Take Me Back to the Country

Some days, city life can be completely exhausting.  Yes, everything seems to be within reach at all hours of the day, but then again, it feels as if everything is always awake…nothing ever rests.  I think I feel this even more when autumn envelops the city around me.

This week, Mabon almost seemed to sneak up on me.  Work has been ‘hectic’ to say the least.  I feel as though I am constantly chasing my tail or cleaning up the messes that others make.  My celebration was a quiet and simple one.  I sat in the woods, Friz at my side with my cauldron blazing, a crusty piece of homemade bread, and a small glass of mulled wine.  I fed the fire with the leftovers of summer…and for the first time all week, I breathed.  I could feel my spirit calming as I lingered in the smoke of leaves and grass and just a small amount of dragon’s blood (I have always used dragon’s blood resin to enhance any magickal working).

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I listened, almost mesmerized, to the trees singing as they started the process of releasing their leaves.  The songs were a bit melancholy, but also rang with the sound of relief.  Those wonderful trees reminded me that there was no reason to hold onto to anything that was no longer of any use.  For me, this Mabon was a time for releasing those things that weighed me down…words spat out in hatred, the memories that had left too many scars to count, fears that really never were realized.

This year has been a year of cleaning, clearing, and creating.  It all started with my body.  I knew that my health had gotten worse.  In May, I began cleaning my body up and out.  I eliminated those things which were no longer beneficial and began eating healthier and exercising.  To date, I am down 62 pounds and my doctor says I am healthier than I have been in a long time.  I also started clearing out my spirit.  It was time to take those memories and any baggage that I was holding onto and clear it out.  I would keep those memories that were dear to me…those which stirred good and wonderful thoughts and emotions.  As the year has moved forward, I have also begun to create things.  I have been painting and crafting, using my hands to make things that spoke beautiful and magickal things to me.  These things may never mean anything to anyone else, but that doesn’t matter.  They speak to my spirit.

This time of year is when I dream more.  My dreams are vivid, wild, carefree….but they also take me places that are close to my heart.  Last week, I had a dream about being back home.  I was running through the woods with my grandma.  Every animal I had ever had in my life was running alongside us.  My partner said that I woke him up laughing so hard that he thought that I had possibly gone off the deep end.

A friend who does a lot of hunting (this is how he gets his meat) gave me some squirrels that he had hunted last week.  I could feel my grandma behind me as I wondered what I would do with them.  I decided that I would treat the household to a pot of my grandma’s squirrel dumplings.  I gave them the warning that ma always gave me before heading to granny’s house…”Whatever you do, don’t look in the pot.”

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I know that many don’t care for squirrel, or that some are vegan or vegetarian, but I am including my grandma’s recipe for those who might enjoy a bit of my history.

Squirrel Dumplings

Ingredients:

2 – 3 squirrels
1 1/2 qt. water
1/2 cup. shortening
1 tbsp. salt
2 cups. flour
1 cup. chicken broth, cooled
1 tsp. black pepper
Directions:
Clean and cut up the squirrels and cook in water, salt and shortening until tender.  Remove from broth, cool and remove bones.

To make dumplings:

Combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt and cooled broth. Mix well. Roll out on floured surface until thin. Cut in strips about 2 inches long. Return to boiling broth with black pepper. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Add squirrel meat and serve hot.

Nobody looked in that pot that night, but they loved the flavor of those dumplings.  You would have thought that I had made Prime Rib.  My grandma was just a simple country woman.  She grew up living off of the land and she taught us that same way of life.

I was talking to our roommate the other night about how technologically advanced society is now.  We agreed that sometimes that can be detrimental.  How many times have you yourself been buried in a phone or computer, only to ignore those people and animals around you?  Friz has become quite insistent in his senior years.  If he thinks I have been on my phone or IPad for too long, he climbs on my chest looks me in the eye and starts to paw at that mechanical creature interfering with his time with me…or he goes and lies down on my shoes and breathes (or should I say huffs really loudly).  This is his way of telling me that he wants to go to the woods.

