new year

Gael Song

January, 2018

The Goddess we need more than anything else on Earth!

I write this during the ancient Celtic new year, Nov. 24th through 28th, the intercessory days the Celts called Samhain (pronounced sahven). These were days of celebration to thank the Goddess for the living of the year and to remember all who crossed over to the Otherworld during the passing skyturn. They called Her the White Tara then, and Her Beloved, the high God, Oghama. And the veil does thin greatly during this time, for She draws very near to remove projects or efforts no longer needed and break them down into that pregnant primordial sea of Hers, awaiting Oghama’s light seeds of Midwinter. Many things are moving through the veils at this time of year.

I do a simple ceremony of gratitude to the Goddess on Nov. 24th for the life She gives us all, the music She creates that always comforts and often gets me up doing jigs and reels (jig music gets me through my vacuuming in half the time!), the path of experience She rules that leads us all through our lives, the wisdom She helps us all embody through our hard lessons of life, and the water that cleanses in the bath and comforts in the sea outside my little cottage, all Tara’s regencies. When I do healings, it’s Tara Who comes in to draw off the shadows before Oghama arrives to put new light structures into the spaces the healing left within. And Tara’s sexual union with the long-term partners She creates for all of us is pure bliss. Her fingers on my temples, when I have trouble falling asleep, and the deep renewal She gives through restful sleep every night is pure heaven as well. Manifestation into the physical realm is Tara’s regency as well, for Oghama only puts the light seeds of possibility into everyone’s heart during the Oak moon for Her to choose from.

I never hear the Goddess spoken of in polite conversation. It’s as if She doesn’t exist. And more often than not, if I mention Her, I get one variety or another of negativity for quite a while, active insults or cold shouldering mostly. And there’s a pool of sadness in my heart over this utter refusal of the world to acknowledge Her. For without Her, we are lost. The White Tara rules the flow of emotion through all worlds, identical to the druid year, 15 24-day moons with 5 intercessory days (described in detail in my last article). So, lessons of restraint in anger and sexuality, endurance and patience in difficulty, determination to reach the end of one’s path and birth that inner divine child/highest destiny, working together in long term partnerships for the good of the world all stream from Her as well. And Tara rules the global/cosmic feminine, decidedly in difficulty here on earth! This means wise women within and their powers of intuition, prophecy, and especially calm and gentle wisdom in caring for their tribes and families. The Goddess is regent of intimacy, too, especially in partnership, and these are the major lessons She teaches in life, the preparation She puts into place for that final happy ending and true love relationship decreed for everyone on earth. If no one relates to Her here, no wonder there is rampant rage, oversexualized everything, ubiquitous fears of closeness, and marriages falling apart all over the place! If you have needs in any of these areas of life, call Her in! She is a veritable powerhouse of understanding and tenderness. But it’s Tara’s Love I value most.

When I say my prayer of gratitude during these special days, the part that brings tears to my eyes and fullness into my heart is when I thank Her for Her amazing love, the times She comes in around me even when I’ve failed at what I wanted to do, failed utterly. For me, this usually means not holding my center well enough, sliding into anger or despair when another darkness shows up for healing in my life. And if I think I’ve hurt someone, I have great difficulty forgiving myself. But not Her! She always comes in to hold me at these times, Her love and comfort pouring into every cell to lift and cherish me. Once a few years ago, a friend was instantly forgiving after I’d been unhappy with her over some trivial thing. And I thought, this is the Goddess. For the Goddess loves me, no matter what I do, no matter how long it takes me to get something right, even with these 15 extra pounds I never seem to lose. I believe in my bones that Tara truly loves murderers, criminals, rapists, everyone, for Her love is rock solid and unwavering, Her understanding of my own and everyone’s inner darkness deep and complete. Oghama understands us all, too, but His love is sunny, light-filled, not so familiar with the dark places in my soul. How do we reach the outcasts of the world, those who are living in the dark side of life without Her? We don’t, plain and simple. Only Her breadth and depth of love can bring them Home. That’s what I believe. For Her love is like nothing else I’ve ever felt, even God’s wonderful Beloved romantic closeness. Her love is bedrock, utterly unmovable by any darkness in any realm!

