The Path: It’s a Winding One, Never ending

Where’s my magic gone?

I find myself in a good place but not completely at ease with my witchery if you will. I started a journey not long ago and made the decision to go from solitary practice to that of one within a coven. Really it was a bunch of friends and we all shared sacred space together all the time. So why not make it official, right? Well, shortly after we did, we all just came undone and it all fell apart. Nothing major happened and our friendships are still there. It just didn’t seem to work for us to be a formal coven I guess.

Life took over for every one of us and slowly each one of us drifted a little apart from the group, doing our own thing. Meeting new love interest, going to school, starting new jobs, moving away, having babies and well, life happened. So it’s been quite a while since we have shared sacred space together. Sure we’ve been able to get together for social gatherings, but just not for ritual or solstice celebrations. That’s not to say that one or two or three members have met up to share drum circle dancing under the full moon or in celebration of an equinox, but again, nothing with our old group like we used to do.

Needless to say, I went back to solitary practice and did just as well as I did before the coven days and before the friends-get-together-for-ritual days, but in recent times, I find myself lacking magic in my life. I met someone, got married, became the manager of a store that I run, and have been experiencing medical issues, and I find myself not finding the time to make magic. I am having trouble writing rituals much less performing them.
I’m tired and after getting home from work, making dinner, and other responsibilities, I just want to relax for a couple hours and get to bed early.

The Sounds of the Divine

Despite all this, I still get those enlightening messages in the clouds, in the wind, in the rain, and through spirits, but why can’t get out of this funk? I want desperately to reconnect with my deities the way I was before or more so. I have set up altars in preparation for worship, but when night comes all I can muster is the energy to light candles, maybe incense and moment of peace. Yet I do no more. I feel like I’ve lost that “je ne sais” what.

These brief moments of connection through nature are usually when I’m driving to and from places (work mainly). I used to get these moments very often 3 or 4 years back. I used to have so much drive to go along the desire.

I try different things to try and get motivated. I clean my altar, I arrange things around. I do the same for each shrine that I have. Yet, like I mentioned, when it comes to that moment . . . nothing.

I recently visited a local book store and I came across a book by an author I’ve been most interested in learning from, Orion Foxwood. It’s called: The Flame in the Cauldron: A Book of Old-Style Witchery. Something about this title made me want to purchase it. So far, I think this might help me see things from a different perspective, and I hope that it will be the first step in moving forward with this new journey I’m having such trouble understanding how to begin.

Where do I go from here?

In recent days, I am preparing for Summer Solstice. I want to bake cookies. I found a wonderfully, exciting recipe posted by a fb friend. It incorporates seasonal herbs and honey and I think it will be a perfect addition to ritual. I am also holding sacred space that night to send out energy for a terrible loss in our community where a mass shooting took place just a few hours away from where I live. This holding of sacred space is important to me because I have always believed in the power of prayer and when multitudes come together, whether in person or through transcending energies, it is a very powerful force.

Have you had a similar “funk”? I’d love to hear from you.

 

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My Spiritual Journey

The road has been a long one and for some periods the road ended and I found myself walking through the woods.

in the woods

Walking, running, walking… the woods got dense, then cleared a bit, then even darker at times, only to find myself at a beautiful clearing.  It was as if the trees themselves parted to allow me through and created a living, breathing circle around me and this perfect crystalline lake at my feet. I could smell the wilderness around me that matched what my center had kept secret from me for so long. That wild woman had broken free of the chains of society and of what is considered “the norm” and of what is expected.

lake

A wild woman I was, there in that moment, dancing free of care, songs pouring from the depth of my center. I had been embraced at that very moment by the divine in its truest form. The beautiful mother earth was sharing with me who she is, who she has been in her majesty and in the raw, and I, I was understanding her language.

dancing in the woods

Life has opened up so much more since I found my inner light and self. The universe has shaken to awake me, and awake I am. I am prepared to continue this journey with passion and patience. It is not complicated. It is quite simple. You create what you think, amplified by your heart felt emotions; attracting to you the mirror of You.  The answers we seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still.  I haven’t changed. I just woke up or rather, every day I am waking up. Every moment brings things to new light.

One of my favorite saying is,

 “Whenever you hear or read anything of a spiritual nature that moves you or touches your soul, you are not learning something…you are remembering what you have always known. It is a gentle awakening.” 

Where will your journey take you?

journey-of-recovery

Coexisting: I’m a witch. Are you okay with that?

I have taken a leap; A leap of faith, if you will.

Not to try a new faith, a new path, but rather to risk that dreadful conversation with a potential new relationship. What I mean is, I decided to join an online dating site. I suppose I could have joined a dating site that caters to people of the same faith, like christianmingle.com caters to Christians or Pagandatingservice.com is specifically for heathens, but I chose not to. Instead, I joined a dating site that supports diversity. They do not let you restrict possible matches with things like race or religion because they believe what all of us should believe, and that is, learning to coexist.

