July, 2019

Welcome

July, 2019


Cover art: This month’s cover is brought to you by Avalon Kisbey from Aurora and Avalon Creations & The Pagan Planner. Born in Canada, but raised in the UK, Lisa (AKA Avalon Kisbey) went through a huge spiritual awakening in 2015. Being drawn to Celtic Goddesses particularly to the Welsh Goddess Blodeuwdd. Lisa fully embraced the Pagan Path with avid studying, following inner guidance and working with her Spirit Guides. Lisa practices Solitary as an Eclectic Witch. As a novice planner Lisa was saddened that there was such a lack of beautiful yet practical designs for Pagans, especially given how much they love to journal and record. Designing with that in mind became the foundation of Aurora and Avalon Creations. For all Avalon’s great designs you can find her on Instagram at The Pagan Planner or on Etsy at Aurora and Avalon Creations.

This month’s Free Downloadable Gift is given to us by Avalon Kisbey of Aurora and Avalon Creations & The Pagan Planner. Just download this lovely Planner Page and print it on regular or sticker paper for your enjoyment!

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It Has Been Quite A Start to the Month. Between the Heat & the Internet Issues, Where do We Begin? How about with a Late, But Great Issue, Featuring…

A Review of the Book ‘Waking the Witch’ & Interview with Author Pam Grossman a Busy Witch with Her Own Podcast Show and Set of Emojis Out!

An Excerpt from the Forth Coming Book ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’ by Ashley Leavy, Titled August Native Moon

Our New Column ‘Pixie Witch Kitchen’ Teaches you How to Bake these Delicious Rosemary Scones with Blackberry Jam & Lemon Drizzle, All While Teaching you the Magick Behind the Ingredients!

In Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times, Saoirse Discusses the Myth of Noah and the Ark, as well as, Other Flood Myths in Differing Religions all Leading to the Important Topic of Climate Change. An Important article, Indeed!

We Review the Book ‘Pagan Portals: What is Modern Witchcraft’ An Anthology Which Takes a Step Up, Out, & Away from the books We are Accustomed to Reading and Covers Topics Relevant to Today’s Witches.

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August Native Moon: Excerpt from the Forthcoming Book ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’ by Ashley Leavy

July, 2019

August Native Moon

From ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’ by Ashley Leavy
Available August 20 from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group

The thirteen Native Moons in Cosmic Crystals are by far the most difficult to describe. With so many different Native tribes, cultural traditions, and important stories, finding common threads is not always easy. In most instances, the main moon name given is the most commonly used name among the Algonquin tribes, and the listed alternative names come from other well-known tribal peoples from North America, Central America, and South America.

As you read about the Native Moons, put yourself in the shoes of those who lived in harmony with the natural cycles. Consider the lessons from the deities and totem animals that can be applied to present day life. What are the commonalities between yourself and the tribal people who were some of the first in the world to name the moons each month? What is different in your own life compared to the lives of those who gave these moons their names? What wisdom can you take away from recognizing those differences?

When working with the lunar rituals for the Native Moons, push yourself to find new ways to incorporate the corresponding totem animals and healing herbs into your ritual. Remember, your ritual may be as simple or as complex as you like. The point is to create a moment of sacredness between you and the moon, so listen to your inner guidance for how to customize each ritual to meet your needs.

AUGUST

The Grain Moon

The Grain Moon is named for grains, such as corn and barley, which can now be harvested. Fishing tribes know this as the Sturgeon Moon, named after the fish that are abundant at this time. Other tribes know the August full moon as the Red Moon because it often takes on a reddish color. Still others call this the Lightning Moon due to frequent late-summer thunderstorms.

To connect with the energy of the Grain Moon, place a small bowl of dry grains (e.g., corn, barley, or rice) in your sacred space or on your altar. Surround the bowl with Ruby Fuchsite stones to represent the sharing of this abundance with those you love. You may even choose to have one stone to represent each specific person in your circle of close friends and family.

ALTERNATE NAMES Barley Moon, Lightning Moon, Red Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Swan Flight Moon, Women’s Moon

ANIMALS squirrel, sturgeon, swan

COLORS gold, green, yellow

CRYSTALS Green Grossular Garnet, Heliodor, Ruby Fuchsite

DEITIES Laqan Kachina, Mashe-Namak, Mikew, Nisk-Na Peu – the Goose Master, Urubutsin

ESSENTIAL OILS rosewood, tangerine, tea tree

HERBS eucalyptus, lemongrass, rose petal

KEYWORDS abundance, connection, magic

GREEN GROSSULAR GARNET This abundance stone connects to the Grain Moon by reminding you that with hard work, there will be plenty to harvest down the road. Green Grossular Garnet enhances your connection to the plants and animals of the earth. Work with this stone if you’d like to find balance between modern life and more traditional ways of living.

HELIODOR A yellow variety of Beryl, Heliodor shines with the color of golden grain. This crystal helps you recognize abundance all around you and connects you to all that is. The more connected and grateful you feel, the more you have to be thankful for, because things are drawn to you like a magnet. Helidor is also a stone of magic and facilitates mystical experiences.

RUBY FUCHSITE This rock, also called Anyolite, is a combination of two minerals, red Ruby and Green Fuchsite. This crystal corresponds to the heart center and instills empathy and compassion. Wear Ruby Fuchsite in a medicine bag over your heart to facilitate a connection with others. This energy is perfectly suited to the Grain Moon, a time of celebration and sharing the abundant harvest.

About the author of ‘Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting with Lunar Energy’:

Ashley Leavy (Madison, WI) is the Founder & Educational Director of the Love & Light School of Crystal Therapy. Teaching others about crystals is Ashley’s passion and her purpose. Ashley’s experience is based on almost a decade, and 100+ classes, of professional crystal healing training. Because of her expertise, Ashley has been a featured guest on NBC, has been interviewed about crystal healing for dozens of radio shows, has had articles published in many newspapers and magazines, and has been featured as a guest blogger on hundreds of energy healing and wellness blogs. She is also the author of Crystals for Energy Healing.

Learn more at quartokno.ws/CosmicCrystals.

Cosmic Crystals: Rituals and Meditations for Connecting With Lunar Energy on Amazon

MagickalArts

July, 2019

Our Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Four

Continuing this series of posts about the Energetic Anatomy and our seat of power that comes from ourselves as a Divine Source of co-c

The Nadis and Meridians: Specific Energetic Pathwaysreation….

