August, 2016

Merry Meet

August, 2016

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                               Welcome

 

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In This Issue…

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Crystal Connections covers Sacred Space in the work place with ideas and photos.

 

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In many of your rituals you will want to invite Deity, learn to Call the Divine in this month’s MagickalArts.

 

Rose

 

Learn all about Roses in this month’s Notes from the Apothecary.

 

Thriftcrafting

 

 

 

ThriftCrafting: Witching on a Budget Reviews the Book “Witchcraft on a Shoestring: Practicing the Craft Without Breaking Your Budget” by Deborah Blake, for us this month.

 

and much, much more…

 

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Crystal Connections

August, 2016

Sacred Space In The Work Place

In a world that seems to be drama riddled and financially obsessed, its easy to become disconnected spiritually. I worked in the financial industry for 17 years until I had become so spiritually depleted that I chose to leave that line of work. I recently started working for a local therapist who gave me my own office and encouraged me to create a sacred space, so I did exactly that.

I have one shelf lined with raw stones, mostly for their beauty but also because of their metaphysical properties. This includes Carnelian, Garnet, Petrified Wood and Calcite to just name a few. Carnelian is powerful protector and also gives courage and helps with life choices. Raw Garnet is a great healer and has the ability to balance energy. Petrified Wood is known to assist with patience and trusting the flow of life. Calcite is a great energy cleanser so it’s a perfect stone to have in a therapists office.

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Another shelf is filled with colorful, happy stones. Some of the crystals on this shelf includes Fluorite, Selenite, Celestite, and Amethyst. Fluorite is a great teacher of balance and has a wonderful stabilizing effect as well as being a great cleanser. Selenite is such a calm and peaceful stone, perfect for grid work. Celestite is a gentle, uplifting stone and is imbued with Divine energies. The perfect stone to aid in accessing the angelic realm. Amethyst is a stone of protection and purification. This crystal promotes love and is also calm and peaceful.

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In another corner of my office I have a basket filled with my crocheted Goddess dolls, Quartz, Smoky Quartz and a few lovely Herkimer Diamonds. Quartz amplifies energy and attunes with all chakras. Smoky Quartz is one of the most powerful grounding stones and assists in ethereal manifestation. Herkimers are often used for dream and vision work. For me, this crystal emanates an absolute blissful vibration.

 

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This is just a glimpse into my little work sanctuary. Every surface showcases some of my earthy treasures. My boss calls my office a temple, and I often find her just sitting in there absorbing the energy. She’s also been known to bring patients into my office when it’s called her to do so. Each and every person who has entered this sacred space has said the energy is so powerful yet very earthy and loving. It makes my heart happy to work in a place that allows me to honor and display these precious stones. If you’re able to create a little sacred space at work for yourself please do so, because once you have, you will start feeling a shift. Anytime you are able to bring something you love into your work environment, your energy starts shifting to a state of what I like to call spiritual bliss. Sometimes it’s just the slightest shift but that shift of bliss is contagious, and in this world our spirits could sure use more bliss.

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MagickalArts

August, 2016

Calling to the Divine

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In many of your rituals you will want to invite Deity to stand as witness, assist and/or enliven the work of your celebration. These God forms may vary from that of familiar archetypes to the pure essence of what the Divine means to you personally. This singular act will set the tone for what follows. You may find the terms “evocation” or “invocation” used as the process for bringing the energy of Deity into sacred space.

Invocation or Evocation?

The act of invocation is one of inviting Deity to be present. To invoke is to call to one’s self the specific energies that are desired. This is a process that contains the emphasis that what you are calling resides outside of you (versus Evocation, which draws upon those energies and dynamics of archetype that are within your own state of consciousness). To invoke is an invitation to a particular Deity or Deities to be present, to witness and to potentially offer assistance in whatever the predetermined focus of the ritual may be. For example, for our Lammas ritual we invoke the Goddess as the Great Mother from whose bounty we reap the harvest. We invoke the God as the Great Horned God, protector of the animals and natural world and guardian of the bounty the harvest provides. At Brighid (Imbolc) we invoke Brighid, Goddess of the Triple Flame, healer and bringer of light and life. And we invoke the God as Lugh, spear of fire, and the forger of our Will.

