Walking Toward the Dark Months…

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Today has been one of those days that make me long for Fall.  The air here never really got hot…it wasn’t quite as balmy as it has been, and a cooling breeze circulated the whole time.

Friz and I took a walk to the pond this afternoon…quite a sidestep from our normal early morning routine, but a needed time.  As we walked, I saw glimpses of color dotting the green of the grass.  “That cannot be what I think it is.  It is far too soon.”  I walked over to a splash of brilliant red, reached my hand toward it and then watched as Friz darted in front of me and grabbed it from my fingers….he thought we were playing a grand game of chase.  I walked over to another swatch of red and grabbed it up quickly before tiny piranha-like teeth wrenched it from my grasp again.  I was amazed to see the vibrant red washing over the leaf in my fingers.  I have had the strongest feeling that autumn would be settling into Atlanta early this year…but here was proof.  I could feel myself breathing a contented sigh knowing that just around the corner would be pumpkins, hot cocoa, fuzzy socks, hoodies…and of course, comfort food….and as a good friend reminded me last night….lots and lots of books.

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Friz and I walked back to the condo.  Both of us were a little winded and a little warm…we haven’t quite hit those autumn temperatures yet.  We both plopped down on the sofa in front of the fan.  I texted back and forth sporadically with a friend and thought about taking the time to make a little trek to the woods tonight.

My partner and I had decided on dinner out…local BBQ.  Couldn’t have been a better time.  The breeze was cooling off the air around us and the BBQ joint was packed.  As we took our time and savored every bite…even down to the homemade banana pudding, we talked about our upcoming beach trip at the end of September and other fall-type activities.

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After we had gotten back home and had the chance to let the dogs go pee, I figured it was time for me and Friz to make our way to the woods.  I packed up my backpack with the essentials…or as I have come to call it, my ‘Wood-Witch Kit.’  We walked most of the way, but when we got almost to the woods, Friz decided that I needed to carry him the rest of the way.  Now, how could I say no to those big ole bug-eyes?

When we got to the woods, the air had cooled dramatically…..I could feel myself positively aching for that first taste of briskness.  I settled in and put my candles around me.  The wolf and crow skull in the middle…my wand rested on a bed of leaves.  I could feel the footsteps of the goddess walking around me….the steps no longer heavy and plodding with the anticipation of birth, but starting to slow a bit.  As I sat and spoke to the directions…sang to the elements….I could hear her whispering to me that it was time for the croning to begin.

As we walk into the season of autumn…it is a time of deep change.  The leaves go from the vibrant yellows and oranges and reds into crunchy brown skeletons.  We watch the world around us age with the triple goddess.  I could hear her whisper in my ear about the wonderful changes that would come with the turning of the wheel, but I could also hear her voice begin to crack as her aging became imminent.  I could see that vibrant red hair which was barely streaked with gray was beginning to silver even more and the lines were engraving themselves along her face.

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I watched as her brow furrowed and she opened her mouth to speak.  “Preparation.  You see the squirrel…already storing and hiding and beginning to set up her nest in preparation.  You must be just as diligent.  Prepare your heart, your mind, your spirit.  Open yourself to every possibility.”

I lay down in the dirt trying to absorb all that I had heard.  I heard a little nose snuffling up beside me.  I looked out of the corner of my eye to see my own little mini-wolf staring back at me.  The first thing that came to my mind was his own adaptability.  No matter what has come, this little blue chihuahua has always managed to love, wag, and lick his way through any situation we have faced.  As I raise my head, I see that he is now nose to nose with the wolf skull…..I have no doubt that he is absorbing that wolf spirit.  I am always amazed at how open animals are to magick.  The rest of the world would love to tell themselves that magick isn’t real…that it is the stuff of which fairy tales are made.  They have simply put blinders on and chosen not to see the very thing that whirls around them.  The thing that I love the most about animals and magick is how receptive to healing animals can be…after all, no one has ever told them that it isn’t possible.

