pathworking

“The Horn of Plenty”: A Pathworking for Lammas

August, 2018

This Pathworking is meant to connect us with the deeper meaning of the First Harvest of Lammas. We have sown the seeds of our will and making at Ostara, nurtured and tended to their needs; seen them in bloom at Litha and are now ready to reap what has grown and is viable to sustain in the darkness that lay in the winter months ahead.

For the most effective use of this pathworking I would suggest reading it through once to set-up the initial energetic connections. Then, take some time to record the pathworking, reading it in your natural voice. Be sure to offer up timed silence in the recording for those areas marked as a pause. A brief pause would be approximately 4-5 minutes and a longer pause would be 15-20 minutes. Taking these additional steps, creates an even deeper level of connection and as you listen to the sound of your own voice you will respond in a way that opens additional pathways. May your journey of this harvest be blessed with a cornucopia of bounty.

The Horn of Plenty”

Take a few deep breaths, filling your lungs as you inhale and gently breathing out in release as you exhale. Allow your body to rest comfortably on the surface on which you are sitting. You should feel no tension or strain in any part of your body. Gently breathe into any area that feels tense or is holding unwanted energy, allowing it to slip away as you exhale into a more relaxed state of being. Allow your breathing pattern to establish its own rhythm and take note of the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Acknowledge a deeper feeling of relaxation with each exhalation…brief pause.

Turn your focus now to the space behind your closed lids and create an inner screen upon which various images may be projected. This is your gateway into a meditative state of peace, calm and tranquility. A fine mist of indigo blue energy fills the screen, pulsating with particles of light and energy. You are drawn to it and in your mind’s eye you see the projected image of yourself approach the center of this screen and gently step through. You emerge at the edge of a wooded forest. It is dusk and the sky is ablaze; bathed in reds and oranges that cast a serene glow on all it touches. The smell of autumn is in the air and the leaves of the trees are a palette of reds, browns and golden shades. This is the time of the first harvest. The time when that which was seeded in the Spring, and lovingly nurtured throughout the Summer is ready to be gathered and drawn inwards to nourish and sustain in the winter months ahead. You walk forward on a narrow path between the trees and each step forward produces the sound of crackling leaves echoing from tree to tree. A gentle breeze carries the scent of apples, pumpkin pie, corn pudding and bread baking. You pause in movement forward and take a moment to enjoy the aromas and sounds that surround you…brief pause.

You begin walking forward again and are drawn to a light just ahead. You step into a small clearing and see a thatched roof cottage a few yards in front of you. A curl of smoke spirals upwards from the chimney and the glow of amber colored light can be seen through the windows. Instinctively you are drawn to this place. A sense of familiarity fills your being and you step up onto the porch. Pumpkins, gourds and tied bales of hale adorn the entryway. The thick scent of fragrant wood burning in the hearth, and the front door slightly ajar beckons you to come in. You reach out and gently push the oaken door open. The inner room is small, yet inviting with amber colored hues, tabletop baskets of apples and a crackling fireplace filling the panorama of view. Take some time to look around. Engage all of your senses and drink in the sights, smells and sounds as you make yourself at home in this cozy cottage…longer pause.

As you continue with your exploration your eyes come to rest on a wicker basket shaped as a Horn of Plenty. It sits on a small wooden side table and contains within small scrolls of parchment, rolled and bound by an earthy green ribbon. You are curious about the contents contained within the Horn and what meaning they may hold for you. In keeping with the warmth and welcome you have felt from the time of stepping into this place you reach out and take one of the scrolls from the Horn. You gently unroll it and see what has been gifted to you. The scroll may contain an image, words or vision of a seen past or yet to come. Its contents will be in the form to which you are most connected. Regardless of the form, its intent and meaning hold the promise of a Full and Abundant harvest of all that has been nurtured and tended to this point of ripeness and readiness for taking up. This represents that which is both a gift to yourself and in turn will become a gift you share with all you meet. Holding your scroll you move to sit in a rocking chair just in front of the fireplace. As you gaze into the flickering and dancing flames you see the images of all the positive actions you have taken this year. All of the successes of those seeds of new beginnings planted and the ripe, lush fruit that has come to full harvest. Take some time to reflect on these bountiful positive qualities that are expressions of your highest, most fruitful SELF…longer pause.

Some time passes and the flames in the hearth begin to diminish. You see that the scroll you were holding in your hand is no longer there and acknowledge that all of its information has been imprinted within. You now understand that you are the scroll itself and those actions, efforts and creations you produce are all held within your Being. All that is needed to sustain you through the future turns of the Wheel grows within. You have only to make the request to your Higher Self to release these gifts and the harvest of your own Horn of Plenty is available at all times. You have received all that is needed at this time and you once again stand. Looking at the beauty of the room surrounding you there is a quiet acknowledgment that this is now your private space to which you may return at anytime.

Your gaze is caught once again by the Horn of Plenty, and to your surprise in the place of the scrolls the hollow of the Horn has become a cornucopia filled with fruit, squash, corn, apples and nuts. The small table is filled to overflowing with all the bounty of the Harvest and somehow you know that this abundance reflects the many images you found within your own basket of plenty. You smile knowingly as you walk towards the door; gently push it open and once again step out into the forest. The sky is now lit by the brilliance of a honey gold sunset. The velvet of the night sky is minutes away and the hush and serene promise of a restful evening are just ahead. You pause a moment and stand looking at the sun as its last strands of light disappear beneath the rim of trees. As the darkness begins to envelope you, the veil of blue mist forms just in front of you.

You step through and once again return to the place of your inner screen; seeing the form of yourself stepping through. You feel the calm re-entry into this space as the screen gently fades and your focus of your consciousness returns to your breath and its serene rhythm. There is much information that you received on your journey and you know that the days and weeks head will reveal more; but for now you offer up gratitude for all that has been received. Allow yourself to slowly and gently shift your awareness and return to the physicality of sitting in this space. Each inhalation brings awareness to the feel of your body resting in chair or on floor. Returning to awareness of the gentle rise and fall of your breath. And, when you are ready gently flutter your eyes open and be fully present here and now.

Brightest Blessings

***

About the Author:

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

She is the author of:

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2)

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1)

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Brighid’s Healing Sword: Imbolc

February, 2018

This turn of the Greater Wheel moves us towards a place of newness and the quickening of what was brought to light at Yule, the Winter Solstice. We stand at the mid-mark between the act of revealing (Winter Solstice) the fertility that lay dormant from the triple harvest and the action of sowing and planting (Spring Equinox) what we hope will prove viable and grow to its fullest potential. This is the time of quickening and enlivening the hidden seeds of transition and preparation of what will wither and die and what will germinate a become viable product.

Our coven, Oak and Willow of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition, uses Imbolc to focus on the Celtic Goddess, Brighid. We craft candles, infusing them with her healing properties. We make oath and re-dedicate to our Coven and Tradition that the quickening of our minds and hearts awaken what can blossom in the months ahead. And, we call upon her creativity to inspire us as we move forward towards the next turn of the Wheel. This year we will call forth the Goddess as Warrior and wielder of the healing sword.

For most, the first encounter with this fiery Goddess is one associated with her triune nature. She is Maiden, Mother and Crone holding the keys to creativity, inspiration and deep healing. She is also the Triple Flame, acting as central catalyst of the purpose intended and initiator of those who willingly cross the threshold of transformation. As the patroness of poets, divination and prophecy she is the Fire of Inspiration. In her role of patroness of healers and Goddess of fertility, she is the Fire of the Hearth and childbirth. And, as patroness of smiths, craftsmen and the forge, she is the Fire of the Forge, burning brightly and transforming and transmuting all that enter the heat of the flame.

But, there is also a lesser-known aspect of the Goddess Brighid. Her ancient name of The Fiery Arrow gives some indication of this aspect, although it is usually associated with the Goddess as maintainer of justice and right action; setting the course of action in a balanced way and clearing away all that would interfere or challenge that state. If we take this idea to a deeper place of understanding, Brighid’s energy becomes that of the Warrior who wields the flaming sword that destroys, cauterizes and then heals. It is She, who heals with the precision of the surgeon guiding the scalpel. She, who cuts through the glamour and unyielding ignorance of ego driven will and carves the path of knowledge that becomes true gnosis. And, it is She, who plunges the un-tempered blade of inventive mind into the hellish fires that forge and manifest a blade that is pure, clear and strong in its action and intent.

