The Long Way Home

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The past two weeks seem to be the longest two weeks ever.  Through the pandemic, the only places I have been are the grocery store, the woods, and hiking.  I haven’t been to North Carolina to visit my family since Christmas of 2019.  Yes, I talk to my mama every day or so…I text my nieces almost daily…I video chat with the babies every other week…but it just isn’t the same.  Hugs and kisses over video leave you feeling a little lackluster.

During this time of separation, I have been trying to be productive.  I have been studying, creating, building, searching.  One of the things I decided to try was Ancestry.com. I have been able to trace one side of my dad’s family back to the 1500’s in Nairn, Scotland.  Our surname has evolved many times over the years…centuries.  We have been Gaddy…then further back, Getty…the back further, Gettie…then before that, Goudie…and prior to that Gowdie.  I have traced my lineage back to an Isobel Gowdie….now whether or not that is the one and only Witch of Scotland, who knows.  It is a nice thought though.  It is nice to have a history.

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I have been studying a book called, “Scottish Witchcraft” by Barbara Margaret Meiklejohn-Free.  I have been pouring through the pages absorbing every morsel.  One area of the book speaks to ancestral magic.  She addresses the fact that there are blood ancestors (those you know) and unknown ancestors.  She speaks of finding her own connection to unknown ancestors and the journey that they led her through.  I have loved building a new ancestral altar separate from the one that I have for my blood ancestors.  It is an altar that holds the breath of Scotland and the Welsh countryside close.

During the full Strawberry moon and eclipse last night, I called upon those ancestors.  I could feel the power surging…I could hear their ancient voices on the wind as I stilled myself and prepared for what they wanted to teach me.  It was like I could feel myself walking the Scottish landscape and could sense them walking with me.  I could see the many standing stones as we weaved in and out…I could hear the lilt of their voices whispering ancient secrets.

 

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There is something to be said about walking the worlds with those whose spirits resonate with your own.  There is a familiarity and a magical feeling just knowing that you are part of the same clan, so to speak, but on completely different planes.

I have also been trying to go to the woods more.  There is something in me that craves that connection with nature.  Rituals under the patio or in the courtyard don’t hold the same power as sitting under a tree listening to the sounds around me with a small sand-filled cauldron with a candle burning and natural elements scattered around.  I have become a hoarder of bark, walnut casings, sticks, and rocks.  If it calls to me, it stays with me.

Lately, when I visit the woods in the early morning or close to dusk, I am visited by a young fox, a squirrel, and a crow.  The fox won’t ever get any closer than 20 or so feet away.  He’s always watching, but still seems comfortable enough to lie down where he is.  It’s almost as if he wants to be a part of the magic happening.  The squirrel on the other hand likes to play.  He or she is a mischievous little creature who seems to enjoy throwing black walnut hulls at me as I do my workings.  The crow, who I like to think is Mama crow, sits on perched in a tree about 10 feet away.  I can hear her cawing and of course, I answer back.  We are an odd group, but there is a camaraderie there.  A knowing that none in our circle is there to harm the other or interfere in the business of the other.  I am not one who feels the need to pursue the animals or call to them like pets.  If they speak, I answer back.

It has been important for me as of late to create many of my own tools.  I needed something that would make transport easy, so I created a potions/incense/tool case. It holds my favorite incenses, candles, snips, my mini Book of Shadows, my mandrake root, and a small athame…all the essentials.

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I have found that in the makings and workings as of late, that the feelings and needs that home and family provide are never that far away.  Through the ancestral workings, I have been introduced to the spirits of family that I never thought to engage before.  Being away from my homeplace for so many years, I have learned that home isn’t necessarily a building or a piece of land.  It is the feelings and spirit that you carry with you in every moment.  In every memory…in every working…I am more at home than I ever have been.

I guess what I took the long way around to tell you is:  Don’t be afraid of the unknown.  Don’t look at solitude as loneliness.  Utilize all that is within you and around you and you will never be that far away from the magic and purpose you are called to be a part of.

Blessed Be.

 

Finding Your Strength

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It seems like an eternity since I have sat down to write.  Life has a way of picking us up by the scruff of the neck sometimes and shaking us like a dazed puppy.  Since January, I have had two strokes, my mom has been hospitalized for over a month, and our oldest cat TeeTee is preparing for her journey into the summerlands.

I hate to admit it, but in the midst of everything that has happened, magick tended to be done in hindsight…an afterthought at first to the situation at hand.  There were days after the strokes that I would find myself just sitting…staring out of windows…more conscious of the drooping or the lack of strength on my left side.  Funny, the doctor says that I have had ‘mini strokes.’  In talking to a friend of mine and through reading, I have found out that a stroke is a stroke.  There are no minis or maxis.

Through the challenges of recuperation, there were, constantly in the back of my mind, visions of my great grandma’s sister.  We called her Aunt Carrie.  I often wish I had gotten to know her before the strokes.  She was a beautiful woman always dressed to the nines, very passionate and eloquent from what I was told.  She was a teacher.  When I got to know her, she had been ravaged by stroke after stroke.  They had rendered her bed-ridden, only able to mouth and garble words, and only able to barely motion.

I lived in a world of not feeling like myself, fear of being that shell of a person I once was…but it was in the words of friends and family that I found the strength to push myself.  I found out from my mother that Aunt Carrie was given the opportunity to go through therapy but chose not to.  Her marriage was bad, her husband used to beat her.  She hoped for death but was given an existence with a husband riddled with guilt who now decided that he needed to try to make up for the earlier hell she had to suffer through.

I determined that I would not recreate that scenario for myself.  I had many friends that not only supported me through my healing but also pushed me.  They knew there was more fight in me than I was showing.  They also realized that I had pushed my magick to the sidelines.  Working side by side with them and my doctor, I used magick and medicine toward healing.  I did the therapies…I did the dreamwork.  I utilized stones, crystals and visualization.  I found myself in a good place.  My doctor had even told me that I had made progress that she wouldn’t have expected until the six month mark.

