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!

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Leashing the Wolf

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My partner and I went to visit my family over the Fourth of July weekend.  We had a lot of fun playing with the nephew and seeing Ma and my aunt and my dad and of course being back in my old woods.  When we arrived back in Atlanta, I unpacked and sat down for a cup of tea.  I felt the need to connect with the water energy here at the complex, so I decided to take a quick trip to the pond.  When I got there, I was horrified, saddened and angry all at the same time.  From the time we had left to the time we got back home, they had drained the pond.  I asked one of the neighbors about it and they seemed glad that it was gone.  “All it did was add to the mosquito population anyway.”

Something has been reeling through my brain all week long…ever since seeing the pond drained and hearing the relief in my neighbors voice that it had ‘just because of the inconvenience of a few mosquitoes’ (even though I really haven’t seen a drop in the population of mosquitoes since it happened).  I have wondered does man always feel the need to control?  Does the need to always tame that which is out of his grasp keep him preoccupied so that he doesn’t really look at the world around him?

Let’s start with Native Americans.  People came to North America in search of freedoms.  When they arrived, they encountered tribes of indigenous people.  Rather than learn from these people…rather than appreciate the culture and knowledge these people had to offer.  It was quickly decided that these people were to be conquered.  They must assimilate into the world that would be created here.

If it wasn’t by slaughter that these ‘savages’ would be conquered, then their spirits would be crushed by shipping their children off to Indian schools.  In these schools, they would be stripped of their clothing and heritage, hosed down like vermin, beaten when they spoke their native language or practiced their native religion.  Those who invaded their land weren’t comfortable with their ‘wildness.’  They needed to be tamed.Carlisle School boys

 

If you look at the way we treat our pets…when they bark, we tell them to be quiet.  We have come to expect them to be little humans.  We discourage any of the wolf-like qualities that attracted us to them to begin with.  We are intrigued by the wolf-dog, but only because we want to know what it is like to have the wildness of the wolf and tameness of the canine in one animal.   I understand that in this day and age there have to be certain boundaries for the safety of our charges.  I hate having to leash Friz when we go on adventures…but for his safety, this is necessary.  It protects him from the other humans who don’t quite understand the nature of an animal  or proper animal etiquette. wolf on leash

I have watched the way I interact with Friz over the past week.  I realized that I treat him more like a child than the magnificent beast that is truly lying underneath that fur.  I have tried to engage him more on his terms since that observation and it is amazing the difference.  He has become less anxious and seems to have a brighter demeanor.  I have watched him slowly become more confident.  He is venturing further from me in the house…he is no longer my shadow.

This principle doesn’t just apply to the animals.  Here in Atlanta, over and over we hear constantly about preserving green space, but whenever I look around, there seems to be more and more concrete being laid…more buildings going up….apartments, condos,  office space.  When we are through with them, we leave them in disrepair and wait to see how long it will take them to decompose.  reclaimed bathroom

 

 

We, as humans, have learned to live our lives tamed.  I actually think the word ‘caged’ feels more accurate.  We would like to blame the government for these issues…but it isn’t the government.  We would like to blame religion for these issues…but it isn’t religion.  It is very simple, really.  It is people.

We have learned, through centuries of teaching, that whatever makes us uncomfortable must be caged, contained, or crushed.  We have seen, in history, that those who were even believed to have practiced witchcraft were burned, drowned, and sent to their deaths in unbelievably cruel ways.  There were reasons that the cunning men and wise women of old separated themselves from the villages.  It was easier to live life isolated than face constant persecution.

I have spent most of my life being looked at under a cocked eyebrow. “Why is he different than we are?”  “Why can’t he just settle down with a nice girl?” “Does he have to work magick with skulls and fire?”  “Why would anyone want to be a witch? On purpose?” “He must be crazy.  He talks to animals like they understand him and he talks to the weather….oh, and he dances in the rain.”

As I get older, I realize that, for myself…my own peace of mind, I must be exactly who I am.  I can’t compromise that for a moment.  If that means that I don’t fit inside someone else’s idea of what normal is, then so be it.  I choose the way I live my life…if your choices are different then go with it…just don’t condemn me for mine.  I walk the path that has been laid before me.  I can’t walk yours…it is not my journey.  On my path, I choose to create…whether by magick, or with my hands.  I choose not to destroy.

