Spring’s Flame Begins to Smolder

Brigid

We are at the cusp of Imbolc.  The home fires have been stoked and the pantry filled.  The days are starting to get longer.  Here in the south, we are starting to see signs of daffodils, snowdrops, crocus and even hyacinth peeking eagerly through the dirt.  I have also noticed that particular change in the natures of the animals. The outdoor female cats around the complex are becoming more vocal and rubbing against anything they can find.

As the earth begins to awaken again, so does that part of us that calls us to the mating ritual.  Our bodies and our minds begin to feel alive again.  The heartbeat of the earth around us beats with the pulse of sexual energy.

This week has been a phenomenal week for me.  I have touched a part of my spirit that has lain dormant for quite a long time.  As I went to sleep Sunday night, my dreams drifted toward a school where I was taking classes.  An old pickup drove up through the field surrounding the school and I got in.  Inside the pickup was a friend…as my leg touched the seat, he reached out to touch my leg, then my arm…and then he leaned in and we passionately kissed.  Moments later, we were in an abandoned cabin where the touches and exploration continued…the heat of the moment rose more and more.  It was if there were flames and ice around us at the same time.  And then I woke up.2015-02-01 08.19.17

The heat and passion inside that dream stayed with me through the day.  I could barely concentrate on work at times, because I could feel the same sensations I was feeling in the dream happening to my body over and over.  I kept a cool damp cloth with me all day.

Don’t get me wrong….I love my partner very much.  He means the world to me, but I came to the realization this week that we work so hard to push that sexual, fiery part of our nature out of the way….it has to find a release. As I drifted off to sleep each night this week, new people would become a part of my dreams.  Each dream was just as intense and heat inducing as the first.  I started receiving messages from those I dreamed about. “Did you, by chance, dream about me last night?” “Yes, why?” “Was it a strongly sexual dream.” “Yes, why?” “Because it felt like you were here with me….I could feel your lips, your touch.”

I didn’t try to ‘conjure up’ any kind of sexual dream and I definitely didn’t go in with any person locked away in that part of my mind…but still it manifested.  I decided that it was, once again, time for me to sit down with myself and see what I needed to do to give this part of myself acknowledgement and an outlet.

Late last night after everyone went to bed, I slipped off to my sacred space. Now guys….as you read this…don’t gloss over it or tune it out.  Believe me, it applies.  I had lit red candles throughout the space.  Sandalwood, Dragon’s Breath and Bergamot incense filled the space.  As I entered, I removed all my clothes.  We have all become so self conscious of our bodies…I’m too fat, too skinny…I don’t measure up…I am too hairy, nothairy enough.  Women…how many times have you stood in judgement of your own body?  You threw out the good before you even had time to acknowledge it.

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I watched as the candlelight flickered against my body.  I felt the heat begin to surface.  I used my breathing as a substitute for the heartbeat of the earth mother….and I felt the emergence of the Horned God.  I began to visualize the strength of the Horned God manifesting inside me.  My breath quickened.  I could smell the musk of my own sexuality filling my nostrils.  I could feel my face flushing as I breathed and concentrated on the candlelight.  As I came down from this indescribable high, I extinguished the candles one at a time until the final candle in front of me was the only one lit. I used my fingers to extinguish the flame…the pinch of the fire only added to my experience.

I apparently fell asleep in my sacred space.  My roommate woke me up as he was heading out the door this morning.  What a visual that mush have been as he moved past the pillows and candles to find a large, hairy naked me sound asleep.

I got up and got dressed and went to the woods.  I went alone this morning. I needed time with me.  Friz must have understood because I could hear him snoring from inside the kennel.  As I settled down into the dirt, I took my shoes off so that I could feel her heartbeat a little stronger.  It was as if I could feel every breath….I could feel the life incubating inside her trying to burst forth early.  I could feel her heartbeat as she gave herself to the God in complete abandon.  As each pulse of her own flame met each thrust of his, her heartbeat quickened even more.  In these moments, I had not only become more intimate with the Horned God, but I had also experienced that same intimacy with the Goddess.match

I am a living breathing sexual being.  The spiritual part of that same nature is just as strong.  It is a brooding, pulsing part of my magick.  This afternoon, I lit some incense…the same as last night but with cinnamon added.  I lit red candles throughout the bedroom.  I brought out the massage oil and I slowly removed mine and his clothes…I always have said that magick is something that should be shared.

Blessed Be!

Everyone Has a Story…

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Our lives are a collection of stories.  Truths about who we are, what we believe, what we came from, how we struggle and how we are strong.  When we can let go of what people think, and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness–the feeling that we are enough just as we are, and that we are worthy of love and belonging.

–Dr. Brene Brown–The Hustle for Worthiness

This time of year, we are regaled with every type of story and legend that one could imagine.  From childhood, we are taught the legend of Santa Claus.  We are told of this large, big-hearted man dressed in a red suit who watches every move we make.  As witches and pagans, we tell and re-tell the stories of the Goddess and the Holly King and the return of the light when the solstice comes upon us.

As I walked through the stores at the mall this weekend, I saw stacks and stacks of storybooks.  There was everything from “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” to “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.”  As I walked haggardly through the aisles, I started people watching.  I wondered what the stories were behind the faces of the people passing me by.

A dear friend of mine from back home came to mind.  She was a strong, determined woman.  You see, she had survived a concentration camp in Germany.  She was a singer in her younger days and when the Nazi regime took power, her mother made the daughters bleach their hair platinum so that they looked ‘more German.’  She traveled the German countryside by bicycle to avoid the SS soldiers.  One day, she had taken a route she had taken many times over.  She was stopped by a Nazi soldier. Her Jewish features would betray her to this soldier and she was sent to Dachau concentration camp.  Because of her musical background, she was used as entertainment for the soldiers.  At night, she would sing to soothe the nerves of the children imprisoned.  She would tell stories of how women who were able to hold on to one piece of treasured jewelry (including her own mother’s diamond) would swallow the jewelry first thing in the morning, then with the evening bowel movement, clean the jewelry and hold onto it for dear life as they slept.  This beautiful woman was and is a survivor.  She will tell you that is by faith and determination that she was spared.  It is the same determination that you see in every part of her life today.  It encompasses every fiber of her being.