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I built a moss and fae garden to keep me close to the earth at all times…wear hematite for grounding.  Things were looking better daily.  I began to breathe again.

Then we noticed that our older cat TeeTee was losing weight and throwing up more.  We took her to the vet for bloodwork and xrays.  The bloodwork looked ok, but when they pulled up the xrays, I breathed in sharp.  I worked at a veterinarian’s office for ten years.  I had learned to read xrays.  When I saw the large fibrous mass staring back at me, I knew immediately that it wasn’t good.  We discussed options with the vet and came to the conclusion that as long as she wasn’t in pain and seemed to have a decent amount of energy that we would do whatever was needed to keep her happy.  We have blended the stinkiest of foods, hand-fed her, given extra attention…and now as I type this,  we know that it won’t be much longer.

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We know that we have given her the best life she could have.  From a wild, white feral kitten to a spoiled content house cat, she has been cuddled, pampered, catered to, and loved with complete abandon.  Where is the strength we pull on here? The knowledge that she will rest and walk side by side with Bastet…back with the energy and magick she came from.  We also know that they truly never completely leave your heart and side.

When you think you can’t handle anymore…the flood gates tend to open.  Toward the middle of April, I got a call from my aunt.  My mom had been admitted to the hospital that past Saturday.  No one wanted to worry me (give me another stroke) so they didn’t let me know.  My aunt was calling, however, to tell me that my mom had to be put on a ventilator and that the doctor had suggested calling the family in.  We left immediately for North Carolina.  My partner and I sat by her bedside for five days straight.  They had induced a coma…hoping that the rest would do its part in the healing.

My mom has always had a strong faith and believed in energies and such (with our family history, how could she not).  I had witches from all over sending healing and energy toward her.  My brother, who thinks my mom is more along the lines of a conservative christian, asked how I think Ma would feel knowing all those witches were sending her healing.  My aunt walked into the room behind him and whispered in his ear, “I think she would be completely fine with it.” With that comment, she looked at me and gave a wink and kissed the air.

In the process of that hospital stay, my mom coded not once, but three different times.  She always made her way back though.  She is a fighter.  She has always been the bedrock of our family.  I knew that if anything happened to her, that would fall to me.  My first visit, I whispered to her, “I am not strong enough for this yet.” I have no doubt that she heard me.

It has been a long, hard battle but she is now awake, aware, winking, smiling, and breathing air and not on oxygen.  They have decreased the size of the trach opening and have moved the feeding tube from her nose to her stomach.  She is now going through therapy and trying to mouth words.

I feel like in the midst of all of these things happening around me, that I have lived any spare time I have beside ponds, in woods, and walking mountains.  On my last trip to Red Top Mountain, I looked forward at the path ahead.  It was crooked, scattered with rock, muddy in places, but oh so calming and lush.  An old bible verse sprang to my mind, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where my help comes.”

There is an area hewn into the rock on Red Top…I crawled into that cubby and lay my head back.  I woke up an hour later after the most peaceful sleep I have had in months.  Life is going to give us twists and turns, scratches, bruises, pain…and yes, even death.  I have found though that I do have the strength to face each one.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t going to hurt or that there won’t be loss or challenges, it means that I can survive.  I can come out of it stronger…the armor might be a bit dirty or scuffed and even broken in places, but I have the choice of getting up and continuing on, or falling back and dying.

I walked out into the courtyard yesterday after work.  I finally gave up and just started leaving food for the birds, squirrels and anything else that might be hungry out there.  Mama Crow was perched on the wall eating peanuts.  She looked straight at me and gave me her comforting ‘Graaaaaaaackkk’

I will keep getting up as long as I am able.

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Rewriting the Story

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Yesterday as I was doing my normal trek through friends postings on Facebook,  I came across a posting that literally left me breathless.  Why this thought had never occurred to me, left me dumbfounded.  The passage below was written by Jeff Leavell.  He is a writer in Los Angeles, CA and you can find his blog at Jeffleavell.com

I was talking to a friend today. Telling him about some things that are going on in my life. He told me a story and then gave me some advice: “When I was 43 I was sleeping in my car, high on meth, kicked out of Slammer and Melrose Spa for being that fucked up. I was nobody. But I had this idea: all this, it’s just a story I’m telling myself. About being a meth addict, about being homeless, about having AIDS. It’s just a story. And I can decide to change that story. The next day I went to AA. I stayed homeless for a while, but I went to the doctor and within a few months my HIV was undetectable. About a month after that I got a job at a grocery store. I got an apartment. And then, at 44 I had to figure out what I wanted to be. The grocery store, the tiny studio, the beat up car about to die, were just stories I was telling myself: even though I had changed my whole life I was still telling the story of failure: I was a failure.

So I stopped. And I told myself: you’ve succeeded. You are an amazing success. And if you can do this you can do anything. I’d always wanted to be a writer. So I started writing again. Something I hadn’t done in years. And I wrote a lot of really bad shit. And I went to meetings. And the story I told myself was I was a writer. Seven years later I sold my first book. Three years after that I sold my first script. I bought a house. I got a dog. Two years after that I started dating a guy too young for me: but it was okay. I was happy. I wrote another script and then another and then I won some awards. That guy I had been dating, he moved in with me. We were in love. And then I found out he was cheating. And the story I told myself was about betrayal. And lies. And how I can’t trust anyone. We fought for months.

And then one day I thought: I can tell myself a different story, where he’s a just a human being and I’m just a human being and we have been so in love for so long, that maybe we could still be in love. We still struggled, he didn’t buy into my idea of just changing the story line: he needed to work things through, go to couples therapy: but that was okay. That fell into my story: it just showed how in love we were. We got better. We sold my house and bought a house together high up in hills. The kind of house where you could see the ocean on a clear day.

