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Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

sum 13 1

I have been excitingly excited over my summer thus far…. thus the unicorn picture of Tulie (lindsey) is deserving of the top spot.  Lughnasadh night was a wonderful time to relax by bonfire with my sabbatt sisters under the stars playing drums and dreaming of underworld animals… but first that day was filled with:

Meandering our way through city streets:

sum 13 2

Our new band, Moon Folk, playing for the runners of a race:

Lug 13 2

Cooking up harvest foods:

Lug 13 1

Playing marco-polo in cornfields:

Honoring our own personal harvests and blessing our current crops in ritual:

Lug 13

And finally! We get to relax by the fire:

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singing and drumming in front of around 500 people or so.. no biggie

This summer solstice the family and I traveled to PSG for a week long adventure in pagan community, music, celebration, ritual and camping hosted by Circle Sanctuary. It was my 5th time attending and once again I found that a great love and understanding permeated every interaction that I came across. The first time I attended, I lost my phone card and someone tracked me down just to give it to me again. I can leave a folding chair anywhere for a whole day and not worry about someone taking it (very different from my own front yard!).

Besides a great deal of trust that flows throughout the festival, it is wonderful to see how our pagan community really works. Activists, musicians and pagan leaders are accessible (I chatted with activist Patrick McCollum, author Loren Cruden, musician Arthur Hinds, some members of Spiral Rhythm, pagan leader Selena Fox and the editor of Circle Magazine,  for example). Also, if you, yourself has a special talent, you are encouraged to make a contribution. No where will you find more of a safe and supportive environment to let your talents shine. Last year I attended a chant circle and shared some of my own original chants. I received such a strong, positive feedback that this year many were looking out for me specifically to hear more of my songs! A few even sang some of my chants back to me and told me that they had been sharing it with others all year!!

This year I found the courage within me to sing an original song on-stage at the talent show (probably around 500 people in the audience). That’s us in the picture!! This is only the second time I have sang on stage (the first was when I sang the Cranberries song, Zombie for a neighborhood block party). My two friends JJ and Tulie got up there with me to accompany me with their voices part of the time and a djembe and a rattle and we rocked!!! So much so, we are deciding to start a band!!! Youtube videos are shortly in my future so that others can use my chants if they wish and I’m sure my friends will be joining me singing a few of them. Side note: if you are close to the Quad Cities Illinois area, can play an instrument and are wanting to take part- LET ME KNOW!!!

I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing community. As Pagans and Wiccans, we are all making history as we are some of the first generations to be part of this growing earth-based religion!

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I am feeling myself emerging from my cocoon with new wings and ideas. New definitions of who I am and what the world is have begun to sprout and soon I will be taking my first flight into unknown territories.

bel fire

Since Beltane night I have been exploring what it is to journey with transformation in mind. All of us evolve and shift our ideas and actions over our life times. Welcoming growth and life-affirming change is needed on a continual basis in order to stay away from the stagnant waters of our soul.

So what have I been doing? Well, let me tell you who I used to be at 13… I was a wild child of the woods, a fierce lover of anyone I could get my hands on and make-believer in the true world of unseen mystery. I sneaked out during summers to see the heat lightning dance above the fields. I stole away to ponds and rivers to write poetry and make my offerings of teenage kisses to nymph queens and kings.

And then I became older (wiser?)… all of the things I thought I was working for came to be: married my perfect man, had our perfect kids and a part of me became paranoid that something that was so wild in me was too impulsive for my comfy home life. But the wildness has never left me- I don’t think it can- it comes out in my laughter, tears, blood and sweat and magic. It reminds me in the thunder’s song as I try to sleep at night. It haunts me until I let it out through my art, my writing, my songs, my fierce fire when I become outraged about a worldly injustice. (Seriously, what is going on out there??)