I will live a life of freedom…not your freedom, but those that apply to me.  Whether I am in the middle of the woods, the edge of a pond, or in the middle of a concrete laden parking lot…I will be free.  I will throw my head back, open my arms and embrace the energy swirling around me.  That is what I did last night in my courtyard in the wee hours…I opened my arms to the moon, closed my eyes and threw my head back.  In that moment, I was free of any opinions, sickness and fear.  In that moment, I was unfettered by cords that may try to bind me.  In that moment,  I watched as my spirit ran free, unleashed by anything that would try to tie me down.tumblr_n2lnbutsa41so177no1_500

 

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!

A Final Kiss Goodnight…

Tonight is Samhain.  Because of a hectic work schedule, end of the month and vacation starting tomorrow, I had to do my ritual and my supper early.  The invitation was open for those dear to me to come and commune for just a little while….human and animal alike. 

Since my grandmother died in August, I have been having dreams about her.  Dreams of her being beside me…intervening in areas of trouble in my life.  Dreams of her strong Cherokee spirit encouraging me and pushing me.  In the dreams it was the younger version of her…her dark hair and eyes.  As she aged, she started dying her hair a mousy brown and the dark eyes became hazy….but the spirit never changed.

She was a feisty one.  She would tell me stories of the trouble she would get into as a youth.  She was always very headstrong and mischievous.  Hmmm wonder where I got mine?  I remember, as a child, feeding a baby green snake up through a hole in the outhouse while my substantial sized aunt was using it.  The snake climbed upward and apparently its tongue came in contact with a butt-cheek.  Next thing I know, I am running down the hill with my aunt running after me screaming with her pants down around her ankles.  I know now why my grandmother never spanked me for it……she was laughing too hard.  She told me later that she had to go hide in the barn because she was laughing so hard…..said it reminded her of herself.

As I said….the dreams about her always had her strong, unwaivering spirit showing through….until two weeks ago.  I had a dream that she had become very feeble and that I was having to support her when she stood.  I discussed this with a friend and we both agreed that granny had been hanging around until Samhain.  It would be important for me to tell her that it was important for her to go into rest in the summerlands.

Tonight as I sat down to eat and drink with my wonderful guests, I could smell the faint aroma of gardenia.  It was grannies perfume.  She was always so fond of that smell…..the rest of the family thought it was horrible.  So many of them would give anything for the smell of that perfume once more.  I was gifted with that.

When we finished the meal and I bid all of my guests goodnight….I felt a brush of wind against my cheek.  I whispered, “I have loved having you watching out for me granny, but it’s time.”  I felt that movement…that release as she shifted through the veil into the other world.

It was a gift that I won’t soon forget.  I will have plenty of time to ponder all these things when I go on vacation tomorrow.  We will be going to the mountains of North Carolina.  I love the North Carolina mountains.  They bring back memories of my childhood….we spent so much time there.  We would walk the paths of the Cherokee reservation that only the Cherokee walked….not the roads that held the touristy shops and metal tipis.  We would play in the creeks and race along the creekbeds…many of the same creekbeds my granny ran along. 

The one thing she always told me that will always play over and over again in my brain is, “When you are troubled and don’t know where else to turn, always turn to the mountain.  In the shadow of the mountain, nothing else ever seems quite so big.”  I have always taken that advice.  I went to college in Boone at Appalachian State University.  I went to Bible school in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Whenever things seemed to get too hard to bear, I went running to and through and over the mountains.

Whenever I am in the mountains, my feet instinctively know where to carry me.  I normally kick my shoes off and run…..there is just something about feeling naked ground under your feet…especially when it is ground that has been calling to you your whole life.

I know you know what I’m talking about.  There is a place in your life that calls to you.  It draws you to itself….whether its a mountain or a pond or a creek or a hillside.  Go to it when it calls.  That is where your spirit is nurtured, strengthened.  That is where the Goddess can meet you completely stripped bare. 

I plan to bury myself in a big old pile of leaves this weekend.  I will carry my wand and my cloak…..but I will also have my pipe and my flute. They were given to me by a wonderful Lakota friend in South Dakota.  I will sit in the middle of those mountain woods and sing with the symphony of nature.  I will find a secluded spot and dance naked before The Horned One and Mother Goddess in reckless abandon.  I will not only be celebrating the end of the Witches year, but also the beginning of a New Year.  A year brimming with new magickal possibilities.

Blessed Be!