And then he got cancer and my story changed. And I showed up and took care of him. And I was lying next to him, fully aware, holding his hand, the day he died. And my story became sorrow and loss and fear. Until one morning I decided I am going for a hike. And I took our two dogs and I went for a hike and I talked to my dead lover and told him I am ready to change the story.

You, you need to change the story you are telling yourself. That is all. Just change it. It won’t cure you of HIV, it won’t make you instantly rich, it won’t solve all your problems: but it will suddenly make clear things that weren’t even visible the day before. It will change how you relate to the world: and the world will change how it relates to you.”

This reminded me of something that I remember hearing when I was a part of the Assemblies of God church.  My pastor at the time was a very kind and gentle man.  I would have to say that he was probably teaching me spellwork long before I had ventured into the Craft.  He was one, that when you were feeling depressed, didn’t want to hear you talk about how despondent you were…or to hear you say, “I will be ok.”  He was one that coaxed you into professing what you wanted to feel like.  He didn’t like to hear people talk about how much of a failure they were, he wanted them to look toward what they wanted to see themselves as.

This wasn’t a ‘Name it and Claim it’ gospel for him.  He wanted us to be able to look past circumstances and feelings and mentally put ourselves in a place that would offer hope.  He never chastised us for having the feelings or being in the circumstances, but he always offered the hope and motivation for moving beyond those things that kept us bound up.

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Just after Christmas, I began entertaining an old friend…a friend that I hate and thought that I had left behind 20 or more years ago.  This is the friend that always told me that I could never be good enough, that I would always fail, that life just wasn’t worth living.  As I would go to sleep at night, I would hear him whisper in my ear that even though my partner would hurt at first, that soon I would be forgotten…only a wisp of a memory.  This friend was the master of secrets.  I remember feeling that secrets were all I had left.  As long as no one knew that I was having suicidal thoughts, then they wouldn’t have to blame themselves when something did happen.

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This time around, I decided to talk…no more secrets.  I called on my closest friends and told them what was going on…what I was feeling.  I forced myself to do things that I felt too ‘tired’to do.  This time would be different.  This time I was older, had more fight, more resolve.   This time the reflection in the mirror couldn’t just be cracked, it had to be shattered.

And then, last week happened.  On Monday, I was taken to the hospital from work in an ambulance due to what was later discovered to be a mini stroke.  I remember the fear that overtook me as I laid in the floor with coworkers looking down over me.  They would ask my name and I could hear the halted slurred speech as it came out.  I could feel the weakness in my left side as the EMT asked me to squeeze his fingers.  Then later that week, the overwhelming tiredness and weakness of just getting in and out of the shower.

This one time in my life I decided to do exactly as the doctor ordered.  I took the time off work.  I rested….a lot.  I hydrated…I nourished my body.  I did crafts to keep my mind and motor skills as sharp as I could.  I had my follow up visits and am working with a TIA clinic to put myself at the lowest possible risk of this happening again.

I have been rewriting my story this week too.  There are some characters that may need to take their final bows.  There are some characters that may need to have their parts fleshed out more.  The main character in this book is me…and I determine what the next sentence is…what the next chapter is…how it ends…when it ends.

But I have to strip away all the old thoughts, ideas, and the way I thought it should all play out first.

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Blessed Be!

Watch the Skies, Traveler

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I was walking through the living room of the condo right after Christmas and my roommate was sitting in front of the television playing one of his video games on XBox.  He was playing Skyrim.  Just as I got past his chair, I heard a phrase come from the speaker that intrigued me. “Watch the Skies, Traveler.” I asked my roommate why the character used that phrase and he explained that it was a warning. Since the land was known to be inhabited by dragons, the one character was telling the traveler to ‘take heed’or to watch for anything that may cause harm.

I took this thought with me to the woods last Sunday and also this morning.  I needed to let the thoughts surrounding this one phrase to sink in.   As I pondered this thought on Sunday, I thought about how many times my friends and family have told me as I leave their homes to be careful or take care as I drive or walk.  To many, just a pleasantry, but these are also warnings to be on guard against the things that may threaten us.

There are so many things going on around us as of late.  It seems that everywhere we turn there is violence and anger and hatred.  We like to see ourselves as living in a civilized society.  I don’t so much see that anymore.  Yes….we are more advanced technologically, but we are no more civilized than our people groups were in prehistoric times.  It is still all about survival.2016-01-01 22.08.28

It seems that we as a people have come to annihilate anything or anyone who isn’t just like us.  We like to talk about how much more evolved we are, but we will crucify someone on Facebook.  The media (social and otherwise) has become just another battlefield.  Never have I seen so many people want to disappear from society all together and either live off the grid or whatever would keep the world at bay.

In such a time as this…when people seem to believe less in magick than they ever have…but also long for magick more than they ever have (there is a reason that Harry Potter and television shows like The Magician are  as popular as they are.  People hunger for the power and strength that seems to come with magick.  I find it funny that it is the people that I know who tell me they don’t believe in magick are the ones who come to me asking for spells to be done (but shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone I asked for this)

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Last night, I got out my scrying mirror.  As I stared into the darkened depths before me, I saw an old man.  I would have originally been inclined to think it was my own reflection, but this man was as old as the mountains themselves.  I could see sadness in his eyes.  In one eye I saw desolation and darkness and in the other I saw fire burning out of control…it was in a moment of fear that I looked toward his mouth.  Out of his mouth came hope, encouragement, and life.

This morning, in preparation for time in the woods, I gathered my dragon ring, some dragon’s blood incense, my mini cauldron with some charcoal discs, and some Vesta powder.  I work with dragon energy every so often, so I am aware of the etiquette and the way to address dragon energy.  As I worked inside the circle, I could feel the energy thicken and power coursing through me.  As I looked toward the sky, it was if I could feel the air from dragon wings moving around me.

