Wishing All Our Family & Friends A Very Warm & Blessed Tuesday!

Witchy Comments & Graphics

I invoke and welcome you
Element of the Earth
And honor your presence
With these symbols of your power
You who rule midnight, and winter, and the north
The body and all that grows
Bless my physical self
That I might be healthy and strong
And gift me with prosperity
That I too might grow and thrive
Ground and sustain me
With your solid presence under my feet
And watch over me as I walk my path.
 

So Mote It Be.

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A Very Blessed & Happy Thursday To You & Yours!

She’s Been Waiting

She’s been waiting
She’s been waiting, waiting.
She’s been waiting so long.
She’s been waiting for her children
To remember, to return.

Blessed be, and blessed are,
The lovers of the lady.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The mother, maiden, crone.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who dance together.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who dance alone.

She’s been waiting, waiting.
She’s been waiting so long.
She’s been waiting for her children
To remember, to return.

Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who work in silence.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The ones who shout and scream.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The movers and the changes.
Blessed be, and blessed are,
The dreamers and the dream.

She’s been waiting, waiting.
She’s been waiting so long.
She’s been waiting for her children
To remember, to return.

– Paula Walowitz


 

Witches Do It In A Magical Circle

Witches Do It In A Magical Circle

Author:   Rhys Chisnall   

Sacred space is a space that is ‘experienced or seen as’ sacred but remember, this need not mean it has any extra unseen property. In many religions, it is a permanent structure such as a church, a mosque, a druid’s grove or a temple. The place is seen as sacred, as numinous and special suitable and worthy of where the Divine can be experienced. These places are often made sacred through certain rites and ritual… a form of magic, which to my mind is the manipulation of meaning to transform phenomenal reality. The rites are the manipulation of meaning which leads to ‘experiencing as’ the church as sacred (even to those who never partook in the original rituals) and if that is not the transformation of phenomenal reality I don’t know what is.

Witchcraft differs from other religious and spiritual traditions in that it does not have any permanent sacred spaces. There are no permanent temples in the initiatory Craft perhaps because it is a spiritual tradition where the focus of the experience of the Divine is through life and death, where there is no dualism between the sacred and the profane, therefore there is no need for a permanent temple. In the Craft the sacred space is declared at every meeting, wherever and whenever the coven meets.

This sacred space is declared when the circle is cast by the High Priestess with her athame and is both psychological and mythological in character. It is psychological, firstly, as it is visualised by and ‘felt by’ the participants as the sphere is formed about them. It is ‘experienced as’ by the mind through an act of imagination. Secondly, the setting up of the sacred space in the Craft prepares the Witches for the rite in which they are to participate. For example a church is laid out to either assault the senses such as in the stain glass, incense, bells, candles, crucifixes and robes of the priest in Catholicism, or the in the stark whitewash and lack of symbolism of the Methodists. The symbolism, the bells and smells of the Catholic or the austerity stemming from the suspicion of idolatry of the Protestant both work to put the worshipper into a worshipful and receptive state of mind.

Likewise the words, gestures, incense, candle light and nudity involved in the casting of the circle puts the Witches into the state of mind where magic (the manipulation of meaning to transform phenomenal reality) can occur. If the same method of casting is used each time (as in Initiatory Craft) , then expectation and classical conditioning (like Pavlov’s dogs) combine to create the appropriate state of mind with little effort on the part of the Witch. Vivianne Crowley (1989) tells us of one priestess who says something like, “I only need to hear the swish of a broom and I am in an altered state of consciousness”. I can confirm from experience that that this is certainly the case. During the set up of our rituals and the casting of the circle, after twelve years of being with the same coven, I automatically slip into ritual consciousness.

The circle is also mythological and is full of symbolism. The circle can relate to four of the classical elements, air, fire, water and earth. It can relate, like the phases of the moon and the wheel of the year to the stages of life such as youth, maturity, old age and death. To my mind this means it can relate to stages in the hero’s journey, the mono-myth described by Professor Joseph Campbell in his book, The Hero with a Thousand faces. This is the journey of the mystic, who goes out into the metaphorical wilderness, fairy land, the world of adventure. It is here that the mystic has their adventure/experience, attaining gnosis (spiritual knowledge) , before returning to everyday life where they have to integrate what they have learnt. The failed hero or mystic is not able to do this and is stuck in the adventure world and so perishes. The circle can also be symbolic of the changing seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, which of course, underpin the myths of the Craft.

