March, 2017

Merry Meet

March, 2017

Ostara

 

                  WELCOME

 

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Welcome to the March issue of PaganPages.  We feature great information, articles, interviews & reviews for you this month!  Such as…

 

Elen

 

An interview with Elen Sentier: British Shaman who  walks in the Deer Trods of Elen of the Ways, and has written about this and many other magical topics.

 

spiritanimals

 

A Book Review of “The Key to Spirit Animals from Communication to Meditation”

by Dawn Baumann Brunke

“The aim of this book is to engage spirit animals in more conscious ways.”

Rachel

An interview with Rachel Patterson: The Kitchen Witch.  Rachel Patterson, or Tansy Firedragon, is an accomplished witch with a passion for learning.

 

Yemaya1

Learn of Yemaya In our Goddess of Ten Thousand Names Column.

witches

And an opinion piece by NanLT on what a Real Pagan is in her column Spiralled Edges.

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Crystal Connections

March, 2017

Amethyst

 

amethyst1

(image courtesy: Shijewels https://www.etsy.com/shop/shijewels)

 

Having long been known as the stone of sobriety, amulets and goblets were made of Amethyst to prevent drunkenness. In addition, it assists in ridding oneself of addictions and bad habits. This spiritual stone vibrates at a higher frequency, helping to block and transmute lower vibrations to a higher spiritual frequency. It also has the ability to clear blockages and assist in connecting with more beneficial energies keeping you in line with your souls true path.

 

 

amethyst2

 

(image courtesy: Shijewels https://www.etsy.com/shop/shijewels)

 

This mineral is proficient at bringing both the mind and body to a tranquil state during meditation allowing one to move into a higher state of consciousness. Though this crystal works wonders for the mind, it’s also a powerfully protective stone, guarding against any negative energy. For these reasons alone, I have Amethyst placed throughout my home as well as an addition to my pocket stones.

 

amethyst3

 

(image courtesy: Shijewels https://www.etsy.com/shop/shijewels where all jewerly is for sale.)

 

Amethyst was one of the first crystals that my dad gave me. It was actually one that he had purchased, and I remember being so excited because it was my favorite color. The color spectrum for this crystal ranges from pale lavender to an intensely rich violet. It’s been said that Amethyst is the first crystal that most lightworkers buy for their crystal toolkit. I can’t honestly tell you which crystal, mineral or stone was the first in my collection, however I can tell you that by count it’s the second largest group of crystals that I own just slightly behind my collection of Smoky Quartz. I would have to agree, and say that Amethyst would make an excellent and powerful addition to either a personal collection or a lightworkers toolkit. With so many positive attributes you just can’t go wrong with this crystal.

MagickalArts

March, 2017

The Moon in Other Forms: Qabalistic

Although not an apparent correspondence, I have chosen the discipline of the Hermetic Tree of Life as another source of deepening your solar connection. If you are unfamiliar with the basic principles of the Qabalah, please refer to the link at the bottom of the page. You will find enough information there to allow the opening of another overlay of understanding of the Lunar Principle.

magickalarts

 

YESOD – FOUNDATION

Planetary Attribution: The Moon

Milky whiteness and gown

Of luminescent light

Sparkles through veils

Of fertile dreamtime.

Images of shape and form

Arise borne on gossamer wings

Of faery flight and angels beckon

From heavenly clouds of

Rhythmic and billowy breath.

 

Shining mirror reflects back the

Beauty of gifted mortal’s soul

And yearning feeds the hunger of

Unfulfilled desires and needs.

Behind the mask of eternity the

Phantom smiles a gaping grin

And spidery fingers tap out

The rhythm of carnival’s retreat.

Memories flood the pages

Of dusty shelf-worn books

While the drone of life story’s

Narrative hums and buzzes

Around the hornet’s nest.

Each stinging more precisely

Each leaving an indelible

Mark as the honey sweetly

Drips from the catacombs

Of Queen Bee’s grand design.

 

Within the sphere of mystery

The moon glows ever bright

And eyes that have no use

For human sight peer deeply

Into the cavernous dark

Moving carefully through the

Storehouse of illusion.

 

But once the vault is opened

And inspiration comes

Shard-like slicing through

The test has been mastered

The seeker now illumined

And filled with Luna’s grace

Moves boldly and sure-footed.

The mind has been set free

Fragile fingers reach ever upward

And the heart waits patiently

Behind the reflection of

The midwife’s closed door.

Water of Air

The Lesson of the Sphere

Keywords

Illusion

Thought Forms

Dream World

Memory

 

The Energy of the Sphere

In Hebrew, the word Yesod means “foundation” and the “sod” portion alone means “mystery”. This should give clue as to the energies of the qabalistic sphere of Yesod. It is the stuff of dreams, fantasies, memory and the dwelling place of true magick. This sphere holds the key to the unknown and the unknowable. Just as matter itself resides in Malkuth, the focus and energy that make it “living matter” is contained within the essence of Yesod. As we descend from the higher spheres and move through the varied energies of each of the preceding we come to rest in Yesod, the beginning phase of creation of a thoughtform; the storehouse of  images only,  without the benefit of the life energy needed before these images can move into a state of manifestation in Malkuth.