In this instance, dragon energy began to communicate with my spirit.  I have long viewed the dragon as a friend and advocate, so there has always been a respect for that energy….never truly a fear.  As the smoke from the dragon’s blood wafted toward me, I sprinkled the Vesta powder onto the charcoal.  The mini-explosion and sparks was magnificent.

As I meditated on this energy, I envisioned myself walking toward the dragon and climbing on his back…all with his permission.  Again, the dragon was not an object or being to be feared but one to partner with and become a force unmatched by any other.   It isn’t about taming the dragon, but about utilizing its strength.

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As 2016 plunges forward, we witches have to call on the forces around us.   We hold tight to the magick around us.  We walk in strength and with a magick as old as the universe.  In the coming year, don’t forget who you are and don’t let the world make you into something you aren’t.

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Blessed Be!

The Death of the Green Man

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As the seasons swirl around us, we are entering into the transition from light into darkness and back into light again.  We have gone from the wild abandon of summer into the time when the Green Man’s colors begin to change and death overtakes him to make way for his transition into the Holly King.  Our lives seem to always be centered around transition.  Those things that we wish we could control…we have no control over at all.

As we move into this Yule season and cold overtakes the Earth (even in Atlanta, we live in anticipation of the shift in weather).  The briskness that comes with the Northern winds jolts us into a state of expectation.  As we celebrate the different manifestations of our own holiday with others who celebrate in their own ways, we set our eyes on the approach of the longest night of the year….knowing that the light of spring is not far off.

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 Over the past few years, I have become intimately acquainted with the green man through visits from an unexpected stranger.  Someone I have introduced to you as simply, the Green Wizard.  I have learned first hand what a kind, gentle spirit can accomplish through him.  I have learned to listen more intently to what the earth teaches…all through him.  I have learned to trust the heart of faithful friends more. I have learned to love someone who could do absolutely nothing for me other than be a friend and a magickal confidante…someone who represented purity of heart and selfless abandon.

I found out yesterday that the Green Wizard has journeyed into the summerlands.  I received more information this afternoon.  He apparently collapsed on the sidewalk of a small town close to the Tennessee border.  They took him to the hospital where it was found that his heart was giving out.  Boomer, his dog, was put in holding in the local animal shelter.  He quietly slipped from this plane in his sleep.  They found my name and Atlanta, Georgia written on a sheet of paper in his pocket.  The authorities assumed that I might be the next of kin.  I explained that I was a friend and asked what happened to his dog.  I was also told where his pup, Boomer was located.

I engaged my cousin who does animal rescue and she arranged for someone who works with her to go and get Boomer and set up a fostering situation.  There are many more things that have transpired due to his homelessness…especially since there was no identification of any kind associated with him and no direction as far as family or even a name…the one thing that was told to me by the contacting authorities was that at least he knew friendship…there were many who passed on knowing nothing but rejection and hatred.

In my mind, though, I will always see him dancing on the wind.  I can close my eyes and see his ruddy face, his eyes twinkling with hopes and dreams and always that sparkle of magick.  He enjoyed the freedom of being who he was…an extension of the wild God.  I can hear his hearty laugh echoing through the branches of the trees in the woods.  He will forever be Peter Pan to me….always dancing with the moon.

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Am I sad?  Yes…but I can never forget that wonderful spirit.  He always looked for that bit of magick in all things…whether it be an old pair of sneakers…a dog that was considered a throw-away…or a weathered old wizard who seemed to be a little out of sorts himself.

Especially, in this season, I know that so much of the world seems to slumber…waiting patiently for rebirth.  It will be the same for my Green Wizard.  He only sleeps now….we have known each other before in other lives and other magickal places.  It is only a matter of time before we see each other again.

I am excited for him.  This is a new adventure….a fresh beginning coming with the new moon.  This is his chance to be reunited with his beloved Calliope…a chance to dance and finally fly among the stars.  I am privileged to have been able to be a part of his magick.2015-11-19 07.28.06

His energy will always soar around me….sneaking up behind me when I least expect it…laughing heartily at the unexpected.  He was a child of the moon and sun…the earth was his bed and the grass, his pillow.  He was friend to the winged, and four-legged.  He loved completely and wildly and unconditionally.

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As the Green man sleeps, the blood of the Holly King courses through his veins…anticipating his awakening beneath a shield of ice and snow.  With magick, nothing ever completely dies.

And so he goes…with the heart of a true witch.

Blessed Be!

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Preparing Your Den

This week, I asked a dear friend to share her magick with you.  Hearth and home have always been places of comfort for me.  Celtic Oaksoul will share with you how she prepares her den for the anticipated turning of the wheel of the year.  Sit back, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!

2015-11-08 22.34.12After years upon years in our home…22 to be exact…I began what I do every fall, I began to deep clean. Purging my home of years of what no longer serves a purpose. Years of “I have NO idea what this is nor who it belongs to”. This year…this year became different. This year was by far, the worst to date. This one became a total cleansing of my home, my life, my world, my being. All that is present in my presence and within these walls. This year became a new awakening in my 56 years. The actual re-awakening of myself.In being a Druid, I turn to Mother Earth, open spaces, kindness, love. I try to let things go…”water off a duck’s back”! Now, I won’t say I don’t give out my share of words to others nor tears shed due to them and their own words. But, for the most part, I strive to be a congenial, loving and forgiving human being. Yet, I have also allowed my home and myself to become a dumping ground of sorts, a storage unit for clutter…both materialistic and of the heart, soul and mind. I have allowed my internal, Spiritual self to become just as fouled up and stacked with unnecessary things as my home.

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I do so long for these months. The months when I slow down, as Mother Earth slows down. When there can be so much more one can do than anyone realizes, while being inside out of the cold. More reading, crocheting, lounging around with the furry ones and also have some family time. Yet, in this time…I must have ME. In this dark time, when we really believe we are ready to “settle in for the winter”…what have we done, if anything, truly, to prepare ourselves, for ourselves? Hold that thought…..