I am almost 40 years old and alone. All my friends from high school have married and formed families, and yes, some have ended in divorce, but that’s a different topic all together. My current friends, most of which happen to be pagan, are more like a family, and thus I do not view them as a possible romantic match, with one or two exceptions. I was married, now divorced and not by choice. I never had any children, and I’ve gone through many ups and downs regarding my health. I felt it was time to do something different. I knew that I was not going to meet anyone new if I kept hanging out with the same people and going to the same places, so I made a change.

I’ve been going to new places, like art events and other local activities happening in this huge metropolitan city I live in, and I also joined an online dating website. I joined less than one week ago. I immediately had over 20 messages and faced the task of how to proceed. I’m a nice person, so I didn’t want to just delete those I didn’t find attractive, so I began with my personally developed process of elimination. Eventually, there was one man. I liked his message and no doubt I think he’s cute, so I responded, and we’ve been talking every since. This brings me to why I’m writing this blog entry. I foresee going on a date with mystery man in the near future, as we seem to be hitting it off quite nicely. The topic of religion is going to come up. I’m fairly certain that it’s one of the first things people who start dating discuss (by the way, I’ve never dated, much less online).

What will I say if/when he asks me what my faith is? The truth, of course.

Will there be silence?

An awkward pause?

A shocked, blank stare?

However he responds, I’ll still be proud of who I am. Proud that I am a good person. Proud that I am not evil and I do not worship the devil. Proud that I have a deep connection with the divine and have embraced the beautiful soul that is me. I am proud to be a witch.

If he doesn’t like what he hears, if he doesn’t receive the response he expected and walks away, then I’ll just know he wasn’t the right one, but wouldn’t it be great if he or anyone who finds themselves in this situation or a similar one, could just be okay with it? I mean, I do not judge people who tell me they’re Jewish or practice Buddhism or if they’re Muslim. I accept them and I respect their beliefs. After all, what is important is that they have a pure heart, a good head on their shoulders.

If there is one thing that I can tell the world I learned from paganism, from Wicca, from being a witch, is that I have learned to coexist.

coexist

 Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they are alive and human.  ~ Albert Ellis

My Religion

The Beginning

I was born into a Catholic household and family. My mother’s side of the family is a bit more religious than my dad’s side, but both consider themselves Catholic. I was baptized as an infant and upon reaching the appropriate age, I was put in Sunday School/Catechism where I learned about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty Father, and the Holy Ghost. Throughout my years in Sunday School I had my first confession, my first communion, and finally my confirmation. By this time which was approximately age 11 or 12, I had already decided that I did not really want to go to church anymore, and I was given the liberty of choosing not to attend church on Sundays any longer. I had a very strong spiritual connection with God and felt I could speak with Him from within my heart. My parents respected my decision.

All throughout my youth I wondered about certain conversations or things I observed such as my dad’s ‘collares’ or elekes, why he put apples or pennies in front of a St. Barbara statue we had and even wondered how the saints fit into the ‘church’ beliefs. On both sides of my family, there has always existed special or ‘magickal’ home remedies, superstitions, and several aspects that also seemed odd for me when comparing them to what I was taught in Catholic Sunday School. However, I never questioned them, but rather tossed them up as ‘cultural’ learning. I didn’t understand why I could see spirits. I didn’t question how I saw an image of my late grandmother before ever seeing a photograph of her. These were all just part of my life, just like all other things were.

I now know that my dad was a spiritualist and had joined the masons in his youth. He is a medium and has always been an open portal for the dead to speak through. His father, my grandfather, was a seer, and was a Rosicrucian.
My mother’s mom, my grandmother, and several of my great aunts were into the occult, and were sought out for readings, fortune telling and healing magic.

Fast-forwarding to age 15

My interest in witchcraft peeked when I had to write a research paper for English Composition class in high school. My selection of topics lead me to write about Witchcraft. I didn’t know anything about it, aside from what I had seen in movies, and unfortunately there wasn’t such a great selection in our school library. I did find 2 or 3 books on the subject and wrote a fantastic paper where I got one of the best grades I’d received. I’m certain that looking back now, those books are as accurate as putting a square peg in a round hole, but the images and illustrations in the books are what truly captured me. I remember getting lost in the illustrations, almost like a trans-state, where the images almost began to move. This exposure stayed with me, embedded like a seed in a very subtle but steady growth, hidden from the light of day, but felt within the core of my soul.

