You Can Blame It On the Moon…She Started It

 

 

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The pull of the full moon was strong this week.  I keep up with the phases of the moon on a regular basis, but this week, I could tell the full moon was powerful without the use of phases or almanacs or signs.  The moon revealed herself this week through nature…not nature as related to trees and the outdoor element, but through the nature of people.

Funny, the derivation of the word ‘Lunacy’ comes from the response of people’s spirit, nature, moods and energies to the moon phases.  “Moonstruck” is what this word meant in Latin.  I got a good strong taste of it this week.

Let me preface this by saying that I have had to implement some major lifestyle changes this week.  After a trip to the ER last weekend, I was told that if I didn’t put ‘healthier lifestyle choices’ into place, that my partner might be waking up next to a dead body sooner than later.  That was both a jolt and a slap in the back of the head at the same time.  Of course, my thought process on this was, “Ok, let’s do this.”  I didn’t give myself a choice….I didn’t look at other options…it just has to be done.

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Dieting can be stressful enough as it is, but when you have to allow for everyone else’s feelings and how they are responding to major changes, it can become even more stress inducing.  Tuesday night, my partner and I had a huge fight….about stupid things.  It boiled down to one thing, he was scared.  He wasn’t just scared about the fact that if I didn’t make changes, I wouldn’t be here long, he was scared of what was to come.  He has grown comfortable with me being heavy.  He has become used to my lethargy and lack of motivation.   Change can definitely be hard on the person that it directly affects, but it can also be a challenge for those indirectly affected too.

I normally try not to go to bed angry, but I did.  I stewed all day Wednesday.  When I got home from work Wednesday, I was still irked….perturbed.  As stood outside, I called on the wind.  Might have been just an eensy bit of a mistake….the elements do tend to feed off of our energies. The wind picked up and whipped and lashed and became cold quickly.  I didn’t have one bit of issue with that….it fit my mood.  Rather than go into the condo right away, I decided to walk into the woods.  I leaned against a tree…I sat down on the ground as my back rolled down the bark of the tree.  I knew I needed to release that anger.  It accomplished nothing…the argument was stupid.  It was an argument rooted in fear.  I utilized the power of the wind to blow that anger off of me.

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Did we make up?  Yes.  Was there understanding? Yes.  More than anything, though, it was about release….letting that energy flow out and away from us.

As I took Friz into the woods this morning, my mind raced.  This week was a week full of anniversaries of deaths, birthdays of those who have gone on, high energies and emotions.  As we settled down on the ground, I could feel the coolness of the earth beneath me.  The heartbeat is faint. The earthmother is in her death-sleep…waiting for spring.  Friz climbs into the circle inside my legs.  He curls in tight and looks up at me with sleepy eyes.  I rub under his cheek and leans into it and sighs deeply.  I start to rub his body with long sweeping strokes…breathing in and out deeply as I do.  His body completely relaxes…his trust for me is evident by the way his body feels against me.  It is much the same way I feel when I lean against a tree or lie against the ground.Spoolknitting silver thread and spool diy necklace

My friend Cindy said it best,

We together are a tapestry…but one silver thread connects the Goddess and you.  If it’s cut…all will unravel.  Enforce it tonight…make it strong.

In that moment in the woods, I realized that it was all about release.  As I released my own energy into the body and spirit of my little blue chihuahua, I felt his own energy meet mine.  Together…combined with that of the Goddess, the Earthmother…we felt the scales of emotion move into balance.  This morning was about my friend, my comrade and companion…who never seems to ask for anything.  His happiest moments come from just being close to me.  As we made our way back to the condo, I made a commitment…today would be about release.  I would pour my energy into those who needed it most.2014-04-13 19.23.21 HDR

 

We had planned last night to go today to the Atlanta Pet Expo.  It was a fun way to get to see other people’s animals and to see pet foods and products.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I could already feel the animals pulling on my energy.  As we walked, I would stop and talk to those dogs that seemed to call out to me.  We wandered through booth after booth…the newest cat litters, pet clothes, grain free dog foods… as we visited the booths and I stopped for the different pets, we could see the rescue areas in the distance.  I could feel the pull.

Years ago when I worked with holistic vet, I was trained and attuned in Reiki…I started the training focusing on humans, but my final trainings and attunements concentrated on animals.  I can and will do Reiki for humans, but would rather and feel more at ease working with animals.  As I rounded the corner of the first lot of rescue cages…I felt that little nudge…I could hear my inner voice telling me that now it was time for release….and so it started.  As I moved from cage to cage, from dog bed to cat bed, I performed Reiki on each one of the rescues I encountered.

The stresses and fears that sometimes our pets and familiars feel are sometimes enough to drive us crazy…not knowing how to fix those things.  The stresses and fears of those in limbo…shifted from foster home to foster home…waiting for that one person or family that will love and watch over you for the rest of your life…so many animals wound tighter than an overused wristwatch.

I slowly started to release my energy into them…one by one.  Sometimes the emotions that overtook me were overwhelming.  I left more than one animal with tears streaming down my face.  No.  I can’t save them all, but I can impart a bit of my own magick into them.  Many come into this world because of the carelessness and selfishness of us and then become throwaways.2014-11-08 22.47.16

I turned around to see a little chihuahua shivering in his kennel.  So much fear was present.  I had to start slow.  I rubbed his back through the bars.  He relaxed.  I rubbed more….he leaned back, sitting on his rear and eyes closed.  Then I took him out.  As I massaged and cuddled and poured into this little guy, he started making a low moaning sigh.  I finished and put him back into the kennel with a prayer that soon he would know the comfort of a lap and the warmth of sleeping next to someone who would love him completely.  With tears streaming, I silently wished I owned a farm where the leftovers could come and live…always surrounded in comfort, always surrounded in love.

