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Book Review – Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession by Mya Spalter

December, 2018

Book Review

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession

by Mya Spalter

 

 

Inspired by a New York Occult shop of the same name, Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the shop, its wares and the accompanying advice and conversation that might be had when looking to craft a beautiful and meaningful altar space, or create sacred space.

The author, Mya Spalter, uses a very warm approach, telling how she came to work at Enchantments store and then taking you on a journey through the highlights of her learning and experiences in working in a busy occult venue. Even the way in which the book has been arranged feels like a coffee break exchange of information of “what works, and what doesn’t?”, “how’d you do that?” and “can you teach me about that?”, that you would expect from most witchy stores and those who work there.

Part One is aptly entitled Witchy Implements and includes chapters dedicated to altars, correspondences, such as colors, plants, herbs and some of the disciplines that would be included in witchy practice such as astrology, the wheel of the year and more.

Part Two reinforces the necessity for Magical Intention(s) and begins the work of spell crafting, protection and divination, and concludes with a more in-depth approach to astrological uses and the cosmic connection found within what has traditionally been deemed an earth/nature-based practice.

The book is nicely illustrated with interspersed black and white drawings that are whimsical and informative. And, using a style near and dear to my heart, each chapter concludes with “Suggested Reading” and a list of well-respected titles relevant to that chapter’s offerings. I could go on in pointing out sections here and there, but, quite honestly, this is a book to be experienced first hand.

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession is the next best thing to having a good friend who will walk you through the magic, point out the highlights anh solid and usable information, this is the one for you!

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession on Amazon

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About the Author:

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

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

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

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

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Review of Arin Murphy-Hiscock’s The House Witch

December, 2018

Review of Arin Murphy-Hiscock’s The House Witch

 

 

I received a “review copy” of The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space With Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home by Arin Murphy-Hiscock just before the Thanksgiving holiday. This handsome book is published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, and is the twelfth book by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. On Simon and Schuster’s author website for Arin Murphy-Hiscock, you can find all the titles of her other published books. Some were known to me and some were not. Some, like Birds: A Spiritual Field Guide, I had borrowed from my local public library and had on my “to-buy” list. So naturally I was elated to get The House Witch. I immediately cracked it open and wrote my name and the date on the inside cover.

But the demands of the Thanksgiving Holiday – cooking the meal and getting together with family in town for just a few days – meant that I wasn’t able to sit down and give The House Witch a good read. And then I caught my son’s cold. Sick and miserable, I gave up. I took a box of tissues and curled up on the couch under a hand-crocheted afghan for several days in a state of semi-slumber.

When I did finally get back to The House Witch, I was delighted, as I knew I would be. One my very first impressions was, “Gee, I wish there had been books like this back when I was first getting into witchcraft and wicca!” In the 1970’s and 1980’s, there were only a few books out on the subject and most of them – like Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance – were geared toward the large group or the coven but very rarely the solitary practitioner. Not until Scott Cunningham published Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner in 1988 that you started to see more attention paid to the solitary witch. While The House Witch is not specifically written for the solitary witch, it addresses the many concerns of those of us who practice alone – whether we live alone or with other people.

I was born in May, under the sun sign of Taurus, my moon in Pisces, with Cancer rising. Issues of home and health and happiness have always been forefront in my spiritual practice, so it is natural that I would gravitate toward creating and maintaining a beautiful home, even if that home is a tiny apartment in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in a rust-belt city. Because of my wonderful grandmothers, I was always aware of the magic in everyday things but many people – especially those born after, say, 1980 – do not have the benefit of the wisdom of their elders. On page 17, Murphy-Hiscock lists four steps that anyone can learn to “recognize the magic” as she terms it, reminding us to keep things simple and always to focus on what we are doing in the house. These steps are: live in the moment, be aware of your intent, direct your energy properly and focus on an action. Anyone who has studied any kind of meditation, magical instruction or spiritual path will recognize these steps. So just what does all of this have to do with the home and the hearth? Murphy-Hoscock writes,

“Opening yourself to the simplest of tasks and allowing them to inspire you with some insight or wisdom, or even a

moment of peace, illustrates that the Divine can whisper to you in the oddest of unexpected places. Hearthcraft is

about communing with the Divine through everyday tasks, not through complicated formal ritual.” (page 19)

She talks about home as sacred space. One thing she mentions is the removal of shoes in cultures such as Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia; I don’t allow anyone to wear shoes into my apartment and I am always amazed – when I watch TV, for instance – and I see people, not only with their shoes on inside their homes but also on the furniture!

