Sak Yant - Sacred Magic Tattoos
Sak Yant, called the sacred magic tattoo or Buddhist tattoo, is an ancient type of Thai tattoo. When applied by a Buddhist Monk or Brahman Priest, the tattoo is said to confer mystical powers and protection on the wearer. It incorporates Buddhist prayers, called Mantras or Katas, that will invoke supernatural powers. Centuries ago, these magic spells were originally inscribed on pieces of cloth and Thai soldiers would wear Yant-printed jackets to offer them extra protection in battle.
Even today, many Thai men believe in their mystical powers, and have one or more tattoos inscribed on their bodies. There are stories of people wearing Sak Yant tattoos who were shot or involved in horrific car accidents from which tattoo bearers supposedly emerged unharmed.
The Sak Yant’s power of magic has been known to Thai people for hundreds of years, long before Buddhism came to Thailand. But Sak Yant has only recently become popular in the Western World, partly due to the publicity surrounding well known personalities receiving a Sak Yant tattoo.
Recently on Facebook someone passed along a little “quiz” about one’s birth number and what it means in your life. You take your birthdate (for example, 1-1-1901) and you add up the numbers (1 + 1 + 1 + 9 + 0 + 1 = 13, and then 1 + 3 = 4). Supposedly your personality is somewhat influenced by this number; a four, for example, may mean you’re a practical, down to earth person, while an eight means a flashy show-off (or something like that; I didn’t save the post that had the information). If you Google “birth number” you’ll get a bunch of other metrics by which you can be categorized–some only look at the day of the month you were born, others consider the day to be a “primary” birth number while your day plus month plus year is only secondary, or the big add-up is your life path number, and so on.
The thing is, it’s based entirely on one of hundreds of calendars that have been developed by humans over the millenia, the Gregorian calendar, which was finalized in 1582 AD, itself an update to the Julian calendar of 46 BC, itself a modification of the older Roman calendar. And the Roman calendar was simply an attempt to try and rectify the 365 day year with the twelve lunar cycles (and a few extra days) in that time. But the choice to go by the moon is just a choice, not a mandate; the Mayan Tzolk’in and Haab’ calendars are based on twenty day cycles, for example. Plus the number we assign to the year is based entirely on when people think Jesus of Nazareth might have been born, and therefore associated with one religion in particular; it’s hardly the only system for counting and numbering years that’s existed in the history of humanity.
Then there are the traits that people supposedly have simply by virtue of being born on a particular day of the month, or because the day, month and year numbers associated with their birth according to the Gregorian calendar happen to add up to a particular sum. I looked up the “meanings” of these numbers from a bunch of different sources online, and not only did I find some disagreement on meanings, but I could see traits in almost every definition that described me to one degree or another. Of course, these descriptions were so vague that they probably could have been made to apply to almost anyone–and that’s really how this whole thing works, isn’t it? You’re seeking your importance anywhere you can, to include mostly arbitrary human-created patterns, and giant cosmic cycles that really have very little to do with us at all. It’s quite self-centered.
If you have these things happen to you on a regular basis, it could be because you are an empath.
1. Do you sometimes feel others physical or emotional pain?
2. Do you feel you have the ability to knowingly tap in to how someone is feeling?
3. Have you ever looked at someone and somehow known…
So basically to sum it up, the Blood Moon symbolizes a moment in which the spirit realm and other realms can be easily communicated with. The other meaning is that “the goddess is currently a maiden. The sabbat Beltane is approaching. This could symbolize the first menstrual cycle for the virgin…
Folk names: Malaku (Greek, “mallow”)
Associated herb: Mallow
Powers: Power, protection, love, peace, business success
Magical uses: This beautiful green stone with bands of varying hues has long been used to lend extra energy during magical rites. Wear it, hold it, or place it on your alter to increase your ability to send power toward your magical goal. Anciently, it was thought to be most effective when engraved with a rayed Sun figure.
Though the stone is a tranquil green-blue, it is used in protective magic, particularly that involving children. Beads or pendants of malachite are worn to guard against negativity and physical dangers. Malachite is a traveler’s guardian stone and is said to be particularly powerful in preventing falls.
