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Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

May, 2019

May – Blessed Beltane

Blessed Beltane! May your fields be well watered, may you never thirst, and may you never hunger. This time of year, makes me happy as I watch everything coming from the earth in full bloom while love and kindness are awakening from the long winter scowls and slowly turning into deliberate smiles. We are all warming up! Finally. And, along with the warmth returning, the Green Man emerges. The King Stag comes in search of the Maiden. The need fires burn and the flames of passion are fanned. It’s time to sow the seeds we have carefully nurtured during the dark days from Samhain to Yule and planted at Imbolc.

As Beltane approaches, I find myself drawn by the Divine Masculine. I have only one Matron who I venerate, yet the pull toward being thankful for the Divine Masculine has its place in my walk. I chant the masculine chants to pay homage to that Divine Force and I place move my athame to a focal position on my Beltane ritual altar. I seek and strive to find balance, reinforcing my connection to the Divine Masculine and the beauty and the commitment of The Great Rite.

The first week of May, I wanted to convey the spirit of the Divine Masculine and utilize this space to journal every day about the aspects of the Divine Masculine, the Horned God, the King Stag in my everyday life and workings. It was a layout that I challenged myself to complete without influence of others. I did not rely on graphics that I found on the internet. Instead, I carefully birthed the Greenman. He looks here in my first week layout as the Greenman who resides in my heart, the one who beckons me to sow the seeds that I have nurtured.

Of course, May Day/Beltane, really the entire month of May, would not be complete without a dance around the May Pole and the beauty of the fae. Spring and the planting season, to me, are a combination of fun, frivolity, and making merry. The happier I am when my hands are in the soil, the happier the energy I am putting into my crops. Seed work this year has been difficult and this layout is helping me to see that even flowers grow through dirt and “difficulty” is not “impossibility.”

As mid-May approaches, I am drawn toward the growth of the seeds that I have planted, which brings my thoughts to the Great Rite. Love blossoming, seeds being planted, new life emerging. All of these acts of love and commitment are in some form a symbolic “Great Rite.” I utilized washi on the bottom that reads “HELLO” and in my view, the inflection when reading that washi tape is everything! It varies from “HELLOOO?” to “HELLO!” and I’m practicing noticing the smaller details more and more…hoping this makes me use the latter more than the former!

This Spring is a busy one for me, spiritually, as I am doing things that I had previously only dreamed about doing. I am facing the stark reality, in my Crone years, that in this life we have one of two things…we either have results or we have reasons. I am reflecting on a lifetime of reasons and a lot of results. It is not time to put those results into action and have them far outweigh the reasons. This final layout in May is not devoid of graphics because I’m being lazy, rather, it is devoid of graphics because I plan to do that on the last week of every month to utilize this space to pull the energies from the weeks prior into the final week and keep track of my accomplishments. This is the beauty of using a planner as a working BOS, I can change it up to suit my needs.

I wish you all a bountiful harvest!

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs

May Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium

May Cover Page – Repurposed Birthday Card

Miscellaneous Washi tapes: Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

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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.

Book Review – Angels, Spirit Guides and Goddesses by Susan Gregg

May, 2019

Book Review
Angels, Spirit Guides and Goddesses
by Susan Gregg
Quarto Publishing

Ms. Gregg’s book contains 100 different Divine Beings that can be called up for various situations. I love the art work for each being. There are four sub headers in this book: Archangels and Angels; Saints; Ascended Masters and Master Teachers; and Goddesses and Deities.

I think that the way Ms. Gregg has laid the book out is very intuitive. Each page begins with the name of the Divine Being, then if applicable she writes where it comes from (i.e. religion, culture), then the author states in what ways the being will help you. Then Ms. Gregg gives an Invocation, and she also includes a small bit about each Divine Being.

I knew most of the Archangels, Angels and Saints. I learned somethings in the Ascended Masters and Master Teachers. There were a few there that I had only heard the names and knew nothing else of that being, and only one I had never heard of before reading this book. (And I am one who then takes that information and goes on a mad search to learn more as soon as I can. So, this opened a new rabbit hole for me.)