Fast-forward to 1997 age 22 (because it was some time before my 23rd birthday)

My first experience with the craft. I was invited to hang out at a friend of a friend’s house for a party that I vaguely remember being for a birthday or something. At approximately 11:30pm I was asked if I would like to participate in a Wiccan full moon ritual that was going to be held in the backyard. I was so excited and a little bit scared at the same time, but mostly just vibrating with elation that I was going to witness and be part of something that I had had a secret interest in for such a long time. Needless to say, it was everything I expected and more. At the end of the night, the high priestess gifted me a book called: The Way of the Goddess-A Manual for Wiccan Initiation by Ly Warren Clarke. My very first pagan book. Sadly I never saw that high priestess again because I’d truly love to find her and thank her.

After this, I began going to book stores like Barnes N Noble to look for all sorts of pagan related books. I acquired a few over the years by authors like Scott Cunningham, Gerina Dunwich, Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, and Phyllis Curott among others, all which have guided or helped me develop into the witch I am today.

Transition from Christianity to Paganism

In the beginning of my transition into the occult, I had a very difficult time letting go of the concept of Christianity and embracing mythology gods and goddesses, so I decided I didn’t need to do that. *(see note)* This is when I began identifying myself as a Christian Witch (not a very easy thing to do), and not accepted by almost all Pagan folk. The years went by, I read more and more, and slowly I found myself transitioning, evolving.

Note *Part of the reason, or the main reason, I had such a difficult time “letting go” of Christianity was because I had a very strong spiritual connection with God (Jesus Christ) because of health problems, among other problems, I had to face throughout my life, like being sexually abused early in life, and later going through a miscarriage and at the same time undergoing renal failure at the very young age of 18. It is my faith in God that got me through everything, and I felt that I was betraying Him if I turned to other Gods. I thought, “What if I am wrong about paganism and turn my back on Jesus, but then end up needing him, and he might not be able to forgive me?” A thought that lingered with me for a very, very, VERY long time.*

Transition from Christianity to Paganism Cont’d

I found myself wanting to trust that other Gods and Goddesses existed, but how could I when my Christian beliefs were so strong? This is when I made a conscious decision to trust my gut, trust that intuition, that little voice from way inside and fully embrace the idea of other deities. A clear confirmation of their existence came to me in physical form (an undeniable series of what to me is concrete evidence that someone or rather, several someone’s where out there listening to me). One of the divine experiences I had, came about after my very first Tarot reading with the Tarot Maven of the Meetup.com pagan group I am a member of. I had not been out to the ocean/beach in a very long time. I knew I needed to reconnect with the ocean, but there were many obstacles, some physical, others emotional, that kept me away, but a message in the reading said I had to do this for myself, and sooner rather than later. So I selected a day and packed up my things and went out to the beach (Bill Baggs Cape Florida Park beach), on a week day, all by myself. I set up my chair and stuff near the lighthouse and did a little ritual without props and when the right time came, I walked into the water. Words will not do justice to explain the magick I felt when the water touched my skin. It was like the softest caresses of satin sheets barely brushing my legs. I walked in, to waist deep water, making my way to the rocks and the base of the lighthouse when suddenly I was surrounded by a ring of tiny little fish that created a circle around me immediately after I had requested confirmation from Amphitrite, the beautiful deity I had reached out to, to help me return to the ocean.

I decided then that I was going to put my Christian beliefs on a shelf for now and fully embrace polytheism. I began learning about Wicca at first. Mainly because it is what is most common and readily available, but in time I learned about other pagan practices like Neo-Druidism, Greco-Roman, and Celtic. During the last two and a half years I have grown and learned a great deal in occult practices, carefully balancing how the divine choses to manifest itself before me, around me, and within. I do not put barriers around my spiritual self with the thought that I can only communicate with a certain pantheon or type of religion. I allow the divine to reach me in any way.

It is only recently that I have delved into other pagan branches such as Thelema and Voudon, and have opened myself up to a ‘come what may’ mentality. Meaning that I am not closing myself off to any one particular pantheon or belief. I am open and accepting of a multitude of ways of communication with the divine. I accept all religions and I respect everyone and their choice of belief, because ultimately I accept and love myself completely.

My religion is that which consists of being a good person. Not intentionally hurting anyone or anything, but absolutely defending oneself if need be. I live in harmony with my surroundings and I am accepting and respectful of others.

I am spiritual, I am divine, and I am a Witch.

flying witch

 

Journey Beyond: Travels through the Astral World

Untitled-2The astral plane, also called the astral world, is a plane of existence postulated by classical (particularly neo-Platonic), medieval, oriental and esoteric philosophies and mystery religions.It is the world of the planetary spheres, crossed by the soul in its astral body on the way to being born and after death, and generally said to be populated by angels, spirits or other immaterial beings. According to occult teachings, the astral plane can be visited consciously through astral projection, meditation and mantra, near death experience, lucid dreaming, or other means. Individuals that are trained in the use of the astral vehicle can separate their consciousness in the astral vehicle from the physical body at will. [Wikipedia]

In a moment of clarity and chaos, awake and asleep, grounded yet floating, the veil was crossed. Consciousness began again in a world not unlike that which I have been experiencing, but one where the physical laws are quite different. The rather desperate and chaotic aspects of the previous life no longer exist and there is what could be best described as peace. Frequently called heaven, this is the astral plane being experienced by the astral body, or at least it is how I can best describe it.

