Articles

Welcome

June, 2019

Cover art: This month’s cover features the colorful Midsummer Sticker Set created by Aurora Flemming & Avalon Kisbey of AuroraandAvalon on Etsy. These beautiful stickers are perfect for any Pagan’s planners, books of shadows, bullet journals, scrapbooking projects, or crafts. They have a large assortment that can be seen at AuroraandAvalon. You can, also, visit them on their FB Group, Instagram: auroraavaloncreations, and on Pinterest.

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We Welcome Summer In & You With A New Issue…Here is Some of What You Will Find Inside:

A Review of Woodland Wand Creation. Can you really get a gorgeous Wand & for a fair price? Our source says YES you can Witch!

Fresh from a workshop at Pantheacon, Annwyn Avalon had a wonderful talk with Mabh at PaganPagesOrg about her new book, Water Witchcraft, and other aspects of her work.

Come see why our reviewer calls this title a “…small, yet mighty book.”

I Don’t want to give it all away on the cover but we do have a great book excerpt, more amazing reviews, our trusty monthly columns, holiday correspondences, some things to learn, a little to remind us, oh yes, and some things to teach along the way. Enjoy, for we have enjoyed sharing this month as we always do! With love.

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Gael Song

June, 2019

House Cleansing, Connecting with the Spirits of a Place

I recently moved into a new home, so the issues of cleansing and connecting with the land are particularly important to me right now. People can get quite fanatical sometimes about walking sunwise several times around a home before they barely set foot inside. But anyone moving in is standing on the shoulders of the person who recently vacated. So, I think it’s good to take a short space of time to feel what that person left behind, for it’s imprinted in the walls and soil, along with all the owners and the native peoples before them in layers below the earth. I very much want to know what those are before I cleanse them away, past life memories always built into these renewals. For instance, the previous owner here was a bit irresponsible, leaving debris down by the lake shore, a submerged canoe, a rotten trellis thrown over the stones. There is a certain discourtesy both to the earth and the coming owner in this imprint, but nothing severe. There are numerous weeds in the lawn, thankfully, so chemicals have not been used here. This would have bothered me far more than bailing out an old canoe. That canoe speaks of past lives as a Native near this place, too, something I needed to be reminded of by the spirit world, something I need to heal. Plus, I personally think it’s far more important to take time to bring enough order out of the moving chaos to have most of the comforts of a home back in place before doing a thorough cleansing (unless there’s a really nasty energy hanging around that needs immediate attention, of course). I’ve been here a week now, so this would be the perfect morning to anchor my spirit in here.

The first thing I always do at a new home I’ve been called on to cleanse is walk the land to sense the energies in depth. If any areas are particularly dark, I do an immediate healing on those. Then I walk sunwise around the home, calling on the Creators, Goddess and God, to anchor in, to protect and lead the owners as long as they are living in that place. Entering the home itself, I like to sprinkle flower essences in all the rooms, moving sunwise again. There are many essences or herbs that can be used. Most people sage a home, but since I’m allergic to smoke, I find flower essences work best. Sage is the wise woman essence, a good one to use. But I adore sprinkling Herkimer diamond flower essence across the floors (made by steeping a Herkimer diamond crystal, a clear quartz stone with points at both ends, in water in the sun for 4-6 hours and asking the spirit of the crystal to be implanted into the water, then stored in 1/3rd brandy in a dark quiet place.). This stone brings a new and sparkling energy out of the deep heart into the forefront of the heart to be brought into life and action when used medicinally. In a new home, it brings a heart brilliance into the rooms, a shift into a fresh way of life that is both heart centered and carries a new focus for the owners, a new direction in life. Other essences I like to use are: White Eden Rose, the Goddess flower, or Red Eden rose, the God flower, scattered everywhere to anchor the Creators’ strong love and holding power into each room. I use Love in a Mist very often, too, or Forget-Me-Not, both essences of the divine children (Love-in-a-Mist for the girl, Forget-Me Not, the boy), asking for comfort and gentle growth for the inner divine children of the new owners. Then I sing a chant or short song, which sends the signal out to the spirit world to complete the shifts put into place during the ritual. That’s it, quite simple, but effective in bringing in the thrust of change.

Outside any new home of my own, though, I connect more deeply, slowly, over a moon or more. I like to put my hand on every tree, feeling each one’s nature, for these will be my new friends in very real way. I like to sit on the earth in a power spot, a private nook or corner that’s especially lovely, and feel the connection with the Goddess rise up to hold me within. Before I leave any old home, too, I walk it counter clockwise, releasing the old connections to make room for the new. Here in my new home, I have many old oaks along the lake, some black, some white. I haven’t taken time to sit beneath them all and meditate, but I will soon. I feel their ancient strength, though, in everything I do, far different from my last home with only a young Rose of Sharon beside the back door. Oak leaves have a spinal imprint in their veining, so I know I will likely be building backbone in this place. There are maples here as well, so I’ll be taking some kind of action, too, for they resonate with hands, as you can see in the shape of the leaves. There are many lessons and strengths to be drawn from the trees of a place, always very carefully prepared by the spirit world for every owner, trees bringing exactly what’s needed by each person during their moons or years of living in each place. If there are other special features of the land, such as the small lake behind my home here, it’s good to meditate with these as well. I like to feel what each may have to say about beginnings in any new place.

