Tag Archives: magic

The Magic Fest (1st annual: Northglenn, Colorado)

The Tree Leaves Oracle Booth – The Genii “Oisin Leaf” performing at the Magic Festival.

The Magic Fest
Friday August 18th – Saturday August 19, 2017
1st Annual, EB Rains Jr Memorial Park / DL Parsons Theater, 11800 Community Center Drive, Northglenn, Colorado

The premiere consortium of magicians, illusionists, and entertainers with a galleria of magical goods, tricks, entertainers, and services. Hosted in the heart of Northglenn, this year’s fest was its first over Friday August 18th and Saturday the 19th. It all began with Intrigue (http://themagicfest.com/intrigue/) friday night in the 1920’s / 1930’s era theme for adults with an evening of speakeasy and partying accompanied by magic, drinks, jazz, and vendors. Our booth the Tree Leaves’ Oracle featured the 1920’s wizard Leaf doing sleight of hand, close-up and stage tricks within the booth. The costumes were fantastic around the party and event. Hosting in the green glory of the EB Rains Junior Memorial Park with outdoor entertainment and bars hosted for free. Within the theater were special paid performances of magical delight. The main stage hosted the Jazz Spiders with a mentalism twist of Anthem & Aria, followed by the Bringers of Swing. On the Sleight of Hand stage Shawn Preston and Joe Given performed, and in the bar were Don Zellner, Brandon Parker, Joe Givan, and Shawn Preston doing card tricks. Magicians walked around the festival doing tricks everywhere with Salida Circum, the travelling escape room, and much more. David and Leeman performed in the theater for shows at 7 and the Sideshows, Oddities, and Spirits performance by the Theater of Dreams Carol Massie and Joe Givan.

Saturday was a full day of fun for the family with lots of kid activities, shows, performances, and fun. Vendors, food trucks, bouncy castles, wand making, and fun in the park. Over 25 magicians performed during the event over 5 stages and roaming performers. The entertainment all free to anyone wanting to attend and be amazed. Cliff Davidson and Mark Strivings bedazzled children in the Kid’s tent. Steve and Carissa Walters did kid magic in the activity area sending home the young ones with tricks to start their own performances. Bryan Parker and Cosmo Solano performed closeup magic on stage 2. Professor Phelyx and Anthem / Aria performed mentalism on stage 3. Richard Kewsell and the Sleightly Impossible (Gene Gordon and Matt Brandt) performed parlor and cabaret magic on stage 4. Alec Mueller and Trevor Vernor, teen magicians, walked around the fest performing all around. The Genii Leaf performed at the Tree Leaves Oracle booth out front. Lots of gifts, tricks, books, face painting, food, and services were offered by vendors local and far.

Once again the City of Northglenn provided an amazing free festival for everyone to enjoy with thousands in attendance. It was a grand event indeed. Can’t wait til the next one! And gearing up to their spectacular Pirate festival as well in a few weeks. Rated 5 stars out of 5

Tree Leaves’ Oracle booth at Intrigue, The Magic Fest (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=32373), Northglenn, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 18, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Continue reading The Magic Fest (1st annual: Northglenn, Colorado)


Warehouse 13: Season 1 (2009: NR)

Warehouse 13
* (NR: 2009) * Creators: Jane Espenson, D. Brent Mote. Starring: Eddie McClintock … Pete Lattimer; Joanne Kelly … Myka Bering; Saul Rubinek … Artie Nielsen; Genelle Williams … Leena; Allison Scagliotti … Claudia Donovan; and many others. *