When I was growing up, I always lived in houses that had fireplaces and we usually had a fire most winter evenings, so the idea of a hearth and a hearth fire is not unknown to me – one of our houses actually had a giant hearth built into the wall surrounding the fireplace! But since I have left my parents’ house, I have never lived in a house with a fireplace, much to my great sadness. I consider my hearth to be my kitchen oven or perhaps a meditation candle. However, when I was sick a day ago, I had some split pea soup and freshly baked bread and lay down for a nap. I could feel the warmth of the soup and bread in my belly and it occurred to me that my hearth fire was inside of me.

With this in mind, the “Bank Your Inner Flame” ritual on page 45 makes perfect sense. I had a wonderful warmth inside of me and I needed to be able to hold onto that warmth. It wasn’t just the soup and bread – it was the sense of being safe and secure in my own home. I love the word “smooring” – I love anything Scottish and Gaelic – I added it to my list of cool words and then I copied the “smooring prayer” (page 46) into my personal prayer book.

This book is filled with jewels.

There is a chapter on “The Magic of the Cauldron” in which she talks about how to find and care for a cast-iron cauldron. “Hearth and Home Deities” is just what it sounds like – a chapter of gods and goddesses of the home and hearth. The next chapter is about the kitchen as a sacred space – something that not many people even think about seriously nowadays. If your idea of cooking is opening up a box of prepared food and popping it into the microwave – or even using something like Hamburger Helper – then I would give Chapters 6, 8 and 9 a very close reading. As I already stated, Chapter 6 is about the kitchen as a sacred space. Chapter 8 is “Magic at the Hearth” and Chapter 9 is “The Spirituality of Food”. included!!!!!

Other topics in this fabulous book are “Using Hearthcraft to Protect Your Home”, “Herbs, crafts, and other Hearth-Related Magic Work”, and a chapter of various spells, rituals and blessings. Quite naturally, there is an appendix and a bibliography that have quite a bit of information in them as well.

In the “Postscript”, Arin Murphy-Hiscock writes, “Several times as I was writing this book, my thoughts moved faster than my fingers, and as a result ‘hearth fire’ very often came out as ‘heart fire.’ I wonder, at times, if my subconscious was trying to tell me something.” (page 247). I do not wonder at all. This book most assuredly set my heart on fire. In this rich season of Yuletide joy, when all of us decorate our houses with festive lights and traditional ornaments that may only have meaning to our loved ones alone, The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space With Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home by Arin Murphy-Hiscock is a book which brings together all the spiritual and happiness that home and hearth can represent. I highly recommend it for anyone on any spiritual path.

References

Murphy-Hiscock, Arin. The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space with Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home. NY: Adams Media, 2018.

The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space with Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Sacred Place, Sacred Space – Book Review of “Spiritual Places” By Sarah Baxter

October, 2018

Book Review of “Spiritual Places” By Sarah Baxter

As someone who loves to read and write about the sacred places across America and the world, this book is an absolute gem!

The book encompasses the world, from St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypy to Mount Olympus in Greece, from the Isle of Iona and Avebury in the United Kingdom to Shwedagon Paya in Myanmar.

Some are specific places in these different countries, but others, like Kyoto and The Ganges, are termed spiritual in their entirety.

Each individual sacred place is given it’s own section. The writing is beautiful, and vivid, as in this opening paragraph from the section on the “Isle of Iona”:

“It’s just the spot to commune with the heavens.

Gazing westwards of this tiny isle – a flimsy drop

of green in a gust-frenzied sea – you might believe

there’s nothing else in the world. Nature is all

encompassing and elemental: silvery sands,

swelling surf, a scatter of rocks and skerries

disappearing to an infinite horizon.”

I can almost see the island, feel the droplets from the sea on my face, smell it in the air.

This is how Ms. Baxter writes. The individual sections describe the beauty and sacredness of each, explaining the history and the landscape, with details such as how you enter, what your surroundings are.

Places such as Mount Olympus give the early history of the Gods, before describing what such a place looks and feels like.

The illustrations by Harry and Zanna Goldhawk are charming and delightful, a perfect complement to Ms. Baxter’s writings.

The top of the cover has the words “Inspired Traveller’s Guide”. This book is definitely inspiring and will whisk you away to spiritual places the world over, and maybe help you decide your next vacation.

