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Welcome

March, 2019

Cover artist: Sarah McMenomy is a witch, artist, author, and Tarot reader. She is a student of herbalism, scrying, auras, alchemy, and esoterica who regularly weaves these interests into her artwork and writing. She writes the monthly bullet journalling column “Wreathing the Wheel” and other articles for Pagan Pages, as well as other articles on her own Tumblr. She is working on her own hexagonal-shaped Tarot deck, and offers paid Tarot readings through Facebook and her website as well as free readings in a unique style on her Tumblr, Dry Erase Tarot.

Free Coloring Page: This month’s page is given to you by artist Tara Reynolds. Tara is a spiritual channel, intuitive empath, artist and guide. Her purpose in this life is to share her intuitive, channeled messages with the world through art, spiritual readings and guidance. To learn more about what Tara does, please go to her website taralreynolds.com, visit her Goddess Mandala Etsy Shop for coloring pages and more, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

We Welcome in the Changing of the Weather, the Spring Equinox, and Our Readers with a Warm Smile! We Have an Issue Packed full of Great Information!!

Don’t Forget to Download this Month’s Free Coloring Page from artist Tara Reynolds.

Arin Murphy-Hiscock, Author of The Witch’s Book of Self-Care, and Many More Amazing Titles, Blesses us With an Interview Must Read this month!

In Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic, Amy Blackthorn provides the reader with a guide to the safe and proper use of essential oils both in everyday use and in magic.

Why Not Give The Mixology of Astrology a Try? This Little book of Fun May Make Your Next Party!

Celebrating the Old Times in New Ways is Chock-Full of Great Information from a book Review to An Interview with Author Gabiann Marin to a Monthly Ritual Working!

Plus So Much More. So Go Ahead, Get Your Read On!

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Book Review – The Witch’s Book of Mysteries by Devin Hunter

March, 2019

Book Review
The Witch’s Book of Mysteries
by Devin Hunter

The forward of The Witch’s Book of Mysteries, written by Jason Miller, jumps right into what the reader can expect from The Witch’s Book of Mysteries by Devin Hunter.

… “What is a Witch? It’s a tricky label. For some people witchcraft is a religion. If you worship the old Gods and follow a religion like Wicca, then for those people your are a Witch. Other People focus on the craft part of witchcraft and consider use of folk magic as the defining characteristics of a Witch. If you know the magical properties of herbs, the words of spells and the use of oils and candles and stones, then you are a Witch.”….

And, as Jason aptly states, the definition of what a Witch has all of the overlays of modern society and traditional practices rolled into one.

This is the third book by Devin in a systematic approach to introducing the experienced student to the practices of witchcraft and honing their skills into becoming a Witch. The first of the books, The Witch’s Book of Power, explored all that comprises the journey of developing your power and knowing when and how to tap into it for a sustainable and effective practice.

The Second book, The Witch’s Book of Spirits furthered developed the power of the burgeoning Witch in accessing the world of spirits, mediumship and all that is of what Devin calls the Familiar Craft. And, as promised in this third book, The Witch’s Book of Mysteries coalesces all that has preceded and the reader begins the practice of working with those of the Sacred Fires, the Grigori, and the expansion of the practitioners powers to becoming one with all of the worlds.

This is not a book for the beginner and demands of the reader a working-not theoretical-knowledge of witchcraft and all that goes into claiming the title of Witch. The book is divided into two parts and each builds upon the other in knowledge and practical application. Many of the concepts presented are not your traditional craft practices. Instead, they are a refining and adaption of concepts that include some techniques and teachings that would have been designated as disciplines for other paths.

Much like Christopher Orapello and Tara Maguire’s book Besom, Stang & Sword (read the review of this book in our February Issue), these are concepts of the Modern Witch drawing on the best of the old and propelling the seeker into a new form of witchcraft that makes use more cosmic principals.

One of the best examples of what this new craft encompasses is the definition and explanation of the a familiar concept, the Witch’s Sabbat. As Devin points out, this term has come to be associate with the eight festivals of the Witch’s Wheel of the Year. These being tied to celebrations of specific times of the year, deities and experiences largely pulled together and used as such associations by those of scholarly works and not necessarily of the craft themselves. Just this idea makes so much sense if you consider that those we considered to be practicing witch’s hundreds of years ago would not necessarily have set aside valuable time and resources to celebrate in the ways we do today. Even the Deities that may have been associated with such rites would have been culturally based.

We learn in this book that the Sabbat is an experience that occurs in deep trance or while sleeping and requires the Witch have command over his/her magical form that has the power and ability to move in its pure form of power onto the plane of the Sabbat. This requires the development of lucid dreaming, psychic awareness. and as Devin states regarding the goal…”isn’t necessarily to leave the body and travel to a different dimension, but rather to travel through the inner realms of the mind and the paths of the psyche to get to a different dimension”….I found this a telling perspective that emphasizes the reality that being a Witch is really hard work that demands knowing yourself and a very mature attitude towards stepping into your power.

