Season of the Witch

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Distraction….that is the million dollar word.  Lately there seems to be so many different things pulling at me.  I don’t tend to be the stretchy type lately either….rather, I break or end up running around like a crazy man.

It has come to my attention, especially over the past few days, that I let myself become side-tracked far too easily.  I am too much like that dog in the movie “Up.”  I can be talking one minute about the power of magick and…..”Squirrel!!!”  I throw myself into many things at one time and end up swirling like a cyclone.  My body rebels and my immune system retreats and sickness overtakes.  When sickness comes on, it seems to take forever to get my body back in line.

Over the past month, we had been preparing for a Halloween party.  This is a party that we look forward to every year.  We did a group costume this year and I spent weeks searching for all the right accessories.  I scoured eBay for deals and went to every costume shop in Atlanta.  I threw myself into the costume with all four feet.  The issue wasn’t the costume, but more the fact that there were other things that really needed to take precedence.

I am an ‘all or nothing’ type of guy.  I feel that if I am going to do something, it can’t be done halfway.  When I was working in the theater, I was introduced, through a show I was doing, to clogging.  Clogging is a type of folk dance in which the dancer’s shoes are fitted with taps and by striking toe and heel, a rhythm is created.  This dance is quite popular in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina….where I was raised.  It wasn’t enough for me to learn how to clog.  I had to become a part of a team and dance competitively.  While it was enjoyable, I wonder what ever made me pursue it.  Was it just another check mark on my blackboard of life?

Last night, late, I needed some air.  I decided to spend some time in the courtyard.  It was coolish…but not too cool and the wind was still.  I sat on the stoop of the condo and stared at the mandrake plant that I have been nurturing since early summer.  That plant has been a lesson in patience. They are very particular about light and condition and temperature.  I have had to tend that plant with kid gloves.  About a month ago, I started to finally see some growth.  Growth does not come quickly with a mandrake either.  What started as a bump in the soil, is now three small (and I do mean small) leaves….and this is on a two year old root.

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The only thing that it concentrates on is growing stronger.  It pulls from the elements and slowly gathers the strength and nourishment it needs to become the perfect specimen….when the time is right.

Samhain is upon us and in the midst of preparation, I have let myself meander away from what it means.  I have let other things push and pull me until I no longer feel that I know which direction I am headed toward.  Even the crows realize it.  Normally, I am besieged by throngs of crows on a daily basis….with Mama Crow leading the noisy choir.  When I go through times like this…the crows grow silent.  I haven’t seen or heard a crow in at least a week.2013-10-14 16.32.33

I have decided that Samhain, for me, this year….will be a new beginning.  This is a time to call on the ancients, the ancestors to help strengthen my resolve.  The coming year for me will be the “Season of the Witch.”  This is my time for growing…..not that quick, over-fertilized growth….but a slow methodical growing time.  In this year I will become even more intimately acquainted with herbs and potions.  I intend to absorb everything that the stones and crystals will give me.  My time with the Lord and Lady and the elements will be even more deliberate.  I have been on this path far too long to let it just be the shocking revelation of ‘Yes, I am a witch.’

It is my time to revel in what it means to be a witch.  It is time to let that part of my spirit sing out.  Let the magick that is within me flow.  The power behind my beliefs should flow from me as easily as my own name flows from my lips….it is that much a part of me.

I have seen too many try to show themselves as something they are not.  We are not Harry Potter….not Samantha from ‘Bewitched.’  We are not the ladies from ‘The Witches of East End’ or ‘Practical Magic.’  We are, however, a strong group of individuals with energy and power that cannot be matched.  We are people who have healing in our very fingertips….our backbone is strong…..we hold access to the spirit realm and the playgrounds of the fae.  We are not here by accident and we were born to fly.  We were given relationship with those who many toss aside….the animals follow us closely and give us access to their hearts and spirits.  We are many traditions and many beliefs….but one strong heart grounded strongly in the old ways.

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I look forward to the wonderful things that are coming for me in this new year.  There are no dragons to be fought….but there are plenty to ride.  On Samhain night, as the moon rises in the sky and the clock strikes midnight,  I will whisper my desires into the ears of the Lord and Lady.  I will offer myself to the elements and I will begin a journey of growth led by the spirits of the ancients and those ancestors who desire to teach me.  I am a witch…nothing more and I sure as hell will not be anything less.

Blessed Be!