Wearing a malachite necklace that touches your skin near you heart expands your ability to love and, so, draws love to you. Or, utilize the stone in love-attracting spells. Set it on a piece of copper etched with the symbol of the planet Venus. Behind the stone, place a green candle and let this burn for fifteen minutes a day while you visualize yourself in a loving relationship.
Its deep-green color is soothing. Gazing at malachite or holding it in your receptive hand relaxes the nervous system and calms stormy emotions. Malachite promotes tranquility and ensures sleep if worn to bed. Held, it dispels depression.
Small pieces of malachite placed in each corner of a business building or a small piece placed in the cash register draws customers. Worn during business meetings or trade shows, it increases your ability to obtain good deals and sales. It is a salesperson’s stone.
(Source: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic)
Create A Potted Plant AltarOne of the best things we can do as Wiccans to strengthen our spiritual practice is to increase our connection to the great outdoors, especially the cycle of growing plants. And what better plants than sacred herbs? Green witches (also known as hedge witches) and kitchen witches may especially enjoy this project. Read on to discover how to create a potted plant altar.
We Wiccans can get too mired down with our jobs and urban lifestyles, but a potted plant altar can go a long ways toward strengthening your connection with nature. Such an altar infuses your spellwork with the energy of green, living plants. And it is compact enough to fit into the tiniest apartment even if you don’t have a balcony or a front stoop. You can scale the potted plant altar down to size and fit it on a coffee table or in a sunny windowsill. A potted plant altar is ideal for kitchen witches to keep in the kitchen. You can use any type of plant such as a flowering bulb or an orchid, if you like, but herbs are especially appropriate because of their symbolism as Wiccan correspondences and also because of their extreme hardiness. They only require a bit of water and sunlight. Meanwhile, most herbs look vibrant and attractive and smell divine.
In my photo, I have used rosemary (protection, good health, warding away negative energy). But you could also use lavender (protection, purification, serenity) or mint (protection, vitality), or any other herb like chives that you enjoy. Aesthetically speaking, such an altar usually looks best with the “woody” stemmed Mediterranean type herbs like rosemary that look like little pine trees, though mint can be attractive as well, especially when it flowers.
Depending on how big you want your altar to be, you can plant one herb in the center and place your ritual tools around it as I have, which works for a smaller arrangement, or you could plant herbs such as chives or mint around the perimeter and put a flat rock or tile in the center on which to arrange your ritual tools. Use caution with any lit candles to place them where they cannot singe the leaves. You will need the following:
- Small decorative pot with a drainage hole in the bottom and a saucer.
- Small herb plant, maybe four inches tall
- All-purpose potting soil mix
- Small bag of decorative gravel
Start with a small pot, which can be made of resin or plastic to reduce the total weight of the altar (remember, you still have to add potting soil and decorative gravel). The pot I used is about ten inches in diameter. Herbs need a pot with a drainage hole because they dislike having their roots sitting in standing water. Put a coffee filter or folded paper towel in the bottom of the pot over its drainage hole so that you won’t lose too much soil with each watering.
Add potting soil, which can be any basic mix, to fill about three-fourths of the pot. Dig a hollow in the potting soil and plant your seedling. Pat the potting soil loosely over the roots up to its stem, but don’t pack it down extremely hard. The roots need room to breathe.
Cover with decorative gravel. In the photo, I used pearl gravel. As you can see, I have a flat rock in the north section of the pot to represent the element of Earth. To the east, my athame symbolizes Air, and the lit candle provides Fire in the south. To the west, my chalice stands in for Water.
A potted plant altar is portable, beautiful, and deeply infused with the power of growing, living things. Most plants act as natural air fresheners through their photosynthesis cycle in that they draw in carbon dioxide and emit pure oxygen. A kitchen witch can keep a potted plant altar in the kitchen and snip off the occasional bits of rosemary or mint for cooking magical dishes. A green witch can keep one on the coffee table or in the bedroom to turn her ordinary surroundings into a place of spiritual refuge.
Liquid sage cleanser
(For when you can’t burn sage)
1 1/2 cup distilled water
15 drops sage essential oil
1 quartz crystal
1 spritzer bottle
Mix all ingredients together and add the crystal to the bottle to add power and as a shaker.
–The Darkest of Lights
"The last crops of winter"