I have worked with this aspect of Brighid for many years and in many ways, and the mark of its transformation has been lasting and opened the way for growth and a deeper understanding of the process of release and healing. Just as the sword’s blade goes through multiple steps of heating and cooling, resting and shaping to achieve the brilliance and beauty of what will become a finely crafted sword; the process of this healing warrior Goddess tests the metal of your own making. She allows you to see the rough product that is your will and plunges you deep into the flaming desire for what you wish to achieve. If you remain too long from inertia or misguided will, what emerges is misshapen and unusable. It’s brittleness breaks your spirit and the wounds it inflicts are jagged and long to heal. If tempered with enough flexibility to change course as needed, the honing and sharpening of the skills required for successful change are exacted. All is brought to the quickening fires so that what has been reshaped and reformed may become as one and part of the finished product. A time of rest and integration occurs and finally as the blade is brought from its place of synthesis and strengthening, it is plunged once again into the heart of greater Will and the flames of Intentional Desire. The finished product is a work of beauty and a gift from the forge of Brighid.

I offer to you a pathworking, inviting you to invoke the energy of Brighid’s Healing Sword and the opportunity to stand in Her radiance of remaking. May your journey be powerful and may the Goddess bless you with the crafting of your own healing blade.

The Smith’s Blade

Take a few deep breaths and allow your consciousness to settle at the space of the third eye. Turn your attention within and see on this inner landscape a blank screen and allow yourself to be drawn towards it. As you focus on this space you become aware of a small mist of indigo blue energy forming in front and around you. The particles are very small and the energy is both uplifting and relaxing as it encircles you. Take a few deep breaths and step through this veil.

As you emerge, you find yourself standing outside what appears to be a blacksmith’s shoppe. You can hear the rhythmic clanging of a hammer and smell the fires from the forge. It is evening and all is dark around you save for the light glowing from within and shimmering through slats of a wooden building. You step forward towards the open entryway and stand quietly observing a wiry built man bent over and working deftly as the glimmer of unpolished metal flashes.

Repetitively and with great precision, he places the unshaped metal into the forge, heating it and then pulling it out to the edge of the table, gently hammering it into the desired shape or at times simply allowing the red glow to cool before it is placed once again in the hot flames. This occurs for several times and with each heating and hammering, the metal takes on more of the shape of the blade.

He looks carefully at what has been crafted and satisfied that this process is finished, he gently wraps the blade and places it aside allowing it to cool completely. He pulls from the space in which he placed the cooling blade another wrapped item and as he unwraps it you see that this is a blade that had been crafted a day earlier.

He steps over to the grinder and begins to sharpen and finely hone the edges and point of the blade. You notice that this blade seems to glow and has a certain shine to it already, although it is not polished. You feel drawn to it, but remain standing in the doorway, hoping that you will remain unnoticed. He looks carefully at the edges and then plunges the sword into the heat of the flaming forge. Quickly the glowing red blade is retrieved and plunged into a water bath to speed the cooling and hardening process. Again the blade is tempered by heat and water and you think on the process of emotion and will and the need for the correct balance of each to be in place to make for supple yet strong action and purposeful will.

You see the Smith smiling as he lifts the blade upwards, knowingly and assured that it will have a certain amount of flexibility yet still retain its sharp edge. Now the sword is ready for completion. He selects the necessary parts of pommel, guard and hilt and with skill assembles all precisely and artistically. The sword is now complete and he lifts his gaze, staring directly at you, beckoning you to come towards him.

You are ready to speak, but he lifts a finger to his lips indicating for you to be silent and to follow behind him as he brushes past you. He steps outside and you turn towards him, both of you facing a sky that is now colored with the rising of the morning sun. He lifts the blade upward and it shines brightly as the first fiery rays of sunlight stream across it. The brilliance of its reflection expands and for a moment you close your eyes, the intensity is so great. You open them and see that the blacksmith is gone and hovering mid-air the sword glows red and pulses with heat that seems to course through you. The flaming glow fills the space and from its center the blade elongates and transforms into a woman of great beauty and flaming red hair. Her eyes glow like sunlit embers of flame and you bow in homage to the Goddess, Brighid. As she approaches you feel the power and strength of Her presence. You see that she carries the sword that you witnessed being crafted and you feel a gentleness about Her that offers you comfort as to how this Divine sword might be used. She has come as the healing sword to offer her many gifts if you ready for her transformative energy.

You approach and kneeling before her you speak of what needs healing and transformation. Each word spiraling up and out like wisps of smoke heated and released by her power. You surrender to her all your doubts and fears and one by one each is dissected and removed from your being leaving you feeling light and unencumbered. When you have finished offering all that has troubled you, she bids you to look upwards and as she lifts her fiery blade warm droplets of healing water shower down about you. Compassion and warmth envelope you and you are held in the embrace of the Goddess as she quickens and enlivens you. Rest in this state for as long as is needed.

When you have received all that is needed at this time, you gently rise and offer up gratitude to the Goddess for the blessings she has given. As these thankful thoughts quicken in your mind and move easily from your lips, you begin to step backwards, as flames begin to rise where Brighid was standing. They reach upwards like strands of red hair caught in a breeze and give the appearance of flickering with shades of emerald green and flashes of silvery metal. You stand taking in the beauty of the sight and the warmth of its heat and the knowledge that you have been transformed by the Goddess, Herself.

The flames gently dwindle and fade and in their place is the smith holding the sword of the Goddess. He walks towards you and gently places it in your hand, softly telling you that it had been crafted for you. He tells you that the gift of the healing sword is given to those who will use it wisely and courageously. And, that the Goddess who offers this gift is always near at hand, ready to inspire and offer her healing so that you may thrive and grow as Her Divine Child.

You take a deep breath in and close your eyes, holding the sword tightly to your breast and as you exhale and open your eyes, you see that your awareness has returned to that of observing the blank inner screen of your consciousness. You take a few deep breaths in and with each exhalation your awareness settles back into the space of your physical being and space surrounding you. You gently flutter your eyes open and look around at your surroundings with keener sight and the knowledge that you carry the healing blade within.

So Mote It Be!

 

***

About the Author:

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

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

Click Image for Amazon Information

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

Click Image for Amazon Information

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF


The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram 

MagickalArts

January, 2018

(Calliope 1)

This is the second posting of the (en)LIV(en)ING with the Muses Series

The Muse, Calliope is the oldest of the Muses and according to the Theogony of Hesiod was foremost of the muses. Holding this preeminence, suggested her creative gifts were many with specific association with music and song and is often depicted playing the harp in early art work. In many mythological tales, Calliope is the mother of the Bard and player of the lyre, Orpheus. Calliope’s gifts of eloquence and music moved through her child Orpheus, considered to be the greatest musician and poet of Greek mythology having the ability to stir the emotions of God and man, alike into passive acquiescence.  

(Image: Museum of Fine s.Boston.MA)

As each of the Muses was later parceled out as representation of specific skill set, Calliope was assigned as the muse of Epic poetry. Her name means “beautiful voiced” and it is this quality that enhances her representation as a being of great eloquence; using that gift in the crafting of beautiful and emotionally evocative poetry. It was this gift that she offered to the Kings so that they may speak with power and authority in a manner of clarity and preciseness and it was this eloquence that she brought as judge to the dispute of the Goddesses Aphrodite and Persephone over Adonis. 

Aphrodite hid the newborn child, Adonis, in a chest, which she gave in charge to Persephone, queen of the nether world. But when Persephone opened the chest she was beheld by beauty of the baby, so she refused to give him back to Aphrodite, although the goddess of love went down herself to the Underworld to ransom the baby Adonis from the power of the dead.

The dispute between the two Goddesses of love and death was settled by Zeus, who decreed that Adonis should abide with Persephone in the underworld for one part of the year, and with Aphrodite in the upper world for another part. When he stayed in the underworld, it was winter. When he returned, the Earth blossomed into spring and summer.” 1.

Later attributions depict her with pen and tablet and designation specifically as the muse that inspired the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer. In Greek mythology, Calliope is linked to Ares the God of War and Achilles, to whom she taught rowdy drinking songs. She had two sons by her mentor and teacher, the God Apollo and by all accounts her beguiling gifts of creative inspiration, word and song weave through many of the Gods and Goddess myths. 

As is the case with many of the Muses, Calliope’s name is used is association with a similar attribute of representation by an object. The Calliope is a musical instrument that produces sound by sending a gas in the form of steam or compressed air through large tubular whistles. These tubes were originally part of the whistles found on large locomotive engines. The sound emitted was typically very loud and piercing, often being heard for miles. Unlike most musical instruments, there is no way to vary the tone or loudness relying solely on the interval of time between notes and their individual length. It was for these reasons that the Calliope was most often used as the advertising tool to let the community know that the Circus, an epic event, was coming to town. 

