We Are Closing Our Store

Dearly Beloved,

It is my pleasure to announce that we are closing our Oklahoma City store at the end of May. Scroll down to the very bottom for some important info if you don’t want to read the stuff in the middle…

We will re-open in 2017 in the Garden District of New Orleans, somewhere on Magazine Street, as Starwind Gifts.

We’re going to have a big party (probably Memorial Day weekend, but stay tuned for details about that). I would *LOVE* to have a jazz funeral for the shop so if you know anyone who can do that, let me know right away!

I know that a lot of you have found our staff to be more than just clerks and owners. We’ve counselled many a customer, held a few hands, been that shoulder to cry on and the sounding board for your crazy ideas. We’ve been a source of comfort and a font of wisdom. We have hooked a lot of you guys up with spiritual candles, magic pebbles, and sparkly baubles over the years, and we know that you’re going to miss us when we’re gone because it’s true – there really isn’t anyone else like us in Oklahoma.

So if you would, please do us a favor – help send us out with a bang. Don’t cry for us. Instead, come by and celebrate our memory and our legacy.

I’d love to have a card or letter from every one of you letting me know that we mattered to you. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged, and we’re going to be starting from scratch in the Crescent City. If I can look through an album of your letters, that will keep me going in those small hours late at night when things get overwhelming. Just tell me what we meant to you, what it meant to have Once Upon A Silver Moon and/or the staff in your life. Take your time, compose your thoughts, and then drop it in the mail (address below) or bring it by the store. Sealed envelope, open book, crazy art piece – whatever. It’s important that it come from the heart.

I know that New Orleans is absolutely the right move for me. If I could, I would take all of you with me. That would get a little awkward though because you know the back yards aren’t all that big and the neighbors would complain about the tents and the noise.

I will always cherish the time I have spent and the deep impact I know we have made here in Oklahoma City.

Through the years, I know I have given good counsel, pulled off some admittedly pretty impressive magic here and there, saved more than one marriage and more than one life. I know I have helped keep some of you from doing some really stupid stuff and helped get a few of you out of sticky situations. I’m not bragging; this is my job, as a minister and mage.

So please, if you will, take just a few minutes to put pen to paper and tell me in your own words that all this hard work and time given freely (literally freely, I never got a paycheck here) was not for nothing. I cannot express the sincerity of this request, the depth of importance each person’s words would mean to me.

In the past, stores have come and gone. People don’t get to have closure when a shop like ours just closes quietly, with the owner bitter, the accounting books usually on fire, the earth scorched and salted. We’ve had a closure like that ourselves and it left us peering out from the dark shadows under a rock licking our wounds. This shop almost didn’t happen again because of the pain we endured, trying to make things better before we finally succumbed to the trials that eventually took us down.

But this time it’s different – we are looking at a shiny new and admittedly irresistable opportunity to go to a place where we can, we think, still make a difference to the locals and also, maybe make a little bank as well. It’s time to pay off the credit cards and make a paycheck like other grownups. And that means, unfortunately for you guys, it’s time for us to say goodbye to Oklahoma City.

We are, therefore, pleased to let you know that this is happening, but that doesn’t mean we won’t miss you. Of course we will. So to help bring closure, we are going to throw a GTFO party, time and date to be announced forthwith. We honor you guys enough to stick around and say goodbye and have one last drink together. Details to follow, as soon as we know them we will get it out on the mailing list.

In the meantime:

We are not going to have a storewide clearance sale, because we are going to need the inventory for the new shop. HOWEVER, we are not going to put the incense and herbs into a storage unit – that is just not going to work out.

Therefore, all incense is 25% off, and all herbs are 50% off.

If you have participated in our Six Spot rewards program, we will honor the rewards at 10% of whatever your current total. So even if you made one purchase for $4.00, you have store credit of 40 cents. We are not going to start any new rewards cards and will put all the unredeemed ones through the shredder once we close.