If no specific God or Goddess is needed, the charges below serve to call the energies of God and Goddess in their many forms. Specifically, the Charge of the Goddess is often used during Esbat rituals, as the range of archetypal energies needed vary in accord with the phase and astrological considerations of the lunation. And, the Charge of the God can be used at Mabon or Lammas:

The Charge of the Goddess

Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.

She who is the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Her. For She is the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. from Her all things proceed, and unto Her all things must return; and before Her face, beloved of gods and men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, She has been with thee from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.

**The Charge of the Goddess is attributed to Doreen Valiente, a student of Gerarld Gardner. The poem, originally found in the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, is now loved by all wiccans as a statement of reverence for the Goddess and Nature. Valiente used materials from the Gospel of Aradia by Charles Leland (1901), and Aleister Crowley’s writings to compose the piece and it is commonly used to invoke the “Goddess” during Esbats and Sabbats.


The Charge of the God

Listen to the Words of the Horned God,
Who was of old called among men:
Adonis, Tammuz, Dianus, Herne,
Bran, Beli, Lugh, Gwyn,
Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Pan,
And by many other Names.

O Secret of Secrets,
That art hidden in the being of all that lives,
Not Thee do we adore,
For That which adoreth is also Thou.
Thou art That, and That am I.

I am the Flame that burns in the heart of every being,
And in the core of every Star.
I am Life, and the Giver of Life,
Yet therefore is the Knowledge of Me
The Knowledge of Death and Resurrection.

I am alone, the Lord within ourselves,
Whose Name is Mystery of Mysteries.


I am the Horned God

I am the Lord of the Universe,
The Father of all living,
The All-Devourer and the All-Begetter.

I am He Whose Seed lies strewn
As glittering Gems across velvet darkness
Within the Womb of the Mother.

I am the Lord of the Shadows
In the darkness of the Underworld,
For I am the Midnight Sun.

I am the Light of the Stars,
And the Spark of the Spirit Eternal,
For I am the God Within.

I am the Horned Leader of the Hosts of Air,
The Leader of the Wild Hunt,
The Judge of Gods and of Men.

I am the Hidden God,
Who ever yet remains,
For I dwell within the secret seed.

I am the seed of grain,
I am the seed of flesh,
I am the Seed of the Stars.

I am the Lord of the Heights,
I am the Lord of the Depths,
God of forest, of flock, and of field.

I am the Hunter and Hunted,
I am the wolf and the Shepherd,
I am the vine and the grain.

I am a Guiding Star above you,
I am a bright Flame before you,
I am a smooth Path beneath you

I am the Light of Life
I am the Flame of Love
I am the Horned God!

This topic also brings to mind the often times multi-opinioned subject of whether one demands or invites the Deities to be present. Although there are occasions where a stronger desire and need for the specific energies and help of a specific deity may be required; and thus a statement in the invocation may be made for them to be present without question on their part, even these types of supplication should be made as invite rather than demand. Even with invite, it is entirely, and rightfully so, within the prerogative of the Deity as to whether they wish to present. By placing the request in the form of an invitation with the potential for connection and blessing, you are more likely to be heard, for it has been done with respect and sincerity.

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Short Story: Kiara, Episode 11

August, 2016

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Kiara: Episode 11

Moira returned to her tree with an uneasy mind., but the effects of being around her grand uncle Mandral quickly dissipated. Of those who fought alongside the Dwarf mercenaries, he had been chosen to stay on the home world to command the mercenaries. He could look to the council of elders for advice, but everything would be left for him to decide.

Faeries do not have leadership in the sense that most races do. They once had kings, before their magical power became so great that any form of leadership became impossible. The line of kings were still much respected though, as their magical powers were greater than any of the faeries, with the exception of a few of the elders. The faeries have used and misused magic for so many aeons that they are not always even recognisable as being of the same race. Some are tiny and some are tall and slim. Some are beautiful by human standards and some look like trees and orbs and butterflies. They chiefly recognise each other by their essence as they are shape-shifters par excellence. Those on the home world tend to drift along in a hedonistic way, doing whatever gives them pleasure. They avoid seriousness, or anything that might change their essence and make their idyllic life on the home world impossible to maintain.

They do not have a moral code as such, – they simply realise that the use of dark magic or taking a life, will change their essence and bring darkness and pain in place of pleasure and bliss.

Those who fought in the goblin wars knew that they were sacrificing much to protect their race. Having lost their purity, they spread across the worlds and created new clans. Although they still tried to live their lifestyle of pleasure and abandon, – their essence was now much darker. They tended to avoid contact with all except their own clan, and had warlike tendencies which were never manifested in their ancestors. The faeries are a forgetful race, but there were many who had served with Mandral and would return to defend their home world when needed.