 

 

(Photo: P.M.McClintock (1925))

This reference to a sound-producing instrument of this sort and magnitude and its use in calling attention to what would be multiple acts (or stanzas) of adventure, excitement and peril that formed the comprehensive story of man overcoming physical limitations (think of the aerialists and acrobats) and taming the beasts themselves (think of the animal trainers). 

When we call to the Muse, Calliope we are calling attention to the many stories and adventures we have encountered in our life’s journey. The valiant successes and the epic failures are all waiting to be codified and through the gift of eloquence, we find the gems of our most beautiful and meaningful way of expression. This may take the form of journaling the experiences in prose. Going back later and reading through that epic phase of your experience and ultimately being inspired from its telling and sharing of what has served to move you forward. It may take the form of a beautifully written poem, pouring heart and soul onto paper, guided by rhythm and rhyme, semantic and syllable. And, in this way unraveling the mysteries of your hidden feelings word-by-word, line-by-line like so many layers of paint on a fine work of art. Each important to the larger picture crafted, yet transparent in their uniqueness and need. 

In my own work, I call upon Calliope to inform my writing and stir the flow of creativity, but especially when I am writing a pathworking. A pathworking is much like the epic poem. It stimulates and serves as key to your personal journey into unknown territory that will provoke a response and set of challenges along the way that ultimately lead you to a new land, new perspective or new form and way of being. 

The pathworking below is one that I wrote several years ago as a place of connection to the deep waters within and the shadow energy that resides ready for birthing. It is an epic journey into your inner realms and with the assistance of Calliope’s energy I offer it now to you. 

The Journey of the Shadow

Audio of Pathworking Here..

https://teachingsonthepath.com/bonus-pathworkings-and-guided-meditations/

Scroll down to the bottom of the page

Transcript:

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths, allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. With each breath your physical body appears to lighten and your center of consciousness floats upwards towards the inner eye. You find yourself enveloped by the mist of transition between the Physical and Astral and, as this veil thins and you see before you an opening in the fabric of the space around you.

A mist of Lavender surrounds this enclosure as you pass through the darkness of the Great Abyss. As you move through this space, feelings of foreboding and a sense of being out of place in a time that is neither here nor there and in a place that is both upwards and down simultaneously flood your emotions. You are disoriented and are aware of the depths of sadness and loneliness that is felt in this space. Your only thoughts are the hopes that you will pass quickly and easily through this space. Quite the contrary, time seems to slow and the angst seems to become greater. And, just as you are about to scream out in sheer frustration, you remember the lesson of surrender. You remember the call to trusting and the lessons of the “Fool”. You find that you are engulfed in shadow. Glimpses of light are hidden beneath what appear to be shadowy figures and although you do not feel threatened, you know this is a place of great power and well deserving of care and respect as you pass through.

There is no flooring under you and you have a sense of weightlessness and somehow being suspended in space. Although there are no definitive boundaries, the impression is one of being enclosed tightly in a very confining space. You take a deep, cleansing breath and you allow yourself to simply be open, receptive and non-resistant to lesson of this place of shadow. You take another deep breath in and ready yourself to move forward and explore this place. As soon as the sigh of exhale has passed, feelings of sadness begin to well up within you. You are fearful and now wish you had decided against entering this space. Your former resolve of being receptive and open is weakening steadily as you begin to feel that you are sinking even deeper into this space of darkness.

You take another deep breath, hoping to restore your composure and as you exhale your awareness that you are alone in this space heightens. You strain to hear any sound that might point you in the direction of moving towards something; even the faintest sound of another human or animal would give you comfort. But, there is nothing, absolute and pure nothingness in this space. Your breath comes in short bursts now and the combination of sheer and utter loneliness, silence and disorientation keeps this rapid pace going.

You try to move, and find that with each step you are moving deeper into the shadowy fabric of this space, so, you decide to simply remain still. You look around and find that your eyes still have not adjusted to this deep and pervading darkness that now seems to be vibrating with energy; but you can neither see nor hear the source of it. You would normally have called out to the Divine or your guides to help you through this difficult passage, but you feel as though they have forsaken you as well and that in the depths of this seemingly unending well your pleas would remain unheard. This thought provokes a surge of emotional release and you begin to sob, at first quietly, then uncontrollably with louder and higher pitch.

These cries crescendo and you find that you are keening, screaming from the very base of your throat and the depths of your Soul in desperate release of this overwhelming sadness and fear. You call out to those Divine beings who are your patrons, and the only sound in return is the increased volume of your own voice. You call out to those who are family and friends. Again, the only return being the echo of your frantic cries against a surface you can neither see nor feel.

With one final exhausted effort, you pull up all of your will and courage and release a final soul filled call and as the sound issues forth from your lips, the oppressive energy around you seems to shatter and fall away. The powerful force and reverberation of the vibration wraps around you and you feel the personality that you entered this space with fall away. The ego you have carried so proudly shatters from your being and the You who entered this space moves within the spiraling of this powerful force of energy reshaping and transforming. You close your eyes and willingly surrender to this action and allow the necessary release and rebuilding of your subtle and physical forms. It seems as though time has stopped and for the briefest of moments you and all space, time and creation are one in the same.

As the energetic outpour begins to lessen around you, you gently open your eyes and looking upward see a tiny point of light above you. Although very small and far away, you can feel the intensity and radiance of this light and know it to be the reentry into the world of matter and form. As your breath slows to an even and steady pace you see that the light is growing brighter and larger as you rise on ascent towards it. Each breath pulls you closer to its light and radiance and the space around begins to brighten, the darkness and magnetic pull of the intense experience held within it slowly fading in its energy and effect on you.

You continue to rise upwards, coming to rest on a soft surface beneath your feet and completely enveloped in the brilliance of this light emanating from a space directly above you. You look at your hands and take note of a luminescent glow about them and the lower part of your body as you look downwards toward your feet.

The light begins to dim slightly and you know that there is still more of the journey you must follow through the lessons of the Higher Realm in final completion of the work done within the Dark Night. You take a deep breath in, close your eyes and resolve that you will embrace each step and challenge that is presented to you. You think on the lesson of this experience, and the birthing of light from what was held in the shadows.  You know you will make many journeys to this space and with each you will integrate the totality of both your light and shadow self as you open to the transformative energies of this space.

You gently open your eyes and see that the blue veil of transition has formed just a few steps in front of you. You feel yourself enveloped in the veil of transition between the Physical and Astral world. The veils of transformation and all they contain gently fade from your sight and you begin the descent back into your physical state of being and the room and space in which you began this pathworking. Return to awareness of the rhythm of your breath and the rise and fall of your chest. Become aware of the physicality of where you are sitting or laying; your body pressed against cushion, chair or floor.

And when you are ready, gently flutter your eyes open

The next post will focus on the Muse, Clio and her gifts of history.

Reference:

1. Greek Myths and Greek Mythology

 

***

 

About the Author:

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

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord For

Amazon Information Click Image

 

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF For

Amazon Information Click Image

 

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram

 

MagickalArts

November, 2017

Continue the Work of the Shadow

 

 

Last Month I offered you a look at one way of doing shadow work and exploring the hidden recesses within. And, I promised a pathworking this month to accomplish that. Read through the paragraph below for suggestions on getting the most from a pathworking…

Pathworkings differ from guided meditations in that, if skillfully constructed, each component, object, location or color is meant to open your subconscious to a deeper level of understanding. Each word and the way in which you arrive at, leave or interact with a space calls up a stored memory of experience in this or other lifetimes that reveals yet another key to the larger puzzle of our Soul’s purpose.

Good- Read through the pathworking each time you want to use the pathworking. Make note of pausing in the reading wherever it feels like more time would be spent in the specific train of thought.

Better- Read through the pathworking several times and as you do so, try to set up key points that are stored in the memory. In this way, you can create your own scenarios using the structure of the original pathworking without having to read through the text each time.

Best- Employ the physicality and your energetic corporeal imprint by recording the pathworking in your own voice, which produces an effective recognizable neurological imprint inducing physiological response and imprint to listen to. This is a form of entrainment.

More tips:

When you are ready to make the recording be sure to select a space where you will not be interrupted and has minimal background noise.

Be sure to speak slowly (more so, if you tend to speak quickly and do not annunciate well) and clearly and to give pause where it would naturally occur if you were reading aloud. There may be some points in the meditation where you will want to spend several minutes in the locale that is being presented. Remember to give adequate time of silence for this. Do not stop the recording, pause and restart it. Allow the amount of time you wish to have to fill the space on the recording and then resume the reading of the pathworking.