Part Two of “Mysteries” focuses on taking the Witch beyond their scope of power and realms of working and issues the call to reaching beyond what is believed of the limitation of form and reach out to those Spirits and guardians responsible for creation-particularly ours-itself. These entities move well beyond the archetypal and anthropomorphic energies of specific Deities, pantheons and the traditional Gods/Goddesses. The Witch must thoroughly know who they are in all of their power and rise to stand as co-creators with those lesser known (and worked with) beings who are of support.

The bibliography and recommended reading at the end of the book exemplifies the care and thought that went into this book and, more importantly supports Devin’s encouragement to learn as much as you can about as much as you can to truly be informed in your own practice.

The Witch’s Book of Mysteries is a valuable resource to the advanced practitioner regardless of the form your witchcraft may take. In fact, whether you consider yourself a witch or not, the information and way in which it has been compiled is well worth reading. This is the craft that will move into the next generation of and with that statement, you will hopefully see the durability and strength of a power that is organically a creative and universal energy.

To hear more from Devin about his practices, Tradition and more:

The Modern Witch Podcast

modernwitch.podbean.com

The Witch’s Book of Mysteries on Amazon

***

About the Author:

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

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

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

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

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Interview with Arin Murphy- Hiscock, Author of The Witch’s Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit

March, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this timely book and was thrilled to be able to interview Ms. Murphy-Hiscock….

The Interview

Robin Fennelly (RF): What brought you to the Craft? and Can you tell us a little about the Black Forest Clan and your work as High Priestess. 

Arin Murphy-Hiscock (AMH): I discovered the Craft in my twenties when I did research for a collaborative storytelling project. I was invited to join BFC in 2000, and have been working with them ever since. We have a small coven here in Montreal that takes self-care very seriously. I don’t teach workshops as much as I used to; writing books has taken the place of in-person teaching. I reach a lot more people this way!

RF: You’ve crafted a very comprehensive book, chock-full of information and ideas. Were there any specific events that inspired you to write this book? 

AMH: Not specific so much as a general theme that kept surfacing in my life. I have a tendency to work very hard and I am bad at taking time for myself or seeing that I’m headed for a collapse. That has a lot of repercussions. My publisher suggested I write something along the spiritual self-care line, and I was struck by how timely it was in my own life. I got to examine my coping mechanisms and isolate the ways in which I handled stress, and explain them in a way that helped me as well as could help others. It also had the associated consequence of a divine two-by-four, the effects of which I’m still handling.

RF: …..” The practice of magic seeks to establish or balance connection between an individual and the environment. If a spiritual aspect is added, then magic also seeks to balance or maintain the connection between the individual and the Divine.”.. You speak of magical practice and spiritual practice. Do you see these as two separate streams? How do you see these as part of healing the disconnect we have to self-care?

AMH: I do see them as separate streams. You can practice magic without involving deity at any point, and of course you can have a spiritual practice without magic. We bundle them together a lot, but they can absolutely be practiced independently of each other. As witches, we can and should address both aspects in our self-care. Nourishing only one part of your connection—to the world around you or to the Divine—limits you. And being able to access both aspects enhances the effects of each.

RF: You introduced us to the Danish concept of Hygge and its benefits for self-care. Could you tell us a little more about this?

AMH: Hygge has been a buzzword for a couple of years now. When I started reading about it in media back then, a lot of it was kind of a “well, duh” moment for me. The concept of hygge resonated with me and reflected so much of my existing outlook. I’m very home and hearth-based; my personal practice is rooted in comfort, simplicity, security, and caring for others. In self-care, those concepts are underlined, but with the primary subject being yourself. In North American culture we tend to perpetuate a martyr-like ideal, sacrificing the self for the good of others. That’s very noble on paper, but it’s terrible from the point of view of self-care. And it’s absolutely not sustainable. Hygge self-care suggests that caring for yourself has benefits beyond just making yourself feel better; it suggests that if you are feeling better, stronger, rested, more content, that spills over into the rest of your life, too, affecting those around you and your spaces in a positive way.

RF: Being a mother, HPs, wife and author and the stresses that come with all of those roles can you speak more about how to find the balance between self-care and maintaining the pressing responsibilities that require more of you?

AMH: It’s a constant juggling act. It’s important to step back and take stock regularly, probably more often than you already do, to catch problems before they become severe issues. And when you take stock, you have to be as objective as possible. I’m… not very good at that part, to be honest. I’m a work in progress. It’s one of the reasons why I try to fill my cup when I can, and look for the serenity and small pleasures of self-care in daily life. Ongoing maintenance is easier than a full-scale repair.