The Nadis and Meridians are highly specialized energetic pathways that run in multiple directions throughout our body. It is these pathways that Chinese Medicine, Accupuncture, Accupressure and other healing modalities make use of by way of stimulating the flow of Chi energy to move in a non-restricted and healthful pattern.

The Nadis are highly specialized and localized pathways that align with the Chakras and act upon the energy flow moving up the central column, inclusive of the spine, spinal fluid, and the nerve bundles. In the Eastern Kundalini Yoga practice the Nadis and the rising of the Ida and Pingala coiling up the Sushumna is the serpent fire that opens the awareness of the practitioner to union with his/her Higher Nature.

The Ida is the lunar (Feminine) energetic path and the Pingala is the solar (masculine) energetic path. The union achieved at the Crown chakra is the product of the combined polarities of moon and sun, feminine and masculine giving birth to the Divine Child of your Higher SELF.

The Meridians are the pathways of the body that help to regulate and maintain a balance of flow from organ to organ. Each major Meridian or channel is responsible for a specific organ and their surrounding structures. The Meridians play a major role in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the treatment of dis-ease, thought to be cause by a disruption of the natural flow of the Chi within the body.

There are 12 major meridians in the body:
• Lung meridian
• Large Intestine
• Spleen meridian
• Stomach meridian
• Heart meridian
• Small intestine meridian
• Bladder meridian
• Kidney meridian
• Pericardium (Circulation/Sex) meridian
• Triple Warmer meridian
• Liver meridian
• Gallbladder meridian

Exercise:

Let’s begin with a very simple exercise to run pure energy through the chakras

A Chakra Renewal Meditation

©Robin Fennelly 2002

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths, allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. Now, shift your awareness to visualize seven clear glass spheres within your energetic self, each aligned with a specific chakra point along the central column. And approx. 7-8 inches above your head is an eighth glass sphere. This is the transpersonal chakra; the gateway between your parts of Self and the Divine.

Beginning at the root chakra, visualize the sphere filling with ruby red energy and light. As it continues to fill it becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with vivid orange energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with sunshine yellow energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with emerald green energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with sky blue energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with indigo blue energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with amethyst purple energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

You have reached the uppermost sphere, that of your transpersonal space. See this sphere fill with brilliant white light. It pulses radiant light and seems brighter than those below it in clarity and intensity. When it has reached capacity, see all the spheres equal in size, perfectly transparent and filled to capacity with colors that are clear and vibrant. Allow this image to permeate your being for several minutes. Feel the strength and power in each of the spheres and connect with this enlivening energy, engaging all of your sensations.

Visualize a line of energy moving upwards from the ruby red sphere of the root chakra. This energetic pathway is the same hue of red as that contained within the sphere itself. It moves, and swirls and as it reaches upwards it blends and mingles with the orange energy within the sphere of the belly chakra. Allow the integration and synthesis of this energy to build and circulate.

Now, extend this energy and visualize it moving upwards towards the yellow of the sacral chakra. Allow it to blend and merge creating an energetic column connecting each of the three spheres in turn. Each, feeding one into the other, merging and unifying into a singular stream of vibrant and pulsing energy. Continue in this manner moving up through each of the chakra points rising all the way up and ending at the transpersonal chakra.

When reaching the transpersonal chakra, allow the brilliant white energy of the transpersonal sphere to pulse, infused with crystalline luminosity. As this energy builds it becomes brighter, fuller and more expansive. Allow this energy to grow and expand until it is overflowing and spilling down, pouring its energy into each of the spheres below it. Each, in turn filling with the brilliance of Light, the vibrancy of their individual colors fading and folding into the density of a brilliance of white. This transformation continues downward through each chakra and when it returns to the root chakra allow this energy to circulate, moving up and cascading down through each of the chakras for as long as is needed.

When you feel energized and have a sense of balance, beginning at the transpersonal chakra, see this energy slowly dissipate as each globe clears and returns to a state of transparent glass. Move downward from one sphere to the next. Each in turn fading in brilliance, returning to its resting state of transparency and size.

When you have returned to the root chakra and the spheres are once again clear pure transparent glass, chant a sustained “ OM “ to complete the working and coalesce the rate of vibration within each of the chakra columns in each of the subtle bodies.

References:

Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)

***

About the Author:

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

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

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

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

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Review of the Book ‘Waking the Witch’ & Interview with Author Pam Grossman

July, 2019

Waking the Witch
by Pam Grossman

Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman has a decidedly different “feel” than most of the books currently on the market about Witches, Witchcraft and what it means to be a Witch in the 21st century. Her academic background of a degree in cultural anthropology with minors in art history, creative writing and comparative religion has served her well in crafting a book that is beautifully woven with very thorough research and on point references that are easily recognizable by anyone reading.

Waking the Witch begins with the traditional Introduction, is separated into eight (8) chapters and ends with the “Afterwyrd”, a purposeful play on words and apt ending to the journey laid out. Each of these offerings is rich in contemporary reference that evolves from well researched historical references that brought to light many nuances of the why’s, and where’s of identity of the Witch that I would venture to guess many are not aware of. The result is one of being able to engage both the seasoned practitioner and the seeker new to the path in ways that are relevant, thought-provoking and empowering.

What Ms. Grossman finished in approximately a year and a half until completion is clearly a reflection of a lifetime of experience, reading, learning and research that has produced the clarity of intention and a distinctly palpable feeling in Waking the Witch.

I particularly appreciated the content of Chapter 1: The Good, the Bad and the Wicked,which sets the tone for what follows with a lengthy and very in-depth introduction to the archetype of the Witch that has pervaded much of our cultural bias and misunderstanding of what a Witch is. Ms. Grossman brings to light the impact that the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum and its concept of the “good” Witch and the “bad” Witch laid as the groundwork for an enduring and over simplified polarity of positive and negative. We learn that this classic tome was not only influential in its archetyping of the witch, but that the author himself had long been interested and (part) of spiritual practice and philosophies as a theosophist. Add to this Ms. Grossman’s introduction to the reader of the first threads of her alignment of the Feminist component of the Witch….

… It’s a spectacular story, not only as a parable about friendship and truth-seeking, but also due to its exceptional originality. The Emerald City, the

Yellow Brick Road, magical slippers, a brave farm-girl protagonist, and

of course, the good and bad witches are all now seemingly timeless

icons from what some have called “the first American fairy tale.”

But several of these ideas were not invented by Baum ….