This morning, I went to the woods…by myself.  It was raining and I didn’t want Friz to have to deal with being cold and wet.  Sometimes there is something so freeing about walking in the rain…especially when it feels like it is rinsing away everything that clogs up the spirit.  By the time I had gotten to my go-to spot in the woods, the clouds were just barely spitting.  I threw my behind onto that wet ground like it was an old comfortable mattress and lifted my eyes to the trees once again.  I could hear the familiar, abrasive call of an old friend.  I looked into the trees and saw Mama Crow.  She was having her own little party in those trees.  I started to laugh and I could hear her croaky voice laughing along with me.

mama crow

It made me realize that sometimes…even in the midst of the city, you can find refuge, comfort, and peace…and if it takes travelling back in time through your dreams…even better.

Next week, I am heading to Tennessee with a group of friends.  Squirrel dumplings might just be a good option for one of our meals.  We can chase it with a shot of blackberry moonshine and a few stories and laughter.

Blessed Be!

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Slow Dancing and Living Life On My Terms

Choices

Friday was my birthday.  I made possibly the worst decision of my life.  I sat down at 11pm and watched a movie by myself.  The movie?  “Marley and Me.”  I heaved and I sobbed for the last hour of the movie.  I had to get a hand towel from the closet, it was so bad.  It pulled every emotion I felt for the past twenty years up and out.

Now this little sob fest had nothing to do with the fact that I am now two years from fifty.  It had nothing to do with the fact that life in general is a whirlwind.  It was because this movie takes you from birth to old age and finally the death of a beloved friend.

I have always believed deeply in the quote at the top of the page.  It has always been my mantra that we are the end result of all the choices that we make in our lives.  Our hearts, spirits, bodies are the summation of every good, bad, or so-so choice we have ever made.  If you think back far enough, you can take a choice that you have made and correlate it with a later event in your life.

I was in Florida most all of last week.  Many things were presented to me in that leg of my journey in life.  I was able to visit with a friend…able to walk by the water with him….feeling that balmy breeze against my face.  We were looking for makeshift ingredients for a spell.  I look back now and see that it wasn’t looking for ingredients as much as it was about listening to the sounds around us.  I think back on that night and I see more of who I am becoming.  It is becoming more obvious that the Morrigan is the goddess with whom I work.  My words, my actions are becoming more blunt…less willing to allow things that I think are harmful to come into the picture at all.

I know that age is a part of that too.  Too many times I have wanted to pull someone aside this week and ‘enlighten’ them…simply because I have been there before, I want to save them the pain, I want them to be able to see with the eyes of the crone…one who has felt that pain and moved past it.  But I also know that each one has to walk out their own path, their own journey.  I can’t do that for them.  We each have to feel the pain and elation that comes with life.  The only thing that I can do is pray for clarity.

J.K.-Rowling-quote-Harry-Potter-And-The-Deathly-Hallows

 

One thing that I have mulled over in my mind all weekend is the fact that we, as witches, are often quick on the draw with the spellbook.  If you think about it, though, every word that leaves your mouth is a spell of sorts.  Whenever you sit and fume over what the neighbors do…you form intention and out spews exactly what you wish would happen to them.  Each argument that you have with your spouse or partner has the power to build up or rip to shreds.  The words you say speak your own truth daily. Think of your own self speak.  What do you speak into your own life?

baby raven

Last night, I dreamed that I found a baby raven.  There was no mother or father anywhere to be found.  As I sat talking out loud to this little black ball of fluff, it ambled out of the nest and plopped itself right down into the middle of my hands.  I picked it up and carried it home with me.  I wasn’t sure what to feed it, how to feed it, or how to nurture it.  Throughout the dream, with no help from me, the raven seemed to grow and mature.  It was a time span of only a month, but this raven had grown into a throaty, raspy voiced adult that only attached itself to me.  Wherever I went, it went with me….riding contentedly on my arm.pet raven

Has a new vision been birthed in my life?  Is it a vision that is going to take a growing strength? Or maybe I am adding to the vision inside of me.  I won’t pretend to be this gentle, plodding soul of a Cunning Man who constantly navigates the woods or creeks or ponds of life.  There is also just that much of me that lives life here in the city and curses when he is cut off in traffic.  He is that person that struggles sometimes with whether or not to break out a poppet and stick it full of pins instead of blessings.  I am the witch who would honestly rather use “Bitch Be Gone” Powder more than “Come to Me Oil.”