Yesod is known as the “Treasure House of Symbols”. It is here that the Akashic records, which are said to contain the memory and experiences of every living being are held within the substance of Aether (spirit). This attribute alone can give rise to illusion, false conceptions and a deluded sense of Soul’s purpose. It is a world of shadow and illusion; being held in a state of “in-between”. It sits above the physical plane of Malkuth, yet lower than the Divine/spiritual plane that would provide the necessary discernment to determine what is illusory in nature and that which is a true expression of reality. By virtue of this state of mediation and filter the function of Yesod provides informed access to the Astral, which holds the necessary accumulation of symbols and images that can be further classified, processed, filtered and assimilated to allow movement to the higher realms. Ascending on the Tree these images and collected information come from the place of the concrete manifest energy of Malkuth and human experience.

And, in downpour those pure ideas and mental processes of Higher Mind co-mingle with what is reaching upwards. Yesod is the place of allegory and allusion to things of a higher nature.  Because the information is often muddled or distorted (as in the fun house mirror) it becomes necessary to strengthen the emotion of Trust. Trusting that the information being revealed is the truth emanating from a pure source, and trusting that you will be able to learn the appropriate lesson of the allegory.

Yesod is notably the sphere of the moon. And, just as the physical moon of our world goes through its tides and cyclical changes and has great effect on our physical earth; this principle is also true of the interaction between Yesod and Malkuth. The Moon was man’s first timekeeper and generated awareness of the seasons, the water’s ebb and flow, evolution and change. It also gave light to the awareness of the cyclic nature of life and the natural surroundings.

Moving through the energies of Yesod is to move in accord with the Cosmic Law of Rhythm; the natural cyclic nature of all things and the evolution and transformation at the level of the Soul through these waters of higher life.

For more about the Qabalah:

Boot Camp: Just the Basics

https://qabalisticjourneys.com/2017/01/06/qabalah-boot-camp-just-the-basics/Qabalah

 

books by R. Fennelly:

The Inner Chamber: Volume One

    • Poetry

  • of the Spheres (Qabalah) – 2012

    Temple of the Sun and Moon – 2016

    For more information on books by R. Fennelly you can visit: http://www.robinfennelly.com/books.html

    Interview with Rachel Patterson: The Kitchen Witch

    March, 2017

    Rachel Patterson: The Kitchen Witch

     

    Rachel

     

    Rachel Patterson: The Kitchen Witch

    Rachel Patterson, or Tansy Firedragon, is an accomplished witch with a passion for learning. She has written numerous books and is the High Priestess of the Kitchen Witch Coven, and an Elder of their School of Natural Witchcraft. I caught up with Rachel to find out a bit more about her craft and her writing.

    Mabh Savage: Can you summarise what it is to be a Kitchen Witch?

    Rachel Patterson: It is a term that has been used in the past to describe someone that is a bit of a food expert and actually nothing to do with witchcraft at all. It is also a term used to describe a Scandinavian doll that is hung in the kitchen to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

    Now whilst I do like to think I am a bit of a whizz in the kitchen I am also most definitely a Kitchen Witch. I follow the path of the old ways, I work with the Goddesses and the Gods and I work the Craft. So, what makes me specifically a kitchen witch? I like to use whatever is at hand, I don’t need fancy schmancy tools or expensive items and I work a lot of my magic when I am cooking food or working with herbs and plants.

    I do have beautiful tools to work with but I find that most of the time I prefer to use whatever nature provides, for instance I have several beautiful hand crafted wands but what I tend to use is my finger. When I am working in a circle I cast it with herbs and I use natural items such as stones and feathers to represent the elements. I do have a cauldron but you could use an old casserole dish, I don’t use a chalice as such, I use a glass from the kitchen cupboard (although you can get some interesting and beautiful glasses from charity/thrift shops). If you want an athame then a vegetable knife or even a potato peeler work perfectly and if you want to use a wand how about a wooden spoon?

    The kitchen is and always has been the centre of the home probably originally because the fire was kept going to cook the food and was therefore the warmest room in the house. It is a place where I feel comfortable and ‘at home’ and that is not just because I love food…It is in my kitchen that magic happens.

    MS: You also go under the name Tansy Firedragon. Is this your magical moniker, and can you tell us how it came about, or is it a secret?

    RP: Tansy Firedragon is indeed my Craft name and I have used it for many years. Tansy came from a visit to a local Roman palace where they were hosting a Celtic re-enactment day. There was a lady cooking ancient Celtic recipes and a lot of them used the herb Tansy, one in particular caught my attention and that was Tansy pudding. The name resonated with me and as I love working with herbs and cooking it seemed to fit me well. Fire is my favourite element to work with and I work with dragon magic a lot so that fell into place too.

    MS: Can you tell us a bit about the talk you recently did at The Enchanted Market, in Bracknell?

    RP: The Enchanted Market is now in its third year and is run by Max and Baz from the band Spriggan Mist and it is a wonderful event to be a small part of. My talk this year was about Animal Magic and working with spirit animals. I talked about where to start to find your spirit animal guide, how to connect, how to keep working with guides and we also did a meditation to meet an animal spirit guide. We had lots of different animals appear such as deer, frog, bat and even a dung beetle!

    MS: How many students does the Kitchen Witch School have, and how do you manage your teaching alongside being an author and a busy witch?

    RP: The numbers vary as we are online and therefore open to students from around the world but I co-run the school with my friend Tracey Roberts (Sunchylde Dryadmoon) and we split the students between us so that we can always provide one to one mentorship. It is very important to us to always be available to our students and never to take on too many so as to be overwhelmed. We also have a team of Hearth Guardians who are students that have worked through the three levels at the school and have either already earnt their High Priestess titles or are currently working on it. They provide another level of support to Tracey and myself but also to the students.