And lastly, I like to take some kind of real action to make the new house my own. The first thing I did outside, on my second day here, was plant a small Goddess garden down by the water. It will be my meditation place. Then, in another week or so, I’ll be planting 12 small English oak trees, creating a nemeton here, a sacred grove. I’ll take my place as a Celtic priestess in a real way that day, the perfect ending of my transition here. I’ve already put in wildflowers I brought with me to put between the oaks, such as the foam flower in the illustration.

May all who are going through the utter chaos of packing and traveling, be blessed in your transitions and find peace, great joy, and spirit growth in your new abodes.

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About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment on Amazon

Lughnasadh Correspondences

June, 2019

(Lughnasadh Handmade All Occasion Card available for purchase, with many other beautiful items, at HappyKarmaStore on Etsy. You can also visit their other sites KandyHurley, Grimalkin Stuido, & RedBubble.)

(Loo-nas-ah) Major Sabbat (High Holiday) – Fire Festival August 1, 2

Other Names: Lunasa (meaning August), Lughnasaad, Lughnasa Celtic), First Harvest, August Eve, Feast of Cardenas, Feast of Bread, Tailltean Games(Irish), Teltain Cornucopia (Strega), Ceresalia (Ancient Roman) Harvest Home, Thingtide (Teutonic), Lammas (Christian). Laa Luanys, Elembious, Festival of Green Corn (Native American)

Animals and Mythical beings: Griffins, Basilisks, Roosters, Calves, Centaurs, Phoenix

Gemstones: aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, yellow diamonds, citrine

Incense and Oils: wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood

Colors: red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray

Tools, Symbols, and Decorations: corn, cornucopias, red, yellow flowers, sheaves of grain (wheat, barley, oats), first fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, spear, cauldron, sickle, scythe, threshing tools, sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires, bilberries, God figures made of bread or cookie dough, phallic symbols

Goddesses: The Mother, Dana (Lugh’s wife & queen ), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman grain goddess .. honored at Ceresalia), the Barley Mother, Seelu (Cherokee), Corn Mother, Isis (Her birthday is celebrated about this time), Luna (Roman Moon Goddess), other agricultural Goddesses, the waxing Goddess

Gods: Lugh (Celtic, one of the Tuatha De Danaan), John Barley Corn, Arianrhod’s golden haired son Lleu (Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize), Dagon (Phoenician Grain God), Tammuz/ Dummuzi (Sumerian), Dionysus, plus all sacrificial Gods who willingly shed blood/give their life that their people/lands may prosper, all vegetation Gods & Tanus (Gaulish Thunder God), Taranis (Romano-Celtic Thunder God), Tina, (Etruscan-Thunder God), the waning God

Essence: fruitfulness, reaping, prosperity, reverence, purification, transformation, change, The Bread of Life, The Chalice of Plenty , The Ever-flowing Cup , the Groaning Board (Table of Plenty)

Meaning: Lugh’s wedding to Mother Earth, Birth of Lugh; Death of Lugh, Celtic Grain Festival

Purpose: Honoring the parent Deities, first harvest festival, first fruits grains & drink to the Goddess in appreciation of Her bounty, offering loaves of sacred bread in the form of the God (this is where the Gingerbread Man originated)

Magicks & rituals: astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, meditate & visualize yourself completing a project you’ve started

Customs and Activities: games, the traditional riding of poles/staves, country fairs, breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for charms/rituals, Lughnasadh fire with sacred wood & dried herbs, feasting, competitions, lammas towers (fire-building team competitions), spear tossing, gathering flowers for crowns, fencing/swordplay, games of skill, martial sports, chariot races, hand-fastings, trial marriages, dancing ’round a corn mother (doll)

Foods: loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer

herbs: grain, acacia, heather, ginseng, sloe, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, aloes, frankincense, sunflower, hollyhock, oak leaf, wheat, myrtle

Element: Fire

Gender: Female

Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

June, 2019

June 2019 for Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

Bright Blessings!

I write this on the 18 of May, and it is above 80 degrees, and feels and smells like Summertime already! I can hardly believe how fast the Wheel of the Year is turning!

I could write a lot about which plants are doing what, but I thought it would be better to show you. I decided I would focus on planting as much on the patio as possible this year, and you can see that is going very well. Raised beds are a great favorite of mine! I proudly share my photos.

In the front, you can see things are JUST beginning. I put in seeds, some of which have sprouted, and I am excited to see them come along! I bought more seeds also. I am not done planting yet! By this time next month, it will be Summer Solstice, and the plants will be even bigger, the days even longer, and the weather, even warmer.

