Discover the Alchemy of Incense

Discover the Alchemy of Incense

Eye of Horus Ritual Incense Blend by Catamara Rosarium

Eye of Horus Incense and Oil

Rosarium Blends makes their own ritual incense blends, essential oil blends, and natural perfumes using the finest herbs, woods, resins and essential oils. All formulations are original recipes and the result of extensive historical research, practical experimentation and magical studies. Each incense is blended and charged during specific lunar phases, astrological transits, and correspondences. Thus formulated with intention to enhance the charm’s potency, enliven the senses, and increase the heightened awareness they are designed to awaken. This is traditional incense, which is burned on a charcoal tablet in a censer for group ritual or individual devotionals or meditation.

We were so impressed with some samples we received a couple of years ago, that we had Catamara create our signature incense blend for Eye of Horus, based on the mythic parts of our symbol, the Eye of Horus, the “moon” Eye.

Catamara Rosarium is the sole proprietor of Rosarium Blends. She is a Master Herbalist, Alchemist and Ritual Artist. But that’s just the short version.

Rosarium Blends founder, Catamara Rosarium

A student and practitioner of various [Read more…]

Witches Tarot Deck by Ellen Dugan – Inside the Box

Witches Tarot Deck by Ellen Dugan – Inside the Box

Back of the Witches Tarot Cards - Triple moon in stars

Witches Tarot Back

Review by Jane R Hansen

How do you make a Tarot Deck for Witches: No, not the pointy-hat halloween kind of witches, but Wiccans and others who practice the Craft of the Wise?  Well, I suppose it’s like stirring a good spell. You bring everything you know to the table and select just the right ingredients to get the job done, and you work with nature, make room for the magick, and create a clear image to manifest. This seems to be what Ellen Dugan has done in her Witches Tarot, as she worked with award-winning illustrator Mark Evans to take the traditional symbols of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and brought in a supporting cast of plant, animal and otherworld folk. She also renamed four of the major arcana cards with slightly different names. But more on that later in this review.

Her companion guide spells it all out in detail. You can definitely read with the deck right out of the box, if you are adept with the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) type deck. The renamed Major Arcana make sense, and the rest of the art is mostly a variation on the “standard” art of the RWS deck.

Queen of Wands with cat on lap from Witches Tarot Deck

Queen of Wands

Flora and Fauna

For you herbalists and gardeners out there, pay attention to the plants in the cards. Ellen put some serious thought into the meanings… she isn’t known as “The Garden Witch” for nothing, you know. The Monkshood in the Ten of Swords. Not only is the plant poisonous, but in the language of flowers, monkshood says a foe is near.  This gives double weight to heed the warning of the card to pay attention to your instincts and keep your back to the wall! Throughout Witches Tarot, the flowers and plants have meaning and they are explained in the companion book.

Seven of Cups Witches Tarot Deck

Seven of Cups

What is a witch without her familiar? For you cat-lovers, our favorite familiars do show up in expected and unexpected places.  The Queen of wands has a friend on her lap, but the seven of cups also has a the kitty in a cup. Awe, isn’t that cute! But you’ll also find our feline friends on the High Priestess, Page of Wands, Two of Wands and the Three of pentacles. That’s not even counting the Lion in strength or on the World Card.

But wait, there’s more! Yes, as you wander through the world of Witches Tarot you’ll see a rabbit, stags, ravens, an eagle, hawks, lions, horses, an ibis, wolves, a dolphin, butterflies, dragonflies, a white hind and I’m sure there’s more I didn’t spot when compiling this listing. Best of all, with everything that’s in there, it never seems out of place. [Read more…]

Thoughts on Initiation

What is an initiation?  We use that word commonly in the Wiccan and Witchcraft community and it can mean anything from joining a particular group or becoming part of an oath-bound tradition where, if you don’t have the right one, you aren’t always accepted.  Initiations can be written exclusively for the person being initiated or they are ceremonies passed down over the years and that everyone partakes of through the generations.  Some see initiation as a sort of graduation ceremony—congrats, you’ve done the work and now are officially full-fledged members of the group—and others as an indication and pledge that this is but the beginning of your training.

In some indigenous cultures, an initiation ceremony is used as the transition point between childhood and adulthood, making you a responsible member of the tribe.  Some initiations are for boys to become part of the men’s mysteries and others are for girls to join the women’s groups.  Either way, they involve ceremonies and occasionally actual physical changes such as circumcision or ritual scarification to delineate the difference between the two.  Often, they are viewed as dying to your old life and being born to your new life, where there might be different ways of dressing or interacting with others, new rituals to observe.

Certainly, we can see aspects the tribal initiation ceremonies in the Craft ones.  We don’t tend to go in for physical transformation as a part of it, but still expect there to be mental and spiritual changes.  Most would agree that it’s a metaphor for death and rebirth, dying to the old and being born to the new.  However, as the majority of us come to the Craft as adults, it’s not necessarily a good thing sometimes to equate a Craft initiation to that of going from childhood to adulthood.  We should be grown-up men and women already, and so the transition must be something more of an adoption into the mysteries of the community/coven/group rather than a sign that we need to start being responsible now.

Still, once you’ve dedicated yourself to the calling and have taking the plunge of initiation, there’s no real going back.  The Craft has that in common with the rites that transform one from a child to an adult.  The work doesn’t end there, either.  Even in those groups who see initiation as a graduation, there’s always more to discover and learn and more growing to do.  Perhaps, a Craft initiation stands out as a cross between an adoption ceremony and a personal dedication.  We are adopted by our new “clan” or “tribe,” no matter how large or small, and we dedicate ourselves to exploration of the mysteries of our new life, knowing there will be other markers to herald our progress along that path.


Copyright © 2009, Veronica Cummer, All Rights Reserved.

Veronica Cummer is the Author of Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft and Masks of the Muse