A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Sixteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Ogham Ailm

Ogham Ailm ~ photo by i.macy

The Silver Fir is the main tree for which the Ogham Ailm represents, however, in some other circles the Elm tree is also marked by Ailm.  To confuse the issue further, Silver Fir is not mentioned in my first blog [see Sources below the link] regarding the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar and the representation of each tree’s Ogham alphabet.  One chart uses Pine in the place of Fir. The Ailm Ogham, all the more confusingly, represents all three trees:  Elm, Fir, and Pine.  For our purposes, should we create an Ogham set for ourselves from the twenty woods needed, it seems the prevailing wood for Ailm by the Druids is Silver Fir.  Ailm is the Ogham for the 23rd of December, the beginning of Yule.

While Silver Fir is not, as stated, a Birth Tree, it is called “The Birth Tree”.  It is used in protection spells for mothers giving and having given birth.  One of the ways is by burning the needles in the birthing room.  An excellent way to bring this into the 21st century is to create a loose incense with the Fir [or Pine] needles to burn on a charcoal block. Fir is also one of the Nine Sacred Woods.

Representations:  Far-sightedness, Beginnings/Endings, Pregnancy/Birth, Understanding, Intuition, Psychics,  Manifestation, Epiphany

Ogham Letter:  A

Number:  16

Colour:  Piebald – spotted/black/white/speckled

Tarot:  The Tower

Animals:  Lapwing

Plant:  Fir,  Pine, Elm

Divination Meaning:  You must question yourself again… What work am I starting? How am I being initiated?  Ailm is the Ogham of beginnings and endings combined. As one comes into this life, so is one born into the next.  You must study the part[s] of your life going through transition and look ahead into your own future.  You will be able to see what is beyond and what is coming.   When Ailm appears in divination, a new thing is coming into being.  Someone you know may be about to give birth, or you are beginning a new project; you are full of excitement and creativity, an epiphany is about to happen. It could also indicate that your spirituality is about to experience a great growth spurt. But no matter what is coming, you must realise that it is going to happen.  How it happens is largely up to you as to whether you will drag your feet and make it painful or whether you will open yourself willingly to the change and go through it with grace.

How to Mend the Problem:  The chthonic current of Ailm is life and death… the oceanic current of Ailm is being on the threshold of something new and exciting; being on the brink of discovery – on the verge of the “aha moment”.  You are standing at the threshold of a very important passage in your life.  You may be about to give birth to a baby… or perhaps a brand-new idea… or you will learn that you have acquired the spirituality you have worked so dedicatedly for.  Perhaps you will make a discovery which can help all of mankind.  Here, you and you alone must see into your own future and decide what it will be. Your intuition is going to be necessary.  The Universe feels you are ready for the passage.  You would do well to trust the Universe and in yourself for you have learned all you need to know at this point to make this passage. But do understand, the passage itself cannot be rushed, nor can you stop it; this is not in your hands.  Take your time and savour it. It will be worth it.

One further note, if you are pulling three staves in a reading, and pull the Ur stave along with Ailm as one of your three,  it will have to do with Death… and do remember that to pull the Ur stave, just as with the Death card in tarot does not always, and rarely means, physical death. Always make note of where it falls…Past, Present, or Future.

The Tower

The Tower ~ photo by i.macy

The tarot card with goes so well with Ailm is The Tower.  Of that I’m aware, there are no “upright” or “reverse” meanings in the Ogham.  Your stave will represent both sides of the coin, as it were.  Your foresight into your situation will tell you whether the meaning is fabulous or not so much.  Still, as previously mentioned, the Universe feels you are ready for this.  The Tower card in the Upright position means to expect the unexpected – massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos. It may be a divorce, death of a loved one, financial failure, health problems, natural disaster, job loss or any event that shakes you to your core, affecting you spiritually, mentally and physically. There’s no escaping it. Change is here, but trust me, it’s for your Highest Good. In the Reversed state, The Tower suggests that you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval. This differs from the experience of the upright Tower where the change is often because of external circumstances and may even feel forced upon you. After a Tower experience, you will grow stronger, wiser and more resilient as you develop a new perspective on life you did not even know existed. These moments are necessary for your spiritual growth and enlightenment, and truth and honesty will bring about a positive change, even if you experience pain and anxiety throughout the process.

The Ailm Ogham does the same for you.