Spiritual Places (Inspired Traveller’s Guides)

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis (Volume 4)

Retha’s Crystal Reflections

October, 2018

Protection Stones

This month I think is an appropriate time to discuss protecting yourself, your aura & your space. You can use many tools to remove negative energy from your environment, such as salt, smudge, herbs etc, but my favorite way is with crystal allies of course!

There are tons of crystals we could discuss but for lengths sake we will talk about my top 10 protection stones. They are not in any order, I encourage you to work with or wear as many of these amazing stones as you can!

Smoky Quartz: Smoky quartz is one of my favorite stones for many reasons, but for wearing as a protection amulet it is my go to. I try to wear it every single day. It not only absorbs any negative energy around you, it also transmute that energy. So its such an important tool we have been given by mama Gaia. I recommend smoky quartz for wearing and for placing inside the front entrance to your home. It will absorb any negative energy ickys being brought inside your space from all who enter. It doesn’t need to be a huge specimen, a simple smoky quartz tumble is perfect. It’s also a master healer and when placed on the body will remove toxic energies, neutralize negativity and infuse the body with healing white light. It also relieves painful emotions. I have personally seen how powerful this crystal is and can’t recommend a stone any higher.

Black Tourmaline: Black tourmaline is kinda the big gun of protection stones. It’s very heavy and strong. It removes negative energy within a person or a space.  I prefer black tourmaline buried on the four corners of the property lines, or placed in the four corners of the home. It’s also the perfect stone for protection in your vehicle as it protects from theft. I keep a black tourmaline pendant hanging from my rear view mirror. It cleanses, purifies and transforms dense energy into a lighter vibration. It balances, harmonizes and protects all chakras.  It’s also another great one to wear on your body as jewelry. 

Black Tourmaline Rutile: This is simply black tourmaline bars within a quartz matrix. Quartz is the ultimate magnification stone, so this is black tourmaline magnified. Black rutile cleanses and energizes the aura. It draws off negative energies and disease and helps one let go of the past. It also gives protection from the ill thoughts of others. I also love the look of black tourmaline rutile, it’s so neat looking. So this is a favorite in jewelry pieces. 

Garnet: Garnet is to me gentle loving protection, and I keep a huge piece of it on my coffee table at all times. It’s to me protection of the emotions and mind. If I’m feeling stressed or on edge this is the stone I turn to for comfort & safety. It’s a talisman of protection and unyielding strength. It increases willpower and resistance to all things negative. It’s a spiritual stone of psychic protection. One of my favorite stones to wear as jewelry. 

Black Onyx: Black Onyx is stone that absorbs, transforms and prevents the drain of personal energy. It helps provide emotional and physical strength when support is needed during stressful, confusing or tumultuous times. It’s a good stone for grief. It also protects you from psychic attack and guards the wearer from the evil eye.

Black Kyanite: Black Kyanite is a stone that instantly upon contact clears anything of negative energy. It also never needs to be cleansed. It’s a great stone to keep on hand, if you get a new stone or piece of jewelry you can just touch the black kyanite to it and its clear & ready to go. So simple! I also keep a blade of black kyanite with my tarot & oracle cards. When i pull them out to use them I always place my black kyanite on top for a minute before I shuffle. Black Kyanite clears all energy blockages and imbalances within the chakras. It aligns, grounds and centers. It elevates the level of good vibrations within the energy field. It repairs tears or holes when placed upon the chakra points with its healing energy. Obviously wearing this stone will keep you clean and clear of any unwanted energies as well. Its a spectacular stone!

Aegirine: This is a rarer more expensive stone but well worth the trouble to find. Its claim to fame and what makes this stone unique is its ability to act as a shield that guards the aura, all while assisting the wearer to discover their courage and confidence in refining their power and strength. It’s known as a “guardian harmonizer”. It removes negative cords and energy attachments within the auric field. It also protects from electromagnetic smog. 

Obsidian: Obsidian is strongly protective and forms a shield against negativity. It blocks psychic attacks and absorbs negative energy from the environment. It draws out mental stress and tension. It’s a cleaner of psychic smog created in your aura. Obsidian is an auric cleanser. Specifically golden sheen or silver sheen obsidian can be used as a “bar of soap” and run along the entire body making back and forth motions like you are scrubbing away all negativity from your auric field. 