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As I walked through the woods this morning in the wee hours, I thought of my own story.  Mine is a story entwined with many things that children should never be expected to endure, but it is also woven together with magick.  When I think back, even in the days of the sexual abuse, I can see where magick came to the rescue.  Even in those days, I was being taught by the Lord and Lady how to bring vision and intent to the front of my mind.

I was reminded that even in the midst of the deepest depressions, I was being guided by Crow magick.  I was being taught not to dwell inside myself for too long, but in those times of depression, to reach outside of myself and toward others. It was in the times of my darkest depressions that I was able to be the biggest help and guidance to others.

I watched Mama Crow this morning hopping from tree to tree.  I watched as Friz sought patches of non-existent sunshine as a soft drizzle fell on us. I lifted my face into the light mist and thought about the fact that the darkness was receding bit by bit and that the sun was returning.  I visualized the goddess rising from her sleep dressed all in white, silver and pale blue.  She stands before the Horned God and offers her hand to him.  They begin a slow waltz across the wooded floor carpeted with leaves and debris.  As the light becomes stronger, the dance becomes faster…raw and wild.  At the end of the dance, the maiden becomes heavy with child…ready for the next turn of the wheel.  Her story…always continuing…a circle…never truly ending.2014-12-20 18.26.16

My story continues…with every step I take…every breath.  I am the only one who can decide that the pages stay blank.  My book of shadows is filled with little reminders of who I am:  feathers and spells, things I have found on my journeys, pictures that I love…things that all tell my story.  To anyone else who ever found it….it would seem a book filled with useless trash…but it is me.  It shows that I, just like my dear friend who survived the concentration camp,  I am determined….I am a survivor.  Don’t we all have to escape from our own prisons daily?  Don’t we all have to swallow those things we find valuable sometimes for the sake of others?  Don’t we have to dig through crap on a daily basis?  My story swirls with magick.  It holds adventure and excitement….love, power and magickal creatures untold.2014-12-17 23.07.35

An old friend died this past week.  I got to know her when I was working on a Lakota reservation years ago.  She would tell me stories of stories that her mother had told her of life after the white man invaded the Lakota way of life.  She would talk of the strength of her people…she would talk of the power of the Great Spirit…and she always talked of where she was going tempered by the experiences of where she had been.  Her eyes sparkled…her spirit danced.  Oh how I loved the heart of this warrior…stronger than any male counterpart.  I can see her dancing across the summerlands…this warrior doesn’t carry a shield.  She carries with her the story that she created and engaging anyone willing to listen.

What is your story?  I would love to hear it?  Weave your magick for me.  My email is: weatheredwiseman@yahoo.com

Blessed Be!2014-12-20 18.28.16

The Resurgence of the Cunning Man

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I have been reading quite a bit lately.  The book that has been the focus of my attention is called, “The Cunning Man’s Handbook” by Jim Baker.  This book covers the practices of the English Cunning Man from years 1550-1900.  It covers the evolution of the cunning folk and the progression of their magick.  These were the healers, charmers, and magicians of the day.  It even discusses the relation to the African practice of Hoodoo.

The cunning folk of the age literally lived at the boundaries of society.  Most were positioned outside of the main hub of villages, simply because the religious leaders of the times were more than suspicious of their practices which may have included tinctures, potions, charms, amulets, spells or curses.

Even looking toward Shamanism, you see often that the Holy Man was often located at the edge of the encampment.  This was not just a way of separating him from the ‘common’ folk….but a means of protection for the tribe.  His medicine would ward off evil spirits and anyone or anything that would wish harm upon the people.

This book has caused my mind to reel and analyze my own practices.  How many times in a week or month are we approached by those around who know that we are witches and conjurers?  How often do they approach us tentatively for fear that someone in their immediate circle might find out what they are doing?  To whom do we remain in the ‘broom closet?’

I know that many in my own condo complex seek me out to give advice or to interpret the latest dream.  Friends call on me when energies are needed or they want a charm for ‘luck’ or protection.  I am the one in my cube at work that has the scent of lavender wafting around him.  I keep a hag stone with a crow bone hidden under my shirt as an amulet.  I keep a large chunk of amethyst on my desk as a ‘paperweight.’

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As I reclined on the sofa last night, I felt antsy.  The more I tried to relax, the less relaxation would come.  I decided that  it would be the perfect night for magick in the courtyard.  There were breezes blowing…I figured it might be a good night for pushing things out of the way.  I built a fire in the cauldron, settled down in front of it with handfuls of herbs, and addressed the directions, the elements, my guides.  It amazes me how wrapped up people get in the ‘you aren’t doing that the way it is supposed to be done’ mentality.  I have been practicing witchcraft for way too many years to care about the way others think it should be done.  If I have learned one thing about magick…it is the fact that it is ever-changing…so why shouldn’t we be the same.

I love the fact that when my spirit connects with the spirits of my guides and the ancients…there simply is no other way to say it…magick happens. It seems as if the elements dance around me, calling me to fly with them.  It is in this time that it is very evident that the Horned One is very much alive in me.  It is in this season of harvest that I feel that energy for the hunt and the harvest coursing through me.  As the air grows more and more crisp with each day, I feel more and more alive.  It is as if I feel my own energy and virility coursing through. It is in this time that my second sight becomes keener…my sense of smell sharper…my hearing, even more acute.

It is in this time that creativity soars to the surface.  My brain begins to create faster than my hands.  So many thoughts, spells, potions, tools playing chase through my brain.  It is normally in those times that I am most at home in the woods…just at the edge of society.