The circle, mythologically speaking, is out of time. It is also all time, all the seasons, all the stages of life, all parts of the hero’s quest and so paradoxically, which can happen in myth, is all time and at the same time it is out of time. The circle is experienced as the mythological every-when, fairy land and eternity where the tick, tick, tick of time does not pass; there is no past, present or future. Mythologically speaking, this is the mystical state. It is in this space were we experience mythologically, rather than logically. We participate in mythology, finding meaning that allows us to engage with the mysteries.

It acts as a mythological circle that psychologically contains the emotion and meaning. It represents the keeping away of thoughts and feeling not required for the ritual. These are the daily round of duties and thoughts, which might be stresses about work, money, or whether we have left the cooker on. They are outside the psychological circle and we within the ritual are on the inside. It is a psychological and mythological barrier between the emotions, thoughts and meaning necessary for the job at hand, and those that would distract us from our purpose. So the circle acts as a boundary and protection of meaning containing the emotional power we raise.

To conclude it is both a mythological space where we engage with and act mythologically and a psychological boundary. However, while this requires imagination, visualisation and concentration; it is not the same thing as play-acting. Rather it is ‘seeing as’, making and experiencing as profound meaning rather than simply make believe. This meaning can be allegorical but it is also archetypal in that it related to our deep feelings that are invoked by what is fundamentally important in life.

_______________________________________

Footnotes:
Campbell, J, (1993) , The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Fortana Press
Crowley, V., (1989) , Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age, Aquarian Press

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Guy Fawkes Night

magick89

November 5th

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night is one of the most widespread and thriving of all the British holidays and one that was decreed by an act of Parliament. It was in the early hours of November 5, 1605, that Guy Fawkes was arrested. He had hidden 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar of Parliament and planned to blow it up that day, an act that would have wiped out the entire government of England–clearing the way for a Roman Catholic coup.

There are several theories, one of which claims that the gunpowder plot was covertly encouraged by an administration anxious to discredit its Catholic opponents. Whatever the truth, the act sparked a nationwide explosion of patriotism and Protestant enthusiasm. The commemoration has become a night replete with bonfires, beer-drinking, fireworks and bands of children begging for money. Topping off the evening’s festivities, effigies of Guy Fawkes are tossed onto the bonfires.

Calendar of the Moon for October 22nd

Calendar of the Moon

22 Gort/Puanepsion

Apaturia Day I: Dorpia

Colors: White, Blue, Black.
Elements: All.
Altar: Upon a triple cloth of white, blue, and black place the symbols of the Order of the Horae.
Offerings: The three days of the Apaturia are the official get-together of all the houses of the Order of the Horae. One House is chosen, and they host all the others, who travel from far away to be there for these three days. The offering is hospitality, and the gifting of the hosts.
Daily Meal: A feast of any correct foods of the harvest, prepared for all.

Dorpia Invocation

Call: Hail, sisters and brothers of our Order!
Response: Hail to all who gather here today!
Call: Hail to the Gods who watch over us…
Response: May they look upon us with favor!
Call: Hail to Eunomia, Lady of Rules…
Response: Hora of the Upraised Hand!
Call: Your rules bind us hard and strong…
Response: Yet we take these chains willingly upon us.
Call: Hail to Dike, Lady of Justice…
Response: Hora of the Even Hand!
Call: The cold of your blade divides the just from the unjust…
Response: Yet we take its edge with grace.
Call: Hail Irene, Lady of Peace…
Response: Hora of the Open Hand!
Call: Some may scorn you as weak and tedious…
Response: But we welcome you with open hearts!
Call: Hail to the Handmaidens who weave frith in the sky!
Response: May they watch over us all.
Call: Hail to the Masters of the Twelve Principles!
Response: May they guide us when our path falls into darkness.
Call: Honored be all the souls who stand here today.
Response: May we all stand together as kith and kind.
Call: May we all learn from each others’ lives.
Response: For none of us has nothing to learn, or nothing yet to teach.
Call: Hail to the Gods of east and west, of north and south!
Response: Hail to all the Powers above and below!