I used to say a daily prayer for God to make me just like Jesus (in my former Christian days). And I hoped for some leadership role to bring light into the world. Now, to tell you the truth, my deepest prayer is simply to bring real loving comfort to whoever I come in contact with every day, to be as forgiving as She is, to cherish the divine in everyone everywhere and try to understand them, especially their imperfections. Honestly, now, I just want to be like Her.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

 

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Affairs of the Pagan Heart

January, 2018

Happy New Year and Happy Carmentalia!

Carmentalia is two separate feast dates honouring the Roman goddess Carmenta. It is said that she could see back in the past as well as forward into the future at the same time, and her history is rife with protests and standing ones ground. At one point the Roman Senate denied certain privileges to women during the Second Punic War but didn’t immediately reinstate those privileges once the war had ended. As a mass of people started to grow to discuss and argue about this inequality, women from all over the countryside joined in, first gathering in the Carmentis gardens at the foot of Capitoline hill. They went as far as refusing to work on their husbands’ stock, and in some extreme cases even inducing abortion as a form of protest until privileges were restored.

They saw what they had, they saw what they lost, and they could see how it would affect them in future. And they did something about it. Celebrating Carmentalia honours the early efforts of these Roman women.

Observing Carmentalia can be for our own hearts as well. What can we do to attract love to our lives? What can we do to improve our sexual relationships? How can we nurture the connections we already have? What can we learn from the goddess of fertility and prophecy who cared for all womankind to in turn care for all mankind? It’s different for everyone.

We’ve see what we have had and if we look hard enough we can see what we’ve lost, and we can therefore prepare ourselves for the future. New Year’s Eve is a time when people make resolutions for change in the coming year. We vow to do better, lose weight, save money, stop smoking, etc, because we can see what we deemed was wrong or bad or off in the past and how it can be better in future – how we can be better in future. The changing of the year allows us to start fresh on a particular day when we would physically or metaphorically be switching out the calendar for a new one. We leave the past behind and focus firmly on the future.

Carmentalia was celebrated on two nights, January 11 and January 15, with a feast and celebration for achieving one’s goals. Two weeks into the New Year we can already see if our New Year’s Resolutions had an impact or if they were just words left spoken.

Start by burning some bay leaves as incense and offer popana cakes (a type of bureka) and milk and think on the following Carmentalia prayer:

With pious rite I call out, I summon, I entice with songs that You come forth, Carmenta,

And look favorably upon the matrons of our families.

In You, dearest Mother, in Your hands we place our safekeeping.

In offering to You this cake of cheese I pray good prayers

in order that, pleased with this offering of popana,

May You be favorable towards our children and to us,

Towards our homes and our households.

May Carmenta be favourable to you, your hearts, and your homes. And may you have a bright and blessed New Year!

***

About the Author:

Rev. Rachel U Young is a pagan based in Toronto, Canada. She is a licenced Wedding Officiant and under the name NamasteFreund she makes handfasting cords and other ceremonial accessories. She is also the Chair of Toronto Pagan Pride Day.

Hedgewitch Days!

January, 2015

Picture perfect 2015!

Hi my lovelies,

2015 has come screaming in way too fast…time is certainly playing its tricks on this old Hedgewitch, who gave permission for time to speed up?

2014 was a year of excitement as my first book was published and everyone seemed to be moving! I moved house, as did both of my daughters, one at University and one with the 3 grandbabies to a bigger home, packing boxes were flying around the family like a bag of sweets! There is something wonderful about moving house. I know it is supposed to be one of the most stressful things you can do, however, I am a serial mover…the amount of houses I have lived in during my life almost total the years of my age…I always say that if I ever was to write my autobiography it would be called Gypsy Feet!!!