Goddesses and Deities really opened my eyes (and lead to another rabbit hole). There were many Goddesses and Deities from other areas of the world, that I admit I knew nothing about. Now that I have read a bit of something about them, I can start to learn about them and develop a relationship with them.

The way that Ms. Gregg has written this book, she has given some great in-depth information in a page. Each entry is only a page long, but it is packed with important information. No fluff or filler, but information that gives the reader the ability to start dialog with that Divine Being.

You can tell that Ms. Gregg wrote this book from a place of knowledge and understanding. The 220 pages of this book contain Divine beings from Hindu, Greek, Roman, Irish, Celtic, Sumerian, Norse, Hawaiian, Inuit, Mesopotamian, to only name a few. I had a great time reading this book and doing more research on the Divine Beings that were calling for me to learn more about them.

I think Ms. Gregg has written a great book for those that are looking for a starting point or are looking for information on how a Divine Being will work with them. Use this book as a way to deepen your relationship with any Deity, Archangel or Ascended Master you work with now. Or to build a new relationship with one calling to you now.

Angels, Spirit Guides & Goddesses:A Guide to Working with 100 Divine Beings in Your Daily Life on Amazon

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About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

3 Pagans and a Cat Monthly Feature

May, 2019

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

Some Great Interviews You Must Give a Listen!

Episode 18: Our Community – Bill Ehle: Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss social justice and activism in the pagan community, culminating in an interview with Pagans In Need director Bill Ehle.

Episode 33: Our Community – Witchdoctor Utu: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down for a conversation at Convocation with Witchdoctor Utu, discussing his book, the Underground Railroad, North American Conjure, and a little bit of pagan drama that, honestly, wasn’t a great look on anybody.

Episode 35: Our Community – Jason Mankey: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down for a conversation at Convocation with Jason Mankey, discussing his recent book, future books, witchcraft history, and designing inclusive rituals.

Episode 38: Our Community – Jacki Smith: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down for a conversation at Convocation with Jacki Smith, discussing candles, witch scouts, and mindful magic.

This Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

Episode 11: Speaking with Symbols: Car, Gwyn and Ode discuss the basics of divination, their personal methods of divining, and The Ravioli Situation.

Where Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

Remember …

You can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation. Every bit helps to keep them going.

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About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving Pagans a platform to share and learn without judgment.

She loves to create in her spare time and you can find her Creations, Jewelry, & Magickal Witch Bottles at: www.facebook.com/TwistedWitchesShoppe/

When not creating she can be found strolling around FB, Twitter, & Instagram looking for an interesting conversation. She’s the moderator of a FB Group called Cyber Moon Coven Of Changes and enjoys spending time with it’s members.

Book Review – Here, There, Everywhere: A Clarification of Reality by Just Plain Bill

May, 2019

Book Review
Here, There, Everywhere
A Clarification of Reality
by Just Plain Bill

Here, There, Everywhere is a book written by Bill Holtry a.k.a. Just Plain Bill. Just Plain Bill grew up in Central Pennsylvania on an Amish farm. His Pap mentored him throughout his life and taught Just Plain Bill the values that are passed down to us inside Here, There, and Everywhere. These values are family, love, honor, trust and peace. If you enjoy this review, make sure to check out my interview with Just Plain Bill in this issue of PaganPagesOrg. In the interview, Just Plain Bill shares his website where you can purchase Here, There, and Everywhere, and you can learn more about Just Plain Bill!

Here, There, and Everywhere is written in the form of automatic writing. Just Plain Bill touches on that subject within the first chapter or two. He also answers my questions about it in his interview. This is a neat way to write a book and I was impressed by all the lessons that he has learned over the years. It is a blessing that he took the time to compile all these lessons to share the values of family, love, honor, trust and peace with the readers of Here, There, and Everywhere.

