autumn

Celebrating Autumn with Norma Clark of Forevrgoddess Boutique

September, 2018

 

Autumn Smudge Bundle with Gemstones

Hello, I’m Norma with Forevrgoddess Boutique, I wanted to share some info on Smudging herbs, gemstones and smudge rituals.  I don’t know about you, but the first day of September feels magickal, with apples and pumpkins abundantly everywhere.  I think it’s the perfect time to do an Autumn ritual smudging to cleanse home, sacred space or people, to remove negative or stale energy, banish and release emotions, illness, and other energy needing to be removed from home or person, to prepare for the coming of the Autumn Equinox & Samhain. You might have seen a few smudging herb bundles in new age stores, witch shops or online, there are many to choose from.

Smudging has been done in ancient cultures to Native American, in Spanish countries like Mexico, through Central and South America. Some of these herbs are used in smudging rituals by Shamans.  Some of these herbs can also be used in blessings, after ritual cleansings of homes or people. You can perform a blessing within a home  to invite harmony, love, laughter, tranquility, happiness and prosperity, or what ever is needed at the moment. For personal blessings you can do any of these ideas as well.

You can typically find in stores or online: White sage,  Juniper, cedar, Yerba Santa and Palo Santo. Any of these bundles of herbs can be helpful. Combining them with gemstones and crystals is an additional bonus and can help give healing/loving energy to aid with manifesting the properties you need most. I’m going to talk about a few of my  small smudge sets from Forevrgoddess Boutique, what they can do to help cleanse, rebalance and refocus energy to a positive and harmonious environment or how they can be used for personal blessings.

 

Small Autumn Smudge Blend

Here we have a beautiful mixture of Mexican cinnamon, Cloves, Cedar, Rose, Rosemary and White Sage. Very aromatic smell. Here’s a information on a few herbs we use for our Autumn blend.

White Sage: Can be prefect for magickal workings – protection, banishing/ releasing, seek wisdom through meditations, helps with grief, good health, healing, longevity, and psychic awareness.

Red Roses: Love, respect, beauty, courage, passion, romantic love, blessings, attract, banish, consecrate/bless, devotion, happiness, harmony.

Palo Santo (or Holy wood): from Ecuador forests, Palo Santo – Shaman have used it to clear energy, and positive energy. To reestablish peace, balance enhance focus to meditation, heals people physical and spiritual level.

Cedar: Calming, comforting, purify, protection, healing, harmony, prosperity, abundance, cleansing, helps focus on goals and meditation.

Mexican Cinnamon: Brought from Mexico to USA. – actions, attraction, inner balance, dream work, harmony, healing, attract luck, peace, passion, protection, wishes, consecrate/blessings.

Our Small Smudge Set is portable, you can do a quick smudge ritual anywhere. The Small Smudge Set is in a little tin box (we’ll provide ritual at bottom of this article). You can either burn them together or separately.  If you decide you want it to be stronger then make a bigger flame.  You can  always break the smudge blend into little burnable pieces and use a small abalone shell to burn it in. (We carry various abalone shell in boutique in 2 sizes.) If you wish to get a little smell burn small bit of each, cinnamon, cloves, rose, and rosemary with a bit of sage. The choice is yours.

 

Autumn Gemstones

We selected these from our Wiccan Magickal Sabbat Mabon and Samhain box sets.  With autumn equinox coming soon, seasons are changing for fall. It’s the time of balance between day and night, before night takes over and brings winter.

Here are the Stones for Autumn:

Citrine: Stone of happiness, positive energy and thought mental clarity, abundance, healing, uplifting.

Carnelian: Motivation, calm emotions, banishes negative emotions, replaces with love.

Smoky Quartz: Dispel negative energy, protection, grounding, transformation, brings calm.

Tiger eye: Stone of wealth, protection, self-confidence, balance, grounding.

When charging or programming your gemstone, keep in mind the goal or desire you wish to bring into your life. Help manifest this desire to life, say a prayer to your deity, angels, or elemental, ask for their support to bless this new path you wish to journey on. Keep them in your pocket, purse or coin purse as a reminder of what healing qualities you wish to be blessed with at the moment.

 

Autumn Smudge House Blessings Set

House Blessings Manifest Kit

Brightest Blessings, I’m so happy you decided to change a new part in your life, for the coming of Autumn and all her glory. This kit is designed to help you focus you and your home or sacred space to help “manifest” a new beginning and bring in the desires in your life..

How to Set up your Stones..

You will noticed you have 6 gemstones and an Autumn Smudge blend. The Autumn Smudge blend is to cleanse the area and give it a fresh start with positive energy.

Gemstone Selenite: ( Don’t rinse in water or leave in sun) quickly unblocks stagnant energy and removes negative energy. It magnifies the energy of any other gemstone that’s placed upon it. Combine selenite with black tourmaline. It will protect home and clear any negative energy, and help in protection crystal grids. Expands awareness opens psychic abilities.  Brings mental clarity and deep peace. Helps with angelic guidance.

Gemstone: Iron Pyrite ( fools gold): recall beautiful memories, protective stone, attract wealth and prosperity, energy shielding stone, blocks out negative energy, positive stone. Relieves anxiety frustration and boosts self-worth. Great for memory, this stone helps when depressed or deep despair, luck, money, protection, strength, willpower.