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As I was saying, I have been cleaning out and purging my house. It had become stifling in here. No breathing room, no space to be individual…when you have had 22 years of every single person who grew up here, lived here or stayed here, left behind in one form or another. How will one actually enjoy this down time that is so freely given to us, each turn of The Wheel, when we cannot Spiritually breathe, in our own, Solitary-gifted, space? How…I’ll tell you! You absolutely open your eyes, wide, look at what is in front of you and say, “you have no purpose here, in my home nor in my life!”, and give it a good heave-ho out the back door for the junk to be hauled off or donate what you choose to a worthy cause, and just breathe. In doing this, each season of the dark months, you are the one that is being cleansed. You are the one that is being de-cluttered, purged, your load lightened. YOU are the one being re-found, rediscovered, released and able to function as yourself, again.

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So, what have you done to prepare yourself for this time of year? Does it matter? Not one bit. The only person it matters to, absolutely, is you…and you are the one that completely counts in all of this. You certainly didn’t ask anyone to deposit their left over items in your home or their energy…negative or good…on upon your self! Flow as the waves in the ocean, as you settle your home for this most wondrous of times. Glide as upon birds wings, through what you do. Smudge, as each box, closet, under bed, room is gone through, cleaned up and cleared out. Light each space, once again, with the open freedom from all of that past, that you are feeling. And relearn to breathe, just for you! Once you are free of ALL of your past…take your bare feet and walk through your house and your yard. Ground and center back into YOU…into your life, heart and soul. I smile. I’m giddy as a school girl. I laugh, dance, through my arms out and head back. I want to whirl around in circles (but it makes me really dizzy)!

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Just know this…that you have prepared your den, once again, but this time, it’s for good! Know that your preparations have been all about you…for YOUR winter of settling in, keeping warm and that your beautiful magick is all yours…all of it, again…close to your hearth, heart and soul…and not tucked away in some corner, in some box, under a stack of junk…in the hidden recesses of your mind! And, that whomever reaps the benefits of your labors of love, of home and self, will do so because you have allowed them to share your newly cleaned and cleansed den…and your happy, sacred self!
Deepest love, warmest light and Brightest Blessings

~Celt

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I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me…

This week’s blog was written by someone who taught me a strong and powerful lesson.  Upon hearing of this man, I was determined not to like him.  I was determined that I would always keep him at arm’s length…but then magick showed its face.  Isn’t it just like Magick to turn our thoughts and emotions upside down and teach us a lesson?  I put myself before the goddess one long weekend day and was presently taught that I could never know what battles someone else was fighting.  I learned that I had to empty my heart of judgement and offer kindness instead of anger or offense.

That powerful lesson earned me a friend…one that I trust enough to have him share his magickal experiences with you. I stand here and proudly offer you the writings of someone I am deeply honored to call my friend, “Fredric Terra.”

Blessed Be!

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My first memory of the moon; I’m 2 or 3 years old at my grandparents’ home. Standing in the front yard as a lady and man are leaving after their visit.

The moon seems nearly full and the lady is asking if I see the moon, and is telling me that the shadows on the moon are her and Uncle Arthur on his motorcycle. She asks if I can see the front wheel in the shadow, and everything following behind with her and Uncle Arthur riding along. I was able to follow along, I saw the shadows, it made no sense to me – maybe I was missing her point, but that event has stayed with me; it was about the moon.

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I’ve always had a strong fascination with her, and her strength. As a child helping my grandfather and dad tap maple trees for the sap and boil it into syrup, my grandfather always counted on the full moon to bring more sap, lots more…it always did and still does. Moonlit nights at the sugar camp in the woods in February were so special. No they were more than special, they were magical. Grandpa and dad keeping the fires built just right, ladling sap from one kettle to the next, sometimes Aunt Annie telling stories about ghosts and other mystical tales….but mostly, I was captivated by moonlight that surrounded us on the clear nights.

The pull of the moon affects the tides, the flow of sap in the maple trees – and me. As I transitioned through adolescence I would watch for the clear moonlit nights and stay up as late as I could just watching for hours from my south facing bedroom window, or sneaking outside in warmer weather.

At some point when I was 12 or 13 I began doing rituals. I didn’t know they were rituals, I didn’t realize or understand what I was doing but looking back with what I know today, they were rituals nonetheless. There were many variations depending on what I was trying to bring forth. Elaborate dress – if my parents had seen me they would have been terrified. I sensed that the degree of difficulty should match the importance of whatever I was after. These were my deepest secrets, shared with no one and always at or near a full moon on clear nights. The rituals always included a very solemn and deep sincerity, reverence for the moon – because as a young Christian, the concept of the Goddess was entirely foreign to me. To me the moon represented a mysterious presence, a profound force and the most beautiful object in the sky.

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Fast forward four and a half decades. This allure never left me, but I had to rein in my rituals as I married – it didn’t seem something that I could share. There were still plenty of times to be with her, share silent love, reflections and comfort. The fascination of dad working the fields and animals by the moon sign, when to plant, when to wean, when to hoe the thistles so they wouldn’t come back (that’s the dark of the moon in August, BTW); it worked, the proof was there. By now the rituals had ended and were replaced by my incessant need to share her wonder with whomever was near me at the time, but only as a beautiful, wondrous, and powerful entity circling our earth; I still didn’t know her as the Goddess.

A little over a year ago I became reacquainted with a long-lost friend through Facebook. I had no idea of what lay in store until I read a post about an upcoming full moon. The post described the opportunities to ‘work’ the strength of the event to bring forth desired outcomes. I read more, I looked deeper for older posts and found so much – so many indications that there were answers for my endless questions; and I reached out. I learned what many already know, that there is a way of life here for us, one that is hidden by societal norms and traditional teaching. I was introduced to other like-minded friends who have become family to me.