This book is comprised of more than 50 chapters. Chapters isn’t the best way to describe it. Stories, lessons, values, lives. Those would be better ways to describe these “chapters”. Each chapter is teaching us something new. It is teaching us about someone who walked on this planet. It is about their life, their story, the lessons they learned, and the values that we should all know: family, love, honor, trust, and peace.

Each chapter/story starts the same way. Just Plain Bill steps through the “door” and into the Everywhere. From there each chapter/story is different. Sometimes the scene is two stumps in a forest, high in a tree, a stream, or a cliff. Other times there is no scene at all. Just Plain Bill is just relaying the message/story to us.

I spent time going over and over this book. Normally I can pick out a favorite part, a favorite scene, or a paragraph that I want to read over and over again. With Here, There, and Everywhere that was difficult to do. I loved this book so much.

I’ve read this book more than once and I am always learning something new or a new fact is jumping out at me. I’ve also been able to see the stories differently depending on how my mood is for that day.

One of the spirits that stick with me from the book is Pap. He only appears a few times throughout the book, but with each visit you can feel his love that he has for Just Plain Bill. Along with the love and admiration that Just Plain Bill has for Pap.

While reading this book, I could not help but wonder if I knew some of these Spirits in a past life. Was I in any of these stories that are being shared?

Here, There, and Everywhere is on my list as a must read. It’s more than just a fun read. Here, There and Everywhere challenges you to think and see the world differently. It also encourages you to use those values of family, love, honor, trust and peace.

Here, There, and Everywhere: A Clarification of Reality on Amazon

Retha’s Crystal Reflections

May, 2019

Crystals to Bring Abundance & Prosperity for May

Hi all! If you weren’t aware, May is THE most important and magical month for prosperity work. May is the 5th month and 5 in numerology is the number representing abundance. Think of the herb Cinquefoil (aka five finger grass)…this is one of the very best herbs for prosperity because it has 5 blades or fingers. The number 5 also represents the four cardinal directions plus spirit. When working with crystals (or any tool) it is always beneficial to layer or stack correspondences.

are any material, tool, or theme you use in addition to your practice. Some examples are using numerology, colors, herbs, symbols, working with Gods or Goddesses, oils, etc. The more layers the more potent the magic! I highly suggest adding some correspondences to your prosperity or abundance work this month.

I will get you started with the stones and crystals that will help draw abundance to you, but the skies the limit to what else you want to add to bump up your May prosperity work. May 5th is the day considered the most powerful (5/5) and if you can set your intentions and say a prayer at 5:55 either AM or PM on 5/5 that’s optimal. I set up an abundance altar for the year every year on 5/5. This is a place you can keep your prosperity crystals in a grid, some items to represent the 4 directions, and maybe a statue or offering to lakshmi or Ganesha.

I encourage you to get creative and keep in mind the most important component is your intention. So please don’t feel hindered if you don’t have all the tools. You could create a drawing, write a poem, create a sigil, etc. to add to your altar and honestly the things you create yourself are the most powerful tools of all! That being said, I highly believe that working with crystals are very important and effective. Read on to see which are my go-to prosperity & abundance bringing stones. Since I have written about many of these crystals in past columns I will keep the descriptions short and to the point. I encourage you to work with as many of these crystals as you can.

Congo Citrine/Citrine:

All natural Citrine is amazing for prosperity work, but my very favorite and the most effective in my opinion is Congo Citrine. It’s also more likely to be the real deal….meaning not heat treated amethyst which most Citrine you see is. When it has that unnatural orange tone it’s usually heat treated amethyst. Nothing wrong with using heat treated stones, but keep in mind you will be working with amethyst properties rather than Citrine properties if you use it. Congo Citrine looks and feels very different than treated Citrine. Citrine is the most common & popular prosperity stone and for good reason. Citrine is revered for ensuring prosperity of all kinds and attracting wealth to you. Citrine can even release any energetic blockages to prosperity, even from past lifetimes! It is known as “the merchants stone” and “the success stone”. Working with Citrine will help you to feel worthy of prosperity and open energy streams of abundance. If you can only acquire one prosperity crystal, this would be a wise and effective choice. I recommend for you to wear Citrine daily if possible, and to place a small piece of it in your wallet.