You can catch up the first fifteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, Part Fourteen, and Part Fifteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  If you have enjoyed it or have learned from it, please share via the social media buttons below.  I love comments also and respond as promptly as I can.  And, I very much enjoy a like for my efforts!  Warmest blessings to those whom wander this way x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

 

Posted in Business, Celtic Tradition, Celtic Tree Calendar, Divination, divination tools, Druid, Magic, Magickal, occult, ogham, Pagan, Uncategorized, Wiccan, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Year, Tears, and Furever Love

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Chili June 2017 blog pic

My Chili, 2017 ~ photo by i.macy

Alright… I admit I feel a bit weepy.  But then, wouldn’t anybody?  Look at that face! She was… is… a diamond. And she shined like a diamond… no, I won’t sing the song… I miss her. I miss the best cat ever.  I miss my Chili.  Still, I do know that whilst she isn’t stretched out over me inconveniently as she could do – especially when I am trying write a blog or schedule the next day’s tweets – that she is not gone, really.  She spent her last year wanting to park herself over my heart every chance she got.  And her last three days with me… which, by the way, ended sadly exactly one year ago today…I only sat with her, cuddling her on my chest where she felt the safest.  I could not let her go into that good night alone.  Not for a minute. Because, many wouldn’t believe this, but this cat, yes, a cat, never once made me sit alone when I needed a friend.  She was always, always there for me.  It was the very, very least thing I could do for her.

She is not gone.  She is wrapped right round my heart, forever.

In my Goodbye blog to this wonderful girl  last year, I shared a few little stories about her.  The funny and cute kind.  But in this tribute, I feel I must tell some uncomfortable truths about my life to fully explain why this girl was so remarkable.  When Chili had been with me for a little over two years, the man I married a year after I got her had started knocking me about.  Don’t worry, he wasn’t my children’s father.  He happens to be the polar opposite and would never raise a hand to a woman.  But this chap I was married to at the time was a raging narcissist, gaslighter, and an overall selfish toe rag.  I didn’t know this when I married him, however.  He was all sweetness and light.  That’s how they get you, I suppose.  Enough of his shenanigans. Because he also played away… and he also liked to ring those numbers for a little chat up with some woman who probably looked no better than me but sounded like she was eighteen… he lost his job. We, in short order, lost our home.  We ended up living with his relatives but could not bring Chili because his stepmother was quite ill and needed oxygen, so cat dander was not welcomed in their home.  I had to have my children’s father keep Chili for me for a while.  Why didn’t I leave this horrible man instead? Because the usual… I believed he would change [*cough*], he had me Svengali-ed… and I was terrified of what he might do if I did leave.

So, there we stayed for the next year.  I did get to visit Chili, often as I could.  She had lost so much weight.  I worried day and night that she wouldn’t make it til I got free of Mr Git. So, I hatched a plan.  I began shifting my boxes of unpacked items into a lock up that I rented.  Mr Git thought I was simply getting rid of all my stuff.  That was the story, anyway.   Eventually, I got a little job and leased a small caravan to live in, but of course he followed me! One Saturday morning he decided to visit and knock seven bells out of me right in front of my neighbours.  Good one, Mr Git. He was promptly arrested, threw a complete tantrum as well which got him tasered and the rest as they say, is history.  I was free and my girl was back with me. Win.

Chli before hypothyroidism

Chili defo put her weight back on 🙂 ~ photo by i.macy

This episode above did not leave me in a state of wanting to dance and have parties til dawn.  Just the opposite.  I wept all the time.  I couldn’t eat.  I had suicidal thoughts….yes, I know…I don’t believe it either, now.  But at the time, I was an undeniable mess.  Then, this little cat… she would sleep right beside me every night, as closely as she could.  She would wake me every morning with nose kisses and eyelid kisses.  If I didn’t open my eyes right away, she would just stand and peer down at me for as long as it took.  And, I joke not… when I finally opened my eyes, I could swear she was smiling.  When I had a crying jag she would put a paw on my arm and sit patiently beside me or curl up in my lap, nudging my hand with her head so I would stroke her fur…it’s like she knew that by doing  that I would be soothed, and I was.  It is a medically known fact that stroking cat fur will reduce high blood pressure and calm you.  She had to have known this.  And when I was really feeling my most broken, Chili would lay on me and purr a most rousing roar of a purr.  Because, in case you didn’t know, a cat’s purrs can help heal broken bones… and hearts.  It is a medically proven fact, as well.  In fact, cats often heal themselves with their own purrs.

I would never have made it without her.