Summer Solstice

For many, Summer Solstice is about festivals, cookouts, and road trips.

Not for those who practice the Old Ways, though. It falls when day is longest, and night is shortest, and it celebrates the sun at the height of its power. To emulate that, traditionally, in the British Isles, bonfires burn day and night in some places to give more power and strength to the sun. Torchlight processions, to further give the sun power can be seen to this day, although most celebrants are Xtianized and just do the rituals as matter of tradition.

Golowan

One thing I will focus on is the festival of Golowan, which is well done, and well attended.

Here is a link to one of the event listings: GolowanFestival.org

Here is a video where you can see how much fun everybody is having! Here you hear the marching band, and see the street dancing. I partook of similar observances for a different celebration in Mexico. Let me tell you, nothing is quite as much fun as a street procession and dance!

These are their versions of St. John’s Eve celebrations. Catholic tradition has it that St John was born 6 months before Jesus, so his feast day is right at 6 months before Christmas. So from June 21-June 30, various towns have a Golowan at Midsummer.

Historically, Golowan had been outlawed due to so many fires being used, and the increasing price of insurance being a strain on townships. But that all changed in 1991 when Penzance in the UK resurrected it. Other towns followed suit, and it’s now a major cultural celebration again.

Things you will see besides the street dancing and music include amazing food, costumes, and a form of costumed beast called the Penglaz, or ‘Obby Oss’. Winter celebrations see a similar costumed performer toting along a horse’s skull on a pole, and the name “Obby Oss” supposedly means hobby horse.

This is done because there is much revivalism currently. People have decided to reclaim old folk traditions for themselves. Our culture makes us who we are, and many never forget that. Here is a video of the Obby Oss! This is a night procession complete with band and torches. It’s so beautiful! Note the reveler joining in on his or her scooter!

Many Neo Pagan celebrations in the States include outdoor ritual, and potlucking someplace nice like a yard or park. As few of us rely on our own gardens or farms for our food, the significance of giving the sun power so it can make things grow is not on the forefront of our minds for the most part. Like the Golowan celebrations, it’s about joy, frolicking, and gathering in good weather.

But, if you are like me, and you are a plant lover, Summer is what you dream of and look forward to on cold days. While doing your garden, you plan next year’s, and you are always gathering supplies from soil to seeds, and learning all you can to improve.

Another thing we, as Pagans work to cultivate, is our knowledge base. I would like to share with you a very good book , a bit of info about the author, and a free link to read the whole publication online as my Summer Solstice gift to you!

Magick Without Tears

When my Priest assigned this book, I rolled my eyes. I have a lot of respect for Aleister Crowley, aka The Wickedest Man Alive aka The Beast! But I am not Ceremonial Magician, and I have no plans to be. I prefer to focus more on ancient history than modern things, and I’d rather read about something the Vikings did than something a man wrote close to a century ago.

I always do what Lord Shadow says, and I always learn why he wants me to do what he does.

In this particular case, I read a great book which not only defined a lot of things in Crowley’s words, but this revealed an intimate portrait of Crowley, himself.

The book was not a book perse when it was first written, but a collection of letters he wrote to his student. In the Forward to the Hermetic Library’s free online link to the book, Karl J Germer tells us Crowley met a gal in 1943 who wanted to learn from him, and he sent a series of letters to her. He saved many letters, and they were published together as Magick Without Tears after his death.

The free link where you can read the whole thing is here:

Free Copy

If you prefer an actual book you can hold in your hands to read, I recommend buying it here:

Magick Without Tears on Amazon

The book was first published in 1954, and the beloved publishers Llewellyn did another edition in 1973. Two other editions, one in 1982, and finally one edited by the illustrious Israel Regardie was published in 1991.

Who Crowley was specifically, in the simplest of terms was a highly influential occultist who believed it was his responsibility to bring us all into what he called the Aeon of Horus.

Born in 1875 to Plymouth Brethren Xtians, Crowley was blessed with their wealth, and used it to promote his religion, Thelema, and travel around the World.

Thelema specifically taught magic, mysticism, and magick, which is anything you do to conform with your Higher Will. The Higher Will is much more than the mundane will. It makes you YOU, and that which is your basic purpose to being. From what I have been told, anything can be magick, even taking a shower, if it goes towards your goal. The spelling “magick” , however, is used by a lot of mainstream authors and groups to denote anything besides parlor tricks, and is not the proper use of the spelling at all.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Crowley wrote. Meaning that everything you do in life ought to go towards your Higher Will. Or as Lord Shadow says “It doesn’t mean do whatever the hell you want to!” It is also where Wicca gets “the “Do what thou wilt” from “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

Crowley is actually responsible to some extent for Wicca in general. We all know Uncle Gerald Gardner was highly influenced by the writings of Margaret Alice Murray, taking her word for it that the witch trials were persecution of the Pre Xtian Pagan religions in Europe. What many don’t know is Gardner claimed he got a charter from Crowley to start a Ceremonial Magic temple, and we will never know whether that was one of Uncle Gerald’s tall tales or not.