Moira manifested a soft couch and began her search for Kiara. It was always harder to search among the out-world clans. She knew that Kiara had to be descended from one of the royal lines who fought in some past conflict that was lost in time. She remembered what had happened to the goblins in the forest, and realised that the ugly little toad had possibly bitten off much more than even his sharp teeth could chew. A warrior princess in full battle fury could single-handedly decimate an entire battalion of goblins. Unfortunately, she doubted that Kiara really knew who she was. If she could her her and bring her back to her uncle, she was sure that they could foil whatever plans the horrible little goblin had to bring chaos to their home world.

Moira closed her eyes and allowed her mind to expand and drift. She found the guardian of the forest, but she was back in her nest and awaiting a new Guardian tree to be prepared for her.

She found the forest, but could not bring herself to materialise there. The energy of the place made her feel sick and dizzy. She would have to get help to cleanse it later, or wait until the elementals had transmuted the negative energy back into life force.

Finally, she drifted into dream and searched for Kiara there. Faeries find dreams easier to navigate than most beings do, because of their naturally whimsical nature. Still, it took quite a while to penetrate Kiara’s fevered nightmares. With the forest out of bounds, she led Kiara’s etheric body to the safety of her bedroom and, taking the daisy from Kiara’s dressing gown pocket, she pressed it into her hand. While Kiara’s mind was beginning to clear and focus, Moira healed her wound.

When she had the full attention of the princess, Moira told her to keep the daisy safe as it would guide her to the home world when needed. She explained about the work the doctor had done to create bodies beyond the protective shield that kept them imprisoned on their planet of origin. She also told her of the raids on the home-world of the Fae and their suspicions about his plans to invade it. Moira spoke slowly and carefully, watching the princess to try to gauge her reaction.

“Milady”, she said, “We have great need of your help in the homeland of the Fae. I know we ask much of you, but we need you to destroy the goblin’s machines and then come to us to help us deal with his armies”. She paused for a moment to allow Kiara to take everything in. Kiara did not answer for a while. She knew what was being asked of her. Her own clan had lived by the old ways for countless thousands of years and their light had again grown bright. However, she felt little remorse for destroying the goblins, even before she knew they were only constructs. Perhaps it was her fate to do this. Maybe that was why she had somehow been trapped in this child’s body and not through her own stupidity after all.

“Very well!”, she said at last. “I will see if my powers have returned and if I can destroy these machines”. “Go and rest Milady”, said Moira, and when you awaken and have tested your powers, call me to you and I will help all I can”. Moira faded away and Kiara drifted into a deep sleep as her fever broke and the wound rapidly healed.

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A Moment for Meditation

August, 2016

Women & Goddess Meditation

 

It is an understatement to say that life for women is stressful.  

 

Every day, we are called upon to play different roles in our lives.  We are over-worked, over-stressed, pulled in ten different directions.  Everyone makes demands on our time, simply because we are women and it is *expected* of us.  As women, we also learn very quickly that the world is a dangerous place for us, simply because of our gender.

 

Daily, we experience a constant barrage of thoughts from without and within our own minds.  This is called “monkey mind”, the constant chatter to which we listen and, once again, as women, it has more of a tendency to be negative and directed toward ourselves.

 

Women are the healers of the world; the nurturers, the caretakers.  Unfortunately, we neglect to take care of ourselves.  We go un-nurtured by the most important person in our lives – our own being.   This needs to change.

 

Women are special and we have a unique perspective on the world that is not shared by men.  We are ten times stronger intuitively than males.  We are more in tune with our emotions, thoughts and feelings.  We tend to forget that we are also powerful in ways that men are not.

 

Meditation can help us in all areas of our lives.  It will help us to clear our thoughts.  It brings clarity, it calms our nerves and helps us to eliminate the negative thoughts and feelings that we wish to rid ourselves of.   As with any other spiritual path, it is a way of training our mind; and as such, it is not an easy or quick journey.

 

As a long-time teacher of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, as well as a Goddess-based Witch & Priestess, I tend to bring the Goddess into my meditation practice.  

 

Ideally, you should have a designated place in which to meditate, set up with a small altar, incense, a candle, a representation of the Goddess of your choice.  I change my Goddess altar depending upon my need.  For music, find something that speaks to your spirit, or a Goddess meditation.  