    I am always busy! I also have a job out in the real world and two school age children so life is definitely all about finding the balance. Thankfully I work from home so it is easier to fit everything in, I don’t always achieve it but I try. The key for me is having a schedule, I use bullet points in my diary to plan out each week. And in recent years I have also learnt that it is OK to say no sometimes. I always felt that I had to do everything that everyone asked of me, which leads to being totally exhausted and overwhelmed. Now I weigh up each request and see how it fits into my diary and how it impacts other things. My family and own wellbeing has to come first.

     

    animalmagic

     

    MS: Your upcoming book is Pagan Portals: Animal Magic. How did this volume come about?

    RP: Working with animal spirit guides is one of my favourite areas of the Craft to work with and we teach about it within the Kitchen Witch School and we have run workshops as well so it seemed the natural next step to put it all together in a book.

    MS: Who will this volume appeal to? Does it matter what path the reader is on, or is it accessible to people of all spiritualties?

    RP: Hopefully to everyone! Although I am a Witch I have also delved into all sorts of magical pathways including Shamanic practice so it has elements of all sorts within the pages. I hope it offers something for everyone no matter what journey you are on.

    MS: Previously you have written about topics as diverse as Hoodoo and The Cailleach. Do you find that you can work across many magical paths, and do you have a favourite type of magic, one that calls to you more than others?

    RP: My witchcraft journey started in Wicca but probably because at the time that was the only structure of learning available to me. I did complete all three of the Wiccan degrees but I also started to venture off in different directions. I love to learn and I love to study so I have ventured into Hoodoo which I found I was working with a lot of anyway as it has folk magic roots but I have also studied all sorts of different pathways taking bits from each one that resonated with me and added them to my own practice. I am a bit of a miscellaneous witch really. In fact, at a recent talk a lovely lady suggested that I was a cocktail witch; lots of different flavours blended together with a paper umbrella and a plastic monkey…I like that description.

    If you had to pin me down I guess the path of a Kitchen/Hedge Witch is my real calling with a bit of goddess spirituality thrown in for good measure.

    MS: You write a great deal about magical food and plants. How did you first discover the intertwining nature of food and magic?

    RP: Working with herbs was one of the first areas of the Craft that I really connected with. I love gardening, cooking and eating so it all felt very natural to me. Once I had worked with herbs for magic it seemed only logical that food ingredients would have magical properties too.

    As a busy working mother and wife, I have to work a lot of my magical practice into everyday chores and cooking is one of my passions and also a daily necessity so it just fell into place that I add magic into creating food.

    We also started baking cakes for our open rituals and workshops…we have ended up with a bit of a reputation as cake witches…

    MS: Is there a special or sacred place where you can relax and unwind, away from the hustle and bustle?

    RP: My garden is my sanctuary. It is not large (we live in a terraced house on the edge of a city) but it is the place that I love to escape to. There is something magical about sitting in the peace and quiet of the garden surrounded by plants that I have grown and tended.

    MS: What’s your favourite festival throughout the year, and how do you mark or celebrate this?

    RP: This is a tricky one because although I originally learnt and followed the dates of all the sabbats, a few years ago, I realised that I was not connecting very well with most of them mainly due to the mad weather we have. I suspect Mother Nature is menopausal. When it was too warm to wear a coat on the winter solstice and geraniums were still flowering in January it all seemed a bit upside down. So, I started to work more with the energy of each month rather than dates of festivals on a calendar and then it progressed and now I actually work with the energy of each day. One of our lovely Hearth Guardians calls it ‘falling off the Wheel’.

    My birthday is 31st October (yes really) so I should like Samhain best but I prefer the energy of December and the build up to the festive season, so Yule is probably the festival I feel most connected to.

    MS: What books can we expect from you next, after Animal Magic?

    RP: I have three more signed contracts:

    Witchcraft…into the wilds – the manuscript for that is nearly finished.

    “A book that leads us through the wilds of nature and back to the roots and bones of witchcraft, a natural witchcraft that works with the seasons and all the natural items that Mother Nature provides drawing on magical folk lore and a little bit of gypsy magic too. No fancy schmany tools or ceremonial rituals, this is about working with the source. Mother Earth provides us with the changing of the seasons and within that turning of the year she gives us everything we need to work magic with from natural energy in the form of storms, rain and sunshine to tangible items packed full of magical energy such as seeds, leaves and stones.”

    And then probably for 2018:

    Pagan Portals: The Triple Goddess

    “An introduction to the mystery and magic of the Triple Goddess exploring her history, meaning and individual faces.”

    And:

    Beneath the moon: Witchcraft and moon magic for a deeper practice

    “A full and in depth book about working with the moon and the magic that she offers.”

    What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have music that you enjoy, or a favourite book to lose yourself in?

    I love to cook, specifically baking whether it is bread or cakes.

    I love to read and my favourite author by far is Terry Pratchett.

    My husband is in a rock band so music is always a big part of our life and my favourite band is Fleetwood Mac.

    I make sure I have spare time and that is spent with my husband and children.

    Who has been your biggest inspiration along your magical journey?

    I have had some very good teachers during my years but I think the honest answer to this question is ‘my students’. The people that I have walked beside during their journeys have taught me so much.