What we DO know is he founded Wicca, promoted it, and became the first face of it.

He borrowed more than the “Do what thou wilt” from Crowley.

For example- Magical tools used in Thelema include a circle drawn on the ground to operate within, a dagger, grimoires, wands, and pentacles. Gardner stated his practice was old pre Xtian, but nothing like any of this has been found in archaeological digs within temples or sacred sites. It’s all found in Thelema, and Gardner was highly influenced by Crowley.

It is entirely fair to say without Crowley, there would have been no Wicca, even though he was not an active participant in hand crafting it.

Earlier, I stated much of who Crowley was is revealed in these personal letters. For example, one can tell he fussed over his students, but expected them to do further reading. For example, in chapter XXXIV, The Tao, he refers to The Book of the Law, which he expected her to have a copy of, and full knowledge of, He writes, “ The Book of the Law states the doctrine of Tao very succinctly: “…thou hast no right but to do thy will.  Do that, and no other shall say nay.  For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.” (AL I, 42-44)” Further evidence he expected her to know much, as well as grab her books he fully expected her to have on hand is farther down in this chapter, when he writes of other topics to use as an example. He writes, “ You are familiar with the Four Powers of the Sphinx, attributed by the Adepts of old time to their Four Elements.  Air is to Know, Scire; Fire is to Will, Velle; Water is to Dare, Audere; and Earth is to Keep Silence, Tacere.  But now that a fifth Element, spirit, is generally recognized in the Qabalah, I have deemed it proper to add a Fifth Power corresponding: to Go, Ire.  (Book of Thoth, p. 275)

In other sections, you can see Crowley’s beliefs, which influenced what he did. For example, in chapter number XIX, titled “The Act of Truth”, here is what Crowley says to do:

“Analysed, it is to make the assumption that something which seems very wrong is actually all right, that an eager wish is an accomplished fact. a reasonable anxiety, entirely unfounded—and to act accordingly.

For instance, I’m in some desolate place, dependent for my food supply on a weekly messenger. If he is a day late, it is awkward; if two, it means hardship; if three, serious risk. One is naturally anxious as the day approaches; perhaps the weather, or some similar snag, makes it likely that he will be late. From one cause or another, I have rather exceeded my ration. There is nothing I can do about it, materially.

The sensible course of action is to draw in my horns, live on the minimun, necessary to life, which involves cutting the day’s work down to almost nothing, and hope for the best, expecting the worst.

But there is a Magical mode of procedure. You say to yourself: I am here to do this Work in accordance with my true Will. The Gods have got to see to it that I’m not baulked by any blinking messenger. (But take care They don’t overhear you; They might mistake it for Hybris, or presumption.  Do it all in the Sign of Silence, under the aegis of Harpocrates, the “Lord of Defence and Protection”; be careful to assume his God-form, as standing on two crocodiles. Then you increase your consumption, and at the same time put in a whole lot of extra Work. If you perform this “Act of Truth” properly, with genuine conviction that nothing can go wrong, your messenger will arrive a day early, and bring an extra large supply. “

I have been told there were times Crowley had spent all of his money, and could not afford to buy pen , ink, and paper, so it is obvious this, like any spellwork or magical or magickal operation has to be done properly and with much forethought. All I am saying is when I was at my lowest anxiety, I not only had friends nearby to help comfort me, but I KEPT on telling myself “Everything is fine. It is all okay. “ I was a basketcase, but I made it through. I used this magical operation to get through.

Sometimes, we literally tell ourselves the absolute worst, and just have to tell ourselves the best to get through whatever we are dealing with. This worked for me.

Crowley’s eccentricity also comes through in a chapter that has been written off as complete baloney by experts. He was said to have thought very highly of himself, and been quite flamboyant. It showed in chapter number V- The Universe 0=2 Equation.

He writes:

“Q. Ah, but what we started to do was discover the meaning of Nothing.  It is not correct to write it simply as 0; for that 0 implies an index 01, or 0{2}, or 0n. And if our Nothing is to be absolute Nothing, then there is not only no figure, but no index either. So we must write it as 00.

What is the value of this expression? We proceed as before; divide.

00 = 0n-n = 0n ÷ 0n = (0n ÷ 1) × (1 ÷ 0n). Of course 0n ÷ 1 remains 0; but 1 ÷ 0{n} = ?.

That is, we have a clash of the “infinitely great” with the “infinitely small;” that knocks out the “infinity” (and Advaitism with it!) and leaves us with an indeterminate but finite number of utter variety. That is: 00 can only be interpreted as “The Universe that we know.”

R. So much for one demonstration. Some people have found fault with the algebra; but the logical Equivalent is precisely parallel.”

I am sorry, but Crowley does not provide good mathematics here, as was even stated in footnotes, where it was called “bogus math”.