In fact, a great many of them can be traced to the influence

of his mother-in-law, the suffragist and equal rights

pioneer Matilda Joslyn Gage…(Chapter 1)

We go on to learn more about Gage and the overlapping of the efforts of the suffragists and abolitionists, theosophy’s philosophies and the far reaching effects of these on society’s concepts of power; specifically feminine empowerment.

Finishing this chapter, my curiosity was piqued. So, when the opportunity to speak at length with Ms. Grossman about this treasure of a book, saying yes meant looking behind the curtain to reveal the Witch who was in control and find out a bit more about her thoughts, hopes and intentions in writing Waking the Witch. These are some of the key points from our conversation.

Ms. Grossman’s book takes a deep look into the Feminist ideology and identification and how many of these are the same assignations given to the Witch as their individual underpinnings tread a similar path. I wanted to dive a little more deeply into her experience as a feminist and as a Witch.

Robin Fennelly (RF): There are many different layers to the word “Feminist”. What does being a Feminist mean to you?

Pam Grossman (PG): I was raised to believe that the definition of a feminist is simply to believe that people of all genders should have equal worth and therefore should be treated equally. And, it really is that simple. Now, there are others who use the word “womanist” or “humanist”. I realized there are associations with the feminist movement, especially those who believed the second wave of the movement was for middle-class white straight women and so for some the word feminist is not their favorite word.

RF: When we hear the word “Feminist” automatically a specific gender comes mind, versus the polarities offered. How does that fall into gender identity?

PG: I think it is a word that has evolved. A third wave of feminists was what I grew up to know in the nineties. And, now we are allegedly experiencing the fourth wave which is more intersectional and driven by digital communities and dialogues. So, it is a word that is really important to me because just like the word “Witch” people have for so long tried to shame those of us who have chosen to describe ourselves as such. I am really glad that we have moved past the stereotypical image of a feminist and it is now more inclusive of all genders and preferences.

RF: How do you see this evolving?

PG: I feel the big drive for Feminism and Witchcraft alike has to be about us being as compassionate and intersexual and interconnected as possible. And that means both honoring your individual experience and your background. This means not saying we are all the same, because we aren’t. We all have different amounts of privilege we are born with. We all have different amounts of pain we are born with. So, I don’t think it is correct to say that we are all the same, and therefore we should never talk about how we are different. I think what we need to do is listen to each other and honor one another’s differences while at the same time celebrating the larger values of humanity (as a whole) that I believe we all need to be fighting for together.

(The humanities flow strongly through this book and are used as a vehicle for highlighting the influence culture has on our perceptions. This thought process is clearly evidenced in the subtleties of application of the product of these two worlds of overlap giving new meaning to the conceptualization of the archetype, the semantics and the deeper meanings of the Witch. Using this format, Ms. Grossman provides us with enough evidence that you can find the Witch in most anything whether transparent or in all of her power. I was curious about the development of these sensibilities in Ms. Grossman’s own experience and her choice in using the arts so prominently in her book.)

RF: When did the synthesis of these ideas emerge for you and take shape?

PG: It has been a gradual evolution. But, the first group of artists who really opened my eyes to the fact that art could be magic, and vice-versa were the female surrealists. I fell in love with the work of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington when I was a teenager. Another major influence was the book, “Women ists and the Surrealist Movement” by author Whitney Chadwick. I happened upon this book in the gift shop of the Metropolitan Museum at the age of fourteen and it just blew my mind. Through these images it was as though they (Varo and Carrington) were painting the stories of the fairy tales and myths that I loved, but adding their own personal details to them; making it almost autobiographical. This became the big key for me with the realization that you could make works of art and infuse them with magical intention and magical truths, and in doing so it would occupy this nether space between art and magic where the two overlapped.

(In Chapter 6: The Dark s: Magic Makers and Craft Women, Ms. Grossman delves more deeply into the world of art and its influence in our perceptions of the Witch and her depiction. In what she calls the “magico-artistic” family tree she includes five women who exemplify the uniting of art and the craft. I wanted to know more about this alignment.)

RF: You talk about the word craft and its deeper meaning to you as a synthesis of arts and magick. Could you speak more to that?

PG: I love the fact that this word can be used when it comes to making art, but it is also part of “Witchcraft”, and some people say we are “crafting” our own lives. To me it means working with intention and focus and being actively in relationship with the work. So it is neither passive such as…”I am simply a receptacle for something”, but it is also not completely based in the ego, ie: “I am responsible for all of this”. I think craft implies that it is part of you and part of the divine or at least coming from an unconscious base and that you are actively working with it with intention and with the idea that it can grow and evolve as a living, fluid system.

(Throughout Waking the Witch, Ms. Grossman really drives home the concept of the Witch as a truly Universal Archetype that can be found throughout many cultures and spiritual practices. Staying with that idea, I wanted to know more.)

RF: How do you see or perceive some of the now popular Eastern practices aligning with what your definition of the Witch is?

PG: I feel they are very relevant. In the book, I am writing about the Witch archetypally and sometimes that archetype is just a character in a film, or can be someone’s political stance as a feminist or it can have many other meanings. But, I am also a practitioner and it was important to represent that too. When I say I am a Witch, sometimes I mean that as a metaphor and sometimes I mean it literally. I cast spells. I am pagan. I have an altar. A lot of practices I have learned, certainly meditation, any type of body-work, such as yoga or any of the things popularized through the “New Age“ movement, I have incorporated into my own practice. I am certainly using more of the Western Witch (British Witch) as an archetype, because that portrayal is one that most people associate the Witch with.

(As our conversation neared conclusion and my reading of the book felt like the first reading of what would become a frequently returned to favorite, I was intrigued about the origin of the title. Being “woke” has been used in a variety of ways and I didn’t have a sense that this was yet another derivation of that word’s intention. So, inquiring minds wanted to know.)

RF: Why did you choose the title of “Waking the Witch” for this book?

PG: “Waking the Witch” is a song by Kate Bush that I really love. So, it is a wink to her and that song. But, what she is really referencing is a really dark bit of witch history. During the witch craze in Europe and later in the New England colonies one of the ways to get confessions from accused witches was to torture them. And one of the forms of torture was sleep deprivation. You would wake them in the middle of the night and ask them all of your questions and if they were tired and weak enough they may confess to being a witch. So, it does have a really dark connotation. I love reclaiming dark things and making them sparkle but it really is more of a multi-layered meaning.

