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Posts Tagged ‘magic’

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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Where have all the mystics gone and why can’t they be seen?

Where are all the shadow men and singers to the trees?

Why are all these people gathering around a common sound,

When there is so much diversity in the world waiting to be found?

When can I escape to a wooded hidden home

Where folk who speak of magic safely may roam?

Why are those who are gifted  shunned from out of sight,

When we the people need their blessings and  insight?

When can we return to the doctors and the queens

Who can speak from our world into the great unseen?

I call out to the wild of places still unmet

Keep all of your secrets hidden there- because if we knew, we would forget.

Until one day when we all can meet as the lovers that we are,

and make new ways and reinvent how to love from afar,

May we hold our mysteries silent and deep and never surrender to

What others think we should be and what we are supposed to do.

For the path of the mystic can be like a mirror into the moon,

What is reflected is the truth of beauty, but logic taints it too soon.

-By Bonnie Waller (Cicada)

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So I am going to be writing something that may be controversial out there. My only disclaimer is, is that I respect everyone’s rights to have differing beliefs and am glad our world is as diverse as it is.

Here’s something that has been itching at me for a while about the wiccan/witch community: Many of us have do not believe in the supernatural.

When I met my first adult witch she informed me that witches do not actually fly on broom sticks. What??? I was saddened by this, however this woman taught me so much regarding spirituality, meditation and energy work that I in no way regret having met anyone else. Later on I of course learned that witches do fly on broom sticks during out of body experiences (which functions and feels exactly like flying in the physical), but a part of me still wants to be able to pick up a broom on this earth plane and fly off.

There is this theory that practicing magic in harmony with nature will result in natural consequences. For example, making a love charm and meeting the man of your dreams the next day still seems natural for it’s not like bam, he suddenly appeared in your bedroom once you did the spell. So what kind of magic can be done to result in seemingly unnatural results? Some would say forcefull, unfriendly magic, but I have a different take on it.

I believe many of us are afraid. Our minds would freak out if something supernatural were to actually occur. It’s wonderful to communicate with spirits empathically but our eyes have become clouded by our fears in order to see properly. There are so many books on witchcraft out there, but I find some of the oldest books to be the most challenging of our fears. Often it wasn’t groups of people challenging the witch during initiation, but it was the spirits themselves. The witch would go off alone to a wild place and meditate all night. Often this wild place would be a gravesight or haunted spot. The person would come out either a poet and spirit worker, a madman or never at all.

“Witch” is such a strong word. It deems a person capable of doing strong magic. Another downfall of being open to supernatural events is that many of us have been disapointed in the past. Maybe the fairy you once thought you saw never came out again. Maybe once you learned that Santa wasn’t real you stopped believing in the possibility of magic. However, if you are on this spiritual path I doubt that you have completely stopped believing in magic. However that which you have a hard time believing in will be unlikely to be percieved by you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I remember that one of the reasons I felt off in my Christain spiritual community as a child is that my experiences did not fit into what I was supposed to believe. I had clear dream premonitions and it was looked strangely upon. I’m afraid it hasn’t changed much with the pagan community, too. Once at a pagan festival I dreamed that a racoon stole the bread in a different tent of mine in middle of the night. What do you think my family found in the morning? The plastic wrapper of our loaf of bread scattered and shredded in the woods behind our clearing.  When we fondly told people about it some looked at me in confusion or disbelief.

Remember why you wanted to be a witch in the first place? You felt the pull of mystery dancing in your blood. You wanted to feel the power of nature pounding in your veins.

Nature has very powerful forces. Asteroids colliding, tornadoes tearing, lightning flaming… powerful magic is natural, too. We just need to be aware that powerful magic will have powerful effects. Don’t forget about the mystery that first danced within you.

