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Posts Tagged ‘pagan’

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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:

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

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Cooking up harvest foods:

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Playing marco-polo in cornfields:

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

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And finally! We get to relax by the fire:

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I recently had a dream that I visited an old sage and he had what appeared to be devil statues around his house. He honored them so deeply that they began to move on their own accord. I was not scared, but instead in a state of wonder. Why did this wise man have these statues? This was one entity I did not want to work with. And then I found a small white horn among this man’s gardens. I filled it with water and began feeding a Ganesha statue. I went inside and felt like feeding the devil statues. They drank and were surprised at my intent to give love to that I did not completely trust or understand. But that is what my duty is in life- to give love without conditions. Then one began to speak and we had conversations on how he is that which is wild, he represents nature which is neither black or white in ethics.

And then the next day, in my waking life, I came across something that I never thought I would again. When I was a teenager someone tried to kidnap me, twice. I mean these two instances were so extreme that I was seriously lucky to have gotten away. I’ve been suffering from some flash backs of those moments as an adult but I never knew who he was. All I knew was a car and a face. Well, the day after I had the devil dream I was driving around a small town that I used to live by and I saw the car. The same tiny, old, yellow car with Grateful dead stickers and a fake cop light. My heart skipped and I couldn’t believe that after all these years I had a chance to find out who it was- granted the original person never sold this car. I parked my car away from the house and walked around the block to the car to get a better look. The car was parked next to a beat up house and out came a man who began yelling at his dog. I couldn’t believe it- this man look like the man I had seen as a teenager, just aged about 15 years. I wrote down the license plate and address and walked back to my car, trying not to faint. As I drove away the man drove by in his yellow car, as if the universe wanted to doubly make sure I got my confirmation.

I don’t know what I am going to do with this information (it’s much too late to report anything- although I do worry about other kids in the area, but I can’t be 100% sure after 15 years), but I am really glad that the mystery of who this guy was is solved in my mind. There have been many, many people in my life who have done me wrongly. After a while I had eventually forgiven them all. I had found a way to feel compassion for them, even if I chose to no longer have them in my life. But this guy, remained unforgivable in my mind until I saw him again and saw how weak he really was. It is humans who take advantage of the primal powers of nature. Humans are the ones who drain the earth of her blood-oil, who take more gold then they need, who try to dominate the Earth and her creatures, who have weakened hearts that give in to addictions of the body and mind. We have forgotten that we are apart of Nature. We give into addictions because we like to be reminded of the primal powers within us. Some of us have forgotten that we can make wild animal love without alcohol or drift into a mind altering trance without drugs. Some of us have forgotten how to genuinely give and receive love unconditionally. In placing the ideas of evil outside of ourselves onto Nature we have separated ourselves from Nature and have become weakened and ignorant of what our true natures are and how we fit into all of creation. Thus how the old nature gods of paganism became the devil for the religions of new.

And today I come across this lovely song by chance, reminding me of what I have learned:

Lyrics:

Early one morning, around the first of May,
A man in black came walking, into a woodland glade,
Following the sounds of pipes on this beautiful Spring day,
High on the music that they made.
But what beheld him within that place?
A look of recognition fell across his face,
“Lucifer, oh Lucifer, why do you appear to me?
For I am a man of God, a priest.

(Chorus)
I’m no devil I’m Father to the land,
I have lived here since the Earth began,
Neither black nor white,
Priest hear what I say,
I’m green and grey.

The priest said, “Lucifer, Lucifer you lie so well,
I will pray unto my God, go back to the fires of Hell!
You fell from Heaven, and you fell from Grace.
You want dominion over this place.”
The Piper smiled, and to the priest he said,
“I was Lord of Animals, the Wild Hunt I led,
Until your God came here and with his jealous hand,
It was he who wanted dominion over this land.