I am also seeing more and more people in my life and in society waking up to their own power, and their potential. And, many of them are gravitating towards Witchcraft or some sort of magical expression, or an alternative spiritual practice. I don’t believe that everyone has to be a Witch, but I do believe that this waking up and raising of consciousness is a really crucial one for us all to become better citizens of this planet if we want a future of sustainability and the type of societies we desire to rebuild we need people to awaken spirituality. Love really is the answer. Loving our planet, the bodies we are in and the people who share this world. So, the title, “Waking the Witch”, really gives me a lot of hope and the idea that people are waking up to what I hope to be a new chapter of humanity.

(My sense after hearing this explanation is that Ms. Grossman has offered an opportunity to the reader to uncover the bits and pieces of our memory of those deeper connections with the Witch and give a poke to what can be the evolution of that reclaiming of power within oneself and the writing of a new history and archetype. In keeping with her thoughts I wanted to know what she envisioned for us collectively.)

RF: What do you feel we could do as a collective (community) to empower the feminine and awaken this power to change those beliefs and challenges that are failing us?

PG: One thing that I find frustrating about those who purport to be spiritual or get involved in Witchcraft for a sense of self-empowerment. That’s great, but it won’t get you very far unless you take that empowerment and healing and make use of it to be in service to something greater than just yourself. I believe a lot of people are attracted to alternative spirituality because they need healing and to be told that they are valuable because our governments, religious structures and businesses don’t currently support the fact that people of all genders, backgrounds or sexual orientation are of equal worth. So I understand why Witchcraft is very attractive. But that is just step one and we need to then talk about what is next. To me the what’s next is connecting to other people and being of service to them, the planet and all that inhabits this space with us, seen and unseen.

To quote from the Afterwyrd (coming from the word “wryd” which means fate personified or the Anglo-Saxon view of personal destiny), Ms. Grossman offers up her vision of the destiny of the Witch…

The redemption of witches and the ascension of women will be

forever interlinked. That both are happening at this moment

in time is no coincidence. Each is a reflection of the other.

And, so my last question to her was a reflection of this.

RF: What would you say to someone picking up your book for the first time and unfamiliar with the Witch, the Feminist and the practice of Witchcraft?

PG: Everything matters greatly and, that we shouldn’t take anything too seriously. That there is a sense of sacred reverence needed, and play that is equally holy too. There are those who get lost in the gate keeping of Witchcraft and the stance of the Witch and Witchcraft having to be very tightly structured and restrictive in the do’s and don’ts of what is acceptable and what makes you a “Real” Witch. There is no room or flexibility to enjoy the mysteries and the unknowable. I think that so much of life is standing in mystery and not knowing everything and being open to continuing to use our imaginations to keep remaking the world. And because of that we can have fun as Witches and practitioners of the craft and continue to grow and evolve into our place of power.

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Ms. Grossman about her book, Waking the Witch. The book is dense with information and insights and much has been left out of this review as it is a work to be experienced and savored in its complexity and breadth of reach. One comes away from the reading realizing this is both a cautionary tale and a text for those who choose to step up in a way that is very empowering but also very pragmatic and practical in its use in a modern and continually evolving world.

Our conversation ended with my request for what Ms. Grossman would like to share about the writing of her book…

PG: Although I may not call myself Wiccan, I still owe such a debt of gratitude to all of the writers and amazing creative spirits who came before and the rich history they have preserved and created. I have learned so much from earlier writers and generations and I hope that this book honors them too. I hope this is a continuum of a conversation we have been having for a long time and I hope people who have grown up with a Wiccan or Pagan practice will feel honored and included too.

I believe this final statement sums up the overall hope and inspiration that flows throughout Waking the Witch. That being one of not simply a story about how the Witch came to be, but how intimately woven that word and all of its aligning descriptors are a model for the potential we have as humanity for change, resilience and growth once we allow ourselves to awaken to the possibilities.

Links to Other Goodies FromPam Grossman:

Visit the author’s web page:

www.pamgrossman.com

The Witch Wave Podcast

Witchwavepodcast.com/

WitchEmoji

The #1 iMessage sticker pack for all of your Witchy needs.  It contains Witches, spell craft objects, familiars, and magic symbols in a variety of skin tones and colors.  Let WitchEmoji help make your texts more magical.

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Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power on Amazon

***

About the Author:

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

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

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

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

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review – Field Guide to the Spirit World: The Science of Angel Power, Discarnate Entities and Demonic Possession by Susan Martinez, Ph.D.

July, 2019

Book Review
Field Guide to the Spirit World
The Science of Angel Power, Discarnate Entities and Demonic Possession
by Susan Martinez, Ph.D.

It is always interesting to me to read books regarding the occult/paranormal/esoteric that are written by those scientific academics that offer the opportunity to confirm the alliance between science and the spiritual/magickal. As the sub-title suggests, Field Guide to the Spirit World: The Science of Angel Power, Discarnate Entities and Demonic Possession does a fine job of forming a dialogue between the confirmable and the unknowable. The book’s author, Susan Martinez, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, the perfect foundational ground from which to explore the realms of spirits and ephemeral beings. And, as would be expected the bibliography is diverse in selections from the scientific community and those luminaries within the paranormal community.

… I have long been writing to prove that the spirit world is

not an invented thing, but a reality with which

we have fallen out of touch…1.

In reading Field Guide to the Spirit World we are brought to the realization that many of the mental/medical conditions for which there have been no rational explanation are often misdiagnosed and remain untreated, save for those few who look deeper and at the very least raise the question of inquiry into otherworldly sources. Conversely there have been cases of true illness that has gone untreated being subscribed to possession, overshadowing or more. And, the futile attempts made by one who does not have the scientific knowledge has caused death on more than one occasion.

Field Guide to the Spirit World is divided into eleven (11) chapters and concludes with three (3) appendices that encapsulate some of the core concepts. The title itself is indicative of a scientific journey into lesser-known territories and such is the case as you move through each of these chapters. What you may have already believed to be the truth of the Spirit Realms, Death and Demons is further dissected with case studies, valid scientific correlates and a healthy does of respect for what in ineffable and fleetingly complex in its very nature.

We are introduced to some familiar diagnoses such as PTSD, OCD, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, to name a few and the general sense of Dr. Martinez is that these are often times a combination of personality/consciousness and manipulation from entities.