In Yesod, the mind loves to find patterns in chaos. This is the part of the mind where life’s “coincidences” turn into “synchronicities” and “omens.” This part of the mind tends to label things and find patterns where there may or may not be any. At the beginning of meditation, all is distraction (an itch or an obsessive thought, for example). If one can make it through this unpleasant and uncomfortable stage of delusion and distraction, enlightenment soon draws near.

Within the quietness of sleep, a magical world unfold before our close eyes. A dream occurs.

The dream will carry us to another existence and guide us on a spectacular journey into another dimension of our minds.

We astral project without knowing it.

Dreams hold the mystery of a virtually unexplored realm of consciousness. A dream can take you to the deepest reaches of the galaxy without having to move an inch. You can be at the ocean side or on a desolate mountain top, yet still laying peacefully in bed.There is no limit to where your mind can project. ~ Robert Zucker ~

Astral travel allows us to experience raw divinity. It gives one an absolute knowingness that we are not our physical body or even our mind, and travel to the highest or lowest planes of consciousness.

I recently stumbled upon a technique that I am preparing to try, and thought this would be a wonderful place to share it. Perhaps you’ll try it too!

Ziggy Stardust Wrote: Here is a technique for astral travel. I bluntly call it the ‘4 in the morning technique’ I have tried many methods over the past two years, and this one had the best results. I have written it out in steps. It involves getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning – a little extra effort, but it is by far worth it. The reasons for waking up at 4 in the morning are:

– You will be drowsy and it will be easier to clear your head.
– You will drift off to sleep much faster.
– You will have gotten up for a purpose; your body and mind will be tuned to what you are trying to achieve.

A note to those who are skeptical about astral travel but still wish to try it: You must keep an open mind while attempting to project. Any negative thoughts or feelings will certainly hold you back. Stay positive, open, and willing.

The technique is as follows:
Set your alarm for 4 o’clock in the morning. Allow yourself to drift asleep. At four in the morning, the alarm will wake you. Get out of bed turn on the light, and splash water on your face. Dry your face with a towell.

After about two minutes, get back in bed. Lie on your back.

You will most likely be feeling groggy and tired. Your mind will be eager to get back to sleep.

Close your eyes, and clear your mind. This should be easy because you are so tired.

Now, imagine you are standing somewhere in your room. Perhaps in the far corner. Vividly see yourself standing there. Know that you are standing there, and that your body is still lying on the bed. Focus your whole mind on this concept. While working on that, begin a simple affirmation in your head. “I am going to astral travel. I am going to leave my body.” Say it in your head, over and over, while imagining you are on the other side of the room. While you are doing this, you will begin to drift back to sleep. Slowly, your mind will begin to cloud. Make sure that the concept of standing elsewhere in your room is the last thing that goes through your mind before you are asleep.

You may experience one or more of the following sensations:
– Floating
– Sinking
– Vibrations
– A bright white/blue light
– A rushing or popping sound
– Starnge noises; someone calling your name
– A jolt

If you experience one or more of these sensations for the first time, it may be frightening. But know that they are positive signs; signs that let you know you’re about to project. Almost always, apon feeling a strange sensation, the person trying to project gets such a fright that he/she is jolted back into their body. If this happens to you, allow yourself to fall asleep and try again the next night, knowing presently that there is nothing to fear.

If you find yourself outside your body, do not stay out for too long the first time. Float about your room, become used to the physics of the astral plane, and then will yourself back into your body. You can start exploring after a 24 hour break. There may be a guide waiting for you. This guide will watch over you and take you where you please. Talk briefly with the guide, and say you will project again in 24 hours.

When 24 hours pass, you will be ready to explore and venture further than your room. Happy Astral Traveling!

From Where I Stand

It seems to me that everything influences . . .  well, everything. I make choices constantly, we all do, and these choices help alter the outcomes.

Good or Bad, I take them all.

They shape me into who I will be, whether 5 minutes from now or 5 years into the future. Point is, I take them all and embrace them.

In April of 2011, I made a conscious decision to be bold, to be daring, to put myself out there, to do something purely for myself. The events that have transpired since then, have immensly changed my life. Truly, there are no words to describe the amazing journey it’s been. All I know is that I’m truly grateful for many things, to many people, but mostly to myself for taking that one very important step.

I’ve met some of the most wonderfully spectacular beings and I continue to meet more and more special like-minded people, all of who, in one way or another, whether in the most simplest way or ground-shaking manner, have touched my soul.