~Cicada

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Hathor, goddess of music, is the oldest Egyptian deity depicted in art… Sacred to Hathor and a symbol of her power, the systum was like a miniature temple where the goddess resided… In Egyptian mythology, Hathor is the heavenly cow who nurses the newly dead from her udder. Her pillar-like legs hold up the sky. Her belly is filled with stars. At dusk, the sun, as the hawk Horus, flies into her mouth. She is called Lady of the Stars, Lady of the Sycamore, Mistress of the Desert. She is a goddess of healing and of all things sensual: the touch of a lotus petal, the taste of a pomegranite, the sound of a harp, the scent of musk, the intoxication of red barley beer, the silky fluids of sex.   ~Susan Elizabeth Hale in Sacred Space, Sacred Sound (wonderful book!)

Reading this description of Hathor, I felt like she was already in my life, weaving music sensually into my dreams and magic. And so, she must be honored. This is just my preliminary research on her so I can work a ritual for her properly later. You, the reader, gets to explore her mysteries with me!

Her form has cow ears in ancient art. Some also see the connection of the shape of her head and ears to that as the fallopian tubes and uterus. She is great mother and her temples served as centers of healing, birthing chambers, libraries and sacred bath rituals where incantations were spoke in trance-inducing ways.

She was a sexual goddess and was ritually united with her lover, Horus, every New Year along the Nile. Her golden statues were anointed, fed and dressed, similar to Hindu practices. Myrrh was burned and praises were given in thanks for the fertility of the land. Her cow horns held the Sun God within it’s hold.

Hathor is the “Misteress of the West” because she welcomed the souls of the dead into the afterlife. Both priests and priestess served her, royalty and land folk, too. She was seen as Lover, Wife and Mother and was similar to Aphrodite in many ways. Music, joy, sex, milk… all was connected to Hathor.

If anyone else has information for me, I would love to know it! Egyptian magic is not yet familiar to me.

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inspiring-blog-award

I am always so grateful to be nominated for a blog award. A big thank you to everyone who has done so in the past.  However, I want to apologize for  never posted my nominations before.  Mainly, I have two reasons:

1. I am kind of dumb when it comes to techie stuff and I haven’t been able to figure out how to get images where I want them to be on my page.

2. I like a lot of blogs, I would hate to offend anyone that I follow if I didn’t nominate them afterward. If I follow you, I think your fabulous! If I don’t, I probably just haven’t had much time to read much of your blog and I am sure you are fabulous too.  And that brings me to

3. (which I am just now adding) I am often short on time and following all of the rules for nomination sounds like it might be too much for me to figure out technically.

This specific nomination was given to me by Labrynthe who has a fun blog full of interesting tidbits. I was having a blaw day today and reading that she considered my blog inspiring really pepped me up, so thank you! I aspire to inspire!

I do want to give a shout out to Sarah Lawless at The Witch of Forest Grove, though. She had the blog that I first started to follow and in turn, inspired me to write my own blog. She writes beautiful posts full of magic, craftsmanship and mystery. Since I’m not really following the rules for nominations I’m not officially nominating her, but I did want you all to know about her website/store!

~Blessings, blessings and more blessings,

……………..Cicada

 

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Language is what defines our reality. In a postmodernistic view, where reality is subject to everyone’s own perceptions, language helps form our realities and can be different for different groups and individuals.

Words convey symbols. But what one word may convey to one person, can mean something so different to another. (Just think of all the connotations connected to the word “magic”).

It seems that with all religions, everyone has a word for God, but the words themselves do not match.

In fact, I personally think the word “God” is still too limiting to what it is I feel the Infinite Spirit represents. The word God feels so human to me. I once read in a Hindu scripture (can’t think of exact one) that people need a personal view and an impersonal view of God, so all the deities help a person connect to God, as there is a humanistic image of He or She, the impersonal view is called Atman (God within) and Brahman (God outside of ourselves). The goal is realizing that they are identical.  I like this perspective, as do many.