We kind of kept each other going for the next thirteen or fourteen years.  All seemed well until she began hiding away a lot.  It is the feature of a poorly cat – to hide away.  I really didn’t pay as much mind as I should have because she ate voraciously.  An ill cat won’t eat, will it? I learned when I saw how skinny my Chili had gotten and rushed her to the Vet’s that indeed, despite her voracious appetite, she was quite ill.  Hyperthyroidism.  And to top it off, she was also in renal failure.  I only thought I was a mess after the episode with Mr Git.  I was ready to fling myself off the highest mountain now!  But, funnily enough, with medication and her special diet, apart from some scary episodes here and there, my strong and loving best friend carried on almost another three full years until the wee morning hour of last 25 July.  Oh, she tried and so did I.  By the first of the three days, I knew her medication was useless, so I stopped aggravating her with it.  Of all the years of taking it, it still aggravated her last nerve to have to take it.  The very least I could do for her now was to cease and desist.  I sat with her on my chest continually, with a bowl of water that I would offer her when she seemed thirsty.  She slept a lot and I put my hand on her to make sure she still breathed, a lot.  Family came in and visited her on her last evening.  Although by now my poor girl couldn’t see, I could tell she was pleased they did.  And I held her until she said goodbye.

You are probably judging me for not having her euthanised.  I judged myself a bit over that as well.  Truth is, I couldn’t afford to and there seemed something too unnatural about all the money I had spent to keep her alive for three years and then paying almost another 400.00 to have her “put down” [like some wild animal rummaging your chicken coop!].  She was my friend.  She was family.  She deserved the best I could do in my circumstances.  Unfortunately, selling charms and wands do not make the best living so I did what I could do best for her…. I simply loved her to death.

And I have not gone one day since without telling her I love her.  It has gotten somewhat easier because I have a new friend now, Pippa, a lovely feral calico creature who my daughter and I had saved from the streets just a few months prior to Chili’s death.  I love her to bits but of course, not quite so much as I do Chili – yet.  Still, I do adore her, and she is just about as loving and kind to me as my Chili was.  I say “just about” because she is still getting her “sea legs” with me. I can tell every day that we get closer and that suits me fine.  Best of all, I feel she is completely approved by Chili because they met shortly after Pippa and her wee sprog, Freya moved in with us.  Chili was always fiercely protective of me and suffered no other cat to be near me, however, she sniffed Pippa’s nose, sat back and did not hiss at all!  And thank goodness, to Pippa’s credit, she didn’t get hissy at the Grand Madame, either 😊

Happy [?] anniversary, my beloved friend.  I’m sure wherever you are, you are still fierce.  And I know we shall see each other again in some form or another.  Either way, you are always in my heart, purring away, keeping me going.  Because that’s what we have always done for each other… furever.  xxxx

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A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Fifteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Ogham ruis

Ogham Ruis ~ photo by i.macy

We shall now delve into the mysteries of the Ogham, Ruis, which is of the Elder tree, a Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 25 November and 23 December.  The Elder tree represents the Dark Half of the year and is associated with the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. But the focus is on its Ogham, Ruis, which loosely means “red” from the Irish Gaelic word, “Rúad”.  And, as you will read, Ruis will make you “see red”! And, it will help you to learn not to. Those born in the Elder lunar month are very passionate.

Representations:  Passion, Jealousy, Sexuality, Guilt, Envy, Love, Love of Life, Devotion to Deity, Healing

Ogham Letter:  E

Number:  15

Colour:  Bright Red, Light Red

Tarot:  Judgement

Animals:  Black Horse, Pheasant, Raven, Rook

Plant:  Dandelion

Divination Meaning:  What am I passionate about?  How do my passions help or harm me? These are the questions one must ask themselves if they draw the Ruis Ogham.  We are now delving into the emotions that may either help or harm, depending upon their use. What happens to arouse your emotions to guilt and frenzy?  These are the symptoms of a wider desire and you must suss out the source to begin “training” them to do good or to eliminate them from your life.  You are the judge and jury.

How to Mend the Problem:  Like Passion itself, Ruis can be steeped in joy or hatred. Jealousy and Rage are part and parcel to this Ogham’s energies; however, they can be turned to passionate love as well.  This pertains to any extreme emotion you may feel you’re having a problem with.  You can turn extreme hatred into love… whatever the emotion, you can control it with the power of Ruis and your own intuition and mindfulness. However, the chthonic current of Ruis is a difficult one as most of its meanings are emotions which people find hard to face. Still, there are also positive passions found with Ruis and because of this, as we can learn from Hinduism, we can turn our anger [insert emotion of choice] into cleansing through self-reflection and examination and thereby turning a societally harmful emotion into one of social activism and a deep desire for Justice, or expressing that emotion through healing work.  Ruis gives powerful focus and energy to overcome difficulties.

