Shiva Aghora: Eating with Lepers and Untouchables. with Raven Kaldera
Aghora is the aspect of the Hindu god Shiva who looks after lepers, untouchables, and anyone who is looked down upon in society. Who are your lepers and untouchables? (Think of that really, really annoying person you cringe to see.) We’ll be learning about the lepers and untouchables in our lives, and doing a small ritual to Shiva Aghora to help us find patience and compassion for them. We’ll also be asking Shiva Aghora for help when any of us become the lepers and untouchables every day in the world.
Friday Panel Spotlight
What is the place of Ceremonial magick in the modern world? A lot of modern magical technique, and even neopagan rituals are outgrowths of medieval Ceremonial Magick. Are the trappings of Ceremonial magick (that we imagine as robed figures in castle towers) still useful, or have they been updated? Panelists have various experience with different sorts of ceremonial magick and will share their perspective.
Ariel Malachi Sirocco is an Integrative Hermeticist following the Corpus Hermetica and related writings; as such, he is a hardcore Panentheist. He frequently teaches ancient Hermetic history and traditions and has taught at several esoteric conventions along the Northeast and at countless private gatherings. Ariel has an academic background in biology (Q.C.) and 15 years with the American Museum of Natural History. To this day, he weaves his scientific knowledge with his ritual.
Ariel has been a practicing occultist since 1983. He was initiated as a High Priest of the Minoan Temple, Inc. of New York in 1998 and The Temple of the Spiral Path-NYC in 2004. During this time, he realized that the scientific and the esoteric were two sides of a coin named “Ritual” and, thus, began his true pursuit and calling: Hermetics.
He moved to Connecticut for several years where he started Coven Quiddity (2006). It grew into the Akashic Temple (2009) and ran monthly meetings and a few major events during the year. In 2007, he joined the Masonic fraternity and his attentiveness quickly raised him through the ranks reaching Master Mason in 2008. In 2012, he became a 32-Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and Washington Council Princes of Jerusalem, Master of Ceremonies (2012-2013) of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Bridgeport, Ct. In 2017, Ariel became the Worshipful Master of Union Lodge No.5 in Stamford, Ct.
During this time, his passion with Hermetics led him to reach out across the United States and abroad to Amsterdam, NE in search of Elders. In Amsterdam, he reached out to and visited the world-renounced University of Hermetics (@ U.o.A.). However, he found his teacher on the West Coast – in California and in 2015, Ariel was granted an encampment charter from the Ordo Templi Astartes (OTA) for New York City area.
It is Ariel’s belief that this “New Age of Esotericism” deserves academic exploration without sacrosanct or circular defenses. If this does not happen, the entire family of “pagan and esoteric traditions” will fall into disrepair, ill repute, and eventually dismissed as merely fanciful.
Past Classes: (all classes are at least 90 minutes) Contact at: email@example.com
Some, but not all, of these classes have been offered in prior years at Changing Times, Changing Worlds. (check the archives)
- Alchemy: History of the Stone
- Candle Magick
- The Chaldean Oracles: Who, What, Where, and Why
- The Chaldean Oracles: Hecate
- The Chakras: for Novices
- Elemental: Air
- Elemental: Crystal Mediation
- Elemental: Fire
- Elemental: Water
- Elemental Callings of Solomon: Ritual and Hermetic
- Elements of Ritual
- Eros and Thanatos
- Frequency Lecture: Schumann, Frequencies, and Energy healing
- The Hermetic Creation Myth
- Heretical Witchcraft: Roots and Fruit
- Iconography and the Masonic Temple (Greek and Roman Symbols)
- Lugh, Lughnasadh, and Lunatics: Irish and Roman Perspectives
- Manifestation 101
- The Measure of Magick: Sacred Geometry, 101
- The OCR: Observer Created Reality (Quantum and Perception)
- Mid-Summer Magic!
- The Nature of Magick: Intention and Will
- Personal Protection, Level One
- The Primacy of Paganism: Historical Hermetics in Egypt and the Near East,
- Pseudo-Dionysius and 10 Letters (Interpreting Pagan History)
- Sacred Sexuality and Sex Magick
- The Seven: Astrological and Alchemical Sisters
- Symbolism 101: Creating Change
- The 36 and Divine Creation!
- Which Witch is Which? And, Witch are You?
Walpergis Night- May Eve is April 30th; May 1st is May Day.
Many Pagans get together to show solidarity with each other and our ancestors by building bonfires, and dancing around May Poles.
Some remember that, as at Samhain, the veil is thin at this point in the yearly cycle, and it’s easier for our ancestors to visit this side. In Ancient Rome the Lemuria was held for three days in May. The family ancestors would be welcomed and fed, but then at the end (on the 13th) they would be sent away by tossing beans around the house and saying: “I send these; with these beans I redeem me and mine” (Haec ego mitto; his redimo meque meosque fabis.) nine times.
As with live relatives, sometimes we are glad to have them, sometimes we are glad to have them leave. While the benevolent dead became Manes or household spirits, the malevolent dead became lemures, spirits who would harm the living. These are the ones they wanted to banish.
