Watch the Skies, Traveler

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I was walking through the living room of the condo right after Christmas and my roommate was sitting in front of the television playing one of his video games on XBox.  He was playing Skyrim.  Just as I got past his chair, I heard a phrase come from the speaker that intrigued me. “Watch the Skies, Traveler.” I asked my roommate why the character used that phrase and he explained that it was a warning. Since the land was known to be inhabited by dragons, the one character was telling the traveler to ‘take heed’or to watch for anything that may cause harm.

I took this thought with me to the woods last Sunday and also this morning.  I needed to let the thoughts surrounding this one phrase to sink in.   As I pondered this thought on Sunday, I thought about how many times my friends and family have told me as I leave their homes to be careful or take care as I drive or walk.  To many, just a pleasantry, but these are also warnings to be on guard against the things that may threaten us.

There are so many things going on around us as of late.  It seems that everywhere we turn there is violence and anger and hatred.  We like to see ourselves as living in a civilized society.  I don’t so much see that anymore.  Yes….we are more advanced technologically, but we are no more civilized than our people groups were in prehistoric times.  It is still all about survival.2016-01-01 22.08.28

It seems that we as a people have come to annihilate anything or anyone who isn’t just like us.  We like to talk about how much more evolved we are, but we will crucify someone on Facebook.  The media (social and otherwise) has become just another battlefield.  Never have I seen so many people want to disappear from society all together and either live off the grid or whatever would keep the world at bay.

In such a time as this…when people seem to believe less in magick than they ever have…but also long for magick more than they ever have (there is a reason that Harry Potter and television shows like The Magician are  as popular as they are.  People hunger for the power and strength that seems to come with magick.  I find it funny that it is the people that I know who tell me they don’t believe in magick are the ones who come to me asking for spells to be done (but shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone I asked for this)

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Last night, I got out my scrying mirror.  As I stared into the darkened depths before me, I saw an old man.  I would have originally been inclined to think it was my own reflection, but this man was as old as the mountains themselves.  I could see sadness in his eyes.  In one eye I saw desolation and darkness and in the other I saw fire burning out of control…it was in a moment of fear that I looked toward his mouth.  Out of his mouth came hope, encouragement, and life.

This morning, in preparation for time in the woods, I gathered my dragon ring, some dragon’s blood incense, my mini cauldron with some charcoal discs, and some Vesta powder.  I work with dragon energy every so often, so I am aware of the etiquette and the way to address dragon energy.  As I worked inside the circle, I could feel the energy thicken and power coursing through me.  As I looked toward the sky, it was if I could feel the air from dragon wings moving around me.

In this instance, dragon energy began to communicate with my spirit.  I have long viewed the dragon as a friend and advocate, so there has always been a respect for that energy….never truly a fear.  As the smoke from the dragon’s blood wafted toward me, I sprinkled the Vesta powder onto the charcoal.  The mini-explosion and sparks was magnificent.

As I meditated on this energy, I envisioned myself walking toward the dragon and climbing on his back…all with his permission.  Again, the dragon was not an object or being to be feared but one to partner with and become a force unmatched by any other.   It isn’t about taming the dragon, but about utilizing its strength.

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As 2016 plunges forward, we witches have to call on the forces around us.   We hold tight to the magick around us.  We walk in strength and with a magick as old as the universe.  In the coming year, don’t forget who you are and don’t let the world make you into something you aren’t.

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Blessed Be!

Run and Hide Your Crazy…

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I heard a phrase on the radio the other day that I haven’t heard since I was a young’un.  I was listening to a country music radio station on the way home from work and a song by Miranda Lambert came on.  The song is called, “Mama’s Broken Heart.”  In the song, Mama tells the girl to ‘Run and hide your crazy and start acting like a lady.’  I laughed out loud because I can remember Mama telling her brothers and sisters that they needed to just ‘run on and hide their crazy.’