Yellow Apatite:

This is my go-to favorite crystal for ANY type of manifesting. I pair this with other stones to amplify the manifestation of the other stones properties. If I can pair this powerhouse with all the prosperity stones I can gather that would be optimal. Yellow apatite helps you positively use your personal power to achieve your goals. It stimulates the intellect and mental clarity. It also inspires passion and hope. Yellow apatite aids in developing assertiveness and courage. It also clears away confusion and apathy to help you expand. It is great to use when starting new ventures as it increases your drive to accomplish. Pretty amazing crystal right?

Pyrite:

Pyrite is also known as “fool’s gold”, it literally looks like a gemmy hunk of gold. The color gold represents prosperity, so naturally pyrite is a perfect crystal to use in prosperity work. It’s a stone of possibilities. It is the ultimate symbol of wealth and good luck. It enhances motivation and increases your potential. It’s a stone of action and stimulates the flow of ideas. It helps you to follow things through to completion. Inspires creativity, clarity, focus and determination. When used in its natural cubic formation it also represents the four cardinal directions.

Green Jade:

Green Jade is the ultimate good luck charm. It’s been highly prized for thousands of years. This stone helps you to discover negative patterns that are holding you back from fulfilling your potential. It represents vitality, physical growth, expansion and new beginnings. Jade allows the divine to enhance circumstances of life to allow good fortune to naturally flow into your life. Amazing stone.

Green Aventurine:

This is the stone of growth. Growth of everything you wish to grow, including wealth & abundance. This is the “get it” stone. Use this to help bring about your intentions. The “stone of personal growth” will help you to grow into the best version of yourself and achieve your dreams. This is a go-to stone for any type of money magic and is commonly put in cash drawers or boxes to draw money in. This is a good luck stone. Green aventurine attracts luck, success and abundance of all kinds.

Tigers Eye:

Tigers Eye is a stone that helps you have the willpower and confidence to achieve success and therefore the abundance that you seek. Its a very multi-dimensional stone. It gives you the tools you need to shift your outlook and gain a deeper understanding of yourself. It is a stone of discernment. With a deeper awareness you will have the confidence to explore and pursue new possibilities. Tigers eye strengthens your motivation. It gives you courage. It is a stone of physical action, giving you the momentum to take the necessary steps to achieve your goals. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. In order to gain the abundance we wish for, we need to get up and ACT. This stone has your back!

Peridot:

This beautiful green crystal is also known as the cornucopia stone. It’s an increase or growth generator, helping to manifest and increase abundance in all areas of life. It increases profits in trades and is a talisman of good luck. It helps instill confidence in ones own abilities and helps establish a sense of self-worth. It also removes blockages that can hinder success or growth.

In general, if you aren’t sure which crystals to use for abundance, using crystals in the colors of green and gold is a great place to start. I would like to mention a few other very important crystals you might want to acquire at some point (these are more expensive & harder to find- but wishlist worthy!). These honorable mentions are cavansite, pentagonite, and hessonite garnet. There are many more common and accessible honorable mentions as well, such as ruby, emerald, and moss agate.

I hope you will try working with some, or all of these very useful and powerful stones, both this magic money month and throughout the year. Using your crystals as aids to manifest your dreams and desires are what your crystals are here to do. They want to be worked with and used, so if you have some sitting in a drawer somewhere, go pull it out and tap into the magic! Happy May!

Crystal Blessings

Sources:

www.energymuse.com

www.healingcrystalsforyou.com

www.sagegoddess.com

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About the Author:

Retha N. Lent has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s Crystals” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry & specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her customers and those interested in learning more about crystals & all things magical called “Retha’s Crystal Circle“. She is also an advisor in the Sage Goddess Affiliate Program. She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs, manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at rethalent@hotmail.com or on her business page on FB: www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her FB group

Her Sage Goddess affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16

Book Review – Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen by Nigel Pennick

May, 2019

Book Review
Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England
The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick

Bright Blessings, Readers!

