Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ishtar Rising

Goddess of the New Light, by Pamela Matthews

As the sun drops below the horizon, and the moon, pregnant with longing, rises up over the new born Spring, the wheel turns, and Ishtar awakens in the underworld.  She has slumbered long, too long, here in her sister's realm, in the realm of the Dead, where the rivers run only with dust, where the polluted sea meets the bitter land.

Ishtar awakens, the Purim moon rises, Death gives way to the Spring.  Ishtar, Gleaming Goddess, Shining One, Torch of Heaven, Daughter of Morning, Herald of Day, Ishtar stretches, and shudders, and laughs and sighs.

At her right, Justice.  On my left, Goodness.  Set like stars in my crown shine Audience, Favor, and Peace.  All around me shine Life and Wellbeing.

Clarity!  Brilliance!  Dominion!
Clarity!  Brilliance!  Dominion!
Clarity!  Brilliance!  Dominion!

The way ahead is bright.  The way ahead is clear.  The way up from below, up from beneath, the way up and ahead is clear and bright.

The first step out of the underworld.  The deepest gate, the seventh gate, the root at the center of being.  The gate thrown open, I pick up my dress, sparkling white, radiant and agleam with power.  I put on my dress, sparkling white, radiant and agleam with power.  I, myself, am sparkling white, radiant and agleam with power.

The sixth gate, the azure gate, the stillness and quietude of the abyss.  The gate of Marduk thrown open,  I pick up my robe, indigo blue, the robe of the heavens, the protective shield of the gods' love  I put on my robe, indigo blue, heaven's grace, the protective shield of God's love.  I, myself, am indigo blue, am heavenly grace, the Beloved of the God of the gods.

The fifth gate, the gate of the flesh, the cauldron of breath and of flame.  The gate of Fire thrown open, at last, I pick up my sword and I wield it.  I pick up my swore, aflame and enflamed, strong and true and brave, the sword of my will and my breath.  I wield my sword, red and shining, strong and true, the sword of my breath and my flame.  I, myself, and red and shining, strong and true, a sword of will and flame.

The fourth gate, the gate of the sun, the golden gate at the center of Being.  I pick up my heart, polished by flame, strong and pure and alive.  I swallow my heart, feel it slip slide to my chest, slick and beating, alive.  My heart is warm, polished in flame, strong and pure and alive.  I, myself, am warm and enlivened, polished and strong and pure.

The third gate, the malachite gate, the gate of the forest and rivers, Ishtar's own gate, the Lion's gate, the gate of the hands and the throat.  I pick up my necklace, of amber and lapis, my necklace of joy, gold, and gleam.  I wear the necklace of joy at my throat, the rune the tells blessing and light.  I, myself,  am the Amber-Haired Queen, the Golden One, Gleaming, I shine.  I myself am Joyful, am Blessed, am Light that shines through the leaves.

The second gate, the Quicksilver gate, the gate of the throat, of the tongue, of the Word, the gate of the Name of the Lord.  I pick up my voice, long lost, long silenced, my words and my wiles and wit.  I shout out in joy, I speak poems and hymns, my lips drip with honey and wine.  I bellow my words I whisper my wiles, I write blog posts that showcase my wit.  I, myself, am wiley and witty, I myself am Brilliance and Shine, I myself am the Word of the Making, the Quicksilver Speaker of Fate.

The first gate, Phoebe's gate, Shining One, Grandmother Mine.  The gate of oracular insight, the gate of the clearest of minds.  The gate is thrown open, I pick up my crown, the crown of the moon and the stars.  The eight-pointed gem gleams at the center, the crown of the Queen of the Earth.  I put on my crown, of the moon and the stars, of the eight-pointed star of the Earth.  I, myself, am the Queen of the Earth, of the Heavens, of the Places Beneath, the sun and the moon, the planets, the stars, the center of being, the edges of time, the depths of the deeps, the light and the dark and the thing in between.  I am the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Mother of Ten Thousand Things.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Recipe: Love Spell Chicken

This recipe was inspired by "Like Water for Chocolate".  If you're into folk magic and food, I cannot possibly recommend that book highly enough.  The movie is also excellent, but does not include the recipes.  This version is really only tangentially related to the one in the book.  I often make this the first time I cook for a new partner.  It would be good for an anniversary or Valentine's day dinner.


  • 1 whole chicken (doves would be better, if you can get them)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened (so your love will be luxurious)
  • black or red pepper to taste (for heat.  I like it spicy, but I seem to date a lot of guys who can't handle that.  I realize as I write that sentence that it is true in every possible way.)
  • 1 whole apple, in eighths (make the first cut so you see the "star" in the middle)
  • 1-5 Tbsp rose water (rose water varies really dramatically from brand to brand, so you'll have to decide what the right amount is.  better too little than too much.  If you use too much, it will taste like grandma's soap). OR many rose petals.  Do not use florist roses; they're often coated in poison.
  • 1 Tbsp honey (for sweetness, obviously)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (for subtle smokey mystery)
  • 2 Tbsp sweet wine (for intoxicating infatuation)
  • 3 petals of red roses plucked from a holy place (churches very often grow roses, so this is easier than you might imagine)
  • 3 petals of a rose given from lover to lover (be careful to wash these; florist roses are COATED in pesticides).  It is ideal if these are roses given by your father to your mother, but make do.  Roses the partner you're cooking for gave you are also very good.
  • 3 petals of a rose from a wedding. 

  • Awaken each ingredient. Speak to it, and ask it to help bring feelings of love to the service. Speak of its unique properties. Thank it for giving its life to hep you. For example: "Beloved chicken, thank you for your life, that I will take into myself. Oh bird that gives birth everyday, give birth now to love and happiness! Let my lover and I feast in your honor!" You can either do all the awakening before you begin cooking, or (this is my custom) awaken each ingredient as you use it.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Awaken the flame, asking it to help your love burn true and strong.
  • Massage the butter into the chicken's skin.  Do this in a loving way, pouring as much good feeling and loving "energy" into the flesh of the chicken as you can.
  • Mix the rose water, honey, apple sauce, pepper, and paprika.  Enliven the potion.  Remind it to bubble and caramelize, turning sweet and deep and delicious, and to help your love do likewise.
  • Chop the rose petals into small pieces, and slowly add them to the mixture, extolling their virtues as you do so.
  • Shove the apple inside the chicken.  Make her like it. ;)
  • Put the chicken in a baking dish, and pour the sauce over it.
  • Roast, uncovered, for 1-1.5 hours, until the chicken is done.  (Exactly how long this is depends on your chicken and your oven.  If you don't know how to roast a chicken, google it.)

  • I like to serve this with yellow rice and asparagus.