In Northern Europe towns would erect May Poles and dance around them, and we still recreate the old ways- the dancing, the plays, with the hobby horse and Greenman. We welcome the coming growing season and the cycle of change, while at the same time, trying to connect with the past.
We no longer drive our cattle between two bonfires (or at least I don’t know anyone who does, there may be some who do), but we do recognize the need to purify as well as celebrate, to break with those parts of the past we want to let go, while holding onto the ones we love. Change usually includes choice, and sometimes taking responsibility for those choices is the hardest part of change. So let’s celebrate when we can, and enjoy the company of others who know what a magickal time this is!
Before the invention of chocolate as we know it, cacao had been used for centuries by Mayan, Aztec and other indigenous people of traditional plant medicine. It is served in community for the purposes of healing and connecting with each other and higher consciousness
Cacao is an incredible antioxidant, has been revered for its powerful ability to open our heart chakras and feel peaceful and centered
~join Willow for a magical session involving ceremonial raw cacao, meditation, drumming, song healing and connection. People who attend these ceremonies notice that in the days that follow, blockages in their lives shift, powerful synchronicities occur and even deep healings take place. All with the help of some delicious chocolate!
As the cacao takes effect, you’ll feel your heart chakra gently expand as you’re guided on a healing meditation and journey. When working with the cacao spirit, you can ask her to show you what is unseen, to show you the next steps on your path or simply to come out and play. The circle provides a safe and nurturing space for clearing, healing and release work. All you need to do is turn up,
How to prepare for the Cacao Ceremony:
• Fasting is not necessary, however it’s best not to eat for a couple of hours beforehand
• Do not have any dairy the day of ceremony ( Cow’s milk is said to block intestinal assimilation of flavonoids )
• Make sure you drink plenty of water in the lead up to, during and after the ceremony
• Avoid drinking caffeine on the day of the ceremony – you may feel jittery from the combination of the caffeine and the cacao, and it is not recommended for the kind of inner journeying work we will be doing
• Dress in loose, comfortable clothing
What to bring
• A large bottle of water. Cacao is a diuretic and it’s important you stay well hydrated
• A cushion and yoga mat so you can make yourself comfortable on the floor (there will be seating available if you choose)
• A blanket to stay warm – when journeying it can get a little chilly!
• Something to cover your eyes with (like a scarf or handkerchief) to block out the light and help you turn your focus within.
relax with the cacao, and surrender! You will leave feeling lighter and more energized
Health Benefits of Cacao
Cacao is the heart’s “blood” due to its relatively high levels of magnesium, antioxidants, and love associated chemicals, making it truly a “food for the heart”.
The medical and scientific buzz about chocolate began with studies of the Kuna, a group of indigenous islanders whose high-salt diet did not lead to high blood pressure. The early studies determined that Cacao was the cause, not genetics – the Kuna drink about an ounce (28 gm) of Cacao a day.
With Cacao, the heartbeat becomes pronounced, breathing is deepened and nourishing blood circulation is increased throughout the body. This increases physical and mental energy and endurance, arousing the senses and heightened awareness.
Pure Cacao has recently been found to contain high levels of antioxidant polyphenols, oligomeric procynanidins and other flavonoids that help boost the immune system and offer significant protection against “bad” cholesterol and heart disease. It is also very nutritious, having a high protein content and is reported to be the richest natural source for magnesium, an important mineral highly deficient in modern diets. The raw seeds are also surprisingly high in vitamin C and an excellent source of natural sulfur, a mineral associated with healthy skin, nails, hair and proper liver and pancreas function.
There is also much in the scientific literature about how Cacao not only lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol, but how it increases blood-flow to the brain which may delay dementias like Alzheimer’s, and about Cacao as a heavy metal chelator, binding and removing them from the body.
While the medical profession is suggesting that people eat dark chocolate, they don’t mention that most of the chocolate available lacks the essential components that are in the type of Cacao that much of the research was done with.
We think of our cacao as a plant medicine. Like any potent medicine, it is important to be mindful in its use.
In most cases, there are no concerns to be aware of. The pieces listed below are mainly a concern in higher doses, like when we use the cacao ceremonially. In these cases, the combination of potent cacao and a higher dose warrants some additional mindfulness.
Cacao is a strong bitter and power detoxifier as it helps cleanse the liver. Because of this, in higher doses people might experience detox symptoms such as headache or nausea. In this case, take it as a blessing and drink plenty of water as your body lets go of whatever it didn’t like. This will likely be accentuated for people on a raw diet or who are fasting. Go with lower doses in this case.
Many anti-depressants are contra-indicated with the tryptophan and MAO inhibitors in this cacao, so we recommend checking your meds first. Again, this is because our cacao is more potent to begin with and often taken in higher doses. Chocolate doesn’t have enough strength to cause these effects. Worst case scenario is headache and nausea, but avoid the hassle and do research first.
Serious heart conditions. The theobromine in cacao increases heart rate significantly and is a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure. If you have such a condition, go lighter on amounts.
Pregnancy & breastfeeding. Like coffee or tea, it is important to reduce intake of stimulating foods. The theobromine in cacao, which is very similar to caffeine, has a stimulating effect. Thus using lower dosages is recommended