If you are like me, you nab every book you can that explores magic on a historic level, as opposed to just flipping through modern spellbooks.

Pennick doesn’t disappoint in this 216 page book that was first published in 2011, and was sent to us to review, having been printed again this year.

A bit about the author- Pennick has published extensively on topics ranging from history of the occult, folk traditions, biology, and art. A UK native, he has been teaching, writing, and lecturing for decades. He drew knowledge from research, and involvement with groups, being a Mummer, himself, when he compiled material for this book.

The chapters delve into topics from Ritual Disguise and Resistance, Tools of the Craft, and Markets and Fairs. I will share from one particular chapter, Magic, Farming, and the Land.

He begins on page 163, “Straw, the by-product of grain farming, has many uses. Straw roping, or netting was used all along the western seaboard of Europe to tie down roof thatch.” Writing of more mundane use, he continues to the sacred, “ Straw is an important material symbolically. The Cambridgeshire courting custom uses a ‘true lover’s knot’ plaited from straw. The suitor gives his potential wife a straw plait, and if she wears it later pinned to her dress on the right side, it is a sign of rejection. If to the left, by the heart, with the ears of corn pointing right, it is a sign of acceptance.” He further lists a Norfolk harvest tradition dating from at least as far back as the 1800’s where the last sheath of the harvest is taken in, decorated, and venerated. He then goes into detail about various uses of corn dollies, shows photos, lists dates and accounts he drew from, and further writes about what he calls “Men of Straw”. This practice goes back to at least the 1500’s, as evidenced by a painting The Battle of Carnival and Lent by Breughel. Some straw men were made to be burned, and some were costumes men wore for celebrations.

I love learning about what folk traditions influenced modern neo Paganism. This book reminds us that one need look no further than modern day secular cultural celebrations that survived because they are so sacred, they transcend religion. Pennick lists example after example of these traditions, where they came from, and shows some modern folk who continue those traditions today.

It is a reminder that magic and witchcraft need not be fraternal, hidden, or done in circle, although it certainly can be. It does not necessarily entail candles, incense, or even religion at all. Sometimes, it’s just the living communing with the dead by doing what they did, and remembering events past, as the Wheel of the Year turns. It’s not necessarily mysterious at all, and can be as simple as what celebrates earth, people, and nature. It can be just for fun, and fellowship, as there are times when bonding with community and family, celebrating who we are, where we have come from, and teaching the children, is the most magical practice of them all.

Pennick has written not only this fascinating masterpiece, but various others (Nigel Pennick ) you can use to learn of the true Old Ways, and how modern people keep them alive. Highly recommended reading!

Happy Reading, and Blessed Be!

Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen on Amazon

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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.

Going Shamanic Radio

May, 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: Walking with Grief

Join us on “Going Shamanic” as Jennifer Engracio interviews Stephen Jenkinson on the topic of grieving.  We have all had losses in life.  Learn what grieving well has to do with deep living on the show today.

Stephen Jenkinson is a teacher, author, storyteller, spiritual activist, ceremonialist and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School, a teaching house and learning house for the skills of deep living and making human culture. It is a redemptive project that comes from where we come from. It is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, and working for a time we may not see.  (http://orphanwisdom.com)

Here is a trailer of an incredible documentary sharing his life’s work.  “Griefwalker”, by the National Filmboard of Canada.

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.

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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

Living in the Fifth World Prophecy

May, 2019

(art by Kat Kissick)

Religion is following the messenger, spirituality is following the message.”
-Priya Velichala

There is no doubt that we are living in extreme times where lack of decorum and openly hateful behaviour are being encouraged by folks in leadership positions. This trend is not exclusive to the United States: It is being experienced in Canada where I live, in the United Kingdom, and around the world. I’ve talked to a lot of people recently who are feeling hopeless, which leads to folks descending into depression, addiction, illness, and disease. We humans seem to be losing our inner equilibrium as wars rage on, injustices go unchecked, white supremacy increases, the world is warming, oceans are rising and natural disasters pop up regularly on the news. On the surface, it seems like the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I hope to present an alternative view to the one mainstream media is feeding us. My intent is to shed some spiritual light on our situation that can help us navigate these trying times with more ease and grace.

