spirit

Notes from the Apothecary

March, 2019

Notes from the Apothecary: Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is the name for six types of hazel-like flowering tree or shrub. Four are native to North America, with hamamelis virginiana being the most commonly used. The hazel part of the name refers primarily to the leaves, which are very similar to those of the Hazel. The ‘witch’ part isn’t as magical as we might hope, sadly. It comes from the Old English word wice which means bendy or pliant, and presumably refers to the twigs.

The Kitchen Garden

Witch hazel is grown either as a decorative plant or for its medicinal qualities. It has strange, curling yellow to orange flowers which brighten up the winter and early spring. You might notice that flowers will appear while fruits are still present on the tree from the previous season, something that can also occur with fruit trees such as apple.

The medicinal witch hazel is generally made from the bark or leaves of the tree. If you have a small shrub in your garden, it’s better to use the leaves if appropriate. Stripping the bark off a garden shrub is likely to kill it. Witch hazel can grow into a fifteen-foot high tree though at which point asking permission for a little of the bark is probably okay.

The Apothecary

Witch hazel has a position of pride as one of the only complementary herbal remedies that also has some FDA approval, although retailers and manufacturers have to be careful about the claims they make about its effectiveness. Witch hazel contains flavonoids, tannins and a volatile oil with astringent actions: it pulls flesh back together (somewhat) to stop bleeding. This is why it’s so good for cuts and grazes.

Witch hazel is probably one of the first natural remedies I remember being given, with the possible exception of placing a dock leaf over a nettle sting. My parents would soak a cotton wool ball in witch hazel water and place it over bruises, scraped knees; whatever the injury of the day was. Later in life, my friend recommended it for ‘down there’ after my first child arrived, to help with the healing of the wounds. Some in a maternity pad seemed to help, and was certainly soothing, if nothing else. Obviously, always check with a doctor before self-administering any medication.

Native Americans have had a multitude of uses for witch hazel. The Potawatomi steamed the twigs during a sweat lodge to ease muscle aches. The Osage used the bark for sores on the skin. The Iroquoi made a tea which they used to ease the symptoms of dysentery, which makes sense when you think about the high amount of tannin in the plant.

It’s also been used as a treatment for piles, with some treatments involving injecting the herbal tincture into the affected area. Don’t try this at home!

The Witch’s Kitchen

There’s some delightful folklore associated with witch hazel. It’s worth being cautious that any folklore you find isn’t actually referring to standard Hazel though. This is of particular note with European folklore, as hazel is associated with wisdom and magic, but it’s not witch hazel, as witch hazel is native to North America and didn’t arrive in Europe until probably the 18th century.

Witch hazel twigs have been used for divination, again, like the common hazel. They are used for finding water or treasure, and as such, have a place in any magical ritual or spell to do with finding things.

Witch hazel is also used as a catalyst for magic, to increase occult powers or a connection to the other-worldly. It’s also associated with protection from evil and negativity, and for mending hurts as well inside spirit and soul as well as the bumps and scrapes it heal outside the body.

Home and Hearth

Witch hazel is a folk remedy for snake bites, and a modern remedy for insect bites. As such, it can be said to ‘take the sting out of things.’ Take this literal meaning and make it metaphysical, and use the plant to take the sting out of something that is bothering you or causing you heartache.

If you are lucky enough to have access to the flowers, place some on your altar or in your sacred space. If you can’t get flowers, use some store-bought witch hazel. Dap some on your palms (patch test if you have never used it on your skin before, allergic reactions aren’t fun!) and adopt a meditative pose with palms reaching towards the sky. Visualise the witch hazel soaking into your skin, coursing through your veins, gripping the source of your agony and carrying it to your lungs.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, if you are able. Then breath out the hurt, breathe it all out. Imagine the witch hazel in your system like a friendly cleaner, taking all the toxic self-doubt, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depositing those feelings in your lungs aaah, a physical mist you can simply breathe out. You can use a candle or artificial light to help focus your mind, or you can simply close your eyes and let the power of your imagination connect you to the healing power of the witch hazel.

I Never Knew…

Due to its astringent properties, witch hazel can be used as a skin toner, closing up pores and making the face seem smoother.

Images credits: Hamamelis Virginiana, public domain, and Hamamelis Virginiana flowers by H. Zell, copyright 2009 and shared under this license.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestorsand Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Gael Song

February, 2019

Contemplative Druidry

During these dark winter days, when the pull inward is strongest, I want to bring up the topic of a contemplative branch of druidry. On my own path, I’ve been led into a silent lifestyle with two half-hour meditations a day, one focused on healing the planet and the other on whatever has arisen in my life that day. This practice has led me through a steady spirit ascension process, planes of light moving down into my aura for 2-3 weeks, then moving out as another color took its place from above. There have been 363 of these planes over 23 years of this continuing spirit practice, always an upward process, coming closer to a bright diamond light at the center of the cosmos that I can see in my mind’s eye.

The silence of my days brings me into very close connection with the spirit world, and I’ve learned to sense and hear the voices of my guides and family of light in the Otherworld over the years. These Otherworldy beings have taught me amazing things: the Celtic regents of those planes of light, the many cosmic cycles these regents overlight and regulate, the meaning of the druid moons and Ogham letters, a vast cornucopia of information I was unable to find in my fifteen years of research into Celtic times before I started my meditation practice. And my guides and family of light are always full of love and courtesy, an abiding, gentle, and profound love that I’ve never experienced in this earthly world. This Otherworld connection I maintain in the silence of my home links me to inner teachers from the far reaches of the cosmos, wisdom beyond imagining, plus that love and respect that I find so very nourishing, love I can no longer live without. I know a silent lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and I’m not suggesting this. But I am saying that taking an hour or so a day in silence to connect with the Otherworld brings benefits that are nearly miraculous. It would benefit everyone greatly, I’m certain of that.