Gemstone: Pink Calcite: balance emotions, calming, grounding, spiritual growth, love, Healing, self work, well-being.

Gemstone: Carnelian: career success, grounding, motivation, personal power, helps with creativity, good health, protection, stop – negative energy, stimulates the conscious mind, helps you focus on the present and current needs, helps over come difficult times, manifesting energy to have your desire come to life.

Gemstone: Amethyst: all healing (mind, body, spirit) inner peace, calming one’s mind, a sense of spiritual insight when in a deepen stage of meditations, protective stone, esp, psychic attacks, helps with grief or loss, releases tension, helps over come bad habits tendencies, and calm anxiety attacks.

 

Cleansing Stones

Cleanse each gemstone with smudging blend burning in shell, to ensure it’s a positive energy to help with your goal you wish to create. It’s to ensure the gemstones, which have passed through so many hands, to get to you at home, are cleaned of other’s energies that might not fit in. Hold stone in hand take shell and pass it over and under stone to encase it with smoke.

 

Arranging Gemstones

Once stones are cleansed, set up an area where your stones will be seen through the day (altar, mantel, etc..) arrange stones however you wish. I suggest to put selenite in middle and surround other stones around the selenite so the selenite will energize the other stones. Like a mini crystal grid. If you have more stones, flowers, candles feel free to add them, to help further the goal you have in mind.

 

Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas

  • Take walks with autumn changing in your wooded area, feel the cool crisp air.
  • Collect leaves with family, and place them on your altar.
  • Or … Write with black Permanent marker in one word what your thankful for on your leaf then poke a hole thru it, tie a string and hang it where you can see it everyday.
  • Create memories with family and friends and bake autumn sugar cookies talk about what you grateful for or just spend time with them. (our Sabbat Mabon and Samhain cookie cutter and recipe box set is available check the boutique.)
  • It’s time to reflect this time of year on what Autumn means to you, the balance of day and night, finding balance within one’s life ( work, family, school, children, etc) and what goals you want to set for this month September or October.
  • Go to pumpkin farm.
  • Drink cider with friends and family, share sweet goodies.
  • Collect Apples.
  • Do some Autumn crafts with Family and Friends (look on Pinterest.com for ideas).
  • Go to some Fall Festivals.
  • Enjoy the fruits and the favorite foods we enjoy this time of year, did someone say “pumpkin spice.” Nothing to big, just go enjoy the Beauty of Autumn. May this Season of Autumn Bless you with Abundance, love, good health, and little wealth. Brightest blessings – N

 

Forevrgoddess Boutique Charge/Smudging Ritual

Ground/center calm mind, hold the Shell with Smudging inside in your Power hand and say a simple prayer ask for divine power, to bless the Smudging herbs, encircle Smudging herbs with white light.

Open a window.

Light your Smudging herbs in shell.

As it Burns try to focus on cleansing goal/ intent you wish help with. Feel smoke surround you.

Take cupped hand and brush smoke all over body or bless rooms of home, draw sigils with them in air and empower them to life, by visualizing a gold light and start to glow.

Visualize the negative energy, stagnant energy, negative emotions being removed and pushed out.

Feel free to use feathers or broom to push out smoke thru door way or window.

Visualize open window to push out negative energy and welcoming positive energy in. Feel spiritual and physical uplifting of emotions and cleansing.

Once done with smudging ritual, give thanks. Place Shell in a fireproof bowl if necessary to catch ashes and to let it burn out in a safe place.

Brightest Blessings to you – Forevrgoddess Boutique

Look for our Smudging set, blends in Candle, Incense, Sage Section.

***

About the Author:

Norma Clark I’m the owner of Forevrgoddess Boutique, I live in small rural Paris,Idaho Both me and Hubby are Wiccan with 2 beautiful children and gang of critters. I love to share, inspire, create many Magickal items for my Jewelry and Metaphysical boutique. Come sit for a spell and see the Magick of Forevrgoddess Boutique.

 

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

September, 2018

Balance

Merry meet.

Celebrations are often planned for the sabbats, but don’t overlook the power these times add to magical workings. As the world hangs in balance, day equal to the night, we can use its balanced energy to regain our own balance before heading into the dark half of the year.

Gather the materials you’ll use: a marker of any kind and a round disk. These can be the wooden ones found at craft stores, a jar or bottle lid, or the top of a deli container.

This spell can be done as part of a ritual in sacred space, or in any area in which you feel comfortable, perhaps adding incense and candles to set the stage.

Sitting in that space, let yourself relax and let go. Give yourself time to begin to feel the balance of this day and breathe it in, absorb it into every cell. If you cannot “feel” it, know that it is there and imagine its vibration. See a sign that, to you, represents this state. It might be the yin yang or an infinity symbol, a line, an equal sign, a representation of scales, or anything else that can trigger the balance you are experiencing. Othello pieces are white on one side and black on the other, and I have used them in the past.

Channel that vision and energy into the sigil as you draw it on your disk.

Sit with it as you think about where you and your life things are out of balance. Does it involve discipline? Nutrition? Boundaries? Is there something you are missing? Something for which you have an overabundance? A situation that lacks its polar opposite for stability? Take the time to visualize each of them balanced.


Feel yourself come into balance on all levels, filled with peace and harmony.