One of the biggest moments I experienced, was growing from a group of friends who shared spiritual journeys together to forming an official coven. All the time we’ve spent together as friends and as coveners means the world to me. I have grown, I have learned, and I have been able to share intimate moments with them. For those special times, I am thankful. They will never truly know how much they have each impacted my life. How they’ve changed the way I approach friendships. And so much more! But I am, in all sincerity, thankful to all of them.

The time has come to go on my own again, speaking specifically about the coven. I faced a very scarry moment, and trusted wholeheartedly that they would all understand and support me once I announced that I would be stepping out on my own into a solitary path once more. I will still maintain those friendships, for they are more than friendships. They are bonds of a spiritual family that are as meaningful as those of blood relatives or perhaps even more. And I expressed to them how I would still be honored if they would allow me to occasionally celebrate some Sabbats or Esbats with them. I hope they are able to see that my time had arrived. I was given everything I needed to be able to move forward and continue the divine path I currently walk. It seems a bit selfish, but it truly isn’t. This is a moment that all who experience joining a coven, must come to and at some point, identify when it is time to go or when to continue growing with that spiritual family.

So from where I stand, the sweet smell of the goddess continues to light the way as I travel to enlightenment. From where I stand, the bonds we formed will always be with me, helping me continue to learn and grow. From where I stand, the mysteries are being revealed. From where I stand . . .

When the Veil is thinnest

I love Halloween! It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love wandering down dark streets in the crisp air, with the leaves crunching under my feet, passing strange apparitions, always with a hint of fear, the sense that something is lurking in the darkness. Since I grew older, my attention shifted away from trick-or-treating and parties towards the main theme of this dark festival: death.

Halloween is one of the great quarter-days or pagan festivals which fall midway between the solstices and the equinoxes. That makes it an agricultural festival — it marks the time of the last harvest, the winter slaughter, the death of the crops and the rest cycle of the land. The Saxons called it Winter’s Eve. The Celts called it Samhain, which means “summer’s end.” To the Celts, the day began with night fall. Thus it was natural for the year to begin at the start of the darkest time of the year. Celtic feasts were celebrated from sunset to sunset, so Samhain began at sunset on October 31st and continued until sunset November 1st. The Feast of All Saints, which came into existence in the 7th century, was commemorated on November 1 under the name of All Hallows Day, from which we get the name Halloween (the eve of Hallows). The following day, November 2, is All Souls Day, a day when the priest wears black, the church is draped with mourning and the faithful pray for the souls of their departed, with the hope of shortening their time in Purgatory.

The Day of the Dead

In Mexico, All Souls Day is called Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and is a time of commemorating the dead by decorating their tombs (with marigolds, a flower sacred to the Aztecs) and inviting them to a feast in their honor. Families go to the cemetery for a picnic and eat skeleton cookies and sugar skull cakes. Trick-or-treating derives from an ancient British custom of going from house to house begging for soul-cakes. Some say the soul-cakes were given to the priest to buy Masses for the souls of relatives in Purgatory. Others believe they were offerings to the dead. Candles flickering in the windows (or pumpkins) were meant to serve as beacons for the dead, just as on the similar holiday in Japan, lanterns are hung by the garden gates.

The Month of Blood

There are some obvious reasons why this place on the Wheel of the Year is associated with death. The sun is approaching its nadir, the leaves are falling from trees, the death and decay in the natural world remind us of our own mortality. Martinmas, November 11th, was the traditional time for slaughtering the cattle, sheep and pigs which could not be maintained during the winter. The Welsh called November the month of Slaughter while the Saxons called it the Month of Blood. In the Odyssey, Odysseus summons the shades of the dead by sacrificing animals. Their blood drains into a pit and the restless shades come eagerly crowing up from the underworld. Odysseus holds them at bay with his sword until the particular spirit he wants comes forward, laps up the blood and then prophesies what will happen in the future. This scene combines the themes of fear, slaughter, death, the Underworld, ghosts and divination which are common to Halloween.

Honoring the Dead

There are many ways you can honor the dead, starting with the simple act of setting out food for them. While you’re at home and can properly supervise, place lighted candles in the windows to serve as beacons for the spirits. Host a Feast of the Dead as I will be this year with my coven family & friends. Set a place at the table for the dead and offer them servings of the food you eat. Invite departed friend and relatives, ancestors and heroines. Ask the living participants to share a memory about someone who has died who was important to them. Light a candle or ring a bell for each person after you speak about them. In Feeding the Spirit, Cunningham suggests a variation of a Shinto tradition: cut out or draw pictures of things the dead would like. Then burn them in the fire (or candle flame), saying something like, “George, I am sending you new clothes for your journey in the spirit world.” You can also make an altar for your ancestors. Z Budapest in Grandmother of Time suggests putting pictures of your departed relatives in the middle of the altar, burning white and yellow devotional candles and incense, and talking to them. If you feel uncomfortable talking out loud, write letters. You can burn these too and imagine the smoke carrying your message.