 

Let this be your time to nurture and take care of yourself.  This is your special time in a place of serenity.   The following can get you started with a beautiful and meaningful meditation practice.

 

Your candles are lit, incense wafting through the room.  Sit comfortably in easy pose, cross-legged on the floor.  If you are unable to sit on the floor, a straight-backed chair works well.  You want to be comfortable, but it is important that the spine be straight.   

 

You want to center yourself, to be in that moment, in that time, in that place.   Bring your hands into prayer position at your chest, or you may simply rest your hands on your knees.  Close your eyes and gently roll them up so that they are focused upon your third eye, that space between your eyebrows in the middle of your forehead.   Begin to slowly and deeply inhale and exhale.  Take your time, don’t rush through it.  Really feel each breath;  on your breath.   Breath = Prana = Life     Now, with each inhale, bring into your body a sense of peace, a sense of calm.  Let it infuse your entire being, beginning with the heart chakra and working outward.  With each exhale, release any stress, tension or negativity you are holding within your body, even that of which you may not even be consciously aware.  Allow yourself to let it go.  

 

If you are sitting with a particular Goddess, focus on Her and her attributes, things you might wish to bring into your life, or that which you may need Her help with.

 

You can continue this for as long as you are comfortable.  If unwanted thoughts come calling, gently push them away and continue with the breath.   The goal is to feel peaceful, stress-free.  When you are finished, take several deep breaths while stretching your arms up to the skies.   Be sure to thank the Goddess for her presence within your meditation.

 

One of my favorite Goddess songs to meditate to is called “Adi Shakti”:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgTK1F677ig&index=1&list=PL_dIya2JbVnTkujuSpjPc-hZV6LbKSnTX

 

You can also try www.goddesshealing.com for some lovely Goddess Meditations by Mary Marzo, and www.spiritvoygage.com for Goddess-oriented meditation music, including the afore-mentioned “Adi Shakti”.  There is some lovely Goddess music/chants out there.  A quick YouTube search will bring up many from which you can choose.  You can also check out Kellianna, or Jenna Greene.

 

I wish you joy and happiness in your meditation journey.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions.  I would be more than happy to help.

 

Blessings

)O(

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Notes from the Apothecary

August, 2016

Notes from the Apothecary: The Rose

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I’ve temporarily veered away from my series on trees as I was inspired to write about the rose. There are some beautiful rosa rubiginosa which have been flowering in the grounds of my son’s school for several weeks before I wrote this article, and they are so beautiful. (image left: rosa rubiginosa, source Wikipedia). My six-year-old boy has been enchanted with these gorgeous flowers, and I have had to plead with him not to pick them all as he decided ‘they are all for mummy’! Walking through Hamsterley forest we came across several varieties of wild rose, and again in woods local to where we live. So lovely, so sharp, potentially dangerous and full of mysticism and magic.

The Kitchen Garden

Growing roses can be done in a variety of ways. Bare root roses can be ordered and should be planted in the fall but ideally before the ground freezes. Roses can also be bought in containers and pots, and these plants will have foliage and maybe flowers on. These can be planted at any time of year apart from when the ground is frozen or too dry. Basically, avoid extremes and you should be ok. They like a good compost and manure is also ideal. Fertiliser can help.

Once you have your supply of roses, you can use the petals and hips (the red or orange seed pods) in a variety of ways. Dried, the petals are wonderful in potpourri or sachets to place in drawers for scenting. As well as being a wonderful natural perfume, roses petals also give a wonderful, unique flavour which can be used in desserts and sweets. Rose water is easily available at Asian food stores and is a simple way of imbuing your own food with the scent and favour of roses. A great example of this is Turkish Delight.

You mustn’t eat the hips raw as the seeds have fibres around them like little hairs, which are incredibly irritating to the throat. Cook and strain or press the hips to obtain the juices. Rose hips make amazing jellies, jams, syrups and tonics, and in Sweden are even made into a soup called nyponsoppa.

The Apothecary

Rose hips are very rich in vitamin C, however most recipes involve boiling the hips which, unfortunately, destroys some of the vitamin. Thankfully, they are so packed with vitamin C that even after preparing as syrup or jam, they still retain a reasonable amount, making them very useful as well as tasty.