Moving gives you the opportunity for a fresh start, out with the old and all that…and I am all for fresh starts, something new coming into your life and the energy it brings can magically change the path you are on and the direction in which you are going. New surroundings, a new environment can herald in a wealth of new friends and neighbours into your life, and a new space to design and create. A new job can boost your confidence and expand your knowledge, a new baby is joyous with the prospects of the future all bound up in a cute little package all sweet smelling and adorable. Anything new is a big change that can take some adjustment but almost always brings wonderfulness to compensate for any inconvenience caused!

The new calendar year brings us the fresh start we sometimes need to kick us up the ‘you know where’ and move on to do ‘who knows what’!

Hedge 1

Although we celebrate our witchy new year at Samhain we all live in the very real world of ‘non witches’ who all start their year on January 1st…a new page of the calendar all blank and ready to be filled, and just like the calendar we have the chance, as the bells of Big Ben call in the new year here in the UK, to create something new!

I really believe that we have a duty to pass down something of ourselves to future generations, and ordinarily that for us Hedge witches would be a book of shadows. All of our magical thoughts, spells and rituals recorded for our use, and hopefully to hand down to someone who can carry on the traditions and teach the next magical weavers all the tricks of the trade so to speak. Recently, mainly through my page on Facebook, I have become more and more aware of the phrase, a picture paints a thousand words…and it really does! Nothing flows around social media faster than a beautiful or funny image, and no one shares around a post only of words. We all respond from our very earliest of years to pictures, in books, on the TV…we understand and learn by what’s in front of us, the sight of others smiles teaching us our first interaction with the outside world rather than the words we use or hear.

This thought returns me to the whole ‘moving’ thing again…I know guys, I do ramble on lol, stay with me now! When I moved in September last year, I finally got round to sorting out the 4 boxes of photographers, mainly left to me by my Mum when she died 12 years ago. Sitting on the floor deciding what to keep, and what may be relevant to my own children and grandchildren was an emotional task…There were photos of beloved family members, including my own babies, pets, obscure family members whom I struggled to remember, and many photos of people and places that must have meant something to my Mum that I had no clue about at all! Back in the distant past of no digital technology all records of that family member, holiday, birthday and school sports days were recorded on film, far removed from what we now hold in our hands to record images. These films were pot luck as down to the chemist or developer they would go, as you patiently waited to collect your photos without having a clue what was captured in those 24 images. At the moment of truth there was an excitement to see just what had been recorded, was there even one photo that didn’t have a thumb covering the corner, or wasn’t plastered with a sticker saying over exposed. To get a couple of good pictures out of one film was proclaimed a success, and there in your very own hands you were holding something that could be handed down to someone. These images, all powerful in their own way, were a traditional way of handing down the past to the future, from my mum to me. It is now in my hands to hand down what’s relevant and important to my children and grandbabies, phew…what a responsibility!!!

These days of technology, however wonderful they are, have mainly robbed us of the image in your hand moments. Everything is digital now, mainly on phones, allowing us to click merrily away, deleting as we go and only holding onto only the most pleasing of photographs. Gone are the shaky, overexposed thumb printed pictures of your seaside holiday, how I mourn those captured ‘human’ images….but I mourn the demise of the actual ‘hold in your paws’ photographs even more! When was the last photo you took on your phone printed out? How many times do we show people our precious grandbaby pics or our beloved pets doing something cute to others by handing over our phone? It’s so sad and, I for one, as much as I embrace the ease of new technology would like to propose the following idea for this New Year….the’’ Image Book of Shadows’’!

Hedge 2

It is my goal to create a book of shadows that talks to the future generation in the simplest language of all to understand, the language of images. So here’s the idea my lovelies… The book of shadows photo album…sectioned into the months of the year, or the 8 festivals, whichever you feel most comfortable with. Then click away! Take pictures of what matters to you magically…the sunset, a crow on a fence, new buds unfurling, the frost on the car, anything that calls to your magical side! Of course include what you hold dear, family, familiars etc… but focus these images on the magical side. Then regularly, say once a month, actually print out these magical images into something physical you can hold in your hand. Spend time in a comfortable place, candles and incense lit and ask as ever the Goddess, God and the elements for their guidance as you work. Create your Picture book of shadows by instinct and for each image write a line or two as to why this image is important, what it magically represents for you. Just a few words will do, the essence of the pictures will mainly speak for themselves. Try and include a front page though with a short paragraph explaining what it is you are doing and what year it is.

