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Archive for September, 2012

A Weaver’s Path

By Cicada

 

It is a small road taken through the woodland path.

It speaks to hermits and madwomen

Lonely children and poet dreamers.

It is a small token to come upon a sign that all is now well:

This bright, full ring around Diana-

This clump of dirt shaped as a rainbow-

This bridge formed by decaying trees of old.

But to build our strengths upon the bones of the ancient ones

And to breathe the air that the willows have swept-

Is to fully be dancing with Old Man Woman of hill, tide and cavern.

Weaving silk into a circle

Pressing sap out of stone

Mending hearts wide open

I make in shadow but not alone.

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Greetings out there my pagan friendly fellows,

As you may know, this weekend many of us witchies have celebrated Mabon- the second harvest festival for the wheel of the year. It is a great time to be thankful for what is blossoming and coming to fruit in life and to honor the balance of dark and light with the solar equinox.

I hope everyone had a great celebration… and if you haven’t, don’t feel bad, a simple “Thank you Universe!” would suffice…

I have no idea why today’s blog is in a letter form, but it is too late to not go with it, so I will continue…

What did I do for Mabon? I am so glad you asked. I currently am sipping hot cocoa and waiting for my two year old to finally fall asleep so my husband and I can go out to the backyard and sit by a bonfire.

And as for what I did before this moment?

I started off my festivities by driving out to Tulie’s house. I came across a homeless couple who needed directions to the nearest gas station. I so so so badly wanted to just have them jump in my car and drive them there, but I have to stay realistic about the world I am living in right now. Instead, I got to Tulie’s house, we made them up some food and drove it to them with directions. I pray they are doing well.

Then, Tulie and I went wildflower and pokeberry hunting! Pokeberries are in season and they are used to make banishing ink. They are poisonous, so beware of that if you harvest them. Wildflowers are in abundance around here, also. Goldenrod (magickal use: good fortune) and Black Eyed Susan (courage and protection from negativity) are in bloom so we picked bouquets and added dark purple Curled Dock and clover blossoms to the mix.

Our ritual began with drumming and a focus on what we were thankful for. As soon as we began, however, a columbine started up in the bean field next to her yard and we had to run from the big cloud of dirt and plant chips flying out as it began to drive by to harvest. This was fitting, a big reminder that it is a harvest festival! We ran as much ritual stuff as possible out to her ancient oak tree, away from the columbine, and finished up there. We drew thank-you cards for Infinite Spirit and burned them for the smoke to send our prayers. We offered a few pokeberries to the underworld by means of placing some in the hollowed out trunk of the tree and asked for our spirits to open to the reality that winter was on its way. Strength, patience and hope is always needed during the colder months.

Then, we made pokeberry ink by smashing all of the berries, straining the liquid into glass and adding a bit of vinegar as a preservative. I’m thinking the ink will  come in handy soon to banish any winter blaws. Although many tend to stay away from banishing magick, it can be an extremely positive thing in order to clear the way for blessings to flow.

Back at home my daughter helped me set up our family altar in our backyard labyrinth. I had her hunt for natural items that would correspond to the elements for the altar as I heated up some apple cider in a tea kettle inside the house. Then, everyone drew a picture or wrote what they were thankful for on paper. My toddler drew four scribbles and told us it was each of us.

Our ritual was simple but sweet. Our daughter rang a bell to call in the Lord and Lady and our son sprinkled water in each direction. We told each other what our papers said and burned them while sipping warm cinnamon cider. To my surprise our toddler didn’t mind his drawing going up in flames. We ended the ritual with big hugs and a family photo and then we went back inside to eat spaghetti and play jinga.

The Sun sets in the West

The Moon, She rises in the East

The Child is born from the Darkness

The Corn is cut from the sheath.

We give Thanks to the East

We give Thanks to the West

We give Thanks to the Mother-

Night at Rest.

We give Thanks to the East

We give Thanks to the West

We give Thanks to the Father-

Sun on the Nest.

          Many Blessings to you Dear Reader,

                                                 And Many Thanks for Listening,

                                                                                    ~ Cicada~

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I am so excited to be writing this post!

Ganesha has been a god that I have wanted to be in a relationship with for many years. He is the remover of obstacles, he opens the door to the Goddess, he is loving and playful and wise.  He is the guardian of inner mysteries and blesses us on our paths…

I have subtly approached him in the past, but I never felt his presence so much. I have figured out a long time ago along this mystic path that relationships with deities often work the best (and stick around the longest) when they come to us. They will come to us. They will choose us. They will show us signs that they are around and they will get the attention of someone who they choose as a devotee.