It’s X-files Mulder and Scully meets a spin-off of where the Lost Ark of the Covenant disappeared off to at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. This popular Syfy network television series is a fantasy created by Jack Kenny and David Simkins as a dramatic comedy that reminds one of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the X-files, Moonlighting, and Friday the 13th: The Series. So far the series is up to 3 seasons with popularity that might keep it going. Its about two U.S. Secret Service agents, Myka Bering and Peter Lattimer who become re-assigned to the government’s secret “Warehouse 13” where un-natural artifacts with dangerous properties are locked up where they cannot do damage, in a barren warehosue in the middle of South Dakota. Initially they feel they are being punished for some assignments that involved foul-ups, but rather being “rewarded” for their great skills. The Warehouse is under the premise that is was established in 1914 by Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and M.C. Escher that is a continuation of various Warehouses throughout the world that houses artifacts of this kind – the first being Warehouse One operated by Alexander the Great, Warehouse 2 as the Library at Alexandria, Warehouse 12 in Great Britain – always being moved into the possession of whichever country was the super power during that age. All of the artifacts housed in the warehouses possess magical, supernatural, or scientific powers that are dangerous, and are connected to some historical or mythological figure, each imbued with something of their former owner. Most excellent series. Rated: 5 stars out of 5.

Season 1:

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Three Main Types of Magic


Three basic types of magic anthropologically defined:

  1. Homeopathic Magic
    (The law that like produces like) – if some form of action is being performed on something, it will have the same impact on the intended real thing.
  2. Sympathetic or Imitative Magic
    The believe that Performing an action on some object, the same will happen to the person or object in which it represents. This is based on the belief that a relationship is made between the objects based on the presumption that one can influence something based on the attachment. An example of this is such acts as rock art with hunting magick by drawing out a successful hunt, rain dances, etc.
  3. Contagious Magic
    The law of contagion basically states that if a person has contact with certain things, they will influence the person who is under contact with such things. Examples of this are: Voodoo dolls which contain part of fingernails, hair, or teeth (DNA) of a targeted person – creates the person him/herself within the doll and anything happening to the doll happens to the attached person.

    Methods of Spellcraft:

    Herbs, incenses, oils, brews, candles, divination, oracles, sacrifices, offerings, sex magic, tantra, incantations, rhymes, dances, 8-Fold states, chemistry, alchemy, stones, elemental, worlds, fire, water, air, earth, trance, prayer, petition, manifestation, portals, visualization, invocation, evocation, poetry, words, names, symbols, talismans, charms, amulets, tools, events, prana, healing, cursing, attacking, defensive, curing, poppets, etc.

    Methods of Purification:

    Sweeping, censing, asperging, anointing, cleansing, bathing, showering, dusting, warming, implantation of symbols, dunking, baptizing, erasing, purifying.

    Continue reading Three Main Types of Magic


The Power of Numbers and the Elements

The Power of Numbers:

The Power of One

ONE: represents the power of the person, the Me/Myself/ and I. Power of the Individual. It is a number, a numeral, and a glyph. It is representative of a single entity. It represents the unit of counting or measurement. It demonstrates Unity. It is the first odd number.

The Power of Three

THREE: Represents the Power of the Trinity or The Threefold Path. Three is a Number, A Numeral, and a Glyph. It is the first odd prime number and the second smallest prime. It represents many important spiritual triads such as “The Three Realms: Ancestors, Spirits, and Deities” or “The Three Worlds: World of Land, World of the Sea, World of the Sky.” In time it represnets “The Past, the Present, and the Future”. It was also a very important number in the Indo-European Caste system: “Priests, Warriors, and Commoners”. Scientifically, three is very important as it represents that Genetic Information is encoded in DNA and RNA using a triplet codon system. Hemimetabolous insects undergo gradual metamorphosis through tree stages: The Egg, the Nymph, and the Imago. Atoms consist of three constituents: Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons. Everything comes in threes – primary colors, trilogies, strikes, basic rock formations, Freud’s division of the psyche, the wide men, the triple Goddess, the Trinity. The Triple Goddess and/or Triple Deities is very common throughout history and mythology – The Fates, the Moirae, the Norns. These fit in one of the following general categories: (1) Triadic (forming a group of three) – three entities inter-related in some way (life, death, and rebirth; or triplet children of a Deity) and always or usually associated with one another and appearing together in iconography or imagery; (2) Triune : (three in one, one In three) – a being with three aspects or manifestations. (3) Tripartite (of triple parts) – A being with three body parts where there would be normally one – three heads, three arms, etc. There are many others triads and trinities in spirituality, religion, and belief systems. For Pagan and indigenous faiths for Deity, the “Maiden, Mother, Crone” [ “Boy, Father, Wiseman”] – The Trinity of Life – The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit are very powerful triads. It is also a well known fact that The Third Time is a Charm.