In the last one hundred and fifty years or so, we’ve lived through a time of unprecedented change due to scientific findings and technological inventions that altered every aspect of our lives. For example, we went from living relatively close to the Earth and her cycles to not knowing how to grow or hunt our own food, relying instead on grocery stores to provide for us. English chef Jamie Oliver has noted in interviews that many inner-city children in his food education programs don’t even know the names of common vegetables or what they look like in their full plant form. The traditional culinary arts that used to be passed on through generations are being lost due to our busy lifestyles and reliance on fast, processed foods. This disconnection from vital survival knowledge would have been unthinkable about fifty years ago! We have forgotten that we rely on the health of the Earth and her systems for our very survival as a species. What we do to her, we ultimately do to ourselves.

On December 21, 2012 our species crossed a spiritual threshold into the Fifth World as indicated in Maya prophecy. Some folks believed that this date on the Mayan Long Count Calendar meant a literal end to the world, however, I believe this was never intended to be a doomsday message: The Maya meant that we are currently being propelled into a new state of consciousness as a species where the same ol’ same ol’ mentality no longer works. In short, it was the end of what the Maya call the Fourth World, a cycle of five thousand years where we humans got to play out our illusion that we had dominion over nature. We are currently in the beginning of the new cycle the Maya called the Fifth World where we are being asked to raise our consciousness and step into a new kind of balance with the cosmos and the Earth. In studying the Mesoamerican and Hopi prophecies about the transition into the Fifth World, it makes sense to me that we are experiencing tension between humans caught in belief systems contributing to the desecration of our planet and others working to “wake up” our species to the ways of Mother Earth. We simply cannot keep ignoring what we know about how all the systems, sentient and non-sentient beings are related and work together to keep life going on our planet if we expect to survive as a species.

If fellow humans are struggling to find some perspective on this, I highly recommend watching the National Geographic series “One Strange Rock,” now available on Netflix. Ten astronauts who have spent time in space are featured in this show and speak of what is now called “the overview effect”: After experiencing Earth from space, they came back to our planet forever changed and rocked by a major paradigm shift inside themselves. From space, it is clear to them that Earth is a living being with the ability to heal herself. And that we humans are all earthlings, specially adapted to live on this planet alone. Interestingly, the astronauts don’t come back feeling defeated but rather with a sense of inner peace and awe that is palpable to viewers. They use spiritual language that indicates to me as a shamanic practitioner that they were able to grok in a new way the importance of how everything is connected in the cosmos. And the vastness of all we do not know as humans about the mystery of how it all works.

In light of all this information, what can each of us do to maintain our own inner balance? The simple answer I have is three-fold:

  1. Commit to living your personal inner truth and heal the inner patterns that are not congruent with that through ritual, conversation, contemplative practices, and energy healing. In short, whatever spiritual tools you have need to be dusted off and put to use!
  2. Connect with the Earth regularly. Intuit what she needs to help her heal and offer what you can (i.e. prayers, tobacco, resources, inventions, ocean clean ups, ceremony, etc.).
  3. Align with the Sacred Dream of Life and with Spirit. However you connect with the cosmos and the intelligence of the universe, do it daily. Ask for direction from the “as above” and take action on the messages you receive. Work with your spirit animals and guides in daily meditation and dreams to support you.

As we humans return to a state of inner balance, the outer world will reflect that. As we re-orient ourselves to the natural cycles of life, it will become clear to us how to move forward in a good way.

The light we see in the mirror of the heart of [the Wiccan Wheel of the Year] guides our evolution towards greater consciousness. Collectively, this opens the portal for our human evolution into the human luminous (a.k.a. homo luminous) of Mayan prophecy. As a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis is transformed, showing no trace of its previous caterpillar DNA, we can change human identity by transforming ourselves, one [human] at a time.”