At druid gatherings I’ve been to, there’s often a lot of noise, a rowdy, not always kind, atmosphere. And it brings me out of my inner connection to the Otherworld and sometimes feels like a large drop in the peacefulness and inner love I am used to feeling. Celebration, exuberance, and fun at druid gatherings are good overall; I’m not arguing against them. But I want the magic of my silent times and my interface with the spirit world, too, especially when with others of my own spirit tradition, for it potentiates everything that occurs. I’ve felt spirit magic during musical performances at gatherings sometimes, but the general noisiness interferes with my spirit connection to the Otherworld. The rituals are often lovely, but they, too, do not include moments of silence and are usually so formalized and scripted that I can’t stop for a moment to just listen, to feel the spirits of the trees or lakes nearby. It’s in the silence that spirit messages slip between the small spaces into our hearts and minds, that’s what I think.

And I long for a soul group that I can meet with once a month perhaps, to share a bit of silence and some spirit stories, perhaps, a quiet group, similar to the English Order of the Sacred Nemeton. So far, I’ve not met anyone who has much interest in such a thing, not in druidry, at least. I’d love to hear from anyone who does!

So, here’s to silence, to calling forth the nature spirits and ancestors of light, druid guides from the Tuathe de Danaan, perhaps. Let’s open our own practices, our gatherings and rituals up to the universe, the spirit interconnectedness of all that is. Let’s listen in the stillness for a change, for that’s where the true power is.

***

About the Author:

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

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba Reborn, Alba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

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

Book Review – Psychedelic Mystery Traditions: Spirit Plants – Magical Practices – Ecstatic States by Thomas Hatsis

February, 2019


Book Review
Psychedelic Mystery Traditions
Spirit Plants – Magical Practices – Ecstatic States
By Thomas Hatsis
271 pp. Park Street Press

Although it has been the subject of great speculation and demonetization by various religious and political bodies, psychedelic mystery tradition remains one of the great buried seeds of Paganism, hidden under mythology, misinformation, and religious and political oppression — not to mention suppression of information. In “Psychedelic Mystery Traditions,” Thomas Hatsis uncovers a vast history of psychedelic spirit plants in Western tradition and ritual, focusing especially on Greco-Roman tradition and the early days of Christianity.

From the earliest prehistoric discoveries of psychedelic plants and their spiritual potential to the conflation of their use with Satanic witchcraft, Hatsis delves deeply, weaving together the political scenes in which each stage of pharmaka* use developed, while following a coherent narrative through the years. For those who were hoping for a more international subject matter, it’s useful to note that Hatsis doesn’t verge far from the focus of Europe and the Near East — you won’t find information here about the use of ayahuasca in Peru, or psilocybin mushrooms in China.

What you will find is an extensively-researched, academic approach to a controversial subject that synthesizes herbalism, ethnopharmacology, entheogenic practice, ritual, mythology, politics, religion, and linguistics. This may make the book a bit slow going for those who lack the context for the work, but anyone with a good familiarity with Western mystical traditions, herbalism, early Christianity, or mythology will probably find something to enjoy here.

The book boasts a treasure trove bibliography. Hatsis occasionally cites and refers to his other book, called “The Witches’ Ointment: The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic,” where the subject matter overlaps, but he also taps an impressive number of primary sources, as well as many modern authors. In a few cases, he points them out only to call them out, diverging at several points to argue some misconceptions, such as the popularized idea that ergotism poisoning is similar to the LSD experience (it’s actually much more dangerous, poisonous, and unpleasant), or that the origins of Santa Claus lie in the historical shamanic use of Aminata muscaria (a popular theory for which there is little evidence). It is clear that Hatsis has great love for this subject, but he also preserves respect for the academic process. In exploring the controversy surrounding the historical use of pharmaka, he has an even hand and doesn’t play favorites on the basis of his own bias, pointing fingers not only at those who dismissed or vilified these spirit plants, but also at those who misused and abused these plants for nefarious purposes, such as poisoning, manipulation, and rape.

This rare glimpse into the mechanisms and mythology of mystery traditions is also peppered with humorous observations, as Hatsis refers to bad trips as “what we would call a bummer,” relates amusing historical anecdotes, and makes the occasional pun. But where the book shines the most is in those poetic moments when Hatsis explores the narratives of mythology and ritual that weaved together the experience of pharmaka by exposing and bestowing new cosmological understanding. In these stories, the relationship between humans and spirit plants takes on a life of its own, illuminating both the dark recesses of the human psyche, and the strange roots of spirit plant practice.

Psychedelic Mystery Traditions can be found on Hatsis’ website, https://psychedelicwitch.com/, along with many other writings and YouTube videos as well.

Psychedelic Mystery Traditions: Spirit Plants, Magical Practices, and Ecstatic States on Amazon

[*An all-encompassing Greek term for the various plant-derived substances whose uses included theogenesis, medicine, recreation, aphrodisiac, poison, and more.]

For those whose interests are primarily herbological, here’s a short list of some of the spirit plants and pharmaka mentioned in this volume: 

Aconite, amanita mascara, barley, cannabis, haoma, hash, hemlock, henbane, kykeon, laurel, LSD, mandrake, mushrooms, opium, solanaceae (including but not limited to Atropa belladonna), and wine.

***

About the Author:

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

Crystal Balls

January, 2019

Crystal ball are used for divination (scrying) and spirit summoning. It is a well respected technique of divination and is used through the use of reflective surfaces and taking advantage of the bioplasmic energy (psychic power) in inanimate objects like crystals as it comes from the cosmos itself. If you can tune into that force the crystal ball will be very beneficial.