Judgement

Shadowscapes Judgement card ~ photo by i.macy

In examination of what Ruis means, I find the Judgement tarot card comes to mind strongly. This is because Judgement calls upon us to rise and embrace a higher level of consciousness for the service of our Highest Good.  Both Ruis and Judgement indicates that you need to make a life-changing decision, and they tend to show up when you are close to reaching a significant stage in your journey.  This is the time when you will review and re-evaluate your past experiences and have learned from them. All the pieces of the puzzle of your life are finally coming together to form one, unified picture of your life story. This integration has healed deep wounds, and you are now able to put the past behind you. You have found your absolution, having cleared any wrongdoings or regrets, and releasing any guilt or sadness about the past. This purging process will leave you refreshed and ready to take on any new challenges.

You can catch up the first fourteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, and Part Fourteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  If you have enjoyed it or have learned from it, please share via the social media buttons below.  I love comments also and respond as promptly as I can.  And, I very much enjoy a like for my efforts!  Warmest blessings to those whom wander this way x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

Posted in Business, divination tools, Druid, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Mars, occult, ogham, Pagan, Uncategorized, Wiccan, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Fourteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Ogham Straif

Ogham Straif ~ photo by i.macy

Blackthorn is a winter tree and it has black bark and vicious thorns, or “spines”. It has delicious berries called sloes which only ripen and sweeten after first frost.  It is a formidable tree and yet, it is a protective tree, a tree of authority and strength. It is wise not to go up against Blackthorn for it will always win. Blackthorn’s Ogham letter is called Straif, which sounds much like ‘strife’. It is not a Birth Tree Ogham, but it is the Ogham for the dark half of the year and its date is 31 October.  If you were born on this date, you could easily call it your birth tree.  Be forewarned though, the meanings of Blackthorn and Straif may not be ones you wish to be associated with. Or again, perhaps you do. Straif’s chthonic current speaks of secrets and the preservation of secret knowledge.  It can refer to magickal or occult mysteries and to a depth of magickal and spiritual practise. Straif reminds us to expect the unexpected.  Sudden reversals of fortune are possible. The spiritual direction is to use divination in whatever manner you get best results from to help lead you through the journey of change and your intuition will help guide your discernment.

Representations:  Authority, Control, Protection, Strength, and Truth

Ogham Letter:  St, SS

Number:  14

Colour:  Dark Purple, Grey, White or Yellow

Tarot:  Wheel of Fortune

Animals:  Bees, Butterfly, Thrush

Plant:  Houseleek

Divination Meaning:  Pulling the single stave, Straif, means unexpected change, plans altered, plans ruined.  Always be prepared for the unexpected with the appearance of Straif.  You must question yourself:  What part of my life needs a total change?  How am I being transformed?

How to Mend the Problem:  Change can be managed through spiritual work when Straif is an influence. Straif gives the ability to transform attitudes in healing. Despair can become hope. This Ogham is good for work with the emotions and for transforming deep-seated issues that have strong roots in the past, changing things without destroying the vessel.  Leave off any negative view you may have.  Clinging to old ways and facing challenges with anger, resentment, and stubbornness will only hurt you more. Accept the changes and move on with grace. Realise your life has changed dramatically and emerge reborn.

Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune ~ photo by i.macy

Many wrongly assume the Death card in tarot would be most likely the partner for Straif.  Not at all.  Yes, of course, you must “die” to some old ways so that you can rebirth to new and healthier ways. The Wheel of Fortune card is the best partner to Straif.  The upright Wheel of Fortune card asks you to be optimistic and have faith that the Universe will take care of your situation in the best way possible. Meditation and visualisation can reinforce your intention to bring increased abundance, good fortune and prosperity to you. Your life is about to turn in more positive directions if you are willing to grow and expand. Keep your mind open to all kinds of synchronicities and signs from the Universe. The magick of fate and destiny is behind you, and miracles are happening. However, when the Wheel of Fortune is reversed, your luck and fortune may take a turn for the worst. You may experience unexpected change or negative forces could be at play, leaving you feeling helpless. You have a choice: you can do nothing, and hope things will get better, or you can act to improve your situation. See this moment as your opportunity to take control of your destiny and get your life back on track.  So, like the wheel, what comes round goes round… and refer to the upright to fix the upside down.