Selenite: Selenite is a beautiful, easy to find and inexpensive crystal that u can use to clear other stones, clear a space, open ritual circle or sacred space and clear yourself. It has an angelic feeling to me. Pure white light. It looks like it’s literally glowing sometimes. Selenite resonates at higher frequencies. Used for undoing the effects of negative emotions on one’s mind and body. Placing on the body it removes unwanted or negative energies.  A great beginner stone as well. I love a flat piece of selenite or charging plate that you can place smaller stones or your jewelry on to clear. 

Shungite: Shungite is a detoxifier and a cleanser. It kills and devours anything that harms people and then restores what is good. Its been called “miracle stone” and “stone of life”. It has been used for water purification since ancient Rome. It’s also a good stone to protect yourself from harmful EMF’s. I keep a Shungite pyramid in front of my tv for this purpose. It’s also a perfect stone to wear, especially if you are around a lot of different energies in the workplace, such as hospitals and trauma centers. Shungite keeps you from picking up negative and unwanted energy from others and the environment. 

I hope this is a useful brief explanation of some helpful crystals to work with for whatever type of protection you are needing. These are all staples in my crystal collection and I can’t imagine doing without them! 

On another note, if you are looking to start gridding, or in the market for crystal grids, I encourage you to read my three grid reviews/interviews that are in this months content here on Pagan Pages. Grids for all price points and different materials. Check it out! Thanks for stopping by this month and I hope you will come back next month! 

Have a blessed Samhain!

Love & crystal blessings,      Xoxo Retha

Sources:

mycrystalpedia.WordPress.com

infinite-beings.com

healing_crystals_for_you.com

***

About the Author:

Retha N. Lent has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s Crystals” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry & specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her customers and those interested in learning more about crystals & all things magical called “Retha’s Crystal Circle“. She is also an advisor in the Sage Goddess Affiliate Program. She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs, manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at rethalent@hotmail.com or on her business page on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her FB group:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1960619300929876

Her Sage Goddess affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16

Mindful Meditations

August, 2018

Welcome to Mindful Meditations, a new column to help you connect to yourself.

Monthly the author will switch between two witches that are massage therapists that lead meditations and are in the same coven.

 

Fire Meditation

It’s Leo season and what better way to enjoy that excited, expansive energy than with a bit of fire scrying, either with your friends or alone. This fire meditation is crafted to work as a guided group meditation or an easy-to-follow solo journey. So light your fire, grab a journal and let’s drop in! If having a physical fire isn’t a possibility, you can use a candle or call the energy of fire into your mind’s eye and let your imagination create the flames for you.

 

 

 

-Cast a circle in whatever way fits your practice. Create intentional, sacred space so you feel comfortable opening to the messages you receive. I encourage you to call in the element of fire especially, an example would be “I call the element of fire into my/our circle tonight. I/we honor your passion and power, your transformation and transmuting, and your illumination and warmth. Guide me on this journey into your flames tonight. Hail and welcome!” Once in sacred space, set your intention for what you wish to receive from the fire. How am I holding myself back from my desires? What direction should I take? How can I manifest my dream? Or simply, what do I need to know right now? Feel free to do this silently or as a discussion with your group.

 

-Once you’re clear on your intention, find a comfortable seat where you can easily gaze into the fire. Feel where your body connects to the Earth and see roots sprouting down into the soil to anchor yourself to her. Notice your breath and feel yourself entering the present moment with each inhale and relaxing into the now with each exhale. Let everything but your breath and the fire melt away.

 

-Bring your intention into your mind. Begin to ask questions to yourself and the fire. Let possible answers drift through your awareness, staying mindful of not attaching to any one idea. Watch the fire, how does it respond to your thoughts? How do you feel as the fire shifts with a passing thought? Let it speak to you.

 

-As you get more comfortable asking and receiving, relax deeper into the fire and clear your wandering mind. Be open to receive any messages the fire has to give you. Notice images, colors, or changes in the flames. As messages come to you, feel free to write them down so you can release the idea and allow another into your awareness.

 

-Take a deep breath and let the inspirations float back to you and by the fire light, start sorting, shifting and integrating. Free write or daydream, pulling these messages into your awareness. Take a piece of paper and write the most important messages from the flames. Did you discover a block, a new direction, something that no longer serves, or an inspiring message? Write it down, being clear what you wish to change, bring in or release (remember words have power!), and bring it to your heart. Give gratitude to the flames for facilitating this insight. As you gift the paper to the fire, say “Thank you, thank you, thank you. As it is written, so mote it be.”