I feel that as I move more into the Samhain of my own life, when not everything is about ‘love and light,’ that I have to become more confident in the magick that is brewing inside me.  If I were to feel little bubbles of light all the time…honestly, knowing myself, I would just have to chalk it up to gas.

The one thing that I strive for more than anything with the rising number of years that come with each birthday…is transparency.  I always want to show forth exactly who I am.  Some days that can be a good thing…some days, not so much.  I always want people to look in my eyes and see that no matter what, I will never compromise who I am.

While I was away last week, we were thrown a party.  There was food and drinking and dancing.  I sat at my table and watched as the men and women danced.  I watched as heads were lain on shoulders and people got lost in the moment.  It was during my little daydream that a male friend of mine sat down at my table.  “I feel bad for you.  You don’t have anyone to dance with.”  With those words, this tall, rugged looking straight man takes my hand and leads me to the dance floor.  “You’ve got me for the rest of the evening.”  With that, I put my head on his shoulder and listened to him hum.  He was no less straight and I was no less gay.  He was completely comfortable with who he is and living his life on his terms….and forever, he will be my hero.

Blessed Be!

slow dancing

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.)

poppet

 

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!

The Raven Himself Is Hoarse…

burning crowCircling, waiting…poised to lunge.

Snarling, snapping…toward me you plunge.

You cannot touch me…Wards around.

The space around me is sacred ground.

Only troubles for you are found

Inside my circle made.

 

My spirit guides encamp around.

Your intentions now are bound.

You won’t come near me;

my chest I pound.

Your empty threats now fade.

 

Elements, directions, show your power.

Wolf and Crow, threats devour.

All multiply by three.

 

Seal this with the Moon’s embrace.

Begone from me without a trace.

Nevermore, I’ll see your face.

As I will, mote it be.

There have been some strange energies floating around the neighborhood over the past week…not just the neighborhood, though…big parts of Atlanta.  It has been like watching a television show where mental instability is the major theme.

I know that Atlanta traffic can be harrowing in itself…but I have watched this week as drivers seriously try to run each other off the road.  I watched in horror yesterday as an SUV came within inches of a sedan…forcing the sedan off onto the shoulder.  The driver of the SUV railing his fist out of the window and yelling obscenities.  I have watched in my own condo complex as gangs of kids walk the streets after hours, trying to bully anyone who reprimands them.  The police have been out here at least three times this week.bear

The neighbors have become combative and possessive. Energies have been way over the top. It feels like I have done more banishing and warding than ever before in my life.  On top of the anger that seems to be coming from all directions, crazy seems to have reared its head too. Not only are we dealing with the nasty neighbors, but at midnight we are hearing the unstable woman in the corner walking to the dumpster singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the top of her lungs.  I have been battling insomnia all week long so hearing “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…” swelling through my bedroom windows don’t make me any more friendly in the mornings either.

I find myself going out in my witchy garb now just to scare the piss out of the neighbors.  They already look at me with a cocked eyebrow when I am out…but most everyone seems to leave me alone. Of course, though, you are always going to get that one neighbor who is going to try to pick a fight.  Early this morning I encountered her.  She was bitching about me parking in front of my own unit and then when I drove to the post office, she put her car in my place.  I put a note on the car asking her to park in front of her own unit…then it hit.  I got blasted.  She railed up one side of me and down the other.  I wish I could say that I was the model witch.  I wish I could say that I kept my cool.  I didn’t.  There was fire in my eyes and my heart….there was anger overtaking me.  What I was feeling came from deep inside my belly.  I looked at her and essentially said, “Do you have any idea who you are dealing with?”   I pointed at her and began an incantation….not the one above.  I created that to combat all the anger and negativity coming from all sides…and the gang mentality here.  Well, that woman got in her car and practically squealed her tires as she moved to the front of her unit. 2014-02-25 22.23.00

Shortly after, Friz and I took our walk.  I decided that today would be a good day to go to the pond.  To me, water energy seemed to be calling.  I needed the calmness, the coolness. I laid down on my stomach and swirled my fingers through the water.  I wrote my name in the water and watched the ripples reach farther and farther.  Friz climbed up on my back and patted my head with his paw and then proceeded to lick the top of my head.  This gentle pup was the same one who puffed out his chest and angrily barked at the gang of teenagers huddled outside talking about what trouble they could get into last night.