Celebrating

Decorating for this holy day is easy since there are so many items available for Halloween which will set the proper tone of mortality: autumn leaves, skeletons, miniature coffins, skulls, tombstones, pumpkins carved with terrifying faces, black candles. While you enjoy the fruits of the harvest, you can honor their source by wassailing the trees. Go out to the trees which have shared their bounty with you and thank them, drink a toast and pour a libation on their roots. For a dramatic but simple Halloween ritual I recommend this piece of the long and beautiful Samhain ritual described by Starhawk in The Spiral Dance. Light candles in a dark room. Take a pomegranate and hold it up saying, “Behold, the fruit of life —” Put it down on a plate and cut it open with a knife, saying “— which is death.” The ruby-red juice of the pomegranate will look like blood in the candlelight. Then hold up an especially shiny red apple — one that reminds you of the apple the stepmother gave Snow White — and say “Behold the fruit of death —” Put it down and slice it open horizontally rather than vertically. Hold it up so others can see the five-pointed star made by the seeds and say “— which is life.” Cut up the rest of the apple and feed it to each other or use it for one of the many forms of divination.

Divining the Future

After being fed and entertained, the ghosts might provide oracular advice as they did for Odysseus. Since the spirits are so close to us on this night, this is an excellent time for all forms of divination. You have more access to your personal underworld, your unconscious. Consult your favorite oracle — the tarot cards, the I Ching, a Ouija board, runes, tea leaves or a crystal ball, etc. Request images of what you can become or what you will do in the new year. There are many traditional forms of divination practiced on this night, most of them used to reveal the identity of your future spouse. If this is not something you need to know, ask for another vision. Several forms of divination involve apples. For instance, you are advised to take a candle, go alone to a mirror in a darkened room and eat the apple while looking into it, combing your hair all the while. The face of your lover — or the Devil — will appear over your shoulder. A variation of this says you only have to peel the apple while looking into the mirror. You can also cut an apple into nine equal parts, eat eight of them, toss the ninth over your left shoulder, turn quickly and glimpse your future mate. There is something to be said for helping the spirits provide the answer which is in your best interest.

References

Barolini, Helen, Festa: Recipes and Recollections of Italian Holidays, Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich 1988 Budapest, Z, Grandmother of Time, Harper and Row 1989 Cunningham, Nancy Brady, Feeding the Spirit, Resource Publications 1988 Kightly, Charles, The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames & Hudson 1987 Owen, Trefor, Welsh Folk Customs, Llandysul, Dyfed: Gomer Press Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, Harper & Row 1979

 

Visions: a waking dream and flight of a black bird

I recently had an intense experience that now lingers in my head. It surrounds my moments of tranquility and appears vividly in my minds eye. This moment was overwhelming and intense but not in a bad way. I wasn’t frightenend or uneasy, but rather focused and almost in aw of what I was seeing. I believe that a waking dream is an emotionally charged event that stands apart from the rest of your day. Each waking dream in our life is divine. They are created for our spiritual growth. That said, this is what occurred . . .

Several nights ago I lived through this particular moment of what I am now calling a waking dream, although I had not yet fallen asleep. I got into bed, turned off the lights and started to get comfortable with my blanket and pillow when a red light captured my attention. I looked over at the light and saw two eyes, a woman’s eyes. I began to focus my vision and allow my eyes to adjust to the darkness in the room. Was I seeing things?

Once my eyes adjusted, I could clearly see, there was no mistake. It was a woman’s eyes. At first it appeared to be the eyes of a woman who’s face is covered by a Saree, but as I continued to examine, the woman was only wearing a mantle over her head without covering her face. I was still confused and in disbelief of what I was witnessing. My rational brain began to take over and so I did the logical thing to do. I began rubbing my eyes. Then I covered one eye to look and then the other eye, but the image was still very clear right in front of me. Once I realized it wasn’t my vision, I relaxed a bit and continued looking back at the eyes that were utterly fixed on mine. Now an amazing thing started to occur. The eyes and face of this woman began to transform into what looked like a black dog or a wolf. I was puzzled. Who was this? Why was I seeing this? A message no doubt, but what could it be? The image of the wolf/dog’s face morphed back to the woman’s and then back to the wolf and back to the woman and it continued happening for a few seconds before it remained as the woman. Those eyes!  Needless to say, I eventually turned to my side and fell asleep.

The next morning, the first thing to come to mind was what I had witnessed, and thus began my investigation. I searched the web for a connection between a female deity, a goddess, and a wolf or dog. I immediately found that the goddess Hecate was connected/associated with dogs and is sometimes depicted wearing a mantle over her head.

Thus far, it could quite possibly be this vision is of Hecate. She is among other things a goddess of crossroads and transitions. Something I am currently experiencing in my life. My search continues . . .