As I watch Frisbee, I let my eyes go half closed let the energy of the woods sweep through me.  The breeze is moving around me….my spirit dances with the breath of the wind.  Friz settles himself in between the crow skull and the wolf skull….seemingly amused at my antics.  His tail wags as my head bobs back and forth.

We both jumped when we saw something darting through the woods. Friz moved behind my leg….ever the protector.  I looked closer into the shadows and saw a calico kitten…couldn’t have been more the a few months old and as tame as she could be.  She came up to us with no fear at all and was rubbing all over Friz….thankfully he is used to strange cats.  I picked her up and her motor was going strong.  It was like holding a little multi-colored dishrag….she was completely at ease.  I put the little rascal down and she scampered home.  Friz and I gathered up our magickal tools and I carried him back to the condo.  After I had settled into my comfy pants, I looked up the magickal significance of a calico cat.  In most cultures, they are generally considered lucky.  In dream interpretation they represent luck with new friends and old ones.  Sounds wonderful.

I decide to grab my besom and sweep out some of the old stale energy from the house.  It is time to get new energy circulating.  Friz played with the broomstraws as I swept.  Merlin thought it was his job to redistribute whatever it was that was moving.  He jumped at and played with the energy swirling around the broom.  When I finished, the three of us collapsed in a heap on the sofa…after all  circulating energy is hard work on little chihuahuas and old alley cats.

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My mind wrestled with all I had heard in the woods.  I have been so busy lately making wands, staves…sorting through my book of shadows.  Making, creating….let the preparation begin.  Not only do I travel toward a new season of the wheel of the year….I am journeying toward a new season in my own life and magick  Let the preparations begin.

Blessed Be!

Wielding the Sword….

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It seems as though some weeks are more challenging than others.  We all have to realize that life in itself is a challenge.  As we move through this plane of existence, we see that day after day, week after week…there are ups and downs.  Over this past week….it seems as though I have fought one uphill battle after another.  Between dealing with clients who seemed to want to fist-fight at work to petty little arguments with my partner to stupid neighbors acting like jackasses….just seemed like one battle after the next.

I had to make sure to take time away from everything this week, but with the rain and chill in the air, it seemed that I was going to have to learn to swim to the pond and float into the woods.  I made myself go, though, and pressed harder into the world of magick than I think I have ever pressed.  I found myself needing to separate from those things that were causing me the most stress.  My blood pressure was going up like a hot air balloon.  Each time it peaked, I could feel the blood vessels dancing in my face;  I could feel the change of pressure in my eyes.

On Tuesday night, I decided to visit the courtyard….while it was pleasant and cool-ish, it just wasn’t far enough away from the issues and pressures at hand.  I needed to go deeper.  I walked out to the edge of the pond….I stared at the water with my eyes glazed over with the memories of issues of the past couple of days…..not big enough to be a crisis, but big enough to distract me.  I breathed slowly in and out….releasing the stresses….receiving in cool, cleansing air.  I walked quietly back to the condo, changed into my pajama pants and had a very restless nights sleep.

I woke up Wednesday morning dragging and grumpy.  When I got to work, it was crisis after crisis after crisis….that nobody would deal with except me.  I finished out the day completely exhausted.  Of course, there was the glorious Atlanta rush hour traffic to contend with on the way home….and to be honest, quite a few folks get a case of the stupids when they drive in the rain.  I walked in the front door and started taking off my scrubs….it is kind of like a snake shedding the old skin.  I love the freedom I feel as I let the dirt of the day fall away from me.  I felt as though I had been battling all day.  I compared it to what a medieval warrior must have felt like after using his sword all day….my arms hurt, my back hurt, my legs hurt….I was one big ache.  Battles are not for wusses.

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Once I put on civilized clothing, including my cloak, I waded down to the woods.  It was just cool enough to stir feelings of Fall’s approach inside of me.  I took a garbage bag and a blanket with me….at least my behind wouldn’t end up completely soggy.  In my backpack were my normal outdoor altar tools…candles, matches, a skull or two, and a wonderful new amulet I just got from Sarah Anne Lawless.