After my time at the pond, I took Friz back to the condo and then my partner and I got ready to go to a friend’s pool.  It was a wonderful time to soak up the power and light of the sun and to absorb the cool and calmness of the pool water.

Tonight, though, it was time for more spellwork.  I brought out my cauldron and dried nettles.  I had collected paper that the teen-aged gang had left…candy wrappers.  I also had one of the notes that the woman had left on my car along with something I had seen the “Battle Hymn” woman drop.  I combined all of this in my cauldron with just a tiny bit of denatured alcohol and copper sulfate (it makes a beautiful green flame).  I watched as the flames burned away the issues…and chanted the spell at the beginning of the blog.  As I brought everything to a close, I called on dragons and gryphons to guard my household…to fight off anything that I did not invite in.

There will be no more insomnia starting tonight. I will not tolerate the energy that has been swirling around the complex like a rogue hurricane. Sometimes you have to fight. Sometimes you have to let it fly. I am fine with being nice. I am not fine with little bogey men running around me trying to control every aspect of my life. I will take charge and it will be gone. So mote it be.

The Gift of Magick

0e381d066b5dd51d017787b16f3eccacYesterday was a day of peace.  Yesterday was a day of renewal. Yesterday was a day of gifts.Yesterday was a day of being a part of all four elements and drinking in the wonder of nature all around me.

The day actually started off rather dismally.  I had gotten so little sleep the night before that I finally just got out of bed at 5am, fed the dogs, put Bella back to bed, and took Friz outside for our weekend witchy time. This morning, I felt the pull of the pond, so Friz and I leisurely walked in that direction.The sky was still a mixture of dark and light (a theme I am honestly getting used to and comfortable with in my own path). As we got closer to the pond, I squinted in disbelief.  I saw a figure in a cloak sitting on a stump close to the water.  Next to the figure was a dog…an all too familiar dog. Friz couldn’t stand it…he had to be near them…and I have to admit, my excitement was hard to contain too.

As we got closer, both the Green Wizard and Calliope turned to greet us. He had a broad genuine smile on his face and her whole body wagged.  It is hard for me to put into words what these small magickal visits do for me. It is almost as if I have a chance to spend fleeting moments with someone who transcends time.The green wizard

“Good Morning, Weathered Wiseman.  We had hoped that we would see you this morning.”  I answered his good morning and sat down in the grass.  Calliope rolled over onto her back with her tongue hanging as far out as it could go.  Friz, being the gentleman that he is, took that opportunity to pounce into the middle of her stomach.  She didn’t flinch.  She only licked him on the top of his head.  “Today is a day of gifts for you, Weathered Wiseman.”  He reached down beside him and brought out a walking stick…but not just a walking stick.  The textures and the feel of it were incredible. The color was rich.  My mouth fell open and I heard him chuckle, “Do you like it?”  ‘Like it’ wouldn’t do justice to what this gift meant.  I stammered, “Oh, you shouldn’t…”  He said, “No…don’t say it.  A gift should never come with a ‘you shouldn’t have.’  When a gift is given, it means only that the person giving it recognized that you needed it.”  I thanked him and told him how much I appreciated the walking stick and then we continued our conversation.2014-05-03 22.07.05

As we talked, he told me that he enjoyed this time of year most.  He explained that this was the time of year that all four elements seem to be most comfortable.  It is this time of year that he is able to feel the strength and peace of God, Goddess, and all manner of animal spirit.  It is in this time of year that his heart melds more with the heartbeat of the earth.  As the sunlight overtook the sky, I could feel myself getting sleepy.  I closed my eyes.  I heard him say, “Rest, Weathered Wiseman, rest.”  When I awoke, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the Green Wizard was gone.  He is always in and out with the breeze. I looked at the time on my phone and picked Friz up and ran back to the condo.  I had exactly 30 minutes to be ready to go hiking on Red Top Mountain with my roommate and a friend.2014-05-03 12.01.51 HDR

 

I haven’t been hiking in ages…and yes, it is murder on the body…especially when you don’t realize that you have aged a bit since that last time and your body is completely out of shape. I had the walking stick that the Green Wizard gave me….and thank goodness, too.   Without that walking stick, I would have surely been dragging myself through the trails and ferns.  The one thing that amazed me was the fact that I breathed so much easier on that mountain.  Here at home, I wheeze and gurgle…a combined effect of fat, age, apnea, reflux and smog.  As I walked among the trees, I listened to myself.  Was I out of breath?  Yes.  Was there wheezing and gurgling?  To my amazement, no.

