Whispering Winds

December 2005

"Life is a open book, with pages hidden within"

Hakata: African divination:

Hakata are pieces of bone, ivory or wood that were used by African Shona witch doctors (M'ganga) for divination. They are used to divine the source of illness or personal misfortune. 
The Hakata dice consists of a series of four miniature tablets, made of wood, ivory, or bone, each with a distinct design motif inscribed on one side.  They are cast upon the ground by the witch doctor who then interprets their meaning. There are sixteen possible throws, each of which has a name and a range of interpretations. Hakatas are generally  handmade by the diviner. This lends to some variations among the tablets, but a typical set consists of a  zigzag border on the front side of each tablet, thus marking it as the front of the dice..
The four tablets are distinguished from one another by name and features. Two have notches at the bottom; these are considered the junior tablets, the male, which is commonly called "Lumwe", has one notch. The female which is called "Ntakwala", has two notches.
The remaining two, or senior tablets, are marked as either female, which is called "Kwame" and is marked by the incised picture of an eye or a house on the upper side. Or as the male, which is called "Chilume" and is marked by the picture of an axe or an spear.
The witchdoctor uses one of two divination methods.  The first involves spirit possession. Any statments made by the inquisitor is considered to be from the spirits inhabiting them at the time of the throwing of the hakata dice. The second method is when the spirits speak through the hakata dice themselves.

The Buffalo Rock

The buffalo rock, as called by the Blackfeet Indians, was usually a fossil shell of some kind, picked up on the prairie. Whoever found one was considered fortunate, for it was thought to give a person great power over buffalo. The owner put the stone in his lodge, near the fire, and prayed over it. This story reveals not only the use of such a rock, but also a common method of hunting buffalo before the Indians had horses.
There was once a very poor woman, the second wife of a Blackfeet. Her buffalo robe was old and full of holes; her buffalo moccasins were worn and ripped. She and her people were camped not far from a cliff that would be a good place for a buffalo drive. They were very much in need of buffalo, for they were not only ragged but starving.
One day while this poor woman was gathering wood, she heard a voice singing. Looking around, she found that the song was coming from a buffalo rock. It sang, "Take me. Take me. I have great power."
So the woman took the buffalo rock. When she returned to her lodge, she said to her husband, "Call all the men and have them sing to bring the buffalo."
"Are you in earnest?" her husband asked.
"Yes, I am," the woman replied. "Call the men, and also get a small piece of the back of a buffalo from the Bear Medicine man. Ask some of the men to bring the four rattles they use."
The husband did as his wife directed. Then she showed him how to arrange the inside of the lodge in a kind of square box with some sagebrush and buffalo chips. Though it was the custom for the first wife to sit next to her husband, the man directed his second wife to put on the dress of the other woman and to sit beside him. When everything was ready, the men who had been summoned sat down in the lodge beside the woman and her husband. Then the buffalo rock began to sing, "The buffalo will all drift back. The buffalo will all drift back."
Hearing this song, the woman asked one of the young men to go outside and put a great many buffalo chips in line. "After you have them in place, wave at them with a buffalo robe four times, and shout at them in a singsong. At the fourth time, all the buffalo chips will turn into buffaloes and go over the cliff."
The young man followed her directions, and the chips became buffaloes. At the same time, the woman led the people in the lodge in the singing of songs. One song was about the buffalo that would lead the others in the drive. While the people were chanting it, a cow took the lead and all the herd followed her. They plunged over the cliff and were killed.
Then the woman sang,

More than a hundred buffalo

Have fallen over the cliff.

I have made them fall.

And the man above the earth hears me singing.

More than a hundred buffalo

Have fallen over the cliff.

And so the people learned that the rock was very powerful. Ever since that time, they have taken care of the buffalo rock and have prayed to it.

"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions."

Confucius (551 BCE - 479 BCE), The Confucian Analects

Triana's Kitchen
Dubliner Cheese Tart



• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
• Pinch of salt
• 5 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish butter, cut into small pieces
• 3 tablespoons cold water


• 1 tablespoon Kerrygold Irish butter
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 3 slices Irish traditional bacon, cut into strips
• 8 button mushrooms, sliced
• 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 6 ounces Dubliner cheese, grated
• 1 cup skim milk
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• 1 teaspoon Lakeshore Wholegrain mustard
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the water and form into a ball.