With a lot of support I began reading, more and more questions developed and were answered by this new network of friends. I was experiencing profound change, I was realizing an elusive satisfaction – one that always seemed just out of reach, just around the corner….one that seemed like it may come next week, next year, but it was here and it was happening. I was beside myself. An elderly friend had once given me his advice for beginning a new venture – “When you jump in, jump in on all fours, and don’t just dangle your toes in the water”. And so I did.

Over the past year I’ve realized that I’ve missed so many signs over the years. My grandma was a very good Christian with strong beliefs about going to church. My grandpa only went to church for weddings, funerals, and sometimes at Easter. Grandma once told me that as much as she wished grandpa would go to church, she understood why he didn’t….”The outdoors is his church, he appreciates trees, flowers and nature” so it’s ok that he doesn’t come to church every Sunday.

Jumping in on all fours has been good advice for me. Immersion, commitment, being open minded to all possibilities creates an environment for accelerated learning. Or is it recognition? During these past few months there have been countless times when learn something but feel like I’ve always know that, I just wasn’t consciously aware.

These are the happiest times of my life. Every day is one of wonder and magick, everything looks brighter, and the connection with nature is so much stronger. For so many years it felt like something was missing and now its here. I’m truly blessed to have these doors opened before me, to begin this exploration of life from a fresh perspective – a perspective that’s always been there just out of sight.

 

 

“Wise Men Hear and See As Little Children Do.”

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This week has been a baptism by fire of sorts into the depths of human nature for me.  I have always been one of those people who tried to see the best in people.  This week, however, I have listened as people outright lied to cover their own derrieres or to get other people in trouble.  I have witnessed people so wrapped up in themselves and the stress that surrounded them that they were willing to compromise their own system of ethics.  I have also seen people so wrapped up in ‘life’ that they could not take a moment to breathe, smile or fantasize.

As I watch people living daily life here in Atlanta, it scares me sometimes.  I remember a time when people actually laughed and didn’t take themselves so seriously.  I watch as we become robots of sorts.  We have become devoid of any emotions except for anger and fear.  We have become a ‘get-even’ society.  “Do unto others before they do unto you.”

I called my mother last night.  While we were on the phone, I heard my nephew and his cousin playing in the background.  They were throwing things and yelling.  I asked my mother to put my nephew on the phone.  I asked him why they were throwing things and yelling. He said that they were grownups and that they were at ‘work.’ Out of the mouths of babes…

This morning, my roommate and I went out for lunch.  While we were perusing the menu, we listened as the woman behind us screamed at the waitress.  Her sandwich, from what we and everyone else in the restaurant could hear, was dry.  “But you ate the whole sandwich,” the mild-mannered waitress pointed out.  “Well, I just kept hoping it would get better at some point.”  The waitress comped the meal as the woman continued to loudly protest.

We have become a society of liars, thieves, and generally crabby-assed people.  It is our right to be offensive and hurtful and to deliver our opinion whether people want it or not. We have carried that over into every area of our lives including social media.  Adults have become worse than children.  We don’t know how to play nice anymore.

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As we grow older, we are supposed to grow in wisdom, and love, and understanding.  I have not so much seen that lately.  I look around and see a group of people who have forgotten how to see the magic in the world around them.  Sure….life sucks sometimes.  Situations and circumstances happen, but we choose how we respond to those circumstances and situations.  Now, you notice I said respond, and not react.

One of the definitions I found for the word respond is: To react quickly or positively to a stimulus or treatment.  One of the definitions I found for react is:  To respond with hostility, opposition, or a contrary course of action to.  Both are related, but one is seen as positive and the other more negative.

I have always loved the story of Peter Pan.  In the chronicles of Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie, adults are seen as pirates out to squelch the innocence of childhood.  Once one reaches adulthood, magic ceases to exist.  I dare say that even as witches, we sometimes become so wrapped up in the ritual and following everything to the ‘T’ that we forget to let the magick do what magick does.  Magick should flow from us and through us on a daily basis….moment by moment.  It isn’t something that should always have to be stirred up or manipulated.  The butterfly doesn’t have to be coaxed from the crysalis…it is a part of what it is and does.

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Even in my own life, it has become far too easy to react based on the emotions surrounding a situation, than to stop, breathe, and respond with the magick that stirs within my very soul.  If I were to reach inside myself and pull from the stores of power that swirl through my veins, I might handle a crisis quite differently.

Normally my Saturday and Sunday mornings are spent in the woods.  I come to think that they are more magickal than anywhere else around….but this morning, Friz and I slept in (which we never do).  Instead of our morning trip to the woods, we went for a walk just before twilight.  We walked a different path…one that we thought would get us to the woods before dark…through the playground of the complex.  There we saw two little girls and a little boy who I have gotten to know over the years.  “Mr. Gaddy, you and Frisbee come and play with us…Pleeeeeeeeaaasssee!!!”  I relented.  Friz and I headed to the middle of the playground.  “He is the king and she is a knight.  I am a beautiful princess.  You can be the wizard and Frisbee is a dragon.”  I am standing there thinking that it was kind of type-casting but these children have also walked up on me talking to trees and plants and making a bit of magick.  Friz play-bowed as if he knew his part.  He barked and ran in circles with the kids.  “Spell him, Mr. Gaddy! Spell him!”  I laughed out loud.  Mercy, I had not run around like this and laughed like this in what seemed like forever.

When we finished, we plopped down on the swings and Friz rolled onto his side in the dirt. “You are really good at magick,” one of the kids said.  I laughed a bit and under my breath said, “It takes practice.”  The smallest girl overheard me and agreed that yes, it must.  They all waved goodbye to me and Friz and headed home for their dinners.  Friz came over to me and leaned against my leg.  We stayed like that for a while realizing that we had both just witnessed magick through the eyes of a child.

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It was in this moment that I realized that I don’t want my spirit to grow old and brittle.  I am a magickal being.  I need to find ways to guard my heart against anger, bitterness, offense, I have noticed when children play…they may get mad, but they are quick to forgive.  As adults, we have learned to hold onto that grudge, nurse it, feed it.