When I look at the four leggeds and the winged ones…I always see them as the ones who held magick first.  I see them as the ones who don’t out grow it or stop believing.  The Goddess can communicate with them purely and without anything getting in the way.  2a71fcaecea94fe25e270662a93e0134

 

I make a commitment.  This commitment is the result of having loved several cats over my lifetime, an australian shepherd named Patches, and a little blue chihuahua.  As long as I am able to pour energy and love into any animal I come in contact with…each animal that meets my eye or sniffs my hand will know love, completely and fully, if only for the moment that we have together.

You can blame it on the moon.  She started it.

Blessed Be!

So When the Moon Tells You Something… Believe It.

2014-06-14 15.19.13Darkness. That’s the first thing I remember. It was dark, it was cold, and I was scared. But then… then I saw the Moon. It was so big, and it was so bright. It seemed to, chase the darkness away. And when it did… I wasn’t scared anymore.

 

Why is it that all secrets seem to be cloaked in darkness.  We feel that secrets protect us when all they do is hurt us in the long run.  This has been a week of ‘Can you keep a secret’s.’  The truth is, no, I can’t.  My face gives me away every time.  If I even try to tell the smallest white lie, I go all red in the face…I giggle like a twelve year old trying to tell a dirty joke, and I try to escape.

I remember when I was a small child, my father had planned a surprise for my mom’s birthday.  Everyone around her was sworn to secrecy.  My mom comes into the room one afternoon as we were making plans and asked what we were doing.  Yes….you guessed it…I sang like a canary.

When I joined the ministry, I was scared to death.  I had heard all of these pastors around talk about ‘pastor/parishioner confidentiality.’  It horrified me.  I did find, however, that it was totally different than telling a lie or keeping a secret.  It was just a matter of not acknowledging the information at all.  Even now, at work, if someone comes up and says, “So you’re gay?  So you’re a witch?”  I just smile and answer with yes…it just saves me the stress of trying to hide it.

I determined very early in my life that I would never give anyone the stress of holding onto my secrets.  I never wanted anyone else to feel that feeling that I would get in the pit of my stomach when someone asked me for information that I had promised to guard.  It was in those early years that I began telling my secrets to the moon.  I could whisper them or yell them, she never ridiculed me and she never told those secrets to anyone.2014-06-04 08.50.15

Lately, I have come to trust others with my secrets.  Now I share those secrets with Wolf and Crow.  Wolf guards them ferociously and Crow takes them high into the sky on her wings and drops them among the clouds.  I am never threatened with them coming back at me at the wrong time.

I remember the hardest secret I ever had to keep.  It came about when I began my first long-term relationship.  I had been dating a wonderful man for about four months and like was turning into love.  He was tall, dark, and handsome…an ex-marine.  When he held me in his strong arms, the world stood still.  He invited me to his apartment for dinner one evening and after we ate, he sat me down on his sofa and said softly, “I need to talk to you about something.”  My heart broke many times in that moment.  I imagined everything from him breaking up with me to him telling me he was moving out of state or re-enlisting.nightmares

He grabbed my hand and told me, “Now you can’t tell anyone.  I am trusting you with my life.  I am HIV positive.”  You have to remember that this was in the days before much was known about the disease and everyone was afraid.  I was just as afraid, but my love for him was stronger than any disease or any fear.

I stayed at his place that night.  After he went to sleep, I opened the french doors to his balcony and walked out into the moonlight.  I called to the moon and I sighed deeply as she appeared before me.  I whispered my troubles and secrets into her ear.  The moon always actively listened and sent her energy to strengthen and to hold me up. She was full that night.

I think it is funny…the things that follow us through our lives.  As much as I leaned on the moon for strength in those years…she has always been there.  Nowadays, she has learned to text…”You OK?”  I text back that I am ok.  Somehow, she always knows when I am not being completely honest.

I have heard some of our friends simply call her ‘the Moon Lady.’  To me, she will always be ‘Maluna’ and to me that will always mean ‘my moon.’  It seems that she has always been there…I have known her in my heart and spirit for as long as I have known the moon herself.  When we talk, it isn’t about secrets…it is about where our energies and magick can better be spent.

Thursday night, I got home late…honestly just in time for the full moon.  I gathered everything with me, except Friz.  He fought valiantly to stay up until I got home, but sleep won that battle. I walked to the woods in silence…almost a feeling of reverence under the moonlight.  I could hear her calling.  We needed to talk.  As I settled into the warmth of the night with my cauldron and candles burning, I could feel her energy soaking into me.  She has always been faithful to me…even when I felt like I was alone.

I have honestly never been alone.  The moon is who called Wolf and Crow to me.  It was under that moon that Friz was dedicated.  It was under that same moon that I made promises to my first partner and also that moon where I made promises to my current partner.  She is an old friend…she is there through every season of the year and through every season of my life.  She is the one who first called me the Weathered Wiseman, and she will be the last one to call me that name.  It is by her that I rest and by her sleep that I awaken.  It is the moon who promised that magick would always encompass and encircle me.

I share that magick with you.  So when the Moon tells you something… believe it.2014-06-14 21.44.57

Living Life Fearlessly

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Many of you don’t know that for the past twelve weeks, I have been a part of an internship program at work….no, not the animal clinic.  I quit there back in January.  The internship program I have been in has encompassed things I never thought I could or would be able to do.  Since the end of January, I have studied software systems, taken tests, jumped through hoops, and been way more outgoing than I normally am.  I have had to apply a discipline to my work and home life that I have not accessed since college.  I have had to balance a strenuous work schedule laced with courses and classes and tests.  The team started with many people who thought they might be able to ‘fake’ themselves through the program…many young men and women who thought they could get through on youth alone.  There are now two of us…only two interviewing now for permanent positions.