The Power of Five
FIVE: Represents the Power of Existence and of the Elements. “Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit”. According to Aristotle the universe is made up of five classical elements : Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Ether. This is often represented in symbology with The Pentagram or Five Pointed Star. East Asia’s five elements: Water, Fire, Earth, Wood, and Metal. Five Cardinal Directions – North, South, East, West, and Center. The 5 Books of Moses. The Five Books of the Torah – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Muslims pray to Allah five times a day. The Five basic Pillars of Islam. Law of Fives – (Principia Discordia) “All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5”.

The Power of Seven

SEVEN: Is a lucky prime number, a factorial prime, a happy number, and a safe number. It represents the Seven Colors of the Rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. It is the Figurative Number of Seas. Seven is the number of Daughters of Atlas in the Pleiades (aka the Seven Sisters). It is the number of stellar objects in the solar system visible to the naked Eye – The Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. The number of main stars in the constellations of the Big Dipper and Orion is seven. The Seven Wise Masters, the Seven Sages of Gree, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Seven against Thebes, the Seven Emperors of Rome, the Seven Hills of Rome, the Seven Hills of Constantinople, the Seven Liberal Arts. The Seven Days of Creation in Genesis; Seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Pharoah’s Dream, Seven days of the week, Seven Spirits of God in the Book of Revelations; Seven Stars; Seven Seals; Seven Last plagues; Seven Vials or Bowls; Seven Thunders in Revelations. The Seven virtues: Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Kindness, Patience, and Humility. Seven deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride. The Seven Chakras. The Number of Heavens in Islam; The number of levels of Earth in Islam. The Number of Archangels. The Number of Ranks in Mithraism. The Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese Mythology. The Number of Gateways traversed by Inanna during her descent into the Underworld. Every Seven years the Queen of the Faeries pays a title to Hel in the tale of Tam Lin. Thomas the Rymer went to the Faerie Kingdom for 7 years. The 7th Glyph of the Mayan Calendar is the Blue Hand which represents the days in creation and associated with creative perfection – this is the glyph of the last day of their calendar that ends on Dec. 21, 2012. The Pleiades were the seven draughts of the Titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione born on Mount Cyllene: Maia, Electra, Taygete, Alcyone, Celaeno, Sterope, and Merope. The number of points and meditations associated with the Faerie Star / Elven Star / Pleiadian Star: (1) The Sun (prosperity, justice, the gate), (2) Tree Spirits (friendship and healing), (3) Water Spirits (creativity, sexuality, awakening), (4) magic (blessings of the Goddess, love), (5) the Gateway (balance, entering Elfland), (6) Wind Spirits (justice, healing), (7) Success (Gaia consciousness). Magic Number Seven.

The Power of Nine
NINE: Nine is the largest single digit in the base ten number system and thereby is the magic of the 9’s multiplication table. Every item in the nine multiplication table – the sum of the digits in which adds up to 9. 9 x 1 = 9; 9 x 2 = 18 [ 1 + 8 = 9]; 9 x 3 = 27 [ 2 + 7 = 9]; 9 x 4 = 36 [ 3 + 6 = 9 ]; and so forth for 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, and 90. If you took 673218 and added the digits up to = 27, add them together and you get 9. 9 is the logarithmic measure of probability of an event. 99% likely to occur. Nine is also the number of human creation (9 months in the womb). Power of creation is 3 x 3 = 9.


The Five Elementals are seen or described as five mythological beings found in the alchemical works of Paracelsus. These are – The Gnomes (earth), The Undines (Water), The Sylphs (Air Elementals), the Salamanders (Fire Elementals), and the Power or Spirit. The Five fundamental building blocks of nature are Earth, Air, Fire, Water, AEther (Spirit). These elemental building blocks are often associated with the Five Cardinal directions (North, East, South, West, and Center respectedly). The four physical elements of earth, air, fire, and water are earthly and corruptible but the heavenly regions seem unchangeable such as the stars – would be Aether (according to Aristotle).