 

-Close your circle, sit back and enjoy the fire.

***

About the Author:

Becky Coates is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Tarot reader located in Manchester, CT. Visit beckycoatesmassage.com for more information. 

Sacred Place, Sacred Space

June, 2018

Catal Huyuk

(Photo Credit: factsanddetails.com)

For those who love archaeology and the discovery of ancient places, Catal Huyuk holds a special place.

Widely accepted as the largest, oldest Neolithic village or town ever found, it was home to 3,000 – 8,000 people.

Located in southern Anatolia, in Turkey, it was first discovered in 1958. It was not until the archaeologist, James Mellaart, began excavating in 1961, and continuing at least until 1965, that the world began to take notice.

Catal Huyuk was lived in 9,400 to 7,700 years ago and only about 5% has been excavated at this time.

Restoration of a room (Photo Credit: facts and details.com)

The houses were built very close together, in clusters, and normally had 3 rooms. The point of access was through the ceiling, which was also the source of both light and ventilation. Subsequent homes were just built over older ones, making it an archaeological wonder.

There are several larger buildings that could have been used for public events or worship. Colorful murals and figurines suggest that much symbolism was used in their spirituality. These murals are the oldest found on structures built by human hands.

(Photo Credit: michelleheaton.info)

Their dead have been found buried within the village, and found beneath the homes and hearths.

Many tools, i.e., axes and mace heads, etc have been found, as well as grinding tools, and jewelry.

It would appear that the people of Catal Huyuk lived simple lives and there seems to be no indication of gender or caste classifications. Findings also indicate a vegetarian diet consisting of grains and legumes, a diet which many are following again today.

There has been an abundance of female figures found in Catal Huyuk, which James Mellart indicates a female deity, and the worship of a Mother Goddess. While many animal figurines were found and a small number of male figurines, the female far outweigh these. Some of these figurines showed the Goddess flanked by two feline figures, which represent as guardian to powerful places. Similar figurines have been found at different sites around the world, including Malta. There are many archaeologists that deny that these figurines indicate a Goddess worship, or a peaceful civilization; the bulk of these archaeologists are male, but there are also females who refute Mellart’s assertion.

The renowned archaeologist, Marija Gimbutas, advocated for this peaceful civilization and Mother Goddess who has been worshiped from Paleolithic times until the present day. I highly recommend any of Ms. Gimbutas’ books; they are well worth the read.

(Photo Credit: newworldencyclopedia.org)

Recently, in 2016, an 8,000 year old female figurine was discovered in Catal Huyuk, found with a valuable piece of obsidian, which would indicate an honor and a reverence.

(Photo Credit: arestechnica.com)

(Photo Credit: ancient-wisdom.com)

While there will always be those who will deny the existence of these peaceful civilizations, as well as the existence of the Goddess, in the past and in current times, there are enough of those who believe differently and who know that some day, the Goddess will once more make Herself known to all and peace will once more be the way of the world. May this be soon.

(Photo Credit: Pinterest.com)

(Photo Credit: Pinterest.com)

Blessings!

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis: The Egyptian Goddess

Spiralled Edges

June, 2017

Not so much a circle…

We talk a lot about circles. Holding ritual circles. Creating a sacred circle. Building a power circle. And different Pagan paths have their own ideas on how circles should be created, crossed, and taken down.

Circles serve one of three purposes. They are either built to keep things in, to keep things out, or both. Going back to 101 basics, for those who are still learning, circles built to contain are generally used when doing energy raising for spellcasting or healing. Circles built to keep out are used when doing work that may attract unwanted energies. And those which do both, well that’s pretty self-explanatory, you may be doing energy work that you want to contain while at the same time you want to keep out any unwanted energies.

Through teachers and personal experience I have developed my own ways of working within circles. More often than not, when I am working alone I don’t create a circle at all. And until now I couldn’t have told you why that is. I just knew intuitively that it wasn’t needed.

Each of us has a circle around us at all times. We may call them shields or boundaries, but really they’re just permanent circles. We don’t cut doorways in order to move about. Reach out with an arm, and the circle expands outwards. Our circle travels with us where ever we go.

