Candles have a long and interesting history in religious worship, magic, and folklore. They light the way to the sacred, they dispel the forces of darkness, they are associated with ghosts and the dead, they can find buried treasure, and they play a role in incubated dreaming.
The origin of candles is not known, but there is evidence that beeswax candles were used in Egypt and Crete as early as 3000 B.C.E. Other early candles consisted of tapers made of a fibrous material, such as rushes, saturated with tallow.
Ancient peoples observed that candle flames revealed mysterious things. By staring into a flame, one could enter an altered state of consciousness and see gods and spirits, or see the future. The late Egyptians of about the third century used lamps, and possibly candles, in a magic ritual for "dreaming true," or obtaining answers from dreams. The individual retired to a dark cave facing south and sat and stared into a flame until he saw a god. He then lay down and went to sleep, anticipating that the god would appear in his dreams with the answers he sought.
The following are some of the energy vibrations and influences evoked by colors. Burning colored candles in magical work enhances the vibration of the colors.
In angel magic, use colored candles in work with these principal angels:
It starts in the womb. By 24 weeks, babies hear noises a mother may not even notice: beating heart, air moving in and out of lungs, growling stomach, and blood moving through the umbilical cord. You could say it is in the womb we listen to our first drum solo: that steady repetitive drumbeat of our mother’s heart. Some say a drum is also symbolic of the heart of Mother Earth. So is it any wonder that this sound has been proven to have healing benefits?
Michael Drake, a nationally recognized author, rhythmist, and shamanist, in his June 12, 2017 article “Ancient Healing Approach: Drum Therapy Therapeutic Effects of Drumming” cites eleven benefits attributed to drumming. The following is an excerpt from his article:
Drumming Reduces Tension, Anxiety, and Stress
Drumming induces deep relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress.…A recent study found that a program of group drumming helped reduce stress and employee turnover in the long-term care industry and might help other high-stress occupations as well.
Drumming Helps Control Chronic Pain
Researchers suggest that drumming serves as a distraction from pain and grief…promoting the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the body’s own morphine-like painkillers, and can thereby help in the control of pain.
Drumming Boosts the Immune System
Led by renowned cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, [a] study demonstrates that group drumming actually increases cancer-killing cells, which help the body combat cancer as well as other viruses, including AIDS. According to Dr. Bittman, “Group drumming tunes our biology, orchestrates our immunity, and enables healing to begin.”
Drumming Produces Deeper Self-Awareness by Inducing Synchronous Brain Activity
Research has demonstrated that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain synchronizes the two cerebral hemispheres. When the logical left hemisphere and the intuitive right hemisphere begin to pulsate in harmony, the inner guidance of intuitive knowing can then flow unimpeded into conscious awareness. The ability to access unconscious information through symbols and imagery facilitates psychological integration and a reintegration of self.
Drumming also synchronizes the frontal and lower areas of the brain, integrating nonverbal information from lower brain structures into the frontal cortex, producing “feelings of insight, understanding, integration, certainty, conviction, and truth, which surpass ordinary understandings and tend to persist long after the experience, often providing foundational insights for religious and cultural traditions.”
Drumming Accesses the Entire Brain
The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. Vision, for example, is in one part of the brain, speech another, but drumming accesses the whole brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in attention deficit disorder (ADD). …
Drumming Induces Natural Altered States of Consciousness
Rhythmic drumming induces altered states, which have a wide range of therapeutic applications.
A recent study by Barry Quinn, Ph.D. demonstrates that even a brief drumming session can double alpha brain wave activity, dramatically reducing stress. The brain changes from beta waves (focused concentration and activity) to Alpha waves (calm and relaxed), producing feelings of euphoria and well-being. Alpha activity is associated with meditation, shamanic trance, and integrative modes of consciousness…
Drumming Creates a Sense of Connectedness with Self and Others…
drumming circles provide a sense of connectedness with others and interpersonal support. A drum circle provides an opportunity to connect with your own spirit at a deeper level, and also to connect with a group of other like-minded people….