Regardless of what method you use, remain open and receptive to what presents to you beyond what has been scripted through the pathworking as you move more deeply into this study. Having a journal to record your impressions and keeping record of your progress in memorizing the information and making use of a journal can serve as great encouragement to you. Looking back and seeing how far you have come fuels the desire and gives you markers of growth that are concrete, tangible and acknowledgement of your hard work.

The Journey of the Shadow: A Pathworking

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths; allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. With each breath your physical body appears to lighten and your center of consciousness floats upwards towards the inner eye. You find yourself enveloped by the mist of transition between the Physical and Astral. And as this veil thins, you see before you an opening in the fabric of the space around you.

A mist of Lavender surrounds this enclosure as you pass through the darkness. As you move through this space, feelings of foreboding and a sense of being out of place in a time that is neither here nor there and in a place that is both upwards and down simultaneously flood your emotions. You are disoriented and are aware of the depths of sadness and loneliness that is felt in this space. Your only thoughts are the hopes that you will pass quickly and easily through this space. Quite the contrary, time seems to slow and the angst seems to become greater. And, just as you are about to scream out in sheer frustration, you remember the lesson of surrender. You remember the call to walk in perfect love and perfect trust; despite that you are completely engulfed in shadow. Glimpses of light are hidden beneath what appear to be shadowy figures and although you do not feel threatened, you know this is a place of great power and well deserving of care and respect as you pass through.

There is no flooring under you and you have a sense of weightlessness and somehow being suspended in space. Although there are no definitive boundaries, the impression is one of being enclosed tightly in a very confining space. You take a deep, cleansing breath and you allow yourself to simply be open, receptive and non-resistant to lesson of this place of shadow. You take another deep breath in and ready yourself to move forward and explore this place. As soon as the sigh of exhale has passed, feelings of sadness begin to well up within you. You are fearful and now wish you had decided against entering this space. Your former resolve of being receptive and open is weakening steadily as you begin to feel that you are sinking even deeper into this space of darkness.

You take another deep breath, hoping to restore your composure and as you exhale your awareness that you are alone in this space heightens. You strain to hear any sound that might point you in the direction of moving towards something; even the faintest sound of another human or animal would give you comfort. But, there is nothing, absolute and pure nothingness in this space. Your breath comes in short bursts now and the combination of sheer and utter loneliness, silence and disorientation keeps this rapid pace going.

You are just about ready to let out a cry of desperation when you notice a shadowy figure in what appears to be a corner of this space. A faint light glows down from what appears to be an opening very far above and you can now make out the silhouette more clearly as the figure approaches you. You feel the power of its energy as you step closer to one another and have a sense of familiarity even though you are unable to clearly see its face. You step closer still and take a deep breath in summoning all of your courage to come face to face with whoever this shadow may be.

You become aware that more light seems to be filtering through with each of your steps and as you come to rest just arms’ length away you see a shadowed face peering back at you. It is as though this being is covered in a grey misty veiling. You instinctively reach out and the figure reaches towards you in response. You breathe in deeply and are surprised to see the resemblance between the two of you. It is as though you are standing facing yourself cloaked in shadow and veil. You move closer still and can see the reflection of your image in the other’s eyes that are deep pools and shades darker than your own. You know that this is your shadow self and the fear you thought you would have is replaced by a sense of deep insight into its workings and the need for this twin aspect of yourself. As these thoughts move through you, you feel yourself in resonance with the energy of this other. You feel the fear and doubts that it has. You feel the power of the darkness it has dwelled within and the yearning it has had to know the light aspect of itself.

You step forward and embrace this being; knowing that it has strengths and weaknesses that may be called upon just as your strengths and weaknesses may be used to enliven it. You feel the interweaving and co-mingling of its energy with yours and as you take a deep breath in you and the shadow become one. The light that has dimly lit this space quickens and brightens at the integration of you and your other. You feel stronger and enlivened and the flow and movement of energy through you is purposeful. As your breath slows to an even and steady pace you see that the light is growing brighter and larger and you feel yourself rising towards it. Each breath of inhalation pulls you closer to its light and radiance and the space surrounding you begins to brighten; the darkness and magnetic pull of the intense experience held within it slowly fading in its energy and effect on you with each exhalation.

You continue to rise upwards, coming to rest on a soft surface supportive beneath your feet and completely enveloped in the brilliance of this light emanating from a space directly above you. You look at your hands and take note of a luminescent glow about them and the lower part of your body as you look downwards toward your feet. You breathe in deeply and feel the energy of light and dark within you working together to produce this rarified brilliance of light.

The light begins to dim slightly and you know that there is still more of the journey you must follow in learning the lessons of the shadow self. You take a deep breath in, close your eyes and resolve that you will embrace each step and challenge that is presented to you as you travel your spiritual path. You think on the lesson of this experience, and the birthing of light from what was held in the shadows.

You gently open your eyes and see that the blue veiling of transition through which you entered is just a few steps in front of you. You feel yourself enveloped in this veil of transition between the Physical and Astral world. The veils of transformation and all they contain gently fade from your sight and you begin the descent back into your physical state of being and the room and space in which you began this pathworking. Return to awareness of the rhythm of your breath and the rise and fall of your chest. Become aware of the physicality of where you are sitting or laying; your body pressed against cushion, chair or floor. And when you are ready, gently flutter your eyes open

For a recorded audio experience click here:

The Journey of the Soul (Bandcamp free download)

 

***

 

About the Author:

 

 

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

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

For Amazon information, click image below.

 

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

For Amazon information, click image below.

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram

MagickalArts

October, 2017

A Special Pathworking for Samhain

Hecate’s Labyrinth

This time of the year is one of connection. The veils between the worlds have thinned and many will reach out to the Goddess Hecate as they seek the deeper wisdom of her triune form.

Some will call to the Goddess to guide them to the land of the ancestors as they seek the gifts of those beloved who have passed on. Others will call to the Goddess seeking greater knowledge of their own strength and the power held in the trinity in the human form. And, some will use the energy of Hecate to transform and renew what will be carried into these months ahead that may be used as space of reflection.

I invite you on a journey to the Crossroads. The link below will take you to a recording of a pathworking I wrote entitled:

 

Hecate’s Labyrinth

 

The recording is an mp3 and is downloadable for future use. May the blessings of Hecate fill you as you stand at Her crossroads and seek Her wisdom.

The Dark Night of the Soul

October, 2017

 

 

 

The concept of the Dark Night of the Soul is one that is experienced at specific times during the work of those on a spiritual Path.  It is described as a state of utter loneliness, despair and the sense that the Divine has forsaken you. It is a moment that stands the test of true “faith” for in that hour of disconnect the realization of separateness and the intense yearning for union with the Divine are brought to the forefront of the experience.  This descent into a type of abyss is what serves to strengthen the resolve and conviction of the human and releases the vestiges of ego and personality that do not serve well the spiritual nature.

A Lesser form of this test of faith and spiritual strength can occur when we initiate the work of the coalescing the energies of mind and heart as a way to shatter the faulty foundations of our “ivory towers” or preconceived notions of what spiritual and magickal practice are and our individual power in those settings.  The intensity of energetic response that occurs when pure mind and informed heart struggle to collaborate and become co-creators in creating a more enlightened state of being tests the seekers entire system of beliefs and understandings.  Overwhelming darkness, depression, doubt and inertia are the natural byproducts until surrender to the process reveals the greater light of our true magickal nature in its most illumined and enlightened form.

Embracing the Shadow Self

To continue this stream of thought and in keeping with the refinement of energies and forces as we move forward on our path, we see these dynamics held within the “hidden path” of our own shadow/dark nature.  It is on this path that a Dark Night of the Soul is replicated at a Higher Level of refinement and offers up test once again of the faith and accumulated knowledge that has been worked upon as result of gathering together the courage to release and cut away what no longer serves in a manner that is both merciful and just in its selection. This is the call to the final surrender of personality and ego to enter the place of communion with the Higher Mind and the resultant creative outpour that is infused and informed by our Higher Selves in dialogue with Divinity. It is at this juncture that the shadow or darker nature of the self is met and aligned with its polarity of Light.

This surrender to the dark nature held within is a means of opening to the greater Light. And, this great light is ultimately the way of illumination on ascent through a state of balance and integration of the parts of Self, which culminates in union with the brilliance of the Divine. The pain of this endurance is at once physical, spiritual and mental and it is at the point of the darkest hour when the darkness seems most pervasive that the ultimate reflection of our Higher Nature illuminated by the brilliance of Deity that points the way.

Facing the Shadow

At some point along a spiritual path we must also encounter what is often called the “shadow self”.  This is an important milestone towards forward movement, and it is at that juncture that we have come upon the divergent path that offers choice of either embrace or retreat. So, what exactly is this shadow self?