I joked to my Priest that Crowley must have been tripping on one of the drugs he was not ashamed to say he used, and indeed, his COPD and asthma was treated with heroin, which he was likely using at the time he wrote this letter.

As Neo Pagans, we are blessed today with a plethora of publications available in libraries, bookstores, and for free online. Back in Crowley’s day, the knowledge truly was more “hidden”, and you really had to look hard to find it, spend a lot more money than we do today, and keep it quiet what you were participating in.

Today, enjoy this amazing book free on the Internet at the link I provided.

Saoirse’s Summer Solstice Celebration

I always include a working in my articles.

This month, in the spirit of Crowley, who was VERY true to himself, and the revelry at Golowan, I want you to hit a festival or other gathering when the weather is nice and eat, drink, dance, sing, and be merry. That’s what it is all about. The sacredness of BEING amidst the others who are happy to be alive and groove with the beautiful weather is celebration enough. I can’t think of any better way to connect to the old gods, the old ways, and the earth, than to just be out in it having a good time doing what makes you happiest.

Let my worship be within the heart that rejoicest, 
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. 
Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, 
power and compassion, honor and humility, 
mirth and reverence within you. “

Blessed Solstice.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2019

SOPHIA

(Image Credit: crystallinks.com)

Wisdom is calling us, Sophia is calling
Raising her voice, she stands by the city gates,
at the crossroads, on the mountaintop.
At every entrance, she is standing, shouting
to us: “O people”, she calls, “learn from me!”
Listen to me, for I speak nothing but the truth.
Know my ways, for they are richer than silver.
Know my secrets, and you do not need gold.
Listen to me, my words are more precious than rubies.
My words are riper than figs, sweeter than dates,
more nourishing than applies and olives.
Kings and princes and careful judges know me,
and so do those who simply love knowledge.
Follow me on the path of truth.
Follow me to the way of justice.

~ Proverbs 7 – 9

Sophia. Wisdom.

Hohkma in Hebrew, Sapientia in Latin, Sophia in Greek.

Sophia is the personification of Wisdom. She is the Mother of Creation. She is the female soul/spirit, seen by some as the true power behind the Judeo-Christian god. She is the Mother of All, born of Silence according to the Gnostic creation myth, as well as the Gnostic conception of the female Holy Ghost.

She gave birth to both female and male, who created the elements of this world. Her aspects include Mother of God, Black Goddess, Divine Female.

Her sacred number is seven, due to the seven pillars, at Her home, built by Her own hands.

Her symbol is the dove, which not only represents spirit, but has always represented the Great Goddess, and is one of the primary symbols of female sexuality. Doves were raised within Her temples, as well as in the temples of myriad other Goddesses.

(Image Credit: Pinterest)

One of Her main temples is the Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, where She is crowned with stars, a symbol of absolute divinity.

She is wise, loving, protective, giving, and truthful and wishes to communicate with us. Her wisdom leads to truth. Pay attention, over the din of the world, to what She has to say. We need but be still and listen.

From the moment you enter
till the time to surrender to death
all that you experience
directly for yourself
all the burnt fingers
to discover that the fire is hot
all the falling flat
when your reach exceeds your grasp
all the explorations
of territory known and unknown
all these are pathways to me
Seek to know
and you are me
stretch to become
and you are me
The Feminine quests for wisdom
The Feminine is part of all women
All women are the Goddess
All women have wisdom
All women are Sophia

~ Image and Verse from “The Goddess Oracle” by Amy Sophia Marashinsky

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis: The Egyptian Goddess on Amazon

Litha/Midsummer Correspondences

June, 2019

(The Litha Altar Decoration Set made by Julia can be found among many gorgeous witchy treasures at HedgecraftHouse on Etsy.)

Also known As: Summer Solstice, Litha, Alban Hefin, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheathain, Whit Sunday, Whitsuntide, Vestalia, Thing-tide, St. John’s Day

In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four ‘quarter-days’ of the year, and modern Witches call them the four ‘Lesser Sabbats’, or the four ‘Low Holidays’. The Summer Solstice is one of them.

Litha is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependant upon the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. According to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August 1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between the two, marking MID-Summer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the day when the Sun’s power begins to wane and the days grow shorter. The most common other names for this holiday are the Summer Solstice or Midsummer, and it celebrates the arrival of Summer, when the hours of daylight are longest. The Sun is now at the highest point before beginning its slide into darkness.

Humanity has been celebrating Litha and the triumph of light since ancient times. On the Wheel of the Year Litha lies directly across from Yule, the shortest day of the calendar year, that cold and dark winter turning when days begin to lengthen and humanity looks wistfully toward warmth, sunlight and growing things. Although Litha and Yule are low holidays or lesser sabats in the ancient parlance, they are celebrated with more revel and merriment than any other day on the wheel except perhaps Samhain (my own favourite). The joyous rituals of Litha celebrate the verdant Earth in high summer, abundance, fertility, and all the riches of Nature in full bloom. This is a madcap time of strong magic and empowerment, traditionally the time for handfasting or weddings and for communication with the spirits of Nature. At Litha, the veils between the worlds are thin; the portals between “the fields we know” and the worlds beyond stand open. This is an excellent time for rites of divination.