I am not entirely clear who the intended audience is for Field Guide to the Spirit World as it felt to be a selection that could add more clarity to those engaged in the world of wellness and add a differing perspective to those who work with Spirits in whatever way they have been trained. Coming more from the practitioner side vs. the scientific, it was an interesting read, although I did not necessarily agree with all of the premises. The problem being, that there are subtle nuances to any of this work that can’t be measured or that don’t clearly map to symptoms and patterns regardless of the seeming patterns provided by multi-case studies. And, just as there are frequent patients who don’t fit the mold, the same is true of the limited knowledge we have of the who’s who and what’s what in the realms of spirits and other discarnate beings. All in all, it is obvious that a lot of research and time went into the crafting of this book and I honor the bridging of the concrete and the mysterious.

Footnotes:

1. p. 3

***

About the Author:

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

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

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

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

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Interview with Reanna of Woodland Wand Creation

July, 2019

Bright Blessings!

Last month, I got to review a great wand by Lady Reanna Shellenbarger of Woodland Wand Creation, and this month, I lucked into an interview!

Here is the link to my review if you did not have a chance to read it yet!

Read on to learn more about this amazing artist and creatrix, and her sacred, beautiful wands!

On their Facebook page, it says:

“Welcome friends to my store called Woodland Wand Creation. A magical place of semiprecious stones & enchanting wood from the magical forest. All to make amazing Wands. All work is unique artwork. No two are the same. I work within the respect to our Ecosystem. Many of my pieces are created with natural and reclaimed supplies. Wood is collected with respect and reverence. All wood is render by the tree naturally after stormy weather. No tree is ever harmed or wood cut from trees. My artwork & Wands are said to be very powerful. Because I work and charge all pieces by the moon light for an extra punch of energy.

Bert is the engine and Reanna is the artist. Together we are Woodland Wand Creation. All items are made by Reanna she is such the artist. We hope you all enjoy them as much as we do.”

Then, I got to catch up with Reanna, and she told me wonderful things!

Saoirse- How and why did you get into making your beautiful wands? What or who inspired you?

Reanna- A friend of mine purchased a bag of random semiprecious stones and had no idea of what to do with them. so I took some of the stones home and fashioned a Wand, not knowing if it would even work. well, needless to say, it did, and here I am today.

Saoirse- How does this tie in with your personal spiritual path, and what would you like to share about your path with us?

Reanna- I studied Wicca some years ago. I reached High Priestess status. today I’m solitary but very, very social. I found more freedom by dedicating myself to more creative pursuits. As a Libra, I require the freedom to go with what the wind calls to me and what strikes my fancy.

Saoirse- Tell me about your creative process. How do you get an idea that inspires? What types of materials draw you? What colors? How do you begin, and how long does it usually take from start to finish?

Reanna- Each stone or branch tells me their desire to become something more. I then clean them up a bit by removing the bark, to show off the natural beauty of the wood. I work with only naturally rendered woods, like after storms and such. I never cut or hurt a tree. I still go for the random mix of stones to this very day. I meditate while I divide them up into the kinds of stones they are. I can then hear them speak to me about their desire. Some stones want to be a Staff, Smudge fan or a Rattle. I am blessed with a wide range of woods in my area. White Willow is my all time favorite, but I do work with Wise Oak, Red Elm, Sweet Maple, and Driftwood.

Saoirse- Tell about how you run your business and how and why you decided to sell as opposed to just making your own? Talk about your business partners!

Reanna- I work with my longtime partner Bert. Bert is my online Wizard. the engine to my inspiration. We are the perfect team. We have a small shop on Etsy. We also are on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I will provide links below.

Saoirse- Tell about yourself aside from your path and wands.

Reanna- I enjoy cooking and making up my own recipes. I like to sew children’s blankets and quilts that I donate to the local church. I really like to gardening, growing herbs, flowers and playing in my Fairy garden. I dabble in painting. I like to recycle items to keep them out of the landfills so most of my stuff is up-cycled. I also work with many divination tools such as Tarot, Crystal balls, Zodiac- natal charts, Tea leaves, and Pendulums. I write memes about magick for FB as well as some really bad poetry. I teach the basic of Tarot and Wicca in a FB group. well, I guess I’m just your all-around crafty Witch.

Saoirse- My editor noticed your fair pricing. Many merchants charge a lot more for a wand than you do. Why do you charge what you do as opposed to what many of your competitors do?

Reanna- Well, we did our homework on the prices before we set out. We saw that so many are over priced for just the simplest items. We did not want to rip off the Pagan community like this. We feel magick knowledge should not be misused by over pricing. To us, it seemed so unfair and it gives our movement such a bad name in a time when we are rising out of the shadows. Our intention was to sell a good product at a good price. Honest and true is the only way to a secure future. In this simple and humble way, a Wand can be in many hands.

Shared here are some links where you can find Reanna’s amazing goods, and have some for yourself!

This is Reanna’s FB

This is Bert’s FB

This is the Etsy shop

Their Woodland Wand Creation FB

This is their Pinterest link

And Their Twitter Link

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Perimenopause: A Spiritual Threshold

July, 2019

The special powers and sensibilities of women (especially menstrual powers) are central to the Wise Woman tradition. Men in the Wise Woman tradition find the wise woman within themselves and become her. In the Wise Woman tradition, we nourish. We do not fix or cure or balance…health/wholeness/holiness comes through nourishment. Healing occurs in the ground of woman power, in the ground of heart-centered compassion…Nourishment encourages expansion and growth. Nourishment includes. Nourishment supports each being as unique, holy, individual. Nourishing our problems encourages love for all parts of ourselves.

-Susan S. Weed from “Healing Wise”

(Haida Gwaii Beachcombing Collage by Jennifer Engracio)

Recently, I was talking to a friend who is also at the threshold of perimenopause about the changes she is experiencing as a woman at this age. Neither of us have ever been forty-four before, after all! And it turns out that we are feeling similarly at this point in our development even though we lead quite different lives in many ways. Ellen Besso’s article on menopause being a time for women to go inside in order to heal deeper emotional wounds makes sense to me. I feel my psyche is mature enough now to go there–that I can finally parent myself compassionately through the pieces I discover: pretty and ugly. Recently, I’ve been able to unearth the root cause of many issues that plagued me my whole life. And I have faith that my body will continue to heal as that process completes itself with the support of homeopathic medicines, practicing living aloha, and ceremony. I also feel that there is a deeper level of spiritual fulfillment that I am starting to venture into. I don’t know what this is going to look like and I am curious about how all of this is unfolding.