Drumming Provides a Secular Approach to Accessing a Higher Power
Shamanic drumming directly supports the introduction of spiritual factors found significant in the healing process. Drumming and Shamanic activities produce a sense of connectedness and community, integrating body, mind, and spirit. According to a recent study, “Shamanic activities bring people efficiently and directly into immediate encounters with spiritual forces, focusing the client on the whole body and integrating healing at physical and spiritual levels…
Drumming Releases Negative Feelings, Blockages, and Emotional Trauma
Drumming can help people express and address emotional issues. Unexpressed feelings and emotions can form energy blockages. The physical stimulation of drumming removes blockages and produces emotional release. Sound vibrations resonate through every cell in the body, stimulating the release of negative cellular memories. “Drumming emphasizes self-expression, teaches how to rebuild emotional health, and addresses issues of violence and conflict through expression and integration of emotions,” says Music educator Ed Mikenas. Drumming can also address the needs of addicted populations by helping them learn to deal with their emotions in a therapeutic way without the use of drugs.
Drumming Places One in the Present Moment
Drumming helps alleviate stress that is created from hanging on to the past or worrying about the future. When one plays a drum, one is placed squarely in the here and now. One of the paradoxes of rhythm is that it has both the capacity to move your awareness out of your body into realms beyond time and space and to ground you firmly in the present moment.
Drumming Provides a Medium for Individual Self-Realization…
Group drumming complements traditional talk therapy methods. It provides a means of exploring and developing the inner self. It serves as a vehicle for personal transformation, consciousness expansion, and community building. The primitive drumming circle is emerging as a significant therapeutic tool in the modern technological age.
I wanted to explore the concept of cords. No, I'm not talking about electrical wires you use to plug in your favorite electronic devices, although those are cool too. I'm talking about energetic cords.
Understanding cords is important to understanding our relationship to others and the world at large. On a basic level a cord is a mental and or emotional connection to someone or something other than ourselves that both gives and receives energy (very similar to an electric cord). We consciously and unconsciously create cords with numerous things and people in our lives whether we like it or not. If you think about it we're all like energetic versions of spiders.
Cords are emotional strands of energy that form regardless of time or space (yes you can have a cord to your dead aunt Ruth if you really loved her, or despised her). The first cord we create is to our mothers when we are conceived. The emotional energy the mother sends out to the unborn child (positive or negative) is energetically connected to the child and helps to set the tone for bonding throughout the lifespan. The strongest cords are to those whom we have frequent contact with, and as such are often our close friends and family members.
In fact, as you're reading this you are cording into me and the ideas on this page...weird huh?
The stronger the emotional connection the stronger the cording. People who are intuitively gifted can sometimes see these strands of energy as sticky ropes or wiry lines of various colors that connected from one person to another person or thing. The cords are usually connected through our chakra centers and correspond to the predominant chakra center we are plugged into with the other person.
For example, a very strong intellectual relationship with someone may be seen as a cord connected between yours and the other person's 5th (throat chakra) which represents the exchange of ideas and mental energy (this is typical with teachers or educators to their students). Conversely a strong sexual relationship (or desire for a sexual relationship) to someone may be seen as a cording from the base chakra or the 2nd chakra which represent sexuality and desire.
Cordings are like sticky ropes of mental/emotional energy that keep you "tied into" someone else. Cords are the reason why when we begin to fall in love with someone we can't seem to tear ourselves away. Of course on a physical level you have the release of various hormones and endorphins but on an energetic level, if we could all put on our energy glasses, we would see these energetic ropes binding us.
Cords can form without a physical relationship. Because energy follows thought simply thinking about someone can cord you into their energetic space. This is how psychics and clairvoyants can gather information about others without consciously knowing anything about them. The thought intent is sent out when they hear the person's name and then connects into the other person's aura and chakra centers, and the intuitive information comes in.