According to Carl Jung, there are within the human experience and consciousness several highly specialized archetypes that define the human psychological experience. These archetypes are closely linked to our physical nature and are often brought to the surface through the varied preconditioned responses that we have gathered from our environment of both instinctual and mental learning. These become the patterns that play out in our lives in a continuous thread until some upheaval of either a conscious or unconscious level brings out what has lain hidden within our psyche.

This often plays out in the form of projection; or seeing the negative traits in others we encounter that are actually in resonance to those same qualities within ourselves, albeit latent and for the most part unacknowledged at a conscious level.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Beginning shadow work can be a bit like going down the rabbit hole.  It is not the most comfortable process and what may be lurking at the base of that unknown can be daunting. Ultimately, it can be one of the most rewarding types of work. Many times what you thought to be true for yourself will be challenged and tested as you reveal some of the underlying reasons for the way in which you move through life.  We all wish to be seen in a positive light and the work of exploring our shadow self can provide clues and greater understanding of those qualities we wish to enhance and accentuate, those that we hold in reserve for the appropriate times and those that serve no useful purpose in this lifetime other than the fact that we are now more aware of those characteristics in a way that is informed. Additionally, this is a journey that only you can make with only your own resources, experiences and inner knowing as guides.

The Mirror of SELF

To confront a person with his own shadow is to show him his own light… Carl G. Jung ..

As the quote above beautifully states, embracing those parts of yourself that are not usually brought into the light of day can, nonetheless, open the doorway to the greater light that ever burns within our being.  If we think in terms of polarity and synthesis than we must acknowledge that the darkness only appears dark because we know of the polarity of light.  Each gives validation, support and energy to the other in an, albeit transparent, way. Each, relying on the other’s existence to support and enhance the expression and work of its own existence. This becomes the point of synthesis and understanding that within this process  of give and take, each must contain a portion of the other within itself as they move through their dance of cohesion and balance.

The Midnight Sun

If we hold these principles as viable occurrences within a natural order of being, then we could also say that in the darkest night the sun is still brilliantly shining whether we can see it from the perspective we are aligned with.  But, with a shift of geographical coordinates, we move into its light and what was night becomes day.

This concept is useful when approaching our darker nature. Despite what we may find lurking in the darkened corners of our personality, there is still shining that inner light that connects us with our higher state of being. When we learn to accept, acknowledge and embrace those parts of ourselves that we consider unlovable or undesirable we open to having conversation with those aspects and strengthen the potential to modify, change or completely transform that energy.

The nature of the work and the feelings and sensations that are often brought to the surface are not easily dealt with on your own; regardless of your own personal level of experience. To set foot within the scope of these energies is arduous and often painful and could do damage to the psyche if not approached slowly, carefully and with the utmost of respect. It is best to do a little research first rather than diving right into this type of work as it can dredge up past memories and experiences that may cause unproductive discomfort. Be gentle with yourself and approach this work slowly and with reverence, affirming the best results for your highest good.

And, as with each spiritual endeavor, always be mindful that the greatest journey we take is that which is the path leading back to ourselves as beings of Dark and Light that will return us to our Divine nature.

Next Month a Pathworking to meet the Shadow Self and becoming the Hermit

Excerpted in part from: The Inner Chamber: Volume Two- poetry of the Spheres (Qabalah). R.Fennelly

 

 

***

 

About the Author:

 

 

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

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

 

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

 

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram

 

MagickalArts

April, 2015

The Book of Creative Mind

This pathworking was written as the conclusion to a workshop I taught entitled “Crafting Effective Pathworkings”. The intent was to offer sample of the various components that may be used in a pathworking and to plant the seeds of creative idea for the participant’s own use in writing.

 

Begin by taking in the scents and sounds of this room and this space. Now gently close your eyes and turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of your lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths; allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. With each breath your physical body appears to lighten and your center of consciousness floats upwards towards the inner eye. You see on your inner screen a small point of bluish purple light and with each breath this point begins to expand. As it continues to expand you feel yourself enveloped by this mist of transition between the Physical and the Astral realms. These tiny particles of vibrant energy swirl around you, enveloping you now in what has become a swirling of intermingled indigo and violet veiling that almost ribbon like in its form. You stand in this outpour and allow its energy to vitalize and renew you. You feel safe and eager to begin your journey.

As this veil begins to thin you see that just before you is an ornately carved wooden door. The wood smells of earth and tree and vine. There are markings on the door and symbols whose meanings you are unsure of, but you make mental note of their beauty and intricacy and visually store them away to be researched at another time. You reach out and push against the door, the feel of the wood rough against your fingertips and find that it opens with little effort.

The door opens widely and you are looking into a softly lit room that is colored in earth tones and hues of greens, dusky oranges, amber yellows and coffee colored browns. As you cross the threshold of the doorway, the scent of sandalwood wafts through the air and brings to mind images of far away and exotic places. The floor beneath you is made of a richly stained wood and seems to give ever so slightly as you step forward. There is no hesitation or concern in the seeming flexibility of the floor beneath; simply surprise that you could feel so supported yet buoyant at the same time. It brings to mind images of gently being carried and supported by water. The sound of the door softly closing behind you seems to issue welcome at your entering this space and you feel a sense of familiarity with its energy.

Your eyes scan the square enclosure of this small and comfortable space and you see that there are not many furnishings beyond the necessity of a place to sit and a desk upon which to write. Your gaze comes to rest on a corner of the room that seems to glow a bit more brightly than the rest and you see now that there is a fire burning in a stone fireplace. The opening of the fireplace is oddly shaped and almost resembles a triangle in how it peaks at the uppermost center point. The flames rise and peak and then withdraw teasingly between log and stick. They seem to beckon you to step forward for a closer look. As you move closer, the smell of the sandalwood now mingles with that of the burning wood. It is a rich and heady scent and you feel a wave of anticipation pass over you. You feel the heat of the flame and are warmed to your very core.

In rhythm with the movement of the flames, all your senses come to a place of alertness and awareness. Each becoming heightened and then returning to normal state once again. You remember this same feeling as that which you experienced as a child; eager and excited about the promise of a grand adventure or trip to your favorite place. You turn your focus from the fire, and from this place of view standing beside the fireplace you see that the room has taken on a soft orange tint that seems to enhance the earth tones you originally noted. This warm glow merges and blends with the greens and yellows of the walls and curtains and all comes together harmoniously. The addition of this change in light draws your attention to the wall directly opposite you, and you take note of a beautiful wooden desk and simple wooden chair that are placed against its edges.

The top of the desk is lit by a single white candle, whose light is so brilliant and luminescent that light seems to spill like flowing silvery liquid over the surface. You can see the silhouette and shape of something on top of the desk, and curious as to what this object might be you walk over for a closer look. Placed centrally on the desk top is a crimson covered book. Its texture is smooth and silky giving it a glowing radiance. Looking down you see that your name is beautifully written on the cover in gold ink. You are surprised and pleased by this. It is as though someone lovingly left this gift for you and had anticipated your arrival in this space. You look out at the room and now see that there are many items in this room that are in accord with your likes and sense of style. You had not noticed any of this before and decide that the brilliance of the light has given a new level of clarity to what lays before and around you. This space is clearly meant for you and this thought brings anticipation of returning regularly.

Excited by this prospect you turn your attention once again to your book. It is thick and large, more like a scrapbook than journal. You easily pick it up and turn it over in your hands to look at it from all sides. Gold edging shimmers out between silky red cover and you are curious as to what may be inside. Replacing it on the desk you reach out to open it and see a pen resting near its edge. The pen is blue, the color of a robin’s egg and is feather light in your hand as you pick it up to take a closer look. You feel a surge of creative energy pour through you and ideas for what you would like to write or draw within this book move as a slideshow on your inner screen. You have never felt so empowered and eager to create; to produce and to give life to what you are envisioning.

You sit down in the chair and again the experience of being suspended gently and securely held as if in water, floods your senses. As this thought quickly fades the parade of images that have been moving through your mind pauses on one singular picture. As you turn your awareness to this picture, for a moment the image you had just so clearly seen fades and you are disappointed, thinking that you will have to create it again. Just as quickly as the image had faded in clarity you realize that this seeming loss was simply a transformation of the image into a holographic picture. It is now 3 dimensional and you can easily see each of its sides simultaneously.

Intrigued by this, you allow the image to continue to build in its form and clarity. Not wanting to miss any of the detail, you pick up the pen, prepared to draw and record what you are seeing. The pen barely touches the surface of the page before the entirety of the image, its use, function and specifications appear on the page as though willed into creation. For a moment you are startled by this development, but then realize that this is the true process of manifestation in this realm. That Mind and Will combined with intuitive desire can give life to what they wish to create. The pen is simply an extension of your energy and desire and is serving as conduit and form-giver for the outpour of creative effort.