It is just so funny to me how things just kind of surface in our lives to give us a ‘heads up,’ so to speak.  Who knew that I would be dealing with bat-shit crazy this week?  Something always seems to be stirring, huh?

Let me preface what I am about to write.  Firstly, I am not Wiccan.  I am not Gardnerian.  I am not a Voudouist.  I am a Witch.  I practice in many different ways.  I employ animism, rootwork, herbalism, spoken and written spells, rituals to God and Goddess, dancing (naked and clothed), naturism, shamanism, and Native American medicine.  I am accountable to a small circle of friends, not a coven.2014-03-26 22.26.35

 

I have had a love of magick (and yes, I spell it with a ‘k’ because I choose to).  I am a part of the universe and the elements and they are all a part of me.  I make no excuses for anything I do in my Path…and I ask for no one’s approval.  As long as I feel the energy of the earth, sky, seas, sun and moon….all is well with the world.

I will also say that I have many friends who walk many different paths….Wicca, Voudou, Gardnerian, Shamanism–so many it is hard to even count.  They walk their paths with integrity, purpose and devotion.

So…you may ask, what brought all this on?  I received a scathing message this afternoon from someone who read my blog.  In this message, I was berated for not having been initiated properly by a High Priestess and Priest.  I was told that my ‘practices’ were essentially for naught because I did not belong to an  authentic tradition, and that I had not fulfilled the ‘year and a day’ requirement.  I was told that my spellwork  and rituals were too simplistic and my blogs too ‘fluffy.’  I was also warned of my association with the ‘dark’ gods and goddesses.

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Did I get angry, you may ask?  No.  Did I send a message back ripping this person from horn to hoof?  No.  Did I hurl a powerful, gut-wrenchingly painful curse or hex at this person?  No.  This person has already made their own bitter, hate-filled, narrow-minded cave to live in.  Just by this persons own divisive way of thinking, they have alienated themselves from such a powerful part of the magickal community.  They will never allow themselves to get to know some of the most creative, lively magick-filled folk ever created.

I do speak a warning to those of you reading this.  Do not discount the power that others hold.  Be warned, lest you fall into the ways of the mainline church.  If we start to behave the way this person did, we will soon be denominationalizing paganism (though I have already seen some leanings).  When we start to get ‘preachy’ about one way being right or wrong, others start to walk around us and avoid us…just like the street envangelist standing on a wooden box at the crosswalk.

My question to you is:  How do you respond when you find out that someone’s path is not like yours?  Are you open to what they believe?  Do you listen intently as they tell their experiences…even though they may not line up with what you were taught or do you stand there with little besoms and flames  darting in your eyes just waiting to tell them how wrong their chosen path is?

I am more than used to being told that I am wrong.  Being gay, I have been told that my ‘lifestyle’ is not natural so many times, I could circle the world with all the little gay rainbow fairies that passed out by the sheer shock.  Being told that something I do is wrong doesn’t even phase me anymore.  If I am wrong, I will be the first one to tell you.

It is not your job to live your life as a dementor.  It is not required for you to suck all of the happiness and joy out of the world.

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If the pagan community were to join energies, despite our differences, just imagine the magick that would encompass this world.  To most of the mundane community, magick has been confined to fairy tales and fiction.  Gods and goddesses have become only mythology and dragons and other magickal beings have been relocated to artwork and toys.

We have the potential to show paganism and witchcraft as honorable and full of integrity.  We have the ability in our very minds and hands to focus intention in ways never dreamed possible.  All we have to do is Learn to Play Nice!!!   2014-03-30 19.45.34The power is right there in your hands!

Blessed Be!

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!

 

There and Back Again….

131164-bilbo-smoking“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.’

I should think so–in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!”

My best friend and I were talking last night as we walked out of the grocery store.  Me:  Do you think I have lost my joie de vivre?  Him:  Yeah, maybe a little bit.  You aren’t the same as even when I met you.  Me:  What do you think happened.  Him:  I think you let fear take away what was once inside you.