The Eight Fold Path

© 1986-1990; 1990-2000; 2001-2010; 2011: Technogypsie.com/Treeleavesoracle.org/Leaf McGowan. Edited and adapted earlier versions for use in training a magical apprentice rite/workshop on Monday, 16 August 2010. No portion of this text may be copied or reproduced without permission from author: technogypsie@gmail.com.

The Eightfold Path to Altered States of Consciousness

In Ritual or spellcraft, the ritualist/magician/witch/Druid needs to incorporate the altered states of consciousness in order to tap into a higher consciousness and the field of energy from which to do magical workings. This is also the method utilized for connecting with otherworldly entities on their levels of existence – whether that be the otherworld, the faerie world, the spirit realm, ancestral realm, or Realm of Deities. The more elements that can be implemented for altered consciousness from the 8 fold path, the stronger your altered state of consciousness will become, and the stronger, more dramatic, and serious the working will be. Including all 8 forms of the Eight Fold Path will ensure complete success with your working – however, sometimes it is not logistically possible to include all 8.

By mastering your state of consciousness at will with intent helps focalize the energy and controls the magical current, opening communication with Deity and entities, and finding successful results. Altering one’s consciousness is not always safe, so one needs to be aware of what they are doing, the process by which they are operating within, and what methodology they utilize to achieve various results. It is the means to achieving Prana, Mana, or the Magical Life Force.


“Path of Breath” – The first of the Eightfold Path is accomplished by altering state of consciousness through specific forms of breathing. This is often achieved by emptying the mind, embracing a state of stillness, encompassing a state of serenity, and inducing a state of tranquility. Implementation of visualization, focused thought, projection, intention, concentration of intention, and trance work are all elements of this path. The highest point in the first path is projection of the astral body.


The second of the the Eightfold Path is the creation of sacred space and by doing deliberate intentional activities imbued with symbology, meaning, and projection. By creating a space in which to do the sacred, you achieve altering a point in time, space, and continuum. When you utilize symbols, spells, chants, tools, amulets, talismans, and mantras – it creates focus, rhythm, rhyme, replication, and circulates the energy achieved within and without.


The third of the Eightfold Path is by incorporating rhythmic repetitive motions, dancing, drumming, or music making. Dancing repetitively or wildly, ecstatically, or frantic rhythmic moving or motion of the body, spirit, and/or soul creates trance-like states, altered states of consciousness, and chemical/physical changes in the body, mind, and spirit. Circle dances, spiral dances, cone of power raising, drum circle dances, etc. will circulate, build up, and propel energy within and without.


The fourth of the Eightfold Path is accomplished by placing the physical body into an extreme state of deprivation, deprival, or change of environment from the usual comfort zone. This can include fasting, sensory deprivation, purification ordeals, etc. Some physical environments that can induce these atmospheres are sweat lodges, saunas, hot springs, isolation tanks, and/or pure darkness. By deprivation, the physical and mental body will react with its own energy fields creating visions, omens, oracles, prophecies, and hallucinations. The mind will generate images, ideas, thoughts, and processes that will assist the body to survive or transition.


The fifth of the Eightfold Path is communing with Spirits or entities that can include a “chemical” nature that poisons or possesses the physical body and mental state of the brain. Utilizing the “Spirits” or entities of plants and substances to chemically alter the mind/body into a state of consciousness. Drugs, alcohol, ethnobotanical plants with shamanic side effects are common instruments for this alteration. This path is onne of the most notorious instant methods for altering the state of consciousness, especially when one has difficultly doing it by means of their physical body without the introduction of a separate substance/spirit into the body. One needs to have a good relationship (or develop one) with the plant or spirit in question. Every plant, alcohol, or drug has a “spirit” – this is why alcohol is often referred to as “spirits”. It has a consciousness and by blending together that spirit with yours, will alter the state to the consciousness one seeks. This can include food and drink – as anything entering into the body alters its chemical and biological state. Cakes and Ale, Waters of Life, hosts, Body & Blood of Christ, sacrements, etc are common found types of this path in most religions. This can also include incense, oils, scents, and fragrances that can alter one’s being by the senses. Read my article on “Spirits” of Alcohol here: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1080.