Those who celebrated Litha did so wearing garlands or crowns of flowers, and of course, their millinery always included the yellow blossoms of St. John’s Wort. The Litha rites of the ancients were boisterous communal festivities with morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting taking place by the village bonfire and torch lit processions through the villages after dark. People believed that the Litha fires possessed great power, and that prosperity and protection for oneself and one’s clan could be earned merely by jumping over the Litha bonfire. It was also common for courting couples joined hands and jump over the embers of the Litha fire three times to ensure a long and happy marriage, financial prosperity and many children. Even the charred embers from the Litha bonfire possessed protective powers – they were charms against injury and bad wwweather in harvest time, and embers were commonly placed around fields of grain and orchards to protect the crops and ensure an abundant reaping. Other Litha customs included carrying an ember of the Litha fire home and placing it on one’s hearth and decking one’s home with birch, fennel, St. John’s Wort, orpin, and white lilies for blessing and protection.

The Litha Sabbat is a time to celebrate both work and leisure, it is a time for children and childlike play. It is a time to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is a time to absorb the Sun’s warming rays and it is another fertility Sabbat, not only for humans, but also for crops and animals. Wiccans consider the Goddess to be heavy with pregnancy from the mating at Beltane – honor is given to Her. The Sun God is celebrated as the Sun is at its peak in the sky and we celebrate His approaching fatherhood – honor is also given to Him. The faeries abound at this time and it is customary to leave offerings – such as food or herbs – for them in the evening.

Although Litha may seem at first glance to be a masculine observance and one which focuses on Lugh, the day is also dedicated to the Goddess, and Her flowers are the white blossoms of the elder.

Purpose
Rededication to the Lord and Lady, beginning of the harvest, honoring the Sun God, honoring the pregnant Godddess

Dynamics/Meaning
Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King, assumption of the Holly King, end the ordeal of the Green Man

Tools, Symbols & Decorations
The sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, red/maize/yellow or gold flower, love amulets, seashells, summer fruits & flowers, feather/flower door wreath, sun wheel, fire, circles of stone, sun dials and swords/blades, bird feathers, Witches’ ladder.

Colors
Blue, green, gold, yellow and red.

Customs
Bonfires, processions, all night vigil, singing, feasting, celebrating with others, cutting
divining rods, dowsing rods & wands, herb gathering, handfastings, weddings, Druidic
gathering of mistletoe in oak groves, needfires, leaping between two fires, mistletoe
(without berries, use as a protection amulet), women walking naked through gardens
to ensure continued fertility, enjoying the seasonal fruits & vegetables, honor the
Mother’s fullness, richness and abundance, put garlands of St. John’s Wort placed
over doors/ windows & a sprig in the car for protection.

Goddesses
Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya, Hathor,
Ishtar, all Goddesses of love, passion, beauty and the Sea, and Pregnant,
lusty Goddesses, Green Forest Mother; Great One of the Stars, Goddess of the Wells

Gods
Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, hur, Gods at peak power and strength.

Animals/Mythical Beings
Wren, robin, horses, cattle, satyrs, faeries, firebird, dragon, thunderbird

Gemstones
Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade

Herbs
Anise, mugwort, chamomile, rose, wild rose, oak blossoms, lily, cinquefoil, lavender,
fennel, elder, mistletoe, hemp, thyme, larkspur, nettle, wisteria, vervain (verbena),
St. John’s wort, heartsease, rue, fern, wormwood, pine, heather, yarrow,
oak & holly trees

Incense/Oil
Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense & myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine

Magick/Rituals
Nature spirit/fey communion, planet healing, divination, love & protection magicks.
The battle between Oak King, God of the waxing year & Holly King, God of the waning
year (can be a ritual play), or act out scenes from the Bard’s (an incarnation of Merlin)
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, rededication of faith, rites of inspiration.

Foods
Honey, fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash,
pumpernickel bread, ale, carrot drinks, mead.

MagickalArts

June, 2019

Our Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Three

Excerpted from Part One…

… ”The important consideration is that each system is dependent on the other either directly or through the bridge of another in producing the necessary life force to keep us alive. When we consider the complexity and precision of this life force and its active components that keep us functioning it truly is a profound and deeply humbling analysis. These same structures apply to every living thing in their own way of specificity and in larger scope to the entire universe. It is for this reason that our first point of connection to that which is part of, yet independent of ourselves is through the knowledge of our own smaller universe that is our physical being. Once we begin that exploration we see the broader picture of our connectivity to all manner of life and how work on the self, produces far-reaching effects beyond that self.”…

In the last postings we discussed the mechanics and physiology of our physical form. Now we will consider the components of our energetic and subtle anatomy that surround, interpenetrate, inform and enliven that physiology.