Vitamin C is well indicated in boosting the immune system, so having some rosehip syrup in stock before the winter nights arrive is a great idea, to try and keep colds at bay. The vitamin is also thought to protect the cardiovascular system, the eyes and the skin. It is used by the body to help repair cells, so any rosehip product can be used when recovering or convalescing from any illness or injury.

Mrs Grieves tells us, in her Modern Herbal, that rose water (made from the petals) is used as an eye lotion (which makes sense with the vitamin C content), and that a cold cream is created by mixing oil of rose, wax and almond oil, and that this is very effective for chapped hands.

Culpeper believed rose petals were purgative and useful for fevers and jaundice. In fact, he seemed to have enormous faith in the healing power of the rose, citing its usefulness for joint ache, fainting and swooning, weak stomachs, infections, strengthening the heart, liver problems, sores in the throat and mouth, headaches and pimples, amongst other ailments.

In North American Indian medicine, the root of the plant has been used in a decoction as a cough remedy, particularly for children.

The Lab

Roses, the damask rose in particular, have been the subject of several pharmacological studies, in order to establish its usefulness in modern medicine. Interestingly, one of the effects it has is upon the central nervous system, including promoting sleepiness. It was found (in mice) to be possibly as powerful as diazepam. It may also have anti-depressant properties.

Some components of rose petals may even have analgesic effects, meaning they could potentially be employed as painkillers.

The Witch’s Kitchen

The rose hails originally from the Middle East, most likely from the area now known as Iran. In May, in the city of Ghamsar, there is an annual rose festival where the petals are collected and made into fragrant rose water. The damask rose is known as the Mohammadi rose or Mohammadi flower, and is sacred. Nothing is wasted during the process of making rose water. Even the left over petals are used as animal feed for livestock. The traditional process has been followed for thousands of years, although of course it is now also produced on an industrial scale, it is reassuring to know that the ancient traditions are kept alive in this way.

In western tradition, we view the rose as a symbol of love. The often red petals are symbolic of passion and the heart, although the thorns remind us of the perils of un-tempered lust. Cupid shot his arrows into a rose garden, trying to avenge himself upon a bee that stung him, and this is where the rose’s thorns came from. When Venus, his mother, walked through the garden, he pricked her foot upon the thorns, and her blood turned the roses red.

As a Celtic witch, red to me is the colour of magic and mysticism; a sign that something other worldly is happening. Red is a warning, an omen; the colour that makes us prick our ears up and pay attention. A sudden red rose in an otherwise green hedgerow is a clear sign that you should pause and look around, see what else you can see, or open up your mind and heart and see what you can feel; who is trying to contact you? Or it could simply be a reminder to connect to nature more often; to literally stop and smell the roses.

The scent of rose petals is particularly evocative and is useful in meditation, to help lull oneself into a state where the mind can wander unhindered.

As well as the associations with Venus and Cupid, roses are associated with Isis, and were also used in Egyptian funeral wreaths. In Hindu mythology, Vishnu and Brahma both eventually agreed that the rose was the most beautiful flower in existence, and the goddess Lakshmi was created from rose petals.

In Christianity, the rose represents the Virgin Mary, and the flower is referred to as the rosa mystica, or mystical rose.

The rose symbolises a yearning for perfection, but reminds us that nothing is perfect; even the most beautiful of living things has its thorns. It can represent balance, love, emotion, fire, passion, omens, prophecy and poetry.

Home and Hearth

Strew rose petals upon a freshly swept hearth to bring love and happiness into your home.

For positive magic, to draw something to you, use either very fresh flowers, glossy hips, or thoroughly dried petals. Wilting flowers represent something in flux or something dying; something coming to an end. This may not give you the intended result. In contrast, wilting flowers may be just what you need if you are looking to cut ties with something or someone, or to draw a line under a phase in your life. Let the rose wilt and die, then bury it away from your home or sacred space.

I Never Knew…

Rose bushes can live for a long time, and apparently the oldest living plant is in Germany, and is over 1000 years old.

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Spiralled Edges

August, 2016

Spiralled Edges: To Take Responsibility

I’ve spent these past three months looking closely at what some call the Four Pillars of Magic: To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent. To be very honest, I have never really thought much on these nor felt it necessary to apply them to my own Pagan or witchcraft practices. However the task at hand was to discuss ways that they applied in my own life on my blog, and I have gained a lot of new insight into myself along the way. You can read all of those posts over at Writings of a Pagan Witch within The Pagan Experience 2016 (https://writingsofapaganwitch.wordpress.com/the-pagan-experience-2016/).