 

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Making Your Own Magick

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I have so missed my walks this week.  A part of what wakes up the magick inside of me is getting to experience life away from four walls…but with dealing with whatever hellacious virus I have had this week, it has been hard to venture much farther than the walls of the courtyard.  As I tried to sneak off with Friz early this morning, my partner surprised me by snapping a picture of me just as we were about to escape.  This morning wasn’t about a backpack full of ritual items….it wasn’t about formality…it was just me, my dog, nature, and the Lord and Lady.

I think Friz was feeling cabin fever as much as I was.  He hates those times when either busy-ness or anything else keeps us from wandering in the early morning.  When he realized we were actually walking outside for more than a “pee trip,” he was pulling the leash with everything he had.  It was nice to feel the briskness in the air….almost a bite from the wind as we walked along.  The leaves were floating toward the ground in every direction we looked.  As I have said before, I love nothing more than to dance and play chase with the wind….she danced all around me this morning, inviting me to play.  I was still a bit weak, but Friz gladly answered that invitation.  He growled and chased and wiggled.

I took my staff with me this morning.  I am still getting a little winded as I walk….I figured a bit of magickal support wouldn’t hurt.  We got to a small patch of woods that we haven’t explored yet.  We could hear rustling in the leaves.  Friz felt the need to release that little “Buuff” so that anything would know how fierce he is.  I am sure that those squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks all ran for their lives….no matter, he was still being my protector.

As I sat under the trees, I remembered part of a conversation that I was having with a friend a few weeks ago.  We were talking about directing energy.  I have always had a more than vivid thought life…so visualizing energy has always come very easy to me.  I have no problem seeing the energy take forms and colors depending on what magick is being worked.  As I concentrated on all the full moon energy that was still lingering, I could feel a blue healing energy encompassing me.  I looked around and could see the energy of Crow and Wolf.  I could also see and feel the energy coming from a little blue chihuahua.  I lay back and relaxed into the comfort of that energy.

Today a friend of mine reminded me of something I have always known….”Magick is different for everyone…many ways of doing things, many beliefs….find one that suits you.  For all the wonderful teachings in the Craft…(and there are many) in the end….it’s about YOU.” “….This time of year is an excellent time to find YOURSELF.”  My response is that as I sift through the different parts of myself, this time of year, I find more and more of myself that I had forgotten….parts that have been scattered throughout the year.

I have always taken a simple approach to magick…I do what feels right for me.  If it doesn’t work right with my own intuition and spirit, then it isn’t the right magick for me.  I know that there are those that hold dear to their traditions… that’s fine and I do not belittle or undermine those traditions in the least, but I live the way that my grandma taught me.  “If you talk to the tree…listen, it will talk back.”  “If you ask the spirits for guidance, be prepared to be guided.”  I don’t have to hold my tongue just so….or spin in a circle in a particular way to get results.  When I do a spell,  I am prepared for all results and answers….just because I want something to happen a certain way doesn’t mean that it is the best fit for the universe or those around me.  In all the magick I do, though, I have to be willing to do the work.  I can’t expect things to happen if I am not willing to put in effort or intent…..that would be like doing magick for a new job and not putting my resume out there.  I can’t just sit on my ass and expect the elements or the gods and goddesses around me to do all the work.

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I have had a mandrake root…yes, the old fashioned kind like in Harry Potter…that I have been working with all summer.  I have been making sure all the conditions are perfect, just enough water..not too much, just the perfect number of hours of sunshine or light from a grow lamp.  All summer the pot sat there.  The soil was completely undisturbed…not one thing had changed.  My roommate came to me the day before the full moon this past week and said, “I don’t think your mandrake is alive.  I think the root is dead.  It just isn’t doing anything.”  I looked at him without missing a beat and said, “Maybe it just needs a little extra energy.  Sometimes we all need a little jump-start.”  I walked outside to the pot.  I watered it and talked to it….then I closed my eyes and envisioned a swirl of beautiful green glowing energy encircling the pot and plant.  I watched as the swirl of energy grew and climbed and pulsated….then I talked a little more to that root that I knew was just underneath that soil and then I went inside.  The day of the full moon, just after 4:00pm, I was going to lie down for a nap.  My roommate called me outside.  “Your mandrake is sprouting. I can actually see leaves.  What did you do?” I told him that I did exactly what I told him I was going to do…..I gave it a little extra energy…that jump-start.  So now, everyday, I give it a little extra energy…just for as long as it needs it.

If you have been doing the same thing over and over….expecting different results each time, maybe it’s time to mix things up a bit.  YOU are a magickal being…..rely on what’s inside of you.  YOU are capable of anything that the universe holds or offers….why do we feel the need to lock ourselves away in a tower and not allow ourselves to fly outside of it.  The only books the Ancients held were those they made themselves.