You can catch up the first thirteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, and Part Thirteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  If you have enjoyed it or have learned from it, please share via the social media buttons below.  I love comments also and respond as promptly as I can.  And, I very much enjoy a like for my efforts!  Warmest blessings to those whom wander this way x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

Posted in Business, Celtic Tradition, Divination, divination tools, Druid, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, occult, ogham, Pagan, Uncategorized, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imagine You Can Save the World

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

With a little help from your friends.  I am here for you as are the rest of whom are reading today. With a bit of focus, we can enter into a common pact to deconstruct bad governments, bring about good governments, and change the trajectory of the climate crisis.  We only need to imagine.

Getting whatever it is you want out of life is as simple as telling yourself you already have it.  What is it you want most? Let’s set aside for a moment the things we personally want for ourselves and focus upon what will help all of man/womankind for a moment.  I imagine many of you would welcome both a better government where you live as well as a lasting solution to climate change.  I agree with you.

BelieveandletgoBut, why do I say it is as simple as telling yourself you already have it when clearly you don’t see it remotely close by?  Because what you and I want is already here.  We simply haven’t seen it yet because…. You’ve heard of not being able to see the forest for the trees? We have not yet learned to focus on our desire.  That isn’t unusual for most of us… we do have lives to live, after all, and can’t just sit around with our legs crossed in our Zen Zone and all that airy-fairy kind of thing.  Still, I say we can do this.

Think back to your childhood.  Maybe your parents couldn’t afford to buy you that bicycle for Christmas but like all children you probably had a back-up list for what you felt you must have in your life.  You would still focus mainly on the bicycle [insert gift of choice], but you also focused a bit on the little things that came secondary but were special enough to evoke your thoughts.  You could see yourself riding that bicycle or playing with the toy you wanted so badly.  How many of you woke up to both the bicycle and at least one of the secondary presents?  Keep in mind your parents were possibly not able to afford the big gift, but their hearts were there.  Your desire became their desire. Now you had three people focusing on this bicycle.  Surely, if your grandparents were still alive at that time, they were brought in on your belief frequency and so were any aunties and uncles you may have had.  Do you see where I’m going here?  It can be achieved by one person, but the more, the better.

This is what we want to do now for the betterment of our Planet and our governments.

Having a deep belief in our own power is best to have, however, if you feel unsure of your own power, you’re still able to attract what you want and you’re not alone.  To quote Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” If we can all conceive that a good, democratic minded, despite their party of choice, person can win the presidency or the prime ministry, and believe in it, we can achieve its happening by imagination. Perhaps the word “imagination” is the wrong word here… perhaps “willing” is more appropriate.  Still, it won’t happen without first imagining it.

Universe

picture from pixelstalk.net

When we imagine something along with others it becomes like the child, the parents, and the extended family, willing into existence what the child asked for.  But instead of all of us collectively having a whip-round to collect money for the thing we want, we find like-minded people and we put the seed of attraction into their minds as well. Not that they didn’t already feel the same way as you or they would not be bothered to join in.  Then, what happens is magick at its best.  The collective subconscious appeals to the Universe to bring about the change needed. In case you weren’t aware, the Universe already has what we seek.  This is not about bending anyone’s will.  It is not about praying for hours and days in sackcloth and ashes, or anything like that.  It is about fixing an idea, a dream, a solution, a desire into your subconscious and presenting it to the Universe as a thing that you know is achievable and the Universe recognises the appeals as valid.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen.”

Not only with re-shaping bad governments but with also climate change / global heating, we can start turning this existential crisis round to halt its growth and begin turning our Planet back to  the way it should be.  But do not take your participation in this lightly for you do have the power. And by taking the power back, you give power to others to help.

A little proof, if I may… I spend some time in prayer each day with the Divine Parents and the Universe, separately.  For some time, I railed about climate change and governments not working together as if one or the other might drop what they’re doing to appease my pleas for justice. No, I imagine they were sat there giggling a bit at this fierce child’s insistence.  I did grow tired of my own negativity out of it all.  One day, I just began building my utopian dream whilst in prayer.  I began imagining what I felt we needed doing was done. That the four seasons were proper seasons again. That temperatures were not alarmingly high, even in countries that generally have high temperatures. That Antarctica and Polar ice caps were re-freezing and re-forming…the list goes on, but you get the idea. And, then I simply thanked them and left it at that.  This is my intention, this is in my subconscious, and I know I’m being heard.  It would do no harm to have a few of you to help it along, though, if you so choose.