Most people look forward to the weekend for sleeping late.  I don’t know what that is anymore.  I am most excited by the opportunity to disappear into the woods.  This morning, I woke Friz up before the light of dawn and he and I made our way away from the busy-ness of condo life.  As we rounded that last corner, I recognized a familiar figure.  He was sitting on one of the brick half columns at the edge of the woods.  His knees were up close to his chest and his arms were holding them.  His head was hidden in the nest created by his limbs.  His green cloak covered him completely.  He looked up at me when he heard the rustling of mine and Frisbee’s feet.

He was alone.  I looked for Calliope and then I saw the sadness in his eyes.  We knew she had some years on her…I don’t think he knew exactly how many.  They had gone to sleep together one night, but only one woke up the next morning.  His consolation was knowing that spirit lives forever and that her energy would constantly swirl about him.  Still, that doesn’t make losing a friend any easier.  It was as if Friz sensed the vacancy in his heart.  He extended his feet up the column where the Green Wizard sat.  The Green Wizard shifted so that he could pick him up.  Friz and the Green Wizard nuzzled each other deeply.  Friz looked back at me as if saying, “Is it ok?  He really needs me now.”  I nodded to him and he went back to nuzzling this weathered, saddened young man.

The Green Wizard looked up at me and forced a smile as he tried to clear the giant lump in his throat.  He tried to choke out a sentence, but I stopped him.  I told him that the greatest thing about friends is that words aren’t always needed.  With those words, this tired, dirty, emotionally drained young man wrapped his arms around me.  He has spent his life truly living the life of the Cunning Man.  Always kept at arms length from society.  Walking…always walking….and now alone.

This morning the magick was simple.  It was two men and one blue chihuahua honoring the spirit of a faithful friend.

Blessed Be!

A Solstice Celebration: Fishing, Skinny-Dipping, Lightening Bugs and Skeeters

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Today is the Summer Solstice…the longest day of daylight in the year.  The sun’s energy is very powerful on this day, so when I got up early this morning, I did something I haven’t done in a long, long time.  I went fishing.  Yep…I went fishing all by myself.  I loaded the car with my tackle box, a old cane pole, an old, thin blanket and soda and sandwiches, a can of dirt and worms I dug out of the courtyard, a backpack full of ritual supplies, and I drove up toward the northern part of Georgia.  I haven’t done this in ages…I felt like such a rebel, scooting out of sight before anyone missed me and leaving a note on the table that said simply, “Gone Fishin’.”

It wasn’t long before I reached the property of some friends and I dodged through the old cattle gates.  The only thing missing was my old pickup and being barefoot.  The latter would be remedied soon enough.  I got settled down at the edge of that old pond, rolled up my pant legs, shedded  my shoes, put on my ball cap, baited the hook and dangled it down into the water.  To be honest, I really didn’t care if I caught anything or not…that wasn’t really my purpose for being there.  I was there to worship the sun.  I breathed in all the smells around me…the smell of hay, the water, and yes, the pasture.  I felt the way I imagined a vampire might feel after the first taste of blood after a long famine.

I could feel the sun’s energy pulsing through my body, my veins.  I could feel it combining with the heartbeat of Mama Earth.  As I breathed, my own breaths danced in rhythm with all that was around me.  I felt revitalized in a way I haven’t in a long, long time.  I could feel the sun kissing my face.  The knowing that the Scotch/Irish in me would turn it a glowing red first, then the Cherokee in me would turn it to a glowing copper brown by tomorrow. I watched as the fishing line bobbed in the water.  Nothing was biting…that was fine with me anyway.  I let the remainder of the worms go and let the now empty hook bob up and down.  Hopefully the fish were at least entertained.

As I lay there in the sun, I could feel beads of sweat forming all over me.  I am not a fan of being uncomfortable and the water looked so inviting.  I took off my shirt and looked down at my Buddha-shaped belly and laughed out loud.  Before I realized it, I had shucked my shirt, my pants, and my underwear and was running like a wild man….screaming and laughing as I jumped in the water buck-assed naked.2014-06-21 16.06.04

 

I felt that primal energy of Cernunnos surging through me as I ran and jumped into that cold water…heated by the sun at the surface level only. When I hit, I took a hard breath in as I felt the shock of cold in places that I really had rather not felt it.  After I adjusted to the temperature, I floated backwards, again taking in the rays from the Sun God.  While I floated, my thoughts were everywhere and nowhere all at once.  Words to spells and songs gently caressed my brain.  It was like being a kid all over again…skinny-dipping at the old pond in my grandpa’s pasture with my best friend.  No shame…no fears…just freedom.

I brought myself lazily back onto the shore of that old pond.  I didn’t even bother to put my clothes back on…who was going to see me as far out as I was…the cows that may come venturing up wouldn’t care.  I situated myself back onto the blanket and pulled all of my supplies out of the backpack.  Everything went in its place…the candles, the skulls, the stones.  Today I brought incense with me, and poppets.  I have been making a mojo bag for my roomie…he needs a bit of luck, positivity, and prosperity in his life.  In this blue night sky bag with golden stars, moons and suns…I place a green beeswax poppet.  I had put a hole in the bottom of the poppet and filled it with ground herbs:  Basil, Cinnamon, Ginger, High John the Conquerer and Juniper Berries.  Inside the bag, I also included a male High John Root wrapped in a dollar bill and anointed in a money drawing oil.  I offered these under the sun and asked the sun to bless them.  I added some of his finger nail clippings and hair from his goatee to the bag. (Yes, he knew I was doing all this and why.)

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I thanked the sun for the light and energy he provides and packed everything up…and begrudgingly put my clothes on.  I walked back to the car and put everything into the trunk and drove away….exhausted and recharged at the same time.