It’s wonderful to have a support network that keeps an eye on you, too. You can think, “No, I’ve got this, I can totally do this,” but good friends will haul you into their kitchens and say, “Look, you’re working yourself into a dangerous place, and we are going to intervene so you have a bit of time in which you can disengage and clear your head.” Sometimes that intervention is coffee, sometimes it’s supper at their place so you don’t have to think about what to make, sometimes it’s an impromptu playdate at their house so you don’t have to think about the kids for a couple of hours. I wouldn’t be as sane as I am without my in-person network, or my online network. Or my family, come to that. My husband will up and take the kids to a friends’ house and leave me alone for the morning, or my kids will randomly bring me cups of tea or chocolate because they know I enjoy them.

My coveners are amazing. They are all about the low-impact practice, bless them, and a lot of our spiritual work happens through food or arts and crafts. Weather or illness or overtime means we don’t get together as often as we all wish we could, but the bond is there regardless. I’m so grateful for them being the people they are.

RF: I loved the idea that we often fear having “more agency and control over (your) life than you may be comfortable accepting.” What have you done to break through and push back when confronted with this?

AMH: It’s really scary to accept responsibility for what happens in your life. It’s so much easier to believe that you’re a victim. But there is strength that comes from recognizing that you made a mistake somewhere, and acknowledging that hey, that wasn’t the right choice to make at the time. The moment you take responsibility, you open up the possibility that you can change, and you can effect change. That’s a powerful move. People can be uncomfortable with power. It’s easier to let someone else make the decisions.

RF: What is your favorite part of the book and/or exercises?

AMH: The arts and crafts, I think! I love uniting creativity and spirituality, and I’m a big supporter of using art to express or explore your relationship with the Divine. It encompasses keeping your hands busy and disengaging the overactive mind, has the benefit of producing something tangible, and works to stimulate different areas of your brain.

RF: Having completed your book, what other piece of wisdom would you offer about self-care that wasn’t included?

AMH: I really want to hammer home the idea that you are worth taking care of. I know how hard it can be when you’re in a crappy situation and you feel like there’s no way out. Even if you can’t throw it all out and start again, you can make small changes to remind yourself that you are worth it, and work on it incrementally; it can be a long road, and it’s an ongoing pursuit. Mistreatment by others (casual or otherwise) doesn’t mean that’s the kind of life you merit. Everyone deserves respect, health, and happiness!

This is a book I will return to frequently to savor the experiences and remind myself that self-care begins with the self. Thank you, Arin, for so seamlessly integrating practical advice and magic that is healing and restorative.

The Witch’s Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit on Amazon

***

About the Author:

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

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

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

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

Follow Robinon Instagram & Facebook.

Wreathing the Wheel

March, 2019

March

I’ve been working with astrology a lot in my craft lately, and it’s starting to work its way into all my designs! Here, I’ve added the planets associated with each day of the week in a flow of stardust — this is pretty, but it’s also a way of labeling the days and reminding me of the planetary associations.

This March, the full moon is on Ostara, the Vernal Equinox. It brings with it a great potential for manifestation of personal works. To harness this power and celebrate the season, I’m making a renewed effort to spend time on my garden. My husband and I moved a little over a year ago from a large house that had a lot of garden space to a townhouse with fairly little garden space, and I haven’t done much with it yet. I brought several potted houseplants and a few garden herbs, a few of which are in the ground already — carnation, spearmint, rosemary, and valerian — but there’s room for plenty more

At right, I’ve made a detailed listing of the plants I’m growing or planning to grow, with notes about what type of soil they need, how much sun they should get, how often they should be watered, how large they are likely to get, and any other care information that seems relevant. There are a few spots to add plants, but since I don’t have much space, I’ll probably do so slowly

At left, I have a log to track my progress and schedule important dates, and a small map of my garden in the middle of the spread. Because I have such little space, I have to have the plants spread out into several different locations, and it’s important that I don’t confuse them. Some of the plants I’m growing need to be treated carefully and grown inside a terrarium due to their toxicity; some will do better outside than in. In this case, organization is extremely important!

The final step in this process is to carry the theme forward through the rest of my journal so that I can return to this intention on an appropriate schedule and don’t forget what I’m doing or get lost in my plans. With most of these plants, weekly observation should be sufficient for me to determine their needs, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done to get everything set up, and I’ll need to be very careful when I’m starting my seeds. I can’t wait to see what grows!

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

The Road to Runes

March, 2019

The Road to Runes: Tiwaz

Tiwaz, Elder Futhark Rune of Norse God Tyr, Sacrifice and Law.

Last month I pulled the rune Dagaz, a rune all about breakthroughs and new beginnings. This coincided with a major life change for me and certainly reinforced my confidence in the runes and my journey with them.