We all do this, you don't have to be a spiritual medium to gather information via cording. Have you ever thought about someone and then a few seconds later they call? This is because you either sent out a cording signal or they picked up on yours. Either way you received the intuitive information before the physical confirmation via your cording.
We can cord into anyone and anything, but the strength of the cord depends on the amount of time/energy/emotion we put into thinking about that thing. If you are crushing on someone super hard then you are creating a thick cord of emotional energy that could either bring them closer or, if they don't like the energetic pulse you're sending out, could repulse them (the lesson here: don't be a creeper). Whatever the case, the stronger the thought and emotional output the stronger the cording.
Additionally temporary cords form anytime we talk to a stranger, but they dissipate quickly once the interaction is over, particularly if there is no extended karma that needs to be worked out. If you meet someone with whom you do have karma the cord may strengthen for a time and once the energetic exchange is completed it will be severed and suddenly the relationship may be over.
So what do you do if you have cords you don't want. ?
Don't panic, they can be eliminated...sometimes. Cords can be severed by imagining a sword or knife cutting through the cord. Since the cord is nothing more than mental/emotional energy, and energy follows thought this can sometimes be enough to sever the cord. However, some cords are notoriously tacky and may take repetition to sever. Some cords are not severable due to the karmic contract you have with the person/place/thing that needs to be played out. Additionally you could decide to cut a cord but if the other person doesn't energetically want to sever the cord it may return repeatedly.
When we drop our physical bodies at death most of our cordings to those on Earth drop away, those that maintain strong cordings to places or people are typically the one's that "hang around" the living (haunting anyone). This is why the practice of non-attachment can be so integral to attaining personal freedom.
Understanding the role of energetic cords in our relationships and practicing "seeing" these cords through visualization or meditation can be useful. There may be all kinds of cordings coming in or going out that you weren't even aware of.
People in the public eye have thousands (or millions) of cordings coming into them all the time that provide them with both positive and negative energy. This is in fact what keeps famous people famous on an energetic level. Once people cut their cordings to the celebrity (on the physical plane we see this as "moving on") the person may fall out of public favor. This can be an immense relief, particularly if there was a lot of negative energy flowing into the person or disappointing if the influx of energy from the cordings was energizing.
So who or what are you cording in to? Are their cords you want to cut? What ways can you cut some cords that are no longer serving you? Many times performing some sort of personally satisfying ritual can help to sever a cord (anyone familiar with the popular burn the pictures of your ex-lover ritual). Fire helps to symbolically and energetically cleanse your energy of unwanted muck, but please remember Smoky the Bear during your ex pic burning rituals.
Mindfulness about our cordings can help us take stock of what we're giving or taking energy from that may not be helpful to us. Sometimes we hold on to cordings out of habit, and the time may have come to release them. In this case the cord will drop away easily if we allow it. Like everything else cut cords sometimes the courage to allow in something different and allow to let go.
While it hasn’t gained the same notoriety in the general public as the lucky rabbit’s foot or the pentagram, among Santeria followers, cascarilla is a well-known and respected source of protection. Its reputation has even made an impression on some adherents of Wicca and other pagan religions. Part of this is due to its versatility, but the fact that it’s easy to obtain can also explain some of its popularity.
Cascarilla’s RootsLike Santeria itself, cascarilla can be traced back to the native traditions of West Africa. Among other beliefs, the people of this region brought to the New World the concept of sacred white earth they called efun. They believed this substance could provide an individual with protection against evil. Cut off from their ancestral lands, they sought an alternative that could achieve the same effects. This came in the form of an herbal powder called cascarilla. The finely ground outer bark of this large, tropical shrub was already known among the Caribbean natives for its medicinal properties that included reducing fevers, operating as an expectorant, and even clearing flatulence. In fact, the word cascarilla refers to any kind of outer skin or husk. Cascarilla also happened to possess a nearly white color. Over time, Santeria practitioners transitioned from using this herbal powder to using crushed egg shells. These were easier to come by, and the symbolism of the life-giving egg also made it very attractive.