The sixth path is the Path of the Flesh or Sexual Magic / Tantra / Love / Lust. The utilization of “sexual energy” as a means to open one’s self to the spirits. Sexual energy, generated alone or with a partner, raises the strongest forms of magical power, contact with prana, mana, the akh, the ba, the ka, and instantly alters the state of consciousness by a natural means of chemicals with reaction in the body that can even overpower the fifth path of the plant or altergen. This is accomplished with masturbation, Sexual thought, Sexual play or stimulation, Intercourse and/or interaction with others that can introduce this state instantly. This is often accomplished in ritual with Sex Magic, The Great Rite, Tantra, etc. The rituals of love and lust can also tap this energy and be embraced to alter the state of consciousness with which to connect to spirits, Deities, the Otherworld, and prana.


The seventh path is by going through an ordeal, a tragedy, embracing or experiencing pain or physical/emotional trauma. This, like chemicals or spirits, sex or deprivation, chemically and physically alters the mind, body, and spirit and launches a state of altered consciousness. By embracing this altered state – it becomes easier to focus that manifestation of power into projected will to focus on what is willed to be achieved. The intentional or careful use of pain to place the body into an altered state of consciousness is the most common ordeal one can manifest. Pain and endurance, trials, or challenges will effect change in state sometimes as powerfully equal as the path of the flesh or sex. This is often done in ritual or ceremony by means of flagellation, BDSM, tattooing, blood-runes carved into the flesh, the Sundance, cutting, wounding, or self infliction.


The final path of the Eight is Possession, Evocation, or allowing oneself to be ridden like a horse. This is the intentional act of permitting direct spirit-possession to bring Deities or spirts into the body for a short period of time. This can also be the most dangerous form of altering one’s consciousness. Some individuals are wired to do this, others are not. Much study and focus must be achieved before embracing this method.


Prana, Mana, The Life Force

Spirit Force, Life Force, The Force, Mana, Prana, Spiritual Energy

Many see this as the all creating and destroying eternal force in the universe from which all life – whether biological or spirit comes from or departs to. Some call it the Creator, some see it as above any Creator or God/desses. Some call it a Supreme Being, others call it the Universe. Some call it “Energy” while others call it “Magic”. Some give it a consciousness while others see it as a energy field. Every religion, cult, belief system, form of spirituality and even alternative medicinal practices embrace and address it. It is seen as a variety of phenomena that is observed or experienced by some observers in a particular faith, spirituality, or religion. It is seen as the “energy” that is the life force that flows within and between all things. It is Life. It is the “breath of life”. It is seen as the continuum that unites body with the mind and spirit. It is what makes a animal be “alive”, or a plant “grow”, or a lightning bolt scream across the sky. It is the force behind gravity, science, and magic. Some see it as “vitality” or “vitalism”, “subtle bodies”, “qi”, “prana”, “mana”, or “kundalini”. Some say you can see this energy force as “vibrations”, “rays of light”, “fields”, or “auras”. It is the web of life that connects all life together. PRANA is the Sanskrit term for “vital life”. It comes from the roots “pra” meaning “to fill” and Latin “plenus” meaning “full”. It is seen as one of the five organs of vitality or sensation, as “breath”, “speech”, “sight”, “hearing”, and “thought”. It is the notion of the vital life sustaining force of all life and vital energy. Mana as a Oceanic term for the impersonal force or quality that lives within animals and inanimate objects. It is seen as the “stuff of which magic is formed” as well as the substance from which souls are made.


The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (PG: 2010)

Sorcerer’s Apprentice (PG: 2010)

Directed by: Director: Jon Turteltaub. Starring: Nicolas Cage … Balthazar Blake; Jay Baruchel … Dave; Alfred Molina … Maxim Horvath; Teresa Palmer … Becky Barnes; Toby Kebbell … Drake Stone; and many more.

Great classic tale of a coming-to-age young sorcerer learning his abilities and having to save the world from the forces of darkness. Nicolas Cage plays Balthazar Blake who is released from a magical canister with his arch-nemesis Maxim Horvath. He winds up finding the young sorcerer to pass on his skills to and make a protege. As the young Dave stutler played by Jay Baruchel begins his magical apprenticeship, and begins to fight off evil, he falls for a girl who gets in the way. Pretty action packed and great special effects. Rated: 4.5 stars out of 5.