The next rune I pulled was Tiwaz, the rune of the god Tyr. Tyr is a god of war, but also of law and justice. Tyr was invoked when victory was needed in battle. He gives the day ‘Tuesday’ its name, and has been conflated with the Roman god Mars.

Tyr’s primary myth is the story of the Binding of Fenrir, the great wolf who inspired fear, even in the Gods. Fenrir did not trust the Norse Gods, so when they wanted to place fetters upon him, he wanted a guarantee he would be released again. He asked one of the gods to place their arm within his jaws. Only Tyr would do this, knowing full well Fenrir would bite once they refused to release him. Sure enough, the fetters securely bound the wolf, and Fenrir bit down as promised, severing Tyr’s arm from his body.

Sacrifice

This willing sacrifice for the greater good is a key aspect of Tiwaz. Giving up something which is important to us for the benefit of others is noble, but often extremely difficult to do. We don’t need to lose an arm, like Tyr; Tiwaz can indicate that we need to give up our time, by volunteering, perhaps, or spending more time with the kids. Tiwaz could also mean we need to give up something physical. Maybe you’re in financial difficulties, and selling your beloved collection of [insert favourite obsession here] could give you the money you need to see you through to the next pay-cheque.

Tiwaz can also mean sacrificing something we feel is important about ourselves. Maybe you see yourself as entirely self-reliant but are struggling on your own with a particular situation. It’s hard to ask for help when your ego demands that you stand on your own two feet. Tiwaz dares you to put the arm of your ego in the jaws of the wolf, and not to flinch as it bites down. You will not be harmed by the change in your perception of yourself. You might feel too proud to ask for help, but in this situation, you would learn to have pride in your friends and family and eventually in yourself for being willing to change and adapt.

My Situation

In my situation, just having become freelance and working to build a new schedule and routine, it’s not immediately evident what Tiwaz represents for me. I have sacrificed my day job in order to support my family better, but that was a sacrifice I was happy to make- delighted, in fact! What I have struggled with since the change is being my own boss. I’ve been so used to having someone else dictate my schedule, doing it for myself is tricky and slightly alien to me.

Maybe Tiwaz is telling me I need to sacrifice my self-image as a routine-hating rebel. I’ve always seen myself this way; not chained or fettered to the clock, except when I have to be, due to the demands of others. Well, now those demands need to come from within. There’s no boss breathing down my neck, only clients and my own sense of drive and ambition.

Tiwaz also represents the reign of law and order over chaos, and I hope that this aspect of the rune is telling me that peace will soon descend. Chaos has started to blur the edges of my life lately, with some deep loss and grief, and severe mental health difficulties. Perhaps, by remaining confident in my decisions and having faith in my own abilities, order will resume some claim over events, and life will start to settle back into the routine I so desperately don’t want, but clearly need.

Tiwaz is a complex rune, and I have no doubt I will find it again in a future reading. For now, I feel like the rune is telling me not to grip so strongly to ideas of self-image, and be willing to change myself for my own benefit, the benefit of others, and for some peace and calm within my life. Don’t forget, you can tweet me @Mabherick if you want me to focus on a particular rune for this column. Until next time!

***

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 Ancestorsand 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

Retha’s Crystal Reflections

March, 2019

Crystals for Luck & Happiness

This month with both the winter & cold weather dragging on (in my neck of the woods) and St Patrick’s Day coming, I thought we can sure use some crystal aids for bringing us more joy & happiness and some good old luck! Are ya with me? Good! Read on to see which are my favorite go-to crystals to get my happy on and when I need some luck on my side.

Yellow Apatite

Yellow or golden apatite is best known for its amazing manifestation powers, but for me it’s also just as fabulous for bringing joy. It’s sunny gemmy color makes me feel happy upon looking at it! Yellow is a cheerful color, and if you ever don’t know which crystal to choose for a certain function you can always choose based on the color. Colors are important because they can tell us which stones align with the chakras, but also pretty much everyone knows the feelings that are induced by looking at different colors! And yellow crystals are bound to bring happiness and cheerfulness. Yellow apatite is a stone that brings positive energy into your auric field. It also has solar vibes and strong male energy. This bright and stimulating energy strengthens your willpower and can help you discover what you really want in life. It strengthens your confidence as well. Helps you to become MORE…..of whatever you want more of in your life. Makes you more positive overall and enthusiastic. Very powerful yellow ray crystal.

Ocean Jasper

Ocean Jasper is known as the “happiness stone”. They say it’s like valium in crystal form. If you are feeling down or blue, this stone will be your best friend! It encourages feelings of joy and helps you to release negative feelings so you are more optimistic. It aids you in reframing negative experiences into a new positive light. It helps you to communicate positively and helps you to verbally express feelings of love to others. It relieves tensions, stress and worry and makes you more aware of the good things in life. It promotes self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. Ocean Jasper has a strong heart based energy and I hope you will try this for yourself next time you need a boost!