I sat down with my work mentor this week in preparation for the interviews and asked her to tell me what my strongest quality is.  She looked me in the eyes and point blank said, “You are fearless.  Not a careless, flippant fearless, but the type of fearless that researches and studies and then dives in…,most importantly, you dive in.”

Honestly, I have always been sort of a risk-taker.  The day after high school graduation found me on a bus bound for New York City to pursue an acting and singing career on the Broadway stage.  I was on a plane to Ecuador the day after 9/11.  I moved to Tennessee alone to pursue the ministry.  I bungee jumped off of a tower at Myrtle Beach.  There isn’t much I am not willing to try.  I even want to go skydiving on my 50th birthday.bungee

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t live my life stupidly.  When I do something, it is planned out, researched and studied.  I knew before I bungee jumped that, when I told the guys my weight, I needed to be as brutally honest as I could be.  The weight determines the strength of the bungees.

In my opinion, fearless doesn’t mean the absence of fear…it means you are willing to rise to the challenge.  It may mean that you need to lean a little more on the strength of others to help carry you through the difficult parts of the journey.  Fearless doesn’t mean that common sense and planning go out the window.  It just means you fear less.

Through this time, I have had to pull on resources I had forgotten I had.  I had to reach down inside of myself and rely on strengths that I had long since buried.  I had to dig down and remember that I am truly a smart person.  I had to remember that I am tenacious.  I had to remember that I do not give up.  I had to pull on the strength of teacher wolf to take in all the information that was being fed to me by the buckets…and you know what?  I did it.

This morning was a half damp kind of morning here in the condo complex.  I dragged myself out of bed at 7am.  I put the dog’s food in their bowls.  I fed the cats.  I got Friz harnessed up and ready to go.  I put my backpack on like I have hundreds of other mornings and I stumbled out the door…still half asleep.

I stumbled toward the woods with a little blue chihuahua staring at me like I was drunk and might fall on him.  We got to the edge and there stands my dear friend, the Green Wizard.  He is sitting in the grass, Calliope lying next to him and in his arms, he has an orange and white stray cat that I have seen wondering the property.  Everyone has tried to pet him, but no one has been successful until this morning.

The Green Wizard looks up at me and smiles a full and welcoming smile.  He softly said, “You are going to get tired of me.”  I told him that I didn’t think that was going to happen.  In his next breath, he reminded me that everything happens only for a season and we never know how long that season may last.  I know that he is preparing me for his next departure which, I have a feeling, will last for longer than I am comfortable thinking about.

As I emptied my backpack of the skulls and candles and herbs and crystals, he held certain ones and admired them.  He seemed to have a particular connection with the green tiger’s eye sphere that I have, so I told him to take it.  He seemed deeply touched.  As I lit the candles, he looked me in the eyes and told me, “Weathered Wiseman, you are coming into your season of prosperity.  Your magick, your spirit, your health, your work….everything that you touch will prosper.  As it comes to you, you must be willing to take it by the hand.  No fear….you must be willing to embrace all the blessings that will pursue you.  Your magick is going to explode around you…..it will touch areas of your life you never thought it could.”

My magick will explode, huh?tumblr_lvnpjlOxh81r3royqo1_500

I am so ready.  We think about magick touching every area of our lives….but there are so many areas that we hold onto.  Areas that we want to keep ‘protected.’

This week, I have been busy making wands and athames…washing and bleaching bones, combing through fur.  I want to find a way of making the magick that I hold inside of myself available to others.  The magick that I pour into the tools that I make….the time spent consecrating the tools under the appropriate moonlight…the blood and sweat that are poured into (and onto) those tools are parts of the process that I don’t take lightly and I don’t compromise on.  The tools range from rustic to crude, but they are put together with purpose and intent.  I started this process with an athame I made for myself…made from a humanely harvested wolf femur and fur and a recycled dagger blade.  It holds more magick than I can describe to you in this post.2014-05-06 17.05.50

 

I have those close to me who constantly pour their energy and magick into me.  I pour my energy and magick into them.  I expend a part of myself…daily, weekly, monthly.  When I give, I don’t do half-assed magick…just as they don’t do anything halfway.

There is a season coming.  I have been sitting on that egg…warming it…nurturing it for some time now.  This time, I have no qualms about saying, “It’s my turn!”

Blessed Be!

Though the Sorrow May Last Through the Night…

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I have been hated for many things over the years.  I have been hated for things I have done….things I have said….my belief system….who I am.  Through all of the persecution, I have always tried to be the bigger man.  I have always tried to reason with my brain and respond with compassion and love.

For some reason, though, the events that have bombarded the United States and the world over the past few months have drowned my heart in sorrow.  I am referring to the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda and Russia….also this “Turn the Gay Away” bill that seems to be rearing its ugly head in so many states.men-holding-hands-3CROP

I am a tolerant man.  I try to respect and honor all faiths. I try to respect and honor all races.  I try to embrace the differences that make us all individuals and make this world a more interesting place to live.  I try to surround myself with people who have the same kind of heart.

For those of you who don’t know, I served as a pastor for two mainline denominations for over ten years.  In those ten or more years, I was only met with intolerance once.  In that instance, the pastor of the church told me that he suspected me to be gay.  At the time, I was not out of the closet or quite as sure of who I am as I am now.  He told me that I needed to have an HIV test done and have the results submitted to him and his wife.  I had never been so humiliated.  In that moment, I hated myself for who I was and tried to hide anything about me that would give me away.