Song: We the Dead

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Goddess Grant Me Patience

Wednesday Images

Goddess, grant me patience

Help me to have tolerance

For the flaws of others

And my own imperfections

Let me wait calmly

For those things that cannot be rushed

And maintain serenity

In the face of adversity

May my temper be even

And my words kind

As I am a reflection of your grace

So let me be patient

So Mote It Be.

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for February 7th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

 

You speak to me of faith and the church you attend. The most important faith will be the way you feel about it within you. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it is too unsophisticated to think about such things. For it is the very basis on which you draw your breath. Without faith there’s no hope.

 

The most beautiful thing about life is that we can begin it anew each day. We need to forget every unpleasant thing that has ever happened to us, every shallow thing that has no meaning, every unkind word or deed or thought and start all over again.

 

And the only possible way to do it is by faith. Faith in yourself, faith in others, faith in God, and faith that right will win. And facetiously stated, “Them that has, gits.” If you have a little faith, it will attract more – if you know about it within you.

A Prayer To A Gentle Lady

Goddess Comments & Graphics

PRAYER TO A GENTLE LADY

The bright blue of the sky

is Her eyes in the morning.

The sunshine, Her love glowing

in the morning’s birth.

The soft calling of birds

is Her singing to Her people.

The breeze, Her arms embracing the world.

Gentle Lady,

Watch over me as I find my path in life.

Guide my steps. Bring me to the end of

the day fulfilled.

Keep those I love safe. Goddess,

be at the side of those who need you.

And may they always be worthy of your devotion.

So Mote It Be

 

~Magickal Graphics~

Midmaiden Crisis

Midmaiden Crisis

Author: Deborah Castellano

I’m having a midmaiden crisis.

Sometimes I wonder if I make my life much harder than it has to be. Like, just about everyone else I know seems perfectly contented working a job that is hopefully not soul-sucking 40 hours a week, getting engaged/married, spending a lot of time at home, paying nominal attention to their religion of choice, occasionally still going out with friends maybe monthly, once in a blue moon going to a club or a party, and just generally going about life.

I understand watching my family’s struggles with secrecy, pain, and shame has made me very resistant to an average, mundane kind of life even though most people don’t have horrible consequences for choosing a life that becomes very insular. I guess I saw almost all my mom’s friends leave her since she would not leave my alcoholic dad and saw how unhappy both my parents were. So the idea of being so dependent on any one person for everything and being so limited in life choices made me decide at an early age that that would never be me.

I’ve spent all of my life trying to make safe/secure life decisions. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted what I never had growing up (a warm, loving, happy family) and to please everyone and be successful. Instead I am staring down:

A career I left because it was crushing me and not nurturing my soul, so I could become a part time nanny and bring home exactly half the money I was previously bringing home for half the hours. This was not the life my mother or I had envisioned for myself. I was supposed to be on a career path! I was supposed to be making lots of money! I was supposed to be working towards being someone important in someone else’s fishbowl! Instead, I am a nanny for two small children for a very nice family and I am helping to nurture them to grow up smart, self-confident, and happy.

Loving, happy, but complicated love relationships. My heart tends to be too complex to fit into a typical Cosmo’s “How to have a successful relationship and give a good blowjob and have an awesome career and spend lots of time with your galpals and girl, get your ass to the gym for some yoga and quality you time!” column. I am truly blessed to have partners in my life who understand this and friends who do their best to try as well. But when you step out of society’s check boxes (Gay or straight? Married or single?), it can also feel isolating and frustrating to not have all the words to explain things quickly or the comfort of doing what’s expected of you.