The priest said, “All evil comes from your hand.”
The Piper said, “If evil is, it lies in the hearts of Man.”
“But you lead us, oh you tempt us, to rape, to steal, to kill!”
The Piper said, “Whatever happened to free will?”
Then the Grove lay empty, the priest told no one.
The blossom lay upon the thorn, the Piper’s tune was done.
And in the sunlit forest, the animals they bowed,
As the Piper lay his Goddess down.

-Written by Damh the Bard

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Last Thursday my friends and I were requested to spiritually clean someone’s house. A house can have disruptive energy for a variety of reasons: unwelcome spirits attracted there by a family’s disharmony, residual energy left over from earlier residents, displeased land spirits, and so on and so on.

My friends and I have been doing spirit work for 17 years but we have never cleansed a whole building on such a large scale before… so it was a wonderful experience to learn how to tackle multiple things at once. The owners of the house complained of projects being constantly put on hold or things happening where they would have to start all over again in house construction (they were trying to redo some of the house to get it ready to sell these last few months). Their children were also experiencing frightening visions, manifestations and feelings from unwelcome supernatural activity.

We cleansed the house in three steps: First we did a walk through of the entire house with our psychic “feelers”. This brought an array of heavy emotions and thoughts as we went from room to room. There were specific spots that felt more extreme then others. Second, we set up an area to communicate. This is something that we have had extensive experience in and have developed naturally and intuitively over the years (I still have yet to read a book on how others say I should do it… but I am not necessarily suggesting this as we have also learned the hard way of what not to do!). We met with skull faced tricksters and departed family members. We received messages of past owners and intuitive insights into the current family dynamics.

Finally, it was time to put to action the cleanse. From room to room we walked, blessing each room with purifying palo santo smoke, sacred moon water, sage smudge and loving words to the house. A Hecate altar was set up in the cellar, seemingly the source for the house’s oldest disruptive spirit activity. (The house was over 100 years old). A white mist began to swirl around our altar and after a few minutes you could feel a wonderful shift. Each level of the house was dealt with differently depending on what kind of energy we felt there. Healing energy was sent into certain residual energy spots that whispered a memory of abuse from previous owners. The family and the house were both blessed as we called in our own guides and deities we work with.

Once the whole house resonated with a lighter vibration we pushed out any other un-welcomed harmful guests by a specific energy bubble technique and had the mother of the house set the boundaries. Any spirit activity that was not harmful was allowed through, but everything else was pushed out. Positivity was put into motion and the family was very pleased.

After these past days the family has reported a dramatic shift in how they feel when in the house. The house has not been on the market yet to sell, but already over the weekend they had an offer when they were not even trying yet to sell it! The family knows that they need to continue the positivity set into motion and I hope the very best for them all! I didn’t take any pictures as sometimes the camera can be seen as disruptive by some spirits.

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There comes a point in every witch’s work where they must choose to face the unknown. In this choice comes great power, yet also great risk. Along every mystic path, we choose or not choose to take it to the next step and challenge ourselves in hopes of expanding our selves spiritually. Naturally, great fear comes along with this.

Take the example of crafting a charm to help you see the unseen. Although this is what you may want, does your inner, subconscious self really desire this? There are a few possible growth-stunting outcomes in taking this next step:

1. You could suddenly develop a strong second sight and it may freak you out beyond explanation.

2. You will not see or experience anything and every occult thing that you had once so strongly believed in now would be met with doubt.

3. You become mad and crazed – a loss of grip on reality could occur.

This is an example of why some spells may not work so well. In thinking over all of these possibilities, your inner mind and spiritual guides may prevent this charm’s energy from materializing completely.

This is also an example of how many children grow out of their fairytale magical beliefs- afraid of being seen as irrational, crazy and afraid of what it would mean for their definition of reality if many of their magical beliefs were true.