Facing my fears of wild… Cougars have begun to roam again in Illinois again, too. After over 100 years they are back. The chances of running into one is rare. The chance of being killed by one is even rarer (19 people have been killed in the last 100 years). However, a fear so deep has struck me. I have been finding myself scared to go into the woods alone lately- but my wildness refuses to leave me alone. My body aches to be out among the dense trees- listening to their mysteries. I have decided that to live a life away from the woods is no life for me. So I have studied on how to act if I see a cougar  (don’t make eye contact, walk away slow but never turn your back) and if one tries to attack (act like a crazy wild animal and scream at it). If I end up eaten at least I tried to really live my life how I need to and my body can become part of the woods again.

Oh, so and now I hear news that my county is under a tornado watch….

Here is a sneak peak of some magic I have been working on lately… More info on that soon! Happy 100th post to me!

triangle neck

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“The route to the Forest is one of those open secrets which whosoever would know must learn for himself; it is impossible to direct those who do not discover for themselves how to make the journey.” –In the Forest of Arden by Hamilton Wright Mabie, 1891

book peach

A Child of Nature by Hamilton Wright Mabie arrived this Beltane day. It is a first-edition 1901 book about the ecstasy of nature and spirituality. I am so excited- I am going to sit under my pink blossomed peach tree and read it among the buzzing of the bees feeding on the rich pollen and nectar around me. I visited the tree this morning while my children picked dandelions for their May Day baskets and the air was pulsating and vibrating with the busy bees chanting their melodies.

I am somewhat relieved that my group is not meeting tonight (due to schedule conflict we are not celebrating Beltane until mid May!). Instead, tonight is going to be a night of solitary serious magic, serious exploration and serious expression to my Gods. Now to decide if I am going to do all of this before or after I make wild animal love to my husband…

Happy Fire Jumping my friends!

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vending

Finally!!!                                           She is here…

I felt her creeping up through the soil.

I heard her awakening the roots and waiting seeds.

I tasted her in the flowing sap and smelled her in the bird filled breeze.

Persephone: Awakened.

Many new things are awakening now. My spirit arose with the March Moon last night and I blessed my sacred tools in the last winter’s snow. Twitchywitchy has become greatly successful in just one week. I had my first vending event at a woman’s magickal conference over the weekend and my magnets, poetry booklets, paintings, prints, jewelery and painted up knick-knacks were a hit. Yes, you heard right: my poetry book is finished! I took the best of my spiritual poems over the years and combined them into a poetry booklet to nourish the mystic soul. I would have never pursued this project if it hadn’t been for my many friends nudging me along the way to get it out there.

poetry bookpoetry book 3

I’m still in the process of posting up more items to my store, so more busy work awaits me but I am finding it so rewarding to be able to inspire others through art. As I got to sell face to face with my customers I was able to hear about the sentimental emotions they had already attached to my handcrafted items. One woman bought a moon painted cow for her wife as a symbol of their closeness. Another woman loved a red painted pentacle bowl and planned on using it to store her flowers she had gotten while in the hospital for a kidney transplant.

I feel so blessed to be part of the community around me and I am so glad this blog helps me connect to the spiritual people of the world. (Oh and I am stepping outside of what I am used to and finally posting a picture of myself !) May more doors continue to open as the world reawakens to bloom.

~Brightest Spring Blessings~

~Cicada

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medusa

Spring Solstice? I’m not celebrating till the freezing winds stop where I live. No way has Persephone emerged in the Midwest yet!

However, Medusa has been poking her lovely head into my dreams as of lately and so today I celebrated her in style by painting an original.

To look upon Medusa’s stare can cause you to become stone. Exploring this psychologically, do I have some sense of inner rage still in me stemming from my adolescence (I painted her as a teen)? Am I daring to discover what the world says is forbidden? Am I angry at St. Patrick for driving all of the “snakes” out of Ireland? Or am I just kind of pissy that it’s still cold enough to snow?

Either way, I feel that she brings power by releasing energy that has become pent up, bottled up, stagnated and stale. She is my fire and fang.

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imbolc 13

Yesterday the kiddies and I did our candle making Imbolc tradition. Out came the dusty candles with drowned or broken wicks and we broke them into little pieces with hammers.  I had a whole pile of half melted, crooked tapers and so we mashed these up too and saved the unused wick parts for the new candles.  After calling it a day, we lit the candles and had  a ritual welcoming the growing light as the seasons get ready to turn. I told them that between now and Ostara signs of spring will start popping up so be on the look out! Offerings of white food and milk were also given to the White Goddess and my six year old made up a song while my toddler and I played bells and rattles.