Build this book throughout the calendar year…It really is a wonderful way to bring a focus into making everyday life magical, as you will start to see meaning in all that’s around you, and want to record it! Then, when the time comes, and the future generations take up the baton of the path we follow. They will hold in their hands the world as it is around us, seen by our eyes, all the magic captured for them to add to and hand down themselves one day.

Well, my lovelies, I will shut up now lol…I wish you a magical New Year, wherever you are and as ever the brightest blessings and big hugs

Hally’s Hints

January, 2012

What is 2012 all About?

I keep seeing posts upon posts of people providing their version of what they believe this to be, what it will bring and what to prepare for.

I discovered all of this over twelve months ago when I asked the question from the powers that be. The world is not going to end, it isn’t going to be Armageddon and the Age of Aquarius isn’t going to all of a sudden hit us with a metaphysical baseball bat, particularly given that each age lasts for two thousand years and we are only at the beginning of this age.

Think about this from a logical perspective – change of a significant magnitude does not happen overnight, it takes time such as months and months and even years to reach the end of a shift and then enters into another.

There is no doubt that the Earth is going through change and whilst the tragedies are significant and heart breaking we too have been harsh to the Earth and something of this has to give. Change isn’t always about having a negative outcome, actually it rarely is. It is all about balance and harmony.

Bringing this back to the individual, 2012 is whatever you want it to be. We always have a choice, something referred to as free will. The basis of witchcraft and paganism is all around free will and never to compromise this in any and all work undertaken. So consider the power of free will within each of us. Often, in simple terms, there are two choices – to go to a higher vibration or to remain at the same. The same tends to result in decreasing the vibration as your environment does and will always change and this is the only way that you can remain in the same vibration.

Should you choose to go to the higher vibration this will incorporate more awareness, more growth and temporary discomfort that comes from this awakened state. The result will be a step closer to enlightenment and fulfilment of your purpose.

2012 allows us to align more powerfully because it is coming to a close of a shift that has been occurring for some time. Think back over the past five years, then three years and then twelve months. Notice how things seem to speed up and speed up and then it slows down. This is indicative of a shift coming to a close and a new one forming.

So, the choice is yours as to the extent of how far you want to take aligning your shift to the environmental shift. Whilst there are more layers to this, in essence it is this simple.

To take this further – notice the increase of how many people are professing to be experts; have the answers and want to sell you solutions, yet they are not aligned and have no synergy to what they are selling. On top of which many flock to them all the same. This shift will allow you to step back and see them for what they are. There will always be some that remain at a lower vibration and others that will move on to the next. Some simply are not ready to be in the light and that is needed to maintain the balance.

The way I see it is – align to pure intent and a higher vibration or remain in a lower vibration which tends to reflect avoiding the truth of self.

Consider what you want for you and never fear a shift because like a butterfly transformation can take on all sorts of shapes but the end result is magnificent and at one with themselves. This is the true power of alignment and being connected as one to all.

2012 is about allowing the butterfly to fly and it is your choice if you want to be on its wings when it does.

The Tarot

October, 2011

Now we all know what time of year is upon us….yes it’s our favorite holiday full of ghouls and ghost, candy and pumpkins Halloween!

But did you know why else October is such a special time of year?

It is believed that during this time of year the veil that separates the world of the living and the world of spirits is thin cumulating on October 31st when the veil is at it’s thinnest.  This belief goes way back to ancient times when the Celts believed that during this time the souls of the dead would come back.  October 31st was known as Samhain and was celebrated as the new year a time when crops were harvested and cold and darkness where upon us.

This belief of the thinning of the veil is celebrated throughout the world for example Mexico celebrates the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where families visit the cementeries not only cleaning and repairing headstones and plots but also taking the time to commune with the dead in the form of celebration where a meal is eaten and the families pray for their loved ones. Even the Roman church got involved celebrating All Saints Day to honor the saints and martyrs of the church.