You turn to the next blank page to test this process out, selecting another image from what now appears to be a vast storehouse of accumulated image and idea contained within your consciousness. You make mental note that again, this newly selected image seems to pass through a moment of uncertainty and darkness before its energy is clearly seen, used, and released onto the page. Feeling energized and primed you continue this exercise of calling forth several more images and have soon filled several pages of your book. You decide that for now, this book will serve as keeper and record of these images and can be used to sort and filter those which need more work, those which are non-productive and those which may be ready to be brought forward into manifest reality.

Beginning to tire from this excitement and creative outpour, you stand and pick up the journal to find a more suitable and safe place of keeping. You are unprepared for the density of its weight and can barely lift it from its surface. You recall how easily you picked it up earlier, and realize the lesson of this experience. With creation there is great responsibility. At times, this responsibility may be weightier than you can bear; but that is the way of all things of worth and value. There is much that wishes to be created and some is viable and other is that which would fill time and space with unusable matter. Balance must be striven for and in this balance there will be much useless weight that is accumulated. The task and the charge of manifestation is not driven by the will of man and his desire to create just for the power contained within the act, but by the larger will of the Divine Human working as co-creator with Divinity.

In future, you will be more mindful and selective in nurturing what you wish to create. Your book will stay on the surface of the desk awaiting your return and as you add to its pages, you will also become more adept at refining its contents. And, in time you will learn to balance the weight of what is received and what is given in your interactions with the creative mind.

You look around at the room and see that once again it has taken on new clarity. The fire is burning brightly, vibrant in its orange and golden yellow glow. The browns and greens are vibrant and rich in their depth of color. There is great strength in this place and much to learn. This is your space of creative outpour and you, this room and the book are now part of this process. But, for now, it is time to return to your daily activities and creative efforts. Take a moment to give thanks to this space and all that was given and received.

You walk to the door, take one last look around and gently push the door open. You turn as it closes and see that some of the markings and symbols on the door have changed. This also is part of the process of creating something. Some essence of what the original was will always be carried through as it serves as the foundation upon which new growth may occur. As the last of these thoughts pass through your mind, you find yourself once again enveloped in swirling of the indigo and violet veil of energy. The sensation is one of calm and you feel renewed and refreshed, no longer tired from your exertion of creative effort. Your focus shifts to the rhythm of your breath and with each exhale the density of the blue veil thins and contracts once again to a tiny blue pearl of light. With each continued breath, you feel the density of your physical body move to the center of your awareness. Awareness of the sounds of this room; the physicality of your body in these seats and the sound of my voice.

And, when you are ready, gently open your eyes and return to this space, this time and be fully present.

Excerpted from: The Magickal Pen-Volume One

Available at: www.robinfennelly.com

Interview with Author Fiona Tinker

February, 2015

Tinker

Fiona is the author of Pagan Portals: Pathworking Through poetry, described as ‘ exploring, knowing, understanding and dancing with the wisdom the bards hid in plain view’. I caught up with Fiona to find out a bit more about her love of poetry and how the book came about.

Mabh: Tell us a bit about your book, Pathworking through . What inspired you to write it? What do you hope the book will bring to the reader?

Fiona: Pagan Portals: Pathworking Through explores the concept of using poetry to explore a personal spirituality/a Pagan path, with examples drawn from poets and writers who ‘talk’ to me on a deep, personal level. There is a connection in the writing I discuss that speaks of shared experiences and insights, no matter how much time and history separates us.

The idea to write it came from discussions with friends and the happy discovery that a lot of us had been using a ‘core’ of Irish-Scottish stories and poems as part of our Pagan paths, even though in our formative years as Pagans – in the 1970s – we had no connection at all with each other or our respective Pagan teachers / mentors. Becoming a Pagan was quite a different experience back then in the pre-Internet days. were hard to come by and expensive, for instance. However, in talking with other Pagan friends in later years,  I found the similarities in some of the stories and poems we’d used really interesting and it made me look again at a lot of things I’d become a bit blasé about over the years. My book doesn’t lay out a Pagan path, that’s not its purpose. Finding your own path is a very personal journey once the initial ground work has been laid and you are ready to take that step. However, the book does suggest some ways readers may use to find their own path through the hidden wisdom in poetry.

is a powerful medium in which to transmit occult teaching. I wanted to share some of my experience with readers in the hope that they might explore the poetry that speaks to them as a method of Pathworking in their own practice. It’s an amazing experience and one it felt the right time to share.

MS: Can the principles in the book be used by Pagans and non-Pagans alike?

FT: My initial answer to this was, ‘I don’t see why not,’ but second-thoughts suggest this might not be so. If a non-Pagan is more used to having their personal spirituality directed by external influences, then I don’t think this would work for them.

Paganism is a personal, experiential religion, albeit one where we have some shared ethics and concepts about our relationship to the land and the Gods.  In general, when we move past our initial years of learning we are ready to explore what we have learned in relation to the lands we live in and perhaps to explore the lives of some of the ancestors who live on in our genes. One of the things we do learn early as Pagans is how to protect ourselves, whether through the use of a circle or the creation of a sacred space. If we set out to work solitary, as in these kinds of Pathworkings, all of this becomes our sole responsibility, there is no third party directing manoeuvres. Those who are more used to – or more comfortable with – having others direct them may not get very much from this idea at all. And that is fine – Pathworking won’t appeal to everyone any more than going to church to have someone else interpret scripture does.

MS: What was your biggest challenge in the production of this book?

FT: Time!

Although it is a short book, finding the time in between working full-time, the usual domestic stuff and my voluntary work on behalf of the Scottish Pagan Federation meant I had to be really disciplined and make myself write at least 800 words a day. That wasn’t always easy after a particularly hard day.

MS: Tell us a bit about the Pagan Portals series this book is a part of, and how you became involved.

FT: Pagan Portals is a series published by John Hunt Publishing, through their Moon imprint, which aims to share snapshots of contemporary Pagan practices. There are about a dozen in the series, with more planned. The subjects covered are varied and the Moon Book catalogue will just about have something for everyone to dip in to. The series is intended as an introduction to ideas and I would love to have the time to set up a Pagan Reading Group using them. The hours of joyful discussion and squabbling we could have over the ideas in the books is delicious to contemplate. Actually, I might suggest this to the local moot!

MS: What do you feel has been the biggest reward after the completion of this project?

FT: The biggest reward was writing this book for my son, Iain, so that he can understand something about my Paganism and about his mother as a person; not just as his mum.

MS: You teach English; do you utilise your interpretations of the poems in your book (Yeats etc) with your students, to enable them to gain a deeper understanding?

FT: Not to the depth in this book, no, that’s not appropriate. But I do not shy away from exploring Yeats’ occultism as one way of exploring and interpreting his poetry. This is part of who he was and what made him tick. If that side of him is ignored, the understanding of his poetry can only be partial. Yeats is part of the Scottish Advanced Higher course, which is taken by 6th years here and is at a level equivalent to the first year of university. Naturally, I’ve been selecting this option as part of the course I teach and it’s been wonderful to share his poetry in some depth with a succession of students over the years.

MS: And likewise, did your teaching experience lend itself to the creation of this volume?

FT: I don’t think so, not really sure. Hmm. That’s actually quite a hard question.

I would say my MA Literature, History and Cultural Studies gave me the tools to pull together earlier learning and academic learning, thus enabling me to present my ideas in my book. Part of the work here was on the Irish Literary Revival and this re-awakened my undergraduate love of Yeats, to the extent that his works became my ‘light’ reading in those years.

My MA study was research into Holocaust survivor testimony and in particular how those experiences were conveyed in print. Primo Levi was one eyewitness to a lot of nightmares that most of us can not begin to imagine, let alone understand. Yet his writing bears witness to not only the atrocities and the natures of those who carried them out, but also the human spirit and the light in those who did what they could to help people in the camps. As Levi grew older, he seems to have felt more and more disassociated from the world, as if his experience had marked him out in some way. He referred to himself as an ancient mariner figure, adrift in a world from which he increasingly felt apart. I used Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner as an extended metaphor to explore and understand Primo Levi through his writing, using historical documents for context. He was an amazing man and his writing is profoundly beautiful, moving and it dissects what it means to be human.

However, on the other hand, 20-odd years of teaching have given me the experience to get things across in an accessible way and I hope I’ve managed that in my book.

So I guess the answer to this question is both yes and no.

MS: You speak of the potential loneliness of the Pagan Path; did you walk your own path alone for a time before discovering like-minded people?