They should usually be made from clear quartz and can be large or small. Smoky quartz is beneficial if you mainly want to use it for summoning spirits. Manmade crystals are spiritually dead, so use those only for decoration. Natural crystals are what you want. Some people think it is better to be given one as a gift, but personally I think you should choose your own. It is a very personal object so you want to choose it carefully. You should be drawn to it and feel its energy.

The crystal ball is a tool of Pisces and the modern clear round ball is effective because it evokes the image of the moon. Now, some people can’t afford a real crystal ball, but there are other options. Even using something like a glass bottle of water, ink or water in a pan, etc. will give you some results, but the power of a cleansed crystal ball will be much more substantial.

A new crystal ball must be cleansed by exposing it to the light of the full moon at least once (13 times is ideal) before use. A crystal ball covered in negative energy and spiritual debris will cause disturbances and may not be accurate. Also, when you are not using it, you should keep in covered in a dark cloth. A great way to clean the crystal ball is with a blend of spring water and vinegar, charged waters, mugwort hydrosol or a water-based herbal infusion with dried mugwort and/or anise-seed.

Crystal-gazing is a great way to get into clairvoyance. You should stand the crystal ball on a black base or black cloth so that when you look into it there are no distractions. You don’t want anything to draw your attention away. The lighting should be behind you and it’s best to be in a semi-darkened room. Close your eyes and try to empty your mind and be open to the energies and aura around you. Then open your eyes and gaze into the center of the crystal. When you see a shadow or shape, clear your mind and follow them. You may immediately see someone or something or you may see it fill with smoke. The smoke will probably fill up the whole ball and then start to dissipate and leave a scene. This is called clouding.

If you don’t get anything, don’t worry. Keep looking for about ten minutes, but not much more. You don’t want to force anything or strain yourself in anyway. Just give up and try the next day. You will develop your own way of working with the crystal ball. Some see images right away, but sometimes you may need to try for a few days and weeks. Do not strain to get results, just relax and let it happen. At first you won’t have much control over what you see, but as you progress you will adjust and you will improve at clearing your mind and you will start to see what or whom you mentally ask for. If you are constantly getting negative or scary images or feelings you may want to try cleansing it again, cast a protective circle or simply try a different type of divination. Crystal balls just aren’t for everyone. Keep in mind when attempting to communicate with spirits, you should always cast a circle first.

Gael Song

December, 2018

Midwinter and Christmas Spirit Magic

 

(Image from http://visitstonehenge.com/)

As nearly everyone knows, light seeds of what will manifest during the coming year, are sent by the spirit world down hur’s sword of light to the base of everyone’s spine on Midwinter dawn. I can usually feel a sizzling at the base of my spine that day, when I first step out of my little cottage into the daylight. But there’s much more that follows after, which no one at all seems to recognize. As a light healer, reading energies, it’s easy for me to see these. And so, this month, I want to write about what I’ve observed over many years. Those hurian light seeds of the year ahead settle down into the energetic soil of everyone’s womb (both men and women have inner female and male structures inside in light), where they remain for three days, while the Goddess decides the exact form and timing the new impulses of light will take over the year to come. The dark cosmic sea, keeper of all things unborn, floods every person’s abdomen as well. One could call it the unconscious, for it is.

Always, there’s one central thrust of growth for each person over the year to come, growth that will involve facing specific fears or outer challenges meant to build a brand new part of the self within. This new gift or talent is always divine, a small piece of each person’s self-of-light or highest destiny that will eventually emerge during everyone’s final lifetime on earth. This divine self was seeded into us at the very moment of our creation into light, long, long, ago, on the Creator Sun, the highest light structure in the seventh heaven, so say my druid guides. You could think of this new self-of-light that grows into fulness each year as each person’s own divine child of that cycle, too. That’s how my guides speak of it, anyway. Our own divine qualities always reflect the Creators, too, the White Tara and Oghama, Goddess and God.

So, after three days in the cosmic sea, the first structures of the year’s divine child emerge from everyone’s abdominal unconscious and move into each person’s high heart or thymus. The thymus is the inner child heart, where our divine children anchor in most strongly. This happens on Christmas dawn. This child within looks like an infant-of-light, and I find this time most magical, for I can always feel the soft loving-kindness essence of the divine children filling my spirit on that morning. Even amid the bustle of cooking for visiting relatives, I try to find a few moments of quiet to sense what this impulse of growth for the year ahead may bring for me. And this divine infant is one of twelve parts of our inner spirits that everyone has, all twelve with specific vibrations, regencies of the spirit, and directives in life. You could call these twelve parts of everyone’s spirit their personality, too. These twelve parts of our inner spirits exactly match the twelve gods and goddesses of the Creator Sun as well.

And always this emergence of the divine child inside everyone releases a bright beam of hope, a ray of clear diamond light. It will see that, during this first druid moon of the year, the Birch moon, some memory or long-cherished desire will be brought to each person’s attention. This is the first hint of what will manifest for each of us at the end of the coming year, something we’ve long wished for. And this promise of fulfillment stirs up desire from our depths to face and heal whatever fears may be in its way, so this dream will definitely come to be at the end of the year.

Over the year ahead then, this impulse get fleshed out as we push against the thorns and briars in our paths. On Imbolc, the little girl part of each person’s spirit emerges from this abdominal sea. On the Vernal Equinox, the toddler boy emerges. Then the feminine virgin on Bealtaine, the masculine virgin at Midsummer. The inner god and goddess are active during the Oak (May/June) and Apple (July/August) moons, not the solstice/equinox/cross-quarter-day festivals. The inner mother part of our spirits arises at Lughnasa, the inner father at the Autumnal Equinox, the feminine grandmother at Samhein, and finally, the inner grandfather at Midwinter. This is when our new divine part of self is finally complete, fully born into all twelve parts of our inner selves-of-light. It’s the realization of our sweet dream of the year before.

