darkness

19-Days of Illuminated Darkness 2018 Free Course

December, 2018

19-Days of Illuminated Darkness 2018

Begins December 3.2018
Waning 4th Qrt. Moon in Scorpio

Join me, once again, as we count down to the Winter Solstice and 19 Days of Illuminated Darkness. What was begun as the veils of Samhain parted and the New Year turned another cycle of the Great Wheel, continues as we welcome the Winter Solstice and the burgeoning of the Solar Light!

Winter Solstice
December 21st.
5:23p.m. (EST)

This is the second of a series of posts through 2019 that will explore the many meanings of the Sabbats of the Great Wheel of the Year. Each will countdown with a specific number (relevant) of days and continue the work begun in the prior Sabbat(s).

Topics will include:

… The deeper meaning of the Sabbat, consciousness, honoring and fueling the spark of the Divine within and more. And, a few bonus posts with new writings and experiences to enjoy. 

The countdown begins on Monday, December 3rd as the Moon wanes 4th Qrtr. in mystical astrological sign of Scorpio. Mercury remains in the last 3 days of its retrograde and offers the opportunity to explore that darkened light in a collaborative style. All the while the Sun stands strong in its astrological mantle of fiery Sagittarius.

For a quick look …

19-Days of Illuminated Darkness-Index

https://awitchssacredjourney.com/19-days-of-illuminated-darknessindex

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About the Author:

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

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

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Eleven Elders

November, 2018

This blog is based on a dream I had in Sweden, on the night of Sunday October 28th in 2018. The Big Bear Mother in the night sky (asterism Ursa Major) observed the spiritual darkness cloaking` Earth and decided to send down her seven lights as falling (or shooting) stars. I decided to type up this dream as a blog honouring the lives of the people who died in the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

 

 

Eleven Elders

The Big Bear Mother in the Night Sky

Watches

Children starve in Yemen

Suffering inhumane violations in Syria

Child prostitutes in Sri Lanka

She sees Eleven Elders shot

At the Tree of Life Synagogue

In Pittsburgh

 

She tells her daughter

Little She Bear

To stay on watch

But she sends her own Seven Stars

Down to Earth

Shooting stars

Falling stars honouring the Fallen

Lighting other lights

 

They take the shape of Snow Flakes

Blanketing the cold shivering Earth

Like an infant seeking comfort

As The World Tree shudders

And quakes in grief

Over the wounding of her child

The Tree of Life

 

Seven Stars

Seven Lights

Of the seven-branched

Golden candelabra

Are lit

In the Tabernacle:

The Menorah

(Hammered out of

A single chunk of gold)

 

For eleven nights

A ferociously protective

Divine Bear Mother

Lends her lights to earthlings

Seven lights burn

In spiritual darkness

Guiding souls Home

And awakening the Elder

In Others

 

Imelda Almqvist, Kärrshagen, Sweden 29 October 2018

 

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

Getting Acquainted With the Dark

October, 2017

(art by Sarah Mcmenomy*)

 

It is October and Samhain is drawing near. Who among us who observes the Wheel of the Year doesn’t get excited about this most sacred of witchy days?  At Mabon we entered the dark half of the year, a time for reflection and looking within.  Not only is the world around us darkening, it is time for us to face our own inner darkness.

 

Darkness.  It’s a word we throw around a lot, but what does it mean for us as we move deeper into fall and toward winter?  We hear that “dark” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad,” but then, why is darkness sometimes associated with negativity?  Anger, death, sadness: these are just a few examples of things that cause us pain.  But are they truly “negative”?  If we use the principle “As above, so below” and look to nature, we see that some things grow and flourish and other things die.  Forest fires spring up spontaneously, killing some plants, but activating others that can only reproduce under conditions of extreme heat and allowing them to carry on.  Is any of this positive?  Negative?  Right?  Wrong?  It’s different when it’s us, we think.  We feel pain, sorrow, purposelessness.  And I’m not dismissing pain.  I’m just suggesting that perhaps these things aren’t negative in and of themselves.  Anger can motivate us to work to improve something that provokes us.  It’s natural and okay to experience sadness, to cry, to feel afraid.  Maybe these “dark” things hurt us when we have an excess of them in our lives. Too much sadness, and one can easily feel overwhelmed.  Constant fear without reasonable cause, and one can miss out on much of life.  You can even have too much of a good thing, as we so frequently say. Laughter, for example, is great, but would you really want to keep up a good belly laugh for thirty minutes straight?