The Key to Cascarilla
Cascarilla has two primary abilities. First, it has the power to expel negative energy in all its forms. Second, it creates a barrier between the natural and supernatural realms. With these capabilities, cascarilla can be applied to any number of situations. Since it’s usually in pressed chalk form, it has some flexibility in how it can be used. It’s even possible to use it in the form of a loose powder or incorporate it into candles or incense for even greater coverage.
Putting Magic to Work
Cascarilla wards off negative energy regardless of its source. This can include negativity you accumulate through your own trials and tribulations that life throws at you. The simplest way to understand how this material can be utilized is by considering it in it various forms. Cascarilla is typically sold in pressed form. This permits it to be used for writing or marking. In this case, it can inscribe boundaries around your home by merely drawing a continuous line to block harmful energy from entering. It’s also common practice in Santeria to use the material to draw crucifixes on objects, including one’s own body, that require shielding from hostile energy. Usually, these symbols are drawn around any entry portals of the house like doors, windows, and even vents. This action will both guard against antagonistic forces and blockade immaterial creatures, harmless ones included, that could otherwise gain access.
In powdered form, cascarilla can be put to use more extensively than in solid form. To safeguard the home, the powder can be sprinkled on the floor or it can be blended with plain water or a floor cleaner and applied to the floors. Likewise, you can dust your entire body with it. You could also limit the dusting to only your hands in case they contact anything potentially bad. An alternative custom that blatantly reveals the Caribbean origins of this magic is to coat a coconut with the powder and roll it about the floor while gradually guiding it out through the front exit.
Just as it can be added to floor cleaner, it can also be incorporated into a bath. This method drives out the antagonistic forces you’ve built up in yourself over time from assorted unfriendly encounters. Customarily, such baths are performed weekly and include honey and holy water as ingredients. About three cups of cascarilla are used with one-sixth this amount of honey. When bathing, you should wholly douse yourself with the water three times. This practice not only rids the body of negativity, but also purifies one’s self so that other rituals have a better chance of success.
To Purchase Cascarilla click here
Most people actively try to minimize the amount of toxins that enter their body. They eat good food, they drink purified water, they breathe purified air, and some even take added measures to detoxify their body. However, what many people don’t realize is that toxins can be absorbed through their skin. No time is this more important than when deciding what kind of soap to use. Given the industrious process used to produce many of the commonly known soaps, it’s not a surprise that most contain questionable chemicals, dyes, and fragrances… questionable substances that many of us would be better off avoiding. If you want to minimize the “casual toxins” you and your family are exposed to, consider using organic soap.
Why Use Organic Soap?
Many people have sensitive skin that doesn’t respond well to chemically laden soap. By using organic soap, you might be able to avoid, or at least reduce, the skin problems that are caused by irritating chemical ingredients. Organic soap contains ingredients that are not, and have not been produced with, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides. It’s invaluable for those who suffer from chemical sensitivities.
Even if you don’t break out in a full body rash, the chemicals used to make conventional soap will most assuredly dry your skin. Non-organic soaps usually do not contain glycerin (a moisturizing agent). Unfortunately, many people wait until itchy, dry skin is a problem before making the switch to natural soap.
The Benefits of Using Organic Personal Care Products
Using organic soap has other benefits. First off, most organic soaps are cruelty-free, meaning they’re not tested on animals. Purchasing natural and organic products is better for the environment, too. Organic ingredients are grown without chemicals and pesticides, both of which can pollute the water supply, air, and soil. Organic soap might not lead the charge in saving the world but it supports the fundamental effort.
Although the added attention to detail might mean the organic option is a couple dollars more, for many, the health benefits — not to mention the product quality — justify the extra cost. It’s a purchase you can feel good about and enjoy.