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Posts Tagged ‘ritual’

protection necklace 1

Working with new spirits means taking on new precautions. Lately my friends and I have been studying Slavic spirits due to recent dream revelations and we decided to make protective amulets to wear during our initial workings. Tulie supplied the iron skeleton keys and I brought the red cord. Both are ideal for luck and protection. She happened to have some red coral and a holey stone lying around also, so I snatched them up for my necklace.

protection necklace

After blessing and charging our necklaces we did some spirit work, but to my surprise I felt almost nothing (which is unusual for me). My necklace was the only one with the additional coral and stone (both which are regarded as highly protective), so we are thinking that it blocked out everything. But who knows- it is still in the initial phases of discovery. However, it does make an excellent home charm so far  and I am quite pleased with it’s energy during road trips!

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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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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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black madonna

January’s Full Moon brought a night of magic and friendship at my seasonal women’s circle. The woman who hosted it rented a room at a historical lodge in our area and she set up “stations” for us to freely travel through while we did our introspective work.  Stations are a great way to keep the energy flowing in ritual by having a liberated sense of how one can go about it. For example, stations include a drumming corner, divination area, fire scrying, altar gazing, meditation mat, journal exploring, art creating, sacred dancing, and more. No matter what size of a group you are working with, people can benefit from the freedom of listening to their inner spirit regarding what to do first.

Before we began she read us a passage about the Black Madonna from a book by the author of Women Who Run With the Wolves and I just have to get my hands on it:

Untie the Strong Woman

Once we separated into our stations I approached the altar filled with Goddess representations that we all brought. A black figurine called to me and I knew it was the Black Madonna. It is a wonderful moment when you connect with something new. Why did she call to me? When new deities approach you take it as a sign that a new message is coming for your life. I welcome change. The Black Madonna called me to the Earth, to be a servant of Love, to give myself to a greater cause. My other blog, Love is My Spirit, reflects this expansion in my Spirit.

Afterwards, I did more research on her and found a powerful and inspiring article about her here.

Then, I painted my own Black Madonna to honor in my home (pictured above). Thrift stores usually are in abundance of the Virgin Mary statues, so it was easy to come across one that could be painted to my liking.

And finally, here is a Virgin Mary picture I painted earlier this month for my step mom:

mary painting 1

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As a hedgewitch, I work primarily with natural materials. Although I can successfully do magic without the aid of things, I like to incorporate the energies of the natural world into rituals often. This makes traveling to do ritual a bit complicated in terms of planning and packing. I like to bring so much with when I go to Sabbats or mid-forest rituals and it usually takes a while to collect everything that I want. And then I have to think in practical terms, like what am I going to feasibly want to carry out with me for miles?

I imagined a small carrying case that could be tucked into my purse and be with me wherever I go, just in case I want to do a bit of spell-working or ritual impromptu. And this is how my Bag-O-Tricks began!

I chose a sturdy purple tapestry fabric for the cover and I used dark purple felt for the interior. There are four pockets, six vial holders, two loops to hang things and one tiny candle holder sewed inside. I made it so that the bag could roll up into any size and a long Japanese silk cord could be wrapped around the whole thing and weaved around two buttons to secure it together.

Inside is what holds all of the fun… A tiny lighter, sage stick, candle, wood-burned pentacle, incense cone and a Shiva and Shakti statue to honor Goddess and God. There is also a pouch for collecting any wildcrafted items, tobacco, my counsel of stones (see below), elemental correspondences: corn for air, crystal for fire, shell for water and lightning struck pine for earth. Some of the vials hold citrine for cleansing energy and nature offerings, salt, moon-blessed water, shapeshifting oil (Otherworld Apothecary), and sacred life oil (read Courting the Lady by Patrick McCollum for more info). Believe it or not, my small rattle was made using pistachio shells! I placed small bits of glass and rock inside the shells, superglued them together and sewed it inside fabric. They actually sound pretty loud considering how small they are. The natural silk cord that wraps the bag can be easily broken off in bits to leave as spirit offerings, too.  I find that ritual is not negatively impacted due to the small size of everything.

Counsel of Stones: These are sacred stones that I like to meditate with or go to when I have a question. Each one represents a different aspect of the sacred for me, for example, I have a “Shaman” stone.

It feels good to make something for me! I had been so busy making things for TwitchyWitchy that Ganesha finally told me that I needed to get back to crafting sacred items for myself, too. Here’s a picture of matching coyote teeth necklaces I made for my husband and I:

May the light shine upon your path,

Cicada

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This collage I recently made about sums it up for me right now…

This last week I celebrated my birthday with family and friends. My husband and I went to a lake house with another couple over the weekend. It was gorgeous outside! It always seems that the leaves begin to change colors around my birthday. Bright oranges, burnt yellows and crimson reds screamed through our window as we played games and sat by the fireplace. Then we went to a year-long haunted house and had fun exploring the mansion filled with odds and ends of horror.

The next day, I did a self-blessing ritual in the morning and later Tulie and my family crammed into my cozy house to have vegetarian walking tacos, pineapple and better-than-sex cake. I got a bollywood movie, children’s books, a  cauldron bottle, jewelery, Psychology and the Occult by C G Jung and an antique lapis luzuli bracelet that has connecting rings from my husband!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got to pick out a used autoharp from ebay!! I am so excited to start learning this instrument. It is supposed to be easy to learn because it involves pushing a button to access certain strings in a chord to strum.  I’m hoping that I will learn it well enough to accompany my own songs.

Life has been great and I am so happy that I have got to this place in my life. Growing up with a chaotic childhood made me feel that my life would never become stable like it has. I used to fantasize about a happier life whenever the song As I lay Me Down by Sophie B. Hawkins came on the radio. This older song played twice on the radio on my birthday… a definite sign from Spirit that I have reached my dreams!

I’ve broken the chain of mental illness in my family. I am the first one to graduate from college. I’m a happy mommy and wife and I have an art store (where the collage will be posted soon), pursuing music and a master’s degree in counseling. However, what I really need to remember is how I got here: Faith in myself and Great Spirit. My relationship with the Goddess. Acting out of love that opens my heart to connection and avoiding to act out of fear- the illusion of disconnect.

My toddler jumping on the bed…                                                                                                                                                                     ~Cicada

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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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