Think about what initially drew you to the Craft.  Take yourself back to that initial excitement….the feeling you had when you first encountered your spirit animal or familiar.  What did your first encounter with a god or goddess stir in you?  It’s all still there….maybe it’s time to break out the shovel and dig away the things that have buried some of those feelings or memories….or as my dear friend said “….sift through, experience the beauty, take your time, and have wonderful results.”

Blessed Be!

As Night-Time Settles In

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As I sit down to the computer tonight, it seems forever since I have written anything.  Sometimes life overtakes us and other times we are just taken over.  Over the past couple of weeks here in Atlanta, we have had our annual Gay Pride…I spent a good part of that weekend with friends (my partner was sick, but still he said, “Go on without me.  I will survive.”  He has such a spirit of courage ;)….along with the spirit of Gloria Gaynor).  We walked the crowded thoroughfare of Piedmont Park, enjoyed the sense of community, and experienced the Pride Parade.  The weather was beautiful…the leaves in the midst of change, but the weather around them warm and breezy.

Then Monday came.  We were back in the throes of day-to-day life….my partner was back on his feet.  I went to work Monday morning feeling energized and then Monday night, the god of all stomach viruses hit me.  Most people who know me, know that I would rather be sick in any other way but vomiting….well, this virus did not get that memo.  I tossed my cookies from late Monday evening up until this morning….a total of three days.  I have been stuck inside the house constantly…well, except for the few hours I ventured to work to get middle of the month requirements done.  Other than that, I slept….a lot.

When I am sick, my dream life is something else.  Normally I take the opportunity in sleep to conquer all those things that come at me in my awake life.  I find it fascinating that when I am sick and need to send magick to others….I do it in my dreams.  My body and magick are so much stronger in those places between sleep and awake.  In those dreams, I have seen healing, employment issues resolved…and powerful things done with the wave of a wand and the spoken word.  I have even awakened speaking the words of spells that I had no recollection of ever writing.

This may not be a traditional post for me, but it is something that I needed to write….a place where my spirit was far more active than any other part of me.  A place where I wasn’t contained by what anyone believed or said.

As Samhain approaches, the veil is getting thinner between this world and the next.  It never shocks me when I am visited by spirits when I sleep….especially this time of year.  As I closed my eyes last night, I was visited by many…very few whom I recognized.  Even though they were not familiar to me, there was a comfortable feeling…a knowing.  I dreamed of my roommate and I standing beneath a streetlamp.  He did his usual thing…he looked at the light and it went out.  I remember faces…only faces coming toward me.  They weren’t trying to scare me.  I looked beside me and saw Friz…then in the next moment, he had turned into a rather large wolf with his same little blue chihuahua markings.  In the next moment, I was over a cauldron….throwing bits of herbs and hair and roots into the mix calling for peace as these spirits walked closely to the edge of the veil.2013-10-17 20.10.36

I could feel myself turn in my sleep and then there was a tree.  The tree was stark and black and empty.  I was the only one at the base of this tree.  I put my hands on the trunk of the tree and watched as this tree began heaving and crying.  Wolf-Friz was close to my side…not moving away.  Then I saw the fae coming near…..they were wearing muted tones….the colors of winter.  They were begging me to come sing with them, but Friz would not let me go.  I remembered in my dream that my grandpa once told me that if you went away with the ‘wee folk’ that you would never return.

As I drifted in and out of the “sick-sleep,”  I kept seeing faces of those I love and cherish dancing in front of me…..I could feel their needs.  I would reach out to each one and feel them floating away as each was greeted with a kiss from a gray colored female.  I knew somehow that with each kiss their needs were being met.

As I ushered sleep away, I looked beside me to see a little blue chihuahua yawning widely beside me.  Always faithful….never moving from my side. He moved toward my face and softly licked my nose as I struggled to be awake.

With each deep sleep, I can feel my body healing.  I feel my spirit active…even though my body isn’t.  As the night fell, I visited gardens and farms and townhomes.  The only way I can describe it is to say that I got a taste of the old magick….that magick that the ancients before us.

As Samhain gets closer and the veil thins even more…..let us open ourselves even more to the lessons that not only spirit has to teach us…but also let us be open to those that we may overlook normally.Photo Jul 09, 6 19 20 PM

Blessed Be!

Dream It Anyway

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This week, I was disillusioned a bit.  I guess I put the type of expectations on everyone else that I have for myself.  Sure, it disappoints me when others don’t seem to live up to those expectations, but you learn to live with it for the most part.