Roll out the pastry until large enough to line a 9-inch quiche pan. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the pastry to cover the base and sides and fill with ceramic pie weights.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove foil and bake 5 minutes more.

Remove from oven and cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 375° F.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook the onions until soft, but not browned, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic, bacon, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into the pastry base, add the tomato halves, and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

In a small bowl combine the milk, eggs, herbs, mustard, salt and pepper, and pour over the base. Bake until the filling is set and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.

Irish Triad: "Three things which bring a person respect among their neighbors: supporting themselves, being wise in their counsel, and being kind."

A Brief Look at Anubis (The jackal headed God).

Anubis was known as the Guardian of the Necropolis (cemetery). Anubis is also the God of Mummification. He is the God who guides the dead as they make their way along the paths of the Egyptian underworld, on their way to Osiris. His mother was Nephthys and his father was according to some, Ra and to others, Set. In the text of Unas {line 70} he is associated with the Eye of Horus. His cult center was Cynopolis.

Divination Section: Anthropomancy - This perverse method of divination is the reading of human entrails of a dead or dying person. Two noted Roman emperor's practiced this arcane art. One was Varius Avitus Bassanius (212 - 221 C.E.) He was first appointed as a priest of the sun God "Elagabal". Then at the age of 15, he became a Roman emperor. He, along with his mother was later put to death for their perversive acts.
The second emperor was Flavius Claudius Julianus (332 - 363 C.E.) He was the half brother to Constatine the Great. And a well trained mystic in his own right.

Wands and their uses

(Each monthly issue, a different wand will be listed)

Oak - The Oak is known as the King of trees. A wand made from this tree is known as a Priapic or Phallic wand. So named for the Roman God of procreation, " Priapus ". The end of the wand is generally tipped with an acorn or pinecone.
The Ogham ( oy-yam ) letter is D ( Duir )      
The Irish surname " MacDara " means son of oak. The Oak is associated with the Celtic God " Daghda "as well as with Brighid. The Oak symbolizes abundance, male fertility, longevity and protection.

                                 Herb Section: Galangal Root: China Root, India Root                 

                                                        (Alpina officinalis or A. galanga) Root                                                                                                                                

They have no well-defined medicinal use, although they have been advocated for many of the disorders that are treated with ginger. In Germany, herbalists use lesser galangal for dyspepsia biliary symptoms, bowel spasm and angina.In the Philippines the root is mixed with oils and applied as a poultice to bring boils to a head.

Aleister Crowley uses galangal in his formula for the incense of Abremelin.

Galangal Root has many magickal uses: Carry to court to help win your case. Carry or place in holy water to bring good luck.  Wrap money around the root and it will multiply. When worn or carried it offers protection, good luck and increases psychic abilities. If placed in a sachet of leather and silver, it draws money. Burn the powdered herb to break spells and curses. Ginger may be substituted when galangal is call for. Used in voodoo charms.

It's properties are aromatic and stimulant.

Its origin is Southeast Asia. Its rhizome (root) resembles ginger in appearance and in taste.

                     Crick's Corner: Greetings folks: I have touched on this subject before. But as I near my Crone stage it seems as if this argument rages on in the community. And so I am going to reassert my personal views here. I am talking about Lineage versus Tradititional versus Solitaires and so forth. Personally I believe that spirituality comes from within and so who cares that I call myself a witch and/or shaman or what have you.
There are those who say that you can't be a Wiccan if you are not in lineage with Gardner. So what? Wicca started in the mid 1950's, witchcraft has been around since the beginning of time. Does this mean that witchcraft and spirituality started with Gardner? Gardner says that only a wiccan can make another wiccan, again, so what? Are you interested in belonging to a elitist club or are you interested in spiritual growth? Please understand that as a witch, I am not bashing wicca. Rather as a spiritual walker, I pity those who have their noses up in the air because of some lineage to some guy named Gardner who made some unsubstantiated claims and set himself up as the Grand Poobah. The spiritual concepts that come from wicca are worth looking at. Its the arrogance of some within wicca that gets my disapproval.
I don't personally judge any religion or spiritual path, but unfortunately there are always those who forget their basic principles and try to be better then others following the same path. Spiritual lessons abound in this realm and there are numerous students ready to be assigned to these lessons.
Until next time Cailleachs...

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Editor in Chief: Crick

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