FT: There were a few people around me when I was younger, who taught me through story, song and example, and I will be forever grateful to them for this.  Being pagan was not something you shouted about in the 70s and this quietness is something I still carry with me, no matter how open I am about being Pagan now. It was a bit lonely at times but the specifics of my path and those I work with are private and not something that I would talk about in a casual conversation. In that sense, I still walk my path alone. Although I’ve realised over the years there are a lot of us walking with the same influences, if not exactly the same path.

MS: Why do you think so many writers in the 19th Century were drawn to membership of The Golden Dawn?

FT: Society changed enormously from the late 17th C. A lot of people were aware that the march to ‘progress’ cost humanity its soul, bit by little bit. A lot of people felt the need for change, the need for reform and the need to escape both the soul-destroying, dehumanising effects of the Industrial Revolution and the demotion of humanity to piece work in the Victorian version of the economic miracle. Money became the driving force and people became devalued. Consider how little importance or value is put on humanity now as a creative force for good, a force who can bring beauty to the world, to enhance it. Arguably, that rot started with the ‘dark, satanic mills’ – or more specifically, with their owners who focused on money at the expense of so much more.

Certain Victorian religious groups could also see this happening. The Quakers certainly could and much that is good from that time period – prison reform, planned garden towns, decent working and living conditions and an appreciation of workers as people, for example – come from the Quakers admirably walking their talk.

The move towards groups such as the Golden Dawn, The Theosophical Society, spiritualism and the s and

    • Crafts

  • movements was perhaps a way of countering this and connecting again with the creative and spiritual forces that make us complete as human beings. The Golden Dawn attracted thinking, creative people and that is one reason why I think so many writers were drawn to it. It’s interesting that they felt drawn to the ceremonial magic and ritual involved though. Maybe the order it gave through its practices was a counterbalance to chaos elsewhere in their lives / societies?

    MS: The three poets you chose for your book are W. B. Yeats, Fiona MacLeod and Seumas O’Sullivan. What drew you to these guys in particular? Have you always been fond of their poems?

    FT: I was introduced to Yeats and MacLeod when I was a child by Freddie Anderson, a writer from County Monaghan, who was my neighbour when I was growing up. Freddie was a fabulous story teller, one of the three I was very, very privileged to have in my childhood. Although he could ramble on a bit when he had a wee drink in him, his stories were wonderful.  The memories of the fun we had at Hogmanays over the years are precious. Anyway, Freddie lent me some Yeats poetry books because he thought I’d like them. He was right. I have been fond of Yeats’ poetry and other writing since then; although a lot of it I had to grow into, being a bit young to fully understand.

    MacLeod was an eye-opener. I’d learned a lot of mythology and folklore transmitted orally from a woman named Lizzie MacPhee. She was illiterate, in that she’d never been taught to read and write, but my word, Lizzie carried her library in her head. I found a lot of ‘her’ stories in the folklore collected by MacLeod when I was a bit older.

    O’Sullivan was a find and a half in a second-hand bookshop a few years ago. I was idly browsing, took a slim volume of poetry from the shelf and it fell open on one of his Angus poem. Pow! I own a lot of his books now too.

    MS: You speak of protecting one’s self while pathworking; have you ever had an experience with an undesirable element while pathworking?

    FT: Yes, I think that is a basic mistake we all make. It’s certainly a learning experience.

    MS: What’s the difference between pathworking and guided meditation?

    FT: Pathworking is a personal interaction between you and your Gods. Guided meditation is different: someone else leads and you follow.

    MS: I found it fascinating reading the Scottish variants of the tales of the year, for example Brigit and Angus as opposed to the Irish ones (Brigid and Óengus, and not linked in the same way), which are part of my heritage. Did you have to do a great deal of research, or are these aspects all parts of your Pagan path anyway? Have you learned by word of mouth and tales passed down, or has there been a great deal of hitting the books too?

    FT: There is an element of a shared heritage in that a lot of the West of Scotland has Irish heritage as well as Scottish heritage. My paternal roots are in Donegal and there are relatives living in Ireland, so I got stories from both sides.  I’ve pondered a lot on the differences / additional attributes in the shared Gods. The relationship between Angus, Bride and the Cailleach was a folktale, collected and written down by Donald MacKenzie, but told as a story long before I read it, about the battle between summer and winter. Whether the stories from Ireland have been added to later is unclear, but I do feel we are talking about the same Gods, just different aspects that may be peculiar to Scotland.  However, the Scottish folklorist, Stuart McHardy, has written extensively on Brigit / Bridget / Bride, looking at whether they are one or two separate Goddesses and he has some fascinating ideas that are great to explore and think about.

    I didn’t do much formal research for my book, these are stories / myths I’d heard from a young age, then discovered in the collections of various folklorists as I grew up. That’s probably when I hit the books – you find one, it leads you to another and you praise the ghost of whoever came up with the idea of a bibliography. I did do some background research into O’Sullivan as I knew nothing about him until I found his book. The interpretations of the poems are personal, rooted in both my subject and my practice. I suppose any research here is my reading over the past 40 years or so – I was an avid reader as a child and a teen and that hasn’t changed now I’m in my sixth decade.

    MS: Have you always enjoyed writing? Do you ever write poetry yourself? What inspires you?

    FT: Yes, I have always enjoyed writing in one form or another. I’ve written some poetry but I’m not sure it’s for public consumption! Sometimes it can be the most mundane thing that inspires. I remember being 17 and sitting on the steps of a hall in Partick, Glasgow, waiting for some friends to turn up so we could get on with a band practice. It was about 5pm and the rush hour was well underway: noise, petrol fumes, too many buildings. Horrible. But opposite where I sat there was a small public garden with the most beautiful rowan tree in it. The sun suddenly shone on that tree and I was transported by the sheer beauty of it, its colours and the vibrant life shining from it. It was an amazing experience, probably the first time I experienced that ability to ‘leave’ and to see what was really there and truly important. That inspired me in so many ways, even today when I think about it; I am back in that time and place and stunned by the awe I felt.

    MS: Are you planning any more books at the moment?

    FT: There are two underway at the moment, but I’d rather not say too much about them just yet.

    I have a very small vignette in a new book from Moon . The book is called Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans, edited by Trevor Greenfield.

    MS: And any other projects on the horizon?

    FT: I’m very much enjoying writing short pieces for children in Lora Gaddis’s magazine Pooka Pages. This is a free magazine for Pagan children and it’s available to download www.pookapages.com  It’s actually really hard to write for small children and I’ve certainly enjoyed doing this.

    Another thing I’ve been busy with is reviewing books – it’s great to be asked to do this and the books I have reviewed have been first class reads.

    At some point, I will have to pay attention to the mundane life projects, like getting the boiler fixed before winter gets here properly, but that kind of stuff is for another day – probably the one where there is neither heat nor hot water!

    You can find Fiona’s book on Amazon and through other good book retailers. Visit Fiona at http://fionatinker.wordpress.com  and http://www.scottishcelebrants.co.uk  .

    Signposts

    November, 2014

    Choosing a Path

    My first introduction to Paganism was Wicca. And why not – information and books on Wicca, or paths derived from it, dominate the Pagan literary landscape. Many of the people I originally met either practiced it or had at some point studied it.

    As I learned more about Paganism, however, I quickly found other Pagan paths, each with their own focuses, pantheons of Gods and Goddesses, and interpretations of our past and future. I wanted to learn more about them to find which way was right for me. I knew I would need to both study and practice. I wanted to do it in a way, however, that properly respected the work I would need to do while recognizing it may not be right for me.

    Several of the paths I’ve studied include an initiation or candidate period – a time that someone studying that path should learn, live, and practice it before fully committing themselves to it (I’ve often heard people say “a year and a day”). Scott Cunningham has this advice for those interested in a Wicca:

    “However, before even considering dedicating yourself to the deities, be certain of your intentions for so doing, and that you have studied Wicca to the point where you know it is indeed the right way for you.” [1]

    Other paths have offered similar advice. John Michael Greer, in The Druidry Handbook, states candidates, those new to this version of Druidry, should study for at least a year before receiving their first advancement:

    “Those Candidates who decide to seek advancement work through a year-long study program before receiving the first degree, the degree of Druid Apprentice.” [2]

    While we shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, it’s not something we should take lightly. We should begin by investigating what we can without diving head-first into it. We should read about it and, if possible, talk to those that practice it. Then, if we’re still interested in it, we should take those initial steps and see how it works for us.

    We may find during this trial period that the path isn’t working for us. As frustrating as it may be we should be honest with ourselves and re-evaluate where we are. It may be as simple as making small changes to an otherwise comfortable practice. In many paths this is acceptable. While many traditional Pagan paths appear rigid in their ways, some more modern ones embrace personal adaptations that suit the individual practitioner.