Our Subtle or Energetic Anatomy is composed of three major divisions:

The Subtle Bodies (Bodies)- Expand and hold energy
The Chakras (Vortices)- Filter, receive and disburse energy
The Meridians and Nadis (Channels)- Control and direct the flow of energy

Each of these components works in connection with the other and all are important dynamics that insure the health and well-being of our physiological state. In fact, the state of dis-ease usually begins within the subtle bodies and eventually works it way out and into our physical level becoming manifest as a disease process. This is the underlying principle of the mind being able to heal or produce the state of health we choose as our focus. The mental working in tandem with the emotional is potent in its ability to manifest, both positive and negative energies within our physical body and each impact and interact with our subtle energy.

Another component of our energetic physiology is that of the impact these subtle energies have on the physiologic Endocrine system. The seven glands, often referred to as the Seven Stars or the Seven Gates play a major role in spiritual development in accord with our ability to stimulate and engage them at a spiritual and energetic level. Notably, in the spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism and Egyptian High Alchemy, specific exercises and/or sound are used to stimulate these centers: the gonads, the liver and spleen, the adrenals, the thymus, pituitary and pineal glands. We’ll take a look at these in future postings.

The Subtle Bodies are sheaths of energy that surround us. Depending on the system you adhere to there are seven to twelve subtle bodies, each forming a layer of energy that is composed of the densest to the most refined of energies as the layer extend out and beyond the form and shape of our physical body. The seven layers are thought to be a reflection of the universe and represent the overlay of our energy as part of that of the Universal whole. See the picture below:

The Chakras are the conduits through which universal energy flows in and through us. They are represented as wheels or vortices that are positioned along the etheric central column pathway that parallels our physical spinal column. These gateways contract and expand opening and closing like the petals of a flower. They are often compared to the Lotus, each having a specific number of petals in accord with the vibratory rate they emit and respond to and in accord with the level of refinement.

There are seven major chakras that are the usual staple of reading and energetic practice, however, there are hundreds of minor chakras. Each chakra has a specific color, elemental and function associated with its energy. See the charts and figure below for the basic information relating to the seven major and Transpersonal chakras:

Additionally, each of the seven chakras have a specific tonal quality. The chart below lists the Hermetic tone and the Eastern Bija mantras that are associated with each chakra.

References:

Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Crone’s Corner

June, 2019

We are All Pollinators


Every few years I retreat for reasons all my own, in order to take inventory, if you will, of my progression, my journey, and my life. It is never an easy time for me; it usually precedes autumn, as I begin to feel the decay of the annual plants, as the leaves are touched by subtle shades of reds and yellows before ultimately falling to the ground in this beautiful New England scenery. Reminiscent of my own spiritual death and rebirth, I take this emotional and mental inventory. It doesn’t happen every year, not any more; now it happens when things become balanced and stagnation begins to set in. Am I surrounding myself with challenging intellect, am I here for a reason that is worthy, was I spared the finality of the cancer for something more than all of this, what is it, really, that I must do here?

I have changed my pace a little, spring is budding forth with so many opportunities, so many beautiful and blossoming ideas, and as I chase away the dark period, this time around, it brings me to thinking about going out on this limb of understanding and having my day of reckoning. You see, a number of years ago I had an illness that the majority of women who are diagnosed with die in relatively short order. Yet, here I sit, defying all medical odds, healthy as the proverbial horse. I don’t ask “Why” in the face of my Matron, instead, I ask “What shall I do now, Mother?” and I await Her responses, which tend to come in ominous signs and morbid symbolic gestures. This time, it was ultimately revealed that Mother Nature’s hand is in all things. Then the word came…it was just two words…Pollinator and Blossom! And there I went, off on a tangent of thinking of the similarities of the pollinators of the world and the role of the blossoms. Then came the big reveal!!!! We are ALL pollinators and we all experience the blossoms in our own way. While it doesn’t matter which kind of pollinators we are, we each have a value in this community, and we must allow the blossoms to open up fully to be appreciated by all, for the greater good.

We go from place to place, shedding light, asking painful questions, allowing others to see themselves truly, for perhaps the first time in their lives, taking a harsh look at our own agendas. We are some times here for a season, and sometimes for a lifetime, but ALWAYS and in all ways for a reason. Pollinators. There are hummingbirds, playful and lively, flitting from blossom to blossom, extracting nectar and seeming to stand still in mid-flight. The hummingbirds are shy creatures who would rather not be touched, seemingly arriving out of thin air and, in an instant, they are gone. The defense mechanism of a hummingbird is its swift flight, away from danger and on to the next blossom. Then there are wasps, extracting pollen, buzzing gracefully from bloom to bloom in swift, yet languid flight. The wasp will defend its position with a mighty sting without warning. Both of these beings are quite valuable in the life of the blossom; allowing for growth, seeking the sweetness within and extracting from it the purest essence.