May your own divine child for the year to come be utterly miraculous, bringing an end to want, perhaps, a special destiny, a love like no other. I always hope for the beginning of real peace, unity between peoples, an end to war and privation in the places of most intense global suffering. But these are dreams that will take us all to achieve. For now, it’s enough to feel that sword of light and let it lead you all year long. Let’s walk this road together into the awakening of everyone’s divinity, all of us a shining star in our own personal areas of endeavor. May this season of magic be the very best you’ve ever had!

***

About the Author:

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

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

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

Finding Your Own Way

November, 2018

Chapter 7

Meditating With A Spirit Drum

One of the easiest and most effective ways to meditate is by using a ‘spirit’ drum.

Having been a part of many workshops and drumming circles, I can personally attest to the simplicity and effectiveness of using ‘spirit’ drums for healing and journeying.

If you have a few interested friends and somewhere to go to practice, – you will find that it is an amazing and uplifting experience.

Should you wish to form a circle, you will find that spirit drums vary greatly in price.

A lot of people use ‘bodhrans’ instead, as they are cheaper and can be bought from most music shops. They are hand drums used in traditional Irish and Celtic music.

If you look online, there are many useful videos to get you started. Compact discs are also widely available with shamanistic drumming and Spirit music. I would recommend Native American drumming tracks, but that is just a matter of personal taste, – there are drumming tracks available from many cultures.

If you decide to drum in a group, the biggest obstacle to success will be your own self-consciousness. Having just a small group of two or three close friends will help.

The rewards of overcoming your initial feelings of reserve are well worth the effort.

In a drumming circle, the energy of the drums take over, and the rhythm takes on a collective life of its own.

It is always a good idea to set out your intentions before drumming. Whether you wish to feel uplifted, journey, or send healing to someone, – make your intentions clear before beginning the drumming session. Imagine yourself working within a golden circle of love and protection.

Upload a few tracks online until you find a beat that appeals to you and practice it quietly in private until you feel confident with it. There is no great art or skill required. The most powerful beat is a simple steady rhythm of single beats on the drum. This is called a shamanistic beat.

Spirit Drum Meditation

To begin, choose a quiet area where you will be undisturbed.

Take several deep breaths and tell yourself to relax.

Take a little time to read the poem below and to absorb the images from the artwork

You may play a drumming track quietly in the background if you wish, but it is not essential.

Imagine a golden sphere of protection around you as you work.

Begin with the third eye meditation.

As you breathe out through your third eye, visualise a shining path ahead of you.

Allow yourself to be drawn onto this path.

You can see a fire ahead of you, in the distance, and you walk slowly towards it.

If you see any creatures nearby, take note, as they may be important to you later on in your journeys.

You will see a group of figures around the fire. Some may be drumming. Some may be dancing. How they appear to you will depend on what it is you need to learn on your path.

Spend some time by the fire and take note of whatever you experience there.

Stay near the fire until you are ready to return.

Turn back and walk down the path and you will find yourself back where you started the meditation. Breathe slowly and easily and open your eyes when you are ready.

If you feel uncomfortable at any stage of the exercise, simply open your eyes and you will return to your room, safe within the circle of light.

Finish the meditation by thanking your subconscious mind for its cooperation. Also, thank any Deities and helpers. Then draw the golden circle back to you and close the session.

What you experience and where you go on this journey will vary greatly according to your personal needs. It is always helpful to spend a few moments in setting the boundaries for your journey before you begin. What is it that you wish to achieve? What type of journey are you expecting? Is there some challenge or personal goal that you wish to focus on?

This meditation is particularly powerful when done in a drumming circle.

Be sure to have a drink and a snack before travelling home or handling any machinery.

Write down anything you saw, heard or felt. Especially, note any creatures that you encountered.

Drumbeats

The drums are beating softly in the distance,

Like a peaceful heart. they draw me to them,

leaving life’s conundrums far behind.

Like poetry, with inspirations, much too large for words,

The rhythm opens up my soul and fills my mind.

As I sit and write, the rhythm of the drums still beats within my heart.

In the forest of my mind, I see the shamans dance and whirl.

Orange flames that go so high, they almost reach the moonlit sky.

Somewhere in the Once, or in the Now, they beat their drums for me.

And now the healing magic of their chants is reaching out to me.

Wolves with emerald eyes are in the shadows.

I can hear the eagles piercing cry.

Brother Bear is everywhere, and I can also see.

All the spirits of the native forest watching over me.

Lending me their powers, so I can live the life I never thought could be.

There is poetry in every beat, and magic in the rhythm of the drums.

Through the cadence of his chants, I find the link, the shaman comes.

Healing for the body, for the spirit and the mind,

As I leave this world of consternation far behind,

and find again, the wisdom and the beauty that was meant for all mankind.

This is another meditation for the spirit drum which came to me a few years ago.

It is almost impossible to meditate without finding a great connectedness with the wider universe and the earth around us. This poem is a warning about the way we are treating the earth.

We are all interdependent, – if a single species dies, then we are all so much poorer and so is the legacy that we leave to our children. If the earth dies, – then we die with her.

Whether we have one life or many, we have a duty of care for the planet and those around us.

As we develop through meditation we will feel this much more keenly.

Reaching out to the world and the people, plants and animals around us will bring us much joy.

However, our increased sensitivity brings with it a need to learn to protect ourselves, and a tendency to avoid certain people and situations. Unexpected changes will begin to happen in our lives, as we move into areas of activity that were once difficult to even imagine.