The Wild Man In the Woods

When I was back home last, I was able to sneak away and re-live some moments that were distinctly mine.  I disappeared for a few hours into my woods.  These woods were the woods of my childhood.  These were the woods where I first experienced the Fae.  Where I first heard the call of the wind and the earth.  These were the woods where I first communed with the water spirits and where I would sit at night and watch the fire, which I had built for warmth, dance around me unabashedly. This was where I learned to, at first, mimick that dance and later was the same place that dance took root in my spirit.  All of this reminds me of the scene in The Sound of Music when Maria was reprimanded for climbing the mountain outside the convent.  Mother Superior asked her what would happen if she had gotten lost.  “Oh, mother, I could never get lost up there, that’s my mountain, I was brought up on it,…It was the mountain that led me to you.”  I feel the same way about my woods.  They are the woods that brought me to Goddess.

When I visit home, it is very hard for me to get a minute to myself.  I have often hungered for time to visit my woods.  This time the visit would be filled with more Magick than I had ever experienced there.  As a child, we often fantasize about things Magickal.  We eventually dismiss them in our adulthood as something that could have never happened.  I visualized many things out there as a child…..I saw myself as Merlin of Camelot and the old pond out in the middle of the woods was, of course, the home of the Lady of the Lake.  The many critters that would scurry past became the dwarves and fairies and gnomes that I just knew were supposed to be a part of day to day life.  Oh if I had only known then……through the eyes of a child.  Children believe without seeing.  It is only in adulthood that we are told that we should see to believe.

As I said earlier, I was able to sneak out to these woods on a hot, muggy Saturday evening.  I laughed to think that most of the adults in the area were afraid of those old woods.  They were horrified that a wildcat might come after them….or what about an old coyote.  As I entered the edge of the woods, I could feel the years melt away from me. I could feel the Magick of my enchanted forest whirling and twirling around me.  Once again, I could hear the fae shuffling through the leaves around my feet.  I walked a little more gingerly…..couldn’t step on them.  I got into the center of the grove of oaks that I used to play around.  It was like seeing old friends.  I could hear the very breath of the trees as they welcomed me back.  Just like it is with our oldest friends, we picked up right where we left off.  I settled in against the largest tree and could feel the energy coursing through me. I began to call the beings around me….and should I have even been surprised….one of the biggest old crows settled into the tree across from me.  We both chatted and cackled and laughed…..back in the distance I could hear the brush of what I was sure was deer slowly but gracefully checking out this wierd human sitting in their midst.  At that moment, Cernunnos came to my mind.  I called on him and thanked him for the ability to be in his midst.  I remembered to bring out offerings for the fae and for the God and Goddess of the forest.  Such a peaceful time.

Suddenly, though, I felt the Wild Man stirring up inside of me.  Thankfully those woods are isolated….but then again, I really didn’t care whether or not I scared the neighbors.  I jumped up and stripped off every stitch of clothing I had on and made a running jump for that pond out in the middle of those trees.  It is probably a good thing I don’t scare easily because when I jumped in, I scared something out of the water…..still can’t tell you what it was…it moved really fast.  So here is a 46 year old man splashing in this pond like some kind of crazy person.  I was laughing and giggling like I was 7 again.  It really was such a wonderful time.  I stayed in that water until I started to prune up real good…..felt so good on that muggy evening.  I am sure the Lady of the Lake was ready for me to go by then.  I trodded up the bank and back to my oak tree.  I found some rocks and built a little circular pit….got me some sticks and leaves and thankfully had taken a box of mama’s kitchen matches.  I built me a small fire to dry myself out.  I watched those flames dance and move and enjoy themselves that it just got the best of me.   I got up and started dancing with them!  Then the thought popped into my head what I must look like…..an old, fat, hairy nekkid man dancing in the twilight by a fire.  I got tickled and started to laugh out loud…..then it hit me…..I am doing the exact same thing the ancients used to do.  I was doing nothing more or nothing less than enjoying the world around me which had been created by the loving hands of a Wild Horned God and Powerful Goddess.  In that moment, my heart connected with all the witches and sorcerers and wise men who had ever existed and I could feel that power rising.  I could feel that energy breathing all around me.  At that moment, I felt as if I was flying into the branches of my friend the oak tree.  It was a moment that I never wanted to forget…..just me, those woods, the fae, the wildlife, and the God and Goddess.

At the end of my time in those wonderful woods, I got dressed and thanked the elements and the Lord and Lady, and moved slowly back to the farm.  My heart, that night, constantly giggled and laughed in remembrance of all that had transpired.  In that moment, I think I realized….sometimes you just have to say what the hell, strip down and go running nekkid in the woods. 

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