However, the word God, or even Goddess, is still limiting in it’s symbolic form. At least for me. Even if I try to connect to the impersonal God, I still end up imagining this old dude in the sky. Some people have an androgynous form of God they like to connect with, but it is still so human. Here’s the thing… out of all the hundreds names for God, what is it that God really means? What is it that God is?

=

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~LOVE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If everyone could just accept this about everyone else’s gods, this would be the start of peace.

If everyone could just place LOVE on their altars, we would have the ultimate ideal for our lives.

LOVE is limitless. It has infinite forms. This is why there are so many deities and ideas of what they are. The world needs so many forms of Love. From the love of creativity to the love of the future generations to allow for death. Love is why we are here. Even if your parents conceived you from what most would deem as loveless sex, you were still conceived because they desired connection.

LOVE IS CONNECTION.

I am not saying I’m giving up on paganism or the God’s. Since love is infinite and we are part of this Infinite energy then there are many forms. Just like there are many, many people born to serve Love in many ways (teachers, musicians, librarians, leaders, garbage truck drivers, mothers, morticians, acrobats, etc…) there are many deities needed to serve Love in many ways  (Allah, Kali, Diana, Jehovah) and yes, many saints and prophets and wise ones (Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Mother Theresa, You?). And let’s not forget about the animals and plants of this world!

Thus, I am a servant of Love. I am love and you are love.

So Blessed Be

Picture by

http://www.cianellistudios.com/spiritual_paintings.html

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Samhain… the one night of the year where I don’t care how busy I am or how late it is… meeting with my community of witches and journeying to the Underworld is going to happen!

We were all busy that day: I had school till 9pm. Tulie had Trick-or-Treat with her kids. JJ was still in the process of moving out of her house. It did not matter, because come storm or sleet, we were meeting! Tulie and I have been meeting every Samhain night since we were 12 years old.

We do something a bit crazy on good old Samhain… we find a cornfield and we.. we… run around naked in it! Every year I am secretly dreading it the day of. It is so damn cold outside and I’m admittedly a wimp about the cold, but once we are out there running around with the air kissing our thighs I am in love. We shout to the moon and sing blessings to the earth. We renew our spirits and recharge our magic for the next year.

When we go back into the house we are huffing, our lungs burning and our skin tingling. From here the transition is made into ritual space and we dance, drum, sing and call to the spirits of our ancestors and the land.

Hecate, Kali and Oya was honored last night in accordance to our own Dark Goddesses we work with. The circle became heavy with the presence of many spirits. I’m sure our guardians was extra-alert for any mischievous Otherkind last night.

At this point, we were all in a deep trance and ready to move onto the next Samhain tradition. One at a time we approached the altar and knelt in front of the Underworld poison… a deep crimson juice of pomegranate, and we drank of it deeply. Reenacting our deaths, we stumbled onto our resting place already prepared. The other remaining priestesses covered the now motionless body with blankets stained in pokeberry juice and ornate celtic knots.

We journeyed to the Underworld to receive our personal messages for the following year. Time seemed to be non-existent. Our gods showed us our path and prepared us for the upcoming winter. These visions feed us through the new year.

When we are reborn into the circle we awaken from our graves and approach the altar. There, laid before us, is all of the major arcana Tarot cards face down and mixed up. Still in a trance state we choose one to see what the theme for the following year will be. This year I received the Sun, which actually fit perfectly with my Underworld vision.

As the ritual winded down we chanted one of my Crone songs to the beat of Tulie’s buffalo skin drum. The night was a success and we departed with warm smiles and hugs.

 

Lyrics to my Samhain song,

We are Witches Three

by Cicada/Bonnie Waller

We are witches three 

 we have a holiday,

when we go skyclad

in the fields we pray.

We are witches three

My brother do not fear,

We only honor

the ending of our year.

We are witches three

Watch us part the veil

Out through the mists

The spirits we do hail.

We are witches three

You think we are pretend,

Won’t you join us

dancing with the dead?