If I liken this simile to my own experiences, I have come to know many hummingbirds. Seemingly elusive, never letting any one very close for very long, flitting about pollinating blossoms with a quiet reassurance and moving along to the next. They seemingly stand still as they extract the sweetness of life, yet their wings are working overtime to keep them moving along on their journey. I have also come to know many wasps, flying around with graceful fluidity and self assurance, extracting the sweetness of life with an ever-vigilant eye toward any predators, waiting and ready to stink in defense of their territory. Two very different creatures, yet pollinators, the symbiotic relationship between the pollinator and the blossom is a wonder! We need them all, the blossoms, the hummingbirds and the wasps. They all have value.

I know a few hummingbirds; some of them are friends and acquaintances. I know a few wasps; some of them are friends and acquaintances. We are all pollinators. I am a pollinator too; but the most important thing of all is to recognize that we all have value.

***

About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

Going Shamanic Radio

June, 2019

Going Shamanic” is hosted by Jennifer Engracio on P.A.G.E. Media Project’s blogtalk radio each month. The show focuses on how to integrate shamanism into every day life. Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living.

This Month’s Topic: What is a Soul Coach? Interview with a Soul Coach

Join us on “Going Shamanic” as Jennifer Engracio interviews Marielle Smith (Running Bear Woman) to speak about Soul Coaching. If you are struggling to find your life’s purpose and want to learn how to make choices with your heart and soul, this is the show for you!

Instead of relegating the spiritual aspect of ourselves to Sundays at church or weekend workshops, this show will support listeners in weaving ritual, prayer, magic, alignment with the Spiritworld and the Earth into their lives to enrich their experience of living. Jen is also the founder of Spiral Dance Shamanics.

Going Shamanic is hosted by Jennifer Engrácio, about how to integrate shamanism into everyday life.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Notes from the Apothecary

June, 2019

Notes from the Apothecary: Allspice

Allspice is the fruit of pimento dioica, a type of myrtle tree. It was discovered by Columbus on the island of Jamaica, but is also native to many more islands in the Caribbean plus much of central America. P. dioica is now cultivated around the world wherever the climate is warm enough.

Allspice is also known as the Jamaica Pepper, the Myrtle Pepper, or pimenta.

The Kitchen Garden

Growing allspice yourself can be tricky if you don’t live in a climate similar to that of the West Indies. It’s possible to get the tree to grow in cooler climates, but often it will not bear fruit. A solution to this can be to grow the plant indoors, or in a greenhouse.

The allspice tree is dioecious, which means at least two plants are needed for pollination and fertilisation in order to get fruit. The plant can be grown from seeds or cuttings.

The name allspice was first coined by the English in the 1600s, due to the flavour which is reminiscent of a combination of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Today, allspice is used in a variety of cuisines, from Jamaican, to Greek, to Middle Eastern. A little goes a long way- this berry-like spice has a strong and unique flavour, so use sparingly. Used in sauces, pickles, stews, and in sweet dishes like cakes.

The Apothecary

Allspice has been used historically in Western medicine to help with a range of ailments and complaints. Properties of allspice include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Anaesthetic (the chemical eugenol is present, used by dentists as local anaesthetic)
  • Carminative
  • Rubefacient
  • Aromatic
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial

This is just scratching the surface of the myriad ways allspice has been used medically throughout the ages.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, allspice is known as Duo Xiang Guo and is used to ease painful menstrual cramps, arthritic joints, digestive problems and nausea.

The Witch’s Kitchen

Unsurprisingly, allspice is associated with fire, most likely due to its spicy and fragrant nature. Cunningham associates the plant with healing, luck and wealth, and suggests burning it as an incense to attract money and good fortune.

Allspice is thought to enhance the mood, so can be used in magic to ward off negativity and improve self-confidence, or simply to raise one’s spirits.

Allspice is associated with chance and gambling, so if you like cards or play the lottery, allspice could give you the edge. Combine it with other financially lucky herbs or spices such as chamomile or nutmeg.

In Mayan culture, allspice was one of the herbs used for embalming the dead. This connection to the dead or the transition to the next world could make allspice a key ingredient for incense when communing with ancestors or others who have passed beyond.

Allspice is generally considered masculine, so may be used in the honouring of fiery, male presenting deities such as Mars, Aries, Horus, or Nergal.

Home and Hearth

In hoodoo, allspice can be used to bring success to a business. Start outside the business premises, with a bucket full of water mixed with a mixture of allspice, saltpetre and sugar. Move the mop across the boundary of the business premises, and go right through the building until you come out the back, if possible. The combination of magical herbs and ingredients will draw money, luck, and protect from mischief.

I Never Knew…

Allspice trees can grow up to 18 metres in height, and are sometimes used to shade and protect coffee plants growing beneath the canopy.

Images: Pimenta Dioica, public domain; Allspice Seeds by Brian hur shared with kind permission under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

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