Fortunately, after that incident, I was hired into a large church in Charlotte.  I was met at the door with open arms and a love for any uniqueness that made me…me.  In time, I became more confident in who I was and more secure in my sexuality.  I remember one day when I went into my lead pastor’s office.  I had requested a meeting so that I might talk to him about my being gay.  He sat thoughtfully in his chair with his glasses perched on the tip of his nose.  I mustered all of my courage and said, “Pastor, I am gay.”  No reaction.  I said, “Pastor, perhaps you didn’t hear me.  I am gay.”  No reaction.  He picked up his bible and started thumbing slowly through it.  All I could think was that I was about to be blasted with scripture.  Instead, he turned to me and smiled.  He said, “Did you grow an extra head or something?”  I said, “No.”  He looked at me and laughed and said, “You are still one of the best pastors I have been blessed enough to serve with.  Now get back to work.”  With that declaration, he pulled me in for a hug, then put his hand on my shoulder and sent me back to my office….feeling more loved than I ever have.

There was a song we did in that church….the lyrics still come to my mind as I type:

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord

[Chorus:]
And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I’m pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I’m blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy’s gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

Thinking of these lyrics today reminded me….it is only in squeezing or crushing the grape, that the sweetness of the juice is released.

I know that there are those out there who would call themselves Christian who would rather spew out hate and vitriol than take the teachings of the biblical Christ to heart.  My days in the church were not spent studying a Christ who belittled and hated.  I spent hours in my office composing sermons of a Christ who sat and ate and drank with tax collectors and prostitutes (the vilest of the vile in his day).  I became acquainted with a Christ who, when told that a woman was caught in an act of sin and should be stoned, looked down at the ground and said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  He then looked at the woman with compassion and asked, “Where are your accusers?” She said, “There are none.” “Neither do I condemn you…go and sin no more.”004-jesus-washes-feet

My fondest memory of this Christ who receives the blame for so much of the hatred that spews from man….is the Christ who spent the night before his death washing the feet of his disciples.  He knew that one of them would betray him that very night….but he chose to take on the role of servant.  And again, I studied of this Christ….the one whom people blame for their right to picket soldiers funerals, and burn the sin out of people…this Christ returned from the grave to offer those who had denied him and spat on him and killed him, another chance for redemption.

So, if I have all of these wonderful memories of the church…all these wonderful remnants of who Christ was, buried inside me, why did I become a witch?  Because Christianity, to me, was limiting.  Why limit myself to one god….even if he was a three in one.  Gods and Goddesses encompass so much more than we are willing to give them credit for.  Humanity has always wanted to keep that which we don’t understand confined….if you don’t believe this, go to a zoo.

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My trip to the woods this morning was a heavy-hearted trip.  As Friz and I settled in, Friz could tell there was something different about my spirit.  He quietly licked my face. He nuzzled me…he stayed close by.  I called on the elements, the directions…and this time I did not stop at the Lord and Lady I normally call upon.  I called upon the Christ that I had been acquainted with years ago.  We chatted about those who are using his name to hurt and harm and hate.  We also chatted about those followers of his who actually “get it.”

It doesn’t matter what faith you pursue or what you believe….there is never a place for hatred.  Hatred only destroys.  It turns the hater into a predator whose thirst for blood can never be sated.  It turns those who are hated into prey…constantly pursued and never able to rest.

As I lay back onto the earth this morning, I saw Mama Crow perched in the trees above.  She has only ever asked one thing of me….”Be true to myself.”  I have not been able to hide who I am in years, and I do not intend to start now.

I will stand tall with my sword at the ready…not fighting for the sake of the fight, but so that change may actually be affected.  I will love stronger than I have ever loved, and with every swing of the sword, I shall breathe compassion and healing over any who become part of the battle.  I will never go back into hiding. Witch or gay, my true self will always shine through.

As I lay there this morning, feeling Mother Earth pouring her magick into me and the Wild Man of the Woods pouring his stamina into  me,  I looked to my side to see a grouping of daffodils…not yet bloomed, but the color of yellow just barely peeking through.2014-02-22 15.13.15

Though the sorrow may last for the night
Joy comes with the morning!

Blessed Be!

Imbolc: Fanning the Flames of Hope

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Tomorrow is Imbolc.  The wheel of the year seems to be turning faster and faster.  It seems that just yesterday we were celebrating the Solstice.  Here in Georgia, as I sat in preparation for Imbolc, we were hit by a snow and ice storm.

Most of Atlanta sat in gridlock because of lack of preparation….no blame to throw here…just lack of preparation.  I had friends who had to abandon their cars and walk five miles and more to get to shelter.  One friend walked eight miles, stopping for coffee at any open convenience store or grocer.  His husband tracked him on his IPhone as he walked.

Through this ordeal, the world either laughed at us here in the south…or they empathized and prayed.  To those who laughed, I have one thing to say. Just remember, “What is normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly.”  The one thing that constantly rang through the minds of many southerners was the hope of just getting home.  The time we were in our cars, walking, fighting the bitter cold….one thing danced in front of us, guided us through the fear…..the hope of the home-fire.

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I got home before my partner did that day.  I called him to see when he was leaving work.  He told me each time that it would be soon.  The last time, I told him to leave then….don’t question me or argue.  I sat on pins and needles knowing that some people had already been stalled on the side of the road.  I walked out into the courtyard and looked up between what I call my ‘Cernunnos Tree.’  I breathed into the icy air.  Please keep him safe….keep them all safe.  I stood there listening to the silence that only a snowfall can bring.  It is the only time that sound is absorbed into nature.  Our complex, which is normally noisy and boisterous and never silent, suddenly stood stock still…each person, animal, and machine bowing to the power that Nature herself holds.

Wednesday and Thursday, everyone waited in hopes of winter being melted away.  Schools were still closed….people still could not get back to their offices.  The cars they had abandoned were still glued to the side of the road by ice.  My own hips and knees were sore from navigating through the ice when the dogs had to pee.  My little blue chihuahua loves his time outside, but resigned himself to the pee and run….if he stayed outside a little too long, he started to shake all over.  The habit now was standing over the space heater holding him until he stopped shaking.2014-02-01 14.40.24

On Wednesday, I ventured out to see how the roads around the complex fared.  On my walk, I encountered a little bird sitting up against the snow shivering.  My first thought was that it was sick and would probably die, but I had to pick it up and try to help it.  It hopped on my hand and I placed it inside my coat, next to my chest to warm it up.  As it warmed up, it chirped.  I took it out of my coat and watched as he flew up toward one of the taller trees.  He just needed to be warmed up a bit.