Citrine

Citrine is another beautiful yellow color crystal and it is indeed a mood booster and will cheer you up. It’s known as the “merchant’s stone” and should be put in your wallet or in a cash register if you have a store to attract abundance and success to you. It has a strong sun energy and brings light into all areas of your life. Brings joy, happiness and good energy to you. Citrine also transforms negative chi energy into positive beneficial chi energy. Since it doesn’t absorb the negative energy but instead transmutes it, citrine never needs to be cleansed. Wear this bright sunny stone to tap into the beautiful properties.

Green Aventurine

Green Aventurine is best known for its ability to promote growth. Whatever you are wanting to grow or multiply, this is your best tool. I always add green aventurine to my plants. (Just place on the soil or bury). It also can help grow your luck. This is the stone recommended for good luck rituals of any kind. It’s the stone you want if you’re gambling or playing the lottery, as it’s the stone that boosts your chances in any situation and helps align opportunities for you. It’s also what is referred to as the “stone of personal growth” and also aligns opportunities for learning, growing and personal development. Green Aventurine is an optimistic stone and promotes a zest for life. It promotes success and confidence and draws abundance of all kinds to you. It can protect your heart, acting as an emotional anchor of sorts. It can even help you to work through unresolved emotional issues. This stone is such an important one for anyone’s collection. A workhorse for sure.

Pyrite

Who doesn’t love pyrite? Its glittery golden sparkles that look like literal gold. It looks rich and expensive, so if you want luck (especially prosperity luck) then it makes perfect sense that this is a great choice. This is a perfect stone in feng-shui for bringing prosperity and abundance into your home or place of work. Pyrite helps to relieve “poverty consciousness” and limited thinking. It increases focus and gives you motivation and self-confidence. It’s a symbol of wealth and success. It’s revered to as “fool’s gold” but if you use this stone a fool you definitely are not! Brings vitality, creativity, protection and instills a warrior attitude. Gives you the ability to pursue your dreams. Dream in gold and dream big and use pyrite as your partner to create your bliss.

Jade

Jade is known as a lucky charm. It promotes success, wealth and wisdom. It is the best good luck charm for wealth, abundance and prosperity specifically. Green represents growth and vitality (as with aventurine) and not only growing a richer life in respect to material possessions, but a richer experience in all aspects of your life. It’s a wish stone or dream stone. Hold this or wear this stone when you are visualizing your goals and dreams. The stone for dreamers, reach for the stars with this powerful ally at your side and make your thoughts become your reality! Jade is also a well known stone for eternal youth. Using a jade roller for your skin, or making jade water to spritz your skin is a great practice to incorporate into your daily skin care regiment.

I hope this gives you some crystals to get started with to tap into happiness and joy. Try out one or more of these stones and see if they make a difference in your life. If you need luck or good mojo get yourself one or all of these good luck stones and start experiencing their magic. All of these crystals work together beautifully and complement each other, so the more the merrier!

I invite you to make a happiness or luck grid with these stones, adding quartz to magnify them all! How powerful that would be! Have a very happy and lucky month and I hope you will come back next month to read more!

Crystal Blessings

Sources:

www.healingcrystalsforyou.com

www.energymuse.com

www.feng-shui.lovetoknow.com

***

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

Gael Song

March, 2019

Druidry as a Path of Enlightenment

I’ve seen a number of articles debating this topic, and I very much want to say that my own solitary druid path has been nothing but a path to enlightenment! An email from an acquaintance recently said how she was interested in druidry but didn’t know how to integrate it into her life. Well, my own path is the easiest thing in the world to integrate into anyone’s life because it’s so simple. I went to a school to learn energy healing 23 years ago and since then, I’ve done two half-hour meditations a day. The first one, in the morning, is when I pick crises happening across the world from the daily news to hold in the light. It has utterly amazed me how many of these I have deep inner resonance with. I finally decided that all the dark happenings across the global stage are old fear archetypes being brought up for healing by the universe, that everyone could benefit by helping heal them as they come along. This small morning meditation has moved me forward by leaps and bounds and healed old inner darkness in my soul I’d never have remembered otherwise.