We are not accepting returns of any merchandise at all for any reason. Not that we have a lot of returns anyway, but it’s kind of obvious that we don’t want it back.

We are quite willing to make some deals and accept reasonable counter offers on stuff. I’m not going to give things away, but yeah we can certainly bargain if something catches your eye. And note – we like cash, cash is a nice thing if you’re feeling like wheelin’ and dealin’.

We are planning to take most of our fixtures with us but we do have a few things we’re willing to part with. Mainly, the enormous green marbled counter with the lab surface on it that we use for our working altar in the Dark Room. That thing is huge, and very heavy. Someone can HAVE it if you will just come and haul it off. Please phone the shop to make arrangements beforehand though.

The closer it gets to the end of the month, the less stuff we’ll have. We’ll try to keep as much inventory out as possible but we’re going to be starting to pack stuff up as soon as possible. We may wish to borrow a couple of folding tables, if anyone has them to lend for a week or two. I can’t come fetch or return since I do not own a car and the one I sometimes drive is a wee thing. But please note, after the 20th, stuff is going to get inventoried and then packed away, so don’t put off your visit.

I plan to have the entire store cleared out (including the fixtures) for the party. It usually rains that weekend so I want to plan to be able to have disco lights and a DJ inside. Like I said we don’t know the exact end date yet (I’m waiting to hear back from my landlady) and therefore don’t know the exact date of the party. But end of May is when I want to do it. I’m going to look at houses in New Orleans first week of June and want all this stuff wrapped up by then.

Many fond farewells to all, and I hope to see you at least one last time before we close.

Ande

Our MAILING address is not the same as the shop.

OKC mailing (it’ll be good for a while) –

Once Upon A Silver Moon
3102 N Classen Blvd No 123
Oklahoma City OK 73118

NOLA mailing (this address is good now, and will be our permanent mailing address) –

Starwind Gifts
3436 Magazine St No 347
New Orleans, LA 70115

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Pentagram, Pentacle… What Does It Mean?

Perhaps the most identifiable symbol in Western occult practice is the pentagram. Despite the wealth of knowledge available, there is still a surprising amount of stigma and misinformation when it comes to understanding this simple star. If the average pedestrian correctly identifies the symbol in the first place, the usual assumption is often either Satan worship or dark witchcraft (or both). Hopefully, through education, we may allay these fears and combat malign ignorance.

Tetragrammaton pentacle

Tetragrammaton with pentacle, as conceived by Elphias Levi.

The pentagram is always symbolized by a five-pointed, interwoven star; however, not all such stars necessarily represent a pentagram. Pentagrams have various esoteric meanings attached whereas a star is simply a geometric shape.

Whether the star is enclosed in a circle or not does not define pentagram vs pentacle. The terms seem to derive from the same concept, but different users will choose how to draw or define it depending on their tradition. Some say that the pentagram is any star that is drawn (from -graph, draw), where a pentacle is a non-written star with or without a circle (for example, a pendant).

Within the Wiccan tradition specifically, the pentacle is an altar tool (previously called a pantacle, which looked like a five-sided square; this terminology comes from Wicca’s roots in Thelema) and a pentagram is the sigil or symbol, with or without an encompassing circle. However, even Wiccans do not agree on the specific terminology or uses, resulting in online debates.

The earliest recorded use of the pentagram is thought to be from Uruk, a place in ancient Mesopotamia around 3500 BCE. It was used to symbolize heavenly bodies in general. The goddess Ishtar was very important in this region; the “morning star” – Venus – was called the Star of Ishtar and remains significant in this region’s culture as the star that accompanies the crescent moon in Islamic symbolism.

Later, around 2600BCE, when cuneiform writing was used, pentagrams suggested directions or regions, such as “heavenly quarters”.

Pythagoras and his followers would introduce the pentagram to Greece as a symbol of health, unity, and humankind.[1,2,3,4] In the time of the Pythagoreans, ca. 500 BCE to 200 CE, pentagrams appear everywhere from Greek coins to decorative carvings in synagogues.