Here in Atlanta, there were people walking the highways with hot chocolate, food and supplies for those who were stranded.  Grocery stores were staying open all night long to give those walking refuge from the cold.  Compassion ran rampant.  Even if bodies were shaking from the low temperatures….the hearts were warmed beyond measure.  Just one small offering is all it takes to start hope brewing.

This morning was the first day I have been able to get to the woods since the big ice-over.  I walked out with a little blue chihuahua wrapped snugly in my cloak.  Everything I needed was packed into my backpack.  We got to our place in the woods and the first thing I did was build a small fire in my cauldron.  I have a little pyre of rocks that I used to set in on.  The candles were placed to each side…the wolf and crow skulls given their normal places.  We sat directly in front of the burning cauldron.  As I closed my eyes, I could feel the heartbeat of the Earth Mother.  I could feel her belly brimming with newness….ready to be birthed.  I whispered to her that not once have I hated the winter or wished it away….it is necessary for the beginnings anticipated…but I thanked for what is to come.candles

As I sat there, I placed my hands on the ground.  I could feel the seeds, grasses and flowers yawning and stretching as they prepare for the coming spring.  The Earth Mother made them a promise…and she intended to fulfill it completely.

She made us that same promise.  I know you feel it.  There is something welling up inside of you….I know I feel it.  There is something new and wonderful and joyful ready to burst forth.  For some, this winter has been a season of sorrow….for some, a season of rest and regrouping.

For those moving through sadness….the universe has been working together with the spirits around you to help you walk out of the pain and crying.  You have to be willing to move past the winter.  I know from losing my own partner many years ago, that sometimes we become too comfortable in our mourning clothes.  There is joy around us, but we have to be willing to open ourselves to it.

For those resting….it is time to rise up and get moving.  There is magick out there ready for you to create it.  Put your hand against the trunk of the tree….that isn’t just the heartbeat of the tree you feel.  It is matching your heartbeat…it is joining in your magick to make powerful things happen.

I reworked my home altar today.  There were new things to be added…gifts from those who have added magick to my own life this year. There were things that had to be removed….gifts from those who have chosen to throw their magick to the side of the road.  It is a time for new beginnings.

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This Imbolc has given me something that I hadn’t counted on.  I have received a new hope for who I am.  It has purposed in me a reason for holding my partner just a little bit tighter…the gift of laughter and love and compassion.  It has shown me that things around me are always going to be temporal…I should cherish every moment, every person, every animal that comes into my life.  As I sit here typing with a little blue chihuahua on my lap licking at the side of my face, I lean into the warmth of the hearth fire.  I don’t look back in disappointment at the things that have happened, but I look forward in hope of the magick of things yet to come.

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Forging New Paths

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It has gotten to the point that I do my best writing at night.  I sit here with a cup of hot wild blueberry tea with some mugwort mixed in and sweetened with a bit of honey….soothing to the spirit.  It seems like just yesterday that we greeted 2013 with optimism, excitement and enthusiasm.  I just knew that this year was going to be a year like no other.  Boy, was I right.

2013 held many surprises…good and bad.  Through the course of the year, I have seen friends come and go.  I have watched as death took family, friends, and four-leggeds.  I look at the past year and can see how I have grown because of situations and circumstances.  I have also seen areas of my own life that need to be improved upon.

The coming year for me, is to be a year of Truth.  I have always been one who thought that honesty was the best policy and I believe that being honest with oneself is the greatest truth one can find.  This year, I intent to be more honest with myself, first and foremost, than I have ever been.  It is time for the rough edges to come off even more.  It is time for the Weathered Wiseman to open himself up to more magick than he could have even fathomed.

It is also time for truth to be the first thing that pours out of my mouth.  I have told you before that I am a horrible liar.  I have never even been able to tell those sweet little white lies that everyone tells to spare hurt feelings.  My face always gives me away.  My goal for this year is to temper that truth with as much love as I can muster.

The truth is never easy for any of us to take.  It is especially hard when we have concocted a truth from lies we have told ourselves.  We have made something that was never real to begin with and given it life.  We have created something that grows legs of its own and walks about creating destruction.

The second thing I intend to do with this new year is to get an even stronger backbone.  It isn’t to say that I don’t have a pretty strong backbone now…..but I want one that can’t and won’t be bent.  When I plant my feet, that is where I will stay.  AntBackbone

Trials have hit me this year….we have all had a plethora of them.  I have stood strong…but in 2014, I intend to stand stronger.  Does this mean that I won’t cry…won’t hurt?  Hell no.  It means that through those tears and pain there is gonna be one strong man standing to face the issues.  I will not be pushed down.  Nothing is so strong that I cannot overcome it.

The third thing that I intend to pursue this year is Peace.  I have grown tired of becoming frazzled at any little crisis.  I have become over-tired of being anxious.  Worry is not a good trait to have.  Worry makes one old before your time.  Worry causes health issues.  Anxiety causes blood pressure problems.  When I was pastoring, there was one scripture that always amazed me. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  Consider how the wild flowers grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”  tumblr_lzsta29z901qb30dwo1_500

If you look around you at the grasses and trees and the flowers in the spring….they don’t sit around and worry about where their nourishment is coming from.  They trust that the Lord and Lady will take care of them.  They are tended by the nature spirits.  Don’t we have that same gift?  We have been given all the elements….right there at our fingertips.  Yet we are so afraid to utilize them.  We have been gifted with magick.  We are so quick if someone asks, “I need a little extra energy…mojo…juju,” to pipe up with ‘Sending!’  But honestly are we just saying that or do we truly believe that we have been gifted the ability to manifest it?

The final thing that I fully intend to embrace with the coming of 2014…..is Living in the Magick.  You have heard the phrase, “Living in the Moment.”  Well, I am going to live every moment in magick.  I intend to let magick permeate every part of my being.  I want to see it manifest itself more powerfully than I could ever anticipate.  I am going to walk in the energy of the universe around me….constantly surrounded and guided by the gods and goddesses.  I will hold dearly to all of the elements and to the spirit guides around me.

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I went to the woods with Friz this morning.  It was hazy and cold and drizzly at times.  My mind was racing over many things that have happened over the past few days.  I wore my cloak (it seems, when I wear my cloak that the world disappears around me and I am transported at that moment into a world of magick) and gathered my backpack with all of my supplies.  When we got to the woods, I unpacked everything and got it all set up listening to Friz doing ‘play growls’ with that little calico.  She had somehow slipped in as I was attending to the business of magick.  I settled in front of the skulls and candles and made my circle…I called on the elements and my spirit guides.  As I sat there, I heard a major rustling in the trees above.  I heard Mama Crow, but then as I looked up, there were many crows gathered in the tree tops.  I sensed the presence of wolf and welcomed him in.  I talked back and forth to Mama Crow and her entourage as I communed with the god and goddess.

As I sit there in deep conversation, I am reminded of one of the Native American legends of Crow:  A white crow warned buffalo every time that hunters approached.  This led to hunger and starvation in the village and the crow is eventually captured by the hunters and thrown into a fire. But it escapes before being completely burned, being only blackened by the flames; black becomes its permanent color.  As the crow flees, it promises never to warn the buffalo of approaching hunters again.  The crow becomes a type of phoenix that rises from the ashes, symbolizing renewal, transformation and promise.2013-10-14 16.32.33

I call up to Mama Crow, “Is this what you wanted me to remember? Is it time for renewal, transformation and the promise of better things?” I only hear a cacophony of crow calls above me…but in the midst of those crows, I swear I can see one old female crow up there smiling and the sounds from her sound more like a deep laugh.

I complete my ritual and pack up.  As Friz and I walk back to the condo, I feel something deep building inside of me.  Hope? Determination? I even thought I felt that backbone get a little bit stronger.

Blessed Be!

A Season of Peace

As I sit here right now, I have a hot cup of mugwort and lemon balm tea sweetened with honey sitting in front of me.  Tissues are scattered around the desk and I have Vick’s Vapor Rub under my nose.  Yes, I know, not the witchy, swarthy version of the male witch that you have pictured.  My partner and I went to my folks house for the holidays this weekend and there was such a change in weather….and of course, I had to spend time outside…so I caught a cold.

As we drove the country roads through North Carolina, I could feel my witchy blood dancing through my veins.  I knew, without a doubt that I was going to get to spend time in my woods.  Those woods are so much a part of me and who I am that it is like visiting an old friend who I haven’t seen in a month of Sundays.

The times I have been home lately have all been for funerals.  So many family members and friends have passed over through this year.  Always a whirlwind trip…flying up there, funeral, fly back.  Even though this was a quick weekend trip, it was very relaxed.  We stayed at my aunt’s house with her and her five dogs….so I got all the puppy lovin’s I needed…and it helped me not to miss my dogs so much.

Late Saturday afternoon, I decided that it was time to socialize with my old friend.  I had taken my backpack with me and filled it with all my altar items, including my cloak and skulls.  I started on the trek to the woods but it didn’t seem right without at least one animal companion by my side.  It is funny how the gods and goddesses make the necessary arrangements for us ahead of time.  My dad found two kittens a few weeks back and got them good and tamed up and made them into comfortable little barn cats.  I am not talking about a stark, cold barn.  I mean inside heating and nice comfy beds….I couldn’t have done better myself.

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As I walked into the woods, these two little furballs were right on my heels….one, a little black and white..the other, solid white.  The black and white one tangled himself around my feet more than once, forcing me to try not to fall face forward.  I decided that it was time to cleanse and dedicate my skulls once again.  What better place than my home soil and what better time than the Winter Solstice?  I dug holes deep enough to place each skull in and placed the crow and wolf skull gently into the earth and then covered them with the surrounding soil.  I prayed a blessing over them.  The kittens played contently around me.  The little white one walks over to where the skulls are buried and pats gently at the dirt.

I sat there in the midst of my woods and watched.  I knew deep inside that there would be a crow somewhere close.  I looked into the trees and sure enough, I was greeted by that hard brash caw.  I greeted her with the same greeting I use in the courtyard back home.  I closed my eyes and could feel my years melting away.  I was once again the young boy who sat in the pasture or in the woods talking to the animals…listening to them as they shared their wisdom.

As the dark approached, I could see the Christmas lights of neighboring farms in the distance.  Peace came over me like no other time before.  I breathed in that feeling that can only come from the elements.  I opened my eyes and I was surrounded.  It was a funny sight.  Here I was sitting in the middle of the woods with cats, goats, chickens and a cow all standing around me.  I finished my ritual with them standing near and then wished them all a blessed Solstice.  A night of peace and comfort and familiarity…all sent to me as reminder that sometimes you have to take those roads back to where you started, if only to rekindle what brought the heart forward from that point.

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This morning, Christmas Eve, I went to the woods here behind the condos.  I had my backpack and skulls and candles and cloak….and one little blue chihuahua.  Friz was feeling particularly frisky this morning and as we got to the edge of the woods, he wouldn’t budge.  I stood there trying to get him to move, but then as that calico kitten (who is not so small anymore), ambled up beside him…he moved on.

I settled onto the cold ground.  I put the skulls in the places that felt right and lit the candles.  I placed the crystals carefully around them.  I burrowed down inside my cloak and was oblivious to the two little critters I had burrowing into it too.  As I sit there, I breathe out Christmas blessings into the wind for those dear to me.  I hear very loud purring coming from underneath my cloak and feel warm fur next to me.  I am also greeted by the snores and wrigglings of that blue chihuahua.  I watch in wonder as my wishes and prayers fly toward the heavens like reverse snowflakes.  Again, Mama Crow squawks in the distance.

She reminds me that this season is about the rebirth of the sun.  It is about renewal in us.  Is it any wonder that the animals came to me in my woods back home? This is the season of the horned one.  Is it any wonder that we crave time indoors by the hearth fires and with trees lighted with magickally colored bulbs.  It is the season of the hearth fires.  It is that time of year that we long for the light of the sun.

My wish for you during this holiday season…..nothing more or less than Peace.  Peace with yourself, those around you, your decisions, your dreams, your shortcomings….in all if these things I wish you peace.

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Blessed Be!

As the Crow Flies…

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Two weeks ago today, I went to meet up with some new friends for brunch. As our time together ended, we looked around us because we heard the noisy caws of a crow. We scanned the skies and noticed that the crow was getting closer with each caw. Finally as we looked toward the eave of the house, there perched the crow on the eave above the door. One of my friends is familiar with my writings about Mama Crow. He said, “It looks like she followed you.” There was a part of me that wanted to believe that, but there was that tiny ounce of doubt too. I chatted with him later on and found out that the crow left after I did. I have read about crows being able to recognize people’s faces. My hope is that Mama Crow has become so much more than a guide….a presence of spirit….a representative of the Morrigan….but maybe also, a friend.

I have noticed that when challenges surface in my life, Mama Crow makes herself more evident. Last week when my car battery died, Mama Crow was on the post in the apartment complex making so much noise on my lunch, the day before. Whenever a challenge seems to await me, there is Mama Crow…carrying on like no other. It seems that there is one woman in the apartment complex who just seems to have it out for me. She tends to catch me just as I am about to get in my car to go back to work from walking the dogs….she wants to rant at me because my car is parked in front of my condo and she thinks she should park there because she wants the shade tree. I stand there rolling my eyes as Mama Crow bounces from branch to branch in a nearby tree, raising a ruckus.

The Morrigan has made her presence known so much more in my life lately. I realize that she is one of the dark aspects of the goddess and I do realize that I am at the croning part of my life…I shouldn’t be shocked that she is becoming more of a presence. My life, as of late, seems that it is in a constant state of change….I realize that the Morrigan is also a goddess of transformation and change. I embrace these changes….I allow them to be a part of me….it does not mean that I don’t kick and scream the whole way.

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Worry has always been a large part of my make-up. I get this from my Mama. My mama is one that worried if the phone didn’t ring exactly four times before being picked up….she worried if we sneezed once ( had to be the flu)….she worried if we ate a tiny bit less than we normally did. I didn’t get the worry gene that badly, but I am a worrier. I am one that thinks constantly about where I stand with my job. If any little thing seems off with my animals….I worry….I let my thoughts overtake me.

Last night, I went out with friends to celebrate my birthday, which always falls on Lammas. We started the evening with dinner, then went to a piano bar afterwards. I had several drinks and was feeling good, but not enough to be drunk. We got home at about 1:00am and I headed to the woods by myself. I laid down on the ground….I could feel the coolness of the dirt beneath me. I knew I needed grounding….so much happening as of late….so many things swirling around my head…things I won’t share in a blog, but things that those closest to me will know. I missed my little blue chihuahua laying on top of me and beside me….but he was sleeping too peacefully to rouse.

I have been feeling, as of late, that something major is happening magickally. There is an energy working its way through the atmosphere. Though my heart is at peace, my mind and my spirit have been racing. I have sensed something in each of the animals. Merlin has taken to sleeping under the new altar table I placed in the bedroom. Tamira wants to be touched constantly…even if it is nose to nose. Bella craves time under the moon….she walks my partner to death at night. Friz longs for magick…..as I write this, he is not feeling like himself. He has been trembling and his tail is tucked. I have been using Reiki and healing magick on him all night. But still, in the midst of this…I know something powerful is coming2013-08-03 00.34.29

I have been out tonight walking the perimeter of the condo….using the last of the waning moon’s energy. As I walked, I sprinkled stinging nettles…uttering spells to banish negative energies…to banish negative people from stepping foot near my sanctuary…banishing sickness, hurt, confusion, fear……casting away all things that might hinder my household from thriving, from prospering….calling out the names of my friends who I know have had a rough time of it lately….banishing those things from their lives that have interfered with them living the most abundant and productive lives.

As I walked, I could feel Lady Luna looking down at me, nodding her head in agreement as I borrowed and shared her energy. As I walked toward the place where two paths joined next to the condo, I could sense the breath of the hounds of Hekate…..them sensing the nervousness and fear and worry I have over my own dog. I could feel their strength, their passion….my worry took a back seat as I reached out to see if I could feel their coats. The breeze greeted me and sent the energy they gave forward. Finally, I could sense the Morrigan….always accompanying me through the battles of day to day life. I hold the utmost respect for her, knowing that she holds the very balance of life and death in her hands. I could feel the winds shifting….I could feel my spirit shifting….I could feel my mind shifting. The time for fear and worry is past….it is time for action. We as witches have to move past circumstance….for we will be tested every moment. We as witches must live by spirit and magick.

It is a hard thing for me to see past myself most days….but I constantly get lessons from the gods and goddesses. The spirit knows what the mind and body need. Tonight, as I told a dear, dear friend about Frisbee….she told me that he has absorbed and absorbed so much lately. She reminded me about what I felt about something happening magickally with the regards to the animals. She happened to mention that maybe Friz needed grounding. An hour or so after our texting, I took Friz out for his final walk of the night. After we had walked for a few minutes and he had peed, he lay down in the dirt. I remembered what Maluna had told me, so I sat down beside him. I rubbed him as he absorbed the power from Mother Earth herself. Then I brought him in, kissed him on his head, placed my amethyst on the kennel, lit the healing candle I have….and I sat down at the desk to finish writing. He needed grounding. His spirit knew better than I did….better than he did.

Now, he sleeps…just as I will. I will dream of the things to come. The changes….the struggles…the triumphs. That is the way of the spirit.2013-08-03 16.25.56

Blessed Be

Promises, Promises….

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For as wonderfully warm as last weekend was….this weekend was wet, dreary and cold.  Last week we welcomed in the Spring Equinox and the first day of Spring around here with a hailstorm on Monday and then flurries and sleet on Thursday, followed by umbrellas and jackets for this weekend.

Now I can promise you that I am right up there on top complaining about the cold and damp of winter and then beating that same dead horse in the summertime as sweltering temps and water shortages typically hit us.  My two favorites seasons are Fall and Spring here in the south, but with the way the weather has been over the past few years….the south seems to be going to a two season year…..Winter and Summer.   Last year, specifically we went from the cold and chill of Winter directly into the blistering heat that Summer has to offer.

Last night, I had gone to some friends house for a “card night.”  Since I am such a night owl, we left at about midnight…knowing that the dogs would need to go outside one more time before bed.  It was pouring rain the whole way home.  As we pulled into the condo parking lot, the rain let up for just a minute…long enough to jet inside, harness up the dogs, and do a quick pee run. 

Afterwards, as I tried to snuggle into bed, I heard thunder start to roll.  I knew what I was in for.  As much as thunder relaxes me, it scares the Bejeezus out of the cats.  I could hear the oldest trying to get one of the closet doors open on one end of the bedroom and watched as Merlin scurried under the bed.  As I tried to calm them and talk them through the storm, I could see the terror in their eyes.  They didn’t know what that noise was and they were sure it wasn’t a good thing for them.  Finally, I got the old girl to crawl under the covers with me and Merlin was lying across my throat…that is how we drifted off.

I got up fairly early with the dogs this morning and  went for my usual weekend morning walk.  Yesterday when I walked, I was thoroughly drenched.  I did that walk by myself.  That little blue chihuahua tends to like to just stand in the midst of the rain not moving.  This morning, though, I harnessed him up and we walked through the courtyard for a few minutes before venturing out.  I saw my hostas jutting up through the dirt uncompromisingly.  My foxglove stretched open as if to tell me that all she did was take a little nap and now she is ready to move out of winter.  The hydrangeas purposefully greened up even more, as if overnight.

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I remember, as a child, watching ‘Frosty’s Winter Wonderland’ with my grandma.  Parson Brown had to tell the children, Frosty and Jack Frost that winter couldn’t last forever.  He was talking about the seeds and bulbs.  He said, “Nature made them a promise…that someday they’d be pretty trees and flowers.  Could you imagine how you’d feel if someone broke such a promise to you?”   If you think about it, the oak tree is the promise Nature made to the acorn.  As I walked around this morning taking in all the promises looming in the ground, I was encouraged.   When we curse the snow, the cold and the rain, we forget that all that is necessary to create the Spring.  We get so frustrated when the weather…the seasons don’t go the way we planned it….but we forget that the Great Mother has had it all planned since the beginning of time.

We mourn a few frost bitten blooms when winter shows it last flash of teeth….”Oh my poor flowers…oh my poor tree…they were just starting to bud…now because of the cold snap the blooms will die.” Maybe there was a purpose in it….maybe those buds and blooms weren’t going to be strong enough to begin with.  We begrudge the Great Mother when she needs a little extra time to make things just so…but we don’t think a thing about burning or uprooting a grove or forest of trees for the sake of progress. 

I live in a concrete jungle.  I see green space disappear every day to make space for condos and businesses.  Goddess has given me a space here in the city that I can call my own and that I can help ‘green up.’  I am her human assistant in nurturing these plants and her helper in taking care of those outside critters.  It has now become second nature when I feel a chill in the air to set up stations for the outdoor animals…to make sure they have access to food.

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This morning, I decided to splurge a bit for breakfast.  I made pancakes.  I only had three medium sized ones myself, but as I ate them out in the courtyard with my cup of coffee, I could hear Mama Crow in the distance.  I walked out with one of the compote-free pancakes and crumbled it up and placed it down on the sidewalk in front of our condo.  Mama Crow does love her food.  She scouted around for a while….had to make sure it was ok to come down.  Then she comes down and prances back and forth on the sidewalk eye-balling the pancake. Then Boy-Howdy she ate that pancake up with such gusto….I laughed out loud.  She cawed at me real loud as if to say, “Hush your mouth, boy!” 

I walked back into the courtyard to finish my pseudo-coffee (decaf) and to read a bit.  I glanced at my witches grass and saw a spiral starting to peek out from the gravel beneath it.  I got to thinking about something.  The Great Mother made a promise to all those seeds and bulbs and plants….but she also made a promise to me.  There are things that have been growing and moving and swirling around the insides of me all winter long too….what happens to those?  Do I let other people discourage me and kill off those budding promises?  Do I let my own self doubts pluck the leaves of expectation off and throw them away?  Do I let the drought of my own fears wither away the blooming of things never before surfaced?

I don’t think so!  There is too much brewing inside of me to let it go to waste….just as I am sure that you too have way too much brewing to watch it wither.  This spring is going to be phenomenal!!!  When that final wisp of cold breath of winter is gone, the Great Mother is gonna have a field day….and you just watch what she is capable of!  Same with me…..you just stand back and watch….I am capable of so much more than even I imagined!

Blessed Be!Photo Jul 01, 7 05 22 PM