Tonight, after my partner and I got back from dinner, I felt the need to have another ritual…cleaning, clearing, banishing.  I smudged the house, the courtyard, everywhere I could think that needed smudging.  I worked banishing magick on neighbors who have long since become a nuisance.  I washed the floors with my Four Theives Vinegar.  I used my besom to sweep out any negative energies or feelings and emotions. I put black candles on my altar along with a Nag Champa candle that a friend gave me.  I called on The Morrigan to push those things that were no longer beneficial or needed out of my life and to mold in me the heart of a warrior. I called on Cernunnos to restore in me vitality and strength and to build in me, the heart of the Wild Man.  I lit every candle on that altar and felt the energy build as the flames danced.

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I danced around the altar to the sounds of Omnia’s song “I Don’t Speak Human.”  I was consumed by the heart of the Wild Man and Warrior.  As the energy calmed, I could feel the heartbeat of the Earth Mother weaving her way through the music. I danced out into the courtyard and watched as flurry of lightning bugs seemed to swarm to the music.

As I write this, I am once again listening to “I Don’t Speak Human.”  Sometimes it’s true.  I speak a language as old as the Earth Mother herself.  It communes with the four-leggeds, the winged ones, the elements around me and the Gods, Goddesses and Spirits of the Ancients.

Blessed Solstice, my friends!

Ostara: Rebirth and Renewal

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Let me start by saying that I love books.  Books of any kind….my favorites are books that stir the imagination or cause one to think or fantasize.  I love books that you can share with other adults…but more than that…with those witchlings that may be watching us as we practice the Craft.  I think that is why I love one book in particular, this time of year.  It is Edain McCoy’s Ostara: Customs, Spells & Rituals for the Rites of Spring.  In this book, I was re-introduced to Ostara  just as one might see an old friend through new eyes.  It always helps me to go back at this time of year and see again what symbols and rites and other magick comes with this season of greening.

When I was a child, this time of year brought a renewed excitement for me.  My family was never overly religious, so springtime always meant the arrival of the Easter Bunny and colored eggs was imminent.  This, in my opinion was even more exciting than Santa.  I was taught by my granny at an early age to smell the air and to feel the earth.  She told me over and over again that I would always be able to smell the seasons changing and that I would know by the feeling of the Earth Mother’s belly when the birthing was going to happen.

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I learned early on to recognize the signs that spring was around the corner.  I remember dragging granny out of the house by her skirt-tails to see the tiny green leaves on the hydrangea or the necks of  the daffodils bent reverently…holding the heavy bloom that couldn’t wait to show itself.  I remember the heady smell of hyacinth that hadn’t quite bloomed yet, but was so anxious to show itself that its scent preceded it out of the sheath.

I finally finished putting my Ostara altar together yesterday.  There were a few things I was waiting on.  A friend had promised delivery of some blown out quail eggs and an antler.  I was so excited to see the box sitting inside the courtyard Friday that I could hardly contain myself.  I arranged some of the eggs carefully into a wooden bowl onto some lime green reindeer moss that I had and put the antler behind it.  I pulled out two of my favorite lavender-colored candles that are scented with jasmine, put some of my favorite amethysts and other crystals around…as well as my ‘keys to success.’  I lit the candles and just sat in front of the altar absorbing the peace and power that flooded the room.

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Growing up, I remember the feelings that Easter stirred in me.  Many times, we would go as a family to a local sunrise service given by one of the many churches in the area.  One service that remains vivid in my brain was one called the ‘God/ Goddess of Creation.’  The service was done in the midst of a field and during the prayer we were all encouraged to close our eyes and take in the sounds and smells of creation around us.  The service was presented by a female pastor who included the Goddess in all of her sermons….thinking back, I am quite amazed that my parents allowed us to stay and be a part of it…..and I also know that this was my first exposure to the thought that if, indeed, there is a God, that there must also be a Goddess.  Needless to say, I took that and ran with it.

I haven’t been feeling well this weekend.  It is just a cold brought on by the change in seasons.  I have lived the past few days hopped up on Alka Seltzer Plus Cold and Elderberry Tea.  More than anything, it is just an inconvenience….but I have been sleeping in in the mornings.  Last night around midnight, I felt the need to go to the woods.  I have found that when the woods call, I have to listen.  I sneaked out while everyone was just starting to doze off.  I carried my flashlight and necessities.  I could feel dampness moving in and knew that today would bring rainshowers.  As I walked, I listened.  I could hear a familiar crow caw.  I think that city living has left Mama Crow’s inner clock a little tightly wound.  Then again, one of the names of this full moon is the Full Crow Moon.  I love the different names that Mama Moon lives with.  Humans will fight all day long over those names….I guess she really doesn’t care as long as we do call on her.

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I got my altar ready….everything in its place.  I lay down with my cloak wrapped around me, shielding me from that heavy feeling of dampness.  I placed my hand tenderly against the earth.  I touched…I listened.  Oh yes….the Earth Mother’s belly is full to the point of bursting. The Lord of the Hunt started the preparation weeks ago.  I lift my head and sniff like a scent hound on the trail of a rabbit.  I can smell the earth ready to be reborn.  I can smell the seeds ready to show themselves.   The plants are excited about showing off their new spring collections.  My preparations seem small when I think about the grand party that the Earth Mother will give to usher in another season of renewal.

I close my eyes and listen.  I inhale.  It is as if I take in the breath of the Earth herself.  I have been stressed in the past week.  I have held onto things that need releasing.  As I listen and breathe, I realize that I am holding onto things that need to be released.  As  I breathe out, I can hear Mama Crow in the background…laughing.  She’s not laughing at me.  She is laughing with me…she wants to share the joy that comes with release and rebirth and renewal.

We, as humans, have become adept at hiding the things that make us vulnerable.  We can’t let anyone see us in our weakness.  The earth is so much more transparent.  You can’t hide when a tree has been uprooted or cut down.  That sparrow that died from falling during its fledging doesn’t just disappear.

