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White Oak Grove CUUPS

Exploring Pagan Traditions in Rockford, IL

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Sigil Magick: What it is, how to use it, how to make your own

 

What is a sigil?

  • Simply put, a sigil is a symbol, marked onto something else, that is believed to have magical properties
  • Sometimes thought of as “high magick” by ceremonialists and occultists cf. the Lesser Key of Solomon, a widely known set of sigils used for controlling demons.
  • Often much more organic and basic. The simple pentagram is one such sigil. Hex signs, often seen on old farms, are sigils.

Continue reading “Sigil Magick: What it is, how to use it, how to make your own”

Changes in White Oak Grove Board of Directors

During the 2020 annual meeting of White Oak Grove CUUPS our Board of Directors saw its first significant change in the executive leadership since the group’s inception as Betsy retired from her service as President.  Continue reading “Changes in White Oak Grove Board of Directors”

COVID-19 Pandemic Precautions

Out of an abundance of caution for the health and well being of our members and friends, all in person meetings and events for White Oak Grove CUUPS have been canceled through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  See our facebook group for upcoming online events.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay home. 

Featured post

Two Minute Tarot: Meaning of the Suits

Q: What do the different suits of my tarot deck mean?

A:  In short, Staves/Rods/Wands equate to topics dealing with inspiration, creativity, tasks, goals, beginnings, growth. They are associated with the element and astrological signs of FIRE. Cups/Chalice are generally equated with emotions, relationships, feelings, desires, emotions, internal. They are associated with the element and astrological signs of WATER.  Swords are the tool of reason, truths, observations, actions, struggles, intellect.  They are associated with the element and astrological signs of AIR.  Finally Coins/Pentacles tend to refer to material goods, home life, career, manifestations.  They are associated with the element and astrological signs of EARTH.

 

This Two Minute Tarot was originally presented by April Kane for White Oak Grove CUUPS August 4, 2019.  ©2019 April Kane

Two Minute Tarot: Major vs. Minor Arcana

Q: What is the difference between the tarot cards with numbers, and the cards named for people?

A: There are generally 78 cards in a tarot deck; and I say generally because some decks are only the Major Arcana or sometimes liberal with a few additional cards. The tarot deck is broken down into Major and Minor Arcana. There are 22 Major Arcana cards (usually numbered 0-21) and 56 Minor Arcana cards which are spread over 4 different suits Ace through 10, and Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The most common used are Staves (or Wands), Cups, Swords, Coins (or Pentacles).

Think of the Major Arcana as major happenings, milestones, events, and energy that one can use or call upon. The Minor Arcana can be viewed as smaller (daily) happenings, details, or events. The Minor lends insight into the steps needed to reach goals or changes that need to be made.

You can do a tarot reading with just the Major Arcana, but most will not do one with only the Minor Arcana. The Major helps to clue you into the large events that may be supported by the Minor.

 

This Two Minute Tarot was originally presented by April Kane for White Oak Grove CUUPS August 4, 2019.  ©2019 April Kane

Two Minute Tarot: Getting Personal With Your Deck

Q: Now that I have a Tarot Deck, what should I do with it?

A: Once you have your deck, now you need to get familiar with it. Remember that it is helpful to learn about your deck and look at the cards before you jump in and start reading for your friends. Do your homework!!!

My favorite way to do homework is this:
Take your new tarot deck, the book that came with it, a writing utensil, and paper…

You are going to start with the Major Arcana. If you are not familiar with what that is- your book will have it labeled. They are the cards that are not part of the 4 suits that your deck utilizes.
Locate the first card in the book and locate that card in your deck.

  • How does the book describe the meaning of that card? Do you agree or disagree?
  • Take a few minutes to think on its imagery. What do you see?
  • What is happening in the picture and why?
  • How would you interpret this card?

Write down your conclusions on paper. Now move onto the next card.

Work through at least the Major Arcana. Even if you have read tarot for decades, this process is helpful especially for decks that don’t follow the typical symbols or imagery you may be familiar with. It is also a great tool at handling your deck and getting it familiar to you.

Beyond this task, a daily card pull and study can be helpful as well. You can ask, What do I need to know today? or What do I need to focus on today? Pull your card and reason out what the card is telling you and why. It is helpful to write this down you may need that information later in your day and not necessarily when you pull your card.

This Two Minute Tarot was originally presented by April Kane for White Oak Grove CUUPS August 4, 2019.  ©2019 April Kane

 

Two Minute Tarot: Selecting A Deck

Q: There are so many Tarot Decks, how do I choose?

A: Honestly, you can select whatever deck calls out to you.  Some people think that you cannot purchase your own decks, they must be gifted to you… Personally, pish posh to that! If you wait for someone to gift you with one or wait for the perfect deck to hop in your hands you may end up waiting your whole life.

The most infamous tarot deck – Rider-Waite – tends to be the one people gravitate to first especially if you pick up an extended How To book along with the deck as most books work off of that deck.

Divination is a form of knowledge, so lift yourself up by your bootstraps and go get one. Even if the first deck you get doesn’t end up being “perfect” for you, get out there and get learning. It is through trial and error that we find out what does work best for us.

This Two Minute Tarot was originally presented by April Kane for White Oak Grove CUUPS August 4, 2019.  ©2019 April Kane

Two Minute Tarot: Introduction

Q: How do I learn to read Tarot Cards?