-Susa Silvermarie excerpt from We’Moon 2019: Fanning the Flame

I suppose this is why I practice shamanism. It keeps me on an even keel in the midst of all the chaos. I am glad there are folks out there pushing back against ignorance. All we need to do is what we are being called to in our hearts as individuals. The world desperately needs us to take up space and stand in what we know to be true. Folks will be called to support in loads of different ways as activists, environmental lawyers, farmers, teachers, scientists, and policy-makers–to name a few. Spirit’s called me to help the humans heal; I endeavour to stay in my lane and let others do what they are good at in their “lanes.” This keeps my energy focused and increases my effectiveness. I do that via shamanic tools and practices. I figure that if humans heal, the environment will return to balance too. Shamanism keeps me connected to the earth-based practices of our ancestors, who guide me on my journey. I am not alone. Indeed, none of us are. I don’t know if all of this will be enough to save our species in the end, however, I do know the Earth will heal herself with or without us. And I am committed to my spiritual growth and to supporting others on their spiritual journey while I am here on this beautiful and abundant planet. I’ve chosen to focus on what I can control as an individual because anything else is futile. I leave you with some questions to ponder: How will you take up space in a good way? What strengths do you bring to offer the collective? I send healing heart prayers to each of you and wish you well on your Earth walk.

Recommended Resources:

article: The Prophecy of the Fifth World

article: Dancing Awake the Fifth World: The Fifth World Defined

article: How the End of the Mayan Calendar Predicts a New Healing Myth for the World

One Strange Rock:

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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

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Notes from the Apothecary

May, 2019

Notes from the Apothecary: Ginger

The spice we call ginger is the root of Zingiber officinale. The name derives from the Sanskrit for ‘Horn Body’, referring to the knobbly, ridged shape and texture of the roots. Originating from Asia, ginger is now found all over the world and is used widely in cooking, magic, and medicine.

Ginger was brought to America by Francisco de Mendosa, and it grew so prolifically that the Spanish-Americans were able to export it in huge amounts to Europe.

The Kitchen Garden

Fresh ginger is usually bought as sections of root. It’s a testament to how hardy the plant is that with very little encouragement, it will start growing! Many times I have gone to fetch the ginger only to find there are little shoots of green ginger coming off the root. With this in mind, if you wanted to cultivate your own ginger plant, it’s not too difficult at all.

WikiHow has a step by step guide to growing ginger which is very easy to follow. Ginger is normally grown indoors. Basically, you get as the same number of pieces of ginger root (or rhizome, to give it the correct name) as the number of plants you want. Each ‘eye’ or sprouting piece will grow into a new shoot, in good quality, well-drained potting compost. Avoid frost, try not to shock the roots, and you will have little ginger plants in very little time at all!

So, what do we use ginger for in the kitchen? So many things! Ground ginger is used in baking cakes, buns, muffins, breads, and even savory bakes. The fresh root is sliced or grated and added to curries, often alongside lots of garlic. Marinating meat in a combination of garlic and ginger is delicious. Add red wine vinegar and you are part way to a vindaloo. Ginger is used in a wide variety of Asian cooking. We particularly enjoy thin but wide slices of ginger in a vegetable stir fry with fragrant rice or noodles.

The Apothecary

Mrs Grieve tells us that ginger is a stimulant- unsurprising given its ‘zingy’ flavour and aroma. She recommends it for alcoholic gastritis (an unusually specific condition) and for aiding in diarrhea and flatulent colic.

Although ginger is warming, it has anti-inflammatory properties and can settle an upset stomach. Pregnant women often take ginger biscuits to ease morning sickness. I found them useful in both my pregnancies, especially when I was finding it difficult to keep anything more substantial down. It may also aid in travel sickness and motion sickness.

Ginger is used in Ayurvedic medicine for eating disorders, cholera, and liver problems.

In Chinese medicine ginger is a respiratory aid and useful for coughs, colds and flu. It’s also used as a hangover ‘cure’, thanks to its reputation for expelling poisons from the body. As always, check with a doctor before taking any substance for medical reasons.