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One thing that I have come to realize over the years is that when the root of the problem is hidden, so are the blooms from the solution….and yes there are definitely going to be thorns in between.  There is so much inside of each one of us…potential waiting to bloom forth, but we have forgotten to listen for the signs of the birthing.   We have stopped closing our eyes and just listening to what is moving around us.

In my own life, I have found that it is now time to stop pretending and time to bloom.  For me, that means no more letting myself get in the way of the power that is trying to show itself.  It is time to stop making excuses and just move forward.  It is time to let that which has been sleeping the winter away, wake up and lead me into darkness, light, dusk or dawn….wherever I will find the most wonderful, undefinable magick and utilize it.

I have finally realized…Life is not about the “Once Upon A Time’s” and the “Happy Endings.”  It is about the adventure in between.  The alarm has gone off….it is time to wake up and be about the business of magick.  I am not hitting ‘Snooze’ anymore.

Blessed Be!

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You Better Work It…

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I have been reading about the New Moon coming up on January 30th.  They call it the “Black Moon.”  It is the second New Moon in the month of January.  It is an omen of change and during this moon, hidden truths are brought to the surface.  It is in the midst of this “Black Moon” that I will be moving into another phase of my life.  I am leaving behind my work at the animal clinic and moving back into corporate work.

Am I sad in this transition?  Maybe I should be.  Am I?  No, not at all.  This is a time of celebration for me.  It is time to move past a time of oppression and stagnancy into a time of joy and forward movement.  This change has been a long time in coming.  I have done ritual after ritual devoted to this change…..friends have dedicated ritual after ritual to the same purpose.  It has not been an easy road, but finally I am able to see the manifestation of months and months of magick and hard work.

Work?  Yes, work.  Any real witch will tell you that magick takes work….and dedication….and purpose.  Most folks are used to seeing what is represented on television as far as the Craft goes.  While I love the fantasy that most of those shows represent….the Samantha Stevens, the Endoras, the Charmed Ones, and the newer Witches of East End….we all know that instant gratification is a rarity in the Craft.

I remember the first “spell” I ever cast….*note I used cast here and not ‘the first spell I ever worked.’  Being a new witchling, I stood in front of my altar and waved my hands like a fool and uttered something that I thought was magickal  and waited to see the puff of smoke and the explosion of glitter….or even the little ‘tinkle, tinkle’ sound I heard on “Bewitched” whenever a spell was cast.  Nothing.  I was devastated.  Of course, I had not studied under anyone or with anyone…I knew nothing about the elements, directions, herbs, intention….not one thing.  I only knew what I had seen on television.  All I could hear in my head was the sounds of large tongues blowing raspberries.

Now some folks would have probably given up after casting with no sparks, bells or whistles.  Not me.  I was determined to find out why it didn’t work.  I began to devour books on the Craft.  Some of the first ones I got my hands on were Scott Cunningham’s books.  I was transported to a world of magick I had no idea existed.  Then one day, when I was browsing in the ‘occult’ section at a local bookstore, I was invited to a local coven to take part in their program for initiates.  I enjoyed much of the teachings and the natural setting.  I settled in there for a time and then realized that the path they were on wasn’t the path calling to me.

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That was the one thing that I enjoyed so much about the Craft.  There was no one path for everyone.  There were so many directions one could pursue.  No matter which path I was interested in, I found that it still entailed work.  There were still so many things to learn….how to send energy without depleting your own energy stores…how to charge crystals, candles, etc…how to pour yourself into the workings of the magick and how to ground yourself before, during and after so that you didn’t become one big ole quivery jello witch.

The biggest things that I personally had to learn was how to listen to and utilize and trust my intuition  and how to purpose my own intent.  I compare it to a baby learning how to talk.  It surfaced on its own….at first it was clumsy and broken and hard to understand, but the more I practiced; the more I worked….it flowed better…it became second nature.  I still work and practice on a daily basis….there is no room for laziness.

As I continued to grow in the Craft, there were other adventures that were opened to me.  I had always heard other witches refer to spirit animals.  I thought that it was a wonderful thought….having the spirits of animals at your beck and call.  Again, I got every book I could find on the subject and read and re-read.  I talked to my grandma about the Native approach to spirit animals…then I began the work….the constant vigil of observation, the energy work.  I will never forget the day the first manifestation came.  I was lying in the dirt…my mind lost in thought about my spirit animal.  I closed my eyes and focused my energy.  It was in that moment that I heard that lovely, melodic scream of the crow.  I looked up and there she perched on an old fence post.  In that same week, wolf came to me in my dreams….again, after a time of focus and intent.   The work had been worth the end result.

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This morning, I went to the woods.  This morning, there was no little blue chihuahua to be seen…he was allowed to sleep in.  This morning, no calico kitten showed up.  In my backpack were the usual tools…my skulls, candles, incense, matches.  This morning, more offerings were carried than normal.  This morning was a morning of gratitude.  The directions were called upon….the elements invited…Mama Crow and Wolf took their places.  Candles were lit, incense was burned.  Notes of gratitude and adoration were written on flying paper to all involved in the magick that was manifested.  The notes were carefully twisted and set on fire.  I watched as they flew into the air and disintegrated into the breeze….the wind carrying the magick forth.  I cracked an egg onto the ground for the animal spirits to devour.  I poured milk, honey and wine into the earth in gratitude to elementals and any other spirits involved.  For the lady herself, a small bouquet of dried flowers….grain and corn rounded out the offerings for the Horned One.

Was the work finished?  Only for this phase of the magick….it continues every day.  I have found through my studies and experiences that magick is a living being.  It is constantly moving and changing…just as we should be.  So it is because of magick that a 47 year old witch is now embarking on a brand new adventure.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Blessed Be!