It has been a while since I have been through the scouting and interviewing process of job-hunting.  I had done everything that I was required to do.  I submitted my resume, got the reply that a phone interview was required, replied with my schedule and availability, and I waited.  I waited while my roommate got a reply to his reply….I waited and watched my roommate sit and wait by the phone at the scheduled time for the interview…I waited while my roommate went on to the gym because an hour and a half past the interview time, no one had called.

My roommate came to me Friday night.  “What’s wrong.” “Nothing.”  “Yes there is.  Are you feeling depressed?”  “No…..well…a little.  How can someone tell you that they are going to do something and then not do it?  So much magick was poured into this.”  “Are you doubting the power of magick?”  “No not at all.  I have no doubt that magick is real….I don’t know what I am questioning.”

My brain was racing…soaring….all over the place.  I went to bed Friday night and dreamed about my childhood.  Dreams and memories overtook every moment of sleep.  I remembered the moment when I found out that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real.  That didn’t seem so much of a loss, but next came the demise of the Easter Bunny.  This revelation shook me a little more, considering that Easter is one of my favorite times of the year.  But when I was forced to take a good hard look at Santa…..lying comatose in the remnants of fantasy and glitter….it shook me to the core.  It shook me so much that I forced myself to ‘believe’ for two years longer for the ‘sake of my younger brother.’

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Those next two years were horrible for me.  The very foundation of my belief system was shaken.  Doubt replaced certainty.  If none of the magickal beings I had come to trust were real….then was magick, in itself, real?  I spent hours talking to my grandma about all of this.  I asked her how she was still able to hold fast to the legends and stories she was told as a young girl on the reservation.  I asked her how she was able to hold onto the belief in the power of all those spirits that were supposedly around us…especially when she couldn’t see them.  I still hold fast to the words that she spoke to me.  “Just because you can’t see the wind when it’s blowing through those trees…doesn’t make it any less real.  Just because you smell the rain before it gets there…doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.  Just because you can’t hear that tree talking….doesn’t mean it’s not talking.  Sometimes you have to dig deeper inside of you than you ever needed to dig before….just so you can see with your eyes closed.  All your life, people are going to tell you that you can’t do the things you know that you can.  It is your choice as far as what you believe.”2013-10-05 15.40.32

When I woke up this morning, I could feel my dreams still swirling inside my head.  I could hear my grandma’s voice echoing in my ears.  It was almost like having a dream hangover.  As I walked outside with Friz with the New Moon barely showing herself.  I wondered why I believed now as strong as I believe.  I realized that through this job-hunting episode, it wasn’t my belief in magick that was shaken….I think I have just grown even more weary of trying to excuse the bad personality flaws of others.  In any case, my feelings should have never gotten hurt over the fact that I was ‘overlooked.’

Friz and I set out with a mission this morning.  The woods were calling and we had a wand to pour energy into.  I also have a Facebook friend who is dealing with seizures and other medical issues who needs my energy more than that job.

We got into the woods and settled in under a tree.  We saw our little calico friend just a few feet from us.  I called on the spirit of Wolf and Crow.  I have never doubted that they would be there when I called.  My grandma always told me that whenever I needed my helpers, that they would be there.  I laid the wand between the two skulls and blew sage smoke over it.  I called to the Lord and Lady in behalf of the person the wand would be going to and in behalf of the friend battling illness.  It was at that moment that the wind came.  This wind was a familiar one.  My grandma was in this wind.  I smelled gardenia.  Her perfume always carried that heady essence of gardenia.  It pulsed around me, Friz and Beatrice.  Friz recognized this wind too.  He sat as if being told to do so….he licked at the air.  You see, my grandma was the first person he met after meeting me……we went straight to her house after picking him up.  She held him in the crook of her arm the whole time he was there.  She entertained  the kitten with scurrying leaves….my grandma never completely understood a cat.

It shouldn’t have shocked me that she would come to me in the wind.  She loved nothing more than the balmy breezes of summer and the crisp winds of Fall.  I asked her to bless the wand and to pour energy into it.  I talked to her about my friend.  It was as if I could hear her voice in each rustle of the leaves and could feel her quiet but mischievous strength.  I could hear her telling me….”Now remember, belief is all fine and good….you finally got that up under your belt.  Now it’s time to give those beliefs and dreams hands and feet.”  I could feel the kiss of the wind against my forehead as our time came to an end.  No sadness….just the feeling of hope that she always seemed able to leave me with.

Things are going to happen….I, as well as others, am going to screw things up.  Things aren’t always going to go the way I want them.  Dreams change and beliefs shift….but I intend to do the one thing she always told me to do…..”Dream it….Believe it anyway.  Who is gonna stop you?”