    And finally, what are you looking forward to most in 2017?

    I am very blessed to be able to do what I do so continuing to write and share with others that which I have learnt and to spend more time with my lovely family. I do count my blessings, perhaps not as much as I should but I am thankful for the life that I lead…so more of the same for 2017 would be great!

    Find out more about Kitchen Witchery at http://www.kitchenwitchhearth.net/ and http://www.rachelpatterson.co.uk/, and you can follow Rachel on her own blog, at Witches and Pagans and via Patheos.

    Mabh Savage is a Pagan author and musician, as well as a freelance journalist. See is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft. Follow Mabh on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

    SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

    March, 2017

    Zodiac Tarot Spread

    spellcrafting

    Merry meet.

    A new zodiac year begins March 27 at 7:59 p.m. (on the East Coast) with the new moon in Aries. It’s an opportune time to do a manifestation spell using all twelve houses of the zodiac. While this is written for a group, changing a few pronouns will make it work for a solitary.

    To prepare for the ritual, place a copy of the zodiac wheel in the center of the table or on the floor, and put a candle at each of the 12 houses plus one in the middle to represent Spirit. Candles can relate to each the sign that rules each house (such as red for the first house that is ruled by Aries, a fire sign) or they can all be white. You will also need one or more decks of tarot cards per person. Oracle cards can also be used, but so can photographs, images cut from magazines, or other representations. Select a card to represent what you want to manifest in the coming year for each of the 12 houses. By reading through the ritual first, you can select the cards you wish to use before you begin, or you can take the time to do it at each step.

    The wheel is held so that the first house, known as the house of self, is located from 9 o’clock to 8 o’clock on the circle. The wheel moves counterclockwise, with the second house spanning 8 o’clock to 7 o’clock, and so on. Each house is briefly explained below, and wording is suggested for when each candle is lit. When all 12 are complete, there will be a blessing to offer gratitude for its fulfillment.

    To begin, ground and center in your preferred way. When my coven did its zodiac ritual, we called the quarters, so you’ll see the elmental candles in the photo. (You’ll also notice that the wheel goes the wrong way on the plate used in the center.)

    Light the center candle and say, “On this night, we bless the year to come. Our will be heard. Our will be done.”

    Beginning with the first house, allow time for each person to select the card that represents what they’d like to manifest in the coming year that is related to this house. Then, light the candle and say, “Goddess and guides, see our desire. To manifest it, we light this fire.” An alternative could be “_______ (name of natural planetary ruler), see our desire. To manifest it, we light this fire.” More detailed words can also be written for each house. For example, for the first house, you might say,“Mars, hear our desire. Bring us opportunities to begin anew to create ourselves and the world we desire. To manifest it, we light this fire.”

    Each candle can be lit individually, or the candle for the second house can be lit from the first house candle, and so forth around the circle.

    When all twelve houses have been addressed, conclude by saying, “This ring of fire burns with our desires. We offer gratitude as their fulfillment transpires. Power flows from candle fire and brings to us our hearts’ desire. Our circle is strong around the sun. So mote it be, our spell is done.”

    Each house is explained below.

    The first house is about self-image. It is our appearance and the personality we project to others, our general outlook on life, and our relationship with our immediate environment. It is ruled by Aries whose natural planetary ruler is Mars.

    The second house is about self-worth and money. It is ruled by the sign of Taurus – and its planet, Venus – and has to do with our sense of self-worth. It rules money and personal finances, basic values and possessions.

    The third house is communication, research and exploration. It’s how we interact with our immediate environment (siblings, neighbors, co-workers) as well as thoughts, speaking and writing. Gemini rules this house and Mercury is its planet.

    The fourth house is about roots and security, family and home. Ruled by Cancer, it has to do with our psychological foundations, our home life, ancestry and our sense of security. The moon is the planet associated with this house.

    The fifth house is about self-expression, creativity, romance and pleasure. It relates to awareness, creative self-expression, all forms of play, hobbies, romantic relationships (lovers as opposed to partners), drama, and adornments. It is ruled by the sign of Leo and its planet, the Sun.

    The sixth house is work and jobs (as opposed to a career), daily life, health, nutrition, service and helpfulness, how we perfect ourselves, and pets. Virgo rules, along with its planetary ruler, Mercury.

    The seventh house is about partnerships and marriage – companionship, counselors, competitors and our own shadow selves. It is ruled by Libra and its planetary ruler, Venus.

    The eighth house, ruled by Scorpio, is about transformation, sexuality, death and rebirth, addictions, psychology, and the money of others (taxes, alimony, inheritance, etc.). Its planet is Pluto.

    The ninth house is about our own personal belief system, exploration, higher education, long-distance travel, publishing and commerce. It is ruled by the sign of Sagittarius and its natural planetary ruler, Jupiter.

    The tenth house is concerned with your career or profession, reputation, social standing, achievement, material success and governments and. Its ruled by the sign of Capricorn that has Saturn as its natural planetary ruler.

    The eleventh house is about aspirations, personal goals and our inner purpose. It’s also about friends, acquaintances, organizations and groups. This house is ruled by Aquarius; ruling Aquarius is Uranus.

    The twelfth house has to do with soul growth (and undoing), secrets, karma, hidden strengths (and weaknesses), spiritual studies and dreams. Pisces presides over this house; Neptune is its natural planetary ruler.

    If you don’t get to do this for this new moon, your birthday could provide another opportunity. Rather than manifesting, drawing a card for each of the houses would make it divination.