Ancient Greek coin showing pentagram

Ancient Greek coin from Lucania approx 350 BC showing pentagram and lion.

Most recently, before the modern stigmatization, the pentagram was used in Christianity to represent the Five Wounds of Christ, ca. 200 until 1400 CE.

Modern ideas regarding the Pentagram may be traced primarily to the Renaissance era, and especially the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Through him, and others, the ideals promoted by the Pythagoreans were revived, expanded, and applied to ritual magick. Among these teachings are the associations of the points with the elements of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit;[1,2,3,4,5] the symbol of the human microcosm;[1,2,3] and the use of the circled pentagram, or pentacle, as a protective device.[2,3,5]

There seems to be some debate over whether the pentagram describes the apparent movement of the planet Venus [1,5]. In the latter context, the symbol is said to derive from the planet’s conjunctions with the sun, as seen from Earth.[2]

If one links the transit of Venus to the pentagram, one may also understand why Luciferians may choose to use it as their symbol. Venus has long been called “the morning star” – which is exactly what Lucifer is called in 2 Peter 1:19, clearly referring to the planet Venus, and a small handful of other Biblical references (see link). Most of the time the biblical writers are using the word Lucifer to mean “morning light” or “light bringer”, but in Revelations 22:16-22 the term “Morning Star” refers to Jesus Christ, and there you are, back again at the five wounds of Christ imagery. It is important to note that Lucifer is not usually thought to be the same guy as Satan in the Bible, although modern Christians tend to lump them together as one person.

From this understanding of the symbolism behind the pentagram, we may better understand its meaning with regard to its context. The context is everything, and without it, the symbol could mean anything, depending on the beholder.

As a symbol of the human body, the difference appears between the pentagram and the pentacle: an uncircled pentagram (ie, a star) may symbolize an individual’s freedom and openness, as opposed to the protected or restrained pentacle.[3]

In this same vein, the upright pentagram may be used to symbolize the feminine, or goddess, while an inverted pentagram may represent the masculine, the Horned God,[1,5] or any variety of goat-headed deity.

Further, as a symbol of the elements, the pentagram may represent the dominion of the spirit over material elements, point up, or the opposite.[3]

Ultimately, as with every other symbol, the significance of the device depends entirely upon the user; hence, one should not make assumptions about others based upon a single design they happen to wear.

For further reading:

[1] http://www.symboldictionary.net/?p=1893

[2] http://www.alchemygothic.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=161:pentagram-reference&catid=48:alchemy-encyclopedia

[3] http://www.angelfire.com/id/robpurvis/pentagram.html

[4] http://sites.lafayette.edu/rel101-sp12/2012/04/22/the-wiccan-pentagram-common-misconceptions/

http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/pentagram.html

[5] Grimoire For The Apprentice Wizard by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

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additional text and editing by Ande Spenser

Posted in Metaphysics 101, Symbols and Lore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

High Priestess Dice Meditation

For our third birthday party, we decided to use the High Priestess card from the tarot as a focal point of our theme.

the High Priestess tarot card

Traditional Rider-Waite image of the High Priestess.

The High Priestess (number 2 in the major arcana) is a concept that is a little difficult to explain when she shows up in a reading. It’s not a very advanced card, but if you don’t master this energy in the course of your journey, it’s difficult to move ahead in a natural, organic, and confident manner.

The High Priestess is, essentially, both looking back and reflecting on what you have learned and experienced thus far, and at the same time, looking ahead to how you might apply those lessons as you continue to grow.

Given that we have now outlasted our lease and seem to still be in business, this card is very appropriate to the staff of Once Upon A Silver Moon as we look ahead to what comes next. We have had some rough times in the past, and more than a few days wondering if the rent will get paid or if it was time to throw in the towel, but the business has been rather insistent that it’s going to succeed.

We’ve always managed to come through the dark times somehow. And now that we’ve reached this benchmark, we might as well assume that we have been doing something right, and continue to plan to be around for the long haul. Continue reading

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