 

Samhain and the dark of the year are times when we focus on both that which is hidden and the necessary role destruction plays in our lives.  We encounter the realm of the dead and perform  divination, self-reflection, and purging.  It is difficult to see what hides in the dark, just as we cannot see what lies beyond this life.  We reflect because we may not have considered all that is important, leaving it hidden beneath the busyness and activity of our daily lives.  When we take part in the tradition of considering what we need to “let go of” at Samhain, we recognize that destruction and loss play an important and necessary role in our lives.  We are surrounded by this destruction every day. All life feeds on other life.  We eat animals or plants, and the plants feed on organic material in the soil. When we die, we will be swallowed into that soil and become the material that feeds other life. Is this scary?  Naturally.  But Samhain is a time for facing our fears of the dark.

 

When we honor our beloved dead, commune with them, think about our beliefs about where they are now and where we’ll be when it’s our time to pass over, we integrate this vital and opposite aspect of  life into our consciousness.  Instead of fearing death, as much of our society does, we engage with it. Witches are often referred to as walkers between the worlds of the living and the dead and Samhain is the perfect time to find out just how comfortable you are doing that walking.  Is facing death frightening?  Invigorating?  Calming?  When death is encountered regularly while we’re alive, every year at Samhain and perhaps much more often than that, we become, while not entirely fearless, more comfortable with its inevitable presence.

 

We accept that this physical aspect of life we experience is not all there is, and so the world on the other side of the thinning veil is real to us.  Holding rituals to honor your loved ones who have passed and inviting them to a “dumb supper” are both excellent ways to get an introduction to the other side. Creating an altar of photos, favorite things, and other mementos is a great way to make them feel at home.  But as you look to the world of the dead, don’t forget to also look within.  You might like to do divination for the coming year or to find a focus for the long winter ahead.  Journaling, meditation, and bouncing ideas off of other people to reflect on later are other great ways of doing this.

 

This time of year is about all things scary, and we have fun with that just like everyone else.  But let us remember, as the dark begins closing around us, that we only fear it because it is hidden.  It has its place, like everything else, and we must simply strive to understand it and to keep it in balance.  I hope you have a blessed Samhain, and may your encounters with the darkness change you.

 

*art by Sarah McMenomy

I attempt to capture mystical and visionary experiences from the auric to the occult in my digital art. I use scrying, meditation, dream work, and photography as the basis for my intensely detailed line drawings. If you’d like to see more, please visit my site sarahmcmenomy.myportfolio.com.

A Simple Path: Journey of a Hedgewitch

October, 2008

*The Hedgewitch lives in the space between the Village and the Forest. Between the mundane and the magical. S/He lives with a foot in both worlds.
This column is dedicated to the Hedgewitches of the planet earth.

article-simple-path

The Time of Balance Shifts to Darkness:
Embracing The Crone

In every season, there are lessons for we observant humans.
In the spring we have rebirth and renewal. The lesson of the Maiden.
In the Summer hard work, followed by abundance and plenty. Lessons of the Mother.
In the Fall we have dying back; the inevitable and necessary death which must come to all living things. But, also, the promise of another cycle to come. These are the lessons of The Crone.
The Crone understands that Her job is the one we fear most, as humans. So much so, we have painted Her face green, made her hair wild and ugly, and her nose embellished with the odd wart. We have made her a devil incarnate, because of our inherent fear of the ultimate Unknown which She represents.
She comes to us in the moments of transition. Her time is the Time of Fall becoming Winter and Winter becoming Spring.
She accompanies souls to the Underworld, and sees them safely to their next destination.
She dwells in twilight and darkness.
She is there when a new soul is born into the world and is present when an old one shuffles off its mortal coil.
She understands our need to ‘avoid’ Her. And yet, has so much wisdom to share with us while we still live!