Brigid’s Sacred Wells in Kildare, Ireland

Brigid’s Well #1, the “Wayward Well”, Kildare, Ireland

Brighid’s Holy Wells in Kildare
Kildare, Ireland

The Goddess or St. Brigid has two holy wells in Kildare? She certainly does. Some say that one of the wells belongs to the Ancient Goddess Brigid while the other well belongs to St. Brigid. Both are sacred, both are holy, and both hold Brigid’s magical healing waters. Well #1 is the ancient “original” sacred well of Brigid. Well #2 is the dressed up sacred shrine and park of Brigid with her well. They were two distinctly different entities … an Ancient Goddess who’s ethereal Godly presence can manifest as a human female and the actual magical human nun turned Saint who was the personification of the Deitie. One in the same? could be. Two differently distinct entities who share the common thread? very possibly. Two wells … that seems to be the case. One for the Goddess and One for the Saint? I would say “both” wells contain “both” the Saint and the Goddess in them. I’ve come to notice a pattern with this, that the “ancient” Pagan “original” well is often offset from the “Christian” one. This seemed to be the case when I went to see the Madron well in Cornwall, England (though technically that one had “three” – the original one buried in the marsh, the Pagan “original” one offset from the one underwater, and the Christian well house.). There are many Brigid wells in Ireland as well as Britain. As wells were the sacred sites of veneration in the Druidic faith, many also have an associated sacred tree with them that are covered with votive offerings. These are often called “Wishing Trees”. Trees covered with “clotties” or ribbons of cloth done as a prayer for healing or a spell to obtain something. Pilgrims come here to get in touch with the well inside themselves. Wells are sacred places where people for thousands of years have come to pray, worship, and reflect. Pagan and Holy wells are often seen as the entrance to the womb of Mother Earth, the source of life. Each holy well usually is always related to healing, and each well usually has a specialty that it performs. Brigid’s wells are pretty powerful for healing sore eyes. Brigid is associated with all healing. Her girdle is capable of curing all disease and illness and this well is rumored to make “the blind man seeing, the dumb girl speaking, etc.”

Brighid’s Holy Well #1 a.k.a. “The Wayside Well”

The first well is the ancient Pagan sacred well of the Goddess Brigid. It is located just next to the car park of the Japanese Gardens. This well / spring itself feeds and nourishes the Gardens themselves. This is the spring source whose waters run off and feeds the newer well. It’s not really decorated and is simple, rustic, ancient, and silent. Seemingly forgotten. I has only an inscription sign in Irish that translates “St. Brigid, Mary of the Gael, pray for us.” However it is still a major focal point for pilgrimmages and ceremonies. The Brigid Eve ceremonies (January 31st) start at a small fire set up just outside the Japanese Gardens car park with a chanting to the Goddess Brigid which is followed by a candlelit journey of contemplation about the Goddess and the Saint and the spirit that weaves them together. The candle lit journey goes to this well and ends at the second well. It is customary to gather this well water in a bottle because of its strong healing properties and in exchange to leave an offering for the spirits and faeries who dwell there.

“Tobair Bride” / St. Brigid’s Well, Kildare, Ireland

Brighid’s Holy Well #2 a.k.a. “Tobair Bride” (St. Brigid’s Well)

The second well is the “supposed” Christian well of St. Brigid. It’s the tourist one. It’s the “Official” one. This is the one in the tourist guides, sign posts, and advertisements. It is located in a landscaped grotto at the end of a short lane close to Well #1. The local Catholic clergy moved Christian devotion and practices to this site in the 1950’s supposedly out of concern for people’s safety in accessing the original well which was at the bend in a narrow busy road. It is here that the Roman Catholic healing well is located. While pilgrims often visit both wells, this is the well where an involved ceremony, similar to the “stations of the cross” is conducted. Pilgrims reflect on the Goddess and/or Saint Brigid and how they weave together.