You can choose to add these words Mackenzie Sage Wright included in a Mabon spell she wrote that can be found on exemplore.com:

As yin is to yang, as dark is to light,

As male is to female, as day is to night,

Find Nature’s perfect balance within me

So I may live my life in harmony…
by the powers of three times three,

this is my will, so mote it be!”

Carry the sigil anytime balance is needed – be it spiritual, physical, emotional or mental – and tap into the powerful energy put into the spell it on the equinox.

Although most powerful when done on the equinox, there is no reason this spell can’t be done anytime of year.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

**

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self-taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

Mindful Meditations

September, 2018

 

     As we honor the energies of the West while entering Autumn — the season of reaping what we have sown during the second harvest of Mabon – we are encouraged to take a moment to show gratitude for our abundance. Our crops have borne fruit which is being stored for the darkening season and our fields are growing hearty vegetables which we will reap at the third harvest, Samhain.

 

Items Needed

-sunset location

-cup of drinkable water

-writing utensil

-paper (or the like)

 

Choose a preferably clear day to watch the sunset while sitting in nature. This mediation will still work from indoors but we are Pagan so nature is our place of worship. Face the West as you observe the colors of the sky, hear the sounds around you, feel the wind. Acknowledge that with each setting sun, completes the cycle as the day transforms into night, just as summer turns to autumn. Now get into a comfortable position and sit with your cup of water. Stare into the water, scry upon its surface. Reflect upon 20 things you are grateful for in this moment, this day, this year, this lifetime. Jot them down as they come to you. Feel free to write more than 20 but do not write less. When you are satisfied with your list, notice the feeling of gratitude within you. Imagine you are channeling that feeling through your hands and into the cup of water you’re holding. Imagine the molecules gently vibrating with warm, white light. Acknowledge your gratitude for the water and drink from your cup. Thank the water for nourishing you. Thank the West, the sunset, and nature around you, for holding sacred space during your Mindful Meditation. Thank yourself for taking the time to reflect upon your abundance in gratitude.

 

Blessed Be!

 

***

About the Author:

(Amy Dubenetsky & Becky Coates, respectively; Writers of the Mindful Meditations column & Coven Sisters.)

This Mindful Meditation is brought to you by Amy Dubenetsky, a Bodyworker/Reiki Practitioner/Witch based out of Manchester, CT whom leads group meditations as well.  Amy is deeply involved with her Coven, Organic Farming, and various Dance Communities across the country.

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @bodyandbeyond444.

Growing Herbs for Thanksgiving

November, 2017

Growing Herbs for Thanksgiving

Every year at Thanksgiving time, many people scramble to try and find fresh herbs to use

for their Thanksgiving recipes. You find them in the store, in those little plastic

clam shells, kind of dry and wilted. The volatile oils have deteriorated, and while they

taste better than the dried version, you are not getting the best flavor. Growing fresh

herbs is so easy, why not do it yourself this year?

I’m going to separate them into growing groups. Certain herbs enjoy like growing

conditions, and you will save time and have more successful plants if you either grow

them in these groups or by themselves. You can plant them together in a large pot,

individually in smaller pots, or prepare a section of your garden for herbs.

Most herbs grow quickly, so if you decide to plant in containers, be sure to give them

plenty of room to spread out. If herbs become pot-bound, you may find that they require

more water. If this happens, you should re-pot them into a larger container.

Low Water sun Loving Herbs:

Chives, Marjoram, Oregano, sage and Thyme prefer well draining soil and will do well with less water and more sunshine.

If you have a sunny window in your home, you can grow them indoors.

Chives prefer to be grown by themselves and will spread into a lager clump each year.

Marjoram and Oregano are close members of the same family. If you plant them together,

you may notice that the flavor will become more similar in both due to cross-pollination.

You probably want to avoid this. They are also both vigorous spreaders, so give them

plenty of room.

Marjoram grows exceptionally well with most other plants, helping to

improve growth and flavor.

Rosemary, both upright and trailing, grows extremely well in the Tucson area. It is great

in pots and also makes an attractive landscape plant. Once established, it requires very

little water or attention.

Rosemary and Sage make good companions if planted together.

Sage comes in many different varieties. Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) has the strongest

flavor, traditionally associated with Thanksgiving recipes. The difference in flavor is

fairly negligible between the other varieties (Purple, Golden, etc.), so you may choose to

plant them for color or growth habit as well as cooking.

Thyme grows well with any of the other sun-lovers. It has a tendency to spread, so again,

you need to give it lots of room. There are several varieties good for cooking, Common

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) being the traditional cooking thyme. Lemon thyme is also

wonderful for cooking, with a strong lemon scent and mild flavor.

Moisture Loving Semi-shade Herbs:

Basil, Cilantro/Coriander, Dill, Mint and Parsley are all moisture lovers.

They want at least 6 hours of sunshine daily, but may need protection from afternoon sun in the

summer and fall.

Basil and Dill need protection from winter cold, anything below 40 degrees is a killer

cold. Grow these two in pots that can be moved indoors when the cold comes. A nice

sunny window will help them grow big and bountiful.

Cilantro loves the outdoors, as long as the temperature remains cool. When the weather

heats up, Cilantro wants to bolt! Bolting means the plant tries to send up a flower stalk

and make seed. In the case of Cilantro, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as the seeds are

Coriander! You really get your money’s worth out of this helpful plant. You can also

save the seeds for next season’s planting.