As a result of the thinning of the veil between the worlds it is a prime time for Tarot card readings and any type of psychic work.   As a reader during this time you should be able to have an easier connection to the spirit world and your readings should be more fluid and accurate. As a client you will be more open to recieving a reading and this in turn allows your reader to give you a prime reading. The intuitive and psychic abilities of many people become magnified during this time of year.

If your in the process of learning the Tarot the month of  October should be used as a time for practice not only in the definition of the cards but also allowing yourself to listen to the internal voices and vibrations that reach you.

So keep in mind as we travel towards the end of the Celtic Year to focus on strengthening your inner connection and voice to the spirit world. Take some time to pull out your tarot cards and play yes play with them, look them over, handle them, cast them. Take advantage of not only the fun aspects of October but also the psychic aspects and enjoy not the candy and the vibrate connection that comes with All Hallows Eve.

Rayne’s Ritual Way

October, 2011

Start Fresh Ritual

Samhain is among many things a perfect time to commune with your ancestors, your spirits animals, any deities that you keep close to your spirit. The veil between the worlds is the thinnest on Samhain. Being that it’s the Celtic New Year one of my favorite things to do around this time is a working to help remove obstacles in my path, it’s similar to new year resolutions, but none the less fun! I’ve adapted this ritual to include one of my Patron Deities: Ganesh.

Lore:

Ganesh became lord of all existing beings after winning a contest against his brother Kartikay. When given the task to race around the universe, Ganesh did not race away like Kartikay did instead he simply walked around his mother and father, Shiva and Parvati, both being the source of all existence. Ganesh rides a rat that represents the conquered demon of vanity and insolence. The conch represents the sound that creates Akash (the basis and essence of all things in the material world). The laddu (sweet) represents the Sattva (essence). The snakes represent control over the poisons of passions and refer to Shiva. The hatchet cuts away the bondage of desire. The mudra grants fearlessness. (There are several depictions of Ganesh this is only one. Research will help you if you wish to incorporate some of the items he is holding into the ritual, i.e Conch, hatchet, etc…make beautiful altar decoration) Acceptance of Ganesh as the divine force silences the rational mind and its doubts, forcing one to look beyond outer appearances. Thus Ganesh creates the faith to remove obstacles, forcing one to look beyond form, removing doubts and pointing out the spiritual side of everything. Thus Ganesh is often worshipped to remove obstacles.

Purpose:

The purpose of this ritual is to prepare the body for the ending of the year, and to help remove obstacles from your path.

Colors:

White

Herbs:

Agrimony

Frankinscense Resin

Hyssop

Myrrh Resin

Rosemary

*The energies of these herbs lean toward purification, substitution of available herbs that are of the same energy is permissible.*

Tools:

A depiction (statue, picture, etc) of Lord Ganesh

Five tea light or preference of candles to make the circle

Three (You can use fewer or less as desired) tea lights to represent different obstacles

A white taper/jar candle to represent Ganesh

Ritual:

Begin by setting up your altar and circle. . (I like to put the picture or representation at the back northern part of the altar, the candle in the center, and the obstacle candles at the front of the altar closest to you.) For the purpose of this ritual one candle will represent anger, one will represent fear of change, and one will represent the unknowable obstacles that we create for ourselves. Also burn your incense as to purify the space and your body. This is going to be a fairly simple ritual. Once the circle candles are lit cast your circle. Once cast light the candle representing Ganesh. Raise your arms above the altar and Invoke Ganesh:

Aum

Elephant headed Lord Ganesh

I call upon your ancient power

Son of Shakti destroyer of grief

I bow to the lotus feet of ganesha lord of all

Aum

Whatever it is that you choose to have your candles represent as you focus on each one, clearly see in your mind’s eye exactly what those obstacles are. And as you blow the first one out, see the obstacle, picture leaving your body, leaving your life, You are allowing Ganesh to help remove your mind’s limitations to him, you are giving him control of your life, and releasing those things you can’t control. Once all three candles are blown out, thank Ganesh, and blow out his candle. Dismantle the altar and clear away the space. I like to leave out a bowl of water, or throw a piece of bread outside to leave an offering out.