And the second meditation I do is in the evening, when I take all negative personal experiences of that one day, find the fear behind each event, and heal these in love. This, too, has been utterly miraculous in teaching me how we all create our own outer ‘realities’ and how these can be changed in the blink of an eye with inner healing. It’s the tiny diamond core, the drop of sparkling light in the middle of the four lobes of the heart, I use for healing. This light has a highly creative essence, and it creates all the fear and love beliefs surrounding it into our own little worlds. But the best part is that even ancient cosmic fears can be transmuted in seconds. I simply imagine my fears moving into the dazzling light there and watch as they melt, transmute, back into light, verbally releasing my contract to believe in that fear at the same time. And that fear is gone forever from my world and will not be created into it again. This, too, has become startlingly obvious as I moved along. My outer world became far more gentle, more joyful, simpler, and especially peaceful, so much so that the wonder and hope of complete freedom from fear drew me along my path as nothing else could, freedom from fear not just for myself, but for everyone on earth. This is what gives my heart wings (sparkly lilac ones to be exact) quivering in excitement!

But let’s get back to enlightenment. As I kept healing inner fears, I saw different colors of light move down into my aura. Each color stayed around me for 2-3 weeks, and then moved out below. It was if I was climbing a rainbow ladder of light, always moving up. And I was. This is enlightenment 101, as simple as can be! In this very uncomplicated way, I’ve moved up through 363 planes of light over 23 years. And I’m radically different from the person I was when I began this journey. These planes sorted themselves into 7 worlds or heavens with initiations between each level, first earth, then water, air, then fire, cherub, and bone, and finally diamond, which I can feel approaching but have not yet endured. Each level has its own challenges and gifts to the spirit. The soul level and water initiation taught me that I am not responsible for others and can only change myself, that I create my own reality and I alone am responsible for what happens in my life. I let go of a truckload of responsibility for others I’d carried since I was a young child, and the need to change others according to my own wants, too (which I’m sure my family greatly appreciated!). The third heaven, the spirit realms, taught me not to rush too much, to thoroughly enjoy the sacredness of life, to talk with butterflies and trees and rivers. It brought the whole world alive for me the way it had been when I was a young child. Even now, most of my inner knowings come from talking with nature, not from books or people or social media. All forms of life became sacred to me at that third heaven stage of life, to be nurtured and held in love. Then the fourth level, the logos sun, brought up persistent blockages on virtually everything I wanted to do in life, until I learned to back off and wait for the universe to direct me, instead. It taught me to surrender my personal desires to the will of the universe, divine will. Now, I just live a simple life in my home. I don’t go looking for things to do or try to make impressions on anyone. Whatever is needed will come to me as surely as sunrise. And miraculous surprises show up at the consignment store and in chance encounters in the neighborhood all the time. It’s so freeing to take care only of my own small tasks every day and let the universe take care of everything else! It has left me time to paint and sew, garden and walk with my dog by the sea, and make stained glass and all the fun projects I love so much. Then the fifth level brought me into repeated hostile encounters with women in authority, the pain of which taught me that loving kindness is the most important thing in the entire world. I try to hold it in my heart in every moment, and I do not accept aggression or abusive actions in any of my relationships anymore, none at all. Having been abused as a young child, I’d accepted being pushed around far too often before that. How very glad I was to leave it all behind! Then the sixth level led me through the writing of my trilogy, a lot of extremely complicated details about light structures in the seventh heaven that I had to sort out and simplify to put into the druid lessons of my trilogy, a whole lot of work, a webbing of detail that took long years to work my way through. But I learned never to make anything over complicated again! Not to rush, either. Wordy complicated anything simply turns me off these days, and I’m very glad for this simple straight-forward lifestyle. And the seventh heaven has meant adding all 23 years of inner knowings into those druid lessons of my trilogy, all those ray colors for healing, all those light structures with their Celtic regents and the many cosmic cycles they overlight. I am happy to embody these knowings and be able to teach and write about them, to understand the structure of the inner planes so thoroughly. It’s my piece to pass along to the world, and there is a deep sense of completion in my work. And everyone has their own divinity to embody along this way to give back to the world in the end, too. And then, my guides say, the diamond initiation, not too far off in the future, will bring in my true love and world service years, the crystal castle of my deep heart.

But it’s not all easy, I should add. Some of the fears, during the initiation phases especially, are quite intense. One becomes a spiritual warrior along the way. But I’ve been led so very carefully by my druid guides, and the inner empowerment has grown so gradually and steadily, blended in with tending roses and lilies and fashioning Celtic clothing to my heart’s content, that it’s been as much fun and stretching into new talents as anything else. The druid path is of the Goddess after all, Her spiritual stream on earth. Of course She blends it with an earth-centered, fun-filled life! After facing so many fears along the way, it takes a great deal to pull me out of center any more, too, a calm core of being that’s been built along the way. There are life magics that are withheld until the core wound is faced and healed during the diamond initiation, too, things hoped for but not realized until the very end of one’s path. So, one must be prepared to wait a long time for some things. I’ve been substituting chocolate kisses for real ones for a good many years now. But that, too, is as it should be, isn’t it? For it’s that promise of true love magic which will pull me through my diamond initiation into the dazzling diamond core of my being in the end. May everyone step into their own shimmering dreams-come-true as soon as possible. Enlightenment, Celtic style!