We say that we believe in all things magickal, but do we truly?  Have we learned to compartmentalize magick? “This doesn’t work for me, so it can’t truly be valid.”  I have friends who follow many different paths.  None are any less real or valid than my path.  Just because I believe in dragons and you don’t, does not mean that dragons aren’t real…same with the fae.

Where have we put all of the wonder that brought us to our path to begin with?  I want to be able to see magick the way a child sees it.  I remember when my girls were 4 or 5 years old and it was Christmas Eve.  We were all sitting in the floor of the family room with wrapping paper and ribbons and tape all around us.  My dad had gone out to check on his goats without a flashlight and tripped and fell against the house.  Steph’s eyes widened and she said, “Oh my doodness! Santa Cwaus is here alweady! Let’s wun for the bedwoom!!”  It didn’t even cross her mind that her grandpa had fallen against the house even though she saw him go outside.  Oh to be able to see with our eyes wide open once again.

When I got home today, I decided to create an easy spell to help me with that child-like spirit.  It starts with a basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  As I stirred the ingredients for the cookies together, the spell began to roll off my tongue:

Eyes wide open, breathing deep…

A child-like heart will no more sleep.

Wonder, hope, excitement, thrill…

Now renewed, my heart will feel.

From a brittle spirit, set me free.

All things magickal, now I’ll see.

Flow within me everyday.

Teach my heart and soul to play.

chocolate chip cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

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Blessed Be!

Aching Joints, Calloused Feet…But Hard-Headed As Hell

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I have heard it said more than once lately that most witchcraft has become nothing more than fluff.  I think this school of thought comes about because there are some out there who aren’t willing to see past their own noses.  The Craft comes in all shapes and sizes.  I have come to realize, through my journey, that there are as many types of witchcraft or paganism as there are dialects…nationalities.  Are any of them 100% right?  Completely and not at all.  What may be the right path for one person, may be completely wrong for someone else.  Out of all of my friends, none of us practice our Craft exactly the same.

Now I have friends who practice “Love and Light.”  I also have friends who practice shamanism…others who practice Voudou…others who practice chaos magick.  Do I understand all of these areas of the Craft?  No…I don’t even pretend to….but I don’t discount the power in any of the methods.  To me, magick is like a recipe.  Everyone and their brother is going to have a different way of making a recipe.  They are all going to taste different and look different…but you still call a cake, a cake.  As long as the work is put in, there will be results.

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As I have said before, I tend to be my own worst enemy.  My body or thoughts or something is going to try to get in my way.  I tend to be that person who will walk, but constantly look behind.  As I told someone today, constantly looking behind us only causes us to stumble over ourselves.  This week, I have been having a time with the things that tend to come with getting old.  Things like this always seem to happen when something new surfaces in my life.  I am in the midst of a new position at work and also in preparation for the possibility of moving to London in a couple of years to start a new office.  My knees have taken the wonderful opportunity in the past two weeks to feel as though they are crumbling.  I know that it is more than likely some arthritis kicking in, but they still hurt.

My first thought was to sit and complain and to focus on the pain, but the golden tongue of Maluna kept resonating in the back of my head.  I went out on Thursday night, bought a knee brace and some Aleve and have been plugging on.  I have found that plugging on keeps your brain from being pre-occupied with how it feels…and once I am engaged in other things, the pain isn’t as bad.  Am I hard-headed? Yes, but there is too much to accomplish.  I don’t have the time or the energy to sit and whine….and yes I know there are many witches out there that are the exact same way.  I have friends who deal with fibromyalgia, depression…etc.  Do you think any of that slows them down?  Not in the least.  Witches are a strong-willed bunch.

Last night, our air conditioning broke.  Now for late July in Georgia, that is not a good thing. As I lay in bed perspiring with the fan pointed toward the dogs and cats and my partner,  I wanted to whine.  Being a child of Lughnassadh (meaning I was born on August 1st), one would think that I would be a child of the sun….relishing the warmth that it brings through that harvest.  Not on your life.  I do not like to feel hot….can’t stand that nasty wet feeling of humidity.  That is why I retreat to the woods….so that I am covered by a canopy of leaves…can feel the coolness of the leaf strewn ground.  I happened to have only gotten an hours worth of sleep last night in that glorious sweat inducing room, so I lay there and tried to ponder magickal things.

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My mind went to different potions I could make….different spells to write and try…my mind even pondered shape shifting.  By 5am, I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I woke Friz up and we went for an early trek to the woods.  This morning, however, I had to grab my staff.  My knee was acting up like nobody’s business.  I had to laugh.  Now as we walked, Friz was the one walking normally and I was the one gimping along.  I told him that we were just like the old wizard and his wolf walking the path of the ancients.  I heard my grandma laugh in my ear, “Anybody else would have gone to the doctor.  You are one hard-headed something!”  I have lived most of my life with most of my family and those close to me thinking I was hard-headed.  Everyone around me knew better than to ever tell me that I couldn’t do something….I would die trying.  My granny told me that she knew when I was little and asked her about flying…the minute she told me I couldn’t that I would be right on top of that barn.  I think back now and it is an absolute miracle that I have made it to be as old as I am.

Once we made to the woods, I sat down and breathed in the smell of the air around me.  The woods never smell stale or stagnant to me….there is always movement and newness there.  I came needing communion this morning.  I needed nature more than I had ever needed it before.  Once you find yourself drowning in technology, sometimes you have to be submerged even deeper into those things natural to combat what residuals are left behind by the modern world.  I hate what so much technology has done to us.  We keep our noses buried so deeply in our phones now that we ignore the people around us.