The Witch’s Kitchen

In Hoodoo, ginger is sometimes combined with John the Conqueror root and nutmeg to create a luck powder for gamblers. Sprinkling ginger around the garden or yard protects from trouble.

Ginger, probably due to its ‘hot’ nature, is associated with love and passion, and is often used in attraction or lust spells. Cunningham recommends using ginger in a love incense, alongside lemon balm, cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla. A spell or mojo bag designed to attract something to you, whether that be love or wealth, can be enhanced with a bit of ginger root. Ginger can also accelerate the action of other spells, acting like a catalyst for magical action.

Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs states that ginger is a fire plant (no surprises there), masculine, and associated with Mars. This immediately gives associations with power, control, and confidence. He suggests eating ginger before performing magic to boost the power of spells.

Home and Hearth

Sometime the greatest magic is taking time for yourself and keeping yourself healthy. Modern, busy lives often make this very difficult! I know I certainly relish every spare (rare!) moment I can get to simply pause and do nothing for a while. Here’s a recipe for a ginger tea that will help you relax, while stimulating and opening your senses for a moment of mindfulness.

  • An inch of ginger root, sliced
  • An inch of turmeric root, sliced
  • A slice of fresh lime

Place all the ingredients in a teapot in boiling or just off the boil water. Let the flavours infuse for five minutes. Can be drunk warm or left to cool and served with ice. Recipe adapted from Paleo Flourish.

Turmeric is cleansing and helps with digestion. Ginger stimulates the senses, while the fresh aroma of lime can reduce fatigue and stimulate the appetite.

I Never Knew…

Dobu Islanders have been known to chew up ginger root while sailing, and spit it at an oncoming storm to halt it in its tracks. (Cunningham, 1985.)

All images public domain or via Unsplash.

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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

Welcome

April, 2019

Cover artist: Marcia Stewart of RocknGoddess on Etsy. Collecting river stones becomes a vision to create spiritual art, goddess, and altar stones.Back in 2012, when my husband and I were living on the river, I had a vision inspired by nature to create spiritual, goddess, and altar stones to share peace, love, light, and blessings with the world. I started out as the Simplified Witch, the original goddess on stone artist, which has evolved into RocknGoddess which I feel is a more appropriate name for my art. Each piece contains a heart which represents Universal Love Energy. Creating spiritual art is also my way of sharing my late husband’s eternal love. To see a more detailed story about my art, please check out my full story at: www.etsy.com/shop/RocknGoddess. Check them our on FB, Twitter, Instagram, & Pinterest.

Free coloring page: This month’s free coloring page is given to you by artist Lauralee. Lauraleeis a self taught artist, she matriculated & got a n5 in financial management before she started to draw art for colorists. Drawn to pagan art but not exclusively. She loves humor & wit, her mom and little brother are her biggest fans & colorists. She recently opened an Etsy shop and sells her coloring pages. Check her out at www.etsy.com/au/shop/LlauraleeDesign, also on facebook at LlauraleeDesign.

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So Many Great Features In This Issue…

This Month We Review, Woman Owned, SHA MAMA’S Little Helper Subscription Box in “Worth The Witch”. A Box That is Filled with Self Care & Magick From It’s Maker, Miré Molnar, You Can Feel! Then we Dig Into Miré Molnar’s World with An Interview

Saoirse, Takes us Through A Beautiful Etsy Shop Called “The Closet Pagan” & Shows off Jewelry & Gems She Received,then Shares an Interview with Shop Owner Anna Pierce.

In SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals This Month, Lynn Woike Has Taken a Great Suggestion from a Recent Review She Did & Reinvented it into a Wonderful Group or Solo Spell/Ritual for Banishing the Negative & Gaining Positivity.

In Crone’s Corner, Shirley Reminds us How Time & Phases of Womanhood are Different in its Many Stages as She Contemplates Just What it is to Be a Pagan Woman and to Head into Cronehood. See How in Any Phase of Womanhood This Piece Will Resonate with You.

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