Be prepared too, for resistance from family and friends as you move away from old habits and develop new areas of activity. Much of it will be in a misguided spirit of over-protection, so be patient in your dealings with those who fear the changes in your life will begin to balance out as you forge a new agreement with your subconscious mind. You will be forging a new path in life which is based on your own needs and not the expectations of others.

A Warriors Tears

What will we make of the world when the last rose has died?

When all alone we stand upon the naked earth where once the weeping willow cried.

Where once the sparrow chirped upon the leafy bough,

And now, across the barren wastes, the wind blows soft and low

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Where vast majestic rivers flowed, now runs a ragged little stream.

No fish still swim within its dark and murky flow.

No dragonflies above the bare, baked clay that guides its weary way.

No butterflies delight our eyes with a colourful display.

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Take the seeds of mother earth and scatter them wherever you may go.

We can plant ten trees for every tree that dies.

Cut the fences, chop the posts and let the buffalo run free.

Take the earth back from the greedy; let us share it as we did in days of old.

For when our Mother dies,

Where will we go?

I channeled this in a couple of minutes. The first two verses came in an instant. I added the last verse after a moment’s reflection as a reminder that there is always hope.

For those who drum, it chants well to a basic shamanistic beat or, “drums across the water” (such as you might hear in an old cowboy movie)

My wife, Tina, told me to sing it, and I grabbed my drum.

To my amazement, it just flowed through me. It was a very powerful experience.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

November, 2018

SEDNA

(Image Credit: yousense.info)

The story of Sedna, the Mother and Mistress of the Sea, the Goddess of marine mammals, is, to me, one of sadness and betrayal.

In the Arctic Ocean of the Inuits, Sedna lived with her family. She was very beautiful and was wooed by many in Her community. She refused them, one and all. Her father, taking matters into his own hands, gave Her to an unknown hunter, in return for fish to keep the rest of his family fed. This unknown hunter was, in reality, a bird-spirit, and whisked Sedna away while She was asleep.

Another version states that Sedna went with the unknown hunter of Her own free will, as he promised Her a life filled with everything She could dream of – warmth, and food.

Either way, to Her dismay, Her new home was not as promised, as She found herself awakening on a high cliff, in a nest, surrounded by birds.

She got a message to Her father of Her plight. Her father, Anguta, attempted to help Her by putting Her into his kayak to return Her to their home. The birds, seeing this, flew after them, surrounded the kayak, seeking vengeance for the removal of Sedna from the nest.

To save himself, Anguta, threw his daughter overboard. She reached for the side of the kayak to save Herself and Her father cut off her fingers. As She brought her arms up to reach into the kayak, he then cut off Her arms. Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea.

(Image Credit: Hanie Mold/Pernastudios – Deviant.com)

She became the Queen and the Goddess of the Deep, Her fingers and arms becoming the seals, walruses, whales, those ocean mammals most hunted by the Intuit.

Sedna lived, then, beneath the waves, in the Kingdom of Adlivan, the Intuit Land of the Dead, in a home-made of stone and the ribs of whales. She was responsible for sending the sea creatures to the human hunters to feed their families. She took Her responsibility seriously, but She had a provision that when one of them died, their souls would stay with their bodies for three days, whereupon they would bring news to Sedna of how the people behaved. If any of Her laws were broken, She would not send the food to the hunters. This brought Her pain.

When this happened, a Shaman had to visit Her, by passing through terrifying lands and tests, to heal and soothe Her, until Her pain had passed and things were put right once more.

Sculpture of Sedna in Nuuk, Greenland

(Image Credit: alamy.com)

**My fingers were cut off then

I was kicked

I was hurt

I was wounded

I was lied to

I was betrayed

I was abandoned

My suffering was great

but down below in the deeps

in the heart of the ocean

where I was left to lie

I realized my powerlessness

the way my life was lived

helpless and afraid

always being done to

instead of doing

and saw what I did

As realization expanded my

consciousness

fish and sea mammals

grew out of my cut fingers

I became “old food dish”

She who provided for her people

Victim no more**

**From “The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. Image credit also goes to “The Goddess Oracle”.

***

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) on Amazon

The Bad Witch’s Guide

November, 2018

 

The Bad Witch’s Guide to Shadow Work

 

(Photo by Christian Holzinger on Unsplash)

 

For about the last two months I have spent a lot of time going within and working on my spirit. Some of it has been a choice, some has been circumstances. My health (physically) has been very poor since about July and while I am no longer bleeding nearly to death regularly I felt I needed to find my strength in body and spirit.

I have done a lot of yoga. A lot of meditation, usually every day, sometimes twice a day, and while drawing in the light around me my shadow would not be still. Darkness has a bad rap. It is often mistaken as evil. Rejected and defiled. Repressed and denied, this is the animal within. Animals are not generally evil. Neither is the shadow.

When I started looking at this place, the in-conscious (unconscious doesn’t give it enough credit), in my early 20’s I found it as the wolf. The singer of bones. The true wild. It is that gut animal instinct and for most of us it dwells within our shadow. If I gave it space and respect it spoke to me. It was wise and knowing with strong instincts that are annoying never wrong no matter how much I try and think around them! It kept me alive. Yet this was not some soft puppy. It was the desire to bite which hurt me. Run from the unknown and dig into things I didn’t want to know.

It was never about trying to control the wolf. The wolf is wild and that is how it should be. It was about listening to it, bringing it forward in my mind and analysing why I was feeling this way. The wolf brought me gifts I didn’t understand. Usually dead things from my past. A memory, good or bad. A feeling, usually something sad because I bury the shit out of those!