When these psychological shifts started happening along with the physiological ones, I didn’t put the two together. I initially thought I was losing my zest for life or that there was something wrong with my dreaming and manifesting skills that I’d always been able to lean on. What I see now is that there is a really profound change happening in all of my energy bodies requiring me to rest and introspect more. Gone are the days of rushing through life to get as many things done as possible. I find myself reflecting on what I’ve accomplished in my life so far. Morbid thoughts come and go: If I died tomorrow, would the legacy I leave behind be enough? Somewhere along the way, part of life has become about achieving things as a way to validate my existence somehow. As if taking up space isn’t alright unless I am contributing in ways that the mainstream culture approves of. These thoughts are fleeting though. These false beliefs are what I am letting go of as they arise in my consciousness. This is the transcendence that is presently taking place.

I’ve been going on the long walk to the beach most mornings here on Haida Gwaii in Northwestern Canada. It is late spring and nature is alive and blooming. Most mornings, I walk through the bird sanctuary, the dark and cool rainforest and its ethereal cemetery until I get spat out onto the big open ocean. I breathe in the salty air and thank the Goddess I am here in all this beauty. It is all I can do to keep taking it all in, allowing its magic to fill every cell of my body. This morning, I rode a bike so I could spend more time on the beach looking for agates, shells and beach glass. I haven’t ridden a bike around the ‘hood like that since I was in elementary school; this made my inner kid indescribably happy. I bumped up and down the trails giggling to myself as I went. Ironically, even though I work with children, there are things I forgot about slowing down to kids’ pace–like the details and moments I notice when I am not on a mission to get somewhere. I spend my days wandering and beachcombing for treasures that maybe only I will find beautiful. But then, when I was a kid, I didn’t care if other folks thought these finds had value. I am going back to a time when all there was was me and Spirit. Back then, I was conscious of what was happening in the now and nothing else. I can sense something being rejuvenated inside myself even while I don’t know exactly what it is. And I don’t feel I need to know. I know it’s all as it should be.

This is the first time I’ve given myself a “victory vacation” where I am celebrating all of the accomplishments and challenges I’ve transitioned through in my life. And there have been a lot of them! My inner landscape has completely changed. I am in a space where nothing new has emerged to place my focused energy on. I am in the dreaming of creation. Little wisps of inspiration and interest come my way, yet something has yet to really take hold. Strangely, I am not panicking about this like I would have done in my thirties. My ego keeps telling me I should be worried, but I am really not and this is liberating. I feel more present lately–like I did when I was a kid. Susun S. Weed describes this further in her incredible book “Healing Wise”:

In the Wise Woman tradition, all health…begins with a return to the void. To…become whole, we turn again around the spiral of our life…The void is woman power: simultaneously dynamic and relaxed; empty yet completely full, satiated yet always consuming; creative, abundant, insatiable, unfillable, unquenchable, wild, having nothing to receive, knowing everything is already present, completely calm. Here in the void lives the Crone.

If I had a wish for women my age, it would be to surrender to this process. Fear of the unknown is natural, however, I hope we can remember to celebrate all of the things we’ve accomplished and overcome in our lives and to “nourish” our current challenges. It’s good to acknowledge the enormity of this with all of the responsibilities pulling on women in the world! I recommend that women take time for reflection so they can really be in this new psychological and spiritual landscape they find themselves in as they prepare to enter their crone years. I’ve found solace and insight speaking to fellow sisters who are going through this stage of life and I really encourage you to do the same if you are in the same boat with us! I have a feeling an exciting and edgy new journey is beginning…for all of us if we can find the courage to welcome the elder we are becoming.

Resources:

icle: The Change: Medical Problem or Spiritual Passage? By Ellen Besso

https://www.life.ca/naturallife/0608/spiritual_menopause.htm

Book: “Healing Wise (Wise Woman )” by Susun S. Weed

“Haida Gwaii Beachcombing” collage by Jennifer Engrácio

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Gael Song

July, 2019

The Druid Garden, Edible Forest Magic

Because I worry about the overuse of chemicals across the earth, monoculture on huge farms that leave the soil depleted, the clear cutting of trees for building, so soil that has taken 500 years to build up is washed away in the next big storm or two, I am hooked on edible forest gardens! They are meant to be as simple as can be, ending up as a hunter-gatherer’s dream come true. And EASY! All those Monsanto chemicals kill the network of tiny micronutrients in the soil, too, organisms that break down organic matter into forms the plants and trees can absorb. Without micronutrients, plants and trees starve. If you are using herbicides on your grass, stop, now! Overuse of chemicals has killed off most of the honeybees, too, so those massive farms are now in a pollinator crisis. But honeybees think an edible forest garden is heaven on earth and come zooming in to thrive all summer long. If food grows scarce in the future from all those Monsanto misuses, the edible forest garden is my personal hope for a simple and natural solution. Everyone should have one!

This year, I moved into a new home, (one I own as opposed to rentals for many years) so, I could FINALLY have an edible garden of my very own! This has been the most fun part of moving, joy that is only beginning as the apples and blueberries plump up and ripen. I will take you through the whole building process, so you can see how any five year old could do this. Beginning a garden after a move is the best possible time because my gardens always begin with sheet mulching, a permaculture technique in which cardboard is laid down over grass and weighted with a few stones to keep it from blowing away. I recycled very little cardboard from my move. And in 3-4 months, the grass underneath has died and the cardboard disintegrated to become organic matter in the soil, enriching it. Be sure to remove the plastic tape and staples, though (the plastic comes off as easily as can be after the cardboard has been outside through a few rains). Sheet mulching eliminates the need for rototilling or digging to turn grass under, both of which also disturb the micronutrient network beneath the soil for 2 years or more. Sheet mulching is a peaceful, simple way to prepare an area for planting, cardboard best laid down in the fall for spring planting.

Every edible forest garden has three layers, a tall tree canopy, an intermediate height shrubby level, and ground covers. Many druids believe in three realms; above, middle, and below just like this. And a forest garden especially is druid to the core! And once the ground covers fill in, there’s no need for mulching with bark or sawdust on the soil level. I was surprised how many plants will fruit or bear under a thin tree canopy in dappled shade. And plants in edible forest gardens are meant to be perennial. Yes, perennial! This means NO digging once the initial planting is done (with the possible exception of a bit of weeding before those ground covers fill in Such edible forest gardens have the most PEACEFUL undisturbed feeling when they mature, like Eden. And one can walk through and harvest nuts or fruit or greens for years to come with very little care. I only add compost around my forest plants in the spring, for compost is loaded with micronutrients, and all my plants sigh in pleasure when it gets watered in, I can feel it. Then, aside from harvesting, which is pure delight, not work, and a bit of pruning or weeding, and organic spraying on the fruit trees if pests come in (I’ve dusted mine with spinosad only once this year), that’s the only work an edible forest garden needs every year.