A: Learning to read the tarot can include going off of the symbology of the cards and what you interpret them to mean, memorizing the book that comes with your tarot deck (everyone seems to have their own opinion with overarching similarities), journaling a daily diary with a meditation on the card and what impressions you get from it, reading books on tarot, taking classes on tarot (paid and free versions are available all over the internet), or diving in through dabbling.

Whatever method you have for your knowledge, tarot in many ways is very subjective. There is an overarching similarity in themes of cards, ie. The World, Death, numerical symbology, etc. however it is up to the reader with the impressions they are receiving with the reading that will likely influence how a card is or is not read. Also, it is the knowledge of the reader that _____ card means _____ that governs what is interpreted. Not all decks are created equally if you only go off of the words of the deck author.

Trust your instincts with the cards and know that there is no “one way” to make tarot work for you.  Go forth and TAROT!

This Two Minute Tarot was originally presented by April Kane for White Oak Grove CUUPS August 4, 2019.  ©2019 April Kane

Macumba

Macumba, like voodoo, appears to be both exciting and romantic to the visitor, but many of these forget that macumba is a religion to a large proportion of the Brazilian population.  It should be treated and respected as such. White Oak Grove CUUPs was thrilled  to have a recent discussion group on the religion lead by Betsy U.  Betsy lived in Brazil for some time and was able to give us an exciting and unique perspective on Macumba.

Continue reading “Macumba”

Shinto: Way of the Spirits

 

Shinto is the indigenous “religion” of Japan. It is not a “full” religion in that it has no written scriptures and is not a way to explain the world. Shinto teaches ethical practices but has no commandments.  Shinto: Way of the Spirits was originally presented by Allen Reed for White Oak Grove CUUPS September 2, 2018.  ©2018 Allen Reed

Continue reading “Shinto: Way of the Spirits”

Hestia Symbolism in the Unitarian Universalist Association

A flame within a chalice, first deigned by Hans Deutsch in 1941, is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol prominently.  What does this have to do with the greek Goddess of Home and Hearth? Continue reading “Hestia Symbolism in the Unitarian Universalist Association”

Introduction to the Runes

“I know that I hung

on a wind-battered tree

nine long nights,

pierced by a spear

and given to Odin,

myself to myself,

on that tree

whose roots grow in a place

no one has ever seen.

 

No one gave me food,

No one gave me drink.

At the end I peered down,

I took the runes—

screaming, I took them—

and then I fell.”

(Havamal verses 138 – 139, “The Poetic Edda” translated by Jackson

Crawford)

Continue reading “Introduction to the Runes”

Join Us For A Beltane Ritual

We will gather Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 12 PM at Rockford Unitarian Universalist to celebrate the fae spirits of awakening, fertility and rebirth. A fae-focused Beltane ritual that will include laughter and a May pole! Beltane is also a great time for hopes, dreams and aspirations to be wished on. We will prepare a community wish box to be buried in the rich soil of Mother Earth.  The ritual should take about an hour and light refreshments will be served.

Magical Concoctions,Brews and Teas

If you’re trying to learn Witchcraft—or anything really—a base of know Potion, brew, philter, bath, infusion, sachet, charm or mojo bag, Witch’s bottles and jars—there are so many different kinds of things Witches seem to make, aren’t there? Well, they don’t call it “The Craft” for nothing. Witchcraft and spells often involve actually crafting and enchanting different types of items.  Continue reading “Magical Concoctions,Brews and Teas”

Feminine Face of God – April Discussion

Join us on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 12 PM – 3 PM for our April discussion as guest speaker Jan helps us to explore the Feminine Face of God (Divine Feminine through the ages). Continue reading “Feminine Face of God – April Discussion”

Hestia Comes First

Hestia, was the daughter of Cronus, Titan of the Harvest, and Rhea, Mother of Gods. Part of the first generation of Olympians, she was the sister to Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Hades, Poseidon. Hestia is the first and last, oldest and youngest, of the children of Cronus. First born of the siblings, she was the first to be swallowed by Cronus in his attempt to circumvent prophecy and not have his throne usurped by his children. A Homeric Hymn from 700BC tells us that as the first to be devoured by Cronus, she was also the last to be yielded up again.

Continue reading “Hestia Comes First”

Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

 

Cultures throughout the world have expressed in their philosophies and mysticism the use of the elements to express the ideas of body, mind and soul. In the western world the elements most commonly used are Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Continue reading “Earth, Air, Fire, and Water”

Aphrodite: Goddess of Love

Aphrodite has two birth stories, with the most commonly believed story is that from Hesiod’s Theogony, that she was born when Cronus cut off Ouranus’s genitals and threw them into the sea. So potent was the sky father that a great sea foam arose and from the sea foam Aphrodite was born and was carried to shore a on a scallop shell, fully formed and radiating beauty. In the Illiad however, Homer it is mentions that Aphrodite’s parents were Zeus and Dione.

Aphrodite-sea-foam-birth.jpg

Continue reading “Aphrodite: Goddess of Love”

Our Calendar of Events page has been updated with the upcoming events of 2019!  The board is excited to be bringing in several guest speakers to lead monthly discussion groups, and for the first time ever we will be offering several new rituals this year!  Check out our Calendar of Events  page and be sure to save the dates!

 

 

Swords in Magic

 

Swords in Magic

The sword has held a place of power and ritual since it first started being made and used. Continue reading “Swords in Magic”

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