Continue reading Brigid’s Sacred Wells in Kildare, Ireland


Birthwort: Aristolochia clematitis

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The Poison Garden, Blarney Castle, Ireland

Aristolochia clematitis [ Plantae: Aristolochiaceae: Aristolochia clematitis ]

Common Names:
Birthwort, Virginia Snakeroot, Snakeroot, Dutchman’s Pipe, Pipevine, etc.

Found throughout the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and the Caucasus, it is found in many other regions.

A perennial flowering plant that grows upwards of three feet, possesses an unpleasant smell, and blossoms dirty yellow flowers. Its flowers resemble a birth canal or a pipe, hence lending to the name. The root is spindle-shaped, ranging from 5 cm to 3 dm in length, about 2 cm thick, fleshy, brittle, greyish on the outside, brownish-yellow inside, bitter tasting, and hosting a strong disagreeable odor.


There are over 350 species, including but not limited to: Aristolochia clematitis (Birthwort); Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia Snakeroot, Virginia Snakeroot, Snakeweed); Aristolochia reticulata (Snakeroot) ; Aristolochia klugii (Amazonian Snakeroot/Birthwort) ; Aristolochia bracteata (Sudanese Snakeroot/Birthwort) ; Aristolochia rotunda (European Snakeroot/Birthwort); Aristolochia kaempferi and A. fangchi (Chinese Snakeroot/Birthwort) ; Aristolochia indica (Indian Birthwort); Aristolochia mexicana, A. watsonii, A. wrightii (Indian Root, Birthroot, Snakeroot, Dutchman’s Pipe, Spanish: Yerba del Indio, Raiz del India, Inmortal, Comino, Guaco, Yerba del Pasmo, Tlacopatli (Nahuatl) ; Aristolochia grandiflora (Duck Flower, Alcatraz, Spanish: Hierba del Indio, Contribo).


Common Uses:

Culinary Uses:

Medicinal Uses:
Due to the “Doctrine of signatures” this plant was used a lot in childbirth – a preparation was prepared for women in labor to expel the placenta. However, the aristolochic acid often killed the patient. This plant is so dangerous that not many parts of the plant are ever used anymore. It is highly toxic and lead to the development of tumors if low doses are taken over an extended period of time. Traditionally its fresh juice was used to induce labor. Theophrastus (372-286 BCE) claimed its success with treating disorders of the uterus, reptile bites, and sores to the head. Native Americans used it to treat snake bites, treat stomach aches, toothaches, and fevers. The Aztec used it to treat abscesses, dysentery, and deafness. It is a anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, analgesic, abortifacient, diaphoretic, nervine, tonic, wound healer, and is known to induce menstruation. It stimulates white blood cell activity and is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Decoctions were used to heal ulcers as well as asthma and bronchitis. In Sudan was used for scorpion stings. In India it is used as a contraceptive. Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia Snakeroot) (as well as A. pfeiferi, A. rugosa and A. trilobata) were used alot for treating snakebites, hence the folk name “Snakeroot” even though the Aristolochic acid doesn’t appear to bind and deactivate the Phospholipase A2 of most snake venom. This species though is said to be instrumental in helping bilious, typhoid, typhus fever, small pox, pneumonia, amenorrhoea, and fevers as well as for the bites of mad dogs. The powdered root (1/2 to 1 drachm) has been said to be an aromatic stimulant in rheumatism and gout after childbirth.

Magical Uses:

Folklore and History:
Birthwort came from the term “Aristolochia” which means “excellent birth” as its fresh juice once was used to induce labor.