 

Now to show off the awesome El Dia De Los Muertos altar at Western Illinois University:

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I’ve been busy with a tarot project for a while and I’m pleased to say that it is done!

Working with tarot has been apart of my life for 16 years. I’ve had some memorable times… like when I got the message I was pregnant with my daughter or the time the cards prepared me for something about to fail.

Over time, I developed relationships with my cards. One deck wanted to be used for spiritual purposes. Another wanted to be used for practical uses and so on. I’ve learned that if you treat your set like a friend that the answers will be more consistent and reliable. When I first get a new deck, I bless each image while smudging with sage. After a reading, I clear the energy of the last reading by blowing on all of the cards.

Even though I have been working with Tarot for a while, I still find myself not knowing some of the minor arcana during a reading. I have to pause and flip through the book. As an exercise I started to keep a record of each card: the title, one or two word meaning, and a simple associated image. One thing led to another and I designed a whole deck this way that begged to be used! This was a great activity and I would suggest it to any tarot workers. I also wanted the cards to be very small so that I could toss them and work out spreads similar to runes if I wanted and so my Complete Simple Tarot on Scrabble Tiles was born! So far I have one available at my Twitchy Witchy store

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Yesterday I was at a fast food restaurant with my kids. This one in particular had a great play place where my kids could climb up into a jungle of tubing and back down just to do it all again. It was also a great place to meet other kids. If only adults could be like kids sometimes… kids will gravitate to each other and become friends on the basis of just being human. Can you imagine? You are in a subway and you see another adult… and bam! You two are instant friends.

How do we lose this innocence? Unfortunately I saw a bit of it yesterday. A girl about the same size as my daughter came up to our table while we ate our french fries. No hello, no can I sit down, she just came up and sat down at our booth with a big smile on her face. She told us that she liked bugs. So much so that she had made friends with an ant there at the restaurant and showed us that she was carrying it around by letting it crawl all over her arm. I started listing off different bugs to see if she liked those, too. Worms, flies and even spiders this child liked. Just as I was about to tell her how special that was her mother yelled at her from across the room to leave us alone because we probably didn’t want ants around while we ate.

The girl sat in a corner behind our booth and continued to play with more ants. We continued to eat. A worker entered the playroom and began to sweep. Then, unfortunately, the worker swept her way over to the girl in the corner. “Oh yucky!” The worker very loudly began to moan, “Ants are yucky! Don’t play with the ants!” Then to my horror the worker began to stomp on the ants right in front of the girl.

I couldn’t believe it! I looked to the parents to intervene but they didn’t do anything. I braced myself for the girl to start crying, but to my surprise she didn’t. Maybe something like this had happened to her before. I’m sure she felt like dirt at that moment, though. I gave the worker a heated stare as she walked by and let my kids be done with their food so they could play with the girl. The kids played wildly and had a blast and I was left to think.

There is possible hope to this story, however. In the girl I recognized a fiery spirit. If anyone could go back to playing with bugs I believe this girl can… even if in secret. Although the world tries to literally and metaphorically squash all of our innocence we need to return to it again and again.

I am also reminded of experiencing something similar in the intensity of emotion, but in an opposite way many years back. I was driving down a busy, four lane road and suddenly traffic completely stopped. I stuck my head out the window to see what was going on and to my surprise a man had stopped all the cars in the road to help a mother duck and her ducklings cross the road. I was so overcome with love and respect for the deed of this one stranger that I cried. Somewhere, at some point, this guy realized what was really important to hang onto in this life and acted upon it in the face of many, many people who would not have done the same.

That could be the end of my post, because really, my point is made, but I do want to add something in the context of the pagan community. Everyone who has decided to follow this spiritual path is a bit like that guy stopping traffic. Somewhere, at some point in our lives,  we were told that what we believe in does not exist and that we are imperfect for believing it. However, our fiery spirits won over in the end. This innocence, although natural, must be upkept in this sometimes unnaturally cruel human world. It’s almost like our own internal version of a forest preserve… pick up the garbage, kick out the idiots and let it grow, grow, grow for you and for others.