In slowly accepting my wild-self, that part of the shadow self, I began to go deeper still. Yet I was afraid. I was right to be. For deep in my darkness was a dragon. A dragon made of fire and destruction. A dragon that I could really feel writhe within my gut when riled. This is not a metaphor when that part of me was “woken” my guts would squirm as though something wriggling around in there. A dragon that terrified me. It was scary this beast ripping out of my being and me losing control. Uncontrolled violence and wrath. I locked it down, I repressed it hard. I refused to listen, I even hated it.

It took years of journey work. Years of looking trying to understand. I remember exactly when I met the dragon. I only went to a Dark Moon circle once and as I journeyed I joined a group of female dancers dressed all in red, whom danced covered in sharp blades and barbs. I joined the dance with them and I was cut a few times, we all were. Afterwards in a tent of red drape we compared scars as dancers do, laughing and smiling. Still I was to go deeper. Down, down. Deeper into the caves. At first the caves were cold and water dripped everywhere. Then they became warmer and dryer. There was no light. None at all. Yet I knew the way and there in the dark was a huge faintly glowing red dragon. It was asleep coiled up. Just breathing. It was beautiful. Like copper. I reached out my hand and it was warm and smooth. An eye fluttered open. The voice was like thunder, the deepest sound but gentle. This was new to me.

I asked “what are you?”

I am your pain.”

I began to weep. My fear melted and I realised this beast, this part of myself, had been consuming my pain all my life. That there had been so much especially as a child I didn’t understand I had created this to deal with all the things I was unequipped to understand. Now I understood. That the dragon was like my wolf. A teacher if I listen. A friend if I needed it.

Working in your shadow is a place within The Dreaming. It is both real and metaphor. You might not have wolves or dragons. You might have lions or “demons”. Yet the demons we make are no less real for us making them. They are often woven from our instincts, good and bad and our worst parts. The parts we reject from our Light.

They are our addictions, our vices. Our rages and pain. Our deep grief and sorrow. Yet if we come to them gently and listen they can bring such healing. That is not to say you allow them to indulge. You listen to when, to why, to the triggers. You understand, maybe even speak about it and let the urge go.

When both my parents died within six months of each other and I was cut out of the family by my sister I was devastated in a way I couldn’t comprehend. Being a witch and bi-sexual is just not okay with her. I remember sitting at the dinner table with the real and distinct urge to burn a path of destruction between myself and my sister. Not a metaphorical one. I mean kill and burn everything and everyone I met until I reached her and let fire take her too. It was odd and specific and I simply spoke about it and ate my dinner. A few month later I discovered it was a common tactic by a long dead ancestor (Grace O’Malley) to destroy traitors that way. I gave voice to my shadow, my pain but I did not give into it.

As Samhain comes and then the deeper dark of the year it is an excellent time to look within at the things moving around in our shadows. It is a daunting task, and one often sorely neglected by many magickal practitioners.

 

Simple Shadow Ritual

You will need:

A mirror

Patchouli oil

Candles/soft lighting

Bay laurel leaves

Yarrow (dried)

Frankincense resin

Heat proof container and charcoal to safely burn your herbs.

Notebook or journal.

Soft blankets (get comfy this might take a while).

 

Prepare your space as you would usually. Anoint your forehead and heart with the patchouli oil.

I humbly come to my Shadow’s Gate.

I come to learn not to hate.

I come to see, I come to hear.

Open the Gate as I draw near.

Touch the edge of the mirror with your dominant finger used to anoint yourself in a deosil direction. Keep the light to a minimum but use enough to be safe. Light your charcoal in your cauldron or censor. First adding the yarrow, then the bay, then the frankincense.

Cleanse your body in the smoke and prepare yourself to sit and stare with the mirror. Visualise your “gate” and begin to unlock it. This might take some time. There may be stairs or even just darkness. You may have to “jump”. Your darkness will not be the same as anyone else’s. When you are ready focus on your own face in the mirror. Say:

I see you. I am listening.

You may or may not “see” anything. You might. We spend a lot of time locking this energy away, it may take a long time to open it again. Write what you see in you notebook.

Re-anointing the mirror in a widdershins direction and drawing a banishing pentagram on the glass should you feel the need.

Humbly I came to my Shadow’s Gate.

I came to learn not to hate.

I came to see, I came to hear.

The Gate is Closed I leave you here.

Dissolve your sacred space as you would usually. If you wanted to evoke particular Deities during your opening rites please make sure to thank them appropriately afterwards.

Celebrating Samhain with Norma Clark of Forevrgoddess Boutique

October, 2018

 

Family/Ancestor Memorial

 

Celebrating the Life and Death of deceased love ones with a new tradition.
The Moment your Love one has their Final breath you will miss them, then grief will set in its common to have 7 stages of grieving. Some deaths are quick and sudden, other’s, a long slow process. Death has been with us since the beginning of time. We’re born, we grow, maybe have a family of our own, then reach old age. We pass on to the next journey in life.  

The spirits of other worlds can come and go anytime with enough energy. Others wait till the veil between both worlds are thin then they can burst through. Around Mabon/Autumn equinox & Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve. There are other times spirits can move freely during the year like Beltane and Midsummer eve.

I grew up a weird combination of Irish/Scottish and Salvadoran. My father was white Irish/Scottish and mother was from El Salvador.  Growing up my dad was older he was a quiet man, didn’t speak much. But he was always into the paranormal. My mother was open with Spanish Catholic traditions. She was gifted. She told me of spirits appearing in her life and how they affect things and those around. My father adopted her 6 children from there and brought them to the USA. Life in El Salvador, deep down there, was beautiful jungle and countryside, coffee, plantains and other types of farm land. Where she was from you could see more primal life force spirit still worshiped with New Christian Gods. The Native Indians of her lands had traditions handed down.