    Merry part, and merry meet again.

    Book Review: The Key to Spirit Animals from Communication to Meditation by Dawn Baumann Brunke

    March, 2017

    BOOK REVIEW

    “The Key to Spirit Animals from Communication to Meditation”

    by Dawn Baumann Brunke

    “The aim of this book is to engage spirit animals in more conscious ways.”

    spiritanimals

    So, the author says, and so it is.

    “The Key to Spirit Animals” is exactly what this book is. It begins with explaining what a spirit animal is and how we may all have several spirit animals, as well as a lifelong Spirit Animal, which we can discover following her guided meditation. Ms. Brunke suggests keeping a Spirit Animal Journal and includes *journal prompts* throughout the book.

    The author explains how we can work more closely with nature to establish a clear and close connection with animal messengers, as well as our lifelong Spirit Animal. As we strengthen this connection, we begin to communicate with the animals around us. This connection becomes stronger as we become more aware of our surroundings and focused on the fact that anything can be a message from our Spirit Animal or an animal messenger. Ms. Brunke gives suggestions on how to strengthen our intuition so that we are more able to clearly interpret the messages we receive.

    There is a section on Shadow Animals, which represent our shadow selves, our fears and what may inhibit us from seeing that which surrounds us. Shadow animals force us to look deeply into ourselves and see from a different perspective.

    Some of the meditations included in this book are:

    Shamanic Breath Meditation

    Meditation to Help Find Your Lifelong Spirit Animal

    Meditation to Speak with Your Spirit Animal

    Meditation to Invoke Animal Guidance

    Meditation for Animal Projections

    Meditation to Share Consciousness with your Spirit Animal.

    The author gives examples on interpreting, communicating and communing with spirit animals, as well as integrating spirit animal guidance into your life.

    The largest chapter, by far, is that which is dedicated to the animals themselves, what they symbolize, what they teach us and what questions to ask ourselves when we turn to them for guidance.

    As someone who has had a lifelong Spirit Animal but has recently felt called by yet another, I believe this is a book I will turn to occasionally to help me to interpret the guidance that I am receiving.

    All in all, this is a very informative book if you have an interest in discovering and working with your lifelong Spirit Animal, or just in communicating with the animals that surround you in nature.

    Ostara Correspondences

    March, 2017

    Spring Equinox (March 20-22 in Northern Hemisphere)

     

    Ostara

     

    (Oh-star-ah) – Lesser Sabbat – Spring/Vernal Equinox, March 20-21st – when the Sun enters Ares

    Other Names: Ostre, Oestre, Eostre, Rites of Spring, Eostra’s Day, Lady Day, First Day of Spring, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Alban Eiler, Bacchanalia, Mean Earraigh, Pasch, Caisg, Pess

    Date: Spring Equinox (March 20-22 in Northern Hemisphere) or when the Sun is 1 degree Aries.

    Symbolism: The beginning of spring, new life and rebirth, the God and Goddess in Their youth, balance, fertility

    Goddesses: all love, virgin, and fertility Goddesses; Anna Perenna (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek), Astarte (Canaanite, Persia, GrecoRoman), Athena (Greek), Cybele (Greco-Roman), Blodeuwedd, Eostre (Saxon Goddess of Fertility), Flidais (Irish), Gaia (Greek), Hera, Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Minerva (Roman), The Muses (Greek), Persephone (Greek), Renpet (Egyptian), Venus (Roman), Ostara (the German Goddess of Fertility), Kore, Maiden, Isis, Youthful Goddesses. Faerie Queen, Lady of the Lake(Welsh-Cornish), the Green Goddess

    Gods: all love, song & dance, and fertility Gods; Adonis (Greek), Attis (Greco-Roman), Cernunnos (Celtic), The Great Horned God (European), Liber (Roman), Mars (Roman), Mithras (Persian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Thoth, Pan (Greek), the Green Man, Hare, Youthful Gods, Warrior Gods, Taliesin, Lord of the Greenwood (English), Dagda(Irish),Adonis (Greek)

    Symbols: Eggs, rabbits, similar to easter symbols.

    Purpose: Plant and animal fertility, sowing

    Meaning: The God comes of age, sexual union of the Lord & Lady, sprouting, greening, balance of light and dark

    Essence: Strength, birthing, completion, power, love, sexuality, embodiment of spirit, fertility, opening, beginning

    Customs: Wearing green, new clothes, celtic bird festival, egg baskets coloring eggs, collecting birds eggs, bird watching, egg hunts, starting new projects, spring planting

    Foods: Hard-boiled eggs, honey cakes, fresh seasonal fruits, milk punch, leafy green vegetables, dairy foods, apples, nuts, flower dishes, sprouts, fish, maple sugar candies, hot cross buns, sweet breads, milk, punch, egg drinks

    Plants & Herbs: Acorn, celandine, cinquefoil, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, Easter lily, Irish Moss, ginger, hyssop, linden, strawberry, gorse, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, jonquils, narcissus, olive, peony, rose, tansy, violets, woodruff and all spring flowers

    Incense and oils: African violet, jasmine, rose, strawberry, lotus, magnolia, ginger, sage lavender, narcissus, broom

    Colors: Light green, lemon yellow, pale pink, pastels, gold, grass green, robin’s egg blue, lemon yellow.

    Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, rose quartz, moonstone, bloodstone, red jasper

    Animals and Mythical Beasts: Rabbits/Easter bunny, snakes, pegasus, unicorns, chicks, swallows, merpeople

    Decorations: Daffodils, tulips, violet, iris, narcissus, any spring flowers, eggs, butterflies, cocoons

    Spell/Ritual Work: Garden/plant blessings, seed blessing, spellcrafting, balance, growth, communication, invention, new growth, new projects

    Planetary Ruler: Mars

    Element: Air

    Gender: Male

    Threshold: Dawn

    Looking into the Eye of the Dragon

    March, 2017

     

    Dragoneye

     

     

    Look into the eye of the Dragon and despair.” – Merlin initiating Morgan la Fey in the film “Excalibur.”

    A Druid of my acquaintance put this short dialogue into my hands. He refused absolutely to comment on it, but said I might do with it what I wished. So I am laying it before all of you:

    A red-haired lady came to see me the other day. She said she had been having visions of angels, and she told me her visions in great detail. Among other things, she said that they control the weather.

    She was a nice lady. I said that I did not doubt that she had had visions of angels. Then she said, “Then you accept my visions?” “I did not say that,” I said.

    “Then you doubt my visions?” she said. “Nor that either,” I replied. “ I too have had visions, and so do other people. They do not always agree with each other. But they are all visions, sure enough.”

    “Then you don’t think visions are real,” she said. “You don’t really believe in them.” And she stressed the word “really”.

    “They are real enough,” I said. “All of this that we are seeing right now is a vision. We have learned how to agree about it, so it is a common vision. But it is a vision just the same, and not necessarily the last word on what is real.”

    “Then what is real?” she asked, stressing the word “is”.

    “A good question,” I said. “What is all this? If you look with that question in your heart long enough, you will see beyond vision, beyond these scenes of angels, or demons, or what-have-you. You will see what is here. We call that ‘looking into the eye of the dragon.’ But that is only a manner of speaking.”

    “What happens then?” she asked.

    “When once you look into the eye of the dragon,” I said, “things are never the same, because you are never the same. We say here that to look into the eye of the dragon is to lose the human form and become the dragon. In fact, everything becomes the dragon.”

    “But how can everything become a dragon?” she asked, a little nervously perhaps.

    “The dragon,” I corrected her. “Not a dragon. The dragon.”

    “All right,” she said, a little testily. “the dragon. But how does everything become the dragon?”

    “Everything becomes the dragon,” I said, “by virtue of already always having been the dragon.”

    “I don’t believe it,” she said. “You tell me my angels aren’t real, and now you want me to accept a dragon – all right, the dragon – as real.”

    “It doesn’t make the slightest difference whether you accept it or not,” I said.

    “It’s an ugly thought, anyway, looking into the dragon’s eye and becoming the dragon. I’m going back to my angels.”

    “That’s right,” I said, “why shouldn’t you? Stick with your angels as long as you can. There isn’t much advantage in seeing things as they are.”

    She got up to go, then looked for a moment into my eyes and sat down again.

    That was when I knew she’d been telling the truth about her visions.

    “Is it – is it fearsome?” she asked.

    “It is,” I said, “it is most terrifying. But not in the way you think.”

    “How do you know what I’m thinking?”

    “You’re thinking it might be dangerous, like a lion. It is not dangerous in that way at all. It can’t threaten you; it can only become you.”

    She shivered and said, “I don’t want to become a dragon!”

    “If only it were really a matter of becoming a dragon!” I said. “But unfortunately, calling it a dragon is only a way of flapping our gums, of having something to say. In reality, no one can say what it is. It’s here, that’s all.

    Dialoguing with Morning Spirits

    March, 2017

    morning

     

     

    When we awake in the morning, we undergo a change in consciousness, and at first we bring with us vestiges of the dream-state, including the voices and moods associated with dream figures. As these fade, we often experience a temporary state of clear calm, when we say “I haven’t woken up yet.” Then the morning moods begin, and if there
    is anything troubling us about our current lives, it often makes itself known at that time.

    Because our culture, which inherits the Medieval injunction against “traffic with spirits,” conditions us to believe that whatever occurs in private experience belongs to us alone, we have a tendency to identify with these voices, which means we often fall victim to the most negative ones. Thus we all know people (ourselves, perhaps?) who get into “morning moods” and are best left alone at that time. These moods are often partially covered over by the necessity of getting breakfast and driving to work, but they may
    still be in evidence as we drive, grumbling at other drivers or rehearsing some scenario we fancy will be upcoming at work.

    Those of us who went in for therapy before the insurance rules changed may recall that therapists recommend we dialogue with ourselves at times when we feel troubled. We were advised to come to recognize certain voices that recur as sub-personalities with
    whom we need to negotiate and eventually integrate into a greater inner harmony. The notion of eventually achieving full integration with these other selves remains a sort of myth, projecting a paradisal state into the future instead of the past. In practice, the voices recur and we must continue to dialogue with them.