Mint loves water. If you plant it outside near a hose bib, under a dripping swamp cooler,

or anywhere else moisture collects, mint will not only thrive, but it might just take over!

If you want to keep mint under control, plant it in a pot. Mint is another plant that comes

in many varieties from one large family, so be careful of the cross-pollination and

mixture of flavors and plant them in separate pots. Chocolate-Spear Mint might sound

good in theory, but in practice, it’s not really that tasty. Some interesting mints to try are

Apple Mint, Orange Mint, Chocolate Mint or Pineapple Mint if you are looking for

something new. You can also stick with the classics: Peppermint, Spearmint, Mint Julep

or Mojito Mint.

Now that you know what to plant get growing!

Herbs like plenty of food, so give them a balanced (all-purpose) organic fertilizer regularly.

If you are growing in the ground, this means every 6 weeks or so spring through fall. If you are

growing in pots, then the amount of water you are using means the nutrients get flushed

out more rapidly, so you’ll want to fertilize every four weeks or so.

Removing flowers from your herbs as they form helps keep them full and strong. If you

allow them to go to flower and then to seed, most herbs think they’ve done their job and

get straggly and/or die.

Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year

November, 2017

(The Secret Gathering fine art print is available by Francesca Rizzato at FrancescaRizzatoart on etsy.)

 

One story we Pagans like to tell about ourselves is that we have a balanced world view, honouring the dark as well as the light, acknowledging that both are part of life. But is this actually true?

If you stop and think about it, as we move around the Wheel of the Year we seem to focus much more on celebrating the light than the dark. At Yule we celebrate the rebirth of the sun, and the fact that from now on the light will return. At Imbolc we celebrate with candles the lengthening days. At the Spring Equinox when the days and nights are once again of equal length we celebrate spring and renewal. At Beltane we celebrate the beginning of summer, and at the Summer Solstice we celebrate the sun at the height of  its powers. At Lughnasadh we celebrate the grain harvest ripened by the sun at the same time that we mourn its waning power. At Autumn Equinox we note the balance between dark and light whilst celebrating the summer’s harvest. Only at Samhain do we truly honour the dark, working with our ancestors and practicing divination.

So if the Wheel of the Year is divided by the Equinoxes into a dark half (when the nights are longer) and a light half (when the days are longer), why do we spend almost all our festivals honouring the power of the light and only one honouring the dark?

Well it could be because the light seems a more attractive prospect. Most of us prefer warmth to cold, sunshine to gloom, summer to winter etc. But I think we are missing an important point. In focussing so heavily on the light we are not taking a balanced view. We are neglecting a large and important part of the daily and annual cycle of life, even the cycle of life and death itself. Just stop and think for a moment what life would be like if it were all light and growth and go, go, go. We need the dark of night for sleep, rest and renewal, we need shade from the heat of the sun, we need death and endings to make room for birth and newness. We need the interplay of both light and shadow to make sense of the world, to appreciate depth and perspective.

I am not saying that at Yule we should not celebrate the apparent rebirth of the sun. But perhaps we should acknowledge the importance and power of the dark at the same time. At the Autumn Equinox, as well as celebrating the summer’s harvest, perhaps we could also celebrate the onset of autumn and all the good things that will bring – sitting round a cosy fire, sipping hot chocolate, kicking through piles of leaves, roasting chestnuts, snuggling up in your favourite fuzzy sweater…

Seeds, if exposed only to the sun will shrivel and dry out, never germinating. But those that fall to the ground and work into the damp darkness of the soil will eventually burst into life, sending up green shoots and drawing their sustenance not only from the sunlight on their leaves, but also from the dark richness of the earth.

To be truly balanced and nourished I believe we too need to reach for the skies whilst staying firmly rooted in the ground (grounded). One part of this is acknowledging and celebrating the dark half of the year properly.

Here are some suggestions for working creatively and fruitfully with the dark during this time of year.

  • Celebrate the dark half of the year as a time for rest and renewal.
  • Find a method of honest self-examination that works well for you, truly examine and work towards understanding your shadow self (find a good counsellor or therapist if necessary).
  • Focus on self-care in your rituals. What would truly nourish and renew your mind, body and spirit? Do healing rituals. Give each other massages in sacred space. Share nourishing home-cooked food infused with healing spells.
  • Focus on your dreams and what they are trying to tell you. Keep a dream journal, start a dream group, interpret each-others dreams in coven space.
  • Use a favourite method of divination to delve deeply into your unconscious.
  • Go on a retreat.
  • Try fasting for 24 hours. It doesn’t have to be a food fast – you could try a media fast (turn off the TV, radio and computer, avoid newspapers, books etc) or an electricity fast (turn off everything non-essential).

These are just a few suggestions to get you thinking creatively. I’m sure you can think of many more! The dark is not better than the light, the light is not better than the dark. They are equal and complementary. We need both. Let’s celebrate that.

MagickalArts

September, 2017

Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox

 

 

The Great Wheel has turned once again and we find ourselves at the time of the Autumnal Equinox. The air is cooler, the leaves are turning and beginning to fall from brittle branches and all of life is giving pause to prepare for what changes lay ahead. This is the second of the three harvests and the fields are already beginning to brown as the day’s light gently wanes and we are enveloped in the quickening darkness of the setting sun. It is at this time we begin to gather our stores of ripened summer foods and draw the remainders of outdoor activities into ourselves to carry us through the winter months ahead. Soon the time for introspection and the gentle quickening of the light that will be birthed at Yule will be at hand. 