This opened a door for many of my mother family and relatives to come here to the USA. For a new way of life to support those down in El Salvador or those here. I know my parents home was a portal, so many have come and gone they felt safe and loved mostly. Here I can’t count the times my mother would get anxious feelings and would call late to El Salvador. We would find out a relative was very sick or passed away. My mom would send money, light a candle, pray to certain saints and the virgin de Guadalupe for support. She used herbs for relatives in need here within our home to help heal them. There were many stories of my mom helping others.

Other times in my parents home spirit might make it self known banging on window, cold breezes moving things, or they would just appear sitting on the couch in the living room. When a relative passed away, she would use the bedroom or kitchen corner by the sink and light 7 day candle, put a photo, glass of water and maybe sometimes she would put some sweet bread.  She said the spirit will need a place to come replenish their energy, to feed from so they could continue their journey to pass messages, or visit living relatives.

For me being Wiccan, being Celtic, I remembered reading about dumbsuppers, to open your door to spirits and ancestors of your family. Share your meal with them. My mother did similar traditions from her home. They would celebrate Dia de Finados, dearly departed. They would make flower arrangements or wreaths to go in the cemetery (tombs above ground). They cleaned tombs, decorated them with flowers and spent the day there. Growing up after my dad died in 1992 we would go to the cemetery and put flowers on my dad’s grave, some on grandparents graves and we’d bring big colorful blankets, food and since we could park 12 feet away, we’d have music playing. Then say prayers for them to bless them. Then talk about the moments we shared with the deceased. Which we continue to do now that my mom has passed on.

With Samhain approaching I wanted to share my story and maybe some ideas to consider. When working with spirits of loved ones, you want them to find their place of rest be it heaven, Summerland, over rainbow bridge, or an other eternal resting place. Look to other articles and books about other resting places. I’ll mentioned a few later to consider. Combine, adapt, create your own unique way to honor departed loved ones or ancestors. Share photos, meals, memories they loved. Write them down in your journal everything you can remember. Don’t be surprised if a spirit makes itself known in your presence.

Do a divination with tarot cards, pendulum, or my favorite crystal scrying to gain wisdom or guidance at this moment in life or the beginning of the new year.

I find a cheap battery candle from the dollar store to light on the altar with the photos of love ones who passed on. I use the battery activated candles to be safe in case my active toddler tries to climb up on my altar or one of my cats get too curious.


Decorate your altar with mementos, flowers, incense, favorite gemstones, even some sweet treat to enjoy, and maybe a glass of their favorite drink. Ask your Patron Goddess or God to bless them in time of rest.

After Samhain if you still sense the presence of departed loved ones, here is a Goddess that lent me help move them to their more appropriate  place: I asked Hekate to help me move my older, playful, black Dog Cholee to her resting  place. She would not leave. She’d been lingering  around our home and back yard for over a week. When working with any Goddess or God Be Respectful,  Give an Offering for their help.

 

Finally I wanted to share a few boxes from my boutique, these boxes are a Memorial for your Dearly Departed Love Ones and Pet/Familiar. We provide Spirit Votives, 4 Gemstones for Crystal Healing – Grieving, and 1 twin soul crystal point, and ideas to celebrate their life in remembrance. We will be adding more items for  Samhain Inspired Memorial Gifts. Blessings of love and light – Norma

Psycho Pomps – Those whom guide the dead to the afterlife:


Valkyries – Norse

Banshees

Hounds of Annwn – Celtic

Hekate

Persephone

Hades

Hermes

Iris

Charon

Charos – Greek

Agwe

Sirene

the Barons -Voodu

For information on celebrating Samhain with the dearly departed and other customs look to the following books:


The pagan book of Halloween -Gerina Dunwich
Halloween -Silver Ravenwolf
Llewellyn Sabbats Alamanc -(Any Year will do)

For More spirit ,Goddess, Gods to help with the deceased, a good book is:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses -Judika Illes

***

About the Author:


Norma Clark I’m Wiccan, My style follows my spiritual path, and what comes to mind.. I live in a small rural town, Paris, Idaho. I share my life With my
Wiccan husband, 2 hyper Children, and gang of critters. I love to create new designs by looking at nature, cultural ideas for my Jewelry and create unique Metaphysical items. COME Sit For A  Spell or Two , And See the Magick of Forevrgoddessboutique

Gael Song

September, 2018

The Astonishing Powers of Intuitive Healing

There are four amazing gifts of healing by simply ‘reading’ the energy or spirit in a person’s aura using intuition and inner sight, gifts I think would help virtually everyone to understand. The first is the ability to tap into the unconscious in moments. As a clinical psychologist, I was trained in the old therapeutic talking method. This means walking clients through memories, often from childhood, in order to bring forgotten fears into awareness. This is because any event that is pushed out of an individual’s consciousness is locked in. Growth from new experiences and healing efforts cannot reach it. Only when the fear is brought back into awareness can the mind apply all that has been learned in the intervening years and choose a new and far more appropriate belief. As a therapist, this was always a magical moment, watching those mental wheels of change whirring away.

But it often took a year or two to talk an individual through their inner barriers to reach core memories that were seriously impacting their lives, like peeling off the layers of an onion to the first moment a mistaken belief was taken in. So, in energy school, I was thrilled to observe that focusing on a shadow energy, reading the memory stored there through intuition or inner sight and telling what I’d seen or felt, brought the memory to awareness in fellow students in seconds. This simple shift convinced me to switch to an energy healing method in my therapy practice immediately. And in the 22 years since, it has never failed, a vastly more accelerated (and cost-effective!) method than the old way, the speed of light brought into therapy!