For me I have a problem controlling my feelings, especially anger, I have small fear of change I can’t control, and the third is representing the obstacles we can’t see in our own life that hinder our spiritual growth. Keep in mind that some obstacles are dire for our spirits. This ritual is more for personal obstacles we create unnecessarily for ourselves.

Brightest Blessings

Have an amazing Samhain,

Rayne

Living Life Magically

January, 2011

Staying Resolved:  Keeping the Magic of Resolutions Fresh and Effective

One year winds down as we look backward and reflect on all we’ve been through and all we’ve learned.  It has been a year of successes and joys and it has been a year of sorrows and failures.  Such is a life, richly and fully lived.  And then we turn towards the New Year and make plans and resolutions.  It’s all about change at this turning point of the calendar.  What can we do better and how can we be better?  All seems possible at the birth of the New Year!  At the same time, we are saddened that through the years, our lives have become littered with resolutions unresolved and plans partially completed.

As magical people, we know that change and the ability to make change is part of our essential being.  The most often quoted definition from Aleister Crowley, “Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will,” tells us that change is fundamental to being a magical, mystical person.  With all that power within the scope of our will, how can we make sure that our resolutions are effective and potent throughout the year so we attain our often lofty goals?  We can make our resolutions successful and magical by looking at the process as a magical one.

The key elements of effective magic coupled with good planning and common sense can bring us a year of accomplishment and change; actually good magic is good planning and commons sense.  The key elements of successful magic are:  desire and need; emotional involvement; knowledge and realistic expectations; belief; ability to keep your counsel; willingness to do what is necessary in the physical world; and gratitude.  When you make a resolution, it needs to be something that comes from your heart, and your gut.  If you are not actively engaged in this on an emotional and gut level, you will not be able to sustain the energy to change.

In magic and in resolutions, you will need to “get real.”  One time a student asked me if she should take beginning swimming or lifesaving because she really wanted to be a lifeguard.  When I asked her how well she swam, she told me she was very afraid of the water.  In our conversation, the desire to be a lifeguard was really a glamorized view of lifeguards; and what she really wanted was to date a lifeguard, and a particular one at that!  She was not willing to put in the work to overcome her fear of water, to learn to be a strong and competent swimmer, let along develop the strength and sense of purpose needed to be a lifeguard.  She wasn’t willing to honestly express her desires and at the first challenge, she faltered.

So it is with magic and resolutions.  You need the strength of will and desire to withstand the challenges, to regroup and come back again with alternative options.  You need to be realistic and passionate about your goal.

And in being realistic, you need to let go of the outcomes.  This might seem like a contradictory statement to being passionate about the goal, but you need to adopt a stance that allows Spirit the opportunity to work.  Sometimes Spirit sees a bigger, more dazzling picture for us than we really dare imagine.  If we stay mindlessly attached to particulars, we don’t allow all the possibilities of greater magic to happen.  Stay true to your vision, but let go of the particular definitions of success.

Knowledge about your goal is important.   The ability to learn as much as you can about your goal is learning about yourself.  Together the knowledge, facts, and information you gather couples with your emotion and desire to create a dynamic and effective energy.  You can direct that energy towards your goal.  It helps you believe in the reality of your goal.  In order to sustain belief in your goal you can visualize yourself as that changed person and hold that vision firm and true.  If you can visualize it, you can make it happen.

To keep your counsel is to keep silent.  I tend to think that means no bragging.  If you need help with something, ask the right person.  Don’t second guess, don’t brag, and don’t constantly worry it in some kind of esoteric “are we there yet” litany. For the most part, just keep it a private matter until the work is done.  It is between you and the gods and it becomes a magical contract honored on both sides.  Once a spell or ritual is completed and the magic is set into motion, you need to be willing to show the gods you really meant it.  Some call this “behaving as if” the magic is already complete.  It means that you are willing to back up your magical work in the physical world.  The magical work you did on the astral plane will resonate strongly when echoed and mirrored on the physical one.  Magic is a work of co-creation, what happens below, happens above; and what happens above, happens below.