 

Many will celebrate this Sabbat as Mabon and give honor to the God as the wild lord of the hunt and Green Man of the forests. The Goddess becomes Gaia, the great earth mother who offers up her lands as sacrifice in the cycle of life and death and to that, which will be prey and those that must be predator. In her form as Lady of the Beasts she will guide and protect her animals to insure that new life will come from those that survive the harshness of winter. 

 

If we look to the astronomical energies that are occurring we celebrate the space of balance between the waning light of the year and the waxing of the dark. The energy of Virgo readies itself as bridge and gateway to the opening of Libra as the transition is made from one solar month to the other. This is the action of the Mutable (Virgo) flexibility reaching out towards the Cardinal newly formed growth that is the balance of Libra. And for those moments in time when the midpoint of transfer of these energies is achieved we stand at the center of the Autumnal equinox; each being in balance with the other; equal day and equal night. 

 

One of the ways I use this turning of the Great Wheel is to reaffirm my connection to the greater world and the deeper exploration of the Anima Mundi- the World Soul. I reflect on my place in this world and on what helps to sustain that presence. I reflect on the connection that I have with all that surrounds me, and the actions that I will put into motion to strengthen and deepen that connection at all levels. Using the energy and balance of the equinox offers the space of intent that establishes a closer relationship between man and animal and the acknowledgment of the collective consciousness of the world soul that is informed by both. 

 

By definition, the Anima Mundi is considered to be the pure ethereal spirit that is contained and disseminated throughout all nature. This spirit was thought to animate all matter of the natural world in the same sense in which the soul is thought to animate the human form. If we reach back in time, our ancestors had great understanding of this premise and perceived all of life as interconnected with no separation between the human and natural world. Each was dependent upon the other for its survival and the cycles of planting and harvesting flowed smoothly and in harmony. Gaia, the goddess as Mother Earth holds within her being the essence of this animating spirit and is the sustainer of all life that is enfolded in her body.

 

If we use the dynamics of this concept of a World Soul, we can draw on the energy of this cycle to bring about a balance of animal and man; humanity and the natural world in which we are all participants. The potential is in the opening to a wholistic state of consciousness that is inclusive of the collective awareness of all levels and streams of existence that comprise our Greater Earth. 

 

So, how do we reaffirm our connection? Being guided by an ecological conscience is a given expectation of all who consider themselves pagan and follow an earth-based spirituality. The actions that are in support of living lightly and respectfully on our planet is a commitment made because it is the right thing to do. This mindset is the beginning of making personal commitment to remain in balance with our world. We must also consider the natural world as inclusive of city streets, malls, the urban sprawl and clutter as well as the preserved forests, protected lands and spaces of wildlife and clean air. All are alive and all are part of the greater whole each having its own dynamics, rules, detriments and positives. That which we consider as polluted and over trafficked are the result of man’s creation and as such are connected to the spirit of man and therefore also that of nature.

 

One very concrete and tangible effort is volunteering at an animal shelter. My daughter walks dogs for the local shelter and has fostered kittens. Food, blankets and carrier donations are gratefully accepted by most. Spending time in a nature preserve and observing animals in their natural habitat gives a greater sense of the beauty and complexity of exchange between nature and her inhabitants. At a spiritual level, spending some time in meditation to connect with your own power (or Totem) animal will open up other pathways of understanding. Regularly working with this animal and asking it to share its mysteries and place among all of the wild can help to guide you towards those physical steps you can take in the manifest realm. 

 

If you are so inclined, planting a garden and dedicating it as green space with emphasis on those plants that attract butterflies and birds gives sanctuary to the animals in your neighborhood. Working with medicinal herbs and plants and getting to know the energies of the Devas and land spirits will connect you more deeply with the green world. Their healing and opening properties will offer opportunity to feel the potency of their energy and listening to the wisdom of the land spirits will guide you in living in a manner that is in support of sustainability and maintenance. 

 

And, a key component to all of these is the work we do for ourselves to align and balance those parts of ourselves that act as interface for this exchange. When we work in balance with our parts of self, we are working in accord with the world around us. In order to connect with our natural world we must first find those places of connection to the wild within our selves. The Lower Self is the place of direct connection with our instinctual and basic survival nature. This is the place of the animal and of the wild that makes decision propelled by its basic needs. Those things within us that stir the desire to interact with others, to form community and to create safe haven are part of the order of the natural world. 

 

The Middle Self draws that basic instinct up to a place of balance so that the excess of these things is in agreement with our place in the world as we know and perceive it to be. It, in effect acts as the gatekeeper allowing what is productive at any given moment to be given the pass-go so we may remain effective in our work as part of a larger whole. 

 

The Higher Self is the point of connection with the Divine and the Higher mind. It is this self that streams information from the collective conscious and informs the actions that will ultimately be taken by the Middle Self. It is the connecting point of the highest levels of understanding of the unity and thread of commonality in all things and the source from which they originated. The work that we do in aligning these aspects of our true nature eventually brings us to the center point of balance and it is from this point that we find our place in the natural world as participant and guardian of the life that is contained therein. This is the space where our perceptions broaden and we sense the entirety of the world and can then be effective in all of our workings within it. 