Fear is truly our greatest enemy when it comes to occult work. However, it is important to honor the natural pace of your spiritual development. When you are ready, your abilities and experiences will grow. It is like stretching a muscle: listen to your feelings and body on how far you can go and keep stretching and developing it, but attempting huge feats may result in injury until you are ready… and it is okay if you are not ready! All witches continuously are met with new doors that they are trying to stretch toward to open. The process never ends- once one boundary is crossed, eventually a new one becomes apparent, but at least you have the tools you have developed along the way to help you with the next one.

Naturally developing your spiritual self: Stay alert and aware. Consciously make sure you are living away from a lifestyle where you are on autopilot all the time. Pay attention and be connected. Take responsibility for your thoughts, actions and words- they carry great weight until you begin to take them for granted. Honor your intuition (don’t think you have one? Just start paying attention to your inner worlds.) Seek. Seek and Seek.

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(sign my friends and I put up along a highway for Pagan Pride Day)

Rewind my life about eight years ago…

I had been assistant coaching high school color guard with a respected older role model in my life for years and I was afraid to tell her that I was Pagan. I was afraid to tell anyone at that point. I grew up with so much discrimination because of my faith in my own family that I was convinced everyone else would despise me too if they knew my true religious identity. And then one day one of my pentacle wearing friends visited me at practice and the other coach made a comment after my friend had left. It was then that I made a decision: I am not going to hide who I am anymore. I told her I was Pagan. You know what happened? Not what I initially expected: because she was actually pleasantly surprised! She said that she had met a Pagan couple on her honeymoon and that they were the nicest people she had ever met! A few years later she came to my handfasting and enjoyed herself.

If it hadn’t been for that one experience with that nice Pagan couple, this important woman in my life could have responded much, much differently. I am so grateful  for all of the friendly Pagans and Wiccans before me that have been proudly out of the broom closet. Wicca and Paganism is still very, very new for our society to grasp. Often new= scary.

The other day I was in my graduate school classes and we were talking about multiculturalism, tolerance and diversity appreciation. When the teacher asked us to name different subcultures someone mentioned Earth Based Spirituality. The teacher went on to use that as an example of how we are going to have to be understanding of different beliefs, “like Wicca”,  to be effective counselors. Looking around the room made my heart sink. A look of disgust swept across one woman’s face and I wanted to cry and yell at the same time. The subject was quickly changed but I knew that once the subject came around again I would reveal my religious identity for the sake of educating everyone in the classroom about my faith, like I had so often done during my undergrad. This is not a small task to be open. I risk  losing the respect of some of my professional peers and professors.

There are so many stereotypes that can hurt us. The most common is that Pagans and Wiccans  are either evil or are just a big joke. Both perceptions are hurtful and highly disrespectful.

Watch this shocking video to see the media openly mock Pagans and Wiccans:

http://www.causes.com/actions/1733105-demand-fox-news-apologize-to-pagans-and-wiccans?recruiter_id=46939271&utm_campaign=own_timeline&utm_medium=wall&utm_source=fb

I wanted to slap these ignorant reporters after watching this, but I thought back to that mysterious “nice Pagan couple” from before that had so willingly helped pave the way for me to be accepted. These reporters had never known any Pagans or Wiccans, but I am willing to bet you that they actually had- but the people were still in the closet about their identity. I know a lot of openly Pagan people, but it would shock you to know how many more people I know who are Pagan and do not tell others. I am not judging them, it is their own business why they want to stay in the closet. My only point is that there are way more Pagans out there than people realize!

If you are out of the “broom closet” I want to give you a big hug! It is only through exposure and advocacy that  people can begin to tolerate and accept us. The public needs to see that we are a diverse population with varying personalities, education levels, ages and ethnicities. It can be a scary thing to be out, and we won’t be able to win everyone over, but simply wearing a goddess or pentacle necklace in public can lead to wonderful conversations with people who are generally curious. Let’s not let the few intolerant “bad apples” of the crowd deter us from being open if we really want to.

~Blessings,

Cicada

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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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