A religion that’s often misunderstood. I was brought up Catholic (and was a very devout believer), but after my dad died, it started to not work so well for me. I started asking a lot of questions and hoped to find answers that worked for me. And while in my college coursework I found peace with the religion I was raised in, and respect for my feminist Catholic sisters who are fighting the good fight, the revolution was not moving fast enough for me personally. I learned about Dianic Wicca in my studies and was lucky enough to find a circle near to me that started my path as a Pagan. It was (and is) a beautiful, exciting, and moving experience for me. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I miss the ease of Catholicism — go to church Sundays, be a good pony, confess when you haven’t, and God will always take care of you. Following a much newer (and at the same time much older) religion and religious movement is exciting and exhilarating because I feel like I personally am making a lot of impact on it. My connections to my own goddesses and gods feel a lot more personal to me. But there are also many explanations needed, fewer religious texts to fall back on, a firm but smaller support structure, and let’s not forget the whole “I went against hundred of years of tradition in my family” to be a Witch thing.

Not wanting any kids. I love being a nanny. I really do. But I also love going home. I love having the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want it. And that is not going to go over well with my fam when they find out.

Still have a house that is often messy. Part of the reason I left the corporate world was to have more time to tend to my own hearth. To have the time and energy to care for my loved ones, my house and have enough time to cook (another pastime I enjoy). But oftentimes the house is still messy more days than not, we eat casseroles and crockpot meals more often than not, along with the stigma of others (not my partners!) devaluing my labor in the home because it’s unpaid. I also am dealing with my own envy for the women I know who work full time, but make Martha Stewart look like a burnout slacker. It can be very hard to not hold myself up to these other women and find myself lacking.

To say taking the road less traveled is terrifying is nothing shy of an incredible understatement. I remember how scared and anxious I was when I was just out of college, sitting on the concrete train station floor in Belgium, stranded and unable to speak the language with just a fistful of currency (wafflemarks?) in my pocket. If you had told me then that it would pale in comparison to how I would feel five years later, surrounded by friends and family in my own hometown trying to follow my heart like some damned chicklit novel, I probably would have thrown some wafflemarks at you. But yet, here I am anyway.

I guess I’m saying it’s hard sometimes, feeling like not a lot of people in my life can say “I know exactly how you feel” and really mean it. Sometimes this path to my true heart is lonely and often it’s scary. I’ve always, always had a really exacting plan, but I threw my map into the river. Stepping out of my box is really hard for me. My inner critics are loud, bossy, and opinionated. And that’s just my inner critics; forget about my loved ones who want what’s best for me…according to them. It can be hard to stand up for myself to all of them when I still have so many doubts and fears. Because you know what? I don’t know what I’m doing.

In this time of personal turmoil, I’ve gotten so bogged down in the mundane that I’ve forgotten how to practice my spirituality. And, you want to know a secret? I’m scared to get back into a regular practice. To me, it feels like coming home way after curfew, smelling of cigarette smoke, and you know your mom is up waiting for you. At times, I still see my deities as disappointed parents. I’ve been trying to put the magical in the daily (giving thanks to Yemaya in the shower, singing praise to Crow in my car). I’m trying to appreciate all the things I do and accomplish. I’m trying to see the beauty of just being in the grace of the deities who have blessed me by choosing me as one of their beloved. But it’s hard for me to set aside my tendencies to be an overachiever in my spiritual life.

I feel like I should be able to “just” set aside all of my faults in this one area of my life. My altars should be maintained, my meditation practice should be daily, I should give of my time freely and easily to the community and oh yeah, not be critical of my execution of my faith. In other words, I should not be me but maybe Kuan Yin instead. But then . . .aren’t all our flaws and graces amplified in this area of our lives? I’ve been crueler, more selfish, more demanding, harsher, less trusting, less attentive, angrier, and sadder in my faith than I have in any other part of my life. I’ve also been more selfless, kinder, more nurturing, more faithful, more ecstatic, and most peaceful than any other part of my life.