 

I invite you to join me at this time of the Autumnal Equinox and celebration of the wild. Breathe into the space of yourself in all of your parts and then breathe out the blessed gift of your power to the Earth.

 

***

 

About the Author:

 

 

 

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author. She is the author of:

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or website and her Blogs can be found at: Robin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram

Autumn Pickings

November, 2016

I saw a crow carrying a hedgehog today. The hedgehog was dead, crushed by a car whose driver was oblivious to its small, spiky presence. Maybe that driver was in a hurry, or didn’t see, or simply didn’t care.

The crow waited for a gap in the traffic, and, just a few yards in front of me, it glided smoothly down to the tarmac, grasped the sorry, squashed creature in its beak, hopped ungainly a couple of times to catch its balance and flew on to the railing separating road from grass verge.

Nature’s cleaners, I thought. It immediately struck me that this wouldn’t be everyone’s reaction. Probably more like gross or something along those lines. But without carrion eaters, our roadsides would be a mess of maggots and rot. Mind you, even the maggots ensure there is less decaying meat hanging about and making the countryside smell bad.

Autumn is all about dying. In the wheel of the year, winter is often named as the season of death, but autumn is where it all starts. The leaves fall in a shower of spectacular beauty, but the colours soon fade and crumble into a crust of browns and blacks. The day becomes shorter; a hunched, elderly shadow of its former glory. Fungi spring forth everywhere, their mycelium eating away at their hosts. Even the fruit still clinging to brambles, hawthorns, elders and rowan trees reminds us that the season of plenty is coming to an end; these are the last pickings of the year. Best grab them while you can.

So of course, as a witch, I tend to listen to nature. I grab: I take my young son out after school, and we pick rowan berries and the last of the blackberries, some stubborn crab apples and even a few sloes. We bask in the golden, autumn evening, and we talk about how different the woods will look soon, when the leaves have all left, and the trees are skeletal shapes haunting a frosty cemetery. Nathan doesn’t shy from asking about death, and I’m glad about this. His lack of awkwardness makes it easier for me to be open with him, so we talk about the season dying in the same tone that we sometime talk about our own mortality.

I wonder if it’s odd for a six year old to be asking about death, but he often asks me how long I’m going to live for, and when I will die, and he talks about his own death in quite a matter-of-fact manner too. I try and match this attitude by not couching death in different terms; if something is dead, it is dead. It’s not ‘passed’ or ‘sleeping’. Life is confusing enough, and its ending is both fascinating and terrifying. No need to make it more confusing than it already!

He often asks about my ancestors and when they died (When did your great-nanna die mummy? How did she die? How old was she?) and although the only deaths he has experienced are of beloved pets, he seems to both understand the concept and be incredibly ready to speak about it, including articulating the different ways he feels; sad, puzzled, intrigued and at times unsure. I think this is something we lose as we grow older: the ability to see death as a part of life, albeit a puzzling and often devastating part. Perhaps it is the devastation that makes us shy from discussing it, but wouldn’t it be easier if we could reach out to someone and say exactly how we felt, without feeling awkward or clumsy about it?

These seem like deep thoughts to have come from a poor, flattened hedgehog! But I often find myself reflective around the autumn equinox. Day equals night in a point of both balance and liminal potentiality. We are not quite into the chills of later autumn but we certainly can’t call it summer any more. There is death on the horizon, the death of the season and, eventually, the eternal promise of the return of the sun and the longer days.

There is also the promise of the darkness; of rest, rejuvenation, and time to oneself. The promise of cold, white mornings and mysterious mists. The whisper of snow in the distant weeks. I don’t always crave the light, the sun and the heat. Sometimes I like to feel the touch of ice, like the crooking of a skeletal finger, to remind me that I am alive, and I feel all things: happy and sad, joyful and angry; energetic and lazy. I am whole, yet flawed, broken even… and that’s OK.

Summer dies, and that’s OK too. I miss the long, luscious days but I crave the long, cosy nights. I can be safe in my home, by my hearth, watching the world outside die slowly or move into hibernation. And the crows… well they are there all year round, clearing up the corpses and tidying the entrails away.

I have my own crows that pick up the rotten bits in my mind and carry them away. They aren’t always active, but when they are, I am grateful. Hail to the carrion eaters, reminding us, like our children, that death is a part of life and when it gets messy, there is always someone who will enjoy the gloppy bits.

Originally posted on Moon Blog, 21st September 2016

Spiralled Edges

October, 2016

Culling Time

Come September when autumn winds start to chill our focus is on the harvest. I have friends from all over who are busy canning and preserving fruits and vegetables they have grown in their gardens. Those of us who don’t have access to a garden or allotment may be looking at ideas we planted in the spring. How have they grown? Are they ready for harvesting and completion?

The focus is very much on bringing in the harvest, whether literal or symbolic, but little attention is given to the other part of this season – this is a time of culling.

For the farmer, this meant looking at his livestock and making a decision on which would be worth keeping over the winter, and which would need to be killed to provide food for his family, but also to make sure there was enough food on hand for the livestock he did keep. In addition, he would need to think about the number of animals that he might get the following year when mothers dropped their young.

These days, most of us don’t have these worries because we probably don’t live on farms. We can still look during this time of year to see what needs to be culled from our own lives though.