I sat down on the blanket which was covering the trash bag and set everything out….by now it was just barely spitting rain so I was able to light my candles.  I breathed in and out slowly and purposefully.  I called on the directions…I called on the elements (water was there in full representation)…I called on the Lord and Lady.  I addressed the Morrigan….”One must get tired of wielding the sword so much.  No wonder they speak of being battle weary.”  I could feel something almost chuckling around me…..the leaves of the trees moving in the wind.  I felt it deep in my spirit.  “Meditate on what you are leaving behind when you fight.”  I delved deep into my own spirit.  I thought back on all the native american history I knew.  I thought back on medieval times.  A shield……why would you go out into battle without taking something to block what is coming against you?

It crept into my mind.  Sometimes you may not even need to strike with the sword if you block strongly with the shield…of all things to forget.  It should have been second nature for me to think of blocking an attack.  I closed my eyes and visualized a strong blue bubble of healing around me…then I encased that bubble with red for passion…I was determined that nothing was going to get through.  I lay down on the blanket and realized that by now everything was getting a bit soggy….including me.  I packed up and walked back to the house.  I changed into my pajama pants and made myself a cup of hot herbal tea (spiked with just a little bit of honey vodka)….pure heaven.  I slept heavy that night.

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When I got up on Thursday, I put the amulet around my neck.  I figured that not only had it been charged by Sarah, but it also had absorbed the magick from the night before in the woods.  I had no idea about what was waiting for me at work….a yellow-headed dragon…well, close enough.  One of our clients met me at the door regarding an issue that I had no control over whatsoever.  I did everything I could to accommodate her and when she left I thought it had been resolved.  She called back later that afternoon and told my manager that I was combative and degrading….thankfully, I had a shield….a co-worker had been standing there listening to everything.  It started to really dig into me…someone who didn’t even really know me would do something so vengeful and hateful.  I brewed on it for a few hours…..then I remembered, “She really doesn’t know me.  Why am I bothered by someone’s opinion who has no clue who I am.  She doesn’t live with me, she doesn’t spend time with me, she doesn’t talk to me on a daily basis.”  I could feel those shielding bubbles of protection kicking in.  At first, I wanted to take the sword and cut her just as she had done me….but then I realized that this was a battle that had no significance at all.  The sword wasn’t needed…..this time, only the shield.

Since that episode, I have been throwing myself into magickal workings.  It has rained non-stop, so I have been utilizing the water and air elements.  Healing has been strong on my list.  I have friends who have need of healing in body and spirit.  I want to see that healing manifested.  Tonight I will work with fire.  Fire represents passion and comfort to me….I have a few friends who have requested both.  I look forward to seeing what can be accomplished through the combination of energy.  I can already feel it swirling around me.

This morning, I saw something strange on the telephone pole above the parking lot.  I kept hearing Mama Crow cawing frantically and angrily.  I looked around trying to find her.  I then heard the “squee squee” of a hawk nearby.  I looked up to see Mama Crow absolutely tormenting that hawk.  I honestly would have never thought that a crow would take on a bird that much bigger.  She flew at, bit at and flailed at that hawk with something I have never, ever witnessed….and the hawk left.  I was dumbfounded.  I just stood there staring at Mama Crow up on that pole.  I could almost swear her breast was puffed out in pride.  It was then that I realized….in battle, it’s not size, strength, or even weapons….most of the time it is just pure tenacity.

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Blessed Be!

Round About the Cauldron Go…

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Today has been a very busy day for me magickally.  I started the morning half asleep at my desk.  Nothing seemed to be waking me up.  I reached in my drawer to get a selection of stones and crystals that I keep in there, along with a small black candle and a small white candle.  I sat everything up and proceeded to call on goddess to restore my energy.  Now, I know that a lot of folks think that magick should be enveloped in ceremony and ritual….but I happen to believe that magick and the power of the gods and goddesses can be accessed at any time.  I don’t necessarily have to have on my best ceremonial robes.  That’s what I happen to love the most about witchcraft….I don’t have to be like you and you don’t have to be like me and we are neither one wrong.