    Now, the essence of pagan religious (that is to say, life) practice lay in action rather than belief. For that reason, it isn’t necessary to believe that these other voices are spirits, nor, for that matter, is it necessary to buy into the modern myth that they are sub-personalities seeking some ultimate integration. We needn’t regard them in any particular way, so long as we dialogue with them. Dialoguing with morning spirits involves listening to them, while at the same time maintaining a sense of separation from them. When you talk to another person, you do not start lip-synching their words.
    You remain aware of receiving a communication, which means that you are separate from the source of that communication. In the case of our morning spirits or voices, it is enough to feel sufficiently separate from them in order to dialogue. Thus, if the feeling or idea arises that you cannot surmount your problems but will surely succumb to misfortune, you can hear that and then mentally review the number of problems you had six months ago that you have dealt with, and continue to deal with. This can be regarded as an inner conversation, though it is not different from creative reflection.
    You can characterize it any way you like, so long as you do it.


    But if you wish, as neopagans, to regard this activity as dialoguing with morning spirits, you are certainly free to do so. And do not worry about the popular notion that “only crazy people talk to themselves.” If you are truly conscious of yourself and how you
    live from moment to moment, you will know that talking to oneself is the commonest activity for everyone. The trick is to do it more consciously, and not automatically accept every train of thought that arises, especially in the wee hours when we are freshly awake
    and more vulnerable to suggestion.

    Interview with Elen Sentier: British Shaman

    March, 2017

    Elen Sentier: British Shaman

     

    Elen

     

    Elen Sentier walks in the Deer Trods of Elen of the Ways, and has written about this and many other magical topics. She is awenydd, spirit keeper, and keeps old British ways alive, passing them on for future generations. Elen spoke to Mabh here at Pagan Pages about her books, her magical life and more.

    Mabh Savage: Your most recent release is Merlin: Once and Future Wizard. What inspired you to write this volume?

    Elen Sentier: Well, actually, my publisher had the idea and commissioned it. It was great fun, and it seemed that he was thinking about Merlin at the same time as I was, and more than that, he didn’t want yet another academic-style treatise but something more personal. Our conversation ended with me saying, “Well, I’ve known him [Merlin] all my life.” To which Trevor replied, “Well, you’d better write him then.” Trevor also dreamed up the title – Merlin: Once & Future Wizard. He must have read the English author TH (Tim) White’s lovely sequence of hurian novels, The Once and Future King. It certainly fits Merlin as I’ve always known him.

    MS: What were the biggest challenges writing this book? And what did you enjoy the most about it?

    ES: Oooo heck! Challenges … I suppose, really, the worst was, and still is, exposing myself. In this day and age of debunking, especially esoteric stuff, it’s very scary to come out about have a personal relationship with someone known as perhaps the most famous wizard in the world. I could imagine the comments of “Oh come off it!”, and the potential shredding by academics. I talked about it with my husband who reminded me of the Hamlet quote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” It worked, began a new way of feeling for me. And then I remembered some work, early on, with my psychology teacher, Ian Gordon-Brown. He disagreed with an experience I’d had in an active imagination exercise, shredded it in fact. Then, at the end of the session he came over to our little group and said, “Wait! I must say something. I’m sorry, Elen, you were right and I was wrong. Your experience is yours, I should not have shredded it.” Remembering those two things, Hamlet and Ian Gordon-Brown, gave me a new vision of reality, and so the courage to get on and write the book as Trevor had asked me to.

    I still worry, on and off, now, and I’m slightly nervous when people ask me about it, but I’ve got a handle on it now. It’s mine, it’s real, it happened and – even more important for me – it’s useful to others.

    What did I enjoy most? Oh, the memories. I loved reliving the memories. Time-travelling. That’s what you do when you go over memories, you travel in time. Remembering the journey with my French teacher, when I was sixteen, was amazing and has encouraged me to spend a week in Brittany this summer, going there on my own two feet instead of in a spirit-journey. There was also a wonderful closeness feeling as I retold the story of how I came to live where I do. That’s all Merlin. After all, hereabouts is both one of his birthplaces and, nearby, is one of the places where his crustal cave is in the stories. I’ve been there, to the top of the little mountain called Mynydd Myrddin, taken students there, and every one of us has had a marvellous journey to the cave.

    MS: Your author page tells us you grew up surrounded by mythology and cunning folk. What’s the most enduring memory of your formative years on Exmoor?

    ES: There are so many! I loved going out with Uncle Jack. Sometimes we would sit under a tree most of the night, in the dark, watching and listening to the wild night-animals come round us. We sat very still, I learned what fun it was to be still from a very early age, how wildlife would come up to you, and that if you screamed and fussed and shouted you never got to see anything. Uncle Jack could call wild hawks down to his wrist, and owls too, and I’ve sat beside him when he had an adder twined round his wrist, stroked her even. And I can still call owls now, and ravens.

    MS: What inspired you to pass on the old ways of British shamanism and magic?

    ES: I think it was the shouting! Otherworld can be rather like the Vogon guards in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I sometimes think they’re only in it for the shouting! They pestered me, shouted at me, hung spirit-carrots in front of me to lure me on, fed me fun happenings, and generally coerced me into passing them on. And they’re right, it’s great fun, students are great fun and so are readers. Readers quite often come back to me, through Facebook usually, with comments and questions and descriptions of things that have happened to them. I love this, and I often learn from them too. I’m always happy when I get feedback from readers.

    Also, I feel it’s absolutely vital that we remember that, here in Britain, we have our own tradition. Archaeology tells us there’ve been humans here for at least one million years, and they even found little goddess amulets. Then there’s the cave with the sophisticated abstract reindeer drawing over in West Wales; the faint scratchings on the wall show a reindeer with a spear in its neck, and date back 14000 years. We have plenty to know and learn here, from our own spirit of place, spirit of Britain, we don’t need to look abroad, and the world will be richer for us remembering and bringing the old ways to light.