In some readings, I noted that crows are also sometimes associated with Hecate. Now it’s beginning to come together. Last November (2011) I had my first encounter with a crow. Having never seen one, other than on television, I experienced a very out-of-the-ordinary moment with a crow. As I was exiting a parking lot and moving slowly across the isles of parked cars, a crow decided to fly down from where ever he was and land on the hood of my car, then immediately swoop upward to perch on a stop sign just to the right of me. I stopped, and I looked over at him. It was indeed a crow! I couldn’t not believe my eyes! A crow! This was a very exciting moment for me. I saw a crow! Later I found out that crows are associated with messages. And thus I took it as that. A message.

After this encounter, I continued to have many others with crows. I was seeing crows everywhere, flying over my house, singing while I walked my puppy, in movies, on outings, they were everywhere. A few days after the vision of the woman/dog in my bedroom some nights ago, I visited a store. As I was already standing in line waiting to pay for my items, when I suddenly felt a strong pull. A force I couldn’t resist wanted me to leave the pay isle and go back a few lanes to where the merchandise was. On a shelf were some seasonal decorations and on that shelf were 2 little black crows. Needless to say I purchased them as well, and they are now perched upon my bedroom dresser mirror.

Now what does all this mean? Are the crows related to the vision of the woman and the dog/wolf? I needed to be sure, so I consulted with some women I trust, who happen to be daughters of Hecate. Based on my descriptions of what I saw, how I felt and the experience as a whole, it seems that this indeed was The Goddess of the Underworld herself, Hecate.

HECATE, Hekate, Heket, The Distant One, The Far Darter, Queen of Night, Night Mother, Queen of the Ghosts, Queen of the Witches, Mother of Witches, Mistress of Magic, Most Lovely One, Goddess of Paths, Goddess of Crossroads, Goddess of Transitions, The One before the Gate.

Heka means “magical speech” in Egyptian while Hekate means “influence from afar” in Greek. The latter attribution is due to her ability to
use magic upon a person from a distance. Hence the appellations “Far Darter” and “The Distant One” given to Hekate.

I am now aware of Hecate. I don’t know if her appearance was  a welcoming gesture or that of a longer stay. This I will see and recognize in due time. For now, I just say, “I am now aware of Hecate.”

Image I created that closely depicts how I see Hecate.

A Solitary Path to a Circle

Meeting through a local Pagan meetup was no coincidence. We all walked along the path we were each destined to travel. Some of us were long time practicioners and others just testing the waters of Paganism. Destiny brought us all to a common place where our faces became familiar to one another. Bonds formed, friendships developed and trust grew. Soon we all began to share our stories, our experiences and our time together writing a new story with us all entwined between the words of this tale.

It was not long at all when we wondered in silence, “What if . . .”

“Am I the only one who feels this way?”

“Does this thought cross anyone else’s mind?”

“and if we try it, would this even work?”

The very question must have lingered upon the others’ minds. Toying with the possibilites. Yearning to bring it forth. Stirring in the bubbling cauldron that was soon to overflow. And so it did . . .

“SHALL WE BECOME A COVEN?”

There is was. Out for all to see, feel, touch, smell, dream. Imagining all of the possibilites we had at the tips of our magick wands. It was no sooner than a twinkle of a witch’s nose that we became a circle of trust. We shared together more than ever before. We danced, and chanted and called the Gods and Goddesses. We celebrated together and honored the earth. A multi-faceted circle. We all had traveled different paths. We all brought forth those beliefs and share them with each other. And why not! We were embarking upon a journey unlike others we’ve heard or seen. Our circle was truly one of a kind and completely Eclectic in the literal form. Our main goal as a coven was to demonstrate that witches of different Pagan Traditions could be a coven, could be a circle, and still share and experience various rituals and share sacred space wholeheartedly without having to conform to a particular coven’s tradition or to go in search of a coven who shares your beliefs.

Thus our practices evolved. We have each taken turn directing a ritual in our own tradition or free-flowy way. We are learning and growing with each other and from each other. Experiencing something new with each sacred space we share, from Wiccan celebrations to ADF rituals, and preparing for future exposure to a blend of Judaic-Pagan styled ritual, sharing an Indo-Pagan one, and visiting a Santeria misa as well.

We have only been a formed circle for a few months now, but we are moving toward several common goals while embracing each witch’s personal spiritual goals as well. Our journey has brought us to develop what we appropriately call ourselves: Every Witch Way Coven ®.

Every Witch Way is a coven of friends who have come together in celebration of the divine spark that resides within each and every one of us through the essence of the Divine.  We aspire to create an environment that fosters continuous spiritual growth and unite to honor and celebrate all that life brings us. We strive to be a cohesive group of Pagans, to share the vibrancy and strength within us and give back to our fellow brotherhood of mankind.  Our mission is to help educate our community about Paganism, serve as an outreach group providing resources to both Pagans and non-Pagans alike, and we hope to set a positive example for all those looking in our direction by embodying the love of God & Goddess in all our endeavors.

