A Walk in the Woods

jason wizard

This week’s blog was written by a friend whom I have come to deeply trust over the years.  He has become more of a brother to me than just a friend.  We have grown together in the Craft and I have watched him delve into Shamanism with a passion and hunger that can’t  be matched.  His talent with the tarot is amazing and his readings have always been on point.  Sit back and take a walk into the wooded world of my dear friend, Owl Sundown.

leaves

This evening the woods are quiet. The rain earlier in the day, followed by the chilly air, has put a blanket of silence throughout the trees. All I can hear is the leaves crunching under my boots and the wind in the tree branches. I’m thankful for the chill in the air. It means winter is coming.

leafart

I make my way through the path only I and the deer know about. I see my grove up ahead. It’s a small area of trees by the creek that form a natural circle and is hidden from view from most directions by thorn bushes and the honey locust trees.

I walk around to the other side of the trees, carefully picking my way through the thorny branches, finding the small path into the circle. This is MY place.

time spent in the woods

I can feel the earth’s power radiating from the ground as I walk among the rocks I’ve placed as direction stones. I make my way to the center and close my eyes. I take deep breaths and smell the scents of the forest. I sit and feel the dirt in my fingers. Before long I sense THEM. Oh yes, they have made themselves known to me over the past 6 years.

fae

The spirits of place, the fae, nature spirits. They go by so many names but I just call them THEM. Before long I sense them move among my circle. They know that I honor them in this place. I have taken measures to make sure they are respected and honored in these woods. And in return they help and guide me. After communing with the Earth and them I leave honey, nuts, and bird seed among the stones and ruefully make my way back to civilization. Oh if I could just stay!

gifts

 Most of us who walk a pagan path honor the Earth. Some of us honor the Goddess and the God. We may even honor animal spirits and totems. But I think we often fail to connect with the land where we live.

The land I live on has been in my family for over 75 years. I have lived on it for 25 and visited it for ten before that. And yet even when I embraced this way of life it was a few years before I really connected with the place where I lived. I constantly found myself daydreaming of Ireland, Scotland, England, and other amazing places and yet I was failing to see the magic in my own backyard.

moreshadows

One day while I was walking through one of the paths on the back of the property (over 300 acres) I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye. I thought maybe it was a deer or a bird flying between the trees. I kept walking and kept seeing it. I never could see it straight on but always from the corner of my eye. I felt like I was being watched. So, being the novice witch I was, I decided to call it in. I think I heard it laugh. Ha!

It wasn’t until a few months later that they made themselves known to me. Sometimes I see shadows, other times I see actual human-like figures, other times it’s just spirits. But they are there and they respect me as I respect them. It’s balance and give and take.

Now, by no means do I claim to know everything about these amazing people. This is just my experience and walking this path is definitely subjective. I usually turn and run if someone tells me, “It has to be this way!” No mam, it doesn’t. It’s how the Goddess, God, Great Spirit, Fae, Sprits of the Land, or whatever else comes to us and shows us.

handinwater

So here are some things that have helped me in my walk that allows me to commune with the spirits of the place.

1. Mindfulness of the land. Take initiative to take care of the Earth where you live. Pick up trash, plant flowers, help in whatever way you can.

2. Go out there, sit down, and just BE. If it’s in your apartment courtyard, your front yard, or even the potted plants on your patio. Put your hands in the dirt and allow yourself to just BE one with it.

3. Don’t force it. You will never know the spirit world by forcing yourself among it. Be respectful and let it happen in time.

4. Leave food and other things for the animals. Nuts, seeds, honey. Anything that they might like.

5. Fill your mind and spirit with the stories and myths of the area you live in. I live in an area that was populated by Cherokee and Choctaw tribes. Then my great grandmother and great aunt with their “old religion” from Ireland came and put there magic here as well. I fill my soul with the stories of those people. Give your mind and spirit something to draw upon as you continue to grow in magic.

ice

There is nothing more rewarding to me than spending time in my woods with “my people”. It is my hope that as winter comes on, wherever you may be, that you will find time to get quiet as the Earth goes quiet and touch the Otherworld. May you be blessed always.

Owl Sundown

The Magick of a K.I.S.S.

As the Fourth of July approaches, I know that most would expect me to climb on my rainbow colored pedestal and expound on the events of the past couple of days.  While marriage equality is near and dear to my heart, I feel that Facebook and other media forms have afforded equality more justice than I could ever deliver.