I mention that here because each of these pillars individually have shown me there is a 5th, or perhaps a central pillar that must be looked at: To Take Responsibility.

Responsibility, in my mind, can be separated into two words response and ability. My ability to respond. Looking at these words together, I ask myself – “Do I have the ability to respond to this situation? If I have the ability, does that mean I must or have to respond? What, in all truthfulness, and I really responsible for in this life?”

The answer is: Not nearly as much as I once believed.

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As a Pagan, as a witch, as a mother, as a woman, as a human being I have the ability to respond to my own actions and to my responses to the actions and words of those around me. As a mother, I also have the ability to respond to the needs of my children, and to teach them how to respond to their own needs without taking upon themselves the responsibilities for the actions and words of others around them.

When we take responsibility for our own actions and words that means we can’t blame anyone else when things go right, or when they go wrong. Taking responsibility also means standing firm in our convictions of who we are, what we believe, and how we will be a part of the world we live in.

It means not taking away another’s ability to respond, but standing aside so that they can take responsibility for their lives, and stand firm in their convictions of who they are, what they believe, and how they will be a part of this world we live in.

Even when we disagree. Even when I think I know better than they do. Especially when I think I know better.

Taking Responsibility in spellcasting

When I create magic through spellcasting, I am responsible for the decision to do a spell, I am responsible for implementing it, and I am responsible for the results of that spell and any consequences that may come from it.

  • To Know when and how and if I need to take responsibility for a situation.
  • To Dare to take responsibility even when would be easier to lay the blame or the credit at someone else’s feet,
  • To Will to take responsibility for my personal decisions and intentions.
  • To Keep Silent when necessary and take responsibility for my words and silences.
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Finding Avalon

August, 2016

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Under the Midnight Moon

Dancing lights, twinkling lights

Around the come again

Dancing in circles, in spiral circles

The Faery dance of yore

They come, they go

They circle about

They call your name to them

Come dance with us, come play with us

Under the Midnight Moon”.

~Vivienne Moss~

I find myself standing under the full moon, majestic in all her luminescence. A gentle breeze caresses my bare shoulders, peppering me in goose bumps. The night air has an unnerving feel about it, causing me to look about in trepidation. A soft melody permeates the quiet darkness; I am certain I hear panpipes and the most enchanting of voices rising from the damp earth. The light of what seems like a million fire flies dance about me. I find myself getting caught up in the rhythm of this midnight performance of beauty and delight. I begin to sway and spin, faster and faster, until my heart is racing with exhilaration. My skin is aglow with Faery light, it glistens like fresh fallen snow under the moon-kissed night. I collapse in breathless desire, my mind no longer able to comprehend what is happening to me.

My frenzied breathing finally wanes as I begin to take in my surroundings. I am no longer within the stone circle in my backyard. I find myself in a great hall filled with delightful music and the appetizing scent of Faery cuisine. I am offered a heaping plate of food and a Meade filled chalice. I reach for the gifts offered me, not wanting to offend my hosts. A nagging feeling tugs at my memory, an uneasy way overcomes me. I know that I should not partake in these Faery gifts, for if I do there will be no return for me. I thank my Faery hosts for their generosity, begging their pardon for not accepting their offerings.

With a rush of wind I am swept off my feet, not so gently landing within my stone circle. I sense that my hosts are no longer near, they have returned to Avalon—to the World of Faery. I feel a pang of regret for not partaking in the Faery Feast but I know that it was not my time to stay within the realm of Avalon. I have work to do in this realm. The lore of Goddess and Avalon must be shared for those who want to learn of the ways of Faery.

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In Faery lore, to partake of the Faery Feast can result in a seven year (or sometimes hundreds of years) stay within the realm of Faery, only to wither away to nothing upon return to the land of the living. There are many tales of travelers to Faery who either never retuned or were greatly change upon returning. Thomas the Rhymer, Tam Lin, Bran the Blessed, and the Reverend Robert Kirk are but a few.

If offered food or drink form your Faery Hosts, kindly decline in a respectful manner. Unless, of course, you are prepared to serve a seven year tithe (or more) to the Queen of Faery. Me? I’d rather serve Her from the realm of the living until the time comes that the Queen of Avalon calls me home.