I hope that other solitary witches and even witches already in existing covens realize that there is more that they can do to work toward the world wide goal of living in peace and harmony together. I hope that our circle will teach and serve as a positive example to inspire you to go . . .

“Where no Witch has gone before”™

http://everywitchway.wix.com/everywitchwaycoven

A Drink from the Scarlet’s Chalice

“I am the dowghter of fortitude & ravyshed every howr, from my youth, for behold, I am understanding & science dwelleth in me & the hevens oppress me, They covet an desyre me with infinite appetite few or none that are erthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the circle of the sonne; and covered with the morning clouds: My feet are swifter that the wynds & my hands are sweter than the morning dew.”

Babalon is The Great Mother, the Mother of Abominations, the Sacred Whore, the Mother of Harlots, she is Mystery, she is the Scarlet Woman.

“This is how Babalon works, the destruction of morality and the release of psychosexual energy into mystical illumination.” pg 108 Peter Grey’s The Red Goddess

The lurid and provocative descriptions of the Red Goddess have helped me form a more concrete image of the goddess symbols in my own workings. You see, coming more from the heart than from the head, The Red Goddess is not just Grey’s devotion to the Scarlet Woman, it is itself a talisman. If nothing else it is challenging, uncompromising, sarcastic and insightful, and at times downright funny, but always providing the clear message, “Let Go“!

Babalon is Rising! Babalon “is a power that comes out of the past and resonates into the now with the compelling song of the witch woman. She is both the primal form of the Goddess from the far distant past and the most modern icon of post-human style” (p2). His passion for the Holy Whore shines through on each page.

The call to Babalon is key in present day. It is essential in reclaiming female power. Of course, women can’t flock to temples and set up camp as Holy Whores in this day and age without being arrested, but a definite change in the way women see themselves, and in the way men see women, would be a start. Every woman can invoke the Holy Whore into her life with pleasure. The Sacred Prostitute is a woman who has reclaimed herself and has reconnected with her will. Most importantly, she is a woman who has reclaimed the sacredness of her body.

InLore                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Enochian is a name applied to an occult or angelic language recorded in the private journals of Dr. John Dee and his seer Edward Kelley in the late 16th century. The men claimed that it was revealed to them by angels. Some contemporary scholars of magic consider it a constructed language. It is believed, by some, to be the only way to communicate with the Scarlet Woman. Aleister Crowley conducted invocations using the Enochian System of Magick that led to his book, The Vision and The Voice, consisting of chronicals of his mystical journey.

In Crowley’s, Book of Lies, he dedicated chapter 49 called ‘Waratah Blossoms’ to Babalon.

Seven are the veils of the dancing-girl in the harem of IT.  Seven are the names, and seven are the lamps beside Her bed. Seven eunuchs guard Her with drawn swords; No Man may come nigh unto Her.  In Her wine-cup are seven streams of the blood of the Seven Spirits of God. Seven are the heads of THE BEAST whereon She rideth. The head of an Angel: the head of a Saint: the head of a Poet: the head of An Adulterous  Woman: the head of a Man of Valour: the head of a Satyr: and the head of a Lion-Serpent. Seven letters hath Her holiest name; and it is This is the Seal upon the Ring that is on the Fore-finger of IT: and it is the Seal upon the Tombs of them whom She hath slain. Here is Wisdom.  Let Him that hath Understanding count the Number of Our Lady; for it is the Number of a Woman; and Her Number is An Hundred and Fifty and Six. 

Who is to drink of the Chalice of Ecstacy? The Whore, Babalon, shares her sacred elixir with all who dare savor its hidden delights through the purity of heart and transparency of soul. For me, the Chalice of Ecstasy is the fruit of the Tree of Initiation. I drink the nectar of transformation.

The day when BABALON reaches for me, She will touch a place which is not quite flesh. This place is fluid and constantly changing. She will push me over the edge and I will fly to meet Her. In that moment, I will have felt the yielding of myself to a force which is a part of me but which I cannot quite grasp. I will allow myself the freedom to be exactly who I am without fear of disapproval.  BABALON will reinforce the strength that I sometimes forget I have. She will enhance the Woman-Essence that is me. She will help me experience some of the more hidden and shadowy parts of myself: my creativity, my sexuality, my anger but also my joy, love and celebration of living on the Earth.

Hear the charge of the Goddess, “To Me! To Me!”  As she beckons to those who wish to be free; Calling Her children from hither and yon! I raise up the cup and adore Babalon!  ~ In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations to the Scarlet Goddess

I’ve been hearing whispers, and although I cannot make out the words, I feel the weight of their importance. Soon, She will roar through me. Soon my words will be Her words. Soon, there will be only Her.

Babalon Rising!

Love is the Law! Love under will!