    MS: Do you feel more at home in the Welsh Marches than you did on Exmoor, or does each place have its own magic for you?

    ES: I love both, and Dartmoor too which is where I was born and lived until I was about seven years old. And part of my soul always lives in the far north Highlands of Scotland, in Assynt, and also on Orkney. I have spirit-memories from many places. I love living in the Welsh Marches now, it’s home, and although I still travel it wonderful to come back. And I love going back to Exmoor which I do with my students every autumn for their practical workshops. Each one has its own magic, its own spirit of place within the over-lighting spirit of Britain.

    MS: Do you have a favourite book that you have penned so far?

    ES: Very difficult, I’ve loved writing them all. I think, if pushed, I go back to the novels. I love writing fiction and all my fiction is bound up with the old ways of Britain while, at the same time being stories of mystery, danger and love. I’ve learned a great deal throughout my life from reading good fiction, probably more from that than from non-fiction, after all we all live a good story, don’t we? I hope I’m slowly contributing to those.

    MS: And what’s your favourite book to read for pleasure?

    ES: It changes all the time, with my mood, the seasons, the weather. If the house was burning down, or I was about to be dumped on the desert island I’d have to demand to be left with more than one. At the moment the choice would be The Wood Wife by Terri Windling, The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart, Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K le Guin, and the 10 Amber novels by Roger Zelazny. There, you see? All fiction LOL.

    MS: Who or what inspires you the most, either as an author or as a magical person?

    ES: Waking up every day to something new to do. Working for otherworld – which is what I do – is such fun, and anything that’s fun inspires me. I really do get something new to do, write, explore, teach, tell, draw, paint, sing or just enjoy, every single day. Oh, and the dreams each night are good too *smile*.

    MS: What new books can we expect from you in the coming months/years?

    ES: Well, I’m under contract to finish the Numerology book at the moment, it should go into production over the summer. Then I’m contracted to do a compilation book called “Conversations with Witches”. It will be a collection of conversations with witches coming from all sorts of British traditions and will be a lot of work but great fun to do. And I’m going great guns with the third novel too. It’s another mystery, and romance, set in London and down in the Cathar country of southwest France, which I know very well. And no, it’s not another variation on the Da Vinci Code! It’s being great fun to write and I hope you’ll all enjoy reading it as much as I am writing it.

    MS: Most people might not be aware that there is a tradition of British Shamanism. Can you tell us a little bit about being a British Shaman?

    ES: Ooof! There is one fundamental principle to the old ways of Britain and that is to ask. We ask everything, all the time. Other traditions speak of anima (spirit or soul) in all things and we know this too, and we act on it. We ask the trees and the spirits of place, the rivers and the hills, and all the spirits of otherworld … but we also ask things many folk consider inanimate like our car, fridge, computer, teapot, the house we live in, the central heating, etc etc. That likely sounds fairly weird because most people are not used to it. But it works. You can ask my students if you like.

    Asking, being able and willing to ask, put you in a whole different relationship with everything. By asking, you acknowledge it has spirit, is alive in its own way, can help you, and also has its own opinion on what you’re doing. That is truly acknowledging you are connected to everything. It’s hard to learn for many, they come to it in the middle of their lives, already very well ingrained in the idea that humans are top-dog and everything else is here just for us to use. Learning to ask tips all those ideas on their heads.

    So we truly work with everything, knowing ourselves to be the most junior species on the Earth, and learning from everything else, for everything else is our elder brethren – and all shamanic traditions teach that, including ours.

     

    Elen2

     

    MS: How have your presentations on Merlin, Thresholds and the Fatherless Child been received?

    ES: Very well, very enjoyable. I’m now looking forward to do the workshop on it on 2-4 June at my home here in the Welsh Marches. There are a couple of places left … but probably not for long.

    MS: Once and Future Wizard is a Pagan Portal, an introductory volume; would you expand upon this at any point to give us a larger volume on Merlin?

    ES: I really don’t know. It’s one of the questions I’ll be asking when I go to Brittany this summer. I’ll be staying in what was the old Broceliande so it’s a good place to ask. It’s possible …

    MS: What is your favourite time of the year, or festival, and how do you mark or celebrate it?

    ES: I love all our seasons, and the eight seasons of the year in our old ways. The busiest season for me is from Midwinter through Sun-Return and on to 12th Night. I’m working every day then, partly because of the biodynamics we do. Midwinter is the turning of the year, the real new year because this is the time the sun itself turns around, from midwinter the days begin to get longer again, so this is my new year celebration, not the silly human calendrical 1st Jan. I celebrate from Midwinter’s Eve, 20th Dec, right through to the Wassail of 6th Jan. perhaps the most important part of the celebration is making the biodynamic potion of frankincense, gold and myrrh, the three things represent upperworld, middleworld and lowerworld. It begins on Midwinter’s Eve and the potion is gradually made up to 5th Jan then, on 12th Night (6th Jan) I sprinkle it on the garden.

    MS: And finally, what are you looking forward to most in 2017?

    Finishing the novel! It has to be that, I’m loving writing it but I need to get it out there … it needs to come to birth.

    You can find out more about Elen and her work at www.elensentier.co.uk and on Twitter, Facebook and her book are widely available.

    Mabh Savage is a Pagan author and musician, as well as a freelance journalist. See is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft. Follow Mabh on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

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