As soon as I was feeling more myself, I settled in for work…which seemed like a full day of refereeing.  On my break, I checked in on Facebook to see where a friend had asked how many cauldrons we all had.  I stated that I have three.  I have a small copper cauldron for incense, a medium sized one that fits perfectly in the middle of my altar, and a large one…for when I have to haul out the big guns.  She asked if the largest one was the most powerful…not per se…but I answered that it is the one that I dance around and wail like a banshee when I really want to see results.

Another Facebook friend had requested healing energy for her own pet.  Having just dealt with an ailing fur-friend, I felt compelled to do some major magick on her pets behalf.  I pulled out my mini-altar and proceeded to do some energy work, but with the intent of doing some ‘heavy duty’ work when I got home.  I fidgeted at my desk the rest of the afternoon.  I was ready to throw myself with abandonment into the workings of magick.

2013-08-08 20.47.17I pulled into the parking lot of the condo complex at about 4:30pm.  I was so excited about working in the courtyard…I had been looking forward to it all day.  I went inside and gathered everything I would need to accomplish my goals.  I hauled the big cauldron out onto the patio because suddenly the courtyard was caught in the midst of a brand new downpour.  I poured some brandy into the cauldron, followed by different herbs, a little cat hair…and a whole lot of intent.  I struck a match and watched as the flames danced around the bowl of the cauldron.  I have been growing mandragora officinarum and decided that it would make a wonderful addition to the brew.  I like its protective properties as well as its warding abilities and its invincibility. I carefully dug the root out of the dirt, dusted away the soil and pulled one of the delicate little root hairs and added it to the pot before burying the root again.
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I called on the elements…the directions….Bast, Hekate, The Morrigan.  I laid out my intent before them.  I began to dance and sing around the cauldron.  A fast hard rain began to wash through the courtyard.  I could feel the steam as it hit the ground.  I was amazed at how clean and new everything looked with the rainwater dripping from it.  I am constantly amazed at how magick can give you a new perspective on things.  As I sat down in front of the cauldron, I was dripping with both a little rain and a lot of sweat.  I watched the fire smolder down into a wonderful aroma of dried herbs, brandy and smoke.  I leaned against the brick of the patio and basked in the abilities of the goddess to be able to use the intent that I had been conjuring all day.

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I got up and went inside and gathered three blackthorn sticks and my knife. I started carving and scraping and whittling into that wonderfully stubborn hard wood.  What will they become?  More wands?  An athame handle?  The possibilities are endless….it’s all in the intent.  There is so much that I want and need to do over the next few days….work with the blackthorn…that’s a given, work on my staff…it’s time to add some stones, organize my magick supplies and tools…am I really up for it?

I still feel it stirring inside of me…..there is something strong stirring.  I am giddy with anticipation.  I have yet begun to tap into the magick!

Blessed Be!

As the Crow Flies…

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Two weeks ago today, I went to meet up with some new friends for brunch. As our time together ended, we looked around us because we heard the noisy caws of a crow. We scanned the skies and noticed that the crow was getting closer with each caw. Finally as we looked toward the eave of the house, there perched the crow on the eave above the door. One of my friends is familiar with my writings about Mama Crow. He said, “It looks like she followed you.” There was a part of me that wanted to believe that, but there was that tiny ounce of doubt too. I chatted with him later on and found out that the crow left after I did. I have read about crows being able to recognize people’s faces. My hope is that Mama Crow has become so much more than a guide….a presence of spirit….a representative of the Morrigan….but maybe also, a friend.

I have noticed that when challenges surface in my life, Mama Crow makes herself more evident. Last week when my car battery died, Mama Crow was on the post in the apartment complex making so much noise on my lunch, the day before. Whenever a challenge seems to await me, there is Mama Crow…carrying on like no other. It seems that there is one woman in the apartment complex who just seems to have it out for me. She tends to catch me just as I am about to get in my car to go back to work from walking the dogs….she wants to rant at me because my car is parked in front of my condo and she thinks she should park there because she wants the shade tree. I stand there rolling my eyes as Mama Crow bounces from branch to branch in a nearby tree, raising a ruckus.