As a Hedgewitch, and priestess of Hecate, these lessons have been brought home to me in ways I mightn’t ever have imagined. I always assumed that my Matron goddess would be a sweet, Motherly type. One who smells like cinnamon rolls and always has something encouraging to say. A fierce protector of Her children, but a gentle spirit.
Yet, when I sought my Path, and a goddess to guide me, it was Hecate who arrived on the scene.
Not a Motherly type at all! Though, She embodies all the elements of the Triple Goddess, and hence represents the fullness of Motherhood, along with the freshness of the Maiden and the dark treasures of the Crone.
Her lessons are often harsh ones. Death must come to all life and life to all death. She is the fiercely protective goddess I imagined, yet, is only interested in Justice, and when called upon, will mete out justice to ALL parties involved. So, a tip, woe be unto you if you call her in on a job where you feel wronged, but have a part in the blame (which, by the way, is nearly always). Everyone gets exactly what they deserve where She is concerned.
She is unafraid of letting us fail, spectacularly, because we learn so much more from failure than from success.
Her Wheel’s name is Karma and She is content to watch us bring our own destruction to make room for our authentic life. The one we were meant to live.

Now, it is not merely Hecate who rules the dark half of the year, and Cronedom in general. There are many, many Crone goddesses to meet the needs for wisdom of all the children of earth. Perhaps your own Personal Crone looks nothing like Her. Perhaps yours is a wise and kindly Grandma, who smells like cinnamon rolls.
Crones come in many forms and yours will be the very one you need in order to embrace Her. We have need of Her wisdom in all the phases of our lives.

It is not only in death, as an end to our mortal life, that Her lessons shine through. When the leaves fall, as they are doing now, it is a Supreme aspect of Her lesson. The lesson of Letting Go.
The leaves do not lament their change of color, as it is their most amazing feat! They do not weep when their stems grow dry and the wind catches them. They simply swirl to the ground, and become organic fodder for the tree that nurtured them.
Their lesson is our lesson. Letting go, and allowing Nature to take Her course does not have to be sad and dreary. Without the fallen leaves, there wouldn’t be fertilizer for the tree, who rests and awaits the promise of new life again next Spring.
Just as in our own lives, we needn’t mourn the end of things and become saddened. The end of a cycle simply precedes the beginning of another. There is a wait involved, but this is the way of all things.
Just as we waited for our seeds to germinate and grow and develop into our plants, which will later feed us, so must we await the renewal of life in its own time.
Winter’s barren beauty is a grieving period, for all the life which has ended. We do take time to pause and reflect on what has been removed from our lives. But we needn’t be without hope. Winter is a season, just as Spring is, and each one follows the other in its way, just as it has since time began.

So, in honor of the Crone, and Her many lessons of life and death, light and darkness, cycles of Nature, I devote this column to Her wisdom, and suggest that this may be a time in each of our lives where we embrace the lessons of the Crone. Look around and watch Her effect on the world. The leaves fall to remind us that it is perfectly all right, and safe and natural for us to let go of things in our lives whose time has come to end.
This can be habits, relationships, and material things.
Encourage the Crone to come and bless your life with Her lessons. Clean out the closet, cupboard and pantry. Give unneeded things away to make room for a new blessing. Make your bounty of donations an Offering to Her.
Light a black candle by the Dark of the Moon, and invite Her to come and sit with you. Embrace the lessons of the Darkening of the Year. In a season of “spooky”, be not afraid of Her wisdom or Her lessons. She was our first friend and will be our final companion. But this soul-transition is not Her only gift to us.
Take a moment and petition Her to show you the lessons She has for you, while you yet live.

Embrace the Crone and Her wisdom.

Brightest Samhain Blessings to all!