2015-06-23 12.18.45

My dear friend Maluna said it best:

Blessings and love to everyone. I’m a simple person. I look at everyone equally. I have lived many years keeping my views to myself….it’s better than arguing….being told what to think…when I walk into a voting booth…it’s my business…my beliefs and my personal contribution to society. I choose my friends for the goodness in their hearts…nothing more. My page looks fluffy to some…cats…flowers….a healthy dose of sarcasm to balance. Recently I’ve seen many pull away from Facebook…too much negativity….I choose to scroll by the negative…and keep my page on a positive note. I’ve said before, many times, I don’t care who you love…just simply love and respect your partner. Same-sex marriages are rights and laws….now you can get divorced and do battle…and lawyers will make money off you all too. (sarcasm inserted here)….the people of this country seem to take a step forward for rights….and step back for the controversy over a flag and what it stands for. Face it…people are just hell bent on fighting…which leads me back to my gardens…and cats…and loving everyone…and keeping my opinions to myself…and being kind. Am I Suzyfuckinsunshine? No. I’m simple. I’m me. And I’m strong in my convictions. And I do change this world. BB

I have come to the conclusion over the past week that life really isn’t all that hard.  It is people who make it hard.  In days of old, Vikings, Celts, Native Americans, had wars.  These wars were for land, livestock, and freedom.  Now we create our own wars.  Most of the day to day wars are a result of our own bruised egos.  It is as my dear friend said so eloquently…”People are just hell bent on fighting.”

11429962_10205845595838074_6640121361585750129_n

Maluna is one of the most genuine people I have ever known.  She lives for her gardens, her cats, and most importantly…love.  She loves with complete abandon.  She invests her heart and soul into people and the magick that comes with them.  She is honest to a fault and takes you at face value.  If that is what she means by simple…then I want to be simple.

I have watched her live her life.  She is one of the few genuine people I know.  She is a witch who completely believes in “Do no harm, but take no shit.”  She has been a true friend to me.  Sending praise for the good things I accomplish, but she has also read me faster than a set of Cliff Notes.

There has been many a moonlit night that Maluna and I meet astrally in her gardens or my courtyard, or in the woods outside of our condo.  Our spirits discuss those things that matter most to us. We commune with nature and the elements.  I dare say that she has as much of a love for Friz as I do…and I feel the same about her cats…and her skunk friends that visited her last year.  The one thing that I have tried and am continually trying to learn from Maluna, is to live a simple life.  She has taught me to pull on the experience of past lives and to trust the heart of the ancients within me.  She has taught me that the spirit is as old as the universe herself, but that the same spirit has no boundaries and cannot be confined.  She has encouraged me to do things I never thought I would be able to do.

2015-06-20 19.24.18

I went to the woods this morning before sunrise.  There was a coolness to the air.  The sky was spitting mist intermittently.  That little blue chihuahua walked beside me the whole way.  His leg is getting stronger with each walk.  In my backpack I have honeysuckle candles, my crow skull, matches and spell paper. I also carried a thermos of green tea and snacks for both of us…plus a bottle of water for Friz.  I had written mini-spells on the papers, hopes, poured all the magick I had in me into those small pieces of paper.  I sat down on the ground, lit the candles and after calling to the directions and elements, I lit each slip of paper with the flame from the candle.  Friz loved watching the pieces fly up and spark as they disappeared.

I pulled out his water and biscuits and watched him contentedly enjoy each morsel, while I nibbled on whole grain toast and yogurt.  He lapped at his water and then decided to christen one of the nearby trees.  I watched him balance himself on his stronger leg.  He is such a character.  I drank my tea and lay back against another tree.  I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. I could smell the dampness of the ground…the moss surrounding the trees seemed more alive with the mist than I had ever seen it.

forest

Friz had joined me and was lying stock still at my side.  There was silence.  It was as if even the birds realized that this was a sacred moment.  We were still and silent for a while.  Our spirits did the communicating…nothing else was needed.  Then the silence was broken by the lonely sound of Friz leaning back baying….”Bowwoooooooo.”  Heart of a wolf, that one.  You can’t make magick any simpler than that….and trust me, it was pure magick.  We lounged on the floor of the woods a while longer, communing with the trees, birds, bugs…anything sent our way.  Friz always gets a good nap in his bed beside the sofa after a trip to the woods.

2015-05-30 22.19.07

After my errands tonight, Friz and I headed out into the courtyard.  I took a comfortable blanket and a box fan.  We lay side by side with the fan blowing over us….not exactly completely back-to-nature, but it worked.  As we lay there looking at the moon, stars, and clouds, I could hear the laughter of the fae ringing in my ears.  Friz and I both drifted off to sleep…lulled into the magickal simplicity of everything and nothing all at once.

I rest in the simplicity of living in that moment.  In that moment, there is nothing but the moon, stars, me and my dog.

Blessed Be!

2015-06-27 22.11.56