Saturday Tulie hosted an Imbolc ritual at her big farmhouse and we all had a wonderful time. I wrote a new song for Imbolc/St. Bride’s Day/Candlemas and sang it with my autoharp to help shift the energy into circle casting. We decorated Bride’s Bed with wish-flowers and we drew cards from the wands tarot suit. I received the five of wands which indicated the spark of inner courage. We meditated to the song Fire Prayer and received visions or feelings from Bride. (If you have never heard of this musician I highly, highly recommend checking out her whole Fire Prayer CD!)

The evening was topped off with feasting, singing, chit-chat, laughter and more magic. As the night wore down it was only Tulie, JJ and I left. I felt the urge to dance. JJ felt the urge to drum. Tulie didn’t have a choice… more magic was coming! She began to sing and before we knew it we were all raising energy and invoking the Goddess once more.

As a Mystic, I rely mostly on experience to guide me on my spiritual path. Opening up one’s practice for room for spontaneity welcomes this experience.

Here is text from the Carmina Gadelica about the custom of making Bride’s Bed:

The older women are also busy on the Eve of Bride, and great preparations are made to celebrate her Day, which is the first day of spring. They make an oblong basket in the shape of a cradle, which they call ‘leaba Bride,’ the bed of Bride. It is embellished with much care. Then they take a choice sheaf of corn, generally oats, and fashion it into the form of a woman. They deck this ikon with gay ribbons from the loom, sparkling shells from the sea, and bright stones from the hill. All the sunny sheltered valleys around are searched for primroses, daisies, and other flowers that open their eyes in the morning of the year. This lay figure is called Bride, ‘dealbh Bride,’ the ikon of Bride. When it is dressed and decorated with all the tenderness and loving care the women can lavish upon it, one woman goes to the door of the house, and standing on the step with her hands on the jambs, calls softly into the darkness, ‘Tha leaba Bride deiseal,’ Bride’s bed is ready. To this a ready woman behind replies, ‘Thigeadh Bride steach, is e beatha Bride,’ Let Bride come in, Bride is welcome. The woman at the door again addresses Bride, ‘A Bhride! Bhride thig a stench, tha do leaba deanta. Gleidh an teach dh’an Triana,’ Bride! Bride, come thou in, thy bed is made. Preserve the house for the Trinity. The women then place the ikon of Bride with great ceremony in the bed they have so carefully prepared for it. They place a small straight white wand (the bark being peeled off) beside the figure. This wand is variously called ‘slatag Bride,’ the little rod of Bride, ‘slachdan Bride,’ the little wand of Bride, and ‘barrag Bride,’ the birch of Bride. The wand is generally of birch, broom, bramble, white willow, or other sacred wood, ‘crossed’ or banned wood being carefully avoided. A similar rod was given to the kings of Ireland at their coronation, and to the Lords of the Isles at their instatement. It was straight to typify justice, and white to signify peace and purity–bloodshed was not to be needlessly caused. The women then level the ashes on the hearth, smoothing and dusting them over carefully. Occasionally the ashes, surrounded by a roll of cloth, are placed on a board to safeguard them against disturbance from draughts or other contingencies. In the early morning the family closely scan the ashes. If they find the marks of the wand of Bride they rejoice, but if they find ‘long Bride,’ the footprint of Bride, their joy is very great, for this is a sign that Bride was present with them during the night, and is favourable to them, and that there is increase in family, in flock, and in field during the coming year. Should there be no marks on the ashes, and no traces of Bride’s presence, the family are dejected. It is to them a sign that she is offended, and will not hear their call. To propitiate her and gain her ear the family offer oblations and burn incense. The oblation generally is a cockerel, some say a pullet, buried alive near the junction of three streams, and the incense is burnt on the hearth when the family retire for the night.

~Blessings to All~

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