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I always take my shoes off when we get into the woods and I noticed Friz was licking at one of the callouses on the ball of my foot.  My granny had those same type of callouses.  She always told me that it came from a love affair with the Earth.  She told me that only those who were intimately acquainted with her had those callouses.  “You can always tell a person who is intimate with the Earth Mother.  They are the ones with hands and feet made rough from contact.”  I rubbed the pads of Friz’s feet.  I noticed the same rough feel…and he always smells like the outdoors.  Even my little blue chihuahua has his own magickal path.

My roommate has been baking tonight.  The smell of cake is wafting through the house.  He made my partner a “Poke Cake” for his birthday. He didn’t use the recipe that I have used all these years, but once  you bite down into it, I am sure it is going to be just as moist and just as flavorful.  My partner likes strawberry…I prefer orange.  That doesn’t make it any less of a cake or any less delicious.

Blessed Be!

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Oh, But My Darling, What If You Fly?

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This week was a fun one.  When one gets to be a certain age, one’s doctor decides that one should be poked and prodded and every manner of indecency should be done to you.  I had a stress test this week.  Nothing was wrong…just routine followup from some issues I had dealt with over the winter.  As I panted my way through the test, the nurse kept asking, “Are you alright, hon?” “I am fat and I am briskly walking on a treadmill.  I am dying.  Can’t you see that?”  I puffed and I wheezed…I begged for mercy.  “Just a few minutes more.”

My heart wanted to break free from the confines of my chest and flop like a dying goldfish on the floor in front of me.  At that moment, the timer went off and the treadmill began to move slower.  My breathing is coming back to me….I am no longer covered in ‘death sweat.’  I sit on the paper covered exam table with my head hanging. The doctor leaves to look at the data while the nurse drains the last of my blood from the back of my hand because all the other veins have collapsed.

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The doctor comes back into the room after what seems like an eternity.  He looks at me and says what I had hoped.  “Mr. Gaddy, you have a very strong and healthy heart…..”  Now wait for it….wait for it….”for a man your size.”  I look up after feeling like I had just been smacked with a wet dishcloth.  “We need to get that weight under control again.”  My mind starts to race, “Oh we do, huh? Come live with me.  Deal with a partner who brings candy by the truckloads into the house constantly.  Live with a roomie who cooks non-stop….like Paula Deen.  Work 10 hour days and only be able to grab a quick bite of heaven knows what for lunch. We have the stress of yet another set of interviews to go through for a promotion just within reach”  “Mr. Gaddy….Mr. Gaddy…did you hear me?  This is our staff nutritionist and she will be going over some realistic changes that you should be able to implement fairly easily.”  “Oh….um hi.”

Yes….sometimes I get so wrapped up in the scenario going on inside my head that I forget that there is a world still moving around me.  I also forget that some people have just as many scenarios going on in their heads.  Many of the scenarios in my mind have me battling things of insurmountable odds to emerge finally victorious.  For most people those scenarios aren’t so kind.

I watched over this past week as a person very dear to me began to question his very worth.  We have been friends for years and years.  He has always been the picture of self confidence…some would even call him cocky.  He has been unemployed now for a year and five months.  He has been taking odd jobs to make the money for rent and food.  He doesn’t spend any of his money frivolously.

He was offered a position with a company.  He had a bad feeling about it.  He asked me to work magick….I did.  I had a bad feeling about the position.  As I worked, I kept sensing manipulation, anger to the point of hatred, cover ups and lying….and through all of this I kept visualizing him being poisoned to death.  He asked me what I saw and I was honest with him.  He turned it down…and in that process it drew him into a dark place.  He started to wonder what was wrong with him…..the question he kept asking me is, “When did I become worth so little?”  I watched as the fire of life itself seemed to fade from his eyes and grayness appeared.

“What is it that you truly…with all your heart…want to do?”  “I thought I knew at one time, but now I’m not completely sure anymore.” “Then it is time to move your heart into that place where passion and ability meet.”  “How do I do that?” “You have to dig deep inside and find your core…the very essence of what it is you were created for.”  I watched as a hint of that fire surfaced.  In his eyes, an adventure was brewing.  Just as quickly I watched discouragement come into his face.  “But what if I fail?” I laughed out loud….”But what if you succeed?”

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I asked myself the same thing this week regarding the pending promotion.  A dear sweet friend reminded me that this was what I had prepared and worked for.  This promotion is a goal that I had set for myself when I started the journey in my new company.  Was I about to let fear of failure keep me from where I had pushed myself so hard to be?  I was reminded of the above quote by a co-worker.  She looked at me, pulled this up on my computer, winked and said, “Personally, I have always seen you as the kind of person who could fly….so break out that broom!”  We both cackled ferociously as her beautiful dayglo pink hair bounced around her beautiful face.

This past week has been a week filled with hope for me….not a week where I have particularly felt more hopeful….but a week in which the hunger to build hope in others has been a strong magickal force.  This has been a week for me to tell the interns at work that they are “only limited by themselves.  You will only be allowed to go as far as you can dream.”

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The past two weeks have seen much anger throughout the country regarding LGBT rights…especially because of the new law passed in Indiana.  I know many people throughout this state and feel that to boycott this state would be unforgivable because of the way it would hurt those regular everyday folks who wouldn’t know how to hold hate in their heart even if they tried.  I called on the Goddess this week to help me send a message of hope in the midst of this anger and hatred.  She told me to put my money where my mouth is….so I have been making donations to Indiana’s LGBT groups.  How do you stomp out hate?  Pour magick into and make that thing that is hated even stronger and more visible.  I refuse to feed into the poison being spit at Indiana.

I remember stories of a great great woman.  She was ordered to give up her seat on an Alabama bus.  She sat still.  She didn’t scream or wail.  She sat still…and when asked why she wouldn’t, she replied simply, “Because I shouldn’t have to.”  Now that one act of courage ended in her arrest, but it also helped the cause of the Civil Rights movement.  I refuse to feed hatred one way or another.

Isn’t it time that we stopped pushing people down so that we can watch them hurt?  Wouldn’t you rather give them the ability to fly?

Blessed Be!

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