Cornish Witchcraft

Cornish Witches
Cornwall is notorious for its fabled land of pixies, elves, faeries, witches, and magical folk. The entire area of England is just absorbed in magic and folklore … and most people … even if not magically connected will state that very fact … especially with Cornwall being the tromping grounds of King Arthur, Excalibur, and Merlin. My first visit to Cornwall I experienced none-other than sheer enchantment. From magical megalithic sites, mesmerizing coastlines, enchanted wells, to frolicking with Faeries on Lake Colliford my adventure was beyond magical. Cornwall also hosts a plethera of brightness and darkness … as it is entwined by leylines and magical practitioners such as Shamans, Witches, and Druids. Lore about mischievious faeries wreaking havoc on those who have crossed faerie paths or disturbed faerie mounds. The entire landscape is littered with evidence of Pagan beliefs, Paganism, Ritual, and Religion. No other place however has provided as much archaeological evidence of some of the macabre practices as was found in recent years at Saveok Mill in Greenbottom. This site involves purification pools, a possible sacred well or spring, and macabre rituals involving swans, magpies, and other birds in what could only be described as ‘offering pits’. Some of these ‘offering pits’ were still in practice even during the 17th century when the law of the Bible dictated that one should not suffer a witch to live and during a time when Cromwell’s army would surely have condemned anyone practicing such rites. Cornwall has appeared to have escaped the Roman vanquishing of Celtic Paganism as ‘Magic’ stayed alive and well there. However, throughout England it became illegal to practice magic and witchcraft. Even with the official bans, there is evidence of practice throughout the land. The first Witchcraft Act was passed in 1541 which propelled the Witch hunts, the Inquisition, the Witches’ hammer, and suffering for those accused of witchcraft which ended in 1735. Witches however, especially in Cornwall, and throughout the British Isles, have taken care of their neighbours by curing toothaches and aches, weaving love spells, telling fortunes, and blighting crops. This wasn’t exclusive to Cornwall nor England – it was pretty common throughout the world. Whether by the art of magic or through the course of an actual religion, Witchcraft was alive and well throughout the ages even to this very day back in an age where it can be practiced openly in broad daylight with minimal reaction from the mainstream bystanders. Witchcraft offered its participants the ability to bend, twist, and shape reality – to create change; to control the world by means of magic, ritual, and spellcraft. It all began quite secretive as an oral tradition – often passed on through family lines – changing through time – and varying today in the modern age where it is now written about, practiced throughout the world heavily, and embranced through an assortment of religions, traditions, and sects. Oddly enough, you can even get a “Witchcraft for Dummies” book from Barnes and Nobles. Depending on the scholar you talk to, there are roughly 9-13 different “types” of Witchcraft each with potentially hundreds of different traditions encompassed within those ‘types’.

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Hellzapoppin Sideshow @ the Rocket Room (Colorado Springs)

Juggling, Hellzapoppin Sideshow

The Hellzapoppin Sideshow
* Thursday, 8 pm – 1 am, 25 March 2010 * The Rocket Room * 230 Pueblo Ave * (the corner of Wahsatch & Cimarron) * Colorado Springs, Colorado * 719-447-4990 * http://www.myspace.com/therocketroom * $10 cover *

On a dark chilly evening in a corner bar where Rock-a-billy lives in Colorado Springs, sprung to live one of the modern versions of a classic era circus sideshow … known to its fans as the “Hellzapoppin Sideshow”. This sideshow is proud to have differing feature performers, most notably “The Torture King” from the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and “Slymenstra Hymen” from GWAR. Many of their performers have travelled with many sideshows and circuses, as well as appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Discovery Channel, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, The Learning Channel, Guinness Book of World Records, HDNet, and the National Geographic Channel. The show boasts a staff of true vagabond artists – artisans with hearts full of wanderlust on a modern day pirate ship. They are notoriously a circus for adults! For a mere $10 one could enter this fantasy world with juggling, fire spinning, ball play, sword swallowing, glass walking, body piercing, contortion, accordians, humor, and music … not to mention potent affordable drinks. The show was phenomenal for the small bar scene and the performers were amazing. It was a refreshing treat to a stressful week. We were first entertained by a pinhead accordian singer followed by some sensational burlesque. Juggling, comedy, firespinning, and Laura as a hot girl in a bubble which is a full size hamster ball that she does acrobatics and juggles inside. The Torture King amazed us with glass eating, glass walking, sword laying, and body piercing. More burlesque, juggling, and fire play. Lady Diabla swallowed swords, had darts stuck into her back, and amazed us with her shoulder shrugs to pain. A girl placed into a box that was sliced and diced with swords. Very entertaining indeed! A must see side show! At this particular show we were blessed with the presence of Zamora The Torture King, Lady Diabla, Bryce “The Govna” Graves, Laura, John Shaw, and some others I heard a rumor were local talent. Rating 4.3 stars out of 5.

Juggling, Hellzapoppin Sideshow

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