Today, in the late afternoon, I decided to pick some wildflowers along the gravel roads and do a small ritual for something I am wanting to blossom in my life. I wanted to begin in my faerie shrine under my pine tree and end in my labyrinth. However, once in my faerie shrine I immediately felt the call to sit by a white concrete elephant statue and do ritual there (which I have never done before). It was then that I noticed the lovely leafy vine growing up over the elephant and then bam! Ganesha made himself known!

I’ve been wanting a bigger Ganesha statue (I have a miniscule one that is tinier than a penny) and who knew- I’ve had my future Ganesha statue this whole time!

~~~

           And on a different note on the Gods, I recently finished a Lord of the Wild Things collage that I added to my magnet collection at my etsy store… enjoy!

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Here in the Midwest, there are many plants to choose from to wildcraft. What is wildcrafting? It means to retrieve plants from a wild growth. If you lack a green thumb like I do, this is one way to ensure that you can have access to the plants you need for spiritual and physical needs.

When taking a plant, be a nice witchy and ask permission from the plant. Use your intuition and listen to what the plant has to say. It is also a good idea to give an offering in exchange. Tobacco, sage or cornmeal is great for this. A sharp blade is best to use in order to keep the harm and stress on the plant to a minimum. I have heard that a boline with a copper blade is good because the metal  does not suck up the plant spirit like the other magnetic metals do. However, I haven’t had much luck in obtaining one.

Also, keep in mind what the plant has been exposed to in the area you find it. If the plant is by a farmer’s field think again about taking it because of the pesticides used in the area.

Now to talk about two plants I wildcraft>>>

Mullein

This is one plant spirit that I always have on hand. For spirit medicine, it has been used as a smudge throughout history to restore nature back to it’s pristine state that was disturbed due to man-made influence. I use it to smudge areas that need healing after deforestation or construction sites. I also use it often to smudge myself. I am natural. My body is part of the earth. Therefor, when I feel over-stressed from being in crowds or when I feel out of touch with this naturalness, I smudge with mullein. ~~~I also use mullein as a tea to get rid of colds.

Look for soft, fuzzy cluster of leaves growing on the ground in the spring. By the end of summer it grows to six feet high with a huge “pole” sticking up  that has yellow flowers sometimes blooming. This “pole” is also called “Hecate’s Torch”. When dried it can be burned in Samhain rituals and used as a torch to escort you to an underworld journey. I find this plant usually growing in areas where there is not much competition for sunlight like ditches and beaches.

Catnip

Catnip has this really interesting effect on cats, but people rarely know about the effects it can have on humans, too! When steeped as a tea it can have a great calming effect that eases one into trance. The tea is great for insomnia and soothing the nerves after a stressful day with the added bonus of easily allowing access to a meditative state.

Like mullein, catnip is easy to identify once you get to know this plant. However, there is an added bonus with catnip in being able to identify it by it’s very strong smell due to it being in the mint family. I find this often wildly growing under pine trees.

~Cicada

(wildcraft illustrations from: fineartamerica.com)

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If I don’t make some sort of art in any form for a week, I get a bit twitchy and feel like I will explode. Art, along with spirituality, keeps me in balance. Writing poetry, stories, music, dancing and creating visual art forms ground me to my ancestral roots and at the same time, help me blossom over where I have once been. I need outlets in order to actively let out all of the energetic inward stuff that fills me up, but threatens to decay if not given back to the universe properly.

I was good at art as a child, but I didn’t do it nearly enough to justify that I would be doing it later on in life. (Not like my own daughter who draws compulsively.) However, art was already in my blood. My parents, both artists in their own right: My mother a creative quiltess, my father- a poet and painter. His mother- poet and painter. Her father- a poet and painter. Spirituality also dripped down the generational line in the form of art.

It wasn’t until I became a teenager that art began to take it’s hold. For a pond spirit as a muse and a love that was cursed from the get go, I wrote pages and pages of emotional poetry. Then, when I moved my sophomore year in high school, I immediately fit into the art-minded crowd and started working in an art gallery. Later, I really began to flourish when I moved out of my parent’s home and in with my now husband. With way less energy sucked away to the drama of my family, I started to be able to devote more of myself to art…

And now I am so excited that I am moving my art into an arena that I can share it. Not only is there a CD in the works, but this week I opened an etsy store! My TwitchyWitchy Store!  

I’ve been having fun up-cycling statues into divine deities, creating jewelery, and making other pagan inspired art to sell. I think I have created enough stuff for my friends and I over the years and so now my territory extends out to the whole world. There is a lot more to come. Enjoy and blessings!

~Some of the items in store

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Do not despair, but Dance!