We hiked over hills and through trees.  We observed all manner of wildlife.  As we turned at one part of the trail, we all saw this giant crow.  Our friend mentioned that he had never seen a crow that big.  My roommate chuckled and said, “It’s his fault.  They follow him everywhere.”  Then he turned to me and said, “Don’t call it to us….that thing is as big as a dog.”  I laughed and told him that I have no control over whether or not he follows us, so he just needed to make sure he played nice.2014-05-03 12.14.04 HDR

As we climbed the hills on the trail, it was evident that the lake was coming into view more.  I asked the guys if we could go sit by the water for just a while.  They agreed and we made our way down a trail to the edge of the lake.  Both of the guys with me know that I am a witch…so there is no surprise when I start picking up sticks to make wands out of. But imagine the surprise on their faces when I open up my backpack and pull out candles and skulls and crystals and my own wand.  I had to laugh out loud at the looks on their faces.  “Are you going to do spells here?”  “Well, I really hadn’t given it much thought.  Do you think I should?”  I looked at them with a sideways grin and set everything up.  They went about their business for a little while (taking selfies against the backdrop of trees and water), then they came over to me and asked what I was doing.  “I am quietly enjoying nature and the elements around me.  I am giving thanks for this time with yáll and the heartbeat of the earth beneath our feet.” They quietly sat down on each side of me, closed their eyes and began to breathe slowly.  I looked up at one point to see each of them staring at my wand….so I looked around me and found two sticks that I had collected.  I handed each one and told them that this was a tool that I used to focus intention.  They placed them in their laps the way I had mine and closed their eyes again.  I could feel that wonderful peacefulness washing over all of us.  For those moments that we sat there enveloped in all four of the elements at once….we were concealed in peace and tranquility.  Nothing existed that would cause worry, pain, confusion….only calm.  At that moment, I explained to them that I liked to whisper the names of those close to me into the wind….offering them blessings.2014-05-03 12.10.55 HDR

 

It is in these moments of sharing that I see how truly strong the power of magick is.  It isn’t about becoming all powerful.  It isn’t about knowing or being more than someone else.  It isn’t about ‘see what I can do and you can’t.’ It is about showing others the magick around us and letting them know that they have access to it too.  It takes one simple thing:  Belief.

As we continued to walk the trails, I would point out areas that looked like little fairy mounds….covered in moss and flowers. It wasn’t long before we were all pointing them out to each other.  Yesterday was about allowing everything bothersome to wash away and allowing ourselves to turn our faces to the sun, feel the breeze against our skin, hear the sound of the water around us, and feel the earth beneath our feet…but more than that, to experience joy and laughter and peace.nature worship

Sometimes we just need to lose ourselves in the magick around us forget what the world expects of us.  The brothers and sisters I have in the Craft are a giving group.  When something calls to us for someone…we listen…whether it be a stone, wand, candle, or time.  It is always the perfect gift at the perfect time.

Do yourself a favor this week.  Give someone the gift of magick.  Both of you will benefit from it.

Blessed Be!

Incantations and Curiosities…

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Sticks and stones, fur and bones…

Serpents skin and feathers

Skull of crow and blackthorn’s stick,

Break the chains that tether.

 

Winds I engage to blow away,

Water drown it all…

In Earth it’s buried, deep and still.

Flames around it sprawl.

 

Mandrake, hellebore aconite…

Poison to the core

Raven’s wing and ground wasp’s sting

Drive away forevermore.

 

Lightning, Thunder, Wind and Rain…

Encircle me with power.

Wipe away those things that interfere

At my intention, cower.

 

With all my strength, I do push through

Evil’s held at bay.

Success and magick, all that’s good

Are now my life’s due pay.