    We view and interact with the world through filters of our learned knowledge and acquired experiences. Our spiritual beliefs are part of that and are also affected. Shouldn’t our spiritual practice reflect that?

    This is one of the most attractive parts of Paganism for me – that I can use my experiences and beliefs to adapt my practices accordingly while using an established, common framework as a base. It makes my practice my own.

    We may also find, however, that a simple adjustment isn’t enough. We’re just on the wrong path. Again, we should be honest with ourselves, recognize it, and prepare to move on. It is never easy, but neither is working through an unfulfilling practice.

    ~

    The signpost for me is finding the right Pagan path for each of us is a long process of soul searching, trial and error, and, perhaps most importantly, patience. Maybe it is supposed to be. Other writers in our community talk about Paganism as a life-long learning process. I know it is going to be for me.

    How did you choose your path? Did you try other paths first? What advice do you have for other new Pagans?

     

    [1] Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham

    [2] The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer

    MagickalARTS

    October, 2014

    The art of Pathworking
    Many people confuse pathworkings with guided meditations as they become more involved in developing their spiritual practice. The two may seem to describe the same practice, simply with different nomenclature, but when you have a better understanding of what the effects and goals of each are, the differences become more discernible and more apparent.
    I write a lot of pathworkings and usually incorporate them in my workshops and articles as I can. For years I used guided meditations to relax and reaffirm myself or simply as a way to deepen my ability to remain open and receptive to new information. This was enfolded as part of other types of work aimed at having a better understanding of my psychological profile.
    Now, imagine a picture of a wooded path, having smaller paths extended from the central one. Within a pathwworking you will walk through the woods and encounter many different types of plants and animals. Everything you see on this journey evokes a memory, whether you are consciously aware of it or not. There are many side paths you may take as well, each leading to another part of the same woods, but having arrival by a different, route different, group of encounters, etc. And, eventually you reach your intended destination, but with much more knowledge and awareness of what would have gone largely unnoticed because of using a variety of subtle keys.
    In the format of a guided meditation, the Path would be described clearly and you would be told the purpose and meaning of everything you encounter. Everything would be simple in its form and you would be continually reminded to maintain specific attitude and emotion corresponding to what the goal of the meditation was. If it were for relaxation, the focus would be on guiding you to maintain a relaxed and calm presence in this space. The path would be populated with obvious symbols that evoke that state of mind and reminder would be given to focus on this calm and serene state.
    Next Month I will share a guided meditation with you; but for now let’s focus on the art of pathworking.
    How to Use a Pathworking:
    These are some of the ways I have found to get the most from a Pathworking.
    Good-Read through the pathworking each time you want to use the pathworking. Make note of pausing in the reading wherever it feels like more time would be spent in the specific train of thought.

    Better– Read through the pathworking several times and as you do so, try to set up key points that are stored in the memory. In this way, you can create your own scenarios using the structure of the original pathworking without having to read through the text each time.
    Best– Employ the physicality of recording the pathworking in your own voice, which produces an effective recognizable neurological imprint inducing physiological response and imprint to listen to. When you are ready to make the recording be sure to select a space where you will not be interrupted and has minimal background noise.
    Be sure to speak slowly (more so, if you tend to speak quickly and do not annunciate well) and clearly and to give pause where it would naturally occur if you were reading aloud. There may be some points in the meditation where you will want to spend several minutes in the locale that is being presented. Remember to give adequate time of silence for this. Do not stop the recording. Pause in your reading of it and then begin again when sufficient time has passed. Allow the amount of time you wish to have to fill the space on the recording and then resume the reading of the pathworking.

    Regardless of what method you use, remain open and receptive to what presents to you beyond what has been scripted through the pathworking as you move more deeply into this study. Having a journal to record your impressions and keeping record of your progress in memorizing the information can serve as great encouragement to you. Looking back and seeing how far you have come fuels the desire and gives you markers of growth that are concrete, tangible and acknowledgement of your hard work.
    To begin, find a quiet and comfortable space where you will not be disturbed. Light a candle and some incense and declare sacred space in whatever manner you are accustomed. And then relax and allow yourself to flow into the stream of journey as it carries you to the Natural world.
    In honor of the Harvest, I’ve chosen this Pathworking for your use.
    The Horn of Plenty: A Pathworking of Gratitude
    This pathworking was written to be used to draw abundance to you and as reminder of those things we should be thankful for that we already have in abundance in our lives.
    Take a few deep breaths, filling your lungs on the inhalation and gently breathing out on the exhalation. Allow your body to sit comfortably on the surface on which you are sitting. You feel no tension or strain in any part of your body. Allow your breathing pattern to establish its own rhythm; the gentle rise and fall of your chest and a deepening feeling of relaxation with each exhalation.
    Turn your focus now on the space behind your closed lids and create an inner screen upon which various images may be projected. This is your gateway into a meditative state of peace, calm, renewal and tranquility. A fine mist of indigo blue energy fills the screen and you are drawn to it. In your mind’s eye you see yourself approach the center of this screen and gently step through.
    You emerge on the other side and find yourself at the edge of a wooded forest at dusk. The sky is ablaze and bathed in reds and oranges casting a serene glow on all it touches. The smell of autumn is in the air and the leaves of the trees are a palette of reds, browns and golds. This is the time of the harvest. The time when that which was seeded in the Spring and nurtured throughout the Summer is ready to be gathered. You walk forward on a path between the trees and each step forward produces the sound of crackling leaves echoing from tree to tree. A gentle breeze carries the scent of apples, pumpkin pie, corn pudding and bread baking. Take a moment to enjoy the aromas and sounds surrounding you.
    As you continue walking you are drawn to a light ahead and see a thatched roof cottage just ahead. A curl of smoke spirals upwards from the chimney and the glow of amber colored light can be seen through the windows. You are drawn to this place and a sense of familiarity fills your being. You step up onto the porch and pumpkins, gourds and tied bales of hale adorn the entryway. The scent of fragrant wood burning in a hearth within and the front door slightly ajar beckons you to come in.
    You gently push the door open and amber hues, table-top baskets of apples and a crackling fireplace fill the panorama of view. Take a moment to look around. Drink in the sights, smells and sounds and make yourself at home in the cozy cottage.
    As you continue with your exploration your eyes come to rest on a wicker basket that is shaped as a Horn of Plenty. It sits on a small side table and contains within small scrolls of parchment that are rolled and bound by an earthy green ribbon. You are curious about the contents contained within the Horn and what meaning they may hold for you. In keeping with the warmth and welcome you have felt from the time of stepping into this place of serenity, you reach out and take one of the scrolls from the Horn. You gently unroll it and see what has been gifted to you. You look at the words written and know intuitively that this is your promise of a full and abundant harvest that is crafted from all of the best parts of your being. This represents that which is both a gift to yourself and in turn will also become a gift you share with all you meet.
    Holding your scroll tightly to your breast you move to sit in a rocking chair just in front of the fireplace. As you gaze into the flickering and dancing flames you see the many images of each of the positive actions you have taken this year. All of the successes of those seeds of new beginnings planted and the ripe lush fruit that has come to full harvest. Take a few moments to reflect on these many beautiful, positive qualities that are expressions of your higher SELF. As you linger in these thoughts, you become aware that the scroll you have been holding is slowly being absorbed into the inner flames of your hearth fires. Sit quietly in the realization of this occurrence and reflect on what this vision means to you.
    You have received all that is needed at this time and you once again stand looking at the beauty of the room surrounding you. Take a final look around the room and acknowledge that this is your private place to which you may return at any time. Your gaze is caught once again by the Horn of Plenty and to your surprise you see that now in place of the scrolls the Horn has become an abundant cornucopia filled with fruit, squash, corn, apples and nuts. The small table is filled to overflowing with all the bounty of the Harvest and somehow you know that this abundance reflects the many images you found within your own basket of plenty. You walk towards the door, gently push it open and step out into the forest, now lit by the brilliance of a honey gold sunset. The velvet of the night sky is minutes away and the hush and calm promise of a restful evening are just ahead.
    As you stand looking out the blue veil of mist forms directly in front of you. You step through and once again return to the place of your inner screen. As you feel the calm re-entry into this space, your inner screen gently fades and your focus returns to sound of your breath and its serene rhythm. Allow yourself to slowly and gently return to the physicality of sitting in this space. To the feeling of your body in chair or on whatever surface you have been sitting upon. To the gentle rise and fall of breath and when you are ready, gently flutter your eyes open and return to this space of calm.
    Next Month: A Guided Meditation