 

 

My personal circle isn’t a circle though. When I think of a personal circle, I see in my mind a hula hoop, orbiting my waist. No, my circle is not a circle, it is more an oddly shaped sphere. When I move an arm, the circle expands outwards to keep my arm covered. When I walk around, my circle stays right there with me. Dodge left or right, yup. Still with me. Because my shield is always present around me, I have found that I don’t need to go through a specific process to create a circle when I am doing spellcasting or following my personal spiritual practices. I may re-enforce my shielding, but I don’t rebuild it from scratch.

If I am with people that I am very close to, such as my children and a few very good friends, my personal circle will expand to enclose all of us together.

If I am in a crowd or amongst people I don’t know or trust well, my personal circle will shrink down so that only I can be within it.

Larger circles are needed to contain larger groups, so at those times I will create a purpose-built circle, one that again is not so much a circle as a sphere. It encloses all who are within it, but also moves and expands as needed and gently enfolds any who may come to join the circle.

So, the next time you create a circle, spend some time actually feeling it and playing within it. See where it is, and what you can do with it. Is it firm and unmoving, or flowing and flexible? Can it do the work you are intending it for? If your intention is to contain energy in order to raise it, is that energy contained? If your intention is to keep out unwanted energies, are they kept out? Either way, how do you know?

Can you feel a difference between personal circles and group circles? How do group circles change depending upon who is within that circle?

Above all else, circles are not passive, they are created and influenced by every person within that circle.

Hearth and Home

August, 2011

Space – Not the Final Frontier
Being a Military family, we are often sent to places we might not necessarily want to go, sometimes with not a lot of notice, our worldly belongings are packed up into boxes by men who sweep through the house like a whirlwind, they are then shunted into containers and shipped thousands of kilometres, to be unloaded by yet another set of removalists often into a house we may not even like.  A home, so recently vacated by another family doing the very same thing, it can feel like crawling into a stranger’s empty bed, while it is still warm from their bodies.
No matter how well it is all orchestrated, it is often a very stressful time for the family, time spent in temporary accommodation waiting for the ‘belongings’ to catch up, kids moving schools, making new friends. However, as an empath and home maker it can be emotionally and spiritually traumatic – if I am not careful.
I always thought it would be wonderful, if I could have a day in the empty place before we moved in to ‘clean house’ but that is rarely possible, so it is up to me to cleanse and claim as best I can amidst the boxes and chaos..

It is important to me, to make my family a home as quickly as possible. A warm environment, where they feel safe and cosy, as well as a welcoming and comfortable spiritual space as well. The latter is hugely important to me. One of the first things I do armed with sage, cedar and sweet grass, is smudge the house… I clean the floors with a herbal wash, drains and sinks are cleaned with salt and lemon… the doors and window sills are sprinkled with salt. I ask the deities I work with to bless and protect… I cleanse out space. As our household and personal items are often handled by packers who see items in boxes as nothing more than a reason for a pay check, it is often good that our belongings are shown some love with a good cleansing as well.


The next most important thing for me is to set up “sacred space” – I have done this in every house and there are little areas, dedicated to different deities about the place… a wee love altar in our bedroom dedicated to Aphrodite, in my kitchen Hestia is guardian of my hearth and Hecate resides in a main living area.


I have always had a place set up in our home, where I can go and sit and recoup, a place where a table is dedicated to the elements, incense is burnt here, candles are lit here, hands are clapped to music here, drumming happens here. This is my space; this is the area of the home from where energy flows to every corner. It is a place of grounding. That one place I can just look at, or walk past and feel the closeness to and the blessings of the God and Goddess.

There are so many stressors in life these days, work, school, deadlines, even a trip to the grocery store can be like running a gauntlet. It is so beneficial to us to have a place within our homes or gardens where we can get in touch with that still small voice inside. It matters not the path you walk – to set up a small place that becomes your power place is a very easy thing to do. Let yourself be guided to the place, you will ‘feel’ the right one, it could be a shelf with a few personal treasures, a corner where perhaps you can set up with a comfy chair and a wee table, adding things that are have meaning to you.  Spend some quiet time there, make it yours… I know for myself having sacred space within the home has helped me through things that have felt insurmountable… With the somewhat transient life we lead, I have managed to make space – my first frontier.

The Crowe’s Nest

May, 2011

My Sacred Home

I close my eyes and I transform from the home I know, to the home that is me. No longer am I standing in an apartment of wood and metal walls. I am standing in a field. The view is amazing. All around I can see golden wheat tickling my fingertips as I walk.