 

Funny, just as I put that last line into the blog…the wind whips outside, thunder booms, and lightning flashes.  We were just hit with a gully-washer of a storm.  It always intrigues me, the things that take place when one is fed up.

This week has been a struggle.  Not just a struggle, but one of those weeks where it feels like you have someone standing next to you with the sharp end of a tack pointed toward you, poking you at any moment you find yourself peacefully resting.  I have been poke to the point of feeling raw and irritated and bruised.

I have been in an internship program at work now for three months.  I have pushed myself beyond my comfort levels….I have out-performed those who were years younger than me….I have watched the initial group go from eight to now two people.  Last week and tomorrow, we have been and will be going through assessments to see if we fit the positions available.  My gut feeling Friday told me that I did not do so well on the written part of that particular assessment…but then, I have never tested well.  Sit me down in front of the product and I can show you, with determined accuracy, the things that need to be done.  I have watched as one by one, those who did not perform well, were ushered out the door.

Those of you who are familiar with the Weathered Wiseman know that I am my own worst enemy, my own worst critic, and my harshest competitor.  I have beat myself over the head continually over the past week….I have given myself many more lashes than anyone else could ever deliver.2014-04-27 17.52.37

Last night, I went a friend’s house for a night of playing cards and drinking.  Funny how those who have known you the longest tend to pour sympathy over you…..”Well, you have been in worse spots.” “It isn’t like you haven’t worked hard.  You don’t have anything to worry about.”  It is also amazing how much of a difference a whole bottle and then some of wine will make.

There is always the tender, warm fuzzies that you get from witches when you are feeling sorry for yourself.  Encouraging? Yes.  Supportive?  Yes.  Warm fuzzies?  Yeah, not so much.  LOL!!  One friend, whom I treasure dearly and is always there for me…spoke harsh truth, “Go outside NOW!!  I am sending strength to you on the wind!!  GO OUTSIDE, NOW!!!  The Morrigan HAS SPOKEN!!!”  She knows better than anyone that I gather my strength from the elements….and of course as I stand outside, a strong coolish breeze wraps around me like a hug and a spanking all at once.  I realize that I am a stubborn witch…I also realize that most of the time, I need my ass kicked rather than kissed.

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Yesterday, during the day,  I was in such a funk that I sat inside all day long with the shades closed, cup of coffee in my hands, “Bewitched’ dvd’s in replay mode on the television.  The only thing missing was the big fuzzy robe and thumb sucking.  Friz didn’t know what to do with me. We didn’t go through our usual romp through the woods or pond.  We didn’t lie down in the leaves under the canopy of trees.  There was no backpack with candles, no skulls.  Just re-runs, coffee and chocolate….not even good chocolate.  We are talking Easter leftover chocolate bought on sale in the Kroger candy aisle.  At one point Friz climbed up my chest and looked at me eyeball to eyeball.  If he could have talked, it would have been, “Heifer, get off your butt and walk with me to our private place.  Take your magick stuff and you will feel better.”  Instead, I stayed in my lump until we went to play cards.2014-04-13 19.23.21 HDR

I woke up this morning a little more determined.  Friz did too.  This morning, he headed to the woods.  It was evident that he was going with or without me.  Luckily, I packed my backpack.  I didn’t realize that I had put everything that I could think of in it.  I took out the skulls and bones and stones and feathers and fur and as I addressed the directions and invited the elements in, I sat and quietly started to address my own self pity….my own feelings of inadequacy…my own feelings of depression.  I pulled out a small journal that my friend Jackie gave me and I wrote the spell that started this blog.

I know my own heart.  I know my strengths and abilities.  I know what I am capable of.  I know that I have poured all of my talent and knowledge and drive into this internship.  My only prayer to Lord and Lady is that those around me and those with the decision making power see that.  I have never given anything less than 100%, no matter what it involved.  I don’t do half-assed.  I am not without fault and not perfect, but I am who I am and I pour myself wholly into people and life.  One incident does not define me.

Peculiar…it takes a chihuahua, a handful of boisterous witches….and a bottle and a bit more of wine  to make me realize that the only time the magick won’t work is when I stop seeking it and expecting to see it all around me….and also realizing that it is working and all around me whether I see it and believe it or not.grey_wizard_2014_01_01_14_by_skydancer_stock-d70elsn

Blessed Be!