Another Time and Another Place

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We’ve all had that feeling before – the feeling of being out of place in the surroundings we are in.  This feeling of “otherness” has been the inspiration for great poems, books, and songs.  Imagining how we would be if we were somehow dropped into another life can be potent fuel which stokes the fires of creativity.   I know that in the back of my mind, I would personally love to be the reincarnation of Merlin from King Arthur’s Court…I am quite satisfied that, in all probability, I lived the quiet life of the cunning man deep in the forest of the British Isles.

I have learned in my magickal studies that the soul or spirit is ongoing.  While I sit here writing in my 47 year old body….my centuries old spirit has seen many things that this mind can only dream of.  I know that for some, reincarnation is something you may or may not believe in, but how do we explain that certain knowing that we get when we put our feet down on a certain plot of land….or that feeling that comes with walking into a place we have never been, and yet, we feel perfectly at home.

This feeling of “otherness” that I referred to earlier, is particularly strong for me when I am deep in the woods.  Even when I have been hiking in the mountains, forests thick around me….completely unsure of where I am, all I have to do is put my hand on a tree or sit down in the dirt and I am at home.  I listen to what these friends tell me….these friends from hundreds of years ago….and I can find my way.

I have also encountered people who seem to be a constant in my ‘lives.’  There have been some friends who have come into my spiritual space….not needing a formal invitation or a fanfare.  They just belong there.  These are people whom I know I have shared my energy with in past times.  I believe that we have been allowed to walk forward into other planes of time as a comfort….an instigator…a cheerleader….and a strength to each other.

This is the person who you may have never met face to face….never touched or walked alongside….but you know them.  That comfort level….that trust…a continuation of spirit and energy from a time and place gone by.  It is the same spirit that is there when the wind blows against your face.  It is that same spirit that I feel when I hear the ‘Graaaaakk’ of Mama Crow.  I have known her spirit for eons.  It is that same spirit that comes to me in the form of a blue dog.  Friz now….before Friz, Sally….before Sally, Patches.

I am often given glimpses of those past associations in my dreams.  It is always one of those instances that you know it is much more than a dream…more than fantasy….but more memory.  I know, when I dream, that as I stand in the middle of those woods, hands outstretched and other sets of hands join mine, that they belong to  those that I have traveled lives and spiritual planes with before.

The magick associated with all of this cannot be expected to be anything less than powerful.  Life nowadays sometimes scares me.  When I am overtaken with those anxieties, I think on the things I must have survived (or not) before.  When I think on these things, it stirs resolve inside of me that I never before thought I had.  I tend to fret over the little things….the day-to-day crap that isn’t worth a piddly-fart.  I find, though, when it comes to the big stuff….the major crises that tend break the strongest people…that is when I dig my feet in, plant myself and push my magickal shield out with all the force I have.  It is also in those moments that I call on those I trust, to walk alongside of me.  When I feel those familiar hands joined with mine….that is when you see magickal sparks fly.harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-preparing-for-battle-hogwarts-protective-spell-shield

It took a while for me to realize that the power inside me has been building for hundreds of years.  Lord and Lady have poured themselves into me since time began.  I have walked the forests and fields many times over with Cernunnos himself.  The moon and I are such good friends because we have been nurturing that friendship for centuries.  Wolf has been walking with me since his spirit came into existence…and Mama Crow has been there for many many lifetimes.

I don’t take those human counterparts for granted either.  The energy we share now is only a culmination of energies that have been coming together since the time of the ancients.   As we join that energy….we can’t even begin to fathom what is coming into being.  I look at the world around me.  It is my time to change it.  The power inside of me joined with the power of those heart brothers and sisters will set the world on its ear.  I don’t take the commission of the Gods and Goddesses lightly.  Change has been affected in me so that I may bring change to those people and places surrounding me.

Especially lately, magick has been coming out of my pores.  Always the magnificent result I want?  No. Always the magickal result I need?  Yes.

Hang onto your hats fellas!  It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

Blessed Be!

When Fear Becomes Faith

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This week has been a different kind of week.  I went in to work to find out that my roomie, who happens to work with me, was let go.  It seemed as if everyone around  was screaming and running around in circles.  “What will you do? How will you make it?  Where will the money come from?”  All questions, that indeed, one might expect to be running around my head….but instead, the big question….”How is he?”  I was determined that the bosses would not see reaction from me….isn’t that what was expected?  I hunkered down and did my job.  When I got home that day, I walked through the doors and was greeted with the question, “What will we do?”  I answered, matter of factly, “Whatever needs to be done.”  It was the first time in a very long time that I felt that much resolution well up inside me.

I have told you all before that, in my croning years, I have become somewhat of a worrier.  This was not the case years ago.  I used to welcome any challenges….the harder the better.  I used to thrive on change and uncertainty.  Is that what youth entails?  Do the young thrive on the unpredictable and the questionable?  No…..this is not a right awarded to the young.  This is a mantle placed on the strong of heart.

I left the condo especially early this morning.  As I placed my backpack on my shoulder and wrapped myself in the warmth of my cloak, the little dog at my feet waited for me to put him inside his hoodie.  He danced around me knowing that we were going to meet the morning sunrise on his terms.  I carried friends with me to the woods this morning….their spirits engraved in my spirit.

When we got to the woods, I set everything up.  I put the wolf skull and the crow skull into place….placed the candles on their respective sides and then brought out my abalone shell and my sage bundle.  As I lit the sage and started fanning it all around me, I closed my eyes and saw many of the dreams that have come to me through the week.  I know that so many have psychic abilities….I believe that one of my giftings comes when I sleep.  In the dream realm, I am able to see the spiritual….the magickal….and the powerful.