Now is the time to do work to release those outworn ideas that once served a purpose, but are now holding us down. It’s the time to take a look at what is cluttering up our lives, whether they be physical objects or outworn habits. It’s time to do a bit of culling.

spiral

 

This doesn’t mean that it’s time to spend a few days bashing yourself over the head for every perceived fault. Even the most unhealthy habit or behaviour at one time served a purpose, though you may not remember any more what that purpose was.

When looking ask yourself – does this serve me in a healthy way? Does it bring me joy? Has it served its purpose? Then take the steps you need to cull what is no longer needed or wanted.

I won’t go into all the various systems and programs that can be followed, and there are many. Many people find success with Fly Lady or Side-Tracked Home Executive when it comes to decluttering. You may also look at support groups or professional help. Sometimes, habits and behaviours have become so ingrained that we don’t even realise we are doing them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t be too ruthless either when deciding what needs to be culled. Remember, the careful farmer always made sure he kept enough breeding stock on hand to sustain the farm in the coming year.

When you are ready, you may want to do a small ceremony. This is one that you could adapt for your own circumstances.

Culling Spell

You will need:

  • A fireproof dish
  • A small piece of paper and pen
  • A candle and means to light it.

Prepare yourself in whatever way you wish beforehand. You may also want to light candles, clear the area with incense, and/or create a ritual circle.

When you are ready, sit with the tools before you.

Centre yourself, then state what it is that you wish to cull from your life. Write it down on the paper.

You may state these words, or some of your own choosing.

“Today I wish to release (this behaviour/habit/thought process) from my life. It has served its purpose (state what that purpose was if you know), but I have grown and it no longer serves me. I am grateful for the purpose it once had for me and release it now with gratitude and love. “

Light the paper and place it in the fireproof dish. Allow what you have released to be consumed by the flame while saying the following, or similar words of your own choosing:

“Peace surround me,

Light shine within me.

I release this now with gratitude and love.”

When finished sit quietly for a few minutes. Then take any remaining ashes from the paper and dispose of them someplace away from your home. Running water is ideal.

What do you need to cull from your life?

Image in public domain, source of quote is unknown

MagickalArts

October, 2015

The Hermit’s Light: Carrying the Balance into the Dark Ahead

The Great Wheel turned once again and just a few weeks ago we found ourselves at the place of the Autumnal Equinox. Each Sabbat flows in process of energy, one to the other. What and how we choose to celebrate and honor these turnings of the Great Wheel has both subtle and overt impact on how we navigate the days and months following. It is with this intention that I offer this writing and reflection on a Sabbat of balance and the gift of exploration of the Light within the dark spaces of quiet and surrender.

The Equinoxes astronomically mark a point when the North and South poles of the Earth are neither tilted away nor towards the Sun. Twice yearly, this event means that both hemispheres are in receipt of equal amounts of day or night respectively. In the Northern Hemisphere the air is cooler, the leaves are turning and beginning to fall from brittle branches and all of life is giving pause to prepare for what changes lay ahead. This is the second of the three harvests and the fields are already beginning to brown as the day’s light gently wanes and we are enveloped in the quickening darkness of the setting sun. In a few more weeks the silence of Samhain’s energy will issue call to the Ancestors and their wisdom. But, for now we must lay the foundations upon which we will stand as we reach deeper into the waning year’s shrouded light.

In the Southern Hemisphere the September Equinox marks the time of Spring’s advent and the anticipation of warmer weather, the Waxing of Father Sun’s light and the growing of new earth towards a state of fullness at during the Summer Solstice. The point of interest here lay in the state of balance that occurs at this turn of the Wheel; one preparing for darkness and the other anticipating brilliance of light. And, for this space of time neither holds more power than the other. It is at this time that we can stand in the neutrality of both expressions of our own light taking from each what is needed.

 

The Gift of Lammas

The Sabbat of Lammas heralded the first stage of work required to begin the harvest and followed through with action taken to reap and preserve what would sustain life. As we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, we are now at the mid-point, the second harvest, and the space of integration and pause to fully acknowledge and look more closely at what we have brought into our storehouse. The Autumn Equinox holds the promise of offering the space of equilateral time to assess and prepare for the next wave of descent into a darker and deeper space of introspection and transformation that will occur at the third and final Harvest of Samhain.

 

Many will celebrate this Sabbat as Mabon and give honor to the God as the Green Man of the forests. The balance of light and dark plays out in the actions that support survival of the fittest in all of their forms; human and animal. In this cycle of the God and Goddess, the Goddess mourns the loss of her consort, the God. The sacrifice He has made in the First Harvest prepares the way for the re-birthing of His light at Yule. The God now stands as the Green Lord of the Wild Hunt and serves to protect the animal world. His offer of sacrifice now is one of the animal world; insuring that all are slain with sacred reverence for the life given and that no meat is wasted.

 

The Goddess shifts her vision and becomes both the holder of the seed of the God’s light she will birth at the Solstice and the barren Crone whose wisdom has seen the return of all the cycles, year after year. As Gaia, the great earth mother she offers up her lands as sacrifice in the cycle of life and death and to that, which will be prey and those that must be predator. In her form as Lady of the Beasts she will guide and protect her animals to insure that new life will come from those that survive the harshness of winter. In her other guise as the Crone, the withering and drying of her youth and the turning within is reflected in the drying of the grasses and the falling of the leaves. Hers is the space of soon to come death that will hold the mystery of renewal and rebirth.

