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Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

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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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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keeper of the fire painting“Keeper of the Fire”

I have met a new love and it is infinite with paint.

Painting has become quite a surprising pleasure for me this year. Compositions of plants, gods, magick, love and desire dance in my head. With each paint stroke, I overcome my self-doubt. With each picture accomplished, I realize my ability to manifest creation.

The White Goddess, Raven and Crone

“Raven and Crone”

If you have been wondering what I have been up to lately, this is it! Magick has become swirled paint alongside my normal busy world of family, kids, school, sabbats and songs. The top picture is going to go on a poetry book I am in the process of getting ready for my store, Twitchy Witchy. The other paintings are currently for sale there, too.

 priestess of the fields

“Red Priestess of the Fields”

Me, being the proud mamma I am, had to share my daughter’s rendition of this:

Aiyana's red priestess

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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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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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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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