***

About the Author:

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

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

3 Pagans and a Cat Month Feature

March, 2019

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast3 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.

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Each Month… we will share the previous month’s episodes with you from their site to help keep you up-to-date with their impressive podcast. While there, don’t forget to listen to this month’s as well, we wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!

February 2019 Episodes

Episode 30: Storytelling – Shenanigans: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit around the mic to tell each other stories from their respective mythological backgrounds, including: The Murder Harp, Finn McCool Eats a Fish, Why You Shouldn’t Swan and Chill, Pan Pipes Are Forensic Evidence, That One Time Thor Went Fishing, and How Asgard Got A Wall (and a Bonus Horse).

Episode 31: First Steps – Shadow Work: Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss the psychological concept of the Shadow, how it is born and manifests, what Shadow Work is, why you might want to do it, and how to go about the process.

This Month’s Podcast Shares from their Backlog

Episode 7: Wheel of the Year – Ostara: In the second of a series of Pagan Holiday Specials, Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss Ostara, the limits of historical Eostre, and the practices of modern celebration.

Episode 10: Building Your book – : Car, Gwyn, and Ode continue the Building Your book series by talking about correspondences: what they are, how they work, and ways in which you might include them in your book.

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.

***

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 those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Crone’s Corner

March, 2019

We Are ALL Right

I was sitting around a bonfire one Saturday night in early spring, pondering what will happen to me when I die – exactly. I brought out my flute, stared into the fire and I began to play. I played until I went somewhere else and was totally immersed in thinking about my Spirituality. Suddenly, I got this feeling of utter and complete weightlessness and I tell you honestly, for the first time in my entire life, I had a feeling of not only acceptance but genuine understanding. Here is the culmination of what I am now calling my “vision quest.”

I was playing a song on my flute that I call “The Whales Tune” because it was the first thing that I played on my cedar flute when I was in Alaska a few years ago watching hump back whales diving deep into frigid waters, flukes high in the air dripping wet. They were so peaceful and unaware of who I was or that I was even there acting as a voyeur in their world. The bonfire was high and bright and intensely hot, yet the air around me was filled with the chill of the early spring night, the warm chill of the spring night as opposed to the cool chill of the later summer night. There was the promise of warmth in the air as I allowed my mind to wander off.

I was in a deep, thick ancient wood, walking with bare feet on a thick carpet of leaves and moss. Every now and then I could hear the faint call of a cardinal in the woods, calling to me, beckoning me to come deeper into the woods. I stepped lightly and quickly as I made my way through the thick canopy up a small incline. Here the trees opened up in a circle and the sunlight brilliantly shined down in the center of the circle where the greenest grass I’ve ever seen was growing. There were small vivid yellow buttercups peeking up through the blades of grass nestled among clover and pink clover flowers. I entered the clearing and lay myself prone on the ground. My hands were turned earthward and my face turned skyward. The warmth of the sun was beaming down on my face and warming my body. I lifted my hair out from under my neck and nestled into the Mother for a time of quiet solitude. I left my mind to its wandering as I heard the cardinal calling closer and closer and then suddenly further away…so distant I could scarcely hear his call any longer yet I strained my ears to hear more…when the thought suddenly struck me…

What if we are ALL right?

I continued to lay in that circle of light as the sun warmed my thoughts and I went a bit deeper into myself and into the woods. I wondered if we are ALL right in our beliefs. I wondered if the Divine Light, of which we are all a part, has allowed us to each worship Deity in our own way. I wondered if instead of fighting with one another over semantics or over what we each deem is right or wrong in a Spiritual Path that we simply respected one another and learn from each other the varying paths open to us for us to reach and return to the Divine Light. I saw in my mind’s eye Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans and every other Spiritual Path communing. I saw us all acknowledging that which is highest and best in each other and learning acceptance and tolerance. I envisioned acceptance among all people that each path is different in the journey and that the sights along the way are divergent. I was filled with the certainty that each path still leads inexplicably to the same Divinity in the end. I was heartened by the discovery that loving one another in spite of the path, because of the journey, and with open hearts is core of my existence.

I continued to lie in the clearing and absorb that which is good and true in all of the varying paths that I noticed opening up around the circle in which I was laying prone. I heard drums in the forest, I heard chanting in an unknown language in the forest, and I heard the call of the animals in the forest. I heard many divergent paths opening before me, crossing over one another, overlapping, merging, becoming one and uniting toward one great destination. When I truly opened my heart to all that was surrounding me I realized then that we are ALL right. Each of us is right in the paths that we have chosen for our own Spiritual enlightenment, we are ALL right. We are all striving toward the ends of our own roads and along the way, our pathways cross with those of the people in our lives. My path is made smoother by the journey you have already traveled and in the words and experiences that you share with me. Your path is made smoother by the journey that I have already traveled and in the words and experiences that I share with you. We are both right.