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The dreams I have been having this week involve me and two other male witches.  In most of  the dreams we are circled together in a catacomb setting….there are candles lit all around.  On a tree stump in the middle of us is a large leather bound book and our wands.  As we begin the ritual, light begins to glow around each of us….red around me, blue around the friend to my left and green around the friend to my right.  Each night the dream has gotten stronger with a more powerful energy encircling us.  The final dream had us in a wooded area…stump table in the middle….book and wands.  We took each others hands and began to chant.  As we chanted, the book and wands began to rise.  To the left, the friend is radiating blue light….to the right, the friend is radiating green light…..in the center, red light pours forth from me.  The light and energies swirl around us to combine into one large golden energy field.  We rise above the ground….flying in a circle in the midst of the trees.  We laugh as we move….by no effort of our own.  We know that there is a power there that none of us have ever experienced.  The final dream was last night.  As we rose into the air and spun with the forces of energy, a doe came into view.  She was snow white with a brilliant silver tuft of hair just in the center of her head.  Behind her was a buck….that same brilliant white with gold antlers and shimmering gold eyes.  Our eyes met and I recognized both and they recognized me.  It was obvious that they were both spirit beings.pg53

white-doe-2My dream life has been very active this week.  As I lay there in the leaves strewn across the floor of the woods, I could feel Friz rousing.  He either saw or heard something in the trees beyond us.  I looked up and saw a doe many feet from us.  I urged Friz to be quiet so that she would stay as long as possible…..I realized that we were there in the midst of magick.  At that moment, I called to the Lord of the Forest and waited for his energy to surround me.  As I heard the wind blowing through the trees and felt it moving around me, I knew that he was there.  The doe stood stock still staring at me and that little blue chihuahua for the longest time.  I called on the energy of the Horned One to fill me….to stir that pure wild energy that I longed for.  At that moment, the doe spooked and jumped and bounded off into the distance…..but at that moment, I could also feel the energy of the Horned One along with Wolf and Mama Crow.  I could feel something rising in my chest.  In that moment, I felt that little blue chihuahua bristle up and a strong and mighty “Buffff!” rose from deep inside of him.  I laughed  and rolled back onto the leaves and he jumped into the middle of my stomach.  Even he had felt the power.

I know that the next few weeks may bring challenges for me….but I also know that they will tap into a strength that only my connection with a power greater than I can bring.  I must never doubt the power that resides within me.  It is that power that the Lord and Lady join with to make the magick rise.  It is in that connection with others that makes me rise against whatever may come against me.

What do I feel now?  I feel peace.  I feel strength.  I feel power.  None of these shall ever desert me.  It is my choice whether to embrace them or leave them in the cauldron by the door.

Take my hands brothers and sisters.  Let us fly far beyond anything that will try to keep us from that magickal part of us that hungers to rise higher and higher until we are flying next to the moon.

Blessed Be!

Haters Gonna Hate…

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A few years ago, I worked for a dreadful person. She had a way of making you feel as if you could accomplish nothing on your own and that anything tried without her assistance would fail. When I left that position, I remember feeling as if every part of my ego…my self-confidence had been crushed. I doubted everything I did and I questioned every word I spoke. She had a way of making you feel that she could crush you at any moment and leave you lying in the rubble of what you considered your life.

I am a pretty strong person. I have endured a lot….so for anyone to make me feel that way was unusual. I look back and still can’t believe I allowed anyone to have that kind of power over me. After all….I am that male witch who pretty much says what he thinks….does what he wants…and to hell with the rest. Then again, sometimes our foundations get shaken a bit. Sometimes those things that are comfortable to us get taken away and we are forced to stand only on our beliefs.

A couple of weeks ago…on a trip to Walmart, mind you…I was shaken once again. This time, it did not bring self doubt and questioning. This time, it brought about determination. I was leaving the store, and as I walked to my car, I was confronted by a man with a bible in the crook of his arm. He calmly asked me if Jesus was my Lord and Savior and if I died tomorrow, where would I be. I calmly thanked him for his concern for my place in the afterlife and told him that I was fine and proceeded to walk on to my car. He then rushed in front of me, raised his voice a bit and asked if I was prepared for what life without Jesus would bring. Again, I thanked him for his concern, told him I was fine, and proceeded to walk. Once more he pushed himself in front of me and raised his voice even more and yelled his question to me. “Are you prepared for the day that Jesus returns?” I finally was so frustrated….after all, I was just trying to get home before the ice cream melted. I stopped dead in my tracks and said, “I am a witch.” I did not raise my voice…my face was dead-pan. This man proceeds to get in my face and screams at me like a Banshee. My personal space was being invaded over and over again. He was screaming so loudly and being so confrontational that the Walmart security came out and interceded.

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Now, being a gay man, I am used to protests and arguments. I have walked through Gay Pride Celebrations surrounded by picketers. I have listened to the screams of “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” I have even endured the “God Hates Fags” rants. I have even been beaten up for who I am…..but this time I stood there. I was not moving. I was ready for whatever was going to come at me…and quite frankly, I was ready to give back. I felt the power of the Lord and Lady stirring inside of me. Honestly, I was not angry…..I don’t know what the emotion was that was cycloning inside of me. A mixture of confusion and sadness and hurt maybe…..my roommate told me later that I never should have told him I was a witch. I told him that I may as well go back in the closet then…..I may as well try to live life as a straight, church-going nobody.

I told him that the moment I begin to compromise any part of who I am, I may as well crawl under a rock and die. Being a witch is so much of my makeup….just as much as being gay. If I were to try to compromise on either, then I am nothing more than a shell of a man. Cernunnos, Pan, Hekate, the Morrigan are all a part of me….they help to create that person of adventure and obstinence and love and power that I am. They are the creators of destiny within me. They are the dream-givers in my life. The Morrigan is the reason I have any fight and warrior spirit at all in me. Pan and Hekate nurture in me that taste for the wild and my love for the beasts of the earth. Cernunnos pulls out the love of the forest and the hidden places. Without each of them, I am but a lump.

Who I am is as much alive as the elements…..It is Fire that stirs my passion….Water that soothes and offers healing…..Air that calls to spirit…..and Earth that strengthens and grounds me. If I were to compromise my relationship with them….if I were to call to one more than the other….there would be no balance inside of me. Asking me not to be gay or not to be a witch would be like asking a wolf not to be a wolf and a crow not to be a crow…..it defies their very essence…their very spirit and brings confusion to the universe.