Some of the plants can get out of hand, and you’ll have to decide how much of this you want to tolerate when you choose what to put in. Most edible forest gardens look like a jungle when they mature. But I am one of those folks who likes neat drawers, closets, and gardens, so I put my plants in sections, rounded edges (another permaculture principle, no straight lines. Research shows there is much more growth and activity with curved borders between plants.), with a path up through them that is mulched in brown bark. So, it all looks exactly like a tree with branches of plant families and companions, as druid as can be. See the photo above (taken before the chicken wire went up to keep out the very chubby groundhog family living nearby who entertain me every evening now that they are no longer eating my dill and lettuce to the ground!). The mulch in the small beds is sawdust I got free from a nice man who cuts and sells wood for heating a few houses away (You do need to add some nitrogen when using mulches because they deplete it when they break down, a little manure, for instance.). Next year or maybe by fall, all those saw dusted areas should be filled in and green. By spring of next year, I will have zero mulching to do. Only adding some nutrient rich compost here and there and popping yummy produce into my mouth!

So, let’s talk about plants that will thrive in a part shade, forested space. Of course, this greatly depends on the climate, and you’ll need to check what temperature number your own location is in when you choose what to put in. I’m in southern New England, so a lot of the edible plants in the texts about them won’t work here, heat and jungle type plants mostly. (In the south, you can have a ball with this!). Many edible forest plants I read about in texts also are quite unusual, hard to find, and with acquired tastes and reactions one has to watch out for if they aren’t cooked properly (like sunchokes-cook those babies really well or you will be on the pot all night long!). In my own little garden, I chose trees with leaves and branching patterns that don’t completely block the sun. I have a Butternut tree (sometimes called a white walnut), a white Oak for acorns (just shell them, boil for 10 minutes, changing the water three to four times to get out the tannins, and grind up immediately [they get hard very quickly] and store in the freezer for use in baking, very nutritious, indeed and as druid as trees! A friend of mine suggested putting them in a pillow case and running them through the washing machine to get out the tannins but I haven’t tried that yet, maybe this year. Tannins make the nuts bitter, a taste that is hard to get rid of in your mouth, too. The Native Americans put their acorns in nets and left them in streams for a few days to get the bitterness out. And it’s impossible to get tannins out of black oak acorns, no matter how much rinsing you do. Use fruit only from oaks with rounded tips on their leaves, not the pointed ones, and you’ll be fine. I have Paw-Paw trees in my edible garden, too, which are native to the US, even in the north, fruit well in part shade, and grow large delicious fruit that tastes like vanilla pudding! Yum! And I put in a small fig tree, too, which is hardly native and not truly hardy here. But a friend of mine has figs he’s grown for many years in his orchard. He makes a columnar box of 2” thick, hard insulation, ties the fig branches loosely together in a tall central stalk, and puts the insulation box over them after one or two frosts in early November here. The insulation box needs to go all the way to the ground and be tied or weighted down to survive winter storms, too Then my friend takes the box off just as the weather starts to warm in spring, just before the last frost in early April (protecting the tree if there is a late frost but opening it up to air out as the warmth comes in. Leaving the insulation on too late results in mold all over the tree.) And his figs are leafed out and budded with fruit well ahead of the rest of his orchard and produce really well with this method. I’ve been aching to try this ever since he first showed me. And I put in a semi-dwarf cherry tree and apple here, too, both of which I keep pruned down to a reachable level. (Most fruit trees now are grafted to roots of smaller growing types, so they will not get too large and need far less pruning than the older, full-height varieties.) So, those are my tree canopy plants for my first-year forest garden. I have a feeling my edible forest “tree” will be expanding and growing with new plants every year, but this was enough for me right after a move. I am aching for several more varieties of apples and cherries, a plum, and a native persimmon, though. (Edible forest gardening can be a bit addictive, fair warning!)

My shrub level then has elderberries, raspberries, and half-high blueberry bushes, too (North Country, with fruit that tastes like those wonderful lowbush Maine wild ones). Wild blueberry pie, mmmm! I’ve planted the raspberries in their own section on the side of the yard and will mow the narrow strip in between other “branches” of my forest garden, since raspberries send shoots off into the wild blue yonder and need to be contained a bit if you don’t want them all over your yard. All these are easy care plants, too, only the raspberries needing any canes that have turned brown cut to the ground after summer fruiting (not the fall fruiting or you’ll have no berries next summer!) All plants need regular watering, soil full of humus, and most need good drainage as well.

Of course, the ground cover level is lowbush blueberries! Along with alpine strawberries, both of which fruit well in dappled sun/shade, so are utterly perfect for a forest garden. I have regular strawberries, too, in front, so they get the sun they need, along with herbs like sage and rosemary, etc. I added a very few annual plants in between this year, too, since there’s so much sun under the new little trees and space between baby ground cover plants I could not resist filling in with eggplant, cabbage, lettuces, parsley, nasturtiums for my salads, and dill (These all need full sun). Once my trees grow big enough and the ground covers take over, the veggies will need a sunny spot of their own. And, of course, they have to be planted every year, so are not true edible forest garden plants, taking more work and requiring digging every year. But there are perennial vegetables, too; onions, leeks, broccoli that is mostly like cauliflower, asparagus, spinaches, and many more to choose from that I haven’t listed here. (See the book Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, the edible garden guru.)

Put on your druid robe as you plant and carry your wizard wand, for this is the happiest, most delightful and druid way of gardening there is in the world. You’ll create your own Avalon. And you’ll have moons of delicious things to eat with little to no work to produce them. There you have it, edible forest gardening, as magic as can be!

***

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

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

The Future is Goddess: An Excerpt from Seven Ages of the Goddess

July, 2019

The Future is Goddess
An Excerpt from Seven Ages of the Goddess

Isis

Astarte

Diana

Hekate

Demeter

Kali

Inanna!

