Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Curio Cabinet Spring Blog Series

Greetings Readers!

To spark your curiosity, the Wizard of Grand has compiled a series of articles planned for release from March to May. Take a look!

March
The Wizard attends Convocation 2013
Celebrations of the Spring Equinox
A Ritual of the Resurrection

April
The Spirit of Place: the God in your Backyard
Celebrations of the First of May
A Ritual of the Rood

May
On Hiatus

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Convocation 2013

The Wizard of Grand will be traveling across the state of Michigan to the Detroit area tomorrow morning to spend 4 days with Pagans, Witches, and Occultists in a swanky hotel. That’s right, I’m attending Convocation– the Mid-West’s biggest Pagan convention. Convocation uses a different card of the Major Arcana as the theme for each year. I attended the Death and the Devil years, and this year is the Sun. It seems like I will finally get to experience a year that isn’t super heavy.

It is a great pleasure for me to attend this year because  the man I regard as my best friend, mentor in the Art, and spiritual brother, Matthew Venus of Spiritus Arcanum, will be traveling with me and my partner to Convocation. Matthew will be teaching 3 workshops, all of which I am greatly looking forward to. Matthew grew up in the Detroit area, successfully ran a coven there, and has taught at Convocation every year he has attended. Now, Matthew lives in Salem, MA with his partner working on Spiritus Arcanum. But enough about Matthew.

I am really looking forward to seeing old acquaintances, favorite authors, and meeting new potential friends. As a cerebral trivia-sponge, I will more than enjoy myself attending workshops and getting a glimpse of other people’s theories and practices. I hope there is a night when a group of us get together with some wine and have a philosophical symposium of the Occult into the wee hours. Ah…. Heaven.

Return of The Curio Cabinet

Greetings to you, Oh Curious Wanderer! Welcome to the blog of The Curio Cabinet and it’s owner, the Wizard of Grand. The Curio Cabinet was established in 2010 to serve those seekers of a magical life. Besides being the online occult journal of the Wizard, thecuriocabinet.wordpress.com will serve as an interface for clients to learn about the Wizard and the development of The Curio Cabinet. Check out what The Curio Cabinet and the Wizard have to offer!  Curious about our terminology?

  • Sorcery– At The Curio Cabinet, this word defines the art of divination due to it’s etymological roots in the Latin word sors, which meant “lots,” as in “casting lots,” or divination. This encompasses the arts of Tarot, Astrology, Dream Interpretation, and other forms that the Wizard of Grand can perform.
  • Witchcraft– Without ruffling the feathers of too many purists and anthropologists, we like to use the term “witchcraft” to define the techniques of folk magic, without attaching it to any specific religion or cosmology. This includes, but is not limited to or defined by, the observance of sympathetic magic, the use of magical herbalism and perfumery, candle magic, warding the evil eye, and other ancestral, folk wisdom passed on from generation to generation.
  • Theurgy– This word comes from the Greek θεουργία which literally means “God work.” Part of the Work of The Curio Cabinet is to help foster spiritual growth in individuals. With the knowledge of Neo-Platonism, Hermetic Philosophy, and Ceremonial Magic, the Wizard of Grand is able to aid in the construction and performance of ceremonies of transition and transformation.

A List of Our General Services

  • Tarot– The Wizard has always had a deck of Tarot cards since the early days of his occult studies. Focusing on the rich symbolism of the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the Wizard of Grand discovered a enlightening journey of personal growth. The Wizard can read the cards in a variety of spreads to help you find own way to a journey towards enlightenment.
  • Astrology– Working with the 7 planets and the 12 signs of the zodiac in the tropical scheme, the Wizard of Grand can cast and interpret a variety of horoscopes based on the astrological lore of ancient, classical, medieval, and renaissance authors.
  • Onieromancy– It may have been vivid and ludid dreams that led the Wizard of Grand towards a fascination with symbolism and hidden meanings. Many figures in his early life encouraged and inquired him about the meanings of dreams. While everyone’s dream symbolism is their own, the Wizard of Grand can assit in the interpretation and understanding of dreams.
  • Ritual– Often times in our mechanized, technology-obsessed world, we have forgotten the ancient technology of our ancestors, and that is ritual. Life may require many rituals to aid in the transition and transformation of energy. Coming from a Hermetic approach, the Wizard of Grand can construct rituals and ceremonies appropriate to the individual as the need dictates. On the occasion, the Wizard can perform or guide the ritual for the client. In some circumstances, the Wizard may be able to perform rituals alone on behalf of the client.
  • Magical Perfumery– An early interest in herbalism in combination with traditional teachings led to the Wizard’s favorite craft, the art of incenses and oils. Using all-natural ingredients, these ceremonial perfumes are hand-crafted under auspicious observances. A variety of ingredients for a plethora of the conditions of life and beyond, the Wizard of Grand can craft many different types of perfumes for offering in ritual or wearing as a scent for magical effect.
  • Tools– Dabblers in magic that are brave enough to go beyond mere curiosity and begin the work themselves are bound to seek the use of ritual tools and objects. For those of you who want to be an owner, and most importantly, a weilder of such magical items, the Wizard of Grand can put his craftmanship towards your use! Wands and staves, divining sets, rosaries and prayer beads, spell kits and more.
  • Talismans– The art of making images is ancient and controversial, and one the Wizard is practiced in and fond of. For a variety of uses in a variety of forms, talismans, amulets, icons and idols can be crafted by the Wizard of Grand to draw good luck, to protect from misfortune, to communicate with the divine, for a focal-point of inspiration, and more.
  • Consultation– The Wizard of Grand has an open ear and can help you with almost anything of an occult or spiritual nature. While he is not a certified councilor, priest, therapist and cannot promise any medical or professional help, the Wizard can add his two cents in on certain topics. Consultation can be paired with a divination and a follow-up ritual to help you better attain the future you desire.