My field is in the middle of this beautiful forest. All around me are trees as far as the eye can see. They protect my little home and keep me safe. It will always be here when I return. The animals watch over it. The air is crisp and clear. All around me is warmth and love.

The smell in the air is home to me. I feel at peace, nothing like that of the life I lead, but a serene peace from deep inside my soul. I smell earth and everything that she holds dear. Around me the sounds of birds call me. Owls, strangely out at day, come to “Who” at me. I can’t see any animals around me, but I know they are there, watching me.

In the middle of my field of gold is a wonderful cabin. It is a log cabin and when I look at it, it gives me such happiness. It is what I have always dreamed of. Most homes for me have always been a simple four walls, but this home is everything I have ever wanted. I know once I step into it, there will be a massive expansion that I can do whatever I want with. I can have it be an elegant mansion or a simple cottage. Today, the cottage suffices and it is exactly what I want.

The round archway of the door beckons me to come inside. Find what I can explore. Before today, I could never make it in the archway. Something always held me back, not allowing me to go in further. Truly I have been awakened spiritually and realize that the power to overcome whatever obstacle stands between me and the door is mine. I can go in. Nothing will stop me now.

My hand grips the handle on the door and I push it open. Inside is the living area. I have a cauldron in an old fashioned fire pit on the left wall. The chimney takes all the smoke from what is cooking inside the cauldron. The smell continues to be earthy, but this time, it is homier. Like herbal soups.

There is a bed in the middle. Made of wood and very big, it has a homemade quilt on the side. Something I always wished I could do on my own was making a quilt. I always wanted one that I could pass down from generation to generation. This one is old and well loved. In it is the spirits of witches that have come and gone. I know that this one will be handed down to my own child, but which one I am not sure. One will have a great power and decide to do wondrous things with it.

I lie on the bed and close my eyes. My familiar, a small white dog that seems to change breeds whenever she chooses, lies next to me. She warms me with a glow that seems to work on its own.

When I open them, I have returned home in the real world. My sacred place I will visit again soon, but for now, I must become the mother, wife and witch I am in reality.

When I first started learning about energy and the sacred space, my husband decided he would try to take me to mine. Since I am a water sign, he tried to tell me to picture a beautiful ocean. My body and soul would not let that happen though. I kept coming back to my cabin, waiting for me in my golden field. It beckoned me and no matter how hard I would try to get to that ocean he was telling me to be at, I couldn’t get there. Sometimes, I believe, you don’t have an option where your sacred space is. It is a home given to you, not one that can be chosen. Some people say that they have made theirs, but I can’t seem to get anywhere but my cabin. Who would want to in all reality? It is a beautiful place and feels so right to me. I don’t even want to leave.

So what does that have to do with being a kitchen witch? Well, I mentioned the soup, right? I want to share a special recipe for soup with you. This is an herbal remedy of sorts. It is great for those with stomach problems, and very tasty. I was told to eat a bland diet when I had a stomach issue and it was supposed to be something close to a liquid diet, and I am not so good with liquid diets, so I compromised. I made a soup, but not so much just blah. This one has a lot of meat in it, but I also want to add a barley and mushroom soup for my vegetarian friends.

  • 64oz minimum canned or home made Chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb pork cubed
  • 1/4 cubed ham
  • Large onion diced fine
  • about 1/2lb of deboned chicken cubed small
  • 1/2 lb stew beef also cubed small
  • 1 Large Leek
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped spinach (drained well)
  • ½ cabbage head
  • Large clove of minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil

Start your broth in a large stock pot. You want to bring this to a nice heat before adding your other items. While that is heating, in a large sauté skillet, add onion and garlic. Lightly sauté then add each of your meats individually. You want to brown them before adding to the stock pot. Once they are all in the stock pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour.

After about an hour, you want to add your seasoning and vegetables. You can add salt, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to taste. You want to simmer for another half hour to get the flavors to mesh well. It will serve about ten, so make sure you have a large stock pot.

For my Vegetarian friends, here is a Barley and Mushroom Soup for you.

  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup barley, uncooked
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Now, bring your broth to a low boil. Reduce your heat. Add your mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery. Allow this mixture to simmer for ten minutes or so. Add the barley and garlic and allow it to simmer for another hour. You will want to use salt and pepper and any other seasonings for taste.

With Beltane right around the corner, these will be in your pocket for a great celebration with family and friends. From my family to yours, many great blessings in your sacred space and home without.