So goes the chant around so many fires at so many gatherings of witches, wiccans and pagans. Each name a chapter in the history-book of goddess worship, and each name still worshiped and revered today. Some believe that these goddesses are all one goddess. Some believe they are all aspects of the sacred feminine that is embodied within all goddess worship. Some believe they are all individual beings, each worthy of their own offerings, sacrifices and reverence. Whatever the practitioner’s relationship with these goddesses, the fact is that these goddesses have survived thousands of years, some possibly since before 3000 BC.

That’s over 5000 years ago, yet a mere 2000 years ago (approximately) a Middle Eastern guy who thought we could probably be much kinder to each other and all get along a little better, started a bit of a cult, which became the spiritual basis for much of the modern, mainstream religion practiced across the globe today.

The largest religion in the world right now is Christianity, closely followed by Islam. Two Abrahamic, patriarchal religions that have been repeatedly regurgitated into ever new and adaptive forms by our modern societies; at times twisted in the name of hatred, at times used for kindness, but always in the name of God; of Yahweh (Jehovah) or Allah. It’s inherently understood that God is male, all powerful, and alone. There are no other gods; to say so is blasphemy. There is also no companion; no counterpart: no goddess.

If you look hard enough at the bible, there are the odd mentions of goddesses, such as Ashtoreth (Astarte), who Solomon followed and was denounced as evil thereafter (1 Kings 11:5 and 11:6). emis is mentioned as a ‘man made god’ who is no god at all, though in the same verse it is written that she was worshiped in Asia and across the whole world. (Acts 19:26 and 19:27). In alternative translations of the bible it is Diana that the Ephesians worshiped. From the brief mentions we see, it’s clear that the goddess was the usurper; to be mocked, derided and forgotten.

To get a better understanding of why this might be, you have to look back beyond Christianity, beyond Judaism even, and spread your scope across the world. Take in the spirituality of the Paleolithic (stone age) humans. Look at the oldest depiction of a human being yet discovered: The Venus of Hohle Fels. This extraordinary item is a female figure carved from a mammoth tusk, and she is possibly 40,000 years old. 40,000 years. That’s approximately 20 times longer than Christianity has been around.

She has a loop which is clearly intended for a thong or similar, which tells us she is a pendant and possibly an amulet, emphasizing that this figure was obviously very important and possibly sacred or protective. She was found near the world’s oldest known musical instrument, a bone flute.

Scholars look at her oversized breasts and genitalia and immediately rush to the conclusion that she is all about sex; reproduction; fertility. Because that’s what women are all about, right? When you can see the breasts and the vulva, they must be advertising something sexual. At least that’s the current societal viewpoint, based on patriarchal morality and the lack of understanding regarding the divine feminine.

I think it’s much more likely this figurine comes from a culture where it wasn’t considered pornographic to bare breasts or expose vaginas. Stone-age artifacts like this one show an understanding of the sacred nature of a woman’s body: the legs and arms are missing because those are not unique. All humans have arms, legs and faces. Only women have breasts and a vulva. These differences are being revered, not mocked, and this is what makes these figures sacred. Only the woman has the power to bear a child into the world, and subsequently feed it. This was once seen as a powerful magic indeed.

In today’s world, under the thumb of a predominately male-led religion and society, women are told that their bodies are shameful. Menstruation is seen as disgusting, and even a weakness, despite it being a natural, biological cycle. Sex is seen as something done to women, rather than something they participate in. Breasts have become sexual objects, to be ogled in push up bras, and hidden away when feeding our babies. The voice of women is constantly shushed, muted, mocked and disbelieved. Yet the evidence above shows that when our species was at its most basic, women were the key to the sacred and the divine.

It is no wonder then, that so many people in the modern world are turning to goddess worship as an alternative to the dry, dusty and now outdated religions that have popped up in the last several thousand years. Paganism is marked currently as one of the fastest growing religions in the world, and while not all Pagans are sole goddess worshipers, most have a great reverence for the divine feminine in some form. The most recent census figures show that over 100000 people in the UK identify as Pagan, and approximately 1.25M people in the U.S.A., and that figure is growing exponentially as more people draw away from the religions they grew up with. About half of these recorded people name themselves as Wiccans, with the rest being druids, heathens and those who walk a veritable road map of other spiritual paths.

Disillusioned with destruction, people want a religion that teaches how to nurture and grow oneself spiritually. Tired of hate, people look to a source of love; not only for those around them, but for themselves. Catholics are told they are born with sin in their very essence. Goddess worshipers are told they are sacred, divine and connected to the universe. Christians are told their god forgives sin; the goddess teaches you to forgive yourself, and to make your own morals based on what is right and good; not what you are told.

It’s important to understand that the goddess is not just for women. Men have it just as hard in our gender unbalanced society. Western culture in particular states that men should be strong and bread winners, and women should be kind and motherly. But what happens when the man becomes a father and wants to stay at home with his child? In the UK, they can do this for two weeks, and only within the first 56 days of the baby’s birth. Mothers in the UK can take up to a year, depending on their employer. When it is built into our very government that fathers are not as important as mothers, you can understand why men as well as women are looking for alternatives. The Goddess smiles on all her children, male and female alike, and is likely baffled at the notion that a man would be considered weak for crying, being emotional or, as above, wanting to spend time with their child; time you can never get back.

Faults like these in our political system is exactly why Goddess worship is the future. So many of our policies and procedures in western politics come from men; male religion, male leaders of church and male leaders. It is the ever-present belief that man is superior, which stems from the relatively new belief that God is a man, that has spun our world into turmoil. Yet we can still hear the voice of the Goddess, even via the deeds of those that may not consider themselves worshipers.

This excerpt is by Mabh Savage and is from Seven Ages of the Goddess, published by Moon and available via Amazon and all good books stores. Various pagan and spiritual authors explore the journey of Goddess worship throughout the ages and into the future.

Seven Ages of the Goddess on Amazon

Circle

July, 2019

Circle we dreamed
Seen in a haze
“One of these days…”
We banished that phrase

Circle we saw
In places we’d been
That made us feel keen
To make what we’d seen

Circle we drew
Guidance from past
We need it to last
So steady, not fast

Circle we built
Stone out of sand
Sprouts from the land
Raised by our hand.

Circle we blessed
Speaking to sky
Heart mind and eye
A soul that shall fly

Circle we are
When stone meets the sea
Continuity
Love; hope; family.

Copyright 3rd October 2012

***

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 Ancestors & 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

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