See anything that sparks your curiosity? Contact The Curio Cabinet and The Wizard of Grand through e-mail or comments on the blog. Come back soon!

The Magical Calendar

“…you will need to know about the times and seasons of the witches’ year. These are the correct times when you will be able to recharge your magical batteries and draw down to yourself the new currents of elemental power to work your spells.” –Paul Huson, Mastering Witchcraft, Ch. 1 ‘Magical Times and Seasons’

Heliocentric Zodiac

The Magical Calendar is one that follows the natural progression of seasons, as influenced by the Sun, Moon, myriad Stars and the weather. It began as the obsessive observation of the Heavens by our Ancestors. There was something unique in our consciousness that caused us to wonder up at the ceaselessly rotating firmament. After observing celestial events for so long, early civilizations began to realize correlations between the Heavens and the Earth. It was this ancestral practice that led to sciences such as astronomy and meteorology, study of the stars and the weather. Even today, many “rational” people believe in or at least take interest in their zodiac sign. Even if you do or do not believe in or agree with Astrolatry, it is impossible to deny the historical influence celestial observation has had in the creating of calendars.

The modern Magical Calendar that many Neo-Pagans are familiar with are 8 holy days arranged around a wheel, commonly called the “Wheel of the Year”. This model is generally accepted to be the best guide to seasonal progression. The 8 days of the Wheel follow the life of the Sun and the fertility of the Land. However, if the land you live in is not similar to that of Northern Europe, this model might not be so useful. In fact, many of the holidays on the Wheel were never celebrated by the ancient pagans in the same way that they are observed today. The Church of the Middle Ages absorbed many different traditional European pagan festivals from several different native cultures. Through this absorption and later reclamation of the pagan symbolism of the Christian Liturgical year by the Occult Revival at the turn of the last century, the modern Neo-Pagan community has a standard calender many can agree upon.

General Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year

 The Moon has also been used as a timepiece perhaps longer than the Solar calendar. The Lady’s face changes shape every day and She visits nearly each zodiac sign every month. In fact, the English words “month” and “moon” are etymologically related. Modern Witches and Pagans are familiar with tracking the phases of the Moon, most likely holding celebrations on the Full and Dark Moons. There are also the 28 Mansions of the Moon, an art originating in Near East that has been seemingly vacant from Neo-Pagan teaching, until recently.

Lunar Mansions

We see the same cosmic truth in the cyclical pattern of the Lunar “Moonth” and the Solar Year. Ascent, Zenith, Descent, Nadir. Waxing, Full, Waning, Dark. Dawn, Midday, Dusk, Midnight. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Sowing, Growing, Ripening, Reaping. Sex, Youth, Age, Death. The Wheel of the Year, the Magical Calendar, the festivals of Witches, Magicians and Pagans abound are the observation and celebration of the Sun and Moon and their interplay with the Earth and Her fertility and sterility. As above, so below, no?

We heretic folk also take into account the passing of the Planets passing through the constellations of the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Some of us take into account 10 Planets or more (always including the luminaries, the Sun and Moon), but there are those of us who only look to the sacred 7: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, and Luna. They rove around the firmament free from the invisible grip the other stars are seemingly held captive by, and we can see them with our naked, but trained, eye. These are the same lights that fascinated our ancient ancestors, descending from the trees and ascending from the caves. So great was their awe of these free-traveling  stars that they called them gods.

Weekday Calendar

The Chaldean Order, that is the 7 planets arranged by the speed at which they travel through our visual sky, from fastest to slowest are the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Arranged in the pattern of the Heptagram, the 7 planets flesh out the pattern of the days of the week. So, not only does the complete Magical Calendar form the Solar Year and Lunar Month, as ruled by the relationship of the luminaries with the Earth and their passage through the zodiac, it also encompasses the 7 days of the week overseen by the 7 classical planets. Even the 24 hours of each day are divided and ruled by the planets.

Generally, the accepted calculation of the Planetary hours runs thus: at Dawn of the Day in Question, the first hour is ruled by the Planet of that Day in Question and follows the Chaldean Order after that. So on Friday, the Day of Venus, at Dawn is the Hour of Venus and is followed by the Hour of Mercury. These hours are not equal hours like we have on our clocks. Only at the Equinoxes are the Planetary Hours equal.

From the first stirrings of astrology in the Near East, to the development of the Mysteries in the Mediterranean, to the observations of the Celts and Germanic tribes, and the Holy Days of the Church, rediscovered by the Occult revival,, the reclaiming of our ancestral celebrations, these are the sacred moments that the Western Mysteries  have given us.

Now what should you do with them if you are interested? Study the meanings, the symbols, the stories, the myths. Study the science, the pattern, the ebb and flow. Spend time in the midst of the change of seasons, experience the transformation in your environment and within yourself. Build annual rituals to help tie yourself to the cycles that can be based upon pre-existing calendars or that which is sent from one’s own Genius. When one listens to the rhythm of Nature, one can begin dancing with Her.