The Morrigan has made her presence known so much more in my life lately. I realize that she is one of the dark aspects of the goddess and I do realize that I am at the croning part of my life…I shouldn’t be shocked that she is becoming more of a presence. My life, as of late, seems that it is in a constant state of change….I realize that the Morrigan is also a goddess of transformation and change. I embrace these changes….I allow them to be a part of me….it does not mean that I don’t kick and scream the whole way.

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Worry has always been a large part of my make-up. I get this from my Mama. My mama is one that worried if the phone didn’t ring exactly four times before being picked up….she worried if we sneezed once ( had to be the flu)….she worried if we ate a tiny bit less than we normally did. I didn’t get the worry gene that badly, but I am a worrier. I am one that thinks constantly about where I stand with my job. If any little thing seems off with my animals….I worry….I let my thoughts overtake me.

Last night, I went out with friends to celebrate my birthday, which always falls on Lammas. We started the evening with dinner, then went to a piano bar afterwards. I had several drinks and was feeling good, but not enough to be drunk. We got home at about 1:00am and I headed to the woods by myself. I laid down on the ground….I could feel the coolness of the dirt beneath me. I knew I needed grounding….so much happening as of late….so many things swirling around my head…things I won’t share in a blog, but things that those closest to me will know. I missed my little blue chihuahua laying on top of me and beside me….but he was sleeping too peacefully to rouse.

I have been feeling, as of late, that something major is happening magickally. There is an energy working its way through the atmosphere. Though my heart is at peace, my mind and my spirit have been racing. I have sensed something in each of the animals. Merlin has taken to sleeping under the new altar table I placed in the bedroom. Tamira wants to be touched constantly…even if it is nose to nose. Bella craves time under the moon….she walks my partner to death at night. Friz longs for magick…..as I write this, he is not feeling like himself. He has been trembling and his tail is tucked. I have been using Reiki and healing magick on him all night. But still, in the midst of this…I know something powerful is coming2013-08-03 00.34.29

I have been out tonight walking the perimeter of the condo….using the last of the waning moon’s energy. As I walked, I sprinkled stinging nettles…uttering spells to banish negative energies…to banish negative people from stepping foot near my sanctuary…banishing sickness, hurt, confusion, fear……casting away all things that might hinder my household from thriving, from prospering….calling out the names of my friends who I know have had a rough time of it lately….banishing those things from their lives that have interfered with them living the most abundant and productive lives.

As I walked, I could feel Lady Luna looking down at me, nodding her head in agreement as I borrowed and shared her energy. As I walked toward the place where two paths joined next to the condo, I could sense the breath of the hounds of Hekate…..them sensing the nervousness and fear and worry I have over my own dog. I could feel their strength, their passion….my worry took a back seat as I reached out to see if I could feel their coats. The breeze greeted me and sent the energy they gave forward. Finally, I could sense the Morrigan….always accompanying me through the battles of day to day life. I hold the utmost respect for her, knowing that she holds the very balance of life and death in her hands. I could feel the winds shifting….I could feel my spirit shifting….I could feel my mind shifting. The time for fear and worry is past….it is time for action. We as witches have to move past circumstance….for we will be tested every moment. We as witches must live by spirit and magick.

It is a hard thing for me to see past myself most days….but I constantly get lessons from the gods and goddesses. The spirit knows what the mind and body need. Tonight, as I told a dear, dear friend about Frisbee….she told me that he has absorbed and absorbed so much lately. She reminded me about what I felt about something happening magickally with the regards to the animals. She happened to mention that maybe Friz needed grounding. An hour or so after our texting, I took Friz out for his final walk of the night. After we had walked for a few minutes and he had peed, he lay down in the dirt. I remembered what Maluna had told me, so I sat down beside him. I rubbed him as he absorbed the power from Mother Earth herself. Then I brought him in, kissed him on his head, placed my amethyst on the kennel, lit the healing candle I have….and I sat down at the desk to finish writing. He needed grounding. His spirit knew better than I did….better than he did.

Now, he sleeps…just as I will. I will dream of the things to come. The changes….the struggles…the triumphs. That is the way of the spirit.2013-08-03 16.25.56

Blessed Be