When I can tell my inner critic to take a nap for a little while, I can still see the beauty of my practice, even now. I can see kitchen Witching for Lammas and singing Bridget’s song to Her while I make pan after pan of food with my fellow kitchen Witches and letting a friend cry into my apron when she needed to. I can see myself at the Jersey shore, introducing one of my loves to Yemaya and twirling and throwing white roses into Her sea. I can see my Crow side teasing my friend while I read her Tarot and sort out her love life. I can see my shaman self, dancing to the universal heartbeat at a goth club, dripping in sweat, being brave enough to get on a table and dance my offerings to the Universe and yes, as if no one is watching. And I have to hold onto these pieces of myself during this difficult time, tighter than I’d hold a box from Tiffany’s, because it’s what reminds me that I am part of this universe. It reminds me that I do bring wonder and joy, even when it’s harder to see. Most importantly, it reminds me that following my path to my secret heart is indeed full of miracles and wonders if I can see them through my tears.

Footnotes:
Additional Resources for Soul Searching:

Truth or Dare : Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery by Starhawk: A powerful exploration into using our spiritual power as women to make changes in our own lives, our community, and our world.

Office Sutras: Exercises for Your Soul at Work by Marcia Menter: A very helpful little book with ideas on how to find soulfulness at your current job and how to figure out what will make you happy in the workplace in the long term.

Planet Sark: http://www.planetsark.com/: A beautiful, colorful website with lots of kindred spirits figuring out their life’s path with some really great resources.

The Honesty Room by Dar Williams: A lyrically amazing, gorgeously sung cd that will make you laugh and cry and think about your life.

What is Santeria?

by Efun Moyiwa

This article can also be found on Efun Moyiwa’s World Wide Web page, OrishaNet (http://www.seanet.com/~efunmoyiwa/welcome.html).

Santería, or La Regla Lucumí, originates in West Africa in what is now Nigeria and Benin. It is the traditional religion of the Yoruba peoples there. The slave trade brought many of these people to the shores of Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, among other places. But along with the bodies being brought over for sale into a life of misery, something else was being brought along. Their souls. And their religion.

First of all, Santería is not a “primitive” religion. On the contrary, the Yorubas were and are a very civilized people with a rich culture and deep sense of ethics. We believe in one god known as Olorun or Olodumare. Olorun is the source of ashé, the spiritual energy that makes up the universe, all life and all things material.

Olorun interacts with the world and humankind through emissaries. These emissaries are called orishas. The orishas rule over every force of nature and every aspect of human life. They are approachable and can be counted on to come to the aid of their followers, guiding us to a better life materially as well as spiritually.

Communication between orishas and humankind is accomplished through ritual, prayer, divination and ebó or offerings (which includes sacrifice). Song, rhythms and trance possession are also means with which we interact with the orishas and with which we are able to affect our day-to-day lives so that we may lead deeper and fuller lives during our stay in this world.

In the New World, the orishas and much of the religion was hidden behind a facade of Catholicism, with the orishas themselves represented by various saints. The slave owners would then say, “Look at how pious this slave is. She spends all of her time worshipping Saint Barbara.” Unbeknownst to them, she would actually be praying to Shangó, the lord of lightning, fire and the dance, perhaps even praying for deliverance from that very slave owner. This is how the religion came to be known as Santería. The memory of this period of our history is also why many in our religion regard the term Santería as a derogatory.

The traditions of Santería are fiercely preserved, and full knowledge of the rites, songs and language is prerequisites to any deep involvement in the religion. Initiates must follow a strict regimen and are answerable to Olorun and the orishas for their actions. As a person passes through each initiation in the tradition, this knowledge deepens and their abilities and responsibilities grow accordingly. In fact, during the entire first year of their initiation into the priesthood, the initiate or iyawó or “bride” of the orisha must dress in white. The iyawo must not look into a mirror, touch anyone or allow themselves to be touched, and they may not wear makeup or go out at night for this year.

La Santería is famous for its “magic.” This magic is based on a knowledge of the mysteries or orishas and how to interact with them to better our lives and the lives of those who come to us for the aid of the orishas. We live under the premise that this world is a magical one. This knowledge seems “supernatural” only to those who don’t understand it, but it really is quite natural.

Although the people were yanked away from their homes in Africa and enslaved in the New World, the orishas, the religion and its power could never be chained down, and the religion survives now – not as an anachronism, but ever-growing, even now in such places as France and the Netherlands.

Maferefún gbogbo orisha!