I have to say that I agree 100%.  When I look back at the person I used to be, there was a sense of daring….a sense of delight that overtook me when someone told me that I wasn’t capable of doing something.  Immediately, something was stirred inside of me that was determined to prove them wrong. RhosgobelWe are told, that as we age, we are to settle down….it is a time to become comfortable.  After all, retirement is looming around the corner and we know that somewhere in our future, rocking chairs and quilts abound.  We have been hypnotized by reality shows….we no longer have to leave our homes for adventure…..just turn on the tellie, and you can live someone elses life.  You can dream of what it would be like to be one of the housewives of Atlanta, or go Hillbilly Handfishing, or you can be Honey Boo-Boo Child……the aspirations are endless!

You don’t even have to leave your home to have date-night anymore.  Turn on “On Demand” and order a movie…order a meal to be delivered and you never have to get dressed or even shower for that matter.  Is it any wonder that anymore we are becoming a batch of stinky, overweight, non-doers?  And trust me, I am  right at the top of that list.  I speak from experience.  It is so much easier to stay at home and never move from the sofa or the patio than to have to fight Atlanta traffic or make the effort to find new and whimsical things to tickle and enthrall the senses.  After all…..I have grown up responsibilities now.  I have two dogs and two cats that hang on my every movement and word….Yeah, right!

I do venture out to the woods or the pond on the weekends…sometimes even during the week.  I dress like powerful mage that I am (well, at least in my mind. LOL)  I look to the elements and the plants and trees and animals for the magick that I am so sure is inside of me.  But there is something missing.  There is adventure brewing in me that has yet to be tapped into.  There is that part of me who hungers to climb the hills outside of my courtyard, climb the mountains beyond and soar into the distance. My sword is at the ready….dragons are around the corner. 2012-10-10 15.00.59

I have entertained the Morrigan many times this week.  My encounters with her have been through the one aspect that I cringe at, but also crave.  She has spent the week calling me to change.  It is time to lay some old habits and thought patterns to the side and embrace a part of myself that I buried a few years ago.  It is one thing to grow older but one must also grow wiser.  The Morrigan showed me many mirrors this week.  In one reflection, I was a ferocious as a wolf.  That wolf, now, because of fear that has been allowed to creep into my life….will roll over onto his back and pee in the air like a submissive puppy.  In another reflection, I kept my wings spread wide like the crow…again, because of fears, my wings have been clipped.  Finally, I was shown the reflection of the buck.  My head high, my gait smooth, my speed swift.  I have allowed fear once again to cripple me and cause me to limp….afraid to move too fast.

I had forgotten that the person staring back at me was the one who had the nerve to leave home at 17 and pursue an acting and singing career in New York.  I had forgotten that this same person took on raising two girls without so much as flinching.  Most recently, he moved to Atlanta without the prospect of a job to be with the man he loved.  I saw courage in his eyes.  I saw fire.

I looked back in….the reflection didn’t seem to match who was staring back.  I have become far too settled.  I have traded adventures for stability.  This is not a bad thing, but I have let the stability become ritual with no expectations.  I have stayed where I am because it is comfortable and not necessarily the best thing for me.

Now I am not talking about getting up and forsaking everything that my life holds.  I have been called by the Morrigan to change those things that have made me monotanous….that have hampered and suffocated the magick.  I have started an adventure sheet.  I will be doing magick that will help to activate the adventure that I know is still there.  I may need to bare the teeth a little more, spread the wings a little wider, and race a little swifter into the wind….but I am willing to do these things.  That fellow I once saw in the mirror never went away….he was just napping.  Sometimes we have to wake that part of us up…..no matter how hard we protest.2012-09-06 12.09.40

It is time to free the parts of me that have locked away.  I need to remember to dance a little harder, laugh a little louder, run a little faster…..after all, life is one adventure after another.  I just had to decide to get up from the table, turn off the TV and run out of the gate just as fast as I could run.

I AM GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!!!!!the-hobbit_2422493b