Finally, be grateful along the way not just at the end.  Thank Spirit and your companions on the journey.  Find a way to practice gratitude daily.  Thanking Spirit, your gods, your spirit guides for the moon, the stars, and the skies.  Being grateful for everything even the small everyday things like your car starting in the morning is an excellent practice in actively acknowledging that our lives and everything in it is sacred, magical, and special.  Gratitude makes you smile and activates joy!

A Year Long Spell for Invigorated and Successful Resolutions

At the New Year, make two lists:  the first is all the unsuccessful resolutions of the past and anything else you’d like to let go of; and the second is a list of your resolutions for the coming year.  Burn the first with words of gratitude and blessing and then bury the ashes in a pot of soil or in the earth.  You will need the second list all year long.

Each Month at the New Moon

You will need your resolution list, pen and paper, an envelope with your name and address on it.

Make an appointment with yourself to refresh your resolutions.  Choose a place of comfort and relaxation, surrounded by objects that remind you of your sacredness.  Read your resolution list and make a note of accomplishments from the last time you read it and make changes to keep your goal in keeping with your changing vibrant self.  Take a deep breath and meditate on your desire to accomplish your goal.  Go to your sacred place on the astral plane and create a vision of what you will accomplish in the next month.  Ask your spirit guides for wisdom.  Then leave with thanks and blessings.  Come back to your space in the present time.

Now write yourself a note and in that note include the following elements:  praise yourself for what you’ve done so far; set a goal or two for the month; and what you are grateful for.  Put the note in the envelope and seal it.  Place the note on your altar.

Each month at the Full Moon

Visualize yourself as having accomplished your goals set at the New Moon.  Stand before your altar; do an altar devotion, presenting yourself to the elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.   Cleanse and consecrate yourself in their energies and ask for their aid in creating your visualized change.  Call upon the gods who help you to witness your journey, to help you, and to protect you as you go forward.

Make an offering of food and drink for the spirits of the land.  It can be some bread crumbs, bird seed, corn meal, or sacred tobacco.  Say thank you for the world you live in.  If you have difficulty accepting where you live, choose one thing you appreciate and focus your thanks there.

Returning to the New Moon Again..and again

At the next full moon, open the envelope addressed to yourself and read it with an open mind and full heart.  Focus on your successes.  Repeat the process again, taking into consideration any changes you need to make.  Was there a new message from spirit or your life that has caused you to revise your resolution?  Write yourself another note repeat the ritual process each month.

At the End of the Year

Fifty two weeks, twelve months, and 365 days is a long time to sustain an intention.   Sustaining an intention happens when you adhere to the spirit of the intention and not the letter of it.  What did you accomplish?  How is it different from your original resolution?  What did you learn and how did you change?  Each month provided you with evidence of your change.  Praise yourself, celebrate who you are.  Let go of who you are not, and then step forward again into another year of magic and change!

Many blessings for a happy new year each and every day!

Hally’s Hints

January, 2010

The Energetic Journey of the Past Year

2009 has finally come to a close. In some respects it seemed to take an eternity with the fluctuating energies and influences from the four mercury retrogrades as well as the planetary shifts endeavouring desperately to gain some balance. In another way, it seems that, like many years before, the year comes to a stand still nearing the end of December and then the previous months are forgotten.

We omit the journey, the lessons and the choices we made to be exactly where we are today. It tends to feel as though the years come and go in what seems a blink of an eye and we are lead to believe it took this equal amount to bring us to where we are today. Can you honestly say that you are the same person you were twelve months ago or even one month ago?

I pondered on what to write for the first month of 2010. I reflected on the past twelve months and how this has impacted on me personally and can only imagine what it has been like for others. Moving more into my intuitive and energetic self has made for a very powerful time, and I know there are others out there that know exactly what I am talking about.

As important as it is to move forward and create plans on the coming year it is equally important to understand where you have been and the impact this has had on you. We tend to look for tangible results like buying new furniture or completing a course, however I am talking about something more ingrained and undefined by logic.