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I was told many years ago by a Lakota medicine man that the worst thing that I could ever do was to pretend to be something I wasn’t. “To lie to yourself confuses the spirit within.” He explained this to me using a piece of frybread. He held the frybread in his hand and he tore pieces off. He explained that each tear represented a lie that I told myself. When he finished tearing, there were nothing but pieces and crumbs left…..no matter what he did, he could not piece them back together. He told me that inside me was something unique that only I could offer the world and those around me. I could not do that if my spirit lay in pieces in front of me. “Not all those that you meet on the Good Red Road will like what you hold inside of you….but that is not your concern…..live your life honestly before Wakan Tanka.”

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As I write this tonight….I sit here in tears. The Lord and Lady have used this to rekindle in me exactly who I am. My heart is leaping and under my feet, I can feel the heartbeat of the earth. I smell the breeze through the open window. No one….I mean no one can ever take my heart…my spirit…the essence of who I am away from me. I am stronger…mightier than what I even dream.

I am, along with those gods and goddesses who surround me, the creator of destiny….not just any destiny…..MY DESTINY!!

Blessed Be!

Here Comes the Sun….

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I woke up this morning with a craving for sunshine.  It was a consuming feeling that overtook me the moment I lurched from the bed.  For the past two weeks, it seems that it has been overcast and dreary and rainy here.  Now, I know that sometimes those conditions come with the winter season, but I also know that I need to feel that lightness that comes with a morning walk under a misty sunrise in the south.

Thankfully, I was rewarded, when I looked out the window.  The sun was just beginning to come up over the courtyard wall.  I hurriedly fed Friz and harnessed up that little blue chihuahua and made a mad dash for the gate. Poor little guy’s head must have been spinning, because he looked at me like an animal caught in headlights.

It is really funny.  A friend had posted on his Facebook. wall wanting to know if you considered yourself a Sunrise or a Sunset type of person.  I have always strongly identified myself with the twilight hours and the moon.  Then again, I have always had a strong love for the sun. 

Most of my treasured memories center around a wonderful strong morning or afternoon sun.  I remember vividly going fishing with my best friend on a coolish spring morning while the sun slowly burned the dew off of the grass.  I remember going camping at the beach with my mom and dad as a kid and my dad getting me up early to watch the sunrise over the ocean.  Even memories of home…being greeted by the sun as I walked out the back door toward the chicken coop and the goat pasture.  I used to watch the baby goats dance and jump in the rays of the sun as I put their food out.

This morning, as Friz and I moved through the gate into the glorious light of the sun….I felt a transformation in my spirit.  I could feel that sunshine warming me up from the inside out.  It is also so funny watching that little blue chihuahua sometimes…..it is so evident that he mirrors so much of me.  When he felt that sun on his face, he leaned into it.  He closed his eyes and raised his little face up and it was like he was breathing in the sun.  Then the little booger got really playful.  I decided that this would be a good day for a trip to the pond.  The woods are wonderful, but the sun is masked by the canopy of trees above and I felt that Friz and I both were craving more sun-time.

As we started that familiar trek, I looked down beside one of the cars outside the courtyard and there stood black and white cat.  He is getting braver and braver. Now he is within 10 feet of our condo.  Hmmm…wouldn’t surprise me to see him curled up in the courtyard one morning.  I will have to make him up a sleeping box under the patio porch.  As this thought plays across my brain, the motley crew of a little blue chihuahua, a black and white cat, and a middle aged witch in his cloak head out on an adventure by the pond.

When we arrive, you can smell the sunshine as it caresses the blades of grass.  I leaned against that old oak and could hear it asking me where I had been.  My senses seemed to super sensitive this morning.  The smells, the sounds, the sights all around me were much more vivid and alive.  As I waited for Friz and Black and White Cat to make themselves comfortable in my lap, I quietly thanked Brigid for the warmth and beauty of the fire of the sun…for the blaze that I could feel her stirring in my own spirit.  I thanked Cernunnos for keeping that wild part of me alive that I might experience newly the power of outdoors and the strength of the animals.

I sat and just listened for the longest time.  I heard Mama Crow, of course.  It seemed as though I was getting another lecture.  Maybe this time it was for being away from the pond as long as I have.  I looked overhead and saw four Canadian geese flying.  That unmistakeable honk from the lead goose and the rear goose were penetrating the morning sky.  As I looked around, I could see the beginnings of daffodils springing up.  Here in Georgia, they show there leaf shoots in late January and early February…which still amazes me.855587-shoots-of-spring-flowers-daffodils-in-early-spring-garden

As I leaned against my friend Oak, I could feel the sun’s rays warming me from head to toe.  I watched as it glistened on the coats of Friz and Black and White.  I put my hand on their backs thinking I could feel the warmth of the sun through them.  I did, however, feel the peace of sleep and the warmth of their bodies absorbing that sun-strength.  I watched as a sleepy yawn escaped Friz and Black and White stretched so long that he just about fell off my lap.  As he raced toward righting himself and looking at me with his, “You did not just see that” look, we all began our slow walk back to the condo.  Of course, Black and White disappeared the way he always does just shy of the condo….probably to do his morning hunt (even though he did just devour a half a can of cat food).  What can I say, we like our food around here.

As I opened the condo door, I could see one more creature who was craving the sun this morning.  Merlin.  He sat on the edge of the end table chattering away through the window.  I have always said that when he does that, he is talking to the fairies.  He looked at me with eyes pinned by the sunlight, said his customary “Merrrp” in greeting and went right back to discussing what he needed to with the fae.  Of course, all the picture frames and anything else that was in his way was lying down on the table.  I just decided to clear the space for him…after all, we all deserve to have our place in the sun.2013-01-20 09.27.08

Blessed Be!