Oh yes, how is the above proof?  I know from the way I feel, if that makes sense to you.  I am calmer about it all now.  I see a clearer path for my involvement, and I am also seeing other people’s involvement more clearly. People whom are not any wealthier than you and me, nor necessarily cleverer, either, are coming up with extraordinary ways that work to combat climate change. Mother Earth herself is doing her bit.  Look at the profound involvement of children! Some as young as 5 or 6 are making a stand, lobbying for reduction of plastics in Happy Meals, for goodness sake! How wonderful!  A chain reaction of help is happening everywhere. Because of one.  One person, then another… it takes everybody, helping each other, country to country. Is this achievable? Yes.

Don’t think in the negative as I was doing.  Don’t bemoan your government for being a tit about climate change or governance of your country.  See the broader picture of love, acceptance, and Universal power. Own it, believe it.  Everything we want is already in the Universe, it is already ours… we just need to accept it.  And thank you.

Posted in Business, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Climate Emergency, Environmental Protection, Global Crisis, Global Heating, Global Warming, Magic, Magickal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Thirteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

OGHAM NGETEL

Ngetel Ogham ~ photo by i.macy

Ngetal is the Ogham for Reed.  I know… a Reed? It gives way to thought to skinny grasses growing up from marshes and estuaries, but the Reed can become quite woody and thick giving its strength and protection to thatched roofs for centuries.  Reed is also instrumental in the making of woodwind instruments [pun intended], and other by-gone era uses included arrow shafts and writing pens.

Ngetal /Reed is also the Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 28th October and 24th November. Reed signs among the Celtic tree “astrology” signs are the secret keepers. You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction. When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core.  It’s a kind of magick. Reed is the 12th month of the Celtic Tree Calendar and the 13th letter of the Ogham alphabet.

Representations:  Healing, Growth, Harmony, Protection, Loyalty, Unity, and Will

Ogham Letter:  NG

Number:  13

Colour:  Pale Green

Tarot:  The Magician

Animals:  Kingfisher, Geese, Owl

Plant:  Watermint, Broom, Fern

Divination Meaning:  You will find order where others create chaos and disorder. Also means healing and you should be aware of your health, mentally and physically.  Ask yourself, “where am I wounded? What in my life requires healing?” Use your strengthening intuition to decide the whether it is yourself or someone else who needs healing.  Of course, as always in a three-stave draw, be sure to check what your other two staves tell you and remember the draw of the stave is important.  Is it past, present, or future?

How to Mend the Problem:  Ngetal requires direct action. Particularly if the “wound” is in urgent need of healing… keep your target in sight and do not be distracted; stay grounded.  By keeping to simple laws of order this will not be difficult.  Keep your wits about you when others are being chaotic. Insist upon harmony in stressful situations.

Ngetal is protective.  For physical healing, it is not untoward to draw this Ogham onto the body of the indisposed near or above or over where healing is called for. The same goes for spiritual or mental healing.  To wear Ngetal when ill makes it a talisman for healing.

The Tarot card I believe best represents Ngetel is The Magician. The Magician stays grounded with one foot on the ground; in some decks such as my Shadowscapes, he sits on the balls of his feet.  One hand points more upwards… to the Universe, and the other is downward, to Earth. He looks both forward to new ideas and is grounded to the ways that are proven. He alone knows best how to manifest what is either desired or needed. He is the epitome of harmony. And very often, healing requires harmony and grounding and a bit of the old ways along with new ways.

You can catch up the first twelve blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, and Part Twelve by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  If you have enjoyed it or have learned from it, please share via the social media buttons below.  I love comments also and respond as promptly as I can.  And, I very much enjoy a like for my efforts!  Warmest blessings to those whom wander this way x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

Posted in Business, Celtic Tradition, Celtic Tree Calendar, Divination, divination tools, Druid, occult, ogham, Pagan, traditional witchcraft, Uncategorized, Wiccan, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Good News is, You’re Not Ghost Banned…

By Isabella @TheWandCarver and Liss @sistersofmoon

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Liss’ IG: @sistersofmoon

Hello! Today’s blog comes to you in a combined effort from myself and my friend, Liss of Sisters of the Moon.  Both of us have suffered from ignorance in our combined ten or more years on Twitter but have managed to rise from our un-Phoenix like ashes and carry on through ghost bans and now, search bans.  If you feel you are having trouble with your Twitter account and not being seen by others with the hashtags you’re using, please read and fingers crossed, you’ll find your way back to the land of the living…

