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Posts Tagged ‘paganism’

prayer pine

Last week my small town farming community experienced a tragic event. A trailer fire broke out during a girls’ slumber party killing 4 girls and a woman. We, as a community, gathered together to help pay for funeral costs and support the families who lost children.

On Monday my heart ached for the students returning to school after spring break who had lost friends and so I did a ritual in honor of those who had crossed and those who were in mourning. I’m sure many people across our area sent prayers in their own way, too.

I anointed a pink candle (for female energy) with lavender oil (calming) and cut some fresh pine branches (renewal) to decorate the base of the candle holder. Songs were sung. Prayers were spoken. Healing energy was sent.

I hope that our community continues to heal and remember. We all are hugging our children a little more often and a little more longer.

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Tulie invited me over yesterday and told me to bring some craft stuff. I had no idea what to bring until an idea struck me… and it was either going to be a disaster or the best idea ever.  Well, it turned out to be THE BEST IDEA EVER….

oracle cards

Materials:  Pack of playing cards (the normal image type)
Colored Permanent Markers

Process: Get into ritual mode… meditate, light incense, whatever you need to do to get into the mindset of sacred connection.

On each card you are going to draw instinctively a picture that is not associated with anything you have seen before. These images should be abstract because they need to tap into your subconscious. Your inner mystic is going to be designing these cards. Don’t think too hard about what you are doing because you just want it to flow out of you unhindered. You do not even need to start thinking about what these images mean, just have fun in the process and bless your deck when you are done.

Tulie and I both did the same deck which was nice because if I were to do it all by myself it would have taken a very long time and my mojo could have ran dry. Also, since I got to take the deck home, I have her energy in it and her subconscious can speak to mine! We plan on doing another deck for her to keep soon.

The Reading:   (the best part)

You can follow any traditional or non-traditional tarot spread that you want. When you spread out the cards, start with them all face down so you can easily focus on one card placement at a time. Look at the card. What intuitive feelings, visions and thoughts do you get regarding the abstract images in relation to the card placement? The idea is to get into the same subconscious, intuitive zone/flow that you were in when creating the cards. Let the images speak to you now. Don’t worry if you think your words are not making sense, just go with it and pretty soon you will see how insightful you really have been. The wonderful thing is that the card meanings can change from one card reader to another. An image may say something to you one time and something totally different another. These images, combined with the traditional playing card picture suits (that originated from Tarot)  will become like mythic symbols ready to transport you into your intuitive journey.

Let me know if you try this and how it goes!

~Cicada

 

 

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snow moon

This Snow Moon I trekked to a nearby lake for a hike and a little bit of magic.

Tobacco and apple were given to the Guardian, an ancient Cottonwood who lives upon a hill, and a few healing prayers were spoken to the lake’s water, not quite melted yet from a recent snow. Once deep into the woods I carved out a diagram for myself to stand in and charged it with the directions. I’m not a huge fan of the cold, but snow does have it’s advantage when wanting to draw out circles to stand in.  Incense was offered to the west and a cycle of death and rebirth was reenacted upon the grounds still sleeping undernieth me.

snow moon 1

My sacred stones were taken out: The Shaman, The Queen, The Witch. I buried them in the snow, offered more tobacco and resurfaced them to dry in the sun.

February’s Snow Moon is like the last hour of one’s sleep: grasp on to the dreams and visions you have before you awaken! Soon the land will wake-up to the sweet smell of flowers and spring buds new.

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Oh witch bottles, interesting to make and probably even more interesting to find!

Here are some links to archeology witch bottle finds for your pleasure…

The U.K.:It apparently took some seriously bad mojo to go up against 17th-century witches. According to the Sept.-Oct. Archaeology magazine, U.K. researchers opened and analyzed the contents of a rare intact “witch bottle,” which was buried to ward off spells. Inside were “bent pins, a nail-pierced heart made of leather, fingernail clippings, belly-button lint, and hair, all swimming in a bath of 300-year-old, nicotine-tinged urine.”

And Pennsylvania: Here
Greenwich London: Here
Here are some protective plants to use in charms or what have you from the older book, Mastering Witchcraft A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks and Covens by Paul Huson:
Holda (Elderberry- flowers or berries gathered at midsummer)
Madwort (alyssum), Marjoram
Dragon Herb (tarragon), Angelica, Fennel
Bay Laurel, Asafetida Grass, Holy Thistle Herb, Bishop’s Wort  (betony)
Garlic Flowers, All-Heal (mistetoe), Dog Roses, Arum Lillies
“Trefoil, vervain, St. John’s Wort, dill,
Hinder witches of their will.”
(trefoil is a three-leafed plant)

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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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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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The journey of the Heart takes us deep within our souls

and leads us to find that we are reflections of each other.

  One year ago from today a friend and I began the blog, Witching Wildwood and it fulfilled my outlet for all things spiritually witchy and kept track of our ritual adventures. Then something interesting happened along the way. The only words I can use to describe it is my heart expanded. I began to feel open to all paths of spirit. I began to see love as infinite.

I still adore the pagan path that I have been on since I was 11. I still honor the Goddess when the moonlight shines pale blue on a field of snow and when a deep cave reveals a secret crevice to me to rest and soak in her silence. I still sing of mystery and magic and feel the pull to greet the summer’s sun with bare feet dancing in dew-drip valleys. I still am a witch, and so Witching Wildwood will continue as always…

And now my spiritual path has led me to focus on something that is so expansive but simple that I felt the need to create an additional blog dedicated to it:

LOVE!

Feel free to join me in my new additional blog: Love is My Spirit

I want to explore love as Infinite Spirit. I want to celebrate people who have radiated this force so strongly that their actions helped shift the world, even if their action was so simple that it influenced just one person to open their own heart. I want to create and experiment with Love by awakening it in my own home, city and world community.

When we truly love, we are in harmony not only with our beloved but with all living things. Love is blind, insofar as it makes no distinctions but extends to everyone and everything.

-Living Yoga, edited by Gearg Feuerstein and Stephen Bodian

I have began dreaming about all different religions. I feel like peeling off a COEXIST bumpersticker and adhering it to my soul. How can I live more alive and serve love? How can I channel this energy that is an extension of the connection between us all? These are the questions I am asking.

In this blog I also post up my public art pieces that inspire positivity. I’m planning on having an adventurous year doing these anonymously in my community and am wanting to feature other people who do the same! Welcome!

Many Blessings for your 2013 and Happy One Year Birthday to Witching Wildwood!

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