Use the existing sites to check what kind of colors, oils, stones and other corresponding things there is, and what kind of spells they can be used - and then go on experimenting. You really have to test if the correspondences work FOR YOU.

For example:
Green has nothing to do with money in my mind. Our money is not green. I think of gold, when I think of money. I think of plants when I think of green. So it might not work for me to use green in money spell.
Naturally you can try the correspondences given on these sites and books, and if it works, keep it. But it might be "wrong" correspondences if your spell doesn't work.

So - have your list and go through just a couple of things every day.

Smell the oil and listen to your associations. Write down what you think. Then look at what you have written down, with the scent still in your nose, and try to crystallize the idea on just one or two key-words. Then, for a week, smell the oil and concentrate on the keywords. And so you have started your own list of correspondences.

The same way with colors, stones, flowers - have it on you, in your hand and listen to your thoughts, memories, associations, feelings...