When I realized this fully, when I saw the paths opening up in the circle around me, I stood from my quiet contemplation and I called out to the cardinal. I heard his call in the forest ahead of me, not to the path behind me, which I had already traveled. I knew then, as I know now, that I cannot travel back through that path as I have already been there. I have now laid my head on the grass here in the clearing and I have lain prone for the sun to warm my heart in a different way. I must now follow a different path. I stood in that clearing and turned around to gaze upon all of the open pathways. I stepped my foot into the dark and unknown path ahead of me and I took my first step knowing that in my heart I would take the warmth of the sun from the clearing with me and I would be taking the knowledge that you have all shared along the path into that unknown path that lay before me.

I realized as I walked onto the unknown path that a certain coolness approached and surrounded me. An aching had come to my back and legs when I realized that I was sitting before very weak embers in what had previously been a raging bonfire. I heard the song lilting from my flute and I felt the ache of my folded legs. I felt the song in my heart and the warmth of the sun in my heart.

I believe in my heart that we are ALL right. And I think that this little journey that I have traveled has brought to me a clearer appreciation and respect for all paths and a desire to travel them all until the warmth from the sun in that clearing has left my soul

***

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 – Mindful Dreaming: Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change by Clare R. Johnson, Ph. D.

March, 2019

Book Review
Mindful Dreaming
Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change
by Clare R. Johnson, Ph. D.

I love dreaming! It is one of my favorite things to do! I have been tracking and working with my dreams for years. But sadly, I have not had much luck with lucid dreaming, even though I’ve read many books on the topic and practiced lots of different techniques.

Author Dr. Clare Johnson is the first person to write a doctoral thesis on the topic of lucid dreaming as a creative tool. She’s been a lucid dreamer since the age of 3 and is currently the president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. So, she brings a real gravitas to the topic of working with your dreams. Her book offers a different take on the practice of lucid dreaming in Mindful Dreaming. She approaches “wakefulness” from the vantage point of “mindfulness,” bringing your attention to what is happening in the present moment. We bring our attention to the present moment, not only while awake, but during the one-third of our lives that we spend dreaming. The goal of mindful dreaming, as she explains, is to become awake to our unconscious patterns, modify them and heal our lives. “When we learn to be more present in our waking life, we are more likely to discover how our thoughts can shape our reality,” says Dr. Johnson. All this from dreaming, and not years of therapy?? Yes.

The key? Working with your dreams while you’re awake! For a lucid-dreamer wannabe like me, to know that I can go beyond recording my dreams and actually work with them and “change the movie” is exciting. Dreams are not just random firing of brain synapses. Rather, they are the doorway into our vast personal and collective unconscious. Learning to understand their dense symbolic language and decode their metaphors helps us to release powerful emotions, fears and memories stored at the cellular level. When we unravel unexpected associations that dreams make, we enhance our creativity. If we pay attention to their messages, we are shown where illness might develop. And we experience life-changing contact with the numinous when we become aware of our “soul dreams.”

Dr. Johnson takes us through the basics of working with our dreams: sleep hygiene, dream incubation, dream recollection and journaling. These are the first few of 50 dream practices and Lucid Dreamplay suggestions present in each chapter. The beauty of the Lucid Dreamplay practices is that many of them are done while you are awake! You can change your “inner movie,” write, sketch or dialogue your way into an understanding of a key dream image and tell a dream to a friend in order to excavate its many layers. The unconscious mind begins to build a blueprint for the possibility of change in waking life and the direction that change can take. Your unconscious will also begin to build new blueprints when you consciously make changes in your dreams. The book contains many examples of how these practices work for different dreams and dreamers. The techniques are valuable because working with dreams while awake can mirror the experience of lucid dreaming and have the same powerful results, as Dr. Johnson points out. She also outlines a nine step program for becoming lucid in dreams.

In addition to the useful and well-described techniques, Dr. Johnson devotes individual chapters to understanding and working with different types of dreams including nightmares; dreams of grief, loss and death; sexual dreams; dreams of illness and pain; and soul dreams or what I call “Big Dreams.” The book concludes with a chapter on creating your own best life by working mindfully with dreams while awake and asleep: “Dreamwork is a little like magic because it allows us to dissolve the veil the covers our own hidden, unconscious world. Once the veil is gone, we can clearly see the state of our life; what it lacks and what it needs to be healthier and happier.” Working with the Dreamplay practices will take you deep and keep you busy, but just in case you want to go beyond Mindful Dreaming, there is a Resource section. I am going to continue to use this book to get to dream lucidity!

Mindful Dreaming: Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change on Amazon

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About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

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