TwitterPrison

Image from Great Musings

Twitter recently reinstated numerous accounts from the old “ghost banning” aka “shadow ban” craze and made them whole and functioning once again.  One of my original business accounts, which I turned into a personal account after realising that, after a year of being ghost banned, my account was dust for business then created a new one… which also became ghost banned three times before I convinced Twitter that I was not a bot nor a bad person spreading hate and destruction or nudity. For a brief moment in Twittersphere we all breathed a collective sigh of relief and it went back to business as usual… but something else was in the works… something a bit more sinister, it seemed.  Suddenly, people in our circle started noticing that they were not being seen again.  Of course, I would do the old “from:search” as you might have read about in my previous blogs about Twitter doings, but instead of finding my friends in ghost banned purgatory, his or her account would be full and healthy looking by the looks of things.  Don’t always judge the book by its cover, because something else was taking place that the likes of me could not see and it wasn’t pretty when Liss found it.

People were being search banned.

I could re-word the following excerpt [which would still count as plagiarism] so instead, I shall post the full paragraph from an article Liss had sent me:

In simple terms, *Shadow Ban is a way through which Twitter controls the reach of certain users to new audience. We will take a very simple case. When a Twitter user (say X) posts a tweet, it goes to the timeline (TL) of all the users who are following X. When any of the followers of X retweets the tweet, it goes to the TL of his/her followers and so on. For X to reach new audience one of the ways is to tweet with popular hashtags. Including the hashtag in one’s tweet makes the tweet visible to any user who clicks that hashtag. Through Shadow Ban, this reach is restricted. If X is under Shadow Ban, the tweet will virtually be invisible in the list of tweets under a certain hashtag. Even when a follower of X (say Y) retweet X’s tweet, it will sometimes become invisible to Y’s followers and so on. So, the reach of X’s tweets to new audience is restricted.”

This is why, if you have been search banned you are not being seen under [using] hashtags.  One other thing – this article is calling this situation *“Shadow Ban” which it is not, it is “Search Ban”.  Shadow Banning is another way of saying Ghost Banning, a topic I have written much about.  I won’t quibble about the author’s word choice in the above paragraph, just do know that Shadow Ban means you do not get found in search, full stop.

crowd-people-silhouette-squareIf you are a small business on Twitter you might be joining in what some call “Twitter Hours” or “Shopping Hours” or social media hours.  It is for promotion of your business and to meet other business owners as well.  In this hour, everyone joining must use a hashtag specified by the host of said hour attached to their tweet or no one will see their tweets.  You may have twenty-plus biz owners joining in so the hashtag for that hour is crucial.  If you are search banned, no one in the Twitter Hour will see your tweets with that particular hashtag.  They may well see you in the general stream or if they visit your profile page but not under the #xyz hour – a hypothetical hashtag there.  I believe that it is in Twitter’s thoughts that this kind of “tribal tweeting” should be abolished because it segregates the participants from the mainstream… yes, I realise how harsh that sounds but what Twitter is doing is just as harsh.  It is no secret that Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, wants Twitter to go back to the days of just everyone chatting. And, if you’re a business on Twitter, you can advertise… just pay for it! Simplez…not so much!  The Indie seller will dry up and blow away because have you seen how much Twitter charges to promote your wares??  That is why you only see the likes of BT and Sky or Sainsbury with promoted listings!

So, what does a poor tweeter do?  As Liss and I are collaborating here, it is only fair I let the poor lass have her say as she has done the most research on this subject.  I think I have talked quite enough!  Liss has researched and found the best advice on what not to do if you want to keep your Twitter account intact. And, reading Twitter’s Policies won’t go amiss, either.

Retweets

Don’t retweet a great stream of tweets [from one or several different accounts], in one go.  Twitter consider this to be “aggressive retweeting”. I don’t know where this leaves shopping hours where retweeting is the name of the game, but as a general rule, pace yourself. A retweet counts as a tweet and there is a daily limit of 2,400 broken down into semi-hourly limits. My advice is don’t get anywhere near that limit.

Don’t retweet the same tweet over and over. Just as an account will get flagged up for persistently sending out the same tweet [see below], so too will your account if you keep retweeting it.

Don’t go on a “marathon” retweeting binge from one account.  You may really love one particular tweeter’s tweets but please don’t retweet a load of them in one go!  You must put yourself in the mind of a curator. As the curator, you must understand that your follower’s will see the tweets that you retweet, and they may not enjoy a dozen tweets by @xyz as much as you do.  There is no rule against retweeting more than one tweet but do put other retweets in between so as not to vex your follower’s or Twitter!