Do not weep, but Dance!

Do not tremble with fear, but Dance!

Do not forget- Dance!

It is the first promise and the first lesson in one.

From the beginning of time and unto the end, which are, after all, the same-

to be a Witch is to dance.

And remember your Shadow dances with you.

                         ~ Veronica Cummer, Sorgitzak Old Forest Craft

There are four aspects of being. ~Physical (Earth) ~Emotional (Water) ~Intellectual (Air) and ~Spiritual (Fire)

The first three are well-known in know-how. When drained physically, one must rest, eat well and exercise. When weak emotionally, one needs to figure out what it is that is draining them, take a break from it and often face one’s own Shadow aspect. Also, to nourish one’s heart, often a connection is needed… either through counseling, a friend, or just simply to connect back to one’s self. When tired mentally, a rest from over- stimulating intellectual endeavors is needed and maybe a little distraction.

But how does one go about rejuvenating the Spirit within? Often this is confusing to even self-diagnose because the symptoms of a spiritual drain can seem like physical, emotional and intellectual issues. And often, the prescription needed tends to fall into the categories of the others.

Everyone has a spiritual aspect that needs nourishment. I know an atheist who gets her spiritual needs met by living ethically and seeing a field full of beautiful, twinkling fireflies at night. Some Christians may feed their spiritual side by going to church or praying. For everyone, it is different. However, it is important to know what it is that you need.

For this busy witch, I need the spontaneous moments of making love in the woods. I need to sleep under that stars every once in a while. I need to dance. I need to trance. I need to remember my dreams.

Witches can easily become drained spiritually. For one thing, we are often delving into situations that require a lot of our energy. We walk between the worlds often and to be awakened in both means to inhale and exhale spiritual energy… give and receive. Sometimes we are hermits, making magick in our own little dark caves. Sometimes we are participating community sages, even if some of us are still in the broom closet, I don’t know one witch who doesn’t send healing energy to a friend in need or feel a twinge of remorse for the raccoon that lies silent on the edge of the roads….

We must live in balance like the sky holds steady the day and night. We must know how to nourish the soul.

~Cicada

image from: 1stwebdesigner.com

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Fire Scry

As the flames licked the sky and the logs toppled over in ash our visions began…

A voice spoke to me: “Something is going to happen that you think you are prepared for, but are not.” The fire then spat and roared as more logs fell.

Then Tulie saw the Grim Reaper slash into someone’s third eye.

Two others did not see things so menacing, but tonight was the Blue Moon, how could Tulie and I not take our visions seriously?

Only experienced Diviners will know this dread. It is when you have lived through many moons of scrying and reading cards and dreaming dreams that you know the very real complications that will arise from such readings. This very Diviner is someone who has broken up with boyfriends because of dreams to only later find out they were cheating on me. I have learned first hand from a Tarot card that I was pregnant, or that what I want will not be. Of course, we still walk our own path, and nothing has to be set in stone. Sometimes a vision is there to help us choose a different path. Divining is like looking into a pool of water and being able to see where the ripples are heading.

However, with something so vague as our vision meanings, how could any of this be prevented? For me personally, I used my intuition and continued to ask the blue moon bonfire questions and clarified that my children will be okay. Then everyone drew a Tarot card for this next month. Tulie drew out the Sun, labeled Rebirth, and I-the World. Major Arcana is not called Major for nothing.

 

Drawing Down the Moon ~ Welcome Goddess in you.

She came to me and I felt the World being Reborn. I felt the childbirth pains of the Earth passing through my hips. I crouched low onto the dewy grass and swayed to the pulse of the flowing blood within my body. And as soon as she came, she left, leaving me feeling open. After this was when our visions came.

Thornbane

At the end of the night we took a walk down Tulie’s gravel road and stopped by a cow pasture. Cow pastures are the only places I have seen the lovely Datura growing wild. This poisonous beauty loves cow dung. I could write a whole other post on this plant, but for now I will only get into what we did with it that night! (Datura is a common flying ointment ingredient, you can purchase great ointments from The Witch of Forest Grove and obtaining more info) One way of safely communicating with this plant is to lightly smell it before sleep. As soon as I got home, I got out my freshly picked night bloom and smelled it while asking for dreams from the plant spirit. Strange dreams ensued: giants invading our world and portals to other worlds were revealed, but to get to them required courage and risk.

This year’s Blue Moon proved to be strange indeed, but none the less intense in magic. As far as preparing for something I have not been prepared for,  I have decided to stock up on safety supplies for my house: canned food, water, matches and lighters, batteries.

Many Blessings Everyone!

trees picture: coastgallery.com

moon goddess: flealess.org

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