And now I point you to the absolute pleasure in listening to this song…

Enigma- Return to Innocence

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Last night’s ritual included:  

Writing love letters to the moon,

Offering of tobacco to the land,

Drumming, chanting and singing with friends,

deep relaxation and a guided meditation…

Before you there stands a tall tree. It beckons you to come, meet with it’s branches. You walk forward steadily. Feel the grass under the skin of your feet. Touch the bark of the tree’s trunk. Notice the breeze whispering through the leaves. What kind of tree is it?

This is the axis mundi: the connection between all three worlds. Up you climb. Take refuge in the branches. Your body is light. Go up and up. Climb until you can see the sky above. From here you notice a mountain in the distance. The mountain is impossibly tall but you feel yourself pulled there immediately. The climb is steep but it doesn’t bother you. You are on a mission to reach the top…

Up, up you climb. Up and up you move easily up the mountain. You reach the top and it is clouded by mist. Walk forward with faith, your gods will not let you fall.

Suddenly the mist begins to depart to reveal a moonlit sky. The moon seems larger up here on top of the world. The pale light makes your skin glow and it is then that you notice you are not alone.

She walks with the moonlight. It is like they have never been apart. You recognize her in dreams past. You know her as the Goddess.

She stands before you and gracefully lifts a mirror to your face. She tells you to gaze into it and see what role you play . Like her, you have many facets of truth. Which mythic archetype do you mostly adhere to?

She explains to you gently that this  role has influenced a big part of your life. You live up to this role and it is time that you reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of this side of yourself.

The Goddess lowers the mirror. You thank her for this gift of recognition. She then tells you to look ahead and notice the person on the path a ways down. You look ahead and see that it is actually you. This is you in the future she says. This future you represents the role you need to start or continue to incorporate into who you are. What is this role? Is it different from the role you saw in the mirror?  How is the future you feeling? How are you dressed? Make eye contact with yourself. What title would you give this role that you are to become or continue being?

The mist begins to crowd your senses once more. You depart from the mountain top and walk steadily down. Hold with you the memory of your experience. As you reach the bottom of the mountain notice the tree in the distance and picture yourself upon it’s branches. Down, down you descend. Down, down you climb until you reach the base where you feel the grass once more…

When we groggily awoke from our trances we made sigils of the title that we received from our future selves. Some of us did not a see a different role from the mirror and some of us did. Either way, we wrote the title down and took out any repeat letters…

For example, the title GREAT MOTHER would end up with the letters: GREATMOHR

TRICKSTER would be TRICKSE

WARRIOR: WARIO

Then we to took these letters and made a simple drawing that incorporated all of the letters together.

For example, a square with an x in it extended to the corners includes the letters: I X N T V Z  and L.

Sigil means “seal” and “talisman” and is used by many magic practitioners. We are placing ours on a charm as a reminder of our archetypes. I was taught two ways to use sigils: One, is to get rid of the sigil upon making it by either way of the four elements if it is a spell you are  desiring to manifest. This way the energy of intent is released properly within ritual space and the practitioner must try to forget the whole thing and what the sigil looked like so that no extra energy that may be tainted will follow the intent. Let the sigil do the magic for you.

Another way to use a sigil is as a symbol for something that you want to remember and have continuous energy from. Many make a sigil for their craft name and use it to sign BoS pages.

Archetype magic is activated anytime you watch a movie or read a book and you recognize a part of yourself in a mythic character role. There are many roles and many are called to multiple but it is wise to know which ones you feel closest to and that gets you revved up. Just to name a few: Hero, Princess, Nomad, Wise Man, Jester, and on and on. You may have even experienced yourself in this role in your dreams or in meditations. To live authentically from a role is to let the gods express that facet through you.

There are gods and goddesses that walk the earth…

~Cicada

bradleystuart.net: moon pic

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