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WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

August, 2016

Smudge sticks

Merry meet.

With the gifts of summer in full bloom, its a wonderful time to make smudge sticks. A tradition Ive adopted from First Nations is to burn bound bundles of dried resinous botanicals for cleansing and purification.

At the Summer Solstice, I picked a variety of botanicals: two kinds of lavender at a friends house, mugwort at the back of a cemetery, a rose from my garden and juniper from the bush behind my condo.

Chances are good that you can find enough ingredients to make at least one smudge stick.

Other possibilities frequently mentioned for the making of smudge sticks include white sage, cedar, pine, rosemary and sweetgrass. One source also added sweet clover, thyme, mint and catnip to the list of herbs that can be burned.

I made bundles in various combinations: lavender and a rose, mugwort alone, juniper alone, and a combination of all four.

The thicker the bundle, the slower it will burn.

Using one strand separated from a cotton cord, I tightly tied one end of the bundle. Grasping the bundle with one hand, I began winding the string on an angle to the other end, then wrapped it back down again, forming a criss cross pattern, and tying it off all as tightly as possible.

I trimmed off some stray pieces, evened off the ends and then left them to dry. It will take several weeks before the bundles will be completely dry and then ready for use. Im planning to burn them at Lughnasadh as a reminder that the wheel is turning.

Some common sense actions to take into consideration include picking herbs when its dry and sunny not after a rain or when covered with dew and when harvesting in the wild, to not over-pick from one plant or from one patch.

 

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Merry part.

And merry meet again…

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She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

August, 2016

Domnu

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(Photo Credit: www.tianaart.com)

Not very well known, Domnu is the Ancient Mother Goddess of the Fomorii, ancestors to the Celts, before the arrival of Danu and the Tuatha de Dannaan, by whom, it is said, She was overthrown.

Domnu was in the *before time*, deeply asleep in the abyss in the land of mist. She spoke the spell:

“I am Domnu the spirit that moves in the abyss beyond time,

My face is desire, my eyes sees all, my pain is loneliness, and my womb give birth to all,

And my breast will feed the voided,

For I am Domnu mother and bringer of life and bringer of death renewed,

I am the eye that sees, I am the heart that thinks, and the tongue that speaks,

I am the three I am the one, I am the Mother of all.

And an eternal mist spread to the fire eternal, and the mist was cold that fire eternal,

And Tir-na-h’Oigh was formed, and the secret pathway was laid, and this would be a place of eternal beauty at no living eyes would see, Sep in a dream.”

At Her words, the world and its’ peoples were birthed.

Domnu’s name means “the deep” and that is where Her children, the Formorii, are said to have come, from deep within the darkness of the sea, the depths of the waters, where all life is born.

She is the great Mother of the Oceans and her names are many — Queen of the Deep, Lady of Springs and Wells, Goddess of the Deep and Flowing Water.

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(Photo Credit: avalonessences.co.uk)

The waters of Her ocean home evaporate in to the clouds, which bring rain to our Earth, giving us lakes, rivers, and streams. The water returns to the ocean and, thus, the cycle begins again.

With her deep connection to the waters, it is no surprise that She is associated with the whales, dolphins, seals and selkies. She, herself, is sometimes seen as a Mermaid.

Just as She is the element of Water, from which all life flows, She is our emotions, as it is from Her that we receive our passions and our desires. She is in our blood, our sweat and our tears.

She insists that we feel, and feel deeply. She knows that with her gifts of compassion and understanding, we can cleanse ourselves in her waters, heal our emotional wounds and gain an inner wisdom. Her wish is for us to learn to live with the ebbs and flows of our lives, like the ebbs and flows of the ocean tides.

Domnu’s Sabbat is the just-passed Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) and, naturally Hers colors are the blue and turquoise of the sea.

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(Photo Credit: www.tianaart.com)

You can honor Domnu in many ways: going to the beach and immersing yourself in the ocean; you may take a ritual bath, at home, in salted water; decorate your altar with a chalice and shells, two of her symbols. You can donate your money or your time to organizations that work to save the oceans and the life within it, such as Ocean Conservancy, Oceana or Save the Whales.

As the summer gets going in all its’ glory, take the time to find your way to the ocean, immerse yourself in Her watery depths, and honor this ancient Mother Goddess. Domnu will bless you for it.

Resources:

oldtales.ning.com

goddessaday.com

norfolkgoddesstemple.co.uk

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