It is of course, your energetic journey that can grow so much and move you to so many amazing places where time is irrelevant. It is this journey that enables your physical passage to evolve in synergy with yourself. We of the energetic nature tend to feel these ebbs and flows so much more and fortunately, can use our sensitivities to create real and lasting differences.

Use this time as an opportunity to acknowledge the journey you have taken and the steps that have led you to where you are right now. The steps do not need to seem large or small because every step is as important as the other and it will always be the right step for you.

The more you open yourself to connecting to the universe, the supporting energies and the gifts you have the more amazing the years will become. Many of the things you see and feel have no logic and many would perhaps question your sanity if they were not of the same frame of mind, this however does not diminish the relevance or significance.

Some believe that our journey is already mapped out and others believe that it is up to us to decide which path to take. Whatever your belief, whatever road you decide to take, allow the metaphysical world to embrace you for all of your perfections. Even in the most isolating moments it is a matter of putting your hand out and allowing one of your spirit guides or angels to lead you to where you want to go.

Whenever you sit in silence, moments before embarking on the family union, particularly when outside of the room looms the multitude of relatives waiting with bated breath to greet you and love you for that day, be it Christmas, Hanukah, Winter Solstice or the simple end of year celebration; it is in the silence that reprieve is sort and reflection can be gained.

May your 2010 be a year filled with spiritual enlightenment and magical prosperity. Your amazing journey is there waiting for you, when you are ready to continue.

Rants from the Sanctuary

October, 2008

PAGAN NEW YEAR AND DREAMS

I’ve been focusing a lot on change in this column, but indeed there is a reason. October is the Witches New Year and my family honors both New Years. December 31 we write our resolutions, and October 31 we do our ritual cleaning and reflect on the Pagan changes over the year and what we wish to focus on for the New Year. This year, we will be causing change not just reflecting on it as when this comes to print Michelle and I will be touring Arizona in search of a final resting place for Desert Moon Sanctuary somewhere in Northern Arizona. We will be visiting and speaking to some Pagan Communities, and have an information table at Phoenix Pagan Pride October 18. This month will be a pivotal point as we are already 501c3 so the legalities are in place, and once a location and land is set its just a matter of financing which Morrighan has always ensured came to pass.
The purpose of the Sanctuary will be many. To provide Pagan education to those who need to be educated to decrease discrimination based on ignorance. To utilize our network in place to fight the mass discrimination going on today that are happening beyond ignorance. These are major problems going on within the military settings as I have seen firsthand and happened when I ran Desert Moon Grove as well. We will also be a large venue to send Pagan packages out to our deployed Troops using once again our network already in place. I plan on having Full Moon concerts with Pagan musicians, Pagan Pride annually, other festive events including open Sabbat celebrations and Pagan Education specific days biannually.
The Sanctuary will eventually be off the grid utilizing solar and wind for energy sources and will be a working farm and garden for sources of food and potential commerce. We will provide an animal rescue for disaster-related events working with other animal agencies and statewide humane societies, and will provide a food closet for local homeless. will also be abundant in the community lodge including candle and wand making, incense creating, herb and stone properties and satchels, and the list can go on. These are only a few of the goals we have envisioned and dreamt and the dream is becoming a reality as destiny takes Her course.
There will be other Sanctuaries as well to be support structures one such forming is in Kentucky and will be a fallback in the event anything happens that we must leave as in the event of disasters. Others will form as well and this will pull Pagans together as they always should have been as a nation-wide community not just a series of groups fighting amongst each other. Titles aside and degrees aside we are all Pagan none better than the other and none more powerful. I have seen witch wars and power struggles and none are pretty. This is what divides community not brings it together so there will be no power struggles on the Sanctuary as positions and titles will not be recognized nor reflected upon. To me, Pagans are Pagans no matter your Tradition or path you will be recognized as the Pagan you are.  Keep an eye on the column as I will update and things will start moving rapidly as my retirement approaches and we may then move permanently into Arizona and start building. Until then, if you are ever in the Ft Lewis area, stop by our HQ for a cup of coffee and conversation. Blessings.