 

The Waning Light of the Year

 

As we move through this turning of the Great Wheel and its cycle of change, the light has begun to dwindle in outward expression in the physical world and the call to tend to the fires within and the heart (h) of promise that awaits our cycle of inner retreat and silent sanctuary is amplified as light and dark share equal space of action. This, the second of the three harvests concerns itself with the sacrifice of animal life and in those actions we affirm a deeper connection and reverence for what will be slain.?

This is the continuation of the work towards integration that was begun at the First Harvest of Lammas. As the waning light of day gives way to the waxing darkness of night, if we have used this time wisely and productively, we have been readied to stoke the light held within as darkness holds sway. The last light of the setting Sun signals the change that is at hand and the momentary poise of balance that this day has held shifts carrying us into the transformative Light held in the darkness.

 

The Hermit’s Light

The energy of this Sabbat could be equated with that of Sunset in the Solar Cycle. The air is becoming cooler and the instinct to withdraw into the comfort of hearth fire and home comes to the foreground. Life is slowing all around us, and nature is taking its cue from the universal cycles of light and dark as plant life goes dormant and leaves fall. The animal world offers up sacrifice of its life’s energy to feed and sustain the humans as stores of meat and game are carefully prepared to last throughout the winter months ahead. In the wisdom of the season, predator now becomes prey and what is too weak to survive will fade into the blackness of night’s eternal sleep. Father Sun’s light is dwindling in length of day and the heat that was intense and filled our cells strongly is now diminished and works at the subtle levels in the shortened time allotted.

 

This place of balance speaks not of the light of God and Goddess, but of the Light that is tended and offered up willingly that we as their Divine progeny carry within. Despite the busy-ness of our daily efforts and the throngs of people who surround us, the call of the Hermit resounds loudly, reminding us of the need to rest in his Light of renewal. This is not the need to retreat into solitary existence; rather the need to balance or outward activities and give due honor to the need for contemplation and introspection.

 

The Hermit offers the respite of time to move inward in contemplation and foster communication with the Higher Self. His Lantern carries the spark of the Divine flame that is the light shining eternally within our being. Within this inner scape of muted light and silence we are called to a place of accountability. Just as the rewards of the Harvest must be tended and monitored to ensure they last, so too what we have reaped in the full light of the Waxing of the Year and gathered as our harvest must be accounted for, nurtured and safe-guarded.

 

The balance of day and night that is held at the time of the Equinox provides the space of action bridged by the pause of rest to reflect. This is the lesson of the Hermit as the Light of the Autumnal Equinox and the call to heed well the need for moving into the darkness of soul’s intent before movement into light and balance may be achieved.

Hekate’s Enchanted Cottage

September, 2015

Season of the Witch

seasonofwitch

 

 

The days grow cooler and the nights draw closer as an air of mystery blankets the land. As Autumn approaches the Season of the Witch begins. The scents and sights of decay delight the senses of the macabre minded, and the colorful splash of red, gold, and orange bring warmth to the shadowed landscape. This is the time I feel more alive and closer to the Lands Enchanted. I welcome the uncanny feel of bewitchment as I ready myself for the mischief and mayhem the Spirits of Shades and Shadows bring. The soulfulness of the Enchanted Realm of the Dead awaken my mind to the mysteries that dwell beyond the Veil—beyond the Gates of Hekate. Communication with our Beloved Dead become easier as the Gates are swung open and the veil becomes thinner.

For me, the Dark half of the year begins in the Fall, when the nights grow longer and a certain chill is in the air. The Dead start to stir, and the Dark Fae of the Shadow-Lands come into full power. This lasts until Spring, when the Shining Ones awaken, blanketing the land in light and the pastel colors of newly born flowers paint the Earth in splendid delight.

My home reflects the changing of the seasons, my altars taking on the visage of light or dark—Seelie or Un-Seelie. Being a Hedge and Cottage Witch means being in tune with Nature and Her Spirits, learning to understand the ever changing tides of time. I walk the crooked, gray path of Witchcraft, communing with those Unseen, both dark and light. I embrace that which is within, accepting my dark and light self.

OracleCards

 

(Oracle of Shadows from Etsy)

 

As I prepare myself for the encroaching darkness, I consult with my Beloved Dead and the Spirits of the Shadow-Lands who have made themselves known to me. I ask them for protection and insight, listening keenly for all they impart to me. I ward my home against malicious spirits and pay homage to those Spirits who have been charged to protect my home and my loved ones. I have found Red Brick Dust and my own home made Holy Water (sacred water consecrated on the Altar of Hekate) to work wonderfully in the warding and protecting of my home.

When the wards are set and my Spirits thanked I am able to sit back and enjoy my favorite seasons, Fall and Winter. I prepare my home for celebrations and merriment and make plans for our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch—(Sadly, I need to find a new one to visit. Our favorite one closed last year.) With birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Yule all coming one right after the other, I have plenty to celebrate and look forward to time spent with loved ones. Parties, bon-fires, hayrides, baking and much more are what I love about this time of year and why I embrace the darkness that comes with it.

As the Season of the Witch begins, I wish you all a very Blessed and Merry Autumn, Mabon, and Harvest-Fest. May the love of family and friends bring warmth and happiness to your lives…

Next »