If you have never ‘read’ energy at all, then start by playing with it. Go up to a tree or flower, perhaps, and close your eyes. Don’t touch it, just be close enough to feel its aura, about 4 or 5 inches away. Then open your mind and heart and feel it. There are vast differences between the tree spirits, for instance, that I never discovered until I tried this, spruces quite protective, with almost a policeman type feeling to them, pines like a warm and welcoming mother reaching for her children. See for yourself. It’s a whole new world! Just try this for a while, and it will reactivate your heart’s intuitive and your third-eye’s visual powers. Then, when you are ready to try healing something, sit down and close your eyes. Run your hand about one inch above your skin until you feel a place of shadow, weakness, or coldness, perhaps, where it just doesn’t feel as full of life as everywhere else. Then, focus on that place and let images come into your mind’s eye or feelings into your heart. It may be a bit vague at first, but with practice, you’ll get a definite reading of what is held in that shadow spot. It took me about 2 weeks, with ten minutes of practicing on trees and other simple things, to begin to get very clear and detailed pictures in my third eye of past life events. But some of the people I have in workshops never get pictures like this, because they have entirely different ways of accessing information in spirit form. Usually such folk feel many fewer details than I do, getting a general sense of the shadow energy in their hearts. And that’s good enough. (A very few people I’ve worked with get their intuitive understandings through scent or sound, which I haven’t a clue how to do.) So just understand that you have your own natural way of reading the spirit of things around you and trust that. It’s right for you.

The second phenomenal power of energy work is how easily shadows or fears can be transmuted into light. In my own way of healing, I imagine my client’s (or my own) shadows moving into the core of my heart, a bright white light there that my guides call ‘the creator flame or diamond light’. My druid guides tell me that our imagination is strong enough to actually move quarks, and this is the level such healings are taking place. This diamond light is a small dazzling star that sits right in the center of the four lobes of the heart, the highest vibration in the human bioenergy field, by far (or the universe, for that matter, for it’s a tiny piece of the highest light structure in the seventh heaven, God and Goddess in union). All shadow energies melt instantly into this diamond light, like watching a little cloud disappear in the sky. I was skeptical at first, but again, over many years, this method has consistently resulted in effective change in students, clients, and myself. Even horrific memories of war or childhood abuse cleared in moments, and I’ve never taken on any residue of another’s fears by bringing them into my heart, either. But there are a lot of levels to be ascended through, so another piece of the same fear might show up later on. In every lifetime, we move through all the fears we took on during our once-upon-a-time descent from the highest heaven to earth. You might heal a fear up to the fourth heaven level, say, and then need to heal the rest of it when you get up to the sixth or seventh heaven in your soul climb. And there is a core fear that’s wrapped into all the others, so that, too, will linger in various forms and permutations all the way along. There are many ways of bringing shadows into the light these days. But no matter what method is preferred, it’s still incredible to think that a fear that has plagued an individual for many years (or lives, or eons!) can be transmuted in the twinkling of an eye. This healing is wizard work, for sure!

But by far, the most miraculous effect of spirit healing is realizing that each individual’s unconscious fears hold the circumstances of her or his outer life in place, and that these patterns can change for the better, simply by inner healing. This becomes very, very clear to anyone doing healings on a regular basis as the spirit world takes all reflections of the recently-healed fears out of each person own little world, annoyances and irritations disappearing within a day. Poof, forever gone! This was one of the basic tenets of energy school. But being told does not compare to the wonder of watching a client’s life shift out of suffering after a healing. My own life has changed radically over the many years I’ve made inner healing a daily practice. But it’s also important to understand that there are many, many fears and lessons to be learned. It’s not instant joy, but a process of gradual growth, the emergence of deep and divine aspects of oneself, and the embodiment of wisdom.

When I used the old talking method, only current life memories ever surfaced. And even after years of traditional therapy, with dedicated hard work by both me and my clients, core structures of my clients’ personalities still didn’t change. But by using an energy method that allowed past life memories to be accessed in seconds, suddenly old and deep, and really core parts of my clients’ personalities began to shift. And the fully actualized self, the inner divinity with a personal passion for global change and hopes of a high and holy destiny, did not begin to emerge at all, until memories of that individual’s descent from heaven to earth began to be healed (not until they reached the fourth heaven in their spirit climb, actually). I think this is the truest and most startling power of intuitive healing, the ability to change one’s outer ‘reality’, to find real and lasting freedom from all the fears that plague our lives. It’s because that diamond light in the heart’s core holds a creator essence. So, it creates everything around it into life, fear and love alike, whatever beliefs our spirit carries. And all of that can shift to pure love and freedom, though that does take years of walking, I admit. Still, creating our own reality is magic, pure and simple! It holds out the promise of totally unhooking fear and suffering from our lives, freedom forever. For once an old fear is healed, it will never have to be faced again, even in future lives, so my druid guides tell me.

But the most miraculous power of intuitive healing is this. All that remains in the collective unconscious, the many fears humanity has not yet faced and healed from everyone’s long-ago fall through those seven heavens to earth, is brought up into awareness for healing by the spirit world via global events. In my clients’ and my own life, global catastrophes have caused ancient and very personal memories to surface, over and over again. So this means, if everyone on the planet were to go through an inner healing process, these outer global circumstances would change for the better, too. My druid guides tell me that, if everyone were healed within, all fear-based outer circumstances would shift into loving ones. This means that: mental illness, disease, poverty and excess both, crime, displacement from homelands, even war, would disappear. The times of peace and love sages have spoken of throughout the ages would become a living reality. Imagine this for a moment, will you? Let the shining hope of this miracle of miracles flutter into the depths of your heart and take root, please. Then let us all take hands and move forward to face and heal whatever we must, until peace on earth is at long last realized. I cannot wait!

***

About the Author:

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

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment

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