Tweets

Don’t “repeatedly post identical or nearly identical tweets”. And certainly, don’t send out the same tweet several times over the course of a day. I know it’s difficult if, like me, you sell a small amount of perennial items or perhaps just one service – but you need to re-write your tweets every time you send them out.

Links

Don’t continually send out the same link. Now, this is a tricky one because again, if you’re a small business selling just one service, or a handful of items, you’ve only got a few links available. There used to be the don’t-repeat-a-link-within-24-hours rule, but I suspect that’s too short a period now.

Hashtags

Don’t use too many hashtags. As with all the rules, Twitter is rather vague about how many hashtags constitutes an onslaught, but the general rule of thumb seems to be three and no more. And certainly, never send out just a link and a dozen hashtags. And don’t use the same hashtags on every tweet, vary them a little. [editor’s note: There is nothing more gauche on a tweet than it having thirty hashtags and sparse, if any, information about the item being sold. I have refrained from retweeting these kinds of tweets.]

**Visit your search page on Twitter and see what the trending hashtags for day are and if you can incorporate those into your tweets, it will do you no harm, particularly the use of trending hashtags during holidays.

Automation

Don’t automate the bulk of your tweets. It’s fine to automate some but a day’s worth [especially if you’re not interacting and chatting with other accounts during this time], will flag you up as a bot and/or a spammer. I know Twitter owns Tweetdeck but they really don’t want you to use it or any other automation tool, very much. Live tweet whenever possible.

Engagement

 Don’t tweet, retweet and leave the scene. You need to interact with other accounts. Aside from anything else, it stops you being flagged up as a bot. It’s called social media for a reason and Twitter very much wants to bring the platform back to that.

twitter-table

pic from Google Images

Thank you, Liss, for the best explanation so far of how a Tweeter can stay away from trouble on their account.  Yes, Twitter has upped the game in a twisty-turny way since the old ghost/shadow banning days.  In the one sense it is enough to drive many people away from the social media platform.  However, if you think about it a while you can see how it makes sense.  As noted, no one likes seeing a plethora of retweets about something they may or may not have interest in.  And nobody wants to retweet and like someone repeatedly without hearing so much as a “thanks” in return.  If you’re a business owner tweeting your products, nobody wants to see the same tired tweet[s] saying the exact same thing with the exact same picture and link every day.  Remember above all else that you are the curator of your Twitter feed.  You must give people following you a fresh dose of information daily.  But not only that, you must be in tune with your followers. Engagement is just as important as is putting forth fresh tweets every day.  How will they know whether you’re real or not? It is an advantage for the small business owner if you think about it. The corporate businesses paying for the expensive promoted ads are already established.  They know you will follow them because you love their product and most of us don’t expect them to follow us back.  They also know that they have no time to engage with us personally and that we understand that as well.  And, they know when a promoted ad comes through your feed for a new product they are selling, you will probably click on the ad.

We small businesses must be cleverer than that.  Make a mini-story about your product, not a bog-standard in-your-face bland assessment of what you’re selling.  Make it eye-catching and for people to want to read it.  Use facts, history, whatever will work with your product.  Also, intersperse your business tweets with human-interest tweets you capture from your news feeds online. Add pertinent hashtags.  Tweet daily facts about something you and your followers are interested in.  Add in the odd poll that Twitter allows you to make on the fly and get your follower’s opinions about whatever you want to know. Relevancy is everything.  But just as important as anything else, connect.  Engage in conversations as best you can.  So what if two people are speaking to each other about something? I have broken into many a conversation on Twitter and nobody has told me to sling my hook yet.  As it happens, we three sometimes have quite a lovely discussion about the topic.  Engagement, engagement, engagement.

Liss and I hope we have explained well enough for everyone to understand what is happening to their accounts.  And whether through our surmises or from the links we have interspersed throughout this writing we hope you can find the answers you need.  And, if you wish to find out if you are search banned, please use this link.  It’s free and it’s easy and it’s correct.

Many thanks for reading!  Please share via the social media links below if you feel this may help someone you know.  We would also love comments and will answer as quickly as possible.  You may just have some excellent insights to share, so don’t be shy.  Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

And, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

Posted in Business, Ghost Banning, Ghost Ban, Ghost Banned, Shadow Banning, social media, Social Media Engagement, Social Media Posts, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment