Everyone Has a Story…

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

–Dr. Brene Brown–The Hustle for Worthiness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed Be!2014-12-20 18.28.16

What Happens When the Magickal Path Doesn’t Seem Quite So Magickal

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I overheard a conversation in our local ‘witchy’ store late this afternoon.  As I rounded a corner,  I saw a group of twenty-something young women looking through the candles and the statues.  One of the young ladies wrinkled her nose and sneered at the candle in her hand and said, “They don’t have anything in here that looks like what they used to have on ‘Charmed.'”  My roommate grabbed me quickly by the arm and dragged me into the other room as I protested with the need of having a talk with those young ladies about real witchcraft and pointing them toward some useful resources.

I realize that all of us were introduced to magick somewhere.  For me, it was the movie, ‘Bell, Book and Candle’  with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak.  I marveled as she sang over Pyewacket and laughed as she used Jimmy Stewart’s fiance’s fear of thunderstorms against her.  I pondered about a witch not being able to fall in love without losing their powers.  I was doomed….I fell in love at least every other weekend.

I started the research process.  I devoured any book on magick and witchcraft I could find.  When I was a witchling, resources weren’t quite as readily available and to call yourself a witch where I am from was like admitting that you slept with the devil himself….but still I studied.  I spent more time with my grandmother who schooled me in the shamanistic practices of the Cherokee.  She taught me to walk sided by side with Nature and to listen to every word she whispered.  She taught me to draw on the magick that was already inside of me.

Now, I am not going to lie….every day of my life is not full of fireworks and thunder and lightning.  Sparks don’t fly with every wave of my fingers.  I remember the disappointment I felt when I first realized that every moment of every day wasn’t like ‘Bewitched.’  As I sit here, I remember the disappointment I felt when I realized that twitching my nose did nothing but make my nose itch….but I never gave up.

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As I read, I watched a path open up before me.  At first, there seemed to be nothing magickal about it.  It was about visualization, moon phases, elements and intent.  There was nothing about potion making or any of the preconceived ideas that I had about magick swirling around my head.  Whether I realized it or not….I was growing in the Craft.  The path that was ahead of me, didn’t so much sparkle like the gold brick of the yellowbrick road…I couldn’t find that fairy godmother to lead me through…my grandmother was the closest to Endora that I had.  My path in fact seemed to illuminate just every so often as I felt my way through the dark.

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I continued to walk this path that opened before me.  I started to truly understand my relationship with Nature and the elements around me…and then I was introduced to the Gods and Goddesses of this path that was unfolding.  Something inside of me became very much alive.   As I started to relate to the Gods and Goddesses and I began speaking to them and having relationship with them, it was easier to see the magick in my path.  Now, in my own mind and heart, it seemed as if I was being guided…led.  The visualization became easier…the intent became stronger.  It was becoming easier to control myself.  I continued to walk this path….this time keeping  a watchful eye out for anything magickal that might lead me in different directions.2014-11-29 15.48.56

 

I was listening better…hearing things around me and within me.  As I continued to grow in the Craft and learned to rely on my instinct combined with all I had learned and I communed more with the Gods and Goddesses and the elements around me, I realized that magick was not something that we had to work to attain.  It was something already inside of us.  We only had to access it.  It screams out to us on a daily basis…we have become deaf to it.  We have learned to walk through life as robots…pushing down those callings…the yearnings.2014-11-23 12.33.44

 

The quote above is the closest I have come to finding a definition of what magick encompasses to me.  When I started the search for magick, who would have thought that the place it would be found is inside me.  Roald Dahl said it best:

And above all, watch with glittering eyes

The whole world around you,

Because the greatest secrets are always

Hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don’t believe in

Magic will never find it.

This morning as I walked to the woods with Friz….with each step, I watched as my breath left my body.  I remembered my Greek classes from college.  With each breath, my mind exhaled the word Pneuma, which means spirit.  I watched as a piece of my spirit danced in front of me.  Magick is more about learning to control ourselves than anything around us.  Our mind can be the one thing that can limit us.  When I am standing in the wind, if I think too much, my mind will tell me, “You can’t do anything with the wind.”  Instead, I have learned to open my mind and dance with that same wind….to call to it and listen to it answer.  Jason Miller said it best.

It is my opinion that a Sorcerer who cannot control his breath is no Sorcerer at all.
There is a reason that in many cultures the word for spirit or energy is also the word for breath.  In Hebrew the word is Ruach, in Tibetan it’s Lung, in Sanskrit it’s Prana, in Greek it’s Pneuma, in Arabic it is Ruh.  Even the word spirit or spiritus means breath in Latin.  The breath is life and is so important that it is treated in some eastern traditions as a mantra in and of itself.  Yet, we pay surprisingly little attention to it.

I sat down among the brown leaves, closed my eyes and listened.  I listened to my own breath. I listened to the heartbeat of the earth mother.  I could feel her calling to me.  “Something new is brewing inside.  Something new is always brewing….it is up to you to heed its call.”   I invoked the Morrigan.  I heard Mama Crow answer.  There is more magick on this path I’m on than anything I could ever see on television.  It isn’t about mastering the nose twitch or throwing potion bottles at other-worldly beings.

What am I to do with it?  Walk this path…this magickal path…and teach.

Blessed Be!2014-11-28 21.42.40

 

Transitioning Back Into the Magick Within Us

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Tonight is two nights after Samhain.  This year, Samhain brought in cold and howling winds and rain.  As I communed with my ancestors, I listened intently as the wind hammered against the side of the condo.  The trees whipped back and forth.  One could feel the cold prying its fingers in through the window sills.  It reminded me of an old quote from Mary Poppins,

Winds from the East…Mist coming in

Like something’s a brewing, about to begin

Can’t put my finger on what lies in store…

But I feel what’s to happen, all happened before!

In the new year that is coming upon us, it seems that my theme is to be slowing down.  I am one of those people who, if not careful, will allow myself to become a frenzy of work and home life and everything else in between.  Most of my life is lived at full tilt…just like most other people.  Ever have those weeks when magick can become an afterthought?

I love the quote at the start of the blog.  We let life on a daily basis push magick away from us.  We let circumstances and emotions push the magick all the way to the back of our minds.  Then when everything else seems exhausted, we think, “Oh yeah, I am a witch.”  Shall I raise my hands, wave them about and scream ‘Guilty’ at the top of my lungs?

Last week, I spent the majority of my time nursing a sprained ankle.  Last night, I ended up in the emergency room because when I drifted off to sleep, moments later I would awaken myself gasping for air.  I amaze myself sometimes.  I am the first to send healing, Reiki, or any other magick to anyone else…but I tend to lose my brain and any magickal abilities when it comes to myself.  Thinking back on it…if I had just stopped, calmed myself and done some Reiki and magick combined, I would have been fine.

Well, the diagnosis came back just as me and the doctor suspected.  I am fat.  I am sedentary.  I don’t exercise enough.  His solution?  Lose weight.  Exercise…walk.  Get outside more.  I laughed out loud.  My medically, scientific minded doctor was telling this nature-loving witch that he needs to be outside more.  He asked if I had a dog that I could take on long walks in the brisker fall air.  I told him I did and that we normally take short morning walks.  He asked my habits.  After reluctantly admitting that I am mostly a couch potato, my doctor looked at me, laughed out loud and said matter-of-factly, “You have become far to domesticated.”

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Domesticated?  I became a bit indignant.  I have always considered myself a bit of a wild man.  I am not like the ones in the earlier quote.  I am not domesticated.  After I pushed past my hurt feelings, I started thinking to myself…”When was the last time you ran through the woods or outside?  When is the last time you were able without gasping for air?  When is the last time you let a youthful sparkle shine from your eyes?  When was the last time that child-like wonder escaped from you with the sharp intake of breath that comes from seeing magick happen up close and personal?”

After arriving back home, I sat and thought about a game plan.  The doctor and I agreed that organic, healthy eating habits would be best.  Lean proteins, lots of green leafy veggies and plenty of fruits and nuts would help to get my body functioning more normally.  Exercise…such an ugly word.  Thankfully we are heading into the darker months of the year…this time of year is an energizer for me.  I function better in briskness and cool.  Mine and Friz’s walks are going to have to become longer….he will be more than happy.  He pulls constantly when we walk…as if he knows that I need to expend more energy…as if urging me to move more.

My dear friend Cindy posted a photo on her Facebook page.  This photo said, “November s the month of transformation.  It is time to prepare for the coming winter and a time to strengthen communication.”  My preparation is to be more brisk walks….music that inspires magick penetrating my headphones…a chihuahua for motivation…and healthy, delicious foods.  It is time for re-teaching.  It is time to listen to the heart of the Morrigan…there is a battle waging inside me now.  It is up to me.  I want to encourage that wild part of my spirit to surface…that heart of wolf who runs with the wind…that heart of crow who flies higher and higher.  2014-11-02 15.33.57

As the earth goes to sleep, it is my time to listen to my body, my heart and my spirit.  I sat in the woods this morning huddled in my cloak, Friz tucked underneath with my personal sized Book of Shadows in my hands (it is kind of like my ‘spells on the go’ book).  I am sitting there trying to write a spell to accomplish what I want accomplished.  Maybe it was writer’s block…maybe I was thinking too hard.  I decided to take a hint from my most magickal little blue dog.  I raised my head, nose to the wind.  I could smell the leaves around me….the cold tickled my nose.  It was exhilarating!

Leaves swirl around me with abandoned delight…

My breath hangs in front of me here in my sight.

As the earth darkens around me, seeds of growth sown

New beginnings, new disciplines, a new heart will be shown.

Magickal workings encompass me round…

I listen and act so that blessings abound.

My body and mind and my spirit align…

Victory, health and prosperity are mine.

By word and action and now by deed,

As I will, so mote it be.

As if on cue, I hear Mama Crow behind me.  I look up and there she sits, looking down at me.  She offers that guidance I seek.  She flies.   Reminding me that I need to always remember to do the same.  Friz and I head back home, we wrap ourselves in a blanket on the sofa and ‘rest our eyes.’

Later today I read my dear Maluna’s posting:

Man changes our clocks.  Animals and some of us listen to our bodies….never mind human reasoning…it is what it is….Moon up…leaves down…I look at the positive….more time to see and spend with the silver globe of light….Full moon this week….work for healings, positive change for some….with the swirl of the holidays upon us…the temptations of wondrous delicacies…it’s time to take charge of your body…your eating habits….. bundle up and get outside…walk, yoga, dance…clean house…(yes it burns calories)….incorporate fruits and veggies in your diet of comfort food…and yesssss we all want the hearty, heavy creamy stuff….just balance with nutrition also. Excellent few days to put this program into motion…many depend on you…be healthy, for yourself…and those who love you! Now….go dance under that glorious moon…she’ll always dance along with you! BB

 

So here we go!  Blessed Be!

 

 

 

 

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Riding Out the Storm

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For some reason, I have never really been afraid of storms.  I can remember, as a child, when a storm would come, my mother would gather us up (kids, dogs, cats, everyone) and run to the middle of the house.  She needed for us to be as far away from windows and doors as possible.  We would all huddle in the hall next to the bathroom and she would sit and rock and cry.  My inclination was quite the opposite.  I wanted to run toward the door, fling it open and be right in the middle of it.  The lightning was fascinating.  My grandma would tell me stories of the Cherokee Thunderers…they were fierce beings, but I was never made to feel afraid of them.  I saw them as something otherworldly and magickal.

Still now, when I feel the electricity that comes with a thunder and lightning storm, I am drawn to it.  I feel the need to be right in the middle of it.  When I hear storms brewing, it brings to mind what I learned in school…”the calmest place is in the eye of the storm.”  Right there in the middle of the storm is the calmest, most still air.  It is funny to think of it this way, but right there in the middle of what may be a hurricane, is the lowest amount of pressure.  That area is where there can be an opening for light to come in and where the breezes are light.

I have been surrounded by people this week enveloped in storms.  It is like I have said before, people are attracted to the magick they see in others.  I have been called on by folks in the midst of breakups, depression, anxiety. My advice?  Learn to ride the storm.  The one thing that I have noticed regarding humans, is that they always want to fist-fight the wind.

Watching people weather the storms in their lives reminds of the rodeo.  It is much like bull riding.  Why in the world would anyone want to climb on the back of a bull and see how long they can stay on? A sense of accomplishment?  Maybe.  To prove that they can? Possibly.  They reason that cowboys will climb onto the back of a bull to see how long they can stay on…the prize at the end of the ride.  So you just climb on the back of that bull, sit down and do nothing but wait for the ride to end, right?  No.  Your body has to follow the motion of the bull.  You must be aware of the movements the bull is making and mirror that to some extent.  You definitely have to be flexible.

bull ride

I was walking Friz through the complex this morning.  Again, we were greeted by the sight of green dusty cloak and a familiar mop of dirty brown hair.  He sat in the same spot he was last week.  It tore at my heart to see him sitting alone.  Isn’t that how most of us try to face the challenges and hurts in our lives, though?  Alone. His face lights up when he sees little Friz saunter up to him.  Friz’s whole body shook with joy seeing our friend against the early morning darkness.  The green wizard scooped him up and leaned into the thousands of licks that invaded his cheeks.

We walked and talked as he carried Friz close to his chest.  He talked about how hard the past week has been for him….like a part of his heart had been ripped out.  He said that it felt like walking with one leg and no staff.  Sleeping was hard because he had always fallen asleep listening to Calliope breathing.  I looked in his eyes and noticed that the sparkle that is normally visible was faint. His eyes looked weak.  As we moved closer to the center of the woods, he seemed relieved to see the canape of branches and leaves above us.  He lay down in the midst of the leaves and pine needles.  Friz took the opportunity to crawl up onto his belly and nestle.

I never know how often the green wizard gets to eat, so this morning I had made a cottage cheese carton full of grits and eggs and cheese. I handed it to him with a bottle of juice.  He laughed out loud, “Who would have ever thought that I would have run into another magickal being here in the middle of this condominium complex…much less two?”  I saw him wink at Friz as he said it.  He ate slowly….savoring every bite.  He shared a bite with Friz here and there.  We talked about magick.  We talked about animals.  We talked about friendships.  We laughed about unlikely friendships.  I sat there as he rode the winds of his own storm.  I watched as he released the pain of loss.

It amazes me how much magick is contained in the things that we seem to take for granted.  The Hedge witches of old knew this.  Most of their magick involved the things found in everyday life.  Herbs, animals…the things that were right outside their doors.  Who would know that tears could be such a powerful potion.  It is the magick that stirs inside of us that could very well bring healing, peace of mind, understanding and courage.

I was taken back to my childhood today.  I have written about Crazy Mary…the local homeless person in my hometown.  Everyone was afraid of her…they always went the other way.  I remember her smile as a five year old Weathered Wiseman hugged her.  That memory washed over me today.  As I wrapped my arms around the green wizard, I could feel the magick working.  How many had turned the other way when they saw him?  How many had kept from making eye contact?  He had his own storms to ride out just like everyone else.

In all my years working at a vet, I have seen dogs with storm phobias out the wazoo.  Thankfully, my dogs have never been afraid of thunder or rain.  This afternoon, however, I was sitting on the sofa when a huge boom of thunder rang through the house.  My cat, Merlin, sat straight up on the dining room table….I could see his eyes dilating.  I began talking to him.  “What’s wrong, Merlin?  Everything is fine.  Do you want to come and sit beside daddy?”  With those words, this seventeen pound cat, who most of the time seems fearless, climbed onto the sofa beside me…leaned hard into my side, closed his eyes and purred.  In the midst of his fear, he found that calm place….right there in the middle of the storm.

Blessed Be!

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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.

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!

When You Meet the Wizard, Your Whole Life Will Change…

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It seemed, when I was small, that I constantly got into trouble for who I talked to.  The words meander through my brain now as I write..my dad would constantly warn me, “Don’t spend your time talking out loud to the animals.  People will think you are odd.”  I never had a sense of not being able to talk to the animals…they always talked back to me.

Then there was the local homeless person, ‘Crazy Mary.’  She wandered the streets of my home town dressed in every stitch of clothes that she owned with a shopping cart she had ‘borrowed’ from Gamble’s grocery.  She was always kept in supply, by that same grocer, of the one snack that she adored…mustard covered sardines.  Ma told me a few years back that my dad had taken me downtown (ten stores and a courthouse) one Saturday.  We were walking along and my dad ran into an old friend of the family.  After their conversation, they looked around for me and I was nowhere to be found.  They finally found me sitting on the covered stoop next to the movie theater laughing out loud and sharing a tin of mustard covered sardines with ‘Crazy Mary.’  I was probably five….I knew no fear then, but in later years was taught to fear her just because she was different.

I think that is where my heart for abandoned people and animals started.  I have never understood categorizing someone or something as having no worth.  Surely there was something important enough about the essence of the spirit that caused that person or animal to come into being.  I am scared to death of an opossum, but that doesn’t mean it has no purpose.

Monday of last week here in Atlanta was so pleasant.  It was so spring-like in the evening.  I came home to the roomie having every window open and the inside of the house smelled fresh….like the cave-like conditions of winter had been pushed out the windows.  The plague of ‘green snow’ had not fully hit, so it seemed like a good evening to take Friz for a walk.

We walked our usual path toward the woods.  It seemed like the perfect evening to just lie down under the canopy of branches and leaves that the woods had erupted into overnight.  I talked to Friz every step of the way and he listened intently.  As we rounded one of the corners of the complex over close to where we scoot off the pathway, I looked up and sitting on a column of bricks was a young man of about 28 or so with a medium sized mutt at his feet.  He was dressed in a brown shirt with brown pants and a green hooded cloak.  Everything he wore had a patina to it…you could tell that they had been well-worn.  As I stood there tracing his form from head to toe, I noticed that the shoes he wore were black converse that had seen better days.  The soles were falling off and you could see his dirty socks inside.

I trust my dog completely when it comes to the nature of other people and animals, so I looked down at Friz to see if he was giving me any sign of alert.  He looked straight at the young man and his dog with his tongue out and his tail wagging…so I took this as my cue to move forward.

As we moved closer, the young man looked up at me underneath the hood and spoke softly, “She won’t bite.  She is really gentle.” We moved even closer.  Friz initiated the dog handshake and after they had both gotten a nostril full, Friz licked the gentle dog on his muzzle.  The docile animal turned to Friz and only licked back.  I leaned over and gave the dog a scratch behind the ear and he leaned in sweetly.  The young man pulled the hood away from his face and introduced himself to me.  “They call me the Green Wizard and this is my dog Calliope.”  I weighed the situation cautiously at first.  “They call me the Weathered Wiseman and this is Friz.”  He leaned in to Friz to give him a scratch under his chin and Friz licked the calloused hand making its way toward him.

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The ‘Green Wizard’ looked up at me and smiled as wide as his mouth allowed.  “There’s gotta be something said for the wizard’s dog.”  He laughed out loud as his dog and Friz rested on top of each other.  As we sat there talking, he told me stories of his travels….how he prefers to sleep out among the grass and trees, under the moon and stars.  He told me about the animals that work their magick around him and the importance of seeing magick in everything that makes it way to us.  I watched as his eyes twinkled and he seemed exude something akin to faery magick.

Was everything he told me true?  I don’t know.  Was he who he said he was?  Again, I don’t know.  My dog liked him.  His dog liked me….and honestly, he could ask himself those same questions about me.  The only thing I knew for certain, at that time, was that I was able to spend a couple of hours talking to someone fascinating….someone who held a magick within himself whether I or anyone else around believed it.  The magick within him resonated
something strong within my own spirit.  Whether it was the truth that the world would believe, maybe not.  But this was his truth…and for a brief moment, I was allowed to share it.

I only know what my heart felt like that evening.  My heart felt completely alive in those couple of hours.  It was as if the heartbeat of the Earth Mother sang in my own chest.  Was the interaction between he and I dangerous?  I trust my dog…and I trust what is inside of me.  I know if there had been something awry, that my own spirit would have kicked into overdrive and our paths would have never crossed.

As we finished talking, I looked down at his shoes.  Those shoes had seen so much travel.  I remembered that I always kept an extra pair of shoes in my car and our feet looked to be about the same size.  I asked if he would be there for a few more minutes.  He told me he would.  Friz and I sprinted to the back of the complex to my car.  I pulled out a pair of athletic shoes that hadn’t been worn much….but they were about to embark on a journey that cannot even be fathomed.

Friz and I walked back to that brick column and I handed him the shoes.  I told him that I wanted to give him something that would help his journey.  He thanked me with a hug and asked if he might ‘give me a blessing.’  I told him that the time I had spent with him that afternoon was blessing enough.  I bid him peace and safe travels.  Friz and I stood there as the moon began to rise.  We watched the Green Wizard walk toward the glow of the moon.  That young man may never have another occasion to remember me, but he is etched into every corner of my mind and a place in my heart that I didn’t know existed….for eternity.

Blessed Be!

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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!

The Heart of the Season

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The Wheel of the Year keeps turning.  It seems that just yesterday, we celebrated Samhain….then we watched as the world celebrated everything it was thankful for.  Now, we are looking toward the Winter Solstice and Yule.  Our homes and altars are all decorated with greenery and pine cones.  We smile to ourselves as we light the candles on our Yule log.

We bake and we add more lights and we run to the mall and we run to the grocery store and we run to party after party.  We stand in line at Target and find ourselves getting more and more agitated.  “Can’t that cashier go any faster?  Doesn’t she realize that I have a party I have to go to in two hours and that is not nearly enough time to get ready?”  We give a slight smile to the person out on the corner collecting for charity.  Do we put money in the bucket?  Sometimes….but we have to keep every extra penny to buy gifts for friends and family.  For the month of December, we forget to listen to the heartbeat of the earth.  It may be a tiny bit more faint than normal, but the heart of the earth still beats.

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Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items.  I hurriedly picked up the things I needed because, of course, I had plans for later in the afternoon and evening.  I run with my cart to the cashier and I end up standing behind a little old woman who was standing there counting her pennies.  I looked at the order in front of me, which included generic Ensure, a loaf of bread, cat food and bagged beans.  Apparently, she didn’t have enough money and asked the cashier if she could take the Ensure off of the order.  In that moment, my heart broke.  I couldn’t stand the thought of this little old woman walking out of that store without everything she needed.  I put my hand on her shoulder and asked her if she would mind me paying for her groceries and if we could go get a few extra things.  I told her that she reminded me of my grandma and that I was missing her a lot this time of year.  We went back through that store arm in arm and I could feel the earth’s heartbeat as we talked and laughed.

My grandma used to love to go barefoot….even in the winter.  She told me that the reason she loved being barefoot was because she was able to feel the Great Mother’s heartbeat better.  I have found that to have so many meanings as I think more about it.  It was in making a part of herself more vulnerable that she was able to feel the Great Mother stronger.  I had to stop yesterday and see something outside of myself….be willing to feel the heart of someone else.

I got up this morning and went to the woods….it was wet and cold.  I could feel the breath of spirit on me as I led that little blue chihuahua through the morning mists deeper into a world that he and I have become so familiar with.  When we cross the threshold into ‘our’ woods, we feel spirit, ancestors, animal spirits….we become lost in a time when magick danced through forests freely.  We get caught in that energy and feel more at home than we do in our comfy cottage-like condo.

I get everything set out as usual….skulls, candles, and herbs.  I covered myself in my cloak in front of it all and rolled onto my stomach.  I put my hand on the earth and my ear to my hand.  I could feel the cold of the ground permeating my hand.  In the silence, I could hear the breathing of my little blue dog…but more importantly, I could hear the heartbeat of the earth.  As I lay there lost in the wonder and simplicity of this magickal moment.  I committed, to the Lord and Lady, not to lose the lessons I have learned about this time of year.  I lay there in silent meditation….opening my heart to everything that needed to be taught to my spirit.  I heard Mama Crow and Wolf to the sides of me.  I watched as wolf circled and finally laid down.  Mama Crow landed on the ground beside him and nestled in his tail.

I reminded by them both that this season is a time of rest before the regeneration.  It is time to feed the spirit and heart.  This is the time of year that the earth slows down.  This is when the roots of the plants grow….when the plant produces the beginnings of the buds.  This is the time of year when the internal work is done for the external explosion of spring.

I called on the power of the elements and the Lord and Lady to give me heart and spirit to listen to all things around me.  This is the time when temperatures plummet and animals seek shelter.  My courtyard and surrounding areas are set for any that may need comfort from the elements.  You will find boxes and blankets all over in anticipation of winter visitors.  There are bird feeders and areas for the squirrels to eat….places for stray cats and pooches to dine in secret.  I have seen other neighbors adding to the areas.

There are people in need all around.  I wish to walk in compassion this season.  I wish to nurture kindness.  The homeless person sitting in the cold needs warmth…..coffee, a blanket.  Starbucks here has a program going where you can give money for coffee so that if anyone who can’t afford it comes in for coffee, they can get it at no charge.  If you want to jump start your heart…volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Most of the people that show up are no different from you.  The only difference may be a missed paycheck.homeless

 

It is time for us to “take off our shoes” and feel the heartbeat of the earth.  My goal for this holiday season is to keep things simple, give more of myself, love with complete abandon, and let the magick happen around me.

Blessed Solstice, Blessed Yule, and Blessed Be!

May you spend this holiday season dancing to the song that your heart sings!YB-yule-ball-238849_1024_768

Another Time and Another Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed Be!